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a history still in the making

Photo(6)In relation to my work here in South Korea it was my privilege a couple of weeks ago to attend the Grand Opening Ceremony and Dedication for the new headquarters building of the Far East Broadcasting Company (FEBC) located in the thriving metropolis of Seoul.

Dr. Billy Kim is the Chairman of the Far East Broadcasting Company, he is a friend of our school (Taejon Christian International School), and he sent us an invitation to the dedication ceremony.  It was a grand event.

Dr. Kim is a revered pastor, preacher and Christian leader in Korea, the USA and throughout the world.  A significant event in Dr. Kim's personal and professional life was when he had the opportunity to serve as the translator for Billy Graham at the crusade that he held in South Korea in the early seventies.  As Billy Graham proclaimed the Gospel of Jesus Christ to a crowd of 1.1 million people on June 3, 1973, Billy Kim was right next to him, translating every word into Korean.  The rest, as they say, "is history," a history that is still in the making.

I remember as a young boy in the 1970's sitting on the floor in front of our TV set watching the Billy Graham Crusades.  I was enamored with the music and the message given by a preacher that had a presence about him that I admired.  I wasn't a Christ follower then, but I know now that God was at work in my heart, lovingly drawing and wooing me unto Himself.

I became a Christ follower in 1980 and Billy Graham and his message of Jesus Christ has been a significant presence in my life.  He is a part of my history, but his message and ministry isn't a thing of the past.  It is a message of life and hope through Jesus Christ that is still rippling out into the world.  It is a history that is still in the making and maybe it is time for you to become a part of the story.

Take a look at the video below.  Billy Graham is much older, but his message of hope and salvation in Jesus Christ is just the same.  Dr. Billy Kim started out with Billy Graham over 40 years ago and God has blessed him and used him greatly throughout the world.  I know that God wants to use Billy Graham to bless your life too.


My Part...

"O Thou who indwellest in our poor and shabby human life, lifting it now and then above the dominance of animal passion and greed, allowing it to shine with the borrowed lights of love and joy and peace, and making it a mirror of the beauties of a world unseen, grant that my part in the world's life today may not be to obscure the splendor of Thy presence but rather to make it more plainly visible to the eyes of my fellow men."  --John Baillie

A diaryThe above quote is from A Diary of Private Prayer by John Baillie.  This is a book of morning and evening prayers that I have recently incorporated into my devotional life.  I am loving it.  I want to do my part--so I share it with you.

Getting Wisdom and Knowledge





Cry out for...

    Ask for...

        Search for...



Proverbs 2:1-5 (NLT)

My child, listen to what I say,
    and treasure my commands.

Tune your ears to wisdom,
    and concentrate on understanding.

Cry out for insight,
    and ask for understanding.

Search for them as you would for silver;
    seek them like hidden treasures.

Then you will understand what it means to fear the Lord,
    and you will gain knowledge of God.

Doubts and Expectations

Everybody has doubts at one time or another…even John the Baptist.

Matthew 11:1-5 (NIV)
After Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in the towns of Galilee.

When John heard in prison what Christ was doing, he sent his disciples to ask him, "Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?"

Jesus replied, "Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor.” 

“God in Christ doesn’t come among us to meet our expectations, but to save us from our sins.”—Eugene Peterson

We all have a lot of questions and that is ok.  John’s questions in Matthew 11 are spoken from a jail cell.  He is hours away from losing his life and he knows it.  Oftentimes our questions come with expectations of how they should be answered by God.  We must be careful to not let our expectations supersede our faith and trust in the answer—Jesus Christ.

“Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me."  Matthew 11:6 (NIV)

Good Friday

3422375779_7b289f3973_b Here are a few things to reflect upon this Good Friday. The cross of Christ and the empty tomb should not be considered independent of one another. In the cross of Christ and the Resurrection we find a God who truly knows the extent of our sufferings, who redeems us from the pit of our sins and makes us new, now and forever more.

“In the cross of his Son, God took upon himself not only death, so that man might be able to die comforted with the certainty that even death could not separate him from God, but still more, in order to make the crucified Christ the ground of his new creation, in which death itself is swallowed up in the victory of life and there will be ‘no sorrow, no crying, and no more tears’.” (The Crucified God by J. Moltmann)

Finally, please take a moment to listen to the song, "To a Broken God" by Michael Card.  The lyrics are below.  Have a Good Friday.

Didn’t see you there, didn’t know you were weeping too;
I think of tears as a human wound.
Though of course you care, you have shown you were human too;
They say you cried at Lazarus’ tomb.

I was unaware how it is with a broken God;
I thought of you as above my pain.
Lost in my despair, so it is with a broken heart;
I never dreamed you could feel the same.

In a magazine I saw a face,
Wrinkled up in grief and travailed grace.
I kept looking to that face,
Some sad refugee in some sad place;
And in his eyes the sorrow of our race.
And then I saw, it was the face of God,
the face of God, your face dear God.

Some say you’re not there, just a myth for a lazy life;
An artifact from an ancient scroll.
But I have known you near in the gift of a weary sigh;
Lord of the lost and the lonesome soul.

I was unaware how it is with a broken God;
I never dreamed you could feel the same.

You and Me

Charlie and linus It just doesn't get much better than the Charlie Brown Christmas Special. Charlie and that tree of his will forever hold a special and formative place in my heart and life.  I love Linus's simple and heartfelt recitation of Luke 2 in response to Charlie Brown's exasperated cry, "Isn't there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?"  If you haven't watched this classic cartoon yet this year, you should.

I wonder...what would God say in response to the question: "What is Christmas all about?" 

Would God say... trees, Santa, Mary, a manger, a baby, a star, three wise men, angels, shepherds, the Grinch?  I don't think so.Christmas_cross_ball

I think that God would say that Christmas is all about His love for you and me.

Merry Christmas.


"Imagination is the greatest gift God has given us and it ought to be devoted entirely to Him." --Oswald Chambers

Last Saturday I attended an International Festival (I-Fest) that was hosted and sponsored by the International Christian School that I work at here in South Korea. The weather for the event was perfect and the campus was filled with people that were enjoying themselves as they visited the various booths, games and activities that were featured at “I-Fest.”

Dscf3417croppedThere were lots of child focused events at the festival like face painting, a dunking booth, balloon animals, carnival games and even a rickshaw ride. In the midst of all of the festival activities I noticed two cute little kids playing in the dirt. I don’t know if they were building castles or making cakes, but it was evident to me that they had bypassed the alluring world of cotton candy and carnival rides and had entered the indescribable realm of imagination.

As I looked at the children and considered their obvious joy and contentment at playing “make-believe” in the dirt, I couldn’t help but think that they had something that I desperately needed in my own life—imagination.

Imagination is something that adults are all too quick to write off as a childish attribute. The world is too serious. It is a place where rational thinking is deemed reality, all things are explainable, and “pretending” is replaced by materialistic “things” and amusement. As the bells and whistles of “stuff” go off all around, the call of creativity is stifled and imagination is relegated to the realm of entertainment.  This is not how it should be for a follower of Christ. 

Jesus speaks of the necessity of having a childlike faith as it relates to following him.  "Imagination" is a childlike trait that must be realized in the faith of a Christian believer. In Hebrews 11:1 it says, "Faith is being sure of what we hope for and confident of what we do not see."  In other words, it says that Christians are to engage the world of reality around them with a strong dose of hope-filled imagination. 
Throughout the New Testament, the Apostle Paul makes reference to the "mystery" of Christ and to the "mystery" of the Gospel.  Words like "imagination" and "mystery" are not terms that are only reserved for fairy tales and fantasy.  They are integral to the life of a follower of Jesus Christ.  Eugene Peterson says, “For Christians, whose largest investment is in the invisible, the imagination is indispensable, for it is only by means of the imagination that we can see reality whole, in context.”
God is the giver of all good things and the element of "imagination" is a unique and treasured gift that He has given to humankind.  Within the realm of "imagination" the unseen becomes visible, peace is realized in the clamor of the world around, and there is a conception of hope in the unknowing glance at the future.

Just like the little children at I-fest, Jesus played in the dirt too.  Instead of making mud pies, he made mud and healed the blind.  Imagine that...

Backward, turn backward, O time, in your flight,
Make me a child again just for tonight.

--Elizabeth (Akers) Allen


I heard this poem in a sermon this morning and it got me thinking....

"The Merchant of Venice", William Shakespeare

The quality of mercy is not strain'd,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest:
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.
'Tis mightiest in the mightiest: it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown;
His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;
But mercy is above this sceptred sway,
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,
It is an attribute to God himself;
And earthly power doth then show likest God's,
When mercy seasons justice. Therefore, Jew,
Though justice be thy plea, consider this,
That in the course of justice none of us
Should see salvation: we do pray for mercy;
And that same prayer doth teach us all to render
The deeds of mercy.

Jude 1:20-23 (NIV)
But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in God's love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.  Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.

James 2:12-13 (NIV)
Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment!

Matthew 5:7 (NIV)
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.