Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Word Became Flesh

In retrospect, the year 2009 marks both the high and low points of my life: as my undergraduate journey reached its finish line this year, a new set of challenges presented themselves as I flipped open a new chapter of job and career. Struggling through the ordeal of setting my foot in the world of career, I found myself identifying with several characters in the Bible who faced similar doubt and anxiety just like me.

David in Psalm 55 was overwhelmed with anguish as his enemies intensely pursued him, and to his bewilderment, God remained silent. Job hit rock-bottom when God took everything away from him, and in his utmost agony, he cried to God "Do you have eyes of flesh? Do you see as a mortal sees?"

Just like these people, there were also many occurrences in my life where I doubt his wisdom. During my four months of job-search, I doubted whether he was in control over my predicament; I wondered if he accidentally overlooked my case and left me 'home-alone'. I doubted his sovereignty when he gave me the not-so-popular job in sales. I doubted if he understood me and had my best interest at heart when my job was being taken away from me. Sometimes I see myself as a puppet being controlled aimlessly by the puppet master, and when situation does not go as my script perceives, I second-guess his wisdom "Do you know what you're doing? You don't know what it's like down here!"

Thankfully, this Christmas has given me a new enlarged perspective, primarily as the antidote to all my doubts. Christmas is God loving, God stooping, God coming to the rescue. It is his descent, not my ascent to God; his initiative, not mine; his condescension to be relevant and approachable; his emptying of his deity to absorb grieve, pain, and anxiety. His incarnation provides answer to Job's accusation and mine "Do you have eyes of flesh? Do you know what it's like down here". Yes, for a time, God did.

And that is how Christmas provides solution for each of my ordeal; Christmas is the ultimate answer. I may not grasp his mysterious plan in my life yet, the future is still clouded with uncertainties and I will still waver in my unbelief and vacillate like a faithless child. But as I revisit the story of Christmas, I realize that the Father who sent his begotten son to ill-deserving people such as me is still the same Father who loves me today with the same love that put Jesus in a small manger as well as on the cross.

Two thousand years ago, at a small manger in Bethlehem, God has proven his love for me, and I can bank on that fact and rest assure that the same love will care for me today, tomorrow, or even the year after. Yes, amidst of all the uncertainties, his love is still in control and by looking at Christmas I can confidently says that my future is taken care of.

- Inspired by Grace Notes by Philip Yancey -

Friday, December 25, 2009

Hidden Pearls in the East Coast

Who have never heard of the magnificent Statue of Liberty in New York, or the iconic Golden Gate Bridge in San Fransisco, or the luxurious hotels and casinos in Las Vegas, or even the breathtaking view of Grand Canyon? Yes, those are the typical must-see cities in the United States, but the quaint lighthouse in Maine or the opulence of Newport with its extravagant mansions are unfortunately unknown to many.

This trip uniquely stands out from the rest that I've been through simply because it was not a typical travel agency itinerary and I truly enjoyed every minute of it - from the superb lobster in Maine to the colorful gingerbread houses in Martha's Vineyard. That was a combo in itself; couple that with the perfect companionship and that makes the trip a super combo experience.

At one of the landmarks in Princeton University - was not on our list, but turned out to be a great side-trip. Full of astoundingly architectural buildings.

The eye-popping view of Cape Elizabeth, Portland Headlight on the background really adds to the beauty.

Providence, home of Brown University. The 4th Ivy League University we visited on this trip after Princeton, Harvard and MIT. Yes, we were so determined to suck their intellectuality.

Ogunquit, Maine.

I absolutely love this place, Oguinquit in Maine. Small yet beautiful town, resplendent with local shops and restaurants. This is the Must Visit - it was unfortunate we didn't get the chance to go through the Marginal Walk - a beautiful trail along the coast.

Martha's Vineyard

Pic1 Panoramic view of the Gay Headlight. Pic2 Lovely and neat gingerbread houses, now you know how it feels to live in a fairy tale. Pic3 Taking picture freely on a middle of a street - love the ambiance of a small town


Newport is a hidden pearl in New England; I was left in awe witnessing the opulent of the socialite's mansions as well as the countless spots to take excellent pictures, oh and not forgetting the excellent sushi (Sumo sushi & Newport Tokyo House). Without a doubt, a Must Visit!!

So, now that you see all these pictures, you might want to reconsider New York for your next trip =)