Antidotes to Stress

I’ve just returned from a personal retreat in Wales two weeks ago and it’s been a life-changing and mountain-top experience for me. As Singaporeans, our quality of life has never been better, yet stress has never been more epidemic.

When I refer to stress here, I’m talking about “bad stress”. Bad stress can also be termed as distress, and manifests itself in chronic or ongoing distress that begins to hinder your everyday life and stops you from completing tasks that you need to undertake. This particular type of stress, if not relieved, can be extremely detrimental to your physical and mental health. 

Man was simply not fashioned to carry pressures, stress, anxieties, and worries; which is why the body breaks down when it undergoes these negative influ­ences for too long. We may be able to manage it for a while, but eventually the physical body and mind will begin to collapse under this type of perpetual pressure. In fact, the medical world has confirmed that the major cause of sickness in the Western Hemisphere is stress and pressure. The World Health Organization calculates that depression is on the way to becoming the world’s second-most disabling disease in the next decade.

As sons and daughters of God, our Heavenly Father gives us this assuring promise in 1 Peter 5:7 (AMP), “Casting the whole of your care (all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all) on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.” The word “casting” used in 1 Peter 5:7 was the Greek word “epiripto”, a com­pound of the words “epi” and “ripto”. The word “epi” means “upon, as on top of something.” The word “ripto” means “to hurl, to throw, or to cast, and it often means to violently throw or to fling something with great force.” Because of the Greek words used in 1 Peter 5:7, this verse carries the following idea:

“Take that heavy burden, difficulty, or challenge you’re carrying – the one that has arisen due to circumstances that have created hardship and struggles in your life – and fling those worries and anxieties over onto the back of the Lord! Let Him carry them for you. The Lord is extremely interested in every facet of your life and is genuinely concerned about your welfare.” – Rick Renner, “Sparkling Gems from the Greek” 

Finally, I want to present you with a few practical solutions in overcoming stress, taken from the book “The Virgin Eye: Towards a Contemplative View of Life” written by Robin Daniels. This book was given to me as a gift by Pastor Roy Godwin, during my visit to Ffald y Brenin. I can’t put the book down, even as I’m fighting to maintain the rhythm of prayer and peace of mind back in Singapore. Hope these keys will help and bless you too. Take a deep breath as you read this slowly:
 
1. Prayer
What will fundamentally ease the strain of all this restlessness? No cure for a stressful and hectic lifestyle is more efficacious than prayer. Ring-fence time for yourself every day to retire within. 

2. Nature
The second antidote to stress is the healing effect of nature. Closeness to nature can profoundly affect our pace, our view of time, our expectations, and even our endurance of pain or difficulty. Are we listening to her personal messages? Love of nature and respect for the environment gives us a sense of belonging.

3. Finding Your Vocation
The third solution (which flows from prayer) is to find your vocation. The true bottom line is not how much I earn, but the quality and range of my life – inner and outer. No sum of money can compensate, no level of prestige can ever begin to satisfy, if you’re not doing your life’s creative fulfilling wish: not what the marketplace necessarily prizes, but what’s authentically yours, true to your own voice and vision. Be mindful of God’s hope in you. Yours is a corner of His Kingdom which can be filled only by you. 

To find our destined direction (at least for this stage of our life), we need to listen deeply to every prompting from our psyche, and read (using our peripheral vision) the symbols – of dreams and our surroundings – that keep speaking to us. When you’re faithful to your God-givenness; when you think, work, speak, behave and love, with and from your integrity, then every project and relationship is infused with power, drive and stamina far stronger than your own. Service and vocational work are His holy love made visible and tangible.

What or who do you ache for? Do you dare to seek what your heart longs for?

 

Pastor Timothy Chong

A Holy Spirit Alliance

Over the past five years, both Pastor Dominic Yeo, Senior Pastor of Trinity Christian Centre, and myself, have been in conversation, on and off, about forming an alliance of churches where pastors are able to connect with one another, seek assistance and support, and find a network of other pastors who will truly care. We saw lots of pastors struggling, in need of assistance, in need of fellowship and we knew we had to do something about it.

This crystallised in 2015, when both the AG Churches and the FOP Churches collaborated on a conference called “FRESH FIRE”, with Rev. Samuel Rodriguez as our keynote speaker. It was at that conference where a prophetic word was released over both Ps. Dominic and myself, and over the alliance, that this is something birthed of God. From that read more…

Remember the Egg

Before I draw a parallel between humility and the humble egg, here are some fun facts especially for egg lovers. Unlike most cereals and yogurts, eggs contain only one ingredient – “eggs.” They don’t contain any sugar nor carbohydrates. And at only 15 to 25 cents each, they’re the least expensive source of high quality protein that’s also low in calorie and rich in nutrients. Okay, now for the analogy:

“If an egg is broken by an outside force, life ends. If an egg is broken by an inside force, life begins. Great things happen from the inside.”

Being broken before the Lord is the first step towards greatness. Jesus said, “The Kingdom is within you” (Luke 17:21) and one manifestation of the Kingdom is humility. Here are some thoughts on humility.

1. Without Humility, there’s no Progression.
The read more…

My Peace I Give To You!

In the last week, Christians all over the world celebrated the Passover and the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Greetings of “peace be with you” were exchanged. What does His death on the Cross for our sins and His resurrection to life mean?

In the Bible, peace is expressed as a fruit of the Holy Spirit (Gal 5:22). It’s also one of the many titles of God (Isa 9:6); a manifestation of the Kingdom of God (Rom 14:17); a position which we’re to continually exercise and maintain (Rom 12:18); and peace shall be evident in the latter glory of the temple (Hag 2:9).This list is by no means exhaustive. The KJV Bible has 429 Scriptures with the word “peace”. It’s found 397 times in the NKJV, 360 times in the NASU and 275 times in the Complete Jewish Bible.

What is read more…

A Living Hope

On 24 March 2018, the Singapore Church was rocked by the shocking news of Ps. Rick Seaward’s sudden passing. He had met with a fatal car accident while he was in Brazil for a regional missions conference. For those of you who might not know him, Ps. Rick was the founder of Victory Family Centre (then known as Calvary Charismatic Centre) in 1977. Under his leadership, Victory Family Centre was raised to become a missions-sending force, which to date, has planted over 10,000 churches in over 90 nations.

Ps. Seaward was renowned for his revolutionary strategies in planting churches. He was a spiritual father to many, and dedicated his life to raising disciples and leaders who would have the same heart and vision for missions. While we take heart that he has entered into his glorious inheritance in heaven, we read more…

Kingdom Invasion 2018

One of the highlights on our annual calendar has to be the Kingdom Invasion Conference. We just concluded what was one of our most eventful conferences and here’s a brief recap of what we saw this year:

This is the 6th year of the conference, and in total, we had almost 4,000 day registrants; and close to 900 overseas delegates hailing from 47 countries – the highest count in a single KI Conference! Over four nights, we prayed for 1,465 people during the “Prayer for Healing” segment and recorded 207 healings. We also witnessed 229 individuals responding to the calls for salvation and re-dedication during the final two night meetings. 

But these are not just numbers. They represent individual lives that were impacted. Here are a few testimonies from the hundreds we received:

A young lady, who was born with read more…

Liquid Prayer

The setting of the recent funeral service of Rev. Billy Graham held on 2 March 2018 on the grounds of the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, North Carolina, typified a “Billy Graham Crusade” back in 1949. The crusade made the news headlines and from that time forward, Billy Graham became known as “America’s Pastor” and “Pastor to Presidents”. Diverse crowd of thousands gathered under a massive tent; with a grand choir of voices; and the preaching of the Gospel. The many famous faces in attendance at his funeral testified that Rev. Graham could seamlessly “toggle between the rich and powerful and the poor and downtrodden.”

This reminded me of another person whose life had also impacted me. When he died, 150,000 people lined up the streets when his casket passed by. About 40,000 people, including Queen Mary read more…

For Such A Time As This

It’s been an eventful week where the Jewish people celebrated the Feast of Purim from Feb 28 – Mar 1. The Feast commemorates the salvation of the Jews in ancient Persia when Haman plotted to annihilate all Jews consisting of young and old in a single day, as recorded in the Megillah (book of Esther). In addition to the miracle of Jewish survival, Purim denotes God’s intimate involvement in all aspects of this world.

Even though there were no overt miracles recorded in the Megillah, God was actively behind the scene — though His name was never mentioned, we gain great comfort in knowing that God is in control of His creation. To read the book of Esther as a historical account of a long-dead king and his queens is to miss a wonderful truth. In fact, there are present truths read more…

The Companions Of Our Life

Life’s journey would be impossible without the people that God sends into our lives. As I look back at almost 17 years in full-time ministry and 31 years as a Christian, I’m who I am today because of all the people whom God placed in my life. By this, I mean ALL – including those I’d rather not have around me. To make sense of all the jumble of thoughts running through my head, let me boil it down to a few pointers.

1. Don’t overestimate yourself

A few weeks ago, I felt the Lord show me clearly that the grace over my life is there because of my connection to Pastor Yang and various other people God had placed around me.

It’d be a fallacy to think that I read more…

Business Not As Usual

In a business forum several years ago, Singaporean technopreneur and founder of Creative Technologies, Mr. Sim Wong Hoo, was asked a question on why Singapore didn’t produce that many entrepreneurs and technopreneurs like himself. He replied candidly by introducing this phrase called, “No U-turn Syndrome” or “NUTS” in short.

He used the “U-turn” road sign as an analogy to contrast how people were wired up in Singapore and in the United States. In Singapore, when drivers wanted to make a U-turn, they looked for a U-turn sign to make a U-turn, whereas in the United States, drivers made their own judgement call and did a U-turn anywhere along the road unless there was a sign that said “No U-turn”. Mr. Sim explained that this subtle difference was perhaps what inhibited the creativity and initiative of Singaporeans back read more…

Pulling Tomorrow Into Today

If God lets you see future promises, it’s because He wants to hook you and cause you to hunger for them. It’s through a desperate heart that you’re able to bring the fulfilment of those promises into your day. Contending shapes us and makes us capable of carrying more than we’ve ever been able before. All the promises God reveals to us will be realised in time, but the acceleration of events can be determined largely by the desperation and cries of His people.

Occupy and advance!


Regardless of how and when you believe we’re going to be taken to heaven, we must rid ourselves of the idea that Jesus is coming to rescue His Church. It has put the Church into a defensive posture of occupation to protect what we have, instead of positioning read more…

Resolute – A Word That’s Ringing

Resolute. This word has been ringing over the last few weeks and I believe is a word in season. This word is characterised by determination, to be firmly resolved and set in purpose. A comparative word will be steadfast, to be unwavering and fixed in direction.

To stay focused isn’t always easy, as there are events and circumstances that will come along to keep us off task. There’s a need to awaken our spirit to our life’s mission and to a purpose bigger than who we are. So how do we stay on this quest?

As a people, we’re contending for the prophetic release of the Antioch call given by Evangelist Billy Graham in 1978 and the cyclical review of Singapore. Can we see from Scripture that this call is tied to the land read more…

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