Monday, 30 July 2012

Signed up to Serve the Lord! =)

Sorry for the delay of yesterday's sermon preached by Pastor Kenneth! The sermon was indeed refreshing and conveyed with a different approach altogether, alongside with real life examples, to provide greater relevance for people to relate their particular circumstances to the Word of God. The sermon was so powerful and impactful that it eliminated all my possible doubts and once again pulled me up from my slight depression. Oblivious of the attack from the devil, I fell into a state of mild depression a few days ago, with the thought that I wasn't doing adequate enough. I became dubious with my own conviction on Christianity, and I couldn't feel God's presence (although He was right beside me all the time, and still is!).

These are a few signs that I had low self-esteem thinking that I wasn't good enough in the eyes of God. For instance, I have never brought anyone to church. I have never preached gospel to anyone and impact other people's life. The most I did was consoling my friends with biblical scriptures and praying for them. I have never served in church. There are many people in church whom never failed to inspire me and I wish I could be like them. They are so faithful to God and has been trying hard to bring new souls to church every Sunday, to connect people one step closer to God. All these require courage and faith, which I believe I am somewhat devoid of. The spirit of doubt still hit me from day to day despite me praying hard (not hard enough, maybe?) to God. Being a rational person who always think objectively by logic, the consistent occurences of miracles performing throughout the centuries sounds like legendary myths to me. But by God's grace, I have had so many opportunities to witness miracles happening to my brothers and sisters in church! God has been so faithful to Acts Church and to all of us, although sometimes some of us (me, for example) continue to commit sins that irate Him, and do not please God in any way.

I have been praying hard for my family's salvation, and anyone who is close enough to me would have knew that I am a first generation Christian. It wasn't easy to get permissions from my parents for me to attend Sunday services, and I had many quarrels with my parents. Yet God has been so faithful to me, provided me countless opportunities consistently. I have once brought my younger sister to Acts Church (about 5 months ago), and I wasn't sure of what she thought of the service as she just answered my question with a simple reply, 'okay la'. Just a few days ago that she finally responded to the calling. She asked me about Christ, and intended to be a believer of Christ! WOW! Praise the Lord! All glory to God!

So, what is the problem now? Perhaps it is not even a problem after all. I wasn't fully convinced of my sister's conviction, neither am I fully convinced of my own. Doubts strike me over and over again, but the faith in God will usually pull me up from the deathly trap. Yes, I will describe doubt as a deathly trap, spiritually! Once you fell into doubts, you will only be dragged further and further down by the devil like a gravity of Black Hole, unless something pull you up, in my case, faith. I was having doubts for this matter, on God's power! Just a brief introduction for all of you, my younger sister is a Lower Six student now in Catholic High School PJ, and is very busy with her studies and co-curricular activities. It will be hard for her to spend a whole Sunday in church since she is already preoccupied with so many activities during weekdays, including her tonnes of homework assigned, time of spent on travelling back and forth, and tuition. On Saturday she has to go to school for her extra co-curricular activity. My parents wouldn't agree if she spent Sunday outside at church or any other activities planned by interest groups.

All these are just my worries and personal thoughts, and I know God has a greater and perfect plan for me and my family. Recall that I wrote 'perhaps it is not even a problem after all', that's true! I have been worrying too much, and underestimating, to a certain extent, God's mighty power. The key word here to solve this 'problem' is faith. Just by firmly believing that if that's God's Will, it will happen regardless of the process. It will still happen in the end. To bring my family to the light of Christ is an insurmountable task, but nothing is too difficult for God. We might be able to plan out our best, but eventually God is the one who touches people's hearts through various means. Same thing goes to thoughts. God's thought is always greater than mine, and the reason I would have worries and doubts overwhelming me is solely due to lack of communication with God. There, I have pointed out the solution - pray. But before started pouring out everything to God, set your heart right. Diverting your heart to God's goodness, instead of pouring out all your problems soliciting God to fulfill our personal desires in life, will definitely make wonders in your prayer, for that I can testify. It worked for me when I was praying for a brother sitting next to me yesterday prior to the sermon. Instead of merely praying for the brother, I diverted my focus to God's goodness and the aftermath was rather different.

God has again reassured me that He is with me regardless of the waves of obstacles coming my way. There will be days that I feel very passionate on God, and days that I could hardly feel His presence (consequently doubts strike and temptations come). Testings come in hard times and what hold most of the Christians is conviction. High confidence on my conviction to God will definitely bring me through the hard times. Jesus at the Center of It All (by Israel Houghton) is a very simple yet powerful and meaningful song, emphasising our attention on God in everything we do. The song sounded so simple yet how many of us actually put God at the center of our life? To be honest, there are times when I don't put God at the center of my life and that's something I shall start working on. Times of adversity, times of doubts and temptations. That's when Holy Spirit comes in to assist us, giving us strength to fight against the devils.

Yesterday after Pastor Kenneth finished preaching the Word, he opened up the altar for members of congregation to come forward for him and a few of the church leaders to pray for. I stepped forward and Pastor Kenneth prayed for me. What remains vivid to me is this: God told Pastor to tell me that I shall forget my past. My past? This question has been sticking with me, and I'm still thinking. Perhaps the past that Pastor mentioned, was something that has been molding me into who I am all this while, something that has been dictating my life? I am still not quite sure, but I will continue to pray about it, to seek for revelation.

Remember last week I mentioned something about serving the church? I had so many choices but this one had never crossed my mind, Revo store. I was contemplating on which one to join, and even considered joining Acts TV! Personally I'm interested in Acts Stream, but given the length of period of time I have before flying off (1 month), I decided to join something else. Acts Host (usher ministry) and Actspresso (hospitality) were amongst my choices. I couldn't make up my choice while I was standing in front of the booth of volunteers registration. Opposite the booth was the Revo Store. Just in case you don't know what it is all about, it's a store opened after the Sunday service to sell stuffs such as Revo T-shirts, Revo buttons, Chin Up (a book written by Pastor Kenneth) etc. In short, Revo Store is an business operating for everyone, as part of the church's source of income. So I thought, why not Revo Store? Yeah, why not? Eventually I signed up to serve the Lord through Revo Store. Finally! =)

Without further ado, I will include yesterday's sermon here, and I believe you will definitely benefit from it! As I've promised, a very powerful sermon that is apt to be the basis of a perfect church. 'These sermons are going to be a series', said Pastor Kenneth. So I hope this sermon will inspire you, to bring you closer to God. Here it goes:

Bible Verses: Psalm 139:1-18, 23-24; Proverbs 21:2

- The way to victorious living begins from the inside out!
- Problems always stem from inside.
- Eg: Wash the internal part of the cup, not the outer part of the cup.
- Church lives on and grow stronger regardless of result of the upcoming General Election.
- It's easier to take us out from external bondage than internal bondage.
- Check your heart!
- Proverbs -> Wisdom for victorious life.
- Survive all the obstacles and succeed!
- We are living in a world not devoid of pains and sufferings!
- Offences cannot be avoided.
- You can be the richest man on Earth, but you can be not happy as happiness is from the inside!
- Everyone can try to stress you up, but you can choose not to be affected.
- It's at the bad times that we find our true self. 'Why me?'
- During bad times, ask 'Why not?' instead.
- It's during bad times that God is doing works that build characters.
- There are different toppings on bad times (different circumstances).
- No matter how severe the damage, you still have choice to trust God.
- Eternal life -> internal.
- The reason God understands all of us is because He created us!
- He doesn't have to be in your position to understand your problems.
- We are made the same, and God knows the inner part.
- Many of our problems stem from anxieties/fears.
- Religion is not under authority.
- The difference between God and god is who is in charge.
- God -> He is in control; god -> we are in control.
- Conviction comes when you are serving the big 'G'.
- Anything can be an idol (small 'g') from inside (unforgiveness, bitter, doubts etc).
- Argument starts when both parties think they are right.
- Anyone who gives their best will not come down without sweating.
- There is no perfect church, if there's one, don't join; cause once you join, it turns imperfect.
- Perfect = 100%; +/- 1% from 100% = imperfect.
- Perfect church can only exist when everyone changes from the inside out.
- The whole world change when all of us change from the inside.
- Everything thinks he's right, until someone checks him; until God weighs his heart.
- If you tell yourself not going to be someone you don't want, chances are you will end up there,
  or worse.
- Stop the situation before it gets worse.
- Let's become people we want to be, don't allow us to become people we despise now in the
  next 10-20 years.

Saturday, 28 July 2012

London Olympics 2012 Opening Ceremony! =)

As the most widely participated sports event by nations all around the world, Olympic Games that occurs once in every 4 years has been officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II in London at 7.30am this morning. Although I didn't have the privilege of watching the opening ceremony live, I was definitely fortunate enough to be able to wake up at 3.30am (after sleeping for 3 hours) and watch the whole ceremony, thanks to our national television broadcast TV2! For once, as far as I can remember, they did a great job in it. Well done. =)

It was definitely stunning to watch the whole ceremony and admittedly the whole idea was indeed brilliant, attributed to Danny Boyle with his opening ceremony namely The Isles of Wonder. It started off with superb imagery, as a pastoral scene slowly transformed into broiling evocation of British Industrial Revolution, and some great performances by National Health Service (NHS). Later on The Queen was dropped into the stadium to the audience by a live action of parachuting from a helicopter alongside with James Bond, and showed up shortly after that. 

I believe one of the greatest hits from the Olympic opening ceremony was definitely a sequence by Rowan Atkinson, where he portrayed himself as his infamous character Mr.Bean, as an inept member of the London Symphony Orchestra, playing "Chariots of Fire". Most people know Rowan Atkinson as the famous comedian, and the Oxford graduate has never failed to make the audience laugh with his silliness style of jokes, including me! xD I definitely like this part a lot and even downloaded it. :p 

Later there was an appearance of Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of World Wide Web. I never knew of such inventor and has definitely learnt of something new. Some of my friends were surprised that the person who invented the Internet is still alive, but hey! He's even younger than my dad! I later discovered that he's a British computer scientist and a MIT professor. Wow! =)

Then, it was the time for Parade of Nations, where athletes from each country participating in the Olympics paraded in the stadium, preceded by their flag. There are 205 countries participating the Games, and one great improvements I've noticed is that for the first time in the history of Olympic Games, Muslim nations (Brunei, Qatar & Saudi Arabia) are sending females athletes to represent their nations, marking a new high for the women in the attainment of gender equality throughout the globe. Shortly after that, there was a speech given by Sebastian Coe, the Chairman of London 2012 Organising committee, ensued by the opening of London Olympics 2012 by Queen Elizabeth II.

Followed up there was an appearance of David Beckham driving a speedboat down the River Thames, carrying the famous Olympic torch. One of my girl friends was stunned by his hotness lol. xD The boat finally docked at Stratford and Beckham gave a helping hand to pass on the Olympic flame, where the flame was taken to the ceremony and passed to 7 young British athletes, and simultaneously ignited the Olympic chauldron to open Games. 

Overall, London has presented a vibrant picture of Great Britain's rich heritage and culture! James Bond, Mr.Bean and the Queen! =)) Looking forward for the Games now! First gold has been attained by Chinese shooter Yi Siling from Hunan! =) Congrats!  

Monday, 23 July 2012

Obliged to Serve! =)

Before going into the topic, I'm going to share the sermon preached by Pastor Kenneth Chin yesterday morning at SPCC! Yes Acts Central has once again moved on from Summit Hotel to SPCC, a great God-inspired move! =) Oh by the way, I would like to wish congratulations to my campus pastor Pastor Dave and Katherine for their wedding on the past Saturday! I attended their wedding in Luther Centre PJ, and God's presence was indeed very tangible for the whole ceremony! This was my first time attending a wedding, and I believe so do many of my campus brothers and sisters! The whole wedding was very lively filled with laughter and joy, and sacred with vow of bride and groom to each other! Kat even cried while saying the vow! :') Aww. So yeah, the whole ceremony was very very sweet! Haha! <3

Haha how sweet they are! <3 Praise the Lord! Anyway, time for the sermon preached yesterday at SPCC! =)

Bible Verses: Hebrew 11:6, Deuteronomy 8:1-18

- God is God, even when all circumstances say He isn't.
- Although sometimes you don't know what is left, you should always do what is right.
- There are things that God tests (our heart).
- Although there are challenges/obstacles against us, if that's God's will, it shall be done!
- Generation in form of spirit.
- When God tests us, God will test everyone involved in the deal.
- Continue to be soft hearted, pliable.
- Fix your eyes on God, and obey, then God's grace and love will sustain us.
- God is a magnet, let God be glorified.
- Point people to Christ.
- Every command that God says, just obey! God will provide to those who are obedient.
- After every wilderness, people come out stronger.
- Not people develop buildings, but buildings develop people.
- Through tough times, we grow tougher spiritually.
- Things don't always happen in our ways, but God has better plans!
- You can never lose what you have given to God!
- Bouncing back after falling!
- Just continue to trust God, that He will give us more than what we could have imagined.
- Praise God not just on the mountain, but even in the valley!
- God is in control and church shall prosper!
- Nothing can stop churches from growing cause God wants it to grow!
- Don't hold on to these luxurious life as God has so much more for you!
- Don't live a life devoid of challenges and testings!
- God has meant good in the end, for you! We win, in the end!
- For breakthroughs to happen, you need a new challenge!
- 5 points for breakthrough:
  i) God always tell us something, expect a Word from Him!
     Success can hinder us from achieving next level God has for us.
  ii) It will be beyond your budget (plans included), not necessarily only beyond your mean.
     Expect your plans to be messed up by God!
     Adjustments needed not only for fund, but also focus.
 iii) Always have chance to doubt, and choices to follow.
     The longer it takes for you to obey, the higher the chance for you to have doubts.
     We don't live life by what our bank accounts dictate, but live by God's will!
     Obey all the way! Give your thoughts fully to God!
 iv) Things may not have turned out as your way or what you have envisioned.
     God's ways/thoughts are higher/greater than ours. God is able. Just obey!
 v) Don't forget God when you succeed!
     It's the time of success that there's greatest test!
     God will test our maturity, that we are not so weak when things don't turn out our way.
     God's way is better, cause God has meant good for all of us! =)

While Pastor Kenneth was preaching the sermon, he mentioned about planting a new church in London called Acts London. I was overwhelmed with joy when I heard it! I started to think of what God has in store for me in London, to serve Him! Acts London, is that possible? God is able, nothing is impossible with God! If that's God's will, Acts London shall prosper! I told Pastor Dave about my joy of knowing the plan, and Pastor told me it's still in praying stage! I will definitely be very interested to join Acts London should there's any church plant there! For 3 years that I will be studying in London hopefully, I shall discover and develop many of my hidden talents/potentials and I am definitely looking forward to it!

About serving the church for 2 months before flying off, I finally received a call from God, that I shall serve! I don't know exactly why I didn't do so earlier when I joined Acts Church early this year, possibly clouded by the thoughts of exam preparations. I could have joined Acts Host, Acts Web, Acts Expresso, Acts Kids, Acts TV and even Acts Stream if I want! Now it seems like I have missed out a lot of fun. Yes serving God can be fun, albeit tiring, if you enjoy doing what you are doing in church! Pop me some ideas on which one to join for 2 months? :)

Monday, 16 July 2012

First Two Sunday Sermons of July (8/7 & 15/7)! =)

Sunday Service (8/7/12) (by Pr. Kenneth Chin)

Title: Blessings of Abraham 
Bible Verses: Galatians 3:13-14; Genesis 12:4, 13:2, 15:6, 15:15, 20, 25:7-8; Romans 4:13-25 

- Hold on to the unchangeable (God), and don't hold on to those changable. 
- God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. 
- We can stand firm only on the solid rock foundation (Jesus). 
- Righteousness is the key. 
- None of us can be righteous by ourselves. 
- Someone of same problem can end up with different outcomes. 
- The blessing of Abraham is obtain righteousness just by faith. 
- When you believe, you will be rewarded. 
- By using our mind, strengths and experience, it will not go far. 
- Only by faith, everything is made possible, miracles happen. 
- Part of these blessings of Abraham are through faith. 
- Be fully convinced. 
- He is the Father of Impossible. 
- Blessing of Abraham is Favour. 
- He was the Friend of God. 
- Friend eating your food without asking = sharing; 
  stranger eating your food without asking = stealing. 
- Authority comes from identity. 
- Authority = Power. 
- We are already blessed and this is constant. 
- Only we have the choice whether to reject God, no devil can rob us away from God. 
- Our identity in Christ is permanent (children of God). 
- Financial blessing: God's blessing can be overflowing through financial prosperity. 
- Fit (healthy): Go to te grave in peace without worries and stresses. Good old age can be obtained 
  through the blessing of Abraham. 
- By law and flesh, you are your parents' child (might inherit sickness), but by spirit, you are the 
  child of God. 

Sunday Service (15/7/12) (by Elder Kien Yak) 
Bible Verses: 1 Samuel 16:1-12; Deuteronomy 8; 1 Corinthians 13 

- Lord does not see as the way man see. 
- Don't judge. 
- Rejection is hard and tough to accept. 
- Just by reading God's Word without practicing it will have no breakthrough. 
- Regardless of your length of period being a believer, God always has a greater level for you. 
- If you live by 'I should have', you will not please God. 
- How long it takes to pick yourself up? Days? Months? 
- God is preparing our breakthroughs, having something in store for you.
- Don't avoid responsibility and put blame on others. 
- It's part of our job to take care of our own responsibilities. 
- Don't boast in front of people (eg: I have done this and that, what have you done?) 
- God has the promotion for you, so don't forget to thank Him. 
- David is selected as a King, even when he was still in the field before promotion. 
- Many people are trying to prove to God to gain God's favour, don't do that, cause God knows 
  exactly where you stand. 
- If our attitude/character is not right, it will not be able to sustain the promotion as downfall will 
  occur soon.

Favourite Music! =)