Saturday, May 30, 2009

The View From Behind The Mic Stand

So my good friend Joash, who was one of those who insisted I start a blog, has recently been blogging much less actively. So something that happened almost a month ago is only showing up on his blog today. Mind you this was the person who once preferred to stay back and blog while I wanted to go out for a walk, or anything else for that matter, since we were in Baguio. I felt like anything is better than just staying inside. Anyway we finally got him out by baiting him with food!

I felt I should highlight his recent post here so that some of you guys can read his account of what happened in my church on Mothers' Day. Click on the picture or check out Joash Chan's link on my blog.

Joash and Ken, you guys did a great job. I'm sure my guitar had a part to play in that. We'll have you guys back again next time if you're up for it.

As for our worship team, we're off on our way and in the right direction. I predict that in about 3 months we will be seeing marked improvements in the worship team. But worship is not just about the worship team and the music, as a church we need to constantly learn to express ourselves better in our worship to God. Looking forward to better days as God brings us on this adventure of getting to know him better.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Paraders of the Lost Ark

I preached in church last week, but because of the internet outage, my meeting with Tim Hughes on Tuesday night, Phinehas Mathius' visit from Taiping, and a few other things that happened I have not been able to update the blog.

Last week we were supposed to have a worship team meeting in the afternoon after lunch. It was also in line with our current theme of legacy. I spoke about worship in church. I used the incident from 1 Chronicles 13 to learn a few lessons on how our church should or should not worship.

The background to the incident in 1 Chronicles 13 can be found in 1 Samuel 4-7:

1 Samuel 4 - Ichabod Incident
1 Samuel 5 - The Lost Ark in Philistine
1 Samuel 6 - Lost Ark Found
1 Samuel 7 - The Ark in Kiriath Jearim

The message was basically split into two parts: what we should do in worship, what we should NOT do in worship. Lessons learnt were not only applicable to worship, but also applicable to our ministry and life. Here are the main points of the sermon:

1. Everybody's Way (1 Chronicles 13:1-4)
2. Other People's Way (1 Chronicles 13:7-8)
3. Frivolous Way (1 Chronicles 9-12)
4. God's Prescribed Way (1 Chronicles 15)

As we go about in life let's not do things "Everybody's Way" to please everybody. We should also avoid doing things "Other People's Way", just because other people are doing is not a reason for us to copy, especially in terms of music in the context of worship. The "Frivolous Way" also does not please God, we must also use our brains as we worship, worship must be thoughtful. Instead of these "ways", we must actively seek God and do his ministry his way.

As our worship team and church is now just taking off with a fresh start, let's make sure our foundation is strong. Let's really work on the fundamentals so that in the long run we will not limit our growth. The longer we go on the more obvious it is if our foundation is strong or weak. Let's get it right right from the start. It is an exciting time for many of us as we experience a fresh start. This is our chance to get it right again, this is the chance NOT to make the same mistakes again, this is what it means to have a fresh start!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Falling In Love With Jesus by Jonathan Butler

Beautiful song. Check out other songs by Jonathan Butler, I previously made another post on his song "We Need You Lord", just use the "Search This Blog" widget on the right side.

Falling in love with Jesus
Falling in love with Jesus
Falling in love with Jesus
Falling in love with Jesus
Was the best thing I ever, ever done

In His arms I feel protected
In His arms never disconnected
In HIs arms I feel protected
There's no place I'd rather rather be


Friday, May 15, 2009

Mikayla Asks For A Drink

This is a video of Mikayla when she just turned one. We taught her some sign language and by that time she knew how to sign for milk. However, we did not teach her how to sign for water. Watch as she improvises.

When she finally gets what she wants she enjoys her well earned drink. Smart girl!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Mothers' Day

Kinda late now I know, but I have always maintained that this blog lives for my life and not my life living for my blog. So if there is "living" to do, I'll do that first, my online life takes a backseat to my real life. In case you didn't know, I have a life.

As (almost) all other church, we had a good Mothers' Day celebration. I managed to put together a very nice gift package for the moms in FGC. I'm proud of it and won't mind getting something like that for fathers' day next month, the free movie passes take the cake (*hint hint*). Apart form that there was also a cosmetic voucher from
MakeUup. My friend will be bringing some products to FGC one of these weeks and you can all check it out then. Otherwise, check out the site and make your order there. I also want to thank Jackie for her help in getting very nice freebies from Giant/Guardian. The moms were all buzzing about how nice the gifts were.

Pastor Nellie Chan spoke very motherly about mothers and children, and even as a father I felt that I had to apply what was preached to my life. I have to learn to enjoy Mikayla more now. Joash who came along initially as his mom’s driver for the day worship led. Ken Chung came along with him to play the keyboards. Both of them have been inactive in their own worship ministries but they too enjoyed ministering that morning. It was a good time of worship, Joash, Ken Chung and the rest of our worship team did a good job. I hope the atmosphere of worship in our church will continue to build up momentum. I’m looking forward to more vibrant worship sessions. Coming Sunday we will be having a worship team meeting to meet and just discuss briefly about the ministry.

After the service I spent some time jamming with Jay Sern and Jee Hor, and when they left I experienced my first time alone in the church. It felt weird being in my own church and feeling kinda off. Anyway I did some stuff, tidied up and left to spend some time with my mother in-law. I had my lunch at church so I missed the Vietnamese lunch with the family but I was there for cake at sister in-law's place.

When we got home the house phone rang, normally only a few people call our house phone: the bank (or sales people from the bank), various other sales people, my Aunty Kim Mooi’s family (who lives nearby), or my parents calling from Baguio. It was my parents.

This year I decided to do something for my mom even though she’s in Philippines. Previous years we occasionally bought her something, but this year I decided to call up my good friend Brian Lopez in Baguio and ask him to help me buy some flowers for my mom. That was what happened and I heard from my father that my mom was moved to tears because of the flowers. The grandmother (and grandfather) then spent close to an hour, maybe more than that on Skype talking to Mikayla, Melanie, me, and Elroi.

After the Skype session, since it was mothers’ day, I went to make dinner while Melanie went outside to play water with Mikayla. Mikayla really enjoys it. As I was preparing dinner the house phone rang again, this time it was Aunty Kim Mooi, she asked us over to her house for Bah Kut Teh. We packed some of our half cooked stuff and walked over to her house for their mothers’ day dinner. So that was mothers’ day all day.

Here are some sights and sounds of our mothers’ day…

Joash worship leading, I was playing lead guitar which is a first for FGC

Joash using my beautiful guitar, that's why he did such a good job

Worshipping through our giving as well

The kids wishing the moms

Guest speaker: Nellie Chan

Pas. Nellie spoke of how mothers build their children's lives

I heard what was spoken and decided that I too had to put to practice what was preached

The lunch I didn't have, but I'm glad to be able to spend time with the church members

Mikayla unwinding by reading a good book

Mikayla getting wet and dirty before her shower

Ready, aim, fire!
Here's the video of the kids' mothers' day greeting. Could not get camera turned on in time for Nicole and Jonas, but I did get Brighton. I'm waiting for the day when Mikayla I can see Mikayla doing something like this, she's so cute, she'll melt my heart. Yes, I'm biased, But Mikayla is the cutest!

Here is an interesting video I found on Youtube, I would like to dedicate this to my mother, Mikayla's mother, my mother in-law, my step mother in-law, and all the other "mothers" that God has placed in my life... God bless you all.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Faith Fighters Revisited

Faith Fighter

Click here to play this game

This will knock your socks off, literally! I tried all the characters (a.k.a. gods). The secret boss character is so IMBA!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Big Heavy Balls & Creepy Communal Shoes

So I found out that FGC (which is in USJ) is relatively near to Multimedia University in Cyberjaya. Explains why there were so many former and current MMU students in our church. I always thought Cyberjaya, Putra Heights, yes, even USJ were in a land far far away. Now that I have started to travel more to church and cell groups these places seem to be getting nearer. I guess a lot of it is psychological, the rest of it is just about having a good old fashion... GPS!

Since many of the students are away from home, they would need to find a church to belong to for the duration of the studies here. So to welcome them and show our love we decided to take them for some kind of outing. Being busy students they are only free when they come to church, and since our church provided lunch every week, and dinner was too far away from lunch, we thought of doing an activity together. We decided the best thing for us is to bowl it out.

Bowling day came and there was quite a buzz. It's good to see that the church program is actually relevant to them. The youth that normally meet on Sunday afternoon joined in on the fun. Service was great, then after lunch the MMU students had their usual jamming session. Some of them coming from bigger churches are glad that our church instruments were available to anyone who wanted to jam. I was able to join them last week and show that I can hang with them, in a musical sense. Lucky for me they played songs that I already practiced, otherwise they might discover my noobness, and thus reject me as a noob.

After our jamming session we all hopped on our wheels and rolled on over to The Summit down the road. We all gathered at the bowling alley, and got ourselves organized into four teams on four lanes. Then the trash talk started. It goes without saying that my team that was made up of Deric, Wei Hann, and Bryan ultimately won. I currently hold the highest score in a game when I scored 121 in my first game. However, as usual, I totally sucked at my second game, scoring under 100 points even, but let's not go there...

At the end of the first round, Deric who was my team mate and main contender for best bowler award, realized that there was a dark horse right over our shoulders. Charis, of all people, was right on our heels! Of all the big chunky guys there, throwing their 12, 13, 14 pound balls down the lane, it was Charis' taichi like style of just releasing her 9 (or 10, can't remember) pound ball that took the spoils of the day. After combining total scored of both games, Charis had the highest score. I think she finally beat me by a mere 10 points.

The second round was really unlucky for me, I just could not close my frames. Out of ten frames I scored 9 in SEVEN frames!!! Two other frames were marginally less than 9, and the final frame I finally scored a spare, but alas, the mojo came back too late. Lady Luck was really not on my side.

Here I must reiterate that bowling is, in fact, a team sport, ultimately our team won. That's all that counts really. Deric and I was busy coaching Wei Hann and Bryan that we lost our focus. In the end our strategy went exactly as we planned. By the second game, both Bryan and Wei Hann showed dramatic improvements and more than made up my low score. We were a tight team, we played for each other. Whenever we missed we felt as though we let our team down, that was the kind of camaraderie that we are talking about. That's when all the drama happened. We cheered each other on unlike the teams that were indifferent. We wore our hearts on our sleeves and played with all our livers. We were also the only team to have laid hands on our balls before we started our game, so we dedicate our win to God's glory... amen!

Everyone had a great time, especially since the whole thing was free! Everything is more fun when it is free. The church was very generous and paid for everyone's bowling. I think we should do this more in the future. We all had a chance to talk to each other, even though it was mostly trash talk, we all felt we knew got to know each other better through the trash talking. We should also do this so that we can prove that Charis just had a fluke day. It was really unfair as she was worship leading that week and God liked her worship leading so God was quite biased that day.

In the aftermath of throwing big heavy balls and smelly shoes worn by too many creepy feet (*shudders at the thought of creepy feet), I am filled with excitment, yes excitment, at the prospect of our church being able to do a work in reaching out to the college students. I hope that they will be able to grow in FGC and by the time they finish their studies in MMU (or whatever other college) we will send them home stronger in their faith than they have ever been. God help FGC make a difference.

Monday, May 4, 2009

To Boldly Go Where No Man Has Gone

Yes that would be the line from Star Trek. I felt last Sunday's sermon was like my inauguration speech. The first time I preached in FGC it was Easter, and I had to preach an Easter sermon, but now two months into my ministry in FGC I felt comfortable and ready enough to share a very general idea of what I would like to see happen in FGC. It was very much a sermon cum vision casting session... “Change we can believe in”?

Our church is very much like the Starship Enterprise. If you remember Jean Luc Picard who is the captain of the ship will lead the whole ship with the help of his commanders and lieutenants. The rest of the ship, whether they are in the engine room, or on the bridge, or in the sick bay, or wherever on the ship you trekkies can think of, will work together so that they can reach a common goal. Being stuck on the same ship means that whether they like it or not they have to bear with one another as they will share the same fate and same destination. They need to be united and protect their ship, to keep the ship moving along, or they will be sucked into the vacuum of space. And like Starship Enterprise, FGC will have to boldly go where no man has gone before.

Need to get myself better pix that I can post here...

Being in transition I felt it was appropriate to share the Israelites' and Joshua's experience of their transition. The text is Joshua 1:6-9. At this point in Israelite history, they too were experiencing a transition, they too had a change of leadership. The book of Deuteronomy ends with the death of Moses the greatest ever prophet, the humblest man on the face of the earth, a great leader, and an all round great dude. Joshua also begins with God telling Joshua "Moses my servant is dead". This was an indication of the end of an era, and the commencement of another. In order for the Israelites to enter the promised land the Moses generation had to die. Now was it was the next generation, it was the Joshua Generation.

Now as Joshua took over he was not naïve, or blur, or power hungry, or anything like that. Joshua for one would have felt the great burden of the insurmountable task before him because he knew what the Israelites really were like. He has been Moses' assistant all these time and have seen the way the Israelites grumbled and murmured, he also seen how fickle they were, as well as how rebellious they were. We can safely say that Joshua would have been petrified at the prospect of leading this bunch of misfits.

In the same way, I too felt overwhelmed at the prospect of leading an entire church. People looking to me for advice on life decisions, families looking to me to lead them and show them the way. Blows my mind. All these while I was readying myself for youth ministry or something like that, but taking on an entire church was one of the last things on my mind, but I believe I heard God's calling and I had to obey. The verses from Joshua 1:6-9 is a real encouragement to me, and I felt that what God has spoken to my heart from this passage would also apply to FGC.
So now that Moses is gone Joshua had to step up. Moses’ generation had their share of miracles, crossing of the red sea, manna from the sky, the pillar of cloud/fire, etc. Now Joshua’s generation would have their own experiences, they would have to experience their own crossing (River Jordan in high season), the walls of Jericho and various other victorious battles, etc. That would be what we had before our church as we move forward from where we are now.

Here’s the breakdown of the sermon:
Title: To Boldly Go Where No Man Has Gone Before ...(cue Star Trek sound track)
Text: Joshua 1:6-9
Divine Task (verse 6)
Divine Word (verse 7-8)
Divine Presence (verse 9)

For the FGC members who did not make it to service last week, you guys missed what I felt was the best service in FGC so far. I felt strongly for the sermon preached but apart from that Charis and the worship team did a great job during the worship session. It was also Holy Communion week and being able to partake of the Lord’s Supper together as a church on such a week was so meaningful. After lunch, there was also an outing with the group of students from MMU. Some of the former MMU students and the high school students joined in on the fun, but that would be a whole other post.

I am excited. I am looking forward to moving forward. There would be times where FGC would have to first take a step backwards before moving forward, if that is the case then we will go at that with all our hearts. I am anticipating God’s new work in our church and lives. Let’s keep our fingers firmly on the pulse of God and expect something new. Today is a new day, let’s leave the past behind and begin to dream God’s dreams. Let’s pray for God to show us his vision for FGC. God wants growth for his church, and FGC is his church, let’s build his church his way. Pray with me church, pray that we will be able to fulfill his will for our church. Greater days are ahead.