Halloween? How?

It’s October and ’tis the season for ghosts, zombies, witches, blood and gore. Yes, I’m referring to Halloween.

My position about Christians & Halloween has already been expressed. To me, it is very clear that “we as children of light should have nothing to do with anything that manifests the kingdom of darkness.” That said, I am also well aware that not all Christians hold the same view. And each year, we will get the same debate all over again (much like yoga, Christmas and Easter).

Take, for example, the article by Darren Wilson, “The Halloween Predicament“. Wilson is of the opinion that it is simply a matter of opinion. To those who think Halloween is harmless, it is fine to dress up as whatever and to freely celebrate Halloween. To support his position, Wilson quotes Romans 14:2-3 where Paul taught about the non-issue of food.

To be honest, it is quite a hermeneutical stretch to extend the non-issue of food laws to the participation of believers in a celebration that involves witches, demons and death.

“Rather, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Lord’s table and of the table of demons.” 1 Cor 10:20-21

Also, whilst Paul said it is alright to eat food offered to idols in 1 Cor 8, he specifically told the believers in 1 Cor 10:20-21 not to partake of the table of demons thereby entering into fellowship with demons. In my humble opinion, I believe 1 Cor 10:20-21 relate more directly and clearly to the question of Halloween.

Then again, this is only my opinion as a teacher of the Word. And according to Wilson, “always remember that your convictions are your convictions.” In other words, whilst we are entitled to our own opinions, we are not entitled to share these with anyone else lest it “leads you down the road of judgment and condemnation of others.” It would seem that Wilson is more concerned about appearing judgmental to others than he is about stumbling others.

Am I over-reacting and being too cautious?

Well, let’s consider another article about Halloween by John Ramirez, “I’m Shocked Christians Celebrate Halloween“. As a former worshipper of Satan, perhaps he knows something that we don’t?

To make a very strong point, Ramirez opens the article with a statement from Anton Lavey, the founder of the Church of Satan: “I am glad that Christian parents let their children worship the devil at least one night out of the year. Welcome to Halloween.”

According to Ramirez, Halloween is “very different from every other night in the witchcraft world”. It is as important to the dark world as Good Friday or Resurrection Day is to Christians. Halloween is celebrated as “the devil’s holiday”, or holy day, or a day set apart for devil worship.

By participating in the activities of Halloween, Ramirez warns that “you have turned over your legal rights, and you have dedicated yourself and your kids to celebrating the devil’s holiday. You have just made a pact with the enemy, and you are already sacrificing your children spiritually by dressing them up and changing their identity.”

Interesting. These are but two rather differing views from two Christians, both appearing in a reputable Christian magazine. One says that it is perfectly fine to celebrate or not celebrate. The other says that Christians should have nothing to do with Halloween for it is the devil’s domain. So, which is right?

Is Halloween simply a matter of opinion for the Christian?

I know where I stand on this. Do you?

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400,000 Views but still taking it One Day At A Time

Two years ago, I reported a milestone for this blog, One Day At A Time, when it achieved 200,000 views. Today, I am pleased to report that this humble contribution continues to be a voice in cyberspace, crossing the 400,000 mark.

When I started this website in 2007, it was an attempt for me to get more acquainted with the internet. It was a personal experiment to see if a nobody like me can make an impact in the digital space through the sharing of ministry updates, reflections and opinions. (Sounds noble? Not exactly. My first post “I’m Just A Regular Guy” exposes my original intent – I just wanted a space to be able to speak freely and to gripe if I have to – haha!) Needless to say, hitting the 100,000 marker (after six years!) was quite a thrill.

In an environment where blog stats are reported by the millions, I am well aware that 400,000 is only a tiny blip on the radar of digital content, if it is even registered. Even so, I have been greatly encouraged when what is written is read and shared widely.

Some of the more popular articles are:

Unlike others who seem to be able to write so effortlessly and regularly, I only write when prompted (or irked) and feel that something needs to be said about an issue. With the launch of Archippus Awakening, I now maintain two websites, carefully discerning which site each article should be posted on. Needless to say, this poses another time and resource challenge for me. (One Day At A Time carries more personal and general articles whilst the AA blog focuses primarily on helping saints be awakened, aligned and assigned for Jesus and His kingdom. For mothers, you’ve got to check out my wife’s website Building Up Moms for a treasure trove of practical tips.)

All said, this post is to celebrate yet another ministry milestone. Although I am limited by time and space, I am thankful to be able to reach many more through this digital platform. I don’t know who is reading or how these might be impacted. My part is to declare truth and pray that the Holy Spirit will convict hearts for Jesus.

Thanks to one and all for your support, encouragement and feedback. Keep reading and sharing! Let’s keep reminding one another to take it One Day At A Time, because our Lord’s mercies are new every morning and great is His faithfulness!

Soldiers Don’t Get To Pick Their Battlefields

I chose to write this post on the Archippus Awakening website as the subject matter relates closely to all who identify as Archippuses, as soldiers of the Lord’s army. That said, this is also a good reminder for one and all as we consider our willingness to serve as the Lord assigns, whatever and wherever. Blessings!

Archippus Awakening

Who would have imagined that the Elected Presidency would become such a hot topic in Singapore? To date, not everyone is convinced if it is necessary to have a reserved election that the next President would be one from the Malay community. Whilst that is still being debated, the discussion has moved to who is a Malay?

And with Mdm Halimah Yacob’s decision to run for the Presidency, a side story emerged – that of Mr Tan Chuan-Jin’s appointment to be the next Speaker of Parliament – surprising many and prompting speculations that the full minister (ex, as of 10 September 2017) has been demoted.

As the House convened today (11 September 2017), Mr Tan was elected as its 10th Speaker. Amidst all the views, comments and criticisms, it is the response of Mr Tan that has not only caught my attention, but also earned my respect.

Please read…

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The Lim Tribe on Kingdom Assignment in Bandung

First, it was church camps (The Lim Tribe: Serving the Lord Together). And then, KINGDOM101 Teachings and Awakening Events (The Joy Of Having My Children Serve Alongside Me). Whatever the platform, I am always thankful when my children can join me in the work of the ministry.

I consider these as bring-your-children-to-work opportunities where they get to see daddy in action. Yet, more than just show them what I do and how hardworking I am (haha!), my silent prayer is that they may better understand what it means to serve the Lord and His people across different congregations and settings.

Not all work. Also time for some fun and bonding.

This year, a new opportunity was presented – an Archippus Awakening ministry trip to Bandung, Indonesia 17-21 August. [Read Report: A Humble Beginning in GSJA Merdeka. A Great Awakening in Indonesia.] I shared this with the older ones to see which would like to be a part of this assignment – no obligations. Sarah (17yo), Aaron (15yo) and Esther (14yo) opted in.

By the time we made the trip to Bandung, Team Archippus had grown to be a huge group of 24! Honestly, I was a little concerned, having to manage the team, preach and teach, and still look after my kids. I am pleased to say that that concern was totally unnecessary.

From start to end, the three teenagers were just fine on their own. In Archippian lingo, they each fulfilled their assignments really well. As the team’s photographer, Aaron snapped away, doing his best to capture the right shots and angles. [Check out the photos on our Facebook Page] Sarah sang as part of the team that led worship on Saturday. Esther was assigned as projectionist. But since that was taken care of by the church, she didn’t have much to do. Even so, she remained on standby. And when called upon to help me set up the computer and presentation one evening, she completed that task without hesitation.

What warmed my heart most was during the time of response. After our Indonesian brothers and sisters had presented themselves upfront, I invited the Singapore team to pray for them. To my surprise, I saw Sarah and Esther step forward with the rest of Team Archippus. They then proceeded to minister and to pray for the people.

Needless to say, I am so proud of them! These may not have been huge tasks but it warmed my heart to see them moving faithfully in the small things. May the Lord use these exposures as building blocks in their own personal journeys as they seek to one day discover what He has in store for them.

Well done, Sarah, Aaron and Esther!

Truly, it is a joy to have a children serve alongside me that we may be on kingdom assignment together. All praise and thanks to the Lord!

What has 38 Oxley Road got to do with the Church?

Our Little Red Dot has caught the world’s attention again.

However, this time, it is not for something Singaporeans can say we are proud of. Yes, I am referring to the recent family feud involving the Lee siblings concerning 38 Oxley Road.

As I considered the exchanges across the numerous platforms, this question popped into my heart: “What about the Church?”

The Church of Jesus Christ is both the family and the house of God. Everyone agrees that Church is not a building or a place we go to, but the people of God. But when it comes to executing the Father’s will, not everyone is in agreement how Church is to be.

There are the same accusations of power play, over reliance on an institution, over dependence on one prominent personality, and the pushing of personal agendas. Some say that we must demolish the establishment, others shout a vehement ‘No!’, whilst others are willing to consider options along the spectrum. And so, the siblings in Christ continue to squabble over what to do with the house, taking to social media to air our views with articles, videos, memes and hashtags.

Meanwhile, as the world watched the Lee saga unfold, the world is also watching the Church. As the Lee siblings risked tarnishing the name of their father and Singapore’s founding father, might we be doing the same to the Name of our Heavenly Father when we fight against one another?

I have had a heavy ministry schedule over the past two months. Four church camps in June. Launched Archippus Awakening’s pilot mentoring aligning process on 1 July. KINGDOM101 resumed last Wednesday 5 July. On Sunday, I preached at two churches. In between the services, I found myself missing Serene and children dearly. The family has been so supportive, never complaining whenever the work of the ministry takes me away from them. That afternoon, I had a deep yearning to be with them. Thankfully, no one had any appointment that night (can’t presume these days with teenagers) and the Lim Tribe went out for dinner.

Exhausted from teaching and preaching, I didn’t talk very much. Just being with Serene and the children was enough for me. Over dinner, around the table, the children engaged with each other. They talked, they teased one another, they laughed together. Half the time, in the noisy restaurant, I couldn’t make out what they were talking about. But it didn’t matter one bit. My heart was filled with joy just watching them interact with one another.I thought to myself, “This must be how our Heavenly Father feels when He sees His children loving one another and enjoying each other’s company.” I know I felt it that night, and it felt really good. My prayer is that the Lim siblings will continue in this love and friendship with one another, come what may. In John 17, Jesus prayed for believers, siblings in Christ, to be one. For sure, this would please our Father in heaven.

Thankfully, the Lee siblings have agreed to take things offline so that what is family can be kept within the family. This will benefit a far bigger cause, that the Prime Minister and his government will not be distracted to do what they have been elected to do – govern Singapore through these challenging times. After all, it’s not just 38 Oxley Road but the greater house of Singapore that Singaporeans must be concerned with.

Perhaps the Church – the elect of God – can learn from this episode. Would we, the family and house of God, be willing to set aside differences for the greater cause of the kingdom of God? Sure, the house must be set in order, and that we must do. But there is a much larger picture of the kingdom of God that will require brothers and sisters in Christ to stand together.

Personal, ministry and denominational agendas cannot be the order of the day. It has been, and it will always be, about the Father’s will, is it not?

These thoughts were first shared in Henson’s July 2017 Newsletter. To receive One Day At A Time newsletter updates directly in your mailbox, subscribe here.

Awakening Event: Telok Ayer Chinese Methodist Church Family Camp 8-10 June 2017

Sentimentally, TACMC was my very first church. My maternal grandmother was a familiar and active member. My parents were married there. I was infant baptised there. And I still have vivid memories of gathering at my Ah Ma’s place in China Street, piling into the trishaw (fighting not to sit but to squat in front), and making our way to church. That was more than 45 years ago.

Archippus Awakening

When I first read the email in April 2016, I couldn’t believe my eyes: I had been invited to be the Camp Speaker for Telok Ayer Chinese Methodist Church’s (TACMC) Family Camp.

Sentimentally,TACMC was my very first church. My maternal grandmother was a familiar and active member. My parents were married there. I was infant baptised there. And I still have vivid memories of gathering at my Ah Ma’s place in China Street, piling into the trishaw (fighting not to sit but to squat in front), and making our way to church. That was more than 45 years ago.

Ah Ma: Front row, fourth from the left.

Spiritually, TACMC was also the venue of John Sung’s revival meetings back in 1935 where he “conducted a series of evangelistic and revival meetings that was to have a lasting impact not only on the life of the church, but also…

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Church Camp Over. Now What?

June has been a whirlwind month – church camp season! Thanks to one and all for praying for me as I ministered across four camps. Trust you enjoyed your own church camp too. But now that church camp is over, do spend a moment considering the next steps before the routines and requirements of church douse the fires of awakening. Blessings!

Archippus Awakening

Let me begin by giving praise and thanks to the Lord.

This year, He opened the doors to four church camps. That means four opportunities to declare the word of the kingdom, to speak into lives. And for some, more specifically, the message of Archippus Awakening. Yay!

Yet, as exciting as it sounds, this church camp season has also been tremendously demanding and tiring. It was literally one camp per week with a couple of days of rest and recovery in between. If not for His grace and strength, I would never have made it through this entire month. (For the record, I am still recovering and have not exactly caught up on my sleep yet.)

Even so, with whatever energy and strength I have, I will shout and praise His Name! I never take any of these for granted, and I will always count it an honour and privilege…

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