Author's details

Name: Joseph
Date registered: March 3, 2012

Latest posts

  1. Joseph Yoo: Party Like It’s 1999! — September 30, 2014
  2. Joseph Yoo: #FreeSimmons — September 26, 2014
  3. Joseph Yoo: The Gospel For Those Who Need It (Guest Post) — September 23, 2014
  4. Joseph Yoo: Looking for Guest Posts — September 17, 2014
  5. Joseph Yoo: Non-Negotiables Part II — September 16, 2014

Most commented posts

  1. Joseph Yoo: That’s Enough! — 2 comments
  2. Joseph Yoo: So. Is God a Republican or a Democrat? — 2 comments
  3. Joseph Yoo: Non-Negotiables — 1 comment
  4. Joseph Yoo: Non-Negotiables Part II — 1 comment
  5. Joseph Yoo: He Is Out of His Mind — 1 comment

Author's posts listings

Sep 30 2014

Joseph Yoo: Party Like It’s 1999!

Original post at

At the end of 2007, I remember having an exchange with the BOOM (Board of Ordained Ministry) registrar about my written exams.
I had turned in everything that was required of me for provisional elder status — that is, except VHS tapes of my sermon. We were required to send copies of a worship we led as part of the exams/application.

And I distinctly remember thinking, VHS tapes? Where can I go to make copies on a VHS tape? I didn’t have a VCR anymore. (It’s almost 2008). On top of that, my video camera was a digital camera.

So I said, screw it, and sent in DVDs of the worship service. That would also save me money as DVDs are lighter and a lot less bulkier than VHS tapes (we had to send like 4-6 separate copies)

The registrar emailed me saying that I need to submit VHS tapes. I told the Registrar that it was funny that he was contacting me through email about VHS tapes.

But I told the Registrar that I simply couldn’t turn in VHS tapes because I wouldn’t know where to begin hunting down a VCR player and where to begin in trying to convert digital to VHS and pointed out that people at that time are moving the other, converting VHS to digital/DVD. (Yes, I know I was being lazy).

The Registrar informed me that it may hurt my chances of moving forward if a BOOM member couldn’t see my worship video because they did not have access to a DVD player. They wouldn’t be able to grade my video on how I led worship and therefore, I wouldn’t be able to pass the exams.

So be it, I said. If I don’t pass because the BOOM members want younger candidates to use outdated technology — technology that schools would be ridiculed if they used it; technology that not even the public libraries of Hawaii uses — then that’s more on the BOOM than on me.

Only by the grace of God, did I become a provisional elder.

It bugged me then and it bugs me now: but why do we tend to be so slow in being with the times? December of 2007 was well into the extinction of the VHS and yet, the BOOM required its candidates to send VHS tapes — because its board members didn’t have DVD players?

Why do we insist on people going back in time to be where the church is at — rather than meeting the people where they are at?

I remember the struggles of introducing multimedia to a congregation a while back and how much flack I received that first Sunday and yet how most of them loved it by the time it was time for me to go.

When did we become so inflexible? Is that what happens when bureaucracy replaces ministry?

I understand the importance (and the necessity) of moving forward slowly; methodically; purposefully; but sometimes, I think we move so slow, we’re barely moving at all.

By the way, thankfully the BOOM doesn’t require VHS’s anymore. I think that was about 2009 or 2008. Better late than never, I suppose.


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Sep 26 2014

Joseph Yoo: #FreeSimmons

Original post at

I’m a huge Bill Simmons fan.
He’s one of my favorite sports writers.
Of course he has a lot of haters, but when you are that well known, you’re going to have many detractors as well as fans.

ESPN suspending him for 3 weeks for calling Goodell a liar and (sort of) daring his bosses to do something about it seems ridiculous.

The police claimed that they sent the tape of Ray Rice to the head of NFL security. There were other reports that the tape was received and confirmation of the receipt.
The way NFL handled this is a joke.
And the way ESPN handled Simmons is a joke, as well.

Anyone who doesn’t have their pockets lined with NFL money agrees with Simmons. There’s no way that Goodell didn’t see the tape, especially if it was in the hands of the NFL. If he didn’t, then that’s another problem on a whole different level. Besides, during the bounty scandal, when Sean Payton told the NFL that he had no idea these bounties were enforced by his defensive staff, Goodell replied, “Ignorance is not an excuse.”

Initially Rice was suspended for 2 games.
Petersen wasn’t even suspended by the NFL. The Vikings deactivated him, re-activated him, then deactivated him.
Stephen A. Smith was suspended one week for telling women not to provoke your man to hit you. Only a week.

Simmons’s suspension is longer than Rice’s and Petersen’s (initial) suspensions combined. Add in Stephen A. Smith’s, and it’s still longer.

ESPN’s ombudsman’s take on the suspension wasn’t that great either.
The moral of the story here is — don’t speak out against the people who line your pockets, no matter how immoral they may be.

I hope Simmons leaves ESPN. He’s one of the few writers that I’d pay money to subscribe to.

The NFL, ESPN, Cover Girl and others have let it known that more than anything, money making is their top priority.

And, I hate myself for not being strong enough to stop watching the NFL… I’m part of the damn problem, too.

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Sep 23 2014

Joseph Yoo: The Gospel For Those Who Need It (Guest Post)

Original post at

(Guest Author wanted to remain anonymous — for no real clear reasons. ;) He currently lives in Hawaii and is enjoying all the Aloha Hawaii has to offer)

In light of Jesus saying, “It is not the healthy who need the doctor, but the sick,” my goal is that God would allow me to encourage those who may be feeling “sick” in this world through my own personal experiences:

For those who may feel worthless: If the POTUS or any other high position person came up to you and said, “I like you, let’s hang,” how would that make you feel? I would feel like a million bucks and feel like I am worth a whole lot in this world. Now, what if God, who created all the people in this world, all the beauty in this world, and all the wonders of this universe, thought you were worth something so much so that He gave His one great possession up in order to be with you, how would that make you feel? (John 3:16)

For those who may be feeling like an absolute failure: When did Jesus command you to be successful? In speaking of Jesus, God told everyone around that, “This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased,” before Jesus did anything in ministry. Now, through the cross and through what Jesus did and his (not our) success, we are now adopted as sons and daughters with God having the same heart for you.

For those who may be in deep need: If God gave His kid up because of a deep need in You, will He not fulfill the other deep needs that are in you? (Rom 8:32). The gospel is a great sign that God will not leave us in our needs for this place.…And please know that I am not speaking of the external needs (money, position, a wife or husband) but rather what these external needs fill internally (security, respect, love).

For those who may be going through a really rough time: The cross is a great example of God’s plan for everyone’s life. Jesus, stripped of all his glory and majesty, came and was trapped, beaten and nailed to the cross only to die, but God’s glory awaited Him through His resurrection. For those who are feeling the cross at this moment, being trapped, the beating, the nailing, maybe even the death, remember, there is glory to come that is not worth comparing to the junk you’re going through.
(Rom 8:18, 2 Cor 4:17)



(If you’d like to share your thoughts on this blog, please leave a comment and I’ll get in touch with you)

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Sep 17 2014

Joseph Yoo: Looking for Guest Posts

Original post at


If you want to share your thoughts on this blog, please leave a comment with your contact info. Don’t worry, I won’t allow that comment to go public (all comments on this blog have to be approved by me before they go live).

The reason why I reached out to a bunch of my former students to get them to share their thoughts and insights was born out of a pure self-serving and lazy place. I just wanted to keep this blog updated regularly.

But it’s been real neat to read the posts from my former students. It’ll be cool if they (or you) want to continue to be a contributor. I have no qualms of changing the URL from into something more inclusive and give Grantland a run for its money. (Ha!)

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Please keep it faith-related (which is generic enough, right?)
  • Please don’t write a novel.
  • Please be appropriate (and I laugh at myself because I’m one of the most inappropriate persons around). What I mean is — don’t be hateful. Don’t be crass or offensive for the sake of being crass or offensive. Don’t write for the sake of trolling. Or don’t single someone out in a shameful way. We’ll discuss things in detail if you’re interested.
  • Please follow through. If you say you’re gonna do it, please do it.
  • AND — know that I have the final say if the post goes live or not (and have the right to edit)

I hope those aren’t too limiting.

So, leave a comment if you’re interested and we’ll talk.

As always, thanks for reading!

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Sep 16 2014

Joseph Yoo: Non-Negotiables Part II

Original post at

Recently, I posted a blogpost about my Non-Negotiables when it comes to my faith and beliefs. I wrote it for my blog and didn’t really censor myself (not that I said anything bad) but it was picked up by Ministry Matters (for which I’m grateful).

I wrote that for me; to explain what I believe — what will never (though, never say never…?) change in my theology. It wasn’t about what others should believe and how their non-negotiables should be my non-negotiables. I wasn’t forcing anything onto others. It was just a “here’s what I believe” post.

I find it funny how a few folks were unsettled about what I believe.
They wanted to know if I subscribed to a certain atonement theory.
Or what about the resurrection? (I’m sorry I didn’t bring that up — to me it’s such an obvious that I didn’t even think twice. Without the resurrection, there is no Christianity.)

Who cares what I — someone you never met — believes in? I’d understand that you’d be concerned if I was trying to force you to believe what I believe. I wasn’t. I was just laying out what I believe for the sake of updating my blog.

But what I really need to do is to stop feeding into my ego by reading comments left on Ministry Matters or checking the traffic on my blog.
It does nothing but fills my big head with more air. I don’t need any more air, I need substance.

But there’s a desire to fix how someone thinks about you; or fix the way they interpreted what you wrote. Of course that’ll never happen. You respond to a comment, they’ll respond and you’ll have to respond to their response and you start going down this rabbit trail of responses.

In the words of Sweet Brown, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!”

I love talking about what people believe. Love navigating through one another’s non-negotiables. Love talking about why our beliefs may differ on certain points. I love conversations like that. But the sad thing is, those conversations are far and few between because somehow it seemingly always devolve into “you need to believe what I believe in to be a good Christian” and “I’m right, you’re wrong.”
Recently, I had a conversation about Ferguson and Darren Wilson and that conversation ended with me being chided to “keep an open mind.”
What they really meant to say was, “You need to think like I do.” (Just a quick recap of that convo: All I was saying, even if Wilson had a broken eye socket — at the time was still unconfirmed– he’s still alive to let it heal. I couldn’t — and can’t — bring myself to think that Wilson did absolutely nothing wrong. Why I bother even getting in these conversations is beyond me…)

Which led me to write this post for Ministry Matters, inspired by a sermon that my District Superintendent gave at our church.

We all want to be in the right and want everyone to think like us — but we’re less invested in being righteous. Because being right is more ego-pleasing and easier than being righteous.

Anyway, if my non-negotiables were unsatisfying to your tastes, I apologize. #sorrynotsorry

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Sep 15 2014

Joseph Yoo: Speaking of God (Guest Post)

Original post at

(This is a guest post from another former youth student. They wanted to remain anonymous. He was a great kid and has grown up to be a great person. She's bright, deep, insightful, smart, and on top of all that, has a wicked sense of humor. It seems like he is on the path on becoming a pastor and the Church would benefit from such a leader.)

Psalm 131:
O Lord, my heart is not lifted up, my eyes are not raised too high;
I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me.
But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother;
my soul is like a weaned child that is with me.
O Israel, hope in the Lord from this time on and forevermore.

“Where are you from?” is a very complicated question for me.
My dad called me “Original Texan”; my grandpa called me a “Dallas Cowboy.” But I attended elementary school in South Korea. Every year on the first day of class, teachers did a student demographics survey. Teachers would ask, “If you were born in this providence, raise your hands.” And a few raised their hands in response. After the teachers named all the providences, they would notice a missing hand. “Someone is not paying attention here. Who did not raise their hand?” Then, all eyes turned to my reluctantly-raised hand. Teachers interrogated me, “Where YOU from?”
Then, my family moved back to the States, to a small town in New Jersey. It was a homecoming, I thought. But when I first stepped into class, they noticed my skin color – which sadly is still considered foreign in this country – and my name and my accent. They asked, “Where are you from?” I replied, “Texas.” Then, they asked again, “No, no. Where YOU from?”
After some years, I transferred to a school in Virginia. They asked, and I replied, “New Jersey.” They responded, “No, no. Where YOU from?”
Then, I moved to Georgia to attend college. They asked, and I answered, “Virginia.” They responded, “No, no. Where YOU from?”
“Where am I from? Where is my home?” I believe what is described in Psalm 131 is where my “home” is. In this place, I don’t have to be anyone; I don’t have to do anything. Here, I am just a little child, one of many members of “home.” Here, I am a clueless kid, who does not know much. I am also a weaned child, who does not necessarily have to be with its mother. I have been given the freedom. It is up to me whether to stay home or not. But I still remember the feeling of being fully dependent on my mother’s milk, still desire the feeling of being “home.” So I choose to stay and my soul is like a weaned child with its mother.
Here, I find contentment, security, and trust.
Here, I am calm and quiet.
Here, I am loved.
Here, I am “home.”

I am from here and this place is indeed special to me. I was raised here; I was fed here; I was disciplined here. This place shaped my life styles and principles. I cheer for this place, and I cry for this place. I want to live for this place, and I want to die for this place.

Here, I am no longer a stranger and an alien, but I am a citizen with the saints and also members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone (Ephesians 2:19-20). If you strip this place away from me, I will be an orphan without foundation, without identity, without refuge, and without hope.
I am from this perichoretic community, the house in which the Triune God dwells.

My trust is in here.
My hope is in God forever.

And I pray the prayer of David: that “I could live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple (Psalm 27:4).”

So let me ask you today a question that you probably have never been asked before, “Where are you from?”
“No, no. Where YOU from?”


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