4 Things only to Say In My 40th Year

Yes, I’ve turned 40. The big 4-0.

I’m not sure how the years flew passed. But I know how the years has taken me to where I am today.

Hence, I have just 4, and not 40 things to say in my 40th year about how I’m living my life from this point on.

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1.  Born in Singapore, made in Vietnam.

A boxer is never going to be a boxer if he doesn’t get into a ring and actually fight. That’s how I would describe my time in Vietnam. You really get to fight for the faith in a rough environment and pitting against the enemy with the Spirit.

Living in Singapore prior to that was merely training in the faith. Also life in Singapore as a believer is pretty much a safe environment to live out the faith. There’s no real test or opposition to challenge one’s conviction and trust in the Lord with a high level of certainty or predictability.

Now back in Singapore, I’ve returned with a fresher perspective and deeper faith about living out and living for the Gospel. And I am more convicted that it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes.

2. The Gospel of the Kingdom.

More than salvation, the Gospel is about His Kingdom. Jesus is not just the Saviour, but also the King. Which means my life is not my own, but belongs to Jesus. And I now live to obey the King and His directives, not mine.

For me, my faith in the King has to be integrated with my life in who I am and what I do. This is what I coined as faith-life integration, and this integration of faith is what I will pursue uncompromisingly.

I’m determined to live my life inhibited where I can express my faith freely and missionally whether I’m in Singapore or in Vietnam; and everywhere I’m placed – at home, at work and within the church communities and beyond – to reach and save the lost with the love and power of God as Jesus did.

3. Living Kingdom

Jesus is my King, and I’ll submit my life to Him and follow Him. My obedience is to Christ first, not to any man or any institution. I centre my life around Him, and not Him centred around mine.

Jesus said we can only serve one master. Either God or Money. I choose God. But the reality is that this is not easy, and it is a deliberate choice to make at every challenge. However, with trust built up over the years, it gets easier as I know that He is faithful.

One of His directives to me is to be a ‘tentmaker’ like the apostle Paul. Aside from eliminating any obstacle that would obstruct someone’s faith or belief in the Gospel, it also allows me to be in the marketplace with the lost to serve His purpose.

Since returning to Singapore, God has been leading me to serve as an active advocate for the incarcerated and youth-at-risks by using my past. This was an area which did not present any clear opportunity prior to me relocating to Vietnam. Now doors have opened for me.

4. The Kingdom is like a seed

I’ve learnt that the Kingdom of God is truly like a seed. It carries explosive potential. But as it is small, it is overlooked or despised by most because it is usually hidden in the dirt. Out of sight and unattractive.

Like a seed, it also needs lots of nurturing. Lots of time and effort are required and it is not us that causes growth, it is God. There needs to be the rolling of our sleeves to get dirty. Are we willing to pay the price?

The seed also grows into a massive tree. Means the roots are important in anchoring the tree and keeping it stable. The roots represent our relationship with Christ and His love. He not only holds us, but He holds us altogether as a family.

His Kingdom is about relationships, not ministry. Ministry is the result of the strong relationships that are forged which are illustrated in the parable of the mustard seed with the birds perched in its branches; providing refuge and food to other living creatures.

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Final things to say

Ultimately, the Kingdom grows by multiplication. This happens when fruits are produced and with more seeds that will birth more trees. That’s how the Kingdom of God expands and advances. With sacrifice.

Jesus sacrificed His life, and gave birth (born again) to us. Sacrifice is required, that’s why He shared about the kernel of wheat. Therefore, I will not despise small and humble beginnings.

In living Kingdom, I will not seek for the glamourous or riches, but be rooted in His love and identity as His son. I want to live a life marked demonstrating His love as He first loved me with the mission of multiplying by discipleship towards fulfilling the Great Commission.

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The Next Half

As I was approaching my 40th birthday (which I considered my “half time”). I took time to reflect what/how I’m want to live and work for the next half of my life.

Hence, I’m pleased to share that I’ve joined Empact to contribute to a noble cause that was founded by Peter Yang (pictured with me).

In this role of heading it’s corporate partnerships, I believe I found a challenge that is aligned and integrated with my CORE (passion and values), and my CALL (goals and vision).

On this birthday, I’m beyond happy!

TESTIMONY: Run the Race

Run the race
Woke up on the morning of my birthday with these words flashed across my mind – “Run the race.”

Felt led that these words were related to this scripture in 2 Timothy 4:6-8

“For I am already being poured out as an offering, and the time for me to depart is at hand. I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith! Finally the crown of righteousness is reserved for me. The Lord, the righteous Judge, will award it to me in that day – and not to me only, but also to all who have set their affection on his appearing.”

I’ve arrived at 40. I consider this juncture “half time”. And through the above scripture, I believe God is cheering me on to finish the race. There’s still the second half ahead to complete.

At half time, it’s easy to take the foot off the pedal for whatever reasons such as disappointments, discouragements or distractions or discontentment.

But Paul’s words encouraged and challenged me not only to keep running, but also to complete the race. Why? Only when I complete the race, do I receive my heavenly reward.

Half time is not full time. There’s no reward at half time, only at full time. So run the race I will, in serving God’s purpose in my generation!

Hitting the BIG 4-0!

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I have finally hit 40 and I consider it “half time”. As I look back, I can describe the milestones of my journey as such:

1 to 10 years – Mostly played and brought havoc to my family.
11 to 20 years – My life went through a havoc time and I became a havoc in my teens.
21 to 30 years – Salvation and transformation. From a life of havoc to a life for the Rock.
31 to 40 years – Refinement and alignment with tests and trials to build my life on the Rock, Jesus Christ.

What lies ahead in the second half? I do not know.

But what I do know is that life is short. I want to make my life count – Not living in fear, but living in faith; not just by making a living, but also by making a difference! 

TESTIMONY: Knowing You, Jesus

One night, I was sitting at my couch just stoning. I had gone through yet another difficult episode in the area of my work and was looking up to God for some validation and comfort. And that’s when a familiar worship music suddenly erupted in the background.

I was baffled. My TV wasn’t on and my laptop was closed (not switched off). So I searched for the source of where the music was playing from by switching on my TV and opening my laptop. I finally found out that it was from my laptop and on a football channel which I watched that previous night. Now it was streaming BBC’s program – Songs of Praise.

Not sure how it came alive when my laptop was closed after more than 12 hours. Moreover, it happened when I was home, it had to be a Christian program and THAT song when it played. What are the coincidence?!?

The worship song was “Knowing You, Jesus” and the lyrics of the song resonated much with my spirit. I knew at once this divine encounter was God comforting and assuring me that He knows what I’m going through and the reason too. Its all about knowing and following Him. That’s all that matters. Cos there is no greater thing. He’s my all, He’s the best!

Listen to the full song here: https://youtu.be/OhLOwQ3af4w

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The programme that played the worship song when my laptop was closed.

What are we building?

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This is one of the oldest church buildings in Singapore. It was constructed around 1850. But now it has become a historical monument and a commercial space.

There are many others like Chijmes that has suffered the same fate. But it seems we have not learnt much from history – the Church is not about a building nor is the Kingdom of God confine within a building or organisation.

However, it seems we are still repeating more of history even in our present day. Today, we need the Holy Spirit like never before.

Lessons of the invisible war

207682_origRecently, I had a dream. This was supernatural.

In this room, there was this person whom I can only make out as a figure. He was talking to me, and exposing the ways and trappings of the devil.

This person showed me a friend whom I recognised as a fellow brother-in-Christ. The friend was seated in that room, but it seemed that he wasn’t aware of our presence. From my observation, the friend looked very comfortable and relaxed.

I stepped closer to the friend, and that is when I saw these ‘forces’ moving all around him. The friend didn’t seem to see or feel them.

I was told by the figure that these ‘forces’ were the spirits from the devil and they actually attacking him. Everyday, they were creeping into him bit by bit; influencing him with the devil’s schemes that are aim to “steal, kill and destroy” His purpose, destiny and inheritance for him. And just like the proverbial frog in the boiling water, the friend was not aware nor was he startled by the subtle attacks.

That figure also told me that like that friend, all of us are constantly attacked. We may not really realise or fully understand that we are under spiritual warefare because we have being acclimatised – overly comfortable or complacent living in this world.

At that point, I understood what he was revealing to me and started to pray against the devil and his schemes in my own life and wife’s!

As I prayed, the ‘forces’ were exposed and were now  pressing against me from all sides. I felt the pressure from being pressed. And they were resisting what was being released and preventing His kingdom from advancing!

The more resistance I felt, the stronger I prayed with His authority and the power of the Holy Spirit. I kept declaring and rebuking the devil with God’s truth and promises! And that’s when I woke up.

My wife also woke up. She was awakened by my loud prayers. Shortly after processing what was revealed to me, I prayed for my wife and rebuke every spirit from the devil that could be affecting us.

Ephesians 6:12

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

Lessons I learnt from this dream:

  1. We undermine the devil and his works. Either we are complacent or we view things too natural to avoid overspiritualising things. And this results in us using our own humanly wisdom and efforts to address situations or people in our lives
  2. We need a greater awareness not just of God’s presence, but of the devil too. We need to be aware of his schemes, tricks and weapons that are possibly holding us back from experiencing the full life in Christ
  3. When we are not aware or lack the discernment of the devil’s schemes and trappings, he becomes effective to steal, kill and destroy. Therefore we need to be aware, and also to be alert.
  4. Its only when His kingdom advances through us that the devil comes hard on us in order to guard his territory. But we can and will advance with His authority and power!
  5. Start praying and be vigilant against the devil and the spirits he deploys such as the religious spirit, sickness, pride, strive, fear, poverty, shame, condemnation, guilt etc…