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Showing posts from August, 2016

God's Gift, His Glory

This is a series of reflections that I sent to my fiancee from my own Bible readings. I have posted them in this blog so that it is easier to keep track for future reflections. 
Then the LORD said to Moses, 2 “See, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, 3 and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills—4 to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, 5 to cut and set stones, to work in wood, and to engage in all kinds of crafts. 6 Moreover, I have appointed Oholiab son of Ahisamak, of the tribe of Dan, to help him. Also I have given ability to all the skilled workers to make everything I have commanded you: 7 the tent of meeting, the ark of the covenant law with the atonement cover on it, and all the other furnishings of the tent—8 the table and its articles, the pure gold lampstand and all its accessories, the altar of incense, 9 the altar of burnt offering and …

The Three Ingredients of Olympic-Sized Preaching

(Originally sent out as an article under Eagles' Simply Proclaim)
Citius, altius, fortius. (“Faster, higher, stronger.”)

The motto of the Olympic Games

Rio 2016 wrapped up a few days back. For many of us, the Olympic Games this year have been phenomenal, with many memorable moments; we saw Malaysia’s Lee Chong Wei finally defeating his greatest rival, China’s Lin Dan, in the semi-final of the badminton male singles. We saw Usain Bolt achieving his “triple triple.” We saw a resurgent Brazil finally ‘breaking their duck’ and attaining their Olympic gold in football. We saw Chinese swimmer Fu Yuanhui shoot to fame with her cheerful and perky expressions.

And Singaporeans got to see history being made.

For 50.39 seconds, the whole nation held its breath at the 100m men’s butterfly as our very own Joseph Schooling swam to victory, winning Singapore’s first Olympic gold medal and breaking the Olympic record. And as “Majulah Singapura” was played at the awards ceremony, Singaporeans celebrate…

Giving and Honor

This is a series of reflections that I sent to my fiancee from my own Bible readings. I have posted them in this blog so that it is easier to keep track for future reflections. 
41 Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. 42 But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.
43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”- Mk 12:41–44.
As I was reading this episode, I was wondering if this episode is telling us to give a lot more than what we are willing. But I would think that it is not the case. Focusing on the woman who gave everything that she had, what was Jesus impressed by? That she gave a disproportionate amount of money as…

The definite growth of the Kingdom

This is a series of reflections that I sent to my fiancee from my own Bible readings. I have posted them in this blog so that it is easier to keep track for future reflections. 
30 Again he said, “What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? 31 It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds on earth. 32 Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds can perch in its shade.” - Mk 4:30–32. The kingdom of God starts small but will grow big. But how fast will it grow? What is the rate of growth here? I wonder if God really cares if it grows fast, and how should we view the Kingdom of God when there is apparently nothing being advanced? But what is clear here is that the kingdom of God will definitely grow.

Bring that a bit further, sometimes we just cannot force the pace of things, especially our own ministry to go our way at the rate and pace that we so desire. Thi…

See the works of God in our lives

This is a series of reflections that I sent to my fiancee from my own Bible readings. I have posted them in this blog so that it is easier to keep track for future reflections. 
30 That day the LORD saved Israel from the hands of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians lying dead on the shore. 31 And when the Israelites saw the mighty hand of the LORD displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the LORD and put their trust in him and in Moses his servant. - Ex 14:30–31. We know that the Israelites forgot the mighty hand of God when they were wondering in the wilderness, but at this particular moment, after the LORD God led the nation of Israel through the Red Sea and dissipated the Egyptian army, the works of God in Israel's life demanded a response from the people, and they responded with fear of God and trust in His servant Moses.

Similarly, just asking myself if the works of God in my own life, in our relationship so far, in your own life, in our ministries, in our f…

God provides enough for us

This is a series of reflections that I sent to my fiancee from my own Bible readings. I have posted them in this blog so that it is easier to keep track for future reflections. 

Moses said to them, “It is the bread the LORD has given you to eat. 16 This is what the LORD has commanded: ‘Everyone is to gather as much as they need. Take an omer l for each person you have in your tent.’ ”
17 The Israelites did as they were told; some gathered much, some little. 18 And when they measured it by the omer, the one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little. Everyone had gathered just as much as they needed. - Ex 16:15–18. I was reading this passage this morning. Was reminded of the need to know that God always gives us enough. The episode with regard to the collection of manna reminds that I need to trust God for our providence the next day and today he has given us what we need.

I was reflecting further and asked myself, am I able to pray…

Support for God's individual

This is a series of reflections that I sent to my fiancee from my own Bible readings. I have posted them in this blog so that it is easier to keep track for future reflections. 

10 So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. 11 As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. 12 When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. 13 So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword. Ex 17:10–13. In the episode when Moses sent Joshua to overcome the Amalekite army, there was actually 3 levels of support that allowed the victory to happen. Joshua was supported by Moses who ensured victory as long as he held up his hands. Moses was in turn supported by Aaron and Hur who helped him lift his hands. T…

Who do we say He is

This is a series of reflections that I sent to my fiancee from my own Bible readings. I have posted them in this blog so that it is easier to keep track for future reflections. 
27 Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked them, “Who do people say I am?”
28 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.”
29 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” - Mk 8:27–29.
Jesus, at Caesarea Philippi, asked the disciples who do they say he is and by doing so, actually forces them to come to terms on his identity in the midst of how people are perceiving Jesus.

But we know that Jesus is not simply asking them to tell him the standard ten-year series answer on who he is. Likewise, God is not interested in our mere verbal confession of who He is and what He can do in our life. God is interested in the practical implications behind these confessions. Because the disciples confessed t…

To have full belief in Him

This is a series of reflections that I sent to my fiancee from my own Bible readings. I have posted them in this blog so that it is easier to keep track for future reflections. 
23 “ ‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”
24 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” - Mk 9:23–24. There was this episode where the disciples were unable to exorcise a spirit from a boy in Mark 9. The father had to turn to Jesus in the end and the above conversation occurred. The interesting thing about the father is that he claimed to be have believed Jesus and yet had some form of unbelief that has to be dealt with. The father believed in Jesus and yet recognised that he had reservations about Jesus and this has to be dealt with

I wonder if this applies to everyone, to me, to us - that we can claim to believe in God and yet have reservation about Him. It perhaps manifests in how we make back-up plans (however good that idea may…

Giving back to God and Bearing His Image

This is a series of reflections that I sent to my fiancee from my own Bible readings. I have posted them in this blog so that it is easier to keep track for future reflections. 

Is it right to pay the imperial tax to Caesar or not? 15 Should we pay or shouldn’t we?”

But Jesus knew their hypocrisy. “Why are you trying to trap me?” he asked. “Bring me a denarius and let me look at it.” 16 They brought the coin, and he asked them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?”

“Caesar’s,” they replied.

17 Then Jesus said to them, “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.” - Mk 12:14–17.
Jesus, when asked about paying taxes by the hypocrites, answered that we need to give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what belongs to God. This sprung from the reply that the coin bears Caesar’s image. Think a bit further with me, what is the one thing that bears the image of God? Us! Mankind! And the implication behind this is that we ought to give back to God what is God’…

But... I am but a lifegroup leader... not a preacher...

This post was originally sent out as an article under the ministry of Simply Proclaim. I have edited it to suit the purpose of this post. 



Just because we are small group leaders does not mean that we are not involved in the process of preaching. For most part of my leadership journey in church, I have been serving as a lifegroup leader. It is only until recent years that I have been given opportunities to preach and teach in a public setting. So does that mean that I have not been preaching until recently? I would say no. As I reflect back on my own journey, I must say that there are two mindsets that we, as small group leaders, can take note when it comes to preaching.

1. My small group is as much a faith community as my church.
My senior pastor once told all the small group leaders that small groups constitute an important part in the local church. This is because if the church is persecuted one day, members of the church can still gather as a faith community in their lifegroups, si…

What I need to build myself up to communicate better

This post was originally sent out as an article under the ministry of Simply Proclaim. I have edited it to suit the purpose of this post. 
"The test of a preacher is that his congregation goes away saying, not, 'What a lovely sermon!' but, 'I will do something!'" These are the wise words of St Francis de Sales. Implicitly under such wise words, the reality for any preacher is that we need to communicate the Scripture so compelling that people are willing to apply their lives to scriptural standard. I realized that there are at least two things that my education, despite taking a class in biblical preaching, does not teach me such that I can communicate in such a way.

1. I need to build up on my own rhetorical skills.
The Bible College I am attending currently is thoroughly committed to ensure that its students graduate with adequate competence in biblical interpretation. This permeates all the modules, including the biblical preaching module. In fact, biblical…