Category Archives: Uncategorized

CHALLENGE ACCEPTED 

I have decided for 2017 to pursue to be love towards the people around me. To share the love I have received from God to others, to live out the love stated in 1 Corinthians 13 and to be God’s vessel for Him to love through me. In 2016 I pursued to love God with my everything and I believe I was able to do so but looking back I realized I lacked in loving others. So for this year I wanted to focus on loving both God and people with all my ability, but a love that is biblically defined (1 Cor 13) and not defined by society. 

It’s only the second day of the year and it’s already been a challenge. For some reason I woke up today in a grouchy mood and it continued to linger throughout the whole day. I had to catch myself multiple times to take a step back and remember to love. At first I was extremely confused and even angry with myself for the way I was behaving. There wasn’t any reason to feel the way I did but for some reason it was hard to get out of that state. 

This was both discouraging and encouraging at the same time. At first I felt really discouraged because I didn’t feel like I was able or would continue to be able to carry on with God’s vision for me for 2017. I felt like if I couldn’t do it on the 2nd day of the year I wouldn’t be able to do it for 363 more day. 

But at the same time through that God really encouraged me and gave me confirmation that this was what He desires for me. Since it’s difficult, that is obviously something I need to work on. I believe God is challenging me and revealing to me that this is an aspect of my life and heart that I need to work on, and that’s a challenge I am willing to accept and hopefully conquer. 

I truly do want to be the light of love wherever I am. To love God and love His people and at the same time love myself. I want to be selfless in love and have that selfless love come out in my worship towards God. 

I saw God today. 

Did you? 

RUNNING AROUND 

Tonight we had our Christmas Eve service at church. After many weeks of practicing and preparing presentations, each ministry performed something for the congregation. It was amazing to see everyone’s hard work pay off. I truly believe that every performance was an offering of worship out of thanksgiving for Jesus. 

For me it was a pretty busy and hectic day. I got to church many hours before the service to do some last minute preparation for the service. I was the translator for the sermon tonight as well as the MC and I also was involved in 2 of the performances. Literally the moment I got to church I felt like I was nonstop running around until I left. 

To be honest I was overwhelmed with all that I had to do, to the point I forgot the real reason of why I was doing all this. I even forgot that it was Christmas Eve for a moment. Then near the end of the service after everything was coming to an end and I took a seat I was able to catch my breath and come back to my senses. Come to the realization that today is a day of worship, a day to praise God for His son. To be honest I was disappointed in myself that I wasn’t able to have the right heart. But all in all I’m thankful that even though it was a little late, that God allowed me to open my eyes and see this day for what it is intended to be. 

I saw God today. 

Did you? 

WE LIVE FOR YOU

In ministry, Christmas time/winter break means busy. This is the season where a lot happens in the church. It’s a joyous time but just a lot that needs to be done. Tomorrow we have a praise and prayer night, Christmas Eve service performances, Christmas Day service and then youth winter retreat starting next Monday. I’m excited for all of these events but there is a lot of preparation that still needs to happen.

Tonight we had practice at church for tomorrow’s praise and prayer night. The whole time our team was practicing and preparing my heart was filled with an immense amount of joy just being in the presence of worship. After I got home I wanted to continue to have a personal time of worship and devotion so I turned on a new song we sang last Friday.

As I was listening and singing along in my room, God gave me a very refreshing and needed revelation. There’s a part of the song that says “we live for you”. It’s a very simple statement, a statement that I’ve said countless number of times. But tonight these words really resounded in my heart and off my tongue.

I was reminded that all that I’m doing and preparing for is because I live for Him. I want to do everything to bring Him glory, worship and praise. It’s all for Him and not myself. I want to confidently say that I live for God and all that I do is a product of that mission.

I saw God today.

Did you?

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SLIP N SLIDE

Something you learn as you are in ministry is that when you get a phone call from one of your members late at night, it’s probably not to talk about happy things. Late night phone calls make your heart skip a couple beats and say a simple prayer before picking it up. That’s what happened tonight. I’m sitting there, my phone goes off and I just knew it couldn’t be good. 

So randomly tonight we had an icy rain storm that covered the roads in black ice in the matter of hours. Then I get a call from one of my Refresh members, but the ironic thing was he accidentally called me. I picked up and there was no reply so I thought it was just a butt dial but something didn’t feel right so I called again. That’s when he said in a rush that he just got in an accident and that he would call me back.

I started to get really worried because I didn’t know any details and all that I knew was that he had some youth kids in his car. I kept calling but no answer and then I finally got a hold of them. Thankfully no one got hurt. But the problem was that the roads were only getting worse. 

But somehow the place they got in the accident was literally on the same street as my house not even half a mile away. So I was able to pick up the youth kids and bring them to my house as the driver figured out the situation and afterwards he came to my house too so he didn’t have to drive to his house which would have taken another 15 minutes. 

Even though it was a bad situation I’m thankful it happened right next to me so they could find safety at my house and sleep over so they didn’t have to drive on the bad roads. I’m thankful I was able to help and that everyone was okay. Even in this situation God was good. 

I saw God today. 

Did you?

GOOD GUY

One of my dear brothers from school insisted in buying me dinner today for my birthday since we won’t see each other next week. I was surprised and thankful that he remembered my birthday and wanted to bless me. So after classes we spent the whole day hanging out and having great conversation before dinner.

As we spent many hours together laughing and talking about life, God, school and faith I was just reminded how blessed I am to have a friend like him in my life. We are very different people, coming from different backgrounds, churches, ages, states, the way we grew up etc. But I am so thankful to have a friend that is so different than I am.

Through the differences he helps me see many things in a different perspective, especially faith. Growing up in the same church all my life I am used to being around believers who are very similar to me; Korean United Methodists. But he is a white American from a Baptist background now in the non-denominational church. Therefore our ways of practicing faith and viewing certain things differ, but not in a negative way. I learn a lot and gain perspective through his views and ways of faith.

I get reminded over and over again through friends like him that the kingdom of God and the brother and sisterhood in Christ is so diverse. But that diversity is what makes it so beautiful. It’s amazing that we practice our faith differently but ultimately are all children of our one Father. I believe God doesn’t look at all differences as negative but He cherishes them, and through meeting more and more “different” siblings in Christ I am starting to gain that appreciation as well.

I saw God today.

Did you?

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BREAKING BREAD

Thanksgiving is already right around the corner and since most our Refresh members will be out of town for Thanksgiving we decided to celebrate tonight. We all came together at our worship leader’s house and did a potluck. I get blown away every time we do a potluck because everyone cooks so well. It was amazing to come together as one big family, bringing a blessing of food to bless each other with and share a meal and conversation together with thankful hearts.

As I was praying for dinner God really spoke to me and gave me a revelation. He calls us to His banquet table, to sit and dine with Him, to be in His presence and break bread. That’s amazing and truly beautiful but what’s even greater is that I am able to come to the table not just on my own but with all of my brothers and sisters next to me. He calls all of us to feast with Him. To come as one, with our Father to break bread.

I truly am thankful to be surrounded by such amazing people that more than friends but family. I am also humbled over and over again that God has given me the true privilege to lead this ministry but more importantly be a part of it.

I saw God today.

Did you?

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GESTURE OF KIDNESS

For some reason I was extremely groggy this morning. To be honest during the first service I kept drifting even though the sermon was so good. I had no idea why I felt so out of it. I knew I couldn’t go through out the day feeling this way so I went to God in prayer, asking for energy and excitement to be in His dwelling place.

Then it came to be time for 1:30 service and time for me to give my sermon. As we opened in worship I knew in that moment the Holy Spirit took control. All the distractions of tiredness disappeared and I was genuinely excited and filled with joy to deliver God’s word.

It was the perfect way to end my day at church but I didn’t know God even had more waiting for me. As I walked out to my car one of the elders was sitting in his car right next to me waiting for his wife. As I was about to get into my car he called me over. He reached his hand out and gave me a couple lollipops telling me “good work today”. For some reason that simple gesture from him really touched my heart and I was truly thankful.

As I drove home I couldn’t help but keep smiling thinking about his random act of kindness. When I got home I walked in and gave my parents the lollipops and told them how much it touched my heart. That’s when my dad looked at me and handed me an envelope. I had no idea what it was or why he was showing this to me. I opened it and inside was a check and the name on the left hand corner was the name of the same man who gave me the lollipops. In that moment tears welled up in my eyes and my heart was overwhelmed.

It has been about 10 months now since my dad got injured and hasn’t been able to work. Since he is a small business owner and the only worker at his business he hasn’t been able to work which means no income. It’s been hard but we have been comforted so much by our church family through prayer and encouragement on a weekly basis. This elder wanted to help out. Selflessly through this kind gesture he moved the heart of my family. It was so unexpected and random and in the moment all we could do is be thankful.

I know that this man was able to do something so generous because of compassion and love that God has put on his heart. We are so undeserving to receive such a blessing, but through grace he has blessed us. I cannot put in words how thankful I am to encounter such a beautiful moment and this has encouraged me to continue to serve others in the ways I can selflessly, full of compassion, to show the grace and love of God.

I saw God today.

Did you?

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FEELING LIKE A CHILD AGAIN

Every Tuesday at the University of Cincinnati’s they have a Korean college ministry. Each week a different pastor comes to deliver the message and I found out that this week my old children’s/youth pastor would be the guest speaker.

My best friend and I, who I actually met at VBS around 11-12 years ago while he was our pastor decided to go tonight to see him. It’s been 7 years since he moved onto to another church to be the senior pastor. We don’t get to see him much but he was someone who has had the biggest impact in my life, not just as a Christian but as a person. But it’s been years since I’ve heard him preach so I really wanted to go hear him and get to catch up with him tonight.

His message was titled, “staying small, humbled and faithful”. It was the most perfect message for me from the perfect person. Hearing these words that I really needed to hear coming from him really touched my heart. That’s when I knew God had this planned all along.

But what also really moved me was my interaction and conversation I had with him afterwards. So being in ministry and having the title I have I get treated by people in a respectful way (not trying to sound egotistical lol). People view me as a pastor or leader but the moment I started talking with my pastor I felt like a child again. It felt just like 7 years ago when I was in youth group, silly immature me, with him as my youth pastor. It was so refreshing and humbling to get a taste of old times. It’s crazy to see how much has changed through the years but at the same time crazy to see how much has stayed the same. It’s always a blessing to have moments like this to take a step back and get reminded of my roots.

I saw God today.

Did you?

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TAKE A WALK

For our public theology class today we didn’t have traditional class but an activity instead. Our professor gave us a map of the town our school is in (Price Hill) with highlighted roads to walk on. We were supposed to walk these roads and then right a poem afterwards.

For people who don’t know the Cincinnati area might think this is weird or doesn’t seem like such a big deal, but Price Hill is known for being a “rough neighborhood”. Living in Cincinnati all my life, the first time I ever went to Price Hill was to go to my college. It’s a neighborhood that is frequently on the news for high criminal activity and other problems.

To be honest if it wasn’t for this class I probably would have never walked those streets. But I’m so thankful for this opportunity today because God opened my eyes in such a powerful way. The neighborhood looked beautiful, it wasn’t because I forced myself to be optimistic but genuinely everything was truly beautiful. Every person I greeted to the old houses to the flowers planted in the front yards, everything was beautiful. All my preconceptions of the area were shattered in an instance.

I was able to view this neighborhood through the eyes of God and in His eyes this place is His and through all the brokenness glimpses of God’s creation was evident. This moment challenged me to view all things, situations and circumstances through His lens and not the lens of this world or my own. Because in God’s eyes there is something good in all.

I saw God today.

Did you?

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SMALL TALK

It’s been a long but good good day. A lot of small but exciting things kept happening throughout it. It’s a great feeling to spend your whole day with a smile on your face. Not for any particular reason but just because.

So I wrote in last night’s post about my exam that I had today. Yesterday I was overwhelmed and stressed out about this exam. I spend a lot of time studying last night after my prayer meeting and slept pretty late. But today I believe I saw the fruit of my work. The exam went extremely well and I feel like I did a pretty good job. It was just so encouraging to know that I spent time studying last night and spent time with God and the outcome was awesome.

Because the exam went better than expected I started my day off in a pretty good mood. Then it was time for my final class of the day and I went in with no expectations but found out we had a guest speaker. The guest speaker was actually one of my favorite professors on campus. It was awesome to hear his wisdom because I haven’t had a class with him since my first semester at CCU. So that just put me in a better mood.

After class I went home to eat lunch with my parents. It was just a very chill time, eating and talking about life. Afterwards I watched a couple shows with my dad, which is one of my favorite things to do. Just sitting on the couch watching t.v. and having conversation.

Time flew by and it was about 3:30. I needed to prepare a couple things for Refresh tonight and my sermons for Sunday. So I got ready and headed over to this coffee shop near my church that I’ve been going to for a couple weeks now. When I walked in I was greeted by the barista who I met during my first visit ever to this coffee shop. He remembered my name and everything. I was shocked that he remembered who I was and the things that we talked about the last time I was there.

When I first met him somehow I ended up talking about my church. That is when he shared that he is actually a worship leader at his church. It was awesome to meet another brother in Christ who was just open about talking about Jesus and ministry. So when I saw him today it just made me happy to be able to say hi and have some small talk.

But soon after we said hello, he grabbed another guy from behind the counter (who I thought was a barista) and Introduced me to him. The first thing he told him about me was that I work for my church. Then he introduced him to me and that guy was actually the owner of the coffee shop. While the barista was telling the owner about me, he seemed way more interested in my story than a normal person would. So I figured that this guy was a strong believer.

Then I found out that he is actually a church planter and a pastor as well. He owns the coffee shop but also runs a church near by that he started not too long ago. Then after talking for another 10 minutes I found out that he is an alumni of my college. It was just really awesome to be able to meet someone and a couple minutes later find out we had so many things to relate on and talk about.

After talking with the owner and the barista I got my coffee and then went to do my work. It was about time for them to close so I packed my stuff up and proceeded to leave when the owner stopped me and asked for my email address. He said he wanted to contact me so we can get to know each other a little more.

This whole situation may not seem like a lot to others but for some reason it was really eye opening and touching to me. It was just awesome that I was able to randomly connect with two brothers in Christ that I do not know just because of the commonality of our faith. Even though we don’t know each other we had something to talk about. Jesus.

I saw God today.

Did you?