InHo Kim – My Faithful Journey

Life Stills of a Korean-American Man/Husband/Father/Pastor


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Can one be a women’s rights activist and not agree with women’s ordination? Read this comment and it stunned me

Just been reading this article “Southern California Conference Executive Committee Responds to Doug Batchelor” (one of it’s pastors). This Seventh Day Adventist conference responds to Batchelor’s presentation at a local church denouncing the ordination of women. In reading the comments, one of them hit me. It was from a woman who agrees with Batchelor and who states “Please stop brainwashing with the stupid idea that every Adventist women must agree with women’s ordination. I can show you the first 100 Adventist women in Southern California who are women’s right activists which also stongly disagree with women ordination..” This is the first time ever that I heard the statements “women’s activists” and “strongly disagree with women’s ordination” put together. Anyone else?

 


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Love Poem For Good Friday

good friday - via http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_pictures/7994131.stmIt is Good Friday. I was having trouble contemplating this dark day as the Sun finally broke through the clouds and I was faced with the beautiful blue sky and the perfectly calm blue-green ocean. So I thumbed my way through the poems of Rainer Maria Rilke in his Book of Hours. It is a book of poetry given to me by a good friend as I was graduating from seminary. At times I pick it up and read like I do the poetry in Psalms to help me connect to myself and to God. And today, I stumbled upon a poem titled “I am praying again, awesome one.” It reminded me that ultimately, this violent filled day is about love. It is that the Word became flesh and lived in the world to make us whole again and even in death, refused to condemn but to ask for forgiveness for us; “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:24) Here is the poem of putting the fractured pieces of our lives into God’s loving hands:

I am praying, Awesome One.

You hear me again, as words
from the depths of me
rush toward you in the wind.

I’ve been scattered in pieces,
torn by conflict,
mocked by laughter,
washed down in drink.

In alleyways I sweep myself up
out of garbage and broken glass.
With my half-mouth I stammer you,
who are eternal in your symmetry.
I lift to you my half-hands
in wordless beseeching, that I may find again
the eyes with which I once beheld you.

I am a house gutted by fire
where only the guilty sometimes sleep
before the punishment that devours them
hounds them out into the open.

I am a city by the sea
Sinking into a toxic tide.
I am strange to myself, as though someone unknown
had poisoned my mother as she carried me.

It’s here in all the pieces of my shame
that now I find myself again.
I yearn to belong to something, to be contained
in an all-embracing mind that sees me
as a single thing.
I yearn to be held
in the great hands of your heart –
oh let them take me now.
Into them I place these fragments, my life,
and you, God – spend them however you want.

Rainer Maria Rilke
Rilke’s Book of Hours – Love Poems to God


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The Day After

obamiconSo I was awakened this morning, just like every morning,  by the smell of coffee wafting through the house. The coffee that we have been drinking for the past few years has been White House Coffee. For some reason, the coffee this morning tastes a little sweeter and smoother than two mornings ago. I then looked out the window to see the dark clouds moving inland with the ocean breeze and was greeted by the not so sweet smelling breath of my four year old who was hovering above me ready to pounce to rudely wake me up. I put on my pants one leg at a time, kissed my wife and daughter “good morning”, got my son ready for pre-school, fed my dog, picked up his poop and helped feed my 7 month old daughter by making funny noises and dancing around like wild man trying to distract her so that my wife can shovel homemade baby food into her mouth and finally used a Netti Pot to clear my allergy ridden sinuses. Just a normal morning for the Kim-Cho household all before 8:30am.

It’s the morning after. It’s the morning after taking the day off to witness an incredible event. It is the day after getting up so early to witness the historic inauguration with tears in my eyes. It’s the morning after standing up and clapping as loudly as I can as Barack Obama took his oath to become the 44th President of the United States. It’s the morning after connecting with and celebrating the day with friends and family by facebook, twitter, emails and phone calls. It’s the morning after shouting Amen, Amen, Amen after Joseph Lowery’s Benediction. It is the morning after.

My morning routine was the same. I was back at work planning out my week, making to do lists, checking my emails and my calendar. Already on the news, the pundits and some anchors are beginning criticize Obama. People are analyzing his inauguration speech for better or for worse. Those who are politically and religiously liberal are criticizing Rick Warren’s prayer (transcript here). Those who are considered conservative are ripping apart Joseph Lowery’s prayer-read the comments (transcript here). I heard on NPR today that religious extremists are now burning pictures of Obama as well as Bush along with the American flag. Many economists and leaders of the world don’t see much change in Obama’s speech yesterday. The republicans and democrats are at it again over Obama’s cabinet confirmations and there is no end in sight for the war in Iraq and who knows what will happen in the Gaza strip and in Afghanistan. So where’s the change?

Yet in these troubling and uncertain economic and political times, for me, something has changed. I was surprised to hear my wife say that “now I feel proud to hoist high the American flag”. It’s the same kind of statement that Michelle Obama was criticized for during the Democratic campaign, but today it seems appropriate, IMHO. The tears and my shouting during the inauguration wasn’t about the joy that a Black man became President, but that a person who embodies and talks about the hopes and dreams that I have for United States and the world will lead this country of ours. The tears were part of the release of my pent up anger and frustration over the past 8 years. And now like Moses, I can look down from the mountaintop and actually see the promised land. I can see God’s vision of all that we can be. It gives me hope and a goal to work towards.

Today I feel freedom from the past 8 years of decisions made in secrecy, the mentality of us against them, idea of our supremacy, not caring for each other, forgetting to create a just society, ignoring the less fortunate, abuse of power, not being able to take responsibility for all the actions or inactions, pillaging our environment, inability to say sorry and to tell the truth, forgetting that we are but one country in the world and that with our superpower status comes with it greater responsibility to the world. Obama has already begun to make his campaign promises come true today and will continue to fulfill them in the future. So when Aretha Franklin belted out the words “freedom” during her singing, I heard more than the plight and the cloud of witnesses in the civil rights movement for African Americans in this country, I heard freedom from all that has gone wrong with America from the past administration. And when I heard the clarinetist Anthony McGill begin to play “The Lord of the Dance” with Yoyo Ma, Itzhak Perlman and Gabriela Montero, I could imagine Jesus dancing in heaven and on earth.