Archive for October, 2009

As I’ve been taking a class on 1 & 2 Samuel, one of the themes that struck me was God’s mercy for his people.  One prime example is in the story of David and Bathsheba.  David commits adultery with this beautiful women, and in an attempt to “cover up his sin” he murders her husband and takes her as his wife.  David seems to have gotten off the hook, but God does not turn a blind eye to injustice, even from his anointed.  God judges David by decreeing that the sword will never depart from his house (2 Sam. 12:10).  What ends up happening is David’s first son with Bathsheba dies.

The story shifts and it is here where we see God’s mercy displayed.  After David’s son dies, he makes love with Bathsheba and she gives birth to her second son, Solomon.  His name means, beloved of God or God loved him.  He ends up becoming king after David’s death.  God extends his hand of mercy to have the very marriage that was formed from sexual sin and murder, to produce the next king of Israel.  Not only is this astounding, but Jesus’ comes from Solomon’s line.  Our Lord and Messiah has in his family heritage this tragic story of deception, lust and murder .  Yet, God chose to use Solomon to display that God truly is the redeemer.  He brings what was meant for evil and turns it to good.  Thank you LORD for your great mercy.

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Orange team was up for a doubleheader coming into week 7 of the IHOP basketball league.  Coming from a loss to Grey team, we were ready to turn our 3-2 record into more W’s.  Our first game was against the physical Blue team, which Orange had beat handidly in the preseason.  However, Blue did not want what happened then, to occur again.  They came out to an early lead, hitting five three pointers.  At the end of the half, Blue was leading.

At the second half, Orange team began to catch up but were unable to execute in the last few minutes of the game.  Blue ended up winning by three points handing Orange their third loss of the season. 

The next game of the doubleheader was against the Purple One thing team, who were ranked 2nd.  We were up against a challenge as they came out playing physical, grabbing rebounds and taking an early lead.  We attempted to match their hustle and were able to stay close where Purple was only up by three points at the half. 

We made a few adjustments in the roster, which helped Orange to a ten point lead at the start of the second half.  However, we turned the ball over and were unable to stop their dribble penetration to the basket and they clawed their way back into the game.  With 1:30 left, the game was tied.  Our point guard was able to get in the lane and scored a lay-up to give us the lead.  Orange team was able to hold on and won the game 44-39.  It was a good victory for the team and helped keep the morale up after losing the previous two games.  Next week we play Yellow team.

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Many times the importance of a particular theme in the bible is highlighted through repetition.  This seems to be the case in Gen. 1 where the phrase, “And God saw that it was good” recurs multiple times.  After creating distinct parts of the earth, He saw that it was good.  In other words, He took delight in it and was happy about it.  God’s emotional disposition towards the earth and all that is in it is primarily delight.  When He looks upon creation, He does not take a deep sigh and pull up sleeves in a reluctant resignation.  But He is smiling and delighted over what He made.

What a simple yet profound truth, that God is happy about the world.  This is especially striking because God created the world incomplete.  The birds and animals were instructed to multiply and fill the earth.  Humanity was also instructed to subdue the earth, meaning that there was still work to be done to cultivate the land to be more inhabitable.  Thus, God’s creation was a “work in progress.”  Yet, He still was happy about it and delighted over it. 

As I thought about this truth, I was struck that God in the same way delights over me even in my incomplete state.  I am filled with brokeness and series of problems to long to list, but God is happy with me and sees me as “good.”  What an amazing perspective, that the God who’s disposition towards the earth is happiness, looks upon me in the same way.  He delights over me before I produce anything or do anything.  He delights over me even before “I reach that perfect state.”  Thank you God for who You are!

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This is start of my series on the “Acts of God” with the purpose of centering the hearts of believers in some of the core acts that reveal who God is.  Therefore,  I’ve started from the beginning with creation.

From the overflow of God’s heart, He creates.  God was not bored one day and decide, “oh it would be fun to create the world and have people to play with,” but from an ecstatic heart of love He made.  It takes a pretty secure person to create something and then evaluate it afterwards as good, but that is what God does.  He creates from His secure identity within the Trinity and creates.  From the inspiration of the love between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, God made the heavens and the earth.  This is the foundation for Christianity: God is the Creator of all things. God is not a passive God, but He speaks, sees, creates, blesses, and makes.  These verbs are repeatedly used throughout Genesis 1 and show that He is actively engaged with the process of creation.  God loves to “get His hands dirty” and be near.  These are just a few thoughts that I have concerning creation.  Feel free to give me your thoughts on what creation means to you.

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I have been fighting sickness for a couple of days now and I’ve discovered what I tend to do to try and overcome it.  First, I start to get a little depressed because sickness disrupts the normal flow of my life.  I don’t have as much energy to complete the tasks that I have and I become less socially active.  These factors lead to me feeling more down.  In lieu of being sick, I try and rest more.  The past two days I’ve slept from 10-12 hours.  I also drink more liquids to get more hydrated.  I also eat ramen because its fast, easy and feels nice and warm.  Normally I’m not as hungry when I’m sick, so eating ramen is better for me.  I take medicine and vitamin C’s to try and boot my immune system.  Lastly, I watch movies b/c I feel too tired to do anything else.

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Yesterday, we had our first Korean EM Harp and Bowl at IHOP.  Harp and Bowl is the intercessory worship model that IHOP uses, which utilizes music and prayer together.  It comes from Rev. 4-5 where the harps are playing at the same time the bowls of prayers are being filled up.

There is a deep need for an increase in the spirit of prayer both in Korea and in the Korean churches in America.  Many of them are looking to IHOP to lead the way in how to sustain prayer and also be enjoyable.  Therefore, having the Korean Harp and Bowl meeting yesterday was a historic day as many Koreans will be coming to be encouraged that this kind of prayer is not only possible, but fun.

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I want to start a new blog series on some of the things that I have been meditating on concerning the knowledge of God.  Many times God can seem very mystical and far off (I mean come on, He’s invisible!), but getting to know Him is actually more concrete and historical that we realize.  God acted in significant events through history which reveal who He is in a dramatic way.  In a way it is like any meaningful relationship.  We have the day to day interactions, but there are special moments like birthdays, vacations, weddings, etc. that we remember and cherish and ground our relationships in.  This is very much the same with God and his interactions with humanity.  There are significant marking points where he “unveiled” who He was in a new way.  By grounding ourselves in these “acts of God” we begin to have more faith and believe that God will also act on our behalf in the present.  In a way, God becomes more real as we remember what He has done in the past.

Therefore, I will be going through some of my favorite “acts” that ground me in what biblical Christianity is all about.  These include the Trinity, Creation, Exodus, Covenants, Incarnation, Life and ministry of Jesus, the Crucifixion, Resurection, the Ascension, the giving of the Spirit, and the return of Jesus!  I look forward to going on this journey with you!

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