Running the Race with Perseverance

I was so looking forward to starting uni again, to enjoy my last semester of uni/finishing off my degree. But as soon as I started my 1st day of the semester, everything just went downhill from there. Receiving back to back bad news (man, I kinda understand how Job felt at that time), I didn’t know how I can continue to persevere to serve Him Just within 5 days things just started firing at me, how can I stay resilience? 

I was disappointed, angry and frustrated with God. Like “why all these things were happening all at once? If you wanted bad things to happen to me, can’t you at least spread it out?!”  As soon as I started praying, tears just kept flowing.

I was actually pretty amazed at how quickly God responded. Straight after praying, I saw the devotion that I just bought called My Rock and My Refuge by Tim Keller. I’m thankful that somehow He prompted me to buy this devotion (and saving the last copy for me)  at the Perth Women’s Convention, just 2 days prior receiving this bad news. I started reading it that night and the page that I turned to was on Psalm 10:12-18. It talks about trusting God completely despite not getting our “why?” questions answered. I started tearing up again as I choose to put my hope in Him.  

I got to spend 2 solid weeks on the book of Psalms. Who knew it was filled with lamentations too? (I always thought it was a book full of praises) I had the opportunity to hear Sons of Korah performing some of the Psalms live on stage. Also, Our Daily Bread (ODB) Discover the Word had a series on Psalm 13 which you can check it out here: https://discovertheword.org/series/a-song-of-lament-and-hope-psalm-13/
I really thank God for helping me through that time and comforting me through brothers and sisters in Christ, praying for me and telling me not to lose hope and continue to fight the good fight. I was really touched. (When I served in outreach, I tend to be the one reaching out to people, so it was really nice to have friends reaching out to me) I’m forever grateful for the friends who encouraged me with 1 Peter 4 and sharing the song Better than I with me.

When my friend shared this song with me, as soon as it started singing, I teared up. (sorry for the people walking past, it must have been awkward to watch)

I also remembered during that time, be it a sermon or at a conference, somehow the message about the cross kept coming up. To be honest, I got a bit annoyed, like I know about the cross as I’ve heard it so many times, so why do you keep repeating yourself?

It was a few days later, through 3 different sources Romans 8:32 kept appearing.

He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Romans 8:32

I finally understood what God was trying to say. I teared up again, thanking Him for reaching out to me despite me starting to hardening my heart towards Him.

I also got the chance to watch “All Saints” which was a movie that I can really relate to. Especially in one scene where the pastor felt that God was telling him to start a farm by planting crops on the land around the church and sell it to prevent the church from closing down. But then bad things happened to the crop. Even the pastor’s son asked his father “Why did God send the flood to destroy the crop?” I teared up when I watch that. That was exactly what I was going through at the time. I thought I clearly heard Him to ask me to do something. But how can I do it if I don’t have the resources to carry it out? But one thing God has taught me was to trust Him to do the impossible. For nothing is impossible with Him.

So back to my question that I asked at the start (I probably asked God a million times), God did answered me one day while I was cleaning my room. His glory may be shown through all that has happened. And would like you to share your story for His glory.

The main lessons that God taught me through these trials and I hope it will help you with whatever hardship, trials and suffering you may be going through.

-His grace is enough and when we exchange our weaknesses, He gives us His strength. (2 Cor 12:9-10)

-His glory shines the brightest when it’s the darkest (i.e. when we are at the valley/lowest points in our lives)

-Nothing is impossible nor too hard for Him to handle. And yes, He’s still in control despite how the bleak the circumstances is at the moment.

One thing that really helped me and carried me through was to look back and remember all that the Lord has done for me. I asked myself, has God ever withheld what’s best for me? Definitely not. I felt so thankful and encouraged that whatever He promised us He will bring it to past.

And we are invited to come to God just as we are, bringing our raw emotions to Him and just be honest with whatever is in your heart.

Fight the good fight – not just reading the Word but applying and when necessary used it to fight the doubts & discouragement that came my way.

 

When hard times come, instead of asking why is this happening, ask God what is it that you want me to learn from this experience?

 

Be thankful for times of testing as our faith can be strengthened by the trials we encounter in the valleys of life. As Paul encouraged the Romans:

“But we also rejoice in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us” (Romans 5:3–5).

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Healing Hands

“We may think we have little to offer, but our hands (our presence and attention) can mend wounds and participate in God’s ongoing work to heal the world one person at a time.” (ODJ, 14th July 2017)

I was reading my devotion on the bus this morning. As I read to the end, that last sentence just hit me.

For the last few days,  I’ve been busy preparing for the upcoming fundraising event for our (OCF) next homeless run. At first I was excited as I was discussing my ideas etc and showed the budget that I’ve prepared to my friend who’s setting up the stall on that day. But I felt a bit discouraged because it seems like an impossible task. I shopped around to find the cheapest deals I can find regarding warm clothing e.g. beanies, socks, gloves, scarves and disposable containers for the food but the amount that we need to raise is just over $800 to feed/provide for around 40 homeless people.

I guess today’s devotion just reminded me it’s the thought that counts. The fact that we are not ignoring the homeless people living on the street is what really matters. So I should stop stressing and worrying about how much we can raise. But most importantly to trust God to use whatever He provides to bless those who are less fortunate than us.

Would greatly appreciate your prayers for the upcoming fundraising event happening on the 22nd of July. 🙂

 

To read today devotion: https://www.ourdailyjourney.org/2017/07/14/healing-hands/

Knowing God’s Will

I don’t really know why whenever someone asks me why I changed my major, they looked more upset than me, haha. Well, it’s actually a good thing and I’m thankful that I had the opportunity to see and experience Proverbs 3:5-6 happening in my life.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart.
Do not depend on your own understanding.
 In all your ways obey him.
Then he will make your paths smooth and straight. (NIRV)

When I was deciding what I should study at uni, I managed to narrow it down to about 3 options. I really wanted to study nutrition/food science but there were limited jobs available if I graduate with that degree. Since I couldn’t go down that path, I decided to go with Music (my next passion). When I was preparing for the audition, I prayed that God will make it clear to me/to know if it’s His will to pursue Music, by helping me pass my audition. To my surprise, I passed the audition stage, I was pretty excited when I received my admission letter. I enrolled into the music degree but after halfway through my degree, I don’t know how or why but I felt that I reached a ‘dead end’. The lecturers and tutors were great but I could no longer see myself pursuing music anymore. I was confused and unsure of what I should do next.

So during the July holidays of 2015, I took the time to pray and also went to my church’s library to borrow some books about knowing God’s will. During that period of time, I felt that God was telling me, “Why not both?” Huh? I asked God what do you mean by that? Then straight after that as I was scrolling through Facebook, I saw this music event and the presenter was an Asian lady (just like me). She works in the business sector on the weekdays and on the weekends she teaches piano at home. I wasn’t sure if that’s what God was telling me to do (because at that time, I didn’t have any students) or was He telling me to continue music as a second major.

When semester resumed, I also went to see a Career Advisor to see what they got to say. The key thing they told me was, “Just because you’re not doing it as a major, doesn’t mean you should give it up completely.” I also remembered when the lecturer announced that one of the assessments for a music unit was to write a letter to our future self and describe how this music unit has helped us with our careers today. I think that was the moment I realised I couldn’t answer that question. I remembered walking out of class because I was feeling so overwhelmed. And that was the last time I ever walked into that class. Trying to switch my Music units to Bachelor of Commerce was tough, especially when I already missed 2 weeks of classes. When I was still hesitant whether to switch or not, looking back, I have discovered that God is pretty good at opening and closing doors. I received an invitation to a luncheon event organised by CPA which was really surprising as I wasn’t a commerce student yet. (Oh I almost forgot to mention, in my 2nd sem of uni, I took an introductory accounting unit as broadening unit. I was doing better in accounting than music, so at that time I did consider taking accounting as a 2nd major.)

It wasn’t easy for me to switch to accounting, I had a lot ‘debates’ with God. The key thing for me was that study accounting is more expensive than music, plus I have to pay for books (whereas in Music, I can just borrow from the library). Not to mention, I’ll have to study 3 law units to meet the prerequisites for CA/CPA qualification. And law books are updated every year. As a poor student, I can’t really afford buying new books every year. I told God if I were to switched, you will provide, right? True enough, God is a loving & faithful God. I’m really thankful that when I had to buy brand new books I managed to get them for half the price (and they were still wrapped in plastic)! And He has blessed me with really great friends/classmates to study accounting & law together.

Another issue when deciding to change my degree was how do I arrange my majors? Like should I still keep music, but as a 2nd major or just straight commerce? Well, I didn’t really want to prolong my degree, so I just did accounting as my only major. Which leads to the next question, with so many commerce students around me who are doing a 2nd major in Finance/Business Law etc, how can I get a job with a single major?

I was really blessed to take part in a career compass program organised by an accounting firm when I was still a music student. It was a good opportunity to ask questions and find out what career options were out there. Then we had the opportunity to apply for an internship with them, it was a long process (and I was still a Bachelor of Arts student in the process of transferring to BCom) which is why I was so surprised when they gave me the chance to spend my summer break with them. I’ll be starting my CA next year which I’m so thankful for but at the same time I am quite worry because I’m not sure how I’m going to balance my studies while working full time, but I trust that God will sustain me.

Looking back, one thing God showed me when I was trying to find out what is His plans for my life, is by lining up circumstances in obvious ways. “And God often uses closed doors to show us clearly what He does NOT want us to do. And He also uses open doors at times to show us what He DOES want us to do. Of course, this does not mean that every open door is definitely God’s plan, but it does help to give you some basic direction.” Taken from: http://www.christianitytoday.com/iyf/hottopics/faithvalues/how-do-i-know-gods-will.html

I totally agree with this quote, after completing my 1st year, the uni offered me to transfer to Bachelor of Philosophy (Honours) which I turned down because personally I didn’t feel that was the road that God wanted me to take. It seems like a pretty full on course and if I took up that offer I probably wouldn’t have the time to serve Him in the ministries He has called me in today.

God has created all of us to fulfill a specific role in this world. There is no one else who can achieve completely what God has purposely created you to do.

The Apostle Peter gives us this admonition:

1 Peter 4:10

As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

I did a personality survey last week (since I was bored). I was pretty amazed when I realised why God has called me to study accounting instead. My personality test result shows that my personality was a good fit to be an accountant. Wow! God know us so well that He has gifted every one of us to perform a special mission for which we alone were created. How amazing is that?

“So, when you seek to discover God’s will for your life, pay attention to how He has gifted you. His plan for you will always be directly related to the gifts that He has bestowed upon you. The great news is that you will automatically be good at whatever it is that He has called you to do!” Taken from: http://www.biblestudytools.com/blogs/chris-russell/8-keys-to-knowing-god-s-will-for-your-life.html

Hope this blog post has encouraged you! And take heart for we have a great and loving God who is waiting to reveal to you what He has in store for you. 🙂 God bless you as you trust in Him!

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. (Matthew 7:7-8)

Love Them with Me

I’m currently working on another Q&A for my blog, but as I was reading today’s devotion I felt that God wanted me to share about my experience organising and going on my very 1st homeless run with the OCFers. Here’s the link to read today’s ODJ devotion: https://www.ourdailyjourney.org/2017/07/07/love-them-with-me/

To be honest, I can’t really remember why I decided to organise the homeless run this year (especially when I’ve never been on one last year) but when I was organising Missions Week for OCF, this verse came to me in the mail:

“Let us not love with words or speech, but in actions and in truth.” 1 John 3:18

So I was like hmmm maybe God wants me to give the OCFers an opportunity to put that verse into practice. Looking back now, I really believe that it was His will/calling for the OCFers to go on a homeless run back in May.

The meat that we originally planned and bought to use for an event on campus was used to bless the homeless people instead (due to last minute changes from the organisers). On that night, while we were handing out food, some strangers were approaching us. At first I thought they wanted some food from us but nope, instead they gave us even more food from their conference so that we can bless even more people.  Indeed, thanking God for His provision.

“What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that?  So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” (James 2:14-17)

Thanking God for His word of encouragement while planning for homeless run. As I read more on the topic of homelessness, I became more anxious and worried. But the day before the homeless run (on 10th May) I read my devotion, the key verse from ODB was taken from Joshua 1:9,

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Thanking God for sustaining me with His strength that day. I had an early start at uni at 8am and finished class around 4pm, then straight after class I joined the rest of the LC and my fellow OCFers to cook for the homeless people. I can’t deny I was pretty exhausted that day but it was really worth it. That night during the homeless run, it breaks my heart to see the number of homeless people and how they had to sleep on cold concrete or out in the cold without a roof over their heads. It has taught me to be grateful and be content with what I have.

Thankful for everyday needs.jpg

Lately it has been really cold and rainy, I feel helpless that I can’t really do much but pray that God will provide their needs. But I am looking forward to return with more OCFers next sem and to give out more warm food + clothing. Praying that our upcoming fundraising (which is happening in 2 week’s time) will go well so that we can bless more homeless people. 🙂

I’ll end with a quote from today’s ODJ:

Whether we’re struggling through our own pain or weighed down by the suffering of others, we can take comfort in God’s sure promises in Psalm 12 to be with and deliver the oppressed. Even if we can’t easily see how, we can rest assured that our God is working to rescue the poor—perhaps even using us as part of His loving, restoring work.

Be Still and Know

What a semester it has been. The combination of excitement that this is finally my final year and also feeling the stress/burden of not failing any of my units so that I can graduate in time.

At the start of the year, someone close to me kept on reminding me not to take on too much, especially in my final year. Well… I already started my term as Outreach and Mission Officer at OCF since the AGM last September, so no way will I just leave and let my other leaders & fellow OCFers down. I continued to serve in the worship team at OCF as well, mainly because quite a number of our musicians have graduated last year, and I feel that it will be unfair to let the others (remaining on the team) to have to keep serving on a more regular basis. On top of that, I’m also serving in the worship team at church as well as in Sunday School because there wasn’t enough people serving.

Anyways, you could probably tell I had a lot on my plate already (but at that time I thought I was fine, that’s why I didn’t cut down) until I failed 2 of my mid sems. 😦

Even though I wished I had listened, so that maybe just maybe this outcome could have been avoided if I did listen, but I believe God always allow things to happen for a good reason and for His purpose & glory alone. Of course, no one would ever voluntarily sign up for a trial/hardship in life but through this painful experience, I’ve learnt to TRUST Him even though it was so hard.

I think what disappointed me the most was not the failure itself but I felt that God had failed me, He failed to keep His promise. Because just before my finance mid-sem, this verse came out on Instagram.

Psalm 55:22 “Cast you cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fail.”

I mean why give me false hope that I won’t fail when You/God know I will and I did. When I saw my results, I was shocked but I found comfort. That night we had a Combined Public Meet at OCF where aunty M came and encouraged us on the importance of serving. But she concluded by reminding us the importance of finding the balance between serving and studying. That was when I realised that I had been taking on too much than I should. After the CPM, I told aunty M that I found her message very timely and relevant to what I was going on at that moment of my life. I’m thankful for her prayers and reminding me that we as students should also focus on glorifying God through our studies. And that God will provide the people to step up to serve. Hence, I should cut down on my commitments.

She also gave me Romans 8:28.

Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

So since then (after the mid-sems to the final exams), I let my leaders know that I need to reduce my commitments and I’m thankful that they are very understanding and wasn’t judgmental. Also I had the opportunity to train up/mentor new worship leaders at church. It was a joy to see how I could share my limited experience and knowledge with them and see how God was using them to serve Him. =)

The most important lesson God told me during this painful/stressful time was to “Be Still and Know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). That message came through songs (like Amy Grant which I included below) to devotion  to Instagram/Facebook posts. You know that this message is important when you see it more than once.

carry-thru

Preparing for my finals (which I just ended on Monday) was a struggle for me. I think what happened in the mid sem just shook me and robbed away my confidence in what I thought I knew. I would just break down in tears remembering my failures. But God always works in ways you cannot see. The very next day, a friend from BSF texted me. It was really unexpected because I haven’t talk to her in 2 years and she probably doesn’t know that I was struggling at that time. But her words of encouragement was very timely. She shared Isaiah 40:29-31, telling me that God prompted her to share this with me.

Isaiah 40:29-31 “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

Even though I wished I didn’t have to go through all this for the last 3 months but I’m thankful I did. Because I got to experience God in a way I wouldn’t have otherwise.  I think a lot of times, we link pain/suffering/trials (whatever you want to call it) to our own faults. I know I did, I kept asking God “Why did you let me fail? It’s not like I didn’t study. So what did I do wrong??!!”As I was asking this question, this link pop up on my Facebook page (God is always so timely isn’t He? Haha)

http://www.ibelieve.com/slideshows/12-reasons-god-might-call-you-to-suffer.html

I’m really thankful for the amazing brothers and sisters in Christ who have been so encouraging and bringing me comfort during this season in my life. From coming all the way to study with me, bringing food and exam study packs, to encouraging notes/cards/messages/Bible verses and praying for me. And also classmates/friends who texted me to study with them. Also when my home/area had a sudden power outage which was around 10pm and I had a quiz due, so I had to rush to the uni library to get it done by midnight, thankful for the friend who stayed up to study with me. And for a second chance to re-do one of my group assessments. Definitely won’t forget the time when I had trouble with importing data from Excel to R Commander for my stats test and praying that the tutor will give me extra time which I did. Despite the extra stress, thank God that I managed to do quite alright in that test. Looking back, I’m really blessed. Thankful that God has been so faithful and for His providence, love and care for me.

reflection

Even though at this moment, my papers are being marked, I choose to trust God that all will be well. I’m not expecting good grades but just enough to pass the units. One key take away lesson that I learnt from BSF just this Monday (decided to go again since I finished my last paper) is that God will keep His promises even though we are uncertain/unsure of the outcome.

Haha, I saw rainbows 4 times today. The first one just before my sister’s final exam, second one blogging while waiting for my sister to finish her last paper, third time on the way home and the last one when we reached home. “A rainbow’s position depends on the location of the observer and the position of the sun.” So for me, it’s quite rare to see a rainbow. I associate rainbow with God’s promise (from Noah’s Ark story). It’s a “lesson to us is that when we see a rainbow we should always be reminded of God’s faithfulness and His amazing grace.” Taken from https://www.gotquestions.org/Noahic-covenant.html 

Well, I saw 4 rainbows today so I think God is saying I’ll pass all 4 of my papers! haha 🙂

Let me end by sharing one of my favourite verses

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

If you’re going through a hard time at the moment, can I encourage you NOT to give up? Keep trusting in the Lord and let His promises to you come to pass.

Here’s a prayer especially for you! 🙂 God bless!

A prayer for when you want to give up

P.S. I finished my draft I was wondering whether I should post/share this, and God gave me a clear answer while reading my devotion on the bus. 🙂 https://odb.org/2017/06/21/sharing-a-cup-of-comfort/

 

 

 

Thanking God for an amazing year of blogging! =)

1 year blog

Hello to my dear readers!

It’s been a while since my last post. Hope everything is going well for you! =)

Wow, I can’t believe it was around this time last year that I started blogging! To read more on how God inspired me you can read my post here.

Just wanted to take this time to thank God for His prompting to bring encouragement to the people around me. It’s been amazing to see and hear how God has used my blog to bring timely reminders and encouragements. And now I want to give HIM back all the Glory He deserves! =)

I also want to thank YOU for taking time out of your busy schedules to read my blog!! You’ve been such a great blessing to me as well! There are times when I felt like giving up blogging because it can be time consuming and I felt that no one has the time to read them. But your encouraging words and support is what kept me going!!! =)

At this stage, I felt that God is calling me to serve on campus. So I’ll continue blogging when I have the time.

Until my next post, take care & God bless! ❤

His Grace is Enough

Thank God for another amazing year where I got to experience His goodness and faithfulness. Even though it was not a smooth start to the year, I’m thankful for the difficulties and challenges I went through.

reflection

One thing that I have learnt in 2016 is that His grace is enough to carry us through whatever situations or circumstances that we face.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.                                                                                                                 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

I’m so glad that OCF had a Winter Camp this year (we haven’t had one in years) and this was the theme verse for our OCF Winter Camp. Looking back I’m just so thankful for God’s timeliness because this verse really carried me through the rest of the year.

For some reason, semester 2 was my toughest semester. I was struggling with 3 out of 4 of my units. Struggling to keep up (especially with the amount of readings for law). Struggling to understand the concepts. Even though I attended all the lectures and tutes, the concepts just didn’t click. Then there were assignments that I didn’t even know how to begin… I never felt so hopeless and helpless before. I just wanted to quit. As exams were approaching, I was really worried because there were still concepts that I couldn’t grasp. I was scared that this will be my first time failing my exams. But at that time God reminded me as I was scrolling through my Instagram.

carry-thru

I really thank God for giving me peace as I enter into the examination room. Especially when I had an exam in a 40 degree heat without any air-cond or fan.

Whenever I felt like giving up, I thank God for His constant support, encouragement and reminder that He is all that I need. He alone is able to provide all that I need. I thank Him for sending me friends/classmates who were willing to study with me and give me a hand; seniors who were willing to lend me their notes; hard working group members to complete all the group assignments and lecturers & tutors who gave up their time to answer my queries. Last but not least massive thank you to everyone who prayed for me especially to my fellow OCFers!

Below are some of the verses that God spoke to me when I was at my lowest. Hope they will give you an encouragement too! =)

phil-4-13isaiah-41-10deut31-8

 

As we enter into a new year, we may have plans/new year resolutions or we might be unsure of what’s next. But we can trust in God. Since He is a God that is the same yesterday, today and forever, I know this amazing God will see us through another year. I’m looking forward to the plans He has for each one of us and see how He will accomplish the things He has set out for us to do. 🙂

Wishing you all a blessed 2017! ^^

 

 

P.S. Thank God I managed to pass all my exams! =)

Part 4: H.I.S. Mission

“Christians have been given a cause far more important than saving the baby whales, the spotted owls, the rain forests and yes, even the cave beetles.”

I like how Vicki Courtney shared in her book Cherish (which I’m currently reading) on the topic of “Why are you here? God’s Purpose for your Life.”

This fits in well with Box 4: Mission/Future.

Jesus said to His disciples, “Go into all the world. Preach the good news to everyone.” (Mark 16:15)

Nations Discliple

Those were the very last words Jesus said before He was taken up into Heaven.

Just as Jesus entrusted His 11 disciples to share the good news that Christ has paid the price for our sins, He has called each one of us (not just pastors, missionaries etc) to do the same thing.

As followers of Christ we are called to carry out H.I.S. Mission.

H.I.S. stands for:

HIS

My church’s 2015 Mission Statement

 

We are called to be His ambassadors! As a representative of Christ, it is our duty to imitate His character and His love towards each other. (Yeah, that includes our enemies (Matthew 5:44) because we were once enemies of God but He chose to love us and forgive us.)

Well, you don’t have to be a missionary or go to a foreign country in order to serve the world. You can do so where God has placed you at this very moment. Your mission field includes your school/uni, workplace, neighbourhood/community.

For me as a student, I’m thankful that I can serve Him at uni where God brings the nations to my doorstep. #UniMentor #OCF 🙂

Yes, I know it can be scary going up to your friends or even to strangers sitting next to you on the bus and tell them about Jesus Christ. But God has given us the Holy Spirit to help us on what to say.

Sometimes actions speak louder than words. Just a simple act of kindness can lead your friends, classmates, neighbours, colleagues or even strangers to Christ. I was really amazed and thankful through God’s help that I managed to invite a stranger I met on the bus to OCF the very next day. You can read it here.

The key message is:

We must break the silence and bring Christ’s message to a dying world.

Therefore, BE BOLD AND COURAGEOUS in sharing about the Good News to the people around you!:)

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9 NIV)

“You Make Me Brave” by Bethel Music & Amanda Cook has given me the courage to make Him known and I hope it will encourage you too!

I pray that God will give you opportunities, courage and wisdom to do H.I.S. Mission! 🙂

Annalisa

Related post: How Can I Break the Silence?

 

 

 

 

Part 3: Leaders Need Mentors Too

Hello again! Thanks for tuning in today! Sorry for the delay, had a busy weekend helping out with my church’s youth! But I believe it’s a good thing we had to wait, as I just received an email yesterday saying I’ve been accepted to be a mentor to welcome new freshers next semester! More on that later…

Now let’s continue on with Box 3: Time with Leaders. From what we’ve learnt in Box 2, Jesus does some pretty amazing things after spending time alone with the Father ( Box 1). But did you know that Leaders need Mentors too?

“You’re going to wear yourself out—and the people, too. This job is too heavy a burden for you to handle all by yourself. Now listen to me, and let me give you a word of advice, and may God be with you.” (Exodus 18:18–19)

Jethro had watched Moses at work and saw that he was taking on way too much. Moses spent every day handling the disputes of all God’s people . . . all day. So Jethro, like a good mentor, offered his son–in-law some leadership strategies that would empower other leaders in the community, serve the people more effectively, and give Moses some space.

Like Moses who learned from Jethro’s insight, just because we have a call to leadership doesn’t mean we automatically know everything. I know I don’t. Strong leaders are lifelong learners. There are those around us who have seasoned leadership skills that can only enhance what we do. Their strategies can make us more effective and their insights can grow our leadership capacity—if we let them.

Recently at the OCF Winter Camp, I was asked to be a Group Discussion Leader. At first I was a bit hesitant because this was my first ever OCF Camp and I don’t really know what to expect. Also I already agreed to be one of the Worship Leaders so I wasn’t really sure whether I can cope with an additional leadership role. (Even though they said I’ll have an Assistant Leader to help me.) Thankfully when I told the Camp Committee about my situation, they were really understanding. I told them I was happy to serve as an Assistant Leader instead, so that I can learn to be a better leader in the future. I’m really thankful for my Leader for being very encouraging and supportive and gave me the opportunity to lead the devotion on the last day at camp.

And every night after our sessions, all the leaders gathered together with the Camp Commandant. Even though it was past my bedtime, it was definitely a time well spent learning from each of the leaders and encouraging one another! Especially on the final night there, I was surprised to hear that most of the leaders also felt inadequate or they were new to this role! The Camp Commandant told us we were prayerfully selected. This emphasised what we’ve learnt during camp, that it is important to involve and train new people to take up leadership roles!

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Have you ever been part of a small group that were intentionally involved in training and development?

Who provides a fresh pair of eyes for your situation, sharing leadership wisdom?

Whether you are currently in a leadership role or will be in the future, I pray for one gift for your leadership journey: a mentor. A mentor who will help you discover and realise your potential. Someone who offers perspective, reminding you of your purpose here on earth, no matter what the cost. A mentor with a fresh pair of eyes and insights that make you a better leader. A person who is willing to take a risk on you, opening up new frontiers of opportunity and wider influence. And my prayer, too, is that one day you’ll mentor other leaders. =)

Mentoring

Join me for the finale of my OCF Winter Camp Reflection, Part 4: H.I.S. Mission (You’ll find out what the abbreviation stands for!)

I also plan to write about my Mentoring journey with you in the near future! So look out for that too!

Until then, take care & God bless,

Annalisa

Some sections about mentoring taken from: Why Leaders Need Mentors . A good read, highly recommended! 🙂

 

Part 2: Serving the King of kings

Hi again! Welcome to Part 2 of my OCF Winter Camp reflection! Today I’ll be sharing about Box 2 – Time with People/Crowds.

Have you ever felt like Jonah? Or Moses? Where you felt like running away from what God has called you to do because you felt inadequate to do the task He has specifically entrusted you to do?

I know every Christian is called to share the Good News with the people around them. But at the start of this year through my suffering, I felt that God has called me to be an evangelist, in particular a “Social Media Evangelist”. I enjoy sharing about my journey with God through my blog, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

There are definitely challenges that I need to overcome and times when I doubted, especially when I’m still so young and inexperienced.

Exactly this time last week, I shared a post on End of Financial Year. I’ve been wanting to share about the Good News on LinkedIn. (Just in case you haven’t come across LinkedIn, it is a business-oriented social networking service. My Career Advisors have been asking us (uni students) to get LinkedIn because “it’s not who you know but who knows you.”)

Anyway,s back to my story, after posting the EOFY article I felt that God was telling me that this was a good opportunity for me to share about God on LinkedIn. But I felt scared and worried. “Why should I be doing it? Can’t you ask someone else to do it instead? Anyways, who am I to tell these professionals what to do? They won’t listen to me anyway and they’ll probably rebuke me.” Yeah, I sound like Moses don’t I?

From experience I knew that arguing with God will get me to nowhere. Learning from Jonah, I know no matter how hard I try to run away, God will make me go back to square 1. (I’m sure it wasn’t a coincidence that my group was given the story of Jonah to perform on Skit Night. So Thank You God! ^^)

Just as Jesus draws on the strength He gets from spending time with the Father (Re: Box 1), I decided to spend time alone with God. (That night my parents were out watching my sister’s performance.) I just got down to my knees and prayed out loud. I wanted God to give me the strength, guidance and courage to do His will.

Then I went on Instagram to see if there were any encouraging words from God. Wow! God never fails me! As I was scrolling through my News Feed I saw this!

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Dayspring posted this “Hey, you. Just in case you forget or you’ve started to doubt: you were created to make a difference!”

I also felt that God was telling me, “Why do you fear men rather than God? Why do you worry about what other people think of you when you should focus on what the King of kings have asked you to do.”

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I’m so glad for God’s timely messages! God even prompted the blogger (whom I based his article to write my EOFY article) to like my article. This gave me the courage to share it on LinkedIn!

After posting on LinkedIn, I decided to share that article with my CPA Manager. I just received an email today around 3pm, she said she enjoyed reading my EOFY post! 🙂

I’m just so amazed at how God is always there for us and He will give us the strength to do His will!

Looking back at my Spiritual Gifts post, evangelism wasn’t in my top 3! But that’s ok, when He calls us, He will equip us! 🙂

If you’re not sure what your Spiritual Gifts are, you can check out:

http://giftstest.com/test

How Do I Uncover My Spiritual Gifts?

Let me end with this song “We will Not be Shaken” which greatly encourages me! As long as we put our Trust in God, we don’t have to be afraid! Because He has overcome! 🙂

See you soon for Part 3! Can’t wait! ^^

Annalisa

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The above article is based on the following Qs discussed during OCF Winter Camp 2016:

  1. What does “box 2” currently look like for you? Do you have a specific job or ministry that you feel you are doing to serve God? Describe it.
  2. What challenges come to you as you do it?
  3. To what extent is your box 1 providing strength, guidance, and energy for your box 2? Do you find yourself needing help with identity, guidance, refreshment and courage to do what you need to do? To what extent do you get those things from God?