Friday, May 8, 2009

27 is the start

It has been awhile since I blogged...sorry haha

"The deeper we grow in the Spirit of Jesus Christ, the poorer we become--the more we realize that everything in life is a gift." -Brennan Manning The Ragamuffin Gospel

27 today and I don't even know how I feel about it. Your typical milestones are 13, 16, 18, 21, 25 then all the numbers that end in 0 up to 65. But I have been reading recently about finding the extraordinary in the ordinary. I am grateful when my birthday comes around because God for some unknown reason loves me and allows me to see the sun rise over the earth. I think I would love heaven but just can't wrap my thoughts around what heaven would even look like, but still walking and talking on earth for God's mission and goal keeps the blood flowing in my veins. I want to observe the "theater of earth" that Calvin talked about, to stop and smell the flowers like Peterson writes and to just sit and pray like Foster calls me to. Scripture reminds me of a God that made the earth with care and love for someone as sinful as me. I was telling someone recently that I felt like a slave to the gospel. Sometimes I don't want to be and I get pulled back in because my heart and passion remind me of a God that is loving, compassionate and overtaking this world. This reminds me of a passion we all have when we get inspired by something like in the movies, on youtube or by a sermon message. Something that God embedded within us to be unique and created with purpose. I guess I reflect on my birthday in that way, I was created for His purposes and that fits me just fine. I would rather be a slave in his kingdom than a king over nations with my talent, $ making capabilities or influence.

Glory be to God.

Book recommendation: The contemplative pastor by Eugene Peterson. Great read, awesome thoughts for anyone not just pastors.

This kid David Choi is pretty good...thanks Benson Lee for the link. I always love young Asian American talent because it brings value to our culture.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

How to connect (it has been a busy season)

I hope my brain still remembers how to blog =P

Lately I have been busy with seminary, wedding planning, finding a roommate, selling my car and preparing for Catalina. I canceled cable last Friday and it made me realize how much time I was actually wasting by watching t.v. It is a great distraction from life but t.v. sucks you into a twilight zone type of world. One thing I know that has been lacking is spending time with Jesus and community. It seems that you can have an "affair with work" as Reggie McNeal writes in A Work of Heart.
As staff (and as a seminary student) you keep reading these books about ministry and who you are that sooner than later you begin to realize how messed up you actually are. There are so many things I have realized about myself and ministry that sometimes I wish I lived in a childlike ignorance that just followed Jesus...Now I am more aware about myself and it does make me a stronger leader however I can get so bogged down by what I have done wrong and what the books say you should not do. Good thing we are not perfect, our ministry is not OURS and Jesus is King.

Check out the song "God of This City"
It is a good one.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Race and Media

"Skin color and physical characteristics still influence race categories"-Nieves and Priest This Side of Heaven.
I love how Obama is changing the race pieces in The United States. His position and popularity has given more exposure to the diverse nation that truly exists. Television has so many racial undertones that under the guise of a good plot and some action scenes hide the injustices of casting managers or directors. How do you make it in hollywood? I asked my sister who is an Asian American actress. She basically said you have to work hard but sometimes you get typecasted and that is just the way it is. And how the whole Asian American community in hollywood know each other to a certain degree. Why do the Latin television stations have people who look more white? why are Asians the reporters and why is a black person viewed as a gangster in every scene? but more importantly how does this effect me and my thinking?
I wish my response could be that race on T.V. does not effect my thinking but that would be false. I am guilty of judging people by the color of their skin all too often. Even when I was a young boy watching G.I. Joe I wanted to be the white American hero. I am trying to learn what thinking beyond images and the flow of society really means. This is also why I am glad that Obama is president. History is changing but has only taken infantile steps. And where is the church in all of this? are we even pursuing a more kingdom perspective of race and ethnicity. It is sad to say that the church in America is light years behind (a quote actually from someone I interviewed). We need to learn from places and organizations that are stepping into a multiethnic context so that we can actualize the kingdom of God.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


155 people on board a U.S. airways flight and no fatalities, all the news stations are calling this a "near-miraculous" if not miraculous instance. It made me think that God has a unique plan for all those on board. I, like many probably, have thought before what it would be like to be in a plane that is crashing. What would my last words be or would I have the courage to help others let alone speak of Christ? This also brings the urgency of the gospel and the main purpose of life. We are here and alive post-resurrection for very important reasons. Beyond what each of our lives are directed to do by the Father in Heaven we all have one main objective... to be prisoners for the gospel. As I was praying recently this thought almost brought me to tears. We are prisoners of the gospel some of us tightly bound others loosely shackled. I found that there is no escaping this powerful thing that has captured my heart. The gospel is so strong that it defies dreams and hopes of some to become business men/women, lawyers and molecular biologists or puts you right in those places for the sake of the gospel itself. The true miracle that I "wrestle" with almost everyday is the fact that Christ would come down and die for a broken world and a sinner like me. He has plans for those 155, who knows maybe it is so that all of them would discover His love. 

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Diversity in America/Chinese American

   So I am reading this book at Peet's Coffee in Cupertino about the historical diversity of America for seminary. The book is by Vincent Parrillo. One of the surprising statistics that I did not know about was that during the period of 1820-1853 only 88 Chinese immigrants entered the U.S. and in the 19th century about 1/20 were women! It is so weird reading this statistic because I am in Cupertino! I am surrounded by Asian Americans and across from me as I write this is a Chinese woman teaching her white boyfriend Chinese. The book overall is about the diversity that existed among the Native Americans and immigrants over the historical periods of America's foundation. The class is about leadership and diversity. I am noticing that we as different cultures and backgrounds bring so much to the table of diversity in America both in the past and for the future. 
   My parents immigrated to the U.S. in 1967 and I had heard that they were ridiculed and even abused for being Chinese. I can only imagine what that looked like for the 88 who came to America in search of a brighter future. This is not written to rant about how Asians are mistreated but more along the lines of admiration towards the Asian Americans who came before me. Even though they probably ended up working the railroad or laundry jobs they must have dreamed of days like these where a greater Asian American community existed and thrived in America. We are now living their dreams to some extent and I really thank God for making me Chinese American. Let's not forget that there are still immigrants in our midst that experience injustice, hardship and pain for hopes of a better future. I know that for my parents they came for the dreams of their children growing up without need and poverty. And I believe that God made us all wonderfully in His image and likeness with dreams for His children to know why they were so uniquely made...history and all included. 

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Faith and sacrifice

    Yesterday I had the chance to fellowship with a family from my home church in Cupertino. This particular family has seen hardship and learned how to balance their lives in front of their children through these struggles. One thing that I admire the most about this family is their steadfast love for God. The father told me, "We had a challenge when we were younger to pray and read scripture daily, and so far we have done that together everyday" if it were anyone else I would have honestly thought that they probably meant everyday as best as they could... however with this family they really didn't skip a beat. This constant discipline became more natural to them over the time that they formed and practiced their routine with God. The thing that makes this harder is the fact that they have four kids! This makes me reflect on how at my age and life stage with balancing personal time with God, work, friends and family seem hard enough. It is encouraging to know and see a family that pursues God in the company of family. This Christmas break for me is really about finding God's grace through the eyes of others. It has been such an interesting time hearing stories of faith from other families and meetings that I have had while up here in NorCal. I have seen what faith looks like in the midst of sacrifice and loss but also who God through what is created. On another note, over break I had the chance to watch slumdog millionare a movie just recently released. The movie had such great themes and social commentary that I really recommend people to watch it too, its not too scandalous or bloody either. Blessings on your holidays and I hope everyone gets a chance to hear another story from friends/family that has never been heard before.  

Friday, December 12, 2008

I am here on purpose...

We just finished our InterVarsity Christmas Party for Mesa College and the one big take away that I am having is that our students are making genuine, honest and transparent steps for community. This is so powerful because our family is attracting international students, nominal Christians and seekers. They are discovering new passions in community and purpose while being at Mesa. The question of the night was..."Christmas is the story of Jesus, What is your story?" The stories of students that were suppose to be in the navy, at San Diego State or in New York yet ended up at Mesa College were numerous, they really spoke of God's action as purposeful and meaningful. The major dilema on campus is that students don't know why they are there besides community college just being a road block, a means to an ends. But the look on their faces when you see that world view collapse and the God of heaven and earth becomes a bit more day to day...that is priceless. Our God is The Living God and with purpose He directs us Proverbs 16:9.