June and July Update – Leadership transition

Well, the Annual Dongshin picnic was held at Yulha Sports Park for the first time and was a great day in the sun. Around 40 people enjoyed Subway sandwiches, played some team games like kickball and sat around on the grass. The morning had some traditional relay activities like the 3-legged race, water balloon toss and challenges like a human pyramid. After lunch, we also had a tug-of-war which was a hit with the participants (see photos on the Facebook group ‘Dongshin past and present’).

On June 16th we held the Leader’s Retreat at Chimsan Village. This was a great opportunity for the members of each ministry to get together and unify with a clear vision. Pastor Leon who will be taking over from Pastor Andy next month delivered his thoughts for the year ahead and outlined the goals for our church summing it up with the Dongshin One-liner:

“To see English speaking people in Daegu connected to Christ, built up in His ways, and equipped for service in His kingdom.”

If you are interested, you can read the vision statement https://dongshinenglishservice.com/vision-statement/

(or click on English Service from the home page / you can also read about our new pastor here https://dongshinenglishservice.com/ministries/)

In the month of July, we say goodbye to our pastor Andy Gilman and his family (HyunJin, Sienna & Shane) as he is heading to Covenant University to finish his Masters of Divinity in USA. His leadership and stewardship as the first fulltime pastor was outstanding and he put structures in place to create a church organisation that was much needed. His attention to the different ministries has created many areas for people to serve and also has produced a sustainable model as English teachers are traditionally employed for 1 year (so there are less long-term congregants). His preaching was backed up with countless hours of study and prayer. He could explain bible passages easily and then provide some practical application to our current situation which is important for glorifying the kingdom of God. We thank Andy for his dedication and commitment and will be having a special farewell ceremony of June 24th.

Also, we will say farewell to another longterm family “the Prodger’s” who have been serving here for the past 6 years. Karl along with his wife Narina and their girls (Grace, Lily and Isabella) will be moving to Australia in July and their presence will also be missed. Karl has been responsible for co-ordinating the service as well as running the events. He is currently a Deacon along with Ben Trowbridge and these two have always shown a willingness to help as well as connect people in the service. We thank Karl for his dedication and can-do attitude.

Finally, this month we are having the Annual Duckboat Race at Suseong Lake @ 4pm on July 15th. This has been an epic challenge each year and we hope you can join us for some thigh-busting / energy sapping / fun-loving time (watch out for the rowboat pirates). See the events page for further details and we would like you to sign up yourself and friends before the 15th to help with catering. Cost is 10,000 for boats and refreshments.

Newsflash Room change April 3rd

Due to many people worshiping at our English Service, the decision was made to move to be a bigger room and we will now be on the 3rd floor of the same building. Now you have no excuse to use the elevator and we look forward to seeing you there in the new room as of April 3rd at the same time – 2pm.

Peace and blessings

We will be in Room 302 with the foundations class and small groups being allocated to other rooms at the conclusion of the service (to be announced on the day).

Sermon 9th May Freedom to Obey Acts 5:29-32

Main points from the sermon are
We are freed to obey by the Gospel, for God’s Glory with Joy
I. To Obey We Must Have The Spirit of God
II. To Obey We Must Know our Sins are Forgiven
III. To Obey We Must Believe That Jesus Has Been Raised by God and Seated at His Right Hand
Key Quote “The gospel is the whole provision of God from start to finish for everything we lack to glorify and enjoy Him.”

Other bible verses
Romans 8: 6-11 Hebrews 12:1-2 Exodus 9:12, 10:20, 11:10

Discussion questions for small groups / or during the week
1. Do you think it is easier to fear God, or People? Try to give an example with your answer. (Acts 5: 29)
2. Why do you think God wants us to obey Him if we’ve already been forgiven? And what does it mean to obey God anyway? (Beyond “DO THE RIGHT THING”)
3. Describe what obedience in response to God’s mercy is to you? How have you experienced it? How might your experience of grace need to be changed by what we learned from this text today?
4. Can you ever Really Be 100% free from sin? Is it right to expect to be? Is it wrong to not expect to be?
5. Talk with the group about how you might experience freedom from sin with one another and in other areas of your lives. How might you become more real about your sin and more free to obey with Joy.

Final passage to meditate on:
THY MERCY MY GOD LYRICS by Sandra McCracken.
Thy Mercy, My God
1. Thy mercy, my God, is the theme of my song,
The joy of my heart. and the boast of my tongue;
Thy free grace alone, from the first to the last,
Hath won my affections, and bound my soul fast.
2. Without Thy sweet mercy I could not live here;
Sin would reduce me to utter despair;
But, through Thy free goodness, my spirits revive,
And He that first made me still keeps me alive.
3. Thy mercy is more than a match for my heart,
Which wonders to feel its own hardness depart;
Dissolved by Thy goodness, I fall to the ground,
And weep to the praise of the mercy I’ve found.
4. Great Father of mercies, Thy goodness I own,
And the covenant love of Thy crucified Son;
All praise to the Spirit, Whose whisper divine
Seals mercy, and pardon, and righteousness mine.
All praise to the Spirit, Whose whisper divine
Seals mercy, and pardon, and righteousness mine

Have a blessed week, don’t forget the church picnic on May 30th.

Why does this surprise you? (March 14th Sermon)

Acts 3: 10-26

v. 12 “When Peter saw this, he said to them: ‘Men of Israel, why does this surprise you?  Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk?”

Andy highlighted this question in his sermon on Acts 3 and proposed the same question to us today: Why are we surprised by God? Why are we surprised that God would do amazing things for his glory?

I had a short, interesting conversation with my sisters in a taxi after church about how even though we ought to expect God to do great things, we never cease to be surprised when he does them.  Is it wrong to be surprised by God’s works?  We are often amazed at his goodness and surprised by his methods.  In his sermon, Andy juxtaposed the surprised reactions of the believers at Pentecost with the non-believers at the Beautiful gate and showed us that the difference between the two was a difference of faith versus skepticism.

Peter seems to rebuke the men of Israel on account of their skepticism.  Instead of trusting in the Lord’s wondrous works, they were choosing to attribute the miracle to men like Peter and John.  Peter says, “Why do you stare at us as by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk?”  Then he reminds them that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is always glorifying himself and glorified himself through Jesus. God was reconciling the world to himself through his work in the crippled man.

While God’s methods sometimes surprise us, we shouldn’t be surprised to see evidence that God is good.

Just as God’s goodness shouldn’t surprise us, our sinfulness shouldn’t come as a shock either.  We shouldn’t be surprised to find that we, just like the killers of Christ, tend to choose life over death.  Peter said, “You disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you.”

I realized this week how I often make choices that favor death over life.  I complain at work instead of thanking God for my job and breathing words of encouragement to those around me.  I choose to spend hours on trite entertainment when I haven’t yet spoken to my Creator for the day.

Later, I realize that these actions favor cheap pleasure or true riches that we can have by obeying Jesus.  In v. 19, Peter says to repent and turn to God–to wipe out sin, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord. Though we chose the murderer instead, the author of life could not be killed.  God raised him back up!  Isn’t that sweet?

Conquering the cobra: March 7th sermon

I was grateful to listen to pastor Gwon’s sermon for a long time. The most memorable

part of the sermon was the video clip of the mongoose, which is just 40cm long, attacking

the cobra, which is 4m long and winning.  We are really small ones compared to this wide

world, but we can win against the world through the life of Jesus Christ and with help from

the Holy Spirit dwelling in our mind. But we need exercise and train to overcome the

world like mongoose who got tough through training from his parents to fight cobra.

“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the father is

not in him. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will

of God lives forever.”(1John 2:15,17)

As believers, it is good exercise to not love the world, but love God and do his will.

As the mongoose killed the cobra, I hope we finally win against the world by excercising not to love the value

of the world and culture, but love only God every day.  –Insights from Lee Sung Hak

Crippled without Christ: February 28 sermon reflection

Having a lot of changes thrown my way this past year has made me even more phlegmatic than I usually am, but I still have my own few preferences of what I want in my life. I’ve also surprised myself by how demanding my spirit can be at times when I think I don’t care that much about something I may desire. Over a year ago in my hometown, Flint, Michigan I was becoming fairly miserable around Christmas time. I was bored, hated my job (even though I was focused in my field of study), and wasn’t sure what I wanted. I tried so hard to establish myself back home as an experienced Graphic Designer and Illustrator. I tried to find comfort in taking responsibility for paying my bills; phone, car, car insurance, and those dreaded, monstrously large college loans! But there was still something lacking. I felt like an American zombie and pretty useless. I get a text one day “dude, wanna go 2 korea with me” – TIPTON. I text back “Probably” – BRANDON. I was at a crossroads in life with really nothing to lose.
So here I am in the “land of the morning calm” for a year already going into a second. Willingly I gave up my life back home for a new experience, new opportunities, try out teaching (English of all things..) and blah blah blah.. To take a run-down of my 2009 adventure: spent a lot of time downtown, met a bunch of cool new people, became involved in Dongshin, and branched outside of my ‘bubble’ when it was uncomfortable for me to do so. Many of these experiences and changes I owe to God because it has built my character and I’ve begun to understand who I am a little more each time. I’ve begun to identify better with Christ during the easy times as well as the rough times in these new experiences.
I may not have completely grasped Andy’s main idea from the sermon last Sunday, but the one thing that stuck out to me was he pointed out that the crippled man sitting outside the temple begging for money only thought he knew what he needed (Acts 3:1-11). When Peter saw him, he said “I don’t have any silver or gold for you. But I’ll give you what I have. In the name of Jesus the Nazarene, get up and walk!”. The man freaked out from pure joy that he could finally walk again and began to run, jump, and dance around the temple.
My story isn’t nearly as rad, but back in the States I was seeking something that I thought I needed to be or act when my heart was screaming for something else, and God knew it. I just chose to ignore it. I’m not saying that my life in Daegu has been a savior to me necessarily because I still don’t have my ducks in a row quite yet, and I know God works no matter where I am in the world. However, it was a step God showed me to help me realize my potential in Him. Mainly because of the pursuit of my potential within the needs of Dongshin. He has found ways for me to be a servant in ways I didn’t ever expect. It continues to be a daily struggle to see the way He sees. I had also become so selfish and angry with God by not receiving what I thought I needed. In the same way humanity presents ill requests to the Father like spoiled children. Sometimes He’s gracious enough to let us be spoiled, other times He makes us learn the hard way. I’m grateful for either, and I may never figure out what I truly want or need in this life, but I know that a life without my Father is definitely something I don’t need. Without God – without being His son – I can never stand up straight, I can never walk, run, jump, or dance.  –Insights from Brandon Inman

Game Night

Stick around on Sunday for some seriously, super board games! (Yes, alliteration intended.)

Who: Anyone!

What: Game Night

Where: Dongshin Church (English Service), Room 501

When: 4:30 p.m. after service

Why: Because we love games, and we love each other!

Bring: 10,000 won for dinner and your own board games to add to the mix!

February 14: Peter speaks out, 3,000 saved

I’ve always thought that Peter was a bit of a wishy-washy character.  Super bold sometimes, but weak at other times.  Jesus calls Simon during the early parts of his ministry, and Peter walks out of his workplace to follow the teacher (Matthew 4: 18-19.) In some of Peter’s bolder moments, he walks on water (Matthew 14:29,) confesses Jesus as Lord (Matthew 16:16,)  and promises to die for Him (John 13: 37.)  At his weaker moments, he falls in the water (Matthew 14:30,) rebukes Jesus (Mark 8:32,) and of course, publicly denies Jesus on the night of his death.  Yet despite Peter’s weaker moments, the Lord chose to make Peter a leader of his people.

In Acts 2, Peter, filled with the spirit, rises to publicly defend the work of the Lord at Pentecost.  It’s appropriate that God chose Peter to speak the words that “cut” 3,000 people “to the heart” and brought them into the kingdom because Peter himself was a living, breathing example of the gospel he proclaimed.

The gospel of Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection for the salvation of the world is not a story of sugar and spice and everything nice.  Instead, Peter’s introduction included a sharp rebuke.  It included “blood and fire and billows of smoke” (Acts 2:19) and an murderous accusation (v. 23.) Peter was a good choice for this job because he knew that he, too, was guilty of killing the Lord.  And we, too, are guilty of putting Christ to death.  Every time we put the things of man ahead of the things of God (Mark 8:33) and every time we take our eyes off the Lord or blatantly deny or relationship with him, then we give evidence to the human stain called sin that nailed Christ to the cross.

However, to suggest human will alone was at play that day would be to overestimate our power as humans and to ignore the sovereign will of God.  Peter does not stop short of acknowledging the divine purposes.  He says that Jesus handed over “by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge” (v. 23.)

Peter fully proclaimed the truth of the gospel.  The gospel wouldn’t be good news if it were a tragedy about innocent blood.  It would not be good news if it were not for this fact:  God sent his son, knowing full well that our sin would send him to the cross, but in the act of death, He would provide redemption for the same wicked men who killed him.  He provided redemption through through repentance and baptism in the name of Jesus Christ.

Peter shared the full gospel because he knew the gospel.  He’d lived the gospel.  God saves wishy-washy people like Peter and like you and I.  Furthermore, God uses wishy-washy people like us to bring his promise of salvation to all–even those “who are far off.”

Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 4: 7 : “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.”  We are ordinary and flawed bearers of an extraordinary treasure–the gospel of Jesus.

–Insights from Sally Calcara

February 7th Sermon: Living by the Spirit

In Ken’s message this past Sunday he talked about two things concerning the Spirit: living by it (Gal. 5:16 and being led by it (Gal. 5:18). The verses that caught me, though, in the passage of Galatians that he was going over was v. 22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” This caught my attention because some passages that God has been put on my heart as I’ve been going through the book of Matthew share this “fruit” theme.

This issue of “fruit” comes up twice in Matthew, as far as I’ve gotten into it. First, John the Baptist warns of the ax being “at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire” (Matt. 3:10). Second, Jesus reiterates this warning in the context of watching out for false prophets (Matt. 7:15-20). He says that, “…by their fruit you will recognize them.” To me, the passage in Galatians 5:16-26 gives clarification of what John the Baptist and Jesus were saying, especially vs. 22-23.

Now, as I have reflected on these passages I’ve also reflected on who I was before I accepted Christ and received the Holy Spirit and who I am now. I marvel at how much God and His Spirit has transformed my life. He has transformed a man whose acts reflected several things of the sinful nature talked about in Galatians 5:19-21, into someone who detests those things and strives to let the Spirit produce in him its fruit. May God be praised!!!

God really is amazing to be able to transform us as we live by His Spirit. It just blows me away. What blows me away even more is that the Holy Spirit is still working on me to produce more of its fruit. There is always room to grow. I know that I learn more and more about love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control as I spend time getting to know God through prayer, meditation on His word and interacting with His creation. I know I don’t produce this fruit all the time, none of us do, but as the closer I grow to Jesus, the easier it seems to be to produce Spiritual fruit. And when I’m not working on my relationship with Jesus, the fruit seems to be less appealing and more burdensome, even if I know that’s not the case.

So, to me it seems that if a person is living by the Spirit then the fruit of the Spirit is evident in that person’s life. And my thought on being led by the Spirit in context of the passage is that when a person is led to do something what motivates that person is one or more of the fruits of the Spirit. I can only think this is possible if a person is investing time into his/her relationship with Jesus. It causes me to go back and invest even more time into that relationship, because I really want the fruit of the Spirit. How about you?

–Insights from Rob Scott

The Holy Spirit at Pentecost

Acts 2: 1-8

“When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.  Suddenly a loud sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.  They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.  All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in tongues as the spirit enabled them….Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?…”

Two things from this passage and the sermon on Sunday strike me as both amazing and perplexing:

One of them is that God is able to cross language barriers that His name may be known throughout all nations.  On the day of Pentecost,  the first church we read about in chapter one gets together in Jerusalem to commemorate the God’s gift of the ten commandments when all of the sudden a giant and powerful gust of wind sweeps into the house.  Maybe they thought they were having a tornado or something.  Then fire-shaped tongues emerge and rest on each member, filling them with the supernatural power to speak different languages.  Jews from every nation under heaven were able to hear about the wonders of God spoken in their own language.  Parthians, Medes, Elamites, Mesopotamians, Judeans, Cappadocians, Pontus, Asians, Phrygians, Pamphylians, Egyptions, Libyans, Romans, Cretans and Arabs….both Jews by blood and those who’d converted…all of these people were able to hear about their Creator.  And this was made possible because our great God, who speaks all languages, decided to dwell in his people.

How great is our God that he makes his glory known across culture and language!  That’s certainly a reason to worship him!

The second thing that really struck me was Andy’s observation and emphasis that “all of them were filled with the Holy Spirit.”  Jesus promised to send his Spirit, and Peter promises in verse 38 that those who are baptized for the forgiveness of sins will receive the spirit.   Now, I trusted Jesus some time ago, but I have to admit that a small wave of fear flashed over me on Sunday afternoon.  Because I’ve never seen anything like what the disciples experience on the day of Pentecost.  While I’ve attributed some of my life experiences to the spirit, it’s been a little while since I’d really felt the spirit.

I’ve never seen the spirit in the form of fire, wind or a dove.  So do I even have the spirit? I wondered.  Last night, I prayed that God would bring clarity to my confusion about this.   At some point this morning, I mysteriously felt a heart of gratefulness wash over me.  I began to think about all of the people who’ve taken care of me in Korea in various ways, and I wondered how I might express my thanks to them.  Ultimately, I felt thankful to God for being my caretaker.  I realized that this heart was the manifestation of the Holy Spirit in me.

The Holy Spirit, which took the forms of wind and fire on the day of Pentecost, can take on the form of many things in our lives.  The Holy Spirit promotes a heart of thanksgiving.  It can take the form of a righteous anger, a patient trust in God, and a passion to share with others.  Though I worried He was absent from my heart, I realized that He is everywhere in my life.  He tells me when to wait and trust when my instinct is to seize control.  He gives me insight into the perspectives of others.  The Holy Spirit fosters self-examination, which leads to repentance and prudence.  He puts God’s words on my tongue when I least expect it, gives me strength when I feel powerless, and grace when I’m downcast.  He gives individuals gifts that they may proclaim the name of Jesus.

One cannot follow Jesus without the Spirit, and everyone with the Spirit follows Christ.

Jesus: provider of everything we need, keeper of everything we don't

“…After his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive.  He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the Kingdom of God.  On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: ‘Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about’….’It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.'”  Acts: 1: 3-7

I admitted to myself a few weeks ago that the main reason I made the hour trek out to Dongshin English Service on Sunday had much less to do with worshipping God and much more to do with seeing people.  Though a true believer in Christ, as a churchgoer, I regret to admit I fall into the category of people who attend to find a “social network  of people with similar opinions about the world.”  Church attendance exists for reasons such as family routine, appeasing a “good Christian” complex, a genuine desire to worship the Father in community or any combination of these factors.

The clarity brought by Acts 1: 1-8 more than blows that category out of the water.  Though Christ’s work on the cross is fully finished, as living members of his body, the Church, Jesus invites us to join in the continuing work of building His Kingdom.  In Acts 1:1-8, we realize that God has provided everything we need to do his work, but He has wisely kept everything we do not need.

What an awesome promise to trust in!  God has provided all that you and I need to do the works that he’s prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10).  Our Lord Jesus knew and still knows all that we need.

He knew the disciples then and the disciples of today would need to be fully convinced that their Savior was no martyr but was and is alive.  If our Savior is dead, then we’re still dead in our transgressions.  He’s alive, and we need to believe it in order to work unto the glory of His Kingdom.

Our Lord Jesus knew we would need instruction through the Holy Spirit and about the Kingdom of God.  Many followers today do not “study to show thyself approved” like Paul commanded Timothy, but the church needs such instruction through the Spirit and the word to keep from going astray.  Jesus knew we would need to be certain of God’s Kingship in our lives, so He spent his last days teaching about the Kingdom of God and reminding the disciples about the promised gift.  Jesus’ instruction about the Kingdom, the Holy Spirit and our assurance of salvation are all we need to live as slaves to the King, and thus, members of the church.

Then, the same God who provides for all we need also conceals all that we don’t need to know.  We don’t need to know the day or time of His return.  Jesus, Lord and Savior, assured us that we didn’t need to know.  Dates and times belong to the Father.  We don’t need to know when God will provide a new job direction, a beautiful spouse or when that lost family member will finally cross the line of faith.  The knowledge of these things would only make us arrogant, distract us, and detract from the King’s glory in His Kingdom.

I’m amazed to discover God’s wisdom is providing for our needs and in concealing our wants.  How great is our God in providing and concealing!

Jesus’ instruction about the Kingdom should put a flame to the fire of Dongshin English service.  I’m a fan of social networking, but Jesus brought us together for a greater purpose:  the ongoing work of his Kingdom.

January 3rd Sermon: Changing Your Mind

Romans 12: 1-2  “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship.  Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing, and perfect will.”

Happy New Year!  I hope it is a happy new year for my brothers and sisters at Dongshin English Service.  But if you’re like most people on this earth, I’m sure many other words could be used to describe this year.   Challenging and busy. Trying in someways.  Delightful in others.  Followers of Jesus, however, are not to interpret life’s ups and downs as the world interprets them.  We are not to respond to life the way the world responds.  Instead, our knowledge of the Creator, our sinful state and the Holy One who saved us changes us from average people to the transformed people.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes, I don’t feel all that different from my unbelieving friends or coworkers.  They’re living and breathing creatures as am I.  They like to eat.  I like to eat.  They like to read good books and watch good movies.  So do I.  They complain about stuff at work.  So do I.  Or maybe I’m the chief complainer…as far as I can tell among the English complaints.  (I’m the only foreigner at my workplace.)  They sin.  I sin.  We both sin.

In Romans 12:1, Paul, the prototype of a changed life, urges us to live sacrificially and dramatically different lifestyles from the world.  Saul, who was born from the tribe of Benjamin, viewed as an important intellectual, and a persecutor of followers of The Way, became a new man with a new name when he was knocked off his ass by Jesus Christ on the road to Damascus.  Saul was set against Christ, not because of some huge conscious decision that Jesus was evil, but because of simple common reasons like upbringing, training in Jewish law, and culture socialization.  Brother Ken told us Sunday that even well-intentioned training can fix us in opposition to the ways of Jesus.

At Dongshin English Service, we’re all tuned in to the distinct differences in culture–be them Eastern, Western or somewhere in between.  The good news is in Christ, no matter how different our cultures, we are one in Him.  Jesus is supracultural.  Therefore, it’s our duty as Christians to examine our culture and take note of the ways that the ways of our countrymen led us astray.

As an American, one of the most interesting phrases I learned in Korea was “Sugaseyo”–a farewell meaning “Work hard!”  It was particularly ironic when juxtaposed with the American farewell “Take it easy!” meaning “Don’t work too hard.  Relax. Have a good time!”  Yes, Americans like to take it easy.  Koreans like to work hard.  Where is Jesus on this continuum?  Well, he stayed up all late ministering to people and then rose early the next morning for prayer.  (Mark 1: 32-35) He certainly had a good time, too, but for my personal application purposes, I’m gonna say Jesus was a hard worker.  For a few weeks, I work industriously to plan my lessons and require excellence from my students…but as an American, it’s so easy to let laziness seep in.

Americans complain a lot, too.  Complaining is just a regular conversation piece when you’re a young adult in the states.  But as a foreigner, I quickly saw the negative effects of my needless negativity on those who were desperately trying to give me a good time in their country.  Philippians 2:14 says “Do everything without complaining or arguing” so that we can become blameless and pure before God.  These are just a couple of ways that American culture fails to embody Christ’s character.

So we’re on a mission to change our minds to that which is on God’s mind.  How do we do that?  No clever blog post could have changed Saul’s mind that day on the road to Damascus.  No spiritual exercise could have made him realize that maybe killing Jesus’ followers was not a good idea.  No encounter with a super nice Christian would have helped.  It was Jesus who knocked him off his ass that day.  And it’s Jesus alone who can help us live free from the confines of our culture.  Beseech the throne and ask for help to be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Ask to see the world through his eyes.

December 20th Sermon: The Incarnation of Christ

Micah 5:2 “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.”

J.R. Tolkein said the incarnation is “too lofty of a truth” for him to intend to work it into his book, “The Lord of the Rings.”

A look at the history and mystery of the incarnation of Christ:

History: The Incarnation as a story

Micah 5:2 says that Christ’s origin dates back to antiquity and eternity.

Setting: Place

Bethlehem Ephratha

  • Jacob’s wife died giving birth in Bethlehem to Benjamin, which means “son of my right hand.”
  • A royal city: Kings were chosen here
  • Bethlehem has a dual meaning: “House of bread” and “House of war.”  This is significant because Jesus brought life, but caused enmity between family members.

Setting: Time

  • Galatians 4:4 says God sent his son “when the time had fully come.”
  • Israelites waited for about 400 years between the last prophesy and the birth of Christ.  The incarnation of Christ teaches us to wait on the Lord in times of drought.


  • Micah 5:2 says “out of you” will come the Messiah.  God brought the Savior from flawed people who he loves.
  • For example, God used Mary to bear Jesus.  Mary cherished him from the time of his birth to the time of his death.

Mystery: The incarnation as a wonder

Jesus came to die.  He didn’t come for the manger.  It’s a wonder that he is both fully human and fully God.

Jesus’ Humanity

  • Some people emphasize the divine because Jesus was sinless.  They consider sin a necessary characteristic of humanity.  However, God didn’t create man to sin, but to be in his image.  So it’s wrong to say that sin is human.
  • Jesus had emotion, affection, intellect and choice–all human characteristics.
  • Emotion: In John 11:35, Jesus “wept.”  Jesus also became furious at the money changers in the temple and demonstrated his anger by turning over tables!
  • Intellect: In Luke 2:52, Jesus grew in wisdom and stature.  What patience Jesus had to learn even as a fully divine creature!
  • Choices: Jesus chose to die.  Note: Jesus didn’t cease to exist in heaven when he became a man.  In Colossians 1:17, we learn that in Christ, we move and live and have our being.  Christ had to coexist in both heaven and earth in order for humans to continue to live during His time as a human.

Jonathan Edwards called the incarnation “the infinite condescension.”  We must understand his greatness in order to understand what he gave up to become like us.

  • From 381-451 A.D., the church debated the degree to which Jesus was both God and man.  They had many theories.  Some thought he was sometimes God and other times man.  Some thought his God-side was stronger than his man-side, gradually ruling him to perfection.  One by one, they ruled out these options and agreed that Jesus was both 100% God and 100% man.

In Ezekial 36:26, we learn that Christ can remove our heart of stone and give us a heart of flesh.  Praise him who is able to do such wondrous things throughout history and forever!  Have a merry Christmas!

    Christmas Party

    Have a holly jolly holiday with your Dongshin friends!  Come join us this Sunday at 5 p.m. in the English Service main room for a Christmas party.  Please bring a small gift (worth $5 or less) if you wish to participate in the white elephant gift exchange.  Hope to see you there!

    December 13 Sermon: God is Love

    Colossians 2: 6-7 “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.”



    • Rooted in the Word
    • Growth always comes from past truths


    • Rooted in prayer
    • As we pray, we come to know God personally


    • Rooted in fellowship
    • Growth in relationships comes from spending time together
    • Example: Karl gave the example of his relationship with his wife.  As with one’s spouse, we begin relationships with an attitude of giving.  So why should we depart from that attitude?

    The word “rooted” conjures pictures of plants and trees in our minds.  In the Bible, the tree of life is one example of a fruit-bearing tree.

    Tree of Life

    • Genesis 2:9–The tree of life was in the garden of Eden in the beginning.
    • Revelation 22:2–The tree of life is with God in paradise, yielding fruit every month.
    • Revelation 22:13–Jesus blesses those who have access to the tree of life

    Just as trees are rooted in the ground and bear fruit, we are to be rooted in God and bearing spiritual fruit.

    • Psalm 1:1-3 The man who delights in the law of the Lord is “like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither.”
    • Romans 8: 38-39 Nothing can separate us from God’s love through Christ.  In other words, nothing can uproot us when we’re in Christ!

    Earthly Tree Examples

    Yucca trees

    • Yucca trees are impossible to kill, but they only grow to the capacity of their pot.
    • Sometimes God could do more with us if we were in a larger pot!

    Bamboo trees

    • Once bamboo trees are establishes, they don’t stop growing.  Bamboo trees can grow up to 90 feet in one year, but it takes about five years to see any sort of visible growth.
    • Sometimes it appears as if nothing is happening in our lives, as if there is no growth, but later we will see the growth God has been doing in our lives.

    The Story of the Three Trees

    • Moral: God sees the big picture.  He knows how to glorify himself and use our lives better than we do.  http://www.word4life.com/threetrees.html

    Isn’t it great to know we have a God who loves us too much to let us fall?  Or to let us live a fruitless life?

    Survival Korean Lessons (Oct 17th to Dec 12th)



    Daniel, Kim is in charge of Kids English Ministry

    Survival Korean Class is for all foreigners from all over the world


    – Beginner’s Korean 1 (Language Plus) for Beginners
    – Beginner’s Korean 2 (Language Plus) for Intermediate Students


    1) Mastering basic vowels and consonants
    2) Reading and practicing Korean words
    3) Learning survival expressions


    New Comer’s Education. Room

    (on the first floor of Dong-Shin Church Main Sanctuary)


    Saturday at 11:30-13:00


    The second term of S. K. C. is

    from October 17th, to December 12th, 2009


    20,000 won

    (It’s for snacks and drinks)


    A textbook with tape is 15,000 won.

    Please contact Daniel below if interested and tell your friends

    DANIEL KIM 010-5467-1198 (sinyounghan@hotmail.com)

    15th March Sermon James 1:5-8

    Firstly, if you need wisdom (yes we do) then ask God. Secondly you should ask.
    There are 3 things that every believer must know about God
    1. God has what you need (he’s not a politician)
    2. God gives you what you need generously and without finding fault (Just like getting free bread from Outback)
    3. v6-8 God gives to all those who ask in faith (If you ask for wisdom but don’t submit to God, how could you ever expect to be changed by grace?)
    God didn’t put you on Earth to collect stuff but to “glorify himself in and through you”. Put your faith in him today and walk in his promises by his strength.

    Sunday 12 noon Services

    Join us for a multi-cultural and vibrant Christian experience in English! See the Direction page for the step-by-step “how-to” on reaching us Sundays at 12 noon.