Come With Me

The other day I was discussing how I feel sorry for some of my friends. I feel sorry that they have not had an experience like this. I feel bad that they are stuck in a rhythm of life that only beats at one pace, and does not allow for the chance to live outside of the norm. To be able to take a week and live among some orphans, to build a home for the homeless, to paint walls for a ministry, to mend a fence or set up a playground. These are all things that have made me the better. And it was because I took the opportunity, the chance and the risk. I have been able to see some amazing things on the way and meet some amazing people. To have worked with David and Shoba here in India, the people at Dublin Christian Mission, the various crews of MCYM in Europe, the people of Philippines' Habitat for Humanity... Again, I am a better person just by knowing these people.

Then there is the knowledge that comes from experiencing different cultures and lands. I've learned more about this world by seeing and experiencing it than I could ever learn by reading about it. I can recall the smells, sounds and tastes of far off lands most people only see in the movies. I know only briefly what it is like to live in different lands, to be a citizen of this world.

So how can I express this thought or feeling to others? How can I motivate my friends to take a break from their lives, to step outside of their world? How can people be motivated to lose themselves for the sake of others? Odds are they will find more of themselves along the way...

Song to go with this post: Carolyn Arends - Seize the Day


He Said It With Devotion

This was a devotion I lead on the trip...

So what is next? What happens when we leave here. In a few short hours this place will become just a memory. It will live on only in photographs and stories. But it can be so much more. Perhaps this week God has taught you something about yourself. Maybe you learned more about service, love, patience or sacrifice. Perhaps you learned more about others and how to relate to them. Maybe even God has spoken to you for the first time that you actually took the time to listen. If any of these are true, great. Write it down, tell a friend or family member, impress it on your heart and brain to keep it with you.

Some of you this might be the first time you have served at a place like this. You came and shared your love and time with kids you never met, and tomorrow brings a bit of sadness as you think of leaving. But what about when you return to Korea? Jesus said, "If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?"

Sure it was easy to love those kids, but what about others in your dorm, your roommate, your classmates, your family, or teachers? Will you spend the time and energy on those people like you spent on kids who you still can't fully pronounce their names?

In Galatians, Paul challenges us to "not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." Let's not let our "doing good" end here tomorrow. I want to challenge you (and me) to take back this attitude of giving up our selfish ways back to school. Think of ways you can continue to do good in the dorm, home, class and community. What good is it to go halfway around the world to serve, if we can't serve where we live the rest of the year?

And as you return, and as this time becomes a memory, I challenge you to pray for those kids. When you look at the photos, when you tell the stories, when you think about this time - pray for these kids. Pray that God would continue to use this place and the staff here for his glory in the kids lives.

As James says, "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."

Song to go with this post: Charlie Peacock - Monkeys at the Zoo


I Am Poor

As I read Psalm 86:1-3 today, I can't help but think about these kids. Sure part of it is because they are all doing their chores right now, but I read about being "poor and needy" yet "call to you all day long." Those kids live that out. As I was pushing two boys on the swings, they were both yelling out "Jesus" as they hit the highest point of their swing. And I don't think it was because I was pushing that hard...

At the same time I wonder really how "poor and needy" I am. Sure I am wealthy compared to most of the world, but wealth only goes so far. There are areas in my life where I am poor, where I am lacking...

Song to go with this post: Martyn Joseph - Wake Me Up

I Don't Have A Reason Anymore

Again, I come to this rooftop to look at the scriptures, pray, write, and prepare for the day. I look over the kids who cheerfully are going about their chores. They wear the same clothes they've worn for days, but they also wear the same smiles they've worn for days...

The water tank is full, but for some reason the water is not flowing down. Thus, I start another day without a shower. How can I complain in light of all I've seen these last five days? I know I've said and thought it before, but how can I honestly continue to live the life I've lived after an experience like this? Entertainment appears vain, the things I talk about trivial, the fine meals I consume are wasteful. I pray that I would become more focused on the eternal and less on the flesh. 1 John 2:16-17 reminds me that:
"For everything in the world - —the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does - —comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever."
I pray I would be that man that lives forever. I don't want to desire what the world holds dear. I think I've passed on fame and fortune, but there are still some aspects of me that need to be put to death.

Song to go with this post: Smalltown Poets - The Lust, the Flesh, the Eyes, and the Pride of Life


Don't Leak, Don't Speak

Yesterday, we arrived at the orphanage to the cheering of about one hundred and forty kids. These kids appear to be some of the happiest kids I've seen, which is saying a lot for their circumstances. Last night Mike and I joined in the pre-dinner singing time. We listened as they sang song after song of praise from memory. Then they quoted Pslam 110 from memory. Then more singing... These kids really appear to love Jesus. Even wile swinging today, two of the kids were singing various songs of worship. So this is what the faith of a little child looks like...

So yesterday, I was swinging on the swing when this cute little girl wanted to sit on my lap and swing with me. I picked her up, and begun to swing for a little bit. Slowly, I began to notice that my leg was feeling damp. Not knowing what to do, I kept swinging. Figured it was too late already. Then one of the local missionaries stopped to take a photo, so I had to continue to smile and pretend all was well. Needless to say, I soon changed my shirt (as it was also soiled), yet left the jeans on the rest of the day.

Song to go with this post: Caedmon's Call - International Love Song


The Chase Is On

Tonight we got back to the place we were staying by rickshaws. As the kids were heading in, I waited in the truck for Malka, as we were going to go to the grocery store to pick up some stuff. As I waited, the driver started the truck up, I mentioned we still needed to wait on Malka. Shoba told the driver, but he said something back and proceeded to turn the vehicle around. I was then told that one of the students had left his camera in one of the rickshaws, and while the driver discovered it, he also kept it for himself. One of the other drivers tipped us off. So we were going to chase him down. There I sat in the back of the truck, wondering how in the world we would find the specific rickshaw in this city.

We came upon the driver who tipped us off a couple blocks away. He directed us straight ahead. A few more blocks ahead we encountered two more of the rickshaws we had used. They talked to the driver briefly, and pointed to the right. We followed this road to a major road, that was full of rickshaws. After a few blocks, Shoba happened to notice one that she thought she remembered. We stopped, and the driver and her got out. The approached the driver, and a few minutes later returned to the van. In her hand was the missing camera. The prayers I had been praying had been answered. She told me she went right up to the guy and said, "Give me my camera." After some awkward silence he finally reached into his pocket and pulled the camera out. All three of us in the truck were amazed and how we were able to find the one rickshaw in a city of thousands of rickshaws.

We went back to the grocery store, and as I went in they went back to get Malka. I told them to make sure to tell her the story, as it wasn't just me being rude...

Song to go with this post: U2 - Where the Streets Have No Name


Poems, Prayers, And Promises

A letter is in the mail to many of those who have supported me over the years. Part of it reads,
"During my high school years, I attended a very mission oriented church. Looking back on that experience, I am not surprised to see that I now am serving God overseas. What I am continually amazed at is that when I accepted God's call to "go and make disciples of all nations," in Matthew 28, that I would be going to as many nations as I have. I took a few step of faith to leave home, and that step has led me to places I never thought I see."

I am overwhelmed, honored, humbled, and amazed that in a few hours I have the privilege to join a four good friends in leading fourteen students to India. There we will be working at an orphanage for a week. As I shared with a friend the other night, I never dreamed I would see the places I've seen. God continues to amaze me in so many ways, and I look forward what he has in store on this trip. I've got a feeling my mind and heart will not be the same. In fact, my stuff is packed in a bag I got on a trip to the Czech Republic years ago that says, "Never Be The Same Again." It was the theme of that trip, and that bag has gone on every trip I've been on since. I take it as it is a great container for my stuff, but it is also a reminder that after each of these trips, and each experience with God, I'm never the same.

Now here come the haiku:

Riding across town
Looking for the subway shop
No luck but good ride.

I should be asleep
The bus leaves in two hours
Why am I online?

I've picked my movies
On the way there and return
Man I am a nerd.

Photos and stories
You know that's what I'll bring back
And will share them here.

If you have read this
Could you take a minute
And pray for the trip?

Currently listening to: Martyn Joseph -


His Destination India

In a few days, count them four
I'll be on a plane to Singapore
En route to an orphanage in Bangalore.
Among the team leaders there is good rapport
And a great group of students whom we adore.
One of the leaders and I went to a store
Arts and craft supplies we were looking for.
We bought a bunch, but still need some more.
There will be singing, games, and fun galore
As into the kids the love of Christ we will pour
For that is the India trip's one central core.
Your prayers for the whole time we do implore
Like against stomach problems which we abhor.

I'll end this poem before I begin to bore
With Dohle's self portrait when he returned from war.

Currently listening to: The Innocence Mission -


There's A Lady Who's Sure

Photo Friday's theme this week is "Technology." My photo is from the new Daejeon Subway system, also known as the DJET.

Currently listening to: Martyn Joseph -


Another Week Is Past

Two guys named Ryan
Riding under the city
With no where to go.

Leaving in a week
Working at an orphanage
There in India.

Planning my summer
Anyone want a visit
From a vagabond?

Real life Spiderman
Heading to a Texas jail
After one more climb.

Looking to die quick?
Might I suggest this sandwich:
The doughnut burger.

Currently playing: Sudoku


Root, Root, Root For The Home Team

Well, a few months ago I mentioned the World Baseball Classic. In that post, I mentioned that I would probably root for Korea when the games came around. And today I did. Several of my students were concerned when it looked like the lone American in the room might see his country lose. I told them I was hoping for a Korean win, as I've been to more Korean baseball games in the last ten years than American games. Plus it is great to see players who make millions of dollars a year, lose to players who start out at twenty thousand dollars a year. Is it time to renegotiate some salaries downwards???

Speaking of Korean baseball, four days until the Hanwha Eagles, who's coach is currently managing the Korean team, play their first game of the year.

In other news, it was White Day over here. And boy was I shocked, when I found out it isn't a celebration of the white man. Guess it is one of many days to celebrate one's love for the opposite gender and/or sell stuff.

Currently reading:


At Ninety-Eight We All Rotate

My simple movie about a primate,
Which under a full moon as they mate
Takes only a few seconds to procreate,
Has been viewed at an amazing rate.
Although few people wrote some hate
Claiming the footage was too sedate.
In Spanish class I hated to conjugate.
Absinthe will make you hallucinate
And put you in an awkward state.
This weekend I got a little irate
When kids were causing trouble late
Causing some discipline to activate.
Been a while since I've had a date
Which is a fact I can not negate.
Some think singleness is my fate,
Although that is up for serious debate.
For the right one I continue to wait.
A self portrait from the Krasner estate
Will end another poem I did fabricate.

Currently reading:


A Monkey On A Tree

Earlier this morning, I tossed a couple videos up on YouTube, a website that hosts random videos. Later in the day, I discovered that one of my videos has taken off like a rocket. It is listed as one of the featured videos of the day, is currently in the top 25 most watched and top 5 most discussed videos of the day. Right now it has been viewed over 14,500 times, averaging a thousand views an hour. Crazy. So, if you haven't been one of those, check out my Tarsier video now.

In other news, I think my cover is blown. Dang internet.

Currently watching: My Tarsier Video


The Whisper Of A Prayer

A relationship in trouble, a friend's child dies, the health of stranger, a stubborn heart, a lonely man, a future unknown...


The beginning of a relationship, the new job obtained, the birth of a child, time with a good friend, good news from afar...


To be honest, I often feel confused about prayer. Sure I've seen my prayers answered from time to time. But I've also had prayers that appear to have gone unanswered. This week, I've felt overwhelmed by the concept of prayer. Some friends have presented me with some big things to pray about. An email in the middle of the night caused me to pray, but left me wanting to do more than pray. Perhaps living so far away from most of my family and friends is part of God's plan in teaching me about prayer. If it were up to me, I'd rush to their side. But an ocean forces me to the only thing I can do, pray. And pray I will. I just wish I were better at it. I continue to learn.

Fredrick Beuchner writes, "According to Jesus, by far the most important thing about prayer is to keep at it. The images he uses to explain this are all rather comic, as though he thought it was rather comic to have to explain it at all. He says God is like a friend you go to borrow bread at midnight. The friend tells you in effect to drop dead, but you go on knocking anyway until finally he gives you want you want so he can go back to bed again (Luke 11:5-8). Or God is like a crooked judge who refuses to hear the case of a certain poor widow, presumably because he knows there's nothing much in it for him. But she keeps on hounding him until finally he hears her case just to get her out of his hair (Luke 18:1-8). Even a stinker, Jesus says, won't give his own child a black eye when the child asks for peanut butter and jelly, so how all the more will God when his children...(Matthew 7:9-11)."

Currently listening to: The Camber Podcast on Spiritual Discipline

Raise A Flower Of Fire

This week's theme at Photo Friday is "Red." Here is a photo I took on my latest trip to the Philippines.

You can see more photos from the trip on my flickr page.


But Friday Never Hesitate

Can't find all my notes
Written for Haiku Friday
Guess I'll make some up.

The note on the ground
Almost all in Korean
Said "self-handclapping."

In a rough tough week
Simple things can bring my joy
Like an ice cream cone.

Forty minute walk
Hoping for a subway ride
Somebody was wrong.

Yanni's new record
Does not have any soft hits
So says his girlfriend.

Winter Olypmics
Needs a little excitement
Could it be on Hoth?

Currently watching:


My Conversation Doesn't Always Rhyme

I've penned another poem for Rhyming Tuesday, without fail...

I think in some areas I move as quick as a snail,
As today I put some Christmas gifts in the mail.
The other day I thought I might end up in jail
For playing near the place where they laid rail.
That reminds me of a funny mission trip tale
In the Czech Republic I paid a student's bail.
A friend's parents made the CD, "Sing and Wail,"
And my cool friends Bob and Heidi love to sail.
I just remembered I need to send them an email
To see if in France soon we could grab an ale
Or watch Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
If I knew how, I could write this poem in braille,
But compared to my other poems this does pale.
Remembe,r Picasso's self portrait is not to scale.

Currently listening to:


Going Deeper Underground

Today I was in need of some excitement, and I excitement was provided. When a coworker inquired to activity this afternoon, I declared we needed to have a random adventure. We conned another friend to join us. It was decided that we would grab the first bus and get off at the sixteenth stop the bus made. Once on foot, we flipped a coin to determine which direction to head. All of this was to help search for food, while providing for a break from the regular trips to the same old places. After about eight flips of the coin, we declared it time to eat. We ended up having sweet meal in the most unrestaurant looking place. It looked more like someone's home, both inside and out.

After eating, we started walking towards Carrefour. At the corner we passed by one of the new entrances to the Daejeon Subway. As many of you might know, I'm quite excited about this soon to be opened subway system. I've been anxiously awaiting my first ride under this fine city. Well, the excitement couldn't control the urge to go down to look around, especially as the security gates that usually block the entrance were open.
Craig agreed to stay above ground as the look-out, as Chris and I descended down the well lit entry way. In stealth like fashion, we made it down one flight of stairs, then another. As we looked around this area, Craig suddenly appeared. (This proves Craig stinks as look out!) We started down the final staircase leading to the ticket windows, but midway down noticed three workers in said ticket area. So we quickly returned to the next level.
At this point, Chris decided to become the first panhandler in the subway.
Shortly after this photo, we started our ascent to the surface. One of us, noticed that the escalator was one of those fancy ones that only operate when one approaches it. As he wanted to be one of the first whities to ride the escalator, he moved towards it. While the escalator did start up, it was accompanied by a loud announcement that echoed throughout the empty cavern. Not knowing enough Korean to understand what was being said, and fearing the worst, our ascent to the surface was quickened. As we neared the surface, we made what could be considered a safety stop in a non-diving sense. We slowed our pace as to not cause any attention, at least no more attention that three white boys coming out of a unopened subway would warrant. Then we casually walked away from the subway opening and off across the park, laughing about what had just occurred.

Fifteen minutes later we passed the intersection that is above the section of subway we were in. The cab driver pointed out that the power was out to the traffic lights. Coincidence, perhaps?

Currently listening to: Tim Finn - Subway Dreaming


Because I Love You

I write these haiku
Do many read them each week?
Leave a comment please.

Learning swordsmanship
At my first martial arts class
It could be my last.

A girl with coffee
Sent it spraying all over
When he made a joke.

Planning my summer
So many friends to visit
They should come see me.

A one hit wonder
Selling his stuff on eBay
And loves to play pool.

Automobile wreck
Don't blame it on her gender
But on the cell phone.

Currently listening to: Iain Archer -