My Key Learning Points in Preaching for the First Time

Haven’t been writing for a while… I always tell people that I hate writing, and yes I really don’t like to write because I can’t seem to write very well, but I do have a thing for blogging. Maybe because this is my own space and I have the freedom to write about anything and everything that my heart desires.

“Lord, what do you want me to write about?” I caught myself asking this question as I stared at my computer screen. I was eager to write a post but I had no idea what to write. Too many things have happened the past 3-4 months, and when I asked the Lord what to write, He brought to mind my first preaching experiences in my youth ministry. So here goes…

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The first time I ever preached was in Sri Lanka. I could still remember vividly the sermon I preached, and the feeling of sharing the word of God to the crowd. Initially I was nervous, but as I started speaking, I found myself enjoying it and in fact it was right after I finished preaching the sermon that I felt the Lord say this is what He will lead me to do in the future. At that point, I didn’t really know what God meant – all I knew in my 19-year-old understanding was I’m going to serve God with my life.

Fast-forward to about 6 years later, with much difficulty yet by the grace of God, I am finally in the place where God had been preparing me for – R-AGE, my very own church‘s youth ministry.

I have preached in other countries, taught in children’s church, taught in youth cell groups, but never preached to a youth group in Singapore before. The first time I preached on home ground was on the 23 April 2016. I felt so stressed during the time leading up to that day, especially the few days before that day. I was stressed for the following reasons:

  1. That I couldn’t deliver the Word of God accurately to the young people
  2. That I couldn’t make the Word of God relevant for the young people
  3. That I couldn’t hear God properly, resulting in sharing an untimely message to the young people
  4. That I couldn’t articulate the thoughts properly to the young people

Even thought I surrendered these fears to God before I went up to preach, it wasn’t until recently after I preach my second sermon to the younger youths, the pre-teens, that God showed me a revelation of serving Him in this area of preaching.

  1. Preaching is not about how good a speaker I am, but how great a God He is.
  2. Focus on preaching the Word of God accurately and precisely, not on persuading the congregation with flowery words.
  3. The response of the congregation does not determine whether I have done a good job because what matters to God is my obedience in delivering His word and delivering it accurately.

To sum up, God wants our obedience when we serve Him (not only in the area of preaching). And when we have the privilege of sharing His word, to share it accurately.

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Life as a Recruiter

It’s been some time since I penned down my thoughts like this, and I’ve always wanted to start doing it again but the inertia is simply too high. Even as I am doing this right now, my fingers are typing away but my head keeps saying “stop”. I personally hate to write, and don’t think that I write well, but I am a firm believer of penning down thoughts and reflective moments, and don’t mind sharing it with people whom I don’t know, really, because I believe that everything can be a blessing and encouragement to someone that happens to read it.

So…yes. Life as a Recruiter. So after I left SportSG, an opportunity came by to work in a recruitment firm. Many things happened in the short stint of 6 months.. Many things that I never expected myself doing nor happening to me.

The number one thing that I never expected myself to do was: CUSTOMER SERVICE. Yes, you read it right – Customer Service. I still remember very clearly I said it when I was in Secondary school that I will NEVER EVER be in the customer servicing line. And little did I know that I’d be doing that some 10 years later. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed every bit of the recruitment process, but the concept about customer service is something that I haven’t quite grasp. I mean I can be nice and all to the people that I meet everyday at work, I can be very professional, but I really don’t see why I need to provide “customer service” to them. I cannot stand myself whenever I hear myself trying to convince the candidates to take up the job that had been offered to them. I cannot stand myself when I have to try to appease the clients and candidates, when sometimes it’s obviously not my fault that certain things happen.

But of course, working in this line the past 6 months has been VERY HUMBLING. It’s a humbling experience for several reasons:
1) I get scolded by clients and candidates yet I cannot retaliate.
I don’t like getting scolded. Ok, who does anyway. But I think it’s definitely harder for people like me to get scolded and yet not retaliate because I grew up learning to defend and speak up for myself, if I am not in the wrong. So being scolded for not doing anything wrong was one thing that I cannot comprehend and accept.

2) Consultants who are relatively newer doing better than me. 
I have always been very competitive since young. Even with my own sister. I need not be the best among my peers, but I definitely cannot lose out to my juniors. Well, that’s me. So when I saw consultants who were more junior but did better than me, I felt a tinge of bitterness.

3) Everything in this job is ever-changing. 
I need order. I need a plan for everything, and everything has to go according to plan. So when I realised that nothing is constant in this job, I almost went crazy. I had to find my own order, but no, I couldn’t. When you think that you have managed the candidate well and are quite sure that he/she will take up the job at the end, you are wrong because nothing is within your control whether he/she decides to take up the job at the end of the day. Nothing was constant.

The above three things are my weaknesses; but now when I think back, I can only thank God for placing me in such a character-moulding environment. I hated being scolded by people for nothing, but Jesus experienced the same or even worse. I didn’t like losing to people younger than me, but I’ve learnt to rejoice and celebrate others. I cannot tolerate disorder, but what is consistent other than God? I’ve learnt to adapt and work around things, I’ve learnt to trust God even more in the past 6 months because He was my only constant when everything else was not.

And there’s one last thing that I want to testify:
I had a pay cut when I came here – close to $500 decrease. But God is so good. At the end of the 6 months when I calculated my average monthly pay (there’s commission in this job), it is almost EXACTLY the same as what I was getting in SportSG! If I could turn back time, I would choose to do this again. My avg monthly pay is SLIGHTLY lesser than what I got in SportSG, but the experience that I’ve gotten is certainly way more than i could’ve imagined 🙂

Concerning this house that you are building, if you will walk in my statues and obey my rules and keep all my commandments and walk in hem, then I will establish my word with you, which I spoke to David your father. And I will dwell among the children of Israel and will not forsake my people Israel. (1 Kings 6:12-13 ESV)

my BIGGEST struggle: incompetent leaders

It was another crazy day at work – having to meet the expectations of the boss even though my logical mind says no. Perhaps many people think that having the ability to think logically is good, but working with a boss that cannot really think logically, sometimes makes me wish that I am not that logical so that I can survive better working with her. In times like these, I thank God for a spiritual mentor (SWJ) for keeping me sane, and for helping me to re-align myself to God. If not for a mentor like her, I don’t even dare to think what could have become of me. Haha..

I found out that my greatest struggle is with incompetent leaders at the end of NTU Year 1 when I was deciding whether to re-run for NTU Sports Club. The past 5 months of work in this organisation affirmed me of this struggle, and tonight’s conversation with SWJ made it definite. Perhaps I might still be able to work WITH incompetent leaders, but I really cannot tolerate working UNDER incompetent leaders!!!

“Incompetent leaders are part of God’s creation”, said SWJ, “and there’s nothing we can do about it.” I was like #facepalm. But hearing SWJ’s experience made me feel better because at least I know that I still have hope that something good might grow out of this.

Be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves. -Matthew 10:16b

God, teach me to keep my carnal being quiet and let my soul be still in all situations. Give me wisdom to respond and not react, and give me love that I may be gentle towards her. Open my eyes to see beyond who she is at work, and let me catch a glimpse of Your heartbeat for her.

Three months as a working adult

Just as the title of the post says – I am officially three months into working life. I have been so caught up with working and doing that I haven’t got the time to sit and really think about the kind of life I really wanted after graduating from university. It’s been a long time since I blogged and what triggered me to feel like blogging was the wordpress notification in my phone. (haha..) I have the luxury to sit at my sofa right now to think about what to write because I kinda fell ill after the trip to Bangkok. Woke up this morning and felt so lethargic and lazy to go to work, but went nevertheless because I thought I had been on leave for too long (2 days) and it would be good for me to just go to work to clear my mails. So I did, and nearing lunch time, I felt kinda sick and decided that I should go see a doctor and get MC instead. I did, and here I am, sitting and thinking.

The past three months had its ups and downs. I must say that I really enjoy the people that I hang out with for lunch and Sporting Fridays normally, but my boss has really been a nightmare. I looked forward to going to work every morning, doing the things I do, meeting and talking to people, even attending meetings was something I could look forward to. But one day, my nightmare came and crash all these good things that have happened to me at my workplace. I mean…the good things still happen, but now it is really a chore to go to work. And I especially hate attending meetings because it’s such a waste of time. “Tiffany, please be there for the meeting at 2pm.” or whatever the time is. I mean..if I’m there just to make up numbers, then what’s the point really? “Oh, you can go there and learn and hear about things that they are doing..” Yeah, I’m sure.. Like c’mon.. Are you kidding me? Just let me do things that will help me to do my work better. Why should I bother about what others are doing when my own department is already !@#$%^&* ?!

Oh wells. Just hoping that things get better… or a better opportunity comes my way~

I love young people

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This young man here is my ex-tutee from three years ago. Met him today for lunch at Jem because he’s enlisting next Tuesday.

My impression of him is still the secondary school boy that doesn’t wanna study. Haha. But I guess as time passes, he’s definitely grown up. (:

When I first started teaching him, I felt there was something more to this than just teaching. I didn’t know what was the ‘something more’, I just did what I had to do.

3 years down the road, his mum still calls me to talk to me about things…and he still cares to share life with me. So I’d believe that the feeling of ‘something more’ is not from me.

After meeting him today, I realised that I still enjoy meeting young people. I like to hear about their lives and how they’ve been growing. I like to be a part of their lives and to be in a position of influence to them. Not just like, I think I love young people. (:

1 month as an FYP student

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I’m into the 2nd month of being a final year student and I think I’m slowly starting to feel the tension of juggling FYP and the other modules that I have this semester. I was enjoying FYP quite a bit but I guess I’m starting to feel frustrated because I’m not getting the results that I want, and I need those results.

Mid-terms are in 2 weeks’ time but there just isn’t enough time in one day to do that many things. Well, actually there is time to do many things in one day but too much time is spent in the lab. Really.

It’s 2126hrs now and I just left lab about 10 minutes ago.

22 weeks at GF

“0 days to END OF IA!!!!”

Yes, that’s what I actually put on the screen of my phone. I countdown to the end of IA because I really dreaded it soooo much. Each day I looked forward to the day that it will state “0 days to END OF IA!!!!” and the day has finally come. It is today.

Time is the best gift one can ever give. That’s what I truly believe. Plus the fact that my colleagues love to eat (well majority of them…), I decided to take time to bake some cupcakes for them on my last day — RED VELVET CUPCAKES WITH CREAM CHEESE FROSTING. It’s my first time baking that and I have absolutely no idea if they will turn out right, I could only pray that God will help me make it right. Haha.. It’s true..

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Red Velvet Cupcake with Cream Cheese Frosting

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Nice red colour

 

And guess what? Of course one man’s meat is another man’s poison so it’s impossible to satisfy the tastebuds of every person but I’m glad that regardless of whether they liked it or not, I’m very sure they appreciated it and yes, I know they liked it! 🙂 haha..

As I think back, I can only thank God for His faithfulness and His goodness to me during these 22 weeks. As human as I am, I couldn’t see what God was doing with my life at GF initially, but now, I do.. My mind cannot comprehend how it would have been like to NOT be in GF.. I had such great colleagues, such an awesome internship environment (where people are always so nice to one another), I even made friends with the security guards! 🙂 Which intern will have the privilege to have a supervisor that treats him/her like a friend? where you can say whatever you usually say to your friends? Well, I did.. 🙂 “你ok吗?” *fist bumps* and whatever else that I do or say to my friends normally.. Haha.. He never looked down on me when I didn’t know my stuff. He taught me and explained to me anything that i didn’t know. Today he thanked me and told me that I really helped him alot, but honestly, I didn’t know how I have helped in terms of work. Haha.. It really felt like I didn’t do much to help him :/ but yes, that’s what he said and he even tried to show me how much I have helped. haha.. How nice right? People call him ‘Tiaw’ by the way…

I also had a colleague who was really nice.. People call him ‘Mong’ but I always feel weird when I call him that maybe because he gives me the ‘fatherly’ feeling.. haha.. I will always remember him for the one time that he brought me into the fab cos my supervisor was on leave. He taught me the basics of a CA liner tool (and abit of Cu tool), which I believe I wouldn’t have been able to learn if not for him. Thank God for him, really… He even shares his experiences with me.. His life at home, back then when he was in school, and today, his travelling experiences.. haha.. It’s really quite funny what he shared..

Every single one of them made my experience in GF a truly unique one. Now that I think of it, I might even cry.. Haha.. We played 一笔画 together, trying to outplay one another… We introduced to one another what are the good food at Marsiling Hawker Centre…

I really have the best supervisor.. He even brought me to the fab today JUST to take photos. Haha.. He even took into consideration to bring me upstairs cos it’s more secluded.. So people won’t see.. (supposedly not allowed to take photos in fab) Haha..

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Act yi ge working

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RARRR!!~

Alright, ’nuff said, I wanna end this post by thanking God once again for all that He’s given me during this semester, and I pray that He will help me to continue to reach out to them even when I am no longer in the company anymore. 🙂 ALL GLORY TO GOD!

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Sup and I

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Uncle Prakesh, the security guard