Google Simply Katherine, a Christian on campus: July 2011

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Christians on Campus - Global Young Leaders Conference

This is my most recent post for the Christians on Campus series. So I flew to Washington D.C. to be at the 12-day Global Young Leaders Conference (GYLC). 

Global Young Leaders Conference
That was my first global event ever! There were high school students from the U.S., Greece, Brazil, the U.K., Indonesia, Australia, China, South Korea, just to name a few. To be honest, I was quite overwhelmed meeting young people from so many different cultures all at once. Like I said, that was literally the "globalization" of my personal universe.

During those twelve days, I sure learned a lot about countries, cultures, natural resources, human resources, poverty, politics, and the intermingling of all these boxed into an entity called, The United Nations. 

GYLC tried to gather young people from all over the world to learn leadership skills and exchange ideas with top business leaders, diplomats, journalists, lobbyists, and many more within the global context. So I had many interactions with these people from all over the globe and we were always put together to discuss global issues and come up with solutions on basically how to make the world a better place. 

Well, you know what, we came up with great ideas but extremely challenging if not impossible implementations! That's the best thing the knowledge of the world could offer. Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating a bit, but I soon realized that this was not the zenith of purpose. I don't know about others, but I wouldn't want to give my life to a good cause that leads to nowhere.

Actually this reminds me of an illustration I heard in one of the Christians on Campus' informal Bible studies. I forget who did the telling but basically it goes like this: will you fix a plumbing problem on a sinking titanic?

Now please don't misunderstand this rhetorical question. I'm not ignorant of all sorts of problems that we have both globally and locally. For sure, I'm not against anyone who has a calling to help trying to solve these problems. I'm not representing anyone either. This is simply Katherine's personal view - I believe that the solution goes deeper than a mere social/political/scientific approach to cure the world. What convinced me further was what happened to me before my plane took off New York City on August 14, 2003.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Please Refer My Blog to Your Families and Friends.

Dear readers,

It's been almost 5 months since I first started this blog. I started with no previous knowledge at all about blogging. The good thing is the Internet has made the learning curve easier. There are many helpful instructions, tips, and articles on how to start a blog and how to blog effectively. 

Thanks to all of you, I currently have about 50 subscribers to my blog. Well, I'm not aiming for mere popularity by continuing to boost traffic and subscription to this blog, but it'll be such a waste if others can't benefit from the life experiences that I've shared so far on this blog. I have several readers, young and older, who told me how they had appreciated the Christians on Campus and Conversations with Mrs. L series.  

This blog is actually written for quite a broad audience. I've made a commitment to produce consistent, original posts revolving around my personal experiences on faith and life in general. The overarching purpose of this blog is to illustrate how normal and human it is to live the Christian life, to have a personal relationship with our Lord Jesus and to fellowship with other Christians.

So once again, please help refer this blog to your families and friends. Also, not only by referring, you can support this blog by visiting, commenting (this is the interactive part of this blog - feel free to ask questions, mention concerns, drop in suggestions, etc), subscribing (i.e., via email subscription, feeds subscription, or follow my posts with Google Friend Connect), linking (you can add me to your blogroll or mention my link in your posts), sharing with your Facebook or Twitter accounts, and many more.

Thank you all!

Ready to write,

Simply Katherine

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Human Yet Divine

Continuing from my post on The Church Life Bubble

human yet divine
And so I was told that you could actually stay and learn the human life in the church life bubble, that I didn't have to explore what's out there to experience genuine human experiences. I kept this matter in my heart, but contemplating this past year, I'm amazed with how much I've learned by just being in the church life. Some of the things that I've learned to varying degrees this past year: making a fire pit, cutting tree branches (with a saw made of a blade tapped on an old hockey stick), statistics, event planning, personal finances, people/social skills, data entry, search engine optimization, blogging, then I also learned a lot from being around more mature Christians. They're my patterns. I'm learning not just about what they believe but also how they live in their family life, in their daily life, in their church life. I'm often touched with who they are, their heart, their willingness to go out of their way to help and shepherd others. 

In short, there is an abundance of genuine human experiences in the church life. It's pretty amazing. In the church life, you're not merely living the human life, but you're in the position to stay in the divine fellowship with God and with one another (1 John 1:3). I can testify that as I'm living my human life, my experiences have always been intermixed with many conversations with the Lord and much fellowship with these Christians, who are part of my "day by day" and "house to house" church life. So, often I can't tell whether I'm having a human experience or a spiritual experience. It's both! 

One of these days, I would have to share with you my conversations with another Christian lady. Many times when I ran into a problem, I would go to her to fellowship. Her answers have always been drawn out of her own human yet divine experiences. Those answers have stayed with me, kept me, and supplied me because they are not mere human words, they are words of a mingled life - human and divine.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Church Life Bubble

This post is a continuation of my previous post, "My Recent Trip to Chino Hills, California." 

church bubble
I asked him if I should go out there and explore the world to find experiences that I wouldn't be able to learn in the church life bubble. So in response, he had this big smile on his face and said, "Katherine, I hope to stay in this church life bubble all my life!" I tried to reiterate my thought, "You mean, you can learn everything here?" He nodded in an emphatic way; it was a strong "yes, you definitely can" kind of nod. I didn't quite understand at that point, why he said that.

So back to the two ladies in Chino Hills. They heard the story that I just told you about. One of them nodded her head with agreement; the other shook her head and said, "There's nothing out there. Only pains and disappointments." I wasn't expecting such responses, but I began to understand why. These two middle-aged ladies had lived their lives and come to the conclusion that there was nothing else worth giving their lives to but the church life bubble. They mentioned how I was blessed to be in it from a very young age. I sensed the weight of "I wish I knew about this church life sooner" from both of them. The conversation left a deep impression within me. The answer that I received several years ago from that elder had another dimension now. 

Actually, one of my friends (she wasn't a spiritual person, but I appreciated her frankness) told me, "Katherine, if you're going out there because you want to experience failures (i.e., "human" experiences), don't." 

Guess what, this is only one side of my story on this conversation. To be continued, everyone! (Click here to go to my next post, Human Yet Divine)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

My recent trip to Chino Hills, California.

A week ago, I was in California, attending a Christian summer training (Note: the training is almost like an intensive topical study of the Bible; this time it was called "The Crystallization-Study of the Book of Psalms: Part 1"). The weekend before the training began, I visited Chino Hills with a handful of pursuing Christians from Japan, who were also attending the same training. Yes, every time I go to one of these training, I always meet new friends who are also Christians from all over the globe. This time the attendees of the summer training came from 49 different countries.

Back to Chino Hills, so I met two middle-aged ladies (one was originally from Brazil and the other from Norway) there during lunch after our church gathering in the morning. We were eating delicious Chinese food and were engaged in a quite profound conversation. I was sharing with them about how I always wondered how life would be outside of the church life bubble that I'm currently living in. At the end of my senior year in college, I actually had a fellowship with an elder in the church. I told him, "I feel like I'm living in a bubble, in this church life, all my life. Don't you think I need to learn some experiences in the real world out there?" 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Christians on Campus - Activities, Fellowship, and the Homes

Continuing from my recent post in the Christians on Campus series: 

My mom and grandma went to Austin with me. I came about a month earlier than the beginning of the school semester to attend the Global Young Leaders Conference in Washington D.C. and New York City. I spent about a week in Austin with my mom and grandma, then I left them with some dear Christians in the community around the UT campus. These Christians were volunteers who helped support Christians on Campus activities and fellowship. 

Christians on Campus also had home gatherings, the home meetings, all around town in the evenings. They would eat dinner together, sing some songs, and have some informal fellowship in these Christian homes. I went to one, I think right before I left to Washington D.C. During that gathering, I came to realize how these people truly loved the Lord and desired to live their lives according to the Bible, to the Word of God.

global young leaders conferenceI still felt like dreaming, not believing the fact that I was going to live there in Austin for, at least, the next 4 years of my life. Living so far away from home, what would become of me? I was re-assessing why I was where I was.  

So I went to this Global Young Leaders Conference, where young leaders came from all over the earth, with a thought to evaluate the knowledge of the world and the worth of going global (in my case, my life-to-be in Austin would totally broaden my horizon, it would be the globalization of my life).

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Conversations with Mrs. L - Just Live a Simple Life

Please click here to see my previous post for context.

As we were sitting there face-to-face, Mrs. L leaned forward to answer my question. I tried to brace myself, anticipating a mind-blowing answer. Her expression was permeated with a mix of gravity and approval (I guess from my openness to ask and learn). Mrs. L would never tell you what to do in life, but I had this sense that she was always ready to impart something into you if you had the right key to open her treasure storehouse.

simple life
She looked into me and said, "Just live a simple life, Katherine." She paused for a second then continued, "If someone else has something, that doesn't mean you need to have that same thing. If someone just bought something, that doesn't mean you have to buy it too." What? That was not mind-blowing at all, but at the same time, it was!

I nodded. Coming from a ninety year old person, that answer had greatly impacted my being. You know what, these exact words, "Just live a simple life, Katherine," have saved me again and again from coveting, from entangling myself with lustful desires and with them, of course, their further complications. You know, complications such as you get exceedingly irritated when you can't get what you want. Yes, been saved many times from that. I'm not saying that I'm there yet, but I appreciate so much how Mrs. L had sown that seed within me. It was not a mere advice, Mrs. L had imparted the kind of person she was into my being.

Also this seed has continually saved me from the ever-changing trend of lifestyle, the tide of the age.