Monday, July 30


Another Korean hostage - a man - has been shot dead by the Taliban in Afghanistan.

UGH. My stomach. If I feel like retching all the way over here in suburban New York, what must the friends and family of this man be feeling back home in South Korea? What must peace-loving Afghans be feeling as they watch the public face of their country be transformed into that of a murderer?

I love (in the hating sort of way) how the Taliban says they shot this hostage dead because the governments involved in the negotiations did not listen to their demands. Uh, NO. I think it would be more accurate to say that the Taliban shot this hostage dead because they are a morally bankrupt gang of killers and oppressors.

I am torn by governments' unwillingness to negotiate with terrorists (or in this case ... no, yes, they're terrorists). On the one hand, I think that is the higher calling of a legitimate government - to not stoop to the base, disgusting level of people like the Taliban and give them any sort of legitimacy or claim to power by conversing with them as if they are rational players. On the other hand ... these hostages need to be freed!

I am also confused by the reaction of the church back in Korea, from which the 23 kidnapped Koreans came. I understand that they, too, want more than anything for the 23 -- now 21 -- to come home safely, unharmed, alive. But to disclaim spreading the Gospel, if that is indeed what this team was doing ... isn't a Christian's claim that life with Jesus - dead or alive - is better than life without? Aren't we called (and don't we all proclaim with confidence, when we're safe and comfortable) to lay our lives down for Christ and His Gospel? But what do I know - I'm not scared, hungry, sick, injured in a Taliban holdout somewhere in the middle of Afghanistan. If I were ... would I, too, say I was only there giving medical aid and was decidedly NOT proselytizing?

Wednesday, July 25

GLORY . . .

It is reported that one of the kidnapped Korean missionaries -- Pastor Bae Hyung Kyu -- was killed by his Taliban captors today.

What a stab to the heart. Not only because I'm Korean, and a Christian. This event -- all events like this -- should stab the hearts of any human being capable of any compassion, any sense of right and wrong and justice.

But part of me is also ... envious? My thoughts the past couple of months have been filled with pictures of heaven, images of what it must be like to live in Perfection, a place where there is no terrorism, or kidnapping, or torture, or fear. A place where there is not just happiness, but JOY. A place where Creation has been redeemed and peace rules. RULES. A place where the days and nights are filled with glory. GLORY. What an unimaginably wonderful word.

Pastor Bae is in glory. I'm so sorry he had to go so early, and at the hands of such wicked, wicked people ... but I bet he's so happy there. Godspeed.

Sunday, July 22


NHF's women headed back to D.C. last weekend for Women of Faith's Amazing Freedom 2007 regional conference. Good times ensued. And to this day, I can't figure out why we look like a cheerleading squad in every group picture.

Friday, July 20


Between 18 and 23 South Korean Christians have been kidnapped by the Taliban in Afghanistan, and the front-page story on The New York Times website is about road-tripping in Alaska.


Well, THIS part-South-Korean Christian is going to be spending the night in prayer and in hope, and in paying attention to some of the deeper, more important things occurring in the world right now. I just feel that it's the least I could do, to care a little bit about:

Bae Hyung-kyu (43)
Lee Sun-young (37)
Seo Myung-hwa (29)
Cha Hye-jin (31)
Seo Kyung-seok (27)
Ko Se-hun (27)
Kim Ji-na (32)
Kim Kyung-ja (37)
Yoo Jung-hwa (39)
Je Chang-hee (38)
Shim Sung-min (29)
Lee Joo-yeon (27)
Yoo Kyung-sik (55)
Song Byung-woo (33)
Lee Young-kyung (22)
Han Ji-young (34)
Kim Yun-young (35)
An Hye-jin (31)
Lee Sung-eun (24)

Thursday, July 19


At what point in a friendship is it alright to say, "You are just like your mother!" when you know that you don't mean it as a compliment, and that it won't be received as one?

Wednesday, July 18


So, I was reading a review of the movie, "Transformers," and the reviewer wrote something like, "I went to see 'Transformers' and I was transformed."

Well, I wouldn't go that far, for I've had far more transformative experiences, but I will tell you straight up: this is the best action movie I can remember ever seeing in my entire life. The visuals, the CGI, the sound editing, the action scenes ... Michael Bay and Steven Spielberg have put out a quality action film.

And the best part was this inexplicable feeling of happiness. About a quarter of the way through the movie, I started to tear up with silly, juvenile salty tears of happiness. I was SO HAPPY that this movie was made. It was the awesome magnification of every Transformers cartoon episode I ever watched, and the realization of every stupid, small Transformers game I ever played with Cheech in the basement of our house when we were little. Megatron was as big and as bad as he could ever have been in my imagination, and Optimus Prime was as grand and as good and as honourable as I could ever have conjured him to be. To see my childhood up on that screen, huge and loud and Technicoloured like that ... I may not have been transformed, but I was certainly transported to a happy place. I am SO HAPPY this movie was made. Everyone in my age bracket must see it, at the very least to have that special nostalgic spot in their heart and memory rubbed and satisfied.

I know, I know, it's just a movie. A CGI movie, with talking robots and long, loud action sequences. But sometimes, you need a good fight scene, a zippy car chase, and a story where the good guy wins in the end.

(Bonus: Shia LaBeouf is wonderful and Peter Cullen, who voiced Optimus Prime in the original cartoon series in the 80s, returns as Prime with a vengeance!)

Wednesday, July 11


"Ratatouille" was SO. GOOD.

The two or three scenes where there are hundreds of rats in the frame: not so good.

But everything else: SO. GOOD.

Bonus points: the son of an old family friend, Peter Sohn, voices one of the main characters in the film. Good times!

Saturday, July 7


My faith in humanity got a big, fat, superhuman boost tonight, and I am convinced -- CONVINCED -- that I am surrounded by good people.

And one of them is DYC.

DYC, who was going to provide me with some emergency information that I needed to complete a personal project.

DYC, who offered to drive 30 minutes to his office on a Saturday night that he should have been spending in quiet relaxation with his wife, so that he could obtain this information for me.

DYC, who -- along with his angelic wife, by the way -- decided to see a movie near his office SO THAT they could drive to his office to obtain this information for me.

DYC, who ran around his office (and the offices of his colleagues -- eep!) looking for this information.

DYC who, unable to find this information in his or his colleagues' offices, called me while then running to meet his angelic wife in the movie theater.

DYC, who then continued to give me options regarding how he could obtain this information for me, including (1) "I'll go back to the office after the movie (which ends after midnight) to continue my search for this information;" (2) "You email me more details about the information you need, and I'll do the work of getting it and sending it back to you in more complete form;" and (3) "I'll let you into my office anytime you want, tonight or tomorrow morning, so you can obtain the information yourself using my resources."

DYC, who has now promised to meet me at 8.30 on a summer Sunday morning at his office, so that he can let me into it and give me access to key resources for a couple of hours.

Yup. That DYC ... the Y doesn't stand for anything, but he's still good people.

Tuesday, July 3

iDID IT . . .

I touched the iPhone yesterday, spent a few minutes playing with it. Changed the wallpaper. Watched a music video. Listened to some tunes. Looked up directions on GoogleMaps. Wrote a Note and threw it away. Flicked through the news on the Web. Made some Calendar entries. Turned the image horizontally, then vertically, then horizontally again. Manipulated the settings. Checked the stock ticker and the local weather. Opened email. Expanded, then shrank, the screen size of webpages. Flicked through albums, contacts, maps. Made the screen go dark by holding it up to my ear, then go bright again by bringing it down to hip level.

It is everything they said it would be, and a little more -- no joke. The Hype is real. I still don't have $600 with which to purchase The Hype, but my Apple core is satisfied knowing that The Hype is real.

(And I sort of, a little bit, just with the tiniest part of me, want one.)