R.I.P. Reverend Ha Yong-jo, founder of Onnuri Church

August 2, 2011

On Tuesday, August 2, 2011, at approximately 4:50p.m. (S. Korean time) the Reverend Ha Yong-jo went to be with the Lord. According to the Korean Herald (link to article), he had emergency surgery but passed of a brain hemorrhage following a stroke. “He was at Severance Hospital in Seoul, but did not regain consciousness. Ha had been diagnosed with liver cancer and had undergone seven major surgeries over the past few years.” He was 65 years old.

(Read Korea Joongang Daily article here Aug 3, 2011)

Pastor Ha founded Onnuri Church (All Nations Church) in 1985 with a vision to start a church similar to the one found in the Book of Acts  –  one that would be true to God’s mission of spreading the good news of Jesus Christ to the world. “He wanted to produce the kind of disciple that would change the world…[for] the entire church to be the missionary,” according to Glocalnet. He was indeed a pioneer in the Korean church, and was a catalyst for global missions.

What many people of my generation take for granted, myself included, is the simple devotion that a single person could have for Jesus Christ and the cause of the gospel.  I believe Pastor Ha’s life can be summed up in the word of the Apostle Paul:

7 But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.  8 What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ  9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ— the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.  10 I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,  11 and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.  12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.  13 Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead,  14 I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenwards in Christ Jesus.

– Philippians 3:7-14,

In the coming days, personal testimonies will reveal the character of this man. I see the fruit of Pastor Ha and Onnuri Church, and it’s amazing to consider what God can do with the wholehearted devotion of a single individual.

Interestingly, Onnuri Church hosted the World Missions Conference in early July.  Korean missionaries from all over the globe convened in Seoul to seek God and to pray for the nations.  What a blessing it must have been for Pastor Ha to be able to see how the gospel is advancing before his call home.  Also at Onnuri’s 25th year anniversary celebration last year, he made public remarks of reconciliation toward Pastor Cho of Yoido Full Gospel Church for the historic divisiveness of Korean churches.  He called his members and the broader Korean Church to reconcile with each in Christian love.

Rest in peace, Pastor Ha.  Thank you for your service to the Lord.  Thank you for being a model to me and my generation.  I’m sure you heard the greatest of affirmation, “Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” (Matthew 25:21).


Need Wisdom?

May 12, 2011

1 My son, do not forget my teaching,
but keep my commands in your heart,
2 for they will prolong your life many years
and bring you peace and prosperity.

3 Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart.
4 Then you will win favor and a good name
in the sight of God and man.

5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.

7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;
fear the LORD and shun evil.
8 This will bring health to your body
and nourishment to your bones.

9 Honor the LORD with your wealth,
with the firstfruits of all your crops;
10 then your barns will be filled to overflowing,
and your vats will brim over with new wine.

11 My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline,
and do not resent his rebuke,
12 because the LORD disciplines those he loves,
as a father the son he delights in.

Proverbs 3:1-12

Live by the Spirit

April 26, 2011

13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.

16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever  you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

Galatians 5:13-26

Stop compromising & live by the Spirit.

You will know a man by his fruits.

The Love of God

December 31, 2010
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.

According to history, this 3rd verse was penciled on the wall of a narrow room in an insane asylum by a man said to have been demented. The profound lines were discovered when they laid him in his coffin.

Cultivating Inner Beauty

December 3, 2010

Being engaged has opened a realm of new possibilities.  Such as, I never thought I’d be a wedding planner, but I am one.  An ocean between me and the Love of my Life is teaching us how to communicate well (or reveal how much more we need to learn).  Budgeting for a life of two is resurfacing all sorts of life dysfunctions I’ve acquired about money, time, and space.  But most of all, engagement is a process that reveals the mettle of my personal character and devotion to my significant other.  (Think the difference between “bridezilla and the wedding from hell” versus “one of the most memorable moments of our lives. swoon.”)  And we are helping each other discover who we are becoming.

Christi taught me so much about slowing down – being deliberate with my words, considering Christ in my decisions, to simmer rather than to burn.  For example, later after the proposal (another story for another time) I asked her, “When should we update our Facebook status?” Because as you know, it’s not official until you confess before God and Mark Z.  With a patient look, she simply asked me, “How about we take our time with this? Let’s tell our family first.”  Snap.

I’m also learning more and more that Christi is a deep person.  I can be all over the map – doing this and that, going here and there, Texas-wide and an inch deep, the busy bee, etc.  It’s not necessarily a bad thing. But she has an knack for balance. “The wider you go, the deeper I go.”  She challenges me to be a man of substance and quality, not busyness and activity.

Final reflection: I’m still processing and living out the 5 Pillars of Manhood – core principles given to me by God on how to live as His son.  Christ perfectly embodies these characteristics, and it’s an on-going process of becoming more like Him.  But if I could risk identifying one pillar of womanhood that Christi is teaching me, it’s this: Cultivate Inner Beauty.

Read the rest of this entry »


October 11, 2010

Last Saturday, I met with a group of radical men committed to walking together in faith, integrity, wisdom, courage, and respect for women. I had the privilege of sharing what God’s been downloading to me this past year through my courtship and love pursuit of my girlfriend. The result was the 5 PILLARS OF MANHOOD. I’m writing a book about this because so many people have been hungry for a standard of love that is not taught or taught well in our world today. Look out for it later this year!

My friend Jaeson Ma (pastor, artist, entrepreneur, and an  influential voice for our generation) blogged about the 5 Pillar plus his personal touch.  The response has been overwhelming in the last 24 hours, causing his server/website to crash.  With Jaeson’s permission, I am reposting it on my blog. Click here for the original post


Strength & Honor,






I spent the day with a group of men in our house church learning what it takes to be a man of God when it comes to loving and respecting women. In our day an age most men are not men, they are boys. Most guys still want to marry their mom, have a women serve and take care of them, are not willing to take initiative or commit in a relationship, most men are still living in fear, not pursuing their callings for settling for “safe” because its easy. This is sad, upsetting and the standard must change.

Women don’t want to marry boys, they want to marry men. Women don’t want boys they have to put up with, clean up after and take care of, they want to be lead, pursued and taken on an exciting life adventure. If you go to most of the churches in the Western world today, you will find that there are very few spiritual men, instead there are many spiritual women. It’s disappointing, but I hear it from women of faith all the time, “Pastor Jaeson, where are the godly men?”

Today, a good brother and leader in our GBS community Daniel Ra explained what God showed him to be the “5 Pillars of Manhood” in how men must love, respect and serve women. It was enlightening and reinforcing from what I have been teaching men for years when it comes to pursuing a woman of God… of course none of us are perfect, we all have our mistakes, but we must each strive to be better and greater than what we were before yesterday, everyday making an effort to be more like God, to be just like Jesus, to be a man of faith and honor.

The 5 Pillars of Manhood…

1. Lead – A man must be a leader in a relationship, in a marriage, in a family. There are no excuses. A woman doesn’t want to make the decisions for her man, she wants her man to lead in the relationship. A man must take initiative. A man of God is leader, not a follower, a servant, not a slave, a hero not a coward. A man of God knows God and therefore knows himself. He should be the leader spiritually first, emotionally, mentally and physically he should set the standard for others to follow.

2. Protect – A real man of God will protect his partner. That means he is willing to lay down his very own life, needs and wants for the protection of the one he loves. Every decision he makes when it comes to a relationship has her protection in mind. A woman needs to feel secure, that she is protected and safe with her man. She doesn’t need to second guess, wonder if she will be okay, or have her heart and mind played with. A real man of God will not only protect his woman physically, but also mentally, emotionally and spiritually. He always has the highest good in his mind for her safety, well being and wholeness. This is for the Christian guys out there, don’t emotionally rape a sister, play with her heart and tell her you are just her brother or friend. That is BS. Man up. You either pursue a woman of God because she is God’s precious creation, or you don’t try touching it at all, or play with their hearts emotionally, unless you are willing to be up front and clear with your intentions and the direction of the relationship from the start. Emotional rape is as painful to a woman as physical rape. Women are emotional beings and their hearts are not to be played with. Protect your sisters heart.

3. Provide – A real man of God will do whatever it takes to provide for his significant other. That means monetarily in finances, in basic needs and as well as what she desires. When a man asks a father for his daughter in marriage, the father will not ask, “How are you doing spiritually first?” No, the first thing the father will ask is, “How will you provide for my daughter?” Because part of being and becoming a man is providing for others, especially your wife and children. If a man can’t provide, he isn’t a man. God gave us hands and we must put our hands to work, no excuses to be lazy, God made us to rule the earth. Women are not be treated as toys, trophies or a luxury item, women are God’s highest creation, the very image of God.

I tell men all the time, “Treat your woman like a queen and you will live like a king.” Don’t be cheap brothers, you need to go all out when it comes to pursuing a woman. This is not a one time thing, but a continual practice. Women were created for beauty. They were created beautiful, to feel beautiful to be treated beautiful. You don’t handle a rose without care, it is the same with a woman of God, you treat her with the utmost care, honor and respect. Practically, that means you don’t take a woman to Denny’s on a first date, you take her to a place that hurts your wallet, but it’s worth it because she is worthy.

Also, men must also provide for women emotionally. When a women asks you, “How are you doing?” She is really asking, “How are you being?” Meaning, what are you feeling, thinking, seeing, being about at the moment. To love a women we must provide at every level – basic needs all the way to providing for them mentally, emotionally and spiritually, if not their hearts will die. Be a man, provide for your women.

4. Integrity – A true man of God is a man of his word. Too many men in our culture break promises, play with women’s hearts, date girls as if it was a game, and have no respect for women at all. This is disgusting. In old times, when a man said “You have my word!” that word was bond, it was as if an actual contract had been written, because your word was your reputation. How many men do we know today who say one thing, but do another? Men who do not keep their word, their promise or follow through with their verbal commitments. In our culture we don’t take words seriously, but in God’s world words are everything. Blessings and curses come out of the same mouth. What comes out of our mouths determines what is truly in our hearts.

What a woman wants is a man of integrity. Someone who says what he does and does what he says. Someone they can trust at their word. So as a man you must come through. Words means nothing if they are not backed up with action. Don’t sorry unless you mean it. Don’t say sorry unless you are able to back up your apologies with doing the right thing. Integrity is doing what is right, whether people are watching or not. Integrity is what you do when no one is looking. Does your woman trust you completely? If not, it is a question of integrity. Don’t tell a women you love her unless your love shows, words carry weight. They either carry false weight or real weight, a woman knows when a man means what he says.

So live by your words, live by action, be a living proof of your values, convictions and commitments. Don’t get involved in a relationship unless you are sure this what you want and what God is leading you both to do. I’ve had my share of mistakes in the past, where I got into a relationship without thinking about the consequences, protecting my sisters heart and the fear of the Lord from the get go, I’ve had to make amends and face the results of my sin and foolishness. Trust me brothers, don’t do what I’ve done in the past, don’t play games, don’t feed your fleshly desires, rather seek God, seek the best interest of the one you are pursuing, be honest, forthright from the start about your commitment and your vision for the relationship and stick to your word. Be a man of integrity.

If you pursue a women, it should be with the intentions of marriage. If not, stop playing yourself and her. It’s not about finding the right woman, it’s about being the right man. That starts with first knowing God in order to know yourself, then you will know how to love and respect a woman.

5) Courage – You are not a man until you climb the great wall of China! This is what it says at the actual great wall. Well, I have climbed the Great Wall of China so I guess I must be more of a man than others, just kidding. What is the greater underlying message here? It is a message of courage. It is a message of adventure. A man of God is a man of courage, a man of adventure, a man who is willing to take risks and do the impossible. Men were born to live a life of great adventure. Men were created to fight battles. Men were created to rescue beauties. Men were created to live.

Sadly, most men are not living. Most men are cowards, fearful and afraid of failure. Imprisoned by their own thinking and what others think about them. Many men are just boys waiting for their mother’s approval, or the approval of others in society. Most men I know are people pleasers, not God pleasers. They are more afraid of how others may reject them or not accept them if they choose to take the road less traveled.

All men die, few men truly live.

Women don’t want nice guys or good boys, women want men on a mission, men on adventure, men who are dangerous. This is why many women are drawn to bad boys because bad boys live with a sense of risk, danger, mystery and unknown. Men were created to live fearless and to live by faith. But if you walk into a church today what you find are a bunch of boys playing with their toys, working at predictable jobs, and living boring lives. It’s sad, but most guys get their sense of adventure from playing video games or watching TV, what happened to our men?

A man of faith will sweep a woman of God off of her feet. He will challenge her to go the distance in God, in their relationship and in life. A man of courage is someone who in the face of fear still chooses to move forward with trust in God, setting out to obey God’s voice at whatever the cost, because that is what matters the most. We need men who have hearts fully alive, hearts full of passion and are on a mission to change the world. There is a high cost to being a man of courage, there is a price to pay if we want to be a real hero, it means we are willing to go against the grain, follow God against all odds and live a life of honor, courage and righteousness.

When a woman finds a man of courage, it will encourage her to be all that God has created her to be. As a man, your goal is not how your woman can serve you, but how can you serve your woman? As a man, your goal is not how a woman can serve your destiny, but how can you do all that you possibly can to release the fullness of God’s glory and destiny in her.

Men take the lead, protect at all costs, provide in every way, live by your word and live a life of adventure with the Holy Spirit — obey God, not man and you will be the man of God you were created to be — and your woman will love you for it.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.



September 22, 2010

Testimonies are a powerful way of affirming the presence of God in our lives.

You have a unique voice & perspective, and I need to hear it.  I am significantly better for it.  And only when I walk in your shoes, see through your eyes, listen through your heart, can I then say words like ‘we’, ‘community’, and ‘family’.

Tonight, I send a heartfelt shout-out to those at GBS, Numa, CRM, Fuller, and personal friends too numerous to mention (but all worth their weight in gold).  I am privileged to journey with so many passionate, loving, gifted, interesting, funny, authentic, gracious, creative, generous, vulnerable, wise, adventurous, unique, spirited people. Thank you.

Finding my way home

May 19, 2010

As I embark on an exciting journey, I felt revisiting Finding My Way Home by Henri J.M. Nouwen. I dedicate this entry to all the nomads, mavens, gypsies, creatives, in-betweeners, late bloomers, and to you who long for more – whether it be related to calling, vocation, relationships, dreams, and visions..

Here are some excerpts from the chapter entitled “The Path of Waiting”

“Waiting is never a movement from nothing to something. It is always a movement from something to something more.”

“If we wait in the conviction that a seed has been planted and that something has already begun, it changes the way we wait. Active waiting implies being fully present to the moment with the conviction that something is happening where we are and that we want to be present to it.”

“Impatient people expect the real thing to happen somewhere else, and therefore they want to get away from the present situation and go elsewhere. For them the moment is empty. But patient people dare to stay where they are.”

“Here we realize how our wishes tend to be connected with our fears, and fear, of course, prevents us from allowing time in our lives for open-ended waiting. For this reason, a lot of our waiting is not open-ended. Instead, our waiting is a way of controlling the future.”

… to unpath’d waters, undream’d shores… – Shakespeare

activating courage.

May 4, 2010

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world.

There is nothing enlightening about shrinking so that the other people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people the permission to do the same. And as we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

– Williamson

Do not fear what you are capable of.

This week, in Hotlanta GA,  I get to be in a conference room full of people who Read the rest of this entry »


May 2, 2010

creator, relator, innovator, agitator

jet-setter, trendsetter, go-getter, unfettered

gracious, audacious, sagacious, tenacious