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Tuesday, October 23, 2018

First Love (Restored)

In the letter to the church of Ephesus the Risen Lord walking among the lamp-stands urged the members of the church to restore the love they had at first saying, "You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first."

First impression:

This call to restore the first love comes with the sense of condemnation and despair, and overwhelming.  Think about the statement saying: how far you have fallen! Yea. That is me! 

The way to restore

Yet, as always, Jesus never asks us to do what we are supposed to do without first helping us to know how to do what to do. And the way to do what we are called to do is found in the word "do": "Do the things you did at first." 

1. Do
2. The things you did
3. At first

* Doing is the key to loving.

This is true with challenges like bodybuilding, singing, or dancing. By the time I reached sixties I neglected exercising. By that time I was overweight, and my body started showing signs of malfunctioning, such as stomach ulcer, sleep apnea getting worse. Since I hated exercising my friend had to virtually drag to a gym and get myself enrolled as a member of his family friends. Then as I started exercise, going through the so called 'light weight training', gradually I ended up liking, and eventually not only liking but loving. 

* The things you did

Doing has to do with the word of God. And I am reminded that Jesus is the Word Incarnate. Doing is eating, as Jesus said, "This is my blood. Drink it." Or "I am the Bread of Life. Break it and eat together." It is practically read the Scriptures meditate and memorize the Word, like reciting and memorizing Revelation 2:4-5. 

* At first

I remember the first time they started serving electricity. I think it was early 1960's when I was attending a grade school in a country village. For the first time the light bulb was there and lit up, making the small room bright. It looked like a miracle. The bright electrical light that lit up the dark room hit me with excitement, fascination, the sense of great happiness, with many wows! And "everyone" loved it. 
But overtime I started taking the electrical light for granted. 

I also recall the joy and excitement with which I started studying, literally consuming, the word of God from the book of Genesis like "In the beginning, God created the heavens and earth.... God saw all he made and it was VERY GOOD!" 

Examples

In the east coast there is the Appalachian Trail. In the west coast there is the more famous John Muir Trail. 

By the time John Muir reached 12 he memorized the entire New Testament Scriptures. During the latter part of his life he memorized about 50% of the Old Testament Scriptures. How could one memorize so much? But he did, perhaps by starting out one verse after another, like one line each day. 

Effect

It has been said, "Practice breeds perfection". 

A friend of mine sent me a video clip of a dance program. There in young ladies, an old citizen, and small little girls do the joyful dance. The move seems simple but when I tried to do the dance it looked impossible to reach their level. But I guess the same might have been the case with the doers. Yet I gather they reached the level of doing the dance gracefully in harmony rhythmically, enjoying.




Love of the Lord can also be fully restored just as at first, through daily doing, eating it and drinking it every day just like my grandson Joel craving milk. Then life will become full as is said, "Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God" or as has been declared by John, "The Word became flesh and lived for a while among us (and now is risen being with us.)"






Thursday, October 18, 2018

The Word Became Flesh

John Muir (click here for his wiki infor) at the age of 12  memorized the new testament Scriptures, and according to Wikipedia towards the latter part of his life memorized (almost) half of the old testament Scriptures.

He was a man of great strength (bodily) and vigor. In his backpack he kept only dry pieces of bread, a tin cup and tea. Eating meagerly he traversed miles after miles, mostly on foot, ranging from the most southern part of the Pacific Coast of the U.S. all the way to Alaska. A week ago after visiting a family in Seattle (Seattle UBF), I and Rebekah had time to visit Mt. Rainier. There at one of the top areas called Paradise trails started. I did the Skyline trail. At the trail head on the stairway was written a line John Muir wrote in his journals.

John Muir endeavored to preserve beauties of nature. He developed the John Muir Trail. It is owing to him that we came to see beautiful parks preserved like Yosemite.

It is said Muir tried to copy the lifestyle of John the Baptist who on seeing Jesus coming to him, "Look the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!"

There  is the disciple of Jesus named "John" who later came to be known as the Apostle John the author of John's gospel.

The Apostle John wrote in his gospel on Jesus saying, "The Word Became Flesh." Jesus is the word who came in flesh. He not only memorized the Word but also lived the Word. And John says He IS the WORD. And no matter what other say, we say, It is Jesus the Word who made beautiful trails like that of the Skyline Trail on Mt. Rainier.





Sunday, September 30, 2018

World mission neews - 4th week Sept. '18

The following is ad forwarded by dr. Jose paul ahn of chicago ubf. 

* Pray for M. Moses Yoon's Korea visiting (9/17-10/3) and later schedules


1. 10/2 Korea World Mission night: M. Moses Yoon will share Latin Mission Journey report together with

- 2018 ISBC report  by S. John Lee (AnAm1) and S. ChoongShin Han (KwangJu 1,6)
- 2018 ISBC Vision Camp Report by S. Hannah Kim (JungReung) 
- Odessa mission report by M. John Lee (Ukraine) 
2. 10/4 He leads "North America Senior staff Meeting" in Chicago
3. He will speak on 10/5 Founder's day 

* Dr. Lee's Memorial Service, United Friday meeting at 6:30, 10/5 in Chicago
Theme: "Have Faith in God!" (Mk 11:22)
Speakers: M. Paul Choi of St. Louis, P. Mark Vucecovich and M. Moses Yoon

*Conferences with high lights (full and official reports will be posted inubf.org soon)
- Sri Lanka joint conference (UBF Colombo and Kote): 9.22-24 (by Luke Jeon) (See the full report inubf.org next week) We prayed for 30 attendees but God sent 32!
Title: "You will be a blessing"
Opening: "You will be a blessing" (Gen 12) by Nelson Baek (M. Barnabas' second son). He was not accepted 13 times in college application, but God still blessed him to be accepted in the best universities: Korea and YunSei Universities at last. He also joyfully served GBS and music.
1st message: "Father's great love" Lk 15 by Gideon
2nd :" Father, forgive them" by Ruth. 
Closing: "But seek his Kingdom" (Lk12) by M. Luke Jeon.
* Please pray for Ruth for her recovery from Dengi fever right after the conference. They say the second time of Dengi fever is very dangerous that can take away life. 


*Spring Conference in Pretoria, South Africa (9.21-23) (By James Lee)
We studied three chapters, 1Timothy 4, 2Timothy 2 and 4.
Sh. Mpho delivered the message on Daniel 6. 

Anele, Justice and Thula delivered main messages. And all messages were clear and powerful enough to touch every listener.
Thank God for all coworkers' prayer.


*Santa Cruz 1, Bolivia, Spring Conference (9.23-25 by Silvia)

By the mercy of God, several new members attended.

The main message: "Take your mat and walk" (Jn 5:1-9)
The second message: "Remain in me" (Jn 15:1-11)
The messages challenged many newcomers to take up their fatalism and walk and to remain in the love of Christ.
One of the new members, Rut, a business engineering student said, she attended many Christian retreats. But this time she received a fresh new word of God through the Group Bible Study and the messages. She found herself as the 38-year-old invalid lying near the pond. I pray that she may remain in her desire to know more about Christ personally through each 1:1 Bible studies in this Fall Semester.
Thanks for your prayers.

 

* Peter Ryu (Mainz, Germany) and Sara Lee (Toronto, Canada)'s House church ceremony in Germany on 9/29. (By M. Hannah Ryu)

We thank God, who has established a new house Church between Peter and Sara!

God gave a wonderful word of promise of God based on Matthew 6:33 by Dr. Peter Chang.

More than 200 guests Form USA, Canada, CIS, Ukraine, and the whole of UBF Europe to bless Sara & Peter.

Thank You for your Prayer. 


*On 10/20. Alex and Natalia (Podil, Ukraine) will establish a House Church in Ukraine.

* On10/20, Jong Hyun Jung (KwanAk 5, Korea) and Hannah Lee (Odessa, Ukraine) establishes a House Church in Seoul, Korea. They will serve World Mission in Germany.

*Please remember in your prayer for our suffering coworkers: (by M. Moses Yoon and Moses Lee who visited them)
-Hannah Koh (HanSung): She stays in a hospital to restore enough strength to be checked on 10/1 in Korea Uni hospital to see whether she can receive a cancer therapy. She memorizes Bible verses and is full of spirit thanking God for giving her time to rest and review her life of faith. Pray that she may receive a good therapy soon.
- Eunice Lee (Hwarang): She stays in an aseptic ward and is receiving Chemotherapy. She suffers a lot because the injection does not work well. She needs prayers for bone marrow transplantation.
- Hannah Byun (KwanAk 3): The surgery for 9 cm cancer was well finished. She entrusts herself fully to God memorizing Romans 8. She has glaucoma in her eye that she needs prayer not to have troubles in receiving chemotherapy. 
- Teresa Han (Brazil) : (9/25 by Sarah Kim): she slept well and ate a piece of apple and 2 spoons of honey. May God give her necessary strength to receive the third treatment. 
YulKook Kee, (Paulin and with 2 babies). The doctors said that he came back to his conscience only by the divine power and grace. Still, his heartbeats are very weak. He prays that God may give him a stronger heart to be able to serve another 40 years fully for God’s glory.
Remember Yesung Kim, Juyoung Kim and John Doty, Grace A Lee's foot full recovery and other suffering co-workers.