Dedication: Jiseon Choi

29 10 2008

I was driving on Telegraph Ave. toward Willard with Soo and Jesse (wife and kid) for our 10am run-thru a couple Sundays ago when I realized that I forgot to tell Jiseon that we’re supposed to be at Willard by 10am.  Jiseon had been taking a break from singing for the worship team because she just got too busy with ministry and life, but recently got reeled back on board, to the rejoicing of many.  Our 10 am run-thrus were a recent implementation and so she wouldn’t have known about it.  Anyway, as I was kicking myself for forgetting to inform her, Soo and I spotted her car, and sure enough, it was Jiseon.  She must’ve taken the initiative to find out herself, which already demonstrates some level of dedication. But that’s not the interesting part of this story…

We pulled up to the left side of her car at the Ashby-Telegraph stoplight. Soo opened her window and waved her arm out of the door trying to get Jiseon’s attention, just to say “hi”.  

Soo: “hi Jiseon!… hey, Jiseon!..  She can’t hear me… hey, haha…” [turns to James] “… what is she doing?”

I looked over and Jiseon had her eyes focused straight ahead, but she was making some fish faces, lips puckered and all.  We didn’t see Sophie (her daughter) in the back seat, and she looked quite serious.  Unable to come to some reasonable conclusion to why she would be engaging in something so bizarre, we watched for a little while as our giggles turned to chuckles and then to full on laughter.  And then the green light came. I later told Jiseon what happened, and asked her what she was doing. She said it was an exercise her vocal teacher taught her to do.  Needless to say, she wouldn’t demonstrate it for me…

Two things I’d like to point out about this story:

1) Jiseon is dedicated.  Taking initiative to know what’s going on with the worship team schedule.  Finding time in her busy schedule to fit in her vocal exercises.  One of the best singers at our church, and yet practices to get even better.  And so focused in doing so as to not notice when some friends are trying to get your attention to say “hi”.

and 2) You never know when said “friends” are watching and having a good laugh at your expense.  

Welcome back, Jiseon. We’ve missed you.

James Kim
Gracepoint Fellowship Church – Worship Director


Show Yourselves To Be

23 10 2008

One of my favorite Steven Curtis Chapman songs, “Show Yourselves To Be“, is based on this week’s devotion text, John 15. This time around, what caught my attention was where it says “This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples” from which the song gets its title. The New English Translation says “My Father is honored by this…” This tells me that bearing fruit is what honors God. Bearing fruit is what demonstrates that I am a Christ follower.

“…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” — Galatians 5:22-23

Show Yourselves To Be
by Steven Curtis Chapman

Sweet are the branches
Growing the fruit that comes from the vine
But these are just branches
Blown by the wind holding on to life
I want to be like them
Holding to the One whose life is mine
And I know as I follow him
His life will surely show in me

He said you will
Show yourselves to be
The ones who follow Me
By the evidence you leave along the way
They will know that you are mine 
Like the branches on the vine
If you show yourselves to be following Me

Faith joins our hearts to Him
It’s not a result of anything we do
But if we are part of Him
There will be reasons to believe it’s true
The fruit cannot help but grow
If the branch is joined into the tree
And love cannot help but show
In the one who goes where Jesus leads

Planted in the fertile soil of quiet times
Watered by the rains of trouble
Growing toward the sun that shines

They will know that you are Mine
Like the branches on the vine
If you show yourselves to be following Me
So show yourselves to be following Me

That means it’s about my character. When I overcome my sinful nature — pettiness, a short temper, being easily discouraged and being discouraging, being harsh and unreasonable, among many, many other things — with the fruit of the spirit by surrendering my life and its parts to the lordship of Christ, that’s bearing fruit.

That honors God and shows that I follow Christ. Not singing the songs, not attending church events, not even evangelism and ministering to other people, leading people to Christ or teaching them the Bible. It’s being connected to the true vine and bearing fruit, changing my character and becoming like Christ. That’s harder, and I can’t just force my way to bear fruit like I can doing the things that I do. Instead it comes through being rooted in the word and prayer, and allowing my interaction with God to saturate the rest of my day in my decisions, actions and thought-life.

This is the song I chose for the Berkeley worship team to sing at the Gracepoint Fellowship Church – Austin farewell, a prayer for them, and a commitment for us who remain here to do the same.  And we will be connected with them as long as we all remain connected to the true Vine, remaining in Him, obeying his commands, and loving one another, demonstrating to the onlooking world that we are His.

Jesse — Dan Fan Club, President

10 10 2008

Here is a picture of my son, Jesse. He likes watching our band play, be it for practice at our North Loop building, or at the Willard auditorium for our Sunday morning run through.  I guess he picked up a couple things from watching us…

I sit him down on the drum “throne” (as Albert said it’s called.  hmm… what does that say about drummers?) and hand him a pair of sticks.  He hits most of the drums in no particular order.  When I took these pictures, there was a small cymbal that was just out of his reach. He went for it and fell onto the larger tom, and clinging for his life, he was still swinging for that small cymbal… that’s dedication.

Daniel, you have a padawan… don’t let him go to the dark side.  And while you’re at it, could you potty train him too?

James Kim
Gracepoint Fellowship Church – Worship Director