Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Over the weekend, I was asked to serve the youth at our church's Cantonese fellowship retreat down in Anaheim. We stayed at the Hilton Suites just down a few blocks from Disneyland, so after dinner on Saturday night, I went with my Eureka co-counselors to check out Downtown Disney and their fireworks spectacular.

Drew Tretick & "A Time to Say Goodbye"

I felt a sort of peace I haven't felt in a long time. That for those few hours, I didn't have to do, but just be. To stop and watch life unravel itself around me.

The colorful blinking lights.
The sounds of family laughter.
The music of Drew Tretick's violin.
The smells of fresh bread and sweet candy in the air.
The sight of fireworks exploding in the sky.

red fireworks Twin SunsBlue & Gold Flower

Even when the brights lights gave way to a quiet night again, I still had something good to come back to :

Joshua Retreat Youth Group (sepia)

GOD is good...all the time.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Light in the Darkness

There's something I miss about being with my mom.

I was up a few nights ago studying for my exam in the dining room - the lone lamp in a dark sleeping house. My mom brushed past me, gently carrying Kiki to the kitchen counter to let him drink from the faucet. I put my pencil down and got up to see what was going on.

Kiki is not your normal house cat. He has an engaging personality that matched the mischievous twinkle in his eyes. He's always wants to be around humans and it showed over the years - from sleeping like a human to even turning doorknobs (smart cat). Nothing truly scared him, especially mysterious hiding spots and all animals, big and small. To him, life was about having fun, exploring different places and being with those you love. It was so simple.

But one visit to the veterinarian and one phone call changed all that. And all we could do was make him comfortable for what time was left.

I stood by the edge of the counter as my mom turned on the light and opened the faucet. He wouldn't move, much unlike himself weeks ago. She stood behind him, her comforting arm around him. "Come on now," she said softly. "Drink some water."

Seconds passed. Minutes passed. Neither one moving, both just silently watching the steady stream of drops descend into the sink. Finally, my mom gently beckoned him forward. Step by step, he inched forward and slowly turned his head to sip the sparking tap. My mom motioned for me to join them, and we all stood together in the the dimly-lit kitchen.

My mom grew up caring for other living things - animals and humans alike. "Everyone deserves a healthy life," she would say, "and living it to the fullest." My sister and I grew up watching her raise us and keeping a close eye on the those who meant the most to her.

Even though we grow up and get busy, I somehow found this time spent with mom more than enough to make up for the time lost. Also more than enough to appreciate what she has done for our family, especially for me and my sister.

We may go alone, lost in our own darkness, but never straying too far from the light that show us where we are and how far we have come.

And those who leave that light on for us.


Updated Saturday, April 12

My mom had to take Kiki to the vet this morning to finally stop his quiet suffering. It was for the best, though we will miss him.

On a related note, here is a video that somehow ties things together - for anyone, any age.

I will miss him.

Saturday, April 5, 2008


With the beginning of April starting up, I would be lying if I was to say life was a great laugh. A recent car break-in, pressures of retaking my exam (both internally and externally), realizing my beloved cat may not have long to live, a fellow co-worker passing away, settling some conflicting lifestyles at home - are just a few of the challenges I'm facing now.

None of these things really change my passion for GOD - or any of my ministries for that matter - it just makes life a bit more difficult to live. Like a few more rocks I have to carry.

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
~Reinhold Niebuhr