March 26, 2013--7:11 AM--Easter is Upon Us! We Serve a Risen King!!!
Well, I think I need to apologize for not writing any entries for so long. It has been a very challenging past few months to say the least. But despite bumps in the road both personally and professionally, one of the biggest blessings in my life continues to be my ministry at Cornerstone. I believe I've mentioned this before but we are not just merely a non-denominational Christian/Protestant church in Redding. We're a family. We delight in worshiping and serving the Lord together and we pray for one another without ceasing. And I truly believe it is because of those prayers that I am so blessed. So first and foremost, thank you to all of you who have been praying for my family (myself, my wife Jiwon, our daughters, my mom, my brother Chris, etc.)
As we go through this Holy Week (Palm Sunday/Passover/Good Friday/Easter), let us be reminded that Jesus was very well "in the know" of what He would have to endure during His Passion. Let us also be reminded that God chose to do this freely of His own accord. He sent His only begotten Son to die for us and be raised from the dead and He did this to win and buy our freedom. Freedom from what? Freedom from our eventual demise (both physical and spiritual) and a trip to the Lake of Fire. Romans 3:23 tells us "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God" and Romans 6:23 says "For the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ, our Lord".
While on this earth, Jesus was the physical manifestation of a God that is invisible to us. But just because He's invisible to us does not mean that He doesn't exist. He exists and believe me, He makes His presence known. But Jesus was sent for one reason: to be our substitute in death. Jesus drank from the Cup of Wrath (God's wrath) and took on substitutionary atonement for us. He who knew no sin became sin through propitiation. And all of God's anger landed on Him for OUR sins. And when it was over and He gave up His life on the cross at the end, Jesus said "It is finished". And with that, we were freed from the bondage of sin and being in the clutches and chains of the enemy.
Let us rejoice this week! Easter is upon us and let us give thanks for being new creations in Christ.
Blessed be His Holy Name!!!
December 24, 2012--8:08 AM--We Wish You a Merry Christmas
Well, I am very pleased to announce that we had a spectacular Christmas Sunday yesterday. We started off with our regular morning service which was great but we also had our Annual Christmas Candlelight Service. Normally we have it on Christmas Eve but due to schedule conflicts, we chose to do it on Christmas Sunday instead. We started off with a free Christmas dinner open to all and boy was it well attended. After the delicious meal we shared together, we all went into the candlelit sanctuary for our candlelight service. The candles were already lit and everyone received one. It was a service filled with powerful preaching, great music both from the worship team and from folks performing specials, and you could feel the Holy Spirit's presence in its fullness. Praise the Lord for that!
As a non-denominational Protestant church, we fully honor the real "Reason for the Season" not just here in Redding but worldwide. The gift of having Jesus Christ, our Lord, Messiah, and Savior born this day some 2000+ years ago in a little town called Bethlehem, is our real reason for celebration. Don't get me wrong. Gift giving and other traditions are a nice part of the season. But the word "Christmas" is a redux of the words "Christ" and "mass" (or religious celebration). We celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ because that's the central focus of all things.
So, we at Cornerstone Community Church would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas. We pray that it's one filled with many blessings! Praise the Lord!
December 17, 2012--3:54 PM--In Honor of the Victims of Sandy Hook Elementary Shooting
SHOOTING IN NEWTOWN, CT @ SANDY HOOK ELEMENTARY
I feel that it's necessary to say something on my blog about this tragic event. There's no doubt in my mind that the nation felt a mutual and collective sense of pain and anguish upon hearing the news of this event. On December 14, 2012, a lone gunman, 20 year old Adam Lanza, went into Sandy Hook Elementary School killing 20 children, three teachers, the principal, as well as his mother (beforehand) and then ultimately himself. All told, the body count finished at 27.
I don't know what could possess a person to do something like this. If this kid was so despondent, why didn't he just kill himself and be done with it? Why take the lives of 20 innocent children and the teachers/principal who have done nothing wrong? Then to top it all off, instead of facing consequences, Lanza committed suicide. This was a good-old fashioned coward. Now, all that's left are grieving families that will forever be without their 6 or 7 year old. Their child (for some, their only child) who had given them so much joy and love and hope will now be gone for the rest of their lives. The media used words like "unimaginable" and "tragic" but there's nothing unimaginable about this. We can all feel what kind of hurt this must be like. And the fact that this was tragic does not extend to the shooter. I feel no pity for him. But again, I do feel pity for his (and his mother's) family which has now also suffered loss. This was senseless and pointless.
Of course, this will now turn to the gun control debate, I'm sure. And I'm sure I'll have an opinion about this to share in the future. But for now, I'm grieving along with the rest of the nation. I too, have a 6 year old. I don't know what I'd do without my daughter. It would literally be the end of me.
So, let us pray for these poor grieving families who have suffered tremendously this past week. I don't mean just saying we'll pray. I mean let's literally get on our knees and pray to God that He will be merciful and bring peace and comfort (and renewed strength) to their lives. It will be difficult if not nearly impossible for these parents, siblings, grandparents, friends, etc. We owe it to them to pray.
May God have mercy on these families.
August 18, 2012--1:20 PM--Dog Days of Summer
This has been a scorcher of a week in terms of temperatures. It even got up to 111 the other day. I suppose I shouldn't complain about the insanely hot summers here in Redding. After all, the rest of the year is very mild and unlike living on the East Coast, I don't have to dig from under the snow nor slip and fall on ice. In fact, when I used to work at Mercy Medical Center, I would tell out-of-town job applicants that "if they can handle July and August, the rest of the year is wonderful". I forgot to mention the part about the rain-soaked winters.
Anyway, why am I talking about weather. Well, I saw a church sign the other day that said "If you think this is hot, hell is hotter". It was an amusing sign but one that made you stop and think for a minute. Most of us don't want to think about a place like hell. Some people don't even believe there is a hell. Why not? Well, for them it's just easier that way. Then they don't have to do the whole "God thing". That's a big mistake, right there. Lots of people don't want to think about a place that's that horrible where temperatures are torturous and relief is nowhere. More importantly, the most palpable thing you feel in hell is the distinct absence of God there. Hell is complete and total separation from God forever.
If you're someone who has left the church because you've just flat-out been disgusted with how you were treated, understand that I've been there as well. The church is not perfect and was never designed to be. But Jesus is. Jesus is perfect and loving in every possible way. Church is supposed to remind us that God wants us to love one another despite our shortcomings. In other words, we are imperfect believers who worship and love a perfect God. Christians aren't perfect. We're just forgiven.
So, I urge you, if you've been "shopping around" for a church or recently have been thinking about trying church again, come and check out Cornerstone. We are a Protestant church affiliated with the Church of God in Anderson, Indiana but we operate much like a non-denominational church does. Our emphasis and teaching is on the Word of God, not necessarily on specific doctrines or theological views. In other words, we're bible-based, not man-made-theology based.
Please consider this a personal invitation from me to you to join us on Sunday. Any Sunday. We'd love to meet you, get to know you and most of all share God's love with you. Oh...and we've got cool refreshing air conditioning and cold drinks to beat this Redding summer heat. See ya soon!
July 26, 2012--12:56 AM--Aurora, CO Shooting
Last Friday, we received the news about the horrible shooting massacre in Aurora, CO. In a senseless violent act, a gunman walked into a crowded movie theater and killed 12 people and injured 58 others. The nation mourns for these victims and prays for the survivors and of course the victims' families. We, here in Redding, need to pray. Christians pray. The world analyzes, scrutinizes and pours over facts. Christians pray.
We may never truly know why this man did what he did. But the fact of the matter is, he did do what he did. And now, hundreds of people have been affected. Each one of these people that were killed had a family, had relatives, had friends, classmates, co-workers, a church family, and so many others who were connected. When a person is killed, it affects far more than just the immediate family.
And while the justice system may take months or even years for this trial to conclude, the real trial will be before Almighty God. Someday, we will all stand naked in front of God and have to answer for our sins. Someday, we will all have to account for each and every one of our transgressions. The wrath of God comes from the justice of God. However, the love of God always wins. And the love of God is in the form of Jesus Christ, His Son. Jesus was sent here on this earth to have our sins propitiated (transferred upon His shoulders) so that Jesus (not us) would be nailed to the cross. Those sins were forgiven then and there but the important part is that WE must accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. We must also repent of our sins and live our lives as Christ would have us live it. Then and only then, will the Holy Spirit enter our hearts and change us from the inside out. We will be new creations in Christ. From then on, it's about discipleship and growing deeper and deeper in love with God and doing the things that make Him happy. Also, it's about taking that joy in your heart because of Jesus and sharing it with others, thereby making disciples of others.
If we've learned anything by this senseless atrocity in Aurora, CO, it's that life is short. Tomorrow is not guaranteed because life is temporary and fleeting and never permanent. The real question is, do you know where you'll go once you've taken your last breath? Have you thought about what will happen to you when you die? If you're not sure, I invite you to join us at church this Sunday. Cornerstone is a Christian church here in Redding, CA that believes in the grace of God through Jesus Christ as the only way to salvation. Come and let the joy of knowing and loving Christ be something that becomes a part of your life! We would love to see you here!
Finally, I just wanted to say that we will continue to keep these folks in Colorado in our prayers. There are no answers and probably only more questions. But one thing is certain and that is the love of God. Won't you come and join us to experience that love and give Him praise? We'd love that.
June 6, 2012--7:47 PM--A Plug for Redding Christian School
I hope you all get to enjoy my little video starring my darling daughter Christall (with a cameo appearance by baby sister Norah). I'm truly blessed to be able to send my children to a fine school like Redding Christian School. RCS not only has quality academic instruction but also emphasizes discipleship in Christ Jesus. God bless Redding Christian School and it's faculty and staff!
Friday, April 27, 2012--12:01 AM--Big Plans at Cornerstone
Lots of things have been going on at Cornerstone. There are lots of churches in Redding but for some reason Cornerstone as church and as a congregation really takes its involvement in ministries seriously. That's a good thing. No, scratch that. That's a great thing!
We're poised to do a lot of great things in God's name and with the help of the Holy Spirit, we will hopefully be accomplishing these many things. I've told lots of people that I truly feel like Cornerstone Community Church is right on the precipice of something great. I'm not sure what that is but I'm sure God will show me. I believe we're right on the edge of something wonderful and I believe that's growth in numbers and expanding how and where we're doing outreach and evangelizing. You'd be surprised how many people have never heard the Word of God...right here in Redding! They don't know that Christ died for their sins and with that bridged the gap that would have prevented us from going to heaven to be with God the Father. They don't know that there is no greater satisfaction than loving on Jesus and following Him and the rewards and blessings you get from that. I believe it's OUR JOB to share the gospel with people in Redding. That's going to be our focus. Outreach!
In addition to that, we're going to be hosting a number of Christian concerts/special music events over the next several months. Our worship leader Daniel Cameron is graduating from Simpson University on Saturday, April 28th. What a blessing he and his lovely wife Megan have been in sharing their many talents with us at Cornerstone. Both of them are completely "souled-out" for the Lord and are serving with passion. Praise God!
Well, I won't spoil the fun because there's going to be a lot more to report but I won't let the cat out of the bag just yet. Please stay tuned and come back to our website regularly for updates. May God bless you and your families! Blessed be His Holy Name!
Wednesday, March 5, 2012--9:23 PM--Pastor Sung's First Entry
Well, this is my first entry on our new website and new pastor's blog. I gotta tell ya, I am so blessed to be the pastor of what I consider to be the greatest church in Redding. We are by no means the biggest (in fact we're small). We're not the oldest (although we've been around for almost 60 years). But we definitely are the most loving and warmest place you'll find. When you come, my lovely wife Jiwon or I will personally greet you and make sure you're comfortable. And if you're really lucky, our two little girls (Christall and Norah) will greet you at the door with big toothless smiles and chubby cheeks!
But don't take my word for it. Come on down and see for yourself! If you like cozy churches with lots of wonderful genuine people and a pastor that believes in preaching and teaching from the Word, you're going to really like it here. I promise!
God bless you,