Notes and Quotes July 2017

The Chuas share generational blessings from three generations

Forage for Understanding! Don’t forget one word! Don’t deviate an inch! … Above all and before all, do this: Get Wisdom! Write this at the top of your list: Get Understanding! Proverbs 4 The Message (MSG)

The Spirit gives life, the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life. John 6:63

And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who lives in you. Roman. 8:11

We have just returned from four weeks of fruitful ministry in Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia. It’s been amazing and humbling to witness the Lord unleashing His love and power through the exposition of His Word. Many welcomed Jesus into their lives; believers were energised afresh by His Spirit. We watched with wonder and awe at His mighty working in different lives.

Two verses – John 6:33 and Romans 8:11- governed my preaching and sharing. The Lord Jesus declared that his words were spirit and life. It’s so easy for preachers to use clever and select words to impress our hearers. His words empowered by the Spirit gave life. And when we proclaim His Word, we should be expecting to witness its transforming impact.

In Romans 8:11, Paul reminds us that the Indwelling Spirit is the life-giver. If He is resident, we can speak life to our mortal bodies. This includes healing words to our limbs and organs that are attacked by alien viruses or nagging pain.

On our recent trip, three events demonstrated the reality of the life-giving words and work of the Holy Spirit.

In Hong Kong, King Ling and I were having lunch with D, a well- known surgeon. Three years ago, he was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer and given weeks to live. Her sister begged me to bring God’s healing to him. I gave him something far better than immediate healing. I led him to Christ; he was given new life and hope! In his name and with his strength, I encouraged D. to fight his cancerous cells. He is very much alive today and enjoying fullness of life (John 10:10)

On Sunday 25 May, M. & J. an Indian couple brought their six month old baby son B. for special blessing at St Andrew’s Cathedral, Singapore In March 2016, M. sought me out after I had preached a holy week homily. She sensed that God had anointed me to bring life to her and to her husband by giving them a child. I prayed and spoke life to her womb. Nine months later, God gave her a lovely son and it was an immense privilege to bless J. and his parents.

Two weeks later, a couple rushed towards me after I had preached at SIB, KL. They were proudly holding J. their 11 month old son. His mother W. was in the worship team when she heard me sharing how we spoke cleansing and life to a hedge- fund manager from China. The latter had suffered three miscarriages. Unknown to me, W. had a similar history. In faith, she identified with the woman from China and believed that God could repeat the miracle. Again, I spoke life to her and into her womb. The Lord marvellous answered prayer. How amazing that we can partner the Spirit and be His agents in bringing life and joy to others.

Finally, it was a unique experience to minister together with our oldest son Andrew and his son, Ben at the St Andrews’ Family Conference (5-8 June) We preached, interacted and shared together demonstrating the wonder of generational blessing. I shall never forget the final evening. With King Ling joining us, we saw many overwhelmed by the Spirit as we blessed and prayed for each one that came forward to receive His touch and love.

It’s a rewarding experience to re-read books that impacted us. It’s like meeting old friends again. I viewed the sentences that I had underlined in Ian Leslie’s CURIOUS. Here are some gems for you to treasure and share.

It turns out that when most people get their hands on a computer, rather than pursue their curiosity what they want to do is to play Angry Birds. ‘Despite the educational potential of computers, the reality is that their use for education… is miniscule compared to their use for pure entertainment’ said Vicky Rideout. ‘Instead of closing the achievement gap, they’re widening the time-wasting gap.’ p.130

In his compelling book How Children Succeed Paul Tough argued that we have over-estimated the extent to which successful learning depended on intelligence, and under-estimated the importance of non-cognitive traits – put simply, character. He focuses on the motivation to learn, in particular the trait of persistence. Citing Angela Duckworth, Tough shows the achievement of children – and adults – is dependent on their level of “grit” – a combination of self-control, focus and an ability to recover well from failure or disappointment. A test of a student’s willingness to persist in a boring task is a much better predictor of achievement than a test of intelligence. The most successful students aren’t the cleverest; they are the ones who don’t give up. p.188

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ARE YOU A THINKERER?

Thinkerer = think + tinker.

Thinkering describes a social, collaborative way of working. I’m using it to name a style of cognitive investigation that mixes the concrete and abstract, toggling between the details and the big picture, zooming out to see the wood and back again to examine the bark on the tree. Peter Theil, co-founder of PayPal in a lecture at Stanford University remarked: A fundamental challenge –in business as in life- is to integrate the micro with the macro such that all things make sense. Humanities majors may well learn a great deal about the world. But they don’t really learn career skills through their studies. Engineering majors, conversely, learn in great technical detail. But they might not learn, why, how or where they should apply their skills in the workforce. The best students, thinkers and workers will integrate these questions into a cohesive narrative.

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MORE QUOTES to reflect

  Everything that irritates us can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.

Carl G. Yung ( 1875-1961)

There are numerous reasons why individuals resist change. The five most common are fear, comfort with the status quo, having no say in the changes, no sense of possible benefit, and finally being a stakeholder in the present way of doing things.

Michael Sampson

  The word ‘Christian’ means different things to different people. To one person it means a stiff, upright, inflexible way of life, colourless and unbending. To another it means a risky, surprised-filled adventure, lived tiptoe at the edge of expectation.. If we get our information from biblical material, there is no doubt that the Christian life is a dancing, leaping and daring life.

  Christians don’t simply learn or study or use Scripture; we assimilate it, take it into our lives in such a way that it metabolized into acts of love, cups of cold water, missions into all the world, healing and evangelism and justice in Jesus’ name, hands raised in adoration of the Father, feet washed in company of the Son.

All the persons of faith I know are sinners, doubters, uneven performers. We are secure not because we are sure of ourselves but because we trust that God is sure of us.

Eugene H Petersen, translator, THE MESSAGE

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Thomas L. Friedman: The World is Flat, A Brief History of 21 century

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