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Showing posts from September, 2011

Thoughts on giving

I am just musing about the principle of giving in the bible, especially the concept of tithing. I am not here to encourage people to tithe or give to the church but to point out something that I find amusing in my own study of the bible, though a bit preliminary at the moment. 
It is commonly accepted that in the OT, God instituted the system of tithing as a fixed percentage of produce that the people needed to give. This is well documented in the OT: Be sure to set aside a tenth of all that your fields produce each year - Deuteronomy 14:22 And it is obvious that God views tithing quite seriously as shown by His rebuke of the Israelites in Malachi:
Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this, says the LORD Almightly, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it" - Malachi 3:10 I am not here to argue for the benefit of tithing other tha…

Faith, Trust and Evidence - Tom Price

I came across this article which talks about faith. Quite well written. The author, Tom Price, is an academic tutor at the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics and a speaking member of RZIM in Oxford. I think this article sort of mirrored what I have posted previously. And actually no surprise since I build upon the materials and understandings from mainly RZIM's materials.
I've been trying to avoid using the word 'faith' recently. It just doesn't get the message across. 'Faith' is a word that's now misused and twisted. 'Faith' today is what you try to use when the reasons are stacking up against what you think you ought to believe. Greg Koukl sums up the popular view of faith, "It's religious wishful thinking, in which one squeezes out spiritual hope by intense acts of sheer will. People of 'faith' believe the impossible. People of 'faith' believe that which is contrary to fact. People of 'faith' believe that…

I will boast of my LG =P

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Just showing off my LG, from our birthday celebration last Sat. I must say that over the past few months, it has not been easy leading a LG of such magnitude but WhatsApp and late night chill outs and random makan sessions help a lot on top of our normal LG and service meetups. In fact, I think this group of folks meet more often informally than formally in those settings where we normally meet in church.

Perhaps a recent personality test gives us a clue, we are majority extroverts from the MBTI results and this may have helped and created the sort of atmosphere needed. Definitely you know that people are more opened in sharing lives. Again, WhatsApp helps a lot. We literally have a WhatsApp group chat where we spam each other with mindless chats... though it started by collecting prayer requests.

One thing I must, is that I learned to love all the LGs which I have been in throughout my lifespan in Hope. Be it my first one during my spiritual infancy stage, or my second one during my…

Funny Haiku

Haikus are easy
But they don't make sense sometimes
Refrigerator

Understanding

"You are permitted to understand the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven, but others are not. To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them." - Matt 13:11-12 (NLT)  I was just reading this during my quiet time earlier on. It is interesting to note that more understanding on the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven will only be given to those who actually listens to Jesus's teaching or the word of God. This highlights to me one thing, that is we need to learn to listen and meditate on the word of God to gain deeper understanding. It sounds very on the surface, but come to think about it, it is not very simple. How many times do we see people asking fundamental questions about faith when it's something that we ought to have known or have at least the means to dig ourselves? A lot of times, when we lac…
Today during the post-service evaluation, someone made a very interesting remark that I seemed to be very happy when I was playing on stage.

I guess I was learning to enjoy the time on stage playing for God, given that I have not much time left doing such music on stage since I will be dropping all my service level responsibility soon to focus more on pastoral stuff and missions work.

But I will miss those times on stage playing guitar. Tough preparation normally but great satisfaction.

Locusts and the years

I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten... - Joel 2:25 I chanced upon this verse while reading a new acquired book by the name of 'Beyond Boundaries'. Just caught on to this verse and began to wonder what are the things that locusts have eaten. I realised for a moment that things that the locusts have eaten are often gone to waste. Just watch a video on Youtube and one will see the pestilence of locusts in agriculture.

So the years the locusts have eaten are a great deal. In human eyes, the years are wasted. The times are lost. And yet God said, 'I will repay you...'. A promise from God about restoring lost times. Just make me wonder about the lost years wasted before I came to know Him. I guess this must be something in everyone's mind, "why haven't I come to know the Lord earlier?" and "things would have been different".

But God will restore those years. I must say that the past years since I came to know Him have been more …

God of Creativity

I am currently sitting in a very inspirational course on creativity. The speaker, to my surprise, is actually a lay pastor trained in theology who is currently earning his keep through training people in creativity and other stuff. Because of this, it got me thinking about creativity in biblical context. I actually started to look at his teachings during the course in a different light, in the sense that I began to evaluate the stuff against biblical standard to see if he is in line with the bible. This is a bad habit of mine, especially when I know that the speaker is a believer.

First start, I think it is probably safe to establish that God is the God of creativity. In Colossians 1:16, it says that 'for in Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by Him and for Him.' This means that no matter how creative we are, in terms of coming with new ideas or rearrangi…

How to know if you are model public servant?

You rejoiced when 'revert' was officially recognised by Oxford Dictionary to mean 'reply'.You must visit Yakun, Killiney Kopitiam and Toast Box daily to get three quotes for that cuppa during tea break.You hear ‘Please deal’ and you know the boss ain’t inviting you to play cards.YCCIAESOA* think FYNAP, pls F/U, FYIP, blah blah blah. *You can communicate in (almost) entire sentences of acronyms.You form organising committees for every family function and call for meetings to make every decision.

Wrong Worship

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This is a video that has gone viral on Facebook over the past few days. Extremely well done, and I strangely suspect that it describes what we really felt sometimes when we sing these songs.

The sheep and the goats

I often wonder about this thing called denomination. And I guess most of my regular readers or friends would know that I have a certain objection over the use of Catholics vs Christians, as it is my belief that Catholicism is a denomination within Christianity. At core, we are bound by the Apostle Creed and the Nicene Creed. In practice, we are separated by confessionals. However, this just makes me wonder if this is an adequate way for us to describe ourselves as Christ believers and followers? Talking even with the people in my church has made me realised that people have certain perceptions of certain denominations and therefore they create themselves a false dichotomy that may not be coherent with actual practice and reality. It is a bit like policy makers making policies without considering implementation process.

I was just reminded of what Jesus said in Matthew 7:21:
"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord', will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who …

Batam Trip 2

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Ok, recently we went for a trip in Batam, the final exploration trip to find out more about Batam before we dwell straight into missions in the small island. Before that, the team which went was quite interesting. All from my LG:

This team consist, from the left, Weikai (our food bin), Ivy (our translator), Wileen (the matchmaker), Ming Xi (the normal girl), Joyce Peh (the Matchmade) and myself.

I just want to share that God truly blessed us throughout the trip. We started off our work only on Saturday evening when we attend GBI TABQHA combined youth Praise and Worship Service. It was amusing as everytime we were in Batam, GBI seems to have some special event and we never seem to be able to sit in a normal service. But thank God Cheilla, the sister whom we met the other time, was there and she introduced us to another brother by the name of Darwin who was able to host us throughout the service. I just want to share that while we can't understand the language, certainly there was a…

Priorities

Just thinking what my priorities are right now in my life. This is just to remind myself.

Perhaps at the very start, it's seeing God's Kingdom coming to pass in Singapore, Asia and all over the world. This means that the actualisation of what Paul said in Acts 20:24, to consider my own life rubbish and to fulfill the task that Lord has given me which is to testify the gospel of His grace. This means I need food which I may not have known of, to do the will of Him who will send me. It seems that David Livingstone's prayer is something that I am beginning to pray everyday:

Send me anywhere, only go with me.
Lay any burden on me, only sustain me.
Sever any ties but that which binds me to Thy heart and to Thy service.

This means I can start preparing myself to land, and yes, in Batam in two years' time? This means anything that does not fit into this will have to go. Yes, even the kind of ties I have seen over the weekends. Marriage will go if it doesn't fit in the pla…

Post Conference Thoughts Part 2

I was just thinking whether I want to share this but in any case, I just felt prompted to blog this down. It is not as if this is something secret as I have already shared a little bit of these inner turmoil with my LG sometimes back.

To recap, I think I was very impacted by the recent WCWM conference at Indoor Stadium. God spoke a lot to me, strengthened my conviction and made clear His directions. What I have never shared is that that was also one of most emotionally turbulent conference I have ever attended and the most difficult one in terms of having focus and concentration.

Firstly, it is the first time I went into a conference leading a group of 14... though not all of them are around at any one time but it was a matter of coordination. Last year, I only needed to consider 2 folks and that by itself was another challenge on its own. This is not anyone's fault but the experience of leading such a large LG was just stretching me at that moment. Just to add that I am getting u…
Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, or each one should carry their own load. Nevertheless, the one who receives instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor. - Galatians 6:1-6 I am still trying to figure this out. The Holy Spirit has been prompting me this passage for the past few days But I have been asking God what this means currently in my own relationship with Him and with other people. This is the first time God gave me a verse and I have difficulty in trying to understand its significance in my life and ministry currently.

Perhaps it …