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
38 chapters and over 18,000 words later, I find myself smiling at what I have accomplished. This is a personal achievement really, as an author and as Huiyi’s fiance. There was no way I would have completed this if I wasn’t in love with someone who was worth the effort and pursuit.
The thing about Huiyi is how she, by being who she is innately is – a simple and private lady – has turned me from a fickle-minded man with commitment phobia into a man who desires to love her not out of convenience but out of commitment.
Funnily enough, not once did I ever feel the need to please or satisfy her. It was natural for me to want to do it. And I guess you could say this is one of the few and rare instances where a want is so much more desirous than a need.
Like many other couples, “P.S. I Love You” is one of our favourite films because of the concept of the film and the thoughtfulness of the male protagonist (more like the mother of the female protagonist if you watched the film).
It is also from this movie that we have come to embrace “I love you ‘til the end” as the motto for our relationship. It’s such a big part of our lives that we are considering naming our daughter Ilytte, if the Lord wills it, of course. (By the way, if we ever have two daughters, the younger girl might just be called Mizpah.)
August 2011 would be the 45th month of our courtship and by God’s grace, in another 12 months we would be pronounced husband and wife.
We have argued countless times and we have experienced numerous cold wars – I think that’s all part and parcel of every growing couple. And it’s all about getting to know each other better everyday.
Many couples will identify with this – there are still new things that we discover about each other daily, that are as repulsive as they are ravishing, and we are honest enough to admit it. But love isn’t about rejecting what’s nasty and choosing what’s nice.
Love isn’t just commemorative or occasional and it is neither an annual nor a monthly affair. No, love is about embracing and liberating; love is about using the yesterday’s pain today to heighten tomorrow’s pleasures.
So yes, we believe that love is everyday. And everyday we must choose to love each other more than yesterday and less than tomorrow. Love is both a verb and a choice, and we must choose to make love an action.
It is my desire that one day, you will come to know in your heart that my Saviour, Jesus Christ, has loved and you and I to the point of death. He is the one that has truly loved ‘til the end.
And so, He remains our inspiration and motivation for wanting to love each other ‘til the end.
Our prayer for every person who reads what I have written is that down the road of life, they will find someone whom they can love every single day, and ‘til the very end.
Why? Because that’s how my God loves me. And that’s how I hope to love Huiyi, by God’s grace, as Christ loves His church, ‘til the very end.
Huiyi and I can’t wait for 12th August 2012 – the first day of the rest of our lives together. We hope to see you at our wedding!
God always knows what’s best for us.
Remember how I complained about Him sending the rain instead of the sunset?
The rain, incidentally, became the x-factor of my proposal; the heavy rain singlehandedly transformed the proposal into something so special and romantic; the relentless shower provided the platform for me to exhibit my knight-in-shining-armour heroics; the harsh weather conditions allowed Huiyi and I to share those intimate moments under the orange umbrella.
Truly, it was God’s raindrops that set this proposal apart from the rest.
And no amount of human planning could make this proposal as special as it turned out to be. I asked God for a daily recurring sunset but He decided to bless me with a once-in-a-lifetime thunderstorm instead. I am confident most people who have viewed the video would agree that it was the rain that produced the goose-bumps!
“Even though we were hoping for a sunset proposal, the rain made the proposal so unique and sweet. Whenever I hold my umbrella in the rain, it means something to me.” I think Huiyi summed it up perfectly on her blog. (Click here to read her closing thoughts on being engaged to me.)
Next chapter: epilogue – I love you ‘til the end.
I seriously wanted to throw the umbrella away and just walk in the rain without a broken umbrella. At least there won’t be obscene flowery patterns mocking me every step I take. But my laptop bag was getting increasingly soaked, so I had no choice but to carry that token of shame for the sake of sheltering my equipment.
Mind you, it wasn’t a short walk. According to Google Maps, I actually walked nearly 1.8 kilometres from the guardhouse to my destination in KBM. I had to pass by a crowded bus stop during peak hour, cross Keppel Bay Bridge where I was completely exposed to the harsh weather, passing cars, foreign workers, high-end restaurants, a jetty filled with expensive yachts and a prestigious clubhouse with businessmen and women.
You have no idea how many times I repeated out loud, “Mind over matter – since I don’t mind, it doesn’t matter”. I had to hunt for every last ounce of lightheartedness and humour to infiltrate every fibre of my being. I think God’s comedic timing is second to none.
Best of all, when I finally arrived at the proposal spot, drenched in a mixture of sweat, rainwater and utter embarrassment, I saw no sunset because of the torrential downpour! But I think God placed an angel there to comfort me.
There was one man in the hut that I took shelter in. He was the only one there. And this stranger was fishing. FISHING – seriously – of all times and places – FISHING. I asked if he would be kind enough to help me watch my belongings while I explored the surroundings. Unlike the other Chinese man, this Chinese man readily agreed. I felt a complete sense of security (no pun intended!) as I left my Incase bag with him and moved to the pier at the end of KBM.
At least there’s some light at the end of the tunnel… This was indeed a walk to remember.
Next chapter: the sunset on his screen.
1. Give them a vision. And see their commitment in action. I think young people are not afraid to work hard; they are only afraid of a lack of vision.
2. Believe in them wholeheartedly. This never, ever gets old. Being patient with and watching them blossom is one of life’s most beautiful scenes.
3. Challenge them to follow Jesus. One of the best ways to fire up a youth group is to see young people make first-time decisions for Jesus.
4. Remind them to evangelise. R-AGE, we must remember that eGig is not for entertainment and iGig is not for interest; heck, it’s not even for us.
5. Give them a platform to perform. The unpredictability of young people never fail to surprise and impress me. And of course, make me ROTFL.
6. Let them express themselves. Their creativity and spontaneity always reminds me to trust them, that one day, they will eventually get it right.
7. Watch them worship God; they will inspire you. Stella’s deeply emotive performance tonight was BY FAR the best dance performance I’ve ever witnessed.
8. Create memories for them, for it galvanises the ministry; pictured above is the first combined R-AGE photograph since GI and GII became autonomous.
9. Intercede on their behalf. The highlight of my day was gathering with a few of my key leaders to pray and cry for one of our hurting leaders.
10. Thank God for them. It is my joy, pride, privilege and honour to be a part of R-AGE, and my awesome responsibility to lead and pastor them.
This morning, I was powerless to prevent the bus from taking off without me.
Normally, I would leave home when SBS iris tells me that my bus was going to depart in 5 minutes. I did likewise today but forgot to compensate for my temporal geriatric movements. One of life’s depressing sights is to catch sight of your bus only to see it leaving the berth. Unlike other mornings, there was no way I could have chased after the bus if I hobbled like Jacob.
The Holy Spirit brought to mind a song which Jeanie led during the leaders’ retreat last August. I vividly remember it for it was my first time hearing the song and I had to quickly grasp it before strumming it out on the guitar for the worship leader. Today, only two lines flashed in my head.
Are you tired of chasing pretty rainbows…
… Give them all, give them all, give them all to Jesus.
I smiled and thanked the Spirit for such a timely reminder. So many times, we get so uptight and insecure when we miss opportunities; have we forgotten that our good God who bestowed this opportunity for us has the magnanimity to provide another? Do we sometimes trust our instincts more than we trust the One who gave us these instincts? Shall we then move away from looking at what we know and fix our eyes instead on Who we know?
Are you chasing grades in school?
Are you chasing promotion at work?
Are you chasing legacies in church?
Are you chasing favour amongst colleagues?
Are you chasing popularity amongst friends?
Are you chasing acceptance amongst family and loved one?
Are you chasing after… yourself…?
I think then, the only remedy to prevent chase exhaustion is to simply surrender. “Give them all” are three basic but profound words. A verb, a noun and an adjective (or pronoun, depending on how you perceive it). When you give them all to Jesus, I’m convinced that God will add to you according to His will. No wonder Jesus said in Matthew 6:33, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
It is my prayer that the next time you miss an opportunity, the Spirit would overwhelm you with peace and help you remember that, in His perfect timing, another one is just ’round the corner; and perhaps, the latter one might just be better. Unsurprisingly, I hopped onto the next bus 10 minutes later and while I arrived at the office slightly later, I still reached my destination.
In the past few weeks, I’ve already clocked 5km, 10km and 15km in the build-up to my second full marathon. I’m supposed to clock 20km next Monday but there’s a part of me (read: knees) that feels it isn’t really a good idea and that I ought to just stop at the 15km mark. Although it’s been physically demanding, I’ve enjoyed getting myself into shape and just sweating it out.
When I was younger (and a lot fitter), I used to speak in tongues, worship and pray during my runs (and I must say I went at a much faster pace!). But these days, I have to focus all the remnants of energy on catching my breath! I do look forward to communicating with God this way again once my physical stamina improves. For those of you live in the Ghim Moh/Holland Road vicinity, you can consider embarking on these running routes which I have created.
5.3km – 31m 37s.
10.4km – 57m 59s.
15.1km – 1h 36m 20s.
Scheduled for 15 Nov.
Scheduled for 22 Nov.
Now, no one in the right frame of mind and wrong frame of fitness will sign up for a marathon; I have no idea what possessed me when I registered for it this year. So, in my attempt at self-consolation, here are ten reasons why I’ve bordered on insanity, again.
Before the marathon
1. Forces me to exercise regularly so that I don’t collapse during the marathon; this should make me more disciplined and of course, fitter!
2. Bonding together with fellow runners who’ve also signed up for the marathon; this hasn’t happened yet, but I’m pretty sure it will.
3. Makes me watch my dietary habits; I’ve eaten too much (rubbish) and it has really perpetuated ill-health.
During the marathon
4. I can’t wait to design a runner’s tag that will bring glory to Jesus!
5. I can’t wait to run with this tag that will bring glory to Jesus!
6. I can’t wait to encourage others who are also running to bring glory to Jesus!
7. I really enjoy the camaraderie in running in cadence and to motivate and be motivated by fellow runners.
After the marathon
8. Bragging rights! I’m going to wear the finisher shirt with so much pride; I think it’ll be an achievement to have run two marathons!
9. Storing stories for my grandchildren – “Do you know Gong-Gong ran two marathons before?” – and watch their completely unconvinced facial expression as they try to reconcile it with the sight of my big belly.
10. Motivation (and madness) to sign up (again) for the 2012 marathon at a discounted price!
Well, regardless of whether you’ve signed up or not, I’d be delighted to have you join me for a run whenever our schedules are able to coincide. Holler then!