02.20.02 >2326

Christians are so cliché-ish, especially when they don't realize they are being so ... CHRISTIAN.

I guess I'm implying an insult of sorts to that term. The word Christian has been misused so many times that you just can't say you're a Christian to non-believer anymore. Immediately they'll think of you as some narrow-minded evangelical bent on rubbing their nose in the dirt concerning some controversial topic like the death penalty or abortion. People get turned off a lot faster if you do that than if you simply gave them a smile and did not mention a thing about your being a Christian at all. This is not to say that it's totally bad to even casually mention your religion (or your faith, depending on how you look at your beliefs). However, I'm convinced that what you do matters more than what you say. And in this, you have a lot more accountability than you could ever hope for, because the whole world's watching you.

(And no, this doesn't connect at all with what's coming next. Think *pause* and *deep breath* before continuing.)

I had the strangest - and yet the most beautiful - conversation with a "brother" of mine last night. It's one thing to encourage someone to go after God with all of your heart because it's your sole desire and because you want to do it. And yet it just feels like it's something different to encourage someone to go after God and realize that you need to do the same thing for yourself!

Last week and this week have been rather tumultuous at best, spiritually speaking. I keep saying I'm tired of these little slips in my walk, and yet I've done nothing to correct this wavering so that it doesn't happen again. I'll be honest with you - I have given in to sexual temptation online because I've never held myself in check where a pure thought life and just a pure outtake in my life in general was concerned. (And I wonder why I keep slipping?) Mind you, I'm not perfect, and I know that maintaining any shred of purity is hopeless if I don't keep praying and if I try to fix things myself. So, in the words of my little sister, I'm just going to let go ... and let God.

There's a lot more I could say beside this. I could rehash all the "would'ves, could'ves and should'ves" that might have prevented me from slipping all those times before. I could let you in on all the juicy details that concern my problem with sex, and more importantly, my vice with lust. But I'm not going to. It's simply not necessary, and it's definitely not going to benefit you.

(And yes, I'm pretty sure some of you reading this are going, "WHOA! Where the heck did this come from!?" If there is anything that's keeping me from becoming a stronger Christian, it's the allure of sexual content on the Internet. So there you have it - my main weakness. I don't expect to get publicly flayed for admitting this here, but I don't expect to get praised for saying something about this in the first place, either.)

One thing has been repeated to me a few times these past nine or ten days: Don't seek comfort anymore. Give it. Healing comes in the most unexpected ways.

So I'm going to let go and let God. Give comfort and not seek it for myself. And whoop like a madman and weep because He is definitely faithful.


I love police logs!


Been busy doing — well, mundane things, really. Also been finishing up on a couple project proposals for at least two of my classes and collecting my wits before posting at PH.

Wrote a little something recently that was provoked by another blogger and by my own frustration :

The floor trembled but the unnatural quivering went unnoticed when the quake of realization struck. I was curled up in a ball in the box, arms tightly hugging my knees to my chest, face pressed against my thighs, eyes squeezed shut. Darkness lay like a cool, soothing coverlet over me, expanding across an undefined landscape to obscure anything to which I could say "I know you."

The box was the tight confines of my mind. The darkness was my companion and my captor.
Not finished with this yet. More or less, this little piece is an attempt to get out of my usual style of writing. Now I just have to outline a not-so-cheesy ending and get it down on paper.

I've not finished with my current research obsession (the Balkans), but I'm starting to focus it a bit more for one of the aforementioned project proposals. The idea is to show how well one of the countries in this region is (or has been) doing during its transition from Communism to an underdeveloped state of capitalism, and I've picked Romania because it has somethin' more of a history than any of the other tormented Balkan nation-states.

And this is somethin' akin to the cat jumping out of the bag, but thanks to my friend Lee, I've also gotten interested in the French Foreign Legion. The history behind this military elite group is utterly fascinating! Stay tuned, esp. you Intrepidites reading this!

02.17.02 >2208

Highlight of the weekend : playing with the Ewoks. Ewoks, in this case, would mean my little cousins, not the real furballs from Return of the Jedi. Well, you know what I mean (and you know who you are!). The five-month-old was the most charming one out of the bunch - I got to rock her to sleep this afternoon. And to think that I used to be really uncomfortable around little ones only a few years ago; they grow on you real fast!

02.15.02 >0934

1. What was the first thing you ever cooked? Rice. Our family can't survive without it.

2. What's your signature dish? I like making desserts a lot more than anything else, so brownies, cookies or cake seem to be the biggest things most folks ask for. And it must be chocolate or nothin'. Whee ...

3. Ever had a cooking disaster? (tasted like crap, didn't work, etc.) Describe. Lots of these! Like the time that I added too much salt to a cookie batter ... you can imagine how much my family liked that batch. Or how about the time when I left the batter for another cookie recipe sitting on this narrow stool, with the mixer still in the bowl. I hear this thud and turn around, and lo and behold, there's this huge, gooey mess all over the floor. My mom wasn't too happy about that ...

4. If skill and money were no object, what would you make for your dream meal? Cordon bleu chicken, salad, and fried rice, with a hot fudge brownie sundae for dessert.

5. What are you doing this weekend? Hanging out with Miriam, mostly - I'm staying in S.F. this weekend. Church. Reading. Finishing some posts for PH.

02.14.02 >1145

To those who matter most :

I love you not only for what you are,
but for what I am when I am with you

- Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Happy Valentine's Day.

02.13.02 >1904

I decided that I like my Short Story Writing class. My story, "The Bully," was "workshopped" by the other members of my group tonight, and I got a lot of good feedback and equally good suggestions to improve some aspects of it. Also did a bit of advertising for PanHistoria, because a couple of the guys liked the idea of collaborative online writing. What a coincidence that the site's opening to the public tomorrow! Woohoo! Okay, I s'pose some people would think I'm crazy to be happy about getting my writing edited, esp. by more than one person (there's approx. 15 people in the group), but as with all serious writers, I usually look for ways to improve my pieces, not the same ole compliment.

02.11.02 >2011

Proximity can change a lot within a matter of minutes, seconds, even in an instant. Think about this : the Holocaust killed about 6 million Jews, right? This is a broader take that differs from saying you lost your entire family at the Auschwitz concentration camp. It's more personal as the amount of proximity between you and an event or thing gets bigger or smaller. That's why we have the spectator and the eyewitness.

Random thought or known obvious fact, I guess. Some folks have "been there, done that, got the T-shirt," and others learn from hearing about people's experiences in a certain area (or at least I hope they do). I don't mind learning the "easy" way, but the hard way definitely brings the whole thing to home realistically enough so that I don't forget. Am I asking to let it happen to me the hard way? Heck no. It may give me a great "I got delivered from this addiction by God's grace" testimony, but just because something totally miraculous didn't take place in my life (yet?) doesn't make my testimony any less powerful.

Oy, I am so tired physically, for reasons I'm not sure I can explain. I hate this.