2017 wrapped.

Many people have asked, “How has your 2017 been?” And every time I give a version of 2017 that has been well and truly a year that feels like more than a year. So so much has transpired in this one year that it definitely feels like I’ve lived more than 365 days.

There were the lows, the in-betweens and the highs.

From beginning the year as a connect leader, to seeing it multiply and stepping up as regional leader. Seeing connect members stepping up to lead as we exploded out into Sound Connects. Growing on the Prayer team. Experiencing what Street Evangelism is. Celebrating the wins of the connect members, from job provisions to healings. The encounters at Global Gathering and Convergence. Getting baptised with my mum.

Like anyone else, I faced disappointments and frustration. Lost loved ones or feared losing them. Struggled with bouts of fear and inadequacies. I read some scribbles I wrote down at the start of the year and it was all about finding my identity again in Him and being His child again. To know the Father all over again.

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If you asked me once again what this year was like for me, I would say it was a year of going deeper. Not a plunging in, but a wading into.

A constant, steady rhythm of pushing against the resistance of the deep waters as I reach into all that the Father calls me into. Like a dad waiting in the middle of the pool, He calls me in to reach further, to push ahead. Just that little more, just that little bit further in.

And every reaching out requires a stretch, a tad bit uncomfortable but never too far out of reach. With every inch, He says “You’re so amazing, child.” and He celebrates unreservedly.

There were times I lost sight of Him, and all I could see was how in over my head and how far from shore I was. But He sent lifeguards like the Kingdomcity family to help keep my head above water and to carry me forward until I once again found my strength in Him.

Without God and the people who have chosen to stand by me, there is no way I could be standing where I am today.

When we spoke about the theme for 2017 at Kingdomcity being Deeper, I had some vague concept of what that would look like. But I could not have painted the beautiful picture that God had designed for me.

What a privilege. To have amazing lovely people whose journeys intertwined with mine. To have had the opportunity to have God use me to sow into and touch lives. To have had the honour of others impacting and sowing into my life. To each and every one of YOU, thank you!

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Now 2018 is waiting and I have no clue as to where it will take me. If it is to be, it will be.

But I know what I know… that He is Immanuel, God with us. He has been so so faithful to me.

Father, help me dare to dream, dare to ask, dare to reach.

 

12-14 I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.

15-16 So let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision—you’ll see it yet! Now that we’re on the right track, let’s stay on it.

(Philippians 3:12-16 MSG)

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W I L D F I R E

​Wildfire.
That word gripped me this Sunday morning on the way to church. I was listening to the track by the same name ‘Wildfire’ on the new !Audacious album.

What do you associate off the top of your head with ‘wildfire’?

My first thoughts? Out of control, unrestrained, raging, fast, consuming, unpredictable, unrelenting, doesn’t let up…

And I knew. This coming Kingdomcity Conference… that word I’ve been asking God for? The word to define what I am expecting/will encounter from and at conference?

WILDFIRE.

Consume me with a renewed passion for You and Your Kingdom. For Your children. For Your house.

A wildfire that is contagious. For our faith is not merely for ourselves. We are to be salt and light in this world. To run with the unique calling that You have deposited in each and every one of us.

A wildfire that will not be stopped. A wildfire that no one knows where it will spread to next.

A wildfire shut up inside our bones that we have to let out.

I’m so expectant & so excited. My heart is leaping inside of my chest. How about you?

Hope.

God’s timing is perfect.

His Word always arrives when He chooses it to.

This morning, I felt like I needed to listen to Ps Paul Garner’s message on Hope in !Audacious Church’s #goodGod series a while back.

Link here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Gk-2podK34

 

Paul talked about the 3 types of hope we experience: wishful hope (without basis), expectant hope (expecting an outcome based on what we do), and certain hope.

Certain hope.

Not an emotional or psychological response to a circumstance, but a deep-rooted theological response to what has been said in His Word.

Abram was given promises about land and family/descendants/nations. (There is a nation in each of us.) But he questioned those promises, because he can’t have children.

There seems to be a problem with the promise. God missed something?

I am thankful my God never misses a thing. He who cares for even the sparrows. He who numbers the hairs on my head. He whose thoughts towards me outnumber the grains of sand on the shore. How could He ever miss a thing?

I was reminded that what we see in the natural is different to the “things unseen” (as in Hebrews 11 – hope and faith).

All God is asking is: “Lean on me! Trust me! Rely on me!”

 

In the midst of hearing the message, I felt God speaking to me about a promise that He made before I came back to Singapore.

“Watch me fire you out like an arrow. Now is the pulling back of the bowstring, the storing of potential energy. Ready, fire, aim.”

An illustration from the past sprung to mind when Ps Glyn Barrett was speaking. That what we need to do is simple, just say yes and move forward step by step. It is just step after step of obedience as He lays the path beneath me. One foot in front of the other.

 

We need to focus on the Person – the One who made the promise.

Not focus on the promise itself. Not to take matters into our own hands, not to end up with our “Ishmael”s.

Sometimes things don’t look right, it looks messy/stormy/nothing like what we envisioned the promise to be. But trust in the One who made the promise, our Anchor in the storm. Trust the One who has the plan – He will lead us to the promise.

Just like in Matthew 7:24, He never promised storm-free. He promised storm-proof. (Something that Ps Matt always says heh.)

 

 

Just to end off, Paul said something that was so simple, yet so impactful.

I won’t lose hope,

Because I won’t lose Him.

 

Refill / Pour

One simple coffee.

That was all it took.

To make things clear.

(Well, to be honest, there was nothing simple about that beautiful cup of Geisha Panama Finca Elida that I had this afternoon at Pacamara. But anyway…)

After coffee, I decided to walk home on a whim. But as I walked, the cogs began to turn – and some things God’s been whispering all week burst into life in my spirit.

 

I feel sad every time I pour out that last drop of coffee. My internal voice just whines: “Nooooo it’s over…!”

If only my mug refilled magically each time.

“Fill me up, fill me up; till I’m running over…”

Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you. (Luke 6:38 NKJV)

 

All week my prayer was that I’d be a bringer of Joy, a carrier of His Presence.

Because the truth is that even as we give, we are receiving so much more.

That just like a mug that magically refills itself – as we pour out into the lives around us, God pours out into our lives from His abundance.

We give from an overflow.

And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine bursts the wineskins, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But new wine must be put into new wineskins. (Mark 2:22 NKJV)

That we are to be like the wineskins – stretched and renewed that we might have an even greater capacity to Love.

That as we step out further and further, the more we realise how wide and long and high and deep is the infinite ocean that is Christ’s love for you and me.

 

All week I kept finding myself humming this verse from an old song…

“Ask of Me, and I will give you nations. As an inheritance for you, as an inheritance for you.

My children, ask of Me, and I will give you nations. As an inheritance for you, ask of Me.”

 

How. How can we reach the nations? How is that even possible?

Not by human strength, nor by human wisdom.

 

All He asks is “Whom shall I send? Who will go? Who will go for us?”

Will He hear the voice of a faithful generation? An obedient generation?

Like the ones that have gone before.

Samuel. Isaiah. Joseph. Jacob. Moses. Ananias. Caleb. Abraham. Jesus Himself.

Saying… “Here, here I am.”

 

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?

(Esther 4:14 NKJV)

We are a chosen generation. Called and purposed.

Jeremiah 1:4-10 (NKJV)

The Prophet Is Called

Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying:

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;
Before you were born I sanctified you;
I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”

Then said I:

“Ah, Lord God!
Behold, I cannot speak, for I am a youth.”

But the Lord said to me:

“Do not say, ‘I am a youth,’
For you shall go to all to whom I send you,
And whatever I command you, you shall speak.
Do not be afraid of their faces,
For I am with you to deliver you,” says the Lord.

Then the Lord put forth His hand and touched my mouth, and the Lord said to me:

“Behold, I have put My words in your mouth.
10 See, I have this day set you over the nations and over the kingdoms,
To root out and to pull down,
To destroy and to throw down,
To build and to plant.”

 

Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. (1 Timothy 4:12 NKJV)

 

May we never lose sight of who we are in Him.

May we forever bask in the infinite ocean of His Love.

Wait. Dwell. Rest.

I’ve reached a place where I’ve realised somehow somewhere, I’ve let part of my joy be stolen.

Some days worship feels like I’m beating up my soul. To praise despite what my eyes may see.

But simultaneously, I just know that this is a new phase. That circumstances are stirring up, building up.

To what? I do not know yet.

But I know that there is is nothing better than to be able to dwell in my Father’s courts. To bask in His Presence. (see Psalm 27)

And so I still choose to wait.

For my Rock is a solid foundation on which my feet will stand upon.

Even if the storms thunder and roar,

I know I will soar above, upon wings like eagles.

Because I am His.

A child of the Most High.

A child loved by He who is faithful, whose Word never fails.

 

 

I will wait.

 

 

“I Need You, I Love You, I Want You” (Tenth Avenue North)

I need you
I love you
I want you
No one else can make me new

I need you
I love you
I want you
No one else can make me new

Your joy is better than wine
It’s better than love
It’s better than life

Your joy is where my heart sings
It’s where I belong
It’s where I believe

I need you
I love you
I want you
No one else can make me new

I need you
I love you
I want you
No one else can make me new

I will wait for only you
No one else can make me new
No one else can break the silence

I will wait for only you
My heart needs to hear what’s true
No one else will break the silence

I will wait for only you
No one loves me like you do
No one else can break the silence

So I will wait for only you
No one else can pull me through
No one else will break the silence

I need you
I love you
I want you
No one else can make me new

I need you
I love you
I want you
No one else can make me new

No one else can make me new
No one else can make me new

Appointed.

Appointed.

Look it up in the thesaurus.

Appointed =

designated. fixed. chosen. set. authorised. commissioned. ordained. assigned.

That’s who we are.

I was reading 1 Kings 7-8 and realising that each of us have a specific set of skills, a unique life story – all commissioned for a specific work/task/purpose.

I have been appointed. Called for a time like this.

Like any appointment, we are being expected. Expected at a specific time and place.

And when we are called by God for a purpose, He himself provides what is needed to fulfill that purpose. All He requires is a heart that is fully surrendered and obedient to the call, hands and feet that are willingly given over to Him.

“…You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit – fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. …”

John 15:16 (NIV)

When I read the Bible I realise, again and again You chose me.

Every stripe You bore. Every rejection. Every drop of blood that was shed.

You chose me.

When You created the universe. When You created me. When You called me Yours.

You chose me.

You chose me first. Right from the start.

Just as I am. You chose me anyway.

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

1 Peter 2:9-10 (NIV)

What else can I do but to worship?

I choose to praise.

I was listening back to Ps Glyn’s message at the start of !Audacious Conference 2015 about where the enemy camps in our lives.

And indeed, somewhere along the way, the enemy sneakily slipped in and camped in different areas of my life. Bit by bit, I ceded my “secret place” where I chose to set aside time to seek Him. I ceded my peace and my joy. I chose to be small. I questioned – ‘did God really say? Did God really speak those promises over my new era?’ It was a little bit harder to worship. It was a little bit harder to hear Him over the noise of the enemy.

But in His perfect timing, through Glyn’s preach… all is well.

I choose to worship.

I choose to praise. Because it’s true: praise is the precursor to breakthrough. I am but one moment away from my breakthrough.

Worship was never about me. I was never worthy.

It’s a response; a response to the One who is worthy.

The One who chose me first.

He DID say.

He DID speak those promises over me.

He DID call me out into a spacious place.

He DID bring me into a new era.

Even if the enemy plants those seeds of doubt or the world tries to overwhelm me with its shouts, the still small voice of my Father is right by my ear.

In you I am well pleased. I chose you. I love you.

The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but people are tested by their praise. (Proverbs 27:21 NIV)