Reflections from the Golden State11 November, 2017
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:
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 the psalmist described as “ascending the hill of the Lord.” Here’s what I discovered once the euphoria faded – Bethel’s name is much bigger than its actual church size! We drove around Redding and noticed there were churches with much larger land size than Bethel.
So what makes Bethel special? I believe it’s because they honour God and His Presence. I caught a glimpse of that through their time of praise and worship during the conference. They sang songs that focused on the promises of God, exalting His character and majesty, His goodness and faithfulness. It wasn’t about them or what they’ve achieved or been through. The worship team were having their own time of worship on stage, singing their hearts out with intensity and passion, not concerned with who was watching them from the floor. You can tell that they mean what they sing. There were no “superstars” except for One.
It gives me faith to believe that a “small town church” can have worldwide influence and global impact. Never underestimate or hide the God-given potential within you. Like they say, “Use it or lose it!”
We did the “touristy thing” and took some pictures in front of Facebook’s famous “Like” icon signage. As we headed back to our car, we noticed that at the back of this iconic signage was the “original” logo of the company whose grounds Facebook had bought over. It was a famous tech company that was bought over by another famous tech company in 2010 (hint). This puzzled us – couldn’t Facebook afford to buy a brand new signage than to recycle the old signage of the previous company?
It was only later that we found out the reason why. Facebook had intentionally left the previous company’s signage there as a reminder to themselves that if they didn’t reinvent continuously, they’d suffer the same ending as this former tech company. Bill Gates from Microsoft gave this famous quote, “In three years, every product my company makes will be obsolete. The only question is whether we will make them obsolete or somebody else will.”
On that note about knowing and changing with times and seasons, 1 Corinthians 15:46 reminds us that “as it is with the natural, the same with the spiritual.” Whenever and wherever we travel, experiencing the many sights and sounds, the buzz and latest happenings, we’re constantly thinking about you – members of Cornerstone. God’s moving, but are you following? Are you in tune with what He’s doing in and around you?
Borrowing a famous line from the award-winning movie “Gladiator”. In the battle scene where General Maximus was leading the Roman soldiers against the enemy, in the heat of the battle, he shouted the command, “Stay with me!” and led the army to victory. Likewise, I felt the Lord saying as our Commander-in-chief, “Stay with Me!”
Stay close to Him as your solid Rock when you go through uncertainties, and be engaged in the exciting things He’s doing in Cornerstone. I understand sometimes it can be tough catching up with what’s happening in a growing church like ours with the many activities and events, and at the same time being a faithful steward to bless the Body of Christ in Singapore and beyond our shores.
Here are some suggestions for us to stay engaged. Don’t miss the weekend services. If you’ve to be away over the weekend, download and listen to the sermons; check out the latest happenings from our website; be involved in a cell group; volunteer and serve actively in a ministry; take the initiative to talk to our pastors, staff and leaders. We’re with you and for you. May your paths drip with abundance (Ps 65:11). Have a golden week ahead!
Pastor Kevin Koh