Gracepoint Fellowship Church SWS – "In My Stead"

Jesus cried out "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" as he was on the cross.  All his followers had turned their backs on him, abandoned him to die.  But at that point, God himself would turn his back on Jesus, not because he was ashamed or embarrassed, or because he was afraid of what others might think of him, but because of his love for you and me. 

2008.07.27 Songs
Hosanna – Paul Baloche
Because Of Your Love – Paul Baloche
You Are My King – Passion
Lead Me To The Cross – Hillsong United

Why did God forsake Jesus on the cross?  The most direct answer is this: so that he wouldn’t have to forsake me.  So that he wouldn’t have to turn his back on me.  I look within and see all the terrible things that reside in my heart, all the things that would rightly make anyone cringe, and I know I would not be able to stand in the presence of the almighty, most high, holy God.  If He is indeed the most high, holy God, then he must turn his back on me.  But because of his great love for us, God who is rich in mercy, imposed the punishment that I deserve on his perfect son, Jesus Christ.  Jesus took on the abandonment from God so that I wouldn’t have to.  Jesus suffered the punishment for sin so that I wouldn’t have to.  Jesus died on the cross and was separated from God so that I wouldn’t have to. 

James Kim
Gracepoint Fellowship Church – Worship Director

Gracepoint Fellowship Church SWS- "Power to Save"

As I was reflecting over the crucifixion of Christ and the ridicule he faced leading up to his death, the age-old question “Why did Jesus have to go to the cross?” found its way back into my mind.

2008.07.20 Songs
Jesus Messiah – Chris Tomlin
Salvation Is Here – Hillsong
Nothing But The Blood – Matt Redman

Why did Jesus have to die? Well, it was to rescue me. He did so in order to usher in the promise of salvation. He did so in order to validate all the promises in the Bible that God is with me, that God loves me, and that God will never leave me.

What did his death on the cross ultimately accomplish? It ushered in a new era – an era of salvation, hope, and faith. Because Jesus went to the cross, I can believe that God’s Word never fails and stands forever. Everything else in this world will pass, but the word of God and its promises are here to stay.

Throughout the Bible we read about God’s unending love for us and his enduring presence in our lives. God uses many circumstances in our lives to communicate his love for us – various life events, different people, perhaps even through a hardship or struggle. However, the ultimate confirmation of God’s love for me – and for the world – is the cross of Christ. It’s the cross that assures me that my sins have been completely paid for, and because of this I can approach the throne of grace with confidence.

So what is powerful enough to wipe away the guilt of my sins? What is powerful enough to take the broken pieces of my life and stitch them back together? What is the only thing that has the power to redeem me and gives me a fighting chance to respond to God’s love in obedience? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Isaiah 40:1-8

Kevin Jeung
Acts2Fellowship – Worship Leader

Upward Bound

This post is a sharing from Kelly Kang that we would like to share with you.

From Kelly —–

This past week as we are hit with the news of 800 fires throughout northern CA, I was reminded of our total vulnerability and powerlessness before fire. As I was driving back to Alameda, I thought about the possibility of the fire hitting Sierra Lodge. It doesn’t matter how many hours we put into building that house, furnishing it and stocking it with everything to make that place into such a wonderful place to be at, If the wind decides to pick up and change towards the direction of our house, we are completely at its mercy. All is lost. In the mist of constant checking on the status of the fire, I was reminded of 2 Peter 3:10-14

10But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. 11Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. 13But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness. 14So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.

As I was reflecting on this verse, I was thinking about our home in heaven, the home of righteousness. No fire can destroy it. it’s eternally secure. I have my permanent residence there. in the meanwhile, while we are in this earthly tent, we can invest in eternity. We can invest in our home in heaven. I was thinking about all the hours of fellowship, bonding, hard work, perseverance, sacrifice that resulted as we built Sierra Lodge together. I realized that even if all is lost by the fire, not ALL Is lost. In fact, ALL is gain because we are eternal beings and the work that we put in, we did as a sacrifice and a fragrant offering to God.

Btw, the fire in this area is 35% contained and things are looking better although air quality is pretty bad still.

Gracepoint Fellowship Church SWS- "Proven Truth"

Apostle Paul receives these words from God. "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness". We come to a deeper appreciation of grace when we recognize our need for it, don’t we? Ever come to a point in your life when you said something, did something, or even thought something proving to yourself and probably to others that you’re not the person that you thought you were? I sure have. Any assertions of patience about myself is simply blown away by flares of temper, petty annoyances and irritation, affecting the people that are closest to me.

2008.06.29 Songs
New Doxology – Gateway Worship
Your Grace Is Enough – Chris Tomlin
From the Inside Out – Hillsong United
The Stand – Hillsong United

Perhaps we think that we’re particularly loving until, when the rubber meets the road, that love is withheld and selfishness seems to abound. Ever come to a point where you’ve proven to yourself that you’re not who you think you are?

Whatever way I’ve used to deal with it — making excuses or blaming the circumstances — when I look inside myself honestly before God, I know that I can’t fix myself. This is the way that I am. I might’ve thought I was loving, sacrificial, or generous. But my life and reality reflect the contrary. I lift that up to God and say, "Father, I don’t want to make excuses anymore. I’ll lay all of that down." And that’s when I experience grace.

God knows the truth about me, about us all. Coming to understand his grace in the specificity of acknowledging and confessing my sins brings me to a deep gratitude, and trust. Trust in his promise that even though I may fail in the same ways over and over again, his grace remains to pick me up each time. Everlasting kindness, unending love, amazing grace.

James Kim
Gracepoint Fellowship Church – Worship Director

Musical Background

It’s been three years now that I’ve gotten to be a part of the praise band at Gracepoint Fellowship Church.  I’ve gotten to witness a lot of artistic development of our worship services and message series from the background, literally (usually you can find me on the second keyboard behind a music stand :).

This year I had the opportunity to serve in a role as Praise Band Administrator (PBA).  I take care of a lot of the logistics, try to make scheduling work for everyone, and help move forward the growth of not just the current praise band, but all the future praise bands that will be involved in our future church plants.

One of my favorite parts about being PBA is seeing the addition of a new face to the band.  Of course, it makes my job of scheduling rotations a lot easier  🙂 , but more than that, it’s a privilege to see the growth and amazing development our our praise band.  Seeing how God has already “banded” together a worship team for Austin amazes me and pushes me to be faithful to the tasks, though sometimes mundane, that God has given me here.

I am looking forward to see how God will continually use our praise team to bring worship to our world. 

Sandra Kim
Gracepoint Fellowship Church – Worship Team Administrator

"A+" for Effort

I’ve always admired people who are willing to “do whatever it takes”, apply themselves to whatever is needed to get things done.  But an under-appreciated virtue is the willingness to ask.  A simple question or request might make life a lot easier, not to take away from the effort and heart.

gracepoint worship aplusA few Sundays ago at Gracepoint Fellowship Church worship service, one of our keyboardists forgot her chordsheets.  I actually discovered this when I passed behind her on stage and saw 4 pages of hand-scribbled notes of the lyrics and chords that she had scrawled seemingly that morning. I asked her what all that was, and she said, “Oh. I forgot my music…” I’m guessing that to write everything out by hand probably took her about 20 minutes, but I’m not sure. Maybe she writes by hand particularly fast.

I applaud her for her responsibility and not just going up there without any music and just “winging it” (like “a bassist soon to go to Austin” I know might probably have done). But at the same time, had she asked a simple question, she might’ve received the extra set of chordsheets that was four feet in front of her on stage, which she eventually did after I saw her hand-written chordsheets.

Either way, Joyce get’s an A+ for effort, to say the least.

Upon Which I Stand

Certain skills and abilities come in handy in different situations.  Apologetics training and philosophy classes in college help me to answer tough questions with regard to the Christian faith.  Years of musical training and experience in leading worship come in handy when asked to lead our congragation in worship under short notice.  Perhaps even having worked at Circuit City in high school might contribute to boldness in outreaching to strangers (who knows?…).  But none of these things will prove any benefit or utility for me when my Lord returns and I come face to face with the Almighty:  He as my righteous Judge, and I as the criminal. None of those things does anything to my status as a sinner, one who is guilty as charged.  

2008.06.01 Songs
Unchanging – Chris Tomlin
Where the Love Lasts Forever – Hillsong United
The Stand – Hillsong United

What, then, will I stand upon when that day comes? Certainly nothing from within me. No, I must rely on the gospel (good news, or good story) of Jesus Christ, who died in my stead, whose blood covers me so that I will be considered as righteous before God.

Psalm 62:5-7
Hebrews 9:27-28
Romans 8:35-39

Covered by Your love divine
Child of the risen Lord
To hear You say, “This one’s mine”
My heart is spoken for…
        — “Spoken For”, MercyMe

On that final day, all I can do is simply turn to Jesus, looking to him to speak on my behalf.  It will be completely in his hands.  His claim over me, that I belong to him is what will carry me over into heaven, to be with him.  On my own, I will fall.  Upon him, my Mighty Rock, I will stand.

Unseen Power

Sound technicians have a stressful job.  Overlooked in terms of gratitude owed, and often first to be blamed when something goes wrong.  Figurative fingers through literal gazes pointed at them as the target of accusation, 1200 eyeballs fixed on them as they sweat to resolve the issues.

From the worship team’s perspective, the sound techs are the ones that have the ultimate power.  We can practice for hours, perfect our transitions and have everything planned to the T.  But the sound techs have at their fingertips the power to make the difference.  In other words, without sound coming out of the system,  we’d just appear to be a bunch of dancing fools (which is entirely possible since we use personal in-ear monitor systems).

What difference can a sound tech make?  Here’s an example.  This was at the beginning of our Sunday Worship Service at Gracepoint a couple of weeks ago.  Everybody makes mistakes. But you don’t always get to hear them talk about it. My favorite part is hearing laughter at the end of the clip. At least they’re enjoying themselves.

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In case you missed it, here’s a short transcript of what they’re saying:

[ song intro begins ]

Tim: Where’s james?… Where’s the electric?
Esther: Ok…
Danielle: What’s going on?
Esther: The electric wasn’t up.

[ James’ guitar chord blares out ]

Danielle: Oh.
Esther: That’s bad, heh…
Danielle: Oh my, haha. The wrong guitar was up.

[ song intro begins ]

Danielle: [giggle]
Esther:  The wrong guitar…
Tim: Was it muted [on the board], or was it him?
Danielle: No, it was down.
Esther: It was the wrong guitar was up.
Tim: Hm. That’s not good.

Danielle: HAHAHAHA!

So, yes, sound techs make a huge difference.  Just because you don’t see them doesn’t mean they’re not there.  Sometimes the less seen, the more powerful.  

“Can you see the wind? I’ve never seen the wind but I’ve seen the effects of the wind. There’s a mystery to it.” — Billy Graham


Mark 12:41-13:2

What impresses me?

There are things we look at and evaluate, and we conclude they’re great and impressive.  It could be some giant feat of man, or some trait or ability someone has.  We all want to be impressive.  I do!  I want to be recognized and applauded, and hear, “What would we do without you?”  It makes me feel good.  I look inside, and I find myself impressed with my own talents and abilities.

2008.05.18 Songs
Hosanna – Paul Baloche
Fire Fall Down – Hillsong United
I Surrender All

While the talents and abilities I have are good, I have to ask myself: is that what I’m really all about?  I have to pause and evaluate the criteria I use to evaluate myself and others.  The things I like about myself or consider impressive might actually have very little to do with “what I’m really about.”  When I face the reality about myself, those abilities and likes aren’t nearly as “impressive” as my sinfulness and my capacity to sin.

I used to have issues with anger.  I would burn inside when things set me off.  I knew the insults spoken in the privacy of my thoughts when my oversized ego was nicked.  And even when those didn’t manifest themselves on the outside, I also acknowledge there have been many safeguards that prevented my anger from spilling out and hurting people.  There were even times in my life when these safeguards didn’t prevent my anger from erupting.  Through it all, I’m learning to control my anger, and I’ve received a lot of God-provided grace and healing.  So, when placed side by side with this part of my past, my ability to teach or speak or lead worship doesn’t seem like much at all.

The widow gave out of her poverty an amount unimpressive in the eyes of man.  But in the eyes of God, her humility and heart of surrendering what little she had far outweighed the piles of money or enormous temple stones the rest of the world saw.  If who I am on the inside is what makes a stronger “impression” to God, then that’s what I need to prioritize and deal with.


Modus Operandi

Austin, TXSome have been asking me if I feel down about so many of our current band members moving to Texas to start our Austin church.  My feelings are quite the contrary.  Yes, I’m losing valuable worship team members, and that might create more work for me here to raise up others to continue on. But I’m so proud of all the people who decided to go, and particuarly thankful and relieved that so many of them are currently serving on our worship team.  It follows right along with our heart and vision in terms of training up.

Those of us in our band who have the responsibility of training know that one of the main objectives is to provide a worship team for our church plants, foreign and domestic.  We need to train somebody to either go and fill that role, or to replace us here so that we can go. That’s the way we do things here.

David LeeIsaac Kim and Dominic MuttoLillianDavid LeeIsaac KimLillian Chung

I’ll go ahead and list out the potential worship team roster that I foresee out there:

Lead: David Lee
Vocals: Lillian Chung
Guitars: Ben Kim**
Keyboards: Dominic Mutto, Joyce Lee*
Bass: Isaac Kim
Drums: Maurice Chung**

* aka. Mrs. David Lee.  We should make them share a mic…
** played a little before, so I’m guessing will be compelled by the Holy Spirit or Pastor Manny to step up.

Quite a lineup, no?  Let’s continue to pray for jobs for all the people who committed to go out there to be our Gracepoint Fellowship Church – Austin!