Wednesday, December 16, 2015

NTE - Extra Ordinary Mission Conference (5th Dec - 9th Dec 2015)

I just came back from a 5-day conference in Canberra and a 4-day mission in Central Coast and I am so ready in telling all of you readers about this encouraging conference and mission. Firstly, I would like to thank God for giving me the opportunity to be able to join NTE (National Training Event). This was my first NTE, and I must say I kinda regretted of not coming in the previous years. You might ask why I didn't sign up for it in my previous years, it was just because I have always gone back to Indo every Summer. This also adds to my first-time list of spending the whole Australian Summer for the FIRST TIME. Bring it on heat, the heat never bothered me anyway. The heat and the sunlight are just going to darken my skin, because Asian skins are like that. We go dark and don't get burnt. Let me start from the very beginning which is a very good place to start! (shout-out if you get the references) 

On the 4th of December, we had our usual bible study in the law building. We read about Daniel, and after bible study Ko Freddie kindly gave us a ride to Kristel's apartment as Alvin and I will be staying over for a night just to ease up the situation for the next day. It was a sleepless night for me to be honest. Maybe I worried just a little too much about NTE.


5th of December, Saturday 
I woke up at 6 and straightaway went into the bathroom to get ready. We ate breakfast and at around 7:15 we headed off to Canberra. It was a 3-hour journey filled with both random and building conversation, awesome tunes, pitchy sing-alongs and astonishing faces seeing a lot of dead kangaroos/wallabies on the road. It was a bloody crime scene on that road. I know I might have exaggerated too much but I usually see squashed rats or pureed mice, not big animals like kangaroos flattened up by vehicles.  


At around 10:15, we arrived at EPIC which stands for Exhibition Park In Canberra, pretty clever name I should say. Upon arrival, we quickly had to register (pick up our booklets and everything) as the main session was going to start at 10:30. It was scorching hot that day, and there were a lot of students from different universities across Australia. Everyone was ready to learn about the word of God and be trained for mission!

Entering the main hall, all the volunteers were full of spirit, they were pumped and it was just contagious to be excited as well. The hall was huge and was dark with just blue and pink and yellow lights which totally reminded me of a concert hall. We got the back seats and with my vertically challenged status, my eye level was just at the right angle to everyone's beautiful backs. I am just kidding, good thing the projector was high enough and with just a little help of my tippy toes, I could sing and pay attention. 

got our booklets! the bigger booklet is for our respective bible strand groups. I am joining the first strand group 
In the main session, we got to sing praises and it was amazing to hear a thousand tongues praising Jesus at the same time. What a glimpse of heaven it was, everyone sang their hearts out and it was phenomenal. Personally, I felt really encouraged hearing people singing in excitement, and that actually made me sing louder up to where a point when my voice got hoarse and I was coughing and had to drink. Whoops. Unprofessional singer much. 

Session 1 - The Extraordinary Mission of the New Song 
Richard Chin
[Psalm 98]

Christians sing all the time because singing is a vehicle of joy. It is a unique feature of a Christian gathering. What you sing about matters and it could influence one's mind. Psalm 98:1 talks about singing to the Lord a new song about salvation.

A new song where only redeemed people can sing in the most expressional way. Psalm 98:2 talks about God revealing his righteousness and his characters of being faithful and steadfast love. The people of Israel also sang songs especially when they were rescued out of Egypt (Exodus 15, Deut 22) and also during exile. They refused to sing when they were in captive in Psalm 137, even though it was a bit of an irony that they actually sang about a song refusing to sing a song (?) "how shall we sing..."  Similarly, as we have been rescued out of hell by the blood of Jesus, we have to praise Him as well. We are declared FREE so that we can rest in his steadfast love and be hopeful and are guaranteed that we are going to heaven in the future since we are redeemed.

Psalm 98:4 calls to all people to sing praises to the Father. This involves EVANGELISM. But not just all people but also all creation (Psalm 98:7). We should express in joy in God's righteous judgement (Psalm 98:8-9). God's judgment is right because God is knowledgeable and powerful. This is truly a tremendous joy for all of us.

The world map with tags where everyone can grab one and continue to pray for them. This is so that we can pray for all the unreached countries in the world
After the main session, we were divided into our respective campuses for some CAMPUS TIME. During Campus Time, we were just briefed about how NTE is going to be like, and be encouraged to meet new people from other campuses all over Australia and to take care of our fellow UNSW brothers and sisters especially at a conference like this where there are thousands of people at once, it could be quite overwhelming for some people. 

the dining hall, notice the line
Lunch time was packed, everyone was lining up, it was a really long line. Lots of loopty loops. But everyone was in their best behaviour and everything was under control. There were people guiding us to our seats as well so that we were able to fill in all the places without any empty seats. This was to encourage us to sit with new people as well. I remembered sitting with a bunch of people from Bathurst. I only could remember one name though and that was Andrew. I should have noted all of the people I have met during meal times in my memopad. Maybe next NTE I should do that. 

Then we headed to our rooms! We had to check into our accommodation. Fortunately, I met my roommates while I was lining up for the key to our room because apparently each room has only 1 key and there are about 8 of us per room. The weather was scorching hot. There were flies everywhere, it was such a struggle in trying to swat them away while talking to someone.

cabin 312! Took us a while to get here, we were going around the place. 

there are a total of 4 bunk beds with 2 single beds. this room can actually fit 10 people. But yea 8 people sharing one bathroom is better than 10 people I guess. Talk about the strategy and waiting hours required. -_- 

The diagrams we made in connecting Colossians 1:15-23 in a flowing manner
It was time for our strand groups. I was with the Focus Indonesia first strand group. I got to meet other Indonesians which was awesome. Met some people from Macquarie, Newcastle, Wollongong and also a guest all the way from Indonesia. We read from Colossians 1:15 - 23 during the conference and at the conference which is on the 9th of December, each of us had to present a talk in front of our groupmates regarding this passage. But along the way, we got some helpful leaders that guided us through the process of making the talk. 

Strand group sessions was very challenging as we were taught on how to read the bible in a very detailed manner. Not to mention that we had to connect the dots from this passage with passages from the Old Testament as well as the New Testament. Somehow, I felt that my brain was grilled during every strand group sessions which was good in a way since I know that I didn't let my mind wander around aimlessly.  

Dinner time! So excited for dinner because they were serving us warm food! The menu was rice with a splash of curry, topped with fresh green salad and mini bun rolls served on the side with unlimited butter of our choice. Sounds appetizing huh? Wait till you see the photo below. BAM! I LOVEEEEEE the mini bun rolls. I think there are three choices but I prefer the white ones best.

we have this dinner every night! The carb is different every night. My favorite was the pasta dinner. TOP NOTCH

Session 2 - The Spiritual Realm - It's Real 
Andrew Heard
[Romans 8:1-11]
The world that we live in now consists mainly of materialistic things. Materialism is everything that can be explained with what we can see, identifying the state of a physical being. John Spong, an American ex-bishop, says : "Devil is an excuse... grow up and let go of this childish idea". He was denying of a demonic realm. Much of Christian ministry is based on rational principles. However demonic realm is true and Jesus came to destroy the work of the devil (1 John 3:8). Jesus paid the penalty for all of us and also mended our broken relationship with God.

From the beginning, Satan had already turned away from God (Genesis 3:1), There was a cosmic rebellion in search of subjects which is drawn by temptation and disobedience. Satan did not make Adam and Eve sin, but he raised their doubts (Genesis 3:4). The consequences that happened destroyed the relationship between man and woman and also man with God and also destroyed creations. Man became too enslaved to Satan. Satan was very sly as he gave the bait but hid the hook. 

There are forces outside of us and also inside of us, it is not against our will but we sometimes want it. Everyone who sins is a slave to sin and we are dead in our sins. Therefore we need to change what is inside of us that is to be born again by the spirit to enter the kingdom of God (John 3:3). We should be led by the spirit (Romans 8:9-10). So the question to be raised is: Is Christ in you? There are 2 realms : the flesh and the spirit. The flesh leads to death due to enslavement to Satan while the Spirit is being freed from Satan and attain eternal life. 

Christianity is a spiritual experience. We should open our eyes and see the world through our spiritual lens. Being in the realm of the Spirit to be born again in the spirit is not the same as believing what Christians believe. As we have to walk and be led by the spirit to see God's glory and achieve pain for our hope that is to enter the kingdom of God. 


6th of December, Sunday
Despite the comfy bed, the sleep was not energising at all. I could wake up but I just felt tired. Anyway off to breakfast time, we got ourselves some slices of bread with a quite selection of jam, there are also pears, apples and bananas being the most popular. After breakfast we headed to our seminar groups. Since I am from FOCUS which is mainly for overseas international students, I joint the FOCUS seminar.


Seminar 1 - Guard Jesus' Gospel 
Matthew Meek
[2 Timothy 1]

What would you die to save? Only Jesus' gospel can save lives. Guard lives because when it is gone, it is gone. According to 2 Timothy 1, Paul was talking about suffering to guard Jesus' gospel. Paul is Jesus' special representative and when Paul writes, we hear Jesus speaks. He wrote about the promise of life  only through Jesus. At the time Paul was imprisoned in Rome (v.8) and he was writing to Timothy  who was not actually Paul's real son but Paul remembered him and prayed for Timothy as he cared very much for him. In 2 Timothy 1:1-7, God's gift is like a fire and we should not be afraid because God's spirit gives us power to do God's work. We should use our God-given gift. Moreover, only Jesus offers true life after death, Jesus saves us from our sin (v.9). There are examples how people respond to the gospel in v.15-18, like for instance, Phylegus which means man who runs away man result in perishing in hell while Onesiphorus means helpful to others, in a way we accept the gospel but it does not stop in us rather it is spread to others who haven't heard about it yet, this may result in eternal kingdom in heaven. Therefore, we should guard Jesus' gospel even if you suffer (v.12-14). Guard it because some people are ashamed of it and turn away from it. The gospel is the most important thing since it secures us from God's judgement. We ought to suffer and die for the gospel like a bodyguard dying to protect people. 

3 takeaway messages
1) God guards the gospel (v.12), we should trust God and also read the Bible since God speaks through the bible. Check the bible and compare on what we say against what the bible say. Always point towards God's words rather than human's words. 

2) Don't change the gospel (v.13) (don't add or subtract): other beliefs like Jehovah's witnesses, Mormon, Catholic churches changed the gospel, they either add something to it or even erase some parts of the bible. 

3) God's spirit helps and reminds us (v.14) - Keep speaking the gospel language everyday by practicing it everyday so that we won't forget about it.

personal reflection time

Everyday we got 30-minutes time for personal reflection to think about what we have learnt beforehand and things that can be changed in our lives. We are free to wander and sit wherever we want during our reflection time. 

Afterwards, we headed to our strand groups to dig more into Colossians 1:15-28! 

the food was good but pardon my not-amused default face
credit:  Alvin's camera (took him so long to send this ONE PHOTO)
For lunch, we decided to eat outside of camp! We ate at a Chinese Restaurant called Noodle Boy (I think, I am unsure of this). It was such a nice lunch to eat warm food as compared to yesterday that we ate sandwiches. It had only been one day at camp  We decided to eat out because Ci Vivi had to leave as she was only at NTE for the weekend. 

After lunch we decided to go back and tried the Prayer Walk in the Prayer Room. We had to take these colourful appointment cards just so that the room would not be too overcrowded. However, I am pretty sure anyone could just enter the room without hesitation. Inside the prayer walk, there were 10 stations of 10 steps of praying. All I could remember was 30 minutes was not enough to cover all 10 steps of the prayer walk. We prayed about how we could use the bible as the basis of our prayers. Prayed for friends, families, leaders of our country, natural disasters, people who haven't believed yet and also anything. It was such a fantastic experience to pray alongside with others in a room. I was encouraged to see people kneeling and having their personal reflection time praying to God.


the colourful appointment cards

Electives 
I) Making disciples in a Muslim Country
At this electives, there were some people who are serving at a university in Dubai in spreading the gospel, and they were leading this elective. The centre of the problem is the heart as sin is in the heart. They said that hospitality is a great way for evangelism. Somehow, they said that Muslims in Dubai are very open to the Christianity idea and they are very curious in knowing more. 

Muslim Discipleship:
1) Know the gospel yourself: backwards and forwards -- primarily to explain clearly the gospel
2) Know some basic answers to questions - Eg: Trinity. Muslims are taught to ask the questions but they don't know the answers. How to get to God is very different between Islam and Christianity
3) Ask to study the Bible with you
4) Be willing to challenge
5) Be willing to send -- in prayer, in finances
6) Be willing to go yourself -- no transformation, what you do here is what you do there



II) Practical Steps towards Mission

S.H.A.P.E.D

1) Spiritual Gift : what locations suit the gift? Opportunity
2) Heart : what passion has and what God has given you, where is your heart at right now
3) Abilities
4) Personality: helps us understand ourselves as individuals
5) Experiences: hobbies,  community groups
6) Daring Factor: all christians need a God-shaped heart - change the way we act


Similarly as mentioned before in the first elective, Heart Problem is very crucial because of SIN. Have a friend/mentor/leader that can get you a heart surgery. But keep in mind before stepping into the mission field, we need professional background and experience, theological training and other preparatory courses, local church ministry, missionary stories, cross culture missionary and relationships and short term mission.

all the posters that we can see from the first NTE which was in 1997 to the recent one


Session 3- The Spiritual Battle - Where and How (1)
Andrew Heard
[Hebrews 2:10 - 18]

We need to see the world as it really is, not as we think it is. We are facing a spiritual battle in this world but where and how does the spiritual battle happen? Spiritual battle occurs in the old testament as well as the new testament.

According to the Old Testament
1) God has absolute and total control over the demon world and He will crush Satan by his word of judgment (Genesis 3:14-15)
2) God sends an evil spirit on Saul (1 Samuel 16:13-23)
3) God controlled the dead spirit of Samuel that speaks to Saul (1 Sam 28:3-28)
4) God controls a lying spirit in the prophets (1 Kings 22)
5) It is God's will to take away things from Job and not Satan's (Job 1:6, 2:10)
6) God rebukes Satan (Zechariah 3)
7) It is only by God's will and permission that Satan could do what he is doing but only according to God's purpose (1 Chron 21:1, 2 Samuel 24:1). But in both passages, David admits he did wrong. Human are always held responsible although influenced by the demon. We just cannot blame evil spirits for our sin. 

While the New Testament records an increase in spiritual and demonic activity.
1) In Luke 1, an angel comes to Mary
2) Luke 2, angels proclaim the birth of Jesus
3) Luke 3, Jesus is baptised in the Spirit
4) Luke 4, Jesus rebukes the devil and casts out evil spirits
Jesus, like God, shows he has absolute and total control of the spirit world. In Luke 22:3, Satan enters Judas but in Luke 22:22, God decrees Judas will betray Judas, but Judas is still responsible. Demon activity never removes human responsibility. We cannot blame our addiction to pornography on a demon of lust. If we watch porn it's because we are sinners. The solution is to pray, repent, get help. The bible never lets us to think God causes good things (like rainbows to happen), but Satan causes bad things (like storms) to happen. God controls all things, good and bad (Daniel 4:35). In Romans 8:38-39 says that nothing not even demon powers can separate us from God's love in Christ. We are safe with God against any spiritual power. Casting out demons is the outcome of spiritual battle, but not the spiritual battle itself. 

Where is the Spiritual Battle? 
Satan is referred to the ruler or "prince" of this world (John 12,14, 16). People accuse Jesus of being possessed by a demon according to John 8 and 10. John is aware of spiritual forces, but he only writes about one exorcism (casting out demons). In John 12:20-33, we see The Great Exorcism when Satan is driven out and it is linked to Jesus' death on the cross. When Satan is defeated, people are then drawn to Jesus like freed captives fleeing the enemy's power. According to Hebrews 2:14-15, Satan holds the power of death over us as our tempter (Matthews 4) and accuser (Rev 12). He draws us into sin, making it look attractive to disobey God. He then demands God to punish for our sin. But if we have sinned, how can Satan be defeated? By taking away his power to accuse us. Satan has no hold on Jesus (John 14:30) because Jesus never sinned. When Jesus dies, he atones for our sin, our penalty is fully paid for. Those in Jesus have been set free from Satan's accusation (Rom 8:1-4). Jesus has destroyed Satan's power (Col 1:21-23, 2:13-15). God has moved us from Satan's kingdom to Jesus' kingdom (Col 1:13-14) by forgiving us. We were blind to seeing the horror of our rebellion against God and the consequence of death. 

Have you been forgiven? Have you moved out of Satan's kingdom to Jesus' kingdom? Satan tries to make us think we are not forgiven, but we are in Jesus. If you trust in Jesus you are forgiven and free from Satan's control (Acts 2:28, 5:31, Eph 1:7) 


7th of December, Monday

I had a really good night sleep since I was too tired for the past couple of days. On our way to the breakfast area, there were 2 guys who were asking for a ride so Kristel said yes. I forgot what their names were but I will never forget their kind deeds. So when we got to the main conference area, they saw that Kristel's tire was punctured and was flat. We never felt it and thought everything was normal but thanks to them for pointing it out. They also offered that they could help change the tire for us in return for the ride to the conference site. So kind. See I even posted this on instagram thinking it might be shown during the main session (but they didn't show it, boohoo). 

oh i actually wrote their names on the caption. But Sam was another guy that came during the free time

Seminar 2 - Continue in Jesus' Gospel 
Matthew Meek 
[2 Timothy 3]

The God delusion occurs when people say that God does not exist. This should not surprise us because we live in an anti-God age. Technology is getting better but humans are not getting better because of sin. People are anti-God as they love themselves (v.2), and they don't love God (v.4). There are 2 kinds of people. One of which the Anti-God people and the other is God's people

Anti-God people are proud (v.2) as they think they are better than others, they are ungrateful and do not thank God for things (v.2). They also do not have self-control (v.3), doing whatever they please and lastly they are treacherous (v.4) as they break their promise to love and serve other people. Eg: Judas, he let Jesus' enemies kill him. In v.5, Paul told us to AVOID and not follow the anti-God way of life. 

God sees Christians as being just as perfect as Jesus as we are all fully forgiven. However we should not be the people who only learn about the bible but do not acknowledge and trust God, as compared to the women in v.7. This is because the bible is God's words of truth if we don't believe it, God will reject us just like Jannes and Jambres (v.8). It is a foolish act (v.9) if people reject God as they will be punished in hell. This is sad because Jesus has already come to die.

We should copy Paul's godly exampleUnlike the unfaithful and unloving anti-God, Paul is faithful and loving. Christians trust Jesus because he is King and the savior and so we follow the leader. It is not too late to start to live Jesus' way. People despise the gospel message because they don't want to be controlled. They still want to live their own way. This is sad though because Jesus is the best king of all. Let's face it, Jesus can control the storm, the rain and he can heal people. Jesus is the BEST king.

Following Jesus is not an easy option, v.12 ensures sufferings would occur as we follow Jesus in this anti-God world. The evil people will try to trick and deceive us (v.13) but keep in mind of John 15:18-20.

John 15:18-20:
  If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you :'A servant is not greater than his master'. If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. 

Not only that we should copy Paul's godly example, we also need to continue to trust in Jesus' gospel. Jesus' gospel is trustworthy (v.14). There are 3 things that we have learnt about God's word:

1) It is able to save us as we trust in Jesus (v.15)
2) It is all God's word (v.16) - God breathes and God's spoken words written down
3) It is all we need (v.16) to live God's way

God's people have all that they need (i.e the bible) to be equipped for every good work (v.17)



some reflection time 
lunch! those sandwiches again, good thing i didnt have any sore throat with all the constant chips eating
Campus Time : we gathered up with the mission team we were allocated in. We talked through stuffs regarding the mission. We got ourselves the schedule for the next 4 days after the conference. It was a tight schedule but I was pretty sure everything would go along just fine. 


Session 4 - The Spiritual Battle - Where and How (2) 
Andrew Heard
[1 Timothy 4]

The Subtle way Satan Works
Understand that there is not a complete separation between the ordinary world and the supernatural world.

In Matthews 16:21-23, Jesus said "Get behind me, Satan" to Peter. Jesus is not overreacting as it is a serious thing. In Matthews 4, Satan offers Jesus to get the kingdoms of the world by way of glory and power not by suffering on the cross and humiliation to enter the kingdom. From a way of thinking, Peter was speaking what Satan was speaking, he was speaking the way the world would speak. The world that opposes God. We like impressive and powerful attractive rulers unlike Jesus who was a meek ruler. Satan's anti-God way of thinking shapes our values, tastes and what we live for. Ephesians 2:1-2 says that in our old, non-Christian way of life we follow Satan. Demon possession is bad. But worse is our Satan-like way of thinking. In John 8:44-45, Jesus tells the pharisees their father is the devil. They are children of the devil because when Jesus, God the Son, appears, they rejected him. We are all born under Satan's power, and trapped by Satan because we want to be. We think Satan worshippers look evil and kill animals. But good, moral people are children of the devil too. The church of Corinth is very spiritual, gifted and speaks in tongues. In 2 Cor 11:5, super apostles came. They looked impressive and did powerful miracles, but in 2 Cor11:13-15 they are called false apostles, servants of Satan. Their message about Jesus was different and wrong (2 Cor 11:3-4). It was all about a victory withou suffering message not a saved-by-works gospel. Satan is at work to get us to follow the world's values and see power and prestige as success. Satan gets us to believe lies like: God isn't true OR God doesn't care about us OR Jesus isn't God. Satan is the FATHER OF LIES.

How Should we Engage with Satan and His Lies? 
In Mark 1, Jesus healed many people and drove out demons. but Jesus doesn't continue to heal and drive demons. In Mark1:38, he preaches the truth about God. We battle Satan, by preaching the truth which will set us free (John 8:32). The gospel message seems weak and ordinary but is powerful (Romans 1:16, 1 Cor 1:18). The Bible is God's weapon to engage with Satan.

In 2 Tim 2:26 people are captive to doing Satan's will. How do we deal with that? The Lord's servant in 2 Tim 2:24-25 does not exorcise the devil but gently teaches God's words to people, calling them to repent. 1 Tim 4:1 says people follow evil spirits and their teachings. So how should we deal with that? Cast out their demons? No! In 1 Tim 4:6,8,11,13,16 Paul tells Timothy to teach them God's word. There is a shift in the Bible from the way Jesus engaged Satan to the way the Apostles did. We don't copy Jesus way of doing in everything. In Matthew 17:27, he paid tax by telling peter to use a coin he will find in a fish's mouth. But the rest of the Bible never tells us to pay tax that way, rather it tells us to work and pay tax. The way Jesus engaged with Satan was unique. His miracles showed that he is Lord of all. Jesus cast out demons, but Christians are never called to cast out demons. We engage with Satan by preaching the gospel. That doesn't seem spectacular but it is. We need to trust and be satisfied that "ordinary" things like teaching of God's word, prayer, loving others and godly living is how we deal with Satan and the supernatural. in the eyes of the world a small church with a Bible talk and old Bible hymns seems like weak, failed religion. But it's powerful. We think a big church, with lots of miracles, healing and popular music is spiritual but it may not be just like in Corinth. Don't be deceived that "spectacular things" are better! True spiritual power is in the gospel message of Jesus died and risen to be our king. Test your natural thinking against the Bible. Trust the powerful word of God about Jesus to save us. 

8th December, Tuesday

For today's seminar, Alvin, Kristel and I decided to join the CBS seminar instead of the FOCUS ones. 

Seminar 3 - Extraordinary Prayer 
Stuart Coulton
Introduction
Ditriech Bonhoeffer, a German Lutheran pastor, knew Hitler was evil and was apart of the assassination of Hitler but at the end was executed. Before he was converted, he never prayed in his life. Prayer is a sign of a regenerated life and a gift from God that is a mark of redemption.

Why do we pray? 
There are three reasons of why we pray
1) Commanding
Matthew 6: assumes followers will pray and present request to God
2) Created people (man and woman)
Genesis 1-3: Man fall into sin because of the heart of temptation that they desire to be like God and be independent. Praying helps to remind that we are dependent to God.
3)Adopter (as children of God)
Prayer is an outcome of redemption and adoption. It is a conversation between us and God. God speaks through the scriptures and we respond by prayer. 

Prayer forces out of the theoretical phase into a personal engagement. Talking about God is different to talking to God.If you talk about God but we do not talk to Him it is like being very expert about Bible Study and not engaging a conversation to Him.

To Whom do we pray? 
Prayer is an outcome of our knowledge of God. But why is it so difficult for us to pray? Because we get very bus, because we are lazy and we allow other people to set the agenda in our lives. Allowing ourselves to be determined by their choices crowding in the mind. Self-control is very important to take hold of our lives. Take control unfolds by making sure there is more enough time for prayer. We are activists and we fall under the devil's lie from being active. One obstacle of prayer is being lazy and relying upon a specific template in prayer.

When do we pray
There are two types of prayer
1) On-the-go prayer / on-the-run : praying constantly everyday
2) Deep, slow and reflective prayer : praising worship God.
It is very good if we can set a an alarm and build a habit and be regular towards praying everyday.
It is our work to pray because we are a child of God

What do we pray
Scriptures can be our guide as we pray. This generation has lost the ability and willingness to be guided by the scripture. Knowledge of God that will drive the content on what we are praying for.
1) Pray the bible as it is : Psalms is a good example of a common form of prayer. We can pray the text to give shape and content of the prayer
Eg: Psalm 98, Psalm 61, Psalm 62
2) Prayers of the apostle Paul: Recognize that God can say no. Extract all of the prayers from Paul and paraphrase to provide the content. For instance, Ephesians 1 tells us about substantial reasons to praise Jesus. We could use this in our prayer to know God Better.





the brick movement in helping


one of the ACTnow projects

ready for some singing! 
Session 5 - Fighting the battle: Out there & real close 
Andrew Heard 
[Eph 6: 10-24]
God has blessed us by showing us his plans in Ephesians 6:10-24 but Satan is working against him. There is a force opposing to each of us and it does not rest nor should us. We need God's word to help us see by faith, what we can't see by sight. Paul did struggle against physical forces (jail, Jews, Romans), but the spiritual battle is greater. In Acts 20:29-31, Paul warns that wolves false teachers will come, so be on your guard. The devil looks for people to destroy (1 Pet 5:8). But do not fear because God has given us armours!

God's spiritual Armour 
There are 6 pieces of armor
1) Belt of truth against the power of Lies (the enemy)
2) Breastplate of righteousness (V.14) to live a godly life
3) Shield of faith (v.16) to trust in the word of truth
4) Helmet of salvation (v.17) to trust in Jesus' salvation
5) Sword of spirit (v.17) as in the Word of God.
6) Pray in Spirit (v.18) as the Spirit's word directs you.
It is only by God's word, belief in the word, righteousness and prayer. All these may seem ordinary but they are very powerful and they are all we need. In Acts 19:19-20, the Ephesians who were once involved in witchcraft and magic were converted by God's powerful word! Satan's power is his lies, distortion of the truth and accusations.

Satan's current work
Satan has been defeated. His power of accusation is gone but it does not stop him accusing us. We should continue in our faith (Col 1:22-23). If Satan weakens our faith, we can be destroyed. He reminds us of our weakness. We can only combat this with the armor of God (1 John 1). Whoever looks onto the Son will be saved. Our God justifies the wicked which is a great comfort for all of us. The Christian life is grief over our failure and joy over forgiveness of failure. Satan also attacks our pride saying: God is merciful, it's okay to sin. But remember God's stern judgment (Romans 11:2). 

In Revelation, the context is the spiritual realm. In Rev 4, the elders and living creatures all say God is worthy because he is creator, but in Rev 5, we meet Jesus the lion-king, sacrifical lamb who died to forgive us. Everyone sings a new song saying Jesus is worthy because he is the Saviour of people from all nations. This is a huge change. It means 2 important things:
1) The worth of Jesus as Saviour pushes the wonder of creation to the side
2) The cross of Jesus must be the centre of our lives. 
Creation is beautiful and impressive, but heaven is focused on salvation not creation. So, now we should be cross-centred Christians, not creation-centred Christians. many Christians are converted but we still live for this creation, trying to get success in this world, enjoying its comfort. We put our job or family or sport or travel ahead of going to church regularly. Creation still matters, but it is the cross of Jesus that is central

Satan's 2 big temptations are to make us 1) think we can't be forgiven and 2) live for this creation, and not the cross. The truly spiritual person does not see demons everywhere but is aware of spiritual realities in ordinary things. our world celebrates heroes, celebrities and sport stars, but heaven celebrates Jesus as Saviour, so let's preach Jesus' salvation to all nations! 

girls from cabin 312. pardon the mess. Some of us were staying up late preparing for our talk tomorrow. so nerve wrecking


9th of December, Wednesday

We went back to Jaxtyres and waited for  the tyre to be set up, it only took 15min and instead of prepping for the talk, we read some pop culture magazines
We didn't have seminar groups and personal reflection time in the morning, strand groups started pretty early and our group was divided into 2 groups for the talk. So the first hour of the strand group we were given more time to finish up our talks and in the second hour, we presented the talk to our groupmates. 

I was dying to present first because I have major stage fright and public speaking issues and yea I just prefer to get everything done in a go. Anyway I presented first because I really wanted it. And yea it goes like this...

Colossians 1:15-28!

Have you ever wondered who Jesus is and what makes him so special and significant in our lives?

Who Jesus is
Colossians 1:15-18 states the description of who Jesus is. There is a list of them including Him being the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation, by him all things were created and he is before all things and he hold all these things together. Not to mention, he is also the head of the body and is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead. The word pre-eminent is also mentioned and basically it means Jesus is present even before the existence of anything else. All these descriptions show the supremacy of Jesus and he is almighty and powerful as well as play a very important role in creation. Let's think of it this way, Jesus is there even before creation and everything is created through him and for him. 

So what else that makes Jesus essential in our lives?

What Jesus does
Colossians 1:19 states the fulness of God that dwells in Jesus, and only Jesus is able to reconcile for our sins. He had to die on the cross and make peace by his blood (v.20). This is truly an amazing grace and blessing by God to provide a solution even though all of us do not deserve it. God still wants us to be apart of his kingdom and only by Jesus that we can be saved. Jesus has to be sacrificed and only by his innocent blood pure without blemish that we can be freed from the bondage of sins. 

So what do we do? 
It is very simple we only just need to respond and believe in him and confess that we need Jesus and rely on God that we can truly be saved! In Colossians 1:21-23, we were once alienated and hostile in mind, we are not changed! 

So IN CONCLUSION,
Jesus is supreme - bow down before Him, He is our King and leader, He has authority
Jesus had to die for us unworthy creatures
Respond -- > have faith

And yes this makes Jesus very special in our lives because without him we are nothing

we all got a certificate for completing first strand of NTE
EXEGENESIS - achievement unlocked 

we got some sandal keychains from kak Vivin, our guest all the way from Perkantas Indonesia
Perkantas is similar to AFES in Indonesia
Don't think you could see the miniscule keychains with my gigantic mesmerizing face in comparison

last selfie in the main conference hall
Session 6 - The Extraordinary Mission of Engaging The Enemy
Richard Chin
[Revelation 12]

On the 22nd November 1893, a missionary told his wife before the wedding day that he is going for a mission to Myanmar. This is a difficult circumstance but the question is, Is she willing to start and go on board with his future husband's plan? 

The letter of Revelation is one letter and is for many churches. It breathes the naked news of Jesus. In Revelation 12:1, there is a description of a woman who was pregnant and was crying about to give birth. The baby was radiant just like Jesus in Revelation 9. The labour is painful and the agony of labour is a wondrous sign that the people of Israel is in agony as Jesus comes to birth. In Revelation 12:3, it talks about the red dragon that is about to devour the child. the dragon is shown to be the devil. The devil's greatest power as mentioned before is his lies and deceits. His aim is to destroy the Messiah, he is at work during King Herod's brilliant idea to abolish all babies. However, in v.5, the woman gave birth to a male child and he went on to live. Jesus avoids being devoured. 

The unfolding drama on earth in v.7 includes the fight of Michael and his angels against the dragon. In v.12, Satan is not only real but he was furious. He can't stand the people of God because he hates Jesus, the woman and the offspring of the woman (Jesus). While the unfolding drama on heaven, includes Satan trying to persecute, he is going after us in a spiritual war. 

In order to engage with our enemy, we need to know how to conquer evil. We need to recognise accusations (Rev 12:10). All the deceits and the lies from Satan should be overpowered by the right accusations in v.11 as it is conquered by the blood of the Lab, by the cross of Jesus Christ. Therefore we can survive the accusations of the devil. There are 2 temptations of accusation. Pride and Insecurity. Pride is when we don't trust in Jesus alone that will save us, it prevents us from believing that Jesus is not enough and unconsciously triggered a thought that we need to contribute something in order to be saved. However, Jesus is SUFFICIENT, the only thing that we can contribute is sin, nothing else. Insecurity is when we think our sin is unforgivable, but just remember that Jesus forgives any sin! Another thing that we should keep in mind to conquer evil is to hold firm the gospel. We have to testify the word. We should not be a hypocrite. Jesus has authority and we should make more Jesus' disciples. The best way to live is to walk as closely to Jesus and be motivated by God as seen in the blood of the lamb. 

Next stop : Goulburn: for picnic lunch

This concludes the 5 day conference and at the end of the conference I was super excited of what awaits me during mission and what practical things that I can apply there. So sad to be leaving Canberra so soon, but the world needs us all to make more disciples of Jesus! Expand the nation of God! NTE actually taught me how to appreciate food more. Like I mean, I kinda miss the mini buns, they are so good. And yea, by doing the ordinary things like spreading the gospel, praying and loving one another can actually be Extraordinary. We should not be distracted with the supernatural demonic side of the evil and scary thrilling possession, but to keep in mind the power of the devil is to accuse and his lies. We therefore should keep firm and put on our armour of God to defeat its power in engulfing us once more in his filthy hands. Remember that Jesus has died for our sins and has conquered evil! He is our TRUE KING AND LEADER! :)


Reference: talks 2,3,4,5 were copied from the notes given by Matthew Meek. 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Lavender

Say hello to the new theme! Say goodbye to my stubby fingers and hello to my brown shoes. hahhaa.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

HalloweenScream

This is long overdue but I am going to post this anyway. So this halloween, a bunch of us went to Luna Park to dress up as friendly cartoon characters to wander around the theme park getting a taste of halloween. I personally had never celebrated halloween before if I exclude the times when I was "forced" to use a black cape to read the thought of the day in a school assembly. That was not proper dressing up. It was not a real cape. But I enjoyed it anyway.

Coming back to this halloween-palooza madness. I have been waiting for this day since the first day we purchased the ticket. We got the early bird rates which was pretty cool. I had a pretty tough week and was so excited for this to come. I had finished all my assignments beforehand and yea this was my afterparty.

I dressed up as Mario and Vania as Luigi. We made a perfect match huh.



had a buritto 




i brought my mini mario with me 

super friendly carnival man, love the makeup

this one is pretty intense, she was staring at me, and when i initiated
conversation, she was just staring at my soul 



first off! The hotel transylvania forest

met this friendly mummy of whose name I forgot

met these girls later on, so they were going to ride a 5-rated spook level ride, and clarissa and i had to pass


we went karting instead

we were thirsty and we had to buy some blood punch.
they took away my bottle when we were entering

red riding hood erina

trick or treating for the little kids 







it was hard taking a picture with this guy as he was moving around a LOT of times

group photo! 


still my favorite photo by FAR! 
Definitely a great night spent, grateful that it did not rain that night. It was hot and stuffy with all the people around. Best ride would be the mystery manor. We took 2 hours just to queue. Not to mention, my camera was malfunctioning. I was in a panic. And just to make it worse, I lost my camera lens cap. We were walking around with our flashlight looking on the streets. Thank you to Clarissa and Sonia who helped me. But in the end it was a silly accident, as the lens cap fell and got stuck in the folded area of my pants. Thank God. At the end of the day, it was a night full of screams indeed. I just realised I am a bit of a chicken myself. All the staff actors and actresses were just spot on ! 
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