Taking Fun Seriously

Taking Fun Seriously

by Natalie Walker Our wedding was in two days. It was ten o’clock at night, and we had a million things left to do on our checklist. Yet, my fiancé and I found ourselves standing in an aisle at Home Depot debating how much we should spend on a plastic tarp, dishwashing soap, and a garden hose. The need, of course, was urgent. We were picking up supplies to create a slip and slide at our rehearsal dinner. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t entirely confident in our plan. The wedding funds had been spent, and the details for the weekend had all been arranged. My bride’s mind began to play out every worst-case scenario that could possibly go wrong: injuries, scrapes, scratches. I could picture myself walking down the aisle to my groom, only to be met with some kind of freak facial injury because we just had to have that slip and slide. Right about the time I was encouraging my future husband to drop the soap and make a beeline for the door, I stopped to remind myself why we were doing this in the first place. We knew that the ceremony would be sacred, and that the reception would be memorable. But, we also knew that this weekend was our first chance to make a statement about who we were, and who we wanted to be, as a married unit. And, we wanted to be fun. During our engagement, my husband and I came up with a list of five core values that we hoped to prioritize and embody, one of which was fun. It’s not...
Pick Up the Dream

Pick Up the Dream

by Jason Voong A few years ago I was having a conversation with a friend of mine. I was telling him a dream that I had to one day preach at a specific church. He responded, “Who do you think you are?” and “What makes you think they would even let you?” The combination of that conversation, struggles I had, and events that had occurred up to that point – led me to a place where I began to lay that dream down – and other dreams with it. I thought I was disqualified. I thought that maybe I wasn’t the right guy for the job. Because if I was, shouldn’t everyone be on board and everything line up exactly the way I want them to? We buy into lies like that all the time don’t we? As a result, many of us have laid down dreams that we were never meant to lay down. There’s a guy in the Bible named Peter. In the very beginning of the Gospels, Peter is sitting in a boat and fishing. Jesus comes and calls Peter out of the boat. He gives him an invitation to not fish for fish, but to become a fisher of men. This is Jesus inviting Peter into a dream. And not just any dream, but a dream that’s bigger than himself. God’s dreams are always bigger and better than anything we could ever imagine. God’s dreams are always bigger and better than anything we could ever imagine. Click To Tweet A little bit later, Jesus blows the dream up (in a good way), and says, “Oh...
Healing Rooms: It’s Time

Healing Rooms: It’s Time

written by Josh Kim HEALING ROOM ORIGINS Just two months ago in May, Pursuit NYC launched and hosted our very first Healing Room service where we worshiped in His presence and went after physical, spiritual, emotional, and relational healing. It was an amazing time of worshiping and contending for God’s healing in people’s lives. For us as a team, it was a very special moment because we were finally seeing one of our dreams come to life. When our team was dreaming about Pursuit NYC back in 2013, and everything God wants to do in this region, one of the things on our list of dreams was contending for healing, especially physical healing. We wanted to be passionate about God’s healing because we simply believe that God is Healer (“…for I am the LORD, who heals you.” – Exodus 15:26) and He wants to heal people today. That is the heart behind the Healing Room services – nothing more and nothing less. We believe that God is who He says He is, good and powerful, and He’ll do what He says He’ll do. We believe that God is who He says He is, good & powerful, and He’ll do what He says He’ll do Click To Tweet GOD IS WILLING TO HEAL TODAY There are many people in our lives and in our world who are suffering from all types of diseases, illnesses, and injuries. I, myself, grew up with and still deal with sun-allergies. As I was growing up with this skin condition of being allergic to the sun, I questioned the nature and character of God, particularly...
Testimony from JSTRM Revival

Testimony from JSTRM Revival

Testimony by David Yi, Youth & Children’s Pastor at DKUMC Sam was our guest speaker for our youth revival in May.  Our theme was “Victory” and so the goal was obvious – to get our youth group to have a shift in mentality towards the battles they face in life.  As we prayed together, we both felt the sense that God wanted to really encounter the students and attendees of our event.  If you saw in Sam’s recent video blog, he came with his mentee, Danny, and their weekend in Delaware began with God’s healing power in the middle of a restaurant!  So, it’s no surprise that the healing power of God broke out through our revival.  The kids were timid to approach the front to receive prayer for healing but by the end of the evening, the front of the sanctuary was full of students and overflowing into the center aisle.  Kids were all on their knees earnestly seeking the love of God and it was a beautiful sight.  The two major topics of healing were for knees/ankles and family.  As time passed, I had the chance to talk to some of the kids about what happened.  A lot of them actually experienced partial healing in the knees and ankles and several of them commented about how God really changed a struggling family dynamic! So I decided to keep pressing in.  We asked God to continue to heal the students and I was surprised to see that they were instantly completely healed!  We went one step further.  I prayed that they would all receive the gift of healing. ...
Why We Need One Another

Why We Need One Another

One Sunday morning at church, I saw a friend whom I hadn’t seen in a quite a bit. All of a sudden, I was overcome with deep compassion for him. I, of course, loved him as a friend and a brother in Christ, but this was unique. As I pressed into what that was, God started speaking to me about him and opening passages from Scripture to describe where he was. Now I had no idea if these verses were relevant or not. I wasn’t sure what was going on in his life, but I decided to just share with him all of these things in faith. As I shared this with him, he had tears well up in his eyes. He responded by saying how spot on everything was and that those Scriptures were ones he had actually been thinking about recently in the past week! We were both in awe of God, and I was tremendously encouraged and thankful to be used by Him in that way. My friend continued and said this moment showed him just how much God loved him, that he wasn’t alone, and that I definitely knew how to hear from the Father. Yet when it comes to my own life and the unknowns that come with it, there are times I feel as though I’ve never heard God before. At all… That I just don’t even know how. How do I even start hearing from God? How do I even know it’s God? Do I really know how to hear from Him? And the questions and doubts go on and on. And...
Still Learning, Still Risking

Still Learning, Still Risking

The other week I had the tremendous honor of preaching at a youth revival in Delaware. It would be my first time doing ministry there and I was really looking forward to it. As the date approached closer, I took some time to seek God on how I could prepare myself for the weekend. Should I spend some time in extended prayer? Should I even fast? That’s when I felt like God said, “No, I don’t want you to fast. I want you to feast.” At first I wondered if that was really God speaking or my own flesh! Because of course, eating is easier than fasting. But a part of me wanted to fast because that was more “spiritual”, which meant a better outcome in ministry (or so I thought). Yet the best thing we can do is obey. So with that in mind, I did what anyone would do in that scenario. I went straight to my iPhone and opened up the app, Yelp! Being totally new to the area, I was hoping to find a spot that would represent “feasting” the best. I stumbled upon a BBQ place deemed the best in all of Delaware according to the Travel Channel. Also the name was so unique, I had to see for myself. Once there, my mentee, Danny, and I asked the owner what we needed to try, and she ordered for us. It was ribs, brisket, kebabs, and more. Truly a feast! As we were enjoying the meal, we started talking to the owner about the restaurant and how they began the business. From there God started...
Leadership is about Greatness

Leadership is about Greatness

“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.” — Mark Twain Recently I was catching up with a regional leader on what was next. I had recently transitioned out of my home church into a new season. He asked me what I learned the most while being there. As I tried to think about the last three and a half years, I knew I learned so much, but couldn’t pinpoint one particular thing. That’s when I realized that I wasn’t leaving with just more information or knowledge, but as a fuller version of who God envisioned me to be. I shared that more than what I gained or acquired, I was walking away empowered in my identity and purpose. That my time there was more about who I became than what I learned. This was in stark contrast to my previous experience, which was probably one of the worst times of my life. I saw the dark side of leadership where people’s own agendas and insecurities negatively affect everyone. It was indeed a difficult season, but not a wasted one because I did learn so much. I learned how to submit and to honor. In retrospect, I can honestly say that it were the bad leaders who taught me the most about leadership. They taught me what not to do, whereas great leaders didn’t necessarily teach me how to be a better leader, instead they helped me become my best self. Isn’t that what true leadership should be about?...
The Story isn’t Over

The Story isn’t Over

It had been seven long, grueling seasons in the NBA. Though this player was known for his abilities and athleticism, it had yet to have translated into a championship. He endured a serious injury early on in his career that made him miss practically a whole season. And lately many wondered if he could hold up physically from taking such a beating on the basketball court. There seemed to be a ceiling of how far he could lead his team. Critics and fans alike started to question him as a player. As a leader. Was he too selfish? Did he have what it takes? Can he actually get the job done? Now the athlete we are talking about is Michael Jordan, who many consider to be the GOAT (greatest of all time). Once his NBA playing days were all said and done, he would have won six championships as well as numerous other feats that would set him apart as an iconic figure in not only sports but pop culture. Yet if we judged him only halfway through his career, it would not capture the fullness of his legacy and greatness that was to come. The truth is God is not finished with you yet. The Bible says that He is the Author and Perfecter of our faiths (Hebrews 12:2). The good work He started in you, He will complete (Philippians 1:6)! Yet as human beings bound by time, it is hard for us to see beyond our past and our present circumstances. We wonder if the promises God has for us will ever come to pass. We think...
Being Used by God – Part III

Being Used by God – Part III

Final part of a three-part series. Read part one & part two. There’s nothing more automatic than driving home from a familiar location. You know all the turns to make as well as the shortcuts that even Google Maps doesn’t know. But when you venture to a place you have never been before, you are helpless without directions. You ever turn down the music so you can concentrate on what the GPS is saying to you?! So you can see the turn you have to make coming up? That’s what you call true focus and dependency! Often times the greatest hindrance of being used by God is familiarity. When we become familiar with Him and how He works, we inadvertently put Him in a box. We mistake the same outcomes and formulas with a move of God. Before we know it, we know how to minister and be “used by God” apart from God Himself. We start valuing performance rather than creating space for Him to move as He pleases. Soon being used by God is like driving home from a familiar location. Our greatest ministry will always flow out of a deep intimacy with Christ. Click To Tweet However, did you know that most car accidents happen within a 25 mile radius of people’s homes? In the same way, when we operate out of familiarity, we are headed for trouble. Our greatest ministry will always flow out of a deep intimacy with Christ. Yet familiarity is counterfeit intimacy. Familiarity and putting God in a box is the quickest way to turn a movement of God into a monument....
Being Used by God – Part II

Being Used by God – Part II

Part two of a three-part series. Read part one & part three. One of the caveats of God answering the prayers of being used by Him was that there was a price to be paid. The “more” of God always has a price tag. God will always give you the grace and empowerment needed to pay the price, but it does not change the fact that it is still costly. That cost is always the same. It is suffering. We might not suffer the same thing or in the same way. Suffering will come in many different forms and waves, but pain is still pain regardless. There was something about the pains I have faced that has allowed God to do His deepest and finest work in me and then through me. It was messy at times and brutal at others. Yet His mercy carried me forth each and every time. Pain is what allowed God to do is deepest work in me and then through me. Click To Tweet When I prayed those prayers as a new Christian, I never knew that it would cost as much as it did. Just as olives are crushed for oil to flow, it was the suffering that released the anointing in my life. When I saw how God used my pains to bring healing to others, there was no denying that suffering was part of the cost. Yet suffering without the cross reduces God to an evil dictator rather than a loving Redeemer. But there were times when, through the lens of my experiences, I thought that in order to reach a new level of...