Reflective Writing

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Viewpoint

I just read an article by Jill Carattini that I found very interesting. Maybe this can be an argument for journaling:

     “For the past decade, doctors and psychologists have been taking notice of the health benefits of reflective writing. They note that wrestling with words to put your deepest thoughts into writing can lift your mind from depression, uncover wisdom within your experiences, provide insight and foster self-awareness. Similarly, a recent news article discussed the benefits of confessional writing, where one is freed to ‘explore the depths of the emotional junkyard.’ While writing is no doubt a helpful way to sift through the junkyard, its effectiveness is perhaps dependent upon learning from reflection, not merely reveling in the messes.
     Writing is helpful because the eye of a writer seeks the transcendent – moments where the extraordinary is beheld in the ordinary, glimpses of clarity within the junkyard, the beauty of God in a godless world. When Jesus stooped over the crumbled girl at his feet and wrote something in the sand, the written word spoke more powerfully than the anger of the Pharisees and well beyond the sins of the prostitute. Writing is a tool with which we learn to see ourselves more clearly, a catalyst for which we can learn to see God.
     There is something about writing that can introduce us to ourselves and to the one in whose image we are made. Have you dared to utter the words at the center of your soul? What if God could use your own pen to probe the wounds of your life? In the intimate descriptions of life recorded in the Psalms, the writers of the Psalms express loneliness, joy, even frustration with God. ‘What gain is there in my destruction, in my going down into the pit? Will the dust praise you? Will it proclaim your faithfulness?’ (Psalm 30:9). Yet the psalmists walk away from their words with a clearer sense of reality. And, I would add, their words have been a source of encouragement to countless lives, pointing us to wisdom, to reality, to the God enthroned on high.
     As Jesus stood with the girl at his feet in the middle of a group armed with stones and hatred, the Word that brought life into existence and worked the heavens with his fingers, crouched down in the sand and with his finger changed a life. May that Word dwell richly in us such that own words bring us to a richer knowledge of ourselves and our God.”

In our generation, we have lost the art of reflection. It is through reflection that we are able to see ourselves more clearly and especially see our circumstances with God’s perspective. After so many years of counseling people, I have come to the realization that people who know how to reflect on their lives, are the people who can make some sense of their world.

The biggest enemies of reflection are busyness and entertainment. The first eliminates it and the second distracts us from it.

In AA this Past Sunday

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

Yesterday was the first Sunday in a long time since I was able to just spend time with the family after Sunday Celebrations here in Ann Arbor. Since the Northwestern students have Spring Break and the fact that I needed a personal break, it was good for me to stay home.

In a weird and funny way, at first I didn’t know what to do because I got so used to traveling every Sunday the last 5 some months – I think I really had withdrawal symptoms! But it was good for me to take a break. Also, I knew that the church was in good hands with some of our staff guys out there.

So I spent some time with family and had a Sunday meal together. It was all worthwhile towards the end of the day when one of the kids said, “Yea, daddy stayed home today instead of going to Chicago.” Translation = “it was good to have you here today.”

2007 NCAA Update

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

Here is the standing so far as we head into the Sweet 16

1) Josiah – urggg!
2) Elliot – the cinderella story
3) Daddy
4) Christina
5) KiKi

Firing of Amaker

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Viewpoint

It is almost prophetic after the comments made during the prayer time at ACCESS. It is a principle that I staunchly believe in – everything rises and falls with leadership! No team enters into a pre-season determining that they will be losers – in fact they aspire to be champions.

With Michigan’s recent lost to Florida State in the NIT and their 8-8 finish in the Big Ten Conference in the last two years, The University of Michigan decided to fire Coach Tommy Amaker. You can read up on the story of Amaker’s firing here.

Even though the school year has not ended yet, I am pondering, praying and planning for our church for next year. We want to assembly a championship team so that we can win more people to Christ and see this campus reach for God’s glory. I am praying for the undergraduates in our church. We will win!

2007 St. Patrick’s Day

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

Today as I was on campus with my family, we saw a lot of people dressed up in green for St. Patrick’s Day. At first, I was wondering why so many people were dressing up in green but when I saw the shamrock I realized it was Paddy’s Day.

This got me thinking… how many holidays lose their meaning over time?

Just look at Easter and Christmas. We have relegated these holidays to a celebration without the original meaning. We have come a long way from Christ’s birth and resurrection to now just celebrating the beginning of Spring and the giving of gifts to people.

St. Patrick is a man worth remembering because he brought the Gospel to Ireland in the 5th century. I am just curious to find out what some of those students would say if I asked them why people celebrate St. Patrick’s Day… I have a funny feeling that they will not know.
Green River for St. Pat's Day.jpg
The Chicago River dyed in green… what people will do to celebrate a holiday that has lost its meaning.

Clean Up Day

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values

This morning, I went to the boys’ school to help clean up their facilities. This is part of the “agreement” of being able to send them to this Christian school. Since the cost of sending our kids to this Christian school is financially very difficult, they try to cut the cost by having parents volunteer their time and services to help out the school. Also, they are very sympathetic towards pastor’s families so they try to give a discount on the price. This is the only way we are able to send our kids to school.

So in a sense, this morning our family had to pay our dues by help cleaning up – and I was “selected” to go to represent the Kim family.

As I was cleaning the school, a thought came to my mind. Why am I making sure that I do my best in making the kids’ school particularly clean? What if it was another school or another facility? The answer: Because I love my boys and I want them to have a clean school.

Then the principle of excellence and doing our best for God came to my mind. Why do we do our best in things when it comes to God’s Kingdom? Why do we go the extra mile to make things excellent in the church? Why do we not settle for anything but the best when God can be glorified? The answer: Because we love God and we want to glorify Him by exalting Him in the nations.

I am wondering what people can know about God and our even our relationship with Him when they look at how we do things in the church. It is my prayer that people will see the excellence of God just by the way we do things with excellence.

“O LORD, our Lord, how excellent is Your name in all the earth” (Ps 8:1 NKJV)

Refocusing on Undergraduates

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Vision

I just came back from tonight’s ACCESS (gathering for our undergraduate students). Since we switched the single adults’ small group to Friday nights, we have been getting more of a younger and vibrant feel on Fridays and it has been exciting.

We are recasting the vision for reaching out to the campus – students reaching students!

We are definitely building momentum for future things. It is truly a privilege to influence the next generation of students for Jesus Christ.

“World evangelization in our generation” (Student Volunteer Movement Motto)

Feminized Sissy Christian Men

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

Now that I have your attention! There is this debate going on about why men are falling off the face of the earth when it comes to church attendance. Some are arguing that everything about Church – from the songs to the activities – are more suited for women. They also contribute the movement of “feminizing” men in our society as another factor in this big debate.

After many hours of counseling and listening to some of the complaints from women, it is my overall conclusion that women in the church are not really happy with the passive, irresponsible men (brothers trust me, I try my best to defend the whole male gender).

I guess some people decided to do something about it.

Check out this video that was aired on ABC News here. Or you can read the article here.

Let me just make a confession… this link was forwarded to me by a sister in the church… sigh!

Part 2 of the Naked Series

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

20070318 - Naked - Addictions.jpg
I realized that when it comes to participating in people’s freedom, Satan will attack from all fronts. Satan can even use people who are closest to you to discourage you or distract you. This is why we have to have God’s perspective on things. It is too easy to turn to our flesh and allow the evil one to gain a greater stronghold.

In the next several weeks, we are going to talk about some heavy topics. Often times, topics such as addictions, pornography, lust or shame are not seriously addressed in churches; hence more people continue to live in bondage and do not live out their God given purpose. We want to have a spirit of humility, love and grace as we approach these topics. Whenever truth is presented in love and grace, there is always a sense of hope. Please continue to pray for to work powerfully in people’s lives.

I was so encouraged to see so many people respond to last week’s message on duplicity. Many raised their hand in want to come clean before God and live congruent lives in God’s will. We are going to continue in our Naked Series with Part 2: “Addictions.” I want to remind all of you of the various resources that we have on the Naked Series website.

One of our church members told me this week that last Sunday they invited a co-worker to the Naked series. At first, he was not sure how they would enjoy the celebration. But after talking with her and her husband, he told me that the whole service moved them. It is encouraging to hear these kinds of testimony of God working in people’s lives, especially those that are being invited by our church members to experience God’s blessings.

Let’s continue to partner together to bring the Gospel to as many people as possible and to see as many people as possible getting set free!

Fickleness of the Weather

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Viewpoint

For us Michiganders, it has been such a dramatic change in the weather within the last 2-3 days. One day it is sunny and hitting the 60’s and then the next it is in the 20’s and 30’s with SNOW – incredible!

The crazy part of this dramatic change is that we have to adjust – no jacket one day and the heavy jacket the next day. There are times when you just want to say, “Make up your mind!”

Is the fickleness of our heart any different? No wonder we confuse people and even confuse ourselves. A capricious heart will find it hard to know true contentment and joy. Maybe this is why God addresses the heart so often in the Bible.

Car Problems

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

I have been thinking how families get by with just one car nowadays in the age of mobility. Something that used to be a luxury has now becoming more of a necessity. But there are a lot of families without even a car therefore, I am truly learning how to have a thankful heart.

We were down to one car today because the mini-van had some problems. We brought it in to the dealer to get it fixed. After finding out the price, this is when I prayed that we would one day have a mechanic in our church :-)

With one car, our family has to do a better job of planning our day more precisely.

2007 NCAA Bracket

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

07 NCAA Tourney.gif
Ah yes… in less than 1.5 days, the madness begins.

It has been a tradition of the Kim family to print out the brackets and then fill them out in order to compete with one another. It has been pretty interesting because Josiah is the repeat champion (won 2005 and 2006 tournaments).

This year things will be different. No three-peat for Josiah!

Spring is Here

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values

Well, not quite… but today was a perfect day for some outdoor activity. Our family went out for some ice cream and then got on our bikes for a quick ride around our complex.

One lesson learned today… just because we were able to do something last year, it does not guarantee success the following year. One of kids learned how to ride a bike last year, but since they didn’t ride for awhile… well, let’s just say that it was a pretty humbling experience for my kid.

It was humbling for me because I realized that I need to work on being more patient. I keep on forgetting that they are just kids and they are still in the learning mode. But in spite of everything, we have decided to try again tomorrow.

A Giant in the Faith

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values

This past Sunday, Dr. Paul Hiebert a professor at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School passed away to be with the Lord. You can read the Trinity’s news regarding his passing here. You can also read President Greg Waybright’s letter.

He was one of the professors at Trinity that helped me form some of my missiological paradigm. He will be greatly missed by so many Christians.

It is in times like these I wonder to myself the number of people that one person can make in a lifetime. I cannot even imagine the impact he has made on people’s lives, not only through his classes, writings, books, but most importantly by his life.

Dr. Hiebert believed in the discipleship process that he housed seminarians at his home. Pastor Jimmy had the privilege of living with Dr. Hiebert for 1 year. One thing I remember Pastor Jimmy sharing was about how he taught the people in the house about learning to live life. Dr. Hiebert lived it well.

We will wait until heaven for the big reunion.