Friday, December 11, 2009

Busy with work and personal...

At work, I've been busy with helping out with an IPO which has been a tiring process. At least, I can enjoy pockets of fresh air between scheduled SEC filing dates, and by now, we've gone through the most difficult parts of the process. Personally, I'm supposed to be busy with wedding planning, which unfortunately has taken a back seat due to busyness at work. Plus, David and I greatly value the meaning behind a wedding, being the future path of marriage, we are not people who gain great satisfaction in the meticulous planning of this event. Nonetheless, gradual progress has been made though I should spend a lot more time on it.

But, in my geeky worldview, I can't help but to notice the parallels between the IPO and wedding planning. After all, the bottom line is that they are both projects to manage.

1. Kick off meeting and all parties meetings

2. Draft the project timeline and budget

3. Clarify requirements with the lawyers

4. Liaise with the printers and submit change pages on the printers proof

Haha -- ok, enough. Anyway, I am happy that my IPO is priced and trading, so now I can focus more attention on the *other* project. :p

Until next time, this is Gladys Yam.

Addendum -- I'm hoping I pulled my last all-nighter for 2009 and possibly, my ________ ________.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Err.... is this a new pose?

Major billboard for a busy Wanchai gym. I guess they are aiming to attract people who aren't really into sports??

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Happy belated

A little coincidental that finally, on the 60th anniversary of the PRC (Oct 1 -- this post is backdated for easy searching), I have some space and time to write this long-awaited reflection for my own anniversary of half as many years. As I say every year, I don't place much intrinsic value on the day (I think I worked until 9pm that day); rather, it is simply a convenient milestone to gauge the progress in our lifetime. Though that's a misnomer since I ultimately defer to God's progress in my life, for any progression that I appear to exhibit can only be attributed to his guidance and carry. No doubt, my entire journey is a most blessed one: growing up in a loving family having learned healthy values, enjoying a joyful education in various healthy social environments, reflecting on the realities of this world as grounded in a healthy spiritual foundation -- health -- the new virtuous goal of the developed world (i.e., more virtuous than the goal of money) is something human effort can only manage so much but is ultimately outside our control. And usually, people only contemplate physical health, let alone the health of the holistic person, or even further, the health of a community, society, or the world (which, I would unfortunately describe as 'cancerous'). To be sure, I would not see this aspect of my blessings were it not for David, who experiences less than ideal health on a daily basis, though through it all, he maintains a spiritual perseverance that is affecting.

So, while such many blessings are to be appreciated and enjoyed, God demands a response, and many of us respond with good intentions in varying degrees. I confess my response has often been made inferior as I knowingly constrict it within practical and rationalized limits. A recent bout of busyness at work was a poignant reminder of my personal weakness to actively maintain the status quo or to deliver superficial achievements to the neglect of true personal freedom. While it is commendable to be a responsible and competent employee, it is not everything.* Plus, having generally enjoyed a very comfortable three years thus far in Hong Kong (exactly to the day!), I know I have exhibited an unacceptable level of mental laziness that I know needs to change. Last year, I alluded to certain impending changes and this year, this birthday marks a turning point in my understanding of that freedom -- true freedom in faith.

As a first try, I left a comfort zone in Toronto, and unexpectedly jumped into an even bigger comfort zone in Hong Kong. Next, I came to terms with stepping out of the comfort zone that is "the Firm". Having 'grown up' in the Firm, the very thought of leaving it brought me mental stress and anxiety last year. I have accepted (and embraced!) that now, but there is yet another step of leaving the industry. This thought still frightens me to tears, which I know is an attack on faith that draws out many underlying psychological fears. That manifestation is a little scary, and even scarier when I realize how much I claw to hold on to my so-far past life, meanwhile not regarding a hopeful future in possibly a handful more decades. While I work through this, David provides much motivation and support to progress along this long journey. Yes, we plan to study full time together next year. I will apply for programs in Education and will see what roles God provides me.

And so, such change -- of family status, of career, of location -- is spiritually, mentally, and emotionally very scary, but infinitely exciting at the same time. Only God can provide peace that transcends our understanding to enable the strength required to live a free and healthy life amidst the uncertainties, discomforts, and chaos of this world. Further, I think faith to live in God's freedom is part and parcel of our personal identity in Christ, another one of my recurring themes. To be sure of my identity in Christ is to believe his death on the cross not only (abstractly) released my soul from the grip of sin, but also released my soul from the very tangible constrictions that compartment our lives. With this new understanding of freedom, this year marks the undertaking of a new, long, difficult, exciting, gracious, and hopefully fruitful journey...

“They were a free people, free to live in faith before a merciful, saving God. But a free life of faith, lived in the vast and gracious mysteries of God, is a large, demanding life—it is far easier to live small, reduced to the visible and tangible requirements of petty gods and tyrant kings.” -- Eugene H. Peterson, "First and Second Samuel", p. 56, in commentary of 1 Samuel 8:4-18, where the Israelites rejected God's kingship and demanded a human and tangible king, like the other nations.

Until next time, this is Gladys Yam.

* One of the best leadership books that I have read discusses leadership as a similar challenge through the release of your own identity in the course of leadership: "Building the Bridge as You Walk on It" - Robert E. Quinn.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Tiens! Tiens! Tiens!

C’était depuis longtemps que j’ai utilisé un petit peu de français. La première fois après ma graduation d’école secondaire était peut-être deux ans et demi avant que j’ai rencontré une dame française en la province de Yunnan en Chine. Je me souviens que j’ai oublié le mot pour «cow» - vache – c’est triste hein? En écrire cet «blog», j’ai remarqué que je ne connais pas les «shortcuts» pour les letters avec des accents, un peu frustrant!

En tout cas, pourquoi la motivation? J’ai attendée une presentation de «小王子» - le petit prince (en chinois). C’était une musicale typicallement en style de Hong Kong ; les gens dans la spectacle étaient un peu ennuyeux que j’étais peur que la musicale va ruiner pour moi l’histoire du petit prince. Alors, celle nuit, j’ai trouvé l’histoire du petit prince, et puisque l’originale est en français, j’ai decidé à essayer la lire en langue originale.

Et je comprends! Au moins, je pense que je comprends la majorité de l’histoire. Après tout, c’est une histoire pour les enfants et l’auteur a été l’écrivé en une style simple. Je suis joyeuse alors, j’imagine si je peux écrire un «blog» en français. Alors, je peux, mais ce procès prend assez longtemps!! Mais, j’ai absolument besoin de réapprendre un niveau de français, je pense que c’est possible, avec beaucoup de temps! Peut-être je vais trouvé ma copie de «le petit Robert dictionnaire» chez moi en Toronto, mais maintenant, nous avons l’internet et on peut facilement utiliser beaucoup d’outils pour la traduction, spécialement «Google Translator»!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The name of the game: "No jetlag!"
The objective of game: "No jetlag!"

I'm back in Hong Kong and have started to catch up on work (IPO activity has palpably picked up), church (preparing for fellowship EM), Tyndale course (two final papers due in the next couple of weeks), and also hanging out a bit with my brother who came over right after I left last June (can you please go to sham shui po and help me pick up a router?)

No jetlag!

Thankfully, I have been able to get generally adequate rest at night, though I was hoping for more rest by the excuse of a typhoon -- an excuse that didn't pan out since it hit on Saturday night and was clear by 6am on Sunday morning. However, I still need to instill discipline to control my ever-erratic sleeping patterns on a continuing basis.

I also had a wonderful trip (pictures on Facebook, of course) with some of the following experiences:

Outdoor wedding (Toronto) - If you receive an invitation to an outdoor wedding, ensure to go early, lest you end up in the overflow seats outside the tent under the strongest rays of the beating sun (at high noon, no less). So much for trying not to tan (I slightly burned.) It was a beautiful wedding though, with wonderful weather!

Preston and Bolton, Lancashire, UK - Two recondite cities I am sure most people would never visit during their lifetime. It was worthwhile to explore these two tiny cities in advance of actually moving here (chances are slim now, if any) because while David and I believe there are aspects of the monastic spirit that are worth emulating, we don't agree on extreme asceticism.

Boston, MA, USA - Did you ever notice that the outdoor 'office shot' of Cage, Fish and Associates actually showed the faint name of the actual Boston building chosen taken as their office? The name is Congregational House and is located on 14 Beacon Street. If all goes well, perhaps I may become more acquainted with this city as I search my soul since there is so much more to life... though I am not referring to what love has to bring.

The Rockies, AB, Canada - The first and only time I came here on a cross-country family road trip when I was about 14. At that time, it was fun to step foot in tourist hotspots but without the appropriate appreciation one ought to have for the mountains (and lakes and glaciers) and their designed and created beauty.

When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,

what is man that you are mindful of him,
the son of man that you care for him? -- Psalm 8:3-5

London, UK - This city is unique its cosmopolitanism though built upon a strong British history and culture. Despite having no outstanding indigenous cuisine, we thank God for Wagamama -- count: 4. (And once in Boston!)

Toronto, ON, Canada - Of course, as my hometown, it is a deep joy that I express in catching up with old friends as we encourage each other in the race. Swiss Chalet count: 2, Marche count: 3, Tim Hortons count: too many to count! (Unfortunately I did not stumble on any lemon-filled timbits.)

GRE - I completed it with a decent quant score and a passable verbal score; writing assessment score to come. As usual for standardized American examinations, I found the exam tedious and archaic - could they at least update the software from a monochrome interface found in computers manufactured by AST, a company that disappeared from the market over 10 years ago? (Though somehow a specimen of their computers remains in our basement at home in Toronto.)

While I don't believe in their testing strategy, I must admit the little vocabulary studying I have done has been beneficial in my general reading, especially of older books such as Richard Yates Revolutionary Road (if you're not one to read, go watch the movie -- it's good!) as well as assisting with everyone's favourite pastime, the Times Spelling Bee.

Until next time, this is Gladys Yam.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

I'm pseudo- studying for the GRE. I applied NOT because I was reverting into old examination-taking habits, but figured it could be useful for future applications. And mainly, for some reason, the GRE is essentially only offered once a year in Hong Kong in a two-part exam, as compared with year-round computerized sessions around the globe. [I plan to take it in Toronto.] In preparation, I've combed the internet to gather the gamut of word lists. I need some work in this area, especially given the insane and arcane words on the lists, so the best way to remember definitions is to use them in sentences. Please join me in my studies!

A new good internet friend is now to help me understand the origins of words and to assist with neologisms. But confuse that not with, lest you be confronted with creepy crawlies that are mottled, hirsute, refulgent *and* pellucid -- and may cause a paroxysm of fright from some visceral fears. Though that site might have sections where apiarists expatiate on their science, perhaps to help others with agrarian interests. For those with a predilection for anything equine, bovine, or ursine, I recommend

Until next time, this is Gladys Yam. :)

Saturday, April 25, 2009


No offense meant to the new Treasury Secretary of the United States -- I know how difficult a job he has dealing with the economic crisis as it is while balancing through the politics. But unfortunately, every single time I look at Geithner's face, I think of Peter MacNicol. Of course, to me, I think of Peter MacNicol a la Ally McBeal's John Cage. I realize he's done quite a few shows since then, but that character sticks in my mind. Which means that when I look at Geithner, I think he will get the job done in the end as long as the jury pleases him. And maybe he'll use some quirky antics here and there, but hey, as weird as they are, they'll be effective.

Until next time, this is Gladys Yam.

Monday, April 06, 2009


No, not the midwest American state -- Japanese for hello! The title was meant for a draft post that I meant to post last month after watching two good Japanese movies, but since I've passed my one month mark, the title is still apt as a long-awaited greeting! The movie reviews are at the bottom.

Spring break
I've got time to blog because I completed Systematic Theology and also another Bible study that I finished leading today. That leaves me with two weeks of relatively 'free' time before I start my next course in May, plus another series of Sunday school lessons to teach... which basically takes me to pre- long vacation. My schedule is busy, but manageable. Looking back, this term was probably busier than the upcoming month, and yet, things thankfully work out without much stress. Periodic 'monastic sessions' with David have been fundamental to maintaining a stable pace of life (sounds elaborate but it's just a time of silence/spiritual reading/prayer).

Mediation of Christ
It turned out designedly fitting that our Easter four-day weekend was the week before my final assignment was due, and the assignment was to read T.F. Torrance's "The Mediation of Christ" and write a book review on it. The book takes patience to get through, but I recommend the time if you have not the time to read other theology books. His book expands on the role of Christ as mediator between God and man and presents how Christians should view the effects of his atonement on the cross. The book provided me with a more deeply meaningful Easter this year, and for that I am thankful.

Susan Boyle
It is a general habit for me to check Google News now, and so I inevitably came across Susan Boyle. As some articles say, "You must live under a rock if you have not heard..." Well, the funny thing is, I lived under a rock for two years because I did not hear of Paul Potts. :p I must admit I've been somewhat obsessed with watching their clips over the past two days and do find them uplifting. Perhaps, to me, it is a simple encouragement to see her perform just as she would at her church. I pray that she will not lose the genuineness of humanity that she possesses. The mass response to Susan Boyle has been incredible and interesting. For one, it remains to be seen whether people will truly change their cynical ways from this wake-up call. And unfortunately, the inspiration that she provides only directs people towards their individual desires and dreams and not as much towards, say, spending many years caring for an elderly relative.

Movie 1 - Departures
This movie is probably more widely distributed ever since it won the Oscar. This movie deals with death, and as typical, brings people into raw emotions of human vulnerability with one thing that we can't avoid. There are a few moments of amusing wit and many (unnecessary?) tearjerking moments. Definitely, a feel good film, but a good one, leaving you with the feeling of appreciation for life and love, as well as a feeling of peace, if death provides that for you.

Movie 2 - K-20:Legend of the Mask
I'm not sure how widely distributed this movie is, but I HIGHLY recommend it! Essentially, it's a Japanese version of a Batman-like persona (it's actually about a 'super-villain', not a 'superhero'), set in a fictional city (like Gotham) in a post-war period. Plus, the star is Takeshi Kaneshiro (ah!!!) Haha. Ok, I think he is stylish ('ying'), though not outstanding as an actor. The story is funny, keeps on moving, and keeps you guessing. It's also not as dark as the American Batman, so it enjoys a good degree of levity, and of course, many 'Japanese-y' elements that are very delightful, and as usual with Japanese imagination, sets that are 'way cool'. In a word, this movie is entertaining -- go watch it, you'll like it!

Until next time, this is Gladys Yam. :)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Speak, O Lord

I've been preparing for Bible study and listening to lectures to write a paper for my coursework. Spiritually, it has been enriching. Just want to share a song that is quickly rising among the ranks... I think the lyrics are deeply penetrating. :)

Words and Music by Keith Getty & Stuart Townend
Copyright © 2005 Thankyou Music

Speak, O Lord, as we come to You
To receive the food of Your Holy Word.
Take Your truth, plant it deep in us;
Shape and fashion us in Your likeness,
That the light of Christ might be seen today
In our acts of love and our deeds of faith.
Speak, O Lord, and fulfill in us
All Your purposes for Your glory.

Teach us, Lord, full obedience,
Holy reverence, true humility;
Test our thoughts and our attitudes
In the radiance of Your purity.
Cause our faith to rise; cause our eyes to see
Your majestic love and authority.
Words of pow'r that can never fail—
Let their truth prevail over unbelief.

Speak, O Lord, and renew our minds;
Help us grasp the heights of Your plans for us—
Truths unchanged from the dawn of time
That will echo down through eternity.
And by grace we'll stand on Your promises,
And by faith we'll walk as You walk with us.
Speak, O Lord, till Your church is built
And the earth is filled with Your glory.

Monday, February 23, 2009


The Standard Chartered marathon is the equivalent of Nike's RunTO in TO... a big corporate-sponsored marathon with the aim to unite the whole city with the joys of running ["The race that unites Hong Kong".] Unfortunately I didn't run RunTO so I can't directly compare. Instead, I ran the Don River Run for Recovery which was a way smaller run in comparison, with a total of 152 runners, but probably much more enjoyable!

The Standard Chartered marathon (I only ran 10K) was ridiculously huge, with 55,000 applications, of which 33,000 are for the 10km race. However, who knows how many people actually turned up on the day of the race and nobody has reported estimated numbers. Still, there were SO MANY FREAKING PEOPLE.

To control the flow of so many runners, there had to be many pedestrian flow control mechanisms. Plus, because it is not like Toronto where you can just lock away your few valuables in your car and run with your car keys. The event headquarters was in Victoria Park in Hong Kong [route map], and included a huge baggage storage area before you are channelled into the starting area. It was very organized overall.

The 10K is all run on highway road, the Hong Kong Eastern corridor, with the starting point ON the highway. From the bag check area to the finish line is a good 15 minute walk from the park to the road entrance to the (elevated) Eastern Corridor [imagine the starting point being on the Gardiner Expressway, where you had to walk up the ramp from the Don Valley so that the starting point is above Lake Shore Blvd], up the car ramp to the starting line, all within a huge crowd. This was at 5:30am to prep for the 6:00am start. They staggered the 10K races (the 'challenge' one started at 5:15am); the 6:00am start was the third race but probably the most populous. I didn't have a choice and had to run this race since E&Y sponsored my entry [And I got an E&Y T-shirt, yeah!!! Actually, it's a pretty nice shirt!] The race runs east to ShauKeiWan (essentially running from Causeway Bay to a little past my house), and then turning around onto the highway of the opposite traffic direction to end up back in Victoria Park.

There were so many people that my official start time as clocked from the timing device tied to my shoe was 3 minutes into the race.

Once the race started, the crowd thinned out and I could generally run pretty freely. But because no race etiquette was laid out prior to the race (i.e., stick to the right or the left to allow for passing), the first 10 minutes were very much like dodging an obstacle course. This made it hard for me to find my own pace because I'm not good at that in the first place, and I don't know how to *not* 'continuously pass' people. [I know this comes from driving -- if someone is in front of you, pass! Even if they are not overly slow!] Though I didn't think my passing was overly fast that I would completely tire myself out in the first half.

Along the race, it was evident that many people signed up for the heck of (a) getting a chance to run/walk on the highway, or (b) taking pictures. After all, we are in Hong Kong.

The first water station was 4 km into the race. Right after the water station is a pile of huge paper cups -- quite amusing sight, isn't it? --> take a picture!! Then, at every km mark thereafter, there were many "V" signs. And of course, doesn't everyone bring their mobile phone (to talk) to run a 10K race?

The race had a some ups and downs, essentially running down the exit ramp, doing a quick U-turn to run up the opposite direction entrance ramp back onto the highway. At 9km into the race, this was a little painful! Plus, because the highway is built for cars, at various curved points (most prolonged bout Tin Hau before Causeway Bay), the road was not level which made for weird balance control.

The reason why the race is so early in the morning is because it is impossible to shut the roads for so long. So by then time I was on the return leg on the Eastern Corridor back near Tin Hau/Causeway Bay about 7-8km into the race, they had already opened up the highway on which we ran the first leg. If you ran off course, you would get run over. It was also quite a memorable "Oh.. HK" moment when a bus drove by and I breathed in its exhaust. Yummy!

The final stretch was down an exit ramp (though technically from a 'car' perspective, it could have been an entrance ramp and I wouldn't have known the difference) to take the local road back into Victoria Park to the finish line. I had used much of my 'boost' energy passing people on the up ramp that I didn't overly sprint to the finish, but it was a good race! After the finish line, the people traffic control started again and it was another 10-15 min walk back to the bag check area. There is no room to collapse if you are dead tired!!

Since I have been exercising relatively regularly for half a year now, I felt quite ok for this run. Definitely much better than the "Run for Recovery" in Toronto when I had a sore knee for the whole race which was likely a result of the ultimate frisbee tournament that I played in the day before. All of those two was on no training in general. :p

My time was 1:00:03. I'm relatively happy with my time since 60 mins was my target. But I *so* could have been under an hour... I blame it on the people because continuous dodging, often lateral dodging, is tiring. :p My time at Run for Recovery was 1:03, which put me in the 75 percentile range for females. My time here, given the # of runners in general and the # of non-serious runners, my "overall position" was 552 and "gender position" was 60. I have no idea what that means, though I'm guessing that's the ranking for the "Run 2 race" meant for people with best achievement times listed as below -- which means it is not meaningful a ranking. :p I would have run in the Challenge if it weren't for E&Y sponsorship.

Anyway, probably no more 10Ks for another few years... not sure if I want to try to fight the HK crowds again, either... and finally, I enjoyed the race because the spiritual parallel from Paul is an apt encouragement:

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. -- Phil 3:12-14

No matter my physical ability, God's strength sustained me for the race, as he does in this continuous marathon of life.

To the next race then, this is Gladys Yam.

[Aside] When filling out the Race application, you are 'recommended' to participate in a race based on your previous achieved times:

Challenge races - Under 1:10:00
Run 1 - 1:10 - 1:25
Run 2 - 1:25 - 1:40
Run 3 - Over 1: 40

To anyone who has run, you will realize that these times are slow. But now I realize they could be adjusted for a "crowd factor", haha. The times also remind me of a warning from the Red Cross blood donor clinic: people whose weight is under 90lbs are not recommended to donate blood. It tells you something about the (unhealthy?) 'benchmarks' of the population! [In contrast, Canada's warning is at 110 lbs -- though I'm not sure which is more unhealthy.] The discrepancy makes me wonder whether the warning is truly related to safety or simply a statistical cutoff.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Learning learning learning

First off, Happy Chinese New Year! I enjoyed three days of holiday last week which turned out to be good (extended) family time (my parents are here until March), resting, working out (I am running a 10K next week), doing some homework, spending time with David... now all refreshed for work again. Since I got promoted at work, this year was my first 'big blood bath' for red pockets. Ack!

Learning. So everyone knows I'm a geek and love to learn. I think I get it from my mom, but the funny thing is, I'm nothing compared to David! Haha..

A few years ago, one of my old co-workers introduced me to this website of courses. The Teaching Company has developed a whole selection of personal interest courses which anyone can buy for their own personal learning. Back then, the website wasn't important because that coworker found some forums that had ripped a whole bunch of courses to mp3 which he downloaded, and then we engaged in a major 'burning' operation (CDs at that time) so I've got a whole slew of courses... I *did* listen to a two or three of them -- sped up by 25-40% using the Winamp Pacemaker plug-in.

Well, last week, Teach12 came back to my attention because they took out a page advertisement in the Economist, and I thought I may as well give them some money after all. I bought Building Great Sentences: Exploring the Writer's Craft. I listened to the first lecture last night (sped up, of course!) The lecturer is quite American and a little repetitive, but I will try to get through it, and hopefully it will bear some fruit. My priority is still Tyndale, after all.

But a funny thing is that almost simultaneously, David bought a book for himself, Figures of speech: 60 ways to turn a phrase. Given the short length of the book, I like his purchase better; plus, I did a flip through and it's quite amusing while educational. :p

Anyway, yes, geeky. [That's an asyndeton, by the way.] But this is the real part of the post: I will soon do away with these little ad hoc learning endeavours and finally dive into developing a serious learning plan over the few years. I already gave up the prospect of earning any more accounting-related designations last year. Now, turning outside the world of accounting, there is an overwhelming vastness of knowledge and insight which I look forward to absorbing just a small part...

Not sure if this will amount to a serious career change in the future, but, I m finally excited (more than scared) to see how it will turn out! In the uncertainty, there is MUCH to pray about.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


I'm still alive. I'm behind on the blogging of three vacations actually... Silk Road, Taiwan, and Japan. All right, don't mean to brag. Next vacation won't be for a few months as I go through busy season... perhaps I will pop up in Toronto sometime soon. :) All very preliminary so far. Please also don't wish me congratulations. :p

It has been a whirlwind with family visits from my brother.. + mom... - brother... + dad... then going through the Christmas/New Year season, and then prepping for the Japan trip. On the last day in Japan, I caught the flu. Good thing I was able to sleep through the flight and the flu only came full out after a day or two in Hong Kong. I haven't gotten really sick in probably at least a year and a half to two years, so this one felt quite strong. Thankfully, I am about fully recovered now!

Tonight, I just returned home from Rosalyn and Duncan's wedding. The two of them, plus their families, all exude Christ's love, so it was a very blessed day and night to participate in their celebration. I am confident that God will continue to lead and bless their lives in amazing ways!

I am taking a Tyndale course again, so my discipline needs to step it up [especially since I'm taking systematic theology]. No more playing the Times Spelling Bee [stupid British accents!] :p

Finally, a reflection. Yes, again, it is on the passing by of a year. Last December was a ridiculously stressful for me because I had to deal with a certain 'lil sis'. It was a tumultuous two weeks involving police, hospital, landlords... a displaced and lost soul. I knew the responsibility to take care of her ultimately rested on her own shoulders, so despite a few months of turmoil at the beginning of last year and through my unfortunate continual neglect [yes, sudden 'change of attention'], the 'lil sis' has again come to a point that indicates the desire to settle down. Of course, it is yet another step in a very long journey, but it is a testament that prayers are never in vain. I have always been sure that God has unrelentingly pursued her, as well as sure that her heart is not as hard as she often portrays. It is an encouraging affirmation to continue persevering through prayer, for in some and many things, we must let God do his work, and wait for our time to take an active part. And further, it is a reminder of God's unrelenting pursuit of each one of us... only then can we truly start to engage in an intimate relationship with Him and be able to know Him.

Praise God for all the things he has done.