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, sweet, and such an easy baby to look after. She stole our hearts immediately. 

We had to dust off old skills that had lain dormant for years as changing diapers and night feeds became a regularity in our home again. Our boys chipped in. They learned how to carry and cradle an infant, how to prepare milk, change diapers, and bathe baby Ruth. During the school holidays, they volunteered to do the night feeds. Leaving the house each day became a brand new routine of preparing milk powder, hot water, baby wipes, and lots of spare diapers – things we left behind years ago.

As she grew, we rediscovered the wonder and thrill of a child’s early development. We applauded vigorously when she turned on her own for the first time. We laughed with delight when she finally stood up. It was an incredible milestone when she took her first steps. I was grateful to be able to relive this excitement since our own boys’ achievements in these areas had by now become a vague blur from the distant past. It was like turning back the clock.

Soon, her personality began to shine through. She was determined and yet always looked to us for support. She was unafraid if only we’d hold her hands and be by her side. Her inquisitiveness knew no bounds, and that meant we had to muster enough energy to keep up with her exploratory forays. It made me realise I’m not quite as young as I used to be. She kept a stock of myriad expressions that charmed every one who met her. Let her see or hear something just once, and she could re-enact or regurgitate it to us. When she started to speak, the words flowed endlessly. Words became phrases and soon, sentences came like torrents. She demanded first rights to speak in the family, and effortlessly commanded our attention.

As abruptly as she came in the middle of the night, we handed her off in the same manner on Sunday night. We met our social workers, who had capably managed and helped us over the last two years and, perhaps foremost in their thoughts was if we’d continue as foster parents. So many foster families stop after helping one child because the attachment resulting from extending parental and familial love cannot be so easily shaken off.

We met our community of helpers and support – church members who had come alongside us in more ways that we could’ve imagined. We thanked them and once more, leaned upon them to carry us through our emotional pain through their presence and prayers. We’re deeply cognizant that we couldn’t do what we did had they not lent a helping hand. As they hung around our home, new friendships were forged. In some small way, we hope this has changed them positively and helped them discover the deep reservoir of love that God has placed in all of us.

Finally, we met our three boys – our champions. We thanked them for their willingness to share their parents with others. We thanked them that they rose to the challenge by taking on added responsibilities that other kids their age might not have. We asked them to embrace the pain because loving someone will cost something, just as our Saviour demonstrated to us on the Cross. We reminded them that we’ve chosen not to live for ourselves, but to always extend ourselves to love others.

This weekend, I’ve no Scriptures to share; no three points to expound. All I have is an open wound – painful and agonising. I gaze upon His open wounds. I hear an invitation to embrace love and the pain that comes with it. 

Some lessons cannot be taught except by walking down the same road that Jesus took. What a privilege.

Ps. Lim Lip Yong

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…

The Lord Speaks

I’d like to reiterate on this Resurrection Weekend that Jesus Christ is ALIVE! This is the greatest and best news ever to hit this planet and after 2,000 years, it continues to be most significant. It’s because He’s alive that salvation for mankind is possible. The Son of God came down on earth and paid the cost of sin, and did for us what we couldn’t do for ourselves. There’s no better nor greater news than this. Our eternity is changed because Jesus died for our sins.
 
One of the clearest personal evidence that Christ is alive is that He speaks to us – especially as followers of Christ. And when the Lord speaks and we hear what He’s saying, life is a lot easier to manage and go through. It’s also a lot more fun when read more…

In the Grip of Prayer

I had a very interesting conversation with my wife recently. I shared with her that I was experiencing this strange ‘hollow’ feeling inside of me – it’s like being in this big room all by myself. I don’t feel charged up like I used to after morning devotions. Sometimes it feels like there’s nothing in me to give to others although I’m listening to sermons and praying regularly.

I reflected on my daily routine and asked the Lord to search my heart for any ‘wicked ways’, but nothing significant showed up on my radar. Then my wife said, “Maybe God is changing your ‘spiritual container’ – He’s upgrading you to a bigger one!” Immediately, I had the impression of a 300ml water bottle being filled to the brim with water and the time taken was 5 seconds. I then used read more…

Wrestling with God

Lately, due to my knee injury, I was drawn to study a Bible character who had a limp, and a passage which I found deeply helpful (especially amidst a crisis). It comes from the famous, enigmatic extract in Genesis 32 where Jacob was on his way home to Canaan with his small tribe of wives and children after a 20-year sojourn.

We’re told that Jacob was “very afraid and distressed”, because his estranged brother, Esau was coming to meet him with 400 men (Gen 32:6). This is no welcome party – it’s an army! So, after splitting his household into two camps to try and avoid complete annihilation, the famous scene enacts itself: “Then Jacob was left alone; and a Man wrestled with him until the breaking of day”  (Gen 32: 24). Jacob’s wrestling match has taught me a few lessons. 

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How Much Truth Can We Bear?

Jesus was a master at losing people. If you recall, there was a time when the crowds that followed Him were huge. Many were there because they heard of the miracle of the multiplication of bread and fish so they flocked to Him in the tens of thousands.

Jesus, of course, had no intention of allowing anyone to follow Him just for the benefits they could get. So, He said the most provocative thing in Scripture – “Unless you eat My flesh and drink My blood, you have no life in you.” No explanations were given. No apologies were made. For the majority of the crowd, that was just too much.
 
They came for the free bread and now ‘He’s asking us to be cannibals!?’ So, in just one sermon, He lost almost His entire congregation. As read more…

Radical Prayers of Faith

One of the ‘Uniquely Cornerstone’ core values is embedded in the understanding that the church is called to be God’s House of Prayer. For this very reason, we should pray. It’s therefore not a matter of if we should pray, but when we pray. The result of our prayers should reveal the Kingdom, the power and glory of God.

From Matthew chapters 5 to 7, after Jesus had finished speaking to the multitudes, the people were astonished at His teaching for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. And when Jesus taught them to pray, it was not some heartless command but a result of their witness of His relationship with God, His Father.

The effective, fervent and heartfelt prayer is quite the opposite of lethargic, repetitious, and superficial prayer. While we’re passionate, it’s not read more…

The Blessing of Things Going Wrong

You’ve made all your plans. Everything’s prepared. You double-checked and triple-checked. You committed it all to prayer. You’ve made every effort. Despite all the preparation, something goes wrong. The computer crashes and you lose all your data. Your guest speaker suddenly can’t come. The kids fall terribly ill. All of a sudden, your well-made plans are scuttled and you’re left wondering what on earth went wrong.
 
At this point, you can consider a couple of responses. God forbid but some blame their bad luck. The most natural response, in my opinion, is to point the finger squarely at someone else and, trust me, there’s always someone close enough to the matter to be blamed. Or, attribute the matter to spiritual warfare. The worst of all is to back away from ever attempting something quite as audacious.
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When God Doesn’t Make Sense

February 2019 was an interesting month for me. I received not one – but two – watches. Instinctively, I began to seek its spiritual and prophetic significance as I believe the Lord is saying something to me through this. And so my mind began to run through all the ‘watch-related’ Scriptures for clues.

Is the Lord asking me to ‘watch and pray’ more (Matt 26:41)? Or am I to be ‘His watchman on the wall’ (Isa 62:6)? Maybe it’s about learning to ‘number my days’ (Ps 90:12) or to learn more about moving in ‘times and seasons’ (1 Chron 12:32) like the sons of Issachar, since one was a classic retro-looking watch and the other a modern high-tech watch. Or perhaps the Lord is bringing me into a ‘time of refreshing’ (Acts 3:19)? Or the new watches replacing the old read more…

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