Monday, April 21, 2008

Bluntly Speaking 5

Modern Disease: The Myopic Lifestyle

After the examinations, phewww....Glad it's over right? Then you have plans for a wonderful vacation - doing things which you really wanted, travel to exotic locales, chill out and all.

So what's next?

"What do you mean 'What's next?'?", you exclaim. You might think that having all those holiday programmes means that you have it all. You're not entirely right.

The problem or issue I realise is that we can't really see far in our lives. Yes, we have big dreams and colossal ambitions, but if you examine the concrete plans (as a form of EVIDENCE), in order to get those dreams and ambitions going, you'll see a sad picture.

So, effectively, it's mainly much talk, much imagination, much brainstorming, but little action.

We have to ask ourselves what are we really gaining from the plans we make. Are we really placing people or places into transformation? Are we really making a difference? Is there any lasting significance in all these?

Or are we merely going through the motions? Following the crowd, doing stuff because it's popular or cool? Or indulging in stuff, just to unwind?

What are we doing with our lives?

Here's some stuff every Christian should know:
- He's saved in the mighty name of Jesus
- He's made for a purpose
- He has unlimited power and potential with God's backing

Of course, you know these things. But where's the EVIDENCE of a purpose-filled life in you? Where's the FRUIT of the things you are doing?

I'm sick and tired of hearing people, JUST getting involved in these, during the holidays:
- food
- slacking
- games
- movies
- parties
- clubbing
- shopping
- generating cash

There's nothing wrong in doing the stuff listed above. But it's gonna be effectively fruitless if we JUST do that.

There must be more than these...

On top of the above-listed items, we are made for:
- fruitfulness
- abundance
- spiritual warfare
- being a significant blessing to others
- being different from the world
- setting Godly standards and benchmarks
- bringing forth breakthrough and revivals in areas of strongholds and strangleholds
- eternity
- bringing heaven unto earth

If you want a holiday you will never forget, try a combination of these...

- playing church and cell
- indulging in the things of this world
- pleasing man
- watering down the truth of God's Word
- wallowing in depression
- squirming in complaining, negativity
- taking things for granted

- praying and fasting intentionally (without waiting for formal/organised ones)
- seeking God earnestly
- pleasing God
- asking God for greater hunger and thirst for Him
- repenting and turning away from all your sins/unrighteousness
- comparing yourself to God's standards, and not to fellow man
- giving thanks FOR all positive/good things, IN whatever bad/difficult circumstances

Yeah...going "Wow....oh, I see..." is not good enough. Go do it, and keep doing it, until you see a difference.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Letter Exchange

Dear Christians,

Your examination's already begun. You need to work hard for your grades - you know it. For that dream job, that future paycheck. You know times are going to be challenging in the years to come. No one knows what the market / economy will be like when you graduate.

So what are you going to do about it?

You ought to sweat it out in your studies. It's gonna be a dog-eat-dog world out there, so you better be prepared. Only the fittest survive. And that means you shouldn't be wasting any time which does not contribute to academic achievement.

And what about this Friday outreach event?

You must be nuts. As we said earlier, you better be mugging and studying hard. You've got your modular credits to clear. If you sacrifice on your study time, it's gonna affect your exams, then your grades, then your resume, then your career. You see how the dots join?

What if you can't prepare for your papers in time? Who are you going to blame, your God? Or the people you're inviting for your so-called, "outreach"?

I know you're smart and analytical beings. So just weight the pro's and con's and place things in perspective. You know about opportunity costs, right?

So's time for you to head back to the books cos one moment you pause means another chance for the other person to overtake you.


The World


Dear World,

We thank you for your honest opinions and ideas about our plans for our Friday outreach event. Yes, we do know that our studies are important - in fact, we are to be good stewards of our time in school, our intellect and our academic achievements - all of them to serve to glorify God.

But studies aren't everything. As believers of God, our academia is only a facet of our lives and even if we stumble and fall in our school work, that will never jeopardise or compromise God's plans and purposes for our lives.

Regarding the coming outreach event, we're doing it not because we have TOO much time or because we see our studies with inferior importance. We are doing it because we love our Chinese exchange studies as much as God loves us. And the marvel and truth of God's love is too great for us to contain ourselves that we need to share it with others as well.

Even it means sacrificing on some study time, we have faith that God will still meet our needs and will see us through the examinations. God is supernatural. He can multiply richly even the smallest of all human inputs in any situation.

We may be squeezed and taxed for time in this exam season, but that doesn't mean we don't trust God to move and work sovereignly in our lives. In fact, we are strongly praying and asking that His presence will be so real, strong and tangible on that day that our invited guests will feel His immense love for them.

Everyone's invited - even you folks - because Jesus died for EVERYONE - including you and me. So, if you're able, you can set aside some time out from your studies and come visit us. Details will be sent to you shortly.

Lastly, remember that God loves you always!

God bless!


Lovers of God
Sons and daughters of the Most High
NTU Cell

Saturday, April 12, 2008


The upside about being clique-ky (okay...i shall just call it 'clicky') is that the bonds forged within the group are reinforced each time round. Members within the clique will soon feel comfortable to be themselves - to share their heart-felt concerns, to give and receive honest feedback, to poke fun of others, to gossip (muahaa), etc.

This clique then becomes a very powerful entity in the larger community. Mobilise the clique and things will be effectively and efficiently done.

What I'm concerned with is that being too attached to a particular clique can have certain social drawbacks in some scenarios.

I've seen them at play in school and in church.

Lemme give an example.

A particular cell member of mine invited my cell over to her church's party - chill-out style, with live band performances and snacks all over the house. We went and we enjoyed ourselves, surely.

But as I was walking away from that place after saying the "good-byes" and such, I quickly went through what we did socially, and realised that it could have been better.

Honestly speaking, if not for the live bands and the outgoing MC, the atmosphere would have been much stiffer and less conducive for interaction.

But even with the background music playing, people (like myself, some of us and some others from other invited churches) still decided to stay within our cliques. Nothing wrong with that. But it could have been better.

I guess I'm in no position to pass judgement, but nevertheless, I'll criticise in manners as constructive and loving as possible.

(I struggle in this area too.) I personally feel that interacting with others will improve our interpersonal and social skills. It will open us up to a wealth of knowledge, expertise, advice, insights, etc. Like what they said, the world's not your oyster.

But somehow, it could be that we're hindered by the fear of rejection (if they aren't receptive), fear of humiliation (if we stumble and touch the wrong topics) or fear of the unknown (what if he's a brainy rocket scientist who loves eating cod with nickel chopsticks?).

So, the quick solution? Stay within the clique? If others are seen as predators, the clique will be the massive herd - cos there's power in numbers. The clique then becomes your security blanket...very nice and cosy in there, huh?

But what about the newcomers? (now thinking as a cell leader). How about them? What if they are left unattended and un-talked to at a corner?

That's when we have to break out of our comfort zones to mingle with the new people. That's what hospitality is about. If ushers and waiters only cared about herding themselves together and not being spontaneous to respond to a customer's approach, then they would have missed the point.

So let's do our BEST, in being proactive to see the value in meeting new people from all walks of life. To see things from a different lens. To gain another opinion or a different insight. And what more, you are then presented with wonderful opportunities to share God's love with them. Not too bad, huh?