Thursday, May 31, 2007

Ah, been seeing this little knick-knack popping up all over my friends' blogs.

Create your own Friend Test here

So give this knick-knack a paddywhack; but take it alone, or else I'll send you rolling home. XD

(ok, you may stare incomprehensibly now... just a pun!)

What's the SHAPE of Your Life?

My CG has been discussing this topic, in thinking how we can work towards the Sub-district vision. It's really a powerful and daring vision, involving things like planting Acts-style communities in our workplaces, and setting up ventures so that we can further the Kingdom of God... learning to be more well-informed of what goes on in the world, etc.

And one question that we were asked was this: "Within the CG, suggest how you can play a part given your unique SHAPE to contribute to the vision."

So we shared, and then HQ asked me, what's your SHAPE?

"Eh... what's SHAPE actually? I only roughly know a bit..."

"S - Spiritual Gifts
H - Heart and passion
A - Ability
P - Personality
E - Experiences in life."

So shared, and then when I reached the E part, I shared about my hearing impairment, my own struggles in relating with Chinese-speaking people, and my unique personality.

Then HQ said matter-of-factly, "Ok, so that means you can relate to people who are new and relate to different cultures."

Gee! That puts my experiences in a totally new light! Never realised that God can use my unique life experiences in such a special way. :D I mean, it's one thing to know... it's another thing to really see it with your own eyes. And all the troubles that you've experienced in the past, all whizz past your eyes and all these memories that you'd rather forget, suddenly become incredibly precious.

So that is what they mean when they say that Christ can redeem your past. Not erase your past aka Total Recall... but rather, He turns your shame into glory, sorrow into joy!

Think this new insight is very timely. :) Especially when I've been thinking about my personality that makes me very clingy and insecure at times - especially when I'm at my weakest. So I've been asking God why He gave me this personality and these unique life experiences - it's not something I'm particularly happy with.

But gee, now that I heard that statement, it gives me courage to get up and move on again, because I know that my personality and experiences are privileged to play a role in God's plan to save the world - a role that no one else in time and space can ever fulfill. Because, yes, God has given me many, many opportunities to interact with people of different cultures, and even bring them to Christ. One of them, from a communist country, even shared the gospel with his girlfriend, who upon hearing of the gospel for the first time, asked, "Really? You mean I can be forgiven of my sins?"

And my friend said, "Yes!" So she received Christ. Hee hee! Yet not I, but Christ... I'm so grateful that He chose to use me - though I am less than the least of God's people - to touch another nation, and even a potential leader-to-be in that nation... who knows how God can use this dear brother in Christ in future! Now he's discipling other Christians in his ministry... what a joy to know how God can use even someone like me!

And remembering how God used me to bless a Mexican friend, an Indonesian friend and even now a Canadian friend... I'm very encouraged again after remembering all the wondrous things that Jesus has done for me. :D

Dear friend! What of your life, your "shape", are you discontented and dissatisfied with? Do others dislike or even despise that part of you? Fear not, because that very part of your life, if you allow the Saviour to redeem that part, can become a key part in God's majestic plan to save the world. =D

So tomorrow, I'll be going for the Missions Conference. Am very excited, really praying that God will show me more clearly how He wants to use me in time to come.

Praise the Lord! :D

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Thank God, He really helped me through a stressful time today. Had to handle multiple admin stuff, and unfortunately, I was feeling very melancholic at that time.

(Eh, why do all these multiple incoming admin stuff come in just when I'm feeling mel? :P)

A deep fear that I keep on having is that because of my procrastination, I don't deserve to ask God for His help with all these things, because it's my own fault. And that only makes things worse as I become increasingly mel and more panicky.

But God again reminded me (as He keeps doing so patiently countless times), that there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. And we ask Him for His help and guidance, not because we are good - but because HE is good. In any case, Jesus Himself said that no one is good but God alone. And the Psalmist declared, "Good and upright is the LORD;
therefore he instructs sinners in his ways.
He guides the humble in what is right
and teaches them his way."

Again, I'm reminded that this is Grace again at work, that beautiful focal point of the Way - grace, being grace, has to be undeserved, otherwise it would no longer be grace. Sweeeet! :D I'm just struck by the sheer humility of God, that though He is sinless and thrice-holy, He stoops down to help us little sinner worms. :') Because He really loves us so much - we are made in His image after all.

Oh. Still, we have to learn and grow... but from time to time... sometimes it's just good to be still, take a rest and let God be God.

Psalm 46:9-11
"He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth;
he breaks the bow and shatters the spear,
he burns the shields with fire.
"Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."
The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Just feeling very blue again. Hmm, yes, actually... because I was thinking again what a strange person I am.

Was asking God this morning, "Why did you make me such a nice person? I think it's not nice to be nice. Sheesh. I feel that being nice means that in the long run you don't have close friends, and don't have much impact or influence on others. Isn't it true that nice guys finish last? People do think less of people who are nice. To be good, yes, not to be nice. I've put a lot of people off by being too nice. So how? What do You think?"

After praying about this just now, think God is helping me think a little more sensibly. :) Yeah, perhaps a lot of guys don't like this part of me, but perhaps it's a strange gift that God gave me - this being innocent and sweet and all that.

Hmm. In a way, it's like Peter Parker's quote: "This is my blessing, this is my curse." But thank God that yes, it is a strength... because children are very much comfortable with me. Still, I wonder at times if I really want this gift. Then I take a look at the children I'm taking care of in HopeTots, and I think again, this is really a blessing from God.

You know, perhaps it takes a real man to choose to take the harder right way than to choose the easier wrong. But still learning. I know that the Holy Spirit will mould me to be even more effective in reaching out to other guys in time to come.

Ha, had lunch with my old lecturer, and somehow we ended up talking about what women really want, and she said (with a wistful, distant look in her eyes - she's single you see): "I think what a women would really like is a man who's really sincere."

Yup, just some melancholic ramblings from me.

The Kernel of Wheat #3 - The First Impression

One precious comment that a lot of the brothers shared was that their first impression of me wasn't very positive. It's only after getting to know me better that they start really appreciating me. Naturally, I was very curious to find out why. And it's because I came across to them as too friendly and some found my openness to share too open, to the point of irritation. (And one bro said it was rather mushy, for a bro.) I'm sure a lot of people reading this blog can wholeheartedly agree. :)

So thank God for that feedback. 'Cos when they said that, suddenly, everything fell into place, and I realised why I have so much stress and difficulty connecting with people many, many times...

Think in part it's because of my perfectionist nature. As one of my brothers pointed out to me, "Mm somehow i feel that your perfectionist nature might have caused part of your frustration as it sets unrealistic expectation in your mind subtly".

I like situations to be ideal, and often I feel very internally frustrated when situations are not ideal for building relationships, and really feel disappointed when people don't respond the way that I hope (and expect). I do expect in my heart people to be more friendly and open. But reality is, people aren't 90% of the time.

So one question that came to my mind was this: How to grow in connecting with people? 'Cos HQ told me that before I can influence people, I need to connect with them first! Think sincerity alone is not sufficient to connect with people. There has to be something else - and I think that key factor in connecting with people is attractiveness/winsomeness.

Being winsome is not something that only celebrities have... it's a characteristic that causes people to look up to you and admire you and feel very comfortable with you.

Then the next question that I asked myself was, what is/are the factor/s that would help me be a winsome person? Think being a nice and sweet person and all that is great for a girl, but it doesn't work as well for a guy. Ah, don't worry, I'm straight. :)

To that, I reflected on some past experiences where I did win the person over, and some very unlikely people some more.

Think a cheerful, positive personality does work wonders, together with calmness, steadiness and patience under pressure, in winning people over. That, and a healthy self-assessment of myself, knowing where I stand right now, and being able to laugh at myself too, not taking myself too seriously. And the ability to make the other person feel that he/she is really very interesting!

Seeing this trait in Huaqiang, how he stays calm and steady and unfazed even when facing a lot of stress, wow, that really wins my respect and admiration.

Hmm... what's my main motivation, actually? Think why I want to grow more winsome is because I simply desire to win more people to Christ. Just want to thank God that though I'm a super-melancholic person, He's also blessed me with a phlegmatic side, and yes, He's really helping develop everything that is good in me to their maximum. =)

Also, when I learn to grow more winsome, I also learn to be more like Christ Jesus. Because Jesus is one of the most winsome personalities you have ever seen... Gandhi, Albert Einstein and many, many other people, even devout atheists, have said that there simply is no one like this man called Jesus, who has such a winsome personality!

And, my dear friend, that is the faith, that is the grace, and that is the confidence that you, a child of God, can always enjoy!

Ha, that reminds me. John Maxwell wrote this book on how to be a People Person. I think last time, when I read it, I got depressed, because I saw the principles presented there as yet more expectations to be met, rather than good guidelines based on Biblical principles that I can train myself in.

Training, rather than trying. What a powerful principle that I, an imperfet perfectionist, need to constantly remind myself of even as I press on towards the goal which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. :D

Ah... hopefully I'm more ready this time to read the book again. :) Lord, guide and lead me into all truth I pray... in Jesus' name amen!

The Last MACHO Turbo Outing

Just came back from a wonderful steamboat buffet dinner with the MACHO Turbo bros. Very nice, and great time catching up and enjoying the company of the brothers, plus some good-natured ribbing from them about treating now that I've gotten a job and all that...

But the most surprising part of the dinner came when, we were all becoming quieter (and fuller), Ellson sat back and said to us, "This is a farewell dinner for Edwin and Yeu Ann. It'll be their last MACHO Turbo outing with us, so let's take this time to really share from our hearts about them."

Wow... was very, very touched by all their words... and something that struck me here is that every little sweet word from them is a gift from God. :D Things like how the brothers shared that I'm very sincere as a friend, once you look past the initial first impression, and understanding and sensitive to the needs of others... and also how I choose to speak the truth boldly into their lives when necessary... (it was, and still can be, terribly hard for me... I remember literally trembling a few times when pointing out some truths to the younger brothers. Felt like breaking down, but God gave me the strength to speak courageously and strongly.)

Which really encouraged and lifted my heart very much, because God knows that I'm not a person naturally sensitive to the needs of others - I'm naturally a very selfish and inwards-looking person. So was very touched to hear how God used me to impact and touch the lives of the other brothers. Huanyan's sharing really touched me a lot too, the part about a big hole being left by my absence... wow, didn't know that my presence really made such an impression in the lives of others!

But, in fact, actually, come to think of it... it wasn't me all along... it was Christ who is in me, who worked through me, even though I have so many weaknesses that only God can number them, to minister, bless and even teach the other brothers. "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."

Dear bros, I'll really really miss you guys and all those precious shared experiences that we had together in the past, and as you go on to where God has called you to go, I'll watch you all with joy in my heart, knowing that as you stand together as one in the unity that comes from the gospel, you are being moulded and used by the Father to fulfill His amazing plan and purpose in this generation and generations to come.

I was thinking too, some may read this and think, "Good, YA remembers again that he's being too friendly as he tries to build relationships..." But! I want to challenge you in Jesus' name... how about you? Have you done your own part to build deeper relationships in your caregroup? To enfold? To evangelise? To encourage?

It is much easier to criticise the person who takes the initiative, and stumbles as he does it... than to charge together with the person who does so. If you can do better than me... THEN DO IT, FOR CHRIST'S SAKE! Do you want to win boldly, or do you want to grow mouldy?

“It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.”

Theodore Roosevelt

Not that I don't welcome feedback or criticism... I think you guys know me enough. :) But I do hope that you, dear fellow worker in Christ, will take the courage to rise up and attempt great things for God.

Listen to God's words! "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few." Do you desire to live a legacy today? :) Then ask God to send you, and He will work great and wonderful things through YOU! With you, this is impossible, BUT NOT WITH GOD; with God, all things are possible! Men say, "Nothing is impossible!" But God says, "Impossible is nothing!" Amen!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Being an Influencer

I was influenced by Wenjiang's constant 'nagging' that we need to be the influencer... and indeed, it sort of got stuck in my head also. Indeed, leadership is all about influence, and as a follower of Christ, we are called to be the salt and light, the head not the tail, we want to be a positive influence to the world, to influence the world away from Mr. Tan Siang Ann. And this is connected to my first reflection point, that we will need to grow in quality and quantity. We also wanna grow in our influence to the world as well. After all, as uni students, we are the one who have the most potential in influencing how our society will be shaped in the future.

This part from Huanyan's blog really reminded me of something that God really desires for us, the Church. He wants us to be THE influencer in this world. To influence people to Him. It wasn't for no reason that Eph 3:10-11 says,
"His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Who are the people that I can influence? I was thinking about this, when suddenly I remembered some people that I have already been influencing - e.g. my parents and my maid too. My parents have said that I'm very helpful at home (hee, I try my best... though sometimes I grumble and fail to do so).

Also, I've been praying how I can be a blessing to my new maid (she's from the Philippines, the countryside area), that God will give me the opportunity to connect with her (it's quite awkward 'cos we are in a "master-servant" relationship, literally). And God gave me a great opportunity to bless her, 'cos today, she said that she wanted to learn more English. Haha! Thank God... so we had a good time speaking English to one another.

Now, thinking about other brothers who have been great role models to me in learning how to be better influencers. E.g. Guanrui, Huanyan, Sijia, Ps Jeff, Alan Tea, Hong Teck for example. They inspire me through different ways. For instance, Guanrui and I were having lunch, when he shared with me that, back in NS, he made the decision to want to shine for Christ in the Army. So he went on to shine, and do his tasks very well, and God gave him the role of Platoon Sergeant. He used this role to share more with the BMT trainees under his care when there was opportunity, and even up to now, some of his trainees keep in touch with him. :D

Think Huanyan influences me in a different way. Think God has made him a natural leader (so Uncle, you better really max this talent for Him ok... haha), so he inspires me by showing me (and other bros and sisters) how we can be better influencers in terms of personality, skills and attitude.

Then there's Pastor Jeff. Think while his natural gregariousness plays a significant part, his heart for God is a HUGE part of what makes him very influential in influencing pple to Christ. I see it in the way he writes his blog, and more importantly, make influencing others to Christ a lifestyle! Not a task to complete, not a duty to do, but a lifestyle!

And Alan Tea's and Hong Teck's lives inspires me, in part, because we are the naturally melancholic kind of people. Whenever I feel down and think that I can't influence people for Christ because of my natural introversion, I recall their way of life and do my best to imitate their faith. Because the same Jesus Christ who uses them yesterday is the same One who will use you and me today and tomorrow!

Dear brothers and sisters! We have a task - fulfill it! You cannot? Neither can I. We have too little strength and too few riches of our own to share, but our Lord has riches, many, many riches. Therefore, it is necessary that we study our bankbook - the Bible. Withdraw everything you and others need. All God's promises are yes and amen in Christ Jesus. We have to share with many, and therefore, we need the many riches of the Lord.

You do not feel confident? Neither do I. But the Lord has promised that when He calls us to do something for Him, He will provide all the resources that we need. All He wants is a heart of faith to trust and obey Him to influence the world for Jesus. Let us not compare ourselves with the person on our left, and on our right. If we do want to compare, let us compare ourselves with the ourselves that was yesterday.

It is really exciting to see the sheer power possible when one man decides to believe and act upon the promises of the Bible, which are freely available to all who have faith in Him. Do you want to be that man or woman whom God will use? Then pray today and ask Him to give you the faith, courage and obedience to be the man or woman that He can use. It does not matter what you were yesterday, nor even what you are today. It only matters whether you want to make a decision to exercise your faith in Jesus today!

You cannot choose to stay neutral for long - it is impossible. So will you choose to be influenced by the world, or choose to influence the world to Christ today?

Matthew 4:19
"Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men."

Monday, May 28, 2007

Global Day of Prayer - Riding on the Clouds!

"Lord! my arms are getting real tired..."

The Global Day of Prayer! Suffice to say that Edwin has written a great piece on it...

(Just to add how encouraged I am by Edwin's life. It struck me recently that he's really changed a lot over the years. :D Can really sense the difference in him now... the divine sweetness that comes from a child of God! Praise God! :D Dear bro, if you ever read this, just want to say how blessed I am to know you... and how you're a role model for me in being more outward-looking too! :D)

It really was a very powerful experience, and we could really see the presence of God in very visible way... the clouds for starters! Tracy was exclaiming that the winds were coming our way, and yet, the clouds didn't move... instead, they piled up on top of one another (and they're no ordinary clouds - they're storm clouds) right in front of the stadium, right in front of everyone.

Huanyan was telling me that the stadium was completely surrounded by clouds, and the only patch that's not covered is the stadium itself. Then he quipped dead-pan, "That means after the event's over, we'll have to leave REAL fast, 'cos the clouds'll come in once we're done!"

Weizhu took a photo of the clouds too... nice!

Something that struck me was that there's a verse in the Bible that says, "Behold He cometh on the clouds...", and how the clouds can be a metaphor for God's presence (both figurative and literal)... and as I saw the clouds, I was reminded how God held back the waters of the Red Sea, and how He was doing something similar too yesterday. WOW! The power and glory of God revealed, when the churches of Christ gather together to pray as one nation!

And oh yes, the theme of this year's GDOP was on the families in Singapore... we prayed for the families in Singapore, and hee, especially for the children and youth of Singapore.

But oh, at that point, something really tragic happened... the pastor wanted to pray for the youth. So he asked all to stand up... all those who were under twenty-FIVE. Oh... I was so sad... it's ok, God comforts the broken-hearted. Haha!

But seriously, really, the youth and children are the next generation of Singapore. We really must pray for them, especially the university people, because they are the ones who have the most strength and availability to serve God! And when you reach out to the university students, they are the ones who will go on to be the future leaders of Singapore... so in a sense, you are reaching out to the future leaders and influencers and policy-makers of Singapore.

I also prayed for the children under my care. Really want to see them come to know God's love for them in a deeper and more personal way... :D

Yup, so in a nutshell, it was a wonderful time indeed. Do come on down to next year's GDOP! Remember, prayer has power indeed! Because our God is an awesome God indeed!

The Kernel of Wheat That Falls To The Ground And Dies #2 - The Bursting

It's really been a week of stretching. Hee. Felt so stretched at times, when things seem so beyond me. Helping with the Commencement planning... only now do I really appreciate all the hard work that the other brothers and sisters put in in doing something as simple as finding a function room. Zewei and I were "phew"ing in relief after we managed to chope another room after on Sunday, we found out that the room that we'd booked at SPANS was UNAVAILABLE!

To cut a long tale short, praise God, our prayers were answered - very specifically in fact. We prayed for a room with all the basic equipment e.g. tables, chairs, LCD projector, AND a rental rate of $300 max.

And it really turned out to be! Except for one thing - the place's at Queenstown, not Orchard / City Hall area as we had hoped. Aiyah... we never prayed for the location... :P but thank God all the same, because Queenstown is not too far west. :D Plus, there's free shuttle service to the MDIS campus from Queenstown MRT some more. Praise God! :D

Hee. But yeah, through this time, it was really a period of stretching for me. Stretched in terms of relating with people of very different personalities, stretched in terms of being more resourceful and learning to think ahead to meet needs instead of just sitting around and waiting for orders...

Stretched too, because I was reminded (yes, thanks man, not realised, but reminded :P) once again of my wanting to please people, to meet their expectations. And how I have to keep crucifying constantly that part of me that wants to earn people's praises, instead of seeking God's praise.

And to add on to that, was the stress of my temp job which I was doing. Just felt so beyond myself many times, that I wanted to give up and surrender to disappointment and self-pity.

But God showed me a beautiful vision just now as I was praying for strength. He showed me a kernel of wheat that grew into a fully-fledged wheat plant, blooming with many, many little kernels in turn.

And I think the Holy Spirit explained to me what this vision means... this vision represents my current situation, the time of stretching that I'm going through.

The first part was the seed whose seed-coat was bursting, with its little shoot poking out of its shell. In the same way, the HS explained to me, it's a very uncomfortable process for me because the experiences that I'm going through are so DIFFERENT from the natural personality that I have, but it is necessary to go through this period of transformation, just like a shoot must grow out of its seed shell.

And it IS a transformation, because the shoot that grows out of the seed is so different from the seed that contains it. Likewise, the Lord is transforming my character, mind, strength and personality to be more and more the Yeu Ann that He wants me to be.

Then! The time will come when He will use my past pains and experiences to help me connect and influence many, many other people who have similar backgrounds like me... like the many little kernels hanging from the fully-grown plant. And so that's how God is working in my life at this moment.

Wow. I'm so encouraged by this vision that God gave me. :D It has given me renewed strength and peace to carry on. And I'm really very touched, because I know that even though the fellowship with the bros and sisters is much less now, Jesus's presence is even stronger. Wow! Never will He leave me, never will He forsake me! And His Word is ALWAYS TRUE! :D

Thank You, Daddy, for never leaving me, for never forsaking me all these years since the day I first asked You into my heart. Thank You so much God. :D

His love is warmer than the warmest sunshine
Softer than a sigh
His love is deeper than the deepest ocean
Wider than the skies
His love is brighter than the brightest star
That shines every night above
And there is nothing in this world
That can ever change His love...

Sunday, May 27, 2007

The Urgent Call To Save All

Hee, thinking, been praying even as I reflect on my job-hunting saga...

Been asking God to help me make sense of this wonderful experience...

And think one thing that He reminded me, from this experience, was that He really wants more of us to be Kingdom-minded... because there is an URGENT NEED for Kingdom-minded people who really desire to extend His Kingdom, the only thing that will endure through the other side of eternity.

But there is such a severe shortage of workers who are willing to avail themselves to be available to His calling! Listen! Can you hear His cry of compassion? "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few! Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into the harvest field."

Let us ask Him to send more workers out! He does not want to do it alone, even though He can, for He really wants to get us, His people, involved together with Him in this wonderful harvest of souls!

And when He calls out in reply, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?"

Let us cry out, "Here am I. Send ME!"

Because life is so short. But eternity is so long! Let's not get conformed to the pattern of this world, to live for yourself alone... but let us rather for but let us live for the Kingdom of God!

"Only one life, and soon it will pass;
only what's done for Christ will last."

Friday, May 25, 2007

Commencement Magazine

Hey bros, sisters,

Think this is a great opportunity for us to bless one another... :D I've got some ppl in mind to bless LOL!


Specially for the graduating batch, NUSSU will be publishing a Commencement Magazine. This is a message by the Commencement Magazine Team 2007.

“Calling all graduates of 2007, do you have memorable, funny or embarrassing moments you will like to share with your fellow graduates? Do you have messages for your graduating friends? Then let the Commencement Magazine 2007, the official magazine given to all graduates, help you bring your memorable messages and photos to your beloved friends.

Send any memorable or funny messages (limited to 50 words) and any photos you would like to share with your name, faculty and contact to by the 3rd of June and let us help you have a memorable and wonderful graduation!”


Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Farce is strong with this one

Just felt this one was unwittingly so... Star-Wars! XD

From the S'pore Civil Defence Force webby:

"Subsequent postings will expose you to command, staff and specialist functions, and help uncover your strengths and interests to guide your career path in the Force."

Sounds more like a recruitment ad for a stormtrooper with the Empire. Uncle Darth wants you!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

I find this so meaningful!

“Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.”- Romans 15:2

The Kernel of Wheat That Falls To The Ground And Dies #1 - The Revelation

What Huaqiang advised me regarding my job (and other aspects of my life too) as we had lunch: Not what I want, but what GOD wants. :) (And that may mean Him wanting to give me a higher paying job nearer to my workplace than a lower paying job further from my workplace... sometimes He wants to bless us more than we want to receive... oh man didn't think about this aspect of God's generosity and goodness!)

And he also pointed out to me the root problem arising from my ultra-mel personality - being too self-absorbed, so need to work at being conscious of my surroundings, etc. Wow. Really thank God for the very dear friend and bro who speaks the truth to me in love. Really feel very loved. :D

Hee. Think God's putting in the final piece and preparing me, putting me through the fires of ministry (the commencement thingy) to "bake" and refine me before He puts me into the working world. Thank You Lord! Your timing is ultra-precise and perfect! (And the perfectionist in me jumps for joy when I think of Your perfect precision... :D)

Because He does want me to influence ppl... but I must learn to connect with pple first... and the key to that is to grow less self-absorbed. Hee, in a way it's not my fault actually because of my natural tendency... but need to be more aware... and grow in this area.

Why the particular title? Think it's because God has been speaking to me very clearly regarding my melancholic nature the past few weeks from the Bible, and from experiences and so on, about dying to myself. And I think the timing's very timely, and can really sense His gentle guidance v strongly on my life at this crossroad in my life.

And I believe He's been speaking to me more and more strongly about my natural melancholy. Just because it's natural doesn't necessarily mean that it's all good. Like a natural toadstool. Naturally poisonous... and so is our carnal nature. For me, the melancholic man in me does have his strengths, but his pride, his judgemental and critical and self-absorbed nature really detracts from his God-given strengths as a person.

Not that we melancholics are naturally condemned... it's just that each and every one of us has this fallen nature in us, the nature that, without help from above, is impossible to redeem. But Redemption has come, and He lives in us. And so we no longer live, but Christ liveth in us. And the life we live, we live by faith in the Son of God who loved us and gave His life for us!

So I think Daddy's emphasising to me that this is THE phase of my life, the phase that is part of my pre-purposed destiny in Him even before I was a twinkle in my mum's eyes. And He wants me to rise up and overcome the dark side of the melancholic man in me... to rise up and be strong in Him. Time no longer to be depressed because of the darkness... time to SHINE in the darkness! "The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not [overcome] it."

And I put all these pieces together, and realise that the time is now. Time to be the kernel of wheat that falls to the ground and dies, that it may bear many seeds. Because He has already let me experience what happens if I let my mel nature rule me, instead of His Spirit guiding me.

Because my natural self-absorption really hinders me from connecting with people... to win them for Christ.

Today is the day of destiny, however... Even though I feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of overcoming my melancholic nature, to learn to look outwards and upwards, and thinking about all the difficulties of changing and surrendering my personality to the Lord, that I felt like breaking down and crying...

The verse Isaiah 41:10 at that precise moment came to mind, saying,
"So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."

Wow. Jesus really is with me, and He is holding my hand through it all. And He is with you too, when we choose to deny yourself, take up our cross and follow Him Today. So here's to the next phase of our transformation...

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

" The Night My House Was Raided & Heart Shredded"

Haha... laughing at Ps Jeff's latest blog entry! Hmm, something that struck me was that I can learn from this dear bro, shouldn't take myself so seriously at times. :) Like what Hong Teck taught us, learn to laugh at myself - it really helps us know that we're not in charge - God is! :)

What I Want On My Tombstone

I hold a lovely book in my hand, "Not I, but Christ", by none other than the beautiful Corrie ten Boom, a powerful and godly woman who helped hide Jews during the Nazi era, and after WWII, went on to share Christ's love all over the world - in her own words, "a tramp for the Lord".

I shall read it... and pray that the Holy Spirit will help me grow in the truth as I read this. :) Think I will write down what I've learnt after reading through that book.

"Not I, but Christ." How beautiful that sentence is! I think I would like that very much to be my life's description on my tombstone. :D

Really, really sense His calling growing stronger and stronger upon my life... I'm getting very excited... and can see how this job offer that He's blessed me with, seems so very in line with something even bigger and more beautiful. Each day, I sense something really divine, really strong coming closer... when, I don't know... but He has already promised this inheritance to all who choose to live by faith in Him. What is this inheritance? I don't know, to be honest. Even the Bible said so. But I think part of this inheritance that He's promised to those who love Him is this: a life full of impact, meaning and purpose. A life full of life, joy and peace. A hope beyond the grave, a destiny beyond the nations, a future beyond this side of eternity. :)

Thank God for this church. :D They really helped me learn to treasure the things of God... to live beyond myself, for the other side of eternity.

Just for Shirley and Yufen :)

Just came back from the unit farewell for Shirley and YF. Wow... what a beautiful and touching time, as the bros and sisters shared about how the two sisters touched their lives...

And what Shirley said struck me a lot: "This is not my ministry... this is God's ministry. God has placed each and everyone of you in exactly the perfect time and place."

So struck by how she carries this conviction, this sense of divine destiny, and it struck me what I was sharing with Zhiwei as we sat outside chatting... I was telling him that I really don't want to sell my soul to a company, despite other people telling me to do so, e.g. my bosses, my family and friends... Because I DO NOT WANT TO WORK 20 HOURS A DAY FOR just money... what good is it, frankly, if i gain all the accolades and money and accomplishment, but in the end have nothing besides these to show for my life?

Shared with him that i really want to spend my life investing in people. (And the reason is because PEOPLE MATTER TO GOD!)

The only regret (though it's not a very deep regret) is that i didn't say boldly enough with deeper conviction, "What good is it if a man gains the whole world but loses his soul?"

But hee, perhaps no need to say that, but on the other hand, I really want the words of Christ to be so in me that His words will be my very own words too.

And oh yes, was v struck too by the testimonies of how YF looked beyond herself and her frustrations when it came to her final-year project. And realised how my own attitude was during my own time. Hee, thank God that I didn't draw totally into myself, but as I reflect on how openly frustrated and grumpy I was at times, I can really learn from her life's example, to deny myself and look out for the interests of others, not only my own.

And I think this is a message that God has been trying to get across to me the past one or two weeks. To look beyond myself - which I have been doing so much for the past 2 weeks - and start looking out. He's been speaking to me especially from John 12:24-28:
[Jesus said:] "I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.

"Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? 'Father, save me from this hour'? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!" Then a voice came from heaven, "I have glorified it, and will glorify it again."

Something I'm thinking about too... find myself becoming increasingly frustrated with the mistakes that I keep on making. But... this is NOT the attitude that Jesus would want me to have. Instead, He wants me to have the courage to keep stepping out of my personal zone, to look beyond my own weaknesses to His strength, in howsoever ways and means He may make me grow...

I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.
That would be, I think, how He wants me to look beyond myself. To deny myself, to die to self.

The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. To deny myself the privilege of wallowing in my own feelings and melancholy, and to live to please my Father in heaven, no matter how stupid or sad I feel.

Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.
To follow the way of the Cross, to pick up my own cross and follow Jesus, my beautiful Lord and wonderful Saviour.

"Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? 'Father, save me from this hour'? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!"

Thank God for you, Shirley, YF... you two have really inspired me in my walk with God, to die to self and step out to love others... =D God's name is really glorified through your obedient lives!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Why a Famous Counterfactual Historian Loves Making History With Games

Very interesting and surprising article on using serious strategy games to check your history theories - hey HY, what do you think of this approach? :)

(And just what does "counterfactual" mean anyway?

Why a Famous Counterfactual Historian Loves Making History With Games

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Just feeling very tired. Had a good fun game of cards and Blokus (thanks to Edmund and his ingenious compendium of games in his backpack - he's a walking Settler's Cafe!) with some of the bros and sisters in Le Meridien foodcourt.

Good sermon - reminded of some basic truths. Shared with Ziyun, wonder if God's telling me if some not-so-easy times are in store ahead. And Ziyun said, good, can get prepared for it! :) Ooh, good idea... seriously... think I'd better fast and pray to ask God to strengthen and prepare me for the time ahead.

Now feeling quite emotional again. But hee thank God it's been a good time of learning more about myself, realising new truths about myself. One thing that I realised was that my tendency to be perfectionist sets me up for many, many unrealistic expectations, causing me to be internally frustrated about many things.

Realised that this is more than a personality thing - it's the fleshly (i.e. carnal) nature (not fleshy liao) of me that demands unrealistically high standards of myself. So I need God's Word to help me "divide soul and spirit"... to discern what are God's expectations of me versus my own (or even deceptive) expectations...

Deceptions... one of Satan's most effective tools. I remember how I fell prey to a really serious deception last time, when i was feeling very down, extremely far from God, and in the pits... and this thought kept coming to my mind, "It's too late for me to change."

But thank God for His salvation... for His mercy and grace... I remember how He sent along another bro who told me that this is a "Big Fat Lie"... at that point, I remember my eyes were opened at that point. :D

Wow... God's salvation from destruction. That's a sermon point I learnt today from the book of Micah, on the series of "Walking Right With God". It's never too late to change, because with Jesus is unfailing love and hope... He Himself will redeem Israel from all their sins. :D

Oh yes. Though I'm feeling weak and moody, thank God, He reminded me to reflect on the Cross... that we come to the cross in our weakness, that we may experience His strength. "For the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength."

What a wonderful day haha... thank God! :D the BBQ was great, think the freshmen... sorry i mean, newcomers :P really enjoyed themselves... got to know Kenny, one of the younger brothers... very blessed by his conversion story, and oh yes, so glad to see some of my dear brothers and sisters from the NUS side coming over! :)

After the BBQ, we watched "The Wind that Shakes the Barley" with Shirley, YF, Robert, Ziyun, Edwin, Junting, Daisy and Hanyew. Was a really thought-provoking and sad film... 2 bros, fighting side-by-side... end up on the opposite ends of a dispute over their nation.

Robert was giving his interpretation of the title, as how it related to the film, of how the title can have 2 ambiguous meanings: one being that the wind goes swiftly through the barley, causing the barley to bend over, like the guerilla forces moving through the countryside, but the second meaning being that after the wind blows through, the barley stalks return back to where they were before, implying the futility of the resistance, and the continuation of the old way of things.

Junting, YF and me were going, like, "Wow..." haha... think it's very interesting! :)

Oh yes, YF passed me a gift tt she and Mich bought on their trip in Vietnam. Very touched... :D tks a lot dear sisters! :D really super-blessed by u guys...

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

My convocation's on 6 July, 3pm. :)

You can check out the schedules for the other NUS grads at this link:

Do come down to be with us! :)

Hee, excited about it... :) just thinking about... i'm very blessed and fortunate to be able to attend university and graduate when there's other more capable and deserving people who aren't given the opportunity to do so... hm... Lord, You've given me so much... now it's time for me to give the little I have back to You...


What can we give
That You have not already given?
And what do we have
That is not already Yours?
All we have are these lives
And that's what we give to You Lord...

And I remember a dear brother's words:
"Don't just go to university to graduate and get a piece of paper... it's just plain sick! Live for God!"

Hee. :) Today's the rest of my life... and I intend to live it fully, each day, for Him. Because nobody knows how long we have to live each day, so let's live it fully in love for God, and love for our fellowmen. Amen? :)

Monday, May 14, 2007

Read this article, and it made me think about today's HopeTots.

Was talking with Y about one of the boys (let's call him E). Y was telling me that E's almost Primary 1 already, but he still can't really read, and can only write his name.

Felt very burdened when I heard that, 'cos in Singapore, if you're behind in your educational knowledge when you reach Primary 1, you'll face a lot of trouble and most likely get streamed or relegated to a "lower-class" class. Which I think would really pull down E's confidence in school and totally turn him off studying altogether.

He comes from a single-parent family, and think I've mentioned before that there doesn't seem to be a strong male figure in his life. So Y suggested to me that I can play the role of a brother to E, and perhaps take time to spend some quality time with him, 'cos quality time is one of his love languages.

And I do think so too - somehow it seems that he seems hurt when he doesn't see me come around as often as he'd like to.

So Y suggested too that I can take some time to help teach him a bit how to read and write, together with maybe 1 or 2 other boys. Wow. Felt quite challenged actually when I heard that.

But thinking about it, think this could be why God has put me here in this particular time and place in this particular ministry. It does seem to be a fulfillment, a direct step toward that dream that God gave me of reaching out to children, to meet their needs.

Think it's very timely, because I felt really discouraged after such a long while in children's ministry. Really find it very challenging to be firm with the children - though I can be if needed... - and quite sian after doing what seems like the same old things again and again.

But today's sermon and what Y told me - wow, thank God, think it's a very timely word from God to tell me not to give up in this ministry that He's called me to.

1 Cor 15:58
"Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain."


And so, just really want to thank God for my own mother, who has worked hard to help bring the family up. :) Thanks mum...

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Of Spiderman, Sin and Scriptures, (or, the Parable of Peter Parker's Pride)

Been feeling quite angry since yesterday. Tried to get over it, but found it very hard to do so. It feels like that black suit Peter Parker-aka-Spideyman tried to pull off... yeah, that mysterious black goo. :P

Still angry today actually. Oh man, I let the sun go down in my anger... not just that, it went up, and went down a second time and I'm still angry.

Scared, because I can see how this kind of thing (brooding anger and bitterness) grows on you. Like that black suit again.

But keep losing to this inner anger... that's something a melancholic person tends to fall trap into very easily - the carnal nature that tends to keep on dwelling on past hurts and constantly replaying the whole scenario again and again...

And I know that this is sin. And I find myself powerless to fight against this dark thought that keeps overwhelming me. Every time I think I've come up with another argument to counter the dark thought... it comes back even stronger. The power of our sinful nature is damned powerful. Damned if you fight, damned if you don't.

Romans 7:14-20
"We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it."

I was really praying, asking God for a word, for strength... anything! to help me overcome those negative thoughts, to forgive, to search me for my own pride and anger, and so on... and no thoughts came to mind. Except the repeat telecast of the episode. Diaoz.

Tried thinking of Bible verses on my own... but just felt so emotionally angry it was really hard to focus on the command: "In your anger do not sin..." Because I think I want something more than just a command... I need help to obey that command!

But thank God for the sharing that my CG had after dinner last night. We were sharing about how the Word can help us overcome evil and sin in our lives. And one thing that came to mind was someone sharing about how it's important to know how the verses apply to our lives, not just memorising them.

So took my Bible, looked at it... and just sat there on my bed, not opening it and inwardly pouting. But think God was waiting for me, waiting for me to just respond and stop acting so childishly. So well, I just responded. And turned to that section in my Bible, which I've never really touched before - topical sections on what verses to read when you're in a particular condition...

And turned to the section on anger. And read through all the verses that the section referred to.

And as I read the verses, one by one, eventually I just felt less and less angry. Somehow, felt that my mind was being "washed" by the Word, with the angry thoughts becoming less and less corrosive. And somehow, I don't know how, as I read through the passages, the verses helped me reflect more clearly on my own responsibilities, and what I was and wasn't responsible for. Not just so, somehow the Spirit helped me put myself in the other person's shoes and see the situation from his own eyes more clearly... I realised that actually this friend's very concerned for me, despite the misunderstanding.

You know, I didn't get so-called "instant emotional relief", but I did gain a new measure of wisdom and perspective, I think, on this kind of situation. It feels now as if God is now standing back, with His arms folded, nodding His head wisely, having pointed out to me what to consider and think - not just my own viewpoint, but the other person's viewpoint too. And He's making me sit down and think for myself this time around. And I think I do know why He's doing that kind of thing... He doesn't want to "spoonfeed" me anymore, but wants to train my mind to think in a godly and wise way, until "we have the mind of Christ". (1 Corinthians 2:16b)

To learn to eat and digest the solid food of the Word that He's placed before me.

Oh, I just read that passage in 1 Cor 2... seems there's more digesting to do tonight: "The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man's spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man's judgment:

'For who has known the mind of the Lord
that he may instruct him?'

But we have the mind of Christ."

Reflecting on this experience, something I learnt about myself is that, actually, I'm still very young when it comes to actually applying the Bible to real-life situations. I've never really bothered to touch or read through seriously the topics that speak on common real-life situations, on which verses speak directly regarding situations e.g. anger, fear, lust, hate, doubts, miscommunications, insecurity, blurness, wealth management and the like.

It's so easy in a way... God has put the answers to all of life's situations very clearly in His Word. It's an open-book exam, actually. :) But yes, after the 2 verses that Alan shared with us during the last sub-district prayer meeting, and our CG discussed over dinner...

Now I see just how real, relevant and relational God's Word is to all my situations, each and every one of them.

Hebrews 4:12-13
"For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account."

2 Timothy 3:16-17
"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."

Friday, May 11, 2007

Wisdom Tooth Extraction

God is so faithful! :) Hee, thank God I managed to get my operation done today. There was some mix-up, but yeah, managed to get it done. :)

The whole process itself was actually quite painless.

It's the part after that... is... painful. Gosh. It's starting to feel like it's on fire. A small fire, don't worry. :)

Praise God for the guy who discovered anesthesia..

Something that I was reflecting. Physical surgery in a way is similar to how God does surgery on us. Sometimes He covers our eyes, and we don't have any idea how it's going. But we can always trust His hands. :) He WILL bring us through. Recovery needs time too.

Gosh. I'm going to get my painkillers now. I got 5 days MC. Pray for me yeah! :)

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Oops, looks like there's some uploading problem with Blogger the past few days.

Am now typing this in the NUS Central Library. Just came from my temp job briefing. :) Interesting stuff, working to convert XML stuff into MS Access format using Visual Basic. Haven't touched this stuff since NS days. :P

Just came across Yuantao's blog. Wow, he's really very encouraging... :D truly thank God for this very dear friend and bro in Christ! Truly, Christ's love knows no boundaries! :D

Hee, it's really been a joy and blessing to know YT. To be honest, I was slightly skeptical, when I heard that he'd received Christ, that he was really sincere, because I knew quite a few students from China who received Christ, but after that didn't want to commit to Him. But seeing his heart and sincerity to follow God, even when he struggled with his emotions at times, wow, I feel really encouraged, and personally, I think the Holy Spirit corrected me of my doubts, reminding me from Acts 10:34-35 of this truth:
"I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right.

And I've been so encouraged by him every time I see him. :) Hee hee... wow, think God made him a very encouraging person... Truly, the love and wonders of God knows no nationalities, no limits, no boundaries!

Hee, reminded of this joyful song:
Lord You are good,
And Your mercy endures forever!
Lord You are good,
And Your mercy endures forever!

People from every nation and tongue
From generation to generation!
We worship You, hallelujah!
We worship You, for who You are...

:D :D :D

And oh! I got some wonderful news from Sijia - heard that Ruey Fong's testimony appeared in yesterday's copy of TODAY newspaper in an ad run by NUS... wow, what a wonderful way to shine for Christ! :D

Yah, and actually that made me start thinking. I realise that God has put a lot of potential in my life, but actually I'm quite afraid to exercise all this potential due to my fear of failure. RF told me before, "I think you believe in yourself too little." Yah... come to think of it, it's pride here in a way, because I'm afraid to fail and look stupid. And also partly because I'm very lazy. :(

It's not wrong for me to think well of myself, especially if it really is a strength or talent that God has given me... to think otherwise - well, there's something called false humility. :P Not that I could do this on my own, but it's remembering that God has given me the ability to do all this and that, and without Him, I can do nothing. Amen! But in Him... wow, we can do so many things.

And yet... as Hellen Keller once said, "By ourselves we can only do so little... but together, we can do so much." And I think that's the even more important thing that we need to remember. Peter advised me before, if you have a dream, a vision for God... you need to find someone else who has the same vision, who dreams the same hope as you do. For "Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work."

God, thank You for Peter. :) It's really an encouragement as we both have the same dream... and help me do my own part too - to dare to do something bigger beyond myself. There's this DV triathlon coming along... I've been thinking of going for it. But oh, how? Really want to find someone else to do it together with.

Ah! I think I should pray about this! :) Silly me... I keep forgetting... thank God for His patience with me.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Of Topman, and other Top-o-the-world experiences

Oh, on a lighter note, just want to say thank You for the great time of fellowship with a dear friend, when we went window-shopping last Saturday. Haha... was looking for more work clothes, you know, the G2000 kind. Was a very eye-opening experience, 'cos I didn't know that there were so many kinds of clothing shops. Haha...

And that G2000 in Wisma Atria sells only women's clothing. Wah, paiseh liao. Haha...

Then we went to Topman, a very funky youth style place. I really felt a decade older than the clothes there!

But Topman has really cool fedora hats... yesterday, I saw Hanes wearing a black fedora hat, just like the ones in Topman.

So asked him, "Is that from Topman?" And he looked surprised in a way that says Wow, cool, how'd you know? :) Hee... i like to think that he was impressed by my 'in' knowledge... LOL.

Window-shopping really can be quite a fun thing actually. Haha... oops am I getting metrosexual already? Haha... nah.. I still have a long way to go, and anyway, as Robert would put it, we geeks have our own social styles. It's a license of sorts I guess. ;D

Anyway, it was a great time of fellowship. :D Learnt some good principles... like, staying up-to-date and relevant on what's going on... e.g. in reading the latest cultural items... Personally, I guess it's quite fun exploring the latest cultural trends :)

Oh yes, helped another friend move her stuff from hall yesterday. We had trouble finding transport, but thank God for Hanes and Huanyan who came. And this time round we managed to get to her place faster and less dangerously. Not like last year, when poor HY was weaving in and out of the lanes due to confusing directions from us...

Something that touched me a lot was when someone suggested that we all pray first before we drove off from the hostel. Touched, because it showed a childlike trust and dependence on God... committing something even as small and simple as driving back home into God's hands... I really learnt something important from that experience, that nothing is too small to commit into His hands, to trust Him. :) And I think God was very pleased that night, seeing how the Christians love one another, not just in words or tongue, but in actions and truth. :) And it encourages me, because Hanes, a very young Christian, was blessed to be able to see all this first-hand for himself. When you have older Christians showing the powerful love of Christ to one another, and the younger ones see, wow, there is hope for the next generation, because you know that they will know that Christ is real, and that God really is with His people, the Church. :)

Psalm 48:12-13
"Walk about Zion, go around her,
count her towers,
consider well her ramparts,
view her citadels,
that you may tell of them to the next generation."

These are some of the moments that make me so proud to be a Christian, and of the Church especially. :D

Psalm 48:14
"For this God is our God for ever and ever;
he will be our guide even to the end."

:D Praise the Lord indeed!
Lord, I'm stilling feeling quite restless in my heart. I mean, restless as in quite unsettled... feeling dry again.

Hmm... yeah, dryness comes from season to season. *sigh* but thanks so much Lord for the experience of being with me through it all. =)

And thank You for answering my prayer for strength, and the word that You spoke to me during QT today, abt You being the bread of life, that he who comes to you will never be hungry, never be thirsty. :)

And thank You for Your promise Lord, that whoever comes to You, You'll never drive away. :)

How I need that promise, that assurance even now.

Please forgive me for being inwards-looking during this time, while I'm still so fixed on my own small problems.

Help me look outwards... :) hee... just as You looked outwards, to the inwards-looking crowd, and fed them bread in their time of need, even though they didn't grasp that You really cared for them, but chased You only after their hunger was satisfied.

Hmm... :)

'Episodes of Thanks'

I don't know, really, how to describe all these thoughts that are in my mind, Lord. Though some of them are clear, yet they're surprisingly elusive to pin down and analyse.

But yeah, just was thinking about my general melancholy these days, and Peter asking me whether I'm disorientated at times. Thought about it, and said, maybe not.

But Lord, help me. I can't quite pin it down... think two things so far that I've isolated: self-absorption and feeling this want to receive from my CG. To be honest, I'm feeling quite tired of taking the initiative to build r/ps at the moment - and I think it's because I've been far from the Source Himself. "We love because He first loved us." Feeling guilty because of this, and think I really need some grace, somehow, somewhere.

Self-absorption... I can recognize it in others quite well now, probably because I've learnt to recognize it in myself too. Think it's the stress that I experience due to the different culture that I'm experiencing, a cultural transition of sorts. No longer do we have the light-heartedness and the informalness of student life... people who are on the same platform - if not spiritually, at least socially and mentally. But now each one of us has his/her own burdens to carry, and tiredness is a fact of life whether you like it or not. And the social part, I'm still adjusting... maybe it's the 'expectations' that I put on myself, comparing myself to the rest of the other brothers, to see how I should conduct and carry myself in order to look more mature.

Yes, haha, this was the situation that Peter told me a few months ago that I'd be experiencing. :) I'm glad he told me in advance... it has helped me be more prepared in advance... but the responsibility is on me to take ownership of the situation, to draw strength from God, as Dehua taught us during one of the 242s.

But thinking about maturity again... something that Sharon mentioned during lunch, when she, Joy and Sarah shared their thanksgiving points regarding the Breakthrough campaign since 2005... she shared about how God helped her grow in her thought life, even when she didn't realise it. :) This verse that she shared spoke to me a lot - because I think it's the same thing that I'm also seeking to grow in at the moment: "When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me." (1 Cor 13:11) To grow less childish, and more childlike - that's my heart's desire now :)

I guess even though I'm naturally a quiet person (me being naturally melancholic and so on), I feel very tense at times when there's a large group with silence in the atmosphere... perhaps it's because I impose this expectation on myself that I should help to lighten up the atmosphere, and not like everyone become so self-absorbed (at least, that's how I see it.)

But thinking deeper, perhaps that's because in a way, I guess it's a "Hope" thing to be outgoing, to take the initiative... you know, to welcome people and so on... and if you explain it well enough, it can even be seen as the "biblical" thing to DO. But think I captured the form at that time, and turned it into a habit, without understanding the true principle behind speaking up... principle of meeting people's needs, to help them feel welcome / encouraged / cheered or comforted. To each situation, there is a different response, a different set of appropriate words to be said. And perhaps sometimes the best thing truly to say is nothing at all.

Oh, the babit of exercising a principle, rather than the habit of exercising an action.

I'm still learning, and making plenty of mistakes along the way haha. Like how I tend to stick to certain people (like my shepherd or more familar friends) like chewing gum if I'm feeling tense and inadequate on the inside... as my shepherd will know very well. :)

Sigh. I feel weary on the inside, actually, but hee, I always recall with joy the time I sought Jesus face to face, and He heard my cry and lifted me from the mucky pit of despair. :) So I now know that I'm not powerless to break out of this cycle, because everytime I seek Jesus, the chains get broken one by one, the veil is taken away. :)

I'll just share this passage... please do read it in full! :)
"Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their heart. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit." (2 Corinthians 3:16-18)

So how shall I reconcile all these difficulties and challenges, and my phase of melancholy, with the sermon that I heard today?

1 Chronicles 16:7-13 tells us to praise God, to thank Him for the wonderful things He has done for us. Sometimes to just simply praise God, for who He is... just to praise Him! Hee... how timely, because Peter suggested to me that one thing I could aim to grow in this year would be to grow in becoming less melancholic. :) Hee, didn't really stop to think about that before, but now, that I stop to think about it, it's true... while melancholics have their strengths, one of their greatest weaknesses is, well, being melancholic and prone to negative thoughts and low self-esteem and insecurity and touchy and being highly critical and being self-absorbed and constantly finding fault with themselves... (oops... was someone becoming mel again? ;D)

Hee. Thank You Lord. =) You really have done wonderful things that touch my heart, and I constantly remember how super-faithful You have been to us, to my church family... how You have done so many signs and wonders, and how You led us through the desert, even though Your footprints were not seen... And thank You also for giving me the opportunity to taste the sweet joy of transformation, of life change after so many years of stagnation... truly, 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. :)

And yes, I also want to thank You for this precious verse from the sermon passage that keeps ringing in my mind: "Look to the LORD and His strength; seek His face always." :) It's so super-precious, this verse.

Thank You for also putting me in this CG... though it's not one of the easiest CGs that I have been in, the people are still wonderful nevertheless, and hee, I remember that I've been in far more difficult CGs before... LOL, so knowing that You are faithful, and You have placed me in a role and position to both be influenced, and to influence my dear brothers and sisters. To be honest, I still struggle a lot with feelings of inadequacy, that makes me reluctant to take stronger ownership of my life, preferring instead to be led by others. But instead, You see a lot of deep untapped potential in my life, and that is why You send me godly men of God (no less!) to exhort, to challenge and to push me to live lives worthy of God. Because You really believe in me. You believe that I can actually grow into a wise man, and lead others to You and for You in future! :D Thank You for believing in me, Lord... even though I am less than the least of all Your servants, Father.

Thank You especially for Peter, for Huaqiang and for Dehua, whom You have placed over me to help me grow. Of these three men of God, I'm very reminded of 1 Thessalonians that describe their hearts for me, and for many, many others: "For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory." (1 Thess 2:11-12)

Daddy, You know what? :) I just realised something. When I started giving thanks to You... somehow I realised that You didn't just give me the assurance that I was doing something good in Your eyes. You also took my melancholy and turned it into joy. :) I just feel so much more contented and peaceful in my heart now, and not only that, I'm also much more encouraged, not because I tried to encourage myself, but when I started thanking You even though I found it very hard to do so, I started looking up to You, and realising just how good, how great, how wonderful, how beautiful, how powerful, how mighty, how holy, how righteous, how humble, how strong, how sweet, how gentle, how just, how amazing, how wise... You really are! :)

Jesus, Beautiful Saviour,
God of all Majesty,
The Risen King,

Lamb of God,
Holy and Righteous,
Blessed Redeemer,
Bright Morning Star

All the heavens shout your praise,
All creation bow to worship you

How wonderful, how beautiful,
Name above every name, exalted high
How wonderful, how beautiful,
Jesus your name, Name above every name, Jesus

Hee, thanks so much Lord, please help me grow more and more in a positive spirit, Lord, to seize the opportunity to believe Your promises and act upon them... that You said that we'll be the head, not the tail, in whatever we do... thank You so much for blessing my church, Lord, that You enabled us to breakthrough, to pay off a 10 million dollars debt... Lord, without You, and without all the wonderful brothers and sisters who gave, no matter how difficult it was, willingly and sincerely... we simply could not have done it! :D Lord, like what the brother during service testimony shared, for Yours is the Kingdom, the power and the glory forever! :D aMeN!

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Oh yah, something I need to grow in too is not being so melancholic. Was thinking about that, yah, a positive spirit is a good thing... God, help me out here, to be joyful in You always! :)

"If we call to Him, He will answer us
If we run to Him, He will run to us
If we lift our hearts, He will lift us up
Come now praise His name, all ye saints of God...

Sing for joy! to God our strength
Sing for joy! to God our strength
Our strength...

Draw near to Him, He is here with us
Give Him your love, He's in love with us
He will heal our hearts, He will cleanse our hands
If we rend our hearts, He will heal our land..."

Ha... i think it'll help a lot when I get my guitar fixed. singing praise songs to God really cheers my heart up like nothing else can. :)

Psalm 147:1
How good it is to sing praises to our God,
how pleasant and fitting to praise him!

You know, I think this blog is so so much of a "sermon" thingy. Ha... oh well... i guess i need to make it more relevant haha...

but still... juz want to share that God is ever so good... since the first day I asked Jesus into my heart, life has never never never been the same again. =D

So much joy, so much peace, so much transformation... the sheer goodness of God simply cannot be matched to anything else! :D

Yeah, I guess i am foolish, but honestly, i don't care. just thinking about King David dancing before the LORD with all his might... yeah, so what? :) i shall be a rebel with a cause, a rebel with the Cause of all Causes - for the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! :)
Dear God, just want to say thanks so much for being with me through it all. :) Like what Peter reminded me, when I told him the new challenges that I'm facing now, seems all like a wide, wide ocean...

that You are with me always. :) that I have You, and i pray that You'll have more of me. :)

thank You for being with me always.

Thanks for being with me when I have to walk the dog at midnight and wash up after him.

Thank You for being with me when i'm feeling tired and slightly apprehensive about what is to come e.g. THE job interview that I'm waiting for currently.

Thank You for holding my hand when I feel uncertain about the upcoming stresses of work esp programming.

Thank You for forgiving me when i start dwelling in melancholy.

Lord, I really pray, help me look up to You always. Not to forget that You are the reason I'm doing all these things.

Like my intention to make cards to bless my dear CG.

Though I wonder, juz how effective will it be in the long run, i wonder?

i guess that's me... wanting every shot to count, even to the point of not being willing to 'shoot' if i don't have assurance that it'll be successful.

but there are times You want me to fire into the dark, to give my all. even when i cannot see.

"We live by faith, not by sight."

Lord, You're my song in this night
And even I can't see You're my light
Lord, You're my rock in this storm
Though I doubt, fear, yes am worn
You held my hand as I walked
And You guided my heart as we talked
Lord, thank You for being my God
Thank You for being my Lord...

Hee. though I have a lot of questions... ok, make that had... thanks for being so patient with me, Lord. :) yes, shall remember Peter's words about helping people for the long-term, and developing the HABIT of thinking first... because thinking well is a good habit! :)

"May the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in Your sight, O Lord my Rock and Redeemer."

Friday, May 4, 2007

The Long March of Faith

Whoa. Just messaged one of my old friends, and he said that ST's in the same league as NCS - not good to work in. So temporarily taken-aback for a moment. Then he said, try CSIT. I looked at it - and wow, it's Web Technology Engineer - the very thing I want to do! :) And hee, best of all it's a government job. And they even have testimonials. Wow, sounds really interesting - I'm going to apply for that too.

It's been a long road of faith, I guess, for me. But something priceless I learnt through this experience is learning how to listen to God's guidance. No. 1: You need to be patient. Humble yourself to just pray and wait for God's voice. And what guidance! His guidance comes in so many ways... e.g. friends suddenly calling you up to tell you not to take the job... leaders' godly counsel as they help you think through... Bible verses that point the way...

But it's also been good training in learning to discern the voice of God. I realise that there's a lot of worldly opinions and of course, well-meaning advice from my parents... and your own understanding too. And there are times where guidance from God really seems so unclear. You read your Bible, praying to God for guidance which job to apply for, which job offer to turn down... and getting more and more stressed as each day rolls past. But the Bible can seem so vague at times - I mean, what does sacrificing of lambs have to do with looking for a job? (Unless you're deciding whether to eat lamb chops or not haha... oops bad joke :P)

So, it's the principles that the Bible has that are really so important. "First seek the counsel of the LORD," King Jehoshaphat told another king. That's a verse that has been ringing in my mind constantly ever since I've been looking for a job. And I think this is one way that I can tell that God may be speaking to me... it may be different for you I guess :)

But even principles have their limits I think - they are like a map - great for telling you where and where not to go. But in life, there are the gray areas. And thank God, He didn't leave us alone - He sent us the promised Counsellor, the Holy Spirit, to lead us into all truth. :)

So, that Saturday night, I went to Peter's place to ask him for advice, and we both did our research, best as we could... and we gathered all the facts... and didn't know what to do next. So we looked at one another - and Peter said, "Ok, let's pray."

So we prayed for a while, and remained silent, waiting for God to speak to us. After some time, Peter told me, he sensed that God may be wanting to tell me two things: "FAITH" and "HONOUR". Peter said, "I believe God wants you to trust in Him, to have faith in Him that as you make the decision to honour God - by choosing not to work on Sundays - He will honour you back."

Wow! 'cos these were the two things that also came to my own mind. Hebrews 11:6 in particular. And this verse, "Those who honour Me I will honour". And that verse was exactly the same one that came to Peter's mind too.

So it's confirmed... and to triple-confirm, I asked Alan the next day what he thought about it, and his advice pointed to the same thing too - to make a decision to honour God by setting aside a day of rest specifically for Him, and also not to compromise times of fellowship too. That, and the worship song, "Centre of My Life", during service, was so timely.

So hee, the guidance from God was decisive here: "Do NOT take up the job offer. I can give you a much better job than that."

So a principle I learnt from listening to God is to constantly and persistently seek Him, whether it's for counsel, guidance, answers or just simply to seek Him as He is. It really pleases Him, really! :) "For He rewards those who earnestly seek Him." And also... his guidance is not always immediate. Sometimes it's the slowly building up type. You know how those big big pictures that you download from the Net take a long time to load? Yah, sometimes it's like that. :) So you need to wait patiently for His guidance. But one thing you can be assured for sure:
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you," declares the LORD...

What a wonderful promise! :D Like that how not to be encouraged??? :D

And hee, I do have this sense that my job search is coming to an end. I don't know how much longer... I guess from this point onwards it's really by faith. But I do know that God has been faithful to me all my life, and I really do want to love and honour Him more and more each day of my life.

So I'm looking forward to sharing this testimony of what God will do in my job search... and it'll be doubly sweet - not only because I got a good job, but also knowing that it is a reward from God Himself for having faith in Him to the very end. I think that's a far, far, far sweeter reward than anything you can find on earth... :D PTL! :D
Just something I said just now that made me think. Singtel called me regarding a modem and some vouchers that they mistakenly sent me.

They asked me to return it to one of the Hello! shops.

To be honest, my thought was: "Hey, this is your fault, so what's in it for me?" Was secretly hoping for some compensation or something like that.

Yeah, that's me... being calculating and greedy even.

Wondered whether this was the best thing to do, I mean, it's really their mistake.

But wondering... what does God think of this?

And I think perhaps He would have me be opportunistic, yes, but opportunistic for the right purposes.

Since this was obviously an act of honesty, I could have used this to let the person on the other line know that it's because of God that I'm doing this... to sow a few seeds of goodness.

To leave a sweet "aroma" in the other person, even if it's just a phone call... to let them know how good Christ is.

At the very least, let others know that grace and honesty does exist... after all, it's not abt preaching, but about living a good life that really counts.

Just some thoughts.

"Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven."

Lord, help me be wiser. And sweeter too. :) In Your name... amen.
Thinking, maybe God wants me to use my passions to bless others?


Thank God so much. :D Prayed, and while I was praying, reminded of this beautiful song, "What a Friend We Have in Jesus!"

"O what peace we often forfeit
O what needless pain we bear
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer!"

And about my feeling lost and helpless, hee, think He gave me an excellent piece of advice: "Strategy, strategy, strategy." :)

What I think He means is that I need to strategise. E.g. in meeting up with my bros and sisters, in planning for my own growth, in developing myself for work, in ministry, in pursuing my passion, etc.

Like how Robert put it, "You need to plan in order to be impromptu!" ;)

And like what HH put it, "Be intentional."

Ah. :) Time to grow, to push on! Even God Himself is telling me to push on, to be more strategic!

So in that spirit, just some growth areas that I have in mind:
Attitude: Maturity, Prudence, Joy :)
Skills: Designing and Video Production, Social Skills
Knowledge: Discipleship, How to Influence Others
Haha... maybe I should just go and pray now. Don't worry about all these things... just as you are. :) It's been so long... since I last played the guitar to God.

Thinking, how does one go through times of confusion and dryness like these? I'm encouraged by the Psalms where David was so real and honest with God. How I need to be like this, despite my deepest fears of people condemning and judging me. Is it rational even? No lah! Fix your eyes on Jesus, remember, everything you do is because of Jesus, who loves you and died for you!

Remember the words of Paul:
17"If, while we seek to be justified in Christ, it becomes evident that we ourselves are sinners, does that mean that Christ promotes sin? Absolutely not! 18If I rebuild what I destroyed, I prove that I am a lawbreaker. 19For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. 20I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!"

Remember, YA, you're trying to please God, not men! :) So don't be "spiritually correct"... be spiritually real! "Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers." Don't impose unrealistic expectations on yourself, what you think others think you should be doing... like what Peter told you, "Know where you stand."

So be encouraged, yes, YA? :) Daddy's looking at you, smiling. Don't be discouraged. Keep going on. Love God and love your neighbour as yourself. Keep going on because JESUS is with you always! :D Amen!


Just feeling extremely melancholic today. :)

Day's grayish, drizzling.

Yeah, was talking with God again. Just feeling low. I guess, for the first time, knowing that I'm going to actually start working soon. And esp about the fellowship part.

Wondering what I can do now, to help my dear CG. And for that matter, how I need to grow in love for my bros and sisters in my new CG.

It's not easy adapting in Adults, I guess, especially when you can't meet up so often. But I think it was tougher, in a sense, back in Army - super-hard to meet up and fellowship. But again, we didn't have very many cares in NS haha.

Oh, there's lunch time, yeah, but as a dear friend and I agreed, we can't really talk very much in-depth over all these deeper things in a single hour. Still, it's really a joy being able to even touch base, touch the deeper things during these conversations. Dinner time? I think that's a good idea - really should jio my CG for jogging haha. No excuse... esp for those still studying! (Oei, Shawn... haha...)

Lord, I feel so limited. I feel so ... useless even. :P I wonder what good I'm doing here in this ministry. And actually, think about this... the sobering fact is that I've really not done much. But oh yes, it does come all out from you... "If a man remains in Me, he will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing."

*oh! I got a phone call...*

Oh darn... I just found out that I missed my dental appointment - it's an important one - a wisdom tooth extraction! Thought my wisdom tooth op was at 2 pm... it was 10.30 am! Oh... hmm... this is going to be really tough now. I have to work a week next week... and it's not going to be nice if I have to keep excusing myself... Feeling quite panicky and frustrated, but remember, YA, that God let you go through tests to see how you will react, and whether you'll remember to guard your heart, not rush in anyhow, and give yourself as much time as possible to think first. Apply principles... apply Proverbs into your heart!

Anyway, this is one of my most favourite verses - and one of the most helpful to me:
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Just still feel so bleak, Lord. How do You want me to show love to my bros and sisters, I wonder?

During QT, I think something You were impressing on my heart is that You want my heart to beat for the same things as Yours does. And think this is an important guidance for the rest of my life. :)

Stagnancy. That's something I fear. But maybe I shouldn't fear such things as these. Feel at the moment, I'm still going around in circles. I can't really tell... hee... but one thing to really thank God for is that every little moment of frustration, every little moment of fear, every little moment of doubt is a God-given opportunity to learn to look up to Him more, and trust in Him... so that we may grow and breakthrough some more in faith.

Feel so much like a worm. Yeah, like those worms that I hooked during prawn fishing. :) Squeamish. But how touching to know that in the Bible, God tenderly says to us in Isaiah 41:14: Do not be afraid, O worm Jacob, O little Israel, for I myself will help you," declares the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.

That even though to the rest of the world, I may feel like David in Psalm 22:6, "But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by men and despised by the people," it's really good to know that God delights in those who fear Him, who put their hope in His unfailing love.

Yeah! That's why I can have a positive spirit, despite my lowliness, because I know that it is God whom I'm serving... it is God who delights in me, no matter who I am or what I've done... for with Him is the promise of a new beginning every day! :D

Yeah! I think, like what Huaqiang told me before, it's going to take me about 3 to 6 months to adapt once I start working... so think God has been very good to me, giving me about 3 months plus to adapt to Adults fellowship... and teaching me how to grow in wisdom and maturity... so will keep looking up to Jesus! :D

Haha... hmmm... dear Lord, please hold my hand, it's still quite... bleak out here though. :) i feel really wormish at the moment. :) hee... thanks for being with me all the way, nevertheless, Daddy. :)

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Impact as a Single - "Know Your Assets and How to Use Them"

Came across this article, and as always, very timely. :D Thank God so much! Cos was feeling quite low today, as Robert could see when I met him for lunch. Thank God for his sharing, never fail to feel uplifted and refreshed by this dear friend and brother in Christ. :D

'Cos been feeling low 'cos I keep wondering whether what I'm doing - meeting people up - is useful or does it help at all?

I guess the key word is impact. Well, this article talks about it. But yeah, I need to sit back and reflect on what I'm doing - is it impactful? Useful to God? As always, like Dehua pointed out, it's important to not just have a good heart, but also to be wiser so that I can be more effective for God.

Hope this article blesses you! :) I love this part especially: "I am a slacker by temperament, but I've learned to schedule my time so that my slacker tendencies don't eat my life whole. My objective in time management is not to get as much done as possible, but to try to make sure that I end up doing what is best for me to do." Haha... so relevant to people with slacker-temperaments like me!

I believe the most overlooked asset of singleness is flexibility. The average single adult has available to him or her a wonderful mix of time, energy, and resources with which to build a lifestyle overflowing with ministry impact and spiritual growth. Yet so often the choices made by singles rob them of this valuable gift of flexibility. How do we maximize our flexibility?

One key aspect of flexibility is time. A single woman once characterized her singleness as "drowning in time." Have you felt this way? The single life can seem heavy on time, and ways to randomly fill that time are expanding daily. How can our free time become "impact time"? Leland Ryken advises us well: "Time is the arena within which all human quests run their course. It is within time that the issues of life are contested and sometimes resolved. Without making one's peace with time, a person will not solve the question of how to find the good life."

How do we "make our peace with time?" Do you steward your time, including your free time, or do you let outside influences determine how you use it? I am a slacker by temperament, but I've learned to schedule my time so that my slacker tendencies don't eat my life whole. My objective in time management is not to get as much done as possible, but to try to make sure that I end up doing what is best for me to do.

For example, I tend to over-commit my evenings. So, I schedule every one, even if it is simply a "reading night" or an "off night." Then if something comes up, I have some options on how to handle it-it doesn't just infect my schedule like the flu, throwing off everything else in my life until I can regroup. I've also come to recognize how I can blow time (like in front of the tube), so I make a special effort to discipline myself in those areas. (For me, it would be the Net, especially Wikipedia)

I encourage the single folks I know to take regular overnight personal retreats-to break from the routine, be before the Lord, and just assess life. Let me encourage you to do the same. Use those times to set goals for progress, not perfection. Study the scriptural principle of the Sabbath, then apply what you learn. If you do things like this, will every moment become an impact moment? No. But impact will likely emerge "all by itself" from the ordered use of the time you do have.

Your flexibility will also be affected by your approach to work. As a single adult you are highly prized in the employment world for the sheer number of hours that can be sucked out of your life for the sake of the bottom line. Money, perks, travel, "opportunity," and promotions are all used as lures to get single folks to carry the time load no one else seems to want. Don't bite. This is the hook of the world lurking under the bait of career. Whether you work for yourself or for someone else, don't let career or job define you. Work hard, but work as unto the Lord. God is your boss, and in the end his advancement plan is the only one that counts. (That reminds me so much of the NCS job that many people warned me about. Thank God for His warnings and counsel!!!)

Another potential snare is possessions. I knew a Christian single woman who always seemed to be moving from one place to another. Was she an irritable person, unpleasant, hard to live with? No, she just had too much stuff. She always needed a large area in which to store her accumulated possessions, most of which weren't in use and could have easily been replaced if needed. But she had a false sense of security in her possessions. Her stuff had become her treasure, and in a sense she worshiped it. She passed up some great living opportunities because she thought it more important to protect her stuff than to be available for the adventure of God's purpose. As Jesus said, "Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Matthew 6:21).

The less stuff (car, house, music collections, etc.) we have to manage, the less chance our heart will attach to it, and the greater will be our flexibility for God's purpose. I'm not saying "stuff" is inherently bad, but we must recognize that our sinful nature will always tempt us to worship it.