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church hopping rambles

This post comes from the perspective of someone who hasn’t really church hopped or needed to church hop since sometime in High School. So I’ve been a committed member to the same church in Jersey for many years now - maybe 8 or so. And I have to say, on the other side of the fence, it is really hard.

Our church is relatively large, so people come to visit, especially a lot of post grads in my age group. Some are optimistic, some are judgmental, some are bitter, some are tired, some are hopeful… 

And then I’ll go have lunch with them, I’ll spend the entire small group / fellowship time talking to them, I’ll have some really insightful/interesting conversation with them, and then… I’ll never see them again. Empty promises of - “I think I’ll come again next week” or “I might come to the service on Thursday”… Broken. 

I feel my heart breaking because in those moments we connected as brothers/sisters in Christ, I was hopeful that they’d want to be a part of my family. And I don’t know how to not hope for this. Because if I didn’t, I wouldn’t invite them to other events, tell them about small groups and opportunities to get plugged in, etc. But ultimately, when they walk away, I end up looking back at myself and wondering what I did wrong…

And I just think…. Man! I’m not here to sell my family to you. I’m not here to defend our weak points to make you believe in our ministry. For every criticism you have about my church, I have 10. For every line in a sermon you’ve questioned, I’ve questioned 10. For every hurtful interaction you’ve seen, I’ve seen 10 more. I do not come to you to sell you my church because I do not think that my church is perfect. I do not want to defend my church to you because it is not mine to defend. This is a church built up by God - And we are flawed, sinful, and broken. But I wouldn’t be here if I hadn’t seen God moving among these people and loving the church over the past 5 years. I’d be an utter fool to be blind to His presence in this place…

And I don’t ask that you stay at my church because I want to compete with other Jersey churches for church members. Pfffft. That’s exactly the kind of counterproductive division that we don’t need in this fallen world. 

I simply ask that you make an effort to love the Church. No church is perfect… (to which you may respond, “But some churches can be more faithful,” to which I would agree with and then marvel at how churches are not static organizations - I have been so encouraged by how my leaders and pastors have been growing over these past five years and I know that God is not content to leave my church where it is) But somehow this church is the bride of Christ…! 

I’m not going anywhere with this post. I’ve just been feeling kind of overwhelmed and burdened over the past two months and I wanted to share my thoughts… I’m sure that my perspective will keep changing over the next many years though, I mean„, God seems pretty cool with humbling me. 

Recent designs for church.
1. (unprinted) "Good roots make good fruits" for our YG retreat. The theme was Rooted in the Word, Built up in the Faith. Great theme, fun shirt that will never get printed :’(
2. "Kingdom Kids" t-shirt for Pilgrim Summer Bible Camp. I’ve been getting a lot of positive feedback for this and it makes me really happy to see everyone so happy. =) 
3. “Secret Agents” Invites for our Pilgrim College Ministry college banquet, featuring our illustrious college pastor ^^ Recent designs for church.
1. (unprinted) "Good roots make good fruits" for our YG retreat. The theme was Rooted in the Word, Built up in the Faith. Great theme, fun shirt that will never get printed :’(
2. "Kingdom Kids" t-shirt for Pilgrim Summer Bible Camp. I’ve been getting a lot of positive feedback for this and it makes me really happy to see everyone so happy. =) 
3. “Secret Agents” Invites for our Pilgrim College Ministry college banquet, featuring our illustrious college pastor ^^ Recent designs for church.
1. (unprinted) "Good roots make good fruits" for our YG retreat. The theme was Rooted in the Word, Built up in the Faith. Great theme, fun shirt that will never get printed :’(
2. "Kingdom Kids" t-shirt for Pilgrim Summer Bible Camp. I’ve been getting a lot of positive feedback for this and it makes me really happy to see everyone so happy. =) 
3. “Secret Agents” Invites for our Pilgrim College Ministry college banquet, featuring our illustrious college pastor ^^

Recent designs for church.

1. (unprinted) "Good roots make good fruits" for our YG retreat. The theme was Rooted in the Word, Built up in the Faith. Great theme, fun shirt that will never get printed :’(

2. "Kingdom Kids" t-shirt for Pilgrim Summer Bible Camp. I’ve been getting a lot of positive feedback for this and it makes me really happy to see everyone so happy. =) 

3. “Secret Agents” Invites for our Pilgrim College Ministry college banquet, featuring our illustrious college pastor ^^

surrounded by an overwhelmingly banal world, she had to fight to remember that her life was pregnant with meaning and possibility. every outside current threatened to wash away this simple hope, its forces whispering that she would have to adapt her ideals in order to survive. 
"but I don’t want to survive, I want to live…" 

surrounded by an overwhelmingly banal world, she had to fight to remember that her life was pregnant with meaning and possibility. every outside current threatened to wash away this simple hope, its forces whispering that she would have to adapt her ideals in order to survive. 

"but I don’t want to survive, I want to live…" 

Belated Father’s Day post: I just found this gif this morning on my sister’s phone. 
So thankful for my Heavenly Father for giving me a dad who shows me daily what selfless, unconditional love is. <3

Belated Father’s Day post: I just found this gif this morning on my sister’s phone. 

So thankful for my Heavenly Father for giving me a dad who shows me daily what selfless, unconditional love is. <3

Want to know one of the ways you can tell you’re growing as a Christian? As time passes, you will think of yourself as more sinful than before, not less. As you mature as a Christian, you’re going to discover your sin goes far deeper than you had ever imagined.

– Pastor Kee Won Huh, New Mercy Community Church

I don’t know what shape tomorrow takes, or what storm ahead awaits,
But I am content in simply being Yours.

rambleramble

My King,

I do confess,
I am that which you despise—
I am a pharisee,

I once stood strong in my perceived praiseworthy qualities, thinking myself thoroughly above visceral vices 
Unknowingly dwelling within the brood of vipers you despise…
I would have no place in your kingdom—I deserve no place
because for too long I’ve counted my successes in the meager hope of impressing the impossibly perfect savior.

Your grace follows those who are low, in spirit and posture
Your grace would not allow me to follow my pride to condemnation
So you saw to it that— 
I would be broken and beaten, humbled and humiliated through revelations of my wrongs. 
You proved your jealousy for me by shattering through my artificial ‘zeal’ 
So that I could be one that knows the joy of weeping for your mercy

My King,

I am little more than a green cadet, a rookie soldier, a fresh recruit
Undisciplined, uncoordinated, hard of hearing, lazy to obey
You council me to not live like a civilian (But I do…)
I’m sorry, I’m slow and I’m confused.
You add to your ranks daily, without fail - the unlikeliest of people
And I’m sorry, I’ve only recently begun to cheer for these…

My King,…
My King my King my King…
I am simply small, I am simply a sinner.
I’ve learned so much, but I’ve only learned so much, and there’s still so much to learn
I don’t know when it ends, but when it does
Please embrace me, tell me, “Well done, my work through you is done”…