Why the blog?

I write as the Spirit moves me. I have prayed about what I'm supposed to do with my life a lot. A lot. Writing. Writing is what I believe God is leading me to do. Whether or not He wants me to write for anyone to read is His business. Much of my writing has been therapy for me so maybe I'm the only one who is supposed to read it. So, why the Blog? As a sounding board, a note pad, a place to keep my ideas and thoughts. A place to share and promote my books, and photography. Written prayers, a place to vent. Possibly, even a place for the unknown reader to learn about the love of Jesus.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Are your chains broken?

This morning, I was minding my own business, doing my early morning running and doing what I always do when I run - praying.  The night before, my husband and I had been talking about forgiveness.  God has forgiven us (if we believe and we have asked him, believing, to do so).  When he forgives, he then forgets.  It is so difficult for me to forget my own sins.  I'm trying, but I came to the conclusion this morning that Satan really does not want me to forget. He wants me to continually tell myself, "You aren't good enough.  Nobody really likes you or even loves you, because you're no good, not good enough."

Well, God has a way of answering prayers pretty quick sometimes because I was praying for Satan to be banished from my life and from the lives of everyone I come into contact with.

Then, this song comes on, through my headphones, while I'm running and in mid prayer:

"Break Every Chain"
There is power in the name of Jesus [3x]
to break every chain, break every chain, break every chain. [2x]

There is power in the name of Jesus [3x]
to break every chain, break every chain, break every chain. [2x]

Theres an army rising up. [3x]
To break every chain, break every chain, break every chain. [2x]

Theres an army rising up. [3x]
To break every chain, break every chain, break every chain. [2x]

I hear the chains falling.

There is power in the name of Jesus
to break every chain, break every chain, break every chain.

From the lyrics, you might not get what I heard, so here is a video:  Break every chain.  This is a live performance, a bit long. Watch just the first five minutes if you want.  Here's a shorter version, Break Every Chain

Now, normally I don't listen to Southern Gospel music even though I grew up in a Southern Baptist church.  I'm a Skillet girl.  Today, however, I was not in a position to skip the song.  Maybe it was God keeping me from it.  Yeah, I'm pretty sure that's it.  Half way through the song, I was in tears. I'm mean a good 'ol ugly cry.  For me, in that moment, I needed to hear that song.  I had been listening to Christian music for an hour and a half, but this song spiritually brought me to my knees. 

Listen to the song.  Go back and read the words.  Do you know what they mean?  Satan thought he had me in chains with my guilt and shame and unable to forgive myself of past sins.  He did his best to convince me of this.  God used this song to remind me that those chains had been broken long ago!!  Can I hear an AMEN!!   Mine are broken, never to bind me again.  Are yours?  

Thank you Lord Jesus for sending me this song.  

Thursday, September 12, 2013

My Korean adventure: From mountains to baptisms, beginning to end.

How do you sum up a 10-day adventure in one blog post?  I don't know either, however, since a picture is worth a thousand words, I will begin there. (actually, this is post #5 so you might want to back up a few posts and start way back at the beginning)

 All great adventures have a beginning.  Mine began with a picture of a mountain.  Mt. Daedunsan, to be exact.  It was one of my son's first outings after being sent to the Air Force base in Osan, South Korea.  I thought to myself, "If I ever go to Korea, I want to climb that mountain."  Well here I stand at the path, ready to take my first step.

The trek was hard, really hard.

But the view made it well worth it.
See that tiny little white spike at the top?  That is the goal for today.

My husband Mark on the suspension bridge.

Me in the middle of the suspension bridge.

These stairs go straight up!!  And, the monument is not where it seems to be.  

At the top of Mt. Daedunsan!
Looking down.  Can't we stay??

A close up view of our path.  It's like this the whole way up and down.
We are rewarded with a great lunch. Dennis, our guide, did the ordering.  Bless you, Dennis!!!

 Potato pancakes.Ginsing chicken.

Side dishes.
If you are ever in South Korea, get yourself a guide/translator and go to Mt. Daedunsan.  It is a difficult but amazing hike.  The weather the day we went was perfect, 80 degrees with a cool breeze, early September.  The lunch at the base was the best meal we had the entire trip.  Take your camera, good sturdy hiking shoes, and plenty of water.

That night, after the amazing (have I used that word too much?) trip to the mountain, we moved hotels from Suwon to Seongnam.   We took Thursday "off" and made these discoveries:  
Art was everywhere.  This one is really funny!

 This stream is flanked by
a bike/run/walk path on either side.  It travels 20+ miles from here to Seoul.  On the morning my husband and I ran, at 6 a.m., there were several dozens of people using the path.  The vast majority were over 60 years of age by my estimation!!

The night lights up with neon.

Cars park and drive on the sidewalk.
Mopeds drive anywhere they please, completely ignoring traffic lights, lanes, laws, etc. 
Lotte Mart is similar to Wal-Mart.  They had Oreos!!

My overall impression of South Korea is one of expect the unexpected.  I expected a third-world country.  I found it to be extremely high-tech yet ancient.  The Japanese completely destroyed the land during the war.  The palaces and fortresses I visited looked ancient, yet were only approximately 200 years old. 

The city is huge!  High-rise buildings, apartment buildings are everywhere, yet surrounded by majestic mountains.  Old sits right next to new.
Entrance to Hawaseong Fortress next to Eco mobility lab.

The outer wall of the fortress.  Across the street, homes, condos, shops, and schools.

The older people are very active.  We saw them exercising, walking, traveling by subway wearing hiking gear. 
Smoking is rampant.  
The older women cover themselves head to toe- hat, gloves, and mask included.  (I saw a man wearing a medical mask with a cigarette hanging out the side!)
Young women like short shorts and short skirts.
The people are very polite.  The subway is clean, very clean!  I dropped a piece of trash by accident once and a woman got my attention and pointed it out to me.  Yes, I picked it up and threw it in the trash can. 
It is fairly easy to get around.  Signs are often in English and people will stop to assist you if you look even vaguely lost.

I wanted to take a picture of the scenes in the subway, but didn't want to be arrested for stalking.  Everyone, and I mean 99.5% of the people, had smart phones, old and young alike. Many times we witnessed this scene:  The door to the subway car opens, a person is looking down at their smart phone, usually with headphones plugged in.  He/she walks in, stands in the middle of the car, continues to look at their phone, then several stops later without so much as looking up walks out of the subway car! Many times I looked up and down the car to count the people on their smart phones and I loved to watch the people next to me text in Korean.  Fascinating. 

Food was difficult when we were not with my husband's colleagues.  It was so foreign we did not know what to ask for, even with picture menus.  My food allergies made it more difficult.  Having a translator app was invaluable! 
Shopping malls were fun just to stand and watch people.  Sales personnel stood at every section, every kiosk, every register waiting to assist you.  Strollers were uncommon.  Most mothers, and fathers, wore back or front carriers for their babies. 
Men carry "purses".
TV commercials are hilarious.  The Koreans probably think the same about ours.
The women are very into plastic surgery.
Kias and Hundais are the primary brand of car.  I'm guessing 90-95%. 
I never felt unsafe, even when wandering around on my own. 
Subway stations have "squat" toilets.  Eww.

Transderm scop patch for air travel is a must and a life saver.
13 hours in an airplane is too long!!!   This is the only thing I disliked about the trip.  Security was not a problem; customs, flight changes, going through immigration.  It was all an adventure I will never forget.

Baptisms at Jubilee

Me and Kristen, the homeless ministry leader.

On our last Sunday in Korea, we went to church at Jubilee, in the Gangnam district.  Kristen met us at the subway and we discussed ministry over Asian infused tacos.  Ministering the homeless is a challenge, but that is a story for another blog.

Will I do it again?  Maybe.  If that's where God wants me to go. I am every grateful to my husband for inviting me and putting up with my "getting into mischief".   I learned a lot about myself.  A lot of my fears are mind over matter.  Crowds, heights, airplanes.  Maybe it's because we had absolutely the most perfect conditions the entire trip, no problems, no issues, no one got sick or hurt.  This trip was a real boost to my confidence.  I CAN do all things through Christ who strengthens me!! (Philippians 4:13) 

Saturday, September 7, 2013

I interrupt this Korean Adventure to ask a question....

What is going on here???

I stumbled across a protest this evening at the AK plaza south of Seoul, South Korea.  There were hundreds of women wearing white shirts carrying signs and chanting.  A woman spoke, followed by the man in the picture.  Police escorted them into the plaza outdoor courtyard then left.  It was very peaceful.  No news reporters anywhere.  I have no idea what it was all about and would really like to know.  

Thursday, September 5, 2013

My Korean Adventure #4, Walk-abouts.

My husband had to work, so I toured Suwon on my own.   A lot of the signs are in English which helped, some.   I was told if I took a business card for the hotel all I needed to do was hail a cab and show him the card.  The driver would know what to do.  With that in mind, I packed my backpack with water, my camera, a general map, and a vague idea of where I wanted to go.  My son told me I should go towards the Suwon train station and I wanted to go see the Olympic park.  It was a beautiful sunny day.  Off I went into the wild blue yonder.   I took photos with my phone to give me some idea of where I was.
McDonalds delivery mopeds

Suwon Stn, a destination for today
I had lots of time.  My curiosity took me in circles.  Whenever I saw something interesting down a street, I turned.  Eventually I would see a sign pointing me back in the direction I was supposed to go and I would follow it for a while.   I realized I had left my battery to my camera in the hotel so this day's pictures were all taken from my phone.  Oh well, it worked well enough.  I did find the Suwan station and Olympic park (which was 3 blocks from the hotel).   The cab ride home was a lifesaver.  No clue how to get back.

Park with an amphitheater

Pedestrian overpass with elevator.

From the top of the overpass.

Olympic park.

Monday night we had dinner at a nice restaurant, Japanese style.   I wore a dress.  Good thing I brought a sweater.  The food was very different, but this being an adventure, I tried it all.  Not too bad.

Feeling pretty good after a successful first day, I decided to go to Hwaseong Fortress.  The map provided by the hotel indicated that it was only about a twenty minute walk.  Turn right out the door, two blocks, make a left,  half a mile and there it is.   Well, the map was missing about a dozen or so streets.  Still, undaunted and not in a hurry I zigged, zagged, explored, and eventually found it.  Not at all what I expected, yet had a great time and met an older gentleman who spoke very good English. 
First building of the fortress.  The road goes around it, both sides.

Market place at the entrance to the fortress.

A woman selling her crops on the street.

Down the alleyway.

Looking across the street to the main entrance.
Me, almost to the top of the fortress.

This 'thing' is people powered.  They are sitting on bikes.
One of the buildings.  Very intricate woodwork.

Golden statue up the hill.  I hiked above and beyond.

The back wall.  Apartments right across the street.
I remembered my battery this trip and took about 200 pictures.  What struck me most was the juxtaposition of old and new, like the picture above.  The building in the background was someone's house.  The wall, that of the fortress.  The gentleman I met told me the Japanese burned down the original fortress and this is a replica, only about 200 years old.  It must have been field trip day because children were everywhere  
Catching dragon flies.

Children on a field trip.

Human sculpture.

My trolley companions.

This is at the very top, back of the wall.  You can see for miles.
Yes, after this long day I took a cab back to the hotel.  Had a great time wandering around, watching people, trying to talk to the children, but most of all, enjoying God's creations.
Loved the details.

Colleen Wait Edits

Colleen Wait Edits

About Me

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This YouTube channel was created to add video to my blog.  Read it here:  www.colleenwaitwrites.blogspot.com.  I write about my life, my books, my family, my cats and kids, and of course travel.