Watch Henry's message here:
Henry grew up in Johns Creek and attended youth group at ACCCN. His parents still go to ACCCN. He went to Georgia Tech for ISYE, and moved to NYC to work at Adobe. He has since quit his job at Adobe to be a maintainer at Babel.
Henry has given talks around the world at many tech conferences. He most recently started a podcast to start talking about the faith in public to the tech industry.
More information about Henry Zhu can be found here
If you would like to contact Henry, he has kindly made his email available to you at email@example.com
8:00pm- 9:30pm, Sat, Aug 29, 2020
Contents of the message:
Access Passcode: $5eE3Ena
Youth Open House Powerpoint: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Y5zJqKjU58c9S4tQxRK04D3fqE6Eo8Q1/view?usp=sharing
"American Society through the Lens of the Pandemic - 60-day journey serving at the CDC Emergency Operation Center" By Dr. Ding
2020 is special and unusual for all of us. The unprecedented pandemic has impacted everyone. Nobody can escape it. The pandemic reveals the racism and social injustice among American society. The chaos and rattling surrounding us reflect people’s minds and hearts. We are fortunate to have many in our church with "boots on the ground." This Friday one of our church members will share their impact of serving 60 days at the CDC emergency operation center, an experience beyond verbal description. The data presented will wake you up and reminded you of our responsibility as believers and God’s children.
Watch the presentation here:
For my sharing today, I’m going to tell you a little bit about my life story – not because it’s interesting or because I’m interesting, but because of the amazing truth I believe it tells about God and His love for every one of us, even those who have no interest in Him at all. Some of you have heard me say that I was an atheist for at least 40 years, and now I’m not. How that change came about is the heart of this story.
First I’m going to run through some of the major events in my life. This will be the boring part. Again, the point is not the things that happened, but WHY I believe they happened. Please bear with me. I hope the second part will be worth hearing.
When I was around 12 or 13, I developed a weird fear of going out and doing normal things – going to school, going to parties, shopping, playing in the marching band at football games, you name it. It was something like a condition called “agoraphobia” – the fear of going out and interacting with other people. It has stayed with me through my entire life, although it is not as debilitating now as it used to be.
The next big event came when I was around 15. Leaning more and more toward science and rebelling against parents and “the system,” I decided I no longer believed in God, and I stopped going to church and Sunday school. I was no longer a Christian.
In my senior year, I earned a National Merit Scholarship, which paid all my tuition and expenses to attend Michigan State University, where I began studying chemistry and mathematics. This could have been my ticket to a successful life – but in my sophomore year, my agoraphobia took over, and I was barely able to go to my classes. After a couple of months, I was forced to drop out of college and go home.
I kicked around for a while, working in retail stores just to earn some spending money, but I had no idea what I needed to do or how I could overcome my agoraphobia so that I could handle any more stressful job or even go back to college. Finally, I decided that I wanted to become a news photographer, so I applied to several newspapers in Florida. I didn’t find any openings, but one day I got a call from an editor who asked me, “How would you like to be a police reporter?” I didn’t know what a police reporter did, but they told me I could take pictures along with writing the stories, so I said yes. This was the accidental beginning of a 40-year career as a journalist.
After a couple of years at the Florida paper, I applied to the Atlanta Journal, and six months later they offered me a job. I was a reporter for several years, then I became an assistant city editor, supervising local reporters. One day, the city editor left to go on extended medical leave, and I was offered the position, and I happily took it. Unfortunately, the managing editor at that time was something of a tyrant, and after about three weeks he said he was transferring me to a boring job on the copy desk. Luckily, my previous boss had been promoted to editorial page editor, and he “rescued” me, bringing me into his department as an editorial writer and columnist – which turned out to be the most wonderful job I could ever have hoped for.
In my capacity as an editorial writer, I developed a specialization on Asian issues and began attending the annual conference of the Association for Asian Studies. There, my interest spread beyond Japan to other countries, and I made a lot of friends among Chinese scholars and others in Atlanta. Eventually, I learned to speak Japanese, visited several Asian countries, and lived and studied in Japan for almost a year.
One night early in 2001, I decided to go to a Chinese New Year banquet held by a Chinese-American organization. At some point during the evening, I got up and headed to the bathroom. Along the way, I saw a friend at another table and stopped to say hello. She introduced me to others at the table – including a very nice and pretty Chinese lady whose name was Hong Ke. You can guess the rest of that story.
Now, we’re getting to the important part. Hong had come to Atlanta and was attending Georgia State University, and at the school she happened to meet some folks from the Baptist Student Union. They treated her wonderfully and invited her to church, and eventually she accepted Christ and was baptized. You might say that was a great thing, but for me, it was an obstacle to our relationship. I had left church when I was about 15 and never looked back. Faith had played no role in anything I did throughout my adult life up until this moment. Inevitably, Hong asked me to go to church with her, and because love conquers all things, I said I would go, with one condition: “Don’t bother me with all that Jesus stuff.”
She didn’t, but Jesus did. Her church had a pastor who was a simple, spiritual man, who didn’t have a flamboyant style of preaching or any magical ways of bringing the heathen to heel. Instead, Sunday after Sunday, he told me who Jesus was and who Jesus is, and in doing so he redefined the meaning of life for me. Now, I volunteer to get “bothered by all that Jesus stuff” all the time, and I am unceasingly happy about it.
NOW, the second part: Why do I think this long and quite ordinary story is worth taking up your time this morning? Simply this: When I look back at all the things that happened to me in my life, especially after I left the church, there is no way I can believe that it was all random. It is clear to me that God was watching me that whole time and making things happen that turned me in one direction, then in another direction – but, in the long run, in just one direction: back to Him. I was a sinner and apostate, a man who had denied His very existence and rejected any thought that my life held any connection to Him – but at no point in that 40 years had He rejected or abandoned me.
The connections are, to me, undeniable. If I had not suffered from agoraphobia, I would have continued at Michigan State, graduated and probably forged a career in some kind of science, where I might well have worked primarily with other people who would not have been attracted to anything as “supernatural” as religion. And I would not be here today, in this church, or in any church.
If I had not dropped out of Michigan State, I would never have fallen into newspapering, a career that allowed me to pursue interests in anything I wanted, including Asian issues. I would be a retired scientist, instead of a retired journalist. And I would not be here today.
If I had not had a bad boss who kicked me out of the position of city editor, I would probably have been a local news journalist for the rest of my life, focusing on Atlanta and Georgia, and never even glancing across the state lines toward any broader interests. And I would not be here today.
If I had not developed a journalistic interest in Japan, I might never have even visited any Asian country. I surely would not have learned Japanese, studied in Japan, and made a lot of friends among other Asian cultures, including Chinese. And I would not be here today.
If I had not decided to go to that Chinese New Year banquet, I would not have met Hong. And I would not be here today. If she had not come to America, or if she had not become a Christian, I would not be here today.
Most important, if God had not been walking right next to me all through those 40 years in the wilderness and turning me left and turning me right until I went through the doors of that little church with Hong, I would not be here today.
God is all about miracles, and when I look back at my life, and who I was in that life, and what I believed – or didn’t believe – I know without the tiniest bit of doubt that God did a miracle in me. He was always there, knowing that I wasn’t going to change my mind about Him by myself. He led me through what seems to me to be an incredibly twisted path, but which to someone with his power is a razor-straight line – back to Him, where He knew I always belonged.
And so I AM here today – praise the Lord!
Recorded Workshops below:
1. Family Worship (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9D3WGVtz4uA)
Do you find it hard to worship God with your family in your home? You're not alone, all families struggle to worship in their homes. This workshop is designed to give you practical ways you can worship God in your homes whether as an individual or a family.
2. What is racial reconciliation and what should believers be doing in relation to racial reconciliation? (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sHwgqUbnDqM)
This workshop will seek to define racial reconciliation biblically and give you practical steps you can take towards reconciliation.
3. What does genuine repentance look like?
As Christians, we are called to live a life of repentance; dependent upon God's grace and mercy as the hope of our salvation. This workshop will seek to show us the necessity of repentance for salvation and growth throughout our Christian life.
The only thing that will ever lift you out of your sin and complacency, put you on the pilgrim trail, and keep you there throughout life is a profound awareness of the mercy and grace of God.
Consider the example of John Newton, the hymn writer. When Newton was a young boy he ran away to sea and eventually went to Africa to participate in the slave trade. His reason for going, as he wrote in his autobiography years later, was that he might “sin his fill.” Sin he did! But the path of sin is downhill, and Newton’s path descended so far that he was eventually reduced to the position of a slave in his master’s African compound. This man dealt in slaves, and when he went off on slaving expeditions Newton fell into the hands of the slave trader’s African wife, who hated Europeans and vented her venom on Newton. Newton was forced to eat his food off the dusty floor like a dog, and at one point he was actually placed in chains. Sick and emaciated, he nearly died.
Newton escaped from this form of his slavery eventually, but he was still chained to sin and again went to sea transporting slaves from Africa to the New World. It was on his return from one of these slave voyages that Newton was wondrously converted.
The ship was overtaken by a fierce storm in the North Atlantic and was nearly sinking. The rigging was destroyed, water was pouring in. Newton was sent down into the hold to pump water. He pumped for days, certain that the ship would sink and he would be drowned. As Newton pumped water in the hold of that ship, God caused him to remember Bible verses he had learned from his mother as a child, half a lifetime earlier, and these verses led to his repentance, faith, and conversion. Right there in the ship! While the storm was raging!
The ship survived the storm. The sailors were saved. Sometime later, after Newton had left the slave trade, this former slave of slaves studied for the Christian ministry and eventually became a popular preacher in England. He even preached before the queen.
What was Newton’s motivation? It was a profound awareness of the grace and mercy of God toward him. It was this John Newton who wrote,
Amazing grace!—how sweet the sound--
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.
Newton never forgot God’s mercy to him. Once, a friend was complaining about someone who was resistant to the gospel and living a life of great sin. “Sometimes I almost despair of that man,” the friend remarked.
“I never did despair of any man since God saved me,” said Newton.
In his most advanced years Newton’s mind began to fail and he had to stop preaching. When friends came to visit him he frequently remarked, “I am an old man. My mind is almost gone. But I can remember two things: I am a great sinner, and Jesus is a great Savior.” Certainly the mercy of God moved Newton to offer his body as a living sacrifice to God and to seek to please him.
Above is taken from Boice, James Montgomery. Psalms 107–150: An Expositional Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2005.
This song answers:
May this season of rest lead to lasting change in all of us! God help us! This is one of the greatest videos I have ever seen.
This is a special episode of the G3 Podcast where Josh Buice talks with Paul Washer about the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and how the Church of Jesus can find hope in God
Gracious God, Champion of the Universe, we so often fluff ourselves up. Aren’t we the only creatures who compose masterpieces of music and art? Don’t we govern ourselves, enrich ourselves, promote ourselves? Can’t we dunk basketballs, bat baseballs, spike volleyballs? Aren’t some of us masters of comic irony? Other creatures don’t practice rocket science. We do. And yet. Here we are, frightened by a thing so small it can’t be seen under most microscopes. It’s not even an animal or a plant. It’s a virus, a mere parasite, dependent on our own living cells to replicate. And yet it has shuttered our schools, cancelled our flights, and emptied our churches. It has consumed the attention of our leading scientists, wrenched our politics out of shape, dominated our conversations, and scared the daylights out of us.
We don’t want to get sick. And we don’t want to die.
We are afraid, O God. Afraid of a microorganism. Afraid of each other.
Great and quiet source of peace, quiet our fears. We are wary, uncertain, strung tight. Quiet our fears. We have no idea what the future will bring, but we do know you will be in our future to hold us there. We cannot quiet ourselves, O God. We cannot comfort ourselves, cannot heal ourselves, cannot help ourselves. All we can do is wash our hands and keep our distance. Our rocket science is no good to us for this threat.
O God, great and quiet source of peace, quiet us, your anxious ones, and let us cling for comfort to your suffering Son, Jesus Christ. Gather us under his wings. Remind us that he suffers with us, but he’s also the great physician. In him, let us not be afraid.
Please, let us not be afraid. Amen.
Written by Cornelius Plantinga, Jr.
COVID-19 and Worship: Resources for Churches Adapting to Social Isolation