Where will you be my darling? Where will you be when the dark is rising?
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Aye... had a good day today.
I had drawing class in school today. Turns out that drawing class is now practically painting class instead for the new semester. My drawing lecturer is called Jun Mei and she looks like an older Ling Hui! Naturally that means she's quite pretty. Heh. I don't mind. Since Lisa's gone, I've got a replacement pretty lecturer =x.
I also had service later on. Pastor Tan Seow How of Heart of God Church in Singapore came and preached. And well... the word he preached was fantastic. I can easily say it ranks among one of the best sermons I've ever heard in church. His message was a mix of a sermon, a Bible story and the personal testimony of his church. He spoke about dreams, and the 5 stages dreams go through. First, the birth of a dream, then the delay of the dream, then the death of the dream, followed by the resurrection of the dream and finally... the fulfillment of the dream. From the Bible, he used Joseph as an example. First the dream he had of him ruling over people, then the delay through his slavery, and the death through his imprisonment, and the resurrection upon the interpretation of dreams, leading to his great position in Ancient Egypt. And his life was the fulfillment of his dreams.
Pastor How talked about the beginning of his church, and his dream. He birthed forth the dream when he felt a calling by God to start a church especially for youths, made up of youths. So he and his wife, along with another 2 couples, began the ministry. After growing to around 100 people, he noticed that a guy (one half of the couples that started the church) was getting a little strange. He was a church leader and one of the few adults. It turns out that he was actually using the offering money to pay off his own debts, then would use his own money to replace it and make it look like nothing happened... then he'd do that again. Kinda like embezzling. Also, for cellgroup funds and everything, when the members paid and all, he would tell Pastor How that they hadn't paid, that the youths must have forgotten and all. Naturally, you'd believe an adult more than 15 year olds right? After further investigations it turned out that this guy was using the funds for his own debts too, so they confronted him about it. Instead of repenting, he quit and left the church, criticizing and condemning the church in the process of leaving. This was certainly a delay to the dream, but the death of the dream would literally involve death.
Not too long after this, 2 of his members were killed in a bus accident after a Sunday service. An SMRT bus driver had fallen asleep and crashed into them. It was right after service. People were still in the hall and Pastor How was still inside too. Then someone told him something had happened to 2 of the members. He went out with his wife, expecting a sprain or minor injury. Instead, he saw 2 bodies on the floor. They ran over and not knowing what else to do while waiting for the ambulance, just prayed for Aasta, who was beating her hand on the ground. After the brief prayer, she died there. The other girl, Agnes, was still alive, but barely. Her body had been torn in half. The ambulance came and just 2 hours later, she died. The church was devastated and several members left the church, claiming that if God was real, He wouldn't have allowed it, much less right after a church service. Critics of the church also used this to point out that Pastor How was midguided in starting the church and that this was punishment to prove that Heart of God Church wasn't a God-ordained vision. Pastor How also felt very upset and had fears Heart of God would be closed down.
However, through this, he used it as an opportunity to strengthen those who had stayed. After this, the church began to grow in numbers, and spiritually too. He was finally expecting the resurrection of the dream. And now, with the church currently with 1100 members, he's having the fulfillment of it.
Pastor How had said in the beginning that he was not here to make an good impression, but that he was here as a family to share about the dreams God gave us. And the way he shared, being so personal and real, it was just amazing. He had synced the preaching, the points, and the testimony in such a great and effective way. It was just pure brilliance. This was easily one of the best services I've ever had, the presence of God was so thick, and Pastor Kevin was just so amazed that he didn't even know how to end the service properly. So he just told us to end it by ourselves through prayer. It was really that great. It was super refreshing experiencing God like that again. So personal, so close, so tangible. The worship was also pure brilliance as well. Today was just a great service. Amazing.
This was one of those sermons you'll never forget. There's only been a few I can so clearly remember. Aside from those major ones like the Cultural Mandate, the Sermon on the Mount and all, there aren't many I can still remember. Conversionists (my first sermon), Shekinah, Kairos, Deja Vu, Friendship, one of Carl Gustav Severin's, who I can't quite remember what the theme was. Yeah, maybe a few more I can't list out at the moment. And now, I've got another one added, The Journey of Our Dreams.
Here's a few points from his message:
You have the fellowship of His suffering, then you taste the power of the Resurrection.
Your dreams will be attacked, it is inevitable.
Your scars can save people.
If you want a testimony, you'll have to go through a test. If you want a message, you'll have to go through a mess.
And most memorable and powerful: Make the dreams of others come true and God will make your dreams come true.