Elliot’s First Speech

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

This morning Christina and I went to Elliot’s school to listen to his 1st grade class give presentations on “Michigan’s Endangered Species.”

It was interesting to see who the natural public speakers were as they gave their presentations. I am guessing that growing up in a preacher’s home gives an edge :-)

The best part was seeing a smile on Elliot’s face as I walked through the door. Since there was one other father there in the sea of mothers, he felt pretty proud.

The small investments make the big difference.
 
 
 
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A young public speaker in the making – one day he will do it w/o notes :-)
 
 
 
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Some of Elliot’s friends – they had to make their own animal mask

The Life and Legacy

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Viewpoint

 
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I was a mess this afternoon after watching the live webcast of the dedication of The Billy Graham Library. Three former presidents of the United States (Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush, and Bill Clinton) all showed up to honor him. When three former presidents show up to a dedication of a library, it tells you a lot about a person’s life – a life lived well. Can you imagine the dignitaries and world leaders who will be at his funeral?

After the webcast, I was just sitting in my chair and reflecting on my own life.

There is something innate in all of us that want to leave a legacy and live a life of significance. When I look at Billy Graham’s life, one word comes to my mind – faithful. He was faithful to the Gospel… he was faithful to his calling… he was faithful to his wife…. he was faithful to his family.

All the speeches and kind words that were shared, reaffirmed the quality of life he lived. He was surrounded by his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. It was truly inspiring.

What inspired me the most was his humility, as he mentioned that in the library there is too much of “Billy Graham.” Initially, I was like – uh, hello… this IS THE Billy Graham Library. But with a sincerity of an 88 year old, you could tell that deep inside he still wonders why God chose him out of so many people in the world.

He even recognized and gave credit to two of his long time colleagues, Cliff Barrows and George Beverly Shea and many of his lifetime prayer and financial supporters.

I think I am going to make a trip out to there to Charlotte for my personal retreat time or with my family to inspire the kids to do great things with their lives.

“My one purpose in life is to help people find a personal relationship with God, which, I believe, comes through knowing Christ.” [Billy Graham]

Sketches Sermon Series

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

 
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This past Tuesday the staff and I evaluated the sermons series we just finished. As some of you have been noticing, I have been trying to go with the “one point” approach and build the one point with various personal applications. I have been measuring some of my effectiveness by seeing how many people can remember the “one thing” and also some of the application. After asking the staff if they remembered the one thing, I realized I have more work to do :-)

It was helpful to get their honest feedback. We put all our egos aside because it is about the building God’s Church. It is awesome to work with people who want to see more people enter into God’s Kingdom and see them live radical lives as a Christ-follower.

This Sunday we are starting a new series called, “Sketches.” Some of the greatest ideas and inspirations throughout history have come through rough sketches. The beauty of sketches is that it just gives us a glimpse of the final product. When Jesus came into this world, he had the vision of His Kingdom in sight but the people had a hard time seeing it. Therefore, He used parables (stories) to help people get a visual of what He saw.

The sketches of God’s Kingdom will give us a greater anticipation of the masterpiece that is to come.

Don’t forget to invite a friend to share in the blessings.

Applebee’s Complaint Follow-up

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Viewpoint

I finally received a response from Applebee’s, but it was not the response that I was looking for. In a strange way, I feel like it was one of those patent or standard answers that are given to e-mails that are sent with a complaint. Hmm… I guess the only way to see if they have really taken to heart what was shared is by a follow-up e-mail and a phone call.

Here is their response:

Dear Seth,

Thank you for your e-mail. Your comments have been brought to the attention of our Marketing team. We appreciate your concern and we want to make sure that your voice is heard. Thanks again.

If you have any other questions or comments, please give us a call at 888-59-APPLE.

Sincerely,

Adam Linville
Guest Relations Coordinator

Well, I couldn’t resist so I replied back and made my point a little bit more “pressing.” In fact, I helped them to see that some of the other restaurants and fast food chains such as Wendy’s and McDonald’s have changed their menus because of the issue at hand.

Now the waiting game.

Some people might be thinking, “What is your problem Seth?! Just drop it.” But for some reason, I feel like I need to do this. I want my kids to grow up and know that when there is injustice or something that is not right that they need to speak out – that they can make a difference and bring transformation.

Personally, I am also wondering if one person can really make a difference. Can a lone voice really be heard?

Christina brought up a good idea – why don’t you have people sign a petition?

Well, maybe that is going too far – I am a pastor and I do have sermons to prepare and people to meet up with :-)

I have confidence in the top leadership of Applebee’s and believe that this will be the only logical move. I will give it a few weeks.

Josiah’s Double Digit B-Day

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

Today was Josiah’s 10th birthday. Christina and I decided that when our kids turn 10 years old, they would stop having birthday parties with their friends – practical reasons as well as budget constraints.

Instead, we allow them to choose an activity that they want to do with the whole family and then they get to choose a place to go out to eat. Josiah chose to go glo-golfing and eat at a Japanese restaurant.

It was a joy to see Josiah getting surprised by his presents. There was one in particular that he liked – a baseball glove. It reminded me of the time when I was young and received a baseball glove from my parents.

I can’t believe our kids are growing up. When they were babies, I couldn’t wait for them to grow up and now, it seems like they are growing up too quickly. I have 8 more years with Josiah before he goes off to college.
 
 
 
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We ran out of candles so we told Josiah to pretend we had 10 candles
 
 
 
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Oh the joy a baseball glove can bring to a child’s heart
 
 
 
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Family picture after the glo-golf

10K Update – Week 4

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

With four days left, Christina and I decided to run on the actual course for the 10K run. I don’t know what to say… but I am in trouble. It is harder than I expected.

One lesson that I got out of my efforts this morning is – when you do not have goals or mile markers to tell you how far (or close) you are to your destination, then things get harder.

This is how it is in life. Without clear goals and destination markers, we are aimless and even are tempted to not “run the race.” Well, this is one of my goals so I will have to finish.

Well, last week I was able to get fitted for a pair of running shoes. Some of these guys are able to tell what type of shoes I needed just by watching me walk and run – truly incredible. Everyone who ran the 10K (and even marathons) before were recommending that Christina and I get some good shoes. So we got fitted with a pair of good Brooks running shoes at a local running sports store.

So at least we have the equipment :-) Now the actual running is the issue.

At this point, I am not so concerned about beating Christina… I just want to FINISH!

The Ripple in the Hand

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Vision

 
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I saw this picture on “HMCC Photographers” Facebook group. It really inspired me so I asked if I can get a copy of it. Then I found out that the photographer was the accomplished Jerry Uelsmann.

I looked through some of his works on his website. Some of his stuff was a little bit out there for me, but over all it was quite interesting. His use of lighting and the black/white tones are pretty incredible.

Even though HMCC’s logo is the ripple (which represents transformation – Ac 1:8) if it is not in the hands of God then it will not go very far.

Through this picture I was reminded that transformation is the Lord’s work and we are just joining Him for the ride. It is my sincere prayer that each one of us will experience that first ripple so that we can ripple out to the nations.

My Hair Dresser Was Right

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

Several months ago, I was getting a haircut… well more like a trim (I still have long hair) and the hair dresser that I have been going to for the last 10+ years said, “You look just like a famous singer (actor) in China.” I kind of chuckled because with that many people in China, I am sure there are some people who look like each other.

But she kept on insisting that I keep the look that I have because I look like that famous person. I went home and told Christina about what was said. She was just as incredulous as me. I think she wanted to boost my ego and said, “Honey, there is NO ONE like you… you are one of a kind!”

Well, this morning a member in my church forwarded me a picture that she got from another member who was in China… and you would not believe what I saw!

I forwarded the picture to Christina and she was on the floor laughing. In fact, to test the authenticity of the “look alike,” Christina called my daughter Karissa who is 3.5 years old and asked her, “who is this?” Karissa said, “Daddy!” OMG!

I was going to cut my hair soon, but maybe I should just keep it long and then go to China and draw a crowd and tell people that I have found Jesus and so should they.
 
 
 
 
 
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I guess my look alike is trying to sell some Chinese alcohol

An Asian Miss Universe

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

 
Miss Universe2007-Japan.jpg   Miss Universe2007.jpg
 
 
 
As I was reading up on the news this morning, I found out that on Monday night, the winner of Miss Universe 2007 was a 20 year old Japanese dancer name Akiko Kojima. First of all, I don’t think in my lifetime I have seen an Asian person win Miss Universe. But after some research, I found out that there have been other Asian winners.

It has been estimated that over 1 billion people watched this two-hour primetime telecast in over 170 countries as contestants from 77 countries competed for the crown. Wow, talk about a global event.

It is interesting that due to various media exposure and globalization, more Asians are being recognized in the public arena (this is a side note, but the 3rd runner up with Miss Korea). I guess it helped that 2 of the 10 telecast judges were well known Asian-Americans (Michelle Kwan and James Kyson Lee).

I don’t know why but whenever people have this kind of spotlight, I always wonder to myself – “what would be like if they were a committed Christ-follower and used their platform to shine Christ?” Now I don’t know if she is a believer or not, but just think about the influence… anyways, I am just rambling.

 
 
 
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I think it was the dress that did it – wait, don’t peacocks use their feathers to mesmerize other peacocks

What Single-mindedness Can Do

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Viewpoint

 
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Cindy Sheehan became the poster-child of the anti-war movement. She lost her son, Casey in April 2004 in a battle in Baghdad. Sheehan received national attention when she camped outside of President Bush’s home in Texas wanting to meet to talk about her son’s death.

But on Monday, she decided to walk away from the anti-war movement.

In her written goodbye, CNN quotes, “I will try to maintain and nurture some very positive relationships that I have found in the journey that I was forced into when Casey died and try to repair some of the ones that have fallen apart since I began this single-minded crusade to try and change a paradigm that is now, I am afraid, carved in immovable, unbendable and rigidly mendacious marble.”

Sheehan explained how her crusade has cost her marriage and left her with nothing. Her relationship with her surviving children was also strained.

As I was reading this story, couple of things ran through my mind:

1) Is this what happens to people when they single-mindedly give everything to a cause?

2) Is there anything in this world that is worth losing your marriage and your family over?

I don’t know why but I had compassion for her. She believed in something with all her heart and she was “all in.” But at the end, she said she had become more disillusioned with both the Republican and Democratic parties – and with the whole “system.”

Then, this got me thinking about Christianity and how Christ calls us to be “all in” – to the point of giving up everything, even our parents and the people that we love (Luke 14:26-27).

What is the difference? What if we get disillusioned at the end? Is this single-mindedness in following Christ worth it?

I guess the answer lies in the common denominator.

Is the “cause” worth giving everything for – and even dying for?

Marvelous Mondays

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

One of my members drove me to the airport this past Sunday. He found out that I was running the 10K with Christina and a few of the other members in our church. When he was in high school he shared about his “Super Saturdays.” He and his friend would start off in the morning and then push their bodies with various exercise and sports activities to just keep in shape.

They would run, play basketball and weight lift for the WHOLE day!

I don’t know what got into me but today I decided to have a “Marvelous Monday.”

I ran 3 miles in the morning and then in the evening I bike for about 8 miles. Even though it is not like the “Super Saturdays,” for a deteriorating body like mine, but I am definitely making some progress.

What would it feel like to do an Iron Man?

Hmm… maybe I need to start with a Iron Man 70.3 first.

More Time with Family

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values

I was able to get on an earlier flight from ORD to DTW – the Platinum Elite Status with Northwest is paying off. It was a full flight but I was afforded a seat. Since the kids had the day off from school due to the Memorial Day holiday, I wanted to make sure that I spend some time with the family.

It is these small investments with the kids and the family that will pay big dividends later. Many times when I travel, the account slowly starts to deplete. Therefore, it is important that I re-invest.

Rhythms and Nostalgia

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

This morning, even though I was in Chicago, I tried to keep my running regiment for the big 10K run. For some reason, I decided to run with the soundtrack of Braveheart. As I was running with the music, I came to a realization. The progression of the music flowed nicely with the progression of the run. In the first couple of songs there is an upbeat tempo. But then towards the 2+ mile, the music changed to more of a melodic “push yourself” type of music.

It was a weird experience.

It was as if the music knew my body’s rhythms… and was communicating, “you are in trouble if you don’t push yourself.”

I was inspired to run towards my high school soccer stadium. It was one of those holy moments for me. I started getting to get all nostalgic as I entered into the stadium – one of those “Field of Dreams” moments. I was just reminiscing about the time when I played varsity soccer under the bright lights and with the crowds gathering in the stadium seats. And for the record, I did not try to live out the glory days by dribbling around the field and kicking an imaginary ball and shouting “gooooooaaaalllllll.” But I was tempted :-)

It was my passion for soccer that drew me away from my relationship with Christ during my high school years. Therefore, standing in the stadium I couldn’t help but to think about God’s grace and mercy in my life.

A Jealous God wanted all of me so that I can live for His glory and do what I am doing now. I am truly privileged.

Memorial Day 2007

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Viewpoint

Regardless of how a person about the war in Iraq and the war on terrorism in Afghanistan (and many other wars around the wars around the world, on this day, we need to show some respect to those who have fought for our country.

They are usually called our “fallen heroes.”

Since I didn’t know anyone personal who lost their life on the battlefield, Memorial Day has always been a day for picnics and getting some off. But this year, it is a bit different with the passing of one of our members in his tour of duty in Iraq.

I am still amazed at the number of people who have lost their lives throughout the United States’ history. But all the freedom and all the privileges we have in this country is partly the result of the sacrifices that were made by people in the armed forces.

We honor them today.
 
 
 
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The image of the Arlington National Cemetery has always been inspiring to me
 
 
 
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Even till this day, when I see the soldier guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier there is a sense of reverence and awe