Sunday, March 26, 2017

CCF: So That You May Know The Mission

Image courtesy of LDS.org
Preaching by: Pastor Jose Philip

Have you ever wondered why no matter how much you accomplished or how much you have you still want more? John Chapter 4 reveals to us how our hearts are wired and how only God can satisfy us.

“It’s strange to be known so universally and yet be so lonely.” — Albert Einstein

“Sometimes I think the only people who stay with me and listen to me are the people I pay.” —Marilyn Monroe

John 4 accounts the longest private conversation between Jesus and another person recorded in the Gospel. Why would Jesus spend so much time with this unnamed woman of questionable character? What does he wants us to learn from this passage?

John tells us that as Jesus performs miracles, his popularity grew and because of this He left Judea and went back to Galilee where He need to pass by Samaria. At the town of Sychar, Jesus met the Samaritan woman and spoke to her.

The God of the Bible is the God who meets us where we are, as we are so that He can take us from where we are to where we should be. No other religion in the world demonstrate this kind of love.

The Samaritan woman was desperate for she came to draw water in the afternoon trying to avoid people because of her reputation. She was also surprised and suspicious to find Jesus speaking to her. As Jesus tells her about the Living water, she was quick to ask for the water so she won’t get thirsty and need to draw water anymore.

“Jesus answered, ‘Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.’ The woman said to him, ‘Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.’” — John 4:13-15

Very often we undermine what God is telling us because we come to Him in desperation and suspicion. Often times our relationship with God is transactional - Just do this for me Lord; Please settle this problem. Then if things does not happen our way, we get disappointed. We get disappointed with the God of our expectations and not with the God of the Scripture. We get disappointed because God becomes less of someone to us and more of something to us.

In verse 21, the woman was frustrated trying to drift away the conversation with Jesus from her real issues. Our desperation can lead us to God but often times we hear from God what we wanted to hear from Him. Desperation can cloud our eyes, because confronting our failures and problem is difficult.

The people in the town was surprised on how Jesus treated the Samaritan woman. While He knew everything about the woman yet He did not condemn her and even offered her the Living water. Similarly, Jesus invested in your life for your own sake. Jesus came while you are sinner. Jesus loves you in spite of your shortcomings.

The Samaritan woman came as a desperate woman, surprised by a stranger, stayed as a frustrated woman, taught by a Prophet and find herself liberated by the Messiah.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come The old has gone, the new is here!” — 2 Corinthians 5:17

If you find yourself frustrated and helpless, cease striving and come to Jesus. Your heart will never be satisfied by what you do. Why are you striving and working for that which will perish?

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. — Matthew 11:28
You will not find your mission until you have been found by the Messiah.

Transcribed by:


Friday, March 10, 2017

Music: For Good

One great collaboration between two powerful belters and musical icons Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth. Definitely one of my favourite track from the award-winning Broadway and West End musical - The untold story of the Witches of Oz - Wicked. In fact if I will to make a song cover(hahaha feeling) this will definite be on top of my list, I just need to find someone who can sing Elphaba's line or solo might also work for me(lol).

Okay back to reality, here's a treat from the original cast members of Wicked. 


"For Good"


[Elphaba:]
I'm limited.
Just look at me.
I'm limited.
And just look at you.
You can do all I couldn't do.
Glinda...
So now it's up to you,
For both of us.
Now it's up to you.


[Glinda:]
I've heard it said,
That people come into our lives
For a reason
Bringing something we must learn.
And we are led to those
Who help us most to grow if we let them.
And we help them in return.
Well, I don't know if I believe that's true
But I know I'm who I am today
Because I knew you.


Like a comet pulled from orbit
As it passes the sun,
Like a stream that meets a boulder
Halfway through the wood.
Who can say if I've been changed for the better
But because I knew you.
I have been changed for good.


[Elphaba:]
It well may be
That we will never meet again
In this lifetime.
So, let me say before we part:
So much of me
Is made of what I learned from you.
You'll be with me
Like a handprint on my heart.
And now whatever way our stories end
I know you have rewritten mine
By being my friend.


Like a ship blown from its mooring
By a wind off the sea.
Like a seed dropped by a sky bird
In a distant wood.
Who can say if I've been changed for the better
But because I knew you...


[Glinda:]
Because I knew you...


[Both:]
I have been changed for good.


[Elphaba:]
And just to clear the air
I ask forgiveness
For the things I've done,
You blame me for.


[Glinda:]
But then I guess,
We know there's blame to share.


[Both:]
And none of it seems to matter anymore.
Like a comet pulled from orbit
(like a ship blown from its mooring)
As it passes the sun.
(by a wind off the sea)
Like a stream that meets a boulder
(like a seed dropped by a bird)
Halfway through the wood.
(in the wood)
Who can say if I've been changed for the better.
I do believe I have been changed for the better.


[Glinda:]
And because I knew you...


[Elphaba:]
Because I knew you...


[Both:]
Because I knew you
I have been changed...
For good.

Credits to youtube channel owner.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Wicked in Singapore

The award-winning Broadway and West End musical "Wicked" graced us last year showing at Mastercard Theatres, Marina Bay Sands Singapore.


***

Wicked has captivated 50 million theatregoers of all ages(including us) and is already one of Broadway and the West Ends's most celebrated and successful musicals of all time.

Wicked also was a winner of 100 international awards including three Tony Awards on Broadway and two Olivier Awards in London's West. Wicked's spectacular stage musical features astounding technical wizardry, stunning costumes and show-stopping songs by the three-time Academy Award winner Stephen Schwartz. [Excerpts from Wicked brochure]

The awards alone qualifies this musical as a must-see show and also one of the reason why I am writing a throwback post for this world class musical. Blog-worthy.

Though we did not brave to take photos during the shows(as it is prohibited), we had our fare share of snaps before the show started. Pardon my rugged clothing as I was suppose to go for a badminton game after the show so didn't bother to dress up 😏 which I later regretted after seeing ladies in their fancy dresses, like its not everyday you get to watch Wicked right? (Next time Girlie!)

The experience was pure euphoria -- from the talented performers, to original songs, to enchanting production and parade of costumes. Best treat you can give to your ears and eyes. Wicked revolves in the theme of finding one's individuality, standing for what you believe and unfolding friendships.

Jacqueline Hughes (Elphaba's) stint of "Defying Gravity" was a front runner act which shows a lot of emotions and chills. Carly Andersen (Galinda I meant Glinda's) "Popular" is a new favourite from added in my playlist. But if there's one track I looked forward to, that is Elphaba's and Glinda's duet "For Good" their farewell piece to each other. The song highlighted friendship, forgiveness and how their lives were changed because of each other. I have to close my eyes to enjoy and savour the live performance that very moment, as if the world stopped for a second. It was surreal feeling to hear one of your favourite song sang live in front of you. Bradley Jaden (Fiyero's) "Dancing Through Life" sticks to my head for some time and so added it in my LSS list.


It was indeed a wicked experience altogether.
Thank you Wicked The Musical for making us a part of this bewitching vocal production.