First Presbyterian Church

Jan 3

We can do nothing without the Lord.

John 15: 5 "I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing."


2024.....The New Year is now counting down. We took the first step to a fresh new path in our lives. I believe it will be an incredible journey for us. To achieve a fresh start and successful results, I would like to suggest four important things that I truly believe make our lives more meaningful and fruitful for this New Year.


First, treat each day as brand new with no mistakes. Whatever life's journey we went through last year, put it behind us, and don't look back. We may have gone through several tough times and have made many mistakes. But do not let that haunt us, and do not let it stick with us. Don't allow those broken dreams or heart-breaking moments to hold us back. God has new plans for us this year.


Second, learn from those mistakes. There will never be a day when we don't make a mistake. It could be inevitable that we all make wrong choices or take wrong paths as long as we live in this world. But how we respond to it is much more critical. What types of attitudes towards it make a big difference? Let's learn from what we did last year. We shouldn't repeat it but change our actions.


Third, stay in faith and expect good things in our lives. We should believe that God always wants to bring the best things into our lives. He never puts us through the test to disappoint us but to make us stronger and get closer to Him.  

Lastly, this is the most important thing that I want us to remember: we can do NOTHING without Christ.

Is he the center of your life?

Do you genuinely believe that your life course is orchestrated by His hand?

Without His guidance, grace, and power, we can do nothing.

I hope that throughout the year, we will set aside a little more time for prayer and sorely look up our eyes to Him. Then, at the end of this year, we will indeed see many delicious fruits in our lives

Jan 10

Who really touched Me?


Mark 5:30-34

"Immediately aware that power had gone forth from Him, Jesus turned about in the crowd and said, "Who touched My clothes?" And His disciples said to Him, "You see the crowd pressing in on You; how can You say, 'Who touched me'...but the woman came in fear and trembling, falling down before Him. He said your faith made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease."

Yesterday, I meditated on the story of the woman in the bible who suffered from hemorrhaging for twelve years and touched Jesus' robe.  Then I found an interesting fact: Jesus asked who touched Him.

Did He not know who the person was?

It is hard to believe that Christ, the Son of God, didn't recognize who she was. Yes, Our Lord knew who made the physical contact, so why did Jesus ask that specific question when the crowd was pressing around Him?

The question was not asked to find out who touched Jesus. It was for the crowds to hear His response. They followed Jesus everywhere. They probably tried to get close to Him because they were curious, or He might have been a superstar to them.

But there was only one person in the crowd who really touched Jesus with all her heart. The woman reached out to Jesus through her shame, desperation, and broken heart. To her, Jesus was the only hope to cure her sickness. She could have been the only one who truly believed in His power.


So, it can be rephrased, “There are so many people around Me, but only one person who wholeheartedly touched Me."  

So, it can be rephrased, “There are so many people around Me, but only one person who wholeheartedly touched Me.".

Once in a while, I think about what I am doing for the Lord, how busy I am, and how much time I spend. I am always staying at church, but what if Jesus would say I'm not reaching out to Him? Instead of bringing my brokenness to the Lord, I'm hiding it or sugar-coating it to make me look clean and good.


We should not just walk around Jesus and press in on Him. We must sincerely reach out our hands to Him with our humility and shamefulness and believe He is the only One who can heal us. Then our Lord will turn around and say, "You have touched me. Go in peace, and you will be healed.

Jan 17

God’s replacement?

Genesis 11:8-9

So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. That is why it was called Babel.

Early one Sunday morning, the snow barricaded the church's front door. I brought out the snow shovel and tried to clean the area; however, my efforts were ineffective as the half-melted snow with the proper rain was too heavy to remove. The temperature suddenly rose up 30 degrees with a few hours, so the snowfall transformed into light rain. I still felt the razor-cut cold wind blowing on my face. Unfortunately, I couldn’t make a dent in the snow.

Then, a little later, a truck attached to a snowplow came and cleaned the whole church parking lot, including the front door. It took only a few minutes to remove all the snow.


During winter, Napoleon lost one-third of his army while passing through the Berezina River in Russia. More than 25,000 soldiers died walking through the blizzard. If they had a snowplow truck, all those young men’s lives wouldn’t have needed to be lost under the snowfall. I guess Napoleon might have called the snowplow a miracle machine. To the soldiers, it must’ve been a true miracle. To us, it is simply human technology.

A miracle that happened 2000 years ago is not a miracle today. It could be performed by human technology.


  • So, can the power of God be replaced by our great inventions?
  • Can Tylenol or any other medical equipment be more powerful than Jesus' supernatural healing?

The Creator has given us the cognitive power to achieve all those technological and scientific feats to make our lives better and more manageable. Thus, we can honor the depth of His provision and acknowledge who our God is.

But do we get closer to the Lord as human society develops better?


Being proud of our abilities is a tower of Babel today. We still need God's power and His authority, even though there might be no need for supernatural powers in our present time. Our Lord might not destroy any of our material buildings, but we must know that He could tear down the channel - the spiritual sense of knowing God and listening to Him that he uses to communicate with us. We could be "spiritually" dead.      


To be spiritually healthy, we need to restore or upgrade our spiritual level; we might not be able to perform one of those miracles in the Scripture in our lifetime. But we can acknowledge all our abilities as gifts given by the Lord.


Jan 31

Where do we get that spiritual intuition? (from May 15, 2019)

Luke 12:11-12

"When you are brought before the synagogues, rulers, and authorities, do not worry about how to defend yourselves or what to say. For at that time the Holy Spirit will teach you what you should say."


In November of 2017, a wooden carving of a Hawaiian god of war,

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Kukailimoku, was put up for auction for $7.5 million at Christie's Auction House in Paris. It was created sometime between 1780 and 1891, a period considered the height of the Hawaiian artistic production. The big price tag made international headlines. However, some experts brought up the question of the authenticity of the art. The first person who noticed the possible fraud in the piece was Mark Blackburn, who studied Polynesian artifacts for decades. He said that as soon as he saw the statue, he noticed the piece was a copy. The genuine Kukailimoku was of a different size, about 9 to 12 feet tall, and the wood quality had a unique texture reflecting the light in a different color.


People were astonished not only by the million-dollar fake statue, but also Mark's intuition on the faux pas of the art. How did he recognize right away that the Hawaiian wooden god was not real? Since he had studied and collected the Oceanic pieces for years, his intuition and perception on the art had also been sharpen by his knowledge. They are driven by what effort you put in and by what you like to do.

There were no written scriptures on their master's teachings, yet. Then, where Jesus' disciples gain the insight and instruction with which they carried out their ministerial calling and discipled other followers? What were their resources for them to refer to their decision-making?


Apostle Paul had a deeper knowledge on God more than any other religious leaders. He was the Jew of the Jews and the Pharisee of the Pharisees, even though he did not really believe who Jesus really was. And His knowledge on God in the Old Testament functioned efficiently and timely as a major power source to equip him with the intuition on God and the Messiah when being in Christ. That intuition sprouted as the spiritual guidance and insight, so he could write the scriptures and minister to others.


There are many events in our lives where we are not really able to understand and explain how things happen nor how they impact us both in our Christian walk and secular life. We need spiritual guidance and insight to see and determine what has to be done and where we have to head towards. When we study the scripture, even if some of the accounts are unclear, it would come out as a spiritual intuition at the right time, and therefore provide us for what we need to do for our lives and the kingdom of heaven.

What Jesus means in verse 12, "At that time, the Holy Spirit will teach you..." is spiritual intuition which has been developed within you when seeking the Lord in prayer and knowledge.

Feb 14

Not Falling Down  

Matthew 10:27

“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.”

There is a theory called “A Sparrow Fall.” Some Atheist philosophers make this theory to prove that there is no God, or God might exist, but he is not as powerful as we think.

What they insist on is by quoting Matthew 10, “Sparrows don’t fall outside God’s care, but they still fall.

Then why did God let them fall? Why did He not protect them?

The atheist philosophers extend their theory to our Christian faith by saying sarcastically that God is surprised by our unexpected prayer at night. He doesn’t know how to respond to our prayers.      

They came up with “A Sparrow Fall” theory to make sense of something beyond human knowledge and experience and some mystery.

When the Sep.11 attacks took place in 2011 and killed 3,000 people and injured over 6,000, some people insisted on a conspiracy theory that our government blew up the Twin Towers buildings. The real surprising fact is that this theory was so popular and convincing at that time that Time magazine even put the story as a significant article.

Then Psychology Today magazine responded to the theory by arguing, “People try to make sense of a confusing and uncertain world. They make clear who the forces of darkness are and the forces of light so that they can be aware of a secret knowledge.” 

 This type of conspiracy theory, or A Sparrow Fall, is an emotional or psychological self-satisfaction. When we are hungry or physically tired, we eat and rest to satisfy our bodies. Emotionally, we’re hungry, too.

People pursue emotional self-satisfaction, Sparrow Fall theory, or Conspiracy theory to make sense of something unexpected, unexplained, or mysterious.  

God promises He will care for us but doesn’t explain how to proceed. Sparrow, eagle, deer, dog, dolphin…each creature needs its care.

The statement “Sparrows will not fall” means something more than words. God is a mystery. His way is unknown. His will is unidentified. What He does doesn’t satisfy our emotional emptiness but carries out His marvelous plan.   

Feb 21

Open Your Box from

Luke 7:37 "Then she continued kissing his feet and anointing them with the ointment." 

"Hesitation" and "fear..."  those words were words the woman felt right in front of the Pharisee's house.  She might have felt uncertain about facing the unfriendly spirits in the house.  It is not hard to imagine that when walking into the house, she was going to be unwelcomed and disrespected by those who were religiously elite people.  It took a lot of courage for her to face those situations, and it required her to have a strong belief that everything would be all right.  

Being embarrassed and humiliated, the woman stepped into the house. There was no turning back.  She felt a sense of hostility and mockery. She probably didn't care, but it is hard to tell.  Then she broke the seemingly expensive alabaster box. The ointment was poured out and diffused throughout the room.  Tears were coming down from her eyes.  

  • Wasn't it a bizarre scene where a woman out of the blue walked in, cried, kissed, and then broke a fragrant box?  
  • On top of it all, why was she crying?  
  • Did the woman know that Jesus was going to sacrifice His life on the cross?  

We cannot tell.  One thing we know for sure from the Scriptures is that she wanted to break out of her miserable life.  She longed for freedom from feeling guilty, isolated, and discriminated against.  That was the reason that made her courageously step into the house filled with "hostile people."

Her life was desolate and she had nothing to leave behind.  When she broke the alabaster box, maybe she also wanted to crack all her heartbreaking feelings.  She did it.  Then, the biggest comfort came to her, expected or not. Jesus said, "Go in peace, your faith saved you."  

What faith did she have?  

It must be the one where her faith was seen by Jesus, who saw through her heart and understood her painful paths - what she had been through. Thus, cracking the alabaster box is like opening her heart, exposing her shameful life - feelings of desperation and sadness.  She did not have anything to show Jesus except that darkness.  

It could be the truth that God's grace abundantly comes upon us when we hit rock bottom.  When we have nothing to lose or are stuck at a dead-end corner, His grace is present in our deepest heart and sprouts a peaceful voice in it - "Go in peace."  God is waiting for us to break our boxes.  Showing our disgraceful secrets is nothing shocking to Him because God already knows what is there.  When we open our boxes, they give out the sweetest smell; the most shameful things are the sweetest aroma to Him.

Feb 28

Know How Good You Are

Romans 5:18

18 Therefore just as one man's trespass led to condemnation for all, so one man's act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all.


A few psychologists in Australia experimented on patients who suffered from depression. Instead of counseling and analyzing the causes of the emotional disorder, the doctors had the patients look at themselves in a mirror and tell themselves about their life stories.

On the first day, they all didn't say anything but were silent. No one even looked in the mirror. Some of them even said that they couldn’t look at themselves in the mirror.

Then, as time went by, each person opened their minds and began to talk to themselves.

The most interesting part was that they shared the stories about their childhood;

what good boys they used to be,

what dreams they had for their future,

their best friends,

and even the comic books they enjoyed reading.

Then, an amazing result was coming out; as they told these stories, they began to heal. Their emotional status was stabilizing. As their mentality was restored to a healthy level, their physicality also improved. No more medicine was needed. No more counseling was needed.

It was all about looking at themselves and talking.


This experiment shows us how lost we are within ourselves. The fundamental cause of our emotional disturbances, which could influence our health, could be found inside of us.

It could be true that we do not know ourselves as we would like; we don't know how good we are, how precious we are, and how great we are meant to be.


This is the message of our Lord's journey on earth. God walked into human society in the form of a human being in order to show us how precious we are before God. Seeing the value of ourselves as God's children is the purpose of our Lord's sacrificial act on the Cross.

We are good because of Him. We are righteous because of His forgiveness, mercy, and grace.