Sunday, November 21, 2010


Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time for a celebration. A lot of things have happened this year, but this may overshadow them all. There may just be no newsworthy stories as big as this one. What is this ‘news of news,’ you ask? Well, none other than the official post that brings this year’s blog entries to the highest number of any previous year! That’s right boys and girls, this post is my 12th entry this year, which surpasses my previous record total of 11 in 2007. This has been my most productive year as far as blogging goes. Not only has it been my most productive, but there is still over a month left in the year, so who knows how high that number will go!

What should this blog post be about? What does a record post deserve by way of contents? Well, perhaps a little history about the blog itself. As you can see from the sidebar, I’ve had this blog since 2006. The blog itself however, evolved from a mass e-mail update that I used to send out. In November of 2004, I found myself headed to South Korea. I had never been outside of North America, and really, I was just a kid who had a lot to learn. Friends and family wanted to keep in touch with me and know how and what I was doing in this new country. I also wanted to keep in touch with them. This spurred me to gather a list of e-mails to people who wanted to stay abreast of all my happenings. I sent out my e-mails to four groups, because the amount of people who wanted to receive the e-mails was too big to be sent out at once. The e-mails were really probably the best way for me to keep in touch with people, as they were able to reply, and we could converse back and forth on different issues or ideas I offered in my e-mails. The contents of the e-mails included anecdotes from my daily life, lines of thought I had been thinking over, and insights into personal and spiritual subjects. For over a year I sent out a monthly update, and had a positive response from people.

If I had a positive response, why the change? The answer is simple. Pictures. E-mail was not a convenient way to send large amounts of photos and/or videos. I wanted to highlight my stories with pictures and videos to give a more vivid idea of my life here in SK. A friend told me about ‘blogging,’ and I decided to give it a go. By this time, my e-mail updates were sporadic, because I had left Korea for about 3 months, and wasn’t sure about the validity of sending out the e-mail. I returned to South Korea, but didn’t have the same motivation to send out monthly e-mails.

The blog began as a way to share stories. I decided to blog approximately once a week. My goal was to make a video every week about my life and post them on the blog. I had been doing this with myspace, but would now switch everything to my blog. So the inception of the blog was primarily media focused, not necessarily updates on my life. Over time, I began posting some of my own thoughts and reflections, which garnered me a positive response, including readers who I had never met. The blog then kind of fell into disarray, as I would lose focus with regards to it and never really have a good motivation for it. Getting married, having a child were all nice things for me to write about, but I wasn’t really sure what my blog was supposed to be about, and I could e-mail or skype people to talk about those events. I created a separate blog (there’s a link on the sidebar) to post my studies in the Bible, and tried to do a podcast of my sermons. I just couldn’t stay focused on the tasks, and didn’t maintain them properly though.

This last year saw me decide to post weekly (which has also been adhered to sporadically), thus the jump in posts this year. Over the next month, I will be thinking about how to take this blog forward. What should the contents of my blog primarily be? Should I change the title? I’m not sure about where the direction of this blog is going to go, but next year, things will be different! I hope. I believe it would be a profitable endeavour for me to maintain this blog and to use it to map out my life, the question is whether I should focus the contents of the blog on one specific part of life, or keep the blog sort of all-encompassing, about everything? What are your thoughts? What should this blog look like in the future? Are there any specific things you want to see with this blog?

Here’s to a year of records, and a wide-open future of blogging!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Russians… they’re putting out some sort of jamming signal!

I’m a big believer in communication. I feel quite strongly that the key to any good relationship is quality communication. Quality communication is entirely dependent on truth and honesty. You can’t have a good relationship with someone you don’t trust. Period. That’s why I’ve learned to place a high value on the integrity of my words; because they will end up being the measuring stick by which people judge me.

Truth is important. There should be no compromise in our commitment to it. It seems common for people to justify telling small untruths to serve some greater end. I believe at the heart of this is the great lie that the end justifies the means. This is a patently false worldview. Were Stalin to have succeeded in creating a utopian society, a virtual heaven here on earth, would that have justified the millions of deaths by which it was created? In the same way, we cannot allow ourselves to fudge on our standards of truth. Christ defined Himself in terms of truth, saying ‘I am the… truth.’ God laid out the standard of holiness at Mount Sinai when He said, ‘thou shalt not lie.’ Over and over again in the New Testament we see truth as fundamental to the gospel and to a consistent, holy life. We also see deceit and error and lies as being diametrically opposed to all that is the gospel. How then, can we justify fudging on being truthful in our own lives.

All of this was spurred on by the knowledge that people seem unable to take me at face value. It seems that everyone is always looking for some sort of ‘hidden meaning’ in my words. It thoroughly confuses me, as I know I’m being truthful, and I know I have no hidden agenda. There’s just something about me that makes people guess at my real meaning. I think it’s my face. Apparently my face often looks angry, and I’m constantly being told by my wife that I look angry. I’m not, but apparently I look it. My words are often mistaken for sarcasm as well. I guess people assume I wouldn’t say what I said in the way I said it without trying to be funny. Today I was talking with my co-teacher about our upcoming winter camp. I mentioned that it was 3 weeks long, and asked her if she had plans to go anywhere on vacation (her family usually travels during the breaks). She returned with a puzzled look and questioned me if there was a problem with the camp, if I had a trip I couldn’t go on because of the camp, etc. She cocked her head to the side and looked at me intently, as if to say ‘why are you asking me this?’ This kind of reaction happens often. Too often.

Which leads me to believe that there is something happening in the time between when my words leave my mouth and they hit the ears of my hearer. I think it’s the Russians. Either that or I’m just a really terrible communicator. Who in their right mind would ever believe that though? Clearly the most logical, sane answer to my problem is that the Russians are putting out some sort of jamming signal to change my words. That’s clearly the most obvious answer.

Monday, November 01, 2010

My Daughter Cried

This morning I felt one of the greatest joys a father could ever feel. My daughter… cried. I know, I know. It’s cruel to take pleasure in something that causes your child pain, but, it really did warm my heart. I guess I should also explain why she cried. She cried because I was leaving. After hugging her in the morning and spending a little bit of time with her, it was time for me to go. So I put her down. As soon as she was out of my arms, she cried. Immediately. There was no hesitation on her part. She wanted her daddy.

It was cute the way she was crying, too. She just stood there. She didn’t flop down and have a temper tantrum, flailing her arms and legs. She just stood there, crying. Mouth wide open, eyes closed with tears streaming down. I waved bye-bye to her and she waved back. She even managed to say a short ‘bah bah,’ which is her way of saying bye. But she never stopped crying. She knew I had to go, but she just didn’t want to see me leave. It really, truly warmed my heart. It pained me because I had to go, and I wanted to stay and be with her, too. From now on though, I know that my daughter loves me. Because she cried.