“Ethnicity Matters,” by James Choung

Heaven is not colorblind.

As the title suggests, in this short video, James Choung presents a compelling biblical case for why our ethnicity matters.

I agree with NG.AC contributor Helen Lee‘s note on James’ blog, “Boy, do I wish this video had been around in the 1990s when we were wrestling with this on our campus!” For me, this would have been really helpful while studying in seminary where, in retrospect, the amount of ignorance about race and reconciliation was staggering.

For many of us, whether it’s in church or on campus, it is altogether too common to hear phrases such as the following thrown around:

Race doesn’t matter in God’s Kingdom.

I don’t see race, I just see people.

Why do you people exclude yourselves?

As James notes on his blog, “Ethnicity Matters is a seven-minute reflection on the biblical foundations for ethnicity. In this short amount of time, it can’t cover everything. But I hope it’s a helpful conversation starter.” Keep an eye out for a discussion guide, which is on its way.

I’m seriously considering keeping this video bookmarked on my phone so that I can watch it with folks who raise the aforementioned objections (or, they can read the FAQs here).

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Tumblr
  • Pinterest
  • Email

A Very Linteresting Development

There’s nothing quite like hearing the entire crowd at MSG shout, “Ooooh!” in unison when Jeremy Lin breaks the ankle of an opposing defender with his quick-strike crossover. Seriously, I can understand why — despite their long run of frustration (and, believe me, as a longsuffering Lions fan, I know frustration) — players want to play for the Knickerbockers.

Watching Jeremy Lin light up the crowd, hearing them chant his name (along with M-V-P), listening to Walt “Clyde” Frazier’s announcing gymnastics about him – it all lends itself to a sense of big-brotherly pride. Well, for someone my age, it’s more like an uncle or cheering on a former youth group student, but you get what I’m saying.

[Read more...]

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Tumblr
  • Pinterest
  • Email

#prayforjapan

The heartache and loss of the Japanese people in the aftermath of the 9.0 magnitude earthquake, the tsunami it triggered, and now the potential nuclear meltdown are almost impossible to describe.

Below, the following bloggers offer insight and perspective on this massive tragedy:

When faced with tragedy on such a massive scale (over 10,000 people killed, thousands missing or unaccounted for, 500,000 homeless or displaced, billions in damage), it is easy to turn away or shut down. However, let us not forget the stories of those who are grieving, even as they search for loved ones.

Yomiuri Shimbun /AFP/Getty Images: This woman was calling out the names of her family in the city of Soma in Miyagi prefecture earlier today (March 14, 2011).

How to Help:

  • CRASH (Christian Relief, Assistance, Support and Hope) Japan: “A network supporting Christians to do relief work in Japan and around the world.  CRASH equips and prepares churches and missions to be there to help their communities when disasters strike and coordinates Christian volunteers to work with local ministries in the event of a disaster.”
  • Evangelical Covenant Church: “Covenant World Relief is responding to the devastating earthquake and tsunami in northeast Japan with our sister denomination, the Japan Covenant Church.”
  • World Vision: “World Vision plans to distribute relief supplies to meet the daily needs of quake and tsunami survivors. We will also focus our efforts on responding to the emotional needs of children, who are the most impacted after such a traumatic event.”
  • Presbyterian Disaster Assistance: “This designated account supplements the One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) offering to enable a significant response for relief and disasters in Japan.”
  • Asian Access: “Pray for Japan, for the Church and for us as we prepare to come alongside the Church and other partners to deliver aid and respond with well-prepared teams as the opportunities arise.”

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Tumblr
  • Pinterest
  • Email

Key Series: Why we need Asian Americans to be Asian Americans

Read this insightful series by DJ Chuang about why we need Asian Americans to be Asian Americans. It is a powerful introduction to many of the conversations we have here at Next Gener.Asian Church.

As DJ writes in his initial series post:

All to say that our American society needs more Asian Americans to be Asian American. It is to say that at this state of the union, we have too few. We certainly don’t have too many. We’d do well to have a few more to stand up and represent. We’d do well to think through and have more robust conversations about what it means to be Asian Americans. We’d do well to allow the richness of our Asian American’ness to overflow and not hide it under a bushel.

The disclaimers DJ writes at the outset are, alone, worth the price of admission:

[Read more...]

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Tumblr
  • Pinterest
  • Email

Artist Spotlight: A Journey of Worship and Justice, Part Two

In our NG.AC community, we want to highlight stories of people courageously answering God’s call to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God.

Daniel DK Kim’s journey of worship and justice has led him and his family to commit themselves to fighting human trafficking in Mexico City for the next two years. They left today (with answers to prayer from the very start). Read the second part of our two-part interview with DK:

__________________

What is the connection between releasing your new EP thefirst and your family’s commitment to fight human trafficking in Mexico City?

This EP is my first-ever studio project and I am still baffled and dumbfounded that it is complete, in print, on sale and in the hands of people who love it. It has been a dream come true and the way it happened was so sudden and unexpected, I can once again say that it’s because of God’s goodness this came about. It’s nothing short of a miracle.

[Read more...]

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Tumblr
  • Pinterest
  • Email

Artist Spotlight: A Journey of Worship and Justice, Part One

Daniel DK Kim just gave up his dream job.

As the worship leader at Newsong Church in Irvine, California, DK has been living out a personal dream.  And yet, on June 15th, DK, his wife Sadie and their young son Micah will be moving to Mexico City for two years, “to do our part in the abolition movement while working with and raising up a generation of indigenous artist/activists in the city to lead the charge… until we see the end of slavery.”

In our NG.AC community, we want to highlight stories of people courageously answering God’s call to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God.  As you can see from DK’s story, which we will share in two parts, this awakening to the intimate connection between worship and justice is both beautiful and challenging.

__________________

How would you describe the connection between worship and justice in your life? What have been some pivotal moments in shaping your understanding of worship and justice?

Photo by Scott Hodge at The Idea Camp in Irvine, California

I’ve been a worship leader since I was 15 years old, but it wasn’t until recently, in 2007, that I began to feel discontent in the way that I viewed and experienced worship.  So much of our worship can become self-focused and self-indulgent if we forget about the call beyond the mere words of any song. I began to discover the synonymy of worship & justice in a few key passages of Scripture.

Isaiah 58 is a huge one for me: the challenge to consider what true fasting is made me think about what true worship is. “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the chords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?”

I began to see that my worship was just ritual if I didn’t take it outside of a fifteen-minute set list.  I wanted desperately to do something about this unfolding realization but didn’t know where to start.  All I could do was pray.

[Read more...]

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Tumblr
  • Pinterest
  • Email

Is Francis Chan…

… on his way to becoming the next Rob Bell? (Sorry, couldn’t resist tipping my hat to the last NG.AC post about Francis Chan. You know which one.)

Flannel, the folks behind the Nooma series (featuring Rob Bell) are launching another DVD series called We Are Church featuring Francis Chan. From their site (you can read the full post here, and watch a short clip of Francis talking about it):

…you might already know that Nooma was the beginning of a much bigger vision – a vision that encompassed working with many highly creative speakers to communicate the way of Jesus to the world.

Early last year, we committed to pursuing the larger vision and began a search for additional speakers to champion new projects.  The search process included wonderful conversations with ministry and seminary leaders, publishers, Christians bookstore executives, authors, pastors, and more that helped us identify well over 100 candidates… in the end, we felt God leading us to Francis Chan.

I have enjoyed the Nooma series with Rob Bell – the content, aesthetic, communication style and length (seriously, let’s keep our Bible study DVDs under 30 minutes!) have been a good fit for our church community.  I am looking forward to seeing what they do with Francis Chan, if they can capture the energy and passion of his live delivery.  Francis’ short film Stop & Think has a similar vibe (and clocks in at a very reasonable 15 minutes!) — a good sign for the future of this partnership with Flannel.  Stop and think for yourself below.

If this We Are Church series has a similar impact as the Nooma series, perhaps Francis Chan will become a household name in the way Rob Bell has. While I’m sure that’s not Francis’ goal — by all accounts, he is a genuinely humble follower of Jesus — I would love to see an Asian American find a platform like that to speak to both the church and our culture.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Tumblr
  • Pinterest
  • Email