Author's details

Name: Joseph
Date registered: March 3, 2012

Latest posts

  1. Joseph Yoo: The Daily Grind and Parking — July 29, 2014
  2. Joseph Yoo: When Harry Met Sally — July 24, 2014
  3. Joseph Yoo: How is it with your soul? — July 15, 2014
  4. Joseph Yoo: And Year 3 Has Arrived — July 9, 2014
  5. Joseph Yoo: I Can’t Remember — June 30, 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: He Is Out of His Mind — 1 comment

Author's posts listings

Jul 29 2014

Joseph Yoo: The Daily Grind and Parking

Original post at

Recently, I've been attending a local coffee spot called the Daily Grind to feed my caffeine addiction and to work.

Their coffee is good. It's still not my favorite place for coffee in Santa Barbara. That honor goes to the French Press.

But here's the thing — I hate the parking situation in downtown SB (where French Press is). I get 75 minutes of free parking but I never get anything done in 75 minutes. I need more than 75 minutes to feel like I accomplished something.

The other reason why I have been frequenting the Daily Grind over my normal Starbucks near the church is because that shopping center has been doing some serious construction. That parking lot was always so hectic and the construction has only injected chaos into an already hectic parking lot.

The Daily Grind (both locations)? Stress free parking. Free. No time limit. Great outdoor seating. Free wi-fi. Faster than the AT&T wi-fi at my Starbucks (when will that location get Google?)

It's also worth pointing out that parking situations have an impact on church attendance.

That sentence may sound ridiculous.

But I've heard many times both pastors and church folks lament the lack of parking spaces. People will actually drive to church, circle the lot, and if there's no space, just go home.

One of the obstacles a growing church faces is there is not enough parking to accomdate the growth. So attendance can plateau (of course, parking isn't the only reason. But it can be a big one).



I've also attended mega churches where their parking attendants weren't as well trained or not present or whatever and made parking (and leaving) a nightmare.

So, parking (unfortunately) does have an impact on my overall worship experience.

I know it shouldn't, but it does.

I really don't have a point to this post except to point out my laziness. And that for us human beings, convenience is king.

I like my parking. I don't like circling 3 times around a lot to find parking.

A lot of churches spend a lot of time preparing and equipping people to be wonderful greeters to people entering the sanctuary.

But we should keep in mind first impressions begin, not when they walk into the place of worship, but as soon as the tires of their vehicles enter the parking lot of the church.


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Jul 24 2014

Joseph Yoo: When Harry Met Sally

Original post at

For 3 weeks, our foster son's older sister stayed with us.

Her foster family had a out-of-country family trip and couldn't take her with them.

It was a crazy 3 weeks, which I'm thankful that it is all over. Writing that sentence leaves me feeling relieved and guilty.

A lot of patience was required for the duration of her stay — patience that I thought I had in me. But I didn't.

I know I was terse and not as patient or nice as I could be. We had our good, fun moments. But I feel like we had a lot more not so good moments. She found more comfort with my wife than me.

The whole time, I kept thinking, “What is wrong with me?”

I mean, she's a kid. She's been through a lot. There are some obvious mental deficiencies. Knowing all that, why I just couldn't be more patient with her is beyond me.

I was thoroughly upset with her every time she did something and tried to blame her brother. She probably spent more time in time out with me than she had in her entire life time.

I keep telling myself that it would've been different — I would've been different — if this was a longer-term placement; if we were to be her foster parent and not her babysitters. And I keep telling myself that hoping that it is true and not just some form of rationalization. But, it is an excuse. It doesn't matter if we were short-term babysitters or long term foster parents. We were still her provider for a month.

I think she's relieved that she doesn't have to see me either.

Her last full day with us, after watching Dora the Explorer, I made them lunch and she started praying for lunch — something she quickly picked up staying with us.

“Thank you for lunch. Thank you for [my wife]. Thank you for [her brother]. Thank you for Dora. Thank you for Diego. Thank you for Boots. Amen.”


Then for dinner, we went over to a friend's place to celebrate my wife's birthday. The Sister in the middle of eating, looked up and gave thanks for her dinner: “Thank you for [my wife]. Thank you for [her brother]. Amen.”

This time I looked at her and said, “Hey, what about me?”

She looked at me and said, “No, thanks.”

It was pretty funny. But looking back, I can't help feel a bit guilty that she may view me as someone she couldn't be thankful for. Or some sort of mean (yet handsome) ogre. Or both (and more).

What surprises me the most is that our foster son seems relieved that she's gone. There's an extra bounce in his step that wasn't there for three weeks. And no, I'm not reading into or projecting anything. After his sister left and he woke up from his nap, I took him to my office that served as her room just to let him know that his sister went back to her home.

He looked at my office and pointed to the room and said, “JoJo” (what he calls me) letting me know that this was my room. It's been almost 6 months for him living without his sister. He's probably gotten used to getting all the attention to himself — because he does get a lot of attention for being cute and adorable. There were probably moments where he didn't appreciate having to share things with her.

What a whirlwind this past month has been. I'm glad that it's over. But I come out on the other side of these 3 weeks with things that I need to work on and be aware of.

Here's to personal growth.


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Jul 15 2014

Joseph Yoo: How is it with your soul?

Original post at

I wrote two blog posts for Ministry Matters, basically, about the same thing.
Space to Breathe and Distracted.

And I think I wrote them a month apart. But they’re so similar in subject and written so close together — I’m wondering if my soul is trying to tell me something and I’ve been ignoring it.

Perhaps it’s time to sit down and ask myself, “How is it with your soul?”
But honestly, I’m a bit afraid to, because I don’t know where that question will guide my thoughts.
You know, like when you’re lying in bed and you can’t sleep and you let your mind wander and you keep going further into the rabbit hole and whatever chance of sleep you had is gone because your brain is messing with you.

But it’s a good question to ask and reflect on.

So, then, how is it with your soul?

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Jul 09 2014

Joseph Yoo: And Year 3 Has Arrived

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There are 3 times throughout the year where I do some serious self reflection.
November 14 (my birthday. Gifts welcomed).
January 1.
July 1 (July 1 is when appointments in the United Methodist Church begin).
This year’s July 1 came and went rather quickly. I don’t even really remember what happened on my 3rd first Sunday of the year.

The month started with N’s (our foster son) sister, S, being dropped off by her foster parents because they were en route to a family reunion out of country. She’ll be with us for 3 weeks.
And it’s been… hectic.
She has been testing my claim of being a real patient person. On her first day with us, the wife had to go in to her office and N was at school leaving me with S. And I made her cry. Oops. That was day 1.
On top of that, N was really sick. I say “really” because he didn’t eat much throughout the week. That’s a huge red flag. N loves to eat. And that’s an understatement. It’s also been heartbreaking at times to see the little ways he has regressed with his sister around — like being paranoid with food. But it’s also been great to see him play and interact with his older sister.
And of course, being the generous kid N is, he has passed on what he had to me — with a vengeance.

What I’m trying to say is, it’s been a real crazy start to the month. On top of that, the wife started her new and exciting journey in IV.
This weekend, N and I are going to make a quick trip to SF to see one of my closest friends who’s flying in from Okinawa with his family. That little drive will give me some ample to time reflect about the year that was in my appointment.

Starting year 3 is a big milestone for me. This is now the longest appointment so far for me. (Granted, I was a mid-year appointment at VUMC — but I don’t see a mid-year appointment happening to me here at St. Mark).
I felt like I stumbled to the end of Year 2 and still haven’t caught my footing as I anticipate the second Sunday of year 3.
Something within me hasn’t been clicking in months, I feel like.
The last good sermon I gave, where I undoubtedly knew it was a good sermon was Easter. After Easter each Sunday ended with, “What was missing today…?”
Some Sundays I would go home thinking, “What in the world happened?”

Of course, it’s unfair to assess me on just my preaching because that’s not the only thing I do. But it’s the most visible thing I do. And it’s one of the things I absolutely love about my calling. So it’s hard to separate myself from preacher role and pastor role. If I don’t do a good job of preaching, that tends to taint all that I did the previous week. I, unfortunately, put too much emphasis on my worth in how I preach. But that’s for another post.

Without going into too much detail, a big part of the reason why I can’t seem to find my footing is due to my holes in who I am as a pastor/leader. I have huge flaws in my leadership. I am very well aware of what my shortcomings are.
At my church, the area that needs the strongest pastoral leadership, currently, is where my biggest weaknesses lie. And trying to shore up my weaknesses have been tiring and draining. And taking my attention away from areas where I excel as a pastor and leader. But it’s also been a great learning experience.

I’ve also come appreciate the unpaid servants of our church. Their willingness and capacity to serve amazes me and inspires me. They do this out of their call to serve and their love for Christ and love for the church. Sure, I do that too. But I’m generously compensated to do so. So, at least for me, it’s different. I know many people come to church looking to be inspired by their pastor. But we pastors are inspired by the laity who are so willing to serve.

However, as I dream of year 3, I get spurs of excitement within my bones.

The strange thing is, I don’t know exactly what the excitement is about. But I’m approaching this year with anticipation because I know thath God is going to do great and wondrous things through/with/in us.

I also anticipate tensions, ups and downs, and of course failures. But all of that is expected and part of being a community. We don’t have to agree on everything to be with each other.
But we’re called together to be known as a people who stand for justice, show kindness to others, and live out a vital relationship with God.
And I fully expect us to live out this vision statement of ours throughout this year and beyond.

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Jun 30 2014

Joseph Yoo: I Can’t Remember

Original post at

From Ragamuffin Gospel by Brenning Manning

“Perhaps you’ve heard this story: Four years ago in a large city in the far West, rumors spread that a certain Catholic woman was having visions of Jesus.

The reports reached the archbishop. He decided to check her out. There is always a fine line between the authentic mystic and the lunatic fringe.

“Is it true, m’am, that you have visions of Jesus?” asked the cleric.

“Yes,’ the woman replied simply.

“Well, the next time you have a vision, I want you to ask Jesus to tell you the sins that I confessed in my last confession.”

The woman was stunned.

“Did I hear you right, bishop? You actually want me to ask Jesus to tell me the sins of your past?”

“Exactly. Please call me if anything happens.”

Ten days later the woman notified her spiritual leader of a recent apparition.

“Please come,” she said.

Within the hour the archbishop arrived. He trusted eye-to-eye contact.

“You just told me on the telephone that you actually had a vision of Jesus. Did you do what I asked?”

“Yes, bishop, I asked Jesus to tell me the sins you confessed in your last confession.”

The bishop leaned forward with anticipation. his eyes narrowed. “What did Jesus say?”

She took his hand and gazed deep into his eyes.

“Bishop,” she said, “these are his exact words: ‘I CAN’T REMEMBER.’”

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Jun 25 2014

Joseph Yoo: A New Appointment

Original post at

For about two years, my wife could not find a job.
This bothered me a great deal because it was ruining my dreams of being a stay at home Dad, spending all of my wife’s money on video games and Apple technology while half-mindedly attending to the kids or teaching them how to play video games with me.

In all seriousness, every lead that we followed, the doors just weren’t budging open. I’m sure she was getting frustrated — but I’m not hear to speak on her behalf. I, for one, was getting fairly annoyed because, regardless of me being her husband and being biased, I fully believe that she will be a great addition to any organization.

Again, I can’t speak for her, but I think both of us suspected (or at least hoped) that all these doors weren’t opening because God had something else in plan for her.

And from my experience, God’s plan seemingly always comes with a time of waiting. Perhaps it’s to make us so desperate that we’ll say “yes” to whatever God had planned. Maybe it’s to prepare us for the journey ahead. Maybe it’s to wean us off of depending on our own strength and laurels and yearn for more dependency on God. Maybe it’s to take time for us to whittle away bad habits — a purifying fire, if you will.

But the wait is over. Starting July 1, Rahel (my wife) will be appointed to Isla Vista working with (recently “refrocked”) Frank Schaefer.

I am excited at this new opportunity for her. It’d be a lie if I told you I wasn’t a bit envious of her. But I think this is a great opportunity for her and a great opportunity for IV.

I’m anticipating that some controversy will arise because of the appointment of Frank Schaefer. And perhaps my wife will unfairly get caught in the crosshairs of chicken shit folks who would rather hide behind a screen (or a screen name) and write hateful comments and emails. But we both have thick skins. It’s the product of being a minority — and a pastor’s kid of a Korean church. In other words, I’m not worried about anything. My wife will excel with the help and guidance of God’s grace.

I have been putting some thought into Bishop Carcaño’s decision to appoint Rev. Schaefer at IV. While I have many words and thoughts regarding this, I always come back to Acts 5:

Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God

All that matters is, my baby’s gonna be making that paper and she can resume spoiling me!

More importantly, she now has a chance to utilize her gifts and talents and serve the people of IV through God’s grace and love. And believe me — the community of IV is blessed to have her.

And I’m not just saying that cuz I’m her husband.


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