Archive for the ‘Inflections’ Category

KINDNESS: A UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE

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by Serina Perera

We can all afford to exercise little kindness towards others each day.
Kindness Day SG falls on May 30-why not make the whole month of May Kindness Month.

The world we live in has grown increasingly stressful through the years.
There are deadlines to meet, meetings to attend, deals to close, money to earn…
And time is almost never on our side. What that leaves us with is a society characterized by a high level of impatience and a low level of tolerance.

Deep in our hearts and at the back of our minds, we intend to be kind, patient and understanding…
but the hustle and bustle of life often gets the better of us.

The Bible reveals the secret to being kind- 1 John 3:18 (NKJV) says,
“… let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and truth.”
We have to practice being kind (doing the deed) until it becomes second nature-truth-to us.

We all have differing personalities and backgrounds. While being kind and tolerant is easy for some, it is a real challenge for others.
As Christians, we are called to develop the fruit of the Spirit, including kindness and patience; and fruit is cultivated by choice.
Yes, we can choose to be kind! We just have to practice until it comes easily to us.

“But I don’t want to be a doormat for others to trample upon!”
“Why should benefit others at the expense of myself or my family?”
“Am I not entitled as well?”
Such thoughts often flash through our minds just as we are deciding to exercise kindness.

But the Word of God is one step ahead!

Proverbs 11:17 (MSG) says that when “you’re kind to others, you help yourself.”
The TLB version of the same Bible verse says that “your soul is nourished when you are kind.”
The NKJV version says, “The merciful man does good for his own soul.”

We often think that when we are kind to others, they benefit at our expense.
But that is the farthest from truth.
Being kind, exercising patience and tolerance enriches our own life and makes living meaningful-for others and even more so for ourselves.

Kindness is a gift that keeps on giving, and passes from one person to another.
It grows into respect in how we treat people on a daily basis.

Kindness is something achievable, but it has to start with us. And there’s no better place than to begin at home.
In line with Kindness Day SG on May 30 (kindness.sg), let’s make the month of May a month
where we consciously make an effort to be kind, friendly, tolerant and show preference to one another here at City Harvest Church.

Here are some ways to spread a little kindness in church:

1. Always share a smile with someone in church. You never know if you might make a difference to someone who is having a bad day.

2. Thank and appreciate the greeter who welcomes you, or the usher who shows you to your seat.

3. Do not reserve seat for someone who is not there. Rather, give preference to those who make it a point to arrive early for service.

4. The elderly, as well as those with strollers or on the wheelchairs should always have priority when it comes to taking the elevators.

5. Lend a helping hand to children, pregnant women, the elderly or someone with a stroller when traveling up or down the escalators.

6. Be sure to walk briskly once you step off the escalators, so as to prevent the dangers of congestion.

7. Spare a thought for others! Ensure that the toilets are clean after use.

8. Dispose of your food and drink after consumption. Treat our church property/furniture as your own. Our church is our home!

9. If there is a long line of cars waiting to exit the car park, take turns to move off and always give way to others.
If someone give way to you, wave your hand and say “Thank you!”

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Posted June 15, 2014 by Jefri Yue Fei 吴岳飞 in Inflections

Inflections: THE POWER OF ENCOURAGEMENT

by Mark Conner

“So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.” [Paul-1 Thessalonians 5:11. NLT]

We all thrive on praise and encouragement. It motivates us and brings out the best in us.  Encouragement is like oxygen to the soul.
Encouragement can be given in various forms-listening (James 1:19), empathy (Romans 12:15), comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3-4) and words of appreciation.

Jesus is a great encourager.
The book of Acts gives us three specific examples of Jesus going out of His way to encourage Paul in his life and ministry.

The first example is when Paul had been ministering in Corinth with good results but also with much opposition.
Jesus appeared to Paul at night through a dream to encourage him.
He said, “Keep it up and don’t let anyone intimidate or silence you. No matter what happens, I’m with you and no one is going to hurt you.
You have no idea how many people I have on my side in this city.” [Acts 18:9-10. MSG].
What was the result of this encouragement?
Paul stayed in Corinth for eighteen months and established a flourishing church and reached out to the surrounding regions of Achacia (2 Corinthians 1:1).

The second example is when Paul had been arrested in Jerusalem because of his witness about Lord Jesus.
There was much opposition and antagonism directed at him the religious leaders and the Jewish people. 
Jesus appeared again to Paul at night to encourage him. He stood near him and said, ‘It’s going to be all right.
Everything is going to turn out for the best. You’ve been a good witness for Me here in Jerusalem.
Now You’re going to be  My witness in Rome!”[Acts 23:11. MSG]
The result?
Paul went on to preach the Gospel in Rome. God preserved him from a death plot, shipwreck, imprisonment and many other difficulties.

The third example is when Paul finally made it to Jerusalem, barely escaping losing his life, and was then on the way to Rome as a prisoner on board a ship (see Acts 27).
Just to make things worse, they encountered very bad weather and lost a lot of time.
Despite Paul’s warning of further disaster, they kept sailing and were hit by a terrible storm, which caused the ship to lose control.
Jesus sent an angel to tell Paul, “Don’t give up, Paul. You’re going to stand before Caesar yet-and everyone sailing with you is also going to make it.” [Acts 27:23-24. MSG]
As a result, Paul was able to encourage the other 276 passengers and bring them all to safety after two weeks on the wild sea.

Here are a few lessons we can glean from the encouragement that Jesus gave to Paul:

1. Understand that life and ministry can be both fulfilling and challenging (frustrating).
This is a fact! There will be times of pressure, storms, obstacles and opposition.
God is building His church and it involves a spiritual battle (Matthew 16:18-19;11:12).
Expect it and don’t let it surprise you or stop you. Get used to it but don’t be afraid.
Don’t allow other people, opposition or difficult circumstances to intimidate you.
Persevere in doing the right thing because God is with you. You will make it if you just hold on (Gal 6:9-10. 1 Corinthians 15:58).

2. Recognize that God is in control.
God wants us to take courage-to not fear or doubt.
Though everything around you seems to be falling apart, remember, God is in control (Romans 8:28).
Nothing happens to you without God being aware of it and permitting it to happen.
God is working all things together for our ultimate good that His ultimate purpose might be achieved.

3. Know that God is pleased with faithful obedience.
If you’re doing what God asked you to do with the best of your ability, know that He is pleased with you and your efforts.
You’ve done a good job. God is proud of you. You’re learning, growing and applying yourself. You’re doing great!
Don’t minimize what you’ve done or how well you’re doing. God is pleased with you (Matthew 25:21. Hebrews 6:10).

4. Believe that the best is yet to come.
Live with a sense of anticipation. You’ll do a better job yet. God’s purpose for you will be fulfilled and you will reach your destination.
It’ll happen because God has planned it and ordained it. Keep a positive optimistic attitude about the future.
Your work is not in vain, but will bring a great harvest. Everything will turn out for the best.
Have a positive attitude of faith and hope about the future (Jeremiah 29:11).

Be encouraged… and don’t forget to pass it on!

Posted May 3, 2014 by Jefri Yue Fei 吴岳飞 in Inflections, Mark Conner

Inflections 15-16 March 2014: TRUSTING GOD

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by Rev. Dominic Yeo

Many times we start off the year well with God, but slowly we get busier and increasingly rely on our own strengths.
The reason we start relying on more on our own strengths is because we do not entirely trust Him with our lives.
So, what does it mean to trust God?

In Proverbs 3:5-8, we are advised to trust in the LORD with all [our] heart, and do not lean on [our] own understanding.
In all [our] ways acknowledge him, and he
will make straight [our] paths.
Be not wise in [our] own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil.
It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones. (ESV)

Trusting God is the most fundamental aspect of Christian life and how we go about it will determine our life’s experiences.

TRUST IN THE LORD WITH ALL YOUR HEART

“Trust,” in Hebrew, means “to put our entire weight upon.”
When we stand up, we put our entire weight on the floor.
We never wonder whether the floor can handle our weight, but just assumes its ability in doing so.

Similarly, God asks us in Proverbs to trust in Him with all our hearts, putting our entire weight upon Him.
Trusting in the Lord is to trust in who He is-His character, His goodness and His faithfulness.
When we trust in the Lord, we offer a wholehearted devotion to Him.
With such devotion, our eyes look to Him and our hearts trust in Him during the different seasons of our lives.

When we choose not to trust Him, we lean on our own understanding instead.

LEAN NOT ON YOUR OWN UNDERSTANDING

To “lean”, on the other hand, is to “be supported.”
To lean on our understanding is to be supported by our own assessment or discernment of things, which may be what many of us are doing today.
When we lean on our own understanding, we give a half hearted devotion to God.
We give in and rely to our human nature, which is flawed and unreliable.
By doing this, we set up our lives for failure, disappointment and instability because we rely on a support that is bound to fail.

In verse 7, we are also  told not to be wise in our own eyes and to turn away from evil.
So, when we rely on our own understanding, we try to be wise and make ourselves susceptible to sin and obstacle in our lives.
Every time we do that, we choose not to acknowledge Him in our ways and our paths often seem obstructed.

ACKNOWLEDGE HIM IN ALL YOUR WAYS

All of us desire breakthrough in our lives. But how many of us acknowledge Him in everything we do?
Acknowledgement is more than just giving credit to God. It is making God known in our conduct.
In every task we do, we pray for His strength, do it with His excellence and give glory to Him-that other may know that He is Lord over us.

In Matthew 10:32, Jesus says if we acknowledge Him before others, He will acknowledge us before His Father in heaven.
When we make God known in all our ways, God will intervene and provide for us in every circumstance.
Like in Proverb 3:8, there will be healing to [our] flesh and refreshment for [our] bones. (ESV)

As we go about the rest of the year, let us put our trust in God, acknowledge Him in all that we do and He will set our paths straight, releasing up to a life of blessing and breakthrough in Him.

Posted April 17, 2014 by Jefri Yue Fei 吴岳飞 in Dominic Yeo, Inflections

Inflections 15-16 February 2014: EMBRACE YOUR SINGLEHOOD

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by Sun Ho

Valentine’s Day is not just for married couples and attached singles. It is for everyone!
Here is a special message just for the singles. Happy Valentine’s Day!

I have heard many singles say this: “If only I am married, then I can be happy and complete,” or “If only I am married, all my problems will go away.”
This type of thinking is a myth! If you are not happy and whole as a single, you are not going to be happy and whole when you are married.
your marriage will only be as good as your singleness.

Your relationship (friendship, love, relationship) is only as good as you are.

GOD CREATED US SINGLE

Singleness is NOT a problem. Some are single by circumstances, others by choice.
Jesus said some chose to be single for the sake of the kingdom (Matt 19:11-12); while Paul considered his singleness a “gift from God” (1 Cor. 7:7-8)
When God created Adam, He created him first a single

Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend [CULTIVATE] and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man…
~ Gen 2:15-16

God gave Adam talents, gifts, abilities and revelations-as a single! Marriage only came later!
Before Eve came along, God did everything in the Garden through ONE PERSON.

So, what should you do while you are single?
Just like the single man Adam was asked to “cultivate” the Garden, there are three things singles should cultivate:

WHILE YOU ARE SINGLE, CULTIVATE YOURSELF

1. Physical Attractiveness.
Physical attractiveness is really the confidence you exude from your own human body.

2. Communication Skills.
Communication is the key of life. We communicate through word, gesture and spirit:

  • Word… A meaningful conversation is one that is two way.
  • Gesture… Your body language shows when you are at ease/awkward with yourself.
  • Spirit… We communicate spirit-to-spirit, so it is often not in the words you say, but the spirit you carry.

3. Spirituality.
Grow in the Word, prayer, worship, gifts of the Holy Spirit. Be 100 percent passionately in love with Jesus.

Delight yourself also in the Lord and He shall give you the desires of your heart.
~ Ps 37:4

WHILE YOU ARE SINGLE, CULTIVATE YOUR RELATIONSHIPS

God made Adam single and that was NOT a defect.
The only defect was in his aloneness.

And the Lord God said, “It is not good that a man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.”
~ Gen 2:18

The kingdom of God is a kingdom of relationship. So while it is okay to be single, God doesn’t want us to be alone.
In fact, the better you are in relating to people, the more you are going to bring that positive relationship skill into your marriage one day.

WHILE YOU ARE SINGLE, CULTIVATE YOUR MINISTRY FOR JESUS

1 Cor. 7:32-35 talks about being single or married with regards to ministry.
While you are single, you have opportunities to serve God in a way that those who are married cannot.

  • You have more freed up time & lifestyle.
  • You can easily do overseas missions.
  • You can devote more time to serve the Lord in church.

As you cultivate your SELF, your RELATIONSHIPS and your MINISTRY for Jesus, you will become a very attractive person
-spirit, soul & body- to both God and others around you.

(In fact, you probably won’t remain single for long!)

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(Well, I know this is kinda late post. Still, I feel like keeping record of this edition of Inflection as it really teaches me something.
Hope you will find it insightful too Smile)