Is That Important to You?

1A woman was walking into a hospital a saw a young girl sitting on a curb in front of the emergency room.  She could not have possibly been over 10 years old.  She was petting a cat who seemed to greatly enjoy her company.  The lady walked by the young girl and asked, “Is that your cat?”

“No,” she replied.

“I wonder how old it is?” I asked.

“I don’t know,” she replied.

She then asked, “I wonder if it is a boy or girl cat?”

“I don’t know,” she said, as she continued to pet the cat.

Then the lady asked, “I wonder if it is from this neighborhood?”

Looking at her somewhat annoyed the young girl said, “I don’t know.  Is that important to you?”

The lady walked into the hospital with a smile on my face and a lesson learned.  She was trying to place this cat in some sort of preconceived category: gender, age and so on.

For this little girl, however, there was no need for all this classification of the cat.  What was important to her was that this was a cat who wanted to be petted and she was a little girl who wanted to pet the cat.  All the other factors, all of my categorical schemes, were missing the whole point of the experience.

Jesus Christ came so that He might give us life in Him.  Whether we are rich or poor, educated or uneducated, athletic or nerd, and even what race didn’t matter.  Maybe to us these are important but to Jesus Christ, the fact that we needed to be saved and He is only one who can save us was important.  Thus, He came!

Enjoy this Christmas season with Christ in it!

 

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Note of Hope

This story has been circulating on internet due to such a great story of love and hope.  I thought I would share it to encourage and invest in our relationship with our love ones.

Jimmy and Billie Breland got married in 1954.  The happy couple from Mississippi enjoyed 60 blissful years of love and marriage.  Their family grew and expanded from children to grandchildren.

Billie, a former public school teacher, was an avid note writer. She was known to leave messages and reminders to herself around her home in Cleveland, Mississippi.

Billie passed away on January 13, 2015 at the age of 83. Jimmy’s heart was broken in two.

Two days after Billie’s passing, Jimmy happened to notice a note tucked away in her checkbook. But this final handwritten note Billie left wasn’t for her… it was for him.

The second Jimmy plucked the note out of Billie’s checkbook, he couldn’t believe his eyes.

o-note-570-600x449-600x448

What a beautiful note full of hope and love found in those who believe in Jesus Christ!  I am not sure when I will die but this gives me an idea that I should think about writing a note/letter to my each family members reminding them of hope and reunion in Christ.

Have a blessed week!

 

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Watch Out!

453450-rio-olympics-2016-logo-gettyimagesThough I didn’t get to watch lot of games during 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic, I am hearing some positive and some negative incidents that took place during the Olympic.

A heartwarming story I heard was during the 5,000 meters run, New Zealand runner Nikki Hamblin tripped and fell but Abbey D’Agostino, an American runner, gave her a hand and said, “Get up.  We have to finish this.”  Though neither one of them came close to winning that race, they both finished the race and have shown the true Olympic spirit.

Middle of practice pole vault, Sam Kendricks (2nd Lieutenant, U.S. Army Reserves) stopped to pay respect when he heard the National Anthem being played at the track & field stadium.  Of course this video clip went viral!

Yet, there were shameful Olympians who tarnished his/her country as well as their athleticism.  The International Olympic Committee stripped the first medal in 2016 Olympic from Artykov of his bronze medal in men’s weightlifting after tested positive for illegal substance.

Maybe he didn’t get his medal taken away but Ryan Lochte, American swimmer and medal winner, lied about how he was robbed by gun point by Brazilian police officers.  Too drunk and unruly, he along with other swimmers caused unnecessary situation that internationally tarnished the reputation of American Olympians.

Even though some said that they are young and allow some minor mistakes in life, I take it little more seriously because they were representing their country.  What they do or say reflect who they are as Americans which also warns me of who I am in Christ.  I, too, am an ambassador for Christ (1 Cor. 5:20) and thus, I need to be more aware of my attitude and action in public.

I am not pointing finger at anyone but reminding myself that I have to be careful.

“But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.” (1 Cor. 9:27 -ESV)

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Life Is Like a Travel

Screen-Shot-2013-11-13-at-7.19.21-AM-640x338Hitting mid 50s, I appreciate and thank every day that I have breath to live.

Like Apostle Paul says, our life is like a race running toward the goal but also we are like travelers going through place to place.  No wonder Apostle Peter says that we are sojourners.  Looking back, my life was like traveling, too.

When I was a child, I was excited about outing regardless where.

When I was a teenager, I would go anywhere with my friends.  It didn’t matter where.

When I was in 20s, I was happy to go anywhere with the love of my life.  Life was like a date.

When I was in 30s and 40s, life became more like an international travel.  So many things to pack (kid’s diaper bag, stroller, extra milk, and etc.).

Now that I am in 50s, my life is like getting ready for final destination.  Checking and double checking that I wouldn’t leave anything behind as I get off.

When I hit 60s-70s, I think it will be like exploring historical sites.  I think everything I do will remind me of my experiences.

It is by His grace that I have lived up to mid 50s but if good Lord allows me to live beyond 70s, I wish and pray that I would have traveled all over to preach the Gospel and not lived as if I would dwell on this planet for eternity.

Make the most of your day and enjoy!

 

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Pokemon Go

maxresdefaultBy now, I am sure you have heard of the new mobile game called, Pokemon Go, that is taking country by storm.  Adults who grew up playing with pokemon when they were young are excited by their fantasy becoming virtual reality.  So young and old, many are playing.

For some reason creator of this game used many of pokemon “gyms” and “hotspots” locations are marked within local churches (our church is one of them).  Therefore, there are increased in visitors looking for pokemon to capture or battle with other players.  A number of articles are written to inform and deal with this new phenomena of people coming to church on their own because of Pokemon Go.  As one staff of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Joshua Clayton, said, “Somebody should write a thank you letter to the creators of this game!”  Thanks to Pokemon Go, thousands and thousands of people will know churches exist in their community.

I am not encouraging or discouraging people from playing this game, but I am glad that people are coming to church.  I just hope that they would get an opportunity to hear the Gospel while they are trying to capture pokemon.  In fact, I pray that their heart will be “captured” by Jesus Christ.

Lord, I pray that the Holy Spirit will “capture” the heart of those players who come to church to “capture” pokemon!

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To Drink or Not to Drink

wine2I am saddened by what happened to one of very  influential Christian leaders in this generation recently.  He was pastoring a “mega” church and respected by so many young pastors but fired by his church due to his alcohol abuse.

The church’s executive pastors have confronted him and applied Matt. 18 principles dealing with his sin and yet the pastor had made “unfortunate choices” connected to alcohol.  Thus, he was removed as of July 1st of this year.

Reading this news got me to worry about this generation Christians and spiritual leaders.  I have witnessed pastors, elders and deacons drinking not just a glass of wine and a can of beer but hard liquor.  It seems the view of alcohol has changed dramatically among evangelicals.  I am not saying consumption of alcoholic beverage is sin but keep in mind that the openness to to alcohol invites danger – alcohol abuse and alcoholism.  No one thinks that the problems associated with alcohol will ever happen to him or her.

I don’t drink alcohol not because I believe it is sin or because it is wrong as a pastor.  I choose not to drink because I believe it is not helpful to others.   I am weak to begin with and I don’t need to any an practice that might hinder others in anyway.  Apostle Paul said in 1 Cor. 10:23, “‘All things are lawful,’ but not all things are helpful.  ‘All things are lawful,’ but not all things build up” (ESV).  If it is beneficial to others … I am willing to sacrifice a bit of my “freedom”.

Let me share a good article concerning alcoholic beverages by the President of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.

http://swbts.edu/news/releases/first-person-concerning-alcoholic-beverages/

Not just about alcoholism but any addiction should be something spiritual leaders must be mindful of.

Lord, help us!

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Messi became Messy

Part-DV-DV1820308-1-1-1One of the greatest soccer players of all time, Lionel Messi was sentenced 21 months in jail (though he might not actually serve) for tax fraud.  He is looked up to and admired by so many fans and this truly tarnished his reputation and character.

To avoid paying taxes on about 4+ millions euros, he ended up paying about 5 million euros (unpaid taxes plus interest).  From financially he may have not lost anything since it was due anyway, but he lost what is more important; his dignity, his reputation and his public persona which should be considered far more valuable.

Though Lionel’s father, Leo Messi, was the one who managed his finance, the court doesn’t believe Lionel Messi was unaware of his father’s fraud.  Whether it is true or not, his image has been tarnished… at least by me.

I am still impressed by his talent and skill, but I am sadden by what happened.

Just a good reminder for me as there are people who “look up to me” and respect me.  I pray that I would impress them with how much I love God and serve Him faithfully than my talent, money (which I don’t have enough to impress, LOL), degree or title.

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All Lives Matter

maxresdefaultOn June 12th Sunday early morning, a gunman opened fire on crowded gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, killing 49 people and wounding 53 people.

It seems obvious that the gunman targeted a specific group.  It is sad that people turn their hate toward a certain group whether it is out of social, political, sexual, or religious base.  In fact, if we go back just a few years, all people groups were targeted and killed; African Americans, students, Sikhs, police officers, Jews, and Christians.

As I am saddened by so many lives taken senselessly, I am also deeply disturbed by many use this kind of incident to push their agenda.  It is clear in the Bible that ALL lives matter.  When God gave, “Thou shall not kill” commandment, he wasn’t targeting a certain nationality or people group.  As “Black lives matters”, so does “LGBQ lives matter” and all lives!  Here are the 3 simple reasons:

  1. Everyone is created in the image of God;
  2. God loves all people; and
  3. Jesus Christ came and died for all people;

I don’t know what exactly motivated this gunman to do what he did but I know one thing about Jesus Christ.  Jesus was motivated by His love for us that he came and “died” for people than “killing” people like this gunman.  Jesus said, “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you” (Luke 6:27).

Let’s love and practice loving people as Christ did for “all lives matter”!

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Jury Duty

jury-duty (1)I am summoned for jury duty tomorrow for United States District Court Northern District of California.  If I am selected, this case can last up to two months.  I am sure there are others things I can do then spend all they serving as one of the jurors.  However, this is an honor and responsibility as a United States citizen which I am willing to fulfill.

Whoever is going to be on trial, he/she needs jurors who will be unbiased and clear in their thinking.  Therefore, I pray that I will be at my best for tomorrow’s selection process.  I will not try to get out of jury duty or show any form of bias toward the one being tried.

This jury duty summon reminds me of the judgement that I had to deal with before God. How thankful I am that my “sins” don’t have to be a jury trial.  In fact, it has been already acquitted by Jesus Christ.  Apostle Paul says in Romans 5:1, “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ”.

Lord, thank you for defending me and paying for my sin when I am “guilty”!

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Here and There

Wisconsin linemen face off at the line of scrimmage with Michigan State University players during a football game at Camp Randall Stadium at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on Sept. 29, 2007. Wisconsin won game, 37-34. ©UW-Madison University Communications 608/262-0067 Photo by: Jeff Miller Date: 09/07 File#: NIKON D200 digital frame 2041

It was a mild October afternoon in 1982 and Badger Stadium in Madison, Wisconsin was packed.  Over 78,000 die-hard University of Wisconsin fans were watching their beloved football team take a beating by Michigan State.  What seemed odd was that as the score became more and more lopsided bursts of cheers and applause kept being heard in the stands.  It was only natural that some people began to wonder who these strange people were who were cheering while their team was being pummeled.

As it turns out seventy miles away from Badger stadium the Milwaukee Brewers were beating the St. Louis Cardinals in game three of the World Series.  Many of the Badger fans in the stands were listening to portable radios and responding to something else besides what was happening right in front of their eyes.

In THIS arena…a lopsided defeat.  In THAT arena…VICTORY!

This is how Christian life is like in certain cases.  We may face minor defeats but we know for sure a victory is coming.  Even though what we face today may be hard… but remember what Paul said in 1 Cor. 15:57, “Thanks be to God who gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

May the grace of God be with you!

 

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