Hawaii is often described as a paradise. It is a place that attracts millions of people each year to revel in its beauty and be lost in its grandeur. After experiencing Hawaii for the first time with my wife, I am inclined to agree with the perception. It was truly a beautiful place. There were a number of times when the landscape, the food, the wildlife took my breath away. Hawaii, for me, was certainly an experience in paradise. Read More »
Scars tell stories. They tell the stories of deep struggle. They show the wounds of hardships and the agony of the fight. Scars tell stories of skirmishes that leave us bloodied, beaten and broken. We see scars as marks of struggle, but when enough time has passed, we forget the hardships that caused them and celebrate the stories they tell. We glorify the outcome, forgetting the struggle that caused them. Let me share with you one of my scars. This particular scar is still an open wound, but I hope that one day, I’ll be able to look back at it knowing that it was worth the pain. Read More »
It has now been one month since my grandma passed away. Even now, I still find it difficult to describe the loss of a loved one. I have not had much experience with death, at least not this close, so most of this is new to me. In many ways it still feels surreal. Her passing was not entirely unexpected, and yet it happened sooner than any of us had anticipated.
You see she had been in the hospital for a couple of weeks already and through various ups and down, we kept careful watch, patiently waiting for even the slightest indication of progress. We clung to these moments as beacons of hope and thought perhaps it was just a matter of time. Sure progress was slow, but I kept believing my grandma would get better. The possibility that she wouldn’t ever make it home had never even crossed my mind.
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It seems inevitable that every Christmas there is some outrage about people saying “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.” This “war on Christmas” has been happening for as long as I remember. Keeping Christ in Christmas seems to be the mantra of Christians during the months of November and December. This must be modern persecution right? Absolutely not. Read More »
Ok. Take a deep breath. (Perhaps this is more a reminder for myself than for you, the reader, but I encourage you to do so nonetheless). It has now been a week since Donald Trump was elected to become the next president of the United States and as the flood of immediate reactions has simmered down, I find that I am finally in a place to express a few thoughts that have been stewing in my mind over the past week – not just in response to the election, but even more importantly in response to people’s reactions.
Now, before I begin, let me just say that politics has never been my favorite topic. I always disliked how worked up I would get or how divisive it felt having to choose sides on issues when the options at hand rarely accounted for nuance and personal experience. And yet, somehow, I let myself get sucked in this time. I think I justified it at first by reminding myself that I needed to be informed and wanted to engage in social issues and that I had a responsibility to take my vote seriously, etc. And yes, those are all good things, but now that the election is over, I realized that despite my best efforts, I was unable to make it through this election season unscathed by the drama, the overgeneralized opinions and the continued polarization that has increased division in this country.
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In many respects, this blog post has been on my mind for months. There has been many things said by both Presidential candidates that reflect poorly upon not only Americans, but Christians as well. I believe that Donald Trump’s plan to build a U.S./Mexico border wall is inherently opposed to his claims of being an Evangelical Christian. My assertion is this; it is impossible to be a follower of Christ and support the separation of the very people we are called to love as ourselves. Advocating for a wall to be built and praising God with the same tongue are mutually exclusive. Read More »
I grew up privileged. There, I said it. Even though I have a mixed background from both my mom and dad’s side of the family, I grew up with a fair complexion. I passed as white my entire life. It has not been until recently that I have realized how deep that privilege is engrained into my identity. What I mean is that the color of my skin has never been the cause for the cops to pull me over. The color of my eyes and type of hair I have never caused a store owner to watch me suspiciously while I shop. I have never been told to go back to where I came from and I have never been told that I am less American than others. My privilege has allowed me to avoid much of the hatred slung at people of color, women, immigrants, etc. In her last post, my wife spoke of the need to continue the conversation about race. This is my effort to wrestle with my own privilege and bring awareness to the way people of color are treated in the United States. Read More »
I must be honest. I have been hesitant to write this post for many reasons. First of all, I am neither black nor white. So I was wary of entering into a conversation where my perspective and understanding of people’s experiences is rather limited. However, I came to realize that while the #blacklivesmatter movement has been the focal point of racial tension in the U.S. to day, the responsibility of learning how to better navigate race relations is on all of us. We (society as a whole) cannot reduce to simply a black issue or a police issue. It is a societal issue. And we must each take individual responsibility for how we shape the society and culture around us.
Every year, the San Francisco Giants and the Oakland Athletics play each other in what is known as “the Bay Bridge Series.” This series brings with it local bragging rights as well as great trash talking between both fan bases. I had the privilege of going to the last game of the series with three good friends. Two of these friends happened to be Giants fans, and I noticed something about the way we talked all throughout the game that made me think about how baseball seems to be more civilized than our political parties.
Theodore Roosevelt coined the term “Bully Pulpit” to describe how influential the White House could be in advocating a sociopolitical agenda. When he coined the term, however, the phrase “bully” had a different meaning than it does today. To call it a Bully Pulpit meant that it was a good platform to project an agenda. Remember the term “bully for you”? During the time of Roosevelt, it would have meant “good for you.” All that to say, when Theodore Roosevelt called the White House a “Bully Pulpit,” he meant it to be a positive thing to further ideas and agendas in American society. Read More »