Sunday, October 31, 2010

An Ephesian Epiphany

So very very thankful that I can get into the Bible class on Ephesians - though I could only squeeze into the 12.45pm-2.45pm slot. And $25, not $15. LOL... :) But because of that, it helped me be really really eager to 'eat' God's Word. One only knows how good bread taste when one has been hungry.

Also delighted to discover a wonderful literary device that I found in Ephesians. Saw how Eph 1:3-10 forms a Greek 'chi' (as in the Greek letter chi) structure, with v7 forming a central theme - literally - of the whole passage. "In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins..." In that same passage, Paul also effectively and compactly summarizes what the whole book of Ephesians is about.

I know it sounds rather academic, but believe you me, when you see that literary device in use (which manages to still be seen clearly despite the inevitable translation issues), gosh, you see the fluent literary genius in the good apostle's writing style. It's so beautifully written and helps hammer home in your heart the centrality, depth, cost, significance and degree of our redemption. It makes me cry just to think of how deeply - and dearly - we have been redeemed.

(And I love how 'redeemed' and 'redemption' still carries its same secular meaning in today's English language, being used in the marketplace just as plainly as it is used in the pulpit. It's so plain - commercialized even - that I don't think it will lose its potential to punch the hearts of even world-weary businessmen for a long time yet - which I think a significant number of Ephesians were working as. (Yes I know English ain't Greek, but the New Testament Greek word for 'redemption' was also used commercially.))

Anyway, with redemption playing such an important theme in Ephesians, Paul goes on to graphically illustrate our depth and degree of redemption. Imagine, alive physically but dead spiritually... I guess that makes us sound like... zombies! ZOMG! But thank God we weren't Left4Dead... He came, saw and gave the Supreme Sacrifice.

Hee. There's other wonderful themes in Ephesians... Nope, one WFL class won't be enough. But yes, do be inspired by this wonderful epistle! God bless!

Yeu Ann

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Our very own HopeKids actor!

Matthias, Pri 2. Yan dao, right? :D His performance today was very good! :D Hee. Gosh, I remember taking care of him in HopeKinders back during my last semester when I was still in Uni ministry.

So Sweet!

Thank You dear Father! I feel so happy to be able to sign up for the WFL class on Ephesians even though I missed the registration deadline. It's such a joy to be able to study and understand Your Word even more!

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This is the Air I Breathe

Relaxing along Orchard Heeren McDonalds. Alfresco-style, yet Mc-cheap. :) Thank God! And thank God especially for the no-haze! Realized you never really appreciate clean air until you have to breathe polluted air.


Yeu Ann

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Saturday, October 30, 2010

A Simple Line of Encouragement

"Yeu Ann I do believe you have great storytelling talents."

Hee. Really very grateful to God for His encouragement through my ex-boss.

A simple line of encouragement... but it really means a LOT to me. Especially since it came from someone who's experienced in writing stories, scripts and creative writing... wow... really very thankful to God for her kindness and encouragement, even though I don't deserve it!

Thank You dear Father for my ex-boss and her friendship. And... for being with me, just as You spoke clearly to me today during Saturday service through Isaiah 41:10. =)

Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to Your name be the glory,
Because of Your love and faithfulness. :D

Amen and praise the Lord...

The Art of Freshability

Notes that I took from Hong Teck's CG sharing:

Freshness in ministry is so important. It's like eating an oyster. If it's only half-fresh, half of it has to be thrown away. So it is with our own ministry. If what we do is not fresh - i.e. not of the Spirit but of our own fleshly efforts, it ultimately has to be discarded.

Make saying, "Sorry" and "It's ok" your greatest ability as s leader. Because God's compassion never fails. Likewise ours too should not.

If you have flashbacks of past hurts and bad experiences, then flashback even further to the day that Christ died.

Actually make it such that you don't have to be so easily offended in the first place. Go back to the Cross again and again and see what Jesus' response was. Give thanks in all circumstances. :) Be full of grace and don't take yourself too seriously. Take God seriously but not yourself.


Yeu Ann

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The Power of Christlike Compassion

From the article The Compassion of Jesus by Radio Bible Class:
[T]he best way to appreciate how the example of our Lord’s compassion has impacted history is to consider the lives of individuals who have served as conduits of His caring love. They have been salt in the otherwise tasteless dough of civilization. They have been light in the gross darkness of depraved culture. They have been voices pleading for mercy and kindness wherever there have been eruptions of barbarism, even in advanced nations. Here are just two illustrations of Christlike compassion.

Jackie Polinger, who was born and reared in Great Britain, was a musician by vocation and a Christian by conviction. From the age of 5 she felt that God was directing her into missionary service. But where and under what agency? She consulted her pastor who advised her to start out in faith and let God providentially lead. Jackie followed his advice and eventually found
herself in Hong Kong.

All alone, she began a compassionate work of witness in the notorious Walled City, where more than 50,000 people were crowded into a mere 61⁄2 acres. It was a refuge for criminals of every kind— thieves, drug dealers, murderers, and prostitutes. Its streets were lined with heroin dens and opium dives, to say nothing of the pornographic theaters. The Walled City was a rat- infested horror of filth, ruled by ruthless gangs. Every morning the bodies of pathetic wretches who had overdosed and died during the night were simply dragged outside its walls and left unburied.

Jackie was only 20 years old, untrained and unprotected, when she moved into that nightmare and started as a conduit of Christ’s compassion to share the good news of His forgiveness and love. She met with violent hostility. Windows and furniture were smashed in the Youth Club she opened, and it was smeared with excrement by the followers of a drug lord. But he was so impressed by Jackie and her message of God’s forgiveness that he ordered his guilty gang members to go and apologize to her. They did and, true to her message, Jackie forgave them.

Slowly a change took place through Jackie’s unfaltering compassion, dauntless bravery, and Christ-centered preaching. Hundreds of men and women—drug-enslaved, vice- fettered, lifelong addicts and drunkards—were liberated.

Jackie’s compassion was not an impotent sentimentalism. Motivated by Calvary, her ministry was dynamic and transforming. Indeed it was the very power of God unto salvation. Jesus through Jackie continued His work of compassion.

Mary Reed, born in Ohio in 1858, was another conduit of Christlike compassion. Hearing about the plight of lepers in India, she decided to do what she could to alleviate their distressful lot and share with them the good news of God’s love. How apparently futile it was for one Christian woman to expect that she could bring about any significant change in the lives of such sorely afflicted people in an alien society.

Resolutely and prayerfully, Mary volunteered for service in India. The city of Cawnpore with its overwhelming needs was the site of her ministry. Conditions were indescribably difficult. Little wonder, then, that after 8 years of compassionate labor, she suffered a physical breakdown. So she returned home to recuperate. But did she stay home? Did she abandon the impossible task of making a really helpful impact on so desperate a situation?

No, instead of yielding to any temptation like that, Mary returned and went to Pithoraterth in the Himalayas. On one journey she came across a tragic group of 500 lepers, subsisting by themselves, with no human agency concerned about their misery. Burdened for their piteous helplessness, Mary could not forget those neglected sufferers.

After another year of intense ministry, she collapsed and was sent back to her American home. Doctors were perplexed by her illness. What caused the tingling pain in her forefinger and that spot on her face? Mary knew before she had received a definitive diagnosis. She had contracted leprosy. Yet, rather than being horrified, she thanked God for a disease that ordinarily would have aroused reactions of dread and self-pity. She saw it as God’s gift, an answer to her pleas that somehow she might be permitted to work among those lepers in the Himalayas.

Only her doctors and a sister knew the truth about her condition. When she left for India, she insisted that there be no sad farewell, though she realized she might never see her much- loved family again. Back in India, Mary went to that leper settlement where no missionary had gone before. “I have been called by God to come and help you,” she told the astonished sufferers. And there she remained as God’s agent of Christlike compassion. The difficulties were indeed enormous, yet gradually in Chanbag under Mary’s sacrificial leadership a new order of things developed. Even a hospital was built providing healing, help, and hope to once utterly hopeless outcasts. For 53 years she lived and served at Chanbag, dying there in 1943.

These two servants of the Lord Jesus are representative of a great host of His disciples, the majority of them unknown and unapplauded. But their names are known in heaven, and they have received the only commendation they desired and deserved, their Lord’s word of approval, “Well done, good and faithful servants.”

If we have named Jesus as our Redeemer and Master, we are challenged to follow in Jackie’s and Mary’s footsteps, as they followed in the footsteps of Him who was compassion incarnate. As recipients of saving grace, we have the privilege of letting the costly love of Calvary flow through our lives and out into the needy world. Only as we do so can some of humanity’s need be met.
Hope and pray this inspires you too to ask God to help you grow in compassion for a world that is lost, hurting and dying in pain... and to send YOU. I've already asked God to send me... hope we can see each other there at the finish line, by God's grace, and hear His wonderful words: "Well done, good and faithful servants!"

The Compassion of Jesus

The Compassion of Jesus. Great resource from RBC on understanding Christ's compassion... and what it implies for us.

http://www.rbc.org/uploadedFiles/Bible_Study/Discovery_Series/PDF/The_Compassion_Of_Jesus.pdf

"Eliminate God’s compassion, and God is no longer God—the personal God who interacted with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Eliminate compassion, and God is no longer the God who has experiences akin to our own states of joy, regret, grief, and merciful kindness.

Eliminate compassion from God’s nature, and Scripture must be rewritten, our understanding of the divine nature must be radically revised, and theology must be turned inside out. But compassion can’t be eliminated. It must, instead, be given a place of honor among God’s attributes. He is the caring God."

Friday, October 29, 2010

Wow! Thank God :) Making some real steps towards writing the iPhone e-book. Told Peter about the free iPhone authoring software that I found... and interestingly, Peter also told me about some storyboarding software at the same time too! Haha...

Encouraged to see how these little coincidences happen at just the same time. =) Need God's help here... haaaa =)


Also thank God for Jon. He came down to help play guitar for the Pri 3s. Sang a Chinese song. The boys wanted to learn how to play the guitar, so he obliged them. But before he taught them, he explained the song to them in English. Excited, 'cos this is using his music and singing talent as a platform from which he can share the gospel with the kids! :) Excited for you, Jon! God can use your talents to prepare the hearts of the next generation...

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Kelvin'll (Yung's husband) be my new shepherd. =) Hee, quite a new experience for me I guess, having an older shepherd who's a father of three kids and all that... but yeah, looking forward to learning from this dear brother... =) Guess I can learn from him about what it takes to run a family and all that... =)

But yeah, hope that we can connect more often and more deeply too. Gotta pray for a great shepherd-sheep relationship! (Pray for me too k? Thanks! :))

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Paint a :) - The Greatest Achievement of All

I was with the APSN kids, and watching them paint their dreams out. One had dreams of becoming a teacher, another dreamt of becoming a baker and yet another dreamt of becoming a soldier.

As I surveyed the scene of the young ones painting their dreams onto blank T-shirts, I saw the sea of smiles painted on their faces, as they chatted and laughed with their mentors.

And one thing struck me. We all have dreams. Some dreams will get achieved, and some not so. Some of us bury our dreams, while others unearth our dreams. Some of us have big, bold dreams, while others have small sweet dreams.

Isn't it the same for us "normal" people? Actually there isn't much difference - we too dream to the same extent as the "disabled" ones. And some of the "disabled" ones actually dare to dream bigger dreams than a lot of us!

:)

So one thing I realized is that the greatest disability lies not in our bodies, and not even in our intelligences. The greatest ability - or disability - lies in our hearts, our attitudes, our souls.

Also, after seeing the smiles of joy brought about by simple and contented hearts, I now see that in the final analysis, it is not the size of our achievements that will matter. It is not the number of our achievements that will matter. But it is the heart behind our achievements that will matter. And it will matter on the other side of eternity too.

In the end, love is the greatest achievement that a human is ever able to achieve.

And for that, there is no disability.


"1 Corinthians 13
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."


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The Power of a God-powered, Man-partnered Dream

Have you ever dreamt something big, and saw it come to pass?

Well, it did for me.

I remember I was in Sec 3 (or was it 4?), when I happened to see the HP Technology Quiz being televised. I saw the various JCs duking it out on the stage. I was so wowed, because you see, before I gave my life back to Christ, I had this big dream of becoming a Nobel Prize-winning scientist, so that I could make my name remembered in history. :)

And the HP Technology Quiz! Ooh. A chance to get onto TV.

And I remember telling myself in my heart, "One day, I will be there on TV, in the same quiz."

And the funny thing is, I actually got onto TV, on the very same quiz the next year. :)

So that was the fulfillment of my dream. Well, it didn't exactly turn out the way I had hoped to... and thank God that He took away my old dreams and broke me slowly down. So that when I was empty enough, He might fill me up with new - and better - dreams.

But yes, surprising, isn't it? That's the power of a spoken dream.

"One day, I will get there..."

"One day, I will win this gold medal in the Olympics..."

"One day, I will do this..."

"One day, I will perform before an international audience..."

"One day, I will win a Nobel Prize..."

And I did get to take part in the quiz, and appear on TV. :) Hee. TH was there on the same team as me! :)

But after that, that was it. My popularity index didn't hit an all-high, etc. Life just went on. How is it for you too, dear friend? When you manage to accomplish your great dream... and then that's it?

When you dream to please yourself... you'll get humbled.
When you dream to please others... you'll be disappointed.

But when you dream to bless God's name, to build up His church, to be His hands and feet to serve and heal and comfort a world in pain... you'll never be put to shame.

1 Peter 2:6
For in Scripture it says: "See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame."


So, speaking a dream, even to oneself, can bring about the actual fulfillment of that dream.

Since such is the power of a spoken dream, and the ability that God has given man to do such, then what's holding us back from having childlike faith that dares to dream big for God - and speak aloud?

If non-Christians can dream big dreams and see them come to pass... how much more we the children of God should dare to dream bigger dreams!

But of course, I'm not saying that if you speak it, it will surely come to pass. That's just not true. But yes, the tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat of its fruit.


But what kind of dreams to dream then? Well, dream things according to God's will. "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." I think that's a pretty solid guideline to help us start dreaming towards to.

And who knows? Whatever noble dreams you have may actually be God Himself working in you.

Philippians 2:13 "for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose."

Just talk to God about these dreams, and see what He says. If He approves, then you have all His promises and resources available, according to His good purpose. :) And as you partner with Him... you will see Him unfold great and wonderful things that you never imagined possible. Jeremiah 33:3

A dear friend shared with me about her dream to do speech therapy to bless society. God really honoured her request and opened doors for her. Out of 200 candidates, she was one of the 20 chosen. And she got a scholarship too! :)

Peter too had a desire to serve God in the media industry and be an entrepreneur to serve the church. God has also helped him, even though the road has been long. And as a bonus, a certain sister saw how Peter grew in his faith and character through the difficult months... and now she's Peter's wife. :)

And me? Haha... lots of interesting things happened, but the most important thing is that I see God really working actively in my life, wiring and threading events so wonderfully - just like a story! And why not? All the days of my life were written by Him before one of them came to be! God, the Master Storyteller. :D

And my dream to change the world has been not taken away, but redeemed. God took my old dream of winning a Nobel Prize so that I might seek not to make a name for myself anymore, but replaced it with a new dream: a dream to win souls for Christ... and to see with my own eyes a great multitude of redeemed souls that no one can count, from every nation, tribe, people and tongue! :)

So really want to encourage you, dear brothers and sisters, to start dreaming big for God if you haven't started yet. Don't let your fishing nets, your workplaces, your "safe zones" stop you from responding to Christ's call: "Come, follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men."

=)

Ephesians 3:20-21
God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.

Glory to God in the church!
Glory to God in the Messiah, in Jesus!
Glory down all the generations!
Glory through all millennia! Oh, yes!
Amen. :D We are ordinary people, but we have an extraordinary God! Amen!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Why Young Adults Are Leaving the Faith

Why Young Adults Are Leaving the Faith

Powerful article... why do many young Christians leave the faith? Because we have given them a superficial Christianity - Christ without the cross. Discipleship without the cost. This is a "low-salt" christianity that is bland and not challenging nor exciting to anyone - not fit for real men to taste. A McHappy Christianity. Not substantial. We define Christianity in our own convenient / traditional terms, instead of aiming for the standards set up in the book of Acts. We de-radicalise Christ's radical calling. No wonder people are not excited to join today's church!

And yet, many people are still hungry for the Bread of Life, despite having left the bakery.

Really thank God my church's been embarking on the basics again - a call to discipleship.

Which is so essential. I read the book of Acts and see how they turned the world upside down.

Because they were taught the Word of God well, and they also lived it out.

We don't need sophisticated techniques, lingo, programmes or worship styles, etc. What we need is whole-hearted commitment to obeying Christ's total Lordship in EVERY single area of our lives. To make it a point to learn everything He has commanded us, and obeying Him.

If not, we make out following Christ to be a boring Sunday religion that is irrelevant to the cries of a world in pain. Which unfortunately seems so much the case. Which is SO DAMN SAD, BECAUSE FROM WHAT I'VE READ ABOUT JESUS AND HIS CHURCH IN THE BIBLE, TO BE A CHRISTIAN IS REALLY EXCITING!

:)

Yup. I'm not contented to have an easy, comfortable Christianity. I want to follow Christ to the ends of the earth, no matter how painful, how sad, how difficult. He who wants to save his life will lose it, but he who loses his life for Christ's sake and for the gospel will find it.

So I am not contented to just stay in Singapore and have a nice flat and a stable job. I'd like to. But I know that what I give up now will result in rewards in heaven that I cannot lose.

Can't see the point of making myself happy and taking life easy when God knows how many kids are dying out there. Really hope and pray that you, dear bro/sister, will be shaken up too, just as I have been, when you see how badly damaged this world is, and how much God so loved the world.

=) You too can make a difference TODAY, as long as you learn to listen to the Holy Spirit to see what He wants you to do. Don't settle for low and easy ambitions... dream big for God and then go and do it with His help!

Yup... tomorrow serving the special kids. Yay! Excited. Hope this will be a stepping stone to future possibilities.

Life's so exciting. On a roll! :)

Prayer Requests

Prayer Requests

1. For me and Kin Wee to b able to help Shuyi finish entering all e research data by next fri.

2. Doing an interactive e-book for kids on the Christmas story to sell. Pray for tech ability to do the e-book.

3. Pray tt my parents can hv their 70th bday celeb b4 27 nov coz my flight to Cambodia is 27 nov.

4. Pray for wisdom n insight n love as I prepare for leading Friday's CG discussion tml.

5. Doing scriptwriting for children's Christmas drama. Nd creativity n humor.

6. Doing drama prep for Cambodia missions trip. Exciting! Planning to use mime as it requires no dialogue :)

7. Pray also for skill n love as I help run Sunday's CG for the Pri 3 kids in Wie Wie's absence.

8. Pray for the Paint a :) event to really bless the special kids we r visiting this Saturday. :)

Excited! Expect great things from God, attempt great things for God.


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Monday, October 18, 2010

Feeling Unsalty and Unlighty in the Workplace?

Struggling in the workplace? Especially when trying to balance between staying back at work, and when your workplace culture demands that you stay back EVERY day just to put in that extra work?

Or being misunderstood by your boss and/or colleagues? Not being able to excel in your job, because, well, it's really not your strength?

Does it mean that you have therefore failed? That you have failed to be salt and light in the marketplace?

NO.

Jesus never said, "Woe to you who screw up in the marketplace, for thy peers shall get promoted ahead of you and I won't recognize you."

Yet I guess sometimes when people talk about being salt and light and casually sprinkle testimonies of how God has blessed them with this promotion and so on...

(Now, I guess I gotta clarify that I'm not putting down those who really gladly share from their hearts about how God has blessed them in their jobs...)

But I'm writing to caution those who start thinking in their hearts and reason that if you succeed, then it is always a sign that you are in God's favour... that kind of faulty theology was what Job's friends believed in, and that's what Jesus challenged in His Sermon on the Mount. Sometimes Christians suffer, because it really is God's will to put them through such things. Well, wiser and better people have written in depth about these things, so I won't go in detail.

Still, I think it's important to accept the fact that there are times we really don't do well in the eyes of the world. But even then we can be salt and light when we look (and start feeling) like we have failed God. That we feel like the tail, not the head.

Take heart, dear friends. Our poster-boy for marketplace success, Joseph, had to first become a slave, and then a forgotten prisoner, before God eventually made him into prime minister of all Egypt. The key to being salt and light is not to win praises from men, but letting people see how we Christians respond differently, even in the face of suffering, scoldings and even sackings.

Will we respond the way men do when things go bad... or will we respond graciously and kindly, like how Jesus responded when He got nailed to the cross? He died in such a way that even the Roman centurion in charge of his execution couldn't help but exclaim, "Surely this man was the son of God!"

It is not your success that will make people stand up and say that God must be real. But it is how you respond to your successes - and your failures too, that will make men take note. Will you respond like a heathen, or will you respond like a son of God?

Will you live, like how Jesus lived? Will you suffer, like how Jesus suffered? And will you die, like how Jesus died?

Do read the whole of Philippians 3 to have a better understanding of what it really means to live (and die) a life that glorifies God truly...

(Hee. Sharing this passionately... not because I'm better than you dear friends... but just been a bit further ahead in the minefields. LOL! That's why I'm so lame... haha... ... er, get it? Never mind... :D but yeah! Hope and pray that you will be encouraged by God's Word here!)

Philippians 3
1Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you.
2Watch out for those dogs, those men who do evil, those mutilators of the flesh. 3For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh— 4though I myself have reasons for such confidence.
If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; 6as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless.

7But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. 10I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.

Pressing on Toward the Goal

12Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

15All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. 16Only let us live up to what we have already attained.

17Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you. 18For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. 20But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.
Life IS a battlefield. Was reading Jesus' words in Matthew. After having taken a round-trip around the Old Testament for months, His words jumped out at me, fresh as ever. Yes, fresher than that McHappy meal. :)

And raw were His words that startled me. Yet powerful too. =)

5These twelve [disciples] Jesus sent out with the following instructions: "Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. 6Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. 7As you go, preach this message: 'The kingdom of heaven is near.' 8Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy,[b]drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give. 9Do not take along any gold or silver or copper in your belts; 10take no bag for the journey, or extra tunic, or sandals or a staff; for the worker is worth his keep.

11"Whatever town or village you enter, search for some worthy person there and stay at his house until you leave. 12As you enter the home, give it your greeting. 13If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you. 14If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town. 15I tell you the truth, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town. 16I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.

17"Be on your guard against men; they will hand you over to the local councils and flog you in their synagogues. 18On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. 19But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, 20for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.

21"Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. 22All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. 23When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. I tell you the truth, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes.

24"A student is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. 25It is enough for the student to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebub,[c] how much more the members of his household!

26"So do not be afraid of them. There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. 27What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. 28Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29Are not two sparrows sold for a penny[d]? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. 30And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

32"Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. 33But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.

34"Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn
" 'a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law -
36a man's enemies will be the members of his own household.'[e]

37"Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

40"He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives the one who sent me. 41Anyone who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet's reward, and anyone who receives a righteous man because he is a righteous man will receive a righteous man's reward. 42And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward."

We shouldn't be surprised.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Joy of Like-hearted Friends, II

Just a refinement of my previous post.

I'm not talking about even common ministry as the basis for a godly and exciting Christian friendship. I know a dear brother who keeps talking about ministry. But to be frank, I don't sense a deep passion from him when it comes to sharing about the things of God, about his walk with God especially. He doesn't seem to be exuding a _freshness_ that come from even simply having tasted the goodness and mercy of God in his daily life, or even the forgiveness that comes from confessing his brokenness and sinfulness.

(To be very frank, I think this is the staleness of an untransformed "McHappy" Christian who has stopped experiencing God - or even the hunger for Him... doesn't he/she remind you of that McHappy meal that got left out in the open for six month (and still hasn't changed its appearance!).)

But it's not about befriending spiritual victors only too, who continually walk in victory and have faith, hope and love as their middle names. Some of the friends I feel closest too are those who share very real struggles about their brokenness, and how they have to keep struggling to walk right with God in the midst of their struggles and downness. Sometimes they may break down in tears, sometimes they may feel fearful. They may feel insecure a lot, sometimes feel rejected even by "spiritual" people and so on. Sometimes they have inner frailities and illnesses that only a very few people and God can see.

These people have the sweet aroma of tender brokenness - like freshly-baked bread that is broken. They know their brokenness, and gladly confess it. They don't sit there though - they fight their very best, like the widow with two cents. They crawl, cry and weep. They plead and pray. They are real and authentic - these ragged, torn and bloody infantry faithfully holding their ground to their last drops of tears.

And I strongly believe God really is close to such people like these. He wipes away every tear from their eyes. "The LORD is close to the broken-hearted and save those who are crushed in spirit." If your eyes tear when you read this verse, then congratulations! Blessed are you who are poor in spirit. :)

Yup... so I guess ultimately, it all boils down simply to being hungry for, asking and receiving, and sharing God's goodness in your daily lives to those around you. =)

The Joy of Like-hearted Friends =)

Met up with Yufen earlier today. We had a great catchup, albeit a rather short one. =) Thank God for this dear sister who never fails to encourage me with her constant sharing about what she sees God doing in her life! She really is one of the most refreshing and encouraging friends whom God has blessed me with - every time when I meet up with her, her delighted sharing about God's goodness re-energises me a lot. =)

And Edmund (from NUS ministry) is another bro whose heart also leaves my heart more energized after I meet up with him. He also shares about God's goodness and the excitement as well.

(Of course, not saying that my other dear friends leave me feeling drained. No lah! But it's something that I noticed, that when we share about God's goodness in our lives, that both our hearts get SUPERnaturally recharged and we feel even happier and delighted than when we first started talking, even though we may have talked deep into the middle of the night.)

It's such a joy and delight, because we have actually experienced the reality of our Master's words: "For where two or three gather in My name, there I am with them." Yes, the I AM presence of Jesus is with us when we gather in His name!

Which makes me think. Where do our friendships ultimately draw their energies from? From common topics? From shared jokes? From a common cause and ideal - including ministry - even? None of these are bad - these are all natural factors that help bond humans together.

But when our common joy come from sharing the goodness of the Bread of Life himself with one another, WHOA! It's like bringing two sub-critical masses of uranium together to form a critical mass... and the result is an unimaginable explosion far beyond what normal chemistry can do. A greater set of laws far supersede the usual laws of chemistry. In that very time and place, God's kingdom and will are being accomplished on earth as it is in heaven when two or three gather in His name.

So it is with the supernatural unity brought by the Prince of Peace. A greater power supersedes the power of natural human chemistry. The power of the risen Christ, Who has broken down every dividing wall of hostility, Who is our Peace.

So really want encourage you to share with one another about how God has been good to you. If He is your first love, you will naturally want to find like-hearted and minded friends who share your first love. Not people who share the same interests, or make you laugh, or even people whom you feel you can 'click' with and feel comfortable... but people who are one in heart and mind with you.

Yup... so what are your CLOSEST friendships based on, ultimately?

Hee. Think ultimately, what you really treasure in your heart is revealed by the choices of decisions and relationships that you keep on making.

The Hunting of the Spark: A journal of my journey so far

The Hunting of the Spark: A journal of my journey so far

"Ethnographic analysis of visual media." Another passion that I have so far, besides writing, designing good user interfaces, drama, mime, storytelling... is also exploring other cultures.

I remember how fascinated I was when I took that module on ethnographic analysis. Was captivated by Jean Rouch's videos of West African culture - narrated not by himself but by his own African friends. It was an epiphany for me to watch a French film with the Africans themselves commenting and making fun of themselves as they narrated the video of a trio of friends going to the city, and finding their own passions and successes there. For the first time o actually got to listen to someone share about his own culture. And they too narrated about their own surprise responses to seeing a group of Africans who had a more primitive culture than them. I guess I had always thought of Africans as the Others. But through that module I saw how common our experiences are.

And Jean Rouch not only took documentary videos of African tribes... but of his own 'tribe' too. 'Chronicles of a Summer' (Chroniques d'un ete) was one of his hallmark films of the French people. Fascinating. What normal people would take for granted, he helped his own 'tribe' see their 'mundane' life anew.

Hmm. Putting my passions together, I see I also enjoy finding out about new cultures and interacting with such people. Funny, tho I tend to be introverted. :)

I also enjoy learning about what makes us tick. Learning facts about nature.

Maybe if I cld sum all these key interests, it'd be a sense of pleasure at discovering new things. At exploring and understanding all of God's creation, especially the human condition. :)

And yes, that dream of seeing a great multitude in heaven that no one can count, from every nation, tribe, people and tongue. :)


Sent from my iPhone

Mm... have been increasingly slacking in my prayer life... not good... sigh. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

CG Thanksgivings :)))

CG Thanksgivings :)))

CG was great today! :) it also help me remember to share some good things God has done for me. (Esp when I had been feeling down and discouraged again this week.) :)

About how He mercifully helped me get my NRIC after almost a year, even though it was supposed to be destroyed if not collected after 3 months. (Thanks Elvis for praying for my NRIC too!)

And for His good provision of a part-time job through Shuyi at NIE. such a blessing. Had helped Shuyi with her resume, and now she's in a position to help me back - and also another bro.

Very thankful too for Peter's help and ideas regarding the media dream that we have. Of blessing the world through media. Peter commented: "Now the technology is available. It wasn't available just a few years back (when Peter and I started dreaming and strategizing how to find our niches in the crowded media sphere.)"

Yup... I believe God has planted this dream in our hearts at just the right time, because though we could not foresee what the future had, He had already planned and provided the technology for us long before it was created. :) just that He also had to bring us in the meantime through our own unique life paths to train and mature us in character, dependence on Him, strength and skills. Sometimes the dreams we had seemed so far away. But suddenly we are blessed to - if not settle down in the "Promised Land" in our own lifetimes - at least walk through the length and breadth of it. :)

Also thank God for my CG. I am very blessed to be so comfortable with them. It's such a relief to be able to exercise my crazy dramatic side of me too after such a long time of repressing it. :) That's one aspect of my conflicting personality that fascinates me: that I can be shy, yet curious at the same time. That I can be reserved in general, yet when with some people, go totally crazy and dramatic. Haha... :) Hee. Finding my element.

Not being a two-faced kind of fellow, mind you, but I've been learning recently that it's really fine to have two very opposite traits in me. I guess I spend quite a bit of energy quite a lot of times having to repress one or the other. :) but yeah, I think God created funny creatures like the zebra, the platypus and the koala to defy our human tendencies to reductionistically categorize people.

Thank God for His grace to us in the caregroup. That it can be a place to come just as you are. :) And perhaps that's the first rule of any fellowship: come, just as you are. The second rule is: help one another become the people God meant us to be. To be authentic - AND growing. To be authentically growing.

:) so want to encourage you, dear brothers and sisters, to come to the table of mercy. To share in the communion of the saints, the fellowship of the believers. To experience God's presence together as an ekklessia, the community of the called, the called-out ones. To eat together with glad and sincere hearts too, praising God and praying together! :) And if God likes what He sees, He'll add to our numbers daily. :)


Sent from my iPhone

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Fear of Death: Not the Physical Kind

Just a sudden insight. I think one reason why I fear making people uncomfortable so much, is because I believe that the friendship is gone / less close once you make the other person uncomfortable.

Unfortunately, it is true in some cases. So that's why I'm sad.

I guess some wise person will remind me if the friendship is that fragile, then that person is not worth keeping as a friend in the first place. Still, I find it hard to let go of that person's friendship - even if I know logically that it's not worth keeping.

Maybe that is how the father of the prodigal son felt. He had every right to disown his son, ... yet he rejoiced when the son returned home. "My son was dead, and now is alive; he was lost, and now is found."

How I wish things were never like this. Every lost friendship is like a death to me, and in a sense, it's worse than a physical death. You can figure out why. :)

Just thank God He will never leave me nor forsake me.



After some further thinking (and reading Zachary's post on being realistic with people), I think we have to accept the inevitable facts of life, that there must be times when we have to say goodbye. But we can do so with grace, and a maganimous spirit. And to guard our hearts against worldly sorrow. Replace it with godly sorrow. Feel the sadness of whatever you did wrong, not that you did wrong per se, but that the other person was hurt. To graciously learn from it, and move on, committing the pain to God. And take heart, God can make dry bones live again.

And don't worry. God already knew in advance that you would fail. The other person would fail. But He calls us to make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy. No scorched earth campaign here... no fallout please!
Discussed with Hong Teck about my new shepherd (to be confirmed). Actually, I wasn't very comfortable with his suggestion for my new shepherd, and thought through the reasons why I felt so. Fed back to Hong Teck that I'm fine with relating with that brother as a friend and a brother, but not as a shepherd. To my surprise, HT replied that the other brother also thought the same way as me.

In a way, it's been a personal breakthrough for me this past year, to voice out my thoughts as they really are, even though you feel afraid that your thoughts might not be good or correct. Personally, it took me a lot of courage, because I guess one thing about your leaders is that they do have your best interests at heart, and also do have authority to speak counsel into your life. Of course they have godly character and so on. Just that I think one doesn't have to be afraid to honestly speak your mind up if you genuinely disagree with your leader. Just do it with sincerity, respect and honour, and most of all, brotherly love. But really, it's ok to speak up and disagree honestly.

Mm. I think we shouldn't always just go along just because a leader said so, under the assumption that doing that means you are having a good spirit. I think it's very important to either follow fully, or not follow at all (until you are really convicted in your heart). Be either hot or cold, but not lukewarm. But of course, it'll be good to be hot for Jesus. =)

You never know! Your feedback might be the very input that your leader needs to have a more accurate judgement. Because you are what you are, and you are the person who - generally - understands yourself most. But of course, you need to know that you have your blind spots. I think that's why it helps to have a caregroup, a fellowship. However, if you have two or more who speak to you about a particular issue in your life, then you must take note, because every matter should be established by the testimony of two or more witnesses.

But I think, even if you agree with your leader, it's good to also ask why anyway. So that you can learn what is the reason and values behind your leader's decision. You may learn much valuable insight and principles behind your leader's reasoning. That's what the disciples also did with Jesus, asking Him what his parables meant, and so on. But be prepared. Jesus sometimes ticked his disciples off for being so slow to understand! And that may actually be true. But you know the Chinese saying: "Better to ask a question now and look stupid, than never ask and remain stupid."

Hee. =) I also learnt that this principle of honestly airing your doubts and speaking out, especially for feelers who go by intuition a lot, does help actually. It can be applied in the workplace, not only ministry. Or for that matter, relationships - both with God and people. =) Did this in the workplace, and I found that my boss and I had misunderstood each other, but thank God, because both of us spoke honestly and voiced our thoughts and expectations fully, we were able to make a fresh start. And from there, it was a whole lot better, thank God. That's why you see the email that mentions my final report. =)

Yup... hope this little journal entry also encourages you, dear friend, to speak out if you're afraid to do so. (But of course, be prudent lah... and also your listeners reserve the right of reply! ;))

The God Who Struggles With You

Genesis 32:22-30
That night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two maidservants and his eleven sons and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. After he had sent them across the stream, he sent over all his possessions. So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob's hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. Then the man said, "Let me go, for it is daybreak."

But Jacob replied, "I will not let you go unless you bless me."

The man asked him, "What is your name?"
"Jacob," he answered.

Then the man said, "Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome."

Jacob said, "Please tell me your name."
But he replied, "Why do you ask my name?" Then he blessed him there.

So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, "It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared."

Something I'm thankful for is that God allows me to struggle and wrestle with Him. Like how He let Jacob wrestle with Him - and gave him a new name: Israel - he who struggles with God.

I was thinking about all the emotional struggles that I've been having, especially with God. And I think I felt a sense of fear about having these emotional struggles, especially when being emotional is seen as a bad thing in church.

To just do the right thing is not enough. Your mind needs to be renewed first. "... be transformed by the renewing of your mind." And that is where the battleground of the mind is. Satan attacks the mind by... lies. They don't call him the father of lies for nothing.

A lot of people think that reason is separate from emotions.And perhaps that 'thinkers' are more spiritual than 'feelers'. No, not really. Left brain, right brain... given a choice, I'd rather keep both sides of my brain, thank you very much. Good reasoning can serve as the fuel for our emotions. Good reasoning/theology help lead to good attitudes, feelings, and ultimately behaviour. Bad reasoning/theology, bad fruit. (But it's really not as simplistic as I've written just now. Still...)

Hmm. Something I'm really thankful to God for, is that in the deepest struggles and the worst feelings that I have, that is where I see and feel God most strongly. I just wish that my ways were steadfast in following Him, so that I would not be ashamed when I consider His commands.

*pause*

And as I sit here, still, in the night, somehow, Psalm 23 comes to mind. =) And I'm so relieved that God is there. He really is there with me. =) That no matter how late, how slow I am to grow, how long I struggle... He is there, waiting for me faithfully. He allows me, like Jacob, to wrestle with Him all night, though He could easily pin me down flat. But one thing is that if you wrestle with God, wrestle with Him and don't ever let go of Him. He may break you (just one touch is enough!), but even the breaking will be part of His blessing for you.

So, really, it's ok to struggle with God. Just don't let go of Him. Wrestle all the way, wrestle with all your doubts. Wrestle, wrestle and wrestle. But don't let go of God until He blesses you. Even if He has to blast you first. =)

Ambitious Like Jesus

A great article!
If we're to follow Jesus and exercise our perfectly human, understandable ambitiousness, then we've got to be ambitious for what Jesus cares about rather than what the [world] tells us to lust for.

[...]

The trick, it seems to me, is not to forswear all ambition but rather to pray for the grace constantly to align our ambitions with His. Just as I don't believe that conversion to Jesus stifles our passions but rather redirects them toward their proper object—passionate love for God—I also believe that Jesus plays to our ambitions, reworking what was our natural ambition to promote ourselves into a supernatural ambition to please God.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Is It... Your Fault?

I was thinking about today. Actually, I have a confession to make to you. It's not easy for me to get out of bed each day. (Ah. So what's new, you ask?)

I guess it's because everytime I wake up, it's because I feel a lot of anxieties and concerns about my procrastination and the challenges - especially relationships. I worry about what I said to that person, and whether I've made another person feel uncomfortable or put off. I worry even about quiet time.

How about you, dear friend? What's your worry today? Feeling guilty? Feeling down? Feel you've messed up things?

You are heard. And loved. You are known by God, your creator. And understood.

Yes, you've failed and messed up. Don't we all? Yes, some people are pissed off at you, or just feel a bit uncomfortable. But is that... always your fault?

Sometimes it's really not your fault. Even God himself got crucified. But let's pray together with Him on the cross: "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." :) Amen?

Is It... The Correct Medicine?

An old friend called me today to share about some depression and discouragement that he was going through. I'm glad that I can be there for him. Grateful also for what he said: "I'm glad you didn't give me those politically correct answers - those kind of answers saying 'you shouldn't feel that way, you shouldn't be so sad...'. Those kind of answers people get from watching TV shows."

Thank God for my brothers who wisely taught me the value of just listening, esp Hanhui and Peter :)

Sometimes we feel tt we have to give answers to help the other person. But... do you understand the person's problem accurately first? Yes, your medicine may work wonderfully. But how do you know that it is the correct medicine?

:)

Sent from my iPhone

The Cure for Insecurity: The Word, the Spirit - and the Body

As my friends would know, I struggle with insecurity a lot. It doesn't help that I have the typical traits of a classical INFP, which makes it doubly hard. You get misunderstood further, because you feel so insecure, that when you try to voice it out to the other person, the other person thinks that he/she has to make you feel better - which is totally not what you meant. But the person may then feel obliged to do so and as a result, withdraw every time he/she sees you coming.

You see how this cycle of interpersonal insecurity can be so vicious?

But I think, through the years, and with God's help and personal introspection, and well, interviewing and asking other people, and even doing case studies of my insecure moments...

I think I have a good idea how to deal with insecurity. =) Hey, like Henri Nouwen said, no better healer than a wounded healer. =)

First thing. The person has to know that he/she is insecure. If he/she doesn't/won't admit the fact that he/she is insecure, then no growth can happen. That's a fundamental law of all healing.

But... the second thing is: don't then go and tell the person not be insecure. It Doesn't Work. You might as well ask the person to pick himeslf up off the ground by pulling his pants off the ground. It just doesn't work.

What about thinking positive thoughts and so on?

Frankly, from my own experience, and even scientific research, positive thinking doesn't work. It Just Doesn't. And it's not even biblical.

What did I hear you say? Not biblical? :)

Yup. Haha. Self-positive talk is the same as making yourself fly by pulling your pants off the ground. No go.

But... there is a solution.

1. The mind controlled by the Spirit. Pray for yourself. Ask the Holy Spirit to take control of your mind, and as you submit to His gentle guidance, He will help you and counsel you with beautiful truths and positive promises. He is the Wonderful Counsellor, do not forget that. Put your hope in God, not in yourself. You've tried so hard so many times - and failed. But with God, there is always hope.

2. The community of believers. In my personal opinion, I think this is where a lot of misunderstanding happens today. We get fed the unbalanced teaching that we are to totally depend on God and God alone for our breakthrough. But this really is not the case. God loves to use His church - His Body - as His primary agent of healing.

You can feel secure with God, because, well He is perfect. But with other people? Anyone with half a brain can tell you that no one is pefect, not even your mother.

So this is one reason why some people leave the safety of the church. They feel insecure and even rejected in the very communities that should be the most secure place of all on earth. The place of refuge has become the place of rejection.

This is where the community of brothers and sisters must directly affirm their love - both phileos and agape - love for the needy brother/sisters. To show grace. There's really nothing like grace, that brings life to a soul that is feeling scared of rejection because he/she didnt' meet some criteria. But you MUST embody that grace personally, in the flesh, to that brother in need. You ARE Christ in the flesh to that person. If you do not show grace, but merely tell that person that he/she must be secure... and then withdraw when the person grabs you... then are you not part of the problem instead of the healing?

You have to walk through with the sufferer the process of identifying and confronting his/her insecurity issues. But you also must be with that person too as he/she confronts the fearsome insecurities. You represent Christ Himself to that person - ambassador of Christ! You are His hands, His feet to those in need. You are part of the person's fellowship.

And you have to somehow help the person know that you care. What, no strength? Cannot be there? You're so tired yourself? Well... then what are you here for then? Ask the Holy Spirit to fill you anew. That really is what it means to minister by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Remember, insecurity is a very deep issue of the heart that can only be met by God Himself. So we need the Word, the Spirit - and the Body - in order to connect with that hole in the person's heart that is God-shaped.

Any thoughts / comments / disagreements?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

What is a Gracious Person Like?

What is a Gracious Person Like?

Ah. Such a great post. :) I love to read Jim Martin's post, and even read his comments. Though I don't know this brother in Christ personally, one can tell that he really is a very gracious person. For me, he's one of my role models in godliness and graciousness, just by reading his posts.

I know a few other people in church who live and breath a spirit of graciousness. They really are a joy to be around with - you know they don't just minister to you because they should... they genuinely enjoy your company and never fail to see the good in you. For example, Andrew Er, my neighbour and bro in Christ. He's really a very gracious brother... yes, he's a choleric and task-oriented person and can actually be assertive... but you'd never know it from his spirit of grace that keeps overflowing from him. He's another role model for me too. =)

There are other brothers whom I'm genuinely blessed. God knows who you are... =) And oh, dear Weizhu, you are one of the most gracious brothers I've ever known. You constantly live a life of grace - ever since you were my shepherd all the way up to now, you have always inspired me with your life of constant graciousness and kindness. :) Deeply thankful to God for you, and for the privilege of being your friend in Christ.

Graciousness is reserved for people who recognize 
that they are privileged to receive what they have been given. Or as Fred Craddock once said, “The final act of grace is graciousness.”

What is a gracious person like?

A gracious person is slow to take credit and quick to lavish praise.

A gracious person never seeks to embarrass another. Humiliating another is not in this person’s vocabulary. (Please don’t say something that humiliates another and then try to escape responsibility by saying, “I was only joking.”)

A gracious person is always thanking others. Do you go through an entire day without thanking another?

A gracious person doesn’t monopolize the conversation. Someone else has something to offer.

A gracious person doesn’t try to play one-upmanship. (“That’s nothing, you should have seen what I did!”)

A gracious person pays attention to people. Sometimes people come away from such conversations saying, “He made me feel like I was the most important person at that moment.”

A gracious person desires to say what is appropriate. (There is no redeeming value in emptying one’s mind of whatever fleeting thought has happened to land at the moment.)


A gracious person looks out for the comfort of others. 


A gracious person looks for the good. Maybe 
you are visiting a friend who lives in another place. Instead of 
pointing out the inadequacies of your friend’s community, you are 
constantly finding things that are good. “This cafe has outstanding
 peach pie! That was delicious.” “I just love the way you have planted
 your garden. It is beautiful!”


I believe that in so many of us, there is a genuine hunger 
to experience the beauty of graciousness. After all, this is nothing
 more than grace lived out. And — that grace originates in the heart of God.


I'm far from being a gracious person. In fact, I tend to be a critical person. But ever since God touched my heart with a fresh song of grace back in 2005, I realized that there really is a sweeter song of the Christian life than what I had seen and heard during my earlier days in church... and thank God, I saw and heard grace in various little nooks and crannies in my own church too. Hee. Yeah, had seen "tough love" and stern faces calling us to a higher calling... and the slower ones being considered as 'not doing well'...

But through the years that God grew our church, I saw grace roll over our silly notions of spirituality like a mighty river, righteousness like a never-failing stream. Grace that flows from broken - and healed - hearts. =)

Ah. See? Even now how I harp on and on about the past. Yet, I see grace... and I don't just want to receive grace... I want to pass it on. I want to be compassionate and gracious, like my God, my God, the compassionate and gracious God.

Psalm 103 :)

有一位神 There Is A God



Felt down. So searched for this song. We sang this during one of the HopeKids CGs (and during Sijia and Howjoo's wedding). The lyrics touched me a lot. Yeah, I know my Chinese is very limited, but it's the way the lyrics are arranged that really bring out the beauty... the first two lyrics brought tears to my eyes: "也有温柔双手安慰受伤灵魂..." :)

In fact, I'm thinking of how to get one of my HopeKids boys to listen to this song. Perhaps it might touch his heart, 'cos if I'm not wrong, his heart language is Chinese.

And yes, there is a God. No matter how I might feel, or even feel towards God... He is not only the Lion, but also the Lamb. And not just the Lamb, but also the Lion. The God who roars with thunder on clouds of fire... cried with the larynx of a helpless infant, and whispers with the gentle oh-so-easily-stifled voice of His Spirit.

有一位神. There is a God.
是昔在今在永在的神.The Yesterday and Today and Forever God. :)

有一位神
A           Amaj7 

有一位神,有权能 创  造宇宙万物, 

D               E 

也有温柔双手安慰受伤灵魂. 

A          Amaj7 

有一位神,有权柄 审  判一切罪恶, 

D             E 

也有慈悲体贴人的软弱. 



A         C#m 

有一位神,我们的神, 

D       A   E 

唯一的神,名叫耶和华. 

D           A 

有权威荣光,有恩典慈爱, 

D       E     A 

是昔在今在永在的神. 



A          Amaj7 

有一位神,有权能 创  造宇宙万物, 

D               E 

也有温柔双手安慰受伤灵魂. 



A          Amaj7 

有一位神,高坐在 荣  耀的宝座, 

D               E 

却死在十架挽救人堕落.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I Have An Ache

I have an ache. But it's not a backache. Or headache.

I have a heartache.

It's a heartache that comes from having a dream. Or rather... an impossible dream.

Dreams here and dreams here. But sometimes these dreams are vague and rather vapoury. I can dream about six impossible things before breakfast. Honestly. :)

But thing is, when I dream, I start thinking about the steps needed. And then I feel afraid. Feel so inadequate. It seems so impossible. So far from me - literally, sometimes. How can I ever hope to be a writer to touch the hearts of men? How can I ever hope to make a film that will touch the souls of women? How can I ever hope to make a work of art that will inspire the minds of children? How?

It just seems so beyond me. Sigh. What am I? Who am I? Can this ever be done by someone like me? I don't have the qualifications or the funding.

Disheartened and discouraged, I start filing these poor dreams into my KIV files. "Nice to have..." is the label for all our shelved dreams, our dusty dreams, our dreams with that musty mould on top, and cobwebs. Dante's slogan would be a better label for those KIV files: "Abandon hope, all ye who enter here."

But somehow, God sees me filing my dreams. He gently whispers my name. Holds my hand. He takes me into Death Valley. Shows me all the dry bones.

"Son of man, can these bones live?"

I hesitate.

"O Lord, You alone know."

Then He reminds me of what I've said before. To dream such big dreams that without Him, they will utterly fail.

"Fear not, for I am with thee. Be not dismayed, for I am thy God. I will strengthen thee and help thee. I will uphold thee with my righteous right hand."

And it strikes me. That I've not been close to God. That I've forgotten who He is. I've forgotten to draw near to Him, and be intimate with Him. The God who made the heavens and the earth - by just speaking them into being. I've forgotten His power, His might, His endless love. I've lost faith and started looking at my own inadequacies. I've become like King Saul, who looked at Goliath and lost heart. I've looked at it from my own perspective, and thought about how great I can be.

But that's not what a godly dream is about. A godly ache.

If God wants to make it pass, He will. To have faith like the Roman centurion: "Lord, just say the word and it will be done." And Jesus was astonished at the centurion's faith. And He told everyone that He had not found such great faith even in the people of Israel... it took a non-Jew, a non-Christian, to have such great faith in Jesus.

Sigh. So sorry, dear Father. I need to draw nearer... to draw back to You again. To see You, You who are invisible. Open the eyes of my heart, Lord, again. Open it to the things unseen. Make it ache. Make it groan. Make it sing and dance and burn. Make it burn with a holy fire. To blaze, Spirit, blaze.

To look to You who does the impossible... through impossible kids like me.

Disconnect to Connect - (dtac Thailand TVC)



Hong Teck shared about this video with us during Ownership Leaders' mtg yesterday... it's a very nice video about how we get so engrossed in our phones.

Monday, October 11, 2010

'Bam-Bam' Faith - What I'm Learning From Matthew 7 & 8

I guess I shared strongly from my heart about the need to ask God desperately in prayer. However, I find that I often struggle with doubts and tiredness. Frankly I need at least one hour to settle my soul down before I am able to engage in deep intercessory prayer. But most of the time I'm distracted. Still, I feel very relieved when I read how Jesus never turned away anyone who needed His help. Not even a Roman centurion or a leper or a pagan woman...

Reading the miracles of Jesus reminded me of God's sheer goodness. So I learnt from the blind beggars to keep 'spamming' Jesus until He responds. Shout if needed. He actually honors that kind of faith!

Thus after reading about how people begged Jesus, I've been in the past few days also 'spamming'/begging God with a particular request of my heart. Just keep asking. And I actually find that I stop despairing and find my hope and faith increasing every time I bam on the doors of heaven. I am afraid to be disappointed by God again, but I channel all those fears into an even harder bamming of the doors.

And I find God's peace filling me every time I knock. Somehow I know that He hears... whatever the outcome, I trust Him. But in the meantime... just keep on knocking on the door. The Master honors desperate 'bam-bam' faith... perhaps because He knows it's genuine. :)


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The Compassionate and Gracious God

The miracles of Jesus display the compassion of God. Think we sometimes wonder if He cares. We know that He is able. Ok, maybe some of us. But even then we wonder if He's really ok with healing our struggles / pains / meeting our needs. But He did not turn away all those who needed his help.

So i think we need to be refreshed in our knowledge sometimes of His sheer goodness. His response to those who cried out to Him was not: "Are you doing the right thing by asking Me for healing / how do you know that this would be for your good? / Are your motives pure in asking Me..." (tho He knew the hearts of all men). But it was simply: "Do you believe that I am able to do this?" Wow. His generosity and kindness and compassion really know no bound! "YHWH, YHWH, the compassionate and gracious God..." This is how God began His description of himself to Moses when He caused all his goodness to pass before Moses... Not mighty. Not powerful. Not even holy. But when it came to displaying His goodness... He highlighted compassion and graciousness as the most significant attributes of His goodness. His goodness is His glory.

Think God sees our heart's cries and is greatly compassionate. He may not always respond immediately, but His heart is always there for His children, and He is able.

----------------------
So don't be afraid to ask God for any need. You might think it self-centered. But strangely, Jesus commanded us to ask God boldly for our daily bread and needs like little children. And the way that He ended his sermon... if we don't practice, among other things, asking God for our needs, we will be like the man who built his house on sand.

How much do you pray? You need to pray like you need to breathe. Don't expect spiritual victories or lasting growth without prayer. If you don't see the need to pray more than you now do, then you need to see whether you really have faith in the God of the Bible...

Don't settle for a false sense of spirituality like Ahaz in Isaiah 7:11-13.

Again the LORD spoke to Ahaz, "Ask the LORD your God for a sign, whether in the deepest depths or in the highest heights."

But Ahaz said, "I will not ask; I will not put the LORD to the test."

Then Isaiah said, "Hear now, you house of David! Is it not enough to try the patience of men? Will you try the patience of my God also?"


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My Final Report for my MDA META attachment...

Thought I'd share this email exchange with you guys... just really want to thank God for how He blessed me with this attachment... and led me through this one year's period of guidance in exploring and refining my passions ... and more importantly, how these passions play a part in His plans for me...

from Yeo YA
to catherinekhoo.sg
date Mon, Oct 4, 2010 at 5:09 PM
subject Re: September Report


Dear Catherine,

My final report [for the MDA META attachment report]:

This one-year's attachment has been a very interesting journey of exploration. With much thanks to my boss' patience guidance, I discovered that I have a big passion for designing educational software for children - not so much developing new technologies, but exploring how to use the many existing technologies that we already have, in order to teach creativity to the next generation. :) And my boss imparted this key principle to me, which I think makes a great farewell "gift" for me to keep: "Don't just work hard for the next forty years. Find what you really love to do, and find out how to use your passion to help other people. Then work hard at it for the next forty years. That's how you can really make your work count beyond your life." And another principle that I learnt from her is that she's not content to just employ people to come into her company and get things done. She wants to help everyone who comes through her company to discover and develop their potentials and purposes just that little more. I hope to carry on these principles (and many more that I've learnt from her and my other colleagues) with me wherever I go to in the next chapter of my working life. Thank you, Catherine! :) It's a great blessing to work with you.

Warmest regards,
Yeu Ann


from catherinekhoo.sg
to Yeo YA
date Mon, Oct 4, 2010 at 6:29 PM
subject Re: September Report


Dear Yeu Ann:

This is the greatest compliment I have ever received from anyone in my 50 years. I am glad I helped you find your passion. More important, now that you have found it ..... don't ever give it up, no matter how difficult or lonely the road! You can do it, if you believe in yourself!

Take care and speak soon,
Catherine Khoo
Managing Director, Janus Education
Publisher, Experiences & Experiments Books
Founder, Young Author Club
http://catherinekhoo.sg.

An Email to my fellow HopeKidders...

Hi dear fellow OLs and TLs,

Just want to share a very encouraging piece of news tt I heard from this bro from NTU ministry. He's Alvin. He has two younger twin bros, Samuel and Matthew, who were in HopeKids until recently, when they moved overseas.

He told me that they normally come back from HopeKids services saying it's ok. Sometimes they don't look fwd to going. But there are times they come back and tell Alvin that they are v happy, because they won some prizes for memorizing Bible verses. It might be a very little
thing, but it means a lot to them and it makes their day!

But even more encouraging is that when they correctly memorise and get rewarded for some Bible verses, they keep the verses in memory, even the longer ones. And Alvin told me that their mum who is not a Christian had told them that there is no God. But you know what? The two kids told their mum that "Teacher Hong Teck said there is a God! It's just that we cannot see Him!"

Wow. Was very encouraged! Didn't know that even "tiny" things like Memory Verse and rewarding with gifts and points can make such a big impact, especially with regards to sowing God's word into their hearts and minds. We are sowing and immunizing their minds against untruths that the world tried to teach them.

Dear brothers and sisters, let's give ourselves fully to the work of the Lord, no matter how insignificant our roles might seem, because we know that our labour in the Lord is not in vain. Amen? :))) we are, like John the Baptist, sowers and reapers making ready a people prepared for the Lord! Let's keep on keeping on the good work! :)

Matthew 11
25 At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and
earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned,
and revealed them to little children.

26 Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.

Thanks God so much for all of you who faithfully help in the weekly work of preparing, presenting, teaching, preaching and helping the kids memorize the unsearchable riches of Christ and His Word... Just one verse can transform an entire life...and therefore an entire
generation and maybe even an entire nation and who knows? Maybe the entire world. :)

Joyfully yours in Christ,
Yeu Ann

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Three Elements in every service programmes

Think - what does God want our kids to think?
Feel - what does God want our kids to feel?
Do - what does God want our kids to do?

:) exciting to do scriptwriting for children's Christmas service. But I realized i tend to write a lot of "talkie" scripts tt have too many words.

Remember to put more actions fewer words...


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THE REAL DEAL

THE REAL DEAL

Matthew 6:1-18
Ps Jeff

1. We need to live out our Godly attitudes v2-3, 5-7, 16-17
WHEN you give to the needy...
WHEN you fast...
WHEN you pray...

It'll be natural for us to live out godly acts...

Our understanding will affect our attitudes.
Our attitudes affect our feelings.
Our feelings affect our behaviours.

If we hv a godly attitude, we WILL have godly behaviors.

The converse is also true.

2 Tim 3:1-5
...having a form of godliness but denying its power...

Would there be enough evidence to convict me of the charge of being a Christ follower?

By their fruit Ye shall know them

2. We must desire to impress God alone.
Prov 29:25

3. We will reap the rewards that we seek for.

*When we walk w God, right motives or wrong, we will get rewards... But what kind of rewards do we want? Temporarl reward or eternal rewards?

What motivates me?

Jer 17:10

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Audience of One

Live for an audience of One. :) that's freedom from the approval of men.


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Different, but Same-Same :)

Blessed by how God fits all my freewill choices and random little plans into His beautifully synchronized plan. I forgot to go for uniYA service today cos no service or CG this wk. So felt upset esp since not much spiritual fellowship this wk (besides meetup w Jon). But had sent out a casual msg to some bros to see whether they're free to drop by. Spencer came. Told me tt he's gg for PolyDins service. Realized we could join Andrew there since he's in PolyDins.

The worship, testimony and sermon encouraged and edified me lots! :) timely too.

Spent some time w some of e PolyDins ppl. V blessed. :)

Lesson: dont get upset if you forgot to schedule something. God may have planned something better!

Lesson: We are all one in Christ. Focus on our common heart for God. Find common joys, not focus on e 'age gap'. :) thk God I still look v young haha.

Not to say that there aren't differences. But we can find and connect. It's not that hard, frankly. In fact in Christ it is so much easier because of our common love and mutual servanthood towards one another. Don't let e media's notion of GenX/Y/Z/whatever overshadow what the Bible really says: "One generation shall proclaim Your works to another."

:)

Hee. Such a joy. Connecting with different hearts, same love, one Lord and God.

Eph 4:1-6

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Friday, October 8, 2010

Psalm 62:11-12

<blockquote><b>Psalm 62:11-12</b>
One thing God has spoken,
two things have I heard:
that you, O God, are strong,
and that you, O Lord, are loving.
Surely you will reward each person
according to what he has done.</blockquote>

:) thank God for this psalm. Reminded me of two important attributes of His: that He is not only loving - He is STRONG. And not just able, but also LOVING. And verse 12b reminds me that He's not just a loving giant... He is GENEROUS and JUST and PROACTIVE. He is not unfair. :)

Yup. In the midst of waiting and hoping - barely daring to hope - He takes care of me and makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me besides quiet waters. He restores my soul.

Yes, even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; your rod and staff, they comfort me. :)

And you've prepared a table for me already, right in the face of all those who doubt You. Even in the face of the devil himsel You anoint my head with oil. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I'll dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

:)


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Realized how I get into the flow for scriptwriting is when I sit down and visualize the entire skit from beginning to end, as though I were one of the kids watching. When I have the big picture in mind (literally) then I can write a skit very quickly. Otherwise I'll get sidetracked. So this is how I get into the 'zone'. :)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Element

I'm reading this book "The Element" by Sir Ken Robinson. My boss had lent it to me about a month or so ago. It's a great great book on how finding your passion changes everything. :)

Anyway, I was inspired enough to start visualizing. Vision mah. So I envision that one day, God will help me write a long list of stories for children that will be really cherished by children all over the world. Stories to touch the heart of the little ones and sow seeds in their hearts. Stories that will also sell. (Hey I might as well dream of getting enough food to eat, while I'm at it, right? ;))

And also envision a creativity ministry for churches. Storytelling and drama of course... but more impt, the creativity ministry would be to help every child who passes through our church discover his/her God-given passions and talents. God knows how much we need talent spotters and mentors to help our kids find and max out their talents for Christ. Even in tertiary/adults ministry, there are still so many people who have no idea what their God-given talents are, and the church and the world suffer for want of these hidden/buried talents.

And also as a ministry to support and disciple uniquely creative people. I know from my own personal experience and a few others' experiences that some of us who are uniquely gifted in certain areas have unique personalities that accompany these talents. However, our church structures are often unable to accommodate these unique children of God, and sometimes people actually label them as weird / anti-social, which cause the unique bro/sis to feel rejected and left out.

One bro who's v musically talented told me that he really wants to be part of a church, but it seems that the three churches that he joined weren't very accepting of him and his uniqueness. So now he feels scared of God and the church. Which is very sad because he wrote some very beautiful worship songs for Jesus.

I know this is anecdotal, but yeah, I've seen a few sensitive souls feel rejected by the church simply because they couldn't fit into the culture there, and/or the discipleship methods that we used were not appropriate for their personalities. Sad, right?

Hee. I write this down to share with you how my dreams have been evolving. But the important thing is that God is the one who guides your dreams... He who called me will provide for me. Let us not fall into the trap of being 'practical' in the sense that we dream only according to our own strengths and our own resources. Then no one can clearly see that God is with you guys.

But let us have the courage to seek God for His dreams... and if He gives us dreams that are totally impossible by human understanding, have the faith. Let us dare to trust God with dreams so big that without God, they will utterly fail. :) Amen and praise the Lord!

"He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together."

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A Wonderful Dinner Meetup

Wow. Amazing. Was doing my ministry stuff and felt alone (maybe because I'm alone?). So msgd a few bros to ask them for dinner but nobody could make it. So went to Centerpoint Mac. Suddenly someone came up behind me. He tapped me. I turned. It was Chong Yeow my old ex-shepherd! Wow. He sat down and shared about how good God has been to him, and also how God opened doors for him to enter the media industry. :DDD he shared about how he never imagined tt God would make such a way. He faced a lot of discouragement from others because God had shown him tt he would be used by Him to impact the various sectors in the media industry to such an unbelievable extent, that Chong Yeow himself was stunned.

But he chose to obey God and believe in Him. He shared w me tt we like the verse where God says we shall be the head and not the tail. But if you read the verses after that, we must obey God in order to be the head...

:)

Anyway Chong Yeow encouraged me a lot esp w regards to my calling to children's ministry. Urged me to keep dreaming big and don't let go. Pray hard, trust hard and work hard.

Pray, pray, pray. There is no substitute for prayer.

:)

Wow. Thank God for this blessed 'coincidence'. I can tell that God engineered this meetup because of the timing and the fact that I had prayed to God about my being alone, and also because now I'm really on track to fulfilling e dreams that God has planted in my hearts... to see His kingdom come and His will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Amen!

So touched to see how God cares for me and encourages and gives me the resources to do the impossible.

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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Two Lonelinesses

How timely. I was feeling ... not really lonely at this moment, but alone. (I think the two are similar, but not the same.) Then read Huanyan's two posts on loneliness.

From 2008:
Loneliness is perhaps something that will happen in this highly competitive environment, where people dun slow down and those who can't catch up got left behind. I sometimes think of the church community almost entering into this stage. Not saying that people cannot grow at their own pace, as I must admit that I myself grow at a fast pace in the beginning of my Christian walk as well. But loneliness is a phenomenon that is hard to explain.

From 2010:
The man who serves God wholeheartedly is lonely indeed. To put it in a more real sense, I need to admit that I do feel lonely at times when I am serving God. I can kneel down and pray and pray and pray, but there is this inexplicable loneliness that continually haunt me. It is a feeling that I am sure most people would feel, the feeling that comes from giving and giving and giving and yet no one ever understands, or at least no one seems to understand. This is not the fault of God nor the fault of the church. On deeper reflection, it reflects a yearning for understanding, for someone to empathise and share the vision, for someone who can run the race together. Running marathon alone is one of the most horrendous experience. I do that every year. Yet, every year when I run, I see people who run the marathon together, and they strive to finish the marathon together despite the fact they may be running slowly.

I so love what he wrote! :) He described very well what the man who desires to do the will of God has felt. Because I have experienced both. I remember back during my tertiary days, I felt very lonely many times, because when those around you seem to be selected as a 'batch' to go for leadership training, etc... and you see them sharing lives, laughing together and so on, while you sit there at HQ, among them, listening in to familiar, yet unfamiliar topics. And you feel the pain of being left out, with the feeling of being 'less spiritually mature'. And even if that were true, it didn't help one bit.

The loneliness of being left out.

I guess that would be the pain of being left out in the fields, because your spiritual development was slower. But again then, thank God for wiser brothers who helped me see the whole aim of spiritual growth was not to get a "leadership" role but something even more challenging: To be like Christ in all I say and think and do. And to be always led by the Spirit, going where He wants you to go, and staying where He wants you to stay.

Ah. Which would go on to the next point.

The loneliness of being set apart.

It's difficult, isn't it? God has placed a burden, a calling in your heart. Or you have a strong desire to be in a relationship. But you do your utmost to train yourself in godliness... And you also have to be courageous to actually be yourself and not try to be someone else. (I find the temptation to act like someone else can be very strong - primarily because of fear of rejection. So I think it takes more courage to be yourself than to be someone else.) So there's the loneliness of walking (or stumbling) along the way of holiness. But sometimes you see guys who have spent time grooming themselves winning the sisters' hearts, and you wonder whether it is worth seeking God and wanting to be like Him. The temptation to throw aside and join the rest of the world can be strong.

I know about that we can balance. But sometimes, it's hard to find the balance - also because of your natural personalities and flaws. And not to mention the unique calling that God gave you. Difficult, right?

Just some musings. I share these feelings, not so much in terms of looking for a solution, but as a means of painting a better picture to describe the feelings of confusion and struggle when you choose to follow Christ. It is so... tempting to just conform to the pattern of this world. So easy. So hard not to.

Sigh.


Just to add: And it's not much assurance when you read in the Bible that sometimes life just won't be fair. That you might... actually, WILL suffer. Well, no fine print here - just big bold block letters that warn us of the difficulties and pains that lie ahead. Rewards, yes, but that's up to God's timing. Some He'll give on this side of eternity... the others, He'll give when you see Him.

But sometimes you just have to bear and keep marching on in the meantime.

As one old woman said, "Life isn't easy. But God is good."
Character. Such a difficult word.
To be very frank, I wish I wasn't me.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

So touched after reading the accounts of Mrs Lee. Think so many people queued up - not just because she was the wife of MM Lee, but she was a truly kind-hearted woman. Just like what the Bible says in Proverbs: "A kind-hearted woman gains respect..."

Kindness can have a huge impact... Sigh. Sad that I didn't make it in time for e wake. :/

Wrote down in the condolence book that she's been like a mother to us. Surprised to read later on how so many other Singaporeans said the same thing. :)

Think it's actually kind of rare to see leaders' wives (including other countries) honored in such a way - real and consistent testimonies of her kindness and humility. So easy to become a tai-tai in attitude but she didn't. Character and goodness. For that matter, how many women can one really speak effusively yet sincerely of their kindness? Thankfully I do know some. :)

Character and godliness. :) (Haha that phrase I koped from someone's recent blog post)

PM Lee looked really sad. And we saw him... just like any other son who loved his mum. And MM Lee's photo of him looking at his wife's coffin. So poignant. An old man saying an eternal goodbye to his wife of 63 years.

Can't imagine how it's going to be like for him to see his wife's coffin going into the flames. I was at another funeral last time and the saddest part came when the mother had to watch her son's body go into the crematorium. She broke down.

Hmm. :) Hee. Hope you don't mind me thinking so much about grief and death here. Just empathizing.

You know, one thought I have sometimes is that if you get married, an unseen timer starts counting down that will not stop until one of you stops. If you want to experience the sweet joy of kissing your lovely young wife at the altar, her skin as fresh as dawn's dew, then you must also be ready to drink the cup of sorrow one day if she goes before you do.

Sad, right? No wonder the writer of Ecclesiastes was so upset with the shortness and sadness of life, emotionally yet thoughtfully exclaiming in chapter 9:

"Relish life with the spouse you love
Each and every day of your precarious life.
Each day is God's gift. It's all you get in exchange
For the hard work of staying alive.
Make the most of each one!"

:)

Wow. Mr Lee has a brother whose family is a Christian. Maybe can pray for his brother to be a source of comfort to him? :)

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Real Freedom

Real freedom is not the external freedom to gratify every appetite; it is the internal freedom not to be enslaved by our appetites. - J. Ortberg


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Monday, October 4, 2010

"To Be Strong and to Lean On..."

Blessed by the meetup with Huanyan :) and one thing that warms my heart is that even as he serves more and more, he increases in his prayer requests to be led by the Holy Spirit. :) blessed by his sweetness too. :)

And very blessed by God prompting him to suddenly pray for me too. :D his prayer covered all the bases of my heart's concerns. Even laying hands on me in public to pray childlikely too. Grace that blows all fears away. :)

Truly, where two or three are gathered in Jesus' name, there He is with us. :)

And as always, very blessed by Weizhu. :))) Shuyi too. Earlier in the day.

I love this family of God!

Welcome to the family
We're glad that you have come
To share your life with us
As we grow in love
May we always be to you
What God would have us be
A family always there
To be strong and to lean on...


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