Monday, August 31, 2009

Mr Methane on Britain's Got Talent

Mr Methane performs on Britain's Got Talent. (WARNING: They don't call him Mr Methane for nothing.) =) Susan Boyle need not worry... HAHAHA.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Donnie McClurkin - Days of Elijah

Found this clip from Jasmine Poon's blog... Days of Elijah, sung American gospel style... it's so COOL! :D (Days of Elijah's one of my fav songs btw).

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Church Trek: The Next Generation

Jesus' Facebook Profile -
Haha... it's a bit irreverent at times, but just thot it's a cool, FB-ised version of the Life of Christ seminar that we just came back from yesterday.

And! Wow, had a good time of jogging today with Andrew (my neighbour) around Bishan Active Park. Then went off to meet Shuyi to do job search together. Then went for Life of Christ conference. And after that, Andrew jio-ed me for supper with his Poly gang... got to know some more brothers from the Poly side - Nicholas and Richie. Also got to hear Ps Jasmine share very excitedly about some Poly stuff with the bros and sisters...

Wow, really want to thank God for this joy and excitement, being able to personally witness God's powerful Spirit at work in all our ministries, be it HopeKids, Youth, Uni-YA, PolyDINS, NS, Adults and even Family ministries!

To be honest, in a way, it feels a bit like visiting so many different "churches" in the same church, if you know what I mean. 'Cos generally all our services for the different life-stations tend to be self-contained. While that kind of arrangement has advantages, it also has a big disadvantage in the sense that you lack exposure to other life-stations.

So this bro and I had been discussing the possibility of a cross-generational kind of ministry. Not ministry as in the official/formal sense, but ministry as in meeting the needs of others. And we can start small by organizing cross-generational activities - be it writing, playing soccer/ basketball, chess, or Nerf gun battles...

I've shared before abt how I have breakfast regularly with one of the ex-HopeKids "graduates", Joel. He's now helping out as a helper in the HopeKids service, even tho he's in the Youth service now. It's a great blessing and, I think, a privilege to be able to be invited into friendship with a different generation, be it older or younger.

And last Saturday, one friend from the Family group shared with me his/her concern abt his/her son's issues with some people in his CG. I'm touched that he/she shared about such things... but I'm also v inspired by his/her sweet and noble heart to see his/her son serve God faithfully.

Wow. Very encouraging! The family of God really knows no boundaries, be it social, economic, educational or age... we are all one in Christ!
Psalm 145:4
One generation will commend your works to another;
they will tell of your mighty acts.
In this day and age, when people are starting to disparage the importance and the beauty of the Church, the body of Christ, the family of God, the city of the living God... I think 'tis so impt then to remind the generation after us how God is going to build His church.

Like what Jasmine shared so well:
"We don't keep replacing the foundations every time our people move from one life-station to another. No, we build each foundation upon each other, build, build and build up."

And that's precisely what the psalmist declared in Psalm 48:
12 Walk about Zion, go around her,
count her towers,

13 consider well her ramparts,
view her citadels,
that you may tell of them to the next generation.

14 For this God is our God for ever and ever;
he will be our guide even to the end.
Walk about the Church. Go around her. Count her magnificent accomplishments. Consider well how she has held off against the gates of Hades, from age to age. And see the beauty of how she is blessing the world, being salt and light in every nation and generation.

So that we may tell of what God has done in us, and through us, to the next generation.

So that we may know that our God is the forever God, the God of forever and ever, the God who is our guide, even unto the very end of the age. Whee!

Man... I love the Church! :D It's truly the apple of God's eye! Not only my local church, but I'm so delighted to see more and more how we can all work together, the churches in Singapore - and all over the world - how we can bond together to be the catholic (i.e. universal) Church of Jesus Christ, world without end! Amen. :D

Monday, August 24, 2009

Psalm 94:18-19
When I said, "My foot is slipping," your love, O LORD, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.
Touched. God knows. :)

Oh Seriously!

As seen on Facebook...
J: Oh seriously~
54 minutes ago · Comment · Like

K: Really?
52 minutes ago

L: Seriously???????
49 minutes ago

K: Seriously sounds seriously serious
43 minutes ago

L: I seriously do seriously think so too..
40 minutes ago

K: seriously? serious ah? seriously, dun so serious lah.
39 minutes ago

L: We are so seriously serious. HmmP!
34 minutes ago

K: J started it. Seriously.
33 minutes ago

L: I'm totally serious. Serious.
30 minutes ago

J: wat is this? Chatline? I'll make u two pay!
12 minutes ago

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Feel so dreadfully inadequate. Whether it's scriptwriting, directing, leading a discussion, interacting with people, showing care and concern, friendships and so on...

I just feel so horribly inadequate.

I am... a sand grain tossed up and down with the waves.

I am... a mote of dust blown around by the four winds.

I am... a little worm at the bottom of the food chain.

I am... the guy who pushes the "PULL" door.

But was reminded, while crying out to God, that all these discouragements 'smoke' me out from seeing the many sweet blessings that He has blessed me with today. For example, yesterday's sharing with TH. HQ and I had dinner with him. WZ dropped by. And TH asked us some very good questions.

And the good lunch today with Adrian, Leyi and TH (he came along for the Nurture programme too - thank God for him!).

For the pleasant surprise meetup with Uncle Lee at Millennium Koufu food court today. For the silly event when Sharon tried to open a Coke bottle and it spurted all over her...
For God's grace, that He answered my cries for mercy and help when I realised that there were some miscommunications AND cock-ups just half an hour before the HopeKids skit was to begin.
For His reminding me to take the initiative to resolve the problems on the spot without troubling Hong Teck.
For KK's willingness and readiness to serve... for Yuhan and Ethan's willingness to be roped in for calefare roles. For Joey and Eilton's great ad-libbing during the skit, even when they forgot their lines.
For the hilarious mess-up, that the kids laughed. Haha...
For His helping me share boldly with the kids when leading CG discussion today. For Eilton's help and encouragement too.

Ah. I'm reminded again of how good God is. Psalm 22. The psalmist cried out to God, why hast Thou forsaken me? But in the next breath, he remembers God's goodness and cries out, I will praise Your name before my brothers, in the congregation of the saints will I praise You.


And for the message today during HopeKids sermon: "Small people can do great things." Yes. Just as He used Jeremiah, so He is able to use me. Amen.

Yeah! Haha. Oh. What were my dark thoughts before I started writing this post?

That's strange. They don't seem so dark anymore. :D Wow!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

What a Global Conference! :D

Wow... simply breathtaking. I'm so grateful that God gave me the opportunity to be there. And HQ and I were, like, beating our chests and saying that our CG should have been there.

And it was a GREAT time of meeting my fellow brothers and sisters from Hope churches from other countries! And... also from within my own church! Had a great time of fellowshipping with Spencer from HopeKids ministry, Ps James of Mandarin service, Ps Brandon from Hope Adelaide...

And got to know more people from the Hope media ministry and the Tertiary ministry too! :D Got to know Nehemiah, Andrew's sheep... who in turn introduced me to Aloysius from the Poly side... who in turn introduced me to Jiayi in the sound ministry and also to Shuzhen.

And got to know this sister from Mandarin service... I thought she was 25 years old, latest... turns out she is over 30+! Wow! She was grinning so widely haha when she heard my mistake. Haha! Praise God...

And thank God too so much for His giving me a chance to bless two sisters from Hope Chiangmai. Initially, I was supposed to help host a pastor from Hope Jakarta, but for some reason, he was not able to make it in the end. So I thought the SIM card that I had bought to bless him would go to waste.

But as I prayed, thanking God anyway that He sees the heart behind what I do even if it seems wasted. And then, while walking out from the auditorium after the first plenary session, Michael, my district pastor, took me aside, and asked me whether I was free. I said yes, and he asked me to help escort the Hope Chiangmai team to the lunch venue. And to help host two sisters. Both are quite senior I think... well, one of them has white hair haha... so I helped the older one carry her luggage.

I was quite shy at first, 'cos I dunno my Thai, but thank God the younger one knows English pretty well. And, yeah! thank God! I passed them my SIM card, and they were very blessed. Praise God for His grace!

Hee! Also watched how the Hope Chiangmai team interacted with one another... I saw how they put their hands together to greet one another... so I tried. Haha... felt very shy 'cos I'm so used to doing handshakes instead. Haha... thank God they were very gracious, and returned my clumsy attempt at imitating their graceful wais. But it was very fun! 'cos it was a great way to practice what I learnt in the Missions workshop about adapting to other peoples' cultures!

How I think my wai looked like to them...

Also, I was very touched and inspired by Pastor Marcus Rose from Hope Berlin. Hilarious testimony too! He was sharing with us about how God touched him, even as a non-believer, during a time of worship, that he actually started crying! He looked at us in mock horror when he said that: "Oh no! I was crying! I'm a guy! I'm a German guy! And German guys aren't supposed to cry! I mean, c'mon, we fought two world wars!

ROFL! Very funny, the way he poked fun at himself and his country... :D

But more seriously, he shared with us from the depths of his heart that he really wants to live a Christ-centred life. That everyone he meets, he wants to treat them like Christ Himself would treat them.

OMG. This is really radical. To see people as Jesus would see them. To treat them as He would treat them. It made me think. Just how often and how much do I actually see people through the eyes of Jesus Christ? And how often and how much do I treat others like Jesus would treat them?

After that, Ps Brandon of Hope Adelaide joined Ronald, Kong Wee and Edmund Lim for supper. I joined them, and thank God, though we men were all pretty laconic (as men tend to be) while munching, eventually Ps Brandon started sharing more about how he came to know Christ. His testimony was very encouraging, especially since Australia is actually not very spiritually receptive... his own persecution by his parents... and how God started using him. We especially were very blessed by Ps Brandon's testimonies about his overseas experiences. One thing that struck me was how he shared very real about his fears while going to dangerous places for missions e.g. Pakistan, Rwanda and so on. Thank God too for his witty humour haha... and oh yes, his saying, "By day, I'm just a boring research scientist. By night, I'm..."

And oh yes, the night conference on the second day. Fantastic! The Spirit was really moving... so exciting! Very specific prophecies and so on.

Jiayan wrote about it. And here's the great video that Ps Dennis used to illustrate the importance of the Holy Spirit in the Christian's life:

I also learnt a great lesson about why the Bible described the Holy Spirit, when He descended upon Jesus after his water baptism, as in bodily form, like a dove.

To quote from Jiayan's notes:
The holy spirit is likened to the dove and the wind. I personally like the analogy of the holy spirit as the dove very much:The dove never fights, the dove don't like noisy places, the dove is not territorial and once you release them, they will not fly back unless you feed it consistently.
And the important lesson is, if you want a dove to land upon you, please don't be so busy... be gentle and humble in spirit, and be still... and feed your spirit with the bread of God's Word... and we know how bread crumbs attract doves and pigeons very fast... :D

For the third day, Huanyan, Shuyi and I went together for the intercession session, led by James Loke and Ian Foley (I think that's his name). It was a good and powerful time... James prayed for some of our Hope Singaporeans to be delivered from a sian life... then Huanyan gave what he sensed to be a word from the Lord... so James led the team to pray together in response for further intercession. Then I sensed that God wanted to reply in response to the intercession using Isaiah 9 as His answer. Wow! Exciting! When we pray, the hands of God do what our own hands cannot do! Amen!

So many exciting moments... And oh yes, during the Kids Builder workshop, Ps PK's wife, Kim, shared that she's trying to start a children's ministry in Hope London. So she asked a lot of questions. Then someone (I think it was a sister from Hope Kuching) asked whether I had an archive of scripts and skits that I could share with them. Whoa! Yeah I do...

So that gives me a small idea. I think I can help to contribute to the Great Commission by supporting other Hope churches to build vibrant, biblical children ministries by sharing great skit ideas with them! Exciting! :D

And last but not least, the powerful dramatization of the Scripture readings of Acts 1 and 2. It was great! Of course there were a few synch issues in some of the coordinated readings, but the overall effect was heart-stirring! that's the power of the arts in communicating the Scriptures... it can really stir the emotions of men, and help open afresh their minds to receive God's Word more readily! Amen!

So! Really want to encourage you all to go for the next Global Conference in November... and to live out the Core Values... to let Jesus Christ be the Core of your life!
"Greater things are still to come;
greater things are still yet to be done."
Disclaimer: This is strictly a Photoshopped spoof... Intel has nothing to do with our conference... though thank God for Intel's chips that enable our computers to run... haha.

To end off here, want to share with you this very meaningful quote by John Ortberg:
Change requires the right vision, and then actual effective methods for change. But these methods will have to involve ways of life that you will actually want to do.

Where this is no vision but lots of methods, there is legalism.

Where there is vision but no understanding of method, there is frustration.

Where there is neither vision nor method, there is apathy.

But where the vision is strong,

and method is actually effective and workable,

then transformation can happen.
Let's live our lives with Christ at the core of our lives!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Just quickly jotting down a thanksgiving point!

God's presence was so strong and real during the night conference. WHOA. Ps Dennis from Hope Kuching preached "We are Holy Spirit Empowered". And during the altar call for people to respond to ask God what spiritual gifts He has given them, I responded.

And whoa, whoa, whoa... when I went up to the altar, one of the pastors (I think he's from Australia) came up to me, laid hands on me and prophesied.

He prophesied that the Lord has given me the gift of prophecy! And he said that like Samuel, God will use me as I grow from strength to strength. And that the Lord is very appreciative of my heart for Him, a heart like King David.

So i knelt down and prayed, asking God why did He give me the gift of prophecy. And I got this strong impression that His answer was: "Because you were faithful with the small prophecies that I gave you, and now I have given you much more." WHOA.

And when I told HQ abt this, he replied, "Great! You do have a great wealth of word for Holy spirit to use!"

And I think it's also because it's really a desire of my heart to minister to people through speaking a divine word from the Lord. Whether it's words of encouragement, or words of warning... or even words of foretelling (yes, foretelling what is to come - but no, this is NOT fortune-telling, only what the Lord Himself chooses to reveal to us.)

Hee. I just feel very thrilled by this confirmation. Not only from this pastor, but also 'cos I've been trying to exercise the gift of prophecy for many years... even for non-believers, if I sense the Holy Spirit wants to give them a specific word.

Actually, in fact, there have been times where I sense very strongly that the brother/sister has certain attitudes that may destroy him/her spiritually. In those cases where I obeyed even though I was trembling while sharing the word of knowledge... I'm very thankful that it seems that God protected these people from further harm (except one particular case... he left God.)

But... gee... there's other times I chose not to say anything, 'cos I wasn't sure... and somehow, sooner or later, the person left church... and even God... so I started wondering if what I sensed might have been a prompting from the Holy Spirit, so that I might help look out for and caution my bros/sisters, just in case.

Hmm. Actually, there's one brother right now, that I've been wondering about, whether it's a genuine prompting from God to caution him, or just my own worries. And another friend, whom I've been feeling concerned for, but not sure.

I need to pray for them further... so that can be more sure... it might be the Holy Spirit's prompting, for all I know! :)

Wow! :D So I want to encourage all my dear brothers and sisters to likewise desire and exercise spiritual gifts, because these gifts help to build up the Church! Don't belittle yourself by saying that it's not for me... then gee, it's rejecting God's gift to you. (Which is not very nice to do that to anyone, including God.)

1 Corinthians 14:1
"Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy."

Ephesians 4:11-13
It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

So desire to be a faithful servant of God, and ask God to use you to help build up his Church, the body of Christ, in order to help prepare God's people for works of service. Don't practice false humility - practice glorifying God! Amen! :)

And then the pastor continued to prophesy. That my case is like that of David as a young shepherd boy. That David was the last one of Jesse's sons to be called, and he had to be called in from the field, 'cos his own dad didn't include him in the original line-up...

This particular line touched me very deeply, because in my eleven years as a Christian, I really was the last one to be called in to serve as a shepherd, among my peers... you know, in a church where your spiritual buddies in the same age group have all started taking care of people, and they're much younger than you in terms of number of years as Christians... it did bother and discourage me a lot for quite a number of years.

In fact, one leader described me (not in a negative spirit, thankfully, but as a matter of fact, because it IS true) to the other brothers and sisters that I was chosen to take care of a caregroup for a while, not because I was skilled or even had the maturity in a sense, but only because I was willing... then he/she scolded the rest, "Do we have to go to this extent, that we have to actually scrape the bottom of the barrel to find leaders?"

Because I know i'm not a natural leader... nor am I charismatic or outgoing.

So that's why the prophecy tonight really touched my heart. Because God was assuring me tonight that though I'm the last called in from the field, the "bo-pian-have-to-use-him-now" benchwarmer, He has chosen me, who is less than the least of all God's people.

WOW. Feel very touched! Thank You Jesus for loving me and choosing even a wretched sinner like me to do Your wonderful work... whoa, whoa, whoa! You chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong, the lowly things, the foolish things, the things that are not to shame the things that are... so that none may boast before You! =)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Does it seem to me that lately, the concept of the Church is becoming increasingly misunderstood? People see the Church as an institution (with all the negative connotations that the word 'institution' carries).

Just feel worried that the importance of the Church as a key ingredient in God's plan to save the world is becoming increasingly marginalized. Thing is, from what I understand so far, the Church IS called to be set apart. :) In the world, but not of the world (i.e. worldly thinkings, humanistic philosophies and so on).

Holier-than-thou? No lah... but different, yes. We can't help be different. We think different. We talk different. And yes, we do look different... =)

Maybe I'm going in the opposite direction, maybe I'm guilty of being idealistic, but it does seem very much to me that if we believe Jesus to be the Son of God, born of a virgin and raised from the dead on the third day, ascended to heaven and will return to judge the living and the dead... then we really do march to the beat of a different Drummer! Extraordinarily too. Signs, wonders and miracles. Dreams, visions and prophecies. Faith, hope and love.

I can't but help recall the Acts church as being so extraordinary. Some people said they were drunk, others said they were weird, yet others said they were losers. Yet others called them disturbers of the peace, violaters of the social order, atheists and cannibals. For Christ's sake, they faced death all day long, they were considered sheep to be slaughtered.

But in the end, Jesus built His church and the gates of hell have not prevailed against it. And He will make sure that we, the Church, are blameless, beautiful and without blemish.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Luke Skywalker or Luke Warmer?

Haha, I know it's a dreadful attempt at a cheesy title. But was pondering about Ps Simon's sermon yesterday. Ah. The Church in Laodicea. Lukewarm. And the Lord Jesus himself said that He will spit lukewarm Christians out of his mouth.

Gosh. Lukewarmness.

Luke Skywalker chose not to linger on the fence, and so he was able to make his stand very clear, when his own father asked him to join the Dark Side.

How have I been lukewarm for God? Am I just cruisin' along? If I'm like that, I'll be cruisin' for a bruisin'.

Prayer. We had a very fun DMM yesterday. The Sohs and Sharon, Peter, me, and Joy went to Mr and Mrs Soh's house. And we played Wii! Whee. Very funny, the wacky rabbits game...

Hm. Prayer. We talked about it. And to be honest, I think I am becoming lukewarm in my prayers and my spiritual walk with God. I think it's because I've allowed myself to start slacking in reading my Bible and praying fervently. It's very dangerous. I must remember that I'm still in the middle of a spiritual battlefield.

I picture it like a soldier in the middle of a chemical warfare zone. He's well-wrapped up in his NBC suit, but he still has to eat. So he makes sure he eats carefully and faithfully, so that though it is very cumbersome to eat, he will have enough strength and perseverance to endure the battlefield conditions. The good soldier must eat, whether he is in a good place, or in the middle of the worst strife.

So I also must make sure that I seek God earnestly! Cry out to Him! Lord, renew my first love for You! I realise how fast the fire goes out even after a great time of prayer... it's so essential to walk right with You, EVERY single day of my life.
I want to walk with You
Every day of my life
To talk with You
In the good and the strife
You're my Friend
You're my Father
For all time
Nothing can keep us apart
You're the Lover of my heart...
Yup. :) I think I'll go to AMK Park tonight. Just to spend some time with my heavenly Father.

Oh! I'm looking forwards to the Global Conference. And... I'll be helping to host a pastor from overseas! Gosh. Haha. More of just make sure he's comfortable, can find his way around and arrive on time. But yah, excited to have a chance to bless this brother in Christ, and show hospitality... hope and pray that my ushering knowledge and experience will be helpful here! G.E.M.S - Go the Extra Mile to Serve! Hope I can get to learn some insights and understanding from him too... must prepare my questions in advance. Haha...

And tomorrow dinner with Li Chuan from Hope Nairobi! Cool... hopefully I can also welcome Joyce at the airport tomorrow if I manage to finish my clearance in time.

The Last Day of My First Job

I've just finished clearing my emails and documentation. And as I type this, I marvel at the freshness of the feeling, that it still feels like another normal working day, even though it'll be the last day tomorrow.

And how transient my senses and perceptions are, the fleetingness of memories. Whether it was 2007 or 2009, it feels so the same, save for a certain whiff of the freshness of old memories, that inexplicable brightness of recalling, time's little arrows, here and there that suddenly restores long-lost memories.

The last day of my first job. And a new stage in my life dawns tomorrow. It'll be my last ever first job, for first things can only come once. Yet... well, each new step is a first step. I reckon there was this Greek philosopher who said that you never step into the same river more than once, because it's always flowing. :)

I'll be a free man once again... free to breathe the nine o'clock sunshine at some cafe, linger in the languid breeze, or stroll in the placidness of a three o'clock afternoon.


It's so strange. We have memories.

Like how the river runs through my fingers, so my senses flow through my mind. I pet my dog, and feel his golden fur in my hands. I linger, and rub each strand, trying to capture that silky-soft feeling and hold it just for a little while longer. Because he is 3 years old now, and before I know it, he will be 6 years old, and then 9, and then 12... and then gone.

And as I walk away, the memory of his fur sublimates in my hands even as I recall them.

I sniff the musty office air, and feel the tip-tap of the keys on my keyboards. And my colleagues' laughs and bantering, and hushed typing and steady slogging. And all these will be consigned to the dim recesses of memory very soon.

It's been a good 2 years of learning, and working, and so on. God's grace upon me too. Learnt many new things, and I'm a seasoned worker. Wow. 2 years have gone by so fast.

Thank God so much for the really packed memories in these 2 years. They went by fast, but they were full of years.

It's ok. :) Dear Lord, thank You that the old things are going away, and the new things are coming even now. :) And thank You that You are always the same. Faithful and unchanging, eternal and everlasting. Thank You that every day is a new day, brimming and bursting with promise, and the bursting goodness of a fresh sunrise, and the graceful sweetness of a mellow sunset.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

3 Spheres of Impacting the World

Was pondering about what does it mean to impact the world God's way, while waiting for my sister just now. And this passage came to mind:
Jeremiah 9:23-24
This is what the LORD says:
"Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom
or the strong man boast of his strength
or the rich man boast of his riches,

but let him who boasts boast about this:
that he understands and knows me,
that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness,
justice and righteousness on earth,
for in these I delight,"
declares the LORD.
Oh! You know what? From this passage, I think there's 3 kinds of impact that one can have on the world.

The world's definition of impact:
Wisdom - e.g. You're a top-notch research professor / university professor. Lots of education. You have multiple PhDs some more. You're in the know about all the current affairs of the world.

Strength - e.g. You're a very determined and self-motivated can-do-it person. Entrepreneurs! Sportsmen! Governors! You make Adam Khoo pee in his pants. In fact, the Nazis epitomized this as one of their core values. And we all know what that "virtue" led to.

Riches - e.g. You own your own conglomerates. You trump Donald Trump. Bill Gates owes you money.

But God's definition of impact?
Kindness - care and concern for others. Mother Teresa, Bob Pierce...

Justice - speaking up for those in need, defending the poor and oppressed. Martin King Luther... Justice Bao :)...

Righteousness - integrity, character, honesty, thoughtfulness and so on. Obama for his integrity...

I think that might be God's answer to my question. Three wonderful ways in which we can IMPACT the world for Christ.

While The World Bleeds

From Xinying's blog:
Please forgive our ignorance
In looking down on you
Please forgive our selfishness
For hiding in our pews while the world bleeds
While the world needs us to be what we should be
I was reading the ST article on "Young Crusaders" in the news just now. Haha. Felt very excited when reading about all these brave and noble-hearted young people. And haha, some of the young people are older than me.

You know, I think there's an increasing social consciousness. That there's more to life than just making money. And this sentiment is common to many people of our generation, regardless of race, language or religion. :)

And I also realised that quite a few friends of mine are interested in volunteering. I invited one of my colleagues the day before, and she should be coming down next month. It's a great way to make more friends too!

Think this may be the new trend in our generation (and IMHO, it's a great positive trend), and my church should make the most of this opportunity. Because precisely the Church is supposed to be well-known for doing good works of charity and mercy to those in need!

To be honest, I felt quite ashamed when I realised that in recent years, criticisms from non-Christians were levelled at some of our sister churches that they were spending too much money on themselves, building luxurious-looking buildings and so on.

But on the other hand, I felt very encouraged and delighted to read about other sister churches doing good deeds e.g. providing language classes for immigrants, job fairs open to all people...

Relevant to our generation, especially Generation-Yers, right? :D (Actually, in every generation, there's people seeking for a deeper meaning in life than the usual "career" cliche that we've been spoonfed.)

So I was thinking that my church, while it is affilated with Hope Centre, could do so much more directly to serve those in need. Like how the Methodist and Anglican churches do. Because we're doing it because God loves them.

Am feeling a deep stirring in my heart, because to be honest, I've been looking around me, and from what I perceive, we could be doing so much more in missions and in caring for the needy. Really. I was talking with one brother who's currently serving as a leader, and he commented this to me, that we've been sliding away from our vision statement in the past few years.

I bet it's no coincidence that during this same period, quite a lot of people have been feeling dry and sian in their walk with God. Of course lah... we are walking Dead Seas...

Think quite a few of us feel burdened about this state of matters, whether member or leader. Thank God for the hearts of these faithful bros and sisters! :D Loyal to God and His cause.

But also burdened for some people who want to live in their own comfort zones. I mean... their reason is: "Not everyone is called to go out mah..."

But gee, couldn't we at least cry out to God, "Lord, I don't know what You want me to do exactly, let alone how... but here I am! Send me!"? Can't we be senders and mobilizers too?

Instead of concluding that since we don't know what's God's specific calling for our lives, therefore God doesn't have anything special in store for us, and so we can sit on our lazy butts, nua-ing while the world goes to hell. Literally. Whether from physical want or spiritual want, both matter to God and to people!

So what if we don't know what exactly He wants us to do? Then why not at least appeal and cry out to Him to show you more clearly? I think we put much more effort into appealing for our schools, university modules and career promotions, but hardly any effort into appealing for our life destinies! Why not exercise faith and believe God when He says in Jeremiah 33:1-3
While Jeremiah was still confined in the courtyard of the guard, the word of the LORD came to him a second time: "This is what the LORD says, he who made the earth, the LORD who formed it and established it—the LORD is his name: 'Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.'
Jeremiah was a captive. Just like us, confined in our cubicles. But that didn't stop God from speaking to Him! Neither can culture or career or crisis stop Him from showing His plans to you! Call to Him! He WILL answer you, as long as you are willing to listen. Don't be a lazy bum and fritter your life away! Call now! Angels are standing by! :)

So what if we have the crushing burden of life? I was talking with my maid the other day, and I found out that even though she's not well-off and has quite a few kids of her own to support... she has adopted a child that no one else wanted. Wow.

And she's a Christian. If she, a not-so-educated maid from a rural area in a less-developed country, can do that wonderful act of love... then dear friends, what excuse now do we rich Singaporeans have? God uses people like her to shame people like us. :)

I talk so much. But deeds speak louder. So I'm also preaching to myself too. I've seen just a little bit of the outside world. I guess visiting other countries does make a difference. Singapore is just so darned small.

That's why I really hope to encourage you guys to join me in serving the community in Christ's name. Maybe we can't do much today. But, to paraphrase Mother Teresa, we can do it with much love.

And... it's also a great way to demonstrate Christ's love AND reality to those around us too. Let's not settle for occasional lame outings that entertain ourselves more than others.

Let's be different. Let's be extraordinary. Let's be revolutionary. Stop living in our own little worlds. Start getting our hearts clean and hands dirty in this world of His. Because He can, we also can. Together, you and I can make a difference!

So thank God for the winds of change. During Friday's sub-d meeting, Eugene shared that our sub-district will be doing more in missions. And Delia and Ailay shared with us about missions/community service trip to Cambodia. Whoa! Delia's joy and excitement as she shared was so infectious! I sensed an atmosphere of excitement fill the air. People's hearts were getting roused. Whether they were young or old Christians, it didn't matter. God's Spirit is moving, and His heart is touching our hearts too!

Also very inspired by Tracy's example. 1 month in Cambodia with Yanzi. Blessing the children there.

Frankly, I'm really excited! Christ has winnowed, cleansed and purified this church, and it is His! And our hearts are encouraged, restored and renewed. :D

Lord! break my heart for what breaks Yours!
Everything I am, for Your kingdom's cause
As I walk from earth into eternity!

Wow. I really want to do so much more for God and people.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Pastor Jeff's latest twitter:
JeffHJChong check out my latest blog entry and pray!
about 4 hours ago from web
Haha... am sitting here in one of my favourite haunts: St. Andrew's Cathedral again. Actually, the open grounds. Came over from a good time at Nurture Programe. That one is blogworthy as well. Had a rather serious discussion as well with Adrian and Leyi about the direction of the Nurture Programme so far.

Sometimes I feel a bit stuck in-between - perhaps my style is too flexible. I know it's one of my strengths, yet also a weakness of mine.

Somehow sensed that Ms Raja seemed a bit tired and/or burdened. Whether it's with family or the children under her care...

Met some Soka people there. Haha. Actually quite interesting, 'cos there's this lady who's quite on about Soka. So asked me to explain to me more about what Soka is. She was more than happy to oblige me. :) Hee. I think I quite enjoy finding out more about other religions - recently I read an excellent play about some people who were martyred for their Ba'hai faith. It was very good. And had a better insight into the hearts and convictions of those were willing to die for their faith. Was very touched by the play. And I remember poring over the Greek mythologies during my primary school days.

But of course, I must admit I feel a bit nervous at times learning more about other religions. Thing is, would my own faith in Christ be swayed? Since I know my own weakness of being so flexible and accepting of whatever inputs I get. Hmm. But I guess it's not a good thing to just run away and ignore the fact that there's other religions too mah. 'Cos I read in Acts that the apostle Paul went walking around Athens finding out more the Greek religion. And from there he found something in common that he could relate the gospel message to the Athenian council. :)

But yeah. As I study more... I find nothing can compare with the person of Jesus Christ. There's simply no one else like Him! :) All the wise men of the world and their sayings ultimately are but a shadow of what He said. And yet He speaks so simply that even little children and uneducated people can grasp what He means.

And grace and forgiveness for all the wrong things I've ever done. And peace with God. Yep. So that's why I decided, that out of all these worldviews and so on, the gospel message explains the problems of mankind and offers the best and most compelling answers to it all. And best of all, a real and living relationship with God through Jesus Christ his one and only Son. :)

Been sitting and just walking and even napping for 4 solid hours. :) And I love it. Ahaha. There's a choir singing in the background.

Birds chirping. Cool rainy air. So nice.

Prayed asking God for some advice about some practical issues. Then Proverbs 24:27 came to mind: "Finish your outdoor work and get your fields ready; after that, build your house." That means go fix a steady source of income first - tuition, relief teaching and so on. Then we'll talk again about all the other things you want to do.

LOL. The Lord's really very practical too. :) Quite surprised initially, but hey, makes a LOT of sense. Sometimes being spiritual means being pragmatic too. E.g. "If a man shall not work, he shall not eat." Amen to that.

Okay. Gotta plan timetable as well. Stressed! Meeting up Jon soon to play LAN games with him.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Psalm 22:22
"I will declare Your name to my brothers;
in the congregation I will praise You."

Was reading this, and ah, this caught my eye. I guess it's just the way the psalmist cried this out with so much conviction. If you read it in context, wow... even after so much suffering and anguish, the psalmist still says with a fiercely triumphant joy that overrides his present discouragement, pain and agony. And he said it, even after crying out, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" - the cry of all the God-forsaken people of the earth, whether Jew or Christian... and of course, the cry of an innocent Jew on the cross.

Can I say this with conviction and holy fierceness too? A fierce cry that cries out not only to God for help, but also to praise Him no matter what happens? A fierce cry that confesses the ultimate triumph of the LORD, even unto death?

The Parable of the Rice Farmer's Son

Note: I remember reading this story last time in primary school... unforgettable. And well, I was reminded of this story, because of Zachary's latest post: Run At The Speed of Time.

There was once a rice farmer, and he had a young son. They were poor, but happy. And the father would work hard day after day in the hot sun, planting and harvesting the rice.

Finally, the time came when the father decided to teach his young son how to plant rice. So he took him to the rice fields. They worked hard all day and all night, and finally, they had a beautiful field of young tender rice shoots gleaming in the water. The son was very happy and excited, and felt all grown-up and important. He was a big boy now. No, he was a MAN, just like his father!

The next day, the farmer and his son went back to the fields to check on the plants. The father chuckled to himself with satisfaction, but his son was puzzled. He waited, and waited, and waited. But the plants didn't grow very much. He peered at their leaves, and held his little hand next to one of the plants. No difference.

So he asked his father, "Daddy, why are the plants taking so long to grow?"

The father wisely replied, "My son, they were planted only yesterday. They take time to grow. It'll be a few months and then they'll be ready for the harvest."

But the son was discontented. As his father turned around to go off on an errand, the son gazed at the rows and rows of young plants before him. And he murmured to himself, "I think Daddy's wrong. I know what to do to help them grow faster!"

So... when his dad went off for a week to the town to buy some goods, the son crept off to the rice fields. Very carefully, he gingerly pulled up each rice shoot by a few centimetres. He worked hard all day, and all night, and when he was done, he smiled to himself and wiped off his sweat.

"Daddy will be so proud of me! See how much taller my plants are!"

When his dad came back, the son couldn't wait to bring him to the rice field to see the result of all his hard work.

To their horror, all the rice plants lay dead in the water.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Fountain of Life's Lessons

Saturday! I had a great time getting know two more kids: Shaiful and Theeban, in the Nurture Programme. And Yuanrou and I got to make a new friend, Cecil. She's a reporter with the New Paper. Wows! Anyway, she helps out with the Nurture Programme in her own personal capacity. Methinks she looks a bit like Junting btw. Haha...

Then! since I was free for the afternoon, I went for the Uni-YA service at RELC. Wows... they did a REALLY innovative and fun show: Telesphore. It's about an imaginary futuristic device that can give you ratings of happiness. Gosh! realise that I could adapt this device for the HopeKids skit...

Anyway, the play was about some futuristic land called Terra. And gosh, the song-and-dance sequence really was very well-done! As it was right smack next to National Day, it felt so much like a National Day song... ahahaha. Anyway Huili did a really brill job as a researcher working with cute little babies. Hahaha she was really into her element. And Jan was great as the half-crazed inventor of the Telesphore. Gosh. He really reminded me of Stephen Chow, mannerisms some more. LOL. The other actors were great too... got even a video clip with Minchen, Huili and Shuyi inside some more haha.

And! The sermon by Wenjiang. Wow. It was a variation of the S1aNsation theme. There was one verse in the passage that Wenjiang shared, that really spoke to me personally.
John 4:13-14
Jesus answered, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."
It's a familiar verse, but that Saturday, somehow it just smacked me right in the chest. Don't know how, but when Wenjiang shared it, I realised that we often try to satisfy our thirsty heart with things such as computer games, Facebook, meeting friends, and so on. Like how the characters in the Telesphore skit kept on doing things to keep their Telesphore ratings high, and therefore, their happiness ratings high.

But... when these things are over, the euphoria, like the NDP fireworks, burst sky-high... and in a transient moment, disappear completely into the black night of the soul.

But Jesus promised a totally different ball game. He spoke of a new kind of water. Yup, He got the idea of Newater before the PUB got hold of it... haha. Imagine with me, if you will, a tiny drop of living water sploshing into the ground. Then it disappears into the thirsty ground, just like any other water droplet. But after a brief moment, suddenly, a tiny crack bursts open in the ground. Then a few droplets trickle out. And then a whispering rivulet. Then a murmuring brook, a bubbling spring, a rolling river, a roaring torrent, a booming waterfall! And the entire desert is transformed into a brand new Eden, a totally new ecosystem. Even Star Trek's Genesis bomb couldn't compare to this living water.

So when I take time to be with Jesus... He plants in me a delicious little drop of living water in my heart and soul every time. :) And whatever thirsty little corner of my soul that I brought to Him that day, it never becomes thirsty again. Because from that day onwards, He has done something wonderful there, in that surrendered patch of dry ground.

:D Well. After that met up my old friend Gabriel Ong. We ate at Pastamania, then went to St. Andrew's Cathedral just to walk around. And he said it's such a nice place, very relaxing. He really needs a good break; he's been so busy with work and studies that it's affecting his health. And we just talked and talked under the lovely night sky. :D And oh yeah, he was very blessed by the quality time spent together. :)

Anyway, he was sharing with me that though he's happy as a Buddhist, interestingly in his office, everyone's a Christian there - except him. And since he's Weizhu's ex-classmate, he said to me that God really has changed WZ ever since he became a Christian! Wow. I was so surprised when he said that. And told WZ what Gabriel said. Haha. :) (Yep, Gabriel's fine with me saying that.) Then prayed for Gabriel's health and healing too.

Thank God for his wonderful work in WZ all these years! Thank God for Gabriel's faithful friendship all these years since NS days too... here's praying that your health will get better ASAP!

Sunday! It was a really great day - we had HopeKids service, and some really lame skit that I wrote... paiseh haha... thank God for Katarina, Peter (not my shepherd) and Alvin. They were great! Saved a lame script, they indeed did. They took lemon and made lemonade. Ps Jeff was there too. He wasn't preaching, just coming down to visit us.

Ah! Ps Jo preached a great sermon on translating our godly intentions into action! And his story about the man who obeyed the prompting of God to bring a carton of milk to a specific house... wow. It touched my heart. V timely too.

Weizhu brought his Nerf guns along too! He and Kimchun were happily testing them out... WZ's modded gun shoots better than the unmodded one.

Oh, and after that, had a good time of just chatting with Huaqiang during lunchtime. Originally we had planned to bring the CG for an outing to East Coast Park. But TH couldn't make it... Sharon was sick... Jeannie was in Batam... and Liting, Shuhui, Meixian and Stanli all couldn't make it. Wah. So just Huaqiang and me.

So we stared at each other, and kind of groaned. Haha. So bought HQ a cup of hot kopi to "drown his sorrows" (just kidding), and chit-chatted about the movies and GI Joe too. Haha...

Yup! Had intended to go back home to continue reading a good book I bought. But decided to call Weizhu to see if he was free. Yup he was. And he was with Huichun too! So we went looking for Nerf guns.

Ah. Then Huichun was craving for bubble tea. And she looked at Weizhu all doe-eyed. So we got bubble tea. And then after that, we walked and talked some more, and watched the Bugis Junction's "Happy Fountain" springing to life.

And we saw a mum taking the diapers off a cute little toddler! We wondered what she was doing - changing her baby's diapers in public?

I whispered to WZ: "Eh, bro, is she going to use the fountain as a ... washroom?"

WZ: "Oh! I don't think so. Look likes she's just removing the diapers so that the little girl can play in the fountain!"

So we watched the little girl grin toothily as she toddled towards the fountain. Her smile turned into a curious gaze as she crept nearer and nearer. And suddenly, ALL the waterspouts GUSHED up simultaneously with a giant roar! The little girl screamed and toddled hastily back into her mother's arms! Huichun gasped, and then we all laughed.

Weizhu commented, "Gee, I think she will be scared of the fountain from now on."

But as we kept watching, the mother took the little girl back into the fountain. This time, the mum accompanied her daughter up to the fountain, and tenderly holding her daughter's little arm out into the fountain's waterspout, the little girl's eyes opened wide with wonder as the once-mighty water splashed into her little palm.

For she had returned to face her fear, and now she had, with her mum's help, conquered what once scared her - literally holding and stopping the writhing water snake with her hand. While all the other water spouts leapt merrily on their way over her head, she was the absolute master and courageous conqueror of what had once made her turn tail and flee.

Wow. What a powerful yet unspoken lesson. Thank God for the mum, she did a great job!

Oh! There was a little boy as well. He was the opposite of the little girl - he was craning his neck to see how far he could go before getting wet. Carefully venturing forth into the geyser minefield, he bravely scooted around, as far in as he could, and then happily ducked out.

Weizhu observed, "Guys like to take risks." :)

[Trying out this style from!]
Question: What little lessons have you managed to learn from a little one today?

Oh! Then after that we went to TCC. We had potato wedges. And started sharing about ideas how to bless the church. And as we went on, and as I shared my thoughts and concerns, Weizhu grew more and more animated. More excited. 'Cos he has some Great Idea you see. :) And the Nerf gun he bought plays a part of his Great Idea. :)

Question: What great ideas have you managed to pick up from a great friend today?

Thank God for him! We also took the time to pray for Huichun's knee. Painful.

Later on HC said that her knee feels better. Praise the Lord!

Monday! Woke up late. Super-late. So met WZ for lunch at 3 pm. Haha. We talked some more and shared about our lives, and our sheep. Heh. Jon was around at Plaza Sing's MOS Burger, serving some customers. Impressed by his fast and ready service.

Then we went looking for Nerf guns again. It was a great time, just looking at the toys. Haha. Prayed for one another before he went off to meet Huichun again.

Then... as I retreated to Ion Orchard, TH called me and asked me whether I was free. So I went, and had a good dinner with him. :D Really good catching up with this dear friend!

Finally, and this is what I think the Holy Spirit had been prompting me since Sunday to do, I wrote an encouragement card and took it down to one of the CG sisters' workplace. As I approached the restaurant, I tried to find her, but couldn't. So I prayed, asking God to help me find her. Then... as I passed a couple of pillars, to my surprise, I saw her standing right behind the two pillars, precisely positioned between the gap!

Whoa! God answers so fast and precisely. Haha... But wasn't sure whether to call her attention, as her colleague was with her. So walked a bit further on... and then decided to turn back and try getting her attention. And yes, she saw me, and she was so surprised (even though I had asked her already when was the timing of her shift that day).

So passed her the encouragement card through the pillars' gap, and she asked me whether there's CG this Friday. Yup, got. So she said she should be able to make it. Wow! Praise God.

And as I went off, I felt a sudden rush of joy fill my heart. It was such a thrill. Sort of like having successfully accomplished a mission as a secret agent - on His Majesty's Service! :D

Realised this is probably the prompting of the Holy Spirit, and was so glad, because I realised that God really wants to do His work through each and everyone of us. And when we choose to wait on Him, and obey every instruction that He gives us, no matter how big or small, He fills our hearts with so much joy and laughter that, really, to obey really brings so much joy!

And He prefers our obedience to sacrifice! All so often we talk about making big sacrifices for God in our lives... but sometimes... just sometimes... I wonder if we're willing to take little acts of immediate obedience too? These don't take much - just being willing to turn off the TV right now... just being willing to stay back for a while longer to pray... just being willing to take a little detour to get some coffee or milk to bless someone... and there is such joy, exhilaration, delight, triumph, victory... when we realise that what we did was supernaturally timed/enabled/empowered by God Himself. He was with us all along, and we knew it not... whoa. Jesus really is alive! And He lives in you and me, we who are the Father's beloved children - right now.

So that's a wonderful two days.

Question: What are some things that God has done for you today? And have you asked God today to help you be more sensitive to His divine voice, to do some directed act of spontaneous kindness to someone in need today?

Tuesday was really sian though. Because I woke up late, and didn't have time to pray. And I was rushing through the day... gosh. But after praying desperately just before having DMM over the phone, God refreshed my heart. Wah. Touched by God's humilty and kindness and mercy. I forget about Him for the whole day, and then when I realise I need Him, He's there, ready to receive me like the father of the prodigal son. Gee. :)

So God, help me not be nua, but to pray first thing in the morning, to fellowship with You! And help me, Lord, remember that there's nothing today that You and i can't handle together. In Jesus' name, amen!

Question: Have you remembered to ask God this morning, to not only help you, but guide you through today?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Whose Call Is It Anyway?

'Not called!' did you say?

'Not heard the call,' I think you should say.

Put your ear down to the Bible, and hear Him bid you go and pull sinners out of the fire of sin. Put your ear down to the burdened, agonized heart of humanity, and listen to its pitiful wail for help. Go stand by the gates of hell, and hear the damned entreat you to go to their father's house and bid their brothers and sisters and servants and masters not to come there. Then look Christ in the face -- whose mercy you have professed to obey -- and tell Him whether you will join heart and soul and body and circumstances in the march to publish His mercy to the world.

- William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army

"If the Great Commission is true, our plans are not too big; they are too small."
-- Pat Morley
Wow. Just got news that we're getting a special bonus. It's very timely! Because I need the money to tide me over till I can get another job. And the great thing is that I'm still eligible for it, even though I'm leaving on 18 Aug, because the cutoff date is 1 Aug. Really thank God for His faithfulness. Reminded again that He will meet all my needs according to His glorious riches in Christ. Especially when I step out to obey God.

It's all these little kindnesses from God daily that really warm my heart so much. :D Hee!

So many little drops of blessings
Makes the mighty ocean of God's love

"God’s work done in God’s way will never lack God’s supplies." - Hudson Taylor

Monday, August 10, 2009

I Said My Pledge!

Was at Bishan MRT at 8 pm yesterday. And some volunteers went out and asked us to come in and recite the pledge together. Wow. It was a surreal time. Felt paiseh haha, especially with all the cameras. But pondered about it. It's great that we're finally doing it as a corporate activity. Together as Singaporeans.

And realised that the pledge is also a thanksgiving for the unity that we have as Singaporeans. In fact, our pledge is so significant, because it is NOT a declaration of allegiance or loyalty to a flag or a sovereign... but more simply, as a common expression of commitment to stay united as one people.

And that's what our Pledge is, and shall ever be - a pledge of Unity. Not unity to an abstract ideal. Not unity to a common sovereign or leader. But... unity as in human-ity.

"...pledge ourselves as one united people, regardless of race, language or religion..."

And I think this is so critical. So foundational. Singapore is a miracle. A tiny red dot. That hasn't exploded (not in recent times), by the grace of God. And I like it so much.

But not just so. I felt a tiny thrill run in my heart when we moved on to this phrase: " as to build a democratic society, based on justice and equality, so as to achieve happiness, prosperity and progress for our nation."

Justice and equality. I think these two virtues are well-known traits in Singapore. That all men are equal in the eyes of a just God.

And as I held my plastic flag, I thought about it. The glory of all the nations. The glory of Singapore. What is Singapore, that we should be mindful of it? The sons and daughters of immigrants, that we should care for it? An "imagined community"... but I think it's a noble idea, even if some cynics were to say that it shall ever be an imagination.

Because this IS an imagi-nation. And we will keep on holding on to that dream, to be a united people... caring for one another. Because, well, we are all people. :)

Hee. Idealistic yeah. But I like my country. It's not perfect, but hey, God put me here, and it's my homeland after all. :)

Happy birthday Singapore.
Looking on a wider scale, one concern that I have in my heart is that an increasing number of people, even among the leaders, stress the importance of being strong and independent, "able to take care of yourself spiritually". That's important, but I think we might be getting imbalanced.

Cos we are called to be spiritually interdependent, not spiritually independent. Galatians stress so strongly about this: "Help carry one another's burdens and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ." So many Scripture talk about this.

I think this is one of the subtle distortions that is creeping into our 21st century church, attempting to undermine the importance of the Church.

To be honest, an increasing no. of lyrics that we sing for our P&W stress the individual relationship with God. That's good. But we neglect the corporate unity of the church too. There are great songs that have the word "we". Why not sing more of these too?

Because we mustn't forget that the Church is the apple of God's eyes. The Church is the Body of Christ. The Church is the Bride of Christ. The Church is at the centre of God's redemptive plan for humanity. You get my drift. And if we start thinking we can live unaccountable lives... we are in great danger. And more so - our mental doctrines agree, but our actual, practical doctrines speak a different story.

Think of Sparta's 300. It's not merely a legend - it's a historical event. Of course, they had a great defensive position. But their unity was critical. And the rest is history, plus an epic blockbuster movie sponsored by some swimming-trunk manufacturer.


Yah. Think a lot of people, especially the younger ones, have not been well-grounded in the doctrine of the Church. It's so important. I guess I should know... I was one of those... kept running away from the church... :)

Ok! I'm late.
Also want to quickly dash off a thanksgiving for Peter and Andrew putting me up at their houses, during the "fallout" period. :) Was terribly blessed and touched by their mums' hospitality. Andrew's mum especially made sure I was very well-fed. Whoa.

And so grateful for this family of God. All these experiences made me think deeper about the nature of the church. How beautiful the church is in God's eyes.

Coincidence, perhaps, but Huaqiang asked me to write a short skit for CG, to illustrate what the model Acts church looked like. Scratched my head, but realised that a short skit simply isn't sufficient to demo. Andrew, when he heard about it, he exclaimed, "Wah! Less than 5 minutes, your skit? The Acts church teaching got more than 30 points..."

At that point, I knew I should have thrown in the towel. No shame here - God's standard for the ideal Church is just too wonderful. Try making a model of the Grand Canyon... it just doesn't do justice.

And... yesterday, during service, only Sharon, Huaqiang and me (Jeannie was in Batam with her colleagues) were there for CG. The rest didn't/couldn't/wouldn't come. And... while looking out for them, suddenly I was gripped by a deep sorrow. I was stunned. Asked God whether it's me... or is it what Peiru last time talked about - the grief of the Holy Spirit?

Then recalled the prayer I had prayed last week: "Lord, break my heart for what breaks Yours."

And gosh, my heart was suddenly also very burdened and concerned for some sick friend. And it struck me there and then that God is so deeply concerned for us when we are physically sick. We ourselves think it's just a "normal flu". But God shakes his head and says, "Flu! it was never My idea from the beginning. All this sin and sickness that you see in the world today break the bodies and souls of men. And I am so grieved to see all the pain and suffering caused. Maybe you think it's ok. Well, I'm still concerned... what Father wouldn't be concerned when he sees his children sick? Even if it's 'just a flu'? And especially if you keep on falling sick? My heart really aches..."

This revelation took me by surprise. But makes sense. Because it's so close to the heart of Jesus. That's why He can care so much to heal the sick. The lame. The blind. The deaf. The mute. Raise the dead. Feed the hungry and thirsty.

And the Church, the Body of Christ, is to be concerned for what God is concerned for.

I remember one brother last time mentioning about our church (the Hope one): "It's true, we can do more for those in need."

Thought about it. I ain't gonna criticize my church - hey! it's my family ok... - but what I can do - help out in whatever way possible, not only in comcare, but also in my caregroup. congegration. Care for others' needs more and more. In fact take it further. Don't have to stick to those in my sub-d. Why not make friends with those from different life-stations? Talk more with them?

And that's what a very dear bro and I were discussing yesterday. About the need for men from different life-stations to come together. A repudiation of the 'self-sufficient' mentality that's in our different services e.g. youth service, family service, adults service and so on. Not to say that these life-station services are not good. But cannot take them solely like that. Cross-generational ties are also v important, especially for men.

Have been having breakfast with one of the Sec 1 guys. Joel. He was from HopeKids last time, now moved on to Youth. But he still goes back every Sunday to be with the HopeKids too. (Of course he goes for Youth service too.) Anyway, it's great to chat and talk with him over breakfast. And realised that this is cross-generational bonding. Grand!
Anyway, I've been wanting to write so much about the past week.

Took the children in the Nurture Programme last week out for movie outing. We watch "Up". Whoa. It was so touching. First 3 minutes, cried already. Haha. But that makes the comedy that follows even more heartwarming AND inspiring. That you're never too old to achieve your dreams... and find new dreams!

Spoiler alert - start!

Old men, young men. Together they can do great things. One stresses safety with the wisdom of senescence, the other stresses loyalty to rescue their friend with the "foolish" courage of youth. And... it was a real hoot to see two old men whacking each other in epic battle... and then something very funny happens in the middle of their whacking. Haha... proof that old men still can do good ol' fashioned hand-to-hand combat, albeit a bit slower.

Spoiler alert - end!

Anyway, brought Yuanrou (we both are in HopeKids) and Faridah, a friend I made while drinking coffee in DSTA's Rocky Master last time. And we had a whale of a time trying to get 30+ children under control. Haha. But it was v heartwarming. And Ms Raja shared with us her social work experience during the post-mortem. Very heart-aching, but also very heart-stirring.

The War of the Soul

Just woke up. Wish I had slept earlier! It's such a struggle - I actually procrastinate going to sleep.

It's stupid, and to be honest, I don't like it. I actually love waking up early, early in the morning... beautiful sunshine and fresher air.

The good I want to do, I don't do...

Never mind. Today is another new day. I've decided that I won't touch the Internet tonight. That'll be one of my rules... no Internet before going to sleep. I guess my intention is to write in my journal before I sleep or blog.

But ah well. Whatever work I want to do, do it in the morning or afternoon. I'm much more productive that way.

Come to think of it, life's an everyday struggle. Hee. I guess this is also something that Islam talks about, that true jihad (not the terrorist one) is abt struggling against what wars against the soul - a moral struggle. And if I'm not wrong, the moral struggle for purity is of greater significance than the physical war that the common viewpoint is. (Got my info from the All-Knowing Wikipedia... haha hope it's accurate. If there's any Muslims out there who's reading this, and I've misunderstood it, do correct me k? Tks!)

In fact the Bible talks about this clearly in 1 Peter 2:11-12. The apostle Peter wrote to the persecuted church:
"Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us."
To strive to live lives worthy of His calling. Since God has given me a calling, all the more I have to discipline myself even more strictly, so that I can offer Him the very best of my life. Don't want to give Him 2nd-hand time!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Gee. It's hard to get back into the groove of blogging after a one-week hiatus.

Thank God the "nuclear fallout" with my parents is finally over... (I think, for now). :) Yes, it was stressful, and personally, for me, emotionally trying.

But God has been so gracious. Through this experience, I cried out to Him, and He showed me so many things... And wow, He worked in such wonderful ways, that it could only be the hand of God at work.

But not just wonderful works here, but also some very important lessons... and sweet experiences.


Ahh... what I learnt so far from the past week's experiences:
1. Learning to humble myself and cry out to God more and more each day. Everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved... And seeing the swift power of God in rapid response. Before they call, I will answer...
2. A deeper insight into the importance of God's magnum opus - the family of God aka the Church.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Philadelphia Experience

Revelation 3:7-13
"To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write:

These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open..."

Thank God for Peter, Weizhu, Huaqiang, Andrew (my neighbour), Shuyi, Sharon, Clarence and whoever else encouraged/prayed/supported me. :) Thank God especially for Andrew and his mum too.

Thank God too especially for an unexpected (but not unsurprising) blessing: my sister in England. Somehow she understands and... she confirmed what I had been thinking.

Thank God too for the very specific rhema word that He gave me last Sunday as I was praying: Revelation 3:7-13. It is so exact... and this verse came literally true today.
"These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open.

I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name."
Totally amazing. In the middle of the firestorm, God is with me, just as He was with with the three men in the furnace.

And... there was one word that is so sweet.
"I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem... I will also write on him my new name."
Could it be any sweeter? I told God I wanted to write for Him... and He replied me, I will write on you my Name.

Deeply touched and grateful. I totally do not deserve His kindness and grace. And yet... He is lavishing on me. who am i, that He would choose to use a poor sinner like me?

Something also very significant happened later on, when I went to help out for the Nurture children's movie outing today. I shared the details with Weizhu on the phone. It does seem that 1 August 2009 may be a date for me to remember. Yet another example of God's perfect timing, perfect providence and perfect purpose.

God is so blessedly faithful and merciful. Even when we are faithless, He will remain faithful, for He cannot disown Himself. He is indeed the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God's creation.

Yes and Amen.

Saturday, August 1, 2009


The bombardment has begun.