Friday, December 17, 2010

More Book Reviews!

Driving back home to Las Vegas in less than a day. I'm absolutely excited to see my family, friends, and home city again. There's nothing quite like winter in Las Vegas. Perfect. It's a stretch this year, but hoping for a little bit of snow in the city.

Well, I know I said in an earlier entry 2 months ago that my passion for writing was dwelling up again... but that lived out in writing papers for discipleship, messages, and personal journal studies. Thus, this blog has suffered. However... while I was not blogging, I was reading! So here are some more honest short book reviews. Let me know if you want to borrow any (except Narnia - it's not mine).

1) The Unquenchable Flame - Michael Reeves
Wow. I've always wanted to know more about church history and the protestant reformation and this was the best book to start that study. It was fast, exciting, encouraging, and informative. I really didn't want to stop reading - it was like reading a mini-biography of reformers and their work in every chapter. You can't help but feel their passion - their unquenchable flame - as they fought for biblical truth and the glory of God. For someone like me who didn't know too much beforehand, this book was simple, clear, and edifying.

2) Adopted for Life - Russell Moore
This was a blessing to read. What I loved about it was that it not only talked about adopting real children on earth, but our own adoption in God's family as well. Russell Moore writes as a father of two adopted children and you can easily see that he's thought about this subject very much. He's so clear, passionate, engaging, and funny... yet serious. The book is very gospel-driven, very well thought out, and very encouraging. It's full of stories and great truths that you do not want to miss. Don't pass this book up just because you're not considering adoption. This book is literally for everyone who has been adopted by God himself. There is great truth and application for both adopters and non-adopters that will really cause you to think and glory in God.

) The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Prince Caspian, & Voyage of the Dawn Treader - C.S. Lewis
Yes - I've only read 3 of the 7 books. I thought I would never read these, but one night I didn't feel like heavy books... I wanted a simple fun read... and thus my journey into Narnia began. And let me tell you - woohoo I went full on into the world of Narnia and it has been a joy! Originally I planned to only read the 1st book (The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe), but after book 1 I needed more. I desperately sought out the rest and found them through DJS and SL (thanks guys). Then after I read book 2 (Prince Caspian), I saw the movie trailer for Dawn Treader (book 3), so I quickly read it so I could watch the movie later. The allegories, the illustrations, the imagination - C.S. Lewis is brilliant. What a great allegory of Christ and the Christian life. I can't wait to read the rest!

4) The Supremacy of Christ in Preaching - John Piper
I'm very grateful for the work of John Piper and his biblical preaching. It has impacted me so greatly in my early college years. And so reading this book was of utmost excitement for me. And let me say - this book owned me. It absolutely owned me. I remember after reading the first half of the book (Part I - Why God should be Supreme in Preaching), I just sat there wondering at the awe of it all and praying in praise. I felt rebuked yet encouraged, weak yet strong, sorrowful yet joyful.... It helped me understand the role of God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit and the role of the preacher. And the 2nd half (Part II - How to make God Supreme in Preaching) was edifying, uplifting and practical. I know it may seem strange to read this if you're not going to be a preacher... but I think it's still a good read for all.

5) Lectures to my Students - Charles H. Spurgeon
A lot of people know that Spurgeon is one of my utmost fav
orite authors to read. He is arguably one of the best preachers ever to live - I mean, come on! - His nickname was "The Prince of Preachers." Now that's a title. And this very same preacher has a book on preaching! I think what astonishes me is Spurgeon's utter dependence on God to work through the message being preached. He has full confidence in the word (not in himself) and preaches expecting people to come to faith. I also love how it is not only about preaching, but about pastoring - how a pastor is called to holiness, to prayer, to love, etc. Sometimes he seems too harsh saying that if you don't have a loud voice and don't have good annunciation you're probably not called - but I think that's because Spurgeon was a pastor of a very large church in a time microphones did not exist. However, this book is full of practical and biblical wisdom and well worth your time if you're going into ministry. If not... please read Soul Winner by Spurgeon!

6) Look Out, World: Meaningful Quotes for Graduates - Tom Burns
This book... is a picture book with quotes. My mother bought this for fun and gave it to me at my graduation ceremony. I read it later that night - it was quite funny and had some good quotes. But save yourself the time - here are the 3 best quotes:
"The best angle from which to approach any problem is the try-angle."
"The difference between "try" and "triumph" is a little 'umph.'"
"If you don't have time to do it right, you must have time to do it over."

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Wonders of Coffee

Coffee gives me the runs. And by runs, I mean diarrhea.

Knowing this, I stayed away from coffee and chose the nice alternative of green tea.

But at work when my favorite tea was gone and my only other option was our Starbucks Coffee Machine, I went for that option. And yes, I did get diarrhea.

I'm glad to report that I can now go through a cup of coffee without diarrhea. In fact, 1.5 cups of coffee without diarrhea!

What kept me coming back to the coffee? Well... let me spare you 1,000 words....

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sling Shot

Aha! Finally - my passion to write is returning and I can feel it!

I think I'll try to write more than once a month now. This will be fun.

Random thought: I like telling stories. Here's a random one.

Today, as I awoke to a new wonderful morning, my initial thought was: Yes! The rain has probably washed my car! I kid you not, I was incredibly excited! So much so that I quickly proceeded to walk outside and admired the beauty of my rain-cleaned car... but as I approached the rear... to my utmost horror... my car had again been bird poop bombed! O, how these birds are true ninjas.... But... to their utmost horror, what they don't know is... I now have a slingshot!

Say hello to my stress killer at work.
It literally hangs in my office, ready for its master (that would be me) to call it to use.

The crumbled pieces of paper (aka: my mistakes) = ammo

Yes, I can hit the bulls-eye. (Disclaimer: I really can. It just takes me 50 times).

It's practice... for you Ninja Birds!
(Disclaimer: I am really not going to shoot the birds. Come on. That's plain stupidity....That would probably cause me to break my window)!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Sarah Yim: God's gift for 14 years

When I was 8 years old, there was a certain day that I had the runs... the good old diarrhea. My friend, Allen, was over at my place hanging out with Young (my brother) and me. I had recently gotten a puppy - the cutest little creature you could imagine. And when you're cute 8 year olds, your attention is on the cute puppy. So in my happiness and joy as we were hanging out, I called over to her - "Sarah ~ Sarah ~ Come here ~" I was sitting down comfortably with my legs out, tapping the ground as she puppy ran towards me at puppy speed. And then the unthinkable happened... as soon as she got to me, she puppy bit my crotch area... causing me to yell in surprise. "AhhhhH!" At this moment, I proceeded to diarrhea my pants in front of my friend, Allen. And then I proceeded to laugh because there was nothing else I could do.

When she grew up, she still ran the same way she did as a puppy. And when I saw her run, I would always remember the diarrhea incident. It is such a fond funny memory to me.

Everyone, this is Sarah Yim. I always thought my brother chose the name, Sarah, because he had a crush on a girl named Sarah... but I guess it was because he thought it was a cool name in elementary school. I wanted to name her 'Bingo.' (Fitting for a vegas dog no)?! It was because I had watched the movie, Bingo, and wanted my dog to be just like the dog in the movie. Sarah exceeded Bingo in every way a dog could.

She knew 'Sit,' 'Shake,' 'Other hand.' She knew 'Fetch'... well... or it was a natural reaction of all dogs... that is until she got old and didn't fetch ANYTHING I ever wanted her to! And my brother kind of taught her, 'Stay.' But she never listened to me on that commandment... but I think it's because she couldn't resist being away from me.

Sometimes when I came home from college for breaks, she would be so excited to see me again after so long that she would pee as she jumped and jumped and wagged and wagged. I took the above picture because I thought it was so funny that she was peeing 'her pants... or concrete.' Yeah - that's right Sarah - payback for making me diarrhea my pants!

We fed her from a pink bowl in the shape of a heart. I once told her, "Like master like dog! The way to your heart is food, just like mine!" But I was wrong. She loved me regardless of the food. I remember sometimes we'd go on family vacations and ask a friend to come over and feed her while we're gone. But she wouldn't eat until we came back. If that doesn't prove me wrong, then I don't know what does.

I found out last night that Sarah has passed. The vet said there was no chance for her (she was sick and wasn't eating much for weeks). My dad had to let her go.

Thank you Sarah Yim, for your loyalty and friendship. Thank you for keeping all my secrets and for being able to brighten any sad day. I never thought dogs could smile, but you always did. Thank you Sarah, for loving me.

R.I.P. Sarah Yim - October 23, 1996 - September 9, 2010.

My brother's blog entry about this - he's always great at seeing God in the picture.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The World is Ending! A True Story + A Lesson Learned

At the end of my 8th grade year during finals, one of my teachers let us know that she was retiring. And with urgency since she no longer cared about keeping her job proceeded to declare to us that Jesus was coming and handed every single one of us a big packet of proof that the end of the world was near. Her estimated time-frame: September 11, 2002. Of course, being at a public school with very few Christians - people thought she had gone mad... and well... even as a Christian you would think so as well.

I may have been the only person who took it seriously as she so desperately tried to explain the events to take place. And with the world trade center attacks fresh in my mind, I could not help but give her a chance. So I studied that packet and came to the conclusion that my 8th grade brain could in no way fully comprehend everything it said. But I did know Jesus would come back one day. (darn Left Behind series was getting to my head)!

When September 11, 2002 came, I remember being a little more aware and alert, spending a little more time in prayer and reading (I was very skeptical yet a bit scared). And when the day passed, I was excited that I was still around. And I felt like a fool for even believing a tiny inkling of what my teacher had said. I bet she felt much stupider than I did! My friends and I laughed as we recalled that what our teacher had warned us about had not come to pass. We joked about finding her and calling her to mock her prediction that never came to be. I was too ashamed to let them know that I had been slightly fooled into thinking it just might happen.

This past Sunday, Pastor Tavi asked what we would do if we knew Jesus was coming back in 24 hours. What would our last actions be?! What would your last actions be?!

Thinking upon my 8th grade experience and realizing that I never evangelized that day, my thoughts were... hmmm... I would evangelize! To my family and to my friends! I would read and pray much more. I would preach wherever I could preach! And I would eat another Ruth Chris' Cowboy Ribeye Steak.... But regardless of that steak thought, there was much urgency to do as much as I could for the kingdom before Christ came back in 24 hours.

When Martin Luther was asked this same question, he answered, "I would plant a tree and pay my taxes." Meaning this - I would live my last 24 hours exactly as if I'd live any other day - normally!

The fact is, Jesus IS coming back and we'll never know exactly when... we just know that He is. So why wait till the last 24 hours? If I love God and truly believe, then any last 24 hour time-frame in my life should reflect and give glory to God. An everyday for God's kingdom and glory! attitude should be normal. The gospel IS urgent no matter how much time is left! So here's to "planting trees" and "paying taxes" till He returns or calls me home.

Friday, July 16, 2010

God is Mighty To Save!

God is mighty to save!
Let me say again - God is mighty to save!

I had the opportunity to preach through Matthew 9:9-13 (Matthew's conversion) for AACF Medium group - and later today for High School Branching Out at CCAC (my awesome church).

Having studied the passage and thinking upon Matthew's conversion, my conversion, and the conversion of countless others. After reading articles upon articles on North Korean and Chinese conversions and how God is working there - it is so clearly evident that God is mighty to save!

And He's mighty to save those whom you least expect to be saved. The ones who show no sign and no desire for the things of heaven! He's mighty to save the prostitute, the drunkard, the adulterer, the murderer even. And He's mighty to save the most hardcore of Atheists. He is mighty to save!

He is mighty to save that co-worker whom you think will never hear anything of Christ. He's mighty to save the student reading that newspaper as you walk around campus evangelizing. He's mighty to save the family member who is so opposed to your church going and Christ-loving. He is mighty to save that friend who seems to have the hardest of hearts against God. And He's mighty to save that small group member at church who seems to be so apathetic to all that the preacher says.

He's mighty to save the North Korean and the Chinese people who have never heard of Christ! He's mighty to save the Ugandan , the Japanese, the Nicaraguan, and the Indian in whom is seen not even a glimmer of light (for you KCM mission trainees).

I think that sometimes we forget that we preach the Word of God. And that this word of God is truly living and active! That it is truly sharper than any two-edged sword. That it really pierces to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerns the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12).

Goodness. God is mighty to save! I am not! God is!
Therefore - I will share with full confidence the gospel that God proclaimed. Forever.
Whether from the pulpit, or from personal chitter-chatter, or from my life (which will be the best sermon I ever preached). God is mighty to save!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Books! Reviews, Inbetweens, and Future Reads!

I was so excited to read so many books - but I have been busier than I've expected and have not been able to read as much as I've liked to. So here are a list of books I've read, books I'm reading, and books I will read!

If you want an in-depth review of the content and not my short non-content review, let me know and I'll be happy to tell you about it. I'll let you borrow too (as long as you promise to return it)!

Books I've Read in the last School Year
1) Boy Meets Girl - Joshua Harris
Though I did not agree with everything in this book - I found it very wise and helpful. My apartment-mates call this book the Fail Book - lol. Maybe we all just failed to apply wisely - hahaha. I like the story telling version Joshua Harris puts out to get his points across along with lots of scripture and wisdom. Not a must-read but a fun-read wise read if you have time.

2) Crazy Love - Francis Chan
Though I did not think it was as great as everyone in the world made it out to be, I highly highly recommend it! Read Chapter 2. It rocked me. Read.

3) Heroes of Faith: Charles Spurgeon - J.C. Carlile
A very short biography on the life of Charles Spurgeon (my absolute favorite writer/pastor of all time). Though just a simple biography, this book stirred me more towards Christ and made me want to live a God-glorifying life. I know everyone will say - psh - read the Dallimore version of the Spurgeon biography! Well - I bought it and plan to! But if you are short on time, read this one.

4) Soul Winner - Charles Spurgeon
Spurgeon is the master of painting vivid pictures with his words. He has the best analogies and the best clarity of anyone I've ever read. This book on 'Soul Winning,' or leading sinners to the Savior is the best book I've ever read on evangelism... ever (and I've read quite a few). Why? Because it absolutely drives me to God. And that drives me to evangelize and be a 'soul winner.' This book absolutely rocked me. It has filled me with so much wisdom and helped me to see my faults in areas I needed to see them. It heavily uses the word of God (it is Spurgeon after all) which pierces my heart. It is, I'd say, the best Christian book I've ever read in my life. MUST READ.

5) Just Do Something - Kevin DeYoung
The best book I've read on the 'will of God' for your life. It is very practical, very true, and very short. It can easily be read in one sitting, but I found it very helpful to read it in a week. I think every single college Christian should read this book. High schoolers too - but it may be more helpful refreshing yourself with this book during college and especially during senior year. The best description of this book is on the cover: How to make a decision without dreams, visions, fleeces, impressions, open doors, random bible verses, casting lots, liver shivers, writing in the sky, etc. It is something so few people seem to know how to do today in a world where things seem to sometimes be overally spiritualized. I say - must read.

6) Same Kind of Different As Me
I can never ever see homeless people the same again. A true story about a rich white man, a homeless black man, a christian woman, and a God who orchestrated their lives together. Though theologically there are some points I would raise a fishy finger at, this story is amazing and it is clear the people in this autobiography love God. Written in an alternating chapter by chapter style by Ron Hall (the rich guy) and Denver Moore (the homeless guy), this book calls for a touching story with insight in the minds of the two characters whose lives are changed. The true story about the grace of God in the lives of Hall and Moore and the transforming effect of the love of God. Must read.

Books I've Started Reading and Need to Finish
1) Life of Pi - Yann Martel
Interesting fictional book on a boy named Pi who gets stuck in a lifeboat with a hyena, orangutan, zebra, and a 450-pound Bengal tiger. How can Pi survive?!
2) Valley of Vision - The Puritans
I LOVE the prayers in this book. I'm going to try to read and pray one of these a day.
3) Stuff Christians Like - Jonathan Acuff
Fun read with hilarious truth in it that pertains to things Christians do/like, lol. Surprisingly... some of the funny truths in it are a rebuke to me - a fun free time read.
4) Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life - Don Whitney
I've been reading this book for over a year! But If you apply the applications and hear the reasoning - this book contains much truth. Read the chapter on Evangelism.

Books to Read in the Summer
1) Adopted For Life - Russell Moore
2) Spiritual Leadership - Oswald Sanders
3) Prayer - John Bunyan

I'm keeping it rather reasonable because last summer I listed 10 items and miserably failed!

Have you read any of the books listed above? Agree/Disagree? Like/Dislike? Any recommendations?

Monday, June 28, 2010

Wake Up! (From my Personal Written Journal)

I moved to the Valley and my commute to work is pretty crazy now considering the 405 freeway is one of the most congested freeways in the world. To make going to work easy and save much gas, I've decided to come to work 1.5 hours early every morning. That means waking up 2 hours earlier than usual! That means... 5:20am....

I was rereading my private journal and found an entry I wrote while I was still in school. It was an epic battle between mind and body to wake up to go to a class I considered useless to attend. Now I'm glad I went and glad I wrote this in my journal.

I normally don't share private journal entries... in fact this is the 1st time I'm doing so! But... Here it is!

11/17/09 - 1:45pm - Tuesday
~Discipline in Waking Up for the Glory of God~
. .Yesterday morning (Monday) was such a struggle to wake up. I was tired - mentally + physically. Everything in me wanted to go back to sleep, to rest. Talking and self-motivating myself, I got up and even got dressed. But, thinking about my 8am Military Science 21 class, I thought...
. .Useless, no attendance, pointless to go.
. .Then I thought of excuses - I feel sick! And the crazy part is that I convinced myself that I really was, though I was not! I made my decision to sleep in, told Jon, and went back on my bed.
But God did not let me sleep - no, instead He made me think - really Cho? You're just going to give up? That was your fight?!
. .And as I thought, I came to a realization that in the future - especially w/ministry - I will face days just like these, sometimes even worse, but I can't just not show up. I can't just give in and sleep. I need to discipline myself, RIGHT NOW. I need to practice and fight now so that when days harder than yesterday come, I will be prepared to get up and glorify God whenever I need to be - wherever I committed to be.
. .Honestly, there are days I will feel like not getting out of bed. Eyelids will be heavy, sometimes heart heavier, but may the glory of my God always be heaviest that I may get up, discipline myself, and fully rely on God for strength.
. .Discipline now Cho! So you never miss a sermon, a work day, a promise. Discipline yourself to godliness Cho. Discipline - for the glory of God!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Elevator Theory-Truth

The past few weeks I have been at training for work and I came upon a particularly interesting observation (I know, finally right?!).

I call this observation... the ELEVATOR THEORY.
Well... it was a theory until Jon Kang and Jacob Shin bashed on me saying that "Theories can't be proven." So just to spite them, I now call this...


The Observation:
Quite sleepy after finally finishing training, I entered the elevator with a few fellow trainees as we departed on a particularly long elevator journey down from the 8th floor. We stopped on the 7th floor... then the 6th... then the 5th... then the 4th - by now I was grumpy and half asleep and starting to go into what many people call, "La-la land." When the elevator stopped and opened on the 3rd floor, I had somehow gotten to the middle of the elevator (I must have been sleep-walking or something). I lifted my eyes as the elevator doors parted like the Red Sea and... Low and Behold! A man and a woman stood in front of me. The man looked at the woman and said, "Please do go ahead in." The woman looked at the man and said, "no no, you go in first." The man lowered his hands towards the elevator and replied, "Ladies first." The woman looked at the man and said, "No no, please after you."

And they just kept going... I was in disbelief and gave them a blank stare. During my blank stare the elevator doors started closing like the Red Sea did on the Egyptians. The two looked up as the doors had shut more than halfway and both their faces expressed shock. Both of them tried to reach their arm in, but both were too late. Everyone in the elevator could not help but giggle... I could not help but laugh.

Ironic how if either the man or the woman went first, both would have not missed the elevator... but since both were waiting for the other, both missed the elevator!

So the elevator truth is pretty simple: ...sometimes, you just have to do something!

Be courteous... but act! Don't wait around for others all the time; if it needs to be done it needs to be done. Take a risk =]

*Also note... that sometimes an act of courtesy is to accept the act of courtesy being offered to you.

*I have been very busy the past month and a half, but I have many great entries to come - I will not fail you - trusttt

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Black Eyed Peas

Just kidding. ... Got'cha!

This entry has nothing to do with Black Eyed Peas.

It has to do with a black eye.

I have a black eye.

I watched in the mirror as my eye began to swell up more and more (it was my first time and I was fascinated). Sure enough on Sunday morning it was still a little swollen and starting to turn black.

Some people at work don't buy my basketball story - they think I am G and got into a fight. This is hella awesome because in 1 day I managed to go from the good guy to the bad guy. I never thought I could pull the bad guy image before.

To answer the never-ending flood of same questions by 230582 people, here are my answers.
Are you wearing make up?!: No - it is a black eye
Did you get into a fight?!: No - it was a basketball incident
Elbowed in basketball?!: No - forehead/eyes collided
Does it hurt?: Only if you touch it. Stay away.
Do you feel cool?: A little bit. But it's more embarrassing than cool.

I eat lunch everyday from 12-1pm - almost all the time at Northern Lights.
Please come eat with me - let me know you're free by doodling here!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

India, the Beggar Child, Dendrite, and the Gospel

(This is not the boy I speak of in this entry)

The dirty, homeless, orphaned or abandoned, scrawny beggar child looked into my eyes and smiled. And this time it wasn't the devious smile I had seen for the past hour as we waited for our train. I had just fended off his constant nagging, pulling, touching, and begging. He wanted food or rupees (India's currency) and this kid would not give up. For fun I had seen him chase after an injured pigeon and kick it as hard as he could into the train tracks. He laughed as hysterically as you could when you're a child who knows no better. But here he was, finally calm and having fun, loving the attention it seems he never received.

And there after the smile, he expressed to me using his hands to stay here and wait for him. He took off running freely as if the train station was his jungle. I watched as he started getting smaller and smaller. He was a professional at dodging the bigger adult bodies moving around in the train station.

I smiled and leaned back, resting and thinking about what had just happened. Finally after shutting myself off to the beggar children in fear that I could do nothing for them; after only bad experiences yelling at the kids to leave or getting my hand shook by a beggar child's left hand (you wipe your poo with your left hand in India) as revenge for not giving (you clever little rascal), I finally had a good experience. Moments before Brian Fury (Missions Leader) had said, "More than money or food, they just want to be loved. They are just like all the other children you know. They don't get to experience the love we got to."

Convicted, I dug in my bagpack, took out stationery I was going to write notes and thoughts on, and started making origami. I made origami balls, origami planes, and origami cranes. On each one I drew a comic strip of the gospel and talked to the kids with the little Hindi I knew (a man on a previous train taught me). "My name is Cho. What is your name? Hashee? Hi Hashee." I would point to the man on the cross and say, "This person's name is Jesus." Then I would act out the gospel as much as I could. I realized they were much more fascinated with the "toy" itself. And I soon realized that they probably never had toys in their life! That they have never even seen origami before. That the paper ball, or the paper plane, or paper crane was the only toy they've ever had and they treasured it deeply though it was just paper... it was just paper.... I wanted to bury the gospel into them as much as I possibly could. "What is this person's name?," I would ask as I pointed to the man on the cross. "Jesus" They would reply. But they didn't care as much as they cared about the paper plane. But that's okay - they were just kids and we had a heavy language barrier.

He came back with a small folded cloth and a tube of half-used dendrite. He gave a hearty smile and offered it to me. My heart stopped for a moment. Then it broke. I was in utter shock. Dendrite is a strong superglue. In India, beggar children get high off dendrite - it makes them feel full though they are actually starving. It is one of their most valued possessions because through it, for a few hours they escape the horrid pain and despair they are in. I couldn't believe he was offering it to me.

(I got this picture online, but this person has just sniffed Dendrite)

It threw me into prayer. And that's all I could do. Pray.

In that one moment I learned more theology than I ever had at one point in my life. More than any book by Spurgeon (my favorite), Thomas Watson, the Puritans, Piper, MacArthur, Mohler, DeYoung, Harris, Mahaney, or Grudem (and you all know I absolutely love their books). In that moment I learned what true theology was. Everything I had learned in the 4 months of KCM Missions training and my life's worth of Bible reading and book reading came to life.

This is for you mission trainees going out this summer -
All this KCM training, all this theology - this is what it's about.
It's about holding the orphaned children in India telling them that though no one seems to love them, Jesus does. It's about drawing them a cross saying, "Jesus saves!!" and desperately praying that one day they'll come across a church with a familiar cross on top, enter, and hear the gospel in their own language. It's about befriending college students in Japan, teaching them English, and praying and hoping that they'll truly believe the very book you're teaching them English through - the Bible! It's about doing physical labor in Nicaragua while exclaiming you do this joyfully because of Christ. It's about comforting the frightened man in Uganda who is afraid the witch doctors are going to send evil spirits to him, saying to him that Jesus the one true Lord and Savior of the world can protect him. That's what it's about.

We're going to feel limited in these countries, but let us say with Peter in Acts 3:6 - "I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you."

And what we have is much greater than any monetary thing you can give. They'll never remember your $$ and donations - that's how they survive. You just become another passerby who gave them food or money. Give them something they've never experienced and cannot explain - something that captivates them and makes them wonder what we have - give them the love of God. Now that's something they will remember.

Back when I xangaed (old times) I wrote about it more with more pictures below.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Aborting the WRONG Baby

Today's topic is a controversial one that creates tension amongst many people in society, including amongst Christians themselves. Yes - this topic is Abortion - the murder of babies.

That's my stance - abortion is the murder of babies.

I'm not writing this entry to spite people for having had one or believing it is perfectly okay. I'm writing this because a very interesting newsworthy thing happened in Sarasota, Florida.

A woman with twins had decided on a "selective termination" of one of her babies who was identified as having down syndrome. However, the doctor made a mistake and aborted the wrong baby. He had killed a perfectly healthy female baby rather than the 'defected' male baby carrying the markers of down syndrome. He lost his license for this and was involuntarily hospitalized because he said he planned suicide.

Any way you look at this - this abortion of the healthy baby was murder. The mother knows it, the hospital staff knows it, the doctor knows it, and above all God knows it. I guarantee that the mother in all aspects regrets her decision. I guarantee that the doctor is filled with guilt (thus wanting suicide). And I guarantee people reading this are angered that this doctor could make such a mistake. For goodness sakes it made me furious. It made the whole city furious - one can only be filled with anger and sadness when they hear and read this story about a healthy baby whose life was wrongly taken in the womb. It was supposed to be the other baby! BUT hold your thought. If a healthy baby's abortion is murder, then every abortion is murder! Are people today with down syndrome any less human than all of us? No. They are amazing people with personalities and gifts special and unique to them like all of us.

Many healthy babies are being aborted today along with babies with even slight signs of defects. The twin baby with signs of down syndrome was NOT the right baby. The healthy twin baby that was aborted was not alone the wrong baby. ALL babies are the wrong baby.

**If you read this and have had an abortion - Please know that there is forgiveness and grace in God through Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior who takes away the sins of the world, including abortion. May Christ minister to your soul and may the church provide love and care for you. If I may point to a past entry (a reminder for Christians who agree with me and words of hopeful comfort to those who need forgiveness).

*First read about this in Al Mohler's Blog

Friday, April 23, 2010

In the Big Inning, God

note: I'm back. Blogging starts again. I have much to write and to share and I am excited. So here we go.

This past weekend, the college campus ministry with which I serve, KCM, held an all-campus KCM softball tournament. Now, KCM stands for Korean-American Campus Missions. You put a bunch of Koreans together for a competition and what you get is a handful of passion. I mean hard raw passion where everyone goes all out. This meant multiple times a week practices, softball gear purchases, and batting cages.

I didn't go to this year's tournament due to various reasons, but I remember last year I went all out. I bought NEW softball gloves - and I mean expensive ones. I bought NEW softball cleats. I bought NEW softballs. I bought NEW socks. We as a ministry bought NEW softball shirts and hats. I went to almost every practice and even went to batting cages on days practices were not scheduled. I gathered people to play catch and practice throwing. My schedule depended on when softball practices were.

At the tournament itself - every team is set on winning. They want to win - who doesn't?! Moments get filled with intense passion as games get close. People cheer and their entire hearts and facilities get involved in the game - GO BRUINS GO BRUINS! LA KCM! (cause we really are the best). And at the end of the last inning one team stands tall as the victor, the champion of the multi-campus KCM Softball Tournament. Done. Trophy in one hand, Glory in the other.

As a freshmen to now, a graduated senior, I often wondered ... what if... what if we trained that hard, not for softball... but for God. I mean, if I can get so passionately fired up for 1 day of softball games, I have to be able to get passionately fired up for an eternity with God. If I can train hours upon hours with discipline for softball, making time for it in the midst of my busy schedule and my studies and work, then why don't I do the same for God?! Am I REALLY too busy for God? Imagine - all of us reading the Bible together, memorizing scripture, and evangelizing, regularly! Yes I care about winning softball games and tournaments, but in light of winning souls - I'd much rather be a soul winner for Christ.

In that perspective I give UCLA KCM Softball a HUGE Congrats for taking 2nd place. A small congrats to our arch-nemesis USC for being the champions (take the small one cause I'm humbling my Bruin pride to say that). <~~obviously a joke - don't take it personally. And here's to all of us "practicing" for God. Let's do this. There was no "Big-Inning" in softball. In the "Big-Inning," GOD. He is before "Big Inning." And with him there will be no last inning.

*Stevo - i jacked your "Big Inning" = Beginning pun from the jubo for this entry.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Today a Great Savior Died

You really didn't think I was going to write about a great teacher dying and then not talk about a great savior dying did ya?

Blog post to come after Good Friday Service today =]

Get ready for this one.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Today a Great Teacher Died

Some of the most under-appreciated under-paid people are our teachers - our teachers throughout our adolescence - through middle school and especially high school. Today I just wanted to honor a man who was an amazing teacher - but one whom I have never had or met.

Jaime Escalante - an ordinary man who had a passion for teaching yes, but even more of a passion for his students, "turned the failing calculus program at Garfield High School in east Los Angeles into one of the top in the nation."
The story goes that he taught long consistent years at Garfield High fighting for change and wanting the students to learn math. He passionately taught and delved into the lives of his students, who he believed could be taught and could succeed in life even though everything in the world was telling them they could not. Through his amazing persistence and love - by being someone who actually cared - his teaching kicked off and soon Garfield High - the lowest of lowly high schools had an AP Calculus program though no one still thought much could be done. Pretty soon students were passing the Calculus AP tests and every year the number went up. In 1982, 18 of his students passed the AP Tests but the Education Testing Service found it fishy and so 12 of the students had to retake the test in individual rooms to show they can pass it again. They did. This man would tutor his students late into the night and drop them off to their parents in his mini-van - he was committed. He turned this no name school into one of the top in the nation for Calculus. He turned students who had no care or thought of succeeding in life into students who felt there could be a future for them other than the streets.
There was a GREAT movie about this 1982 class called - STAND AND DELIVER. It is a must watch.

We need more teachers like this. And for all the teachers in my life that have so brilliantly spurred me on and taught me - thank you.

CNN Article about his death here
Another article here

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Thoughts of a Post Grad... on being Grounded

After a 2 month+ hiatus, I am back! Thanks for the encouragements from all my blog readers. So here's a shout out to Ashley Chin - thanks for peeling my tangerine when I was prideful saying I could do it... and for some reason had difficulty doing so.... And here's a shout out to Leo - here's to getting started in blogging again! Alright - straight to the important stuff.

My short Post-Grad life has taught me a very important thing - that is - the Importance of being Grounded.
It is so easy to be swayed by the people who influence you - by leaders, pastors, and peers who claim and seem to know it all. It's easy to jump into a movement or belief that has momentum to it. It's easy to follow pastors, then a new pastor, then a new pastor - whatever they teach. So here's my plead - DON'T - at least not blindly. Don't be grounded in PEOPLE. People are flawed, they will leave, and they will not be a solid rock on which you stand. For goodness sakes I plead with all my readers to be grounded in the Word - on Christ the solid rock. And do that now - not after post-grad.

I love John Piper. I love his teaching. My profile picture is a picture I took with him. However - my trust is NOT in him. I do NOT agree with everything he says (although I do agree with the heavy majority of it). What I'm trying to say is this - Have your own beliefs! Not based on what people say, but on the Word. Have your own beliefs and stick to it - own what you know and defend the truth. When a new leader comes with new beliefs don't be swayed left and right - stand on some solid ground. Be grounded.