Apr 28, 2010

What's Up With the House in Federal Way?

So what's the deal with the rental in Federal Way? That's so far? I thought we were going to have a pastor who lived in the area?

I know. I've been hearing these concerns too.

First of all, I want to say "Thank you." That you care about where my family might live just shows that you care about the ministry at the Little Church on the Prairie and about my family. So thank you.

For every email or phone call I receive about a certain topic, I know that each of those emails and phone calls represent at least a dozen people who are talking about the same things but don't take the time to call or email me. This tells me that there are enough folks talking about the housing situation that I want to take the time to address you directly.

Just because we are renting in Federal Way and not in Dupont or University Place or Lakewood, does not mean that I will cease to be an effective pastor. I will not forego a pastoral call or visit just because now it's going to take me 25-30 minutes to drive instead of 15-20 minutes. Those few minutes difference will not impact the ministry here. I will be just as accessible for pastoral calls from Federal Way as I would have been from anywhere else. I dare you to try it. Call me. I will be there.

The reason why we are renting in Federal Way is very simple. It's going to save us $500-$600 per month. We will be renting a 3200 square feet home with the space needed for a family of 6, and the price for this rental is at least $500-$600 cheaper than anything comparable we found in this area.

When Helen and I sold our home, we lost all our equity and down payment from our house in Texas. We are starting from scratch. Saving money will give us the opportunity to start building up the down payment so that we can buy a house in the future.

So that's what's up with the house in Federal Way.

God's ministry will continue to take place at the Little Church. People will still be visited and your pastor will be accessible as he's ever been.

God is doing some awesome things here. God's brought the Kim family into the life of the Little Church on the Prairie for a reason. I look forward to many years of fruitful ministry for Jesus Christ with you.

Blessings from your "Accessible" pastor who happens to rent a house in Federal Way to save money for a downpayment for his future home pastor...

James <><

Apr 25, 2010

A Confession by "Ben Stein"

I get my share of forwarded emails, as I'm sure anyone with an email account these days, and I even read most of them. I don't normally forward them however because I can't ever be sure if they are true or not.

I know, I can go to snoops.com to check to see if they are or not, but then that's even more time than I normally care to spend on something like these forwarded emails.

But I recently received one that purports to be written by Ben Stein. I have no idea if it was really written by Mr. Stein or not, and I didn't check it out on any other web sites to see if it is genuine or not. I tell you all this because I want to share with you a portion of this letter written by "Ben Stein." Regardless of who the real author is, I don't think it takes away from the truth of what is shared.

So here it is:

My confession:

I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees, Christmas trees. I don't feel threatened. I don't feel discriminated against. That's what they are, Christmas trees.

It doesn't bother me a bit when people say, 'Merry Christmas' to me. I don't think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it. It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn't bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu. If people want a creche, it's just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.

I don't like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don't think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from, that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can't find it in the Constitution and I don't like it being shoved down my throat.

Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship celebrities and we aren't allowed to worship God as we understand Him? I guess that's a sign that I'm getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering where these celebrities came from and where the America we knew went to. 

Mr. Ben Stein, or whoever is the genuine author of this letter, "Thank you." 

Apr 23, 2010

Revised Form of Government - Change

We live in a time where change is happening more rapidly than at any other time in human history.

When my children saw a corded telephone in a home of a friend of ours recently they didn't know what it was.

That was only 20 years ago!

Change is our reality.

However, even in the midst of the exponential change we are experiencing, there are certain things that must never change. For if we were to change some things, we cease to be who we are.

This is certainly the case with the life of the church.

While the church is free to change all kinds of things to be as effective as possible in the new emerging world, there are certain things than can't ever change.

  • Jesus is Lord
  • Christ is the head of the church
  • The Bible is the only authoritative word for the life of the church
  • There is no other way to God except through Jesus Christ
  • The bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ
  • etc.
Once the church has identified the things that must never change, then she is free to change everything else.
  • Styles of worship
  • Media in worship
  • Twitter in worship?
  • Church without walls
  • Church facility usage policies
  • etc.
What has happened in the PC(USA) is that through the last several decades, we continue to add more and more procedural items to the Form of Government and made everything in the Form of Government essential, such that it is very difficult to distinguish between things which are essential and standards for the entire church and those things which are procedural in nature.

That is what the the Form of Government Task Force has attempted to provide in the revised Form of Government coming before the General Assembly this summer.

Apr 21, 2010

HTC HD2 - One Month Review

I have been living with the HTC HD2 now for a month.

Either I have a lemon or this phone is one of the worst phones I've ever owned. T-mobile is sending me a new phone and I will let you know if that fixes the problems I have been having or if this is just a problem with all the phones.


  • The phone freezes for no reason - NO REASON. It just stops working. It just freezes. The only way I can fix it is to take the battery out. T-mobile tech had me do a hard reset - erasing everything on the phone - but that still has not fixed the problem. I am having to do a hard reset about once a day. That is totally unacceptable. T-movile is sending me a different phone, but I have to pay for shipping!!! Thanks a lot for a lousy phone.
  • The phone pauses for no reason. When I am texting, emailing, tweeting, or updating on Facebook, the phone just takes a breather for about ten seconds. It just stops working. I can't type, I can't switch programs. It just takes a breather by itself. And then when it feels like working again, it starts to work. Again, I don't know if that's the phones in general or just my phone. I will know when the new phone arrives.
These issues are TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE for T-MOBILE's signature phone. T-mobile has been terrible in their phone selection and for the first time for ever T-Mobile has a phone to talk about and the thing just stinks to royal heaven.

If you are thinking about the HTC HD2, don't. Wait for either the new i-phone or until HTC and T-Mobile can fix all the bugs on this phone.

Apr 16, 2010

How to Train Your Dragon

Took my family to watch "How to Train Your Dragon in 3D" tonight.

First of all, the 3D and the animation is beautiful. I thought it was one of the cleanest 3D movies I've seen.

The story was entertaining enough to keep everyone from my 5 year-old boy, to my three girls who are 10, 12,  and 14, and even the parents.

While I can't say that the movie is on par with the animated movies from Pixar, I do think it was every bit good as other animated movies like the Ice Age trilogy.

I appreciated the the character development of the main character Hiccup and his dad Stoic the Vast.

The only gripe I have is how much movies in general cost these days. The tickets alone cost me $80 dollars for a family of 6.

My kids enjoyed a night out after being couped up in my uncle's house for the week.

If you've got little ones, "How to Train Your Dragon" won't disappoint. So make some time and spend it with your family.

Apr 15, 2010

Why We Meet

Because I am a pastor, I go to my share of church meetings. The church of Jesus Christ is one of the few institutions on earth that exists for those who are not yet members.

This is something that church folks tend to forget.

If our purpose is to please and meet the needs of our current members only, the church ceases to be the church. It could be a club or many other institutions that people join, but it could not be the church of Jesus Christ.

If an unchurched person happened to walk into one of or church committee meetings and hear what we were discussing, would they even have a clue that the church existed for them? Would they be so pumped up and inspired by what God was up to in their community to bring about transformation and renewal that they would jump at the opportunity to be a part of something that was actually making a difference in the world?

Or would they be so turned off by what and how we were discussing and fighting that it would only confirm that the church is totally irrelevant and they should continue to stay away?

Everything we do and everything we are has to be about growing new Christians and growing faithful disciples of Jesus Christ. And this emphasis must be the focus of why we do what we do in every single one of or meetings. Otherwise we will find ourselves discussing things that don't make any difference to both the unchurched and to the kingdom of Jesus Christ.

Of course, there has too be some routine and household discussions about making sure that we have toilet paper and soap in the bathrooms, and coffee and donuts in the fellowship hall. But that can't be all we talk about. That cannot be why Jesus bore the cross and descended into hell to rise again.

I pray that we would be a church that never forgets why we exist.

The Little Church on the Prairie exits to grow new Christians and to grow faithful disciples of Jesus Christ.

Apr 13, 2010

Sing to the Lord a New Song

Have you noticed that the Psalmist never calls upon the people to give to God an old song, or a well known song, or your favorite song? It's always a new song.

What's up with a new song?

Here's the thing.

The reason why God wants us to sing a new song is because praises are always contextual. We never sing a song of praise to God in a vacuum. Every song of praise is to have with it a story and a reason for that praise. And the reason is because God is always doing something new.

And because God is always at work in our lives, yesterday's song, or last week's song, or last year's song just won't do. Because of all the ways God is at work in our lives, we are to give to God a new song each and everyday.

Our God is awesomely cool like that!!!

So what song are you singing today?

Apr 12, 2010

Travel Day 7 - Made it!!!

We drove into Washington yesterday at around 4:30pm. We made it into Federal Way around 7:30. It was so good to finally be home.

Our kids did incredible in the car. Never once did they complain about driving. There were however about 5,675 "Are we there yet?" from the little man. But, that was to be expected.

Every time he asked me, "Are we there yet?" I would always answer with, "Yes, son. We are there. Wherever we are, there we are." And yet, the boy kept asking. I don't know why.

We had a fantastic time as a family.

We had an unexpected and unplanned visit with the grandparents in Southern Cal - and even got to spend two birthdays - my mom's (April 7) and Kaleb's (April 8) together.

The drive through the wine country, the coast, the Redwoods, the river gorge, Oregon, and Washington was simply stunning. I visited these places as a kid, but I didn't appreciate them the way I did this time around. I've been all over the world, and I can honestly say that the coastline of California, Oregon, and Washington is some of the prettiest territories in all of God's creation.

Now, we have to find a home for our family. My uncle and aunt have graciously opened up their home for us to stay, but we really need a place to call home for ourselves or it will constantly feel like we're living out of our suitcases - cuz we really are living out of our suitcases.

So your prayers are greatly appreciated.

Thanks for following the blogs and keeping us in your prayers!

Apr 10, 2010

Travel Day 6

What a country!!!

We started the day visiting the Redwood National Park. Don't let the name of the national park fool you. Not only can you see the tallest trees in the world, but the trees happen to be located along one of the most beautiful stretches of the California Coast.

All day long, God kept surprising us. We would go around another corner and another breath taking panorama.

God really is an amazing creator.

We spent most of the day in the National Park. Again, this is one of the most beautiful stretches of the country I have seen. I've been all over, but this place is stunning. Helen and I have to come back to this place on our motorcycle.

The trees are taller and more majestic than I remember. Look at those trees just dwarfing the Suburban. You can't hardly see the car let alone my family!

If you have never been to the Redwood National Park, this is one of the places you've got to see in your life time. There is nothing like it on planet earth.

We spent the day hiking and seeing the sites in the park.

These trees grow to be over 300 feet tall - dwarfing the statue of  Liberty which is just a little over 200 feet. It really is awesome to stand under these giants. They typically are 500-1000 years old, with some of the trees being over 2,000 years-old!!! And to think that the earlier settlers to the California coast cut these trees down for lumber.

Thank God America had the foresight to preserve these trees and this land for future generations.

After spending the day at the National Park, we made our way to Oregon. Even that drive was stunning.

Here is a picture I took from the drive through the canyons. Here is another road that Helen and I have to come back through on our motorcycle.

These canyons and the coastline has to be one of the best places to ride a bike.

We've made it to Sutherlin Oregon where we are spending the night.

We will be worshiping together as a family in the morning, then we will continue our drive North. We will be spending the day in the Portland area and make the drive to Federal Way either late Sunday evening or sometime Monday.

God bless you. Have a great day of worship!

Travel Day 5

I was so tired by the time we got to our hotel in Fortuna, California that I just went to bed without posting anything. So you are getting the Travel Day 5 post a day late.

So let me get caught up on what happened on Day 5. We started the day in San Francisco. What an awesome city. It was so much fun seeing the sites and hanging out with our friend Jee. We visited Fisherman's Wharf, drove down the famous "Crooked Street", rode on the San Francisco Trolley, ate lunch at an outdoor cafe, visited Japan Town, and hung out at the Golden Gate bridge.  Here's a couple of pics from the Golden Gate Bridge.

After hanging out at the Golden Gate Bridge, we started our drive up the coast of California.

Wow! The wine country is one of the most beautiful and picturesque places I've ever driven. I was so tempted to take the bike off the trailer and ride. Helen and I have vowed to come back to the area to ride in the future.

After driving for the rest of the day and evening, we made it to our hotel in Fortuna, CA exhausted!

And that's the reason why I didn't post anything last night.

So there you have it.

Day 5.

Apr 9, 2010

Travel Day 4

Made it to San Francisco.

Had a later start out of LA than we were planning but it's all good. We met up with one of my aunts and then had lunch with Helen's parents. We finally left LA at 1pm to only hit LA traffic on the I-5. Only in LA will you hit bumper to bumper traffic on Thursday at 1pm even though there were no accidents or hazards on the highway.

We drove into San Francisco around 8pm.

We met up with one of our good friends, Jee, at the mission district for dinner. But we had to have a change of plans - I am driving a Suburban while towing a trailer - driving into the heart of the mission district in downtown San Francisco. Good luck! I tried finding parking but it was impossible. I couldn't imagine trying to parallel park the Suburban with the trailer in downtown San Francisco.

Jee met us as the hotel. We had quite an adventure at the hotel as well. Most of these downtown hotels have parking garages but they were not thinking of Texans who drive Suburbans with trailers in the back. Had a heck of a time finding parking for the Suburban and the trailer. With some mad dog parking skills and some luck, I was able to find parking.

We then took the kids out with Jee for some awesome Mexican in the Mission district.

All in all, quite a full day.

We are planning on visiting Fisherman's Wharf and Golden Gate Bridge tomorrow before heading up to Red Woods National Park.

Well. That about does it for the Kim's for today.

Good night and God bless!

Apr 7, 2010

Travels Day 3

Had a relaxing day with my folks.

Woke up to my mom's home cooking. There are few things in life as good as momma's home cooking.

Since it was my mom's birthday today, we told her that she could do anything she wanted. So momma wants to go eat at Home Town Buffet and then go to Costco!

So that's what we did.

Wow! When I get old I want to enjoy the simple things in life my like mom, but at the same time I hope I grow old in such a way where my birthdays would be packed with a little more excitement than a trip to the local Home Town Buffet.

My mom hasn't had a new phone for a while and she had been eyeing the kid's touch screen phones so that's what we got her for her birthday.

We've been hanging out and telling stories all afternoon and evening.

I am really glad that it worked out to spend this day with my mom on her birthday. I cant remember the last time I was able to spend the entire day with my mom on her birthday.

In the morning, we are back on the road. We will be heading up to San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge.

Blessings to all of you. We will talk to you again soon.

twitter @jameskimlcop
sent via tmobile htc hd2 smartphone

Travel Day 2

Wow! Can you say misery???

Not because the kids were going nuts - they were great.

Not because we had car troubles - the car was great.

Not because the driving conditions were bad - the weather was beautiful all day.

Gee...the more I write, the more I am wondering why I'm complaining.

Ok. So let's start over.

The drive was long, and the last five hours of a 15 hour drive day seemed to last forever, but besides that, it was an awesome day.

We made the drive to Seal Beach, CA. While driving out to the bay area, the family took a vote and we all decided to surprise grandma for her birthday (today) and spend the day with her. So, we added a few hours to our drive and drove like crazy to LA.

We finally arrived at 1am PST which is 3am Dallas time. We drove for 15 hours with only about a total of 45 minute breaks for fuel and for potty breaks.

After exactly 3,593 "Are we there yet?" from little man, four movies, and lots of "bottle of Coke on the wall" singing, we made it to Southern Cal.

We're going to hang out with grandma and grandpa for the day - doing whatever grandma wants to do for her birthday. Then we're going to hit the road again tomorrow for San Francisco.

Will post pics from the day later on Facebook and Twitter.


Apr 5, 2010

Day 1

Motorcycle trailered - check.

Load up luggage - check.

Say goodbyes to friends and family - check.

And just like that the Kim family was on the road at 11am. The goal was to be on the road by 10, but since the motorcycle trailer had to be picked up first thing in the morning instead of being ready to go Monday morning, being on the road by 11am was actually a triumph.

We made good time and made it to Albuquerque, NM where we are spending the night. I would post some pics from today but this hotel charges for internet connection so I am punching this out on my smartphone because I really am that cheap that I refuse to pay for internet connection.

The kids were great the whole trip.

We will be on the road again all of tomorrow. The goal is to be near the bay area by the evening. Hopefully the hotel will offer free wifi and I will be able to post some pictures from the trip. If you want too see some pictures, check out my tweets or my Facebook page.

That about does it for tonight. Will check back in tomorrow and will be tweeting from the road.

Good night everyone!

twitter @jameskimlcop
sent via tmobile htc hd2 smartphone

Apr 3, 2010

My First Week with the HTC HD2

I've been having issues with my Blackberry Curve 8900 for a few months now. The trackball was getting stuck once or twice a week, but it would soon get unstuck, so I didn't think much of it. About a week ago, the trackball on my BB got stuck but it wouldn't unstick like it normally would. After two days of not being able to use my BB, I went to the T-mobile store to replace the BB.

I had been eyeing the 3G phones, and in particular the Android phones. What I really had my heart set on was the Google Nexus One, but the only way to get your hands on one is by ordering it through Google. (If Google wants to sell more of these, they are going to have to start selling it at the stores). Anyways, I go into the T-mobile store and what catches my eye is not any of the Android phones but this beauty by HTC, the HD2.

This picture doesn't do justice to how awesome the screen is. You really have to hold one in your hand yourself to see the clarity of the screen. 

First Week
I've had the phone for a week now and my love affair with the screen continues. Here are my thoughts about the phone thus far:


  • Just look at the screen!!!
  • The snap dragon 1 Ghz processor - super, super fast
  • The size of the phone is actually quite manageable. It fits nicely in my pant pocket.
  • Loaded with software
  • Ease of use
  • Swype text input feature is the bomb! Instead of actually pecking at the onscreen virtual keyboard, you swipe your finger through the letters and presto! It took some getting used to but now I use it all the time. If this phone didn't have the swype, I would have returned it because my fat fingers didn't do very well typing or texting on the phone. I constantly had to use one finger to text and type.
  • It's using Windows Mobile 6.5. Who uses Windows Mobile anymore??? This platform has been dead for years and then HTC weds this beauty to it. Had this been an Android phone, it would have been the best phone out on the market hands down!!!
  • I don't know if it's Windows Mobile or the phone itself, but I am having to do a hard reset or go to the Task Manager and manually close down programs because when the HD2 has multiple programs (5-10) going at the same time the phone will begin to lag - big time! I'll be texting or emailing, and mid word!!! it will just freeze for a while.
  • The battery life is nothing compared to the BB. It is better than the Iphones (not much better, but better), but I am having to recharge the phone in the middle of the afternoon. If I were to only use it for the phone, email, and texting, then it would easily make it through the day. But if that's all I wanted my phone to do, then I wouldn't need a phone like the HTC HD2 with the gorgeous ginormous screen. 
Bottom Line
Would I do it again? I think so. But that's cuz I'm a gadget guy and I am ok with the few bugs in a new phone. Had this phone been on the Android platform, I can't even begin to tell you how awesome of a phone this would have been. But with the lame Windows Mobile 6.5, the best way I know how to describe it is that this is a Ferrari with a Fiat engine.  A Fiat motor will get you there, but the Fiat motor will never be great and it's bound to give you some problems. The potential for greatness was so close in hand and then HTC mated the HTC HD2 with Windows Mobile 6.5. So instead of being the best smartphone on the planet or even a great smartphone, it's just a nice phone. And a nice smartphone ain't too bad.

I hear Windows Mobile 7 is going to be a huge improvement. 

Bad news, you can't upgrade the operating system on the HTC HD2. 

Good news, I was reading about a hacker in Russia who is already running the Windows Mobile 7 on his HTC HD2.