Follow by Email

Thursday, May 30, 2013

22 Ways Christians Think Differently - No. 5

Christians think the Presence of the Lord as the most valuable, whereas unbelievers despise the fellowship with the Lord as a turn off.

About a year ago a twenty years young boy turned his life to Christ. Last Sunday after worship service I had a fellowship with him at my backyard over a cup of tea. He is glowing with health and has a fine appearance and handsome features. A girl got attracted to him, and kept herself close to him. One day the young man said to her, "I would like to invite you to a Bible study at my church. Are you interested in Bible studies?" She said, "I am not  religious." She then left him.

Once upon a time the Apostle Paul said, "I want to know Christ..." Before he was born, he used to regard many things such as family background, as valuable, but after the new birth into Him, he changed. He regarded as rubbish (or loss) all that he once cherished as valuable saying, "What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord,  for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ." Phi 3:8

Once  upon a time Christopher Columbus said, "I am a most noteworthy sinner, but I have cried out to the Lord for grace and mercy, and they have covered me completely. I have found the sweetest consolation since I made it my whole purpose to enjoy His marvelous Presence."

In Hebrew mercy (often translated as love or loving kindness) is pronounced, "hesed" (or "chesed"- חסך), consisting of three letters, chet (8), samech (60), and dalet (4). Its numerical value is 72 alluding to the 72 elders of Israel. One of its key meanings is 'pity' as God has it for man, allowing men to gain victory over what is lowly resulting in the life in eternity in His presence.

Psalm 118 describes three classes of people to give thanks to the Lord for his mercy: Israel, house of Aaron, and those who fear the Lord.

Israel is a Christian name for Jacob, so to speak. It denotes an earthbound Jacob going after the mundane things like romantic love with Rachel running into a brick wall. There at the Jabok River he broke down, had a struggle with an angel of God, and thereby at dawn made a breakthrough, that is, he met the Lord and thus was given the name Israel, "You have struggled with God and men and won the victory." So the name denotes death to an old person resulting in the new birth into a new creation, just as it is written: "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation: the old is gone, the new is come."

The meaning of the house of Aaron is obvious - the priesthood. The priesthood sets forth the roadmap for earthbound man to journey to and arriving at the presence of the Lord, going through such steps as the gate, altar, the holy place, the holy of holies, etc. The house of Aaron then is the type of our Lord Jesus the true High Priest who stands before God for sinners to come to the Holy Father, so that in Him the sinners overcome the sinful condition and gain a blessed state in the presence of the King of Universe.

What about those who fear the Lord? In Hebrew 'fear' which is pronounced 'yara' (ירא).

The root meaning of the word yara is "to flow" and is related to words meaning rain or stream as a flowing of water. In Hebrew thought fear can be what is felt when in danger or what is felt when in the presence of an awesome sight or person of great authority. These feelings flow out of the person in such as actions as shaking when in fear or bowing down in awe of one in authority. (Jeff A. Benner)

The line-up of the three categories of people shows us that Israel is the beginning of the pilgrimage, the house of Aaron denotes the journey and those who fear the Lord stands for the result, that is an otherwise unworthy man being blessed with the presence of the Lord.

The three step process is the process by which one discards (or loses) what is in the way to the true bliss, that is, the presence of the Lord. For a believer this process takes place within him every day, just as the Apostel Paul says, "I die every day, brothers I mean it."

May the Lord bless your day and forever as you go for the point No. 5.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Fight the good fight of faith until He comes back, says Troy.

                                                   (Almost a homerun)

On Memorial day at 9 am at the Apollo Park Brother Troy served a message on John 11:51-53 that following Jesus' example all of us ought to fight the good fight of faith for His Kingdom regardless of circumstances and "no matter what".

Pursuant to Shepberd Jason's instruction before the sports activities we got ourselves divided in 4 groups and had joint prayers for the nation.

Isaiah and Anthony brought balls for children to play. 
Heather invited her dog "Lollo" (meaning 'grandpa') to the park. Lollo eats anything we eat - he likes Kimche as well.

There was a dog fellowship and a children's baseball fellowship im addition to other fellowships like soccer.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

22 ways Christians think differently - No. 4

Christians are "tasked-oriented" whereas unbelievers are "problem-oriented."

Once upon a time in Israel there lived a family of two sisters and one brother: Martha and Maria were the sisters and the brother's name was Lazarus. Lazarus fell ill. The sisters asked Jesus their Lord to come and heal the brother. It appeared that Jesus dragged his feet, so by the time Jesus arrived home Lazarus had already died.

Compare Jesus with the two sisters. Jesus came to the house with the 'task' (or mission) to resolve the problems the sisters had. The two sisters strove to get their problems (the death of Lazarus, the so to speak pillar of the house, and the life security of their future) resolved. So you can say Jesus is tasked oriented whereas the two sisters were problem oriented.

By himself, Jesus has no problem at all. Being God he is problem-free. But two sisters were not like Jesus. That is why in the first place the sisters asked Jesus to come and help.

Christians are then task-oriented in the sense that they've got "all" of their problems "resolved", so they dedicate their lives to serving the interests of their master, Jesus Christ who in turn looks to the interests of others. Non-Christians are different. Inasmuch as Jesus came as the Savior, the one who saves his people from their sins, unlike Christians (or "Christ's persons"), those who do do not belong to Jesus Christ, remain "problem-ridden", whereas those who belong to Christ and therefore are owned by their Savior remain "problem-free". After all Christians no longer live for themselves but for their Lord. Their old persons died with Jesus Christ, and rose with Jesus Christ as new persons. Since they live as Jesus' witnesses, their life has become 'task-oriented', called to go out and represent Jesus Christ their master, to the people who are still problem ridden.

The Apostle Paul explained this concept when he said, "We received grace and apostleship to call people from among all Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith." Romans 1:5 In another place he said, "your life is hidden in Jesus Christ". Col 3

Similarly the Apostle Peter said in effect that through faith in the Lord God the Father of our Lord Jesus "has given us new birth into the living hope...and into an inheritance...kept in heaven...", so "live your lives as strangers in this world."

For the same reason Jesus said to his followers, "Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." Here "his" stands in contrast with "my". On other occasion he said to them, "You are the salt of the world".

Are you still struggling to solve "your" own problem or the problem of someone else? Do you still live a life that is 'problem-oriented' or 'task-oriented'?

This morning while seated on the couch at the living room, I fell asleep and had a dream. In the dream I  met an African American guy. He represented himself as a "Christian". In introducing himself he said, "I am a football player." Although I did not know much about American football, I asked him, "What is your position?" He kept silent. The position 'line backer' came to mind, so I said, "A line backer"? He said, "No. I am a sweeper." "What does sweeper do?" I asked. He paused for a while and said, "I am interested in others getting goals so they could make their name."  Then I woke  up. On my iPhone I googled and learned that basically standing before the goal keeper a sweeper 'sweeps' up the ball keeping the defense line. It reminded me of a street sweeper for every thursday Downey City sends a sweeper, to clean De Palma Street. I thought the position of a Christian as a "task master" is not that much different than a street sweeper. It is not glamorous but much needed.

Friday, May 24, 2013

22 ways Christians think differently - No. 3

Christians think and live inside out, rather than outside in.

For those who believe in Jesus Christ, inside is not just a physical cavity. It represents the the sanctum of His divine residence where the reality of the fellowship with the Devine occurs.

Isaiah used to live outside in. He looked at the people of his day, got frustrated, and badmouthed many. But things changed once he learned of the way to live inside out for on one occasion he stepped into the Lord's temple in Jerusalem and there he met the Lord. At first he felt as if his bones were decaying. He sensed that death was imminent. He cried out for mercy. And the healing took place. He went in as a  cursed man came out as a blessed man. He was no longer old; he came out new. Through the fellowship that was constant he got his life renewed. Isaiah 50:4 He lived inside out.

Inside one goes 'inside' passing through the divided curtain, all the way opened up by Christ - the new and living way to the throne of mercy, grace, and glory.

"Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful." Hebrews 10:19-23

Those who live outside in operate under the laws of the world - the law of aging, such laws of the physics as the second law of thermodynamics. Different laws apply to those who live inside out - the law of grace and the law of glory, so their life would go with ever increasing glory.

Do  you say, "Everything that can go wrong will go wrong and has indeed gone wrong with me"? It has been said, "Murphy's Law ("If anything can go wrong, it will") was born at Edwards Air Force Base in 1949 at North Base. It was named after Capt. Edward A. Murphy, an engineer working on Air Force Project MX981, (a project) designed to see how much sudden deceleration a person can stand in a crash. One day, after finding that a transducer was wired wrong, he cursed the technician responsible and said, "If there is any way to do it wrong, he'll find it.""

If you feel like cursing you or your neighbor or the whole world around you, consider turning your life to the Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior, born in a manger, walked for a while here on earth in a physical body, offered himself as an atoning sacrifice for all on a tree, rose again from the dead, and now working with those who put trust in Him, "inside out".

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Bible Study for the couples desiring to get married

The children of Israel brought a willing offering unto the Lord, every man and woman, whose heart made them willing to bring for all manner of work, which the Lord had commanded to be made by the hand of Moses. Exodus 35:29

This page sums up the course work for the couples desiring to get married in the Lord.

I. Definition of the Marriage in the Lord

Marriage in the Lord refers to establishing the devine institution wherein a man leaves his father and mother, and is united to his wife, so they become one flesh, as seen in Genesis 2:24-25. Built in this definition is the description of the married couple in v. 25, "Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame." One of the antonyms of the word 'shame' is 'honor'. After the fall, the couple became dishonorable, and thereby marriage fell from God's grace. God sent Jesus Christ to redeem a believer from disgrace, and thereby restore the marriage back to its honorable state.

This is further seen in the Hebrew word for man and woman, for in Hebrew both man and woman (found in Exodus 35:29) have two letters of Hebrew alphabet in common (Alef and Shin - אש). Added to the two letters is Yod י so man reads Iysh (Alef, Yod, Shin - א'ש) and woman Ishah (Alef, Shin, Hei - אשה), so that when two letters Yod and Hey, which make the name of God (Yah - יה), the name God's children constantly praise saying "Halleluiya", are removed all man and woman are left with is Ash which in Hebrew mans 'fire' which reduces what has been constructed to nothingness like ash. Jesus came to redeem man and woman back from nothingness to the fullness of God. In this way marriage in the Lord restores the purpose of marriage in Genesis 2, that is, to bless all creation through the marriage. Genesis 1:26-28, 2:1-25 [Click here for Hebrew words for man and woman in Exodus 35:29.]

II. Bible studies
  1. Genesis 
    • Purpose of marriage (Gen 1:26-27, 2:7-25, 12:2-4, 17:26) 
    • Means to fulfill God's purpose - God of Abraham, God of Jacob and God of Jacob raising godly family producing godly offspring 
  2. Romans (1:5, 16-17; 10:6-11) for the evangelistic aspect of fulling the purpose
  3. Ephesians (5:21-33) for the instructions for the Christian household
  4. 1Co 11:3 (spiritual order within a godly family)
  5. 1Co 7:25-40 for warnings against the couple
  6. Deuteronomy 8:3, Isaiah 50:4 for the need to eat the word of the Lord daily
  7. John 17 (for personal relationship with the Lord)
III. Click here on the nature of the Christian life in the world.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

22 ways Christians think differently - No. 2

Christians believe in having it all and nothing but all. They do not settle for anything less than that like a lot or plenty.

In one of the articles a Rabbi asks readers to compare what Jacob said to his twin brother Esau ("I have all I need") with what Esau in return responded back saying, "I have plenty".

Jacob is a believer, Esau unbeliever.
Difference between all and plenty is enormous.

In the Scriptures Jesus said to unbelievers what the all really means. "All means all." Listen: "I have authority to lay down my life and authority to take it up again." How much authority is this? All. 

Think about it.  "If you die, that is it", you say.  But to a believer that is not "it". (Col 3:3)

P.S. During the winter the pond in my backyard looked so bleak that I said to my wife, "We'd better get rid of the pond. I can siphon out the water and turn this miserable pit into a children's playpan." My wife said, "Not many have a pond like this. Add water a little more and keep it." I accepted her advice. And now the pond came back to life! So be a little more patient with you, yes "you".

22 ways Christians think differently - No. 1

In one of the sessions where Jesus spoke to the religious leaders of his day Jesus said in effect, "You are of this world, whereas I am not of this world." He also said, "I am from above, you are from below."

On one occasion Jesus said to one of his disciples, "you have in your mind the things of men, not of God."

These words give us an idea that Jesus' followers think differently than those who do not.

First, Christians' way of thinking is upside down, rather than downside up.

This morning I woke up at 4:00 a.m. For breakfast I ate two pieces of white bread out of toaster, and one fried egg.

Egg tastes better with Ketchup on it. I opened the freezer, and pulled out a bottle of Ketchup - Heinz Tomato brand. Overnight  the ketchup inside the bottle grew rigid, so I shook it up hard but it would not come out. But as I put the bottle upside down for about two minutes, the level of ketchup hit the lid. I opened the lid, held the bottle upside down, and ketchup landed on the egg.

Again when you put the bottle of ketchup upside down on an eating table, what you see happening is the gravity doing the job. Since the gravity is at work, you do not have to shake it up.

The same goes true with the way Christians operate. Consider life as a man desiring to eat an egg with ketchup on it. As one lives one life here on earth in a physical body, you learn to work with the right side up so to speak, that is, by faith in the Lord.

God so loved the world that He sent His one and only Son Jesus Christ to this world, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have  eternal life.

Living by faith in Jesus is like a man letting the law of gravity work on his ketchup. Without the faith in Him, life sucks. Life lived without him may seem thriving for a moment but sooner than later one will be worn out, for life on this side of the world is like a gigantic bottle of ketchup all frozen up stuck to the bottom, so that without faith in Him, one has to shake the bottle hard, and by the time he thinks he is ready to enjoy what he worked on, he ends up kicking the bucket.

For further reading on the dynamics of the life that is by faith in Him, read two books first: Hebrews and Romans.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Bible Chungjoo, World Campus Mission

On May 7, 2013 (Tuesday), pursuant to the invitation by Shepherd James Sung-chang Lee, the director of Chung-joo UBF, I and Rebekah visited the Chung-joo UBF. The city of Chung-joo is located 40 minutes away via the KTX (express train) from Seoul.

To get there, I and Rebekah woke up at 6:00 a.m. Shepherd Caleb Kim (Director of Chongno UBF I) gave us a ride to the Seoul Train Station, and put us in a train (KTX) bound for Osong Station of Chung-joo. It took 40 minutes from Seoul to Osong Station. Shepherd James greeted us at the Osong Train Station.
Chung Joo City

Osong means five pine trees. Osong is a brand new station, built to accommodate the traffic visiting a new city called Sejong. 

The Sejong is a planned city in South Korea. In early 2007, the South Korean government decided to create a special administrative district housing nine ministries and four national agencies currently located in Seoul out of parts of Chungcheongnam-do and a small section of Chungcheongbuk-do provinces, near Daejeon. The capital opened on 2 July 2012, with 36 government agencies slated to move there by 2015.

When the move is completed, the larger area of Chung Joo with Sejong as a neighboring city, will be very much like Berlin of Germany with Seoul becoming like Bonn of Germany. :-) 

For more information on Sejong City

click here

Chung-joo  UBF is located in-between Chung-joo city and Sejong city. From Osong Station it takes about half an hour to get to the Chung-joo UBF.

Shepherd James Lee is a very romantic person. He believes that his wife Grace is the most beautiful woman in the whole world. His wife is the chief inspector working at the Custom Office for the Chungjoo International Airport.

Our schedule included:

* Visit to the Chung Joo UBF Bible center, where we had a short Bible study on Daniel 7:27 (End of the Matter) and prayer meeting with two shepherds Woo Suk Kang (Electrical Engineering Master Program) and Myung Kyun Lim (International Trade, Senior).

* Campus visit
Left to right: Isaac Kim, Myung-kyun Lim, Rebekah, James Lee

Shepherd James has been pioneering Chungjoo and Choongbuk Universities since the Korean government relocated his wife from Jeju to Chungjoo two and half years ago. He has two children (Changdae 8 and Becky 6).  Twelve disciple candidates are growing up in his ministry.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Your sovereign duty for every day - ask, seek, and knock.

In reading 1 Samuel 23 (the daily bread Bible passage on May 13, 2013), one will be befuddled to find how much and how often David had to learn what he ought to learn, just for survival.
His men filed an objection, yet on inquiring of the Lord,  he went against the counsel of "his" men. He was tempted to trust in the integrity of the people of Keriath for whom he risked his life, yet owing to the Lord giving out to him correct "information" he left the city and saved himself and his company. And he was faced with the same challenge on and on as he was going through the "hide and seek" with his enemy Saul.
The Lord loved David. It was the Lord's will to establish him as the ruler of the nation. Yet why did the Lord wait on David inquiring of the Lord for virtually all the details of his journey? We can dispose of this question easily by the way the Lord created men, that is, imbedding in each person his image which comes with the feature for each person to make his or her own decision based on the resources made available for that person by the Lord.
The answer also is hinted in the word 'information'. What is information? Einstein said, "Information is not knowledge." If it is not knowledge what is it? :-) It is what shapes you (your life - past, present, and future) within in you, thus "in" plus "formation".
I think this (the way man is shaped up) is consistent with what our Lord Jesus inspired his children to do: "Ask, seek, and knock." Unless you ask, "it" will not be given, not be found, and the door will not be opened.
So it behooves us to make ourselves fearfully and prayerfully and expectantly busy to get ourselves 'informed' every day knowing that there is no king's way of progress than education.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Introduction to 1 Samuel

Hannah’s Prayer

1 Samuel 1:1-31:13
Key Verse 1:27

“I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him.”

Tonight we are going to cover the book of 1 Samuel based on the key verse 1:27. A review of this book (as well as 2 Samuel) reveals that it was thanks to the role Samuel played that the Israelites were able to come out of the chaotic period of the judges and into the period of harmonious, peaceful, and united life under God’s beloved servant David.

The question then is: "What (or who) shaped Samuel to be so special?" Obviously, the key verse answers the question: Hannah prayed for him. The verse tells us that Samuel is the fruit of Hannah's prayer. This then leads us to say, "It was thanks to the Hannah's prayer that the Israelites were able to come out of the lowest of lows into the highest heights! This observation motivates us to think about and learn from Hannah's prayer. Let us think about Hannah's prayer in two parts:

I. This went on year after year.

On reading the story of Hannah, particularly about her relationship with Penninah, her rival, we can easily see that Hannah did not learn to pray from the beginning. Rather, it was only after she suffered so much that she finally considered prayer as the solution. Look at 1 Samuel 1:6-7, "And because the LORD had closed her womb, her rival kept provoking her in order to irritate her. This went on year after year. Whenever Hannah went up to the house of the LORD, her rival provoked her till she wept and would not eat." Here "this" refers to her barrenness, which her rival utilized to provoke Hannah. In addition, verse 7 says that "this" went on "year after year". We do not know how long this went on. Most likely it went on for many years, maybe even a decade.

As we stand back and take a good look at her situation we can easily find that it took her a long time until she finally decided to resort to prayer for the solution to her problem. Obviously, since it was the Lord who closed her womb, it should be the Lord who also can open her womb. So prayer to the Lord is the solution. Yet, why did she drag her feet for so long in coming to the seat of prayer? Well, while it is anybody's guess, as we put ourselves in her position, we can say that a number of different reasons might have caused her NOT to come to the seat of prayer. For example, she might have said to herself, "I am not sure why I am born this way. Maybe something might have gone wrong with my reproduction system from birth." Or, "Maybe the Lord does not love me. So he intentionally withholds from me a baby." Or, "Oh, the Lord already knows what I want. So I do not have to ask the Lord for anything." Or, "Well, I can try a little more. Maybe next time I sleep with my husband, I may become pregnant." Or she might have read articles from women's magazines on the way to bear a son. So she might have tried special diets. But still nothing happened.

Hannah's case reminds me of a fishing expedition I once went on. Once, while I was working in downtown LA, I went out to the Pacific Ocean for half-day ocean fishing along with two friends of mine at work. The fishing boat left Seal Beach around 6:00 a.m. The boat went out to the ocean for about an hour. On the boat there were about 20 plus anglers, all ready to make the catch of the day. The skipper found schools of fish. The boat stopped right above the schools of fish. People started catching fish. I also tried. But I could not catch anything. People standing on the left and standing on the right kept reeling in fish after fish. But no fish hit my line. I changed the location. But still no hit.  The sun already went up to the mid sky, and the skipper announced that it was about the time to close down and go back. All the while then all different thoughts hit me, such as, "Maybe it was not God's will that I come out to the ocean for fishing today." And, "Maybe the Lord wants to teach me how Simon Peter must have felt when he said to Jesus, ‘Master, we've worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything.’ ” As a last resort I even prayed to the Lord saying, "Lord, enough is enough. Please let me catch something, even one mackerel." But still I could not catch anything.

In our life's journey we encounter one problem after another of this sort. Like a frustrated fisherman, we eagerly desire to achieve something but things do not happen. We then look around ourselves. Then we quickly discover that others are doing far better than we are. It looks as if they are far ahead, and we are far behind. Then as we grow older we become anxious. So we try this and that. But still nothing works.

Of course we know what the Bible says: "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God" (Phi 4:6). But still we do not pray. Or like Jacob before crossing the Jabbok River, every once in a while, we do pray for the problem or problems at hand. But still, problems seem to be only getting worse. So we stop praying.  

Again, 1 Samuel 1:7 reads, "This went on year after year." Surprisingly, the problem (of not bringing the prayer topics we have in life to the Lord expecting a result) is commonplace among Christians. This is certainly true among us. We are missionaries. As missionaries to this land, we desire to be fruitful, especially in making disciples. So we try this or that. Every once in a while we ask God to help us bear fruit. We even go through special programs, such as Forty Days Early Morning Prayer. In so doing we recite Bible passages like John 14:14, "You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it," with many Amen’s! But still nothing happens. Then we stop praying. We start becoming cynical. Then the prayer topic to feed sheep or the command to make disciples of all nations gets burdensome. So in our mind, we brush them aside and spend time and energy on something else.  But in the back of our mind, we regret that we remain barren. And we are not happy. Is this normal?  

What did Hannah do in such a frustrating situation? Did she give up? No. What did she do?

II. Hannah poured out her soul.

Let us read 1 Samuel 1:9-18. This passage introduces us to Hannah’s prayer which serves as a model for us. Let us think about this model prayer in four ways:

First, Hannah stood up (1:9).

Verse 9 reads, "Once when they had finished eating and drinking in Shiloh, Hannah stood up. Now Eli the priest was sitting on a chair by the doorpost of the LORD'S temple." In this passage the expression "stood up" stands in contrast with such words as "eating," "drinking," and "sitting". Technically, the expression "stood up" describes a physical movement, that is, Hannah standing up from the act of eating and drinking. In view of what she did in the following passages however we can see that this expression speaks of more than just a physical movement: it demonstrates her resolution to no longer deal with her problem through human ways. In the past she dealt with the problem through all other means except prayer. But this time it was different. She decided to no longer rely on any human solution. In the past she resorted to her own ideas, such as cheering herself up and nurturing a vague hope that her rival would behave better, or somehow that the Lord would come to her rescue. But finally she had enough; she was no longer going to take the hits. Thus she stood up and stomped to the presence of the Lord, to sue him so that she could put the matter behind once and for all.  

Second, Hannah made a vow to the Lord (1:10-11).

Look at verse 10 again. 1 Samuel 1:10-11, "In bitterness of soul Hannah wept much and prayed to the LORD. And she made a vow, saying, "O LORD Almighty, if you will only look upon your servant's misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the LORD for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head."

One sister I know was asked to marry a man by faith. She never dated the man. Yet since she was a woman of faith, she decided to marry him. Then the day of the wedding quickly arrived. The wedding was set to happen at high-noon. But, all that morning, she did not see the groom. So she waited for the groom to at least make a phone call. It turned 11 a.m. Then 11:30, then 11:59, but still no groom. She was ready to march in. But there was no groom. Then around 12:10, the man showed up, but not wearing the tuxedo she bought for him, but wearing a regular suit he used to wear! She was really upset. But she did not make a scene. She walked into the wedding hall. Then the moment came for the couple to say, "Yes, I do." She took a glance at the man. Then she grew anxious. She was not sure whether or not this man would truly behave as a husband, but it was too late. In desperation she silently prayed to the Lord. In that emergency prayer she made a vow to the Lord saying, "Lord, if you protect this marriage, I will fully dedicate this marriage to serve you all the days of my life. Plus, in ten years we will go out to any country you want as a missionary family." Then the two exchanged marriage vows. The wedding was over. But for the first ten years of her marriage life, she did not divulge her vow and prayer topic to her husband. However, mysteriously, the Lord God answered her prayer. In exactly ten years the Lord opened the way for her family to come to the US.

Third, Hannah poured out her soul to the Lord (1:12-17).

Look at verse 15 again. “ ‘Not so, my lord,’ Hannah replied, ‘I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking wine or beer; I was pouring out my soul to the LORD.’ ” Let us take a good look at the passage. Let us pay special attention to the expression, "I was pouring out my soul to the Lord." Let us focus especially on three points: 1) pouring out; 2) soul; and 3) to the Lord. The two words "pouring out," especially the word "out," conjures up in our mind a picture of a man holding a bucket of water and then turning the bucket upside down towards another vessel so that the water completely empty into the vessel. We find a similar example in what Samuel did in front of the people of Israel in 1 Samuel 7:6, "When they had assembled at Mizpah, they drew water and poured it out before the LORD. On that day they fasted and there they confessed, ‘We have sinned against the LORD.’" Samuel drew water and poured it out before the Lord to demonstrate to the Israelites the kind of commitment they were making. Once you pour out a bucket of water onto the ground, there is no way to get the water back to the bucket. Likewise, Samuel prompted people to make a commitment to the Lord which is irrevocable. In the same way as Hannah poured out her soul, she made an irrevocable commitment to the Lord in regards to the vow she had made.

On a deeper level, by pouring out her soul to the Lord, she fully committed herself to the Lord. She did not hold any part of herself back. The soul is the vessel to hold one's self. So pouring out her soul to the Lord is the same as emptying herself fully into the Lord, so that the Lord would accept her, and use her in however manner and for whatever purposes the Lord might have.  

In my opinion this is what prayer is all about. I say that this act of pouring out one's soul to the Lord (not to the ground or to anyone else) is the key essence of prayer. As we know, the Lord cannot contradict himself, for he gave each person the right to do whatever he or she wants to do with his or her life. For this reason the Lord is never going to infringe on our right to do whatever we want to do with our life. In order for him to be able to do any work he has to wait for his children to come to him and make themselves available for the Lord to work in and through them. Many people say, "I am the clay, you are the potter; I am the work of your hand; Lord, please do whatever you want to do with me." But they still retain a tight control over their lives. They never surrender themselves to the Lord for the Lord to work on them.

Hannah used to live as her own woman, but not any more. For the first time she completely surrendered herself to the Lord. “ ‘Not so, my lord,’ Hannah replied, ‘I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking wine or beer; I was pouring out my soul to the LORD.’ ” Have you ever prayed to the Lord by pouring out your soul to the Lord? With what prayer topic or topics have you done so?

Fourth, her face was no longer downcast (1:18).

Lastly, let us look at verse 18. "She said, ‘May your servant find favor in your eyes.’ Then she went her way and ate something, and her face was no longer downcast." Eli was unjustifiably harsh on Hannah. Although Eli trampled upon her sense of dignity, instead of being indignant, she showed Eli full respect, which suggests that through pouring out her soul to the Lord, she had already emptied herself and her ego was no longer in the way. Rather she rose from the seat of prayer with the attitude of an unworthy servant of the Lord. So she said to Eli, "Do not take your servant for a wicked woman; I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief." Eli answered, "Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him." Then she said, "May your servant find favor in your eyes." Then she went her way and ate something, and her face was no longer downcast. This passage shows us that she no longer found herself as a worthy woman. The Lord set her free from the bondage to her selfish ambition. Finally, she was no longer her own woman. She came out as the Lord's humble servant, ready to serve the Lord purely for God's own glory.  Now that she humbled herself, the Lord found her worthy of the blessing, that is, becoming the mother of Samuel, one of the great prophets in Israel, plus having many more children.

In conclusion, we learned that thanks to Hannah's devotion to the Lord in prayer, the Lord God blessed the Israelites through Samuel. Thanks to the Lord’s favor, Samuel in turn served the people of Israel with integrity as a judge and prophet, and just not any prophet, but a great prophet, for his stature is almost equal to that of Moses. Samuel's service elevated the Israelites from the lowest pit to the high plane of spirituality, all through one noble woman of prayer, Hannah, the mother of Samuel.

One word: Hannah's prayer

Class Exercise

1 Samuel 1:1 – 31:13
Key Verse 1:27

  1. What does “Samuel” mean? ________________________________________________

  1. 1 Samuel 1:27 reads, “I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him.”

    1. Have you ever prayed for anything (or anyone)?_______________________________

    1. What was the Lord’s response to your request? ____________________________ _   

  1. After receiving Samuel, Hannah gave him back to the Lord. In what respect was it not easy for her to do this?

  1. How many children did the Lord bless Hannah with, after having Samuel?: (       ) sons and (      ) daughters.

  1. [Homework # 1] Read 1 Samuel 1:10-18 along with James 4:1-10 and describe one thing you learned about prayer.

  1. [Homework # 2] Read 1 Samuel 2:5. What does this passage indicate about the differences between the fruit of prayer and the fruit of the work of one’s own hands?

Friday, May 10, 2013

Who is like the beast?

Sung Kye Lee the founder of Lee Dynasty of Korea is known as a brave general. How do you like his attire esp the dragon on it?

The North and South Korea now have largely been influenced by Lee Dynasty. Undersstanding Lee Dynasty ought to begin with who the founder is. Who then is Sung Kye Lee? Under whose influence did he do what he did? The Scritpure has all the answers especially the one quoted below.

Revelation 13:4 (NIV)

[4] People worshiped the dragon because he had given authority to the beast, and they also worshiped the beast and asked, “Who is like the beast? Who can wage war against it?”

Wake up!

My visit to Korea indicates that S. Korea now is way differerent  than S. Korea of the past. At least cosmetically she has grown very much westernized so after living in the U.S. for more than 3 decades, as I travelled through the Korean provinces, I felt as if I am a man from an underdevelopoed country to a highly advanced nation.

But as long as we live in this world which is yet to be fully redeemed one should always be alert to wakeup calls, just like a man staying at a hotel or motel for he is on a  business trip, needing to wake up early to catch the flight for the next destination.
Revelation 3:2-3 (NIV)
[2] Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God. [3] Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Love is patient...

On April 27, 2013 a wedding took placed at the "L" Tower of Yangjaedong in Seoul Korea wherein pursuant to the request of the groom Isaac H Kim shared a wedding sermon for the couple. (The bridegroom had a 1:1 relationship with Isaac H Kim.)

The sermon was in Korean for the audience. You will find below a summary in English and the sermon in Korean. Note: some info on the bride is in English.

# summary - love is the foundation of the relationship between the couple. Love has many chracteristics of whch patience comes first. Patience stands for the ability to understand and bear others' weaknesses and infirmities.

# sermon -

거룩하고 사랑이 많으신 하나님아버지
오늘 저희들이 신부현정양과 신랑 선욱군이 하나님의 사랑의섭리가운데 주안에서 하나되어 축복된 가정을이루어 주셔서 감사합니다

이 가정을 당신의 이름으로 인치시고 축복하여 주소서

이시간 기도하옵기는 주님께서 이가정을 인쳐주시고 주의날게아래 보호하사 복의근원으로 쓰 주시옵소서 우리 주예수그리도의 이름으로 기도하엿읍니다

여기 참석하신 하객 여러분
여러분들은 우리 사랑하는 현정이와 선욱이 결혼을 축하해주시려고 오섰읍니다.

저는 여러분들이 참 축복된 분들이라고 생각합니다.
왜나 하면 여기에 앉아 있는 이 두 자녀의 연합에는 참 아름다운 사랑이야기가 있습니다.

신랑 신부가 아름답고 이 둘을 만드시고 인도하시고 때가 됨에 기적같이 서로 만나 사랑에 빠지게 하시고 이제 오늘 축복받은 하객들을 모시고 혼인예식을 이루어 주신 우리 하나님이 아름답습니다.

저는 선욱이가 여기 앉아있는 자기 짝을 만나기까지 얼마나 긴 여정을 걸어 왔는지 알고 있습니다. 어떨 때는 제가 자고 있는데 전화가 와요. 그 내용인즉슨 “아 오늘 어떤 자매님과 데이트를 했다”는 거에요. 그래서 저는 아 예가 드디어 결혼을 할려나 보다. 그런데 나중에 또 야밤중에 전화가 와서 보고를 하는데 아 그 사람은 자기 짝이 아니라는 거예요.

그런데 자 이제 보십시요 드디어 짝을 만낫잖습니까? 기적이 일어난 거예요. 얼마전에 또 야밤중에 전화가 왔는데 아니 결혼을 한다고 해서 제가 하도 신기해서 야 어덯게 된 일이야? 하고 믈어봣는데 이야기를하는데요 이게 기적이 일어났다는 거예요. 결혼식이 끋나고 신부한테도 좀 자세하게 물어 볼가 합니다.

그런데요 이것은 서론이고요.

본론을 말슴드립니다.

신랑신부는 제가 길게 이야기하는 것을 안 좋아 할 것이기 때문에요. 짧게 한마디로 요약하자면 “사랑은 오래 참고” 이것을 말씀드리고자합니다.

성경에 보면 사랑에는 13 가지 요소가 있는데요 그 중에 가장 첫쩨로 꼽히는 것이 뭔지 아세요? 제가 이미 답을 말씀 드렸습니다. 오래 참는 거에요. 이것이 하나님의 가장 중요한 성품중의 하나입니다.

이것이 이해가 잘 안 되시는 분들은 자기자신을 한번 생각해보시기 바랍니다. 내가 얼마나 참기 어려운 사람인데 하나님께서 얼마나 나를 오래 참아주시는지.

영어로는 love is patient 인데요 저는 어제 저녁 무슨 일이 있어서 잠들기 전에 사랑에 대해서 생각하다가 왜 patient라고 했을가 질문이 생겨 생각을 해 봣는데요

이런거 같에요 patient는 환자란 말이잖아요? 환자는 아픈 사람이고요

그래서요 사랑을 아는 사람은 아픔을 아는 사람이고요 그 아픈 사람의 아픈 것을 이해하고 아픔을 감당하고 하나님의 사랑으로 사랑할 줄 아는 사람이라고 생각해요.

저는 이 자리에서 말슴드리거니와 우리 신랑 선욱이는 아픔이 많았던 사람이고 또 아픔을 아는 사람입니다. 얘가 이제 46살인데요 그 동안 그 삶가운데 많은 아픔이 있엇어요. 이곳에 겨울 연가라는 연속극을 보신 분들이 얼마나 있는지 모르겟는데요. 아마도 이 아들이 격어온 여정을 연속극으로 만들면 여러분 들 눈물을 많이 흘리실 꺼예요.

그런데 선욱이의 삶을 생각해 볼 때 어느 쪽이냐 하면 하나님께서 선욱이를 사랑하사 그 아픔
이해하시고 그 아픔으로부터 나음을 얻게해 주셧다고 생각합니다. 그 증거가 무엇일까요? 보세요.
이제 드디어 이 아름답기 짝이 없는 짝을 만나 축복된 혼인 예식을 올리게 인도하셨잖습니까?
그리고 우리 잘생긴 신랑 선욱이 가 얼마나 좋아하는지 보세요.

이것은 제가 무슨 입 발림으로 드리는 말씀이 아니예요.

선욱이가 저한테 이멜을 보냇는데요

이것을 공개해도 좋을란지 모르겟는데요 어차피 다 알게 될 테니까 공개하지요

초: 중마 국민학교
중고: 선화예술 중고 피아노과
대: 연세대학교 기악과 피아노전공
유학: 독일 Freiburg 국림음대 피아노정공 전문연주자 과정 졸업
Duesseldorf 국림음대 최고연주자과정 졸업

europe 밎 한국에서 활발한 연주활동.
현재 숙명여대, 선화예술중고등학교에서 가사 재직중

초: 영화국민학교: 이민 1977
중: anthony jr high
고: washburn high
대: university of minnesota - 기개공학
art center college of design - pasadena ca. - car design
work: samsung mobile phone design team

자 들어보세요

she is sweet and pure at heart, even at this age.
she always looks to be good and to help others.
she was looking for someone to understand her as a person and as
a musician and artist. and that became me.
she is very smart and intelligent with excellent memory. also she
has highly tuned inner sense which makes her feel sometimes before she hears and sees. her hearing sense is very finely tuned but her sight and
thougt process is superbly developed.
she teaches piano to college, graduate students and high school students, but its more like she has 재자 and she is their 선생. she doesnt teach for money but she teaches to share her soul.. thus its important to her, to have pupils that she can teach and want to truely learn.

[여기 제가 깊이 존경하는 두분이 와계시는데요 응길 형님과 정옥 누님이예요. 선욱이가 묘사한 현정이의 스승상 은 이 두분의 삶을 대변하는것이고요 아마도 하나님께서 선욱이가 이 두분을 존경하는 줄 아시고 이 두분의 스승상 을 알고 실천하는 자매님을 짝으로 골르신 것같에요.

선욱이의 말을 더들어봅시다
we met on 2012.03.09 and its been just ove 1 year since we first met. I thought that at first sight she could be the one, and instantly felt we were very much alike. after dating for a year, we are so much alike that its hard to put into words. we see alike, sense alike, and we have a very similar backgrounds. Similar in persuit of desired education, similar sibilings=2 girls and 1 boy, we both studied what we wanted and we work with passion. with our work and life experiences, we've learned the value of friendship and love, and how much work must be invested to keep it strong. we are looking very much to growing our freindship and love as a husband and wife.
we are so happy that we finally have found each other... but its so strange to meet someone in korea, when i grew up in united states and she was in germany for 9 years studying... its fate.

she likes healthy food and she truely likes her mom's cooking
she also likes chocolate and hot tea and chocolate crossant
she doesnt watch too much movie, nor tv, but she listens to lots of classical music.
she hears more than a normal person.
she and i will take a trip to usa going to LA, Minnesota and NY visiting friends and relatives
and showing her where i used to live and work maybe next year.
leave out about sibling work situation.........
she wants to have 2 children. if she has a boy she wants to shave his head like cute.
thats all고모부
bye billy 감사합니다

내가 내게있는 모든것으로 구제하고 또내몸을 불사르게 내어줄지라도 내게 사랑이없으면 내게아무 유익이 없느니라

In Christ,
Isaac H. Kim
Cell: 562-714-0417

World Mission Report dated May 6, 2013

From 8-10 pm coworkers from UBF Chapters in Seoul and its sattelite cities met together at a Christian conference center next to the Chongno UBF center and listened to mission reports from 5 missionaries including Isaac H. Kim from the U.S.

Isaac Kim's testimony and report are summed up below in English and the full Korean version is in Korean.

[At first the report was scheduled to go on May 13, so Shepherd David Kim the Korean General Director asked me to change the return flight to a date after May 13. But Korea UBF changed the plan again to open the report session on May 6, rather than May 13.]

* Summary

Isaac H Kim started studying the Bible at Chongno UBF in 1972. After serving the Lord as a lay shepherd in Chongno UBF for 10 years he moved to the U.S. (Los Angeles) and since then he served the Lord in the U.S. for the next 30 years.

Primarily 3 Bible verses impacted him:
1) Genesis 1:31 "It was very good."
Through this passage he found the meaning of his life, for this passage showed him that his life was good in God's eyes. In the past he thought he was no good.

2) Romans 1:5 "We received the grace and apostleship..." Through this passage he received the calling to go to the U.S. as Jesus' witness.

3) Mark 16:20 This passage tells us that the disciples' portion is to preach the gospel, and Jesus' portion is to save those who hear and believe in Jesus.

He based his report on Acts 19:20, "The word of the Lord...grew in power."

* Korean version

거룩하고 사랑이 많으신 하나님 아버지. 이 시간 보고를 통하여 이 부족한 종의 죄와 허물을 덮으시고 오로지 당신의 영광을 드러낼 수 있도록 도와주십시오.

여러분 안녕하십니까? 저는 제가 이제까지 말씀으로 도와 오던 형제가 이제 한국에서 결혼을 하는데 저보고 주례를 해달라고 해서 시온성 한국을 심방케 되어 지난 주 토요일 양재동 엘Tower에서 주례를 마치고 오늘 선교보고를 할 수 있는 축복을 누리게 되었습니다.

저는 대학 졸업을 하고 1972년도에 UBF에 나오기 시작했는데요, 금년이 2013년이니깐 제가 UBF 생활을 한국에서 요회목자 생활 10년, 미국에서 선교사 생활 30년 합쳐서 40년이 되었습니다. 저는 지난 40년 역사를 사도행전 19장 20절 말씀에 기초하여 “하나님의 말씀의 세력”이라는 제목으로 나누고자 합니다. 사도행전 19장 20절을 같이 읽어 보겠습니다. “이와 같이 주의 말씀이 힘이 있어 흥왕하여 세력을 얻으니라”

Part Ⅰ. 하나님 보시기에 심히 좋았더라 (창세기 1:31)
저는 1949년 음력 동짓달 스물 하룻날 경상도 상주군 공성면 옥산동 167번지에서 안동 김씨 집안의 3남 3녀 중 막내아들로 태어났습니다. 아버님은 초등학교도 못 나오셨지만 머리가 명석하셔서 한학을 Master 하시고 시골 서당을 운영하셨습니다. 어머니는 문맹이셨지만 부지런하셔서 가난한 농촌 살림에도 불구하고 자녀들을 건강하게 키우셨습니다.

아버님께서 저의 큰 형님께 소망을 두시고 논밭을 팔아 서울로 유학을 보내셨기 때문에 재력이 못미쳐 막내인 저를 저희 동네에서 돈을 제일 잘 버는 김약국 밑에 넣어 한의사로 키우고자 하는 소망을 같고 계셨습니다. 옥산 초등학교를 졸업하고 중학교를 갈려고 하는데 못 가게 하시는 거예요. 그런데 김천 중학교에서 장학금을 준다는 소식을 듣고 허락을 하셨습니다. 김천 중학교를 우수한 성적으로 졸업하고 고등학교를 가려고 하는데 아버님께서 또 못 가게 하시는 거예요. 그런데 또 김천 고등학교에서 전액 장학금을 준다고 하니까 허락을 하셨습니다. 김천 고등학교를 졸업하고 대학을 가려고 하는데 또 못 가게 하시는 거예요. 그런데 김천 중고등학교 재단에서 서울대에 합격만하면 전액 장학금을 준다는 거예요. 그래서 시험을 받지요. 우수한 성적으로 합격을 해서 전액 장학금뿐만 아니라 기숙사 생활비까지 나왔기 때문에 허락하셨습니다.

이렇게 대학 생활은 시작했지만 제 내면 가운데 해결되지 못한 인생 문제가 있었습니다. 저는 어머니를 정말 사랑합니다. 아버님도 정말 존경합니다. 아버님은 아내가 둘이셨는데요 큰 어머니는 큰 집이라고 불렀고 저의 어머니는 작은 어머니로서 작은 어머니라고 불렀고 저는 큰 어머니 호적에 올라가 있어서 혼란이 있었고요, 가난한 농촌에서 두 집 자녀들을 키우자니 어려움이 많아 자연히 “매타작”이 많았습니다. 아버님께서 화를 내시면 정말 무서워 어머니는 저희 자식들에게 화풀이를 하셨는데 그때마다 늘 하시는 말씀이 똑같아요. “내가 왜 너를 낳아 내가 이 고생을 하는지 모르겠다.”, “산에서 호랑이가 내려와 너를 확 깨물어 갔으면 좋겠는데 왜 안 그러는지 모르겠다.” 저는 자라면서 이 말을 귀가 따갑게 들어왔습니다. 저는 이것이 너무 괴로웠습니다. 어떤 사람들은 제가 머리가 좋아서 장학금을 받아 서울대까지 들어갔다고 하지만 저는 그렇지 않았습니다. 저는 머리가 참으로 나쁜 사람인데요, 상황이 너무 괴롭다보니 어찌하던지 이 상황을 벗어나 탈출할 기회를 노렸는데요. 어찌하든지 열심히 공부해서 장학금이라도 받아 출애굽하는 것이었습니다. 그래서 1967년 2월에 드디어 탈북자처럼 저주 받은 땅 경상도 상주군 공성면 옥산동을 빠져나와 고등학교 장학재단에서 마련해준 서울 망우리 기숙사로 옮겼습니다.

대학4년은 그럭저럭 허송생활했습니다. 1971년에 졸업을 했는데요. 다른 사람들은 고시 공부하는데 저는 인생의 의미를 몰라 ‘왜 내가 고시공부를 해야 되지?’하는 의문에 시달려 아무것도 할 수 없었습니다. 졸업하고 71년 2월 학교 교문을 나오는데요. 갈 데가 없어요. 그 해 동국대학 중퇴 후 시골에 돌아와 살림을 떠맡았던 형님께서 빚잔치를 하는 바람에 시골 집안이 거덜나 아버님은 빚쟁이를 피하여 보은 속리산 화전촌으로 피신하시고 형제자매들은 사방으로 흩어져 아무도 졸업식에 참석을 못했어요. 군대를 기피한 상태라 경찰의 Black List에 올라 있었고요. 졸업 후 갈 데가 없어 할 수없이 속리산 화전촌으로 피신했는데요. 아버님께서 어디서 꼬불쳐 놓으셨던 돈으로 송아지 한 마리 사갖고 계셨는데 이것을 팔아서 제게 주시면서 서울에서 다시 고시공부를 하라고 하시는 거예요. 할 수 없어서 다시 서울로 돌아와 제 동기 이우철 목자와 함께 서울 동숭동 뒷산에서 고시공부를 시작했습니다. 그때 하나님의 구원의 손길이 제게 임했습니다.

겨울이었는데요. 이우철 목자님이 종로 UBF에 창세기 Group Bible Study로 저를 초청했습니다. 일주일 동안 창세기 7강을 Cover 한 것으로 기억되는데요. 창세기 1강, 1장 31절 말씀 “하나님 보시기에 심히 좋았더라”는 말씀이 제 심령에 깊이 들어왔습니다. 저는 항상 제 어머니가 “내가 왜 너를 낳았는데 모르겠다”는 말씀을 생각하고 있었기 때문에 제 존재 의미에 대한 질문을 갖고 있었는데 이 말씀 속에서 분명한 답을 찾았습니다. “이와 같이 주의 말씀이 힘이 있어 세력을 얻으니라” 그렇습니다. 하나님의 말씀은 정말 “힘”이 있습니다. 그때까지만 해도 저는 정말 살고 싶었지만 살 “힘”이 없었어요. 그런데 이 말씀은 제게 살 “힘”을 주셨습니다. 갑자기 “힘”이 없다가 새 “힘”이 생겼습니다. 이 새 힘으로 열심히 고시공부를 했는데 순전히 하나님의 은혜로 그 이듬해 고시합격을 허락하시고 그 보다 더 영광스러운 요회목자 직분도 허락해 주셨습니다. 하나님을 찬송합니다.

Part Ⅱ. 은혜와 사도의 직분을 받아 (로마서 1:5)
이후 10년 동안 종로학사회에서의 생활은 ‘은혜’의 시대였습니다. 하나님의 은혜로 10년 동안 요회목자로서 성대 Campus 심방하며 fishing하고 양치는 은혜를 덧입었습니다. 말씀을 잘 이해할 수는 없었지만 한번 말씀의 “힘”을 체험했기 때문에 계속 일용할 양식을 쓰는 가운데 많은 은혜를 덧입었습니다. 1972년 10월 9일에는 이 세상에서 가장 아름다운 리브가 사모님과 믿음의 결혼을 하는 놀라운 “은혜”를 덧입었습니다. 이것은 제가 그냥 입발림으로 하는 소리가 아닙니다. 저는 중고등학교의 점심시간 때마다 학교 뒷산에 올라가 팔을 베고 누워있으면 경부선 열차가 김천에서 서울로 올라가는 것을 보았습니다. 그때마다 ‘아, 나는 언제나 서울 가보나? 혹시 내가 서울이라도 간다면 서울 아가씨를 만나 같이 손잡고 한강철교를 거닐어 볼 수 있다면 얼마나 좋을까?’하고 생각했는데요. 하나님께서 이 꿈을 이루어주신 거예요! 리브가 동역자는 정말 “서울” 자매님이거든요. 그런데요. 가장 큰 은혜 중에 은혜는 “사도”의 “직분”이라고 생각합니다.

1970년도 후반에 로마서 성경학교가 있었습니다. 그때 저는 종로학사회 여러 평신도 목자 중에 하나였는데요. 제게 항상 힘든 강의를 맡기시더라고요. 서제임스 목자같은 분은 은혜스러운 강의 “믿음의 성장” 같은 것을 맡겼는데, 사무엘 선교사님께서 제게는 “믿음이 없는 세상” 같은 것을 맡기시고 항상 “지옥도”를 그려보라고 하셨습니다. 그런데요 저는 로마서 성경학교를 통해서 로마서 1:5 말씀을 깊이 영접하였습니다. “우리가 은혜와 사도의 직분을 받아 믿음으로 모든 이방인 중에서 믿어 순종케 하나니” 보십시오. 여기서 모든 “이방인”은 “로마인”들을 두고 하는 말입니다. 당시 유대인들은 피지배민족이고 로마는 초강대국(Super Power Nation)이었습니다. 그런데 1970-80년대 만해도 미국은 로마같이 Super Power Nation으로 군림하고 있었습니다. 저는 아직도 기억합니다. 제가 초등 학교 때 미국에서 원조해준 분유나 지우개, 필통 등 구호물자를 받고 좋아했습니다.

그런데 이제 예수님 안에서 은혜와 사도의 직분을 받아 “미국 대학생들 중에서 믿어 순종케 하는" 직분이 생긴것입니다. 이 말씀을 붙잡고 미국에 선교사로 가고자 간절히 기도했습니다. 그런데 “길”이 안보였습니다. 그러나 이 말씀에 “힘” 입어 계속 기도 했을 때 드디어 1982년 8월에 미국 L.A.에 UCLA 법대 석사과정에 당첨이 되었습니다. 그래서 다니던 직장을 그만두고 그 해 여름에 UCLA에 유학생 선교사로서 나가게 되었습니다.

Part Ⅲ. 제자들이 나가 두루 전파할 새 주께서 함께 역사하사(마가복음 16:20)
1982년 여름에 UCLA 기숙사에 제가 동역자와 아이들보다 6개월 먼저 도착하여 기숙사 방에서 의자만 놓고 저 혼자 첫 예배를 드렸습니다. 그때 무슨 말씀을 전했는지 기억이 안 나요. 그러나 뭔가 말씀을 전했는데요. Fully Message를 써서(6page 정도로 기억되는데요) 전하고 혼자 광고도 하고 헌금도 하고 기도도 했습니다. 하나님은 참으로 기이하신 분인데요. 얼마 전에 Shannon Livingston 형제가 자기 집으로 저를 초청해서 가봤는데 제가 그때 UCLA 학교 창고 책임자한테서 강대상 하나를 Donation (기부, 기증)받아 강대상으로 쓰기 시작했는데 그 강대상을 이 형제가 아직까지 보관하고 있더라고요. 하도 신기해서 그 강대상을 가운데 놓고 사진을 찍었습니다.

이렇게 UCLA 학생 기숙사에서 시작한 이래 Center를 여러 번 옮겼습니다. UCLA에서도 다섯 번 정도 옮겨가고 1980년대 후반에 UCLA에서 Long Beach로, 2000년 초에는 Long Beach에서 현재 Downey로 옮겼습니다. 금년이 2013년인데 벌써 30년이 지났습니다. 그동안 한국 선교 본부 동역자님들을 비롯해서 많은 분들이 기도해주셨습니다. 하나님의 은혜 가운데 귀하신 선교 동역자들도 보내주셨고요. 지난 30년 동안 하나님께서는 선교 동역자들이 저의 LA Center에서 일정기간 동역하다가 West L.A.(Paul Chin & Dr. Abraham Moses), San Diego(Dr. David & Ester Shin), EL Camino(경성의 John & Grace Baik), Cemitos(Dr. Abraham & Sarah Jeong of KwangjooⅢ), Glendale(안암의 Abraham Glen & Anna Kim), COD(David & Joy Kim) of Chicago, North Western Univ.(경성의 Dr. David & Praise Cho), UC Davis (종로의 Abe & Suzie Yoon), Seattle(경성의 Abraham & Sarah Song), NIU (Julie and Kevin Jesmer) Sao Paulo, Brazil(Nathan & Ataiena) 등지로 나아가 주의 말씀을 전파하게 도와주셨습니다.

현재 저희 LA UBF Center에서는 12개 Campus를 섬기고 있고 장년 120명 유년 120면 약 240명 안팎의 주일예배가 되고 있고요. 지난 3월말 봄수양회에는 140명 참석자 중 14명 새 양이 동참하고 지난 4월 셋째 주 주일에는 12명 세례식이 있었습니다. 그리고 이번에 한국에 오는 비행기 안에서 세어보니 지난 30년간 36개의 믿음의 가정을 세우게 도우셨는데요. 매년 한 가정 이상씩 주례를 한 셈입니다.

저는 지난 30년 역사를 마가복음 16:20으로 요약할 수 있다고 봅니다. “제자들이 나가 두루 전파할 새 주께서 함께 역사하사” 여기에 “전파”라는 단어와 “역사”라는 단어가 있는데요. “전파”는 저희 몫이고요, “역사”는 주님의 몫입니다. 저희가 “말씀의 세력”을 받고 우리의 몫을 다할 때 주님께서 생명구원과 제자양성의 “역사”를 이루실 것을 믿습니다.

한마디 “말씀의 세력”

P.S. I invited brother Woo Chul Lee to a dinner fellowship and then to the report. He is the president of the Korean Real Estate Trust Company. He joyfully accepted my invitation. After the report, we took a picture.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Noah was warned in regard to things not yet seen

On May 5, 2013 at 11:00 am I and Rebekah attended a worship service at the Bible center of Yeonhee UBF. The message was on the Noah's Flood in Genesis 7.

I did receive one word: Heb 1:7. In our generation a warning is on us in regard to the things not yet seen, that is, the judgment to come. Jesus is the way out.
2pe 3:4-7

The Day of the Lord will come like a thief.

On coming out of the ark the first thing Noah did was to worship God.

After the message by David Kim one missionary family (Dr. Joonhee Lee dob 8-31-1977, Post Doc at Princeton Univ New Jersey) and his wife Dr. Hyunhwa-Lee, yob 1980, shared life testimonies. Dr. Lee received grace and apostleship during college days. During his post doc era at Princeton this couple opened their apartment in front of the Princeton University campus and fed students. Now student leaders are growing.