Category Archives: General

The pains of awkwardness

(this is as awkward as life gets)

So there you are, walking through Target, and you see someone you know walking towards you.  Now this person isn’t someone you know well, but you definitely know them and they know you.  All of a sudden, the fears of awkwardness set in.  Do I say “hi?Will they say “hi?” What do I do?  Then before you know it, eye contact is made, and then you realize they are going through the same exact scenario you are.  As quickly as your eyes met, the connection is broken as you seek to look at anything… literally anything else… to avoid an awkward conversation with someone you just kind of know.  Maybe you fumble for your cellphone to check your email just in case there happens to be a VERY important email you might have overlooked in that very moment.  Nope.  No email.   OK, how about that voice mail that I’ve let sit unnoticed for the last 3 weeks?  Maybe now is a good time to check that?  Oh, who are we kidding?

Or how about the same scenario when you see the person coming and you really think they’re going to say “hi”, and they quickly change direction or beat you to the cell phone search.  You immediately think… “see if I make eye contact with them again!!!”

Why do we do these ridiculous things?  This stuff drives me nuts.  Why not say “hey, how’s it going?” What can that hurt?  I think it’s just being nice.  I’m going to do my best to initiate the “awkward conversation” from here on out.  Take this as your warning.  If we kind of know each other and we begin this awkward scenario all over, I’m going to do my best to go ahead and say “hi,” even if I get your name wrong.  Chances are, I probably won’t get it wrong twice.

See you around.


Where’s the Love?

My heart has been broken today for the first time in a long time.  It’s been very good actually.  I watched Francis Chan’s sermon at this year’s Desiring God Conference.  First off, let me start by saying that I get a lot of Francis Chan references from people, especially lately.  And let me say that it has nothing to do with anything besides the fact that we are both Asian and that I’m rocking some facial hair due to “No Shave November.”  I don’t even look like the guy for crying out loud, but anyways.

Francis Chan is one of those pastors that makes me want to love Jesus more and more.  I’m sure you have a few of those guys in your life.  He’s not the most theologically savvy.  He doesn’t have the longest list of published books.  He doesn’t have gray hair, or any hair for that matter.  But, MAN he sure loves Jesus like crazy.  In the middle of his sermon he asked a question,

“When was the last time you wept for the lost?”

My response – silence.  Chan continues to talk about how he used to weep for the lost.  How he used to pray for them.  How he used to just love people more than he does now.  This really resonated with me.  When God first saved me, I was constantly walking the halls of my high school before and after school telling people I barely knew about God, running the whole “If you died on the way home from school, where do you think you would go?” deal.  Before you go and criticize the approach, the point is that I loved people much more then than I do now.

Is it possible that I care more about ministry than I do the people I minister to?  Is it possible that I care more about doctrine and theology than I do my neighbors?   My heart instantly broke.  What am I doing?  Time is of the essence.  People need Jesus as much as I do.  That is the mission we have been sent on.  In the midst of the conviction came great joy!  Telling people about Jesus and the Gospel and seeing their lives transformed is what drew me to ministry…..  not the titles, recognition, positions, meetings, and definitely not the pay.  I need to hang on to my first love and not lose that, EVER.  I need to quit spending all my time talking about the Gospel with people who already know the Gospel and start spending more of my time telling people who don’t know it.  They are the mission.

God I pray that you would give me the very heart for others that you gave the apostle Paul.

For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh. – Romans 9:3

Pizza Hut Gift Card?

Ok, so this is definitely not in line with my normal blog posts, but I was challenged by my wife to write about this…. so I am.  I don’t consider myself to be a “funny guy,” but I do believe every once in a while I do come across a funny thought or two at the very least.  I love to laugh, hopefully you do too, and I love to make others laugh as well.

Every now and then, I think about what kind of stand up comic I would be.  There are many different types of comics in this world.  You have your pure joke tellers, your impressionists, observers, etc.  My stand up routine would solely consist of making fun of real life scenarios that I come across.

Today happened to be one of those scenarios.  I disclosed this alter ego to my wife today on our way back from lunch.  We ate lunch at Pizza Hut today.  They’ve got a great buffet, some of the best pan pizza you can buy with today’s legal tender. (don’t ask) As we were paying for lunch at the front counter, I noticed something that stood out to me.  Gift Cards.  I started laughing to myself.  My wife thought I was laughing at her, which I wasn’t.  Now, you may not think that gift cards at pizza hut are funny, but I do.  Le me explain.  Have you ever had trouble thinking of a present to buy for someone?  After you’ve exhausted all gift ideas, you may resort to the infamous and sometimes clutch, gift card.  Now when you start to run off the possibilities, it might start off with a gift card to the mall.  That way they have a variety of options.  Solid option.  Maybe you buy them a giftcard to  Trendy.  I’ve even been given an ebay giftcard, which was awesome.  Last but not least, maybe you resort to a nice restaurant…. say Outback, Bonefish, Olive Garden, PF Changs, or for us Huntsvillians, Rosie’s.  But when do you ever find yourself in such a desperate situation that you think…. “AH HAH! Pizza Hut! Perfect!  That’s exactly what I’ve been looking for!”

Don’t get me wrong, as my wife pointed out, it’s not necessarily bad to receive a giftcard to pizza hut.  I mean I would definitely use it, but what does that say about the person you are buying for?  How will this gift be received?  I don’t think that’s the gift that says, “I really value our friendship.”  I think that’s the gift that leaves the receiver with a blank stare, saying “geez…. thanks… I’ve always wanted… a….. pizza……. hut……… giftcard?”  (said with a… “I’m Ron Burgundy?” voice).  Do you really know someone who would just be overjoyed with a gift like this? There have to be better options.  If your friend really like pizza hut, then buy them a lunch perhaps?  But a gift card?  Overboard.  A gift card to pizza hut is making a statement, a strong one at that.

Anyways, I’m as amazed as you are that I’ve even managed to write this much on this topic, but hey, someone had to? right?  Pizza Hut gift cards.  Gotta love em.  This all started from a challenge from my wife.  I’m not one to back down to a good challenge, so there you have it.  Hope you’ve cracked a smile somewhere in this post or at least considered who you can give a pizza hut gift card to or maybe even pondered that time someone gave you a pizza hut giftcard.

If this wasn’t funny to you, then that’s funny.

Compelled by Love

This is a video of Penn Jilette, of Penn and Teller, a professing atheist talking about an experience he had when a fan gave him a Gideon Pocket New Testament. 

One of the best sermons I’ve heard, preached by an atheist.

Abundant joy

I have, for the most part, lived a pretty easy life thus far.  A few short seasons of “not so pleasant” times, but I could hardly consider those times of suffering in relation to the suffering many others have experienced and are experiencing, even now. 

I was reading in 2 Corinthians 8 this morning and just felt so encouraged.

2 Cor. 8:1-5   We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, for in a  severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part.  For they gave according to their means, as I can tesitfy, and beyond their means, of thier own accord, beggins us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints – and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us.

That is a beautiful picture of the grace of God extended to a broken people, resulting in abundant joy in the midst of affliction.  That picture is unexplainable apart from the cross.  May we cling so closely to the cross of Jesus, that our lives would be filled with abundant joy.  A joy that cannot be separated from Jesus.

A little late.

Ok.  It’s official.  I’m behind the times.  I just got rid of my pager yesterday, got a new slap bracelet this morning, upgraded to a new neon green trapper keeper, and yes, I now have joined the blog nation.  I’m not very good at journaling, so hopefully this will be a helpful way for me to capture my thoughts.  If you are reading this… your computer will self destruct in 5….4…….3………2………….. (what are you doing still reading?!!!)