Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Moving....

So, I decided to move my blog back to a wordpress (like I had used when I was in Asia). Go there for all new posts. :)

'See' you there!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Love Wins

"It's a big world, we are hoping
For a big change, we are broken
In the fading light of a dying sun
We cry for redemption

There is hope, there is hope, there is hope
But everyone who's lost will coming home
And everything that hurts will be whole again
And love will be the last thing standing

Can't stop, you can't stop the seasons
Don't stop, don't stop believing

Keep on dreaming of teh day when it all will change
Believe in the end, love wins
If you're waiting for the time when your sun will shine
Oh, look above cause love wins

If it hurts you, just breathe in
When it pains you, just believe in
The radiant light of the morning sun
We can find our redemption

Love is strong, love is strong, love is strong
It's been there holding you all along
Everything thrown away will be new again
And love will be the last thing standing

There is hope, there is hope for my lonely soul
There is hope, there is hope to be made whole
There is life, there is life to be set free
There is life, there is life surrounding me

There is hope, there is hope for my broken heart
There is hope, there is hope for a brand new start
There is life, there is life give me eyes to see
There is life, there is life you have captured me"

"Love Wins" - Robbie Seay Band

I'm thankful for people who can put their words into song, and it ends up being the same words that my heart would love to say if I had that talent of expressing things as beautifully...

Saturday, December 4, 2010

All in a Day's Work... Part 2

1. Today, in class, a student got up, walked towards the trashcan, and hawked a giant loogie... spitting it into the trashcan from 3 feet away. We then proceeded to have the "If you ever do that in my classroom again..." conversation. Well, at least he didn't miss...

2. You see, we're a Korean business... which translates to the fact that we are unendingly supplied with hot water and tea... and paper styerfoam cups. So, as my students are supposed to be thinking of supporting points/examples for their essay, I look over, and see one kid, tearing apart a cup with his teeth... in a circular, methodical way... as if peeling an orange. I watch for a moment... both appalled and confused... and as he tears off each chunk, he places it with his teeth into the middle of the remaining cup. Ha. What in the world? I stared at him until he noticed I was watching... and then we had the "You better pick up every single bit of trash and more..." conversation.

I could keep going, but let's be honest, I just need a nap.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

All In a Days Work...

Great stories from the day:

1. During a conversation in a english lesson:
- Me: "What kind of movies do you like?"
- Male student: "Well, suspense. But I hate romantic movies."
- Me: "Ok. So what's one of your favorite movies."
- Male student: "Oh, definitely Titanic."

2. Today, in my SAT class for Korean highschool students, one girl was writing the name "Joon" on her paper. Her name is not "Joon"... But since I don't know some of my students' last names, I thought perhaps it was her last name. So, as we were waiting for my last 2 (out of 5) students to finish writing their answers for the section we were working on, I go "Who's Joon?" And the girl starts blushing, turns all red, and hides her face all embarrassed-like. And the other girls start laughing... not mean laughing, but girlish she-likes-someone-we-know kind of laughing... And then I got it. I go "Oh my gosh, I'm really sorry! I didn't mean to embarrass you!! I thought maybe it was your last name". I guess I missed the heart next to the name. Hahahahaha. What a horrible teacher.

3. So, generally, when my students ask me what a word means, I make them look it up. In part because I don't always know what they mean well enough to explain :P (but they don't know that) and in part because if you have to look up a word yourself, you'll remember it better. Sooo anyway, today, for time's sake, I was telling them more definitions than making them look the words up. We got to like the 7th or 8th word they had asked, and it was 'fresco'... I explained that I was almost positive that it was a specific type of painting. So, a student looks it up on his iPhone... And shouts "OH MY GOSH, YOU'RE RIGHT!"
I go, "What? Did you expect me to get it wrong? Have I been giving you wrong definitions? (sarcastically)"
His response: "No. You're just a beast! You given us a correct definition for every word!"
Hahahahaha. I just laughed. A beast? Really? What a way to compliment your teacher, bro. Oh, highschool students...

Friday, November 26, 2010

Waffles and Spaghetti

Someone once told me boys were like waffles and girls were like spaghetti... And though analogies that pretend to understand people are a little silly, there is always a little truth and I am slightly jealous. So let me explain...

In general of course. For every theory there are a thousand exceptions. Anywayyy...

Guys can mentally compartmentalize. At least moreso than girls. Like a waffle, there can be a compartment for each ... task... or role... or maybe emotion. At work, you think about work. At the baseball game, you think about the baseball game. When you're reading, you think about the book you're reading. When you're discussing politics, you're thinking about politics.

Also on the upside, when a problem arises unrelated to your current task, you simply make a new compartment to deal with it later... and continue on with the current business.

That is the part I envy...

Girls are like spaghetti. We don't have compartments. Each string is closely intertwined with another. You pull at one string, you get 5 others that are unrelated, yet at the same time, related.

At work, perhaps you're thinking about the conversation you had last night, or the meal you're going to cook later, or what you're going to wear next week for so-and-so's wedding... Or perhaps when you're reading, you're thinking about all the crazy goals you have for life, or maybe you read one sentence and then start thinking about what to do for your best friend's birthday in a few weeks. Or maybe you're playing volleyball, but the entire time you're thinking about the fight you had with your mother or about the boy you met last night...

Compartmentalization does not exist. For the most part. So success or disaster in one area of life affects every other part.

I'm not a guy, so I can't say this is a completely accurate analogy, but after talking to a few guy friends the other day, I know there is at least some truth in it... And maybe it's related to the fact that girls can multitask, but guys definitely can't.

And while I love this analogy because it's so silly, I also wish, at times, that I had the ability to compartmentalize. To contain a thought or a problem or an emotion until the time I wanted to retrieve it.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

His faithfulness continues through all generations...

"For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations."
Psalm 100:5

I don't know what it is, but recently, I can't blog. I have all these ideas in my head of things I need to write about, things I need to sort through, but every time I actually sit down to write... nothing. Ha. It's so ridiculous.


The past several weeks have been ridiculous for a thousand reasons. It started as one of those weeks where everything in life that sucks has built up and you just want to scream or cry or just run for a long time... One of those weeks where you're going
'God, I do believe with every part of me that You're there and that You really are working in some way shape or form and that You do have some sort of a plan... But... WHERE THE HECK ARE YOU AND WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU DOING at the current moment? I'm trying to trust you here, but I'm real bad at trusting people, and also my fear is that You'll lead me on and then just abandon me - (and even though in my head I know that's exactly the opposite of the God I serve, sometimes it takes my emotions a lot longer to catch on)... So, like, God, if you're paying any attention, (which I know you are, but again, I'm going crazy here), can you just show yourself to me, cuz I'm just... at the end of my rope for the moment...'


And usually, like any other human, I have those moments, but eventually they just sort of ... pass, and I get back into the usual 'swing' of things.


But these past few weeks have been different... (Good different). In my desperation, in my plea, I did something I haven't done in a while... I started asking the hard questions again... the many many things that have been on my heart for a long time. Some about the state of the world, some about the specifics of my life...

Why in the world is it ok for men to sell little girls like cattle? How is that ok?
And the bigger question - why don't americans care?
How do we continue to sit here complaining that our latest phone has slow internet?
When the world is crying. Dying really. I could write a whole blog on that and I probably will at some point.
Why the heck am I stuck in Spring freaking Texas? And why am I not in Houston already?
Why do I feel like no one in my family respects me or anything I do or own in any way?


I could keep listing... cuz there are like a thousand questions I could write that go a lot deeper...


But my point is this, God has been faithful to show up. Over and over and over again. You know all those Psalms that talk about how when you cry out to God, He answers? Ya... they're pretty much true. Definitely not for every moment... God is silent a lot more than we would like Him to be. But it's been fun to see Him working tangibly for the moment... To be reminded of His goodness... In the smallest, and often most ridiculous ways. But in ways which cannot be written off as coincidence. Day after day, the timing of everything has been so incredibly calculated by the hand of God. Laughably perfect timing. Seriously laughable because it seems so absurd.


Yet, really, it's not that absurd at all. Or at least it shouldn't be. We serve a faithful God. One who remains faithful, when we are faithless. Why does that fact remain surprising every time?...

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Nothing's real...

How can you believe that nothing's real?
Dear ones believing this lie,
Before you shout your science at me, Before you tell me my God is non-existant, Before you tell me I'm a fool for believing there is truth in anything,
Go walk the earth
Travel the world
Talk to those who live there
See the things they see
Eat the things they eat
Feel the things they feel
Visit 'Garbage City' in Egypt where people literally live among trash
Visit 'Angkor Wat' in Cambodia where dirty children spend their days, not at school, not at home, but on the streets selling often stolen goods to tourists in order to bring back money so they don't get beaten by their begging ring lords
Visit Southeast Asia, and watch as young girls are sold for their virginity and then held in dark dungeons after being raped multiple times daily are beaten and even electrocuted for their failure to satisfy every 'customer'
Visit Chechnya, with over 80% unemployment due to war, discrimination, and being sanctioned off from the rest of their country, where kids live in pipes, and where terrorism very quickly becomes the seemingly only choice to survive, especially as the kadyrovsty rules for their own sake and as women continue to search for loved ones in mass graves that the russians basically fail to acknowledge exist
Visit 'Snake Alley' at dark, and if you're a girl of any shape, size, or color, feel yourself being sized up as meat for a meal to hungry and perverted men, watch their eyes mentally undressing you - regardless of how many layers you're wearing
Visit Cambodia, meet men survivors from the Khmer Rouge, who have lost their manhood because they were castrated gruesomely as a form of punishment and regime control
Visit Chad and other African countries and find yourself looking at child soldiers... who watched their father murdered, their mother raped, and their sister sold to the sex trade, and now stand armed emotionlessly but aggressively...
But then go visit Russia as the season changes from winter to fall, as the white blanket is lifted and within weeks, vivid colors take over
Go visit Ireland, bask in the sun beside castle ruins in the greenest grass you've ever seen
Go visit Taiwan, enjoy a day in hot natural spring waters as you overlook a lushious valley filled with palm trees
Go visit Indonesia, wade out from the white sand into the clear waters, come across 'fields' of starfish, magnificently colored jellyfish, and giant seashells
Go visit Japan, taste the freshest sushi and sashimi while a cool breeze momentarily sweeps away the humidity
Go visit Egypt, touch a camel, even ride it to see the Great Pyramids while drinking sweet sugar-cane juice
I could keep going....
But my point is this...
Don't tell me nothing is real...
At least not until you've seen the world,
Not until you've heard and seen and felt both the immense pain and magnificent beauty,
Then, and only then, come back and tell me you still believe that none of it's real...