here's the long awaited post: (there's more, if I get feedback! LOL)
church leaders, this is how to build a smaller and narrower church?
1. calling: choose a church name that is ethnic, gender, age, language, political, socio-economic specific
2. finance: make sure there are no freeloaders by taking offering in the parking lot, and make sure they pay for lunch
3. grace: tell all the sinners outside that they don't belong and the church people that God is gracious
4. ministry: keep every member busy doing all the church events, so they don't have time to make friends anywhere
5. word: creating vocabularies that is uncommon to the rest of the world, so that every word has at least 5 words in its definition
6. holy: tell your kids not to listen, watch or participate in anything that did not have the word Christian in it
7. unity: make sure there is unity in the body by segregating those that are different from you, we don't want their kind
8. peace: harmony is the most important value in your church, so kick out those that disagree with you
9. respect: make sure you respect the hierarchy, especially key leaders and their family. it's a family business
10. protect: guard the door well, because the world is a scary place, full of bad people, they're going to overtake the church
11. division: never do evaluation, Satan will use it to cause division in the church, so everything is good
12. stewardship: do not trust anyone with money. they will always spend more than you. so, control every cent
The following measurable inconveniences took place in the last four weeks. Praise the LORD!
Car Accident: Helen, helping a stranger to a bus stop, replaced four tires; 3 days later, helping a friend in Irvine, 1 flat tire, replaced another new tire on the same day; it turned out, the tire was the wrong size, got it replaced the next day
Car Accident: Tiffany, helping a pastor family house siting
Car Accident: James, on the way to Lunch meeting with a brother, both Helen and James felt stiffness in neck and upper back.
Near Accident: On the way home, the whole family in the car from Friday night bible study, the opposing car ran into a huge metal traffic construction sign that flew up and landed only a couple car lengths in front of our car
Car stopped: the wife of the pastor who initiated this fast at CCCLA, had a scare on the first day of the fast, her car all of a sudden died on the freeway
Home & Appliance: Microwave died and the repair shop reassembled it twice, it took over a month for the repair; Dishwasher died and it took 3 weeks to get it fixed; Electric Stove died twice; Water Pipe leak, under the slab (went away after prayer)
Retreat location: Lost, but God provided a much better location in 4 days
Victory over Demon
On11/15 Thursday night at 11 pm, I got a phone call…a woman in her 60s gradually losing her ability to speak and respond to stimulus, the son described her mom in a catatonic state unable to eat or speak. My first reaction was, why didn’t you call 911? The husband came on the phone and said he thinks there maybe other problems. So I drove to their house in the night.
Her eyes wide open, staring straight into space unable to interact with anyone. Brother Lin arrived at around the same time. We started our prayer. She began to describe these red eyes, two small creatures that have been tormenting her for 3 or 4 days. They even bit her right leg. She was in pain. We began to pray for deliverance and she responded violently and defiantly. I felt the spirit was going to manifest, so I requested that the family members to leave the room. That was when the evil spirit spoke. We weren’t able to exorcise the demon that night but the woman became coherent and responsive. After speaking to her a bit we left the house at around 2:30 in the morning.
Next day, 11/16 Friday, I knew we had to confront it again. This time I brought my buddy Sam to the house. Knowing her condition from earlier phone call, we went right into deliverance. The spirit was defiant and we learned that it was an unclean spirit that was attached to her past hurt and present experience, but we ran out of time, because we had to get back to church for bible study.
Saturday, I was at a meeting in LA. On my way back from the meeting I prayed for this woman and called her husband. Apparently, all along, he thought his wife was going through an emotional breakdown, but in our conversation, he said it took a couple bites on her leg. I said, what? Well, he took a look at her leg found the teeth marks and even took a picture. He was eager to show me. I told him I’d come by Sunday afternoon.
Sunday morning I was to speak in our 2nd service…the music stopped and I prayed…lost my message…what I was doing…heat came over me…I wanted to continue but I couldn’t. Something was wrong. I told the congregation to pray for each other as I ran out of the sanctuary to wash my face. What is wrong with me, I thought? Am I experiencing hypoglycemia? So I ran quickly to my office and got a snack bar. When I got back, Sam said he felt it (spiritual Warfare) and encouraged me to continue. I struggled and struggled…the Holy Spirit came…I was in tears…the Word came…almost everyone was in tears…God was breaking through.
That afternoon, after our board meeting, I went with Helen to visit the woman, brother Lin came exactly at the same time (interesting timing). We went through purification and prayed for each other before we engaged in deliverance. This time, I felt more confident in the Lord. However, after almost an hour, I was ready to give. I told brother Sam, “let’s get someone more experience to do this.” But that was when I got another surge of faith and I prayed for the woman. I felt the demon weakening inside the woman. In an instant, I commanded the spirit to leave…she collapsed on the ground...it was over.
It took another two weeks before she was completely recovered physically, emotionally and spiritually.
in our effort to understand more concerning the demographic makeup of Cerritos, Helen and I decide to learn more about the south-asian Indians in our neighborhood. we got introduced to a young female pastor in the Norwalk area. while she is not your typical Indian woman, her experience as an ex-Catholic who had a visitation from Jesus transformed her life of party to a completely new path, surrendered to follow Him. her husband a Hindu witnessed her transformation and became her most trusted support in her ministry today. they've been feeding the local Hispanic and Indian-American population with delicious Indian cuisine and the Word, for several years now. they now have a small hispanic following on Sundays. after eating some delicious Indian food tonight, we prayed for each other. it was delightful. i'm sure we'll meet again.
when I finally arrived in Surabaya, I received my itinerary. it was packed with events and i began to learn about this ministry that started 20 years by Mama Hanna called Pondok Kasih (House of Love). it was twenty years ago when mama hanna went through a physical ailment where she received healing by the grace of God. she then devoted the rest of her life to God for whatever God wanted her to do. her ministry began when a homeless couple that lived on the street came to her house. she took care of them. over time, more came. one time her husband went on a business trip and returned finding their house full of the poor. since then, they remodeled their house and made a chapel, bought the house across the street and made it into an office. they now serve, the poor, the street kids, the orphans, the homosexuals, the prostitutes, the transvestites, and all the societal rejects. their mobile medical clinic makes 3 to 4 calls to serve the needs of the local poor, their bi-weekly wednesday chapel for the poor has a modest attendance over 3000. they have classes for children and adults that helps them with basic needs to business entrepreneurship. they have over 27 street kid groups. they started something called inter-faith dialogue, where they brought the Muslims, the Buddhists, the Hindus, the Catholics, the Christians and more together to talk about faith. there has been tremendous reconciliation taking place through her ministry. they also put together this thing called, mass wedding, where over 4500 people of different faiths participated in July 2011. apparently, the poor cannot receive even the government's subsidies without a proper marriage certificate, but most of the poor in indonesia do not have the money to pay for one. …will continue in PART III
this is a post long over due. well, i had an opportunity to visit indonesia in September this year. this trip brought me so much encouragement i wanted to share it with everyone. my journey started over 10 years ago. i was a pastor in an indonesian chinese church for around two years and I fell in love with the people and their food. God put in me a desire to reach southeast asia. but then nothing happened, for a long time. but in 2008, i had a divine appoint to lead a retreat in the Philippines. it was pretty amazing. since then, i've been going every year to the Philippines. anyways, last year i was so surprised to be invited to officiate a wedding in Bali, Indonesia, a beautiful island resort. at the same time, i found out about this huge conference also taking place in Bali. i thought this must be divine appointment. so i set my heart on going to this conference. anyways, to make a long story short, my seminary president decided to let me go to this conference in september. i was so thrilled. however, i needed to setup some speaking engagements so i could fundraise for a portion of my trip. well, because we made the decision kind of late, i ran out of personal resources. but God let me to pastor wayland wong, a retired pastor. he introduced me to ada lum, a retired missionary at 85. and she introduced me to mama hanna. i didn't know mama hanna, so i had no idea what I was getting myself into but i planned my trip to visit mama hanna, in surabaya, indonesia. when I arrived… Please read PART II
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