2007 Lent Reflections – Day 8

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Viewpoint

We are truly creatures of habit. It is amazing how we do so many things in life out of habit. There have been many times when I started driving out of my home and then only to find myself driving in the wrong direction. I start going down a certain road because that is the path that I take daily to go to the office. Strange… but it happens now and then.

This is what kind of happened this week… maybe this is more of a confession. But within this first week, I messed up on my commitment for Lent. I had to confess to my family because we decided we were going to keep each other accountable to our commitment for Lent. They were very gracious, but I will tell you they were firm in making sure that I don’t mess up again.

In fact, even when the boys and I were out for the last couple of days… they made sure that I stuck to my commitment. I realize the power of accountability. I am more motivated as I realized that my kids are staying true to their commitments to God.

Thoughts on “The Big Moo”

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Visuals

 
The Big Moo.jpg
 
 
I really enjoyed reading Seth Godin’s book, The Big Moo. The subtitle of this book is: Stop Trying to Be Perfect and Start Being Remarkable. I think the desire to be remarkable is built in to every human being because it touches on the issue of significance. We all want to make a difference. We all want to know that we have touched a person’s life or that we have made the world a better place.

The interesting thing about this book is that it was written by the top 33 people in their fields, all ranging from bestselling authors to business giants. These people are affectionately known as, “The Group of 33.” They are like the who’s who of the business world.

This book was a fast read. All of the 33 people wrote like a 2 page tidbit of wisdom. It was all from their experience and their expertise. There were some incredible insights and principles. Something that I have always mentioned to people is that many of the business principles that work are biblical principles. If something works in the business world, you will definitely be able to find a biblical principle that correlates to it. It was fun trying to connect some of the insights and principles in this book with a biblical story or a principle.

So many thoughts and ideas came forth from reading this book. In fact, it is a good primer for any organization or individuals who want to start taking steps towards a realized destiny. This is a book worth reading with your leadership team and board to strategize and come up with some fresh ideas to direct the organization into a new future. But like with all things in life, there will always be a cost to bringing forth change – but at the end it will always have great rewards.

One cool thing about this book is that all (100%) proceeds will go directly to charity. You can check out the website: www.thebigmoo.com

Twist of Irony in Parenting

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values

There has always been a philosophy when it comes to parenting or shall I say that there is a saying – “If you were wild as a kid, then you will be more strict when you are a parent; and if you were sheltered as a kid, you will be more loose as a parent.”

I guess the rationale goes like this:

1) If you were wild, then you know all that there is out there and you want to NOW protect your children from what you have experienced.

 

2) If you were sheltered, then you know what it feels like to be restricted therefore you want to give your children more freedom compared to what you have experienced.

Either way, a lot of our decisions are made from our experiences, which is sometimes a good thing and a bad thing. Therefore I couldn’t help but to chuckle when I read the Fox News story about Madonna telling her 10 year old daughter to dress LESS sexy.

Hmm… I think Madonna has opted for the other principle of parenting – “Do what I say and not what I do!” Hello, Madonna… as a parent to another parent – THIS NEVER WORKS! As I am struggling to be a good father to my children, I don’t know how many times I have failed in helping my kids do things that I am not wiling to do for myself.

Oh well, hence is the irony of life and it just makes you laugh and keep things real.

Narcissism on the Rise

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values

I just received a forwarded CNN article (click here to read it). You will have to read the article in order to make sense of my entry.

Sometimes there are some redeeming factors when a secular news media confirms something that we have been saying for some time now.

This brings us to the issue of the Church today. We, the Church have bought into this self-help and self-esteem mantra for the last 10-15 years and we are now seeing the affects of it. We have more self-centered people in the church today than ever before (myself included).

Please don’t misunderstand me. I think a lot of the struggles of a Christian are rooted in a fault perspective of one’s self. So I am not against people having a healthy perspective of themselves. But I don’t think a health biblical perspective of oneself is the same as the “self-esteem” that the world talks about.

The American Heritage Dictionary defines, “self-esteem” as “pride in oneself; self-respect.” As a Christian, we are constantly told in the Bible to “humble” ourselves. Therefore, any self-respect comes because of knowing who we are in Christ, not because we take pride in ourselves.

But what do we do with college students who have the highest NPI levels in 25 years (1982 is when this test was first introduced). This is the challenge for the church today!

We can cave in to the trends of society and culture or we have to go against the cultural current. In fact, this is how Christianity took off in the 1st century. They had a message that was so counter-cultural. It went against the standard of that time. But there was a cost – martyrdom, persecution, suffering, etc).

I think our narcissistic side would always settle for the path of least resistance – comfortability is the name of the game. Some would say, “it is better not to rock the boat.”

But the Gospel is a boat rocker!

Read through the Gospels and see how many times Jesus rocked the boat. I am wondering if Jesus did it so that we will know if we can really swim or not.

Guys and Silence

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Viewpoint

If you are a guy, I don’t know if you have ever been accused of not being talkative while you are eating. Christina always reminds me to slow down because I eat too fast. I think it was all the Alpha Omega days (gospel band I was a part of in college). We had to learn how to eat quickly since we were always on the move from one retreat to another.

Today, I realized that it is not just the food that causes guys to not talk much but it is also the TV. My boys wanted to eat chicken wings for lunch today so we went to this place where they had literally 5 jumbo screens going and about 25-30 TV’s all over the restaurant. They were all on various sports channels (I didn’t know that they had that many!).

I tried striking up some conversation but the last thing they wanted to do was to talk because of the wings and TV. Then a moment of empathy hit me – hmm… maybe this is what many women feel as they eat with men.

So we ate in silence.

The only sound was from the grunting (approval of the food) and “daddy, I have to go to the bathroom.”

Time with My Boys

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

My time with the boys was a blast. There is something about just hanging out with the guys that bring out a certain side of the male gender. We ate all the food that Christina would not normally let us eat (shhh!). We did a little glow-in the dark miniature golfing, swimming, Chuck E. Cheese, board games, and other things that allowed us to stay up past their normal bedtime.

I am truly blessed to have kids who enjoy things in life.

It is amazing to see how little things like getting a hotel and hanging out can bring our hearts together. Also, it was a good reminder for me that the level of responsibility and influence I have over the boys. Even within our short time together, I could tell they were taking everything in.

It was well worth it… now they are asking what we are planning for their Spring Break.
 
 
 
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Can’t believe some of these rides and games are only 25 cents… just like the good old days of daddy’s time.
 
 
 
Boys eating ice cream.JPG
 
Josiah wanted an action shot. Nothing better than ice cream in February!
 
 
 
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Glow-in-the-dark knights – I just had to take a picture
 
 
 
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Trying to raise up some modern day knights

Earlier Flight

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

When I talked with a NWA’s reservation agent to see if I can get on an earlier flight, they said that all the flights were booked solid. Since Chicago and Detroit had bad weather, they had to cancel a lot of flights and rebook people on the Monday flights.

Therefore, I thought I would not be able to get back on Monday until the evening which meant that I would not have much time with the boys. But I decided that this situation required some extra measures – God’s Providence and also some communication skills.

I went to ORD at 4:30AM and waited for the first agent to get in to their station. After explaining my situation, the NWA agent overbooked me on the first flight out at 6:00AM – I don’t know if it was even following protocol… but I didn’t complain :-)

Thank God for sympathetic airline agents and determination.

BJ’s & Taboo

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

Right after the Sunday Celebration in Chicago, I met up with a small group from Ann Arbor. One of small group leaders made an appointment awhile back wanting me to meet up with his small group. Since it is Spring Break for UM students, his small groups came out to Chicago to hang out.

We ate some the famous Buffalo Joe’s chicken wings and we had a mini Q&A. We talked about everything ranging from theology to my proposal to Christina. It was fun.

Then we closed out the night with a game of Taboo. Since the girls were down one person, I ended up teaming up with the sisters. I knew we were in trouble when some of the words I got were Boris Yeltsin and Rod Stewart. After the time was up, I asked them, “Do you guys even know who they are?” Their response – “Uh, no!” I think it was a generational thing. Obviously, we lost the game… haha!

It was good just connecting with the Freshmen and Sophomores in our church. It reminded me of my college days. It also made me feel young again and old at the same time!

Entering NU Campus

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Victories

Yesterday was a crucial “Yea God” moment as we had our first Sunday Celebration in an auditorium on the Northwestern University Campus. It was humbling to think that God showed us His favor and open this door for us.

We are now right in the center of the campus. It has been truly an answer prayer and a dream come true. It is hard to believe that about a year ago God used a UM vs. NU football game to speak to us about starting this church in Evanston. The faithfulness of God is amazing.

We also celebrated our 2nd wave of people who decided to become members in our church. The words of Jesus in Matthew 16:18 says, “I will build my church” and this is exactly what He is doing to glory Himself.

As God continues to build up this church, we are already praying and planning about another campus that God is paving the way for us to enter into – transform a campus, transform the world!

The Story of Amazing Grace

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Viewpoint

I ended up watching the movie, Amazing Grace in the theater today. It was a powerful and moving story about William Wilberforce, a politician in the parliamentary who helped bring an end to the slave trade in England.

It is stories like these that remind me of the importance of Christians faithfully living out their callings in all sectors of society – in their spheres of influence. As people live as salt and light of the world, we will see a society or nation transformed.

There was a very pivotal point in his life where he contemplated whether to become a pastor or stay as a politician. The Bible reminds us that “if anyone sets his heart on being an overseer, he desires a noble task” (1 Ti 3:1). There is nothing wrong with being a pastor, but for too long people have believed that if they really want to serve God then they should be a pastor… but times are changing.

Please don’t misunderstand me. I think being a pastor is an awesome calling and in fact, it is something that I am trying to raise more of in our church. But the problem comes when we think that is the only way to “really” serve God.

We are living in a unique time.

God is raising up people who are being equipped to bring transformation to various parts of the world; and it is not just through the pastors, but business people, artists, politicians, educators, and etc.

I humble submit to you that I don’t think any pastor could have done what Wilberforce did to bring down the injustice of the slave trade during those times. It had to be a special person with special gifts and talents… but most of all a special calling into the political realm.

We need to see more Wilberforces in our generation. When we thinking about issues such as child sex trafficking, abortion, the situation in Sudan, AIDS, poverty and etc. we need to see more people of compassion, courage, and conviction being raised to transform the world. The time is now!

Men’s Meeting

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values

I just came back from a breakfast meeting with some men in the leadership of our church.

Right away they learned two lessons:

1) Be a man of your word – 7:53AM is 7:53AM

2) Learn to give grace to people :-)

We had some good discussions on King David’s Mighty Men in 2 Samuel 23. They were warriors who possessed traits that are needed today. They were men of commitment, courage and choices.

We are off to a great start.

Default Mode Decisions

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Viewpoint

Today a realization came to me. I realized that there are so many people that live their lives in the default mode (I catch myself doing it all the time). The dictionary defines, “default” as: a) Failure to act; inaction or neglect; b) Failure to perform a task or fulfill an obligation; c) Failure to do something required by duty. I hope you caught the key word – FAILURE.

So many people in their “fear of failure” fail to make a decision and ultimately end up being a failure.

Why do we, as children of the Most High God live such sub-par lives? Why do we end up settling for less? Why do we allow the world and other people dictate how we ought to live rather than listening to God?

To this day, I have not found too many default decisions that brought forth great fruit in my life. We need to find more men and women who are courageous enough that they are willing to lay everything on the line for God’s glory and say what was said in Esther 4:16, “And if I perish, I perish.”

The Hebrew word for “perish” is kalah. It means, “to cease, to fail, to faint, to finish, to fulfil.” Can we honestly say, “If I fail, I fail”? The greatest truth in all this is that no matter what happens, God is for us and He will never forsake us, especially when we fail.

May the words of Nehemiah remind us of this truth – “But in your great mercy you did not put an end to them or abandon them, for you are a gracious and merciful God” (Neh 9:31).

HMCC’s Mighty Men

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Vision

I am reminded of King David’s mighty men in the Bible. In 2 Samuel 23, we get a glimpse of these men – they were warriors. In our culture today, we have feminized men in such a way that we are not living up to our destiny. There are times when we are afraid to step up to the plate and do great things for God.

In the last several months, I have been really convicted about doing my part in raising up men of God who will do great exploits for the Kingdom of God. It is important to raise a new generation of male leadership in the church. So far, we have gone through two full cycles of college students (2 four-year cycles). Now we are at a crossroad in our church. As we will be planting more churches in the next 2-3 years, we need to see more pastors, missionaries and leaders raised up.

This week, I sent out an invitation to TEAM Community (our leadership team) and asked if there were any guys interested in spending time together to pray and seek God’s will for their lives, especially those that were thinking about being a pastor or a missionary. There were 12 guys who responded. I am confident that out of this group God will raise up some of the next generation of leaders in our church.

Our first meeting will be tomorrow morning at 7:53AM.
Why strange meeting time? A test.

One thing I tell people is that if they want to run with me, then they will have to set their watches to the GMT.

Teary Trailer

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

This is the only movie trailer in my lifetime that made my eyes misty. I don’t know what the movie critics have said about this movie, but I love movies that are based on true stories, especially stories that highlight how one person transformed the world.

Opening day is tomorrow. I am pumped!