A Prayer for the Virginia Tech Community

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

Our Gracious Heavenly Father,

You remind us in Your Word that You are the God of all comfort. We pray that you will comfort the families and friends who have lost a loved one in this senseless tragedy. Lord, in their hurt and loss, I pray that You will come and touch them in a powerful way. Please God, allow Your Presence and Your peace that transcends all understanding surround them.

We pray for the people of Blacksburg… all the school officials, law enforcement officers, doctors and students and give them tremendous strength and courage in the days to come. We particularly pray for the “Church” in the Blacksburg area. We pray that they will be the hands, feet and heart of Jesus. Allow their compassion and sensitivity open doors for the love of God to be displayed.

Lord, tragedy always leaves us feeling confused and a bit vulnerable. But we pray that this will be a great opportunity for us to trust in You more – the Author and Perfecter of our faith.

In Jesus’ Mighty Name, we pray… Amen.

The Virginia Tech Incident

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Viewpoint

The shooting at Virginia Tech has caught everyone’s attention. Even as I was getting off the airplane coming back from Chicago, people at the airport were glued to the T.V. watching the news update.

It is very sobering to think that it happened at a college campus.

It is another reminder that we need to reach out to our campus.

Christina and I were talking about what the parents of the victims must be feeling right now. Even though Virginia Tech is many miles away, it hits pretty close to our hearts because we are on a college campus.

I still believe that the college campus is a place where people can be transformed in order to transform the world. This is what I am willing to give my life for.

Blast from the Past

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Viewpoint

Our family hosted another pastor’s family in town for dinner yesterday. There is always a special connection with pastor’s families. It is a unique calling – unique struggles and unique stress. It was nice seeing Karissa playing with their daughter… they decided to play with all the toy food products and princess dresses. I think the boys were a bit bored… ha!

As we were sitting around our dinner table, we reminiscent about our past. The pastor, Christina and I all went to University of Illinois – but more than that we were all in the same small group. I was the leader of that small group, Christina was the co-leader and he was a member – that was about 16 years ago! Now, we are all in ministry, serving the Lord and building God’s Kingdom here in Ann Arbor.

I have said this many times before but – “never burn the bridges of relationships because you never know when you will have to cross it again.”

Grad Luncheon 2007

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values

I wanted to give some props to the FOCUS (single adult ministry) members who sacrifice their time and energy to serve the recent graduates. It was encouraging to see the single adults in our church serving and blazing the trail of investment in the next generation of single adults.

A thought on the auction game that we played:

If the premise of the game was to use the limited resources (candy) that we had to invest in things (i.e. computer, diamond ring, lifetime fitness membership, etc) that are importance to us, where does the church come into the picture?

We are all given 24 hours in a day… how much of that time is used to invest in God’s Kingdom?

We are all given a certain amount of financial resources… how much of it is used to invest in God’s Kingdom?

We are all given various talents and skills… how do we decide to use it for God’s Kingdom?

Time, treasure and talent… the resources we have to use to make our lives count so that we can leave a legacy. I guess only time will tell how well we lived our lives from God’s perspective. I am praying that this group of graduates will continue the tradition of many HMCC graduates in the past who are making their lives count all over the world with their time, treasure and talents.

Graduation 2007

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Vision

It is about that time of the year again. We will be graduating another class of students tonight. It is always a privilege to see many of them enter into the University of Michigan as freshmen and have the opportunity to influence them for the Gospel sake.

It has always been our vision to transform lost people into Christ’s disciples who will then transform the world. Tonight, we will hear many testimonies of people’s lives that were transformed by God’s grace. We will commission them to go forth and transform the world wherever they may go in the future.

I always get mixed feelings during the Graduation Service. On one hand, I get sad knowing that many of them will be leaving us and moving on but then on the other hand, it is exciting to know that they will make a difference throughout the world.

Our loss will always be someone else’s gain.

We are privileged just to know that we had a part in their lives.

The Circle of Life

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values

Yesterday, we had dinner with my parents. I was just thinking how a lot of things in life come full circle. When we are born, we are completely dependent on our parents to take care of us. Then, we go through the process of maturity where we learn how to be less dependent on our parents and become more independent (self-sustaining).

We wanted to bless my parents with a good seafood meal (which they haven’t had for a long time). Then the discussion went back and forth about how they felt bad that we had to pay for it. They argued that since they are the parents, they should pay. But I quickly enlightened them that they are retired and that they had no money to pay for everyone.

Then their first son went on this important teaching about humility and learning how to receive from people. Since their whole life was a life of sacrifice and giving, now they needed to learn how to receive from their children.

My sister and brother and I are trying our best to take care of them in their latter years.

This is always a sore spot for me – that I cannot support them as much as I would want to at this stage. Oh well, another day of surrendering everything to God.

April Snow?

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

It is SNOWING in Chicago right now! This is ridiculous.
It feels like it is December.

Always expect the unexpected… a principle in life.

I am wondering if this is how some of the people in the Bible felt when God performed a miracle that no one ever expected.

An Observation at a Cemetery

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values

Christina and I still had our breakfast date, even though we are here in Chicago. Afterwards we went to the cemetery to visit her parents’ grave site (her mom passed away in 1998 and her dad passed away in 2003).

After going through a maze of headstones, we found their plot.

But the interesting thing was that many of the Jewish grave plots were in one section and the Asian grave plot was in another section and etc. (and it was not even alphabetical order!) At first, it was a bit incredulous to believe that even in death people are still segregated.

Do these things just naturally happen?

It is interesting to see how the Revelation 7:9 will play out in heaven. Maybe there will be people from every tongue, tribe and nation but then they will all have their own sections in the heavenly realm (shrug).

So why should anybody commit to having a multi-ethnic church or even cross-racial friendships? It is not the easiest thing to do. But some of the greatest pursuits are not for the weak of heart. Maybe the way we live here on this earth is the way we will be buried.

A note to self: Make sure to tell Christina to bury me surrounded with people from every color and culture.

Spring Break in Chicago

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Visits

Our kids are on Spring Break right now. We drove to Chicago right after the Easter Celebration in Ann Arbor. After some time in the Chicago church (they even had an Easter Banquet), the kids were dying to see their grandparents.

We will be here throughout the week. The schedule is already all pack with all the things that the kids want to do – they are taking over!

Every single moment with the kids is precious – Christina and I want to keep on building memories for them.

2007 Easter

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Victories

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There are times when you just need to take a step back and realize all the great things that God is doing. Yesterday, we saw God do what He does best – transform lives. I am so privileged to pastor people who are passionate about God’s Kingdom. They are so passionate that they did whatever it took to make Easter Sunday Celebration a success.

Many of our members put in long hours into the various presentations and set up for the celebration. Some of the statistics are still coming in but I am confident that many people committed and re-committed their lives to Christ – truly a “yea God” moment!

This is a testimony to the fact that church is not a building, but a community of people who are in love with Jesus and who are passionate about seeing many more people join in on the fun. We transformed the historical Michigan Theater into a “holy ground” where the Holy Spirit was able to work in the hearts of people.
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Hmm… maybe we can have all our Sunday Celebrations here – it would be free advertisement!

2007 Easter Response Card

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

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Don’t forget about the response card that we will be handing out during the Easter Celebration. It will be important to have every single one of us get ready to talk about which number best represents where we are after the message.

I believe by faith that there will be many spiritual discussions and also many people who will decide to come forward to receive prayer.

Let’s pray that this Easter many people will cross the line and make a decision for Christ.

Six Hours for Baptism

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Viewpoint

I am sitting at the airport (again) and waiting for my flight to Chicago. We will be baptizing people at the HMCC of Chicago church plant. As I am doing the math, I realized that I am going in for 6 hours to Chicago to do a simple baptism. During these situations, it is easy to start calculating:

• I will be missing our family tradition of the Easter egg hunt at Domino’s farm.
• Cost of flight to Chicago and back to AA for only a 1.5 hr baptism service
• I want to finish off my preparation for tomorrow’s big Easter Celebration
• I want to spend more time with Christina

But the thought of participating in our Chicago church members’ big moment is priceless. I guess it all depends on how we value things. But seeing people come to know Christ and publicly proclaiming their faith make it all worth it. Life transformation is a God thing… and it is an honor to be a part of it all.

1.5 Days Away Before Show Time

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

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It has been exciting just to pray for our Easter Sunday Celebration. As we have been praying all together throughout our various gatherings the last 2 weeks, I can definitely sense the momentum building. I was particularly encouraged when I asked at Thursday prayer gathering how many people have invited friends, family members or co-workers to the Easter Celebration and almost 90% of the hands went up – that is huge!

Let’s keep on praying and expecting God to do great things.

I was also inspired by some of the various ministries teams that were preparing for presentations this Sunday. By the time I left Angell Hall, it was like 12:40AM! They were truly burning the midnight oil. I can’t wait to see it all come together.
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Pastor Pete posing for the camera – where’s the red carpet?
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A close up of Pastor Pete… just in case you didn’t see how excited he was for the opening day!

2007 Passion Week

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Viewpoint

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Passion Week (or known as the Holy Week) is a time of remembering the entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem (Palm Sunday) all the way to the crucifixion. Various Christian traditions observe this week differently, but one unifying thing is that it recaptures the suffering and death of Jesus Christ.

The dictionary defines, “passion” as:

1) Any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling
2) An instance or experience of strong love
3) A strong or extravagant fondness, enthusiasm, or desire for anything
4) An outburst of strong emotion or feeling

As we think about Christ’s suffering and sacrifice on the cross, we want to experience a powerful, compelling and strong love for Christ… and may we do it extravagantly and with enthusiasm.