I'm still alive and well, in case any of you were wondering. Sorry for not posting in such a while! I just listened to a motivational interview of young author Jaquelle Ferris, in which she emphasizes the value of consistency when it comes to writing—something I 100% lack and constantly struggle with. So maybe I can start practicing consistency with this post?
Anyway! The reason for this post: mon amie Grace on her blog Don't You Know That I'm Singing recently gave me a Liebster Award (thanks so much, Grace!). So now I need to answer the questions she wants me to answer so that I can officially be a winner.
The rules of this game are as follows:
- Mention the person who nominated you and link back to their blog.
- Answer the eleven questions the nominator posed to you, adding a Liebster Award icon to your post (I made my own, 'cause I wanted to—I hope that's okay, Grace! It's just that I preferred this one over the flowery-wreath one that you had.).
- In addition to the eleven questions, list eleven facts about you.
- Nominate 5-11 of your blogging friends who have less than 200 followers or subscribers.
- In your post, ask your nominees eleven questions.
- Let your nominees know that you nominated them for the much-coveted Liebster Award.
My answers to Grace's Eleven Questions
- What is one line/verse from one song that you really love, and why?
I love a lot of songs, but one of my favorites is Owl City's "Humbug"—a Christmas song that I find to be utterly hilarious. It's about this guy who absolutely hates Christmas shopping because he never knows what to get for his loved ones. So he walks through the mall looking for the perfect gift for "her". Here's just one verse from the song that I thought was especially funny:
I could get her a gift card to Olive Garden
But what if Red Lobster is way more her thing?
I don't even know
Well how 'bout a bike, or like a ukelele?
Or how 'bout I jump out the window? (window [x4])
Yeah, how 'bout I jump out the window? (window [x4])
Singing 'Joy to the World' face down in the snow!
- What is a song you absolutely hate, and why?
Oh boy, I know this one! How about "Thunder" by Imagine Dragons? I'm really sorry to all you Imagine Dragons fans, but this one is really not my thing. The most annoying thing about the song is that it's actually catchy, despite how bad it is! (My younger brothers think Imagine Dragons is amazing. *rolls eyes*) Here are some of the lyrics—courtesy of Musixmatch—from the song, which read pretty weirdly (but sound even weirder!):
Thunder, thun-, thunder
Thun-thun-thunder, thunder, thunder
Thunder, thun-, thunder
Thunder, feel the thunder
Lightning and the thunder
Thunder, feel the thunder
Lightning and the thunder
I do not recommend you listen to this song.
- What are your thoughts on politics, and a Christian’s role in that realm?
I have a lot! Thanks mainly to my parents, my faith has been formative in my view of politics, and I believe Christians ought to be politically engaged as a force for good in the culture. I used to be a partisan 110% in favor of the Republican Party. (You have to cut me some slack, though—I was like 10 or so, with only a very vague idea of the connotation of the labels "Republican" and "Democrat" and no knowledge whatsoever of the art of looking at things in a nuanced and detailed way.) Even up until recently, I couldn't fathom how a good, Christian person could support a Democratic candidate. Mostly because I was raised in the white Evangelical tradition, and absolutely everyone I knew and respected were conservative Republicans. In my world, there just was no such thing as a devout, theologically conservative Christian who votes Democrat, whether occasionally or as a matter of principle.
My views on politics have grown as I have over the last few years (and especially over the last year). This is mostly thanks to some friends of mine—adopted grandparents, if you will, who are probably reading this right now. (Howdy!) While I don't agree with them on everything, we do have mutual respect for one another. They challenged me to have a thoughtful approach to politics, which taught me to maybe not see everyone who votes Democrat as evil. I became able to see those on the other side of the political spectrum as being human beings, whose viewpoints are either misguided or have some degree of legitimacy.
In conclusion, as a Christian, I'm naturally concerned about moral issues as they relate to politics like abortion and same-sex marriage, although I now have a more nuanced and well-defined view on things than I had before. Thanks to resources like The Holy Post Podcast by Phil Vischer and Skye Jethani, I continue to formulate my views on other issues including immigration and racism which may be seen as divergent from the typical white Evangelical's perspective.
- Who, aside from your parents, siblings, and relatives, has been a role model in your life, and how/why did they become a role model to you?
Hmm... this is a tough one. Honestly, I can't say I've had anyone in my life that I've wanted to become an exact copy of. I've admired (and still admire) various people for various aspects of their personality or life, though. I recall admiring the social adeptness some just within my small social circle had, wondering why I couldn't be more like them in that regard. I know I admired a girl once for her kindness and virtue.
But life has taught me to be skeptical of role models. Human beings never live up to one's idealistic expectations, because they can't. This doesn't mean I don't admire some people for various reasons; it does mean that I'm much more skeptical of these people than I would be otherwise.
Jesus should be every Christian's ultimate role model. Unlike mere mortals, God never disappoints. He's always there for us, immutably loyal and loving, and I believe He is the best friend any one can have because of this.
- Do you celebrate Christmas in your family? Why or why not?
Yes, we definitely celebrate Christmas. This is because we believe it's important to celebrate our Savior's coming into this world after all the ages of darkness to save us from our sins and lead us into His kingdom of light. His birth, aside from His resurrection, is the most singular and important event in history.
Even if we have the date wrong, we ought to celebrate it.
- What’s your favorite aspect of creation?
I've been reading G. K. Chesterton's Orthodoxy, in which he describes nature as being a magical, inexplicable wonder that suggests the existence of a magician. Chesterton also writes of nature's repetition, which he argues reflects God's childlike character:
"Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, 'Do it again'; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, 'Do it again' to the sun; and every evening, 'Do it again' to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we. The repetition in Nature may not be a mere occurrence; it may be a theatrical encore."
- If there was one talent you could magically have, what would it be?
Probably the talent of being good with people and easy in conversation, because I'm neither.
- Do you have any allergies/dietary restrictions? And what are they?
I'm kinda allergic to onions... they make my eyes hurt and my tongue feel weird. Other allergies include spinach, celery, dried fish, and sushi.
- If you could time travel into the future or the past, which way would you go? Forwards or backwards?
There are some embarrassing moments in my life that I'd love to do over, so I'd probably go backwards.
It would also be rather intriguing to see the state of the USA one hundred years from now.
My dad passed away in 2015, so it would be nice to see him again as well, even though I know he's in a better place.
- What movie/book character have you read/watched whose personality seemed to be exactly the same as yours, and who was the opposite?
There are a few I can think of, but the one who comes to mind right now is Charlie Brown in The Peanuts Movie. He's awkward, emotionally sensitive, indecisively wishy-washy, and sincere. I felt like I could relate to the hilarious situations he often found himself in because of our similarities.
As for a character who was the exact opposite of me? Well, that's a bit more difficult. I'll just have to think on that one for a while.
- What are your personal boundaries on what you can/shouldn’t watch or listen to in the area of entertainment as a Christian?
I try to stay clear of anything that I think will make me uncomfortable to watch or read. I don't necessarily think it's sinful to watch movies or read books with sex scenes, graphic violence, or profanity. (The Bible, after all, does contain narratives involving violence and sex.) I do think one must seriously consider whether books or movies like that are worth reading or watching. I think we should also take into consideration the exhortation of Romans 14, and be careful that we not cause a brother or sister to fall into sin because of our lifestyle choices.
As for music, I feel like any reference to sex, graphic violence, or profanity would ruin the whole song for me personally. So I just don't listen to songs like that.
Eleven facts about me
- Roller coasters freak me out.
- I don't get why so many people like Amish romances.
- I work part-time at the McDonald's restaurant fifteen minutes away.
- I love mint chocolate ice cream (and all ice cream is amazing anyway).
- I'm part Filipino (my Mom was Filipino, my dad was white American).
- I was raised in the white Reformed Evangelical tradition.
- I will judge a book by its cover, 'cause why would I read it if the cover sucks?
- I don't believe in judging people by their "covers", though.
- The next books on my to-read list include Things Unseen by C. J. Brightley, Believe Me: The Evangelical Road to Donald Trump by John Fea, Misreading Scripture With Western Eyes by E. Richards and Brandon J. O'Brien, and Your Future Self Will Thank You by Drew Dyck.
- I visited the Philippines in 2016 to visit relatives, and that was the only time I ever went outside the country.
- I have ten siblings.
And now, drumroll please! I will now tag a few of my blogging friends and acquaintances below. Please check out their blogs!
Unfortunately, I can't think of any more than four at the moment. (Sorry, Grace!)
Here are the eleven questions you four have to answer:
- Have you made any New Year's resolutions for 2021? If so, what are they?
- What is one novel you absolutely love (and why do you love it)?
- What is one movie you absolutely love (and why do you love it)?
- What is one of your biggest personal struggles?
- What is one moment in your life you nearly died of bliss?
- Where is one place you absolutely love to be?
- Do you keep a journal?
- Why do you write?
- Who is someone you can talk to about your deepest deepest thoughts and feelings?
- Do you think social media is more of a good thing or more of a bad thing overall?
- What are you currently reading?
You four totally don't have to do this if you don't want to. Feel absolutely free not to!
If you got this far through the post, then congratulations and thank you! This was a long one.
Ta-ta for now!