Saturday, June 29, 2013

God will meet ALL your needs

Rev Dr Kow Shih Ming

God will meet all your needs

Wesley Methodist Church Singapore 
30 June 2013
Text Phil 4:19
2 Cor 9

Phil 4:19 And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

NB all your needs NOT all your wants

What a wonderful promise: God supplying all my needs

IF you do A
THEN God will do B

IF you have a NEED 
you must plant a SEED

Eg farmer needs crop from barren field.
Will he get it if he only prays about it?
Will he get it if he only grumbles about it?
He has to sow seeds
He has to give out what he has in order to get back.
You need to give out what you have.

The plan to meet your own needs 
begins with giving in faith.
God's way is not man's way.

Man's way is to 
Borrow, use credit card
Work harder

God's plan is for you give out first:
God will give back

When you have a need
It is time for you to sow seeds

Applies to every area in your life 
Whether it is
Anger: Criticisms
Love Kindness

It will come back in abundance

To gain energy you have to give it away
Does sitting on a couch eating potato chips give you energy? No!
Does going out to exercise give you energy? Yes!

The giving must be paired with the right attitude
There is a right way to plant seeds and a wrong way.
There is a right way to give money to God and a wrong way.
God does not need your money.
All your money is actually God's money anyway
It is on loan to you.

What God wants is your heart.
Since money is such a big part of your life,
God wants to part of it also.

God wants all of you.

On Attitude of Giving

Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 
2 Corinthians 9:7 NIV


1) Give what you have decided to give.
Pray about it
Deliberate over it
Plan it
(not impuslive)

2) Give enthusiasticaly
not grudgingly
not reluctantly

3) Give voluntarily,
not in response to pressure

4) Give cheerfullly.
The Greek word in the text rendered to us as "cheerful" is
Strong's Concordance 2431 hilaros hil-ar-os'
  propitious or merry ("hilarious"), i.e. prompt or willing:--cheerful.
from which we gett he English word Hilarious

The Bible does not say "Give until it hurts"
If you have not enjoyed the joy of giving you have not given enough.

Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.
2 Corinthians 9:10 NIV
[Editorial note: this points to eternal values rather than material prosperity LSM]

To help you give your money to God remember
A) It is not yours but belongs to God anyway
B) God guarantees it will be given back to you
Because God wants to grow your heart
and will give back to you more
so that you can be more generous

God wants to stretch your faith
Grow your heart
Break the hold onf money on you
Therefore tithe and give

Focusing on the word ALL in this promise
(All means all
with no exception)

And God is able to make ALL grace abound in you
 so that in ALL things
 at ALL times,
 having ALL that you need,
 you will abound in every good work.
2 Corinthians 9:8

Abundant grace for a purpose
that you will abound in good works

Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.
Mal 3:10

Jesus paid the price for your

Would you not trust him with your FINANCES?

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Walking in obedience to God: Unpacking my Graphic Recording!

Was blessed to attend workshop at Makassar
 (aka UPG aka Ujong Padang) 14-25 June 2013.

Venue was a theological seminary.

Participants introduced themselves and I did a graphic recording.

Looking at positive experiences of outreach ministry.

Negative experiences

Trainers described how their previous work lead to frustration:
DNA course changed way of thinking
Pondering for 4 years then decided to create a wholistic programme.
Outreach was directed thru poor minority church,
anchored on demolishing lies 
(re: beliefs have consequences)

God glorified
Church empowered
People move out of poverty

Develop basic life skills

Original plan was to train a trainer who would train 10 churches

Trainer came back with 16 churches trained

When another 10 trainers to be we're sought, 16 turned up!

Rapidly grow to reach 160 churches, 
1,500 churches,or more

Churches were trained to do simple acts of love:
Within 3 years at leadership meeting was reported "our communities have been totally transformed"
When asked to detail the transformation
amazingly true transformation 

At leadership meeting of 40  communities

We have been transformed
We now have stable homes
Enough to eat the whole year
Vegetable gardens
Marriages healthy happy
80-90% attend church
We provide food for widows/ orphans
All needs are met
When we want to do some service
we need to go to the next community

Case study of 250 communities that have moved out of poverty

Eg one remote community 10 km walk from end of motor cycle track.
Grew tobacco for sale
Rice to make rice wine
    After training
Stopped growing tobacco 
Got school
Got electricity line
Built road

One villager lives in hut 2x2 metre
to house to 20 people
Community transformed in 2 years
Built big home
Settalite dish

Genius plan
Top 70 students eligible for scholarship.
Usually brighter students from city

14 awarded to children from these transformed communities (10 believers)

North  hill region
Smaller communities 20-30 families
South  plains : larger communities 200- 300 families

What are lies that hold back churches from reaching out to communities?
That is not our problem
Not able to do anything about it
Too poor
Don't know what to do
Waiting for outsider to fix it
It won't make any difference
Feeling of helplessness
Good idea but send someone else to do it, not me
Not biblical
Too difficult
Best way to help is to preach
Should help Christians only/first
Too dangerous
Doing development to convert them is trickery
Need to tolerate others beliefs: do not convert them
Allow them to be different
Don't know how to relate to them
Christianity is manipulative

THUS we need to tell the whole gospel story
From creation
Garden of Eden
The fall
The rescue
The first coming
The second coming

The core curriculum covers five calander years
Ten sessions of three days training every six months.

Allows participants time to do one act of kindness and report it.

First three sessions cover biblical truths and Satan's lies

It takes this time to build trust and credibility.
Then fourth module focuses on preventative health
Module five is on marriage and family
(*for cousin ministry it may be better to use health/ family lessons to build bridges, earn trust and credibility)

The ministry has a momentum of its own 
Like trying to push a huge boulder down a slope
Initially very hard work
But after a while it gathers speed
Point of training is to get church members to go out and do something
Mobilize them for action
From that action there will be experiential encounter with God

Testimony "As we serve, we love God more"
The more they serve the more they experience God

Started ministry in poor rural church (marginalised)
Get the leadership on board
Pastor usually too busy to be trainer
Pastor's wife often excellent trainer coordinator
Reduce all barriers to participation
Make it very simple

Acts of love
Simple things they can do to bless to impact the community

Invite a downtrodden for a meal
ask them about their lives
(do not try to evangelise: would be seen as manipulation)

Work together vs jealousy 

Builds trust and credibility

A cocoa plantation will take years to yield results: 
perhaps vegetable garden could produce short term results

Road traffic accident death
Local belief : anyone in attendance curse x10 days
Own family will not come
Church people come to provide funeral
Others watch to see curse take effect:
 no bad thing happens to church people;
"Your God more powerful than the spirits!"

For one act of love the church members decided to repair a poor widow's house.
The chief of police objected (?some political issue?)
Under the watchful eyes of the police force they could do nothing.
The same chief of police had an accident and was hospitalized in a hospital in town away from this village.
All the police went to visit him
When the cats away.... The church members rushed to repair the widows house 

In one community
Appreciative Enquery
Physical Resources and Human Resources identified
(By card sorting: different cards with different items written on it: )
Dream of future
Vision casting
Draw map of our place as we would like it to be in 10 years time:
Community met to pray over this map every two weeks
They had envisioned tractor, school, well
They realized their 7 km path was to narrow for a tractor, so they did road widening works
The road enabled produce to reach market faster, improve their economy
Soon they were able to afford to purchase the tractor
Government had noticed their efforts and decided to build a school exactly on the spot they had envisioned
They got the well soon

Fatalism in the pessimists changes a bit when they see participants break out of poverty

Small loans can help start income generating activities

Challenge them to take small steps
Show/ model/ demonstrate
collect testimonies of results
Lead them to bigger things

Quote: Bob Mofatt
1) The world is broken
2) Healing happens when people pray
2Chronicles 7:14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humblethemselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
3) The bible teaches us how to live 

Don't do baseline survey, ask many questions, take photographs of their 'bad' situation.
Dont come in promising projects or development.
This raises false expectations: that you are going to fix all their problems
You are going to raise funds from their story but as the money never goes to them it must have gone into your pocket.

DO offer churches to help them walk in obedience to God

Who do we want to train?
-Train people who beg you to train them... ideal
-Beg people to let you train them: sometimes needed at first
-Provide funds ++ for projects with the training: 
Don't want to do go down that road!
-"Professional students"who train train train but never do anything?
 Don't want to do go down that road!

How do we choose who to start working with?
Start with whoever God places in front of you.

Time and again you will see The God Factor
Look to God

Witness "out and out" full blown miracles

There was a tapioca crop failure
People prayed
At harvest they went to dig up crop expecting withered roots
Found twice the usual harvest of tapioca
Other farmer's tapioca crop failed
Demand was there but supply was low
They sold their bumper crop at three times the ordinary price.

Recognise the ability of people
Don't  be too quick to solve their problems
Allow them to work out their own solutions
The ministry may appear messy and chaotic

Allow them space

20-30% of communities may drop out
Yet 3-4 years later they may be influenced by successful groups to reengage
sometimes trained by those successful groups
Reports may be made verbally, recorded on MP3 and other digital media for less literate partners: the audio recording transcribed later by central administrators
Avoid false reporting by close relationship with community and regular visits

Tear down interdenominational walls

Panorama of day one.....

DAy two begins ....

SURRENDER control of ministry to the community
Allow them to be dependent on God
YET front-load the Acts of Love with good training and plentiful examples of desirable outcome.
eg road repair,
 garbage clean up,
 free hair cut
 repair poor widows house

Empower local church
Encourage close relatives, cousin ministry

Brainstorming session: How do we engage the church?

In time of disaster: BUILD RELATIONSHIPS
do disaster relief
do recovery
then do development

When no disaster: Disaster relief preparation

Tale of Ms Kobar 
Practical non-abstract way to introduce relief vs development
Story of Ms Kobar
Comes into community
helps community to
-plant flowers
-plant sweet potato
-reconcile family, parents with young adult son

Question: what did she do to help?
What if she just gave them money every month for two years then left the area?

Paradigm shift needed
Administered in gentle nudges and small steps
We are uprooting generation of lies and replacing them with truths
Takes time
Not achieved overnight

Help them have good ideas
Help them reach out beyond their comfort zone
Help church to see needs of the community

Enhancing foster care is an avenue of outreach
Help brighten, pain clean foster home
Provide toys
Provide monthly party for foster children
 so foster parents can have "night out" respite

In JKT outreach pgm was supported by a prayer network
they did garbage clean up
they did community lunch (picnic in park for 3,000)
20/20 vision: By year 2020 target to have one blessing community in each neighbourhood

One team purchased a run down school and ran it well, leading to transformation in the community

This "pecking order" is a lie
that we must take care of our own family first
then our neighbours
then our own people group
(all within our church community)
and we don't have need/ responsibility to reach out to downtrodden beyond these walls

RESISTANCE to participation may come from churches/ communities which subscribe to these lies:
You are stealing our workers
You collect so much money for your project but it all goes into our own pocket
We don't get to see any of this money
You don't give us any money, 
You make us do all the work
then you take credit for all our work.

Conflict and tension between local church and foreign M-workers
Burn out
Needs Reconciliation

work in small groups of 2-3
provides safety and accountability
do debrief
share the results of your acts of love with your church

who needs to know God's love more?
a) those in the church
b) those outside church

Suggested short introductory module schedule
Session 1& 2 Acts of love
Session 3&4 Who can we love
Session 5&6 How can we love (entering community, relief & development)

Sieze the opportunity
Whatever door God opens, go with it!

What does training look like
TOPIC: Lies that prevent us from moving out of our comfort zone
examine the lies in their lives
KNOCK DOWN the lies
replace with truths

Acts of love: what they are
Participatory interactive facilitatory learning
teach with role play, games, card sorting, small group discussions, different activities

role play and simulating simple acts of love
eg inviting a beggar for a meal and asking them about their lives
Prayer walk
Just do it (one act in 6 months)

For UPG (Makassar), may be better to build trust and credibility through health, family and marriage modules first

Do not attempt to evangelise during Acts of Love
this will be seen as manipulation
whole effort rejected
Recipients have even paid for the "free meal" because they feel manipulated and dont want to be obliged to you. 

Take home message: on the way home flight UPG-SGP I condensed my thoughts.....
Focus must be on TRUTH vs LIES
Beliefs have consequences
start small, very small steps
Learn to let go (of participants work, direction) and Let God (take over)
Card sorting is a way of doing resource inventory
    Sort into 2/3 piles: yes/ no/ don't know-, maybe
The tale of Md Lecha (oops Ms Kobar) is a non-abstract way of presenting relief vs development

Get participants to move beyond their comfort zone to reach out to others (non-believers)
Small incremental steps
No evangelizing (= manipulation!) during acts of love

Focus on demolishing lies and replacing with truths
Why does despair occur
what are bad roots
(Previously my team never dig down deep enough to examine wrong beliefs/ lies that lead to the bad behavior)
Collect list of "lies" related to topic
A) for participants
B) for facilitator pool

Compare and contrast with what truths we must implant in order to get good tree and good fruit

New lesson plan Healthy Home

Role play 
Roles: Husband Wife two children
Husband drinking from bottle
Children playing noisily
Calls wife: why children noisy?
Beats wife: why you never control them
Children crying

End of role play

What does an unhealthy home look like?
Draw picture

Identify 7 main features of unhealthy home
What are the beliefs / lies that result in each of these 7 features of unhealthy home?

Compare and contrast
Identify 7 main features of healthy home
What are the beliefs / truths needed that will result in each of these 7 features of healthy home?

Saturday, June 22, 2013

No Idols: sketch note Sermon

Rev Wendy Watson: 
Sermon: No Idols
Text: Exodus 20:1-8

QUOTE: Os Guiness
Of Idolatry
HUGE in the Bible
DOMINANT in our personal lives 
yet IRRELAVENT in our mistaken estimate

Some idols are easy to identify
Secret Societies

Others less so
Yet they all destroy us

The bible is big on idolatry
#1 issue
More than 50 laws about idolatry in the first 5 books of the bible
The penalty for idolatry is death
Idolatry is a big deal for God

Kyle Littleman : book: "gods at war"
"Every sin we struggle with:
Lack of purpose
Is because of idolatry"
Idolatry is the worship of wrong things

What is worship?
Worship is a heart thing
Intentionally following

Who, what do we worship??

We were created by God to worship him

What and where are the idols in our life?
Where do we place our
Listen to?

Internet search engines place sex and pornography and video as top searched topics

What does your data search show?

I talk to people every week who are hurting.
They come to me
Unload their troubles
They are actually talking about their symptoms rather than their problem
The problem is idolatry.

Case Study #1
Caught for cheating income tax
Worried about family and reputation
Why did you do it?
Don't know 
Is money what drives you?
"Never thought of it that way"

Case Study #2
Girl wants to move out, live with boyfriend
Have you thought of what you are doing to your future husband?
This relationship probably will not last
You are prepared to disobey God and disobey your parents?
Seems to me that you have turned thus relationship into a god
"Never thought of it that way"

Case Study #3
Ordinary guy
Started on pornorgraphy since young
Images burned into his soul 
Changed the way I relate to momen
An itch I cannot satisfy
Need to scratch harder and harder
"My brother,
you think you have a lust problem but actually you have a worship problem: you worship sex"
"You need to ask yourself
'Will I worship God or will I worship sex'"

"Never thought of it that way"

Case Study #4
The Haze
Root problem is idolatoru
God of money is being worshipped
"Do I have a part in this"

Haze is a good reminder
As long as haze remains 
Daily ask God
What are the idols in my life

Prayer is the only offensive weapon available to us 

Leads to