Saying Good-Bye

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values

This afternoon I met up with one of our church members. The person sent me an e-mail about wanting to meet up before they left for their new job position in another city. Even though life is busy, whenever it is one of those “last” meetings, I try to make it a priority to meet up.

After hearing all about the new job and some of the transitions that they were going to go through, the person ended up thanking me and the church for all that we have done to make an impact in their life.

To be honest, I can’t take any of the credit because there were so many other people who have invested more into this person’s life. This is the beauty of partnership in the Gospel. As I do my part and others do their part, we work together to see transformation in one life at a time.

As I was walking back to the office, I couldn’t help but to think about the story where ten people were healed of leprosy, but only one came back to thank Jesus (Lk 17:11-19). It is amazing how a simple “thank you” really expresses a lot of what is going on in a person’s heart.

This person didn’t have to meet up with me (in fact a lot of people don’t, before they leave), but they wanted to express their heart of gratitude and joy and it really made all the difference.

It is always sad seeing people come and go, but something we always say here at HMCC is: “Our loss is someone else’s gain.”

Funeral Procession

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values

Today, as I was studying at Panera Bread I glanced out the window and notice a funeral procession. I don’t know how many cars were part of the procession but I counted at least 30 cars.

This got me thinking.

I have always told our church members that you know how a person lived their life, not necessarily at joyous occasions like a wedding or a birthday party, but at their funeral. I realized that more people are willing to sacrifice and make the trip out to a person’s funeral than a wedding.

Why?

It is because when we lose someone that has made that much of an impact in our lives, we want to honor them and show our respect to them and their family.

Sometimes when I think about my funeral and the end of my time here on this earth (not in a sadistic way but in a practical and realistic way), I wonder what my funeral will say. It is my prayer that I will not get so consumed with doing task-related things that I forget about relationships, especially the ones that matter the most to me now.

Conclusion of “Our Journey” Series

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

 
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Tomorrow, we will be concluding our Sunday Sermon series called, “Our Journey.” It has been helpful to look at the life of Moses and see how God was authoring the salvation story through a man who had his fair share of weaknesses. But isn’t this the testimony of so many people, not only in the Bible but also in our world today.

This has been a good series, not only in terms of the joy in preaching this series, but also to see the response of the people. It has really been a timely series for our church members. Especially, since many are struggling to see God’s Sovereignty in their lives.

By looking at Moses’ life from a panoramic view, it has helped us in looking at our lives from the bigger perspective. We talked about how God “connects our past” and helps us “confront our obstacles.” Tomorrow I am going to conclude by talking about the “challenges of the unknown.”

There is something about the unknown that causes a lot of fear and produces insecurity in a person’s life. But tomorrow, we will be reminded of God’s Presence that is already going ahead of us into the future and also that is with us as we move into the unknowns.

It just all comes down to the issue of faith and trust – what else is new?

2008 H-Games

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

 
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Tomorrow we are going to have our annual H-Games as a whole church. This is one event that all the different lifestages come together for. I enjoy it because this is where we can have some great fellowship and fun together as a church.

It is interesting to see some of the college student peeking over at the married couples and families. I don’t know what goes through their minds, but I am guessing that they think the older folks in our church are too old for the competition. But as I have been sharing, it is not so much about the youth but more of the wisdom (knowing when to run).

For the last several years, the single adults in our church have won the championship trophy. The married couples LIFE Groups have at least placed in the top 3 in different years. But this year, the college students are pretty pumped to put the older people in our place.

We shall see… it will be an epic battle. We will take no prisoners.

Faith and God’s Honor

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values, Viewpoint

Recently, in some of my reflections and meditations, I have been thinking a lot about the relationship between God’s glory and faith. I have been trying to wrestle with the idea that somehow God receives a lot of glory and praise when His people live a life of faith.

Faith is a crazy thing.

When my kids have faith that I (their daddy) will catch them and therefore, they are willing to jump from an elevated place, it honors me. The sense of honor comes from the fact that they put that much trust in me and followed through on my command (to jump). What does it say about the kids? Well, it shows that they have a high view of dad – that dad is strong… that dad is not going to hurt them… that dad is trustworthy to put their life at risk.

Therefore, when we, as children of God place our faith in Him and live our lives knowing that God is Good, Strong, Trustworthy, Compassionate, Great, Loving, and etc., then what does it communicate to people about our Dad? Does our Heavenly Father find joy in our trust and obedience?

So if we say that God is honored by the way we live by faith, then the faith that we display will show the world what we view about God and possibly help people to see the nature of God.

Now…

Can we say that God is passionate about His honor?

In many ways, we can say that the above statement is true.

In Numbers 25:11, God speaks to Moses about Phinehas who was passionate about God’s honor. God says, “Phinehas son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, the priest, has turned my anger away from the Israelites; for he was as zealous as I am for my honor among them.” God praises Phinehas for his zeal for God’s honor, which God Himself is zealous about.

Even in Numbers 20:12, God speaks to Moses and Aaron about how honor is connected to trusting in Him. God says, “Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them.”

If God is passionate about His honor and glory, then wouldn’t God want to develop our faith so that He might be honored through us?

Hmm… then, how does God develop faith in a person?

This is when I reflected on my life. The times when my faith in God was increased was when I went through trials and difficulties. It testifies to the truthfulness of what some of the early followers of Christ wrote.

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:2-4).

“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed” (1 Peter 1:6-7).

Wow! When our faith is tested by the fire, then it will “result” in “honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”

Therefore, next time we face a trial or a difficulty in our lives… maybe God is wanting to strengthen our faith so that He will ultimately be honored.

But it is always easier said than done.

No wonder the prophet Isaiah said, “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me” (Isaiah 29:13).

I am praying that God will give us the grace to honor Him.

Child Protégé and Training

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Viewpoint

I am always inspired by kids who seem to have a natural talent or gift for something. It is incredible to see how they can use their gifts at that particular age. In fact, someone forwarded me one of Oprah’s shows on the World’s Smartest Kids on the internet. It is truly fascinating.

So this got me thinking after seeing the latest child protégé on ESPN. His name is Marquise Walker who became a YouTube sensation. One of the big reasons why he became a hit was because of a marketing strategy used by his father, who wants his son to go to college to play basketball and eventually end up in the NBA.

The thought was – “how much of it is natural talent and how much of it is a parent’s training of the child?” Maybe it is both.

This made me think about discipleship. Every Christ’s follower has received a gift (Eph 2:8) and this gift begins to grow. In fact it needs to be developed (Php 2:12; Jas 2:14-26). But like with all things, if we try to push too hard on our own timetable then there are a lot of negative consequences that will follow.

How many child protégé turned out to be a bust?

I am wondering if the child protégé with the right combination of love, encouragement, and support, they might be able to go far.

Isn’t this the case with many young believers who are now growing towards maturity?

Check out ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” Special on Marquise.
 
 
 
Here is a compilation of some of Marquise’s games on YouTube.
 
 

Why People Procrastinate

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Viewpoint

Bob Alexander in his article, “Why People Procrastinate,” shares his insights on why people procrastinate. He starts off by giving “A Procrastinator’s Creed.” Alexander shares that it might be one or all of the following:

1) I firmly believe if I ignore something long enough it will cease to exist.
2) Anything worth doing is worth doing later.
3) If at first you don’t meet a deadline, don’t worry about it. There will always be another month.
4) I will never put off until tomorrow what I can forget about forever.
5) I will never do anything immediately, unless it is to find a better excuse than the one I am using now to avoid work.

He continues and writes, “There are many reasons people choose to procrastinate. The perfectionist gets caught up in the inconsequential details of his project and loses sight of the end result. Passive-aggressive people don’t feel competent and in control of their lives, so they constantly arrive late to work, miss project deadlines, or are late for dinner or social gatherings so they can get the attention of and irritate others. The depressed procrastinate by talking themselves into waiting to start a project until they ‘feel like it.’ The escape artist finds creative ways of avoiding unpleasant tasks, and the ‘rebel without a cause’ likes to put things off because it frustrates his co-workers and boss. The list is endless.”

The list is truly endless. We all find ourselves procrastinating from time to time, but there are some people who struggle with this in a way that it is debilitating and it renders them ineffective. Procrastination is not entirely rooted in laziness. Sometimes it is caused more by fear – fear of failure.

The fear of failure has a way of paralyzing us and it stops us from achieving our goal and reaching our destiny. Therefore, a procrastinator will do everything possible to avoid taking action. The logic behind this is that when we procrastinate, we avoid the pain and difficulty that comes with taking responsibility and action.

I am wondering if procrastinators give us insight to the human heart.

We have raised up a generation of people who will avoid pain and difficulty at all cost. Rather than seeing the difficulties as the price we pay for getting to the next level, we see it as more of an obstacle. But maybe this is where we have to start.

This article hit me pretty hard because there are a few things that I am pushing off on and I realized that I need to change. I am guilty of being a perfectionist at times and it hinders me from doing things a little at a time.

Sometimes the best wisdom comes from my wife – “Just do it! And do it NOW!”

Heroes T.V. Series

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

 
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I have never watched a single episode of Heroes, until tonight. Today was the big premiere of season three. Christina has always been a fan of this T.V. series; therefore I decided to join her tonight. I would always hear about how good this series is from her and other people, but I was never pulled in to watching the show.

With all the hype, I watched tonight’s 2-part series with great anticipation.

Conclusion: I like the drama but I am not much of a sci-fi kind of guy.

But we will see… if Christina likes it, then I can try to like it because it gives me more time with her.

Singaporean Skype

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Vision

Early this morning (at 3:15AM), I was able to Skype with some of the former HMCC alumni. The marvels of modern technology! It was great reconnecting with them and also meeting a couple of new Singaporeans that some of our alumni had relationships with.

As we are seeing more international students graduate from UM (and hopefully more in the future with the other campuses), they are going back to their home countries. Some of them have fit well back into their home churches and others are just attending Sunday Celebrations at various churches in the area.

Many times in my discussions with them, they have always said that they missed the biblical community that they had at HMCC. Some graduates, as they are placed all over the world, have expressed their desire of wanting to see a HMCC community in their country or city. We are hoping and praying that one of these days we will be able to see more churches planted all over the world with some of our alumni.

As the Singaporeans are meeting monthly, I am beginning to see the glimpses of a house church movement. It is exciting to be a part of what God is doing.

A Rare Treat

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values

I was able to spend the whole evening with the family on a Friday night! This is one of the few times in the 12 year history of our church. Normally, I would have to be at our Friday night gathering, but we had the LIFE Groups hang out together.

This freed me up and we decided to grab some dinner and watch a movie together. At first Christina wasn’t too hot about the idea since the movie started at 9:05PM (definitely way beyond the kids’ bed time). But something that I realized over the years is that memories are created with the kids when we are able to do spontaneous things – so she gave in!

We headed out to Ann Arbor’s very own Zingerman’s Roadhouse (they have one of the best hamburger around), then watched the newly released movie, Igor. I love these Pixar-sque movies that are fun for the kids and hilarious for the parents and how they have a good message.

The best part of all this was that it was free! We received gift certificates for Zingerman’s, as well as for the movie theaters. Our family loves gift certificates! It is a good teaching moment for the kids. They are beginning to understand that we are able to do a lot of things because of other people’s generosity, which is a great blessing… and hopefully in the future, they will understand that those who are blessed, are blessed in order to become a blessing to others.

They slept well tonight.

Reflections in a Cemetery

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values

Today, I decided to stop by a cemetery. Sometimes I get these weird inspirations to do something out of the ordinary. I realized that over the years in my journey with Christ, I have always found cemeteries to be sobering and fascinating.

I think cemeteries are some of the most peaceful places to reflect and meditate on my life. It helps me to realize 3 things: the futility of life, the focus of my life, and the fruits from my life.

It is too easy to run around “doing” a lot of things, but when I am at a cemetery I have to ask myself, “Why am I doing what I am doing? And for what purpose?” Sometimes in my busyness, I forget what the most important things are in my life. It is easy to get distracted and lose focus.

As I read the tombstone and check the number of years that people lived, I always wonder what kind of life people lived. How did they live it? Did they impact people around them? Were there regrets?

Birds chirping… fresh flowers… silence… nothing beats it. It is an oasis in the midst of chaos.

Lord, help me to live today as if it was my last.

Ear Piercing

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

My baby girl got her ears pierced today. Awhile back we asked Karissa what she wanted for her birthday and without hesitation she said, “I want my ears pierced!” So after talking it through with Christina, we decided to go for it.

The “recommended” time for kids to get their ears pierced vary, but people have said 5 years old should be fine. KiKi was a brave little girl as she endured the gun that pierced the earring through her ear… ouch!

In fact, as I was watching KiKi get her ears pierced, I was talking it over with Christina about getting my ears pierced. She was all for it, but then I started to think about the bling that I would need to invest in and the thought quickly faded.

Afterwards, we followed our transition and allowed her to pick a restaurant to eat at to celebrate her birthday with the family. Due to all the schedule conflicts, today was the best day to go out to eat. We also went around the table and everyone shared some things that we were thankful to KiKi for. This also gives affirmation to one another and it reminds us that each person in the Kim family plays a significant role in being a blessing to one another.
 
 
 
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KiKi was a brave young woman to get her ears pierced
 
 
 
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KiKi will be well protected in the future, especially from the person who shot the picture

Twitter Resurrection

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

It has been about a year since I signed up for my Twitter account. I have mostly used it to keep in touch with a handful of friends (some who are overseas). It has been a great way to just keep in touch with what is going on with our lives on a regular basis.

But the more I interact with people who are in blogosphere and the internet world, I realized that this is a great way to connect with people and network with new people in the internet world.

Even though I have my blog and my Facebook account, the thing I like about Twitter is the 3 C’s. It is: Concise, Convenient, and Consistent. The whole idea of only having 140 text space to type is a good thing. It keeps things concise and you really cannot blabber on (which some people have said that I have a tendency to do). Since, I always have my phone with me, I am able to conveniently update on what is going on in my life on a consistent basis.

I am going to try to stay connected with people this way and also allow people to stay connected to me. We will see how it goes as I open this up publicly. You can follow me through the day, week or month by adding me on:

http://twitter.com/sethskim

If it gets too overwhelming then you will probably not hear from me… but you can also check my blog… haha!

Multi-Site Conference in Chicago

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Visits

DJ Chuang, from Leadership Network was gracious enough to invite me to the Multi-Site Exposed Conference, which was being hosted by New Life Church in Chicago. Since I was already in Chicago for the UIC inaugural celebration, I decided to check it out.

They had a great line of speakers such as Mark Jobe and Dave Ferguson, who gave some insights from their experience with the multi-site model in the Chicagoland area.

One take away from this conference was Fibonacci and “rapid reproduction.” Fibonacci was a mathematician who introduced the new numeral system (the one that we have now) and changed the way numbers were counted. In our generation God is raising up Kingdom-minded people who will change the way we count. We are only going to finish the task of the Great Commission if we have the mindset of multiplication and reproduction.

It is just awesome to see that many of these multi-site pastors and leaders have such a heart for evangelism; and they want to see the Kingdom of God expanded. God is definitely up to something.

I couldn’t stay for the whole conference, since I had to catch the last flight out of Midway back to Ann Arbor. But the staff in Chicago will be taking notes for me.
 
 
 
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Mark Jobe hosting the conference
 
 
 
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Dave Ferguson sharing about Fibonacci