The time is now. (Esther)

I was born for a time such as this.

Esther 4:14-17 For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai, “Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish Mordecai then went away and did everything as Esther had ordered him.


Background: In the book of Esther, Esther was a Jew who lived in the time of Persia. She was brought to the palace when the King was looking for a new queen. Esther won the favor of the king, and became the queen. Haman wanted the Jews to perish, but Mordecai went to persuade Esther to stand up for her people. Esther got her people to pray and fast and stand in one accord together with her. Esther rose up to the time, and made her request to the king and saved the Jews.

Esther is a woman, like all of us here. I pray that whenever I read the story about Esther, I will know that as a woman, I can do great things for God. 

So, here is 3 things I learnt from Esther: 
#1 We need to know our position when we serve. (Esther 2:9,17)

Esther 2:9, And the young woman pleased him and won his favor. And he quickly provided her with her cosmetics and her portion of food, and with seven chosen young women from the king’s palace, and advanced her and her young women to the best place in the harem. 

Esther knew what she needs to do when she was in the palace. She needed to be at the top, to be able to be the queen. Similarly for us, we need to know our position when we serve, and do what we are good at. We must not be envious of who other people is. We are all made uniquely by God. Can you imagine what will happen if Esther was being envious of others?
In Ephesians 4:16 “from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.”

Esther knew her position in the palace, and she gave her best when she served. Similarly, we need to know our position, and work together with one another so that God’s glory can come upon us. When we do that, people will begin to see God’s love in us.

In Esther 2:17 “The king loved Esther more than all the other women, and she obtained grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins; so he set the royal crown upon her head and made her queen instead of Vashti.”

Esther won the favor of the king and people by knowing her position.

2. We need to recognize the season of our people (Esther 4:14-16, Esther 5-6)
Esther 4:14-16 “For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai: “Go, gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!””
Like how Esther recognized the season her people were in, and she stood with them. We need to learn to hear our people and have a greater heart to empathize with our people. 
So what do I need to hear?
H – heart: we need to hear the things on their hearts that has been weighing them down.

E – experiences: Everyone goes through different experiences in life, and we need to hear the things that people have gone through in the life.

A – agonized: We always think that we understand the pain in someone’s life, but we never really do. It’s like giving birth. I may have given birth before, but I will never know the kind of pain you have gone through, because we are not them.

R – rejoice: we need to learn to celebrate others.

I am chosen by God today to serve the next generation. Do not despise what we are doing because the children will be the leader of tomorrow. The ceilings we are building today are the floor for the next generation. Help can always arise from another place if we fail to hear the cry of our people, but we need to know that God has personally chosen each of us here today, to make a difference by learning to hear the cries our people.

Lastly,

3. We need to stand in one accord with our leaders. (Esther 4:15)

Esther 4:15-17 “Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai: “Go, gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!” So Mordecai went his way and did according to all that Esther commanded him.”

When Esther ask the people of the Jews to fast and pray, they did. Sometimes, we might not see the purpose of doing what our leaders ask us to do. During those times, can we still stand in one accord with our leaders?

We need to know and believe that our leaders are God’s appointed. At the walls of Jericho, the people might not understand why Joshua march around it 7 times, but they stood with him. It is during those times that we have to ask ourselves are we able to stand in one accord with the dreams and vision that God has placed in our leader. Lets me enlarge my heart today, and trust that God has placed them above me for a reason.

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A different season (Philippines)

“Break my heart for what break Yours”.

When you have a vision, the problems that come with it is a package. However, the story will eventually tell of His faithfulness, grace and mercy. The story will show of His redemption plan, that a thousand times I have failed, the Lord is still not done with my life. And in all my pursuit of Him, He has left me in awe once again. And if my God can touch and change a life like mine, and put in remembrance the things I have written in the days as a child, I will gladly spent the rest of my days serving the Lord, knowing that my future is secured in the Savior’s hands. The Lord remembers what I have buried deep in my heart, embarrassed to speak about. However, He brought the vision to pass in a way to glorify Him. Who am I exactly that He will call me worthy, and place eternity in my heart? I don’t even feel worthy to wash the feet of my Lord.

I will take up the cross, no matter what the cost, giving it all to follow His way. And truth been told, it was never an easy journey but it had been a meaningful one. I had my fair share of struggles and fears, even till today. I am definitely not called for the stage ministry. Being on stage, to pray and lead, has not been ‘my cup of tea’ but the only thing that could help me put away this fear, is the very fact that I want to obey the voice of God. If there’s one thing that I desire in life, it is being able to go when He calls. 

And being in the Philippines, among the people who thirst and hunger for more of Him, I had only 4 prayers:
#1 I want to live out my life verse
1 Corinthians 9:22 to the weak, I have become weak. I have become all things to all men so by some means, I could saved some.
To the little ones, let me be like them, to win them, to see them, and hear them. To the older ones, who have served God, honour them, encourage them and most importantly love them. Be all things to all men. I can’t change the world, if I can’t change myself. So like the potter and the clay, I will be the clay, for God to mould me, to the needs of everyone, not so I could be taken advantage of, but because I know everyone is an image of Christ. And that the world could do with more love. I hope I could say this in the end, “I owe you nothing but love”. Freely I have received, freely give. It’s easy to give with money, but something more precious is the time spent. Time is the only thing you can give without taking back. And that’s what make time precious. Choose the things you want to invest in, because whatever you invest in grows. The effort spent loving this people will never be wasted, because love has a ripple effect. The very reason I could love freely was because God loved me freely, and my leader had loved me freely too. Love without boundaries. 
Thank you for allowing me to have the most humble opportunity to love you all in my own ways. I am bad at giving physical touch to people, and bad at really expressing myself in words, have a hard time forcing the extrovert side to come out but I do appreciate and love you all. I know God could have raised someone else, to do this work, but I thank God, He has given me the chance to do so.
#2 I want to be acutely more aware of all that I have taken for granted.
Being in Singapore has already put me at the top of the cliff. Not in the position of saying that I’m better than anyone, because God has made everyone unique. But the top, because I am never in lack of material things. I never need to go hungry, or have a certain thing that I couldn’t have. And sometimes the problem with us human is the fact that we have too much. We are never contented with what we have. And I am guilty as charged. I always think that I could have more clothes, that new phone or maybe that handbag. But many times, I asked myself, do I really need it? The value of something is not in the cost, but the sustainability of it. If I can use the cost of that $50 bag to bless the whole Christmas party for the children, the value are infinitely higher and better. There are too many things that I want, but do not need, and sometimes, in my own fallen nature, selfishness, I failed to see things. And being in that environment, where needs are everywhere, I felt like I have lost a battle. The battle of trying to gain possessions and not souls. I breathe, but did not live. And even more sadly, in Singapore, where internet connection is everywhere, I have failed to connect with souls. When was the last time, I ran around in the field, laughing and dancing around, not getting caught up in my phone? When was the last time, I went out to play Basketball with people I love, and not get caught up with replying texts? What good is it if I gained the world but loses my soul. This are the things that I saw, and it came like an double edged sword, piercing through my heart, for the things I have failed to do. 
So thank you, to the people who taught me to live and not just breathe, to connect with people, and not devices, to be contented in having just enough. 
#3 Use me.
I am only as worthy as what God has called me to do. Only am good enough when I have God inside of me. So I told God, use me. In whatever and wherever place we can go to change lives. I am a dolous for Him, a complete fool for Him. Maybe the balloon trick was all I could do, but if that is all that I could do, then use me to connect with the kids. What good is it if I can do everything, but yet not have Christ. Vanity, all vanity. And in my heart I clearly know that the greatest honour in my life is to be used by God. And that is the cry of my heart. Open my eyes to see the things unseen, open my ears to hear the things unheard. I will be the hands and feet. Someone like me who have nothing, but a willing heart. Many are called, but few are chosen has a new complete meaning to me. God has called many, but the only chosen ones are those who will humble themselves at His feet, laying all they had in the altar before God, and follow Him. The rich young ruler had kept the commandments since the days of his youth, but what kept him away from Jesus was being unable to lay down his possessions for Christ. And I know clearly in my life, if I have Christ, I have everything. If I don’t have Christ, I have nothing. And God has been so good to me, because who am I to be able to minister to people unless God is in me. 
Thank you, to the people who have given me the opportunity to be a vessel for God. I am inadequate and still a work in progress, and most times, I don’t even feel worthy enough to serve, but thank you for being so humble and ready to learn from me, and giving me a chance to minister to you.
#4 A heart of gratitude.
I want to live in that constant state of thanksgiving. I am surrounded by people, constantly, and I know that they do appreciate and love me, somehow. And I thank God for that. However, there is a kind of love that transform people, a faithful love, an appreciating one, one that is filled with warmth and of someone being interested in your life. And I have once felt that 8 years ago, when a very good friend of mine invited me to my first ever Christmas dinner with her family. It’s the first time I felt loved, and later on in 2014, when my spiritual Mother brought me out for lunch, to love and know me. This people are God-given gifts to me. And this love from them has sustained me. I prayed to God for another encounter like this, because a love like this has made me seen God again and again, in physical form. To love is to see the face of God. And God heard me. I have never been so surprised in my life on my birthday, by someone whom I know have loved me. More than that, I don’t even remember the time that someone would make their day free among their busy-ness just to bring me out for lunch and love me. I had the best birthday ever. This kind of love just made me tear, because it is just a reminder of God’s love and favour in my life, a reminder that I am His princess. A love that constantly pray, and forgives me even though there were times I am not being nice.

So thank you Papa Johnny, Mama Jessica, Abi & Moses, for loving me, making sure I was happy, giving me the most important gift on my birthday, which is your time. You put in me a larger heart, a greater capacity to love and understand, and a heart of constant thankfulness, because you have shown me first, what a Godly family is, and it gives me a renewed hope that one day, when I have my own family, it will be possible to live like this. Serving God, joking around, sleeping on the same bed, and most importantly going out to preach to the world together. 
This trip has been an amazing one. Serving God may have hardship, but when I stood with the team in one accord, keeping the joy of the Lord our strength, His love has sustain me, sustain us. God is faithful to the dream of a ten year old little girl who did not know Him. 13 years have passed, and when this vision unfolded right before me, reminding me that God is still the same as He has always been. And like Queen Esther has said, could it be that I was born for a time such as this? At the end of my journey, I want to say that,” I have lived for Jesus”. Faith has make a fool of what make sense, I thought it made sense to count what I am able to give, before giving to others, but faith taught me otherwise. It is okay to give, because all that I need to do His work, is ready for me to claim it. Grace has found my heart when logic end, and in that logical mind of mine, I thought that love comes with condition, but grace has shown me otherwise. His agape love has no conditions. Jesus would have come even if it’s for just one of me. And He sent Himself down for a sinner like me. What heart could hold the weight of His love. Thank You, J. Here I stand, arm high and heart abandoned, in awe of the One who gave it all for me. 

Crossing Oceans.

What is exactly loving others?

I do not know how to love halfway, or partially. For me, loving someone is crossing oceans for people who might not even cross a puddle for you. Love, to me comes with no return and no expectancy. It is giving off yourself sacrificially. I do not know anything about playing it cool, I would have rather been kind a thousand times, and get hurt, then never to try at all. I would rather love and get hurt than to never love at all.  I would have gone down on bended knees, again and again, just to learn to serve His people, with all my heart. Love is ultimately more than a feeling. It is a choice you make every single day when you wake up in the morning, of being nice. Everyone is somehow fighting a battle, and being nice is the best I can offer.

Yet, stepping out of the comfort zone, requires an extreme huge part of me. The part that I have to forget myself. The self that was so used to people walking out on me, and so guarded that it does not come easy. There are days that I do wish I was better, somedays that I wished I was not that weak, not that needy of my own personal space and time. Even at the attempt of wanting to give my best, there were times that my carnal nature would fail me. Hanging out with people requires an effort that was never easy for me. And I never understood how did people make it sound so easy that I am not trying. Because I have never stopped trying since the day I smiled to someone.

In all effort, my life mission and verse still remain steadfast as 1 Corinthians 9:22. That in all times, I still want to be all things to all man, so by some means, they could see You. Those battles that I fought inside, should have remained in me, and not shown to anyone else. Today, when I stood back for the introvert time, Your presence overwhelmed my heart once again. Your presence never cease to amaze me. And here I stand, in awe and wonder of who You are. Every single time, when I need You, You come like a rushing wind, settling in my needy heart. And that is enough for me.

Truth is, I never exactly needed anyone. I only needed God, and having simple people in my life. For me, I was complicated enough in my own thoughts, and it does not come easy for me to relate to any others. Yet there were days when I drowned in the questions of my own head, God has never failed to put people in my life, for me. And in my heart, I knew God must have known it from the start, who was here to stay.

Sometimes, I still wished I was better. Not for anyone, but You.

 

I’ll be there.

Love is seeing the darkness in another person and defying the impulse to jump ship.

I have always been guarded by a lot of my loved ones. And most recently, one of my close friend texted me a message that really touches my heart. It shows of the love I have around me, and the people who would have cared for me whether or not I was in a relationship. The message wrote in the exact words that, the walls you built around your heart has made you more guarded about love than you should be. And love is a process, and I hope one day, someone will be there step by step, slowly but surely break down this walls and fill your heart with love”To others, this might not seem like much of a significance, but it did matter the world to be because despite all my futile attempt to trust someone, I never had the courage too.

After being on a vow last year, having people walk out on me over and over again, I found it hard to relate to people. And watching the people around me getting hurt through relationships, I was afraid but more so, afraid that I was the one who will be hurting the person I love. And this fear crippled my heart and I was unable to see things as it is. Having saw this message, then reminded me of how I have been set free. And that the love of God has already cast out this fear. I remembered of God’s grace. Grace is when somebody hurts you and you try to understand their situation instead of trying to hurt them back. And I wanted to have more grace in my life.

The truth is that the more you know someone, the more clearly you will see their flaws. That’s just the way it is. This is why marriages fail, why children are abandoned, why friendships don’t last. You might think you love someone until you see the way they act when they are out of money or under pressure or hungry, for goodness’s sake. Love is something different. Love is choosing to serve someone and be with someone in spite of their filthy heart. Love is patient and kind. Love is deliberate. Love is hard. Love is pain and sacrifice, it is seeing the darkness in another person and defying the impulse to jump ship.

Love is a choice. Maybe it is someone who bore their heart to you, someone who just needed a shoulder. Love is like being on a plane, even with turbulence, you still choose to stick on with the person. And as time goes by, the longer the ride, the smoother it will get. Love does not come to us in crashing waves or thunder bolts. It appears as a song on the radio or a particular blue in the sky. It dawns on you slowly like a warm winter sunrise — where the promise of summer shines out from within. Love is maybe just sitting around, hearing another wonderful being pour out their heart out to you, and in your heart, you wonder, how did someone so beautiful and so vulnerable, choose you. How did that person choose you among that 13 billion people that live on earth. And how did your paths ever cross.

Love is a choice, and love is a commitment. Love is hearing the story of another soul and let it slowly captivate all of your heart. Love is just wanting to be there. Even after seeing the worst side of the person, you still choose to be there. And one day a love like this would have break down the walls of my heart, slowly but surely. And someday, without moving forward any longer, you would run towards me. One day, as you are of now, you will still move towards me, pressing into my life, telling me that even though you cannot figure me out, you still want to know me more. And somehow, even though you said I am difficult to know, you will still run towards me, telling me that somehow, I am different. And somehow, you assured me that I was enough, enough for you, enough for God. And whenever you need me, know that it will never be out of love and not pity. Just as you have chose me, I will choose you too. Even though it is still not the time yet, as I wait for you, and you wait for me, the promise that I made to you, always will be:

I’ll be there.

 

 

Remembering His love.

A reminder of God’s love, as He writes on my heart again.

As a 10yo little girl, I first heard of this man named Jesus through a tuition teacher. And somehow from that moment on, even without knowing Jesus, I wrote my little dream on the surface of my heart, that when I grow up, I want to be a missionary. I want to do something different, and not just grow up and get married. I want to shed some love into this world. But somehow all the downturns of my life came on, and I met with Christ. And today, the answer dawned on me.

” We cannot give until we are broken”.

I did not know what impact it would have left on me, or what God would imprint in my heart with that one statement, but God must have heard my desires back then. And unless God have chosen me, I will never be able to end up where I was supposed to be. I always questioned God why do I have to go through all the nonsense in my life, and I never heard the answer. But the peace that settled in my heart recently helped me to realize, when I was lost, He is in control. To get me to the dream and desire that I wrote down, God must have been busy, putting me through the trials that I have been through. God must have tried calling me out to Him, but I was too busy searching for an answer in my own strength. To be able to give, I need to be broken.

I can only…

  • give love when I know what it is like to live without love
  • give hope when I know what it is like in hopelessness
  • give light when I know what its like to be in darkness

If I have never been where I was, I would have never experience the tangible love of God flowing through my life. I would have never known how important it is bringing the joy of God into the life of other people. Yet at the same time, all this convinced me of what an infinite God can do through a finite me. I never want to take for granted all the way He broke me, so I could know Him more. When I set out my life to be in a pursuit of Him, I let go of all my worldly needs, and went on a whole course to pursue Him. And God, unless You are with me, I do not want to be there. Nothing in this world could take away Your hand on my heart.

After 13 years, I know the time is soon. For this dream to bear forth the food that was due. And Lord, mould me, like I was since I was a 10year old girl.

 

Still it longs to be near You. (Japan)

Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose.

If everything we have been through forms a memory in our head, then this trip to Kumamoto has formed a memory in my heart. A memory that can never be erased. I felt so ever strongly about this place that I have grown to love, and it was hard to leave when my heart wished I could do more. When a friend released a word of knowledge into my life today, the question was,” why wait? what is holding you back when you already clearly know what you want?” When God is with me, I can do it through Christ who strengthens me.

Even though, this prophetic word spoke the desire of my heart clearly, I know that leaving would require preparation. Preparation for the things I need to do, and equipped to do the greater things. That as Paul knows that all he is going through was a time of preparation before he was thrown into jail, so I know that all this is a preparation before I went out to do the great works for Him. Paul did not have an easy life on his way to Rome, and despite having the choice to leave, Paul stayed on to serve the Lord with this course.

And I do, I desire to serve the Lord like Paul did. That at the end of every hard pressed day, perplexed day, I would still choose the Lord. And trust that the Lord did make a way for me the nothing in this world could make my heart waver. My cry and my heart desire was always to be near the Lord. It is definitely not easy to hang on till the day dreams come to pass, but I know this desire and passion I have for the Lord will never burn away again. Because His great love has always compelled me to want to do more for Him. That my life should not be just stuck in the social norm of studying and working, getting married and having kids, and raising my kids right. There are people out there that needs Him.

That my dreams might get crushed because people do not understand why I will still choose to leave over and over again, but I will uphold my dreams tightly in my heart. Because even though, Jesus knew it was hard to head to the cross, Paul knew it was hard to get thrown into the prison, one thing we all knew was that, it is the right thing to do. And if it is the right thing to do, then go, go and hear of the Lord’s word.

And unknowingly 1 corinthians 9:19-23 became the verse for my life.

19 Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.

Because I clearly know that Jesus loves people, and if I want to be close to God, I have to love His people. All of His people and my desire grew stronger to head out to love people, because it will be the only place where I won’t have any restraints or fear. And the only place where I can love people fervently and draw close to God. When others commented that I became quieter in class, it’s because I know that whatever I have been through can never be verbalized with just words. I will be back soon, Japan. Real soon. And I am excited to see revival sparking in Japan.

Laying my dreams on the altar.

198

Habakkuk 2:2-3 And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.

So I wrote my vision, and make it plain. That it is my deep desire to go to Japan and start a Children Ministry, standing in that gap for the kids.

All along, I knew I was different. Someone who is different from the rest, and sometimes, it is a little hard to connect with others or even convey my thoughts. All along, I knew clearly that all this things that I am going through here is a preparation for me to go out somewhere to reach out to little children, or people. And this is a dream that has been residing in my heart for the past 6 years. I never exactly had a clear path of where I wanted to go, but somehow God has made this Japan trip so significant. That every single time, I talked about the kids there, my heart is overwhelmed. And the presence of God send chills down my spine.

Yet, one of those things that got to me was people telling me that it is impossible. People who knew me well, told me that I could not have been the one God called. That I should be staying here to run the vision of the ministry. Yet, despite the fact that I love my ministry, I knew that it was not God’s call in my life. That this place, so beautiful, yet it will never be able to capture all of me. That if I were to die today, my life would be filled with the regrets of not chasing what God has intended for me. And I entered into SOT with the same way, writing down my vision that I will be at SOT 2016, and here I am studying.

People always say that there is seldom a chance that I will go crazy over a guy, but what if I can assuredly say that I can’t date someone who loves this place too much, that he won’t be able to leave this place. It will hinder my love for running after the One, the presence that I needed more than anything. That a guy could never be an obstacle of me running to where I should belong.

And I know that this could only be a God given dream, because despite the fact that people say no, people who poured cold water into my dreams, I held on. I held on to what I believe. And this trip to Japan opened my eyes, and help me see part of my dreams coming to pass. That standing in this gap, running after God’s heart, chasing His love is more precious than all the treasures in the world.

What makes it easy to give? Because when I was lost and running on empty, God poured out His spirit on me. And gave me a desire that no one could satisfied. To know the feeling of not having, hurting myself and seeking to end my life, then I saw life. Amazing life, that Jesus poured for me, into me. And since then, my heart has not wavered into giving to His people. That as long as I can, giving should never be a hindrance in my life to His people.

So I will write it down, and make it plain, that in September 2017, I want to move to Japan, and reach out to the kids there, living on God’s grace entirely. And even though I know that till the day dreams coming to pass, holding on will be the toughest thing to do, I will hold on. And even when all else fail, I will stand.