What We Don't Notice
Norah: “Hey Ben, how was school?”
Norah: “Did you learn anything?”
Ben: …… “No.”
This was the conversation my kids had when I picked up Norah from school today. Now for reference, Ben is in preschool, so… not too sure he knows what he is actually learning. But it is funny and also alarming, that my son thinks he isn’t learning anything. Awesome… exactly what a parent wants to hear.
But I do know he is learning something. I can see how much he has developed each day and every week. I can see how he gets interested in many unique topics, and also how creative he can be. I can also see how much of a thinker he is.
He may not realize how much information he is gathering when he is in school. And to be honest, I think as Christians never realize how much we are learning about God and God’s plan for us.
Now, to be clear, I never think anything happens by luck or chance. I do believe in a plan that God has for each and every one of us. And I know it may be hard to believe, especially when bad things happen in our life and in the world. But also, do not forget, there is always a power struggle between the good and evil. And we are the ones that are standing in the middle of it all. And when something bad does happen, we should never think that God is powerless to stop such atrocious acts or that God is not loving enough to care what happens.
We must remember the words of Jesus Christ given to His disciples (and to us), that the powers of heaven are given to us.
Basically, it is now our responsibility to make things right, peacefully, just, and good. In a way we should think that God has enough faith in us to make the right decisions. That is that God trusts us so much, that He was willing to save us from eternal doom. Yes, we were worth saving.
That being said…. God has a plan, and that plan involves you! You may not realize it or feel that it is true. Possibly unaware of God’s plan like my son’s lack of awareness to his growing education. Now again, you may not realize that everything that is going on around you is also God trying to steer you into His plan. It is still our responsibility to be aware, listen, and go out and execute that plan. The danger is that we can spend most of our life unconscious to the signs that God gives us, like ignore the GPS when we are trying to drive to a new location. If we continue to ignore the GPS and try to find this new location on our own, we will probably not find it, unless we get some serious help.
This is what God is doing in our world and in our life. God si the GPS system trying to guide each and every individual. Sometimes, we will miss turns, or miss the signals, but like all good GPS, it will recalculate. We just need to be aware enough to be aware that there is a guiding GPS system.
To Live Forever
So right now I am working hard at preparing for the Bible Study we do for every season of Lent. It is going to be in a couple of weeks on March 19th, after worship at 11:00am. The subject that we are going to explore is the Christian belief of Eternal Life. What does that mean for Christians living right now and also about what that means at the end of life. And more importantly, how do we receive Eternal Life.
And I want to dig deep into this subject, and I am going to use some of this writing for March 19th, but I want to share it with you all right now!
Eternal life is something that is appealing to most human beings because we have some reservation in facing our “possible” inevitable death. SO, an answer to our fears of death is “eternal life.” But what exactly does that mean? To live forever seems like an outlandish concept. But people have tried.
When I was younger, I learned about the story of Ponce de Leon of Spain who was in search of the Fountain of Youth when he was exploring the area in which we know is called Florida. According to legend, Ponce de Leon searched for the Fountain of Youth most of his life and he believed that it must be hidden somewhere in Florida. Hmm…. Maybe that is why subconsciously many of us, as we get older, look at Florida to be our retirement home.
When I first heard of this story, when I was very young, I thought that it was stupid! I thought that it was so foolish for a guy to waste his entire life just to search for something that couldn’t be found, or possibly never exist.
In my young life I knew that life is futile. I have already understood the concept of death at a young age when I witnessed family members passing away. But in my early life I also learned not to be scared of death or even try to find ways of avoiding it. Because maybe it is through the help of the church, or parents, or other influences in my young life, that instead of trying to find way to avoid death, we should be spending our precious life on earth, living it.
It was sad to me to think that Ponce de Leon just ruined his life to try to find something because of his fear of death. What he should have been doing is living life to its full potential.
I think this is important for Christians to realize as well. Eternal life isn’t given to us because we fear death or are afraid of hell or need to find ways to cope with death. Eternal life is given to Christians because it is a gift from God. That is as simple as it gets. There is no ulterior motive, or nothing about Eternal life that helps us avoid death or the fear of it. Eternal life is a gift. It is the possibility to even think of eternal life as another stage in living. Our bodies go through amazing changes from life in the womb, to birth, to growth, to puberty, to eventual adulthood, to aging and menopause, and then what? Well imagine eternal life is the stage of life, like a caterpillar going in a cocoon in order to emerge from the cocoon into a new being, a butterfly.
Don’t spend your life worrying about death or spend your life to try to find way to avoid death. I do not think God intends us to live in such a way. He created our human bodies in a way that it goes through stages of being. Every stage we go through not only takes on new physical shape, but also emotional, psychological, and even spiritual change. It is just how God created us. And just because what we see as death or dying might in in God’s eyes, the sequence needed to enter into a new stage of being.
Now, I will have a lot more to say about this and what the Bible has to say about this and other things about the subject of Eternal life on March 19th after worship for the Lenten Bible Study on 11:00am. So don’t forget to come to worship at 10:00am and stick around afterwards. There is still a lot to learn and discover!
Are you ready for Easter? Well, Easter is coming but first we begin our season of Lent. And what exactly is Lent and what does it mean?
Lent is when Christians around the world commemorate the 40 days Jesus spent in the wilderness, fasting and getting tempted by Satan. Many Christians will participate in these forty days by either fasting or giving up something for the time period.
So, what is the purpose of Lent?
Well the purpose is prayer, fasting (or abstaining from something) and charity. Those are three things that we need to focus on for Lent. That is the reason why in our church we are preparing the One Great Hour of Sharing by participating in a fun Lent calendar that we give a little each day, so that we can practice charity during this time. Now every individual will have to think about what they want to give up during Lent. But what is the point of abstaining from something or fasting?
The whole idea, in my opinion, is our acknowledgement on our dependence on God. You see when you give up something or fast you create this void in yourself. You once tie filled it with something, whether it be food, alcohol, tobacco, drugs, or even television, sweets, internet, or your cell phone. But during Lent, we give up that thing and now what is left is just an empty space.
It’s funny because for Lent I decided to give up two things. First one is sweets, and the next thing is meaningless cell phone browsing. So basically, I just want to use my cell phone to answer and make phone calls and texts, and that is all, I’m not even doing emails on it. No watching videos, playing games, browsing through pictures, YouTube, and Google.
So, hence, now I have this void. And I find myself ever so vulnerable. Especially, when I am just wanting to relax or feel bored. I normally would go straight to my phone, but now I have nothing, it’s just the quiet stillness of empty space.
Now, I realize that the point of Lent is for God to occupy that empty space that is in me. But how does this happen? Do I just sit here and wait for God to come into my void, my emptiness, this once occupied “cell phone” space? What am I supposed to do because I am starting to feel anxious!
And this is when it is importance for us to prepare that space for God! It’s kind of like having my 6-month-old, 60lb yellow lab. She’s a puppy, a big puppy, but still a puppy. We have trained her to be easy in the house and given her the space to explore safely. Now, she has “her” space. This is the space that she knows that she enters when we go upstairs to sleep, or when we leave the house for work. It’s not a crate. But it is basically the living room space.
But this living room space needed to be suitable for her. I just cannot force her or order her to stay there while we go somewhere else. I need to prepare that space for her, so that she can feel comfortable and happy. So, I bought a big doggy bed, so she doesn’t have to climb up on the furniture. I gave her three cozy blankets that she can play and cuddle with, while we are away. I gave her a ton of toys that she can play with. Basically, this is her space. And because I prepared a good space for her, she is comfortable entering this space, willingly and naturally.
I think we must do the same for God during our practice of Lent. Even though we give up something, we cannot just expect God to just come in and occupy this void. It is our responsibility to occupy that void with things that God can enter in order to show God that we are ready for Him. So that void, empty space that is left in us because we gave it up for Lent, must be filled with things that invites God into our life.
It means that we have to prepare our minds and hearts to the things that God would want. Lent is all about prayer, so maybe first we work on prayer. I m a pastor, so it is easy for me to begin my day and end my day with a lengthy time of prayer. And I understand that for most people this is not [possible. But if you can spend just five minutes a day for prayer that would be a start. Maybe it’s also about getting into the word of God, the Bible. I know you will ask me, but where do I start? And I tell you to start in three books at the same time. Begin with the Book of Matthew, Romans, and Exodus (but start at chapter 2). You don’t have to put a timeline to finish all three, but I do recommend reading all three simultaneously, and just a little by little. Maybe read one chapter from each book. That is a healthy start,. And maybe the other thing we can do to prepare God to come into our empty space to give more the next 40 days. Be charitable because it shows our willingness to try to be more Christlike.
So that is it! We gave something up, like in my case, “my phone,” and we have this void of space. So now to prepare God to enter this space, we will make it inviting to God by praying more, reading scripture, and being more charitable. I think by doing these three things, we are letting God know that we are ready for Him to be in our lives.
I hope everyone has a great eye-opening experience during Lent. I hope that we can prepare God the room in our life. And just so you know….
If you can’t make room for God, in the three ways I suggested, don’t feel too down. God is never going to love you less. Always remember God loves you so much and that God is waiting for you and cannot wait to be with you. Remember that God loves you so much that He was willing to die on the cross for you (through Jesus), regardless if you believe in Him or not, that is what He did. He loves you unconditionally, always and forever.
God Sends Us Worms
In Exodus 16 God provided the Israelites food that fell from heaven which was called “Manna.” Every morning the Israelites would gather this food so that they had enough to eat for the day.
Basically, this is a story about how God provides, not just for our needs, but our wants. Israelites need God, is depending on God to provide them sustenance, especially when they need it the most. So why am I telling you all this right now?
Well, because I find this story to be oddly comparative to what I am seeing in my backyard, every night… especially when it rains. The entire backyard is full of giant nightcrawler earthworms. I am not kidding, the picture I posted is of one nightcrawler out of the thousands.
I learned why they are called nightcrawlers because you only see them at night, never in the morning and also that they crawl, and also, never knew that worms can move that dang fast. They are really fast and once you shine a light on them, they zip out of there and into the ground they disappear.
I feel like this is a sign from God, or maybe more so a sign of love from God.
I am a huge fishing nerd, and I love fishing. I normally use artificial baits, but honestly, I won’t pass up free live bait either! I mean…. My entire backyard is in abundance of live big nightcrawlers, the perfect fishing bait. Everything eats nightcrawlers, bass, bluegills, crappie, perch, catfish, trout, and carp. Every night, I have the opportunity to gather free bait.
This is a sign that God provides… for me… and my fishing needs. It is a sign of God’s love, just as God loved the Israelites and gave them manna, God loves me and gives me nightcrawlers. Now God has provided fishing bait for not just myself, but more importantly my children, who love to go fishing, but aren’t quite ready to use artificial lures. So, instead of paying $5.00 or $8.00 for nightcrawlers, I have an abundance to pick in my backyard.
Now, remember though that in Exodus 16 the Israelites were to only collect enough manna for them to eat for the day. They were instructed not to save any for the next day, maybe in a way God is teaching them to only trust in Him. Now, at the same time… I have been instructed as well not to “save up” on the nightcrawlers and store them in the house… for my wife will be disappointed. I guess she doesn’t want to open up the refrigerator and see a bunch of nightcrawlers…. I get it. So that means I must only take the worms when I know I am going fishing the following day and only take what I need.
Whoever says that the stories in the bible are not real or relevant isn’t paying attention to what happens in everyday life!
What I am saying is, I think my nightcrawler situation proves the Exodus 16 story and proves God love and care for us. Also, new perks for Ward Ave Presbyterian members. Full access to the backyard in the evenings and night to get unlimited nightcrawlers. It’s good to be close to God isn’t it?
It Costed God Everything
Most of you know this already, but I am a huge collector of anything fishing. I love having an abundance of various rods and reels. And I also have a huge surplus of fishing lures and fishing related stuff. I am a total nut what it comes to fishing. Honestly, everything that I spend on myself is fishing related. I don’t go out and buy clothes, phones, gadgets, sports memorabilia, or whatever.
I know, if my dad is reading this, he is probably shaking his head! But I am just like you! I remember seeing my fathers golf club collection, and man was it extensive, inspiring, and beautiful. My father collected golf clubs and every club he has used and has always kept in pristine shape. I am the same with my fishing gear.
And I am always in the market in looking for something better, interesting, and unique. I want to do everything I canto upgrade my fishing gear as the years pass by. And currently, I have my eyes on one rod and one reel. Maybe the rod I can afford someday, but I would only want the rod only if I can get the reel, so I can pair it together. But unfortunately, the reel is way out of my budget, and there is no way I can afford such a fishing reel.
Well… unless… I give up something I already have. The rod is about $300.00 and the reel is a whopping $600.00, together it will cost me $900.00. Which isn’t going to break the bank for me, but it is just so hard to justify buying such expensive gear, that only selfishly benefits me! Having expensive stuff isn’t going to make me a better fisherman, but having this tuff is just something I want. However, I could still get this rod and reel combo, but it will cost me. And to be honest, I wouldn’t want to pay for it out of the paycheck I earn. That paycheck goes to my family and kids. But if I give up the rods I already own. If I get bust and hustle and trade and sell the rods and reels I already have, I could get this spectular rod and reel. It maye cost me my entire collection of rod and reels. Suddenly, my arsenal of 10 plus rods and reels I use a ton to catch fish, would cripple me to only one rod and reel, and that would limit me to what bass fishing lures I could use in the future.
Is it really worth it? Is it really worth giving up everything just for one thing? In the case of my fishing hobby, absolutely not. As much as I want this rod and reel, it is not worth me selling and trading in all the other stuff I already have.
But, what if we up the stakes. Afterall fishing is jusyt my hobby. What if I apply this to real life? What is worth giving up everything? Well, when I met my wife, I gave up some stuff in my life because I wanted so bad to be with her. I wanted her to be exclusively mine, so I focused all attention on her and not on other girls. This was absolutely worth it. Or something else. Coming to be the pastor at Ward Ave. Presbyterian Church. When I contacted this church and got a response, I put all my eggs in the basket in order to get this job. I had a ton of interests form other churches, but I decided that I would focus all my attention on hoping to get hired at Ward Ave Presbyterian Church. I honestly just felt that God was telling me to go for it. That was scary, because I gave up everything to make sure I just focus on this one church that may even not hire me. I had a wife and a young child, and I knew that if I didn’t get the job at Ward Ave. Presbyterian Church, I would have to start the entire process over again. I would have wasted about 6-8 months of the hiring process. But again, everything worked out and it was definitely worth it.
Life is costly, and your Christian faith must be lived as if it costs you everything. Here is a quote from Dietrich Bonhoeffer that I love.
“Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us
to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace
because it gives a man the only true life. It is costly because it condemns sin, and
grace because it justifies the sinner. Above all, it is costly because it cost God the life
of his Son: "ye were bought at a price," and what has cost God much cannot be cheap
for us. Above all, it is grace because God did not reckon his Son too dear a price to
pay for our life, but delivered him up for us. Costly grace is the Incarnation of God.”
I love these words! Just to think that wear I stand with Christ is only because of a God who was willing to risk everything. Grace is costly, because it costs God everything! I have to ask God, “was it worth it?” And I truly think that God would answer, “Absolutely!”
So just remember in life and faith, we will run into circumstances in which we will have to make such costly choices. God is asking us to give up our family, give up our security, but God is asking us to act courageously. And if we think we want to better improve our life, it will cost us. We will be at risk, we will have to gamble, and we will have to be bold. But that is part of the life that God has given us. Just always remember, when life gives you the opportunity that involves risk, know that God is with you and that God knows exactly how you feel because He has been there before, and regardless of the outcome, have no regrets. Remember, God gave us salvation, and it costed God everything, because it costed His only Son. Back then, God made that risky choice. And when we see the world today, not everyone even acknowledges Jesus the Messiah or even acknowledges the existence of God. The world seems to be broken in some places and sin is a unforgiving force that puts people in suffering. But God, made the choice, and I do not think that God has any regrets, on that day and today.
My kids grow up in a different age than I did. Probably the biggest difference is technology. Which isn’t a bad thing, it’s just different. Now here is the thing… I do not regulate the tablet or phone time my kids do. I do make sure that they watch or play games that are appropriate. But I found out that the things they do on the tablet and phone is making them learn faster and be incredibly creative. Those are all pluses in my mind!
But it’s funny the type of games they play on their tablet or phone. Currently, they are playing a game that the whole point is to clean the house, clean rooms, and take care of their pets. Both Norah and Ben each have a dog that they have to take care of in the game.
Ironically…. Norah and Ben have a REAL dog they CAN take care of in REAL LIFE, but they don’t. In their tablet world they enthusiastically take the dog out for real time walks, feed them, teach them obedience tricks, and gives them water. You know…. They could do this in real life with their real dog… Wouldn’t reality be more fun? Apparently not!
But then again, I do not know how much I could trust the kids to give our dog the correct amount of food, know when they have to take her out to go to the bathroom, or even be handle giving our 60lbs 6-month-old lab a neighborhood stroll.
I guess I can be happy that they are being virtually responsible and hopefully as they get older it taught them to be actually responsible!
And do you ever wonder if our faith is just like what I explained in the beginning of this article? I mean our faith is a mixture of a virtual world and a reality world. Our faith in the virtual world is like what we see in the church. The church is kind of like a fantasy world.
Think about it. The church stands outside of society. The church is the place that people of different political beliefs, social status, race, ethnicity, and family background comes together and establishes a peaceful utopia for a couple of hours on Sundays. The only thing that matters is that we come together without faith. Nothing from the outside world can penetrate this utopia of worship and fellowship. In the church, aka, the virtual world, we learn and practice how we treat other people with kindness, grace, forgiveness, and mercy. In the church, we smile, laugh, and even show vulnerability when we feel burdened by the world.
The church is in a way this protected world. And even at church we act and think differently from outside the church walls, that is in the world. And the world is our actual reality! It is where we establish ourselves all the time. Church is this small time of virtual reality. But the world is real, it is everything, it is actual. And to be honest, what we hope is that everything that we do, think, and are taught in the virtual world, aka. church would help us prepare for the actual reality. But sometimes it doesn’t translate.
In the actual world we find ourselves being overcome with life stressors and instead of mostly smiling, we frown. We can be short tempered with other people. We forget about things like forgiveness, grace, mercy, and kindness. We would never show our vulnerability like we would in the church, virtual world. You see the actual world is scary, unprotected, and threatening. We have to be on our guard, don’t we?
But maybe we don’t have to be like this. Maybe we can actually try to make an effort that everything that we do in the church aka virtual world is about training us to live in the real, actual world. We live out life authentically for, though, and by Christ. We cannot act, think, and speak differently when we are in church versus when we are in the world. So just think about the church as your training grounds or the place that not just trains you but equips you so that you can put your best foot forward into the world and may your “virtual” reality be the same as your “actual” reality.
The Leash Broke
So, Suzi broke her leash couple days ago. Yep, totally snapped at the cord. Just saw the tension, and snap! And as expected she took off! And her target was a group of fishermen at the Glendale Spillway. She rushed over to them; took a perch they just caught and ate it. Luckily, they were nice and in good spirit. They didn’t mind that Suzie just stole one of their catches. But all is good because I eventually caught a nice 12-inch perch and donated it to them.
But other than Suzie running off and stealing a fish, she was surprisingly well behaved when she was off her leash. She stayed relatively close to me, and she always came near me when I called her name. She of course was interested in other people, which I had little control over, but she was polite. Didn’t jump up and act like a maniac. She even got a little bit of leftover pizza crust from the nice fellas.
But I really was in a bit of a panic when Suzie broke her leash! I expected that she would just run off and I’d spend half of the day chasing after her and even I dreaded that she would be off, and I would lose her!
I learned two things. I am not quite ready to have her off the leash, even if she is ready. And also, I need to trust her a little more than I had before. I definitely underestimated her ability, awareness, attentiveness, and obedience.
But aren’t we sort of like that when it comes to our relationship with God? I mean, God just allows our faith to grow. And maybe when we were younger, God had us on the leash, making sure we don’t wander off too far. God provided us with a mom and dad that’s responsibility is to know from right and wrong. God gives us the opportunity to get into a church in hope that we understand important words like, grace, hope, forgiveness, and love. And as we get older, the hope is that not only does our leash get longer, but eventually, we will be off our leash. We have the freedom of doing what we feel is best in life.
Now when we are off the leash we are exposed to the world, which isn’t such a bad thing. We learn a ton of stuff from other friends, observe other peers, and dig our noses into the education that is provided from us. Through all the unleashed world will provide we make the decision on what to do next, what to believe, and how to behave. We will find out or have already found out that we don’t always make the best decision. Yes, sometimes we steal another person’s fish!
But honestly, we need to be off the leash, or maybe even break our leash in order for our faith to grow and strengthen. It is only through the full experience of life and the freedom of living that our faith becomes more and more solid. It is about making mistakes and learning. It is also bout trust.
Like I said earlier before in this blog, I am not quite ready to have Suzie off the leash completely. She still has a lot to mature. But I know she is getting there. However, God is very much comfortable with having us off our leash because God completely trusts us!
Maybe that is hard to believe, but it is true! God trusts us to make the better choices, God trusts us to live well and responsibly. God trusts us to be charitable, loving, kind, and forgiving to all the people we may meet. God even trusts us not to take another person’s fish!
But God also understands that we will make mistakes in life, and we will make mistakes often. That will not change His love or trust in us. However, because we have a strong foundation with Him, because we were “trained” earlier when we were on a leash, we still must stay close to Him. He knows that we will not drift too far off. Even when we are off the leash, we still need God to take care of us, feed us, give us a home, and give us encouragement.
When Is It Time to Get Glasses?
I have come to a point in my life that I am pretty sure that I need glasses. How do I know this? Well, I first noticed this when I was trying to read labels of medicine bottles to give to Ben when he had COVID two weeks ago. I noticed how impossible it was to read the labels to figure out he correct dosage according to his weight. So instead of thinking, "I better get glasses" immediately. I ignored this incident and went to the internet to find the correct dosage of medicine.
It's funny to think that improving vision is not a priority on my to do list. But then I really started to pay attention to it when I went fishing yesterday evening with the dog. I went to Raystown Dam to target smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, and northern pike. I caught a small pike and noticed that I needed to retie my fishing lure because the fishing line was all frayed up. So, I began tying the knot, and then I realized I am having an awfully hard time seeing the dang fishing line go into the line tie of the fishing lure. I knew at that moment…. I need to get glasses right now. My vision is all sorts of blurry.
I went home in the evening and told Eunkyung (my wife) what happened and that my conclusion is to go and see an eye doctor. She was shocked that I didn’t go earlier. It literally took me a fishing trip and not being able to tie fishing knots comfortably, was the reason to get my vision checked.
Eunkyung is right, I should have checked my vision much earlier. It’s absurd to think that improving vision is not a priority. We should make that a priority. It’s like I keep saying, “Ehh, I’ll see tomorrow… I don’t have time to see today!” That is crazy. See now, man!
But think about if we ignore how blurry our physical vision is, what about our spiritual vision. If we hardly pay attention at the importance of physical vision, imagine how much more we would ignore our spiritual vision! Yikes! I better get my spiritual vision checked as well!
The thing is that improving your spiritual vision is not as easy as just putting some kind of glasses on. Spiritual vision takes a lot of work. It’s not just needing to pray more or go to church more or read the bible more. It is all of those things plus more. You have to practice the character of Christ, model His behavior. It is about being attentive to the voice of God through scripture. Read the word and do what the word says to do. But that’s not all either! Yes! There is more! It is about paying attention to everything that is going on in the world. It is about knowing what is happening in the world and instead of reacting about how we feel about the current events, it's about contemplating and wondering what is it that God wants us to do, even if that means it is contrary to what I am comfortable with. Improving spiritual vision is all about challenging ourselves to match our vision with Gods vision. This isn’t easy and often times God will put you in difficult situations that may change the way you normally think and do.
Just remember if improving your physical vision is important to you, which it should be. Just remember that improving your spiritual vision is also vital to live a better life. A life that involves hard work and challenges. Improving spiritual vision is all about imagining a better world not just for yourself but for other people. Imagine the world that God envisions. A world that replaces words like competition with compassion; hate with love; and selfishness with selflessness.
So, what is it going to take for you to improve your spiritual vision? In order for me to get better vision for me, was that I felt that I lost something that once was easy for me, that was tying fishing knots. So, what is it that you feel you lost, or feel that you are losing that requires you to make changes to have a better understanding of the vision that God has given you.
I Have COVID
So last week on Thursday morning I found out that I tested positive for COVID. I knew it was going to eventually happen. I was just sort of waiting for it.
Ben first got it from school (most likely, because that it sit he only place he is social or goes other than home.) Ben had it last Monday. So the doctor tells us that he is going to be staying at home for the next 5 days and then after this he can go out but has to wear a mask for 5 more days. I figured that now Eunkyung and I are going to being close contact with a COVID positive person 24/7 it was inevitable that we would get it. We weren’t too concerned with Norah, since she already got it, not too long ago, and somehow all of us managed to escape getting it due to Norah’s diligence of staying clean, washing her hands, cleaning up her area and being really attentive to touching her face.
But, this is Ben. He is a lot less careful than Norah, so it was only a matter of time that we would get it. And soon enough Thursday morning Eunkyung and I were feeling sick, and we tested positive. Nice. So again protocol says that we have to quarantine for 5 days and then are able to go out after but having to wear a mask for 5 days.
So right now, it is day 6 for my wife and me. We are able to go out. To be honest, I still feel pretty sick, but I have to get groceries, and take kids to school, and take Suzie to the vet, I got stuff to do. However, Eunkyung, wanted to test herself because her work asked her to be tested to see if she can come back to work. However, Eunkyung test still came out positive, so her work told her to stay home until she can test negative, which should take 10 days. And I tried myself, and as of today (Wednesday) I am still positive.
So, few questions I hope I can answer for all of you that must be wondering, all about this COVID crap. First one, is my symptoms and how bad is it. And the next question is why I am able to be out of quarantine even if I am still testing positive.
My symptoms… they were mild for the most part. First thing I felt was cold chills on Wednesday evening and night, then my entire body was sore and achy, and I had a massive headache. But Excedrin and Motrin really helped with those. I was heavily congested and a little runny nose in the beginning. I never got the sore throat or coughing until day 3 of testing positive. I never lost my test or smell, and I never really lost my appetite. I did find myself being often confused and easily irritable (still feel this way as of today). But that’s about it. It is day 6 and I am still positive.
My wife, she had it bad! She had severe flu like symptoms. No appetite, cold chills, fever, coughing, sore throat, body aches, headaches, sneezing, congestion, runny nose, and a lot of pain. Eunkyung’s symptoms were very different from mine. She felt like this for the next 3-4 days. Only as of yesterday and now today, she feels totally better. She still has the coughs, but that is about it. She is still positive as of today.
Ben didn’t have much of anything. He had a high fever for 3 days about 104.0 degrees, lethargic, and cough. But after three days he seemed fine. He is on day 9 or 10, not sure. He is negative.
Norah, still negative. She had COVID a few months back. During that time, she was the only one in our household that was positive. She was really good at being clean, self-sufficient, washing her hands and face, and not touching her face. So, we assumed that she has built in immunity to it for now.
So, why are we allowed to come out of quarantine after 5 days, even if we test positive? Well according to health experts, they found out that the first 5 days after testing positive for COVID is the most dangerous time period. That is the time when COVID is easily spread to other people. After that, it is not so easily spread to others, even if symptoms are still present. However, for 5 days we are told to still wear a mask because COVID is still present.
Talking to a good buddy of mine that is an expert on infectious diseases and is a virologist, told me that I should be able to go out with a mask on and not worry about spreading the disease.
He still recommends me not to be social in anyway. But he said that I can do worship, but should keep a distance away from people, and still be mindful of people who are considered to be the at risk age group or people who have health concerns. The next five days, means that I could potential spread COVID, since it is present in my system, but it is just far less transmissible to others.
So, there you have it. I still have COVID… and I will probably continue having it until Saturday. SO, in the meantime, if I must go out, I am going to mask up and do it. It looks like my wife might be going back to work on Friday, only if she can test negative tomorrow. I should be fine by Sunday. Again, even right now I am still feeling sick, but I am feeling much better.
Overall, COVID, not too bad. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone, and it was like having a bad cold or mild flu (for me). For Eunkyung, it was like having a flu. For Ben, nothing. Anyways, I hope this was helpful information for everyone. Everyone, stay healthy and stay safe. God bless you all.
Now I know Christmas is already passed and that most people have already taken down most of their Christmas decorations. But I do want to make you all think about something just a little more.
And it is still amazing to me that the birth of Jesus Christ was almost forgotten on that night in Bethlehem. It crazy to really think about it…. The Son of God, the Messiah, actual God being born on earth was nearly forgotten if it weren’t only for the wisemen and the shepherds.
It’s wild to think that the birth of God would have such little fanfare or even audience. You think, that if God were born, there should be a massive announcement, a parade, an enormous preparation, but there isn’t!
And it’s not like this was a lowkey, unknown event in time. The prophets have foretold the brit of Jesus (God with Us) a long time ago, actually announcing a virgin birth and in a smalltown of Bethlehem. And even when Jesus was born, it’s not like God wasn’t giving the world signs. A might a bright star shining day and night? Or how about a choir of angels in a nearby field in Bethlehem? Don’t tell me that nobody in Bethlehem saw a bunch of angels at night just outside the city? And don’t tell me that a star shining day and night isn’t enough for someone to look up and wonder, that is quite “odd.” But it was…. Nobody took notice.
It is as if Jesus had a birthday party and invited the entire world and only a few shepherds and wisemen showed up. I now wondered whether the world even wanted Jesus to come, and that more so Jesus came to the earth as an uninvited guest, someone that nobody wanted or even cared about. Now I totally understand that Jesus tells of parables about weddings in which people are invited but nobody came.
Daggum sad I say! Seriously, Jesus, who is God, is born…. and where is everyone? Make you think if Jesus was unwanted back then, is he even wanted right now, today? But here is the amazing thing that we should all remember.
As Christian we give our life, our worship, our devotion to the Triune God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We know how important the birth of Emmanuel was back then and how much more significant it is now… for us. But what about the rest of the world? The amazing part is that even if the world doesn’t want God or even recognize the birth of God among us and fail to even recognize God in this world… God still came to us. Yes, that is the amazing God that we worship. No matter what, God chose to be with us and took a huge gamble and risk in coming here, even when a majority of people fail to seek the birth of God on earth. To God… it doesn’t matter the amount of people that may love Him, but each person that is eager to find God, means the entire world to God.
This is the amazing God who came to us. A God who needs no fanfare, no attention, no parade, or special attention. This is a God who isn’t depended on our recognition of Him. The God who came to us, only is eager to be with us, no matter what. Whether we recognize Him or not He continues to bless us and the people around us and the world with things that give joy, love, peace, and warmth. God will continue to be the God with Us. Maybe we need to start looking for the obvious signs around us that point to the heart of God. Let’s hope that in 2023, we start anew and refreshed. Let’s start seeking how obvious God’s love, peace, and gentleness is so embedded in this world and in our personal lives.
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).