Friday, May 6, 2016

A Walking Tour of Hong Kong's Central District with Firsthand Story of the start of the Umbrella Movement Protests.

In March of 2016, I was blessed with the opportunity to travel to Hong Kong and Beijing. As a part of the trip, the group I was with learned about the tensions between the Hong Kong people and the Chinese Government. Specifically through the acting out of those tensions through the Occupy protests in 2012 and the Umbrella Movement that began in 2014. 

One way in which we learned about this historic protest conflict was via a walking tour of the Central District in which the events were described to us firsthand by a protester who was there when it all started and remained part of the Umbrella movement through the end of the occupation of the Central District.

Issac was kind enough to allow me to film his description of things. This video is a compilation of clips from different areas of focus during the Occupy Central with Love and Peace protests. The video is less than 20 minutes long and contains gems of information from beginning to end. If you are wanting to get a sense of what happened, good luck finding another video like this one. 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The Power of YouTube - Comfort in suffering and Advancing the Gospel


Thanks for taking time out of your day to click through to this blog post. Some of you have read my recent post about starting a YouTube Channel in November of 15. I am still in the midst of learning how to make better videos, but I wanted to share with you how humbled I am by the power of YouTube already.

At the end of November, I made a video where I spent a few minutes talking about my wife and I's experience of having a miscarriage in 2012. In the video I speak about what happened and my perspective as a pastor, about God in the midst of suffering. 

The number of views is still not anything to write home about, but where the views come from and the impact it is having invigorate my desire to make these videos and grow the channel even more.

Over the last month more than 50% of the views on this video have come from either YouTube or Google Search. Think for a minute who would be searching for keywords like miscarriage, grief, and God? 

One of these individuals who came across this video was from England, he and his wife had recently suffered a miscarriage. Though he had never believed in God, he began to wonder if there were in fact a God and if that God was punishing him. God used the video to meet this man in the midst of his suffering. The man has now decided to start following Jesus. 

Others have expressed through comments, conversations, and direct messages how they found comfort in the message. As I said before, the project is still very young and I have a long way to go in learning to make better videos. But it is humbling to see that God is at work through it and through me in this way. 

Please, take a minute to watch the video. Click through to view a couple others as well. If any of my videos would be helpful someone you know... especially if you know someone who has suffered from a lost pregnancy. Please send them a link to the video. 

Thursday, November 19, 2015


*** The following is an email I sent to some friends recently informing them of what I am up to ***


I am in the first month still of trying a new thing in terms of ministry.I want you to understand what I am doing and why. In the end of this email I will offer ways you can easily and practically help me.

I am building a YouTube Channel. Though it is new and quality/exposure is very small so far, the feedback has been amazing. I have re-purposed some of my time to do this because I feel it is important. 

Why - People have migrated to the internet, it is how we are communicating right now. More and more, information is consumed in video form. Conversations with loved ones are taking place in video dialogue. As communication becomes easier and easier to do digitally, connecting to the whole world through a device in your pocket, creation of community is shifting.

When someone is in need of help on any number of subjects they can typically find what they are looking for on YouTube. If a teenager in my neighborhood is depressed and looking for hope, they are more likely to go binge watch YouTube videos than they are to come through the doors of the church to find that hope. Unfortunately, a majority of religious conversation on YouTube is lead by Atheists. It is my desire to create a pastoral presence digitally

What is it?
The channel will be listed by my name and themed as:
Pastor Jacob - Offering faith, hope, and love in online community

The videos I am/will be making will be mostly off the cuff direct to camera discussion of my point of view as a pastor, though there will be some subjects that will be scripted.

The Videos will primarily fall into 3 categories:
1. Short (under 5 min), Scripture based, Devotionals
2. Conversation on difficult matters 
3. Answering questions of life and faith.

I will occasionally also be posting videos of my family. They are an important part of who I am so they will be featured occasionally.

How can you help?
1. Watch my Videos
2. Subscribe - So you will know when new videos are posted
3. Click Like and Comment
4. Share the link across your social media platforms (be sure to make a brief statement of what you found useful from the video)
5. Click "Support Channel" on my channel page and make a monetary donation*
***Update*** You can support the channel via now!
6. Offer your skills and resources to help me produce/edit new videos.

At this early stage of developing this channel, any of these things help. Monetary donations would go directly into the channel for things like advertising and purchasing of needed equipment to improve video quality**. 

Most of all I want you to be in prayer for me. As I mentioned earlier, the feedback so far has been amazing. One night someone unexpected texted a little after midnight, having stumbled across a video about dead faith. This person was moved to tears and felt so blessed by the video they just wanted to let me know so bad they didn't care that it was late at night. This is the exact kind of hope that I have for this channel. That any given single view could change someones heart, or mind. That any given view could change someones day, week, or life.

Shoot me a message and let me know you will stand behind me in this endeavor.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Created Good

Jan Brueghel: The Younger Creation of Adam
A fundamental aspect of how we see the world around us and how we understand Christianity stems from how we understand who we are. What is our nature as humans? If we were created by a good God why is there suffering? 

Christians for centuries have been trying to answer these questions. Many of the voices in Protestantism about human nature come from theologians around the time of the reformation. You may notice that people like John Wesley and Rob Bell have a very different perspective than your average evangelical Christian. Their theology is strongly influenced by a 3rd century theologian named Irenaeus whose work laid the foundation for the beliefs the church would grow on. There were many different sects who claimed to follow Jesus' teachings that were far from what you or I believe about God, and Irenaeus wrote directly confronting those groups and in doing so laid out a convincing perspective that continues to have appeal even today. Irenaeus had this concept that we were created good and that makes all the difference. Below is a paper I wrote attempting to explain this concept in some depth. I hope you are able to see truth in it that you have known with your life, and that you can see aspects of things you hear in a Methodist church, or even in Rob Bell's books/videos.