Archives for category: college

One of my favorite questions these days comes from Charles Lee:

How can we become a better expression of God’s love to the world?

When I came across this story about Sub Pop Records giving away college scholarships, I was both encouraged and challenged.

Encouraged, because I love the indie/punk DIY spirit — with this scholarship, Sub Pop is helping to foster music, creativity and the arts in the lives of three young people from the Pacific Northwest. Punk, to me, is not about three-chords and an attitude; it’s thinking differently about and making a difference where you live.

I am also challenged to deeply consider what kind of church I hope to be a part of and to help pastor — one whose community is better off because we are here.  I’m not only talking about funding scholarships or other humanitarian efforts (although, if we’re honest, the church in general could probably do a whole lot more of that) but fostering a spirit of generosity and creativity that reflects the head-spinning generosity and creativity of our God.

We want to become a church who serves, loves, prays for and is a good neighbor to those around us. We want to give more than we take, to bless more than we are blessed, and to become a better expression of what the love of God in Christ actually looks like.

A Bigger Gospel

Reducing the entirety of the Gospel to the idea that Jesus died so that I can go to heaven has had some unfortunate consequences. Certainly, Christ died on the cross, bearing the weight of our sins upon Himself so that we can enter into right relationship with God. However, by behaving as if Jesus is essentially a get out of jail free card, we end up with Christians who can make statements like this:

Christ does not call Christians to ‘make the world more compassionate and a better place’. Christ calls us to proclaim the Gospel message of Christ Crucified for sinners. This message is not compatible with any other religion or spirituality.

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We have officially launched our new community here in San Diego: United Presbyterian Church!

Personally, it has been a tumultuous past several months — lots of soul searching, seeking after God and wrestling with some tough questions. In many ways, the struggle still continues — but I’m hoping that just as art is often born of pain, something beautiful could arise from this difficult season.

While we embrace our roots as the English Ministry of Korean United Presbyterian Church, we dream of becoming a missional people who are united with Jesus as individuals and as a diverse community, and to God’s purposes in the world.

If you are in the San Diego area, we invite you to come join what God is doing here at United!

Our website is still in a sort of beta-ish mode, but you can take a peek over at Below is a graphic I designed to capture the heart of where we think God is leading us.

While I wish I could have heard the messages from David Gibbons, Peter Cha and Ken Fong from this past weekend’s San Diego Asian American Leadership Conference (by all accounts, they delivered fantastic messages), my responsibilities there precluded my ability to sit in on the main sessions there. While I didn’t have an official title, I think Childcare Second Assistant Volunteer would pretty much summarize my role.

Much love to James, Dora and Steve for putting in so much hard work & prayerful effort into this amazing conference. When my wife and I came on board to help out in whatever ways we could, we realized that one of the most important things we could offer would be childcare — thus freeing the post-college family set to attend. It was really great to hear during a dinner chat with Joon Han that, for some people there, SDAALC was the first conference they had attended in years — specifically because childcare was available. My wife did a wonderful job preparing a great kids’ program with limited resources, and we had some really wonderful volunteers help out. I was there to provide box-moving and audio/visual tech support (and to hold multiple crying infants simultaneously).

I recorded my seminar, Asian American Identity + Postmodern Culture, on my little MP3 player. If I figure out how to upload it (and if it seems worthwhile), then maybe I will get around to posting it here. I was humbled that anyone showed up at all, and I sincerely hope that it was beneficial in some way for those who were there.

Another SDAALC note: it was great to see that True Story: A Christianity Worth Believing In, by James Choung, was not only available but was sold out by the end of the conference. Check out The Big Story and The Big Story, Part 2 videos James made based on ideas from this book — they are great resources for postmoderns who struggle with sharing their faith in Jesus in a concise, compelling way with others. These short clips (each one is only about three minutes) are also powerful for those of us who were raised in the church believing in the Western, individualistic, consumer-mindset, fire-insurance Jesus who died just for me (and that’s about it) instead of the Christ whose life, death and resurrection make the story of redemption, restoration, healing and rescue possible — in our individual lives, our relationships, families, communities and for the nations and the world.


The next couple of months look like they’re shaping up to be a great time for Asian American ministry gatherings here in Southern California. There’s the AALC gathering up in Los Angeles right after Easter and the San Diego Asian American Leadership Conference coming up in April. My wife and I have enjoyed being on the planning team for SDAALC.

I have been doing some design work for SDAALC, trying to pull together all of the visual elements in a cohesive, compelling manner — including the website header above. The website is temporary, but includes most of the important information (date, location, speakers, etc.). Next up is putting together a brochure that we can begin passing around to churches, fellowships and individuals who are interested. Hopefully, the brochures will be ready to go within the next couple of weeks.

At the end of this month, my wife and I will be attending the National Pastors Convention here in SD. I’m looking forward to hearing from NT Wright, John Ortberg, Phyllis Tickle and Scot McKnight, among many other wonderful speakers. An added bonus: DJ Chuang will be in town for part of NPC, so I’m looking forward to hanging out with him again (we got to hang out a bit this weekend while DJ was in SD).