IN THE LAST DAYS: Why a Worldview Conference by Archippus Awakening?

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Click image to go to conference website: http://www.inthelastdays.org
At first glance, it may appear incongruous. Why is a ministry like Archippus Awakening organising a worldview conference? Have we been bitten by the conference bug? Are we simply offering something for the sake of drawing the numbers? Not at all. Allow me to share my heart and the journey we have undertaken.

Bill Muehlenberg (Culture Watch, Australia): It began at Love Singapore’s Pastors Summit 2015 in January, my first time at this annual affair. Besides the keynote speaker, there were testimonies and sessions by others. Bill Muehlenberg was one of these. As I listened to his presentation on Cultural Marxism, I felt that this was the kind of teaching believers should be exposed to. Although provocative, and possibly controversial too, this would help to awaken many who remain largely unaware of what is happening in these times. Upon my return, I dropped Bill an email invitation to partner us in this effort of awakening and I am glad he readily said ‘yes’.

Our Partners: Along the way, our paths crossed with Leo Hee Khian of Worldview Partners. This dear brother, in many ways, is like the local equivalent of Bill Muehlenberg, engaging culture at the frontlines. Without doubt, Leo is fully convicted to bring worldview education to the Body of Christ. Worldview Partners organised the first worldview conference in 2013 with Dr Jeff Myers of Summit Ministries. Earlier this year, they offered a 15-min Defence Seminar, followed by the inaugural Arise! Issachar Worldview Camp in June. With Leo’s input, the programme has been made even more exciting with testimonies and local panels. We are obviously thrilled to have Leo and his team join us in this awakening effort through this upcoming worldview conference!

Conference Title: The title and theme of the Conference is taken from 2 Tim 3:1, “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come:…” In warning Timothy, Paul gave the reason in the next verses, “For men will be…” These are the times we are living in and we are experiencing much of what Paul had described. Dig more deeply and you will discover that these behaviours are a result of certain mindsets and philosophies – WORLDVIEWS! For sure, it is no longer business or ministry as usual. In a highly intellectual postmodern world, to simply urge someone to believe and have faith is no longer enough. Ask any parent, educator or youth worker. There is today a need to contend for our faith! Hence, we settled for the bold title, IN THE LAST DAYS: Contending for Our Faith in Perilous Times”.

The Programme: We are aware that believers at large are still not very familiar with worldview and what it entails. To this end, Bill will provide introductory teachings like “Worldview & Cultures” and “Truth and Tolerance” before diving into more specific issues like “The New Atheism” and “Bioethics & New Biotechnologies”. Through the six sessions and other contributions, you can look forward to a time of learning and having your eyes opened (awakened) to the challenges we face in these times. Finally, as always, you will be challenged to respond as a believer. Would you participate in the transformation of the nations, to be a world changer for Jesus and His kingdom? [Note: If you can’t make it for the day sessions, the night meetings are free and open to all.]

An Awakening Event: By now, I hope you understand why Archippus Awakening is organising a worldview conference. It is not just another conference for the sake of having another one. Our mission is to awaken the saints and that is what we hope to do through this event. For many believers, they will still not sign up because these topics sound more technical than appealing. This is because many are still looking for the typical spiritual and personal breakthrough messages that we have grown accustomed to. Sadly, too many are not willing to think or process more deeply, contented to simply go with the flow. This conference is not about what is in it for us but how we are to awakened that we may receive our kingdom assignments to shepherd our families, engage culture and transform nations!

This is where we are today, less than one month to the conference on 19 & 20 Nov 2015. Admittedly, I should have written this post much earlier. Even so, better late than never and there is still time to act. The two-day conference fee has been kept very affordable so that more can attend ($95 per person; $80 per person for groups of 3 or more). Although some may have to take leave, I believe that sacrifice and effort will be well worth it. Night meetings are free and open to all. I pray that you will decide to REGISTER for this conference so you can be equipped for whatever the Lord assigns to you.

Thanks for registering promptly as it will help us in planning and logistics. Visit the conference website www.inthelastdays.org and LIKE our Facebook Page for updates. Thanks for sharing this event with others so that more can be awakened and equipped. We look forward to seeing you at the conference!

Ezekiel the Entertainer?

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Imagine this..

You are the Preacher or the Pastor of the hour. Your name has become the latest buzzword in Christian circles. Mention it and people go, “Yes, I’ve heard of him.” You are invited to speak at seminars and conferences, highly sought after, booked two to three years in advance. Your Facebook and YouTube statistics are impressive, not to mention the number of clicks and visits to your website. Your podcasts are well subscribed to and freely shared over social media platforms. Your meetings are well attended because people simply love to hear your anointed messages, and they leave wondering how you got those awesome downloads. Many queue up to be prayed for because you are prophetically sharp.

Sounds good, yes? Which minister wouldn’t desire a ministry and reputation of such impact and influence?

Interestingly, the Bible describes the seeming success of Ezekiel in pretty much the same way: “As for you, son of man, the children of your people are talking about you beside the walls and the doors of the houses; and they speak to one another, everyone saying to his brother, ‘Please come and hear what the word is that comes from the LORD.'” Ezekiel 33:30

As a preacher and teacher of the Word, I must confess that it is all too easy to assess the effectiveness of my ministry by numbers and positive comments. After all, who wants to preach to an empty room? We may declare that it’s not about numbers but truth be told, it is encouraging when the numbers are there. Also, although we are open to feedback and comments, no one likes to be told that his messages are boring, repetitive or ‘not anointed’. Without doubt, I believe Ezekiel did his best and he did exceptionally well. Similarly, we who have the privilege to declare God’s Word must do our very best and not hide behind spiritual or religious excuses.

And yet, more than just popularity and numbers, the Lord is looking for something else, something far more important than sell-out conferences and packed-out churches. In the next verse, He reveals the condition of the hearts of those who flocked to listen to Ezekiel: “So they come to you as people do, they sit before you as My people, and they hear your words, but they do not do them; for with their mouth they show much love, but their hearts pursue their own gain.” Ezekiel 33:31

I think this verse is self-explanatory. I may not have spoken to thousands but I have been to meetings which involved thousands. The speakers are world famous and the atmosphere is highly charged. The amens are resoundingly loud and the altar call is almost always full. But I wonder what happens when the people leave these meetings? Only God knows. All I know is that what is usually reported is the number who attended and how great the meetings or messages were. Could it also be that those who attended “hear your words, but they do not do them; for with their mouth they show much love, but their hearts pursue their own gain”?

“Indeed you are to them as a very lovely song of one who has pleasant voice and can play well on an instrument; for they hear your words, but they do not do them.” Ezekiel 33:32

Ladies & Gentlemen, put your hands together, give it up, for Ezekiel … the ENTERTAINER! Lights, camera, action!

I know I’ve felt like that at times – the hours spent preparing a message, labouring over the Word, consulting commentaries, revising, and then revising again – somehow, the message is never done, never good enough. And then, I get up to the pulpit, deliver it with all my might, preach my heart out and it’s done. The crowd disperses, a few say ‘thank you for the message’ and it’s over. And you start all over again. Sure, it may have been a good message. But how many, I wonder, will actually act on the word? Have Christian meetings become entertainment centres where the audience enjoys what is presented, stirred and moved even, but leave without any desire for action other than to secure a booking or seat for the next show?

Sadly, with the choices and options available these days, preachers and pastors are pressured (directly or indirectly) to perform. If not, there is always the other church, the other ministry, the many other sermons online, the other offering bag. I will do my best, but God forbid that I should be just an entertainer tickling the fancies of the listeners. I will do my part to stay true to the Word and to deliver it without compromise. Even so, I cannot determine how the people will respond. We are so deeply entrenched in Church and Christian culture that many do not realise that they have become hearers and not doers of the Word, deceiving themselves (James 1:22).

Where am I going with this? I suppose I am just reminding myself to keep keeping on, to remain faithful in my assignment, to never to compromise, no matter how challenging it may be. The indicators of success are not numbers or accolades but faithfulness and fruitfulness; and that only happens when people move from merely being hearers to being doers of the Word. In the context of Archippus Awakening, it is when people are not just awakened, but move on to be aligned and then to be on assignment for kingdom. I cannot force or coerce anyone beyond how the Lord will convict or how they each will personally respond. I can only declare what I have been given to declare and these will have to decide their own course of action.

And in the end, no one can say that they didn’t know or that they were not told. Each will be responsible and accountable.

“And when it comes to pass – surely it will come – then they will know that a prophet has been among them.” Ezekiel 33:33

 

A Prophetic Impression of the Church at Middle Mountain

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Sometime in 2005/06, I received an impression whilst reading a particular verse. I have chosen to call it an impression because it wasn’t exactly a vision. Today, this impression is still as vivid in my heart as when I first received it. Although I have shared this at different points of my ministry, I have never felt the need to post it on my blog. But this morning, after reading the post, “A Prophetic Vision of Two Rivers and a Strong Warning” by Josh Fontaine on charisma.com, I feel the time is right to release this…

“My people have been lost sheep,
Their shepherds have led them astray;
They have turned them away on the mountains,
They have gone from mountain to hill:
They have forgotten their resting place.”
Jeremiah 50:6

As I read this verse, my mind strayed to a scene much like the Swiss Alps – a breathtaking backdrop of beautiful snow capped mountains. Then, I saw many coaches approaching. As these drew closer, I recognised them as tour buses. These stopped at the foot of the mountain and tourists streamed out, chatting, laughing and full of excitement. The tour leaders waved their flags and group by group, these entered the cable cars. One by one, the packed cable cars made their ascent up the mountain.

Halfway up, the cable cars stopped, and once again, the tourists streamed out. They gasp at the sight and immediately dashed to pose for photos, to buy souvenirs, to collect postcards, and to enjoy steaming hotdogs and cups of delicious hot coffee in the crisp mountain air. The entire place was abuzz with activity, with chatter and laughter. Everyone was having a great time! And almost too soon, and too suddenly, the tour leaders waved their flags once more, the crowds packed the cable cars, went downhill, loaded up on the buses and off they went. And the mountain was quiet once more … until the next group of tourists arrived.

The entire scene happened so fast that I found myself asking, “What was all that about?” And I felt the Spirit whisper, “That’s church.”

“Week after week,” the Lord continued, “My people gather. There is lots of excitement and much activity. They talk, they laugh, and they have fun with one another. And then, as quickly as they came, they are gone. Yes, they had great fellowship and fun, nice photos, stories to tell, and beautiful postcards of mountain tops. But the truth is, they only came up half the way. They were easily satisfied with the hills when there is so much more up the mountain.”

After nearly a decade of having received this impression, I am beginning to understand more critically its significance. More recently, with more experience and maturity, I read the chapter for its context. What I discovered surprised me.

Jeremiah 50 is not exactly a favourite passage for the average Christian. It is actually a pronouncement of judgment against Babylon. As such, it is tempting to speed-read through this passage for something else more inspiring and motivating. But contained within this judgment against the enemies of God’s people are verses specifically directed at God’s people!

Without doubt, God will judge the world’s Babylonian system and Babylon will fall. In the midst of that, the warning is for God’s people to be aware that many have bought into this system too. Instead of coming up to the mountain of the Lord, the Church is satisfied to camp at middle mountain. Interestingly, the Latin words for middle mountain are medius and ocris respectively; from which we get the English word, mediocre.

To be sure, it is not that churches are not active or busy. On the contrary, most churches in Singapore are jam-packed with programme upon programme. However, have we settled for a mediocrity when God is desiring to take us higher and to show us even more? Have we settled for busloads of tourist-like Christians and broad selections of ministry packages, mistaking these as indicators of healthy and vibrant churches? Sadly, so many only have ‘postcards’ of what the mountain tops look like but no personal experience of having gone there. Believers claim to know Jesus as their Lord and Saviour and yet so many simply do not know Him at all. We are happy to go where the cable cars take us, but not willing to endure the climb to the top. It’s too difficult, I suppose, too much effort.

What about the leaders? Unfortunately, some of us have been guilty of only looking at numbers and resources. We talk about discipleship but too few are discipling and being discipled. We talk about sending people out but get threatened when the same are not seen to be serving in church. We preach the kingdom of God but may be as guilty as the next for building and protecting our own. We point people to methods when we should be trekking with them, showing them the way up the mountain. But that takes too much time and energy, resources that have become scarce in the modern church. In the end, as long as the church machinery is maintained week after week, we are happy and satisfied.

Jer 50:7 goes on to say that “All who found them have devoured them; and their adversaries said, ‘We have not offended, because they have sinned against the Lord…” May the Lord help us discern and respond accordingly.

Although this impression was received many years ago, its significance has become clearer and even more urgent. This has given me more understanding too as to why the Lord led me to start Archippus Awakening and how its message of awakening must be declared boldly and without compromise. I am also reminded that it will not be easy because many will refuse to be convinced of their condition to be awakened. As Fontaine notes, “The part that stood out the most about this encounter with this man [eyes whited out and zombified] was the fact that he was utterly convinced he was alive. He couldn’t be convinced of his condition.” What is worse is that these may take offence and respond negatively or nastily. Hence, the Lord’s exhortation and permission for hard-headedness! (Ezekiel 3:8-11) [Read “When Is It Right To Be Hard-Headed?”]

I am praying for myself lest I miss the plank in my own eye for it is so easy to settle in a comfort zone and miss the “more” that God has for me. The Lord showed Fontaine the requirements to remain in the pure river that flows from His mountain. May the Lord enable me in these areas too as I submit myself wholly to His inspection and correction:

  • Only say what He says with no fear of man
  • Honor Him and love Him more than the praise of man
  • Abstain from sexual immorality
  • Never prostitute the gift He has given me for money
  • Stay humble
  • Always be a good husband to my wife and a good father to my children

I love the Church and its various local communities and I am praying for the Body of Jesus Christ. As you consider this verse again, and its prophetic significance, may the Lord also grant you the discernment and wisdom to know how you should respond:

“My people have been lost sheep,
Their shepherds have led them astray;
They have turned them away on the mountains,
They have gone from mountain to hill:
They have forgotten their resting place.”
Jeremiah 50:6

Henson Lim is the founder of Archippus Awakening, a fresh initiative birthed in Aug 2014 dedicated to the awakening of the saints to know and fulfil their God-given kingdom assignments. To know more about the message and heartbeat of Archippus Awakening, consider ordering the book, SAY TO ARCHIPPUS.

Related Post: Illustration of the Church at Middle Mountain

The Question I Thought I Had Answers To But Didn’t

Image Source: http://www.infusecgi.org/treasure-in-heaven-or-on-earth/
Image Source: http://www.infusecgi.org/treasure-in-heaven-or-on-earth/
One morning in 1999, I felt the Lord ask me this question: “What have you laid up in heaven?”

Without any hesitation, I found myself confidently answering, “I am very active in the church, Lord. I serve in the worship team. I’m in church by 6:30am most Sundays. I also attend cell group and am involved when called upon to contribute in various aspects…” And I rattled on and on with the ‘this’ and ‘that’ of what I had done or was doing then.

Silence. Then the Lord asked again: “That’s nice. So what have you laid up in heaven?”

I was quite taken aback by Him asking the same question a second time. And so, I thought harder and said, “Oh yes, I forgot. I wrote and produced an entire musical for the church last year. For at least six months, I was in church three or four times a week, each time for at least four hours, overseeing and directing rehearsals. The musical presentation was very well received and it played to full houses on both nights!”

Silence. And then once more the Lord asked: “What have you laid up in heaven?”

Honestly, I thought I had answered rather well. But that morning, I began to realise that it was not how much I did in church that mattered to the Lord. Whilst my credentials and contributions looked rather impressive to myself and others, for some strange reason, these didn’t seem to be the right answers to that one question the Lord kept asking. All along, I had been taught that it is good to serve in church and to give back your talents to the Lord. Not that these are necessarily bad or wrong, but why was the Lord not ‘satisfied’ with my answers? It was a question I thought I had answers to but apparently didn’t.

And so, I asked in return, “So Lord, how can I lay up treasures in heaven?”

That little ‘revelation’ back in 1999 started my search for the ‘right’ answer. It pushed me to seek the Lord rather fervently, desiring only to be engaged in what mattered to my Master. With my ears inclined to Him, I heard the call to full-time ministry one year later, on 8 July 2000. Today, 15 years later, on 8 July 2015, with more experience and exposure, my understanding has been fine-tuned even more.

Those who have been journeying with me would know that my present focus is that of Archippus Awakening, dedicated to the awakening of saints that these may know and fulfil their God-given kingdom assignments. Although the Lord used Colossians 4:17 to define this ministry, on reflection, I see this as an extension of my search for the ‘right’ answer which started way back in 1999. To be sure, being involved in church is indeed commendable. However, we must be careful to discern if it is merely Christian activity we are busy with, mistaking it for doing God’s will. That said, it is indeed a very fine line between Christian activity and kingdom assignment.

Back in 1999, I was not able to make the distinction. Had the Lord not provoked me that morning, I would have gone on ‘doing’ church and feeling really good about it, “veneered over with Christian sentiment” (Oswald Chambers). Later, even as one in full-time ministry, I started out well but slowly became activity-oriented again without even realising it at all! This explained the unsettledness in my heart that pushed me back to the Lord for a re-alignment all over again, resulting in His instruction in October 2013 for me to leave everything behind and to start Archippus Awakening.

Today, 8 July 2015, I remember clearly the voice of Jesus who called me to follow Him. That was 15 years ago. I am reminded that I left all that I may fulfil kingdom assignments and not be caught up merely in Christian activity. That is my focus and that is where I will channel my energies towards.

Today, if the Lord would pose the question once more, “What have you laid up in heaven?”, this is how I would answer…“Only you know, Lord. Thank you for the privilege to partner You in all You are doing. Teach me to discern what is needful and important. Enable me to fulfil all that you have assigned. Amen.”

Related Posts:
14 Years of Following Jesus
Remembering His Call
Follow Me: It’s Been 9 Years

SCOTUS & Same-Sex Marriage Ruling: When God is Reduced to a Penalty Shoot Out

5-4. By now, the entire world should know what this scoreline means.

Yes, the impression of a penalty shoot out was what I had when news of SCOTUS’ decision on the legalising of same-sex marriage flooded the social media. It sure looked like nine players having their chances at goal from the penalty spot. One by one, they took their shots and it was tied at 4-all. Finally, the last shot was taken and the deadlock was broken. 5-4! And same-sex marriage is now a legal right across all fifty states of the United States of America. By the system, it is described as a landmark decision by majority vote. In my opinion, one vote can hardly be regarded as majority; not when it concerns an issue as critical as marriage. Honestly, it is as if God was outvoted by these judges and His original design and intent for marriage was reduced to a penalty shoot out.

As I scrolled the news on my smartphone that night (26 June, Singapore time), I felt my stomach churn. It wasn’t exactly the kind of news you’d want to be reading after a long tiring day before going to sleep. The next morning, even more articles appeared, both for and against. I posted a few comments on my personal and ministry page, as well as shared a couple of these articles. This morning, I thought it’d be good to put down some observations and thoughts. These are done in a personal capacity as I wrestle and process what is happening around us in these times. I hope this helps you in your own processing too.

1. Christians are not united on this topic. This may be shocking to some but that’s the reality. And I am not just referring to the flurry of formal counter responses on the internet. To my surprise, some of my Facebook friends have used the online app to “celebrate pride” through their profile pictures. In other words, these Christians are supportive of same-sex marriages and are not shy to declare their position openly. You would think that believers of Jesus Christ would be standing together on this critical matter. Well, no. There is a need to have both wisdom and discernment that we may know how to respond, not just to the world out there, but also within the so-called Christian community.

2. Truth has been absolutely relativised. In the midst of post-modern culture and mindsets, the battle for Truth rages on. I cannot understand how Christians who claim to hold to God’s Word on the one hand can celebrate pride on the other hand! But let’s not be naive at all. The battle for Truth is really a battle of worldviews. Today, Scripture is being read, interpreted and processed with secular and humanistic worldviews. No wonder major denominations have changed their position about marriage and LGBTs. Make no mistake – God’s Word has not changed. However, Scripture has been adjusted to cater to culture when all along, it should be culture that is to be shaped by Scripture. Interestingly, the Church is to be the pillar and ground of the Truth (1 Tim 3:15) but sadly, I fear we are not doing too well in this aspect.

3. Some things cannot be prayed away. This is not a statement of little faith. On the contrary, this is a declaration of faith in the Word of God. We are told that lawlessness will increase in the last days and that is what we see happening all around us. This is prophetic fulfilment as in the days of Israel and Judah. The Old Testament prophets declared impending invasions from the enemies. At the same time, they prayed and pleaded with God, not desiring to see their own prophecies come to pass. They appealed to the mercy and grace of God, as well as His covenant love for His people. Yet, in God’s sovereignty and foreknowledge, He allowed Israel and Judah to be devastated and deported regardless of how hard or long the righteous prayed. In the same way, there are some things that just cannot be prayed away. These must take place for these have been prophesied and we are seeing the Word of God come to pass.

4. We must keep praying. I know this sounds as if I am contradicting the previous point but I assure you that I am not being fickle. Without doubt, we are called to pray, and pray we must. This is a battle that is spiritual and it is entirely beyond what we can do in the natural. We pray because we acknowledge our great need for the Great Judge to act in His way and in His time. We pray because we still believe that He is in control over the situation, however dire or hopeless it looks to us. We pray not only for ourselves but also for our children and our children’s children. Whatever the outcome, may we be found faithful as ones who stood in the gap, who offered the incense of prayer that rises to His throne.

5. Don’t miss the backdrop. In case you haven’t noticed, it is no longer business as usual. The most powerful nation on earth has set the tone and it’s not a pretty one at all. If you think this is largely a Western problem, I urge you to consider again. In this day and age, the threat is much closer than you think. It has been rightly pointed out that the LGBT Agenda is only a front to something that is more sinister. John Piper, in the article “So-Called Same-Sex Marriage“, reveals the “new calamity” of “normalisation and institutionalisation”. And this just might become a global phenomenon, and much sooner than you think.

6. This is not the time to be found in slumber. The alarm is sounding and it is getting louder. The signs are all around us if our eyes would be open to see and perceive. For sure, it cannot be church as usual. The question is, “Is the Church awake?” Or are many in the Body of Christ still found to be in slumber? And I am not talking about attendance in a building on any given weekend. The fact that Christians are generally unaware and apathetic is cause for concern. The Church in America is crying out for a Third Awakening and I am standing in agreement with them. But why only in USA? Let’s believe for an awakening in Singapore and throughout Asia too!

7.  There’s still work to be done. Whilst a major disappointment, the SCOTUS ruling is only one little setback in God’s greater scheme of things. The Church must not be distracted by this decoy and miss her mission. Even more so, the believer must not be derailed from his or her kingdom assignment (Archippus Awakening). There is work to be done and God is calling all hands to be on deck. In the face of great challenge and ridicule, Noah knew his assignment and kept on building the ark. Similarly, we must stay focussed to know and fulfil our assignments regardless of how difficult it may be.

For now, the scoreline remains 5-4. LGBT advocates and their supporters the world over are celebrating this victory. Needless to say, I am not in the least thrilled. In Singapore football jargon, I am almost tempted to shout “Referee kayu!!!” (useless referee). After all, how can such a predicament be allowed to happen? How can God’s institution of marriage be redefined through a penalty shoot out?

Even so, I am promptly reminded – the judges of SCOTUS may have ruled in favour of same-sex marriage but it is our God who has the final say as the Ultimate Judge. Indeed, God is still in control and the game is still in play. The Divine Referee waves ‘play on’ and that is what we must do, for it ain’t over until He says it is over … and Scripture reveals a very different scoreline.

The Experience & Joy of Being on Kingdom Assignment

IMG_5266I just returned last evening from Batam where I spoke at Bartley Christian Church’s Zone Camp. This was the second camp engagement in June, the first being Shekinah AG Church Camp. Next Monday, I will leave for Bintan to speak at Hakka Methodist Church’s Camp. To me, three camps in June is already quite a stretch to me (this is the first time I’ve ever committed to three camps!). Interestingly, I bumped into Pastor Benny Ho in Batam (he was the speaker for Jurong Christian Church Camp) and discovered he would be speaking at five camps this year! (No, I am not trying to compete with him at all – haha!)

Although the work of the ministry is demanding, as I move about my kingdom assignment through Archippus Awakening, I am discovering a very precious truth all over again. It’s not that this is new to me but I have come into a deeper appreciation of it. There are many Christian concepts and principles that sound good. When shared, many of us would very likely and readily nod and agree. But it is one thing to express intellectual assent with a particular truth and yet totally another to experience it first hand! And this is what I am experiencing afresh as I seek to faithfully fulfil this assignment which I have received in the Lord.

I have taught over and over about the grace of God, the favour and blessing of God, the power of God and the love of God. These are great truths! We would say AMEN and AMEN and AMEN! But in the past year of stepping out into the unknown, in the recent months of venturing into things that my little finite mind cannot grasp, I have experienced the depth of my heavenly Father’s love in new dimensions! In times of wrestling with weakness and even fatigue, I have experienced the sustaining power of His grace! In moments of doubt and anguish, I have experienced His presence, His comfort and His favour!

Not to appear facetious, but is it not accurate that many may declare a statement of truth and yet not perceive it to be true? That’s because for many it has remained largely cognitive and not experiential. How then can this be resolved? Quite simply, you can’t experience anything until you get to experience it! For this reason, the Lord invites us to participate in what He is doing. He knows that until we jump into something larger than ourselves, we will never come to an understanding or have a revelation of who our God is and what He is absolutely capable of!

Dear friends, I exhort and encourage you: Get aligned with the Lord and be on assignment for Him! It is when you take that first step of obedience that you begin to experience a deeper fullness of what it means to trust the Lord. Make no mistake! The assignments are not to show or prove how capable we are. On the contrary, God’s kingdom assignments will often expose how weak and how frail we are, yet at the same time reveal how good and how great our God is! This is the paradox of kingdom dynamics and living! Oh, how we love to think it is all about us when it is always about Him and Him alone! That said, kingdom purposes notwithstanding, the Lord in His sovereignty will use every kingdom endeavour to work a deeper work of transformation in each of us.

To this end, I’m beginning to understand, a little bit more, the words of Jesus, “For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” (Matt 16:25) If I only serve that I may derive a sense of achievement, importance or belonging, my Christian activity, however sacrificial, is largely self-serving. But if I am willing to lose myself to the purposes of the kingdom, dare I say in total abandonment, I begin to receive the greatest joy and satisfaction beyond what I can ask or imagine! This is because in relying wholly upon Him who has given the task that I may be enabled to complete the task, I get to discover that truly everything that I am and ought to be is found only in Him who is Life!

Truly, there is no greater joy than to be serving the Lord, to be on assignment with and for Him! I am just so thankful that He has made me worthy in Christ to participate in what He is doing in these final hours. May this humble reflection bring much encouragement!

Just a Short Note to Keep in Touch

11091458_10152983549723612_6543677489201777707_nThis is just a very simple post to keep in touch with you!

Yes, I am still around 🙂 Although I have not contributed as regularly of late, it is still encouraging to note that visits to “One Day at a Time” remains fairly consistent. And every once in a while, I get a nice note or two that readers have been blessed by the posts, whether current or part articles. Thanks for your support, everyone!!!

So where have I been? Now that I have started Archippus Awakening, much of my energy has been channeled to building this new ministry (understandably so) and creating an online presence for Archippus Awakening. In effect, this means having to maintain two websites – “One Day at a Time” and “Archippus Awakening”. It also gets increasingly more challenging to differentiate between which are personal posts and which are ministry issues. After a while, the line gets blurred – other than obvious posts about children, outings and birthdays – haha! I may be the one and the same person managing these sites but the subscribers and followers are different. This explains why I have re-blogged certain posts so that coverage is widened and more people can be encouraged (and provoked) through what is shared.

What have I been doing? Well, the past five weeks have been really exciting as I started teaching the fresh initiative of KINGDOM101, an expository journey through the book of Matthew for one to re-visit and re-discover the message of the kingdom of God; and along the way, to know the King, embrace the Kingdom and to receive one’s assignment. It’s been tough preparing these weekly expository messages but totally enjoyable and rewarding. I will be sharing more thoughts and updates on KINGDOM101 journey on the Archippus Awakening website, so be sure to follow or subscribe 🙂 For a sample of the teachings, go to KINGDOM101 Teachings; or access the tracks directly via SoundCloud App by searching for and following the Archippus Awakening channel. Better still, come join us when we resume KINGDOM101 sessions on Wednesday, 29 April (7:30pm 2 Kallang Ave, #11-11 CT HUB, Singapore 339407). If you’d like to receive Archippus Awakening Updates, just email your [NAME], [CHURCH], [EMAIL] and [MOBILE] to archippusawakening@gmail.com and I will promptly add you to our mailing list.

How am I keeping? Can you believe that I am still adjusting to this transition although I’ve settled into some sort of routine? Presently, my bedroom is my office 🙂 As such, it requires discipline to do what needs to be done. I am just so thankful that I am clear of my assignment and that keeps me on track day by day, whether I feel like it doing anything or not, positively motivated or physically drained. But to answer this question more directly, “I am fine and totally enjoying this awesome journey with the Lord!” This does not mean I know what is ahead or how things are going to turn out. I just take each step by faith and in obedience. Indeed, there are anxious moments. Yet, nothing can replace the joy and thrill to experience the Lord’s direction and His coming through time after time!

How can you help? Glad you asked *grin*. Firstly, Serene and I appreciate your prayers – always! No prayer is too small or insignificant. As the Lord places our names, our family and Archippus Awakening in your heart, please pray. Also, if you have been blessed by our lives and ministry, I am boldly asking you to send through a simple note, comment or testimony. This would greatly spur us on to keep doing what we are doing. At the same time, I believe it will also encourage many others who visit “One Day at a Time”. And if you are so led to sow financially into our lives and ministry, allow me to say “thank you” in advance.

That’s all for now! Like I said, this is meant to be a simple update to keep in touch with all of you before I write and publish the next newsletter. Thanks for reading and being a part of our lives and journey!

Our Adequacy Is Found Entirely In Him

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Have you ever felt inadequate?

We know that as Christians, we should be the most confident people on planet earth (and some say, in the heavens too). And yet, there are times when we experience doubt. We look to men and women of faith for encouragement only to feel worse. These, we feel, are to admired and revered, but only from afar. Finally, we end up comforting ourselves by rationalising that we can’t be ones God will use. Yes, the speaker was inspirational, the anointing was strong, my heart was moved. But nah, it must have been for someone else.

Allow me to share a reflection with you:

It has been a very exciting journey for me since being led out of the institutional framework of church. That said, there have also been many moments of anxiety and doubt where I find myself questioning and rationalising. After all, who am I, really, to be awakening the Body of Christ through the ministry of Archippus Awakening?! I’m a nobody!

Although the Lord spoke very clearly that the days of spiritual celebrities are coming to an end, and that He will begin to raise His army from the ground up, I couldn’t help but still look to the big names for the necessary breaks. Perhaps, I thought, if I would be noticed by some prominent leader, it would open the right doors with the right connections and provide the right platforms for me to launch Archippus Awakening. Well, I did get to know some ‘key’ people over the past year, but nothing happened.

Interestingly, what has taken place is more the opposite. The ones excited about the message of Archippus Awakening are brothers and sisters from smaller congregations, the lesser known communities in the Body. Through these, I get introduced to others, and the message gets passed along, quietly but steadily. For example, I will be speaking at three church camps of average size this June; and all have requested for Archippus Awakening to be declared! The past two ‘overseas’ trips to Philippines have seen Archippus Awakening being shared in Kidapawan City and the town of Tanauan, both small and unknown. Talk is underway for an Awakening Event in Cameron Highlands to awaken the young adults of Malaysia.

Sounds really good, doesn’t it? And it is very exciting that KINGDOM101 has been launched and the expository journey will begin on 18 March and every Wednesday thereafter. Wow! … and then … that ol’ familiar feeling of inadequacy hits me again! Waves of doubt come over me, taunting me, “Who are you as compared to those who have done so much? What’s so different about your message? What if you can’t sustain it over the next months? Who are you that anyone should even consider coming on 18 Mar, much less the next weeks or months?”

This morning, I flipped my Bible and it opened to Galatians. My heart leapt when I read Gal 2:6:

“But from those who seemed to be something – whatever they were, it makes no difference to me; God shows personal favouritism to no man – for those who seemed to be something added nothing to me.”

Our feelings of inadequacy are very normal. And if we’d allow the enemy a foothold, he would be most glad to help you sink further and deeper. The reminder from this verse is clear and simple. Our eyes are not to be on man, but on God. For sure, there is lots to learn from the experience of those who have achieved more. There is also great value in what they have to offer. That said, it is God that we must rely on and He can use anyone to accomplish His purposes.

The grace of God is definitely about His favour upon His people; but it is not about personal favouritism where one is preferred over the other. That is the way of the world but not the way of the Kingdom. What the Lord looks for are hearts yielded in submission to Him. He uses the weak to show Himself strong. He uses what appears foolish that He might confound those who think they are wise. In the end, He deserves and receives all the glory (1 Cor 1:31; Jer 9:24).

This was such a word of affirmation to me this morning and I pray that as you read this post, you will be likewise encouraged. Whilst we praise God for the more prominent servants of the Lord, let us not be dwarfed or intimidated by them. We have the same Holy Spirit and we rest in the same position and identity in Christ. He who worked effectively in these will also work effectively in and through us (Gal 2:8).

If the Lord has tasked you with an assignment, then be faithful to obey, relying on Him and Him alone. Not everyone is called to be a Moses, a David or a Paul. Just be who you are and remember that your adequacy is found entirely in Him.

Another Year Is Drawing To A Close: Trekking Through Transitions

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In case you haven’t noticed, we are more than halfway through the month of December. Yes, the last month of the year. And since most are caught up with Christmas festivities and holidays, it’s only a matter of time before they realise that they have run out of year.

For me, it’s been an interesting 2014. This entire year has been a year of transition … stepping down as pastor, and then as dean, developing Archippus Awakening, preaching itinerantly, living by faith all over again, not really knowing what lies ahead nor where I am going. The last phrase might sound a tad irresponsible but I assure you that my eyes are constantly fixed on the Lord for He is the One who led me out and will lead me on. Still, there are many moments of doubt, anxiety and even fear (yes, I am normal). This has caused me to return to and to hold on to a very familiar phrase from Scripture: “Be strong and of good courage.”

Whilst most may remember this from Joshua 1:9, I don’t think it is quite as known that this same phrase is recorded more than a few times as God prepared Israel to transition from the wilderness into the Promised Land, from the end of Deuteronomy to the start of Joshua. A perfect SEVEN times, to be exact. Since discovering this, I have developed a message entitled, “Trekking Through Transitions”. Where I have shared it, it has brought encouragement to many.

Here’s a brief overview of the SEVEN instances this phrase is used with its corresponding principles:

  1. Deut 31:3-6 We can be strong and courageous because God is the One who goes before us. Keep eyes on Him, not on man. He has been faithful in the past, He will be faithful again and again.
  2. Deut 31:7-8 We have to be strong and courageous because our obedience will bless and impact others. Our faithfulness to our assignments are for the benefit of serving others.
  3. Deut 31:22-23 It’s one thing to hear it from others. It’s totally another to hear it directly from the Lord. Write it down. Read it again. And again. Holding on to what He has said directly and personally enables us to be strong and courageous.
  4. Josh 1:6 We can be strong and courageous because we have a God who keeps His promise. Trace it all the way back to Abraham and know that we are partaker of the same promise as faith descendants of Abraham, in Christ.
  5. Josh 1:7-8 We must be strong and courageous because standing on and living out the Word of God without compromise requires strength and courage. In times of transition, doubt and anxiety, the tendency and temptation to justify and compromise is the greatest.
  6. Josh 1:9 We can be strong and courageous because we know that God not only goes before us, He also promises to go with us. And His presence enables us to work from a position of rest.
  7. Josh 1:16-18 We can be strong and courageous because God will bring others to journey with us, to co-labour alongside us. Don’t fall for the “I’m all alone” lie and trap. Stay in community and draw strength and courage from one another.

Each time I preach this message, I make it a point to preach it to myself first. After all, I also need to hear it over and over again. Whether a short or a drawn out one, transitions are never easy. I believe that is why the Holy Spirit inspired this line, “Be strong and of good courage.” to be recorded seven times that God’s people may be perfectly and soundly encouraged.

In a couple of weeks’ time, we will cross into a new year. Significantly, it will be another milestone for our family requiring more adjustments. Archippus Awakening will step up to the next gear and become, God-willing, more visible. And all this, amidst a very uncertain global outlook (who would have thought that a cafe in Sydney would have come under siege?) and possible economic upheavals.

Oh, how we need to remember these principles that we may be able to apply it in our various situations and transitions. For sure, trekking through transitions involves too many unknowns. That said, I have come to learn that when God leads us into a season of transition, we can look forward to a major and glorious breakthrough at the other end!

Wishing one and all a very blessed Christmas and a glorious new year! Be strong and of good courage!

Ministry Trip to Kidapawan City: Alone and Yet Not Alone

Last week, I experienced another ‘first’ on my ministry trip to Kidapawan City, Mindanao, Philippines: it was the first time that I would travel on an overseas mission, 21-27 October 2014, on my own. I know that this would mean nothing to veteran ministers but for me, it was a milestone – haha!

IMG_9948The trip started with a glorious send-off by my family and parents early Tuesday morning, 21 Oct. After a short half hour delay, my SilkAir flight MI566 departed and I arrived safely in sunny Davao City. I was met by my host and friend, Ptr Joel Acaso. We spent some time catching up over coffee and then proceeded to fill up over buffet dinner at Vikings before embarking on a 2.5hr drive to Kidapawan City, arriving at 10:30pm. After a full day’s travel, I was all too ready to hit the sack. Unfortunately, my beauty sleep was rudely  interrupted at 4am when the neighbour’s cock started crowing (every 5mins!) … all the way to my scheduled alarm time of 6am. Talk about an awakening – haha!

The next three days were spent ministering at the Prayer & Leadership Conference, organised by Kidapawan City Assembly of God Church (of which Ptr Joel is the Lead Pastor). We had a tremendous time in the Lord’s presence and the response to the message of Archippus Awakening was very encouraging! Read more about this Awakening Event on Archippus Awakening’s Website.

After the conference, on Saturday morning 25 Oct, we drove about 1hr to President Roxas in Kamarahan Barangay. I had the opportunity to speak at a Thanksgiving Service of Temple of Praise Assembly of God Church. This church is set in the midst of a farming community and the service was for the purpose of giving thanks to the Lord for a bountiful harvest. For a city dweller like myself, it was quite an experience as we tend to give thanks for our material possessions rather than an actual agricultural harvest. A celebration lunch followed and we feasted on Filipino fare; yes, there was lechon baboy (roasted pig), of course!

On Sunday morning 26 Oct, I preached at Kidapawan City AG Church, encouraging the leaders and congregation with the message, “Trekking Through Transitions”, drawing from my own journey and experience, especially in this past year of personal and ministry transition. It was significant when I called out the leaders and prayed for them, exhorting them to be strong and of courage as the church navigates and treks through transitions towards all the Lord has called them to.

By this time, I was all ready to head home, missing my wife and children dearly (and my good ol’ kopitiam kopi-O). It had been a full but very productive week of ministry. The message of Archippus Awakening was declared and many seeds of the kingdom were planted in hearts made ready by the Lord. I also made many new friends and I believe, new kingdom connections too. I may not know every name but that’s ok because to me, they are all Archippuses awakened for Jesus and His kingdom 🙂 It was also a meaningful time of re-connecting and fellowshipping with Ptr Joel Acaso, a very passionate minister of the Lord. We spent much time sharing and exchanging ideas; and eating too.

After saying goodbye to Ptr Joel, I made my own way into the airport to check-in. By myself once again, I waited in the lounge and later boarded SilkAir MI566 bound for Singapore via Cebu. How significant, I thought to myself, that I should be travelling overseas alone for the very first time since I stepped into full-time ministry. I suspect this would not be the last time I do that. That said, in my heart, my desire is always to bring others along, not just for company but for the purpose of discipleship and raising even more Archippuses along the way. I know the Lord will honour and arrange that.

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Even so, although I spent much time alone on this trip, I knew that I was never alone. The Lord was always with me, watching over me and enabling me for the work of the ministry. He said that He will never leave me nor forsake me. I can be strong and of good courage because the Lord God is with me wherever I go. The Lord affirmed this for me as I looked out the aircraft window and beheld a beautiful rainbow in the distance! Significantly, in my last trip to Davao in 2011, the Lord also encouraged us with rainbows over Davao City.

I also know that a team of prayer warriors upheld me in prayer for the entire trip. These brothers and sister might have not made the trip with me physically, but in the Spirit, they interceded and stood with me as I preached and ministered in the name of Jesus. To these, I am truly appreciative of their love and co-labour through the ministry of prayer!

My entire family, Serene and the children, was also with me, supporting me and praying for me. It is not easy for Serene to manage the household all by herself; but because she understands and acknowledges the higher purpose of the kingdom, she stands squarely behind me as I minister. And as the Lord was with me in Philippines, I know that He was also with her and the children back in Singapore.

What a good and faithful God we serve! Where He sends us, He never sends us there alone. The Lord Himself goes before us and journeys with us every step of the way! All praise and glory be unto Him!!!