Since the end of May I have had this issue in my mouth. So, since May I have felt like one side of my face was hit with a baseball bat. Tooth pain is never easy to deal with. And the problem with me was that the earliest I could see a dentist around here was August 31st.
Tomorrow is that day! Finally! Oh man… I am so relieved that I can get some help on this tooth and hope that I can get a root canal and crown and put this thing behind me.
It’s crazy to endure pain, but I honestly couldn’t do anything about it. Just be patient, wait, and pray.
But what’s crazy is that what if you were living in so much pain and suffering, and there was a way out of it, but you choose not to do anything about it. That would be unheard of. But think about it….
We have all done it before… or some of us are still doing it…
Sometimes we do not ever realize the pain and suffering kind of life we live. It is disguised as a life without excitement, joy, and adventure. Living a life that is the same thing repeatedly. A life that is just draining our will because it is so mundane, boring, and lacks stimulation.
Occasionally, when I am doing pastoral counseling, I will be told by people that wish that their life was different. That they wish that something more would be happening in their life.
I always tell them… well it could be different, and you could be doing more… but it involves you trying to seek adventure, and to deviate from your everyday life. And that is tough for anyone to do.
It is so easy to do the same thing repeatedly. Things just get comfortable. But sometimes we must realize that the patterns, routine, and comfort that we surround ourselves with may not be enough as we get older, go through change, or mature.
Just when we were little babies, we eat mushy baby food, but as we get into adults, no longer do we eat mushy baby food. Just like when we were little kids and we are taught about Jesus, God, the church, and the world, well that message gets more sophisticated as we get older, and sometimes feels complicated if we choose not to grow in our understanding of the Bible and how God works in the Bible so we can relate it to our life.
Just be open that at some point in our life God might be telling us to change, or at least try or think something different. Think about like how God called Moses to lead the Israelites. Moses began his youth living a nice comfortable life in Pharoah’s palace. Yet, Moses listened to God to tell him to lead the Israelites and to be their leaders. I do not think that the young Moses would ever imagine that he’d be the future leader of the Israelites.
So, I urge you all to be open to God’s voice. Be mindful about how you are feeling. And if something doesn’t feel right, and you just feel the lack of enjoyment in life, then think about the possible changes that need to be made. Remember, God wants you to live a joyful life, and thankful life, and a life that you feel can feel peace.
So, about a few weeks ago I went camping at the amazing Shenandoah River in Virginia. Our campsite was right up on the river, absolutely stunning! Kids were able to go into the clear shallow waters and have a ton of fun. Everything was amazing. Caught a ton of smallmouth bass on topwater. Always amazing to see fish jump out of the water to get your fishing lure. Such a rush of emotions! We had some Korean pork belly for dinner, such a great evening. It was a lot of work, setting up camp, playing with kids, making sure they are happy, getting ready for dinner, cooking, and cleaning up, just a lot of work that goes into “enjoying” camping.
Sleeping was great because it was so quiet, kids fell asleep better in the tent than in their beds at home. Which makes me wonder if all I have to do to get the kids to sleep easily is set up the tent in the backyard and have them sleep in sleeping bags. Or maybe they are just more comfortable sleeping without a bed mattress? I have no idea.
I remember praying and falling asleep praying. Yeah… it was that comfortable of a camping experience!
Then came very early in the morning. And all I remember was hearing a crow yell in my ear, “HEY!!!!” That’s what it sounds like. It sounded like the crow was just right outside our tent. It scared the heck out of me. I figured, ok, that crow is gone right? Wrong! Once again, “HEY!!!” By this time our dog Suzie is up, Eunkyung is up, and I am trying not to get up. But this dang crow was relentless! “HEY!!!” OK! I am up!
I quickly got dressed and opened the tent. And I saw a glimpse of the pesky crow. What’s his dang problem! No need to yell right?
But to be honest, I am glad that crow rudely woke me up, because I had a chance to enjoy the river, the smell, the sun, the fog that is over the land, and again the peace and quiet. Amazing.
It makes me wonder that sometimes to get to the point of quiet and peace in our life we need a bit of a wake me up. Or maybe we need a loud interruption so that God can redirect our attention to something amazing. That something amazing is the peace and quiet we sometimes need but do not know where to find it. All we need is something to yell, “HEY!!!” to us so we can wake up from our slumber and see, feel, and sense something else; that is peace.
This screenshot is a picture from Chris Rudella’s phone. I do go by Pastor Brian Choi, that is my name and title. And Carole is Chris’ wife. SO this text of “me” is getting to Carole, through Chris’ phone number.
I DID NOT WRITE THIS TEXT AND THAT IS NOT MY PHONE NUMBER (ON TOP).
What is bizarre is that I do not have Chris’ number saved anywhere on my computer, email, or phone.
So, this scammer is using me, has knowledge that I am a pastor, and knows that Carole is a congregation member, but has used Chris’ number, which I do not have. That is so strange and also scary.
How do they get all this information? I have no idea. Honestly, if they hacked my phone or email, then wouldn’t they just use Carole’s number that is saved in my contact list? SO that is not something they did. Somehow, they scammers figured out I am a pastor, which isn’t hard to figure out. But they also found out that Carole is a church member and also somehow connected that Chris’ number (Carole’s spouse).
I have seen this kind of text message or email being sent around. So be careful!
I am writing this blog to everyone. Do not get scammed. First off, pay attention to the number or email. If it isn’t a number or email address you recognize, they it might be a scam, even if the message or email says the person you know and recognize, it’s still a warning.
Also, even if it is a number or email you do recognize… but the message sounds bizarre like “a matter or request that needs to be handled discreetly” and also that “I can only be contacted through this text or email.” And “do not call.” These are all warning signs.
I would never make a text message like this. And typically, whatever the matter is, and if it is serious, I always call-in person. I never handle sensitive matters through email or text. I would never ask anyone to just text me or just email me. Even if I have a meeting I am going, just call, even if I can’t pick up, I can call you back as soon as I can. It is not a big deal.
Again…. Don’t get scammed. I am assuming that if you respond this this text, then the person posing to be me is going to ask your help to give me money, possibly through gift cards or some other matter. I would never ask you for money. And even in the off chance I do need to ask you for money, I am not going to ask you in text or email! I would ask you in person or give you a phone call!
Be careful and be alert and do not get scammed. Honestly, if you receive any email or text from me that is asking for money. Always call my cell number even if I insist not to call. Always good to make sure and be careful.
Be safe everyone and God bless.
I do not think our car needs to sound like that. So had to bring the car to the shop. It drives well, but I think it’s going to need new brakes. As a matter of fact, the last time I did a car inspection, they told me that I might have to look at getting new brakes soon. So that coffee making noise is the sound of metal rubbing on metal because I need new brakes.
So, the new brakes are in, and the car does not sound like a coffee maker and it is back to driving smooth and quiet. Just like new!
Sometimes we all need some kind of repair. Now I’m not talking about the physical repairs as we age that our body goes through wear and tear. But I am talking more about repairs of the mind and soul. Being a pastor, I know nothing about physical repairs of the body, but I do know repairs of the mind and soul.
Just think about a car being a great metaphor for your body. Like any car, it needs tune up, checkups, the occasional oil change and other maintenance work. So does your mental and spiritual health as well. Sometimes thinking and doing the same thing over and over isn’t getting the same satisfaction and feeling it did before. In this case maybe a change is needed. Just a little tune up possibly, or even more bold, a replacement of thoughts and behavior.
You know, cars are going to eventually need new brakes, new parts here and there, new tires. Cars are going to need regular oil changes, to replace fluids, and do other things to assure optimal performance regardless of how new or old the vehicle is.
We should think the same way for us. If you feel that what you learned in Sunday school 20 years ago doesn’t fulfil your soul, maybe its good to go deeper in the word of God. You have to think that what once satisfied the soul 20 years ago no longer applies because in the last 20 years you have gone through significant life changes and also society is different, and everything seems to be more challenging now.
It is time for an oil change, or to get something new. I encourage you to dive deep into God’s word. Pray and never worry about what to pray about, even if you don’t know what to pray about. In Romans 8 Apostle Paul tells us that the Spirit intercedes for us in prayer. If you haven’t found yourself going to church in a while or just go sporadically, maybe you might need a change of environment and start going to church roe often, just to change the pattern in your life.
You never know what God is doing in your life and the only way you will know is to get closer to Him.
Hey this is Rev. Brian Choi's random thought throughout my week. Most of this stuff, will probably be about family, church, fishing, music, movies, food, whatever I think of, hopefully it will have some sort of theological reflection (maybe).