Thursday, November 16, 2006

Gladys' Wish List

Items still on the wish list:
-updates to come

Thanks to everyone who is contributing to these gifts for Gladys! Your outpouring of generosity has been extremely encouraging!

Ways to get items to me:
-mail to my DC home address (email me for the address)

Please don't forget to include pictures and cards or notes!

[If you don't know what this is about, don't worry--you don't need to.]

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Truth Made Visible

Flemming Rose, the culture editor of the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, wrote an outstanding editorial for Sunday's Washington Post entitled, "Why I Published Those Cartoons."

If anything regarding the reaction to the paper's 12 cartoons of the prophet Muhammed is worth reading, this is. In the overwhelming chain of events that have drawn our eyes to the nature of the response, Rose gets at the heart of the issue. Fundamentally, he shows how much of the Muslim world is does not know the true meaning of "freedom of expression." This can be supported by asking a simple question: How many individuals from Muslim countries have defended the Jyllands-Posten's right to publish the cartoons?

I applaud the courage and sense of responsibility the Jyllands-Posten has displayed in encouraging constructive dialogue about freedom of expression. Let's hope that through this chain of events, more eyes will be opened to the truth.

Saturday, January 28, 2006


A culture that recoils from "thank you"s is a fascinating one to me. I had lunch with a Chinese friend today, and she was frank with me about her frustrations with China after six years of living in the States.

For one thing, Chinese people don't think much of "thank you" or "please." That type of culture of etiquette, to a large degree, doesn't exist in China. That's not to say that the Chinese aren't thankful. They just don't express it in the same way we do--by saying so. And when they do, it's often an adornment, something that's somewhat 过分, or "over the top."

My friend described her first return back to China after her time in the U.S. Back at home, she began to use words such as "please" when asking for things and "thank you" when receiving things. It wasn't long before her mother became angry with her. “你怎么搞的?怎么一下子是“请”,一下子又是“谢谢”?我又不是陌生人--你别跟我来这一套!” I've heard similar accounts from other friends, and it reminded me of the strange mix of cultures that I come from.

It also reminded me of how American I am. Nevertheless, Happy Chinese New Year. 年糕万岁!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Back In the Game

I finally have internet access from my home computer! Hello, world! Only until you have been denied such a convenience (dare I say "bare necessity"?) can you come to truly appreciate its worth. It's past my bedtime, but I just wanted to say I'm back.

It's good to be back.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

When Time Stood Still

It feels like one of those nights where time must be standing still. Deep down within the logical recesses of my brain, I know that that can't actually the case, but it sure feels that way tonight. Now, what I really ought to be doing is working on my law school applications, but what the heck--that can wait a little longer. Especially if it turns out that time really is standing still.

I'm reading through the entire Bible this year for the first time since high school. I'm particularly excited about the reading plan I'm using--it will, for the most part, take me through the Bible chronologically. I'm currently in Genesis and Matthew.

I read through Genesis 12 today, where God promises Abraham that He will bless him and make his descendants as numerous as the stars. I wonder what Abraham thought about that. I mean, did he ever stop to ask, "Why? Why would God do this?" Did he realize how much bigger than himself and his family this thing would turn out to be? Was he able, in faith, to see a descendant for every star he saw in the sky?

One of my favorite Rich Mullins' lines is, "Sometimes I think of Abraham--how one star he saw had been lit for me." Now, if anything will make time stand still for you, thinking about that line will.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

In Honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.

I've been reading the Autobiography of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on and off for the past year. This past Monday, though, I saw a documentary that inspired me to pick it up again. Martin Luther King, Jr.: A Documentary, Montgomery to Memphis is a riveting documentary. If you didn't think that 3-hour documentaries could hold your attention, think again. I highly recommend both the film and the book, although the book gives you a better sense of what an exceptional writer King was. May his legacy live on, and may more of us be emboldened to stand up for justice and truth as he did, even unto death.

Monday, December 19, 2005

And Can It Be...

that I should return? After almost 10 months of silence, I have now returned. Actually, I finished at the Nanjing Center in June, but life has been so frenetic that I have had little time to think, let alone blog.

So where am I now? Washington, D.C. Well, the D.C. area, to be exact. I moved out here in August.

Since coming to D.C., I have:
-gone to a Senator's house
-watched another Senator sing with Paul Shaffer (the piano man on the Dave Letterman Show)
-gone to the Supreme Court for the Rehnquist viewing
-seen the West Wing of the White House
-been unemployed
-found an amazing church (Capitol Hill Baptist Church on 5th and A, NE)
-been employed
-taken the LSAT
-seen Chris Rice in concert
-learned a ton about adoption (I work part-time at the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute [note: as of 2/6/2006, I no longer work at CCAI])
-learned a ton about Chinese law, which is my current professional interest
-been challenged spiritually, relationally, intellectually, and professionally.

It's been a good four months. I'll start with that.