Monday, April 19, 2010

Her Life Has Yet to Begin

My mom was one of the strongest women I knew. It has been a year since my mom was diagnosed and has been fighting against lung cancer. The doctors didn't think she would make it eight months ago, but with God's grace, she proved them wrong. She's done a lot of that in her life. I'm proud to say that I couldn't have asked for a better mama. On Sunday, April 18th, 2010 at 7:45pm, Thu-Thuyet Pham went into the strong arms of Jesus, with him saying "Well done, good and faithful servant."

She was a stubborn woman if anything, but had a kind, generous, gentle and loving heart. She had a heart for Jesus and children. Leaving her children and husband behind to build a church building in Vietnam and witnessing to the children and their parents by cooking meals, arts and crafts and Bible stories. She was really a selfless person, but a very prideful one at that.
I remember growing up and in order for me to be toilet trained, she had to paint one of my finger nails. Oh the blissful memories.

Despite her condition in the past, my mama has been praising the Jesus for all he's done long before cancer. She was a strong woman in the faith and I've always looked up to her. It humbled me seeing how she dealt with cancer and yet she still had a good attitude. She maintained positivity. Her faith was always evident in her life.

She went without pain. That's all I could ask for. There was no struggle, there was no pain. There was nothing, but peace. Good thing about having a long-term disease is the preparation, the slow let down and I am grateful for this. Goodbye cancer. Hello eternal life with Jesus!
We have been given so many opportunities to witness to our families and I'm thankful for that. We are together and will remain to be together.

To my friends and family, thank you so so much for all the support. You all have been caring and very generous and loving towards our family. I love you all so dearly and I can't thank you enough. Don't be too sad. My mom is in the loving arms of our Savior Jesus, singing praises to Him. To be quite honest, I'm envious of her! Yes, I am sad that I no longer have my mama, but the joy that I have in knowing that she's begun her eternal life with Christ, there's nothing more I could ask for. She's finished her life on earth which is literally a mist in comparison to what she's experiencing now: an eternity with Jesus, which has just begun. She glorified Jesus in all she did.
Mama, I'm proud of you. I love you and I'll always remember you, how you lived, how you cared, how you loved. You've got the best seat in the house to watch your babies grow up. I couldn't have asked for a greater woman to be my primary example in my life. I love you.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Time Away From Time

Spring break was great, but it's such a tease! Once I become adjusted to the pattern of waking up late and doing whatever I want to do, it's already time to return to I guess you could say my everyday life.
Without a doubt, my obligations at home increased, but it was time away from what the world wanted from me. I did what I wanted to do without anything fro the outside telling me that I had to do "this" by "this certain frame of time," also known as homework. It was nice just sitting down and playing my guitar for hours upon hours. It's nice spending time how I want to spend it. I mean I guess we all have a choice over how we want to spend our time, but there are certain obligations that are being held over our heads.
I worked hard at practicing (or playing rather) my guitar and I can honestly say that I've never been more pleased with my fingertips hurting.

Anyway, aside from that. I want to touch on the topic of how things have changed a bit around the household. My mom's health is slowly declining and she is now breathing with an oxygen tank. Thankfully, she still has her appetite and can walk from her room to the dining table for meals and medication. Her life at the moment consists of: breathe, sleep, food and meds. It's been hard watching her, but I know that Jesus is in control. I know it's really hard to grasp the concept that I'm putting my trust in something that seems to be too insane to consider realistic. I know that what I believe may seem unreal or fiction to others. Despite what others say, God has been the most real thing in my life.
1 Peter 4:12-13
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.

1 Peter 5:6-11
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

I want this to be my prayer: despite my own condition that I may always fully rely on God and not myself because who am I to think I'm able to do it on my own? Was it not by ONLY God's grace that he drew me to himself? Was it not God who put me into existence and had my days written before I was formed in my mother's womb?

He is glorious and mighty.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

He is Risen, Indeed!

So the day started off with a handful of us meeting up at the Starbucks at 6.a.m (located at 17th Ave and El Camino Real). Naturally, a church cannot function without caffeine in our bloodstream, right? We we preparing for a sunrise service. A few of us were skeptical about rain coming down because of our belongings, me included: don't want my dear Shane getting wet and warped!

Anyway, we started with a few worship songs and man was it cold! My hands felt as if they were being pierced by the frigid air and I kept double checking to see if my hands were bleeding from holding down the steel strings (they were not bleeding in case you wanted to know), but there was nothing sweeter than God's body worshiping Him for bringing Jesus back from the dead. It was because of Jesus' death on the cross and Him being raised from the dead that we get to have Him and spend an eternity with Him in heaven!

We then entered into a time of teaching where my pastor spoke about how God raising Jesus from the death was a reward from Jesus being obedient to God.

1 Corinthians 15:1-19 (12-19 stated below)
Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead,how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.

After this, we went to a generous family's house, whom I love dearly, and had a brunch there. The food was amazing! And best of all, nothing beats fellowship with other believers. Resurrection Sunday has never been better and I thank the Lord of that.

Saturday, March 27, 2010


Why is it when we hear something we don't like, we pretend to not hear it or respond to it?

Take this for example, call me a bad daughter, but there are times where I'm asleep and I can hear my mom calling me from the next room. I'm half-asleep, but I'm also half-awake. Naturally my mind says, "Hello, wake up your mom needs you." My body responds, "I don't know what you're talking about."

I can't express to anyone how much I hate it when I hear shallow perceptions of the Gospel. It's like my stomach gets tied into a knot and someone is constantly punching me in the gut. I can't sit still and I get so angry and frustrated.

There will be times where pastors may preach that because God loves us, we should accept him into our hearts and he'll make everything better. Nothing frustrates me more than this.

1. Who are WE as humans to have the right to decide if God intervenes in our life or not. God intervenes whether we like it or not. Anything and everything that happens in our life is meant to glorify Him. 
Colossians 1:16-17
For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities -- all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

2. Really? God would give us anything our little hearts desire? Is that really why we "accept" him? Oh, okay, it's not like he saved a fallen race from God's holy and righteous wrath, and because he saved us, we get to have Jesus and spend an eternity with him. As for anything we want? Jesus should be sufficient for all our needs.
Colossians 1:13-14
He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
Just the other day, my mom likes to watch this "Christian" channel and it KILLS me what is shown on the television. The segment that made me cringe is when the spokesperson was talking about the end times and my response was, "Oh boy... This should be interesting." I proceeded to watch their discussions about how Jesus was soon to return and how we should be prepared for his arrival when he does come back (along side with a few horrible analogies and parallels). Then start showing clips from movies of end times or natural disasters. REALLY? So I guess we're either going to persuade people to think that Jesus would give us what we want or we can just scare them into the faith right? Just when you think the program couldn't get any worse, the man whips out a water filtration system and says, "You never know when Jesus'll come back, but it doesn't hurt to be prepared. You can purchase this water filtration product at...' Woooooow... this was a joke....
Among other things that frustrate me, shallow worship songs.
There are those songs that are repetative saying, "Take - take - take it all!" for literally 10 minutes... Has our worship through music really like this? Should our words be shallow in giving thanks the the Almight God? Of course not! Yes, we know that we need Jesus, but what about all he's done and why we need him? This is just frustrating...

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Beaten Path

So I went on a hike today in Half Moon Bay and I can only recommend that you hike in Half Moon Bay also. It was beautiful and the weather was perfect for hiking. It was surreal. I couldn't help, but think how life is often like a hike up a really big hill.

Being the English student that I am, I began to think about how life in gereal was a lot like a hike on the beaten path (Analogies! Always thinking of new analogies!). Life was notjust confined only to the beaten path, but also all the redwood trees, poison oak, ferns, rock formations and more. This was a representation of the beauty of life. The beaten path represented my path to my goal and I would accomplish this goal whenever I had reached the top of the hill. Obviously  reaching a long term goal isn't very easy. I couldn't exactly see everything that's around me because I was too busy focusing on the beaten path making sure there isn't anything in my way that would hurt or or harm me. When I did try to focus on my surroundings, I found myself worrying about my safety and returned my eyes to the fallen path. My absorption on the path represented all the obstacles that life throws at me, whether it would be the norms of society, the expectations of others, what I expect from myself. I got to the point where I stopped to take a breather and that was when I could look around and just enjoy God's creation. We all need much needed breaks from the world. We just need to stop what we're doing and just enjoy life and remember what it's all about.

There were times on the hike when I just wanted to stop and go back due to the aches and pains of my body. Old injuries were coming up and were irritated by the terrain. This represented the times where I'd run into familiar situations that I didn't want to deal with, but i had to if I wanted to obtain my goal.

Almost getting up to the top, I was reminded that I had to go back down all the way back down the way I came. I didn't want to do that. I just wanted to get to the top and stay there and somehow teleport myself back to where the cars were. So I gave it some though about stopping where I was and return back, but then I would miss the gratification in saying that I complete the hike. I finally made it to the top and what a breath taking view it was. It was worth it. I reached my goal.

Now the walk back down wasn't bad at all, although I must say I missed the uphill walks. However, it reminded me of all the things that I went through in order to obtain my goal. I looked back and said, "Hey, I made it through that? That wasn't that bad. I could do that all over again, but the next time with ease because I know how to deal with it." I could use my experiences to encourage others in perservering to obtain their goal because it's worth it.

It's not worth giving up if you're going to regret not doing it for the rest of your life.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Crown Him with many crowns, the Lamb upon His throne. Hark! How the heavenly anthem drowns all music but its own. Awake, my soul, and sing of Him who died for thee, And hail Him as thy matchless King through all eternity.
-Crown Him with Many Crowns - Matthew Bridges

What does it mean to be a Christian?
Does it mean that one believes in God and how Jesus died for the world so that we can go to heaven? Or does it mean that one believes in God and how Jesus died for believes so that we can have Christ and know that he is all we need and because of this, we know heaven is ours?

This is a concept that my mom has yet to grasp. In her final days or months, I want her to see Christ as her everything, not just a passage to heaven. I know that she knows that Jesus should be everything she needs and desires, but I don't know if she has grasped this just yet.

As it feels like the world is crashing down, I know that my attitude should be one of joy and of contentment, but my flesh says otherwise. I want my soul "to awake and sing of Him who died for me." Right now I feel like a corpse walking through life, playing catch-up to everything as of recent and that's not how I want to live. I want me to know that I'm doing the best that I can at everything, not just doing things just to get by. I noticed that the quality in work has decreased from being stretched so thin.

I know my mom is one who is very needy and when she asks for a small favor, about 20 other things follow after it. Just recently after being wiped-out at school, I went home and took a nap only to be woken up like the following, "Hannah? Hannah, are you awake yet? Han, are you-- oh good! You're awake now. Could you get me some hot water now please?" I lose time in just doing things I want to do. I don't find myself playing my guitar as much anymore, but rather fetching hot water ever 10 minutes for my mother or putting her blankets on her or whatnot. Nothing goes uninterrupted.

I want to do my best and keep my composure and patience with her because I know she's tired, hurting and can't do what she would normally do, but sometimes I just can't put up with it. I do my best, but I find myself losing my patience so quickly with her. She loses her patience really quickly also and both of our clashing personalities break out in total war... not really... hahah but I think you get the picture. It's not her fault because I know that she's bound to act differently due to the cancer pressing upon her brain.

While I'm serving my mother with an ungrateful or loving attitude, I'm later convicted of my actions and am reminded that I need to be doing everything with love and gratefulness or I shouldn't be doing them at all. I need to follow in Christ's example in doing everything selflessly. Jesus would do the same for me no matter how much I nagged or complained. I pray that my attitude and mindset is changed immediately.

"God is most gloried in you when you are most satisfied in Him in the midst of loss, NOT propserity."
- John Piper (Sermon: Where Is God?)
To hear the full sermon: Where Is God? (<---Link)

"I need no other argument, I need no other plea! Don't tell me he'll heal me. I don't care! Don't tell me he'll give me a fine car or a wonderful home or insurance or my best life now! I don't need it! Tell me one thing: Did he shed his own blood for my soul? Then don't cheapen the call! As Leonard Ravenhill said, 'Christ will offer you two things: eternal life and a tree to die on, but because of His blood, 'tis enough.'" - Paul Washer (Sermon: The Acropolis of the Christian Faith)
To hear the full sermon: The Acropolis of the Christian Faith (<---Link)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

"Beauty in the Breakdown..."

Currently listening to: "Let Go" by Frou Frou

What does that mean: "Beauty in the Breakdown?"
Does it mean that we find happiness in others' suffering?
Does it mean that we find contentment in our struggles?

Although I find that "Let Go" by Frou Frou is all about existentialism. The song is about how one is trying to find who they are, but will not take any risks or chances in order to find out who they are. The song encourages people to get out there and step out of "[their] bubble wrap when [they have] no idea what [they are] like..." "Let Go" was probably not written with a Biblical reference intended, but that's what I love about ambiguous lyrics. They leave room for interpretation.

I am going to focusing on the line, "It's alright because there is beauty in the breakdown."

The struggles that we all go through are difficult to endure and preservere through, but we always find a way. I think this is where the line "beauty in the breakdown" applies. Despite what we go through, we inspire others around us with how we handle the situations that are thrown at us. The "breakdown" is represented by all obsticales or trials in our lives, whether it'd be making the decision of where we are to go to college, whether this decision should be made by ourselves or by our parents. Or perhaps the "breakdown" is represented by our internal conflict in trying to find solutions to our problems. The "beauty" of it is how we make it through, bruises, scratches and all.

Although living with cancer 24/7 has brough out the worst in my mother (I'm sure it would do the same to me), in handling her situation, she has brought beauty to her breakdown. She has been strong and did her best to remain positive. She would not have been able to do this had it not been for God's grace. As hard as it is sometimes to comprehend, God has had her days predestined before she was in existence. All our days are numbered, we just don't know when that final day will be, but for my mom, her time is soon.

Romans 8:28-30
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

Yes, it's easier to type out than to live by, but Jesus is sovereign over all things. Whatever God choses for my mom, life or death, he is glorified in it, just as he was in the death of his Son. I wish I could say I find peace in knowing this, but I'm being selfish. I want my mom to stay, but if she were to stay, she suffers more as the cancer eats away at her.
If God takes her soon, my only prayer is that my mother finishes her walk with Jesus on earth well. I want her to hear those words of "Well done, good and faithful servant, with whom I am well pleased."

This is the beauty in the breakdown.
John 3:16-17
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world may be save through him. Whoever believes in him i snot condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the Son of God. And this is the judgement: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does nto come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God."

In summary
The breakdown: a fallen race, undeserving of grace or mercy, only deserving an eternal wrath of a holy and just God.
The beauty: a sacrifice to take the place of the fallen race, so that we would live in eternity with Jesus bringing glory to Him who is all-deserving.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Struggling in Silence, but Never Struggling Alone

Struggles come and go in life and to be realistic, we wouldn't know what life is about if we haven't encountered one. If there were no struggles in life, what have we got to live for? No desire to push past pain and experience triumph over weakness. I could go on, but this isn't exactly what my blog is going to be about.

So it's been over a year since my mom has been living with cancer. I wish I could say it has been fine and dandy, but these past couple months have been very difficult. Unfortunately, my mom has progressively become worse due to her condition. Since she has not been able to receive chemotherapy since November of 2009, her cancer that had previously shrank, has grown again, but this time the cancer has spread to her shoulder and her throat. She has received radiation for the shoulder and throat cancer, but I can't say if it's really made a difference. She has yet to receive chemo because of her failing health and her inability to keep her pain at a minimum.
It's wearisome always having to be there for my mom when she needs me, be there for my dad to provide assurance or try to stay positive. At times I feel as if I had become the parent, along side with my brother.

I don't exactly know how much into detail I should go, but my family is planning for the worst. My first instinct to this was denial. I withdrew myself and blasted my music. The thought of being so close to losing my mom is just unbearable. I want her to see me graduate high school. I want her to see me graduate from college. I want her to meet my first boyfriend. I want her to see me get married. I want her to see her grandchildren. But life is one thing we all take for granted. We all live as if we have a tomorrow, but we all have our days numbered. We just don't know when the clock ends.

Undoubtedly, I've lost my vision of Jesus throughout this. Through this struggle, I had tried to constantly remind myself that Christ would do the same for me without a bad attitude and would complete the task to the fullest extent, but just haven't been able to produce a Christ-like attitude. Recently, I've just been doing things just for the sake of completing them. I have turned to my own pride in hopes that it would support me through this hell. I've blinded myself by my own ambitions of trying to run away from my issues by being a student, a daughter, a friend, an athlete, a musician. But I've lost. I chose to struggle alone in vain when the fact is I was never alone.

A reminder of what the Gospel is about: definitely what I needed. What is the Gospel? In the words of John Piper, "[t]he Gospel is the news that Jesus Christ, the Righteous One, died for our sins and rose again, eternally triumphant over all his enemies, so that there is now no condemnation for those who believe, but only everlasting joy."

Yes, I am presently suffering, but these struggles are only temporary and I know that I'm not alone. My joy in Jesus trumps any present struggle.

James 1:2-4
"Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be prefect and complete, lacking in nothing."

I have come to terms with the present situation with the support of my friends and the assurance of my Lord Jesus. To keep her here in her present suffering is selfish of me. Why should I keep her here when she could be in heaven with our Father? Yes, it has been hard to cope with and I'm sure it gets harder and harder and probably even harder after that day has passed. I can't say I know how my dad is going to be, but with my knowledge of how Christ would be everything and more, I need to do that for my dad without complaining or arguing and use plenty of patience.

"I will glory in my Redeemer
My life He bought, my love He owns
I have no longings for another
I’m satisfied in Him alone
I will glory in my Redeemer
His faithfulness my standing place
Though foes are mighty and rush upon me
My feet are firm, held by His grace"
I Will Glory in My Redeemer - Sovereign Grace Music

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Inside the Mind of Hannah Pham

To be honest, I don't really feel like writing a blog at the moment, but I have a lot on my mind. If you've ever wondered what goes on in my mind, here's your chance to see a snapshot of it. There's too much and this blog probably won't be coherent... Anyway, here goes...

So two songs that has been on my mind lately:
"My soul finds rest in God alone
My Rock and my Salvation
A Fortress strong against my foes
And I will not be shaken
Though lips may bless and hearts may curse
And lies like arrows pierce me
I'll fix my heart on righteousness
I'll look to Him who hears me"
- Psalm 62 - Aaron Keys - [Click to listen]

Verse 2:
"Praise to the Lord,

who doth prosper thy work and defend thee;
surely his goodness and mercy here daily attend thee.
Ponder anew
what the Almighty can do,
who with his love doth befriend thee."
-Praise to the Lord the Almighty - Travis Cottrell- [Click to listen]

There are so many songs out there that provide such encouragement for me through difficult times. This last week has definitely been hard on me. I felt like I was being drained and I couldn't do anything about it. Things have been getting hard, but that doesn't mean I stop. There are different ways we deal with different situations. As mentioned a number of times, I turn to my faith, friends and music for comfort.

But stepping away from my comfort zone: My future is definitely in question. Do I stay home and support my family by taking up a job and caring for them at home? Or do I go to college away from home? Do I step away from unfamiliarity or do I stay where I'm most comfortable where I know I'll find my support? I've really been contemplating and praying for Jesus' guidance and wherever he wants me, I will go.
Side Note: As ridiculous as this sounds... I want to go to a college that would provide me with the best husband possible. Yes, I know I'm still really young and have plenty of time, but it doesn't hurt to know what I'm looking for in my future husband.

It's just been hard knowing what my mom's going through and if I could, I would switch places with her. Why? My mom has lived a long life and has done far more than I could ever do. I know it would be a different story if I had cancer and not my mom. I'd switch places with my mom because her faith isn't where I'd would like it to be. I'm not saying that her faith has to be picture perfect. There are some things in her faith that just makes me feel uneasy. Our salvation in Jesus is not based on our own works. Nothing that we do can help us gain salvation in the least bit. It's all God and his grace and his mercy. Who are we to try and earn something that we are undeserving of? I know that I still have a lot to learn and understand, but I also hope the same for my mom. I hope that she's able to filter from what is accurate preaching from hopeful preaching. I want her to have the ability to decipher what's right and what's wrong. I want her to know that just because someone uses Jesus' name in a sermon does not necessarily mean they're preaching truth.

Finally back in the game.
After 2 weeks of being on the injured list for soccer, I'm working hard to get back where I am. I'm not exactly sure what happened, but at the Woodside game, my ankle popped after a collision with another player. The trainer stated that I was caught between a over straining and tearing of the tendons/ligaments in my ankle. It was awful just watching practice and not being able to participate. I enjoyed watching the games, but it's not the same. I feel horrible that I can't contribute anything other than my obnoxious voice yelling, "MAN! MAN! MAN!" or "SEE [insert name here]" or "CROSS IT!/SWITCH IT!" I know it's really annoying, but it's all I can do.
Just this Saturday, I've returned back to the field and worked hard. I started to run my first lap and the pain was just excrutiating. It felt as if someone was cutting the tendons/muscles/ligaments connecting my shin to my foot. Why did I push through the pain even though it killed me? I knew that if I wanted to play, I had to work hard. I had to want to play soccer more than ease or soothe my pain. Slowly, but surely, I will get back to where I was.

Well there you have it. There's actually tons more on my mind. In summary, these are the things that I think about most... So I thank you for taking a virtual trip within my mind.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Decisions: An Everday Part in Life

Why do we make the decisions that we make?
Decisions are made everyday in our lives: what we eat, what we drink, when we want to do our homework, if we want to go to school, etc. We all make decisions which in turn would benefit ourselves or if not for ourselves, then for others.
What sacrifices are we willing to make in our decision making?
It really is all about economics: marginal cost v.s marginal benefit. I could play my guitar until 6pm and spend the rest of the night doing homework until 1am OR I could do my homework now and go to bed early. Lets be honest... I chose to play my guitar because I believe that my marginal benefit exceeds staying up until 1am doing homework. Playing some guitar is better than no guitar at all; I value playing my guitar more than I value sleep.
To Kurtz, human life is not as valuable as his personal gain for power. He made a choice to do whatever it takes to gain power and progressively became numb to the ill-effects of murder. What I would like to know is what were the events that led up to his decision that power is more valuable than the life of another? How much dehumanization was he exposed to until he no longer felt uncomfortable being around it? How did he lose his reverence for life?
"It's not the circumstances that determine who you're going to be, but how you deal with these pains and problems that come your way..." - Mat Kearney
I couldn't have said it better myself. We all have a choice, but would we choose blindly, disregarding all the consequences or effects (positive or negative) that may come along with it? To what extent are we willing to go to obtain our wants?
What are we capable of and under what circumstances?

I'm not entirely sure of what my essay is going to be about, but I'm leaning towards choices: wants v.s. sacrifices. I don't exactly know where I'm going with this just yet, but I've got a couple of ideas I can run with which will help tremendously.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A World Without Sound

Currently Listening to: "Gravity" by Sara Bareillis

A World Without Sound.
Sounds horrible, coming from someone who has her world go round with a significant amount of music everyday and every moment she c
an spare.
Sight. Hearing. Taste. Smell. Touch.
The five senses that we take for granted because of their frequent use everyday. We've become so casual with it that we've forgotten the essence of it all. What if we were to lose one
sense and live without it for the rest of our lives? How would we react or adjust?
If we had to lose one of these five senses and live the remainder of our life without it, which would we choose?

I can't say I would know where I would be without it. Music is an important part of my life, my escape. If I were to lose my hearing, I wouldn't be able to hear laughter, the voice of children, the sound of my piano or guitar. I'm at a loss for words when it comes to not being able to hear. The void that I would feel is indescribable. I'm sure that even if I were to be deaf for the rest of my life, starting tonight, I would even miss the sound of bickering.

Starting tomorrow, I'm starting classes in American Sign Language (ASL). Although it is a bonus factor to my desired profession, I'm allowed the opportunity to see the world from a different perspective: a world without sound. ASL is more than just signing signs with one's hands. It requires so much more: seemingly ridiculous facial expressions, over-exaggerated gestures, and understanding. I feel that sometimes ASL has a better way for expressing oneself in which words can not describe, thus shown through motions or gestures. Not even lyrics from artists can capture real emotion. Yes, the listen can be moved, but if ASL were added to the song, a visual, how much more meaning would be added?
Dance is very much like this. A visual that adds more to the meaning of things: different interpretations.

"Gravity" by Sara Bareilles: (links below)
Dance vs Sign Language

I know that what I've said can't possibly do any justice, but I'm willing to learn and experience it all.
It's a new year, might as well start with a new perspective.

Monday, January 18, 2010


What is hope? According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, as a verb, to hope is to cherish a desire with anticipation of something. Some say hope is worth living for if there's nothing left to look to. Why do we hope? What do we hope for? Hope provides comfort, which later helps one to maintain positivity.
There are many things that we hope for in life: hope to meet others' expectations, hope to mend friendships, hope to see another day. We entered in the new year in hope of change. Like the word love, there are many different degrees of hope. There are some degrees that take away from the word's meaning and there are some that contribute. At the moment we see a large amount of hope being poured out to the needy country of Haiti. We can see that hope is evident in those who live there, those who traveled there to provide aid, and those who have made financial donations. Surely the hope of the people in Haiti is to a greater to a much higher degree than a child's hope for Santa's arrival to bring him toys.
In Heart of Darkness, we see the hope of the Europeans to establish the "new land" as theirs, their hope to indoctrinate the natives: show them the proper way of living, while in the minds of the natives, they hope for peace and the restoration of their land.
In Sunday Mornings, we see the hope for restoration in a father-son relationship or the hope of realization for the son's love for the father although it was not made evident in the past.
In Dog's Death, we see the hope of a married couple seeing their dog return to health. Although the puppy did not make it, hope allowed the couple to stay positive and reminisce the good memories that the couple did have with the puppy.
My personal hopes: I hope that this even that has occurred in Haiti would allow me the opportunity to share the Gospel with others and that God's hand is in this event. I also hope that my mom would be cured of her malignant cancer. Although it may not seem like it, God is in control of everything. God uses events like these to bring others closer to Him.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

From 2009 to 2010.

Adieu 2009. Bonjour 2010. Looking back on 2009, undoubtedly, it was the year that turned my world upside-down. Yes, I am about to start a new year and set new goals, but as much as I want to start this year with a clean slate, I won't be able to. The trials and tribulations of 2009 roll their way into 2010. My faith has been tested on numerous accounts and will continue to for as long as I continue to persue my walk with my Savior, Jesus.

"Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing... Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him." James 1:3-4, 12

Whatever that the Lord has for me: I hope that I am willing to accept what He has for me and that I would always rejoice in Him no matter my own personal state. May I always be reminded of His grace and remember Jesus' death on the cross, which has redeemed me. I pray that I would continuously be a beacon for the Lord, through action, deed and thought. My goal: To bring glory to Jesus, who is more than deserving of it. May my love for Christ be fervent and constant.
Regarding my present state: I know that God is in control of everything and He is Sovereign in all He does. I acknowledge my wretched human nature, pride and all my wants to "be in control." I pray that I am able to fully depend on God. Although I understand that He is sovereign in all He does, I pray that I would not live my life blindly and ignorantly.
2010: What the world wants from me: Just because I live in the world, does not mean that I live of the world. Just like how water and oil do not mix, I pray that my walk with Jesus would not be skewed despite all the standards and expectations that the world throws at me. I am going to graduate in less than 5 months and without a doubt, I'll have more responsibilities both at home and at school. I'd have to be ready and prepared for what's to come. I don't know what the future holds and part of me never wants to find out what the future holds. As much as I would like to put the world on pause to catch my breathe, it's never going to happen, so I'm just going to have to go along with it even if I don't want to.
Auf Wiedersehen, 2009. 2010, bring it on.