Thursday, January 31, 2008

Just came back from Word For Life on Healthy Relationships, session 2. Had supper with Ellson (who asked me out for supper on the way back in a cab), 'cos we learnt about setting aside quantity time to be with our friends. Yes, you read that right... the speaker said that "Without QUANTITY TIME, there can be no QUALITY TIME!" Hee :)

Ah. The second session of the WFL was on "First Things First" and "How to Build Strong Friendships" (something like that). The speaker was slow, but well-paced... hee, one of the sisters told me, "He's very slow!" But Peter said, "I enjoy this pace." :) I said, "Can contemplate in between [each sentence]..." (and it's true... he's a good speaker. Proves that you don't have to be a machine-gun in order to teach well). :D

Thank God for the time of supper. We chatted for a long while. Ellson shared about work, and so on... and his walk with God. Very encouraged by his heart for God. :D And Ellson thanked me for letting him share... 'cos it helps to strengthen his own faith and convictions even as he shares his thanksgiving and convictions. =D

So thankful to God. :D Thank God for Peter, WZ, Robert, KC, Kin Wee, Ellson... oh yes!

Yanjie. Thank God for him. Told him I'll pray for him to have a good "3D/2N cruise"... which means he's on sailing duty starting tomorrow - he's a Navy officer. :D And he asked me what he can pray for me... I told him, and lo and behold, he whipped out a piece of paper and jotted down my points, saying a bit embarrassedly, "I forget very easily lah."

And he very hilarious lah... for my second prayer point, I asked him to keep this particular sister in prayer... he grinned and asked me, "What's her name?"


Yanjie guffawed and said, "Hmm!"

Grinning, he wrote down my prayer point in one word: 2. Voldemort


"Oei Yanjie! Cannot lah! Sekali you look at this point, and end up praying for Voldemort instead of the sister..."

"Wahaha! Yah that's right... And God will look down at me and whack me, saying, 'Hey! Why're you praying for the wrong person?'"

Haha... YJ you really farnie lah... thank God for you!!!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Little Girl and Psalm 23

Psalm 23 as only a child can tell it...this adorable video illustration is a must see. Video download available at -

A Stream-of-Consciousness Post :P

Mm. Just a lot of things on my mind. Amazing how a lot of things can happen in just two days.

Anyway, been doing my best to make sense of the experiences in the past 2 days...

Met with Robert for breakfast on Sunday. We had a very refreshing talk - was very touched that he cares enough to tell me what I need to hear =) even though it's not always easy to do so. :P And for that I'm especially touched. Have given him full permission to give me feedback anytime, anywhere, that he can speak into my life. Hee. "Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses."

Talked with HQ too, asking him how I can be a better support to him. "Grow in becoming more independent." He explained to me that my current idea of supporting is like "men's mentality". What he means by that is... when in the army, the men (HQ's an NS officer so he knows what he's talking about) tend not to do anything independent, but just simply ask and follow orders. But that's not the best way of supporting. A better level of supporting is to do what you know the officer/leader would want to do. Not just what he/she tells you to do.

Whether it's workplace, or church, or army or whatever else... isn't that principle so applicable? :)

Also... there was some bad news on Sunday. Think it took some time for the full surprise to sink in. But through that experience, Peter reminded me that night when he called me over the phone with these words:

"You must keep your relationship central with God. No matter who you are or what you've achieved, in the end, it's your heart that matters to God."

Our faith must not be leader-centric, nor church-centric, but above all, Christ-centric. We love the church, because it is the body of CHRIST. We love one another, because He first loved us.

It was such a beautiful quote that I asked him to say these words to me again. =)

To be honest, I look at my life, and wish that I'd grown much more, especially in character. Yet for some mysterious reason... God has seen it fit to reveal to me only now certain truths of my life... and thank God for Peter's slow and steady pace in his faithful shepherding me. Often I ask him to give me feedback, but he refuses. Not because he can't, or don't want to, but he wants me to learn to evaluate on my own my life using the Word of God.

Thank God for his patient emphasis that above all, it's not even how much I've achieved... it's about treasuring my relationship with God. To love Him and to love His people.

So thinking on my own. Actually, Christianity's not about becoming a better person. It's about following Christ. It's about loving God and loving His people. We become better people because of the work of Christ in us. We learn to recognized, and let ourselves be moved by His love to want to become better people so that THEN we can love and care and minister to OTHERS even better.

Ah. Encouraged to see how the brothers rally together to support and strengthen one another. Something beautiful is happening here, I can see it. :) When ordinary men gather together - something extraordinary happens. :)

Then on Monday night, Word For Life on Healthy Relationships. Thank God for the people who organized it. It was good, it was enlightening, and very, very thought-provoking. About how my family influences my outlook on life.

But also memorable because straight after that... I made a frank comment to another friend. To be honest, this friend was deeply hurt by some things I said. And this friend asked me to think about some things.

I'm still thinking through that part.

And from time to time, the bad news that I got flashes by my mind, and I am momentarily stunned. Amazed actually that situation actually happened. But I remind myself - that there's no difference really. God is in charge, and we must keep our eyes focused on Him. To stay loyal to Him no matter what happens, come life or death.

And most of all... I've been thinking about God. Just miss Him so much. I have let so many things - a large part of it is due to my emotions overriding my self-control... that I end up wasting a lot of time dwelling on these thoughts and feelings.

But God is so kind to me. He's been taking away certain sources of euphoric comforts from me these few days. Initially, I was feeling even more melancholic because of that, but I know in my heart that all these happenings are from Him so that He may draw my heart back to Him.

This morning I woke up earlier than usual, so I decided to pray to Him. Tried, but to be honest, I found it hard to pour out everything in my heart to Him. Perhaps... I'm really "emotionally constipated", if there's such a thing. ;) Dry? Maybe I am... oh dear.

But Jesus is so kind to me, a sinner. As I was on my knees, struggling to stay away and just pray... these words came into my mind, "You will seek Me and find me when you seek Me with all your heart, and I will be found by you..." (Jeremiah 29:13)

And Peter's words flashed again to mind: "'s your heart that matters to God."

Hee. Was very touched. I think it will take time for me to draw near again to God, because I have let my heart go astray again... (and I can sense the difference in my life - more judgemental, more emotional, more...). But Jesus is there, encouraging me to come to Him, even though I'm still crawling at times... encouraging me to seek Him with all my heart! No matter how short or long my prayers are, whether I read one verse or one chapter or one book, whether I'm blessed beyond all care, or drier than the desert...

The Lord Jesus bids me come to Him, just as I am. And He bids you come to Him too... just as you are.

Just as I am, without one plea,
But that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bidst me come to Thee,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, and waiting not
To rid my soul of one dark blot,

To Thee whose blood can cleanse each spot,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, though tossed about
With many a conflict, many a doubt,
Fightings and fears within, without,

O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind;
Sight, riches, healing of the mind,
Yea, all I need in Thee to find,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, Thou wilt receive,
Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;
Because Thy promise I believe,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, Thy love unknown
Hath broken every barrier down;
Now, to be Thine, yea, Thine alone,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Just came back from watching "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford". Gosh. It was... actually quite interesting, I felt, despite the occasional Brokeback-Mountainish feel at times that made me and Peter and Don (Shuhui's friend) cringe a bit at times.

But the acting is very good, actually, and the expressions, body language, and psychology as Jesse James attempts to outwit the traitor in his midst... especially seeing how the emotional ambivalence of Ford assassinating his one-time childhood hero takes a toll on his own mental health. And seeing how he and his accomplice visibly and steadily broke down, with one of them increasingly imitating the late Jesse James... shows the impact of this bigger-than-life hero on their own lives.

In a sense, I guess you could say that when they killed Jesse James, they killed a part of themselves as well. Think this film is an insightful commentary into the cult of hero/celebrity-worship, and with the implicit comment that we become who we worship.

Isn't it the same with ourselves? We become who we worship... If we worship the one true God, we will become increasingly like Him. But if we worship idols, we will become increasingly like them.

To conclude, this reviewer from Rotten Tomatoes, a movie-review site, commented:
"Although there’s much to appreciate here, both behind and in front of the camera, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford is likely to be most admired by art-house fans rather than a general audience. For moviegoers looking for something different, especially in art film-deprived Baton Rouge, this is the ticket."

But anyway! Just want to thank God for some really wonderful news... a dear friend of mine shared with me about a relationship that he's started... really so happy to hear the wonderful news! :D

Ok, v tired, gotta sleep now.

Saturday, January 26, 2008


Just sitting here and thinking about Huaqiang's questions today regarding my commitment to children's ministry:

"What are your plans for your own development?
How will the ministry help you to mature in Christ?
How do you disciple [the children] to be strong and biblical adults in future?
How can you be a good example to them? (concern with your personal development)?"

At first, I was a bit surprised, wondering whether HQ was saying that I was becoming too committed to children's ministry. But realised that's not what he meant; but rather, he's asking me to consider how this ministry fits into the greater picture of my own development.

Then asked myself, "What is the reason that I should plan for my own development? What should my primary motivation in developing myself be?"

Together with that, I was also thinking about my prayer team's prayer list for the weekend (I'm in the team) regarding holiness and purity.

Then this verse suddenly popped to mind as I was reflecting:
2 Timothy 2:20-21
In a wealthy home some utensils are made of gold and silver, and some are made of wood and clay. The expensive utensils are used for special occasions, and the cheap ones are for everyday use. If you keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honorable use. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work.

Oh! Thank you Lord. The verses in italics spoke to me clearly, telling me that the key understanding for me in why I should plan for my own development is that He wants me to be deliberate and intentional in training myself to be godly. To keep myself pure and holy. To grow from strength to strength. To make myself ready for the Master to take on every good work, no matter how difficult or challenging it is.

Then my life will not be unnecessarily unhindered by acts of aimless procrastination or wandering. Or constant thoughts of BGR, as the world is so wont to do. (It's not that I'm aiming for celibacy per se, but rather, I want to be the best kind of man for my future wife, so that together we can really extend the Kingdom of God even better than we both can separately. And that our relationship can be used by God to bring much joy to all those around us.)

To put it in a more homely manner, will I choose to be a shiny and beautiful computer, or will I choose to be a $1 toilet brush?

Refiner's Fire
Purify my heart
let me be as gold and precious silver
Purify my heart,
let me be as gold, pure gold

Refiner's fire
My heart's one desire
is to be holy
set apart for You Lord.
I choose to be holy
set apart for you my master,
ready to do your will.

Oh yes. Character's really crucial if you want to be salt and light in the workplace.

So dear Lord, please help me this year make a breakthrough in planning for my own development. Thank You for putting in this heart of mine an increasing desire to be pure and holy... I can see it really is Your sanctifying work in my heart, Holy Spirit. :) Isn't it so wonderful when one sees abstract theological terms come to life in a person's heart? Praise God for all His signs and wonders! In Jesus' name, Amen!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Manga Messiah? Yes! Manga Messiah!

Spurred on by Hong Teck's blog postings, I've been looking around for Christian comics, animation material and even manga for the HopeKids children recently. Found this wonderful article on Anime Network.
Tyndale House Publishers announced that it is launching a yearly series of Christian manga drawn by Japanese artists in September, as well as a Manga Bible with three manga sections in November. Amazon lists Hidenori Kumai as the author, with Kozumi Shinozawa and Atsuko Ogawa as the illustrators, of the first manga book, Manga Messiah. The Manga Bible will include the entire New Living Translation of the text with three 32-page manga tip-in sections that summarize the narrative.

Christianity has been covered in the Superbook anime series, and "The God of Manga," manga pioneer Osamu Tezuka, worked with the Vatican on the In the Beginning: The Bible Stories anime series just before he passed away. Gundam character designer Yoshikazu Yasuhiko created a manga series about Jesus and another about the Catholic saint Joan of Arc. A recent ANN review of a Christian world manga started a discussion on this field.

Wow. Osamu Tezuka, "The God of Manga", making a book on the topic of God. God really is the God of gods! :) But seriously, it's so cool. Getting top-notch industry professionals to do this kind of stuff to spread the good news... Yes! :D

Hmm! But I realise also there's a dearth of good quality Christian material for children. The problem is, if the art's good, the storyline is so... flat. And if the story's excellent, the art's not good enough. If I remember correctly, Hong Teck also told me that he's experiencing the same problem too.

One reason I'm passionate about finding good-quality audio-visual material for children is because when I was a young boy, I read some excellently-rendered Bible stories for children. The art was so good that even now, when sometimes I'm feeling a bit down or confused, I remember the art and the Bible dialogue from those comics and take heart that the Lord is indeed with me. These comic books really helped to plant a seed of God's Word in my heart as a young boy. :)

Children are very visually stimulated by good visual images. Cartoons are a powerful way of transmitting messages to them. Thank God we have some EXCELLENT artists in our church. I'm wondering how we can get them to do comics or storybooks for the children.

But at the moment, I've found one good Pixar cartoon that I think will be a great help to the kids. It's very excellently-rendered and the storyline, while meant for kids, is also relevant and encouraging to the adults too.

Think that's how Jesus did it too with His parables. When He told His parables to illustrate what the Kingdom of God is like, he didn't use lengthy quotes or expositions from the Torah (the Old Testament), but told very crisp and real-life stories from normal everyday surroundings, to get His points across. So likewise, I can source for relevant materials from the world, and Hollywood too. :) Bollywood... haha, that's an idea to consider too!

Artists' Outing? :D What A Good Idea!

Read Guanrui's blog posting on his "Tong Dao Zhong Ren" - Artists' Outing. Sounds very exciting...

Hmm! *scratches chin* Think we have some artistic muses within our sub-district, so I shall try to organize one too. Maybe Esplanade would be a beautiful place :) Interested? Let me know (post a comment here or email me at yeuann a.t. gmail d.o.t. com), and we can work something out!

Gang rape spirals in violent Kenya

Rape is on the rise in Kenya, troubled by violence which followed December's disputed elections.
Staff in the Nairobi Women's Hospital - one of Kenya's leading centres for the treatment of rape and sexual violence - say they have seen double the number of cases affecting women, teenagers and girls since January...

Please pray for Kenya and her people - for the King is able to do what mere politicians will not do.

The Joy of Jogging!

Just came back from a midnight jog. Thank God so much for Huaqiang's advice (and Peter's faithful prodding too haha) to go jogging... seriously, it's really very refreshing and strengthening to go jogging.

It's true - jogging really does help make one more effective in serving God - spiritually, emotionally, mentally and even socially - not only physically. As Jesus Himself reminded His disciples, "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."

And realised jogging helps me discipline my mind to pray for others and for myself. Praise God for His goodness! :D

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Blessings of Self-Control! :)

Really want to thank God again. :) Earlier this week, I was praying, asking God to help me grow in maturity, and was seeking Him for a better understanding of what it really means to be a man.

Then I felt this prompting in my heart to read 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus. While reading, these passages caught my eyes:

1 Timothy 3:1-8
1Here is a trustworthy saying: If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer,[a] he desires a noble task. 2Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.

I saw that when Paul was exhorting Timothy to be godly, one of the things that would help him become godlier is self-control and self-discipline. Likewise, he commanded Titus to teach both the young and old men to be self-controlled.

Feel very thankful and happy, because now I see... self-control is not a chore, but leads to a lot of blessings! Plus, now I am renewed in the knowledge and understanding of this fruit of the Spirit...

This is what I learnt from the commentary on 1 Timothy:
Self-controlled, next on the list, is a quality Paul refers to frequently in the Pastorals as a basic element of the observable Christian life (2:9, 15; 2 Tim 1:7; Tit 2:2, 4, 5, 6). As a fundamental aspect of the new existence in Christ (Tit 2:12), it is the ability to take charge of the mind, and Christians have this possibility opened to them. This allows control over impulses (to overindulge the physical appetites, to think wrong thoughts about others and ourselves) which without control would drive us to excessive behavior.

Respectable refers to observable behavior that corresponds to inner self-control. It is behavior of all kinds (2:9) marked by self-discipline, order and balance. Paul's use of this traditional quality, especially in connection with self-control, sets before us the possibility and challenge of developing a life in which inner motivation and outer action achieve a harmonious balance. The ancients viewed inner control as the strength of life and outer balance as the beauty of life.

But Paul was not simply lauding traditional values that, some two thousand years later, are of no use to us. On the one hand, vigilance, self-control, respectability, and the balance of inner and outer life that Paul envisions are realities available to us in the Spirit. They are also necessities. Without vigilance (spiritual awareness and discernment) we will not exercise self-control. Without self-control we will indulge ourselves freely according to the advice of the world around us instead of setting the limits that produce godly balance.

And later on, this paragraph caught my attention:
As the list continues to probe the background of the candidate for leadership, it prohibits four characteristics of behavior. Tendencies toward drunkenness and violence (Tit 1:7) are clearly reasons for rejection. The church cannot afford to be led by those who allow themselves to be controlled by intoxicating substances (which enslave the user and inhibit decisive thinking) or emotions. But evidence of these traits in any believer calls for immediate action. They are signs of a loss of control. Maturity and strength are to exhibit themselves instead in gentleness, as they did in Christ (2 Cor 10:1).

As someone who tends to be very easily influenced and even controlled by emotions, this advice is very relevant to me. In addition, after observing myself and certain people, I realised that whether one is a Christian or not, one basic sign of maturity is how self-controlled one is. And this applies to all areas of our lives - be it physical, mental, emotional, social or spiritual - just as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and gentleness do.

Self-control makes it possible for us to be effective and disciplined. One scene that illustrates the importance of self-control very well is "The Last Samurai". In that movie, a group of barely-trained conscripts armed with rifles are sent to fight a group of sword-wielding samurai.

But as the battle begins, the riflemen are obviously fearful. And as the fierce battle-hardened samurai draw nearer and nearer, the shivering conscripts give in to their fear. They prematurely start firing and miss the samurai. And since there's no time to reload, the samurai efficiently massacre the now-helpless riflemen who flee the battlefield in terror.

So was thinking, very often, even if we have much more effective weapons in spiritual warfare than the enemy (e.g. prayer, the Word of God), very often Satan attacks our minds very well such that instead of stopping to pray or exercise the authority of the Word, all too often we flee or break down in terror, forgetting that our enemy is an already-defeated foe.

So with that renewed understanding of the blessing that self-control is, yesterday, I decided to watch the thoughts that flow through my mind. Won't go into details here, but wow, realised that one of the first steps is to be vigilant of every thought that is going into my mind. Without it, it is extremely difficult to exercise self-control. And this discipline is a biblical principle too: "And we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."

And wonderfully, I find that, with God's help as I pray and continue reading the Word, I have more confidence and joy in many things. Thank God! :D

Wow. It's really exciting to have the Word renew my mind! :)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Click to view my Personality Profile page

Interesting! The test describes me as a dreamer... :) actually, it matches my CALIPER test results, so think it's pretty consistent. =) And thank God too, think my personality matches that of what's needed in the HopeKids ministry... we need more people to dream big things for God, and for the children!

But yeah, we need people who have the heart to execute the dreams, set them into motion too. If you're that kind of person, the Kingdom of God needs you too! :D

INFP - The "Dreamer" Myers-Briggs Personality Types (Free Test)

INFPs are introspective, private, creative and highly idealistic individuals that have a constant desire to be on a meaningful path. They are driven by their values and seek peace. Empathetic and compassionate, they want to help others and humanity as a whole. INFPs are imaginitive, artistic and often have a talent for language and writing. They can also be described as easygoing, selfless, guarded, adaptable, patient and loyal.

Whee! And according to the above link, I'm in the same group as Tolkien. Precioussss! :D

'I ate children's hearts, ex-rebel says'

I read this article... Marvellous proof that no one is too wicked to be beyond God's salvation. :D

Mr Blahyi, 37, is better known in Liberia as "General Butt Naked" because he went into combat with no clothes on, to scare the enemy.

He is now an Evangelist preacher, who prefers to use the name Joshua.

He was speaking to the BBC, after telling Liberia's Truth Commission that his forces had killed 20,000 people.


Mr Blahyi said he had first become exposed to killings in 1982 when, at the age of 11, he was ordained "the traditional priest of my tribe."

He explained that when a rebellion broke out against President Samuel Doe, he had to go to war on behalf of the president, as they were from the same Krahn ethnic group.

He fought against the militia of Charles Taylor, currently on trial for war crimes in The Hague.

"Tradition made me to believe that as a priest, coming now to be a warrior, that I made a human sacrifice before going into battle."

He said he thought that confessing to what he had done and asking for forgiveness could help heal the country's wounds.

"I have been looking for an opportunity to tell the true story about my life; and every time I tell people my story, I feel relieved," he said, drinking a bottle of tomato juice.

He stopped fighting in 1996, saying God appeared to him as he was charging naked into battle and told him he was doing Satan's work.


He is now often seen preaching on street corners and churches in the capital, Monrovia.

"I now preach against murder and making human sacrifices," he said.

"Some people see me and congratulate me.

"Others see me and say I should not be walking down the streets of Monrovia posing proud. But I continue to tell such people I am not proud, I am ashamed."


The war is now over but thousands of UN peacekeepers remain in the country.

While asking for forgiveness, Mr Blahyi says he's ready for whatever the truth commission will decide to do to him.

"I could be electrocuted, I could be hanged," he said. "But I think forgiveness and reconciliation is the right way to go."

He also urged other former fighters to confess their doings because "wherever they go there is a stigma on them".

Thank God for Thanksgivings....

Not the one with turkeys, but just for the power and joy of giving thanks to God! :)

Thank God for a dear friend's prayer last night. :) Firstly, thank God for my friend's offer to pray for me. I was very touched and blessed. Secondly, thank God also for the prayer itself. In response to my request to grow in character, my friend prayed that God will put me through situations to stretch and mould me in character. Initially I was quite surprised, 'cos wasn't what I had in mind, asking to be put into difficult situations to stretch me... but realised, of course, Daddy knows best! :D So am very thankful to God for this dear friend's prayer for me. :)

And I just want to thank God for this friend too. I'm very encouraged by how this friend has responded in face of the difficult situation that this friend is facing. Indeed, the words "courageous love" comes to mind. Thank God for this dear friend, who really is a living example of courageous Christlike love! Just want to say how proud I am of this friend. :)

Something that struck me as I made this observation is that actually, when we go through difficult times, others will be witnessing, watching us to see how we choose to respond. In fact, how we respond during difficult times can be a much greater witness and testimony to those around us, much more than visible blessings upon our lives. Even during the Roman era, when Christians were being persecuted by the Roman Empire, some of the soldiers who guarded the Christians were so moved by the Christians' love and patient suffering, that they themselves chose to become Christians too.

I remember reading this story of a Roman soldier who was assigned to guard a Christian condemned to die by beheading. The Roman watched how patiently the Christian responded even in the face of death, that when the time came for the Christian's execution, the Roman guard suddenly knelt down together with his prisoner and asked that he too die as a Christian.

And I read another testimony. This one is of Watchman Nee, a Chinese pastor who was severely beaten and imprisoned by the Red Guards during the Cultural Revolution. As he sat singing in prison with a broken leg, his guard heard his singing and became very worried for him.

"Why are you singing? Are you that ill?"

"No, my dear friend, I am not that ill. Though my body is broken, but my spirit is not broken, for it is Christ's love that sustains me."

Then the watchman exclaimed, "Pastor, your words are like hammers knocking at the door of my heart! What must I do to be saved?"

"My dear friend! You have made a wonderful choice! Listen!" And the prisoner Watchman Nee began to sing to the watchman a beautiful hymn about Jesus...

Thank God also for the time with Xiaochuan, and the good chat we had. Very blessed by his asking me out for dinner, and the chance to catch up with him, and learn from him about things in life. :)

Oh yes! Not one but two wonderful things at work today: one of my superiors, think he was blessed by my email to him asking about his dad, 'cos I heard his dad was sick... told him I'll keep his dad in prayer. So he asked my team leader to help him say thanks. Feel very thankful, 'cos really want to be a blessing to my colleagues, to be a better salt and light there.

Thank God also for the idea that He gave me during work, which with the help of another colleague turns out to be a REAL time-saver... we implemented it successfully, so we're planning to submit this idea as an implemented work improvement suggestion. Praise God for His grace! :D

And finally, thank God also for Hong Teck, who encouraged me to start a daily thanksgiving list. :D Thank God for Hong Teck's personality, which is ultra-encouraging to me, because both of us have similar personalities... so when I see how far this man of God has gone in his walk with the Lord, I am very encouraged to discipline myself likewise. "Follow [Hong Teck's] example as [he] follows the example of Christ."

Thank You Jesus! :D

Monday, January 21, 2008

Relying on Him thru’ Prayer

Read this article from a brother's blog, and it's a thought-provoking post.

Hee! That reminds me! Pastor Jo preached a very touching and encouraging sermon yesterday. One thing that he preached struck me: as Jesus talked to THINGS (e.g. fevers, trees, stormy weather and even dead men), likewise we too can talk to THINGS in His name.

Wow! That was so surprising, 'cos it's not every day that a pastor tells you to talk to THINGS. :P But we talk to things, because we believe in a God of miracles.

He also shared how the Lord spoke to him through an email devotional when his daughter had been repeatedly falling sick for a few months. That's how he learnt about the fact that Jesus spoke not only to men, but to THINGS as if they were alive. So he and his wife prayed for their daughter, and as he rebuked the fever in Jesus' name, the fever subsided underneath his hand. He doublechecked to make sure, and yes, the fever did go away.

And yes, it's not an isolated incident. 'Cos last year, on the last day of 2007, Sharon had a high fever. 38 degrees, to be precise. (She brought her own thermometer along.) So we prayed for her. The moment we prayed, "Amen", Sharon started sweating immediately! :) And she took her own temperature... whoa, the numbers were falling right underneath our eyes over a period of half an hour.

I'd like to say that she was completely healed at that moment, but the fever returned after that. But thank God that the fever went away long enough for her to stay for the entire unit prayer meeting, otherwise she'd not be able to even come.

So God indeed is good, He indeed is faithful. :D

Deuteronomy 32:3-4
I will proclaim the name of the LORD.
Oh, praise the greatness of our God!

He is the Rock, his works are perfect,
and all his ways are just.
A faithful God who does no wrong,
upright and just is he.

And oh yes! After the sermon, Qixiong and I were walking to the soccer field at Yishun for our soccer match. As we were walking there, we felt drizzle, and the looming clouds promised yet another mud-bath.

But remembering Ps Jo's sermon, I asked God to drive away the rain clouds, that it wouldn't rain throughout the entire match. Then, just for good measure, I spoke to the clouds (in front of an amused Qixiong) to tell them to go away.

And yes, the clouds gathered around the field but not over the field. Maybe the angels wanted to watch the soccer match too... XD

Thank God, not only for the rain-free (and mud-free) soccer match that day, but also for His answering my prayer. That encourages me to trust God for even bigger things that are even more important. Jesus taught us to pray to God persistently when our prayers don't get answered.

Finally, I'm encouraged also by the prophecy that May Hong prayed over me when I responded to the altar call yesterday. I responded, because I wanted God to stretch and renew my mindset, to be more joyful and full of faith, not negative or faithless.

The prophecy was a vision of a desert. But in the desert, an oasis sprung up. So likewise the Lord will bring about an oasis, a spring of joy. Wow! That's really my heart's desire - 'cos I don't just want joy for myself - I want to share this joy of the Lord with all those around me, both in the church and outside the church!

Jesus is so so good! Amen! :D

O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good;
His love endures forever!

A dear friend of mine is currently going through a difficult time. To this dear friend, you're in my prayers... and even WHEN I forget to pray for you, the Bible reminds us that Christ is at the right hand of God and is constantly interceding for you and me. And no situation is ever able to stop Him from pleading your case before the righteous Father.

Nothing Can Separate Us from God’s Love
34 Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.

35 Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? 36 (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”)

37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.

38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Dear Lord, these words of Yours are so beautiful. Please help me memorise this passage and recall, speak them aloud to myself, whenever I am tempted to feel down or frustrated or worried or disappointed.

Oh yes, one more thing. Think one of the most important points Ps Jo told us is that one of the things that we are to speak the Word of God to is none other than OURSELVES. That's exactly what Hong Teck told me too! And Peter and ... a lot of other bros. Hmm. I see a pattern here.

Ah, Mr. Yeu Ann. Hurry up and be a man, for God's sake.

Encourage yourself the next time you start panicking again. Whenever the devil shoots you with the flaming arrows of negative thoughts, stand, take cover and return fire by proclaiming the Word of God - don't run away! Got that? And very soon, Jesus'll make a man out of you. ;)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

2008: Year of Character-building

Today, was taking stock of this year so far, and the path's been very clear so far - the Lord is clearly calling me to grow in character. More than that, I'm very thankful to God, 'cos He has been sending me people left, right and centre to point out to me my character weaknesses and flaws.

More than that, He's been speaking clearly to me through my reading of the Book of Joshua in the Bible (with the help of the very useful Life Application Bible) how character-building is like Joshua conquering the Promised Land.

Thank God for Peter who helped me evaluate and see the need to make plans to grow in character. And for his pointing out to me my constant frustrations... and the cause of my frustrations...

Thank God also for Hong Teck who taught me a practical way to see what are the underlying beliefs that affect my mindset...

Thank God also for Robert who corrected me on the way I handle my frustrations, and his advice on how to handle them.

Thank God also for my team leader, whose timely straightforward email came to me this year, to tell me to show better character at work... and thank God so much that he was doing this without a trace of condemnation - all the more since he's not a Christian, but I respect him 'cos he's a hardworking, sensible and mature man. And thank God so much for his equally straightforward affirmation that came right after I repented before God and changed the way that I worked. Wow! This can only be God's mercy and grace at work...

And thank God so much for His own convicting my heart... it's quite a strange thing, because I'd never really given that much thought to my character growth for my entire Christian life... until this year. And I just feel an increasing hunger and thirst to grow in character... which can only be the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit in my life, who enables my heart to WANT to repent. Wow... God is so good, He is so sweet, and He is so powerful and awesome indeed!

Thank God also so much for His Word, that helped encourage me in desiring to be godly.

The Word and the Spirit, how they can set a man free! :D

When I sit back and ponder why only now I'm starting to see the value of character... think it's because I wasn't ready to handle this truth before. Think God wisely chose to open my mind only now, 'cos otherwise I might have fallen into the trap of legalism, or the trap of despair, or worst of all, becoming a cold self-righteous prig.

'Cos I've fallen in all these traps before... wonder how did I ever make it this far in my walk with God all these years. Oh God! He's so merciful indeed to a wretch like me. Hee! Just can't help but marvel at His sheer goodness again and again! :)

"Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come
'Tis grace that hath brought me safe thus far
And grace will lead me home..."

Actually, tracing out the road-map from 2007 to 2008... it's very, very interesting to see how His road-map unfolds in my life.

In 2005, God finally managed to break my spirit. Thank God for Hanhui's faithful correction and Peter's memorable scolding that made me feel super-loved. As a result, I repented and turned back to God... renewed my first love for Him. And also, He planted a vision for my life in my mind that year...

... which unfolded more clearly in 2006. Joined children's ministry, and also built close friendships during that time. And think one of the happiest moments in my life was when I served as part of the MM team for the Christmas production... really felt His joy and pleasure in my heart to be able to serve at a church-level.

2007 - saw need to grow in maturity, especially situational awareness. also learnt a lot about myself - why I am the way I am today, and my actual personality. learning to be really myself, even though i don't always like the real me that i see. life experiences of graduation, friendships and work. and thank God for weizhu and some other dear friends. grew deeper in friendships. learnt to say goodbye too, when other friends were called by God to different paths.

read the book on Boundaries, and realised just how powerful my family and school experiences were in my social and emotional development. relieved to know that a very significant part of all the troubles and habits that i had weren't because of attitude problems after all, but simply the result of inadequate training or ignorance in childhood.

grew in hopekids ministry too. :D thank God so much for His grace... learning to lead and impact children. God also helped broaden and deepen my understanding of the importance of children's ministry to building the church and especially building strong and biblical young adults for the future. so what i did not have in the past, God can work through me to give to children in the present, so that they will not be hindered or stumbled unnecessarily in the future when they want to serve God.

2008... whoa. God helped convict me of the value and importance of character. now reading the Bill Hybels book on character. got the opportunity to attend a hope conference - there, God confirmed His calling for me to children's ministry through at least four signs - one of them being a very memorable declaration by Pastor James that I have the right gifting for children's ministry. Whoa. God is so so so good indeed! :D

And the story will continue from here.

How about you? It's good to see what God has been doing in your own life... never mind the past, whatever it be...

Even if last year was a great year, let's remember Paul's words:
7But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.

8What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ...

And let's aim for nothing less than the very character of Christ:
9and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.

And let's aim to really live out Christ's character - especially through the difficult and tough times in our lives:
10I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,

11and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.

And let's press on, remembering that we're not there yet in Christlikeness:
12Not 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.

13Brothers, 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,

14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

And let's live up to what we have already attained the year before:
15All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you.

16Only let us live up to what we have already attained.

Amen! :D

Is Ronaldo destined for greatness?

Premier League Manchester United
by Jonathan Stevenson - BBC Sport 14 January 2008

[Read more...]

One commenter said:
As for the competition between him and Rooney. I don't think they should be compared. I see them both going on to be Man Utd legends. Ronaldo has good touches and finishes. But Rooney's passing game and and passing execution leaps ahead. But they compliment each other perfectly.

"Principal's ITE advice 'had to be delivered'"

Principal's tone to Sec 5 students plainly wrong

Individual counselling would have been better

Recently, there was this news article about a principal who, according to the Straits Times, told her N-levels students to consider the ITE route instead.

Understandably, a lot of people were upset, and there are quite a few comments in the ST Forum where people posted their views.

RAdm Lui supported the principal's message, saying that the students had to separate the content from the style, but others said that what the principal did was wrong, or at the least, highly insensitive.

Hmm... think both sides have their valid concerns. If I remember correctly, RAdm Lui said that in the outside world people aren't always going to be kind, so the students must learn to separate the valid stuff from the wrong stuff.

But, yes, such a statement by the principal would have damaged the students' self-esteems and may have a self-fulfilling effect.

However, the whole debate seems to have one major assumption: that going to ITE is a Very Bad Thing.

How would an ITE student feel about ITE when he/she reads the debate? ITE is a wonderful educational institution after all - I like their ads very much - some people are really gifted with their hands, whereas others are really gifted with other talents... we all need one another in order to "achieve happiness, prosperity and progress for our nation"!

Perhaps our educational system needs to examine its effectiveness through this incident... have we, as a society, forgotten our responsibility to balance between helping our youths discover and develop their own unique talents and skills versus helping them acquire employable labour skills in fitting with projected market demands?

We mustn't forget that in the end, Singapore has no resource but its own people. Let's do our part to be better stewards of the people entrusted to us, to help them find their niche in life and succeed.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Burglar finds corpse and calls police

Wow, thank God for this man... Proof that those whom we think may not have a heart can actually turn out to be better people than we know... =D "Man looks at the outwards appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."

The Time with Hong Teck

Also, just really want to thank God for the time of fellowship with Hong Teck. He's indeed an amazing bro, and a super-cool one at that...

We were room-mates for the conference, and during our free time, we had the chance to talk and share and discuss a lot of stuff... thanks so much Hong Teck for taking the time to impart to me what you've shared... really very very very blessed and helped!

Hee, very funny too the part where he shared about his university life... there's some hilarious things that he did. If you want to know... ask him. ;)

But yeah, thank God for his great advice, especially on BGR stuff, on finding the right sister. =) (Hey, as a married man with three wonderful kids, I think HT has plenty of credibility and experience in this area ;))

Hmm! Think I'll share next time about the BGR counsel he gave me... but suffice it to say that what he shared was really wise and helpful. :)

Back from the Conference... Amazing! :D

Hee, thank God for the past three days. (Thanks Andrew for the bon-voyage wishes haha) Yes bro, the conference was a really, really amazing, fruitful and wonderful time! :D

Hmm, what I learnt... the theme was on "A Loyal Church". I learnt about what true loyalty is, and some important things I learnt were:

0. Loyalty reflects God's attributes.
1. Loyalty is a choice.
2. Loyalty, at its very heart, is self-sacrifice.
3. Loyalty WILL be tested.
4. Loyalty is essential for any healthy relationship.
5. Loyalty to God must supersede any human feelings (both mine and others). (of course, make sure that my loyalty to God is correctly based on what His Word says)

And I learnt practical ways to build loyalty in a team...

Something that surprised me when I went for the conference... it felt a lot like a normal church camp. And that's the thing that I realised... all the people there are really very ordinary people like you and me. Honest. They even fall asleep during the teachings. (Well, not all... only a few. Like me for instance. :P) They come in different shapes and sizes, with very different personalities. From the ultra-laconic to the ultra-bubbly... and whoa! So many nationalities! From all the continents of the world! It was really very amazing to see what God has done in our midst!

"The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy!"

Really very blessed that I got the chance to attend this Hope conference and learn many wonderful things. But it's not the fact that I can go for this conference that I'm so excited, but because it's through this conference that I got to experience several amazing things - things that are strong signs from God that He really is calling me to serve Him in children's ministry. In fact, it's more than a ministry - it's a CALLING! Praise the Lord indeed... as someone would say, "Amayzing!" ;)

Sign #1: The Stars
When I was on the bus to KL at 2 or 3 am in the morning, I looked up at the sky, and the stars were shining, so many of them. And I was reminded again that God promised Abraham that his descendants would be numerous as the stars in the sky... a promise that I believe God wants to encourage me to trust Him to fulfill in my own life (spiritual descendants). :D

Sign #2: The Songs
The calling to serve in HopeKids ministry... think it was no mere coincidence that I'm starting on the book of Joshua, and the worship songs that we sang at the conference... think God was impressing very strongly and consistently on my heart that at this moment, the HopeKids ministry is like Joshua entering the Promised Land... we've begun to start pioneering new areas to impact, build up and disciple children into strong and biblical adults... but there are still so many areas that we have yet to conquer.

But just sense that God's calling is upon me here... as if He were encouraging me directly, "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid, do not be dismayed..."

Sign #3: The Sharing
This is one of the most amazing things that happened to me during the conference. On the last day of the conference, I was having breakfast with Wan Leng and Pastor James, when Ps James suddenly asked me out of the blue, "Are you helping out in Sunday School ministry?"

When I replied yes, he said:

"You have the right gifting to be in the children's ministry."

"Oh wow! ... uh... but how do you know?"

"Because you have a lot of patience, and you have this calming effect on kids. It's a special ability, and not everyone has it."

Wow... I was so so so ultra-encouraged by Ps James' sharing. Super-touched. Wonder if it was a prophetic word from God through Ps James?

Thank You Father... it does seem very clear now that this is indeed the ministry that You've called me to, both in fruit and in confirmation.

Sign #4: The Spirit
At the closing prayer of the conference, the very moment the pastor in charge prayed that we'd be loyal to our sister churches worldwide too, suddenly, a strong impression came upon me that the Lord Jesus wants me to help support and build children's ministries in all the Hope churches worldwide.

And I was so surprised again.

'Cos a few years ago, God gave me a vision of me sitting on a chair telling a whole group of children from all over the world the story of Jesus! And... I was wondering how this vision could come to pass?

So think God just showed me the very pathway through which this vision can come true.

Feel so inspired, strengthened and encouraged by my Lord Jesus Christ...
1 Thessalonians 5:24
The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.

Thank You so much Lord Jesus... feel so grateful from the bottom of my heart. That You are calling me, an unworthy servant who has failed You so many times.

Don't know how to say the things that I feel in my heart, but my prayer is that You help me stay true to You, to Your words of truth, to Your calling and purpose for me... I'm amazed!

*nods head*

Please help me stay loyal to You to the very end. In Jesus' name I pray Amen.

Monday, January 14, 2008


Going off to KL soon for a conference soon. :) Thank God so much for His grace, that I can go for it. Wonder what it's going to be like, and gee... somehow this verse from the book of Joshua spoke to me: "Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do amazing things among you."

Whoa... obedience, obedience.

How to write with style

How to write with style
By Kurt Vonnegut
Kurt Vonnegut, author of such novels as“Slaughterhouse-Five,” “Jailbird” and “Cat’s Cradle” tells you how to put your style and personality into everything you write.
© 1982 International Paper Co. Reprinted with permission.

Very interesting! I like this passage especially:
Do not ramble, though.

I won’t ramble on about that.

"Not mean nor demeaning, but fair and generous"

MEANS testing at hospitals will neither be mean nor demeaning, Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan promised on Sunday.

Referring to middle-income people who might have difficulty meeting their hospital bills, especially in long-drawn illnesses, he said he would rather be more generous than strict.

He is prepared to let some better-off people get the full subsidy, rather than deprive anyone in need of help with medical bills... [read more]

You'd Better Obey This Sign

Some laws are not meant to be broken...

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Ok! Just came back from a soccer match... this year we're having Hope Premier League. =D ha, today was supposed to be the Big Day between my subD and the youth subd... but the rain came, the storm rose and the wind blew and beat against the goalpost... lightning too. So we had to terminate the game... rematch next sunday!

went jogging last night. a midnight run. wonderful. something i observed. i ran in spurts. at first rather breathless 'cos not conditioned properly. but the more i ran, the longer my spurts became. so something i reflected from the experience... realised that we could choose to run in a marathon or just walk - we'd finish either way. but the difference is, one is changed into a stronger person, the other never changes.

likewise in this life, we can choose to allow Him to push us to grow in character, in love, in faith, in truth, in endurance, in perseverance, in wisdom... or we can choose to just walk along happily, never pushing.

think that's why God wants us to push ourselves to grow, 'cos the condition we are in at the end of life's marathon determines the responsibilities we can handle for eternity.

hee. just a little contemplation. :P :P :P

Oh yes! Today hopetots with yufen and robert. as usual the kids are ever lovely. something i've observed the past few months. every single time we teachers begin the class with prayer, the children somehow are much much much more well-behaved. and when we do not pray... the children start running wild.

it's true. i've observed it EVERY SINGLE TIME. the difference between when we pray, and when we do not pray, is so vast... that i think God really wants us to pray for the children.

wow. amazing. wonderful. to see what Jesus has been doing in our lives all these months. =D

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Thank You Lord for today :D

Thank You for the time with Peter, and how You used him to confirm what You've been impressing on my heart the past few weeks, that You want me to grow in character. That You helped me see the value of character.

Thank You also for the many blessings that You've given me last year. =D

Thank You also for the opportunity to go to KL this coming Tues to Thursday so that I can learn more to serve You more in HopeKids ministry.

Thank You also for the health You've given me...

Thank You also for the guitar skills that You're equipping me with.

Thank You also for the opportunity to serve more in the CG.

That two of my resolutions for 2007 actually came to pass: to serve more in the HopeKids ministry and in CG...

Thank You for Your incredible faithfulness to me.

Thank You also for the opportunity to learn from today's preparation for the outreach event. Thank You for the ideas that You blessed us with. Thank You for my dear brothers and sisters who give their time and energy joyfully.

Thank You for helping me put in more effort to serve... hee, thank You God, for the advice Zewei gave me last time when I was helping prepare the outreach event for the new graduates and the welcome event too.

Thank You for my team leader too, whom You've put in my life, that even though he's not a Christian, he's a strong and mature man with good advice. Thank You that he took the time and trouble to give me advice and feedback on how to improve.

Such advice is rare, and a real blessing from You. Drops of grace, so rare in the workplace, like snow in the hot desert, yet I am showered with them! :D

Thank You so much Lord for faithfully working in my life, how You've been encouraging me to take more initiative. And pointing out to me what I need to grow in. And for giving me the answers to some deep questions that I had for many years... You gave me the answers after 10 years of seeking! :D Great is Your faithfulness indeed, Lord Jesus Christ!

And I realise that in Your time, You make all things beautiful.

And thank You for the word that You spoke to me... that 2008 for me will be a year of purifying, a year of consecration.

A year of consecration. To be purified in character, to grow in godliness. To become the man that You've been wanting me to be for so long.

Thank You for teaching me so many things, Father.

Thank You for giving me hope and forgiveness.

Thank You for giving me close friends like Weizhu and Peter. Thank You that the friendships are mutual.

Thank You for so many things... how true Ephesians 1 is! (Am using the Amplified Bible version...)
3May blessing (praise, laudation, and eulogy) be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah) Who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual (given by the Holy Spirit) blessing in the heavenly realm!

4Even as [in His love] He chose us [actually picked us out for Himself as His own] in Christ before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy (consecrated and set apart for Him) and blameless in His sight, even above reproach, before Him in love.

5For He foreordained us (destined us, planned in love for us) to be adopted (revealed) as His own children through Jesus Christ, in accordance with the purpose of His will [[b]because it pleased Him and was His kind intent]--

6[So that we might be] to the praise and the commendation of His glorious grace (favor and mercy), which He so freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.

7In Him we have redemption (deliverance and salvation) through His blood, the remission (forgiveness) of our offenses (shortcomings and trespasses), in accordance with the riches and the generosity of His gracious favor,

8Which He lavished upon us in every kind of wisdom and understanding (practical insight and prudence),

9Making known to us the mystery (secret) of His will (of His plan, of His purpose). [And it is this:] In accordance with His good pleasure (His merciful intention) which He had previously purposed and set forth in [c]Him,

10[He planned] for the maturity of the times and the climax of the ages to unify all things and head them up and consummate them in Christ, [both] things in heaven and things on the earth.

11In Him we also were made [God's] heritage (portion) and we obtained an inheritance; for we had been foreordained (chosen and appointed beforehand) in accordance with His purpose, Who works out everything in agreement with the counsel and design of His [own] will,

12So that we who first hoped in Christ [who first put our confidence in Him have been destined and appointed to] live for the praise of His glory!

Wow, as I was reading the passage just now, there were very specific words like "consecrated" and "prudence" that appeared in the text... these are words that I think God is particularly impressing on me the past few days. :D

Oh! Incidentally, there's a Christian funeral at the void deck... as I was walking back home earlier, saw some of the people there doing a line-dance. Yes, you read it right... a line-dance. That seemed quite funny, but as Christians, really, the truth is, we grieve, yes, but we're not that sad, 'cos we know that we will meet again in heaven. :D So it's true literally - Jesus really turns our mourning into dancing! :D Amen!

Planning to go for a midnight run now! =)

Nintendo Zelda Ad... It's So Retro!

"Man, the Japanese got all the good ads! A cross-dressing, line-dancing, rap-backed Link who saves Zelda from a big rubber Ganon puppet? Almost completely awesome."

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Whoa! :D Just want to thank God for His encouragement just now...

'Cos, if you read my earlier blog entry about faithfulness, or more precisely, my lack of it, you'll know that I was feeling very discouraged about breaking through in this area, because of my long, long, long record... ever since primary school I've been like that.

So, while in office just now, I had prayed to God for mercy and forgiveness, and a second chance again... no, yet another chance, even though the damage has been done (and God knows how bad it's been) and my "credit history" is a grade F.... (and that doesn't stand for Faithfulness)...

However, on the way back, I still felt very troubled and discouraged, and every time I thought of repenting, this (mental) voice came to me, saying, "It's too late... the damage has been done... so it's no use repenting... you can't change..."

Then suddenly, this verse... shone like a light in the darkness. Like Gandalf's brilliant light at the Battle of Helm's Deep. This is the verse:

Galatians 2:18
"If I rebuild what I destroyed, I prove that I am a lawbreaker."

The reason this verse really turned my discouragement 180 degrees around is:
I am afraid of repenting, because the moment I start cleaning up my act, and turning over a new leaf, it simply shows to those who had corrected me that I indeed have been an extremely unreliable and untrustworthy person.

But, this verse very simply spoke to me (it must have been the Holy Spirit):
"So what? Your rebuilding what you've destroyed (the damage that you did to people's trust and His name) simply confirms the obvious truth that others have already been pointing out to you so many times. And so what if you're a lawbreaker? I have already forgiven you! I see all your past sins, and I declare you... dead! FOR THROUGH THE LAW YOU DIED TO THE LAW, SO THAT YOU MIGHT LIVE FOR GOD.

So take heart, Yeu Ann and rebuild what you have already destroyed! Don't be ashamed, because you no longer live, but Christ lives in you."

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.
I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!"

Thank You so much Lord... just to know that You loved me and gave Yourself for me... that really assures my heart like nothing else in this world can. And that gives me the courage to get up and repent, to pick up the pieces and move on.

That You loved me, and gave Yourself up for me... My God, that is more than enough for me. That... really gives me hope. So help me, Lord Jesus, I repent of my laziness, my sluggard attitude... because of You.

And thank You, Lord Jesus, for that verse that came so timely, and dispelled that discouraging voice of darkness - must have been the devil. =) Wow, reminds me of how You defeated the devil with three portions of Scripture.

Hee! Now my heart's singing praises to Him... =) Am more strengthened now to face tomorrow's work. Hallelujah!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008


Luke 16:10
"He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is
unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much."

Recently, some people pointed out to me, both at work and in church, that made me start thinking about my own attitude. Simply put, I extremely lack faithfulness. When things become difficult, I start complaining in my heart and become reluctant to carry on. It's the heart attitude that really counts. It's the same whether in ministry, or in family, or in work.

Thank God that He has been showing me... oh that I'm so deaf to His words.

Frankly, when I assess my life, I know that I could have been much more for Christ, but I didn't - simply because others couldn't trust me to finish whatever's been given me.

What is faithfulness, really? It is simply sticking to the path you know you are duty-bound to take, even when the going gets tough.

Lord, it's been so many years that I have been unfaithful in many small things. Many, many times You gave me chances... but I have constantly been flopping these chances. Oh God! What am I going to do?

Someone said that "Unbelief, then, is the root of all unfaithfulness." And as I think about it... it's true. Because when the Bible tells me to work at whatever I'm doing with all my heart, as working for the Lord... it tells me also that Jesus Himself will reward me.

So if I do not believe that He will reward me in due time for my hard work, then the symptoms will be clear: I become lazy and not willing to work hard even when the going gets tough. In other words, I am not having faith in Him.

Oh God. How am I going to ever going to become a faithful man? It is so deeply ingrained in my nature, this lack of faithfulness. I don't even trust myself to be faithful to myself... the moment I say, I want to be faithful... and when the time of testing come, I betray my own promise to myself. Even to myself.

Wait. What did I say? "I want to be faithful." But I didn't say, "I will be faithful." YA, do you really desire to please God? "Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him." Do you want to commit yourself to being faithful, to put your hand on the plow and not look back?

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Today, Tai Heng and I met up with an old school friend whom we'd not seen in ages. It was a good time of catching up with this old friend.

Thank God... it was an encouraging time. When our friend shared about some problems that he'd experienced at work (namely, not-so-nice colleagues), Tai Heng suddenly turned to me and asked, "Yeu Ann, think you've been through working experience too... so how do you handle this kind of problem at work?"

Whoa! Think it was a God-given opportunity to share more about how my Christian faith helps me in my workplace experience... so dashed a prayer off to God in my heart, thought for a while and Jesus' words came to mind: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you..."

So shared my testimony of how this verse has helped me in my workplace relationships...

And hee, thank God so much, Tai Heng looked terribly impressed, saying, "Hmm, I think that's a very well-thought answer."

(High-five, Daddy! :))

Our Dear Old Friend, in a later part of our chat, reminisced what I was like back during secondary school days, when I would "talk about X-rated stuff", and how I was constantly being laughed at by the others because of my weird mannerisms, and so on.

And then he said these words, "But I can see that ever since you've become a Christian, your Christian faith has benefited you a lot... etc. etc."

Felt very thankful, because this friend of ours is a self-professed atheist. And I said, "Thank GOD." :)

But something that our friend kept on talking about was the injustice that he sees in so many events, whether it be the workplace or the world, and how he has tried so hard to analyse the reason for the human condition, but has failed to find any answers.

It kept on bugging me, especially when I was reading Ravi Zacharias' passage just now. This is what he wrote:
I was asked to speak at the United Nations for their prayer breakfast for a second time, and they gave me a tougher subject than the first one. I was to speak on “Navigating with Absolutes in a Relativistic World”—at 6:30 in the morning! I was asked to do this in twenty-five minutes and given one other requirement: don’t talk much about religion because people from all faiths will be there. I said, “I’ll do it, but on one condition. Eighteen minutes, your talk; seven minutes, why my belief in God answers these questions.” I spoke on the search for absolutes in four areas: evil, justice, love, and forgiveness.

“We all want to define what evil is,” I said. “We have people here calling other nations evil. We all want to know what evil is. You’re a society that’s supposedly looking for justice. You’ve left your families, and you miss them because you love them. And some of you are going to blow it big time with ethics; you hope the rest of your peers are willing to forgive you, and you want to know on what basis. Evil, justice, love and forgiveness.

My friend had been concerned with the problem of evil and the question of justice.

To continue Ravi's words:
They’re all nodding. I said, “I want you to think for a moment. Is there any event in history where these four converged in one place? It happened on a hill called Calvary, where evil, justice, love, and forgiveness converged.”

There was pin drop silence. With five minutes left, I spoke on the cross of Christ and how the cross shows the heart of man, how the cross came because of the justice of God, how the cross demonstrates to us the very love of God, and how we find at the end of the day that without his forgiveness we would never make it. At the end one ambassador confessed, “My country’s atheistic. I don’t even know why I came here. Today I have my answer. I came here to find God.” That is the power of the cross.

Huaqiang gave Tai Heng a printed copy of this article on Sunday - that's how I came to know about this article.

And I am still thinking about what our friend shared with us. I think maybe I should email him the article... will he want to read it? Lord, help us please.

Ravi Zacharias: Our Disappointments Matter to God

Just finished reading this... it's a such a beautiful article.

I want to look at the theme of God as the Grand Weaver. When I was a teenager growing up in Delhi I was really not doing very well. I was failing at everything. For those of you who have read my story in Walking from East to West, you’ll know failure was writ large on my life. My dad basically looked at me and said, “You know, you’re going to be a huge embarrassment to the family—one failure after another.” And he was right given the way I was headed. I just was looking for an escape. I wanted to get out of everything I was setting my hand to, and I lacked discipline.

During this time, India was at war with a neighboring country and the defense academy was looking for pilots to be trained. They were calling them general duties pilots—G.D. pilots. So I applied and I went to be interviewed for this. It was an overnight train journey from the city of Delhi. It was wintertime and it gets quite cold then in the northern part of the country. We were outside freezing in the cold air for about five days as we went through physical endurance tests and all kinds of other tests. There were three hundred applicants; they were going to select ten. On the last day they put their selection of names out on the board, and I was positioned number three.

I phoned my family and said, “You aren’t going to believe this. I’m going to make it. I’m number three. The only thing that’s left is the interview. The psychological testing is tomorrow, and I’ll be home.”

The next morning I began my interview with the chief commanding officer, who looked to me like Churchill sitting across the table. He asked me question after question. Then he leaned forward and said, “Son, I’m going to break your heart today.” I wondered what he was going to say. He continued, “I’m going to reject you. I’m not going to pass you in this test.” “May I ask you why, sir?” I replied. “Yes. Psychologically, you’re not wired to kill. And this job is about killing.”

You know, inside of me I felt that I was on the verge of wanting to prove him wrong right then and there. But I knew better, both for moral reasons and for his size! So I went back to my room and didn’t talk to anybody, packed my bags, got into the train, and arrived in Delhi. My parents and friends were waiting at the platform with garlands and sweets in their hands to congratulate me. No one knew. I thought to myself, “How do I even handle this? Where do I even begin?” They were celebrating, and yet for me, it was all over.

Or so I thought. [continued...]

What is Your Mission in Life?

Read this article, and it's very thought-provoking. Thank God. =)

Had been asking myself today, "What really am I passionate about?" Something that Hanhui asked me a few years ago. That time, I really wasn't sure, but now thank God, I'm more sure now what I like, and what I am passionate about.

It IS a big blessing to know your passion... but an even greater blessing to be a child of God with a passion, because, in Eric Liddell's words, when you do what God made you to do, you "feel His pleasure". =D

I've been thinking. Think one of the passions God has given me is story-telling.

I've always loved telling stories. I really love them. The main reason I started reading the Bible when I was a little kid was because Jesus' stories were so captivating, and not just that - the story of Jesus' life Himself was so enthralling, it made me start wondering, "Who is this Man?"

Tracing back, I realise I always have loved listening to Pastor Johannes' sermons. His stories are very real, and at the same time, excellent. His moving stories never fail to touch my heart - sometimes I have to wipe the tears away from my eyes. And I still remember some of his stories from 10 years ago.

And a story has great power. It has the potential to move hearts. It can encourage souls. It can stir the spirit. My biggest dream is to tell children all over the world beautiful stories. Stories to make them dream too. Stories of worlds yet unknown. Stories to power their imaginations.

And I do feel His pleasure in me when I tell stories. Hee. Thank God for Ruey Fong, Sharon and Shuyi who encouraged me, telling me that I can tell stories very well. And thank God for the children on HopeTots who are willing to listen haha...

So, let's look at the article below, and think together how God can help us translate our natural God-given passions into something that will bear fruit to eternity. :)

1. What is your mission in life?
Christ has commanded us in Matthew 22:37-38 to, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind." Then he added the second greatest commandment: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Therefore, the question becomes "What specifically can I do to serve God and others? The "what" question determines our mission in life. There are literally thousands of "what" things to do for Christ and others. My mission is to help people resolve conflicts within their most important relationships (e.g., spiritual, family, marital, business).

By choosing their own "what" with the purpose of serving others, teens will find a higher degree of motivation in life, and a greater desire to find a school or training institute to start learning the knowledge necessary to serve others skillfully. When a teen's motivation to study in school is low, usually it's because the teen has little or no idea of what he wants to do later in life. Help him choose the serving question (what), and watch him get excited. You'll see a more intense and motivated son or daughter.

The "what" question is not the "how" question. It's very important to choose these two areas separately and in order. The "what" or mission is an over-all theme or broad area like "helping people who are sick." The "How" includes any one of hundreds of ways to get our mission accomplished. If our mission in life is to help people who are sick, the next question will help in choosing the method or specific way of getting our mission accomplished.

2. What method will you use to accomplish your mission? Here is where we get much more specific. Here is also where we choose the type of schooling or specific training we need to accomplish our mission. For example, if our mission is to help people who are suffering physically, we may like to choose any one of many vocations: doctor, dentist, nurse, physical therapist, hospital administrator, pharmacist, or relief worker.

The list can be a mile long. But with a clear mission in our minds, our motivation to find the best place to learn how to get our mission done greatly increases. Our ability to listen and learn increases. Our intensity, our creativity, our enthusiasm for whatever it takes to succeed increases. The joy of serving comes alive with a clear mission and method to accomplish our mission.

Examples of Life-Missions

Helping others with their physical pain …

Helping people find shelter, such as a house, that they will enjoy …

Selling products that protect people's eyes, ears, etc …

Protecting others from world enemies …

Building places for people to live or work, such as homes or offices …

Making products that ease others' load in some way …

Planting food to feed people or selling food …

Designing or creating products that get others where they want to go …

Selling products to maintain a person's house or business …

Bringing others enjoyment and encouragement, like being an actor or speaker …

Helping people figure out how to love and honor each other more.

Encouragement: Oxygen of the Soul

Borrowed this book from Shuyi. (Thanks a lot sis!)

It's indeed an excellent book, and a very practical resource too. Wish I had this book last time, when I was trying to learn how to be a better encourager, to develop this gift of encouragement God has given me.

Shuyi got it from Tecman (if I remember it correctly). But a word: it's pretty localized for the British - it makes references to Scottish slang even. But the principles are timelessly universal of course. :)

Check it out at!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Ah! Such an interesting day today. I was on my way to NUH Dental Centre regarding filling my tooth cavity, when suddenly, I recalled something I did recently.

And I think it was the Holy Spirit pointing out to me, 'cos I didn't really realise that - until I recalled it. Man, was I mortified. Because it was a major boo-boo. Big time boo-boo. Big Boo-Boo with a Capital B. But thank God, it could have been much, much worse, but there for the grace of God go I...

And He so graciously pointed out to me, because I didn't realise it then. But now... whoa. Have you ever blushed in prayer? I think I did.

Asked Him to reassure me, because I felt so scared and insecure about that incident.

Then I reflected. I was frustrated with myself again.

Ah. Frustration #3 for today.

After that, I went into the Dental Centre. I saw the clerk on duty. She, being slightly frazzled, asked me:

"Yes, can I help you?"

"Er... I want to see the dentist." (Pause. What else am I supposed to say? Like, "Oh, I'm here to use the toilet.")

Crisply, she answered, "Ok. Are you feeling any pain?"

"Mmm... nope."

"Ok, I'll put you down for an appointment."

"Er... but I want to go for a walk-in, not an appointment."

"I'm sorry, Sir, but walk-ins are only for emergencies. Like, when you have pain..."

"Oh boy... But I took leave... (trails off into frustrated silence)... it's ok, thanks a lot anyway."

(Darn. Was thinking I should have told her I was feeling pain... 'cos it was feeling a bit painful at times...)

Wah. I was Getting Frustrated. Frustration, Your Honour, presenting Exhibit #4!

But as I left the clinic, ah, I was quite touched actually. 'Cos in all these things God is working for our good. =)

And as that verse from Romans 8 ran again through my mind, I started reciting aloud, "And we know... ", a car passed by. I saw a handsome leather Bible on the dashboard with the gilt-lettered titling "The Holy Bible". So visually arresting. :)

Surprised, I wondered, what in the world does that coincidence mean? Is God trying to tell me something here?

Asked God. And don't know whether it was me or Him - but just felt I should recall Romans 8 fully. So started reciting longer... and oh!
"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written,
"For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered."

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

All day long I must face troubles, frustrations and even danger from time to time... and as long as there's sin in this world, we will face obstacles and difficulties. "In this world you will have trouble..." But we shall not be overcome by any of these - how can anything separate us from the love of Christ? If He loved us enough to die for us when we were hell-bent sinners, how much more, now that we are His precious sons and daughters?

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

Shall I let myself, then, become frustrated and discouraged, when I face troubles, even of my own doing? Shall I be insecure of His steadfast love for me?
"Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies.
Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us."

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

I'm just so touched by God's love to me, a sinner. =) Hee... sometimes life is so simple, really, when you choose to let you be you and God be God. =)
Wow... thank You Lord for Your faithfulness to me. :)

Actually, it's still not a very pleasant feeling, still, but looking at it through the eyes of Romans 8, that in all things You work for our good, it's actually very funny!

(Haha... think i'll be able to laugh about it in, say, a few decades later. :P)

'Cos this morning, when I prayed Lord, help me grow me in this area of not becoming frustrated, to be more self-controlled... in other words, to "do everything without arguing or complaining"... I knew You'd pop a surprise test on me, since that is usually how You work in Your ppl... You put them through tests.

And yes, I did get a test today. what happened today was that one of my colleagues asked me to send him some necessary data for some stuff. So I sent what I thought was enough. But my team leader, who was in the loop, scolded me privately via email that I needed to supply more data, and put it in the correct format.

So I apologised, and re-sent the data.

His first word in his reply: "Alamak..."

After that, he ended with, "Look... Get this done once and for all. Stop going through back and forth for these minor issues. It’s distracting and waste of time."

Felt quite... frustrated. With myself again. That i'd not met his expectations. And was starting to complain again to God about this...

And to make matters worse, as I tried to get the necessary data from my laptop, I accidentally spilt my cup of tea on my desk. Stunned...

Then a light dawned upon me.

Actually, God was answering my prayer this morning. And He was purposely putting me through this test to see how I would respond. Hee, thank God so much... to be honest, wanted to reply back to my team leader to explain... but this verse stopped me: "Do everything without arguing or complaining..."

As though my Lord were looking at me, with a raised eyebrow, and saying, "Mmm... remember what my Word says about this, my son?"

Whoa. Upon further thought, the fact is, I made a mistake, and it's my mistake... and he's stressed right now, and besides, this IS a very minor issue. And fact is, we all make mistakes from time to time despite our best efforts. So just learn from it and move on.

So in the end, just didn't reply or even complain... (I hope! :P) oh. wait. yeah, i was frustrated still, but didn't show it (i hope again!), until they all left the office for lunch, whereupon I threw my now-empty cup in frustration into the bin.

But! Now as I type this, I really want to thank God. 'cos this really must be a test from Him... and He will not test me beyond what I can bear... thank God so much that the tea spilt on the desk and NOT on my laptop (i really don't know what i would have done!), and that it was a very minor admin issue.

Hee! Thank God for this test... this reassures me a lot. So that's the first test... I hope I've passed it in His eyes... Tougher tests are to come, I know... but Jesus is faithful, the Bible tells me so! so i won't be afraid, i won't be dismayed, for Jesus cares for me! amen!

Ah. To be honest, I immediately hear many voices of other people telling me that you could have done this, done that, done better, and feel my spirit wilting, 'cos I feel condemned inside. But that's my natural tendency, to want to please as many people as possible.

Hmm. I'm still feeling confused. Find it hard to separate what I do from my inherent value as a person. But these words of a dear friend encourage me to find refuge in Him: "What a relief it is to know that when there are times you can't be all that the world wants you to be, but you can run to Him and throw yourself into His arms, just as you are."

Oh! Here's the actual words: "There are times when you just can't be the perfect person the world expects you to be, and it's just a sense of enormous relief, when you finally let go of the pretense you're struggling to put up, and bury yourself in His arms once again."

=) Different grammar, different arrangement... but same spirit I think. :)

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Today a dear bro gave me some feedback over breakfast. That feedback was that I tend to get frustrated very, very easily, and have a tendency to whine/complain. He said that I need to control my expressions of frustration, and/or not get frustrated in the first place.

To be honest, I had a hard time accepting that, because I felt my complaints were not really complaints. How could it be that I would be complaining over the littlest things?

But God has a great sense of humour. I went and ordered two buns, one chicken bun and one red bean bun. But the staff got my order wrong, and instead of my red bean bun, I got a char siew bun.

When I bit into the bun, I saw its true contents, and at once, started exclaiming, "Wah! I ordered one red bean bun, but they gave me char siew instead... argh!"

Then it dawned upon me. I was already complaining so fast! My friend looked calmly at me and nodded his head, as if to say, "Yup, I rest my case."

Went back home and thought about it, and yes, it's so true. As I was praying, asking God to help me change in this area, a lot of memories came back to mind. It was as if the Holy Spirit was showing me in "instant-replay-mode" all the cases where my frustration affected other people, and specific examples of my frustration coming into full play.

And I realised something about my character. I lack determination. The moment I face a problem or obstacle, I immediately become very frustrated and start complaining. Or as my brother put it (tenderly), "You lack steel."

And this bro pointed out to me that I have even been complaining and whining during caregroup events, etc... or more precisely, sulking. He asked me, "How would your visitors feel? Would they want to come back again?"

And more to the point, he continued, "What if you're surrounded by many people all joking and laughing, and you can't understand their language/their joke?"

Ahh, I see. :P

Then God followed it up with a beautiful verse (that I want to make it my verse for 2008):
Philippians 2:14-15
"Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe..."

At this junction, I know it's critical for me to repent of this sin ASAP, because a complaining spirit, in God's eyes, is not pleasing to Him at all. And according to the Bible, it's, to be frank, filthy speech in His eyes. Was He not angry with the Israelites who complained in the desert? And did not their bodies fall in the desert?

I remember there's this sermon last year that the pastor gave on Colossians 3:8... "But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips." What is filthy language? I thought it was the "F"-word... but it turns out that true filthy language, in God's eyes, is actually negative, complaining, pessimistic, hateful, obscene, ungrateful, hurtful speech. That is true filth in His eyes.

*sober thought*
I now think about how much I've lost because of my complaining spirit... back in NUS ministry... and... *never mind*
YA, let's forget what lies behind, and thank Him for His mercy and grace. And move on to the new things He's called you to. That He gives me another chance to start anew.
Isaiah 1:18
"Come now, let us reason together," says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.

Thank God for friends who are very positive and have a constant spirit of thanksgiving. If you have friends like these, treasure them like you would guard a ton of gold, for they are worth much more than that.

So, dear friend, if you see me start complaining about something, being sulky and negative/pessimistic, help correct me. As for me, haha, no question about what's my New Year's resolution going to be!

To be joyful always,
pray continually,
give thanks to God in ALL circumstances...
no matter how difficult.

I want to breakthrough in a merry spirit, a joyful countenance, and a thankful heart! :D Hee! THANK GOD SO MUCH... hahaha... now I realise what He's been trying to tell me all these years... It is really true that in all things He works for our good! Hallelujah!

Thank God so much for this dear friend's timely feedback!