Even The Worst of Us: Reflections on Christine Hung’s Sermon “Better Not Bitter”

There’s a question, a powerful question, that I’ve had to ask myself: If I could undo the bad things that have happened to me, would I?

The answer should be easy. It should be, yeah, for sure. Getting rid of as much bad stuff as you can is so logical, so pure in its obviousness. Who wouldn’t erase their pain if they could?

Reminds me of a movie:

"Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" by Skah-Fee Studios

“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” by Skah-Fee Studios

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Diffusion of Responsibility: Reflections on Christine Hung’s Sermon “Heart to Heart”

By Juan Zung

Part One: What I Did

One night, not so long ago, I heard a woman scream. I’m pretty sure she said “Help Me!” By the way her voice tailed off, it seems like she was in a fasting moving car. If she was in trouble, it would have been important for me to get outside asap if I’d have any chance of identifying the vehicle.

I hesitated.

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Is God in Your Bellybutton?

By Christine Hung

One early morning during my quiet time with the Lord, my son, who was about 3 or 4 at the time, crawled quietly into my lap.  Attired in a fuzzy one piece pajama, two fingers in his mouth, and his hair sticking straight up, he looked at me and asked, “God is everywhere, right?”  Even at that age, Eli was a deep thinker.

“Yes Eli, God is everywhere,” I replied absentmindedly.

“Then God is in my bellybutton!”  His response was serious and resolute, as if he was finally able to put a matter to rest.  As if he had been contemplating the complexities of the question all night.  I laughed out loud and kissed him on his head. Continue reading

You Knit Me Together…

By Christine Hung

 

Photo Credit: Carmen Medlin

Photo Credit: Carmen Medlin

Psalm 139:13-14

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

I have to be honest.  I don’t love being pregnant.  The pregnancy glow, thick shiny hair, long healthy nails – I could do without any of these perks.  Some women love it, but I would be the first in line to have my baby delivered by a stork in 9 months’ time. I suppose I need to trust in the mysterious ways of the Lord!

bellesinwonderlandOne of the few highlights of my pregnancy, however, is the weekly updates I receive from the internet detailing the going-ons of my unborn child’s growth.  I look forward to Friday mornings to read what new milestones have been reached during that particular week of pregnancy.  It’s truly fascinating.  For example, at 31 weeks, this little boy in my womb is now the size of a coconut, can now turn his head side to side, and presently growing his itty bitty fingernails and toenails.  How about that!

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A Woman’s Voice

By Christine Hung

Last Sunday, I gave the sermon for the worship service.

Every time Pastor Albert asks me to do this, my heart gets tight and I feel a knot in my stomach. It’s an agonizing process to write a sermon. I’ve heard one pastor say it’s like giving birth every week. Being six months pregnant I don’t know if I’d completely agree, but I understand his sentiments!

As agonizing as it is, it’s also an incredible blessing, because few things in my life demand such a high level of dependence on the Lord as getting up to the pulpit to share God’s Word. Interestingly, I find myself leaning on the Lord’s understanding just as much after giving the sermon as before. Because when I step down from the pulpit, a wave of insecurity plagues my mind as I ruminate over my performance.

Early next morning, I laid in bed, as I often do, and started conversing with the Lord. It started off with an acknowledgement that I felt incredibly dissatisfied with the sermon I had delivered. I invited the Lord to give light and direction as to why I felt that way. As I edited and re-edited my sermon during the week, the more my message started looking like Albert’s sermons. The content was mine, but the structure was not. I felt more and more, that I was losing my own voice. I admire and respect my husband’s ability to preach, and perhaps this led me to believe that I had to sound like him. Inevitably, the most common response I got after the sermon from close friends was, “It didn’t quite sound like you.”

How ironic that I had shared in my sermon that God created women differently than men. And that one of the ways He is glorified, is when we fulfill our purposes in the way he uniquely designed us. God made me a woman. He made me emotional, and relational, and gave me the ability to respond to the things around me with the deepest recesses of my heart. He gave me the longing to connect meaningfully with people as I communicate my thoughts, desires, and fears. But I had successfully squeezed my voice into something that was not me.

God taught me that morning that I am perfectly created to compliment the gifts of my husband, not to compete against it. I also sensed Him telling me that my voice, a women’s voice, is valued and precious when I am speaking from His Spirit.

It was a lesson well learned, not just for the development of my preaching skills, but also how I partner with my husband in all areas of my life.

My dialogue with the Lord left me encouraged that He was continually teaching and molding me into a woman of faith – into whom He could use to reveal His glory.

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Christine Hung is a locally licensed minister of the Nazarene Church. She’s a mother of three (soon to be four!), a wife, a teacher, a dear friend and the Director of Group Life at Trinity Church. 

Listen to Christine’s sermon HERE.

Christine and Albert, making sure their precious half-marathon medals aren’t actually made of chocolate