One Church, Two Congregations

Today is the day of speaker exchange for our church between SBC and NLF.  Therefore, I want to provide some explanations of our church system of two congregations of two languages. One of the important principles of our church is two congregations in one church.  In other words, Houston Baptist Church of Houston is made of two congregations; one is English speaking and the other is Korean speaking.  The division is by language regardless of race. Most Korean churches in the US call an English speaking congregation as an English ministry.  This word implies that ...

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For Prayer to be a Blessing

I wrote about prayer two weeks ago and I want to add some more thoughts.  The preparation of the person who will deliver public prayer is important.  However, there is another facet which is equally important.  It is the attitude of the congregation who is listening the prayer.  This attitude is so crucial that it can govern the level of blessings from the prayer. In an American group, during prayer, it is common to hear responses of congregation to the public prayer with exclamations like ‘Um ~’, ‘Oh, yes.’ Or ‘Amen’.  The group is responding to each ...

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When God Comes To Us

God seeks us.  Whenever men encounter God, it is always because God seeks him and not the other way around.  That is why bible says God held out his hands to people all day long.  (Isaiah 65:2) The first reason that God seeks us is because of His love for us.  People often think that salvation is something that we need to earn.   Therefore, manmade religion claims that to receive salvation, we need to have an enlightening experience, accumulate enough suffering to achieve good or do something to win it.  That is not true.  God’s desire to save us is much ...

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A Few Words of Advice for Public Prayer

Some of congregation think that it is better for deacons who say the prayer during Sunday worship to speak without written notes. Maybe because of this, I also noticed some offered prayers without notes. I believe this is because of the congregation’s expectation that deacons of our church should be able to say a 3-minute prayer without notes and that is why they made such a request. However, my thought is different. Since the basis of prayer is a conversation with God, anything can be said. Therefore, remembering our Father is with us, using our daily language ...

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What to do with returning college students during summer

As many college students who are from out of town will return home for the summer, many who grew up in our church who have been away for college will return home to Houston. Just as I pray for those students who will leave Houston to go home or elsewhere to have a fruitful summer, I desire the same for those who will return home to us. It will be very important for these college students to find a place where they can get plugged in during the summer in order to grow in their walk with Christ. Without getting involved in a small, intimate and consistent community like ...

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How to Build a Healthy Self-consciousness

How I perceive myself unknowingly is called self-consciousness.  This self-consciousness has a strong influence in our lives.  For example, if someone considers himself a lovable person, it is easy for him to relate to others, to have self-confidence and to be positive toward others or their words.  However, anyone who does not have a positive self-view, tends to hear other’s words in a distorted way and could think it is about him when it is about something else. One well known theory about self-consciousness is called ‘Johari Window’.   This theory claims ...

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Anonymous Letter in My Church Mailbox

Last week, someone left a letter in my church mail box.  Often, anonymous letter causes some heartache, so I opened it reluctantly.  Inside, there was a handwritten letter.  It went as follows. Dear Pastor, I am a member of xxxx church in Houston.  I was compelled to let you know of someone who is very dear to me.  She attends Houston Seoul Church and I work in her store 4 days a week. According to her, she does not read the Bible and she seldom prays, but she fears God and she knows what it is to have reverence of God.  She is also filled with the joy of ...

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