A Farewell and Blessing to the Parks

In a previous post, I mentioned that Charlene and I had the bittersweet privilege of taking Jin, Yuna, and Isaiah to the airport. They’re headed back to Seoul, Korea. They’ve been here in the States longer than we’ve known them, but with the economy tightening up, and jobs getting scarce, they felt God’s calling to return home.

It was our pleasure getting to know them while they were here. Before the arrival of Isaiah, they were both very involved with Real World. Jin played guitar and led worship, and Yuna always sang with him (even when she was very pregnant with Isaiah). They make a beautiful team. I was always fortunate, that despite his solid guitar skills and ability to lead, Jin always made room for me to play guitar on the team with him. (I was never a participant with them, but they also lead a Safari Kids Sunday School class at our church. Jin always said how it was good practice for parenthood, and more than once he mentioned how the kids loved to jump and climb all over him like a swarm of ants.)

Isaiah’s arrival meant that external ministry to the group took a back seat to the personal ministry at home (as it should be). So Jin and Yuna gradually phased out of leadership in Real World, but they continued to stay in touch and we’d see them at church once in a while. Isaiah is so adorable, and it was fun watching him grow up the past few months. He has the greatest smile, and is ever so shy. I love saying “hello” to him, watching him give a big smile, and then seeing him turn his head away.  It’s almost as if he’s blushing with embarrassment and shyness as he turns.

I think what I’ll miss most about Jin and Yuna is their hospitality. There was always a sense of “welcomeness” in their apartment–that feeling of being at home. They didn’t have the largest, or most luxurious apartment ever, but I’d take a cozy home full of warmth and love over a cold and loveless mansion any day. Theirs was definitely full of warmth and love. They were well known on the worship team for hosting quarterly dinners in their home. They never asked anyone to bring any food or for payment, and they always provided more than enough for everyone to eat. They usually made Korean food, and it was always delicious. Predictably the massive quantities of food available at places like Palace BBQ in Santa Clara never held a candle to the quality of food prepared in that household.

A little more than a week before our wedding, Jin shot me an IM and asked if Charlene and I might be free for dinner anytime. Frankly, I was a bit harried over the question since we were so close to “launch” and were still wrapping up details. For whatever reason, it did occur to me that we had to eat dinner at some point in the evening, and since they were offering, we might as well take them up on their generosity. I did offer one caveat: we’d likely eat and run. It was doubtful we’d spend a lot of time chit-chatting after the meal since we had so much more to finish up that week. I was struck that they were OK with that setup anyways. He said they’d have to put Isaiah to bed around that time, so it would work out alright.

What a blessing that dinner was to me! The food was delicious (we had ribs), and the company was wonderful. The bittersweet reality of the meal, however was that Jin and Yuna chose that meal to tell us that they would likely be moving back to Korea. Things weren’t set in stone at that point, but they were definitely headed in that direction. As we left, I commented to Charlene “I already miss Jin and Yuna.” She concurred.

One of my last memories of Jin and Yuna is from the Wednesday night (2.5 days) before they left for Korea. First, a bit of backstory: when Yuna was pregnant, we had a worship team dinner at their house, and I made a cheesecake from scratch. Everyone commented that it was tasty, but Yuna wouldn’t be able to eat any of it until after the pregnancy. I felt bad, and promised her that I’d make another cheesecake one day. Well that day took a bit longer to arrive than I expected, mostly because of the busy-ness associated with wedding planning. But with their departure imminent, I knew I had to get it done rather quickly. So we came up with an alibi to show up at their house that evening, and brought the cheesecake with us. Of course, they had no idea of our ulterior motive and were pleasantly surprised.

Frankly, I pretty much expected to say hello, have a few bites of cheesecake, help them pack a bit, and then take off so they could finish packing (remember, they had 2.5 days until departure). But when we arrived with the cheesecake in-hand, they dropped all packing activities, told us to sit down, and we chatted for well over a few hours. We offered to help them pack a few times, but our efforts were refused. They were simply content to have us as guests in their home. What hospitality!

As we left that night I told Charlene I really missed the Parks already. “If the shoe were on the other foot, I would’ve been freaking out about the lost time packing. I totally would’ve had them helping us to pack,” I commented. But that’s not their MO. They’re too gracious for that.

I think these last two anecdotes really seal the deal for me. They will always remind me of the generosity, graciousness, and hospitality of Jin and Yuna.

Jin, Yuna, we’ll miss you dearly, but whether it’s here, there, or in the air, we know God’s hand will be upon you.  You’ll never be beyond the reach of His family; you’re merely moving to a different part. His grace is sufficient, his strength is made perfect in weakness. Trust in Him with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and he will make your paths straight.

New Theme

My old WordPress theme, Rounded Transparent, was getting a bit long in the tooth. I decided it was time for an update. Truth be told, I was getting a bit tired of the way images were being handled in the posts. I didn’t like the fact that the text wasn’t wrapping properly around the image:

screenshot

I probably could’ve mucked around in the CSS and figured out why it was doing that, but I didn’t really want to spend the time.  And since I’ve had this theme for over a year, it was time for a change regardless.

So how did I solve this minor crisis of site identity (notice I didn’t write “my identity”)? I did a search on the WordPress Themes site and found iNove.

And that is what you’re currently viewing in all of it’s clean and modern glory.

I’m still trying to figure out whether or not I really like the right side navigation, but I figure I’ll give it a try for a while, and if I don’t like it, I’ll find something else.

In the mean time, enjoy!

That was Fast!

It took us a mere 15 minutes to setup our new dining room table tonight.

We opened the box, put four bolts into the legs, put the bolts into their respective holes in the table top, threw on a washer and nut, and flipped the table right side up.  We even had time to open up the table to add the leaf, pull it back apart, and fold the leaf back into the table.

Amazing!

I am admittedly grateful that we didn’t have to setup the whole leaf and bracing mechanism. That likely would’ve taken hours to assemble. But with a setup that quick, I find it hard not to love this table. It also means disassembly for transport (when we eventually move, or sell the table) will be a snap.

A Bjursta in a Box Graces our Dining Room

A “bur-What”? you might ask.  A Bjursta.  I briefly mentioned it a few weeks ago when we had that delightfully relaxing Saturday. It’s our brand new dining room table courtesy of Ikea. Charlene and I are really excited about it, and we’re looking forward to getting it all put together so we can start having guests over for dinner again.

It wasn’t as cheap as I had hoped, but we looked a few other places, including Target, and we never found anything that we liked. But I figure it’s OK. Being the business major I am, I figure we can amortize/depreciate the cost of the table over the time we end up using it, and it won’t really cost us that much. In other words, we’ll get plenty of use out of it, and the value of the time we use it far exceeds the actual cost of the table for that particular period of time. Geeky, I know. But it’s really the only way I could justify the purchase in my mind. But that’s my random musing for the day.

Thanks to Jeremy for driving to Ikea to pick it up with us, and for helping to deliver it to our apartment.

I’ll post a picture after it’s setup.

Death…Taxes…and…

In a sermon rather apropos to the season, Pastor Kevin gave a sermon a few weeks ago about death. As part of his introduction, he mentioned the old adage:  “The only things certain in this world are…” to which a few erudite students responded, “Death and Taxes!”

Charles was sitting next to me in the sound booth, and chimed in, “And stupid people! They’re everywhere.”  That got me rolling. Those who know me know I can’t stand stupid people. (“Stupid” of course, being a rather subjective measure usually associated with people who are stubborn, or make life difficult–not necessarily an objective measure of their intelligence.) And this just happened to be the perfect addition to the age old quotation.

So there you have it folks, according to Charles, “The only things certain in this world are death, taxes, and stupid people.”

Deals Not Worth Pursuing

I’m in the market for a new hard drive.  My current 250GB drive is nearly full, and with over 100 GB of photos, it’s time to upgrade. I’ve been watching the 1TB hard drives on Newegg lately, so I was quite astonished when I checked this morning, and found this deal:

hitachi

$75 for a 1TB hard drive?  With free shipping?  That’s only 75¢ per gigabyte after rebate! But after taking a look at the rebate documentation, I was dismayed to find this disclaimer:

hitachi-rebate
Since when is 1GB only equal to 1 million bytes? That’s a shrinkage factor of 1000 (or 1024 in binary)!!! And they’re saying that formatted capacity may be less than that? Sounds like a deal not worth pursuing.

I’m sure it’s just a typo, but it gave me a laugh, and a good reminder: Caveat Emptor! Let the buyer beware. Sometimes the 1TB hard drive you think you’re buying only really has 1GB of space. haha.

(For those interested, the original rebate form is here and in the event they take the original down a copy can be found here.)

Poor poor Journalism

Maybe I’m getting caught up in the details, but as has been the frequent refrain on Capitol Hill lately: The devil is in the details.

SmartMoney published another article with some fairly sloppy journalism.  In “8 CEOs on the Hot Seat” the authors claim that Ford CEO Alan Mullaly was once “CEO of Boeing”. Alan Mullaly was never CEO of Boeing.  He was CEO of their Commerical Airlines unit, and after the resignantion of Phil Condit he was considered for the top job, but he was never CEO of the entire company.

Is it too much to ask our journalists to check their facts?  Sheesh…