Friday, 24 August 2012

My Reflections on Pastoral Epistles

Pastoral Epistles is my last required module for my Master of Ministerial Studies program. This is one reason this module has a special place in my heart. I also enjoy this course because of the learning I received through it. Allow me to share five of the learning points through this blog entry.

Firstly, I made a discovery that structural diagramming is doable. I was so glad that I had another opportunity to learn and practice structural diagramming through the course. I have grown to appreciate the value of diagramming even though I still find it a little too technical at times. It seems that practice is the only way we can become more proficient in the skill of diagramming. This is why it truly helps that I could practice the skill twice this year, during the Corinthians course and during the Pastoral Epistles course. But after this, it would be up to my own initiative if I will continue practicing to retain and sharpen the skill Brother Casey and Sister Davina have been painstakingly trying to impart to us.

Secondly, I was reminded about the importance of discipleship. This reminder came to me as I reflected about individuals who had influenced me spiritually. Though there were many individuals who had influenced me spiritually I reflected upon three individuals.

The first person was my ex-mentor who mentored me when I was a University student in Melbourne. He imparted to me the lesson of living a simple life but to give my very best to those under my care. The second person was a highly intelligent and effective Christian leader. He set for me a wonderful example of humility and servanthood. The third person was none other than my own father. He modelled for me what it meant to be totally devoted to God and His work.

What is interesting is that these individuals didn’t know that they impacted my life significantly. I did tell my ex-mentor many years later but I am not sure if he truly realised the kind of impact he had on my life. This is perhaps the deal of discipleship. There are times we would intentionally try to disciple people. But there are times we simply live a godly life consistently and our lives would somehow impact others without we even knowing it.

Thirdly, I was reminded that we should not expect an easy life in ministry. This came about as I was looking at the context of Titus, looking for comparable particulars in Singapore to Titus’ context.

I made a discovery that just as people in Crete went through different challenges in their different life stages, people in Singapore would also go through different challenges in their different life stages. Indeed, as long as we are still living in an imperfect world we will still face challenges in any life stage we are in.

This has implications for church leaders today. Firstly, we need to strive to be a good model as we go through various life stages so that we would have credibility when we minister to people. Secondly, we should not expect an easy life in ministry. We need to be prepared to deal with issues at different life stages. I remember Frank Damazio sharing with a group of church leaders in Singapore that ministry in the 21st century world in complex. It was complex in Titus’ time and it is likely to be even more complex today even as we are living during the last of the last days. This is not to adopt a mindset of defeat. This is to inject realism as we do the work of ministry. We must expect God’s power and victories in our ministry but we must also be prepared to work hard to deal with difficult issues various groups of people are facing in their respective life stages.

Fourthly, I made a discovery on the strategies to combat false teaching. As I was reading and pondering on Titus 2:1-10 including their context it came to me that Paul was giving Titus some strategies to combat false teachers. The two key strategies found in the passage are to teach and model. Titus needs to teach what is sound and to model that sound teaching.

It is disheartening at times to see a teaching which is imbalance or false gaining so much popularity. It is disheartening at times to see Christians making compromises and try to justify their choices by exalting certain teachers or teachings.

Thankfully, Paul has taught us the strategies to turn the situation around. We simply need to teach and model what we teach. We need to teach what is sound and model that sound teaching. The strategies sound simple but they are not easy to live out. There is no guarantee that the strategies would work for the mass but it would surely work for some individuals.

Fifthly, I just found hospitality to be a fascinating topic. This is as I am a big believer in the importance of being hospitable to people. I believe that hospitality is a huge evidence of our Christian love towards people. This applies to people we know and people we do not know.

I found the four practices of New Testament hospitality to be practical and helpful. They are the warm reception of guests, the washing of the guests’ feet, the provision of food and shelter and the sending on of guests.

It is interesting exercise to try to contextualise these practices into our modern context. For example, the warm reception of our guests may include welcoming our guests in the airport in our modern context.

The washing of guests’ feet is particularly fascinating to me. Washing people feet is an ancient practice. What would be the equivalent practices in our modern context? I believe that big idea is to adopt the attitude of a servant to serve others well. In our modern context this may include of doing a laundry for our guests, shopping for items that would please our guests and perhaps giving them a good shoulder message.

The provision of food and shelter in our modern context may include opening up our house for people to stay. Many modern people are not comfortable with this practice as they would need to sacrifice their privacy. The sending on of guests in our modern context may include sending our guests off at the airport even if their flights are midnight flights.

I want to conclude my blog reflection by sincerely thanking Brother Casey and Sister Davina for being wonderful role models in many ways. Thank you for believing in us and for giving your all to prepare and equip us for the work of ministry. I pray that God will continue to strengthen and anoint both of you to raise many more workers for the harvest field. Amen!

Monday, 16 April 2012

My Reflection on Corinthians

I found the Corinthians course to be a very interesting course. I wish I had more time to digest what I was receiving. I did not have that luxury of time due to the arrival of my baby and new flat. However, there many learning points I have received from the course. I will be sharing six of them through this blog entry.

Firstly, God spoke to me about relinquishing my personal rights. As I was reading 1 Corinthians early this year God spoke to me from 1 Corinthians 6:7, “Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated?” As I pondered about it, it came to me that the unity and the testimony of the church were more important than my personal justice.

This was really a timely word for me. This was as I was going through a rather difficult time in my life. The destabilisation of my personal life coupled with new stresses from ministry caused me to demand for my personal rights a little bit more. This timely word was part of the restoration process that God was doing in my life.

Secondly, I found the concept of 3 kinds of man to be very interesting. The 3 kinds of man are the natural man, a man without the Spirit of God (1 Corinthians 2:14), the spiritual man (1 Cor 2:15-16) and the worldly man (1 Corinthians 3:1-4).

When I did my life history for one assignment of the course I discovered that my life history can be roughly divided into three major periods which were 0-16 years old, 17-33 years old and 34-35 years old.

The first period (0-16 years old) was where I lived as a natural man. The second period (17-33 years old) was where I generally lived as a spiritual man. The third period (34-35 years old) was a difficult period of time in my life due to the destabilisation of my personal life coupled with new stresses from ministry. During this period of time I was reacting to my situations as a worldly man in an increasing measure.

I am so thankful things are turning around. I believe that since a few months ago I was beginning to enter into the fourth period of my life. I am beginning to live my life as a spiritual man in increasing measure once again. I pray that God will always remind me and empower me to live as a spiritual man. This is the kind of life where I would have nothing to hide, nothing to lose and nothing to prove. This is the kind of life where I am living my life truly for the audience of one.

Thirdly, I found the similarities between Corinth and Singapore to be fascinating. Through the lectures and the group assignment work I appreciated in a deeper measure how similar the two cities were. I believe that it is important to ponder about the implications of these similarities as it would affect the way we do ministry today.

A possible theme for the Epistle of 1 Corinthians is to be a godly church in an ungodly city. The city of Corinth was clearly influenced by the ungodly values of their world. This is also clearly the struggles that the churches in Singapore are facing right now. This makes 1 Corinthians to be a highly relevant and practical epistle to study and apply for our ministries today.

A practical step I intend to do after the completion of the course is to review the material once again not as an academic requirement but as a necessary step for the ministries God is entrusting unto me. I need to learn from the successes and failures of the Corinthian church. I need to learn from Paul, how he ministered to a problematic church that every church in Singapore can easily evolve into owing to the great similarities of their contexts.

Fourthly, one motivation of generous giving is to glorify God. This is one of sermon points for our group assignment project. This is a refreshing idea to me. We often talk about how we will never be able to shortchange God. If we are generous in our giving God will be even more generous towards us. While this is a biblical idea it seems that this idea is a little overused.

However, the idea that our generous giving would cause people to glorify God is a fresh idea. When we are generous with our giving we are creating an environment for believers to glorify God through their thanksgiving unto God for meeting their needs. When we are generous with our giving we are also creating an environment where non-believers can glorify God through their acceptance of God’s love or even the Gospel.

This idea is a fresh motivation for me to be a generous giver. I pray that God will help me and lead me to give generously to both believers and non-believers and that it would result in both believers and non-believers glorifying God in a big way.

Fifthly, my friendship with some classmates went a little deeper through this course. I remember Brother Casey sharing with us in one lecture that if we would get a good grade for the course but fail to make a new friend through the course then the course would not be a success to us. That was one reason why he insisted for the class to do a group project.

That was a good idea. However, I honestly did not expect for God to use my group project to deepen my friendship with my group-mates. These two semesters, I am having some difficulties finding time for my studies due to the arrival of my baby and new flat. Some of my group members were also facing their own personal challenges. This caused some of us not to be so punctual in doing our parts for our group project. To cut a long story short, this led to some heart-to-heart talk among the group project-mates midway through the group project. It was a quality talk that helped me to appreciate and cherish my group-mates more. I am thankful for the grace they rendered to me. I feel that our friendship goes a little deeper through the incident. At least, this is what I personally felt.

I want to conclude my blog reflection with an insight I gleaned from the commentary on the book of 1 Corinthians written by Gordon D. Fee. Fee argues on page 616 when commenting on 1 Corinthians 12:12-14, “Paul’s concern is for diversity, on the one hand, and for mutual concern in the body, on the other.” It came to me that it takes a mature church to be able to genuinely appreciate diversity and show true appreciation of the different members of the church. The Church in Corinth could not do it then. I am not sure if they could do it following Paul’s exhortation. But I sincerely pray that the churches in Singapore in the 21st century can do it with the grace of our God.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Whatever the cost we will split the bill

Below is what I shared during two Sunday services on 17 July 2011. I pray that all of my brothers and sisters in AG1 of Hope Singapore will do their part in our current family project known as "Chairs-for-Souls". :)
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17 July 2011

Last week I was in Sydney with some others to attend a conference. We registered for the conference last year and it was meant to be a learning trip cum a bonding time.

The day after the conference was over we were on a sightseeing day trip and we rented two cars in the process.


The sightseeing trip was smooth going until our two cars decided to bump into each other. It was a minor accident. One car was perfectly okay while the other car was a little damaged. This was an unfortunate incident that would cost us money. We are still waiting to know how much it would cost us. And some of us would know that labour is very expensive in Australia.

But something encouraging emerged from this incident. We didn’t really point finger on whose fault it was. Almost immediately after the accident happened somebody suggested that whatever the cost was we would split the bill. And everyone accepted the proposal without objecting.

I thought this is a wonderful display of a family spirit. We don’t point finger but we share the load. “Whatever the cost we will split the bill”

You may wonder about the relevance of this story.

We have a family project at hand called Chairs for Souls. Our family project is to raise enough money for 10,000 chairs. Praise God that we have managed to raise enough money for around 4200 chairs - just around 5800 more chairs to go.


I thought it would be wonderful if as a church family we would complete this family project with a great display of family spirit. We will not point finger but we will share the load. “Whatever the cost we will split the bill”

As I look back into the car incident I realise that it wouldn’t be the same if some of us chose to reject the proposal. “Split the bill? No, no, it’s not my fault.” “Split the bill? Well, let’s see how much it costs first.” I realise that it wouldn’t the same even if only one person chose not to participate. It’s not about the money. It’s about the family spirit.

Similarly, Chairs for Souls is our family project. It wouldn’t be the same even if only one of us chooses not to participate. It is not about the money. It is about each family member playing their part even if it is about a contribution of 10 cents.

It’s not about the money. It’s about the family spirit. It’s about sharing the load and doing life together as a church family.
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Note: I did some minor editing on the original script. The above is the edited version.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

My Reflection on Romans

I have always been fascinated by the book of Romans. Thus it was with great eagerness that I signed up for the course. As the end of the course is just two days away I know that I have gained some valuable insights from the various modes of learning the class has presented. At the same time I wish I had more time to review the materials and to study them more carefully.

Nevertheless, there are at least five insights I have gleaned through my journey of doing the course.

Firstly, it is important for Christians to understand the importance of spiritual Israel in the sight of God.

Many Christians are passionate about blessing the physical Israel believing that Israel is God’s chosen people and that by blessing Israel they will in turn be blessed claiming God’s promise to Abraham. Interestingly, sometimes not many Christians are as passionate in blessing the church which is the spiritual Israel. They attend church to consume. When they don’t like certain things in a particular church they will happily criticise and then leave to another church. It is important that Christians understand the importance of church in the sight of God. God’s promise to Abraham is applicable to the church today as Christians are Abraham’s spiritual descendants. Those who bless the church will be blessed while those who choose to persecute the church will receive judgment.

This understanding is not a new understanding for me. But this is a good reminder for me as I continue to serve God in a full time capacity. God has given me many opportunities to invest my time, talents and resources to build His church. I should count this as privilege knowing how important the church is in God’s sight.

Secondly, predestination is not about salvation but spiritual maturity.

The fact that predestination is not about salvation highlights that God is both a loving and just God. This is the fact that many Christians would enjoy debating about. However, I personally believe that it is important that we meditate on the fact that predestination is about spiritual maturity. God has predestined me to grow in spiritual maturity. This highlights how important spiritual maturity is in the eyes of God. This understanding should motivate me to take my character growth more seriously. This understanding should cause me to be mindful if I am actually growing to be more and more like Christ.

Thirdly, we need to take the ministry of hospitality seriously.

I was born and grew in Indonesia where hospitality is an important part of the culture. Accordingly, it wasn’t hard for me to practice hospitality. However, as I am getting busier living life in a busy urban city there are times that I choose not to practice hospitality even though it may be within my means to do so.

The discussion about hospitality through the class has encouraged me to be a more hospitable person. Even though people would generally consider me to be a hospitable person I know that I can do better. I am also praying that God will help me encourage and inspire individuals under my care to take the ministry of hospitality more seriously.

Fourthly, submission to authorities is a big thing in the eyes of God.

This is not a new lesson for me. I was taught as a young believer that submission to God-given authorities is biblical. I was convicted that it was God who appoints leaders and it is God who will remove them if they are evil. I was so encouraged by the life of David who respected Saul even though he was evil. David understood that Saul was still God’s anointed until God decided to remove him.

This was my conviction as a young believer. This was my conviction as a growing believer. The question is whether this is still my conviction as a 16-year-old believer. As a 16-year-old believer who has been very active in church life for many years I have seen many imperfections in church life. But if I still believe in the authority of the Word over my life I would need to maintain my conviction about submitting myself to the authorities that God has placed over me. This pointer has been a wonderful reminder for me.

Fifthly, God wants us to practice gracious living by accepting those who are weaker and different to us.

Through the group presentation project I gleaned some important insights about living graciously. This is indeed easier said than done. As a group we came out with various realistic scenarios on gracious living. As I look back at those scenarios it is clear that living graciously requires a real commitment in putting the welfare of others above our own welfare. I believe that a gracious Christian community is a powerful witness to our world today which is filled with strife and conflicts. I want to do my part to build that kind of community. And I know that I will need love beyond my own for it to happen.

I want to conclude my blog reflection with an insight I gleaned about Paul, the human author of Romans, as I read a commentary on the book of Romans written by F. F. Bruce. I read about how Paul for over twenty years (when the book of Romans was written) had been faithful to the calling that God had placed upon his life to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles. The Romans text tells us that it was Paul’s ambition to preach the Gospel in places where Christ wasn’t known. Am I still faithful to the calling that God has placed upon my life? Is it still my sincere desire to share the Gospel in the lives of people around me where Christ wasn’t known? These are two questions that I want to be able to answer positively today and till the rest of my life, so help me God!

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

A Powerful Story

Recently, I stumbled upon a powerful story.

One night a man is sleeping in his room when suddenly his room is filled with light, and God appears. God tells the man he has a work for him to do. God shows him a large rock outside his house. God asks the man to push against the rock with all his strength. The man obeys thus he does it day after day.

For many years the man toils from sunrise to sunset. He pushes and pushes but the massive rock seems to be immovable. Each night the man returns to his room sore and worn out feeling that his whole day has been spent in vain.

Now, knowing that the man begins to feel discouraged, Satan decides to enter the picture by placing thoughts into the man’s tired mind. "You have been pushing against that rock for a long time, and it hasn't moved. It is actually an impossible task. Why kills yourself over it? Just give your minimum effort and it will be enough."

The man ponders upon those thoughts and plans to do just that as he is feeling very tired. But to his credit he decides to talk to God about it.

The man prays, “God, I have labored long and hard in your service, putting all my strength to do that which you have asked. Yet, after all this time, I have not even moved that rock by half a millimeter. What is wrong? Why am I failing?”

Then God replies, “My son, I told you that your task was to push against the rock with all your strength. Never once did I mention to you that I expected you to move it.

You think that you have failed. But is that really so? Look at yourself. Your arms are strong and muscled and your legs have become massive and hard. Through opposition you have grown much, and your abilities now surpass that which you used to have.

It is true that you haven't moved the rock. But your calling is to be obedient and to push and to exercise your faith and trust in My wisdom. And now that you have done this, I will move the rock."


Indeed, there are times in our lives where we keep praying over the same thing again and again over a long period of time. After awhile we wonder if we have been praying in vain.

During that time Satan would tempt us to give up praying.
And it is exactly during that time that we must choose to trust in God’s wisdom.
God asks to pray.
Thus we will keep praying.
God asks us to pray with faith and persistence.
Thus we will keep praying with faith and persistence.

We must choose obedience.
We must choose faith in God’s wisdom.
We must choose faith in God’s timing in moving the rock.

Friday, 1 January 2010

Friday, 25 December 2009

Blessed Christmas to You!

Lean Choo and I would like to wish our families (natural & spiritual), relatives and friends a very blessed Christmas. May God fill your hearts with peace, joy and hope this season of Christmas and beyond!

Thank you for being part of our lives. Wherever you are, whether we have caught up with one another recently or not, you are in our thoughts and hearts.

And for those who are looking for a Christmas reflection you may find one below:

Christmas Reflection: Behold Your God!

Many people spell Christmas without Christ, the glory of a Holy Day being supplanted by the glitz of a holiday—a problem that reaches back to the days of St. Francis of Assisi. Francis was born in 1182 in central Italy, son of a rich merchant. After a scanty education, he joined the army and was captured in war. He came to Christ shortly after his release, and soon he began traveling around the countryside, preaching the gospel. At a February 1209 Mass, Francis was gripped by words being read from Matthew 10: As you go, preach this message: “The kingdom of heaven is near.” Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give. Do not take along any gold or silver or copper in your belts; take no bag for the journey, or extra tunic, or sandals or a staff … (NIV).

Francis felt that Christ himself was speaking directly to him. He decided to obey those words as literally as possible, preaching the kingdom and possessing nothing. It is as though a 1,200-year bridge were crossed, putting Francis in the shoes of the original wayfaring apostles themselves.

He spent his remaining days making Christ real to everyone he met—a passion leading to history’s first living nativity scene. On December 24, 1223 Francis found a cave near Greccio, Italy, and brought in animals traditionally associated with the birth of Christ. (Francis loved animals and sometimes even preached to them.) He built the crib, arranged the hay, and finished the scene. Crowds gathered full of curiosity and wonder; and there on Christmas Eve Francis preached the wonder of God made man, born a naked infant and laid in the manger. “Behold your God,” he said, “a poor and helpless child, the ox and donkey beside him. Your God is of your flesh.”

Glitz gave way to glory that evening as the people of Greccio learned afresh how to spell the word CHRISTmas.

She gave birth to her first-born son. She dressed him in baby clothes and laid him on a bed of hay, because there was no room for them in the inn. That night in the fields near Bethlehem some shepherds were guarding their sheep. All at once an angel came down to them from the Lord, and the brightness of the Lord’s glory flashed around them. The shepherds were frightened. But the angel said, “Don’t be afraid! I have good news for you … a Savior was born.” Luke 2:7-11a

Source:
Morgan, Robert J.: On This Day : 265 Amazing and Inspiring Stories About Saints, Martyrs & Heroes. electronic ed. Nashville : Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2000, c1997, S. December 24

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Some Great Christmas Events

There are many great Christmas events in town tomorrow.

Unfortunately, I do not have all of their details.

Here are some of them:




Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Devotional: Consecrated, Lord, to Thee

Frances Ridley Havergal received Christ at a young age but struggled for years with Christian victory.

I had hoped that a kind of tableland had been reached in my journey, where I might walk awhile in the light, without the weary succession of rock and hollow, crag and morass, stumbling and striving; but I seem borne back into all the old difficulties of the way, with many sin-made aggravations. I think the great root of my trouble and alienation is that I do not make an unreserved surrender of myself to God; until this is done I shall know no peace. I am sure of it.

She struggled throughout her twenties and thirties, pulled in one direction by the acclaim of great London crowds who loved her singing, and in another direction by the Holy Spirit. Then one day at age 36 she read a booklet entitled “All For Jesus,” which stressed the importance of making Christ King of every corner and cubicle of one’s life. Frances made a fresh, complete consecration to God. Years later her sister asked her about it, and she replied: Yes, it was on Advent Sunday, December 2, 1873, I first saw clearly the blessedness of true consecration. I saw it as a flash of electric light. There must be full surrender before there can be full blessedness. God admits you by the one into the other. He showed me this most clearly.

Shortly after, Frances found herself spending several days with ten people, some of them unconverted, and others of them Christians not fully surrendered. “Lord,” she prayed, “give me all in this house.” Before she left, all ten were yielded Christians. On the last night of her visit, Frances, too excited to sleep, wrote her “Consecration Hymn,” the song that became her life’s theme. She took its words seriously and prayed earnestly over them every December 2nd, making changes to her life and lifestyle as needed. The first verse says:

Take my life and let it be,
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee;
Take my hands and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love.

I have been nailed to the cross with Christ. I have died, but Christ lives in me. And I now live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave his life for me. (Galatians 2:19b,20)

Source: Morgan, Robert J.: On This Day : 265 Amazing and Inspiring Stories About Saints, Martyrs & Heroes. electronic ed. Nashville : Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2000, c1997, S. December 2

Monday, 14 December 2009

1414 Praying & Fasting Campaign

Today is the first day of our 1414 praying & fasting campaign. This campaign is for AG1 leaders. However, others are welcomed to join in if they want to as well.

1414 simply means 14 December 2009 to 14 January 2010.

One reason we are fasting and praying together is to cry out to God for Him to move powerfully in our midst (in every single care group in AG1) as we are reaching out to our friends and loved ones with the love of Jesus during the Christmas outreach season.

Even before we started the praying and fasting campaign I have started to hear powerful testimonies happenning in different care groups including one visitor who decided to receive Christ around a week ago. (He joined our movie night some two weeks ago)

I want to fast and pray seriously during this season of time. I want to see more of God in our midst. I want to see many transformation of hearts and lives in our midst. I want to see every single care group in AG1 experiencing mighty breakthroughs and victories. I want to see more people experiencing the love of God for people really matter to God.

Would you join me in this journey? :)

Monday, 30 November 2009

The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry

An interesting movie is coming to Singapore just for one day.

"The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry" will be screened for your viewing pleasure in a nice, comfortable auditorium right in the centre of Orchard Road.

It's absolutely FREE! (Yes... it can happen in Singapore)

4 DEC 2009 (FRIDAY)
7:30 PM
NEXUS AUDITORIUM

Movie Synopsis
Best buddies Dustin (Jansen Panettiere), Albert (Frankie Ryan Manriquez), and Mark (Allen Isaacson) are twelve year old boys looking forward to a summer of fun in 1970. When Dustin mows the lawn of seventy-five year old Jonathan Sperry (Gavin MacLeod), a man he has seen at church, a unique friendship develops. What happens the rest of this summer is something Dustin and his friends will never forget!

http://www.sperrymovie.com

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

From CCK to Punggol

Finally, we have moved out from our CCK flat after 7 years of staying there. Lean Choo was feeling a little bit sad over it. But I guess it was really time to move on.

We didn't really have much time to pack and move. It was pretty miraculous that we managed to finish packing and moving out in time. Actually, it was barely. We kept clearing our stuff till the very last minute.

It felt so good that we didn't have to throw away many of our stuff at all. We were able to give away many of our stuff to different individuals. Even our used newspaper and papers could bless one of our neigbours.

From CCK we hope to be able to move to Kallang. We have balloted for a flat in Kallang area. We will know our queue number pretty soon.

Temporarily we are now staying with my youngest brother and his wife, Agung & Merlyn. They live in Punggol. We are grateful for their hospitality.

Punggol is a pretty a nice area. Interestingly, we are now just a walking distance to Ps Ben and Ps Lawrence's flats.

It is faster to get to church office from Punggol. It would be even faster from Kallang. :)

We will be in Punggol probably for around 2 months. We will use this opportunity to explore the North Eastern part of Singapore. Punggol, here we come. :)

Friday, 11 September 2009

three uncles and one nephew

Have you ever watched "Three Uncles And One Nephew" before?

Actually, there is no such movie. :)

But the below picture is what it looks like in our family. I just like this photo.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

submitted - within three days

I just submitted my final assignment. I didn't manage to do within 2 days. But within 3 days is not bad as well. :)

Thank you Lord for helping me through. I commit it into Your hand. Help me bring glory to You through it. Amen!

Monday, 31 August 2009

a research report within two days?

The month of August has been really full with assignments to do, people to host, conference to serve and stage duty every weekend.

It's not over yet. Within these two days I need to produce a research report on a relatively difficult topic.

Can I produce 25 pages of quality report and submit it before Tuesday midnight? (So that I will not lose to many marks. the deduction of marks are happenning every single day after last Friday)

Well, I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me. Please, help me God! :)

Friday, 24 July 2009

A Powerful Story

This weekend is an important weekend for those in Adults services to share the love of God with our friends and family members.

May the following story inspire many hearts especially those who are doing their best in sharing the love of God with others but often wonder if it is making any difference at all.

Links in the Chain

Edward Kimball was determined to win his Sunday school class to Christ. A teenager named Dwight Moody tended to fall asleep on Sundays, but Kimball, undeterred, set out to reach him at work. His heart was pounding as he entered the store where the young man worked. “I put my hand on his shoulder, and as I leaned over I placed my foot upon a shoebox. I asked him to come to Christ.” But Kimball left thinking he had botched the job. Moody, however, left the store that day a new person and eventually became the most prominent evangelist in America.

On June 17, 1873, Moody arrived in Liverpool, England, for a series of crusades. The meetings went poorly at first, but then the dam burst and blessings began flowing. Moody visited a Baptist chapel pastored by a scholarly man named F. B. Meyer, who at first disdained the American’s unlettered preaching. But Meyer was soon transfixed and transformed by Moody’s message.

At Moody’s invitation, Meyer toured America. At Northfield Bible Conference, he challenged the crowds saying, “If you are not willing to give up everything for Christ, are you willing to be made willing?” That remark changed the life of a struggling young minister named J. Wilber Chapman.

Chapman proceeded to become a powerful traveling evangelist in the early 1900s, and he recruited a converted baseball player named Billy Sunday. Under Chapman’s eye, Sunday became one of the most spectacular evangelists in American history. His campaign in Charlotte, North Carolina, produced a group of converts who continued praying for another such visitation of the Spirit. In 1934 they invited evangelist Mordecai Ham to conduct a citywide crusade. On October 8th Ham, discouraged, wrote a prayer to God on the stationery of his Charlotte hotel: “Lord, give us a Pentecost here. … Pour out thy Spirit tomorrow. … ”

His prayer was answered beyond his dreams when a Central High School student named Billy Graham gave his heart to Jesus.

And Edward Kimball thought he had botched the job!

I am not praying just for these followers. I am also praying for everyone else who will have faith because of what my followers will say about me. I want all of them to be one with each other, just as I am one with you and you are one with me. John 17:20,21a
[1]

[1]Morgan, Robert J.: On This Day : 265 Amazing and Inspiring Stories About Saints, Martyrs & Heroes. electronic ed. Nashville : Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2000, c1997, S. June 17

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

"Faith Like Potatoes"

I am excited about our YA movie night this Friday. This is our third time in two years we have been doing movie night. And we hope to do many more times in the future.

Besides being excited about the movie I am also excited that there is now a team taking care of the entire event including the sourcing out of movies and securing the licenses. I want to commend CN and Gabriel for serving the YA group in this capacity.

This time the movie is "Faith Like Potatoes" which is based on a true story. It was awarded the Audience Choice award at The 2006 Sabaoth International Film Festival (Milan, Italy), and won Best Feature at the 2006 Mumbai International FICTS Festival.

Below are the synopsis of the movie, the link to access the movie's trailer and the e-invite for the Friday event.

Based on a true story, this inspiring film tells the story of Angus Buchan, a South African farmer who suffers a series of seemingly insurmountable losses, but through an unlikely friendship with his Zulu farmhand and divine interventions, discovers the key to healing himself and learning to accept others lies in his unwavering belief in the power of faith.

Check out the trailer of the movie here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mG0VCYYwziw



If you are reading this blog entry and in Singapore consider this as an invitation to join us this Friday night. By the way, admission is free. :)

I also want to encourage all Christ followers in YA group to invite our friends and family members for this event. Let us also spend a few minutes every day this week to really pray for the success of the movie night. We long to see hearts strengthened, hope renewed and lives transformed in a significant way.

Thanks in advance for the partnership and see you on Friday.

Monday, 13 July 2009

Persist

Two days ago I was browsing my notebook to look for a specific document. As I was doing that I stumbled upon a poem that I wrote in 2004.

Today I sent out the poem to a group of precious people. The poem is rather amateurish thus I was a little embarrased to share it with others. But I pray that its message will be able to encourage some hearts.

Here is the poem:

Persist

It was Monday morning
And I wondered why the going gets tough
When doing the right things was all I wanted to do
I couldn’t help but feel discouraged
I couldn’t help but feel like giving up

But before I said “I do” to giving up I paused and pondered
Then I saw

I saw the sun faithfully shine its light
Over the righteous and the evil it never failed to rise and set
It dawned on me
The sun persisted because it was its DUTY to do so

I saw a colony of ants working hard carrying bread crumbs
They were storing provision for winter which was to come
It dawned on me
The ants persisted because they had the FUTURE in mind

I saw a runner competing in a world marathon event
His leg was crammed and his throat was dry
Still he kept running
It dawned on me
The runner persisted for the HONOUR of his country

I saw Jesus, the Son of God, walking towards Golgotha
His body was soaked in blood and His flesh was torn out
He was weary due to pain, hunger, thirst and no rest
Still He walked, walked and walked

I saw Jesus being nailed to the cross
The physical pain was excruciating
Insults and mockeries inflicted Him with emotional pain
Humanity’s sins placed on Him inflicted spiritual pain
That He cried “My God My God why have You forsaken me”
Still He remained and remained on that cross

It dawned on me
Jesus chose to keep walking
Jesus chose to remain on the cross
Jesus chose because of LOVE

I am sure glad that I paused and pondered
Now I know that I can choose to persist and not give up
I can persist because it is my DUTY to do so
I can persist because God promises a good FUTURE for me
I can persist because it is for the HONOUR of my God and His Kingdom
I can persist because of my LOVE for Him and His people

Thursday, 9 July 2009

It's no 15

Last Sunday, Lean Choo and I went to my second brother's house to watch our "friend" in action.

Yes, Roger Federer was playing in the final of Wimbledon. We had a fun time together rooting for our "friend".

We left my brother's house at the end of the fourth set.

When we reached home the fifth (final set) wasn't over yet. We continued to support Federer.

At the end, Federer won, to our delight.

History was made that day. Federer was now officially the male player with the most number of grand slam titles.

Here is a great video clip summarising his incredible journey:

video