Archive for the ‘Thoughts about the blog’ Category

Giving inertia the finger 3

Wow, there has never been a month missing from the Archives column since I started writing in this thing. But alas, without having written at all in April, there won’t be a line for April 2010 there. There are several reasons I have felt less inclined to write in this blog since the last post. First is simply that I am so busy. Work now is full-time, with 4 days of full-time work and then 5 hours of tutoring on Friday and Saturday, and constant reading and assignments from my one Talbot class have kept me busy nonstop. Second is that in the moments where I find rest, I share it with a few others in reflection on the past week and preparation for the next week up ahead. It feels less necessary to share my thoughts with an online community when I have already shared my thoughts within face-to-face relationships. By then I’m already exhausted, and I need the rest of the time for myself to recharge for the week ahead.

On a side note…as I’ve grown older, I’ve come to cherish the preciousness of real, meaningful relationships and interactions with people to the exclusion of online substitutes. In addition to knowing that there are a handful of people in my life that deeply care for me and with whom I can share my concerns and thoughts, I have also taken comfort in the fact that God deeply cares for me and I can share with Him my concerns and thoughts (see my post on Twitter). Through college and now after college, I’ve come to realize that the blog should supplement my real, in-the-flesh relationships, not be a substitute for them. Nor should it be a place where I refer to emotions or experiences using vague and esoteric sentences. If it is to be meaningful, this should be a place where I put as much thought into writing as I do into my spoken communication–maybe even more thought, though, since it will be preserved on the Internet.

I lament the fact that many of my college buddies have given up writing their thoughts. There are still many meaningful things I can learn from others through their writings. I really hope it’s because they’ve come to value more interactions outside of the Internet and not because they aren’t learning anything new, or because they are just lazy. I’d much rather a friend spend 30 minutes writing something meaningful in a blog than 30 minutes on Facebook leaving comments on photos and status updates or 30 Twitter updates. If I can learn from them, then maybe there are also things I can teach to others. That’s why I’ve tried to keep writing. Some of my friends think that any time on the Internet is a waste of time. I don’t think so…and I want my blog to be a good example of this. To be honest though, I think as I grow older and especially when I have a girlfriend/wife, this blog will either completely fade, or, if it’s still around, it will be a forum where I share with visitors and acquaintances only what I’ve already discussed thoroughly with those closest to me. I think most readers my age or older can understand why.

Side, side note…chances are, this blog will get more active after I move to New York, since I won’t be able to enjoy the same in-person discussions and interactions as I am doing now, although I might even consider being diligent enough to email my closest friends regularly about what I’ve learned and try to sustain these relationships that way. We shall see.

So, the rest of this update will be just a summary of some the things I’ve been sharing with others. Though it is enough to share my insights with close friends, I do want to share it with those I might not interact with very much. I have been reflecting on this past year, year and a half and all the things that have happened, especially with regard to my path to law school. God has been faithful, and I have learned an incredible amount. My journey has been a testament to Matthew 6:33. Seek first the kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. AMEN.

I have gained a lot of perspective in the past 6 months working a white-collar job in a blue-collar industry. The occasional stress and uncertainty I feel in my job doesn’t seem like much when compared to the up-and-down weekly incomes of the truck drivers I manage. I’ve seen the workings of small business and I know the “intestinal fortitude” it takes to survive and push forward. It’s somewhat comforting to know that finally there are friends who can empathize with the vicissitudes of full-time work: the uneasy feeling of uncertainty regarding the outcome of the day’s work, the dread of waking up and anticipating the day’s work, the sick feeling of knowing that one foolish and tiny error has just resulted in a lot more work for yourself (and shame if it results in getting reprimanded), the frustration that you feel when you realize it’s only a few more hours till bedtime after dinner and you have all these things you wanted to do, how difficult it is to devote what energy you have left after work to doing more work (personal work, that is). Do all to the glory of God, do all to the glory of God, do all to the glory of God.

It is encouraging to hear those who are older affirm that what I am learning and experiencing in my job is practical and useful for the future. I agree wholeheartedly, although at the moment, what is more on my mind is the prayer that God will make a way for me to transition from this chapter of my life to the next. You start to realize that decisions as a “grown-up” take time to implement. They take diligent preparation as well as trust in God. With God’s help, I will man up and carry my load…

I still wear my orange wristband I got from the 1040 screening. It really does help me to be reminded to pray for what God is doing in Asia as well as my own life as it fits into that picture. I really encourage my friends to watch this film if there’s another screening in the So Cal area soon (wasn’t able to make it to UCLA a few weeks ago).

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New theme

New theme! I feel like a lot of themes I browsed through could have been tweaked here and there to fit my tastes (for some reason I like Georgia as my main text font and I’m not really drawn to sans serif fonts). But it’s kind of a pain to customize on WordPress (I think you have to buy an upgrade to save changes to the CSS stylesheet and do other modifications?). I don’t want to spend too much time trying to make everything perfect, so I’ll settle with this one for now.

The only things are: 1) no year appears in the red date tabs next to each entry, 2) I can’t add a custom header photo which I did to my last theme, and 3) I can’t change the sidebar widget to say “Links” instead of “Blogroll.”

Enjoy…I figured I would write a post on it since some people read my blog through feedreaders instead of visiting the site directly.

Onward

This first week of August has gone by so quickly. Actually the entire month of July too. Finished the last page of my 6th journal last week, and it seems fitting that I start my 7th as I begin a new stage. I moved to my new place in Lincoln Heights on Wednesday, and things were a little hectic as I tried to get everything settled: moving appliances, assembling furniture, organizing my belongings, cleaning the house, calculating bills. I haven’t had much time to sit and have an entire day to myself. Next week I hope my schedule is more stable.

I’ve been thinking about how at my old place, none of my roommates read my blog regularly. Some of them probably didn’t know I even had one. But now I’ll be living with people who do know about it. I’m going to have to get used to writing something that someone sitting in the same room as me can read right away without my knowing. Before, I could write my thoughts and know that if I wanted, I could articulate them in writing before sharing it with my roommates. Or I could keep it to myself. But not anymore. Will I write something before I share in person or will I begin to share in person before writing? We shall see. There’s a possibility of the awkward asymmetry of information…can’t explain too well except maybe by using Twitter/AIM/Facebook as an analogy. It’s kind of awkward if a roommate leaves the house without telling me where he’s going and then I find out what he’s up to by checking one of those three status updaters. Later, a conversation: “Hey how was the get-together?” (wondering secretly, “How come I wasn’t invited?”) “How’d you know?” “Well…uh..you put it on Twitter.” “Oh.” That’s when we start being more careful about the balance between the information we give to people in person and what we make accessible to them online. Maybe that explains why many people in college go from writing everything in their AIM away messages to writing the generic “Away” or “I am away from the computer right now.” So to conclude…I hope I continue to think and reflect and write and share. But we’ll see in what form that happens. To my new roomies, feel free to bring up anything I write about here in conversation.

Job search has been frustrating. Even though there were many days in the past few weeks when I’d finish my afternoon Starbucks sessions feeling so worn out, I know that I am learning a lot through it, to experience what many people in the country are facing, to know the feeling of frustration and, for many, desperation. If it was hard long ago to imagine that a USC alum who graduated magna cum laude can’t even get interviews for jobs that pay half of what my mom gets working part-time doing storytimes at the public library, it isn’t anymore. I really appreciated Jake’s insight one day as we ate dinner out on our porch (which I will miss doing dearly) about how people who go through tough economic times can come out more financially responsible and more wise in taking care of their money when they do have more in the future. As defeated as I may feel at times with the prospects of this next year, I know I will eventually go to a good grad school. Others do not have that assurance. Take care lest you forget…

Church has been burdensome, but not that kind of burdensome. I think I can explain with this. The first M-W definition of burden is “something that is carried ,” i.e. a duty or responsibility. The second definition is “something oppressive or worrisome.” Church is burdensome in the sense that I carry this load, this responsibility on my shoulders that I often struggle to hold. Church is not burdensome in the sense that it is oppressive or worrisome. The burden I feel is less of worry and more of concern.

Speaking of church, I just found out that our church website is actually pretty cool. I knew a while ago that one of our members was designing a website for our church, but last time I checked it it was pretty barebones. But it looks pretty nice now! See how awesome it is when the members of the body of Christ contribute their gifts and talents to the church. I can’t do everything in the EM, at least not well. I hope others may step up soon. I still pray daily for a full-time pastor. One day…

To my friends reading…you are welcome to visit YKC and Living Exodus Ministry (we hardly ever call ourselves a name anymore) on Sundays. It may not be very impressive, but maybe you will get a better sense of where I’m coming from if you visit. I know my friends would not look upon our ministry with the same evaluating eyes that a normal random visitor would, like the one girl who came a few weeks ago who just graduated Carnegie Mellon and moved to Buena Park because her parents moved there. She didn’t even stay for free lunch. I think it was pretty good food that week too. I’ve never written this or expressed this to anyone, but if by any chance God is working in you to go to a different church and serve, consider YKC. Just to throw it out there…

Broski’s coming back today. Excited to hear about all he’s learned and to see it put into action at YKC.

Google rankings

Sometimes I think it’s cool that WordPress gets my blog and entries ranked so high on Google. Other times, I’m like, man, how do my entries get ranked so high on such generic Google searches? Especially when no one links to my entries and they aren’t that old.

My blog comes up 1st for “take care lest you forget,” 6th for “lest you forget,” 2nd for “bad worship songs,” 3rd for “korean pastors.” Kind of scary. Maybe good? I hope my writing is a blessing to people. I added a rating function to my entries, since leaving comments might be a little uncomfortable for some. Just click “thumbs up” or “thumbs down”! Kind of like Facebook’s “like” function,  I hope it gets people to give some feedback (except here it’s anonymous). It’ll let me know I’m not just writing into the air.

Added “Popular Posts” page

About a year ago, I wrote an entry on bad worship songs and what made them bad. My blog was relatively new then, and hardly any of my friends knew about my blog. Many of them have since joined the blogosphere and keep updated on my posts frequently, so I’d like to point them to this older post which has found many readers across the Internet and has stimulated some discussion over the past year. In case other posts become popular in the future, I created a “Popular Posts” page to keep all of them in one place.

If you think any of my posts should be added to the page, feel free to suggest them to me.

It’s been 10 days since I started this blog

According to WordPress stats, no one has read this blog. I did register some page views, but I think they were all from me. I started this new blog not intending to replace my Xanga but to write to two different audiences. My Xanga is written for a larger audience, one that is not necessarily Christian. Although I may mention God or faith or include reflections that have been at the core deeply religious (but “tamed” for a general audience), I do not write thoughts about the Church, reflections and meditations on Scripture, or instances of God reminding me about certain things (cf. the title of this blog). That is what this blog is for. The only place where I’ve linked to this blog is on my Facebook profile. Since I limited my profile to be only visible to friends, and because a large number of my friends on Facebook are Christians (some of whom I see regularly), it is my hope that they will find their way here and be edified by what I have to write here. I do not write for recognition and attention and won’t stop writing just because the stats show no one has read my posts. I do hope though that at least one person will read through what I have written and benefit from my reflection and observation. I write frequently in my private journal and hope that some of it will make it onto this blog. In “Christian-speak,” I want to be a blessing to others.

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. — Hebrews 10:24 (NIV)