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He who has called me in will keep me in.

I just got home not too long ago from an extremely satisfying meal at Pasta Fresca with LS – I credit him for my singing techniques as well as for spending time to groom me as a singer 13 years ago. It’s amazing how that has laid a strong foundation for me to perform as well as to lead worship. The most important vocal technique I learnt from him – how not to slur in your singing. Thank you, LS, for believing in my potential back then and for continuing to believe in what God has in store for me even ’til today! Details withheld, but I really enjoyed being able to share so honestly and openly and knowing that he fully understood my every sentiment because he was able to identify with it.

Other than that, I thought it’d be important for me to jot down the things that was impressed upon my heart during our internal prayer meeting this morning:

  1. Remember your covenant
  2. Renew your vision
  3. Reaffirm your calling
  4. Reinstate your passion
  5. Realign your will

I serve a faithful God and I know that He who has called me in will keep me in!

I’m heading for PY’s writing seminar early tomorrow morning so I shall keep this account short and sweet. Looking forward to learn from an established author!

too urgent to be important.

I just spent my entire evening putting together the Mary Magdalene sermon for tomorrow youth’s service. I am excited about delivering this one because of the sheer amount of lessons that Miss Magdalene could teach us with her life. While I have work on my mind, I also know that I have been writing daily and I have every intention to keep up the habit. So I shall blog while I take a break from writing the transcript and designing the slides (and I know that doesn’t sound like a break to most of you).

I think that it is especially relevant that I share my thoughts on the commonly debated definitions of importance and urgency. A man needs to realise which jigsaw he is and when he’ll be fitted into God’s masterpiece. If a man understands his role in his God-given life (be it a son, brother, boyfriend, buddy, officer, marketing manager, pastor or whatever), he will be able to derive his sense of vision – and this vision should steer him forward by way of goals and pursuits. Proverbs 29:18 (KJV) cannot be more true, “Where there is no vision, the people perish…”

It is from this vision that a man would be able to assign different levels of importance to his countless pursuits. Now, I think that there are many, too many, important quests in our lives, but once we neglect the important things, they becomes urgent. It stands true for aspirations like daily devotions, conversations with loved ones, consistent studying time, regular exercising, and even saving money; if you abandon any of these items for a long enough time, they automatically become urgent – spiritual dryness, detached relationships, academic straggling, poor fitness and health, and a pathetic bank account, respectively.

Let me give you a classic and relevant example. Fact – I’m a Sanguine and I procrastinate. (Now, I blame it on a lack of inspiration but the purists would rather attribute it to inconsistency.) I’ve known all along that I own this new testament characters sermon series since the beginning of the year and I keep telling myself that there’s REAL, there’s G2, there’s my surgery, etc. to clear before I attack this beast. Well, to put it honestly, I’ve deserted this important task for three months and only commenced work on it last week. So now this has become an urgent assignment (like it’s not obvious enough). There’s still a lot of quality and excellence put into it, don’t be mistaken; I spend on average 20 hours to prepare each sermon. And HY has already warned me against this consecutive burnings of midnight oil, yet it has still transpired. (Negative demonstration here – so learn!)

Now, from roles, we get visions, and from visions, we get goals, and from goals, we get priorities – the key to juggling importance and urgency. Remember, priority is not how much space or how many times it appears in your calendar, but the sequence by which it enters your calendar. If spending time with God is high on your priority list then it should enter your calendar first, and your other activities should be planned around it; the same principle applies to time spent with family and loved ones. So here’s the lesson – prioritise well if you want to perspire lesser.

the heart of gratitude.

A couple of weeks ago, I was dealing with disappointment. In my  journeying with and surrender to God, I’ve learnt that to deal with disappointment, I need to approach it with an attitude of thanksgiving and a realignment of purpose. I’m a highly committed individual synonymous with being passionate; hence I often get disappointed when people do not meet my expectations because I always wear my heart on my sleeve. When I was younger, I used to create a commotion each time this happens. As I mellow with age, I’ve learnt to be wiser in handling disappointment – sharing with the right people and only after settling my emotions with the Lord. PC once shared with me that it’s always easier to see God’s faithfulness at the end of a season; so I’ve learnt to be patient and to trust God for His timing and method.

20th March 2010 marks a significant day for the shepherds in my immediate ministry:

  1. KY commissioned as a 2LT,
  2. MF & MW had a positive cohesion with their CMs,
  3. KJ & BL joined my team of shepherds,
  4. EL & YX recovered from their cough,
  5. CN & JC returned safely from Australia and China respectively and
  6. HY completed her FYP
  7. I’ve removed all 25 dressings

This time, there’s something slightly different about feeling their joy and celebrating their victories with them. I can’t quite put a finger to it, but I’d like to think that it’s because I’ve been praying for them; there’s a sense of satisfaction knowing that maybe I’ve played a minute part in the spiritual shift of things. It’s like what RB shares in Nooma 018 “Open” – tapping into the creative power of God.

20th March 2010 is also a momentous day for my Church – we voted in favour for the redevelopment of G1 (on the condition that the 1.4 plot ratio is approved) and if necessary, would take bank loans to finance this project. I’m confident that the Board and the leadership of the church understands that while it is the hardware that’s being rebuilt, significant time, energy and (financial) resources must be invested into its software. Failure to do so would result in an ultimate inability and incapacity to realise the vision. The last thing we want is to have a spectacular building without the right people trained and enabled to fill the spaces which we have catered expansion for.

I am learning to trust God more and more for His providence and I believe that, in the words of BH, “When there is total submission, there is total protection“. On one hand, I’m delighted that we can finally advance as a Church, on the other hand, I pray that we will understand the sobering responsibilities that now line our way. I believe that if we, as a Church, have missed this point of investing in our people, then there really is no point in physical redevelopment. The leadership must be committed to see through this vision.

Let our hope be in You, Lord, and may You show us Your way – I desire nothing more and nothing less.

the youth ministry you dream about.

During the prayer time before youth service, God directed me to 2 Chronicles 7:14-15 and downloaded an entire sermon into my head. But its contents are gonna be really tough to deliver so I think it’ll remain brewing in my head before it gets served.

VY and I had a good conversation over lunch today. I think having similar mentalities and visions towards ministry do help people to bond quickly. I enjoyed hearing him share and I also enjoyed sharing with him. I do hope there’s more to come from this fusion of hearts.

I crashed YX’s cell today (much to her reluctance and her sad face x 10) and I’d like to think it turned out better than I thought. I also joined the entire cell for dinner at Lot 1 and hung out at the top floor of the compound after we ate. It was there that I asked them to dream about the kind of youth ministry that they wanted to see. Here’s how a group of 14-18-year-olds responded:

“More growth.”

“More enthusiastic.”

“Everyone is discipled.”

“Hang out more, bond more.”

“Every youth knowing one another like one big family.”

Well, these are all great things to have. And I believe that if we all play our part, these dreams would become reality. The above-mentioned does resonate with what’s in my heart. I believe that for R-AGE to head to another level, we need to come to realise that this is OUR ministry and that we have to take ownership of it.

One thing that I really enjoyed about the SOAR youths was that they knew that they would exit the ministry (and Shanghai) once they turn 18 (and leave the country for college). And so a good number of them endeavour to leave behind a legacy. They knew that they were the ones who had to make it work. They knew that if they didn’t own the ministry, no one else would. I pray that this attitude would also be birthed R-AGE. I know a number of youths who already feel that way and I believe that I am strategically positioned to enable and empower more young people to catch this vision. Imagine its life-changing, Bukit Batok-shaking, ministry-revolutionising consequences!

I believe with all my heart that there is nothing more satisfying than witnessing youths leading youths. And what a great privilege it would be for me to help play a part in making vision that come true. I believe that R-AGE is on the threshold of a new dawn. Let’s put our hands into the plough. Everyone has a part to play. The youth ministry in G2 is about to explode. I believe that by faith and I believe that with all my heart. May that be in line with God’s will.

work ethos.

I wrote this in January, when I was still in Shanghai, to govern and direct the way that I will operate in my work arena. It was inspired by the Holy Spirit and has been my guiding post ever since. Call it my vision/mission statement for work. Thought I could share it with everyone.

“A bible-believing Christian who seeks to know God through working excellently and learning earnestly while having a balanced lifestyle for the glory of God.”

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