Monthly Archives: August 2020

Look Up!

Psalm 121:1-2, “I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.

Bench

The sun was just rising, its golden rays kissing the tops of the surrounding mountains. I sat on a big red bench swing cautiously swinging back and forth. In front of me was a well-manicured green grassy knoll. A crisp, gentle breeze whistled past leaves of the trees along the stream behind me. Birds were chirping melodiously in the background. Three bunnies hopped playfully near the edge of the stream. I sat there reflecting on my life, pondering the direction of my ministry during the COVID-19 times.

I wondered how our congregation, friends and guests are receiving the online worship services. I wondered what church will look like when we finally re-open our doors.
I wondered about the health of our church members. Are their families safe? Have some of them lost their jobs? How are they surviving? I wondered. Is my family safe? Am I safe?

Mountain

Directly in front of me, behind the buildings was a mountain. The rock strata made the mountain look like huge rocks are rising triumphantly out of the dust. Majestically pointing to the skies. At the top of the mountain was a big white, cross. Two eagles were flying, rather, gliding gracefully around the cross. I was overcome by a huge sense of God’s divine presence. I felt like God was whispering His assurance of His presence. He wanted me to know He is with me. He is with my congregation members and their families. I do not need to worry. Though these are uncertain times. Though our world is turmoil. Though the future seems in disarray. God says, “Trust me.” God says, “Rely on me; I will guide you through the tumultuous times.” Look up to the mountains, God is there to help. Lift up your eyes, God is there to lead and guide you. Raise your head and see the King on the throne. Do not fear. Do not be troubled. It’s going to be OK.

My prayer: I look up to the mountains. God you know my concerns. God you know my fears. God you know my desires. You have heard my cries. I look to you for help. You are my God. You are my fortress, the rock of my salvation. Be exalted. Be worshiped. Hallelujah!

Let Your Light Shine

let-your-light-shine-w820-o

It was about 3:00 a.m. when I woke up from a deep sleep. To not wake my wife up, I quietly tiptoed to the bathroom in the dark. Suddenly, I let out a loud moan. My wife woke up, switched the light on, and ask, “What’s wrong?” My left little toe was throbbing. I had stubbed my toe against the wooden leg of the bed. It hurt badly. I wished I had turned on the lights to see better. Light makes the darkness disappear. Light lets the hidden things visible. Without light, the world is dark, cold, and lifeless. Light gives heat. Light is a vital component for organic growth. Light makes seeing possible. We can say, without light, there is no life!

Stubbed toe

Jesus is the light of the world. He said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” – John 8:12 We, too, can shine the light onto the world. We reflect and shine the light of Christ on a dark, cold, blind world. Matthew 5:14-16 says, “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

One of the clearest ways of making our light shine is to show the world God’s love through our actions. A lost, dark, dying world needs Christians to be the peacemakers. A lost dying world seeks to see Christians loving one another and expressing their love to their neighbors. You can shine the light by praying for others, purging and donating the clothes and shoes in your closets. Tutor children in the after-school program. Serve in the corps as a youth leader, Sunday School teacher, music teacher, janitor or to fulfill any other need you see. Join Community Care Ministries and visit nursing homes. Read books and the Bible to people you meet there. Visit patients in hospitals. Read books to children in the children’s hospital. Whatever you do, let you light shine so people can see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven! Let’s shine.

You Are The Light of The World • World Mission Society Church of God  Singapore

Oasis of the Soul

Desert

Isaiah 55:1, “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.”

 

My family and I enjoy road trips. On our road trips we have cruised north along the scenic California coast on Highway 101. At other times, we have driven over the majestic, snow-capped Cascade mountains to eastern Washington State. On other road trips we have driven across the desert to Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico along Interstates 10, 40, and 80. Driving in the desert can be boring as the freeway stretches for countless miles in a straight line. There is little beauty in the desert scenery except for the scattered cactus plants, grey jugged rocks and tumbleweeds. However, the monotonous drive is broken by a small geographical patch of rich vegetation with tall palm trees, shops and housing. These areas are called the oases. Oases are areas with rich green vegetation, usually located above a spring or desert river. Oases provide life giving water, creating an environment conducive for human habitation and farming. 

 

Oasis

 Often in life, we experience times of spiritual dryness – the desert of the soul. None of us is immune to the occasional times of spiritual dryness. These are times where God seems far. These are times when prayers seem to go unanswered. These are times of severe challenges such as terminal illness, loss of employment, relationships breakdown, divorce, or death of a loved one. These are times when the spiritual experiences and divine encounters are rare. Reading the Bible or going to church becomes a painful chore. 

 

Like the drive in the desert where we occasionally come across an oasis in the desert, times of spiritual refreshment will soon appear. If you are going through times of spiritual dryness – the desert of the soul, I encourage you to keep trusting God. Soon, your spirit will be refreshed. 

Pray. If you have lost your zeal for God. If you have lost your original love for God and His people, I encourage you to pray for a spiritual oasis experience. I challenge you to humble yourself before God. Cry out to Him. Forsake the things which have stolen your heart, luring you away from God. For proper spiritual refreshment, go on a retreat, away from the gadgets, technology and any distractions. Ask God to refresh your dry soul. Tell God you desire His fresh presence.

Reach out. Speak with a mentor, counselor, your pastor, or a friend who can breathe life and passion back into your life. Spend time who have a contagious passion for God. They will soon impart their enthusiasm onto you.

Read. Read the Bible, particularly the Psalms. Read about the men and women of God who struggled yet sought after God. Read books about people who have experienced spiritual dryness, yet they searched for God’s presence. It is through reading that our minds are opened to the possibilities we cannot grasp in the now.

Music. Play some music. Music is a healing catalyst. Music leads you closer to God. It elevates your senses, so you feel the presence of the divine. Music transforms your mood. Let God heal you through music which speaks to the soul.

God is ready to refresh, restore, and rejuvenate your soul. Are you? 

 

Deer

Victory is Yours

1 Corinthians 15:57 - Bible verse of the day - DailyVerses.net

Each day we come across people who are hurting.

Each day, we converse with people who are carrying huge burdens.

Each day, we communicate with people who are struggling to climb insurmountable mountains of problems.

Each day, we interact with people crumbling in the dark shadow of loneliness, sadness, pain, grief and depression.

Some days, you are one of those people experiencing any one or more of these challenges.

Some days you wonder when this crisis will be over. Some days you reflect on the difficulties you face and pray for it all to go away.

Maybe, today you are in tears. Maybe today, you are struggling to make ends meet.

Maybe today, you are in pain, wondering when God will intervene.

God is here with you. God hears your cries. God sees your suffering. He wants you to know, He is with you.

He is right here.

You are not alone.

You are not abandoned.

It’s going to be OK.

Victory is yours. Hang in there. Trust Him. Believe in His power.

Soon, it will all be behind you. Amen!!

 

Laser-Focus Faith

Psalm 27:4 - KJV - Bible verse of the day - DailyVerses.net

All my life, I have moved houses, cities, states and countries. As a Salvation Army officer, my life is a life of constant change. Although, saying “good-bye” is not always easy. I am used to packing, meeting new people, learning the ways and cultures of different places. No, we are not moving.

I want to let you know I am thinking of what it feels like to live in one place for a long time. I am thinking about what it means to have one goal, purpose, aim and focus in life. Though I am accustomed to moving, I desire and long for the stability of having a single focus. This is why my life verse is Psalm 27:4, “One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.”

Today, I want to encourage you to remain focused on God. Despite the challenges life hurls at you. Desire to remain in the house of the Lord despite the lures of this world. Commit to live in the presence of the Lord no matter how tough the going gets. There is joy and unmatched fulfillment when we live in the presence of God. Hang on tight. Stay laser focused on God. In due course, you will receive your blessing. Have a single allegiance and live for the one true and Almighty God. Amen!