Friday, January 01, 2010

First Reflections

One of the thoughts I had during Meta camp was this. People make commitments for God during camp. There is often a sense of victory and overcoming. But the battle has yet to begin. Much of the camp for me was spent asking God for strength and wisdom to live for Him AFTER the camp. Living for God during any Christian camp is simple, chicken-feet fare. The tough part is living for God everyday. And that is where I have often fallen.

So, the true challenge is to take up the cross daily... not yearly. I can take up the cross once a year, but I might put it down multiple times. Then of what point would my walk be? No, the toughness of a Christian soldier is built up in the daily walk. Of non-compromise in the smallest things, of the daily maintenance of his sword and his gear for battle.

Hmm I can see my toe at the bottom right.

The highlight of Meta camp for me was the Street-E. Talked to about 8 people. A Muslim, a Christian family, a Buddhist, a Jew, a freethinker and 2 other Christians. It was wonderful to be out there doing this stuff. Also camped outside a certain place at Lucky Plaza to try to talk to people coming out. But nobody had time.

The challenge is not in Street-E. All that is needed for that is faith, the understanding that I have nothing to lose and thick skin. The challenge is in evangelising everyday through my life and actions. Of not hanging out all the time with believers only.

The Three Bibles

These are the 3 bibles that I remember using most often. The first is four-in-one. Wonderful for home study. It's a parallel bible, which helps me to understand hard passages since I can scour the word for meanings and implications available only in certain translations. The second is my NIV one. I've used it for a bit over a decade. It's accompanied me to school, church, army. Everywhere but out in the field. It is protected by much plastic and reinforced with cardboard pieces. The third is a Gideon's Bible. It's my outfield bible. I put it in Ziploc and bring it out into the jungle. So far, it's travelled into the jungles of Singapore and Taiwan and the forests of Australia.

I'm not trying to say that I'm spiritual. For goodness' sake, having more bibles does not make one so. But let me talk about the significance of each bible in this new year.

1)The leftmost bible. The four-in-one parallel bible. This bible is wonderful. It is huge. It is great for bible study. But because of its weight and size, I do not bring it out of the house.

Certain aspects of my walk with God must be like that. I pray, I study God's word. And that is very good. But if my life is represented by this bible alone. It would mean that I never bring my faith out of the house.

I would never do evangelism with this bible. It is too cumbersome. In the same way, in this new year, I must be very careful not to encumber others in their journey to salvation or in their Christian walk.

For me, this represents much meditation and time spent with God, where I am closed off from the rest of the world. It is good and Christ Himself often did it, going to quiet places to pray. But it is also a reminder that I can spend much time with God alone, and still not accomplish the Master's will. Other sheep the Master has which are not of this sheep pen. Them also He will call. And will that be my feet which bring the good news?

2)The normal bible. The workplace and wherever I am. I bring this bible everywhere. In the same way, I must live for God. I must be a blessing, not a curse, an encouragement, not a discouragement in my ministry to both believers and non-believers (yeah, I know there's this politically correct term called "pre-believers" but I'm not too fond of that).

For me, this bible represents my faith in all situations and all settings. Within and without the church's ministry. Am I the same person wherever I go? Do I follow different principles in different places? Will I keep true to God, and ready to share His word everywhere to everyone, in season and out of season?

3)The outfield bible. It was with me for some of the worst days. It's not really clean, cuz I've handled it with dirty hands in the jungle (I shall not elaborate).

For me, it is a reminder that as light and salt, we must be prepared to take the word of God into the toughest conditions. The word of God is a weapon, a double-edged sword. A sword must be ready for use. This sword is living and active and penetrates to dividing bone and marrow, soul and spirit. We must be very careful to think of the word planted in us as weapons. Not ornamental trophy swords displayed on a rack far from public view.

And with these reflections, I shall begin this new year...

With the 3rd sleepover of the season! Tonight at Jesh's place.

Yay, and with the toe nail removed I can now run again.

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