Monday, July 23, 2012

My take on the Aurora shootings

Today I woke up to a live news broadcast of James Holmes, the suspect in the Aurora shooting, attending his first court hearing. 

My paralegal side sorta nerded out and I was making mental notes to myself like: Ok, the defense is sitting on this side, the prosecution is sitting on this side, Oh hey! There's the court reporter! Hahaha! I was also thinking about how there were so many different pleading, orders, and motions each side could file. One was to extend the 72 hour deadline for presenting formal charges to Holmes. I was thinking, "Oh man... This is going to be one thick file for this guy already!" 

It would be much easier to be a paralegal for the DA than for the public defender for this case.  It would be a good feeling to collect evidence to put him away for injuring and killing so many people. It would be harder to interview him as a defense and still think of him as innocent. Yet that's what we all need to realize. He has already in some senses been tried in the court of public opinion and been found guilty. 

We want justice so badly for the people injured and killed in the shooting. His arrest made him the scapegoat of our anger. Of course, if he is found guilty, he will be punished by the state. But we want to see it now. We want his trial to be on the next business day and we want the judge to read (triumphantly): The jury finds this man GUILTY of ALL CHARGES! We want to say, "YOU WILL PAY FOR THIS NOW!!" 

It is harder to pray for the guy. It is harder to see him as innocent until proven guilty. It is easier just to be mad. We should be mad though. Mad that this world is broken. But instead of trying someone in the court of public opinion, I have to remember to remember that God has tried the world and found it guilty of sin. Our sins deserve the death penalty. We can't post bail. We can't ask for a retrial or appeal. We need Jesus to pay that death penalty for us. Those of us that walk free solely on the blood of Christ should be grateful. We can still be mad and sad that the world is broken. But we use the anger we feel to say, "God, please come back soon! Please make this world new."

Friday, July 20, 2012

Joy in a dark day

This is an excerpt from a Google Document that I created around 12:30pm. 

I woke up at 5:18. Mom woke me up telling me about a shooting at a movie theater. I lay back down because I didn’t want to get up right away. I guess I was in shock. Or dazed. I wanted to believe it was a dream, but I heard the news commentator on TV and I knew it wasn’t a dream. So I got up. And watched the news. For a while. Then I went back to bed. I rationally knew it wasn’t a dream, yet I knew that I wanted it to be.

I could forget about it going to my renal ultrasound. But the lady behind me and Mom started talking about the Columbine shooting. I wanted to put my hands over my ears, but I had to check in. I wasn’t really interested much in the magazine I was looking at. I guess thinking about the scan and then the news.

Inside the quiet room, I could have time to pray. I heard the whooshing of my own blood in my arteries. The reality that for 14 people, their hearts were stopped, for others, they lost blood, it brought it home to me. I want to cry. I might cry even though I’m meeting with Abra. She’ll understand. I think we will have fun. I’m grateful for her being there and coming to Denver today. I won’t have to stay at home and watch the news. And it will be less bad.

I don’t like thinking about all the other bad stuff I’ve hard about. This brings those back. But God has healed me from that. With that knowledge, I sincerely pray for those in Aurora affected by the trauma both at risk for primary and secondary PTSD. I know God can heal them even though it takes a lot of pain and crying and revisiting the event over and over. He can heal them because I know He has healed me.

Later on today I indeed met with my friend Abra for lunch and an afternoon of hanging out.
Yay for Abra and I :)

We walked around shops and a park filled with flowers and did lots of giggling and hugging while we caught up on life. We played some games in the library to keep cool and even got to hug a giant caterpillar! 

 I liked that part of the day. Even then, there were times when the sadness of the movie theater shooting entered my head. Yet with my friend giggling next to me and reminiscing about fun times we had when we were both part of Summitview kept me in a good mood. 

The sadness hit me again when I went with my mom to dinner. As I sat down with my salad, I realized that tonight, 12 people would not be sitting down to eat as we were. I wanted to cry, but we were in a restaurant. 

Whenever I'd get sad throughout the day, I would pray for the people more directly affected by the shooting. Currently I'm listening to some Stephen Curtis Chapman. The music is relaxing, and the Truth of a God who is merciful and in control is comforting. 

I realized that God was teaching a lesson to have me experience giggles as well as sadness all in one day. 
God is the giver of Joy. He gives friends, He smiles when we smile. His love is shown when His people fellowship (and act silly). He Himself as Christ has also been wounded by this broken world. God will redeem the broken world. And God holds us when we cry when the world makes us hurt. I experienced both joy and sadness today. In both, I saw and acknowledged God. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Filing away some experience!

Today was my second day at Colorado Legal Services as an administrative volunteer. Both last Monday and today, I helped the case manager file closed cases. I label the files and make sure all the paperwork is there. Then I place the files in the file cabinets where they keep cases for the year.  

It seems like a mundane job, but I really do learn a lot. For instance, I see a LOT of custody issues and a LOT of eviction issues in clients' files. I also get to see the intake forms used for specific types of cases like family-law cases or collections cases. 

It's nice to get out of the house for a while :) And it is nice to be able to contribute to a law firm before I am a paralegal! When I become an intake assistant late in August, I am sure I will learn much more! 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Nerdy and "Hearty" Bible Studies!

I'm studying 2 Corinthians again! We studied it in the Cole/Kaan Team. That was fun. I used my ESV bible on my PHONE! :) Yeah. I was all proud of myself because Mitch had just switched Summitview over to ESV. 

ESV makes me feel like a nerd. In a good way. I enjoy seeing concepts come together. That's why I like being an HDFS major. Because SO MANY DEVELOPMENTAL and SOCIOLOGICAL concepts overlap and it's AWESOME.....

ahem.... Anyway....

One thing I have a bad habit of is nerding out in Bible studies and completely forgetting it's about God and I talking about life as well as theology. Actually, more accurately, Bible study is God and a Christian's relationship deepening as the Christian comes to understand theological concepts which really mean that the Christian understands God more. 

I wasn't purely nerdy in the Cole-Kaan Team. Ok... I was  a NERD, but I still shared my feelings which was good :) 

I think going to the NLT will break me out of just being a nerd and actually getting my emotions or 'heart' engaged in my Quiet Times. My brain and heart will work together to understand God better! :) Woot! 

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Proud to be an American

Fireworks in DC - Thanks, Google Images :)

I'm proud to be a citizen of the United States :) Here are 50 reasons why I'm thankful that I live here! Note, these statements above may have political implications, but they are not intended to persuade readers toward any sort of political ideology. These statements are only meant to express my gratitude as to why I am proud to be American :) 

1. The government allows international adoptions :) This is why I'm here in the first place (THANKS, MOM!) 
2. We have freedom of speech. I'm able to post such things as this blog :) 
3. We can VOTE 
4. There are 3 branches of government that as of now still do a decent job with checks and balances :) 
5. The only political unrest during an election year are the commentators on CNN yelling at each other and people writing scathing blogs about candidates they don't like. 
6. There really isn't any sectarian violence (ethnic violence) as of 2012. 
7. We're slowly working through the history of ethnic violence (in the 1960's and in the 1800's) of the past and trying to reconcile things. 
8. We have mega-churches and Christian radio stations without fear of persecution. 
9. As Christians, we have enough resources to send to other nations to help get the Gospel out. 
10. Ordinary citizens can write to Congress (even if you only do get a form letter back). 
11. Ordinary citizens can have access to the docket at the Supreme Court and actually attend a session. 
12. Government buildings are accessible to the public. 
13. There is still some transparency in our government 
14. Universities allow international student ministry :) 
15. The colors red, white, and blue are nice together :) 
16. We're NOT the nation of PANEM (yet) 
17. Our nation encompasses the tundra of Alaska, the majestic Rocky Mountains of Colorado, the forests of New England, the Redwoods of California, and the TROPICAL ISLANDS OF HAWAII :) So much scenic stuff without even leaving the country :) 
18. I do enjoy watching American Football. 
19. There are still opportunities for upward mobility within society. 
20. Proceedings involving governmental officials charged with contempt or involved in impeachment hearings are somewhat public (CNN and CSPAN) so we know that there is... um... still some accountability to the taxpayers there. 
21. Colorado is awesome! 
22. Oh yes - thanks to Land Grant institutions like Colorado State University, higher education is still accessible (for now) for mostly everyone. 
23. The American Dream still inspires people - though we shouldn't put ALL our hope there. 
24. There is still a National Day of Prayer. 
25. Christian student groups at the high school and college level are still permitted in the public school and public university systems. 
26. The Bible is not banned here. 
27. Historical documents detailing the Founding Fathers' worldviews are still accessible in museums and the national archives. 
28. The state has not turned the military on the regular citizens. 
29. Oh yes, WE HAVE THE BILL OF RIGHTS built into our Constitution!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
30. Our constitution is actually a really short document, easy to follow, easy to study :D 
31. We also have the Americans with Disabilities Act which is yet another step in ending discrimination against people with disabilities and making society more accessible!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOOOO! 
32. I can get scholarships because I'm Asian :D 
33. The Founding Fathers came from a Christian worldview and the premise of most of our laws still reflect that. 
34. Even so, citizens are not FORCED to become Christian by the government :) 
35. Gas prices are cheaper here than in Europe. 
36. Women have rights such as: right to vote, right to own land / a home, right to work, no-fault divorce, right to an education, and one nearly NEARLY ran for PRESIDENT! 
37. A person of ethnic minority status can own land / a home. 
38. A person of ethnic minority status was elected president. 
39. And if the country thinks he hasn't fixed the economy fast enough, we can elect someone else. :D
40. We can have events like Occupy Wall Street where people's voices are heard, and yet that doesn't throw us into a full-scale revolution. 
41. International students still come in droves to our universities. 
42. It is relatively easy to become a citizen if you were born somewhere else. 
43. An ordinary person can eventually get his/her case heard in the Supreme Court and the outcome can set the precedent for the rest of the laws of the land. 
44. The Star-Spangled banner is a pretty song :)
45. There is still a middle class.
46. People still have resources to give to a TON of secular and Christian organizations that help others around the world. 
47. The spirit of entrepreneurship allows for inventions that have helped a lot of people. 
48. Washington DC is a cool place to visit and potentially live :D 
49. Though our healthcare system is far from perfect, my mom as a single parent was still able to pay for the glasses I needed and the occupational therapy I needed to catch up to my peers when I first came over at age 2. 
50. It's home :) "Land of the free and the home of the brave :D" 

Happy Fourth of July! 

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Combinations of Intelligence, Pride, and Love

Or otherwise titled: Being Smart versus Being a Smart Ass (especially around my mom) 

Yeah! SO,  I'm at home. Wait! I said that already in this blog :D I'm also learning about the book of James at church. James could also be titled: Evidences of Faith as lived out in a Christian's Life: The Practicals 

One very VERY practical thing I'm learning is that I need to work on not being a smart-ass. Sometimes I am around Mom just because it's my way of saying, "Mom! Get off my back! I've lived on my own before!" My intelligence is something that I can 'hang my hat on' so to speak when I don't have much else: when I don't have a job, when I'm back at Mom's house, etc. I sort of find something tangible to stand on to not feel like a looser, basically. However, intelligence as a source of pride is obviously a bad thing. 

1 Corinthians 8:1 says, "Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up." James 3 is mainly about watching what you say. 

When interacting with my mom, I can combine intelligence with either pride or love. 

Intelligence + Pride = Katie being a smart ass. 

This is the, "I'm smarter than you / I've lived on my own and you putting a cramp in my independence" mentality. This is just eye-rolling and making semi-snide remarks when she says something that I don't agree with or something. 

Intelligence + love = Katie letting God love through her

This is the, "Hey, Mom, I appreciate your imput..." or "Hey, mom, let me help you patiently with the internet or whatever you need help with.." It's not denying my intelligence or past independence, but it's first and foremost loving. Obviously, this is the best choice, but I can fall into the other one if I just am only thinking of myself first, and not realizing that my home is a mission field - not just a place where I can stay for a year without paying rent. 

God, I pray You will remind me through Your word to value love first more specifically love for You, love for the lost, love for Your people. I pray that this love will infiltrate the other aspects of my life, character, and the way my brain works (intelligence). God, I pray others see You through my life :) I know that I need to humbly ask for Your grace to change me and to discipline me to do that. Amen.

Monday, July 02, 2012

When I can't hold back the tears

I had another turning into a giant teardrop at the Firehouse prayer meeting last Sunday when I brought up the little Summitview girl I know named Esther who has cancer.  Tonight I almost started crying in a restaurant when I remembered eating dinner with the family and I think Esther sat with my friends and I. She was a cutie eating her dinner with hands like a typical 12 month old. She would smile at us and my friends and I replied with an uber girly "Aaaaaw!!!" 

She was also at my friend's bridal shower. She and her twin sister Zinnia were talking about how they ate their cup-cakes "all gone." They were dressed like princesses and looked so ADORABLE!!!!!!!!!!! 

I wondered, "Why are you such a giant tear drop?" Several years ago, my uncle had cancer, and I cried about it for obvious reasons. Esther is not my second cousin or related to me in any way. Yet, her mom is in my close circle of friends, and I have taught her sisters in Sunday School. So it makes logical sense that I would be close to her. 

There are times when I can think about Esther's situation completely logically and in a distant clinical way. Yet when her cute little face pops up into my memory, I begin crying. For my ASD brain, that's a little weird and unpredictable, because for me, my emotions have to have a rational basis for me to make sense of them. But I remind myself that tears mean that Esther has worked her way into my heart. More accurately, God has allowed me to care about her more than I think I even realize when I just sit and think about it. 

So what do I do when I become a giant teardrop? I just remind myself that even though it sometimes happens at odd intervals, the tears a reminder that God has allowed me to love little Esther and her family. The tears are also a reminder to go to God who is the comforter of my soul.