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pray for philippines

September 28, 2009

http://www.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUSTRE58Q0MO20090928

Can you think of a single time when a national government responded to a natural disaster to their constituency’s satisfaction? I can’t. Refer to Typhoon Morakot (last month, Taiwan); Cyclone Nargis (May 2008, Burma);  Hurricane Katrina, etc. What is it about aid that always takes at least a few days to a week, or more, to mobilize? Meanwhile, government heads are rolling in the administration. There must be a better way…

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not exactly godly suffering

September 28, 2009

Thank God I’m not responsible for feeding and housing a family right now.

I noticed the very first verses in James (after the greeting) go: “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

So does this apply during the job market downturn? I feel it’s less relevant than I’d assume. Nobody knows what percentage of people who were laid off deserved it, but it can’t be zero. And yet, the cultural norm is to be sympathetic and pet people’s egos when they talk about getting laid off and not being able to find work. That’s fine. But I wonder if it ever gets to our heads – that we really start believing nothing is our fault, and that we can justly blame everything on Wall Street bankers and the past Bush administration. If I hadn’t jacked around in school so much, would I be in a better situation right now? If I had been more prayerful in decision making, would I be in a better situation right now?

If all the shit you’re in right now happened because you said “No” to God, then sure, I guess you could count your trials as joy. But then, you’d feel pretty stupid too. So that’s where I’m at.. cf 1 Peter 3:20

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articles

August 6, 2009

Foxconn suicide

I wonder if anyone’s written an article like this for the layman, except for the entire Western economy, from cheap food & clothing on up.

Correspondent detained in Iran

Between Roxana Saberi, Euna Lee, Laura Ling, and now Shane Bauer, our journalists are on a freaking roll for the past six months. Has it always been like this? I think obtaining American correspondents has officially become the new obtaining nuclear weapons.

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North Korean bodyguards vs. United States Secret Service

August 5, 2009

So I house-sat for Vickie’s place in Pasadena for three weeks, then came back on Thursday. How does a jobless young man pass the time there? By playing Scrabble with the neighbors downstairs every night. No joke. Usually it’s a boring game, but the good folks of Apt #2 always get faded before breaking out the Scrabble set, ensuring much pointless laughter, but very few words from the English dictionary (“RAQ,” “FURN,” etc.)

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a little much

July 9, 2009

I was reading and found the following quote from Richard Wumbrand, founder of The Voice of the Martyrs. He was confined and tortured in a Romanian prison for 14 years – but lived to be 91!

Even though it would be the wrong reaction, I laughed out loud when I read this. I mean seriously, who says these things to little kids?? What a gangster.

What shall we do about these tortures? Will we be able to bear them? If I do not bear them I put in prison another fifty or sixty men whom I know, because that is what the Communists wish from me, to betray those around me. And here comes the great need for the role of preparation for suffering which must start now. It is too difficult to prepare yourself for it when the Communists have put you in prison.

I remember my last Confirmation class before I left Romania. I took a group of ten to fifteen boys and girls on a Sunday Morning, not to a church, but to the zoo. Before the cage of lions I told them, “Your forefathers in faith were thrown before such wild beasts for their faith. Know that you also will have to suffer. You would not be thrown before lions, but you wil have to do with men who would be much worse than lions. Decide here and now if you wish to pledge allegiance to Christ.” They had tears in their eyes when they said yes.

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obligatory post

July 4, 2009

I’ve been in the Bay for about two weeks, house sitting and watching my grandma, but I’m headed back to LA tomorrow – for more house sitting, courtesy of Ms. Vickie Park. She is currently in North Korea, so do pray for her work and safety there!

For the past month I’ve been thinking through whether or not to join the military (Marines?). It’s been running through my mind enough to where I can’t send out job apps or do other work. Definitely need more discipline. I don’t think it’s come up just because I’ve been unemployed for months now – but being unemployed does open up a window to pursue some things that I otherwise couldn’t do. Is that the same thing?

I don’t know where God is leading, either. Of course, this is always for lack of my own effort. At the same time, I know that He has a way of taking our worst decisions and make something constructive out of them.

What are the red flags so far? I’ve talked with friends & family, and I don’t think I’d have anyone’s blessings. Everyone is telling me, why give up your 20’s (supposedly life’s prime), you know you could do better than this, right? Yes, I would be a slave to Uncle Sam for a long time, and yes, I’d be losing touch with most all friends. We’re all going our separate ways eventually, anyway.

There are times when I don’t feel I’m on the same wavelength as everyone else. I come back from the Texan oilfields, and everyone is doing the same routine: grind it out 9 to 6, hit up the bar or club on the weekends, chase the latest love interest(s), play the numbers, week after week. We all got dues to pay, sure. Does your work define you? I don’t think so. If it does, we’d all be in serious trouble! But having said that, I don’t know why I’m still drawn to the military.

I try to learn more about what kind of jacked up things are going on elsewhere in the world. Countries related to U.S. foreign interests are always on the news – Iran/Afghanistan/Mexico/Somalia – but sometimes I try to read beyond all that. It’s crazy. I hope I can do something to be part of the solution out there, and I hope that military service is a step towards that direction. But, I hope too that I’m not being naive, and ignorant of God’s character!

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The Hangover

June 10, 2009

I just saw The Hangover. Honestly, I didn’t really want to watch it – it was more to see the two friends I ended up watching it with. The Hangover is one of those movies that would a large part of its effect if you saw it by yourself, instead of in a packed theater. At least to me.

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