A Lovely Note of Encouragement by Ruth

I am presently on a 10-day Consecration Fast, full fast with just water, in preparation of the next phase of Archippus Awakening; and today is Day #6. Naturally, in the first few days, the body is physically weak and I move about rather slowly. It’s much better now, having adjusted, but I still get breathless at times.

This evening, I decided to go for prayer walk, allowing me to get some exercise and sun whilst I lift up items to the Lord. As I prepared to step out, I found a little heart-shaped note written by my 9yo daughter Ruth.

Ruth Heart Note

I was overwhelmed as I read what she wrote:

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid nor discouraged for the Lord will be with you wherever you go. Keep fasting. Keep praying. Don’t overwork yourself. God bless you.”

This is the verse that the Lord used to encourage me when He first gave me instructions to step down from my pastoral position and to go as He would lead. What Ruth added on her own accord was so beautiful, spurring me on towards the end of the fast yet reminding me that prayer is very much a part of the process, but not without cautioning me to go at a pace that is manageable (it’s been a very heavy ministry schedule so far).

Often, as a parent, you don’t really know if you are teaching your children right or if they are receiving all you hope for them to receive. I thank God for these little moments that makes the parenting journey worth it, watching them grow in the Lord and being sensitive and a blessing to others around them.

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Pedophilia Officially Classified as Sexual Orientation by American Psychology Association

Pedophilia Officially Classified as Sexual Orientation by American Psychology Association.

Hands up, those who agree that this it is utterly, totally, absolutely, shockingly, horrendously, deplorably ridiculous! And yet, the time has arrived where insanity and foolishness are the order of the day 😦

The headline of this Charisma Magazine article says it all, doesn’t it? You don’t even need to read the full article to be sickened by such an announcement.

Without doubt, we are living in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation (Phil 2:15) where people call evil good, and good evil, who put darkness for light, and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! (Isaiah 5:20).

Indeed, every parent needs to pray like never before — but make sure it is done with eyes wide open; don’t let your children out of your sight.

NOTE: Since posting this yesterday, some astute readers have checked the American Psychology Association website with attempts to verify the report. Also, Charisma News has added this paragraph to the above article: “UPDATE: The AFA cannot substantiate its research on this issue, though many agree with its interpretation. Please click here for an updated story with new facts. The AFA is a trusted source in Christian media, but some are disputing its claim. We reached out to the American Psychiatric Association (APA) for an official statement and have not yet received clarification. We will update the story if the APA responds.” Regardless, this does not alter the fact that we do live in challenging and interesting times, one that calls for Christian parents to be very aware of the present environment our families are exposed to.

Can We Stay Silent On Such Issues Any Longer?

City of Venice to ban ‘mother’ and ‘father’ terms on official forms | LifeSiteNews.com.

This article left me speechless and at a total loss for words. And yet, deep in my spirit, this is not the time to stay silent on such issues and matters.

This may be taking place in a city quite a distance from Singapore; but in today’s globalised context, it is not at all unthinkable to expect a similar attempt or move here.

The LGBT Agenda is a global phenomenon. It is gaining momentum and it will do anything and everything it can to convert all spheres of society.

The question is, “Do I read and sit idly by?” Or will I take a stand by speaking for what is right in the eyes of God?

Why You Should Homeschool by James Emery White

I’m glad someone wrote this about homeschooling:

Why You Should Homeschool by James Emery White – ChurchLeaders.com – Christian Leadership Blogs, Articles, Videos, How To’s, and Free Resources.

Before you hastily click this post away because of your preconceived notions of homeschooling, consider these little excerpts:

“Because homeschooling is what lets you guard and protect your child’s heart and optimally mold their character in a dark and fallen world.”

“We live in a day of underprotective parenting. Our culture has declared war on children in so many ways. Homeschooling is one of the ways we can fight back.”

“Many who say they are not temperamentally suited to homeschooling are using that as a smokescreen when the truth is they are not willing to exercise the patience and submit to the sacrifice needed to homeschool.”

Granted that homeschooling is no walk in the park and many will reject it without even giving it a thought. In any case, this article is still a worthwhile read especially if your goal is to parent “your child’s inner world”. And given the mess the world is in and how this is being packaged into sleek education modules and dumped into our children’s minds, you might just want to give this some prayerful consideration 🙂

10 Reminders for My Parenting Journey

9G7A6561Hands up, all who agree that parenting is not for the faint-hearted.

We’ve all been told that we have an awesome responsibility to train and raise our children in the ways of the Lord. We may start out with zest and enthusiasm, but it doesn’t take very long to realise the challenges and distractions that come against us every day; and sometimes, every moment! We determine to take these in our stride. And then we discover that the battles are not necessarily always against the external influences but some of the toughest ones are found right at home, in the hearts of our children and in the issues we each personally grapple with.

Like the winds and waves that come against a seemingly solid rocky cliff, our resolve to be great parents can be slowly eroded as fatigue and discouragement set in, slowly but surely. If you have been there, you know what I’m talking about. You know the feeling, and it’s not a nice one. All you have are questions but no answers. And worse still, the loudest questions are those that taunt, accuse and condemn your ability and credibility as a parent.

I’ve been there too — many times. God may have blessed and graced me to be a father to my seven children, and indeed, I know my roles and responsibilities as a steward of these blessings. That said, how I view parenting and what I expect of myself may not always be accurate, even though I strive to be as biblical as I possibly can. And that’s why I need to be reminded of the following over and over again.

1. I am not a perfect parent. This sounds like a no-brainer, but I desperately need to remember this and not beat myself over the head each time I fail. But my perfectionist streak gets the better of me, time and time again, and I feel really lousy when I mess up or am told that I have overlooked something again. But perfect I am not, and the truth is, I will make mistakes. I can be aware and learn from them, or I can wallow, be condemned, and give up.

2. I do not have perfect children. Another obvious point, but don’t we all wish that they are perfect? I know that my children all struggle with their sinful natures, and yet, my idealistic streak keeps hoping that I will wake up one day and suddenly discover children who are always cheerful, polite and obedient. (Interestingly, as I am writing this, there is a whining and crying child in the background.) Oh, how my countenance falls each time my expectations of them are not met! But they are not perfect, and it is utterly foolish and unreasonable of me to consider otherwise. Remembering this enables me to understand their struggles, as I do mine, that I may be patient and compassionate in my dealings with each of them.

3. I cannot monitor every activity my children engages in. I will be as involved in the lives and activities of my children as I possibly can. But to be present physically 24/7 and to know every detail is simply not practical. The biggest irony is that often, children break the rules right under the parents’ nose, right in the home where boundaries are clearest! What about when parents are not around? You can set up an entire tracking system but there will come a time when their own schedules will take them out of the house and they will have to make decisions on their own. Admittedly, this is toughest as we watch our children grow. We know there is a need to let go. We just don’t know if we are doing it too soon or too late. My prayer is for knowledge not just to be lodged in their heads, but that godly wisdom would rise and rule in their hearts.

4. I am not responsible for my children’s sins. As parents, it grieves us when our children sin. When they are little, it may be lying or throwing a tantrum. But as they grow, they may read books, listen to songs, watch movies that are just not right. We tell them, they know and yet there is a curiosity in them that needs to be satisfied. We pray they wouldn’t sin, and yet they do. And we feel as if we have failed miserably in our instruction and training. I am reminding myself that my part is to teach and impart. But if they choose to disobey, to sin, it would totally break my heart, but the responsibility remains theirs — and the consequences too.

5. I am not the one to meet my children’s every need. Today, just being dad is not enough anymore. You must also be friend, coach, mentor and teacher (did I mention pastor and counsellor too?). And every parenting talk and sermon adds another descriptor to the already endless list of who you are to be and what you should be doing. In short, we are never doing enough and we are the one to blame for any dysfunction our child may display. Hey, I will watch out for my children’s needs. Yes, I will be dad, the best that I can be. But if they hope to have one that never fails them, man, will they be disappointed. My prayer is that they will quickly learn and find sufficiency only in Christ, and Christ alone.

6. I do not have all the answers. By now, this statement should not be a surprise at all. Yes, it’s ok to say “I don’t know.” I don’t know why things are happening this way. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know when the children will love the Lord passionately and serve Him wholeheartedly. I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know. What I do know is that God is faithful and His Word is true. That is who and what I will cling to, regardless how my children are behaving or responding, and especially when I don’t know what I know anymore!

7. I am not the one who provides for my children. At some point, every parent struggles with needs and wants of our children. With seven children, this is a very real point! Just this week alone, I have been advised (warned) that certain expenses have increased and that I should not faint when the next statement arrives. Sure, as dad and head of the household, it is my responsibility to provide for the family. That could be a huge burden for me if I do not first understand and then remember that it is the Lord who provides as we serve Him and Kingdom faithfully.

8. I do not have to worry nor be anxious. I am not joking. I know that you think this is totally impossible. After all, we love our children and that is why we will always worry for and about them. That said, let us be reminded that there is an extremely fine line between loving concern and anxious worry. I am concerned for my children, and rightly, I should be. However, when I dwell on that and all the unknowns, it begins to eat me up from the inside out! My focus on the Lord shifts to my own inability to comprehend nor resolve the issue. It turns to worry and before long, I am taking it out on myself and my children. This reminder is for me to always trust the Lord, regardless. He has great plans for each child and only He can bring it to pass in His time.

9. I do not have to journey alone. Sometimes, parenting can seem like a very lonely journey on a very long road. Allow this to stick in your mind and you will soon be having the biggest pity-party ever. Unless you are a single parent, always remember the partnership of your spouse. Discuss and pray with one another often. And don’t forget the extended family through the Body of Christ. At times, the same point I have been making, when made by another may bring conviction in the hearts of my children. Ouch! That just dented my pride. Precisely, for often, it is our pride that restricts us from sharing our challenges with others, or learning from them. This only leaves us stranded and alone.

10. I do not have to take everything so seriously. If I can remember the above, it would be much easier to remember this. Then again, this might be the first and most important reminder to heed. Serene and I say this often, “If we don’t laugh about it, we will go crazy!” Most definitely, we could do with a lot more of that when we parent. In most cases, it is not the end of the world. Don’t let our uptightness, our pride, our need for control, our worry, our ‘face’ rob us of the joy of loving and walking with the children God has so graciously blessed us with. I know this is more easily said than done, hence, the need to be reminded over and over again. Not only will this be good for the parents, but also for the children. After all, who wants to live in an environment where there is only stress, anger and anxiety? Stop frowning. Smile more. Laugh.

Oh, how I need to revisit these points often in my parenting journey. You may have more to add but I would be happy if I can remember these for starters, consistently. And most importantly, that the Lord is enabling me by His Holy Spirit to achieve what He has called me to do as a father. May He enable you too!

The Joys Of Parenting: Deborah’s Birthday Request

Today, we celebrated the seventh birthday in the Lim Tribe Birthday Series 2013 – Deborah Hope’s 6th Birthday.

Two nights ago, we asked Deborah what she would like for her birthday. She promptly replied: “A big hug and a big kiss from Daddy!” And her dinner request was simply, “Mama’s chicken wings! It’s delicious!”

DSC03338DSC03341

Thank you, dear Deborah Hope, for being so very sweet; and for reminding us that birthdays are special and meaningful, not because of lavish parties nor expensive presents, but when spent with people we love and care about.

Saturday 29 June 2013: Family Day?

Saturday 29 June 2013. This would be an interesting date and day to watch. Not only in the natural, but also in the spiritual.

NFC Family Day Article
The Straits Times, Tuesday 23 May 2013, Home, B10.

This date will mark the end of Singapore’s National Family Council‘s (NFC) month-long National Family Celebrations 2013. They have designated it as Family Day Out, and families are encouraged to spend that day together, visiting places of interest or participating in activities and events together as a family unit. And specifically at 6:29pm, the NFC hopes everyone would call, tweet, text or hug their family members because “6:29 is Family Time”.

Pink Dot Article
The Straits Times, Tuesday 23 May 2013, Home, B12.

Coincidentally, or otherwise, the Pink Dot Movement will also be holding their 5th rally at Hong Lim Park on 29 June. As we know, this group that represents the LGBT (lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgenders) seeks to establish these ‘alternative’ expressions of love and relationships as fully acceptable and mainstream. Put another way, LGBT relationships that include same-sex unions and marriages are hoping to be recognised as “family units” by society, not to be frowned upon nor discriminated against at all. This rally has been gaining momentum and popularity since its first event in 2009. The high point is when congregants, comprising LGBTs and non-LBGTs, adults and children (family), form a giant Pink Dot to show their support for this cause.

Without thinking too much, these are simply two separate events. But are they? Events and dates are not determined overnight, at least not for these of such scale, size and significance. The question is, which came first? Is the Pink Dot Movement riding on and taking advantage of the NFC’s efforts, cleverly positioning themselves as a family-related event to the unsuspecting man-on-the-street? Or might the NFC be subtly supporting the Pink Dot Movement’s event, thereby sending a message that the family is being re-defined to include LGBT relationships? If not, would the national agency change anything so as not to send a wrong signal? Or would they gently request the Pink Dot Movement to consider shifting their Hong Lim event, at the risk of appearing as discriminating against LGBTs?

Surely, there are no easy answers or solutions, not that these are necessarily desiring to find any alternative (no pun intended). Am I suggesting that I know something, that I might have an idea that there is more than meets the eye? No, not at all. I am just a concerned Christian Singaporean parent, wondering where all this is leading to and how I am to respond. Indeed, 29 June is a date to watch. I may have no control over these events taking place in the natural, but I can and will pray because the authority I have is in the spiritual.

All said, I guess I shouldn’t make too big a deal of it. After all, it might really just be pure coincidence that both events are taking place on the exact same day. But why then did the two articles appear on the exact same day in the Straits Times, one page after another!? Sigh, there I go again — I will just wait and watch to see if the Pink Dot will be formed — at 6:29pm.

Related Post: The Need To Rebuild the Walls Around Families