BBQ Update 3

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

This was the third group of leaders that we had over to our house. It was hard adjusting as the host, since I just got back from Chicago and had to help cook right away. I realized that traveling back and forth to Chicago takes a toll on the body and mind.

For some reason, as we were eating together, our conversation turned toward the topic of pets and animals. I can’t believe the number of people who love animals. I was informed that if I checked out, I would fall in love with animals. Hmm… I checked it out and my heart still remains steadfast.

NU Church Plant Update – 8.14.06

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Visits

We are 6 weeks away from officially launching the church plant.

The text that we studied this past Sunday was Acts 17:16-18:28. There were three things that we highlighted in this passage:

1) The PREPARATION of people’s hearts – It is sobering to think that God is at work long before we actually arrive at a place – hence, reminding us once again that it is God’s work and not ours. When we look all throughout the book of Acts, we notice that whenever the apostles would go into a city and preach the Gospel, there were always people who responded to the message. It was as if there was a divine appointment. In Acts 17:34, we notice that this was the case in Athens for Dionysius, a member of the Areopagus, and Damaris. In Corinth, Aquila and his wife, Priscilla, were ready to receive the Gospel message (Ac 18:2). Even Crispus, a synagogue ruler, and his entire family came to know the Lord (Ac 18:8). Was it Paul’s incredible speaking ability? Was it the latest method or program? All we can conclude is that God was working in the hearts of these people, and when Paul faithfully obeyed God by going and preaching the Gospel, the people responded. As we look at Northwestern and the greater Chicagoland area, there will be many people that God is already preparing for the reception of the Gospel message. This is all the more reason why we need to be on our knees in prayer – b/c prayer reminds us that it is God’s work and that it is God who is working.

2) The PREACHING of the Gospel
– As we turn the pages of the book of Acts, we cannot help but to notice an important trend. Whenever the apostles entered into a new city, their primary focus and priority was to preach the Gospel. They did it in Athens, Corinth, Thessalonica, Berea, Salamis, Pisidian Antioch, Debre, Perga, Philippi, and the list of cities goes on and on. After doing church in Ann Arbor for 10 years, I realize that it is easy for a church to stray from the priority of preaching the Gospel. Please don’t get me wrong… discipleship, fellowship, worship and all the other important components of church-life are important, but too often we keep on forgetting that preaching of the Gospel has to be at the forefront of the church’s mission. This is something that we need to commit ourselves to as we start this new church. We must preach the Gospel to those who are spiritually lost. The Gospel message has to also penetrate into the hearts of the believers – as we have been saying here in Ann Arbor, “We must wake up each morning and look in the mirror, then preach the Gospel to ourselves.”

3) The PIONEERING of new places for planting churches – The early church was consumed with the passion to see a viable and visible witness of the Gospel in every city. They understood the important principle that “church” was not a building but it was the people of God (ekklesia = the called out ones). Through the “called out ones,” the visible witness of the Gospel was going to shine. As the priority of preaching the Gospel was taken seriously, people came to know the Lord and started to make up the church. Once the church was established, Paul would often stay at that place to build up the believers (Ac 18:11, 18, 23). But the amazing part of all this is that Paul never stayed in one place for too long. He was consumed with the mission of seeing more cities being filled with visible witnesses of the Gospel by planting churches through the recent converts. Is this how church is supposed to be done? Are we entering into a new era of the Church? Instead of the mega-churches that we are so familiar with, is it possible that we are revisiting the days of the book of Acts, where there were “multi-churches”? There are so many cities and neighborhoods where the visible witness of the Gospel is not evident. We are entering into the days of the apostolic church, where the pioneering spirit is alive and well. The passion to plant more churches is capturing the hearts of God’s people. This is one of the key DNA that we would love to see in this new church plant. Isn’t this what the early church did? We affirmed this as we studied our passage – Ac 18:1, 18, 21b, 22-23.

We ended out time together in prayer. We prayed for these things to come to pass in our new church. We also spent some time praying for one another. The foundations are being laid and the vision is pressing us forward.

Airport Security

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

As I was planning out my flight from DTW to ORD, I made sure that I got rid of all liquids, gels, shampoo and toothpaste. Bottom line – I was traveling even lighter than I normally travel with my luggage. After going through the security check, I was pulled over for an “extra” security check. The security lady opened up my luggage and found my deodorant. For the next 5 minutes I was trying to convince her that it was not a gel deodorant. I tried to explain that it was a solid anti-perspirant. She disagreed and said it was in the gel form. Out of my stubbornness I told her to open it up and double check (personally, I didn’t want to buy another one). She angrily opened up the deodorant and turned the dial. She then began to explain the chemistry and the material science of deodorants (simply, she was schooling me).

She then said I had three options (I like options):
1) Go out of security and go to the ticket counter and check-in my little luggage
2) Go out of security and give the items to the person who dropped me off at the airport
3) Give it to them to discard

Hmm… the first two options were too inconvenient, but the 3rd option seemed like such a waste. So, I proposed a 4th option. The security lady raised her eyebrows in response to my defiance. I told her that I did not like the three options that she gave me. I said, “How about a 4th option? I will donate it to you or to the airport community of Detroit.” With a small chuckle she trashed it in a bin with all the other toothpastes, hairsprays, shampoos, colognes, perfumes, gels and deodorants.

For some reason, it was easier to relinquish my possessions if I perceived it as a donation. But then again, the word “donation” still has the sense of ownership of the possession. I am wondering what would happen if we saw everything in our lives as God’s property. Then, relinquishing it would be easier whenever God asks for it.