Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Sweet and Sour

Podcast Updated

I just uploaded part 3 in my Ruth series entitled "A Match Made in Heaven". You can listen to it in the podcast player on the right side of the blog or download it in the iTunes link here. I've been thoroughly enjoying the preparation of this series and I've definitely fallen back in love with sermon prep.

A New Ministry ... A New Lesson

Things in the new ministry has been interesting to say the least. It's by far the most unique ministry situation I've been in. One lesson God has been teaching me is that as we grow older in this journey called life, we either become sweet or sour. And I think that depends on how we learn to embrace all that God sends our way. If we learn to give thanks for all things and trust Him in faith during seasons of suffering, our hearts will grow tender and softer as we age, but if we think our rights were violated and complain that life stinks because nothing goes our way, I think that's how people grow sour and bitter. So I pray I will grow sweeter as the years go by :) BTW, there are some amazingly sweet people in Wesley! Radiant with warmth and love. And by God's grace, I hope I can grow old gracefully as they have :)

Wrong Question

To help me with this goal, instead of asking "why?" to God when difficulties come my way, I have now learned to ask God "what?" ... "What do you want me to learn through this difficult situation, God?" "What is it that you are trying to teach me?" "What do you want to develop in me through this?" This line of questioning has greatly changed my perspective on life, difficulties and other people that come my way. And this change in approach effects my faith and heart ... and determines if, with each passing day, I am becoming sweet ... or sour.

Anyways, I pray that all who read this will be growing sweeter in faith until we reach our final banquet table with our Savior and Friend, who has been and always will be working out ALL THINGS for His good purposes ... and for His glory.

(Man, all this sweet and sour talk makes me want to eat "tang-su-yuk"!) Maybe Sunday :)

Currently Listening
Jars of Clay
By Jars of Clay

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Follow Up

A Cool Tool

This is a bit of a random post. First off, I guess it's a bit of a follow-up post to my previous one about moral integrity in ministry. Piper's Desiring God blog listed an accountability questionnaire that their pastoral staff fill out and go through with each other. The link is here and you can download a PDF file of the handout. It's a great tool to use, so I wanted to post it for accountability groups who may want to use it.

XLV in Big D!

And I wanted to share my excitement that Dallas just won the bid to host Super Bowl XLV (45)! So mark your calendars now! On February 6, 2011 the Super Bowl is coming to Dallas! Woohoo! They've made the most Super Bowl appearances of any team but have never hosted the Big Game. With the young talent that's assembled right now, I think they have the best shot to be the first team to play in the Super Bowl on their home turf. They'll have their new psycho-awesome stadium finished in a couple of years, which will be the best sports facility in the world (slightly biased) ... and ready just in time for XLV. I think I'm going to start saving up for tickets now :) Woohoooooo!

Currently Watching
NFL Super Bowl Collection - Dallas Cowboys
By Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith
see related

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Seeing the Face of God


I guess just to get the logistics out of the way before I share from my heart, I just uploaded today's sermon onto my podcast. I added a new feature (on the right ... look for the thing called "My Offering to God") so you can just click the media player to hear the latest sermon, but for those who use iTunes and still want to download the MP3, you can visit my iTunes podcast link
here (it might take a day or two to show up on iTunes though). And now to what I really wanted to share ...

Surprise Gifts

God really ministered to me today even though I was the one called upon to minister. I was SOOOOO happy to see so many old friends come and visit during the morning and afternoon services. Some of them I haven't seen for months but seeing them today made me realize how much I missed them ... their fellowship, their friendship and simply their presence in my life. Worshiping God together again was sweet ... and spending time in fellowship afterwards confirmed that they still hold a very special place in my heart.

Seeing the Face of God

I've missed being in a close-knit community for so long (almost a year and a half) that having so many loved ones around me was almost an emotional overload (in a good way) =) I understood in a new way what Jacob felt when he was reunited with his brother and declared, "to see your face is like seeing the face of God." [Genesis 33:10] The love, care and support symbolized by their simple presence was a manifestation of the kindness of God through them ... to me. The message of kindness I was preaching about today, was the same message God was speaking to me. It was a reminder that "the LORD has not stopped showing kindness" to His people ... to His children ... and even to me. [Ruth 2:20]


He has showered over me with His "radical kindness" [hesed] ... and for that I am led to run to God again ... to find my rest and shelter under His mighty wings. And with my heart at peace, I can say with confidence that "surely mercy and goodness will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever." [Psalm 23:6] So thank you to everyone who came to visit. You were the "hesed" of God to me today.

Currently Listening
Window in the Skies, Pt. 1
By U2
Can't You See What Love Has Done

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Our Blessed Famine [EDIT]

I'm finally preaching again! Wow, have I missed it. For those who don't know, I'm currently the interim pastor for Wesley Church in the city. It's one of the first churches in Australia and they're celebrating their 195th anniversary next week (wow!). I preach at the 10:30am and 3:00pm services. There are some great people in those congregations and I was thankful to see some familiar faces as well on Sunday. Because there might be some big changes for me next year, I decided against church planting (for now) and took this interim position instead.

Since it was Mother's Day, I preached from Ruth and decided to do a series on the book that will take us through the next few weeks. Though I did a study through Ruth before, I wanted to start from scratch again and see what God had in store. My love for sermon prep came back as I was preparing for this series during the past few weeks. I was literally blow away at the depth and power of God's Word while studying these chapters. With every word from God to me, I felt like I was on top of the world ... and then it led me into worship as I lavished in His presence.

Thank you to each person who has been praying for me. And now I ask for your prayers in this new season of ministry. I'm looking forward to growing and learning together with these new congregations. Here's a link to the sermon from Sunday's morning service (and if you don't have iTunes, click here for the direct link ... please excuse the huge photo). It's entitled "Our Blessed Famine" from Ruth 1:1-22. Hopefully my podcasts will be updated more regularly again. Have a great week and thanks always for your partnership through prayer.

EDIT: And for people who have been asking about parking for Wesley, you can park at the Piccadilly Car Park on Castlereigh St., get your ticket validated at the Wesley Mission reception desk and then parking is $5.00 ALL DAY SUNDAY! Yea! :) Pretty good for city parking!

EDIT 2: Just wanted to share a recent graduation message from John Piper called "Four Mistakes I Hope You Don't Make". His outline of mistakes we make are: #1: thinking big is better than small, #2: thinking new is better than old, #3: thinking having is better than being, #4: thinking visible is better than invisible. Some solid wisdom for living no matter what season of live you're in. Enjoy.

Currently Listening
Blessed Be Your Name the Songs of Matt Redman, Vol. 1
By Matt Redman
Blessed Be Your Name

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Sunday, May 06, 2007

The Weekend

Hyun and I had a great weekend celebrating her birthday (which she prefers to downplay). She's a huge Mozart and Bach fan, so I got her the Complete Works of Mozart which had like 150 CD's (!) and my parents got her the Complete Works of Bach, which I think had even more CD's. I never quite got into classical, but I guess I'll have to start getting used to it now because I'm sure I'll be surrounded by it from now on.

We explored some nice restaurants, fun hang out spots AND ... saw Spiderman 3, which is now in my list of favorite movies (the others being Shawshank Redemption and Gladiator). I personally think it's the best one in the trilogy, mainly because of the powerful message of forgiveness and restoration. I loved the way they played out the themes of evil, the influence of sin and the effects of revenge in the inner-man. But I guess I shouldn't talk too much about it in case people haven't seen it yet. But Parker's final words to the Sandman still ring in my ears to this day. An awesome movie with an even better message. SEE IT! :)

Not by choice, but currently listening to ...
Bach: Complete Works - CD Box Set
see related

Friday, May 04, 2007

Bibles for India

Just in case you didn't know, Koorong is partnering up with OM to provide much needed Bibles to India. This will be going on throughout the month of May.

All you have to do is bring in any Bible you'd like to donate to your local Koorong Bookstore and place it in the "Bibles for India" section.

Here's some info on their project:

Why India?

There are currently around 1.1 billion people living in India. According to government figures, the estimated Christian population is 2.6%. However it is estimated that the true figure is around 7%.

Over 80% of India’s population is Hindu and the country also has the second largest Muslim population in the world. Other religious groups include Sikhs, Buddhists, Baha’is and Jews.

This diversity of religions, coupled with the size and growth of India’s population, make it a prime place to target evangelism projects.

Who is STL OM Books India?

STL OM Books is a fully integrated publisher, distributor and retailer of Christian resources in South East Asia. Based in Hyderabad, India, the not-for-profit company aims to produce quality products to resource the Christian community. As part of the STL group, the company is the largest distributor of Christian products in Asia.

STL (Send the Light) and OM (Operation Mobilisation) first partnered to distribute Christian literature in India in 1964, with STL OM Books India officially created in 2006.

OM Books now has 23 stores throughout India. The organisation also resources 300 hundred agencies across India that also sell Christian products, including retail stores, libraries, bible seminaries and third party agents.

The mission of STL OM Books India is to advance the Christian faith through the publishing, distribution and retailing of quality Christian resources. Part of this aim is to provide the Indian church with low-cost Bibles.

For more information you can go to their website.

Currently Listening
Christ His Passion: Remembering the Sacrifice
By Various Artists
With Every Breath