Tuesday, January 31, 2006

2006 Volleyball Team

Finally got a pic of our vball team from this year (thanks to DJ). We made it to the quarter-finals ... and we're now determined to actually practice before entering next year. We do fairly well for not preparing (please note, this is due to our mission team prep) ... but next year, with some actual practice, I think we have a chance to win the thing. =) (dare to dream!)

Currently Listening
U2 - The Best of 1990-2000 [Deluxe Limited Edition w/ Bonus DVD]
By U2
Mysterious Ways

Monday, January 30, 2006

Buy the Reds ...

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. [From Paul's letter to Rome - Romans 13:8]

I am blessed when I think about how many of our congregation members were a part of God's mission these past few months. Our ministry was able to pray for, give to and send teams to Guinea, Morocco, Thailand, South Africa, and Japan, with still more people planning personal mission trips in the coming months as well. I hope and pray so much that being on God's mission will always be the norm for the members of our church body. Sharing the gift of Eternal Life is an eternal expression of love to our brothers and sisters ... may we do it often and may we do it well. I also pray that our congregation would be characterized with showing mercy and being generous to those who are in need ... that too is love manifest in the image of Christ in us.

As much as I love U2 for their music, it's their faith and faith-in-action that has been a wonderful challenge to my own life journey. To see them use their influence and wealth to fight for and defend the orphans and widows of the poverty and AIDS stricken nations of Africa humbles us all. Bono, U2's frontman, has created another way to help raise funds for Africa ... this movement is called "RED". It's a way for people to buy certain products with portions of those funds going to help fight AIDS and other diseases that are widespread in Africa. They have partnered with GAP, American Express, Converse and Armani to begin this new line of aid. You can visit these links for more info: Link 1, Link 2, Link 3, Link 4. Pretty cool idea.

And on another note ... in the midst of the nice break during Australia Day/Lunar New Year weekend, Hyun and I enjoyed a nice quiet picnic in the city the other day. I was eating our kebab when the picture was taken and thus the strange smile ... and in the picture below you and see our creative 'cup holders' we used =)

You couldn't even smell it ... really! =)

Currently Reading
The 360 Degree Leader : Developing Your Influence from Anywhere in the Organization
By John C. Maxwell

Friday, January 27, 2006

Happy Australia Day

I had such a nice day on Thursday. Yesterday was "Australia Day" (so Happy Australia Day to all the Aussies) and it was also the annual Korean Volleyball Tournament. We had a tent for the first time in 3 years which was nice. The previous years we looked like the orphans of the tournament and if it rained we would all spread out and and try to find shelter in the tent of our other church friends ... kinda sad if you saw it actually.

But I look forward to this day every year ... not only because I love volleyball, but it's a great time to hang out with our own church family as well as other church friends we haven't seen ... usually since last year! And I wanted to say a big "THANK YOU" to all the parents who helped out with preparing the meals and the drinks! What a big difference that made this year!

How did we do? Well, we tied our 'best ever' placement from last year by making it to the quarter-finals ... not bad for praticing only 3 times prior =) Yes, it's very different from my US church volleyball days ... but it was still fun. The "hang-out-after-we-drop-out" seems to be another big reason we all go to this thing ... which was another reason why yesterday was so fun. In all honesty (I'm not just saying this), I think if our team actually practices, we could win this thing. Ha ha ... but I'm sure every team says the same thing when it's time to go home.

I didn't bring my camera, so I'll have to wait till the other guys post their pix on their blogs and then I'll steal one from them. I have some major sun burn right now ... but it was worth it =) A great day of great fun hanging out with great people ... with Christ in the center of it all ... that's a taste of heaven right there. Can't wait till that becomes everyday =)

Currently Watching
Vertigo//2005. U2 Live from Chicago
Special Edition: 2DVD

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

81 for the Ages

I'm sorry, but I just can't get over this. This is just crazy!!!! If anyone has this recorded or something, save it for me because I just have to watch this whole game again sometime! Unbelievable performance! Dude, iTunes needs to make this available for download or something. The final score 122-104 ... with Kobe making 81 out of the 122 points for the Lakers.

As an NBA fan, I'm in awe ... but I'm thinking this must be bad for coaches who are trying to teach their teams about teamwork and not trying to be a one-man show ... I'm wondering how that's going to effect the culture of basketball, especially with a lot of the younger players having a "me-first" mentality to the game.

Many analysts blame this mentality to the reason why the USA "Dream?" Team didn't dominate (or even win the gold) in the last Olympics. But again, as a fan, you love seeing games like this ... but as a coach it must sting a little (and I'm sure the opponents are also still feeling the sting!).

Monday, January 23, 2006


I just got back from my 2 week break and what a wonderful break it was. A restful time to enjoy the gift of family and friends around the world ... and many unexpected meetings with old friends along the way. A time to kick back and seek God for this next season of life ... and God had been leading me to take new steps of faith for this new year. I had some very revealing times of prayer ... and got some good reading done on some books that really sharpened me. Thanks for those who were praying for me during this time. God definately spoke to me about some major areas for ministry ... I shall update in due time.

And ... Super Bowl XL is set! The Seahawks will be in their first ever appearance in the Big Dance and the Steelers will be trying to win one for Bettis before he retires. I've always appreciated the hard work ethic and example of Bettis ever since he came into the league, and for that reason, I'm pulling for the Steelers to take it in SBXL. That would be a great way to retire for such an outstanding player who's always led by example and showed true humble servant-leadership, even when younger players were placed ahead of him. What a guy.

Dude! And Kobe Bryant scored 81 points in ONE GAME today!!!!! That is just psycho. It's very hard for me to say this, but not even Jordan scored that many points in one game before. Only Wilt Camberland's 100 point game tops tonight's performance by Kobe. Amazing. But please don't confuse this paragraph with the misunderstanding that I'm saying Kobe is better than MJ, because any human being in their right mind knows that there is still no one greater in basketball that Michael Jordan. =)

Well, back to the office tomorrow and time to prepare and transition for a lot of changes in this new year. Looking forward to seeing the New Life family soon! And yes, Koorong and the Thai place were already visited today =)

Currently Listening
December Morning
By Tim Janis

(This is a GREAT album ... totally takes you away to new places and brings peace to the soul)

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Taking It Easy ...

Hey all ... we arrived at my parent's place in Dallas. Home of next year's Super Bowl Champion Dallas Cowboys =) After A LOT of traveling (Seoul, SF, Phoenix, Dallas), it was good to get some sleep in a bed (verses plane seats). It's always nice and relaxing to be 'home' with family. I made my usual first stop visit to the nearby Christian bookstore to see what was new =) That's almost always the first place I visit wherever I am it seems.

Well, the first picture above is of my dad, my cousin (who's here interviewing at different hospitals for a doctor's position ... btw, he's single and actively looking), my mom, Hyun and me right after we got home. My parents, who love photo-taking, had the camera all set up on a tri-pod by the time we entered the house.

And the second picture is of our dinner that was eaten just a few short hours ago. My favorite dish ... crabs!!!! Mmmmmm ... my family is definately a crab family =) My aunt and uncle were also at dinner and we took a picture, but the picture looked a bit funny so I decided not to post it. Welch's grape juice comes in a nice new "bottle" that looks just like wine bottles ... it looked a bit too real, so I decided to use just the food shot ... didn't want to offend anyone ... ha ha! =O) Tomorrow will be more Christian bookstore exploring as well as Best Buy (an electronics store near my house) ... my two favorite kind of stores to hang out in ... yea!

Friday, January 13, 2006

Find Your Way and Be Fed

Just a reminder that from this coming Sunday, New Life Worship will be meeting at a new place for the next several weeks. Instead of our usual place at Riverside HS, we'll be meeting at our Meadowbank facilities in Ryde.

The address:
41-45 Belmore St. Ryde 2114 (UBD 213, G5)

Our times will remain the same at 10:00AM. And from what I've been told, there WILL BE food avaiable after our services too ... so come ... and taste and see that the Lord is good. Looking forward to seeing everyone again after one more week of holidays for me =) Abundant blessings to you all! See you soon.

And a quote by Andrew Murray:

"Cry to God that His people may know this: that every believer is only to live for the interests of God and His Kingdom." May this be the mark of this generation ... and of our lives this year.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Walking in a Winter Wonderland ...

Hey all ... I'm taking my first proper vacation in quite a long time. Hyun and I just got back from a pretty big ski resort about 2 hours from Seoul. It was pretty nice ... esp. playing in the snow and going skiing. It was only my second time going skiing and it was nice to remember how not to fall down too =) I think it was about 12 years since the last time I skied ... and that first time was with my very own "Midwest Ski Patrol" too =)

The first picture is of me and Hyun at the peak height of the resort ... over 5100 meters high ... and the second picture shows the resort in all it's snow-covered glory =P I love playing in the snow ... but am glad I don't have to drive in it or plow it anymore! And the third picture showed the beautiful mountains of that area. I was hoping you could see more of the clouds and midst hovering over all the mountains ... it was very breath-taking.

I believe we're planning a ski trip this July for our New Life family, so get ready Sydney! I'm ready to conquer the bunny hills of one more country =) Ha ha!

Saturday, January 07, 2006

A Fond Farewell ... For Now

Just wanted to say farewell to everyone's older brother in EM (Songsoo) and to the always surprising "Annaconda" (Anna) ... just wanted to say that it's been great having the both of you as a part of our ministry throughout these past few years. I hope you guys have a great time in London and are able to find a wonderful fellowship to grow in ... our loss is England's gain.

Songsoo has been the older brother our ministry needed in the early days of New Life. His partnership was especially valuable during our 2003 Thailand Mission Team ... being there for each person and pushing everyone on. He also served faithfully within our discipleship ministry.

Anna was often a quiet supporter who did a lot of behind-the-scenes service within our administration and finance side of things. Then one day, during the 2002 mission trip, she revealed her true inner self as she stood on the back of a truck in the middle of rush hour traffic, lifted her hands high in victory as "Annaconda" was unleashed!

It was also a blessing to see your relationship begin, grow and mature during these years and what a joy it was to have you two as the second couple to marry within our ministry. May God continue to bless your marriage and use you well to glorify His Name and build His Kingdom ... wherever you may be.

Another sad note: John Piper has just been diagnosed with cancer. He's a pastor and author that has greatly influenced my life and my attitude towards ministry for the past 12 years. The first book I read of his was "The Supremacy of God in Preaching" and it is still the best book on preaching I've read to this day. Could you please pray for healing upon this servant of God? A personal letter from Piper can be found here.

Currently Reading
God Is the Gospel: Meditations on God's Love As the Gift of Himself
By John Piper

Friday, January 06, 2006

Bits and Pieces

To update a bit more on what we did in Guinea, I'll just go through a few events here and there. When I have the energy to do so, I'll try and put up more pix too ... there was a lot of walking to remote villages that were completely 'not-yet-reached' with the Gospel. Some of our guys walked over 50km just to reach one of these villages. The missionaries ask for us to pray for breakthroughs to happen in these regions that have many strongholds.

The above photo shows a 'typical' hut that the people live in within the villages. Each village has a tribal leader who basically determines whether or not the villages will welcome you (or welcome you back) or not. But once a good relationship is built, they'll sometimes stop everything and throw a major welcoming party for you when you return. You need to either dance really well or be ready to die to your pride and go all out during these festivities. Luckily we have no footage of my attempts at dancing from my September visit =)

This picture (above) is one of me and Mike Kim (my long-time buddy who's a missionary in China and who joined us for the trip). I realized more and more the great honor and necessity of prayer walking on the soil of lands that have such few believers. In a land whose air rarely contains the worship, praise and prayer to God Almighty, I realized it wasn't just prayer walking, but it was power walking ... claiming that ground for Christ ... planting seeds of the Kingdom through Kingdom prayers ... cultivating the soil of that land to prepare itself for the coming harvest ... knowing strongholds were being broken and lives were being covered with prayer ... it was awesome to be a part of.

It's pretty cool how God allows His kids to be a part of something so grand ... and I can't wait till heaven to see how God used each one of those prayers to build His Kingdom in these nations we pray for.

Back in the city of Conakry (the capital of Guinea), we were able to see what happens on Fridays for their Muslim "holy day" of prayer. During their noon time prayer, everything stops and the streets and mosques are filled with people getting ready to pray. It was a massive gathering of people everywhere. Then for about 15 minutes they whole city is led in a time of prayer and bowing several times ... a bit eerie to see actually. It was sad to see so many people blindly bowing to a false god ... we couldn't help but pray for God to open their eyes to see the One True God who alone could save them.

To keep it random ...

A couple of bits from France ... our layover. I liked this airport ... and why did I like this airport in France (CDG)? Because U2 used this airport as their cover shot for the "All That You Can't Leave Behind" album ... AND they recorded their "Beautiful Day" video in this airport too ... =) It was also cool because God sent a lot of snow while we were in Paris ... it was so nice to see snow again ... it's been years since I last saw that much snow ... in my heart I felt like a kid again, wanting to look at every detail of each snow flake that fell on my jacket. I considered it a gift from God ... He's cool.

Currently Listening
All That You Can't Leave Behind
By U2
When I Look at the World

(this is the album cover I was talking about) =)

Monday, January 02, 2006

Happy New Year

Hey all ... the Guinea team and I got back on New Year's Eve and everyone returned safe and healthy, so thank you for everyone who prayed for us while we were gone. It was great to be back and see that the Thailand team also returned with many exciting testimonies to share. I was thankful to see and hear of those who stepped up to the challenges that this year's mission trips brought.

I think this next year is going to bring about a lot of changes ... esp. for our ministry. We'll be moving again to a new place of worship in the next couple of weeks and there may also be another service in the picture too ... Lord willing.

The picture above is during our time in northern Guinea visiting some missionaries who are reaching out to many unreached villages ... it was a great time of blessing to see these families serving God and raising children who love Christ too.

Well, I have some major jet-lag so I thought I would post a brief update and wish everyone a belated Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. To those who prayed, your prayers protected us, sustained us and helped build His Kingdom in the nations of Guinea and Thailand, so thank you. Please continue to pray for Mike and Jane as they are still in Morocco until the end of the month. And please also pray for God to provide the right new place for us to worship in as well.

It was so nice to be reunited with my wife and my family at New Life this weekend. Looking forward to seeing what God will do in 2006! God bless and may this year be one of abundant growth and intimacy ... in His presence.

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