Dec 282009

I asked my coaching friend, Kirk Kirlin, this question: “How do you find a mentor?” The essence of his answer is:

  1. get clear on what you need from a mentor
  2. ask someone to mentor on a specific topic
  3. if one declines, ask another to mentor

Watch the video to see him explain it.

Mentoring doesn’t have to be so overwhelming; mentoring is just someone who has resources to help you in a specific area. (cf. What does a mentor do? another video with Kirk)

Mentoring doesn’t have to be a rigorous program. It could flow out of a relationship. It could be focused on a task or project. It could be short-term or long-term. Sounds like to me there’s several different kinds of mentoring.

2 insightful remarks Kirk made: “Nobody is as committed to your development as you are.” and, “It’s not appropriate to ask someone to mentor [me] in all of life.”

What do you think? Add a comment and chime in…

Dec 272009

Urbana09 This week I’m in St. Louis for a large students mission convention called Urbana 09, click on this twubs to follow twitter conversations in real-time.

I’ll be hangin’ out at the Pan Asian North American Student Lounge, located at The Holiday Inn Select St Louis Downtown in between sessions.

Follow @urbana09 for official announcements. Follow me @djchuang247 for live tweets. The official hashtag to use is #urbana09 according to the twubs.

[update] here are 4 videos I’ve posted via YouTube from #urbana09:
@BensonHines at Urbana 09 excerpt of James Choung seminar comment from @andrewsunkim peek in on Urbana 09 worship

Dec 242009

Yes, it is Christmas Eve, and I am out of ideas for how many other ways to say Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays. So I’m keeping it simple and short, and wishing you a Merry Christmas. Watch the video in 30 seconds ::

For these holiday seasons, both Thanksgiving and Christmas, it’s the mixed emotions of being with extended family members that many only see this one time of year. Then, there’s my lil’ online family too, those who connect with me and one another via blogging, twitter, facebook, skype, and tokbox. My life is so much richer for both on-line and off-line relationships. I enjoy them both so.

And, back by popular demand, here’s the Chuang Chess Christmas e-card for 2009! [PDF download] Thank you again for staying connected and I’m anticipating more connections, conversations, and opportunities in the new year with you, both on-line and on-site.

Dec 212009

The Asian American journey can take many directions. It’s my sense that more of them than not do seem to follow along a fairly predictable narrative, even from generation to generation.

My dear friend, Brent Wong, is a 5th-generation Asian American of Chinese descent. I sat down with him to hear his story, and he was so kind and vulnerable enough to share this snapshot of his story of discovering how his Asianness is so closely connected his Christian faith journey. Watch the video below:

(aside: you can also watch the extended version of the above video in HD and an intro that’s 79 seconds longer.)

What do you think?
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Dec 202009

Words have meaning. Overused words lose their meaning. I’m going to sprinkle my blog from time to time with overused words that I notice all too often.

When I hear an overused word, I wonder to myself: have we lost the creative use of our vocabulary? Wouldn’t it be better to use other more descriptive words instead of defaulting to overused ones?
The word of the day is BUSY. In response to the question, “How have you been?” it’s easy to answer, “Busy.” Or, someone reluctantly starts a conversation with, “I know you’re busy…” Then there’s the times when we look at the calendar and say, “It’s going to be a busy week.” Include the sigh. Aside: while composing this blog post, another 187 tweets with the word “busy” got twittered.

The thing is, life is busy. That’s just part of life. We’re not in school any more; we’re thrust into the real world of adult responsibility. (I’m assuming that most blog readers here are older than high school and college age.)

I prefer to say that “I like to live an active lifestyle.” Seems redundant to say that I’m busy; overstating the obvious. Meaningless.

[photo credit: mrmole]

Dec 172009

Dr. Young Lee Hertig, Director of Institute for the Study of Asian American Christianity-SoCal and Asian American Women On Leadership, coordinated the inaugural Asian American Equipping Symposium, an event that brought together ministry leaders and theologians to engage in some robust reflections and discussions about contextualizing theology for and by Asian Americans. Or it’s also been described as reimagining.

Watch this video with Dr. Young Lee Hertig to hear the story of what happened there on the grounds of Fuller Theological Seminary:

Good thing they’ve recorded the presentations for all to benefit, and all to build upon the good work that began. [aside: we cannot rely on oral tradition to share the wealth of knowledge & experiences!] And, when the video and audio recordings are available, it’ll be at . For a more detailed written (typed) report summarizing the event, you can read that here.

Dec 162009

The national missional church conference is less than 2 months away — the Verge Conference in Austin, Texas, February 4-6, 2010.

The roster of speakers who’ll be there keeps growing: Francis Chan, Matt Carter, Alan Hirsch, Dave Ferguson, Dave Gibbons, Neil Cole, John Burke, Hugh Halter, Ed Stezer, George Patterson, Jeff Vanderstelt, David Watson, David Garrison, Joey Shaw & Ryan King, David Putman & Shawn Lovejoy, Charles Lee, Caesar Kalinowski, Jon Ferguson, Tony & Felicity Dale, Mark DeYmaz, Kevin Peck, Todd Engstrom, Michael ‘Stew’ Stewart, Jason Kovacs, Justin Lopez, Kern White …

And the Social Media Team will keep all of us in the conversations both online and on-site: Jonathan Dodson, Vince Marotte, Chris Marlow, Brad Brisco, Charles Wear, Kent Shaffer, Milfred Minatrea, Steve McCoy, Jonathan McIntosh, Andrew Jones, Bill Kinnon, David Park, and me. There’s also a Verge team blog at

rss-buttonThe podcast of audio interviews with select speakers is being rolled out now. Interviews with Dave Gibbons and David Garrison are online already. More to come. Subscribe to the podcast feed in RSS format or in iTunes.

Dave Gibbons, pastor of NewSong Church ::

David Garrison, missionary pioneer and missions leader ::

Plus, listen to my interview with Michael Stewart (one of the Verge organizers at the Austin Stone Community Church)

And one more thing. I’ll be there in Austin, so get registered and we can meetup. A little birdie has even mentioned a tweetup is in the works.

Dec 092009

My friends at Aplos Software is looking for beta testers to test drive their new fund accounting software. And for being a beta tester, you’ll get 50% off the purchase price the software FREE! Watch the video to the right for a quick intro. And, here’s the invitation email below ::

I wanted to let you know that my little hobby software project I have been working on for the last year or so is finally done (at least for now). I would like your help to Beta Test the software.

First of all, what is Aplos? Aplos Software is a Simple, Efficient, and Flexible Fund Accounting and People management software. We are releasing with 2 products, one for small churches, and one for nonprofits. Churches and nonprofits have to practice Fund Accounting, and there isn’t really anything good out there currently. Quickbooks offers a nonprofit edition – you just have to read 2 textbooks to learn how to use it. We spent the last year finding out what these churches and nonprofits truly want and need and then built a software around that using the technology of today. Aplos has a Flash user interface, and has an average of 3 buttons per screen (not including close, maximize, etc.) compared to the 60 – 100 that our competitors have, making it really simple. We have really developed an easy to use accounting software, that also has a people database and contribution management system.

You will find everything you need to get started attached. Just begin with the instructions and go from there. You can expect initially to need only 5-10 minutes to download the software and get started.

I will email you a survey in the next day or so and another in about a week. For your time and two completed surveys, I would like to offer you half off the list price of $499 for the nonprofit or church of your choice. you get the software free!

Thank you again for your time and insights.

Dan Kelly

To be a beta tester, here are the related docs:

Aplos Software Beta Test Instructions.doc
Aplos Quick Start Guide
Data Set Narrative Church

After finishing the data set, please fill out this very brief survey about your initial impressions. After the survey, please use Aplos with some of your own data, and respond to a follow-up survey you’ll receive. Don’t forget to add a comment below to indicate that you’re an Aplos beta tester.

And, one more thing.

For the first one that complete both surveys and mention that they heard about Aplos from will receive a free copy! [updated: January 27th, 2010]

Dec 072009

A brand new Bible was recently released: The Poverty and Justice Bible. Published by the American Bible Society in collaboration with World Vision, the Poverty and Justice Bible gives more insights into what the Bible has to say about today’s toughest topics: from homelessness to healthcare, literacy to wages, immigrants to abuse.

This Bible literally highlights the verses about social justice and fighting injustices — more than 2,000 verses. It’s the Contemporary English Version and the cover is printed on 25% paper recycled content paperboard.
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