Monthly Archives: April 2016


It was another Wednesday which means another blessed opportunity to come together as brothers and sisters of Refresh. Maybe it was because of the beautiful weather, but I was in a really good mood this evening before starting Refresh. But it wasn’t just me, everyone that came tonight was just in great joyful moods. I knew it was going to be a great time with God.

For every Wednesday I get to church a little early and make the questions for our bible study and pick out the setlist of songs for our worship leader. Today as I was picking out the songs I thought I picked “Amazing Love” but when we started worshipping I accidentally picked “Love Came Down” instead. At first I was a little baffled because I picked the wrong one but surprisingly God moved through that accident.

When we all came together with one heart and one voice singing those lyrics of “Love Came Down” I experienced all of us unified with a heart of worship. That is when I knew the Holy Spirit was present and moving in the room. That song allowed us to truly sing praise to God and give Him our worship. It’s amazing to see how God moves in all situations no matter what and how intentional He is in all things.

After worship before splitting up into our small groups for bible study we had our time of sharing about our weeks. It was such a blessing to hear the testimonies of how God has been moving in each members lives in such personal ways. It’s so obvious that God is being intentional in all of our brothers and sisters lives.

Just in our worship time and discussion God made it clear to me that He is alive and doing His work in our ministry. He is continuing to give us confirmation that this family and community is being touched by His hands. Not just during the times we gather but outside in our busy personal lives as well.

I am so thankful God is continuously doing His work in this body but also in every individual part as well. He is always approaching us and encountering us. Our God is an intentional God. A Father who is relentless and whose love is never ending.

I saw God today.

Did you?

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If you read my post from last night you know that my mentor pastor was in town yesterday from Maryland. So he was planned to drive back down today. He had such a busy schedule today since everyone wanted to see him because it has been over a year since being back in Cincinnati.

But I had a request for him, a favor I really wanted him to do. Which was pray for my dad. For the ones who know, my dad broke his femur about 4 months ago on the leg he already has polio in. So he has been out of work for the whole time and hasn’t been able to open up his shop. He is continuously in physical therapy but it’s a slow process getting back to fully walking. Doctor says possibly another 2 months or so.

It has been truly a struggle for him. Not being able to work, walk and provide for the family has really been taking a toll on my dad mentally and spiritually. And since our church is an old building and has a lot of steps he hasn’t been able to attend church for over 4 months too. Overall it has been a very difficult season for him as well as my family.

My mentor pastor has played such a big role in my life but also in the lives of my family as well. My dad really loved having him as a senior pastor. He would frequently stop by my dads shop and just spend time with him when he was here. He was a really personal and intimate pastor who was much more than someone who just gave a sermon on Sunday. Therefore I thought it would mean a lot if he could come over and see my dad and pray for him.

In the midst of his super busy schedule he made time to stop by our this morning before heading back to Maryland. It was only for about 10 minutes but that time was so powerful. His prayer was truly a prayer from God.

Every word he said in his prayer was what my dad and our family needed to hear. There was so much strength and power. During the prayer I knew the Holy Spirit was present and working in all of our hearts. The words he prayed were heart pieces from God being delivered.

I couldn’t have asked for a better gift or blessing. I can confidently say that God moved in my dad this morning and in our family. My dad was able to hear the whispers from our father through my pastor’s prayer.

I was truly blessed today. I was also reminded about what prayer really is and the strength that comes in prayer. I am so thankful He had sent His messenger this morning to bring the healing and love that we were all so desperate for.

I saw God today.

Did you?

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Friday I got a call from my mentor pastor who now lives in Maryland saying that he will be in town for a day. Even though he had an extremely busy schedule I was able to spend some time with him tonight. We met with with some friends who he had a huge impact on as well. As we gathered together, it brought back great memories of the times he was here and when he was our senior pastor.

I have visited him a couple times since he moved but it was the first time seeing him back here in Cincinnati. As we sat together as the old gang, it was so nostalgic. Felt like nothing has changed.

It’s always good to hear his wisdom and guidance for all of us. I have never met someone like him before in my life, that I can truly be open with and talk with no worries for being a senior pastor. People that know my relationship with him already know, but he played one of the biggest roles in my life for me to take on my calling in ministry.

So every time I get to catch up with him it reminds me of those times we had. Even though it was a short time tonight, it was a blessing. I have been reminded how privileged I am to have a mentor like him. Someone who never changes, no matter the circumstances. Someone who loves God with all his heart, and loves young people with true passion.

Whenever I get a chance to look at him I always see God through him. He always inspires me to be the man of God that I want to be. He gives me encouragement and confirmation about being a pastor. He is the definition of servant of God that I one day hope to accomplish.

I saw God today.

Did you?

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I believe that God has been taking me through a new uphill season recently and I am so blessed for that. He has been challenging me and encouraging me in ways I have never been before. I feel like I am able to better understand who I am as a child of God as well as a leader in the church. He has been doing this by giving me new revelations and convictions.

Starting a couple months ago for the first time ever preaching started to become challenging. Preaching has always been something I loved and have been passionate about but recently something just did not feel right. I felt like every Sunday became a cycle. To the point where it became a task and almost felt like a performance rather than being used as a vessel.

So for the past month I have been in prayer and desiring clarity and provision. Starting last Sunday God answered my prayers and has given me the guidance I have been needing. He has challenged me to do something new.

Ever since I have been preaching every Sunday I have had a certain routine in which I go about when preparing my sermon. I go through the week praying about what He ants the message to be about and during the end of the week I write up my sermon points on Keynote and follow that during my message. So for my sermon I always have set notes and key points I follow.

This isn’t necessarily bad but something I have realized is that I feel like I get restricted to my notes when I preach. I tend to only focus and emphasize on the words and thoughts I have written down that I forget to leave room for the Spirit. Because of this restriction I feel like I am giving my words and not God’s. So God put me up to a new challenge.

I have started to try something new and different for my sermon preparation as well as my delivery methods. Instead of writing up my sermon and following it like a manuscript I have started something I haven’t really done before. After I pick what I feel like God wants to speak about on Sunday, I spend all week long just meditating on the scripture and praying about the message He has put on my heart. Then I just jot down some notes and revelations He gives me throughout the week on my phone and then continue to think about and meditate on those notes. Then on Sunday when I give the message, I don’t use any notes, rather I just remember what He has spoken to me personally and deliver the message with my heart.

I have been able to fully allow God to move and work through me without me trying to speak about the things that I want to, rather ask His spirit to move completely. Today I was able to witness the freedom that comes for His spirit. Not being restricted to any notes, or my words, or the things I have prepared but instead just being free to be used by God.

Yes, at first it felt really difficult. I felt unprepared and very vulnerable. But through that God moved. He has shown me that giving a sermon is delivering a heart piece instead of words. That heart piece is not from myself but from Him and I need to allow Him to speak. It is the greatest feeling to sit down after a sermon and know that it wasn’t myself speaking up there but it was God. I bet anyone who preaches can agree that you know it was a true message from God when you, the one giving the message, actually receive a message from God during the sermon.

God is amazing and He is alive within every one of us. He has blessed us with the Holy Spirit and through Him we find power and freedom. It isn’t about us moving but it’s about the spirit within us doing the work.

I saw God today.

Did you?

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God has blessed Cincinnati today finally with actual spring weather. Just last week there were days in the 30s but today it was over 70. I was able to finally wear shorts, a tee and my sandals. Just having this beautiful weather fueled my mood for the day.

I met up with our children’s and Korean young adult pastor for lunch at a local burger place that I love. This was my first time after a year of knowing them to be able to hangout us three outside of church. We sat on the patio eating our burgers just having great conversation.

It was a great opportunity to have fellowship with them outside of a “work” setting. They are both students at Asbury Seminary in Kentucky so the only time I get to see them is on the weekends when they come to Cincinnati to serve. Whenever we talk in our office it’s usually about church and things we have to do, so it was nice being able to share about our lives.

The reason we met up today is because VBS is coming up in a couple months and our children pastor needed my help finding places to put up posters around town since he isn’t that familiar with this area. So we visited all these different places and it was great for me personally because I was able to see a whole bunch of people at these locations that I haven’t seen in a while. It was a fun time just driving around continuing conversation, listening to music and enjoying the great weather.

After I was done with that I went and met up with two of my youth boys to play board games. This has become a frequent occurrence, meeting up at the same cafe to just drink coffee and play. It’s always a good time hanging out with them, just getting my mind off of things and having fun.

I had to leave a little early to go to a Youth Group teachers dinner. We haven’t been able to have one of these dinners for a while since all of our busy schedules, so it was really nice getting together as servants of a specific ministry to just have fellowship. As I was sitting there at the table eating dinner I looked around the table and just realized what a blessing it was to be a part of this team. Everyone comes from such different backgrounds, ages ranging from the 20’s to the 50’s, mostly all in different stages of life but with one commonality, which is a passion and love for youth.

I was reminded once again all day how blessed I am with great people in my life. To have these brothers in sisters to do life with, grow with and serve with. Every single person I was able to hangout with today are a part of my life because of God and church. It’s crazy to think that if I wasn’t a part of His kingdom I would have never been able to share these relationships with them. God is good and places the best people in our lives.

I saw God today.

Did you?

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What an amazing night it has been by the grace of God. We had the privilege to take our youth kids to Bethel Worship Night. For me personally it was a time of true worship, where God truly allowed me to open my heart and submit myself to Him.

This past Wednesday at Refresh our bible study and discussion was based on Worship. Something that we talked about was that Worship is not all about the music but about the heart and act of worshipping. I was blessed tonight that God encouraged and challenges me to do just that.

I love Bethel and listen to a lot of their music but the funny thing was tonight they only played a few songs that I knew. So at first I was a little discouraged because I couldn’t really sing along but that is when I was able to take a step back and come to a true heart of worship.

God allowed me to not focus on the songs but pushed me into a time where I was able to lay everything down at His feet. I was able to focus a lot on prayer and just giving Him the glory. Then suddenly I felt this true tangible sense of freedom. A sensation where I knew I had nothing holding me back and where I was able to give Him my everything in my own way.

It wasn’t about knowing the lyrics or the melody of the song. Instead it was allowing my heart to cry out the lyrics and having those words be my confession and testimony. We started singing “King of My Heart” and we just kept on repeating the words “you are good”.

Those simple words became the shout and prayer from the bottom of my heart. In that moment I realized that worship has nothing to do with me, rather just glorify His name and proclaiming who He is. A good father.

I know that tonight I have God all the offerings I could. I lifted up my heart to Him. In my brokenness and all, I gave Him what I could and I have no regrets.

Being able to be with all these people tonight and our youth kids pouring out our everything I believe I saw a glimpse of heaven tonight. Because just like what one of our Refresh members said Wednesday, heaven will be a place where we worship and praise our Father all day and night. I was able to witness a taste of what the Kingdom of heaven is going to be like. His children coming together with one heart, a heart of true worship.

I saw God today.

Did you?

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Not going to lie today was just a busy/overwhelming day where I didn’t really force myself to look for God. I think because of that I was able to see the negative effects of being self-centered and unaware of God. By the end of the day I was just exhausted and not in the best mood for no good reason.

As I was leaving the coffee shop I was doing homework at tonight I realized I just needed to take a step back and think about my day in a optimistic lens. So I forced myself on my drive home to think about and list out everything I was thankful for today.

In the midst of all my busyness I realized in the moments of my day I wasn’t really grateful for anything. So as I looked back and tried to identify everything that I should be thankful for God opened my eyes and my heart.

I realized that it’s just the little things. For example; good weather, great friends, learning something new, eating a nice dinner cooked by mom etc. And just by thinking about these moments of my day helped me feel relieved and have a sense of peace and joy. It’s a great feeling to end my day by being thankful 🙂

There is always something to be thankful for. Even though we may feel like we are too busy for God at times, He is never too busy for us. He never stops pouring His blessings and love on our lives even if we aren’t aware of it.

I saw God today.

Did you?

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Refresh tonight for me personally was amazing, much needed and very eye opening. Last Saturday we went to Outcry Tour which is a huge concert with various artists, and then Sunday going off of Saturday night my sermon was on worship and today our bible study and discussion was focused on worship.

Worship and praise is a very essential part of Christianity but since it is such a foundational element of our faith many times it is overlooked. So tonight we had a big group discussion answering questions like what worship is to us personally, common misconceptions of worship, and why it is so important and necessary. Also we looked at what the bible said and how scripture defined and described worship. The verses we looked at were: Romans 12:1-2, John 4:23-24, Isaiah 25:1.

During our discussion and hearing the hearts of our brothers and sisters really helped me look at worship in ways I never have before. It was so beautiful to see how everyone views it through a different lens and understanding but at the same time all have a common root.

We sang the song “Heart of Worship” together and the lyrics of that song really touched me. Even though I have sang that a million times, tonight God revealed to me so much about what worship truly is through that song.

God has been encouraging me after tonight to live a life of worship and not only wait for Sunday or Wednesday to do so. Worship is much more than music and singing but it is an action of the heart.

I saw God today.

Did you?

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The end of the semester is approaching and in my Public Theology class my professor offered us an extra credit opportunity. I definitely wanted to take advantage. All we had to do was attend one of the events that she offered. So today my friend and I decided to go to one of them.

To be honest we barely had any idea what we were going to. All it said in the email was that it was an event focused on police and community relations in Cincinnati and that they would be showing a documentary and have commentary and discussion afterwards. I had no idea what it was going to be like and had no expectations at all. Who knew that it was going to totally rock my world.

The moment I walked into the church that the event was being held at I had a little culture shock. It was a predominantly African-American audience. It was definitely different than what I am used to but I thought it was super interesting to be immersed in a different culture. The documentary was based on the Cincinnati Riots that happened in the early 2000’s.

Even though I was born and raised in Cincinnati I never really knew too much about the riots, until today. These riots occurred after multiple controversial deaths of young black men by police officers.  So this documentary took you through everything that happened and showed the background information about the trials, details, and families of the victims.

This documentary absolutely shook me up. I couldn’t believe all these things that happened just in my backyard in my city. To see the pain that these people had to go through because of inequality and the injustice that they faced then and still now really broke my heart. Being a Korean-American I have definitely faced prejudice but the racism and the effects of it that African-Americans have to go through is something totally different. Being from the suburbs and not really knowing what happens in the inner city, I never really had eyes to see what people have to go through. But today I was able to look at my city and the people in this city through a different lens.

After the documentary was over I was filled with many emotions, varying from being sad to feeling angry and everything in between. But during the discussion time is when my heart really broke and God filled me with compassion. They passed the mic around to people who wanted to comment on the movie. To hear the pain in these people’s hearts and to see them even weep really impacted me. We see these kinds of things all the time on the news today but I never really took the time to try to understand what these people had to go through until today.

I will never fully understand what it means to be racially profiled to the extent that African-Americans do. I will never understand how it feels to encounter injustice and inequality just because my skin color. I will never understand the heartbreak that one has to go through because someone of my own race was killed because of their skin color.

But being in the midst of a community grieving together and lamenting together I was able to at least understand a little. This experience that I had tonight is hard to put in words. All I know is that it has broke my heart and filled me with compassion. I have been able to have a new lens and viewpoint on looking at certain issues and matters in the community.

I am so thankful that God gave me this opportunity. I know that God’s heart breaks for these people and this city of Cincinnati and tonight my heart breaks for what breaks His.

I saw God today.

Did you?

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After seeing Hillsong Worship this last Saturday I have been listening to their albums on shuffle on my Spotify. While driving home the song “This I believe” started playing. They performed it on Saturday as well. So I listened to it on repeat so many times and the lyrics really moved my heart in a unique way.

The lyrics are extremely simple and display our fundamental and core beliefs as Christians. Almost Sunday school like teachings. In the last when I heard this song I didn’t think much of it because I didn’t think it was deep enough for me or as “advanced” I guess.

But today these words truly touched my heart. It took me back a couple steps and helped me just be reminded about what it truly means to be a follower of God. Revealed to me once again what my core beliefs should be. Also that being a Christian isn’t as complicated as what I make it to be at times.

It comes down to just believing and knowing the essential things. The trinity, what Jesus has done, the power of God, and the strength that is in the Holy Spirit.

Many times I get caught up so much in ministry and being a leader and a biblical studies student that I tend to overlook these simple truths. But today I was reminded that it comes down to being able to confess these things.

This song truly humbled me and helped look at my faith in a simple and refreshing lens.

I saw God today.

Did you?

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