lundi, mars 31, 2008

only child syndrome.

i always want things i can't have. somehow, i get enjoyment out of testing dangerous waters.

i'm gonna get burned.

samedi, mars 29, 2008

Christianity without Christ?

what the heck is the point??

see here.

mardi, mars 25, 2008


prov·i·dence [prov-i-duhns] –noun
1.(often initial capital letter) the foreseeing care and guidance of God or nature over the creatures of the earth.

"Take this. I heard your story. I want you to know that on a day like today, there is some good in the world, and that it's not all bad."

These words launched me into the realization that God is a provider. Jehovah Jireh.

On Saturday, I was hanging out with my friend Shelly. We had a full morning/afternoon planned. I got on the subway with my wallet, but when I arrived at Starbucks, my wallet was gone. Somewhere along the way, I had lost it. I called TD Visa and Interac and cancelled both my Visa and my Interac card. I asked the man if it was possible to be re-issued another interac card.

"Only with ID."

When I lost my wallet, I lost my day pass, my driver's license, my visa, my interac, and $80 in cash.

"So, if I've lost everything..?"
"We can re-issue you a new interac in the mail, but it will take about a week."

My heart plummeted. What would I do for the weekend without any id and without any money or access to money?

Shelly gave me her metropass so I could go to all the stations we had passed on the way to downtown and ask if anyone had returned my wallet. I stopped at every single stop between Museum and King and asked each booth attendant if anyone had found my wallet. Nothing. I asked the attendant at King station to call all the terminals (Finch, Downsview, Union, Kennedy, Kipling) to see if anyone had returned my wallet. Nothing. The lost and found was only open Monday to Friday, and it would not be open until Tuesday, since Monday was an Easter Holiday.

I went to Starbucks feeling pretty panicky. It's one thing to lose your wallet in the city you live in, but another thing to lose it in a city that is no longer home on a LONG weekend and have ABSOLUTELY no way of finding any income. To make matters worse, when I called home, my mom yelled at me for not carrying a purse.

I hung up the phone feeling horribly stupid and small. I also wondered how I'd eat that weekend.

As Shelly and I left Starbucks, a man came up from behind me and handed me a twenty.

"Take this. I heard your story. I want you to know that on a day like today, there is some good in the world, and that it's not all bad."

I cried.

A good samaritan.

After this, I stopped at a TD branch, and miraculously, even without ID, I was re-issued an interac card.

The man, in combination with a new interac card reminded me that God was taking care of me. I no longer anticipated that I would be reunited with my wallet, but things would be okay.

That night, I was supposed to meet up with my friend Warren. In the almost 5 years I have known Warren, he has almost ALWAYS picked me up at Don Mills Station. But on Saturday, for some reason, I decided to call him and ask him if we could meet at Finch. I wasn't really sure why I did that. I just decided I should. When I got to the station, I was walking to the parking lot, when I suddenly had a desire to go back and ask a booth attendant whether my wallet had been found.

"That's stupid," I thought. "There are so many booths at Finch and it's already 7. It's been 8 hours. It's not like it'll suddenly materialize."

But the nagging feeling persisted. So I went back inside. I felt directed to a booth that was nowhere near where I was standing. I asked the man if a wallet had been returned. He asked me some questions. I answered.

He pulled out my wallet.

Inside: all the contents. Including the $80 I had withdrawn that morning.

That's providence.

On Saturday, I was reminded over and over again of God's faithfulness. I was overcome by the generosity of a complete stranger (a TORONTONIAN!! That's probably the crazy part!) and overcome by the bank bending rules that they had stipulated 1 hour before when I had called. And as though those provisions did not demonstrate His caring hands, He also reunited me with my wallet, providentially.

As I contemplated these things, I realized something striking.

I had gone to many stops in search of that wallet and the eighty dollars that was inside. I had tried everything I thought possible to get that wallet back. I had spent hours looking for that wallet, trying to rectify the damage done and the hassle of losing a wallet.

I caught a glimpse of how God works.

You see, God will do ANYTHING for that which is lost. The amazing thing is, he doesn't only go to great lengths for the $100 bills or the $50 bills or the $20 bills. The amazing thing is, he searches high and low and CALLS OUT to the mere pennies. He went so far as to DIE for the pennies, so that they would be reunited to Him.

That, my dear friends, is providence.

Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it? And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.' Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.

dimanche, mars 23, 2008

thus far in Toronto i have... (part 2)

. lost my wallet
. experienced kindness from a friend AND from a stranger
. cried at said experienced kindness
. stopped at every station between museum and king in search of said wallet
. gotten a new bank card WITHOUT having any ID on me
. providentially FOUND said wallet
. met up with good friends
. eaten much chinese food
. celebrated new life
. realized how faithful God is
. found gocco supplies.

More elaboration on the wallet when I get back to Monts.

samedi, mars 22, 2008

Thus far in Toronto I have....

. eaten a part of a collection of cookies baked to spell my name (thanks mingyu and franahan!)
. crashed into a fence whilst boarding.
. attempted the ramp of a jump, only to fail. (not enough speed).
. seen many beloved friends.
. i can't wait for the rest of today, tomorrow and monday!

huzzah for VERY long weekends.

lundi, mars 17, 2008

salt and light.

"You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.

"You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven."


"I don't really publicize that I'm a Christian. I might, if they ask, or you know, if they ask what I'm doing, I'll tell them I go to church, but I don't really publicize it much."


"Everyone will know you are Dr.______"


I've been thinking a lot about a conversation I had recently. The conversation replays itself over and over in my mind. Its raw quality was attractive, but the reality that I was reminded of was devastating to me. Let me explain.

Too often, I trick myself into thinking I am a good person. After all, my job description is replete with "goodness". I mean, the title "missionary" lends itself to a picture of religiosity and piety. The truth is, though, if someone were to look at my life, would they SEE enough to ask me if I was a Christian? Probably not. Inherently, there is not much good in me. That is why I am so in need and in want of grace. Is my life so much more moral than a non-Christian's life? Probably in some circumstances, but the truth is, probably not compared to most. All in all, I am an averagely good person. The thing that sets me apart, in fact, from a non-Christian isn't necessarily my actions (although it IS my hope that the fruit produced by the Holy Spirit would be plentiful) but my recognition that though I am outwardly a "good Christian", I am, as Paul would say, the worst sinner. When I see my judgemental thoughts, my cowardly actions and feelings, I realize just how much I am in need of grace.

I was sitting with a group of friends on Sunday, and we were all talking. I can't remember how we got onto the topic, but someone ended up mentioning that she doesn't publicize that she is a Christian. She might, if someone asked her, or perhaps if someone asked what she was doing on a Sunday, she might tell them that she was heading to church. But to publicize it..well, she didn't really do that. Others nodded in agreement. Jesus' words from Matthew 5 came to my mind. About being salt and light. About how light isn't meant to be hidden, but to be exalted, and how as bearers of light we need to be putting it on a stand for all to see.

It's so easy, in my own life, to be tricked into thinking that if I do enough good things people will ASK me why I am the way I am. I need to repent of this pride, because in reality, I am not a good person. Not good enough. And even if I WAS a ridiculously GOOD person, people probably wouldn't give glory to my Father in heaven. They'd probably just give ME all the glory thinking, "Wow, Lydia is such a good person. Good for her."

The truth is that none of us are good enough. We're not good enough to MERIT salvation, and the sad part is, we're often not good enough for people around us to ask us why we're different. And, even if we are good enough representatives, most people in this day and age don't care enough to ask, because this world is all about the glory and the "goodness" of humanity.

Later on in the conversation, someone mentioned that everyone would one day know that one of the guys is a doctor, because he'll have the title "Dr." in front of his name. It was something to be proud of. Something valued. Something that will be proclaimed.

At that point in our conversation, I thought about my own name. How "missionary" Lydia isn't worthy of much. How I'll never be known as someone brilliant. How my occupation isn't something that the world deems important or anything to be proud of.

I thought about Jesus. How in this day and age, the name of Jesus is profaned, not something that is proclaimed. Even amongst Christians.

I was sad.

And as I sit here, I realize that I may never be a rich doctor/dentist/lawyer. I may never have fame or fortune. But I DO have the chance to give light to the world. If people can be so proud as to exalt human efforts, which are here today and gone tomorrow, then how much MORE worthy is the name of Jesus, here today and forevermore?

It isn't enough, then, for me to just do good works and hope that people will ask me why I am different. I AM no different. And I need to make this known.

My name is Lydia. I am a Christian. Though I hope that you see Christ in me, the truth is, most of the time, I am probably too carnal for you to notice. Being a Christian doesn't make me any better than you. In fact, you are probably just as moral as i. That's why Jesus is so amazing. Because He doesn't require us to be any better than the next in order to gain His saving grace. Rather, He takes us as we are, and allows us to know Him in a real and personal way. You may never ask me WHY I'm different. I hope you will. But I want you to know that there IS a difference because grace is a beautiful thing. And when it covers imperfections, the byproduct is a liberating freedom.

The freedom that comes from believing in Jesus is too good a thing to hold inside in the hopes that SOMEONE out there might ask. Somehow, it just bubbles up and out, and I just NEED to tell everyone I know that I am in love with the person of Jesus.

I hope that one day, the friends i hung out with on Sunday will experience this sensation.

Way back, a man named Jeremiah experienced this.

May we be like him.

If I say, "I will not mention him,
or speak any more in his name,"
there is in my heart as it were a burning fire
shut up in my bones,
and I am weary with holding it in,
and I cannot.
~Jeremiah 20:9

jeudi, mars 13, 2008

potato soup + a picture every so often #006 + a couple of interesting links.

Today, I made potato soup. My friend Tara didn't think it was wise to make it without a recipe...but hey, I'm chinese. We don't use recipes.


I probably should have used one. I put WAY too much onion in, and now it tastes a bit more like onion soup. Ah well. It was nice and warm on a winter day.


It feels weird saying it's winter, when it's already March. But there's still loads of snow lining my front steps.


1. spot the fake smile. I got 12 out of 20.
2. arial or helvetica? I got 8 out of 10.

dimanche, mars 09, 2008

sweet potato + a photo every so often 005.

I'm on this fantastic sweet potato kick. Actually, I've been on this kick for awhile, but lately, I don't know what has happened. It has just overcome me. So today, having many sweet potatoes on hand, I decided to make myself a sweet potato dinner. I made some roasted sweet potatoes bathed in a honey, cinnamon, cane sugar and olive oil dressing (the sugars caramelize and make the whole dish fantastic) and then proceeded to make some sweet potato biscuits. I used this recipe, but because I did not have buttermilk or brown sugar on hand, I made some modifications. Instead of the brown sugar, I used golden cane sugar, and instead of the buttermilk, I used some mango yogurt I had on hand. The result was fantastic! You can REALLY taste the mango! I cut the biscuits in half after I took them out from the oven, and put some sweet onion mustard and some rosemary ham on them. WOW. DELICIOUS. I think next time, I'll add a little bit of vanilla to the biscuits just to heighten the sweetness of the sweet potatoes.

Delicious. Y'all come over for some, ya hear?

...and i didn't even make my bed.

Today was the most brutal morning I have had in...I don't even know how long. I can laugh at it now, because it's over, but the people outside my house are just starting their mornings and they're shovelling ice and snow off their cars. It's probably a brutal morning for them too.

I woke up at what I thought was 6:45am this morning, to get ready to go to church. I had to be there for practice at 8:15am. "I have lots of time," I thought to myself. I took a long shower and then went to change. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed that my computer said it was 8:06am. "That's weird," I thought, "It's only 7:06am."

"OH NOOOOO! Daylight savings time!"

So I rushed out of the house with wet hair, stepped into waist-deep snow (because of the snowstorm) and tried to plow my way to the metro. I didn't even make my bed. And for those of you who know me, this is a BIG thing. I'm usually only pretty anal about two things: my bed and my bookshelf. It doesn't matter if everything else is messy (okay, well it does...but it doesn't bother me AS much)...but if my bed isn't made, I think about it all day until I make it.

I digress.

I got to the metro, pulled out my metro pass and swiped it. No go. I tried again. Disaster! My metro pass wasn't working!! And as I struggled with my metropass, I heard the rumblings from down the stairs. My train had come and gone. Ridiculous! So, I ended up waiting another 10 minutes for the train. By this time, it was already 8:30 and I was pretty ticked off at myself.

As I walked down the hill from the metro station towards church, I slipped and ALMOST fell into a snowbank, which made my pants all wet.... and then 2 minutes later, i fell into ANOTHER snowbank!!

Needless to say, I was late for church. And i had a wet bum for the whole service.


moral of the story: ....

i'm not sure WHAT the point of this story is, except to gripe. The good news is that despite my messy hair and wet bum, I feel like I'm making friends at church....which is a lovely thing.

jeudi, mars 06, 2008

engrave your book/tech.

donc! can i just say how FABJOUOUSLY cool this (and this) is?? I'm already thinking up ideas for a moleskine.... the computer will have to wait.

:: a photo every so often keeps the doctor away #004::

i have no clue who this kid is. he was at my church on Saturday night, and since i'm new, well... i have no clue who anyone is, really. But he was just SO cute, i snapped up multiple pictures of him. I'm really enjoying shooting kids lately. There's just something so innocent and joyful about the way they interact with the camera.

lundi, mars 03, 2008

letters to five or six people in no particular order.

05. i don't really know you, but tonight my heart is breaking for you. i wish you knew that his heart is breaking for you too.

04. i wish i could get past this.

03. i miss you, but i feel like it's too far gone for restoration.

02. i love the two of you. i love that despite my far away-ness, we are still friends.

01. come home soon.

dimanche, mars 02, 2008

::a photo a day keeps the doctor away #003--hear no evil, speak no evil::

I feel like in posting a picture a day, the pressure causes the quality of my work to decline. I'm not sure if i'll keep on doing this.

::a photo a day keeps the doctor away #002::

well, it's late...but better late than never. i'm so tired though, i can't do edits tonight... so... enjoy what there is. There's a good deal of camera shake, but it'll have to do. have a good night and sweet dreams, if you're not already there.

samedi, mars 01, 2008

jehovah's witnesses.

i don't know if it's just me...or are they swarming about montreal in packs?? In the past month i've met more jehovah's witnesses than i've met in...all my time in Toronto (there seemed to be more mormons there).

they came to my door today. my linoleum is cold downstairs by the door and i was barefoot. so when she proceeded to keep talking to me, i was kinda grumpy, seeing as my feet were cold. Even after telling her I was a Christian missionary, she asked me multiple times if I knew what Jesus dying on the cross meant for my salvation.

i told her i did. i wish i had told her she probably did not. but i applaud her boldness and her perseverance. it's cold outside. and it's not easy to convince someone of something especially when you have a creepy smile on your face.

mental note: when you go out sharing, Lydia, make sure you do not have a creepy smile on your face.

now my feet are cold.