Friday, November 30, 2007

Weddings Are Overrated

After being married for a little over a month now, I think back to our wedding day and I have come to realize that weddings are overrated.

Now don't get me wrong. Weddings are certainly important. And fun. Although honestly, it's a lot more fun attending someone else's wedding than worry about all the details of your own. And yeah, it was definitely wonderful to see all of our friends and family there, but that's not what I'm talking about.

I'm talking about how easy it is to anxiously await the wedding day and not prepare for the actual marriage. The wedding is just one day, but the marriage is a lifetime.

How screwed up have we gotten that we invest so much time, energy, and money into one single day and not even think about all the days after? It's so easy for us to be excited about one day, one moment, one second... but then it disappears so quickly.

For all you science nerds out there, it's like the Doppler Effect: You just got engaged. You can see the wedding day in the distance. The day is approaching. You begin to plan, organize, and prepare. The pressure builds. The day is coming closer. 11 months. Pressure builds. It's getting louder. 6 months away. All of the plans are falling into place, but you get busier with preparations. 1 month away. It gets louder and louder. Pressure builds. 2 weeks away. Then it's right there in front of you! It's tomorrow! The bachelor party! The rehearsal dinner! Then, the wedding! Then... WHOOSH!!!!!! ...the wedding is behind you. It's quiet. It has passed. Whew.

Now it's normal life again. Now we have the whole rest of our lives to live. The wedding went by so quick.

It would have been so easy to just focus on the wedding during our engagement, but Jen and I made sure to focus on our relationship first and foremost. We used our engagement as a time to learn and grow about each other. A kind of "trial and error" with our communication and interaction. Because of that, we have been well-prepared for not just the wedding day, but for our marriage.

Sure, the wedding day is a celebration of the uniting of two people committed to each other. But my wedding already seems like a dream to me. It doesn't even seem like it happened because it went by so fast. I'm just glad that we didn't just prepare for that one day, but that we prepared for every day after as well.

Related post: First Thoughts From Married Life

Image from wikimedia.

She's Got It Right

"I dream of a world where at least in the Church we are building bridges between our differences rather than walls...and I think the world would take notice, too."

I don't know who this lady is, but she's got it right. I totally agree with her post, which I found on I don't necessarily have to believe every single little detail that she believes, and I am certainly not going to try and change her mind and make her agree with every single little detail that I believe.

The important thing is that she loves Jesus and is solid on the beliefs that really do matter for salvation.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

This Blog Sucks

My blog has given me a big head. I say things in here that I feel strongly about and believe as being true. But after writing so many truths, I think that everything that I think is truth too. After awhile I think I know everything. I think everybody else is wrong except me.

But I don't know everything. I don't have everything figured out. I have to remember that I sin (pride) just like everybody else, and I need God's gift of grace just like everybody else.

We were at community group last night and it was very encouraging. It was encouraging to hear that other people are going through struggles just like we do. Everybody goes through struggles. Some struggles are huge in comparison to others, but we all have them. Community is so great because we get to identify with others, share what's on our mind to friends that we can trust, and grow together in that relationship.

Before I was in a close community group with others, I was just alone. Sure, I went to church on Sundays and saw a friend or two. Sure, I had my roommate I could talk to if I was ever feeling crappy. But that wasn't true community. More often than not, I would feel lonely. I would feel so disconnected to people that I would get bitter.

However, I knew what I needed to do. I knew what God wanted me to do. It took a lot of courage, but I finally stepped up and joined my first community group through my church. It was awkward at first, but all relationships take time to adjust and deepen. Thankfully, I met a great group of friends to get to know, talk with, and share time with.

Presently, Jen and I have transitioned into a great group of just newlyweds. We have been sharing our experiences, troubles, and joys as couples. That's always important in community: a common interest. It's tough to relate to people that you don't have anything in common with. We've been getting along wonderfully and have all really clicked with each other. It's been awesome.

And here I go again on my blog... thinking that I know everything and I have a big head because I think I do everything right. But the truth is that I keep screwing up. I keep making mistakes along the way. Pride is me being blind to my own blindness. I can only give credit to Jesus for saving me from my blindness. And the Holy Spirit for revealing it to me and guiding me in the right direction (towards the narrow path).

I guess I'll keep blogging, but I want to blog about my joys and my pains as I try and please God with my life. If my blog is a true reflection of my discoveries and reveries, then I should certainly provide a true image of both the good and the bad that I experience in my life.

After all, I like to tell people that I'm an open book. Well, here I go...

Monday, November 26, 2007

What Do Non-Christians See?

Lately I've been understanding that most non-Christians care more about Christians' actions than anything else.

A Christian's actions represent their beliefs. A Christian's actions represent their view of Jesus.

And I'm talking about actions that are seen and unseen.

Are we ever really going to step up to the plate and actually have faith in what God tells us?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Earth's Tilt

I have been thinking about our planet's rotation today.

The sunlight has been shining through the slats in my window blinds this morning. The shadows from the slats create a striped pattern across my computer screen, desk, and wall. This didn't happen in the summer because the sun was so much higher in the sky.

But was the sun really "higher in the sky?" No. It's so fascinating how we often associate with things relative to ourselves. We think of ourselves as the center of the universe while everything moves around us. We think that the sun is actually moving in the sky. We think of how the sun is actually higher in the summer and lower in the winter. That's just the way it is in the Northern Hemisphere, right?

So often I forget about the fact that the earth is rotating around the sun. The sun isn't moving. We swing around this big ball of heat and light once every Earth-year, but all we think about is, "wow... the days are longer... the days are shorter... the sun is high in the sky... the sun is low today... bla bla"

I find a much better appreciation for the things around me when I understand what is happening from a bigger perspective. For example, today, I am amazed by the fact that the sunshine is streaming through the slats in my blinds. Not just because the sun is "lower" than days in the past, but because I know that I am a tiny speck on a huge rock floating in space around a huge star somewhere in a gigantic universe. And thanks to scientists and their discoveries, I can visualize it in my mind. So cool.

How much more would we appreciate life if we see it from a bigger perspective?

Diagram from

Friday, November 16, 2007

Bonds Indicted

Three months after Barry Bonds passed Hank Aaron's career home run record, and after a 4-year investigation into steroid use by elite athletes, Bonds was indicted of perjury and obstruction of justice on Thursday. The charge is for telling a federal grand jury that he didn't knowingly take performance-enhancing drugs.

I also heard on the radio this morning that he faces 30 years in prison! For just lying about it! This is a much harsher penalty that if he would just have told the truth (Assuming that he did lie, of course. Court date is Dec. 7th).

This goes to show that lying to cover up sin is much worse that just repenting and asking for forgiveness in the first place.

Photo from

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Being Thankful: Rich and Poor

In our Sunday school class, we have been teaching the kids (grades 2-5) about thankfulness. "What are we thankful for?" "What does it mean to be thankful?" "What is most important in our lives?" One past Sunday we mixed things up a bit by showing them a VeggieTales video called Madame Blueberry. The story is about a lady who keeps trying to buy lots of stuff to make her happy, but it doesn't help.

I also recently read a blog post of a guy who is a friend of a friend of mine. He noted the correlation between religion and poverty, and atheism and wealth. After looking at the link he provided, it showed that the R-square in the analysis is 0.4855, which really isn't a very strong correlation anyway. But still, I'm sure we all remember from our statistics class that correlation doesn't imply causation. It's a fascinating link nonetheless, and one can draw many connections from it.

Both the video and the blog post got me pondering about our thankfulness for the stuff that we have. Since every good thing in our lives has been given to us by God (James 1:17), why are some Christians more "blessed" than others? Why are some Christians very wealthy, yet some barely scraping by?

God's view of blessings are completely different from society's view of what blessings are. Jesus wants us to be focused on eternity (Mark 8:35-36, Luke 18:22). When we think about eternity in regards to what God wants us to do during this short time that we are on Earth, then the blessings that society elevates become less important to us.

As we watched VeggieTales at church with the kids, I realized that it is very important to have a thankful heart for whatever I receive in my life. Simple analogy: somebody who receives an expensive Nintendo Wii video game system for their birthday can be just as thankful as somebody who receives a cheap little pad of paper. According to society, one gift would be considered awesome and one would be relatively crappy. But God wants our hearts to be just as thankful, no matter the gift.

We really don't deserve any gifts anyway. What we really deserve is death (Romans 6:23) for rebelling against God (Romans 3:23). Thankfully, Jesus died in our place (1 Peter 2:24). God let Jesus die as a sacrifice for our sinful lives (John 3:16-17). That's pretty sweet because it gives me perspective to be much more thankful for what God puts in my life.

What things in our lives do we think of as crappy, but when focusing on eternity they can actually be something worth thanking God for?

Chart from
Images from here and here.

Monday, November 12, 2007

First Thoughts From Married Life

Many have been asking me how our marriage has been going so far. Well, I am pleased to say that it has been just as we expected! So far it has been wonderful and thankfully, no surprises! Our honeymoon was a much-needed, relaxing break and we had a blast (even though I was initially skeptical). Since we've been back, we are still busy transforming my bachelor pad into a cozy home. After a little over 3 weeks of adjusting to living with each other, we are already excited about the rest of our lives and growing old with one another.

Of course it hasn't been perfect thus far. We have had a couple of fights already, but we used our engagement as a great time to learn how to repent, forgive, and grow with one another. Now, since we've had so much practice with that, being married is so much more fun because the sin and difficulties can be dealt with easier. We can now focus more on the fun that we have been waiting for: living together, sex, and not having to say "goodbye" at night.

Married life is great. We both love it. However, this joy hasn't come without a price. Self-control, patience, humility, and forgiveness all have played big parts in our relationship way before the wedding day. Without those, we would have been in for a big surprise after the wedding day. If we hadn't confronted our frustrations and sins to each other, then every day of our marriage would be hell.

A true marriage is not built on each other. I'm not saying that we shouldn't trust, love, and respect each other...those are certainly necessary for a healthy marriage. What I am saying is that no matter how much Jen loves me, she is going to fail me. She's not perfect. And no matter how much I love Jen, I'm going to fail her. I'm not perfect. We will fail each other.

A true marriage is built on Jesus Christ. He is perfect and will never fail us. By focusing our marriage on Him, then we don't have to worry about our spouse failing us. At times when we fail each other, our marriage stays strong because our foundation is in someone who will never let us down. That's how marriage was designed. And with the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives, Jen and I can grow and become closer together as we lean not on each other, but lean on Christ.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Solace Arts Photography: Wedding Pics

My good friends were able to shoot our wedding for us! Emily Allen and her husband Kolby recently established a company called Solace Arts Photography. They agreed to fly up from California to shoot our wedding for us a few weeks ago. Photography is a new passion of Emily's and we were so thankful they could be with us to shoot and celebrate! I know them from SPU, but now they live in Los Angeles with their cute little girl. If anybody is in that area in need of exceptional photography work, please look her up.

The weather on our wedding day started out pretty gloomy, but thankfully the rain stopped and the sun broke through the clouds in the afternoon... just as we started shooting. It was beautiful outside! We were married at the Daybreak Star Cultural Center at Discovery Park in Seattle. Emily and Kolby were a great team as they led us around the area. There are some great views of the Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains in that spot. The photographic creativity definitely shows through the photos here and also in the rest of the collection in the gallery on their website.

They also gave me permission to put their slide show on here, which is cutely synced with music we had in our wedding! They did a wonderful job with it:

If you want to check out the rest of the photos:
  1. Go to
  2. Create an account (they won't spam you)
  3. Enter the access code: 102007
  4. Continue to the gallery and check out the pics!
UPDATE: This album is no longer available for viewing.

You can save your favorites, purchase photos or albums, and invite family or friends to view them too! Emily told me they will be updating their website in early 2008, so keep your eye out for that.

Thanks again for all your great work, Em and Kolby! These will be great memories for a long time.

Check out the Solace Arts Photography Blog too!

All photos from