The Joy of a Sapling
The Healing Power of Change

It just hit me. I’ve been going through a lot of healing while in Korea, and I was trying to think of what could have caused it. I’m still working this out, but I think there is a healing element to change.

I remember reading somewhere that one of the few constants in life is change. And seriously, I think through change, God heals us.

Example: when you scrape your knee as a child, it takes time to heal that. The situation on your knee changes from blood to a scab to a scar. The situation needed to change for your healing to come.

And that seems to be so true with the heart. If you were hurt in a church or a community, why do you stay there and allow yourself to continue in pain? If God is telling you to come up out of Egypt, embrace the change and experience God’s healing presence in your life.

It took the Israelites leaving the comfort of Egypt, which they sometimes missed, in order to embrace the glory of God. By leaving Egypt, where they were hurt yet somewhat comfortable, they were able to be led by the glory cloud of God.

Dag. I wasn’t expecting to say all this, but it makes sense.

For now, I’ve embracing the change that God has for me.

(Disclaimer: God may change your situation, but He and His attributes never change!)

Posted 2 months ago with 0 notes
"

I’m so thankful that I’m not where I used to be
I’m so thankful that I was removed from that environment



I’m so thankful that I get to discover God here."
Posted 3 months ago with 0 notes
Korea: Healing and Love

Korea is making me fall in love with life again. It’s so hard to explain in words, but I at least want to try.

I didn’t know what would happen to me in Korea, but it’s been exactly what I’ve needed in so many ways. For one, God has used to Korea to heal my heart of many things. To deny the fact that you need healing is foolish. I think we all need it to some extent. Healing is different for everyone, but there has been some definite healing in this season of solitude. It’s crazy all the knots that have needed tied in my life, but the irony of serving God is that He heals you when you push away from shore. It’s like going to the center of the ocean to get your boat fixed, but that’s how God works. I pushed off from my complacency into the unknown of both storms and healing. And here is where God can perform the greatest miracle of all in a person’s heart.

In Korea, everyday has been a challenge to learn more, grow more, and love more. And it’s the most refreshing thing that’s ever happened to me. I’ve learned to love life again. That sounds corny, but I mean it. I wish I could tell you how many times I questioned my existence in university. I knew all the “Christian, westernized” clichés. “To make a difference.” “To love God and to love man.” “To change the world.” But that stuff is largely crap unless applied. I sat around thinking I knew everything, and now here I am knowing so little but feeling so fulfilled and satisfied.

I hope this makes sense. But in case you were wondering. There is a healing going on in my soul and a love that is kindling anew. I do miss home somedays, but as Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros put it, “Home is wherever I’m with You.”

Posted 3 months ago with 3 notes
"And they were saints in that most effective and telling way: sanctified by leading ordinary lives in a completely supernatural manner, sanctified by obscurity, by usual skills, by common tasks, by routine, but skills, tasks, routine which received a supernatural form from grace within, and from the habitual union of their souls with God in deep faith and charity."
— Thomas Merton, “The Seven Storey Mountain” p. 62
Posted 3 months ago with 0 notes
Anonymous: You are such a sweet soul, I wish youd notice me!

Ha. I don’t know how I can do that when you’re private, but thank you! :)

Posted 3 months ago with 1 note
poppunkthemusical: Hey Stephen, I just wanted to tell you how amazing and inspiring the things you post are! I hope you are having a great time in South Korea and had a wonderful Christmas (:

Thanks so much! And it’s great to hear from you! I hope you are doing well! And I had a great Christmas. It was definitely different, but it was good! 

Happy New Year! :)

Posted 3 months ago with 0 notes
"The way of approach to the holy ground of God is nearly always through suffering; we are not always in the natural mood for it, but when we have been ploughed into by suffering or sorrow, we are able to approach the moral frontiers where God works."
— Oswald Chambers
Posted 3 months ago with 0 notes
"The forest takes you captive
Mesmerizing both body and soul
You cannot escape its beauty
Unless you’re blind to beauty"
Posted 3 months ago with 1 note
tatikaesque: Hello! You write wonderfully about your walk with God. Keep it up for the glory of the Lord. Blessings!

Wow! Thanks so much! That really means a lot! :) God bless you!

Posted 3 months ago with 0 notes
My Spiritual Wish List

I realized something. I have this spiritual wish list in the way that a lot of people have a wish list of objects, I’ve been writing a wish list in my soul. For instance, some people want victory in certain areas of their lives or for a loved one to know Christ. The list can be varied and long.

While it is not bad to desire certain things, it is wrong when the wish list becomes your focus. Instead of focusing on God, I often find myself focusing on my wish list.

Why hasn’t this happened yet?
Why am I still single?
Why am I not closer to You?
Why do You see so distant?

But I realized tonight, God is my eternal focus. When I get on to my wish list with God, my life is getting off track.

So here’s to giving You the wish list and not worrying about it. Worrying does more harm than good.

Posted 3 months ago with 1 note
"

There it is
I felt it again
The bitter sting of winter in my soul

Clouded skies
Hope declines
Another dream dies

"
Posted 3 months ago with 3 notes
"God often isolates those whom He chooses, so that we have nowhere to turn except to Him, and then He reveals Himself to us."
— Father Seraphim Rose
Posted 4 months ago with 8 notes
"A man belongs to this world before he begins to ask if it is nice to belong to it."
— G. K. Chesterton
Posted 4 months ago with 2 notes
First Blog Post in Korea

I should write. I really need to write. It’s been too long, and I think this will help me process this past month.

Well, today marks Day 28 in Korea. What a crazy month this has been. On November 10, I landed in Seoul, South Korea and hopped the first bus to Gyeongju, which was a miracle due to the timing. I bought my bus ticket seven minutes before the bus was about to leave. And somehow I made a phone call to my connection in Korea and found my bus in those seven minutes.

Anyway, I have not left Gyeongju this past month, but it’s been a mystery of a city and time has flown. I live in Dongcheon-dong, which is a subdivision of this city that was settled by refugees after World War II. So I’m one of three white people I have seen here. The streets are lined with coffee shops, restaurants, and bakeries. It’s been ideal in a number of ways. I’m about 3 blocks from Lotte Super, which is a Japanese-owned supermarket. I’m only a mile or so from Downtown, which is full of American clothing stores and even has a McDonald’s and a Starbucks. However, all these shops sit right beside these large burial mounds that are the resting place of ancient emperors from the Shilla Dynasty. I should add that this city was founded in 56 BCE. It’s just a perfect city with one foot very clearly in the past and another very clearly in the future.

The private academy, hagwon, that I teach at has been great. I teach from 3-9 everyday and work with one other American teacher and some Korean teachers. Everyone has been super kind and has made this past month a really great transition. My students are so much fun. They are anywhere from the ages of 6 to 15, and I have an adult class in the evening. It’s been a unique experience adjusting to the differences in the educational system, but I’m learning the ropes.

However, I have realized that I will never understand Korea. With its unique cultural and proud heritage, it is a country that cannot be fully understood in a year, maybe not even in a lifetime. They have so much to be proud of! In about one generation, an impoverished society became one of the most developed nations in the world. This can be seen in the fact that everyone from children to aging grandparents have smartphones and know how to use them. Neon signs illuminate each night with flashing Hangul characters. Truly, this is a unique blend of worlds that I am only starting to understand.

Also, my Korean is pretty poor. I really want to learn more, but it’s such a challenge for me. However, some Koreans have told me that my pronounciation is really good, which makes me happy. Also, an older gentleman, I believe his name was Dr. Cho, told me that my chopstick skills were impressive. That meant the world to me. Ha!

I hope this makes sense. I need to wrap this up, but I just wanted to get some thoughts out there. I’m considering making a blog specifically for my time in Korea soon. :)

Posted 4 months ago with 5 notes

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