Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A story

This one is taken from Living a Successful Life by Pastor Yonggi. I reckon that you wouldn't be able to find it easily these days. It was copyrighted in 1977. So that's how old it is.

Pastor Kim stayed back to tend his flock during the Korean War. In the daytime he would be living in the mountains. Every night, he would make his way down to the village area. It snowed in the night and it was often hard to find one's way around. The landscape when covered with snow was quite indistinguishable. One night, the Pastor, carrying his briefcase made his way down.

After walking for quite a while he realised he was getting lost. As it got later and later, he managed to find no way out. Realising he was too tired to carry on any longer, he called to God to send him a blanket and cover him throughout the winter night, for he had no more strength to carry on. And so he fell asleep where he was.

The next morning, he felt extremely warm, as if his mother had hugged him all the way to sleep. Opening his eyes he found that lying on top of him was a mountain tiger! The tiger licked his face. Pastor Kim could see the sharp teeth of the creature. But he was so filled with the Holy Spirit that he treated the tiger like a kitten.

"Thank you Lord for sending me a blanket. I just wasn't expecting you to send me a living blanket!"

Some ramblings

I realised that the older I become, the less stuff I am willing to put up on my blog. Most of the stuff I simply keep to myself. A few years back I would have been blogging a lot, with all the thoughts in my mind. Now, it just seems a tad wiser to keep mum.

Work these days has been okay. Been waking up early most of the time to do QT still. However, some days I'm just too tired, admittedly. I think my walk with God is quite alright, but some days I do feel a little... bored? But then again, if the KJV of Isaiah 40:31 says to "wait upon the Lord", and then again it's repeated throughout the scriptures to "wait" e.g. Lamentations 3, Psalm 37:7, Psalm 46:10, just to quote a few of the head. Then perhaps, this is a good thing, just to wait.

Saturday and Sunday was church as usual. Some days after church on Sunday, it can be quite lonely. Not many people to hang around with. And Jesh is flying off to Europe soon. So one less buddy around. Enjoyed spending my time with my kids in CM.

Monday. Went for a run and worked out a bit. Thank God my archilles tendon injury seems to have fully healed. Went Bible Study Fellowship in the night. The first lesson, so okay. A little bit dull cuz it was just introductions and all. The lecture was alright. Well, at least I get to learn stuff.

Tuesday. Which was yesterday. Nothing much. Ended school at about 3:30p.m. Went home. Besides bible study and all, wrote letters to all my kids. Been calling the guys up. Not calling the girls cuz it'd probably be inappropriate. Really would like to see the guys through the years they grow up as youth. Been reading a really old book I dug up from my parents' collection. Titled "How to bring your children to Christ". It's for parents, but I guess it's quite applicable for all of us who serve in CM.

The last book was by Pastor Yonggi from Korea. That one is with Jeshua now. Which is apparently mainly where all my books go these days after I finish them.

Today. Will attend a CIP briefing at SMU later in the day.

Job has been fine... enjoying myself more with my students. Their mid-years are coming soon. I think teaching is pretty good training for public speaking. I handle about 200 plus students. All the express and academic classes. So have to alternate between verbose English and Singlish splattered with Malay and the Hokkien dialect. Heh, still can muster up some simple Bahasa Pasar from my NS days...

I feel that the most glaring characteristic amongst my friends is that I spend most of the week not really socializing... as in going out to sup with friends... etc. Of course part of the reason is that most of the guys live in the East Coast stretch and it'd be quite a waste of money to travel all the way down and then take a cab back if it ends too late. Oh well.

I wonder how SMU life will be like. It'll be 4 years. Hopefully, it'll be way better than JC life? JC was extremely fun at times with guys in my class. But I guess I was a lil aloof many a time.

Well. It sounds kinda ominous to me, but if Jeremiah 1:17-20 "Get yourself ready! Stand up and say to them everything I command you..." andIsaiah 8:12-13 "Do not fear anything except the Lord Almighty... If you fear Him, you need fear nothing else" are the verses that God impressed on me. And if God told me that I must "stand for Him wherever He sends me". Then perhaps, just perhaps, there is a possibility that much of my life at least in the near future, will be spent standing alone.

I hazard a guess that perhaps times of being alone in NS was a time of training for what is to come.

So be it.

When I heard my belly trembled
My lips quivered at the voice
Rotteness entered into my bones
And I trembled in myself
Yet I will wait patiently for the day
When he cometh up unto the people
He will invade them with his troops
And though the fig tree shall not blossom
Neither shall fruit be in the vine
The labour of the olive shall fail
And the fields shall yield no meat
The flock shall be cut off from the fold
And there shall be no herd in the stores
Yet I will rejoice in the Lord
I will joy in the God of my salvation
The Lord God is my strength
And He will make my feet like hind's feet
And He will make me to walk upon mine high places
Selah

This is one morose-sounding post man.

Friday, April 24, 2009

A Joseph experience

"And as for you, ye meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive."- Genesis 50:20

I was on the bus last night, coming home from Caleb's place. And I met a guy. One of those who really gave me a lot of problems in SISPEC. Who really hated me. One of those who did their best to make my life miserable. But I've forgiven them all already. Of course that most of them won't know, except one, a Christian brother.

Well, I had a good talk with him on the bus. Talked about how we're both doing now, what we're working as. Talked about reservist life... etc. As if nothing ever happened in the past.

And I must say that I really felt the peace of God. I've forgiven this guy long ago. Whatever he thinks, it's okay. It's okay if he still really hates me, or if in his eyes I am still a detestable person. It's okay if he thinks I'm a loser and all. I know what I am in the eyes of my God.

And today at school ended of yet another week. It's becoming more and more enjoyable. Good training in public skills. Having quite a bit of fun teaching most of my students. A couple of classes and students are hard, but God's mercies are new every morning.

Lamentations 3:23-24 Because of His great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail, they are new every morning, great is His faithfulness.

I am looking forward to the weekend. To spending time in God's house.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Be on your guard.

We are under spiritual attacks, gentlemen. Be on your guard.

Stand-to, understand?

Have you noticed (well, I never did, till I read someone else's writings) that in Ephesians 6:11 and later in verse 13 it says to stand firm, and later to stand your ground against the devil? It never really says to attack. And so, we already have conquered, as Romans 8:37 says, we are more than conquerors. As the NLT puts it, we have conquered overwhelmingly. So we stand our ground on what we have already conquered.

Monday, April 13, 2009

April 13

Exactly 2 years ago I enlisted.

It's been a long way. And I just want to thank God for all He's brought me through in these years. He has indeed been a faithful God in all of His ways. As the lines from the song go:

" You have been faithful in all of your ways
Though we may not understand why
We go through life this way
But we know what it's like
To be by Your side
Teach us Lord to be like You
So faithful and true"

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Weekend

Been a pretty good weekend. With Caleb's birthday on Wednesday night, then CM retreat from Thursday night to Saturday. Been spending more time with God and His word. So have been receiving quite a lot these days.

The question that most concerns me after Caleb's birthday speech is this. It was well received, but will it be put into practice by its hearers? That is the question.

Truly, when we gather around, are we just Christian friends, or friends who love God? That in Caleb's phrasing. This, and its related issues, are matters that weigh heavily upon my heart.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Caleb's birthday

Dear Daniel Li

I can see that you want me to blog about Caleb's birthday. And so I am posting an obligatory report right now on his party.

It was good.

Sincerely.
Me.

:)

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

A good week ahead

Looking forward to Caleb's birthday tml night. And also the retreat at the end of the week.

School today was still okay. Settled pretty well into a good morning routine already. Of waking up at 0600 and doing my 1st QT till 0700. Lessons are good. Got to repeat most of my lessons 8 times, so by the time I get to the 4th or 5th time the lesson is very interesting and the delivery nears flawlessness.

Not been exercising as much I want to. Getting a lil fat. Haha.

Getting a little bit tired in walking with God these days. Hopefully will be able to spend more time meditating this weekend. Also might attend a Reinhard Bonnke night.

One question which has concerned me in the past few weeks is this. Where is CM heading? Are we as teachers now doing the things that will enable it to go from this glory to the next glory? The litmus test would be how things are 10 years from now. 10 years from now, where will this ministry be?

And so we've got to keep praying on this. Keep building up. Keep mentoring the generations below us. Or else all we have will come to naught. There has to be a down flow in the process of teaching. We have to get out of comfort zones. Have to pray for each other in the ministry. Have to watch over younger teachers. We cannot allow cross-generational divides to form here.

As we are ministered to and receive from God in this ministry, let us out of the abundance of blessings He pours forth, pour back. Let us not become spiritually fat. Ever receiving spiritual food but never exercising spiritual muscle. Let us allow the Master to weed out in us any blemish or defect in our lives; in the ways we lead them. For it is written that we are living sacrifices. How can a sacrifice be presented if it is not without blemish? After the displeasure of God at Cain, have we not become sufficiently warned?

And I say the above more to myself than anyone else.

So let us build each other up for His glory.

And God help me cuz I feel like I'm running on my own diesel. That's wrong and terrible and can potentially lead to lots of nonsense. On the other hand, it is a most obvious alarm that makes me cry out "Abba Father not my strength but yours". Even as Peter declared that "if anyone serves let him do so with the strength that God provides" - 1 Peter 4:11 I believe.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Work today

Work today was not easy. Had some tougher stuff than I expected.

Today reminded me that the source for every victory is dependence on God. I mean, I'm out of army. And it's all too easy to go by the train of thought that now I'm toughened up and ready to handle anything and everything. But the reality of the matter is that it was God who brought me through. And it is Him that brings me through every day. I need to rely on Him. For every success I must honour Him. For every obstacle I need to pray.

You would observe in the 6 main books (1 & 2 Samuel, 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles) regarding the kingships in Israel a pattern. There are roughly 2 main factors that define their kingship. Whether they walked right with God, and how they responded to crises/danger/threats.

If a king did not in the first place have a right walk with God, that would usually mean the whole nation turning to idolatry. Interestingly, if kings never walked right before God and yet humbled themselves before Him in times of danger, God still received the homage and delivered them. (E.g. Ahab, and Manasseh)

And yet when a king as righteous as Asa walked right with God and at the end of his kingly career, responded negatively to a crisis, he lived out his last days in bitterness and illness.

And so I that's something I've learned today. That I have to respond well to God in times of a crisis. Walk right with Him. And when trouble comes, not to try to use my own meagre human abilities to solve the problem. Kings who depended on what was to be considered rather great wisdom by human standards took silver and gold out of the temple to pay would-be invaders. By human standards, this might have been great wisdom. Money to avert disaster. But Kings foolish by the standards of the world, who went into the same temple and prostrated before God in surrender and who pleaded deliverence. These are the ones that God delivered in mighty fashion. With great routing of the enemies and more often than not, it seems to me, great plunder for God's people.

Where do we turn to in times of crisis. Do we go by the wisdom of the world? Or do we appeal to the Lord. For the foolishness of God is wiser than the wisdom of this world, is it not written?

.
.
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This week's been pretty good. Fighting a slight throat infection. So not much exercise done, most regretfully so. Been waking up at 0600 to do my QT. Sometimes a little bit later. Often find myself half awake. Perhaps cuz I'm still a little sick. But spending this time with God helps me to find strength for the rest of the day. I'm reminded to turn to Him throughout the day. Normally can fit in at least 2 other times with God a day.

Waking up in camp in the past was slightly easier, you could say. The cold breeze from the jungle got me awake fast. But then again I'm so thankful to God that I'm no longer there.

Probably signing up for SU's trek program. Need to get it done fast though. Application closes soon.

Praying that I'll really be able to teach well in school. This job is a rather evident God-send. It fits most neatly into my schedule. It fulfils what I asked for- enough time for myself. It regards my favourite A'level subject- History. It ends just about a week before my university camps, cuz that's when the teacher returns. I know God has provided for me.

The challenge must be to have the courage of the biblical Caleb. Even as he claimed the land inhabited with giants promised to him in his old age, I must claim my own land. God has given me the job, and I need to claim the success. I need to live right with God, honour Him and claim His promises in the word.

And that being said, today's events as I felt them, smelled of spiritual warfare. The enemy trying to knock me off balance.

The last time an attack like that happened was the evening before VBC. And I was convinced at the time that some breakthrough or great work of the Lord was about to come. And by God's grace I was right.

I wonder what's in the air this time...