A New Season, A New Beginning

by Monday, May 28, 2012
It's been a whole new season for me. Currently I'm trying to get used to the temporary breaks because I'm excused from some church activities, and I'm still trying to adapt and rest. Frankly speaking I'm not really getting used to it haha. But well I still thank God that He gave me a greater excitement everyday which I can look forward to: To get into His presence! And of course having more time to hear sermons haha :D

After hearing the sermon that Pastor Philip Mantofa preached about titled The Secret Of Living In God's presence (Part 1 and Part 2), God began teaching and challenging me to go deeper into His presence. He told me that Jesus is the gate for the sheep (John 10:7), and when I accepted Christ, I am brought to Jesus, the entrance of the gate. But I cannot be satisfied just staying at the entrance of the gate; I want to go deeper into His presence.

Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river. Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail. Every month they will bear fruit, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing.
Ezekiel 47:12 (NIV)

You know that you are God's sanctuary and that God's Spirit lives in you, don't you?
1 Corinthians 3:16 (ISV)

Knowing that my body is a temple of the Holy Spirit (Sanctuary), God told me that He wants to use me to change the atmosphere into a channel for His power and love to blow in places, and with that I need to open myself to God to allow Him to use me and work through me.

After hearing the whole sermon I decided to listen what God has to speak to me. He said, “Joy, don't settle just for the entrance of the gate; go deeper into My presence till the point where it becomes a river. Be a carrier of My presence!”

The word “contagious” kept ringing in my head even as I began to ponder about those words God spoke to me. He told me, “Be open so that I can flow and work through you. There is going to be contagious faith, presence, anointing and fire rising from within you and people are going to catch the same faith that you have...”

I began to see myself like a river. Water was gushing out from my body and it touched the people around me. I felt led by the spirit to proclaim Isaiah 61:

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor… 
Isaiah 61:1-3 (NIV)

I began to see God’s power moving through me. The people who were physically and emotionally broken were healed. People began to see that Jesus is the light to the darkness as they realise their weakness in the circumstances they have been going through. A generation of soul-winners and revivalists were raised up and they began to testify to God's goodness. People were crying out as they began to humble themselves and repent, “Heal our land, Lord.”

As the water touched the people, they were radically transformed by God and I saw that they became mightily used by God. They opened themselves to God and His power became flowing in and through them like a great river. Soon the whole region was flooded with His love and power, and the waters were spreading and moving into more and more regions. Contagious!

“All these, Joy, you will see them come to pass when you are faithful and obedient to My call. Guard your heart and your spirit from the devil’s traps, and desire to come deeper into My presence.”

I know the devil is pissed off right now. The more I obey God and became on fire for Him, the more attacks I’ll see the devil launching out to make me stumble in my faith. But I know that I am destined for greater, and I cannot take my focus off from Jesus even in a split second. And all I can pray for right now is these points:

1) All of Jesus and none of me (Remember to give God all the glory and die to self)
2) A greater fire and passion to rise up in me for the things of God
3) The spirit of weariness and hopelessness to be taken away when I see situations that seem impossible (Remember to keep my eyes focused on Jesus), and
4) A greater thirst, hunger and discipline to answer and be obedient to the call of God

It’s a new season and a new beginning, and I cannot wait to see what God is going to do through me. Be the centre of my life, Jesus, for my life belongs to you...

I know My God Is Able!

by Saturday, May 19, 2012
You said You're for me
So who can stand against
You are with me Lord I know that
Nothing is too hard for You…

For these few days I have been going through situations that have been making me feel tired.  I went through countless spiritual battles, one of which was this particular battle that has been on-going for months and months. I felt tired. I felt drained out. I really wanted to give up. I didn’t tell anyone about the problems I have been through because I did not want them to worry and I was afraid that it would be of a burden to them. I felt I have allowed the spirit of condemnation to be inside of me, causing me to feel unworthy and even make me become insensitive to the feelings of others around me.

God wanted me to stop all that thoughts flowing through my mind. He must have known I was going to snap. He knew I was at my weakest point where I have lost focus on Him and I felt like I was fighting a losing battle. I just told God, “I am so tired. I know that you knew I was tired. I really want to give up. I can’t fight this anymore. Can we just leave this battle as it is? Just leave it…”

Then His reply was this, “Pass this battle to who? The devil? How can I let him reign over your problems and your battle? You are not fighting a losing but a winning battle. I am the victory. You are not alone for I am with you granting you the strength to carry on.”

I was just overwhelmed. How can God still believe in me when I am so tired and feel like giving up this battle? He was rooting for me, sending leaders to talk to me. Even for both Sunday services last week, God kept assuring me, “Nothing is too hard for me.”

During the worship in the morning a Pastor got a word from God and said, “No matter what situations you’re going through, God is with you and He’ll bring you through.” Another Pastor in the morning was preaching about season of loneliness, saying that we are not alone in the trials we’re facing.  My net leaders constantly said, “If God is for you, who can be against you? The devil wants you to give up – that is his plan. But God is with you and He will bring you through…” At evening service a Pastor asked the people who have been feeling physically / emotionally tired to raise up their hand for prayer. While I was doing devotions God spoke to me through this verse:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)
“The devil uses chaos as his playground. He is bent on destroying you and your relationship with Me. His plan is to make you tired and give up altogether. But don’t fear Joy. Don’t be anxious and keep thinking deep on your own, for I have given you a peace that transcends all understanding. Calm your mind and focus on me. After all, you have gone this far, so why do you want to give up this fight now? Don’t do things through your own strength; abide, trust and rest in My love.”

I admit I am weak. I am not a strong Christian at all. I will fail and cry, weeping like a baby and leaving God’s robe and body all wet with my tears. But I know that whenever I do that, God is cradling me in His strong arms, comforting me and laying His hands on me, granting me strength to carry on. His sweet voice speaks softly into my ears. Every word that He spoke, I felt the love and power.

Thank God that He is not only Lord over my life, Creator over the universe, but He is also my Father that I can go to seek shelter, the best Friend that I can confide and pour out all my problems too, not worrying that He will laugh at me when I weep in front of Him. Thank God for He is God. I know that God is more than able!

“If God is for us, who can be against us?”
 Romans 8:31 (NIV)
But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.
Jeremiah 17:7 (NLT)

The Little Things I Thank God For

by Tuesday, May 08, 2012
Since the time when I rededicated my life to Jesus, He has been taking me on amazing journeys, placing people around me to help me build up my walk with Him. I believe that it was not by coincidence that He has placed me in VFC and brought these people in my life, and I just want to take this time really thank God for them. Thank God that He is good and He cares for me!

First of all, I thank God for my discipler Karina! Thank God that He has always been pouring out His wisdom upon her and giving me a real life physical example that I can follow. Always cherishing the times where she get to disciple me. One thing I learnt through those conversations I had with her: Don't talk too much, because either I will keep talking and not finish my food, or she won't get a chance to talk (Haha just kidding!). Sometimes through these conversations God will always remind me to be sensitive to the people around me... Thank God for her life, that she is always there for me, giving me wise counsel and praying for me. Thank God for such a shepherd - being one of her sheeps, I'm honoured and blessed.

2nd major person! Thank God for my 老爸 (Dad) Andes! It was only after I went for Sunday morning service this week when Pastor Graydon was talking about the spiritual son he had, that I realised, like the relationship the Apostle Paul and Timothy had, God has placed Andes as a caretaker since the time I entered VFC. Not only am I accountable to him since he is my net leader, even through random times God had been using him to speak to me about different issues. I still remembered the times when I just rededicated my life and when I had so many questions popping in my head and I asked 老爸 (at that time I didn't know I could ask God about such questions yet), he never fails to reply my messages.

Thank God that he is a patient guy and a great leader that God has also placed in my life as a physical example to follow, just like how he follows Christ. Also quite sorry to him sometimes when he has to take my nonsense... But I know that he is still watching out for me, believing in me and being patient with me just like how God is also patient towards me. I believe there are times when he prayed for me when I could not go to net and was picking up fusses. Thank God for open doors, and thank God for 老爸's life! (PS: 老爸 if you're reading this, you should thank me that I didn't put that unglam Hawaii picture haha!)

Thank God too that He has been giving me opportunities to venture out and try new things! Recalling what Pastor Danny Han preached during watchnight, the theme was "2012: Extraordinary Year". I believe God has been ushering me into different circumstances where I can learn to try out new things and maybe it will be beneficial in the calling He has for me, allowing me to advance and fulfill my destiny.

Christmas service @ TheEDGE!

Ministry recruitment drive!

Thank God for placing me in the ushering ministry! I believe this was the first ministry that God wanted me to be in because He wanted to teach me about servant-hood: No one sees you arranging the chairs before service, You may say hi and no one reply back. But that was the point of serving as a servant: You do not care about the glory; you give glory to the Father as you serve with a spirit of excellence. Jesus should be the center when you're serving in your ministry. Thank God that through this ministry I have become more hospitable, confident (maybe? Haha) and I made new friends!

Also this was the first year I tried out hand-billing for Fun Factory! With a sister who has the same birthday as me!

This year was also the first year I got to be part of the committee planning the first Region 3/4 outreach of the year! I still remembered at that time there were so many technical faults initially: Projector not working, Sound system not up. But thank God He prevailed and everything worked finely in the end! Thank God my street e contact Darren was saved through that outreach too, and He has been added to Serangoon net! Thank God that He is good and He never fails!

Shopping at Cotton On sale #likeaboss

Sunday's after evening service fellowship! Really had lots of fun and laughter!

Last but not least, thank God for my church family, VFC and the youth ministry TheEDGE! Thank God for Pastor Jeremy and Charissa Seaward who obeyed the call and started out TheEDGE. Thankful that for the boldness that they possess towards the things of God. Also thank God for the most awesome bunch and crazy youths in Region 3/4! Really blessed by each of your presence and really love this Region a lot!

Thank God that He is a God who loves and is crazy about me. Thank God that He cares about the little things in my life! :D

I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify Him with thanksgiving. Psalm 69:30 (NKJV)
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