Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Gone Zoomin’!

Well, they’ve broken me down. I am still a Circuit City shopper. This means that I am yet poor and CC still has pretty good sales every so often. But it seems that CC has heard my whining and now has service in stock! And as I’m a sucker for second chances, I went down to CC for something I’ve had my eye on for quite awhile! It’s also been one of the things I’ve been saving up for, so this shopping trip was extra nice!

So the CC ban might be aborted yet.

I got my first of two camaras I’ve been saving for, the Olympus Stylus 1010! It went on sale earlier this month.

I wanted the Olympus to check out its weather-proof capabilities. The Stylus series has two categories: the regular and the SW. SW stands for shockproof and waterproof. I would’ve wanted to check out the SW ‘cuz as much as I try to be careful with my gadgets, I can be a little rough with them. And it would be cool to be able to take pics underwater! But with the SW doesn’t come much zoom. It only has +0.6X more optical zoom than old camara; not much of an upgrade.

I was considering getting another Sony so I wouldn’t have to buy more memory, or a Nikon to match the other camara I’m saving for, either one with 5x zoom. Then I saw the [regular] Stylus with 7x zoom and the drooling began! So did the saving….

It came on sale at CC and I went. I browsed for a few minutes, then caught the attention of a salesperson. He asked if I was being helped; give CC one point. I told him what I had come for and he got it; another point. He asked if I would need extra memory and helped me there also; two points. He wrung it up, I paid, and I was out the door! He was very pleasant as he helped me so another 2 points for good attitude.

I could barely wait to get to the car before getting it out of the box! Good thing Mom had taken me so she could drive and I could play with my new toy! :D

And I’ve been taking photo after photo since. I am very pleased with toy! It has been as I’ve expected.

And yes, my fingers still haven’t learned to stop typing [cam-E-ra] in Spanish!


Old: Sony Cybershot DSC-92
3x optical zoom; 5MP; 1.5" LCD
1.3 x 4.7 x 2.2; 9.4 oz.
5 shooting modes

New: Olympus Stylus 1010
7x optical zoom; 10MP
2.7" hyperscrystal LCD
0.99 x 3.9 x 2.2; 4.8 oz.
27 shooting modes
dual image stabilization
photo numbering

Olympus Stylus 1010

Here are some of the shots I’ve taken with the Stylus so far:

Megamouth, "Whatchu lookin' at, Bub?"

From here...

...all the way to here! That's what I call ZOOM! :D

Date with Jules

Kia will slobber you to death if provoked. Actually, she'll do that even when unprovoked.

I love white flowers!

The Fuller Family. Baby Zeke's mesmerized by Daddy's guitar skills.

I also love orchids! Though I prefer the live ones.

Monday, August 25, 2008

It Was Like Being At The Oscars!

Wait for it….

August 15 and 16, the Friday and Saturday before this past, I attended the 2nd annual Hawai‘i Apologetics Conference. It was held at the International Baptist Church in Nu‘uanu. I was invited to go with Uncle Mike and Aunty Shirlynne because they know that I have an interest in apologetics. All I’m gonna say is, I went to the conference by myself.

But there were other familiar faces in attendance. Friday night, KUC Elder Mr. Nagasaki sat in front of me with his family. Several former KUC-ans who had left with church plants were there, Pastor Owen and his wife, Jon Ching, Uncle Wayne, and others. Mr. Hugh Dunn happened to sit next to me. The last time I really got to talk to him, he had 2 kids. Hugh and Joanna now have FOUR little ones! I’ve missed a lot. Saturday night I went also by myself, but sat with Ms. Kawamura, Clara and Nobu [KUC].

The speakers for both nights were Dr. Norman Geisler and Pat Zukeran, two very intelligent men full of good humor. On Friday, Dr. Geisler spoke on the reliability of the Bible; Pat Zukeran gave answer to whether or not Christianity borrowed from pagan myths. On Saturday, they spoke on the attacks on the Bible and conspiracies of the cross.

Both nights were full of good information and thinking. I had heard before of the issues that they had addressed, and had heard pieces of the answers here and there from various sources, but it was very helpful to have the answers together in one concise session. I had wondered what is the truth about the pagan myth argument, so that was very good for me to hear. They went a little quickly, but hopefully I retained enough of their teachings to be able to pass them on later.

To illustrate a very small part of the humor during the conference, during the Q&A session they were asked, “why did God create the forbidden tree?” After giving the straight answer, Dr. Geisler added, “It wasn’t the apple on the tree that got us into trouble; it was the pair [pear] on the ground!”

Tables were set up outside with books by both men. Pat Zukeran is also a radio host for the Evidence and Answers program; some CD sets on various topics handled on the show were also for sale. I had browsed the tables on Friday night, but decided to wait and come back on Saturday to purchase anything. I was aware of Dr. Geisler’s books and had wanted to purchase a particular one for some time, but with the Big D I haven’t had much time for leisure books.

Good thing I waited. On Saturday before the conference began, I picked up one book from both authors. As I paid for them, Dr. Geisler came outside. He signed my book, asked my name and shook my hand! I met Dr. Geisler! That’s my big “celebrity” moment. I didn’t even have to ask for his signature :D . But then that made me a little hesitant to ask for a photo with him, he having already been gracious with his time. Still, that was cool!

That’s not the Oscar part yet; here it comes. On Saturday, they had everyone put their name in a bowl. Between the sessions, they pulled names for door prizes. Two breaks, three prizes of one CD set handed out each break. The third name called…was MINE! Seriously, I was sitting there hoping my name would be called ‘cuz hey, who doesn’t wanna win free stuff? But also, it’s my kinda “geek” prize. I’d rather win the CD set than a store gift card or something.

So I went up for my prize which happened to be one of the sets I was considering buying. It’s a 4-CD set on Islam. If anyone would like to borrow it and find out why Islam is different from Christianity, let me know! You might have to leave a deposit so that I’m assured of having the set returned though!

Then during that break, people were coming up to me to congratulate me! Even people I didn’t know! Small kine self-celebrity moment! :D

During the second break, three more names were called. One of the winners was Clara, another KUC-an. Then Uncle Wayne won a set also! So KUC [and related persons] came out with 3 of 6 prizes, 50% of the wins!

The highlight is still having met Dr. Geisler. I’m a geek, I love smart people! What can I say? Other than one of my history professors who taught us from the book he authored, this was the only time I was able to meet an author in person!

Next year’s conference will focus on the cults and world religions, definitely something I want to learn more about the differences. Anyone interested? The conference was free and the chance to meet well-known authors and speakers like Dr. Geisler right here in Hawai‘i is a chance worth taking.


Links to Dr. Geisler and Pat Zukeran's ministries
Dr. Norman Geisler

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Tough & Tender

Mom’s birthday is around this time. To protect her identity…scrap that. To soothe my paranoid phantoms, I’m posting this not on her actual birthday…or am I?

I’ve got issues and back issues but moving on…

Always the observer, lately I’ve come to the notion that I have the perfect mother. I don’t mean that my mom’s perfect, but that she’s the perfect mom for me. I know a few great mothers out there whom are everything anyone might want in a mother, but I most likely would have been lost if I had been born to them. Does that make sense?

Mom’s never really been the kind that has the spotless house with fresh baked cookies ready when we kids got home. But what she has, I wouldn’t trade for cookies. Let me see if I can illustrate….

I think of it as my mom having the right balance of tenderness and firmness to raise me specifically. I don’t think my parents ever worried so much about my brother ‘cause he was the kind of child parents probably want; extremely intelligent with a good sense of sociability, respectful and obedient, a determined finisher my brother is.

I was/am the strong-willed child.

Wanna know why my mom never had the clean house? Or the cookies? Look upon me! If you ask her, she won’t deny it either. She’ll tell you that she had a time raising me. She’s already asking that I have a daughter of my own, exactly in my image, or worse! [Yeah, no one’s gonna wanna marry me now! ;) ]

Mom never shrunk from her duties as co-disciplinarian of me which did help me to come into control of myself as I grew up. At the same time, I always knew she loved me. Anytime I had my black-hole days, which probably scares her to no end, she willingly let go of the discipline line and was just with me. I rarely let even her know when I’m in the black-hole, but she witnessed a few by timing and did exactly what I needed her to do.

And we laugh. A lot. AT EACH OTHER! Especially now. Here’s a kinda recent thing; I’ve been growing out my hair for something and it annoys me at times so I often do anything to put it up and off my shoulders. I had it in a weird configuration at home one day. Mom looked at me and just started laughing. I mean, roaring! My reply; “What are you laughing at? You made me!” Her reaction to my reply, MORE LAUGHING!

And, I absolutely adore her. She is a great voice of encouragement for me. Nobody has to tell me that I’ve got a gem of a mother, but I hear it all the time. I get such a sense of pride when I hear it.

Happy birthday Mom! And MAHALO.

Perfect Brother, Perfect Mother, and the Strong-Willed Child.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Looking for the Trump Card

What would it take to stay with a particular church?

I had an entry ready and waiting a long time to be posted about why I’m with KUC. I had a list of reasons. I can’t in good conscience post it.

Few of you know I had taken a leave of absence from any church for a few years. I would pop my head in the doorway here and there but I didn’t stay. I can’t get into that here.

It was God who brought me back this past December. This time was vastly different from any other time I tried going to church on my own. I looked forward to Sundays. I woke up on Sunday excited about going to church. I’m not quite sure what a holy Sabbath would be in these days, but as much as possible I set Sundays aside for worshipping God and doing His work without the distractions that seem so necessary on any other day of the week. [Don’t get my view of Sunday as it being the ONLY day I worship and do His work].

The trump card on that list of reasons for KUC was that God wanted me at KUC. If you’d have asked me up to a couple days ago why I remain with KUC, I would’ve said without hesitation that it’s because God wants me there. I didn’t feel it; I knew it to be so. In fact I said exactly that when I saw an old friend on Friday.

I’m writing this on Sunday and I’m not so sure anymore. It pains me so much to say this because I love KUC. It’s not a perfect church; there’s no such thing. As Uncle Mike likes to say, “If there was a perfect church, I’d ruin it!” KUC is where my heart is. This isn't at all about wanting to leave KUC; I don't.

I woke up this morning excited to be on my way to church. It’s the late afternoon, I’m at home writing this, and I am so…I can’t find the word for it at the moment.

I suppose I could feel excited about going to any church on any day.

I’m not so attached to KUC that I will stay there at any cost just to be stubborn. I could; stubborness is what kept me there even after all my friends had moved on. At the moment, KUC doesn’t provide enough on its own for what I need to continue growing as a Christian, but I’ve been resourceful and have been able to supplement what I’m not getting. I’m not concerned with finding the church that has all the programs and such that I want. I’m not looking for the church where I can make the most friends.

I would love to have the attitude of one of the elders. He said that as long as the church [KUC] wasn’t blasphemous or straying from biblical truths, he and his family would stay with the church. Any other problem can be worked on and dealt with. [I wish I could recall exactly how he said it ‘cuz it was so much better than this]. I had said something along those lines before hearing that and it is the mindset that I held for a long time.

But none of that trumps God’s plan. I don’t care about the programs. I don’t care how well the pastor tells a good story. I don’t care what others might say. If God says to stay with KUC, I will. I had never heard anything from God that clearly before.

But if He should say that I should leave...well.

I don’t know if it’s God’s plan for me to be with KUC anymore. I don’t know that I’ve completed what He wanted me to do there, but I….

I knew this wouldn’t be easy, but I never realize how hard things will get.

Please pray for me, that I be given direction again. Obviously I have a lot of thinking, and listening, to do.

Thank you.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

And Now, Back To the Regularly Scheduled Programming

Or something. I can’t remember what the regular program was. Anyways…

After all the [IMPACT] summer activities were over, I thought things would calm down for me and I’d be back to 24/7 thesis. Wrong. August is more of the same, busy! And still 24/7 thesis.

But, also a lot of fun along the way!

A Month of Appreciation

For the month of August, KUC is celebrating its 95th anniversary! Which includes a special anniversary choir full of seasoned singers from previous choirs and anyone else who’d like to make a joyful noise! I am no longer “THE Young One” of the group. Romina is a sophomore in high school who often sings in the praise band with her mother and they sing very well together. Then I think I’m the next youngest.

Mr. and Mrs. Randy Hongo are leading the AC [anniversary choir]. They chose several classic hymns, like “To God Be The Glory” and “Jesus Paid It All.” I think he thinks we’re also going to try the Hallelujah Chorus. All of the songs seem to be in the very high range. Even in 2nd soprano I’m straining but that’s not gonna stop me! “Battle Hymn” is on the list, of which I love the words, and “Hosanna” which we sang for the past Easter performance and was/is also one of my favorites.

Sunday and Wednesday nights are also times of praise. These are special services where many come and sing old hymns, contemporary praise songs, and give testimonies of God’s goodness and grace. Anytime I get to sing, I’m there!

All of August, we also have a guest pastor, Pastor Stan Johnson who had been the pastor for KUC back in the 60s/70s. He’s 80 and going strong!

The main celebration will be from Aug 22- 24. Click on the picture for a larger view of the announcement.
To Be Young Again

Parents, hide your children.

Since May, I’ve been supporting the youth department of KUC. Back in March, Mr. K had asked if I’d be interested in helping out. I said I’d think about it. At the time, I was in my first adult Sunday school class and it was going through The Truth Project. It was a good class! I didn’t wanna miss out on any of the videos.

And I thought about the YD. And thought. And thought a little more. I’d been trying to find something more to do with church than sing in the choir, not that singing in the choir is a small thing at all. In past conversations with Apple, I always thought that she would be working with youth someday. It seemed to be an interest of hers, and she’s way more patient than I am. She's better suited for the position.

And I suppose, I’m still learning to trust myself. With God’s guidance, I’m still working on things.

Well, I prayed about it and it seemed as if working with the YD was the best idea. I’m not sure why it made sense to me; all I can say is that it must’ve been from God ‘cause I can’t explain it. I kept recalling CareBear and how she had been such a great influence for me when I was a youth, and still continues to be one. I suppose this is my time to pass the gift along?

And, God always gives us what we need to do His work.

So my involvement began the first Sunday in May. Then it led to helping out with [IMPACT], which was a good opportunity for me to get to know the kids and have them see that I’m committed to being around for them. Just read the previous entries. I also sat in with classes to support Joel and Mr. & Mrs. K.

I think I’m doing alright so far. ? *shrugs*
Blog Hog

*shakes head* I still don’t like the sound of the word “blog.” Whatever.

Beginning at the end of July, I have officially been deemed the [IMPACT] Historian. It came from the fact that I was blabbing about the HYSO hosted by [IMPACT] on here. Let’s face it; I like writing, when I get a chance.

So [IMPACT] people have had some access to this blog because I thought I’d share what I had written. I wasn’t sure if I would write something for each HYSO activity, but I was able to.

Now in order for this journal to become more private and personal again, and at the request of [IMPACT] leaders, [IMPACT] now has its own blog site! And guess who’s administrating it? Yup, ME! Well, for the mean time. This should be good! Check out the link to the left; all of the entries I had written for the HYSO have already been reposted there so you can read what I and [IMPACT] have been up to this past summer.
Culture Moment

August first, Brother treated me to sushi and a show! We saw the Hawai’i Opera Theater’s “A Little Night Music” at the Blaisdell. I had no idea what the show was about but it was fantastic! It reminds me a bit of Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing,” which is also fantastic so read or watch it. The actress who portrayed the actress Desiree [pronounced De-zee-ray] in “Night Music” was wonderful!
What Else?

Um, as I’ve said earlier, things haven’t really died down at all and most likely never will! But that’s okay. Hopefully I’ll get to writing/ posting entries soon about Mom, Kaya, and my new toy!

Mahalo for allowing me the two weeks break! Come back again!