Serve our Community: Thoughts and Lessons

Serve our Community: Thoughts and Lessons

The “Serving our community” outreach project of our church brings too much refreshment to me, everytime, personally. More than an obligation or task, it blesses me more. This outreach helped me realized and confirmed that God cares for his children continously, no matter how young or old they get. Whether we are physically complete or broken, rich or poor – it doesn’t matter, God loves us all the same. God cares for us all the same. 

The uncles and aunties in one of the old folks home that we are reaching out brought so much reminder of why God gave his life for us. The very reason why He came to save us – truth is, we are all broken, abandoned, lost and weak – we all need a Saviour who can save us all from this fallen world. 

Over the past weeks and months that I have been helping, it became no longer a christian duty – but more of an encouragement to share God’s love more and make people know the goodness of being in God’s family. 

My task is not difficult though,  I just have lead songs of worship during the chapel services before the pastor shares God’s word. And though the uncles and the aunties may or may not understand or respond to the songs we are singing, I felt like I am declaring God’s word over their lives through hymns of songs. 

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And the Lord never fails to amaze me eveytime, even more, on how He works into the lives of each individual in that room. I always witnessed with my eyes that some of the aunties or uncles, despite the difficulty of them raising their hands – they would try. Despite the fact that they could no longer speak, they hum the tunes. I would see tears fall from their eyes as they touch their hearts. Isnt that amazing? 

It is not that ordinary sunday platform that you can lead people who are so ready to dance and shout, or to clap and sing with the songs of worship with you. It’s a night and day difference,  The Old Folks Chapel is a quiet room where all the wheelchaired uncles and aunties are sitting in front of you, looking at you as you sing alone add to that the languange barrier. They may scold you at times, if your guitarist got to play too loud and frown at you, if you have been singing too long. 

But, this place taught me so much more. Out of the confinements of my “christian comfort zone”, here is the real deal. This is the heart if Jesus. Sharing a piece of heaven to those who need it most. Even if they don’t respond, even if there is no crowd, or band – it’s like being a small lit of light to a dimming world of our elderlies. I may not understand the situation of how is it like to be old and sick but one thing I know, God loves us whoever, wherever and wherever we are. 

And everytime I volunteer to sing in front of them, I can really sense the love of God hovering in that place each time. It’s tender, gentle and comforting presence that envelopes the whole room, everytime. Making me cry with so much gratefulness because I recognize that kind of presence, it is God’s presence – Abba Father. When He walks in the room, You know that He is doing something internally, spiritually and emotionally. It’s soul-changing. 

God loves us all the same. We need that kind of love resonating to everyone that we see. I remember a quote from John Maxwell when he said; 

“People dont care how much you know until you care”

True isn’t it? 

LESSONS

When our eyes are all focused on what we need, what we want and everything that concerns only about “us” – we easily forget the importance of living. We live for a greater purpose and not only to strive in this life – and we lose that idea of purpose when we care less about our surroundings and about others. 

Our attitudes becomes rough and tough when we dont care. That’s why Jesus during his life on earth, He did not stopped in one place – he walk town to town to reach out. Because He knew that there is just one massive number of people who needs help. 

Keep inspiring! 

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Hacksaw Ridge: Extraordinary Lessons from a not so ordinary war movie

Hacksaw Ridge: Extraordinary Lessons from a not so ordinary war movie

Hacksaw Ridge aired last year in other countries but shown in Singapore, only last month. This movie tells an extraordinary “true” story of an American combat medic, Desmond Doss. He saved 75 wounded soldiers during the World War II in Okinawa, Japan, without holding a weapon. His faith and valour are all his weapon to survive the frontline battle, together with the other men, he also fought in the front lines without a firearm or guns by tending to the other soldiers, he was there to perform his duty as a medic and be in aide for the wounded soldiers. He evacuated the wounded from behind the enemy lines, even when all others have left the Hacksaw, he alone stayed and saved as many soldiers as he could, risked his life and bravely faced the dangers of getting killed. His prayer “Lord, please help me save one more” became his motivation and purpose. 

Doss became the first and only conscientious objector to receive the Medal of Honor for actions above and beyond the call of duty during the war. But the road to this distinction was not easy, he faced army court trials, was bullied and judged as ” Desmond the coward” for holding on tightly to his faith in God, his discretions and belief. 

Here are 3 lessons I learned from the true-story movie Hacksaw Ridge. 

1. Learn your purpose. After watching this movie, I am convinced that if one man knows exactly his real, unique purpose in life – everything he does becomes intentional. It doesn’t matter if you don’t get a popular vote or nobody wants to believe your beliefs, as long as you are walking in the purpose God has called you, then everything will make sense. After all life is all about letting God use us in the purpose he called us, like Pvt. Doss, he knew exactly his purpose why he needed to stay in the army, he knew that he don’t need to combat but he must stay because God wants him to be there, to save lives – bring a refreshing help to the wounded. 

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2. Hold Fast to Your Convinctions. This movie also reminded me about the writings of the Apostle Paul in Hebrews 10:23, he says, Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. Temptations of this world is always one step away from us, sometimes when life becomes tough, we compromise, we opt to take easy routes to gratify what we thought is a need, but later we’ll find out that the exchange is costly, our convinctions. Pvt. Doss, knew exactly his convinctions and for him it does not matter whether people believed him or not, even if he had to face series of misjudgments, trials and mockery, he held fast to his convinctions, he knew that his relationship with God is real and that’s all that matters. His promise to God was a promise he gave to an eternal living God and he stood by it, even if it caused him his reputation and image. God is a faithful God, He honors us, when we honor Him – later on in his army life, Pvt. Doss excellently executed what God has called him for, he not only saved lives but he fulfilled his calling. He gained respect from men and brought glory to the name of God. 

3. God’s power shines through in our weakness. This is not only true in the life of Pvt. Doss, but to many of us. God is the source of our strength, when we welcome His power to work in us, it definitely shines through. Even in the bible history, God uses the most unimaginable, unexpected, unqualified and weak people to do God’s assignments. Our flaws, imperfections, uncontrollable circumstances and limitations are all part of our inate individuality – if we don’t give it to the One who can fix it all for us, we strive. Some people find it hard to accept it, so they hide it, find excuses or resent them. This pride prevents God’s hand to work in us. God is never limited by our limitations, He is all powerful and He can turn our weaknesses to strengths, He have it altogether for us. Pvt. Doss, knew from the very beginning his emotional weakness and the hurt he hid in his heart – that is why he made a promise to God, to never hold a gun, because he knew that he can’t hurt people. This weak side of his, which his co-soldiers call “cowardness” in God’s perspective is “mercy and healing”. They see it as a weakness, but Pvt. Doss mercy to help the wounded and his eagerness to save as many soldiers as he can, was all that they ever need to see to know that God is on their side. Like the morphine he gives to those who are in pain, saving one person after the other, was that relief of care that no one will ever be abandoned, bravery and strength packaged in one, no one could ever have. 

There are so much to learn from this movie, this is not your ordinary war movie. Let me leave it right here. After watching this movie, I may read the book The Conscientious Objector Documentary. 

Congratulations, Mel Gibson and Andrew Garfield for giving your best to make this film. THANK YOU PVT. DESMOND DOSS, for a fulfilled, purposeful and encouraging life you lived! 

Fitness: Freeletics Coach Journey 

Fitness: Freeletics Coach Journey 

{this is not a sponsored blog, just a review on the app called Freeletics} 

I have been a “free athlete” for almost a year now, that’s what they call you if you are using an app called Freeletics. My inspiration in doing this workout routines and downloading the app for free came about when I saw my need to do something about my weight and fitness. Clueless and don’t know how to start, that’s how I described myself a year ago. 
My after pregnancy weight took a huge toll on me, adding to that, is my laziness and excuses – and I ended up with a whooping add-on 20kg, on my weight. Being overweight is not good, healthwise. I know I have to do something about it. No more excuses. 

I heard about Freeletics from a friend and saw some great results. Knowing myself too well, I know Im only good at first but I may give up anytime – so I hesistantly downloaded the app, so I can try. For almost a year, I was training reluctantly on and off – I trained if I feel like it or if Im in the mood, but countless are the days that I don’t. 

Surprisingly, freeletics gave justice to it’s promise – it helped me shed 10kg off my weight, which is really a shocker! It inspired and motivated me that if I go serious about my weightloss, maybe, I can reach my goals. Maybe this time, I should be more intentional, since I am already doing it. 

Freeletics, is a very straightforward, intense and motivating app, I would say. The “running” workouts are designed not to exhaust the runner on long miles of distances, rather, they teach more in building endurance, improving speed, helping you learn your breathing, catching the techniques – making rookies, like me, feel like they are being taught by a professional sprinter. 

They made the routines and workouts exciting – making you work on your speed, giving you ample of space to rest after each sprints so you can prepare for the next intervals. They gave an exciting approach on how to enjoy running, they have lots of varieties, intervals, long and short distance runs adding to that, the testimonials and motivational videos that is really inspiring, makes you run more and more. 
They are quite generous to let you try some of their free workouts, on their free version of the app which gives you the whole experience of freeletics. Helpful for those who just want to give it a try. One note though, it gives results. Making you want more. I guess the marketing is really good, but, more importantly the results is really acceptable. 
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As a result of my running workouts successfully, I lose 10kg last year, even if I was inconsistent with my training. With the results I got from last year and the commendations I get from friends who continuously tell me that I lose weight, I got convinced that I really have to be more serious with my fitness and become intentional with my trainings. 

Finally, last night, my husband and I, decided to buy the paid-app with a personalized coach to make our trainings more personalized. The app caused us $54 dollars for a 3months subscription. The paid subscription includes a personalized coach, personalized program matched to your capacity, a coach feedback and monitoring and a structured training workout. They also included the freeletics nutrition and running app – luckily, we got discounts too. 

Here’s how the paid-app look like; 

Was it worth it? 

Although it’s too early to tell, I would still say yes, compared to the huge pricing of gyms plus personal trainers – freeletics definitely is much more cheaper. Another plus is that you don’t need to travel far from home to do the workout, no need for the machines, all you need is the app and your availability. It’s you, your body, the app and the nature. Everywhere and anywhere definitely can do the workout. 
On the onset, the app gave a questionaire for us to fill out, giving a brief description on your weight, height, goals, gender, work type and willingness to train. Based on your answers, the app will analyze and match the possible coach suitable for you. 

Next is the physical test, the app will load some exercises for you to do and based on that you will give your feedback, per exercise. The physical test includes 50 jumping jacks, 50 high knees run, 10 burpees and 50 climbers — every after each workout, you get to share your feedback. You get to rate your feeling towards the exercise. 

It’s challenging and quite tough, maybe because of the answers I placed in the coach feedback form. But altogether, I enjoyed every exercises that the coach crafted for me. My husband and I have different sets of workout given by the coaches of freeletics. 

I also realized the importance of “warming-up” “stretching” and “intervals”. It helped ease some muscle soreness and put my body at ease during and after the workout. Honestly, I never really thought that I can do such intense workout and yet I feel excited about it. Never I realized that I have some muscles hidden in some parts of my body, good pains and soreness I never felt before. I feel stronger and driven. 

This app promises results, some testimonials says that in a disciplined, determined and serious training – it would produce great results in 15 weeks. And, I really look forward to that. 

So I will keep an update about this freeletics bodyweight journey every now and then, give feedback and hopefully can share some great and successful results, weekly, and who knows in 15 weeks – I will get my toned, lean, healthier body! 

Reflections: 5 Lessons to learn from the Life of Solomon

Reflections: 5 Lessons to learn from the Life of Solomon

As promised, here’s my first installment to understanding and studying the life of Solomon. My inspiration in studying his life, birthed from reading the book of Proverbs. His life was narrated in the book of 1Kings chapters 1-11, there are so many things to learn from the life of the wisest king ever lived, the son of the most famous king of the Old Testament David – so here’s the 5 things I took. 

Interlude, 

In summary, Solomon is really a man gifted with wisdom, discretion and leadership. He got his royalty, maybe from his genes, but clearly, God gave it to him generously, in fulfilment to God’s covenant with David, his father. 

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  1. Integrity matters

Wisdom comes from hearing and doing. Although, Solomon is still the “wisest” person who lived, he didn’t follow all that he learned from the Lord. Later on, his actions proved that he didn’t obey and clung into his own judgment about women, his wants. As they say, it doesn’t matter how you started, what matters is how you finish. His integrity fell off the mark at later part of his life. 

Solomon started good but he didn’t finish well. Yes, he is not at all perfect, but it’s also good to note that, Solomon even with his good background of wits and good knowledge – he still failed, how much more are we? To live with good integrity, we must fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and the FINISHER of our faith. 

2. Follow the warning signs

The Lord didn’t waste a chance not to warn Solomon about the dangers and consequences of him running after women. He didn’t pay attention, instead he pursued what he wanted, he had 700 wives and 300 concubines, that turned his heart away from the Lord. He walk on his own understanding, he forget to acknowledge the Lord, in his decisions, with his relationships. 

Warnings and cautions are given ahead of time, often we don’t know what’s out there but if we don’t pay attention to these warnings, we will surely fall into it’s dangers. Value instructions! 



 3. Invest in the next generation 

One blessing Solomon inherited from his father David was his throne, fame and glory. In which Solomon didn’t give to his son because of the consequences of his sinning. Solomon robbed the chance from his son to reign because of what he did during his time. His son suffered and bear the consequences of a divided kingdom, adversaries created against the kingdom, because of his father’s stubborness. What an inheritance, a mistake that cannot be taken away from the future of next generation. 

As a parent, I am reminded of my actions and my investments on my daugther’s future. The way I treat myself physically, my marriage, the way I handle our finances, our spirituality and our souls, the way I value relationships and family – will all contribute to the future of my daugther. That’s why I have to be more intentional, henceforth. 

 4. Hearty Decisions 

One of the most prominent character traits of Solomon is his godly wisdom, which seemed to have vanished after he run women after women from different nations. His credibility and integrity vanished and so his decision makings went hay-wired, because his heart is at the wrong place. He made temples for gods, that has no value and has caused God to be angry. He made hasty and thoughtless considerations to his actions and just did what he felt like doing. 

Our decisions, can go wrong if we our hearts is at the wrong place to begin with. Our human inclination is always towards sinning, and if we are not guided and if our minds are clouded by too much of our selfish desires and aspirations, surely our lives will be miserably damped into failures. Solomon’s discretion earlier in his life always sprouted from his good and deep relationship with God, cautious, guided and careful. But when he started sinning, and his heart is no longer wholly before the Lord, his decisions failed. He failed miserably. 

5. Invest on Godly friendships

One of the greatest things Solomon did during his early years of reign was to surround himself with people who could help him establish his leadership. He handpicked and chose carefully the people who would surround him throughout his tenure which helped him focus on his agendas, because he got all the qualified people around him. 

Toxic relationships, definitely affects our whole being. Be wise in choosing friends and relationships, we wanted to be intentional with those whom we wanted to spend our time, effort, asset and life with. We don’t want to waste our passing time to people who doesn’t contribute any growth to ourselves. 

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My prayer for us is that we would learn from this man of wisdom, he, like us is frail and prone to make mistakes despite his wisdom, he still failed. The lessons and learnings from his life, we must always remember and not be taken for granted. 

Remember what he wrote in his proverbs; 

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭3:5-6‬ ‭

Let us not be wise with our own eyes, nor learn to be proud and not take instructions. Let us learn to value the experiences of others, learn to integrate God’s word as the basis of our lives and learn to trust God and acknowledge His standards, His ideals, His words in all of our ways – so we can finish strong!