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Entry 311

Wow, I really miss them... I particularly miss 정혜...

I cannot believe that it has been only 3 days since they have left for Korea. It seems that an eternity has passed since they have left the house...

I cried when I looked into Jenna's room and saw that 정혜 and 수란 weren't there. The next night, I cried praying to God about how desperately I want to go back to Korea.

I SERIOUSLY want to go back... I miss my family, 정혜 and 원영. I just want to embrace my cousins and 정혜 and hold them tight. I hope that I will go to Korea during the summer of 2009. The time cannot be any more perfect. My college requirements will be long gone at that time, Jonathan does not have to worry about college requirements yet, and Jenna does not really have to worry about anything. I really, really want to go back...

I am sending them email everyday. I am honestly dubious about how long this will last, but at least I am spending time with them although they are not right beside me.

Just incase, I am listing 정혜, 원영 and 수란's email addresses.

최정혜 - wjdgp355@hanmail.net
김수란 - seamless91@naver.com
김원영 - dlf76@hanmir.com

Entry 310

I'm seriously considering to transfer this diary of mine to my new computer as computer files rather than blog posts on the internet.

Gamespot's blog system contains a few bugs and is too slow.

I believe that it would be much more convenient just typing my diary on Microsoft Word. However, this would also lack security: one virus can delete all of my entries; one malfunction may cause my computer to reboot, deleting every single one of my entries.

I am not turning to writing.

Entry 309

Thursday, September 25, 2008
I finally met the orphans face-to-face. To be honest, I was relieved that none of them were spoiled, bratty, or ugly.

There are 3 guys and 2 girls: 원영 (2월 4일), 정남 (12월 31일), and 제윤 (10월 2 일); 정혜 (6월 13일), and 순라. All of us are born in 1991.

On that very night, 원영, 정남, and 제윤 simply talked about Korea, the U.S., life, and new words from around 10 PM - 3 AM. They were very interesting people to talk to. I got very friendly with them from that night on.

Friday, September 26, 2008
I accidentally got close with 정혜. I meant to involve everyone in random activities together, but I ended up in Jenna's room hanging out with the girls. 원영 eventually joined us as well. Anyway, it was on that night that I started to like 정혜 - a feeling that I know I shouldn't have and a feeling that I know would not be returned... Nonetheless, we all ended up being even more friendly and comfortable around each other.

However, our relationships, in my opinion, started to go downhill throughout the rest of the week up to today. On Monday, the guys went to Canada to visit the Niagara Falls and stayed there for 2 nights. On Wednesday, they went to Washington DC and came back at 12 AM on Thursday.

I have been spending less and less time with them. However in a strange way, I feel that this is some sort of a blessing. I'm viewing 원영 as a best friend. He comes up immediately to my room to tell me about his day and ask me how I've been doing. We engage in more conversations than with the others, and he's been buying me souvenirs from the places he has visited. I really appreciate the things he has done, but I have never really shown my true appreciation... I should seriously spend more time with one of my very few friends. 정혜 has been getting me souvenirs as well, but she only approaches me to charge her digital camera. 원영, on the other hand, actually wants to talk and build our friendship. God has truly blessed my life with a really great friend. I hope we can carry our friendships in the future and keep in touch. But then again, that's how me and my cousins felt - look at our relationships now...

I also view this experience and the friendships as sort of a "curse". Once they leave for Korea on Thursday, October 9, what will I become? A great addition to my life will now be taken away from me. All that will be left are memories and mere photos and objects to remember them by. Will our friendships end up in the same fate that I had with my cousins?

I don't know what to do...

Entry 308

Here's the update for Saturday, September 20, 2008.

It was the second and last session of the True Love Waits seminar. I remember learning about the horrendous acts of abortion and dealing with pregnancy. Abortion is a terrible thing... I swear abortion should be considered a crime. I am not dwelling further into this topic...

When it had all ended, those of us who attended both seminars were given a ring that is engraved "True Love Waits". I got a size 6 and Jonathan got a size 7. My finger does not fit the size 6, but the size 7. I should have gotten that size, but I'm saving this ring for my future wife.

In other news, I have gotten closer with Liz. No, not Liz Kang but Liz Noh. We started to talk to each other during the session and more on the following Sunday.

Though this is very awkward for me to type this, and most likely awkward if I ever happen to come across this entry, I'm starting to like this girl. She's a freshman while I'm a senior. The age is not right - at least not now. Either way, I'm praying to God about what I should do, and about what will happen. Maybe it'll be just an 오빠와 여동생 thing, or maybe the relationship will venture down further. Either way, I'm leaving this issue to God. Whatever He decides to do, I will go with it.

Other than this, the family has finally stayed the night in the new house. It was about time, too. I honestly think that we all need some more time spent in the new house. So far, it is more of a frequent visit to another house. I hope we can really accept the house as our own and live in it comfortably under God's light.

Entry 307

Today was the day of the True Love Waits Seminar. It began at approximately 3 PM and ended at approximately 7 PM. Two speakers presented to the people who attended about a topic concerning sex.

There were no more than 25 kids or so, ranging between the ages of the 7th grade to the 12th grade. Once again, I was the oldest kid at the seminar, being the only 12th grader.

Nonetheless, the seminar was great. It was very educational, both statistically and spiritually.

One of the most important facts stressed during the seminar was that sex is an actual blessing from God. Believe or not, God's first commandment upon the world was to be "fruitful and multiply", encouraging people to have sex as long as it is in God's favor. Therefore, having sex casually and foolishly viewing sex as "recreational" is extremely discouraged. God created sex, and therefore it is a blessing.

In addition, males and females usually have different perceptions on sex. Females are intentionally created by God to have this certain hormone that draws attraction towards their spouse, as well as blurring their memory during sex. Their personalities are also based on emotion. On the other hand, males have the testosterone hormone, which causes them to be much more sexual than females. Moreover, males are very dependent on visuals. This is why males have an uncontrollable tendency to remember the moments of intimacy or excitement with their past partners while they have sex.

Honestly, the seminar was rather awkward for me. Talking openly about sex, their consequences, what sex was truly meant for, STD's, safe sex, homosexuality, and even pornography. The overall theme is - what I believe to be - that sex is a blessing from God, Himself, and that one's sexual purity is to be cherished.

I seriously regret tainting myself... I can't believe Jesus is so loving to the point that He will heal and forgive others despite the seriousness of their sins as long as they repent. It is surely amazing and wonderful... Although it cannot be undone and perhaps even inevitable, I wish I could change the past. I have committed a serious sin against God and I have even hurt my future wife. My heart is literally filled with guilt and regret each time I think back to it.

Oh God, rend my heart and purify me. I intend and promise to keep pure from this point in my life; to salvage what little purity I have left - if any - and to offer it before my future wife and to You.

Entry 306

Here's the update on the summer retreat.

The theme for this retreat was "Heart of Worship". The retreat went on from Sunday, August 24, 2008 to Wednesday, August 27, 2008. Our speaker was David Lee 목사님 who came from a presbyterian church called the Church of Love in Philadelphia.

The following is the schedule:

Sunday, Aug. 24, 2008
Depart from LCPC - 2:00
Arrival at Pinebrook - 4:00
Dinner - 5:30
Orientation - 6:15
Seminar - 6:30
SERVICE - 7:30
Fellowship - 10:30
First Group Meeting - 11:00
Lights out - 12:00

Monday, Aug. 25, 2008
Wake Up - 6:00
Quiet Time - 7:00
Breakfast - 8:00
SERVICE - 9:00
Group Meeting - 11:00
Lunch - 12:30
Seminar - 1:00
Paintball/ Free Time - 2:00
Dinner - 5:30
SERVICE - 7:00
Group Meeting - 10:00
Lights out - 12:00

Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2008
Wake Up - 6:00
Quiet Time - 7:00
Breakfast - 8:00
SERVICE - 9:00
Group Meeting - 11:00
Lunch - 12:30
Swimming/ Free Time - 1:30
Dinner - 5:30
SERVICE - 7:00
Camp Fire - 10:00
Group Meeting - 11:00
Lights out - 12:00

Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2008
Wake Up - 6:00
Quiet Time - 7:00
Breakfast - 8:00
SERVICE - 9:00
Final Group Meeting - 11:00
Lunch/ Pack - 12:30
Presentation - 1:30
Leave Pinebrook - 2:30
Come back to LCPC - 5:00

The four groups were the following:
Group 1 - Zach Han
Daniel Kim
David Kim
Grace Kim
현경
Joshua Kim
Sarah Jung
Suah Lee
Richard Cho

Group 2 - 상진 Ahn
보라 Jung
Eddie Kim
Elizabeth Kim
John Rim
Peter Park
Susan Cho

Group 3 - Diana Cho
Alex Bae
Danica Han
Jonathan Rim
Kevin Ahn
Paul Rim
Ulrica Kim

Group 4 - Joshua Cho
Brian Jung
Brian Kim
Gina Yoo
Jessica Kim
Paul Park
Sarah Park
Susan Lee

These are the groups' respective skits in their respective orders with their placement in parentheses:
Group 1 (1st) - This group based their skit on the Powerpuff Girls. Zach was the narrator, Suah was Blossom, Sarah was Bubbles, 현경 was Buttercup, Joshua was the Professor, Richard was Mojo Jojo, Grace was the Faceless Assistant, and either Daniel or David was the Mayor. The 3 girls were allegorical figures for truth and growth, but I forgot the last allegory. Anyway, Mojo Jojo invented a device that would efface the faith of God in the citizens of Townsville. Therefore, the 3 girls used their powers of the gospel to defeat Mojo Jojo.

Group 2 (2nd) - My group based our skit on the condition of our church throughout the retreat with the true meaning of the "Heart of Worship" missing in our hearts. 상진 was the Hypocritical Vice President, Bora was the Lonely Secretary and the narrator, Eddie was the Protagonist, Liz and Susan were the Arrogant Pastor's Kids, I was the Boastful Praise Leader, and Peter was the Greedy Treasurer. We started by demonstrating the structure of the church as a pyramid with me, 상진, and 보라 at the bottom, Liz and Peter in the middle, and Susan at the top. Eddie wondered what would happen to the church if one of them were to be missing a heart of worship and dreamt. The pyramid of our church collapsed after Susan and Liz randomly shouted the titles of praise songs. Eddie rolled off of his "bed" shocked. I confronted Eddie by telling him that service was about to start. SJ, Liz, Susan, Bora, and Peter were off to one side swaying their hands in the air while singing the song "Heart of Worship" while Eddie and I were off on the opposite side. While they were singing, I slowly walked to the center of the stage and suddenly burst into playing an air guitar solo, ending it by throwing my fist into the air shouting "Praise the Lord!" before the scene froze. Eddie wondered, "Is this how you really serve God? Is this really the heart of worship? Is this how you really praise God?" The next scene had Susan collect offering. Peter offered his entire wallet, but then decided to offer numerous gadgets such as watches, cellular phones, and mp3's. Eddie wondered if giving merely monetary offering was a way of getting into heaven. The next scene had SJ informing us about the upcoming retreat and that we had to prepare for it by doing "hardcore bible study". Eddie wondered if strenuously studying God's word at a preposterous extreme would gain him a way into heaven. The next scene had SJ walking off with the offering basket and stealing the offering for himself. The PKs were upset about it, but then quickly turned their attention to mocking and insulting others. Eddie wondered if being a PK gave them a special, automatic privelage to get into heaven. The next scene put us into a paintball fight. I got so arrogant and overly confident that I took off my mask. Eddie walked right behind me, and shot me in my right eye resulting into me being humbled but depressed. The next scenes involved Eddie teaching me, Peter, SJ and the PKs respectively on what the true meaning of a heart of worship is. His attempt was successful, and thus built a stronger, much more stable church.

Group 3 (4th) - This group based their skit on improvisation - literally - and temptation. Diana was the Christian friend, Alex, Jonathan, Kevin, Paul and Ulrica were the "cool crew", and Danica was the protagonist. At first Danica was an innocent follower of Christ until she became tempted to hanging out with the "cool crew" and ended up with terminal heart disease with a month to live. Danica took this time to pray to God to help live her life for God.

Group 4 (3rd) - This group shared a theme similar to my group. Gus was the boastful praise leader, Gina was a "player", Brian was Gina's boyfriend, Jessica and Susan were Sarah's friends, Paul was the speaker, and Sarah was the materialistic member of the church. Though Gus, Gina, and Sarah thought they had everything, God had eventually swept away their most precious things to turn their hearts to Him. Gus lost his position as praise leader, and thus lost the favors of the YG girls. Gina lost both her boyfriends Gus and Brian. Sarah was mugged by Jessica, injured, and lost her friends due to them being materialistic as well. Gus, Gina, and Sarah respectively prayed to God during service about turning to Him and rending their hearts to follow Him.

Excluding the passionate, engaging sermons and my intimate prayers with God, my opinion of the retreat is that it was mediocre. Praise, in my honest opinion could have been better. My fingers kept stiffening up due to the cold weather, and thus I made many errors. However, I did sing with all my heart to God. I hope that everyone got blessed during the retreat and that they would truly live for God everyday.

Entry 305

I will keep this very laconic.

Jonathan and I went to Six Flags with the church on Friday, August 15.

Our group included Dawoon, Eddy, Jessica, and Sang-Jin. We rode Kingda Ka, Medusa, El Toro, and Skull Mountain. However, all Jonathan and I really did was follow people around as they were tightly together in their "cliques".

I wanted to win a Wii, an electric guitar, or a DS Lite at the arcade. However, they are always held as prizes for games of pure luck and chance. I did not want to waste my money on games that have a near 99% loss rate.

We left the park at 5:00 PM and ate at 삼동각. Those who had parents picking them up left for church earlier.

That's it.

Entry 304

I haven't updated in a while. There were two or so significant events that occured, but I forgot one of them.

Anyway, Mom, Jonathan, Jenna and I went to see the K-Tigers demonstration. We were able to attend this unique demonstration through free tickets from LCPC. Nonetheless, it was our first time seeing the K-Tigers. The demonstration took event at the Colden Center of Queens College. There were two shows: 3:00 PM and 7:00 PM. We attended the 3:00 PM demonstration.

I cannot recall the exact schedule, but I do remember some of the portions of the schedule. First of all, our LCPC Pastor held the prayer at the beginning of the event. Afterwards, there was a lengthy awards "ceremony" where numerous special awards were given to founders and organizers of the K-Tigers and the demonstration.

Before the K-Tigers began their demonstration, a local 태권도 school by the name of the Eagles 태권도 demonstrated their talents through 품새, board breaking, and fighting. Once their demonstration was over, the K-Tigers made their debut. They were truly amazing. In fact, they were all around my age. They were normal kids who practiced 태권도 for many years. At first, the K-Tigers did a traditional demo. A modern demo followed after, using modern contemporary music in addition with several hip-hop moves in their demo.

Mom left a proud 한국인 when the demo was ended. Jonathan, Jenna and I left amazed at what 태권도 can really can to people.

The K-Tigers were really great. Watching the demo was truly a spectacular experience.

Entry 303 - Great Wolf Trip

I forgot to place an entry on the family vacation to Great Wolf in Pennsylvania.

The family vacation began on Friday, July 4.

Miss 음 AKA 혜진 누나 came along with us. Anyway, it took several hours to get from New York to Pennsylvania. However, we - Dad managed to get us all to Pennsylvania before nighttime.

Mom, Jenna and 혜진 누나 went swimming as soon as we got our rooms. Dad, Jonathan and I were rather hesitant and reluctant to go swimming right away. However, we had to leave the next day because NYLF/MED was coming up in two days. We had no choice but to make the most of our day. It was very awkward to walk around half-naked, but Great Wolf is a swimming resort after all. I wish I was much more muscular. That way, it wouldn't feel as awkward being half-naked. :lol: Anyway, Dad, Jonathan and I hung out together as a group of three. We went on three water slides. Though they were rather short, we enjoyed the rush as we zipped around in the slides. Afterwards, we all agreed to go to the outdoor swimming pool. I have certainly lost my touch in swimming. I cannot take breaths while swimming. Moreover, water always rushes up my nose while I'm underwater. After a while, we all went back to our rooms and took showers.

Our television set had a Gamecube control attached to it. It served as both a game console controller as well as a remote control for the television. However, we had to pay money just to play mediocre Gamecube games for a mere hour. I cannot quite remember the exact cost, but Jonathan and I agreed that they were total rip-offs.

In the evening, the hotel held a fireworks display outdoors near the outdoor swimming pool. I haven't seen fireworks for a long time. I was fascinated how people actually invented fireworks - sending explosives into the air; having them pop over time; creating various types of bright colors; the sounds certain fireworks make as they are shot into the sky.

On Saturday, July 5, we moved to another hotel. I believe it was called the Sheraton: The King of Prussia, or something along those words. When we got into our rooms, we left to eat dinner. Dad chose out a *** restaurant. At the restaurant, chefs prepare food right in front of us - literally. The chef was very talented, performing various tricks with his cooking utensils, and even the food. The live cooking performance really got me hungry; I didn't mind what I was eating, I just had to eat it. Thinking back to that time still makes me hungry. Although I hate to admit it, that *** restaurant was really good. I would eat there again sometime - sometime soon, I hope.

Well obviously after that night, Dad drove us all to the Forum. I already made two entries on the NYLF/MED program.

Anyway, the time we spent together as an entire family was very enjoyable. It was certainly a pleasure to spend quality time as an entire family - even though it was only a couple of days. Spending time with family is always an activity that I love to do.

Entry 302 - NYLF/MED part 2

Friday, July 11, 2008 - Medicine: The Personal Dimension (day 6)
7:00 - 8:00 Breakfast

8:15 - 9:45 MED Session

10:00 - 12:00 Patient Care Panel Discussion Organ Donations & Transplants - Faith Cortwright & The Gift of Life [Villanova Room]

12:15 - 1:15 Lunch on Your Own

1:30 - 1:45 MED Session

2:00 - 3:00 Patient Care: A Personal Perspective

3:15 - 3:45 MED Session

4:00 - 5:00 Medical Ethics: A View from Both Sides, Round I
I was assigned, with a few other kids, to argue for the use of online storage of patient information. My group and I won the argument against the kids who were assigned against it.

5:15 - 6:15 Dinner

6:30 - 7:45 Medical Ethics: A View from Both Sides, Round II
I already went.

8:00 - 9:00 MED Session

9:15 - 10:45 Club Philly Dance [Belle Air Terrace]
I didn't attend this event.

Saturday, July 12, 2008 - Principles in Practice (day 7)
7:45 - 8:45 Breakfast

9:00 - 12:00 Principles in Practice [MED Rooms]
We learned how to suture wounds through a simulation of suturing a banana. Afterwards, we learned how to measure our blood pressure. The top number, the systolic pressure, indicates when your blood begins to flow through the artery after pressure has been applied to your arm. The bottom number, the diastolic pressure, indicates when your blood flow returns to normal. The normal blood pressure is 120/80. Blood pressure is measured through the use of a stethoscope and a sphygmomanometer, otherwise known as the blood pressure cuff.

12:15 - 1:15 Lunch on Your Own

1:30 Bus Boarding

2:30 - 6:45 Experience Historic Philadelphia
찬양, 종, Andrew and I decided to go to Chinatown to spend our time in a PC방. However, our time searching for such a place was a wasted effort when we discovered that all THREE cyber cafes moved out. I also discovered that 찬양, 종 and Andrew were always stuck together, leaving me behind. Therefore, I spent my day with Sean. Though I honestly resented spending time with him, we actually became good friends. I realized that Sean was a much better friend than the three other kids.

7:00 Board Buses for Villanova

9:00 - 10:30 Talent Show
Sean's "brilliant" idea of combining our bus count routine with the "Stomp-Clap Hoo-Hah" game humiliated all of us on stage. However, it was short and spared us from being humiliated for a longer time. The other groups had bad shows, and I dreaded sitting and watching all of them. I just wanted to go to sleep.

Sunday, July 13, 2008 - Out and About (day 8)
7:45 - 8:30 Breakfast

8:45 - 9:45 MED Session

9:45 - 10:45 Principles in Practice
We learned about triage. During an emergency situation that involves numerous people, tagging each individual with the proper color prioritizes which individual needs immediate care with those who have no significant problems. Red indicates an emergent or critical condition - the person may survive with immediate attention. Yellow indicates a serious or urgent condition - the person will probably survive with basic care. Green indicates a minor or semi-urgent condition - no significant problems that require immediate attention. Black indicates that the person is dead or severely injured, and may not survive with any care. This is where the term "Code Red" and such originates from.

11:00 Buses Board for Dorney Park

12:30 - 6:30 Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom
I hung out with Sean for the entire day. John found us during the day and joined us. Sean and I rode the Voodoo roller coaster as our first ride. I was very nervous about the decision. Voodoo is practically a Dorney Park version of Kingda Ka. In fact, the entire park is a replica of Hershey's Park and Six Flags. Voodoo really broke the ice and pumped us up to ride more roller coasters. We rode Steel Force - a replica of Nitro - and go-karts. We had a very good time. Sean and I became closer friends.

4:00 - 6:00 Cookout at Dorney Park
My feet were screaming for rest, and my body strived for a little water. In other words, we "chilled".

6:30 Buses Board for Villanova

8:30 - 10:30 Movie Night [Cinema, Connell Center]
The theme was "Superheroes". The movies were Batman Begins and Transformers. I did not attend this event.

Monday, July 14, 2008 - Inspiring Leadership through Public Health (day 9)
7:00 - 8:00 Breakfast

8:15 - 8:45 MED Session

9:00 - 10:00 Follow Your Dreams Closing Plenary (David Munson, MD - Associate Medical Director, Newborn/ Infant Intensive Care Unite & Pediatric Advanced Care Team, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia) [Villanova Room]

10:15 - 11:00 MED Session

11:15 - 12 Public Health Symposium - Student Voting [Villanova Room]
My group was assigned with the topic of stress management. Little did we know that our project would place us in the final Top 9 later in the day.

12:00 - 1:30 Lunch
Sean and I hung out during lunch. We watched the movie "300" and ate chicken pizza in my dorm room.

2:30 - 4:00 Public Health Symposium - Judges Final Q&A [Villanova Room]
My group found out that our project placed in the Top 9. Lauren and Kristen were the designated speakers for our project.

4:15 - 4:45 MED Session

6:30 Buses Board

7:00 - 10:30 Closing Gala [Westover Country Club]
I was forced to attend this event. I didn't dance at all. Instead, I got drunk on soda and water. :lol: Gina took a picture of me in my "prime" of my drunken state. Sean decided to do some dancing. Time and I stayed behind and "chilled" at our table.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008 - A Closing Assessment (day 10)
6:45 - 8:00 Luggage Storage [Donahue Hall]

7:00 - 8:00 Breakfast

8:15 - 9:00 Final MED Session

9:15 - 9:45 Closing Ceremony [Villanova Room]
Nothing of true interest. I just wanted the day to be over and go home.

10:00 Departures
Dad picked me up at around 10:30. I finally reunited with my family.

I missed everyone in my family. We ate at 산수갑산. I ate a lot at the restaurant. I practically starved during the 10 days at Villanova. The food served was terrible. I had to resort to eating snacks for breakfast everyday. I arrived on Villanova at 125 pounds. I left Villanova at 118 pounds. I have to gain that weight again. In addition, I began to follow my good ol' daily routine. I reestablished my friendship with Amy. The only thing left undone is to attend church and do one of the things I love most: praising God.