Tuesday, August 03, 2010
Tuesday, August 04, 2009
Sunday, August 02, 2009
Saturday, August 01, 2009
Happy? i guess so. I'm not too sure. Happy that I'm finally stepping out of this very alternative life style, but yet there are so many things that I have grown to like about army. This familiar routine and the people that come and go. I'm going to miss the times talking to these youngsters about dreams and ambitions and what should matter in their life.
Then again, when i was looking back, my dreams and ambitions have gradually changed over these few years. Things that matters to me have taken a shuffling in priorities. It is scary that everyday i start to lose that passion for the things that are dear to me, to the extent that i am willing to compromise. The scarier thing is that i hardly realised that i compromised.
Only just last week, i was talking to a friend i haven't seen in a year, and we started talking about what i intend to do after i leave the force. I paused for a moment. I had my compromised plans at the tip of my tongue, but i could not say it out. A ridiculous sense of sadness fills my heart. Only then, i realised how much I've changed. Changed to be pragmatic, realistic and most disgustingly, I've changed to be someone unlike Daniel.
I couldn't hold back the sadness. I started rambling on about my ever extravagant master plan to bridge the arts and media industry with the talents and the more i talked about it, the more excited i got. ha.
My plan is next to impossible with where i am now, but i have this overwhelming optimism that i somehow will pull this off. I'm excited and hyped up just thinking about the possibilities! i feel relief and comfort knowing that i am still passionated about my ambition!
From then on, I decided, I'll carry on and tell my stories. I'll carry on and be a bard of our time, telling the grandeur of the modern epic stories of our lives, inspiring people to imagine and see their imagination to fruition! To run after passion, hold on to it and fly!
The word "Inspiration" originally meant "from God". And I'm thankful that God Himself is my inspiration. That Jesus is a storyteller Himself, telling the most wonderful stories that is so powerful that it shows people the truth! That His story of love and salvation, so moving, so real, so liberating, so important and the best part is that I am in the story too.
I decided. I'm going to do something I'm passionate about. The things that makes me happy. I'm not gonna compromise. Not when God intently engineered me this way. The way ahead is scary and most uncertain, but I'm stepping out in faith that God will nourish me and guide me and make me the person He intents me to be.
I'm writing my own story this time round. Its been quite a story with love and hate, friendship and betrayal, adventure and dull moments, hope and disappointments, God and godlessness. The best is yet to come.
but since I'm the author of this story, I chose it to be a happy ending. I'm sure this is a bestseller in the making! =)
Wednesday, June 03, 2009
Here's an article that hit close to home when Prudence recommended me a Christian blog. It suddenly made sense of what i've been trying to articulate for some time but somehow was unable to put it into words. Take a read, might make a difference to your church.
Article taken from www.beyondrelevance.com
Here's a truism: people that have had a life-changing experience with God want others to find God in a life-changing way. This is surely true. It is also true that most people that sat in church pews last year never invited one single person to their church. So what is the disconnection?
I think one of the biggest disconnects we have in the church is that, as leaders, we often forget what it was like to go to church for the very first time. The intimidation factor for a lone visitor in a new church is simply huge. But it is nowhere close to the stress and vulnerability that is put on a churchgoer who invites a visitor. All inviters put their reputations on the line every time they invite someone to church. You can rest assured that your church members will not invite someone if they do not expect a positive outcome. And most of the time, that's why one church isn't growing and the church around the corner is. It has led us to say that "People are not ashamed of Christ, they are ashamed of their church." Ouch!
I asked a young friend how he was enjoying his church; he admitted that he loved it but was bothered by the fact that the church wasn't growing. I asked him why it wasn't growing; he acted bewildered and said, "I have no idea."
"Yes, you do," I challenged him. "You know why it's not growing."
After a silence, I asked, "When was the last time you invited someone?"
"Well, it's been a long time," he said ashamedly.
"Why don't you invite people?"
He shuffled his feet and said, "I don't know."
"Yes, you do," I said. "The reason you don't invite people is the same reason why your church is not growing."
I could tell that bells went off on the inside. He responded, "Yeah, I know why." He had known it all along. He just had never connected the dots between the challenges of inviting people and overall church growth.
It might be simple. A congregant might be embarrassed about the church decorations, the woman who shouts from the back of the church, the inexplicably deep or dry sermons or the pastor telling jokes about his wife. The harder it is to invite people, the more challenging church growth is.
You see, I knew my friend loved God and wanted others to experience Christ's love. Unfortunately, most people are not intimidated about being Christians; they are intimidated about inviting people to their church.
The simple truth is that if an invitation is hard to make, for whatever reason, fewer people will be invited. The battle for growth is first fought in the hearts of churchgoers who want to better the lives of those around them. This is actually the desire of the vast majority of churchgoers.
I cannot say this emphatically enough-all true Christians want other people to become Christians. It is planted in them when Christ is planted in them. This means if your church has to beg, push, cajole, offer incentives, or even just remind people to invite others, it is a telltale sign that, for whatever reason, they do not believe the ministry that takes place will make a successful connection with the people they would invite.
This is where the rubber hits the road. Is your church connecting with your community? The main link is through your congregation, and if they think you're not connecting, you won't.
It is no wonder Paul challenged us in advance to "become as one to win one." The ability to relate to our communities and church growth go hand in hand. When a ministry can successfully relate to the people in its congregation in a way that reassures them that their guests will be connected with, the churchgoers will be willing to invite others because they know it will relate to those they invite.
By analyzing the temptations and challenges associated with inviting people to church, we found the following to be true. If a churchgoer can answer these questions positively, then inviting friends and family will not only be easy, it will become a lifestyle. The church will explode with growth! As a side note, my guess is that none of these topics would ever show up on a visitor survey. They require us to look closely in the mirror, as even our closest allies would have a hard time advising us of some of these issues.
- Will my friend feel welcomed?
Principle: Hospitality-The atmosphere, nomenclature, and style of service should be inviting and not intimidating to the unchurched.
- Will my friend fit in?
Principle: Comfort and Compatibility-Like it or not, invitations and visitor comfort decrease when social or cultural gaps exist.
- Can I feel confident that I know how the service will turn out?
Principle: Consistency-People need to know what to expect, because they will invite accordingly.
- Will my friend get something out of it?
Principle: Relevance-The message should be relevant and powerful for people at all spiritual levels.
- Will my friend understand it?
Principle: Understanding-Jesus taught through practical illustrations. The songs and message should be understandable for people at all spiritual levels.
- Will anything that could seem strange to the unchurched be explained through Scripture?
Principle: Sensitivity-Scriptural actions should be carried out with clarity and considerate explanation.
Having said all this, I am convinced of one thing. If members walk out of your service saying, "I wish my unchurched friend had been here," they will start to think about inviting their friend. If a member walks out of your service three weeks in a row and says every time, "I wish my unchurched friend would have heard that," nothing will stop that member from dragging that friend through your doors. The challenging thing is that often, when members walk out of churches, the only thing they can say is, "I wish my other church friends would have heard that."
It's time to evaluate. Are we creating an atmosphere that fosters growth or are we just ministering unto ourselves?
Monday, April 13, 2009
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Thank God for the cross, for his love, His mercy, His grace and His resurrection. Thank you Jesus. May i be reminded everyday of what you've done for me.
It's so easy to make promises, resolutions and commitments. But all these are too easy to ignore as well. Finding it easier and easier to forget about the godly things i should be doing and giving false importance to my worldly dealings. "oh, I'm too busy with work", "I've a meeting to attend". Nothing but excuses to draw me away from my Father in heaven.
But it's so hard to fight alone. It is tough fighting in a broken environment. Your comrades are either wounded soldiers or lost civilians. I remember the scene from the movie "black Hawk Down" when the helicopter pilot who crashed into a hot zone and was left there waiting for rescue. His comrades died protecting him as long a possible. Wounded, he sits in a corner with his limited ammunition, killing one at a time till he ran out and was mobbed by the angry Somalians.
Helpless and with limited resources and strength, i wonder why i entered this war. But i know the convoy is near. They are coming for me. i wouldn't be left behind. They promised. They are fighting their own wars, just like me. We promised to back each other up when we're done.
Help is coming. The end is near. A new beginning awaits. I can smell it. I may be clubbed and mobbed before, but i do not fear he who kills my body, my soul is well in my Father's hands. The weak and wounded will stand and fight till help is here. And we know it is on its way.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Apparently, they are as right as they can be. Regret is the order of the day. They probably did the right thing and they are reaping their rewards while I'm left here caught in yet another tough and lifeless yet important decision in my life.
I find it hard to forgive the people who did this to me. As much as i want to, sour discord stirs in my tummy when i think about them and how they did it. They say time heals.. i'm still waiting to see.
I too long for a new beginning, a new calling, a new lease of life. Perhaps someone new in my life as well. But i look around me, the possibility seems to be gone. I used to have a bunch of friends who had crazy dreams and beautiful ambitions, nothing too formal, only too extravagant. We had nothing to back us but each other. Then they held on to their own dreams and flew away, apparently without me.
Now i learn that people do find courage in numbers. I'm afraid to dream alone now. When i share my crazy dreams and ambitions, there's no one who really understands how i feel. My life is less then it was. As usual, sad but true.
Don't want to dream alone. There must be more to my mundane life. There must be a twist in the new chapters ahead. I'll have to find forgiveness somehow. I'll have to let go and jump someday. As down and out as I am now, i know I'll stay and fight. I'll fight and win. I'll win and .. erm.. any idea what's after that? :)
Counting down :)
Saturday, January 17, 2009
i really wish it meant something.. ushering in the new year.. making new resolutions.. celebrating the passing of a year. so meaningless.. so sad.
i never did any of the above.. didn't find the need to. but as much as i sulk at how fast time has passed me by with me still marching on the same spot, it's about time i get over 2008, or maybe 1999, 2000 as well, all the years that i held back actually. Holding back the years where i wish i could re-live, holding back the years that i wished didn't happen. i kept them all. Dragging these memories with me, it's slowly becoming excess baggage, pulling me down, holding me back.
sometimes i feel so broken. but i can't be the only one that is broken rite? cos that would make me so pathetic. So how come no one seems to show their brokenness? why does every life seem so beautiful?
The way i see it.. there really is no shame in being broken. Broken as i am, God still loves me. And in my brokenness, He will make me whole again.
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
hardly worked much this month. clearing all my accumulated off days and leaves all in this month. so going back to office only for 6 days this whole month. :)
told a lot of people that i really had(or rather still having) a good break this time. got a lot of decisions done. gave much time to myself. Something i had always wanted to do. But i could never imagine how far away from God, how detached i am from my dreams, how easily i've forgotten the things i really want to do, how blind i was from the people i love, until i had this time to slow down and think. And i thank God that this break came in handy at the right time.
decided to change my course of studies from Marketing to Communications. Spent a long time thinking about it. Some people think that i'm just being daniel, just couldn't stick it through. 5 mins interest, i'm at it again. I, too, doubt whether there is some truth in it. That maybe i'm giving myself excuses again every time i meet with a challenge.
I can't blame them for thinking so. I really have nothing to show so far and i really did quit a lot of things before. but am i still like tat? i hope not. i would really hate myself if i am. But it is really scary sometimes, especially when everyday draws near to the day where i have to deliver what i say.
For those who knows me, you probably know i have big dreams and visions, big ambitions and hopefully a small ego. But I do think that i'm built different and that God had given me clear insights on the things i want to engage in. He made me outrageously optimistic, positively pragmatic, addicted to emotional experience and easily excited by the promise of potential and HOPE! Thats me, that's daniel.
But in less than 2 years i will have to deliver a promise that i've spoken for years. Not that anyone is watching if i really could make it, but i think i've cornered myself into a corner where i am gonna meet who daniel really is, If daniel could really walk the talk, if i really am that procrastinating day dreaming idiot, if daniel could really stick it through on the things that matters.
2 more years.I'm really confident this time round, but i can't say that i'm not afraid. But it's about time i guess. Watch me..watch out for me.. pray for me.. pray that i don't lose myself chasing this world.
yep.. thats it. hmmm.. the sound of crickets. so hypnotizing. long walk down the fort. Yawn.. i wonder whats for lunch? :)
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Saturday, October 25, 2008
he told me a story about a famous tight rope artist who was world renowned. This artist traveled far and wide, looking for new challenges and scaling new heights in his trade. So it came to a point where he thought he needed a a defining moment.
He decided to stage a show. The scale of the show was like none he had ever done before. He was to walk a tight rope from a sky scraper to another, high up in the sky. On the day of the act, he had a huge following of people gathering to witness this feat. Before that, he thought he wanted to stir the crowd a little. The crowd loved him. Lots of them admired him for his guts and skillfulness. Little had doubt that this new feat would be of any difficulty for him.
He addressed the cheering crowd saying, "My fans! do you believe that i can do this?" The cheering crowd clapped their hands and whistled, some shouting "Of course! Of course!"
Feeling like a million dollars seeing the support that he is getting, he decided to ask once again, "My dear fans! Who among you do not have a doubt that this is chicken feat for me?" The crowd went wild, cheering even louder, clapping and whistling. They all seemed to really believe in him.
The artist liked it. Feeling his ego swelling with the support, he decided to ask one last time before he steps up on the rope, "My dear fans, if you believe i can do this without breaking a sweat, cheer for me like there's no tomorrow!" The crowd responded, cheering louder than before. Clapping and stomping their foot! In fact, looking at the artist's past records, there is no reason to doubt him at all.
Suddenly, the artist fueled by the response ask a different question, "My dear fans! If you believe me, will one of you volunteer and i will carry you on my back and walk this rope!"
The crowd went dead. Suddenly there was no more cheering and stomping. Everyone looked around, thinking who would be brave enough to do so. Turns out, none of them dared.
The artist was utterly disappointed.
Finally, a little boy walked out of the crowd and volunteered. The crowd was impressed by the guts of this little boy.
The grateful artist took the boy on his shoulders and finished walking on the tight rope. The crowd cheered! For both the artist and the boy. Even though the act had been completed, he felt unsatisfied. The crowd was curious who this gutsy little boy was. Turns out, the boy is the artist's very own son.
When the artist took his bow from the crowd, he held him in his arms and thanked his son, for his was the only one who really had faith in him.
Thinking about it, we all seem to be like the crowd. We all believe in God and recognise what He is capable of. But how many times do we flee from walking with God in our lives. Depending on Him and allowing Him to take us on His powerful shoulders.
This is simply the absence of faith. We believe God can do it, but we seriously doubt that God can do it with you. We're afraid of the "what ifs" that we forgotten that there is no "what ifs" with God. Because of this, we stand outside greatness. We chose not to partake in God's miracles and providence in our lives.
I've heard of people telling me, "why are there so many people with testimonies of great and wonderful things that God is doing in their lives, but there is none that i can boast of?" I say to them, those are the people who let Jesus take the wheel in their lives.
There is a clear distinction between believing in God and having faith in Him. Believing in Him means to understand that He is God and that there's nothing he cannot do. Having faith in Him is allowing Him to impose His will and plans in your life. An act that compliments your believe.
It is very relational. Like that little boy, he not only believe his daddy could do it, but he trust him enough to know that his daddy could take him through it. Let us look at our relationship with our Father in heaven. Have it been the same case like the crowd? How many times, we rather believe in ourselves than to trust in God, relying on our own wisdom than His.
May we remind ourselves daily to lift our lives to God, giving Him the driving seat in our lives. Demonstrating true faith in our Father, who can and will carry us through it all.