psalm 23

Psalm 23 takes on a different light when you pray it over the lives of refugees, of those who are stuck in war zones and of those who are in physical persecution, pain and suffering.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

    He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters. 

    He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
forever.

Indeed, the Lord Himself will be their shepherd, He will be the one that personally watches over them, care for them. The Lord himself will personally comfort and even though they walk through the valley of the shadow of death, the Lord himself will prepare a banquet for them in the presence of enemies. In the presence of enemies, the Lord Himself will see to it that His soldiers/sheeps are well-fed in peace even in the craziest of circumstances.

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reckless love

 

Oh the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God.

No shadow you wont light up, mountain you won’t climb up, coming after me

No wall you won’t kick down, lie you won’t tear down, coming after me

Been singing and listening to this song over and over again. There is such a powerful revelation and experience of God’s love when you allow yourself to love someone. This I understood from the recent Taiwan trip.

Today, I met up with a friend for dinner and we caught up about what God has been doing in our lives. It was so encouraging and so good too, as I hear her recount about how she understood better the love of God while she pursues someone for God. As she pursues and tries to help the other person understand the love of God better, she knew better how the love of God is like.

Maybe sometimes we don’t understand the love of God because we don’t try to love who He’s called us to love. He’s called us to love the people around us, our friends and family. He’s also called us to love the forgotten, the marginalised, the poor and the oppressed. When we actively demonstrate and proclaim the love of God – there is a manifestation of the kingdom of God, according to The Justice Demand.

While I listen to her share, I can’t help but choke up a little. Because that’s exactly how I felt and what I learnt as well and I’m so thankful that God allows us to be part of His pursuit of One. God is one who leaves the ninety-nine to chase the one that is missing. God, you go and love on the little children Lord. Send more to go and love.

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上帝的愛

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昨天敬拜的時候,想起了你們。

眼淚開始流出。因為我了解到了,神有多麼愛你們。

人家可能以為我真奇怪,為什麼要一直來,為什麼要分享耶穌。是不是傻傻的,怪怪的。

可是我知道,我們為基督的緣故是愚拙的。

上帝的愛就是這樣,一直得持續,永不放棄。

所以我也不可以放棄。

 

salvation

After dinner, I decided to take a slow walk to the fishing port behind my house and sat there for some peace and quiet. Throughout the day, there has been so much noise and chatter. The morning was rather enjoyable. I managed to have breakfast with my cousin and read my book on Holiness by J.C.Ryle ( I strongly recommend this book) so rich in theology and practically helpful as well. (will write about this another time) Rather productive morning as well as I tried to compile a video that I want to make of my grandmother. After lunch, it was early…about 12.30pm and I attempted to take an afternoon nap. But before my eyes could shut completely, I hear shouts of 老師 and I know my day has only just begun. HAHA. No rest at all.

We took a long walk to Yoho in the next town and back in the scorching hot sun, followed by a visit to the seaside, climbing very dangerous rocks and coming back to rest for 15 minutes. Not long after, they started pestering me to go to school and play basketball but man, I was so zapped and tired. This is why you need to bring a team of 5 or more to come help you entertain children, or else it might become very meaningless. Tried to squeeze some time for solitude but didn’t happen because I bumped into two girls and we headed to the seaside again, a different spot this time. We looked at the clouds and marvelled at how lovely they were. It’s so cute hearing conversations of little children and seeing the two girls, one 9 and the other 12 get along.

Throughout the entire day, the temple outside of my house was just holding events after events and it was very very loud. Thankfully, I took my earpiece and headed out for the fishing port before any kids could find me.

As I sat there and played worship songs, namely Wonder, Behold (Then Sings my Soul) and As It Is (In Heaven) . My heart was so so glad. Nothing like worship that refreshes your soul and uplifts your spirit. I let the songs minister and speak to my heart. And then I sing, as loud as I can and I lift my hands here and then (just to make sure no one’s watching or like no motorcycle actually passes me by) heh.  But I felt so at peace that the God who created the heavens and earth is looking at me and enjoying the worship that He is due.

My God, He who was and is to come.

Prepare the way until the work on earth is done

Watch as the clouds He rides swing low

Lift up the sound as He makes our praise His throne

Behold the Lord our God will lead us home.

As affirmed over and over again, my duty is to prepare the way and keep working. No stopping once you’ve started. Labour and be steadfast because the Lord of the Harvest is at work and He will establish whatever’s started. So what if fruits only bore 10 years from now or maybe no fruits at all. The joy of the Lord is my strength and my song through the ages. He delights in obedience, not success. He is interested in the process and the growth, not the end result.

Man, I was so encouraged. Doesn’t matter how dark it might seem,

So I will sing like I will there

In the fearless light of glory

Where the darkness cannot find me

And Your face is all I see.

As I sang this song with all my heart, I am reminded of my salvation, of a redemption plan that came to be. I am reminded of how God has uprooted me from a specific town of Shanhai to Singapore, to know Him and to bring me back here to begin this work of seed sowing. There has been zero track record of Christians in this town and the Hengchun church ladies say this place is hard ground. Through this life that has been redeemed, I’d say that the Lord is so intentional about drawing us to Him and choosing us to redeem His people that He pursues. Mega thankful for this salvation. I once was lost but now am found.

I know You love me.

I know You found me

I know You saved me.

And now, I believe we’re one step closer to kingdom come.

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words of amy carmichael

The work is not a pretty thing, to be looked at and admired. It is a fight. And battlefields are not beautiful. But if one is truly called of God, all the difficulties and discouragements only intensify the Call. If things were easier there would be less need. The greater the need, the clearer the Call rings through one, the deeper the conviction grows: it was God s Call. And as one obeys it, there is the joy of obedience, quite apart from the joy of success. There is joy in being with Jesus in a place where His friends are few ; and sometimes, when one would least expect it, coming home tired out and disheartened after a day in an opposing or indifferent town, suddenly how, you can hardly tell such a wave of the joy of Jesus flows over you and through you, that you are stilled with the sense of utter joy. Then, when you see Him winning souls, or hear of your comrades victories, oh ! all that is within you sings,

I have more than an overweight of joy !

Certain days, I look back and recall the little victories made, the hands raised to be friends of Jesus and I thought to myself, surely, God will redeem these children. Days like today, I feel extremely alone and unsure about the days ahead. I see the strongholds and I see children being caught in the midst of it.  And I thought, does all that we have done mean nothing in light of all these? But I am gently reminded that I am not here to convert or win people over, I’m merely here to speak forth and lay the foundations. As I sat by the sea this afternoon, I am reminded that while God looks at all these, He is waiting for someone who would stand in the gap for the people.

And I sought for a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the breach before me for the land, that I should not destroy it, but I found none. Ezekiel 22:30

There, that’s my job right there. Nothing more, nothing less.

Let us end on a very simple note: Let us listen to simple words; our Lord speak simply: “Trust Me, My child,” He says. “Trust Me with a humbler heart and a fuller abandon to My will than ever thou didst before. Trust Me to pour My love through thee, as minute succeeds minute. And if thou shouldst be conscious of anything hindering that flow, do not hurt My love by going away from Me in discouragement, for nothing can hurt so much as that. Draw all the closer to Me; come, flee unto Me to hide thee, even from thyself. Tell Me about the trouble. Trust Me to turn My hand upon thee and thoroughly to remove the boulder that has choked they river-bed, and take away all the sand that has silted up the channel. I will not leave thee until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of. I will perfect that which concerneth thee. Fear thou not, O child of My love; fear not.

Been thinking a lot about trusting in the sovereignty and plan of God these past two days and remembering the nature of God that will bring to completion whatever He says :’)

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trekking

When I look out and beyond

I see mountains after mountains
We took a long trail
Rocks pebbles stones and soil
We walk and we don’t stop
There is clarity in every step
There is a turn at every corner
There is a sight to behold at every turn
So hold your breath and guard this heart
Let the wind rush through and blow right in
God has only just begun to do His part
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a little poem I attempted while trekking. 

nathanael and a personal encounter with Christ

15th May 2017

Sitting in the High Speed Rail from Taichung to Taipei and reading this article by Art Katz about Nathanael. The story of Nathanael in John 1, where Jesus saw him even before Philip called him. (Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you) This happened when Jesus was calling His disciples each one by name and He was on a search for disciples, not the perfect and abled, lawful ones, but those who were broken, tax collectors and fishermen. Now as I type this, I find it so comforting that Jesus sees a pre-believer even before the pre-believer is told about Jesus. Likewise, this is such an encouragement in our efforts of evangelism, that Jesus sees those souls before we even reach out to them. And Jesus also promises a personal encounter with those pre-believers. Here was Nathanael, a possibly skeptical, cynical man about life and there was Jesus who saw him when he was at the fig tree, before Nathanael believed. This personal encounter that Nathanael had was to change his life forever. Through this encounter, Jesus promised 2 things: You will see greater things than this and you will see heavens opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.

According to Art Katz’ article, Jesus was making reference to the dream in Genesis 28, the famous dream of Jacob’s ladder where angels were going back and forth and upon waking up from that dream, Jacob awoke. “We need the kind of seeing and stretching that really opens us to the reality that will make us indeed an apostolic presence in the earth,” he said. Apostolic presence is the kind of presence that is filled by God-fearing, serving apostles that build the church and have spiritual authority.

Galatians 1:1, “Paul, an apostle – not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead.”

God called forth a group of apostles that were shared life with Him, communed with Him, watched, heard and learnt from Him. Likewise, we as disciples of Christ, are called to such a life after a personal encounter with Him that will change our lives forever. 

May we be awaken and may our hearts not falter and slumber, or succumb to the things of this world that so easily distracts us. May our hearts be captivated by the beauty and revelation of Christ. Always easier said than done, but one day slowly each time 🙂