Category Archives: Previews & Reviews
My honest opinion on just about everything – books, music, movies, websites, places, food, events and people.
#1 Arsenal and Wenger are the biggest losers. Sold their leftback. Sold their right winger to a rival. Offering £95m for Lemar reeks of desperation. Retained their disillusioned talisman whose will to play is now questioned, and will be available for free next summer. Surely a scramble for his signature ensues in January. I wonder how Lacazette is feeling. Too bad Atletico’s ban was upheld if not he’ll be there and Griezmann would be at United.
#2 Financial Fair Play is a load of rubbish. Impossible for PSG to have enough income to support the acquisition of £198m Neymar and £166m Mbappe. Insane amount of money for just two players. And with Dembele costing Barca £95m, Pogba looks cheap now and Ronaldo felt like a bargain. So it’s good for United, because it means the world record transfer fees have been broken multiple times in one window.
#3 The past record monies paid for Ronaldo, Bale and Pogba took a long time for the clubs to negotiate and a long time for the fans to come to terms with. But these days and probably from this point on, we won’t even bat an eyelid or flinch when the numbers soar above £90m. But the craziest thing about it is that clubs have to pay upwards of £30-40m for average players! Really makes £34m Bailly, £38m Mhkitaryan, £34m Shaw and £32m Herrera look affordable.
#4 Liverpool is trying to do to Saints what Barca is doing to them. The £120m price quoted for Coutinho is good, so they are silly to retain a demoralised player. Could have reinvested that amount in other places. Salah is a shrewd signing but Ox is a strange one – where is he going to play? And honestly, Keita who? £48m for an unknown that can’t even play now? I’m also shocked they haven’t strengthened their leaky defence. With such figures floating around (like £70m for VVD), Pool fans have lost their moral high ground to criticise United’s spending, or Pogba’s price. Oh, and Klopp selling Sakho tells us that he rates him higher than Lovren and Matip. Wonder what Pool fans think of that.
#5 You can’t help but to feel bad for Chelsea (okay, not really). Got rejected by Lukaku, Oxlade, Llorente (and Matic), and now, even Barkley. Imagine that. It’s unimaginable how sad their allure is as reigning EPL champions. I truly wonder how “first priority” Rudiger, Drinkwater, Zappacosta, Morata and Bakayoko are.
#6 Everton did well in the transfer market, for United, that is. They signed “legend” Rooney who still sleeps in Toffee pajamas, Sigurdsson just before we played Swansea, and signed a former United youth player. With so many former United players already there, they feel like a United B team.
#7 Tottenham did well too, to hold on to their star players while managing to get £52m for Walker, £17m a-piece for Wimmer and Bentaleb, and sign £12m Llorente and £23m Aurier for prices that actually reflect their market value. Levy has always been impressive in that way. Annoying, but so effective. Can no longer bully Spurs to sell.
#8 City, managed by Fraudiola, has spent £160 m on a backline that doesn’t even look inspiring. £46m for Walker, £52 for EPL-unproven Mendy, £36m for EPL-unproven Eder, and £27m for EPL-unproven Danilo and selling their ONLY youth product from last year tell me that Pep has been severely overrated as a manager who is reputed to develop players. And him not getting Alexis while unsettling him means it’s a win-win for all of us.
#9 While this may sound like an ugly baby phenomenon, I honestly think United are the biggest winners of this window. First time in a while we are not panicking on Deadline Day. Unlike Moyes who has no clue, and LVG who has a scattergun approach, Jose looks like he knows what he’s doing. Got an established EPL champion to play the position we’ve been missing, releasing Pogba for rampage. Got an established EPL goalscorer to plunder against weaker sides, solving the unceasing home draws we had last season. Re-signed our charismatic talismanic top scorer as a supersub. And best of all, we kept De Gea for another season. I still think United has overpaid for all their players this window but in context of an insane market, the prices seem reasonable.
#10 I tried to be objective but I will admit that there’s a bit of bias and some trolling in this post. I’m expecting some backlash. Ha. Let’s talk football. International friendlies are a waste of time. Gonna be a quiet weekend. Peace out.
To facilitate my cafe-hunting adventures with the missus, I’ve consolidated the names and addresses of existing cafes in Singapore and created an easily-accessible directory of cafes in Singapore grouped by locality. So thanks to referencing excellent food websites like ladyironchef and burpple, I am able to share this categorised list with you. Do let me know if there are any cafes I should be including or excluding. Hope you find this helpful! (:
Holland Village/Buona Vista
- Jimmy Monkey Cafe @ 9 one-north Gateway #01-51 (one-north residences) | C/D/F/$6-$18/$5
- Revolution Coffee @ 21 Media Circle #01-03A | CD
- Artisan Boulangerie @ 9 North Buona Vista Drive #01-12 (The Metropolis)
- Jamaica Blue @ 1 Vista Exchange Green #01-32 (The Star Vista) | CDF
- 93°C Bean & Leaf @ 8 Lorong Mambong | CD
- MU Parlour @ 16A Lorong Mambong
- Craft Bakery & Cafe @ 24A Lorong Mambong | CDF
- Hatched @ 267 Holland Avenue | CDF
- d’ Good Cafe @ 273 Holland Avenue | CDF
- Foster English Rose Cafe @ 277 Holland Avenue | CDF
- Park Cafe Bar @ 281 Holland Avenue #01-01
- Shebrews Cafe @ 365 Commonwealth Avenue (Queenstown Community Centre)
- Artease @ 500 Dover Road (Singapore Polytechnic Teaching Block 19)
- Roadhouse @ 13 Dempsey Road #01-07
- Jones the Grocer @ 12 Dempsey Road | CDF
- PS Cafe @ 28B Harding Road
- The Dempsey Brasserie @ Blk 7 Dempsey Road #01-03
- The White Rabbit @ 39C Harding Road
- Barracks Cafe House Dempsey @ 8D Dempsey Road #01-01 to 06
- House Dempsey @ 8D Dempsey Road #01-01 to 06
- Food For Thought Cafe @ 1 Cluny Road #B1-00 (Singapore Botanic Gardens)
- Assembly Coffee @ 26 Evans Road (Evans Lodge)
- Hatched @ 26 Evans Road #01-06 (Evans Lodge)
- Nassim Hill Bakery & Bistro @ 56 Tanglin Road (Tanglin Post Office)
- Spruce @ 320 Tanglin Road (Phoenix Park)
- Relish @ 501 Bukit Timah Road #02-01 (Cluny Court)
- Simply Bread @ 501 Bukit Timah Road #02-01 (Cluny Court) | CF
- Choupinette @ 607 Bukit Timah Road #01-01
- The Missing Pan @ 619D Bukit Timah Road #01/02-01 (Coronation Plaza)
- The Living Cafe @ 779 Bukit Timah Road
- Little Diner @ 789 Bukit Timah Road
- Vicky’s Cakes & The Coffee Shack @ 833 Bukit Timah Road #01-07 (Royaville)
- Simply Bread @ 1 Fifth Avenue #01-03 (Guthrie House) | CF
- Baker & Cook @ 77 Hillcrest Road
- Dutch Colony Coffee Co @ 200 Turf Club Road Stall #67-68 (The Grandstand)
- Riders Cafe @ 51 Fairways Drive (Bukit Timah Saddle Club)
- Marmalade Pantry @ 55 Fairways Drive
Upper Bukit Timah/West
- Lynn’s Cake & Coffee @ 11 Eng Kong Terrace
- Necessary Provisions Cafe @ 21 Eng Kong Terrace
- Carpenter & Cook @ 19 Lorong Kilat #01-06
- Nook DIY House of Pancakes @ 21 Lorong Kilat #01-03
- Spruce @ 274 Upper Bukit Timah Road
- W.39 Bistro @ Jalan Mas Puteh
- Cupplets @ 535 Clementi Road (Ngee Ann Polytechnic Block 16)
- Paris Baguette Cafe @ 50 Jurong Gateway Road #02-20 (JEM)
- Humble Origins @ Kent Ridge Drive (NUS FASS, next to LT12)
- Artease @ 14 Nanyang Drive (NTU School of Humanities)
- The Orange Thimble @ 56 Eng Hoon Street #01-68
- Caffe Pralet @ 17 Eng Hoon Street #01-03/04 (Eng Hoon Mansions)
- Drips Bakery Cafe @ 82 Tiong Poh Road #01-05
- Flock Cafe @ 78 Moh Guan Terrace #01-25
- Forty Hands @ 78 Yong Siak Street #01-12
- Open Door Policy @ 19 Yong Siak Street
- PoTeaTo @ 78 Yong Siak Street
- Tiong Bahru Bakery @ 56 Eng Hoon Street #01-70
- The Dispensary @ 69 Tiong Bahru Road
- The Providore Warehouse @ 315 Outram Road 05-03 (Tan Boon Liat Building)
- Workshop @ 121 Bukit Merah Lane 1 #01-06
- Pan Delights @ 161 Bukit Merah Central, #01-3725
- The Bakery Chef @ 161 Bukit Merah Central #01-3711
- Butterscotch Cafe @ 164 Bukit Merah Central #01-3625
- Artisan Boulangerie @ 1 Kim Seng Promenade #01-23 (Great World City)
Everton Park/Kampong Bahru
- OKB @ 1 Kampong Bahru Rd
- Strangers’ Reunion @ 37 Kampong Bahru Road
- Highlander Coffee @ 49 Kampong Bahru Road
- Just Want Coffee @ 1 Everton Park
- Audacious Cakery @ 2 Everton Park #01-61
- Grin Affair @ 3 Everton Park #01-77A
- The Provision Shop @ 3 Everton Park #01-79
- Nylon Coffee Roasters @ 4 Everton Park #01-40
- Cozy Coffee Corner @ 4 Everton Park #01-50
- Mapleloft Cafe @ 101 Cantonment Road #01-02 (Tanjong Pagar Community Club)
- Oriole Coffee Roasters @ 10 Jiak Chuan Road
- The Reading Room @ 19 Bukit Pasoh Road
- Selfish Gene Cafe @ 40 Craig Road
- The Plain @ 50 Craig Road
- Department of Caffeine @ 15 Duxton Road
- Group Therapy Cafe @ 49 Duxton Road
- Flor Patisserie @ 2 Duxton Hill #01-01
- Bistro Soori @ 2 Teck Lim Road
- Glück Bistro Express @ 26 Teck Lim Road
- Antoniette @ 33 Erskine Road #01-02/03 (Scarlet Hotel)
- The Loft Cafe @ 268A South Bridge Road
- Coffee Tea & Company @ 133 New Bridge Road #B1-44 (Chinatown Point)
- RONIN @ 17 Hong Kong Street
- Cafe Gavroche @ 69 Tras Street
- Kiasu Espresso @ 100 Tras Street #01-03/04 (100 AM)
- Okada Coffee @ 100 Tras Street #03-23 (100 AM)
- Cake Spade @ 1 Tras Link #01-06 (Orchid Hotel)
- SPRMRKT @ 2 McCallum Street
- 6oz Espresso Bar @ 20 McCallum Street #01-K1 (Tokio Marine Centre)
- PS Cafe @ 45 Ann Siang Road #02-02
- Quarter to Three @ 88 Tanjong Pagar Road
- Drury Lane Cafe @ 94 Tanjong Pagar Road
- ReStore Cafe @ 124 Tanjong Pagar Road
- Artease @ 1 Tanjong Pagar Plaza #01-35
- Jamaica Blue @ 1 Raffles Place #01-62 (One Raffles Place Tower 2)
- Club Street Social @ 5 Gemmill Lane
- Shots Cafe @ 90 Club Street
- The Muffinry @ 112 Telok Ayer Street
- Sarnies Cafe @ 136 Telok Ayer Street
- Sophie Bakery @ 167 Telok Ayer Street
- Coffeesmith @ 62 Collyer Quay #02-11
- Jewel Coffee @ 1 Shenton Way #01-07
- 8 Stanley Street @ 8 Stanley Street
- Bar Bar Black Sheep @ 55 Boat Quay
- Artisan Boulangerie @ 12 Marina View #01-02 (Asia Square Tower 2)
- Artease @ 3 Phillip Street #01-01
- The Book Cafe @ 20 Martin Road #01-02 (Seng Kee Building)
- Baker & Cook @ 38A Martin Road #01-01
- Common Man Coffee Roasters @ 22 Martin Road #01-00
- Laurent’s Cafe & Chocolate Bar @ 80 Mohammad Sultan Road #01-11
- Kith Cafe @ 7 Rodyk Street #01-28
- Toby’s Estate @ 8 Rodyk Street #01-03/04
- eM by the River @ 1 Nanson Road #01-05 (The Gallery Hotel)
- Hummerstons @ 11 Unity Street #02-14 (Robertson Walk)
- The Fabulous Baker Boy @ 70 River Valley Road #01-15 (The Foothills)
- Five and Dime @ 297 River Valley Road
- Swirl Art Cafe @ 417 River Valley Road
- Croute @ 491 River Valley Road
- Epicurious Cafe @ 60 Robertson Quay #01-02
- Smitten Cafe @ 60 Robertson Quay #01-11
- Boomarang @ 60 Robertson Quay #01-15
- Anthesis @ 86 Robertson Quay #01-01
- The Merry Men @ 86 Robertson Quay #01-02
- Bar Bar Black Sheep @ 86 Robertson Quay #01-04
- Kith Cafe @ 31 Ocean Way Quayside Isle #01-08 (Sentosa Cove)
- Artisan Boulangerie @ 1 Harbourfront Walk #01-163/164 (Vivo City)
- Prive Bakery Cafe @ 2 Keppel Bay Vista Ground Floor (Keppel Bay Marina)
- The Marshmallow Tree @ 46 Telok Blangah Drive #01-85
- Eco Gourmet Cafe @ 30 Labrador Villa Road
- ROOM @ 460 Alexandra Road #01-18 (Alexandra Retail Centre)
- Wild Honey @ 6 Scotts Road Level 3 (Scotts Square)
- Antoniette @ 390 Orchard Road B1-08/09/10C (Palais Renaissance)
- PS Cafe @ 390 Orchard Road #02-09A (Palais Renaissance)
- Marmalade Pantry @ 2 Orchard Turn #03-22 (ION)
- Paris Baguette Cafe @ 435 Orchard Road #02-48/53 (Wisma Atria)
- Pique Nique @ 391A Orchard Road #B1-01 (Ngee Ann City)
- Marmalade Toast @ #02-11 391 Orchard Road (Ngee Ann City)
- The Providore @ 333A Orchard Road #02-05 (Mandarin Gallery)
- Antoniette @ 333A Orchard Road #02-33/34 (Mandarin Gallery)
- Wild Honey @ 333A Orchard Road #03-02 (Mandarin Gallery)
- Jones the Grocer @ 333A Orchard Road #04-21/23 (Mandarin Gallery)
- Artease @ 8 Grange Road #01-03 (Cathay Cineleisure Orchard)
- Oriole Cafe & Bar @ 96 Somerset Road #01-01 (Pan Pacific Serviced Suites)
- KPO Cafe & Bar @ 1 Killiney Road (Killney Post Office)
- Freshly Baked by Le Bijoux @ 57 Killiney Road
- Artisan Boulangerie @ 118 Killiney Road #01-01
- Myartspace Cafe @ 31 Orchard Road (Istana Park)
- Nana’s Green Tea @ 68 Orchard Road #03-80/81/82 (Plaza Singapura)
- Hoshino Coffee @ 68 Orchard Road #03-84 (Plaza Singapura)
- Createaf Waffles @ 2 Handy Road #01-02 (The Cathay)
- Kith Cafe @ 9 Penang Road #01-01E (Park Mall)
- Wild Rocket at Mount Emily @ 10A Upper Wilkie Road GF (Hangout @ Mount Emily)
City Hall/Bras Basah
- Fine Palate Cafe @ 51 Waterloo Street #01-04/05
- Food For Thought @ 8 Queen Street
- The Basement Cafe @ 80 Stamford Road #B1-62 (Singapore Management University)
- Food For Thought @ 93 Stamford Road #01-04/05 (National Museum)
- Tiong Bahru Bakery @ 252 North Bridge Road #B1-11/12 (Raffles City Shopping Centre)
- Commune Cafe & Bistro @ 9 Raffles Boulevard #02-50 (Millennia Walk)
- Patisserie G @ 9 Raffles Boulevard #01-40 (Millennia Walk)
- Tart Blanc @ 9 Raffles Boulevard #01-102 (Millennia Walk)
- Cups N Canvas @ 139 Selegie Road
- Strictly Pancakes @ 44A Prinsep Street
- Hungry Chimps @ 64A Prinsep Street #02-01
- Lowercase @ 1 McNally Street Block D #01-01
- Temporium @ 72-74 Dunlop Street
- Artichoke Cafe @ 161 Middle Road
- I Am @ 674 North Bridge Road #01-01
- Artistry @ 17 Jalan Pinang
- Espressolab @ 13 Bali Lane
- Maison Ikkoku @ 20 Kandahar Street (Heritage Centre)
- Dong Po Colonial Cafe @ 56 Kandahar Street
- Working Title @ 48 Arab Street
- CAD Cafe @ 23 Haji Lane
- Symmetry @ 9 Jalan Kubor #01-01
- La Marelle Cafe & Boutique @ 25A Baghdad Street
- A for Arbite @ 28 Aliwal Street #01-01 (Aliwal Arts Centre)
- EatPlayLove Cafe @ 28 Aliwal Street #01-07 (Aliwal Arts Centre)
- Tolido’s Espresso Nook @ 462 Crawford Lane
- The Coffee Shot @ 103 Lavender Street
- Butter Studio @ 147 Jalan Besar
- Suprette @ 383 Jalan Besar (Kam Leng Hotel)
- The Tiramisu Hero Cafe @ 121 Tyrwhitt Road
- Chye Seng Huat Hardware Coffee Bar @ 150 Tyrwhitt Road
- Antoinette @ 30 Penhas Road
- The Bravery @ 66 Horne Road
- Windowsill in the Woods @ 78 Horne Road
- L’etoile Cafe @ 160 Owen Road
- Cakes Literally @ 138 Owen Road
- Jewel Cafe and Bar @ 129 Rangoon Road
- The Little Prince Cafe @ 62 Somme Road #01-03
- The Sweet Movement @ 62 Somme Road #01-01
- La Ristrettos @ 10 Sinaran Drive #08-37 (Novena Medical Centre)
- Wheeler’s Yard @ 28 Lorong Ampas
- Little Part 1 Cafe @ 15 Jasmine Road (Adelphi Park Estate)
- Wafflelicious @ 21 Upper Thomson Road
- Little Pancakes @ 200 Upper Thomson Road #01-04 (Thomson Imperial Court)
- Old School Delights @ 215M Upper Thompson Road
- Habitat Coffee @ 233 Upper Thomson Road
- Salted Caramel @ 246 Upper Thomson Road
- OZ Specialty Coffee @ 11 Sin Ming Road #01-13 (Thomson V Two)
- Fluffy White Cloud Dream Cafe @ 11 Sin Ming Road #01-19 (Thomson V Two)
- November 8 Cafe @ 11 Sin Ming Road #01-30 (Thomson V Two)
- Yahava Koffee @ 4 Jalan Gelenggang
- Cremier @ 128 Toa Payoh Lorong 1 #01-835
- GRUB @ 510 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1 (Bishan Park)
- The Cornerstone @ 1380 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1 (Bishan Park)
- Canopy Garden Dining & Bar @ 1382 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1 (Bishan Park)
- Lola’s Cafe @ 5 Simon Road
- Arbite Cafe @ 66A Serangoon Garden Way
- Artease @ 261 Serangoon Central #01-29
- Ciel Patisserie @ 124 Hougang Avenue 1 #01-1444
- Chillax Massage Cafe @ 28 Maju Avenue Level 1
- Ice Edge Cafe @ 2 Kovan Road
- Hatter Street @ 212 Hougang Street 21 #01-333
- Rokeby Cafe @ 15-9 Jalan Riang
- Wimbly Lu @ 15-2 Jalan Riang
- The Coffee Daily @ 75 Brighton Crescent
- Sun Ray Cafe @ 79 Brighton Crescent
- Backstage Cafe @ 158 Kallang Way
- Maple & Market @ 34 Cassia Crescent #01-82
- Loysel’s Toy Cafe @ 66 Kampong Bugis #01-01 (Sam Tat Building)
- Brawn and Brains @ 100 Guillemard Road #01-07 (Singapore Badminton Hall)
- Cafe Melba @ 90 Goodman Road #01-56 (Block N @ Goodman Arts Centre)
- The Humble Loaf @ 865 Mountbatten Road #B1-92 (Katong Shopping Centre)
- Penny University @ 402 East Coast Road
- Oh Deli @ 421 East Coast Road
- British Hainan @ 75 Carpmael Road
- D’Zerts Cafe @ 30 Jalan Pari Burong (Simpang Bedok)
- To-gather Cafe @ 84 Bedok North Street 4 #01-27
- Milk and Honey Gelato @ 86 Bedok North Street 4 #01-179
- Sugarcraft Atelier @ 212 Changi Road
- Rice & Fries @ 484 Changi Road
- Doggiestyle Cafe @ 496 Changi Road
- Lots Gourmet @ 965A Upper Changi Road North
- The Bark Cafe @ 1000 Upper Changi Road North
- The Garden Slug @ 55 Lorong L Telok Kurau #01-59/61 (Bright Centre)
- 1TwentySix @ 902 East Coast Parkway Blk E #01-26 (Playground @ Big Splash)
- Chock Full Of Beans @ 4 Changi Village Road #01-2090
- Eggs & Berries @ 5 Changi Business Park Central 1#01-37/38 (Changi City Point)
- Table Manners @ 5 Changi Business Park Central 1 #01-68/69 (Changi City Point)
- The Coastal Settlement @ 200 Netheravon Road
In my 12 years of learning to be a leader and leading leaders, I’ve found that there are two groups of people who are a joy to be with: those who are enthusiastic learners and those who are easier to teach. Both groups had this in common – a teachable spirit – and that is indeed one of the key considerations when I select potential leaders.
I’ve always believed that a good leader knows how to feed himself, be it through books, mentors, sermons, journalling or in times of solitude. Leaders must see that it is their personal responsibility to learn. My friend, Ps Chua Seng Lee, once told me not to depend on anyone in the organisation for my personal training and development. He said that if I didn’t take charge of my learning pilgrimage, nobody will. I agree with him. After all, one can only be spoon-fed and hand-held for so long.
One of the common “complaints” of a believer, regardless of which church or ministry he belongs to, is that the “sermon is not deep enough” for him. I’ve had peers tell me that when they want to switch to another church. I’ve also had youths tell me that when they want to leave the youth service. Granted, some assert that because they are genuinely seeking something more, but some conveniently say that because they do not realise that the onus of learning is on the student, not the teacher.
In Mark 4:1-20, Jesus made the exception of explaining a parable. He hardly did this so it must have been a lesson he did not want his disciples to miss. He went on to explain the different metaphors used in the parable:
- The seed represents God’s Word. (And I think the farmer represents anyone who’s teaching you the Word of God – it could be a teacher, pastor, preacher, mentor, leader or parent.)
- The footpath represents Christians who are deceived by the Devil and are quickly scattered.
- The shallow soil represents believers who are joyful and enthusiastic at the start but are not rooted in the Word. As a pastor in a pentecostal church, I believe this is especially true of pentecostal believers who seek the experience more than the truth. They say that they “can’t feel God anymore” and soon after begin backsliding.
- The thorns represent Christians who are easily distracted and tempted by the world.
- And the fertile soil (the only positive example) represents what I believe to be teachable Christians who hear God’s Word and accept it into their heart.
With that parable as a backdrop, what then, is your posture in learning from the preacher, your leaders, the cell kits and your daily devotions? Do you approach it with a “Let’s see what he has to say” or with a “Let’s see how I can learn from him” attitude? Choose the latter for it is better! If a person think he already knows, then he can’t be taught; a person who carries an attitude that they already know as much as the teacher won’t receive anything from him. In my short journey of meeting youth leaders around the Asia, I have met some who think they already know all they need to know about the Word or youth ministry – it’s difficult and almost repulsive to converse with these people. I know, because I’m like that sometimes. (:
Truth be told, in my last three years as a youth minister, with the exception of sitting at the feet of outstanding bible teachers and expositors like Ps Benny Ho or Ps Edmund Chan, most of the growth I’ve made were through preparing and listening to sermons, reading books, reflecting during times of solitude (though fewer than desired – sigh!) and walking with the Lord. I grew because I took on the responsibility to learn and then God caused the growth!
I’ve sat into many youth services and to be honest, youth ministry sermon content doesn’t differ too much due to the limitations of preaching to a teenage crowd. So instead of scrutinising theological content when I sit into a youth service (or any other kind of service), what I do is to try to catch the preacher’s heart. You see, you can’t teach a love for the Word, a passion for discipleship, an urgency for evangelism or a desire for mentoring the next generation; these things are more caught than taught. I always remind myself to catch the teacher’s heart more than the stuff in his head.
Here’s what I’ve learnt: if you can’t learn from teachers, you will struggle to learn from God. Some believers have the mentality that since they are able to download directly from God, they won’t require a man to teach them the Word. Of course, there is truth in this (that the Holy Spirit can illuminate truth from the Word), but that alone is inadequate. Think about it, if that was so, then why did God give teachers to the church? In Ephesians 4:11-16, Paul writes that teachers were given to us “for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” (KJV).
Therefore, I believe that there is wisdom in having a teachable spirit. The way a leader receives instruction from teachers gives me a glimpse of his character. His posture as a student eventually determines his destiny as a learner. In sailing, the setting of the sail on a sailboat is also called the “attitude” of the sail. Wind is the irreplaceable yet uncontrollable component in sailing and the same wind visits both good and bad sailors. Depending on the attitude of the sail, wind would cause the sailboat to be steered into different directions. Two believers can receive the same teaching, but have completely different responses and takeaways. At the end of the day, it is the attitude of a teachable spirit that will enable us to travel in the right direction.
7 Anyone who rebukes a mocker will get an insult in return. Anyone who corrects the wicked will get hurt.
8 So don’t bother correcting mockers; they will only hate you. But correct the wise, and they will love you.
9 Instruct the wise, and they will be even wiser. Teach the righteous, and they will learn even more.
10 Fear of the LORD is the foundation of wisdom. Knowledge of the Holy One results in good judgment.
11 Wisdom will multiply your days and add years to your life.
12 If you become wise, you will be the one to benefit. If you scorn wisdom, you will be the one to suffer.
— Proverbs 9:7-12 (NLT)
And in Proverbs 15:10, “Whoever abandons the right path will be severely disciplined; whoever hates correction will die.” That’s pretty extreme! So if you want to be a wise man, have a teachable spirit. If not, the one who eventually loses out is you!
There are four good examples of teachable men in the Bible:
- Moses shows us that a teachable man is a meek man. He was also hungry to learn from and lean on the Lord’s guidance.
- David shows us that a teachable man seeks to to God’s will. He demonstrates in many Psalms that he wants to receive instruction from God because he wants to follow Him.
- Jesus shows us that a teachable man knows the Father is the ultimate teacher. Try accomplishing the immense mission Jesus was tasked to do – no wonder He stayed so close to His father and did only what He saw the Father doing.
- The disciples show us that teachable men are led by the Holy Spirit. They demonstrate how the Holy Spirit not only empowered, but also instructed them in the way they should go. May we be wise, for it is tempting to try doing God’s will in our own wisdom and strength.
In application, being teachable means to:
- Receive instruction from the Word and the Holy Spirit.
- Receive correction from parents, pastors, leaders and mentors.
- Humbly learn from others regardless of age or experience.
- Bring compliments, criticisms and crises before God and godly counsel.
- Review moral standards in: alcoholism, dressing, academia, relationships and worldly vices.
- Be open, honest and humble about your lack of knowledge, skills, and character.
- Desire challenges that will stretch you but help you reach your goals.
- Be willing to let go of your own way of dealing with things and your own ideas to learn and develop new convictions.
- (And this I picked up from my mentor, Ps Edmund Chan,) have the “Double L” plate hung on your front and back, so that those who follow you see a LEADER, and when you look at yourself in the mirror, you always see a LEARNER.
God could use the disciples to such great effect not just because they were faithful and available, but that they were also teachable. Think about it, this was an uneducated and underwhelming motley crew of unknowns who had to depend on the Jesus to teach them everything they needed to know about their newfound faith! If they can and needed to be taught, surely we too should follow suit.
The difference between modern-day and Jesus-day Christians is that the former has two things the latter doesn’t: the Holy Spirit (sent after Jesus ascended to heave) and the complete Bible (written years after the early church was formed). Therefore, let’s ask the Holy Spirit to guide us on how we should conduct ourselves, and how we should approach God’s Word with a willing heart and a teachable spirit. If there’s one thing we ought to determine ourselves to do, it is to remain teachable in all circumstances.
My mentor in Perth, Bro Au Chin Seng, once told me, “No matter how high you climb, there will always be areas you’ll need growth in.” I’ve learnt from him that the day might come when I may no longer have anyone above me in a hierarchical setting, except for God Himself. This is when the greatest test of humility and teachability takes place. He mentioned that the two most poisonous words of a confident, mature and experienced man is, “I Know”. That single-handedly puts people off in correcting me and giving me feedback. He reminded me to always adopt an attitude of learning regardless of how old, wise or mature I am, in any situation, for the moment I stop learning is the moment I stop living.
[Credits: teaching materials adapted from Arlo Moehlenpah and Pierre Eade.]
To find out more, visit www.GDC2013.com.
Mark 3:14 – And Jesus appointed 12 to be with Him, that He might send them forth to preach. This is the key strategy of Jesus Christ for world evangelisation. Intentional disciple-making and a call to a radical new testament discipleship to Jesus as Lord of all.
It has been said, that the world is in trouble and the church is in need. Sure, we have said that the world is in trouble; look at the financial meltdown, global warming, the rise of terrorism. And we look at the church, we say that the church is in need; the church is in need for more manpower, more missionaries, more pastors, more money, more buildings.
But we got it all reversed – the world is in need and the church is in trouble. Superficiality, immaturity and mediocrity has characterised the church. Carnality and compromise has robbed the church of her spiritual power and her spiritual authority to make a difference in this world.
There is a need for us to come back to the ancient paths. There’s a need for us to come back to the Holy Scriptures to understand the call to disciple-making. Today, God is on the move. We are healing a fresh call, heeding it, hearing God’s call from on high – a call to disciple-making, a call to make Jesus Christ Lord of all.
The Global Congress on Discipleship (GDC 2013) is issuing that call. We aim to bring together 10,000 disciple-making leaders and disciples from all over the world, to champion the call to disciple-making, to return the church to her disciple-making roots, to go make a difference. It is my belief that intentional disciple-making is the key to world evangelisation. At the heart of that key is radical discipleship to Jesus.
We’ve brought together good men to come and champion that call; Robert Coleman, on The Master Plan of Evangelism; Ravi Zacharias, to give us his exegesis of culture and the state of the church today; pastors like Randy Pope and Peter Tan-Chi, disciple-making pastors who will champion the call of disciple-making in the local church; leaders like Bill Lawrence and others, giving us a call to lead from the inside-out, to make disciples; and then there are others, like Luis Bush, calling us to come back to discipling the young in the 4/14 movement.
Come and join us, we want to see the move of God as never before because this is the critical need. The church is in serious trouble but God is restoring the church. There is a compelling call, a compelling vision, to go make disciples, revitalise the church so that once again it can make a difference. Once again, there is a transformational power in the life of the church to turn the world the right side up for Jesus.
This is at the heart of the GDC 2013; the Global Congress on Discipleship is not issuing only a call. It is giving a model. It is championing the vision and the strategy necessary to return the church to her disciple-making roots. So whether you’re church pastor, a missionary, a para-church leader, a lay leader, come together and let us champion this call because God is on the move, and you and I are part of history.
So God bless you, we pray that the world would come together and see what God’s strategy is as we join our hearts in GDC – the Global Discipleship Congress in May 22-25 in Manila, Philippines. See you there.
— Rev Edmund Chan
As a youth pastor, I’m all for contemporary worship music from western countries. But every once in a while, you chance upon a powerful song written from the sincere depths of one’s heart; and when you unearth a local gem like this, you know it’ll be a timeless song that you and I will sing for generations to come.
My exhortation to all worship leaders – keep close to God and write songs of breakthrough for your generation.
Make A Certain Breakthrough
By Ps Ann Chan & Ruth Ling
In my life of searching
For the plain and simple way
Many paths were so winding
The roads were never straight
Then the Spirit of God broke through
And healed my broken wings
And showed me the way into His heart
And I know that God is leading
In a clear and certain way
My one life for your purpose, Jesus
I offer up this day
To follow you completely
To do all that you say
Cleanse my life, fill me up
And use me this day
Make a certain breakthrough
Make it today
In these days of danger
Lord, we rest upon Your grace
With Your tender and skillful hands
You shape this stubborn clay
Yes, You calm my inmost being
Giving courage to hope again
And to build this one life
In power and faith
Unity is important because Christianity is not meant to be done alone, but with the your immediate family, your church family and spiritual family of other believers worldwide. I believe this meeting in Luke 1, between a teenager and geriatric, is one of the most important in the Bible and teaches us a lot about unity.
1. Unity requires being humble in spirit (Luke 1:26-38)
With the Messiah in her belly, Mary could have behaved arrogantly and acted like she knew everything, but the she demonstrated her humble spirit in the way she followed the instructions of Gabriel to a T – carefully, diligently and quickly. Her statement of faith was also astounding; she barely knew what she was in for and yet she said to Gabriel, in effect, “Use me anyway you want, even in the lowliest manner because I believe in God!”
Elizabeth, however, who was also miraculously pregnant with one of the most important characters in Jewish history no less, was just as humble in spirit. I think it takes a ton of humility for a reputable old lady like Elizabeth to acknowledge a teenager without any reputation and that the baby in her to be greater than her own.
When we humble ourselves before each other and relate without needing to prove anything, there’s a sense of identity and camaraderie. Talking to each other about what Jesus is doing in our lives builds our faith and deepens our fellowship.
2. Unity requires making things happen (Luke 1:39-41)
Since Mary had no clue what Elizabeth had experienced, she took two steps of faith that day: to believe that she was going to be pregnant without sexual intercourse and that an old woman was six months pregnant. Her steps of faith (pun unintended) to travel around 160km from Nazareth in Galilee to Hebron in Judea shows us her willingness to make things happen. I wondered what she must have pondered over as she made that journey, since she couldn’t confirm that Elizabeth was pregnant until she saw her for herself.
Elizabeth had no idea that she was going to receive a visitor that day, or that the visitor was Mary, or that Mary would be pregnant with the Saviour of the world! So for Elizabeth to greet Mary so spontaneously, she must have received a revelation and acted upon it. With her act of faith, she brought the both revelations to a full circle. She went on, in effect, to repeat what Mary said to Gabriel, “You are blessed because you believed the Lord would do what He said.”
Mary greeted Elizabeth in faith and Elizabeth responded to Mary in faith. Extraordinary revelations require extraordinary faith and obedience, and produces extraordinary results.
3. Unity requires honouring others above yourself (Luke 1:42-45)
Elizabeth congratulated Mary (“God has blessed you above all women, and your child is blessed”), condescended herself before Mary (“Why am I so honoured, that the mother of my Lord should visit me?”), confirmed Mary’s encounter with Gabriel (“When I heard your greeting, the baby in my womb jumped for joy”) and commended Mary (“You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what he said”). All that must have levelled up Mary’s faith!
Elizabeth could say all that Mary because six months ago, she did the same thing in faith. If we do not deserve the favour that God shows us, we shouldn’t envy those the Lord has given more favour. Moreover, those who have personally experienced God’s faithfulness would naturally encourage others to put their faith in God.
4. Unity requires hanging on until it comes to pass (Luke 1:56)
Mary didn’t leave after that encounter but stayed with Elizabeth for three months before she returned home. I think she wasn’t there just to help a relative through the crucial months of pregnancy but perhaps to see through God’s promises surrounding both of them. I’m not sure if she witnessed the birth of John the Baptist but I know she definitely saw enough to know that Elizabeth was ready to go into labour.
Being a part of Elizabeth’s life in the first three months of her own pregnancy must have given her courage when she eventually returned to Nazareth to ready herself for the next six months of a gossip-filled, doubt-inducing, fear-instilling and awe-inspiring pregnancy. She was probably visibly pregnant but she was definitely convinced, comforted and convicted of the miracle that was about to take place through her. Through Mary’s care-giving with Elizabeth, God must have done some faith-strengthening with Mary.
What does unity look like and what stops us?
Unity is when all of us worshipping God with abandon; so don’t worship Him with arrogance, thinking you know better. Unity is when all of us are acting out our faith with obedience; so don’t respond with indifference, waiting for someone else to do what God has called you to do. Unity is when all of us are serving each other with selflessness; so don’t let your ego get in the way, putting your needs first.
I believe that the sole purpose of these two unbelievable pregnancies is found in Luke 1:37. To prove that nothing is impossible with God and that no man should take the credit for a miracle of God. If a virgin like Mary and a geriatric like Elizabeth can give birth, then surely God can bring revival to R-AGE, for nothing will be impossible with God.
It’s a lofty dream but I know one day, by faith, it will come to pass. I believe with all my heart that when revival comes to R-AGE, it won’t be through a large corporate fire, but through the small fires that we fan daily. I believe it with all my heart and I will hang on to it until it comes to pass or until God tells me I won’t see it in my time as a youth pastor.
Here’s an abridged version of the sermon I preached at the final youth service of Grace Retreat 2012.
The story of our faith is unbelievable to a thinking mind and sounds like a fairy tale to non-believers; any argument made would probably be counter-argued. That’s why it is important for us to be filled with the Holy Spirit – so that He’d confirm our message and make the Kingdom come alive. Hence, let us not dilute the power of God through the Holy Spirit!
Authentic Christianity with the power of Spirit is attractive because it makes you want to want it. When God’s power shows up, people would naturally talk about it; and it is more persuasive than cutting-edge creativity or intellectual brilliance. We are limited by our own ability, but one act of the Holy Spirit changes even the most stubborn mind. But it is ironic that we still choose to rely on ourselves.
Always remember that the power we receive when the Holy Spirit comes upon us (Acts 1:8) is mighty, miraculous, supernatural and environmentally-changing. That power was given to us for us not to be witnessing but to be a witness; it’s not what you do, but who you are. Therefore, be convinced that the Spirit is a catalyst for unbelievers to be drawn into the Kingdom.
On a personal note, I don’t want to lead a numerically large, but a spiritually powerless youth group. It is my prayer that R-AGE youths become Spirit-filled disciple-makers. After all, we are called to be a pentecostal Spirit-filled ministry. Let us not mute ourselves to the spiritual realm that the devil is trying to rule, but tap into God’s power that is available to all.
Be warned that the forces of darkness will not cower at our intellect or be intimidated by our creativity, but will shut down when they encounter a disciple who is filled with the Spirit. The best publicity for Jesus is when a Spirit-led demonstration follows a Gospepl proclamation. After all, it just takes one powerful, significant and authentic move of the Spirit to accelerate things to the next level. Aaron Kok (one of my youth leaders) can relate to that, I’m sure. Click here to read his powerful testimony.
In order to be catapulted into a Spirit-led way of life, I’d encourage us all to practise a PDA Lifestyle (I borrowed this concept from my wise mentor, Ps Edmund Chan):
- Personal revival – meeting God daily.
- Divine appointments – seeing doors open.
- Active obedience – responding with faith.
You see, if you dare to do the ridiculous, God will do the impossible. God is looking for young men and women to take spiritual risks, out of obedience to what God is saying. God is looking for (young) people who would potentially change their environments. So, R-AGE youth, would you be the next person God uses to do something extraordinary in your school, work place or home?
I aptly ended with a quote I picked up from AIYS 2012 (where this sermon was birthed at anyway):
For me, living an ordinary life is not an option anymore. — Peter Parker (aka Spiderman)