Monday, April 28, 2008

Dear Lord I still have strong feelings of inadequacy in all these things and situations tat You put me in.
But feel very grateful to God for Eph 3:8... because whenever memories of my failures and inadequacies come to mind (and they come almost every day)... this verse never fails to come to mind, like a powerful wind blowing away all my anxiety:

Ephesians 3:8
"Although I am less than the least of all God's people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ..."

Amazing! Grace that blows all fears away! :D This verse gives me a strong, sweet and secure hope that He can use even someone like me - less than the least of all God's people! Hallelujah! God is indeed so great, so powerful... who can stand before Him? who can comprehend His infinite wisdom? Who can fathom the depths of His love? He is beautiful beyond description indeed, too marvellous for words! :D

So, Father, let these daily feelings of inadequacy make me put my hope in You even more. Thank You for what Jason shared with me last Sat... tt he also finds himself constantly put into situations, be it work or ministry or life in general, tt he doesn't feel confident... but he said it's a good thing, because it helps him depend on God even more.

Let me idiotically put my faith in You, for You are the only wise God who turns idiots into wise men (and vice-versa). :D

Be glorified in my weaknesses, Daddy, and show Yourself strong.

And in my eyes, and in my song, be magnified, O Lord.
Be magnified, O Lord
You are highly exalted
And there is nothing You cannot do
O Lord, my eyes are upon You...

In Jesus' beautifully big name, amen. :D
Now having my quiet time with God in McDonalds... thank God that I have hearing aids tt i can turn off... so it literally becomes a 'quiet time'... =)

Was reading Proverbs 4, and trying to make sense of it... wat is God speaking to me through this passage?

So used the passage as a 'mirror' onto my life as it is right now... prayed and asked God what areas of my life does He want to hilight... or just anything lah.

Thank God for Dehua's teaching on how to do inductive bible study... one very useful principle for me was to see what is the overall picture of the passage... so applied this principle to Prov 4, with prayer too...

So after studying Prov 4, realised it's on the importance of wisdom... the heading "Wisdom is supreme" essentially sums up the overall picture of the passage.

Then thank God, while I was using that overall picture as a 'mirror' to reflect on my life and my ways... He strongly impressed on my heart that while i'm going through a period where as i'm serving Him in a more challenging capacity... and feel increasingly inadequate, He told me that yes, He knows how I feel. But He brought to my attention Prov 4:7...
"Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it costs all you have, get understanding."

Think God is speaking to me clearly through this passage that it's not just about serving Him, but He also desires me to grow in wisdom too. And these challenging situations are part of His ways to teach me more wisdom. But He told me that I must keep on putting in all my best efforts, my energy, my time to study, review, reflect, evaluate and make sense of the experiences that I go thru daily.

It is confirmed going to be very hard work... harder even more after a long day's work when I don't feel like reflecting on my experiences or studying the Bible or praying... but God tells me that though it costs me all my energy, all my strength.. all my money (e.g. spending it on good books or workshops or seminars or even taxi rides after staying longer to discuss with my shepherd...) or time... or my pride... whatever else... get wisdom no matter how much it costs me personally!

anyway, it's good to sell off my pride to get wisdom...

God to me: "Surrender your pride. Deal or no deal?" :D

Because the wisdom tt He gives has so much benefit, both tangible and intangible, tt it's simply idiotic not to get this divine bargain.

Then I asked God, "How to get wisdom?"

And immediately, my eyes fell upon verse 10: "Listen, my son..." Ah! God is telling me: "Listen! That is the way to start getting wisdom. Just open your ears to listen to what I have to say."
"Listen, my son, accept what I say,
and the years of your life will be many.
I guide you in the way of wisdom
and lead you along straight paths."

What I learnt from this passage is that in order to get wisdom, God wants me to:
1. Listen to what He says
2. Accept what He says.

Also, I learnt that He hasn't left us alone to go and find wisdom... He is a good Father, and He has been actively guiding me in the way of wisdom and leading me.

As I pondered on this verse, I remembered my past 10 years as a Christian, and realised that yes, it's very true, God has been faithfully guiding me in the way of wisdom and leading me along straight paths. There were so many paths where I could have slipped and fallen off or fallen away, yet He was so kind to me.

And esp the period when I was looking for a job... I really thank God for Peter who taught me a lot of lifeskills and things to consider, both in what to look for in a job, and also the bigger purpose and direction tt a man should take in life. And hee, I'm enjoying some of the fruits of the wisdom that he's imparted to me... it really encourages me to work even harder to get more wisdom.

'Cos the Wisdom tt comes from God is a wonderful asset... it never depreciates in value... it always compounds, always appreciates! :D

So one application tt i want to put into practice... hmm...
I think for me I have to grow in desiring wisdom. That means praying constantly to God for more wisdom, and listening carefully to what I observe and receive from others...
Also, to practice daily using God's word to help me make sense of my experiences. This must be trained, and training is not easy - it's hard work and probably will give me a headache at first. Haha! But yah, Lord, I think i see the value in this. Hmm. I want to grow in wisdom, to be a wise man, a wise worker, and even a wise husband and father in future (if it's Your will for me LOL). In the wise name of Jesus, amen!
Thank You Lord for Your precious help. Finally finished the SQL Server 2005 config... and glory to You Lord! It works... LOL...

Sunday, April 27, 2008

MojoPac: A Dead Simple Way To Make Windows XP Portable

"Carry data files and your applications (such as Outlook, games, IMs) on a USB storage device or iPod.

Run them on any PC - at home or at work.
Don't lug your laptop around."

My colleague used MojoPac last week to do a software demo on a laptop to present to a client. It worked great. :D Best of all, no worries about possible software config problems across different machines.

Saturday, April 26, 2008


Thank God for the things that have happened recently. As I had shared with Huichun over dinner, God has been really, really good to me, when I step back and look from the macro-view. To see how He has been hearing my prayers and even perseverance over the past half of the year.

But I must confess that right now, here at the ground level of life, now that I'm serving more in ministry and taking care of people even more, and even in work, I feel very stretched, to be honest.

It's very touching to see how God has been protecting me here and there - he's put me into a really great team in my company, where we readily look out for one another and help one another. And where the older members'll actually take the initiative to share their insights, past experiences with us younger ones. It isn't often that you'll see this kind of camaderie in the working world. But that is how I know God has been protecting me, "hemming me in before and after with his hand". Because politics in the workplace out there is real, just as real as the wars I read about in the news.

Hmm. Also, just feeling an ache in my heart. To reconnect to God, and more importantly, to put more eagerly His words into practice. I was very touched by Tracy's testimony yesterday in unit 242. It was her childlike faith and eagerness to put what she had learnt into practice from the previous unit 242, and how she experienced the fruit that came from changing her mindset.

It puts that "pearly ache" in my heart to want to practice immediately what God has taught me from the Bible. Even the Lord Jesus himself said so: "Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them."

I remember the joy when Ps Jo shared with us about praying in faith, and I put that sermon into practice, and I saw how real God is, answering my prayers here and there. To touch His reality, to see His wonders... to know that God is equally real in today's era as in the days of the Exodus and the early church.


I want to live life on His terms. To love Him more, to love people more. So stretch me Lord, and sweeten my soul. In Jesus' name amen.
2 Corinthians 4
7But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. 12So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Had a very good dinner with Huichun today. It was a good time of catching up with her, and after that, Weizhu dropped by after his work to join us. Feel very blessed to see this wonderful couple serving God together. =D

Also had a little tiff with a very dear friend as well today. It was about a minor thing, but I felt hurt by what he/she said. But we shared how we felt about the incident, and thank God, it became more than just a matter of letting me know something... it was a good opportunity to understand the different viewpoints of a thinking person and a feeling person.

Ok. Maybe I should list out the incident in full details (and to be honest, it's uncomfortable for me to recount this, but hope those who know me better will suspend their judgement and just try to understand where I'm coming from).

And more than that - this pattern that you see in me is, I believe, common - to a greater or lesser degree - in 'feeling-based' people.

So if you are a rational thinking kind of person, I think what I share here may be helpful to you in connecting and giving feedback to your more emotional/feeling-based friends.

I have a bad habit - when I'm especially hungry, and if a closer friend is having his/her meal... I will start eyeing his/her food and eventually ask the other person whether I can have a bite of his/her food.

Yeah. I confess. It's not right. It's wrong. So forgive me and remind me whenever I lapse into this sin. It's a sin, 'cos I'm coveting my neighbour's food (the 10th Commandment).

So, this friend was concerned, wondering if I do this kind of thing in front of other people, like my colleagues. He/she told me, "Don't do that in front of other people... I'm ok with this but don't do it in front of others!"

I was shocked by his words.

(And wondered why I felt so shocked by what my friend said.)

And hurt.

(Why in the world did I feel hurt by what my friend had said?)

So discussed with this friend, and we shared how we saw the whole thing.

The reason I felt hurt by what my friend had said was because... in a way, it was because I did what I did in front of my friend, because he/she is closer to me.

A similar incident happened over MSN recently, when I was chatting with another friend. To express my excitement, and also because this friend is a closer friend, I decided to just let my emotions hang loose at that point, and type in ALL CAPS!!!

And my other friend said, "Uh... don't do that in front of others. You know what typing in caps mean?"

Was, to be honest, quite offended when my other friend typed that.

So introspecting, what was the reason that I felt hurt when these two friends, sincere though they were, said what they had said?

As my friend had exclaimed, "If you keep feeling hurt when I give you feedback, then how can I ever give you feedback?"

I replied, "No, it's not the feedback that hurts... what hurts is that I feel that you should have known me enough by now to know that I wouldn't do such a thing in front of my colleagues or people who don't know me that well!"

And in my mind, I was thinking: Why do you doubt me? Don't you know me, even after so long?

Oh man. That kinda sounds like what Jesus said to Philip during the Last Supper.

In other words, when I chose to do what I did in front of my close friend, I had an additional implicit layer of expectation that my close friend should have trusted me and at the least, understood why I did what I did.

I guess a lot of you are going to jump up here and say, "Now that is UNREALISTIC!"

Of course my implicit expectation IS unrealistic. I'm aware of that, friend, and I'm speaking from the viewpoint of a feeling-based person. And let's face it - feeling-based people can be unrealistic AND seemingly irrational at times. But there IS a reason to their "irrationality" - even though that reason may not always be sound or logical.

And personally, I believe it's important to know what that underlying reason is, especially when trying to correct or counsel an emotional person. Of course we shouldn't neglect to treat the symptoms too, but we must deal with the underlying mindset that is causing this symptom to appear first. "First wash the inside of the cup, and then the outside will be clean."

I observed this pattern also in another dear friend, S, who has a personality that is highly similar to mine - S was given feedback similar to what I had received, and S also felt hurt and misunderstood. So hee, think I'm not alone in this kind of feeling. And just to add, S is a more mature and wiser Christian than me, so it's not merely a matter of being 'spiritual' - feelings are a naturally very strong component of who we are.

But yeah, it's not that we don't appreciate this kind of correction. We do need it, and we really treasure the heart behind it. It's just that ... I think... the way to give us feeling-based people effective correction is not to say:
"Don't do this! or Don't do that!"

'Cos we do have underlying reasons for why we do this and that. But maybe it would help if you could tell us: "I'm worried... do you do this kind of thing in front of others?" Or, "Hey! I'm really uncomfortable with what you're doing..."

Such correction do come across to us as more relational and more reassuring, especially since the care and sincerity are so much more strongly communicated to us recipients.

Compare it to the imperious-sounding tone of the "Don't do this! Don't do that!" statement, which leaves us, at best, feeling exasperated, or at worst, becoming embittered.

Just a thought. Maybe that is why faith in God is pleasing to Him, and why doubting God is really offensive to Him.

Not faith or doubt regarding His existence, but for us Christians, faith in who He says He is.

I think there's this writer who says that it would be better to say that there is no God than to say that He exists, but to make Him out to be an unlovely, deformed God.

Better to say that He doesn't exist than to say He exists, but He's not perfect.

But even better to believe that He exists, and not just so, He is GOOD, even if everything else seems to say that He is not.

For that is really faith in who He is, His very character.

Because from my own personal experience, it really hurts me deeply when people doubt my abilities, or even worse, doubt my character. And that is even when they do have a sound basis for doubting!

How much more deeply then do our doubts hurts God, when we, His very own children, doubt His perfect goodness... even after He's already proven once for all His perfect love for us by sending His one and only Son down to die for us!

Psalm 78
18 They willfully put God to the test
by demanding the food they craved.

19 They spoke against God, saying,
"Can God spread a table in the desert?

20 When he struck the rock, water gushed out,
and streams flowed abundantly.
But can he also give us food?
Can he supply meat for his people?"

21 When the LORD heard them, he was very angry;
his fire broke out against Jacob,
and his wrath rose against Israel,

22 for they did not believe in God
or trust in his deliverance.


40 How often they rebelled against him in the desert
and grieved him in the wasteland!

41 Again and again they put God to the test;
they vexed the Holy One of Israel.

May we thus have a faith, a trust in God, like that of Job, who possibly made the greatest confession of faith in the very goodness of God:
Job 13:15a
Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him...

Men & Christian Friendship: It Won't Just Happen on its Own

Men, especially us hard-working, married-with-children types, are lacking in close biblical friendships. The reasons are varied and several, and it's not my intent in this space to present or solve them all. Suffice to say that most men I talk with vouch for the lack of friends in their life, even if they speak of different reasons for the condition. [read more...]

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Joie de vivre

Just came back from a good time of fellowship with Edmund, Zhiyong, Tracy and Shuhui. Actually, we were meeting up to discuss the unit bash event coming up next month, but we also chatted and shared...

Just really want to thank God for all the joy of serving Him. I realised that I felt a certain kind of delight, just seeing how He'd changed me in so many ways... that I can now be more assured, more confident in interacting with others... an increased sense of situational awareness... increased sensitivity, increased love, increased care and concern for others... increase in maturity in more and more areas of my life...

Shared about all these delights that I was feeling to God while walking back home. And also was thinking - ah! I'm taking delight in all these things that I think I'm becoming... but is it pride here? Yet, to be honest, I don't think it's pride, especially because I can see that all these things that I'm growing in are not my normal strengths, but I take delight in them, because I see how You have been working in my life over all these years. Of how You have been steadily working, shaping and transforming my life... my heart... my mind... my soul... my strength...

So I suddenly exclaimed to You, "I... I ... Lord, help me but I really do feel very thankful, very happy... I praise You because I'm fearfully and wonderfully made - Your works are wonderful, I know that full well!"

And while praying, I also confessed to You the subtle pride that I had during the meeting, the times that I found myself saying things in a better way... and of course, You know how pride can so easily creep into my heart here and there. Like how yesterday, one of my colleagues had commented positively on the merits of a technical idea that I had brought up last week. And You know how I took credit for that instead of looking for a way to give glory to You, to thank You... or even to affirm my colleague instead. And that was my pride there and there again.

But thank You for being so merciful to me, Lord. That You reminded me with this verse from Proverbs: "The furnace for gold, the crucible for silver, but man is tested by the praise that he receives."

But yeah! It struck me that in serving You... the more enthusiastically, the more excitedly, the more energetically we start serving You, we'll discover one thing about this:

That we get to see more of our selves, both the beautiful and the ugly sides.

The beautiful side, because as we go through more opportunities to serve You and Your people, and also to struggle through, the more "muscles" we'll see on ourselves, and the more we see our Christlike characters starting to form and take shape.

The ugly side, because You'll expose more and more of our dark sides, the damage wrought by sin in our souls... we'll see more and more of our sinful nature being exposed, that lie we never thought we'd tell, that hurtful word we thought we'd never say, that subtle touch we thought we'd never do, that prideful air we thought we'd never put on...

All exposed in the light, as we come out more and more into the unfailing light of Your holiness.
Ephesians 5:12-14
For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said: "Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you."
But yeah! It's that transformation process, the morphing, that is so beautiful.

A picture came to mind:
Like Michaelangelo shaping his statue of David from an ordinary chunk of marble, so You too shape our souls into the likeness of Your Son, Jesus Christ.

From this...

... to this! :)

Like a sculptor, You use all our experiences in ministry to chip and shape, whittle and chisel, and sheen and shine our souls.

So just feel very glad to see how You are working in our lives.

Tee hee!

Oh! Just want to say thank You too for Psalm 139. I had taken out my Bible and read it while walking back home, 'cos was thinking about what I had said, "I am fearfully and wonderfully made..."

And just read it through. Yah! It's such a joy seeing how as we run the race You've called us to run, we see how our old flesh melts away in the light, and the new shimmering muscles and sinews that You transform our lowly bodies into. To see how our old ways of thinking - of insecurity, of jealously, of pettiness, of malice... and so on - all become changed into the mind of Christ.

A mind that thinks lovely thoughts of others, seeks to understand, to love, heal and forgive, thoughts of truth and mercy, thoughts of righteousness and justice... thoughts of what is noble, thoughts of purity and loveliness, admirable and excellent thoughts indeed.

Psalm 139
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.

14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

17 How precious to [b] me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!

18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand.
When I awake,
I am still with you.

And King David, who wrote this psalm, knew that even as he was beautifully and tenderly made by God, knew that he was still a work-in-progress. And so he prayed this conclusion:
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.

24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.

So was thinking about King David. My NIV study Bible describes him as a man who really lived life all the way for his God - both in his triumphs and failures. And God called him a man after His own heart.

I want to live fully for You, Lord. Never being afraid to step out of the boat, even if it means walking on water - as long as I can take one step nearer to You, my God. Never being afraid to throw myself fully into serving You, even if it means that more of my weaknesses will be tested. And never being afraid to throw myself fully into the church, the fellowship - even if it means that more of my fallenness will be exposed.

For You have come that we may have life, and have it overflowing. Joie de vivre.
I want You more than gold or silver
Only You can satisfy
You alone are the real Joy-giver
And the apple of my eye

Because You are Lord, my God...


Churches fear Zimbabwe 'genocide'

Church leaders in Zimbabwe have called for international action to prevent post-election violence developing into genocidal proportions. [read more...]
Let's pray for our brothers and sisters in Zimbabwe, and pray for a peaceful resolution to the country's staggering economic crisis, and the electoral crisis. Let's pray that another Kenya doesn't arise in Zimbabwe, but that the churches in Zimbabwe will rise up to take on the responsibility to be God's peacemakers in this time of crisis...

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Hee! Thank God for today.

Met Jonathan in the morning over breakfast at City Hall Starbucks. Really good time catching up with this dear bro.

Then decided to go to St. Andrew's Cathedral to have my quiet time. Dropped by the Welcome/Visitor's Centre to take a closer look at a pamphlet I saw, and ended up being guided around the Cathedral by a sister in Christ (her name's Joan Choo), being given a comprehensive brief history. Whoa. So cool! Very blessed by her warmth and hospitality.

And she also shared with me how God gave a vision to her church during a Love Singapore prayer meet a few years ago, that He'd make a way for the church to build another sanctuary since the church had the (happy) problem of too many people trying to squeeze into a tiny sanctuary that could seat only 600 people. The vision was that of people going up from the underground into the church. Odd vision, to be sure, but in due time, the prophecy came true, and SMRT offered the St. Andrew's church the use of some of the surface ground (since SMRT had to use some of the church's underground grounds) - which was enough to build an additional chapel and a visitor's centre.

So blessed to see how the Lord is working in the churches of our fellow brothers and sisters, no matter how big or how small, to impact every sector, every corner of the world!

To be honest, I was telling God that how I wish my own church had a nice building right smack in the middle of City Hall, like St. Andrew's has... to reach out to the people around us! But think God reminded me that He's already given my church a very strategic position right smack in the middle of Orchard Road... to be a nexus to impact people all over Singapore... in fact, He's coordinating and strategising the different churches in Singapore to impact and touch different areas of our society, and ultimately, the world too.

So was very awed to see how God is working out His Masterplan to redeem and transform the world. The question is, do you and I want to join Him in His Masterplan too?
Isaiah 6:8
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?"
And I said, "Here am I. Send me!"

(Oh. That reminds me. I never got to read that pamphlet after all. LOL)

Then went for the second session of the Parenting 123! Course. The instructor, Janette, again enthralled us with her highly animated and yet also highly practical stories about how to take care of children. It's so interesting! And also very blessed - I shared with her about my church's children ministry and whether she has any courses that will be relevant to meet the needs of the children... she offered to conduct a FREE workshop for us!

I went, "What? Whoa!"

She said, "Don't worry... if it's for the Lord's work, I'll do it for free! Just pass around a love offering, that's all."

I was so touched and super-encouraged by her servant heart. This sister is a shining example that no matter how old or how young you are, whether you are a freshman or a mother of three kids - as long as your heart is willing to be used by the Lord, He can use YOU to impact an entire generation of people! People from every nation, every tribe, every people and every language!

This encourages me very much, 'cos something I learnt is that true spirituality is timeless. It is ageless. God really doesn't care in a sense how fast or how slow we grow... whether we serve in huge roles or small roles... what He really desires is a humble heart that is willing to GROW.
No matter where we stand,
As long as we repent,
He will lend us His hand.
And use us to bless this land!

Gosh. Read Lois' blog and was blessed to read about the Geylang ministry where they go to share God's love to the poor/sick people... think something like that. And to be honest, I feel an increasing stirring in my heart.

I'm asking God - where do You want to send me? I know You've called me to children's ministry... but erm, specifically what area of children's ministry? To minister to orphans? Or to feed hungry families? Or to educate children? Or to disciple children within the church? Or what?

There's so many things here. But one thing I really want to thank God Almighty for is that He is able to do far more than all we could ask or even dare to dream of. Amen!

Hee! Feel so much more refreshed after sharing my hopes and dreams in this entry. What a change - I was feeling so tired, didn't feel like blogging to share... But I do believe it's important to share our faith actively and consistently and faithfully 'cos it also helps ourselves too to have a full understanding of what our spiritual inheritance is.

Philemon 6
I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.

Seriously, our spiritual inheritance in Christ is really, really, really amazingly rich. I've discovered for myself, encouraged on by the testimonies and sermons that my dear pastors and leaders have preached and shared... that we serve a really great and amazing God. Faith that can move mountains... heal the sick... using every single possible opportunity (by God's grace) to exercise faith and pray for God to move... and I've seen Him respond every single time. It's so amazing, so encouraging, so exciting!

Not just so... I've been reading the Old Testament, reading about the lives of Elijah and Elisha... and something I realise was that if God worked with such decisive power and certainty even in the days of the Old Testament... how much more will He work even more abundantly in these days of the New Testament!

I really do believe that these are the last days, and God has already poured out His Spirit unto all people. Sons and daughters, young and old, men and women... He has poured out His Spirit, and even though we can't comprehend or fully grasp the magnitude of what He is doing, rest assured that He is very actively working in the hearts of millions even now all over the world even as I type these very words. The last trumpet is going to sound, and all the dead will hear, and very soon, the Lord Jesus Himself will return. Whether it's tomorrow or a thousand years from now... but yes, He IS coming back.

And we have to share in His burden for the lost. Whether rich or poor, wise or foolish... everyone has a need that nothing in this world can ever be met. And that is why God sent a Saviour.

It doesn't matter if you're a bed-ridden believer or a sprinting sportsman... As long as you have the heart, and you're willing to start... and as long as you're willing to obey God fully... then throw yourselves into His hands and see what He can do with you!

:D Just want to encourage whoever's reading this to take heart, and to ask God to use him/her as He pleases... He will most certainly use you in one way or another, as long as you are willing!
I have a destiny I know I shall fulfill
I have a destiny in that City on a hill
I have a destiny it's not an empty wish
For I know I was born for such a time as this!

Discovering More of His Destiny

From Andrew's blog:
Lately, I have been led to pray even more as I learnt that prayer does wet one’s appetite for God’s presence and will in one’s life.

One’s spiritual hunger will always lead him/her to a prayerful life.

There must be more than this

For some time, I’ve realised that I have been hitting a plateau with my walk with God. This has caused a deep dissatisfaction within me.

“There must be more than this!”

“There must be more of God that I have yet experienced!”

“Teach me Lord how I can really live my faith and life with more of Your power whether it is in my workplace; in my bedroom; in church; with my friends or family!”

I know for a certain that there just have to more than this cos my God is a BIG God. [read more...]
Saw this on Xinying's blog:
Was searching online for information about sheep and saw this prominent website:) I think it's very interesting. haha. particularly check out the section on Smart Sheep, why do sheep follow each other and how sheep protect themselves.. lol.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

For He Is Good

Just came back from a good, long dinner at Plaza Singapura's Cafe Cartel with Robert. :D Over a good satisfying meal, we had a great time talking abt how things are going on in our lives, our work and even abt BGR too haha. In fact, BGR occupied abt 60% to 70% of our chat...

Of course we talked abt other things. Robert gave me some very good advice about caring for the people God has entrusted to our care... really thank God for his advice! :D

Anyway, this post is a response to Bert saying that I've not been blogging for quite a while. True! 'Cos work... and ministry... oh dear. In fact, not much time to sit and contemplate about life, and about God's goodness. Especially when things are going well, I think one is less likely to contemplate in a way. :P

But Bert told me also about a friend of ours who had renounced Christ. It brought great sadness to me when I heard that, and for a moment I was really shocked. To be honest, I was stunned enough that I had to close my eyes and pray at the table there and then, to pray for God's protection and mercy.

Hee. But thank God for his answering my prayer earlier before the catch-up, that we'd mutually encourage one another. And yah, both of us were very encouraged... tee hee! So glad to hear about how Robert and Melissa are not being inward-looking in their relationship, but they use their relationship to bless and help other couples draw even closer. Wow. Just feel very encouraged to see how God is glorified in these relationships, where Christ is honoured.

And that's one thing that Robert said, that struck me, when he told me this about the inevitable conflicts in a relationship: "I have good news and bad news for you. Which one do you want first?"

"Eh? ... Bad news first. Haha!"

"Ok. Conflicts in a BGR will surely go from bad to worse."


"The good thing is, as long as God is the centre, the focus, for the two of you in your relationship, he will draw the two of you closer together." (forgive me Bert, if I heard u wrongly!)

"Oh! That's very encouraging. :D"

Yeah! And that's really the desire of my heart, that I really want Christ to be Lord. Lord over my work, Lord over my family, Lord over my personal desires, Lord over my relationships, Lord over my passions, Lord over my pains... Lord over my calling and Lord over my destiny. Lord over the nations, Lord over the earth! I want Him to be totally Lord over every single thing in my life. Amen! :D

Freedom comes, when I call You Lord
You are Lord, My God...

Ok! Just want to thank God too... for the joy that I am having in my work. Really want to thank God for His faithfulness, for His answering my prayers for His peace and blessings to be upon my colleagues and upon our work... and also for the joy of learning how to configure and deploy Microsoft SQL Server 2005... it was ultra-complex, but thank God, just finished a big hurdle in understanding it. Excited, because database administration is a very useful skill that can add value, not only to my skills set, but also to the church, to whatever IT-related social work I plan to do next time. :D

Looking back at all these blessings, I was thinking about what I read in the Psalms recently...

Psalm 118:1
"Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
his love endures forever."

This simple (and for me, oft-overlooked) verse caught my eye as I was reading it on the bus home today. And I thought about whether I'd remain faithful to Him, and whether there will be times that I will be strongly tempted to doubt God's reality, and even His goodness... Esp after hearing about our friend who renounced Christ, which set me thinking, "Would I too? Could I?" And Peter's three-time denial of Christ came to mind.

But in the midst of all these worries, this verse spoke gently to me, reminding me to thank God for all the good things that have happened to me recently. "Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good... his love endures forever."

And oh, it touched me very much again. Yet another sunshine verse, Scripture that speaks sunshine to my soul. :D

His love is warmer than the warmest sunshine
Softer than a sigh

And I just remembered... earlier on, on my way to meet Bert for dinner, I had been thinking about how much Jesus has changed my life, and what could have happened to me if I hadn't asked Him into my life so many years ago. And when I thought abt the magnitude of his grace and salvation to me, the things that I've been saved from... my heart was overwhelmed with awe, and I gave thanks to Jesus Christ for being my Saviour.

Saviour. What a sweet sound, such a wonderful word. It is the sweetest sound that I think anyone can ever, ever, ever hear on this side of eternity. And to think that he actually forgave all my sins! How can I ever stop thanking Him who saved me from all my sins? :)

He can move the mountains
My God is mighty to save
The Author of salvation
Jesus conquered the grave...

We may fail... but Jesus never fails. :D

Oh, just thinking about His goodness makes me cry. :D God really is good, no matter what happens, no matter how we feel, no matter if heaven quakes and earth shakes, no matter if crops fail, no matter if mountains collapse, no matter if war breaks out, no matter if even we die... His love never ceases.

Life is not always easy, but God is always good. :D


Saturday, April 12, 2008

His Gentle Silence

Thank God so much for His unfailing love. And for the wonderful encounters today and the time of fellowship (both yesterday and today).

I went to the Planetshakers concert last night, and after that, Sharon and I went with Sarah's CG to Changi Airport, where we stayed overnight at Terminal 3's Coffee Bean. It was really great - Sarah, Sharon, Samantha, Sheralyn, Joy, Edmund, Peter and I were there. Peter and I had brought our laptops and power adaptors along, so we happily set up our computers and did our ministry work, while the others chatted till most of them dozed off.

And lol, Peter and I at our laptops, staying overnight, just like uni days at the canteen a few years ago. We were reminiscing about it - the times he, Flince and me were at the canteen. Haha!

Anyway, realised that for us bros, we really do enjoy times when we do an activity together, be it soccer, or DOTA, or just watching YouTube together or doing ministry stuff. Great bro bonding there too.

So after that, we went back home at the break of day, and I slept till 1.15 pm. Whoa! I dashed off for my Parenting 123! class, and it was great, honestly. The instructor, Janette, a freelance instructor working together with Fei Yue Community Services, really knows her stuff, and not just that - she is an excellent teacher. Turns out she was a principal before. And during the break, she shared with us her testimony of how God led her and her family to Cambodia for both community care and missions work. It was truly very, very encouraging - especially when she shared how God showed her a very vivid vision of a particular room, with some angels in there. Of course, she was stunned, but when she finally went to Cambodia, she went into a certain room, and to her absolute amazement and joy, the room was in exactly the same arrangement as she saw in her vision! Somehow, the room, to her, was unusually bright, but for her son and daughter who came in with her... she was exclaiming to them, "There are angels in the room!" Her son said, "Angels? I don't see any angels..." and her daughter said, "Angels?! Where? Where?" (haha interesting gender differences here)

And I think her testimony is highly credible, because she certainly doesn't seem to be the kind who gets carried away... being a former principal of a school does add to her credibility too. =D

So am encouraged in continuing to trust God in following Him wherever He leads me to, be it in CG or in missions or in children's ministry... Wherever Jesus calls me to, I'll go. It will not be easy, I will certainly struggle in my heart, and I need to count the cost... but God having mercy on me, but there for the grace of God, go I.

And think it's really important to trust God. I was sharing with Clarence (had dinner with Jonathan, Rachel and Clarence [all from Daisy's CG]) about how to discover God's specific calling for one's life... what I shared with him was that before you can discover His specific will, you need to obey His general will, which is ultimately very simple: Love God and love people. Everything else rest on these two commandments.

And think it's timely too for me, 'cos to be honest, I think the past weeks or so, I've been experiencing a kind of silence from God. But it's not that kind of silence, where you wonder where God's presence is and you feel dry - on the contrary, for me, I do feel His presence strongly in my heart, and as far as my conscience can testify, I do desire His presence deeply in my heart...

Still, I wonder, why does His Word, even though it is very comforting, encouraging and ministering, and situations and circumstances seem to be testifying that God is with me... yet I don't hear a clear specific word from Him through the Bible? I read the Bible daily, and pray that He will speak to me...

It's a very strange feeling - that He is silent, and yet you can feel His presence in your life, and even your heart and mind being renewed. Have been asking Him to search me and know my heart... to test me and see if there's any offensive way in me, that I may confess and repent of whatever isn't pleasing in His sight.

Maybe, I could have a hidden sin in my heart that I am still subtly cherishing in my heart. Perhaps... but honestly, my conscience testifies for me that it is clear before Him. To be honest, I don't know for sure.

But yeah, in the end so far, as of today, I do have a clear conscience before God and man (though that alone doesn't necessarily make me innocent before Him).

So why this silence then? I don't know, really. But the Psalms encourage me with these verses:
Psalm 115
1 Not to us, O LORD, not to us
but to your name be the glory,
because of your love and faithfulness.

2 Why do the nations say,
"Where is their God?"

3 Our God is in heaven;
he does whatever pleases him.

So doing my best to make sense of this current experience, perhaps it could be that He's teaching me that He doesn't have to always speak to me according to my expectations - He does whatever pleases Him, for that matter.

Oh, I was reminded what Peter shared with me before: "Expect God to speak to you - just don't expect Him to speak to you in the way that you want!"

Maybe He's assuring me that His presence really is with me, and His Word is sustaining me, and His Spirit is working in me, helping me grow in love for Him and for others, to learn to serve others in greater and greater doses of humility.

Perhaps this is learning to walk deeper with God - that there are moments in our lives where we really do long to hear His voice, but we don't hear Him speak clearly. But we turn around, and we realise that He is with us; His rod and staff, they comfort us.

And I do need His strength, to take stronger ownership of my own walk with God, and to take stronger ownership of my dear CG, and to take stronger ownership of those He's entrusted to my care. To be more faithful in sharing the gospel, and living out a Christlike testimony before my colleagues and my brothers and sisters.

It's really a feeling that I find it hard to put in words, but I just know that He is with me, His rod and staff, they comfort me.

Micah 5:4
He will stand and shepherd his flock
in the strength of the LORD,
in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God.
And they will live securely, for then his greatness
will reach to the ends of the earth.

Dear friends, please don't be worried for me - to be frank, I am certain that God really has been very, very good to me (HE ALWAYS IS! :D). For this season, I feel renewed and refreshed in His love and strength again. Like the season of spring. Not a time of dryness - for I feel His presence. But I'm feeling rather mystified as to His silence... I guess I just need a specific word from Him, just to know that I am loved by Him. :P Sorry God for being so insecure... but it does bring my heart joy everytime you speak a very clear and specific word from you. :D
How silently, how silently,
The wondrous gift is giv'n!
So God imparts to human hearts
The blessings of His heav'n.
No ear may hear His coming;
But in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive Him
Still the dear Christ enters in.

Thank God too for the precious time of fellowship as well. So encouraging, so heartwarming to see how one of the CGs have rallied around a particular bro to help him improve his resume and to encourage and pray for him too. Really want to learn from this CG, where they really care for one another in love, that I can really also learn to serve my CG in love too. Christ's love is really so real and visible when we obey His new command: "By this, all men will know you are My disciples, if you love one another."

It does seem that God is really speaking very clearly after all. I think this is where He has chosen to speak - not in a mighty wind, not in a blazing fire, or in a powerful earthquake - but in a quiet, gentle whisper to remind us that there are thousands others whose hearts belong to Him.

One dear brother told me very recently (to paraphrase him), "Thank God for this church. Because in this church, several brothers have blessed me in one way or another... One shares this with me, another shares that with me. Even though I fear I may backslide again, my faith has been strengthened by the encouragements and the sharings of you guys."

In short, He has chosen none other than the church to be His hands, His mouth, His feet, His legs... the Body of Christ! Wow! Amen! Hallelujah! :D

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Lunches at Night?

A funny MSN conversation just now... was chatting with Shawn who's in Dalian (yes, that map of Battlefield 2 fame) working as an intern.

[yeu@nn] Filing Taxes... says (12:58 AM):
u working now izzit?

bathtub says (12:59 AM):
yup now lunch break

[yeu@nn] Filing Taxes... says (12:59 AM):
lunch break for night shift?

bathtub says (12:59 AM):

[yeu@nn] Filing Taxes... says (12:59 AM):
you guys are really vampires

bathtub says (12:59 AM):
i dont even know whats day n night definition for us already

bathtub says (1:00 AM):
everything is haywire now
bioclock is crazy

[yeu@nn] Filing Taxes... says (1:00 AM):
Psalm 139:11-12
11 If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,"

12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.

bathtub says (1:01 AM):
so apt to me
Hee hee! I agree too, bro... Psalm 139:11-12 really is a great reminder that no matter what time or where we're working, our Heavenly Father is watching over us.

And Jesus is our sunshine! :D (And thanks to a very dear friend who blessed me with this pic...)

Monday, April 7, 2008

Men's Ministry Online Forum: Being a Strong "Man"

From the Hope Men's Ministry blog (The Real Man):
Welcome to the Men's Ministry first ONLINE forum.
When someone mentions the term "strong", we are often reminded of Samson. In the bible, Samson has the greatest physical strength, that he could collapse a temple singlehandedly. Yet we do not normally hear men referring him to be "strong" and aspire to emulate him.
What makes a man 'strong'? How can the men's ministry help to build 'strong' men?

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Just finished a discussion with a friend who asked me a question online just now... it's very interesting and very long. So here's a very short excerpt (yesh, this is the SHORT version... it went on for 2 hours...) But thought some of the questions he raised are good questions. Answered as best as I know how... if you've any good points to add, do share... we can learn from one another! :D

Life, like medicine, may be bitter but is never bad says (10:07 PM):
have a qn to ask .. the phrase about God loving the sinner but not the sin is *not* biblical right?

if the statement is true .. then does God love Judas, the Cannanites or whoever God ordered to be annihilated in the Bible? ...and besides I don't think the Bible explicitly writes that God loves the sinner but hates the sins

[yeu@nn] learning to plan besides praying says (10:21 PM):
"God loves the sinner, but hates sin." think to see what the writer of this phrase meant, we have to see what it means by "love" as in this particular context.

from wat i understand so far, there are quite a few different kinds of "love" - e.g. romantic love, sexual love, friendship love, unconditional love, etc. the english word "love" flattens all these varied meanings into one plain word: "love".

so i think when the phrase talks about God loving the sinner... it refers to the unconditional love of God for all men.

but the Bible does quote God as saying, e.g. "Was not Esau Jacob's brother?" the LORD says. "Yet I have loved Jacob, but Esau I have hated..."so it does indicate that God can hate as well as love

so, from what i understand so far, it is possible for God to not have a friendship kind of love with a person, but still have an unconditional love all the same.

so, given the undefined context of the phrase that you said, i think we have to assume that the phrase refers to God's unconditional love.

and unconditional love is something that is part of God's nature

so in that particular sense of unconditional love, yes it is biblical...

Life, like medicine, may be bitter but is never bad says (10:30 PM):
hmm ..does God love Judas unconditionally?

the tone doesnt sound friendly during the lastsupper

actually the point about unconditional love is moot
as in, how do we see it manifested in the life of Judas?

anyway, the phrase is still *not* biblical even in the context of unconditional love .. 'cos God said in romans he will have mercy on whom he will have mercy

unconditional love refers to his love to you as unconditional and *not* him unconditionally loving you
when we say hate the sin but love the sinner, it is more about him unconditionally loving you

ie I WILL love you NO MATTER what your sins

[yeu@nn] learning to plan besides praying says (10:45 PM):
hey... tink tt's a good comment... was thinking about it
in tt sense He's not obliged to love us

Life, like medicine, may be bitter but is never bad says (10:45 PM):

Life, like medicine, may be bitter but is never bad says (10:46 PM):
and what gives us the right to tell pple about God's intention
as if we know His intentions with regards to any particular person

He's not obliged to love us - but many pple extend this to mean and yet he's loving us, all of us

"and yet he is loving us, all of us, including you" .. this is the meaning conveyed when we use "God loves the sinner but hates the sin"

[yeu@nn] learning to plan besides praying says (10:49 PM):
so in a sense, tt's how real His love is... that He is not obliged at all to love us, and yet... for some very strange reason, He choose to love us all nevertheless.

Life, like medicine, may be bitter but is never bad says (10:50 PM):
wait, bible never explicitly say He choose to love us ALL nevertheless

[yeu@nn] learning to plan besides praying says (10:51 PM):
so wat u are saying is that there are some people He does not love?

Life, like medicine, may be bitter but is never bad says (10:51 PM):
yup .. though strictly speaking, He can love all like you said, but we shouldn't assume this to be the truth

[yeu@nn] learning to plan besides praying says (10:52 PM):
so lemme see if i got wat u mean... that we can't know whether He really does love ALL humanity, even tho we are saying tt He does.

Life, like medicine, may be bitter but is never bad says (10:53 PM):
you can put it this way, basically biblical hermeneutics does not suggest He really does love all humanity .. so we shdn't say He does
.. 'cos it is not biblical

[yeu@nn] learning to plan besides praying says (10:54 PM):
then what does 1 Tim 2:3-6 say?

Life, like medicine, may be bitter but is never bad says (10:57 PM):
this is tricky if you understand the theology behind ..
v4 sasys God desires everyone to be saved, so the obvious qn you shd ask the CGL is .. *but why is not everyone saved*?

[yeu@nn] learning to plan besides praying says (10:59 PM):
wat did ur CGL say?

Life, like medicine, may be bitter but is never bad says (10:59 PM):
I do not have any CGL .. haha

if God truly wants everybody to be saved, He can author the bible in such a way all (or most) pple will be saved

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Walking with Weizhu

This morning, we met at Yusof Ishak House, and then went to Kent Ridge Park.

Kopitiam in YIH

Seeing WZ in his t-shirt and pants and slippers, it feels so much like uni days 6 years ago.

Welcome to Kent Ridge Park!

Nice gun.

Weizhu the hobbit bravely climbs the Road to Mordor in hobbity t-shirt and slippers.

"What, Frodo? You swallowed the ring? ... Man, oh man, do I have a nice hobbit sword for you."

On yonder to Bukit Doom.

The Eye-O-Sauron glares fiercely at us.

WZ and I reach the top of the hill. :)
"I lift my eyes to the hills, where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth."

To Make A Tree

Just a short story idea that popped into my mind as I was waiting for the bus.

"At last!" he said, rubbing his gnarly hands. "Now we shall see a tree."

"But, is it free?"

"Free? A tree was always meant to be free."

"Then, let us see."

A solemn silence fell. The two of them stepped back softly.

"Behold, now you see."

And the others saw in awe. "We thought a tree was a myth."

"Now it's not."

Planning, Not Only Praying

Was talking with a bro yesterday night. When he asked me what my plan for sowing on my friend was, I told him my plan was to wait for the opportunity to share with my friend.

He said, "That's not a plan."

"Oh. It isn't?"

"A plan is meant to do something. You pray... and you plan too."
"Johnny, name the Ten Commandments, in any order."
"3, 6, 1, 8, 4, 5, 9, 2, 10 and 7."

Thursday, April 3, 2008

I Did It. Think I'm Nuts, But I Did It Anyway.

Signed up for the Parenting 123 course just now. It's crazy... I mean, I'll probably be the only single fellow there (not to mention strange looks from the couples there), but well! So long as God is giving me the go-ahead, I'll go.

'Cos this is a class for toddlers, and since I'm a Sunday school teacher for toddlers, well, guess this would be helpful. =)

Oh, maybe I should ask the other teachers if they're interested.

Taking one more step to impacting, influencing and inspiring the next generation of the world for Jesus Christ! Yay! :D


I read this from a sister's blog. Her life example is very inspiring!

i recently did a Q & A regarding serving in Church as a young adult. Thought I could share it on the blog too :) Have been M.I.A for some time & thought that this might be something worthwhile to discuss about. Not that i know the answer, but just my personal opinion & understanding ~ It's good to answer qns like this sometimes. Makes me think harder than Facebook quizes!! :)) Cheerios to u people.... live life to the fullest!

1. What are the important lessons you have learnt in young adults ministry?

There are a million pursuits for the energetic young adult with a bright future promising us the world;
the influences are everywhere - finding a partner, illustrous Career & ambitions, investments etc etc
But the most important lesson is seeing myself fullfilled in Christ than anywhere else.
I think that is also the key to be a people of lasting generation...

2. What were some things you wished someone told you before you stepped into leadership of YA ministry?

YA ministry is something we figure out as we go along.
There are many things I wish I knew before i stepped into it
e.g. the wayward sheep, the hours seeking God for direction, overcoming hard issues and yet encouraging
people in their own tearful scenarios; the desert period, the identity crisis, etc etc);
but these things AREN'T MEANT TO BE TOLD.
They are OFTEN meant to be discovered.

3. What are some significant challenges you have faced in young adults ministry?
What solutions have you implemented as a leader?

Unfortunately, I am not built to sleep at 2am & wake up to seek God at 5. Work in the office at 8 & reach home at 6pm.
Solution>>?? Well, I try to "exercise" & try to allocate a "no-ministry" night to recharge... as you can tell from the sound of it,
i am not successful here yet.. hahha! HELP??!

Ps. Wilson did suggest to avoid slumping into seats and the bed when i reach home at 6pm
and continue to work on till about 10 and then relent after that... i am still working on that :O

4. What are the key ingredients to a life-giving young adults community? How do you build that?

You know, we can write a series of lessons on that! It is like "How do you build a church that is alive in Christ???"

I think the element to see it happen is Faith (a.k.a encounter with GOD), Vision, Action & Perseverence.
How to build? Keep teaching, keep reading, keep applying the Word of God. Keep encouraging, keep testifying, keep believing, keep praising, keep experiencing, keep loving, keep walking.

5. What qualities are essential in an effective young adult leader?


6. If you're standing at the helm of the ship of YA ministry, what do you see in the horizon for today's young adults (destination), and what is needed to get there? (journey)

The question sounds so poetical..!

But i think the horizon is Christ-likeness and the journey is carrying the Cross on our shoulders.
No new words, no shortcuts.

Finally (a big one)
7. Any stories of transformation, or even yourself!?

A secular young lady dancing at beach parties to escape, never know how to express love to parents,
words coming out in frustration, anger and irritation, living life just to derive fun, emptyness when alone to the point of toying with suicide, paralysed by the overwhelming fear of failure again & again (literally lying on the bed, unable to move); now leading others to dance & praise God, brought her sister to Christ & evangelising to her family frequently through email, msn, blog, call, 3 hour long conversations etc over the past 8 years, beating the Spirit of Fear, interceding & fighting in prayer for others, going to church-pioneer.

~ end ~

Go Chase Dreams

Read this from Zachary's blog:
I once watched a sermon that was preached by a famous doctor. He mentioned about people having big dreams for God. He attended many evangelistic conferences and movements. Many of the leaders expressed big dreams and lofty ideals without any real and practical means of realizing them. He termed those as useless talks, even if they are from respectable leaders. Those are just hot air balloons.

I think this is the real challenge of dreamer; to be more then just a dreamer.

Real dreaming is mental hard work, but its not because of the efforts to think of the ideal. The ideal is easy, it’s the planning taken to reach the ideal that is hard. It’s the process where we evaluate if the proposal is feasible, the resources sufficient, the effort sustainable and the duration reasonable.

Let’s go behind a dream.

Imagine if we decided to win half of Singapore to Christ in the year 1990.
Sounds good doesn’t it?

We had 3 millions people then, hence half of Singapore would mean 1 500 000 people. Statistically, an average American church size would be about 100. (We aren’t even talking about planting mega churches like City Harvest and the likes…) That means that we would need 15 000 churches. Well, accord to the statistics I had, it was about 500 churches. Hence we would need to plant 14 500 churches.

Now, who was saying that we have enough leaders already?

That entry encouraged me and also humbled me. =)

Thank God for his mercy. Grateful that I'm one step closer to seeing this dream to see children all over the world impacted for Christ.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

In other news... heard from Ruey Fong that he's coming back to Singapore next week! :D Whoa! His birthday was last week or so, so do get your presents ready for him ok? :)
So I wrote in my previous blog post: What on earth, for heaven's sake, am I supposed to do with my free time? :)

Was thinking... let's see. Itemize...
- Could use this time to catch up with friends.
- Invest in stuff that help propel me towards God's life purpose for me. (think that means training myself in children's ministry)
- Train myself in godliness. (This one is a definite must. That's what I learnt in the sermon on Sunday... training requires commitment, regularity and hard work.)

So implementation:
- Hopefully can meet up with a friend on Friday, and Weizhu on Saturday
- Use tonight to read up the Visual Storytelling book. Thinking of signing up for the Compassion Initiative...
- Read a few Christian books. Weizhu lent me "Passion and Purity", a book by Elisabeth Elliot. It's a very rich and meaningful book. :) Do read it, you'll be encouraged to trust God's timing for your relationships.
- Serve others... good question. How? Oh, my mum, yes. I can help her. Then ... vet a friend's resume/cover letter.

One thing I've been thinking about, but I'm seeking God for advice:
Was inspired by Jitsy's example of her NOC batch's social project for migrant children, so was thinking what can I do for children here in Singapore?

Puzzled. And also a bit hesitant. How much time, commitment... energy, especially, can I give? And is it really what God would have me do at this particular moment in time?

Think the answer I get from Him is, "No, not this one. Go finish your media plan for the HopeKids video camp. You'll gain the necessary experience and skills to do greater things from this project that you're doing for Me. Learn to lead the team, and raise up new leaders."

Ok! Think feel more relieved now. =) More settled now that there's a plan in place. Lord, I commit into Thy hands! In Jesus' name amen!

Oh yes. Am thinking of signing up for the Parenting 123 course. It's a crazy idea - I mean, I'm a single unmarried young professional, and it'll be super-odd. But was thinking the skills I'll learn...

Hmm. *Takes a step back* It does look odd indeed.

Should I sign up, or should I not? Ah. Maybe I go ask Hong Teck for his advice, whether it'd be beneficial for the HopeTots ministry.


Just spent a few hours of quiet time after work. It's been a slow week, and thank God for it. :) 'cos need rest, what with the flu and all that. (And this flu's a Bad Boy.)

Actually, have been thinking, how to use the free time fruitfully? I don't want to stuff it full of computer games (though a game of DOTA or Defcon would be nice), nor endless web-surfing. But neither do I want to stuff it with work, especially when it's unnecessary work.

So thought I'd spend the time having more quiet time with God. :) Especially since I want to sit down and learn to wait upon Him, just to hear His voice: "I am the Potter, and you are the clay..."

So tried waiting upon the Lord, and just, well, waited. And closed my eyes... and woke up an hour later. Arhh...

Waited on the Lord some more, and closed my eyes... and saw a vision of... my dog.

What? My dog? That's ... crazy. Shoo, Volvo. Go 'way you silly dog.

Oh! Maybe that was a dyslexic vision? ;D

Erm. Sorry. That's lame I know.

Anyway, continued my Bible reading, and just, well, appreciated the psalm... but no idea what God was telling me, if anything.

But I do remember one thing. I felt a quiet sense of peace in my heart.

Psalm 131
My heart is not proud, O LORD,
my eyes are not haughty;
I do not concern myself with great matters
or things too wonderful for me.

But I have stilled and quieted my soul;
like a weaned child with its mother,
like a weaned child is my soul within me.

O Israel, put your hope in the LORD
both now and forevermore.

And I'm encouraged by that reminder, that sometimes, all God wants is just for you to wait on Him. Like a servant standing by his Master, like a squire standing by his Lord...

And funnily enough, when I came back home, I felt a greater inner strength within me. Less prone to random web-surfing, more joyful, just more ready to do His will. Reminds me of how Moses was literally glowing after his regular time with the LORD.

In the beauty of the lilies
Christ was born across the sea
With a glory in His bosom
That transfigures you and me...

Transfigured in the soul. It's a joy just to spend time with Jesus. :D

(But I do so want to hear a clear word from Him all the same.)

Resilience: Learning Obedience From Suffering

Hebrews 5:8
"Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered..."

I've been having a painful flu. Rarely do I have a sore throat so bad that I lose my voice, but on Sunday, I really almost lost my voice.

So I was initially unwilling to crawl out of my Very Very Very Comfortable bed to travel all the way down to take care of the children - first thought that came to mind: "I have flu! Will spread the germs to them... haha! Good good I can tell Yung that I can't make it due to flu."

Then. It turns out that I have to man the projector and laptop for the lyrics of the HopeTots service. Not much interaction with the kids needed here. Then this reminder came to mind: "Remember, Yeu Ann, you prayed to grow in resilience? Here, this is what real resilience is about - committing to what you've promised even when things are very difficult for you."

Groaned inwardly, but said, "Yah, God, You're RIGHT... sigh. The spirit's willing but the flesh's weak. *moan groan mutter scratch scratch*"

So went down, took cab there.

Then read my Bible. And, at the exact page where I had opened my Bible, was Hebrews 5:8. And my bookmark had been randomly placed there some more.

So read it, and felt very touched. 'Cos I realized that even Jesus Himself, even though He was a son... was THE Son of God, no less, He chose to learn OBEDIENCE from what he suffered.

So realised that Jesus actually learnt obedience from what he suffered.

I'm just suffering a throbbing headache - He suffered a throbbing crown of thorns.
I'm just suffering aching limbs - His limbs were nailed to a cross.
I'm just suffering an aching back - His very back was flayed open with angry wounds.
I'm just feeling feverish - He sweated blood.

Philippians 3:10-11
"I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead."

Just felt so humbled by His utter humility, that I bowed my heart and asked His forgiveness for my childish complaining, and realized that in every suffering, there is a God-given opportunity to understand even more His suffering that day. But it turns out, when you feel a little more of His suffering... somehow, you know a little more just how deep His love for you is. It's so deep that you weep, grasping a little more of how deep His suffering was, and how deep His love was, that He was willing to suffer that suffering.

"Your mercy flows like a river wide
And healing comes from Your hands
Suffering children are safe in Your arms
There is none like You..."

So that verse was really like sunshine to my soul that day - somehow a rhema word from God can make you feel very happy, and you feel that you could dance a thousand miles. =) Even if you were sniffling, flu-bug-ridden. Yes, His love is able to make you sing and dance, in your soul, all the day long!

So touched. Especially to know that God Himself is training me, shepherding me and disciplining me. =D To learn to be more and more resilient in the face of adversity. "Strength and Honour." Amen! :)

A Simple Test to See if Godliness is Something You REALLY Value

This entry is more for men...

A dear bro emailed me this last time, back in 2005... thought I'd share a bit what he shared with me... (Sorry bro, I can't remember exactly what you wrote to me, but this is the gist of what I remember. Hope I put it correctly!)

"What you look for in a sister does reflect what really matters to you. If you desire godliness, then you'll look for godly character in her. If you desire good looks, you'll look for good looks. And so on.

It's not wrong to like a sister, and a pretty one at that. But you need to ask yourself, what is it about her that you REALLY like? Her good looks? Her character? Her skills?

Let's aim to desire godliness in greater measure."

Spiritual Posture

I was massaging my mum's neck just now, when, on a whim, I decided to check her back muscles to see whether her back muscles were strong.

And to my surprise, they were STRONG. Not weak and flabby.

I mentioned that to my mum, and she said that she always makes it a point to sit up straight, even when playing mahjong. (And her mahjong marathons can go on for hours.)

She then added, "Good posture makes you look young. Bad posture makes you look older. When I was younger, I saw on Talentime (apparently some show from the '60s) a very beautiful model - the way she held herself up was so beautiful! So I wanted to be like her, so I always maintained a good posture."

Wow. And it struck me suddenly, from the sermon by Ps Ben on Sunday about training ourselves in Godliness. Just as my mum maintained her physical posture (and she looks at least 10 younger than her actual age), so likewise we should aim for good spiritual "posture".

Posture, not as in a fixed rigid unyielding stance, but as in a graceful, elegant, firm and strong stand.

My mum mentioned that she was inspired to maintain a lifelong habit of good posture when she saw the prime perfection of posture.

Likewise we too can be inspired to pursue the habit of godly "posture" when we happen to observe a man/woman of godly stature living life. Gracious, magnanimous, courageous, wise, steadfast, faithful, loyal, overflowing with goodness, joyful, peaceful, kind...

Just like physical posture, growing in spiritual posture is not easy. But wow, Lord, the rewards are deliciously worth it. So help me please practise godly decision-making, godly speech, godly thoughts, godly habits, etc., each day of my life... so that I may be found blameless before You when You come back... and hopefully to inspire others next time! In Jesus' name, Amen!

1 Timothy 4:8
For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.