Wednesday, July 4, 2012
Monday, March 15, 2010
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
to begin, why do it? what motivates us to marry someone? love? fear of being alone?company? "perks"?
i think it may be easier to answer these questions by saying why one shouldn't get married.
the way i see it, marriage is like a pair of handcuffs (i'm sure there are better analogies for what i'm trying to say but for now, this is all i can come up with). it ties you down and ties your hands. sometimes, because of marriage, people have to give up on their dreams in order to meet the needs or demands of their partner.
not only does it tie your hands preventing you from doing something you may want to, but it ties you down. with marriage comes responsibility. duty to your spouse, duty to your future with your spouse (whatever that may entail: divorce payments, kids, etc.) and usually, with marriage comes a requirement for a living space. when we get married, we become less mobile. we can't just get up and go somewhere anymore. we can't move. we become weighed down with material possessions and responsibilities. and make no mistake, the slower we move, the faster we die.
do we feel fulfilled by our marriages? certainly not! except for maybe those rare few girls for whom the perfect marriage is the ultimate goal.
not to say i don't believe in marriage, i just don't think it's for me.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
of late, there are three specific things that have been on my mind (in this order as well):
1) materialistic objects that i covet: to be more specific, cars.
if you don't already know, i recently gave my car to my brother, immediately afterwards, i began to regret it. honestly, i am not sure what came over me. it's not only that i was in love with that car, but the convenience of just having one was not really on my mind, i took that car for granted.
now that i don't have one, all i do in my spare time (and especially late at night, it's a guilty pleasure) is look online through craigslist, ebay, cars.com, autotrader, carmax for cars that i put into my bookmarks for future consideration.
the problem is that i just don't feel that i can settle for a mediocre vehicle. i want a nice car. like an idiot.
fortunately, i don't have the funds to purchase and maintain such a car right now. however, in may i am going to Japan to see my grandmother (on my father's side). and i am quite sure she is going to give me a ludicrous amount of money, more than enough to buy the cars i covet. see the thing is, i am technically the future head of our family (not to boast, but to explain). in asian culture, the first-born son of the male line inherits all the goodies. i happen to be the first-born son of the first-born son of the first-born son and so on and so forth. in addition, my father's side of the family (in Japan) is extremely wealthy. to give you an idea, my grandmother (on my father's side) recently gave my younger brother an island. yes, an island. you see, she is a real-estate queen worth millions.
when i come back, i expect to be able to purchase a nice vehicle.
but i am torn! as much as i want a nice new car, i feel humiliated to buy such a stupid and unnecessary thing. considering we are in a recession and many of my friends are experiencing economic crisis, i would feel pretty awful if i was financially unresponsible while my friends are worried about supporting their families or dropping out of school because they can't afford to stay. and i had a new car.
i also feel concerned because of how i would feel about those who i don't know who aren't as fortunate as me.
2) girls, that's pretty self explanatory but i'll elaborate anyway. it's the curse of a single guy at tech. so much of what i do is motivated by or for girls. unfortunately, the dearth of them only makes the ones that i do see more prominent and it's hard not to lower my standards or settle.
on second thought, i'd really prefer not to elaborate on this one.
3) money, ties in with the first point on cars.
Friday, August 28, 2009
there are five things that saved my life and had any of them been any different, i would have died last night:
1) the fact that there was a huge 15ft wide emergency lane for that curve that i drifted into that didn't follow the normal curvature of the road
2) the fact that i was doing it with eric russell who knows more about handling cars than anyone else; he talked me through regaining control
3) the fact that we had just done donuts so the tires were nice and hot and really really grippy on the road
4) it wasn't too wet, there weren't any puddles on the road
5) the fact that three weeks ago, i installed a new suspension package that cost me and arm and leg but apparently saved my life last night. i know that if i hadn't done that, it would have taken me an extra half-second to regain control, the car would have rolled over, hit the barrier and we would have died.
1 and 5 seem really mind-blowingly lucky to me and i have a new appreciation for life and God.
Monday, April 13, 2009
of late, i have been participating in prayer meetings and bible studies with the Living Stream Ministry and the church in atlanta.
i enjoy them very much, much more so than Bethany's small groups (unfortunately).
more on this on Wednesday
Monday, March 23, 2009
well, i ran out of money on my mealplan and i don't have any food in my apartment except for some cookie dough.
so to stave off my hunger, i've been baking and eating batches of cookies just before i get hungry so i don't have to pay money to eat real food.
for lunch i had fifteen or so chocolate chip cookies and for dinner i had about twenty oatmeal raisin cookies.
admittedly, it's pretty pathetic but i feel like i might have something here.
Sunday, March 8, 2009
now i admit, i haven't been praying for the opportunity. but i have been yearning to share the blessings of that place with my peers and that is evident in some of my previous blog posts. i hadn't realized this yearning until this saturday when i was given this opportunity. NOW i will be praying that the Lord will reveal himself to us through this.
i have been truly dissatisfied with small group of late. granted, we have a lot of newcomers and that is wonderful. it is great to see new faces coming to become intimate with God. however, i have been asking, "am i seeing these new faces because they feel comfortable and at home among their fellow believers? or is it because they truly wish to seek His face?" small group has become routine. it has become about emotions. and worst of all, it has become a constant. i realized this week, although sometimes i dreaded attending small group and tried to wiggle out of it, was it because i was truly "busy"? are we truly that busy? could i not spare 3 hours to share with my brothers and sisters my struggles over the course of the week? or are we no longer seeing that spark of God in that place? has the air become dead? why was i seeking an excuse not to go? it hit me at the end of small group last week when jae said, "it's time to take the next step and shake things up and contribute to our community." we have been looking inwards to ourselves for so long. we have been focusing on our selfish problems and desires and thinking it was holy. we have lost sight of what God wants. no. we should focus outwards on God's people who are less fortunate than we are. we will only make ourselves more miserable, more unhappy by focusing on our problems, on our wants and needs. if we look outward, we will see how tiny and insignificant our selfish emotions are. and we will truly see for the first time. and our problems, our desires won't just seem smaller to us, but we will begin to focus on God's desires.
are we truly ready to take the next step? are we truly ready to shake things up? are we truly ready to become vulnerable for God? many of us are. many of us are not. it saddens me because i realized this after speaking with vivian about spiritual gifts tonight. she saw someone speaking in tongues for the first time ever and it truly terrified her. it caused her to see doubts in her walk. and as she was telling me this, i realized, is she that different from most of the small group people? no! she is not unique in her fear of the unknown. we are all afraid of becoming vulnerable. we are all afraid of exposing ourselves. but we will be stronger for it. but there will be bumps along the road. these devotionals we will be having over the next few weeks will truly separate the spiritually strong from the spiritually weak.
this afternoon, i took soo along with me to Atlanta Union Mission. we visited my friend mike allen and asked him for some advice about bringing my friends there.
we had dinner together with him and his friend michael and it was such a wonderful blessed time. he shared his testimony and it was beautiful to hear how much he cared about me after meeting me. he remembered me and was afraid i had forgotten him. just to see how happy he was to see me and see that i had remembered him was a blessing in it of itself.
i was ashamed because spiritually, they are wealthier than we are. they are so in tune with God. yes, they have made their share of mistakes. but in a sense, don't we all have an addiction to something or other in our lives? can we truly say that we are better than they are? they learned from their experiences and exited their lifestyles before it became too late. before they died. but are we any better? have we learned from our life mistakes? visiting that place puts my life on display in perspective for me.
The Year of the LORD's Favor
1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
2 to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the LORD
for the display of his splendor.
Friday, March 6, 2009
what really struck me today was the bible passage for bible study today. ephesians 4:17-32. the gist of this passage is about how we need to give up our old selves, our old way of life, our old attitudes and trade them for a new one that is focused on Christ and others. it was just a huge reinforcement for what we talked about last night in small group. it was really amazing that that part of ephesians just happened to be our next passage in ephesians. God really showed his power there.
17So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.
20You, however, did not come to know Christ that way. 21Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
25Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body. 26"In your anger do not sin"[d]: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27and do not give the devil a foothold. 28He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.
29Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Sunday, March 1, 2009
call me old fashioned, but lately i've been thinking most people who are in relationships shouldn't be in those relationships. why? because we as human beings need more time to define ourselves before we begin to search for a relationship. experiences make up a person. i'm twenty years old and i'm still discovering who i am and experiencing change. i'm not saying that people shouldn't be defined by their relationships, even though they shouldn't. but many people do let their relationships define a large chunk of who they are. i think we need time to mature and experience life before we are ready to share ourselves with someone else. my parents used to say, "graduate college, start your career, make some money and only then should you dating girls." at the time, i was outraged and thought they were being ridiculous. but now, as i've grown and experienced a lot of life - and one bad relationship that taught me more about relationships then any ten possible relationships - i've grown to realize, i'm still growing and changing and being redefined by new experiences.
yes, granted, dating can be part of those experiences, but it's a minimal part. when you meet your soulmate, don't you want to be able to say, "i've waited for you and stayed pure and untainted for you."
in the last six months, i've experienced a major, personal and spiritual shift back towards God. i know it can happen at any time, but i don't think it would have happened if i were a little older. i might be more set in my ways or committed to a lifestyle. so true inner change happened to me while i was young. and i am willing to bet that young people in relationships are being hindered (not completely blocked, but hindered) in their search for themselves and God by their relationships.
i see pretty girls every day, and yes, i am attracted to them. yes, i think about what my life would be like if they were with me. it's impossible not to think about that. it's part of human nature. but yesterday, i sat down and wrote out some rules and guidelines that i think will help me stay single and focused on what's truly important, God.
i look around at all my friends who are dating (or trying) and i feel a little contemptuous. :( i know i'm not mature enough to handle a real relationship and i wonder, "are my friends ready to be dating?" and unfortunately, more often than not, the answer is no.
i think a real valuable relationship comes along only once in a blue moon. and when i look at a girl, i want to hear a voice, deep down within my soul, telling me YES! YES! YES! GO FOR IT! sometimes i think i hear that voice, but i know it's just what i want and not what God wants for me.
i'm taking myself off the market, so to speak. i'm not going to date girls until i feel God tells me i am ready. i hope it's soon though. i'm so lonely.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
change can be a scary thing in many ways, but it's also a birth, it's also a transition. how many times have i said, and have you had this happen in your life, where a change was bad? it feels bad at the beginning and that's what change always feels like: i just got dumped by my girlfriend, this is horrible. i'm moving, this is horrible. i'm going to a new school this is horrible. i'm starting a new job, this is horrible. change always feels scary, always feels bad. why? because it's unknown and we're scared of the unknown. And that's what freaks us out. we build our lives around the known. we build our lives around: that's my car, that's my house, that's my wife, those are my kids, that's my club, this is where i go, that's my music, this is where i put my keys, and this is how i dress. that's what we build our lives around and when that gets interrupted, it scares the crap out of us. but yet, when it gets interrupted it's usually always for the best and if you think about the lives with no change, those are the most un-lived lives. it's the guy who's been the postal carrier for 60 years and lives in the house he grew up in. think about the opposite of change. Steve Jobs has had a lot of change in his life and i don't want to just equate it to money but i just mean change in one's life and lots of change makes for a very rich vivid colorful life that's been led, as opposed to: this is the town i grew up in, i'm coaching girl's basketball at the high school i attended, i married my sweetheart from the ninth grade and i'm in the house that my parents lived in until they passed on. that is a pathetic life. so change is a good thing. now here's the thing about change, often times, you don't get to be the captain of your own change ship. other people get to make those decisions and when you decide to change it feels good. i want to break up with this person, i want to move on, i have a higher paying job i'd like to get onto, you know what? metro atlanta is a much nicer place to live and i'm moving over there. that feels good. when someone else decides on change, well then you are freaked out and you don't know what to do. but... is it ever bad? think about all the change that's ever happened in your life, has it ever been bad? and no, for me, it's growth, it's the essence of growth, it's really what growth is, it's how you measure growth. it's the rings in your tree.
we are on a primal level, terrified of change. we are desperate to cling to anything warm and comfortable and familiar. but is change a bad thing? temporarily, it can be. you're out of a job, you're out of a relationship, you're out of your old apartment, you're out of your old neighborhood, but looking back, six months, a year from that point, have you ever looked back and said, "i wish i still had that job today." it's really the opposite. at the time, you thought your world was ending when you lost this job but then you got something better. in the moment, you think, "i can't believe this girl is dumping me, i'm never going to get over this." and then later on, down the road, you think, "thank God i didn't end up with that girl."
change is always met with resistance but if you let it go and you have a rear-view mirror and you see the change that has taken place in your life you'll understand that you never would have gotten that far down the road without all the change that is holding you up - and anyone who's made it to twenty has four or five significant changes behind them: relationships, jobs, schools, neighborhoods... have they ever been bad?
Saturday, February 21, 2009
tonight i went to atlanta union mission, the carpenter's house once again to help Bethany's korean ministry serve these men in need. in my last post about this, i mentioned that God had instilled in me a heart of servitude. although i still agree with that mindframe, i feel that a more accurate description of my heart would a description that focused on how my heart truly enjoys and rejoices when i serve them. God is so great that he put in me an immense eagerness that enjoys serving so much, not for the future benefits, but for the joy and fellowship i have with the fellow volunteers, the men who we are serving, and even the children of the volunteers. i love doing it. i get to meet new people, i receive praise from the km for my work, i have great conversations with the resident kitchen volunteers and i am encouraged by them. i do it to serve the Lord because we who serve are His hands and His feet on earth. but even more so, because my heart rejoices when i get smiled at and blessed by the homeless men.
quite honestly, i feel a little selfish because it blesses me so much.
granted, i have a massive language and cultural barrier on both sides. but God does not call us to remain in our comfort zones. rather, He calls us to do things we don't feel comfortable doing. sometimes it's embarassing. sometimes it's awkward. but without these little experiences, we would never grow at all.
consider this analogy. what if you never went to school because you were so comfortable with your parents and you didn't want to meet new people. what if you waited until you were comfortable leaving your parents? you wouldn't have gotten very far without taking that leap of faith, no?
serving the men at atlanta union mission definitely rocks way more than any philanthropy or service event at georgia tech (i.e. dance marathon, HERO, etc.) because of the immediate results. these men get so blessed and are so joyous just to see you. and it's soooo easy to interact with them and just sit down and have a conversation. those lame campus organizations can 't even begin to compare on the amount of life i feel and the joy i get out of serving these men. it's a direct connection rather than an indirect one. i mean, they're right there, living not more than five miles away from where i live. and a campus organization like that, in contrast, just doesn't directly relate the serving party and the party being served. i mean, "doing it for the kids?", really? i am very skeptical about that.
there are even huge benefits to helping these men. it creates a network as well. there are two examples that stand out in my mind.
- campus parking. one of the men who helps to organize the homeless men works for Georgia Tech parking and he hooked me up with free parking for the semester!
- special events. these men are involved in the community, hence they know a lot of people. today, i had a fantastic conversation with mike allen, a 53 year old homeless man who just encouraged me about my past, present, and future love life. he was also friends with the owner of uptown comedy club and he got me free tickets for me and four friends to enjoy the comedy club.
praise the Lord! today was a day of continual thanksgiving for everything God's given me in my life.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
i didn't really start noticing this until this semester but it's amazing how our little social bubbles and cliques remain separate from each other. for example, let us examine four different social bubbles i consider or used to consider myself a part of.
- delta chi - this is the fraternity i used to be an associate member in. i often hang out with these people on an individual basis and occasionally two or three at a time. however, i never see any of these gentlemen interacting with the other three groups except maybe occasionally the party animals.
- bethany metro atlanta small group - with the exception of mira, i rarely see this group interact with anyone who is not asian.
- gt party animals - these kids don't do anything but party and frat-hop. mostly girls.
- wheeler high school friends - this group has remained amazingly exclusive and reclusive. i say this because i looked at the facebooks of most of the kids i used to interact with and none of them have any posts on their walls from anyone outside of the wheeler community. i am truly amazed at how unique i am for branching out. that sounds so pretentious, but i really do believe i know more people outside of wheeler than any three wheeler/tech kids at tech combined.
Sunday, February 1, 2009
32. Many of my close female friends have signed my bed. My big brother (in my fraternity) got me started on it and I continued the family tradition. And no, I haven’t done anything with any of them.
92. I would rather burn than freeze.
Saturday, January 17, 2009
today i served at Atlanta Union Mission: The Carpenter's House. We cooked and served wings, fries, slaw, and orange slices to about one hundred hungry men. They were so unbelievably thankful for our help and service. They were all blessing us and trying to help. I did not do it with the English Ministry or even the college group. I helped out with a small group of about ten people from the KM. Quite honestly, the only people i knew and recognized were Catherine, Grace and Eugin's parents. It greatly saddens me that the EM does not do the same.
I have committed myself to helping out every open Saturday that I can. it was such a blessed time to serve the Lord and i now know that i am doing God's work.
it is convenient too. i had not realized until christmas how nearby all the homeless shelter's and outreach locations were to my apartment.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
tonight was a night to be remembered.
we had a very intense bible study in which i learned a tremendous amount about how we are God's chosen people. we spent over two hours on just the first few verses of Ephesians alone.
afterwards, meeso and i helped joe break into his car. he had locked his car keys inside his car. we spent two frustrating hours coming up with various ways to break into it and implementing those plans. we finally got the door open and then went to go get celebration victory donuts and coffee from krispy kreme. praise God!
Saturday, December 27, 2008
the worst part is that tomorrow, we leave for a retreat. i'm a counselor. a leader. and i'm not prepared to spiritually guide and lead my group. i need God.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
i think everything went fairly well, except for two things.
1) manners - i've always been a well-mannered child and adult. or at least that's what i've been told and what i like to think. but there's a deeper level to it. there's manners to superiors (good at it) and manners to peers and equals (not so good at it). i continuously analyze my previous conversations later in the day. i sometimes say things, i know later i shouldn't have said, and i think to myself, "why the heck did i just say that? that was mean, rude, and cruel!"
2) showing me love - my dad never directly said he loved me. he would always say it indirectly or try to show it some other way like granting me a lot of freedom growing up. i vow to always remind my children that i love them. i really really want them to grow up in a christian quality environment. i never had it growing up, and i only discovered later in my life.
anyway, the point of this is, my parents consider me an important investment to their future and old age. i suppose they figured that i would take care of them in the event that they could no longer take care of themselves. and although i love my parents, i don't like my parents. i could not be around them and i'm not sure how i would feel about being forced to contribute to them financially.
to be continued...
Monday, December 15, 2008
in the last six months or so, i have become sort of a hermit, retreating into my apartment and rarely coming out of my room. as a direct result of that, i do not see people as often as i used to. and when i do, it's usually awkward and difficult. because of that, i try to avoid contact with people by staying in my room. it's a vicious cycle, you see? albeit, my room is very very cozy and comfortable so even if i was more social, i would spend a lot of time in my room anyway.
mv is my best friend at this point (again) and i truly treasure his friendship. i have great conversations that both of us find very enjoyable. as he says, "it's never a dull moment when we're hanging out."
now that i think about it, a girlfriend, or better yet, a dog would alleviate my loneliness. but that is not a viable option for me. possibly in the future, but for now, i think i am going to have to learn to live with it.