Category: Missions

News trickled in around the stroke of midnight in Singapore (UTC+8) on Wednesday night (21 Feb). It took a while for it to sink in, and I checked a few credible news sites before reposting, in a faint thought that it could be fake news. It wasn’t. Billy Graham had passed away peacefully in his home at the age of 99. Throughout the night, more and more news feeds poured in, eulogies, well-wishes, tributes, fond memories, most if not all, in great respect and gratitude for one of our modern giants of the faith, the great evangelist.

Thom Rainer wrote a great article of this historic Christian figure as he recollects lessons he learnt whilst visiting him in 2009.

Here’s a summary:

  1. A life pleasing to the Lord is a life of integrity.
  2. Our first ministry is to our family.
  3. Listen to critics, but don’t dwell on them.
  4. Humility is one of the greatest virtues of leaders.
  5. All that really matters is Jesus.

Read the full article here.

His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’

Matthew 25:21 NASB

His passing also reminded me of another respected American who also has been promoted to glory, also Baptist, also at the age of 99, also a great man of God.

Ps John Willis came to Singapore in 1966 after retiring at age 62 to help pastor our then starting-out young church at Bartley. I remember him fondly from a young age as he would share the gospel story through chalkboard art to the Sunday school children and during sermons. In later years, I remember him sitting by the main door of the church, shaking hands and greeting every single worshipper walking in by name. He married off almost all in our parents’ generation, despite being single. He was like the grandfather of the church family. He used to live on our church premises for almost 30 years, and after he passed in 2004, at age 99, we used to use his room for Bible study and awe at his wall-to-wall library of books (all read) and the simplicity and humility of his living and life.

2 scholarship funds at SBC and Moody were set up in 2004 from his bequeathed will, and in 2010, a book “An American we are grateful for” was launched, a hall at the newly rebuilt Bartley was named after him, and a missions fund was set up in his name as well.

Read more at the SCF book project here.

The Black Eyed Peas – #WHERESTHELOVE ft. The World

People killing, people dying
Children hurt and you hear them crying
Can you practice what you preach?
Or would you turn the other cheek?
Father (x3) help us
Send some guidance from above
These people got me, got me questioning
Where is the love?

This chorus from a song by the Black Eyed Peas in 2003 encapsulates both the state of the world as well as the burning questions on many hearts. Why do we live in such a broken and messed-up world? Why can’t people just love one another? After all, “all you need is love,” isn’t it?

Unfortunately, or sadly, no. God’s word teaches us that mankind, because of our sinful nature, continually chooses to disobey and reject God. They, instead, worship creation rather than the Creator God. It is not finite human love that is the answer to the world’s problems.

God provided the only solution through His Son, Jesus Christ, and what He has done for the world by dying on the cross and being raised from the dead. For Christians, Paul exhorts us not to be ashamed of the gospel, as “it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.” (Rom. 1.16) What the world needs, and has always needed is love, the love of God, which alone will lead us to repentance and salvation through Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord.

Missions Catalyst has published an interesting first-person “letter” from a/an (unmobilized) pastor.
In summary, here’s how to be sure we never mobilize our pastors for missions:

  1. Present all your requests as though they were crises
  2. Use jargon that I should probably know, but don’t
  3. By all means, go to my wife if you’re disappointed in how I’m responding to your requests
  4. Give me books I don’t ask for, the context for which I lack, and the content I’m not interested in
  5. Leave me out of the process
  6. Don’t pray for me, just give me more work to do
  7. Inundate me with information, but don’t ask me questions
  8. Don’t serve what we’re currently doing; just tell me how our church isn’t doing all it could
  9. Ask me if your missionary friend can speak to whole church
  10. Ask me to go with you on a 3-week-trip to the craziest parts of the world
  11. When you email me about the cool thing you’d like us to invest in, be sure to bad-mouth 8 other similar things
  12. Tell me missions is what’s really on the heart of God
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