God Called Me Back

Some time or weeks back, I had unawaringly allowed the spirit of the world to seep into my soul. Through my work, I was filled with discontentment, hunger for recognition and a disdain-for-the-weak kind of attitude.

Thankfully this was brought to light during the recent team rally when Pastor Ben reinstated the leaders by reminding us of our calling in charging us towards our Q4 direction.

“If you are tired and have been thinking of taking a step back or to step down, don’t forget who called you,” he exclaimed.

Distracted by the world

Jesus called me backThat was a divine reminder and wake-up call. Cos during that period I was actually toying with the idea of taking a back seat or taking a step back from serving as His CL. I was tired.

However, I realised I was tired because my priorities had subtly shifted to chasing things of the world such as climbing the corporate ladder, craving for a bigger paycheck, etc….

This somehow was intertwined with my intention to be a better marketplace minister. And I was rationalising that I should be freeing myself from ministry responsibilities and investing more time and energy on my career development first.

Seeking His Kingdom first

“It is God who called you”

God really spoke through Pastor Ben to jostle me up and re-aligned me to His purpose, priorites and calling for me. I repented.

On hindsight, I am ashamed that I could even contemplate on letting go the spiritual authority and leadership that He had so graciously given me. Cos serving the Lord and His people is indeed a great and God-given privilege that I would have never taken for granted.

In all things, it will always be God and Your Church first as my main priority- functioning as my anchor, refuge and compass–  and with the other aspects of my life stemming from it.

My Doodling:

Just yesterday I kena nominated as the organising committee’s chairperson for SMa’s Staff Christmas Party by “default”. KNS… =p

But this is so strange cos this quarter I am also leading in organising my old gang’s BBQ nite and also my ECU batch’s graduation celebration. Wah… 3 in 1 outreach package! *sweat*

Gays and biology: Who is right, PM or the MP?

Andy Ho
Sat, Oct 27, 2007
The Straits Times

Some time ago I got to know this journalist. He frequently writes on socio-political affairs for the Straits Times with attempts to get his readers to think deeper on the underlying truths on contemporary issues.

His latest article was written in view of the controversial statements of the biological nature of homosexuality used as the basis for human rights in reappealing against the 377A debate.

He is a fine example how a Christian, through his vocation in the marketplace, can serve God and people with relevance and effectiveness in the world.

IN THE parliamentary debate over the continued criminalisation of gay sodomy, MP Lim Biow Chuan (Marine Parade) disagreed with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong who said that growing scientific evidence shows homosexuality is substantially inborn.

What does the research say? To me, there are four big items that are not what they seem to be.

  • First, twins are not what they seem to be. Identical twins share the same genetic make-up while non-identical twins share only half of that, so if the former show a higher similarity in rates of gays, that would suggest a genetic component in homosexuality.
  • According to some doctors, previous studies of identical twins suggest that 30-60 per cent of the incidence of gayness can be attributed to genetics.

    Indeed, many such studies up to the early 1990s indeed suggested so. An Australian study published even in 2000 gave figures in the same ballpark.

    Hoewever, many twin studies are methodologically flawed. For one thing, a social phenomenon as complex as gay behaviour is usually reduced to a single item…….. (continued)

Read the full article here>>>

Turning Adversity into An Opportunity

Lately, I have been reading the book of Daniel as part of my daily bible reading log. And this book has got me glued right from the first chapter!

I am really discovering and learning alot of biblical insights and principles from this book in respect to being an effective Christian in a marketplace.

Being a Marketplace Minister 

Daniel in the lions denDespite being immersed in Babylonian culture (worldy marketplace)  and hired by King Nebuchadnezzar (our boss) as his royal servants, Daniel and his three Jewish comrades (Christians) never forgot their identity as God’s chosen people.

They never once did forsake God and did what the Babylonians did. In fact, they held on to God with their dear lives even in the face of death.

One coherent principle that I have observed so far has been how Daniel and friends displayed great loyalty and trust in God in the face of extreme adversity.

Standing Firm in the Face of Adversity 

When faced with extreme adversity, it is normal to find a way to escape or in our terms siam . But not these guys.

They saw adversities as opportunities to exercise their faith and reliance on God. And the assuring results was God’s faithfulness seen thru their deliverance from their adverse situations.

Not only were these opportunities to exercise faith and rely on God, these were vital moments where God’s glory and power were showcased for the king and babylonians to be in awe. It was through their lives with their unwavering obedience and trust in Him that God was glorified and respected by the Babylonians.

Making God Stand Out in the Marketplace

When I read this, I realised the “opportunities” that are lying before me at my very workplace.  Initially, my reaction was to find a way out from the unpleasant situation in my organisation which I blogged in my previous entry. But now I see what I can and should do instead.

I pray that like Daniel and his comrades, I will use this situation as an opportunity to exercise my faith and reliance on God; not using my own rationale and experience to strategise.

My prayer is that through this, where the majority of others are being negative and “escaping”, my response to this adversity would be different. That way my God who is me will stand out from the rest and be noticed.

That’s how God can be and is glorified.

We’re Called to Reflect His Holiness

“So brace up your minds; be sober (circumspect, morally alert); set your hope wholly and unchangeably on the grace (divine favor) that is coming to you when Jesus Christ (the Messiah) is revealed.

[Live] as children of obedience [to God]; do not conform yourselves to the evil desires [that governed you] in your former ignorance [when you did not know the requirements of the Gospel].

But as the One Who called you is holy, you yourselves also be holy in all your conduct and manner of living.

For it is written, You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

1 Peter 1:13-16 (Amplified Bible)

My Final Thoughts…

This whole 5-year studying episode has been a surreal experience. Now it is really, really over *Phew*

As I closed this chapter of my study phase, I reflected and penned some of my final thoughts on that entire journey.

Why I took up studying?

I was NEVER the studious type. And I got my records to proof: A dropped out from secondary school and two failed attempts in re-taking my ‘O’ levels as a private candidate back in 1995 and 1998 before life in Christ.

With Christ, that changed. The Bible fueled my appetitie for learning and His word changed my life purpose and outlook of life. I was inspired by His love to churchplant as it is through churches that people should know and grow in God.

Therefore I was convinced that upgrading would increase my employment opportunities in a global market as a “tent-maker”.

Were there moments where you wanted to give up? What kept you going on?

YES… many moments. It was an ordeal observing how my peers were getting on with life, while I still had to slogged. 

Moreover there was the constant juggling with added ministry and work commitments and responsibilities.

But His vision for me kept me focus towards the future. And His word in Matthew 6:33 kept me going in trusting in His ways. 

So what’s next?

I am looking forward and exploring where God might be further leading me towards His plans for me in fulfilling His Great Commission. For now it looks like I am staying put at my current job, but I hope that my next job would be in a publishing house.

My long-term dream is to eventually run a media publishing house like our Singapore Press Holdings with their scores publications under its fold. But my dream publishing house will provide publications with a touch of “Christian perspectives” in today’s contemporary issues in a mess-up world.

Any takers or partners??? =P

Doing Something Right For Once

From the beginning, I treated this whole graduation thingy as a formality. For sure I didn’t need this blah blah blah ceremony, but it was for one main reason only. 

Apart from it being a milestone in my walk with God to attest of His transforming power and unconditional love in an incorrigable sinner’s life, it was a day that I eagerly awaited to honour my dad.

Andrew Ong and dadAfter reconciliation with God in 2000, He consequently mended the wounds between my dad and me. Now my dad has been an unwavering support to me and I have been drawn closer to him as a son and friend.

He has really sacrificed alot for not only me, but my two younger brothers too, in order that we might be set ahead for life.

In contrast of my delinquency days where I was only capable of bringing him only hurt and shame, at least I know that I was able to make him feel truly proud this one time in my life.

I thank God for being able to do something right for my dad for once.

I love you dad =)