During this global pandemic, we’ve all had to bear overwhelming stress and devastating losses while also being cut off from the people, activities, and places that bring us joy and help us cope with distress in the day to day.
I had no other choice but to grow up in a Korean immigrant church — my dad was the pastor. Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays were church days. Wednesday for the midweek service; Friday for youth group when I was old enough; Saturday for Rainbow School (c’mon Korean church folks, you know what I’m talking about); and Sunday for, you know, church.
The biggest scars we carry in life are not caused by random strangers. They’re given to us by the people we once loved and trusted, the people we allowed to love us. Sometimes these wounds heal. Other times we pick at the scabs and reopen the wound time after time.
“You don’t put a frog in already boiling water because it’ll jump out immediately. Too hot. You put the frog in room temperature water first. Then as the water begins to boil, he’ll wonder why it’s getting so hot. And then, next thing you know, it’s too hot and he’s cooked. That’s how it works with sin. You compromise on the small things and then next thing you know, you’re in hot water not knowing how to get out.”
Working at a church can often strengthen your faith journey. But a lot of times, working at a church is like taking a peek into seeing how sausages are made. As the saying goes, you don’t want to know how the sausage is made because you won’t want to eat it anymore. Working at churches can expose us to the behind-the-scenes of ministry, and at times, the things we discover can never be unseen.
I’ve been through many airports throughout my life — the result of life as a missionary’s kid with a perpetual restlessness to find home. In each place I’ve been to or lived in — Kazakhstan, India, Moldova, Cambodia, Mexico — I’ve tasted a bit of home.
"Memory is not simply about bringing the past into the present. Memory has an intrinsic relationship to hope in the future ... Through memory we can become aware of who we are before God and who we are before God creates the expectation that God will continue to sustain us in the future as in the past." — Sister Elizabeth Liebert.
When I was in seminary, people would often ask me if I wanted to be ordained and I would always respond the same way: I didn't think women needed to be ordained in order to do ministry, and also, Reverend Christine Kim (my maiden name) sounded like Mister Christine Kim to me. It didn't feel right, as though it went against the natural order of things.
“Therefore, Father, through Jesus Christ Your Son, give Your Holy Spirit to Christine. Fill her with grace and power, and make her a priest in Your Church.” I could feel the hands of the bishop on my head as he solemnly spoke these words. I thought to myself, "How on Earth did I get here?"
Starting a reord label or, in our scenario, rebranding and releasing a record label, is not an easy process. Becoming Good Fruit Co. meant operating more like an actual business, not just as artists releasing periodic projects.
Convicted of my calling, I started rap ministry as a solo artist in 2009. I began writing, creating mixtapes and an album, and performing — I knew this was where the Lord wanted me to be because the responses and feedback I had received were so encouraging.
My parents emigrated from South Korea in 1977 to Frederick, Maryland. It was a rural country town where one of my first memories was seeing older guys smoke cigars in the mall as they waited for their wives to finish shopping.