Category Archives: Churchy Stuff

What three wishes?

Recently I heard that a church (not my church) has asked its members to think of three wishes and go to church on new year’s day to get prayed for, so that the wishes would come true.

I never knew God was a genie in a magic lamp.

He is omnipotent, omnipresent, the Alpha and Omega, and nothing is impossible with Him. It is as easy as snapping a finger for Him to fulfil our whims and fancies, but frankly, is that good for us? And what end or purpose will that serve? Boost our ego?

In my personal opinion, I find the implications of what the church did was not very right.

Christians should be have the resilience of faith in God, come what may.

And see God for the Almighty One He is. Not a genie from a magic lamp to fulfil our every wish, whim and fancy.

A cousin even posted this on her facebook  “Come to church with 3 wishes. They will be fulfilled.”

How misleading!

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Take a break please!

The cell group leader is in need of a much needed break.

At least, that is what I think. Yet he doesn’t seemed to think so. He is punishing pushing himself, all dried up, bitter and disappointed, and yet still making it to cell, making us all suffer that glum, negative mood of his.

I think in order to make sense of this post, let me share what happened at cell last Friday (even though I wasn’t present, as I was nursing a cold in bed, knocked out from all the meds I took).

As I was oblivious to the meltdown happening in my living room, and the stalemate thereafter, I can only replicate first-hand accounts of what I heard.

Apparently, after 9 months of doing nothing, the cell group leader kicked off a series of lessons on “What is cell group to you?”. It started well but ended in a stalemate when one of the members asked that he sped up the whole process and not dragged it on for two more weeks as she rightly observed that we have wasted a whole nine months doing nothing.

It was at this point (all first-hand accounts agree) that the cell group leader exploded emotionally, started to shout in anger and break into uncontrollable sobs, that he was very disappointed with the cell group. To him, we were not growing. We didn’t help out at church events. We complained about everything. We were not evangelizing.

Indignant at his outburst, the members answered/ argued/ shouted back. It was mayhem, a complete meltdown.

There was no conclusion. The members believed that it was not wrong to have expectations of being nurtured in cell, while the leader believed he was not wrong to want to see tangible growth among the members. In the stalemate that ensued, the leader left without a word.

And with that, we fast-forward to last night. Friday was cell-night, and the sectional leader came in. There was an ice-breaker, a worship session and sharing. He addressed issues like part of the lesson, not pinpointing what the leader or members did wrong.

The cell group leader did turn up, albeit late at 8.45pm. He came in with a glum face, and when asked to share his thoughts on the topic, his tone was negative, bordering on bitter.

When another cell group member shared her thoughts, he sang a different tune and for a while, it seemed like there was a debate. At the end of the lesson, after prayer, he left without a word. Again.

At the dinner table, I asked the sectional leader if he or the cell group leader would be conducting lessons in the subsequent weeks. His answer disappointed me.

The cell group leader would be facilitating the lessons, although the SL would be at our cell group for the next few weeks.

I honestly don’t think the cell group leader is up to it. He seems to be too raw emotionally and there was no reconciliation with the members yet.

I am afraid of what is to come for the next few Fridays. Why doesn’t he take that god-damn break now, please?


God’s Protection


I survived the thunderstorm!

You may think I am exaggerating, but I did survive an ordeal yesterday.

At 5pm, when I was sitting in my cubicle in a windowless office, I heard thunder. Not the low rumbling ones, but the loud, crackling, quick-cover-your-ears type. I thought I even felt the building shook a little at an especially loud one.

It came as no surprise, therefore, that the sky was dark like night when I stepped out of the office. It was also pouring ping-pong ball sized raindrops. At about the same time, I felt a tummyache coming on.

It was crucial that I weighed my options carefully.

Should I leave right there and then or wait it out?

Should I use the office toilet or make a mad dash home? (I live within a stone’s throw from the office, by the way.)

I decided to leave then, and hoped that the wait for the bus would be a short one.

It was very very soon after I stepped into the rain that I regretted my decision. I walked no further than three footsteps before my shoes, clothes and bag got SOAKED through.  The ultra lightweight, cute umbrella I got from Isetan ( a Japanese department store) was useless against the elements. My tummyache got worse in the pelting rain and howling wind.

The usual route crowded with staff walking towards the nearest bus stop was deserted, and I was practically the only one braving the rainstorm-thunderstorm at that moment. Then I saw it.

A long, intense, time-stopping lightning flashed across the sky which sent chills down my spine.

I remember reading somewhere that Singapore is the one of the most deadly places in the world as far as lightning is concerned. From the same article, there were some pointers given to avoid being hit by one. (Here’s a list of what Google came back with.)

DOs:

Take shelter in a house, large building or car
In open areas, seek shelter in a low area such as ravine 
In a forest, seek shelter in a low area such as under a thick growth or small trees
In open water, head for the shore
On a golf course (without any nearby shelters), put down your clubs, take off spike shoes and crouch into a ball on the ground
In a group in the open, spread out 

DON’Ts:

Avoid using the telephone, electric appliances and electronic equipment
Do not stand under tall trees or next to a telephone pole
Do not stay in the open or on high ground such as roof tops, hill tops etc…
Stay clear of wire or metal fences, metal pipes and rails 
Do not hold metal objects such as umbrellas, golf clubs or bicycles
Do not load and unload explosive or inflammable materials

I was doing none of the “Do’s” and FIVE of the “Don’ts”. I was holding my iPhone in my hand, walking under rows of tall trees, I was in the open and then on an OVERHEAD BRIDGE, with metal barricades along the entire length of the bridge, and I was holding an umbrella.

All the time while I was quickening my footsteps, fighting the tummy pain, keeping my umbrella close to me, the lightnings went on unabated. When I finally reached home about 35 minutes later, I have never felt more grateful to my Creator for preserving my life. By His grace, I survived the thunderstorm!


9 months and counting…

I am not counting down to some estimated delivery date, for those wondering.

It is the number of months we have not had any bible studies in our cell group. By that, I mean we’ve not shared or talked or discussed or discoursed anything relating to the bible at all.

We have spoken with our cell group leader about this on two occasions – and the cell members even came up helpfully with ideas on what we could do to help. Although he seemed to have understood our concerns, and despite having arrived at a conclusion as to which material we should use for future lessons, nothing has been done in the months since.

When probed GENTLY by us again two weeks ago, the cell leader finally let on that he was feeling down and on the evenings before cell nights, he actually felt underwhelmed.  That probably explained the reminder messages that came later and later, and of late, none at all; the tardiness in coming to cell, being constantly late, and occasionally, by over an hour. When he did turn up, his phone would be in his hands, and his eyeballs, glued to the little screen.

Over these 9 months, our big group of 14 regular members have dwindled to about 8 now. On a particularly bad day, there were only 3 members who turned up, not counting the hosts, that is, my husband and I.

Something happened last night to heighten the level of frustration I had with the cell leader. He posed a question to us – What is cell to you? which led me to think that our petition 2 weeks ago was pretty effective.

Somewhere along the way, he got defensive when a cell member remarked that if we are to focus on the treasure in Heaven and not those on earth, then what treasure in Heaven should we expect to see.  It seemed like an opening for a discussion but the cell leader broke us off in mid-sentence and started his tirade on the subject. I was nowhere more enlightened at the end of his tirade than I was before.

I think citing burn-out as a reason is lame. If one is tired, one should ask for ministry leave instead of rotting the entire cell with his pessimism, emotional outbursts and defensiveness. I could have been too harsh on him, but 9 months of waiting for him to get his act back together is 9 months too long.