Oprah and Her Religion

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Viewpoint

I have a confession to make. The handful of episodes that I have watched of the Oprah Show in my lifetime was pretty moving. I think she has a way of connecting with people like no one else. It is truly like a worship experience for many people, as their hearts are tugged and moved with the testimonies of people and with heart-wrenching stories of pain and struggle, but of ultimate victory.

It is no wonder she is one of the most powerful person in the world. Who else can mention a book on their book club and the following week it is #1 on the New York Times best-seller list? Who else can get any Hollywood star to appear on their show? Who else can get people to rally together to make a reality television show about giving. She is truly influential.

In fact, I have heard from many Christians that they get inspired by her, which is understandable especially when she demonstrates tremendous generosity and love towards people. I have respect for her.

Recently, Oprah has been connected with author, Eckhart Tolle who wrote, “A New Earth.” In many ways, some of the excepts and reviews of the book appear to be “Christian” because of some of the messages of the human condition and how we have to find peace. But the problem is that even though the description of the human condition is correct, the prescription of solving it leaves out repentance and the redemptive work of Christ. Many people have mentioned that Tolle’s book is a New Age philosophy with a different packaging.

The real packaging came off when a flurry of YouTube videos came out talking about her views about Christianity. Honestly speaking, when I looked through some of the video, I thought the people who made them perpetuated a hated filled view that the secular people have of Christians who hold to exclusive claims of Christ.

But nonetheless, Oprah is influencing a lot of people with her message. This just reinforces the fact that Christians need to learn how to discern the truth and then speak the truth in love. We need to learn how to dialogue in a respectful way with people who had different views from us. More than arguments, may people see the truth lived out.

My Long Awaited Doctor’s Appointment

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

In the last 4-5 months Christina has been trying to get me to see a doctor for a health check up. I don’t know what it is about men and doctor’s appointments, but it is like mixing oil and water together.

It was quite an experience trying to describe my lifestyle to the doctor. I am sure he is assuming that every person should get at least 8 hours of sleep, eat healthy and exercise. When I tried to tell him how my sleeping pattern is erratic depending on the day of the week, he (in his gentle way) was trying to tell me that I have to change my sleep patterns.

But he was pleased that I was running at least 2 miles a day. The eating part was a little harder to describe, but he knew right away due to my travels and profession. He referenced to fast foods, greasy foods, etc. I was thinking… “hey that is all the good stuff!”

I still need to go in and get a blood test to check for various things like sugar level and cholesterol level. Overall, he said that I was “normal.”

As I reflected on my doctor’s appointment, I realized that just like spiritual health, it takes discipline to keep up with physical health. The habits of eating healthy, exercising and sleeping on a regular schedule are some of the same disciplines that are required for growing healthy in our spiritual life. The habits of reading the Bible, praying regularly and finding disciplined times of accountability and service are not easy to maintain throughout the week. But it makes all the difference in the world.

The Love of Dogs

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Viewpoint

As I was driving Josiah to soccer today, I saw something that really caught my attention. Our exit off the highway was quickly approaching therefore, I signaled and moved over to the right lane. Then all of a sudden there was chaos. There were about 6-7 cars pulled over on the side of the highway (did I mention that it was around 5PM in the height of rush hour).

A lady ran out of her car with her arms waving up in the air as to tell the cars to slow down. There were other people who started to get out of their car as well. In the confusion, I slowed down not knowing what was going on.

Then all of a sudden out of nowhere, there was a dog (kind of like the Alaskan dog) roaming around the side of the highway. The dog was dodging the people who were frantically trying to divert him away from the on-coming cars. As the dog approached head-on towards our car, I brought the car to a slow stop. As I got a closer look, I realized that he jumped out of a pick-up truck as the driver was pull off the exit. Crazy!

It was a sight to see. There were about four people running around the side of the highway trying to “rescue” this dog. One lady literally put her life on the line as she ran towards the on-coming traffic to tell cars to slow down.

I am just amazed at how many people have a love and a strong bond with their pets. I was wondering and thinking what would happen if people were this passion and concerned about human beings. Hmm… the world might be a better place.

Staff Gathering for the Kim Family

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

Today, the staff, their families and our family got together after Sunday Celebration to bless Pastor Ben and Susan, as they are getting ready to make their transition to Austin, TX. It was a good time to just relax and hang out. We had a late lunch (or early dinner).

Then we went around to share how much they meant to us, individually as well as to the staff. As we were sharing, I was amazed that I have know Pastor Ben for about 12 years and Susan for about 9 years. It is a blessing to see people grow up under your ministry for so long.

We, then spent some time praying for them. As they are making their final preparations for the church plant in Austin, let’s continue to pray for them.
Ben's Fam with Kim Fam.JPG
The family picture

The Diag Transformed

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

We went out for a dinner break from our Board Meeting. After dinner we ended up taking a walk towards the Diag where they are going to have the commencement ceremony. What a fiasco with not being able to have it at the football stadium. It was quite a sight. They transformed the center of the University of Michigan into what looked like a huge outdoor concert staging.

I was able to talk to a police officer to let me in beyond the “caution” yellow tape and take a picture near her police vehicle. I wanted to take a picture with her but she was afraid that it will be on YouTube… HAHA!

What would it be like if we were able to have a gathering for worship on the Diag one day?
Diag Setup2008.jpg
31,940 chairs on the Diag… truly incredible… you just had to see it
Police Car at Diag.jpg
This pose brought back memories from my life before Christ :-)

2008 Board Summit

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Vision

The Board members and I are heading off to hold our annual summit today. We would greatly appreciate your prayers. For some reason, we are sensing a greater urgency at this summit than the ones in the past. I am encouraged the members to fast today in order to help prepare and focus in on the task before us.

We will be praying, planning and preparing things for our churches into the future. We are hoping to come away with a good gameplan for the next 5-10 years. We are looking into our strategy and goals in order to engage in world evangelization.

We want to continue to be a church that the world and our communities cannot ignore. Our heart’s desire is to have more people come into the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and get discipled so that they will be able to transform the world.

As this is a critical juncture in our church, we are hopeful in what God has planned for us. The last 11+ years have been a journey of trusting in an awesome God who is constantly faithful to the weak and the undeserving. We will do whatever, whenever, wherever, and whichever!

The Topic of Islam Will Not Go Away – Part 2

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Viewpoint

Many Christians wonder – “How in the world can a Muslim convert to Christianity? What would cause a professing Muslims to turn to Christ?” These are not easy questions. But one clear way is through a revelation of who God is, whether it is through a dream or a vision. There are some powerful testimonies of Muslims coming to Christ in this manner.

Chuck Colson continues with his broadcast titled, “Drawn to the Light.” Read the following transcription,

Why Muslims Convert to Christianity

“A few days ago, Fox News ran a grim special titled ‘Jihad USA: Confronting the Threat of Homegrown Terror.’ It was a warning of the continuing danger of Islamo-fascism.
The program probably deepened many Americans’ fear of and hostility toward Muslims. That is unfortunate, because most Muslims are not would-be jihadists. But we Christians especially need to guard our emotions so we can be a good witness to Muslims-a caution raised by Dr. Dudley Woodberry, professor of Islamic Studies at Fuller.

Woodberry, aware that throughout the world Muslims have been turning to Christ, was curious about the reasons why-especially in countries where the cost of converting is so high.

To find the answer, he created a detailed questionnaire. Over a 16-year period, some 750 Muslims from 30 countries filled it out-and the results are eye-opening. The number one reason Muslim converts listed for their decision to follow Christ was the lifestyle of the Christians among them.

As Woodberry, Russell Shubin, and G. Marks write in Christianity Today, Muslim converts noted that ‘there was no gap between the moral profession and the practice of Christians’ they knew. An Egyptian convert contrasted the love shown by Christians ‘with the unloving treatment of Muslim students and faculty he encountered at a university in Medina.’

Other converts were impressed that ‘Christians treat women as equals’ and enjoy loving marriages. And poor Muslims observed that ‘the expatriate Christian workers they knew had adopted, contrary to their expectations, a simple lifestyle.’ They wore locally made clothes and abstained from pork and alcohol, so as not to offend Muslim neighbors.

Second, converts identified ‘the power of God in answered prayers and healing.’ For instance, in North Africa, a Muslim family asked Christian neighbors to pray for a sick daughter; and then the girl recovered. Some converts ‘noted deliverance from demonic power as another reason they were attracted to Jesus.’

Converts also mentioned unhappiness with Islam itself, especially the Koran’s emphasis on God’s punishment and the uncertainty of salvation. By contrast, Woodberry notes, the biblical teaching that God loved us so much that ‘He sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins’ is deeply attractive to Muslims.

Converts are also attracted to ‘the love expressed through the life and teachings of Christ.’ Ironically, Muslims first learn about Christ through the Koran, but then read the Gospels to find out more about Him.

Finally – and this is the key – ‘When Christ’s love transforms committed Christians into a loving community, many Muslims [identified] a desire to join such a fellowship.’

Woodberry’s research shows that when the Church is being the Church-witnessing to the love of Christ and of His transforming power-Muslims are drawn both to us and to Him.
When is the last time you welcomed a Muslim family to the neighborhood, or invited a Muslim co-worker for a cup of coffee?

Even though we are in the midst of a worldwide war against Islamo-fascism, we must never forget Christ’s command to witness to our neighbors-to all of our neighbors-of His redeeming love.

So besides a revelation of God, Muslims are more likely to come to know Christ through the 3 C’s – Consistency, Commitment and Community. Is there any wonder why Christians have been ineffective in bringing Muslims to Christ?

If there is anything we want to work on as a church it is simply to improve in our commitment to Jesus Christ, our consistency in our character and our demonstration of biblical community. Even though it seems so simple, it is sometimes so hard to do. This is why we need more of God’s grace in our lives. We also need more anointing so that we will be able to live out what we believe in. May people be drawn to the Light.

The Topic of Islam Will Not Go Away

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Viewpoint

As Islam is growing in various parts of the world, the role of Christians in the debate will have to be addressed. Christians have been caricaturized in so many negative ways when it comes to trying to dialogue or interact with the topic of Islam and/or Muslims. But God is raising up people who are engaging in the dialogue and even challenging some of the claims of Islam. Through it, God is causing some Muslims to soberly think about what they believe in.

Not too long ago, Chuck Colson talked about some of the questions that Islam has to answer in his Breakpoint Radio Broadcast. Read the following transcript of the broadcast titled, “Tough Questions for Islam.”

The Challenge of Fr. Botros

“Zakaria Botros is a conservative television star with a huge audience. He is even more hated by his political enemies than Rush Limbaugh and Hillary Clinton put together, if you can believe that. At least one newspaper has labeled Botros: ‘Public Enemy Number One.’

So why haven’t you heard about this guy? It is probably because you do not watch Arab television. On channel al-Hayat, or ‘Life TV,’ you will find Father Botros, a Coptic priest, discussing theology in a way that embarrasses-and enrages-Muslim leaders. His television talks are leading not only to mass conversions, but to the disempowering of radical Islam.

Recently in National Review Online, Raymond Ibrahim described the work of Father Botros. He is a bearded, bespectacled cleric who sports a large wooden cross, and his specialty is examining ‘little-known but embarrassing aspects of Islamic law and tradition,’ Ibrahim writes. Because he speaks and reads classical Arabic, Botros can ‘report to the average Muslim on the discrepancies’ and what Ibrahim calls ‘the affronts to moral common sense found’ within Islamic teachings. Satellite TV and the Internet mean Butros can question Islam’s teachings in Arabic-the language of 200 million Muslims-without fear of reprisal.

Drawing on the Socratic method, Botros will ask such questions as: ‘Are women inferior to men in Islam?’ ‘Did Mohammed [really] say that adulterous female monkeys should be stoned?’ And, ‘Does sharia really teach that women must breastfeed strange men?’

Botros cites chapter and verse, so to speak, of Islamic sources, and then politely invites Islamic scholars to respond. ‘More often than not,’ Ibrahim writes, ‘the response is deafening silence.’ Even worse, religious experts have at times been forced to agree with Botros-‘which has led to some amusing (and embarrassing) moments on live Arabic TV.’

Naturally, this drives the sheiks crazy-which is probably why there is a rumored $5 million price on his head.

Botros’s ultimate goal is ‘to draw Muslims away from the dead legalism of sharia law to the spirituality of Christianity.’ In doing so, he is not only saving souls, but cutting at the very heart of radical Islam.

What Western critics fail to appreciate, Ibrahim says, is that the West will not disempower radical Islam by offering Muslims democracy, capitalism, secularism, materialism, feminism-or any other ‘ism.’ Instead, we must offer them ‘something theocentric and spiritually satisfying.’

This is why, at the end of each program, Botros reads from the Bible and invites his listeners to follow Christ. That he is successful in this endeavor is acknowledged by none other than al-Jazeera, which complains of Botros’s ‘unprecedented evangelical raid’ on the Muslim world.

Botros offers a great example of why we Christians must learn our own doctrines, along with those of other religions: so that we can lovingly reason with people and draw them into the kingdom of God.

Tune in tomorrow for more on how you can witness to Muslims-even if you do not star in your own television show. And do not forget to pray for the safety of ‘Public Enemy Number One,’ who is doing a great work for the kingdom-in the heart of radical Islam.

We need more people like Botros in the world. One of the things that Christians need to tackle is unveiling the truth of Islam in a loving way, but yet offering the hope of the Gospel. It still amazes me that no other religion can boast about what Christianity boasts about – that God of the Heavens actually came down to us, died on the cross and rose again from the dead. All other religions state that humankind is to reach up to God through good works.

When people are able to see the uniqueness of Christ, then they are confronted with a decision – whether to choose the way of life or the way of death.

Pangea Day

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

There are some things in this world that universally speaks to the human heart. Music and film have a way of touching the mind, heart and emotions, regardless of what ethnicity or cultural background a person is from.

I was able to witness this when I went on a mission trip to Africa during my college years. I remember we went into a rural village in Kenya and showed the Jesus Film. I was left amazed, not only because the Gospel message spoke to the heart of the people, but because people were being moved by watching the movie.

People understand the power of film. This is why I have been encouraging people to engage the sphere of the arts and media through the Transformasphere Movement.

It was interesting when I came across Pangea Day. On May 10th, in various locations around the world, there will be 24 films shown in 4 hours in various languages to connect millions of people together. It is quite a vision that filmmaker Jehane Noujaim had after winning a grant from the TED Conference. She wanted to see a day, in which the world could come together through film and the vision for Pangea Day developed.

The 24 short films were selected from an international competition. It was estimated that there were more than 2,500 entries from over 100 countries. What would it be like if Christians stepped up and used their creativity to produce a film that could make a global difference?

Here is the mission and purpose statement of Pangea Day:

“Pangea Day is a global event bringing the world together through film. Why? In a world where people are often divided by borders, difference, and conflict, it’s easy to lose sight of what we all have in common. Pangea Day seeks to overcome that – to help people see themselves in others – through the power of film.”
Check out their promo video:

Chicago 04.20.08 Update

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Visits

We had a great Sunday Celebration. I did the part two of talking about God’s grace. It was encouraging to see some of the Ann Arbor church members join us. This is the beauty of being connected like this as a church. People from both churches are able to visit one another and lift one another up in prayer.

After Sunday Celebration, I met up with two couples. I realized that in the midst of all the travels back and back to Chicago that I did not spend as much time as I wanted to with the married couples in our church. It was good to just chill with them and even here some of their perspective about playing a role in our church.

Then I finished off a pre-marital counseling session for an engaged couple. It is exciting to see that the Chicago is not just for the college campus guys but that we are reaching out to some of the single adults and married couples.

In about 10 minutes, I will be heading out to UIC campus to minister to the HMCC group out there. Today is going to be special because we will have some in-coming freshmen join us in our time together.

Then afterwards, Pastor Peter and I will be meeting up with a youth pastor here in Chicago. It is always good to hear what God is doing in the high school and junior high students because they will be the future college students.

Hopefully, I will get some rest after everything is over and then the whole week starts up again tomorrow with our staff meeting. God’s overflowing grace is more than enough.

The Leadership Life of the Senior Pastor

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Viewpoint

Whenever I meet up with people, one question that comes up time and time again is: “So, Pastor Seth, what is your life like outside of Sundays?” I always look at them and ask them if they want the abridged version or the long version :-)

Being a lead pastor is not for everybody; and I have said that people really do need a calling for it, due to the various demands of the vocation. Recently, I was reading an article by Dan Reiland who works with John Maxwell at Injoy and also serves as an executive pastor at 12 Stones Church. Reiland gave some interesting insights as well as a good description of what a lead pastor goes through.

Here is his article from “The Pastor’s Coach,”

The life of any leader is unique. There are pressures, pitfalls and promises that we all experience, but I believe there is something very distinctive about the role of a local church senior pastor. I have worked closely with three senior pastors over the course of many years, and coached / consulted with hundreds. Their role is uncommon in its demands and its delights.

Senior pastor, you gotta laugh when people ask questions like: “What do you do all week?” or “Do you work full time?” or one of my favorites, “Do you get to play lots of golf?” At times you want to wrap that dusty nine iron that never comes out of its bag around their uninformed neck… but then you think better, smile and love them anyway.

As I listened to one senior pastor tell me about his leadership life, the image of an annual physical with the family doctor came to mind. You are poked and prodded, and blood is drawn – but none is given back. You learn things you don’t want to know, you are told you need to eat better and exercise, but don’t have time. Then you are given a report only containing what is wrong, nothing about what is right. And you think, ‘When do I get to give a report like this to my congregation?!’ Then, once again, you think better, smile and keep on leading.

Within the larger context of joy and privilege, pressure is a very real part of the job.

Pressure is a necessary part of life, but too much of it, or never finding relief can cause serious trouble. How is your pressure level these days? What are your relief valves? My prayer is that as you read through the practical and personal pressures that a senior pastor faces, you will find insight and encouragement. If you are not a senior pastor, this article will help you pray for, support and encourage your senior pastor.

Practical Pressures:

The vast majority of senior pastors answer the same when they list the top three practical pressures they face. In the midst of dozens of things to do, emails to answer, and people to see these three things rank at the top of the pressures that never go away. These pressures are not bad, but they are very real.

1) Writing and delivering a meaningful message (Every week!). Every seven days! It’s not quite as much pressure as the newspaper business, but its close. Every day they start fresh. Every Monday, you start fresh. Each message is expected to instruct, inspire, and challenge. Your message is expected to entertain with the creativity of a Hollywood movie and then carry the fresh anointing of God! No problem! Not to mention that you are compared to Andy Stanley, Ed Young Jr. and Bill Hybels. No pressure there.

2) Discerning and communicating a compelling vision (Leadership!). This pressure seems to carry the most weight of all. Of the hundreds of pastors I’ve had share their vision with me; most pause, get reflective, and even if enthusiastic – communicate with a weightiness to their answer. More senior pastor’s than you might imagine struggle to give a clear answer, and more than a few have lost sight of a fresh and compelling vision. This is not uncommon, so don’t despair.

3) Raising the finances needed to resource the vision (Money, money, money!). I have never met a senior pastor who said his church had enough money, not even one. The complexity of mixing the spiritual nature of trusting God for finances, together with the human element of inspiring the people to give to a vision is a huge pressure. We can say that it’s not about people giving to resource the church, and that it’s about being obedient and giving to God. But a leadership reality check says that ministry requires money. And it’s expensive.

Personal Pressures:

This list varies more than the one just covered. Nonetheless, the majority of senior pastors would include these three things at the top of their list of personal pressures. Again, the idea is not that these pressures are bad, but simply recognize that they are real.

1) Leading well at home, and leading well at church. This is a positive and healthy pressure close to the heart of any senior pastor. It’s connected to an expectation that the senior pastor’s home is a loving, spiritually grounded, mature and God-filled environment. Whether or not this is “fair” or “right” isn’t the point. The fact that it’s true is the pressure. There isn’t one family that carries quite the scrutiny as does the senior pastor’s.

2) Loneliness – the quiet place where “the buck stops here.” This is the most difficult of all six points for me to write about. This is the one that as close as I get and as much as I understand, there is a point where the senior pastor carries what no other person in the church carries. I’m not suggesting that the vision and burden isn’t shared. It is, but there is something about the last point on the decision-making trail. There is something about the quiet loneliness in the stillness of the night that I can sense from a close up view, and though we can carry much, there is that certain place of leadership that is carried by the senior pastor. To this I don’t dare add any practical how to advice or three steps to success. I can only say, on behalf of all of us, thanks, and “we” hope to lift as much of the load as possible.

3) Hearing from God… the ultimate combination of privilege and pressure. This is a bitter sweet pressure. There is nothing sweeter in life than hearing, knowing and following the voice of God. And yet, the worst place for a spiritual leader is to experience the opposite. I know of no leader who has not experienced at least a season where God was quiet. That can scare the tar out of the best of Christian leaders. We dare not take a step out from under the direction of God. And yet sometimes when we can’t hear Him, it at least seems like we must keep moving. So for the senior pastor this is huge. Learning to trust in those few but weighty times when God seems to be quiet is tough. It’s a time to wait, trust, hold and pray. Don’t panic, but pray, and my prayer for you is that you would never get comfortable in that silence. It’s easy to slip into following your own voice in the silence of God’s voice. Never settle for that, press on, hold on, pray, listen and wait.

This is just a glimpse. There are other things that he did not mention. But in general, pastors, especially lead pastors need a lot of prayer coverage. I pray that you will join other people in praying for me and the other pastoral staff… we really need it.

Chicago Weekend of 04.19.08

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Visits

20080418 - Unwrapping the Gift of Grace.jpg
I will be heading out to Chicago this weekend. It will be another jam packed couple of days with gatherings and meetings. Christina and I talked this morning that it if we had to choose between laziness and busyness, we would choose busyness. But she did say, she wouldn’t mind a better balance :-)

We started a new series in the Chicago side called, “Unwrapping the Gift of Grace.” Pastor Jimmy and I realized that a lot of hindrances in our Christian walk is when we do not have a good perspective on the concept of grace. People either lean towards “cheap grace” (in the words of Dietrich Bonhoeffer) or legalism. We are praying that this series will be liberating.

I will also be meeting up with the UIC guys to continue to pray and get things ready for a future site and/or church plant. The needs are incredible and many. But we have people who are willing to answer God’s call. This is another piece of the greater puzzle in fulfilling our church’s mission. These are exciting times!

Awareness Test

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

It is amazing how we can get so focused on something that we lose sight of the bigger picture. But more than that, it is easy to lose sight of the important things. There have been many times when I have been so focused on something regarding the church or ministry that I forget things like my health, my family or my spiritual life.

But the question is: “Are we aware?” Do we really know when things are going well or if things are going bad? Do we even know what to look for?

This is the reason why we need to train ourselves to catch some of these things early. Also, we need accountability because there are things that our accountability partner sees that we might not be able to catch right away.

The more aware we are of God, then the more aware we will become of ourselves and people around us. May God draw us closer to His heart.

Check out this video that someone sent to me. It is an awareness test to see how good you are in trying to know what is happening around you. Sometimes you have to know what to look for.

Sex Ed

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values, Various

Tonight Christina and I went to Josiah’s school’s sex education program for the 5th graders. Yes… Josiah went with us. This is one thing good about sending kids to a Christian school at the early and formative years for a child – they are able to address big topics with a Christian worldview. They had two Christian physicians do the presentation. They titled it as, “Changes, Challenges and Choices: The Road to Adulthood.”

The topic of sex is not the easiest topic to talk about with your own children, but I am thankful that when Josiah turned 10 years old he and I went on a camping trip to talk about the topic of sex (it was one of the hardest things that I had to do). If the children do not learn it from their parents, they will learn it from some other people and usually it is not the best influence.

It was interesting when the two physicians asked the parents, “did any of you attend a sex class with your parents while you were growing up?” In a room filled with about 35 adults, only about 2 hands went up. I couldn’t help but to think about how I first learned about sex… it sure wasn’t from my parents or the church. The locker room version is always a bit twisted.

One ground rule that they put down before everything got started was that no one would use slang terms for the various organs. It was quite interesting when the physicians gave some examples, I knew every single one of them… Lord help me!

After a general presentation, we split up the boys and the girls into 2 groups. As we went to the boys’ group, the male physician addressed more specifically about male topics. He did a great job of presenting the various sexual issues professionally as well as with some tact.

Afterwards, as we were in the car, Christina and I asked Josiah what he thought of the talk. Josiah’s answer? “Good.” HA! The beauty of a 5th grader trying to say that he understood everything that was discussed.

I think the greatest goal for this talk at the school was to open up the channels of communication for the child and their parents; and for this, I am truly thankful.