Asia Medical Missions 2012 Update 1

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Visits

 
We are nearing our destination. Right now it is 2AM and we are waiting at Changi Airport in Singapore to check into our flight for Indonesia. This is always the hardest part of the trip as we are physically tired, but the team is doing well and we are in good spirits. It has been encouraging to see how quickly we are bonding with the HMCC of Austin members. Now, we are anticipating our connection with the HMCC of Jakarta team. I am thankful for what God is doing.

For all of you who are praying for us, I wanted to give our team members an opportunity to say hi and thank you personally. We let all the married people give a greeting to their families first and then the other teammates to say a few words to their prayer partners.
 
 

Greetings from all the married people on our team
 
 
 

Greetings from the singles

Lent 2012

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values, Various, Viewpoint

 

Photo on pimeusa.wordpress.com
 
 
 
Another Lenten season has quickly approached us, but for some reason, this year feels a bit different. So much has happened so far in 2012 that it is hard to believe only 2 months have passed. It is truly by God’s grace that we have witnessed numerous testimonies of life transformations. We are excited about all that God is going to do for the rest of the year.

We cannot forget that the main reason for Lent is to get our hearts ready for the Passion Week and the Easter season. In the 40-days of Lent, we want to spend some time in reflection, repentance and refusal. This year’s preparation is going to be powerful because we are connecting everything with what we have already been doing for the One Desire Fast. We are expecting God to do some incredible things in our lives and in our church.

In this year’s Lent, there are 3 specific things to keep in mind:

1) Minus something from your life. It is always encouraging to hear some of the things that people in our church are fasting from so that they can focus more on God. But, I pray that it will be something challenging with the intention that it will help us to remember the sacrifice that Christ made for us. May our fast cause us to have a greater appreciation for the cross and the resurrection of Christ.

2) Add something to your life. We have to make sure that our fasting is not legalistic but rather, something that sets us free to obey Christ. One to way to keep on track is to not only deny ourselves of something, but rather to add a spiritual discipline so that we can hunger for God. One of the goals for the One Desire Fast was to read through the entire Bible in one year. May this discipline of reading through the Bible be something that God will use to speak to us. Let’s finish reading through the Bible this year!

3) Pray for one person to come to know Christ.
Another goal from the One Desire Fast was to see at least one person in our lives to come to know Christ. God has already been answering this prayer, as we have seen people give their lives to Christ in the last two months at various church gatherings; but we are expecting a greater harvest of souls in the next 40 days. Everything will culminate to our grand Easter Celebration. May we participate in God’s great plan of salvation by praying and investing in the pre-Christians that God has sovereignly placed in our lives.

 
 
Let’s do this!

Valentine’s Day 2012

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values, Viewpoint

 

Photo on soulshine9productions.com
 
 
 
This year Christina and I decided to do something different for Valentine’s Day. In the past, we would always find a babysitter and then go out for a nice dinner. We would have a great time catching up on things and sharing with one another. It has always been a good memory for me.

But for some reason, this year, we felt that we should include our kids in the Valentine celebration. If Valentine is a time of sharing love with people that you care about, then we wanted to share it with the three children that God has blessed us with.

After the evening was over, I gave the whole Valentine thing some thought.

Here are some things that I was reflecting on:

1) What if couples set their own Valentine’s Day throughout the year? Why is it that the world goes on someone’s declared day (probably Hallmark) as a time where we show love? It is interesting how we “need” a day to remind us that we need to take out our wives. What would it be like if we just picked a day and decide to make that our Valentine’s Day and do it consistently? Maybe there will be less hype and more spontaneity, which is always good for a marriage.

2) I realized that Christina and I have been going on weekly dates for the last 15.5 years (minus when I travel for missions). It is something that we talked about when we first got married. We made a resolution that we would “date” each other every single week and by God’s grace we have been able to faithfully keep that promise to each other. More recently, God has been even affording us some spontaneous moments, where we would spend more time together on dates beyond the once a week. Due to these unexpected blessings, we didn’t feel like we “needed” to do something special for Valentine’s Day. In fact, it freed us to spend more time with our kids.

3) Why is there this obsession and glorification of a day known for romance? I don’t want to be a party-pooper (I am definitely a hopeless romantic) but after tonight, I just started to think about how we have elevated this one day out of all the other days. After all the money spent on flowers, chocolates and teddy bears, do we have a greater understanding of real biblical love? As in the words of Christina (in the moments of rebuke), “Who cares if you do something great for just one day? I want consistency in the little things!” Maybe instead of trying to be create an incredible mountaintop experience for one day, which is here today and then gone tomorrow, what if we daily lived out the biblical definition of love in 1 Corinthians 13:4-6?

4) As we were having dinner, we decided to go around and have everyone shared what we thought helped contribute to more love for one another than the previous year. It was so encouraging for Christina and me. Our three kids pretty much said the same thing but with different examples. In essence, they were thankful that we were able to show love to one another by simply spending time together. Maybe this is what it all comes down to? Instead of hyping up one day out of the whole year to express our love, what would happen if we express that love on a daily basis in the context of quality time? Sometimes I feel like I don’t know what I am doing as a parent, but by His grace, I am praying that that some of the investments that I have made with my family will have great fruits in the future.

5) What if we made Valentine’s Day less about two people doing things together, but a day where couples find ways to bless people who are single or people who are struggling with things in life? I am not trying to start a revolution (so don’t worry Hallmark). I’m just saying wouldn’t it be awesome to see couples who are so filled with God’s love and love for one another that they can take a day to bless others. On a day where the whole world makes such a big deal and focuses so much on romance, what would it be like to introduce people to the greatest love of all? People would be surprise to know that there is a Great Romance but it comes when we look to the One that can completely fill us.

It Starts With Our Minds

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values, Various, Viewpoint

 

Photo by HMCC-AA Publications Team
 
 
 
All throughout the One Desire fast and even with the weeks following after the fast, there has been a lot of spiritual warfare. People started to struggle with sins from the past, which started to have strongholds in their lives.

This is one of the reasons why we started the “Battleground” sermon series on Sundays. It is my hope and prayer that we will keep on fighting the good fight. Too often we get focused on our behavior and get so discouraged, but the most important part in life transformation comes down to our thought life. This is why I have been challenging people as a practical application of this past Sunday’s message to commit to memorizing Scripture.

Rick Warren gives some insight to the importance of the mind. He writes,

“The Bible says our thoughts influence our lives. For instance, my interpretation influences my situation. It’s not what happens to me that matters as much as how I choose to see it. The way I react will determine whether the circumstance makes me better or bitter. I can view everything as an obstacle or an opportunity for growth – a stumbling block or a stepping stone. My beliefs influence my behavior – we always act according to our beliefs, even when those ideas are false. For instance, as a child, if you believed a shadow in your bedroom at night was a monster, your body reacted in fear (adrenaline and jitters) even though it wasn’t true. That’s why it’s so important to make sure you are operating on true information! Your convictions about yourself, about life, and about God influence your conduct. My self-talk influences my self-esteem – we constantly talk to ourselves. Do you run yourself down with your self-talk? Stop doing that: ‘As he thinks in his heart, so is he’ (Pr 23:7, NKJV).”

 
 
We will continue to struggle to find the victory in our lives, unless we win this battle for our minds. We must win this battle!

Being Child-Like

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values, Viewpoint

 

Photo on jesuspictures.co
 
 
 
I don’t know if you have ever noticed, but in the Bible, whenever Jesus interacted with a child, it was always positive. What is it about children that made Jesus stop and pay attention? Those of you who are parents probably have an idea; but even if you are not a parent yet, if you would go back to your childhood years, you will get some insights to Jesus’ heart.

In the Gospel according to Matthew we observe, “He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: ‘I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven’” (Mt 18:2-4).

If you study the passage in context, you will notice that the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” While Jesus was thinking about the week leading up to His crucifixion, the disciples were concerned about being the greatest.

Isn’t it typical of the disciples?

But the sad fact is that it is also very typical of us.

As we get older, we lose a lot of the traits that make children special. Maybe this is why we get more cynical about things as we get older. We start to calculate more and play everything safe. We get bogged down with things and we forget to enjoy the moment. We worry about things that we cannot change or control. We lose the sense of wonder and awe in the simple things.

Is it possible that the struggles that we are having now are related to our “old” hearts? What would it take for us to regain the child-like heart?

Jim Rohn, an author and speaker gave four ways to be more like a child no matter how old we get; he writes:
 

1) Curiosity – Be curious. Childish curiosity. Learn to be curious like a child. What will kids do if they want to know something bad enough? You’re right. They will bug you. Kids can ask a million questions. You think they’re through. They’ve got another million. They will keep plaguing you. They can drive you right to the brink. Also kids use their curiosity to learn. Have you ever noticed that while adults are stepping on ants, children are studying them? A child’s curiosity is what helps them to reach, learn and grow.

2) Excitement – Learn to get excited like a child. There is nothing that has more magic than childish excitement. So excited you hate to go to bed at night. Can’t wait to get up in the morning. So excited that you’re about to explode. How can anyone resist that kind of childish magic? Now, once in awhile I meet someone who says, ‘Well, I’m a little too mature for all that childish excitement.’ Isn’t that pitiful? You’ve got to weep for these kinds of people. All I’ve got to say is, ‘If you’re too old to get excited, you’re old.’ Don’t get that old.

3) Faith – Faith like a child. Faith is childish. How else would you describe it? Some people say, ‘Let’s be adult about it.’ Oh no. No. Adults too often have a tendency to be overly skeptical. Some adults even have a tendency to be cynical. Adults say, ‘Yeah. I’ve heard that old positive line before. It will be a long day in June before I fall for that positive line. You’ve got to prove to me it’s any good.’ See, that’s adult, but kids aren’t that way. Kids think you can get anything. They are really funny. You tell kids, ‘We’re going to have three swimming pools.’ And they say, ‘Yeah. Three. One each. Stay out of my swimming pool.’ See, they start dividing them up right away, but adults are not like that. Adults say, ‘Three swimming pools? You’re out of your mind. Most people don’t even have one swimming pool. You’ll be lucky to get a tub in the back yard.’ You notice the difference?

4) Trust – Trust is a childish virtue, but it has great merit. Have you heard the expression ‘sleep like a baby?’ That’s it. Childish trust. After you’ve gotten an A+ for the day, leave it in somebody else’s hands.

 
 
Let’s pray more for this child-like heart and then see what happens. I’m wondering if we will see the world with a whole new perspective.