on justice -Benedict/James Orbinski

''Justice only fails when we fail to imagine that it is possible. But like so many things, it depends not only on imaginings but on what we do.'' - James Orbinski

Monday, September 13, 2010

To the top world suppliers of weapons & arms..

In our world today where the economy and market is globalized, and security issues inevitably crossing international borders, it's difficult not to take the sales of weapons & arms into more careful consideration and to decipher its importance to us, as global citizens of the world.

According to a report to congress, last year's worldwide arms deal was a startling number of 57.5 billion dollars - though a drop of 8.5 in comparison to last year's deal. The top three suppliers, US, Russia and France along with other countries like Germany, Italy, China and Britain are responsible for the weapon sales to developing world - 45.1 billion dollars in 2009, and 48.8 billion in 2008 (NY times, September 12, 2010).

I find these data unsettling and the following excerpt even more disturbing:

''Relationships between arms suppliers and recipients continue to evolve in the 21st century in response to changing political, military and economic circumstances,'' Mr. Grimmett (specialist in International Security at Congressional Research Service) concluded. ''Where before the principal motivation for arms sales by foreign supplies might have been to support a foreign policy objective, today that motivation may be based as much as economic considerations.''

There are so many cases where arms deals have fueled unnecessary killings in already wartorn, developing countries, and even propelled a devastating genocide in Rwanda. And if these atrocities have been borne out of ''support [for] foreign policy objective'', I can't imagine what the result would be for the weapon deals that are based on economic considerations. While there are international organizations, policies to govern international trade, I'm not so sure whether moral codes will outweigh the profits these top suppliers hope to gain from their deals.

And while I understand that the market flows with the clientele's demands, and that had there not security threats, there would no demand for weapons. But these threats also derive from the thought of the missiles and nuclear plant in neighboring countries, and the only tactic is to buy more weapons and arms to defend your borders... isn't this the perfect example of a vicious cycle? 

I'd like to believe that, whenever possible, peace settlements should always be prioritized before any country or government turn to destructive means in order to secure their grounds. 

With that note... I think I should add Utopia to my reading list. 

Saturday, August 28, 2010

on improving my deteriorating memory

I've noticed that my memory is starting to fail me. For instance, I would remember a conversation I had with a friend yesterday, but have trouble remembering who it was. Or, going to the fridge to get more milk, and then doubting myself, because the milk is already on the kitchen counter. Obvious sign of aging, no doubt. Scary thought, especially since I'm going back to school in a week. And my solution? I'm going to counter-attack this problem and start memorizing Bible verses, inspirational & useful quotes, and favorite poems. Starting with one of my all-time favorites--- Sonnet 116 by William Shakespeare: 

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although its height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though its rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Putting things back into context

''Then shall your light break forth like the dawn,
and your healing shall spring up speedily;
your righteousness shall go before you;
the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.''

--Isaiah 58:8

I remember highlighting this verse in my old, worn-out Bible in High School, and quoting it in letters, cards to friends, and copying down in my notebooks as a self-reminder. But I don't recall if I ever read the verses before and after this passage that I like so much; I don't think I ever read this verse in its proper context.

Then, about a week ago, a friend of mine who was having an amazing, life-altering experience at Downtown Eastside gave me a list of ''Justice texts'' to read. And having kind of strayed away from regular devotions, I thought this would be a motivating, refreshing way to start again. So I went through the list, and I couldn't stop re-reading Isaiah 58:6-12--for its teaching, its richness, and the truth that I needed to reflect on. What kind of 'fast' or 'sacrifice' is pleasing to our God? What makes our 'light break forth like the dawn'?

I believe that everyone have different calling, but one of things we are all called to do is to see justice prevail, and in our society today, injustice still looms over the lives of those who are trapped in poverty, addictions or mental illness.

There are so many practical steps, but I think the first and foremost is to 'start caring'. To conduct research on the living conditions of these people, to dig deeper into social injustice. Then, I doubt that you won't be moved to do something after your discovery.

''Is not this the fast that I choose:
to loose the bonds of wickedness,
to undo the straps of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to break every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry
and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover him,
and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?
Then shall your light break forth like the dawn,
and your healing shall spring up speedily;
your righteousness shall go before you;
the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.
Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;
you shall cry, and he will say, 'Here I am.'
If you take away the yoke from your midst,
the pointing of the finger, and speaking 
if you pour yourself out for the hungry
and satisfy the desire of the afflicted,
then shall your light rise in the darkness
and your gloom be as the noonday.
And the Lord will guide you continually
and satisfy your desire in scorched places
and make your bones strong;
and you shall be like a watered garden,
like a spring of water,
whose waters do not fail.
And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt;
you shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
you shall be called the repairer of the breach,
the restorer of streets to dwell in.''
                                                                      ---ISAIAH 58:6-12

It's nice to be able to put things back in the context, where they belong!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

A Safari Slideshow

Safari in Serengeti and Ngorongoro Park - Tanzania, East Africa
June 2010

The Crater

Jeep #2! ready for adventure!

Hungry Giraffes

Beautiful Safari Scenery

Baby Pumba!

This reminds me of a scene from Lion King

Sexy Prints!

Zebra herd (the first animal we spotted)

Mufasa in hiding

Beautiful Anonymous Bird

Mother & Baby Elephant 


Bad time to get a flat tire, Sam?

Just chillin' by the branches

Where we camped in Ngorongoro Park

Never seen the clouds so low
Magnificent view.

Blue-ass Monkeys. Too bad I didn't get a pic of their behind

Safari Sam and I

Monday, August 9, 2010

wise words

''Love is passion, obsession, someone you can't live without. If you don't start with that, what are you going to end up with? Fall head over heels. I say find someone you can love like crazy and who'll love you the same way back. And how do you find him? Forget your head and listen to your heart. I'm not hearing any heart. Run the risk, if you get hurt, you'll come back. Because, the truth is there is no sense living your life without this. To make the journey and not fall deeply in love - well, you haven't lived a life at all. You have to try. Because if you haven't tried, you haven't lived.''

--William Parrish (meet joe black)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

words by e.e. cummings

since feeling is first
who pays any attention
to the syntax of things
will never wholly kiss you;
wholly to be a fool
while Spring is in the world

my blood approves,
and kisses are a better fate
than wisdom
lady i swear by all flowers. Don't cry--
the best gesture of my brain is less than
your eyelids' flutter which says

we are for... each other; then
laugh, leaning back in my arms
for life's not a paragraph

And death i think is no parenthesis

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Missing Africaland Already...

TANZANIA, East Africa 

on the way home from school, for the both of us.

from a distance... 
shy kids in the neighbourhood

safari group

best safari jeep #2

Uhuru Peak Elementary school

Cradle of Love in Arusha

I will see u soon, Africa! Dec Trip a-planning...

Sunday, June 6, 2010

For thoughts on LOVE and WAR...

Visit a new blog I started up with Jen, my good (and probably one of my oldest) East Coast friend:



Saturday, June 5, 2010

The question lingers...

There were so many things I wanted to write about for the past few weeks. but I was lazy, and didn't want to seem inconsistent, so I avoided posting up a 'reply post' regarding my last post... I gave myself a hard homework, and ended it with this major, oftentimes unfathomable question: ''Why did God create people whom he knew were 'destined to perish'?

A particular key event led me to seriously consider this question. Though it had passed my mind before, but there's a distinctive different in 'just thinking about it' and actually sitting down and looking for a satisfactory answer. 
I don't think the answer I got is quite satisfactory yet, but I believe it has bulldozed a huge chunk of doubt in me, and has affirmed my faith in the most part.

1) When I became more interested and concerned in humanitarian affairs, I also started to face a lot of hard questions. Reason being that humanitarian affairs had to do with humanity, and humanity-whether we like to admit it or not- is constantly facing a harsh and cruel reality. Take poverty for example, half of the world's population live in poverty - and that is less than $2.50 per day. Though some people, through unwise decisions and holes they dig themselves into, become poor and are unable to relief themselves out of a vicious financial downfall. But most of the those who fall under the poverty line are not poor by choice, but poor by default. In sub-Saharan Africa, Middle-East, parts of Asia and even Europe - people find themselves in financial ruins because of debt handed over to them by their parents, grandparents, community, or their government. As global citizens, teachers, students, economists, leaders, the appropriate questions would seemingly be: ''What can we do to resolve world poverty?'' or ''What are the steps we can take in order to eliminate extreme poverty from the face of this world?'' The Millennium Development Goals set by the United Nations, while hopeful, still has a long way to go before we can witness the extinction of extreme poverty in this generation. And as Christ followers, the appropriate question we can raise before the God of all creation would then be: ''Why, being as Sovereign as You are, can you allow this to happen?'' 

The easy way out would be to throw our hands up in the air and say, 'Well, sometimes God just does inexplicable things.'' or ''He has His will with the way things are.'' or  ''If we have an answer for everything God does, then what makes him God?'' But up until recently, I think I was lazy and maybe afraid to challenge God, to ask Him hard question, and to dig fervently for a solid answer. Sometimes I feel like I'm just scratching the surface with my faith, and when nothing resounds from the other side I simply shrug my shoulder and move on to easier questions. 

These past few months, I've been attending a Bible Study with my Pastor, and whether he did this intentionally or not, he shook us with such intensity, that we could not help but awake from our 'lazy faith', and looked intently for answers to questions on suffering, evil, and God's sovereignty amidst all of this. 

And what I have learned is this:

A. We have to first grasp who God is, and what His Purpose is for creation. God reigns over all, and He is complete and perfect in Himself. He does not lack in anything, and did not require anything more. He chose to create the world and us in it, in order to demonstrate His Glory, and for us to worship Him. 

B. We have to recognize who we are, in comparison to the God of the universe. He did not create us because He needed us, or because he was lonely. But oftentimes, as it is with human nature, we tend to regard ourselves higher than we should. We deserve to live, we deserve to have this car, this house, this degree, this family, this health... the list goes on. And when things go wrong, when we lack in the things we think we deserve to obtain, we immediately turn to either the person next to us or society as a whole or God of the universe and demand to know why.. God has a purpose for us, and maybe he took things from us in order for us to play an unique role in his plan. We look at humanity sometimes as if it's invincible, and something great - but by doing so we fail to recognize that God is greater than us. When we use our perspective and shake our fists at God demanding to know why He allows bad things to happen to good people, it's a perfect depiction of Roman 9: 19-23:

19 You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” 20 But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? 22 What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory— 

It's so humbling and so hard to accept at first, but that's why whenever I have trouble swallowing this fact, I need to return to point A and reflect on who God is.

C. We must have faith and know that God has his perfect plan for us, as it says in Romans 8:28:
28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, [1] for those who are called according to his purpose.

I don't think I am through with asking God 'why?', but I'm pretty sure that I'm at peace with God being sovereign over all..

This has been a long post and it is in dire need of thorough editing. but I'll leave it raw and maybe come back to it with PART II.

God is good! 

Thursday, April 29, 2010

sky is clearing up....!

For the past few months I have been struggling with a lot of questions I thought to be hard, and valid ones to ask. Pre-destination... God's elect... What is Free Will.. or if God was all loving, why does he allow people to be born into war, drought, hunger, disease-stricken land, or what I thought to be hardest one of them all - why did God create people whom he knew were 'destined to perish'?

Just now, I came back from a Bible Study with my senior Pastor, and the sky seems to be finally clearing..

Next post will be a detailed reflection!

Good night, and I will sleep peacefully tonight :)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Psalm 28

''The Lord is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusts in him, and I am helped.
My heart trusts in him, and I am

My heart leaps for joy
and I will give thanks to him in song.

THe Lord is the strength of his people,
a fortress of salvation for his anointed one.

Save your people and bless our inheritance;
be their shepherd and carry them forever.

This last verse of Psalm 28 has always been one of my favorites, and just so comforting.

Monday, April 26, 2010

thoughts on re-reading book

''Another committee, led by Adan Hussein, set up an orphanage in a bombed-out library in the centre of town. Adan's committee went around to the feeding centres in the city gathering up orphaned children who had little chance of survival without adult help. I asked Adan to go to Hawina to get Ali and other orphans. Unlike us, Adan had no guards. Many committee members were shot, beaten or robbed by gangs and militias. Still, Adan's group collected as many orphans as it could. By the end of October, his group was caring for over 350 children. I asked Adan why he did what he did. After a long pause, he answered, ''They are the seeds for tomorrow's Somalia. Tomorrow's Somalia will be better - it must be. We want them to care for each other, so we must care for them today.''
(p. 83)

An Imperfect Offering is one of the best books I've read so far, and I'm now currently re-reading this humanitarian masterpiece, and still the stories recorded in this book amazes me. So much can be said about the war devastation that is happening all over the world, the suffering of the people who are trapped in continuous hunger, unceasing warfare and the lack of respect for human life through horrendous acts like rape, and genocide -- but amidst places and situations like these, goodness, courage and hope still somehow prevails.
The excerpt above is one of my favorite and what I find to be one of the most heartbreaking passages. There are those whose life objective is to destroy and eliminate the lives of others, so that they themselves can have a better life. A better government, higher profit, bigger land, wider borders. But then there are those whose goal is to save the lives of others so that they can have the same things. Why is it that some have the hearts to save and repair and others are focused on the inhumane immediacy of killing - when both parties have seemingly the same future in mind? A better country cannot be based on bloodshed; unfortunately, those in power and with authority seems to believe that the only way to assert their authority and secure their profitable income is to push others down. A scary but true evidence of this is recorded in the same book, when the author is describing the food distribution in war-torn Somalia in 1992:
''The Red Cross and CARE were paying $10,000 a day to warlords for airport landing rights in Baidoa. Some food was being diverted to clans as a protection payment, and about another 20 percent was being stolen from warehouses or looted on the roads to the feeding centres.'' (p. 83)
This happened more than ten years ago, and is still happening now.
Why and how are good questions to ask, but importantly, WHAT is being done to change, and to raise awareness about people who are trapped in these unjustly governed nations?

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Peace Unknown

There is chaos in the mall

People shoving past each other

Sales, line-ups, and busy mothers

There is chaos on the street

Time is rushing footsteps

Morning, afternoon coffee and deadlines to be met

There is chaos in the room

Photographs, painting, calendar on the wall

People smiling, music blasting, the voice of Diana Krall

There is chaos in the frontline

Bullets colliding, hearts are failing and

You’re thinking—what a God-forsaken land

There is chaos on the street

Fathers sobbing, their children bleeding

For what, for whom are we bleeding?

There is no chaos in this room

A child is struggling, or is he breathing?

A heartbeat, then silence, and leaves us to ponder:

Living, what a chaotic sight; and death, a wonder.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

sleep deprivation

again - my goal to sleep before 11pm has failed again!

couple of things keeping me up a.k.a habits i may need to cut back 1 hr prior to sleeping:

1) abs workout - energizing myself before sleeping is obviously a dumb idea..
2) scrabble game i got on my phone - mental workout before sleeping is obviously an even dumber idea..
3) listing things to do in my head for tomorrow - pls refer back to dumb thing #2
4) trying to blog this is only delaying my precious sleeping time

and it's thursday tomorrow?
is somebody speeding up the time? cause i sure can't keep track!

good night fellow bloggers.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Please help!

Why are some people born in far more fortunate, healthier, wealthier environment than others?

So that they can help those who are not.

This is supposed to be common sense, but when have we grown up to be non-sensical and oblivious to what's happening around us?

Places that still need help.

You can HELP!!

MATTHEW 25: 35-40

35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, [6] you did it to me.’

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Things I don't ...

As I get older, I find myself amidst an overwhelming list of things I don't understand..

I'd like to name a random few:

1. Glee
i like all sorts of tv series, musicals, broadways, even movies that pretend to be musicals, like Moulin Rouge. But a bunch of teenagers singing oldies everyday after school? maybe I'm getting older.

2. Long Nails
after coming back from Taiwan with a set of 'manicure' - jewels stubbornly glued to my fingernails (I couldn't get them off for the life of me .. two of my pinkies still suffer with the dazzling bling, a present from my dear cousin whose wedding I recently attended... I tried to grow out my nails. Thought it might look pretty, neat - especially after professionally cuticle care & trimming. oh dear, was I ever wrong. I was constantly being deprived of the basic daily tasks such as writing without poking my palms, typing or opening my coffee mug. plus, your fingernails store more germs than you can ever imagine, and I couldn't even bear to eat my muffin by taking the crumbs by hand. Girls, if you are in any way realistic, practical, clean and smart... cut your nails. Boys, if your girl is constantly seen with manicure - it is wise to note that either:
1) she is not a fan of house chores, or..
2) she is rich enough to afford a maid, or..
3) she magically & effortlessly cleans up after herself with long, dusty, germ-infested fingernails. hee hee.

3. Brand-names
$800 for a handbag = some people's life savings not too far around the globe

4. Cursing
It's like having bad breath. You might not know how much you stink, but everyone around you will notice.

5. Tweeter
*tweet! tweet!*

Oh, I think I will write about more positive things next time.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

time for things to sink in..!

Something delightfully funny brother Oggy shared the other day.
(Check out the lion fingers!!)
I wonder if these brothers will ever look back on these pictures once they've become shy teenagers only to find out about what horrifying prank they had pulled on themselves in the past.

And now on to more important things.... (or not, that picture is priceless in my p.o.v.)

YAY. i think i'm going back to school.

And after a few days of going back and forth with my goals in the next 3, 4, 5 years...

... it finally sinked in.


I'm so glad and thankful for this opportunity...

1) For change of environment (office cubicles are only novelty for a week, lol. decorating it throughout the year is another thing, but I think i'm running out of space on my wall for pictures and newspaper articles. it's like a zoo in there.)

2) For academic improvement, for laying down the cornerstone for my [hopefully, what is to be] my future career goals...

3) For NOVELTY............EXCITEMENT.......... i need to be refreshed! it's about time for this change to take place. i was beginning to think that Vancouver was a boring place... (funny how this thought occurred during the Olympics, maybe? oh, but i thoroughly enjoyed the Figure Skating & Hockey game :) ... !)

Yes, it's back to school and I.....would like to think I'm ready.
Time to hit the books!


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Things to Cross off my to-do list...

1) Africa Experience

2) Volunteer Experience

3) Grad school

4) Learn Arabic & Swahili & Low German

5) Watch Shutter Island by myself

6) Buy a black Steinway grand piano to place in my brand new condo

7) Read the Bible in one of the languages mentioned above

And it is the list that never ends.. it is the list that never ends....

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Memory problem

How is it that I can't remember scenes from a movie I saw only 5 years ago, but I can replay scenes from Home Alone I, II and III (movies I saw more than 10 years ago) almost flawlessly seamless in my mind?

I just re-watched MUNICH by Steven S., with one of my all-time favorite actors Mr. Eric Bana.
And my after-movie wikipedia habit has paved the way for me to sleep at unreasonably late hours for the past few days....

The Israel-Palestinian history is just too rich for me to absorb in one day, but too interesting to stop googling.

Oh, and back to the memory problem - here is a list of old movies I have to watch again:

1) Troy
2) Life is Beautiful
3) Shawshank Redemption
4) The Hurt Locker (and this was what, only a few months ago?....)
5) The Little Mermaid (not because I can't remember - for I can memorize this movie word by word- but because... well, it's THE LITTLE MERMAID! 'Nough said.)

Oh, and I have to add 500 Days of Summer, even though I just watched it yesterday. What a witty, feel-good movie :)
Everyone needs to have one of these on their shelves.

Now to sleep! hopefully when I won't forget the movie I just saw.. then again, I hope I don't dream about it tonight either.

Yikes. On that note, peace on earth, God is good..

But not you, VANOC 2010. Sorry, but I think you're kind of lame. (while I am all for the Olympic Games spirit, I have much, much to say about how VANOC is carelessly spending its budget ... but I will keep this post short for now.)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Pianist

I find that as I get older, I like to re-watch my favorite movies - nostalgia probably being the main reason, but also because my memory is deteriorating with age... (yes, I admit it!)

I watched The Pianist when it first came out on DVD in 2003, and haven't watched it again since. I finally got the chance to see it again when Jo got this for me for my birthday.

Now, a good 6, 7 years has passed, and this movie is still incredibly moving and remains one of my all-time favorites.

And now, a good 70 years has passed since the devastating holocaust has passed, and the film portrayal of this horrifying event remains as true and disturbing as when it first happened.

It's always hard for me to explain what I feel when I'm watching these kind of film footage;knowing that while this is a reenaction of the actual events and grasping the fact that all of this degradation of humanity actually took place.

There are several scenes in this film that make me cringe in my seat, and I can't help but feel ashamed of what we as human beings are capable of doing to each other. The instance where a group of Nazi solders stormed into a building, into a room filled with a family gathered around a dinner table - and the soldiers ordering all of them to stand up - and when a wheelchair-bound man was unable to do so, they lifted the wheelchair and mercilessly threw him over the balcony. Or when a young boy who returned from the outside fences that imprisons the Polish-Jews from the rest of the city - he was crawling through a tiny hole in the fence, when a soldier from the outside discovered his escape and beat him to death as Szpilman, the pianist tries to pull him back in. When he finally managed to pull the boy back to the other side of the fence, the boy is already breathless and Szpilman struggles to walk away, staggering in his path, as he is trying to grasp what had just happened.

I'd like to think that most of us, if we were to witness similar scenes in real life, we would have more or less the same shocked, dumfounded reaction. So what of those who commit the crime, those whose very hands executed the unimaginable torture unto others? What of the Nazi soldiers, the groups who committed the Rwanda genocide? The terrorists who so easily triggers a bomb that wipes out the lives of dozens, even hundreds, right before their eyes?
I'd like to think that the difference between those who can live with these inhumane acts and those who can't is their differing view on the value of human life. While religious values, cultural upbringing and other factors play major roles in forming a person's morals and subsequent actions, I do believe that when we stop believing in the value of life, it's easier to succumb to the darker side of things, where greed, cruelty and other deplorable human traits are reared by our indifference to others' plight and sufferings.

When we recognize that the life of the person standing beside us is just as significant as ours - they are or once was a son, daughter, brother, sister to someone - they are all appreciated, respected, needed and loved by someone. At the end of the day, isn't 'what we mean to each other' the defining trait of our humanity? I remember from one of my church pastor's sermon - the two things we can bring into eternity life with God is our relationship with Him, and our relationship with one another.

I really like how William Shakespeare's quote from Merchant of Venice is incorporated into the movie The Pianist. When confined in the ghetto with his family, Szpilman asks his brother what he was reading, his brother read this passage out loud:

“If you prick us, do we not bleed? if you tickle us, do we not laugh? if you poison us, do we not die? and if you wrong us, shall we not revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that”

And at the end of the day, it's this very commandment that makes sense of our lives:

''You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38This is the great and first commandment.39And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. '' Matthew 22:37-39

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Author Unknown

"I asked God for strength, that I might achieve. I was made weak, that I might learn humbly to obey ...I asked for health, that I might do greater things. I was given infirmity, that I might do better things ...I asked for riches, that I might be happy. I was given poverty, that I might be wise ...I asked for power, that I might have the praise of men. I was given weakness, that I might feel the need of God ...I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life. I was given life that I might enjoy all things ...I got nothing that I asked for-but everything I had hoped for. Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered. I am, among all men, most richly blessed."

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

on Saving....

NY resolution list continues...


(my definition of 'meaningless/unnecessary shopping is:

i)not a necessity (e.g. a new pair of jeans if, God forbid, one day, all of my [pretty much the same-looking] jeans magically disappear from my closet; food, etc. * ha ha! I like the order of these two items... though I know there are those out there who would starve for a month to get their hands on a LV handbag)

ii)will not contribute in my education, academic/spiritual growth (purchases from
Chapter and Amazon for books are thus exempt from this list)

iii)will not benefit someone else (presents, gifts are also exempt! whoo for you, my important friends and loved ones)

... is that it? there's bound to be more but I am just too tired right now)

And this self-imposed rule is in effect until.... well, as long as I can hold it.

What say you? (tribute to Aragorn in LOR - The Return of the King)

I hope I can do this!
so far, so good!
And honestly, if we break down our shopping purchases into fundamental/trivial categories... what do we really need? most of our money go to no-good big-brand [bad-ass] companies who profit off forced/underpaid labour.

The last purchase I made was a birthday present, so that falls under definition iii)

I will go to sleep soundly... while reflecting on my massive, horrendous post-Christmas visa bill. Christmas shopping, you are cruel indeed, and most definitely unnecessary. Expect to be shunned in 2010)