Friday went to sentosa with some church friends…trix, jared, caroline, soon jia, deb, ryan. didn’t really do much except for trying to build a sandcastle at the beach and walking through the nature walk. they went luge later though.

At night, met up with ws, jr, kc, zhan and vic for dinner at astons. after that we decided to play LAN lol…wanted to play starcraft but don’t have. we started off with CS, then BF2 then TF2 which was the most fun haha. kena trashed as zhan was not bad being an engineer and/or medic. After that, we stayed over at zhan’s house, playing COH and watching some episodes of the Black Adder series till like 4.30am. It was classic and hilarious. we slept in the living room and went for brunch at HK Cafe in the afternoon.

Sunday night, after Youth Sunday band practice, went to central at clarke quay for iCOMP gathering which I organised. tim, faith, mun thye, kx, jr, josh pang, mx, yh, hoosy and vic came. it’s been like so long since we last met. we had dinner at the jap desserts place at the ground floor. I realised that there’s like so many jap restaurants in the building. the food was so-so, the desserts was quite interesting. shared some hotball thingy with yh. We had a good chat, catching up with one another, with conversations ranging from university life, scholarship, business and army stuff. although most of the time there were two conversations going on both sides of the table. I realised that there are quite a number of us going NUS.

after 3 hours, we went our separate ways. hoosy, munthye and I, the NEL people, decided to have further chat and drinks at mcdonald’s at hougang mall. haha.

My First Sermon – The Heart of Worship

I delivered my first sermon at teenedge yesterday. the theme was true worshippers, and I decided to make use of Hillsong DVDs to lead worship. They followed the DVDs well and sang like a choir throughout, louder than the DVD. And following Jere’s suggestion, to cut the music halfway at the last song and see if the teens continue worshipping. And sure they did, and did so well that I think I don’t need to preach already lol. They sang finish the bridge, and someone continued and they sang the chorus once or twice again. it was quite a unique experience I think. The experiment worked and exceeded my expectations.

After that I came to speak about the heart of worship. Extract from my sermon:

Was that really true worship? So you think that praise mean fast songs and worship mean slow songs. Perhaps you limit worship only to the 30 minutes or so you spend singing songs in church, and then you stop when the music stops. What is the thing that you’ve made worship to be?

True worship is not just about songs and music. Let’s take a look at the Bible and see what it says about worship.

In Spirit and in Truth

John 4:23-24

23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.

24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”

So how must we worship? In spirit and in truth. Tell your neighbour: you must worship in spirit and in truth.

“In spirit” means to worship God with all your spirit, not by emotions, not by might, not by power, but by the spirit of God (Zechariah 4:6). “In truth” means not fake, not pretended, not doing it for the sake of others to see. It is not created by hype, but it has to be from your heart and love for God.

For Who He Is

How do we apply that to church? It means that when we come to a time of praise and worship in a church service, we must know the purpose and meaning of it. We’re talking about the heart of worship – what we had made worship to be. Maybe we have made it into just a sing-along session. The purpose of worshipping in church is not ministering to the body, not so that you sing and then “feel good” or you feel “high”, not so that you will get goose bumps or a “tingling sensation”. It is not that God to bless you after you worship Him. We should not come with an attitude of “Bless me, bless me, God!”

Instead, worship should be about ministering to HIM, to our sovereign God, to the King of kings and Lord of lords. Worship is not about how good you are, but how good HE IS! It is not about what you do, it is about what God has already done (on the cross) and what He is going to do. It’s not about us, it’s all about JESUS.

This means that when we come to worship as a congregation, it doesn’t matter what background you come from, what you experienced in the past week, whether you are feeling happy or sad, whether you scored all As in your tests or failed all your exams. It is about doing the best in whatever we do, whether it is your voices, musical talent, your studies or your everyday life. It is about worshipping God for who He is, in spite of your circumstances.

Who God Is

So how do you know who God really is? It is about your relationship with God. The more you worship God, the more you know who God is, and the more you will worship Him. If you make worship to just a sing-along session, then I don’t think you will find God. But if you make worship as a form of conversation with God, then you will seek Him and find Him.

I closed by using Matt Redman’s Heart of Worship story…and then I asked the teens to respond to the message “When I come through the doors of the church, what am I bringing as my contribution to worship?” We ended by singing the Heart of Worship song without any musical instruments before Ps Whit came to wrap up.

Ps Whit said I did well, and I was very congruent and able to deliver a focused messaged intentionally and he was ministered to. The presence of God was evident. Jere and Mylene said it was well done.

Kaiyin, Sherm and Lyd said I looked good that day lol (because of my topman shirt lol) and Lyd said I should wear like that more often. Jess and Deb also asked how come I wore so nice that day lol.

Thank God for His presence.

The Spirtual Connotations of Prince Caspian

I watched The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian a few weeks ago, but haven’t got time to post this.

Just like The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, there are many spiritual connotations of Prince Caspian. While the former has allegories of Jesus dying on the cross, the curtain is torn, and his resurrection (Aslan dying on the stone table, the stone table breaks into two, and he rose again later), Prince Caspian has more parrallels to our current world.

In Narnia a thousand years or so later, Aslan is physically absent from the world, just like how Jesus is physically absent in our world now. Lucy was looking for Aslan, and wishes to seek him and find him. However, her siblings did not believe that Lucy saw Aslan. Lucy told them that they need to actually look for Aslan in order to see him. Believing is seeing. You believe then you will see, just like Lucy. Jesus said, “Blessed are those who have not seen [me] and yet have believed.”

When Aslan finally returned to Narnia and restored peace, he asked if the people would like to move in to a new island. He also mentioned that those few who responded first are blessed because they responded in faith without knowing what is installed for them in the new world.

There were, again, temptations by the devil, in this case, the summoning of the White Witch. Both Prince Caspian and Edmund were very much tempted by the White Witch, who was deceiving them and symbolically blocking the image of Aslan. After she disappeared, the engraving of Aslan in the cave was revealed, destroying all the darkness of the Witch. It’s like popping out into your eyes as you watch it. And then Edmund and Caspian realised that they had to have faith in Aslan.

It’s a good movie, looking forward to future installations of the chronicles.