Wednesday, December 30, 2009

When giving Christmas gifts became more difficult...

Christmas time can be totally stressful for me these days. Especially when the children are older but not grown up. It the in between ages where trends shift faster than the speed of light that make getting gifts an extremely difficult endeavour. I took so much time thinking about what to get I almost forgot the "reason the the season." Getting gifts for the sake of having something to give. It's almost a "save face" thing.

Since Chirstmas is about the greatest gift given to is by God. And God gives gifts with a purpose and because it pleases Him to do so.

I resolved to focus giving gifts with a purpose and not focus onthe size nor expense of it. My gifts to my loved ones this year were mostly inexpensive but the truth was the gift to themwas the computer type written notes.

I pray they get the "message"

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Rambling About Whether Singapore has a Culture of Service?

One local radio personality thinks not. I tend to agree with him. The question is why?

Here we're trying to create/develop a service culture. But even with all the push coming down from the Govt  to a up and coming reality show "can you serve." I don't think it will do much to create a culture of service. This is what I think: In trying to built a Service Culture in our nation. If the focus is in the doing it will eventually fall on it's face.

A culture of service can only come out from the same place where courtesy and graciousness come from. That place is the place of honour. Ageism and racism and sexism have no room in the place of honour.

Just the other day I was with a friend at a food centre when we were approached by an elderly lady selling tissue packets. We bought 3 packets for a dollar. She then proceeded to tell us how on the previous day she had approached a couple only to have the man throw the packets back at her.  He also chided and berated her and apparently may have been verbally abusive.

Singaporeans behaving in such a manner, with graciousness are unlikely to do well at all in creating a service culture. Graciousness  as in be courteous and forgiving.

Bottom line is that service culture comes out of a gracious culture. Gracious culture comes of of a culture of honour. That is honouring others not the "save-my-own-face" honour

Now what is a culture of honour.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Surprised by God

God has surprised me these last two weeks. Two Thursdays ago, during staff meeting, Senior Pastor sense that God wanted to touch those who have regrets from ministry in the past. I felt and strong urge within me. I began to cry uncontrollably and responded to the call.

I have been carrying with me a scar from ministry way back from my days in youth ministry. Its been 15 years and a long time to carry the scar of guilt. There have been occasions in the past where I have been able to initiate and ask for forgiveness from one or two of the youth from back then. E had at times brush this off as unnecessarily racking up the past.

After a time of prayer and ministry, I wiped my tears and was about to return to my seat when from behind me Deb came up, gave me tissue, a hug and a word of affirmation. I broke down a second time. Deb was one of the youth leaders back then.

Flash-forward to last Friday evening. I was helping with child(ren)-minding at the UKidz Advance. That evening was no different for the three men and a grandma who were assigned to look after the kids while the adults had their session. We were screen a Veggie Tales Video so the children were quite settled. All but my Small One.

The adult session was not the usual one, it was what we have come to call a spiritual spa i.e. a time of reflection, meditation and communion. My small one got restless and asking for mummy. I brought her out of the function room only to see E coming out the adult session and waving me to join her. "Can you spare a few minutes in there?" she asked, pointing at were the adults were having the spa. I thought she was asking me to join her for a time there, so I prepared to go through the different stations.

When I went in, E directed me immediately to the feet washing station. There a young man was waiting to wash my feet. He looked familiar. "Benjamin" flashed through my head but "Joseph" was on his name tag. I sat down and let him wash my feet. I can't remember the blessing he prayed but remember the word "leader" mentioned. When he had finished, I began to put on my shoes when E stopped me as she wanted to wash my feet. Now, that was an emotional moment. After that was over, Joseph approached me spoke to me. He had been holding a grudge against me since my youth ministry days. Now he wanted to have reconciliation between us. It was then I remembered. I hugged him.

Later was to learn from E that it was Joseph that asked for me and not E had initially wanted me there.

Having Joseph do the act of reconciliation by the washing of my feet was what God was using to bring closure the scar and memory back from 15 years ago. It was not so much what was said but what was done that was significant.

God could have used anyone of the youth from back then. He could have used Deb to bring closure, but it may not have been enough. God chose Joseph because he was the one of youngest of them there. He was barely a teen then. He was among the "forgotten" ones. I remembered him as Benjamin.