The House That Built Me

Over 10 years ago, we planted a tiny plant in our garden, slightly more than a foot tall, not knowing that one day, that tiny plant would grow into an imposing, gigantic tree that would dominate our entire garden and even the street we’re on.
 
It’s now grown to well over 60 feet, but it hasn’t come without a cost. The roots of the tree now spread threateningly all over the garden, absorbing much of the nutrients, and the whole area around it is just sandy. No grass seems to be able to grow, because it cannot compete. So, really, the tree has been able to rise but only at the expense of the rest of the other plants in the garden. 
 
My point? There’s no such thing in the Kingdom of God as a self-made man. People don’t just rise from nothing. Yes, it’s true, we owe something to parentage and patronage. But it’s by asking where people come from that we’ll unravel the mystery behind who actually succeeds and who doesn’t. We’re, after all, the house that built us.
 
We’re all beneficiaries of our environment – it’s our environment that shapes us. The tallest oak tree in the forest is not the tallest because it grew from the best or hardiest acorn. It’s the tallest because no other tree blocked its sunlight. It’s the tallest because the soil around it was rich and deep, no rabbit chewed on it as a sapling, or no lumberjack cut it down before it matured. 
 
It’s not just the fact that you come from good stock. It’s about the forests in which you grew up in. Think about it: why do we fight so hard to get our kids into the top schools? It’s because the nurturing and the atmosphere is different. The teachers, the motivation, the pursuit of excellence, the facilities, the quality of students themselves. That whole combo, the atmosphere, that’s what produces the brightest students. It’s like the Greenhouse Effect. If you can create a greenhouse effect in the church, then get ready for super growth to take place.
 
We’ve a saying in Cornerstone: ‘We have the same father, but we all don’t have the same mothers.’ ‘Mothers’ here of course refer to our nurturing, our mentoring, our upbringing, our pedigree. All of us have been nurtured differently. But you need to be part of a church that’s your tribe. Your vibe attracts your tribe. It’s very important where we’re planted because that will affect our eternal inheritance.
 
Now, when you’re talking about a house, you’re talking about family. You’re talking about community. And when you’re in a community, the needs and priorities of the community supersedes that of the individual. Yes, the individual is important. But the needs of the community is always placed before the individual in Scripture and anytime, anyone tries to elevate his position or his agenda above that of the community, there are dire consequences. 
 
We all remember Ananias and Sapphira. What they were doing was actually going to set back the community. It was like the sin of Achan. And God wasn’t going to let that happen. There are some things, if left unchecked, that can actually start affecting the overall well-being of the entire community of God.
 
Your tribe also gives you an idea of what you’re really like. Because according to what you want in life, God will join you to the same kind of people. In a sense, you get a church that you deserve. 
 
From my years of experience, I can tell you one thing with certainty: whenever someone from another church joins the congregation, unless the Holy Spirit baptises him into the vision, the ethos and pathos of the church, he’ll eventually stick out like a sore thumb. He’ll try and fit in, but can’t. But we’ve also witnessed in the last 30 years that there are people who walk into the church for the first time and say, “This is home. This is where I belong.” 
 
It’s a supernatural thing. God joins people to the Body and it’s a perfect fit. When one of our current pastors first stepped into this church, the Holy Spirit said to him, “Welcome home.” He was a piece of jigsaw that fitted perfectly into the puzzle.
 
Vision has to be birthed in our hearts and the only person who can do that is the Holy Spirit. He’s the One who joins people to the congregation. He’s the One who fits the living stones into their proper placement in the building. I’ve also discovered that it’s not just the pastor who’s handpicked for the church; the congregation is handpicked for the pastor. 
 
Each one of you who is born in this house, or who has been born into this house, is joined to the vision that God has given to me. We’re on a journey together and there are very few things in the world I can think of that’s greater than the privilege of being joined by the Spirit of God to an eternal purpose. 
 
For those of us who can say, “Cornerstone is my home”, it’s a precious thing. We’re living in a day where many Christians are looking for a church home but cannot find one, because it’s not just a matter of attending church; it’s a matter of being part of the Body of Christ. This is called the gift of HOME and I’m thankful for the house that built me.


Ps. Yang Tuck Yoong

Community Is Life-Giving

We set aside each July to focus on life as a community as part of our church journey. And when we belong to the cell community, we can walk this journey out.

Community is life-giving and Scripture exhorts us that we’re better together than alone. Hebrews 10:24-25 says, ‘And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.’

This idea of community develops from the sense of responsibility we have for one another and we’re encouraged to take care of our brethren while following the Word of the Lord. God created us to desire companionship and we do better when we have someone to love, serve with, have fun read more…

Are You Stupid?

There’s a word that’s banned in our family. Actually there are lots of words that are disallowed in our home – profanities, rude language, angry vituperation, and the list goes on.

Essentially, that’s what you get when you’ve three boys in the home. Still, my wife, Wendy, hates it when we use the word ‘stupid’ on one another. I agree, we don’t use the word for its literary value, but more as a means to hurt one another.
 
But, guess what, the Bible uses the word ‘stupid’! If you haven’t read Proverbs recently, it’s time to make it one of your regular reads. After all, the whole book is about wisdom and, if there’s something we desperately need in all our lives, it’s more wisdom.

The word actually appears three times in the Bible, read more…

What About You, Daddy?

Four Sundays ago, on 26 May 2019, after I had served at the last service for the weekend and sent off some guests who were in town, I went to pick up my little boy, David, from the Children’s Church office as he had stayed back to play with his friends while waiting for me.

We came back to my desk and it was already 2.15pm. I was hungry and remembered I had a hot dog which was meant to be my breakfast. As I was about to bite into the bun, I suddenly remembered that my wife had texted me earlier to settle David’s lunch. So I offered him the bun.

What he did next touched my heart deeply. He asked me as he held the hot dog in his tiny hand and pushed it towards me, “What about read more…

The Promise of The Father

One of the biggest highlights of the church calendar is our Annual Family Camp. It’s probably the one event that we look forward to more than any other each year. We had an overwhelming response with more than 1,000 campers travelling up to Melaka for a 4-day convocation. In my opinion, this year’s camp is probably one of the best we’ve ever had as we grow from glory to glory.

Through the speakers, there was a deeper revelation of the spiritual realm and the things of God (1 Cor 2:9). Incidentally, the camp was held between Pentecost Sunday and Father’s Day Weekend. During the week, I was intrigued by the occurrence of a particular phrase that may not be altogether inappropriate for our consideration since it’s Father’s Day this weekend. It’s the phrase ‘The Promise of the Father.’

So the read more…

Send The Spirit Now, For Jesus’ Sake

BLESS WALES was a transformational event that went beyond our wildest expectations. After months of praying, planning, meetings, and interacting with pastors in Wales, it culminated in three days of power encounters that revitalised many Christians in Wales.

Organised by the Bible College of Wales, in conjunction with partner churches in Wales and Cornerstone Singapore, the conference featured powerful speakers such as Ben Fitzgerald and Dr. Sam Matthews. We knew things were going to be different after the first night, which really was epic – and I don’t say that lightly.

Ben Fitzgerald was up on the pulpit to speak but, even before he could get into his message, the Holy Spirit took over and wave after wave of worship, intercession, and prophecy just flowed from the congregation, and the whole meeting took a life on its own. And it read more…

God is Enough!

The last 6 days from Saturday, 25th May, have been incredible. It was 4 years ago on this day, after 18 months of restoration and decorating works, that we re-opened and dedicated the Bible College of Wales in Swansea. On this same day last Saturday, we held our first BCW-School of Ministry Alumni gathering. It was a most unforgettable celebration and a precious time of intercession for Wales and the nations by the alumni. Praise God for the fire that is burning strong in all of their hearts, with the Holy Spirit leading the way.

Moving from this glorious time to the next, was the astounding ‘Bless Wales’ Conference in Swansea. God was among us and His presence was awesome. Something significant lifted off as many testified of God blowing away the grey shroud that covered Wales, of old wells read more…

What Fostering Means To Me

The last few weeks have been an emotional roller coaster for us. It all culminated over the weekend as our foster care term came to an end, and we bade farewell to our foster daughter. It was a teary event as we handed our foster child, who had been with us the last two years, back to her parents. As we try to settle back to a family of five, the absence of the laughter and cries of our 2-yr-old reverberates like a jarring silence in the walls of our home. It’s not been easy and the sense of loss is felt all too keenly.

Little Ruth (not her real name) came to us in the middle of the night. Escorted by two officers from the government, she landed in our laps at just 4 months old. She was adorable, read more…

He Who Is Forgiven Much, Loves Much

The verse in Luke 7:47 baffles me. There, Jesus said, “Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.”

Does it mean that only those with many sins and have been forgiven are able to love God deeply? And those whose lives are not so messed up will not be able to express and experience that deep love for God? I don’t think that’s what Jesus meant. To me, this verse seems like an invitation to those who are hungry to search out the hidden and deeper truths of God.

It reminds me of the ‘Super Lemon’ sweet, which is very sour on the outside but sweet on the inside. To get to the sweet part, you’ve to endure the initial sourness in read more…

The Gift of Tears

The Bible tells us God actually collects tears in a bottle. He knows what you’re going through and He cares about you so very much. He knows every thought and ache you have in your heart, and all your heart’s desires.

Psalm 56:8 says, “You have collected all my tears in Your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.” This shows me that, not only does God capture every single tear you’ve cried, but He keeps track of what made you cry and what breaks your heart so that He can heal and comfort you.

Repeatedly in the Bible, figures of great strength and faith pour out their souls in tears and anguish. Two-thirds of the psalms are laments, complaints to God. Jeremiah, the weeping prophet, wrote an entire Old Testament book entitled Lamentations. As did Isaiah and read more…

The Pool of Bethesda

Since the start of the year, we’ve seen a dramatic spike in the number of healings in Cornerstone, some of which are very notable. When a person scheduled for surgery gets it cancelled because the doctors cannot find what was wrong before, that’s a significant miracle. 

3rd or 4th stage cancers almost used to be a death sentence, but no longer. Faith is rising and people are starting to understand that nothing is impossible for God. There’s nothing that God cannot do. When we use words like ‘incurable’ today to describe diseases, we’re diminishing God’s power. We ought to banish that word in church. If you use the word ‘incurable’, you’ve just made the sickness greater than God – there’s no impossible situation that God cannot reverse.
 
A prophet wrote to me about a vision he saw: read more…

Hope in God

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is more than an event. This resurrection power that brought Jesus from death to life releases an amazing hope to transform lives, both now and in the future. This resurrection power is available to us and releases a hope to expect great things from God. It’s not only a desire for the good outcome; there’s a confident expectation it’ll happen because, “It is finished!” (John 19:30).

Hope can mean the difference between hanging on and giving up. It can mean keeping a positive mind when the physical evidence compels you to give up. It can involve an estimation of probabilities, not knowing what the odds are. It’s the voice in your head that says, “You can do this”. It’s this attitude of ignorance, coupled with defiance, but still choosing to ‘hope against hope’, beating the read more…

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