Sunday, October 15, 2017

"My Pain, Your Gain" by Pastor Eddie Chun

Colossians 1:24-29

Can you think of a time when you went through pain physically or mentally but you knew it would be worth it in the end? (Pastor Eddie recalls his time when he did "suicides" in basketball.) It was painful and I expected to be in shape and to become a better basketball player. Would you willing go through some pain for someone else for their gain? Maybe this message can motivate you to say "My pain, your gain."

 Paul is thanking God in this passage because the Colossian church is mostly a healthy church despite some false teaching surrounding it. See verse 24. "I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake..." Paul is not saying something was lacking in salvation due to Jesus's death. Jesus reconciled us on the cross ("It is finished").

Then what is he saying? What is lacking in Christ's afflictions is that Jesus is no longer there physically. All of the suffering Paul is going through is a visual representation of Christ's suffering. See verse 25. Paul's goal was to make the gospel known to everyone. It was his mission in life. He also wanted them to be mature in God. This is why Paul suffered so much. He was beaten, mocked, whipped, shipwrecked, and sick. Why? So others would know more about Christ.

Jesus bled and suffered so we could have the gospel. We're worshipping in Korea because someone sacrificed to bring the gospel here. My father consistently prayed at 5:00am to pray for my family and because of him, I became a pastor. Can you remember the last time you suffered for someone else?

The point is not to seek out suffering. No one likes that and we aren't made for that. We don't have to look for it. Suffering will happen on its own. See John 16:33 and 1 Peter 4:12-13. Don't be surprised when you suffer as a Christian. If you are surprised, you are following the prosperity gospel. The world hates God, so Christians will suffer.

We need to embrace suffering. What does that mean? It means we need to "rejoice in suffering". It means to say that honestly "It hurts but your will be done, Lord." You're thankful because you realize God is doing something in the long term. Maybe it's drawing you closer to God to help others go through the same problem.

What causes people to say "My pain, your gain"? See verses 26-27. "Christ in you, the hope of glory." The mystery of Jesus dwells in every single believer despite lack of holiness because Jesus is that High Priest who sacrificed his life to atone for our wicked sin. He renews us and sanctifies us until He returns. This is why we can rejoice in our sufferings. If this wasn't true, then it would be pointless to rejoice in our sufferings. All of the suffering in the world does not compare to the glory that awaits us (Romans 8:18).

See verse 29. With all of Christ's energy, not Paul's energy, it was Paul's pain for others' gain.

Scott Worden (The L.A./Seoul Guy)

Thursday, October 5, 2017

My 12 Favorite Places in Rome (Not including the Colosseum) in Pictures

At Piazza della Trinity dei Monti above Piazza Spagna

There were so many places that I enjoyed about Rome so it was hard to pick only 10 places that I enjoyed the most, so I broke it down to twelve. In a previous blog post, I talked about the Colosseum because that's an obvious place that everyone needs to go to. Therefore I didn't include it in this post. I also left out the piazzas since they all had a certain charm about them. Having said that, here are the twelve places that I enjoyed the most. Let me know what you think of my list in the comments below.!

1. Foro Romano (The Roman Forum)

What I liked most: It was amazing to be among to be amongst beautiful architecture that dates all the way back to 8th Century BC. My favorite place to view it was at Palatine Hill (Palatino in Italian), which shows how spectacular this place is. It's right next to the Colosseum.

2. Musei Capitolini (Capitoline Museums)

What I liked most: I loved the busts of Roman poets, philosophers, and politicians as well as the outside of the museum. The statues make this museum. It's conveniently located near the Roman Forum.

3. The Vatican Museum

What I liked most: This place is enormous but every room was amazing. The ceilings were astounding, the Renaissance paintings were beautiful, and of course the painting of The Last Judgment in the Sistine Chapel to top it off. You'll spend most of your day here easily.

4. Basilica di San Pietro (St. Peter's Basilica)

What I liked most: The view at the top of St. Peter's Basilica gives you a view of Rome that you just won't believe. The dome inside the church itself is pretty large and artistic and you can even take time to pray in one of the prayer rooms. It's the world's largest church building and located in Vatican City.

5. The Pantheon

What I liked most: My wife and I got to see the largest dome in the world, saw two nuns praying together inside, and didn't pay anything. I can't believe this was built between 118-128 AD!

6. Basilica di Santa Maria del Popolo

What I liked most: This was one of my favorites as far as interior design goes. See the pictures below.

7. Night view of Castel Sant'Angelo (The Mausoleum of Hadrian)

What I liked most: Although my wife and I got here late, we couldn't go inside. However, we ate a nice dinner on the Tiber River at 5:00pm and stayed until it got dark. Then we got some beautiful views of the Castel and St. Peter's Basilica from a distance. It was well worth the wait.

8. The Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica in Palazzo Barberini

What I liked most: I loved the beautiful paintings and few people were here. I got a picture of the Henry VIII painting and although it didn't come out well, I thought the following three pictures represented how beautiful this museum was. If you do come here, don't forget to go behind the museum. You'll see a beautiful garden with a fountain (but, of course) that many people might not realize is there. It was quiet and very relaxing.

This ceiling was so big that I couldn't capture all of it.

9. Museo Nazionale Romano (The National Roman Museum)

What I liked most about it: I loved the courtyard and the Roman history. There are a lot of statues including a bust of Nero and other notable Roman figures.

10. Museo Nazionale Di Palazzio (National Roman Museum) near Piazza Venezia

What I liked most about it: The inside of the museum wasn't that amazing but the roof made up for it. You can get a great shot of Venizia Square (Piazza Venezia) with the Italian flag and beautiful Roman architecture all around this place.

11. Chiesa del Gesù (Church of the Gesu)

What I liked most about it: The lighting that shone through this beautiful church.

12. Fontana di Trevi (Trevi Fountain)

What I liked most about it: Although this place has A LOT of people around it and annoying people trying to get you to buy roses, it's still a very large and well constructed fountain. To actually be at one of the most copied fountains in the world was pretty cool.

Overview of Rome: Rome was fantastic. Although the city wasn't the cleanest, the architecture stood out the most obviously and made up for it. One of my favorite style of paintings is during the Renaissance era, so Rome definitely satisfied my curiosity there. Also, The food was wonderful and the prices were generally moderate. The food that stood out the most were the tortellini pasta, the thin pizza with prosciutto, and the firm linguine pasta noodles. I had no complaints with the food at all. The people were mostly friendly and the service was good at the restaurants. I recommend anyone to visit Rome once in their life!

Scott Worden (The L.A./Seoul Guy)

Thursday, September 28, 2017

What Makes a Great Manager or Boss

Throughout my working life, I've had various jobs. When I was 21, my first job was at a chiropractor's office doing paper work and helping patients with their treatments. Next, I worked as a cashier and merchandise stocker at Office Depot for three years. Then I became a teacher's assistant at a special education school helping emotionally disturbed kids. A year later, I was a teacher's assistant for kids with autism, Asperger's Syndrome, bi-polar issues, etc. In total, I spent two years working with kids that had special needs. Then the big transition happened.  When I was 27, I moved to South Korea in 2003 to teach English to elementary school students and middle school students at an academy. I did that for 15 months before realizing that it wasn't for me. Finally, I've taught adults at two English academies for the past 12 years. With all of this experience, I've had various managers and bosses and I have a pretty good sense of what separates a good manager or boss from a bad one. I've had good bosses, bad ones, and ones that were in between. I want to be fair and even include positive things I observed from bad bosses and negative things I saw in good bosses. So here's my TOP 10 list of what a manager should or shouldn't do:

1. Encourage your employees. If your employee is trying hard to do their best, focus more on what the employee is doing right and less on what the employee is doing wrong.

2. Motivate your employees to be better. If you see that the employee is doing a good job, but could do even better, let them know. However, do it in a way that shows that you have faith in their abilities.

3. Don't show favoritism. This is probably one of the worst things I've observed over the years. Don't nitpick certain employees to keep busy when they have free time while allowing the employees that you like (or happen to have the same nationality as you) to enjoy their free time. Favoritism destroys your credibility and destroys the morale at work.

4. Be fair. This is similar to #3. If you have a high standard for one employee, you should have a high standard for all of them. This shows that you truly care about the company as a whole and you are consistent in what you say. Your employees will respect you and trust you more if you are fair with everyone.

5. Don't micromanage. Focus on the big problems and not the tiny details. This will stress out your employees and stress yourself out as well. Don't sweat the small stuff.

6. A good boss doesn't always have to keep his "boss's cap" on. If you always keep your cap on, every time you walk into the workplace the mood will change, and not in a good way. It's a bad sign when your employees get along well with each other but as soon as you walk by there's an awkward silence.

7. Communicate with your employees. If it's important, tell your employee directly and even if it seems trivial, keep your employees in tune with what's going on in the company. Your employees will feel more open to telling you when there's a problem if you're open about everything as well.

8. Don't be fake. Don't ask your employee how their weekend was unless you really care. Don't be superficial and give them vague answers about your own weekend if I ask you. Just be yourself and be human. You're not a robot.

9. Don't be a hypocrite. If you expect employees to step up their game to help improve the company, you should also be doing the same.

10. Show that you care about your employees. Appreciate them and let them know that you admire their effort. Take them out for pizza or a beer for no reason. Most of all say "Thank you" when your employees do more than their fair share at work.

Scott Worden (The L.A./Seoul Guy)

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Colosseum in Rome, Italy

The outside of the Colosseum

On the first day of my European trip with my wife, we dove right into the most famous site in Rome: The Colosseum or The Colosseo in Italian (Amphitheatrum Flavium in Latin). We took a bus from Tuscolana Station and got there in about 30-40 minutes. But for most tourists, just get to Termini Station (center of Rome) and take a bus from there. Click here for more details on bus routes.

After we picked up our Roma Pass near there, we got in the line that allowed us to go in before other people. However, since it was a weekday, it wasn't crowded at all but it was VERY hot (38 C or 101 F).

Just inside the entrance of the Colosseum

Let me give you a very short history lesson about the Colosseum. It began being built under Emperor Vespasian in AD 72 and was finished under his successor Titus in AD 80 after the reign of Nero. The name Colosseum actually derives from the statue of Nero's head that was standing nearby, which later became morphed into the head of Apollo or Helio, the sun god.

You can see a cross on one side of the Colosseum.

What was it used for? It was used for gladiatorial battles, which you seen in movies all of the time, mock sea battles, animal hunts, dramas based on Classical mythology, and executions. However, all that kind of entertainment ceased to exist after the medieval era and started to become used for religious purposes: a Christian shrine, personal religious quarters, housing, etc. On Good Friday, the Pope has a procession that begins around the Colosseum, so the facilities are used for that purpose as well. It's also the largest amphitheater of all time and could seat up to 80,000 spectators. However, the average was about 65,000. See picture below.

The inside of the Colosseum on a very hot day!
My wife and I were thankful that we didn't have too many crowds to deal with. We were able to get a lot of good shots of the amphitheater without having to elbow our way through. My wife thought it was totally worth going and definitely her favorite place in Rome.

A view of the outside of the Roman Forum from a distance.

The great thing about this place is that it was conveniently located just east of the Roman Forum (For Romano in Italian), which was probably my favorite area of Rome. There is so much history in Rome, and although everything is somewhat close by, it requires A LOT of walking. If you do come to Rome in the summer time, take water with you and wear comfortable shoes. Just be aware that bathrooms (toilets) are not easy to come by. So if you come across one, just go even if you have to wait in line. You'll save yourself some agony later.

The way to the Roman Forum
Here's a picture of my wife and I inside the Colosseum. I can cross this one off of my Bucket List!

Scott Worden (The L.A./Seoul Guy)

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Traveling is Awesome But Always Be Careful!

As I mentioned on Facebook, I was debating on sharing my story to everyone because I felt pretty stupid and very worthless but after today's sermon, I felt like I should share it because Jesus really got us through that day:

On my final day in Paris with my wife after a 10-day vacation (Rome to Venice to Paris), we checked out at 11am. I was pretty much set on eating lunch and then getting to the airport despite our flight being at 7:50pm. Eunhee (my wife) didn't want to be bored so we explored one last area. We ate lunch near our apartment and I'm pretty sure I had my small carry-on bag (with my passport inside). We both had a suitcase and a carry-on bag each by the way. Then we took the bus to "Hotel De Ville" which was a popular area in Paris. 

Three possible situations happened. 1) Either I left my carry-on bag with my passport on the bus 2) I sat down to wait for Eunhee to look around the clothing store and I left it there or 3) Someone snagged it after I put it down while I was looking at my phone. I honestly have no idea what happened to my bag. After Eunhee looked around the store, we went to a cafe so I could wait for here there while she did more shopping. Then as soon as we walked into the cafe, I noticed that I didn't have my bag and I started to freak out inside. 

A very nice woman at the cafe called three places (a restaurant and two stores) that we were at previously and they didn't see it which leads me to believe that I left it on the bus. By this time it was 2:30pm. We went to the police station to file the report. Then we had to take a taxi to get to the US Embassy (3:15). We arrived at the Embassy at 3:45pm and it looked as if it was closing. I called from outside the Embassy and the lady told me that I needed 122 euros to pay for the passport and 4 euros for the photo and of course I didn't have that much. She told me to find an ATM and come back ASAP. Me getting my passport depended on how long it took me to get the money. I got back at 3:50pm and the whole process took an hour. We left close to 5:00pm and we tried to find a taxi while it was raining. Impossible. We finally decided to take the underground which was the best idea with bad weather and a Friday night. Thankfully we got to the airport by 6:00pm, checked in and it was now 6:30pm. We were hungry and our boarding time was 7:20pm. We finished dinner at 7:10, bought some macarons for my coworkers and Eunhee's friends and then had to go through security right by the gate. We boarded at 7:40. PHEW. 
God is good and my wife wasn't angry at me. I felt pretty depressed until hearing a guest speaker at church go through some major hardships in his life but got through them because of the Lord.

Scott Worden (The L.A./Seoul Guy)

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Gangneung, South Korea- A short trip with my wife (Part 2)

Jumunjin Harbor

(continued-Part 2)

After my wife and I went back to our AirBnB apartment, we took the sand off our feet, took a shower, and got ready. After we got ready, we took a taxi to Jumunjin Harbor and Fish Market.  We saw some boats docked and many people selling all kinds of seafood as we got closer to the market. The whole area was pretty huge. From what I could see, restaurants and fish markets added up to at least two blocks parallel to the beach and there were various streets off of the main road along the beach that sold raw fish, dried seafood, or souvenirs related to the fish market. There were also plenty of restaurants competing with each other to sell seafood soup, sashimi, crab, shrimp, and other things for lunch.

Jumunjin Harbor
You could order whatever seafood you wanted that was alive and they would cut it, cook it, and serve it for you. Here are a couple shots of the market as we were walking through it...

Jumunjin Fish Market
Jumunjin Fish Market
My wife loves seafood and so she started getting hungry after seeing all of the fish before our eyes. Trying to be a wise husband, I thought should find a place to eat at as soon as possible. However, my stomach was also talking to me. We sat down next to these people in the picture below...

Time for some raw fish!
Before we arrived at our place to sit at, Eunhee (my wife) selected the fish that we should eat. The merchant then had us pay for our fish. Next, a high school boy escorted us to the restaurant where they would serve us our meal. He was really friendly, asked me my name, said it was nice to meet me, and asked where I was from. He then told us he would bring our food back to us. Five minutes later, he came back and asked to take a picture with him. I said "Of course!" and then he asked to be my Facebook friend. And yes, we are now Facebook friends! Haha! Here he is...

My new friend
Then he helped bring us our meal. My wife is pretty adventurous and likes all kinds of seafood but I'm not quite as adventurous as her. Here's an example in the picture below. I liked the two kinds of white raw fish on the left, but couldn't eat the slimy stuff on the right. My wife ate pretty much all of that. Eunhee was very happy!

Our meal

After that, we headed to one of the most popular beaches in Gangneung towards the evening: Jumunjin Beach. We found out later that this beach was packed during the day, so we were thankful that the beach we went to during the day wasn't crowded at all. And once when we got to Jumunjin Beach, it was very quiet.

Jumunjin Beach

Jumunjin Beach

We wanted to have some coffee, so we stopped off at a cafe right next the beach. It was in the shape of a train and we noticed that they had a patio deck with a pool. We weren't allowed to swim in the pool but we could drink our coffee there. We had a great view of the ocean and we felt so relaxed at that moment.

Not a bad view!

My wife wanted a red bean dessert (patbingsu) and I got an iced cafe latte because it was still warm that evening...

My wife is about to dive into her patbingsu
Here's another look at the beach from the pool area....

Jumunjin Beach
There was a beach bar that served hot dogs, some grilled meat, and beer. I got a hot dog that was barely edible but I still loved the atmosphere. Next to the beach bar were two filipina ladies singing some old Korean and American songs. I wanted to take a picture of them, but I didn't want them to be offended, so I decided just to take a picture of the scene around them at night.

A beach bar with the cafe behind it
Finally, we reluctantly decided to head back to our apartment after such a wonderful day and evening. The next day, we would head off to Gyeongpodae! To be continued......

Scott Worden (The L.A./Seoul Guy)