Moon Perspective

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Viewpoint

Last night, our family went out to eat. Since I was out for about a week, it was good to just catch up as we shared a meal together. As we were driving home, there was a crescent moon (a quarter moon) in the night sky.

We were all looking at it and then Karissa said, “Hey, the moon is following us!” Christina and I started to laugh. From a little 3-year-old perspective, the moon was moving with us and following us. Every time we turned left, the moon was there… every time we turned right, the moon was there.

Was the moon really following us?

To a 3-year-old, it WAS following us.

The best part was seeing the wonder and fascination on her face…

If we can only have this kind of awe and amazement with who God is… it might just increase our faith.

Saints “Still” Marching On

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Viewpoint

I am at the O’Hare airport in Chicago right now and there are so many New Orleans Saints fans. The dedication of these fans is pretty impressive… they flew all the way here to root their Saints on. What amazes me more is that they are all still wearing their Saints jerseys (and very proudly I might add).

Maybe I am reading too much into things but there must be something about going through adversities (Hurricane Katina) that endears people to one another or to some thing.

What endears us to our fellow Christians? Sometimes it is hard getting along with one another. I am guessing this is why we have to focus on Christ more than anything else. We are on the same team… fighting the same enemy.

It would have been a Cinderella story if New Orleans went all the way, but since they had to go through the Chicago Bears, it would have been hard for me to see that happen :-) Da Bears!

Quote on Love

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Viewpoint

I ran across this quote on “love” in some of my readings. I thought it was pretty simple yet profound. It is by a Swiss theologian, Emil Brunner. I am constantly reminded that love is so “others-focused.” This is why it is so hard to love.

“Love does not inquire into the character of the recipient but it asks what he needs. It does not love him because he is such-and-such a person but because he is there. In all this it is quite the opposite of natural love: it “does not seek its own.” It does not perform the characteristic natural impulse of love and life. Therefore it is basically independent of the conduct of the other person; it is not conditional but absolute. It wants nothing for itself but only for others. Therefore it is also not vulnerable. It never “reacts” but is always “spontaneous,” emerging by its own strength – rather, from the power of God. Love is the real God-likeness of man for which he has been created. In so far as love is in man he really resembles God and shows himself to be the child of God.”

One of Those “Moments”

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

Have you ever had one of those moments where God used something to speak to you about something?

On the plane ride back from LA, I was listening to my iPod and a song came on from my playlist that I have not heard in a long time. I just found myself getting ministered unto. My eyes started to get misty, as the words of the song spoke life into me.

God can use anything to encourage us and to remind us that He is always there.

Catching Up in Chicago

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Visits

I flew directly from LA to Chicago and got in last night around midnight. I hung out with some of the HMCC of Chicago guys at Peter’s place (our semi-church office and semi-hang out place). Then afterwards, I talked with Pastor Jimmy… I didn’t get to sleep until really late. But it is always worth it to lose some sleep over building important relationships.

Then this morning I met up with the staff guys over breakfast. We had some good time of sharing and just catching up on things. I also shared about issues that pertained to the vision and the direction of the church here in Chicago. If there is anything I need to constantly do, it is to share the vision and the direction of the church again and again.

Then in the late morning we had our church prayer gathering. It was a good size group. We spent some time praying for the retreat as well as the future of this church plant.

I will be heading out to AA later in the afternoon and FINALLY get an opportunity to spend some time with the family.

Priceless Series

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

 
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This coming weekend we are going to start a 2-part series called, “Priceless.” As many of you know, at the start of every year we try to cover the principles of stewardship. This is one area that our generation needs to learn and apply. This will be the vehicle in which we will be able to see greater transformation in our lives (freedom from greed and materialism) and transformation in our spheres of influence (allocating resources to fulfill the Great Commission).

I am looking forward to sharing God’s heart in this series.

The Sage

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Visits

We are finishing off in our time here in California. We have one more session of planning and praying. It was great to spend time with people that have the same passionate and heart as you. We have been soaking in God’s presence. I am rediscovering the importance of solitude.

I can’t wait to go back and share with you all that God is doing in AMI and around the world. I will probably have to meditate on some of the things that we talked about here and then process it… but I know that God has clearly revealed the vision and the direction for the years to come.

I will be heading out to Chicago to get things prepared for the HMCC of Chicago congregational retreat next week. Then I will finally be home on Saturday.

 
 
 
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Pastor Victor is trying to be our AMI sage with his “discovered” bamboo stick. The Post-It’s in the background are just a third of all the notes that we took… crazy.

Mountain Side

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Visits

This morning, I had the opportunity to hike up a mountain (well, more like the foothills) near the retreat center. I haven’t huffed and puffed like that in a long while. It was another affirmation that I need to get my cardio back up to speed.

As I was on top of the foothills, I was just reminded of my time in the Rocky Mountains… when I was all alone in God’s presence. Sometimes seeing things below with a higher perspective reminds me how we need to see things from God’s perspective. Especially, when there are trials and struggles.

I was also reminded of all the people in this world that are lost without the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. When we go through the daily things of life, it is easy to get myopic. But seeing a portion of the world from a higher perspective helps us to see the hundreds, thousands, millions and billions of people who need Christ.

Recently our church sang Steven Curtis Chapman’s song, “Much of You.” This song in some ways has been a theme song for me recently. It is so easy to make much of ourselves… but when we think about all that God has made (Ps 8), we are humbled to know that we are nothing without Him. And if anything good comes out of our lives, it is ALL because of Him.

Here are the words to the song:

How could I stand here
And watch the sun rise
Follow the mountains
Where they touch the sky
Ponder the vastness
And the depths of the sea
And think for a moment
The point of it all was to make much of me
Cause I’m just a whisper
And You are the thunder and

 

I want to make much of You, Jesus
I want to make much of Your love
I want to live today to give You the praise
That You alone are so worthy of
I want to make much of Your mercy
I want to make much of Your cross
I give You my life
Take it and let it be used
To make much of You

 

And how can I kneel here
And think of the cross
The thorns and the whip and the nails and the spear
The infinite cost
To purchase my pardon
And bear all my shame
To think I have anything worth boasting in except for Your name
Cause I am a sinner
And You are the Savior

 
 
 

Here are some pictures:
 
 
 
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Looking at our retreat center from the foothills
 
 
 
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View from the top of the foothills
 
 
 
Top of Mt3.JPG
 
Now you know why I was huffing and puffing
 
 
 
Calif Tree1.JPG
 
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This tree was somewhat out of place in the barren foothills… but then I couldn’t help but to think about how God often times provides an oasis for our souls, even in the barren and dry times. It was cool standing under it and getting some much needed rest.
 
 
 
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All this nature is beginning to soften my heart towards animals
 
 
 
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If you read carefully, you will notice that this is part of the passage that I used for my sermon on the “Transformative Spirituality.” All the pavement here is laid with these marble stones with verses on them.

Quiet Reflection

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Visits

I was pondering on the 17th century French theologian, Francois Fenelon’s words – “Silence promotes the presence of God… If you are faithful in keeping silence when it is not necessary to speak, God will preserve you from evil when it is right for you to talk.”

In the quietness of this place, I realized how much I have not promoted God’s presence due to all the “noise” in my life. There is something about solitude and silence that causes a soul to experience God in a different way.

I need more of it.

My time here with the TLT (trans-local team) of AMI has been good. We have been covering business items in the morning and then having some time of personal reflection and prayer in the afternoons. Then in the evenings we have been working on future direction for AMI.

It is just exciting when you see all that God is doing on these huge Post-It papers all over the wall. I will try to sneak a quick picture of it if I can. It is like the war room.

Rancho Capistrano, California

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Visits

It has been great getting away from everything and spending some time in prayer. The TLT and I have been spending portions of the day in personal times of prayer and reflection. Then we would come together to plan and discuss things that are related to AMI.

I am seeing the benefit of getting away from everything and trying to hear the voice of the Lord. It really helps that we are very close to nature. There is a mountain right next to us, albeit it is a small mountain. Then there is this pond where I have been walking around and spending some time in meditation.

I also came across this fountain that reinforced an important principle in ministry (and in life). It is a 4 level fountain where water would spout out from the top and then overflow to the next level and continues on until it reached the bottom. I realized how important it is to have the flow from the top to be strong. Then it can overflow to the next level and then to the next. I couldn’t help but to notice all the little “ripples” the drops of water was making on the bottom level.

If we are serious about transformation and bringing ripples to the nations then it has to start with the pastors and leaders in HMCC as well as in AMI.

 
 
Rancho California.JPG
 
Can’t ask for anything more – mountains right in the backyard
 
 
 
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A beautiful oasis where I have been spending time in reflection
 
 
 
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Some principles of transformation are reinforced in this ripple fountain

AMI Trip to California

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Visits

I am looking forward to spending some time with the other AMI trans-local leaders as well as spending some time with God.

In fact, Pastor Keith got a place out in San Juan Capistrano, California. It is a retreat center where we will be able to pray, plan and prepare for what God has in store for us in 2007.

Pastor Keith made a specific request to all of us – “No internet, no computers, no cellphone or any other electronic device.” Well… except during some of the brief breaks that we will be taking. This is going to be hardcore… it might take a couple of days to overcome the withdrawal symptoms of no connectivity.

Hopefully, there will be some time to write up some updates.

Please pray for our time together… we really need to hear God’s voice and get His direction for AMI.

Missing Season 6 of 24

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

As some of you probably heard, I was a skeptic of the T.V. show “24” in the beginning. But even the hardest of skeptics can be converted… haha!

It is sad that the premiere of season 6 is going on right now as I type. They decided to show 2-hours of the premiere today and then 2-hours on Monday – that is a total of 4 hours!

Thank God we did not get rid of the VHS machine.

Built to Last in Chicago

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

Right after the HMCC of Ann Arbor congregational retreat we drove out to Detroit Airport to fly into Chicago for Sunday Celebration. I realized (after the fact), we could have driven out to Chicago from the retreat center because it would have been faster. Oh well, you’ve got to love the airplane snacks!

We just finished off a 2-part series in HMCC of Chicago called, “Built to Last.” We looked into 2 of the metaphors that the Bible uses to describe the Church – the House of God and the Body of Christ. I was so encouraged because I think some of the people in Chicago are slowly getting a vision of what the church could be like…

This is very exciting for me because I realized that once I caught a vision for the local church, God propelled me into a deeper understanding of His heart… His heart for me and His heart for the world. This is my prayer for the members in Chicago – that we will no longer do church as business as usual.

The foundations are being laid and people are experiencing God.

It was encouraging to see so many people come out to church today… God is moving.

Transformative Retreat

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Victories

I am finally catching my breath at Chicago O’Hare Airport. The retreat was a landmark retreat. I was able share the vision and values of our church. I realized that after 10 years of being in the same place, it is easy to take things for granted or just assume that people know the DNA of the church.

The 3 messages that I was able to share covered the theme of transformation. We talked about:

1) Transformative Spirituality
2) Transformative Spaces
3) Transformative Spheres

In fact, the last message that I gave on “Transformative Spheres” is pretty much my life’s passion and goal. I am praying that we will raise up “world shakers and history makers” for Jesus.

For those of you who could not make it to the retreat, hopefully you can get a hold of some of the sermons.