Fuel for a new era.

Psalm 40 (NIV)

I waited patiently for the Lord;
    he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
    out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
    and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
    a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord
    and put their trust in him.

Blessed is the one
    who trusts in the Lord,
who does not look to the proud,
    to those who turn aside to false gods.[b]
Many, Lord my God,
    are the wonders you have done,
    the things you planned for us.
None can compare with you;
    were I to speak and tell of your deeds,
    they would be too many to declare.

Sacrifice and offering you did not desire—
    but my ears you have opened[c]
    burnt offerings and sin offerings[d] you did not require.
Then I said, “Here I am, I have come—
    it is written about me in the scroll.[e]
I desire to do your will, my God;
    your law is within my heart.”

I proclaim your saving acts in the great assembly;
    I do not seal my lips, Lord,
    as you know.
10 I do not hide your righteousness in my heart;
    I speak of your faithfulness and your saving help.
I do not conceal your love and your faithfulness
    from the great assembly.

11 Do not withhold your mercy from me, Lord;
    may your love and faithfulness always protect me.
12 For troubles without number surround me;
    my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see.
They are more than the hairs of my head,
    and my heart fails within me.
13 Be pleased to save me, Lord;
    come quickly, Lord, to help me.

14 May all who want to take my life
    be put to shame and confusion;
may all who desire my ruin
    be turned back in disgrace.
15 May those who say to me, “Aha! Aha!”
    be appalled at their own shame.
16 But may all who seek you
    rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who long for your saving help always say,
    “The Lord is great!”

17 But as for me, I am poor and needy;
    may the Lord think of me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
    you are my God, do not delay.

Philippians 3:12-14 (NIV) –

12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take holdof that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Isaiah 43:19 (NIV) 

See, I am doing a new thing!
    Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
    and streams in the wasteland.

Habakkuk 1:5 (NIV)

“Look at the nations and watch—
    and be utterly amazed.
For I am going to do something in your days
    that you would not believe,
    even if you were told. …”

Re-entry

“We’ve never been this way before.”
Ps Sophia’s voice resonates in my memory from that preach a few weeks ago.

I’ve never been this way before.

I feel like an odd peg. Day-to-day matters don’t look the same. Finding the space for my own devotional time. Starting at a new church. Getting into a new rhythm.

Momentum. I just can’t shake the cry of my heart that I want to hit the ground running.

I can’t deny that the frustration of re-entry is real. The monster of Comparison beckoning at every corner.

But in the mess of my humanity, His voice reminds me, “You are on a mission. You’ve always been on a mission. You have been called, set apart…” and He reminds me of who I am. Of who I am in Christ.

I remember Paul telling me repeatedly with an undeniable sense of urgency (almost pleading) at that Belonging night: “It’s never about what you can do. It’s about who you are.”

It’s like you knew, Paul.
No… God, You knew.

Loved one after loved one shared what God placed on their hearts for me in the days leading up to me leaving Manchester.

“Shot out like an arrow. …Exciting times just riding the waves with Him after battling through the storms. … Shaking the foundations. …Building home. …”

You knew, Father.
You always did.

And in the throes of the struggles in my heart and my soul, I cry out:

“Stir my heart for this city, for this nation I call home. I am called for a time like this. Break my heart for Singapore. Let my heart be captivated by the people of this nation.”

I am born for more.
It’s never about what I can do;
But who I am.

I am Yours.

This is not goodbye.

To my phenomenal world-changing, traffic-stopping !Audacious family:

This is Not Goodbye – Sidewalk Prophets

I can see it in your eyes that you are restless
The time has come for you to leave
It’s so hard to let you go but in this life I know
You have to be who you were made to be

As you step out on the road I’ll say a prayer
So that in my heart you always will be there

[Chorus:]
This is not goodbye
I know we’ll meet again
So let your life begin
‘Cause this is not goodbye
It’s just “I love you” to take with you
Until you’re home again

The stirring in your soul has left you wondering
Should you stay or turn around
Well, just remember that your dreams they are a promise
That you were made to change the world
So don’t let fear stop you now ‘cause

[Chorus]

I know the brightest star above
Was created by the One who loved
More than we’ll ever know
To guide you when you’re lost

What started as a still, small voice
Is raging now and your only choice
Is to follow who you are
So follow who you are ‘cause

This is not goodbye
I know we’ll meet again
Oh

[Chorus]

It is time.

It is time to say ‘see you soon’.

This is not goodbye.

I doubt I can hold back the tears. But it’s proof that I have found and have been given something worth treasuring and fighting for.

Thank you for this chapter in my journey.

Thank you for loving me.

You all make it difficult to leave.

But I leave forever changed – by finding the Father’s heart for me, by finding family, by finding home.

And now, I embark on the next leg towards even greater things.

You’ll be in my prayers and my thoughts.

I’ll be standing with you from wherever I am.

With all the love I can muster up,

Van

Into the Deep recap

Long overdue post.

I really wanted to write something after the last !Audacious Young Adults Belonging night (which was meant to be my last but isn’t really now), but never really got down to it.

(See http://on.fb.me/1Gt7nmd for photos from the night.)

I remember Paul asking me out of the blue on the Sunday prior to the Belonging to share my journey over the past 3 years, seeing as it was going to be my last.

My instantaneous reaction was “ah erm.. what?”. As you do. But after some reassurance, I decided to go for it. I remember praying with some of the girls in the foyer whilst we are setting up for Tuesday.

Once I got home till the Tuesday, I just soaked myself in God’s Presence. Seeking His face, asking for His Spirit to fill me, to put the words in my mouth.

I remember distinctly hearing Him say “I’m not done with you yet.”

That it was only the beginning – my time here. The lead up to even greater things.

Psalm 40 was yet another word that the Father placed in my heart.

Psalm 40 (NIV)

For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.

I waited patiently for the Lord;
    he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
    out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
    and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
    a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord
    and put their trust in him.

Blessed is the one
    who trusts in the Lord,
who does not look to the proud,
    to those who turn aside to false gods.[b]
Many, Lord my God,
    are the wonders you have done,
    the things you planned for us.
None can compare with you;
    were I to speak and tell of your deeds,
    they would be too many to declare.

Sacrifice and offering you did not desire—
    but my ears you have opened[c]
    burnt offerings and sin offerings[d] you did not require.
Then I said, “Here I am, I have come—
    it is written about me in the scroll.[e]
I desire to do your will, my God;
    your law is within my heart.”

I proclaim your saving acts in the great assembly;
    I do not seal my lips, Lord,
    as you know.
10 I do not hide your righteousness in my heart;
    I speak of your faithfulness and your saving help.
I do not conceal your love and your faithfulness
    from the great assembly.

11 Do not withhold your mercy from me, Lord;
    may your love and faithfulness always protect me.
12 For troubles without number surround me;
    my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see.
They are more than the hairs of my head,
    and my heart fails within me.
13 Be pleased to save me, Lord;
    come quickly, Lord, to help me.

14 May all who want to take my life
    be put to shame and confusion;
may all who desire my ruin
    be turned back in disgrace.
15 May those who say to me, “Aha! Aha!”
    be appalled at their own shame.
16 But may all who seek you
    rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who long for your saving help always say,
    “The Lord is great!”

17 But as for me, I am poor and needy;
    may the Lord think of me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
    you are my God, do not delay.

Indeed. I am not made to stay silent. I am meant to speak of His faithfulness. To let my light shine in order that He may be glorified.

My favourite quote by Marianne Williamson was brought to the surface:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

  • A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles”, Ch. 7, Section 3 (1992), p. 190.

We are meant to shine. We have been marked in Him with a seal. Chosen, set apart, renewed for a purpose.

And most importantly, we are loved by an Almighty God. A Father who is jealous for us.

And we are called to love another.

Our walk is not merely our own.

I was so thankful I got to share my heart, to share my story.

It was so humbling – to realise that like the boy in the account of the 5 loaves and 2 fishes, we are called to be part of the miracle. That when we choose to walk out upon the water, to go into the deep… The Father beckons us on to join Him in bringing about the miraculous.

I got to pray with the people I love. To have those conversations that matter.

There was no better way to bring some sort of close to my journey here.

And the next Belonging will be yet another level as God takes us even deeper with Him.

7/7, 7pm.

Yes 7 July, doors open at 7pm at !Audacious Church. Food from Cafe Horchata, coffee & icecream from Grindsmiths. Ps Glyn bringing a powerful word.

You’ve got to be there.

Don’t miss it for the world. Bring the people you love.

See you there.

Spirit.

Yesterday’s preaches from Ps Glyn at !Audacious Church on Pentecostal Sunday were power-packed. Go check out audaciouschurch.com/live to recap or wait for the Youtube videos/podcasts during the week.

I need a renewal in the Holy Spirit. A refreshment. An infilling.

This blanket of weight (for lack of better terms) upon me needs to be lifted off, broken.

It’s definitely not as bad as before. But it’s still lingering.

I need to re-learn how to be still before the Father.

Need to stop being such a Martha.

This morning, I realised yeah… I’ve been more a Martha than a Mary these days. Rushing around. Accomplishing nothing.

Forgetting how to be still before Him.

I need a fire to be re-lit in my spirit.

A consuming fire.

A thirst, a hunger for the Word.

The Father has been bringing these verses to mind a lot recently (and fittingly enough, Glyn used them yesterday.)

Salt and Light

13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

(Matthew 5:13-16 NIV)

I’m thankful we get to be part of the miraculous. God reminded me of the story of the 5 loaves and 2 fishes. Not only did the boy get to be part of the beginning of the miracle, he got to share in it as well.

I want to be the bearer of Good News. I want to be part of the miracle. I want to start walking in what I’ve been purposed for.

I need a re-positioning. I need vision. I need purpose.

I need You.

War.

I was fighting a raging battle in my head all day.

Actually, I didn’t realize it until this morning but there’s been a cloud hanging over me the past couple of weeks. Increasingly so. Not that there’s a real reason for it. It’s just been this cloud of lethargy, of that “meh” feeling, of that occasionally sad feeling, of negativity.

It culminated in tears this morning when I finally acknowledged it.

Followed by declaring His joy and hope over it. Recognizing that this is merely another fight, another battle in a string of many. For before every breakthrough, there’s a struggle.

 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

(2 Corinthians 10:3-5 NIV)

Perhaps it’s a case of arrogance – I’ve always seen myself as one of those people who just face tough times knowing that there’s always light at the end of the tunnel. Aware that I can be secure in the truth of His goodness and His unwavering assurance.

Perhaps it’s my folly – asking the Father to examine my heart once again. (Yeah I did say folly.)

So it’s 2 in the afternoon and I’m sat in my room having cried my eyes out and feeling worn out from waging war against this spirit of despair – let’s just call it that for now. It has been intervals of tears with declaration of God’s Word. Messy stuff, this relationship with God.

It feels like I’m genuinely in a war, as I spoke His truth and His promises in this battle that has been declared upon my heart and mind. For we know the Devil comes to steal, kill, and destroy. Spiritual warfare is not a concept, it is real and we need to be armed with His truth.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joyfor you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

(1 Peter 1:3-9 NIV)

But then I’m reminded that how we overcome our struggles encourages ohers. That my own battles can build up others, that these experiences can inspire hope. Our struggles are not merely our own, they’re for each other.

Whatever storm we find ourselves in, the best part is knowing that we are not alone. He is with us in the fire; He is with us in the storm.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.

We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters,[a] about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. 10 He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, 11 as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.

(2 Corinthians 1:3-11 NIV)

Jesus faced the same human emotions, the same turmoil – yet He triumphed. He lived his time on Earth knowing that He will have to give it all up, His closeness with the Father, for us.

Love compelled Him to take on the Cross. Love won. Love always wins.

In that instant at Calvary, every chain… every struggle… every pain… they were all written off forever in His Name.

I’m still dazed. Probably just tired from all that. But I come away from this assured that the source of my hope, joy and peace is my Constant. And I’m just so thankful that I am loved.

And you are too.

“So I go deeper and deeper into Your grace / My heart gets higher and higher / I stand here amazed by the way You love me unconditionally.” (!Audacious Band)

The battle is real, but the victory is sure.

Suggested listening: In Christ Alone – Brian Littrell