28 April 2008

Leaders no Enough

Today I had lunch with someone from my former zone. It was great to meet up again and talked about the Christian walk. It also warms my heart to see him zealous for the things of the Lord. He is truly a good guy for the Kingdom of God.

As we talked, we touched invariably on the subject of the lack of leaders in the Kingdom of God and of the many things left to the 20 percent to do. "Why is the Church not building her leaders?", He asked.

It is an age old problem and we do not have a solution yet.

It is one of those issues that I was passionate about in my younger days. From that sprung forth my involvement with the BB movement, to develop young men who can one day become the leaders of the church. In this respect, I have some little success.

But what about now? This church still needs leaders and she is not producing them fast enough. I thought the MG was a good system to produce leaders. But that was amended with the current IDT system. Well, let's see how this goes to solve the leadership shortage.

What about me? What can I do? I am too old to be involved in BB again. What I think I can do is to help develop leaders in a small group context and to help mentor them through their situations. I just need a platform to do it - either through DG, or at the Zone level.

Is this something that I can and should do? Help me Lord, show me the way.

27 April 2008

When you are at the end of the rope

Today is one of those days when I'm really at the end of my 'rope'. I had always wished for a family that goes to church together, worships and serves together. But it seemed that it is not really happening now. This morning, I had to call and force my 8 year old daughter to wake up and go to church. She screamed, "I don't want!" Why? Silence. A silence that is due more to defiance and apathy than guilt. At my own lost of words to persuade and cajole, I turned to my wife. She called once and then promptly also dozed back to sleep.

True, we are all going through a bad patch. My daughter had been ill for more than a week. At the 3rd visit to the doctor, she was diagnosed to have a chest infection, which necessitated more rests (tomorrow is her exam). My wife had a tough time to look after her and it also incurred sleepless nights. Of course, while all these things were happening, it didn't help that my younger daughter was throwing her tantrums to wrest back attention.

So here we are, all my 3 ladies preferred to sleep more than to go church. In anger, I screamed, "Why is it that no one cares for the things of God?" And I left to go to church - a broken man.

Today's sermon was aptly titled, "Don't Lose heart". Talk about good timing. Ps Kai was sharing on we not losing heart: when you receive our ministry as a gift (it's God's not ours); when you redefine our success markers; and when we recognise that it's all about our Master.

The part that struck me was when we shared about how Andy asked about the practical part - how do we put it into practise on how to die to ourselves so that we do not lose heart? He said that most of us have not died enough, simply because we have not been at our end of the rope. We are still managing the pain, still "wisely" working out alternatives, but not at that point where we have no one else to turn to but God.

For me, the last few years were hard for the family. Our communication was strained. The gals were becoming independent and at times defiant. The finance part was trying. Most things, if I'm not spiritually-focused, are crumbling and coming apart.

This morning, when I let out that scream, I am literally at the end of my rope. Help from on high is really needed. Ps Kai reminded us that it is exactly in times like this, when we let go and let God, that we can have a breakthrough.

But how? I struggled. By surrendering and waiting and letting go. Pray. He will take over and I will have cause to rejoice and to share His great works. Now it's still all about how & what I do to cover up the situation. When I let go, a new supernatural wave will come in and take over.

Do your work LORD.

19 April 2008

My wife's birthday

It was supposed to be a birthday to celebrate. But sometimes things have their own ways and a day to rejoice became a day to groan.

I woke up to find that my younger girl do not want to go for her wushu lessons. She was supposed to join the school team and should be training every Sat from 8 to 12.30 Today she complained of a leg pain and simply refuses to get up. My wife urges her for a while and gave up. I lost my cool and screamed and threatened, knowing that it is not as painful as she claims. In the end? she did not go and was as lively as any 8 year old. I was furious of course. And that started our day badly.

My older girl's fever worsened and she need to stay at home while we went for breakfast. It continued to rise and fall, hitting a high of 39.6 degree. We finally decided (actually my wife decided) that we need to take her to see the doctor. I brought her there and came back $67 poorer - these guys really charged a princely sum!

We were supposed to go to T3 to celebrate. We ended up eating from packet food bought from the nearby foodcourt. My poor wife got no celebration, no cake, no dinner. Well that's the price for being a mother! She went out though after that to celebrate with her friends.

Well at the end of the day, there are some things that we can plan, but God brings all things into fruition. And it will turn out to be for the ultimate good. Just got to trust Him in that.

High turnover in the Office

Yet another of my colleague handed in her resignation and announced that it was her last day. Sigh. Of my normal lunch group of 5, now we are down to just 3, with 1 leaving next month. There was also another lady in our dept who asked to be on no pay leave.

Its sad when all your good friends are leaving one by one. One of them told me, "Eh, morale low now. So many leaving... will you stay on?" I thought to myself, "If i have no family obligations, I would also leave at the first possible opportunity. But, now things are different. I have a family of 6 to look after."

Are those who are staying the deadwoods of the dept? Or the cause of the exodus? Hopefully not. Maybe another way to see it is that now is the chance for me to move on and up.

Ultimately, it is not the people who should decide my emotions. I must re-focus on my purpose of being here and not to lose sight of it. Of course its harder in reality. My comfort and reminder is from the scene of Hotel Rwanda, when the House Manager turns down the opportunity to leave even when he secured his exit visas, to stay on with the Tutsi refugees, because he knows they will die without his help. I may not be that influential or messianic in their lives, but I know there is a place for me to fulfil the will of God here. So hang on! Even though all my good pals may leave. God is still here with me.

5 April 2008

Left Hand of God

I went for a talk at NUS Guild House on 3 Apr. It turned out to be one of those recruiting talks for consultants. They offered FREE 48hrs of training in return for certification (recognised by?) and that I must complete 3 simple assignments before they can refund the $3.5k I put in. I am not too convinced that it is worth it. Never really heard of CCA or AMA. Besides what can 48 hrs of training train you?

I am disheartened by the so many promising talks that turn out to be scams and lemons. Surely there is like what they say, no free lunch.

The next day was the IDT session. I went there reluctantly, knowing that I have not done my 5 sessions and that its going to be the same dull talks and sharings.

Ps KK shared about Biblical Priorities. It didn't really strike me until he mentioned about the Melbourne incident where a couple met them out of the blue. I am reminded of Divine Appointments in the KOG. When things seemed least expected, God can step in and intervene and make something worthwhile. He also mentioned about the Left Hand of God, the seemingly worthless and impotent things that finally turned out very well in His economy of things.

IDT sessions are like that. In a way we feel that it’s a waste of time with nothing really important transacted. But in the wisdom of God, in the left handedness of God's ways, divine appointments will be made. Lives will be changed. And things may never be the same again.

I want to learn to trust God in the IDT sessions and the DG sharing times. Even when nothing much seem to happen, let's hang in there. Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of God, knowing that our work is not in vain in the LORD.

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