31 July 2006

Dong-Soo Ham

Went to a worship hour at Berclair CoC. Shawn’s prayer at the beginning of the service really served to prepare my mind for worship. I wish I had written it down. I did write down a phrase from Dong Soo’s prayer led toward the end of the sermon he gave:

“Take us far beyond what we can imagine.”

*Love* that! His prayer was just after he quoted Ephesians 3:20-21: “ . . . to [God] who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us. To him be the glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” Then, Dong Soo said, “Whatever it is, it can be done . . . through the power and skill that God provides. If God is for us, who can be against us?”

Earlier in his sermon he commented regarding his love for the churches of Christ. Apparently he was once contemplating whether to participate in the Presbytarian denomination, which is very common in S. Korea, or the churches of Christ, which make up like 0.5% of Christian claimants. He said something like:

"I love the simplicity . . . the restoration plea . . . the openness to unity . . . the leaders' passion in the early days of the movement . . ."

I also took note that he said, "I am weak . . . and short in many ways."

This was his farewell address to the Berclair CoC since he and Myung-Hee, Joon, and Jimina are all moving to Texas for six months and then re-entering S. Korea. So he told them: "You treated my family as brothers and sisters . . . You put up with my clumsy speaking . . . And you gave my family a pounding! a baby shower! and many gifts and cards!"

He also said, just before the Ephesians 3 quotation above, "I'm going back to Korea . . . I have tried to hide from the voice that says, "You should go back to Korea," but I will listen now . . . I can't be a coward anymore. I need to be courageous."

And then, of course, he prayed, "Take us far beyond what we can imagine."

29 July 2006

Questing is Perplexing, but Good

Have you ever heard of this Dr. Collins guy? It looks like he believes in God, creation, evolution, and the joy of studying it all. When I read his responses on PBS I thought, "He says what I wish I could say, but I don't have his credentials," and I also thought, "Yeah! I experience science as worship, too."

I've always thought science is kind of like wisdom. Wisdom can't figure everything out and neither can science, right? But I think both are gifts from God as ways to enjoy being perplexed by Him (see Ecclesiastes, written by "The Questor").

I'm not all that bright, but I've just always thought about (supposed) conflicts between science and Christian faith . . . since eighth grade at least. Lane B. turned around after Mr. Stone had filled the chalkboard with all this evolution mumbo-jumbo to, as he put it, "elaborate briefly" on some scientific points. I was sort of a believer at that point of my life--had observed in churches of Christ a lot of things both positive and negative on my life and made no plans of escaping--but I had yet to take the big plunge and admit I was a sinner in front of anyone who knew me. I knew other kids at school assumed that since I went to church more than twice a year, I must be a Christian, so I felt a little nervous with Mr. Stone's brief elaborations even though I was quite comfortable in my faith in God. (My parents provided a good context for me to reflect for myself on what Genesis 1 and 2 mean/t.) But class was silent that day. Few students turned around to talk or make faces or pass notes.

Everyone wanted to talk about what we had heard from Mr. Stone, but only Lane spoke up: "Man, is this stuff true? I thought God created everything?" Several students said, "I don't know," and quickly left for their next class. Then one girl pointing to me said, "Ask him. He goes to church." I swallowed in the face of the pressure. Lane said, "Well . . . what do you believe?" I think I kind of knew what I believed, but, afraid of being looked down on by other "church people" in the room, I mumbled, "Huh?" as if I wasn't even really thinking about it, and then, "I don't know." Lane just stood there (all 77 inches of him--he hadn't even grown much since 4th grade when I . . . don't like to brag, but I tagged him out at home plate when he had nearly hit the third home run off me). He just stood there in the classroom still perplexed. In recent years though, Lane's sister got married to my good friend from third grade, Chad S., and Lane was in the wedding which took place at MetroChurch in Stillwater. I used to drive past that building everyday. It was between my house and almost every school I went to until University. Lane's perplexion still allowed him to go on and live life. I assume his perplexion didn't prevent God from being pleased with him.

It's perplexing to me that the most perplexing things in life can wait on answers (actually, they have to wait). No one has to understand God, or even the human genome for that matter, before they can go to a wedding and participate in everyday relationships.

To me, whether I believe God exists or not doesn't affect me very much. But the path I've chosen behind the Christ of our Scriptures affects my life and all my relationships a great deal. This may not make much sense to anyone else . . . but I'm just processing some things so please bear with me. I think God considers me his child even if I only have 0.001% faith (mustard seed size?) in Him. But if I have 100% faith in Him and yet deny His rule in my life and relationships . . .

Ironically, I've just been puttin off the everyday(night) activity of sleep in order to reflect on these perplexing things. What a fool I am! But my conclusion: Questing is better than too much sleep. Ha!

28 July 2006

blue whale

I thought this was an impressive image. I'm terrified of sharks because I expect that if I was near one it would tear my body apart. If I was near a blue whale I would definitely be afraid, but in a different way. Somehow, even though I think they are peaceful animals, I'm sure my heart would be pounding from fear.

On another note . . . It's amazing what whales can do to communicate without human technology:

"The loudest sound ever recorded from an animal was produced by a blue whale, and some scientists have speculated that they may be able to remain in touch with each other over hundreds of miles." whale info

27 July 2006

To Mom and Dad

An Odd End, A Crest on Waters

I tend to think more of myself than I think of God's world. I'm really just an odd end. I'm only a nook. Simply a cranny. But I tend to show off my bells and whistles. So it made me feel good when the residents assistant of C dormitory, who was Hulk-size, used to call me "big JW". I was finally noticed! It was about that time I started playing my songs for people. I don't know what purpose my songs and stories serve except to make people feel bigger. Ideally, that's great; but apparently, according to my habits, making people feel bigger isn't always priority. What's usually considered priority is what makes *me* feel bigger.

I always wanted to be a big person to whom people would say, "Hey, we need you to help us pick up this piano [or cow] and put it in the back of this truck because you're big and strong!" But when I was a little student an innocent teacher told me, "Jason, you're skinny!" In effect, I realized I wasn't considered *big*. Despite my teacher's innocence, I've been stained by the *skinny* statement. So, you might see me doing and writing things to *look* *big* in your- รง ∂,∂ -eyes even though I really just want to present life the way it is and me the way I am.

I intend to think outloud on this blog, not as much about myself as about God's world. You'll get a sense of the everyday people I've got my eye on and what their hands and their heads are doing and thinking. You'll see some of the crooked things I notice, and some of the generosities touched. You'll get some of my family things and signs of things that I love and things that bug me, too. I intend to present things as they are, so correct me if I'm wrong. I'm not as big as I am.

I hope you see the Truth,
At work within it all.
Bigger and more generous than me or you.
We're crests on the waters,
Some big, mostly small,
And he's the entire ocean,
All in all.