The first group of exiled Jews (led by Zerubbabel governor of Judah, and Joshua the high priest) answered the call of God and returned to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple and the land. They managed to lay the foundation of the temple but stopped the work for 15 years due to various problems and opposition. Then came Haggai with the Word of the Lord rebuking the leaders and the people for forsaking their initial calling and God’s work (Haggai 1:1—3). The returnees were happily living in their cieled houses (cieled houses = roofed houses of which only royalties were able to afford at the period of time) while the house of the Lord laid in waste (Haggai 1:4).

“Consider your ways” was the call from God to them and to us too. Is it true for us that we are thinking “the time is not come, the time that the LORD’S house should be built”? Is it true that the Lord’s house, the church itself, should not be built? Is it true that we have left the work of the Lord and went to enjoy our own “cieled houses”? If it is true, we have not put God first in our lives but have put down our plough to relax and enjoy ourselves. “Have we sown much, and bring in little; ate, but have not enough; drank, but are not filled with drink; clothed ourselves, but there is none warm; earned wages that was into bag with holes” (Haggai 1:6)? If it is so, it is because we have left the house of the Lord desolate, causing us to be unable to truly enjoy our “cieled houses”.

God said, Come now and again consider your ways (Haggai 1:7).“Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the LORD” (Haggai 1:8).

Let us go up to the “mountains” to seek the “wood” needed to build the house. Let us find out more about the needs of the Church; then not just finding out and learning about the needs but let us really get down and dirty to put our hands on the plough, serving the Lord. Go and find out what the areas of service you can help out are, so that the Lord’s house, God’s Church, can be built up. Come and attend Church prayer meeting to pray and labour for the Church, entreating the Lord to enable the Church to serve and to bless the work, that the Lord will take pleasure in our service and that He will be glorified. Come and attend the Sunday School to learn about more from the Bible, to know more about God so that we can better serve Him.

Brethren, there is much work to be done. Each one of us is needed to help and carry on this immense work of building God’s house that God has called us to continue in. Let us put God first and continue in the work of the Lord.

Striving to continue in the work of the Lord,
Deacon Nick

I is for Indeed, It’s Interesting I’m an Introducer…

I thank God of saving me from the worst moment of my life when I first had a nervous breakdown in April 1988. I thought then that my future was bleak as I had ended an overseas bachelor degree course at Acadia University, prematurely and I was carrying a mental illness too.

By God’s grace, I was rescued from the dumps by being given a good job as a Lab Technologist in NUS and, by a twist of providence, was able to complete my bachelor degree after doing distance learning and then a short stint at Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada from December 1993 to May 1994.

I have much problem with dealing with work as I am very forgetful and a very slow learner. There were many times when I wondered if I would be sacked from my job for poor performance. It was with this worry in my mind that I decided to run for elections for the NUS Staff Union Branch of AUPE. I was elected into the branch committee from 2001.

In April 2006, Education Services Union was formed and NUS Staff Union Branch left AUPE to be part of ESU. It was then I took an active part in recruiting members through the monthly Orientation Talk organised by the Office of Human Resources of NUS for the Non-academic staff who newly joined NUS.

From that time, I was involved in doing presentation to recruit members. I did ok and could recruit about 3 to 4 members each time out of about 15 participants. That continued until I decided to take a few months break. In June 2008, I returned to conduct the talk and have not looked back. I was able to recruit at least 50% of the participants and on a couple of occasions, 90% ever since.

I stunned everyone by exceeding expectation. Spurred on by being the ESU Top Recruiter for 2007, my strong performance also saw me getting the 2008 award by a huge margin. The 2009 award is still pending but I am a leading contender.

God is very gracious. Never in my wildest dream have I ever thought that I could win awards. But I was top recruiter at least twice and the biggest moment of my life came when I was nominated for the Union Branch Officer Recognition Award. Just yesterday (2 June 2010), it was announced that I had clinched the award and would be going to Hong Kong from 26 June to 29 June 2010 for a learning journey.

How was it possible, I would have asked many years ago. But ever since I became a Christian in October 2000, God has blessed me in many special ways. He has slowly given me back the confidence that I had lost due to my Bi-polar disorder. Today, I am still on medication for this disorder but it has proven that with God, the sky is the limit. As it is with God, it is proven, miracles do happen.

Brother Yao Ho