Seize the Moment

In 1989, a movie was released that changed the way many people viewed life. The movie, “Dead Poets Society”, starred Robin Williams, an English teacher who surprised his students by his unorthodox methods of teaching. In the movie, he constantly encouraged his class to “make their lives extraordinary” and he did it by introducing a Latin phrase in our lexicon that would forever become part of the way we speak. The phrase was, “carpe diem”, which simply meant, “seize the day”.

Another year passes by and another comes along. Have we achieved something of significance for the Kingdom? Think about those wasted opportunities, pivotal moments in our lives, and it all boils down to one phrase – “we didn’t seize the moment.”  

Several weeks ago, I was walking in my neighbourhood when I witnessed a commotion. A family had run out of their homes and they seemed to be distraught. There was a ladder with a man on top holding a pole with a net as though he was trying to catch something. The kids were crying, “come back please, come back please.” So, I stopped and asked the grandmother, in broken Mandarin, what was happening? She told me their pet bird had escaped from the cage and it was now perched right at the top of a very tall tree, and her son was trying to catch it. As they were trying to get the bird back, I prayed and said, “Lord, send the bird to me so that I can get it back to the family.”

I thought, what a testimony it’d be for them, if the bird came to me and then I present it back to the family saying, “Jesus Christ returns this bird to you.” The moment I prayed this prayer, the bird swooped down, flew straight at me, just one foot above my head and I could’ve easily put my hands up and caught it. But I didn’t. You know why? Because I wasn’t expecting the Lord to answer my prayer.

I’ve kicked myself over and over again over that moment. It was a “kairos” and I missed it. I didn’t seize the day. So, I asked for forgiveness and told the Lord that if any such an opportunity would arise again, I’d be ready for it. 


Well, a couple of days later, I was invited to attend a neighbourhood committee meeting where a Minister was the guest of honour. My pastors had warned me, “Pastor Yang, this is a community event. Don’t bring up anything political like Israel and Jerusalem.” I told them that I’d certainly behave myself.

Anyways, the meeting was going on well, about the improvements that were going to be made in the neighbourhood when all of a sudden, out of the blue, the Minister in question spoke about why the Singapore Government took a stand to vote for the UN resolution to censure the US and Israel. That was a “bird moment” for me. I could just feel the bird flying over my head and I told myself I had to respond to this. So, I raised my hands, and spoke out and one thing led to another which later led to a discussion about heaven and hell, eternity, what happens to us when we die etc. I was elated at the opportunity to share.

Peter and John were walking to the Temple to pray. They passed by a lame man who was asking for alms. Peter, looking intently into his eyes, perceived faith in the man to be healed. He “seized the moment” and said, “Silver and gold I have none, but that which I have, give I to thee; in the Name of Jesus of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” That lame man stood up, and then proceeded to leap and dance. Now, that’s a notable miracle; a man who had never walked before, now leaping in the air! A huge crowd gathered and the rest is history. 5,000 people got swept into the Kingdom of God.

There are going to be amazing moments this year, that God’s going to orchestrate, which will require courage to just step out and see the miracle of God manifest. Sometimes, all it takes sometimes is just 20 seconds of insane bravery, 20 seconds of amazing courage, and I promise you, something good will come out of it. Will we play it safe or will we seize the day, and see what God can do.

 

Pastor Yang Tuck Yoong

3 Regrets of Life

A well-known sociologist shared about a sociological study in which 50 people over the age of 90 were asked one question: “If you could live your life all over again, what would you do differently?” It was an open-ended question, and a wide range of answers came from these senior citizens. However, three answers constantly re-emerged and dominated the results of the study. They reflected the heartfelt regrets of these senior citizens who had very little time and energy left to do what they wished they could’ve done better. And neither could they turn back the clock.

Experience is going through life on your own, but wisdom is learning from someone else’s experience. Let’s take a look at these three areas briefly and glean some wisdom from them as these are keys to living a fruitful and read more…

Ready? Set? Go!

How was 2017 for you? It’s that time of the year again where we look back and lament about how quickly another year has gone by and perhaps sit down and make some new resolutions for the new year. For one thing, some people are so tired of making new resolutions that they’ve altogether decided to go on with life as is and coast along into another year.

I want to give us a few things to consider on this last weekend of 2017 and I pray that it’ll be helpful for you in making 2018 a much better year ahead.

1. God-designed Cycles
Another 12 months, another year, the earth has orbited around the sun one more time. This is not some cynical declaration of how everything is vain. Instead, if we read more…

Messengers of Hope

Jeremiah 29:11 tells us that God has a good plan for our lives – “to give us a future and a HOPE.”

God of Hope

God is “the God of Hope” and He wants to “fill you with all joy and peace in believing (through the experience of your faith) that by the power of the Holy Spirit you will abound in hope and overflow with confidence in His promises” (Rom 15:13). With God, it’s never too late to start believing, anticipating, hoping and expecting.

Power of Hope

What I find fascinating about Hannukah, the Jewish festival of lights celebrated at this time of the year, is the power of a hope-filled people. Zerubbabel, the Persian governor of occupied Judea, had laid the foundation and rebuilt the Temple of God in Jerusalem. read more…

Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem

The 6th of December 2017 will go down in history as that day when Jerusalem was once again recognised as the capital city of Israel as it was in the days of King David. It was in Jerusalem where King David sought in his heart to build God a house. The temple was completed by King Solomon in seven years, 480 years after Israel came out of Egypt. God calls Jerusalem, “the city which I have chosen for Myself, to put My name there” (1 Kings 11:36b). Jesus Himself will return and stand on the Mount of Olives which faces Jerusalem on the east. Are we approaching the days spoken of by the prophet Zechariah?

President Donald Trump sent the nations reeling when he announced that Jerusalem will be recognised as the capital of the State of read more…

A Family Affair

One does not have to look too hard in Scripture to find the value that God places upon the family. The last few verses of the Old Testament speaks of the restoring of relationships among fathers to the children. The close of the Church Age features the Lord as the Bridegroom being joined with His Bride (Church).

It’s in satan’s interest to divide and conquer through any means possible so as to thwart the purposes of God. It’s true; a house divided will not stand. How does Cornerstone measure up when examined as a family? Do we appropriate the Biblical values of family within the church and the overall Body of Christ? Perhaps two recent events will help to bring perspective to this important subject.

The recently-concluded FOPx meetings featured a gathering of read more…

A Bumper Year

This year was certainly a bumper year for conferences in Cornerstone. Apart from our flagship Kingdom Invasion Conference in March, we also had the hugely-successful Kingdom Wealth Conference, our CORE Media Conference, and most recently, our FOPx Conference. And finally in December, we’ll be hosting our first Kingdom Invasion Kids Conference. The buy-in and support has been nothing short of phenomenal.

We’re closing our registrations for KI Kids because we’ve maxed out. Our CORE Conference saw more than double what we had estimated earlier and FOPx, which Cornerstone is leading charge of, is becoming the go-to conference for young people in the nation. Over 83 youth ministries participated. This is in addition to our Family Church Camp, which is a big event, our Leaders Advance and the many cluster retreats. So yeah, this has been a read more…

Time to Go Forth!

As the school holiday season approaches, we’re expecting many of our church members and families to be travelling overseas for well-deserved year-end holidays or mission trips. Pastor Yang often said that we measure a church’s strength, not by its seating capacity but by its sending capacity. From now until the end of the year, there’ll be a sending forth of 24 Courier teams comprising 234 Cornerstonians to the mission fields in 7 different countries. This is a season “when kings go off to war” (1 Sam 11:1).

Encounter God’s Heart 

Our God is big and He cares about the nations. He’s a global God and His ultimate goal is to gather a family that represents “every tribe and tongue and people and nation” (Rev 5:9). When you step into a foreign mission field, you’ll sense God’s amazing compassion for another culture read more…

Reflections from the Golden State

A small team of us have just returned from a trip to the US in the golden state of California. What an amazing trip it was! Definitely worth the long hours in the plane and feeling jet-lagged. We were there to attend a conference at Bethel Church in Redding at the invitation of Pastor Bill Johnson. Whilst there, we also managed to take some time out to meet with some key leaders and visited some of the most iconic companies in the Silicon Valley. Allow me to share two of my personal reflections from the trip:

#WhatMadeBethelSpecial?

There was a sense of excitement in me as the car approached the foot of the hill, having heard much about Bethel Church and finally being there in person. Driving up the slope reminded me of Psalm 24:3-5, which read more…

Who’s Not An Imposter?

Is there anyone good at being an imposter? Putting forward an image that you really are not or filling up a position that you know you’re not qualified for. Maybe we’re being a little too harsh on ourselves, but if we’ve ever struggled with a less-than-qualified psyche, then you’ll know what I’m talking about.

I’ve a little confession to make. Last week I spoke passionately about raising kids. I share different things that we need to pass on to our children and how we can do those things. At the end of the services on Sunday, I went home and over a small matter, blew up at one of my boys. I’ll spare you the trivial details because it was trivial. The blow up was epic though. The end result, I felt horrid. I felt unqualified, hollow, read more…

A Mustard Seed Grown

It’s amazing how when I look back at some of the most significant things that have taken place in my life, that it always begins with a “mustard seed”. In fact, at the time when these “mustard seed moments” occur, they seem almost coincidental and so easy to miss. This last week, we were in Islamabad, Pakistan where we did our Kingdom Invasion Conference. We had an absolutely amazing time and we all felt the significance of the event in releasing something afresh in the nation of Pakistan. Yet when I think back to how it all started, I see random events. I see “mustard seed moments” where we couldn’t have anticipated what it would result in today.

It was about 12 years ago, when we had a small team go up to Chiang Mai in read more…

A Sign and Wonder in Our Midst (Part 2)

If you’ve not read Pastor Lip’s write-up last weekend (13 Oct 2017 – http://www.cscc.org.sg/pastors-blog/a-sign-and-wonder-in-our-midst), I want to encourage you to have a read. It’s liberating and very apt especially for the times we’re living in. Towards the end of his article, he gave some solid biblical life values which when applied in your life, will not only bless you, but also positively change your marriage and children.

Riding on that write-up, I want to give you another side of Pastor Andrew Yeo which many don’t get to see, much like a “behind-the-scenes” peek into his life. While we now know of the many achievements and great exploits which God has accomplished through him, I’m also privileged to see the transforming power of God’s Word manifested through a surrendered life. This will answer some of your queries like, read more…

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