The True Test of Your Spiritual Maturity

It’s easy to get hyped and be a “spiritual” person in high points of life. But it’s the mundane moments that truly reveal your spiritual maturity.

“The true test of a person’s spiritual life and character is not what he does in the extraordinary moments of life, but what he does during the ordinary times when there is nothing tremendous or exciting happening. A person’s worth is revealed in his attitude toward the ordinary things of life when he is not under the spotlight”.
-Oswald Chambers

Turn Off Your Smartphone Notifications

4:05am - notification for new mail for work
6:31am - notification for new comment on Facebook
8:27am - notification for new like on Instagram

Sound familiar?

I’ve found over the recent years that notifications on my iPhone are one of the biggest distractions in my life. If I had notifications turned on for every app on my phone, I would literally be distracted by new notifications multiple times per minute.

So, a while back I decided to turn off notifications for most things…because my life cannot revolve around notifications for new emails, new comments, new videos, etc. 


There are only a handful of apps I have notifications turned on for: 
-phone calls (obviously)
-text messages (obviously)
-FaceTime (obviously)
-Reminders (because I ask Siri to remind me of stuff)
-Google Calendar (so I don’t miss meetings/events)
-Verizon (in case our data is running low, I’d like to be notified)

The first three are the only apps that I have sound alerts enabled.

There are numerous studies out there about the negative effects of notifications and social media. Here are just two of them I found. You can find many more just by Googling “how phone notifications affect our brain”.

-Why We're All Addicted to Texts, Twitter and Google
-How the brain hard-wires us to love Google, Twitter, and texting. And why that's dangerous.

One other crazy thing I did the other day is delete both Facebook and Twitter apps from my phone. If you know me well and you’re reading this, you’re probably shocked.

More and more, I’m realizing how much of a distraction social media can be (as well as any other app on your phone).

As I enter 2018, I want to be focused, not distracted. Purposeful, not aimless. I want to pursue the things of God more than ever before. I want to make each day count. 

Straight Outta Seoul - reflections on my 27yrs as an immigrant


Today marks 27 years of living in the U.S. for me, my 4 older sisters, and my mom. On July 4, 1990 my family immigrated to the states from South Korea. I was only 9yrs old and that night I thought the country was celebrating immigrants, like us, moving to this country that day. I was blown away by the welcome. Unfortunately, I quickly found out that was NOT the case.

We faced A LOT of challenges and tribulations along the way…

Racism. Discrimination. Hate. 

I learned quickly, as I started 4th grade in San Jose, California, that this world is full of hate. I faced racism every single day for years. I got made fun of and shunned just because I looked different. No one wanted to talk to me or be near me. 

I couldn’t understand english, but I definitely understood hate. I cried many tears. WE cried many tears. I hated this country because of how my family and I were treated. We were told MANY times to GO BACK WHERE YOU CAME FROM!

Usually July 4th is a day of great food, fun and fireworks for me and my family (wife and 4 kids), but this week I’ve been in a very reflective mood…

I LOVE this country and I consider myself a Korean-American. I’m SO THANKFUL that I get to live in this country where there are so many opportunities. I’m thankful that I get to live in a beautiful home with my beautiful family, working my dream job. I’m grateful that we are free to worship God without fear of persecution or death, which my fellow Koreans face every day in North Korea.

As I reflect on the past 27 years, I’ve realized how I’ve often been embarrassed and ashamed of my heritage as a Korean, because of how I’ve been treated, and still get treated sometimes, and even how my kids are treated sometimes by their peers (even though they are only half Korean). -Racism still exists-

If I can be honest, I have a hard time EMBRACING and being PROUD of my heritage. But, I’m continuing to grow in that area.

I decided many years ago as a kid that I’m going to embrace others who are different from me. God’s given me a heart to reach the outcasts because I’ve been an outcast. He’s always helped me see and love those who are not accepted by the popular crowd. And, I hope that my kids (continue to) live that way as they grow up.

So, to those of you who have embraced me for who I am, and embraced my family for who we are…THANK YOU. You truly exemplify what this country is all about. 

Happy Independence Day!