Be Still

Jehovah Shalom – God is Peace

During the very first Hope Church retreat I attended in 2007, my then care leader asked me what my objective was, my purpose for going to the retreat. I was brand new, I didn’t know what he was asking exactly. To be totally honest, my first reason for coming was because it was my first trip to Batam, Indonesia. It was a short vacation. I just wanted to go to the beach.

Just to get him to stop talking, I said the first thing that came to me. I said I was praying for peace of mind. And then I walked away.

But God moves in mysterious ways indeed. What I thought to be just a throwaway statement became my personal theme for that retreat. It turns out, I really, truly did need peace of mind (and heart, and soul) at that time. He knew the exact thing that I needed even before I knew it for myself.

I felt He led me through the rest of that retreat, and prepared everything just for me, so that I would receive and understand the personal relationship that He wanted to have with me.

It was the very first time I encountered and was touched by this favorite verse:

“Be still, and know that I am God”
Psalm 46:10a NIV

It tied in to His message for me right then. Through these words I realised all the things I had to let go of: my anger, my pride, my resentments, my personal slights both real and imagined. I had to let go of all the “my”s in my life, and replace it with what is “His”.

His love. His grace. His faith. His Word.

In the same retreat, they played the song Still, by Hillsong United. After hearing the words, I was shattered. It was the last straw. I wept. I shed tears I didn’t know were inside me, for reasons that I didn’t even understand completely.

All I knew was my need for the peace that only He could bring. Mind, body, heart, and soul — I wanted all parts of me to be filled with His peace.

(I found out later that it wasn’t even part of the lineup. A guitar string broke, and the band had to switch to a song that had more keyboard parts in it. So they played a song that became my anthem for a very long time in 2007.)

Fast forward to today, and I have to teach on Jehovah Shalom. God is Peace.

And in making the lesson, I was refreshed with that memory of my new believer self, all of ten years ago.

“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:7 NIV

Peace that transcends all understanding — this is true. It’s been a decade, and I’m certainly not a new believer anymore, but until now I still hold to the indefinable, awesome quality of God, the wonderful reality of His peace.

If you want to experience a peaceful retreat without ever needing to go on a beach vacation, click here.

Be Still

Jehovah Shalom – God is Peace

During the very first Hope Church retreat I attended in 2007, my then care leader asked me what my objective was, my purpose for going to the retreat. I was brand new, I didn’t know what he was asking exactly. To be totally honest, my first reason for coming was because it was my first trip to Batam, Indonesia. It was a short vacation. I just wanted to go to the beach.

Just to get him to stop talking, I said the first thing that came to me. I said I was praying for peace of mind. And then I walked away.

But God moves in mysterious ways indeed. What I thought to be just a throwaway statement became my personal theme for that retreat. It turns out, I really, truly did need peace of mind (and heart, and soul) at that time. He knew the exact thing that I needed even before I knew it for myself.

I felt He led me through the rest of that retreat, and prepared everything just for me, so that I would receive and understand the personal relationship that He wanted to have with me.

It was the very first time I encountered and was touched by this favorite verse:

“Be still, and know that I am God”
Psalm 46:10a NIV

It tied in to His message for me right then. Through these words I realised all the things I had to let go of: my anger, my pride, my resentments, my personal slights both real and imagined. I had to let go of all the “my”s in my life, and replace it with what is “His”.

His love. His grace. His faith. His Word.

In the same retreat, they played the song Still, by Hillsong United. After hearing the words, I was shattered. It was the last straw. I wept. I shed tears I didn’t know were inside me, for reasons that I didn’t even understand completely.

All I knew was my need for the peace that only He could bring. Mind, body, heart, and soul — I wanted all parts of me to be filled with His peace.

(I found out later that it wasn’t even part of the lineup. A guitar string broke, and the band had to switch to a song that had more keyboard parts in it. So they played a song that became my anthem for a very long time in 2007.)

Fast forward to today, and I have to teach on Jehovah Shalom. God is Peace.

And in making the lesson, I was refreshed with that memory of my new believer self, all of ten years ago.

“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:7 NIV

Peace that transcends all understanding — this is true. It’s been a decade, and I’m certainly not a new believer anymore, but until now I still hold to the indefinable, awesome quality of God, the wonderful reality of His peace.

If you want to experience a peaceful retreat without ever needing to go on a beach vacation, click here.

Take My Life and Let It Be

Take my life
And let it be consecrated,
Lord, to Thee;

by Ernie Rettino & Debby Kerner Rettino

Take my life
And let it be consecrated,
Lord, to Thee;
Take my hands
And let them move
At the impulse of Thy love;
At the impulse of Thy love.

Take my feet
And let them be swift
And beautiful for Thee;
Take my voice
And let me sing always,
Only for my King;
Always, only for my King

Take my silver and my gold;
Not a mite would I withhold.
Take moments and my days;
Let them flow in ceaseless praise,
Let them flow in ceaseless praise.

Take my will and make it Thine;
It shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart it is Thine own,
It shall be Thy royal throne,
It shall be Thy royal throne.

Take my life,
Let it be consecrated,
Lord, to Thee!

Kids Praise! 7
Arr. © 1988 Rettino/Kerner Publishing. – www.psalty.com
All Rights Reserved. International Copyright Secured.

If you want to know more about the Lord and how you can offer your life unto Him, click here.

#GirlWithPinkBible

#TimeSpentWithGodIsTimeBestSpent

The Linkbridge of Matthew

“Later, Matthew invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. But when the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, ‘Why does your teacher eat with such scum?’ When Jesus heard this, he said, ‘Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do.'”
– Matthew 9:10-12 (NLT)

June 24, 2017 – Changi General Hospital Staff Lounge served as our huddle for Our Matthew Life Group. Matthew Life Group is a kind of life group in HOPE Church Singapore which relates to the bible when Matthew knew that Jesus and His disciples were coming to have dinner with Him, he invited the other tax collectors and other sinners.

Matthew Life Group intends to invite the the people in the network of the people inside the life group. But we did it “intentionally” this time. Instead of inviting them over, we decided to reach out to those people who may be complete strangers to some of us in the group and share the love of God to them in simple, thoughtful ways – through good foods, laughter and prayer.

We are move with what the bible says:

The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed” –  Proverbs 11:25 (NIV)

A “linkbridge” is built to serve as link and connection between two structures. The concept of linkbridges started when people see the importance of shortening the time in transferring from one place to another.

Matthew may have not decided to invite other tax collectors and sinners, for the Pharisees may see as inviting Jesus to eat together with them inappropriate. But what moved Matthew to invite other tax collectors and even sinners into his house for dinner?

In Matthew 9:9 (NIV):

“As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed Him.”

The bible clearly portrays a scene where Matthew, without any hesitations, doubts, nor second thought “got up and followed Him” – it takes a willing heart to obey Jesus over seeing yourself as a “ready” person.

Matthew saw great, immeasurable and indescribable measures in Jesus! With this comes his love towards others who were like him before he had an encounter with Jesus.  He was changed by Jesus. You may have come to know Jesus but it must not stop from just having the relationship with him, on your own.

As what is written in Matthew 28:19-20 (NIV), “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Aside from obedience, what are the other things that God is trying to develop in us?

1. Genuine love for others

Aside from loving God, He also wants us to genuinely love others – our neighbors, as much as we love ourselves.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these” – Mark 12:30-31 (NIV)

One way to show this to bring them closer to Jesus and to tell them about the gift of salvation.

2. Joy in serving

In inviting other people in our own home, it takes a joyful, servant heart to really entertain them and attend to their needs. And even having the eagerness to invite people as much as Matthew have done. He opened His house not only for a casual social gathering but for the purpose of “Making Jesus Known” to the people who are yet to receive Him as their own personal Lord and Savior.

Be joyful in sowing the seeds! Paul emphasized to the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians 3:6, “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow” In our little ways and joyful effort, God uses it to magnify himself by empowering the seed of faith that has been planted in you.

3. Peace

“Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord” – Romans 12:14 (NIV)

Believers of Christ faces persecution. Matthew on his time may have faced similar experience as a consequence of his belief towards Jesus. But inspite of this he managed to live in peace by walking the path less taken, living in the truth and being in a new life in Jesus.

Instead of fearing persecution, Matthew peacefully invited other tax collectors and sinners

4. Patience

Patience is a by product of trials. In our works for the Lord, sometimes we are losing “patience” whenever it seems that everything is not falling on its place. But the Lord said, “Take courage!”.

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance” – James 1:2-3 (NIV)

The Biblical definition of perseverance came from the Greek word “hypomone” which means “waiting on“. This preseverance gives us the patience to joyfully wait for the things that are yet to come as we continue to strive patiently for the kingdom of God.

5. Kindness

The bibles says:

Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.” – Hebrew 13:2 (NIV)

Matthew at that moment exemplifies kindness not only by inviting others for a dinner but to usher and set himself as the ‘linkbridge’ towards the people to know Jesus.

Taking bigger steps beyond our comfort zone and standing between the gap for the Kingdom of Jesus is one of the best way of ahowing kindness – giving more than what the physical body needs, but goes deeper into the spiritual needs of others.

6. Goodness (Gaining a Constructive Attitude)

‘“I have the right to do anything,” you say but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything” but not everything is constructive’ – 1 Corinthians 10:23 (NIV)

As followers and believers of Christ, our footprints on Earth surely will never be kept. We are temporary. But what to do with a time-bounded life?

We have the right to do ‘anything’ that is possible with our strength, resources and time. Paul on his epistle to the people of Corinth, encouraged everyone to do good things, not just things that can be considered good but ‘constructive’.

Do things that will encourage others, that they follow and do the same, or even greater things. Matthew started the act of setting as a good, constructive example – that a sinner can be forgiven by the grace of Jesus and become a disciple.

7. Faithfulness

As we do more for the kingdom of God, out of our obedience, we become more rooted – at first we may have a faith that is ‘as small as a mustard seed’.

In Matthew 17:20 Jesus told His disciples about the faith as small as the mustard seed saying, ‘”… Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”’

What more if our roots dig deeper into God? Expect your faith to do more, not for your to gain the glory of doing more. But it is for the Glory of God.

8. Gentleness

My mentor always reminds me that “The spirit is caught not taught”. It is always passed on to someone. A gentle spirit shows love, overpowering the weakness. It speaks the truth in Jesus, encourages, understands, and inspires.

“Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near” – Philippians 4:5 (NIV)

My dear brothers and sisters, indeed, the Lord is near! He is in you and in everything that you do. Continue to persevere with the works that yiu have started that you may reap what you have sown, overflowing and exceeding in abundance.

9. Self-control

Self-control applies in every aspect of our lives. From our speech, our conduct, our ideas, and our works.

a. Facing Temptations

Everyone, everyday faces tempations of cetai degree. Through God’s empowerment He will develop self-control in us that will enable us to endure it.

“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it” – 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV)

 b. Spiritual Discipline

Athletes are among the most discipline group of people. From the food they eat, sleeping time, stress management and training – disciplined. They follow a structured formula to win the game.

Some attributes the Christian journey as a ‘race to finish’ rather than ‘getting a crown that will last forever’ – Eternal Life with God in heaven.

“Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever” – 1 Corinthians 9:25

Self control? It encompasses our daily living. It avoids division but promotes union among the body of Jesus. It creates a true, free spirit that relies on God.

In being the ‘linkbridge’, the first step is for you to have a sincere and fairhful relationship with Jesus, and to accept Him as you personal Lord and Saviour. It does not require you to be righteous. Because we became the righteous people by Jesus. Come to Jesus with a willing heart that sees no fault nor flaws but love. He was not sent by the Father into the world but to save the world through Him – He is our Salvation.

Failure: A positive note!

This is how 1 John 4:4 manifests in our lives as Christians.” That greater is He who is in you than who is this world. ” We will overcome this failure by running unto God; by relying unto Him; by trusting unto Him. That is how Great He is in us!

Ye are of God, my little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.

1 John 4:4 ASV

Recently I am in the midst of trembling situation. I felt overwhelmed with all the deadlines or meeting timelines at work. This made me focus at work and de-focus on my spiritual life. However, I am aware of my situation, but my flesh tends to rely on results of my work then I will be at peace. This is me being human–afraid of failure.

At least most of us are afraid of failure. If we encountered failure, some of us tend to lose self-esteem. Some, tend to fluctuate their confidence. Some,  tend to be hiding. Stuck in one corner, even, do not want to come out. Felt ashamed. No face. As if being swallowed by the land.

Failure makes us trembling. Hearing someone is a failure, we belittle the person. People start to talk about that person and became a busy body on finding out why that person is a failure. In your workplace for an instance. A big project had been assigned to you.  If the result were not successful, despite efforts, hardwork, sweat-and-blood given, you are a failure. Failure. Failure. Failure

But why we fail? What is the measurement of failure?  You lose money in a business? You did not pass the exam? You did not finish your studies? You failed in your presentation and interview? You failed in your marriage? You failed in your relationships?  Because no good results were produced! And this how we measure it—This is reality in this world. We gauge it with results. 

Reading  1 John 4:4  had given me great leap of faith in facing failure in this world. That this word-trembling, sucking self-esteem — failure is actually a positive note for Christians. That when we look upon our situation and seems nothing could be done,  that is where we get down on our knees and pray to God. 

This were we started to rely, depend, trust unto God. We are only human. When things seems right. We are ‘ok’ with God. The feeling and relationship with Him is ‘ok’. But when things is bad, we are ‘best’ with God. We run to Him, we cry out loud unto Him and pleading unto Him for a help. The feeling is unexplainable when we are satisfied in His presence.

All along God is with us. This is where He will made His distinction between His people and of this world (Exodus 8:23a). Christians when seems failing; the instinct is to run to Him. 

This is how 1 John 4:4 manifests in our lives as Christians.” That greater is He who is in you than who is this world. ” We will overcome this failure by running unto God; by relying unto Him; by trusting unto Him. That is how Great He is in us!

All glory to God!💞

Agape,

IAMgoodstar🌟

If you want to know how to overcome failure without trembling? Kindly click here to know more about it!😊

Blessed is She

Glory she will not give to another,
Only unto her sovereign King.

Blessed is she who depends on the Lord.
She neither sees nor knows her future;
But peace rests in her heart
That in deep unfamiliar waters
She lifts up her eyes
Upon her loving Father.
He takes her by the hand,
Leads her and directs her path.
He takes her to the very purpose
He had for her.
There she will walk in His wisdom
And depend on His grace.
Then she will be filled with praise!
Her joy will overflow!
She will stand in awe
In amazement
As she beholds
The glory of her Savior.
Glory she will not give to another,
Only unto her sovereign King.

 

If you want to find out who is this King and Father, click here. He wants to be your father too. 🙂

#GirlWithPinkBible

#TimeSpentWithGodIsTimeBestSpent

 

Picture by Eleonor Tan

Life of a Christian

We can’t blame people who tagged Christians as hypocrites. They don’t even know what they are saying. Love them anyway. They do not understand that Christianity is a life-time process. It grows. It blossoms. It functions. It is an organism. Life of a Christian mature.

To be a Christian is not an easy way of living; it’s not a trademark to be famous; Or even a superior status quo. Christian not even a brand to look for and get it. It is being quoted as hypocrite(s). It may have been off for those Christians who will read this article and may even not to accept it,  especially the latter. But this is true which perceived by some non-believers and even the socalled professing christians—But! Read through.

Many at times, people around us, if they knew you are a Christian, they will  assume–you are gentle, kind and easy-to-believe. If these were not seen from your gesture and action. Judgement is served—you are hypocrite; and these were only a few of their criteria.

It’s true that it is difficult to have it said and done. “I am a Christian”; “I am a Christ follower”; “I am a Believer”. We are all attune to have these identity. That when you said it, you have to display it.

Come to think of it. Do they have sense in that saying? Yes. I believe so. It is time for us to wake up in our slumber, Christians. Rise up and Walk. Christians who say it by mouth must have it in his heart. We are tagged how Christ did here on earth. But isn’t true? We proclaim that we are Christ Ambassadors. But, what we say is different from the way we live.

“Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit.  

Matthew 12:33‭

Jesus speaks about the tree and its fruit. It is how we, Christians identified. We can’t run away from it. It is difficult to commit to the standard of God because we are only human; and if we tend to rely in our own might and power.

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.

John 15:5 NKJVwp-image-1457337255

But if we will abide in Him, and He abode in us, it is now the work of the Holy Spirit who lives in us. It is not by our might nor by power, but it is by the Spirit of Lord,  Zechariah 4:6. This how He worked in our Spiritual life.

If we will allow the Holy Spirit to work in our lives, we will realize His amazement. The normal things that we used to do when we are in our own might will not be normal anymore. You are more careful as the conviction is prominent whether it is aligning to God’s will. The reality is clear to you, that you are no longer in a physical realm but  in spiritual realm.

That’s where life as a Christian mature. When we understand that our physical body is in a spiritual encounter. It matures when his faith became child-like. When he give his full dependence on Him. Trusting on Him. Relying on Him. 

We can’t blame people who tagged Christians as hypocrites. They don’t even know what they are saying. Love them anyway. They do not understand that Christianity is a life-time process. It grows. It blossoms. It functions. It is an organism. Life of a Christian, mature.

Let them understand that Christianity is a relationship; a relationship to our Creator. The deeper we establish our relationship to our Creator; the deeper we know Him; the deeper we will walk in Spirit and in Truth —and that is His amazement.

Let us continue to walk in His presence. As the road in this world is rocky. Even turmoil is present along the journey of our faith. But we will conquer it, because in Him, we are more than Conquerors – Romans 8:37.

All glory to God!💞

Agape,

IAMgoodstar🌟

If you want to understand deeper how to become a Conqueror? Click here to find out.

Rise up and Walk. 

Salvation is free to us and to anyone in this world. The crippled man received his healing without the intention of having it. But it is freely given to him.

Then Peter said, silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.

Acts 3:6 NKJV

 Acts 3:6, In the Spcripture, it is where Peter heals the crippled beggar. This man was carried to temple gate called Beautiful, where he was everyday to beg from those who are going to the temple courts.

When he saw Peter and John, He asked for money. Peter  and John looked at his eyes straight, and said, “Look at us”. The man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them. Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have give you, In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.”- Acts 3:1-6. 

—–

As Christians, on the day when we received our Salvation, it is not a one time off. That automatically, spiritual maturity is there and you possessed it. If that is the case, we are being deceived. We have to raise our spiritual discipline for us to become mature spiritually.

Spiritual discipline, it establishes our relationship with the Lord deeply rooted. “NO spritual discipline; NO spiritual maturity”. This is the case for some of us. Especially for new believer that were not guided properly in the Church, since day one. Fact, Faith and Feeling is important to understand from the heart for all Believers; and how Salvation work.

The crippled beggar in Acts 3 is — Us, Christians, who enjoy in our slumber. We are being crippled because of us being deceived. Some of us might think of Christianity will make me rich. I will receive blessing, blessing, blessing. We must understand that blessing is a bonus for us of God. He has “more” for us beyond blessing and much even important— Our Salvation!

That is the case of a crippled man. He only gave his attention to Peter and John because of money that he was asking. But for Peter and John, they knew that the crippled man, need much important than that. He need Jesus in his heart genuinely. He need Him to be released in his chain of bondage and wake up in his slumber. 

Salvation is free to us and to anyone in this world. The crippled man received his healing without the intention of having it. But it is freely given to him.

When he rise up,  he could walk. These two action words are important in our Spiritual life. When we received Jesus in our lives genuinely, we could rise up to stand firm of what we believe in. We could walk that people will take His light from us and be the salt in their life to draw near to God. 

It is imperative for us, that our Salvation is freely given to us. Do not waste it. Wake up from our slumber. Christians, Rise Up and Walk.

Find out here, to know how to get Salvation and not to waste it.

Trust

“Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.”‭‭
Hebrews‬ ‭10:23‬ ‭NLT‬‬

I don’t know how to drive. But when I do start to learn, one of the things I have to get over is thinking that every other driver on the road is out to get me. Or that they’ll make a mistake, like an unexpected turn, accidental or otherwise, and will crash into me.

Trust issues much?

This fear in me speaks of my anxiety and worry that the world will not deliver as promised. That sometimes I have to be wary of what’s ahead.

Fortunately, God keeps His promises. We have a God in whom we can trust, completely and without a doubt, who will do all that He said He will.

Now if only there is a way to ensure that all drivers on the road are Christians before I go out and get my license…

Click here to see how you can get rid of road anxiety by putting your complete trust in the Lord.

Yours

1
This life is yours
Lord take it all
My knees to fall
Yours

2
This heart is yours
Lord take control
My mind and soul
Yours

C
You overwhelm
You overcome
Your power reveals what You planned
You hold my destiny

Your will be done
Your kingdom come
On earth as You reign over heaven
All for Your glory

Lord I’m Yours

B
From You
Through You
With You
In You
For You! (All Yours!)

“For everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory. All glory to him forever! Amen.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭11:36‬ ‭NLT‬‬

This song came to me during free worship in a leadership meeting a few weeks ago. I typed it down as soon as the music stopped. I forgot the actual song that was playing, but in my heart I wanted to pour it all out to Him in adoration, just conceding everything to Him, and acknowledging that all things, all things, all things, are His and His alone. My victories and defeats, joys and sorrows, triumphs and tribulations, are all His.

“So he will do to me whatever he has planned. He controls my destiny.”
‭‭Job‬ ‭23:14‬ ‭NLT‬‬

And I wanted to use the second person perspective, because I was talking to Him, I wanted it to be between Him and me, close and direct, with nothing in between.

“May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭6:10‬ ‭NLT‬‬

But I lost the melody, because I didn’t have time to record anything then. So this is a song in search of a tune; if anyone can suggest, please feel free to contact me.


Do you want to be able to worship God as freely as He intended? Click here to find out the song that He will put in your heart.