Monthly Archives: July 2014

Theological Reflections on “Gangnam Style”: Endorsements

Check out this information about my friend Grace Ji-Sun Kim’s new book. I am looking forward to reading it – hope you are too.

Grace Ji-Sun Kim

ShowJacket.aspMy new book, Theological Reflections on “Gangnam Style”: A Racial, Sexual and Cultural Critique (Palgrave Macmillan) co-written with Joseph Cheah is now available for pre-order on Amazon.

This new book is the first one in the book series, “Asian Christianity in the Diaspora“(Palgrave Macmillan) for which Joseph Cheah and I are both serve as co-editors.  Special thanks to our editor Burke Gerstenschlager for his guidance, trust and encouragement.

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Cheering section

We both stopped short as we came to the corner. I walked close to the building, too close I admit. Perhaps Ralph and Sally did, too. But we both stopped short; we averted a collision.

“Mark. You are losing weight again. Well done,” Ralph gushed.

His excitement and enthusiasm has remained with me all day. I have reflected on the experience all day.

Today marks the ninth day I have worked at self-care. This time. I have made many efforts in recent years as well. Sometimes I do well for a stretch and then everything falls apart. Eight days, soon nine, represents one of my longer efforts.

Ralph’s encouraging words, reminded me of how this time is different from earlier efforts and how this time is the same.

What is different, is this time I am working with a doctor with whom I feel connected. I have liked my earlier doctors. I have trusted them. But this time, something clicked with my new doctor from my first visit in May. I had a pretty good run after the appointment. Then I spent two weeks eating everything that did not move while at the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s General Assembly. My second visit took place on June 23. She gave me advice and now I try to apply it.

What is the same, is the community of accountability that surrounds and sustains and supports me. It includes friends and family who have expressed concern for my health – and who have voiced support for my efforts. Some in the group comment on my Facebook posts or follow the blog where I make reports or engage me in conversations, virtual and real. They have made their support known to me and I appreciate it them deeply. They serve as my personal cheering section. Others, such as Ralph, cheer me on even when I am unaware of their presence.

To all the members of this accountability group, family and friends, known and unknown, I say thank you. With your support, I have made a great start. The journey continues.

See you along the Trail.

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Filed under Exercise, Family, Food, Friends, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

A walk for Jim

I have taken, in my moments of self-care, to walking in support of causes important to me or to my friends. Tonight I do so again. I will walk from 7:00 pm to 7:30 pm in memory of Jim Brennan and in solidarity with all survivors and victims of gun violence, many of whose stories are not told.

As you may have heard, the owner of Brennan’s Colony, Jim Brennan, was killed yesterday afternoon in a shooting in Cleveland Heights.  Mr. Brennan was a well respected businessman and community leader, and his establishment is a fixture on Lee Rd.
A prayer walk will begin at 7:00 p.m. this evening at the location of Brennan’s, corner of Lee and Silsby in Cleveland Heights.  We will walk from there to Church of the Saviour for a prayer vigil that begins at 7:30 p.m.
You are welcome to join the Cleveland InterFaith community in this event.  We also invite you to spread the word.
Will you walk?
See you along the Trail.

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Filed under Cleveland Heights, Current Events

Two treadmill observations

I am six days into my most recent effort at self-care. You can check out reports if you are interested. They are posted there if you are not interested as well.

One dimension of this effort comes from my doctor. She challenged me, or encouraged me, to increase the intensity of my work on the treadmill. Specifically she told me to increase my speed. With some trepidation, I gave it a try when I started this effort. It has worked well thus far.

Two observations from tonight’s 30 minutes:

It interests me how the time appears to pass more quickly when I am walking at a faster speed. It is a matter of perception, I know. But perceptions matter.

While walking tonight, the song “Welcome Home” by Eric Bogle came on my iPod. The song tells the story of an Australian woman whose husband has returned from Vietnam and her struggle to welcome home this beloved stranger. The song contains this lyric: Where hate is muddy quicksand, love is tempered steel. The line touches me deeply each time I hear it, resonating with personal experience, and leaving me with the wish to somehow, some day write something so powerful.

See you along the trail.


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Filed under Exercise, Music