Google Simply Katherine, a Christian on campus: June 2011

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Conversations with Mrs. L - How to Live


how to liveFollowing a request from a reader to continue on Conversations with Mrs. L, I want to share with you my old plain question that I had asked Mrs. L about a year ago. You have to understand the context of this question though. So here we go. Mrs. L is a ninety-some year old experienced Christian. Her husband passed away about 14 years ago, but everyone knew that Mrs. L was a devoted wife. She had faithfully rendered the utmost aid to her husband and to her husband's ministry (in his lifetime, Mrs. L's husband was truly a minister of Christ). Long story short, I was curious to know how Mrs. L had lived her life thus far. The question was, "Mrs. L, how do you live? How do you think I should endeavor to live?" 

People in this generation pride themselves in their lifestyles, don't you think? Now consider, Mrs. L is a person who has passed through all these different tides of lifestyle trends throughout the years. When you meet Mrs. L, she's like this immovable, solid, weighty person that would intrigue your mind. She would make you wonder: how has she lived, how does she live, what can I learn from her about living this life, etc. 

"So Mrs. L, please tell me, how to live," I asked. 


(to be continued, click here for the answer)

Monday, June 27, 2011

Editorial Break!

Dear all,

Sorry for the long delay for my next post. It'll be coming soon, meanwhile please explore my archives. You can also request topics, just drop me a comment on this post. Please suggest what would you like to read about on my next post: Christians on Campus, Conversations on Mrs. L, a scientific blog post, etc.

Let me know, everyone!

Ready to write,

Simply Katherine

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Christians on Campus - Austin, Texas

Continuing from my post Christians on Campus - Transitioning into CollegeI applied to UT McCombs School of Business since I was headed toward the business field, but guess what, my application got denied. I knew it was a tough business school to get into but getting denied from the only school I wanted to enroll in was a total blow.

My parents, siblings, and all of my relatives began to worry about me, about my college career, about my future. My dad couldn't stop thinking how behind I was compared to my high school friends, who were already in freshmen in college. My grandma was worried if I would ever go to college. My siblings were wondering what I would do everyday with no school, no work, nothing. Usually other people's opinions would have so much weight on my decision-making, but I was clear within my being that I needed to do everything I could to get to Austin, Texas. 

Christians Austin Texas

My last option was to apply to a community college in Austin. Everyone was not so happy about this decision. My family expected me to go to a four-year college right away. My high school teachers expected me to go to a prestigious university. Yet it was my choice, or shall I say, I knew within that my destination was already marked. I got accepted to Austin Community College. 

So here I come, Austin, Texas. Here I come, Christians on Campus. So here I come, Lord.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Simply Katherine's Notes

Dear new readers,

I have posted many solid contents in the past few months. I think it's a good time to pause so that I can help you get oriented with my blog. To those who would like to follow, I'm trying to make it easier for you to choose with what platform you'd like to follow my posts. On the top right corner, you have the options to subscribe via email or feeds. Then you'd have to confirm who you are with your email address, Facebook, or Twitter account.

I usually blog about thoughts and ruminations on life. I'm a Christian, so many times my perspectives on life reflect what I believe and whom I have believed into. But sometimes I marvel on the facts of life that keep pointing to the same direction, the ultimate purpose of human existence itself. And it has something to do with God.

I have two popular mini-series on my blog: Christians on Campus and Conversations with Mrs. L. Both revolve around my life as a young Christian. They are factual stories based on my real experiences of learning and growing in life. You can check out my older posts either by going through my blog archives or go to any category that you'd find interesting. The archives are located on my right column, while categories are located on the top navigation bar of this website. 

I greatly appreciate your comments as well. Hopefully this can be a way for me to interact with you all. Please leave comments, ask questions, and share your responses. I'm more than willing to know what other people think about the topics I've blogged about. Also, if you want to swap links with me, please feel free to drop a comment on my newest post.  

Enjoy reading this blog! Thank you for all your support.

Keep it real, everyone! 

Simply Katherine

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Christians on Campus - Transitioning into College

eiffel tower
I've been a Christian all my life (click here for the previous post on Christians on Campus). That year I was an eighteen year old Christian, stuck in a transition period between high school and college. I tried to keep myself busy, I even went to follow my dad on his business trip to China and Europe. I was walking down the street in Florence, I saw Michelangelo's David and people walking in and out Louis Vuitton stores. Yet within I sensed a deep vanity. This kind of beauty did not satisfy my need. Since my being was not occupied with school, I began to take time to consider life - my life. Then I went to a college conference (although I wasn't a college student yet) hosted by a Christian club back home. Actually that Christian club is associated with Christians on Campus as well. I forget the name of the one back home.

Sitting in that room with hundreds of college students, I was truly searching for the meaning of my human life. What would be worth my life? Growing up, I somehow was trained to be an entrepreneur (long story) but I know for fact, just that by itself would soon turn into a vicious cycle of many complications. So I asked God:Where are You? Who are You? Who am I?

I don't remember much what was spoken in that college conference but it was on one of the books in the Bible, the Epistle of Paul to the Philippians. During one of the sessions, Philippians 3:8 filled my innermost being with a new sense of purpose. The verse says, "But moreover I also count all things loss on account of the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, on account of whom I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as refuse that I may gain Christ."

I was startled. I wondered in my heart, "Who is this Christ that the excellency of the knowledge of Him could cause a person suffered the loss of all things and counted them as refuse that he may gain Him?" That's it. That's the zenith of purpose. I would not settle for anything less, I decided that I had to know what this excellency was all about. The excellency that would be worth your whole life, your whole living, your whole being. So that was the beginning of my journey.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Christians on Campus - In Search for the Destination for My College Career

I feared living in a foreign environment, knowing no one whom I could trust. So this is how I heard about Christians on Campus. In her teens, my mom had a Christian mentor. She and this mentor became close friends throughout the years. Apparently this mentor's daughter had just entered senior year at UT

She told my mom how great it was to send her daughter to Austin, to be with these pursuing Christians. She specifically referred my mom to Christians on Campus. My mom went home and told me to consider Austin, Texas, as a possible destination for my college career. I looked it up, asked around about it, checked out the UT website online, and researched what Christians on Campus was all about. 

It was not like suddenly I knew everything about UT, Christians on Campus, or Austin but something within me caused me to drop everything else and focus to get into UT the next year (I already missed the deadline to apply for that fall semester). This was the beginning of my one-year waiting. I'll tell you more what's the real worth of this waiting period.     

sunrise austin
Sunrise from Pflugger Bridge (downtown Austin, Texas).

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Christians on Campus - The Reason I Went to College at UT Austin

Christian on Campus Austin
John 8:32 on the UT Tower in Austin, Texas

About Christians on Campus

For decades, members of Christians on Campus have endeavored to focus on Christ and Christ alone. In-depth Bible study, building up spiritual companions, and mutual fellowship in the homes are some among many highlights that characterize the club activities with Christians on Campus. 

My Experience with the Club

I'm not a paid marketer. I'm just a living testimony of how Christians on Campus has changed my human and spiritual life. I don't even know how to begin thanking the Lord for His mercy and sovereignty in placing me where I need to be, so that I can grow. This series of blog posts on Christians on Campus is just my personal testimony and experience as a young Christian in college, nothing more, nothing less. So let me begin here. 

Christians on Campus was the reason I went to UT Austin. After I graduated from high school, I had to go abroad for college (I'm from Southeast Asia) because I graduated with the International Baccalaureate Diploma. I couldn't apply to the national universities back at home. I submitted several applications to different universities in the U.S. but The University of Texas at Austin never cross my mind (although one of my high school teachers was a UT alumnus, a hardcore Texan). So I got accepted to one of the better business schools in the Midwest but on the day I had to go for a visa interview at the Consulate, my heart became very uneasy. That fall was going to be my first time living away from home. Away here means across the ocean, on the other side of the globe. 

"Katherine, you're late. What are you doing? Get down. We need to catch your appointment for the visa interview," my mom opened the car door and asked me to go inside the Consulate. I'm still not sure what happened then but I panicked and I said to her to the point of almost yelling, "I'm not going!" It was so strange, and my mom's reaction was also strange. She never scold me for my unreasonable act. She just took me to her office and I spent the day with her as if nothing happened. Now that I think about it, maybe at that time, she was quietly praying for me and the condition of my heart. 

This was the beginning of my searching. My searching for purpose and meaning. In my mind, that would determine why and where I should go to college. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Selah!

Dear all,

Just got back helping out with some freshman summer orientations at UT Austin, it's so hot out there! Need to keep myself well-hydrated. So this post is my selah, meaning I'm not going to write much of solid content.

I think I want to blog a series on my experience as a college student at UT Austin: how I got there, survived, strengthened, and went on. I also was involved with a well-known Christian organization, called Christians on CampusWhat do you all think?

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Conversations with Mrs. L - Can We Change? (Part 2)

Continuing from Can We Change? (Part 1) , Apple and I looked at each other, surprised that Mrs. L didn't directly answer but she asked me instead. Apple's question was "Can we change?" (please see the previous two posts for context). I turned back to Mrs. L and answered her, "Yes, we change." 
Mrs. L laughed again and she said, "That's right. That's right. We change." It's a metabolic change.

For those who are seeking the Lord, we get disappointed because we keep failing at being better Christians. On one hand, yes, it's true our fallen nature doesn't really change. Those who love to talk would still love to talk, those who love to be silent would still love to be silent. I'll give you an illustration. A toddler would throw herself on the floor and cry and scream to get someone's attention whenever she's having a bad day, hungry, unhappy, etc. Well, an adult could be having a bad day, hungry, unhappy, etc. but she would no longer throw herself on the floor and cry and scream to get someone's attention, would she? Humanly, people change because they become more mature in life.

can we change

Spiritually, it's the same way. Yes, we change but the changing within our being is not by imitation nor by outward efforts, it's by a metabolic change that causes us to grow to be more mature in the spiritual life (best illustration is to look at how our human body grows). 

We need to spiritually eat and drink to grow, to get the nutrients we need. Our true food and true drink is Christ Himself in His Word and as the Spirit. He is the Bread of life (John 6:35) and the water of life (John 4:14).

Friday, June 3, 2011

Conversations with Mrs. L - Can We Change? (Part 1)

we change
You might say, "Of course, people change all the time. Why can't human being change?" (click here to see the question) So let me give you a background for this question. We all know that it doesn't matter how hard we try self-improvement, we would fail miserably. By default, we live according to our make-up, which is a combination of both nature and nurture. If you're a quick-tempered person, no matter how hard you try, you're not going to turn into someone different. This is most accurate when I check with my own experience. So it is rather a depressing situation for a human being to get stuck in his/her own weaknesses. Yeah, this was the realm that Apple was getting into.

Mrs. L laughed when she heard the question, and then she turned to me and asked me, "What do you think, Katherine? Do you think human being changes?"

(to be continued, click here for Part 2 )

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Conversations with Mrs. L - My Friend's Question

Finally, I successfully convinced my friend, Apple, to visit Mrs. L. Apple mentioned once that her dad used to be Mrs. L's gardener. So I told Apple that she should introduce herself to Mrs. L. Mrs. L would love to see her. You see, there was this misconception in the neighborhood concerning Mrs. L. Because Mrs. L was way older than most of us living in that neighborhood, people thought she was a harsh, strict, spiritual lady. Or, many assumed Mrs. L would be too busy to get to know them. This was not my experience at all. When it was time for me to leave her house, Mrs. L would always walk with me to the door and she would always say: Come anytime. Whenever I'm here, my front door is always open.

open door
Something like this - a welcoming open door.
So I went with Apple to Mrs. L. I was right, Mrs. L sure remembered Apple's dad. He used to help taking care of her garden before he  got married to Apple's mom and moved to the Northwest area. The question of the day was from Apple. She asked, "Mrs. L, is it possible for someone to change throughout the years?"


(to be continued, click here for Can We Change?)