Upgrade?

I am thinking about upgrading my wordpress  so that I can build a custom design for this blog. I would also like to improve the professionalism of my entries, and to start building maps again, since that was the original purpose of this blog.

Hardly anybody reads this, but that is ok. Quite a few searches have hit up the Global Orphan Population post, however, which tells me that there may be a demand for similar maps and data, and I would love to be able to help people get the information they need.

Thoughts on North Korea

My sister and brother-in-law spent a few weeks in South Korea several years ago, and ever since my sister has taken a liking to the place and started to learn the language. I enjoy feeding off the energy others have for subjects that interest them, so over the past couple weeks I’ve been watching YouTube videos on North Korea and what’s going on there.

There seem to be rumblings that the regime will collapse before 2020. Even just this week China agreed to stop importing coal for three weeks in order to comply with one of the UN Resolutions that was passed. Who knows what that could do? The sanctions have only gotten tighter, and Kim has stopped granting the gifts he used to give.

I hope the regime does collapse, but I have one great fear that doesn’t seem to make it on any of the news websites, and I don’t understand why. If the regime falls, it will likely do what Hitler did and murder everyone in the prison camps. After all, that seems like something the current regime would do, but it also might be done to destroy evidence of all the atrocities that have occurred in those camps, which they adamantly deny.

Yeah, that scares me. Hopefully that does not happen, but I do hope the regime falls soon.

Dreams

I read an article today that was written in 2014 about the Christian Writer’s Guild shutting down. So it’s been gone for a few years now. That makes me sad.

Back in highschool, I wanted to be a writer. Some of the stories I wanted to write are still with me today. I found the Christian Writer’s Guild and really wanted to be a part of it, but my parents didn’t have the money. I wanted to write, publish, all that, even considered majoring in English with a minor in Business to that end, but dreams change.

Only this past week did the Guild cross my mind. And it comes at a time in life where I now see that programming and computers will play a critical role in my life and career. I’m not sure how I feel looking back to the past, those days in Colorado Springs, where so much growing up took place. It isn’t surprising that Jerry Jenkins didn’t make any money from the guild, but it seems to have been a dream of his. I don’t believe it was a failure, but I do think of all the failed dreams. The small business failures. I see used book stores go out of business a lot, but every owner seems to really love books, so I wonder what those people must feel when everything goes up.

“But God, didn’t you put this in my heart for a reason?” “I thought I was doing your will.” “I spent so many years earning this education, but I’m still in debt for it and struggling to live a normal life….”

If it weren’t for programming, I would probably still be paying on my loans. And that’s for an Anthropology degree. I’m one of the lucky ones, though of course the story involves a lot of God and a lot of events lining up.

I don’t know. I feel sad, and a bit melancholy. My own efforts in the world have taught me the value of a career, and I think I’m definitely on the right path with software development. I always heard that writing for a living was hard, and I’ve seen the struggles of people with humanities degrees. What happened to all of those dreams? All of the training, the time, the prayers, and the tears? Some do find their place and thrive there. But it took Jerry’s “Left Behind” fortune to allow him to dump his money into an otherwise money-losing enterprise. Maybe that’s why God gave him the money in the first place. Who knows?

What about the others? Who want to serve the disadvantaged, the broken. To kindle art and enthusiasm, to invest in people and who they are and how they express themselves? I’ve been to enough estate sales and seen enough urban exploration videos on YouTube to know that everything rots in the end, but what about the lives? We are so lost without the Lord, and we are so lost without the Church.

I’m waxing a bit, but everyone has dreams. Yet each one seems like just a drop in the bucket. People die and passions fade. All I can think is that we cannot put all of our hope in our dreams.

Psalm 39

I said, “I will watch my ways

and keep my tongue from sin;

I will put a muzzle on my mouth

while in the presence of the wicked.”

So I remained utterly silent,

not even saying anything good.

But my anguish increased;

my heart grew hot within me.

While I meditated, the fire burned;

then I spoke with my tongue:

“Show me, Lord, my life’s end

and the number of my days;

let me know how fleeting my life is.

You have made my days a mere handbreadth;

the span of my years is as nothing before you.

Everyone is but a breath,

even those who seem secure.

“Surely everyone goes around like a mere phantom;

in vain they rush about, heaping up wealth

without knowing whose it will finally be.

“But now, Lord, what do I look for?

My hope is in you.

Save me from all my transgressions;

do not make me the scorn of fools.

I was silent; I would not open my mouth,

for you are the one who has done this.

Remove your scourge from me;

I am overcome by the blow of your hand.

When you rebuke and discipline anyone for their sin,

you consume their wealth like a moth—

surely everyone is but a breath.

“Hear my prayer, Lord,

listen to my cry for help;

do not be deaf to my weeping.

I dwell with you as a foreigner,

a stranger, as all my ancestors were.

Look away from me, that I may enjoy life again

before I depart and am no more.”