Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Sabbath at Cossatot Falls

I've planned on posting these photos for a while, but just now am getting the chance. These were taken at the Cossatot Falls in Arkansas several weeks ago. We had a sudden warm spell after a succession of cold days, so Deborah and I seized the golden opportunity to spend the afternoon out in nature. We had a nice picnic and spent several hours scampering on the rocks by the river afterward. What a blessing!


Friday, December 5, 2008

Thankful for Deborah

I know it's a week late after Thanksgiving, but I've had this in mind for some time. Here's a short list of some of the things I'm thankful for about Deborah. In no particular order...
  • Her thoughtfulness. She notices all of the little things that I like and don't like...even things that I've never thought about! She never neglects to give the "little attentions" like little notes in my lunches, learning to cook food that I like (and avoiding food that I don't like!), complimenting me for my little (often insignificant) accomplishments.
It is the little attentions, the numerous small incidents and simple courtesies of life, that make up the sum of life's happiness; and it is the neglect of kindly, encouraging, affectionate words, and the little courtesies of life, which helps compose the sum of life's wretchedness. [AH 108.2]
  • Her prayers. It seems that whenever she prays, God answers. From the smallest things like praying that the girls in her dorm will go to bed without fussing to praying about major decisions in her life, God has always answered her prayers in marked and undeniable ways. It also is because she is particularly sensitive to the Lord's moving in her life. I am always encouraged to know that she's praying for me.
The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man (and woman!) availeth much. [James 5:16]
  • Her frugality. She's thrifty but not stingy. It's fun and so refreshing to be able to laugh about how "cheap" we were able to get something, or to devise new methods to save. The leftovers she's been able to resurrect have been simply unbelievable! Yet, I'm amazed at how willing she has been to give freely and liberally to others.
Is [she] an economist, or will she, if married, not only use all her own earnings, but all of yours to gratify a vanity, a love of appearance? Are her principles correct in this direction? Has she anything now to depend upon? . . . I know that to the mind of a man infatuated with love and thoughts of marriage these questions will be brushed away as though they were of no consequence. But these things should be duly considered, for they have a bearing upon your future life. . . . [AH 46.2]
  • Her cooking. This may seem trivial, but to me it isn't! Being an Asian in Arkansas isn't easy, but I'll refer you here to see for yourself. The criteria for a girl to be able to cook authentic Asian food for me was on the "Would Like To Have in a Wife" list...but honestly, it was so high up there that it might as well have been in the "Essential To Have" list. Phew! I think I'm safe...
To the health and happiness of the whole family nothing is more vital than skill and intelligence on the part of the cook. By ill-prepared, unwholesome food she may hinder and even ruin both the adult's usefulness and the child's development. Or by providing food adapted to the needs of the body, and at the same time inviting and palatable, she can accomplish as much in the right as otherwise she accomplishes in the wrong direction. So, in many ways, life's happiness is bound up with faithfulness in common duties. {AH 89.3}
  • Her depth. I've always known that women were complicated creatures. But I think as most guys, at some point in my life I thought that I had them all figured out. Ha! Boy, was I wrong. On more than one occasion, I've been utterly baffled by the unique perspective that she's able to see things from. (Confession: It's more like frustration when she's right and I'm wrong...and she's usually right!) Also, her gentle and tactful way of communicating when I've stepped out of line has given me pause many times. Perhaps most of all, I've come to realize that I haven't even begun to fully learn all of the neat and wonderful things about this girl! (I have to leave the door open for future lists like this, right?)
I can honestly say that I'm a better person for having known Deborah!
(Taken at Winding Stairs, Arkansas)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

What I had for lunch...

Yes, I even made it. (With a lot of help from Deborah, of course.) It was yummy. :-)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

AudioVerse is Bad

Most readers of this blog will probably be shocked to find such a blog title from me. That is because they know that I have been an loyal fan of AudioVerse ever since its inception. In fact, I have avidly promoted AudioVerse as I've traveled domestically or overseas. What more, I have many sermons on AudioVerse myself! But, I've come to the realization that AudioVerse is not always a good thing. In fact, I've learned that it can even be a bad thing. Please allow me to explain.

Here at Ouachita Hills we have a unique arrangement for internet access. The entire campus' computers share one satellite connection, which has a service provider imposed 30-day bandwidth limit. In other words, we have a limit of the total amount of data we can download through this satellite internet connection and we share this limit with every single computer on campus. If we exceed the 30-day limit, the service provider scales back our speed to the equivalent of a 56k dial-up connection for a certain period of time (not indefinitely, but had to explain). Imagine that--for the ENTIRE CAMPUS.

Here at Ouachita Hills, a high concentration of the student body are also avid AudioVerse fans. (You can see where this is headed.) I learned in staff meeting yesterday that we have had trouble in recent times with students (particularly the male, college variety of which I was recently one) downloading copious amounts of sermons online. So much so, that it caused a surpassing of the bandwidth limit several times plunging the entire campus' back to sharing a 56k connection. Needless to say this wreaked havoc on all the work that needed to be done via the Web, and drove the inhabitants to undescribable anguish and frustration.

So you see, AudioVerse is sometimes bad...but you also see that there is no doubt that we at Ouachita Hills love AudioVerse!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

A New Chapter

Life is like a book. It is comprised of chapters that generally can be marked by some significant change in the life. I just recently flipped the page to begin inking a new chapter in my life, so you guessed it, that means there are some significant changes in my life that I'm about to share.

Firstly, I'm flipping the page out of life as a full-time student (or otherwise a student whose studies were temporarily suspended). I am posting this blog from Amity, Arkansas where I will be working as a staff member at Ouachita Hills Academy. Granted, I will be completing several more classes this school year and will be officially receiving my degree thereafter; my primary responsibilities will be teaching and working as assistant to Chester Clark III. (For those of you who know Chester, you understand that the duties surrounding this position defy explanation.) It is an exciting change as I fully believe in the principles and philosophy on which Ouachita Hills Academy is founded. I am especially eager to begin working directly in the shaping of young lives for the Lord's service. It is exciting in a different way as well because, as many of you know, after my sudden illness last December, it was uncertain whether I would be able to return to normal life. I am very thankful to God that He has allowed me to have a new chapter in life at all!

Secondly (and probably what most readers will take greater interest in), I'm also beginning a new chapter in the relationship arena of life as well. I am currently dating a young lady named Deborah Arakawa, who happens to also be the assistant girls' dean at Ouachita Hills Academy. I first met Deborah many years ago in Loma Linda, but have remained only distance acquaintances mostly since then. Although it was during those intervening years I became very good friends with her brother, Tim (who recently got married), it wasn't until a little under two years ago did I really get to know Deborah. She volunteered as my assistant in the logistics department of GYC and through that interaction we became good friends. Well, rather than laboriously tracing the details of how we've gotten to this point (yes, there are a lot of details), I think it is more important that it was through many hours on our knees in prayer, counsel with godly individuals, study of inspired counsel, deep soul-searching, and watching for Divine Providence that this relationship came about. God has made Himself very real to us through the whole journey thus far, and we trust that He won't cease to continue leading us from here.

Now, see for yourself. :-)





Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Summer is Upon Us

I have not posted in a while, mainly because not very much happened that I felt particularly compelled to blog about. However, I think now is a good time to share a little about how things have been going and what's around the corner for me.

My recovery is still going slow by steady. Pretty much all function is back, except for the deltoid muscles on both arms. It's slow going, but I still detect minute improvements. I'm no longer visiting anyrehab facilities, just doing a home exercise program. Okay, that's the boring update, here's the exciting part.

I will be traveling for the next few weeks to several places, which will really test the quality of my physical endurance. Here they are in order:
  1. Laurelbrook Academy Graduation - I've been invited back as the graduation speaker at the school where I did my student teaching last Fall. I am excited and honored to have this marvelous privilege. I will try my best to take some pictures.
  2. Sarawak, Malaysia - Shortly after graduation, I will be flying with my family back to Malaysia to visit my dad's side of the family. They live in Sarawak, East Malaysia. It will be a grueling 30+ hour trip from Loma Linda to our first stop!
  3. Melaka, Malaysia - After a long weekend with extended family, we will fly back to West Malaysia to the province of Melaka for the annual AYC youth camp. I will be speaking together with Randy Skeete. My parents are also speaking for a Family Seminar, and true to form, they drafted me to do several of the presentations for them also.
  4. Singapore - A few days after AYC, I will be driving down to Singapore for SYC! It is a youth camp for some of youth groups in the Singapore area, and I will be the main speaker for that event as well.
  5. Hong Kong - Immediately following SYC, my family will jet off to Hong Kong for a final few days of "ration replenishment" (i.e. SHOPPING!). Being that we have a layover in HK anyway, we are taking the opportunity to import some good Asian food that can't be found here in the US, and also update our wardrobe since we tend to have trouble with US-sized clothing. :-)
Phew! Ready or not, this trip is right upon me. I'm thankful that the Lord has healed my body enough that I can still actively participate in ministry opportunities around the world. Please do pray for the various souls that will hear the Gospel preached to them this summer, as you remember. My travels conclude at the end of June after which I will be taking summer school in California and also helping prepare for the wedding of some dear friends. I hope that those who visit this blog will have a blessed, productive, and safe summer!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Latest on AudioVerse

The first official recording of my personal testimony has been uploaded to AudioVerse.org. I know that many have been wondering just exactly what happened when I got sick, and since I am not able to visit everyone who has such concerns, I'm thankful that AudioVerse is able to distribute this testimony to all who are interested to listen. Here is the link that will take you to the exact page where you can download the message entitled, When Troubles Come.

Blessings to you!