lundi, octobre 30, 2006

on choices.

recently, i was asked the question, "why are you still single, Lydia? you are surrounded by multiple godly guys, so why the singlehood?"

my response was to laugh and say that i must not be a good enough catch, because no one was doing any bidding.

but after that self-deprecating comment, i answered, "well, firstly, i'm single because i wouldn't go up to a guy and ask him to start a relationship, and secondly, i'm single because i've said no to the guys who have asked me to start one and anyone that i've ever really been attracted to has never asked me out."

so, i posed this question to other friends; my girlfriends mostly came up with answers similar to mine (or, more surprisingly, since i have many solid girl friends, some even said that no one has EVER pursued them). my guy friends came up with two main replies, which i expected. some of my guy friends replied that they were considering pursuing a girl, but weren't sure if it was the right time. on the other hand, most of them said that although they had many solid woman friends, they weren't attracted to them and its not as though they'd just choose a random girl, simply on the basis that she is godly.

armed with these replies, i was led to conclude that there is obviously there is something more involved in our choices other than godliness. i think that something is attraction. why did i say no to the guys who did the pursuing? because i wasn't attracted to them. why do my godly guy friends not step up to the plate? because they aren't attracted to the girls that surround them, i suppose.

so, my question is, if love is a choice we make (more so than a feeling) then why do we base our initial choices on feelings?

both sets of my grandparents had arranged marriages, so its not as though they had the choice, really. but they chose to love each other and be committed in their marriage. attraction didn't play much of a role, pre-marriage. likewise, isaac and rebekah didn't have much of a focus on attraction. the servant who went to find isaac a wife first noticed her godly attributes. so, what does that say?

yes, it is true, attraction is necessary, to some degree. i mean, read song of solomon and you can't deny that attraction exists! but is the emphasis that we place on it in terms of the pre-dating/marriage phase in western culture really necessary?

i don't know, i'm pretty neutral on this subject (even though i realize that this blog may make it seem as though i'm not), and i just wanted your thoughts and comment away!


off topic. a cool tidbit: the original members of caedmon's call met because they were all involved in campus (crusade) for christ in university.

another cool tidbit: i really like this guy. any guy that can rap at johnny pipes church has gotta be pretty chill.

dimanche, octobre 29, 2006

on sex, love and forgiveness, and extroversion.
as separate thoughts, not all at once.

so, wow. what a fantastic weekend. just what i needed after one of the hardest weeks i have ever had in university. its always fun times with wheaty and farq.

i've had a couple of thoughts rolling around my noggin', so i thought i'd get them out and explore them a bit. this may be a good blog to read in parts. its long. ready? allright. lets roll.

on sex.

sex. three letters, but a big word. i don't think i've ever read a blog on sex, and i think christians are pretty wary of talking about sex. rightfully so. but sometimes, i think we stay so away from the topic that its almost unnatural, as though just saying the word is enough to cause one to stumble. and if thats you, then thats okay. better to be safe than sorry. but you should stop reading right now. because i will use the word sex a lot in this blog.

the truth is, lately my heart has been breaking for multiple friends, friends of friends and the world. sex has gripped the world, and has its claws deep, causing hearts to bleed. its old hat to think that its got a grip on the "secular" world. this is true. it does. but i think we forget that its got a tight hold on the "christian" world as well. and i'm not just talking about "christian" boys who watch porn and masturbate. that's what many christian girls think. its not like we don't know sex is out there, even in "our" world, but when we think sex, i think the worst thing we ever think our friends COULD be struggling with is our guy friends learning how to bounce eyes and girls learning not to fantasize about their dream relationship.

then, all of a sudden, our dreams come crashing down when we find out that the perfect couple is hiding a secret. or when we find out that the people we look up to or hold accountable, haven't really been held accountable. that sex is happening in the bedrooms of unmarried christian couples. our eyes are opened, but what is there to do? what can we say?

it has been heartbreaking to hear girls say some things.

"i just feel as though i should get married to him. even though he
dumped me and treated me like crap, i feel as though the right
thing to do is marry him. i miss him so much."

"i can't give him up now. i'll just feel SO lonely."

"i just WANT it. i can't stop thinking about it, its all i can think about
and its consuming my mind."

i don't offer any solution. as a twenty year old virgin who has never even kissed a guy, i don't offer any miracle solutions like stephen arteburn offers..(although, apparently they haven't worked well for him). but i DO believe that the thing other christian twentysomething year old virgins often lack is grace. as though somehow we are better than the unmarried couples who have sex on a saturday night and then go to church the next morning. we forget (or at least, i do) that Christ died for ALL, not just for the perfect, short, chinese girl who has EVERY aspect of her life together and under control (ha).
THIS is the solution that has been offered. solutions like boucing eyes, dating couples sitting 2 feet apart from each other are man made solutions, and often are just effective as me trying to drive my car without the keys in the ignition. these solutions need to be used in conjunction with a power source. Christ has offered the solution and the power to conquer ALL sin. But first, we need to acknowledge that we are sinful and then accept His solution. we need to be talking about this concept of sex with our friends, being frank and direct but not crass. lets stop blushing everytime the word sex comes up, and talk about sex in conjunction with its purpose and Inventor. and when we do run into situations where our close friends are really sleeping with each other every night, we need to be extending grace and addressing the ROOT issue, which may not be sex, per se. but a person's relationship with Christ.
i wish i had done this months ago with a certain friend of mine. i wish i had not judged and had extended grace. i wish i could have said sex without blushing and feeling uncomfortable.

which brings me to my next topic...

on love and forgiveness.

as most of you know (i've made it pretty public), i've been struggling to love and forgive a friend of mine. its been a hard struggle and a difficult lesson to learn, but on Thursday God really spoke to me, and freed me from the bondage of bitterness. Yesterday, things really came to a head, as i had the chance to finally speak to this friend of mine. i had the chance to read her a letter i had written and speak things i had wanted to say. i had the chance to ask for forgiveness. for the weeks preceeding this talk, i had thought that what i wanted to say was primarily for her sake. to speak words of truth into her life. but i came to realize, that i needed to talk to her, not only for her sake, but even more so, for mine. i needed to confess my bitterness to her to be free from its bondage. i don't know if she has forgiven me, and i don't know what kind of impact my words will have on her life. but, as soon as i started reading her the letter, i started to cry. my heart felt clean, and any bitterness i had seemed to disappear. all that was left was a feeling of sadness, knowing that i so desperately want my friend to experience the love that He extends that she isn't currently experiencing.

these past couple of months have been hard, and i know, soon, this friend and i may not have the chance to interact anymore. the window of my impact on her life is closing, and i have some regrets. i wish, like i said above, that i had been able to extend grace earlier. i wish i had seen myself as a sinner who is JUST as in need of saving grace as she is. but, i am grateful that through this, i have learned what love and forgiveness really are. they aren't one shot deals. there is a need to CONSTANTLY be asking God for the ability to love and the ability to forgive. for isn't HE the epitome of those two things?
so, the physical window of me being able to talk to this friend may be closing, but through prayer, the window of impact can never really be closed. and now that i have forgiven and let go of bitterness, i feel as though i am able to impact this friend's life...whether she'll let me or not.

on extroversion.

being a faux-extrovert is bizarre. throughout high school i was never extroverted, but through my time in university, i have learned to become a pseud0/faux-extrovert. this is what i have learned:

silence is bad, so keep the conversation going by saying whatever comes to your head.

in using this technique, i'm able to come across as fairly extroverted, but i feel as though i when i'm in groups i NEVER get to say what i TRULY want to say--namely because i need a lot of time to process things in my head, and if i wait for that processing to go on, the conversation is over before i get the chance to open my mouth. this is probably the reason why i ALWAYS sound ditzy when i'm in a group, why i so often say stupid things, and end up coming out of the time with those friends feeling lame. its also probably the reason why i like blogging. i get the time to process and then say the things i want to say.

why did i fall into the trap of thinking that being extroverted is better than being who i am? i need to return to being the girl who was okay without being the centre of attention. i want to be okay with being silent, instead of spewing whatever comes to mind. i need to be okay with processing. and i think our world needs to be accustomed to silence. it isn't necessarily a bad thing.

so, if i seem silent, when i'm with you, let me enjoy the silence. its not because i'm angered by you, or because i'm upset. its because i want to savour your presence and say things which will impact your life, instead of causing cacophony traffic jams.

jeudi, octobre 26, 2006

some crafty fun.

since i had a lovely, relaxing day, i made some more stuff.

*** people loved me today!!! its so bizarre to me how people can vest interest in my mundane blog! ha.

a glimpse at the wretchedness of my sin.

a couple of days ago, i was talking to a friend of mine. he said something that stuck with me.
you have such a perfect little life, lydia. don't you ever feel inadequate? you always seem to have the answers.

i thought to myself, if only you knew.

today, something happened and my heart bled immense tears.
i thought to myself, if only he knew how much anger my heart has been experiencing. how much the fight against bitterness is a daily struggle for me. if only he knew how much i want to be free. maybe then he'd see that my life isn't perfect.

today, i sat and cried and cried. in big, capital letters i wrote in my journal, I JUST WANT TO BE FREE.

and God said, child, you ARE free.

so i said, Lord, i'm tired of being brushed off, stood up. i just want to love, but i'm constantly feeling as though i'm being rejected.

and He said,
child, do you not do the same thing to me?

well then, how do i forgive when i feel as though my heart is being broken over and over again?

child, you forgive just as i have forgiven you.

but.. i am not You. i can't do it. i'm just not capable. there's so much hurt and anger inside me.

child, it is true. you can't do it on your own. you are not capable. but i have not left you alone and needy. do you not know that i dwell in you? Do you not know that I raised Jesus from the dead and that i live in you? Trust in me, and know that i am the One who gives life. That is why, my child, you are free. so rise, pick up your bed and go home.

today, there is freedom in my heart, and it feels delightful. how important it is to constantly be telling ourselves the gospel. The Word is the only thing that can set us free from bondage that so easily entangles our wretched hearts.

mercredi, octobre 25, 2006

a question pour vous.
so i'm studying for my intergroup relations class. its a class on stereotypes/prejudice etc. so i'm curious. what are some stereotypes that exist surrounding chinese people? leave a comment, they can be positive or negative.
you don't necessarily need to hold to them, and don't be afraid that i'll be offended (chances are, i've heard many of them). i'm just curious.

p.s. an example of a positive chinese stereotype might be that chinese are good at math.
an example of a negative chinese stereotype might be that we all suck at driving.

make sense? leave a comment.

some newfound lovelies.
(well..maybe they're not all newfound..per se...)

  • pizza funghi. janette introduced me to this wonderful world of fungus in the summer. sounds horrible. tastes delightful.
  • frozen mango. mm, what a GREAT snack.
  • burt's bees almond milk hand creme. it has a DELICIOUS smell of almonds.
  • u of t c4c girls and boys are just too much fun for one person to handle!
  • friends who care. i'm not talking "hi-i'm-your-friend-whenever-you-decide-to-call-me-and-hang-out" friends. i'm talking real, genuine friends. friends you know would push your wheelchair if you asked them to. to quote a conversation pri and i laughed about (lydia paraphrased to ensure anonymity)

acquaintance: it makes me happy to know that i have an awesome and amazing
friend like you! i am just so delighted by this! it makes me feel warm to the core!

"friend", thinking to herself: wow.... we're not friends. i don't even know you. get away from me creepo!

"friend" out loud: heheh... (awkward laugh...)

  • playing lupe. she's just so delightful to play with. much more so than heraldo, since she's polyphonic.

speaking of cacophony...

and now...

back to studying. one more to go. wish me luck.

lundi, octobre 23, 2006

guatemala blend isn't saving me this time.

i am so tired.

1 down. 4 more. 2 tomorrow.

dimanche, octobre 22, 2006

oh! the giants are nothing but windmills.

time to conquer the exam world. monday night. tuesday morning. tuesday night. (wednesday morning). thursday morning.

see you on the other side,my dear sancho panzas!

while i conquer the windmills, i leave you with this:

samedi, octobre 21, 2006

a sneek peek of Christmas goodies.

so, as i was making a birthday present for a dear friend, i started experimenting on Christmas goods, which i will probably sell towards the end of November.

the prospect of snow, snow suits, red, white and cold excites me.

however, even more than objects and temporal things, the thought of a season of celebrating the infinite God taking on human form is exciting.

me, on the cover of forbes.

today, i realized that i will never make it onto the cover of forbes magazine.

after realizing this, i cried.

for so long, i've spent so much time and energy convincing people that full time ministry is what i want to do in life. for some people, especially family members, this has been an uphill struggle. for others, its the expected thing for me to do. its almost as ordinary as waking up and drinking coffee.
so fight i have, believing that its where i've been called.

but it hadn't really hit me. i'd spent so long thinking about what other people are thinking, that it hadn't really sunk in. maybe it was easier this way.

i hung out with ethan and priyanka today. now, do not get me wrong, i love these two people. but sitting and listening to them talk suddenly made me feel irritated. it wasn't anything they was my own heart. as i listened to ethan talk about his new job as an investment something or other, and as i listened to pri ask him questions about interviews, resumes, connections to the business world, it REALLY dawned on me... my life will never be like that. this was beyond that sinking feeling when i realized that i'll never be a superstar rower, though i think it was a follow up to my words back in september. it was a realization that while my friends move on into a very different stage of life, i will not be entering into their world with them. i thought to myself, "wow, for them, its an exciting and completely brand new world. its where the cream of the crop thrive. a world of dress suits and business connections." my world, though different, will be similar to what it is now. my wardrobe will vary little and the average age of many of my friends will remain about 20 something years of age.

i felt as though the world i love was leaving me behind. and it stung. 2 years from now, i'll still be talking campus ministry... but my friends will be talking mergers and holding hands with elite and a class of pinot grigio in the other hand.

it hurt.

i felt angry at myself for thinking these things, angry at my friends for buying wine and for starting life in the world that i will only look in on and angry because my pride is etched deep on my heart and i can't seem to let go of all the things i know are unworthy of my coveteousness.

but ethan talked to me, and put things into perspective. for things i will do, are things that he desperately wishes God would tell him to do. except that God hasn't called him to these things. he reminded me that life isn't about me comparing myself to the rest of the world...that there aren't two worlds, the world of ministry and the world of secular jobs. we are all one body. that though we are many, we are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. that the common goal isn't to necessarily love what we do (though this may be a byproduct) but to help each other serve and glorify our Maker.

i'm sure there will be many more days like this... but i'm glad that i have people in my life that God uses to remind me of the truth. even if they are metro businessmen who wear tommy hilfiger and take cab rides home.

a somewhat lighter note...

"so i was listening to jurassic 5"
"what? you don't like J5?"
"no, that was a horrible movie."
"yeah it was horrible."
"no, i mean the rap guys"


"have you ever heard of priming?"
"yeah, like paint right?"
"no, like psychological priming."


"chick flick, would you read this chick flick?"
"you can't read a chick flick. do you mean a chick book?"
"chick flick chick flick! ..... oh yeah... i mean chick lit."

vendredi, octobre 20, 2006

girl talk book club.

hahaha.... okay, so this is kinda fun....

on a daily basis, i read this lovely blog written by four godly women (CJ Mahaney's wife, Carolyn and their 3 daughters, Janelle, Nicole and Kristin).

their blog is always a source of enjoyment and refreshment for me to read. Lately, they've been doing a weekly book club series on one of my favourite books, Twelve Extraordinary Women by John MacArthur. Every week, they pose a question, and people from all over send in their answers. Each week, they choose one of the responses and that person is the winner of the week.

Two weeks ago, they posed the question, of all the women we've studied, whose life has encouraged you the most, and why?
I had a little time on my hands, so i sent in a little response. It wasn't anything big, and i hardly considered it worthy of anything special. So, when i didn't win, i wasn't disappointed. Rather, i was glad that i had spent time considering the lives of the twelve women and thinking about how each one had encouraged me. i was especially glad to think over the life of Lydia, the woman my parents named me after.

Anyways, i thought it was particularly funny when they asked the final girltalk question, which was, in what ways did Lydia's life inspire you? This was exactly what i had submitted to them a week earlier!

Funny enough (and probably not so coincidentally either), i checked their blog this afternoon...and lo and behold..

i'm this week's winner!


thats pretty sweet.

eric faulknor is my fairy godmother.

this talented guy can take pictures so that even bums who wake up, don't comb their hair and don't wear makeup look pretty good.

hmm, i don't know if i'm allowed to stick up any pictures of the photoshoot that i was spontaneously dragged into by my good friend, bum i'll be a bit of a rebel and just stick one up...

Lydia Low, HBSc?

haha, so today, i declared my intention to graduate, and this window popped open,

do you wish to declare your intention to graduate with an Honours Bachelor of Science at the June 2007 Convocation?

thats weird. i thought i'd be graduating with an Honours Bachelor of Arts.

apparently at U of T, if you split your majors between Arts and Science, Science trumps arts and you end up with a bachelor of science.

haha, well..lets be honest... HBSc sounds pretty nifty and pompous. and i'm graduating with a piece of paper which will list the thing i declared i would never graduate with. the mark of true asianness. life is funny. now i've pretty much fully submitted to the asian stereotype. what a joke.

jeudi, octobre 19, 2006

darren put this up on his blog, i watched it and thought it was great. so watch it....
you have to watch the whole thing'll all come together in the end.

in watching this, i was also reminded of something Richard Rorty said. He is a leading postmodern philosoher who teaches at Stanford University.

"I'm delighted that Liberal theologians do their best to do what Pio Nono said shouldn't be done--try to accomodate Christianity to modern science, modern culture, and democratic society. If I were a Fundamentalist Christian, I'd be appalled by the wishy washiness of their version of the Christian faith. But since I am a non-believer who is frightened of the barbarity of many Fundamentalist Christians (e.g. their homophobia), I welcome theological Liberalism. Maybe Liberal theologians will eventually produce a version of Christianity so wishy-washy that nobody will be interested in being a Christian anymore. If so, something will have been lost, but probably more will have been gained."

mercredi, octobre 18, 2006

fleeting breaths.

my half-aunt died yesterday after a four year long battle with cancer. please pray for my mum as she deals with this. but let us also rejoice, because we will one day see her with our Saviour and Creator.

mardi, octobre 17, 2006

save the earth.

i have been called a "tree-hugger" twice this week, by two people who don't know each other at all.

tree hugger?

dimanche, octobre 15, 2006

bitter gourd.

there's an asian veggie i just can't stand. its called bitter gourd, and it lives up to its name. it definitely is bitter. the worst part about this veggie is that no matter how much you try to cover up the bitterness, it still exists. rolling the melon in salt though, seems to help a bit. and man, getting rid of even just some of the bitterness better is than nothing. i'm sure if you rolled it in salt long enough, the bitterness would disappear, since the salt would completely permeate the gourd. seems to me, however, that the best solution is to not eat the gourd. i mean, if you're going to eat something completely salty, why not just skip straight to the salt and forget about the bitter gourd?

speaking of bitterness, lately i have found that i have allowed bitterness to take root in my life. i've eaten the gourd and now my life is permeated with this a bitter taste . so here's a question for you: other than seeping myself in the lovely, salty Word and praying that God would free me from this bitterness, what are practical things i can do to not allow bitterness to cover more ground in my life? covering it up and trying to mask it with a happy smile definitely isn't working, and the bitterness leaves a caustic taste in my mouth. is there anything y'all do, practically speaking, to fight against bitterness?

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. ~Ephesians 4:31 (ESV)

addendum (Oct 16th):
haha, i am delighted by how God answers our prayers when we are confused and seeking guidance! get this. the day after i ask the question, is there a way to fight against bitterness, one of my favourite female Christian bloggers/authors writes a blog on bitterness, and points to a revive our hearts program which deals with the roots of bitterness.
thats pretty great timing, if you ask me.

samedi, octobre 14, 2006

friday fun.

trees on campus.

the cool swing at ben johnson's sweet digsthe cutest singaporean ever."oh please come to death cab with me!""please please please?""you know you want to!""okay fine." "yes!!"Lydia, Brianna, Steph and Camille's thumb. squished into the back of russtopher's car.

vendredi, octobre 13, 2006

Jesus camp.

hey, does anyone know anything about this movie?

if i was who i am now when i was in jr. high school, i'd probably be a cheerleader.

back in junior high, the cool people were, stereotypically, the cheerleaders. i was never cool in jr. high. in fact, the cool people threw pop can tabs at me in class. that's how uncool i was.
thankfully, once high school hit, it suddenly became cool to be a nerd, and the nerd group became the group to be in. all of a sudden, chess during lunch hour became popular and my life wasn't so miserable anymore.

even so, i wouldn't say i was ever a cool socialite. on weekends, i would go to church, mostly because i had nothing else to do. i was never invited to parties when i was in high school and i never really went out on weekends, beyond going to church. my excuse was that even if i was invited somewhere, i wouldn't be able to go...seeing as i had church.

it was probably a good thing anyways. in high school, i had a few close friends that i really enjoyed, but other than that, i was pretty introverted, and going to a party and actually having fun would have been akin to make most boys enjoy being vegetarian.

something happened in second year university though, and slowly i've developed this weird ability to be extroverted at times. especially when meeting new people. maybe some part of me enjoys it because, well, i never enjoyed it when it was everything to be popular. now, in some sort of weird way, i kinda am popular. don't get me wrong. i am definitely not cool. but somehow i've become some sort of socialite.
last weekend, i was invited to 3 thanksgiving dinners on three different nights. this weekend, i've been invited to 3 parties on three different nights. its a bit insane.
i think, however, that i need to learn boundaries. while i like people, they sap a lot of energy. and a lot of the time, i invest too much in friendships, ending up disappointed when that investment isn't reciprocated. anyways, this is something that i think i need to work on. learning to be okay with not being everyone's best friend (i used to be okay with it....i don't know when things changed) and learning not to invest in the whole world, because it just isn't physically possible, nor healthy is something i plan to work on in the next little while.

i guess thats where the principle of selection comes in. which friendships am i really going to invest in? how can i be wise in terms of my relationships with different people? these are good things to think about. i suppose some pruning is going to go on, where i learn to balance things differently and shift priorities.

a recurring thought.

que ferais-je si je ne suis pas placer à Montréal?

in starting the application process, i realize how desperately i want to go to Montréal. What will i do if i'm not placed there? How will i feel?

i know montreal already has a full staff team.

hmm. laying it all down is hard.

jeudi, octobre 12, 2006

first snowfall of the winter.

today it snowed. wonderful, wonderful white flakes, floating down like little pieces of manna.

how lovely.

mercredi, octobre 11, 2006

oh, i can't stand you but i'm supposed to love you.

Jesus' command to love our enemies is a hard one. i feel as though lately, God has been trying to teach me about unconditional love. learning to love people even though i feel like slugging their face. fortunately, God has been gracious and has kept me from acting on the impulses in my head. being Spirit-filled has been vital....but tonight was a night where i definitely wasn't relying on the Spirit to fill me. live vicariously with me as i take you through my night....

here is an interesting fact that i think almost none of my friends know: my cousin (mum's youngest sister's son) lives in Toronto. he is a frosh at U of T and moved here in august. until today, i had not seen him. to be honest, i like to keep our distance from this aunt and uncle. Everytime i see this uncle or my aunt, they're always bragging about something. My aunt brags about her thousand dollar dresses, and my uncle brags about his business and how he makes millions of dollars (oh, did i forget to mention that they're millionaires?) This in itself would be okay, but there are other family issues and such. At any rate, i keep my distance, and i'm okay with that. Anyways, my uncle was in town on business and was visiting Sam, my cousin, so he called me up (you know, good ol' chinese family obligation) and asked me to go to dinner. i figured it wouldn't be that bad, family is family, after all. besides, when would i pass up a free meal? Whenever my mum's family comes to town (most of my mum's sisters and brothers are millionaires) they always take me to rich snazzy restaurants in yorkville...and its kinda fun entering into a world that i will never be a part of. Also, i didn't really have a choice. chinese family obligation. i thought, if anything, it would be a good chance to ask him to support me financially when i join staff with Campus Crusade (oh, btw, i started the staff application process today).

So i met up with him at his hotel. As we were having coffee, waiting for my cousin to finish class, he asked me what i was planning on doing after i graduated. i told him i was planning on joining staff with Campus Crusade for Christ, and he said, "when would you start?" So i replied, "September 2007, hopefully. it depends on how long it would take me to support raise."
"How much would you need to raise, " he asked.
"About 30 000, " i estimated.
His reply, "Why don't you get a real job?"
All this, of course, said with a cheery smile but a sneering tone.
So i replied, with a forced smile, "it is a real job."
"Doesn't seem like it to me. you know, raising support is unbiblical."
"umm, actually, support raising IS biblical. in the Old Testament, support raising went on when David planned to build the temple."
" Lydia, when you read the Bible you have to look at it in context. Are you trying to build a temple? no. besides, why doesn't campus crusade pay you. then it would be closer to a real job. besides, why would you want to become a missionary?"
" i think all of us are called to be missionaries. i just want to do it on a full time basis."
"no, not all of us are called to be missionaries."
"Really? Because in Matthew 28, Jesus tells his disciples to go and make disciples of all nations."
" Lydia, remember, i told you to read the Bible in context. When Jesus said that, he was saying it to His disciples, not to you."

Anyways, the night went on, and he proceeded to tell me that once someone becomes a Christian, there is no suffering in life (and after i pointed out Romans 5, which teaches us to rejoice in sufferings, he said "Lydia, read the context. Paul isn't talking to us, He's talking to the Romans at that time. God is a God of love. He wouldn't allow us to suffer.")

He also proceeded to tell me i should become a doctor, and do missions work as a doctor. Apparently all great missionaries are doctors.
"David Livingstone was a doctor."
"Do you think Jim Elliot was a great missionary?"
"well, uncle, he wasn't a doctor."

Oh, he also shared with me that he gives thousands and thousands to the church, but wouldn't support me, since i'm not a church.

he said a couple of other things that really got to me, but i won't recount my whole night. i'd get mad all over again.

The whole night was spent listening to him twist Scripture to fit his warped view of God.

by the time we got to dinner, i was seething. admittedly, a part of it was pride. Where did he get off telling me that full time ministry isn't a real job? But a large part of what made me angry were his teachings on the prosperity gospel, and his heretical use of scripture. i was beyond angry. Psalm 4:4 says, "in your anger, do not sin." well..yeah, i sinned. i seriously wanted to slug the guy.
So when he said to me, "see, i'm a great Bible teacher eh? i should become a pastor." i said, all with a nice, innocent, wide-eyed smile, " The pharisees were great teachers of the day too. But they didn't have it right."


as an addendum: he didn't end up taking us to a fancy restaurant. we went for japanese. oh yeah, and this rich uncle that kept bragging about how he is going to buy a 570, 000 dollar condo for sam in yorkville tipped 6 dollars on a 70 dollar bill. talk about embarassing.

Anyways, as i got home, i wondered if what i had done was right. throughout the night i had pointed out the flaws in his use of Scripture, but i hadn't done it with humility and with love. instead, i just did it because i wanted to point out how much of an idiot i thought he was. Which probably isn't such a loving thing to do. The truth is, without the Spirit constantly filling us, it is impossible to love. Even more, it is impossible to love those we dislike. tonight, i fully admit that i was just as hypocritical as my uncle and as the pharisees. *sigh* i am a complete and utter sinner. thank you, Jesus for the justification by your blood and because of your grace. teach me how to love unconditionally.

thanksgiving pictures up


vendredi, octobre 06, 2006

thankful for friends and food.

fun times guys. props to shelly chen, russtopher, ethan park, jonathan park, ryan lawrence, stephanie bourque, leah cameron, ben johnson.

thanks for blessing me with your presence tonight guys. t'was fun.

yay for dinners.

so, i have big shoes to fill, seeing as my dad and mum are amazing thanksgiving/christmas food gurus. mm.. i love my dad's carrots.

anyways....hopefully tonight will go well. here's what i'm planning to cook:

roast chicken (seasoned with thyme and lemon pepper), ham, corn, honey carrots, butternut AND buttercup squash, roast potatoes, peppers and roast tomatoes. i also bought some lovely portugese buns from this bakery in kensington.

we'll see how it goes.

by the way...why have i never done my veggie shopping at kensington before? its SOO much cheaper!! 9 dollars for a HUGE bag of potatoes, a massively cute butternut squash, peppers (red, yellow and green), and many plump tomatoes. amazing!

jeudi, octobre 05, 2006


public confession of God's particular deliverance, what God has done for you (Waltke)


this thanksgiving weekend, as most people rejoice with their families, it will be a fight for me to remain joyful. it will be easy to listen to lies, fall into loneliness and forget all his blessings. God has already taken care of my biggest need, which was to be saved by the wrath of God. If He could do this, He is infinitely capable of providing for all my smaller needs (that's CJ Mahaney, paraphrased). He is enough to fill the lonely heart and provide comfort and love. its crazy that an infinitely huge, omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent God would choose to love this ugly heart of mine.

to quote a girl that we shared the gospel with today,

"Your God must be crazy. Why would He die for insignificant human beings? I don't understand."

oh Tracy, you are right. its beyond human comprehension. for one would scarcely die for a righteous person--though for a good person one might dare even to die. But Christ shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

mm... these are good things to ponder alongside others this thanksgiving weekend.

mercredi, octobre 04, 2006

on more banal exams.

well today i wrote my first exam of my last year of formal schooling (for a little while,at least).

undoubtedly, this course (attention and performance) is the hardest course i have ever taken in university (just exceeding neurophysiological psych II) and i was pretty stressed about this exam. this course is taught by one of the best psych profs and researchers at U of T and i also have him next semester for a different course, so i knew that there was a lot riding on this exam.

though i studied at summit, there just wasn't enough time to study everything...and more importantly, i didn't understand a lot of the material. There's no textbook for the course, so i spent last night reading a whole bunch of medical and scientific journals trying to figure things out.

Yesterday, i even went to my prof for help. Now, those of you who know me, know that i NEVER go to profs for help. in fact, yesterday was the first time in my four years of university that i've approached a professor for help. TAs, sometimes. but profs...never. i usually despise students who go to profs for help, because at a cutthroat university like u of t, students RARELY go to their profs without the underhanded motive of buttering up the professor. brief aside, yesterday when i went to see my prof, there were a couple of other girls in his office..and he joked that he thinks u of t should increase his salary (AS IF! this dude is making lots of money already...i mean, he's a professor with full tenureship) and i so i said "umm yeah, while they increase OUR tuition for your pay hike"...and these girls i was in the room with gave me this EVIL look and one girl piped up, "i would pay more tuition for your pay to increase."

UHH..what the heck??? perfect example of a student buttering up to the prof. also the reason why i don't go to professors for help. i'm weary of getting grouped together with these gals.

anyways, i digress.
i knew i needed help on the material, so i went to my professor for help (talk about humbling my ego and admitting defeat)...

this morning i woke up at 5:30 so i could study. as i went into my exam, i prayed, "Lord, there is nothing i can do. help me to pass this exam, so i can pass the course and graduate." As i was praying, i felt the need to check over some stuff in my notes. those who know me well know that i NEVER read my notes or cram right before exams...but i had this strong feeling that i had to check something out. so i checked it out..and then the prof passed out the exams.

i opened up the exam...looked at all the questions..and thought to myself...

"wow, this is the first exam where i can honestly say i know almost, if not all, the answers in the exam. i can get 100% on this exam! its a good thing i checked my notes before hand, because this question is the VERY thing i checked my notes for."


it was the funnest exam i have ever written.
the only sad part was that i could have gotten 100% on the exam that i thought i'd surely fail....had i had enough time to FINISH the exam. alas, i couldn't write fast enough. hmm, does someone want to teach me how to write faster? i ended up having to leave one question blank.....and it was worth a lot.
ironically, a large part of the exam was on speed-accuracy trade-offs. as you increase speed of motion, accuracy decreases....and inversely..if you increase accuracy, speed decreases.
now, those of y'all who know me...know that i have amazing penmanship. too bad its not FAST penmanship.

oh wells, no complaints. its nice to know you've written a good exam..and that it hasn't really been because of what you've done, or your own strength...but that God cares even about the little, stupid details, like exams, in life...and that He even blesses us in these things.


also.... talks from the most recent Desiring God conference (Above all earthly powers: the Supremacy of Christ in a post-modern world) are up.

i really recommend Piper's sunday morning talk. y'all know i love johnny pipes. but i'm not just blogging this to plug him. its a great talk. so go listen.

mardi, octobre 03, 2006

sinews have come upon dry bones and the LORD has breathed into them life.

praise God, because today eternity was impacted and another sheep has entered the fold.

two of the girls from my DG went out sharing today, during our day of evangelism, and they saw a girl come to Christ.

praise God. this is the first time at U of T in the past four years that someone has come to Christ during our week of evangelism.

mmm. God is good.

oh, and we had 12 people go out JUST at 3pm, mostly first years....and a host of other people going throughout the day.

wow. God is SO good. He astounds me.

week of evangelism...let's go hard!

praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak. Ephesians 6:18-20

Unashamed~ Mark Altrogge
you were not ashamed to be
emptied and poured to death
unashamed to give your dying breath
you were not ashamed to bear
all of my reproach and sin
Jesus, you were such a faithful friend
so i will glory in the cross
and in the blood you shed for us
glory in the gospel of your grace

let me be unashamed
Jesus, to speak your name
For you were the one who came
the Saviour of the world
Let me be unashamed
Jesus, to speak your name
let me be bold to claim
you as my Lord

You were not ashamed to give
your body to a Roman lash
unashamed to bear God's holy wrath
you were not ashamed to hang
naked bleeding on a tree
gladly you did all of this for me
So i will glory in the cross
and in the blood you shed for us
glory in the gospel of your grace

dimanche, octobre 01, 2006

the story of a girl, her prayers and her Saviour.

You were broken that I might be healed
You were cast off that I might draw near
You were thirsty that I might come drink
Cried out in anguish that I might sing

How deep is Your love
How high and how wide is Your mercy
How deep is Your grace
Our hearts overflow with praise
To You

You knew darkness that I might know light
Wept great tears that mine might be dried
Stripped of glory that I might be clothed
Crushed by Your Father to call me Your own

~How Deep, Stephen Altrogge
Based on The Valley of Vision prayer “Love Lustres at Calvary”

she can't count how many times she has cried out to God, pleading with Him to rescue her campus. how many times great tears fell down her face in frustration and loneliness. how many times she wondered when He would answer her cries, or whether He even heard.

in three years, there have been many days when she would walk to campus, shedding tears and crying out for God to give her the strength to do His work. there have been so many days where she would walk home from campus, shedding tears and crying out to Him, telling Him that she was too weak to respond to His call.

the days of loneliness often seemed infinite as she waited for the Lord to send her an army to conquer the campus. time and time again, she watched as other campuses grew strong, multiplying boldly, while she stood alone.

its been a long fight to believe. to trust in His goodness, His sovereignty, His plans and His strength. it is only because of His grace that i have been able to stand and wait in faith. oh, how many times i have doubted.

this weekend though, my mind flashed back to those countless times i have dropped on my knees and begged for His saving grace to be revealed on my campus. my mind flashed back to all the days when i questioned, wrestled and argued with God, asking Him if He even cared.
And i wept constantly this weekend. Not because i wondered if He had heard, but because this weekend proved to me that indeed, He has heard, and is at work. i am SO amazed that He would use what little i had and would multiply it. my heart weeps for joy, because my prayers of little faith have been heard and are being answered.

i don't know how to describe this weekend. it was marvelous. scrumptious. i have never been more aware of God's workings, His beauty, His faithfulness and all of His other characteristics. Words of praise songs have never sounded more real to me. the only time i have ever sobbed as much while singing worship songs was the night i realized His saving grace had paid the price for my sin and had bought me freedom.

When i got on the bus, there were so many U of T students, i didn't even know the names of some of them. Oh, how beautiful God's children are! Though our group of 23 seemed insignificant compared to McMaster's group of 140, i know that they are not insignificant. For this group of twenty three represent the raising up of labourers by God's mighty hand. To fill two tables in the cafeteria at Camp White Pine was amazing, seeing as we have never filled a single table completely. This morning, as we met for campus time, we sat in a room where we were running out of seating space on the chairs. To me, this weekend has marked a transition from a time of drought, desert sand and dry bones, to something new. i see breath entering these dry bones, and these bones living. i see sinews laid upon these bones and flesh to come upon them. i see these bones being covered with skin and breath being put into them. i see these bodies living and knowing that He is the LORD. i see them standing on their feet, an exceedingly great army.

i am so excited for what the LORD is going to do on campus. i won't be around when our numbers are like those of Mac or Guelph, but i am SO grateful that He has allowed me to be a part of setting the necessary foundation. it astounds me that He would allow me to do the small, yet powerful task of praying and beseeching Him for the campus. that He has heard my cries and that He has answered beyond what i could ever even ask for and imagine is something unmerited for a sinner like me. and yet, He has chosen to bless my heart of little faith.

in my own life, this weekend has marked a transition from a time of drought to a delighting in the living water that He offers. His Love is deep. His mercy is high and wide. My heart overflows with praise.

thank you Abba. thank you, thank you, thank you.

From 3 in 2004 to 23 in 2006.