To Pray or Not to Pray

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values

The pressure to be a pastor is too great – sometimes there is a higher standard placed on pastors than the average Christian. In some ways, I welcome it because it comes with the ball game of leading God’s people. But on the other hand, I realized that whether we are a pastor or not, there are some ways that we just need to do a better job of being God’s witnesses.

Our family went to Chicago during the 4th of July weekend to spend some time together before I left for India. Christina and I heard of an incredible place for cold Korean noodle soup (in Korean it is called “Mul Naeng Myun”). Normally it is made out of buckwheat noodles but this one is made out of homemade arrowroot noodles. We decided to treat my parents out to this place.

The events that transpired when we got there were nothing short of a nightmare. We arrived around 5:40PM. We were waiting for a table but as soon I noticed that we were waiting not because there were no seat available but because of the lack of serving staff, we just decided to seat ourselves. We waited for a server to come to at least start off by giving us water, but to no avail we ended up serving ourselves. By the time the server took our order and the food came out it was 7:28PM. If you do the math, by the time we came in and got our food it was 1 hour and 48 minutes.

I was a bit upset to say the least. For those of you who know me and my perspective on service, you are probably asking a couple of questions: 1) Were the noodles that good that you were willing to wait almost 2 hours for them? 2) Did you get the meal for free? 3) Why didn’t you guys walk out?

The answers to the questions are: “decent,” “no” and “Christina had more authority on this one.”

I have a confession to make – instead of reading the situation correctly and being patient, I lost my cool. The people around us in the other tables thought I was going to kill someone. Christina was so upset at me that she said, “If you don’t like the service, go somewhere else by yourself and meet us afterwards.” I think I even stumbled my parents (and that is hard to do in light of all that they went through with trying to raise me). When the food finally came, I was at a crossroad – should we pray for the food? I realized that I just ruined my witness and if we prayed then I would have ruined the Christian witness. I wanted everyone to pray by themselves but then I would have lost credibility with my family. Oh, the dilemmas in life!

I finally decided to pray as the “pastor” representative. It was a humbling experience. Now I know why one of the fruit of the Spirit is patience. But I like the NKJV where it says, “long-suffering.” Ha!

God uses everything and anything to remind us that we still have a long way to go in being more like His Son.

4th of July Reflections

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Viewpoint

My family and I ended up going to a local town in the suburbs of Chicago to see the fireworks. It was good to spend time with my older sister Diane and her husband. All my family members were there except for Marc, my younger brother. He was out in California.

As the fireworks were about to begin, they had all of us stand and take off our hats (if we had them) for the singing of the National Anthem. In fact, it was a moving moment for me as I was thinking about all the sacrifices people have made for this country so that we can enjoy the freedom that we now have. But as we were singing the anthem, I panned out to see the crowd and then noticed something that began to bother me.

There were a group of high school students that were just sitting down with their hats on almost in defiance. Something inside of me wanted to go to them and tell them to stand and show some respect. But then I was thinking about how I was so rebellious in high school and I just decided to let it go.

But as we were driving back, Christina and I had a conversation about the situation. We came to 2 conclusions:

1) The younger generation has lost the sense of honor and respect. These are character traits that we need to bring back in our society. When we are young all we can think about is ourselves and it is hard to be thankful for the sacrifice that people made for us. Independence Day is a constant reminder that for years people sacrificed their lives so that we can be free.

 

2) It goes back to the parents. I was wondering if they had parents that taught them these basic traits of honor and respect. If we don’t teach it to our children then they will not be able to pass it on to the next generation.

Either way, I was able to enjoy an awesome firework display and I was more convinced then ever to teach my kids about honor and respect.

NU Church Plant Update – 7.2.06

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Visits

Since we had the AMI Revolution Conference here in Ann Arbor, we decided to meet up here instead of Chicago. Many people could not come to the conference therefore we just had a planning meeting with a handful of us. We finalized the rest of the summer schedule and then we tried to strategize for the new academic school year.

Sometimes it is hard to plan for something that we have no idea of how things will turn out. We do not know how many people will be coming out to our church. We do not have a consistent place to meet. I guess this is where faith comes in as we try to do this church plant. But one thing that we are passionate about is evangelism. Therefore, we are positioning ourselves so that we will be able to reach out to the new students that will be coming to campus this September.

By the end of our planning session, we got a sense that it really has to be the Lord that will start this church. Therefore, all we can do is to pray and trust in His leading. When God gives us the “vision” He will give us the “pro-vision” because God is for the vision.

AMI Revolution 2006

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Victories

What a great conference! It was exciting to see so many students from various universities around the States gathered together in Ann Arbor to worship and pray together for the purposes of God to be fulfilled in our generation. Seeing so many people come up to the front of the stage to place their commitment cards on the altar of God was a blessing. Many of them committed themselves to missions as well as reaching out to their campuses.

God is doing a fresh thing… over a hundred years ago there was a powerful movement of the Spirit that inspired and challenged many college students to commit themselves to world evangelization. We desire to see another Student Volunteer Movement in our generation… students who have received God’s love and are ready to respond to that love.

The missions teams are in intensive training right now. In about 4-5 days they will all be released to be God’s ambassadors to Peru, China, India, Japan, Vietnam and Dearborn. It is truly a privilege to be a part of what God is doing all over the world.

We will try to have some pictures up soon at the
AMI Revolution website.