Community: Part 2

January 30, 2015

Yesterday, I shared some thoughts on Community. Today, I want to share more on those thoughts but before I do, here are a few things I learned about Boston. It was my very first time visiting this part of New England and man, it’s cold! Apart from that obvious fact, I learned 1) when you go to a Chinese restaurant, you have to order rice AND PAY for it! I’m sorry but my mind could not wrap around this one because when the waitress asked if we wanted rice with our order, I was looking all confused because, um, who doesn’t want rice with Chinese food? You should have seen my mom’s face. James had to say we were from Atlanta. The waitress didn’t really care and looked annoyed. haha. 2) You Bostonites have some good, creamy ice-cream. I basically finished one container during my short stay there because it’s #nevertoocoldforicecream 3) You Bostonians clear that snow up real good and real fast. 4) I love the community that my sister and BIL are a part of like this beautiful family shown below.

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Jenn, her husband, mom and beautiful little boy! I took this picture the same evening we arrived and surprised Yun Mi. Jenn and her family helped set up everything in this room for the shower the next day.

So a few months ago, Yun Mi’s friend, Jenn contacted me about possibly coming up with my mom to surprise Yun Mi for her Boston shower/birthday weekend. She was graciously throwing Yun Mi a shower and thought it would be really special if we could make it. I immediately thought that was a superb idea so my mom and I made plans to fly up there. Jenn is a part of Yun Mi’s community group with two other women at their church. I know this group has been such a source of encouragement, prayer and support for Yun Mi ever since she moved up to Boston. I’m so thankful that God provided this group of women for my sister and it was so special for me to meet them in person. Thank you, Jenn and friends of Yun Mi for planning the most wonderful, creative and beautiful shower for Nene and being family to them! You are a true gem of a friend. I hope you make it down to Atlanta one day so I can feed you lots of kimchee, galbi and FREE rice. πŸ˜€

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.  Hebrews 10:24

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16171845780_7d94dc06f2_o (1)James got to be a part of the shower for a little bit when he led worship and a time of prayer. This was my absolute favorite part. The prayers by so many in their community encouraged my heart so much and showed how wonderful it is when a group of believers come together. 

Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:19-20    

16173333907_5b7e3b2a16_oSweet mama-to-be worshipping and giving glory to Jesus!

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. Colossians 3:16         

IMG_7443Look at the yummy spread. Jenn rented tables, chairs, linens, china, and even tea cups! Everything was GOR-GEOUS.

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That coconut cake was the bomb!

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It snowed a lot that morning and since the shower was at 10AM, I figured maybe 5 people would show up. 

I was wrong! It was more like 30! 

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FOUR other pregnant women showed up! #warriors

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11

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 You hardcore Boston peeps are fearless! 

Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 1 John 4:11      

We are lovin on Nene. Btw, I know many of you think the baby’s name is Nene but it isn’t. We just came up with that nickname when Yun Mi was pregnant. I’m pretty sure the name has stuck and I will continue calling her that after she’s born. 

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Baby bumps also make great tables!
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Their community showered them with lots of gifts, love and prayers.

After my sister and BIL moved up to Boston, I knew that it would be hard just being away from family. My sister was homesick a lot especially when she became pregnant. I’m thankful for this spiritual family away from home that they are blessed with.

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. John 13:34-35

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Authentic community is vital for our spiritual growth. These types of communities are essential for us to come together to build, love, sharpen, encourage, rebuke and pray for each other. It’s a place where we can come together to ask tough questions, share our struggles, challenge one another and offer grace, forgiveness and mercy. It’s being available to your brother/sister and caring and being there for them because we are all a spiritual family with God as our heavenly father. It’s the reason why others will see us and believe because we are evidence and witnesses to God’s character. 

β€œThe aim of God in history is the creation of an all-inclusive community of loving persons, with Himself included in that community as its prime sustainer and most glorious inhabitant.” Dallas Willard

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Christ-like community is beautiful. At the same time, we are a broken people and sometimes it gets messy and difficult. Thankfully, it’s also in those moments God uses to draw us back to him and recognize our need for community. I’ve experienced much with our community over the years. Our community has dealt with infertility, miscarriages, deaths in family, struggles with child-rearing, sickness, marital hardships, depression, etc. You name it, we’ve probably all been there. But through the midst of those hardships, there is also much joy that overflows despite circumstances. We’ve witnessed much of God’s grace, provision and healing. It’s a beautiful thing and honestly it makes those hard times much more bearable and the sweet times that much more precious. 

If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.  Ecclesiastes 4:10

If you’re reading this, my prayer for you is that you do have community. If you don’t, ask the Lord to bring that into your life but at the same time, see the ways he opens doors for that to happen and take action! Next week for part 3, my husband, Jimmy will share what hinders us from having authentic community and the ways to develop a healthy one. Hope you have a blessed weekend, friends!

<><yuni

For Part 3, go here

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. John 13:34-35

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