Thursday, July 26, 2012

Seeing Jesus in Disney Princesses

After starting our family with two boys I have to admit, I thought there was little chance my daughter would have any desire to be feminine and so I was pleasantly surprised when she developed a love for dresses and princesses. That said, it's starting to get out of control. When we were at Disney World last month I told each of the kids they could buy one thing as a souvenir. Selah carefully chose a new princess doll to add to her collection - the latest Disney Princess....Merida. Kim and I told her she could open the box when we got home but we should have known better. Here was my conversation with her in Orlando:

S: Can I open the box now? 

Me: No, not now. 

S: But I love her!

Me: Do you love her more than daddy?

S: Yes. 

Me: But she's not real. 

S: I know.

Me: She can't talk. 

S:  I know...but I love her. 

Me: She can't love you back. 

S: I know.  

Me: Do you really love her more than daddy? 

S: (long pause) Okay. No. So can I open the box now?!?

From this conversation I came to two conclusions. One: females do have a higher emotional intelligence than males. (at least in my family) Two: Idolatry begins at a very young age. I also realized there if very little difference between a four year old girl and full-grown adults when it comes to loving things that are not real, that don't love us, and that cannot love us back. These little idols come in all shapes and size from a successful career, money, cars, homes, children, finding the perfect partner, etc. The great tragedy is that in loving created things we fail to recognize the love of the Creator - God Himself. May we discover the one true love our hearts are longing for. May we come to love the God who loves us and who is love (1 Jn 4:8).

"God nowhere tells us to give things up for the sake of giving them up. He tells us to give them up for the sake of the only thing worth having - life with Himself." -Oswald Chambers

Monday, July 23, 2012

Seeing Jesus in Superheroes

BONE MARROW UPDATE: Praise God we were able to get approval to set up a booth at the GKYM and KWMC Conference at Wheaton College this week. That said, we are looking for volunteers to fill certain slots. (4-7pm on Wed, Jul 25th, and any time on Thur or Fri, Jul 26 & 27th). If you are able to help man the booth please contact Danielle at 847-226-4829 or email her at Thanks!! 
For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. -Romans 8:22-23

It's difficult to fathom what recently occurred in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. I can't imagine the profound sense of loss to something so senseless that many families are now dealing with. Our thoughts and prayers go out to them. Despite the horrific violence of one deranged man, stories are emerging of sacrificial love that is of the highest order...the giving of your life for another. Here's a LINK to a story of three men who did just that for the women they loved. It deserves a read.

How do you explain this kind of evil and suffering? It's impossible on this side of heaven. But one thing is clear. This is an utterly broken and fallen world and we are living in some crazy times. Economic uncertainty, social unrest, political upheaval, random acts of senseless violence - everything seems to be in disarray - even the natural world; from earthquakes, to hurricanes, to tsunamis - the frequency is dizzying and intensity is frightening.

Not to get all "doomsday" on you, but even the general public seems to recognize that we may be approaching a final climax in which mankind will find a way to destroy themselves if some higher power does not intervene. Just look at all the movies Hollywood is churning out with that same dark apocalyptic theme whether it's about superheroes, natural disasters, a contagious disease, terrorist attack, or a war to end all wars. We are living in fear that something big and bad is going to happen and we are searching for a superhero that will save us from ourselves and until we find that hero the Batman, Spiderman, Superman, and Ironman movies are sure to continue. G.K. Chesterton once said:
"Fairy tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten."
Given that comic book hero movies are essentially fairy tales for men, I think Chesterton's quote applies to this genre as well. These movies are more than true; not because they tell us that these comic book heroes exist, but because they tell us that a superhero does exist and justice will one day prevail and evil one day will be conquered and there will be a "happily ever after". This is why Bonnie Tyler's song "I Need a Hero" later parodied by Shrek in the video below was such a big hit. We are all searching for a hero. We all seek salvation even if we have to settle for a big green monster to fill that role - be it Shrek or the Incredible Hulk. 

But the world searches in vain because the real superhero is not found in a fictitious person who is part mutant and part man trying to reconcile his vast mutant powers for good or for evil. He is a real person who is fully God and fully man who has come to reconcile the world to himself from evil. And with each passing day in which more lives are lost and more heinous crimes are committed we are left groaning for redemption and longing for justice. We are left waiting for a superhero to end all superheros. But he has already come and he has already demonstrated a love of the absolute highest order in giving his life for those who refused his love - and best of all he has promised to return. Therefore, no matter how hopeless things are in this world, hope still lives. Hope is alive and well and his name is Jesus Christ.

Peter & Kim

Monday, July 16, 2012

Seeing Jesus in the Grand Canyon

"Who is like you, O LORD, among the gods? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders?" -Exodus 15:11

Is it just me or is the word "awesome" becoming a tad overused? Does a dessert really inspire awe? Does a roller-coaster really deserve this title? Can it be defined in a humorous poster?

We recently made a trip to see the Grand Canyon and I must say, that is probably the closest thing to "awesome" on this earth. It's sheer size and grandeur will drop your jaw. As we were driving there I kept telling my kids what a privilege this was and we would be seeing it for the first time together (Kim saw it as a child, but I never have). I was able to capture their memorable reaction on video: children were more enamored with some nearby rocks and dirt over one of the "seven natural wonders of the world". How sad. Isn't this true for all of us in some sense? We often find ourselves distracted by things so unworthy of our attention, worshiping created things over the Creator, and in so doing we fail to appreciate the beauty and wonder of God Himself. 

As awesome as the Grand Canyon is only God truly deserves that title. Have you ever noticed that anytime a person enters the presence of God in Scripture their immediate response is to fall on their face? That's "shock and awe". Notice it's not a holy God scurrying away from sinful man. It's sinful man falling down and hiding his face from an awesome and holy God.

In our man-centeredness many of us tend to think that sin somehow has power over God - as if God is Superman and sin is his kryptonite. We have it backwards. It's not so much that a holy God cannot dwell with sin - but rather it's sin that cannot dwell with a holy God. When Uzzah touched the Ark of the Covenant (2 Sa 6:7) the Ark was not destroyed....he was. Sin and anything sinful is simply vaporized when it comes into contact with the awesome holiness of God. It's as simple as that.

Seeing the Canyon reminded me of the great chasm that separates us from God. We have been separated by our sin and that separation is vast. It is humanly impossible to bridge that gap. But in the Gospel we learn that God, in His goodness, has bridged that gap. He bridged it through His Son Jesus Christ and it is only in him that we find the true "stairway to heaven" (Jn 1:51).

And so God did not send His Son as a panacea to His greatest weakness - He sent His Son as a panacea to our greatest weakness. This was not God's solution to His greatest problem - it was God's solution to our greatest problem. Thank you Lord.

In His Grace,

Peter & Kim

Friday, July 13, 2012

Answered Prayer! (Help Needed!)

Dear Friends, 

It looks like we have received approval to host a bone marrow drive at the GKYM (Global Korean Missions Conference) - praise the Lord! There will be approximately 5,000 people attending the conference and we hope to get 1/2 of them registered.  Here is how you might be able to help:

We need help pre-labeling swab kits!  If you have a group of people (friends/family/co-workers/etc) that can get together sometime next week and pre-label swab kits, a kind volunteer named Danielle Vickers (from Be the Match) can come out and show you how to do it and give you all the supplies.  Or if you’d like to take a box of 100, Be the Match can send them directly to you and speak with you by phone to explain how to label. They can also pick them up from you upon completion.

We need help during the drive! The drive will take place at Wheaton College Tuesday, July 24th through Thursday, July 26th.  We are waiting on an exact timeframe, however it will most likely be during the day.  We may possibly have an evening timeframe but that is not confirmed yet. If you cannot make it, do you know someone that can?  Or do you know someone that needs volunteer hours?  We might have two booths and we will need all the help we can get.
Please  contact Danielle Vickers at or 847-226-4829 if you think you can help by doing any of the above. If you cannot please consider passing this request on to family/friends. 

Connor is desperately looking for a match and I recently was introduced to the parents of another 4 year old girl named Victoria (same age as my little girl) who is desperately searching for a match to saver her life and is running out of time. Please help them and so many others. Thanks so much!

In His Grace,

Peter & Kim

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Seeing Jesus in Andrew Park

For those interested in attending Andrew's memorial service tomorrow night please see Joe's blog HERE for details.  Thanks to many of you who reached out after my last post about getting a bone marrow drive set up at the Global Missions Conference in Wheaton later this month. I was able to get in touch with some of the leaders and the ball is rolling. Please pray for a favorable result and for Connor and so many others that are searching desperately for a match.
Andrew at age 4 in his Sunday School class
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die. -John 11:25

I've been reflecting a lot this past week or two on Andrew's passing and the emotions have been so mixed. We are grieving for a family that misses him so much, and yet we are joyful in knowing that Andrew is free from pain and in the presence of Jesus. 

As many of you know, Andrew wasn't just another boy with cancer to us. Kim had the privilege of being Andrew's Sunday School teacher since he was about four years old and so she has watched him grow over the years in every way a boy can grow.

Not only that, Andrew was also diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia the day after we found out that Kim had cancer and so from the onset we all knew that we were fighting this battle together. Both Kim and Andrew fought through their respective cancers and despite very different outcomes they both fought a good fight and they fought with the Lord's strength. I am sure of it.

This was Andrew's second bout with cancer. His first was over three years ago and so Kim and I not only looked to the Lord but to Andrew, his father Joe and their family to help us walk through this darkest of valleys. Despite their own pain and suffering they were happy to serve us in this way. The student was now leading the teacher and we had never been more proud to follow.

I'll be honest. In my flesh, sometimes it's hard not to struggle with the fact that Kim is in remission, while Andrew has passed and Connor continues to recover from a failed BMT. Sometimes it's difficult to make sense of God's plan as it unfolds. But the truth still stands: God is good. God is sovereign. God is glorious.  Sometimes those truths are all you have to cling to...but it's enough.

These past few days I've been meditating upon two deaths in the Gospels - Lazarus and Jesus. Lazarus was raised from the dead but the truth is he eventually died. The Gospels do not record the exact day or when it happened but it's true - he passed away. Jesus' resurrection was different. He has risen and he still lives.

Jesus' raising of Lazarus from the dead was just a picture of the greater resurrection that was soon to come. His own.  And therein lies our living hope. If Lazarus' empty tomb was but a shadow, then Jesus' empty tomb is the Sun. One a dim reflection and the other a blaze of glory.

And what we learn is that even in death or life, God's goodness cannot be diminished, God's purpose cannot thwarted, and God's glory cannot be frustrated. Jesus' death and resurrection has paved the way for ours and when we receive Jesus by faith as our Lord and Savior we become participants of his death and resurrection (Gal 2:20) and that is exactly what the baptism (being submerged underwater and brought to new life) was meant to picture. And so we mourn but we do not mourn like the world who has no hope. We mourn death with a living hope. Because our hope is in the One who is the "resurrection and the life"(Jn 11:25).

I believe with all my heart that Andrew is now in the presence of Jesus and he has never been happier. Ever. His eyes now see what his heart already knew and he is in the arms of the One who sustains the universe and who spoke it into being.

God's goodness has not been diminished, God's purpose has not been thwarted, and God's glory has not been frustrated. Blessed be His name.

In His Hope,

Peter & Kim

Monday, July 9, 2012

Saving Connor

With Steph's permission I wanted to copy over a recent post on her blog. If you felt your heart wrench reading Joe's post about his son Andrew passing, your heart will also be wrenched by a mother crying out for her son. As many of you know Connor's BMT did not take and so he is back at square one looking for another match. They have been patiently waiting for years now for a match and found one late last year that backed out and one this year that did not take. They are depending on the kindness of strangers to help save their son. Please embody the gospel by serving them and register at All it takes is a simple cheek swab to see if you can save a life. Also, if there is anyone out there that has connections with Global Korean Young Adult Mission (GYKM) and/or the Korean World Council for Christ (KWMC) - they are holding their annual Korean World Mission Conference at the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College on July 23-27 and they're expecting 5,000 young Korean Christians. We're trying hard to get a bone marrow drive at the conference and so any help or contacts anyone can provide to get that ball moving would be greatly appreciated. Please leave a comment or shoot me an email at if you can help. Thanks!
We went for more labwork and his counts have dropped to very low levels again.  We stopped administering G-csf on Sunday and in 5 days time his numbers have dropped dramatically. He needed another blood transfusion today and will most likely need platelets on Tues.  The doctors have decided to continue G-csf again until our next appointment and then based on those numbers will need to determine if we will need a bone marrow biopsy to see what is truly going on in there.  They all seem a bit concerned that his body is not able to sustain production of his immune system but at the same time keep encouraging us that his counts are not at 0, close to it, and that there is some production- but who knows if it is due to all the blood and platelets that he gets on a weekly basis now?  It is difficult to stay optimistic especially since Connor is only the 2nd patient undergoing RIC at Children's whose bmt failed so they just don't have a lot of data for us to review.  Can you believe he is only the 2nd child??? SO FRUSTRATING!!! Please don't get me wrong, we accept what has happened, what choice do we have after all, and we generally have very good days BUT I do have these moments where I just look to the universe and say UGHHHHH!!!

What is really scary is the decision that we have to make about a second transplant. I ran into a mother of a 12 year old son who is suffering from acute GVHD on his skin.  I have read about that being a possibility but until you talk to someone you don't really understand what GVHD of the skin means...she described it as the entire skin suffered from burns and her son is in excruciating pain and so much of his skin peels off his body that she has to clean the floor of his room at least 3 times a day.  He underwent full myloblative bmt- the preconditioning treatment that Connor will have to endure if or when  he has to do this again.  How do we make this choice and when?  We are still seeking guidance on all of this and trying to review all of our bmt research again but for now we still need to find another donor!  Please encourage everyone to register- most of them will never be called to donate and a lucky few may have the opportunity to save a life!

Connor is still doing well, we are keeping occupied by re-decorating his room and making it everything Star Wars! And he finally got a big boy desk and takes so much pride in keeping it organized and lining things up. I actually got him to let go of a few of his toys from when he was 2 or 3 so I am thrilled!    We are slowly getting into some sort of schedule but some days he is just really tired. 

Thank you all for your prayers for our family and for Andrew's family.  God has heard your prayers and our friend Nancy is out of intensive care, she still has a long road ahead of her but she is off of most of her machines and we are so grateful!

Have a great weekend! 

Saving Connor from Saving Connor on Vimeo.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Good Bye My Son

Below is a post I copied from Joe's blog reflecting upon Andrew's last hours and funeral. You can see original post, pictures and leave a comment for Joe HERE. Please continue to lift up Joe and his family in prayer. Thanks.
I have been putting off writing this post for over 24 hours.  My heart is aching horribly as I miss my Andrew so much, it's unbearable at times. I can't breathe at times, but I know he is jumping in joy, singing and dancing, eating whatever he wants and fellowshipping with believers gone to heaven earlier.  Worshiping and being eternally joyful in the audience of Jesus.  Nonetheless, it's so hard.  But I am constantly reminded by whispers from Andrew and God, there is a time for mourning and a time for laughing:

Ecclesiastes 3:4

So, I have divergent feelings.  On one hand, I have been laughing and celebrating his life by myself and with family and on the other hand I have felt so alone and sad without my son, my only son.  I have felt numb and I have felt happiness and joy, but I sit here and write about Andrew's passing, his life and legacy and how I feel about my son.  Please be patient with me.  This is very difficult to do.  So  as I sit here alone, take a seat with me and read and listen.  It may be lengthy, but I know you all would like to know the details and the beauty of his passing.  

This is to my champ, my hero, my beloved.
     The last time I wrote, It was this past Friday night after we had told Andrew there was nothing left we could do for him and that he was dying.  The family that meant the most to Andrew rushed by plane and auto to get to Andrew's bedside, some coming right before his passing.  We knew as of Friday, Andrew's health was deteriorating rapidly and would not last long.  But it was just Saturday morning Jennifer, Yun and I decided to stop treatment and not have Andrew suffer further.  It was one of the more difficult things we had to do, but it was the right thing to do and the Lord was right behind us.  Andrew's pain was increasing and we had to go up on the pain meds and sedatives to keep him comfortable.  Our goal was to keep our boy "comfortable" as possible.  We called the healthcare team in the morning Saturday and made sure everyone was gathered to make sure we all knew what we were going to do, to make sure Andrew passed without any pain.  They assured us they would make Andrew feel as comfortable as possible and he most likely not feel anything.  With that said, we called all our relatives into the hospital to gather and to say our last goodbyes and make sure he had a gathering of loved ones who meant the most, to send him off to eternal glory and to a perfect and healthy body which will last forever.  

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Seeing Jesus in Every Season

A friend introduced this song to me a while back and we played it while we watched fireworks with the family last night. What a great reminder that we can see God in each of the seasons He created - serving as a regular reminder of who He is and how He works.

Please continue to lift up Andrew's family as they grieve their loss and celebrate God's goodness in His life. Andrew is now celebrating freedom in a way that we on earth can only imagine. Please continue to lift up Connor and family as well as he is still recovering from his BMT at home.

Happy 4th of July everyone.

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. -Galatians 5:1