Now I am Andrew

andrew-1Unknown to most, Andrew is actually my rebirth or baptized name. My birth name, which was given by my parents is Kelvin.

It was God who gave me the name “Andrew” during the period when I was due to be water baptized.

While spending time with God, I was reading the scriptures and came to the part where Jesus Christ invited Peter and Andrew to follow Him.

As I read my spirit was stirred, it felt as if Jesus was calling out to me as ‘Andrew’, “Come, follow me.” (c.f. Matthew 4:18-19)

I had an encounter with Jesus!

Although I knew He was calling me, ‘Andrew’, I hesitated to assume that He wanted to change my name. Thus, I told Him if it was His intention to change my name that He somehow confirm this to me. And boy did He!

The first confirmation

That same week at a church service, the passage that was preached was… YES you guessed correctly! It was about Andrew!

The preacher taught how Andrew was evangelistic who brought people to Jesus including his brother, Peter.

I didn’t really want to believe this as a confirmation and regarded it as a coincidence.

The second confirmation

The next following week at the church service. My younger brother joined me for the first time upon, he responded to receive Jesus Christ during the altar call.

As like most altar calls, my younger brother left his seat to approach the stage area to where the pastor was. I accompanied him. And after he prayed to receive Jesus with others as well, the pastor walked towards us and spoke to us.

He asked my brother’s name and mine. And we told him we were brothers. At that remark, the pastor shook my hand enthusiastically and affirmed me saying, “Wow! You are an ANDREW!”

Could you imagine that???

The final confirmation

If that was not convincing enough for me, God pulled another trick just for His own pleasure just to prove a point.

I have always been a huge fan of Manchester United Football Club and follow closely to their games and developments. Therefore, I know the names of every player of this team.

That following week while reading the papers on the team, I realised the name of their prolific star striker, Andy Cole had suddenly changed. And that was the name he was known as since he started his career!

Now make a guess to what name it now read? That’s right… ANDREW Cole!!!

Till today, there hasn’t been a clear explanation why Andy Cole changed his name from that time onwards. And it had to happen during that period!

What are the chances of that happening?! God truly knew how to get my attention and to convince me to accept the change of name!

My new identity in Christ

Now 15 years as Andrew, I understand and appreciate why God took all that effort to change my name.

Like how He did so for many of the biblical characters in the Bible such as Abram to Abraham, Jacob to Israel, Simon to Peter and so on, He did so to establish a new identity for that person.

The old me (Kelvin) is now no more and the new has come. Now in Christ, I am Andrew with a new mission in life ordained by God and I embrace His call.

I know for a fact the kind of person the old me called Kelvin is. And there’s nothing good in him. This new name not only reminds me that this new life that I have I now live consecrated for Him, but also to firmly anchor me in my new destiny in Christ.

I’m no longer looking back, I’ve decided to follow Jesus!

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*

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

Globalisation of God’s Word

“This same Good News (Gospel) that came to you is going out all over the world. It is bearing fruit everywhere by changing lives, just as it changed your lives from the day you first heard and understood the truth about God’s wonderful grace.”

Colossians 1:6 (New Living Translation) 

My Doodling:

If you’re reading this now, I should be in the air flying towards Vietnam! I’ll be there for a week… Yeah! 

Looking forward to the wonderful people, food and culture that makes that country a perfect haven to find rest from the never-ending demands and datelines *yucks*

The Increasing Power of The Internet

Since the introduction of the worldwide web on 26 February 1991 by Mr Tim Berners-Lee,  the internet has grown phenomenally and has greatly flattened our world. And almost unawaringly, the internet has become so intertwined with our real world.

Blogs are no longer kid’s play

According to blog trackers Technorati, the blogosphere is growing at a pace of 1.4 weblog created every second. In their State of Blogosphere report, it said the number of blogs it was tracking now stood at more than 70 million blogs with about 120,000 new weblogs being created worldwide each day!!

If you think these blogs are merely kid’s play, you are sorely mistaken. One should never under-estimate the influence these blogs and websites have.

Myanmar exposed

Taking the recent Myanmar’s protests for an example, what actually led to the exposure of the Junta’s heavy-hand tactics for the world to see has everything to do with the Internet through a few popoular blogs in Myanmar. The Junta in attempts to stop the world from seeing and hearing the pro-democracy protests cut public access to the Internet. But it was the case of a little too late.

The difference with the last major uprising in 1988 then, had as many as 3,000 people being killed by the soldiers’ opened fire, but it took days for the news- let alone photos or video- to emerge.

However, a leaked video clip of General Than Shwe’s daughter’s wedding which was circulated and uploaded on Youtube allowed the whole world to have a glimpse of the lavish lifestyles enjoyed by the generals.

This exclusive video showed the bride draped in diamonds and other expensive jewels and gifts which was said to be worth US$50 million. This expose was one of the reasons which sparked the people to hit the streets.

What can we expect next

With technology- the Internet playing a crucial role in putting Myanmar on a global spotlight. This has evidently proved the increasing power of the Internet in today’s context.

This is good news for citizen-journalism, but at the same time we should expect more governments and organisations paying more closer attention on any foresee-able threats from blogs or websites that may caused “unrest”.

Knowing well how pro-active our government is, I would not be surprise that they are taking some lessons from this Myanmar’s episode.  So I would be expecting them releasing new “improved” cyberspace policies and regulations soon.

Changing The World

Last Sunday I watched Evan Almighty. I was expecting a cheesy and lame movie, but instead I found the movie a good watch and value-for-my money!

It was particularly moving to watch the relationship between “God” and Evan. I think the producer did well in portraying God as one that is personal.

What I was reminded…

Many of a times we (like myself) want to do great things for God like changing the world by building His Church or extending His kingdom or running for office or doing humanitarian works. 

And all these by themselves isn’t wrong, but it becomes warped when we want to determine and persist the way we want to achieve it when we say it is for God.

Like Evan Baxter who ran for Congress office, he saw his politician position as the means to change the world. But after a prayer, God re-directed him to His way in changing the world- by building an ark (!?).

What I have learnt…

If I want to change the world for God, I have to do it His way (and not my way). Even if His way seems foolish at the price of losing popularity or status, I will have choose to obey Him all the way too.