Archive for April, 2012

April 30, 2012

The Constant

Lost S4E05(“Like” this post if you know where this photo is from)

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Aside from not getting much studying done before entering finals season or failing to be consistent with this blog, these past two weeks have been pretty great.

I was able to go to a Rangers/Red Sox game last Wednesday at Fenway with my friend, and watched Texas exercise their offensive dominance over Boston.  The following Saturday, I witnessed one of the greatest comebacks in Yankee history, as the Yanks put a shellackin’ (yes, shellackin’) on the Sox 15-9 after being down 9-0 after the 5th inning.  I had tickets to go watch the last game of that series on Sunday night, but sadly, it got rained out.

This past weekend I got to play host and chauffeur to my cousins and a friend who were visiting from out-of-town.  Not only was it an opportunity for me to re-explore Boston, but I spent the weekend with good weather, great food, and amazing company.  All in all, I felt pretty blessed these past couple days.  At one point, I thought to myself, “I must have done something really good lately to deserve such favor from God.”  But I had to catch myself before I let my faulty mindset sink in.

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Gospel Connection: God isn’t Santa Claus.  It’s not as though He sits up in heaven with a “Naughty and Nice” list, watching over our every move to place us in one column or the other.  There are times when we experience trial and suffering even when we’ve been faithful, and blessings when we’ve been less than favorable in His eyes.  However, our ultimate standing before God is not based on our actions or performance.  What I was quick to revert to in my thinking was that I had been “good enough” to deserve blessings in my life at that particular time.  But conversely, does that mean I am to be punished when I falter from His standard?  Certainly not.

The only constant we have as Christians, and the biggest hope we can offer others, is Christ himself.  Good or bad, righteous or sinful, selfish or humble, our identity rests in the righteousness of the only One who deserved eternal favor in the first place.  Therefore, the joy I have in Jesus is the same after experiencing the blessings from these past two weeks, as it will be these next two weeks when I suffer through finals.  To all my fellow students, let’s rejoice in the Constant we have in our triune God!

Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Hebrews 4:14-16 

April 2, 2012

Spread the love

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After an amazing weekend on our annual church-wide retreat, I was able to cap it all off with some great food and awesome company.  Concluding the second Sunday service, our senior pastor invited a random array of straggling volunteers who were breaking down sound equipment, to dinner with him and his family at a new Korean restaurant that opened up in Brighton.  With the incentive of eating free 순두부 (“Soon Dubu,” a Korean tofu casserole dish, and one of my favorite Korean dishes) and spending time with our pastor, there was no real way I could say ‘no.’

Now I’m usually a very big critic when it comes to food, especially Korean food in Boston, but I was not disappointed this time.  After years of being let down by either over-priced and/or under-qualified restaurants in the area attempting to serve the cuisine of my ethic heritage, Kaju Tofu on Harvard Ave. finally delivers a reason for Korean-Americans like me to have hope.  I grew up in the Tri-State area, and always within an hour’s driving distance of the bustling Koreatowns of Flushing, NY and Fort Lee, NJ.  It was probably due to this childhood of being spoiled with good Korean food that when I came to Boston, I could only be set up for dissatisfaction.

Ladies and gentlemen, Kaju will rival any and all Korean restaurants in Boston, and I will gladly put it in my Top 5 Asian restaurants in Beantown – and that’s saying a lot.  For those from New Jersey, I would go as far as to say that it can compete with the famous 순두부 chain of 소공동 (So Gong Dong).  It’s just that good.

But when I got home, I faced a dilemma concerning my newly-found gem.  I was halfway through typing out a Facebook status and posting a link to Kaju’s Yelp review page, when I thought to myself:

Wait a minute.  Do I want to be posting this?  If word spreads about Kaju, then it will be busy 24/7.  Situated right in the heart of Harvard Ave. (the Koreatown of Boston), I could potentially be unleashing waiting-time madness to all subsequent visits to Kaju from hereon out.  Do I really want to spread word about this amazing food find?  Or should I just keep it to myself?

For those of you who are friends with me on Facebook, you know what decision I ended up making.  And here’s the GC that I had to preach to myself in that very moment…

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Gospel ConnectionThe Gospel is Good News that was given freely by grace.  To hoard the treasures for oneself would not aptly convey the heart of the initial Giver.  Those who store up earthly goods for themselves here on earth will surely not be good stewards of what would await them in heaven, and are considered fools in Scripture (Luke 12:16-21).  We are called be generous and give abundantly, not out of obligation or the promise of recognition, but because He has given immensely to us first.

Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.
Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come again, tomorrow I will give it”—when you have it with you.
– Proverbs 3:27-28 (ESV)

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