Monthly Archives: May 2012
Off the top of my head and in no order of importance…
1. Being secure helps you to stay humble. You’d be slow to anger and quick to apologise because you won’t feel like it’s a dent on your ego. And you won’t mind people thinking you’re in the wrong or having a wrong impression of you.
2. Being secure helps you to discover who you are. Coming to terms with your flaws and weaknesses is a painful thing, but when you’re not ashamed of your shortcomings, admitting it allows you to grow into your own skin.
3. Being secure helps you to be yourself. I think it’s tiring being someone else. Confidence is being comfortable with who you are and being acutely aware of your strengths; people don’t grow in their weaknesses, but in their strengths.
4. Being secure helps you to grow. One defining mark of a leader is about teachability. I always pray that I’d grow in my potential. I don’t want to fulfill all my potential and realise that there’s nothing left to grow in.
5. Being secure helps you to serve others. The world tells you that serving is for subordinates, but the Bible tells you that the top of the food chain must serve those who receive the least honour. Security breeds service.
6. Being secure helps you to trust God. There is no better test of faith than to place your trust in God to answer prayers than in your own ability to get things done. This is only possible when you recognise that God can do more than you can.
7. Being secure helps you to forgive. No one has the power to from getting or watching someone else get hurt, but everyone has the power to forgive. Forgiveness must always be exercised in the perspective of what Christ has already done for us.
8. Being secure helps you to have fun. Let your hair down and paint the town red! It’s no fun being around someone who doesn’t know how to have fun or make a fool of themselves (in the right place and time, and for the right reasons).
9. Being secure helps you to groom other people. The job of my generation is to help the next generation surpass us in everything. Secure leaders don’t hoard but invest themselves into people generously and willingly.
10. Being secure helps you to look toward eternity. God doesn’t call us to be successful, but to be faithful. In light of forever-ness, I am glad I only need to be accountable for what I am given to steward.
Being secure means that you can truly live like you have nothing to prove, nothing to lose and nothing to hide. So be secure in the Lord today – freedom beckons!
The older you get, the more you don’t take things for granted.
Tonight’s no-frills dinner was an example of that. This meeting was Lionel’s initiative and had to be planned a month in advance. Lionel bought dinner up to his place and I enjoyed a time of catching up with him and his wife, Jeanie. Ministry is so intricately woven in our tapestry of life that it was an inevitable conversation topic among us.
When Johann arrived 30 minutes later, we got down to why we gathered tonight. It was refreshing to share about what the Lord was doing in each of our lives, as well as how we could keep each other in prayer in such an unpretentious manner. I enjoyed how we ended the night lifting each other up in prayer.
I don’t know about other (youth) pastors, but I find that as I age and as I “climb” the leadership rungs, there are lesser and lesser spiritual friends. That is why I appreciate what we shared tonight – three men whose histories intersect, who are in different seasons of life, who like and love each other, coming together to share honestly with each other.
It was nice to find a platform to share about ministry aspirations and frustrations, marriage and wedding preparations, parenthood and career, among other things, and know that you won’t be judged or frowned at for what you say. We had nothing to lose, nothing to prove and nothing to hide. And that was a breath of fresh air.
Spiritual peers are a blessing to any man.
AIYS 2012 concluded with a riveting message preached by Ps Jesse Dedel. I’m still chewing on it but I thought I could share the same excerpt from the article he used in his sermon.
Well, if my youth group, church or nation is going to have a giant rise up against it, and it’s going to need someone with Someone in him who is greater than this giant, then I’d like to volunteer to be this someone with Someone in him.
Whenever children are born at a critical time in history, strange, supernatural things seem to go on in that culture. And people in high places know it. When those things take place, it’s in the demonic world that Satan puts out the contract on children.
In the records of the Bible each time a mass destruction of children fell on the world, a KEY LEADER was about to be born. Moses, Jesus – a deliverer was coming, and hell was afraid. As we’ve seen, the mass murder of children is not a new idea.
The contract is out again. It has come in our time, and it has come for our children. What does that say to us? What can we learn from this awful slaughter? We must ask ourselves: What is there about this generation that makes Satan so afraid? What does he see or sense coming that has triggered such an awful holocaust?
In the times of Moses and the Lord Jesus, that rage missed its marks. The targets of that destruction escaped each time. And the ones that got away did untold damage to hell’s domain. There is something precious and important about this generation, so deeply under attack.
It may well be the last generation before Jesus returns.
It may have among its ranks of survivors the makings of a major spiritual miracle.
There may be leaders-to-be rescued from the sword that will lead an entire generation of the abandoned, loveless, and lonely into the promises of God.
I believe that the children being born today are part of a whole prophetic generation God is bringing forth, and that’s why the enemy is trying to destroy them in any way he can – both physically and mentally. In the demonic realm the contract has gone out – and the contract on children today is greater than ever before in history. Much, much greater.
Source: Last Days Ministries
Tonight’s the final time I will fall asleep in Asia Pacific Theological Seminary, Baguio.
AIYS 2012 has been a blast. By lunch tomorrow, I’d have sat into nearly 70 (!!) classes – that’s like attending 10 IDMCs! I’ve learnt so much from the instructors here; there’s a truckload to take home – new knowledge acquired, a renewed passion, a lifted spirit and of course, new friends and ministry partners from around the world.
The Lord has spoken to me personally and through pastors and friends who prayed for me. That’s crucial because I know if God is for me, then I can proceed with His approval. The trick now is to not go ahead of God, but to trust in Him and wait for Him to pave the way for me in the things that He’s impressed upon my heart to implement.
I’m thankful to Grace AG for sending me to AIYS 2012. The next AIYS takes place in 2015 and I declare this by faith – I will bring my full-time staff team with me.
Frankly, I think I’ve already reached saturation point for lessons. All I want to do now is to reflect on the 60+ notes, distill the ones that challenge me and sieve out the ones that are applicable to R-AGE. AND PUT WHAT I’VE LEARNT INTO ACTION. Otherwise, it’d be pointless.
And speaking of action, I’m pleased that there’s no chapel service tonight because traditionally, the last night’s always reserved for Balut Party – a rite of passage for AIYS delegates. I’ll let the photos talk!
Watch me gobble down the hot chick! @ http://www.facebook.com/v/10150966084595973
Ps Julie Khoo gave an altar call last night and I responded to it – my first time at the altar since AIYS 2012 started. I asked God to confirm the things He had been putting in my heart because the weight was too heavy to bear by myself. I shared this burden with Brian, Jamie and a couple of others whom I shared meals with. I needed the Lord to give me strength, courage and wisdom.
In that 15 minutes kneeling down, two people came to pray for me; I recognised Ps Julie’s voice and I caught sight of a pair of red sneakers and realised it belonged to her assistant, Ps Danny Tan. Both of them had only arrived the day before and had no idea what God was doing and stirring in my heart the past week.
As I stepped forward, I wasn’t emotional at all, as expected – that’s just how I am. But I had faith; I knew God would speak to me. So I asked the Lord to help me remember this altar call experience.
Ps Julie and Ps Danny won’t know this until I tell them – both of them prayed identical things over me. And along with what the Lord had already revealed in my heart, I saw a complete picture of what’s next for me and what’s stopping me from getting there. Ps Julie prophesied over me almost immediately and described the vision she saw. When she laid her hands on me moments later, I broke down; I will never forget how the Lord broke my heart for R-AGE, its leaders and the campuses in Singapore. I had faith that God would speak, but I didn’t expect myself to weep this way.
With a new found confidence, I returned to my seat to record what I had received from the Lord. Amidst the seven things God revealed through Ps Julie and Ps Danny, I remember receiving this personal revelation as I walked back to my row:
“My burden is greater than my fear.
Your glory is greater than my burden.”
I skipped the after-service fellowship and retreated to my room. And as I wanted to remember that God gave this to me when I was in the Philippines, I opened up Google to translate that line into Tagalog, and posted it as my Facebook status:
“Aking pasanin ay mas malaki kaysa sa aking takot.
Ang iyong kaluwalhatian aymas malaki kaysa sa aking pasanin.”
The next morning, just before the second session began, I read aloud the Tagalog translation to my Filipino friend, Ps Welfert, just to share with him what God had done with me last night.
With tears welling up in his eyes, he told me that what I’ve read to him were actually lyrics from a Filipino worship song called, “Salamat Panginoon”! The essence of the song is about how God’s presence is bigger than my struggles, pains and worries, and how great favour will come with the Lord because He is control of what’s going on.
I WAS BLOWN AWAY.
It was a powerful moment for the both of us. Welfert got emotional as he shared the meaning of the song with me. God ministered to the two of us there and then – what a divine revelation and confirmation!
God is good, so good. And He is faithful – I know He will go before me. My confidence in the Lord for the task ahead is rising! Praise the Lord for the spiritual monument that He’s building in my life through AIYS 2012.
Unfortunately, I don’t go for campus prayer-walks often enough. Yes, God has been spoken to me time and again on this issue for months. And He is faithful – He did it again through this conference through various people. His voice is unmistakeable.
This afternoon, we fasted lunch and headed to a local university to experience a 1-hour prayer-walk in and around the campus. I asked God to open my spiritual eyes as I walked this campus. I asked Him burn a desire in my heart for varsity students back home who do not know Jesus. I want this prayer-walking experience in Baguio universities to be transported back home to the secondary schools, junior colleges and even universities, but especially in polytechnics.
There’s so much in the ministry that I have to re-order – I want God to bring this vision to pass! But what do I tell my leaders and shepherds who are already so deeply embedded into church ministry that they may not see the need for campus ministry? I’m talking about a 15-year legacy!
Lord, there’s so much to un-learn and re-learn.
Truth is, R-AGE will always be around as long as Grace AG is around, and will always be successful. But are we merely existing instead of thriving? The Lord keeps putting the same recurring thought into my heart, “The ministry will implode and eventually perish if it doesn’t see a vision bigger than itself and explode in outreach.” I am sick and tired of doing church.
I don’t want to be a youth pastor that leads a “happening” church ministry with zero influence in the campus. I don’t want to be a youth pastor that leads a youth ministry that doesn’t make disciples of MY nation. I don’t want to be a youth pastor that leads an R-AGE that is happy doing programmes for unbelievers but is handicapped in building relationships with them. No, I want a vision for R-AGE so big that it’d be impossible to do it on my own.
Lord, give me courage. Make this my one act of righteousness that changes R-AGE forever.
I’m praying for a renewed vision, an outward-looking purpose, a structure that supports discipleship and leaders who are sold out to go and make disciples of all nations.
Lord, I’m scared. Help me to do the right things. Bring me the right people. Send me into the right places. Change me into the right person.
No, I want to be a youth pastor that leads R-AGE to really and truly be redeeming a generation for eternity.
Redeemed youths redeem youths – that’s what R-AGE will die for.
It’s becoming apparent to me that most youth pastors served as worship leaders in their previous lives. I could rattle off multiple names off the cuff — Glenn Lim, Andy Yeoh, Chris Long, Pacer Tan and lately, myself.
I meet another one tonight. His name is Brian Lopez, a Filipino. And I’ve not met another worship leader with an anointing as strong and pure as his. I’ve met many worship leaders, but not one that carries the entire service with his anointing alone. I really wished I could teleport the CAMY worship leaders to the service hall to watch Brian’s team lead worship. They will capture their imagination.
I’ve grown out of the Hillsong United and Planetshakers phase of my life. I’ve enjoyed their music and how they’ve led me time and again into the presence of God, but no matter what (and I’m not being racist), they’re non-Asians. So to see an Asian expressing his heart of worship to God in such an uncontaminated manner was breathtaking and inspiring.
We connected with each other after service ended and had a marvelous time sharing our hearts out on matters in the ministry that were close to our hearts — from leadership, to shepherding, to expository preaching. I haven’t met a kindred spirit in a long while.
In Brian’s words, “Man, why haven’t I met you earlier!?” I thank the Lord for fusing our hearts together as we prayed for each other.
I look forward to bringing Brian Lopez down to R-AGE.