Choose faith, not fear

How does walking by faith looks like?

Recently, I participated in a high elements course. There were a couple of obstacles, but all from about 4-5 storeys high. And I had to cross over with nothing but a safety harness.

In spite of the fact of being secured to a safety harness, many including myself were overwhelmed by the fear of falling from that high place. There were some who were crippled by fear and failed to cross over.

However, once I decided to shift my focus on the fact that I would be safe even if I were to fall, I grew confident and  was able to walk across with ease.

So faith is trusting in Father God as your safety harness. He is faithful and is with you. That is a fact. It’s the truth.

Our God will not leave you nor abandon you (even if you fall!). And whatever the situation you’re in, you can rely on Him and walk through it. He’s got you in His mighty Hand!

Having faith does not mean that there is no fear. Fear is real. So faith works not in the absence of fear, but in the midst of it.

Everyday, choose faith over fear. We have a choice. That’s walking by faith. God is bigger than your fears and He will give you the strength to overcome each one of them.

Finally, if you’re wondering, yes that’s me in the photo. Haha…

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Church, we’ve messed up

5-PRAYERS-TO-PRAY-AGAINST-SATANIC-ATTACKToday in His presence I wept.

I felt the anguish and deep grieving of the Holy Spirit from the aftermath of the recent development of the Supreme Court in making same-sex marriage legal in America.

Truth be told, the grief I felt is not so much because of what Obama did or the Supreme Court or even the LGBT. Because the legal law has never been the answer to address the matter of homosexuality.

The grief I felt is because the Church has messed up. Instead of manning up, we have shifted blame and looked at all the possible perpetrators except ourselves.

God have always reminded us that judgement will fall upon His people first as the custodian of the Gospel who are responsible to shine His light in our dark and fallen world.

So we, as the Church have messed up.

We were (and still are) the answer but we never did provide the answer in being the light for the world.

We had and have the authority to define marriage which is based on truth; to accurately represent and strongly defend this institution. But we messed up.

How can the Church have authority when people in general perceives “Christians divorce are at the same rate as non-Christians”?

How can we defend the sacredness of marriage between man and woman when the Church is constantly afflicted with scandals of adultery or sexual abuse?

Clearly because we have failed to firmly define marriage in society that other people groups are stepping in to redefine marriage according to their own pleasure rather than God’s pleasure.

We’ve messed up. Forgive us Lord. We repent. Please heal our land.

At this point, the Holy Spirit reminded me that He is Immanuel- God is with us. He is with us even in the midst of darkness. That’s His promise.

As long as His light shines,there is Hope. Unless the Church stands in agreement on His truth, we cannot reflect the fullness of His light to disperse darkness.

Without light, people will remain in darkness. And currently, the world is not able to see the Light through the Church.

“… if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

2 Chronicles 7:14

Thankful for my wife

IMG-20150511-WA0002Since late last year, God revealed to me that my season in Viet Nam would be coming to an end. And that the next chapter is to return to Singapore. Hence, I had made plans to return to Singapore next year.

However, God had other plans. He orchestrated a job opportunity for me that will allow me to return to Singapore much earlier as I would have anticipated. In addition, the new company was willing to wait out my 3-month resignation notice!

Thus, next month I would be returning to Singapore to start my new job.

This new development also prompted my wife to look for her job in Singapore. And recently she received an offer to a job that would further her career as a professional counsellor. She begins her new job in a week’s time! Praise God!

Thus far, it has been amazing to see how God is working ALL things for us to return to Singapore with such ease! Too much ease that we cannot deny we are in the will of God. So that is assuring that we know we walking with Him. And that’s all that truly matters to me- that we are following Jesus!

I’m also thankful to God for my wife.

Without her love and support, I would not be in Viet Nam for the last 4 years. My wife demonstrated her love for me when she resigned from her dream job which she was then a school counsellor. And she did that so that I could pursue the vision and purpose of God for my life!

I must admit I have often took her for granted and her sacrifice. That’s why I’m so delighted that she now has this new job where she can continue to pursue her vision and purpose of God in her life from where she had left off.

In our next season, I believe it is now my turn to rally behind her and to see to it that my wife becomes all that she is destined to be and achieved in Christ!

 

After 15 years…

mortons HKThis photo was taken with my wife at Morton’s Steakhouse during our trip to Hong Kong in this January.

I had made it one of the highlights of our trip to dine at this swanky american restaurant to celebrate my wife’s birthday as it was also at Morton’s Singapore that I had proposed to her on her then birthday.

Between God and I, Morton’s bears a significant role in my walk with God. It is a place where I hold precious memories and lessons that He taught me and made me the person I am today.

I’ve not told this story of mine…..

When I’d decided to wholeheartedly follow Christ in 2000, a lot of changes took place swiftly towards burning the bridges to my past life. One of them was my job.

Back then, I was a club DJ and had my own small business supplying manpower for pubs and clubs. I wasn’t making a lot of money, but it provided me a decent living. And as a school dropped out and an ex-convict, it definitely boosted my self-worth and ego that I was “somewhere” and “made it”.

The other perks of this job was it fitted well with my then lifestyle of music, booze, drugs and sex, So you can imagine how tightly I would be holding on to this identity. It was everything I knew and it gave me everything I enjoyed then.

But Christ saved me and spoilt the devil’s party…..

Not too long after, I was confronted with the inevitable. I knew I had to quit DJ-ing. The lifestyle and the environment was no longer appealing as it was before. And I recalled how I was having this casual and candid conversation with God…

God: I would like you to quit your job.
Me: Really? But this is the only skills I have and its my ‘ricebowl’ leh… How?
God: Trust me.
Me: Hmmmm…
God: *silence*
Me: Ok la… since You say so, I will do it!

Back then, there wasn’t much choice for me when I browsed the recruitment classifieds. Being a dropped out with no qualifications but just a secondary school studies, I could only look at the odd jobs section which mainly featured jobs for F&B or hospitality.

One day while browsing, a particular ad caught my attention with an inner prompting by the Holy Spirit to call the number. The job offered was as a server (or waiter).

I called and an interview was arranged for the next day. I just went with an open mind and heart and at the end, I got the job! However, I did not accept it right away and requested to reply the next day.

I can recall how I was both in awe and in shock! In awe in how God was moving and in shock because I was trying to accept the implications of such a change.

I struggled in making a decision cos…..

In the eyes of the world I was making a move backward. It obviously looks like a downgrade from where I was at that time.

“How would my friends think of me?”

“What would they say about it?”

“How was I going to explain this radical move?”

But I decided to follow through in obeying God. Hence, I chose by faith, to accept the job.

I reckoned it was more important for me to be bothered more by what God thought of me; what He would say about me and be more concern over His approval rather than man’s approval. And I saw in the spirit that this was a promotion in His kingdom.

After accepting my new job, I gave away my entire music collection and DJ stuff that could have easily been worth in the thousands. I felt like Peter and Andrew who gave up their nets to follow Jesus.

I was now going to be a “fisher of men”…..

My time serving as a server at Morton’s for more than a year was one of the best moments with God as that’s where I discovered my passion- serving others and making a difference.

God used this job to shape my servitude as His disciple which has laid a foundation for me where I’m now able to build on and carry with me wherever He plants me and in all I do.

More importantly, choosing to obey and follow Him allowed me to discover WHO I AM in Christ towards building my security in my identity as His child rather than in what I do for a living.

Amazingly, I later also discovered that this job in Morton’s was God’s arrangement in advance to provide for me when God led me to bible seminary.

As the enrollment was a full time stint, my work allowed me to switch to a part time employment when I requested for it!

Today after 15 years…..

I can look back at how that first step of obedience has led me to: a life of His abundance and goodness.

Now, if I need to browse for a job, I’m no longer confined to one section of classifieds. And He has graciously given me upward mobility to be His ambassador and influencer in the marketplace.

Now, I know God doesn’t lie as I have no lack and He has been my Provider at every stage of my life. Even providing the finances for me to further my studies and to eventually graduate with a bachelor degree. And also provided the means to be His ‘tent-maker’ while in Vietnam.

Now, I’m paired with a wonderful person I call my wife whom God has entrusted me to lead and love. If you told me I would be married back then, I would have laugh it off as I saw myself unworthy or unfit for such an enormous commitment. But God thought otherwise and I believed Him.

Now, because of experiencing how great and good God is from these past 15 years, I am expecting more from Him in the years ahead!

So to those reading this, never undermine the possibilities of how your simple obedience to God can take you to. Trust Him because God loves you and is faithful!

Awesome 30 + Five!

ImageNo, I’m not celebrating my 68th birthday. The numbers represent by birth date! Haha…

I’m now 30 + FIVE years old. And I feel awesome crossing my 35th year on planet earth as a child of God. Why?

These are the reasons…

Fruitful
Grateful for all the relationships that God has place in my life especially the new friends I have made in Vietnam.

In particular, I’m blessed by those whom I consider my spiritual family. These bunch of fabulous people in Vietnam have so much potential in Christ.

I only pray that they know and experience the love of Christ more and more with each new day! I love them with the love of Christ.

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” ~ Galatians 6:9-10

Interesting
Since being saved by Christ, my life has been exceptionally interesting. From a life lived aimlessly, and to one that is now lived purposefully!

For certain, I never for once thought that I would be working in Vietnam. Let alone imagine that it would be possible. Moreover with my wife in tow!

However, God is always full of awesome surprises and promises for His children. And I’m grateful that I now not only have a destiny, but also have the ability to live out that destiny in God.

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us” ~ Ephesians 3:20

Victorious
It is God who has given me the victories in overcoming all the obstacles and challenges in my life to be where I am today! I’m grateful that He is with me in all my valleys and mountain-tops experiences; from a delinquent who others say got no hope to a person who can now inspire others with hope.

Although it can be said that we can also be overcomers without God, but we would not be able to truly emerge stronger or fully realized our potential towards our true destiny without God.

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” ~ Romans 8:37

Exciting
I’m excited about the next couple of years that God is leading me towards! Actually I’m more of a laidback and not so ambitious kind of person. But it is Jesus in me that motivates me to do great things for Him by instilling a fiery passion to live for others.

“Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible.” ~ 1 Corinthians 9:19

Lately, He gave me a new faith goal. And that is to be a business owner. Seriously, I do not know how this will happen. But I will just obey and follow since He has already taken me this far.

I’m confident in His grace that is able to stretch me further in becoming a greater positive impact to as many people as possible!

Loving one another as Christ commands

Image

“We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar.

For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.

And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.”

~ 1 John 4:19-21 (NIV)

I’ve learnt over the years as a Christ-follower that God’s love is redemptive in nature. He never tears down or condemns even if we’re wrong. This revelation is from my own fair share of personal failings toward others and experiencing His grace.

When we are wrong or even sometimes not, He chides and disciplines as He loves us. However, His ways are always with the intent to draw us closer to Him, never to chase us away from His presence. 

Hence, the approach may seem harsh or cold from our perspective, but the intent is redemptive, not judgmental or condemning. And I guess that is where we as the Church are confused. How do we love?

It is clear that appropriating His love in our lives or situations is never easy since we are still more flesh and His love is not easily comprehended unless encountered from glory to greater glory. However, loving each other remains the key command and action we need to uphold regardless of any situation. 

Apart from the above scripture, the apostle John also penned the new command from Jesus in the gospel of John in 13:34-35- Love one another so that everyone will know that you’re my disciples. From this, we can conclude that it is not theology or doctrines or righteousness that will lead people to recognize Christ and the Church. It is firstly His love. 

Although the truth- theology, doctrines and righteousness are also building blocks to our faith, but they need to be built upon LOVE and expressed from LOVE. For example, righteousness without love becomes self-righteousness. 

So brothers and sisters, let’s obey the call like never before in this end of days where the world is looking to the Church for answers and solutions to an evil and corrupt world. 

Let’s arise and demonstrate true love that is OF the Father, not for the Father. Loving the GOD of the word over the word of God. Our world needs to know WHO we know rather than what we know. And this begins with us, the Church. Amen.

Why I don’t drink…

Many a times I’ve been asked why don’t I drink. The answer I always reply is because I’ve quitted drinking. Completely.

However, that is just half the answer. The actual full answer is God had told me to quit.

I was an alcoholic

Before I allowed God into my life, I allowed many vices into my life and alcohol was one of them.

I can say that I loved drinking. I needed to have at least a glass, a mug or a can a day. And it is usually in the late nights just for me to get into the state of sleepiness for a deep rest.

Drinking was very much in my lifestyle, especially so as I was working in the entertainment industry. So my 2nd home was literally the clubs and pubs where booze was free flowing.

The dark side of being an alcoholic

Most times when I drank, I would need to hit my threshold to be satisfied. So usually, I never stop at one or two.

More than often, I would overly exceed my threshold. When that happened, I would frequently erupt into a violent rage.

On more than a handful of occasions, I had gotten into fights with strangers and even friends over trivial matters.

But the most horrific incident had to be the one I badly injured my ex-girlfriend. Till today, I shudder when I think about.

Alcohol turned me into a brute and a monster.

Being saved from alcoholism

I consider myself fortunate that I was still in the initial stages of alcoholism when I got saved.

When Jesus Christ came into my life, He did a lot of cleaning up in my life. He rid me of all my vices almost immediately. My drinking problem was the last one.

After a long tussle with Him over my drinking problem, I finally relented and asked God to tell me if I should stop drinking or not. If He said so, I would do so.

That prayer was made before I had turned in for the night.

The next morning as I was opening my eyes, I saw a vision. I saw a silhouette of man that told me sharply, “Stop drinking”

I jolted up totally awake and tried to make sense what had happened. And it was clear to me that God had answered.

That was how I decided to quit. God told me so.

Now in my sober days

The decision to quit was made in 2000. Since then, I’ve not drank nor got drunk. Not even a social drink. By His grace in me.

Do I miss it? I have to admit I do. Especially now living in Vietnam where drinks cost cheaper than water! Ha ha…

But I know that I’m better off without drinking. And I never want to slide back the slippery slope of being hooked on alcohol again. My sight is on the future that God has for me.

And being sober this long, I understood how I was using alcohol to mask my hurts, resentment and emptiness inside of me. Now I’m fully reliant on God for making me whole.

I love God more than alcohol. I will choose Him any time. Cos His love has got a grip on me. Amen.