At night, as he sat in the dark listening to the sound of the turtle-dove in the trees, he felt the face of Christ looking intently at him. The clear blue eyes were gentle with compassion; the features were tranquil; it was a face filled with trust. ‘Lord, you will not cast us away any longer,’ he whispered, his eyes fixed upon that face. And then the answer seemed to come to his ears: ‘I will not abandon you.’ Bowing his head he strained his ears for the sound of that voice again; but the only thing he could hear was the singing of the turtle-dove. The darkness was thick and black. Yet the priest felt that for one instant his heart had been purified.
~ Shusaku Endo, Silence (an excerpt from Chapter 6)
In my last piece for this blog, I had very clearly stated that I was moving away from mainstream Christianity and “becoming” a deist. Here, I want to clarify further by what I had written and published a little over 2 months ago:
One sunny Friday back in April of this year, I did not expect to be welcomed again by the Roman Catholic students at UC Berkeley. But that is exactly what happened—not only did I feel welcomed by the group, the ladies tabling that day out on Sproul Plaza were amazed not only by how much knowledge of the Church and its teachings I have committed to memory; but also led to one of the girls (also my former classmate from 3 years prior) to exclaim that it was “a sign that God has appointed you to be here.”
Truer words had never been spoken, because within a matter of weeks, I started going back to Mass more, praying the Holy Rosary and even going to my first Confession.
But just when everything looked like rainbows and butterflies, tragedy struck home when our last male cat, Lennie, was seized by Animal Control authorities and euthanized on June 2, 2018.
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are of God; for many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit which confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, 3 and every spirit which does not confess Jesus is not of God. This is the spirit of antichrist, of which you heard that it was coming, and now it is in the world already.
~ 1 John 4:1‒3 (RSVCE)
It’s painful for me to even consider writing this piece—as I know it may be deemed heretical in the eyes of many of my most devout Protestant and Catholic friends and family alike—but over this past summer, I have been experiencing severe psychological, emotional and spiritual burnout. Although I will add that I have been mentally planning to write such an op-ed as this one for at least a year’s time now.
But just a few months prior, many were expecting me to take a magical leap of faith as I had finally decided to go to my very first Confession in a Roman Catholic setting—despite being raised a Pentecostal Protestant. Of course, if Confession wasn’t intimidating enough, then taking the Eucharist should be even more so. Because if there is one thing Catholics are doctrinally right about, it’s that they earnestly and honestly look at the Host (bread) and wine as more than mere symbols of Christ’s body and blood.
THEY ARE HIS BODY AND BLOOD.
“If when I die, I am still a dictator, I will certainly go down into the oblivion of all dictators. If, on the other hand, I succeed in establishing a truly stable foundation for a democratic government, I will live forever in every home in China.”
~ Former KMT President and Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek/蔣中正 (1887‒1975)
Though it’s nearly been a year since Trump and his administration have taken office—for those who know me very personally, including close friends and family, I rarely address Donald Trump as President because I see him as incredibly scandalous and unfit to hold the title, an incompetent strategist, a public liar, etc.—as 2017 dawned, media reports began to immediately flood the mainstream with stories of Trump’s ties to Russia and the mega-Tsarist Putin; the year that I have had to witness #AlternativeFacts and #MakeAmericaGreatAgain trend on Twitter and Facebook; and the year when Confederate flag-toting ignorant hillbillies militaristically marched through Charlottesville and chanted, “Blood and soil” (no need to give any news links to this last one).
On the other side of the ocean, however, we see a remarkably polar opposite movement of dissidents emerge in Taiwan: Tsai Ing-wen of the Democratic Progressive Party won the popular vote by nearly 2-1, displacing the Kuomintang (國民黨) once again since 2008. But two years have somehow tragically passed since the first woman has ascended the office of the Presidency of the Republic of China (or should I instead say Republic of Taiwan?)—and surprisingly, if y’all have been keeping score at home will realize an eerie parallel is emerging.
Disclaimer: I have not been endorsed by either Firaxis Games or 2K to write this game review. These are only my individual thoughts on my perceptions of the game, and solely my own. I do not intend to monetize or sell anything from posting this critique. Thank you, Happy Holidays and enjoy!
The government should help and guide the weak and small racial groups within its national boundaries toward self-determination and self-government. It should offer resistance to foreign aggression, and simultaneously, it should revise foreign treaties in order to restore our equality and independence among the nations.
Let me ask all of you, my fellow readers a simple question: Who in history do you think wrote or has spoken the following quotation above?
Former President Barack Obama? How about FDR during the WWII years?
Still stumped? Well, I’ll only reveal who this mystery man is near the end of this piece—so y’all are gonna have to patiently wait as you sit and read another geek’s long, monotonous blog review. (just kidding) 😉
As many of you may or may not know, I myself am a proud avid gamer—in addition to being a college student now at UC Berkeley. Video and computer games have been a fundamental part of my life as much as attending Sunday church services with my family (but especially as a child), summer camps, hanging out in Hawaii that one Winter Break back in 1995; and more.
The fact of the matter is, I have to thank my father and many of my schoolmates I’ve come to know over the past decade—perhaps even two—for introducing me to the world of online gaming. No, I’m not talking about Warcraft or League of Legends; though I am consciously aware these two titles have been huge hits for years as well.
It’s a well-known fact (if not downright stereotyping) that Koreans in particular love their Lol, but I’ll never understand why or how… 😜
I have, myself, full confidence that if all do their duty, if nothing is neglected, and if the best arrangements are made, as they are being made, we shall prove ourselves once again able to defend our Island home, to ride out the storm of war, and to outlive the menace of tyranny, if necessary for years, if necessary alone. At any rate, that is what we are going to try to do….
Even though large tracts of Europe and many old and famous States have fallen or may fall into the grip of the Gestapo and all the odious apparatus of Nazi rule, we shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender…
~ Sir Winston Churchill, British Prime Minister, June 4, 1940
Been well over a year since I have taken some time to post anything, but since last year’s elections still upset me even now, I’ve finally decided to roast Trump and his cabinet.
(Inspired by Spoken Word artists on YouTube and people I’ve met here in Berkeley) 🙂
Take a look: Continue reading
You’re supposed to be different and be a little weird. It’s not a bad thing, we’re not meant to be the same.
~ Christina Grimmie
I know I had previously announced that I would stop writing for a while, but something very tragic that happened barely less than 72 hours ago broke my fragile heart and made me scream horrendously inside. During what had seemed like another Saturday morning soon turned into my weekend of perpetual darkness and grief as I had read that Christina Grimmie was shot and killed by a man who had purported to hate Christians.
An article in The Santa Monica Observer displays the following headline:
“Crime may be investigated as a hate crime. The Voice singer was outspoken in her Christian faith” 
If you are reading this, I am semi-retiring this blog. I am not very active with it, and only come back to it if friends and family happen to reference it or remind me this blog still happens to exist. But I am officially putting it into hiatus.
My apologies to everyone who has enjoyed reading my posts these past few years, but I have finally decided of putting this thing into the Internet Archives. All my old posts will still be here though, don’t worry.
And for those who would still like to contact me, e-mail and Facebook are preferred.
Joshua Chen 🙂
Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.[b] Curds and honey He shall eat, that He may know to refuse the evil and choose the good. For before the Child shall know to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land that you dread will be forsaken by both her kings.
~ Isaiah 7:14 ‒ 16 (NKJV)
Aside from Easter, Lent, Chinese New Year and the Mid-Autumn Festival, the Holidays have always been my favourite time of year. As a child, I remember cherishing every Christmas Day morning, waking up to see presents sitting under the tree, and Christmas evening, reflecting on the birth of the Christ child and His nativity.
Every year, I also commemorate and celebrate my own birthday, with family beside me. But as the years go by, my birthday wishes have graciously evolved with me. Instead of asking Santa Claus for the latest toy, computer game, or DVD, I have increasingly taken the time to think about college (and my life after it), my finances and the future.
And… to be honest with you, the future is a very scary afterthought.
With my family putting the same expectations on me since I was that little boy sitting around our gargantuan TV in the family room, watching Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and of course, Phineas and Ferb’s Christmas Vacation (a nod to Peanuts as well)—every Christmas seems to feel more burdensome.
Had the inspiration to write this while thinking of something catchy and jingly in my sleep this morning. Yes, I sleep-write and think too. A one-shot poem that I originally was thinking of turning into a rap. Enjoy! 😀
If I had come out sooner, four years ago, what would you have said?
Would you have embraced me, or shook your head in dismay?
Roll your eyes disgustingly, and yell, “Be gone filthy sinner! You are no longer welcome to stay!”
As I would have curled up into a minuscule ball and cry,
Sob and wail so loud from the depths of my heart
God, do You still love me? 😭