Friday, February 10, 2012

of a pastors performance...

had wedding rehearsal in the afternoon. interesting to play Air on G String on the organ. had to adjust the settings for more woodwinds than brass.

for small group, the discussion was about 'Pastor's Performance or God's Word?' it was great to have honest sharing and opinions from each other. the younger ones showed maturity in listening to the sermons and the older ones shared how the content of the Word is important and having some charisma along would aid the delivery. it is not possible to cater to the whole age range of a whole church.

having some insights on my own, i shared some points for them to ponder.
- a guide would be to decide on the type of style based on whether the service is to be seeker friendly, or a deep study to feed the church.
- some would argue Word first, some would say delivery or passion. looking at 2 extremes; Loud but shallow, Boring but intellectual. neither side is good.
- a pastor would have different strengths. a pastor may have the gift of speaking or the gift of shepherding or the gift of administration or the gift of caring. if the main criteria for a pastor is speaking well, it is wrong.
- even if the pastor's strength is not speaking, he would need to put the effort to improve and hone his delivery skills only because of his responsibility as a teacher of the Word.
- are we looking for great public speakers or are we looking for a shepherd who cares for his sheep?

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

learning about "walking through the valley of the shadow of death"

3 hours sleep last night. not good. though i woke up early and left the house early enough, it seems that everyone decided to leave for work earlier. was stuck in jam for 1.5 hours and missed the chapel period. this is very bad. fortunately, the youths were able to manage without the keys for the sound system.

not a good way to start the day. but my mind was kept calm throughout the journey. knowing that i am lacking of sleep, nerves can get edgy and not in control.

attended pastor andrew's mothers funeral at PJ trinity. prayed for comfort and peace in their time of bereavement. the message was quite eye opening, dwelling upon Psalm 23 and upon the verse 'walk through the valley of the shadow of death'. King David's choice of words has its hidden meaning in his time.

'Walk through' - the walk is a walk 'through' and not walk in. this means it is temporary and for a short while. noting that it is not a solo walk as well because after that part is 'Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me', indicating that God, the shepherd, is beside you and guiding you all the way.

'valley' - valley is not to be meaning a down and sad place as we refer to it today. in King David's time, the valley is a place of tranquillity. bringing the meaning that you are walking in tranquility.

'of the shadow of death' - compare saying 'valley of the shadow of death' and to saying 'valley of death'. you'll realise that valley of death is directly morbid.

here's where it gets interesting. what causes a shadow? Light. when you are walking in a shadow, you are walking behind an object. the light is at the end. and if you walk past the object, there is no more shadow but the light that you are walking towards.

and as you are walking through the valley, you will walk past the the shadow of death and walk past death, you fear no evil. because "God's staff and rod comforts you." and you walk towards God. "surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life and i will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."

Monday, February 06, 2012

God speaks in the offday

monday is a public holiday but also my off day.

there was the KL District MYF AGM at 9. i had another sleepless night and pulling my body out of bed wasn't easy. but as i was brushing my teeth, i ask God, why. what is it that You want to show me? what is it that on my supposed sabbath that i had to do?

and as i reflect, sitting through the AGM, are we going to a youth group or a church for numbers, charisma and energy? or are we going for authentic relationships, learning and growing in God?

a memorable lunch in which hearing the wrong things, brings about um... really wrong sentences. haha... laughing together with 2 friends that i haven't seen for some while definitely brings back some memories. getting to know the others better is also good. we are all doing our best for God in the MYF ministry and lets go through it together, through the ups and downs.

the BB was having a band practise and it was good to see them put the effort into practising their pieces. saw them in the same lunch place later as MYF was leaving and had to teach them a few etiquettes. in terms of match-making teasing, it is alright to tease the guy (i kacau you, you kacau me = no prob), but be careful when teasing a girl (especially if they are older).

a short rest after lunch and get a call from the GB that Girls Night Out has ended and it is time to pick them up from the officers house which is nearby. catch up with the girls and they definitely gained and bonded from GNO.
this is where it gets interesting. God is not done yet. while waiting in the canteen with them for their parents to come, i got a briefing from parents who are already there. it is not good news about a youth's health. i have to withhold some details for privacy sake. but the main line is, how do you prepare someone for a possible end?

a short chat with my parents saw me saying out, 'this is a lot to happen in less than 2 years of youth ministry.' went for the assistant pastor's mothers wake funeral at PJ trinity. i came just in time for the last 10 seats. seated 2nd row right behind the family. some youths outside were saying that the people were scared and didn't want to sit with the pastors at the first row. haha...

badminton later at 9-11 was fun. my attempt to tire out. hopefully, i can sleep. thankfully, tuesday is a holiday. so what about this monday off day? it is a lot.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

sleepless nights...

a lot of things happened in nov and dec... and of course, jan.

been having sleepless nights for about 2 weeks. to my last recollection, only about 2 nights that i had straight 8 hours sleep. kind of frustrating that i can't figure out the cause. wasn't emo-ing, wasn't stressed from work, no one is stressing me from work, not thinking about work, not thinking about anything. body is tired, not moving and lying on the bed. but the mind is active.

i manage to keep the mind blank and neutral. but then thoughts start coming in. am familiar with the area of thinking on too much things. am able to press pause and stop the thoughts, but the mind still active. i even tried exercising in the evening to tire my body and use up the energy but it was even worse. i still couldn't sleep in the night and the body was tired AND aching. haha...

but amidst it all, i praise God that i am still healthy. had the muscles aching a bit here and there. can feel the fatigue and headache but didn't fall sick.

digging deeper, a thought. i did try a lot of things to try to sleep. but i did not pray. why? that's a question for me to answer. we have ask ourselves the honest brutal questions. is there something deeper that is bothering me? is there any unsettled issues? is there an underlying grudge that i am holding against God?

a little dedication to shelley who encouraged me to continue writing... as time progresses and we each move on in life from uni, God does speak through these little things from friends. they do count.