Comma

Last night, a brother in my old church small group went to the hospital and is unconscious as of late.

Today after noon service we had an emergency prayer meeting for him.

We were broke into groups to pray. We were told to pray in 3 or 4 but I ended up with just HP, the two of us.

Afterwards praying in separate groups, we prayed together and whoever wanted to could pray out loud. As Ji was praying, his voice was crying. A lot of people started crying. It was really unreal. I felt sad and sorry for YY, the wife of the brother who haven’t been coming for over a year now, and his family and I was holding off the tears because I was getting affected by some of the people who were crying.

I later told him that his mucus and was 5 inches long dripping from his nose. I quickly went out to find some tissue for him. When I commented on it, he told me I wasn’t concentrating on praying, I told him we finished praying already, there were only two people in our group and asked him why he was thinking something bad when he should be thinking good. I was a bit shocked at his reaction. I gave him a tissue to wipe his nose. Afterwards he said he should thank me instead.

Ji, the brother in law of Joe was being put on the pedestal, and basically so are all of Joe’s nemesis. They used to be my friends but I think some time 2 years ago it all changed. I think something happened that broke us up. And it happened quite suddenly.

It is so weird going to the old church again and again. It’s bad for me but it is, at the same time, so pathetic. They don’t let me serve. They kind of view me as the enemy and one time HP told me that as well. People know, they know it’s wrong but nobody is speaking up.

I get pretty sad over it. I put a brave face up and still act all upbeat and stuff at my old church but inside I am dying. I feel like crying really.

I guess it is a bad idea to go back. It doesn’t feel good and I need to move on. It’s not my fault, it’s just that some people are playing god and doing evil.

Almost there again.

I almost went back to my old fellowship the past Saturday.

Didn’t go to my old church’s fellowship the past three weeks or so and I had two sisters, both friends, asking me what’s going on.

One of them used to be really good friend and we used to hangout quite a lot but for the past 2 years or so, we both know problems in the fellowship and we just haven’t hung out much. It actually hurt me quite badly that all of a sudden it seemed like she was trying to avoid me. We used to have tea and late dinner before and after fellowship respectively.

We hardly do that anymore. She also said some nasty things about me, called me some names. I don’t blame her because there are people who say things behind my back and try to smear my reputation.

Another sister is from my small group and for the past few years we tried really hard to make the small group better with no results. We were just snubbed again and again. She is a simple kind of girl.

I was audio duty and I stayed for Saturday service and I lingered a bit for worship for fellowship but it was the same pro MS person leading and while singing the hymns I just found it really phony. It was depressing as well, hardly anybody was there. Even my few guy buddies left already.

And in the past week, three people in my small group told us that they are going to different churches and leaving the small group. They haven’t showed up for ages and they were just making it official. I am happy for them but it was sad and depressing because I was close with the one brother who left and we had a really good time for a while before everything went downhill.

We still keep in touch every once in a while, but as I was just looking at the amount of people at the fellowship, how empty it was, I was just upset and angry at the people who did this. The fellowship is now an empty shell and on life support.

They bullied me, tried to single me out and they were quiet effective and people saw this and left. The fellowship was divided.

It was depressing and I just didn’t feel well. They were reading a book and I didn’t read it so I was like, why bother. And I left.

I had a sister whatsapping me in the group, “I thought you would come.” (so many sisters, yes, I am the only guy in my small group).

And I just blurted it out why in the whatsap group.

The sister later messaged me privately which she should’ve had done earlier.

I feel that going back is really bad for me, and it is really easier to lie to just tell them you were sick (which I was, emotionally) or busy or have an appointment or something than to tell them what you feel really. And most people take this route, just tell people these things, they were busy and etc. But I felt I wouldn’t be helping if I do that. I should express the matters, the problems.

I also don’t think the sister was being sincere. She could’ve messaged me privately instead of making a scene. I don’t know why but one time we were in small group and she was making faces at me like a teenage girl when the pastor was explaining something. I asked her what that was about but she never explained.

Another time she said softly in my ear,”Let it go.”

I understood why though, J probably told her like he did with many people that I was against him because he was involved with forcing my father out of church. Actually, more accurately, he was the mastermind behind it and he was really mean, and even then he didn’t stop there, he said these kind of things to people to protect himself and to isolate me from others and he uses his “senior member” status to influence others.

I don’t blame her totally for behaving like that but it became clear that whoever make a clean line away from me get to serve and she was. After getting baptised she was in charge for the roster for who leading worship, she led worship and was put into several committees. J put her in babysitting and she obediently obey.

She’s smart with people and she knows how to manoeuvre for herself. I saw her changed a lot. I thought she was a friend but then she changed when people started talking to her.

And worst ins that she is now my friend’s wife.

I

Getting used to: Bible study

It’s still tough going to new church even when the people are pretty accepting and nice. It’s staying over and adjusting all over again although easier than the old church.

I was leading Bible study and I felt like I was less purpose driven, less of being in a battle.

The mindset is different. I got to appreciate the great comments at the small group. There were some great discussion but I don’t think I was leading all that much. Got a lot of help from the pastor. I had a lot of trouble sticking to the discussion questions he wrote.

And I wasn’t used to lead Bible study that way. I didn’t feel very confident, maybe because the group is bigger and I wasn’t comfortable with silent and I get there wasn’t much respond with some of the questions.

I felt like I wasn’t very clear. And I think there are people in the small group are different, they do talk, they do share, they are more free and I am adjusting to them.

I felt I was struggling. And my style is not to talk too much or just say everything I know.

Luke 11:1-13 NLT

Once Jesus was in a certain place praying. As he finished, one of his disciples came to him and said, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” Jesus said, “This is how you should pray: “Father, may your name be kept holy. May your Kingdom come soon. Give us each day the food we need, and forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. And don’t let us yield to temptation. ” Then, teaching them more about prayer, he used this story: “Suppose you went to a friend’s house at midnight, wanting to borrow three loaves of bread. You say to him, ‘A friend of mine has just arrived for a visit, and I have nothing for him to eat.’ And suppose he calls out from his bedroom, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is locked for the night, and my family and I are all in bed. I can’t help you.’ But I tell you this—though he won’t do it for friendship’s sake, if you keep knocking long enough, he will get up and give you whatever you need because of your shameless persistence. “And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. “You fathers—if your children ask for a fish, do you give them a snake instead? Or if they ask for an egg, do you give them a scorpion? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.”

Choosing

It was a bit difficult choosing which church to go to this morning. I was thinking whether I was going to my old church and starting with eating breakfast with my friends or going to the new church. I made a decision to move on this year but it was still difficult this morning and I was a bit emotional as I was just standing there at the station.

I felt like crying, I felt my eyes watering.

I hate it that it has to come to this.

There are many strange faces, new faces at the new church. I thought a bit about how I basically knew everybody at my old church. I could pretty much talk to everybody who isn’t against me. I know what is going on behind the curtain, I know all the cliques. I know what the problems are. And there was some anger in me. I really hate the behaviour of people who have made it so difficult for me to go back to my old church and how they have ruin my relationships with many brothers and sisters I used to be good friends with. I felt angry because it is just so unfair and how evil it is. It killed my life at this church and although it was never a perfect or even a great church to begin with, I did fall in love with the people there. I did invest my youthful years there, most of my 20s there. We had a great time. I had ups and downs. I invested so much there emotionally, spiritually and in time, sweats and tears.

I thought about my friends there. They should be freed. They should get out. I thought about them because I felt and still feel like by leaving I am somewhat abandoning them. For a long time I was there fighting and caring a lot, taking a lot of emotional toll on me because I felt I had to be there to protect them, to keep them safe. I tried my best but people were trying to destroy me behind my back.

A lot of people know it was wrong but they kept quiet. They don’t want to confront, be part of the problem, don’t want stress. I know in my heart that it would not have come to this if they voiced out.

I felt and I knew I need to do this, to move on. Many people had told me to leave long ago, as early as 2011 when I shared this dilemma and the problems I was having at church with them. My former pastor told me to think of it as starting another journey with God.

I went to eat McDonald’s for Big Breakfast, something I haven’t done in a while, reading a book, taking my time. Then I went to church, I was early so I thought I could do some grading in the library but I bumped into my former small group leader’s wife and we started chatting and then the intern from seminary came over and we all started chatting. Before I knew it, it was time for service and I bumped into the couple who used to me small group leaders two years ago. We started chatting, catching up and sat together.

Good worship, good sermon. Afterwards, saw an old friend who came back from Australia and we all had lunch together.

I thought about what it would be like at my old church. Breakfast with friends and then we just scattered after service. It would be a bit awkward at lunch. For some strange reasons, everybody is colder now. I don’t know why.

I am not really asking for much really from my church life really. A place where I can use my gifts and talents to serve others. I don’t want a fight, I don’t want a battle, I don’t want war.

I know some people at my old church are trying to get me out by excluding me because I know to much, I know too much of their crap, I know what the did and they are trying really hard to cover things up, suppressing me, isolating me.

Yesterday my small group at my new church went to open day at ABS seminary and the attitude was so different from my old church where people are just scared to be exposed to things that might make their life complicated. People from the small group were absorbing the talks from the service and workshop. And I was like, yea, that’s what I had been trying to tell these people at my old church. The attitude is like polar opposite. These guys are open-minded and motivated to learn. All of them take courses out of their own free time not because people told them to but because they felt they should and that it would help with their service at church.

They are not perfect but the attitude is just so different.

In a way, maybe God is leading me to this new church which I have been going for over 2 years now. It’s actually quite a journey that I am even going to this church. I feel welcomed, accepted. I have people who could walk with me on this spiritual walk. I don’t feel like I have to fight every step of the way. Even though at service I still remembered my old church, I still prayed for my old church, but if people there are making it a point to make sure I can’t serve and be suppressed, maybe God is telling me to go somewhere else where He can use me better.

Evildoers and Acts 21

There’s not much I can do but I just hate when evil wins, when schemers and evildoers win. It really pisses me off. And it is really because the good people are too afraid, timid, too nice(?), too weak, too lazy to do anything about it.

The evildoers at church usually are strong willed, cunning people, whereas most churchgoers are somewhat naive, think good of others (as they were taught), have herd mentality, somewhat obedient to authority, nice (I guess) and don’t like to offend others. They don’t like trouble. They get very stressed up with problems.

The evildoers are different, they plan and scheme plots to hurt others, to control a situation. lt’s their mentality. It’s like their nature.

I was sharing in small group that there are fake Christians at church yesterday. We had a new person. There was a miscommunication and I thought I was leading and Cher was actually leading, but I didn’t mind, it forced me to read Acts 21 really carefully.

The greatest lesson I see in Acts 21 is how God would give very difficult calling to His servant. God gave this huge difficult and grudging task to Paul. And although he was warned again and again by his fellow brothers and sisters not to go, Paul willed himself to follow the Spirit’s call for him to go to Jerusalem.

It shows that God sometimes do give very difficult trial for people of God, and people should respond to these very difficult calling that they must do, like Paul.

Paul had a great burden and calling to go to Jerusalem. We know that Paul was bring money he raised from the Asian churches to the needy and poor Christians and church in Jerusalem. It was an effort to reconcile the gentile and Jews Christians in Jerusalem and have the Christians in Jerusalem accept their gentile counterpart. Paul wanted to deliver the “gift” and speak to the Christians at Jerusalem himself, even if it might cost him his very life.

I felt very touched by Paul’s loyalty, selfless sacrifice for God and his people, his fellow brothers and sisters.

I see the problem at my old church. There is problem but nobody is brave enough to tackle the task. They try to hide from it, cover it up.

Church is doing a lot of things but the fundamental problem is still there. It is like a person is sick but instead of seeing or listening to the doctor’s instruction and prescription, he doesn’t take the medicine or take rest but put some make up on to make himself look like he is healthy.

I have no eyes to see and I am getting sick of worrying about it and even the people at my old church because it really stopping me from doing better things.

Another funny thing I noticed in Acts 21 is how many “heroes” or notable people and places made cameos in this chapter. There was Philip, one of the original deacons and Evangelist at Caesarea, Agabus with the gift of prophecy, there was Mnason, one of the early believer and James along with the other elders of the church.

New Pastor

It was announced yesterday after the new head pastor will be one our pastor’s younger brother.

From what I know, he’s a good man and a good pastor. However, I really wonder why he is coming to our church. His sister works here so he knows the problems here and how messy it is. I also find that to be problematic to have two siblings being pastors at the same church. I think he’s a good man and a good pastor but that is not a good policy. It might encourage future practice of cronyism, or just being a first so future practice will be encouraged.

I wonder if they are just so desperate that they would break normal practice and protocol in hiring pastor.

I also don’t think it is a good decision by the incoming pastor because it means both siblings working in the same church, under the same management, perhaps under the same scrutiny.

It’s just all very weird. Man Pastor announced that he will come on or before September, and maybe as early as April.

I also thought about MS and how the ordeal around him haven’t been resolved and it should be resolved before the new pastor comes in, or it will just be very messy.

At fellowship, a young sister was lecturing us, scolding at us for thinking too much about having dinner after small group when we should be listening to God’s calling…I was like what? Is that how she sees us?

I have no idea on what to do? I should, in normal circumstances, talk to her privately or ask a mentor to talk to her together. However, MS and his wife, Shirley, although should not be our mentors, are our mentors. And anything I say will be fired back against me. This is what happen when the leadership is corrupted.

It was really sad how Ali had changed so much and started talking like Cow and Shirley before her. She’s basically their brainchild and mouthpiece. It’s such a waste.

Starting Over

I went to the new church today and as Chinese New Year approaches, I am taking a big step and decision to get more active and involved in the new church. It’s hard. I feel like I lost 7 years of my life at a church and lost a community that was very close to my heart, and it still is.

It’s an emotional toll on me. I have to start over. The funny thing is, I knew this day would happen and I had been emotionally and practically preparing myself for the past 3 years or so, ever since I sensed the change at church and that my dad was going to leave TC. However, I never imagined it would be so bad.

Anyway, the people at the church are friendly, or much friendlier than TC. I went early and sat down at the library of the church and the librarians and I started to have a lively chat. It was spontaneous. I felt welcomed.

I realized that it’s hard for the pastors at this church as well. It’s a really mixed group. Andy the pastor was pretty busy. I ate lunch with Pear and Gay. Just three guys. It was cool. The guys are laid back. I was learning more about different people and the church from them.

They made some comments about the pastor who is taking paternity leave why she is not attending church on Sunday. I suggested that she might be going to a church near her place. I was defending her. But I realize the hard standard the pastors face from another side. They also made comments about pastor’s kid when they talk about how one is at church because his father is working at a different church. I made the comment that it’s probably better for the kid, especially during his teen years to stay in one church. I was talking from my own experience. They said PKs often talk like they are special or important. I revealed that I am a PK too, which I kind of regret because they dropped the topic afterwards and I might be better at understanding their views and be the in-between guy.

Part of me hate this, this change I have to make, but I know it’s good for me. It’s just so tiring. I am not really asking for much, I just want to have a regular life, have a regular church life, I am not asking too much. I want to just be part of a Christ-like community to love, nurture and vice versa. I really feel like 7 years of my life was taken away from me because of some short-sighted selfish insecure pigs.

It kind of renewed my vision and passion for PK ministry in Hong Kong.

I end this post with the last speech from Conan O’Brien during his short time at NBC’s Tonight’s Show.