My God is with me

It has been two weeks since I have arrived in Ho Chi Minh City.

And I’ve settled in quickly and nicely.

Much of this smooth assimilation has been the people whom I had been  led  and connected to.

Some of them I knew before I’d arrived and some, after my arrival.

Even before I’d arrived, God assured me with these words from Acts:

“For I am with you (Paul), and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.”

Therefore, in spite of the hasty manner in which I had to relocate for my new job, I was at ease and at peace through out.

Interestingly, I believe it was not a coincidence that I  had arrived before Singapore’s national day.

Through a divine connection, I was invited to the national day reception organised by the Consulate General office in Ho Chi Minh City.

At this annual reception, I had the opportunity to meet the Singapore community who was residing in Vietnam in one swoop. And there’s no doubt that the introduction of these new friends has put me in good stead with a network to build on.

More importantly, I’ve also connected to a community of fellow Christians in this city.

God is good. I’m thankful for His favour and goodness; surrounding me with His people to remind me that I’m not alone and He is with me.

Most Christians Stuck in Church: Kong Hee

Would you agree that most of us Christians around the world are not making any impact in the world because we have restricted their ministry to the confines of the church? Take a read of the following article and feel free to share your comments.

Jesus “moved very freely among the worldly and ostensibly sinful people in society… out of obedience to His Father because those people needed God,” the Singapore pastor-businessman said.

Responding to Christians’ fears that associating with the world might contaminate their faith, The Rev Kong said, “This is precisely why God empowers us with the Holy Spirit, so that ‘He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.’”

He said that Christ taught Christian to seek God’s spiritual ‘insulation’ for the purpose of societal ‘penetration’.

Besides, “One cannot lead or change what one is afraid of,” the pastor said.

“If a believer is afraid of the world, how is he/she going to influence it, let alone change it?”

According to the pastor, the church is the ‘training place’ for life in the outside world.

“Coming to church should prepare and equip the believer to live a vibrant, dynamic and magnetic life” outside the church, he said. “Every day, we are supposed to be the voice of Jesus, the hands and feet of Jesus, in the world outside the four walls of the Church.”

“The problem is that once we become believers, the Church has a tendency to consume all our time so that we have very little left for” the world outside, the pastor said.

Read the full article here>>>

Time for the Church to Love

Last Sunday, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong presented his National Day Rally speech.

Strangely, the topic of race and religion dominated his speech.

However, in view of the inevitable force that is changing our social, political and economic landscape in our global world, I reckoned that his speech was somewhat a timely reminder and a wake-up call to us Christians.

That force is that of globalisation which is pushing people together even closer than before. And religion or its fundalmentalists and dogmatists are becoming an opposing and dangerous force that divides and threatens our society’s progress.

“Catalysts” for further globalisation

Back in early June, US President Obama visited Cairo, Eygpt and delivered a groundbreaking message to urge an end to suspicion and discord between America and the Muslim world.

He highlighted that “the relationship between Islam and the West includes centuries of co-existence and cooperation, but also conflict and religious wars.”

In a gesture of reconciliation with the Islamic world, Obama further conceded that tension “has been fed by colonialism that denied rights and opportunities to many Muslims, and a Cold War in which Muslim-majority countries were often treated as proxies without regard to their own aspirations.”

Even Tony Blair, the Bristish ex-Prime Minister had launched his new inter-faith foundation called the Tony Blair Faith Foundation this April.

What makes the foundation’s work distinctive is its emphasis on uniting people of different religious traditions in practical action – with the eradication of malaria a key priority at this moment.

The Church’s divine appointment

With this backdrop, I strongly believe that if there is a such divine appointment for the Church to represent Christ in His fullness, it is NOW.

For too long Christianity that was founded upon a legacy of love has been tainted with the worst sort of intolerance and prejudice.

Most troubling of all is witnessing how the teachings of Christ has been hijacked by believers who hate in the name of love.

“When people worship Him today – or even speak his name – the object of their devotion is unlikely to be who they think he is,” said Deepak Chopra in his book titled- The Third Jesus, “it seems clearly that He has served to divide peoples and nations. He has led to destructive wars in the name of religious fantasies.”

Even in his rally speech, PM Lee cited the AWARE saga as an attempted takeover “by a religiously motivated group who shared a strong religious fervour to enter civil space”.

I submit to you that if we Christians truly desire to spread the message towards fulfilling the Great Commission, then we cannot afford to be known or driven by a religious motivation.

As a people, we need to be more concerned about what is right than about being right. We need to be love motived, simply because God is love; being the message is more important than us merely spreading the message.

Christ in this 21st century not only needs to be accurately represented, but also re-presented.