Ray.

I’ve felt a slow but sure grinding down of the inner spirit, especially in the past week.

Subdued is what I would describe it as.

I caught signs of it, but it really took someone to tell me the honest truth that something in my spirit has changed. And I’m thankful that I have people positioned around me who are willing and ready to speak into my life.

Even at Church Wide Leaders on Thursday, I was weary not only physically, but in mind and spirit. But I was looked after. I remember Ps Juni checking in with me, conversations with some of the Welcome team, God speaking through Ps Andrew when he prayed for me, and Ps Matt Fielder bringing a Word in season.

And today this caught my attention.

Hebrews 10:35-36 NIV

So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.

When Ps Andrew prayed over me, there were several things that God spoke to me…

  • You have never disappointed me.
  • You are loyal.
  • You yearn for more.
  • You have a heart that longs to serve.
  • This season is a season of much harvest. The sowing has been done. It is time for the abundant harvest of your family that has not yet been saved.

I was utterly gobsmacked and overwhelmed by God’s love.

To know what the Father sees in me in the midst of my failure and brokenness.

To be reminded of the amount of pride God has in me.

To have the King of Kings, Lord of Lords call me loyal. To have Him say that I’ve NEVER disappointed Him.

Indescribable.

And the things in the days to come that He speaks of. Indeed the Father’s promises are good, and they endure for all eternity.

Sometimes the journey gets a little wayward, twisted, and looks like nothing like you envisioned it to be. You might think you’ve taken a wrong turn or two, or that you have completely lost your way.

You find your fists clenched tight. You find yourself floundering, thrashing on the surface like a fish out of water.

Perspective change.

Perhaps it’s merely a detour. Or simply a stripping away of things that need putting down. Or even a process of going through the fire that refines, the iron that sharpens.

For you are no mistake.

Again and again I hear it spoken by different people in different situations: You are here for a purpose. In this time and place.

You are born for a time like this.

So, start over.

Start over.

Let go, dive deep and immerse.

Emerge again. Secure, safe, free.

For I know there is a promise made even before the beginning of Time itself. That speaks of renewal. An everlasting covenant of Love, and of forgiveness.

A hope. A joy. A Love. That perseveres despite.

That always breaks through, pushes through. That always makes a way.

Just to hammer the point home, this was in today’s !Audacious devotional, courtesy of Ps Chip Kendall.

Ray /reɪ/   Geometry – A line with a start point, but no end point (it goes to infinity).

Geometrically speaking, God’s love is a ray that starts at the cross and knows no end.

For I know, I know the One who will never leave nor forsake me.

I am loved.

And so are you.

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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.