Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Humbled again

I have learned over the years of my music playing that my willingness to worship on my own is a good indication of how close I am with God. If I have have an urge to just play some music, secular music usually does the job. In order for me to pick up my guitar and go into worship mode automatically, there are a few possibilities: 1. I feel the need to worship God to thank him for everything that is going on in my life, 2. I feel good with where I am with God and feel compelled to worship or 3. I am completely broken before God and need his forgiveness and help.

The third scenario happened tonight. I was sitting there at my desk bored out of my mind and was overthinking everything that had been happening (like I always do), and I picked up my guitar randomly. I tuned it, and the lyrics to few worship songs just came to me and I played and sang and prayed until my fingers hurt and it was time for bed. It was refreshing and it reminded me a lot of things, and it made me sad.

I was sad because I realized I only came to him and asked for help when I was in a dark place. I was sad also because I realized I have been pretending to be close to him, but I really wasn't.

Ever since I left the Navy in late July, I've had a lot of free time. I would wake up early in the morning to have my devotion time and pray with my mom twice a day. I never missed church and I went to Bible study every Wednesday. All of these things would have been good if I had been doing it with my heart eager for God, but I hadn't. I went through the motion and did all the right things, but I was impatient, and I only did it because it was the right thing to do (spend more time with God brings you closer to him blah blah blah). Of course I didn't know that at the time otherwise I wouldn't be writing this blog to share with you my experience haha.

But then an opportunity presented itself to me, something I've wanted for a long time and man did I want it. I thought it was so perfect that I prayed to God "I'm getting way too excited over this and God if this is not what you have prepared for me, please just take it away so that I don't have to waste time on it and think about it all the time." I honestly can't tell you if I'm glad or mad that I said that prayer to God because He did take it away from me forcibly in the end, and it really hurt. Maybe if I had actually been close to God I wouldn't even need him to take it away from me to know that it was a temptation in disguise. It took me several days to come to the conclusion that while I did make the mistake of falling into the temptation and treated the situation with terrible handling, God pulled me out of it and snatched it right out of my hands because he knew I would hold onto it with all my might and never admit I was wrong.

As I was thinking about all this again tonight, the first song that came to me when I picked up my guitar:

Your love never fails -Jesus Culture

You stay the same through the ages
your love never changes
there may be pain in the night
but joy comes in the morning 
(which comes from Psalm 30:4-5)

and then the bridge that repeats:
You make, all things work together for my good 
(Romans 8:28)

as I was singing another song came to me, and funny thing is, it's one of the songs I sing that most when I worship, but never did it have the effect it had on me tonight.

Blessed be your name-Matt Redman

You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord, blessed be your name 
(Job 1:21)

Anyone who knows me enough knows that I am TERRIBLE at remembering scriptures and where they are from. But when it comes to worship song lyrics, I somehow remember it haha (given that it is from the Bible in some way of course). After those songs, many others came to mind but I feel like this is a good representation of what I was really communicating with God about. Through this, I
was able to calm down and stopped thinking; Instead I began to thank Jesus for the experience.

I would be lying if I told you tomorrow I'm just gonna wake up and I'm gonna be 100% okay and I'm gonna find meaning in all the things I do to get closer to God, but I'm going to try. I'm not going to do things just because I'm Christian and it's right for me to do it, I'm gonna do it because I love God and he knows what's best for me. I also would appreciate it if y'all give me any feedback on this and support me through prayers as I walk on through this journey. And most importantly thanks for reading till the end haha I did not know I was gonna write this much. Welp it's definitely time for bed since I still have to wake up early tomorrow. Thanks again and God bless!

Monday, May 26, 2014

My Siege Tank Model is Tearable

Let me just state beforehand, I do not own any of the content (the design of the papercraft, the design and blueprint of the siege tank from StarCraft II and the viewing software). I obtained all of these online through various websites and it's only for recreational purposes. So without further ado, this is my experience for making my very first papercraft and I hope this helps those of you who are considering making one as well.

This blog came about a year late because I typed it and took the pictures but then just forgot about it till recently so apology for that haha

1. Gather the materials:

-Papercraft pattern 
 I downloaded mine here online and this guy does some StarCraft II specific ones, it's in Korean.
(the file type should be .pdo) The link might be gone already so feel free to ask me for the file. 

-Software to open the patterns
unfortunately it only works on Windows, but it allows you to see the 3D layout of the model and you can click on a few parts together at the same time to see which things goes with which.

-Scissor and knife
to cut the parts out of the paper

I just used normal liquid crafting glue. It's generally better to go with "quick drying" or "tacky"

-Choice of paper
Based on several papercrafting sites I've looked on, generally you want to get paper that's about 120 gsm (grams per squared meter) so it's thick enough to handle the folding. I used normal cheap printer paper (~80 gsm). It made the whole process a little more difficult but I didn't have to pay for anything

-A good working environment
You want to find a location that is both well lit and flat. Also make sure your pet can't get to it.

2. Print Out the Pattern

Using color printing would make the end product look nice. I did mine the economic way aka black and white everything.

3. Cutting Out the Pieces

Between step 3-5 I actually repeated the process over and over again for each individual page because this specific pattern you can do that (ex. first page is the body of the tank and the things that go on top of it, and second page is the part that is directly under the body), I imagine not all patterns are like this. Cutting all of the pieces and then moving on to the next step is also an option.

This is probably the second hardest step of this whole process, behind only step 4. If you printed this out in color you should have an easier time cutting. I did not. Black and white make the lines hard to see and I made some mistakes here and there because of that. Another thing to keep in mind is to leave more than enough space for gluing. I personally thought what the original designer left was not enough so for each of my pieces I purposely cut the gluing space twice as large just so I can feel safe.
the space is too small for my clumsy hands to glue
an example of a cut out piece

4. Making the 3D Blocks

As I mentioned this is the hardest part and for the siege tank one the later pages are the harder ones to glue so you're gonna need your patience at the end.

size comparison to a penny on one of the smaller parts

5. Gluing the Blocks Together

Seeing the blocks one by one coming together is the coolest thing because everything just fits together. But sometimes you just can't glue the blocks right and they turn out kind of twisted. solution? Add more glue to the surface so it sticks. Just don't go overboard though, because it is paper after all. 
one of the pieces with glue on it
almost there

working environment/layout of the software

6. Admire Your Masterpiece/Find a Place For It

I haven't had time to go get a case for mine from Hobby Lobby, but when I get a chance I will. There is no way I'm gonna let this thing get ruined... I spent too much time on it haha. Here's a link to the Instagram video of it.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Challenge Accepted

If I was to ask you what is single piece of technology you do not leave home without, my guess is at least 80% of the people would say their cell phone. With the kind of things we can do on our phones, it is so hard to just put it down. I mean, you can keep up with friends on it through text, iMessage (iPhone users only of course), surf the interwebz, upload pictures on instagram (videos too now! see ya later Vine?) use it as a flashlight, compass, GPS... You know what I'm talking about.

I can't be the only one like this ...

Well, the topic I want to being to your attention today has a little something to do with your precious little phones being the distraction to your life! No I'm not talking about texting while driving or anything like that, but the habit of our generation to constantly stay on our telephonic devices while we should be doing other things, so a little more something like this:

Now I don't know if your family is the same as mine, but at any of my family function or even just regular dinner time, usage of cell phones is prohibited. I realized that I have a problem when I noticed I have had to leave the table once or twice each meal just to check for texts or notifications. After that is when I started noticing more and more of this bad habit on me. I'll have to have my phone on me going anywhere, and sometimes it's even hard for me not to check my phone during class. (What if I got a poke on FB or something, ya know?) If this was only a problem on me I'd just call a doctor and see what's wrong with me but when I see it on other people too I bagan to understand this is a problem we can't avoid anymore. In a poll done by Princeton shows that 58% of young adult surveyed (age 19-29) admit excessive use of their smart phones on a daily basis.

My challenge to you then, is to put your phone down once in a while and communicate with people face to face. I'm not saying to "limit yourself to like 30 minutes of phone time every 4 hours" or "get up and stretch every 20 minutes of cell phone usage" but just use your judgement. If it can wait, don't respond. Focus on the task at hand, put your phone in your backpack or purse or hands-free belt satchel or whatever. I wouldn't tell you to do something before trying it myself first of course so on May 16th, 2013, I turned my phone off for a whole 24 hours and didn't use it at all. I also didn't look at my Facebook or twitter but that's just something else I threw in to make it more challenging. This was done with prior notification to friends and family so they don't freak out when they don't find me that day. But other than that I just left my phone at home when I left to go to work at 1 pm that day.

I had a four hours shift that day and since it was a slow day, the challenge proved itself to be very difficult at first. I found myself checking my pocket for my phone every five minutes or so, and even feeling the vibration from a text when I knew I didn't even have my phone on me. (it's called phantom vibration syndrome apparently) I looked at the clock thinking that an hour has past but really it was only 15 minutes. After that it became easier and easier to eventually I didn't have to think about it too much. I was impressed by how fast I was able to not care about it, but after the 24 hours has past I picked it up as if it had never left my hand in the first place and checked all of my social media pages at once. Disappointed by how little notifications I had (insert forever alone face here), I decided that it really wasn't a big deal for me to just put my phone down once in a while and interact with people. The pro of this habit definitely outweighs the con since you'll be able to:

1. Build relationship with whoever you're with (Give yo girl that extra attention she needs)
2. Pay attention to what you're doing like listen to your prof in class
3. Not make the party host feel like his party is boring (if you're at one)
4. Avoid any health hazard of using a phone for too long (no idea if this is even real)
5. include the guy in the room that doesn't have a data plan or smart phone!
5. Save the limited data plan that you might have...?

There's gotta be more benefits but that's all I can think of for now.

If you're too lazy to read through all of that basically I said:
I did it for a whole 24 hours period and so can you!

Lastly please let me know if you have any opinions about this blog, it was put off for a while but I finally had the time to write it tonight and I hope you liked it! Thanks for reading friends!

I leave you.... with a pretty funny Vine I found the other day, Peace!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Kindle Paperwhite Case DIY

It's Monday night, I'm writing two papers, one is due on Friday and the other two weeks from now. Just a typical school night until something on the Internet caught my eyes. A random ad on the side of my Facebook advertising homemade kindle case! No actually just kidding I got bored and went to look up to how make your own kindle case because I'm too cheap to buy a good one.

Decided to use old composition book as the spine for this case

Removing the pages

Meauring and cutting out the extra sides

Comparing the Kindle to make sure the dimensions are right

Cutting away with my really really null knife

Cutting the tarp according to the size of the book

After trying glue, stables, and tape I realized duct tape is the only thing strong enough to hold everything together and still look presentable. (Well kinda)

The outside after I was done

Final Product! Looks real cheap but it'll do for now

Monday, December 24, 2012

Re-telling the Christmas Story

With Christmas finally here once more, what has gotten you busy running around this year? Buying presents? Attending parties? Going places to reunite with family? Or even going to church for Christmas service? In the middle of all this, do you really understand why we're celebrating this holiday? 

For those of you who grew up in the western hemisphere, I have no doubt you are familiar with the story of  Jesus' birth and understand that Christmas is a time of giving (And the whole deal about Christmas is celebrating Christ's birth and not about santa Claus because he's not real blah blah blah). Therefore I am going to skip the usual discussion about that and bring to you a different topic: Common misconceptions about the nativity story.

We can do this a few different ways:
1. I have here a link that takes you over to a website I found which explains everything I am trying to get across pretty well for those of you who wants to read about it. I will talk briefly over everything on the bottom but this is a Q&A format: http://christiananswers.net/christmas/mythsaboutchristmas.html

2. Here is a video that my church showed today which pretty much motivated me to write this blog: 

3. Keep scrolling and you can read what i have to say about them.

Common misconceptions of the nativity story:

-Mary rode a Donkey into Bethlehem: In the new testament of the Bible, there was no real evidence that Mary actually rode a Donkey, it was only assumed. In fact, it was probably unlikely that she did because of the long trip and Mary was also pregnant (That's right, you try telling a pregnant lady to sit in the back of your truck while going 60 off road for an hour. You get the idea). The distance from Nazareth to Bethlehem is approximately 96.3 miles! 

just a btw in case you want to be checking the Bible for all this in the process of reading, flip open to Luke ch. 2 because out of the four Gospels only Luke and Matthew talks about Jesus' birth and Matthew very brief.

-Jesus was born on the night Joseph and Mary got to Bethlehem: The Bible simply said "While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born," (Luke 2:6) (NIV). for all we know, they could've been there for a couple of nights already.

-Joseph and Mary has talked to Innkeepers: In the church play put on by the children, there's usually innkeepers that Joseph and Mary talk to that turn them down because of not having rooms in their inn/hotel, but the Bible did not have a mention of these characters, and there is a chance there wasn't even an inn in the first place

-Jesus was born in a stable: Scholars have argued over and over for this part of the scripture and the Bible only said it was a Manger, because of no room in the inn, which the word in Greek actually is Kataluma Which means more of a guest room in a house rather than an inn or hotel. Another interesting thing, the manger back in the days were actually caves rather than stables that we imagine it to be, sooo.... Jesus was probably born in a cave. 

-Jesus was a peaceful and quiet baby: false, the Biblical reference offers no such claim and it only exist in modern Christmas music

-Three kings brought three expensive gifts for Jesus at his birth: there are a few things wrong with this common belief. One being there were three Magi (wisemen) not kings (The three kings idea is from another Christmas carol). Number two there might've been more than three magi since the Bible only mentioned three kind of gifts and no certain amount of magi. Three nobody said anything about the magi being there at Jesus' birth. Scholars actually suggest that they met Jesus when he was a child and not a baby. (only in the Gospel of Matthew does the Bible even mentioned about the three Magi that came from the East)

-Jesus was born on December 25th: Historical evidence suggests that Jesus was actually probably born around March or April and not December . To read more about it here's another link since it'll take a long time going that whole other argument: http://www.ucg.org/doctrinal-beliefs/biblical-evidence-shows-jesus-christ-wasnt-born-dec-25/

Now I would like to clarify that I'm not writing this to confuse you and to suggest that the Bible is a confusing piece of literature, but to merely inform you of this trend of commercialization and the twisting of our Christmas traditions. If the most basic and important story of Christ's birth is mostly wrong, what can we expect to be right about what we do this time of the year? In this sick society we live in, people buy ravishing gifts to each other even when they're out of money and kids write a list of unnecessary things that they want. But that's not Christmas. I thought Christmas was suppose to be a time of giving, not "hmm, I want this and that and in exchange I'll give you this and that" time. I love getting presents because it shows how much people know about me and I get things I usually would feel wasteful buying. But why not use this money for something more meaningful? Use it on something that'll actually change a person's life? Christmas just so happen to fall on the season of winter, the coldest time of the year, the most dangerous time for weaker and poorer people in the society. While we are at white elephant gift exchange and laughing over gag gifts bought with pocket change, some people are out in the cold figuring out how to stay warm of even alive for another night. Has materialism and commercialism really defeated us? 

My hope is that next time when you pick up a Christmas card that has the manger scene on the cover, you point it out to the person next to you and explain to them on how important this holiday really is and ask them if there's anything you and help them with instead of "What do you want for Christmas?" 

On that note, I end my Christmas rant/blog and hope everybody to have a safe and wonderful Christmas season! 

 (Leave a comment if you have any questions or interesting criticism that will help me in my writing. Also if I got anything wrong please let me know and point me in the right direction)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Nightmare before Christmas/Summer VayCay

On my run last night to wolf pan creek, I noticed several things that were interesting to me. 
1. The running trail right next to Harvey rd in College Station is connected to the back of sonic, ozona's, Rudy's, and fazoli's (literally, you can run into the parking lot without crossing the awkward parkway area that always seems to be dry until you step into it)
2. The Taco Bell drive-through was full of cars
3. There was barely anybody out walking or running at all.

My theory for the things I noticed is: aliens (puts hands up). No just kidding. I know it was because it was finals week so that people were catching late night snacks at unhealthy places and not out enjoying the nice evening air. 

For that reason I'd like to write a blog dedicated to all my fellow college students on how to stay healthy and focus on studying the right way!

Below are some of the pointers I have gathered from experience and friends the last three and almost a half of college career at A&M. 

1. Take care of your body
Even though we all know staying up late and using caffeinated drinks as a mean of helping us stay awake is a bad idea, we still do it. It's one of those things we just tell people. It's like saying "you don't understand, I'm an engineering major, if I don't stay up and study I'm not a normal person. " all jokes aside, one of the reason it's hard for many people to get the good test result they want is because they stay up, skip breakfast, and focus on nothing but studying. Everybody needs sleep, I don't care how well you study at night more than during the day, get some sleep before opening that book. Because if your body isn't functioning properly, you will only obtain one hour worth of studying out of like five. Next thing, make sure you get some food in that belly, and not fast food. I'm talking about fruits and veggies, a real meal (no empty carbs, if you don't know what that is, here's a link to clarify: http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090425014826AAm6Ez8). It takes only 30 minutes to make a good meal and if you don't use that time for cooking you're gonna be looking at useless stuff on the Internet anyways so why waste it? I'm sure everybody has heard of the expression "Breakfast is the most important meal of the day" So I'm not gonna beat on that dead horse, but really, eat breakfast! I'm in biochemistry right now and I can tell you it affects you on a noticeable level (it also explains why people falls asleep in class). Another good thing to do to help you stay awake can be to go exercise. It sounds backwards because exercising should exhaust you more than anything. But if you do something like jogging that requires little effort for 15 minutes, you will be surprised how far you can run and how much more pumped up you are at getting started on studying you are. Also it helps with your immune system, so you don't get sick the night before your biggest test.

2. Talk to your professors
Remember who is going to put your final grade down on the paper for good? Your professor holds the power to make or break your future. Creating a good relationship with them is one of the most important things in college. But when final week comes around and you're panicking on your final because your grade is borderline, go talk to them. Most professors are helpful and if they can tell you've been trying your hardest they'll cut you some slack. I had one prof that I didn't talk to all semester and I went in the day before the last test he told me as long I get a B on it ill have an A in the class just because he sees me in class everyday (I sit in the front row like a nerd sometimes). If you're the type of person to not go to class at all and have gotten below borderline grades, my best suggestion to you is: pray to God and study hard, maybe you shoulda been paying attention in class, or dropped it when you knew it was time.

3. Use your time wisely
Yeah I know everything is more interesting when you're trying to study and there are a thousand things you'd rather be doing than to study, but trust me you want to focus just this week before letting your freaky side run wild. Whether it be a year down the road or five. You'd want to look at your transcript and know that your GPR is higher than the guy sitting next to you in class or in line waiting for an interview.  Here are some things you can do to help eliminate temptations: turn off your TV (the only thing Barney Stinson will help you learn is how to make up another way to say the word legendary...that and be awesome I suppose, self five!), don't have your WiFi turned on on your phone and laptop unless you need, figure out what's the best studying pattern for you (alone, with friends, with music on, in your room...). Lastly, use a timer to help you decide how long you will take to study on each subject. Since its finals week I expect you to have more than one thing to study for. If you can, bounce between different subjects that way your brain isn't filled with a single thing all night, and remember to take breaks (what I do is put my timer on 30 minutes and go make food and I'll try to finish it before the time is up)

This is only a brief summary of what I have learned over the years and if you have anything else I'm more than happy to hear about it since I will be staying in school (hopefully) for my masters and maybe even PhD eventually, so I'll need the advice as well.

Well I apologize for the long blog and thanks again for dropping by. If you're reading this within a week of me posting it and you are a college student you should probably be studying... So good luck and leave any comments if you wish!

oh... and here's a distraction if you just REALLY REALLY need it:

Saturday, December 1, 2012


Hey guys, thanks for visiting and reading my blog and I hope you had a chance to read what this is all about (if you haven't, you should!) Since this is the very first blog, let me introduce myself.

Well... My name is ("on the paper") Feng Hsuan Chen, aka 陳鳳軒 for those of you who can read Chinese, but I go by Billy. I was born and raised in Ping Tung, Taiwan and moved to San Antonio, TX when i was 14. I currently go to Texas A&M University and on my second to last semester of undergraduate with the pursuit in a degree of Forensic Science. I have been a Christian and a lot of my beliefs come from that aspect of my life. I enjoy sports, music, and currently developing a hobby of collecting insects. 

 Alright, now that I've gotten the intro out of the way... the blog itself:

Never in my life have I thought that I would have a chance of coming so close to obtaining college degree in a foreign country and looking to possibly expanding my education with a master's degree. But then again never have I thought that I would one day remember to get my parents to sign my planner the night before school. You see, when I was young, I was one of the problematic student that my teacher describe me as "energetic and special". I had grades as low as 30 on a math test. I had no direction in life and all I wanted was to be like the most popular kid in class, even if that means I'll have to act like someone I'm not. All of that changed when I moved here. I was given a new chance to start over at some place where nobody knows who I am (heck, nobody even speaks my language). This is when I noticed I began to change. I wanted to be more, I wanted to put myself out there, I wanted to be different in a good way. 

The more I think about it, the more i am thankful for this chance. My question is though, what triggered this change of attitude? Because I know people who also have been given the same opportunity, but choose to do the exact same things. I guess this is parallel to the question that we've all encountered in life at some point: "If you have the chance to do it over, would you do the same thing?" 

I believe us humans learn from our mistakes and that's how we improve, so it's important for us to trip and fall every once in a while to understand where we are and better ourselves. Though I mentioned earlier that I "went the different direction this time", I continue to make mistake in other areas. For example, I wasted almost three years of my life in college investing on something that never paid off all because I couldn't let go. It hurt me and took all of my attention away from things that matters. Right now I stand alone and face the consequences from that decision. This will forever haunt me, but I learned my lesson. I can say that next time I'll do things differently, but there won't be a next time. Maybe that's what matters, it's whether or not you understand what you did wrong, not trying to be perfect. Maybe that's why the bible stresses that we are all sinners and we all make mistakes but we are already forgiven for what we will do wrong in the future. At the end, I can't help but to want a do-over for my mistakes, but I know that is both impossible and pointless.

I do apologize for the negative connotation this entry gives off, but that just so happen to be on my mind so I just wanted to write it. Next time will be a totally different thing. nevertheless thanks again for reading and please leave any criticism and comment, after all, there is a reason this blog is set to public viewing. 

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