Sunday, June 16, 2013

Korea update 1

Dear Friends.

Following are posts regarding this trip to Korea.  I realize Facebook is not everybody's favorite social medium, but it is awfully convenient as I can update with prayer requests, photos, and video instantly. Sooooo, I hearby invite you to my Facebook page and track the trip and if you're not my friend already (ok....I can hear groans and jokes abound)  I'll send another update up....sometime.

Bless you my Facebook Friends...(and others too)

During the evening service I shared out of John 1.... In the beginning was the Word.
One of the women in the church has family in North Korea and just a few days ago heard that her mother, father, brother have all died of starvation in the last week. Some of the leaders in the church and myself gathered around to support her and pray for her after the service. I will see her tomorrow again, and I wonder if any of you have words of encouragement for her? She is a godly woman and serves faithfully in the church yet she believes this tragedy can be a testimony of Gods mercy and love.
Just leave comments for "Mary" and I'll read them to her tomorrow.

With Pastor Deborah Oh and David Deuk Keun Park at lunch before meetings. If you know Korean food you know its the best in the world. When you look at this you can smell it can't you? Carlene Dahlman will be thrilled to hear that in the first meeting I preached the entire service in a song. 35 minutes worth. The worship team accompanied me and had of course no rehearsals as it was all spontaneous. Crazy good!

After eight hour bus ride to Vancouver British Columbia and two plain segments totaling 19 hours I finally arrived yesterday evening in beautiful but hot and extremely humid Seoul South Korea. My friend of over eight years Pastor David Park greeted me once again. This is latest picture of their family. Love them much and would prefer staying with him than the fanciest hotel in Korea! Speaking this afternoon at Shalom Mission church 3 and 7 PM and tomorrow morning in their morning and afternoon services. Korean instant style coffee and salad is typical breakfast. Yeah!

"It is amazing to me that some Christians think that God is only good when we are good, and that if we are doing bad, He is going to judge us or be angry with us. What's that all about?! I think it would just make Him too human for words. God isn't like us and He has no plans to be. He just loves being who He is!"
This Graham Cooke quote confirms God's goodness in the story I wrote called The Green Chair:

The green chair sits in a far corner of our portable classroom. We are isolated from the rest of the middle school because life for these students is overwhelming. Teachers and assistants are challenged with "behavior issues", and when students feel out of control are encouraged to sit in the green chair. Educational experts define it as a "decompression zone". We are an island of misfit toys.
This September, I took a 3 day assignment to substitute that has lasted over 3 months. Progress is slow. Improvement difficult to measure. All of the staff care deeply and I began to see students through eyes of Jesus. They became modern day equivalents of Peter, James, and John.
Imagine my surprise on a recent Friday I noticed the green chair had remained vacant the entire day! Monday was much the same. WOW! Breakthrough! Time to rejoice! School administration gave us permission and even promised to pay for a Pizza party. (The modern day version of killing the fatted calf)
Then the very next day, we crashed. Total blowout. Failure, regression, set back, discouragement, and extreme disappointment. Sadly I began to make plans to cancel the party. The Green Chair was once again occupied on a regular basis.

That night the Lord gently whispered to me:
Lord: Why cancel a celebration because of failure?
I argued: We are trying to teach the importance of consequences for bad behavior.
Lord: Since when did you deserve consequences for bad behavior? Do you remember the Father running to embrace the prodigal son? No consequences for bad behavior there.

We celebrate Christmas as Joy coming to the world. The cross became the answer for our collective bad behavior. All bad behavior....past, present, and future. Truth be told, we all need green chair time. Time to reset and to remember.
So next Tuesday we are having a massive pizza celebration. Not because kids managed to stay out of the green chair. But because we celebrate their originality, creativity, and brilliance.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Love This Book

Shortly, I will be receiving a review copy of God’s Favorite Place on Earth by Frank Viola. The book released May 1st and stayed in the top # 50 on for 8 straight days. There’s a lot of buzz about this book on the Web, and I’ll be writing a review after I read it.

Here are a few interesting nuggets about the book.

* It’s been recommended by 47 Christian authors, including John Ortberg, Jack Hayford, Leonard Sweet, Tricia Goyer, Mary DeMuth, Greg Boyd, Todd Hunter, Jon Acuff, Phil Cooke, and many others.

* There is an interesting video trailer for the book that introduces it.

* The book tells the story of Jesus in the little village of Bethany and the amazing things that happened there through the eyes of Lazarus. It combines biblical narrative, dramatization, theological insights, and nonfiction devotional teaching. It argues that “Bethany” was God’s Favorite Place on Earth and explains how every Christian and every church can be “Bethanys” today for God.

* The book addresses 18 specific struggles that Christians face today and offers hope, challenge, and fresh insight.

You can check all of this out at God’s Favorite Place on Earth and get the book on discount.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Korea 2013

Last Saturday evening a dozen or so of us gathered to enjoy each other and listen to the Lord together for upcoming events.  Later this week, I will travel to Korea for the first time in over a year.  There has been a burning message in my heart about true spiritual unity and a fresh revelation of grace that I want to bring to my friends.  As folks prayed for me this is literally a transcription of what was prayed: and willingness to release the message in obedience... hands with regard to schedule and every divine appointment...
..favor with leaders and churches..
..walking in the daily light of the revelation of God's grace..

John 17
revelation of unity with an open heart and open ears.  You have spoken about unity in this passage that this message of hunger for real unity would be happening even now.  When one church or one believer struggles all are affected.  A new baptism of love that would break down walls which keep leaders from relating and loving one another.

After these prayers, I felt the beginnings of the spiritual song which summarizes everything.  Here are the lyrics and perhaps one day I'll sing it for you live!  

How Can the Arms Say I Am Not Part of the Body?
How Can the Hands Say I Do Not Belong?
How Can a Foot Say I Am Not Wanted? 
How Can the Heads Say I Am Not Part of 
What the Father Has Created for Kingdom Glory to Be Revealed!

Lord Let Us See the Parts All Together
Lord Let Us See the Unity of Faith
One Heart One Voice One Mind and One Body
All for the Glory of Kingdom Revealed

Thank you for praying for this trip.