Kila = Keith (in Hawaiian language). I’m not Hawaiian. Sorry if I've disappointed you.
I'm a UC Berkeley student of Religious Studies and Music. Hence, the things I post.
It's kind of amazing what God has been doing in my life - with my studies, interests, family, and friends. I'm a complete failure like the rest of His followers, "but because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions — it is by grace you have been saved." (Eph. 2:4-5)
So, I’m on holiday from Israel (it is Shavuot break), and I’ve been chilling in Cairo for the past few days. I went to the Pyramids, saw the Sphinx, and sat on a felucca on the Nile. Apparently, locals say that I look Egyptian … which I think they’re just trying to get me to buy things. Also, the fact that I came here with three American girls makes them constantly compliment me with, “WOW. You such a lucky man!” But sometimes I have to chase off all the guys that want to buy them drinks and get in their pants … They really like blonde haired girls, and gingers make them go crazy. So keep a good eye out on your girl friends if you come with any.
I really enjoyed riding my first camel. I went to the Pyramids of Giza, and the camel took us to see temples, the three giant pyramids (you can decide to go inside the Great Pyramid if you like – I didn’t think it was worth it), and finally we stopped for some pictures on the sand dunes. It was an amazing experience.
It’s also SUPER cheap here in Egypt! Like in Israel, falafel costs 15 shekels ($5). Here, you can get 3 falafels for 7 pounds ($1). It’s CRAZY. And when you get ripped off here, you really only lose like $3. It’s crazy how much you can save in Egypt. I need to just raise some money for a few years and come back here – I’d live like a king.
Also, the way they drive here in Cairo (or Egypt in general) is crazy. I think there’s something to be said about taxi drivers who think they’re roller coaster conductors/ riding in a car with inebriated, Rastafarian Egyptians. You can also have a change of pace by doing a felucca ride on the Nile. My friends and I just chilled on the boat for a good two hours … time seriously flew by.
My friends and I have been staying atDina’s Hostel (click for link). And I don’t think there’s a better hostel in Egypt. They provided us with breakfast (bread, eggs, cheese, tea, veggies, and more), good company (you meet the greatest people who are travelling the world: Egypt, China, India, Africa), and a place with much needed WiFi (and the latter is supposedly rare to find in Egyptian hostels). They also hooked us up with a day trip to Alexandria with cool guides. (Though the guides to Alexandria have a tour guide plan, they are willing to be flexible and work something out if you want to see specific things in Alexandria. And if you can’t afford something - like the Alexandrian fish - just let them know and they can take you some place else.)
I highly recommend you coming to Egypt and staying with Dina and her gang. I, and all of my friends, will definitely be coming back here when we decide to come back to Cairo.
I have found a space inside somebody else / I have found a space in you / Where i feel so safe from everybody else / Keep me close, keep me close, keep me close / Take my hand, my heart, and lead me to the time / where we all can start again / Take me far away from everybody else / and I’ll keep you close, keep you close, keep you close.
“We may do what the church tells us, and never do what Christ tells us, for these may be different things; and the church is not our Saviour, but Christ. We may believe what a certain creed tells us, but not believe what Jesus teaches; for our creed and Christ may be two very different things. Ay, and we may believe even what the Bible itself teaches to us, or think we believe it; but, if our heart has never made submission to the Teacher himself, so as to sit at his feet, and receive the truth obediently from him, our religion is altogether vain.”
Studying in Israel has been such a great choice for me. And I still have 3 months to go!
I’m taking graduate school classes on Biblical Studies. I’ve been meeting and having great times with new friends. I’ve had Christians (peers and one older guy) who share my struggles and who pour into my life and encourage me. And those bouts of loneliness have been long gone since I’ve been here - only by His grace.
Here’s my blog that I’ve been updating semi-frequently. I’m so glad I’m here. I’m happy.
“Too many Christians study the Word of God as if gaining knowledge is the sum total of our mission on this earth. But according to Paul, knowledge can be completely worthless and even harmful: knowledge puffs up, but love builds up (1 Cor. 8:1).
“If we believe that statement, then why do we have so much admiration for people who know lots of facts? Have we forgotten that knowledge is a means to a greater end? Knowledge enables us to love God and love our neighbors more fully. If we’re not putting what we know to work in our lives, then our knowledge will simply make us more arrogant.
“There’s a terrifying irony here: your study of the Bible could actually lead you further away from the Lord.”
The forever alone meme. That’s me. Or that’s how I often feel.
As of this past semester, I’ve constantly felt loneliness. Not because I don’t have enough friends. (On the contrary, I’m social. I party. And I have amazing friends who are there for me.) Not necessarily because of I lack a romantic relationship. And it’s not because I don’t get laid. (I honestly feel that romance and sex, though they’re strong urges, are small in the grand scheme of things.) But my loneliness exists more because I feel the need for a best friend who isn’t afraid to tell me that he’s my best friend. A best friend who isn’t afraid to commit to me and back out from being my best friend despite all the crap he knows about me.
While experiencing this loneliness, I’ve skipped classes for weeks on end, because I felt too depressed to go. I’d tell myself I’d skip classes to be productive and study, but instead, I find myself too overwhelmed with my thoughts. Paralyzed by my thoughts, I decide to just sleep for the whole day. At other instances, I think I just don’t want to live anymore. Never would I have thought that I’d suffer from depression. My closer friends have told me that they are shocked to discover that my thoughts get so dark; apparently, I can hide my depression well.
But God remains faithful. He reveals His truth to His children. How easy is it for us to praise God in our ups? Even non-Christians can do that. I’ve seen plenty of non-Christians shout “Hallelujahs” and bring praises to the heavens for all the good that’s been done to them.
Oh, my soul, God canmust be praised (and is worthy of praise) in my darkest times. I was taught that “feelings are not fabricators of reality; they are but indicators.” I must not let my feelings determine my actions and my praises unto God. Rather, my feelings can be used to reflect on my life and relationship with God, and be turned around as a tool and instrument to bring praise to Him.
Even David cried, “It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn Your statutes.” (Ps. 119:71) Loneliness afflicts me each and every day, even when I am amongst friends I love the most. But maybe this affliction points to my greater need (not for people, but) for God.
And Keith, how sweet it is to come crying at the feet of your God, King, and Savior! If loneliness and depression find you day after day, come crying to his feet asking for grace. If you find joy in the morning, ask for more grace for the dark day ahead of you! He is a loving Father, quick to hear the pleas of His children who cry, “Abba!” He is mighty to save the people that He has already freed from bondage.
Perhaps you were afflicted so that you may know how willing He is to chase after you and make you whole again in His Son’s blood. Therefore, boast even in your affliction, because your God remains good!
When I made this tumblr, I just wanted to focus on my areas of study: Music and Religion. I was going to study and learn new facts about different religions and post them here. I was going to struggle with these ideas as a Christian. I was going to post music that was stuck in my head. I was going to post the music that I had to learn in class. I was going to post songs that I wanted to get stuck in my head.
It’s been fun having this blog, but it’s turned into a site where I waste time trying to reblog pictures and songs and Christiany things. It’s gotten boring.
I want a blog that’s more catered to celebrating what God’s done in my life, and one that is open and completely honest about the myriads of struggles that I face as a Christian. It’s always been my impression that there is no cookie-cutter Christian experience. Some Christ-followers may find it easy to love God and pursue Him, but I am one inclined to not love God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. Almost each day, I would choose death rather than Him. But I’ve been learning that my salvation really lies only in His pursuit of me; not mine in Him. I see Him chasing me and lifting me out of the depths of hell like He chased David (Psalm 139:7-10).
I want a blog where I can openly share these thoughts and struggles. (And I already know that judgment will come from some because of the honest and truthful thoughts/emotions that I will post. Because there will be many of these posts. And they may far outnumber the happy, celebratory ones.) But on the contrary, I know that no matter my emotions and feelings and thoughts I may have against Jesus, Jesus and His Word and truth will remain the same. Thus, this will be a blog where I will unashamedly share the Gospel despite my heart’s inclination toward death.
I want to actually blog on this new blog. That actually sounds nice.
And yet, the cross that I am to bear daily feels too heavy. There are some days in which I just toss it off my shoulders and try to forget about Christ’s calling. There are some days when I legitimately just stop being a Christian (a Christ-follower, that is).
But there is something beckoning in His voice. Even after I’ve purposefully stepped away from Him and denied Him, I can still hear (only by His grace),
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.