1. REAL 2011 is likely to be my final batch; I must treasure my remaining time with them and be thankful instead of being frustrated or disappointed.
2. I look forward to heading the youth conference this year-end with a team of youth leaders. Things will change – I guarantee revolution, no less.
3. I will never stop believing in young people; if you don’t – that’s your problem – don’t make it mine; I see potential differently from the way you do.
4. While youth ministers must get comfortable with going the extra mile and not receiving any appreciation for it, it doesn’t mean they should get used to it.
5. Which is worse – realising that you are not putting in your best or realising that your best is simply not good enough? Shortchange or sub-standards?
6. So, I am mildly stressed – with the coming mission trip, a potentially life-changing meal and my first evangelistic sermon this Saturday. Lord, how?
7. I’m dichotomous when it comes to friendship – fiercely loyal to those whom I love and have scant regard to those whom I’ve lost respect for.
8. I joined full-time ministry to do pastoral work, not administration; God, I need mercy and patience for incompetency, inadequacy and incompatibility.
9. The antithesis of my life – apathy, superficiality and doubting young people – I don’t want to be associated with these traits or people who possess it.
10. Good is the enemy of great; don’t ever settle, get complacent or think that you’ve arrived – pride goes before a fall. Always a good reminder for all.
I know I’ve lost the momentum to write again – I blame the weekend – but in my daily (my youth leaders call it stalking, but I call it) web-trawling, I read an article written by one of my favourite youths (Okay, I have a lot of favourites. HAHA). I’ve seen this fine young lady mature from a loud and energetic 14-year-old girl to well, a loud and energetic 20-year-old young adult, except that she’s got tons more wisdom between her shoulders now. (:
Her short testimony demonstrates the wisdom that she has gained over the years and proves the power of hindsight at the present – and how it provides insight of the past – and eventually foresight into the future. Today, only two out of the eight post-‘O’ level students in REAL 2011 were posted into their first choice. A part of me is clueless in dispensing advice, except in encouraging them to remain hopeful and trust in God; it has been more than a decade since I received my posting results, so it takes someone who’s current to the education system to encourage these students with conviction and credibility.
I’ve always stated that Jesus > Grades in my sermons or on Facebook; I mean seriously, did you really think that a B or C could stop God’s will from unfolding in your life? Tonight, I’ll reiterate this point – Jesus > Posting; getting into your 2nd or 9th choice isn’t the end of God’s will for you – in fact, it’s PART of God’s will. Why am I so confident? I say this with such conviction because I know you’ll unravel the answers for yourself a couple of years later. The real question to ask is: can/do you trust Him? I can because Jesus > MOE and Jesus > Education.
(For those who are keen, you can read Yixian’s excellent sharing here: I thank God for bad results.)
Remember, young people, God’s faithfulness is best experienced at the END of a journey, never at the beginning; and you just got started! Chins up – you’re walking on good ground! (:
As my ears bleed from a terrible rendition of Nobody But You belted out by the Getai singer and annoying overenthusiastic emcees who try to rouse an apathetic audience, I can’t help but to smile at God’s sense of humour. So what if I’ve gotten everything ready for later – shoes, socks, tag, singlet, watch, shades, bread, banana, isotonic – and I’m ready to sleep at an unheard-of 9pm to wake up 7 hours later to run my second 42km. There was nothing that I could do to prevent a town council dinner from taking place right below my house. I can only chuckle at the unpredictability of life and thank God that He’s in it all.
This December is more intense than the previous years. However, there’s so much to thank God for:
- 15 intense days of school (with accompanying assignments), from 29 Nov – 13 Dec; I thank God for committed group mates and good lecturers.
- 4 days of Rhema conference (where I’m overseeing 7 vastly different services), from 12 – 15 Dec; I thank God for a thoroughly creative experience.
- A sermon to deliver on the weekend of 18-19 Dec; I thank God for many preaching opportunities this year and for my growth in this area.
- A REAL reunion with my beloved REAL champs on 20 Dec; I thank God for this bunch of youths who will always have a special place in my heart.
- A good break in Bintan to look forward to on 21-23 Dec; I thank God that I’m celebrating 3 years of God’s grace with my beloved girlfriend, Huiyi.
- A Christmas celebration at Jadene’s house on 24 Dec; I thank God for a wonderful group of colleagues who have been such blessings in my journey.
- A maiden baptism experience to anticipate on 25 Dec; I thank God for the privilege to baptise the youths whom He has given me to pastor.
- 4 days of REAL lock-in camp (where I’ll take on the role of Commandant), from 27-30 Dec; I thank God for sending me youths to disciple and train.
- 2 days of Leaders’ Retreat (where I’ll share my heartbeat and vision with the R-AGE @ GII Leaders!), from 30-31 Dec; I thank God for new leaders.
- And to conclude the month, I’ll be performing a song during Watchnight Service on 31 Dec; I thank God for 2010 and I look forward to 2011.
- And REAL 2011 begins 3 days later on 3 Jan (thank God I’ve already prepared everything!); before I know it, I’ll be marching on to March already.
For now, I have a marathon to run at 5am and a leaders’ meeting to chair on the same evening; I can’t wait to meet some of my favouritest people in this world! I apologise for the lack of updates and infrequent writing; I wish I had more time to think and write too, for a thought ceases to exist until it has been penned down. Do cover me in your prayers, my friends. I’ll leave you with the back of my running singlet; I hope it spurs you on, my fellow runners in this marathon of life – may we all run to win an eternal prize (1 Corinthians 9:24-25)!