Monday, October 31, 2011

Prime Time

Borrowed this pic from Malcolm Loh
For the past few years, Pastor Prince's sermons have been broadcast on US television screens on the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) under the program name of "Destined To Reign".

TBN is the largest Christian broadcasting network in the world and, as Pastor Prince himself admitted, it is only by God's grace that he was able to get a broadcast slot on the network.

The regular broadcast schedule of "Destined To Reign" is daily from Monday to Friday at 4am ... 4am! Not exactly prime time, is it? In fact, most people would call it an unearthly hour ;-)

However, by the grace of God, 4am is exactly prime time for Pastor Prince's ministry! We have heard in church quite a number of testimonies from appreciative Christians in the US of how they were touched and transformed by Pastor Prince's TV program, and one common thread of these testimonies is that these people happened to catch "Destined To Reign" because for some reason or other (some were too burdened by worries, suffering from depression, etc), they were unable to sleep and switched on the TV to help pass the time. These troubled people are the very ones God wants to reach, and God knows exactly when the prime time is to reach them.

Yesterday, I watched Pastor Prince preach live three times in the US via webcast. Pastor Prince was the guest speaker at Joel Osteen's Lakewood Church (see pic) which is the largest church in the US. Pastor Prince preached to 16,000 people in Lakewood Church's auditorium and thousands more via webcast on a Saturday night and Sunday morning in the US.  Now, that is truly prime time by normal standards, isn't it?

However, whether it's 4am on a weekday or 8.30am on a Sunday, it's always prime time when it's God's anointed time. Whenever we flow with God, and listen to his prompting to do his bidding at a particular time, that is Prime Time.

Ecclesiastes 9:11

New Living Translation (NLT)

 11 I have observed something else under the sun. The fastest runner doesn’t always win the race, and the strongest warrior doesn’t always win the battle. The wise sometimes go hungry, and the skillful are not necessarily wealthy. And those who are educated don’t always lead successful lives. It is all decided by chance, by being in the right place at the right time.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Naked Phone

There are so many iPhone owners in Singapore; I step into the MRT train or bus, I will see at least one person playing with his/her iPhone.

I am not a fan of the iPhone but one thing I do envy iPhone owners for is the massive choices of accessories that they have to personalize and protect their precious iPhones.

For the past year, I must have seen hundreds of iPhones being used but I can't remember ever seeing a naked iPhone i.e. an iPhone without a cover and screen protector. 

The iPhone4(S), at 9.3mm thin, is one of the slimmest mobile phone in the market today. However, when you attach a cover to the iPhone, it will bump up the thickness by 10 to 20 percent depending on the brand/model of phone cover. 

Most people don't mind the extra thickness for the sake of protecting their precious iPhones from scratches but do you know that the designers of the iPhone4 took this concern into consideration and covered the front and rear of the iPhone4 with scratch-resistant glass?

Thus, as most iPhone4 owners attach the covers and screen protectors to their phones, the iPhone4 is seldom used in the pure form created by the iPhone4 designers. The owners have wasted the sleek, minimalist, super slim and scratch-resistant design of the designers.

Similarly, when I think about the the redemption plan designed by the grace of God, it is seldom preached today in its pure form. Many preachers have wasted the perfect design of God's grace by attaching their own "protective" covers in their misguided efforts to protect God's grace from abuse.

For example, The Christian Post (Singapore Edition) reported on a lecture by Professor Roland Chia of Trinity Theological College in which he claimed that salvation is contingent on an ongoing relationship with God, and thus Christians can lose or forfeit their salvation.

Preachers like Professor Chia cannot trust the divine grace of God to save us once and for all, through no effort or sacrifice of our own but, through only the once and for all sacrifice of Christ on the cross, and after that the same divine grace will transform us from glory to glory. 

These preachers cannot believe that the unconditional grace of God will work in the way which God Himself personally designed it, and tag on their own terms and conditions to "protect" this grace, thus lowering this divine grace to a human grace ... nay, it is not grace at all, in fact it is a DISGRACE.

Salvation is NOT contingent on an ongoing relationship with God. Salvation gives us the privilege and blessing of an ongoing relationship with God, and that is the naked truth.