Congratulations to Jerry and Jackie Hwang on the addition of their daughter, Josette Anastasia Hwang, on April 5, 2005 at 5:43 PM PDT to the How We All Need God (H.W.A.N.G.) clan!!!
Fridays with Steven Curtis Chapman – MUST READ HERE! Steven talks about how God has allowed him to do some incredible things throughout his career. He also shares his own story about how he came to believe in God. Thanks, Steph Lue, for the link!
Geoff’s new albums came out today! I hope I they arrive here before the end of the week!
Order from freshreleases.com
Part I – http://www.freshreleases.com/albums/1850.html
Part II – http://www.freshreleases.com/albums/1913.html
Early Happy Birthday wishes go out to Ted Low (Xanga: Strikezone) and Karen Jeng from USC’s Asian American Christian Fellowship – both April 6 birthdays.
The University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill) men’s basketball team won the NCAA Division I-A national championship last night. There is a conspiracy I tell you! Almost everybody knows UNC, Duke, University of Michigan, and Notre Dame sell the most officially licensed apparel and merchandise out there. It was like 2001 when the eventually champion, Duke, beat USC in the Elite 8 in a game where the two were pretty much even. Coach K calls a timeout, yells at his team with expletives here and there I imagine, and Duke proceeds to blow USC out of the water after that! Ratings and money run the Tourney, ya’ll!
(Professional) Baseball (the REAL bball!) season is here!!!
The teams I like:
San Diego Padres – 0-1
Chicago Cubs – 1-1
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (ugh…that was a mouthful) – 1-0
The teams I de$pi$e:
Los Angeles Dodger$ – 0-1
New York Yankee$ (ever since they swept the Padres in the 1998 World Series) – 2-0
My weekend in a nut shell:
Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip…
Now would be a good/great time to grab something to drink and/or munch on before you start reading!
Let’s see…I suppose I’ll start with Saturday morning…
Saturday, April 2, 2005
I woke up at 8:30 AM and couldn’t force myself to sleep more. I had set my alarm to go off around 9:30 AM. I went to bed pretty late (around 3:30 AM I think), but for some reason unbeknownst to me, I couldn’t sleep in any more. It wasn’t until almost 11 AM that I embarked for what I thought would be my journey up the along the PCH.
So I drove on the Westbound 60 which turned into the Westbound 10 before ending and turning into the 1 HWY North (PCH). I’m drivin’ along, window down, radio off, enjoying the scenic drive and trying to take in God’s creation. Life is good! :o) So I get up to Oxnard and am driving along some roads that were a detour because of construction for the PCH or something like that. As I’m going along, I felt my right contact lens come out and get trapped between my face and my sunglasses. So I figured it would stay there until I could find a good place to pull over. Before I find a good spot to pull over, it slipped through and down onto my arm or shirt or something! D’oh! I should’ve just pulled over right away! Well, that’s why they say hindsight is 20/20. I spent about an hour searching all over the interior of my car for it to no avail. :o( I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s still somewhere in there. Either that, or the wind blew it away. Either way, I lose. LOL
Being visually impaired, I now had to make a decision regarding what I was going to do now. I called my mom to tell her what had happened. She told me I should just come back home and forget the whole trip considering the circumstances. Stubborn me was dead set on just driving up and down with one contact lens in my left eye (my left eye is worse than my right eye, but my right eye is my dominant eye, which is actually really good for left-handed baseball hitters like myself since it’s closer to the pitcher which in turn, helps track the baseball). I pretty much hung up on my mom saying I could do it and would be okay. So I continued along the road I was on and came to a stop at a traffic light behind one other vehicle. I initially was going to make a left to try to find where the detour continues. But I also noticed the 101 was on my right. On the spur of the moment, I decided to make a right and head back home on the 101 South. My thinking was I could go home, get an old contact lens, and hit the road again going up the 5 North. I hit a few snags on the 101 South (traffic on a Saturday afternoon should be illegal), but got home around 2:30 PM. I surprised my mom by coming back home. It’s amazing to think how knuckleheaded I originally was, but thank God common sense and probably the Holy Spirit kicked in to show me what the right thing to do was. I left the house again around 3 PM with my sights set on San Francisco.
I drive up the 5 with no problems at all. I didn’t even stop to use the restroom or anything! I’m the kinda guy who just wants to get from point A to point B without interruption when driving long distances. I had to stop and put in a little gasoline in Oakland. Getting onto the Bay Bridge required a $3.00 toll(!). The traffic also comes to a crawl when everyone is lined up to pay the toll spreadout through about 10 to 12 lanes. So I cross the bridge and enter Downtown SF. My friend Yoshio’s party was at a club called Bohemia San Francisco (www.bohemiasf.com) near the intersection of California and Polk. I located the intersection without any complication…now to find parking! Forty-five minutes later or so trying to find a spot on the street within a three to four block radius, I give up and just decided to park in a structure a block away for $8.00. I walked over to the club, entered into, and went upstairs to where my friend and two other people had rented the upstairs portion of the club out. Downstairs was where most of the dancing and the main bar was. Upstairs had a small bar and some other things like a billiards table, foosball table, ping pong table, and so on. It was great seeing my friend and some of the other people I had grown up with going to elementary, junior high, and high school with. My friends were pretty glad to see me. I only see them two or three times a year even though most of us are still in Southern California except Yoshio. The thing is I’m usually so “busy” doing things at church when they do things on Friday nights, late Saturday nights, or Sunday mornings. I hope the fact that I made the crazy drive up and back spoke volumes to them about how much I cared for them and also am dedicated and committed to what responsibilities I already have. They’re pretty good about not giving me that hard of a time for choosing not to drink. I paid $2.00 for what was probably 7-8 ounces of a Shirley Temple. Oh well. I don’t have a problem with people legally drinking, it’s just that when people get plastered/wasted, I feel sad for them because that is part of their idea of having a good time. Did I dance? Nope. I’m more of a wallflower. The club environment just feels so weird for me! I enjoy watching some of my friends dance. It’s funny sometimes even though they’re not trying to be funny. I’d probably laugh at me too if I saw myself dancing! I dance in my car and the privacy of my own room, but that’s about it! :o) I stayed at the party until 1 AM (party officially ended at 2 AM). I then called my mom to let her know I was going to start driving back down.
Sunday, April 3, 2005
I filled up on gas in Oakland for my crazy drive back down. An African-American man holding a lit cigarette asked me for a quarter while I was walking around the car to the pump so he could have money to purchase a burger across the street. I thought, “A quarter? No problem! I’ll give him two!” So I gave him fifty cents and he then asked me for more money. Not cool! I offerred him a new bottle of water I had brought up with me, but he just wanted money for a burger (I hope…generally it’s better to just buy the food for people instead of giving them money for obvious reasons). He then proceeded to ask a few other of the patrons who came to the gas station. I was pretty upset that he had basically lied to me. But I tried to let it go and asked God to forgive me for getting upset and forgive him. After filling up, I got back onto the 580 East to the 5 South. Right after that interchange was a rest area I stopped at the sleep for an hour. Bear in mind that I also lost an hour from the time change as well. After my hour of sleep, I hit the road again and I was struggling to stay awake! I stopped at the next rest area to sleep for half an hour more. I woke up and I felt I needed 15 more minutes of sleep. So after those 15 minutes, I hit the road again and tried my best to just keep driving. The drive back down was exponentially more difficult than going up to say the least! There was one moment where I fell asleep for like 1-3 seconds and woke up in the lane that was to my left. I thought, “Whoa! How did I get here?” So thank you so much for your prayers! I stopped for gas (my gas mileage took a hit trying to average 80 mph) at the Chevron on Magic Mountain Parkway a little before 9:30 AM. I got back onto the 5 South, took the 210 East, to the 605 South, to the 60 East to get to church roughly around 10:20-10:25 AM or so. I confess that the last leg after I got gas my right foot was pretty heavy so to speak, but at least I wasn’t struggling to stay awake!
Interesting tidbit: I drove the entire journey with the car radio OFF! Cool, huh? It really made it easier to do a lot of thinking and praying.
Okay, everyone!!! It’s time to get LOUD!!! I will make a (long and detailed) post about my weekend later tonight (provided I don’t fall asleep way early because I’m so tired).
The song you’re listening to is “See the Glory” by Steven Curtis Chapman off his Declaration album (©2001 Sparrow Records). It was the first thing I thought of when Jerry was speaking today in Fairway using a Flaming Hot Cheetos™ metaphor about how we compromise and settle for them when God has a feast prepared for us. Many times, we as believers are made content way too easily when God is wanting to do awesome things in our lives! So what are YOU waiting for?!
Lift up your hands
Open the doors
Let the King of Glory come in
And forever be our God
See the Glory
Words and music by Steven Curtis Chapman
I never did like the word “mediocre”
I never wanted it to be said of me oh no
Just point me to the dump and I’d go over
Looking for the very best that could be
So what is this thing I see
Going on inside of me
When it comes to the grace of God
Sometimes it’s like
I’m playing Game Boy™ standing in the middle of the Grand Canyon
I’m eating candy sitting at a gourmet feast
I’m wading in a puddle when I could be swimming in the ocean
Tell me what’s the deal with me
Wake up and see the glory
Every star in the sky tells His story
And every breeze is singing His song
All of creation is imploring(?)
Hey! Come see His grand phenomenon
The wonder of His grace
Should take my breath away
I’ve missed so many things
When I’m content
With playing Game Boy™ standing in the middle of the Grand Canyon
Or eating candy sitting at a gourmet feast
Or wading in a puddle when I could be swimming in the ocean
I know the time has come for me to
Wake up and see the glory
How could I trivialize it
This awesome gift of God’s grace
Once I have come to realize it
I should be speechless and amazed
Wake up and see the glory
Open your eyes and take it in
Wake up and be amazed
Over and over again (2x)
Please continue to pray for the coming birth of Jerry and Jackie’s baby any moment now. Praise God that Uncle Wilson (Mark) is returning home on Saturday! Please also pray for Uncle/Deacon Brad Yeung’s heart valve surgery on Tuesday.
Thoughts from today’s Sunday School lesson:
Think about this: try to keep a bird from singing
After it’s soared up in the sky
Give the sun a cloudless day and tell it not to shine
Now think about this: if we really have been given
The gift of new life that will never end
If we have been filled with living hope we’re going to overflow
And if God’s love is burning in our hearts, we’re going to glow
There’s just no way to keeping it in
WAKE THE NEIGHBORS! GET THE WORD OUT! WE’VE GOT TO LIVE OUT LOUD!