Rebuilding Community Through Nehemiah

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

We will be finishing off the first section of the Book of Nehemiah (chapters 1-7) at ACCESS tonight. Then for second semester we will finish off with chapters 8-13. It has been encouraging to study the Book of Nehemiah. The amazing part of the Bible is to see how biblical principles apply to the situation we are in right now as a church. This is the power of God’s Word.

As we are rebuilding the community in our church, we want to be faithful until all the walls are repaired. Every person needs to do their part to finish the mission. We want to stay focused, fervent and faithful.

Urgency to Pray

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values

Recently, in light of everything that is going on in our church, I felt a greater urgency for prayer – not only in my life but corporately, as a whole church. Prayer is one of those things that do not need any explanation but it is so hard for believers to engage. It is not constantly on our minds but when we don’t experience the communion with God for some time then we feel the affects of it.

It is kind of like breathing. We don’t think about it. In fact, it is instinctively done but when we are underwater we feel the affects of not being able to breathe.

When there is spiritual warfare, it is like being submersed underwater. We find ourselves frantically swing our arms and legs to get some air. We start to realize the importance of getting to the surface to take a breath. It is in that moment we really start thinking about the importance of breathing and air.

This reminds me of the song that has been on my heart more recently:

This is the air I breathe
This is the air I breathe
Your holy presence
Living in me


This is my daily bread
This is my daily bread
Your very word
Spoken to me


And I… I’m desperate for you
And I… I’m lost without you

Discernment Time

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Visits

Pastor Ben and I just got back tonight from our campus scouting trip. It was great spending some time together. Now, we will go into some time of fasting and prayer to discern the will of God.

More than anything else, I was reminded about the crucial piece that college campuses play in the bigger picture of world evangelization. Also, I was reminded that college students are college students no matter where you go.

We want to keep on reaching campuses to reach the communities, the cities and the world.

Six Seconds of Fame

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

Some of you might have heard about the CNN/YouTube Democratic debate that happened on July 23rd, 2007. Now the GOP are having their YouTube debate tomorrow on November 28th.

One of our church members decided to submit a question… AND guess what? He got 6 seconds of fame on CNN Jeanne Moos’ presentation of videos that WILL NOT be presented… haha!

Check it out here (fast forward to 00:53).

Hmm… oh the possibilities if he asked a serious question?! Wait a minute… it might have been a serious question… HAHA!

Another Scouting Trip

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Vision, Visits

Pastor Ben and I will be heading out to the airport in about 3 hours. As you know, we are trying to secure another campus location for a future church plant. Part of the joy in going to other campuses is to just see what God is up to in that area.

Even in our last trip it was awesome to hear the great things that God is doing on various college campuses. For some reason, God is moving powerfully on the universities and we just want to be tracking with God’s move.

It will truly be a privilege, if in our lifetime we are able to see another Student Volunteer Movement in our generation. But this time, it will be different because instead of being a para-church movement it will be a local church planting movement!

We will be updating the church as we get back. Then throughout the month of December, the pastoral staff and the Board of Directors will be fasting and praying for God’s direction. Afterwards, some time in January we will be making the official announcement of the future church plant.

Please continue to pray for God’s power to transform campuses, communities, cities and the world!

The Christmas Tree Tradition

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

Today we put up the Christmas tree. It is a tradition for us to put it up the day after Thanksgiving, but since it was so busy this past weekend we finally did it today.

One of the unique things of our tree is that all the ornaments are from various nations around the world – it is called the “tree of the nations.” Whenever I go to various places for missions, I try to pick up an ornament from that country. This has been going on for the last 6+ years therefore we had amassed a pretty good collection.

In fact the first year we decided to do this the tree was empty and bear… we just had ornaments from Mexico and Peru, but now countries from every continent are represented and we are wanting to increase it in the years to come.

Another tradition is to have everyone pick an ornament and then find out which country it is from… then we would spend time praying for that nation. It is our prayer that people from that country would come to know the true reason for the season.
Christmas Tree 2007.JPG
Our Christmas tree that represents the nations
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The lights made us do the crazy pose

1st Snowfall of 2007

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

Yesterday night it snowed enough where the fields were blanketed with the good white stuff. Even though people complain about how cold it gets in the Midwest and particularly in Michigan, there is something about the four seasons that I love.

Although I love the warmer weather in California and down South during the winter months, I don’t think I can be in an environment that is constantly at 73 degree… no envy at all :-) I can’t get enough of the change in seasons.

Seeing the weather change brings forth a sense of momentum – like things are moving and progressing. It is hard to believe we are coming to a close of the 2007 year and it will be 2008 soon. I want to finish off 2007 strong as I know that God has a lot of things in store for 2008.
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Our condo was blanketed with snow this morning
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A sea of Christmas trees from a tree farm waiting to be cut down

Staying at Home

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

Tonight I am staying at home watching the kids. They are already washed up and ready for bed.

Christina and her mentoring group are going out to have dinner together. Originally, I was going to meet with the group of men that I am discipling but due to a miscommunication (or lack of), our group decided to meet later.

Trying to coordinate all our schedules is not the easiest thing to do. But one thing I have learned over the years in trying to do ministry is to be flexible.

But Christina and I are a team and we are trying to work together to raise up more men and women who will be ready to transform the world.

Christmas Music

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

Whenever I start hearing Christmas music in stores and on the radio station, it reminds me that Christmas is near. Even though so much of what is out there is commercialized, when I hear some of the nostalgic songs it brings a warm feeling inside of me.

Here in Ann Arbor, WNIC, FM 100.3 plays Christmas songs all throughout the day until Christmas day.

Today they played the Christmas song that always moves me whenever I hear it. The Christian group Newsong sings a song called, The Christmas Shoes. The song tells a story about a boy who wanted to buy a pair of shoes for his sick and dying mother. It brings back the heart of Christmas – God, the Father gives the best and sacrificial gift (His Son) to a sick and dying world.

Here are the lyrics of the song:

It was almost Christmas time, there I stood in another line
Tryin’ to buy that last gift or two, not really in the Christmas mood
Standing right in front of me was a little boy waiting anxiously
Pacing ’round like little boys do
And in his hands he held a pair of shoes

His clothes were worn and old, he was dirty from head to toe
And when it came his time to pay
I couldn’t believe what I heard him say

Sir, I want to buy these shoes for my Mama, please
It’s Christmas Eve and these shoes are just her size
Could you hurry, sir, Daddy says there’s not much time
You see she’s been sick for quite a while
And I know these shoes would make her smile
And I want her to look beautiful if Mama meets Jesus tonight

He counted pennies for what seemed like years
Then the cashier said, “Son, there’s not enough here”
He searched his pockets frantically
Then he turned and he looked at me
He said Mama made Christmas good at our house
Though most years she just did without
Tell me Sir, what am I going to do,
Somehow I’ve got to buy her these Christmas shoes

So I laid the money down, I just had to help him out
I’ll never forget the look on his face when he said
Mama’s gonna look so great

Sir, I want to buy these shoes for my Mama, please
It’s Christmas Eve and these shoes are just her size
Could you hurry, sir, Daddy says there’s not much time
You see she’s been sick for quite a while
And I know these shoes would make her smile
And I want her to look beautiful if Mama meets Jesus tonight

I knew I’d caught a glimpse of heaven’s love
As he thanked me and ran out
I knew that God had sent that little boy
To remind me just what Christmas is all about

Black Friday 2007

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

Yesterday, we had my younger brother, Marc and Christina’s younger brother Alex, along with is wife Ginny and son, Tyler come to Ann Arbor to celebration Thanksgiving. It is great that even though we could not go home spend time with family that some of the family members came to Ann Arbor.

We all ended up going to our church’s Thanksgiving dinner. It was encouraging to see so many international students, young families and those who could not visit home. We had over 100 plus people came out for food and fellowship.

Then right afterwards, I was “commissioned” to wait in line in front of Circuit City. There were some deals that we wanted to take advantage of it. Awhile back our married couple small group gave us some resources to purchase a new T.V. since our old one broke. We wanted to wait until the prices went down during Black Friday to purchase a nice T.V. (plasma if possible).

Also, Christina has never had a new computer of her own. She was always given hand-me-downs which were antiquated and slow. They had a steal for a simple desktop (worth waiting 8 hours in the cold for).

A few of the drama team came along with me to film the whole experience (for a sermon illustration video). I want to give some gigantic props to Kavin Chung and Tim Song… they were clutch. They endured the 20 degree chillin’ weather with me all throughout the night.

Halfway through, I was thinking about the insanity of it all! But I had to stay focused :-) It was like the U.N. I met my neighbors from Taiwan to the left of us and people from Palestine to my right. They were also a lot of Asian people from all over – I guess it is at these times that they come out of the shadows.

Christina then came at 4:30AM from her nice, warm, comfortable bed and waited in line with me… haha! Then we strategized together as we got an layout of the whole store. After all the madness inside, we came out as happy people as we were able to get some gifts.

I will NEVER do this again… but then again, ask me in the 3rd week of November 2008 and I will give you a more definitive answer :-)
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Thank God I listened to Christina and brought my sleeping bag… it saved my life!

Thanksgiving Cheat Sheet

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

For those of you who are cooking up a storm for Thanksgiving, this article might be helpful for you. It is a tidbit of awesome helps just in case you are under the gun or in a jam.

Read it here.

Early Thanksgiving

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

Christina and I went to Karissa’s Thanksgiving meal that they have every year at their school. We are pros at this now because we went to Josiah’s and Elliot’s meal for the last 6 years.

It is great to see the kids helping out with the actual meal. Incredibly, the food is always great. I am thankful for my little girl.
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KiKi wanted us to taste the cranberry bread – which she proudly help make

Flight Cancellation

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

My flight back to Ann Arbor got cancelled. It is a bit frustrating because tonight was my date night with Christina. I am going to catch the later flight which will get me back home later in the evening.

Oh the joys of interruptions in our lives. Somehow God always has a plan for everything and this is why I must trust.

Video Sermon History

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Victories, Vision

This coming Sunday due to my travel to HMCC of Chicago, we are going to do our first video sermon in Ann Arbor. I am praying that we will expect the similar results as in Chicago, if not greater here in the “mother church.”

When we first showed the video sermon in Chicago, Pastor Jimmy mentioned that it took a few minutes to get adjusted to the new avenue of communicating God’s Word, but after that people were responding as if it was live.

I don’t think this would have work 20 years ago, but with the improvements of technology and a whole new generation of people being raised up in this media-filled world, we are now able to redeem the communication medium for God’s glory.

The beauty of this format working in our context is that after the message our response time is more prophetic through prayer and worship. No matter what is being shared through the video, the pastor on site is able to take God’s Word, which is unchanging and powerful and then direct the people to respond in worship of our God.

I pray that you will be able to join us to make history in HMCC of Ann Arbor tomorrow.
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We are continuing in our series, “Atmosphere” with Part 2: Diversity