more personal background
 Now I’m into my 40s, it’s a new season of life with increasingly more soberness. Accepting more of who I am and recognizing that I’m very unconventional, one of a kind.
 Where I am in my life journey: I am intent on seeing life change up close. I believe that my life is to be lived as an ‘open book’, transparent for people to see my humanity, and to see Christ living in and through me. I believe that real relationships make all the difference.
I base this lifestyle on Jesus’ own understanding that life is most fulfilling when we obey the Great Commandment: to love God and to love others. (Luke 10:27) There is a relational priority in how and what we decide to do as tasks. The measure is the quality of our love and how freely we share it, especially with those who are different from ourselves.
I have two categories for my life: a personal ministry and a public ministry. Don’t let the word ‘ministry’ throw you, it simply means service. My life is not here for my own agenda or my own well-being. The life and breath that I have is freely given in service to others, because I believe in freely giving as I’ve freely received. (Acts 20:35)
My personal ministry is to see life change up close. I believe that my life will have been well-lived if I can personally impact a handful of lives in a way that changes them forever. I believe this is done in the sacred arena of a trusted friendship where connection and confrontation, honesty and healing, can take place. To use life map language: I’d like to be a hero in a few people’s lives. This is my core passion. This is what keeps me going. It matters not what profession or career or position I have, this can be done in whatever context.
My public ministry (or professional ministry) is not so critical to me. There are people who feel that they must have a pulpit to speak from, or they must write books, or they must do ‘Christian ministry’, or they must accomplish a certain number of items of things in their life, and that’s where they derive their energy and passion. And there are people who think it is more spiritual to do professional ministry whether as a minister or a missionary. I have come to realize that this is an off-balance view. What I do as a career, whether in the sacred context of church ministry or world missions, or in the secular context of engineering or whatever, doesn’t have particular persuasion for me. The spiritual life is not so much the external things that we do, but is the growing impact of God’s kingdom in every arena of life.
More recently (since March 15th, 2001), the post-ides DJ, I’m more out of the box than ever. I don’t know how it is innate in me to question everything, tho’ not in a rebellious bad-attitude sorta way. Being a friendly philosopher, I do best in the arena of ideas and theories. I don’t do too well with simpler-minded practical pragmatics. I feel better about my questionings about life, and recognize life as it is, and call it as it is. I’m a realist to the core (in contrast to the dark-shaded pessimist or glossy-eyed optimist), yet hopeful of good things the tide might bring on the next sunrise.
And it is the post-ides DJ that can articulate what I want– I used to avoid that question for fear of selfishness and egoism. What I want out of life: to enjoy my family and friends for as long as possible, and have as many friends as possible. I’m not bent on setting goals, or getting my purpose statement spelled out. But I’ll do a good career stuff to provide for myself and the fam, so I can have a life that I really want.
Misunderstandings are the open door for understanding. People often get stifled when someone misunderstands or when conflict arises. These are simply a part of life, and they are not to be avoided, nor are they ‘sinful’ and ‘bad’. These are a matter of interacting with people.
Each person comes with their own perceptions and backgrounds, and when interaction with another person, who comes from a different background with different perceptions, misunderstandings and sometimes conflicts will naturally arise. (If they don’t, they are probably not interacting meaningfully and deeply, or may not have the capacity to.)
So when these things happen, it is an invitation to deepen the relationship and to grow in understanding. In this process of reconciliation, one recognizes one’s own limitations and sensitivities, and expands one’s knowledge of another person’s similarities, differences, sensitivities, and in turn learns so much more about the world.
read my back story: testimony, pre-web, pre-seminary (circa. 1990)