Where will you be my darling? Where will you be when the dark is rising?
Friday, October 30, 2009
Interesting fact: I've attended more funerals than weddings in my life.
Yeah, sad eh? Anyhoo, I was counting the funeral's I've attended so far: My great-grandmother, my grandfather, my grandmother, Jonathan Lim's grandmother, Nicklaus, Jace's dad.
And weddings? Aunty Stephanie's brother, Sher Ling's wedding, Joe and Sze Ying and recently Guo Fang's. Faith will soon have her wedding too. Heh.
Six funerals and four weddings. I attend funerals almost twice as much as weddings -.-. Geez. Rachel mentioned something about this in the Christian fellowship a few weeks ago, but I think I'll blog about that another day.
Anyhoo, I know I owe updates. A lot. But thing is, I've forgotten a lot too! So don't mind if there are some days missing. Heh.
Many weeks ago it was quite a spiritual week. Pastor Tan from CHC SG came over during the weekdays. It's his first time since the church building was opened 5 years ago. I couldn't attend all the sessions, but for the ones I did, he preached about the kingdom of God, and secondly about some major intellectual issues. Very enlightening! I haven't heard him preach in ages.
A few days later during the weekend, Pastor Joakim Lundqvist came to preach. It's his second time here, and my second time hearing him preach too. Well, what can I say? His messages were just such a blessing. I realize he likes to use real people and their testimonies, plus historical figures and their stories. First he talked about three high school kids in Sweden, and how they reached out to others. For the first, was a boy who had a big huge classmate that nobody talked to. Then one day he just asked whether he wanted to join him and his friends. The big guy thought it was a party, so he agreed, but later found out it was a prayer meeting! Haha! He stayed, although he felt very awkward. But later at home he prayed himself, and after that became a Christian. I've forgotten the 2nd person, but the third was just wow.
The third child was in high school, and one day she was about to cross the road and there was a person on the other side who was crying. Suddenly she heard God telling her to stand in the middle of the road and open up her arms. She was like "What?" But she obeyed. And when she did that, the crying girl just walked into her arms, and they hugged. In the middle of the road. With people walking by and cars waiting. Lol. They kept in contact, and she brought the crying girl to church later on. Turns out the crying girl was actually crying over her life and how it was, and that she was on her way to commit suicide when God told that person to stop and open up her arms. Totally a miraculous event. It's just so... wow.
Pastor Joakim also shared about two historical figures. The first was William Wilberforce. A British parliament member who helped to abloish slavery. He had a calling from a young age that God wanted him to free the slaves as it was inhumane, the way they were treated. Well, after decades of failures, he finally managed to abolish slavery, just days before his death. He never gave up, although he was close to giving up many times. However he exchanged many letters with John Wycliffe (or was it William Pitt? I can't quite remember), and this support from him kept him going.
His second story though, was more dramatic, and it wasn't a success. There was a man who once had a passion for reaching out to the workers in the coalmines, fields and all. He eventually became the leader of this movement, but the established church and religious people criticized him for mingling among the dirty and uncivilized people. He took it for a while, but later on he became bitter and angry, and after the continuing insults, he just gave up and quit. The revival he started collapsed and there was no more spirit among the people he had reached out to. So he decided to do the only thing he was good at. Painting. He didn't have much success, but he managed to keep himself alive for some time. He slowly went depressed and insane, to the extent of cutting off his ear lobe. As he got crazier, he painted "The Starry Night" and "Sunflowers". In the end, he finally killed himself with a shotgun. Yup. You might have guessed by now. It's Vincent Van Gogh.
Vincent Van Gogh used to be a pastor, and he led exactly like Jesus did. And the established religious authorities criticized him just like the Pharisees criticized Jesus. But Van Gogh gave up. And he lost it all. But Van Gogh was never remembered for his pastoral affairs, only his paintings. When we speak of Van Gogh, no one calls him a failed pastor, but they always call him a painter, an artist. And I've found out that practically no one I know ever had any idea Van Gogh used to be a pastor.
Anyhoo, Pastor Joakim's become one of my favourite speakers. Even though I've only heard him twice, I like his style already. God bless!