Red Hot Letters

Red Hot Letter -  Pr Peter Lin


On the week of my 60th birthday, I spent some time reflecting on my past 60 years. A question came up in the beginning of the reflection: would I want to live any part of my life over again? The answer is maybe Yes. Maybe Yes because like all of you, my life has its share of regrets - both major and minor ones. If I could live my life over again, I can be a better father, husband, friend, colleague, pastor. And when I was younger, there were so many times that I wanted to repeat different parts of my life.I reflected on my major hurts in life and I saw how God has miraculously intervened

I reflected on my major hurts in life and I saw how God has miraculously intervened and healed them without any help from me.I reflected on my relationship with my kids. We had some rough patches. There were times that I have

I reflected on my relationship with my kids. We had some rough patches. There were times that I have dread the rare phone calls but now I savour and enjoy and look forward to each minute of Face time.I reflected on my relationship with my wife. We had some cold wars over the kids and in-laws. But the coldness had defrosted into a spring time of growth as we learn to spur

I reflected on my relationship with my wife. We had some cold wars over the kids and in-laws. But the coldness had defrosted into a spring time of growth as we learn to spur each other to good works in mutually acceptable ways.I reflected on my calling as a full-time servant. I had my moments of pride believing I

I reflected on my calling as a full-time servant. I had my moments of pride believing I knew it all. I had my moments of self-doubt wanting to pack it in. God has taught me to ride through those 2 extremes, and to limp along on a crutch called the Holy Spirit. I enjoy my calling not because of any achievements but because of seeing His fruit growing in my life. I enjoy my ministry because I am more certain that my ministry truly wrestles in an unseen realm and counts for eternity and not just for the numerical growth of the church.

This Christmas the Holy Spirit reminded me that Christ came in the fullest of time. He alsoreminded me from Romans 5 that Christ died at just the right time. And Christ's perfect timing created a perfect foundation for Paul's words in Romans 8:28 "And we know that forthose who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according toHis purpose."Yes God is good. And so by the end of my 60th birthday reflection, I can say a resoundingNO to my question. I would not want to go back in time to change anything. For the Lordhas been my good Shepherd and has watched over every minute of my 60 years - working outeverything perfectly according to His time. And I am eternally grateful for His watchful care.Pr Peter Lin

Yes God is good. And so by the end of my 60th birthday reflection, I can say a resounding NO to my question. I would not want to go back in time to change anything. For the Lord has been my good Shepherd and has watched over every minute of my 60 years - working out everything perfectly according to His time. And I am eternally grateful for His watchful care.


 

Red Hot Letter -  Rebekah Leong

 

Short changed…

This is a word that has been in my heart for months since a perceptive friend asked if I felt shortchanged. I did not respond then but internally I was defensive, thinking: “No, I’m not. I’m not supposed to!” However, deep down, I knew I had some reflection to do.

Sometimes, I hear young professionals lament that work is unfair. They slogged like crazy but were never given the opportunity to shine. I hear my missionary friends candidly share the struggles during their school reunions, when they try to explain why they have no property, no money and no apparent accomplishment compared to their high flying peers. I hear young, capable stay-home moms reveal moments of sadness. They felt left behind, all alone to deal with the cries of the children, the unappreciated groceries shopping and cleaning for the day while their husbands and peers advance forward. I see helplessness on the faces of young adults as they help out in their peers’ weddings while wondering if they too can ever enjoy a healthy Christian marriage.During this time, God’s Word in Ps 23:6 gripped my heart. “Surely goodness and

During this time, God’s Word in Ps 23:6 gripped my heart. “Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever”, says King David, the Psalmist. It’s a simple answer: I do not have to feel short changed because God is good. Goodness that is constant, persistent, secure and centered around the fellowship, communion and presence of God. Good because He is in control of our lives and has our best interest at heart. Good because He will right all wrongs at His time. Good because He sees us as absolutely valuable without any secular measure of success. Good because He can fill our hearts with adequate contentment and security.

The only problem is, do I believe that God is truly good? I have wrestled with this question many times since I began my journey in the faith. But each time, I had to take a step of faith to see that my relationship with God is not a transactional one. Rather, it is a resolution and decision to believe that He is good even before I reap the benefits. This is the essence of Ps 23:6. Despite a life overwhelmed with injustices, including the time when Saul was persecuting him, David wrote Ps 23, and penned that God is good. As such, we too, like David, can trust that God is good and in control despite the pains in life.

How about you? Would you come alongside me as I learn with baby steps to trust and believe that God is good?… God is Good.


 

Red Hot Letter - Leong Peng Kiong

 

Chasing after Wind

Recently, I stumbled upon the website of the company where I was once CEO.Browsing through the pages, it was apparent that my ex-company had moved on. The projects which our team spent countless hours fighting to win, international partnerships forged through tireless work and travel – hardly any traces could be found. Despite 7 years at the helm, I have been forgotten in the company’s history and memory!

During my time in the company, I enjoyed various privileges: a country club membership, business class travel, a car allowance and other perks. The CEO position also gave considerable power and authority. Your words and deeds are of quintessential importance to all staff members. Staff listened to you, whether they like it or not. The sense of power, prestige and achievements can potentially be intoxicating; a false sense of importance can prevail. The superficial and material benefits in the corporate world can also easily get into your head.

However, when I stepped down from the company about 4 years ago, reality set in immediately. Not that I missed it, but the country club membership ceased immediately. I now work in an SME; this entails travel on business trips by economy class, and occasionally on budget airlines. I enjoy them nonetheless. As a senior citizen, I also enjoy the Passion silver card concessionary travel by bus and MRT!

So what is the point of telling all this? Solomon, in the Book of Ecclesiastes, reminds us that pursuing and achieving worldly matters is akin to chasing after the wind. As Ecc 1:14 tells us, “I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.” For chasing vain pursuit, Ecc 1:2 (NASB) again reminds us that, “Vanity of vanities! All is vanity”. Climbing the corporate ladder and chasing after success is like building a sandcastle. Whatever our earthly accomplishments, they will be forgotten and disappear in no time.

Wealth, ambition, fame and status are mere shadows in this life. Like vapour, they will all be blown away. The only thing we can take from this life is our relationship with God. Build what is long lasting. 1 Cor 3:10-14 “…. If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is …….. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward.”

 

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