Unlike man, God never changes

The game of soccer is more than just about 22 players chasing after one ball. There is just so much dynamism in this universal game.

Personally I follow the soccer news alot, and it is not just about being updated with Man United or knowing the latest scoreline or transfer. There are alot of things that can be learnt (even if you are not a soccer fan) from this game just by observing the happenings that surround this game.

One can learn about leadership, management, marketing, public relations, team dynamics, HR issues and life itself whether you’re observing a player’s lifestyle or a club’s standing and progress.  

The popularity of Beckham 

Take the recent example of Real Madrid’s intentions of retaining David Beckham. Some few months ago, Real Madrid couldn’t wait to ship him off and he was not even chosen on the first team squad. It didn’t help further that the club’s form was in a dip. Naturally, a scapegoat was needed to take the rap and David Beckham was the one.

Now fast forwarding to the present, Real Madrid is one win away from clinching the Prima Liga Championship. It seems they have sung a different tune and have heaped praises upon praises of David Beckham’s contributions to the club. Real’s president Ramon Calderon express his intent to prize him back from LA Galaxy but was rejected. 

Read full story here>>>

Lessons to be learnt

What we can learn from this observation?

1. Humans are fickle-minded– They can like you one day and hate you the next. So as an individual, don’t take criticism personally. People changes with the mood, circumstance and with the winds of trends. More importantly is what God thinks of you as His love is constant (never changes) and never fickled.

2. Expect the blaming game to begin in crisis- It is naturally to expect fingers to be pointed at parties whom one thinks have contributed to his/her downfall or bad plight. When every things is good, everyone is happy. But when crisis happens, that’s when the true feelings, thoughts and character is exposed. So expect this sort of behaviour from people if/when they blame you in a crisis.

“Why you like that?!”

“How come you never do this/that?!”

Again, do not take it personally as it is the carnal nature. If you know in your heart and with God you have kept to His truth and spirit, stand firm. God will clear His name.

In my own thoughts

I think over the years through my personal observations and experiences, I am amazed how God can love us unfailingly and unconditionallly even when we are incorrigible and hopeless in being good and not acknowledging Him. (c.f. John 1:10-11)

Right from the beginning from Genesis, Exodus, Judges, the Fall of Jerusalem and to our present age, mankind has been consistently defiant and stiff-necked with God. But God has remain FAITHFUL to His covenant till now. Wow…!

This truth about God and His love for me over-rides my judgemental spirit towards people and helps me keep on loving people as He loves me.

If He never gave up on me, how can I give up on others?

If He never condemned me, how then can I condemn others?

In God, there is hope for any one and every one through the ressurection power of Jesus Christ!

I have moved

Finally after more than 25 years at Blk 438 as my home, I have moved.

Now presenting my new home- Clementi Heights!

Ha ha… Macham condo name, but actually HDB… =P

Just to avoid any misunderstanding, I’m moving cos of my old home kena en-bloc by the gahmen, and not cos I got married hor… Hee hee…

 

That’s my view from my room. It’s so near the Clementi swimming complex that one day I might even consider diving into the pool from my window.

Ha ha… Just kidding!

Living in fullness in Christ

“Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything.

I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.”

Philippians 4:11-13 (NLT)

Disturbing proclaimation

In 1982 , when I returned to Sweden from America, where I had been attending Bible School, the first thing the devil told me was, “You can preach faith and healing here but not finances because people will think you are Americanized, so don’t say anything about money!”

Just as I was about to except this thought, I recognized where it came from. The Lord then spoke to me and said, “You need to preach prosperity in Sweden more than anything else.”

……….We, on the other hand, will continue to teach about financial prosperity as we become increasingly dependent on “El-Shaddai.”

~ Excerpt taken from article titled God’s Character- Riches and Abundance by Rev. Dr. Ulf Ekman

The read

I read Harvest Times, a quarterly publication by City Harvest Church recently which presented the article by Rev. Dr. Ulf Ekman. In my personal opinion, it was quite disturbing.

I do not know if the article written represented accurately the totality of the author’s doctrine or beliefs in God, but if it is, then it is worrying what people are receiving from him under his leadership.

With a glance, the article looks very sound and biblical with quoted scriptures to support some of his points about God’s views and character towards being rich. However, in my personal opinion, there is something not right beneath those persuasive words.

My personal viewpoint

In my viewpoint and own understanding about God and His word, God’s ultimate directive has always been to preach SALVATION for the souls of man thru’ Jesus Christ and not prosperity. Even Jesus during His active ministry days didn’t preach a tinge on the subject of financial prosperity.

As recorded in the Gospels, Jesus went from town to town telling people to repent from their sins and live a godly life and nothing about a prosperous life. In fact, there was an instance where He even told a rich young man to give up all the riches He had if he truly wanted to follow Him. So this scenario refutes the claim that God wants us to be rich and in abundance materially because it is His character. God’s main aim is for us to be rich and abundant in Him- full of His love, compassion and holiness (c.f. Matthew 19:16-23).

Nevertheless, I do believe strongly that God wants to bless us in richness and abundance which may include worldy wealth, but it will and does NOT supercede the richness and abundance that springs from our salvation; our relationship with God. We are never complete without God in our lives. With Him, we are spiritually rich with abundance of His blessings walking closely with Him.

Being fully rich in Him

Lastly, Jesus did say in the Gospels that “the poor you will always have with you…..” (c.f. Mark 14:7) so that means not everyone will be rich in this world we live now. It is a fallen world. Then how can we be on a sole mission to preach and pray against financial proverty?

I reckon that the most we can do is educate people on financial management in the light of being a faithful and productive steward. As Christ-followers, we need to grow holistically with our financial intelligence being one of those aspects. 

As illustrated with the parable of the talents, some will have plenty and some will have little (c.f. Matthew 25:14-29). Hence whether we are have plenty or we have little, we need to be content and thankful to God.  Subsequently, fully utilising what we have (plenty or little) with the expansion of God’s Kingdom in mind.

Knowing God in His fullness

We need to know God with His Word as the fundamental basis and framework where we draw our understanding about Him. And it needs to be complete, balanced and in depth.

I just pray that those who receives his message of prosperity would not follow God only because of the strong allure of wanting to be rich financially. But to worship God for who He is as our merciful and loving Abba Father who forgave our sins by laying His life selflessly, and to do His will in preaching the Good News of salvation.

Note: Views are shared on a personal capacity and not targeted at the character of Rev. Dr. Ulf Ekman but the message. Corrections on my views are gratefully welcome.

An unexpected visit

I had an unexpected visit by an ex-colleague and friend who joined me for Sunday service last Sunday.

See if you can identify the person beside me…. 

I guess not… =P

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He is Mr Andrew Kuan.

He was a Presidential candidiate in August 2005 who was controversaly disqualified as a contender. That resulted with our present Mr Nathan sitting in for a 2nd term as our nation’s President.

Read more here>>>

Some pondering points…

How do you handle success in general?

I learnt this from my previous spiritual mentor. When success comes, enjoy it. Bask in it just enough before it gets to your head, then let go and give it back to God.

Are you ever tempted to glory in them as if it came from you rather than from God?

I would be lying and not human if I say I never been tempted. Yes I have been tempted. However as answered in point 1, I have learn to reflect the glory back to God.

Ultimately I am the instrument and He is the Master. I have to consciously replay this truth in my mind to remind myself how small I really am in this world.

Are you ready to handle the success of being used by God to establish a mega-church of mega-influence?

By His grace I do want to be used in a greater capacity to influence others to Him. Whether ready or not, I guess God would only know if I am truly proven and tested in my love for Him.

At the mean time, I will just be faithful with the little-church He has entrusted me with and do my best to allow it to have a mega-influence.

What is one area that you think is important that a leader should adopt for the long haul?

Accountability. This helps a leader not to be above the law or board where he/she is opened to feedback/correction from close and trusted fellows. This keeps a leader’s blindspots covered and not veer away from the original focus and purpose.

Practising accountability also builds humilty for the leader which is an important virtue in God’s sight.  Accountability also produces submissive-ness towards God and His authority which promotes unity among His Church. 

When a leader walks under His divine covering, God will surely bless the leader for the long haul for His glory.

Questions taken from Hope CONNECT Journal- Judges (Day 38)

Memorandum to Jesus

TO:
Jesus, Son of Joseph
Woodcrafter Carpenter Shop
Nazareth

FROM:
Jordan Management Consultants
Jerusalem

Dear Sir:
Thank you for submitting the resumes of the twelve men you have picked for management positions in your new organization. All of them have now taken our battery of tests; we have not only run the results through our computer, but also arranged personal interviews for each of them with our psychologist and vocational aptitude consultant.

It is the staff opinion that most of your nominees are lacking in background, education and vocational aptitude for the type of enterprise you are undertaking. They do not have the team concept. We would recommend that you continue your search for persons of experience in managerial ability and proven capability.

Simon Peter is emotionally unstable and given to fits of temper. Andrew has absolutely no qualities of leadership. The two brothers, James and John, the sons of Zebedee, place personal interest above company loyalty. Thomas demonstrates a questioning attitude that would tend to undermine morale.

We feel that it is our duty to tell you that Matthew has been blacklisted by the Greater Jerusalem Better Business Bureau. James, the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus definitely have radical leanings, and they both registered a high score on the manic depressive scale.

One of the candidates, however, shows great potential. He is a man of ability and resourcefulness, meets people well, has a keen business mind and has contacts in high places. He is highly motivated, ambitious and responsible. We recommend Judas Iscariot as your controller and right-hand man. All of the other profiles are self-explanatory.

We wish you every success in your new venture.

Sincerely yours,
Jordan Management Consultants

Taken from www.Inspirationalarchive.com

Signing up on God’s team

The latest news screaming in the EPL arena was the stunning swoop by Manchester United in their latest acquisition of new players in the transfer market.

Their latest signings: English midfielder Owen Hagreaves from Bayern Munich, Portuguese winger Nani from Sporting Lisbon and Brazilian attacking midfielder Anderson from Porto.

Personally, these 3 enormous signings speak volumes in terms of the extend modern-day organisations are willing to take just to recruit the best people in order to stay competitive.

It highlights the huge demand of good human resource that organisations are seeking to bolster the strength and cutting edge of their current teams.

Lastly, it also highlights the adopted strategy of recruiting these people- all 3 new players are below the age of 25 years. Organisations seek not only to strengthen their present team, but to build their future team of the next generation in mind. This provides stability when transitions occurs.

His Church today

Similarly, the modern-day Church also faces the same issues.

Sad but true, the state of our Church in our present world is weak (my frank opinion) due to a considerable amount of factors. But the main factor I would insert is that it is man’s failure to appropriate God’s word and power. This is either due to man’s ignorance or arrogance. You decide.

From what I know from the records of the Bible, God has since the Genesis, been on a constant look out for people who are willing to avail their lives for Him to use for His cause. These were some of His early ‘signings’: Noah the Ark builder, Abraham the Father of nations, Joseph the commander of Egypt, Gideon the warrior, David the shepherd King and The Apostle Paul.

From observation, God literally goes all out to reach those people whom He called. He even invest His time and love to mould and train them- from nothing to something. Wow… how honoured that God would call us mere humans (His created) in such a manner.

Today, God is still in search of His people who will deny themselves and take up the cross.  His Church are to be built on lives that are willing to pay the price and who will invest in strengthening His Church instead of the World.

There is still are huge gap to be filled in His Church. Therefore, the challenge is for each one of us to be counted for to give the best- our youth and avaliable resources to Him so that His Church experiences continium growth with stability from one generation to the next.

Man U: A great team

What makes Manchester United a great team that I support?

Cos’ chosen in the team are not simply bought or selected for their skills. But the manager places more emphasis on attitude and character. A Red Devil (Man U player) has to be a team player; playing for more than just himself. Its for the TEAM- players, manager, coaches, youth squad and fans all around the world.

Think David Beckham, Ruud Van Nistelrooy, Roy Keane, Jaap Stam and their abrupted departure and you will get the picture.

Making it on God’s team

Therefore, God too looks at the heart of His people, more than the skills and expertise of what we can do in building His Church. He seeks a consecrated life (c.f. 1 Samuel 15:21-23, Psalm 51:16-18).

Would you wanna be signed up for God’s team?