God spoke

My post-camp entry…

I went for camp with much anticipation to hear from God. And He spoke…

1.   Stewardship aspect: G.S.S. or “God, Save and Spend”…. This will be a habit I will adopt from now. Presently, my money habit has been “God and Spend” and no “Save”. But now, it is time to start saving. Yipee… Can’t wait!

Build a bigger “storehouse” to contain His blessings (finances) when He pours them down. How much blessings I can receive from the Lord is dependent on how big my “storehouse” is, for Him to bless. Enlarge through various creative means such as investment or business.

2.   BGR aspect: Put 100% heart into it and not just doing the form. Its not about the doing but the being.

3.   Discipleship aspect: More deliberation in being discipled and to disciple future leaders within CG and with sheeps.

4.   Personal apsect: Grow intimacy with God through my “pathways”- worship, creation and activism. These are my main ones with a somewhat contemplative streak in me too.

So far since the Melaka camp, I have been trudging along with God in stretching in these aspects and more.

Tough sia…

But He must be more and I must be less.

Deal or No Deal

I won $250,000!!!! That is a quarter of a million!!! Ha ha….

I played it for the first time and won the highest deal. But its only a game, so sad =P

Deal or No Deal…. Play it without your host Adrian Phang here>>>

The real reason behind the reason

“The second reason is economic. When the birth rate drops below replacement, the population ages. With fewer working people to support more retired people, it puts a crushing tax burden on the smaller group of working age people. As a result, young people delay marriage and having a family. Once this trend starts, the downward spiral only gets worse. These countries have abandoned all the traditions they formerly held in regards to having families and raising children.

The U.S. birth rate is 2.0, just below replacement. We have an increase in population because of immigration. When broken down by ethnicity, the Anglo birth rate is 1.6 (same as France) while the Hispanic birth rate is 2.7. In the U.S., the baby boomers are starting to retire in massive numbers. This will push the “elder dependency” ratio from 19 to 38 over the next 10-15 years. This is not as bad as Europe, but still represents the same kind of trend.

Western civilization seems to have forgotten what every primitive society understands; you need kids to have a healthy society. Children are huge consumers. Then they grow up to become taxpayers. That’s how a society works, but the post-modern secular state seems to have forgotten that. If U.S. birth rates of the past 20-30 years had been the same as post-World War II, there would be no Social Security or Medicare problems.”

Excerpt from an article- A Global Intelligence Briefing for CEOs by Herbert Meyer

Just a few days ago, CNA reported the impending change in the CPF policy to permit Singaporeans to withdraw their CPF minimum of $100K only when they have reached the age of 65. This is another increase from 62 with the original permitted age being 55.

Read full story here>>>

Mr Lim Swee Say was quoted in the report saying:

“25 years ago our life expectancy was less than 70 years old. Today, 25 years later, our life expectancy is about 80 years old. I’m very sure that 25 years from now, our life expectancy could be 85 or 90 years old. So we have to ask these very tough questions… will Singaporeans have enough savings and earnings to see him or her through this longer life span? If the answer is yes, then none of us need to worry, but I don’t think the answer is yes.”

Personally, Mr Lim’s statement gives the impression that the gahmen is doing us a favour by extending the age policy in order we can save enough for our lives. But since when has it been the gahmen’s priority to be concern if we are saving enough for our lives? 

And to be honest, Mr Lim’s reasoning in favour of the impending policy change isn’t all that convincing:

“If you continue to have an income, you can defer drawing your CPF by another two to four years. This way, by the time you really stop working, there will be more money in your CPF. You can also earn interest in your CPF account.”

Duh….

If we relate our situation with Herbert Meyer’s theory from the excerpt, then the rational behind this impending policy change could be due to the lack of babies that Singaporeans are producing. More Singaporeans equal more taxes. So in order to ease the tax burden on the younger age people which might be us or our children, the retirement age is extended.

As the US are navigating their way through a social security crisis with their baby boomers and 401K , I believe our gahmen are watching them closely and taking steps to avoid a similar plight. Hence, this highlights the gahmen’s changed of stance in 2004 to encourage more babies in Singapore. 

Read related article here>>>

I wonder what would the response be from the Singapore baby boomers if they knew the real reason behind the reason?

Two down and one more to go

Two days ago was my youngest brother’s big day. Now that two has walked down the aisle, there’s only one more left- ME! =p

This was a huge family coming together and more bigger than the first (with my younger brother). I guess that as a family we had learnt from the first experience and this time round had it better planned and managed.

For a positive change, not only was my mum much more involved in this wedding, even I was roped in to contribute. I produced their photo montage and played host/emcee for the wedding dinner. This wedding somehow got the family together. Thank God!

Apart from the sabo-ing my brother as emcee and catching up with my relatives, my personal highlight of the event has to be God.

God made His presence known when He led me to give thanks or grace for dinner before everyone. There were approximately 18 tables in total.

Initially, I was contemplating against it for respect to the muslims and non-believers who were presented. But I reckoned that there wouldn’t be much harm since in Singapore, there is a high level of tolerence towards other’s religious belief. So with faith, I gave thanks (with my brother’s approval) but tactfully saying, “On behalf of the bride and bridegroom, I would like to give thanks or say grace for the food.”

And so I did, “in Jesus’ Name.”

Phew… though thankfully no one walked out offended, but more importantly God was glorified. 

I sincerely believe that the prayer part was something unexpected in a normal wedding dinner programme for those presented. And I want to believe that somehow it left an impression in their minds and God in their hearts.

Plugging in

Lately, I’ve sensed deeply a lack of capacity in ministering and leading others towards God. Like got no power like dat…

Siao liao…

I concluded that my present situation was God attempting in taking me to the next level with Him. However it seems I am still operating in the same mode. Hence the “inadequecy” It is similar in how it is incompatible to run a Windows Vista system on a Pentium II computer. The hardware just doesn’t have the capacity to contain and run such a robust upgraded system.

Likewise, God is unable to pour more of His power and love in my current mode. I need to stretch the “wineskins” within me to hold more of Him as responsibilities and obligations mount up.

That is why though sick at home yesterday, I was rather thankful for the time to rest. Besides sleeping more, I was blessed with some “contemplative pathway” moments with God. Ha ha…

I have learnt over these few years that our public lives should never take precedence over our private lives.

This is the “inside-out” approach where I know I have to constantly plug-in into His word and presence to draw ‘nutrients’ to strengthen my inner man to withstand and shine thru the daily demands of this world. (Psalm 1:1-3)

Looks like more time of deep plugging in for me.

Increasing capacity thru prayers

“As you develop patience in waiting, you develop capacity. You can cope with things. Patience is capacity. Your capacity in life will determine how much you can cope with”

Dr Phil Pringle