CNY was about the only chance for me to catch up with some television programmes. In one of those “ancient” Cantonese movies, a colloquial phrase set me thinking – “发誓当吃青菜” literally translated making a vow like eating vegetables. It meant not keeping one’s vow and the person is not to be trusted.

There are many people who make their vows before God, more commonly, couples getting married. The question is, how many actually keep their vows? Many vow to change when they are going through a rough spot in life. When things get a little better, their stance changes. After all, God would not mind as He loves us. Isn’t it so?  You may want to think harder.

On the topic of keeping vows, what about the commitments we made before God at our baptism or confirmation? Are we serious about them? Or have we forgotten them? Are we not reminded as we sing and worship God every Sunday? One sad place to look at is the divorce rate among Christians; do you think they were serious about their marriage vows before God? This is especially common in younger people nowadays. Before they get married, they would promise all kinds of things – especially “till death do us part”. Before marriage, differences are complimentary; after marriage, they become irreconcilable. It was Wow and not Vow. This is a very sad trend.

God wants us to honour our vows. That is why He also warned about making vows frivolously. Honouring our vows is God-honouring, because our Yes is Yes and No is No. There are times when honouring the vow means being in a disadvantage. Well, we made that vow and would have to bear the consequences.

You may want to take some time to try to remember all the vows or commitments that you had made all this while. Then go and fulfill those vows. It is good for your soul.

 

 

 

God bless!

While fetching my son home from school, I was amazed at the number of drivers talking on their mobile phones without a handsfree kit on the road. Do they not know the penalty if they were caught doing so? If they can afford a phone, surely they can afford a handsfree kit as well, which, by the way, is very affordable. In case you do not know:

 A first-timer convicted of phone and drive offence shall be liable to 12 demerit points and a maximum fine of up to $1000/- or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or both. He/She may also be disqualified from driving. The offender’s handphone and SIM card will be seized to facilitate investigation. These may be forfeited by the court upon conviction.

Then again, many people are informed of the hell that they will be in if they do not know Christ. Yet, they refuse to accept him as Saviour. They will try to circumvent the truth, bend the truth, reinterpret the truth and find other excuses to suit their ways. Every other way they will try, except for really coming to faith in Jesus Christ. It is a very sad situation that the human beings are in.

We must learn to recognise the truth; more importantly to face up to it. This does not just apply to accepting Jesus as Saviour. It applies to living out the life that is worthy of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Do not attempt to use catch-phrases (cultural mandate, modern generation, archaic beliefs) to try and get around the truth without following it. God is not fooled. He did tell us that we are in the world but not of the world. There are things that we cannot run from. Think about them.

Brothers and sisters, be careful how we conduct our lives. The days are drawing to a close and the return of the Lord is near. We need not worry about life itself, just how we live it.

 

 

 

God bless!

We have heard all about the disaster in Haiti by now. Huge amount of funds are pledged and slowly pouring into the country. For those who do not know, Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and has experienced political violence throughout its history. The irony is that it is very near a superpower, whose main problem is obesity due to its excesses, and not much help was rendered to help Haiti prior to the earthquake. When a disaster came upon Haiti, there was a sudden interest to help. (Yes, I do appreciate and also grateful for the help that they are giving).

I am not trying to say that if Haiti is rich they would not be affected by the earthquake. They will be. My feel is that the responses by the people may be different.

Let us take a quick look at our spiritual life. What state is it in? Are we living in a false sense of security or are we realistic about our spiritual well being? Have we prepared well to handle all that the devil would hurl at us? Is there a need to come face-to-face with a “spiritual earthquake disaster” before we are shaken into looking for God? Do not take this lightly. In the course of my ministry I had dealt with many who would look for God, and do not know where to look, until a calamity strikes. After they are “healed,” God would lose His place in their lives once again, until the next “calamity” strikes, of course.

Are we so proud as to think that we do not need to “practise” the presence of God? Do not think that there is no necessity to read the bible as there will always be time to do so. When the time comes, you will know how to pray. You really think so? Do not be fooled. It is time to wake up from that slumber and be serious with God which is much more serious than obsession over golf, soccer or sales.

Count our days and be wise. Look at the world and be warned. It is time to stand up for God. 

Once again, the choice is yours.

 

 

God bless!

            I was at the dentist when I needed to use the washroom. They pointed me to the other end of the building. As I approached the toilets, I saw a man standing outside what looks like the male toilet. The sign was not clear and there was no wording. He stood there for a long time trying to decide if he should “risk” it. He decided against it and went to check the other toilet. At least this sign was clear that it was the ladies. Both of us went back to the other toilet. Why can’t they just put up two simple words instead of such misleading pictures?

             The ways in the world is increasingly confusing. Black and white issues are now interspersing with many shades of gray. There are all kinds of psychological disorders to help you justify your actions. Anything you eat is a potential “killer” or “saviour” depending on who you listen to.  Economic theories abound to either paralyze you or liberate you, again depending who you want to listen to. There are enough bogus religious teachings out there to help you part with your money and to become disillusioned with the institution.

             In the midst of all these different confusing signs and pictures, what is there for a Christian to want to stand firm in the ways of Holy Scripture. How can one live a life that is truly glorifying to God? How is he or she going to have the strength and resolve to stand firm? How is one going to even be able to differentiate the right from the wrong? The picture is grim and demoralising.

             Praise be to God that it is not as bad as it seems. Remember that we are but pilgrims in this world. Anything that is too good to be true in this world is likely not good. If we are not greedy, then we are in a lesser position to get cheated. Stay firm to the plain Word of God. Read the Scripture and study it well. Together with a consistent prayer life, the Holy Spirit will enlighten us and lead us through the maze of life.

 

 

God bless!

           A young lady I know was busy “evangelising” her friends on the need to switch to using a fruity phone. She was doing it with all enthusiasm, which amused me. Her friends were very casual users of mobile phones, just messaging and calls. And there she was going at it with such zeal that they should “convert.” I wondered if she went about speaking of Christ, the real need for all, with such enthusiasm. Frankly, I doubt so.

            I do not really comprehend why Christians in orthodox churches finds it so difficult to tell others of Christ. Even inviting them to a Christian function constituted quite a chore. We invite them to all kind of secular social events with relative ease. As for Christian functions, you can see the kind of response and effort from the believers of Christ. There is really something wrong here.

            Christ is the ultimate gift that we can give to others. With Christ comes eternal life and blessings in abundance. Yet too often we settle with temporal gifts that many eventually throw aside anyway. Even a diamond is not forever; people seek endlessly for the next excitement.

            It is difficult to tell the truth. Indeed, it brings about embarrassment and pain at times. It is easier to bring people to feel- good sessions (that can condemn them to hell). This is exactly what is happening today. Open your eyes to see.

            Doctors are bearers of bad and good news. When you consult a doctor, chances are that you are not well – bad news. The doctor tells you the diagnosis and that you will be well in a few days – good news. When we come before Christ (or his servants), you are told of your sins – bad news. When they accept Christ, sins are forgiven and entrance to eternal life awaits – good news. WE are all bearers of the ultimate good news. Go and tell others. Do not tarry.

 

God bless!

You may have read or heard of the recent stunt of “vandalising” mailboxes by SingPost to attract attention for their next event. There were mixed reactions to this stunt and the police were not too amused because of the wasting of public resources.

There is an undertone in this matter. If you understand graffiti and vandalising, you would know that it is an unacceptable social norm. In fact, it is something that is done out of frustration and anger. Such anger is demonstrated either in violence or vandalism. Some argue that it is creative. The question is whether you might like someone to “vandalise” your house without your approval, no matter how creative it is. It is a violation of personal space.

This incident also shows the thinning of the line between what is proper and what is not, between good and bad. The inability of people to stand up firmly for what is right and against what is wrong are disguised by excuses such as losing one’s sense of humour, not being accommodating, being bigoted about it and so on.

Friends, the boundaries for matters in spiritual matters are very clear. They are black or white, no in between. It is a lack of understanding that causes all these grey lines. There is no way one can say that the prosperity gospel is correct in the clear light of Scripture. The prosperous world (harvest) is when Jesus comes again. Meanwhile, it is a time for sowing (hard work).

Be careful that your own thoughts and boundaries are shifted without your knowledge or permission. Learn well from Scripture and allow the Holy Spirit to convict you. Do not harden your heart just because you feel that you are highly educated or very experienced in life. A doctorate holder or an elderly man full of worldly experiences may know close to zero in the matters of God.

God bless!

The last day of the year is often the day many people ratify their resolutions for the coming year. Many of the “old” things are thrown out and “new” things introduced. It is a little like the traditional Chinese New Year’s eve spring cleaning. It is a good practice, I must say, to look seriously at ourselves and make resolutions to mend our ways. Of course, we often hear jokes of how such resolutions are also thrown out within a very short time.

I am not going to talk about keeping your new resolutions. What I am really concerned about is how people seem to chuck and change things without much thought. The fashion is to change regardless of the validity and usefulness of the present way(s). The thinking is that not changing is so passé, so one must change despite the consequences.

It is good for us to look really long and hard to make any changes to the way we live. Some of what we do may still be the best way to live, two examples being frugal or hardworking. It would be the saddest day when we throw good and tried ways of life and turn to more attractive lifestyles based on wrong theology. Of course, if something needs to be changed after careful, measured consideration, then put in the best effort to change it. We should not wait to change a leaking faucet, just as we must quickly work to “seal” up loose talk.

Do not look for quick fixes. They are usually bad in the long term. When something is good, we must keep at it and do it for as long as possible or necessary. Keeping close to God, not Facebook or other social sites, is very good for us. It is to our peril to think otherwise and not put any effort into it. The road is narrow and the gate narrower. Be very careful, my friends.

Have a blessed New Year!

God bless!

While having a cup of coffee in a neighbourhood coffee shop, I observed a family of four in action. The father and mother were each texting and talking on the phone with someone else. The children, one with a PSP while the other with an Iphone, were playing games on their gadgets. Each of them is really not interested if the other party is there. They were engrossed in their own little world. My cup of coffee took a little longer than usual as I was just curious how long that situation will last. For the half an hour that I spent observing them, it did not change. So much for family time!

What really is time together? What are we giving up in the process? Is sitting around but each doing your own things, time together? Will it improve interaction and understanding of each other? I seriously think not. Is such a phenomenon due to our inability to communicate with one another? Or are we just plain lazy to communicate at all? Maybe if the father and son are playing PSP games together, some good may come out of it, just maybe?

Portable Gaming Machines (PSP, Nintendo DS, Iphone, etc..) are DANGEROUS. They allow an addiction to be with you all the time. Going to an arcade, though not the best, is not possible 24/7. You are not able to sit in front of a computer 24/7. But a PGM is a totally different story. It is there when you don’t need it. It is there when other more helpful activities can be held. It is there, 24/7, to take control of your life and slowly take away all that you can ever have. I understand that there are even people playing PGM games during church services.

My dear friends, you draw your own conclusions and make your own choices.

God bless!

The global climate debate in Copenhagen is something of concern to us all. Some people feel that little Singapore has little effect on global warming, so why should we be so “kay poh.” What if every person in China would give you one cent each? One cent is nothing much to anybody; it can hardly buy anything at all. The sheer size of China’s population would make you a very rich man by that insignificant “one cent” giving.

There are many people in the churches who look down on the little saving that they can contribute by taking care of how they use things and resources within the church, like switching off after use and using equipment carefully so that they will last. Yes, the amount saved seemed little. This little amount if saved, my dear friends, can be used elsewhere in more productive ways (missions, crisis relief…). Remember that Jesus used the humble offering of five loaves and two fishes to feed five thousand. Every cent wasted is every cent NOT used for the Kingdom of God. I know that many, especially the young people, in affluent Singapore could afford that “small” amount. Be warned that the ‘small’ amount can add up to a very huge amount (go figure) and someday we will have to account to God for not using them wisely.

Using equipment carelessly without due regards is prevalent in church and in homes; it can prove expensive. Not switching off a LCD projector would cause the bulb to blow easily. That bulb replacement would cost about five to six hundred dollars. Leaving the lights on when there is no real need for it would mean a few dollars wasted. Of course the amount is not big, you may say, but somebody still has to foot the ‘unnecessary’ bill.

Make a decision to not wasting and to take care of our things in church or at home. Let us use the resources given to us responsibly.

God bless!

I was giving a simple lesson on different types of memory modules (ROM, RAM and Hard disk) used in computer to several young people. Surprisingly, they are supposed to be very tech savvy, but they do not know this simple knowledge of ROM, RAM and Hard disk memory. For the sake of those who also do not know, in short: RAM (Random Access Memory) is very short term memory – off the power and it is gone. ROM is (Read Only Memory) is long term memory written into the computer and cannot be erased – stays there with or without power. Hard disk is a storage place to keep data like a store room – things stay there until you decide to throw it out.

There are things in our lives that we should let them behave like these types of memory. Our daily habits and body psychomotor skills should be in “ROM” in our lives. We sleep, eat, walk and others without even thinking about them. We cannot forget how to sleep or eat.

We should keep some things in “Hard disk” – good/happy memories, lessons learnt from experiences, God’s word… Such will help us through the storms in the journey of life. Especially God’s word, we have to very deliberately make sure they are kept in our long term memory.

Equally important is to make sure that some things in life stays in “RAM” and as short as possible – bad / sad experiences, the wrongs of others, hurts, angers …. You get my drift. Such should be forgotten and never brought to mind, albeit as quickly as possible. That is why God wants us to forgive and to love. Putting the right things into the correct type of memory modules can we then have a blessed life.

Time to start sorting out.

God bless!