Monday, August 31, 2009

She's My Mom

This picture was taken this June down in Seaside Oregon while we spent one week with my mom on vacation. We were in a hat shop just being silly, and now it's my favorite picture. She passed away unexpectedly on August 20th.

I never knew any of my grandparents, so this was my first time experiencing the loss of a someone close. It came as quite a shock to all of us. Since that day we received the news, it's been amazing at how much love has been expressed to us. We are grateful for all the prayers, cards and our church family.

Our memorial service was perfect; it captured who my mom was and we celebrated her life. One of the things my sister and I were grateful for was our trip to Korea that we took with my mom 2 summers ago. It was my first time going there, and it gave me greater understanding of who my mom was and how her culture really did impact her life; even here in the U.S. Looking back now it means that much more to me.

There are some things about my mom that stick with me or are apart of me: she was stubborn and strong willed... this also allowed her to be a fighter and an over comer. Her main way of expressing her love and affection came in her generous gift giving and being very touchy or physical with people... which is something that comes naturally to me. I'd also say my joy of shopping and fashion savvy came from her too.

The most impacting thing about my mom was her constant prayers. She not only prayed passionately, but she knew the power of prayer. I would not be who I am today if it wasn't for mom praying. Although she mainly prayed in Korean, I always knew when she was praying for me.

My sister came across a note she wrote in 1994, during my first years of ministry experience. It was in the back of an address book and it was something she never showed me. My mom didn't express in words her love much, nor did she give a lot of complements. As I read the note, I could hear my mom telling me how proud she was of me and excited to see what God was doing in my life. It's a treasure that I will forever keep!
My mom wasn't a saint, not perfect and sure was difficult to get along with at times... this describes me too! One of the phrases that I used the most when it came to describe our relationship (especially to others) was... "She's my mom." I'm proud to say that!

Monday, August 17, 2009

I'm Going To Lock-Up

I was recently contacted the Fife/Milton business bureau as a community MOST WANTED, and notified that I will be LOCKED-UP behind bars on August 27th! This partnership is to raise money for the MDA (Muscular Dystrophy Association), to assist kids who suffer from MD.
MD is a genetic disease marked by a progressive weakness and degeneration of the skeletal or voluntary muscles, which control movement. In some cases, this is includes the muscles of the heart and some other involuntary muscles. This makes simple tasks like brushing your teeth, getting dressed, standing or walking very difficult as it progresses.

In order to be released from LOCK-UP, I must raise bail. My goal is to raise $2,000 to impact and improve a child's life. The reality is that one person can't help all those who are affected by MD, but together we can make a difference. Here's what we can do:

$1,600 purchases a wheelchair, leg braces or a communication device
$800 sends a kid to MDA Summer Camp
$100 sponsors a support group
$85 keeps MDA's research going
$30 pays for a flu shot for someone with respiratory disease
If you are interested in making a life changing difference for a child who suffers from MD, please CLICK HERE to make your contribution online. All gifts are tax deductible.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

FriendsSeattle Mariners

Tonight we went with our staff and some friends to watch the Seattle Mariners play against the New York Yankees. Mariners ended up loosing the game in the 9th, but we put on our rally caps (turning you hat inside out) trying to generate some MOJO.

We had a great time just hanging out, having a great time... eating garlic fries! One of the highlights was when a fan was arrested for leaping over the outfield wall and running onto the field.

It was good to just be with great people and enjoying their company. I wasn't a pastor, or a boss... just a person who enjoys baseball, who loved being with other people, building memories.

Friends are vital to enjoying life. Proverbs 18:24 says "A man who has friends must himself be friendly; and there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother." Being friendly isn't something that you do just in the beginning of a friendship. Being friendly is a characteristic that is there throughout the journey, even in tough times. I heard Pastor Joel Osteen once said: a friend walks in when others walk out, and a friend rubs out a hurt when others rub it in. When you stop and think about it, the value of a true friendship is when things are rough and you're not at your best, yet they are there to walk you through it.

Jesus was known as a friend to sinners...WOW! Sin separates us from God, yet His love is so compelling that He cared for the person who was entangled in sin, and God was willing to walk in their life when others were walking out. God rubbed out the hurt by sending His Son Jesus to dying on the cross while we were still in our sin, when others raise their stones to rub it in. He demonstrated His friendship by sticking close and walking this life with us!

Finding friends like this isn't easy. Everyone needs friends like that. I want to be a friend to others like Jesus is to me...

Lord, teach me to be a friend. Allow your love to increase in my life so it enables me walk in people's life when others are walking out. Help me to rub out the hurts that have been inflicted in the hearts of others, just as you have in my life. Give me friends that will be there with me when I'm not my best. Thank you for remaining close to me, being my friend when I've needed it the most... Amen.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Entertaining Angels

This past Sunday, my wife and I had one of the most amazing encounters we have ever experienced. It can only be explained as a divine appointment that God had waiting for us when we least expected it, and when we needed it the most!

At this time I don't feel at liberty to share details of what our incredible experience was, but it had such an impact that I know it was a wonderful gift from God. I keep replaying it over and over, and the verse that keeps popping in my head is Hebrews 13:2 "Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels."

Matthew 4:11 and Mark 1:13 tells of when Jesus was in the wilderness, after being tempted, He was ministered to by angels. It doesn't give any specific details other than that statement, but if Jesus needed to be ministered to by angels, then I'm open to the fact that I could use some ministry at times too! Throughout the Bible, angels are referenced 294 times, and one of those is Psalm 91:11 "For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways."

Why would God use an angel and not a person? (love to hear your thoughts...) Maybe there aren't people who are being sensitive or obedient to respond to a prompting of the Lord to minister to those in need. Or perhaps the fact that one needing ministry isn't able to receive ministry that comes from those around them.

The heart of God and the ministry that comes from Him is always to build up and encourage; " keep you in all your ways." This may mean, giving some encouragement to stay on a certain course, or to make a course correction to keep us from heartache. It could be to bring peace of mind and strength when your unable to stir up your faith because the constant battle has made you weary. Regardless of what the situation may be, it's clear that God wants you to know that He is attentive to our needs and is faithful to His children and the journey of destiny that we are pursuing by faith. (what do you think about angels?)

I didn't see any unusual glow of light, the clouds didn't part with singing of an angelic choir, nor answers to all my questions I have prayed about. But I did sense an undeniable presence of peace, and a rest that came upon my mind. I feel a new strength and determination to continue pressing on toward the goal that seems bigger than me. Above all, I'm reminded of the great love God has for me, and the grace that He gives freely for my life.

God, thank you for Your attentiveness towards us, for Your close, personal and active role you take in our lives. Open our eyes to see your face, to sense Your presence in the midst of the struggles we face. Help us be discerning and obedient to respond to Your Holy Spirit as you might have us cross paths with others who need ministering of your love and power. In Jesus name we pray... Amen.