14-Days of Vision

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Vision

This past Saturday, Jan 28th we started a prayer initiative called, “14 Days of Vision: Revisiting God’s Purposes and Plans.” We implemented this initiative because we wanted to be prepared and focused for the Transformation Vision Sunday coming up in Feb 12th. We are now four days into this prayer initiative.

It is hard to believe that we first started the Transformation Vision campaign about 2 years ago. As I reflect back on the 2 years, I realized that so much as happened since then. We have seen more people experience life transformation… we have launched new ministries and outreaches… we have expanded our missions program… and the list goes on.

As we enter into this new stage of our church, I am encouraged to know that our vision from the start of our church in 1996 of “transforming lost people into Christ’s disciples who will then transform the world” has not changed. I will be re-casting this vision and inviting our church to commit to making the vision a reality.

In our time of focused prayer, I have faith that people will see God’s purposes in the world and then it will translate into a specific plan – not ours but God’s plan and God’s agenda.

p.s. Don’t forget to pray through the 2 key passages for this season of prayer:
Jn 4:35 and Mt 9:37-38

My Comrades

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Victories, Viewpoint

Here is my cohort.

Dmin-class2.jpg

There is something unifying about going to battle with people who are just as committed as you in accomplishing a goal. In this case, we are trying to receive a doctorate degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Boston. Even though we have lost some people along the way, it has been an awesome journey. After the grueling 3 years of classes, papers, projects, discussions, and presentations, I can confidently say it was worth the experience.

As we were saying our goodbyes, there was a sense that we really did experience something together that will be unique to us. I felt like we made some genuine friendships and life-long connections. For some reason I felt as if our paths will cross again.

I was just humbled to have had the privilege of meeting so many great men and women of God in the Lord’s work. God is going to use them for His Kingdom.

Thank you Lord for constantly bringing people in my life at various stages to teach me that building God’s Kingdom cannot be done alone – there are no mavericks in ministry. The journey is always better with comrades – and it is just more fun that way.

A Room Full of Estrogen

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Victories, Viewpoint

It was a crazy week with a full load of classes, papers, all-nighters and Dunkin’ Donuts. But by God’s grace, I was able to finish everything for the 1st week of class (one more week to go). I finally arrived to the first women’s retreat of HMCC on Friday night.

Christina spoke to the women Friday night. I was scheduled to speak on Saturday morning and Saturday evening. I came as the reluctant servant – I am more of the guy’s guy and I wanted to speak to the brothers in our church. But due to the circumstances I was forced to be the Asian T. D. Jakes (Woman, Thou Art Loosed)… haha!

I noticed some things at this retreat:

1) There was a level of spiritual hunger in the lives of the women in our church that I have not seen before. I think it was always there but I just never paused long enough to notice it. Thank God for the sisters in our church – they are strengthening our church to become a spiritual church.

2) If you strip away the male gender from the room, it is amazing to see the focus on the ladies’ faces (and please I am not saying this in a negative way). In fact it is amazing how this was true for the brothers at the men’s retreat. I talked with some leaders at the men’s retreat and they came to the same conclusion. Maybe when we remove all the distractions in our lives, we begin to create space for God to work in our lives

3) When a person is outnumbered 113 to 3 by gender (thank God for Josiah and Elliot), it is easy to be self-conscious and feel a bit awkward. But when you see your daughter in every single one of the women in the room, you are able to minister to them with a father’s heart.

I believe the retreat (both the men’s and the women’s) set us in the right direction as a church.

Fist of Fury

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values, Viewpoint

     

Many of you are probably too young to remember Bruce Lee’s 1972 film, Fist of Fury. But I grew up watching all of Bruce Lee’s movies because he was an inspiration to all Asians living with prejudice in America. It was a childhood dream to beat up on anybody who picked on me. The infamous “nose flick” and motioning with the hands to come and fight were signature marks of Bruce Lee. It was truly a classic. I remember mimicking that move many times.

As I got older, I realized that you cannot simply beat up on people just because they are picking on you (please don’t get me wrong… I think we need to learn how to stick up for ourselves). But more than using the fist, the key was learning how to use your mind and your conflict resolution skills. One passage that would always bother me in the Bible was when Jesus said, “But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also” (Mt 5:39).

This verse haunts me and still bothers me. I just found out that a bully at Elliot’s school pushed him and hit him in the eye. As Christina was sharing this over the phone, I was going to get on the next flight to Ann Arbor and find this guy and his parents and I was going to… (man, it is hard being a Christian sometimes). I had a talk with Elliot. It was a difficult talk to say the least. But I reminded him of defending himself and also learning how to love people and to pray for those who hurt you.

Christina found out from another parent that this bully has been beating up on other kids in the class as well. But then she told me that he comes from a difficult home situation. I still could not excuse this kid but it helped me to see the importance of having good influences in your life. Slowly, my fist of fury turned into a fist of mercy and grace. I ended up praying for this kid and his family.

God used this incident to remind me of three lessons:

1) People will always hurt you, but the way you respond to them will either reveal Christ or your flesh.

2) People who end up hurting others are usually the ones that have been hurt before by someone else. It truly is a vicious cycle and it has to be broken.

3) Just as I was passionate about Elliot and not wanting anything to harm him, Christ is passionate about us. Especially, when we are getting a beating from Satan. God does not just idly stand by… He fights for us.

Back to School

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values, Viewpoint, Visits

I am in Boston right now trying to finish off my last residency for my doctorate. We started our class by going around and sharing how this past year has been for us. As we went around the room, I was one of the last ones to share. After hearing about deaths in the family, physically illnesses, closed doors in ministry, and other setbacks, I couldn’t help but to praise God. I was ready to share about how hard this past year has been for me, but in light of everything that was shared, I just thanked God for His faithfulness.

I was thinking: I have an awesome wife who is so supportive of me in everything that I do, three children that have been praying for me to finish my papers, and a church filled with people whose lives have been transformed by the Gospel message… Seth WHAT MORE CAN YOU ASK FOR?!

It is interesting that I have to keep on re-taking the test on the perspective lesson. Too often when I become insular and focused on myself, I feel as if the world is crashing down on me or the burden is too great to carry. But once I look beyond myself, all I see is God’s faithfulness and goodness. Once again, I have a weird feeling that I will be learning a lot of things that are more related to life than in the classroom.

Lessons from Detroit’s Auto Show

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values, Visits

The boys and I had the opportunity to go to the Detroit Auto Show. It is good to have engineers in your church who believe in blessing the pastor’s family :-) The family decided that it was going to be a special boys’ night out – simply translated: NO GIRLS ALLOWED!

This was a special auto show preview because the real show doesn’t start until the weekend. Therefore, there were less people and we had more opportunities to check out some of the new cars that will be out on the streets soon.

It really brought joy to my heart to see the boys get excited about spending time with me (I am wondering if they were more excited about the cars). The boys knew so much more about the exotic cars (Lamborghini, Ferrari, Porsche, etc) than I did. Then I realized it was because of their PS2 “Need for Speed” racing game… haha!

As we were spending time together the Lord reminded me of a couple of things:

  1. Simplicity of a child’s heart – the excitement of stepping inside the cars over and over again. Oh how the adult’s heart get so easily bored and distracted.
  2. Simplicity of time spent together – sometimes it is not what we do but the fact that we are doing something together. The investment goes a long way.

Here are some pictures… enjoy!

Lexus IS 350 = $35,440
Chevrolet Corvette = $54,250
Porsche 911 Carrera S = $82,165
Dodge Viper SRT 10 = $83,145
Ford GT = $149,995
Lamborghini Murcielago = $328,150
Rolls-Royce Phantom = $328,750
Saleen S7 = $555,000
Ferrari FXX = $1.92 million
Boys’ Night Out (no girls allowed) = priceless

Action Hero!

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

First of all, I want to give some mad props to Pastor Dave Lee from Chicago. Dave, it is truly a spiritual gift! You have a way of finding some of the craziest things on the web.

I took this test to figure out what kind of action hero I would be – and guess what?! I came out to be a mix between James Bond, Maximus and Batman (83% on all 3). Thank God Lara Croft was a bit lower on the scale… haha!

It was kind of funny because they had a tie-breaker question for me to answer before I saw the results. They gave me 3 choices: a) Family means everything to you; b) A secret hideout is essential; c) Members of the opposite sex find you irresistible. Uh… hello?! Family, secret hideout and sexy… I decided to go with the family… haha!

You scored as Maximus. After his family was murdered by the evil emperor Commodus, the great Roman general Maximus went into hiding to avoid Commodus’s assassins. He became a gladiator, hoping to dominate the colosseum in order to one day get the chance of killing Commodus. Maximus is valiant, courageous, and dedicated. He wants nothing more than the chance to avenge his family, but his temper often gets the better of him.

James Bond, Agent 007
83%
Maximus
83%
Batman, the Dark Knight
83%
William Wallace
79%
Indiana Jones
79%
Neo, the "One"
71%
Captain Jack Sparrow
71%
El Zorro
67%
Lara Croft
63%
The Terminator
50%
The Amazing Spider-Man
50%

Which Action Hero Would You Be? v. 2.0
created with QuizFarm.com

Spiritual Mothering

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values, Viewpoint

The Apostle Paul said to the people of Corinth, “You do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel. Therefore I urge you to imitate me.” (1 Co 4:15-17). Nowadays, many people have come to accept the fact that the Bible talks about having a spiritual father, but what about spiritual mothering? When the Apostle Paul wrote to his disciple Timothy, he made reference to the spiritual heritage in Timothy’s life. Paul first mentioned Timothy’s grandmother, Lois and then his mother, Eunice (2 Ti 1:5-6).

As I was thinking about the spiritual influences in my life, I couldn’t help but to think about Ms. Kim (affectionately know as Jip-sa-nim or a.k.a. Yoda). Whenever I see her, I am reminded of the importance of prayer and fasting. The spiritual discipline of fasting and prayer was something that she imparted to me when I was in college. I am truly indebted to her.

I still remember when she got me to pray without me even knowing about it – unbelievable! Since she did not know how to drive, she would ask me if I could drive her to a near by church so that she can pray (side note: it was interesting that she knew that I was free at that time… hmm). As I drove her to the church I was put in a dilemma – either I had to wait for her in the car (kind of like those mafia movies when the car driver would wait until the boss took care of “business”) or I would have to come back and pick her up. The problem with the latter choice was that I would not know when she would be finished with her prayer (I don’t know how we lived without a cell phone back then). Since I didn’t want to wait in the car while she was praying and I definitely did not want her waiting to be picked up, the only reasonable choice was to go in and pray with her. We did this for a whole semester.

As I look back on it now… it was something that she probably strategically planned. She could have gotten a ride with anybody, but why me? She could have prayed at another time (which she often did), but why at that specific time? She could have sat me down and preached to me about prayer, but why did she choose to show me? At the end of the day, I can come back to what Paul said in 1 Co 11:1, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.”

Thanks Jipsanim for pouring yourself into Christina and me. We are where we are today with prayer because of your example.

Challenge: Who would you consider as your spiritual father or your spiritual mother?
Consideration: Maybe if we don’t have one, we can start asking God to place someone in our lives. If we do have one, be thankful and reciprocate the process to a younger person.

Then and Now…

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Viewpoint, Visits

Montrose, PA. OIL 2006 Conference. I can’t believe the OIL Conference is in its 19th year. As I was reflecting on it, I realized that I was part of this OIL Conference for the last 16 years. God is truly the same yesterday, today and forever (Heb 13:8).

After the first night’s worship, we had a fellowship time with pastors, staff, and seminarians. It was great meeting up with a lot of new people and also reconnecting with some old faces. Some of the seminarians looked so young, but then some might say, “Pastor, it is because you are getting older.”

But the most humbling part was that I was able to hear stories of some of these young seminarians who made commitments to do ministry during the OIL Conferences over the years. This is when I was reminded that our labor in the Lord is never in vain (1 Co 15:58). One guy in particular mentioned how he received the Lord at a retreat that I spoke at in Chicago many years ago. We reminisced together. The amazing part of all this is that God would use a person like me to further His Kingdom.

In many ways, OIL has changed especially with the new faces who were serving and the younger conference participants. But, there are some things that will never change – the powerful worship times, the crazy schedule, and the sleepless nights talking with friends and fellow partners in the Gospel.

I am privileged to be a part of the OIL heritage and history.

A worship experience – the same now as it was back then!

Connect with Me

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

E-mail Address: sethskim@gmail.com
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Google Voice: 234-SETHKIM (738-4546)
Website: www.sethskim.com
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LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/sethskim
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Pastor, why do you have your own website?!

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Vision

Happy New Year! I pray that this year will be filled with an abundance of God’s grace and mercy.

As I start off the new year, I want to introduce you to the purpose of this website.

It was July of 1996. Christina and I left all the comforts and security of family and friends in Chicago, and we stepped out in faith to pursue a dream. It was a dream of starting a church at the University of Michigan. I still remember how a small group of us met in our tiny apartment here in Ann Arbor to pray and plan for this new church plant. They were exciting times.

As I look back at those times, I can’t believe how crazy we were to think that a church could start for the purpose of transforming lost people into Christ’s disciples who will then transform the world. It was just a dream, but nine years later we have seen that dream become a reality. For that, we give God all the glory.

Due to our small size in those early years, I was able to invest more personally in all the members of our church. I still remember doing LCGs (Life Change Groups) with some of the brothers. I led the praise band ministry. I spent four hours every week with the small group leaders as we met together on Saturday mornings. In fact, because we were so small, you knew when a person did not come out to church. Following up with people was easy to do.

What I enjoyed about those times was the ability to share my heart with the whole church. Transferring the DNA (the vision and the values) of our church was easy because I could impart it directly to the people. Over the years, though, things have changed.

Hence, the purpose of this website is to regain the DNA of our church, as well as to give you insight on my life. I have broken down the purpose of this blog space into three aspects (I couldn’t resist… please forgive me):

1) Communicate my heart
2) Cast vision
3) Connect with people

I am hoping that the DNA (the ethos) of HMCC will be imparted as I share my heart with you through this new medium. There are times when I am convicted about something, but I might not have an avenue to share with you beyond the pulpit. Therefore, this blog will allow me to share my heart on a broader scale.

Throughout a given week, the Lord sometimes allows me to see things with a long-throw perspective (things related to the future). This is part of my calling to lead this church with a God-given vision. I want to be able to cast a greater vision for our church for the next ten to fifteen years. Therefore, this medium will allow me to share direction as well as discernment regarding the future. In this way, we as a church can be prepared and prayed up for what God has in store for us.

Lastly, as our church continues to grow, it is getting harder to know everybody. People have shared that it is hard to get to know me on a personal level. Practically speaking, it would be difficult to spend one-on-one time with everybody. I realized that an alternate way to build a connection with you is to share various things that are going on in my life. Hopefully, you will gain a better idea of who I am beyond the pulpit. Also, some of our alumni, who are placed all over the world, have expressed their desire to still be connected with us. It is my prayer that ripples can still be sent out from this place to the nations. By staying connected, I believe this can happen.

Enjoy!

p.s. I want to publicly recognize Pete Dahlem for helping me out with this website.
It first started out as a fuzzy vision, but he made it become a reality. Thanks bro… I appreciate you!

What’s Under This Category?

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Viewpoint

Things that I am opinionated about – usually they fall into 2 camps: things that inspire me and things that infuriate me

What’s Under This Category?

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values

Things that reinforce biblical principles which will never fail us – you have heard of the phrase “don’t believe what people say, but believe what they do.” Hopefully, by what I do, you will know what I value.

What’s Under This Category?

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

Things that do not fall into any of the above categories… haha!