Go easy on me 2022.


2021 has been a very tough year. My 2021 accomplishment is that I’m still alive.

I finally graduated in 2021. It was a virtual ceremony because of the pandemic. While it was a moment that was supposed to bring me joy for accomplishing quite a feat (I mean it’s not every day one gets a PhD after all!), it somehow felt hollow. I wanted my moment when I walked down the aisle and shook hands and my picture with that piece of paper that I am still paying for! This pandemic has deprived me of these incredibly huge milestones, and I am very mad and sad about it.

I look around and I see so much division and strife. It’s very difficult not to get sucked into a never-ending cycle of outrage. As much as I’m the type of person that tries to keep up with everything, even I have had to stop because I must be careful about what I allow to enter my heart and mind and soul. This means, that from time to time, I’ve had to disengage from social media because of the toxicity so often prevalent in these platforms. It also means that I have to be more intentional about the books I read and the people I interact with because they have the potential to affect me either positively or negatively.

Because of this pandemic, I’ve had to spend a lot of time with myself. This has been a blessing and a curse. I have been made aware of how much my self-loathing attitudes permeate my very being. It’s not as if this is news to me, but I think I was just a bit taken aback at how much I really hate myself. This has made me really look at a lot of the lies that I believe about myself. Before, I would have things that can distract me from doing that type of internal work, but I can only distract myself for so long until I have to actually deal with it. Since I’m alone, I have no one to help distract me from doing the important inner work. I am yet again reminded how I cannot give that which I do not have. I can’t love others well if I can’t love myself well.

This has been a season of change. With that change comes a deeper realization of the many toxic lies I have allowed myself to believe about myself. It’s not about learning something new about myself but rather, a more profound understanding of how these lies have affected me over the years. I knew things were bad, but I didn’t know how it was that bad! Triggers are a good reminder that things I have sought to repress needs to be exposed to the light so I can properly heal from them.

I find myself sometimes seething with rage at the world around me that is so filled with injustices. However, this anger has also reminded me about the importance of gentleness and compassion. We are all not ok. Our bodies and minds are not meant to go through this much stress on a daily basis for such a prolonged period. When I get mad at myself because I have not been as “productive” as I should be, I have to stop myself and literally force myself to be kind to myself. I am not a machine. I am a human being.

This year, I am resolved to love my humanity, with all the flaws and imperfections that come along with it. I need to act from a place of confidence, not fear. I am not what I do. I am more than that. Following the Way means that peace, hope, and love are the traits that propel me forward, not doubt, insecurities, and fear.

Here’s to a more compassionate and joyful 2022.


Hello, 2021…

“Get thee behind me, 2020.”

To say that 2020 was an “unprecedented” year is to state the obvious. It has been tough to deal with.

Politically, the way that governments across the world reacted and responded to this pandemic is both shockingly inept but also, not surprising. This year more than ever, the gap between the rich and the poor was made plain to see. Local businesses faltered, closed up shop, and languished while Amazon made billions in profit. Big businesses were able to give out millions to their investors because of government aid while the mom-and-pop shops had to close forever. Stimulus checks are withheld from ordinary people who are unable to pay rent because they lost their jobs while money for missiles were cleared to go. COVID-19 disproportionately affected black and brown communities. The virus is not racist, but our society definitely is. The level of care given to racialized patients (or lack thereof) is yet another reminder that this belief that we live in a post-racialized society is not only false, but extremely dangerous. It allows for us to ignore the glaringly obvious: systemic racism is real, and it is not going away anytime soon.

Socially, our world was sadly reminded that black lives do not matter. George Floyd’s death sparked an outrage that the entire world felt. His death galvanized people to go out and protest. Peaceful protests turned deadly when the state forcibly removed, detained, tear gassed, and used rubber bullets on peaceful protesters just so the president of the United States can have his photo-op. Looters were condemned for destroying private property while the police were not condemned for destroying private lives. Breonna Taylor’s death, and the lack of justice that happened in the aftermath of her death, is another reminder that white supremacy is alive and well in the land.

Religiously, the way that churches have been incredibly divided in their response to this pandemic has also been rather glaring. Many churches advocated for the use of masks as a way to show their love for their neighbour. Meanwhile, there were also many churches who saw that masks were a way for them to be “controlled” by the government, and therefore must be avoided at all costs. Restrictions concerning the number of people who can gather in the church or during a lockdown, prevented others from gathering, was also met with this same divisiveness. There were some who listened and obeyed the governing authorities while there were some who were adamant in not obeying these governing authorities.

Personally, the way that this pandemic has affected the collective mental health of the population cannot be underestimated. In China, after the initial lockdown, the rate of filed divorces skyrocketed. The number of domestic abuse cases, suicides, and depression cases have risen exponentially during this time. People are suffering from being unable to see and touch their friends and loved ones.

There is so much divisiveness and polarization between people. Peace seems to elude us. However, I wonder if the peace we want is real. There seems to be this notion that “peaceful” means “the absence of conflict.” This is not true peace. True peace is expansive enough to allow for conflicting thoughts and ideas while maintaining unity and harmony. Unity is not uniformity. Peace cannot simply be “no fighting.”

This year, there will be no resolutions… only a resolve that we must do better. That I need to do better. I need to resolve to love the very people that I find completely despicable and unlovable. I need to listen more. I need to seek to understand others rather than making myself understood. However, I also need to be a better communicator and a more sensitive interlocutor. I need to remind myself that “a gentle answer turns away wrath.” This will be a constant challenge to me, especially when it is easier to use words to cut down others, rather than be patient with them. It also means confronting my own attitudes and figuring out ways to navigate the murky waters of insecurities and hurts I have experienced over the years. The hope is that by engaging in such work, I can also find peace within myself.

Here’s hoping and praying that 2021 is a year that is kinder and gentler than 2020 ever was. My hope is that in turn, we would also be kinder and gentler to ourselves and to others.


The End of the PhD Road

I’m not gonna lie. I wondered if I would ever reach this milestone. One by one, I saw my friends defend their dissertation and celebrate them passing the dreaded defence. We would go to the Phoenix and as per tradition, the chalice would come out along with free alcoholic beverage and a notebook where past students who have also attained this moment write down words of wisdom. There comes a point when jealousy sets in, when impatience sets in, and you wonder when is it your turn?

May 27, 2020 was one for the books. It was the day that the Lord has made for me to defend my dissertation. And let me tell you, every nightmare that I could think of that would happen during an online defence came true. I joined the Webex room and one by one, members of my dissertation committee came on. And then the technical difficulties started to happen. A member had their video working but not their audio. As they tried to fix it, another version of them popped up and now there’s feedback happening. More fixing led to a third version come up with a doubled loudness for the feedback. And I’m sitting there going, this is the type of technical glitches I was so afraid of and now was happening before my very eyes. Eventually, the glitches were taken care of.

And so the questions were asked and questions were answered. At some point, I think I realized that I was doing well. I had to remind myself that I wrote every single word and every single sentence. I agonized over every thought and concept and reference and footnote. I know this material since I wrote it. After answering questions for what felt like an eternity, I was put in a virtual lobby while they deliberated.

It’s the waiting that was probably the hardest part of the whole thing. Imagine… seven years of hard work distilled into a single moment. What if I failed? What if they thought that this dissertation was a joke, unworthy to be read by any reader? Once I was invited back, ready to hear the outcome, they gave some brief comments. The chair mentioned that I gave an excellent defence and that I did well. After hearing that, I was wondering if that meant I passed. If I defended well, then I should pass, right? But until I hear those words, I dare not expect too much. Finally, the time came when I heard “you passed!” Honestly, I just felt relieved. The whole process was overwhelming. I was so nervous, I wanted to vomit. Thankfully, I didn’t. There was this overwhelming sense of relief that I didn’t fail… that somehow I didn’t bring shame to myself, to my family, to my friends and to everyone who knew me.

Days after, I felt a new feeling. I didn’t know I was able to simultaneously have a fear of failure and fear of success. I felt like they would suddenly realize that they made a mistake and they were going to take it back. Turns out I was a failure after all. I passed because a glitch was made. It took the many encouragements of friends who have gone through this same feeling to tel me that it’s normal and that no, I earned it and I deserved it and I should enjoy it. Right now, I think I’ve stopped fearing that somehow it’s going to be taken away from me.

I thought I was going to feel differently. I don’t. I still have the same insecurities and hang-ups like before. The only difference is that now I’m a doctor. In some ways, I’m kinda happy that nothing changed in terms of how I felt. It is a reminder that there is nothing external or internal that can truly give me the peace I’m searching for. At the end of the day, it’s only God who can make me feel good about myself as he reminds me that he is pleased with me and that he loves me and cherishes me as his son.

I’m thankful for all my family, friends, and foes who have helped me be the person I am today. I’m thankful for all those who saw my success before I could. I’m thankful for those who doubted if I could ever make it. Both groups of people fanned the fire inside of me that moved me to work hard and achieve greatness. Most of all, I thank God, because without him I wouldn’t have been able to make it this far.

There’s something beautiful about closing this chapter of my life. Looking forward to what the future holds!


On the importance of community


From July 14-19, 2019, I had the opportunity to be a Teaching Fellow (TF) at the Pappas Patristic Institute’s summer program. This is my fifth year of going and I must say that it always is the highlight of my summer. Behold, how good and how pleasant it is, when brethren gather together in unity as we read texts that were alive and had the ability to cut me to the quick.

I took two courses this year. I was the TF for “Wealth and Poverty in John Chrysostom: An Anti-Prosperity Gospel” by  Dr Samantha Miller and a “functional TF” for “Theodicy: The Church Fathers on the Victory of God” by Dr. David Goodin. Let’s just say that these classes were a blast!

What I love and enjoy so much about Pappas is that it is the one place where people from diverse backgrounds can come together and truly wrestle with the texts that have been entrusted unto us. Some are in the Master’s or PhD program, while others are not in academia but members of the working world. Different ages, different genders, different experiences but all are united in their desire to learn more from those who have come before us. It is truly humbling to be surrounded by so many people who are so like-minded and like-hearted.

During our Chrysostom course, we were talking about wealth and poverty. The one thing that struck me was how different the church fathers approached a topic we would probably now call “social justice”. Chrystostom’s sermon concerning the poor was elicited by his own experience of walking in the marketplace during winter. He sees people with severed arms, gouged-out eyes and he was so pained at what he saw that he asks his congregation why are they not giving alms?!? He encourages them to give. However, it wasn’t a “give” that is based on ethics alone. He asks them to give because God has been merciful unto them and as a result of being a recipient of God’s mercy, so should we imitate God. For the church fathers, at the end of the day, the telos (end) is always theosis. Every thing, every situation, every event, has to teach us, challenge us, and shape us to be like Christ.

There were so many instances when I was reading my course reader when I wanted to scream at the words in front of me. I wanted to scream not because it was wrong… but because it was too right. I knew that the knowledge I was accruing was going to be used to convict me. The church fathers did not teach so that people can store and hoard knowledge. It was not supposed to be informative; instead, it was supposed to be transformative. If the information did not lead to transformation, then it was for naught.

It’s always a precious moment when people come together to wrestle with the spiritual truths imparted unto us by our spiritual forefathers. This learning community has moulded me, shaped me, and challenged me to adhere and abide in the One who has called me by name, and in whose Name I am now known.

Next year in Boston!






Tunes for Tuesday


Last week, I had a chance to reconnect with old friends. During our chat, we somehow ended up talking about Enneagram types and told me about this project by Sleeping at Last. Let’s just say that it was a song that rendered me speechless because I felt like someone who wasn’t me talked about everything that was me. (Video below)

Generally, 3s are known as the Achievers and are success-driven. Their basic fear is being worthless, and their basic desire is to feel valuable and worthwhile. I’m a textbook 3. We generally are very concerned about how people see us and so maintaining a desirable image is very important to us. The problem is that sometimes in our desire to make sure that everyone sees us in a certain way, the masks that we put on becomes so fixed, we can mistake it as our true face. Maybe that’s why this song resonated so deeply within me. I’ve always struggled with feeling “good enough” or having “done enough”. Growing up in an immigrant Asian family context probably doesn’t help with that. There’s a constant pressure to be excellent. Yet, the pursuit of excellence can often lead one to dark places caused by the isolation, despair and the emptiness that can often accompany the drive for success. It’s something I’ve had to struggle with. Of course, being in academia doesn’t help. No one cares about an average scholar. You have to be the best scholar. But to be the “best”, one must often sacrifice many things and too often, the first to be sacrificed is our self.

“Now I only want what’s real // To let my heart feel what it feels // Gold, silver, or bronze hold no value here // Where work and rest are equally revered” – these words haunt me. Maybe because I struggle to know what’s real .. or maybe I’m struggling to know what’s really important. I would like to get to that beautiful place where I could revere rest just as much as I revere work. It has been a challenge.

The daily performance is exhausting. The smile can often hide the pain and the emotional turmoil within. Yet, expressing honesty can sometimes feel like it is to no avail. Even when I’m honest about my feelings and what I’m going through, it’s hard not to feel like other people think that I’m a joke. And so one can often feel stuck. Trapped by my own masks, I must now lay in the bed I made for myself.

One day I will “finally see myself through the eyes of no one else” but mine. I am hoping for a better day when I will finally see myself through the eyes of God.


Meditations on love


For the last couple of months, I’ve been really thinking about the concept of love. A couple of months ago, a close family friend of ours passed away. She was a woman who loved God and loved others. It was so touching to hear so many stories of how her love touched the lives of so many. During the service, there was something that was said that in many ways made me contemplate more about love. She loved others even though at times, that love was not reciprocated. Yet, despite of this, she still continued to love. It was a reminder, yet again, to me of the unconditional aspect of love that Christ has called us to show to the world. When you see this kind of love, it really is an awesome thing to behold.

We live in a world where love is often over-sentimentalized or treated as this abstract concept that we should all try to attain. However, I think we often forget how true love is tangible and experiential. True love – the love that the Bible speaks of, the love that God exemplifies – is marked by words and deeds and not merely thoughts and good intentions. The Scriptures best captures this thought in this way: “In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.” (1 John 4:9) The love of God was made manifest through a tangible act. It was not enough to have feelings of love towards humanity… it was made manifest by sending his only Son “to be the propitiation for our sins”. (1 John 4:10) And if it stopped there, that would have been amazing. But, it continues on to say that, “if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” (1 John 4:11) And that’s when things become difficult for me. 

Thinking that God loves me and that this type of love is tangible and experiential is great. Who doesn’t want to be loved like that? Over the years, I have felt and experienced the love of God in my life for which I can say that I am so blessed and thankful for. But it doesn’t stop there. This love that God has shown me is the same type of love that I am called to show to others too. In fact, the Scriptures are quite insistent that we cannot say “I love God” without “I love others” in the same breath. If I don’t love my brothers and sisters in Christ whom I can see and experience in the flesh, how can I say that I love a God whom I cannot see?

It’s easy to love when the person you are dealing with is likable, charming, and non-confrontational all the time. But, let’s be real, those people never exist in real life. If you’re a human being and we have any form of interaction with one another, there is a high chance that prolonged exposures will lead to one party being offended by the other because of something the other person did or did not do. The people closest to me are the ones who actually hurt me the most. People say things and do things that can offend us. If they don’t, I truly wonder how much of that is because of a very strong people-pleasing attitude. Can we love someone who has hurt us deeply? Can we love someone who has not shown any sign of love towards us that we can perceive? Maybe. For a short time anyways. But an enduring love for others, that self-sacrificial love that God shows us and continues to show us on a daily basis even after we have offended him… probably not.

God is love. The love that I speak of can only come from God and because God is the source of true love, it cannot be truly experienced outside of God. We cannot will this kind of love from ourselves. We can try to replicate it, and for a time, it may even work… but it is not sustainable. That’s how you can discern whether it is real or it is fake. It is a humbling thing to recognize and realize. I think we all want to be known as loving people. But let’s be real, loving others in that unconditional, self-sacrificial way is frankly exhausting. The faster we realize that we can’t do it on our own and how badly we need help, the easier it is to show this type of love that will cost us everything. When you know that you’re in the right and the other person is in the wrong, and that other person hasn’t even recognized that they are wrong, let alone ask forgiveness from their wrong, true love says it doesn’t matter. You still have to love. Before someone completely misunderstands what I mean, I will say that there is a time and place for correction in love. Loving someone does not mean that you can’t tell them about how their actions are not the right options. However, the manner in which one approaches a sensitive issue matters.

Our current political and social climate has not been the best environment for love to be fostered and nourished. Instead, fear seems to be the primary motivator. Changes and transitions in our culture can often lead to feelings of tumult and mayhem. I have seen this us-vs-them mentality becoming stronger everyday. Even among evangelical Christians, I hear their fear in their voices when speaking of where we are as a society. No one is exempt. Yet, the Bible is clear that “there is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.” (1 John 4:18)

And so I am reminded yet again of Jesus’ words to his disciples, “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” I think about the true love that Jesus shows to the poor and marginalized and I am convicted that I do not do the same. I think about the true love that he showed even to those who would seek to do him harm and I am convicted that I do not do the same. It has often boggled my mind how easy it is for some of us to think the other as a heretic or misguided when that same inclination is also true of us. (Question: how many read that line and thought “uh oh, sounds like someone drank the poison of relativism lately”? Do not worry, dear reader. I will let you know that this has been addressed by the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords Himself in Matthew 7:3-5 “Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”) 

I think that’s why true love is so difficult to achieve apart from God. For true love to exist, we need to have an attitude of humility. However, we cannot have an attitude of humility without the acknowledgement of our position as a creature and God’s position as creator. Once that is firmly established in our hearts and minds, it will provide the proper soil for true love to live. The thought that I must “in humility count others more significant than myself” can be difficult. Pride reigns in this sinful heart of mine. More and more, I am compelled to remind myself of John the Baptist’s words: “He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:30) Without God, this whole showing true love experiment is not going to work out. With God, the possibilities of how this true love can be shown through our lives is limitless.



Lenten Journey 2018


Lent 2018 started this February 14. The fact that Ash Wednesday also fell on Valentine’s Day wasn’t lost on me. Both dates basically meant the same to me anyways: death to self. Last year, I fasted from social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Messenger, BBM, and WhatsApp) and carbs. This year, I’m continuing the trend of fasting from social media, but I have also added fasting from people, entertainment, and bitterness. Fasting from people means that I can only hang out with people twice a week. Any time I ask someone to hang out with me or if others invite me to hang out with them, that would count as hanging out. However, if I was isolating myself, I have to force myself to hang out. Going to the gym or my discipleship meetings wouldn’t count. I have a bad relationship with people. I tend to find my validation from people and that’s not a good thing. In so doing, I have a tendency to swing to either extremes of wanting their validation to completely avoiding people. Fasting from entertainment means that I am only allowed 2 hours or two episodes or one movie per day. This is to prevent me from binge watching on Netflix. Fasting from bitterness means I’m going to have a 5 minute rule. I may not be able to control my bitter reaction to something happening. But, after 5 minutes, I can choose to either continue feeling bitter or find a solution and let it go. My goal is to let go of bitterness every time I have the option of doing so.

I sometimes ask myself why I have this tendency to make my life a living hell by trying to do all of these hard things. I think a huge part of it is that I actually love Lent. Lent is one of the few times I have where I can have a prolonged reflection on the love of Christ and my desire to be more like him. I’m not perfect but I would like to be. I don’t mean perfect in the normal way we normally think of perfect though. I mean it more in a “I want to be whole” sense. I tend to live a fragmented, compartmentalized life. I’m trying to gather all the pieces and make it come together in some form of harmony.

About three weeks into this prolonged reflection, I feel rather disconnected from the world. Being away from social media, I have this feeling that I don’t know what’s going on anymore. In some ways, it has been difficult. In some ways, it is a reminder about the illusion of closeness that social media can have on my life. Just because I know what you did or what you ate does not mean I know what’s actually going on with you. I’m reminded to not settle for superficiality.

In some ways, I’ve also felt a sense of pride and empowerment. It’s nice to know that I have been able to resist going back to social media even though there’s a part of me that wants to quit every day. However, there’s also another part of me that is starting to be okay with the not knowing what’s going on around me. If it’s worth knowing, I’ll know it. Or at least I try to tell that to myself.

I’m looking forward to the lessons this Lenten season will teach me. I feel that I’m only just scratching the surface about what this time of preparation and rejuvenation can and will bring.

I look forward to knowing what happens when I let things go.


Hello 2018… it’s me.


Last year, I wrote a blog post about how my 2017 goal was to learn how to love myself. A year later, as I reflect on 2017 and what has happened, I am forced to face the fact that I failed miserably in achieving this goal. There’s a part of me that wished I didn’t make the goal to begin with. The rationale is that if I didn’t make a goal, then there’s no possible way that I can fail. Thinking back, I’m actually happy I made that goal, even if I did fail. It was in thinking and meditating upon that failure that has brought me to my 2018 goal. For 2018, my goal is to accept my humanity. Maybe it was too much of a big jump for me to love myself when I can’t even begin to be ok with myself. There is too much self-loathing in my daily life. I really don’t like myself. I don’t like the way I look. I don’t like the way I talk. I don’t like the way I move. I don’t like the way I think. I don’t like the way I feel. There’s virtually nothing in my life that I’m even remotely close to saying I like. And that’s a problem. The problem is that I’m so busy trying to be like other people, I can’t/don’t even know what it’s like to be me. I hate my flaws. I think it’s normal to hate one’s flaws but when every single part of you is deemed to be flawed, then what is there to love? However, it always amazes me that the very things that I hate about myself are the very things that people love about me. I hate the fact that I’m extraverted. It makes me think and feel that no one takes me seriously because I have a cheerful demeanour. And yet, my friends love the fact that I enjoy people and my outgoing personality. I hate that I feel too much and too deeply. And yet, my friends love the fact that they can always come to me with their problems and feel loved. The very things that I despise most about myself are the very things that define and make me who I am. I’m obsessed with perfection but I think I have gotten perfection completely wrong. In the Scriptures, the term meant complete. I need to be a whole person. Part of being a whole person is realizing my own strengths and weaknesses and quite honestly, being the best me I could be. Perfect doesn’t mean to have Zac Efron’s six pack abs, or the Rock’s bulging biceps, or the spirituality of a theologian like St. Gregory of Nyssa or the mysticism of someone like Teresa of Avila. Perfect is being the best version of who I can possibly be.

I know that it will be a challenge to be okay with my imperfections. I need to learn how to be okay with my humanity. I need to be okay with not being “perfect”. I need to be okay with being me. Perhaps, this is the stepping stone I need to learn how to love myself.

Dear 2018, let’s do this.


Reflections on #metoo


I was sitting down at Second Cup. She sat beside me. I was angry. I was sad. I was heartbroken. I wanted to punch someone. I wanted to hug her and tell her everything will be better. I wanted to weep because I know that not everything will be better.

She was at a party and a person she trusted took advantage of her.

I was on the phone talking to her. The same feelings I had came rushing in again. This time, it was a stranger who took advantage of her. I was furious.

Taken advantage. Had his way with her. Sometimes, we use euphemisms because we cannot handle the full weight of certain words.

Sexual harassment. Sexual assault. Rape.

The sad part is that her story is not new. I have been blessed with being surrounded by amazing women whom I have the honour and privilege of calling friends. And I have heard their stories. And it breaks my heart. A friend of mine had a first date with someone who touched her inappropriately and forced himself on her. What bothers me is that unfortunately, this has become such a norm that at first, she didn’t agree with me, when I said that the guy sexually assaulted her. “He’s just handsy,” or “he’s just horny,” becomes a familiar refrain.

Recently, on Facebook and Twitter, the hashtag #metoo has been trending and reading the stories of so many women I know and admire and care for has been both infuriating and heartbreaking. No one should ever endure that. No one should ever be touched in such a way that it violates their personhood.

So many women I know have suffered some degree of sexual violence. But I know that there are also a lot of men who have had to suffer in silence because of the sexual violence inflicted upon them. There are so many in the LGBTQ+ community where sexual violence is a daily reality.

There’s a scene in the movie “Mad Max: Fury Road” that has stuck with me ever since I saw it. It haunts me. On the walls are the words “We are not things.” It struck me because too often, we don’t value other people as human beings. We don’t see them as someone who has hopes and dreams and fears, just like us. We see them instead as tools to be used for our benefit.

This mentality lends itself to people using human beings as tools to achieve their pleasure. And let’s be real… the majority of the people who commit sex crimes are men. The rape culture that has unfortunately pervaded most of our society has allowed men to get away with a lot of things. By normalizing sexual deviancy, victims are made to feel like they’re the crazy ones for seeing sexually deviant acts as wrong. They’re made to feel as if they’re over reacting or their accusations are untrue or trivial.

When they finally decide to speak up, too often their perpetrators suffer no consequences for their action. The police are still working on my friend’s rape case. He works at Parliament Hill. The case is not advancing. The justice system often fails the very people they are supposed to protect. It’s no wonder that many women are silent. When they are already suspicious that nothing will happen and they hear a story of a woman who actually went to the police and receives the treatment she is currently receiving, it doesn’t help.

My Facebook timeline is filled with stories from women I know who have been on the receiving end of a crime. And it hurts my heart to read their stories. I wish I could give each and every one of you a hug and to let you know that I am so proud of you. I’m proud of you because I know how hard it is to tell others about what happened. I’m proud of you because it takes a lot of courage to overcome the shame that often accompanies such acts. I’m proud of you because vulnerability is one of the most bravest things you can do.

I’m grateful for people like you who encourage and empower others to do the same.

I long for the day when we would never hear of such crimes ever being committed. But until then, we need to change the world we live in. Men, we need to make sure that other men know it’s wrong to treat women as objects. When we are in our “Guys Night” events, we need to make sure that we let other men know that we will not laugh at jokes that seek to demean women or objectify them. We need to teach our children that girls are capable of anything and everything. We should not allow boys to grow up thinking that they’re better than girls because of the simple fact that they’re boys.

Until then, let us listen to the voices of those who are oppressed. Let us weep with them and mourn with them in the hopes that one day, we can also rejoice with them when the day of justice is at hand and when injustice is no more.




Thanksgiving 2017


I started the year with the desire to be better. I wanted to learn how to love myself. I’m not sure if I have done a great job of that. But I am thankful that I at least acknowledge the problem and wanted to make the necessary steps to achieve this goal. I think I’m slowly being more ok with myself. I’m not quite at the loving phase but I think I’ve been less resentful of myself. Baby steps I guess.

This year has been a whirlwind. I can’t believe that in a few months, it’s almost Christmas. I can’t believe that another year is almost over. I honestly don’t know how I feel about that. But I don’t want to think too much about the future that I forget the here and now. I want to live in the present.

And in this present, I just want to express my heartfelt gratitude. I am thankful for my family who supports me and my friends who continually encourage me. The PhD life is lonely and isolating. I’m thankful for people like Renee Robinson whose friendship over the years has brought so much laughter and joy in my life, for people like Justin Roberts who has this ability to speak into my life like no one can, for people like Josh Heath who continually challenges me to become a better man of God both physically and spiritually, for people like Josh Janzen whose desire to live a godly life is commendable, for people like David Fuller who has this keen awareness of how I’m doing, it’s uncanny, for people like Don Springer who always takes me out and talk about what’s bothering me when he senses that things are off, for people like Michelle Daniel who takes the initiative to reach out to me to make sure that I’m ok, for people like Sandi Hicks who may live in another province yet never fails to check up on me to see how I’m doing, for people like Rose-Ingrid Gracia who is living out her dreams and inspires me to do the same, for people like Lea Marte whose kindness and generosity towards people who are undeserving always convicts me to do the same, for people like James Lucas whose friendship over the years has never wavered. And there are so many others whose names aren’t mentioned here who encourage me, inspire me, exhort me, and challenge me to think properly about myself and who love me not in spite of me, but because of me.

Thanksgiving Week may be over but I would like to make sure that my attitude of thanksgiving keeps on going.