Wow, what an honor! I woke up this morning and opened the blog and found sitting on the post last evening, one comment from a 'reader' saying that my blog had been awarded the 'blog of the week'. Initially I could not believe my eyes that this is real; I thought someone pull a trick on me and then when I investigated and went into the blog-site, I actually found the award on their website.
Yes, the 'reader' is an online service of some Christian brothers and sisters who want to track the many blogs out there that spread the good news about Jesus and His Finshed Work. This is their URL - http://cyberanger.blogspot.com/ - and the nomination is for the week ended Sept 22 and so awarded on Sept 23 which is today. All glory be to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for this honor really belongs to Him and Him alone.
When I was led to start this blog on August 30 with my first post, I really had no idea where it would lead me. All I wanted was to have a platform to continue the work that the Lord started me with, way back on July 03, 2001. I shared this in one of my weekly email messages six years ago and I guess many may not have heard it before or are very new and want to find out.
Way back in October 2000 in one of the caregroup meetings, a word of prophecy came through my then caregroup leader for me. The word was 'son of Barnabas' and when I heard that, my first thought was that the Lord wanted to encourage me in my bible study ministry in Deutsche Bank where I was working. I joined the Christian Fellowship of the bank in early 2000 and because of the wonderful messages of grace which I had heard through New Creation Church I wanted to share with the Fellowship. I started leading the bible study from June that year and then came the news that a number of the founding members of the Fellowship were leaving the bank and joining other organizations for better prospects and all of a sudden there was a vacuum in the leadership and I was asked to take a bigger role. And so when the prophecy came I took it to mean that the Lord wanted to strengthen my heart that He is behind me in the tasks ahead.
I was indeed encouraged. And then the same word of prophecy came to me AGAIN in February 2001 through the same caregroup leader and this time it suddenly dawned on me that maybe the Lord had something bigger in store for me. Indeed He had. You see, when I first started to lead the bible study I wanted to do it as a weekly session but because I was also beginning a new regional project in the bank which would require that I spent time away regularly overseas (and here I am talking about three weeks away every two months or so), I was seeking the Lord how I should continue and be effective about the bible study sessions. So that same word the second time around really set me thinking and I told the Lord, 'show me'.
Indeed, He showed me in no uncertain details. In March, during the one-week school holidays I went down to Perth in Australia for a class reunion dinner with my childhood friends who have now emigrated and settled in Australia and whom I had not met for more than 30 years. And my oh my, what a reunion we had. Although there were no tears during that meal, as I was enjoying the conversation, the Spirit in me pointed out that the majority of my friends have not received Christ into their lives. In fact one of them, a Chinese guy, even married a Malay lady also from Christmas Island and had converted to Islam. So throughout the dinner my spirit was unsettled and I began to ask Him what could be done. And, yes you guessed it, He showed me by landing a whole two pages of contact information which one of the organizers had laboriously compiled - 24 names, addresses, phone numbers and, bingo, email addresses!! yup, all twenty-four email addresses for 24 individuals and the Holy Spirit specifically drew my attention to these email accounts.
And so I had the confirmation there and then. When the prophecy came in February and on my business trip at the end of Feb/early march one evening after dinner, I felt the urge to switch on my office laptop and to attempt logging in to check my emails which is not usual since I would have already done so in the day when I am at the branch. But that evening it was different. As I was logging in, I felt the Spirit telling me, "Andrew, you have a desire to share the word and you have the tool right in front of you. Use what you have and I will give you the rest."
And so when the address list landed on my hands, I knew that this was the confirmation I was looking for. I have the tool - the laptop; I have the medium - the bank's secured email system; and now I have the addressees - the mailing list (plus a couple more people within Deutsche Bank). I toyed with the ideas but did not have the writer's urge. I thought I need a whole lesson on Literature and English Composition and so I waited and waited. Three months passed without my doing anything and I thought the idea was dead.
Never! The Holy Spirit was setting me up in those three months. In June 2001, Alice and I decided to have our house repainted (we moved into the house in August 1994) after almost seven years and I was on annual vacation so that I could keep an eye on the contractors. A fortnight of 'supervising' the painters and workers and just as I was feeling bored, the Holy Spirit gave me a gentle nudge, 'time to write'. So the ministry of encouragement (the Barnabas Mail Ministry, as I called it) was birthed. My first week message was sent to 47 email accounts and over the next 50 months the list grew to 163! Praise be to Jesus who blessed the work and gave the increase!
A New Believer's Prayer
Thank you Father for loving us so much that You sent Your precious Son Jesus Christ to this world to die for all our sins. I receive Jesus into my heart as my Lord and Savior.Thank you that all my sins have been nailed to the Cross on Jesus at His death and because He died in our place, I am now saved forever. I have been made righteous in Your sight because of what Jesus did and I can now enjoy Your blessings over my life. Thank you for the privilege of being called Your Child and for the Gift of Your Holy Spirit in my life. AMEN