Nov 29, 2011

It's not just a feeling

Being a Christian after almost 1 year and a half now, it just dawned upon me, there isn’t such a thing as "stagnant" days of being a Christian. Its either you're growing closer to the Lord, or going further away from Him. There's no "I'm stable now and i will keep things this way where I'm comfortable." sort of phase in your walk with Him.

Does that surprise you?

Allow me to put it this way. If you ever had a super close bestie friend in your life, can you imagine yourself being distant from that person for a stretch of time? Obviously, you'll either miss that person or actually spend some quality time with that person, or just simply be with that person.

And if for some reason, you can't meet or even interact with that person for a long period of time, you'll realize it's just not the same anymore.

But if it’s someone who you always say hi and bye - an acquaintance, frankly, it doesn't matter if you didn't even see that person for the next 10 years. It may even not cross your mind that it has already been 10 years since you last saw this friend.

Because the depth of the bonds between your bestie and that acquaintance is different. Deeper bonds, deeper meaning, deeper commitment.

Romans 5:8
"But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
Of course, to compare a human to human relationship and ours to God is a far cry. God is first your saviour, then yes, He is also your best friend. Thankfully, He is also an awesome extremely loving God that could bear with our nonsense all the time. What nonsense? The "when i feel like being closer to You, then i will, if not, I will stay invisible as You've always been."

But how do we stop being that way? I caught myself doing that so many times, again and again, I end up coming to Him begging to let me start over. Trust me, its not a great feeling at all! (With a lot of consequences to deal with at the same time due to that)

There's no other way than being committed to the relationship you have with Him. True love between a relationship may start with a feeling, but never sustained by it. Sincerity is not about getting the mood to do it, true sincerity is doing regardless how you feel, in fact, even when you don't feel like doing it.

But how do we commit? (Some of you might be thinking, "just commit lah duh")

It's not that easy. I don't even know if any of you reading this have actually committed to anything before. In today's time, there isn’t such a thing existing anymore, it also explains why there are so much nonsense going on also. Committing to something doesn’t mean someone forcing you like how your parents may force you to go school, tuition or your piano class. It has to be made by your own personal choice.

So may i suggest taking it one day at a time? In fact one day maybe too hard, why not one moment at a time?

By the way, committing your relationship with God is not equal to "reading the Bible" daily or even going to church every Sunday. There are many people who knows the entire Bible inside out and goes church every Sunday and yet, has never followed Him in any part of their lives.

I was once there few years back and always wondered why this God never spoke to me, today I finally know why. Its because I was spending so much time knowing about Him, but never submit my life in having this beautiful relationship with Him!

If you're going to commit your relationship to a lover and if this lover writes a letter to you everyday, do you just merely read it and then put it away? Or do you excitedly read through the lines, dwell on it the entire day and wonder, if this is what He meant? I mean come on! It's for you! And of course after understanding what He meant, you do your part by learning to trust what He is telling you to do or to listen.

So one moment at a time, one thought at a time, one action at a time. Do it all for the love for God, your Saviour.

If God asked you to love this friend of yours in school and you find it very hard because maybe your friends will laugh at you or even despise you, you take it one step at a time. Start by saying hi to that person and then submitting the cost of your "accompaniment" to God. And to also start to accept that you may end up losing this bunch of friends but also realize that you are finally having the joy of having true freedom in obeying God.

Leviticus 19:34
"But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God."
If its about you spending too much time on youtube or facebook, cut it down slowly. Maybe put a time limit you wish to spend on it and start cutting it down from there, and then submitting the cost of your "leisure time" to God. But also realize that you maybe finally on a journey to realize the joy of "depths of Jesus Christ" in using the time cut down to spend more time in prayer and meditation. (Or quiet time for that matter)

Lastly, have an accountable partner. When i say accountable partner, i don't mean a mere friend that often calls you to just play sports, computer games and crack jokes all day long. I mean by someone who sincerely and seriously takes your relationship with God as important as his/her relationship to God, so get someone whom you know is more mature than you or at least of equal maturity. I personally have a person who is my accountable partner and that person really commits to making sure my relationship with God is always well and going. I know that person will be praying for me even if i don't ask everyday or every week and that person really take time out to commit in doing all that.

I pray that whoever is reading this may have such a blessing from God too. Building a relationship with God is pure hard work, that's something definite. But thankfully, if you have always been depending on God to build this relationship, you'll realize that you are strengthen by His grace. No, i don't mean that it becomes suddenly easier, i know a lot of people get the concept of "strengthening by God" as though their burden gets lighter. It normally doesn't. What it means is actually being able to do it, with His strength!

2 Corinthians 12:9
"And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."
Yes, you'll feel the same tough going, but you also know you'll make it in the end, because you're enabled by His grace. If you're not strengthen by His grace, you can try all you want and i can guarantee you, you'll never make it.

-Gary Heng

Images are taken from :

Nov 22, 2011


Luke 10: 38-42
As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one.[a] Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.
The story of Jesus at the home of Martha and Mary. I am quite sure most of you know how this story goes. If you do not, you can find it from the verses listed above. Most of the time when a guest comes to our home, we will do our best to make them feel welcomed. Prepare them drinks, food, talk to them and what not. It is almost expected of us to do such things. But where did this expectation come from? Who taught us we must do these things? Well the most common answer would be our parents. Whether verbally or by example, it is just something that is done in our “culture”.

For Martha, it was in her “culture” to ensure the guest of the house has a good impression of her hospitality. Okay let us see what happens next. Martha complains about her sister being “lazy” and stresses out about the preparations. Jesus in reply tells her that she is placing too much importance on the wrong things.

YOU might be wondering, “why are you telling us this maaaaaaaaaaaaan ._.”. The question is this, is there anything in your “culture” that is distracting you from God? Alright this part of the post will seem a bit stereotypical, but to a certain degree has a great sense of truth in it. As ASIANS, parents most of the time say to us “you study hard, you do well in school, do well in school then get a good job, get a good job then make the family proud and please your parents as a ‘responsible’ child”. Now that is just our culture cause from my experience in uk, that doesn’t seem to be the ‘norm’. I am very sure it is not a biblical thing as well cause I am quite sure if you do not continue to a higher education, it is not a “sin”. So I guess we can deem it as worldly expectation?

Alright now to the chunky bits. What I mentioned about above is just one of the worldly expectations that many of us are expected to meet. There are many others and it is different for each individual depending on your social surrounding. To what extent are you willing to meet these expectations? Should meeting these expectations even be something important? So most of us grow up spending a lot of time meeting those expectations. All the little left over bits of time that we have or when we are “free”, we slot God in.

Going back to the story, so we stopped where Martha asked Jesus to reprimand Mary. But wait, He did not. Instead He says to her that Mary has chosen the right thing. You would imagine Jesus to say to Mary, “go be a responsible sister and a ‘good’ testimony and help her out” but He did not. SOMETIMES the “responsibilities” we have in this world are not important and we need to be in tune with the Holy Spirit to discern well in this. In the situation of Martha and Mary, it was spiritual nurturing against household responsibilities. It was okay that the food came out later, or that the guest had to be a bit thirsty.

We need to have ourselves checked that the reason we strive our best in our "responsibilities as students" is done as an act of honouring God and offered up to Him as a sweet and fragrant offering - done in obedience. If we fail to do that, it won't be suprising that we end up being Martha, where we totally fail to prioritize our responsibilities in recognizing which act would have substantial spiritual nourishment! (Especially when it comes to acts that ask you to choose between studying or not)

To end it all, I would just like to stress the importance of seeking God’s will out in all things. I am NOT implying that we should not study at all nor am I saying education is not important but rather WHY is it important? Would you give up listening to God to fulfill those responsibilities and worldly expectations like Martha? Or would you be like Mary and listen first then work it out?

Peace out peeps!

- Alex Tan

Images taken from:

Nov 10, 2011


Being a mass comm graduate myself, it does help me to realize how the media plays such a huge way of affecting the way we understand things. It's not an immediate effect, it's something that slowly drums into your mind - the moment you wake up from your bed, advertisements ARE everywhere around you. Try observing and see, you'll know what I mean!

The ways of the world tells not only you but the people around you that becoming rich and successful, appearing famous and good looking is a NEED and not a "bonus" anymore. And one assured way to get there would be to score flying colours in your exams.. and then life will be pretty smooth-sailing from there!

So what happens next naturally?


Now the very natural response to that would be, "I'll hide at home and study until I drop dead." Even I myself was a victim to that mentality - frankly speaking!

But the real problem is, life isn't going to come in a period where it tells you "Exams are coming, start studying!" It comes in times where you least expect it and the bigger question would be - "How have you been preparing for times like these?"

We think that by doing fantastically well in our exams when we hid in our rooms to study hard.. when our parents nod their heads in approval.. we think that we're on our way there to be that successful looking guy or girl on that billboard at the huge highway. But the stark reality actually speaks otherwise.

The point here is this - a genuine exam results is not based on last minute cramming and memorization of academic notes. It's merely a test done to see how your previous ways of studying methods has been proven to be effective.. or not. Like how Gary always tell me, "It just indicates something."

If there's ever a time that exams "excuses" us to give the Lord the worship due to His honour and name, to serve others during their time of need or even encouraging others by being at Youth for instance - that too, strongly indicates something. Let's be honest with ourselves, can a total of 10 hours at most out of your 100 waking hours throughout the week really affect your results during examination period?

No doubt we ought to start shifting/sacrificing certain amount of hours to dedicate more focus on studying just as a certain crisis in life would naturally demand more of our time and attention to it at that period but it should never ever replace God's position in our hearts! The sooner you start preparing yourselves to manage your priorities and time in the perspective of how God would want you to do it - the sooner your foundation is set on the right track.

In a certain sense, it's an exam to our faith as the verse goes in 1 Peter 1: 6b -7:-
.. though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith - of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire - may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
Do you compromise your worship for God during times of examinations?

Because once you let that sinful mentality fester into your relationship with God, it's only a matter of time where it grows bigger and eventually, you just put God in a small little box. Everything else would be widely displayed to grab your attention - Scholarships to overseas, job offers, salary raise, travel bonuses and a whole long list "awesome" deals that the world tells you - "You're living the ideal life!" It's worth sacrificing everything else (obviously including your love and worship for God) to achieve it!

"How then? You want me to fail my exams ah? My parents will first kill you, then kill me!"

Well, I'd say, pray and ask God - "How would you want me to obey you as your child, a child to my own family, a youth, a friend to my friends and a student in this school?" Because once you set God as your foundation, even though refined through the hot burning furnace, your faith would prove to be genuine and real, even at times of crisis.

- daryl 's u n d a e' heng

Images taken from:

Nov 7, 2011

A personal testimony - an introduction

As I journey with the Lord, I started to come to a realisation that I am still very much a wretched person. Those who know me personally for some time will know this very well.

My shortcomings, including and not limited to those behavioural patterns I have are not matching with my age, making decision based on my own assumptions without checking more details and being lazy.

I must admit that I know I have to be a matured person but yet I crave to be a child/ teenage still. I must also admit that I bought some very good books and Church has numerous resources for the building up of my spiritual life but I chuck it at a corner somewhere hoping someday I will pick it up and read it. Many a times, the Bible and books that I have could give me the answers but I chose to get spoon-fed…

The recent years, especially last year and now I was constantly being challenged to allow God to take me, break me and mould me [19 Apr 2011 sharing, last paragraph]. I could see that after making those prayers, I am still the same me. Today, I could sense God’s hands are getting heavier and heavier on me and I plead God for mercy and gentleness as He embarks on a renewal and transforming process in me. Seriously, it’s no joke for someone to make the prayer(s) as God will really act upon the prayer(s).

Yes, it is indeed now my desire to allow God to take me and mould me as I do not want to continue sinning against Him. “The parable of the talents” does not only talks about we Christians hiding our talents like music / speaking / sharing / writing talent but also in my case, using my brain power rather than limiting it, using my brain and brawns (again, in my case, is my brain and physical strength to do things, hehe ;P).

Matthew 25:14-30, New King James Version (NKJV)
The Parable of the Talents

“For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey. Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money. After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them.

“So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’ His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ He also who had received two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.’

His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’

“Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’

“But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents.

‘For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
Hi fellow brothers and sisters-in-Christ, please correct me if indeed you find that I did not do things rightly. I also seek your forgiveness for those of you offended by me because of something I said/did which are not appropriate.

In Him,

Yit Mun
Aka IP Man

Images taken from:

Nov 2, 2011

Depravity of sin

Lately God has been giving me a lot of the moments of "David realizing how serious sin was". Remember the encounter he had with the prophet Nathan?

The story went by where David sin against the Lord by taking Bathsheba as his wife and plotting Uriah (her husband) to be killed in battle.
2 Samuel 12:7a

"And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man.."

2 Samuel 12:13a

"And David said unto Nathan, i have sinned against the LORD.."
Of course I've not commit a sin as serious as David, but to God, regardless the degree of sin - it is still sin to Him. And sin is serious business for the wages of sin is death (Separation from God!)

The thing is, just like David, I didn't think I was sinning. I just figured it was just another moment I wasn't that close to God and I'll just have to keep trying my best to work this out. I thank God by His grace that I continue to struggle with it because He really stay with the low and contrite (Isaiah 57:15). He revealed to me towards my attitude of the spiritual discipline I've been learning from Bible class lately.

When I meditated about how the pharisee commended himself over the fact that he fasted twice a week and tithe everything he had to God compared to the publican in the temple, I always thought i could see myself as the publican, for who can ever be like the arrogant, self conceited pharisee?

Then God told me right in my face, "YOU are the pharisee!" (Can you see how is this connected when Nathan told David "THOU art the man" when he was telling the story to him?)

You see, I always try to make sure i wouldn't fall into this trap. Because during bible class, we were already taught and warned that a lot of people feel that they are very self righteous and "holy" just because they were practising the spiritual disciplines. (Just incase you're very puzzled with what are the spiritual disciplines, to name a few would be like fasting, meditation, scripture study etc.)

But the more I tried to make sure I didn't, the more I got myself into that trap. Instead of focusing on the journey where God is trying to take me through those spiritual disciplines, I was more focus on guarding and making sure I'm doing everything right. That in itself got me spending a lot of my focus and time on the disciplines rather on God which in the first place, He has designed those disciplines for Himself. Not for us or any other reason you can ever think of. Remember what Mark 2:27 said?
"And He(Jesus) said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath."
In this context of scripture, Jesus was trying to correct the pharisees idea of what sabbath was created for, but they worshiped the sabbath that they totally overlooked the fact that God has made it for men!

Subconsciously, I started to feel more self righteous. I started to "praise" myself for doing a good job to keep up with all the disciplines. I was more focused on how long I could do my meditation and prayer rather than sincerely asking God, "Speak to me, i yearn to listen from You". Eventually, my spiritual journey throughout the days got more dry. I didn't feel like talking to God as much as I used to or even trying to listen throughout the days.

But God so loving and gracious, He never left me to run astray all on my own, for He knows how much I do not understand and know Him still. Just as I have faith that He always brings me back to Him, up until now, He has always been faithful. And as He brought me back, I looked back and realized how close I was in walking back into that darkness, the darkness where I once belong where light is purely absent. I could only tear and "would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner."! (Luke 18:13) It was then only I realize, now I'm the publican instead of the pharisee.

If you're a youth leader, CG leader or even just a Christian, remember never let any of your works get up to you. For there is nothing you can ever do, or any works you can ever boast because it is by His grace, you have it all. It is by His grace, it is all made possible. The only appropriate response would be pure gratefulness to the One who has richly and abundantly bless us.
- Gary Heng

Images are taken from :