Church at My House

How many can say that they attend church at their own home? What a blessing!

Backstory: Previously, I used to live across the street from Waikele Elementary School where Inspire Church began. It was called Hope Chapel West Oʻahu back then. After moving to town, I prayed that Inspire would open a new branch closer to home. We opened Inspire City at New Life Church in Chinatown. That was an answered prayer! After a year-and-a-half, we moved into Kaimuki High School. Kaimuki High is actually located along Kapiʻolani Blvd., which is the street that I live on. But I guess God wasn’t done answering my prayer. He put Inspire Honolulu in my building. We now have Sunday evening service at Studio 909. Consider yourself invited!

What an incredible blessing it is to come down the elevator for church. But no excuse for being late…

My Everyday Carry

Preface: Every year I get a Valentine’s gift for that special someone. Unfortunately, that “special someone” has always been me. Or perhaps fortunately…? One year it was luggage (travel.) Another year it was golf clubs. And another year it was a longboard skateboard. It’s become an annual tradition.

This year, I got myself a Filson Original Briefcase. For work I prefer a briefcase over a backpack. It makes me feel more professional. I had a classic leather briefcase for over 10 years. Really liked it, but the hardware (clasp, internal zipper, strap clips, etc.) couldn’t stand up to the abuse. Decided to go with a more durable option: rugged twill + bridle leather, “beefy” brass clips, and a YKK zipper. Looks gorilla-proof. I wanted to be a little more minimal and intentional in all that I do.

So here’s what I carry…

13″ MacBook Pro. School issued. Indispensable for my job in EdTech. An absolute workhorse. With it comes a bevy of electronics:

  • Laptop charging brick + cable.
  • USB-C forces you to use adaptors. One dongle for presentations and a 2nd dongle for media (SD cards, HDMI, etc.)
  • USB clicker for forwarding slides in presentations.
  • Apple Earbuds for video conferencing.
  • Extra iPhone charging cable.

To organize this mess, I have a Delfonics Utility Pouch. Pockets inside-and-out to keep everything from tangling.

iPhone 7. Would love to upgrade to X, but can’t afford to at the moment. Still, happy with the 7. It takes video in 4K and has 128GB storage. I do not use a phone case. My iPhone has everything I need (time, weather, socials, music, alarm clock, camera, and even a bible app.)

My wallet is a Bellroy Note Sleeve. It has RFID protection (although not necessary.) There were just better color options in this model. It’s slim & sleek, but still able to carry business cards and fit foreign currency.

Got a carabiner valet keychain. Really minimal. Separates my truck key/fob from my apartment key/fob. I live in a walkable neighborhood, so I don’t always carry around car keys.

Everyone needs at least one good pen. I have the Montblanc Starwalker. My everyday pen is either a Pilot or a “freebie.”

For paper I use Field Notes, because it’s pocket-sized. I have a soft cover Moleskine Notebook for journaling & doodling, but it’s not an everyday carry.

Cole Haan leather card case. Business cards are extremely important! Can’t stress enough…

Hydro Flask. I keep one at school, so I don’t need to carry one in my bag.

Ray-Ban Wayfarers. I have the black frames w/ the “Coke bottle” green lens. Super durable. If I lost these, I would definitely purchase another pair.

Burberry compact umbrella. I really hate the rain. Comes with a cover. Fits into the stow pocket of the briefcase.

Baby Altoids. Cuz my breath’s not bad enough for the regular size. LOL.

KS ID badge + lanyard. (The lanyard is the M.O. in the education world.)

Finally, I keep my school keys on a key ring to go either into my pocket or onto the lanyard.

What you have in your bag is important, because it’s your mobile, portable, office-on-the-go. But more importantly, what you carry everyday is an expression of who you are.

Think Sesh

Occasionally, I will have a thinking session. I’ll either visit a neighborhood café or just stay home and make coffee. I just try to intentionally think up stuff. And write. I find that writing things down is like having a conversation with your thoughts and ideas.

Oftentimes it’s goal setting. I use categories: life goals, school goals, ministry goals, and travel goals. I also like to keep score of accomplished goals to be able to reflect and be grateful.

Sometimes I’ll write down a bible verse and journal about it. It tends to stick (Psalm 119:11.) In terms of creativity, I’ll draw or even dabble in some songwriting. But these “moments of inspiration” usually come up randomly and don’t come up during these think sessions.

I do create a lot of lists. Things I need to remember. Shopping lists, packing lists, music playlists, important names, etc. I’ve even written down some of my all-time fave jokes.

But I would say, most importantly, this gives me a time to pause and recalibrate. “You are the hero of your own story.” – – Joseph Campbell

And I’m not done writing mine…

New Year’s Resolution Reimagined


Background: After reposting the same New Year’s Resolution from 2008-2012 without success,  I had to rethink it. I replaced my resolution with a bucket list in 2013. I went from incremental goals (i.e. lose 10 pounds) to life-changing goals.

Preface: At 12:05am on January 1st, 2013, I was lying face down in a cul-de-sac in Mililani Mauka after a fireworks accident (don’t ask.) I was thinking, sheesh, can 2013 be over with already? Unlikely as it seemed then, I was blessed to meet up with my Compassion sponsored child in the Philippines and walk across the Great Wall of China by year’s end. All things are possible.

This is my current bucket list. There’s a whole lotta travel, which is my passion.

Life Goals:

• Seek after God’s heart
• Learn to speak Japanese
• Appear in a TV commercial
• Create a work of art
• Attend a Red Sox vs. Yankees game
• Go snowboarding
• Learn to cook a fancy gourmet dish
• Get a tattoo
• Own my dream car, a vintage VW bus

School Goals:

• Tie a kihei
• Run a TED-Ed event at Bishop Museum
• Create a new & innovative type of PD/PL

Ministry Goals:

• Go on a missions trip to Japan
• Start up an outreach ministry in Kakaʻako

Travel Goals:

• Visit Hong Kong
• Visit Hiroshima & Miyajima Island
• Attend Taikai in Okinawa in 2021
• Eat phở in Vietnam
• Visit London
• Visit Reykjavík, Iceland
• Visit Prague in the Czech Republic
• Go to Oktoberfest in Germany
• Travel to Istanbul
• Travel to Marrakech
• Eat Hairy Crab in Sapporo
• Travel to Angkor Wat in Cambodia

• See the Taj Mahal
• Witness the Aurora Borealis
• Attend a World Cup Soccer match

Completed Goals:

√ Visit my sponsored child in the Philippines
√ Travel to Machu Picchu
√ Walk across the Great Wall of China
√ Visit Barcelona
√ Pasta at a sidewalk cafe in Rome
√ Hold up the Leaning Tower of Pisa
√ Visit Australia
√ Visit Aotearoa (NZ)
√ Visit Seoul
√ Learn to surf
√ Learn to skateboard
√ Take a solo (YOLO) trip to Paris
√ Visit my “homeland” of Okinawa
√ Find the best bowl of ramen in Hawaiʻi
√ Launch a homeless outreach ministry in Chinatown
√ Run a TEDxYouth event at school
√ Play guitar in a café
√ Publish a TED-Ed lesson
√ Own a condo near Ala Moana Beach (lifelong dream)

Amazing memories! I am also thankful that I have been blessed with things that I never even imagined.

Occasionally, I will open up my Moleskine and have a [re]imagine sesh. I believe that there is intentionality in writing things down. Continuing to work on my life goals, school goals, ministry goals, and travel goals.

Hope your bucket list is going well. Dream big!
Happy 2019! Hau`oli Makahiki Hou & God Bless!


On Black Friday, I ordered the 23andMe DNA test kit. Got it for $30 off. I’ve always been curious, so I finally pulled the trigger. Some people ask if this really works. My thinking is that whatever your parents/grandparents tell you is only “hearsay.”

I know that I’m half-Okinawan and half-Japanese. I suspect a little Chinese (Taiwanese) since Okinawa is so close to Taiwan in proximity.

The results are in! Notified by email this morning. I’m 2.3% Korean! That was a surprise for sure. (No wonder I enjoyed my Korea trip so much!) I assume that anything over 1% is legit (allowing for a little margin of error.)

I was disappointed that 23andMe does not distinguish between Okinawan and Japanese (similar to how they lump French and German together.)

But very excited to discover that I’m part Korean. Kamsamnida 감사합니다