The Heart of Worship, No Brains Allowed!

I was nervous, but I didn’t know why. Two of my dear friends were leading worship for the IV Grad Winter Retreat. The one where PhD students from the bay area get together once a year around Valentine’s Day.  So, what does it feel like to worship God with people getting PhD’s? We’ll often it feels like worshipping with people who are passionate about music, sometimes it feels like worshipping with people who just want to sound good for the things that need to happen when Christians gather, and rarely has it ever felt like worshipping with people, passionately in love with God.

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Stalking Jaeson Ma, But Not Really

I probably shouldn’t joke about that, but I mean, as a journalist, it’s just good journalism to get a well informed story. However, I hesitate to call myself a journalist, because I’m trying to get PhD in Computer Science and already trying to be a musician at the same time, while being some evangelist and missionary to the communities I’m part of. With that said, I feel like God wants me to be a journalist too (just don’t tell my advisor).

I just remember the ride to San Jose State University on Friday night where I was praying with my friend and I promised God that if he lets something crazy happen (which He usually does), that I’ll write about it so that the experiences aren’t lost on me and available to countless unknowing Googlers. Man, I owe God a lot of blogposts. Continue reading “Stalking Jaeson Ma, But Not Really”

Top Aspiring Experts and Professionals Gather at Stanford to Pray

On October 16th, over 30 students (and some who’d already received their degrees) from Stanford, Berkeley, UC San Francisco, and UC Santa Cruz gathered at Stanford’s Old Union building for a “jam session.” These are people studying at the best research and trade schools in the world, getting medical, dental, PhD, and masters degrees. Types of research and professions was anywhere from medicine, computer science, philosophy, to chemical engineering. I’m certain that I shared an evening with the most well educated, if not some of the most talented and intelligent people in the world.

If you want to know a bit of the history, here’s a general introduction. Logistically, this started coming together at the InterVarsity Graduate Student Winter Retreat where I met Ethan and heard about his Multi-Faith Forum at Stanford. I went to that, and there, the thought occurs to me that UC San Francisco wasn’t at the last two retreats (which consisted of grad students fom Stanford, Berkeley, and UCSC). I asked the Grad Fellowship leader at Stanford why UCSF has never been, and the rest of story can be found here:

My last post was about chillin’ with my Stanford friends, and while we were there, I realized that we have no contact with those at UCSF. I asked the Stanford InterVarsity grad director, Pete, why UCSF never comes to our grad retreat (over the winter). He says that they’re invited every year, but never come. Invitations don’t make things happen though, relationships do, and that’s where this story begins.

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Stanford's Multi-Faith Forum

From left to right these are: Imam Jihad Turk, John Stackhouse, and Swami Vendenanda. Three speakers representing Islam, Christianity, and Hinduism at Stanford University’s Multi-Faith Forum.

I convinced my friend Tess that it’d be a good idea to visit our Stanford friends (that we met at the grad student retreat) for this event. A friend I made, Ethan Kung, PhD in Bio-Engineering, told me he was organizing this event when we met over winter (and then we had a jam session). I managed to snag Ethan’s opening speech:

So what did I learn? I learned to really appreciate a lot of what Islam is about, I learned very little about Hinduism, and I learned to appreciate the complexity in Christianity. If there is anything to take away from the forum, I’d say that Christianity is appropriately complex, and it needs not my zeal to validate it.

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