Jul 302006
 

The first Skypecast for Asian American Emergents is tonight! Less than 7 hours away at 10:00pm Eastern / 7:00pm Pacific. This is our introductory meeting for Asian American Christians and the Emergent Church Movement: dial-in via Skype. I hope my home DSL will stay live and connected. [update: we had a time sync glitch; dial-in to the backup skypecast if needed, or Skype me at djchuang for current info]

(Pastor of North Point) Andy Stanley showed up at a recent Emergent cohort in Atlanta. I still get click-thrus from the most popular pomomusings blog comment thread where Andy first showed up in the blogosphere. Maybe one day a megachurch pastor might show up on the occasionally-scheduled Asian American Emergents skypecast.

[post-call wrap-up]

We pulled it off on the backup skypecast: David Park (Atlanta), Ben Pun (Houston), Peter Ong (Syracuse), and myself (metro DC) chatted for an hour. We had a round of introductions. Conversation mostly hovered around the intergenerational immigrant Asian church’s differing perspectives on authenticity. We didn’t delve into too much Emergent stuff.

All agreed it was an enjoyable time and we’ll do this in a month for whoever can make it, instead of waiting 3 months. Next skypecast will be Sunday, August 27th. Time TBD. Please join us!

Jul 292006
 

You know they’re a good friend when you can invite yourself to dinner at their home with less than an hour’s notice. And to get to do this two nights in a row was quite the treat (and very helpful to stave off the temptations of an average red-blooded male.)

The soft conscience in me does prompts me to not arrive empty-handed, so I brought desserts: Beard Papa cream puffs and Häagen-Dazs ice cream, respectively. No better way to show thanks and gratitude than to give some link love. Thank you Rudy and Tommy!! Enjoyed the fellowship, food, and hangin’ out!

Rudy meets Beard Papa

on national television

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Jul 262006
 

On a last-minute business trip here in Los Angeles. Last night, ventured over to Hollywood, standing in line for well over an hour, to be a part of (my first time) the studio audience for Jimmy Kimmel Live! Got free tickets online. The warm-up guy Don Barris got the crowd going before the show started taping and during breaks. His best motivational line was: “and you’re on national television!” I was third row up on the left end as the camera pans, if you happen to have taped it to rewind + review. Special guests rock & roll legend Gene Simmons (who seemed low-key and subdued) and comedian Jeff Ross were interviewed promoting their latest new things. Wished Jeff woulda gotten to do a stand-up routine instead. My other main impression was that the theater studio seemed smaller; things looked bigger on TV.

2 of the better monologue segments have streaming video online: It’s so hot in California and No power.

Jul 232006
 

My wife Rachelle made me blog this. I’m not going to turn this blog into a foodie one, though I do subscribe via Bloglines to DCFoodies.com (loved his write up on Joe’s Noodle House), Tyler Cowen’s Ethnic Dining Guide, and Bethesda Rookie (who often talks about food).

Rachelle delighted in my excitement this week over a couple of dining finds with local flavor, and actually on occasions than not, we eat at franchised places all over like most people. While in Annapolis to attend her art show reception, we meandered over downtown to Chick & Ruths Delly for some great sandwiches. No, it doesn’t really compare to the real-deal piled-high delis of New York City, but it was very fun dining and local flavor galore. Then we’d usually swing by the Annapolis Ice Cream Company to visit with the penguins. Both on Main Street, downtown Annapolis.

And today, we (finally) made the pilgrimage to the place to eat in Washington DC: Ben’s Chili Bowl on U Street. I had the Ben’s Original Chili Half-Smoke, while the rest of my family entertained my pick begrudgingly. Hey, they said I could pick where we’d have lunch today, and I picked it! Not to grease up my arteries too badly, I skipped on the tempting cheese fries and thick milk shakes. Yes, I gawked at the photos on the wall of Chris Rock, Bill Cosby, Bono, Denzel, Danny Glover, with accompanying elbows to Rachelle for each one.

Jul 222006
 

Stressed? This concise tip to get rid of stress in up to 85% of situations is courtesy of Bobb Biehl’s QuickWisdom:

As high as 85% of the stress we feel in life is caused by:

INDECISION or LACK OF CONTROL

When you are feeling stress focus your attention on two very specific questions:

1. What three pressing decisions do I most need to make?
2. What three areas of my life feel most out of control?

Any decision you can make or area you can get under control will bring an immediate reduction in your stress level.

I know I sure need wisdom to get through this life. Common sense doesn’t come so easily for me, and I don’t naturally gravitate towards being practical or concrete. And I usually react against oversimplistic slogans or mantras. But, sometimes wisdom comes in tightly compressed insights. Bobb Biehl is a master of incredibly focused questions that surfaces the essence, yields impact and results, and in this case, a precise insight to get to the root of feeling stressed and to help deal with it straight up.

[findability: reduce stress immediately, controlling stress, stress management]

Jul 202006
 

I’m delighted to see Rick Warren getting the spotlight and handling it adeptly, recently being featured in Newsweek as 1 of 15 who make America great [ht: jollyblogger, who blogs at a brisk and verbose pace, and now deconstructs Pastor Rick].

Rick Warren makes America great

My brush with greatness has happened 3 times: 1st in the greeting line when I visited Saddleback in 1999 when he gave me a pat on the back; 2nd at a leaders conference I ran in 2001, and Rick took time during his vacation to hang out with us several times; 3rd at another conference and he gave me a hug. [update: Rick Warren is now blogging!]

Not only is Rick taking the speaking invite to North Korea (postponed), he’s also taken an invite to (controversially) speak at a Jewish Synagogue last month. I didn’t find a lot of buzz about this speaking gig, but I did find this remark by Rob Eshman in his color commentary about Rick’s Synagogue visit:

… I thought of the only other person I’d met with Warren’s eloquence, charisma, and passion — but Bill Clinton carries a certain amount of baggage that Warren doesn’t.

Bill Clinton didn’t make the aforementioned 15 great Americans list, though he sure is trying to do some good things with another Bill, perhaps as an atonement.

Jul 182006
 

Back when the 6 degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon was the big deal, SixDegrees.com launched as (one of) the first social networking websites. Friendster was going to be the revolutionary next big web app (now patented), then Orkut (Google’s attempt), Tribe.net, hi5, LinkedIn, and many others jumped in. BTW, Social Software Weblog keeps up with trends and rumors on this front.

Then, out of the blue, latecomer MySpace.com emerges and becomes the multi-million-dollar social networking king, no need for first-mover advantage or web2.0-savvy quality-controlled software development. Who woulda thunk?

Christian social networking jump in too with Xianz.com (billed as the Christian alternative to MySpace) and InChristNet, and I hear there is a new one on the verge of launching called MyChurch.org. And, whatever happened to missionster.net (last that Google cache in April) and churchster.org (mentioned in September 2004)?

Jul 152006
 

The first Skypecast for Asian American Emergents will happen on Sunday, July 30th, 10:00pm Eastern / 7:00pm Pacific. Special thanks for Bruce Reyes-Chow for setting it up. This will be a quarterly (every 5th Sunday) discussion on Asian American Christians and the Emergent Church Movement; dial-in via Skype and join the conversation! (A skypecast is like a conference call with up to 100 people, like the party line of generations past)

I’ve had the darndest time getting Skype to work reliably here at the home via my Verizon DSL connection and Westell Versalink 327w modem + router. When I use Skype, it connects for a minute or sometimes up to 5 minutes, then disconnects. Not just Skype, but my entire DSL internet connection will drop.
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Jul 122006
 

Would you believe that Tim Keller of Redeemer gets asked the question, “Is Redeemer Church ‘Emergent’?” Maybe the question was inspired by Crossroads’ post from December 2005 that Redeemer “looks like an emergent-type church”?

In addition to this video interview (promo for an upcoming conference) of Keller fielding that question, Keller also commented on this Next Wave article “Just who is emergent, anyway?” by Bob Hyatt:

It seems sometimes to me that the third group of emergent churches you mention (despite all the aesthetic borrowing from historic sources) does not want to inhabit and reform any particular Christian tradition but rather wants to form a whole new one. Of course that may be necessary. New traditions have been formed recently (Wesleyan, Pentacostal) but my–what an incredibly ambitious undertaking.

The last time I met up with Tim, we had a brief chat about Emergent (amongst other things). I recall Keller and McLaren being at a conference together several years ago, but I don’t think Keller has hung out with Emergent people, while McLaren has, which is essentially what constitutes being Emergent. Tim is a fairly active blog commenter, but I haven’t yet provoked enough to comment on a post here. I’m okay with that, really.