Saturday, January 22, 2011

4 Real 4 Faux

I seem to hang out with a lot of couples here.

Take yesterday - I went on a little road trip to La Plata (a town about ten minutes drive from Kirksville) with an Indonesian guy and his American girlfriend. Our quest to seek out an Amish bakery there didn’t quite happen because the bakery had a sign saying “Closed Till Spring”. If you don’t know what Amish people are, look it up. That’s some interesting stuff right there.

Today at lunch, I bumped into Zac. Zac is a guy I met at the Baptist Student Union during orientation. He's a junior who got married at age 19 if I’m not mistaken, or maybe it’s 20. Anyway, he’s 21 now and he says he’s very happily married, so I guess if you’re happy, age doesn’t really matter. So at lunch, I sat with Zac, his wife Amy, his brother Lucas, and Lucas’s girlfriend who’s name I didn’t catch. Lunch with two couples this time.

After lunch, I went to the CCF house to jam with Kyle, who is my Small Group leader in CCF, and also the head worship leader. Started off by setting up the drum kit all by myself. I’ve been playing the drums for close to 10 years, but this is probably only the 4th time I’d had to set up a kit from scratch. Struggled a little bit, but was glad that I was able to set it up successfully, because it’s a skill that is crucial for any drummer. Felt liberating and awesome to be on the drums again. Playing the drums in a band gives me a high that is hard to describe. That high takes on a whole new meaning when you’re playing in that band to worship God. I really want to thank and praise God, because after jamming with Kyle, he asked me if I wanted to play for worship this Wednesday during mid-week CCF. I feel incredibly blessed that I have been given the opportunity to serve God even here in the US with the gifts that He has given me. Glory to God!

Once jamming was done, Kyle invited me to join him and his girlfriend to go to an art exhibition that was being held at our Truman Art Gallery (Do you see where I’m going with this? I’m always hanging out with couples!). This exhibition was my first art exhibition ever. It was pretty eye-opening and thought-provoking. On a lighter note though,  I kept imagining how fun it would be if I was there with some friends, and what it would be like trying to come up with “deep” and “philosophical” comments on the art and the artists.

One thing that struck me while at the exhibition was the continuous realization of how ‘art’ is such a dominant and outstanding feature of my personality. I am definitely more in tuned to the ‘artsy’ side of life. I believe that one characteristic of such a person is being more emotionally orientated. I rely very strongly on my feelings most of the time, and probably ‘feel’ stronger than most people who don’t share this same orientation. I can’t draw or paint well at all, but I can safely say that my talent in the ‘art spectrum’ is definitely music. Music is something that just comes naturally to me, the rhythm, the dynamics, the structure. When I listen to a song, I enjoy splitting the song up in my head. I’d analyze what the guitar plays, what beat the drummer is using, what kind of dynamics the lead guitarist adds to a song, etc, and I almost always have a song playing in my head. I don’t think that has ever stopped.

But music aside, every aspect of art holds a place in my heart. A piece of music with inspiring lyrics moves me without a doubt, but an article about suffering moves me just the same; a movie about a band of brothers at war inspire me to appreciate friendship and life, even a piece of artwork that I cannot fully comprehend makes me ponder life on a deeper level, a spiritual level even. I think that is the magic that art has on me, the revelation that life is full of deeper meaning and deeper spiritual depths. Only through art can my eyes be opened in that way.



Art never fails to amaze me, but what amazes me even more is the effect art has on me.

Title of this post is the title of the art exhibition I went to.

Monday, January 17, 2011

New Snow





This is where I am right now. The Truman State library, better known as the Pickler Memorial Library. Where I’m sitting isn’t exactly depicted in any of these pictures. Rather, I am sitting in a cosy corner, on one big table meant for four, overlooking Centennial Hall and the Rec Centre (gym).

All classes are off today as it’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day today. It’s funny how today is supposed to be the day where America commemorates this great man who lost his life in his fight for equality, instead, there’s hardly any activity or celebration going on. I guess winter is partly to be blamed for that. It feels like life slows down in the winter. The days are short, you hardly see anyone walking around, and most people are just in the lazing around mood. I like it.

The word that has been on my mind for the whole day today is attachment.

Is love greater when it holds on to something? Or is love greater when it is able to let go? Is love about being contented and happy with what you have? Or is love the expectations and excitements of something new? Is love being attached to the person you love all the time? Or is love being apart from that person and realizing through the separation that he is the one for you?

Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselvesRomans 12:10

My convictions of relational love right now is that to love is to display genuine affection in actions and truth, to love is to hold on to the person you cannot afford to lose, and to be contented and happy with that person.

Maybe this is still a very premature understanding of love, but it is what I call to be true in my heart at this point of my life.

The sky is starting to darken, I better get back to my hall before it gets too cold. Looks like it might rain too. I see the slight patters of a drizzle on the pavement by my window.

I wish it would snow again instead of rain. All the rain does is dampen the atmosphere around; the snow on the other hand represents this new place that I am in, and the new experiences that I am looking forward to.

The snow is something new to me in this new place, new, exactly like everything else here.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Boy in the Attic

How many people actually still blog out there?

When Shadows Prove the Sunshine is inspired by a song by Switchfoot called The Shadow Proves the Sunshine. I always felt like Switchfoot wrote songs exclusively for me. Every theme and emotion that go into their songs are always things that I am going through or have been through; things that provoke me, things that excite me; things that I see going wrong in this world, and changes I hope to see brought to this world. The Shadow Proves the Sunshine is no exception. It paints a picture of darkness, gloom, even despair, only to turn it around by exclaiming that the only reason shadows exist, is because there is light that we cannot see beyond an obstructing object, light so bright, light so infinite. That is comforting.

Today was my very first Saturday spent here on campus since classes started. I spent my whole day in my dorm. It wasn’t exactly my idea of a perfect Saturday, and that made me slightly depressed, even lonely. (I am very grateful for some friendly people that I have met here. I wouldn’t say that I have no friends here, but it’s painfully different when you don’t have a clique of friends you can spend your weekend with naturally and without any pressure). Then I came across something on Facebook that inspired me. It was a challenge someone had set for himself during his break - to provoke creativity by posting something meaningful and inspiring on Facebook everyday. If his challenge succeeded in doing only one thing, it would be that it inspired me.

Psalm 91 is a Psalm that my mom chose for me since the day I was born. It sounds a little like this.

1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
   will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.[a]
2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
   my God, in whom I trust.”

14 “Because he[b] loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him;
   I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him;
   I will be with him in trouble,
   I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
   and show him my salvation.”

My God has always been faithful to me, even when I always doubted His faithfulness during hard times. I know that He holds my world in His hands, and I need only to listen and obey.

My hope is that this blog will continue to be an outlet for me to provoke creativity within myself. I wish to see the world in a broader perspective, to question things, to inspire, to allow my faith to grow, to allow myself to grow, to voice my disappointments, to glorify God in my triumphs.

I am a firm believer of visuals and sounds and how they touch emotions much more than mere words. Unfortunately I am no photographer, I don’t even own a proper camera. However, I still hope to share pictures that have personal meanings to me through other sources.


This was a picture shown during ccf (campus christian fellowship) on Wednesday. In many ways I feel like that boy. It feels like I am trapped in an attic, where darkness and loneliness surrounds. But also in this attic is a magical picture that God has revealed. He is saying, “Equip yourself and let me take you on a journey. You can’t see the end yet, but I have revealed this picture for a purpose, so that you might step out in faith and follow me. “

For we live by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7

Right now I still feel the dark of the shadow (sometimes, not all the time), but I know that it will continue to get better day by day. This shadow is a sweet reminder that Jesus, the light of the world, is beyond this darkness, shining upon me ever so brightly and graciously.

This is Switchfoot, it’s called Always.