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The art of being single

by Cheryl Lee | 22 August 2017, 1:22 PM

Single. Though there are plenty of us out there, the word itself conveys – inaccurately, I might add – the inevitable notion that we are alone in our singleness.

It doesn’t help that every Hollywood movie (even the ones about robots!) has an obligatory love story in it, or that scrolling through Facebook is like navigating a virtual minefield of romantic dates and wedding photoshoots.

It feels like society, culture, and even the church sometimes, are generally not set up for single people. If the world were one big football game, singles are often made to feel like subs on the bench, waiting to get into the game, and only gaining recognition when they are.

Don’t let the longing for a partner dilute the way you see yourself. Your worth is in who God created you to be, not who you are dating.

Often, those of us who are single treat singleness like a clinic’s waiting room: We browse aimlessly through magazines; we gaze around at people wondering what’s wrong with them; we wait to be called into the doctor’s office where, miraculously, all our problems will disappear.

So what should we be doing while we’re still single? Here are some points I’ve found helpful as I navigate through this journey myself. I write this as a Christian, but I’m sure that even if you aren’t, you might find one or two things to relate to – or maybe even find Christianity helpful in this journey.


1. You are a whole person

I say this because of the inevitable “Where’s your other half?” question, which tends to make an appearance at weddings and family reunion dinners. I don’t know how to reply this without being rude, so I generally laugh and avoid the question.

But you need to be assured that there is no other half of you running about somewhere in this world, waiting for you to find him/her. You are a whole person, all by yourself! Don’t let the longing for a partner dilute the way you see yourself, because our worth is in who God created us to be, not who we are dating.

For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well. (Psalm 139:13-14)

2. You are not Wayne Rooney, circa 2016/17

I love the guy, but he did spend a great deal of time as a substitute in his last season with Manchester United. Similarly, if you’re single, you are not just a bench sub. You have two choices: Sit on the bench waiting to get into the game (and who knows if the manager will ever play you?) or you can join another team that will actually let you play. (Good choice, Wayne.)

And yes, I realise this football analogy is breaking up a bit here, so let’s ditch it for now.

My point is, singleness is not just a “passing through” stage in our lives where we eagerly anticipate marriage; rather, whether single or married, what we eagerly anticipate is Christ coming again. And as Christians, in whatever stage of our lives, this anticipation should never be an idle one. Hence, we continue to read His word, serve in church, encourage our fellow believers – sometimes even more so as singles, because of the freedom that singleness affords.

There are many times, in moments of loneliness and heartache, where I feel like I cannot serve – I can hardly deal with myself, let alone lead others – when I am reminded that we are not called to be perfect, just faithful. So while it is still hard being single sometimes, we can choose to use this period in our lives wisely, instead of just being in waiting mode.

3. Be the right person

What’s on your boyfriend (or girlfriend) checklist? Here’s mine, off the top of my very superficial head: Likes football, has a sense of humour, humble, speaks good English, has style, isn’t too skinny.

We wander through life with checklists in hand, ticking potential boxes and crossing off some, hoping one day someone will make the mark. You know, the perfect guy. Why not? Every Korean drama serial ever made has one – shouldn’t be that hard to find.

Instead of spending time looking for the right person, why not try being the right person instead?

But here’s a controversial idea: Instead of spending time looking for the right person, why not try being the right person instead? In a convoluted sort of way, the kind of person you are should attract the kind of person you want. If I buy more clothes, put on more makeup and eat less carbs to attract a guy, then that is the kind of guy I will attract.

So what kind of girl does your kind of guy like? Hopefully the answer will be things like honesty, godliness, a caring heart – things that you yourself value and can strive towards with conviction.

Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. (Proverbs 31:30)

4. You are getting married, someday

You may not get to send out pretty invites, decorate the church aisles or wear a fluffy white gown, but yes, if you are a Christian, marriage is inevitable. It may or may not come as a surprise, but in the Bible, Jesus’ coming back again to bring his people into his eternal kingdom is described as the ultimate, epic marriage to end all marriages.

Let us rejoice and exult
and give him the glory,
for the marriage of the Lamb has come,
and his Bride has made herself ready. (Revelation 19:7)

This marriage is not a consolation prize for those who may never get married in this life; no, it is the only prize that ultimately matters. And so, single or married, as Christians we are all called to prepare for Christ’s coming again.

I hope this was helpful in some way, whether you are struggling or content in your singleness, or looking to encourage a friend. Just remember, you are not alone. As Tobias Fünke would say, there are dozens of us out there. Dozens!

This article was first published on Cheryl’s blog and republished with permission.


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Changing church: Moving on to greener pastures?

by H J Yeo | 23 March 2018, 6:28 PM

This was written in response to Elizabeth Tan’s story, “3 questions to ask before changing church“.

I have been a member of my church for more than 30 years. And I can recall a couple of times when I thought about moving to another church. So what made me stay?

Based on what I’ve observed of people I know who have made that move – both from my church and into it – I believe these could be some of the reasons:

1. Leadership: I don’t agree with the church direction or its beliefs
2. Relationships: I have been hurt by people in the church
3. Teaching: I don’t feel ministered to by the sermons
4. Disunity: There are divisions within the church
5. Spiritual health: I am not growing spiritually here

We are often told that no church is perfect – and even if there were one, when you join it, you’ll change your mind! The church I grew up in did experience divisions once – and survived; it has seen its worship service evolve; some of its programmes have tanked; there was growth in numbers during some years and stagnation in others.

I love my church, though I can see its warts and all that might be reasons for some people to feel like leaving.

No church is perfect – and even if there were one, when you join it, you’ll change your mind.

When I contemplated such a move many years ago, I was attracted to a new church that was built next to where I lived. It seemed to make sense to me to move to a nearer church – it was attractive not just location wise, but also for its pulpit ministry, worship style … Its entire service, in fact!

I felt right at home there and could see myself growing and contributing in that church. I even reasoned to myself that joining a nearby church would mean I could participate in community work amongst my neighbours. Surely that was good reason enough?

It of course begged the question: Was I unhappy in my church? Not really, if I was being honest. However, there were a few things I wish it had: More inspiring sermons and more freedom in worship. I was serving actively and sometimes, that means I got to “see” things, such as the imperfections in leadership. It left me struggling to submit when I disagreed with how things were done.

I believe my experience is not unique. So what made me stay?

First, I checked my inner motives. Deciding whether to change church or not should involve praying and waiting upon the Lord for a period of time. What does God say about it? Surely He wants to see me grow and be happy in His church, right?

Well, in our moments of quiet with Him, when we lay ourselves totally bare before our Father, the Holy Spirit and Scripture shine a light into our souls – to question the purity of our desires and motives.

I realised I wanted very much to belong to what I perceived then to be a “better” church – that I’d come to believe my own church was not good enough. I wanted to leave each service feeling spiritually well-fed, with renewed zeal for the Lord. This desire in itself was not wrong, but the way I wanted to achieve it was!

“For I would have you know, brothers, that the gospel that was preached by me is not man’s gospel. For I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.” (Galatians 1:11,12)

Someone preached a message on these verses many years ago and it still comes back to me occasionally: Receive first-hand from the Lord, not second-hand. Too many of us rely almost solely on well preached sermons to teach us or inspire us; that is, we deem it the preacher’s duty to study the word, chew on it and feed it to us in bite sizes.

However, ultimately, we may be like fledglings in the nest forever waiting with gaping mouths for regurgitated food from parent birds. So, if I consider myself to be a growing believer, am I able to read the Bible for myself and receive from the Lord directly? Or do I rely on a Sunday service to be a morale booster instead of having regular, intimate personal encounters with the Lord that change me?

On this side of eternity, probably every family has issues, yet we do not just “change family”.

Second, the Lord gave me a message about perseverance. On this side of eternity, probably every family has issues, yet we do not just “change family”. By His grace, we accept our families, love one another and are discipled at the same time. We learn to forgive one another.

Similarly, we should persevere in the spiritual family He has placed us in, serving together within that community of imperfect believers. Truly, after all these years of belonging in one church, I have seen how God has brought us through, discipled us and who is now challenging us to do an exciting new work.

It is not my place to judge whether someone is right or wrong to change church. In each of the reasons I mentioned above why people change church, the Lord will grant wisdom if His counsel is sought, whether it is time to make the move or stay on.

We need to be totally transparent with the Lord, letting Him search and reveal our inner motives, and ultimately allow Him to guide the final decision in humility and trust.

This is a submission from a participant of our Greater Love Giveaway. From now till the end of March 2018, we are giving away a pack of limited edition “Greater Love” Stickers in exchange for every story. Stories must have a personal/local angle and be of 800-1000 words. Send us yours here.


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“Missing out on mum”: Learning to love my mentally-ill mum

by Justine Ocampo | 20 March 2018, 9:53 AM

I missed out on a lot of things as a girl because of my mum’s mental illness.

I didn’t have someone to talk to about boys, about my period, about skincare. And I never had someone to nag me about inappropriate clothes, poor grades, my messy room or whatever else it is mums and daughters talk about. I couldn’t talk to her about my dad, sister or brother – and almost everything I talked about with my dad, sister and brother was about her.

I don’t think we had a relationship – and I’m not even talking a Gilmore Girls type of mother-daughter bond at all. I just don’t really know what I mean to her, and I don’t really know what she means to me. Our relationship was never normal, because practically everything was always centred on her – her struggles, her insecurities, her future, her past.

There are many young people out there who experience similar struggles in their relationship with their parent(s).

My hope for this article is that it would encourage those who are struggling to know that a parent is indeed a channel of God’s love for you – no matter how unconventional or non-existent your relationship may seem.

Just because I feel like my relationship with my mum is non-existent doesn’t mean I don’t love her. More importantly – and this a concept I’m still learning to accept – it does not mean my mother doesn’t love me.  

I always prayed for God to heal my mum, but my prayers had become more of a habit than actual fervent intercession. Part of me had already come to accept that her condition is just who she is. As a result, my love for her didn’t look like God’s unconditional love, but more like a dismissive form of acceptance.

My love for her was simply expressed as tolerance.

I thought that not being angry with her or the situation was already the best kind of love I could show. I thought that was already the best she deserved, because I deserved a “real” mum and she took that away from me.

I wanted to remain in a place of hurt because I knew it would hurt her as well.

But that’s not the love God has called us to give – like the love He has already given us through Jesus.

God’s love is sacrificial, selfless and forgiving. As children, we always just expect to be on the receiving end of the relationship with our parents – but I realised that God’s love calls us to do more. To love despite one’s weaknesses, to love without expecting anything in return – unconditionally.

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise—” (Ephesians 6:1-2)

Learning to love unconditionally was just one side of the coin. Over time, I realised I became a person who just didn’t expect to be loved in return at all. The idea of being loved had long been buried under the piles of disheartening and hurtful reminders of my mum’s unstable condition, which expressed itself in loud tantrums, irrational paranoia and violence outbursts.

A deeper struggle surfaced, which was my reluctance to believe and accept the fact that I needed and wanted to be loved. It became a form of self-protection. I refused to be vulnerable, fearing I would allow my mum’s condition to hurt me again.

God’s grace and forgiveness became difficult to accept because I had internalised the ungodly belief that it was OK for me not to be loved.

But wanting to be so loved isn’t a selfish thought – the ability to receive love is just as important as giving love.

Living with such a mindset, you could miss the greatest love of all that has already been given. You might shortchange yourself believing something other than the absolute truth, which is that you are unconditionally loved by God.

“Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:37-39)

While doing my devotions one night, I suddenly began receiving many messages on my phone which was very distracting.

I thought it was a group chat or something – but it was my mum. She usually messages me random nonsense that I ignore, so I just continued with devotion. I even got angry at her because she was interrupting my quiet time. I was set on ignoring it even after I finished my time of devotion – but I felt prompted to read it then.

The message I opened read, “I hope you know you’re a blessing in my life.”

God broke my hardened heart as tears burst forth. I was reminded that amidst the frustration, selfishness, fear and anger – there is always love. Just as Romans 8:39 tells us, nothing can separate us from God’s love. No matter what form or shape it takes, God’s love for us is always present.

A part of me knows that these moments are rare and most days won’t be like this. She won’t always be in a good and rational mood, she won’t always express herself lovingly and I won’t always have the patience to love her.

But she is still my mum whom I am called to love and honour. Hers is the motherly love God has chosen to bless me with – to accept and receive in my life – and I am at peace with that.

“With His love He will calm all your fears” (Zephaniah 3:17)

This is a submission from a participant of our Greater Love Giveaway. From now till the end of March 2018, we are giving away a pack of limited edition “Greater Love” Stickers in exchange for every story. Stories must have a personal/local angle and be of 800-1000 words. Send us yours here.


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Ditch the fear of man and preach the Gospel: Ben Fitzgerald at Kingdom Invasion 2018

by | 16 March 2018, 10:42 AM

For Singapore to live up to the call to be the Antioch of Asia, for souls to be saved – we need to deal with the fear of man, said Ben Fitzgerald.

“The fear of man is the Number 1 thing that cripples us from sharing Jesus,” said the leader of Awakening Europe and GODfest Ministries.

“God wants to set us free from the fear of man, because He wants to free you to see more people saved.

“We have a fear of human opinion, of rejection, if we share the gospel, if take it into our office. So we try to live in this grey area of pleasing everybody, but end up pleasing no one. And we don’t do what God wants us to do.

“Let me tell you – if you’re walking right with God, and you’re doing His thing – if even the most powerful person in the world has a bad opinion of you, it shouldn’t mean a thing. It shouldn’t even shake a leaf off your tree.”

Ben Fitzgerald speaking at Kingdom Invasion 2018


The 35-year-old, speaking at Kingdom Invasion 2018, said he came to this realisation after an incident where a pastor he admired walked up to where Fitzgerald had been standing, shook the hands of 6 people, approached Fitzgerald, looked him in the eye – then walked off without shaking his hand.

“I was upset. I was petrified. ‘What have I done wrong? Why does he hate me?’ All of this was in my head! Or was it?!” he recounted.

That’s when Fitzgerald starting to think about the source of his fear.

“God told me: ‘Ben, you’ve made mankind and their opinion of you an idol. You’ve made their opinion of you greater than My worth.’

“I fasted, and something told me to turn to Jeremiah 17:5. ‘This is what the LORD says: Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who draws strength from mere flesh and whose heart turns away from the LORD.’

“It floored me. I said God forgive me, I’m so sorry.”

“God told me: ‘Ben, you’ve made mankind and their opinion of you an idol. You’ve made their opinion of you greater than My worth.’

The question, Fitzgerald, comes down to: Where is your heart? Where is it planted? Where is the source it’s drawing from?

“Is it the opinion of man? You’re feeding from the wrong source – you’re trying to make a fake, false you. It’s exhausting and you lose the real you.

“By making a pseudo, false real, you end up being more rejected. God didn’t make a fake you to be loved. He made the real you to be loved.”

The age of social media doesn’t help, noted Fitzgerald.

“We’re in this generation of micro-judgments. In this age we’re living for the likes we get on Instagram and Facebook. We begin to validate themselves based on what pops up on a screen.

”If you have zero followers on Facebook and Instagram, but you have the love of God, let me tell you – you have everything.”


Speaking at the Singapore Expo on March 16, 208, Fitzgerald said that while there was much to marvel about Singapore as a nation, Christians have to keep focused on the main thing: The need to see more saved, on the island and in the region.

“Singapore and the nations of Asia must hear the Gospel. But you’ve got to be free of the fear of what everyone else thinks of you. That makes you powerless. God doesn’t want that for you,” said Fitzgerald.

“The only way the nations of Asia will truly thrive is if the Gospel is preached.

“I want better economics, better housing, all those things. But God doesn’t want a great economic system if everyone’s going to hell.

“The Gospel is not a secondary, or third-ary, need. It is the primary need.”

“If you don’t choose Antioch, you end up with arrogance or apathy”: Lou Engle warns Singaporeans at Kingdom Invasion 2018

In his personal experience, Fitzgerald said, losing the fear of man and replacing it with the right fear of God has led to boldness in evangelism.

“When I walked out of the fear of man, and just learnt to preach the Bible as it is written, I found more souls were saved!

“God wants us to be fruitful, to see more souls saved. We need to let go of the fear so that the Spirit can lead us into fruitfulness.

“Whatever the enemy has restricted and oppressed you with, we need to break it. We need to have a death party for fear.”

The only way to do this: Ask God to break this spirit of fear. Let go, let go of human opinion. Say, I’m sorry, God, for making mankind a bigger source – of validation, of affirmation, of direction – than You. Forgive me for disobeying your voice and trusting in people more than your love.

Take authority of the spirit of the fear of man. In Jesus’ name, bind and command the spirits of fear to leave.

Then be filled with the love of God, which teaches you to be full of the love for man – and preach the Gospel.

FOPx: Surrender ushers in the supernatural, Ben Fitzgerald urges youth


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I CAN ONLY IMAGINE: The untold story of the song that inspired millions

by | 14 March 2018, 5:51 PM

If you’ve been going to church for some time, you probably have sung MercyMe’s hit Gospel song, “I Can Only Imagine”, in a worship service. But you probably have never heard of the story behind it, as filmmakers of “I Can Only Imagine” – the movie – will tell you.

On March 6, 2018, I had the rare opportunity of catching an early screening of the amazing testimony that inspired the song. Indeed – you can only imagine!

The film revolves around Bart Millard (J. Michael Finley), the lead singer of MercyMe. Coming off an abusive childhood at the hands of his father, Arthur Millard (Dennis Quaid), Bart spends years struggling to forgive him. Out of this pain, he is inspired to write “I Can Only Imagine”.

Watching Bart’s story unfold on screen brought new life to one of my favourite songs, and I found myself in tears when it made its appearance in the show.

The central theme of the show is transformation, and how true transformation is like metamorphosis – a radical changing from the inside out.

When God transforms us, he isn’t just transforming us but also the people around us.

God is fully in the business of transforming people from the inside out. This is how he always has been, he transformed a barren old man into a father of many nations. He transformed a shepherd boy into Israel’s greatest King. He transformed 11 fumbling men into apostles of the faith. He even transformed a persecutor of the Gospel to one of its greatest teachers.

“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. Then you will live in the land I gave your ancestors; you will be my people, and I will be your God.” (Ezekiel 36:26-28)

This transformation is not one that is from the outside in. We can never be transformed by that way because of the hard truth that sin is not just a hard, logical issue but a deep heart issue. If we are not first transformed in our hearts, the transformation we bear is simply a mask that we wear.

God needs to totally replace our heart so that our actions may flow from that new heart.

This was the same inside-out transformation Arthur, the father, goes through. And as Bart chooses to forgive Arthur, he witnessed his relationships, including that with God Himself being radically changed.

When God transforms us, he isn’t just transforming us but also the people around us. Transformation is contagious, as we live radically transformed lives for Christ, we see ourselves being used by God to transform another life.

Without spoiling any more of the movie, I leave you with a quote that stayed in my mind: “(His transformation) set me on this warpath for the Gospel, because if the Gospel can change that dude, the Gospel can change anybody.”

When we decide to let God change us, we are going to see a transformation we can only imagine.

Join our exclusive ticket giveaway from now till March 22, 2018. Just head over to Facebook or Instagram, like our page/account and tell us what you think heaven will be like. The 5 replies with the most likes will win a pair of tickets to the preview screening of “I Can Only Imagine” at Shaw Theatres, Lido. 

I Can Only Imagine” will premiere on March 24, 2018, at the NEX Shaw Theatre in support of Come Celebrate Christmas in Singapore 2018. If you would like more information or are interested in bulk ticket booking (40 pax and above), please drop a message to +65 81185165.


JunHeng is a 100% extrovert who loves caffeine – lots of caffeine. He also likes HTHTs, jamming and eating good food. Did he mention he loves caffeine?


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I’m a new Christian and loving it

by Faith Koh Qiwei | 1 March 2018, 2:26 PM

Before I came to know Christ, I went to temples with my family as I was not born into a Christian family. At that point of time, I didn’t know which god I was praying to because there was so many.

In school, I was often bullied by my classmates and didn’t have many friends. I was a very timid girl. Whenever others asked me to do something, I was just too scared to respond. My studies weren’t good as well, and because I had little motivation to work hard, my results were poor.

Helpless, I would hide my problems because I didn’t have anyone to share them with apart from my sister.

But it was also my sister who shared Christ with me three years ago. I started going to church with her, and was even invited to join a cell group for teens.

On August 1, 2015, during an altar call in the youth service, I went forward and officially accepted Jesus as my Lord and Saviour.

Things took a complete change after I accepted Jesus Christ as into my life. I wouldn’t say my life was perfect, but my confidence somehow grew significantly and people were looking to me when they felt down and needed someone to confide in.

I became a girl who would send messages and Bible verses to my friends and cell members, just to encourage them. The friendships I’ve made have brought great joy to my life, and I know that God has been the giver of these good gifts.

Things in school also started to look up, as I started putting in more hard work and seeing God change my perspective on studying.

As a new believer, I learnt how to do devotion and pray. My cell leaders were great teachers, and my cell group was there to support me through my new walk with God. When I faced any problems, I had people – even pastors – to turn to for guidance.

Life has been so exciting with God. He’s shown me visions of becoming a leader one day and spoken to me in many ways. Accepting Christ has been the best decision I’ve ever made.

And I’ve got a piece of good news to share! I will be getting baptised soon, as I want to declare my faith to everyone. I truly want to follow Jesus all the days of my life. And because I hope to grow strong in Him with faith, I’ve chosen that as my baptism name. Faith, for the journey ahead with my Lord and Saviour. 🙂

This is a submission from a participant of our Greater Love Giveaway. From now till the end of March 2018, we are giving away a pack of limited edition “Greater Love” Stickers in exchange for every story. Stories must have a personal/local angle and be of 800-1000 words. Send us yours here.


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Article list

The art of being single

Changing church: Moving on to greener pastures?

“Missing out on mum”: Learning to love my mentally-ill mum

Ditch the fear of man and preach the Gospel: Ben Fitzgerald at Kingdom Invasion 2018

I CAN ONLY IMAGINE: The untold story of the song that inspired millions

I’m a new Christian and loving it