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.
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…
But this task of rallying and gathering is not mine alone.
“But the Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon; then he blew the trumpet, and the Abiezrites gathered behind him. And he sent messengers throughout all Manasseh, who also gathered behind him. He also sent messengers to Asher, Zebulun, and Naphtali; and they came up to meet them.” Judges 6:34-35
When Gideon blew the trumpet, members of his clan were the first to gather to him. From these, he sent out messengers to gather even more from the other tribes. Similarly, as I have been sounding the alarm, there have been many who have resonated and aligned with the message of Archippus Awakening. These are to be the messengers who will in turn send out invitations to even more churches.
For sure, I cannot reach everyone. But with the help of fellow Archippuses, with your help, we can reach more!
By God’s grace, registration has been encouraging so far, with representations from more than 40 churches! With so many churches in Singapore, even if only one member comes from one church, the hall will be filled to overflowing! More easily said than done, I know, as Singaporeans are busy people, spoilt for choice where Christian meetings and offerings are concerned. What’s more, those who need to be awakened are the toughest to bring to an Awakening Event!
Even so, if the Lord has already declared this to be a season of Rehoboth, of spaciousness and fruitfulness, then I am holding on to His word and faithfulness. I believe that if we do our part, He will more than do His part to fulfil what He has declared!
Latest Update: Chinese simultaneous translation available!
I invite you to join me in this assignment. I have already sounded the trumpet, and will continue to do so. I’m counting on you to be the messenger to relay and rebroadcast this message for a further and wider reach to both English and Chinese congregations! Spread the word. Share on social media platforms. WhatsApp or email your leaders and friends. Write a blog post. Whatever – just get the message out!
After a L-O-N-G break, Serene and I accepted the invitation by Wesley Methodist Church to give another pregnancy-birth talk – thanks to dear brother Ng Chai Seng who boldly asked me at the men’s breakfast fellowship in January, “Ay, so when can you and Serene give the pregnancy talk again to our young couples?”
It must have been at least 7 years since the last talk (we took a break after the arrival of our youngest), and we had to hunt for our notes and slides as we reviewed and prepared for the talk on 3 September!
For a Saturday afternoon, the turnout was very encouraging, with many expecting their first baby. The session started with me sharing some theological perspectives about the kingdom of God and how that affects the way one views pregnancy and birth. After that, Serene took over with what I believe many signed up for: the birth stories of our seven children!
As I listened to Serene share these stories again, praise and gratitude filled my heart for the God whom we serve! These are truly testimonies of His grace and faithfulness in our lives and in our family!
After the break, we shared on “The Christian’s Antenatal Response”, giving practical pointers to both the mother, as well as the father. More than just how to breathe and what to pack for the hospital, the emphasis was prayer and a focus on the Lord. Although Serene went through seven births without the use of epidural, experiencing what we would refer to as supernatural childbirths, it is not our practice or intention to impose this on others. Whether one experiences a supernatural childbirth or not, our desire is that each will experience God personally and draw closer to Him in and through the process of pregnancy and birth (yes, fathers and husbands too). Hence, the title of the talk, “Experiencing God through Pregnancy & Birth”.
We are indeed thankful for the opportunity to encourage the young couples and for the positive feedback:
“Gives me an idea of what to look forward to and what to expect.”
“Very personal and inspiring sharing. Very encouraging.”
“Great sharing. Priceless!”
“Brought to our attention certain things that we have not thought about especially on things we need to pray about.”
By the time I saw the front page of Saturday’s Straits Times, Joseph Schooling had already made history by winning Singapore’s very first Olympic gold medal in the 100m Men’s Butterfly at Rio2016.
Understandably, ‘Joseph Schooling’ is trending across all media platforms. It is also interesting to note how everyone is claiming to have featured in his journey – however small the part may be – all desiring to share in this victory. Well, it’s not everyday a little red dot gets an Olympic Gold. And as a Singaporean (and fellow ACSian), I too am proud to be associated with this awesome feat.
However, it is this headline ‘I WANT GOLD’ that says it all for me, really. It is now a well known fact that there was always an insatiable hunger in Schooling to win. Without this, no amount of funding, encouragement or coaching would have mattered. Every athlete wants gold. The question is, How badly do they want it?
Each time I watch the games, the words of Paul in 1 Cor 9:24 come to mind, “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.” (emphasis mine)
I am no athlete but I am a believer of Jesus Christ. And these words were written to Christians. Using the familiar picture of races, Paul is urging believers to “run in such a way” that we may obtain the prize. To be sure, salvation is not the prize, it’s a gift that cannot be earned. We are saved by grace through faith. But, a prize needs to be aimed for, trained for, worked for, fought for. That is why, in the next verses, Paul described his discipline and focus (1 Cor 9:25-27). He didn’t want to be disqualified, to miss out on the prize. As such, The Corinthian Times could have also featured Paul on the front page with the same headline, “I WANT GOLD”.
In my book, SAY TO ARCHIPPUS, I devoted one full chapter, “Running the Race” to explain what the biblical race refers to. Contrary to popular belief, I am personally convicted that “the biblical race refers to our assignment.” Yet sadly, “for many Christians, their race has not even begun.” (SAY TO ARCHIPPUS, p109) [Read: If You Haven’t Begun Running Your Race, Now’s The Time]
Whilst the spotlight is presently on Joseph Schooling, we can safely presume that every other swimmer that Schooling competed against would have wanted that gold as badly as he did. If they had all clocked 50:39sec, there would have been eight gold medallists, just as there were three silver medallists!
Thankfully, we don’t have to all clock the same timings in our kingdom assignments. The key lies in that phrase – run in such a way that you may obtain it.Yes, we are not all required to finish first, but to do our assignments as if we are all going for the gold. We are to do our best, the very best, in all that the Lord has assigned to us, knowing that there will be a reward, a prize, that awaits us who ‘run in such a way’.
Thanks, Joseph Schooling, for inspiring us all. May you continue to improve and excel in the years to come! I am certain there will be many more golds to add to your collection. Yet, more than these, may you one day “press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil 3:14). As your idol, Michael Phelps, has discovered, his purpose was never found in his medals, but in Jesus Christ.
As for me, watching that 50:39sec record breaking swim has prompted me to examine my own race. It has most certainly stirred up a renewed hunger in my spirit to remain faithful in my kingdom assignments.
Enable me, Lord. Empower me, Holy Spirit. I WANT GOLD.
Note: This post was first shared on the Archippus Awakening website. But since this is such a milestone for me, I thought it’d be good to share it here too. Need all the prayers I can get – hahaha!
I am sure we already know this: God’s timing is perfect and He has a great sense of humour!
The moment I was ready to announce the book commissioning of the Chinese version of SAY TO ARCHIPPUS, this meme made its rounds on social media:
And now, there will be an ACS boy who will be self-publishing a Chinese book! Truly, with God, all things are possible! And yes, the end is indeed nigh.
Those who know me will understand why this is an absolute step of faith. I can’t speak Chinese to save my life, let alone teach and preach this message of Archippus Awakening! However, following the encouraging reception of SAY TO ARCHIPPUS, I received requests to translate it into Mandarin. After prayerful consideration, the Lord connected me with the right people, and the work on 要对亚基布说 began.
On 5 September 2016, 要对亚基布说, the Chinese version of SAY TO ARCHIPPUS, will be commissioned! YOU ARE INVITED to stand with me as we launch this Chinese version that evening 8pm at 15 Playfair Road. FGA@PLAYFAIR, Studio 6 at Level 4. Singapore 367987 (light meal served from 6:45pm). REGISTER HERE so we have a better idea of numbers for planning and catering. Thanks!
To celebrate this milestone of Archippus Awakening, we are offering a Pre-Publication Special of S$10.00 (usual $16) for orders received before 15 August 2016. Take advantage of this special price before the book goes to print (hint: you won’t get it at this price ever again). Place your orders at tinyurl.com/stachinese, self-collection at the Book Commissioning Event.
As you read this, I invite you to partner me in this effort. Although doors have opened for me to speak in more Chinese churches of late, my exposure to Chinese congregations is still very limited. This is where you come in. Share this post with Chinese pastors, leaders or members so that more will be aware of Archippus Awakening, 唤醒亚基布, and what God wants to say to Archippus through the book 要对亚基布说. Direct enquiries to me at email@example.com. Who knows how the Lord will lead for us to work together with these Chinese contacts so that more may be awakened, aligned and assigned for Jesus and His kingdom!
I still can’t believe that this is happening! All I know is that in and through my weakness, God will show forth His might and strength that He will receive all honour and glory. Surely, if God can speak through a donkey, He can awaken Chinese Archippuses through an ACS boy!
Thanks for your partnership and for your prayers (much needed!) – especially for the gift of tongues.
I am sure preachers and teachers can identify with what I am about to share.
Before each speaking engagement, you pray and prepare. Most will never understand the effort that goes into this process. Even fewer will appreciate the experiences one is allowed to go through that a message is delivered with greater depth and significance.
The day arrives. After being introduced, you take the stand. And with all your heart, you deliver the message to the best of your ability, to the glory of God. After the service, some step forward to shake your hand, and others, to offer a word of thanks. All too soon, it is over.
But, is it?
Let me share this little testimony to encourage you.
At the end of a recently concluded church camp, a brother told me what he did with a message I preached at his church last year in December (six months earlier). Impacted by the message, he took it upon himself to translate it into Bengali so that he could forward it to others in the migrant workers community he had been ministering to. When these Bengali brothers received it in their own language, they were strengthened by the Word of God!
As a speaker, I thought my engagement ended when the benediction was pronounced. Who would have imagined that someone would take the trouble to translate it that others may be edified? This is a reminder for us, preachers and teachers, to keep keeping on, even when it may seem dry or unfruitful. We never know how God can use what we have prepared, or when. In His time, in His own special ways, He can use it to bless and encourage someone. We may never get to hear of it but I believe it is all recorded for when we meet our Lord and Master.
So, preach on and teach on! The Word of God is alive, unfailing and endures forever. Our part is to declare it, believing that the Spirit of God will do with it as He pleases. For sure, His Word will never return to Him void!
Over the weekend, I had the joy of having Aaron and Esther (our 3rd & 4th) serve alongside me at Archippus Awakening‘s very own Awakening Event, AWE2016. Whilst many think this is only natural for a pastor’s or a minister’s children, I do not take this for granted at all. No, not for one moment.
To be clear, my children have, on many occasions, accompanied me on my various ministry engagements at camps, retreats, meetings and church services. Each and every time, I am very thankful to have them with me, but I do not expect that to be so, as if it is a mandatory requirement for the Lim Tribe. Of course, there are times when Serene and I make a collective decision for the entire family to be present. Then again, there are also times where we ask the children if they’d like to be involved.
And that was the case for AWE2016. David and Sarah (our 1st & 2nd) were unable to join us, and Aaron and Esther said “yes”. Aaron was promptly assigned to man the sound board and Esther would look after the projection needs. It was really wonderful to see them readily assume their responsibilities without fuss or complaint.
The moment we reached the hotel, they took to their stations to set up whatever needed to be set up. Throughout the event, they did what was required, and gamely took on whatever else came about, whether planned or unplanned. Whatever they were unsure about, they simply learnt it along the way, on the job!
Being a part of the technical team also meant having to be present earlier than others, which also meant eating faster and having to wake up earlier in the mornings for the Kingdom Prayer Initiatives. Aaron also took on the additional role of photographer, which saw him shuttling from the sound board to moving about the room to capture the best shots.
I watched and observed them with much pride and joy. Young as they are (14 & 13), they understood what it meant to serve with and alongside their dad, contributing to a greater purpose of God’s kingdom. And I dare say they gave and did their very best.
This episode also gave me a deeper appreciation of what it must mean to our heavenly Father when we give of ourselves to align with His plans and purposes. Consider this: If I can experience the joy of having my children support me in my assignment, imagine the joy in God’s heart when we readily, obediently, and gladly do the Father’s Will!