Gospel, theology and story

How much more ….

Lost and found: the S Pen and Samsung Note 10.1 tablet

Lost and found: the S Pen and Samsung Note 10.1 tablet

The Lord really cares for the minute and mundane as well as the major things in our life.
I have been using the Samsung Note 10.1 tablet for a few years now. I bought it because of the S Pen, that little instrument tucked in the bottom right hand of the tablet, is slick and efficient handwriting tool. I loved it because I journal quite a bit and the feeling of writing by hand is more satisfying than that of typing on a computer. I have enjoyed using the S Pen function most of the time as I write faster than I type and I need to make quick notes in meetings and when I jot sermon ideas and brainstorm and re-order points.
So it was with great consternation when I realized that I have misplaced my S Pen. Tried as I would to retrace where I could have lost it, I could not find the pen. It upset me and I asked the Lord several times to help me find this precious instrument. After a few days, I started to ask Samsung stores in Jurong if they sold spare S Pen for Note 10.1. To my surprise they do not carry them. How much space would a pen take? They said, Even if you go to the service centre they may still have to order from Seoul. That frustrated me.
Last week, at my office desk, I found the S Pen. It was in a container with all my pencils and ballpoint pens. How did it get there? I checked my whole desk surface but never searched that container. I was delighted. That office became a place of worship. The three words came to mind, HOW MUCH MORE? I mean this is not world hunger, Middle East conflict, or a deadly disease. Yes, if God cares about such minute mundane matters, how much more will He care about the more important stuff, like a loved one’s salvation, or who will succeed the older generation of pastors and missionaries in the church, or the re-ignition of the faith of the second generation Christians, or your health and financial needs, and your spiritual growth to maturity. Yes He does care for all these matters. How much more, how much more.

Share if you find it useful...Email this to someoneTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on FacebookPin on Pinterest
Education, spiritual formation & discipleship

Trinity Theological College: unsung heroes

I heard the voices, then I saw this multitude....

I heard voices like many thunders, then I saw a multitude….(pardon me, I have been preaching Revelation)

...from every tribe and tongue ....eating lunch

…from every tribe and tongue ….eating lunch

I was in the Trinity Theological College (TTC) library, when I heard the loudhailer blaring something outside. It must be some kind of celebration or a college event, I thought. Some time later, on my way to a lunch appointment, I caught sight of what was happening. It was a glorious sight. I could not believe my eyes. I had to take pictures to document this for my good friends and classmates Rev Benedict Muthusamy of Open Doors, Malaysia; Dr Tan Yak Hwee lecturing in Westminster College, Cambridge; and Raphael Samuel the Anglican Bishop of Bolivia. They would be delighted. I saw a sea of red: with students and faculty members and construction workers. Most were seated on the floor, some were standing, and others were busy helping around. They were having lunch, the seminary folks and the construction workers who had been working for the past few years to build the MRT station a stone’s throw from the college entrance: the Hillview MRT station.

These are sweet "unsung heroes" too

These are sweet “unsung heroes” too

Serving point

Serving delicious nasi briyani

I asked Veronica from TTC office, What is happening? Oh, the college decided to serve lunch to the “unsung heroes”: foreign workers from Lanka, India, Myanmar, Thailand, China, Korea that had been working on MRT station works just outside the college. I was pleasantly surprised at TTC’s gracious act of hospitality, even if it was a symbolic once off event. You know, after all seminary do not do such things.

Is that cold drinks or ice cream?

There were cups, ice and I saw ice cream

The foreign workers would have seen the big seminary sign at the main road, and may have known that this is the place where Christian workers and pastors were trained. For them to receive hospitality and thanks in this fashion is something they will remember for a long while. Just as significant the seminarians have begun to learn by actual doing the sacred art of showing hospitality to the “stranger” or “alien”. This is a true curriculum which educates the heart, a curriculum as important, if not more important, than learning in comfortable lecture rooms and library. This is theology of the heart. Theology 101, Jesus way.

Share if you find it useful...Email this to someoneTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on FacebookPin on Pinterest
Singapore churches

A prayer in the wake of the verdict of the CHC leaders’ trials

A pastor I had a lunch appointment with burst into the church office, Have you heard the news? What news? I asked. He delivered the bad, sad but not unexpected news. After lunch I went to check the Straits Times online and read this:

“All six City Harvest Church (CHC) leaders, including founder Kong Hee, were found guilty of all charges on Wednesday (Oct 21).Judge See Kee Oon delivered the verdict of the long-running trial. The six defendants are Kong, 51; deputy senior pastor Tan Ye Peng, 42; former CHC fund manager Chew Eng Han, 55; former CHC finance managers Serina Wee, 38, and Sharon Tan, 40; and former CHC finance committee member John Lam, 47.They were accused of misappropriating $24 million in church funds, funnelling them into bogus investments that funded the singing career of the pastor’s wife, Ms Ho Yeow Sun. Later, a further $26 million was used to cover their tracks.The six faced varying counts of criminal breach of trust and falsifying accounts. The first offence is punishable with a life sentence, or up to 20 years in prison and a fine. The second carries a maximum of 10 years in jail, a fine or both.Kong and Lam were found guilty of three charges of criminal breach of trust. Tan Ye Peng, Chew and Wee were convicted of six charges of criminal breach of trust and four charges of falsifying accounts. Sharon Tan was found guilty of three charges of criminal breach of trust and four charges of falsifying accounts.Sentencing will be at a later date.Delivering the verdict to a packed courtroom, Judge See said the main background facts were undisputed.On the wrong use of building funds, he said the bonds were “not genuine investments”. The “perceived success of Crossover was inflated”, he added.The six accused knew the building fund was a restricted fund. “It was not a realistic expectation to expect US album to sell more than 200,000,” he said, adding that it was “mere excuse” for City Harvest Church to channel money to Xtron, the company that managed Ms Ho.He was referring to the Crossover Project started by the church in 2002 to evangelise through Ms Ho’s pop music. Her career was initially funded directly by the church. But in 2003, a church member made public allegations that funds were being misused to bankroll Ms Ho’s career.The accused subsequently poured millions from the church’s building fund into Ms Ho’s music career, through a series of sham bond investments.Referring to Kong, Tan Ye Peng, Wee and Chew, Judge See said they knew that they had something to hide. The prospect of financial return was not their “genuine concern”, he said. “Accused persons all knew that the primary purpose of the bonds (was) to channel money to the Crossover (Project).”The accused people “just created labels attached on to stretch the meaning of the money”, he said, adding that he was not convinced of the supposed mixed purpose of the bonds. Referring to Chew, Tan Ye Peng, Wee and Sharon Tan, the judge said they all had the intent to defraud.He noted that much of the defence centred on the beliefs and they went ahead to act in good faith as a result. The weight of the evidence showed that they knew they were dishonest, he added. “They convinced themselves it was morally and legally permissible to use church funds, when they knew it was wrong.”Kong’s head was bowed low when the verdict was read. Wee appeared to be slightly teary-eyed, and Sharon Tan was seen wiping away tears.Bail of $1 million was extended to Kong, Tan Ye Peng, Chew and Lam. Bail amount was set at $750,000 for Sharon Tan and Wee. Wee was previously out on bail for $500,000. All six are barred from travelling overseas.The prosecution will file written submissions by Nov 6. The defence will file mitigation pleas by Nov 13. Oral submissions will be delivered on Nov 20 at 9.30am.”

For many on the sidelines who have heard, read the news, prayed and followed the three years of City Harvest Church leaders’ trials, the verdict was not a surprise. There were no raised eyebrows, no protests, just a sense of relief that the longest ever criminal trial in Singapore is about to end, and a lament that we the church are in a real sense one in all this.

An ancient prayer comes to our aid in this time of lament, shame and humiliation: O Lord Jesus Christ, take us to Thyself, draw us with cords to the foot of Thy cross; for we have no strength to come, and we know not the way. Thou art mighty to save, and none can separate us from Thy love. Bring us home to Thyself, for we are gone astray. We have wandered: do Thou seek us. Under the shadow of Thy cross let us live all the rest of our lives, and there we shall be safe. (Frederick Temple, 1821-1902).

Share if you find it useful...Email this to someoneTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on FacebookPin on Pinterest