Sunday, January 04, 2009

2009 and what it means for me

God reminded me of His call in my life to desire revival more than respectability. Revival is about bringing in His presence while respectability is about cruising on His past works.

It was very easy for me to “flow” with the system and be comfortable with what was around me. But God wanted otherwise for me. He wants me to continue to pursue the revival that He has placed in my heart.

Thus the stepping out in faith… Abraham, not knowing where to go, I am moving on by faith that He will show.

Uncle’s death over the New Year’s Eve
, helps me to see the strength or lack of in the many relational ties I though I have. I felt I had not taught the people well on relationship and love. But more importantly, I felt his death signals a new beginning for me. His health deteriorated during the times when I was seriously weighing the call from God. And I felt his “graduation into eternality” is a sign from God to me to move on to the new chapter.

Thus, as a deliberate act to move on, I will no longer be blogging on this site as the original intention of this blog was to disciple online readers from FCBC.

This will be my last post!

Meanwhile, I felt the need to clarify that I am not in City Harvest Church.

I have said to many that I am giving myself time to visit churches in Singapore to see the bigger work of God in this city. I have since visited City Harvest Church, Church of Our Savior, Riverlife, Christlite Methodist, Dawn, Lighthouse Woodlands. I will like to visit a couple more before putting all the learning together. I know that as a visitor we do not see the “true” picture of the church. But it helps to see the distinctiveness in every church ie how they are different from one another, etc. I celebrate the diversity of giftings that I have discovered in the Body of Christ so far.

Particularly, I have visited City Harvest more because this church is amazing. Many are drawn to the worship climate of the service and the preaching of Ps Kong. He is very down to earth and yet very engaging and faith stirring.

Personally, I had visited CHC in the past too during the initial period of starting the youth service. I don’t see anything wrong in visiting churches if you have cleared with your leadership and you are clear in your purpose of doing so.

Meanwhile, I am availing myself to schools and organisation to teach because there is a need to bring “bread to the table”. I have no intention to compete with the friendly organisation which I have “grown” up with. Just to meet practical needs for the family.

But guess every action of mine could be interpreted negatively if people choose to be negative. For that, there is nothing much I could do.

I should never live life to please man but God.


Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A fresh perspective

Much has been said about the financial crisis and recession. Retrenchment and more bad news abound. How should a believer response in times such as this?

I believe this is the best time for the gospel message.
Beginning with believers, we must anchor our hope in God.

Even if we are part of the retrenchment group, we must believe God that it is His sovereign act to move us to somewhere BETTER.

Life is simple. But not simplistic. We must not treat retrenchment as “suai” or bad luck and being spared from retrenchment as “lucky” or “God is good”. We need to see that whatever life brings to us, it is still within God’s perfect will for our lives. We, owe it to God and ourselves, to understand His ways and agenda for us. God is always GOOD regardless of what happens to us.

Meanwhile, we need to counter the trend and be truly light and salt in this challenging time.
- Instead of playing safe with our money and resources, GIVE! Give to those who are in need.
- Instead of focusing on personal needs, self preservation, LOVE! Love is demonstrated and not just with mere words.
- Instead of being fearful, FAITH! Faith to step out and usher in the greater thing He will do in and through us!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Leadership Perspective - a new understanding

Segment 9: Leadership within a learning community

This segment reading started with Stronk and Bloomberg reminding us the type of leadership needed in school planning. We need to put in place a certain rhythm in ensuring that everyone involved in the process and not “top down”. The suggested framework is very useful especially the emphasis for total involvement, team building and putting peers together in the teaching and learning journey.

The leadership function continues beyond the planning to shaping a covenantal learning communities as learning had been structured to a private and personal journey in most schools. The ingredients of covenant learning community ie need for vision, atmosphere of love and trust and ethos of leadership for service are important focus for the leadership to emphasis and work on to ensure that school can be transformed into such learning communities.

With postmodernity, leadership is evermore needed to bring about changes “because of the human carving for stability especially on the part of those in power positions and those who benefit most from the existing order, nothing will give way in the fabric of existing institutions until the strife and discontent build beyond some threshold” (Lambert, 2004). Leadership in this brave new postmodern world demands that we encourage our learning communities to play with ideas and pray for grace to be faithful in obedience to the heavenly vision, whether as maverick or monk.

And to do so effectively and refreshingly, leaders must make time for self care. The ability to “make time” or time management is very well explained by Rush. He reminded us that “Time is our most important resource. It cannot be saved or stored. It can only be used.” And we must use it intentionally to ensure that our lives are moving toward the God given mandate as followers, leaders and teachers. Brain explained how the importance of self care can benefit pastors. Leaders can share in the benefit too as schooling is very much the same as ministry in that both are very people intensive and Godward focus.

Servgiovanni ended this segment reminding us that context played a key role in deciding whether certain approaches to leadership will be effective or not. There is a real danger of blind adoption of past successful model into the school context.
School needs special leadership and that could be found in moral leadership framework because it emphasises bringing diverse people into a common cause by making the school a covenantal community. Leadership in such context is neither hierarchical nor interpersonal but cognitive which draws its authority from shared goals, purposes, values, commitments and other ideas that provide the basis for followership. Linking leadership directly to the construction of meaning, facilitation of learning and the development of collective responsibility links leadership directly to the lifeworlds of schools. That is very important as it helps to achieve the balance of having the lifeworld driving the systemsworld of school.

Finally the leadership within the learning community needs to be ethical lest it becomes manipulation rather than empowering and enabling.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Reviews on my study notes

Rush – time management; a biblical approach

Will Rogers
It is not so much what you do each day – it is what you get done that counts.
Eph 5:15-16 – be very careful, then, how you live, not as unwise, but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
Dawson Trotman
The greatest time wasted is the time getting started.

All agree that time is to be used and not wasted.

2 What is time?
Time is the passing of life.
Problems managing time is actually a reflection of problems managing our lives.
What you are and what you possess are the result of how you have used the time allotted to you.
All of us have the same amount of time – the difference is on how we use the time we have.
The secret to time management is how we use the 60min in every hour wisely.

3 Time robbers - Activities that take us away living purposefully.
Identify personal time robbers and systemically work at eliminating them.

4 How to identify your personal time robbers?
- time management is unglamourous hard work; most of us are unwilling to pay the price to work on it.
- using the time inventory sheet
Be specific in recording activities ; vague statement will not help.
Deal with controllable and uncontrollable time
Controllable; work at eliminating them
Uncontrollable; factor unscheduled time slot into our weekly plan

5 How to set priorities
Learning to set priorities is one of the most important and difficult aspect of effectively managing one’s time
We need to deter our emotion from interfering with reality.

6 Avoid the activity trap
Part of the problem can be traced to the activity trap which gets people involved in numerous tasks that do not contribute to the predetermined goal or objective.
Many Christian leaders work from morning till night but they never seem to get the important things done.
Mary and Martha – Lk 10:38-42
- Overlook what is important
- Unaware that she had lost sight of the goal
- Criticised other
- Busy activities produced stresses and tension which stimulate more activity

We must eliminate activities that make little or any contribution to our goal.

7 How to stay on schedule?
- develop priorities and communicate them
- learn to say “no” to things that do not contribute to goal
- maintain a high level of commitment to managing your time

The greater the priority the more frequent the need to say no.
We cannot meet all the needs of all people at all times.
We must focus on the most important things God has planned and called us to do.
Time management is not about schedule but accomplishing established life goals and priorities.

8 The important role of timing
The effective use of time consists of doing what God wants at the time He wants it done.

9 Time is our most important resource. It cannot be saved or stored. It can only be used.

10 CSL’s thoughts
I have only 1 life; total amount of time given from God to me.
I must live intentionally to fulfil His purpose and calling in my life.
I need to identify the time robbers in my life and eliminate them.
DO not give in to soulish excuses.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

G12 and me

Someone asked me if i am still for G12 since i left FCBC.
My answer is yes!
Yes in that i affirm the principles which i have observed in my times with the G12 movement.
I made a trip to Bogota in 1999 with KC, EL and PW. We were impressed with what we had observed. Together with KC, we implemented some principles we observed into the district. We put in place our own version of encounters and equipping track. i had one of my zone pastors, then, to pilot the full G12 principles in his zone. We saw tremondous growth in that zone. As a whole, the district benefitted from the process too. We emphasised on Prayer, Deliverance and Equipping. But i did not implement the structure as i was waiting for FCBC to make an official position in regards to G12.
In 2001, i made another trip with the FCBC team to Bogota.

There are many good aspect of G12 that i would like to highlight ie permanence of discipleship relationship, releasing of woman into ministry, intentional discipleship, etc.

But as in all changes, there would be mistakes or over-simplistic approaches which compromised the overall intent of G12. And i believe the leadership in FCBC will continue to refine the process.

What about me?
I have always believe in discipleship since my conversion. i was properly followup by the Navigators in Singapore Poly in the '80. And in the process, was encouraged to find a home church to settle in.

Even now, as i enjoy my sabbatical and visit churches, i am studying to deepen my foundation so that i could be involved in discipleship again.

My mission is to develop a team of people who could continue to make disciples for the glory of God.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

For Isabel - to share our beijing memories

the 2 friends

the 4 friends

the 2 friends again

the cool guy

Rachel with the wonderful hostess. Rachel trying to catch up with her piano lesson. haha.

Friday, December 12, 2008

What is your Passion? Dream? Calling?

What is your passion? Your dream? Your destiny?

I have been asking people these questions. And I have been helping people to uncover the answers to these questions for themselves.

Then recently, I realised that I have “lost” my own answer!

When I was asked of these questions recently, I could not really articulate an appropriate answer. I could give an answer to satisfy the questioner or even myself for a while. But deep inside, I realised I have “lost” my answer.

I began to do what I did with others ie listing down all my thoughts and interest, past encounters with God, interesting experiences in life etc. All were well placed before me…but I just could not make sense of them ie I could not find the “voice” that unite them all.

Then… my quiet moment with God……..He helped me to sort out all the questions. I realised that all through the years, I had buried my calling and passion through the “good works” that I was doing. I had tried to “position” my answer to suit the various platforms and works I was involved that, unknowingly, I lost my “voice”.

In that sacred moment with God, I found my voice again.
I found my calling afresh!