Values

Relationship Reality Series

  Photo by HMCC-AA Publications Team       Usually we have a relationship series for the college students, right around February when the topic of love and relationships are in the air. For this year, we have decided to do it earlier. If there is one issue that has caused the most heartaches and headaches for people, it will have to be on the topic of opposite-sex relationships. We live in a culture where...

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Responsibility as a Citizen

  Photo on ramapo.edu       Today is Election Tuesday. Christina and I went into the polling place this morning to place our votes. Then, I spent some time reflecting on the significance of my privilege to vote as a U.S. citizen. It is hard to believe that I became a citizen of the United States when I was about 20 years old. Back then I had no idea of the importance or the...

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Would You Respond Like This?

  Photo by oprah.com       As a psychology and sociology major in college, I studied a lot on human behavior, not only on an individual basis but also on a societal level. It is interesting to note that many of our behaviors are shaped by the things surrounding us, whether it is for the good or the bad. One fascinating aspect of human behavior is our ability to express varying emotions in different...

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Post-Retreat Reminders

  Photo on buckleyplanet.typepad.com       One of the things that I notice from all my retreat attendance over the years, both as a participant as well as a speaker, is that what happens after the retreat is just as important (if not more important) as to what went on during the retreat. There are many people who get jaded or cynical about retreats because after the retreat “high” they go back to their...

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Students Leading the Charge

  Photo by Michigan Daily       Fifty years ago, at 2AM on October 14th 1960 at the steps of the University of Michigan Union, John F. Kennedy gave a speech inspiring students to give up two years of their lives to help people in developing countries. From that moment on, the Peace Corps was started to mobilize volunteers to address various global issues in countries around the world. Today is the 50th anniversary...

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Vision Sunday 10.10.10

  Photo from cantronicsglobal.com       One of my favorite quotes comes from the French writer and aviator, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. He wrote, “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.” This quote is a poignant reminder of the power of vision and passion in a person’s life....

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DIG Deep

  Photo on setanewdirection.com       As I have been trying to get back into the rhythm of ministry here in Ann Arbor, I am doing everything possible to discern God’s direction for our church. It is a temptation to jump right in and do things as “business as usual” since things are so established at HMCC of Ann Arbor. But more than any other year in our church’s history, I get this sense...

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Prayer Partners in Ministry

  Photo on restoringisrael.org       Recently, I have been thinking about some important people in my life who have committed themselves to pray for me, my family and my ministry. I am truly thankful for the prayer warriors that God has provided in my life. In many ways, if any good has come forth from my ministry to various people throughout the world, I believe it is a direct result, not only of...

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The Silent Sin

  I still remember the day when Christina asked me, “Why is it that churches rarely preach on the topic of abortion?” For some reason, I really didn’t have an answer; well I did, but it was an inadequate answer for her intensely poignant question. The thing that kept on popping up in my mind was the divisiveness of the issue. Not every Christ-follower is against abortion (I will not have time to address the...

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God is GREATER, BIGGER, & STRONGER

  It is always interesting to have conversations with people who are struggling to make sense of this world. Usually some pain or heartache fills their hearts, which makes it difficult to believe that God is a loving God, who cares for them and has a purpose for their lives. I always to have to remind them (and myself) that there will always be pain and suffering in this world due to sin. We cannot...

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Check Out Other Churches?

  Photo from luckysupermarket.ca       Some people would ask me why I encourage newcomers to check out other churches. It just seems so counter-intuitive. They say, “Pastor, aren’t you suppose to grow the church instead of shrinking it by asking people to check out other churches?” I have my reasons and I am going to try to numerate them in this blog entry. Usually in the month of September, IT IS THE MONTH...

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The Best Advertisement

  Photo on gawrilla.com       In the early years of our church, we spent a lot of money on advertisement to introduce and promote our church and our activities. For some reason, we thought this was the best way to get the word out about this new church plant. I think all the church planting gurus and manuals have somehow convinced us that this is the way to go. But at the end...

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When God Goes Beyond Your Expectations

  Photo on ngm.com       There is something delightful about being a beneficiary of having your expectations blown away. In fact, it produces instant gratification and a sense of gratitude in your heart. I always experience this when I receive extraordinary customer service or when I am pleasantly surprised by someone. Whenever someone goes the “extra mile,” it always brings a smile to my face. Expectations are a strange thing. When we have...

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The WHAT Principle

  Photo from istockphoto       I am trying to get back to the basic principles of discipleship. This year, as a church, we are trying to focus (or refocus) on the importance of Jesus’ call to discipleship. Throughout the years, the focus of our church has always been on “transformation.” We will never see transformation in our families, church, society and the nations if our lives are not first transformed with the Gospel...

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