In the Airport on New Year’s Eve

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

It is official! My flight got delayed; therefore I will be 30,000 feet in the air when the new year arrives. I am a bit sad that I could not usher it in with my family.

There are still a lot of air travelers at the airport. I am just wondering about their stories – where they are headed? What is making them fly on New Year’s Eve?

But at least they are with their families.

I am trying to have a good perspective on things, but it is a struggle.

But I do have one praise –
It has been one whole year of blogging… I can’t believe it.
Hopefully, I can continue in 2007.

Ushering in 2007

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

I am a bit saddened by the fact that there is a possibility that I will be ushering in the New Year on the plane. My flight will get into DTW around 11:40PM. But if there is a delay then there is a good probability.

There will be people that I do not know and the thing that will bind us together is the fact that we will be welcoming 2007 at 35,000 feet in the air.

Since my watch is set to the GMT, maybe I can lead a countdown on the plane. Maybe I can talk with the pilot and the flight attendants and see they are willing to join us.

But I am hoping that I can usher in the New Year with Christina.

Wedding in December

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Viewpoint

We came back from the youth retreat on Friday, late evening and then in the morning we had to get ready for Pastor Andrew and Nickey’s wedding. It was a crazy last 4-5 days, but what a day to have a wedding – high 40’s, low 50’s in December!

At every wedding there is an array of emotions. Parents are happy for their children, but yet sad because they are “giving” their child away. Married people are nostalgic of their wedding day, but yet realistic as they go through struggles in their marriages. Singles are excited, but yet anxious wondering when it will be their turn. Divorced people are hopeful, but yet cynical realizing that marriage did not bring the fulfillment that they once thought. Widows are pensive, but yet sad at their lost. Little kids are energized as they can run around free, but yet disappointed because the fun has to end some time.

For the pastor?

Well, he feels all of the above in a unique way.

Congratulations, Andrew and Nickey! We are very proud of you and happy for you.

The Pursuit of Happyness

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Viewpoint

I was able to watch the highly touted movie starring Will Smith and his son (his real one).

Several reminders that came forth from the movie:

1) I was reminded about the lengths that a parent will go through for their children. It is the father’s love and the father’s heart that will sacrifice everything so that their children will have everything that they need.

2) I was reminded that people who are homeless are not all lazy and addicts. There are some people who are dealt with various circumstances in life and sometimes they just need a break in order to keep their head afloat.

3) I was reminded that hard work always pays. There is nothing more inspiring than to see a person “making it” because of their determination and perseverance.

But one thing that kept on going through my mind throughout the whole movie was – “what is true happiness?” It would be interesting to meet Chris Gardener in person and interview him regarding the meaning of happiness.

A Party in Heaven

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Visits

“I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.” (Luke 15:7 NIV)

“Count on it—that’s the kind of party God’s angels throw every time one lost soul turns to God.” (Luke 15:10 MSG)

Tonight, in the Kingdom of God, there was a party! Many youth souls entered into the Kingdom and rededicated their lives to Kingdom purposes.

This is the privilege of serving the Lord – I get to be a part of the party. It never gets boring.

Still Reaching the Youth

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Visits

The retreat has been going well. Tonight, the Spirit of God was moving in the hearts of the students as I talked about the importance of biblical community in our lives. At first, I wondered if I would be able to connect with the youth of today. But as I have been sharing my life story, I have been able to speak to their lives.

It dawned upon me that youth are youth, no matter where you go or what culture they are from. They are still hungering for the basic things in life such as acceptance, love and forgiveness. I wouldn’t mind ministering to the youth until they start thinking that I am outdated and old – maybe the long hair will have to stay… ha!

Retreat for Small Churches

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Visits

The family and I are at a retreat right now in Wisconsin. After brunch with some good pastor friends and their families, our family headed out to Wisconsin. For some reason the drive was really long. I don’t know how you feel about the online maps (Google Maps, Mapquest, etc) but for some reason they sometimes give you the worst directions.

This retreat is a gathering of close to 20 different churches in the Chicagoland area. I was telling the retreat participants that I did not want to go in the beginning. I knew that I was going to be tired from the Kenya trip and I wanted to spend time with my family.

But then Christina “rebuked” me or shall I say gently admonished me. She mentioned how spoiled I was growing up in one of the largest youth groups in Chicago when I was in high school. Also, when I became a youth pastor, I served in one of the largest youth groups in Chicago in the 90’s.

Christina on the other hand grew up in a small church which barely had a youth group. It is incredible how our experiences in life affect the way we make decisions.

After praying, I realized the opportunity to minister to so many people who will be future “world shakers and history makers.” So I said yes… under one condition – that my whole family would be able to come to the retreat with me. The retreat facilitators agreed… so we are all here at the retreat.

First night went fairly well as I interlaced my testimony in the passage – the students are receptive.

One thing I left the students with was – “If God can change a person like me, then He can change anyone – there is hope!”

1 Timothy 1:12-17

Blessed Christmas 06

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

Before the craziness of this day, I just wanted to take some time and say, “Merry Christmas” to all of you. I know that many of you will be spending time with your families, but I am particularly remembering those people that will be alone during this time. You are loved and remembered!

For us, it will be busy visiting various family members.

Then tomorrow, I will be hanging out with some good pastor friends and their families. Then I am off to a retreat up in Wisconsin with the whole family. Blessings.

Various Churches, The Same Message

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Viewpoint

Today was one of those days where we had a “free” Sunday. Therefore we decided to visit a church that Christina and I used to visit during my seminary years. Yup, for the record – Christina and I (when we were courting) used to sometimes go to church service for our date nights!

Back in the 80’s and 90’s, Willowcreek Community Church had such a huge impact in the Chicagoland area. I think for most people it was the sheer size of the church, but for me it was the passion for lost people and their value for excellence that inspired me.

It is hard to believe that it has been close to 31 years of reaching out to lost people and letting people know that they “matter to God.”

They had a Christmas special production this weekend (Willowcreek style). It was truly breath-taking as they had angels flying from the ceiling, dancers, musicians, and etc. It was in step with some of the Broadway shows. In the midst of all the presentations, they presented the Gospel in a simple yet powerful way.

Then in the evening, we went to HMCC of Chicago. It was not the same – in the size nor the “production,” but it had the same spirit. Pastor Young from GCC came and spoke. He talked about the simplicity of the Christmas message and how we need to respond appropriately in spite of some of the distractions that come our way.

The Christmas message never gets old because it is presented in so many different ways, with so many different styles – but ultimately it is the same message. Gloria in excelsis Deo!

Breaking Tradition

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

The Kim family is usually good about open presents on December 25th, but this year due to various circumstances, we had to open up the presents last night (3 days before Christmas).

We started off with a b-day cake and sang happy birthday to Jesus. Then we gathered all the presents together. Since we like to be organized, each person claims a spot in the living and brings all their presents to their space. Then we take turns in opening the presents – starting from the youngest one to the oldest.

You should have seen the kids’ faces as they opened up their presents! Oh, the joy of the parent’s heart.

I got some of gifts from my minimally and moderately expensive list. I guess I will have to wait for next year for the things on the most expensive list – by that time, the prices will go down and be on the moderately expensive list… haha!

But I was thankful for all the people that got our family gift certificates to various places and also to the people that gave us something when I knew that they did not have a lot of resources.

Vietnamese First-Timers

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

Christina and I are so appreciative of my parents. They gave up a lot of prior engagements in Chicago to watch the kids while we were in Kenya.

Before we left for Chicago, we had dinner together. We were trying to decide where to go – you have to remember that in Ann Arbor we are limited in choices.

We took them out to a pan-Asian restaurant and ordered some Vietnamese food. It was their first time eating Vietnamese food (hard to believe).

As I watched my parents enjoy some of the dishes that we ordered, it just brought a smile to my face. Not only was this their first time eating Vietnamese food, but they enjoyed it. We are never “too” old to try new things.

The Face Reveals Everything

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

I wish you could have seen the look on KiKi’s face when Christina and I walked through the door. Not only was she smiling and yelling out “daddy, mommy” but she was jumping up and down in elation.

Then when the boys came home from school, they heard our voices. They ran upstairs to greet us with a big hugs and kisses. Just by the look on their faces it showed how happy they were to see us.

I am wondering if this is the look at God has towards us.

Oh Lord, our greatest desire is to bring a smile on your face.

“Let the light of your face shine upon us, O LORD” (Ps 4:6 NIV)

Back from Kenya

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

The team and I arrived this afternoon. It was a pretty interesting plane ride from Nairobi to Amsterdam. As we were an hour or so into the flight, there was a plea from the intercom asking if there was a doctor on the flight. Uh, we just finished our “medical” missions trip with some health professionals.

I was so proud of our doctors and nurse who ended up helping the passenger. Due to the situation and limited medical equipment we had to land in Sudan. Even though it was “inconvenient” for the rest of the passengers, I thought it was pretty prophetic because we had the opportunity to meet two Sudanese medical doctors (in training) who were planning on going back to their home country to serve the millions of people who are suffering.

I ended up lifting up a prayer for Sudan and the hopes of entering into that country one day and bringing the reality of the Kingdom of God.

I wanted to thank all of you who prayed for our trip. It was worth the investment.

As we closed out our time with some debriefing and sharing, it was clearly evident that God did some great things in our midst. We are truly humbled. Thank you for the partnership in the Gospel.

Now, I just need to adjust to the jetlag asap.

Kenya Update 8

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Visits

We spent time doing some R&R today. We headed out to Lake Nakuru National Park to enjoy God’s creation. The park was filled with animals that co-existed peacefully with Land Rovers and Land Cruisers. It was quite an experience.

In fact, the movie, The Lion King was refresh in our minds, as we saw the various animals in their natural habitat (ie. “in the wild”). I think some of us enjoyed this time more than others (we do have a lot of animal lovers on our team).

As we started our drive to Nairobi, we ran into some car trouble that messed up our schedule a bit but ultimately we knew that God was in control.

We arrived in the Africa Inland Mission (AIM) guest house. We are planning on doing some debriefing (preparing ourselves to enter back into the States) in the morning. Then we will do a little shopping for our family and friends in the afternoon. Our flight leaves at 10:45PM (Kenyan time, which is 2:45PM EST). We are expected to arrive at DTW on Thursday at 2PM.

We want to thank all of you for praying for us.

We cannot wait to share with all of you in person all that we have experienced.

Enjoy the pictures of God’s creation:
 
 
 
Warhog.JPG
 
Here is the “Hakuna Matata” guy
 
 
 
Rhinos.JPG
 
Rhinos are enormous – I think they are the one animal that does not get hunted by other animals
 
 
 
Giraffe.JPG
 
We couldn’t help but to think about Geoffrey Giraffe.
 
 
 
Zebra.JPG
 
You would not believe how close we got
 
 
 
Flamingo.JPG
 
The flamingos filled up Lake Nakuru… think pink
 
 
 
Baboon.JPG
 
Do you see the one that was eyeing us?
 
 
 
Driving into the Sunset.JPG
 
A classic picture of driving “into the sunset” to end our time in the park
 
 
 
“All you have made will praise you, O LORD” (Ps 145:10 NIV)
 
 
 
“O LORD, our Lord,
How excellent is Your name in all the earth,
Who have set Your glory above the heavens!
When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
The moon and the stars, which You have ordained,
What is man that You are mindful of him,
And the son of man that You visit him? (Ps 8:1,3-4 NKJV)