Showing posts from January, 2013

a lesson in contrasts and a matter of balance

I was helping out a friend this weekend who works at a Catholic school here in Taiwan, as she was asked to undertake the difficult task of translating legal/doctrinal statements from English into Chinese. To make matters worse, they were originally written in Italian! But the interesting thing about it was how the document was relating the vow of poverty that nuns take to the financial administration of an institution. The idea is that if our own Savior emptied himself and took on the nature of a servant, if he had no place to lay his head, and if the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil, shouldn't followers of Christ also choose to live a certain kind of lifestyle? To our modern way of thinking the idea of renouncing your rights and/or possessions, much less committing to never acquiring anything except as you plan to offer it for the good of the community, well it seems outdated, impossible, and maybe even crazy! 
The next morning I went to a church where the speaker sp…

Things I would have tweeted last week if I used Twitter #newpost

I have a few friends in my social media network who never fail to impress me with their prolific use of #hashtags and I can admit to googling them and one point and trying to figure out why on earth I was suddenly seeing these weird metasubliminal messages on peoples' posts.... so on my way to embracing the hashtag, here are a few thoughts:

Monday: Spent 20 minutes at the acupuncturist with 8 needles stuck in my legs. #ouch #notreally #justpsychological #didntlook

Tuesday: Bought new socks from a truck on the side of the road. #myglamouroustaiwanlife

Wednesday: Took off my sweater only to realize my shirt was on inside out.
#adultlifefail #gettingold

Thursday: Had homemade oatmeal with peanut butter chips and craisins for breakfast. And lunch.
#comfortfood #yummy

Friday: Reading Isaiah, I suddenly want to rename my bible study class "Okes of Righteousness." #inspiration #suchanerd

New exercises

Check this out if you're looking for a low-impact but still sweat-inducing (for me at least) workout. The lady who is leading it is in her mid-40s and I believe the mother of 2. She looks great! The workout is all in Korean, but that doesn't really matter, since it's easy enough to follow, plus they count everything in English. Nice for cold rainy days when I don't want to go out for my walk but still want to get moving!
It's also been nice this week since I hurt my foot after falling on a slippery Taipei sidewalk last weekend. I got acupuncture on Monday (yes, me...who is notoriously needle-phobic, I just made sure not to look at them, meaning my eyes were closed the whole time....), and it did help a lot. Cost me about $5 dollars for the consult, acupuncture session, and some herbal medicine. Awesome.

New flavours

I'm a fan of afternoon tea, and in these rainy winter days, it's especially nice to spend an afternoon inside with good company and good tea! Recently the shop Smith and Hsu was recommended to me, and I decided to try it out.
One of the most enjoyable parts of the experience was when we arrived at the shop. We were presented  with a tray full of all of the available teas to smell so we could decide which one to order. There was everything from black and green tea to fruit teas, rooibos and oolong. It was a tough choice but I decided on #81 fruit blend vanilla cream. I also got a sandwich and fresh scones with clotted cream and lemon curd. Everything was wonderful (though not cheap...)
I definitely recommend it though. They have a number of shops around Taipei, and the one we were at wasn't too crowded, but we did make a reservation. They also sell their tea, pots, cups, jams and other things there. There are so many dear friends far away I thought of while I was there, wh…

New music choices!

If you're ever wondering what to get as a gift for someone living overseas, iTunes credit is always a good choice. Thanks one such lovely gift from my parents, I've been listening to some new music this week. I downloaded three albums:

Mumford and Sons - Babel: I love their sound and literary lyrics, though I'm not sure if I like this album better than their first one.

Ben Cantelon - Everything in Colour:  Canadian artist (note the correct spelling of colour) who I checked out this summer but almost forgot about. Pretty good, but my least favourite of these three albums. Maybe it will grow on me. Kudos for great album artwork though.

Daniel Bashta: The Sounds of Daniel Bashta: Cannot get enough of this album, nice blend of worshipful moments and just good music, which at times reminds me of Our Lady Peace, The Killers, or Third Day. Check him out!

Another awesome music source is Songza. If you live in North America and have a smartphone GET THIS APP! It is kind of a mix of…

Little word: big difference

It's a new year, and just like last year, I wanted to ask God to give me word for the new year, to guide me, to inspire me, and to be a theme for me. I've been thinking about this for a couple of weeks, and the word freedom popped into my head one day as I was walking, but it didn't seem quite right...too easy almost... so I kept thinking, then I started sharing with people that I was looking for a word, and the pressure was on, I knew they would ask me what I chose...or what chose me! As I went through a fun long weekend and an enjoyable New Year's Eve with friends, I still didn't really have a word... just before bed, I read a verse from Streams in the Desert which came from Deuteronomy 11, here set on the background of my view of Taipei 101 on new year's eve:

It kind of inspired me to remember that God is there among all the beginnings and endings. In fact, 2012 was a year of many endings for me. The end of my 20s, the completion of my master's degree, a…