Friday, October 28, 2005

Morning Intercession

For quite some time I have been noticing people from second Sunday service who join the early Sunday pre-service prayer. Our second service starts at 11:30am so they are there 3 hours earlier at 8:30 am for morning intercession.

Three weeks ago I asked Mike, a pastoral staff how many people actually do this. He said he could tell me and he offered to write down the names. Two Fridays ago, Mike sent me the list. There are 48 people from second service who join pre-service prayer regularly.

Then last week I got three different stories of members and why they join us in the pre-service prayer. One of them will share her story live this weekend. They are all very dedicated members indeed. With such people, we have a bright future.

Dinah and I will go overseas in just a few hours. We go assured intercession will continue here and knowing there will be intercession for us as we serve overseas.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Birthdays & Exams

This is the time of the year for final exams. It's no different for our twins. The unique thing is we celebrate their birthday just before year-end exams.

In fact in October we celebrate Dinah's birthday in the second week, the twin's birthday in third week and Lawrence's birthday just after the third week. Several church staff threw a birthday party for the twins last week. The twins were so thrilled. Any reason to get the (super-busy) staff together is probably a good reason.

Today is our off day. It's also the first day of the twin's exams. We took time to have lunch to celebrate our Aussie pal's birthday. (He's the one with the loud shirt. Just yesterday Lawrence, Claudia and I were having tea with a pastor friend. He actually asked if we were in our twenties or thirties. He's now our best friend.)

After yummy seafood and catch up time, it's off for some revision. This is a strange month.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Rainy Sunday

Yesterday my wife preached for the first time at our tertiary service. She came home glad that she could minister here.

This morning Jeff Lim gave a touching testimony. I spoke on ransom money for soul redemption. It was great to pray with a dad and a daugher who came the first time and committed their lives to Christ. Then we headed home to rest. It rained heavily and the slip road off Tampines Expressway to Punggol was flooded so I drove carefully. This was the first time this happened and a car actually got stuck at the flood waters. The kids were excited. It's not everyday kids in our city get to see a real flood. The entrance to the multi-story carpark was also flooded. This has happened before but I still had to tread carefully. As we entered, the entire basement carpark was flooded and the first floor carpark was being flooded. We parked on the next level.

As we got on the lift, the kids said "Thank God we live on the 15th floor. God please protect mom and the people of Punggol." (Dinah was out for an appointment.) I love these kids.

Later we drove to evening service. The waters had subsided. Or I would have had to use a boat to go preach. It was a good worship service. It was even better to pray with six persons who made first time commitments to Christ. As I went down to wait for my wife, I saw some members having dinner. I said hello. They are school teachers celebrating two birthdays. Their story of friendship encouraged me. They come from our Saturday and Sunday worship services but studied together in the National Institute of Education over 2 years ago. They keep in touch regularly.

Then my wife called. I bade good bye to the 7 friends. Off I went home for dinner. This ended a very fulfilling day indeed. I hope the cool weather stays.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Wife's Birthday

My wife preached on Sunday morning. Then Claudia, Jeff, Pat and Lawrence arranged for a birthday dinner for Dinah at an Italian restaurant at Labrador Park. It was the first time there for all of us. It was quite special. The next day Connie delivered a birthday gift for her at the office.

Then we were off to 2006 planning retreat on Tue and Wed. A beautiful bouquet of flowers arrived by courier for my wife on Wed morning (her actual birthday). Our church operations colleagues arranged delivery with a florist. This was a pleasant surprise. About an hour later, they showed up with a cake topped with a candle. Planning stopped and celebrations began. The cake was v good.

Dinah got a long distance call with a birthday greeting. The eventful retreat finally ended in the evening. We dropped off Fenny then we fetched our kids. They had actually bought a 3-stalk rose bouquet with the help of auntie Cara. They dug cash from their piggy bank to pay for it. My wife's sister bought a cake. We had another a mini-celebration.

Today is Thursday. Lawrence and I were panelists at the Missions Summit organised by Love Singapore. Charmaine and Elaine were here as participants. Tonight Christie, Shirley and Mabel are having dinner with Dinah at a French restaurant. The twins and I had an intimate take-away dinner at home. The three of us will celebrate with Dinah next week. In the mean time I am preparing for the sermons this Sunday.

All that said, my wife's birthday this year has been very special.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Cockroach Attack!

Editor's Note: This post was suggested by Deb and drafted jointly by the twins. You could say that they are guest columnists. Initially I thought they were going to write their Saturday morning experience. Now I realise that they wrote as if I was writing. I guess their logic is that this is daddy's blog. Anyway here is children styled narrative. Enjoy...

Today is Saturday. This morning while the twins were packing their bags, Deb found a cockroach in her bag.

I was shocked to see a cockroach in Deb’s bag. The kids were holding rolled up newspapers and trying to whack the cockroach. It went into the rubbish bin into the yogurt container for a while. I used insecticide to spray the cockroach in the rubbish bin. It sort of flipped itself out of the dustbin and onto the floor. Then I borrowed Deb’s newspaper to whack the cockroach. The cockroach ran through my legs so I jumped and the kids called it a “ split” in the air. I had to do it even if the kids called ‘it’ a funny joke . I had to whack the cockroach with the newspapers a few times until it died . I am glad I killed it then I grabbed it with a piece of tissue, flushed it into the toilet bowl.

Ben's note: My wife is not part of this. The simple reason is because at this time she is making final preparations to preach tomorrow morning. So this is one of those rare Saturday night blogs.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Quarter Four 2005

Last weekend began quarter four of 2005. Saturday was when a girl named Edna was born. This is Joel and Evelyn's baby. This is our 7th Breakthrough babe.

I spoke about soul satisfaction at our Sunday morning services. It was a joy to pray with a Vietnamese and a Thai who made first time commitments to Christ. An older man came up after the first service and asked me if I was from Sabah. This was a family visiting us for the first time. I said yes as he named my parents. His wife said that I look like my mom. His wife asked for prayer and we prayed together. Later we spoke for a while.

In the afternoon, we had combined leaders rally. We had awards to affirm various people and ministries. The third quarter went astonishingly well. We have had very positive ministry.

We commissioned 17 brand new leaders. I started with thanksgiving and went to share what the Lord reminded me in the week. That we are a global city church and He put us in Singapore for a reason. Many agree the next 50 years is the era of China and India. Singapore is at the confluence of the Pacific Ocean and Indian Ocean. We need to get ready for the Kingdom to break out in Singapore and out into many cities.

Next I spent some time on the importance of the leader's spirit and resulting impartation. This is the capacity to give unto others that which God has given to us. Jesus said we can impart our peace to any house in Luke 10.

When I get into the presence of Godly leaders, I drink wisdom from their constancy of dedication in ministry. When I get around on-fire young leaders, their passion is contagious. These are times I sense my spiritual cobwebs blown out and replaced by new hope and vision to go further with God.

God's Spirit is continually imparting to us everything that belongs to Him. Holiness, honesty, courage, strength and all else we may need. It is God through us. We have God's Spirit within us. God has given us the capacity to impart blessing. You can expect your life to be an impartation to people's hearts.

Then I asked each leader especially each small group leader to get each member united and committed. For us to breakthrough as a church, we need to be united and committed. I asked each small and mid-size group to always start with Breakthrough testimonies every time we gather. We ended with the challenge to "Bring in the harvest. Bring back the glory." Q4 here we come!