a realistic dose of cynicism


Pointless product of the day: Tropicana Trop50


I went grocery shopping yesterday and I saw a carton of Tropicana Trop50. Tropicana markets this product as having 50% less sugar and calories than Tropicana Pure Premium, their regular brand of orange juice.

HOW DO THEY DO IT?! I mean, I can take regular orange juice and only drink half as much as I normally might, or you know, just fill up the rest with water…


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i hate to write, but love having written.

“i hate to write, but love having written.”
-someone said this

It’s time for a real post. I haven’t journaled in a long time… so much so that I feel pregnant… with emotion.

Five songs that speak to me right now:
Coldplay – The Hardest Part
and the hardest part was letting go, not taking part; you really broke my heart

Coldplay – Fix You
when you get what you want, but not what you need

John Mayer – Heart of Life
pain throws your heart to the ground; love turns the whole thing around

Aaron Shust – My Savior, My God
I am not skilled to understand, what God has willed, what God has planned.

Just kidding, I don’t have a fifth song. Sorry. Loose collection of thoughts ahead, organized by subtitle… I should really write a book sometime.

Worship fail.

I failed at playing that last song on Friday. I was too ambitious and too cocky, and God humbled me. Remember, start singing at the correct OCTAVE. Also, don’t try to out-do your own musical ability unless you overcome those obstacles with sheer practice. I didn’t do that. It wasn’t pretty. Epic fail. Time to go back to simpler songs. Simpler strums. Back to basics. Heart of Life by John Mayer.

[In]evitable burnout?
I’ve been playing a lot of guitar recently. Maybe it’s because I don’t have anything else to do (or a life, in general). It’s true, I’m never at home in the evenings anymore. But 95% of the time it’s because I’m doing church stuff… leading small groups, attending small groups, leading worship, attending service, planning meetings, all that stuff. I hope I don’t suffer from the proverbial leadership burnout. AHHHHH.

God’s “good” and perfect love.
This week I’ve had many discussions about God’s will and His perfect love for us. Even if you don’t look at all the miracles and all the generosity, grace, and mercy he’s shown us, His love can be shown and proven by one act: the willing sacrifice of His Son, to save us. And it’s true; if I doubt God’s love, I can always recall and bring to mind the image of God sending His Son to die for us.

But still… I doubt His love. And it’s in my sufferings that I doubt His love the most. I think, “why aren’t good things happening to me?” and somehow that automatically translates to “maybe God doesn’t love me anymore.” It’s kind of silly.

What if our definition of “good” isn’t the same as God’s definition of “good”? If someone’s significant other breaks up with them, would we consider that to be “good”? Maybe we wouldn’t think that as being initially good… or even good in the long-term, for that matter. MAYBE even God doesn’t think that’s “good”.

So why would he subject you to something that isn’t “good”?

Don’t settle for “good” when you can have “better”.
I think it’s because He has something better. “God leads the long and loopy way, working for our greatest good and His greatest glory.” Remember that? He works for our GREATEST good! He won’t let us settle for something that’s ma-ma-dey (canto) or merely okay or fine or even kinda good. He wants the BEST for us! And he won’t let us settle for anything less. That’s awesome.

Entitlement to “good”.
Why do we expect good things to happen to us? When good things do happen to us, we thank God and praise Him. But somewhere in the back of my mind, I still think that I’m entitled to these good things. Where in the world does that come from? Do we somehow deserve it? I don’t think so…

And when bad things happen to us, we think God doesn’t love us anymore even in the face of God’s incredible sacrifice. How do we justify that?

More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
-Romans 5:3-5, ESV

Reading adventures
Currently reading Sticky Church. I bought another copy of I Kissed Dating Goodbye; my other one is on loan. Reading that book keeps me sane sometimes… I think I need one for me-me. And also a book called Crazy Love.

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graphic T-shirt haiku #6: Roe vs. Wade


shall i row? or wade?…
how serious can this be?
…for babies. OH WAIT.

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graphic T-shirt haiku #5: Uniqlo Pac-Man


am i still hungry?
i try not to think of it…
om nom nom nom nom.

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graphic T-shirt haiku #4: The Land of Lost Socks


i can only dream…
every lone sock: finally matched.
so this is heaven.

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graphic T-shirt haiku #3: Awkward silence


yet another date…
only this time, it’s different;
he leaves me speechless.

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graphic T-shirt haiku #2: Mon petit chou!


my little cabbage…
no berets or mustaches
in my dinner, please.

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graphic T-shirt haiku #1: I’m sorry


speeding toward that slide
blue: “sorry!”, daisies held high,
as red sat and sighed.

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Moving saga: Part one, kitchen cabinets.

So I’m going to be moving to Newton soon. But until then, I’m going to be chronicling my moving-related experiences here. Part 1:

[22:35] Jared Lui: i took a look today
[22:35] Jared Lui: i like the kitchen cabinets
[22:36] Me: oh, cool
[22:36] Me: what color are they, predominately
[22:36] Me: and the handles
[22:36] Me: haha

[22:36] Jared Lui: it’s like wood
[22:36] Jared Lui: and metal handles
[22:36] Jared Lui: i’m not very good at describing colors
[22:37] Me: light brown?
[22:37] Me: dark brown…
[22:37] Me: i like metal handles

[22:38] Jared Lui: it’s like between light and dark brown
[22:38] Me: you mean like medium brown?
[22:38] Jared Lui: yeah

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Love her more and love her less.

By John Piper
May 29, 1995

For Karsten Luke Piper
At His Wedding to
Rochelle Ann Orvis
May 29, 1995

The God whom we have loved, and in
Whom we have lived, and who has been
Our Rock these twenty-two good years
With you, now bids us, with sweet tears,
To let you go: “A man shall leave
His father and his mother, cleave
Henceforth unto his wife, and be
One unasham├ęd flesh and free.”
This is the word of God today,
And we are happy to obey.
For God has given you a bride
Who answers every prayer we’ve cried
For over twenty years, our claim
For you, before we knew her name.

And now you ask that I should write
A poem – a risky thing, in light
Of what you know: that I am more
The preacher than the poet or
The artist. I am honored by
Your bravery, and I comply.
I do not grudge these sweet confines
Of rhyming pairs and metered lines.
They are old friends. They like it when
I bid them help me once again
To gather feelings into form
And keep them durable and warm.

And so we met in recent days,
And made the flood of love and praise
And counsel from a father’s heart
To flow within the banks of art.
Here is a portion of the stream,
My son: a sermon poem. It’s theme:
A double rule of love that shocks;
A doctrine in a paradox:

If you now aim your wife to bless,
Then love her more and love her less.

If in the coming years, by some
Strange providence of God, you come
To have the riches of this age,
And, painless, stride across the stage
Beside your wife, be sure in health
To love her, love her more than wealth.

And if your life is woven in
A hundred friendships, and you spin
A festal fabric out of all
Your sweet affections, great and small,
Be sure, no matter how it rends,
To love her, love her more than friends.

And if there comes a point when you
Are tired, and pity whispers, “Do
Yourself a favor. Come, be free;
Embrace the comforts here with me.”
Know this! Your wife surpasses these:
So love her, love her, more than ease.

And when your marriage bed is pure,
And there is not the slightest lure
Of lust for any but your wife,
And all is ecstasy in life,
A secret all of this protects:
Go love her, love her, more than sex.

And if your taste becomes refined,
And you are moved by what the mind
Of man can make, and dazzled by
His craft, remember that the “why”
Of all this work is in the heart;
So love her, love her more than art.

And if your own should someday be
The craft that critics all agree
Is worthy of a great esteem,
And sales exceed your wildest dream,
Beware the dangers of a name.
And love her, love her more than fame.

And if, to your surprise, not mine,
God calls you by some strange design
To risk your life for some great cause,
Let neither fear nor love give pause,
And when you face the gate of death,
Then love her, love her more than breath.

Yes, love her, love her, more than life;
O, love the woman called your wife.
Go love her as your earthly best.

Beyond this venture not. But, lest
Your love become a fool’s facade,
Be sure to love her less than God.

It is not wise or kind to call
An idol by sweet names, and fall,
As in humility, before
A likeness of your God. Adore
Above your best beloved on earth
The God alone who gives her worth.
And she will know in second place
That your great love is also grace,
And that your high affections now
Are flowing freely from a vow
Beneath these promises, first made
To you by God. Nor will they fade
For being rooted by the stream
Of Heaven’s Joy, which you esteem
And cherish more than breath and life,
That you may give it to your wife.

The greatest gift you give your wife
Is loving God above her life.
And thus I bid you now to bless:
Go love her more by loving less.

[original source]

I won’t add my thoughts to this already lengthy poem, for they would undoubtedly take away from its profundity (wow! that’s a word!), eloquence, and power.

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the best of the best

June 2009
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