Monday, October 31, 2005

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Celebrate Good Times ...

Today is day of celebration for many people close to my heart ...

A Happy Anniversary wish to Hyun =O) It's been a blessing saturated, love, joy and laughter-filled 4 years ... I'm so happy to be with you. You are a gift from God each day of my life. I'm so thankful to God for you. Always.

A Happy Birthday to Daniel. Always thankful for your service and sacrifices you've made for our ministry. You've grown in so many ways. It's a blessing to see you growing into the man of God He desires you to be.

A prayer-filled blessing goes out to my grandfather in Korea ... as he and my relatives gather together to remember my grandmother's life and legacy during her memorial service ... already 5 years ... time flies. To my grandmother: I long for the day we will all be reunited in our final Home in Heaven. You'll have to show me around when I get there =)

And on a final note ...

Congrats to the Chicago White Sox on winning the World Series and ending an 88 year drought.

Finally a championship in Chicago for the baseball world. As all the Cubbie hopefuls would say, "What till next year" ...

Currently Listening
By U2

Friday, October 21, 2005

The Windy City

Did you know that the reason why Chicago is nicknamed The Windy City is not because of the wind? I get asked if Chicago is really that windy all the time. Although it does get pretty windy at times, the real reason why the city has that nickname is because of its politicians in the past. They were so full of hot air and false promises that any politician from that city was known to be full of wind, thus the windy city was born. So now you know

The reason for me thinking about the city that was my hometown for more than 20 years is because a Chicago baseball team is finally in the World Series. Although I wish it would have been the Cubs, Im happy for the city. Its the first time that the White Sox are in the Big Dance since 1959, and if they win, itll be their first since 1917. Oh the pain for a Cubs fan last year with the Red Sox ending decades of a drought and now the White Sox. But as a Chicagoian, I have to wish them well as we pray for mercy upon the Cubs someday

Plus the new U2 concert DVD will be featuring their concert in Chicago (!) What a blessed city it is indeed. =) For my buddies in the US, itll be released in late November. Well, thats my hot air for the city of Chicago for now.

Ill be heading to Full Gospel Church tonight for the final stretch of the Handong Support tour. Its been great spending time with my beloved Handong family members and I was so happy to see the amount of support in prayer and finances that were raised during these past several days. Gods been good.

Im off to the dentist soon first check up in years! =) Well, hope you all have a great weekend of worship wherever you are.

"I waited patiently for the Lord, He turned to me and heard my cry." U2

Currently Listening
Under a Blood Red Sky
By U2
40 (Psalm 40)

Thursday, October 20, 2005

In the School of Suffering

I just got back from our Wednesday night service where the wife of Handong University's president gave more testimonies of what God had done through the school. It brought back a lot of memories from my time there. The school went through so many hardships and trials, internally and externally ... but through it all He trained His people to trust Him ... in the school of suffering.

From my own difficulties that I experienced while in Korea, I realized that more than anything else, it is suffering that reveals the true condition and maturity of our faith. Faith can easily be hidden, and even ignored, in days of sunshine ... but it is in our days of pain that the strength and stability of our faith is leaned upon ... and shown for what it really is.

A lie that the Western world has bought into is the mindset that becoming a Christian means living a pain-free, easy life ... without suffering or sadness. But the life of a Christian is the way of the cross ... and the cross is a symbol of suffering and of death ... but it is also the stage of life that precedes the resurrection. I think one area that we, as believers, need to grow in knowledge in is the theology of suffering.

Suffering is a part of life, but it is a part of life that allows us partake in the life of Christ. And it is a part of life where we realize the horror of sin (within us and within the world) and our desperate need of something (Someone) stronger and greater than our own frail lives. When we embrace suffering as partnership with Christ and when we no longer become bitter during these hard days, but instead learn to trust Him ... no matter what ... then we finally graduate to the next level of living ... and the next level of faith ... in this school of suffering. Let's pray for greater faith, greater wisdom and greater love during our seasons of suffering.

The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord. Taken from the first chapter and twenty-first verse of the book of Job.

Desiring God Ministries recently ended a whole conference on the topic of suffering. You can download sermons from this conference here. And you can find a list of recommended resources on this topic here. May we grow in love and knowledge of our Good and Sovereign God ... even when life hurts. "When it rains it pours. When it pours, He reigns."

"Be strong ... walk on ..." U2

Currently Listening ...
Walk On (Single)
By U2
Walk On

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Praying Greatness Into the Lives of Others

Wow, what a super-busy weekend. Had a great dinner with President Kim from Handong University, his wife and a couple of other Handong graduates who serve as staff there now. I was blown away at the testimonies that they shared concerning the ways that God has been providing for their needs in miraculous ways and it was also a great blessing to hear the ways that God has been using the graduates of that school to begin making some major impacts in companies, governments and organizations around the world.

The president and his wife are an amazing couple; wonderfully humble and wonderfully used by God. Though Presdient Kim returned back to Korea, his wife will be speaking at our Wednesday night service tomorrow, so if you missed out on Sunday night's talk, you'll have one more opportunity this week. Don't miss it!

On Sunday, we continued our new series "God Bless You" from the letter of Ephesians. We looked at Paul's prayer to the Ephesians and saw some amazing examples of what it means to pray greatness into the lives of others, as well as examples of people who are shining the greatness of Christ's character through their life. If you missed out, you can listen to the messages here.

Sunday afternoon till evening was basically hosting the Handong family in the city until the evening service at KCPC. I was so glad to see the place packed out, the books sold out and the people pumped up to pray for and support the ministries of the university. It's only been 10 years since the university started, but God has done some amazing things through the studentbody there.

And Monday was basically playing host again, giving rides as needed, a nice lunch with Hermannese, and passing out until the evening ordination service for our new church pastors. Eddie Bang, Steve Oh and Kisun Lee were all ordained to their next level of services Monday night. Congrats to you all, and may your new journey into ministry been marked with fruit, faith and faithfulness. I think the highlight of the evening was Eddie Bang's oath taking time ... considering we all knew he had no idea what he was pledging his life towards (since it was all in Korean). But hey, I had no idea either! =P But all in all, it was a weekend full of blessings ... it was great to see and great to be a part of.

I Prefer the Music Video Version of ...
By Coldplay
Fix You

Friday, October 14, 2005

Music to Your Eyes

Wow, I've been in such a good mood this week ... so giddy =) I'm *slowly* getting back to regular sleeping patterns (thank you God!) ... and I was able to get a lot of work done this week (which always puts me in a good mood) ... plus the new West Ryde opened yesterday and though the places to eat there aren't that great, I'm still so glad we have a grocery store nearby again (!). It was so festive yesterday at the grand opening too. Eddie Bang and I had lunch at a very average kebab place (wouldn't recommend it) and then ran into more New Lifer's along the way ...

And more music to my eyes notes ... the new iTunes video store is very cool. I think it's going to revolutionize the whole video and TV industry. How we watch and how we buy videos is definately going to change; the future is here! And I've been thoroughly enjoying the new U2 videos via iTunes 6.0 ... hee hee hee ... check out the ad here: very cool.

Plus the President of Handong University and his wife are in Australia for the next week. I can't wait to see them tomorrow. I'll be having dinner with them tomorrow and I look forward to playing host to these two very precious people these next few days. I haven't seen them in so long ... it's like family's in town or something.

And we're going to have a movie marathan and other festivities tonight to fund raise for our mission teams in December. Wooo hooo ... I'm enjoying the gift of life and all the other goodies that come with it ... from our good Father in heaven.

... every good and perfect gift comes from You ... so thank You God ... You are good.

Have a great weekend everyone! =)

Currently Listening
All That You Can't Leave Behind
By U2
Beautiful Day

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Loving Life As We Live It for Him

And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. Taken from the twenty-forth chapter and fourteenth verse of Matthew’s Gospel.

I believe in the Kingdom Come. Then all the colours will bleed into one. Bleed into one. But yes, I'm still running. You broke the bonds. And you loosed the chains. Carried the cross of my shame. Oh my shame, you know I believe it. – U2

A few things that get my heart pumping: living for Christ and building His Kingdom … seeing people fall deeper in love with Him … hearing from God and sharing His truth with others … and a pretty close one right after those things would be U2.

I’m excited as our three mission teams prepare to partner with God this December in Guinea, Morocco and Thailand. I’m excited to see the future life-change that will happen in the lives of those who will go. And I’m excited that we get to be a part of preparing His Kingdom to come here on earth, as it is in heaven … as we go, as we send, as we give and as we pray.

EDIT: and speaking of U2 …

Apple has just launched another new iPod, this time with video capabilities along with iTunes 6.0. I wasn’t too excited until I open up the new iTunes store to check out what videos they have for download.

Hmmm … some TV shows like Lost and Housewives (yawn) … some Pixar animations (not bad) … but then my eyes are drawn into the music video section … to my utter delight I see nine U2 videos prepared and waiting for me to download.

God is good.

Let me live a life devoted to seeking first His Kingdom and His righteousness. Let U2 be the soundtrack of that life. And with that I can say: life is good.

Currently Listening
Rattle and Hum
By U2
Angel of Harlem

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Put Your Hope in God

My heart grows heavier each day after reading the news ... so many people in need ... so many people hurting ... so much groaning from this world, longing for Christ's return ... the events of our day affirm that “this world in its present form is passing away” … but before losing hope, I need to look at all things through the lens of His Word ... which reminds me that our God is in control ...

Maranatha ... "come Lord Jesus, come" ...

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging …

Maranatha ... "come Lord Jesus, come" ...

Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; He lifts his voice … the earth melts ... the Lord Almighty is with us … the God of Jacob is our fortress ... Come and see the works of the Lord, the desolations He has brought on the earth. He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth … Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted in the earth.” Taken from the forty-sixth psalm.

As we pray … we do not lose heart, because the One to whom we pray reigns supreme.

Maranatha ... "come Lord Jesus, come" ...

Currently Listening ...
Silver Anniversary Project

Monday, October 10, 2005

U2 News

Today was a nice and calm Monday ... read at Koorong in the morning and had a late lunch at the Sydney Fish Market (seafood platter) with Hermz and Mins. Mins got promoted to manager at his new job ... I think they forgot to do a background check on him before making that decision (hee hee ... kidding ... congrats Mins!). And he was sporting his new car around West Ryde too ... a sleek 15 year old Hyundai without power-steering ... I think he wanted to work on his arms a bit =) Lookin good Mins ...

And now for some U2 News. U2 was on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" last night in the US and instead of just being one of the guests, they were the whole show for the whole hour (!) ... if anyone in the US recorded it, let me know =) I'd love to watch it.

The also did four songs, live for the studio:

• All Because Of You,
• Original Of The Species
• Stuck In A Moment You Can't Get Out Of
• Vertigo

EDIT: You can watch some clips from the show at the NBC site here.

And their newest single, "All Because of You" came out today in the UK and Europe. It's a cool song that basically is a praise to God, thanking Him for all His blessings upon their lives. The chorus: "all because of You, I AM" (a direct reference to YHWH, the Great I AM). I love how their most recent album has so many prayers to God in it.

They still haven't announced their 2006 concert dates yet (!) ... they better make it to Sydney ... and if they do, we'll have to make it an all-church event =) Their Chicago concert (which I thought about trying to make it to in May but couldn't ... since I had to be at my graduation! Can you believe I was debating that one??) was recorded and is going to be released as a live DVD in November (d'oh!) ...

And on a final note, my previous guestbook server disappeared =( So my apologies to those whose messages are now gone (Lee, I think you have to send me your phone number again!) ... but I now have a new one created ... with a better 'look and feel' to it =)

Currently Listening
How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb
By U2
All Because of You (I AM)

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Our Big Time Blessings in Christ

We started our new series "God Bless You" today, looking at some awesome ways that God has blessed our lives in Christ. We bless God for His many blessings upon our lives ... or another way of saying it is that we praise Him for pouring grace upon grace over us. In Christ, we have been selected through adoption, we have been saved from our sins, we will share in God's inheritance and we are forever sealed with His Holy Spirit. What a gracious and generous God we serve!

I've also added a couple of new sections to my website in the "Inkings" section: an art studio and a music studio. These are just some personal things I've worked on in the past that I just wanted to keep in my online storage room (aka. blog!). And the music studio idea was inspired by our very own Hermannese Kim. Hermannese has been writing a bunch of new songs of praise and created a song-writing journal online you can visit here. (Great to see you growing in this new area of ministry for you Hermz! Keep up the good work! And keep in step with the Spirit.)

It'll be cool to see what God does in raising up a whole new generation of worshippers and song-writers for Australia as we open ourselves to the leading of His Spirit in our lives. From the way things are going, it may be sometime in the near future that New Life/JAMA Australia will have its own worship album out =) As God leads ...

Now it's time to get ready for missions prep(!) ... hope you had a wonderful day of worship ... always and forever ... in His presence.

Currently Relaxing With ...
Seasons: Piano Solos
By George Winston
Early Morning Range

Friday, October 07, 2005

GMT +10

I've finally been able to sleep through the night, so I think I'm almost out of my jetlag! =) But I still get pretty tired in the afternoons though. Last night we had an informal dinner meeting with Dr. John Kim (founder of JAMA) from the US and Daniel Pak (he was at the very first JAMA Australia 3 years ago). It was great to hear the 'heart' behind the man who started it all. I only wish more people from JAMA Australia could have made it. It clarified the purpose of JAMA a lot more for me.

And we'll be starting a new 4-part series from Sunday called "God Bless You". Eventually, we'll be going through the letter of Ephesians, but divided into 3 sub-series [God Bless You, Body Building, and The Fight of our Lives]. That should take us through the rest of 2005 ... then back to Guinea! I can't believe this year's almost over already. Please pray that our ministry and I will be able to finish well, finish strong and finish faithful.

I've also been checking out Google Earth (another amazing feature from the world of Google - they never cease to amaze me!). You can see my apartment (and Koorong) in the picture above taken from this program. I've been 'traveling' to Africa, Canada, Korea and the US with Google Earth and it brought back a lot of memories for me. I visited my previous homes, schools and places I often went to ... and you can zoom down and even see cars in the streets! Amazing. Check it out; it's pretty cool. =)

Well, have a great weekend. I'm glad my body is almost back in this timezone ... may you celebrate and enjoy the favor of God upon your life ... and may you live each moment ... in His presence.

While Traveling, I Was Listening To ...
The Chronicles of Narnia: (Radio Theatre) [Full Cast Drama]
By Focus on the Family

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Messengers of Good News

Because of my jet-lag, I've been so out of it these past few days. But I wanted to catch up with my updates ...

Let's see ... came back on Friday ... and on Sunday, we concluded our "Good News in a Bad News World" series. We looked at how we needed to go where Jesus would go ... to those who were in need of His message of grace, and that one of the things to understand was that "compassion comes from seeing" ... as Jesus saw the crowds and had compassion, we too need to see the lost people of this world in order for our hearts to change.

I hear many people say "I don't have a heart for missions, so maybe I shouldn't go", but it's precisely when we don't have a heart for missions, we need to go on missions; for it's through the going that our hearts and eyes change ... God honors our obedience to His command and commission by giving us a glimpse of His heart through the process.

Then on Sunday night, we had our mission team prep ... I went through most of my pictures with them ... I think they are motivated to pray more after seeing and hearing about the conditions we'll be facing in Guinea! Then I slept until Monday afternoon (!) ... after picking up some things at the mall, Hyun and I went to the beach since it was a public holiday ... then we met up with Eunjung, Eunyoung and their mom for dinner at Chatswood.

Tuesday was a day of hibernation for me ... and today, we had another staff meeting with Pastor Lee (who recently returned from a mission trip to China) ... lunch with Eddie Bang at Koorong (dude, their open melt sandwhich is awesome) ... had to re-group at Koorong for awhile =) and now updating my blog ... well, there's my update ... good to be back home, but 2 more months left and then we're back in Guinea ... keep me in prayer! =)

Currently Listening to the Live Version of ...
With or Without You

The Church in France

I have some major jet-lag at the moment ... I go to sleep when most people wake up and wake up when most people go to sleep. Please pray for a quick transition back into this timezone (!). But it was good to worship with everyone at New Life again on Sunday. I really miss preaching to our congregation whenever I'm away.

As people ask me how the mission trip was, I would describe my mission trip in this way: it was vision-expanding, heart-igniting and life-focusing ... God did a lot in my heart during those few weeks ... and though our mission trip was for the unreached people groups of Africa, I think God wanted us to go through France for a reason. It seems that the only function churches have in France is as a museum for tourists. Though the buildings were beautiful, thriving congregations were hard to find. The Christians in France were telling us that they too are in need of missionaries now ... it broke my heart to see churches empty while Islam is growing there.

So if you're French speaking, there are many countries that could use you to be a messenger of grace for them! Pray about it! =) I hope to see more of our EM members sent out to these nations in the near future.

Throughout My Trip I Listened To ...
How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb
By U2

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Out of Africa

Got back today from my mission trip and dude am I tired!! But wanted to thank everyone who prayed for me during this trip ... it was an awesome experience and I hope to share some of the many lessons God taught me this Sunday.

For now, here are some pictures from the trip in slideshow format ... click HERE. Put your mouse over the bottom part of the picture to go to a specific picture ... and you can click each picture for a brief description.