Jan 202009

// [update] video of Rick Warren’s #inaug09 prayer @ saddleback.com/video/rickwarrenprayer.html + watch 1/21 AM’s national prayer service @ C-span link //

All the world’s attention has centered on Washington DC today, as Inauguration Day 2009 brings forth a new President of the United States (POTUS), Barack Obama. While the day is not yet over, there are a few thoughts from my fellow Asian Americans floating around on the Web:

Inauguration Morning
Kevin Doi

… this may very well be the most significant historical event of my lifetime. … The sight of millions of people on the Mall is nothing short of breathtaking. … Obama represents a different kind of change. For one, he’s the first president of a new generation. Along with significance for African Americans in this country, he is a president for a multicultural, hi-tech, grassroots generation of people who have a different worldview about race, a different way of communicating, and a different expectation of a president. … With a new generation awaiting its new president, America expects nothing less than authenticity in its leaders. With that, Obama may very well be the only kind of president who can unify, inspire, and involve the country…

The Inauguration and the Third Culture President
Dave Gibbons

We are celebrating what many consider a dream fulfilled. Of course, there are still conflicts, racism, prejudice and stereotyping even in the church but it is a new day when the most powerful political person on the earth is Black. This is a historic moment for the world to celebrate. But before you simply see this as a race thing . . . how about seeing it also from the lens of culture or rather, CULTURES.

Third culture is about the fusion of multiple cultures, the art of adaptation, dialogue rather than dictation, diplomacy over strong arm tactics, and the embrace of discomfort as part of the journey to real community.

… the world is focused upon NOT either/ors BUT both/ands. . . people and leaders who can live in the intersections.

… It’s a third culture world. How are your third culture skills? President Obama is just the beginning of a whole new wave of leaders who will have significant impact in a world where the rules have changed or are changing.

And I can always count on Eugene Cho for color commentary on current events:

what advice would you give to president obama?

… Everyone’s talking about the historic nature of his election, inauguration, and presidency. Certainly… but I’m just having a hard time wrapping my head and heart around it. It’s so new.

… Someone asked me what advice I would give to Obama if he asked me to be a pastoral/spiritual adviser?

… Be a global leader. You’re not only the President of the United States but also a global leader. Reach out your hand…

Continue reading »

Dec 112008

While interaction is what makes the web more webby, I’d like to think there are more ways to use the web/ internet.

What I’m thinking of is inbound web content. That is, one-directional internet; you could even call it mobile broadcast.

For years, the President of the United States can freely turn on cable tv to watch CNN or Fox News, so why couldn’t the POTUS pull out a modified blackberry device or gphone or iPhone and get mobile web content?

Having worked at a telecomm company in the past, I’ve heard colleagues say that the said company provided customized telephony to the White House. So, it’s already been a business and government precedence set for custom services to be developed. And, there are cell phones now that get their built-in cameras turned off, right?

It’s reported that Obama will be the first president with a computer on his presidential desk [mobile ver] in that Oval Office. That computer is most likely going to be a MAC. Will Obama using a Mac accelerate its adoption into mainstream? This month was the first time that Windows dropped below 90% market share. [aside: this blog post was composed on 2 Apple products, iPhone and MacBook Pro]

I think he oughta have a unidirectional mobile smartphone to receive near instant inbound web stuff. That’ll keep the questions about the Presidential Records Act moot, and we can keep technological progress progressing. I’m with Bill Brenner, that Obama’s BlackBerry is no security threat: Taking it away could isolate him from the real world.

NOTE: I confess that I haven’t kept up with the news on developments with this issue, so I don’t know if it’s already been resolved. Someone can quickly fact-check and inform me in the comment section.

Yeah, there are possibly many more ramifications and implications that I haven’t considered. Want to voice how frustrating it is for me to see how the laws of the land isn’t able to keep up with the ever-changing ever-developing digital technologies. We’re in an increasingly paperless society.

Aug 012008

[update 8/18] watch (or listen) to Rick Warren’s Sunday 8/17 sermon, The Kind of Leader America Needs, that followed-up on the forum

(photo credit: C-SPAN)

[update 8/16] From a Saddleback family email newsletter >> “Here’s the real story behind the ticket distribution. The moment McCain & Obama were announced as this month’s Civil Forum guests we were overwhelmed with thousands of requests from partisans who wanted to fill our auditorium with their troops. To prevent them from taking all the seats we did two things: First, we reserved 95% of the 5000+ tickets as FREE to our Saddleback volunteers who faithfully serve our family. We then sold 5% – less than 250 seats – to other members & outsiders in order to defray the expenses of this (now) national event. … One untold story is that we invited the principals of schools in the Santa Ana district to select some worthy students to attend for free in order to experience the American election system. 22 students and 2 chaperones have been awarded seats.

[update 8/11] Now the saddlebackcivilforum.com website is saying, “All general admission tickets have been distributed.” Apparently, public tickets were never available, b/c tickets (up to $2,000 each) were already sold out to church members/ attenders.

[update 8/7] Rick Warren on cover of TIME Magazine (8/18/08 issue)read cover story or read about the candidates on faith

[update 8/4] It’s 5:47pm (Pacific Time) and only ticket info at official site says: “a limited number of community tickets will be available Wednesday August 13.”


Rick Warren and Saddleback Church (with others) are hosting a Saddleback Civil Forum on August 16th, that’ll bring presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain onto the same stage! Huge media event and associated junket. The event will be live-streamed on the web and on CNN — probably the best place to watch it, unless you have HDTV and someone puts the live feed on cable. (I don’t have HDTV.) Tune in 5:00pm Pacific / 6:00pm Mountain / 7:00pm Central / 8:00pm Eastern.

Ticket information was supposed to be available today, August 1st. But apparently the ticket info launch date is now Monday, August 4th. Typically easier to launch something on a Monday than Friday.

For media people, you can request credentials, request interviews, get press kit, and more at www.rickwarrennews.com. Wonder how many live-bloggers and live-twitter’ers will apply for credentials, and how many will get credentialed. (For the record, I’m not applying.)

“… they’re still working out how many media spots there will be and what Secret Service says it needs. Not to mention what the campaigns will require in terms of seats for their people. // This will be the only time between now and the convention that the two presidential hopefuls will be in the same place. … It’s not going to be a debate. They will briefly be on stage together but then Warren will first question Obama and then McCain. The order was determined by a coin toss.” — via OC Register

Jul 232008

I’m not sure how freely I can post information I’ve found about the McCain and Obama appearance at Saddleback Church, so to play it safe, I’ll quote from credentialed sources. I do know a PR firm, A Larry Ross Communications, is helping with media communications, and it is a good thing to prevent miscommunication, though I also know in an open-source Wikipedia world, everyone has a voice to the public and can chime in on lively discussions and speculations in the blogosphere and twittosphere / twitterverse.

New York Times was one of the first to mention the event. Local newspaper, OC Register, will have updates at its Total Buzz blog. There’ll be approximately 6,500 event tickets available for 6 on-campus venues; ticket information online when details are finalized. I’d imagine this event will be televised live on TV networks too, but no promises from me.

[update 7/24] event website launched at saddlebackcivilforum.com where you can watch event live online; ticket info available on 8/1

Here’s the official press release from RickWarrenNews.com about the August 16th event, dubbed Saddleback’s Civil Forum on Leadership and Compassion::

PRESUMED PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEES MCCAIN AND OBAMA TO MAKE FIRST JOINT CAMPAIGN APPEARANCE ON AUGUST 16 AT SADDLEBACK CHURCH: Pastor Rick Warren to Host Saddleback Civil Forum on Leadership and Compassion and Question Candidates on Faith and the Common Good

LAKE FOREST, Calif., July 21 – Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama, respective presumed Republican and Democratic presidential nominees, will end the primary season by making their first joint appearance of the 2008 campaign at Saddleback Church on Saturday, Aug.16 at the Saddleback Civil Forum on Leadership and Compassion. Dr. Rick Warren, founding pastor of the 22,000-member Orange County, Calif. mega church and moderator for the event, made the announcement today upon confirmation by both campaigns.

“We’re honored that the candidates chose The Saddleback Civil Forum on Leadership and Compassion for their first joint appearance, an unprecedented opportunity for America to hear both men back-to-back on the same platform,” Warren said. “This is a critical time for our nation and the American people deserve to hear both candidates speak from the heart – without interruption – in a civil and thoughtful format absent the partisan ‘gotcha’ questions that typically produce heat instead of light.

“The primaries proved that Americans care deeply about the faith, values, character and leadership convictions of candidates as much as they do about the issues. While I know both men as friends and they recognize I will be frank, but fair, they also know I will be raising questions in these four areas beyond what political reporters typically ask. This includes pressing issues that are bridging divides in our nation, such as poverty, HIV/AIDS, climate and human rights.”

Warren confirmed that, at the candidates’ request, this two-hour event from 5-7 p.m. (PDT) will be held in a non-debate format and open to all media. Both candidates also requested that questions be posed exclusively by Warren, instead of a panel or members of the audience. Each will converse separately with Warren for approximately one-hour, beginning with Sen. Obama as determined by a coin toss. This historic forum will be the only joint campaign event prior to each party’s national convention.

“While debates typically focus primarily on the candidates’ positions and only secondarily on how they’d lead and make decisions, this Saddleback Civil Forum will reverse that ratio,” Warren continued. “Since the oath of the President is a commitment to protect the Constitution, it’s critical to know how each candidate interprets the nature of its principles. Leadership involves far more than promoting programs and making speeches, and since no one can predict what crises will happen over the next four years, it is vital to know the decision capacity and process of each man.”

Warren has known each candidate prior to their run for national office. Both men recorded video messages to attendees at Saddleback’s annual Global Summit on AIDS and The Church last November. Along with other national and international leaders, each has also endorsed Warren’s vision of the P.E.A.C.E. Plan, a 50-year strategy to mobilize millions of local churches around the world to address five global problems: spiritual emptiness, corrupt leadership, poverty, disease and illiteracy. After four years of testing prototypes of the P.E.A.C.E. Plan in 68 countries, the P.E.A.C.E. Coalition, involving business, church and government partnerships, was launched in April.

In conjunction with the Civil Forum event, Warren will convene an interfaith meeting at the church for approximately 30 Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders to discuss cooperation in projects for the common good of all Americans. Members of the P.E.A.C.E. Coalition Leadership Council will also fly in for weekend events.

On Sunday, Aug. 17, Warren will deliver a special sermon entitled, “Making Up Your Mind: Questions to Consider before the Election,” which will be streamed live on the church Web site, www.saddleback.com, and made available for use in small group discussions within churches across the country.

The Saddleback Civil Forum was established to promote civil discourse and the common good of all. The first forum, held during Passover week this year, featured five Jewish World War II Holocaust survivors sharing their stories. The next Saddleback Civil Forum in September will feature former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

“In addition to my primary calling to proclaim the Gospel Truth of salvation in Jesus Christ, these Civil Forums further three other life goals: helping individuals accept responsibility, helping the Church regain credibility and encouraging our society to return to civility,” Warren added.

Saddleback Church has invited Faith in Public Life, which hosted a Compassion Forum at Messiah College in Pennsylvania last April, to co-sponsor this special Saddleback Civil Forum on Leadership and Compassion. Approximately 6,500 tickets to the event will be allotted for seating in six different venues throughout the 120-acre Saddleback campus.