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The Hillsong Experience

The Hillsong conference was an awesome one. It definitely inspired me to stretch myself even more to be a kingdom-minded person and to grow deeper and crazier in love with Jesus. I’m so blessed by the conference and I really want to thank the church and the leaders for allowing me to be part of the team in the conference and for blessing me so tremendously. You guys rock!!! For those who’ve never been to the Hillsong Conference, start saving and planning now. The experience definitely changed my life, and I’m sure it will do the same to yours too.

Day 1 – The Arrival (Hello Cool Air)

After eight hours of plane ride, which we had to eat at the most ridiculous hours (we took the night flight), I finally felt the cool winter air of Sydney as we stepped out of the airport. A few minutes ago, Lisa excitedly remarked, “We’re in Sydney already!” when we were still in the arrival halls. Surprisingly, I wasn’t too excited, I don’t know why. Probably because I was tired or probably I was too looking forward to the conference itself.

We checked in to our hostel YHA soon after, did our own things and all of a sudden, it’s dinner time already. Typical Malaysians =). Jill’s friend came by and brought us around George St and we ended up in a Vietnamese restaurant for dinner. I love food in Australia, it’s MY portion!!! Unlike Malaysia, I don’t need second servings there. (well, it’s quite expensive after the conversion anyway)

Day 2 – The First Encounter (Jaw Dropping Eye Opener)

Woke up early and went for breakfast with Kevin. He was obviously craving for Hungry Jack’s (known as Burger King in Malaysia). I cannot believe people actually walk there. They walk. And walk. And walk. What’s wrong with you people?! Take trains! Take buses! They’re there for a purpose you know?! So, there I was with Kevin ‘indulging’ the walking experience, passing blocks after blocks, streets after streets, just for breakfast. (by now, you should’ve known that I’m not a walker, I’m a modern bum who makes full use of vehicles)

We went back to the hostel after our breakfast to meet up with the others just to know that they want Hungry Jack’s for lunch… Walk… Again…

It was only in the trains where I could actually rest my poor legs. But the luxury was soon over when we reached the Olympic Park, the place where the conference is held. It’s a HUGE place. So while I’m narrating, and I suddenly change the venue, it means I walked. A LOT.

So, we waited outside as PC went in to register for all of us and it’s only normal of us to start taking endless pictures of ourselves.

After all the registration and admin stuff, we were finally ready to go in to the stadium. Remember when I said I wasn’t too excited when we first reached Sydney? Obviously, that changed as I stepped into the Olympic sized stadium, filled with 40,000 people from all nations and ethnics. It was a breathtaking atmosphere and it’s just amazing how He gathers His children in one place for His glory and pleasure.

The first session’s speaker was Rick Warren, the author of the Purpose Driven Life and you could really see why. His message was just purpose FULL. =) This session really spoke to me as the message centers around Exodus 3 when Moses encountered God and He asked Moses, “What is in your hands?” Obviously, Moses was holding his shepherd staff but that staff was everything that’s important to Moses. The staff represented Moses’ identity (a shepherd), his income (as that’s the tool used to shepherd his flock) and his influence (to move sheep from place to place).

The question is, what is in our hands? What has God placed in our hands? What are we doing with what we’ve been given? Are we accepting God’s agenda and using what we have in our hands to accomplish it? God’s agenda is the Kingdom, and the Kingdom of God is where Jesus is King. Have we been advancing His Kingdom, telling others of Jesus’ love for the them?

One of the things he has in his hands as the author of the best selling book is finance. He shared about his own personal journey of trusting God with His finance. When he and his wife got married, they increased their tithes by 1% every year. And now, they’re doing reverse tithe. What on earth is a reverse tithe, you ask? =) Well, he’s doing it backwards now, giving 90% to God and keeping only 10% for themselves. My jaw dropped as I heard that. That’s a big step of faith. And it inspired me to train myself to do so too.

It might sound intimidating but God is on our side. And as God could turn a dead piece of wood (Moses’ staff) to a living snake, so can He change what is in our hands (which sometimes seem insignificant) and use it to do mighty things.

We had Alvin Slaughter singing and he has an amazing voice. Simply amazing.

As for the night session, Matthew Barnett spoke about being the best we can. Don’t wait for perfection, use what you’ve got now to make a difference. Don’t be someone else, be the best YOU you can be! He’s an amazing man of God as he started a church when he was 21 and now his church (the Dream Center) is known as ‘The Church that Never Sleeps’ ministering to the prostitutes, drug addicts and gangsters in the mean streets of Los Angeles.

Day 3 – The 2nd Day of the Conference (Heart Pumping Excitement)

It’s Rick Warren again, and this time he’s basically summarising his book in an hour’s time! Cool. So, he shared about the five purposes we’re here on Earth. I liked the illustration where he said, “Our lives are a preparation for eternity. Think of it as a warm up or a rehearsal for the big show.” Basically, our short lives on this Earth is just to prepare us for eternity! Life here is not all that there is! There’s a bigger show after this, eternity in heaven (or hell)!!! And yet, many people fail during this rehearsal. They get distracted by the things of the world, money, lust, power, greed and they miss the whole point of life. Are you doing well in this rehearsal? Are you going to miss the big show? =)

– We were created to worship God, for His pleasure (Rev 4:11b, Psalm 149:4). God enjoys watching us being ourselves! And He wasn’t lonely, but He created us so that He could love us and in turn love Him back! (Eph 1:4)

– We were created to have fellowship with His family (1 Tim 3:15) We can never grow without the local church. It’s about ‘one another.’ Can you ever say to someone, “I like you, but I don’t like your body.” The same way, you can’t say, “Jesus I love you, but I don’t like your body (the church)” Either way, we’d better get used to the church, because that’s what heaven is going to be! Family!!!

– We were created to become more like Christ through discipleship (Romans 8:29). We are to follow God’s image through God. Not become God, but godly. It’s through the Holy Spirit we become more like Christ and the way the Spirit does it is exactly the opposite way. To love the unlovables. To find joy in moments of grief. To make peace in chaos. To be patient in waiting.

– We were created to serve God through our ministry (Eph 2:10). God gave us spiritual gifts, heart, abilities, personality and experiences to serve Him and one another. It was never meant to be used to serve ourselves only.

– We were created to speak about Christ through evangelism (2 Corinthians 5:18). We must care about what God cares most, His lost children. A church that does not grow or share the gospel is basically saying to the world, “You can go to hell.” Wow…

After the main session, we have elective sessions and it’s divided according to what we chose when we registered. I chose the Creative Design elective which was under the Worship and Creative Arts stream. And during the electives we had Darlene Zschech to speak for a while and then Bill Hybels took over the pulpit.

Today, Delirious led worship and it was awesome. Well, not everyone could be used to the music as it’s really typically UK music. Think of worshipping God with music like Coldplay. =) However, he really has a gift in leading the congregation to an intimate time of worship with God and seeing 40,000 people holding hands and jumping all across the stadium was… indescribable.

After the electives, Frank Damazio basically shared about keeping the momentum in our Great Commission and not being lukewarm. And Rick Godwin talked about us being the salt and the light of the world (Matt 5:13).

– Salt is used to preserve and fight decay. We need to create a culture about Jesus (hope, love, peace etc) in the midst of a death culture. Are we being the preservatives of godly values in a world of immoral standards? Or are we conforming to the immoral patterns of the world?

– Salt is used to give taste. It’s purpose is to lose its taste for something of greater glory. Our lives are meant to be used for God’s glory, which is greater than ours. It’s meant to be used to show the people around us how great is the God that we serve.

– Salt is used as salary it was high in value. Jesus promised we’ll be the head and not the tail. Are we being sought after everywhere because of our influence in Christ? Are we living in the spirit of excellence and enlarging our territories for Him? Or are we complacent with our lives now and stay indifferent, lukewarm and careless?

– Salt causes thirst. A thirst for God. Salt is contagious, it causes everything around it to be salty. Are we making a salt outbreak?

Day 4 – The 3rd Day of the Conference (Blistering Leg Pain)

Brian Houston shared about living a life that’s called to serve His purpose. Many are called, but few are chosen (Matt 22:14). Live like the few, don’t just be saved, be called. Darlene Zschech shared about what’s our ‘because’ factor in our lives. What drives us to do things and live our lives? Money? Comfort? Pleasure? Or the Gospel?

Next, Jentezen Franklin confronted us of the ‘Measuring Tape’ mentality because we always limit God with our unbelieving and faithless minds. If God is involved in something, it’s immeasurable (Zech 2). Our God is a God of maximum, don’t depend on our own successes or failures but by faith in God.

I had an experience of hearing Israel Houghton and New Breed live for the first time. Man, I wish I could sing like him! It’s very black style though but it was awesome!!!

Later at night, Jentzen shared about standing in the middle ground, to stand in the gap (Exo 25:21-22). Just as the Cherubims were looking at God’s mercy seat, we ought to look at each other with God’s mercy, not judgement. We may not see eye to eye, but we have to stay as one in the Spirit. Jesus affirmed the middle ground when He said, “When two or three are gathered in My name, I will be with them…”

Day 5 – The 4th Day of the Conference (Total Body Pain)

In the morning, Bil Hybels shared about the need of having a holy discontentment (Exodus 2:11). God sees the heart, frustration and emotions of Moses and chose him to set his people free because it wrecks both their hearts. When Popeye the Sailorman gets angry, he says, “That’s all I can stands! I can’t stands no more!” What gives us a Popeye moment? What can’t we stand?

As I thought about it for a while, I realized I cannot stand immorality. It just makes me angry, really angry. When i see immoral designs (I’m a Graphic Designer), I burst with anger and resolve to influence the media with godly standards and vaues. When I hear people swear (Christians especially), I’d rebuke them. There was once when I was in a cyber cafe and the people were swearing and shouting while playing games, I really felt like vomitting, literally. I guess that’s how God has so tremendously changed my life when immorality was part of my vocabulary in life. Now, I can’t even stand it anymore. Ask yourself, what can’t you stand?

Feed your holy discontentment, expose yourself to the seriousness of the problem. Go for missions, hospital visitations, see the suffering, etc. Those carrying the banner of Christ should dispense hope when it seems like, “It can’t end like this!”

Next, is my personal favourite speaker, Louie Giglio!!! His message spoke to me most. He spoke about the greatness of that name, the great “I AM.” (Psalm 46:10) says “Be still, and know that I AM God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Being still doesn’t mean being lazy but to know and realize that there’s a God behind everything and He will still be exalted no matter what.

When God was sending Moses to deliver His people, Moses was so caught up with himself saying, “I can’t”, “I’m not”, “I’m…” It was never about “I.” God said “I AM sending you”, “I AM going to do it” and “You just go”. It’s not about us. It’s God who is doing the work and all we have to do is just go. And the good news is, the great “I AM” never changes, He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow!!!

So many times, I shrink back saying, “I am not able”, “I don’t have the skills to do so”, “I’m afraid.” And the reality just hit me during this sermon. It was NEVER about me. It’s about God. It’s about Him working in me and through me. It is ultimately Him who’s doing the work. He is able when I’m not. He is powerful when I’m not. He makes the impossible possible. I realized it was really stupid of me to not see that earlier and miss out on so many of the amazing plans He has in store for me. Thank God, because He’s the great “I AM.”

Charlotte Scanlon Gambill shared about the need to love Ishmaels in our midst. We always thought Isaac was the promised one and Ishmael was an accident. But God doesn’t make mistakes. Ishmael wasn’t accepted because there was an Isaac, a loved, promised one. We should learn to love the unlovables, the unaccepted, the unwanted, the Ishmaels.

Day 6 – The Last Day of the Conference (Body System Failure)

Lastly, Reinhard Bonnke, the amazing evangelist shared about the blood of Christ. A simple message, but it was a powerful one. We are redeemed and cleansed from all sins by the blood of Christ (1 Pet 1:18, 1 John 1:7). Why is the blood shed so important? It proves the relations of a son and a father and who was Jesus’ father? God!

He shared about his experience with an atheist who asked, “Why is the world worse today if Jesus blood is so powerful?” Reinhard answered, “There’s soap in this world and there still people who are dirty!” Soap doesn’t clean automatically, you need to reach out and apply it! It is the same with Jesus blood, you need to reach out and apply it into our lives!

Leviticus 8:22 also says we are marked by Christ’s blood. He cleanses us from the inside and then marks us externally so that the world will know we belong to Him! We are His property and God looks after His property!

I’m seriously impacted by his passion and desire to reach lost souls. Everytime he has a rally in Africa, at least a million souls are saved…. Millions. And his dream is to reach 100 million souls. Now, that really made me think of my journey of evangelism. How about you?

The Hillsong Conference ended with a worship party and also an anointing service. Sigh, I wish it could be longer as I was really so filled with God’s Word and it’s just waiting to manifest and burst forth with fruits. Amen!!!

Finally, a day to sleep late and rest. For the past 5 days we had to wake up at 7am and sleep at 1am. Talk about fatigue! Anyways, we went around Sydney today via the ferries. So we visited different places like the Opera House (from a distance), Lunacy Park and Darling Harbour. As you can see from my facial expressions in the pictures, I am very tired, and cold, and hungry.

But I must include this here, a personal recommendations. At night, we went to a food outlet called Subway in Darling Harbour and I ordered a set of Fish and Chips. To my pleasant surprise, it was humongous!!! The portion was so big that you can’t even close the take away box!!! And it was awesome!!! Hallelujah!!! =) So if you do happen to stop by Darling Harbour, and you’re a big eater, make sure you visit this big eater’s paradise!!!

It was also my first time trying the gelatin ice cream today as I was sick and I really needed some vitamin c. I tried the ‘forest berries’ or something like that and it was really sour! It did me good… for a while… The rest of the team have been indulging themselves in Gelatissimo a lot for the past few days. They purposely walked a relatively far distance just for the ice cream. Unbelievable, the things man do for food…

Day 8 – The Rocks and Opera House (Snapshot Frenzy)

Basically, we went to the flea market today called Paddy’s. Everything was cheap! Well, at least comparatively in Australia. I bought a lot of stuff but it was mainly for other people. I didn’t really buy much for myself from this trip, guess God is working in my heart to be generous!!! =)

We headed to The Rocks, the first settlement in Australia, supposedly a historical place, like Malacca. It wasn’t that historical though, was quite modern. However, we did saw a really old toilet stall (in the pics). It was this green stall in the middle of the street and in it there’s two urinaries!!! Cool!!!

I just love travelling with Kevin. He’s really a vain person’s dream come true. He keeps taking pictures for me all the time. “Stand here”, “Do this”, and he’ll happily snap a pic of me. I really don’t mind him practicing his overwhelming photography skills on me. I’ll gladly model for him. Or anyone else. =)

As we were on the way to the Opera House, we came across a Mexican Armada, a navy ship. Apparently, it was only stopping here for a few days and they were actually welcoming people on board for a tour. Being tourists, who can resist a free tour? I wanted to take pictures with the sailors but they were too busy attending to their duties. I remember a day later as I was eating with Lisa, we bumped into some of the sailors and Lisa was particularly happy to see one handsome sailor, who was greeting us when we boarded the ship. She was like, “Ya, ya, handsome right?! Hee hee!!!” Okay…

After the short tour on the ship, we went to the Opera House. Nothing much to see there as you can’t enter the Opera House. So we went into the lounge area and I went on ahead with my usual ritual there in Australia. Grabbing postcards!!! It’s nice and it’s free!!! In the end, I have a big box full of postcards, brochures and books gotten free from Australia. Well, I am a designer, you know…

Finally, Elizabeth is joining us today as she has been going around with her Australian friends after the conference. So we decided to go to Bondi Beach today as there’s really nothing much left for us in Central Sydney itself. It’s a nice place, where you can actually see people wearing only swimsuits in the middle of the cold winter breeze. Thick skin (or fat) I guess…

We went around exploring and I went with the right person. Kevin. Yup, the vain person’s dream come true. So, I have a lot of pictures of me at Bondi Beach!!! I didn’t really want to post too much of those as it might take up all my blog’s space then.

Have I mentioned that all the time PC has been craving for these pork ribs found at Bondi. She kept talking about them and we finally ended up in that place for dinner. It’s called Hurricane’s and it was quite famous as it was full house right after we got there. We ordered the ribs and they were quite good, slightly burned though. You can see the satisfaction on PC’s face as she sucks and chews the ribs.

I just don’t understand people who do not love animals. They’re just weird (If you don’t love animals too, yes, you’re weird). Everyone refused to visit the wildlife park especially Charlene who was dead determined to not go. So, it ended up only with me and Lisa going to Blacktown for the wildlife experience.

As we reached Featherdale Wildlife Park, I saw for the first time a joey (baby kangaroo). It was so cute I could gobble it up. And I saw the dream pet of my life there, a wombat. It’s just so terribly cute!!! If you know me, you’d realise that I love dogs and pigs (“zhu kiu” in hakka, haha). And a wombat is really a combination of these two, it’s no wonder I love it so much!!! Me and Lisa were feeding this particular kangaroo and this silly kangaroo was actually feeding on the ice cream cone and not the food.

We saw and touched really interesting animals there like the blue tongued lizard thing, kookaburas, owls, etc. We even saw something so rare there, albino kangaroos!!! They were white from top to bottom. Oh and the koalas!!! If only I brought a bigger bagpack…

Well, everything that has a beginning has an ending. We had to go back to where we came from today, hot Malaysia and I think I’m gonna miss the cold atmosphere in Sydney. And I was right…

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Have You Loved Someone Lately

And there he was, thanking me, beaming with a smile, with his extended hands, hoping I would shake them. As I looked at the dirt all over his face and the soot that stains the skin of his hands, I hesitated. I didn’t know what to do…

“Sir, do you have 30 cents to spare?” he asked. He was a homeless guy who spends his nights under the escalator at the train station. He must’ve seen that I was alone and took the courage to approach me, asking for some money. I shook my head and I continued on my way, hoping he would not assault me or something. He smiled and said, “Thanks…”

Thanks?

Those last words haunted me all the way home. I was disturbed. Very disturbed. What if he was really in need? What if he meant no harm? Why was I so afraid to spare a few meaningless coins for him? Why was I being so paranoid? Why was I so selfish? After some time of wrestling with my mind and reasons, I finally let it out.

“Holy Spirit, if you want me to go to that homeless guy, I will. But promise me you’d protect me.” I prayed, making a deal with God.

I hurriedly went off to where he was and bought some food instead of giving him money. As I reached his ‘abode’ under the escalator, he was already sleeping, wrapped in his torn and tattered sleeping bag. I tried poking him to wake him up but apparently he’s already in a deep sleep. Bothered by the reeking stench of his dwelling, not wanting to wake him up or waste more time in the cold, I placed the set of sandwiches on the floor, near where he was sleeping and hurriedly went back to the hostel. That night, I had a good night of sleep, having a clean conscience, knowing I did a little something that’s good for someone else…

The next night, when I visited him with some more food, I found him there chatting with another homeless guy under the escalator. As I approached him, both of them looked surprised, as if no one ever cares to do so. I smiled and I handed them the paper bag with the food inside.

And there he was, thanking me, beaming with a smile, with his extended hands, hoping I would shake them. As I looked at the dirt all over his face and the soot that stains the skin of his hands, I hesitated. I didn’t know what to do…

“What is that patch on his skin? Is he diseased? Is he safe to touch? What is that smell?” I thought to myself as I pondered if I should shake his hands. It would be rude of me to not do so and I hate to hurt people’s feelings. A part of me refused to touch him because of the filth. Another part of me, wanted to reach out to him just as Jesus did to the unlovable.

Finally, I stopped hesitating, shook his hands and smiled.

“Thank you,” he said softly, looking straight into my eyes. It didn’t sound like he was thanking me for the food. It’s as though he was thanking me for shaking his hands, for accepting him despite his appearance, for caring in spite of the circumstances.

“Did you get the sandwiches that I brought you last night? I placed them next to you.” I asked him, just to confirm he got it and it wasn’t stolen by other homeless people passing by. I guess he didn’t expect I was the one who gave him food the same night before when I refused to give him 30 cents.

He was still holding my hand when I asked him. “Yes, I did! Thank you!” he answered as he tightened his grip, bending forward slowly to kiss my hands. My eyes got teary as I saw the gratitude he had just because I did something so simple yet so significant to him.

After a short chat, I took my leave and decided to head back to the hostel as it was quite late already. As I was leaving, I turned around and told him that “Jesus loves you.”

“And I love you too,” he answered, with a big smile.

To the homeless guy, I was the one giving him food. Little did he know, he was the one who gave food for my soul. I cannot recall how long has it been since I’ve done something so personal for those who are in need. Can you?

Sure, I gave donations and stuff like that to charities and earthquake funds. Heck, I even preach to others to do good to thy neighbor. But, to reach out to the unloved ones near me, and… touch them?

It was a humbling experience for me. An experience which reminds me of the countless blessings which I take for granted. It reminds me of the way Jesus reached out his hands to my hands; the sinful, ugly, deformed and unworthy hands. It reminds me of the amazing God-given ability that we have but often refuse to use. Love…

As children of the Author of Love, we need to be the ones who dispense love freely. If we don’t, who will? Have you been a dispenser of love lately? I’m not talking about sex, not lust, not romance either. I’m talking about LOVE. It’s patient, kind, does not envy, does not boast, not arrogant or rude, not selfish, not easily angered, not resentful, takes no pleasure in wrong but delights in what is true, always supportive, loyal, hopeful and trusts. It never fails.

Jesus is the perfect example of real Love. Jesus is Love itself. Do you have this Love in you? Are you showing this Love to those unloved ones around you? The desperate? The untouchables? The unwanted?

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love… This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” John 15:9-12

What are you waiting for?

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I Am A Christian

When I say…”I am a Christian”
I’m not shouting “I am saved”
I’m whispering “I was lost”
That is why I chose this way.

When I say…”I am a Christian”
I don’t speak of this with pride.
I’m confessing that I stumble
And need someone to be my guide.

When I say…”I am a Christian”
I’m not trying to be strong.
I’m professing that I’m weak
And pray for strength to carry on.

When I say…”I am a Christian”
I’m not bragging of success.
I’m admitting I have failed
And cannot ever pay the debt.

When I say…”I am a Christian”
I’m not claiming to be perfect,
My flaws are all too visible,
But God believes I’m worth it.

When I say…”I am a Christian”
I still feel the sting of pain
I have my share of heartaches
Which is why I speak His name.

When I say…”I am a Christian”
I do not wish to judge.
I have no authority.
I only know I’m loved.

Religion. A very ‘big’ word for some. A very ‘spiritual’ word for some. And for some, it’s a segment of life that missing and ignored. When asked, “What’s your religion?”, immediately, we get different answers, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, etc. How many of us really think, is that really my own strong conviction? Or was it my parent’s? Or was it my friend’s?

What’s my religion then?

To be very honest with you, I do not have a religion

Religion? It’s useless. It’s unbelievable and too farfetched. It’s confusing. It’s just a name.

But this I have. A relationship with God. An intimate relationship with the Creator, who knows me by name, who created me exactly the way I am, who lifts me up when I break down to the deepest pits, who rescues me from burdens far too big for me, whose Love for me never changes no matter how far I stray, who loved me until He did His craziest act for me… To die on the cross for my sins so that I can be reconciled to Him.

So what’s my belief? Well, it’s definitely not about a set of rules which were given to me, obey them so that God would love me. It’s about the love which He had already shown me before I even knew Him. It’s not working for Him or doing good deeds so that I can go to Heaven. It’s about the free gift of eternal life which He offered, free of charge, if only I would let down my pride and receive the gift.

I was on the highway to hell, and it was Christ who stepped down into my world to give me a ride to the path to heaven. No other did the same…

I was trapped in the bondage of sin, of selfish indulgence and the pleasures of this world. But they were all hollow… It was Christ who came and gave me freedom as He took my shame and weaknesses once and for all as He hung there on that old rugged cross. No other did the same…

I was puffed up with pride, thinking I was wise, I was in control of my life. Not when the calamities of life came. Death of loved ones, financially crippled, decisions which led to regrets… It was Christ who came and showed me humility, though He was God, He made himself a nobody, a servant, a man of dependant on the grace of God. No other did the same…

I was a wretch, a sinner, condemned, guilty and unworthy. But… It was Christ, who reached out His hands to me, saying the three words every human longs and aches for deep down.

“I love you.”

No others did the same. I didn’t find such unconditional love in others. Not in money. Not even in my friends and families. Not even in pleasure and entertainment. Not in Hinduism, Buddhism nor Islam. Not in anything at all in this world.

Are you like me? Confused? No way out? Lost your purpose, or never had one in life? Then, I want you to know, this same Jesus is reaching out His hands to you, ever faithful, ever waiting for you to accept that gift He gives freely.

‘Religion’? It’s still useless. But a relationship with Christ? A bargain that’s worth giving your life to.

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How Deep The Father’s Love For Us

How Deep the Father’s Love for Us
by Phillips, Craig & Dean

How deep the Father’s love for us,
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure

How great the pain of searing loss,
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the chosen One,
Bring many sons to glory

Behold the Man upon a cross,
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice,
Call out among the scoffers

It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished

I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection

Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom

“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lays down his life for his friends.” – John 15:13

“…but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8

Jesus, thank you for dying for us. There’re those who deny Your Love and say that You didn’t do it for us. There’re those who take Your Love for granted. There’re those who didn’t even know of the sacrificial act You did on the cross. Yet… You did it anyway, out of your awesome Love. There’re no words to express my gratitude and worship for what you’ve done for me, and for everyone on the face of this Earth.

You were wounded, so that we could be healed of our wretchedness.

You chose to be tormented, mocked and scoffed, so that we may have life and have it abundantly.

You chose to carry our sin, when it cost you to be neglected by the Father, so that I may be accepted by Him.

You chose to be hung there on the cross, so that my life could be ransomed.

Why should you make me, a wretch, your treasure? Lord, who am I to deserve such unfathomable Love? You could’ve summoned legions of angels to avenge Yourself. You could’ve stopped every blaspheme against You. You could’ve revealed Yourself in Your full glory. All You had to do was to say the word. Yet, you chose the most painful and sacrificial way. You chose to accomplish the most crucial mission for all humanity. All the way. All for love. All for us…

I guess I’ll never know the answers till the day I see You again. Till the day You’ll return in Your glorious splendour. Till the day I go home, to where You are, to where I belong, to where my heart longs and aches for. Till the day I see You again…

,

Jesus’ CV

My name is Jesus – The Christ. Many call me Lord! I’ve sent you my CV because I’m seeking the top management position in your heart. Please consider my accomplishments as set forth in my CV.

Qualifications

I founded the earth and established the heavens, (See Proverbs 3:19)

I formed man from the dust of the ground, (See Genesis 2:7)

I breathed into man the breath of life, (See Genesis 2:7)

I redeemed man from the curse of the law, (See Galatians 3:13)

The blessings of the Abrahamic Covenant comes upon your life through me, (See Galatians 3:14)

Occupational Background

I’ve only had one employer, (See Luke 2:49).

I’ve never been tardy, absent, disobedient, slothful or disrespectful.

My employer has nothing but rave reviews for me, (See Matthew 3:15-17)

Skills & Work Experiences

Some of my skills and work experiences include: empowering the poor to be poor no more, healing the brokenhearted, setting the captives free, healing the sick, restoring sight to the blind and setting at liberty them that are bruised, (See Luke 4:18).

I am a Wonderful Counselor, (See Isaiah 9:6). People who listen to me shall dwell safely and shall not fear evil, ! (See Proverbs 1:33).

Most importantly, I have the authority, ability and power to cleanse you of your sins, (See I John 1:7-9)

Educational Background

I encompass the entire breadth and length of knowledge, wisdom and understanding, (See Proverbs 2:6).

In me are hid all of the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, (See Colossians 2:3).

My Word is so powerful; it has been described as being a lamp unto your feet and a lamp unto your path, (See Psalms 119:105).

I can even tell you all of the secrets of your heart, (See Psalms 44:21).

Major Accomplishments

I was an active participant in the greatest Summit Meeting of all times, (See Genesis 1:26).

I laid down my life so that you may live, (See II Corinthians 5:15).

I defeated the archenemy of God and mankind and made a show of them openly, (See Colossians 2:15).

I’ve miraculously fed the poor, healed the sick and raised the dead! There are many more major accomplishments, too many to mention here. You can read them on my website, which is located at: www dot – the BIBLE. You don’t need an Internet connection or computer to access my website.

References

Believers and followers worldwide will testify to my divine healings, salvation, deliverance, miracles, restoration and supernatural guidance.

In Summation

Now that you’ve read My CV, I’m confident that I’m the only candidate uniquely qualified to fill this vital position in your heart.

In summation, I will properly direct your paths, (See Proverbs 3:5-6), and lead you into everlasting life, (See John 6:47).

When can I start?

Time is of the essence, (See Hebrews 3:15).

,

Here and Now

Here and Now
by Paul Baloche

Here and now
Here in this moment
Here and now
I turn to You

All that my searching heart
has longed for can be found
Cause You’re in this moment
here and now

What majesty what mystery
the God of all eternity
Stepped into time and gave His life for me

Your hand is seen in galaxies
yet Your Spirit dwells in me
So vast and yet You’re still within our reach

There is nowhere You can’t be found
Nothing on Earth could ever keep Your presence out

What an awesome God we serve. Indescribable, with no words of our comprehension worthy to be used to describe Him.

It’s been an extremely busy and tight week for me. ‘All work and no play makes Aaron a dull boy.’ I’ve been so distracted lately by the many things going around, and I wasn’t at peace at all.I was striving by my own strength. Puffed up with foolish pride, I guess. The results? Disturbed, stressed, depressed and worn out…

As I was busy doing my own things, I was so ministered time and time again by the song above. It just humbled me and I realised how foolish I was to depend on myself, my own helpless strength, my foolish pride and my stumbling disablilities when all this while… God was there with me.

“God, I’m so sorry.”

Those were the words that I uttered in the ‘storm’ of mine. I guess I was so blinded that I didn’t see that I have God the Almighty on my side. Can you imagine it? God the Almighty. Not just any ‘hocus pocus’ god but God, Elohim, the Creator of the universe. The all powerful, all knowing and all loving. On my side. The thought of it just gives a boy a resting place of peace and comfort which the world can never offer. In spite of my busyness and at times neglecting Him, He’s still there for me, faithfully, with wide opened arms, ever waiting for me to return. And as I broke down and cried out to Him, these comforting words of His stilled the raging storm in me.

“Let go. Let Me.”

I think it’s time for me to LET GO. Let go of my independence, my pride, my strife, my stress, my ‘wisdom’, my worries and my pain. And let Him. Let Him be the One in control. Just like a little child surrendering to the Father’s unrestrained mercy and love, I threw everything and cast all my cares upon Jesus. Life sure feels lighter after dumping the baggages on my shoulders and having Him to guide and lead my ever wandering thoughts.

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels or demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)

What a comforting promise. What an extravagant Love. What a mighty God…

,

God Still Answers Prayers

If someone says that God does not answer prayers anymore, I’d be the first to testify that He still does, and He always will, no matter what we think…

I was going through a situation where the university altered our courses and I ended up majoring in something I didn’t want to. Trust me, I was suffering even in the first day of class, how am I going to go through this for 3 semesters?! To cut the long story short, I either had to waste 1 semester retaking one subject or add a subject and pay extra. I didn’t want any of those and I was just stuck. Helpless and distressed…

So, a boy’s gotta do what a boy’s gotta do. I turned to my God, got on my knees and prayed. As I was seeking God, this Scripture reminded me of His promise in Psalm 37:4, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Boy, was I relieved. I was reminded that my God knows what I desire deep down before I can even tell him about it, and He’s more than willing to give them to me if I sought Him above all else.

“God, if You want me to do this, then You open up the doors for me. If not, close the doors. I want Your will to be done, not mine…”, I remember vividly praying this prayer, an echo of Jesus’ prayer. I know my God knows what’s best for me, and He has the best interest for my future. So I surrendered it to Him. And guess what? God does answers prayers. Doors were opened and I was able to change my major to what I desired so badly. No strings attached. It is done.

I guess sometimes life does not go the way we want it to be and we try so hard to make things ‘right’ by our own strength and might. Well, I’ve learnt not to do so. Who are we, mere humans to even try to determine the future of our lives? Things will turn out much better when they’re at the right hands. And His hands are the ones that I trust completely.

God still answers prayers. What a statement. What a wonderful promise.