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Archive for March, 2008

For the last seven years, the amazing youth ministry at Chinese Bible Church (CBC) in Rockville, Maryland has run a spring break camp for the kids of Little Lights called “Camp Hope.”

The teenagers plan all the activities and services, and each camper has their own individual counselor. It was really amazing to see the love and attention that EVERY child received. I was so impressed at how  committed CBC is to the kids of southeast DC. They invested a lot of time and A LOT of money for the thirteen kids that participated. I saw the smiles on the kids faces as soon as they arrived and knew this was well worth the effort.

More camp girls.Camp boys.

And as far as “racial reconciliation” goes, it was really impressive and amazing to see upper middle class Asian-American teenagers bonding with low income African-American kids. I mean, when these kids grow up, they will have a really different perspective and attitude towards Asians than most kids from the ‘hood would have.

To illustrate how much of a cross-cultural experience it was, the kids and one of our leaders Ms. Linda, taught the teenage counselors how to Double Dutch. It was hiliarious to watch their fascination with the game and their attempt to learn it! 

Reconcilation through Double Dutch:

Ms. Linda explains Double Dutch to the Chinese-American teenagers.

Double Dutch.

And then they give it a go:

Double Dutch.

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Introvert.

I’m an “introvert” personality wise. I like to listen and not always talk (depending on who I’m with and how comfortable I feel), and I need to be alone to “recharge” my energy. Being an introvert in ministry has been a constant struggle for me because I feel like if I were more extroverted things would be a lot easier and people would like me more quickly, instead of not being able to figure me out. 🙂 I’m really attracted to extroverts and almost all of my best friends are extroverts. I’m just not. that. way.

I was digging through my personal website/blog and came across this article and thought it was really accurate in describing my personality and also helpful in understand the mysterious introvert! Enjoy!

How to Market to Introverts from JordonCooper:

1. Introverts are territorial. This includes their personal space.

2. Introverts love to read.

3. Introverts, despite appearances, are not shy and they are frequently not braindead just because they don’t say anything while you are talking to them. (Amen!)

4. Introverts are not impressed by personality.

5. The assumptions, guiding principles, underlying beliefs and expectations of introverts are so different from the extroverted majority that you may not even realize you have a bad map to the territory.

6. Introverts hate being rushed.

7. Introverts are greatly afraid of making mistakes in public and of humiliation in public during a learning period.

8. Introverts hate small talk.

9. Introverts hate phones and especially cell phones.

10. Introverts say what they mean.

So me it’s scary!

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Nomadic living.

I’ve been doing some personal reflection on issues I have with adjustment and started to think about the places I’ve lived over the last ten years.  It was kind of shocking to me when I realized how often I’ve moved (6 times in 10 years) and the places I’ve lived.

 During the past ten years I have lived in:

Cleveland, TN

Beijing China

Los Angeles, California

Melbourne, Australia

New York City

Washington, DC

Of course, I consider it a privilege to have the experiences I’ve had, but upon realization I also thought, “Dude, I need to settle down! Why can’t I settle down?!”  I also find it funny and exasperating that even though I have trouble adjusting to new things and situations, I seem to constantly seek the new and different.

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Emotionally Healthy Spirituality

The staff at Little Lights has been reading Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazzero for our spiritual development devotions. The main premise of the book is something I learned last fall that revolutionized my life:

It’s impossible to be spiritually mature while remaining emotionally immature.

Deep, right?

The book is divided into two parts and the chapters are as followed:

1. Recognizing Tip of the Iceberg Spirituality
2. The Top Ten Symptons of Emotionally Unhealthy Spirituality
3. Emotional Health and Contemplative Spirituality
4. Know Yourself That You May Know God
5. Going Back in Order to Go Forward
6. Letting Go of Power and Control
7. Surrendering to Your Limits
8. Rhythms of the Daily Office and Sabbath
9. Grow into an Emotionally Mature Adult
10. Develop a “Rule of Life”

I’m only on chapter four, but have already earmarked several pages to think about more deeply. I’ve learned:

The goal of the Christian life is to love well

Christianity is not about our disciplined pursuit of God, but about God’s relentless pursuit of us

In neglecting our intense emotions, we are false to ourselves and lose a wonderful opportunity to know God. We forget that change comes through brutal honesty and vulnerability before God.

I recommend this book to anyone in ministry and plan on giving it as a gift to some friends who have left ministry completely burned out. It’s brought healing and clarity to my own life. It’s amazing how many people in ministry are so filled with conflict, anger, sadness and fear and our manipulated by others and even the ministry. You can be the most spiritual person around, but if you are neglecting your own emotional needs, you can’t be spiritually healthy!

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Ten hours in New York.

Saturday night I was feeling all, “Woe is me, I miss New York,” and I thought to myself, “Why don’t I just go visit?” So I did.

Sunday I took the very crowded DC Chinatown bus to NYC. My first stop was Woodside, the housing projects in Queens that I used to pastor, and being back there felt like home. Unfortch, I didn’t have a lot of time to see many people, but I went with my girlz to Times Square for a birthday lunch at Dave and Buster’s. My girlz were obsessed with skee ball, but I understand since it’s my favorite game too.

Times Square.Skew-ball freaks.

Then I went to my favorite church and it was amazing and was about Jesus and rocked, and then I meandered down to the most relaxing and delightful place, the Brooklyn Heights Promenade. I just love, love, love being there on a sunny day!

Brook. Heights. Prom.Green wall for Rachel.

And then I met up with my dear friends the newlyweds Cr + abby for Thai food in Chinatown. My bus delayed so we got to hang out even longer, and stopped by Rice to Riches in Little Italy. When it was time to go, Abby (and Craig) hailed me a cab.

Good friends Cr + abby.Abby hails me a cab.

Visiting New York was like going home. It’s the most amazing city on earth, and since I’m a restless nomad, I’ve decided to adopt it as my hometown. I felt so refreshed visiting and the ten hours I spent there was perfect. But, it also reminded me of the blessings and opportunities I now have in DC and am more thankful for them!

I returned back to Anacostia at almost 4am. I was kind of nervous about being out and about in the ‘hood at this time, but when I arrived at my building, there was a city worker doing construction on the street, as well as two cop cars nearby. I felt safe to walk to from my car to my building, but later I realized that the cops were there to protect the city worker so he could do his repairs safely. Woah.

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Happy Resurrection Sunday!

Jesus is alive and he rocks.

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There are days when I think, “Why am I doing this?” But then I see a photo like this, of our boys sleeping after an exhausting day of summer camp, and I wonder what kind of men they will grow up to be and it makes me want to stay to find out.

sleeping boys

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