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Shadow of the Almighty

Sitting in mandated quarantine back in Singapore this morning, returning with my family after 2 years in the States for my PhD studies, God has been reminding me of His sovereignty and protection, especially throughout the Covid pandemic (since early 2020).

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!”
For it is He who delivers you from … the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with His pinions,
And under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield & bulwark.

Psalm 91.1-4 #psalm91
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https://www.podbean.com/ea/dir-z676d-f63047b

The Emotionally Healthy Leader Podcast | How to Teach & Preach from the Inside Out


Summary

  1. Am I preaching for Jesus out of a life of being with Jesus? (who we are is more important than what we say)
  2. Am I present to myself & to people in the room? (see & love them)
  3. Am I allowing the text to intersect with my family of origin & culture?
  4. Am I preaching out of vulnerability & weakness? (need time to let text go into & break you)
  5. Am I allowing the text to transform me?
  6. Am I connecting the message to people’s long-term formation?

Ed Stetzer recently wrote a short introductory article addressing what missiology is and is not. For those wondering what my PhD in Intercultural Studies (another term for missiology in general), or what I study, this is a pretty good summary/overview.

What missiology is not:

  • Not simply giving an angst-driven look at current church norms
  • Not merely being critical of what doesn’t work in the church
  • Not the same as evangelism

What missiology is:

  • An academic discipline
  • Asks not only the “how” question but also the “why”
  • Seeks to help the church fulfill her mission locally & globally.

Stetzer defines missiology as

the reflective discipline that undergirds & guides the Church’s propagation endeavors as it advances the knowledge of the gospel in all its fullness to every people, everywhere.

Read full article here.

12 years on (GPS)

I was reminded by one of the 4 guys in our Guys Prayer Support (GPS) group that we began meeting 12 years ago. Being a significant number in the Bible, e.g. 12 tribes of Israel, Jesus’ 12 disciples, it has truly been a blessing and encouragement to continue to share and journey together as the 4 of us continue in ministry, family life, and overall discipleship with the Lord. Although we only meet up occasionally now, with family and ministry constraints, challenges, I appreciate these brothers deeply, and know that anytime we are able to share and know that they are there, supporting and praying for me and us all.

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Carey Nieuwhof writes on emerging divides and church splits which are probably already happening or accelerating (largely due in part to the Covid pandemic) or coming in the near future. Each of these (and collectively) will likely greatly influence and impact whether churches will be well-positioned, effective in accomplishing their mission, and thrive in the future post-pandemic world.

  • Online-optional vs. fully hybrid
  • Bringing people back vs. moving people forward
  • Judging vs. embracing (loving)
  • Ideology vs. gospel-driven

Read the full article here.

Lausanne Global Executive Director/CEO Michael Oh reflects on John Stott’s legacy on the centennial of his birth (20 Apr, 1921). Among his many key contributions to Christian theology, the church and missions, what stands out for me is his role in the birthing of the Lausanne Covenant and Movement in 1974, and his related book Christian Mission in the Modern World (1975), which has since been updated and expanded by Chris Wright on its 40th anniversary.

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US & the Covid war

One year ago (11 Mar), WHO declared Covid-19 as a global pandemic. Schools and businesses here in the States began shutting down the week of Mar 16th, 2020. A year on, here in the States, sadly we have now reached more than 30 million Covid cases (as of 27 Mar), and more than 500k Covid-related deaths (as of 19 Feb).

In the new POTUS Biden’s inaugural speech (20 Jan), he compared the then-405k Covid deaths to Americans who died in World War II. About a month later (23 Feb), he again compared crossing the 500k mark to Americans lost in World War I, World War II and the Vietnam War. Some news agencies have questioned the validity of his claims; see here for a good fact-checking article. Either way, the statistics are slowly moving up towards that 580k mark (update: now crossed May 11, 2021).

On the bright side, 152k vaccinations have been administered so far, but we still have a long way to go, amidst 2nd and 3rd waves/spikes of Covid variants both here and worldwide. Do continue to pray for the Biden administration, Covid taskforces, and especially the frontline healthcare workers battling daily.

Real-time Covid data tracker, statistics here (CDC).

(PC: PWC, VA)

#gettheshot #TogetherAgainstCOVID19 #wearwatchwash #dontgoviral

10 years #tohoku311

Today is the 10th anniversary of the Tohoku earthquake of Japan on 11th Mar, 2011, the most powerful earthquake (9.1-magnitude) ever recorded in Japan, triggering a triple disaster – earthquake, tsunami, & nuclear power plant meltdown, resulting in over 15k deaths, 6k injuries, & 2.5k people missing across 20 prefectures.

In memory of #tohoku311, here are some ministries that have been involved with tsunami/disaster relief & reaching the Tohoku region with the hope of the gospel, & Japan missions:

Be One (Tohoku Aid) – a group of inter-agency missionaries across Japan serving the Tohoku region after 3.11
Nozomi Project – faith-based social enterprise in Ishinomaki, using shards from broken pottery from 3.11 to create jewellery, helping women who lost loved ones with sustainable income (Nozomi means “hope” in Japanese; their motto is “beauty in brokenness)
3.11 Iwate Church Networknetwork of churches & organizations serving the damaged churches & community in Iwate Prefecture
English Presbytery Japan Mission (EPJM) – Started by the EP Singapore, small mission teams are organized almost every month for 1-2 weeks involved in disaster relief, community engagement, gospel ministryJapan Prayer Group (JPG) – monthly prayer group (1st Tue) @ OMF Singapore, praying for Japan & OMF missionaries

#tohoku311 #2011tohokuearthquake #prayjapan

ACS Founder’s Day

Today (1 Mar) marks the 135th anniversary of the founding of Anglo-Chinese School by William F. Oldham (1854-1937) in #Singapore. Some interesting facts:

  • Oldham was an India-born British-American Bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church (forerunner of UMC) & a Missionary Bishop for Southern Asia. He also founded the first/oldest Methodist church (Wesley) in Singapore. He died & is buried in Glendale, California.
  • The early years of education of #JosephSchooling (Singapore’s first/only #Olympic gold medalist in swimming) were at ACS.
  • ACS is mentioned as the alma mater of several characters in the #CrazyRichAsians trilogy; the author Kevin Kwan also studied there.
  • The school motto “The Best is Yet to Be” is from Robert Browning’s poem “Rabbi ben Ezra” (1864).

#thebestisyettobe #tbiytb #acs135

 

I attended an insightful public lecture by BGST on the increasingly important topic, “Is a digital church a real church?” The speaker was Dr Peter Phillips, Director of Research at Center for Digital Theology, Durham University. For those interested, an M.A in Digital Theology is now being offered.

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