30 Oct. 2007

The call

1 Kings 19:19-21

'So Elijah went and found Elisha son of Shaphat plowing a field with a team of oxen. There were elven teams of oxen ahead of him, and he was plowing with the twelfth team. Elijah went over to him and threw his cloak across his shoulders and walked away again.
Elisha left the oxen standing there, ran after Elijah, and said to him, "First let me go and kiss my father and mother good-bye, and then I will go with you!" Elijah replied, "Go on back! But consider what I have done to you."
Elisha then returned to his oxen, killed them, and used the wood from the plow to build a fire to roast their flesh. He passed around the meat to the other plowmen, and they all ate. Then he went with Elijah as his assistant.'

When I first read this passage, I was perplexed. The reason being is that I could not comprehend HOW Elisha knew what Elijah meant when he threw his cloak over his shoulders. I can imagine that if it were me, I would've said either one of the following:

  • HUH??!
  • Do I look like a coat hanger to you?!
  • Just because your cloak is out of fashion and you want to get rid of it, doesn't mean that you can simply dump it on other people!!
  • Do I LOOK like I need your stinky, old cloak?!

Hmmm....anyways whilst feeling very unsatisfied and annoyed that Elijah was such a rude dude, a couple of things came to my mind.

MAYBE Elisha knew Elijah by reputation and that he was in need of an assistant.

MAYBE that was the old-fashioned way of hiring people (Thank God it's no longer in use!).

MAYBE Elisha already knew a long time ago the purpose and destiny that was in store for him and was just waiting for a sign from God.

The fact is, Elisha RECOGNIZED the call on his life. He KNEW what the coat symbolized.

Do you know what the call of God is on your life? Will you recognize it when the time comes? Or will you push it away and think that it's just a junky, old cloak?

The second thing that got to me was the way Elisha was so WILLING to follow Elijah. He was prepared to LEAVE his family behind, knowing that he might not see them ever again! He was going to do it with no questions asked. He probably didn't even fully comprehend what he was getting himself into by becoming Elijah's assistant. But regardless of the circumstances, he still RESPONDED to the call. It didn't matter what the future held, wild horses wouldn't stop him from going.

If you do recognize the call on your life, will you respond like Elisha? Will you be willing to forsake EVERYTHING for something that you are uncertain of? Will you be able to TRUST that that is the circle of influence that has been so lovingly prepared and set aside for you? Or will you step back and make excuses?

Hope I made sense :)

Love,

Stephanie

24 Oct. 2007

Why…GOD?

Many times as I travel along in the walk of life, scattered thoughts and doubts never fail to strike on me. The reasoning behind may be the truth, sometimes it is so simple, yet my human nature keeps me from revealing my real identity and the purpose behind every brokenness. At times like this, our heavenly Father reminded me that He is the answer to everything and His answers are always perfect. I ask Him…

Why do I have to go through trials of mountains GOD?
For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing (James 1:3-4).

Yes Lord, you are molding me to be Christ like through challenges. I have to learn to be an over comer with the strength in you to have a perfect life.

Why is it so hard to be contented with life GOD?
I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength (Philippians 4:12-13).

Yes Father, I should learn to be content with what you’ve given me and appreciate these gifts for being content does not mean everything is perfect, it means I have to see beyond the imperfections.

Why am I not given for what I’ve pray for GOD?
But those who wait on the Lord will find new strength. They will fly high on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint (Isaiah 40:31).

Yes Jesus, I should wait on you because only you know when the perfect timing is. I may not be able to handle the things I pray for because I may not be ready for it yet. I should be patient.

Why do I have to obey and listen to you GOD?
I am the Lord your God, who teaches what is good for you and lead you along the paths you should follow. Oh, that you had listened to my commands! Then you would have had peace flowing like a gentle river and righteousness rolling over you like waves in the sea (Isaiah 48: 17-18)

Yes my Creator King, you are my beginning and the end. You know what is best for me; you hold me in your arms like a precious gift and guard me from every storm. How can I not listen and doubt your power?

Lastly, I’ll end with a short encouragement to all of you.

Happy moments, PRAISE GOD
Difficult moments, SEEK GOD
Quiet moments, WORSHIP GOD
Painful moments, TRUST GOD
Every moment, THANK GOD!

Bless you heaps and remember that our everlasting citizenship is in heaven.

Love always,
Michelle

4 wives

I came across a forwarded mail which I find it so true and I often been trapped by things that may not have eternal values.

Once upon a time there was a rich King who had four wives. He loved the 4th wife the most and adorned her with rich robes and treated her to the finest of delicacies. He gave her nothing but the best.


He also loved the 3rd wife very much and was always showing her off to neighboring kingdoms. However, he feared that one day she would leave him for another.

He also loved his 2nd wife. She was his confidant and was always kind, considerate and patient with him. Whenever the King faced a problem, he could confide in her, and she would help him get through the difficult times.

The King's 1st wife was a very loyal partner and had made great contributions in maintaining his wealth and kingdom. However, he did not love the first wife. Although she loved him deeply, he hardly took notice of her!

One day, the King fell ill and he knew his time was short. He thought of his luxurious life and wondered, I now have four wives with me, but when I die, I'll be all alone.'


Thus, he asked the 4th wife, 'I loved you the most, endowed you with the finest clothing and showered great care over you. Now that I'm dying, will you follow me and keep me company?' 'No way!’ replied the 4th wife, and she walked away without another word. Her answer cut like a sharp knife right into his heart.

The sad King then asked the 3rd wife, 'I loved you all my life. Now that I'm dying, will you follow me and keep me company?' 'No!', replied the 3rd wife. 'Life is too good! When you die, I'm going to remarry!' His heart sank and turned cold.

He then asked the 2nd wife, 'I have always turned to you for help and you've always been there for me. When I die, will you follow me and keep me company?' 'I'm sorry, I can't help you out this time!', replied the 2nd wife. 'At the very most, I can only walk with you to your grave.' Her answer struck him like a bolt of lightning, and the King was devastated.

Then a voice called out: 'I'll go with you. I'll follow you no matter where you go.'The King looked up, and there was his first wife. She was very skinny as she suffered from malnutrition and neglect. Greatly grieved, the King said, 'I should have taken much better care of you when I had the chance!'

In truth, we all have the 4 wives in our lives:

Our 4th wife is our body. No matter how much time and effort we lavish in making it look good, it will leave us when we die.

Our 3rd wife is our possessions, status and wealth. When we die, it will all go to others.

Our 2nd wife is our family and friends. No matter how much they have been there for us, the furthest they can stay by us is up to the grave.

And our 1st wife is our Soul. Often neglected in pursuit of wealth, power, ego and pleasures of the world. However, our Soul is the only thing that will follow us wherever we go and throughout Eternity. Today's grace is to cultivate, strengthen and cherish it now. .

But from there you will search again for the Lord your God. And if you search for him with all your heart and soul, you will find him (Deuteronomy 4:29). God is love and peace, he know we as humans will be easily bonded by false possessions. Therefore, he asks us to search for him with all our hearts and SOUL, with that we will find love and peace which can be feed to our soul and last forever.

This may just be a story, but it truly awakens me as I reflect how often I place my soul as the priority. I thought for a while what can I do by placing the soul as priority. It was not long until I realised that its nothing else but to build his kingdom. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and He will give you everything you need (Luke 12:31) His kingdom is everlasting, my soul is everlasting too. By building God’s kingdom, my soul will be nourished and everything that I need in my life will come along after that for my life will be the evidence of his promise.

May you all be blessed!

Love,

Michelle


15 Oct. 2007

Turn on The light, O lord .....

Warm greetings to Mother of All Princesses, My fellow Precious Princesses ( for those yet to find their identity ) and not forgetting the Faithful “ Connecter’s Blog “ followers .........

Lo and Behold, the time has come for the ‘Forgiving and Gracious one’( athough some may beg to differ albeit my endless assurance that it is the truth ) to humbly carry this ark of honour to pen down a few words in this highly acclaimed and anointed ‘Connecters ‘ blog. As I sat , pondered and reflected, there isn’t any rocket science ‘enlightenment’ that I wish to share, but instead just to stand in awe of the simple truth and gentle reminder of our First Love .......

A glimpse into the deepest and darkest closet of the humbled Author ........

Past weeks had been a roller coaster journey, sweet memories of mountaintop experiences but yet in the next blink of an eye, the valleys of emotions, confusion and negative thoughts came gushing through. Time and again, in those weakest moments, part of my soul screamed out aloud in frustration, in anger and in despair but yet in the midst of the storm and thunder I barely listened to a whisper .....’ Whose voice am I going to choose to listen to? my emotions or His Truth, my thoughts or His Promises , my reasoning or His Will and Purpose.

As I stumbled through this, I wondered at time .... What have I done, How am I going to carry through, Why the pain .....At one point, I chose not to see the reality. Unconsciously, I developed a defense mechanism to block my pain, suppress my emotions, became withdrawn and passive, turned into a perfectionist to drive myself to succeed in other things to enable me to feel good / worth......I remembered it was my prayer before to search within me, to examine my heart but I came to realize that I was actually refusing to look honestly within for fear of what I’ll find. And the fear of even if I do find, I wouldn’t know how to go about it ......

But I thank God that we have a God who does not want us to have a superficial relationship with Him and also with others. He desires truth and honesty at the deepest level so that we can experience His love, forgiveness, grace and mercy…… And what struck me most is to experience His love does not mean I have to be perfect or spotless in my emotions or thoughts, but to simply be real, feeling pain and happiness, love and frustration, confidence and confusion ....

I was reading about King David and how he was also being honest in expressing his response to different situations .....

1)Anger when abandoned
I say to God my Rock, “ Why have you forgotten me ? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy ? Ps 42 :9

2)Despair in difficult situations
My heart is in anguish within me, fear and trembling has beset me. Horror has overwhelmed me. Ps 55 : 4-7

3)Confused
How long O lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart. Ps 13: 1-2

4)His love
As the deer pants for water, my soul pants for you.

5)Trust in Him
Lord is my light and my salvation .....Whom shall I fear? The Lord is my stronghold. Whom shall I be afraid? Ps 27 :1-3

I thank God that we have a God who delights in us being honest with Him, so that His Holy Spirit can turn on the light within us. A light that will bring transformation from ordinary to the extraordinary. To be an OVER COMER !!!!!!

As I come to a close, I would like to leave this short note which I was blessed ( as an encouragement or challenge ) to all my beloved fellow princesses .....

By little bits of wills,

Little denials of self,

Little inward victories,

By faithfulness in very little things,

With these ‘ unseen ‘ hidden little steps you take everyday,

There is no sudden triumph,

No ( sudden ) spiritual maturity,

Concentrate on obedience, not perfection ........


Goal of Perfection shows how far I have to go, but OBEDIENCE marks how far I have already come.

“ Search me, O God, and know my heart, test me and know every anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting...............” Ps 139 :23-24.

Bless you,

Kareeann

Forgiving and Gracious .....:)

9 Oct. 2007

How are my Gorgeous Champions doing this week?

I'm sorry I had to miss out on yet another Sunday with u gals. Just 1 week short of a month of enjoying time with you.

I was carrying a word through the week to challenge and encourage you as well as get us praying for one another again, corporately and purposefully.

All of which without doubt I know Sarah would have done and excellent & outstanding job in facilitating not just on Sunday but for the last 3 weeks! *applaud* U r a legend mate!

Dont you like it that now we have praise & worship as we read through blog our connect group blog entries, esp when one posted by me which tend to be of a considerable length.

I've specifically chosen these 3 songs for us. Listen to the lyrics, may it encourage you to lift your eyes to God.

(ok, thats not exactly what I wanted to share, yes, but later...)

Here's an extract from Ps. Jack Hayford's book 'Worship His Majesty'. Beside Darlene Czech, Ps Jack is my other favourite...

See, I wanted to challenge you on living a lifestyle of worship.

Yes you, not some other girl in the group, but you & I'm speaking to myself to0 as these few weeks have been one of the toughest in the year probably in terms of personal struggle, carrying a spirit of defeat & weariness from constantly taking new grounds with what God has shown me in the Spirit (another whole new story).

But living a lifestyle of a worshipper DAILY is not to be dictated, driven, or flow as a consequence of our circumstances, seasons in life, emotions, valleys or mountain top experiences.

Defining Worship:
The word 'worship' is derived from the old English weorthscipe and means to ascribe worth unto a being or object.

Whatever you value most highly or place the greatest worth upon that is what you worship.

Right now, in these past weeks, what have you place of highest value in your life? Where is ur heart tuned towards? Its a daily choice.

You Become Like the God You Worship (p7-9)
Psalm 115:4-8 is one of the most insightful passages on the subject of worship found anywhere in the Bible:

Their idols are silver and gold,
The work of men's hands.
They have mouths, but they do not speak
Eyes they have, but they do not see;
They have ears, but they do not hear;
Noses they have, but they do not smell;
They have hands, but they do not handle;
Feel they have, but they do not walk;
Nor do they mutter through their throar.
Those who make them are like them;
So is everyone who trusts in them.

In this passage, the psalmist describes idolatry and the inadequacy of the false gods worshiped by the heathen. then he makes a very important observation: Those who make idols are like them, and so is everyone who trusts in them. In other words, you shall become like the god you worship.

Let me say that again because this point cannot be overemphasised: You become like the god you worship.

So girls, have you given your heart, your mind, your time to acknowledging something or allowing something to drive your each-day?

The act of worship means you are developing a set of values; you are determining what you desire most. Worship means you are choosing priorities; you are establishing what comes first in your life. Worship means you are determining what you are to become; you are choosing in whose image you will be made.

Just as God created man and woman in His image, the gods we choose to worship manifest their attributes in the worshiper. So in deciding what or whom to worship, you are making life decisions regarding your values, your priorities and how you are to live.

Your worship will determine what flows from you life. Humankind's highest attainment comes through glorifying God who is worthy of all glory. Some may find temporal glory in their works or pursuits, but that kind of glory fades. Some may even be remembered beyond their lifetimes for achievements in the arts, the sciences or sporting events. But all the accolades, all the medals, all the records books, all the social fame, will mean absolutely nothing when we stand before the judgement seat of Christ.

But those who worship the Lord - looking to the unseen rather than to the seen as we go through our present trials - will find what Paul calls an "eternal weight of glory" working in their lives (2 Corinthians 4:17). Those will possess a glory that endures.

What do You Worship?
So you can see that some very significant issues are raised by how you worship. Have you determined where you are going to bow? By bowing I don't just mean a physical posture but a stance of the soul. Whom do you seek? What do you pursue? To whom or what do you submit? The goal that you press toward - the object of your worship - will be the guiding force of your life.

...

God reveals Himself to those who bow before Him and seek Him. If you truly worship Him with all your heart, you will find Him. Then when you discover what He's really like, glorifying Him will be the only natural response. Worship will lead you along that path.

So who or what do you seek & pursue daily?

Think generations...

In each of u lies a generation...

What we allow to breed now & take root now, we cant be naive to think or say things like once my X circumstance change, than things would be different.

When you make the choice and allow God to be dethrone by something, someone, etc etc, anything else in life can come along the way and your priorities, lordship of your life will be swayed, will be surrendered and you will always be living in hindsight not foresight.

Your generations, both spiritual and physical will fight to fight those battles you lost instead of having a home, sisters, mothers, leaders who have set them up to win by having laid their lives down in worship daily.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Isaiah 40:28:31
Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary.

His understanding is unsearachable. He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength.

Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.

Lay hold of the promises of God gals! Take it, meditate on it, claim it, walk around your room proclaiming the Word of God.

In your weeks of stretching, where u just feel like u are tired but cant stop running, and desperately counting down to 'freedom' or holidays, don't retreat, don't give up, stay standing.

Dont hand over as freebies the grounds you & your King have conquered in the year.

Each of you,

* Chelsie & Steph, God has placed both of you in my heart quite abit in the past 2 weeks. I want to share with you a simple word, God sees, God hears, don't give up pressing in. You dont have to strive with your own strength, He will carry you through.

Chelsie * - Chelsie, look heavenwards. His unconditional love for you knows no limit.

Stephanie * - Steph, u have tasted of His goodness, of His miracles in your life as u lead it in abandonment - now, trust. God is as trustworthy as He was then, never out of control, never less generous.

Su Chuen

Michelle

Jasmine

Kareeann

Sarah

have grown in your walk with God this year, from where you were at the beginning of the year.

With your King, you had breakthroughs, moments of joy & tears, intimate moments, personal encounters, revelations in your sacred place & time with Him, so don't hand your gems over to the many gods who take the form of coming or current stress of exam / assignments preparation or busy schedules & let them be god, not even for one day!

Arm yourself, guard your heart.

Take the time, even if its short 10 mins whenever you can throughout the day to pause, and acknowledge His presence, give thanks, pray, praise, worship.

As we worship and in so doing make declarations from His Living Word, we are declaring His Lordship over our lives, our emotions, our situations. As we decrease, He increases. As we decrease, He increases. As He increases, our fears & anxiety, stress, pms, whatever you can come up with, decreases.

So please, I urge you, give leadership to your own life, be accountable to your prayer buddy if you need, take at least 10 mins away from your books, your assignments, your daily work, routine, whatever, and stop thinking about all of it, quiet your soul - with childlike simplicity open your heart to God & lend Your heart to His voice.

You see, God is Ominpresent. He is always with you. Why at times we feel the presence of God more than others, because people come acknolwedging the presence of God. Thats why when we get too busy & bog down, we start to say things like why I don't feel the presence of God as I used to etc etc. See, God hasn't change, not yesterday, not in the future, not today. He is not a ghost that comes and goes. What changes is our hearts & our minds & our willingness to pause.

Do we possess an equal hunger and passion, if not more each day, for His presence? Do we seek after Him with an undivided heart daily?

You see, its not just, 'Yep, i know you are here God, yep, thank you Lord' and than pray before meals, and than flick through your Bible minutes before going into lala land & start a prayer and wake up to say amen, but are we in reverent awe (remember what we learnt from John Bevere on Fear of the Lord) & with a surrendered heart (raised hands, face down - not necessary meaning only physically) acknowledging the sense and wonder of His MAJESTY.

You dont have to live in yester-day, you dont have to strive, but today, daily, each moment, God is there, He wants to give you rest, refresh you, strengthen you, empower you to excel in your day for He is your Strength, Your Deliverer, Your Portion, Your Shield, Your Comfort. He will carry you through as you rest in His love. Oh, & the best thing about being in His presence, He gives the best hugs!

Love you heaps,

You are Women of Purpose & Destiny! I sooo believe in each of you & what God is going to continue to do in you & through you!

Keeping you in prayers...

2 Oct. 2007

Connect Group this Saturday

Hey Gals.

It feels like ages since i have caught up with all of you!
The photos look great!

I've been reflecting on how good God has been to us this year, uniting and drawing us closer to Him & with one another.

I know we are drawing an end of the year and exams are coming up etc. but God hasn't finish with each of us and/or the group. He has been revealing to me things to step forward in as we continue on this journey together. :o) Let us not allow Him to be displace or become a genie during exams / busy schedules and seek His face, read His Word, spend time in His presence only for help.

We will not have our weekly Saturday gatherings from November in order for you to be able to give your best to your studies.

Before breaking away for summer vacation, lets have a end-of-exam celebration and farewell for the year! It will either be on the Sat, 17 Nov (depending on what time Sarah & Mich's exam finishes) or Sunday, 18 Nov.

I am aware that it doesn't seem likely we will complete the Draw Near series. On one hand I would love to complete it but at the same time, I don't want us to rush through it for the sake of having to finish it.

For this Saturday, we will be assisting in the hospital renovation. Lets get on board with what our Family is doing to reach out to the community.

The 'why' behind participating shouldn't be any different from that of coming to connect group. After being fed weekly on Sundays, during discipleship and in our own quiet time with God, let us step out now to make a difference :o)

It will be fun to get our hands dirty together, get to meet & serve alongside others.

It would also be a great opportunity to invite your friends along! As you know, yet-to-be christians may not respond that well to coming for a church service, but some wouldn't mind or would like to be part of 'doing' something. It would be a great opportunity for them to meet others in a non-threatening environment.

To assist the Church in facilitating this huge project, can you please get back to me if you are not able to make it? Also, I would need the names of your friends who would love to come and help as well. Food will be provided.

If I dont hear from you, I will assume that everyone will be coming along just like if we were to be watching a Draw Near DVD.

There are 4 shifts on Saturday. As Connect Group normally starts at 4pm, we will go for the 4pm shift. We have to be there at 3.30pm for a half an hour induction. And though the shift completes at 10pm, its is perfectly fine to leave earlier. I have spoken to the person-in-charge, and say we would leave around 7pm. We will go for dinner and have an early night rest.

Look forward to seeing you tomorrow at GenFest!