Mind Your Own Business

There is a man in Heart of God Church whom I am most honored to share the same birthday with. He’s none other than Garrett Lee, one of our senior leaders! And just 2 weekends ago, he preached a sermon about the power of our minds. I found it very practical and today, I want to tell you what I learned from it.

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Firstly, let me ask you a question. Do you know that our thoughts are very important? What we usually think will eventually become what we believe. That is why, we need to guard our minds with this power we have over them. Because at the end of the day, what’s inside of us in our minds will affect our outside in terms of our life and our behavior. There is a saying:

Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny.”

So as you can see, it is indeed very important for us to guard our thoughts and our minds. But more than that, the Bible says that we got to renew them.

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” – Romans 12:2

The scripture above says that we are transformed by the renewing of our minds. God wants us to be transformed in His image by the renewal of our mind, and not be conformed to the image of the world. That is what Christianity is about! Christianity is not the removal of the mind, but the renewal of the mind.

While our greatest ally – God wants to transform us, our greatest enemy – the devil wants to conform us. Ever faced temptations to say a lie or a vulgarity before having thoughts like “the whole world is doing it, so it’s okay”? That’s just one example of the lies that the devil can speak to you. And if we do not renew our minds, we will fall for it!

People don’t just stop sinning when they become Christians you know? They don’t stop sinning because “Oh, Christians don’t do such things.” If that happens, it’s not transformation anymore, it’s conformation! And I can’t place more emphasis on this, but God is all about transformation. We will only stop sinning because of a mindset shift that results from true transformation! Thus it all begins with the renewal of our thoughts that will eventually affect our destiny.

If you have a Bible with you, flip with me to Ephesians 4:22-32. This long string of verses show us what it means to be transformed by the renewal of our mind. Read it, you’ll know what I mean. Transformation, for good or worse, comes from the renewing of our minds. That is why we need to guard our minds, because they are easily infiltrated. But how? Here are 3 simple ways to do it.

1. Prayer

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7

Friends, there is a power in prayer. It’s in prayer that we align our thoughts to God’s and lift them up to a whole new level. And it’s only when that happens, that all the wrong thoughts in our minds will go away.

#2 Focus our thoughts

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” – Philippians 4:8

Disclaimer: the meditation here in this verse is not referring to the usual meditations that people do. You know the kind where you “empty your mind”? Nope, that’s not the one that the Bible is referring to here! The “meditation” here in this verse refers to the focusing of our thoughts on the good things –  things that are true, pure, praiseworthy, etc, etc, etc!

This is because the devil will come to tempt us with thoughts that are 99% true, to try to conform us. But we must know that truth only works at a 100%. The devil will try to give us dishonorable thoughts; we must set our minds on things of honor. He will try to taint our thoughts with impurities; we need to be just and treat people right. As we reject those bad thoughts and fill our minds with pure ones, the devil will not take ground in our lives. Also, we need to think about things to love others, instead of having selfish thoughts! The last thing that Philippians 4:8 teaches us is to set our minds on good reports. Don’t always be negative and focus on the bad reports! We all have good reports in our lives; it’s just what we choose to focus on. Thank God for all the good things in our lives.

#3 Remember our salvation

“Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;” – Ephesians 6:14-17

Finally as Christians, we have to constantly remember our salvation. In life, we are always fighting a spiritual battle, taking new grounds. That is especially true in this new season, so we got to be ready. In verse 17 above, salvation is described as a helmet. Why? Because helmets protect our head, the most important part of our body. It’s where the brain is, where the mind is.

That is why, in order to guard our minds, we have to remember the eternal grace and love that God has placed in us. If we have a revelation of His love for us and understand eternity, we will have a different perspective. Bad things that happen will not seem so horrible anymore. Good things that happen will not seem that fantastic too! Everything fades in light of eternity. Our life on Earth is only but temporary. That is why and how we guard our minds.

Ambidextrous Faith

Note: The following is a detailed write-up of Pastor Lia‘s message over the weekend of October 31st & November 1st.

What is faith? To different people, it may mean different things. For some, it can be a feeling; for others, an attitude. Maybe the best source to find out about faith isn’t ourselves, but the Bible! So let’s take a look at what it has to say.

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” – Hebrews 11:1

There we have it – the most reliable definition of faith. According to the Bible, faith is a strong sense of belief that we can have, especially for things that we have yet to even physically see or touch. With that basic knowledge, we can now move on to understand Pastor Lia’s message even more. Yup, it has only just started!


In life, it is very easy to be fearful. In a hospital room, in an examination hall, on stage. The struggle is not between needles & veins, questions & answers or speaker & audience – but faith and fear.

11 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, 12 that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” – Hebrews 6:11-12

When we are in tense settings like those mentioned above, it is very common for us to respond in fear. It is almost like an instinct for us to imagine the worst that can happen! However, just as described in Hebrews 6:11-12, we should have faith. Because it is through this faith in God that He will lead us to our “promised land”. God is always awaiting to do great things through us and fulfill His promises in our lives. But it is only people with faith – a special kind of faith that will inherit these promises.

ambidextrous-faith

Ambidextrous = able to use both left and right hands equally well

Some of you must be thinking at this point, “What exactly is this ambidextrous faith?” Well, Pastor Lia begins to explain with a historical example. Saint Basil of Caesarea was a bishop who lived in the 4th century, when many heretics were preaching and spreading their belief that Jesus was a mere man. In such a time as this, one would normally shrink back in fear. But Saint Basil was different. Though it was difficult, he chose to fight back in faith and spread the truth of Jesus Christ.

As such, his siblings described him as having “ambidextrous faith”. Why? Because with one hand, he held the blessings of God and in the other, the pains and struggles of life. We must understand that both blessings and problems are equally important in bringing us towards God’s plan for our lives! If you read the New Testament, you would realize that the disciples of Jesus understood this principle too. Even they had their fair share of sufferings. Of course, it’s best that we do not encounter such persecutions and tribulations. But if we do happen to, we shouldn’t be surprised! As we accept the good and the bad that is in stored for us, God will use both of them to bring us into our destiny.

“We may never find the reason for our suffering. But we can find the purpose for our suffering.”

Still a little unsure about the concept of ambidextrous faith? Pastor Lia continues with Scripture from Judges 20:13-16 (NLT & MSG). With this passage, she explained that in the olden times, when soldiers are wounded in battle, they have 2 choices. The first is to head home; the second is to stay and fight. The 700 elite soldiers mentioned in these verses chose the latter option, even though their right hands/arms have been wounded beyond function. These elite troops are described to be ambidextrous, deciding to learn how to fight with their left hands and becoming better doing so than they were ever before while right-handed.

How awesome is that? Some of us may have been discouraged in our faith, but we got to choose to be like the 700. We can decide to “go home” and be spiritually handicapped or stay on and continue the fight. Those guys back then refused to quit and became so accurate even with their left hands. The Bible describes them as being able to sling stones at a hair and not miss. They are literally Hawkeye! In the same way, we must keep on going and exercise ambidextrous faith. Sometimes, we may feel like we are neither qualified nor adequate enough to serve God. Or maybe we have stumbled in our faith and feel like we have failed Him. It hurts as much as having our right arms ripped off. But we got to learn how to fight with our left hands. Because where our strength ends, God’s begins.

child-like-faith

15 I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.” – Mark 10:15 (NLT)

The other kind of faith that we need in order to enter into the promises of God is none other than child-like faith. Note that “child-like” does not mean “childish”. What this means is that we have to approach God with a trusting & simple heart of a child. A child looks up to and trusts his father. In his eyes, his Dad can do anything and will do anything for him. At this point, Pastor Lia addressed the congregation.

“Before we get a vision for God, we need to get a vision of God.”

Most of the time, we Christians may only think that what matters to God should matter to us. But we must also realize that what matters to us, matters to God. Never forget the love of God and why we want to do great things for Him in the first place. Before Pastor Lia wrapped up her sermon, she shared with us a quote.

“What if faith and not fear is your default reaction to threats?” – Max Lucado

Can you imagine how different our lives would be if our “default mode” is always faith? God will be able to do amazing things in our lives! When we live by faith, knowing that we are children of the Most High King, we will inherit His promises and be fruitful. In Genesis, God just told Adam & Eve to be fruitful and multiply. He didn’t even need to explain fruitfulness to them because they were by default, already living in an environment of faith and fruitfulness! They instantly got it. If we let faith be our default mode in approaching our careers, schoolwork, relationships, sicknesses and life in general, we will walk in fruitfulness and miracles and sometimes not even know it.

The reason why I go to Heart of God Church every weekend without fail is this very reason – it’s an environment of faith. Through the worship, sermons and people, faith always leaps from one corner of the church to another and fills our hearts. This is why I have the strength to conquer every single week that comes. It isn’t just positive thinking! Trust me, if you ever step into our church on a weekend, you will leave it forgetting what “Monday blues” even mean. I dare you to try, especially if you are not yet a Christian. You may be thinking “Let me see God first, before I believe in Him.” But remember what faith is in its very roots? Have faith in Him today and believe first. Then, you will see Him for who He truly is.

29 Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”” – John 20:29

Before I end off this post, I must say that I did not exactly follow the order of Pastor Lia’s sermon! Honestly, there are also certain parts of the message that I’m very sure I did not include in here too. So if you’re in Singapore anytime soon (or if you’re Singaporean), do drop us a visit and you may just hear the woman of God for yourself! It is way better than reading this for sure.

Now, I am going to conclude this article with a story that Pastor Lia originally shared in the middle of this sermon. It is the story of a young man in our church who possesses ambidextrous faith, and I would like to share it with you here to end off today’s post.

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Calvin has been a member of our church for the past few years. He serves in the Videos Ministry and you would often find him in our Media Room, giving his best in serving God. These are a few things in church that he does amongst others that make up his purposeful life. But what makes him so special? What makes him such a man of ambidextrous faith?

Well, until recently, few of us would know that he was born with a deficiency – color blindness. This condition causes him to see certain colors as others, and also renders him unable to tell apart shades of the same color. You must be thinking now if I made a mistake about him being in the Videos Ministry. Nope I didn’t; the church has seen his work before too! Calvin just didn’t let his condition be his conclusion.

Just like the 700 elite troops, he did not let his deficiency be a disadvantage or excuse for himself. As soon as he got a vision from God one day to do videos for Him, he just ran with it with passion. He got trained, got into the ministry, and the rest is history. He has done so many excellent videos to this date and is on his way to doing more, and none of us could ever tell that it was done by a man who has his condition.

In fact, for 4 long years, nobody knew about his deficiency! It wasn’t because he was insecure and wanted to keep it a secret. He just didn’t look at his disability as an issue worthy enough to raise. In his eyes, it’s nothing! He did not look at this disability first and let it stop him from pursuing the dreams that God has given him. With the help of his friends in the ministry, as well as with his determination, he is able to produce awesome videos like the rest.

Just to put you into context with an example, other video crews would usually just work on a video and choose colors for it easily. But for Calvin, if he wants to have a certain color for a video, he would need to go through a longer process of searching up the hexadecimal code of that color (e.g. Gold #ffd700) and pasting it into the editing software, before applying it on the video itself.

Has these slowed him down in producing videos? Maybe a little. But has all these slowed him down any bit in terms of chasing his vision? Not at all. That is why he is our hero of ambidextrous faith.

Why am I so convinced that only God can be responsible for such faith? How am I so sure that Calvin’s story is true? Well, have I ever mentioned before that I also serve in the Videos Ministry? Haha.

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He’s my friend.

What is Grace

Hi everyone! Umm… where do I start.

Well first off, this is not a happy post. But it’s not “emo” either so I don’t know, haha.

Anyway, this has been a rough week for me emotionally and mentally. To cut the long story short and without revealing some personal details, I’ve basically over the past few days, come to a realization of the huge mistakes I’ve made in the way that I treated people that are important to me, in the way that I saw them and how ungrateful or insensitive I was to some of them. And it’s not only people that I have made these mistakes on, but God as well.

So after I had this realization, a lot of thoughts went through my head. Some good, some bad. I looked at myself in the “mirror” after a long time. And that’s when I had my next realization – I don’t deserve at all, all the blessings that I have around me. These include the important people that I talked about, significant things that I’ve been given opportunities to do, and generally this great life that God has given me.

Interesting isn’t it. That when you start to recognize how little you deserve, you become humbled and thankful. So of course, with all these sort of discouraging thoughts and feelings going through me, the best thing to do is not to run away from God but towards Him. That’s exactly what I did.

After spending some time of solitude in worship, in the Word and in His presence, you know what I felt Him telling me? He still loves me. In that moment, I had my own personal understanding of His grace. I knew how little I deserved – to be blessed and to be believed in. And yet God has given me all these amazing people and things in my life. A sense of encouragement, strength and faith just rose on the inside of me.

I told myself that I’m going to change. Because this is what grace is about. It’s an empowerment for change in our character. If the process of pursuing Christ-like character and holiness can be likened to rock-climbing, this is how it would look like. At the top of the “wall” that we’re climbing is the next level that our character can grow towards. It is the next standard of holiness that God has challenged us with.

As we climb towards the top, sometimes we will slip and fall. But thankfully, we have a safety harness of grace that prevents us from falling to our deaths. At this point of time, we have a few choices. One is to descend and quit rock climbing totally. Another is to just stay hanging there. Sounds dumb, but some people reflect that in their lives. The last one is different. It’s to keep on climbing and continuing on our journey to the next level.

You know which one you would choose. Because of the grace of God, we can choose to keep on changing ourselves in His image! So why not? The “safety harness” doesn’t bring us to the top of the “wall”. It only brings us to the foot of it unless we choose to climb it! It isn’t there so that we can relax. It is there to take away the fear and concern of falling to our demise, so that we would have the assurance in our hearts that we can look up and continue climbing.

So in the same way, now that I know that God loves me even after I have made those mistakes, I am even more motivated to continue growing myself and be made the man that He has called me to be! In fact nothing can make Him love us less or love us more. One would never die for a person that he doesn’t care about or believe in. And thus Christ has died for every single one of us – while we were still sinners (Romans 5:8). I am super confident that He loves us and believes in us, that through His sacrifice, we can change for the better.

Right now, I still feel a little bad about myself here and there. But hey, if I wasn’t fine, I wouldn’t have written all these! Hahaha so don’t worry about me. For now, I’ve decided to readjust myself and shift my focus a little bit for the time being to work on these rough edges that has been revealed to me. But be assured! Fool’s Bench will not be affected and will go on as per normal. If you read to this point, thank you and I’ll see you in the next post.