Easter Sunday

Hmm this one should be a long post; and about time too. My life has been fairly empty over the past few months, so it’s good to finally have an interesting day.

 

Church

Easter Sunday proved to be another one of those special Sundays particularly for church, and I thought so too. In fact, the Chinese side were having this fairly large morning tea so I thought we were having a combined service or something with our English-speaking side. But I was wrong and so I sat through a Cantonese service for no apparent reason; but then my parents were there anyway so fair enough to attend an Easter Sunday service with them.

 

Actually I decided to use the time to analyse the structure of the service, since I am still sort of relied on to coordinate for our side. I was also hereon Friday for the Good Friday service; again I thought it was a combined and I ended up sitting through that one also for no apparent reason. Anyway I did come to realise a few things about their service which made theirs seem better than ours (or in other words: things we could be doing to improve our service).

 

Firstly I noticed a slight difference between their music worship team and ours. I guess that’s fair since their song leaders are older and hence more experienced. I’ve seen song-leading for several years now, and I’ve had to be song leader the odd couple of times for Soul Purpose (otherwise their wouldn’t be any guy singers haha!) and what I realise is that our song leaders merely sing the songs. I always thought there was more to song leading than just singing. I always had the view that song leaders should also give a brief 10-second introduction/summary to certain songs and how they relate to us; and then add in the occasional prayer and all. I remember fairly well the way Jackson (Donna’s brother, Kel you may remember him from Hamachi DotA years ago) did song leading; the same way I just described. I guess it helps the congregation relate more to the song leaders, when they actually speak to you.

 

Also, their prayers are fairly powerful, and by that I mean heart-felt and emotional. No matter who is praying, you can always feel the emotion in the speaker’s voice; yet for our side prayers are somewhat sensible and solemn; not boring but like not overly emphatic. As I’ve said before in a previous article, I don’t particularly like preaching through emotion because it can mislead people; and yet I cannot deny that we need this good feeling from emotion in order to get us hooked into the service. I suppose there is no helping it, that we do need emotion in our preaching; but I would just hope that people would know better to let their heads lead them to faith, then let their faith lead them to their heart.

 

Anyway our service rolled past in the hour after that, although I paid less attention to how we could improve our service then. I was more thinking about the rest of the things I had to do for the rest of the day.

 

Crossfire Leader’s Meeting

Next up on my program list was to get all our youth group leaders to discuss plans for next term and such. Well I had to organise this one because our pastor Kenny had a meeting with the church council, as a member of the church council I should rather say. so without him someone has to take the initiative. We were meant to start at 1pm but somehow time dragged on and instead we started at 1:20pm, shows how time-wasting we sometimes are. Kenny joined us for a short while since his meeting was yet to start.

 

So I looked at him with the mental message: “Okay Kenny tell us what we should discuss about first.” And Kenny stared right back at me with the same question. And I was then “Oh no, so I’m chairing this meeting?” Yes I was nervous at being “in charge” in front of the other girl leaders because yeah I’m sort of afraid of them; maybe I’m paranoid? And also I get reminded of the segregated leadership back from Soul Purpose. Well most of you will know what I’m talking about. And let’s face it, our two different views sort of divided the leadership up and so I was afraid something bad might happen if I accidentally overstepped my mark or said something wrong. I’d hate to have the girls turn on me >.<”

 

But anyway I tried to take us through the basic factors that needed to be considered. Luckily we also had Nat’s sister, Kylie, who for a year 9 gave some in depth feedback. Funny she always seemed the fun-loving type, I never thought she’d take strict notice of the way we ran youth group. But yeah her feedback proved to be very useful. We didn’t get through much in 40 minutes because everyone had to leave at 2. Well, Jess and Eva had music practice (argh!) and then Nat just went home. And I also had to go somewhere for my final thing for today..I do know that Jess and Nat haven’t finished their Bible studies, which is not a good sign from them. And they’re busy from being behind in university and so since I’m ahead, I guess I’ll have to help them if they need it.

 

Well that just auto-sets me as the one to continue setting agendas and all for our youth group leadership since I’m the one more ahead in my work (hence I have time to blog); so that really means I have to be careful in how I lead, for fear of causing problems similar to those in the past.

 

And now we come to the pinnacle event of today, I was looking forward to this the most and I was glad at the way it turned out:

04. The Human Limit

Sorry I do not have a Bible verse at the moment to start off with; hopefully I’ll find one soon. This post is sort of in response to what was discussed at Bible study group last week; well, actually it’s a trigger for this post. The question/issue raised last week was about how hard we should be trying in order to devote our lives for God, in a tangible way. And by tangible we are sort of referring to say duties at church/youth group, to the extremes of full-time ministry. How much effort should we really devote to these things? Will we, can we, really give up everything else in our lives to pursue God’s purpose.

 

The reason why we see some sort of dilemma is that we are unable to do both things at the same time: that is, we cannot spend all our effort for university and also spend all our effort on church. The normal solution is to find a balance of the two things and so it may end up being 50/50 for both things, or maybe more tilted one way. But the question at hand is: should we try to give more of ourselves to God and just leave everything else behind? After all, this was what God told the disciples to do in the New Testament.

 

Well suppose we could drop everything and serve God with 100% of our energy at all times. But to push things to the extreme as an example: what about eating and drinking? Can we not part time to eat and drink? It’s got nothing to do with serving God (generally) but if we don’t then we’re physically die right? We need food and water to survive. And this is an example of our limits as humans. There are things we must do (or rather we can’t do – that is, serving Christ 24/7) because we are humans and we are limited by the way God has made us.

 

So now we can specify what limits we as humans are imposed with. And again let’s start with some extremes. As humans, we cannot fly, we cannot breathe underwater, we cannot survive without food and water, as stated before. Furthermore we can’t like raise the dead or summon massive fireballs to destroy our enemies with. But to narrow the gap, we can’t really devote 100% of our time to Christ and 100% for university because that’s 200% and there’s only 100% of us to give away.

 

But before we adopt a pessimistic view and say: “Because I’m human and because I have these limits that God has imposed on me, maybe I should trying to devote a fair amount of myself to God”, we should also turn our attention to the meaning of the word “best”. Often times we say that we want to achieve to our best or that we’re happy with a failed result as long as we did our best. And so another question to ask is: Even though we fail to give 100% of ourselves to God, are we still giving Him our “best”?

 

Consider the time you study for exams. Did you study toy our best to get the result you wanted? Could you confidently say: “Yep, I studied to my best. That is my best result, I could not have gotten higher.”? If your answer is yes, think about it again. Couldn’t you have studied harder? Or studied more? Couldn’t you have given up that leisure time of watching TV, or playing games or MSN to study? Surely there is a way to have made your final mark better. And surely there is always a way to improve what you’ve done if you’re given the time to think about ways to improve what you’ve done. Surely what we do isn’t perfect and surely there are always ways we can improve on what we’ve done.

 

And therefore we never really do perform at our “best” because there is always a way to improve. So if we can always improve; is there a limit to how much we can improve to? How shy of “perfection” can we achieve? Can we actually achieve perfection? Rather than look at “perfection” as the goal, consider this example: Isn’t it funny that year after year we see Olympic World Records get broken one after the other. Take swimming for example, is it always possible to beat the World Record? I mean surely it’s humanely impossible for man to swim 50m in say 1 second, or even 10 seconds; so if we keep pushing this number up, what is the limit of the World Record?

 

So in summary for this section, surely there is a maximum, a limit that we as humans can reach; and yet ironically we can always improve; we can never reach our best even though it’s there. Also I would like to say that there are other factors that prevent us from reaching our “best”. If we’re sick, physically, or when we feel tired, or annoyed and disturbed because of something, these can all influence how well we perform, yes? Then maybe what prevents us from reaching our best, our limit, is the things that are holding us back in this world. Again there are numerous things that negatively affect us, even if only the slightest.

 

Keeping all of this in mind, how much should we be trying to do for Christ, knowing that we cannot serve Him perfectly? And can we give up alot or most of the other things in our life for this purpose? In light of the things that weigh us down in life, we find that there are some things we would put as higher priority than, well, constant Christian ministry in our lives. In the world we live, we need money, just as our human bodies need food and water; unfortunately this is how the world we live in runs. It should never occur that we can just drop all instances of money in our lives because as hard as it is to admit, we all do need money; and this is just an example. Of course in turn, this requires a job, which stems from an education; and so there we can see the importance of some of these worldly passions; we need them to sustain our mortal lives.

 

What can we do then? We’re going to fall short of our service to God because of these material things that weigh us down; and we can’t just let go of them no matter what because wouldn’t that be simply letting go of our lives? And this is why we feel that our “best” option is to do a combination of both; to devote part of ourselves to God at any one time and other times to devote to our worldly needs. Somehow it just seems that no matter how hard we try we can never manage to fully satisfy God with our actions for Him; and once again it comes down to the fact that we are limited as humans to serve Christ. God Himself knows that, so do we, which is why we are reminded at times that it is through Christ that we manage to complete His will. This may be all in part for us to learn to rely on Christ that He’ll give us the ability to serve Him to our best despite being weighed down by the things around us.

 

Will continue later. What will be the outcome for this topic I wonder?