Completely offered to You

Photo credits: My beloved youth pastor

The bridge of “The Stand” never fails to find its way to my heart. And today, it was the chorus that struck me. 

What can I say? What can I do? But offer this heart, O God, completely to You.

God has given us everything. He gave us even His only Son to die for our sin (which is what prevents us from having a perfect relationship with God) so that we may have that perfect relationship  with Him again. Nothing that we can ever give will be able to be compared with what God has given. And that left me believing that the only thing that’s ever worth giving to God is myself, and giving it completely without restraint. 

If that’s the English song that describes how I feel towards God, then here’s the Chinese one —全然为你.

我生命气息全然为你,如同香膏倾倒 / 无悔地付出,只愿你心得满足 / 我生命气息全然为你,如同香膏倾倒 / 全心来献上,最深刻真挚的爱

The monster that I can’t seem to have control over 

I don’t usually feel so much. I normally can figure out why I’m feeling what I’m feeling. But tonight, my emotions is just like the mess in the picture. I hate it that I can’t properly articulate my emotions. I hate it that I’m frustrated yet I can’t really figure out why I’m feeling so. I hate it that when I’m in such a state, there seems to be no one in that moment that can help me to get out of that emotional mess (well, other than God). But what happens when I can’t hear what God is trying to say to me? Tonight is one crazy night. Lord, please release me from this emotional roller coaster. 

I’m just average but it doesn’t matter

Rarely do I think much about life or the things in life, and today happened to be one of those rare days.

I was swimming and when I was taking a rest by the side of the pool, I caught myself thinking “I haven’t achieved much for the past 26 years…” I found my mind rewinding and thinking about what I’ve achieved the last 26 years. Or rather, I found myself thinking about the people around me who seem to have achieved more than what I have even though younger than me. My younger sister was once a National athlete, my friends are earning paycheques of more than $3.5k… And me? Working in a church youth ministry.

I don’t mean to say that there’s anything bad about my work (I love my job by the way), it’s just that it doesn’t seem to me that I’ve achieved anything big/great, or rather, significant.

Then I felt the Spirit tug at my heart and said “Does it really matter whether you achieve anything of that sort? Because it doesn’t really matter to me. What matters to me is you grow in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. What matters to me is you grow to love me and love people.”

If that’s what matters to You, Lord, then may those things also be what really matter to me and nothing else.

 

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.

My daughter, walk with Me

 

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I am into the third month of my internship with the church. Back to back overnight camps has been crazy stretching physically. I can’t deny anymore that age is catching up on me.

Work has been crazy but I am enjoying every bit of it. Tired, but I haven’t caught myself complaining (sometimes I do but it’s not with a negative connotation in it like I used to do) about it. I like the fast-paced style of work, I like the fact that I get to meet and journey with young people on work days, I like it that every week is not the same. Physically I am tired but I feel that I still have energy to keep going on.

Just when I thought that it’s ok to be physically tired (I just need to be spiritually on fire!), God spoke – “slow down and walk with me”. I think God knows that I am so caught up with working that I wouldn’t be able to hear Him even if He spoke to me, so He spoke to me through someone else. He caught my attention by speaking through a tangible being and reminded me with the six words.

Initially I was not sure whether that was for me because I didn’t feel that I am far from God. But just as I closed my eyes and started speaking in tongues, I saw a vision of God and I walking side by side, having fun and enjoying each other’s company. Then as I got excited by the things I saw in front, I ran forward and left God behind. He didn’t run after me, but called me back to Him. “My daughter, don’t go before Me or behind Me, just walk beside Me.”, I heard Him say.

Lord, thank You for Your undying and unconditional love. Thank You for the grace that You’ve showered upon my life. Thank you for calling me back to You even before I unknowingly run far away from You. Lord, keep me close to You.

what is HOPE?

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Took a nap just now and the first word that popped up in my head when I woke up was ‘Hope’. What hope? Why hope? What exactly is hope? Hope in what? I wanted a biblical view of what hope is and what we should hope in, so I took my phone and searched for ‘hope’ (pun intended. haha) in the bible app. 

Many verses came out, so I slowly scrolled down to get the gist of as many verses as I could. As I read those verses, I started to reflect on what/where/whom have I been placing my hope in…

When we say we hope for something or place our hope in something, I suppose that means that in one way or another, we are kinda expecting something to happen. When something or somebody gives us hope, when we start believing in this hope given us, I’d believe that that’s when a person starts to feel alive. When he/she has hope. Motivation for today comes when we have a hope in tomorrow. And so as I continued to read the verses, I started to realise that in order to finish running this race well, in order to be motivated everyday, we need to have a hope that is constant – which means it never changes even when everything else changes. 

The bible says to ‘hope in God’, ‘hope in his word’, and ‘hope in his steadfast love’. Everything in life changes; only God doesn’t. It’s been a difficult phase of life, I want to learn to place my hope fully in God and His Word again. 

 

Ohana

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Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten. -Lilo & Stitch

Just watched this show for the first time in my life and I thought that it’s quite a good show to learn about family. I love Disney movies because regardless of what age you are, you’ll certainly enjoy it. 🙂

I enjoyed finding out how love changed Stitch – from a wild little crazy alien,  to a gentle loving human-like creature. I guess that is the power of love. Love, having the power to change a person into someone better.

This reminds me of the love of God. Human love can make a person change, what more the unconditional love of God? The unconditional love of God is certainly the most powerful. Not only can it cause a person to change, it causes the person to change to become more like Jesus. Food for thought.