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Practical Ways To Give

We've talked a bit about giving in our sermon series the past few weeks, so you might be wondering, "ok--so how can I practice and grow in giving?" 

The Old Testament will tell you that God had the Israelites consider giving their time and wealth to two general categories: Spiritual Flourishing, (through giving to the Levite priests,) and  Physical Flourshing, (through giving to the sojourner, widow, and the orphan.) God is saying--it's not enough to just give to one--your love through generosity needs to be considering a wholistic approach to caring for others. 

I wanted to share a few of our...

When Life Gets Wild, God is Good

Hello Church,

Elder Matt here. As our church’s 7th annual Summer Saturday Program is fast approaching, it is important that we remember how our Lord Jesus Christ considers and sees the children.

In Luke 9:46-48, Jesus’s disciples are arguing who amongst themselves is the greatest. Jesus responds by taking a child by his side and says,

“Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. For he who is least among you all is the one who is the greatest.”

Jesus is saying that whoever loves the low, the poor, the sick, the widowed, the suffering,...

Lent 2019: Embracing Death in the Land of the Living

was crucified, died, and was buried.

— The Apostles’ Creed

Recently, I have been thinking a lot about human flourishing. What makes a human flourish? What does real flourishing look like? One prominent Korean scholar and writer made a keen observation that one tragic reality of this world is that people don’t think about death anymore. He thinks it’s tragic because human flourishing takes place when we truly embrace death. I deeply agree with him but how do we embrace this truth? 

Our family watched a fascinating documentary about Pacific salmon a few weeks ago. One amazing fact I learned is...

Lent 2019: Flushing Art Tours / Part 3

This is part 3 of a 3-part series.

Please see part 1 for context.

I recently started a project called “Flushing Art Tours” in which I invite other Asian/Asian American Flushing residents to share their perspective on the neighborhood and engage in different hands-on ways to slow down, observe and reflect. I invite one person who then invites another person forming a small group of three. Each person chooses a place in Flushing that is significant to them for any reason, and then at the site they lead an activity that helps the group share in that person’s perspective. For this Lenten season, I...

Lent 2019: The Lamb Has Overcome

Have you ever had a great conversation with friends about what they’ve given up for Lent, all while hoping they don’t ask you the same? Or cringed in the awkward silence when they do ask, and you’re forced to admit you’ll still be consuming processed sugar and/or social media all through Easter? Have you ever wondered if your friends or church leaders secretly judge you as a heathen for not fasting? I have done all of these things―because I didn’t give up anything for Lent.

To be completely honest, Lent caught me by surprise this year. After a few days of berating myself and brainstorming...

Lent 2019: Flushing Art Tours / Part 2

This is part 2 of a 3-part series.

Please see part 1 for context.

I recently started a project called “Flushing Art Tours” in which I invite other Asian/Asian American Flushing residents to share their perspective on the neighborhood and engage in different hands-on ways to slow down, observe and reflect. I invite one person who then invites another person forming a small group of three. Each person chooses a place in Flushing that is significant to them for any reason, and then at the site they lead an activity that helps the group share in that person’s perspective. For this Lenten season, I...

Lent 2019: Learning Helplessness, Cue to Rest

I had once read an opinion piece from the NYTimes: a personal account in a German hospital that was more or less a commentary on America’s overuse of painkillers — and even more profoundly on the function of pain. She was preparing for a hysterectomy and was asking (or pleading) her physicians for any prescription of painkillers. Beyond the ibuprofen, of which she complained was for headaches and not organ removals, she was prescribed rest, tea, and drinking coffee slowly. The philosophy was to tune in to the discomfort, since they are important cues from the body to rest and recover.

The most...

Lent 2019: Flushing Art Tours / Part 1

I recently started a project called “Flushing Art Tours” in which I invite other Asian/Asian American Flushing residents to share their perspective on the neighborhood and engage in different hands-on ways to slow down, observe and reflect. I invite one person who then invites another person forming a small group of three. Each person chooses a place in Flushing that is significant to them for any reason, and then at the site they lead an activity that helps the group share in that person’s perspective. For this Lenten season, I’ll be sharing the contents of the first walk of the project with...

Lent 2019: Wretched Man that I Am

I have a tendency to start things enthusiastically but not finish strong; like a match that burns brightly when first lit but quickly dies down to an ember. Along with others at church, I decided to give up something for Lent. The first few weeks were exciting as we shared with one another about our fasts. But now as we enter the fourth week of Lent, I feel the adrenaline wearing off and it’s not as exciting anymore.

I’ve always loved the rush that came with trying new things or starting new projects. It’s helped me grow in my career where everything is fast moving and you have to adapt to...

Lent 2019: Embracing Lament

We are excited to explore the Lenten season this year as a church. It is a season that postures our hearts for Easter through practices of fasting, prayer, and generosity. Join us as we ruminate in this season together and share reflections every week.

I’ve been experiencing this season of Lent with prayer and fasting against a backdrop of pain, suffering, and grief within our congregation. I’ve spoken to many who are dealing with sickness, depression, loneliness, doubt, discontent, financial instability, violence, marital woes, and loss.

When we deal with pain, usually there are two reactions...