This is a Gun Issue, This is a Mental Issue, and More Importantly, This is a God Issue.

•February 16, 2018 • Leave a Comment
IMG_2417

Hebrews 13: Love and Sacrifice Go Together

I am tired of hearing about “this is not a gun issue” or “this is a gun issue” for that matter. Or “it’s a mental issue” or “it’s not a mental issue”. Wake up, everyone! IT’S BOTH! And we need to fix BOTH!!!!!!!! Now how do we fix both? I dunno, I believe in the second amendment, but I also don’t believe our American forefathers anticipated this to happen in America’s future. America has fallen into a country that mocks right and praises wrong. We allow everyone to define their own truth/ reality. But we have had a long history of mentally ill in America (since the beginning of mankind for that matter) and guns have existed since the foundations of our country (with the Second Amendment). There is only one thing that has changed. 

 
You cannot teach a handful of morals to a person and expect them to decide based on circumstances or however they feel at that moment. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it”? Jeremiah 17:9 “…and for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”. Romans 3:23.
 
I recently watched a TedTalk- you can watch it here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtAR_OGzlcg&t=827s I am going to state the obvious, look at the statistics mentioned in the video and look at the dates in the decline in America’s moral compass. This guy is not even a Christian, but he makes some very interesting points!
 

Then let’s look at this idea of the “new normal” for America. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bX4qUsgHa4Y. Don’t try to tell me that this is not related, it’s a symptom that our country and it’s people are breaking and are flawed, corrupt individuals. It’s time to wake up America, do it for our future.
 
It says in 1 Peter 5:6- Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you. The same words are echoed in James 4:10. It’s a simple process, “Repent, therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out.” Acts 3:19.
There is no hope for the future of America without God at the center. There is no hope for your life without God at the center. America and the people of America, you are all in my prayers.

Why I’m Furthering Myself from Social Media

•February 12, 2018 • Leave a Comment

 

hacking-2903156_640

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com

When I first came to China, I was getting pretty upset almost daily with the restrictive nature of the internet here. Almost access to every western or non-Chinese website or app are blocked here in China. That means when I first got here, I had restricted access to almost everything that I used regularly on a daily basis. No Facebook, no Google, no Twitter, no WhatsApp, no Youtube, well you get the picture. In fact, there are many websites that are blocked because they rely on other websites that are blocked. The websites that are not blocked, typically are slowed down to a crawl. But even though there are days in which I am a little annoyed with how slow a website that I might use is going because it is not a Chinese website, it is becoming more of a blessing than I originally realized. I thankfully still have access to some News Podcasts and Tech Podcasts that I follow, but I want to talk about some of the issues I have been reading or following up on concerning social media and the news media in particular.

Long story short, I have been listening to a very well tech journalist, Leo Laporte, since I was back in high school. He used to be a tech personality on the TechTV cable network, but eventually, the cable network went under. So Leo Laporte decided to take his ideas and passion for technology to the internet. He launched his own technology network online under the title Twit (This Week in Technology). He has podcasts or shows that literally talked about everything with a chip in it. I cannot keep up with all of his shows, but to name the three I try to keep up with are Macbreak Weekly, Windows Weekly, and This Week in Google. I used to keep in touch with his radio broadcast The Tech Guy, but unfortunately, I just don’t have the time anymore.  One of the main topics lately on one of his shows in particular (TWIG- This Week in Google) has been the social hacking of some of these IT tycoons like Google, Amazon, and Facebook on us. I used to think when I was younger that things like internet addiction weren’t really a thing, but as I am been experiencing more of life, I see that it is becoming a big problem, particularly with the youth.

 

I have been a teacher for the past six years now, I have been blessed to teach in my home country of America and I have been equally blessed to be currently teaching Guangzhou, southern China. I have been able to see the impact of social media in two countries and being removed from my old social networking habits, I have been able to reflect on them. Students are sometimes downright aggressive when you try to separate them from the phones or laptops. I’ve even had some students in America tell me, “I will die for this phone”, here in China, I have had students yell trying to be confrontational. What is exactly happening to our youth and for that matter, ourselves?!

I didn’t really see just how much time I was focused on social media inside the USA than I really was. But the topic just doesn’t end there. I noticed that media itself was beginning to consume my life. The 24-hour news media cycle, who basically constructs stories in order to keep you glued to the news (which by the way are entirely negative stories), the TV networks are all dedicated to distracting you from what really matters. I cannot really fathom just how much of my life has been lost because of these forms of mindless entertainment. Now I have realized I have been talking quite a lot already, so perhaps I should end my thoughts here, but I would like to make two closing points.

I have been mentioning American or Western social media networks competing for our addiction, but the same is happening in China. Corporations like Tencent (they developed WeChat and QQ) are using the same social hacks that make us constantly reaching for our cell phones.

The second thing I would like to say is that I have come to the conclusion that these mass media corporations are pushing an entirely different culture on me (even us!) and are trying to rob us of our independent ideas. Please keep these words in mind from the Apostle Paul, “15 So let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision – you’ll see it yet! 16 Now that we’re on the right track, let’s stay on it. 17 Stick with me, friends. Keep track of those you see running this same course, headed for this same goal. 18 There are many out there taking other paths, choosing other goals, and trying to get you to go along with them. I’ve warned you of them many times; sadly, I’m having to do it again. All they want is easy street. They hate Christ’s Cross. 19 But easy street is a dead-end street. Those who live there make their bellies their gods; belches are their praise; all they can think of is their appetites” Philippians 3:15-19- quoted from the Message translation of the Bible. 

I will write some more on this topic in the near future, but for the time being, here are some of the articles that I have been reading in the meantime that pertain to this topic. I would like to encourage you all to check some of these out. God bless

Harvard University Article on Social Media Affecting Health
Cornell University Article on Internet Addiction
The Vice Article on Facebook Addiction
The Guardian Article on Facebook Addiction

Uplifting Music for the New Year

•January 18, 2018 • Leave a Comment

It makes my heart sing when I see Chinese, Koreans, and Japanese express a love for Christ. I have been looking online for Christians songs from all across East Asia and I thought it would be nice to share some of these uplifting songs. It’s rare to see or hear good clean music anymore, so I hope that God will bless you through this music. May God move your heart for Asia and this will inspire you to pray for Asia.

InValuable Love

•December 18, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Attention my Chinese Followers– If you do not have access to YouTube, please check out the Video on Youku
中国的粉丝们请留意——如果你们无法使用YouTube,请尝试链接Video on Youku

Recently my amazing students here in Guangzhou were asked to complete a video project. My goal was to get them thinking about camera angles, learning different ways of telling their stories and expressing their individual creativity. I am currently teaching my S2 students American History/ Culture and Journalism/ Yearbook. Here is one of the projects a group of my students put together. I am very proud of them for their hard work. The first story is a parody of a Chinese television program called Love Apartment or 爱情公寓 and the second story is a parody of the Japanese horror film, The Ring. Good work guys! I’m very proud of you!

Exciting Announcement!

•December 13, 2017 • 1 Comment

God has blessed me so
much this past year.

IMG_4492 copy

It’s a Boy!

As most of you might know, I recently got married in June of this year. God had confirmed to me that Ms Elizabeth Kuang would be my future wife and I proposed to her shortly before June. We are happily married and God has already blessed our marriage tremendously. This has been something that I have been praying about for years, ever since I was little and God has finally brought Elizabeth and me together. Well, we found out shortly after our marriage that God has blessed our new family with a baby. We found out at the beginning of July that Elizabeth was a couple weeks pregnant. Needless to say, we were so excited to hear the news and thankful to God for all that He has blessed us with.

BC397993-BBF6-483C-85E3-55EC0CEC2E6B-6542-00000546284578B8_tmp

Elizabeth and I at a Parenting Class

Here is Elizabeth and I at a parenting class we are taking in the city centre. It is a bit of a travel from where we live, but it is a nice little school. My Chinese has kind of improved since I arrived here last year, but sometimes I still struggle with the language. Either way, the teacher is very accommodating and tries to help where she came given the fact I am not a native Chinese speaker.

 

5BB59115-39F9-44D1-B7C5-2DC735F35880-6542-0000054631CF1F69_tmp

I love you Mrs Howard!

 

This year has been full of blessings and I am so thankful to God for giving me two great gifts. He definitely is a Father, who gives good gifts to His children. In the book of James chapter 1, it says, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above…”. Well, Mrs. Howard is one of those good gifts from above and pretty soon, our little baby boy will be an additional good gift from above! I cannot wait until you guys can meet my wife and my newborn son! Currently, I am praying God will give me the right name for our boy, but as of right now, I like “Conner” and “Noah” as possibilities. Maybe you can give some suggestions in the comment section below? God bless you all! Thank you for your prayers!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quick Tour of My Apartment

•August 31, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Tomorrow is the first day of school! I have been preparing, I’m super excited. I figured I would give you all a quick tour of my apartment. I haven’t fixed it up quite yet as I’d like. But I figured it would be a nice little project to work on. Right now I’ve only managed to store some things and clean the apartment. It was unfortunately in pretty bad shape when I first arrived. Anyway I hope I can revisit this theme in the future and show you the finished product! Enjoy!

Arrived Safely in Guangzhou

•August 30, 2016 • 1 Comment

Hey everyone! I just wanted to give an update on everything so far! I haven’t really been able to take pictures of Guangzhou yet, but I will definitely be doing more of that in the next few days! Well the first day in Guangzhou was kind of difficult for me, I have been extremely excited about this opportunity for so long. It finally hit me about really not seeing my family and friends until next year. I have been away from my family before, but on short trips (at the most almost 3 months when I last studied in China). Just keep myself and my family in your thoughts.

Well what do I think about Guangzhou?! That is a great question. First off, I thought we would be living in Guangzhou City (we are, but only kind of). My new friend Hebe helped pick me up at the GZ Intl Airport and I asked her how far away the school was from the airport. She told me almost 2 hours!!! Apparently Guangzhou is set up much like Shanghai, where Guangzhou is the major city and you have surrounding districts or villages (whatever you want to call them) that are all apart of Guangzhou. So our school is in a district of Guangzhou called Nansha 南沙。We are kinda out tucked away from most of the big city life. Its like the suburbs of Guangzhou

So far what is my favorite part about Nansha? Well I like that they speak both Cantonese and Mandarin here. A lot of the locals mostly speak Cantonese, while a lot of the upper level faculty members speak Mandarin and or Cantonese. This will give me a chance to greatly improve on both of these dialects. The second thing that I like about this place, there are not a lot of foreigners and people who speak English (besides a couple of the teachers and most of my students). This has been giving me that extra push I needed to speak Chinese more, even if I don’t say it right. The people have been very friendly and willing to put up with my mistakes. Most people I think in any culture are willing to work with non-native speakers if they honestly see that they are trying to learn the language. That’s just a good reminder for those who often forget that (including myself).

Well I just wanted to give you all an update, I hope everyone is doing well on that side of the world!

 
%d bloggers like this: