Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Project Report #39 - Crash

It's Wednesday, the last day of this working week for me as I will be heading off to Penang with Ps Ryan and some of the Harvest Generation guy leaders for a ministry trip come Calvin’s Bachelor Party. Really looking forward for this trip after so long of not having a break from our very hectic lifestyle.

Much has happened within just this week itself, last Friday we all had a great time at cell learning and discussion what God’s dream is all about; what is the definition of a selfish dream and what is the definition of a God given dream? The presence of God was so strong during cell that even when we were worshipping, people started tearing already. Everyone one of us in I1 Cell, as well as the other cells, really responded well and received a lot through the session.

Then came Saturday, I followed Ps Ryan and Chris down to Singapore for a day trip to look for the iPad. We were all dead tired because of the stretching we had to take on the previous week; we took turns to drive and rest. It was rather amusing that we all knew how to get around by MTR but have no idea on how to drive around Singapore. Thankfully, with Ps Ryan kept telling us “go straight only”, we manage to locate the place where we could buy the iPad.

Just a little sharing of why we were willing to go all the way down to Singapore just to buy Ps Ryan the iPad. We believe in really taking care of the man of God, to cater to all his needs as we’re able to, so that he would be able to do his job well as the pastor of our church. We will do everything in our capability to unsure that his needs are all met so that he will not be distracted by lack, hence it will make him more effective and productive as our discipler and pastor. I personally believe the principle that if you honour, bless and take care of the man of God, God will definitely add on back to us so much more.

Sunday morning came, we were all prepared and excited to have a great service and God really moved powerfully. Pastor spoke on a very timely topic on ‘Letting Go of Our Past’. That message struck me right smack into my heart because I know I was still holding on to old mindsets that has been really slowing me down in my progress.

It has been quite a long time since we’ve had altar call in our Sunday services, but Ps Ryan opened up the altar for people to come up and be prayed for. When Ps Ryan and the leadership start laying hands on the people, the power of God just moved. A lot of the people were just crying their eyes out because God was working in their lives. It was just totally awesome, the presence of God was so strong in the hall.

After service, my cell group, I1 Cell, and S1 Cell combined for lunch. We ate at this moderate standard Pan Mee shop in SS15, which I will never EVER go back there again if I had a choice. Putting the moderate food aside, the company was great, we had a very good time chatting and chilling with each other. One of my cell members was very quick to run to the counter to pay for my meal, so proud of my cell for catching the spirit of generosity.

After lunch, we drove back to church for out Easter Play rehearsal. While driving back we were stuck at Persiaran Murni, USJ area. I was wondering why was there such a bad jam in the middle of a Sunday afternoon. As I inched my car forward closer to the traffic lights, I saw a car on its side. My first thought was, it’s just another accident. Then when I saw the people that were climbing out of the wreckage, I recognized one of the victim’s clothing. Then it struck me, that was Bethany, a member of our church, who just climbed out of the vehicle’s side window and that vehicle is John Sim’s Avanza!

I quickly overtook the cars infront of me, honking my way through, parked my car at the side and rushed to the scene. I saw a lot of blood everywhere, on the road and around the vehicle. Then I saw John Sim, with a bleeding elbow, standing at the side of the vehicle making sure that every passenger that came out of the wreckage was accounted for. Further down, sitting down on the curb, was a girl bleeding very profusely. When I went over to her, I realized it was Eunice! Passersby were all helping to stop the bleeding from her head, hand and foot. It was a very scary sight!

I quickly took some bandages and wrapped up her wounds, carried her to my car and sent her straight to SJMC with Amanda. In the car, it was amazing that although Eunice was still in shock, she asked me to pray for her and started speaking in tongues and singing to God. So I prayed for her while driving like a madman rushing to the hospital.

When we arrived at SJMC, the nurses really did a good job in responding to her emergency. Thank God that the ER was not packed with people. They tended to her wounds rather swiftly. After many hours of treating, X-Ray and stitching up her wounds, I really praise God that although it was a really terrible accident, she suffered only superficial wounds.

Every single person that was involved in the accident only had cuts and bruises, none of them broke any bones, none were seriously injured. If you were to have seen the condition of the car, you will be amazed on how God has really protected every single one of them.

It was very much later that I learnt that Eunice’s head was pinned under the vehicle when it was lying on its side. The part of the car that was over her head was twisted to an angle where it precisely cleared her head. If that piece of metal didn’t bend, her head would’ve been crushed under the weight of the vehicle. Our God is so awesome to preserve her life!

Priscilla came to SJMC as well to get the cut on her arm stitched up, John Sim had to go through 2 minor surgeries to get the glass fragments out from his elbow. Praise God that both of them went through all the treatments necessary without any complications. Now, every one of them are resting and recovering in their respective homes.

As church is growing, I know that the enemy is working very hard to deter and distract us to throw us off course. Through this incident, I’ve learnt not to take prayers for granted. We must always be constantly praying for our Pastor, leaders and cell members for God’s favour and protection. Prayer precedes every great thing and it also keeps the enemy at bay. Let’s grow together in our level of faith by praying for our church every day.

Other things that happened recently, Tay, a medical student from IMU that has been attending our church, has just officially received Christ as his personal Lord and Savior two Sundays back! Praise God! I’ve been doing Bible study with him and I can really see God working in his heart. I’m believing that I1 Cell will grow to 20 people by the end of this year.

That’s all the time I have now. Hope you all have enjoyed reading this as much as I have enjoyed writing it. Tomorrow I’ll be on my vacation in Penang! WooHoo! This weekend, we’re having a Big Day on Sunday with Ps Saras Bany from CHC Penang! It’s gonna be such a power-packed weekend, can’t wait! Don’t miss out ya! Come to Harvest Generation Church this Sunday and have the experience of your life!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Project Report #38 - Despicable Me

It’s another Friday again, another week has gone past just like that. It has very eventful though, got to spend quite a lot of time with our dear friends of the church, Rev T. T. Quah and Rev Maudrenne. They’re really been a blessing to us as a church, as well as to me personally as well.

What Rev. T. T. Quah spoke in church last week really challenged our faith, to really do a thorough checking on our belief in Christ. Many people have really mistaken that just believing in Christ would mean that we’re saved. Most do not pay attention the level of believing in Christ. The Bible clearly states that even the demons believe in Christ, but does that mean the demons are saved too?

But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds." Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder. Even people who are moving powerfully in their ministries, the Bible states that some of them may not even be able to enter heaven. - James 2:18-19

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ – Matthew 7:21-23

All these people mentioned above, who can prophecy, can do deliverance, can do mighty miracles, even they stand a chance of not entering heaven. Isn’t that so puzzling? So what does it really take to really be saved?

Rev. T. T. Quah explained that grace is free, Jesus died for our sins to redeem us from sin, many of us know that. But how many of us wonder the significance of the Resurrection? We’re usually always stuck at the free gift of grace and forgiveness, but salvation is not just about that. Through the death of Jesus, we are forgiven of our sin, but through the resurrection of Jesus, we’ve given the freedom to choose to live our lives in accordance to God’s will.

Don Moen, a great Christian song writer said this in of his articles on worship, “God will not anoint who we want to be, He anoints who we are”. We must understand that through God, we are given the chance to live life fulfilling the very purpose of why we are made, we don’t have to live day by day trying to become someone else, but the decision is still ours to make.

Grace is free because Jesus paid for it through His death without us having to lift a finger, all we have to do is confess that we believe in Him, but Living for God has a price. As believers, we cannot be stuck at the ‘Grace’ state forever, as we mature we must grow into living our lives for God. The highest expression of one’s belief is shown through his life. What we really believe will always be evidently seen in our everyday life.

Every day I drive my car because I believe that it can take me from one place to another fast, every day I put on my shoes before I go out because I believe that it will protect my feet from getting injured, every day I wear my glasses because I believe that it will correct my vision to help me see clearly, every day I make effort to go see Carol because I believe that I will definitely have a good time spent with her.

So what we truly believe in will definitely be expressed through our actions in our everyday life. How much do we believe in God that we will read His Word every day, pray every day and live our lives according to His will every day?

Some people just believe but they just are not assured of it. Example, if I’m scared of flying, I may believe that the plane can take me from country to another safely, but I’m not assured. Another good example, being overweight I may believe that having a good diet will give me better health, but I’m not assured enough to actually live out that lifestyle. The thing that hit me hardest is that I do believe in God, but am I assured in God enough to live it out? How much do I believe in God that I would trust everything I have and my life itself to Him?

It’s a good heart-check for someone as despicable as me can be saved by His grace without me having to do pay anything, and because I believe I'm saved, I now also am assured in Him. The fruit of this assurance is that I’m more excited about God and I’m more passionate about doing what I do for God. Belief with no actions is dead, nothing will happen. The power of our believe coupled with actions, be it with or without God, will always produce something. Can you imagine what we can produce if the power of our belief, with actions, is coupled with God’s awesome power?

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ – Matthew 7:21-23

What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. 16If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. . - James 2:14-17

You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. And the scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness," and he was called God's friend. You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone. In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? – James 2:20-25

Let’s learn to live our lives as an expression of our belief in Him. We all know that God’s ways are higher than our ways, His thoughts are higher than our thoughts, that He has thought about us to prosper us is and not to harm us, plans to give us a hope and a future. So what is stopping us from living it all out for Him? The decision is up to us, make the right choice today.

This week has been awesome, we had our very first Cell Harvest, my 1I Cell group had to join with the S1 Cell group because most of my cell people were back in their hometowns. Nevertheless, we had 28 people who turned up! Praise God! We got to meet a lot of awesome new people, Grace and I got the opportunity to share our testimonies of God’s faithfulness. I believe God really touched the hearts of the people; the seed has been sown, now we have to continue to reach out to them and pray for them. I believe one day, they will receive Christ and join our church =)

I had the opportunity to play bowling twice with Rev T.T. Quah, Ps Ryan and a few Harvest Generation leaders. It was not just about playing bowling for having fun sake, although that is really important, but even through these little times spent, I have caught so many principles from these awesome people.

Really excited about this coming weekend for Cell and Church service, I know God has prepared something great for us to receive. For this Sunday, if you’re looking for a church to come or have not been to church before, come visit us at Harvest Generation Church. That’s all I have for you this week, till next time, God bless!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Project Report #37 - My Inception

Hi people, it’s great to be able to blog again. My working hours are pretty much back to normal now after many months of working over the human threshold. Really thank God for sustaining me through all those late nights of merciless tasks but now things are looking a lot better for my current project.

The past month has been a both exciting yet challenging for me in almost every aspect of my life. Church has really grown to another level in terms of the quality as well as the quantity. We’re seeing a lot of potential people coming and joining our church. The leadership of the church is getting tighter, we’re more united now than ever before because things are getting so much clearer for each of individually as well as corporately.

In my cell group, I1 Cell, which comprises mainly of medical students, I can see tremendous growth in every one of my members. They’ve really caught what it means to be hearers and doers of the Word of God. Even in times of challenges, I am so encourage that most of their responses have shifted from being negative to speaking the positive promises of God.

Sometimes when I doubt my own capability to lead them, the Holy Spirit constantly reminds me of the changes that He has done in every one of my cell members’ lives, that encourages me to press on and further depend on Him

I’m now about to embark on the biggest decision of my life thus far, it will definitely change my life and the lives of the people around me forever. My heart is bounding in excitement, with a little mix of fear and uncertainty, but definitely having the peace that this is the right decision to make. The only discouragement right now is that I know financially I’m not able to support this decision yet.

Many times I look at my circumstances and wonder, “Will I ever be delivered from not having enough?”. I’ve been working for my company for almost 4 years now and still have not seen a promotion or significant increments. Yes, God has indeed blessed be with many things that I desire, many people look at what I have and always think that I’m from a rich family that can afford anything, few understand that almost every good thing I have was a blessing in which I did not need to spend a single cent on.

I’ve been reading this book by Rev. Dr. Cho Yoggi called ‘The 4th Dimension’. This is a really good book! It really has thought me to look at my situations in another aspect. Before any breakthrough or miracle can happen in my life, I have to first learn to dream it, build faith to believe it and confess it. Evert prayer must begin with a dream, we have to first learn to visualize what we desire in our spirit.

So when I’m down and discouraged looking at my current financial state, I spend a lot of time praying in the spirit to edify myself, then focus on the all the things God has provided for me, thanking Him for every single blessing as far as my mind allows me to remember. Finally, I start visualizing that I am no longer financially in lack.

When I’m visualizing, I dream of the one day I’m able to write cheques of tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, even millions, and place it in the offering bag in church. I dream of having the best, most grand wedding for Carol. I dream of being able to afford a nice house which both Carol and I can settle in after marriage and build our family. I dream of buying a nice white BMW 5 Series to chauffer my beautiful wife-to-be and kids-to-come. I dream of setting up a home recording studio with state-of-the-art equipments and musical instruments. These dreams, which are so defined and specific in its every detail, may not have materialized yet, but it encourages my spirit because I know that it’s not impossible with God.

After I’m done visualizing, I start praying and confessing. This has never failed to lift my spirit because it reminds me, in my heart and spirit, that God has been in control in my past, He is in control now, and He will still be in control in my future. God has never failed, is not failing, and will never fail to provide.

There are a lot of things that are written in Rev. Dr. Yoggi Cho’s book that has tremendous truth to it, but the few things I’ve caught is summarized in the points below:
  1. Have more of the Holy Spirit & the Word of God in my life
  2. Always have an attitude of thanksgiving to God
  3. Visualize in specific detail about the breakthroughs that I desire
  4. Confess the breakthroughs with my mouth in prayer, never staying silent.

So now, every time I’m feeling defeated and bogged down by my circumstances, I do the 4 things stated above. I particularly love point 4 because when we pray, we use words, and in the Bible, in the very beginning of time, the first mention of the spoken word is for creation.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and He separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light "day," and the darkness he called "night." And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day - Genesis 1:1-3

This revelation dawned upon me when Pastor Ryan mentioned in one of his messages, Rev. Dr. Kong Hee said the same thing in one of his service videos, and Rev. Dr. Cho Yonggi said the same thing as well in Asia Conference 2010. With this revelation, the portion of scripture below made more sense to me.

Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and it will be done. 22If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer." – Matthew 21:21

Having faith alone will not do anything if we do not confess it with words. The devil knows that there's power in words. He can never take away your faith, but he will try his best in every way possible to keep you silent. As long as we don’t pray and confess, no matter how big your faith is, nothing will happen.

Therefore, in any situation, I’ve learned never to stay silent, keep praying, keep confessing God’s promises. Through faith, coupled with specific and persistent prayers, we’re creating our breakthrough in the spiritual realm (the 4th dimension), which will directly influence our physical realm (the 3rd dimension). The Bible clearly says that all things seen were not created by the things which are visible, and words are invisible.

By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible. - Hebrews 11:3

My situation has not changed much, sometimes with all the credit card bills, petrol expenses, highway toll expenses, education loan repayments and other monthly commitments, it can be very overwhelming. There's always temptations to just stay silent and sulk through it... but I constantly have to discipline myself to continue to pray in the spirit, give thanks to God, visualize my breakthrough and confess God’s blessings! I believe in time, my financial lack will be totally eradicated. I love this quote by Pastor Ryan; "Poor now... but not poor forever".

Hope this sharing has encouraged you as much it has encouraged me, just blogging this really lifted my spirit. Always remember that with God in us, impossible is never forever. It’s gonna be an exciting journey ahead!

The weekend’s is coming! I am super excited about the Young Adults Brunch on Saturday afternoon at Empire Hotel, Ministry in CBC PJ on Saturday evening with Pastor Ryan, Sunday Service with Rev. T. T. Quah and Cell Harvest on Sunday evening with S1 Cell and I1 Cell combined. Till next time, God bless!