To Obey or Not Obey

She can be really annoying at times. It feels like I continually have to say the same things over and over again, “stop, get down, leave me alone, don’t bite.” I guess she is only a puppy and I should be more understanding. Macie (my puppy) just doesn’t seem to get it sometimes. Sometimes I wonder if she will ever grow up and understand the difference between what I want her to do and what she would rather do.

Every night when me and Charissa head to bed we put Macie into her little kennel. It certainly would be a terrible idea to let Macie have free roam of the house at night. We would most likely wake up to find things chewed, torn and destroyed. We also don’t want to leave her outside in the cold and rainy Oregon weather. Therefore, we put her into her bed for the night. The problem, Macie hates it! It’s not like she is doing much late at night anyways. In fact, most nights as Charissa and I watch TV she sleeps quietly in the room with us, you wouldn’t think it would be a big deal for her to sleep in her bed. When we get up and call her and point to her kennel she rarely comes. Most of the time she plays that game where she stays on one side of the kitchen table and I try to catch her. If I go one way she moves the other. When I try to turn around and go back the other way, she turns around as well. The worst is when she makes it into our bed room and hides under the bed. I’m not really sure how she does it, she’s getting kind of big to fit under there. It is nearly impossible to get her out. I have to reach under the bed and grab her by the feet and drag her out. There are glimpses of hope when she willingly goes to her bed for the night but those are few and far between.

To continue my complaining tirade, she also is in the bad habit of jumping on you. I don’t know how many times I have pushed her off me saying, “Down Macy!” She still jumps right back up. She is getting better about not biting but still has her moments. It drives me crazy sometimes. I just wish she would learn how to be a good dog and not such an annoying one.

The funny thing is (bear with me for a moment) I think I’m a lot like Macie. I wonder if God ever views me like I view Macie. Certainly he doesn’t look at me as annoying and He certainly loves me more than I could ever love a dog. I wonder how many times he has said to me, “stop” and for a moment I quit but eventually I return. I wonder how often I run hiding under the bed thinking that if I can’t see him he must not be able to see me. I see glimpses of hope in my life but I am reminded continually of how rebellious I can be. Does God ever say, “I wish he would just grow up and understand the difference between what he wants to do and what I want him to do.”

Maybe someday I will figure this life out. By the grace of God, I am eternally secure not because of my ability to obey, but Christ’s ability to save. Still, I struggle to do what is right in the eyes of God. Maybe one day, I will learn what it really means to obey. Who knows, maybe even Macie will figure out someday.

Advertisements

A White Guy, Seafood, and Koreans

I am a white guy working in a Korean church. The first question that I get asked by people who find out what I do is, “do you know how to speak Korean?” I always respond with, “no.” I have learned a lot in the past two and a half years working here. I’ve learned a lot about what it means to do ministry, but I have also learned a lot about Koreans.

Every Friday morning there is a moms group that meets for a Bible study here at church. Normally, around noon their Bible study is over and they all go home. Today was different. Together, they cooked lunch and asked me to eat with them. They had cooked a “seafood” soup. I’m not sure what the real name of it was but it was definately seafood and noodles in a bowl. Just for the record, I’m not a real fan of seafood. In fact, my motto is, “if it swims I don’t eat it.” With this in mind, Pastor Paul and I sat down for lunch with a bunch of Korean ladies. I’m pretty must used to being the only white person in the room at these kind of things. In fact, I have come to expect it on a daily basis. The funny thing is, my church knows me too well. They know I don’t like seafood so they offered me a different soup. It wasn’t as spicy and was a lot less seadfoodish. I thought it was really good – it tasted like chicken noodle soup to me. I was happy that I didn’t have to eat something I didn’t really like…but I was a little disappointed when I realized the soup I was eating was really the soup that was made for all the little kids. So, here I was sitting in a room with two tables. One table for the adults, one table for the children. All the children are eating the “chicken noodle soup.” All the adults are eating their “seafood” soup, except for me. I guess if there is one good thing to take away from this story, it is that they didn’t send me to the kids table.

Anyways, I thought it was kinda funny. But I also wanted to add, even though I don’t speak Korean I rarely feel out of place. I may not fully understand what is being said, but language is so much more than just words. I can usually figure out what is going on just by paying attention.

So, I’m thankful to be working in a Korean church. I may not always enjoy the food, but they seem to understand and make sure there is food I will like, even if it is children’s food. I may not understand eveything said, but I can still communicate. God works in amazing ways. If you had asked me 4 years ago if I would be sitting down for lunch on a Friday afternoon in a room full of Koreans to eat seafood soup…I would have laughed and said, “no way!” Now I wonder how I could be doing anything else.

The Hospital

I’m curious by nature. Some find it annoying, my wife does at times. When we are out to dinner she always tells me to quit staring at people. I don’t mean to, I just can’t help but wonder about their lives. Every face has a story to tell, every person a life they have lived.

I’m sitting in the hospital right now in Portland, visiting my sister. Don’t worry, she’s okay, she’s just here for observation and a few tests. She calls it a “vacation in Portland.” I don’t know if I would go that far but I guess it is an escape from the busyness of life. She can’t do much but lay in bed, hooked up to a machine that analyzes her brain.

I ventured out of her room not too long ago in search of food. There is a cafeteria on the first floor and I was hungry. I rode the elevator down, loaded up my tray with french fries and a cheese burger (you think they would make you eat healthier in a hospital. You would also think that being a hospital would make me want to eat healthier – both aren’t true).

Anyways, I got in the elevator holding my tray of food along with a young lady. I can’t help but wonder what her story is. She is clearly a patient in the hospital. She is pushing an IV cart, full of mulitple drugs that are being pushed into her system. I wonder what she’s here for? She punched the button for floor six, same place I was going. We rode up the elevator and got off. I followed her down the hallway. Eventually I got to my sister’s room and walked in but this young lady kept walking. I looked up to see a sign pointing in her direction, it said, “Cancer Ward.”

We had gotten off on the same floor but the life she lives is vastly different than mine. Real people with real stories. Every once in a while an announcement goes over the intercom saying, “rapid response team to level 4.” I can’t help but wonder what that means. I wonder if there are other families in this hospital broken over the pain in thier lives. Real people, real stories. I’m thankful I haven’t spent a lot of time here. But, I can’t help but wonder about the lives of everyone else here. Maybe I’m just too curious…

EPIC

Last night was one of the craziest nights I have ever been a part of at Corvallis Korean Church. The Asian Bible study on campus at OSU, called EPIC, used our building for their fall kick off. It was kind of a joint effort with the EPIC leadership and CKC. The church offered to cook dinner for everyone and EPIC brought their worship team.

Danny Kim and I spent the afternoon setting up all the sound equipment, tables and chairs. Honestly, I was hoping for 40 people to show up….and even then, I didn’t think that many would show up. We set up enough tables and chairs for 64 people and then waited to see who would show up.

The dinner began at 6:30 and the worship time started at 7:30. To make a long story short, by 7:00 there was over 80 people in our little gym. It was absolutely incredible! We barely had enough room for everyone to eat…luckily we had plenty of food. Koreans like to make lots of food…and lots of good food. We had Korean BBQ which was amazing.

After tearing down all the tables we rearranged the room for our worship time. Danny’s worship team did a great job and the guest speaker delivered a great message.

In all, it was an incredible experience. There was more people than I would have ever guessed would show up. Hopefully some of the students will return for church on Sunday.

Here are two pictures from the night, sorry they are such bad quality.

Unashamed

It’s kind of wierd typing into cyber-space. I wonder if anyone will actually read this.

Here is my thought for the day…

Recently we have started singing a new song during our English worship service. For some reason I can’t get it out of my head. It’s called Unashamed and it was originally by a band called Starfield. Here is the words of the chorus…

And I know I’m weak
I know I’m unworthy
To call upon Your name
But because of grace
Because of Your mercy
I stand here unashamed.

I like it for a couple of reasons, mainly because it’s the story of my life. I know that I am weak…even though sometimes I pretend like I am strong and able to guide myself through this maze called life. Ultimately, it is in God’s strength that I am able to live. I know I’m unworthy…even though so often I think I have done something to make my self worthy of salvation. It’s a little bit of selfishness mixed with pride that causes me to think that I deserve all that God has given me. Yet, despite my inadequacies, God accepts me for who I am. Because of grace and mercy I am able to stand before God unashamed. My sin has been wiped away, no more guilt, no more shame. What an incredible thought, even though I am but a man, God allows me to approach him and I have the privilage of worshiping him!

Also….Because I know everyone loves pictures. Here is our worship team practicing before church a few weeks ago. Enjoy.

High School Retreat

Welcome to the new Oneighty Blog! Thanks for stopping by. I’ll to to keep this updated with pictures, news, and my thoughts. Here are a few pictures from our high school retreat this past weekend.

The guys cooked dinner for the girls on Friday night.

This is by far by favorite picture from the whole weekend! I’m not sure what Esther is doing…but it’s pretty funny.

A bunch of us on the beach

Some football

The girls got Daniel a birthday cake to celebrate his 16th birthday

The girls