Citylife Retreat 2011

I remember writing a post a year ago after attending a retreat with our church…another good one this year. Discussed our response to suffering (both our own and the suffering around us), the love God has for the city, and the need to come humbly before God’s word. Good time meeting new friends too.

We got home around 2:30 today, and as we were exiting the elevator at our apartment,  I leaned over the give Veronica a little peck on the cheek. She didn’t see me and kept walking, and meanwhile, the doors opened and one of our neighbors was standing there waiting to get in the elevator. Basically, I missed and looked pretty funny. Had to be there.

We decided to check out Staples afterwards for a desk. Actually found one we liked, and as we tried to check out, the Staples guys were having a little trouble figuring it out…Veronica ended up finding the item in the catalog, getting us a $10 price adjustment, typing in our order in the computer, finding a coupon code for a free chair…(one of the guys said, “wow, she types fast”…uhhh, yeah). Better watch out for those jobs, Staples guys.

After this little display of talent, Veronica proceeded to speed into a rotary and give me a minor heart attack. Sigh.

– Paul

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2 Bad Signs

I recently started magnifying webpages (ctrl, +) and setting the sound on my Blackberry to “Loud”. Hmmm, what does that sound like to you?

– Paul

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Are people still reading?

Or are e-books destroying traditional bookstores? Either way, this is really unfortunate.

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The Importance of Good Notes

Veronica and I, in an effort to get the most out of Sunday sermons, try to take notes regularly. Today we heard a great message about justice being the peculiar work of God, but mercy being God’s primary work. Veronica was taking copious notes today and about halfway through the sermon, she jotted something down and handed it to me. I thought it was her commentary on some deep point during the message. I was wrong:

She wants sandwich! It wasn’t a commentary on the message! She was just hungry!

This is what it means to know Veronica Shin (or Veronica Shin-Kim as she calls herself) – on one hand, she can be quite a deep thinker and very profound. On the other, she has an appetite like a bear, and sometimes a girl just wants sandwich.

– Paul

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The 11th Hour

I’m staying up late for a worthy cause – trying to pound out the last paper I’ll be writing as an MBA, on the thrilling auto insurance industry.

I’m amazed at my ability to distract myself whenever there’s something less interesting to do. Such as:

– I’m annoyed by Google Buzz, but for some reason, it looks really interesting right now. I think I’ll check it.

– I don’t think I’ve ever blogged twice in one day, but today, it just feels right.

– Let’s try on this funny hat.

– Organize the random stack of customer loyalty punch cards next to my desk – coffee shops, burrito joints, Robeks??

– I’ve heard it’s good to defragment your hard drive once in awhile, and I think I’m long overdue for a thorough defragmentation.

Back to work.

-Paul

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This here’s a jam for all the fellas…

…who have ever had a problem with their computer adapter:

Here’s the latest mishap: Veronica’s old Gateway laptop is on it’s last legs. Specifically, the AC adapter – the wires are all shredded up, so when you twist it one way, it works, another way, it doesn’t. Adding some urgency to the drama is the fact that Veronica has a HARD deadline tonight. Dun-dun-dun.

Nothing seemed to work, until we thought, “what if we jammed a penny into where the wires are coming apart? Metal on metal, right?”:

It worked! The great thing is, we stopped by Radio Shack on the way home from dinner, and the guy there told us that a universal adapter would cost $99. Can you say, 10 cent solution for a 99 dollar problem??

By the way, the purple socks on the ground in that first picture are NOT mine.

-Paul

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Retreat in Newport, RI

Veronica and I just got back from a church retreat this weekend. It was our first one with Citylife, and a great time getting to know some people better, visiting a beautiful place on a gorgeous weekend. Here’s a little on Newport:

– It’s home to many summer mansions used by well-known families like the Vanderbilts, Astors, Kennedys, etc.

– Home to the Int’l Tennis Hall of Fame

– Has a lot of fudge shops

Our speaker this weekend was D.A. Carson. I know he’s pretty well known among the seminary crowd, but I have to admit, I had to wikipedia the gentleman. More on him:

– He’s a prof at Trinity Theological Seminary near Chicago

– He is quoted as saying “a text without a context becomes a pretext for a proof text,” which sounds kind of nerdy but I’ve actually heard this before. It makes sense.

– He’s a really smart but accessible person, and he spent the weekend with us talking about parables in the gospels.

Dr. Carson had a lot of great things to share, but I think what Veronica and I came away with is that we really appreciate the community we have in Citylife, and as we get to know individuals more – friends who have lost loved ones recently, or are going through difficult times right now, or even getting to know our pastor’s background a little better – we’re gaining a greater appreciation for knowing Christ’s love through other people. We’re grateful that we know people who are willing to bear our burdens with us, just listen, assure us that we are all struggling with very similar issues, and that we are still loved, accepted, and welcome.

I shared this during one of our breakout discussion times, but only in verbalizing it did I realize that my perspective on these past 2 years in Boston has been that of borrowed time. I never saw myself here permanently, and that gave me an excuse not to invest deeply in people, my neighborhood or city, and encouraged a sense of “take” before “give.” And our friends being so giving this weekend just reinforced the contrast between the commitments and investment they have decided to make, and my own unwillingness to share. I really don’t know what’s next for Veronica and me – geographically or vocationally – but wherever we end up, I don’t want a repeat of the last 2 years, when we found ourselves pretty discontent because we always had a sense of expectation that we have not “arrived” yet, and that “home” is hard to define but definitely not here, and I should stop putting things in “quotes.”

My prayer today for my family is that we would be perfectly content because we are known, loved and accepted by God, and that circumstance or location would no longer be the basis for our happiness or wellbeing, but that we would be here now.

Paul

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