Have a Little Faith

Found out from our local ‘Popular’ bookstore that Mitch Albom has written a new book ‘Have A Little Faith’.  I was queuing at the cashier’s counter waiting to pay for my purchase, and saw the ‘order-placing’ sign with a small transparent holder containing some forms inside.

I like this author’s books which are not just easy read, but there are also things to learn from his sincere writing.  I love especially ‘Tuesdays with Morrie’ and ‘For One More Day’ which are both very touching and heartwarming.  I have got a copy of most of his books, including the ‘5 People You Meet in Heaven’.  I’m looking forward to reading this new book about Faith, but will have to wait till there are smaller copies instead of the current hardcover.

My Discovery Land Experience

It’s our cell’s day of hosting in church, and what we do normally was greet and welcome people coming, usher them to their seats and distribute bulletins etc… it’s actually quite boring – standing there and just smile. This day was no difference, until about 10 minutes into worshipping, the pretty host leader approached me and asked whether I was ok with handling kids. Help is wanted in Discovery Land where children aged 4-12 discover God in creative and engaging way, and would I be able to help. I was ok with it, but still a little apprehensive and worried I may not know how to act in front of those inquisitive kids who always like to ask creative questions. I was briefed on what to do there, but wasn’t prepared for an impromptu skid I had to perform with another member. My mind went blank and the whole time was going through what to say. Only the 2 of us, but we managed to make the kids laugh from our little performance – we had to be rude to each other in the first scene, then the correct approach in 2nd scene. After, the Nursery teacher will teach them about Gentleness and Graciousness.

It was fun experience, singing along, clapping and jumping with them doing all kinds of actions. I had enjoyed every minute of it, even bringing them in and out of toilets. It was actually quite funny when after one of them had gone into the cubicle, I said I would wait outside. I was holding on to the closed door so that it won’t slide open, and the girl must have seen my hand on top the door, said, “Sister Sally, you don’t have to hold the door, because I have locked it inside.”

Christmas Gifts

Thanks to some of my friends who gave me chocolates during Christmas, when I’m trying to keep my New Year resolution to slim down. And today after the Christmas service, a few of us had gone to the Coffee Beans to chat over coffee & cakes. How sinful looking at all the cheesecakes, tiramisu and brownies in the showcase. Though I love chocolates, I try to stop myself from eating too much, but what is a few calorie of fat compared to having a wonderful time with friends, right? Haha 😉   For Christmas present, I gave one of my friends a book on Juices, Smoothies and Shakes. Seemed I have read her mind, as she said she had in fact wanted to detox by drinking fruit juices during the weekend. Hmm… seems everyone is having the same resolution for the New Year.  Wow, I’m glad indeed. Now she can have more varieties, and we could spur each other on to keep ourselves fit and healthy.

Any presents you have received this Christmas, which you have wished for? Whatever gifts we receive it’s the thoughts that are most important. And since we are celebrating Christ’ Birth on Christmas day, let us also not forget to include Him in our celebration. Christ is in Christmas. Let Him be first and foremost in our mind and heart. “It’s better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.” (Psalm 118:8, the centre verse in the Bible. Christ is in the centre of everything.) The Author of our salvation is also the giver of our blessings. This blessing gift is very good already. May we share the gift we have from Christ. As the Lord taught us, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35)

My Most Memorable First Christmas

Do you still remember how you spent your first Christmas?  Any memorable events you would like to share with me?

I remember mine was held at this Cricket Club in front of the Parliament House, where the big green ‘grassland’ was.  It was a school outing.   I was in my early-primary then.  All of us sat on the carpeted floor enjoying ourselves with facilitators entertaining us.  We wore pointed hats, blew whistles which curled in & out, and it was here that I learnt to sing my first Christmas songs, like “Santa Claus is coming to town”, “Jingle Bells”, “Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer” etc…  As I grew up, I started learning more Christmas songs, and some of my favourites are, “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas…”, “The Twelve Days of Christmas” & “Oh Holy Night”.  The celebration at the Cricket Club was my most memorable first Christmas, that’s why till now I still remember.  It was at the back of my mind until once at a cell meeting when I recall it while sharing about our most memorable events.

Just wonder did Jesus already have me in mind on that day, and plan for me to know about Him?  Jesus loves the little children, right?  Or was I simply following my brother’s footsteps, whether the heart was willing or not?   Or could it be that the seed was sown during my pre-school days while I was attending a kindergarten in Queenstown Presbyterian Church. I remember that the Principal was the first person to tell me about God.  He told us not to waste our food, as our food was “heaven-dropped”, and it was the mystery of it that caused me to retain this nugget of my Christian instruction vividly to this day.  Sometimes I wonder whether he’s still around.  I would love to tell him I remember what he said.  And what about those kids who celebrated my first Christmas with me, did anyone of them remember this day?  Remarkably, my primary and secondary days were all spent in Christian schools.  It could be that the plan for me to become a Christian unfolded in the natural course of events, not by my will but by God’s will.

No Limits – The all surpassing power of the Holy Spirit

Learnt from our last week’s sermon on the topic of the surpassing power of the Holy Spirit that in 1900 Dec 13th, a group of believers gathered in a building in USA, Topeka Kansas, reading on the Acts chapter when an Agnes Ozman asked the pastor to lay hands on her, and before he’d said out 3 words, Agnes immediately was speaking in a different language, which was known later that it was the Chinese language. For 3 days she was not able to speak in English, only wrote in Chinese characters. It was said that she’s considered by many to be the the first person to speak in tongues and her experience had sparked the modern Pentecostal-Holiness movement, which began in the early 20th century. Wanted to read more about what happened, and found some related books on the internet which I hope I could get hold of and read.

Also about the Azusa Street Revival about an African American Pastor, William J. Seymour who had arrived in Los Angeles in 1906, how his congregation was previously at 214, Bonnie Brae Street, then moved to a dilapidated building at 312, Azusa Street because at the previous location, not able to withstand the increasing numbers of attendees the porch fell.

If anyone of you have read these books, what about sharing with me what your thoughts are. I like reading reviews and comments.

Love Above All

I’m so glad to receive a package in the mail from the RBC ministries. They sent me this “Quest for the Aucas – The Spiritual Legacy of Five Missionary Martyrs” DVD which I have previously requested for and thought they have forgotton about it.

I have previously watched the musical performance “Love Above All” at the University Cultural Centre, about 5 young missionaries killed savagly by the Aucas in Ecuador in 1956 when they tried to befriend these jungle tribal people to bring the Gospel to them, and therefore wanted to watch the real thing. Have also bought these below 2 books at the musical.

Both these 2 books are on my Bookcrossing shelf:

I came to know about this tragic story only after reading “Through Gates of Splendor”, and felt very sad how innocent lives were being taken just like that when they merely wanted to reach out to these Waodani warriors and befriend them, men from the most savage culture known only for hunting and killing.  Yet their wives could forgive their enemies and returned to the Ecuadorian jungles to face their husbands’ murderers with the power of God’s love instead of bitterness and anger.  Jesus said in Matthew 5:44 to love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in Heaven.  Just wonder how easy can this be especially when innocent blood is wantonly shed?

And now in this “End of the Spear” written by Steve Saint, it’s about how Steve and his family went back to live with the Waodani warriors who killed his father Nate Saint and 4 other friends, and also on reconcilation how he comes to know what really happened on that fateful day in 1956. Did these missionaries really have to die?

Nate’s sister Rachel also went back to the tribe, befriended them and stayed there till a ripe old age, died and requested to bury there with his jungle family, at the same place her beloved bro Nate was killed and buried with the other 4 missionary friends. She came to love her Waodani family like her own, same as Steve & his family who didn’t want to leave.

Something unexplained & miraculous happened right after the spearing, and this convinced those killers that what they had done was bad. Read and find out. As well as the sorrows and heartache Steve & his own family had to go through. It’s really a fascinating and compelling read.

Fear Factor

This was the topic during our last weekend’s sermon at Trinity. It’s about faith, fear and building a lasting legacy in our life. Do not leave without a trace. God is calling us to build upon our Christian foundation, by touching lives and impacting destinies; by building God’s house and serving passionately. Yet, everytime God asks us to come out from our comfort zone, we run away. Just like Moses, the fear factor kicked in everytime God asked him to do something.

What came into my mind was the reality game show with the same title, where all the participants had to compete against each other to complete a series of dangerous stunts or eating disgusting and gory stuff to see who is the bravest and fastest to win the grand prize of big money? Continue reading