Saturday, February 25, 2006

What does it look like to be a Christian in South Korea?

The long awaited video is finally here. Well it may not exactly be long awaited but it has taken me tons of hours to get it up and running. (If you have problems viewing it, please either email me or leave a comment so I can try to fix it).

This is a video hodgepodge of still pictures, audio and video I created from the time I spent in South Korea. Most of it is taken from the pastors conference I mentioned in my last post. To watch the video just click on the picture.

The video is just under 2 minutes in length but it is in a Windows Media Player format. For those using Windows there shouldn't be any problem with the playback, but for for those of you with a Mac, if you haven't already, you'll need to download the Windows Media Player for Mac. You can do that by CLICKING HERE.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Reflections from my time in South Korea

Last December I was in South Korea. (I know, South Korea in December, can you say freezing?). Well I braved the cold to spend 8 days working with over 60 Korean pastors from all different denominations to help them develop healthy churches.

I found it interesting to learn that approximately 25% of the entire South Korean population are church attending Christians (mostly Presbyterian), yet Korean churches are also experiencing the same problems as American churches, especially in trying to retain the younger post-high school, pre-college age group.

I spent some time working with the new CRM Korea Board of Directors and helping them get established. One of CRM’s core values (CRM is the mission agency I work with) is to raise up nationals to lead the work in their home country and then send out other nationals as missionaries into new countries. So not only is all of our work in South Korea led by South Koreans but they just sent their first missionary into another country.

I wanted to share two quick thoughts with you. These are excerpts from my journal that I wrote while in South Korea:

Tonight while driving through Seoul I looked up at the skyline and noticed there were crosses everywhere. As far as the eye could see there were red, illuminated crosses. It was clear for all to see, there was a heavy Christian presence here in the nation’s capitol. I then realized that just a mere 30 miles to the north [Into North Korea], being known as a Christian or even revealing a cross, could warrant an instant execution. At that moment a wave of sorrow for my brothers and sisters in the north consumed me. I can’t remember feeling anything like it before.

One of the highlights of this trip is to pray and worship with the Koreans. When Koreans pray, it is very powerful, loud and authoritative. Even without knowing the words being spoken, one can almost comprehend the requests based on the passion and power behind them. Interestingly enough, this is also how Koreans sing. They sing at the top of their lungs and with authority. No one stands there wandering if the person next to them will think they are a good singer. It is totally and completely focused on worshiping God. No distractions. I wish more church congregations in America sang this way.

In my next post I'll try to put up some video from South Korea.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

New Articles Added

Just wanted to point out that I've added four new articles to the "Articles I've Written" section. These articles were written while I was working on my Master's degree.

Friday, February 17, 2006

A Whole New Look

It's alive, It's alive !! Okay, well the site has been alive for over a year now so I shouldn't be too dramatic but I am excited about all the new changes. I'm sure you've noticed the site has a whole new look. Gone is the lighthouse, white background and script, I now have a new template to work with and I think it looks a lot better.

In addition to a new look there are several new feature changes that have been made, and many more that are forthcoming. Since some of them are subtle, I'll take a minute to point them out.

First, I have a picture up. Those of you who don't know me can probably tell why I didn't have a picture up before and all of you who disagree with what I write about can now have something for your WANTED posters.

Second, I formatted the archives into a drop down box so you don't have to do a tremendous amount of scrolling.

Third, at the bottom of the section entitled "My Favorite Places" I now have a link for you to email me, as well as a means for syndication (syndication deals with RSS readers, not newspapers for publishing). Now, I am rather technically challenged so I don't exactly know the details of how syndication works with RSS readers. I think I got it down but if you are using an RSS reader and it's not working, let me know and I'll see what I can do.

Fourth, I now have all my posts listed by title on the side so you can scroll down a short list instead of the whole blog. They look like links but as of now they won't take you to a page. I'm trying to figure out how to make them work, if you know what I need to do, please let me know.

Fifth, I decided to tryout the idea of enabling comments. We'll see how well this works as it's new for me.

But that's not why I'm excited. I'm excited because I finally found an external server in which I can upload files to. This means a whole new world for my site. I can not only upload pictures (to make it no longer just dull text) but videos and articles I've written. (Check out the section entitled Articles I've Written. Right now there is only one but there are many more on the way.)

This should make the site much more visually stimulating. There is one more change though that I am making; the change of content. I will continue to post about apologetic issues, especially contemporary apologetic issues, however I want to branch out into other areas. Specifically the area of missions.

As a missionary I have an opportunity to work with Christians from all over the world. I ususally take many pictures and videos while I'm working with them. I realize that many of you will never have a chance to experience what it's like to be a follower of Jesus outside of the United States (or your home country). So I'd like to begin posting some of these photos and videos so that you will be able to gain a better understanding of life for other Christians.

Having this new content will enable me to begin to post on a more frequent basis. It used to take hours for me to develop the content of my previous posts. This new content will go much faster.

I definitely value your feedback about these new changes. Please let me know what you think.

Monday, February 06, 2006

An Apology

Dear Readers,

I owe you an apology and a bit of an explaination. As you probably noticed my last posting was the end of September 2005, nearly 5 months ago. Many of you have told me you thought I dropped off the face of the earth. Well I haven't. Unfortunately planning a wedding consumed way more of my time that I expected it would and as such, my blog was among the first of many time consuming activities to be cut. For that I am sorry.

Well the wedding is finished as well as the subsequent honeymoon and receptions (yes plural) and life is ready to begin again. I'm planning to begin blogging again very soon (as in the next week or two). I am wrestling with some format changes. I've been thinking that while I'd like the format to continue to focus heavily on contemporary apologetics in the real world, I'd like it to expand to cover other areas as well.

Since I am blessed to be able to go all over the world and work with Christians in many different countries and cultures I've experienced quite a bit about the "bigger picture." So often we in America think we know exactly what God is doing in the world and the more I travel to meet with other Christians, the more I realize God's plans are so much bigger than we think.


As I was saying I'm still deciding on these format changes and would be very interested in your thoughts and comments. You can send me an email at RemovingDoubtsATaolDOTcom.