It is time...to arise.
My church - City Harvest- has a money-raising campaign every year for building funds. We pray, we pledge, we sacrifice and then reap the blessings of GOD. If that's not how you experience it, then it's WRONG.
Yeah so, went to church yesterday. On the way there, Tze told me that Arise and Build was coming. Dammit. I said, "GOD TOTALLY DID THIS ON PURPOSE." I remember Singapore's A&B was during July last time, so I didn't really expect it to occur during this time. I mean, think about it. I JUST got a job, I haven't paid my tithes for a month, and just when I was gonna plan what to spend my salary on.
ARISE AND BUILD, EVERYBODYYYYY.
The sermon was no doubt about it. The sermon was strangely annoying. The point that Pastor Kevin was trying to put across wasn't exactly executed right. So Padmini and I went, "Har?" Oh well, not gonna critisize on someone's preaching especially when I ain't no Pastor or his child. The message was about something life fulfilling and building God's home or something. I didn't really get it, wasn't impactful or anything.
At the end of the message, they gave 7 reasons for pledging our money to God.
1. A testimony that all I have is God's.
Everything we have, our body, money, materials are all from God. We should not hesitate to give it back to bless others.
2. A reflection of my gratitude for all that God has done.
I guess being grateful and wanting to "repay" or serve as much as we can.
3. A certainty that God keeps His promises.
We have faith that God will bless us back when we give and labor for Him.
4. A witness that soul-winning is important to me.
Evanglism, reaching out to non-believers can be more efficient if there were more churches.
5. A public demonstration of my honor for the LORD I serve.
Shows that we respect our God to sacrifice our materials/everything.
6. A confession that I want my God on my side.
7. A declaration of my love towards God.
We wouldn't be doing all this if we didn't love our God.
We all prayed and thought about it. I thought about my salary, my allowances, my Chinese New Year red packets and roughly how much I could save. Finally, we wrote down the amount on our pledge card.
The duration to fulfil it is 5 months, November - February. I'll update you guys when it over. Did I accomplish it? Or break my promise to God? Maybe I even exceeded the amount I wrote. Ah, I should pray more.
There's this misconception that churches try to eat up people's money. I remember asking my mom to withdraw S$200 from my Maybank Kids' Account when I was 12 for Arise and Build in Singapore and she questioned me why. She even told my dad and he made a fuss about it. "You're a student, I'm sure they won't mind you not giving if you tell them your situation./ You don't need to give so much, why do they need your money anyway?/ Aren't churches suppose to help you? Why are you helping them?...."
NO, PEOPLE. We are not compelled/forced/pressured in any way to give money to the church. It's out of our willing hearts. 'Why...do you have to give money?' you may ask. In our offering envelope, there are 4 'categories' you can choose to divide your money into:
Our 10% to God every month. It is part of God's discipline to test us if we're faithful to return that tenth to the church.
Ushers aren't paid. Members in ministries aren't paid, it's like a CCA in school. This is probably to pay the paper printing and stuff. Being a staff in church is totally different.
A few groups/teams of missionaries visit places in need and try to help the people and spread the Word and Love of God. Money is needed for their transportation, food, maybe even toys for the children there.
The church is planning to move into a bigger place. A NEW place actually. It's gonna take millions of dollars and months of construction till we see it. The bigger the church, the more we can invite friends/unsaved souls over. Back then at Jurong West in Singapore, when we were rapidly expanding, there were so many people that some had to even sit on the floor when the steps on the stairs in the auditorium was completely covered. Pastor Kong had to conduct half a dozen services, whoa?!
Why can't churches have a nice place to worship God? I don't see you complaining about profit-making businesses. This is the temple of GOD, we'll make it as spectacular as possible. The fittest for the King of kings (:
There was this aunty who tried to convince me the church was wrong, when I corrected her accusations and she had nothing to say, all she could reply was, "The church is brain-washing you people!!"
Sure aunty. Sure.
THERE are churches that teaches the wrong stuff, the false revelations and prophecies. But I know that my church does not compromise the Bible in any way. They do not encourage pre-marital sex or sinning freely knowing the Lord is graceful to forgive us in the end.
We're not exactly the conservative type either. "Harry Potter is EVUL! Not saying grace before you eat is a SINNN!! Dying your hair is WRONG!" I mean, who the hell comes out with these stuff. Many people, even my homeschooling center's pastor disagree with my church. "What?! They allow you to put TA-TU ah? And pierce your tongue wan ah? Aiyo, what church is this oh!" Don't you just love the Malaysian slang AND accent. :D
Nothing is wrong with piercing our ears, but everything is when we do so for our tongue, eyebrows, nose, neck, cheeks, etc? It's not like it's self-mutilation. *EMO* HEY! Let's go pierce ourselves 'cus it hurts so bad and feels so good! Mm-hmm.
Concerning Harry Potter, The Da Vinci Code and other Christian controversial books. It is FINE to read them, as long as you are STRONG enough to stay true to your faith and not get so easily influenced. I thank God for having a very strong foundation, did everything as a young Christian. Cellgroup, pray, fast, tithe, love and evangelise. It really builds up your character.
I can go on and on with this. Gah, I should sleep. It's almost 5AM and am currently chatting with Acey. I HAVE WORK, AHH. AND I CAN'T FIND MY PASSPORT, DOUBLE AHH!
How the hell am I gonna to Singapore for Asia Conference (19-23 Nov).
Puh-lease God, bong ngo ahh.