(Career Development 28 May 2010)
Yesterday, I watched the movie "Freedom Writers" for recreation. It was a true story about a teacher who made a difference, Ms G. She felt with the students coming from different races and colors, having sad and complicated backgrounds, and all of them joined gangs from young. She gave them hope. Her life gleamed when they responded. She worked hard into the evenings and weekends to get them literature books, believing that they could receive the best education. She gave inspiration over the Jews who protected and survived the Holocaust, especially by the book from Anne Frank. The school management was against Ms G, and her husband left (divorced) her due to her job focus and concentration. This set me thinking. Yes, we should receive inspiration and learn from such, receive strength and move on. I receive a lot of comfort and vision regarding this movie and I shed tears. But it also set me thinking in another way. Why is it that "counseling without God" – helping people forgive themselves, forgo what they think they cannot in their lives, motivating themselves to be different from the rest of their peers of the same color – where is <Acts 4:12> in all these?
IBM converted me to a fixed-time hire and it went through approval yesterday. My manager was so happy for me, and found it a little strange why I was not that kind of thrilled till I cannot sleep or eat. She fought for me (actually for 1.5 years, she recommended me here and there – ISS, PTS, VS, just to progress my career, but they all did not went through), advertised for me (to managers holding power in $, since I have a low profile and a quiet nature), and finally when she got my conversion, she even said that she was bringing this news home as a piece of joy and happiness to make her weekends on the high note. I did not have to worry about my salary as she rejected HR’s first offer for me (without telling me) and asked for a better quote (all for me). God proves it again, and He rescued and delivered me from the entire stereo-typed practical secular requirements of what is meant by a value-added employee, which is just not my nature. My wife said, "Why do you always meet with good people and good things?" I replied, "Because I see Christ in everyone, even my manager." She is a Christian, but once said to me, "I do not know what I would become if I had not become an IBMer", and it was mostly on the positive side. Yet, this had set me thinking and praying. Is our God a secretary only when the things of the world cannot give us answers? Where is <Acts 4:12> in all these?
Satan masquerades himself as an angel of light. His forces and dominion are so strong that our mouths are sealed up saying, "It is just coincidence that the worldly culture worked", or "There are actually problems unseen with the people who toiled secularly". What is not correct at the start is not correct. <Acts 4:12> says it all. Do we counsel and shepherd people just like the inspirational and motivational people of the world? When I meet devout Buddhists, they have a calmness and smile that has been fixed on their face. There are problems we can dig out of a non-Christian, but can we just say that those are curses, and the imperfection in us Christians are just what God intended to show His forgiving grace to us? We are really shut-up by Satan. Time definitely tells, like countries that are non-Christ shows that they are under a curse by the consequences and results of their culture and spirit working in their minds to push and motivate them. But we cannot wait till "time tells".
We must discover and expose the evil and cunning schemes of Satan. Or else, the loved ones, the sheep belonging to Christ may stumble. Lukewarm Christians just cannot fight Satan.
It is better to be weak and argue with God than being a hypocrite, or be so zealous and fail everything in life – <Rev 3:15> "I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other!"
Then we will realize that we are actually in great shame and nakedness – <Rev 3:17> "You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked."
Then we will realize that we need messages that can turn the world around – <Rev 3:18> "I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see."
Then we will realize that we are those God loves and have true freedom to repent – <Rev 3:19> "Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent."
Then we can see and meet God <Rev 3:20> "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me."
Then, we will conquer the world <Rev 3:21> "To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne."
And finally, we will acknowledge, welcome, rely, submit and praise the Spirit of God <Rev 3:22> "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."
This is what I prepared for IBM prayer group on 25th May 2010:
Opening Words: Christ disciples are attracted not by surface, but by
(1) Christ‘s ideology,
(2) Where the Holy Spirit becomes living and active,
(3) Church establishment and expansion
1. Man’s real problem
1) No direction (this is really the truth)
2) Principles and arguments, knowledge and puffed up, ambitions/aspiration – a chasing after the wind
3) Compromise, assimilation, lip service on many spiritual terminology – godly outside but godless inside, lukewarm Christians, no wisdom, no power, cannot overcome workplace bosses
2. The Need for Discipleship Training
1) True disciples love blood and covenant
2) It is the same about doing any role. But what is "set apart" is where we can submit and follow Lord Jesus, and learn to hear the Spirit’s voice to move. The vision of a true disciple is not anything but to be able to hear clearer the Spirit’s voice
"Where are you going, Lord?" Peter asked.
"I am going to Rome to be crucified again," Jesus answered.
"Then I am going too," the disciple said, as Jesus disappeared ahead of him.
3) Disciples gather
I don’t vie for anything, but I miss my Lord too much where I had denied Him 3 times in the past, so that I am willing to follow Him in the conditions He has given me – He has the best for me in His heart, and why do I doubt Him? I will never forget this scene of Peter: "Where are you going, Lord?" I asked. "I am going to IBM to be crucified again," Jesus answered. "Then I am going too," the disciple (me) said, as Jesus disappeared ahead of me.
3. Framework / "Church" for workplace "Prayer Group"
1) Gospel Station – Message that attracts, comforts, heals, empowers, restores
2) Prayer Group – Go through names of people near the gospel each time, and test/approve the Lord’s work already in the midst
3) Evangelism Corner – Take people to a corner to explain, shepherd and open the eyes
And if possible:
4) Discipleship Seminars – seminars/training to open up. The corporate world loves training, especially free ones. At first, to bring people to church’s discipleship training, later on, to lead seminars and even bring pastor in over, e.g. lunch time, evening time, over time.