University of Washington

When the Holy Spirit says “Speak Up!!!”

I’ve been on sabbatical since July 1st. It’s been a great time to be rejuvenated and reconnect with God. I’ve also started seminary and it has literally blown my mind in many ways. This sabbatical has allowed me to have bigger vision and bigger dreams. However, I’ve felt antsy since I don’t have a ministry context to apply what I’ve been learning since I am on sabbatical. I feel like a basketball player who’s been relegated to the bench and I’m like “Put me in coach! I’m ready to go back in!” 

As I finish up my sabbatical, the them of “speaking up!” has been coming up. I have been hoping to develop my prophetic gifts. Is there space for me to do this? I’ve been thinking about this returning to college ministry. A few years ago, I was fortunate to be a part of InterVarsity cohort of up and coming Asian American staff in the nation called the Daniel Project. That experience changed my life in so many ways. It was the impetus for me to dream big. My dreams were so small before the Daniel Project. I only knew what was around me and I just went with the flow. However, I’d be angry because I wouldn’t speak up of what I wanted and needed. Through the Daniel Project, I learned the importance and necessity of speaking up. It was a great experience to hear other people in the cohort with speaking up and telling people about their dreams and what they really wanted. Since that time, I’ve been learning how to speak up. At different moments, the Holy Spirit has been telling me “Speak up!!!”

During this sabbatical, I have been experiencing that so much. “SPEAK UP!” So as I finish up my sabbatical, I’m ready to come back and “speak up!” Of course, I’m a broken vessel who will still need to learn how to do this well. However, in my recent experience, if there’s a choice between speaking up and staying silent, usually speaking up has yielded the best results. When I stay silent and keep my dreams and prophetic words to myself, I end up being angry at myself for not saying anything. Also, if the Holy Spirit is really speaking to me, other people miss out on what the Spirit has to say through me. I say this not in an arrogant way but as a way to acknowledge to each other when the Holy Spirit is speaking through people. 

So as I await my return from my sabbatical, I am ready to “speak up!” The Holy Spirit brings us joy and empowers to live out our God-given dreams through our God-given vision. I’m ready to get back in coach! I’m at the scorer’s table. I look forward to what God has store for me as I “speak up!” Especially to my Asian American brothers and sisters, speak up when prompted by the Spirit. Speak up about your hopes and dreams. Speak up about what you need and what you want. Let’s release all our anger, resentment, and fears to unleash all the hopes, dreams, and longings that we have hidden inside the deep core of hour hearts. Once the Spirit moves, the Kingdom of God becomes unleashed and its transformative and redemptive power cannot be harnessed.  

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It’s all about the U!!!

On Saturday night, I was able to watch a documentary on ESPN about the University of Miami Hurricanes football team that dominated the 1980s by winning four championships in nine years. So why am I writing a blog post about this?

After I graduated from college, I was on track to go to law school. I had taken a year off to get ready for applications. I was looking to get away from Seattle. I was in a place where I just wanted to get as far away from Seattle as I could. Most of my closest college friends had moved away and I just didn’t feel like Seattle was the place for me. I actually hated Seattle at that time. So when I was looking at where I could go to school, I ran across the University of Miami.

I was intrigued by the University of Miami for a couple of reasons. Geographically, it was the farthest metropolis from Seattle. Also, it would be a good change of pace to live in a warmer climate. On nights like this where it’s near freezing in Seattle, I think of what it would have been like to live in a tropical place. Along with that, Miami would be a big change for me because in many ways it’s the opposite of Seattle. Demographically, Miami doesn’t have many Asian Americans but had a huge Latino, African American, and Jewish population. It would expose me to something different. That was something that really interested me at the time. I felt like I was in a bubble in Seattle.

Moreover, the other factor in wanting to go to the University of Miami was its football team. The football team had just come off winning the national championship in 2001. In my opinion, it was the greatest college football team of all time. The University of Miami or “the U” had a great tradition of football going back 20 years. I’ve always had a secret admiration for “the U” back when they were the top football team in the 80s and early 90s. They had a confidence and swagger that was uniquely their own and they didn’t care about what others thought of them. So thus, the idea of going to “the U” was extremely intriguing. So I admit that football had a big part in choosing what school I wanted to go to.

In my senior year, the University of Washington football team won the Rose Bowl and finished the season #3 in the nation (Miami finished #2 even though UW had beaten Miami earlier that year). So I wanted the continued experience of an outstanding football team.

So I applied to the school and got in. The one drawback along with the ridiculous cost associated with a legal education was the fact that the law school had almost no Asian American students. However, I came to terms with that. I started contacting a Korean American pastor in Miami and also the InterVarsity chapter at the school. I was looking up information about all the fun things to do in Miami and the transportation system. I was getting excited. I was all ready to go to Miami when God intervened and changed my course – which is a long story in and of itself. In retrospect, it was the right decision.

I am thankful to God for changing my course because I wouldn’t have met all the great people I have since that point. However, I do admit that once in awhile I wonder what would have happened if I had gone to Miami aka “the U”. My life would definitely be different and hopefully I’d have a nice tan. So I have a weird affinity to the University of Miami. So anytime something comes up about the University of Miami, it brings up all my memories from back then. It could have been all about the U!!!

Even though UW will always be my #1 team, I still secretly root for “the U”!!!