Monthly Archives: April 2016

HE KNEW 

Tomorrow is my day of the month where I give the message for both English ministry services. Some may already know but I have this thing where I don’t give the same sermon twice in a day. The reason is because the first time I give it I really allow the spirit to speak but the second time I tend to want to copy and repeat exactly what happened the first time but that causes my flesh to speak instead of allowing God. Therefore on days like tomorrow I always prepare two different sermons.

But the thing about preparing two different sermons is much more than it just being twice the work. What’s actually challenging is really digging deep with God to find two different messages that He wants to speak. That means I have to be that much more intentional in seeking, praying and asking God for His heart. But as well all know, God is good and he has provided.

On Tuesday evening while I was driving, out of nowhere He gave me the message that He wanted me to share for the first service. Just by looking out my window at the weather and being aware of Him He revealed His heart (wrote about it in my post on Tuesday titles “Calm Before The Storm”).

The overall theme of the sermon is to rejoice always. Not only after overcoming a storm or hardship but in the moments before as well. Not to be overwhelmed for what is to come but rather embracing the times that lead up to it. To not be stressed or anxious before something happens but instead to enjoy and be aware of the blessings right in front of you.

The funny thing is on Tuesday that message didn’t mean much to me personally, I just thought it would be good for others to hear but through yesterday and today it was the message that I needed to hear. With finals coming up and end of semester papers and things to do in ministry in these next two weeks I started to become extremely overwhelmed and stressed out. But that is when I was reminded of the exact message He revealed to me.

What He spoke to me on Tuesday was much more than just a sermon topic, it was His heart for me. A reminder that He wanted to tell me personally. He knew on Tuesday what I would need to hear this weekend. Isn’t it crazy how God truly is all knowing?

I found so much comfort in this. To know that God always is more than few steps ahead of me. He knows exactly what we need before we even do. That’s how amazing of a Father He truly is.

I saw God today

Did you?

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HOME. 

It has been one jam packed day. I am straight up exhausted. My day looked like this. Went to classes, met up with my family for my cousins graduation lunch, went to the hospital to pray for a family member, hurried home to get some stuff, picked up one of my youth boys from school, went to get ice cream with him, met up with other youth kids and pastor to eat dinner, got to church and played basketball, had service, meeting, and played more basketball for about 2 hours and now finally back in my house.

Even though it was a full day every moment was awesome. It was one of those days where it was nearly impossible to pick out a negative thing at all. Being busy is quite alright and enjoyable when you are surrounded by the people you love.

But to be honest through all the busy things I was not really opening my eyes to look for God. Until He revealed Himself to me at church. Since I was already tired I didn’t have much motivation or expectation for tonight’s service. I was just there by routine. But through that God touched me in very unexpected ways.

Once we started worshipping I was very distracted. For some reason I couldn’t fully give myself to God and be focused. But suddenly, in a quick moment all of it changed. I just felt freedom. Everything was laid down and God intentionally put me in a place of intimacy with Him.

Then we entered into our time of bible study and discussion. We were reading through the book of Acts. Then we went around and answered and shared one simply question. What is church?

The answers that most of the kids shared were things that I’ve already heard of but still was awesome. But one of the boy’s answer really blew me away and had me in deep thought. He is probably our most soft spoken youth kids and he is in my bible study class. Even though he is quiet his thoughts are so deep. But what he said tonight was not expected.

He said, “church is home”. The moment he stated that I had to take a step back. It was a perspective that I never really heard of before. Being the quiet guy he is, he said that one sentence and that was it. But that left room for all of us to really ponder it and interpret in our own words through our own personal lens.

I am at church atleast 3 days out of the week. Church is somewhere I have always known. A familiar place. But I have never called church my home. But the reality is, it should be. Why? Honestly I’m still thinking about it and want to encourage everyone else to continue contemplate that statement. Why is church home?

I saw God today.

Did you?

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BYSTANDER EFFECT

The end of the semester is already just 2 weeks away. You know what that means. Final projects, papers and exams. Sounds like fun right?

Today in our social psychology class it was final group presentation day. We all chose different topics and did research and presented it to the class. It was actually pretty interesting because each group had to do an activity or social experiment for the class on their topic.

One of the groups did their presentation on the bystander effect.

“The bystander effect, or bystander apathy, is a social psychological phenomenon that refers to cases in which individuals do not offer any means of help to a victim when other people are present. The probability of help is inversely related to the number of bystanders.”

The activity they had the class do was really eye opening. They had all of us sit in the same row of desks. On the black board in front of the room they drew a stick figure yelling “help”. So the objective was to move up three rows to get to the guy. They asked us a series of questions, if your answer was yes you could move up a row but if you answered no you had to move back a row. The questions were for example, have you stopped to help a car that was stranded on the side of the road in the past year? Have you given money to the church or any charity/organization in the past months? If you have seen a homeless person in the past months did you have a conversation with them? etc.

No one in the class succeeded, including myself. I was mind blown. It was hard to accept but the reality was I play a part in the bystander effect in my daily life. I don’t help or reach out to people in need. I always think that someone else will help that person trying to change a spare tire or moving boxes from their car. But I don’t push myself to be the helping hand all the time.

Then the group started reading various bible verses about how we are called to help the needy. How God has given us the responsibility and duty to be there for others when no one else is. To ultimately act in love and compassion with a merciful heart wherever we are. Not only in the church.

All this really was eye opening for me. Caused me to take a step back and really think about how I act and live my life out in society. I was truly convicted. But I am so thankful for this experience today. It has encouraged, challenged and reminded me of the servant of God I must be. To live out the love that God has given me. To be the change. To be that one person who stands up to lend a helping hand. Why? Because that is what Jesus did.

I saw God today.

Did you?

 

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HUMBLED BY WEAKNESS 

Today has just been one of those days where I felt unmotivated and off my groove. Maybe it was because of the gloomy weather, but I just felt like I was in my own little world all day.

If I had to summarize my day with one word it would be “distracted”. I don’t know what it was but I just couldn’t get focused in anything today. And that carried onto this evening at Refresh.

Tonight was our monthly praise and prayer night. I guess I had some personal expectations for it and had internal desires and ambitions for a specific outcome, which did not happen. But rather God revealed Himself to me in a very unexpected way.

Throughout the first half of the worship and prayer time I just couldn’t get myself and my mind and heart to be completely present. But when we started singing the song “Broken Vessels” which is one of my favorites, God spoke to me. Even though I have heard it and sang it countless number of times, tonight was different.

While singing the lyrics God opened my eyes to see how weak and human I truly am. I am broken and I am flawed. And as a man of flesh and sin I can’t do this life/faith on my own strength whatsoever.

That’s when I realized the reason I was distracted and unmotivated all day was because I tried to do everything on my own and without God. He reminded me no matter what He must always be in the equation. If I can’t find strength or focus I must not look within myself but rather above at Him.

I am so thankful for tonight. He has humbled me once again and showed me how much I need Him in all things. Every moment I need to rely on my Father, not my weak and broken self.

I saw God today.

Did you?

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THE CALM BEFORE THE STORM 

After my time in Hawaii about 3 years ago I gained a true appreciation for nature. I have realized that nature is an avenue in which God communicates with us. Today was one of those days where I heard God’s voice and received revelation and wisdom just through opening my eyes to the weather.

It has been on the news that starting this evening there is going to be big storms here in Cincinnati. I guess it is finally time for the spring showers to come. As I was driving to our weekly prayer meeting I had my windows down and I started to pay attention to the sky and the atmosphere.

The clouds turned the darkest shades of gray and there was no wind blowing at all. It was a very calm but eerie feeling. It was the calm before the storm. It was obvious that in any moment the rain will fall and the thunder will roll but in that moment it was quiet. There were no birds in the sky and the trees were standing still. It was like all of nature was just in anticipation for what was to come.



That specific moment displays the current state that I am in. I have finals coming up in a week and papers to write. And as soon as this semester is over and summer comes I have a lot of responsibilities coming my way for church. I will have to start looking for seminarys and start deciding what transitions will have to be made for my ministry. But currently there isn’t much for me to do, it’s really calm and quiet but in the back of my mind I have uneasy anticipation for what is to come. I feel like I am only worried about the storms rolling my way that I have lost sight of the current place I am in.

That’s when God spoke to me and gave me wisdom and comfort. Anticipation and expectation for what is to come isn’t a bad thing. But that shouldn’t distract me from embracing what is here now. I need to take advantage of the present situation.

The literal calm before the storm is a very peaceful time. It’s a moment where everything is quiet and still. Just like in my life right now it’s a time where stress is not present even though it may come in any moment. It’s a time where I can find rest and take advantage of the stillness. I shouldn’t let fear of what is to come get in the way of the beauty and opportunities that I have now.

God isn’t only there for us in the midst of the storms and hardships, He is also there in the time of peace and stillness. I shouldn’t only look for Him when the times get rough but also in the moments everything is well. He is present and works through it all.

I saw God today.

Did you?

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CHEESY BIBLE SHOW 

I have come to realize in the past couple of years that I have some anxiety problems. Nothing too bad but randomly at times I become really anxious and have heaving breathing and other weird symptoms. It’s been awhile since I’ve experienced it but today was one of those days it kicked in. It’s weird because I can’t find any reason for me to be anxious but it got pretty rough today.

I laid in my bed trying to calm myself down and feel better but it wasn’t working. So I tried watching shows on my computer but I couldn’t get my mind off of it. I ended up looking through probably over 5 different things in 10 minutes but couldn’t find a show that I wanted to watch.

I ended up looking through the tv show section on Amazon prime (which I never do) and I randomly found a show/documentary about this guy who travels and reads the bible in the places the actual events happened. At first I was kind of turned off by it because the production was super bad and it seemed like something off of PBS (it actually might have been PBS lol). But I kept watching and surprisingly enough it caught my attention.

It was so interesting to see and hear the verses being read in the locations these things actually happened. It brought many thoughts and revelations. Just to know that the Bible really isn’t just a made up fairy tale but is truly real. Also it gave me a new perspective and better understanding of some stories just by knowing how the environment looks. It brought these stories that I have been reading forever to life.

Just by watching this show I was able to feel healing and peace. That’s when I realized I shouldn’t look upon worldly things for peace in my heart but always look upon God and His works and words. There really is power in His scripture.

I saw God today.

Did you?

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WHEN I AM OLD 

After all the wedding festivities this weekend, waking up for church this morning was a struggle. It was one of those Sunday mornings. But on my drive to church I listened to some good music and got myself in an optimistic mood.

A lot of church goers and may experience at some point in their faith where it feels like going to church on a Sunday just feels like a cycle. Where every Sunday is just going through the same routines. Honestly I feel like that at times also. It’s almost like every Sunday when I wake up I already know what is going to happen that day.

But today, God blessed me in a very unexpected way. It wasn’t anything out of the ordinary or something crazy but through simplicity.

As many people already know, I go to a Korean church so our congregation is predominantly Korean. But our 9:45 service is an English service where we have a few American elders who attend. These people have been coming to this church for decades before it became a Korean church.

Our worship time during that service this morning was truly amazing. For me personally it was a time of intimacy with the Lord and an opportunity for me to give Him praise. During the time of worship I was blessed by one particular individual.

We have an American member of our congregation who just turned 93 years old last Sunday. She has been attending our church for countless number of years. I remember always knowing her as the “pretty grandma” because every Sunday she would always be dressed so nice and always look so healthy. But about a year ago she fell and broke her hip and ever since that hasn’t been the same. She hasn’t been able to attend church for a long time until about a month or two ago.

During our worship time the congregation all stands but the elderly people usually don’t because it’s hard for them. But this lady no matter what always stands and worships. Even though our songs our contemporary she always tries to follow along.

Today as we were singing “How He Loves” I could hear her voice. The moment I heard her singing and looked at her my heart was touched. It was one of the most beautiful things to witness. To see a daughter of God, 93 years old, still proclaiming God’s great love.

That’s when I asked myself, “would I still be able to sing about God’s love when I am 93 years old?” “Will I still stand before the Lord and worship Him with all my heart when I’m old and weak?”

She really challenged and encouraged me. At that age she has experienced so much more than I have so far in my life. Much more pain, sorrow, loss and hardships. But still she is able to sing about God’s love. That is how I want to be when I am 93.

I saw God today.

Did you?

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2 BECOMES 1 

What an exhausting but truly wonderful day. My cousin got married today and the wedding was just beautiful. It was a blessing to come together as family and friends to celebrate a covenant made between two people before God.

I have been to many weddings but as I get older and grow in my faith, weddings have become much more meaningful to me. Getting to understand what marriage really is and the meaning of making a covenant with God. It’s truly a beautiful thing.

As my cousin and her now husband stood before everyone in the sanctuary, holding hands, smiling back and forth, shedding tears together, and sharing their hearts I could see the Spirit of God molding them into one body. The love of God brining together two individuals to be one vessel and one instrument for His kingdom. What a divine moment.

I saw God today.

Did you?

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EAST MEETS WEST 

My cousin is officially getting married tomorrow! Even though the real wedding is tomorrow, today she did a traditional Korean wedding ceremony. So after the wedding rehearsal, family and friends came together from both sides for dinner and the ceremony.


As we were all gathered together I had many thoughts and revelations. While I sat there and looked around the room I just found it so interesting. First of all my cousin is Korean and her soon to be husband is American. To be honest our families are very different from eachother.

But what was so amazing to me is how God works. How He has brought two individuals who are from very different backgrounds together in love. The biggest revelation I received today was to realize and see that through God and through love all differences and barriers can be overcome.

God doesn’t work within boundaries or borders, rather He exceeds norms and expectations.

I saw God today.

Did you?

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WHAT A FAMILY 

It’s about to be a crazy and amazing weekend for my family. My cousin is getting married here in Cincinnati this Saturday! I’m so excited for this awesome time that God has allowed for all of our family.

At first it was difficult for me to feel the excitement because of an important exam I have tomorrow and a paper due. So to start off my day I was pretty stressed and overwhelmed because I knew I needed to get everything done before all my family came into town this evening. I’m glad I got a lot of studying out of the way last night, even though I was up pretty late it was all worth it. By late afternoon today I felt pretty confident and ready.

After I got doing my thing I went home and that is when the festivities started to begin. I had family come over to my house for dinner from all over. Atlanta, D.C., Wisconsin and Columbus. We had about 15 people of our family in our house tonight and that is only ones from out of town.

As I took a step back and soaked in everything that was happening I just realized how truly blessed I am with such a great family. To know that I have all these people in my life to share memories with, grow together and love together is such a blessing. I am the person I am today because of the family that God has put me in and I am forever thankful for that.

I cannot wait to His blessings unfold during this weekend. It has been awhile since all of us have gathered together, and I believe that God is going to take advantage of this opportunity to fill our family with joy and love.

I saw God today.

Did you?

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