Wednesday, March 31, 2010

"There is no such thing as a private life for the Christian"

Given the recent hoo-ha about Facebook's and Google Buzz's privacy issues... I thought this came very appropriate.

There is no such thing as a private life, or a place to hide in this world, for a man or woman who is intimately aware of and shares in the sufferings of Jesus Christ. God divides the private life of His saints and makes it a highway for the world on one hand and for Himself on the other. No human being can stand that unless he is identified with Jesus Christ. We are not sanctified for ourselves. We are called into intimacy with the gospel, and things happen that appear to have nothing to do with us. But God is getting us into fellowship with Himself. Let Him have His way. If you refuse, you will be of no value to God in His redemptive work in the world, but will be a hindrance and a stumbling block.

The first thing God does is get us grounded on strong reality and truth. He does this until our cares for ourselves individually have been brought into submission to His way for the purpose of His redemption. Why shouldn't we experience heartbreak? Through those doorways God is opening up ways of fellowship with His Son. Most of us collapse at the first grip of pain. We sit down at the door of God's purpose and enter a slow death through self-pity. And all the so-called Christian sympathy of others helps us to our deathbed. But God will not. He comes with the grip of the pierced hand of His Son, as if to say, "Enter into fellowship with Me; arise and shine." If God can accomplish His purposes in this world through a broken heart, then why not thank Him for breaking yours?

The Consecration of Spiritual Power


If I dwell on the Cross of Christ, I do not simply become inwardly devout and solely interested in my own holiness— I become strongly focused on Jesus Christ's interests. Our Lord was not a recluse nor a fanatical holy man practicing self-denial. He did not physically cut Himself off from society, but He was inwardly disconnected all the time. He was not aloof, but He lived in another world. In fact, He was so much in the common everyday world that the religious people of His day accused Him of being a glutton and a drunkard. Yet our Lord never allowed anything to interfere with His consecration of spiritual power.

It is not genuine consecration to think that we can refuse to be used of God now in order to store up our spiritual power for later use. That is a hopeless mistake. The Spirit of God has set a great many people free from their sin, yet they are experiencing no fullness in their lives— no true sense of freedom. The kind of religious life we see around the world today is entirely different from the vigorous holiness of the life of Jesus Christ. "I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one" John 17:15 ). We are to be in the world but not of it— to be separated internally, not externally (seeJohn 17:16  ).

We must never allow anything to interfere with the consecration of our spiritual power. Consecration (being dedicated to God's service) is our part; sanctification (being set apart from sin and being made holy) is God's part. We must make a deliberate determination to be interested only in what God is interested. The way to make that determination, when faced with a perplexing problem, is to ask yourself, "Is this the kind of thing in which Jesus Christ is interested, or is it something in which the spirit that is diametrically opposed to Jesus is interested?"

Does God ever speak to us in the still hours of late night or early morning?


Who hasn't awakened from troubling dreams in the dark silence of the early morning with what seems a supernatural perspective on the stream of time and one's place in it. Reality is amplified. Vivid memories of past sins and lost opportunities unleash powerful, deeply repressed emotions. One's sense of God's presence and holiness is overwhelming. We feel the crushing weight of more truth than we think ourselves capable of bearing.

This kind of nocturnal encounter with God is described in the timeless words of Scripture:

"For God speaks in one way, and in two, though man does not perceive it. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls upon men, while they slumber on their beds, then he opens the ears of men, and terrifies them with warnings, that he may turn man aside from his deed, and cut off pride from man; he keeps back his soul from the Pit, his life from perishing by the sword." (Job 33:14-18 RSV)

"I will bless the Lord who has given me counsel; my heart also instructs me in the night seasons." (Psalm 16:7 NKJV)

"You have tested my heart; You have visited me in the night" (Psalm 17:3 NKJV)

"When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches." (Psalm 63:6 NKJV)

Experiences like these only come by God's grace. We would never seek them on our own.

I need Godly sorrow

Lord, give me sorrow... GODLY sorrow.

<blockquote><b>2 Cor 7</b>
8Even if I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it. Though
I did regret it—I see that my letter hurt you, but only for a little
while— 9yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but
because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as
God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us. 10Godly sorrow
brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but
worldly sorrow brings death. 11See what this godly sorrow has produced
in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what
indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to
see justice done. At every point you have proved yourselves to be
innocent in this matter. 12So even though I wrote to you, it was not
on account of the one who did the wrong or of the injured party, but
rather that before God you could see for yourselves how devoted to us
you are. 13By all this we are encouraged.</blockquote>

Touched, heart-warmed, shell-shocked, stunned, calm, grateful, ... but
also the sinful old me thinking "I think I can get away with this"...
but the new me in Christ rebuking the sinful nature.

A lot of wrestling against my sinful nature in the next few days. I
have died, and have come back to life. (metaphorically, but pretty

Blessed be the name of the Lord
You give... and You take away...
Blessed be Your name forever and ever
Amen and amen.

Something happened today. It's not a happy thing, and definitely it can be seen as a failure. Yet... I'm not that sad... strangely, I also feel a little happy... yet... unhappy... but it's enough to bring a tear to my eyes. A bittersweet sense of feeling.

Thank God for a dear friend who shared this with me just now:
"like shuo bu chu de ku zhong
that feeling on the inside tats unexplanable and v broken...
like a bit sweet also...... but have to let go
so pain
but God's peace w u"

I'm so amazed. Everything is right on time. I sense the next stage of God's calling coming into place. But... oh... it has to be let go of. It hurts. But yet, I feel a strange sense of God's peace with me. The peace of God that surpasses all understanding.

I guess... seeing it from the worldly perspective, it's a failure. But seeing it from God's perspective... it's just the next booster stage in a rocket launch. Where you let go of the deadweight engines that have run out of fuel, so that the next engines can take over.

*deep breath*

Thank God for His grace and mercy. and mercy. and mercy. Hallelujah and amen. Worthy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.

And I see that God doesn't call for perfect people, but He perfects broken people and uses them as He goes along.

=') but oh, how broken i feel. hallelujah. =)

Why I Don't Tweet... | Out of Ur | Conversations for Ministry Leaders

Why I Don't Tweet... | Out of Ur | Conversations for Ministry Leaders

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Feeling negative « Chronicles of Ecuador

Read Shenteng's latest blog entry. Feeling negative « Chronicles of Ecuador. It's extremely arresting. And very inspiring.

How about me? I know that in some areas of my love for God, I have started slacking, and losing focus, and lessening my love for God. E.g. responsibility and excellence in ministry. I say to myself that God is gracious... yes... He indeed is... but c'mon YA, He also give wonderful rewards to those who give their very utmost for Him in love! Not as wages, but as rewards from Him...

But thank God for His infinite love... the key thing to renewing our first love for Him is not to try harder, but to ask God for power, together with all the saints, to grasp the sheer extent of Christ's love for us... and to know this love that surpasses knowledge... so that we may be filled to the brim of all the fullness of God.

Isn't it so wonderful? Renew me again Father!

Monday, March 29, 2010

My freelance client's very thoughtful. Told her I'm rushing the deadline for lunchtime, and she replied back, "Do take good care of your health. Okay if end of day." :)

And also am blessed by my boss' consideration.

Looking at the past 2 years so far, I've been blessed with excellent bosses / team leaders. They have their strengths and weaknesses, but I think there's one thing that sets them apart from some of the horror stories I've heard about other bosses - they care.

"People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care." :)

Think God is showing me and training me to care for people in more practical ways in the workplace. =)

YouTube - The Most Useless Machine EVER!


Edited to add:
Come to think of it... isn't it a sign that sometimes the most seemingly useless things can be the most beautiful and elegant demonstration of a Master's genius? Perhaps that's one reason God made "non-essential" and "useless" things like music, colours, laughter, smiles, friendships, taste, smell...

Shannon the geek god made the machine just for the sheer pleasure of it... not because he had to, but because he wanted to enjoy it, and to showcase the beauty of the power of logic.

And God made us humans just for the sheer joy of it... not because he had to, but simply because he wanted to enjoy us, and to showcase the beauty of the power of his love.
From this week onwards, my new timetable is:
Go to office on Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoons (2 to 6 pm). :D

Thank God... can focus more on my freelance projects and ministry work... and now can meet up with more bros and sisters over lunch! Praise God! =D

Sunday, March 28, 2010

my gmail status update: time to let go

all of a sudden, Kin Wee sends me a msg.

bart: and cry 'ahhhhhhhahhhhhh!'

Don't you simply love this fella?


Last Friday, I finally discussed with Huaqiang about me moving over to HopeKids CG. He's supportive of it and confirmed that this move will extend the Kingdom of God more. Thank God for him. He told me, "Just let me know when you're ready to move over. Don't need to wait until the CG splits up." Told him I will pray about it. =)

Told Peter today about my exchange with Huaqiang. And he said, "Time flies." And we were reminsiscing about our friendship over the past 5 years, when we first began by quarrelling. And now we are dear friends and brothers. Gosh. And the journey of discipleship. And now, the time is coming very near. I can sense it's time for me to take off the flight deck of Carrier Task Force NG4B1. :D

Can see how God has been preparing and equipping me for the past 3 years. And now, God used me to bless people in the marketplace and disciple people in ministry. So thankful to God for the preciousness and privilege of being chosen. But the journey has only just begun. Told Peter, "My life's work has only just begun." =) Nearing the Big Three. And Jesus was thirty when He began His ministry.


Woah... when I made the decision to let go just now, I saw Hong Teck's latest blog post today. Sense the urgency of the mission at hand. Wow. Thank God for this timely confirmation.

And ... just now a dear bro studying in Australia suddenly contacted me out of the blue on MSN. We chatted, and there are some things in our conversation... some things that were extremely relevant for him... and I saw how what I had been through the past 3 years were being experienced by him too. He has his own struggles, very similar to mine... but thank God he still has kept his faith in Jesus, even though his heart is sad.

I think I see that God is showing me that all these circumstances are the perfect confluence of everything... that some powerful things will happen when I let go of what I hold dear, and surrender them to the Lord.

It's really time to let go, and time to fly off. Praise the Lord indeed.

Time To Let Go

Ecclesiastes 3:5-6
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away...
Thank God for Peter. =)

"How do I know how much is my part, and how much is God's part?"

"Hmm... I think it's move in tandem. In tandem. Not too much, not too little."

And I understood clearly. "Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. If He asks me to go a hundred metres, don't go a kilometre." And don't go a metre only either.

"If it's meant to be, it's meant to be. Perhaps you should just let go at this point in time."

Where He leads, I must go. Where He calls, I must follow. Use reasonable judgement to determine how much to give in respond to what I understand the Holy Spirit to be telling me to go. And I know He has been gently prompting me to let go. And confirming through my dear shepherd.

I feel like Abraham deciding whether to sacrifice his Isaac.

Now learn to let go and move on. It feels painful and tough, but I know I can trust God, no matter how much it hurts to let go. For to die is to live. To live is Christ, to die is gain...

Still, I am afraid. Of the cold winter's night to come.
Oh, God, make small
The old star-eaten blanket of the sky,
That I may fold it round me and in comfort lie.
- T. E. Hulme

The Most Important Truth

From Born Again … Again:
"Which does the Bible speak more of, loving God or loving your neighbor?"
I thought it was a trick question. How can you separate the two? Jesus didn't! (Matt. 22:36-40).
After watching us squirm, John laughed. "I'm a very anal person," he admitted. He described how once he had actually counted all the Bible verses about loving God and loving neighbor. They were innumerable, of course; the latter included many about loving the poor that had profoundly shaped my work with Spencer.

But John said he had made a discovery: Far more than verses about loving God or loving the poor were stories about God's love for us. The most important truth in the world, said John, is not our trying harder to love God or others, but God's acts of love for us. "If you don't get God's love into your bones, you will become very dangerous people," he warned. "Especially activists like you. The most important person in this community is not Spencer, or Chris, or any of you, or the people in the neighborhood. The most important person in any community is Jesus. Your life has to keep Jesus at the center."
Psalm 142.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Just want to thank God for how He has been working in Kim Chun's bro, Kim Leong. Very encouraged by how he has been eagerly reading the Bible - I mean, in less than 2 weeks, he has read from Matthew to Hebrews! And last nite he was sharing testimony with me how the Holy Spirit prompted him, reminding him of a verse from the Bible, to respond wisely to someone else.

Thank God for Huaqiang and Zhenzhong who are following up on him! :)

A thought. Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the Word of Christ. And what Robert remarked during our super satay supper: "I realised that those who find it hardest to read the Bible are those who have not read the whole Bible."

Yes, yes and amen.

Why are we so slow to finish the Bible? Why not read through it all and read it with faith? :) Don't we all want to see the wonderful things that God can do, and the realness of the new life that He offers?

I am reading the book of Acts again, for the tenth time or so, and oh my, it's so thrilling. The more I read it, the more I realise how real the people are... and how amazing our lives could become if we chose to believe that the Holy Spirit can empower us to do what the New Testament church did 2000 years ago.

For example, I have indeed experienced first-hand one miracle in the book of Acts. Like the hearing of a foreign tongue in my own language. Last year where we were praying for our missionaries to Kenya, and waiting upon God for a special word of prophecy... I heard Jason praying in an unknown tongue, and I know and hear very well that it is an unknown tongue... yet my mind heard it as perfect English! So I prophesised the translation (English of course) to the missionaries to encourage them that God really is with them. I mean, this is very surprising and quite rationally stunning, but well, this real-life experience encourages me that what we read in the Bible is just as powerful and real for today as it was 2000 years ago. =)
“My salvation and my honor depend on God ; he is my mighty rock, my refuge.”- Psalm 62:7

:) Thank You Father for that reassurance just now. =)
Psalm 39
1 I said, "I will watch my ways
and keep my tongue from sin;
I will put a muzzle on my mouth
as long as the wicked are in my presence."
2 But when I was silent and still,
not even saying anything good,
my anguish increased.

3 My heart grew hot within me,
and as I meditated, the fire burned;
then I spoke with my tongue:

4 "Show me, O LORD, my life's end
and the number of my days;
let me know how fleeting is my life.

5 You have made my days a mere handbreadth;
the span of my years is as nothing before you.
Each man's life is but a breath.

6 Man is a mere phantom as he goes to and fro:
He bustles about, but only in vain;
he heaps up wealth, not knowing who will get it.

7 "But now, Lord, what do I look for?
My hope is in you.

8 Save me from all my transgressions;
do not make me the scorn of fools.

9 I was silent; I would not open my mouth,
for you are the one who has done this.

10 Remove your scourge from me;
I am overcome by the blow of your hand.

11 You rebuke and discipline men for their sin;
you consume their wealth like a moth—
each man is but a breath.

12 "Hear my prayer, O LORD,
listen to my cry for help;
be not deaf to my weeping.
For I dwell with you as an alien,
a stranger, as all my fathers were.

13 Look away from me, that I may rejoice again
before I depart and am no more."

Friday, March 26, 2010

Oh well. I suppose nothing else to do but just pray, move on and ask God what's the next step. :\

*sigh* uncertainty can be so... uncertain. :) but i guess that's part and parcel of the faith journey. being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. trust God, for the stars still shine, even when we do not see them.

The Presence and the Presents | Articles |

Saw this article on experiencing God in your caregroup. Reminds me of what I was talking about with Robert and Jon over (30 sticks of) satay last night, and an earlier chat with a dear friend a couple of weeks ago. Strongly urge you to read the whole article:
"Now about the gifts of the Spirit, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed …. There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work" (1 Corinthians 12:1, 4-6).

When the apostle Paul wrote about the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit, he never seemed to lack for words. He wanted people to be informed about how God worked in and through his people. He showed no reticence in addressing this topic, and it seems that he experienced the presence of God's Spirit in ways that we might label as unusual today.

It is somewhat remarkable to me how comfortable we have become with "doing church" without any expectation that God might show up. Of course, we know that he is present and we do encounter him from time to time, but do we expect God to interrupt our carefully designed orders of service? Have we learned to do church as if God does not exist?

Recently, I've been wondering the same thing about small groups. Have we learned to do small groups as if God is not present with us? If we want to talk about spiritual gifts, we must first talk about the presence of the Spirit. If we jump straight to conversations about gifts, it would be like going to a Christmas celebrations where there were only presents but no presence of the actual people offering the gifts.

It's Not About Being Charismatic
The question I raise about whether we do small groups as if God does not exist is just as import to ask in charismatic or Pentecostal churches as any other. All churches develop traditions, forms for doing church, which create a set pattern of how their gatherings work. These traditions are not necessarily evil—we need them to help shape and define us as a people whose rhythms of life fit God's rhythms.

However, the tradition that shaped the people of God more than any other in the Bible was the experience of the presence of God. During the times when God's people did not encounter God's presence, they were the least able to live according to God's rhythm of love. When I read the story of the Church, my imagination is filled with the exhilarating ups and downs of encounters with God and others—not with church meetings and set agendas.

God wants a relationship with His people, not meetings. The Church is the people of God, not a people who happen to meet for gatherings to talk about God stuff. I think sometimes we go through the motions of church and forget the point of it all. It's as if we are going to school for the purpose of getting good grades and not to learn. In many cases we have grown so accustomed with the way we do church that if God did show up, we wouldn't know what was happening.

Of course, very few people actually say this out loud. As I write this, I do not like the ways that God is forcing me to look honestly at what is going on in the small groups in my church. As you read this, your first reaction might be something like, "We know how to create a meeting where people meet with God." That is great, but I encourage you to look again. Often we make this conclusion because we sing cutting edge worship songs or have a band—neither of which are crucial to being God's distinct people that are marked by his presence. Meeting together as the Church before our God is not about finding a form that will usher in his presence. God cannot be manipulated like that. That is not how relationships work.

The expectations we have about God's presence in our whole church gatherings impact our expectations about God's presence in our small groups. Recently, I've been reading a stack of books on small groups that have been released over the last two or three years. It has saddened me how little most of these books have to say about God. They address key sociological principles about how to lead small groups. They explain how to set up small-group structures and get people connected in community. They even teach people how to lead Bible discussions. However, regarding how the Spirit of God might work through a small group of people, it looks to me like we are "uninformed." (There is the possibility that all of these authors are part of churches that experience God's presence so clearly and regularly that they do not need to talk about it. If that is the case, then I wish they would speak to that because it would make for much more exciting reading.)
Does this article describe how you feel about your CG at times? Read the full article at The Presence and the Presents | Articles |

More importantly, what are some initiatives that we can help our caregroups actually encounter God's presence whenever we meet, just as Jesus promised: "Where 2 or 3 gather in my name, there I am also..."?

Here are some helpful pointers - although suggested for churches in America, I think some of these points are relevant to my own CG... especially #5! :) (Hey, Singaporeans must die-die eat together ok...)

We learn to relate on the road of relating, not in classroom. The same is true in our relationship with God. We just have to start relating to him together in our small groups, and from this, gifts of the Spirit will arise.

This may require a few changes in the way we typically do groups in American churches:

Change the expectations. If people expect to gather around a Bible study or a DVD curriculum, or even around social interaction, the presence of the Spirit will be minimal. If people expect to meet with God and trust Jesus' words: "Where two or three gather in my name, there I am also," then people will seek something different in the group's life—even if they don't know how.

Shorten the Bible study to make room to wait on God together.

Take the risk of allowing silence during the meeting.

Vary the agenda from week to week.

Eat together. You might be surprised by this one, but I have found food to be essential to connecting with one another and in inviting God's presence into our midst.

Encountering God's presence and experiencing the presents of the Holy Spirit go together. We know how to fill a meeting with answers to Bible study questions, singing songs, and even prayer requests, but these things we know how to do can stand in the way of relating to the God who speaks in a "still small voice." Unless we hear this voice and make room in our groups to encounter God, we will miss out on the power of spiritual gifts. God is big enough that He can still use us and move through us, but he has so much more for us.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

In my loneliness You are there
To reveal Your righteousness in my despair


Thank You so much Father for my boss and colleagues affirming me just now in a meeting. They say I'm a great guy to work with. =) And that the past 2 videos I did were really v good... touching hearts in just 5 minutes! the CDC ppl saw and said it was really v good... thank God so much.

So was blushing and doing my best to give all the glory to God hee =D Haha... hallelujah... praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honour and power and strength, be to our God forever and ever! Amen. Not I, but Christ who loved me and gave Himself for me and lives in me!

Proverbs 22:29
Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will serve before kings; he will not serve before obscure men.

feel v thankful to see how good God has been to me. =) i guess in spite of all my inadequacies and constant failures in the eyes of men, God has been with me and has given me strength and favour... like how He was with Joseph when he was in prison. incredibly humbled and grateful by God's grace to an unworthy sinner like me. =D

But I remember that all this is not for my glory (God forbid!) but solely for the glory of God... that i might preach the good news to them.
Matthew 10:18
On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles.

who knows wat my skills may cause me to end up as? maybe i get to do programming in future for some powerful president/dictator/prime minister... as a prisoner? as a slave? (hey Daniel who served King Nebuchadnezzar was a prisoner-of-war BTW...) maybe... and why not?

it's surprising (but sweet!) to me that God chose to bring the good news to the elite of society using men in chains. a bit like God is showing them that He is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, and that He wants the kings and lords of the earth to know their rightful places... by sending them messengers in chains.

i like God, i really do. He really is the King over all the earth... and He laughs and mocks at mighty kings and lordly lords... and mocks them. But He stoops down from His throne to gently tend, comfort, and lift up battered slaves, wounded prisoners and the broken-hearted. What a mighty King, what a gentle Lord we serve. He's so amazing and so wonderful. Mocking the mighty and exalting the humble. What a mighty God we serve!

the more i know Jesus, the more i really adore Him. He just is so blessedly wonderful! =D

Anyway my boss would like to me to work w her after my internship on a freelance basis. plan to give her a good discount as a way to show my appreciation for all tt she has taught me (and been patient w me)... hee... also makes sense from a v practical pt of view too.

so can see how this career plan is slowly unfolding. very touched to see how God has been meticulously planning everything out step by step...

you know - not to make it a doctrine or what - but i think someone said tt God wants us to be able to think for ourselves. and yes, it's a biblical principle... e.g. 1 Corinthians says tt we shld be able to judge and settle matters btwn men (since we're gg to judge ANGELS in heaven)... and also use our reasonable judgement to see what's true and not...

hmm... i think this is more of making sound judgements (using the Bible) for ethical situations... God clearly intends us to use our brains... "But we have the mind of Christ." in evaluating "gray" situations.

but... on the other hand, God longs to be our guide. I read this beautiful article written by Corrie ten Boom, and she said tt the Scriptures show that God longs to be our guide. He won't force His will upon us, but like any good father would, He wants to counsel, lead and guide us in the way we should go. He delights in his children running to him, and seeking first His counsel in all that they plan to do. Like what King Jehoshapat told the ungodly King Ahab, "First seek the counsel of the LORD" when they were considering whether to go to war. and how General Joshua sought the counsel of the Lord... how King David consulted the Lord b4 making any major decisions...

and now, in the New Testament... how the apostles were led by the Holy Spirit. As they made their plans to go to various cities, they were sensitive to the Holy Spirit's guidance... oh... come to think of it... the apostles also made their own plans... =) so looks like it's a combination of partnerships.

haha. must be careful not to dichotomise and be too one-sided... :P

actually, i think sometimes we worry so much abt whether we're doing God's will or not... thinking abt it... as long as our hearts have sought Him in prayer... and we have thot thru our best... then just go. and let the Holy Spirit affirm or realign the path we're gg in. It's a life of freedom - and God is our Shepherd and Guide to the very end. Isn't it so wonderful? Do whatever you want to do, as long as your heart keeps always seeking God's kingdom and his righteousness in all that you do... and you'll find walking the Christian life really a joy and excitement and fun! "Delight yourself in the LORD / and he will give you the desires of your heart." Yes, enjoy God! Don't just enjoy doing the things of God... enjoy HIM as a Person! God isn't an impersonal Force or Reality... He is a PERSON. a Three-Personed God in fact, which means he's got way more personality than any human being haha... =)

Psalm 37
3 Trust in the LORD and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.

4 Delight yourself in the LORD
and he will give you the desires of your heart.

5 Commit your way to the LORD;
trust in him and he will do this:

6 He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn,
the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.

Jesus came to give us life, and life to the full. And honestly, I'm really experiencing it to the full - all the joys all the sorrows all the angers, all the pains, all the delights and all the disappointments... the dying, but also the resurrection; the suffering, but also the glory; the mourning, but also the dancing...

oh my. Whatever i can say of my life in Christ, I know one thing for sure - it is NEVER SIAN! Jesus really keeps His promises! =D thank You Jesus! :D

so exciting... wonder what God has in store for me next... i want to do His will more and more... hee!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A true #FAIL -> #WIN story for the ages

See if you can recognize the person in this story.

As a young man, he went to war a captain and returned a private (in case you’re wondering, that is going backwards :-)). Afterwards, he was a failure as a businessman. As a lawyer, he was too impractical and temperamental to be a success. He turned to politics and was defeated in his first try for the legislature, again defeated in his first attempt to be nominated for congress, defeated in his application to be commissioner of the General Land Office, defeated in the senatorial election of 1854, defeated in his efforts for the vice-presidency in 1856, and defeated in the senatorial election of 1858. At about that time, he wrote in a letter to a friend, "I am now the most miserable man living. If what I feel were equally distributed to the whole human family, there would not be one cheerful face on the earth."

Any guesses?

It’s Abraham Lincoln.

(Taken from

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I think... sometimes the deeper the vision, the lonelier one can get. :\ Ecc 4:8. Dear Lord, I know we are your chosen people... but... sometimes... i wonder... couldn't we be a little less chosen? :P

oh Lord. I forgot a wedding date... missed it... feel sick in the stomach! :(

man. i think i owe the bride a HUGE angpow for missing her wedding... :(((

Monday, March 22, 2010

A Common Love

John 13:34-35
"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."

Galatians 6:10
Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

A common love for each other
A common gift to the Saviour
A common bond holding us to the Lord
A common strength when we're weary
A common hope for tomorrow
A common joy in the truth of God's word

In His family we can meet each one's needs
We can light each one's path
We can bear each one's griefs
As His children we can comfort each care
We can build each one's faith
We can work, we can share

In His family all the love that we show
All the help that we give
All the life we bestow
As His children there's an offering we make
Not expecting return
Just a gift for His sake

I really, really, really love my church. And I'm so proud of Hope, for all her successes, failures and what-not... we are still loving God and one another. This is indeed a family... to be strong and to lean on. May we always learn to love each other more with each new day, and may the Spirit help us pray that we might always be a true family... to the very end when the Lord Jesus returns! Amen and amen. Thank You Papa for answering my prayer for a good church to grow in, 12 years ago, that You chose Hope to be my spiritual family and home. :') I really love the church. I really do.
Email to my fellow CG DMMmates:

Hi dear all,

As you know by now, Ps Jeff's sis, Trina, has passed away at about
5.15 pm today. He tweeted abt it - I think it happened quite fast.

If possible, try to go down during working hours, when there'll be
fewer ppl around.
We can get to speak with Ps Jeff personally (and
just be there for him if nothing else) then. Handmade cards wld be a
beautiful idea too I think. =)

- Tues: Wake at Singapore Casket (click here to see map)
For those who want to come, we can meet at 8 pm at Lavender MRT.

- Wed: Service
I plan to go with one of the bros n his CG at 730 pm at Lavender MRT.

- Thurs: Cremation.

Last week we rejoiced with Huaqiang and Sarah; this week we mourn with
Ps Jeff. This is the family of God truly indeed... "Rejoice with those
who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn." Romans 12:15

Let's be there to rally to support our beloved pastor.

Love n God bless,
Yeu Ann

Leslie, Andrew, Spencer, Sharon, Jeannie, Ellson and Huanyan all should be coming down either Tues or Wed... I'll try to pop by during lunch hours tml.

Every Kid Has A Story To Tell

(And we mean every kid!) Did this video for my company's social entrepreneurship event in conjunction with Credit Suisse and Central Singapore Community Development Council.
Little drops of water
Little grains of sand
Make the mighty ocean
And the beauteous land

Little deeds of kindness,
Little words of love,
Make our earth an Eden,
Like the heaven above

And the little moments,
Humble though they be,
Make the mighty ages.
Of eternity.

Mrs. J. A. Carney (1845)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Had a SMASHING time at Ripple Conference 2010! Great preconf, greater conf, and... LOL thank God for my dear team who made the skit a side-splitting success! :D

Haha... and hee, thank God too tt He graciously allowed me to come back in time to hear my own testimony being read out by Hong Teck. He read it so well that I felt very touched by the testimony, even tho it's my own testimony. FTW!

But on second thot, it was never my testimony to begin with. It was simply a testimony of what the Lord has done for me. :D

It was a strangely surrealistic feeling, as people after people went up to me to affirm me for writing the skit and the testimony. It did feel good, haha, and I felt so happy. But I think happy bcos I felt appreciated and also really can bless God through these things. So kept pointing to heaven and giving glory to God.

I had the delight of making a new friend in bro George from Hope Kuching. He's a father, and he's a really nice brother! :D Yeah, feeling his fatherly affirmation was very heartwarming. Haha. He asked me qns abt the creative team, how often we do dramas and skits, etc... and then he asked me whether I had prior experience in doing scriptwriting. Said no, and he smiled, and said that God has given me a great gifting in doing this. So I guess I blushed and said thank God.

But yah, he reminded me that we are to use our talents to glorify God and also extend His kingdom! So yes! I mustn't be ashamed to use this God-given talent to the maxxx! To enjoy God and to glorify Him forever! Can really feel His pleasure upon me when I write. So happy actually. :D Haha...

Yah. Want to bless Daddy's heart. Bring glory to him! AMEN!

I guess also listening to my own testimony was very touching, because I had integrated into my testimony Bible verses that are very close to my heart, and also some psalms, hymns and spiritual song lyrics that I used as prayers. I guess it felt v real, and I think touching, because it shows that these Bible passages are not like some artificial references that you tack on at the last minute, like when you're doing ur dissertation / thesis and you need a reference to support ur point.

But yeah, the freedom that comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit, that His Word becomes a seamless integrated part of you, and who you are. That His Word is naturally part of your thoughts... no, I'm not there. I think about His Word naturally for, say a couple of minutes... and for the rest of the day, have my own thinking. But really want to let His Word dwell in me richly. =)

Godly wisdom and biblical wisdom. Hooray!

Friday, March 19, 2010

My Testimony for Ripple Conference

from Hong Teck Hiew
to Yeo YA
date Tue, Mar 2, 2010 at 11:58 AM
subject RE: Sharing for HopeKids ripple conf

Please do.

A testimony of your service in children's ministry even though you feel your inadequecy. Be as frank and open as you can. It'll bring better impact. Yes do send to me..

So here's my testimony...:) here goes!

When I first came over from HopeTots to HopeKids Live, I came with a lot of dreams and visions and basically hoped to change the world, preach to huge multitudes, walk on water and so on.

But as the months and then years passed by, I found myself getting stuck into doing the 'routine' things of ministry, and what's more, I also found that I struggled a lot with simple things like preparing a sharing, connecting with children, doing things on time, leading a team…

All these little things drained me and I started losing sight of the original vision. I also felt quite alone a lot of times, 'cos the people I was closer were all in HopeTots, and I didn't know any one else in HopeKids LIVE. And my natural introversion didn't help. Oh, I also struggled a lot with coming down to service on time. :P Took cab a lot. So I became more and more discouraged, and felt more and more inadequate.

In fact, I remember one day, as I was in the cab for yet another service, Ecc 4:8 came to mind. "For whom am I toiling," he asked, "and why am I depriving myself of enjoyment?"
This too is meaningless—
a miserable business!
Yeah. So that Bible verse described how I felt at that point in time.

I guess it was a moment of decision. Would I stay on or give up and go back to my comfort zone? Then I recalled what Ps James from the Mandarin service had told me in a very prophetic way: "Yeu Ann, God has clearly confirmed you to be in children's ministry!" And I was reminded of this verse from Acts: "So then, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the vision from heaven." Hee. So I decided not to give up, but persevere on in what God has called me to do.

Well… thing is, I still struggled as I did. I saw that I wasn't strong in many areas e.g. preparing sharing, teaching, etc. But I just kept the vision that God has given me burning in my heart, and just kept going on, doing the small things day after day.

Felt so inadequate so many times, that i would break down and cry before God. Not complaining to Him, but just telling Him that I really do love Him, really do want to give my best… longing to bring something that's of worth, that will bless His heart. but oh! so many many times my best just isn't good enough! In fact, "A thousand times I've failed… but Your mercy still remains" is the opening prayer that I have been praying for the past two years or so.

And a lot of times, my past failures and sins would come back to haunt and discourage me. But I countered this discouragement from the devil with this Psalm: "If You, O LORD, kept a record of sins, O LORD, who could stand? *But with You there is forgiveness, therefore You are to be feared.*" Knowing the wonderful truth that God has completely forgiven me for all my sins, and that as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed my trangressions from me… these horrible discouragements would flee from me, because of the truth and power of God's Word.

So I kept on praying and praying day after day… asking God to use me as He please, and constantly surrendering myself to Him… "So take me as You find me, all my fears and failures…" Oh… I experienced God's mercy so deeply. I still do, every day. The very fact I'm still alive each new day is proof that my Father loves me and has a wonderful plan for my life.

I guess I did my best, even though it's not the best that could be found… and to my surprise, God really blessed me slowly but surely over time in many ways. There are so MANY ways - my original list hit seven, but I think I'll share the most significant 3 with you.

Firstly, because of all these struggles and brokenness, I grew closer to Daddy through all these pains. I really, really treasure all my moments of brokenness and inadequacies. Because I really have never felt closer to God than when I am broken! "The LORD is close to the broken-hearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit."

Secondly, I grew in courage and creativity, having to find new ways to compensate for my many weaknesses. So I'm slow of speech and tongue? Find a way to present it visually. So I'm slow to plan and execute? Find more people and involve them in the vision, and get them to share in the joy of the work too. I learnt to laugh at myself more often when I fail - it keeps me from taking myself too seriously! :)

Lastly, in persevering and doing the small things, I saw God unfolding His calling for me more and more specifically, which led to even more chain-reactions of related events which in turn showed God's calling for me even more clearly! Things like acting and writing skits… these are actually linked very strongly to God's calling for me to enter the media industry to impact children not only in church, but in the whole world. Because of my time in children's church, I was able to lead effectively a children's service in Cambodia when my team and I went in January for a missions trip. Lives touched beyond the confines of this tiny island called Singapore… in Cambodia, and to the ends of the earth! Exciting!

So my dear bros and sisters, I really want to encourage you: Keep doing the small things, bcos when you do so, you will find that these are really the big things!
No matter how small you may feel today… how small the things you do today may be… brothers and sisters, God doesn't call the qualified; He qualifies the called!

Amen and Hallelujah!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

i guess things are tougher for me now. my slowness. just feel so overwhelmed and inadequate especially in this area. and to be honest, i think there are very few people who can understand the struggle i go through with my slowness.

but i know there's one dear bro who can really identify with me on this. he's been through it before. i think i'll go look for him very soon. miss him lots. he's a great comforter and friend to be with.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

And I sense that a new phase of life is going to begin very soon. Just like spring in the North. Excited to go forth... =)

True Practicality

I was thinking about this statement that Scripture is very practical.

Yes, it's true, amen to that - that Scripture has application for every aspect of our lives.

Scripture is practical, yes. And of course it must be practiced in our own lives. But do we practice the Scriptures in our own lives simply for the sake of bettering our own lives - or do we practice the Scriptures in our own lives, because we want to see the kingdom of God come to life in our own hearts?

Scripture is not a mere cooking-book of 'self-improvement tips'. No, it is far better than that. It is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

So we need to read Scripture not with the attitude of "how can this make MY life better?", but "how can I live more like Jesus today?"

But I'd also venture to add that Scripture is more than just helping me live more like Jesus. In order to live more like Jesus, i must first know who Jesus really is, and what He is like. These are the Scriptures that testify about Him, and i must come to Him to have eternal life.

Segregated in a Whole New Way: A church family from the same generation isn't much of a family.

Segregated in a Whole New Way
A church family from the same generation isn't much of a family.

[read more]

I saw this article just now on the Christianity Today website. Was reminded of a few things...

- The joy of seeing Huaqiang and Sarah's baby on Sunday! A new generation has begun...
- My chat with Joyce and Shuyi, and Joyce commenting how different the NUS ministry is now as compared to when she first came in... (that was 4 years ago!)
- A comment by Weizhu last time, about the benefits of
- Shuyi sharing about the YG group's direction and purposes...
- my own memories of an earlier YG group... known as the YP, back in 2000 to 2002...
- About the new batch of poly students joining us
- My pending move to HopeKids CG (praying about it, and shared with my shepherd and CL)... where I'll get to meet people who are well-established in their families and careers
- Misha from Youth service, one of my ministry teammates in the HopeKids creative team, blessing me with a bottle of honey lemon yesterday when she found out that I was very stressed over my work and ministry
- Making friends with brothers and sisters whose ages still begin with a 1.

Looking back at the whole span of community, having grown up in Hope for over a decade (OMG... more than a DECADE?), and now seeing those whom I was with in JC ministry back in 1998 ... (Oh Lord! it was in the PREVIOUS CENTURY!) get married...

It makes me pause and ponder. That's why I think it's very important to build deeper friendships with bros and sisters from other ministries, especially other services, where possible. For example, I'm blessed to have Andrew from the PolyDINS ministry... blessed to have some dear friends from the YG side, and even a few of the Youth people... blessed to have a ministry team that spans different ages and ministries.

I think we lose out on a lot when we choose to 'specialise'. We may be more effective in certain aspects - e.g. more relevant atmosphere, but in the long run, I think we miss out a lot on having potential role models who have gone much further on in life than us. And the older ones can also model life for us - and inspire us to follow in their footsteps to see what great things one can do for God, even when married and serving God.

I think and fear that we're having this increasing tendency to view the moving on to a different life-station as an occasion to be "automatically shipped off" to another service... nothing much to offer here, people, move on, move on... that's a potentially dangerous situation in which we may start viewing the older generation as "not so innovative, nothing much to teach us over here...", which leads to isolationism and perhaps, a subtle pride in being a "self-sufficient" service that has it all together. Frankly, i think there's a serious loss of generational role-modelling due to this approach.

"Self-sufficient." True, every man is to provide for himself... but remember, the New Testament tells us not to be independent, but to be interdependent. Each one should carry his own load, but each one too should help carry one another's burdens.

To that purpose, Weizhu and I initiated a Nerf gun outing last year (31 Oct 09) with some of the HopeKids boys. It was great cross-generational fun - and experiential discipleship in action! We taught the boys the value of integrity and care and consideration for one another. Despite some snickers and comments from some people that playing with Nerf guns is immature and childish, we chose to be all things to all men... or in this case, relevant to the boys. And so, God chose the foolish things of the world that day to shame the wise, the weak things of the world to shame the strong. Hallelujah!

So yes, we may not need to change the structure. There ARE definitely big advantages to being "specialised". But there are some weaknesses. So I think what we can do is to reach across the services to impact the younger ones, and set an example for the younger ones. We can explore pioneering more cross-generational ministries. Nerf guns, cycling, soccer, etc. Or painting, photography and so on. Be intentional to minister to the younger ones... set an example for them! it's exciting!

Titus 2:1-8
1You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine. 2Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance.
3Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. 4Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.

6Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. 7In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness 8and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.

I guess we may not be ministers or pastors or what... but we can indeed make a positive difference, to rally the younger ones to the battle-front. We just lead the way and model for them to do what needs to be done.

That's why I'm really looking forward to the Ripple Conference this weekend. :) I want to be part of God's team to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

Psalm 48
12 Go, inspect the city of Jerusalem.
Walk around and count the many towers.
13 Take note of the fortified walls,
and tour all the citadels,
that you may describe them
to future generations
14 For that is what God is like.
He is our God forever and ever,
and he will guide us until we die.
What are the "many towers"? Perhaps lives that God has built up, also noble deeds and stature.

Fortified walls - how God has defended and kept us safe, and also strength of character against temptations and faith against persecutions.

Citadels - how God has been our shelter through the darkest times in our church, and saw us through. Also possibly storehouses of food reserves - daily nourishment and wise insights from God's Word.

All these things that God has done for us, let us tell of them to the next generation. For that is what God is like. He is our God forever and ever, and He will guide us even unto our last breaths. Amen!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

I just happened to look through this friend's blog post, and this sharing suddenly made me pause and think:
i remember that when i was in year 1, i came into the uni ministry being very fervent about missions. at that point of time, i just came back from a life-changing short term missions trip, and there was a lot of excitement about going overseas and impacting the world. i had experienced God greatly during my trip (it was only 8 days but so much was learnt), and i was very zealous about going for future missions, and told myself that i would want to use my 4 years of uni life to build my foundation and equip myself to be a missionary.

Then along time, there was some wavering of this passion. there were times when i felt silly thinking about myself going for missions, feeling inadequate and doubtful about opportunities to do so, and questioning my heart’s motives and practical issues like financial providence, career, family, etc. it felt that missions was a very far off option to me. it felt like a dream, something which after a while, i grew to put it aside and not touch that topic unless people talked about it. afterall, not everyone in the ministry was exposed or aware of missions and there were not many people to share the burden with. i felt out of place thinking about it, at least during this time, and decided to suppress some of these thoughts and desires.

but deep within, i knew that the seed of missions was planted without no reason.
My friend is from the same church as me. Her sharing gave me pause - which I hadn't seen before. The question is, if we are supposed to be a missions-oriented church, then how is it that someone passing through our own church would actually face discouragement and dulling of the passion for missions?

If we claim to be a missions-oriented church heaven-bent on fulfilling the Great Commission, then shouldn't it be the case that the majority of people passing through our ministries become at the very least excited about sharing the good news of Jesus Christ to those around us?

A year or so ago, another dear friend - one of the leaders - did raise this question in his blog. And he raised it again during a chat with some of the church-planters. I was there, so I heard it.

Thank God we're finally getting back on track. Ps Jeff told the Adults service people at the last combined CG prayer meeting that 80% of the adults responded for missions. Hallelujah! this is a good sign indeed. Not to say that everyone will immediately have a heart for missions, but at the very least, the excitement, the joy and the desire to share Christ to the nations should never, ever be lost. And God forbid that all those who have their hearts set on going for missions, being ready to respond to Christ's call to give their all... become discouraged by us from going into the missions field. Then we would have forgotten why God put this church on the map. We would become insulated, self-serving "Christians", setting up comfortable buildings for ourselves and so on... while the Lord Jesus himself stares at our comfortable asses parking themselves on padded pews and exclaims in holy wrath: "Is it not written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations?' But you have made it a den of robbers."

May the grace and mercy of God be upon us as we get back on track and renew our first love for Jesus - Jesus! Jesus! Son of Man, Son of God. Light of the World, Bright Morning Star. Alpha and Omega, First and Last, Beginning and End. Saviour of the world, Hope of the nations...

May the new building that we want to build not become a parking lot or (God forbid) a playground, but a mighty runway. A runway to obey His Commission to go! to go and make disciples of ALL nations. An aircraft carrier to train up, fuel and equip, mobilise and inspire disciples to get ready to arm themselves w the armour of God and the missiles of prayer... to be trained in the Word and the Spirit... to rev up their engines and roar off the runway! to boldly go where the Gospel has yet to take root... from city to city, from island to island... to the uttermost ends of the earth! Till justice rolls on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!

Of course everyone may not be going physically... but that should not therefore be our attitude. We go with them in spirit. Jesus did not say go by plane or sea or leg... He just said, "Therefore go..." Go how? Go in what way? He left that to our God-given talents and creativity... He told us, just go. Go how? I will show you. Go where? I will tell you. Go when? I will guide you. But just GO. Be it via media or medical missions, be it through airwaves or airplanes, be it through song or dance or community services or business-planting or social entrepreneurships... in any way and every way, let's just GO.

I've gone on my own money. I've seen with my own eyes. And I have been conquered by the love of God and the cry of the nations. I've seen the work that God is doing all over the world. And I don't want to miss out on His invitation to come join in the harvest.

So bros and sisters, let's spur one another on. To go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything the Lord has commanded us. Be it in the missions field or marketplace, if you have the desire, God wants to use you today!  Let's not be found guilty of hindering people from going for the Lord. But let's be "guilty" of encouraging people to dream beyond their means, to dream of going... to help them find their wings for the air... and wheels for the ground... let's start going in our hearts, even though the time and money and training may not be enough yet. Let's GO in our hearts. Let's NOT TURN BACK in our hearts back to Egypt like the faithless Israelites did. But let's GO in our hearts towards the Promised Land, like Joshua and Caleb.

Therefore, dear friends, LET US GO! Amen!
Pushing and stopping. Rinse and repeat.
Work is not easy.

But there's one Voice that calls me to get up and move on again. The Voice of the One who loves me... and whom I love. He calls me by name, and once again I get up one more time to push on and fight some more.

Of Death and Living

Death. When was the last time one thought about it? Not to say that we should be worried or obsessed with it, but we need to be aware that we all are mortal in body. Thank God so much that He proved that there is a hope that lies beyond the grave.

And the shameful senescence that must inevitably come for all who survive youth. We hit 40, 50, 60, 70, 80... and if God allows... all the way up to 120. And oh God, we are so fragile. We are degenerating before our own eyes. And eventually we cannot hold onto our speed, then our stamina, then our urine, then our mind, then our breath and eventually our spirit.

But thank God, on the bright side, if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. And that's joy enough for us to know... and peace enough for tomorrow.


Saturday, March 13, 2010

I Had A Dream

I had a sad dream. I hope it doesn't happen the way I saw it. I dream two dear friends in church died very suddenly, separately. That startled me. Even tho it didn't happen in front of me, when I heard about it (I'm saying this happened only in my dream), I was stunned in the way that it doesn't seem to affect you initially, but after a few hours, the full magnitude overwhelms you gradually. Still, I saw myself hesitating whether to call my friend's bf to ask him how he felt, as I knew that he would probably not show it very expressively, yet, people would have been asking him a lot. And so on and so forth. And about my other friend, I saw myself asking other friends in the dream what happened to this friend overseas. I found myself going from person to person, worriedly.

And the dream seemed so real.

Waking up - or did I wake up? - I pondered about the suddenness of life. How even our dear brothers and sisters who are so ... young and in the prime of life, can just be taken home so suddenly. How do you handle the shock and the troubled hearts that follow? What do you, honestly, say to someone who seems to be holding himself together very well? The brevity of life.

But I saw the church at work here. Whether it be life or death, I saw the community rally together. I saw them comforting and encouraging and just... being there. Loving one another. I knew that whatever happened, we were all together in this time of sorrow. "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted."

And it was a sad dream. But it is a sweet dream, from God's perspective... yet a very thought-provoking dream on man's brevity of life. "All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the fields. The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever."

Treasure your brothers and sisters in this family of God. And enjoy the youth of your life, while it still lasts. Use whatever is left of your fading youth to do great things for God, as much as you can. For whatever you do here on earth, is a rehearsal for what you will get to do in eternity.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


door open. door close. door opened? door closed?

frustrating, man.

i think i shld just ignore the door - man, it's awfully tempting to slam it out of sheer frustration.

but that's so... wrong. and assuming a lot of things again.

sorry Lord, i guess things look uncertain again and again. still... i guess i need to surrender myself to You. i just wish... things were easier. :P

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I was reading about Jack Neo. Interesting. He's been a serial womanizer. But, the last one seemed (as far as I can tell) to be a bit different. Apparently Jack Neo tried breaking off with the girl deliberately after 3 months... unlike the other cases, which he just stopped contacting them.

And he started going to CHC about 1.5 years ago. That seems to tally with his trying to break up. Was it when he became a Christian, then he decided to stop his affairs?

Anyway, looking at the whole thing, I think the first to present his case seems right until someone else comes up to present the other side.

So yeah. You know, there's quite a lot of high-profile adultery cases. Especially men. But even men who have been married for more than 20 years! With that kind of statistics... and you start worrying about the men in church. Actually, it seems to be pretty much the case, regardless of race or religion, that divorce rates are rising, even for those long-term married people. And the thing is, it's due to adultery on the men's side in many cases.

Now I think I know why the father in Proverbs keeps warning his son against adultery. I mean, warn a boy who's barely into puberty about the dangers of adultery? Isn't it a bit too early for that? But now, looking at the spate of increasing adulteries... even among Christian men... now I can see why adultery is such a dangerous trap. I think perhaps one of the best ways to safeguard our future fathers from adultery is to keep warning and reminding them and training them to be sexually pure... even before they hit puberty. Proverbs shows us how it should be done. Because, really, in this increasingly sex-saturated culture, you have to die-die immunize our children against sexual impurity. It's so essential.

Thank God for Joseph, who set the standard for us in purity. Tempted by Potiphar's wife who practically threw herself at him, he RAN AWAY.  He FLED. He ran like one running away from a live bomb. He literally ran for his life. That's the kind of attitude I want to have - always ready to flee from sexual immorality.

Ha. You know, I remember that there was this friend last time who was engaged. The thing is, I realised that I felt attracted to his girlfriend. This went on for some time... no, I kept my distance from his girlfriend. But I was thinking about next time. What if we kept meeting up... I guess I did not dare to say that "this won't happen to me leh!" Yah right. God knows how many other men have also thought such things... and fell into the deadly trap of emotional adultery - you don't have to leap into bed to commit adultery - Jesus said that adultery starts the moment you look at a woman lustfully. And He was serious about it.

So... I prayed... and decided to tell the friend about this. I explained to him why I was telling him... that I wanted to ensure that there would be no opportunities at all for the devil to exploit... Boy. My friend was really surprised and a bit awkward initially. But thank God, he really appreciated my heart to desire purity to the extent of confessing so plainly before him. And our friendship has not been affected by this.

And the best part was, once I made that confession to my friend, the feelings of attraction towards his girlfriend was completely gone! It's like the temptation fled away into the shadows. So am really thankful to God for His grace and mercy. Confession and accountability is so essential to maintaining sexual purity - especially in the unseen areas of your heart and mind.
James 4:7
 "Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you."
Whew. Ok. Going for dinner. Hope and pray that this helps you in one way or another...

Another verse to ponder:
Hebrews 12:14
Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.

Fruitful Procrastination

I had an idea just now. So I have a tendency to procrastinate. But... that's part of my personality - and a lot of times my procrastination has led me into a lot of new ideas...

So, why not aim for productive procrastination? By this, I don't mean the fruitless kind of procrastination that comes from mindlessly playing trivial games. But healthy procrastination by doing fun things that stretch your mind. It's a bit like making your mind go for a stroll. Since it wants to take a break, let it take a healthy kind of break.

Go read a book. Go write a blog. Go read some good magazine. Go read a funny comic and have a healthy laugh. Go meet a friend and catch up. Go dream. Go dance. Go make that model kit you always wanted to do but kept putting it off to do "more productive things". Go do origami. Go fly a kite (literally). Go play with the dog. Go plant some flowers. Feel the air. Run your hands through the grass. Pray and thank God for the good weather. Give Him a big smile. Make a tender card. Go think about the meaning of life. As long as it's true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things. :)

Monday, March 8, 2010

Rise Of The Corporations

A post-modern epistolary short-story for our time...

Heng: when I saw the headlines along the lines of "China and Google resume talks"
  Google resume talks with the next superpower?!
12:21 PM "resume talks" is usually something you hear abt countries, not companies!
 me: OMG. and i was just randomly typing in "rise of the corporations" in google
  is this coincidence or wat???
12:22 PM man... this is ... very interesting
  just before i was chatting w u
12:23 PM Heng: You should read The Machine Stops by EM Forster too
 me: i did... but refresh my memory?
  i thot it was an anti-technological short story?
12:24 PM Heng: sth like that
  sometimes Google feels like the Machine
  "The Machine," they exclaimed, "feeds us and clothes us and houses us; through it we speak to one another, through it we see one another, in it we have our being. The Machine is the friend of ideas and the enemy of superstition: the Machine is omnipotent, eternal; blessed is the Machine."
12:25 PM uhuh
 me: hmmmm
  ironic isn't it?
  now Google is trying to set up its own power plant i think
  or smtg
  Google = Skynet...
  and... the irony is
  we are using Google to talk abt Google...
  nervous laugh
12:27 PM Heng: it's too late
  this conversation might come back and haunt us 50 years later
 me: ...


Sunday, March 7, 2010

Food For Thought - Good Food For A Good Cause

Came across this interesting social-enterprise concept... it's opposite my office in Waterloo St, right next to Kum Yan Methodist Church and Singapore Art Museum.

Described as an "indie little dining place", it's a restaurant where part of the proceeds go to charity. Chatted with one of the staff, an Indian guy, there. Asked him whether it's a Christian restaurant... can't rmb wat his reply was. But anyway, he says that he's not a Christian, but he agrees with the Bible verse that's put up in bold black letters on the wall:
[T]hat every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God. - Ecclesiastes 3:13
Interesting place! :) Thinking of trying a sandwich there next time... it's for a good cause after all.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

A Nano-Book Review: The Great Generational Transition

Here again in City Hall Starbucks. =) Yeah, I love this place. Anyway, I'm reading this borrowrd book by Darlene Zschech: "the great generational transition: practical insights for every leader" (thanks Spencer!)

Heard that Shirley Melinda also recommends it enthusiastically. And now i can see why. =)

Great insights! Only issue is that the book really reads like a blog. no kidding. !!! and !! and CAPITAL LETTERS abound!! Needs tighter editing... but well, the insights are great. =D wisdom, in watever form...

(yeah, i said nano 'cos mini is well, short, micro... is so '80s. nano... well, it's still not too mouldy. LOL)

Hope can share more insights from this book next time!

"The heavens declare the glory of God
The skies proclaim the works of His hands
Day after day they pour forth speech
Night after night they display knowledge.
There is no speech or language
where their voice is not heard.
Their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world."
Psalm 19:1-4a

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Ministry Starting Point: Own a Burden

Many times in ministry, getting started poses the largest challenge. Often, the search focuses on finding the right idea. A better target exists—the right person who's willing to own a burden.

Let's look at two stories that demonstrate this truth.

Story #1
A creative team brainstormed ideas to support a lesson focused on Jesus' teaching about the two greatest commandments. Specifically, to love God and love others (Matt. 22:36-40). The group decided to develop a music video. More importantly, this team included Marta.

At first, Marta liked the idea. Soon, she loved the idea. Then, she became consumed by the thought of sharing this important lesson with kids in a way they would relate to and remember.

So she offered to help write the song for the music video. And then she offered to act as the project's producer. Okay, she didn't exactly offer.

She had never produced a video before, but saw that no one else had the time to invest. When it appeared the project might not happen, she couldn't imagine doing nothing. Even though she also lacked availability—and experience—she said she'd do it. Although unsure how, she felt compelled toward action. Marta realized that she owned a burden to creatively reach children with the two greatest commandments, and that proved to be all the fuel she needed.

A burden is a problem you feel you must fix, an issue you must resolve, a wrong you must right—action you simply must take.

So God completely cleared the path in front of his faithful servant, right? Not exactly.

For the next several weeks, Marta faced obstacle after obstacle, roadblock after roadblock. Do you ever face obstacles and roadblocks in your ministry?

Face obstacles in children's ministry? Are you kidding me? That's life. Yes, too many times you put up with obstructions and force a smile while you think, or say, "Oh well, I guess this is part of being in children's ministry."

Friends, let's admit something. When we say, "Oh well, I guess this is part of being in children's ministry," we really mean: "If it weren't for the kids I would ask God to smote you where you stand right now—in the name of Jesus."

Sorry—let's go back to our story.

Leadership truth: When you own a burden, the opportunity always appears larger than the obstacles. And that happened with Marta. She couldn't get rid of the conviction she felt that kids needed to hear this message, so she learned how to produce a video, she carried heavy equipment, she worked insane hours for a brief period, and to the many people who offered criticism instead of help, she calmly responded, "Oh well, I guess this is part of being in children's ministry."

Eventually, her hard work paid off with a music video that combines creativity and content, substance and style, in a manner that makes God's truth memorable to young and old alike. To watch this video, click here.

[Read more!]
Reminded of what Huaqiang exhorted me: if you see a need, don't just sit there and complain... do something about it! :)
From Perry Noble's "Experts…There Are None! March 3, 2010":
When it comes to HOW to do church…there simply are no experts. There is not one type of church that works at every place at any given time. If there was a formula for doing church then why in the world did Jesus address seven different church in seven different ways in Revelation 2-3?

Too many times pastors/church leaders want the easy answer rather than committing themselves to doing the hard work and actually seeking the face of God and begging for His wisdom and guidance…talking to the “experts” is easy…just plug in the formula and BAM…double your attendance. AND after years of watching this chaos happen I think we can all admit…this does not work…
Principles, principles, principles.

Rely not on prophecy alone, but on God's pure promises AND principles as stated in the Word.

Hmm... yes... so true...

1 Corinthians 14:29
Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said.

I guess I feel embarrassed at not being wiser to ask someone else for confirmation regarding this. Oh God, I feel so stupid.

Still, on a more personal level, I think I also feel a bit of a disappointment personally. I guess it's because I was hoping for more involvement of God in my life... that there could be something as dramatic as God speaking so real and directly... in our time and age...

I guess I want see the presence and person of God in my life, far more than I want His promises and His providence, even. Actually yes. 'Cos in this day and age, I guess sometimes for all the testimonies about God's providence... I guess we share so much about the providence and power of God that we forget to share how present God was in our situations.

So I guess I feel disappointed actually. But well, see how God works. I do believe that perhaps God can do the same things in today's 21st century church that He did in the era of the New Testament church.

Reminded of Billy Graham's response when a critic accused him of trying to set the church back 50 years. Graham listened, and then humbly replied, "I am deeply ashamed. I have been trying to set the church back 2000 years." In context I think he was talking about Christian grace... as practiced in the New Testament. But yeah, I also am thinking about God's presence and power... could the Acts of the Holy Spirit ever happen in Singapore? Could He? Would He? Should He?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Documentary-Making Can Be Such A Pleasure!

Now making a video for my company's social entrepreneurship project. As I watch the interview videos, thank You Father... I'm reminded again of why I joined this company to work as an intern. It's so meaningful, being able to use your skills to bless the little ones, especially those who lack confidence... grateful to be able to be part of this meaningful work. =D

Plus, making this video trains me in my documentary-making skills. I realise I love to make documentaries actually. Think it's the influence from one module that I took in uni... "Ethnographic Analysis of Visual Media". Hee. Told my lecturer (she's from London, with the accompanying accent) that what she taught helped me see the world in a new way, and she smiled and said that it was rewarding to know that she helped to make a difference in a small way.

Documentaries! Storytelling. Children. Social issues. Ah... now I see another piece of the puzzle coming together. =D Haha... a timely refreshment from God as I plow on.

Anyway, an important documentary principle I'm learning experientially:
Focus on a small group of children that the audience can identify with. It is essential that if you want the documentary/story to be impactful, the audience must feel an emotional connection with the humanity of the people. Just because it's a real-life event doesn't mean that you cannot draw a story out of it. And no, you don't need to dramatise or, God forbid, make use of "artistic license". Life itself is already more than interesting enough, if only you are sharp enough to see.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Joy of Grief

I learned that the grace of God is sufficient, as He said, but I also learned that grace is not an anesthetic. - Isabel Fleece, Not By Accident
One of my colleagues is still getting over her mum's passing away. Though it was expected, the loss still affects her deeply even though she knows she will see her mum again in heaven. So she was quite melancholic. As we were walking back from an errand, she remarked that she still missed her mum, and fell silent after that. And she confessed that she couldn't help crying at times, even on the MRT. That it's been more than a month, and she knows that it'll take a long time... maybe even one or two years... to get over her grief.

I guessed some of us have been through this kind of situation, where you wonder what to say to comfort or reassure the other person, or whether such a word is necessary. So I asked God what word could I speak - if it was necessary - and this simple sentence came to mind... so I told my colleague this, and she smiled, and you could see a sense of relief on her face.

I had simply told her, "Take as long as you need to."

I think sometimes one of the greatest stresses in a mourner's journey of grief comes from the sense of obligation - whether it's true or not - that one has to get over it quickly and move on. Perhaps the ancients were wiser than us when it came to handling grief - they prescribed a necessary and lengthy time of mourning - be it 40 days, or a year or so... whereas in our time-rushed societies, we give about only a few days, a couple of weeks at most, and then expect the mourner to get back and jump into working life again.

In addition, ancient societies had extended support networks, and I guess you could say that loud, outwards expressions of grieving were actually encouraged. Professional wailers and mourners could be even be hired to add the necessary sombre atmosphere, and the tearing of clothes / wearing of sackclothes, etc. But today, we hear, "Don't make Dad cry." "It's ok, be strong." "She's in a better place now..." And even the more ... shall we say... positive-thinking armchair theologians among us will gently chide us for mourning, saying that he/she is in a better place, with injunctions from 1 Thessalonians not to weep or mourn like those who have no hope.

But we silly armchair theologians forget the wisdom of Romans 12 to mourn with those who mourn. And of course, godly men buried Stephen when he was martyred, and mourned deeply over him. And the shortest verse in the Bible: "Jesus wept [for his friend Lazarus who had died]." If even the One who knew He was going to resurrect his friend from the dead could identify so point-blank with us that He even mourned over his dead friend that He was going to resurrect in a few minutes... then I think we can see that God is not ashamed to grieve together with us. He himself will wipe away every tear from our eyes and store them in His wineskins, so precious are our tears to Him.  

Yes, He did remind Martha that Lazarus would rise again, and even challenged her to believe in Him. But that was to Martha who was more emotionally stable than Mary - stable enough to think of practical things like not going into a tomb that has a body four days old, and confident enough to continue hoping in God despite all hope being lost. But to Mary who was deeply in grief, and probably indirectly accusing Jesus of not saving her brother... he simply asked, "Where have you laid him?" So I think to those of us who grieve, the Lord understands. And He asks us to share where we are hurting, that He may visit the site of our griefs together with us... to visit the tomb and the wound.

So hmm... I think it's very important to reassure a person who is grieving that it's all right to grieve. To cry as much as they need to. For them to take their time. For them to re-visit the sites and memories of their pain and traumas as and when needed, until their time of grieving is done with. And then the healing process can begin... and perhaps they may become stronger through this experience - but only if they are able to grieve properly first. Most likely, like a broken bone that has healed, they will never be the same again (if even the risen Lord still bears the wounds in His hands and side from his execution...), but they can become stronger and wiser, with a new level of tenderness and compassion.

"Sorrow is better than laughter, for sadness has a refining influence on us." (Ecc 7:3)

"Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted."