Thursday, October 30, 2008

Tim's original worship song No. 6 ... We Celebrate TonightWell

Well, October is almost coming to an end. 2 more months and it'll be the beginning of a new year. Exciting times ahead, especially for Joe and Caris *nudge, nudge :P

This Friday, our church will be having a celebration service. No need to check you Christian calendars, it's our church thing. Basically we are celebrating the launching of the new 'cell groups'. I was sitting in my studies earlier this week just thinking of all the blessings that God has poured into my family since relocating here in Perth. At the same time I was telling God how excited I am with all the things He's been doing in my life and the songs that He's been giving me. The more I think of it, the more I wanted to praise Him. Especially for this Friday night's celebration service. But all the songs I've written so far are quite intimate and quiet in nature. I just wanted to celebrate and praise Him. Hence this song was birth.

There's nothing deep to share this time. But would like to encourage you to think of the things that God has done in your life. Give Him praise! Every time the devil discourages you, give Him praise. When you do that, 3 things are happening: 
1) You are reminding Satan that God has done it before and will go it again
2) You are building up your faith through the word of your testimony
3) You are reminding God that He has to do what He has promised to do

That is why the knowledge of God, His Word and His works are so important to remember. Remembering is a powerful weapon! Don't ever forget! Amen.

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Ps. Thanks for the emails and comments on Facebook. But would be nice if you could leave a comment here so that I know you've visited and been blessed or challenged by the songs or the contents. God bless y'all.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Exodus 4:3

Once again, my cousin Joe preached an inspiring message this Sunday. But as he was preaching, I was stuck at two particular verses (Sorry bro. got distracted by the Holy Spirit). Which lead me thinking and meditating on it the whole afternoon. 

Exodus 4:2-3 ... short version of this story is that Moses was giving a lot of excuses why he can't go to Egypt. After naming all his fears, as Joe so insightful put it, God just asked what was in his hand and it was a staff. Then God ask him to throw it on the ground and it became a serpent and it became a staff again.

No ... There's no worship song in this (maybe later when I meditate on this longer). It's just something that it's bugging me and I felt I need to pen it down.

Title: A Fall Back Plan To Failed.

Have you ever wonder what a staff is for the people in the biblical times? For us Chinese that grew up in Asia, we would probably think of it as what the shaolin monks used as a weapon to defeat their enemies.

I would hope to shed some different light for you to ponder. A staff for a shepherd was never viewed as an offensive weapon, it's more for the defensive (Defensive Warfare, it's what I believe every Christians are called to do. It's a lengthy teaching itself which I may share with ya next time. Good for missionaries in 3rd world countries to know). Anyways, back to the matter at heart, The 'Staff' was used to defend the sheep from predators, to lead and to guide, used as a stabilizing tool when climbing and recognition of identity. In a nutshell, a staff is the only security, dependency, stability and identity that a shepherd have.

In order for Moses to overcome his fears and to achieve what God wanted him to do, God had to ask him to 'throw down' his dependency, his only security. So what has it gotta do with the title above? 'Our Fall Back Plan'. I'll get to it soon enough, be patient.

We have to go with nothing so that God can do something. What does that mean? If we want to do God's work, our dependencies and securities has to be solely on God. Let me give you an example ... Say Moses was given 10 million troops armed with guns, tanks, missiles and latest technology, where do you think his trust would be? When we have all angles covered by worldly securities, will there be any angle left for God? Imagine when the Pharaoh said NO! and Moses says 'Ok ... everything is cool! I'll just drop a bomb next to his room just to show him that I can do it. That would teach him to say no to me again.' Or when Moses face the Egyptian army, his trust would have been with the guns, tanks, generals, battleships ... etc. Here's the thing, how many of us at a certain point in our lives have said we wanted to serve God. When our securities and dependencies fails us, what next? That's when the fall back plans comes in. We must have plan A, plan B and plan C. That's how we build our faith.

I remember when I first told my family and friends that I wanted to serve God full-time, my family members very lovingly said to me, son, you gotta have a fall back plan, go get a degree in business first, then go serve God and if that don't work out, at least you have a fall back plan. After 17 years, I'm still hearing the same thing now that I have decided to go back into full-time ministry. Don't get me wrong though, getting a degree is not a wrong thing to do. The few people that I respect very much here in Australia and are doing a lot for His Kingdom are highly educated people, like my uncle David, my cousin Joshua and Joe. And if I'm not mistaken, Pastor Patrick was a Colonel in the army. But it's when our fall back plans, our securities, our dependencies, our stability and identity, are on the things of this world, then where does it leave God. If our 'fall back plan' is on the things of this world, then are we planning to fail in the things of God? I beseech you, know the seriousness of this. Please listen, Don't start something because it's glamorous or can get you attention or fame and fortune. Make sure when you start it you know without a doubt that that's what God wants you to do.

Then that would lead to the next question 'How do I know?' Well, that is a whole different teaching all together. Most basic is that you need to submit to the counsel of Godly men and women, like your pastors, elders, home leaders, visiting ministers and they have to recognize it in you. Who am I in submission to? Well the pastors of my church at this moment which is Pastor David Ong (my uncle) and Pastor Patrick Chong, I do have others overseas like Pastor Koh Chu Soon, Pastor Stephen Tang, Jeff Martin just to name a few. You may not know them and may never hear of them on the radio or tv. But once again, the work of God is not about fame and glamour, it's about the Kingdom.

Think about this friends, if the events at the Red Sea was different, What would have happened? If Moses depended on the power of his army, weapons, generals and his fall back plan A, B and C. And eventually all those things failed him, imagine the amount of casualties along the way. How many casualties are acceptable before we are willing to 'throw down our staff'? Don't forget, it's God's desire that no one should perish. When we can't 'throw down our staff', we cannot achieve His desires and it does not only affect your life, but others too.

Let God be our only source of security, dependency, stability and identity. Then watch Him take us to the next level.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Tim's original worship song No. 5 ... Send Me Out

Song of Commitment was actually a sequel to this song.  Song of Commitment touches more on a personal level in worship. There is a separate kind of anointing that flows when we start declaring and proclaiming as a church as a body of Christ.

If one of us can reach out to 10, imagine what 100 of us could do. I’m not talking about hit and run evangelism or hit and run mentoring, I’m talking about really investing your time and effort for the Kingdom of God. Always remember, the Kingdom is not about you, it’s never been and never will be about you. It’s all about God and God alone.

When you reach out (again I’m talking about investing your time and effort), you’re not doing God a favor. In fact, it’s the other way round. When you reach out, He reveals a little more of His Kingdom and Himself to us. Think about it! It’s when you invest your time and effort doing something for God that you begin to see miracles happen, you begin to see hope in the hopeless, you begin to get excited for the things of God and that excitement will rub off on the person next to ya. Now you have 2, then it produces 4 and so forth. You think all these are for God’s benefit? NO! NO! and NO! It’s for you! You get to experience a little more of Him and His Kingdom on earth. That’s such an amazing gift.

Therefore, I want to challenge you to reach out. Start off slow, one non-Christian friend and one new Christian to mentor. Invest a year into their lives and see the Kingdom of God revealed to you. I look forward to hearing good reports. Onward Christian soldiers. Amen!

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Tim's original worship song No. 4 ... Song of Commitment

I wrote this many moons ago when I completed a leadership-training course. But it has never been more real to me than such a time as this. I really feel that God has a plan for me here in Perth and find myself getting drawn closer to serving Him full-time ever so much more.

I’ve been listening to people talk about the world’s financial crisis, as my cousin Joshua Ong (he’s a very reputable manager in a financial institution), put it “It’s not a recession, it’s more like a depression coming”. Thank God I’m pretty much oblivious about things like that. I’m probably the least academic one among all my cousins. But hey! If God can use a donkey, I’m pretty sure I’m one step up from that :P As Joe would say to me ‘We hope!’ :D

Anyways, I feel that as Christians, now is the time to shine. Let the world know that he/she who puts their trust in the Lord, will have no fear but have perfect peace. Therefore I say to you … SHINE! SHINE FOR CHRIST! Let the world experience His Love, His perfect peace! SHINE!

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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Tim's original worship song No. 3 ... Psalm 23

This praise song was birth out of a revelation that God gave me. One night during cellgroup, I was having a conversation with Joe Ong (The Preacher) and Psalm 23 was brought up. It was the week that he spoke about our birthright as a child of God. I can’t remember why Psalm 23 was brought up, but as we were getting excited about God’s Word, suddenly a revelation came upon me. I looked at Joe and said “I don’t think people know the full extend of this chapter”.

Psalm 23 is not a solemn, prayerful, meditative song that David wrote. I was a Psalm of victory, freedom and somewhat cocky. David was so confident in God and knew God so well. Not only he takes comfort in God’s discipline (just imagine your dad slaps ya on the face and ya go ‘Yeah! I’m so comforted by that’) but also he knew his God is bigger than anything in the world. That’s why he said ‘You prepare a meal before my enemies’. Who in their right mind would have a feast in front of his enemies? What a slap on the devil’s face! Amen.

As if that slap on the enemy’s face is not enough, David added salt to the wound by saying ‘You anoint my head with oil and fill my cup to overflowing’ … all these were done in front of his enemies. It’s hard for me to get into details cause there’s just too many levels to that verse, but in a nutshell, David was taunting his enemies. He was so confident that his Abba Father will look over him and bless him despite the circumstances.

I would encourage you to read Psalm 23 again and ask God to open your hearts and spiritual eyes to receive His revelation. For those of you that’s not a Christian and would like to know more, don’t hesitate to leave me a note. By faith, I would like to send ya a bible. Doesn’t matter where you are. May God continue to reveal more to us. Amen!

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P.S. I just realized that the lyrics doc has no chords included. If you want the chords, leave me a comment (don't forget to leave your email addy), I'll email it to ya. God Bless!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Tim's original song No. 1 ... I Will Be Here

Throughout my Christian walk in life, I have met many troubled people. It is sad to see non-Christians resorting to reckless behavior and some even contemplating suicide when they feel trapped or that no one understands them, wants them or love them for who they are. It’s even sadder when a Christian feels that way.
There was this girl back in my YWAM (Youth with a Mission) days that I got to know. She had a rough past and she doesn’t seem to be able to forget. She was living a very reckless life and her parents thought sending her to a ‘Bible school’ would help. Well, it didn’t!

My heart went out for her. One day during my work duty (my job in the Christian Uni was to wash plates, all 3 thousand of them and cups, cutleries, well, you get what I mean. So I do have a lot of time to think and ponder) I started lifting her up in prayer. Asking God what can I say to help her change. God’s reply to me was “NOTHING!”. I was kinda taken back for awhile, then I begin to understand … With all the knowledge and understanding of the bible, there’s nothing I say can that will ever change her. It is not words that she needed, it’s an encounter with God Himself. She needed to know what God thinks of her. Many of us are clueless what God thinks of us. So after washing up, I sat down with my guitar and ask God to show me His heart towards her and hence the song was birthed.

I never shared this song much cause I felt that it was so personal. But I believe now is the right time. I pray that all that has lost hope in people and in the world, that you’ll find it in Christ Jesus.

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Tim's original worship song No. 2 ... You Are

I was very challenged on one of the Sundays when Joseph Ong preached (btw, for those of you who doesn't know, he's my cousin). If you ever want to have a no nonsense, fiery, energetic, full of revelation, all inspiring message ... well, invite this young man to preach on your Sunday service.

Anyways, the message was about knowing your birthright. He touched on the prodigal son and he said something really interesting. The prodigal son came back, and in my own words, his dad slaughtered the finest 'cow', gave him a ring and threw him a party. The oldest son got mad, and told his dad that he did not even get so much of a goat slaughtered for him. Joe said all the younger bro. got was, in my own words again, a dead cow, a ring and a party. The oldest has rights to everything his dad owned. Yet all he could think of was a goat. Joe challenged the congregation, 'Do we really know our birthright? Why are there so many of us still asking our Father in heaven for goats when all that is His has has been promised to us? Why are we stuck with a slave's mentality when we have been made royal through Christ? Hmmm ... 

So on Monday I picked up my guitar and started pondering on the word and the revelation behind it and wrote this song. Remembering my birthright, remembering who I am in Him and who He is in me. And I had a passionate time worshiping God with this song. Praise the Lord!

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Tim's original worship song No. 1 ... For You Are God

This is the first worship song I wrote when I arrived in Perth.

How this song came about was kinda strange. I was very excited being in Perth and just can't wait to see what God has installed for me. As I was worshiping in my studies and thinking of all the things that people have been talking about (in terms of God's ministry) and I suddenly realized ... Sometimes we are so caught up with all the hype and the vision and the mission, we forget that resting is also part of God’s plan for us. Not just physically resting and not doing anything, but resting in Him. Enjoying His presence. Getting refreshed and renewed.

Personally, I feel that every Christian should take time off daily just to rest in Him. If my memory did not fail me, I remember Kent Henry once said, we should all have our praise vacation. I pray that this worship song will help you rest. Be refreshed and renewed.

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First Post - Personal Testimony

Hmmm ... never actually thought I'd start a blog. But somehow or rather I knew this was unavoidable eventually and hence, here it is. Just so that we get started on the right page, thought I'd give you a little bit of my background and how it lead me to start this blog and why I say it was unavoidable.

Well, I've thought about this ... and I've decided not to share my conversion experience (those who wants to know can contact me directly). But instead I will share with ya what God has been doing in my life for the past few years.

Hmmm (grin) ... looks like I still gotta give ya a bit of of my past.

Ok, here it goes ... I was brought up in a Christian family. Forced to attend church every Sunday and all the other church activities (Mom was very involved with church activities). Yet in the midst of all the Christian upbringing, all who knew me would say I had a very 'colorful' past. At a very young age (14), I already started running with a gang. So violence was introduced into my life sooner than most and it was an everyday affair for me until I turned 19. At 19 I had a powerful encounter with God which changed my life 180 degrees walking the other way. Btw, just so that you know the extent of damage I was doing to myself. I was already a chain smoker at 16 and was experimenting with drugs at 17. On top of that was drinking alcohol like water by 18. I woke up from that encounter totally cleansed and overnight kicked all habits.

I'm going to skip a lot of details and only give you bits and pieces so that we can get to the present faster. So please bear with me ...

A couple of days after my encounter, uncle David (which still is a pastor in Perth, Australia), prayed with me in the living room and suddenly started prophesying over me. During that prophesy I had an open vision (will not get into details now). But it was through that vision that motivated me to want to serve God full-time. No one believed in God's calling upon my life (guess they were more impressed with my past than God's future for me). Except for one pastor, Pastor Ricky Tan. He saw what God was doing, and took it upon himself to disciple us. Also from that prophecy, I started a ministry call Joshua Race Ministry (JRM) together with a close friend, a Christian rock band to be more exact. The ministry took us to many places including ministering in Japan. Which also got us a contract with Sony Music. Between that time, I attended School of Worship in Hawaii and also staffed there for 1 term. 6 years later after seeing more than a thousand coming to know Christ as their personal savior through our concerts, I decided to call it quits. There were some issues that I couldn't see eye to eye with the rest of the members (will not get into any details on that) and that led me to another 6 years of wilderness ...

One thing you must know though, through out my whole conversion and serving full-time in JRM, I had no income. I totally trusted God to provide for me. It was my parents that put their words into action. My dad supported me not only physically, spiritually but also financially. He poured in tens of thousands of dollars. From his giving, many came to know the Lord. Don't get me wrong though, there were people that gave to the ministry, but was never consistent. Sometimes you may feel that your giving is insignificant or overly exuberant, but trust God to make something out of it. Men can't, but He can! Amen!

Ok ... back to my testimony ...

4 years ago, I went with my family to visit my uncle in Perth. The day we arrived, we drove about an hour up north to attend their church camp. I had an encounter again (without the drama, just a strong impression in my heart). Since then, as Jeff Martin put it, God has been messing with me. I started going back to church and found a wonderful pastor (Pastor Koh Chu Soon of FGA, KD) who was willing to welcome me into his church and even allowed me to serve. Ironically the person that brought me back to church was a former band member of mine (Wilson Duke, one I fully trust to seek counsel from).

Ever since the camp, I've been crying out for God to give me a way of escape and a year ago by the grace of God, we got our PR to Australia approved (and this is another miracle of God, I'll share with y'all another time).

And that brings us to the present. I'm now living in Perth, Australia. I've not started working yet, but God has been faithful in supplying our needs. I'm in the midst of applying for a couple of jobs, but I'm not convinced that that's what I should be doing. Don't get me wrong though, I don't intend to be a bum either. But I do feel very strongly that I should be going back full-time into God's ministry. Well ... do ask God together with me for open doors.

At the mean time, I've been writing worship songs which I'll be posting it up here. If you are blessed by these songs, do let me know what God is doing in your life. You don't need to ask for my permission to use the songs in your church. As long as God and His people are blessed, I count it all joy.

Keep me in your prayers y'all. God Bless!