As I look out the window of my 1800’s historic apartment in Northern Colorado, I observe the gentle breeze of a winter day smoothly gliding through the trees. Rack-focusing to the interior of my home of almost a year, I see the synchronized lights of multiple hues on my bride and I’s first Christmas tree. It’s Christmas Eve. Tomorrow is our first Christmas together and as I have time away from my job in the oilfield to sit down, write, and reflect on this past year, I find myself peculiarly found of what is to come in 2014.
For starters, I see myself with an immense desire to write more, blog more, take pictures more, and share more about my new life in the Northern Rockies of Colorado; sharing all the new opportunities, dreams, plans, and events all in between along with my dearest friend , my wife. As for new opportunities the new year plans to bring, one of which is tutoring part time on Monday nights with the International Students Inc. or ISI for short. It’s a group of individuals from all over the world including China, South Korea, Chile, the Middle East, and a handful of others. A similar experience takes me back to teaching English in Houston where I am originally from. I enjoyed it then and I fully expect I will enjoy it again next year. Training starts in January and by then I also hope to start an online certification course in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).
A burning desire of mine as of late and for quite awhile, at least, ever since I came back from China in 2012 is to teach. Currently I work full time in the Oilfield as a service technician to the model homes provided to rigs all across Weld County. It’s a great opportunity to kick start my wife and I into our new lives together keeps me very busy. However, I also hope while working in this productive industry that I can also put in some time toward helping to raise the Youth and next generation of leaders. Along with teaching English as a tutor for ISI, I also hope to start developing a private supplementary course in cultural and social studies with emphasis in Worldview and world religions. My current aim is toward middle school and high school students who are exclusively home educated (as I was during those years), but I also hope to pursue a wide range of students who would be interested in extracurricular activities. Sounds crazy that I want to involve the Youth of Northern Colorado in extra studies, but I think after a presentation or two they may find themselves extraordinarily interested in what both my wife and I have to offer. I plan to expound on this venture a lot further in the next post I plan to write so please stay tuned.
Yet another new venture I plan to take along with my writing and return to the Blog Sphere is to explore the realm of Podcasting. This past year I’ve been listening to a myriad of topics and I can’t begin to describe all of the fascinating stories, ideas, and biographies of people I’ve listened to for the last several months. I do, however, intend to share more often what I listen to on a more regular basis. For a list of current podcasts that I personally subscribe to, check out this link or refer to the end of this post. With all this being said, also look forward to a Podcast of my own hosted by both myself and my lovely wife. We plan to cover a lot of different topics, but eventually it is our goal to focus on social issues in both the realms of Education, Family, and Community.
To conclude, I’d like to mention that two of my greatest achievements this year have been 1) Finishing my bachelor’s degree in Communications and 2) Marrying the love of my life. It’s been a wonderful, crazy, difficult, surprising, lovely, heart breaking, joyful year and I am nervous, excited, frightened, encouraged, and fascinated with what is to come next.
Serving with nobility, noblesse oblige,
Robert W. Oakley
Podcasts I Subscribe to:
NPR TED Radio Hour
English Teaching in Japan
The Artist in American History
Seth Godin’s Startup School
For the past month now I’ve been helping teach English as a Second Language (ESL) to Chinese students who reside in the city of Houston. Once a week I attend Crosspoint Lutheran church in Bellaire to assist in training Chinese natives in the basics of the English language in order to help them gain a better sense of prosperity in the United States along with preparing myself to teach at an English Camp in Pinghu, China this coming summer. I am very excited to be learning so much about the Chinese Culture and, slowly but surely, the Chinese language along with equipping myself with the necessary tools and experience to teach. Below are some photographs I took of last week’s class the day before the Chinese New Year. Normally we have a much larger class but due to the holiday festivities many of our students were probably away with family celebrating the on coming year of the Dragon. I am very excited to be a part of this wonderful opportunity to teach and look forward in continuing to share my journey with the rest of you. Enjoy the pictures and stay tuned for more to come!
Betty Cooke helps explain the week’s new Bible memory verse
Students range from adults of early 3o’s to late 40’s on up
We also include elementary students in our lessons!
“Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! For who has known the mind of the LORD? Or who has become His counselor? Or who has first given to Him and it shall be repaid to him? For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.”
As a visual artist—a rather idealistic one at that—finding Christ at the center of every frame, pixel, sound, and display of movement has inevitably revealed His perfect will and glory to me. No matter how hard I try, no matter how much I believe in myself, no matter what I put at stake, Christ forever shall remain the center of attention and focal point of my existence. Now, that hardly seemed sufficient to a very prideful, vain, and arrogant young man such as myself at first, but through my parents wisdom and instruction, through the wisdom of my heavenly Father, and by His salvation was that all undone, breaking me away from the bondage of sin, and granting me an eternal place in heaven as a child of the King humbly serving in His service and not my own.
The moment I realized my reality was not my own, my existence was not all left up to me, that my life did not belong to me, I was set free. I remember never being able to satisfy my desires, dreams, and wants because the vanity of the situation was all too clear—I was meant to be His and His alone; everything I set out to do must be for His glory and His alone, and once my whole life has finally chosen that path less traveled could all the difference be made in the world. Otherwise, I would aimlessly achieve only what the material world had to offer—absolutely nothing.
The happiness so many men and women waste their whole life searching for will never be found unless their mind is set on heavenly things. This is my mission, this is my purpose, and this is my life: to reveal to men the ever satisfying, perfect sustaining, wonderful savior Jesus Christ through whatever means necessary and by far the most effective. That is why I feel called to teach and enter the media industry. As Christ instructed His people in righteousness and taught through stories so do I feel the need and dream to do the same. To teach and show everyone around the world the wonderful saving grace of God, the unprecedented sacrifice He made for us all, and the perfect loving relationship we can have with Him and each other for all eternity.
As for the calling to go to China, witnessing lately the desperate search for answers to life’s greatest questions among the Chinese people, in the comfort of the States, constitutes my whole desire to go to their country of origin. I want to learn their language, their culture, their history, and find ways to better communicate the Gospel, teach them the English language, and show them the love of Christ along with my team. Up until this point, my evaluated experiences of the past has led me to this conclusion, but even more so the burning passion and desire within my heart that I can only know God has placed within me.
We are noble men and women of the risen King; for that may we feel nobly obliged to go and serve our almighty creator LORD and one another in unity and love for ever and ever. Amen.
It’s been awhile since I’ve posted. I actually thought my Summer would be more full of activity but lately it’s been mostly a time of waiting, patience, and spending most of my time with my family. In less than 24 hours I will be making my departure for Colorado Springs and hope to document my adventure every step of the way as I make pursuit in my much anticipated internship at Summit Ministries.
I know it’s been awhile since I’ve posted any pictures too. The reality of that is I actually have been posting a lot of photographs. . . I just managed to overlook posting my best and favorite experiences on the website. To some avail, I hope that my beloved followers can still watch for my work on my Flickr profile and now you can start following a new experience of mine called 500px. Of course, I still intend to post much of my best work on the website, but I will also be posting a lot of my recent and best work on a very ingenious web-based portfolio by which you can start viewing at the following link.
In the mean time, I’ve also been working on my first Theatrical gig with Applause Theatre Company and hope to be posting some screen shots of my editing work along with a preview of the production itself. Plenty more details to come!
“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” (NKJ)