Saturday, May 13, 2017

All the earth will sing your praises (Paul Baloche)

"For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense will be offered to my name, and a pure offering. For my name will be great among the nations, says the LORD of hosts." (Malachi 1:11)

Sunday, May 7, 2017

For the One (Jenn Johnson)

Let me be filled
With kindness, and compassion for the One
The One for whom You loved, and gave your Son
For humanity; increase my love

Help me to love with open arms, like You do
A love that erases all the lines, and sees the truth
Oh that when they look in my eyes, they would see you
Even in just a smile; they would feel the Father's love.

Oh how he loves us
From the homeless, to the famous, and in between
You formed us; you made us carefully
Cause in the end; we're all your children

Let all my life, tell of who you are
And the wonder of, your never-ending love
Let all my life, tell of who you are
You're wonderful, and such a good Father

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Dutch Sheets on how to pray for North Korea

Great video by Dutch Sheets on how to pray for North Korea in this time.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Pyongyang Revival 1907

Amidst rising tensions in the Korean peninsula, let us remember that Pyongyang was once known as "Jerusalem of the East", and that the Pyongyang Revival of 1907, a repentance movement, was as notable as the Azuza and Welsh revivals in history. The fire that burnt there burnt for 40 years, and despite persecution of the church, the church grew only stronger.

Am reminded by Lou Engle's "Digging the Wells of Revival" that God remembers people and places. In the book, Lou says, "The scriptures seem to indicate that God has favourite places that He desires to visit because of the offerings of love that were poured out there before Him in the past."

"The memory of sacrifices of particular devotion are never forgotten, and generations later they still have the power to stir the heart of God."

"One truly remarkable example of this took place one night in 1983 in a village in Algeria. That night, every inhabitant of the village had a personal, supernatural encounter with God through a combination of dreams, visions and angelic visitation."

When traced back, this was the very site that, in June 1315, Raymond Lull, a Spanish missionary from Majorca, had been stoned to death by frenzied Muslims after preaching in the open market.

Likewise, the Welshman Robert Jermain Thomas was the first Protestant martyr in Pyongyang, being executed in 1866 while giving away bibles after the ship he was on ran aground. He was 27.

I believe God still remembers the extreme devotion and sacrifice both of men like Thomas as well as the early North Korean church fathers. He also says, "Put me in remembrance!" (Isaiah 43:26). May the Lord stir us to prayer for North Korea in these perilous times.

Friday, April 14, 2017

William Wilberforce and Singapore: an amazing connection

A few years ago, I stumbled upon the DVD "Amazing Grace", going for the cheap in the stores. With a title like that, it felt like it would be a wholesome watch; but having picked it up from the bargain bin, I also didn't have much expectations for it. How wrong was I!! It would prove to be one of my most life changing movies.

The movie is based on the story of William Wilberforce. Who?

I asked myself the same question. As I would find out watching the movie, he was instrumental in the abolition of the global slave trade… something so abhorrent and vile, we can scarcely imagine how it could have been accepted as a normal part of world commerce in the 1700s.

But such was the world that Wilberforce was born into.

Eric Mataxas, a Wilberforce biographer, puts it thus: "Slavery was as accepted as birth and marriage and death, was so woven into the tapestry of human history that you could barely see its threads, much less pull them out. Everywhere on the globe, for five thousand years, the idea of human civilization without slavery was unimaginable.  The idea of ending slavery was so completely out of the question at that time that Wilberforce and the abolitionists couldn't even mention it publicly. They focused on the lesser idea of abolishing the slave trade - on the buying and selling of human beings - but never dared speak of emancipation, of ending slavery itself. Their secret and cherished hope was that once the slave trade had been abolished, it would then become possible to begin to move toward emancipation. But first they must fight for the abolition of the slave trade; and that battle - brutal and heartbreaking - would take 20 years."

Born in Hull in August 1759, Wilberforce's gift was that of oratory. He was a gifted statesman and Parliamentarian, and God gave him eloquence. His Cambridge education caused him to cross paths with William Pitt, who at 24, became the youngest-ever Prime Minister of the UK. That friendship and Pitt's encouragement were key to Wilberforce taking on the scourge of slavery and fighting for it in Parliament to be made illegal. At a time when the British economy thrived on slave labour in many of its colonial outposts (a fact little known to many Brits, until the spotlight was cast on it), the fight was unrelenting.

At one particular point in history, Wilberforce found God, and teetered between staying on as a politician and going into ministry. Struggling with the decision, he decided to visit John Newton, former slave trade and now pastor - the same person who wrote the wonderful words to that beloved hymn: "Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me."

Newton would say to Wilberforce to stay put, to remain in politics, for God would use him there.

"God has raised you up for the good of the church and the good of the nation, maintain your friendship with Pitt, continue in Parliament, who knows that but for such a time as this God has brought you into public life and has a purpose for you." 

Had Newton's advice been different, history might have turned out another way.

Another great man of God, John Wesley, also cheered Wilberforce on. In 1791, after seeing Wilberforce suffer many bruising battles in Parliament, Wesley, now 87, and only a few days before his death, wrote a letter to him, saying:

"Unless God has raised you up for this very thing, you will be worn out by the opposition of men and devils. But if God is for you, who can be against you? Are all of them stronger than God? O be not weary of well doing! Go on, in the name of God and in the power of his might, till even American slavery (the vilest that ever saw the sun) shall vanish away before it."

After many failed attempts to pass the bill to abolish slavery, victory would come in 1807, when the House voted 283-16 in favor of it. That year, John Newton was 82 and in the last year of his life. Wilberforce himself would break down and weep in Parliament at this historic moment, which capped his life's labours!

For years after watching this movie, I'd been greatly inspired by the life of Wilberforce, and also awed by how his life intersected with giants of the faith - men like John Newton and John Wesley, who lent their strength to his.

And then I found out by accident that Sir Stamford Raffles (Singapore's founder!) was a friend of Wilberforce. In fact, towards his life's end (and years after he returned home to London from Singapore), Raffles and Wilberforce would be neighbours at Highwood Hill in London.

What is even more remarkable is that when Raffles wanted to set up a local school in Singapore, and this would be the Singapore Institution established in 1823 (the precursor of today's Raffles Institution), on the Board of Trustees would be one William Wilberforce!

This little known fact is also captured in the Raffles Institution Museum, housed in the grounds of RI in Bishan. We visited it last December and the curator of the museum, a wonderful lady, even showed us a video she took in Highwood Hill, as she traced Raffles' life, and his final burial place.

For a year now, my mind has been totally blown by the connection between Wilberforce and Singapore (specifically, Singapore's first educational institution).

Here we have a giant of history - a man who goes down in the history books for having abolished slavery - on the board of trustees of the Singapore Institution. He was a global figure, a man who shaped world history, and God gave our little red dot, Singapore, a link with him.  And not just any tenuous link but God had in mind that Wilberforce should be in the starting pages of the book tracing the evolution of Singapore's education system.

How amazing is this!!!

I believe this doesn't just have historical significance but spiritual significance, and as we carry Singapore in prayer into 2018, may the Lord teach us how to pray (To read about the significance of 2018 for Singapore, click here.)

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Jesus - Faithful and True !

Jesus has many names. But was reminded today that the apostle John, in choosing the adjectives to describe Jesus on his return, went with "Faithful and True".

"I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True." (Rev 19:11)

So, so comforting to know… !

"Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies." (Psalm 36:5)

"Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!" (Isaiah 49:15)

"For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations." (Psalm 100:5)

"Faithful is he that calls you, who also will do it." (1 Thess 5:24)

"God is not man, that he should lie,
or a son of man, that he should change his mind.
Has he said, and will he not do it?
Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?" (Numbers 23:19)

It reminded me of an old song "My Redeemer is Faithful and True". Here is Steven Curtis Chapman - the composer - singing it. He wrote it as a young man, and now is more elderly, but says in this clip that if he has breath left and were to sing a song, this is the one he would sing. Hearing him sing it gave me the goosebumps!!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Significance of 2018 and Singapore as Antioch to Asia (Lou Engle)

Just attended Kingdom Invasion 2017, at the Singapore Expo. This year, the lineup of speakers included Bill Johnson, Heidi Baker, Ed Silvoso, Sean Bolz and Lou Engle.

One thing that stirred many was a prophetic word released by Lou Engle on 16 March, 2017, and am documenting it here because of its significance for the Singapore Church in this hour. Lou had said to the congregation that the leaders of our nation must judge the word, and see if it is from the Lord. I feel, too, that it warrants a response. Lou's word to our nation was a weighty one, and the Bible says "Do not despise prophecies but test everything; hold fast what is good" (1 Thess 5:20-21). If what Lou says is from the Lord, then we need as a people to ask God what our response should be, instead of going back to the routine of life next week, and let this word fall to the ground.

In his message to us, Lou shared two dreams. The first was by a friend of his, a trusted intercessor, in the days leading up to or during Kingdom Invasion 2017.

The first dream 
Speaking of Singapore, this friend said: "Books ... had been lost or simply misplaced. Lou and our team would give them these books. Singapore was about to graduate into an apostolic sending base that would carry prophetic clarity to transform economies but they could not fulfill their mandate without these books. In the dream, I was in 1978, and then back today. And one of the books was the book of Daniel, and I knew a cyclical review or visitation was close at hand for Singapore."

Lou said that in his friend's dream, he heard this phrase: “Honour the father Nashes and give abundant honour to the mother Nashes for they have kept the leaders and the nation on course.  "He’s in 1978 in this dream, and he says that Singapore is about ready to graduate into its anointing as an apostolic base to disciple the nations and economies."

In 1978, Billy Graham came to Singapore and prophesised. Next year - 2018 - will mark 40 years from 1978. 

Said Lou: "I think Billy Graham was a prophet … he prophesised that Singapore would be the Antioch of the East. What was Antioch? It was the apostolic sending base of the New Testament. And there was coming a cyclical review. I would like to suggest that the dream actually means that 40 years ago, Billy Graham released this word, and God is coming in a cycle of 40 to review Singapore right now. He’s coming to see if you will fulfill what was spoken by the prophet."

The second dream 
Lou said that as he shared the first word to a number of Singapore leaders the night before, one of them shared this dream by his spiritual daughter earlier this month.  So this second dream documented below is by a Singapore Christian leader.  Lou said this dream did not make sense to the lady because she did not know that Billy Graham's crusade in Singapore was in 1978.

In the dream, she said, "I ran into a white room that had no walls, on an endless expanse of white marble floor.  And right in the middle of the room was a throne that was made up of the same white marble and was one body with the floor, not just another piece of furniture in the room. On this throne sat a grandfatherly-like figure with a face so bright I could barely make out his features. He wore pristine robes, had snow-white hair, and a short beard. I remember running up to the man on the throne, exclaiming excitedly: 'Did you know that the greatest revival in the history of mankind is about to happen in Singapore?'  In the dream, he looked at me and laughed at me with a deep baritone. He was not laughing at me, but was delighted with me. However in that moment in the dream, I felt like a little child, thinking: 'Why is this old man laughing at me.' And as if he heard what was on my mind, the Father said, 'How about the old church and the new church? The new move of God and the old move of God.' And next, I saw the air before me shimmer, and a rustling of white curtains appeared and disappeared, and Billy Graham walked into that room. That millisecond, I knew that Billy Graham was 60 years old.'

Interpreting the dream, Lou said to us at Kingdom Invasion, with Billy Graham turning 100 next year, that means this lady's dream was about 1978. Both dreams are connected, and "had to do with a word that was spoken 40 years ago, and a cyclical review".

Lou's questions to the Singapore church:

"You need to judge these dream(s) but I’ve a feeling it’s not just a dream. I wonder when those spies went into the land and they find out the land is flowing with milk and honey, and grace. They saw the vision. I wonder if those people thought it was just a dream. I believe dreams are like spies. They show us the future promised land, but if you treat it as just a dream, you will never go to war in faith, to take the promised land, because you want to live for self-preservation. I think there is a cyclical review coming."

"Next year, you’re entering into the 40th year, and the question is this: 'Will you see the greatest revival or will you live for self-preservation? … I woke up with these words ringing in my head. More will be given to those who humble themselves."

Referring to the father and mother Nashes of our land, he said, "Maybe God is saying it’s not enough to remember your past, you must honor them by entering into their sacrifices and passions, and birth the revival." (Blogger's note: Daniel Nash was the intercessor to the great preacher Charles Finney during the second Great Awakening)

"Maybe He’s coming with a review for Singapore and wondering if you are well-satisfied, rich, and in need of nothing, or maybe He’s coming to a people that are so hungry to fulfill their divine destiny that they are willing to do anything to fulfill it."

On the lady's dream of the old church and the new church coming together, Lou went on to say, "Two generations must move together into the next generation, they must cross over into the promised land, and they must fight the wars of the Lord." Israel as a nation was brought to the threshold of prophetic promise, but apart from Joshua and Caleb, the men decided to play it safe because they did not want their kids to die fighting the giants. And so a generation died in the desert after wandering for 40 years.  

Singapore: what will your response be?

1. Unity among the denominations. Apparently, the Charismatic revival in Singapore in the 1970s fizzled out because of lack of unity among the denominations. So one question Lou asked is, "Could you bring together a generation that loves God more than their denominations?"

2. Praying and fasting. Would we be like the Antioch church, and fast and pray, and minister to the Lord? We all laughed nervously when Lou challenged us to a fast … ! 

"If we are going to be an apostolic people, we’re going to have to go back to the apostolic word, and they were fasting and ministering to the Lord in Antioch, and the Holy Spirit spoke, “Hurl forth labourers into the harvest field.”

He mentioned that key leaders, and even Jesus, in the Bible fasted 40 days:
  • Moses fasted 40 days, and ushered in the covenant of the glory of God
  • Elijah fasted 40 days and ushered in a double-portion, signs-and-wonders generation (the Elisha generation)
  • John the Baptist fasted his whole life to bring in the apostolic era of Jesus
  • Jesus fasted 40 days in the wilderness and fulfilled what Israel could not fulfill in 40 years 
On Singapore's role in thrusting laborers into the harvest field, Lou said, it was not just missionaries but "...workers and leaders in the highest parts of the economy and government that Singapore is being raised to affect the globe if she is hungry enough to humble herself to enter into her promise at this time."

In sum  
"I want this word to be judged by leaders. Something has been in the works for 40 years and Singapore is at the threshold of the Jordon.

My friend dreamed that there is coming a cyclical review; I believe there is something about 40 years or a generation, that God comes to nations and reviews them and sees if they’re going to qualify for the fulfillment of the promise." 

My reflections 
As mentioned above, this is a weighty word by Lou. Among my friends, a few were stirred by this word in their spirit too. At the end of the final day, Dr Ed Silvoso said Singapore needs to respond, and prepare ourselves for the 40th year of Billy Graham's word to us this year. 

How would we respond? I believe there needs to be a personal response and a corporate response. 

When the Jewish people were in exile in Babylon, Daniel was not passive about their return to the promised land from their time in captivity. The prophets had pronounced that the Jewish people would be in captivity 70 years, and as this period was nearing its end, it is said in Daniel 9:1-2 that "then I (Daniel) set my face toward the Lord God to make request by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth and ashes. And I prayed to the Lord my God, and made confession…" 

The date of this was 539 BC, about 66 or 67 years after the Jews initially went into exile to Babylon. In studying the scriptures, Daniel came to understand that it was to be 3 years before the number of years of the desolations of Jerusalem would be up. 

But he didn't passively wait for 70 years to come to pass. Three years before that particular fullness of time, he actively pressed into God, and was visited by the angel Gabriel, who gave him further understanding and revelation of the things pertaining to his nation and people. 

How will we respond? I pray that the Church should weigh Lou's word above and collectively seek the Lord on how we will respond, personally and corporately. Daddy God, please do not let Singapore miss the hour and your purposes for us as a nation.