Time, Treasure, Talent (Revision 14)

See the life manual for more context. Our time, treasure, and talent should be about giving life i.e. creating memories and building relationships with God and others.

Resources to create memories and building relationships with God and others (This is woefully scarce; I have many more resources yet to organize here; come back later for more):

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Contemporary Problems (Revision 9)

See my life manual for more context or see the contemporary problems mindmap where I derive this list. For solutions see Time, Treasure, and Talent, or see the ultimate solution directly.

  • Spiritual Challenges:
    • Dehumanization
    • The Century of Self — a major psychology of society, narcissism
    • Degradation of values
  • Intellectual Challenges:
  • Physical Challenges:
    • Too much dependency instead of self-sufficiency – a form of control
    • Energy and resource problems:
      • Water shortages
      • Oil shortages and war
      • Nuclear
    • Ongoing war
    • Naive attitude toward potential natural disasters e.g. solar flare emp
  • Social Challenges:
    • Loss of Christian Identity in Europe and the West
      • Vacuum filled by muslims, some who are islamic terrorists
    • Communism/Socialism
      • The 4 goals of Marxism:
        • Destroy the family:
          • lie about the inherent “in-equalities” of men and women
          • make the government the “daddy”
        • Destroy private property:
          • Impose regulation
          • Control the food supply e.g. Monsanto
        • Destroy religion:
          • God is a challenge to their fabricated reality and thirst for power
          • Humans have rights
        • Destroy the nation:
          • Destroying the American Dream
    • Replacing God with government
    • The Lost Generations who do not know they are lost:
    • The new crusade: Radical islam vs the West who has lost their identity
  • Family Challenges:
  • Challenges in Careers and Jobs:
    • International competition
    • Outsourcing
    • Lack of skilled workers
    • Automation
  •  Economics


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How to love while suffering (Revision 2)

Anything supernatural I’ll have to preface by stating that I am by no means an expert, at the same time I like to describe myself as an imperfect practitioner but at least trying to arrive at a solution.

In one sense, one can describe love in two ways:

  • Natural Love – love on a natural level, the kind of love a parent might have for a child or the kind among friends, getting value out of a relationship
  • Divine Love – love on a supernatural level, the kind of love the Jesus has for each one of us, the kind of love of saints, loving those who have harmed you

Loving while suffering I would say is a bit supernatural, divine love. Divine love is love without a price tag – it is when you love without self-interest. Agape love. It seems true love is unfair as the initiator not only expects nothing in return, he is often left hanging, even suffering while the beloved may be ungrateful, disinterested, self-absorbed. This is often how we treat Jesus.

So how do we love while suffering? Consider a few points:

  • Try to see things in the eyes of Jesus e.g.:
    • Imagine Jesus asking you: “Do you love me enough to share my suffering with you?”
    • Jesus understands your suffering, he consoles us when we let him. At least as a friend, we can accept the suffering as a gift to Jesus, keeping in mind the greater good of the human family
  • Suffering in love in a sense is like a mother giving birth to a child; in the midst of the suffering we can’t always appreciate the meaning of this suffering until there is a birth of something good
  • Some might think suffering is evil, but God allows evil for a greater good – that we may be virtuous yet even better – that we may love freely and more beautifully with deeper meaning and value
  • Why can’t God just take away all the suffering? Why can’t he just give us everything like dropping manna from the sky? He could but he wants us to possess and share his inheritance like he does – from within himself
    • How about we give, not just externally or when it is easy, but how about we give from within ourself, how about we love by giving from within?
  • Consider some thoughts by C.S. Lewis, sometimes our hearts need to be broken, for our own good
  • It can be a joy, not necessarily feeling happy, but some level of contentment as you can derive peace from participating in meaningful love



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A modest gift to the world – a blog with renewed purpose

For a long time, I have debated whether or not I should even share my website unlastwords.com but I’ve decided to do so anyway. In addition to the outlined purpose, I re-dedicate my blog with renewed purpose.

Why am I sharing my website with you?

  • I’ve been so blessed by God, I feel I have an obligation to share
  • So I can communicate it effectively, and try to lead by example – I have so much in my head I need to write it out to gain clarity, so I can share in person when the occasion is appropriate, or remind myself
  • Ideas have consequences, even when I know what I write will always be imperfect – I can’t wait to publish it until it is perfect (of course I try) but I already have been waiting to publish for over a year
    • I will fail but is is a win-win situation:
      • when I am wrong I will hopefully be corrected
      • whether I am right, any truth that I may say will speak for itself
    • Bad critics will be bad critics, decent people will contribute their perspective – I don’t care what the culture thinks except to understand, to help; I like getting different perspectives but I will live my own way the best way I know how. Mutual learning would be nice but not expected
  • There is a need in this world especially for future generations:
    • So I can practice being a father – it is said that one really doesn’t understand as deeply, until they teach it to others
    • We are at war to reclaim our culture, let’s get our own lives together to affect what we can
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God is love, but Love is not God

The word “Love” is perhaps the most abused word and I find that I should make a few notes:

  • “Love” has many different meanings (to dive deeper, see Deus Caritas Est [“God is Love”] and Caritas in Veritate [“Charity in Truth”])
  • Very often I talk about “Love” and “God” so much and I notice there may be a tendency to sometimes love the idea of “Love” [i.e. “God”] than the person of “Love” [i.e. Jesus]
  • God does [through Jesus] come down to our level [and it is good], but we have to remember and give respect to God by trying to rise up to Him (we need a deeper sense of transcendence):
    • Don’t dehumanize Jesus by stealing his teaching and philosophy (e.g. new age religion, “neo-paganism”), but not have a real relationship with the person of Jesus (Christianity is not primarily about ethics)
    • One can’t experience the divine without going deeply into Jesus as a human; scripture is one definite place where you can learn about the person of Jesus – you can’t love what you don’t know
    • Too often it seems we implicitly have a narcissistic attitude (“What’s in it for me?”) and design our lives accordingly. We can tend to control and design our own idea of God instead of having a relationship with God (e.g. lack of prayer); often in prayer we need to remain silent, at least for us to connect our heart to God:
      • God does not need prayer, it is we who need to pray to God (of course God wants us to pray, to love him, to give him time, to be grateful, to make him part of our lives)
      • In prayer, let the power of God take hold of you, don’t always try to rationalize
      • We by ourselves probably are of little effect, yet it seems the power of prayer in part is because God praying through us

If you are wondering where some of this content is coming from, these are some notes [combined with my own] from attending a retreat with Father Antoninus Wall O.P. (short bio). Other perhaps lesser-known facts: (1) Pope John Paul (now saint) was his peer/classmate when they were studying in Rome. (2) his stories are amazing e.g. teaching to Mother Teresa’s congregation.

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What Keeps Us From Having Deeper Friendships

A relevant article on pseudo-friendship (pun intended) I am archiving here in case the original website disappears:

What Keeps Us From Having Deeper Friendships

3 things sabotaging our need for genuine connection.


In an era where many of us have a million social media “friends,” but no one to hang out with on Friday night, deep friendships have become increasingly rare.

Our generation is kind of screwed up about friendship. I’m screwed up about friendship. We often have a hard time cultivating real, face to face friendships.

Why do we all feel this way? Here are three enemies that keep us from having deeper friendships:

Forming Ideal Lives on Our Social Media Feeds

We’ve accumulated an entire database of friends, retaining names and facts but omitting relationships and memories. “Hey, remember that one time we chatted on Facebook and shared the Google Image of that beach we both want to go to?” Yeah, neither do I.

The Internet has afforded each of us to live dazzling lives that aren’t ours. It leaves out the run-of-the-mill so we look like some sexy, adventure-seeking, friend-getting machines.

The Internet has afforded each of us to live dazzling lives that aren’t ours. One scroll through my Instagram will show you California, Oklahoma and Colorado—outdoors, mountains, weddings and playgrounds.

However, it won’t show you Netflix, lonely Friday nights, textbooks or that one night I spent sick in the bathroom three weeks ago. It leaves out the run-of-the-mill so we look like some sexy, adventure-seeking, friend-getting machines. We know the real story behind our own social media accounts, but somehow, we think everyone else’s life is more exciting than ours.

We are all mad scientists creating Frankenstein when it comes to social media modeling: the life we create turns its head, opens its eyes and becomes a monster. We start feeling down if we can’t find something worth posting on a daily basis.

On top of all of that, am I trying to be a cool, culturally aware Christian on social media just because I want more followers? After all, there’s nothing like being affirmed by a few hundred Twitter followers that I’m a good Christian. I tweet because I’m self-conscious.

Trying to Be Best Friends With Everyone

I grew up thinking that because I was a Christian, everyone had to be my best friend. I had to like everyone, and everyone had to like me and know my life story and be my accountability partner.

By the time I made it to college, I couldn’t do it anymore. My inner circle was as wide as the Pacific, and I didn’t have the relational energy to build a bridge across it.

I’ve since realized that Christians misrepresent friendship when they claim everyone is their friend. Jesus was not friends with everyone. Christ had His three, his 12, and His 5,000. He did not suffocate with FOMOOF (Fear Of Missing Out On Friendships). There were probably some great men and women in the crowd of 5,000 who sat eating the fish and loaves, but Jesus was purposeful about being with the 12.

Today there’s an extreme pressure to get to know everyone. We feel like we aren’t being fair to others if we grow deeper with one person and not another. We feel the need to spread ourselves out among 5,000 rather than with three.

I can only be friends with so many people, and I waste my time trying to be everything for everyone and end up being nothing for anyone, sitting alone watching Friends re-runs on a Friday night.

In order to understand how to have real friends, we must learn how to start small and remain intimate.

Using Technology as a Crutch

I can only be friends with so many people, and I waste my time trying to be everything for everyone and end up being nothing for anyone.

Before the invention of the air conditioner, families would spend hot summer nights sitting out on their porches and talking with the neighbors. Before the Internet, there was a sharing of communication through printed books and interviews (R.I.P. Borders). Before cell phones, there were landlines that only talked and didn’t text. Before GPS, there were maps and gas stations. And before Netflix, there was Blockbuster (R.I.P. again).

The modern world is becoming more and more efficient with work and less and less meaningful with human interactions.

No friendship is based on efficiency. Friendship is spending time with someone, intentionally setting aside time to look someone in the eye, to hear their voice and to watch their eyebrows furrow or cheeks get red.

It is not an efficient exercise; in fact, friendship necessitates inefficiency. It is days spent gazing at ocean waves rather than writing job applications, evenings spent drinking coffee with a friend rather than an essay, school nights spent watching sports or movies or playing games rather than studying or reading or sleeping. Jobs are practical. Getting good grades is practical. Networking is practical. Friendship is not.

If God were practical, I think He should have given up on me a long time ago. But He calls me His friend. And friendship is not easy, simple or practical.

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