Monday, May 30, 2005

I'll take it

Sunday marked the end of May programmes for our youth ministry. Joseph and Caleb took the lead in guiding our young dreamers to worship the Dream-Giver in spirit and in truth. I believe He has done a great work through these two willing servants. And now the young dreamers are runners with a knowing that “I actually do have an offering to give to Him”. The ‘how’s may still not be crystal clear for everyone, but I strongly believe that the Dream-Giver rewards those who earnestly seek, and that wisdom and grace are provided throughout the journey.

And therefore the programmes have caused a movement, a wave, a momentum… but more importantly, a stirring to live the worship life. Who else could have done this work if not the One who made all things out of nothing?

We had such a great uninterrupted time just worshipping God, rededicating our lives and experiencing His love just a little bit more. I wished that we had recorded the whole thing. In fact, the Dream-Giver has been just awesome among us, especially since the beginning of the year, that I want to record everything down in every way possible. Written, photographed, taped... But then again, maybe such moments should come everyday of our lives. Won't you want that? I think He intended for that. Yes, even here on earth.

Sunday also marked an important encounter my Dream-Giver. As we were allocated time to totally focus on worshipping, I connected with Him. I told Him my desires, my failures to fulfill them, and my need of greater power. He reminded me that He shared His dream with me because He trusts me, and despite my lacking of pace He still remains the same – yesterday, today, everyday.

I felt His eternity, His calling, His faithfulness, His love and grace. I remembered that the sun is still shining. It is still day. I shall work.

Psalm 8:3-4
When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
The moon and the stars, which You have ordained,
What is man that You are mindful of him,
And the son of man that You visit him?

I’ll take it, my Friend. I’m trying my best to honour that trust. Thank You for sustaining me and keeping me around, even though I’m not Your best student. Need Your strength. I’ll take it, Lord.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Experimental Grounds

Here I am again, sitting in front of my office computer after unnecessarily staying awake till 4.30am… that’s another sad story altogether. I prefer writing about the positive points of the night.

We had sort of an alternative service last night. And the theme was Experimental Grounds :: The Art of the Heart. Basically we could express our worship in any way possible tonight. As long as it glorifies God – isn’t that what our lives are made for anyway? The form of delivery doesn’t matter as much as the heart condition of the worshipper. It never does.

So there we were – being faithful with whatever God-given gifts that we are aware of. Some wrote, some drew, some cooked -- all worshipped. It was one of the most beautiful worship services I’ve seen. Everyone had a chance to explain their heart while others admire the works of God in their lives. Some shared about the changes Jesus brought into their lives, few shared about their current struggles and hope… some made a prayer with a song, some preached through pictures – all worshipped.

So great to see young people stepping out of their comfort zones and make a move of faith. The atmosphere of edification and love created wider space for the worshipper to express himself. It was just beautiful to see people coming alive and starting to run with God-given dreams. Yes, some are still uncertain and doubtful, but they just LOVED Him. Sometimes, that’s all we need.

Should be installing my computer tomorrow. This runner is getting greater efficiency and shall produce greater results for the Dream-Giver

Friday, May 27, 2005

A Platform for Transformation

Has anyone missed my writing? Well, it doesn't really matter. I miss writing. Work has taken a toll of me lately... Took a lot of my time too. That’s why I haven’t been blogging for a while now. Hard to believe when my work is to focus solely on documentation - attending meetings and recording minutes. How hard could that be?

I used to think my job was easy, useless, and unnecessary... Sometimes when I sit around the meeting table, I feel so insignificant. My colleagues' minds move so fast that even though you could hear every word they speak, you can't really understand it... I try to grasp it all, but soon find myself placing a sweet in my mouth to keep me awake.

These 2 weeks have been very hectic for this project officer (that’s my job title). There were like 6 full-day meetings – 9.30am-6.30pm… Last night it lasted till 8pm, and for the first time in my after-teenage-crisis life I feel so stressed. So many minutes to prepare, yet too short a dateline; So much to learn, so little time to understand… I used to be so bored in the office, wishing to attend a meeting and constantly making trips to the bathroom to waste the time away… Now I miss my table dearly.

So anyway, there I was again… Sitting among professionals, writing down whatever I can understand, fading away whenever I got lost… feeling insignificant again when suddenly HOPE came in the room. Why wasn’t I in front of a computer editing some video?__ Why wasn’t I shining God’s light through my gift of writing?__ Why was I stuck in a place I don’t want to be?__ Why was I wasting my time?__ Why was I restrained from running with my God-given dream?

I get it now. Looking back at time, I find that God has been molding me… through it all. I’ve learned to appreciate. With so little time and so much to do, I couldn’t afford to describe, explain and elaborate on the unnecessaries. I could only say what’s important… Quick praises, good thoughts… no time to judge, no time to compromise, no time to procrastinate.

It’s amazing how God can use basically anything as a platform for transforming our lives. It has been just a pit-stop, people. Now I’m running with better focus, more love for others, greater knowledge of God’s love and His purposes.

Have you been in a place that you totally don’t want to be and you feel like you’re wasting your time? Open your eyes, look up to Heaven, and listen to His voice. You might just be standing on His platform of transformation.

**Want to take this chance to thank all those minutes-writers. You’re EXTREMELY IMPORTANT!!

This Altar

This is a song I wrote. The content is based on the poem I posted not too long ago... Just changed some words and put melody into it... Will be presenting this song tonight in church - our youth will be having an event called "Experimental Grounds: The Art of Your Heart"... Will inform you readers more about it after the night fades and my brain freezes...

This Altar

Could I ever live
To walk the way that you did
Would my strength carry my feet
In this journey of the meek

Give me more of You
Lord, You must increase
I’ll carry my own cross
For You, I shall live

To walk the way You did
Choose the path You’ll lead
I can’t make it on my own

Send Your fire
Consume my desires
I just want to live for You
Send Your fire
My life’s on this altar
Won’t be send Your fire

Lord, receive this offering
Won’t You please let me free
Let me die on this altar
That in You, I may live

This altar’s for You
This offering’s to You…

Ó2005 Joash Chan

...Now, if only I can add audio to this...

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

The matter of the HEART

Throughout the ages, man has been constantly seeking to improve their standard of living, technology that would ease their workload, save time, cost, effort. But get this – technology don’t make us better people!! Let me give you a simple example: Your memory is bad, so you get a Pocket PC to help you get organized. But your memory is so bad that you can’t even remember to take your Pocket PC with you…

In spite of the many good technology has brought into our lives, mankind’s values continues to downgrade. Sure, mankind has come out with brilliant ideas to make the most of our time and money… People spend money on research and creating things that would make us more efficient to make more money, just like how the government makes more cars to get buyers to pay them money in order for them to build roads to accommodate the traffic… Oh, that’s a whole other story to tell… The thing is, in the process of the improving our lifestyle, being more civilized, we get distracted and fail to recognize the things that value the most – eternal things. The human heart deteriorates…

Noticed how convenient it is to communicate nowadays? Emails, video-conferencing, hand phones - talk plan, sms plan, prepaid, postpaid… Brilliant ideas, but out of what motives they’re birthed? Children rather sms their friends while having dinner with the family and totally ignoring the fellowship around the table; Instead of telling or at least writing a short message to let someone know that they’re missed, we just give a misscall or send one of those cute forward messages; We even give digital images of flowers and hearts, never the real thing; We prefer chatting on-line with someone we don’t know, knowing full well that both parties are just trying to impress; We apply for lower rates not so that we get to communicate with more people, but that we communicate with the same people on a more frequent basis.

Not forgetting the entertainment industry… new Chinese dramas, action movie, love story, epic, discos and pubs… We all want to have a great time, don’t we? __ “Mom, don’t tell me how your day was now!! Can’t you see I’m watching tv?” (OUCH!!) __ “No, bro, I’m not free to help you with your homework tonight, I’m going to the movies with friends.” __ “What did you say?! I can’t hear you, the music’s too loud!! Just shut up and dance!!” __ Why do we wait for a black out to start helping out in the house? Why do we drown emotions (ours and others’) with alcohol and loud music? Why is it the only time we shed a tear is when we’re watching a sad story? How is it that we know more about our favourite singer than our next-door neighbour?

What about spending time with the people you know? What’d happened to conversing, talking, and looking eye-to-eye? What about leaning on a friend’s shoulder? We have substituted our tears with smileys, our tone with colour or font cases… Instead of communicating, we have become dumb. We keep the phone numbers of our friends but fail to even call them once; We add people into our Friendster list but we can’t say that we truly know them or that we’re really friends; We ask “How are you?” but can’t be bothered to wait for the reply. What about making time and effort to really get to know another human being, share joy and sorrow, or lend a helping hand?

Trust me, I’m not against technology or brilliant ideas... or movies, or cute messages, emailing(Just like how I’m not against pink colour). My God-given dream does require me to use technology+brilliant ideas. But I think that we value our time and money and pride more than we value life, people, and the little wonders of life… We found another way to hide ourselves from each other, another easy way out, another opportunity to be self-centered and pretend to care, another mask to disguise our true selves… We become more fake, less sincere; more judgmental, less understanding. We deteriorate, and become dead inside.

Running with my God-given dream, I cannot afford to be without sincere relationships. I can't substitute that face-to-face, brother-to-brother, heart-to-heart connection... I have to connect with my heart. Yes, I do use technology. But technology has no match with what a sincere heart can achieve. I'm still learning, still implementing, still trying, still failing... But more importantly, I'm still running... WOW!!

What are your dreams? Do you have one with an impact that will last forever?

Make time to build things that last – relationships, friends, your heart.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

And still I go

Have you ever gone through an entire day giving your all and doing your best, then to realize at the end of it all that your all and your best still wasn’t good enough?

I just had one of those days during the weekend… disappointed with myself, yet filled with hope. I haven’t reached my full potential, which means that my best is yet to come. Yes, there are greater things installed for me. Greater challenges, greater victories, greater joy!! But I can’t do it on my own; I must depend on a greater strength. And thank God I have the best resource anyone can get hold of.

I think I pity those who believe that they’re all right – nothing more to improve, no room left for advancement, nothing to look forward to… They are constantly frustrated by others’ inability to meet their expectations. And because there’s nothing left that they can do better at, they’ll have to wait for others to be better, work on their effectiveness and efficiency… oh, what a wait that’s going to be!! How lonely must that be…

Want to also thank God for providing me the things I need to continue running with the dream He gave to me. He’s just so awesome, so faithful!! I said a prayer, asking God to get someone to give me a computer before the end of last week. I would be buying one on my own if my prayer weren’t answered. But hey, my prayer has been answered!!

I guess the weekend wasn’t bad after all. I’ve learned that I have

  • Grown, but still have areas in my life I need to work on.
  • Friends that are honest enough to tell me my flaws; yet still loving enough to help me through with their encouragement and support.
  • Greater heights to reach!!
  • A gift that will help me run better
  • People who actually read my blog (Hard to believe)
  • Inspired others to run with their God-given dreams (Incomprehensible)
  • A fresh hope and a renewed vision.
  • JOY

My God is big, strong and mighty. He is good. There’s none that can compare to Him. And I’m running with the dream He gave me – a God-given dream.