Sunday, December 23, 2012

My Story 5

In my last post, I mentioned that the Lord was good to give us a son and then a daughter as we asked Him. I remembered holding each child and dedicating them to the Lord that they will grow up to love, serve and follow Him all their days; that they will do more than my generation in ministry. In some ways, I am seeing the fruit of our prayers in my son who is wholehearted in his service to God. My daughter has a compassionate heart and I am looking to see how God will use what He has planted in the coming days.
But more than raising children and being a physical father with its immense joy and sometimes its tribulations, there is no greater joy than to be used by God to bring someone to Him. Greater still that joy when that someone grows and becomes a disciple and then a disciple-maker bringing others to Him and discipling them. This is the joy of spiritual parenting that God has for everyone willing to rise up to His call of discipleship.
I had this privilege to be used by God, especially in my youth, to bring people to Christ - total strangers, classmate and others. More than this, to disciple groups of believers in discipleship and disciple making - this was and still is the best way of living the Christian life.
Though I have lost contact with some of these, because of distance as quite a number are in different countries, I look forward to see all of them in heaven one day. For those that are still in contact, I am glad to see that they are carrying on the legacy of discipling and helping others grow in their faith. One of them is a full-time pastor of a local church. Another left his church together with his pastor to pioneer a church specifically to reach out to disengaged youth. Others are leading cell groups and involved in missions.
But there are setbacks as well. There are those because of unequally-yoked marriages ending in them being unfruitful in their calling. Others have back-slidden because of their love for the world. These are part and parcel of parenting - both physical and spiritual.
If we grieve for our children (physical and spiritual) when they choose to walk in their own ways, how much more our Abba God who loves us SO DEARLY grieves when any of His children do so.
And yet we wait for them to return, just like the Prodigal's father; just like our Heavenly Father. That day will come!
Dear reader, if you have moved away from our Father in Heaven, return to Him for He loves you unconditionally. Return and serve Him for His yoke is easy and His burden is light.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

My Story 4

Knowing God's protection is wonderful. Experiencing His provision, guidance and leading is amazing. 
In my course of my undergraduate studies, I was required to spend a year attached in a relevant industry. But in that year, the world was going through a recession and jobs were few. Amazingly, I had a job attachment with a British computer firm for six months (that was what they could offer). I took it and it was what the Lord planned for that period of time. I had the opportunity to get to know my girlfriend better, who later would become my wife.
After the six months, the Lord led me to spend the remaining half year in a Japanese MNC in Malaysia. It was there that I found lodgings by divine appointment with a pastor and his family. The local church he pastored, also met at his home. It was the Lord who gave me an opportunity to grow in ministry as I led worship and occasionally preached. I grew to learn to speak forth in prophetic utterances and edified this small church even as they loved and encouraged me. Though it was tough to be separated from my girlfriend, it was a time the Lord set aside for me to seek Him above all else.
Upon graduation, my girlfriend, who now has become my fiancee as we had decided to get engaged in UK witnessed by all our Christian friends, and I prayed where the Lord will lead us to work. Again, despite the recession, job scarcity and numerous applications, only one application called me for an interview. The Lord's hand was in it as they offered me the job. An American MNC offered me the job to work for them in Singapore. This meant relocation to Singapore and again being apart from my fiancee. But we knew the Lord had good plans for us.
Coming to work in Singapore meant that I had to start afresh with a new church and a place to stay. Again the Lord led. The church I attended, had kind-hearted people who not only helped in our wedding but we even had a opportunity to stay with a couple for a few months after our marriage as we went house hunting.
The Lord led my wife to a good job with a hotel owned by a Christian family. He led me to move to polytechnic education after three and half years with the American company. He answered our prayer that our first born would be a son. He led us from the east to the west of Singapore and led us back again to the east. And the list goes on......
What I have learnt is that His leading and provision is always perfect in His time. There were times when I fumbled and wanted to hurry or plan and do my own thing. I learnt that it is best to wait on Him and let Him take control.
Dear reader, God's plans are far better than all our own self-made ones. Let Him take control of your life. You will never regret it!

Monday, October 8, 2012

My Story 3

Encountering God through Jesus Christ and being born again as I trust Him led me to being baptised in the Holy Spirit. These wonderful experiences showed me how much God loves each human being He created. 
But we all know we have an enemy that hates everything that God has created. This enemy is all out to steal, kill and destroy all of God's creation primarily His highest creation - mankind.
I personally realised and experienced how much God's protection all of us need and how He has kindly provided angels to care for us. 
Shortly after my conversion and baptism in the Spirit, I went to England for further studies. It was there that I experienced much spiritual growth as I participated in the christian fellowship learning to lead worship and being discipled by older disciples. During the summer vacations, instead of travelling for leisure, I joined various mission organisations for short term missions. With United Beach Missions, I got to travel in various parts of England and Wales to reach the summer vacationers with the gospel. Through Operation Mobilisation, I was able to reach out to various ethnic groups in England and Ireland. It was a great time of learning to live and work with people of many nations all sharing only one common thing - our faith in Christ. With all these experiences, I was willing to go into full-time missionary service. 
All these were not unnoticed by the enemy of our souls. In the fourth and final year of course of study, I was cycling quite often as I was loaned a bicycle so that I could get around quicker. One winter's day about 4 pm in the evening (it was getting dark), I cycled as usual towards my place of residence. It was a road that went downhill so I had to be extra careful that I did not miss my right turn just before the end of the road. I did my normal routine of slowing down and putting my right hand out to signal my intention to turn right. But the next moment I found myself in the A&E room of the general hospital!
It was later that I found out what transpired: a car hit me from behind as I was about to turn. The collision completely squashed the back wheel of the bicycle. The impact made me fall off and left me concussed (it was good that I had my helmet on which was required by law from every cyclist). I woke up in hospital with stitches on my scalp and a minor fracture on my right fibula (which was not detected until a week later!). I spent a night in hospital for observation and was discharged the next day. The following day I walked to my classes (no more bicycle!) but with a limp. The dull pain in my right leg did not clear up for a week so I went back to the hospital for a check. They did an X-ray and found the minor fracture! Fancy that - walking about 2 km everyday with a minor fracture. I came walking into the hospital and left in a car (thanks to a dear friend who had one) with my right leg in a cast!
Looking back, I realised that I could have died in that accident. But all I had was a few stitches and a minor fracture. It was truly a miracle! I believed God sent His angels to protect me that day. When I was hit, I could have been thrown face forward and received more injuries but all I felt was a strange peace and warmness. The enemy lost that day. 
So dear reader, treat each day you are given as a gift for it could be your last. Live it well for the glory of God. Know that we need not be afraid of our enemy for He that is in us is greater than he in the world. Our Father God will protect us and keep us till He comes or calls.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Eternity begins today.

For a disciple of Jesus Christ, eternity begins the day he or she is born again into His Kingdom. Eternal life begins the day they accept and trusts Jesus as their Saviour and Lord. Hence everything they have, everything they do and everything they are, will now be evaluated in the light of eternity. Does it matter from eternity's perspective, if I have or have not? Does it matter if I do or not do?
What matters is doing the will of God for that is what each of us are created for - the general will and the specific will. The general will is to worship Him and glorify Him in what we are and do each day. The specific will is to walk daily in His plan for each of our lives.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Which station will your train be in?

Recently, I came across an old song that I played on my guitar when I was a teenager a long time ago. The song by Len Magee was titled "Which station?". It was a song about where each of us will end up at the end of our lives - the station called Heaven or the other called Hell.
"Life is just the same", the refrain goes, ".. there ain't no 2-way lane." There is only one Way and His Name is Jesus.
May you my dear reader, make the right choice and choose Him today as the Way to the station of Eternal Life. Watch and listen and make that choice today!

Monday, July 23, 2012

My Story 2

I surrendered my life to Jesus Christ as my Saviour and Lord on 26 Oct 1978. A few weeks later after the A level exams, I attended a youth cell group of a church. Among these were some of my schoolmates. We sang some worship songs and went into a time of free worship and praise.  All of us could feel the Lord's presence in the room.

As I bowed my head in worship, my lips started to feel a tingling sensation as if words were trying to be formed and to be released out of my mouth. I started to speak (though it sounded at the time like babbling) a language I could not understand. This continued for at least 10 minutes or so. No one stopped me or questioned what I was saying. Everyone in the room was caught up in worship of the Lord Jesus.

Later that week, I realised through my cell members that what I experienced was termed the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Jesus had sovereignly chosen to baptise me with the Holy Spirit like He promised. This experience has made me desire a deeper and closer walk with God.

The language I had spoken which I did not understand was a spiritual language and the experience is often referred to as "speaking in tongues".

I learnt that as I daily speak in this language, I will edify my spirit man hence making me more sensitive to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. 

Over the years, I have used this spiritual language mainly in personal communion with the Lord but on occasions He has also led me to speak forth in a congregational setting and allowed me to interpret what I said in tongues or what others spoke in tongues for the edification of the church. 

Learning to speak in tongues also help to tune my spirit to God's Spirit so that He could use me to speak forth prophetic words of encouragement and edification in various church settings.

Another benefit of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is the desire to read and act upon God's written word - the Bible. I have read through the Bible many times (even once reading the whole Bible over a 6 month period). The love for God's Word has not abated over the years. 

Dear brethren in the faith, I adjure you to seek this gift of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. You will be so enriched and empowered to walk closer to our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Friday, June 22, 2012

My Story 1

Let me begin my life story... All of us have encountered crossroads in our lives which require us to make decisions that will affect us one way or another.
I was at such a crossroad more than 30 years ago. A few weeks before my 'A' levels, I was very stressed because of the upcoming exams. I knew I had to do well but I also knew that I was not very prepared. I was popular in school and had many CCAs that took my time. One of them that took much of my time was being the chief editor of my school magazine.
Everything on the outside seem OK - "cool, collected me" but inside I knew it was not true. I had no peace. I was distracted in many ways. I could not concentrate.
I had a group of classmates which I knew since Sec 1. One of them, out of the blue, lend me a cassette tape which he said would encourage and help me understand what life is about. I knew he was a Christian and years before, I had read the Bible and knew something about what it meant to be one. Over my adolescent years, I had forgotten most of what I read.
I took the cassette home and listened to it. It was a simple Gospel message by a preacher called TL Osborn who also practiced miracle healing at his rally. Somehow, God spoke to me (not audibly) but to my heart through the message - "Jesus Christ is the answer to all your needs. He, the Son of God, died on the Cross to pay the penalty required for our sins. He rose again and overcame the power of sin and death. When I surrender my life to Jesus and acknowledge Him as my Lord and Saviour, I will have eternal life that starts now."
Incredible claims but somehow it rang true because I have read through much of the world's religions and philosophies - all of them required me to do much in order to gain merit and eternal life. But here in the Christian faith, the simplicity of just praying and trusting the Divine Man who already died for me and now lives to give me life - that night on 26 October, I surrendered my life to Him.
What a change! Peace that surpasses understanding and description flooded my soul. Joy unspeakable despite life's challenges and stress. Love amazing that allowed me to open up myself to others.
Looking back over these decades, I am grateful that God led me to that place of surrender to Him. It was truly a start of a new and meaningful life which will continue for eternity.
How about you, dear reader? Have you entrusted your life to Jesus Christ? You will NEVER regret it.
(In the next blog, I will talk about another wonderful experience of walking with our Creator)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

25 years of educating...

This year marks 25 years of my journey as a Polytechnic educator. Wow!
The Lord has helped me to remain as passionate today about teaching as I was 25 years ago. Some things do change like energy levels but experience gained makes up the difference.
More than training students in engineering and IT skills and knowledge, I hope I have imparted the heart of God to have all come to Him and learn from Him who is wisdom, truth, way and life.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Courageous Fathering

This is the season to step up and make a stand for all who are fatherless. Fathers, take up the mantle of priesthood and offer daily incense of prayer for your family. Take up the mantle of protector knight and stand in the gap invoking God's protection over your family. Take up the mantle of provider king and declare health, freedom and peace over your family. Wives, support your husbands in their fathering. Your enemy is not each other but the evil one who seeks to kill, steal and destroy. Children obey your parents and emulate your father as he emulates God.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Hurriedness - the bane of joyful living

Living a life of hurriedness robs us of our joy. Jesus was never in a hurry for He knew all things are in God's timing and plan. So let us walk patiently, listen carefully and move in step (however slow it may seem) to the Spirit's leading each day.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Loving the unlovely

What if God the Father decided that we are so unlovely or not worthy to be loved that He did not send Jesus His Son to come to earth to save us?
What if Jesus decided that we are so unlovely or not worthy to be loved that He did not come to die for our sins?
What if the Holy Spirit decided that we are so unlovely or not worthy to be loved that He did not come to earth after Jesus' resurrection and ascension, to dwell in us and transform us?
Where would we be?
Yes, we are unworthy BUT YET He came.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Year of Shaking Loose

This year will see much of the world's systems shaken so that what remains should honour God. His Kingdom is advancing in greater measure than before; not by human effort or plans but by His sovereign will. Hallelujah!
How then should we live?
1. Circumspectly with our eyes and ears open to the Spirit.
2. Compassionately with our hearts and lives open to the Body of Christ.
3. Confidently with our mouths declaring the praises of God and confessing His authority and will be done on earth as it is in heaven; completely defeating the enemy of our souls with His Word.