January 2008

MLK 2008

        Whenever Martin Luther King, Jr’s birthday celebration comes around, I am always reminded about 3 things – the dream, the determination and the destiny. The infamous speech that was delivered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1963 encapsulated a dream for the future. What would happen if God’s people would dream more of God’s dreams? It is hard to imagine the adversity that MLK faced as he was trying...

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2008 Retreat Reflection

It has been an awesome 3 days with the church family at Gull Lake. There are a lot of things I am thankful for as I reflect on this historic retreat. First of all, I am thankful that both churches, in Ann Arbor and Chicago were able to come together and worship as one body. Whenever there is unity, God is pleased and He pours out a blessing (Ps 133). Secondly, I am thankful for...

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2008 Winter Congregational Retreat

        The start of the retreat is finally here. It is exciting to hear that this will be one of the highest attended retreats in our church history. We are particularly pumped about having HMCC of Chicago join us. The theme will be “Undivided” – two churches but one community of faith whose hearts desire to be completely devoted to God. The level of anticipation and expectation is at a level that...

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2008 Married Couples’ Small Group

It was great breaking fast together yesterday with some of the members in our small group. For some people it was their first time fasting, so it was encouraging to hear that they persevered all the way until the end! As our married couple population has been growing, we had to split up our groups. Christina and I are leading the Wednesday night group and it has been a great joy for us. Whenever we...

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Retreat 2008 Fasting

For the last week and a half, the various small groups have been taking turns in fasting for the Winter Congregational Retreat. There is something about prayer and fasting that brings a church together. Today is our married couples small group’s turn. I am always encouraged to see people who are married (especially those who have children) and who are still willing to practice the spiritual discipline of fasting. From my experience, the older a...

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Michigan Primary 2008

        Today, Christina and I went out for our breakfast date and chit-chatted about various things. It is good that we keep on touching base. I realized that in the midst of all our busyness with church and raising kids, it is tempting to make this a lower priority. But by the end of the day, it is these times that strengthen our marriage so that we can give more to our...

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Winter Retreat 2008 Prayers

Starting tonight, we are going to have our nightly prayer gatherings for the Winter Retreat. A life lesson that I have learned over the years is: Prayer is a priority for preparation. Whenever there is a hunger for prayer amongst God’s people, then it is a pretty good sign that God wants to do something powerful. When God, in His Sovereignty, wants to do something in a person’s life or in a community of faith...

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Comparisons to the Sports’ World

I have always been an advocate for drawing illustrations from the sports world. In fact, the Apostle Paul uses many sports illustrations to make a biblical point (1 Co 9:24-27; Gal 2:2; 5:7; Php 2:16; 2 Ti 2:5; 4:7). Thank God for ESPN! The other day there was an interesting article in the Michigan Daily. There was an announcement about some top players from the Michigan football team who planned on leaving the program. Adrian...

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Prayer Cards for the Winter Retreat

We had a great time of prayer at our church-wide prayer gathering yesterday. It was the first time we implemented the corporate prayer cards that many of our members have filled out in their small groups. At first, it was exciting to see all the prayer cards with various prayer requests. It was also encouraging to see so many of you lifting up prayers for your fellow members. Today, during our staff meeting, we spent...

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The Unexplainable Witness

I first heard the news of the December 9th shooting at the New Life Church in Colorado Springs on the internet when I was in Malaysia. It was pretty shocking to hear that a gunman walked in to the church after one of the services and starting shooting. But over the years, I have learned that God always turns tragedy into a triumph. We know that this is His track record when we read the...

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Thoughts on “Building a Healthy Multi-ethnic Church”

        Ever since 1996, we have been trying to build a multi-ethnic church here in Ann Arbor. To be honest, I knew that it was going to be difficult, but I didn’t know that it was going to be this hard. Human nature tells us that we like things are comfortable and easy; and building a multi-ethnic church is neither comfortable nor easy. But the more we continued to search the Scriptures...

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The “H” in the Transformasphere Movement

Last month there was a World AIDS Day on December 1st. It just reminded me of the importance of the Church being in the forefront and the frontlines of trying to show the compassion of Jesus. As many people have said, “AIDS is like the modern day leprosy of Jesus’ time.” This is one of the key reasons why we have started to engage in the whole Transformasphere Movement as a church. If we are...

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First L3 Gathering for 2008

The Leadership Lesson Luncheon yesterday was great. We had our biggest group – about 30 students came out to discuss and dialogue on leadership topics. The topic of “Implementation” was discussed. All great leaders know how to implement things in their lives and in their organization. It really comes down to priorities. People who are focused and passionate about what they are doing are able to make things happen. Then afterwards I just hung out...

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Keeping Fit with All the Bad Stuff?

One of my New Year’s resolutions is to exercise at least four times a week. There seems to be a direct correlation between exercise and having more energy. Since I want to do all that God is calling me to do, I need to be faithful in keeping my health in good condition. I am committed to running at least two miles on the treadmill. So far so good, but after reading this article now...

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