I was invited back to Union Church of Los Angeles in Little Toyko where I was honored to be the pastor the past eight years. Mitch and Mae Ogino were some of the first people to welcome me and my family and they were both two of the most encouraging folks you could ever meet. Each Sunday I was greeted by Mitch with, “Good morning, Pastor Tim!” How sad it was to learn Mitch passed away recently. How honored I was to be asked by his wife, Mae, to officiate the service. I will be singing with all in attendance one of Mitch’s favorite songs from our Thursday morning Recycler Bible Studies: Precious Lord, Take My Hand.
I am confident that Mitch’s life has continued in the presence of God, being received by his Savior with the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” You were a blessing to me and many others, Mitch!
I have the privilege to help with this project called the Joshua House, a health clinic run by Los Angeles Christian Health Centers (LACHC) with my friend Lisa Abdishoo who is CEO. I have had the chance to do some coaching with the staff and host some training events. It’s just blocks away from Union Church where I served the past eight years and they are doing some amazing things! Some quick facts about the New Joshua House:
-7000 patients per year will be served in this new 25,000 sq ft facility
-Medical, Dental, Optometry, Mental Health and Social Services will be provided
-Located at 7th and Wall in downtown LA’s Skid Row
-Skid Row Housing Trust is building and overseeing the permanent supportive housing above the clinic.
-We were praying over the building today that God would be glorified and people would experience God’s love physically, mentally, socially, relationally, and spiritually.
I will keep you posted but likely we will have a ribbon cutting in September 2019!
“LA is like real-life Instagram. You’re constantly seeing people living better lives than you.”
How do you remain sane amidst so much pressure in our lives to find value by comparing ourselves to others?
I find resting in my identity as a child of God is so important no matter where you live and what you do.
Prayer: Lord, help me to hear Your voice that I am Your handiwork and have a purpose in this life that is beyond what I do, what I have or what people say about me. Show me the opportunity today to help others see Your love and goodness. Amen.
After a challenge from Tim Keller in 2010 to serve urban centers, I have enjoyed leading and serving Union Church in downtown Los Angeles. This Sunday is my last worship service at Union and we’re going to have a special time reflecting on what God has accomplished and the continued assurance that His light will shine in and through God’s people to the neighborhoods in which we live. Join us if you’re in town! https://www.facebook.com/events/238272283722012/
Henri Nouwen preached some incredible sermons at the former Crystal Cathedral in Orange County, California back in the 1990’s. He shares some incredible insights on what makes us human, the meaning of life, and the ministry of Jesus.
Nouwen entices us to consider that we are more loved than we could ever imagine and that the Father is waiting for us to relax into his welcoming arms of love. When we embrace our identity as the Beloved of God, then we find our true selves and can authentically be the person we are meant to be. He warns us against valuing ourselves based on what we do, what we have or what people say about us.