Jul 282013
 

Pastor Rick Warren returns to the pulpit at Saddleback Church after a 16-week sabbatical. He and wife Kay and family and extended family and church family and God’s family have shared an agonizing experience as we’re grieved together over the loss of his son during the week after Easter. I write this blog post on my 3rd time watching the poignant message that Pastor Rick and Kay shared, very personally and powerfully. As Pastor Rick opened his message, he introduced that he with Kay will be comforting others with the comfort we’ve been given (for this new season of their anointed ministry), offered words of thanks, and then proceeded to unpack the words of comfort from 2 Corinthians 1:3-11 about how to get through what you’re going through. You’ll be able to watch the video of this message all week at saddleback.com/online and on-demand at saddleback.com

For a historical occasion like this, I had to be there for the very first time in person (Pastor Rick preaches 5 times every weekend at Saddleback’s Lake Forest campus) and sat in the 10th row front and center. We arrived for the Saturday 4:30pm Saturday service 90 minutes early, and over 100 people were in the auditorium already, too, and it was at full capacity 30+ minutes before start time. 3 other tents accommodated overflow at Lake Forest, and those got filled too. What an emotional experience for all. There’s no one like Rick Warren in our generation, as God has gifted him uniquely with talents and opportunities, unparalleled influence and impact far beyond its church walls, imprinted on American evangelicalism, and on pace for shaping global Christianity as he mobilizes local churches everywhere to go to the final frontier of reaching the unreached unengaged people groups with the hope of the Gospel. cf. Rick Warren’s Final Frontier: Saddleback wants to bring the gospel to the world’s 3,400 unengaged people groups. Why it just might work.

Mainstream media circulated the Associated Press article, while a handful of local mainstream media made mentions of this event. Plus, these exceptional articles:

Highlights of the chatter on social media at http://storify.com/djchuang/rick-warren-returns-for-a-new-season-of-ministry ; and below that is the photo that @RickWarren shared on his own social media feeds.

Jul 232013
 

With Google Reader discontinued, Feedly has emerged as one of the most popular RSS reader to subscribe to blogs and RSS-activated content feeds. feedly.comFeedly is currently my RSS reader of choice too, I like its multi-platform availability and well-designed UX. But there’s one thing that’s not yet built-in (at time of this post)–a very easy way to add a feed to Feedly while browsing in Chrome. Feedly does have a great way for adding new feeds to your Feedly inside of Feedly. And the savvy Feedly team is aware of this and open to any suggestion on how to improve the discover and follow experience.

2 of the fastest ways to add an RSS Feed to Feedly in the Chrome browser:  1 is an add-on extension and 1 is a bookmarklet. (I use them both, due to the RSS auto-detect mechanism, the add-on extension or the bookmarklet doesn’t quite work for every website; and I’d prefer to avoid copy-and-pasting URLs, which adds up to 5+ clicks.)

[1] RSS Subscription Extension by Justin Kelly - Add to Chrome and you’ll get the orange RSS button in your omnibox when the extension detects an RSS feed to which you could subscribe on the web page you’re browsing.rss-omnibox

Alternatively, you can use the obsolete RSS Subscription Extension (by Google) that is supposed to be removed from the Web Store, and follow these instructions to add Feedly as the default option. And, if the URL in those instructions don’t work for you, copy-and-paste in the one below:

[2] Subscribe in Feedly bookmarklet by Amit Agarwal (@labnol). What’s great is that a bookmarklet works on ALL browsers that Feedly supports, i.e. Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari. And, for Safari on iOS (iPad and iPhone), there’s the Subscribe in Feedly for iOS bookmarklet.

Alternatively, there’s also the Feedlet bookmarklet by Michael Tunnell. You have to go to the RSS feed first, then click on the Feedlet; this takes the guess-work out of (the occasionally unreliable) auto-discovery.

feedlet

Aside: there is an Add to Feedly extension that doesn’t quite work for me; batting about 50% chance with auto-detecting of feeds.

Jul 202013
 

Every individual is uniquely gifted, talented, with innate strengths and abilities to more easily develop skills in certain areas of work and find it very challenging to learn other skills.

And in our time and age, the opportunities for entrepreneurs and fundraisers are greatly needed, and even increasing, amisdt disruptive economic realities. The heightened volume of content and books and courses point to this, and the subtle unstated assumption is that anybody can do this. The books encouraging the like of a $100 startup, creating your own career doing what you love, and career coaching that steers you to incorporate your passion into your job search may be well-intentioned, and some of it may be making the most of a business profit-making opportunity because that’s what sells in the marketplace where consumers play into the so-called law of supply and demand.

But all this also leads to quite a bit of frustration, I’d venture to say, because it takes more than following the ten steps on how to do that thing to actually make it work and to reach success. The X-factor in launching a successful startup or fundraising as the economic-engine of your career has to do with who you’re innately created to be. Most people don’t have the built-in makeup to be the entrepreneur or to be the fundraiser; I’ve read statistics as low as 10% of people have the entrepreneural gift. I’ve also recently heard from the director of a church planting asssessment process that only 53% of people pass their assessment to proceed with their entrepreneural church startup effort, of which entrepreneuring is pretty essential and many other ingredients.

I write all of this as a confession, that at this point in my life, I am not one of them. I have my doubts if I ever will be, because those aren’t the cards I was dealt. I have tried freelancing and fundraising for the past 6 months or so, and it has not worked, at least not worked well enough for me to be doing this full-time. Since I am not financially-independent, I do need full-time work to pay the bills. And,my passions do not fit into the constraints of the free-market economy as it is. Yes, I could have worked harder and smarter at it, but when I work against my own DNA, it’s not healthy either. Without an emotionally healthy career, the whole thing could implode on a pretty short timeline.

I started to circulate my resume around a couple of months ago, going the conventional route of job search, and in due time God provided, and I am ever grateful. As unconventional as I am and can best thrive when I have supporting connective relationships, I had to go a conventional route with work. I hope to share more about this work in the future when the timing is right.

This journal entry is to share the back story for my inconsistency with blogging, my personal struggle with career development that remains elusive for most of my life, and to thank the regular readers and occasional readers of my blog. Your feedback is most welcomed.

Jul 142013
 

Very privileged to get a tremendous opportunity last month to speak during a Sunday worship service at an ethnic Chinese church in Austin, Texas. The message was very well received, I think. The sermon was translated live side-by-side, phrase-by-phrase, from English to Mandarin Chinese, and that was followed by like 20 minutes of interactive Q&A, plus I was counseling afterward for another hour. For those of you that have your pulse on viral videos (5M+ views), the translator was Jia Jiang of the 100 Days of Rejection Therapy notoriety. Listen/download the audio:

preached

Very grateful for the opportunity and the receptiveness. What I experienced was just how much emotion is under the surface for my kin among the Chinese/Asian people, but it’s too often unexpressed and suppressed, so when there is an inviting and safe opportunity to begin exploring those feelings, it can be a rather surprising and even disorienting experience. That’s how I interpreted how the emcee (aka moderator) described it as he shared some closing words to wrap up the worship service. And also personally very touched by the kind words of introduction from my friend Paul Wang Jr. who serves as English Pastor there.

And, thus begins my journey of being a vocal advocate for mental health being more accessible to Asians and Asian Americans. Your feedback is welcomed, after you listen to the sermon.

經文:《林後》1:3-7

cf. my Gospel Herald article Can the Church Help with Mental Illness?

Jul 052013
 

Next week kicks off a buncha new flavors at Yogurtland, the awesome self-serve FroYo shop that’s now in 200+ locations. On July 8th, Yogurtland will kick off a summer promotion featuring six flavors inspired by Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Tweety, Road Runner, Taz and Marvin the Martian, my favorite friends and yours from Looney Tunes! As a long-time Yogurtland fan I’m thrilled to give you this inside scoop! Smack your lips on these flavors:Yogurtland_Looney_Tunes_Logo

  • Carrot Cake froyo with real carrots, hand-selected spices and cream cheese frosting (thanks to Bugs)
  • Decadent Dark Chocolate Orange froyo blends premium cocoa with an orange finish (thank you Daffy)
  • Kosmic Fruit Kaboom Sorbet with pineapple, lime, banana and a secret ingredient – spinach (thanks Marvin)
  • Cactus Berry Tart combines real cactus pear Northwest Marion blackberries, blueberries, and red raspberries (beep to the Road Runner)
  • Lemon Cream Cookie (tat’s Tweety)
  • Devil’s Food Cake (tnx Taz)

Check the hashtag #FlavorsWithCharacter for the latest tweets…

And get to your neighborhood Yogurtland on July 8th for parties with free yogurt, prizes and visits by Looney Tune characters at dozens of locations throughout Southern California. Yogurtland fans can also use the mobile app to earn free yogurt. Read the full news release at yogurt-land.com/newsroom

[disclosure: this post will be sponsor by a promotional gift card]