Thursday, August 02, 2012

God's grace to me

My dear friends,
I'm writing this to share with you my experience with our Lord recently and to remind myself how wonderful the Lord has been to me. This also serves as a note to myself not to give me when things weigh me down and I hope that this is will be an encouragement to all of you.

Perhaps a bit of background. I supposed all of you know that I started off in Sunday school in my current home church. I grew up with bible stories and eventually got saved when I was about 11 years old. Bringing the story froward, I grew up, went to university, graduated with a degree and am employed and have always thought that God's been really good. Things were smooth going for, not many major surprises in my life. This year marks my 6th year being an employee to a company, no longer as a student. I never felt that I was a working adult until recently. And I've been really comfortable, drawing salary monthly, having a good family, wonderful friends and a church to go to and serve. I tagged along with many things in church, certain things i don't agree, some characters I didn't quite like, and I thought I should really just shelve them. I thought it was my problem that I couldn't integrate well with the church etc etc etc.

Slowly, before i know it, I'm losing focus. I forgot what it was like to first love the Lord. I've allowed too many things to come into my life. I tried being a really good worker at work, i obeyed instructions because the bible says I should do all things as unto the Lord. I made many friends at work, many with different perspective to life. I get laughed at when I talked about maintaining purity till I'm married. I also serve at Teens in church, a ministry for children between 9-12 yrs old. But I was getting tired. I even told my leaders that I should quit teaching because I'm feeling that I'm not walking right with God. I miss that prompting of the Holy Spirit but I'm not getting anything. Nothing registers when I read the Bible. 

Back in January 2012 when I signed up for the Out Of Comfort Zone (OCZ 2012), i had little expectations although I was really excited to meet ppl from different countries, assemblies. And so, the date drew nearer, 16-19 July 2012 and off I went. That 5 days were real, wonderful and I've not felt so close to the Lord. I thought, let's not get carried away with emotions. When the songs are inviting, maybe it's just emotions. But by the end of the first day, I repented and told God that if He's real, speak to me. I want to hear Him. I don't want to get swept away by emotions. I want the real deal!

And God slowly revealed that I need to first come before Him blameless. He revealed many of my unconfessed sins and I went on my knees and prayed and cried. I didn't even care about the people around me. I had always been very cautious about how I look like when I worshipped but heck, that night, all I want was the Lord's perception of me. Having cried and confessed and confessed, a sister came and prayed for me. She said this,"Lord, bring this sister back to Your focus. She has lost her focus, show her yours.' I was stumped! How did she know? God was speaking right to my heart. I cried even more. That night, I felt something was changing. Dunno what it was but I kept humming, "Change my heart Oh God, make it ever true".
Second night, the speaker spoke about salvation. He said, "Salvation belongs to God alone! And it is His business to save and not yours. You come when He calls," This has provided me with much comfort because I have always been worried about my family's salvation. Who's going to preach to them if I were to really go away?"

Other worries I had was financial. How does the Lord really provide? And even if I can survive without much, who's gonna provide for my parents?"

And this was how He answered me. Through a sister and a brother. One of the sisters served in Laos and she related to me an incident when she was very sure she had not more than 100 dollars in her account and although she needed that money, she had to remit those to her parents. But when she withdrew the money, she had another 1000 dollars in her account. One of her supporting friends had just remitted some support to her without informing her, at the right time. Another brother who served in Sudan told me this. While he was away, his church has continuously sent cheques to his parents without him knowing and guess what, the church gave his parents the same amount of money that he gives, without him informing the church. Truly, truly, if God cared for the ravens and lilies, will he not care for you?

In both instances, I told them, I don't know how you know, but these were what I needed to hear exactly.

By the 3rd night, It was already clear to me what I needed to do to be ready. It wasn't a question of my capability anymore but my availability and willingness. I am convinced that I need to be in fellowship and prayer and bible study with my church and I should be looking at the bigger picture. We should not be entangled with the worries of the world but to strain forward. By then, I wasn't crying anymore at worship sessions because a sense of relief swept over me, as if telling me that I'm clear before the Lord. Jesus died for my sins, I have all power on earth through Him. What more do I need?

On the last night, when we gathered to prayed for those who are going for a short 10 -21 days term in other countries, it was really encouraging seeing everyone on their knees, praying for the nations they are going to or any nations that they felt a burden for. Not a show, but pure genuity and honesty and such desire to please God as He said in the Great commission.

I came back feeling really refreshed and desire to be faithful to God. The conference made me realized how blessed I am to have a ministry to serve and yet I wanna give that up. I got back and quickly told my leaders that I wanna continue teaching. I would really encourage you to join me in OCZ 2013 and Lord willing, go for a short term with them too. It will lift your eyes to the hills and make you realize what God is really doing everywhere else. Greater things are yet to come and greate r things still to be done.

This is a really long entryl and I hope you are still with me up to this point. Persevering when you can't see results and just keep pushing and praying. We serve a mighty mighty God.

And He is real.

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Perfect Man

"There's no perfect guy, unless you wanna wait for the Perfect Man to retun.
You could wait until the cow come home but you would never build your home"
Philip Mantofa

Heard this last Sunday. Struck by what I heard. Most of the times, girls really do wait for the perfect guy (They imagined) to come and sweep their feet off the ground. Trouble is, no such guy exists.

Back to that place

Have been occupied with many many things and have been distracted lately. Struggling to think how I could turn my life around and how I could really start living right. I'm tired with the pursues of life. Although it's so easy to say that I'm not on earth to stay, but once you are being swept in the race, you would be joining the pursuit before you know it.

This song was sung on Sunday and the moment I started singing, I felt a sense of release because the song brought my focus back to my first love. I want to go back to place where I first knew the Lord. The place where I gave my life and pledged to follow Him. This is the reason I'm alive today and the reason for my life to have its meaning, amidst all the struggle, questions and desires I have. I'm thankful for this timely reminder that the Lamb is worth all that I'm going through because He came to give me this amazing grace.

Thank You for the cross Lord
Thank You for the price You paid
Bearing all my sin and shame
In love You came
And gave amazing grace

Thank You for this love Lord
Thank You for the nail-pierced hands
Washed me in Your cleansing flow
Now all I know
Your forgiveness and embrace

Worthy is the Lamb
Seated on the throne
Crown You now with many crowns
You reign victorious
High and lifted up
Jesus Son of God
The darling of heaven crucified
Worthy is the Lamb
Worthy is the Lamb

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Story of 3 candles

There are 3 candles in the figure above. If you notice, they each have different length. One is the longest, one middle length and the last, being the shortest. They each represent a phase in our lives. When we were younger, we have a longer life ahead of us, and much more wax to burn, hence, the longest candle represents a younger person. The shortest candle represent a person who is older and more seasoned in life. He may not have too long a period to life, hence this candle is the shortest. And the middle length candle represent most of us, where we are in the thriving age of energy and strength, and vision and mission and fire to live and to serve God. But if you notice, each candle burn with the same brightness. The longest candle doesnt burn brighter although it has more wax nor is the shortest candle the dimmest. The lesson is this; that each of us, whichever phase of life we are in, we all burn with the same brightness, if we are lit on. There's no such thing as because I'm younger and know less of God, I shine and contribute less. If you put any of this candle in a dark place, it will light the place up. Therefore, the encouragement is this, whichever phase of life you are in, you would burn equally bright if you are lit on. We should all strive to burn for Christ, sometimes, when we go through a rough patch of life and we feel unworthy, never feel that way because Christ has died for your sins and He has frogiven all our sins. So, in my opinion, to be unworthy of yourself is to deny what Christ has done on the cross.

In whichever ministry we are in, as long as we allow the Holy Spirit to work in us, we will shine. Let's not be held back by self pity or bogged down by issues of life that we forget to shine; ie putting the candle under a bowl. Who does that?! We soemtimes do. We sometimes hope that people would not recognise that we are Christians, and therefore we could pretned doing things we always do, but in doing so, we are setting our body on fire. Playing with sin means burning oneself with fire. If only you would allow the Holy Spirit to direct your life, things would be very different. We should just be quiet before the Lord, pray and be patient and let the Spirit lead because only with the presence of the Spirit in us and in our lives, our outlook will be different and others will see a shining candle.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

And so the believers..

And so the believers gave themselves to the study of the scripture, fellowship, breaking of bread and prayer. (Paraphrased)

I remember how much Jaya used to stressed on this particular verse in Acts 2:42 when he spoke from the pulpit many years ago. And I often thought, why does he has to always repeat this verse? So much so that it was and still is, stuck with me. I havent been faithful in prayer meetings and bible study in church, although I do get feeding from BSF. And I couldnt see how this verse could be that..applicable in my life. I reasoned that I have other fellow brethren to fellowship with etc etc. And strangely, (I believe this is the Lord's doing), this verse came to life during camp recently. The theme for the AFC 2011 was "Issues facing Christians today; church, family, work and country" and Esther 4:14 was taken as the main verse. And when Uncle Wong took on the topic Family, I had little expectations. But he drew our attention to a picture of a tree, where it draws its nutrients and essential feeding from the ground through its roots. And it has to go deep in the ground for water and the deeper the roots go, the stronger it becomes and the better fruits it bears. And so, he compares this tree to a Christian. Our journey starts when the Sower sows the seeds and seeds that fall on good ground, grow. It gets water and essential elements from the nature and grow. Christians feed on the Word of God, taught by the Holy Spirit and grows and bear fruits. Other elements essential to us is fellowship among brethren. We cannot stay at the surface and expect to grow..we have to go deep into the Word and allow the Holy Spirit to work. This picture of a tree also represents the family of God. To root strongly, you need the encouragement and support of fellow brethren. And while listening to this, Acts 2:42 came to mind. And then, it struck me. What have I been mssing all these years? Yes, sometimes grudges can overwhelm so much that it blurred our vision to see through them but that is also allowing space to the evil one to attack. Perhaps one of the biggest lie is that we can survive on our own without being among the brethren.

And so, the believers gave themselves to the study of the Word, fellowship, breaking of bread and prayer.

These 4 pillars of a Christian are something that fellow believers can only share with another fellow believer. We cannot do this with a non-believer because they would not appreciate or understand these. After all, the bible did say we are a peculiar lot.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

What Defines Me

I've been taught to pray for my future husband since young, since we started having sessions of buds unfolding or the no-entry-gardens in church. But often, I do not know what to pray or how to pray. I often asked if I should pray for a specific person or in general and hopes that he will just appear in front of me? And of course, they were not answered in the ways I had hoped them to be. To complicate matter, someone once told me that sometimes God doesnt just send a specific person. He has a few and would see how we choose. Gracious..those were my most confusing period. And i gave up praying eventually because I remember praying for someone and nothing happened. Now, how do God answer prayers like this?
I also used to think that my defining factors depend on who I marry, because ultimately, I want to be a wife and a mother. Which means, I cant live my life properly until that man comes. Looking back, that was not the desire of our Lord and no wonder He kept silent in answering me. What defines me should be Christ. Afterall, I'm a child of God first and foremost. I had always thought that my life and issues would be straighten out once I get married, because then I dont have to struggle with finding time to do God's work at church and spending time with my family. I would then have time for everything I should do as a Christian. How off-skewed is that.
No, if I struggle to find time to serve in church and finding time to spend with my family, I will still have the same problem even when I have family of my own. And I suspect it will be worse off. So, when people say Heaven begins on earth, it also means, living your Christian life begins now on earth, whether you are single or married. And God forbit I should compartmentalize my life to moments with God and moments without. This is me, and it comes in a package. God didnt just send His Son to die for my Mondays and let me live as how I want to on Tuesdays or in any other aspects of my life. Jesus died for me, the whole self and I'm called to give my life to Him, again my whole self. Never just moments or when I am of work. So, if I cant find time to serve in church now when I'm unmarried, I wont have time to serve Him when I'm married.
How then do I pray? I think one needs to be clear with the fact Jesus died for our sins and our very being. God's salvation plan is perfect and it covers all aspects of our lives. To understand that we are no masters of our own, we need to remember the story of Ruth and Boaz. When Boaz became Ruth kinsmen-redeember, she became his wife, not just a partimer. And I think in praying for our future-husbands, rather than praying a specific person to be "him", we should pray for that person. I've got a few things in my mind that perhaps I should concentrate on these.

1. Pray for his salvation. I was reminded recently, although God says we should not be unequally yoked, but our future husband may or may not be saved yet. If he is saved, pray for God's wisdom to be on him.
2. Pray for his desire/visions. Pray for him that he would have God in his mind. What are his thoughts and visions like? Does he seek to please God? Does he have dreams for the local church? Is mission is his mind?
3. Pray for his heart. That he would have a desire to trust and obey God. I think it's very important for my future husband to have a heart to obey God because he has to lead the family. I grew up in a family where my father is always the ultimate decision maker. Although he is not a Christian (yet) but since young, my mother makes it a point to discuss and let my father decides big decisions for our family. Whether if we should move, or if we should buy another house and even how we should renovate our house. My father is the architect and engineer in that respect.
4. Pray for his christian walk/ministry. The ministry he is in, does he bear fruits?

Personally, above all, I trust in God's timing. God is never late and while I'm in waiting, I should be living my life in full surrender and how God would be pleased with. Because it never changes, whether I'm married or not.

Sunday, June 12, 2011


Picked this up from a sermon I heard recently.

The speaker says:
Girls, if you have not given yourself to anyone or if ever you feel pressured by your
peers, tell them this. For me to be like you, one night out there will do it. But for you to be like me, never again."

I havent heard this for a long time. I thought I knew enough about purity and importance of being pure before marriage but it's been so long since such reminder came along.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The book of John

I havent been updating my blog for the longest time ever. Guna told me that I've violated the rule of blog writing, in that I did not write down what comes to my mind quickly but to let the drafts in my dashboard to accumulate. So, I thought I should show more love to my abandoned blog and i'm posting the drafts I've left to idle.

This piece below was written towards the end of last year, after been on BSF for about 8 months.

Today's our sharing day at BSF. We've been doing the study on John for 32 weeks and it's been such a refreshing study. I remember when I first started BSF February this year, I thought, "What have I gotten myself into?" It's a weekly affair and driving down to CBB isnt exactly my idea of starting the week. But I knew I had to pick myself up from where I left off. I have been neglecting my spiritual walk. There were a lot of outward expression but little on the in filling and study on the Word. I wasnt growing, I wasnt getting answers from the Lord and I was dead, literally I guess.

The book of John is one of the best love story in the Bible, where the Lord revealed the love He showed to us through His Son. This is where John 3:16 came from, a mandatory verse to memory since I was a child. The book of John reminded me of how far God would go in loving me, He sent His son to die on the cross. This book also reminded me of the importance of a close relationship with God and how he would give peace. It's not more feelings of calmness but it's an assurance that you have trusting that He would deliver. And this year, during the time when I struggled to look for answer, I had peace. Suddenly, it was clear why things were happening the way they are.

For that, I'm thankful.