I had one week to reflect on this. One week of the American Sports World taking this to new heights. One week of Taiwanese flags flying all over MSG stadium. To assess any situation objectively, we need to <PAUSE> and look at it with objectivity.
For this past week or so, with all the heights and drama, we now see JLIN on the front cover of Sports Illustrated.
I love the story lines. I root for Jlin (even against the Lakers). This is what every kid in American needs to have ingrained in their work ethics. Be coach-able, be persevering, be humble. The blue-collar middle class should look up to this stud, because he is what we dream of… Work hard enough, you’ll get your chance. I applaud this because it is a value I hold dear…. BUT HE IS NOT TEBOW, not yet.
After 1 week, I was trying to notice something different. I was looking to see where the GOSPEL would sneak in. I was looking to see if he would bring FAITH and SPORTS into the same conversation. As a devout Christian, I wanted him to give credit to a bigger cause. I was waiting for him to be TEBOW… where he undeniably gives credit and shares his love and compassion to the un-reached people of this world. I was waiting for him to use the STAGE of STARDOM to unleash God’s message of hope. This is why Tebow was controversial. This is why you see stories written on Tebow’s legacy by famous sports writers like Rick Reily’s “Believing in Tim Tebow”. It’s his work off the field for the LORD that caught the world by surprise.
So my answer to my blog…. NO – not even close. Not Yet. Good, but not close… I pray that his story one day will bring hope to a world that doesnt need more “success” stories, but more “Gospel” stories.
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.
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?
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.
I’ve been working on hammering out these ideas of correlating Asian American identity and worship. And it’s been really comforting to know that I’m not the only one (hope to meet you someday soon, Courtney :)).
I got asked to present some of my thoughts at the TransGeneration (TG) Conference this August and had a great time. The idea of intentionally pushing the art form of worship to help shape identity was helped when I heard Shane Hipps quote Marshall McLuhan at the recent Poets.Prophets.Preachers seminar:
“We become what we behold. We shape our tools and then our tools shape us.”
And it has become more clear to me that while the identity crisis that we face in the Asian American Christian community seems fairly innocuous now, I believe dire consequences such as the propensity for suicide, depression, alcohol abuse comes from this self-hatred and self-denial (i.e. lack of identity). In other words, it seems silly to make the case that worship (not just musical forms) matter so much, but that’s just the tip of the iceburg. And if we could address it in the one venue that dares to claim that people can truly be themselves and be healed, redeemed, and even saved from their past and to their future, wouldn’t that be good news? In any case, I welcome your feedback and comments.
Here is the audio recording of my presentation and the ensuing conversation and below are my presentation slides. Enjoy.
This was the first time that this conference had an English track, and it was fascinating to hear how the Korean-speaking and English-speaking could harmoniously worship with one another and learn from one another.