Apr 272008

Mostly packed and ready for my second New York City trip this month. I just checked-in online and printed out my boarding pass. (Last time, departing from NYC, my failure to do this was the decisive factor that made me miss my flight.)

On this go around, I’ll be there for 5 days/ 4 nights, which includes the sold-out Dwell Conference, a Yankees baseball game, staying at a hotel in Upper East Side, and who knows what goodies I’ll eat.

I had blogged about the Dwell Conference on 2/21/08, and had set a reminder to myself to register a week later. Well, wouldn’t you know it, a whole rush on registrations happened that very week, and it was sold out! (Did my blog have something to do with it?) I was left with no (legitimate) way in, and already booked my air travel and hotel! I pulled strings left and right, pleaded and begged, even making a trip to Mars Hill Seattle, but no go. I was #41 on the waiting list. And then my colleague had to cancel her trip on Thursday 4/24/08, and we got her registration transferred over to me. Voila, I’m in!! What an answer to (a desperate) prayer!

There’s 90% chance rain on Monday (tomorrow), but I’m in the plane most of the day. I hope that doesn’t mean a flight delay.

I have to get up at 5:00am to catch a shuttle to the airport, so I’d better be off to bed. (btw, recent personal news: closed escrow last Friday on condo town home + see photos; update – I’ve added a tumblr blog for mundane everyday stuff at daily.djchuang.com for a glimpse of my mundane life)

For real-time updates, follow me on twitter.com/djchuang >>

Apr 242008

I’ve been a Starbucks card member for years. Years I tell you. I’ve worn out at least 3 cards from heavy usage over time. I’ve had to ask the cashier to transfer my credit to a new card, because the old one was losing its magnetism. Automatic recharge on the card was nice, as was the quicker swipe on checkout was too, but mostly marginal.

The most recent change that Starbucks has added as bonuses to the Starbucks card are a good start: syrup and milk options for free, brewed coffee refills for free, free drink with whole bean purchase. (I don’t know why the graphic avoided the word free.)

now Starbucks card has new benefits

Now, here’s some of my wild-brained ideas that I’ve submitted to myStarbucksIdea.com — register there as a user for free, and vote for these! and/or add comments there for these ideas!

Ya think any of these have a leg to stand on? FFT (fan-freakin-tabulous)? awesomatimistic? kewl beans? off the hook? perfectomundo?

Apr 232008

An old friend sent me this controversy brewing at Cedarville College. I went to seminary with David Hoffeditz, who was apparently dismissed last summer under mostly hushed tones. Details are slowly coming to light, as the Dayton Daily News reported several weeks ago, as — Secret recording suggests firings timed to avoid furor: A theological issue splits the conservative Baptist school and could pose a threat to future enrollment and Cedarville firings worry fundamentalists: School says theology had no role in firings of Bible profs; others not so sure::

Cedarville historically has been fundamentalist, or orthodox, since becoming a Baptist institution in 1953, and requires all its students to minor in Bible. But the new emergents’ views on truth and certainty had crept into the Bible department, according to students and faculty, creating a schism.

The fired professors, David Mappes and David Hoffeditz, were on the fundamentalist, conservative side of the divide. Their supporters believe they were fired because they openly challenged other faculty members’ more liberal interpretations of the Bible in the classroom.

Mappes and Hoffeditz were fired in July despite receiving new contracts just a few months beforehand.

I was in the same seminary dorm with David Hoffeditz for a couple years, delightfully joyful guy. Apparently he had more brainpower than he let on, seeing how now he’s a very capable professor. David himself has issued 3 public statements about his situation at http://dmhoffeditz.netfast.org, even as he & his wife expect their 1st child next week!

The website www.cedarvillesituation.com tracks a lot of the developing story, er, situation. Article # 3 describes the firings this way:

President Brown, in the presence of fourteen witnesses, said on December 17th of last year that the word “assurance” in the University’s Truth and Certainty statement means the same as “certainty.” The exact lines in The Truth and Certainty statement are thus:

“The Christian has the privilege of living with confidence made possible by God’s grace. Christians can be assured that their beliefs are warranted even if their understanding is not comprehensive or perfect in every instance. This certainty is to be held with humility and love.”

. . . Since Dr. Brown (authoritatively) equates “assured” with being “certain” there is a dramatic problem. Those faculty who signed the statement (the statement is incorporated in the Faculty Handbook which is then incorporated in the faculty contracts) without meaning certainty must face dismissal.

But what has happened is that the “certainty people,” Thigpen, Cragoe, Hoffeditz and Mappes have been dismissed.

Plus, 2 welterweight blogs do battle cage-match style in the blogosphere– Cedarville : Liver vs. Cedarville: Heart.

I feel badly for David and the other terminated profs. I’ve read a handful of paragraphs linked above, and it all seemed way too nuanced for me. I’m going to bed.

Apr 222008

I excerpted this from my Digital @ Leadership Network blog post ::

A huge gathering well into the thousands, like about 2,800 church leaders in Orlando, Florida — at the Exponential 08 Conference, aka National New Church Conference! Touted as the “mother of all church planting conferences“. (Wish I could be there, but I’m still recoup’ing from my heavy travel season, not that I’m conferenced out. Plus, I have work to do besides attending conferences, I really do.)

Some of the live reporting of the action from the floor (via blogging, twittering, photos, and/or video): Todd Rhoades of Leadership Network and MondayMorningInsight.com, Scott Hodge, Chris Elrod, and Jay Hardwick. Follow tweets from toddrho / scotthodge / chriselrodjayhardwick / mpayne1970 / ronsylvia.  And/or, see the latest in the blogosphere via Google Blog Search.

[update] Todd Rhoades provides live streaming from the “green” room backstage, with speakers interviews. He’s recorded the ones with Dave Ferguson and Alan Hirsch. Chris Elrod is taking questions for his interviews with Alan Hirsch, Rick Warren, and Tim Keller today 4/23/08! What would you ask Tim Keller? Send a direct message to Chris Elrod with your questions >> + Chris Elrod has great sound bites twittered from Keller‘s Thursday morning talk

Apr 172008

There are many issues that are not easy to talk about in an Asian context, or an Asian American context, for that matter. Asian culture’s shame-based sensitivities makes it difficult to discuss (almost) any issue for which individuals in a group have different convictions/ opinions/ beliefs. One of those issues is homosexuality, and not only because of its prominence in American society. It’s not only an issue, there are real people in the mix –it relates to many of our friends and families.

I just got word of this special event from Pastor Ken Fong of Evergreen LA . This conversation is especially for Southern California Asian American evangelical churches and they are making a short film about this for release in the coming year. From what I gather, it’s an attempt at a cordial discussion between people who have very different convictions on a sensitive issue. What do you think?

Saturday, May 10, 7:00 p.m. @ Sanctuary of Evergreen Baptist Church of Los Angeles www.ebcla.org

WE NEED TO TALK: A Conversation about Homosexuality & the Asian American Christian Church. Sponsored by the Christian Social Issues (CSI) group, an informal gathering of Asian American Christians who discuss wide-ranging social issues and how they relate to our Christian faith. Join three old friends – two straight and one gay – who will engage in a conversation that needs to happen more often in order to dispel ignorance, quell fear and hatred, and foster greater understanding. Debate about scriptural interpretation or scientific evidence is not within the scope of this dialogue. It is not our intent to resolve this highly complex issue. Though we may ultimately arrive at different conclusions, at the very least, we need to break the awful silence in our churches surrounding this subject. We really need to talk.

If you have a friend or loved one who is gay, or you are gay yourself, or you are a Christian who is concerned about this issue, please join us in this much needed and long-awaited dialogue.

[update] see a more detailed post about this event at ISAAC bulletin board for planning committee members and background

[update 2] Ken Fong is already speaking to the issue in a sermon series titled, “Is There a Place for Homosexuals in the Body of Christ?” [slides from part 1 and part 2] and blogging to the issue — see his blog posts Conviction, Upcoming Forum, and We need to talk.

Apr 152008

April 16, 2008 is a day of remembrance — a number of events at the Virginia Tech campus. Streamed live will be the University Commemoration (10:30am Eastern) + Candlelight Vigil (8:15pm Eastern).

The following is an email newsletter sent out by the Virginia Tech Alumni Association::

Day of Remembrance

Last April, the world’s attention focused on a campus community ripped to its very core with the grief and pain of a tragedy unparalleled in the history of American higher education. And what they observed was more powerful than they ever expected… they saw a campus filled with energetic students and talented faculty that displayed grace, poise and fortitude beyond all imagination — a community fueled by something we know as Hokie spirit. That spirit reaches deep and spreads beyond the campus throughout our 200,000 alumni, and indeed across the entire globe.

Yes, Hokie spirit emerged from tragedy and impressed a world that was brought closer by the media to witness the strength and resilience of the entire Hokie Nation. On this anniversary our attention turns respectfully to the families who lost their loved ones last April 16th and to the students injured that day who are successfully putting their lives back together. It is a day of remembrance. The victims will be honored at a ceremony that will take place Wednesday on the Drillfield at 10:30 A.M. EDT. It will be televised by various media and streamed through the university’s website www.vt.edu. President Steger and Virginia’s Governor Kaine will make remarks. Other participatory events are being held throughout the day, and a candlelight vigil at dusk will signal the end of the day’s observances.

The university is grateful for the expressions of support that have flowed from loyal alumni and friends around the world since last April. These expressions have come in the form of almost every artifact imaginable. To date, 87,000 different items (some displayed in our Alumni Center Museum on April 16th only). In excess of $9.5 million in memorial gifts. Special appearances by the Dave Matthews Band and the NY Yankees. Plus thousands upon thousands of well-wishing letters, e-mails and phone calls. And perhaps the most recent signal of prevailing Hokie spirit is the acceptance rate by students who have been offered admission to the university this coming fall – already hundreds ahead of last fall, which was itself a record-breaking year.

We see such optimism and spirit in the faces of our students, often represented by the countless hours they have poured into VT-ENGAGE service activities. Similarly, our alumni are honoring the university’s year of renewal with a range of service activities, including participation in our “Virginia Tech for life” blood drives staged by alumni chapters.

At the dedication of our permanent April 16th Memorial last August, SGA President Adeel Khan summed it up exceptionally well…

Take time to remember the legacies, remember the dreams and remember the talent that our community has lost. I hope you are inspired to work harder to honor the 32. Share you talents with the world for the 32. Achieve your dreams for the 32. Be more compassionate, friendly and thoughtful for the 32. Be better, for the 32.

In 2008, we remember the 32; we are thankful for the survivors; and we are proud we share together that incredible Hokie spirit.

Tom Tillar
Vice President for Alumni Relations

Apr 142008

I missed it. Missed my morning flight from Newark to Seattle. I missed Day 1 of the Multi-site Exposed conference. I’m such a novice road warrior wannabe.

This day would have been entirely different had I done 1 thing: Check-in early for my flight the night before.

Here’s what coulda been: I’d have had boarding pass in hand, lined up to security at 757am, and right up to the gate at 815am for just-in-time 825am on-time departure.

Instead, here’s what happened- I did not check-in early, so no boarding pass in hand. I ate breakfast (egg + sausage on Engl muffin) at the hotel nearby the airport, packed ready to go, hopped into my rental car at 720am. I drive thru the crazy interchange outside of Newark Liberty airport, swirl around the circuitous route to Rental car return. I get on the AirTrain taking its sweet time slowly going from P2 to P1 to A then B then terminal C at 754am.

I get to the self-serve check-in, the slow terminal tells me I have to check-in at gate. I run over to security with the e-itinerary in hand, they wouldn’t let me thru, and said I have to check-in at ticket counter. I run over to ticket counter, tell people I have to catch a flight in less than 30 mins, they let me cut. I hand over my itinerary and driver’s license at 803am. No deal. They said gate’s closed. What? I thought they close the gate at 10 minutes. Nope. Agent says it’s 30 minutes, and that’s why say to arrive at airport 1 to 2 hours before departure.

I’m handed a standby boarding pass for 215pm, the next flight. I wait at terminal C for 5+ hours. My AT+T Edge network is down for the 3rd day in a row- no email, no browsing internet. I drink a smoothie. Catch a nap- tired from early wakeup and life in The City. Clean up my inbox. Prep for the Seattle conference. Watch planes take off and land. Read 3 chapters from Vince Antonucci’s book about a life of adventure with Jesus.

115pm. I wait at gate 88. Watch all the people board this overbooked flight. They ask for a volunteer to take a later flight for $300 voucher + meals. They up the ante to $400 + meals. Don’t know if anyone bit.

205pm. They call me up to the counter, and 1 other guy. 1 guy runs down the escalator with a boarding pass + confirmed seat, so he gets on. They say there’s 1 seat left. For a standby! They hand it over to the other guy. Good grief.

209pm. I twitter the bad news over SMS (edge ntwk still down): Didn’t make it. I was #2 on standby list. #1 guy made it. 1 guy ran on just in time. I’m getting rolled over to nxt flt @ 605p.

210pm. The flight attendants find an open seat 25B. I walk thru the aisle with everybody seated, every seat full. My seat’s 4th row from back. Sit + buckle. I twitter @ 211pm the good news: Correction, they rush me on last. 25B. See you in Seattle

Aside: the other standby guy sits directly behind my middle seat.

djchuang in The City

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Apr 122008

What a time in the city of cities– I love new york! The energy pulsated thru my body soon as I stepped off the train and hit the pavement at Penn Stn after my late nite ride in from Newark airport.

Attended and live-twittered the Q conference fr Wed morning to Fri noon, metup with lots of great kingdom-minded people, incl 2 dinner parties and reception w next gen Asian Ams + 1 Canadian, 2 miniature stogies on the balcony w Brian Kim of NOC. Great times + connects + conversations.

Annoying thing was data network outages at least 2x a day. What’s up with that?! (AT+T EDGE ntwk)

Unexpectedly hit the wall yesterday afternoon – the wall of exhaustion. I humbled myself, even cancelled an appointment, and slowed down. Took a 2 hour nap. Wound down with Szechuan cuisine a la Sichuan braised fish fillet in triple-spicy chili just in time before kitchen closed. Exhiliaratingly hot! Sweating soggy as I left, as last ones out.

Gonna take it slower/easier until Sunday– not gonna cram in 7 meetings a day; 2 on docket for today. 1 poor guy on train announced he was short $2.50 for train ride- I’m not a cash guy, and wasn’t sure about believing him.

Working on my local itinerary for tomorrow/Sunday to worship at as many NYC churches as possible, then off to dine w/ Peter Ahn for Sunday supper. Don’t want to lug around my luggage all day after hotel check-out- but haven’t figured that dilemma out yet.

Come early Monday morning, flight to next stop in Seattle, for the multisite exposed conference @ Mark Driscoll’s homebase- Mars Hill Church.

Apr 092008

I’ll be live-twittering (very similar to live-blogging, but shorter & faster) at the Q conference here in New York City! things kick off at 10:00am Eastern

Follow me @ twitter.com/djchuang for real-time updates from Q in Gotham Hall, New York City!

Live-blogging will be provided by Scott Hodge! Sitting with Jenni Catron of jennicatron.tv – women & leadership

Fermi Blog will be linking to us, sweet! :) Free wifi is open to all here – SSID = WizardStudiosNY

[update] other live-blogging at Q — Marla @ coffeeshopjournal.com, Chris @ chrisbellonline.wordpress.com

[update 2: twittier replies]

knightopia @djchuang I love Shane Hipps. His book “The Hidden Power of Electronic Culture” is a must read for anyone interested in church/communication in reply to djchuang

toddrho @djchuang Nice callout from the stage, DJ! in reply to djchuang

toddrho @djchuang is a twittering MACHINE! in reply to djchuang

scotthodge @djchuang color of lanyard determines activity today. in reply to djchuang

shameonyoko @djchuang : : : excellent, man. you are doing a great job and I was just thinking of you. Peace! in reply to djchuang

yehwan @djchuang, thanks for your detailed tweets from Q! in reply to djchuang

pastorb007 @djchuang is live twittering the Q Conference. So it’s almost like being there. in reply to djchuang

Gingerlea @djchuang I just signed up at www.350.org. We’re on our way to change and loving our neighbors! in reply to djchuang

indychristian @djchuang — Is there a standard hashtag or delicious-tag for the Q-gathering? Wondered who all is liveblogging/tweeting it. in reply to djchuang

shameonyoko @djchuang : : : nice frequent updates, man. in reply to djchuang