To Die is Gain

There was a recent article in the news reporting on an American missionary who was killed by the Sentinelese People of the Andaman Islands (VICE). According to the article, the tribe is believed to be one of the last pre-Neolithic tribe and has a history of violence towards outsiders. The death another fellow human being is generally disturbing whenever reported upon, but that apparently isn’t the case for this particular event in social media (Facebook | TheSun).

I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised by the responses based due to the “foolishness of the message preached” (1 Corinthians 1:21-23), and I shouldn’t be surprised that the world hates, ostracizes, insults, scorns, mocks, and persecutes Christians. They hated Him before they hated us. They mocked Him. They scorned Him. They insulted Him. They persecuted Him. They also beat Him and pierced Him. We share in His sufferings and we should rejoice in them (1 Peter 4:12-14, 1 John 3:13, John 15:18-21).

I guess the main thing that got me even writing here (after such a long blogging drought) is the blatant disrespect for the victim and his family. Just such vile hatred in the comments of that thread. Even the article is spun in such a way saying he’s trying to “convert them”. Their hearts truly are darkened and their eyes are veiled to what they perceive as “foolishness” (2 Corinthians 4:3-4).

I don’t know what I’m trying to say here… It’s not really that I’m “surprised”. It’s not that this type of reaction is new. It’s not like I’m trying to say Christians “know better” as if to mock or ridicule the world in return.

I guess if anything, may this serve as a reminder that He is worthy of our lives. I do appreciate that at least some of the media did cover a bit more on the victim (FOX | CNN | GodReports) and that John’s attitude on the matter was along the lines of Paul in that even in the face of death, he said “to God be the glory”. “To live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21).

I do praise God for His grace and mercy towards us. Just like in 1 Corinthians 6, “such were some of you”. We too were without hope and without God, until He decided to intervene in our lives. He truly is patient towards us and doesn’t want any to perish (2 Peter 3:9). I just pray for His will be done. I know He is building His church, and He will complete His work.

Soften their hearts, Lord. I know it’s not going to be in superiority of wisdom or eloquence of speech or logic or argument, but ultimately upon the Spirit of God doing the work upon them. (1 Corinthians 1:26-31, 1 Corinthians 2:1-5). Our only boast is in You, God. Our only hope is in You. Have mercy and save them, Lord.

 

 

Always Connected, Always Corrupted

April 1, 2018

In recent news, Microsoft, Intel, and Qualcomm have begun pushing what’s being called the “Always Connected PC” (Windows Blogs – LINK | Intel Newsroom – LINK). This is pretty big news for business users and the capabilities this opens for mobile productivity. As one who works in IT and thrives on being able to address trouble tickets wherever I may be, this is a pretty big deal. Not having to wait until I get home/work, connect to a sketchy hotspot, or using up precious data on my personal cellular plan is a huge plus. At the same time I can’t help but feel fearful for the general direction technology is bringing us. Being always connected has many benefits in terms of being able to access information practically anywhere at the tip of your fingers or the sound of your voice. However, along with this comes my fears of what this brings for both the children of today and the children of tomorrow.

I wrote a while back about some of the effects of connectivity and the impact it’s had on society with regards to our perceptions. We’re slowly being conditioned in such a way that we need immediate service and quick response times. Long gone are the days of waiting in line, waiting for a download, or waiting for a response. If we don’t get an immediate response, how quick we are to use another connection, try another browser, shop at another store, or whatever would fulfill our request sooner.

… When do we want it? NOW!

I do see the impact of this directly at my workplace. Students seem to have shorter attention spans and are quick to complain when a website or the system they’re using doesn’t load quick enough. Patience seems to be a virtue that’s becoming more and more foreign to society. You could even see it in some popular quotes and slogans. “Hungry? Why wait?” “Your way, right away.”

Even though the decline of patience is fairly concerning, I think the bigger issue this spawns is what connectivity itself brings. Having information readily available is a great tool, no question. As one who takes advantage of my phone for directions and finding restaurants and gas stations, I will admit that it’s hard for me to live without it. However, when that tool also grants users access to so much filth, I can’t help but fear for the direction our future is headed. In 2008, Google’s CEO called the Internet a cesspool with regards to the amount of false information. Though I do agree with his point, I agree even more with the moniker he gave to the web, albeit for a different reason.

We recently installed an additional web filter at work due to address some issues we noticed where students weren’t properly being filtered by our existing appliance. The moment I turned on the switch, my jaw dropped at the amount of content our students were accessing using the school’s devices and connection. The fact that they were attempting to hit the websites I saw told me that they were actually successfully accessing those websites prior to the installation of the filter. Not only that, but the fact that they were accessing this content while in class was completely disturbing.


Keeping the filth of the Internet away from our children has become more and more difficult with the increase of connectivity and accessibility. More and more internet-connected devices are readily available to younger and younger age groups, whether it be their phone, tablet, computer, or gaming console. Any parents who aren’t wise about the device they purchase and aren’t truthful and realistic about their perception of their “little angels” will be in for a surprise. Man truly is depraved by nature (Romans 3:10-12, Psalms 14) and if left to their own devices (literally I suppose), I’m fairly confident that we could get to a state of pre-flood humanity, following after their own lusts (2 Pet 3:3, 2 Tim 3:2-5). I think the block reporting of our filter is evidence enough of this.

Not only are our children (and all of humanity for that matter) “naughty by nature”, but the content on the Internet itself is chock full of refuse. According to recent studies, some estimates say that 4% (BBC – LINK), or 5-15% of all the Internet content consists of pornography (Mirror.co.uk – LINK), 25% of searches (~68 million) and 35% of downloads are related to pornography (Webroot – LINK). The accuracy of these statistics may be skewed or inaccurate due to the increase in data overall or skewing for bias, but even at the lowest estimates, we’re still talking billions considering the amount of total traffic (Gizmodo – LINK). And here I’m just talking about pornography where there’s a vast amount of other types of refuse out there.

In any case, what can we do as parents to protect our children? Outside of living in an Amish Paradise, you need to plan ahead since it seems most schools are moving towards integrating more and more technology with digital instruction, digital assessments, etc,  even requiring a laptop for the curriculum for most if not all classes. Even with home schooling as an options you’re still most likely going to have to provide an internet-connected device of some sort for productivity and research purposes.

… (Finalized in 2020)

The most important thing we can do is provide a filter not to the device or the network, but rather to the heart. If a person does not see the world through the lens of the Bible, or value the glory of God over their own fleshly lusts, then nothing is going to stop them from sinning first in their hearts and potentially, if not eventually, their actions.

O Lord, help us to raise our children in the discipline and instruction You have provided to us (Eph 6:14, Duet 6:5-9). Let this also be a reminder for us in our own hearts to be cautious about the technology we possess and use and help us to do all things for Your glory (1 Cor 10:31).

Oct 6, 2020

Side note: This post was originally drafted back in 2018 but I didn’t realize it until now. Since I don’t recall my original train of thought, I wrapped it up as best as I could after giving it a read. That said, on a bit of a different angle (social media as opposed to technology in general), if you haven’t checked out “Social Dilemma” on Netflix, I’d highly recommend it https://www.netflix.com/title/81254224. Additionally, I’d recommend “12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You” by Tony Reinke. It’s currently free as an eBook download from Crossway (https://www.crossway.org/articles/free-ebook-12-ways-your-phone-is-changing-you/).

Clear the Stage

Yet another draft I composed but never got around to finishing. I’ll try to work on completing this post while taking into account updates for more current information. Regardless, the content is still relevant, and perhaps even more so now. A lot has occurred over these past two years. (Wait… has it really been two years?!?)


[Oct 5, 2015]

Fall is one of my favorite times of year. Though many people prefer to have “fun in the sun”, I’ll take a cloudy, windy, or even rainy day over any typical Summer day. You could only shed so many layers for the heat. As for me, I personally love to bundle up and dress in layers for the colder weather. Not only that, but Fall brings about the holiday season, and with it, seasonal choir at church.

I am blessed to have the opportunity to serve in this ministry for the Lord. I’m grateful that God has granted me the ability to serve in this way and I’m happy to serve in an area that I enjoy. I’m truly grateful that He is using me at bible study and has even seen fit to use me more in the church band and in leading worship for the men’s ministry. I love music and love singing and playing instruments. Despite this love, I often grow skeptical of the usage of my “talents” (for lack of a better term, as I hesitate to call my musical abilities a “talent”. I also hesitate to say that I have “talent” as if to suggest that I’m great at it. Yes, as you can see I’m quite the critic when it comes to my musical abilities. But I digress…).

I often wonder if this is the area I ought to serve. If this is where I should be. If this is where God wants me to be. If this is where He wants to use me. If I’m even fit to be serving there. I sometimes question my motivations. Sure, I may not be up there for the same reasons as when I used to “perform” (though I sometimes question what those reasons even were to begin with). Am I doing it to be pleasing merely to men? (Galatians 1:10)

Continue reading “Clear the Stage”

“I hate you” | Full Circle

Looking back upon my youth, I can only recall one specific time that I ever uttered the words “I hate you” to someone else. Sadly, that someone else happened to be my own mother. I don’t recall the reason why I said it (though I’m sure it was a foolish one), but I do remember I was probably less than 8 years old. I guess you could chalk it up to the ignorance and idiocy of my youth as I didn’t quite understand nor recognize the sheer weight of those words, let alone their true meaning. My mother was quick to respond in kind with those very words as she left me in my state of anger. I don’t remember if I ever officially apologized for that incident, or if I told her I loved her afterwards, but I do remember the shame and remorse that I felt when I made the attempt to do so.

Continue reading ““I hate you” | Full Circle”

United, We Stand. Divided? We Are.

Well, this is awkward…

After watching the freak show that was the 2016 Presidential Election, I must say that I don’t think I’ve ever seen something so divisive and polarizing to such a large degree in my entire life. I couldn’t help but be amazed not only at the election results, but even more so at the aftermath. Simply watching the social media posts and news articles revealed to me quite the picture of the current state of America. The morning after the results, I saw argument after argument, accusations and blaming, quarreling and division between friends and family, boasting and mockery, bigotry and ignorance, helplessness and hopelessness. We truly are a divided nation.

Continue reading “United, We Stand. Divided? We Are.”

Tainted Love / I’m Gonna Let It Shine…?

I’ve recently (well, at the time of this draft, anyhow) had the pleasure of enjoying some time hanging out and catching up with some old friends. They’ve been my friends for a long time and even though we’re not as close as we used to be (which is an unfortunate reality of adulthood), I know I can count on them to be around if I were to need them.

As usual, we got into our old ways, exchanging that old familiar banter, joking around, and recalling old times. While we were going about what I would consider to be “routine” with them, I came to think about my testimony. Among the gathering was an old friend who was recently “born again” (and praise God for this). As some of my other friends brought up jokes which encroach on the broad or even toilet side of humor, I would join in the laughter and crack a few jokes in response here and there as I “normally” do. In that, I noticed that my new “brother” in Christ reacted quite differently than I. I think he was always a guy that didn’t really join the fray on that sort of humor, nor is he really a loud or outspoken person, but his actions there, especially for someone supposedly not too “old” in the faith, spoke volumes to me.

Continue reading “Tainted Love / I’m Gonna Let It Shine…?”

I Hope Senpai Will Notice Me / Real Talk / I Must Decrease, pt. 2

senpai
And maybe it’s better that way…

I don’t think there was any point of time in my life where I could attribute myself with “popularity” or “fame” or anything of that sort. I was too negligible to become well-known. I was far too shy and introverted to build up any sort of reputation among my circle of peers. That was pretty much the reality of my existence. Sure, other kids knew I had some degree of artistic ability, but that didn’t really put me on a pedestal or anything. I had the spotlight at times during my singing days, but I was just a placeholder, just another body on the stage. I didn’t quite carry the same weight as my cohorts did, who were all either more well-known or more attractive or more skilled at their craft. I was simply filling the part.

I was merely 友人A (Friend A), a substitute, a stand-in, though of a far less notable role (reference from Your Lie in April, episode 2. Good series, btw)

Continue reading “I Hope Senpai Will Notice Me / Real Talk / I Must Decrease, pt. 2”

It’s a Thin Line…

I grew up with quite a few musical influences. I was an 80’s child, with much of my listening coming from the wide variety of music that my brothers and mother listened to. From Metallica, The Cure, Stevie Wonder, Queen, Kraftwerk, Earth Wind & Fire, the Beastie Boys, Michael Jackson, to the “light rock, less talk” type, I’d say I have been exposed to and consumed quite an interesting smorgasbord of genres. There’s one thing that I can say for certain.

I love music.

Continue reading “It’s a Thin Line…”

Bare Necessities / Vulnerability / Contentment and My Place

home alone

My parents took a trip out of town not too long ago, leaving the house in my “capable” hands for a week. Coincidentally, my ex decided to take the kids that very same week so I was pretty much alone in the house. It’s not often that I get a taste of the single not-quite-bachelor life. I don’t know if I’ll ever earn enough to be on my own when taking into account the situation with my kids, but I suppose I got to briefly experience how it would be. In the days prior to their departure, I wondered how it would be and how I would handle things. I pondered what I could do and what I should do. In looking back on my behavior, I found my actions to be somewhat interesting.

Continue reading “Bare Necessities / Vulnerability / Contentment and My Place”

Cover Fever

This is how I feel sometimes. I’ve been churning out a ton of covers lately, though I think I’m using it as a means of escape, honestly.

There’s so much on my plate lately that I sometimes feel like I need to get away from everything.

So here’s what I’ve done since the last post:

Continue reading “Cover Fever”