Useless but loving

I like those who lie in hospital beds

thinking that they are useless
but appreciate all the small acts of kindness of friends and families
I like those who moves slowly in wheelchairs
saying excuse me, pardon me with their eyes
still enjoys the fall sunset, praising the Creator
I like those babies doing nothing but being cute
without demanding “Adore me!” but being adored
as if their job is to be loved
They are like blank space in oriental paintings
make the whole universe complete
without doing something but just being
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Peach Tree

I have a peach tree

I can see many peaches hanging there
When did it happen?
I have walked by it everyday
I did not water them
I did not even look at them carefully
When did it happen?
Must be at night
when I sleep every night
The tree must have invited all kinds of
winds, birds, sunlight, and water
Wait, sunlight at night?
Well, mysterious things happen
I do not know anything
who know? Secret sunlight may come at night
I wonder what happen under the ground
What I see is just many peaches
hanging there to serve birds, animals, and my family
They may not know my plan for Harvest
but I will harvest them anyway because they are ripe and juicy
They will be great for many occasions!
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Psalm 1

Sermon in a nutshell: “Delight in the Law of the Lord!” (Psalm 1:1-6)

God wants us to have blessed life!

God wants us to have blessed life. God even gives us instructions how to have one.

The Psalm 1 is the introduction of the whole 150 Psalms. It is also the introduction of the book 1 (Psalm 1-41). The whole Psalm is a praise.

However, in this praise, we can see wisdom, complaints, and instructions. As an introduction, the Psalm 1 opens the whole Psalm with blessings.

There are two things to do to have blessed life

The first instruction is about something that we should not do: “Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers.” When you read this instruction, it progresses.

People first take some steps with the wicked. It can be accidental. People take some foolish ideas and take some actions. However, next time, they stand in the way that sinners take. It was not an accident anymore. They make it a habit. It becomes a routine habit. Then, finally they sit in the company of mockers. They enjoy and love those things. Whether it is alcohol or gambling, think about the progress. First accidental step leads to the habit, and habit becomes your fate.

The second instruction is about something that we should do: “Blessed is the one whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night.” This instruction has two parts. The first part is talking about a basic orientation.

Basically, the blessed ones love reading the Bible. They enjoy the words of God. The second part is about their habit. They read it day and night. They do not just read but meditate on it. Meditation takes time. We have to ask questions and answer those questions while we are reading it.

For example, we can ask these questions: “Who is God here? Who am I (or Who are we)? What does God want me (0r us) to do?”

Or ask SPACE question: “What is the Sin that this passage is talking about? What is the Promise that I can hold onto? What is an Action that I need to take? What is the Commandment that I need to keep? What is the Example that I need to follow?”

God Promises Prosperity for those who have delight in the law of the Lord

Then write a journal with your answers. If we do that daily, the Bible promises these blessings: That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers.” Don’t you want to have this fruitful and prosperous life?

Destruction is not God’s punishment. It is something that we invite into our lives.

The Bible says, “Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. Therefore, the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.”

Patients who do not listen to doctors’ instructions will get sicker and sicker. We may say that sometimes doctors are wrong. You are right. However, God is always right. Following God’s instruction is the best way to have blessed life.

Start a habit of meditating on the Bible

The Bible does not promise a challenge-free life. Challenges are tools that God uses to refine us. Through thick and thin we can eventually have a fruitful life. Without winter snow, spring winds, and summer storms we cannot have fall harvest. Life is full of challenges. However, if we follow God’s instructions and meditate on the goodness of the Lord, we will have joyful harvest at the end of our lives! The ones who go out to sew seeds with tears will come back with joyful harvest in the end. Hang in there and meditate on the law of the Lord. God be with you all!

  1. Who are the small group members that you can share your meditation with?
  2. When and where do you have personal meditation everyday?
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My plan for today

I plan to give some money to UMCOR

for the victims of wildfire

as my prayer

it would be my pale forearm lifted to wash my face.

I plan to attend CAL NEV annual conference

online gazing all the worship services and meetings

with thanksgiving

it would be my spiritual sugar I eat out of God’s hand

I plan to walk on a Marsh Creek trail in Brentwood

jumping up and down on my way to the Creekside park

as if I am flying

knowing that I am not a grasshopper but an old man still living.

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Daily resurrection

My daily movement is my resurrection

all the parts that died come back to life

When I go to a grocery

My brain comes back to life and I remember that I need to send a poem

When I ask friends how they are doing

my heart comes back to life

all the senses, sympathy, empathy, and love

they dance around my heart with beat and rhythm

When I hear the news of surgery of a friend

My eyes come back to life

filled with prayers

looking to the Cross

When I imagine a wedding of a young woman

in COVID style

my hands come back to life

clapping with joy as if this is the first time that I witness a wedding

I eat, I walk, I write, I pray

Whatever I do I come back to life

Nothing can separate me from the life of God

who appears always in Christ in me and others

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Book of Remembrance

Our memories are being burnt this morning

in Vacaville, in Napa, and in Fairfield

All those yelling and shouting of lightning

made the dry land to shout back with wildfires

Their old stories came to my backyard

with smoky smell of anger and frustration

bringing all the memories of evacuation and despair

as if COVID-19 is not enough

A small voice of hope

and the happy memories

come to me as soothing medicine

saying, remember, remember, and remember

The book of remembrance

survived all those disasters

crimes and sins

to tell us the story of God’s Grace

Now I remember

through the parallel universe

the future salvation

and the new heaven and new earth coming down to us

I remember the “kindom” of God

where everybody loves and cares for each other

where all creation rejoices God’s justice

I remember that it has come already.

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Peace in the middle of Chaos

When I breathe in the love of God

the Creator of this universe

My spirit soars up

into the silence of the stars

mingled with the wind of the darkness

Forgetting the noise

of this world of mindfulness

all the cries of the creation

This will pass

in the course of time

when new heaven and new earth appear

What we know now

what we deplore today

what we enjoy together

They will all become

dust of the lost

and will have gone with the wind

Peace of the nothingness

Quietness of the stillness

Calmness of the innocence

They all come at once

with morning dew

like snowflakes on evening window

sunset on the horizon

Now I have to say goodbye

to myself to embrace

this peace that surpasses my understanding

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I am thnakful

I don’t do nothing.

Being quiet and being calm

I do my living.

I am not anxious to do things

I enjoy things done around me

All the living with me

A child smiles at me

me doing nothing

My heart overflows with joy

flowers bloom

sky is blue

wind blowing

what did I do?

being quiet and being calm

I do my living

My living is not different from my dying.

My praises go up and my soul is full

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Black Lives Matter

We put the church sign, “Black Lives Matter.”

Someone called church and left a message.

“How come you put such a racist sign on church sign board? Do not all lives matter?”

I use this syllogism A.

  1. All lives matter.
  2. Black lives are lives.
  3. So, Black lives matter.

When someone support that all lives matter and Black lives do not matter

the only logical conclusion is that Black lives are not lives.

In that case, they use syllogism B.

  1. All lives matter.
  2. Black lives are Not lives.
  3. So Black lives do not matter.

If you want to say that Black lives are lives

and still do not want to say that Black lives matter

you are saying that only some lives matter.

There is another choice. It is syllogism C.

  1. Only some lives matter.
  2. Black lives are lives.
  3. But Black lives do not matter.

So, do you say that all lives matter but black lives are not lives

or do you way that only some lives matter and black lives do not matter?

What is your position?

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COVID-19 Pandemic

When I read Leviticus

some of the regulations look weird

I do not understand them with my own reasoning

Many of them are not comfortable to follow

They are like CDC guidelines

do not sing in a sanctuary

do not hug your church members

no fellowship afterwords

Sit apart from each other at least 6 feet

They are meant to be saving lives

wearing masks in public

Social distancing unless in social bubble

those rules are more for others than for me

I read the book of Leviticus again

now it makes sense to me

I can picture the culture and society that they lived

and the fear and reality that they experienced

the most uncomfortable rules, though

are not Holiness Code but Sabbath, Sabbatical years, and the Year of Jubilee

Let all the slaves go free

Let all the debts be cancelled

Let all the lands be distributed equally among all and let them keep their lands

Let all start over again from the beginning

If only you can read with patience until the end of the book of Leviticus!

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How to live Sheltering in Place

They say that wise people love mountains (지자요산)

Gracious people love waters(인자요수)

Wise people know where the trails are

Gracious people know where the dangers are

Wise people know where to find fruits

Gracious people receive what is given

Wise people know when to rest

Gracious people rest when the waves calm down

Wise people love to build three cabins on a mountain

Gracious people live on the mercies of the sea

When I was young I loved mountain climbing

now I love to be a beach bum.

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What are you making?

What are you making?

Oh, I am making a human with dirt

Is it alive?

When I breathe into its nostril my breath it will be.

What are you making?

Oh, I am making my art piece.

Is it alive?

When I breathe into it my spirit it will be.

What are you making?

Oh, I am making a disciple.

Is she alive?

When I breathe into her God’s spirit she will be.

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