今週の漢字: 家族

My family and I had a blast during the winter vacation. There’s something that I confirmed with myself. Of course I love my family and friends, but I can’t say I miss them in the sense that I must be home or live in close proximity. It’s mainly because I know that they are there. I can communicate with them. Yes, I know it’s not the same as being within a maximum of an hour’s drive and being able to physically meet someone, but I have a different type of feeling. I feel that missing someone to the point of needing to be with the other person physically is so restrictive. My heart believes in those whom I love. For me, the extreme feeling of missing someone because of the physical distance is superficial. If I were to treat someone in that way, the relationship would be in vain. When I was in Miami, the pastor of the church mentioned once in a Bible study the idea that good friends don’t need to talk everyday. Whenever you communicate with such a friend, it picks up where it left off as if there was never a lapse in time. This view really sums up my feelings perfectly. For someone else, missing someone in the previously mentioned extremity may not be based on superficiality at all. My feelings don't apply to romantic relationships, though. A long distance romance may work temporarily, but many times it can only go so long. Ah, how I suddenly feel like the acne infested teenager living in the bubble where all you need is love!

Speaking of love and false notions of love (call me cynically colored, but I believe I’m a realist), Tokyo Disney Sea was fun, despite some disappointments. Those of you who are faithful readers and those who know me well already know this, but I love Disney. My favorite ride is MGM’s “Twilight Zone: Tower of Terror” in Disneyworld. So, I was thinking, “Disney Sea should be great, because it has the ‘Tower of Terror.’ Even though the Twilight Zone part is not part of the attraction, the drops should be lots of fun, especially since this is the newest ‘Tower of Terror.’” Unfortunately, it did not deliver. There were a few major differences that really tamed the ride. The drops were fewer and shorter. Also, the drops were partially lighted, so riders can see the wall in front of them. These take away the thrills of the original, which got even better when it introduced random drops. Well, it’s possible that this major disappointment influenced my judgment of the entire park, but one of the good things about the park is that it’s really well built. The design looks beautiful, and it was fun to explore.

We did a lot of things, so I’m going to write about a few things that we did. I’ll save my favorites for next week.

Tokyo Tower – If you watched the anime Card Captor Sakura, I’m sure one of the first things you remember about the series is the significance of the Tokyo Tower. For many people, this tower is one of Tokyo’s major icons. It was nice to see a part of the expanse that makes up the metropolis, but it was nothing special. Personally, I think the Eiffel Tower and Empire State Building provide a much more exciting experience. For the Paris and New York landmarks, romance certainly has something to do with it. (Again with the love… maybe I am channeling my angst filled teenage years.) However, what makes Tokyo Tower less special is the view. I don’t think it’s very good. It was actually very boring. Well, fatigue and unfamiliarity with the city might have contributed to my thought.

Imperial Palace – This is another Tokyo icon as it should be. This is the residence of the emperor of Japan. I knew before going that the actual grounds of the palace are closed to the public. So, it is what it is. We saw what there was to see and took pictures to our hearts content. The water fountain was fun, but because of laughs shared between my sisters and me at the fountain’s perfect timing.

Ginza – This area, sometimes compared to the fifth avenue of New York, was nice to walk around. It was fun to see all the expensive clothes that I will not buy anytime soon. Contrary to what many tour guides suggest, I do not recommend the Sony building. I think it’s just a place for Sony to advertise its products. On the upside, it’s free to enter. Maybe if there was a more exciting gadget that Sony was showcasing, it wouldn’t have been so bad. A small robot that plays music and dances just doesn’t cut it. I think Ginza is worth to explore. My family and I really didn’t get to see too much of Ginza, so I look forward to future explorations.

Shinagawa – We didn’t really make a visit to this area. It was where we stayed, specifically at the Shinagawa Prince Hotel. It’s a really nice hotel with an aquarium, aqua stadium, bowling alley, Cineplex, carousel, virtual simulator, roller coaster, indoor pool, indoor tennis courts, numerous restaurants and shops, and a lot more. If only the area had a lot more to offer, but it’s okay because we didn’t have the time to do much in Shinagawa anyway let alone indulge in all the hotel has to offer.

Stay tuned next week for another update!

今週の聖書の詩: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.”
- Proverbs 1:7 (NIV)

The holidays have come and gone once again leaving people to return to their old ways. There’s less giving for the sake of giving, or helping for the sake of helping. Although sometimes it’s a façade, there’s no more of these good actions in the name of the Lord. It goes back to a time of bashing the Lord. You might be wondering, “How so?”

This verse seems so simple, yet there is so much meaning packed in it. For someone to fear someone or something else, it may be purely being afraid, but the Lord loves us and provides for us. So, does this verse mean that the beginning of knowledge is being scared of the Lord? Not completely. On one point, there is a component of being afraid, because He is so great and powerful. On another point, this fear is the acknowledgement of His greatness. It’s the acknowledgement of His amazing design of each person and the world. Think about it this way. If someone muscular got mad at you, fear might run through you. What are you afraid of? It’s probably the fear that this person can beat you up. In a sense, you are acknowledging this person’s strength.

I don’t want to go into the debate over intelligent design, destiny, fate, and all that. I want to point out that the acknowledgement of the Lord is so important to build upon. Take a look at those who reject Him. In many cases, life revolves around work, but what are people working towards? Sometimes people want to leave a legacy. Sometimes people want to get more material things. Sometimes people just need something to distract them from reality. Face it! Many people have no clue why they are alive. How long have we searched for the purpose of life? There’s this void that people try to fill. Even for Christians, or ones who claim to be Christians, the actions of praising God might be masked by other intentions. Maybe some Christians just want to be part of a community.

The fear of the Lord, or the acknowledgement of Him, or living for Him with the utmost respect and love, is needed. If this direction of life is kept, then everything will be made clear. It may not be fully shown right away, but eventually, it will make sense. It’s amazing how because of Him things fit into place.

今週の写真: Family in Japan (Part 1)

At a café outside the hotel with my mom and dad

In a train doing the Asian picture thing with my sisters (To clarify, my sisters and I really do not like doing this pose, but I wanted to do it considering we're in Japan.)

Tokyo Tower (as you see before the New Year's Day)

Outside the Shinagawa Prince Hotel with my sisters

In Shimbashi

Tokyo Disney Resort entrance (Did you really need a caption?)

Inside Disney Sea (Isn't it such beautiful architecture?)

Awwwwwww... look at the cute Stitch plush!

HATS! This time it's with funny faces. I have another HATS picture. Look forward to it next week.


Anonymous said...

i always read your blog thingy, but i havent cmnted it in forever, so i will now ;]

i don't get your first giant paragraph at all, but okayy, lol

and the imperial palace! agh, i found a pic that actually had good timing, and posted it on fcbk, hahah xP

ooh i think i know what other hats picture you're talking about! :D if it's the one i'm thinking of, i put that one on fcbk too, lol

- sarah

Anonymous said...

Kinda late on the ball here...but here goes...

Hmm...yeah that whole "picking up from where you left off" thing is what I have heard, too.

Seems like there were some disappointments on the va-cay but also unexpected surprises w/the fountain and all?