Dear Fellow Communicators,
I have great pleasure in sending you Notes and Quotes for this month. Once again, the opening article is personal. It is a summary of what I shared with our family members on 18 July when we were cruising together around the Adriatic Sea. From time to time, I have been asked to share the “secrets” of generational blessing. I am aware that each family is unique and distinctive. As I reflect on God’s grace and favour on our family, I listed the scriptural texts and values that have shaped and are forming my family.
It will, of course, be wonderful to hear what your guiding biblical texts are.
MY EIGHTIETH BIRTHDAY CRUISE around the Adriatic will forever be remembered by our family. I’m delighted that I could create “peak moments” for them. Highlights included great dining, chatting, hanging out and touring different ports together. We had so much fun and laughter; we marvelled at the wonder of our family bonding. Can we ever forget the special hour when we prophesied and blessed one another?
I shared the biblical texts that guided and shaped our family. You are welcome to eavesdrop!
John 1: 16 From the fullness of his grace, we have received one blessing after another. We are recipients and benefactors of His grace. Because of this, we can bless others with love and joy.
Joshua 24:15 Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve….but as for me and my household we will serve the Lord. At the outset of our marriage, King Ling and I resolved to enthrone the Lord in our personal and corporate lives. He is to be central in our relationships, our vision, values and decision making. This choice was often challenged but He empowered us to fulfil our commitment. When you, our sons were young, we involved you in entertaining numerous international guests. We were eager for you to fulfill our God-give responsibility in serving Him and His people.
1 Corinthians 2: 9,10 No eye has seen, no year has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit.
God has prepared the best for us. He gave me the best life partner. He gave you sons, the best mother. He gave you the best education guiding you to Oxbridge followed by the great jobs. He gave us the best mentors and networks to help us thrive and prosper. Later He gave you your best life companions and together He blessed you with gifted children. He also blessed us with what I term “the winning combination” – the Word and Spirit. Our faith is rooted in His Word and our life and ministry, empowered by His Spirit.
1 Corinthians 3:10 By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a master builder… This has been my life-long calling. God enabled me in partnership with others to build up the IFES (1967-1991) When I took over the helm as General Secretary in 1972. There were around 35 national evangelical student movements. When I stepped down, the global Fellowship had nearly 100 member movements. Today there are 170. Part of this building ministry includes raising up key godly men and women to assume leadership responsibilities in politics, market place, academia and the church. From 1991 to 2008, together with a team, I founded the Emmanuel Evangelical Church and became its senior pastor. This international church located in Westminster produced numerous disciple-makers and planted two other congregations. My fervent prayer is that each of you will inherit the gene of building up people and corporate bodies that will mighty forces in the Kingdom.
Isaiah 61:8,9 In my faithfulness I will reward them and make an everlasting covenant with them. Their descendants will be known among the nations and their offspring among the peoples. All who see them will acknowledge that they are a people the Lord has blessed.
These words came alive around 2007 when I observed the impact that our three sons were making globally. Daniel has made a significant mark in academia and in musicology. Andrew’s life coaching through Authentic Life and Authentic Business has brought a fresh breath of life and influenced decision-makers around the world. Steve’s preaching and mentoring have led many in East Asia and the USA to a dynamic relationship with the Lord. I’m constantly overwhelmed by the giftings and achievements of their children (our grandchildren) as they gain honours in their studies and in sports. I marvel at their communication skills e.g. compiling blogs, writing raps and leading Alpha courses. We’re so thankful that they love and serve the Lord. Indeed, “we are a people that God has blessed.” For a generational blessing to continue, I pray every night for each family member by name. Finally, my prayer is encapsulated in the words of
Psalm 90: 16,17 May your deeds be shown to your servants, your splendour to their children. May the favour (beauty) of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us – yes, establish the work of our hands. Amen!
©Our lives are measured in moments and defining moments are the ones that endure in our memories.
©In life, we work so hard to get the kinks out that we forget to put the peaks in.
©Moments of elevation are experiences that rise above every day. Times to be savoured. Moments that make us feel, engaged, joyful, amazed, motivated. They are peaks.
©The occasionally remarkable moments shouldn’t be left to choice! They should be planned for and invested in.
©When creating a memorable customer experience, you first need to fill the pits. That, in turn, frees you up to focus on the second stage: creating the moments that will make the experience “occasionally remarkable.”
©Fill pits, then build peaks.
©Many business leaders never pivot to that second stage. Instead, having filled the pits in their service, they scramble to pave the potholes—the minor problems and annoyances. It’s as though the leaders aspire to create a complaint-free service rather than an extraordinary one.
This book is full of stories and case histories. The one I like best tells of the experience of Doug Dietz, an engineer who designed the MRI machine in 2007. He was elated with its initial success until he saw children frozen with fear, crying and in some cases sedated when they had their scans. Their parents were distraught. Dietz re-designed the machine. They were re-fashioned and re-shaped as canoes, submarines and spaceships. The children were invited to go on an adventure. The hospital rooms were also transformed with bright colours and some even had a small pond with koi fish swimming in it. Dietz broke down in tears when he saw and heard a young girl who had gone through 30 minutes in the spaceship asking her mother, “Can I come back tomorrow?” For her, a moment of agony was turned into one of elation. The pit was transformed into a peak. pp29-33
© The ultimate test of our spirituality is the measure of our amazement at the grace of God. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
© Imperfection is a prerequisite for grace. The light shines through cracks. Philip Yancey
© Grace and gratitude belong together like heaven and earth. Gratitude evokes grace like voice and echo. Gratitude follows grace as thunder follows lightning. Karl Barth
© Gratitude is what we radiate when we experience grace. And the soul is made to run on grace the way a 747 runs on rocket fuel. John Ortberg
¬ An actress got a part playing the role of a small mother. She was paid the minimum wage.
¬ Dogs cannot operate MRI machines. Cats can.
¬ What do you call a Mexican whose vehicle has been stolen. Carlos.
¬ What do you call a man who cannot stand? Neil.
¬ What do you call a deer with no eyes? No idea.
¬ How do you light up a football stadium? With a football match.
¬ Why was Six Afraid of Seven? Because Seven Eight Nine.
¬ And the Lord said, “Come forth and you will have abundant life.” Sam came fifth and won a toaster.
¬ Why did the yoghurt go to the art exhibition? Because it was cultured.
¬ A man tells his doctor, “Doc, please help me. I’m addicted to Twitter.” The doctor replies, “Sorry, I don’t follow you.”
¬ Why was the cat sitting on the computer? He was keeping an eye on the mouse.
¬ What did the bald man say when he received a comb as a birthday present? “Thanks, I’ll never part with it.”
¬ What did the Tin Man say when he got run over by a steam roller? “Curses! Foil again.”
¬ Invisible Man married Invisible Woman. Their children were nothing to look at.”
¬ Two TV aerials got married. The ceremony was boring but the reception was great.
¬ There was a bear at the murder scene. It was a grizzly sight.
…There were also chickens, ducks and turkeys there. Foul play was suspected.
…The Investigator smelled of garlic, onion and pepper. He was a seasoned detective.
¬ People who write puns need pun-ishing!