My Doodling:

For those who need a quick directory to get around in Singapore, I highly recommend this website- It even tells you the transport cost for your travelling! Don’t believe, go try it yourself.

Stepping Out and Shining Forth

Next on our list of “Jesus in the Marketplace Series” is singing artiste Sun Ho who serves as Music Ambassador for the Olympics Songfest for Beijing 2008. She needs little introduction as she is also widely known as the wife of Kong Hee, Senior Pastor of City Harvest Church. In a recent cover interview story with VANILLA magazine, she shares her reasons in moving from the church into the arts & entertainment world. Here’s an extract…

It was not a sudden departure or an uncalculated decision. It took a lot of me to make the decision to move into the secular pop industry because that had many implications and affected many parts of my life and ministry as the wife of a prominent church leader.

Many didn’t understand why I had to do it, and I am aware that some still wonder what my motives are: Am I desperate for fame or fortune? Anyone who knows me would know that money and recognition have never been and will never be the motivation for anything I set forth to accomplish in my life.

Kong and I thought long and hard before I finally decided to step beyond the four walls of the church. As head counsellor and music director, I was so happy serving and helping people with broken lives and hearts. To step into the music industry, a world so familiar to me, was very hard.

One of the questions that I have always asked myself and, in a real sense, built all my counselling and humanitarian efforts on is: “Can one make a difference?”

Helping others has always been a life-long passion in my heart. Ever since the day I was led out of depression by faithful friends who stood with me through my darkest times, I made a decision to use the second chance that I had been given to help others in the same way.

In the past, being a counsellor based within the church, the hurt and the broken had to come into the church to look for my assistance. One day I was given the opportunity to sing a secular song, and I was debating it when a friend said something that tipped the balance: “With counselling, you help one person at a time. With your voice and music, you have the chance to impact and influence hundreds and thousands!”

Many are skeptical about why I am in the industry. In truth, I believe that, as a Christian, my responsibility is to help and serve others, and to contribute to the society that I belong in, wherever I may go, with whatever I have in my hands.

In my case, it would be to sing and perform, something that I’ve done all my life, since the time I was a child singing and dancing in front of my mother, making her laugh out loud and de-stressing her!

Using my voice and talent is how I hope to make the world a better place in my own small way- singing songs of hope and love, strength and a future in the midst of imperfect situations, connecting with the youth of today and, hopefully, inspiring them to believe in themselves and the dreams that they have.

Reformation of the Church in the 21st Century

Former Ren Cis Chief Officer, Venerable Ming Yi

Just last month, another charity organisation- Ren Ci had came under the scrutiny over irregularities in its books. Their now former chief, Venerable Ming Yi had since been suspended and is awaiting charges.

From everyday reports of sex and money laundering scandals that seem to plague politicians and religious leaders including pastors and priests, to the NKF to Youth Challenge discrepancies.

Once again, such news has further dampened the publics’ confidence and trust in religious or humanitarian and charitable causes.

But even without such endless controversies, today’s donors are much more well-informed bunch than before in this Digital and Information Age and also demand more involvement as a stakeholder.

Bridging the rift of mistrust

Now, any fund-raising projects or donation drives will not escape the scrutiny or skepticism from the public including corporate organisations. Hence, with the diminishing of trust, there is a need to re-invent or to re-create the approach of garnering support towards humanitarian and charitable causes.

And in my opinon, a better and ideal approach or model is to move towards being “social business” or also commonly known as “social enterprise”.

This model moves the traditional charity organisations from one that is passive to one that is pro-active. It no longer just reaches out its “hand” when funds are depleting, but it learns to “fish” and feed itself.

In other words, charity organisations become self-financing. When that happens, the used of funds become more “flexible” as a social business is not reliant on public giving. This also attracts more stakeholders to support its causes because  it serves as an asset in adding value to society in terms of humanitarian and economic contributions.

Bridging the Church to the lost

In my personal observation, the Church also somewhat shares similar issues with in terms of gaining credibility and being relevant. Hence, we need to tackle these in order that the gospel can be made easily available and receptive to people.

From a secular viewpoint, the Church is a merely a religious institution. Though there’s nothing wrong with that statement, but in truth, God’s true intent for His Church is MUCH MORE than being a religious institution who’s only role is to preach the gospel.

His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Ephesians 3:10-11

The Church’s mandate and capability (with God’s omnipotence) should not be confined just to preaching the gospel, but being in touch of our world by being an asset in championing humanitarian causes and even further adding value with economic contributions by creating businesses and employment.

Somehow, we need to break the perception of the world (even Christians) that God only works within the “four walls” of the Church.

The Church is and should be relevant because our God is a BIG God with a big heart that cares for every aspect of our lives and not just the spiritual aspect. And His wisdom is given for every aspect of our lives too.

Godly Business System

Presenting a worldview of a godly economic system with some criteria that can be used to evaluate how it serves the purposes of God intended:

  • The system should produce an adequate supply of products and services to enhance the quality of life
  • The system should provide for the basic needs of marginal and disadvantaged people
  • The system should respond to and allow for individual differences and needs. There should be fair and equitable means of resolving conflicts
  • The system should reward and encourage initiative and hard work
  • The system should provide meaningful work for all people and provide opportunities for them to contribute to welfare of society
  • The system should use natural and human resources efficiently and carefully
  • The system should respect and care for other countries; it should not exploit them or rob future generations
  • Power and access to power should be spread equitably among sector of society and special interest groups
  • The benefits of the system and the costs of providing them should be spread equitably throughout the system
  • Human rights should be protected
  • Individuals should be valued and given opportunity to grow and develop

How to Ask Your Boss For a Salary Increment…

One day an employee sends a letter to Her boss asking for an increase in her salary:

Dear Bo$$,

In thi$ life, we all need $omething mo$t de$perately. I think you $hould be under$tanding of the need$ of u$ worker$ who have given $o much $upport including $weat and $ervice to your company.

I am $ure you will gue$$ what I mean and re$pond $oon.

Your$ $incerely,
Marian $hih

The next day, the employee received this letter of reply:

Dear Marian,

I kNOw you have been working very hard. NOwadays, NOthing much has changed. You must have NOticed that our company is NOt doing NOticeably well as yet.

NOw the newspaper are saying the world’s leading ecoNOmists are NOt sure if the United States may go into aNOther recession. After the NOvember presidential elections things may turn bad.

I have NOthing more to add NOw. You kNOw what I mean.

Yours truly,

His Word My Life

Let your love, God, shape my life 
    with salvation, exactly as you promised; 
Then I’ll be able to stand up to mockery 
    because I trusted your Word. 

Don’t ever deprive me of truth, not ever— 
    your commandments are what I depend on. 
Oh, I’ll guard with my life what you’ve revealed to me, 
    guard it now, guard it ever; 
And I’ll stride freely through wide open spaces 
   as I look for your truth and your wisdom; 

Then I’ll tell the world what I find, 
   speak out boldly in public, unembarrassed. 
I cherish your commandments—oh, how I love them!— 
   relishing every fragment of your counsel.

Psalm 119:41-48 (The Message)

My Journey of Faith: Crossing the 30-year mark

Today marks my 30th year in this journey called life. And to the contrary of what most people would think, I am enjoying every bit of this ageing process. Ha ha…

Personally, I think I am in an age and in a time of age (21st century) where divine opportunities are just laying before me (and for us) to seize in faith with His divine promises!

This journey with God

In retrospect, the past 8 years has been the most fruitful years of my journey. And that’s only because it has been a journey walked closely with God.

I can’t help but be grateful to where He has led me at present. I am also amazed that I am where I am cos never would I have imagined being who I am as a person or being where I am today.

Without Him, I am nothing and would have achieve nothing.

Expecting more with the road ahead

If I have to recount all the blessings and miracles that I have received and encountered, I will have to take an entire lifetime. And that’s what I intend to do!

What’s so exciting is that I know my journey with God has only just begun, and I’m looking forward to next 5 and 10 years of my life. I know whatever I am doing or deciding upon now would have a definitive effect on the future.

My prayer is that my heart will always be soft to His love and my walk aligned to His truth. Though I know the walk ahead is not going to be all easy, but I am assured of His faithfulness and love to me.

This journey in life is not just a test of faith in Him, but also a test of love for Him.

Giving to God Whatever Little We Have

It is not uncommon for us to overlook what we may have at our disposal in our course towards progress in God’s will for our lives- business, career, ministry, family, etc.

In instances where God gives us His revelation or His vision towards His will or purpose, we may even lack the faith by overly focusing on our lack or inadequecy.

Looking at what we have

I believe God can use whatever little or much when we have faith in Him and in what He can do.

Moses answered, “What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ‘The LORD did not appear to you’?”

Then the LORD said to him, “What is that in your hand?” 

“A staff,” he replied.

Exodus 4:1-2

In this passage from Exodus, Moses didn’t expect God to use his staff that was in his hand. The staff was a mere stick in the eyes of Moses.

It must have surprised him that God would asked for his staff. But with it, God showed that He could use it to glorify His Name by turning it into a snake.

God can use whatever little we have

Often, like Moses, we might belittle what we have by overlooking them. Worse, we might even doubt that God can actually use the things we have.

But more important than things, I believe we should NEVER depise our lives and even think for a moment that we are not worthy or good enough for His purposes.

As we give to God what we have and whatever little we think our life is, and He will take it and use us beyond what we could ever imagine.

I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.

And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

John 14:12-14