Monday, April 26, 2010


Tonight I had the chance to talk with a friend from school who recently graduated and is now attending Southeastern Seminary. I kind of jumped into a conversation she was already having with some Korean girls about introducing them to Asian guys at her seminary (always an interesting topic of course!)

The conversation soon turned to talk about Christian lifestyle. We progressed from one issue to another on the topic as the evening continued on. One thing we discussed is how as servants of Christ, we do not desire what most people chase after in this life. This led to materialism, to giving to those who are less fortunate, to the fact that sometimes that means sacrifice and not necessarily what we can seem to afford. Now this topic is really something that makes my heart stir. I was reminded once again of how as Americans (or just people who are a part of cultures where it is more common to live a "comfortable" life), we either (A). tend to see ourselves as blessed; or (B). don't realize our need for God.

These are both thoughts that I've wrestled with in the past to reconcile in my own mind.
First of all... A. We tend to see ourselves as very blessed.
Of course, I would agree with the statement that we are blessed people. But what exactly is it that constitutes us as blessed? The fact that we are comfortable? rich? happy? or even American? If any of these are the case, then what about everyone else? Are they just not blessed? Are they not any of these things because God loves them any less than He loves me? Did he strategically place me in one of the richest cultures in the world because I'm significantly more special than they?
I somehow doubt these things.

Then... B. We don't realize our need for God.
Life in places like America is a lot easier than many other places in the world. This even applies to how much easier it is to forget about God. I think that because we are taught that it's all about making sure that we are safe and sound, happy and secure, we can ensure the false reality that we don't actually need God. As if because we really can make it all on our own. It's like we aren't ever really faced with a situation where we need to depend on God because we are so self-dependent.

What a trap we've set for ourselves in being deceived into thinking this is the way things should be. However, I found my solutions to these dilemmas reading my Bible while at a kids camp in Korea (hiding by myself in a room away from the kids... skipping my leader Bible study... but that's another story for another day... )in James 2:8

"... has God not chosen the poor in this world to be rich in faith?"

This opened my eyes to who is truly blessed.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Hangukmal jusayo! 한국말 주세요! Give me Korean!

So... ever since spring break, it seems that school has been busier than ever! It didn't seem that I could finish anything that I had begun, all the while having a continuous flow of additional projects, tests, and due dates piling on and demanding more and more of my time.

With all of these pressing deadlines to meet, Korean study became less important as it got pushed further to the side with every passing week. And just when it began to feel as if my learning was gradually coming to a halt, I returned to class! (after 2 missed weeks plus one cancelled week)
I learned a new sentence... 지난주에 레이쳘이 바쁘습니다 그래서 안왔습니다.
(Last week Rachel was busy so she didn't come.)

Even though at the beginning of this class I felt as discouraged as ever about my Korean, my mood somehow lifted by the end of the class. I started class feeling already defeated, as if there was no way I could catch up and understand so quickly. But it turned out that things weren't so difficult this week, and I was really enjoying learning more.

Then came this weekend... Fort Caswell. Fort Caswell is a state-wide international student conference that takes place at the beach in North Carolina every spring. I met a guy there who speaks Korean... an American guy. He began learning Korean four years ago because his girlfriend is from Korea, and although he's only been to Korea one time, only for 10 days, his Korean seemed pretty great to me.

Anyways.. he pretty much spoke to me in Korean the majority of the time I was around him and even forced me to speak it back to him...

"한국말 주세요!" "Give me Korean!" he would say. So I tried. I got a lot wrong, but I really feel as if I'm beginning to understand a lot more of what I hear spoken. I also started to feel more comfortable with just speaking what was on my mind using the little Korean I know, which I think will be the key to me learning more and communicating this summer!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

So c-c-c-c-cold!

Last weekend I went on a camping trip! It was lots of fun... hiking through the woods, roasting hot dogs and smores over the fire, catching fish in the river and cooking them, listening to music, playing cards.

Until... it got dark. At first it wasn't so bad. We had a nice little campfire burning, and if you weren't close to it, you could easily stay warm enough with a blanket. Even when the time came to go to bed. We were cold, but we were able to quickly fall asleep. Just a few short hours later, one by one we all began to wake up because we were unbearably cold. At this point, no one could even fall back asleep because we were all so freezing. We did the only logical thing to do in this situation with 8 people in one tent... that's right... we starting snuggling and spooning just for the warmth. (Laugh if you may, but this really works!)

Anyway... while we were all laying there whining about the cold, all I could think about was the story of a close friend of mine from last summer. She and her family wandered for 50 days in the Mongolian desert. I couldn't take my cold seriously knowing that in less than 24 hours, I would return to my comfy life where I rarely suffer such inconveniences. How might my mindset be different if faced with this as my fate? What I mean by that is, what must it be like to be in this kind of situation, not knowing how long it would last? Confronting the fact that I can travel only by foot carrying everything I own... those with me are the only ones I may ever really be able to trust again... if we all make it...

And now as I put all of this together into words and paragraphs, it strikes me that this indeed is the life of a sojouner.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Do they see?

It's times like these when I begin to question. The times that I begin to feel that I might just have it all together. I'm not really talking about questioning my faith or anything like that, but more of the application I guess. I just finished my last HUGE round of tests before finals, and now I sit back and think, "Whew, glad that's over..." but I can't just leave it at that of course...

I think further into it, to things more like, what will all this really matter? Why do I try and try and learn and cram all for a piece of paper that proves that I'm capable of learning how to do something? Where do I want to end up, and what do I want to be? and even more importantly, where does God want me to end up, and how to I go about living my life in that direction now? When I say the times I begin to feel I might just have it all together, what I really mean is, those times when I suddenly realize how far I am from that and how impossible it is for me to ever actually reach that.

Yet I struggle with the things that hold me back. Sometimes I can't even seem to figure out exactly what they are, but there are always those things that I allow to hold me back from freely giving my all.

Sometimes I feel I'll be such a failure if I don't follow God the right way... as if I miss one little turn in the road then I'm doomed. But when will I realize that it's the little things that make up the big picture?

Relationships I've allowed to remain broken...
Things I said that I shouldn't have...
Things I should have said but didn't...
The lonely and hurting person I brushed right past...
Inhibition I allow to control me...
Ignoring His call those times when I certainly heard it...

What if I stumble, what if I fall?
What if I lose my step and I make fools of us all?
Will the love continue when my walk becomes a crawl?
What if I stumble, and what if I fall?

Father please forgive me for I can not compose
The fear that lives within me
Or the rate at which it grows
If struggle has a purpose
On the narrow road you've carved
Why do I dread my trespasses will leave a deadly scar

Do they see the fear in my eyes?
Are they so revealing?
This time I cannot disguise all the doubt I'm feeling

What if I stumble, what if I fall?
What if I lose my step and I make fools of us all?
Will the love continue when my walk becomes a crawl?
What if I stumble, and what if I fall?
-DC Talk