Skip to main content

When Pigs Fly

I found this in one of my memo pads today. No context, no explanation, just this enigmatic sentence:

And hearkening the call of Xukuchot铆ren, the swine of Xuk煤xelen mounted up on their great wings, and were borne aloft on the wind to the succour of D铆zefen.

I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of flying pigs, and it seems I worked them into the mythology of one of my fictional nations. Maybe I’ll finish the story someday!

Embarking on a New Adventure

It was almost unreal. The semester ended as usual: finishing finals and preparing papers, packing up my possessions. But the weird thing was that this time was the last. I found myself surrounded by friends congratulating and blessing me, and the next thing I knew was that I had donned a polyester gown and an indescribable hat, and was shaking the university president’s hand as he handed me a soon-not-to-be empty folder. Four years of formation had come and had gone, opportunities had been both lost and found, and all those moments were now frozen in immutable past.

But, as usual, there is still a future鈥攖hat is to say, I must plan for one, since the possibility of its coming exists. And as I said goodbye to my native homeland in the rear-view mirror, it really hit me how much life is changing. I am now almost 700 miles away from the place I call home, beginning my first full-time job. I am living with a Christian family, and trying to accept their hospitality whilst not burdening them or being in the way. And while I have some friends here, I am faced with the daunting prospect of forming new relationships and getting to know the people here.

I still remember when I first went to college. I was young and unsure, with few pre-made friends, and it took me all of the first semester before I felt comfortable and “at home” (though I wouldn’t have admitted the latter). Now I am still young and unsure, again with few pre-made friends, and I do not expect to fit in immediately. I have been here all of three days, after all! But even though I be slightly discombobulated by a new routine, I feel an overwhelming sense of God’s love and providence in my life. It’s to do the Lord’s work that I moved here, and even though I don’t know the people here very well yet, they have been so hospitable and loving to me. It is such a blessing to have Christian family in this far-off place (especially in the workplace), and I suspect I will settle in much more rapidly than I did last time I was in this position. It’s a new adventure, to be sure!

The Last Mile of the Way

You never know when you’ll see someone for the last time. When Mr. Fred Russell squeezed my hand a month ago at Southern Oaks Assisted Living and said “Now, don’t forget to come back!”, I had no idea that it was the last time we would see each other in this life. Today as I sat among his friends and family at his funeral, I couldn’t help but think of things I wish I could have told him before he left: how much he meant to me, what a great example of Christian love he was, etc. I wish I had taken time to get to know him better鈥攁s it was, I only learned about his younger days when I read his obituary, and realized that he and I had a love of camping in common.

But as much as I will miss brother Fred, and as much as I wish I had done more while he was still here, I am not sad. As the preacher remarked at the funeral, “He was a Christian, and you can’t top that!” Even though he’s finished the last mile of the way, he was faithful in his life, and by the grace of God he will receive his reward, and I will see him again.

Even though we can be certain about our reception after death, life is still uncertain, and no one knows when it will end. I don’t mean to be morbid, but each interaction with a person may be your last. Knowing that, shouldn’t we be more encouraging, more loving, more focused on others? Encouragement is not something that should be put off. Opportunities come and go, and some may make an eternal difference. Also, I believe that every interaction either brings people closer to God or pulls them away, even if in the slightest degree. That’s something I want to try to keep in the forefront of my mind, so that I can try to do better to make sure my life does bring people closer to God.

We only have so much time allotted to us, but opportunities abound. Let’s take advantage of them before they slip away.

Blogging Revival

I know it’s been a long time since I blogged, but this is not without good reason. A mixture of many hours and upper-division classes made last semester one of the most challenging yet for me, and while blogging remained on the list of priorities, I rarely got that far down the list. But that is past, and the summer is now upon us!

There is much to blog about, as I have hardly been idle. After finals were done with, I went on a jaunt across middle and east Tennessee with some friends, and had a grand time backpacking, looking at waterfalls, climbing mountains, and not getting campfires lit due to damp wood. Plus, I have recently arrived in my new “home” of Jefferson, Texas. When my father announced he was looking for a full-time preaching job, I was afraid he might leave our beloved state, but he has ended up in this county seat of Marion County, Texas, and I must admit I rather like it here. East Texas has always been one of my favourite regions, and Jefferson is a historic and beautiful town, although a bit touristy. As for the natural side of things, it is situated between Caddo Lake and Lake o’ the Pines, so there will be plenty of places to canoe, and perhaps I can do some hiking as well. The trees here are tall and pines are abundant, and the people are very kind. I certainly miss Parker County, but I cannot complain about Marion County in the least.

So I am resuming my blogging鈥攖his will likely involve a lot of photography, since even though I stopped blogging, I did not stop taking pictures, and there are a lot of pictures I need to put up, especially from Europe. This summer will be busy, but busy in a good way, I think鈥攈opefully not overwhelming like last semester. So I hope you will keep reading the blog, or if you are new to this corner of the web, come back often or subscribe to the RSS feed!

Texas, Our Texas!

Today is Independence Day in Texas, and it makes me miss my homeland. It’s been 175 years since we won independence from Mexico, and in honor of this holiday I am posting the lyrics to our state song, along with a very nice video.

Texas, our Texas! all hail the mighty State!
Texas, our Texas! so wonderful, so great!
Boldest and grandest, withstanding every test
O Empire wide and glorious, you stand supremely blest.

God bless you, Texas! And keep you brave and strong,
That you may grow in power and worth, throughout the ages long.