New Year Resolutions & GOALS

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values, Various
Photo Credit: Unsplash

The end of a year is a great time to reflect on God’s faithfulness. It is also an opportunity to look ahead to the new year. When we think about making new year’s resolutions, it can cause a lot of disillusionment and frustration. Especially, as we think about this past year’s resolution and our shortcomings. Even though I find myself failing on many of my new year’s resolutions, I still make them because it gives me a sense of purpose as I think about my passions and my desire for growth.

One thing that I have done for many years is to spend some time in reflection and then write down some clear goals for the new year. Hopefully, some of the things that I’ve implemented in my life to help me to achieve my goals can be helpful to you as you think about 2019.

Before I write down anything, I spend some time in prayer and reflection. This helps me to see the different ways in which God has worked in my life this past year. It also gives me revelation for the new year. It is important that we do not try to make our resolutions based on our own wisdom or strength. God has to lead us and reveal things in our lives so that we can align ourselves with His purposes for the upcoming year.

After some time in reflection and prayer, I simply use the acronym GOALS to help me come up with practical resolutions and strategies to achieve my resolutions for the new year. The GOALS acronym is:

  1. G – GROWTH-MINDSET. We have to remember that whatever resolutions or goals that you make for the new year, it has to be related to some aspect of growth. It should entail the different aspects of our personhood – spiritual, relational, physical, mental, emotional, etc. When our goals are connected to growth, it will keep us motivated throughout the year. We never want to be static or get complacent, but we want to keep on growing as a person so that we can, by God’s grace, be a better version of ourselves from last year. Just make sure that your goals are at a reasonable number. Usually having about 5-6 goals for the year is appropriate. If we have more, then there is a possibility of losing focus and feeling overwhelmed within the first month of the new year.
  2. O – OBSERVABLE. It is important to make the goals with clear measurable traits. There is power in seeing gradual movement towards our desired goal. Therefore, it is critical that we write out our goals and try to mark off the small steps of progress. One thing that I use is the SMS of goals: Specific, Measurable, and Set-time. These three things help me to come up with clear goals and to stay focused. For example, if you want to grow spiritually by reading God’s Word, then following a set daily (specific) reading plan (measurable) for the year (set-time) will help you to reach your goal.
  3. A – ATTAINABLE. Don’t make goals that are too far-fetched or you will get discouraged and then give up. The goals should stretch us, but it should be within reach with some dedication and discipline. Some of us are too idealistic, therefore, it might help to bounce off our goals with some seasoned people and get some perspective. I have found myself readjusting my goals many times with a mid-year check-up. It is helpful to use the previous year as a gauge. If some of our goals were not met, figure out if it was due to being unrealistic. Then just make sure that this year you account for the shortcoming. If your last year’s goals were easy to attain, then stretch yourself a bit so that you can keep growing.
  4. L – LIST. Psychologically, when we are able to check off things on a list, it helps us to keep motivated because we see the progress that we are making. As you write out your goals, try to keep either a journal or use some app which can help you to check off an accomplished task. This year I committed to doing 40,000 push-ups. I divided the 40,000 push-ups into 365 days and it came out to roughly doing 110 push-ups a day. Then I put it on a checklist on my Google Keep. Whenever I finished a day of 110 push-ups, I would just mark it off on my list. This helped me to see how far I have come, as well as how much further I needed to go. It was a good motivator. With a few more days left of 2018, I know exactly how many more push-ups I need to do in order to achieve my goal (please pray for me… haha). Also, when we have a list, it is a good way to review our goals throughout the year and come up with a better strategy for achieving those goals. When I looked at my push-up goals in different parts of the year, I realized that I needed to increase my 110 daily push-ups because I fell behind. Don’t forget to review your list at least weekly so that you stay on target.
  5. S – SUPPORT. There is research that shows both the benefits and the negative aspects of sharing your goals with others. Regardless of what you believe in, I think the key is to share your goals with the “right” people. When we have a good support system, as well as accountability, then we are more likely to achieve our goals. The reason why we stay motivated in accomplishing our goals is because we know that we have to give an account to people who care for us. They are also there to cheer us on, especially knowing that some of the goals might not be easy. Find a few trusted friends who can check up on you. Also, make sure that they are able to be firm and confront you if you are getting lazy or apathetic. By having a good support system, it helps to remind you of why you made the goals in the first place. Don’t go through it alone.

I hope these five aspects of the GOALS acronym will help you get started in a successful and fruitful new year. For those of you who attend HMCC-HK, I want to stress the importance of doing the BRP (Bible Reading Plan) that we have in our church. It is a 2-year Bible Reading Plan. All the goals that we set for the new year will be futile if they are just focused on ourselves. I pray that we will commit to doing the BRP so that as we grow spiritually, we can be a blessing to others around us.

By God’s grace, let’s make 2019 a great year as we live out God’s purpose for us!

The Father’s Heart for Orphans

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values, Various, Victories, Viewpoint

Children Embrace2
My wife, Christina, keeps reminding me, “As we get older, we should be more unselfish, more humble and more loving.” In theory, this makes a lot of sense. But in reality, it is a whole different issue altogether.

As we get older, we should realize more of our sinfulness. As we get older, we should become more humble and loving. The older we get, the more we should have testimonies that point to the experience of God’s love and grace. Then what seems to be the problem? For me, it can be summed it up in three simple words: I. Am. Forgetful.

I forget that I was once spiritually lost and dead in my sin (Eph 2:1-3).
I forget that I was chosen and predestined for God’s purpose (Eph 1:4-5; Ro 8:29-30).
I forget how God redeemed and rescued me through the blood of Jesus (Eph 1:7).
I forget how God’s grace was richly and abundantly poured out on me (Eph 2:4-7).
I forget how God adopted me into His family because of His love (Eph 1:5; Ro 8:5).
I forget all the spiritual blessings that I now have in Christ (Eph 1:3).

Forgetfulness. So many of us know this all too well.

This is the reason why I reacted in annoyance and frustration when Christina mentioned that God might be calling us to foster a 4-month old orphaned baby, who has a physical disability. Instead of remembering who God is and His Father’s heart for the orphans and the lost, all I could think about at that moment was – me. I forgot about all that God did in my life. The only thing that took center stage was my selfishness.

For the next 30 minutes I was in a back-and-forth discussion with Christina. I tried to help her to see all the reasons why this might not be a good idea. But the more I talked, the more forgetful I became of God’s love and grace. I was so consumed with myself that the only thing that kept coming to mind was the inconvenience and the discomfort of going through sleepless nights and endless diaper changes. Everything inside of me cried out, “What about me? Didn’t I pay my dues with our three kids? Why do we have to go through it again?”

It was in that moment that God had to remind me of His Father’s heart towards me.

I remembered how spiritually dead and hopeless I was.
I remembered how I was separted from God because of my sin.
I remembered how God reached out to me, rescued me and redeemed me.
I remembered how God loved me and adopted me into His family.
I remembered how God graciously and lavishly poured out so many blessings.

I knew what God was trying to say to me. I had a choice – to obey God or to obey my flesh. I’m thankful that through Christina, God reminded me of His Father’s heart. With the short amount of time we will have with her, I think it is going to transform our family for good. We are thankful that today, our family will have the privilege of welcoming a little 4-month old girl from China into our home.

For some reason, things feel different already, as God has been preparing our hearts to receive her into our home; but most of all, welcome her into our hearts. We would greatly appreciate your prayers and we can’t wait to introduce her to all of you.

In the last 2 weeks, I have been reminded of the song, “Good, Good Father.” The lyrics are:

Oh, I’ve heard a thousand stories of what they think you’re like
But I’ve heard the tender whisper of love in the dead of night
And you tell me that you’re pleased and that I’m never alone

You’re a Good, Good Father
It’s who you are, it’s who you are, it’s who you are
And I’m loved by you
It’s who I am, it’s who I am, it’s who I am

Oh, and I’ve seen many searching for answers far and wide
But I know we’re all searching
For answers only you provide
Cause you know just what we need
Before we say a word

You’re a Good, Good Father
It’s who you are, it’s who you are, it’s who you are
And I’m loved by you
It’s who I am, it’s who I am, it’s who I am

Cause you are perfect in all of your ways
You are perfect in all of your ways
You are perfect in all of your ways to us [2x]

Oh, it’s love so undeniable
I, I can hardly speak
Peace so unexplainable
I, I can hardly think

As you call me deeper still [x3]
Into love, love, love

You’re a Good, Good Father
It’s who you are, it’s who you are, it’s who you are
And I’m loved by you
It’s who I am, it’s who I am, it’s who I am


God Can Use Our Past

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values, Various, Viewpoint

I’m always inspired when I hear about God using a person’s messed-up past to advance His mission. We have to remember that God never makes mistakes. Even through some of our deepest pains and trials, God can use it somehow for His glory.

The best part of God’s creative work in redemption is that He uses our experiences and personalities to reach many people with the Gospel. Due to my personal experiences and personality, I am able to reach a certain segment of the world.

In the same way, your life, which is probably very different from mine, can reach out to another segment of the world. Can you imagine what would happen if we shared our stories with people that can relate to us?

God is always in the business of turning our ashes into something beautiful (Isa 61:3). This story is about how God turned a bad boy into a warrior for Christ.

Forever Family

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values, Various, Viewpoint

It is interesting how the Apostle Paul uses the illustration of adoption when he describes our relationship with God, our Father (Eph 1:3-14).

There is something very powerful about knowing that you are chosen and loved unconditionally. This is part of the core of the Gospel message.

Sometimes through an earthly adoption, people are able to know the love of the Father. May our love for people overflow.

Like A Girl

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values, Various, Viewpoint

After having a daughter, I have become more sensitive and tuned into how girls are treated in our society, especially in the Church. It is amazing to see how a girl’s self-esteem is shaped by their relationship with their father.

It is my hope and prayer that Karissa (a.k.a. KiKi) will grow up believing that she can do anything she puts her mind to. The world will tell her otherwise. The world will put barriers and limitations in front of her. But I want her to know that with Christ and my full support, she can do anything.

I want to be her greatest cheerleader and supporter. I want her to know that she can be a world shaker, history maker!

Gloriously Ruined

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values, Various, Victories, Viewpoint

I do quite a bit of counseling throughout the week. I guess it comes with the calling of a shepherd (pastor). After many hours of listening and talking, I have come to the realization that a lot of things come down to perspective. If a person is able to gain God’s perspective in the midst of their situation, then it’s a huge win – both for the counselee and the counselor.

It is hard to see God in some of the difficult situations of our lives. Unless we believe in a Sovereign God, who is in complete control and working out all things for our good and His glory (Ro 8), it is easy to become disillusioned and even bitter at God. It is humbling when we get a glimpse of our theology (what we believe about God) by the way we respond to things that we have no control over.

I am constantly encouraged to see Christ-followers who struggle to understand God’s purposes, but at the end of the day, they realize that they are not God. This is when we all have a choice to either trust God or to trust in ourselves. As we get older, we begin to learn that choosing the former is far greater. Why? Because God has proven Himself to be faithful time and time again to make something beautiful of our lives, regardless of how messy it is.

What appears to be a life of ruin, God has the audacity and the capacity to turn things around to something that is “gloriously ruined” for our good and His glory.

The Soccer Warrior

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

It is always exciting to see two of my passions come together.
The heart of a samurai and the heart for soccer.

I cannot wait for the World Cup to start!

The Father’s Protection

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values, Various, Viewpoint

When you see a father so passionate about protecting his daughter, it reminds you of how love and security play an important role in a relationship. As I watched this video, I couldn’t help but to resonate with this father as I thought about my daughter.

Then, I thought about God’s love and protection for His children against Satan and his evil forces. No matter what we are facing in life, we can be confident that God will persistently protect us because He passionately loves us.

The Greatest Artist

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values, Various, Viewpoint

God is the Greatest Artist of all time. We, as human are able to create beautiful things because the Creator created us.

Whenever I get inspired by a musician or an artist with their talent, I am reminded that they are just a reflection of the Greatest Artist.

Therefore, keep on creating great music, art and other creative pieces because it will keep on pointing to the One who alone deserves all the glory!

The Hearts of Men

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values, Various, Viewpoint, Vision

Coming back from my recent trip to Cambodia, I was reminded once again about the evils of human slavery. As I looked at the issue, I couldn’t help but to conclude that everything starts from the heart. Since we live in a broken world, we try so hard to “fix” ourselves from the pain and hurt in our lives. This is where many of us turn to various things to numb our pain; but instead of getting better, things get worse.

It is discovered that a lot of the sexual exploitation has its roots in pornography. If pornography is one of the roots to human slavery, then we need to do everything possible to cut it off. We cannot allow pornography to be the fuel for human trafficking. Therefore, in order to fight human slavery, we have to invest in winning the hearts of men. In particular, we have to invest in the next generation.

The real fix can only be found in the Gospel.

It is the Gospel that can set us free. It is the Gospel that heals our hearts. This video is a good reminder of the fact that we need to win the hearts of men with the Gospel.

World Shakers. History Makers.

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values, Various, Viewpoint, Vision


I remember when our kids were younger and they all went to the same school. It was so much easier driving them to one location; but now, they all go to different schools. I miss those younger years when we were all together in one car.

Everyday, as we got closer to school, I had one of them pray on behalf of all of us. Of course, we rotated the person who would pray because if we did the “can someone pray for us” method, there would be silence.

My favorite part was a phrase that they always included in their prayers. They said, “Lord, help us to be world shakers and history makers!”

I pray that this would be true of us.

We are part of the greatest movement in history. It is unstoppable.

God, may Your Kingdom come and Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven!

HMCC-HK Call-Out Meeting

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various, Viewpoint, Vision


Design by HMCC-AA Publications Team
It has been almost four weeks since the official announcement of starting HMCC of Hong Kong in 2015. There has been a great response. I’m encouraged and excited to see the 2020 Vision become a reality.

I am looking forward to this call-out meeting because I believe God is stirring some of us to respond in faith and to be a part of this future church plant. In this call-out meeting, I will recast the vision for making disciples in Hong Kong and the strategic significance of reaching China with the Gospel.

Whether you will be a part of church plant team or just a supporter or even if you are just curious, I pray that this call-out meeting with be informational and helpful to you. Please keep this in prayer.

Hope to see many of you there.

Mirror Series

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values, Various


Design by HMCC-AA Publications Team
For our college ministry, we are finishing off our 2-part series called, “Mirror.” In Part 1, we covered the theme of “The Looking Glass.” I mentioned how, “we must see ourselves through the mirror of God’s grace.” It is God’s grace that fulfills us, frees us, and forms us.

Today we are going to go over the topic of “The Rearview Mirror” and how important it is for us to look back into our past. Too often we move forward without looking back at what we’ve experienced in our lives. This is why we constant repeat the same mistakes and fall into the same trap of sin.

If we are going to advance forward in our destiny, then looking back at the “rearview mirror” of our lives in order to see where we have been and how far we have come will be significant.

Join us tonight as we conclude this series!

Global Band Missions Project 2013

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values, Various, Vision


Photo by HMCC-AA Docs Team
I am excited to go to Cambodia and Hong Kong with some of our HMCC worship leaders in late December. Music is a universal language that everyone understands. This is why when worship happens in Spirit and in Truth (Jn 4:24), Jesus is exalted and great things transpire.

After my trip to Asia in March 2013, I came away with several observations:

1) The Cambodian people love music. I was blown away when we visited a remote village in Phnom Penh and all the kids knew Psy’s “Gangnam Style” song. Out of all the places in the world, I witnessed the power of music on the lives of people (even though we might have to introduce them to other songs).

2) Worship can prepare the way for the fight in human slavery. The battle for freedom is really a spiritual battle, as many people are in bondage and enslaved by evil forces. As we declare God’s greatness and goodness through worship, strongholds can be broken and a standard of righteousness will be lifted up.

3) God is transforming the entertainment business in Hong Kong. I was shocked to hear many stories of entertainers and music pop stars putting their faith in Jesus. Through the tireless work of Christ-followers who are in the industry, people are coming to experience God’s grace and mercy. Glorious transformation is happening in a sphere where Satan has had a stronghold for many years.

These are some of the reasons why we are going to Cambodia and Hong Kong to participate in God’s mission. We will be using the avenue of worship and music to spread the Gospel.

This is just the beginning. My hope and prayer is that we will open up many more opportunities for people in HMCC churches to use their passion and gifts with music to bring the transformative message of the Gospel to the nations.

Would you prayerfully consider supporting our first-ever Global Band Missions Project through prayer and financial giving?

It will be an investment that will have a huge impact for God’s Kingdom.

Please click here to help support financially.

There will be more updates along the way. Thanks for the partnership.