Itsara

May 10, 2012

It Must Be Genetic

Filed under: Geekery,Philosophy,Pictures — Adam Heine @ 10:49 AM

“Daddy, look! Pirate!”

— Anica Heine

 

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My plans to create a pirate clan are moving ahead nicely, it seems.

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February 11, 2009

Opa's Ginormous Entertainment Center

Filed under: Personal,Philosophy,Pictures,Thailand — Adam Heine @ 8:41 PM

Back when I built this, what I was really practicing for was this:

Of course I didn’t build this thing myself. My dad did most of the work while he was here to visit. I learned a lot from helping him. I think I could actually build something like this myself now, though not nearly as fast.

It’s a huge, huge blessing for us (pun intended). We were running out of space for books, and we needed a place for movies and games where Isaac (and now Nathan) couldn’t get to them. Plus we’ve got this large space begging to be filled. It’s perfect.

Although I didn’t build it, I did design it.

And here’s a before-and-after look for you.

November 9, 2007

Thinking About Privilege

Filed under: Philosophy,Religion — Adam Heine @ 9:00 PM

Cindy and I had an interesting conversation last night. We were talking about how much stuff we have, and the stuff we don’t need, and how sometimes we (well, usually she) wish we could just get rid of everything and live a simple, village life.

Whenever this conversation comes up, I start to feel guilty and try to justify the stuff I have. Not all of the justifications are weak excuses. Some of them are quite legitimate. One such justification came up last night. Well, I don’t know if it was a justification, but more a realization that the privileges I have (and most of us have) cannot be gotten rid of quite so easily.

Think about it for a sec. If I gave away everything I had, sold my house, my car, and my computer, and moved to a village, it wouldn’t make me poor. For one, I’d still have money coming in from you guys every month – a lot more than villagers have. But let’s say that even that stops. I have no income and no stuff, for whatever reason. There are still things that I have, that the villagers do not, that I cannot possibly lose or give away. I can use and repair computers. I can do math. I have a certain amount of business sense (not compared to an American business person, but quite enough to handle a basic business in Chiang Mai). I can speak English. Heck, even speaking Thai is something a lot of villagers cannot do.

I told Cindy that even if I lost, or gave away, everything, I’d still be able to walk into Pantip Plaza, go to one of the repair shops and ask if they need another hand. Most shops would probably love to take on someone who could speak English since foreigners are their most lucrative business.

But what if we moved into a village (Cindy asked in response). I couldn’t do anything with computers or even write. I tried to imagine what I would do then. There’s still something in me that wants to create, and while I would spend a lot of time working alongside the villagers, I imagine I’d have time of my own to do what I want. Drawing came to mind. Maybe eventually I’d get good enough that I could sell what I drew, and at that point it would be stupid not to sell what I had down in the city, where once again my ability to speak Thai and English would allow me to sell more than the villagers might be able to. Even if I didn’t want the money for myself, it would actually be cruel of me not to help the village in this way.

So it really comes down to this. Cindy and I sometimes feel guilty about what we have, but we don’t need to. What we need to do is to realize that what we have is a gift from God and to be generous with what we have. I mean, the only reason I speak English is because of where God chose to have me be born. I had nothing to do with it, nor with the fact that English is the language of opportunity for many cultures. But if I keep my skills to myself, and don’t use them to help people (as, for example, Sean and Prang are using their gifts to help with the bags from Prang’s village), then that’s what needs to change.

My point (if I have one) is just that I never realized before that I can’t give up all my privileges even if I wanted to, which puts a whole new spin on the guilt of being rich. Although the rich ruler could have sold everything he had, he still had skills and connections just by virtue of having been rich, and those are to be used for the kingdom like anything else. The goal, like in everything else, is to love people above anything we do for ourselves and to give all that we have for God and His glory.

January 30, 2006

Yokes and Prebelievers

Filed under: Philosophy,Religion — Adam Heine @ 9:28 PM

James talked about his struggle with the whole issue of Christian/non-Christian dating. A comment of mine turned out kinda long. I jokingly apologized for posting in his comment thread, but decided that it might be interesting here too. So here you go:

Here’s what I think. This is from my own theology, and from my own experience dating and consequently marrying a Christian. The cultural prohibition on Christian dating is not a hard and fast rule (I say “cultural prohibition” because it’s a rule that Christian culture has made based on an interpretation of the Biblical prohibition of being “yoked” to unbelievers – the Bible doesn’t say anything about dating).

However, I would say that it is a very good idea to avoid dating non-Christians. Actually before I say that I need to establish that my view on dating is that the whole point is to find someone to marry (if you disagree, or date differently, then what I say next may not apply). Assuming that, it follows that there’s no reason to date someone that you *know* you would have significant problems with down the line. Actually it’s dangerous to because of the human phenomenon of infatuation or “falling in love”. When the infatuation is over, you may wake up to find you have married someone that actually makes you a worse person, instead of a better one.

But it’s very hard to determine what you would have problems with down the line. Many seemingly big problems are actually quite dealable in a fully-committed relationship. Christianity *can* be one of them, but only if both people are fairly soft in their convictions. A person for whom Jesus Christ is the center, and for whom Christlikeness is the overarching goal, would find that life was very hard indeed if they married someone that thought these things were a nice hobby to have, rather than something to devote one’s life to.

Looking back, I now know that if I had dated, or later married, someone for whom Christ was not the center of their life, my life would have been either extremely difficult or would have slowly but surely slipped away from Christ. Cindy’s faith, which is honestly one of the very few things we have in common, drives and encourages me when I’m down. If I had married someone who thought that Christianity was fine for me, but not for her, that person would never, ever understand me. And while one human can never *truly* understand another, Cindy understands me more than any human on Earth precisely because the center of her life is also the center of mine. She encourages me towards the very goal I desire to reach, instead of merely tolerating it.

December 8, 2005

On Pride

Filed under: Personal,Philosophy,Thailand — Adam Heine @ 6:41 AM

Never have I had to suck up my pride so often as I have since we moved here. Like when I say I can eat spicy food only to be presented with a whole new order of spicy. Or when I tell someone how easy it is to drive on the left right before I have an accident. Or when I punish a kid for doing something only to find out that another adult told him to do it. Or when I get mad at being corrected in class, because I’m sure I’m right, only to look it up and find out that – big surprise – the native speaker was right.

It’s always hard, but most of these situations are either normal to life even in one’s home country, or they will go away as I learn more. But there’s one I fear will never go away, and I keep coming up against it. I have to suck up my own pride when Thailand gets proud of itself. (more…)

July 8, 2005

The News in London

Filed under: News,Philosophy,Religion — Adam Heine @ 6:23 PM

Despite the fact that nobody’s really watching the news here in Hawaii, someone in my family caught wind of the bombings in London so we watched the news for a bit. The only reason I’m mentioning it here is because of something I heard on CNN. They were asking the question: Can we ever be completely safe?

Ray and I both posted about exactly that many months ago. Instead of repeating myself, I’ll just point you in the direction of that old post (especially for those of you who have not read it). In short, my answer is no. Here’s an excerpt:

The pursuit of security is not inherently a Bad Thing (probably).

But the kicker is this: there is no such thing as absolute security. It doesn’t matter how much money one has – the security gained by it is not perfect and it can still fall apart. Even if I have all the money in the world and everybody is my friend and nobody is my enemy and all the guns are on my side (or nobody has any guns, depending on your political preference)… even if I have complete control over my life, I still don’t have complete control over my life!

We tend to think that if we could build the walls around us just a little higher, we wouldn’t need to worry anymore – and ultimately, we wouldn’t need God anymore. But that’s just it: the only real security can be found in God. He created us, He has a purpose for our lives, and He is the only one who has any real control.

May 21, 2005

People-Oriented Checkers

Filed under: Philosophy,Thailand — Adam Heine @ 1:23 AM

We started working at Im Jai this week. So far “working” just means “hanging out and playing with the kids”, but that’s cool with us. Hopefully we’ll get to do some more teaching soon. Anyway, I learned something about the culture today that I wanted to share.

First some vocabulary. Most Western cultures, and the United States in particular, are event-oriented. That is, the event is the most important thing. The advantage of this is that things get done in a timely manner. Work gets finished, people go to bed on time, nobody is late for lunch after church, etc. The disadvantage is that personal involvement is not as important and there is a dangerous tendency to value the schedule more than the people involved.

By contrast, Thailand and many other cultures are people-oriented. In other words, the people are the most important thing. The advantage here is that, at least from a Christian perspective, people are always given their proper priority. The disadvantage is that things don’t always start on time – they start when people get there, and therefore things don’t always end on time either. (more…)

May 8, 2005

Prayer Requests and a Lesson from Thailand

Filed under: Personal,Philosophy,Religion,Thailand — Adam Heine @ 12:22 AM

We got to talk to Matt and Courtney the other day, which was really good. I don’t think I realized how much I missed all of you until I heard one of you again. Anyway, he asked how he could pray for us and it reminded me to post requests here too, as well as something I’ve been learning. God’s really been convicting me that we should be waiting on Him for every decision, so pray for patience, open ears, and a clear understanding of His will as we try not to make decisions just because we think we should, but instead because He specifically told us to. Also, be praying for unity. God’s really put it on my heart that He wants unity among all the Christians here in Thailand – between the Thais, the missionaries, the Thais and the missionaries, and of course between Cindy, Sean, and me. Satan wants to rip us all apart, and we Christians make it easy for him. It’s time to stop that.

So shortly before we left, our good friend Ryan had a word for each of us from God. We have found them all particularly poignant. His word for me was: “Don’t fight.” I’ve been slowly realizing the full extent of what this means. A couple of weeks after we got here, I was directed to these verses which expanded on the word I got from Ryan:

II Timothy 2:24-26
And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel. Instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Those who oppose him he must gently instruct in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.

(more…)

April 15, 2005

Running and Apologetics

Filed under: Philosophy,Religion — Adam Heine @ 6:04 AM

Two separate topics combined into one, and neither of these thoughts were written by me. The first is a link to something James wrote yesterday. He writes against what he sees as a devotion to doctrine over love. I have to admit that I’m tired of the same sorts of things. He has a good word way down in the comments thread too: “It is good to seek understanding and pursue correct doctrine, but to hold onto a rabidly entrenched view of secondary concepts just shows a lack of love.”

And on a more encouraging note, the quote below is what Emmet sent to us after we left. These are really good words, especially for anybody who intends to follow God’s call over and above their own comfort or community. They were encouraging to us:

When I was in Africa I was out on a run and some kids started to run along with me. We were smiling at each other and laughing. Eventually they started to drop off a few at a time until I was on my own again. At that moment God told me something cool. He said that we are each on our own run (I’d like to think that we are each running after God), and on that run we sometimes come along side others and we get to run together for a while. As much fun as it is to run with another person or people, it would be wrong to adjust your pace or change you path in order to stick with them. You have to be at peace with your own run and be grateful for the time that you do get to share a path with others that you like or are like. Adam & Cindy, you have your own path, the same as Sean has his and I have mine. I am so happy that our paths connected up the way that they did and for as long as they did. I hope and have prayed that they would link up again in a deeper way and for a longer time. But if they don’t (aside from visits), it’s good to know that we will always be connected.

April 5, 2005

Beyond Ordinary Reality

Filed under: Creativity,Personal,Philosophy,Religion — snabott @ 9:07 AM

We cannot bring people to Jesus ourselves. All we can do is Love others the same he Loves us. Through that Love Jesus exposes himself. During this process we aren’t doing anything. Just saying Yes to Love. Exposing ourselves to pain. Opening up our hearts and experiencing others pain. We don’t need over spiritualized words making it less true. We need to believe the acceptance that Jesus has for us just as we are. Knowing everything about us. In believing that we are then changed. We become something greater something bigger than before. We need to be willing to say YES. We also need to say no. Not to lies, rumors, false witnesses, accusations, assumptions, and possible cinereous making it out to something that it’s not. We need those intimate love relationships to survive. To give and receive from our Father. Our instructor, foremen, leader, friend being. The greatest philosopher, psychiatrist, scientist who made and created things in which our minds cannot grasp. This thing Love. It means so many things to us. But to our maker it can only mean one thing. I think this one thing is called family. Father, Son, Holy Spirit. Three in one. Oneness. These three that are one are a family. A family with a Love foundation. This is where we belong. We belong to this family. We belong to our Father, His Son and the Holy Spirit that is in us. We as humans can all partake in this together. Together we can feel this love between our own hearts. It is a oneness that we can feel. It is a oneness that I feel. Getting close to each other’s hearts, feeling their pain and understanding and appreciating who they are inside on a very intimate level. Acceptance for one another. This Love, this Love thing is what God created for us and Him. This is why we exist. He wants us to want him. He wants us to want others as He wants us. I want that Love thing.
What is this? Why do words have knew meanings? Why can I grasp knew concepts? Take hold of new realm of thoughts and feelings. I can see. I can see what it is. I am being woken up by the power of Gods Love. It’s as if the curtain has been torn back. Even in my own Christianity. The same curtain that was torn when the heavens descended on Jesus like a dove while He was being baptized. HEAVEN, Gods dimension behind ordinary reality was shown in full view. This dimension has now been exposed to me and is changing my own reality. If I keep going I will begin to ramble. So much I wonder if I can handle all of it. But I like it. I like it all very much. I am dead and alive all in one. This move to Thailand is exactly what I needed in my walk with Jesus. Man He’s smart. Damn.

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