An Open Letter to Heart of God Church – Part 4

This is the final part of An Open Letter to Heart of God Church. Read Parts 1, 2 and 3 first if you haven’t.

Clueless. I think that is how I would describe myself from 8 years ago. Other than being remotely skilled in playing computer games & the guitar, and knowing how to study, I don’t think I knew much about anything else. It never crossed my mind that I was gifted, even though God has blessed each and every single one of us with unique talents.

I was just an ordinary boy, but in Heart of God Church, I was given countless opportunities to discover my gifts and be trained in my abilities. When I was 17 years-old, I joined the Videos Ministry. I had 100% interest in making videos and 0% skills to properly do so. Yet instead of being placed somewhere else where I could serve immediately, I was trained from scratch by the leaders and more experienced crew in the ministry.

From knowing nothing about Photoshop, After Effects & Premiere Pro, I went on to be part of big video productions in church. And that is only one example of how people invested their time, energy and heart in me. If I were to describe every little and big thing they did just to encourage me and build me, this open letter will never end.

I never saw myself as someone who can be creative and bold or even as someone who can make a difference in people’s lives. But my pastors and leaders saw beyond the young kid I was and believed in me. Even as I grew older (and am still ordinary), they continued believing in my dreams.

That is why today, I can do the things I do – making videos, writing, giving Bible study lessons, preaching in Connect Groups, and just leading people closer to God in general. If God had not led me to Heart of God Church, where Pastor How & Pastor Lia have built an entire culture around “making the dreams of others come true” and “using the church to build people”, I would never have known I could do all those things or make an impact in the lives of others.

I really believe that is why Christians should always worship God and honor their pastors and leaders. God deserves our worship, and He is the only one worthy of it; there is no being in this universe stronger, higher, greater than Him, yet He cares for us so much to engineer circumstances where we can meet and have a relationship with Him. We should also honor Him in all areas of our lives. As for our pastors – while we do not worship men, we certainly should give them honor.

Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine.

1 Timothy 5:17 (NKJV)

It is a biblical principle we ought to apply in our lives. More than just preaching to us on stage, my pastors have spent two decades building the church and people off stage. In fact, Pastor How & Pastor Lia did so for 21 years without a real, proper sabbatical. I think the least we can do is honor people like them, who are not just pastors but spiritual parents to us.

That is the main reason why I wrote this open letter. It is to honor the God, the church and the people who have changed my life so much. More than just being equipped with multiple skills, I am more grateful for having grown in my character and my heart. Because to me, that is what it means to become Christians. That is what following Christ and being His children means.

What it means to Become

Becoming a Christian is less about being skilled and multi-talented, and more about having great character. Of course, we can and should have both character and abilities so that we can serve God excellently. But being a part of Heart of God Church and seeing how my pastors lead people has taught me what it truly means to become. At the end of the day, if my pastors or leaders had to make an ultimate choice between building a person’s character or abilities – character will always come first. It is simply more important. When our character is at the right place, everything else (our abilities, skills, talents) will fall into place.

I love my friends at Heart of God Church so much because they are people of great talents, and people of even greater character. They have what I would describe as both “the hands & the heart of ministry.” People do not see Christ in us just by our charisma alone. They see Christ in our character. Who cares if we are awesome at dancing, singing, public speaking – but our hearts are inward-looking and far away from God?

So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart, and guided them by the skillfulness of his hands.

Psalm 78:72 (NKJV)
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As I was writing this letter, I just can’t help but thank God again & again. He did not just give me a purpose & meaning in life, He changed me for the better through His Word and His people.

Looking back, I think I’ve grown in a few ways. First of all, I have definitely become a little more patient and accepting of people’s imperfections, haha. Because Christ and my friends in church first accepted me for who I am, I now know to do the same for others. No one is perfect, and we all need Jesus!

On a similar note, another phrase you would hear often in our church is “Build bridges, not walls.” More than just being accepting of people who come to church, we also work towards the acceptance and understanding of other ethnic and religious groups in our local community. For me personally, I just think it’s a real privilege to live in racial & religious harmony in Singapore. We should continue to protect that and build bridges with our community.

Check out Heart of God Church’s community involvement in 2018.

What else? I think I have also become a person who is more joyful. Does that mean I don’t have problems? No! It just means my problems don’t have me. Even in the worst of days when I have nothing to praise, I can still praise Him. Jesus still loves me. He is still with me and for me. Now, the source of my joy is no longer my circumstances, but His presence! With Him, I can have true joy from the inside out.

You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Psalm 16:11 (NKJV)

With God and my friends, I have also grown to become a person of faith and boldness. I never imagined I could speak confidently in front of a group of people, much less preach to them. Neither did I ever had dreams for my life and future. Thank God He came into my life.

Last but not least, I think I have grown to become a person who is a little more others-centered. Like I mentioned before, it is hard not to be challenged & inspired to love others when I am constantly in fellowship with God and my friends at Heart of God Church. The heart of God, after all, is always for people.

For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

1 Timothy 2:3-4

We are so passionate about reaching out to people and bringing them to church because God desires it and has a plan for them. And just as how God has loved us and changed our lives, we want to see the same impact in the people around us. We simply just can’t keep all the blessings to ourselves. Ultimately, we are blessed to be a blessing.

With that, I would like to conclude this open letter.

I hope to whoever is reading this, that it has been a blessing to you. Thank you once again for sticking with this post and reading all my thoughts.

And for the last time today – thank you, Heart of God Church. I have written a lot of things over the past week about you, but honestly, no words can fully encapsulate the impact you have made in my life. Even though this post has ended, your amazing stories don’t end here.

To Pastor How, Pastor Lia, and all my leaders & friends, I am eternally grateful for you. See you all soon.

Gratitude is an offering precious in the sight of God, and it is one that the poorest of us can make and be not poorer but richer for having made it.”


A.W. Tozer

p.s. If you are interested to know more, visit https://heartofgodchurch.org/.

An Open Letter to Heart of God Church – Part 3

This is the third part of An Open Letter to Heart of God Church. Read Part 1 and Part 2 first if you haven’t.

Gratitude, once again, is my main motivation for writing this post. Assuming you have read the previous 2 parts of this open letter, you should remember me mentioning that I am thankful to Heart of God Church and its people because they have shown me what it means to belong, believe and become.

But at this point, I want to also thank you. If you have read to this point, I am grateful for your time and attention. Thanks for even considering reading all my personal thoughts about church, especially for the many of you who don’t personally know me. I hope that the remaining parts of this letter will be worth your minutes, and that you will find positive things you are searching for.

I’ve shared with you some of my experiences being a part of Heart of God Church for close to 8 years, and the lessons it has taught me about belonging. Now, let me talk about what the church has taught me about believing. When it comes to this topic, I have only two main aspects I want to focus on – believing in God and believing in people.

What it means to Believe

Believing in God is an unavoidable subject when it comes to Christianity because it forms the basis of a Christian’s relationship with Christ. It is a decision one must make on their own; and it is one I personally made with no regrets to this day. But believing that God is real and that I can know Him is only the start. Continually having that same faith and trust in God in every situation and season of my life is what I need to always work on.

Life has its ups and downs, after all. And as a Christian, going through it is a journey of faith. But what is faith? Faith is not just believing, but believing even when things we are believing for have yet to come to pass.

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Hebrews 11:1 (NKJV)

I have never, for example, physically seen or touched God. Yet I have faith that He is real and loves me, and I will meet Him face-to-face one day in Heaven. This is because I see the miracles & lives changed in church every weekend (evidence), and I can feel His love, peace and joy in my heart every day (substance). It is almost like wind – we can’t see it, but we can hear it, feel it and see the effects of it. That’s how we know it exists.

Also, I cannot see nor travel forward physically to my future. But I can have faith as I imagine it and look forward in life. According to the Bible, my faith is what will allow my dreams to physically take form (substance). My faith is the evidence that these dreams (that are not seen in reality yet) will come to pass. That is why faith is so important. It is not believing in myself; it is believing in God – that He can move mountains in every area of my life. When I believe in Him, I can have faith for breakthroughs in my studies, family, church and relationships.

However, our faith “leaks” from time to time. While it is definitely possible to “top up” and build up my faith at home while I am praying and reading the Bible alone (and I do it all the time) – being a part of Heart of God Church, hearing weekly sermons by our pastors and being surrounded by a group of faith-filled people helps a lot too. Trust me, it is very difficult to be negative about life or to doubt God’s ability to work in your life when you are constantly found in an environment and atmosphere like this.

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When we have faith, God can do anything He wills for our lives.

“You don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.”

Matthew 17:20 (NLT)

That begs the question – how do we know if we have faith? By our actions. People can tell that a person has faith not just because he/she believes in God, but in the way they worship Him, pray, speak about life and act. Real faith always brings about action, character change and good works.

For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

James 2:26 (NKJV)

That is why being part of a church is essential in every Christian’s life. That is why I am so glad to have Heart of God Church as my home. I have to quote a verse I shared previously again because it perfectly describes why without church, my pastors, leaders and friends, I would never have progressed this far in my faith in God. Once again, remember that faith always brings about good works.

And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

Hebrews 10:24-25 (NKJV)

Because I have so many role models in church, I am constantly inspired to give my best and have faith in whatever I do – be it volunteering in different ministries or loving people. Speaking about loving others, allow me now to share how being in Heart of God Church has taught me to believe in people.

It is not exactly the easiest thing to believe in people and invest time and energy in them so that they can grow to their maximum potential. This is especially true when it comes to young people. I mean, think about it. What do most young people have to offer? They have limited knowledge, resources and even freedom. Furthermore, what is there to gain from believing and investing in youths… except the pure joy one can receive from seeing them step into their destinies? 

That is exactly how my pastors are like. This is why our senior pastors, affectionately known as Pastor How and Pastor Lia, started Heart of God Church – a youth church. They believed and still believe that young people can do great things for God. “What youths lack in experience, they can make up for with exposure. Youths are not just leaders of tomorrow, they are leaders of today.” Those are words that every HOGC member would have heard countless times from the pulpit and memorized by heart. Because that is our DNA.

So how do I know what it means to believe in people?

Remember I mentioned in the first part of this open letter that I came to church at the age of 15?

I learned to believe in people because I was first believed in

I am just one of hundreds, if not thousands of young people who were believed and invested in, not because I had anything to offer, but because my church and my pastors just love and believe in youths. They have faith that young people can change the world.

Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.”


1 Timothy 4:12 (NKJV)

To be continued…

What I Learned about Commas

Comma.” I am pretty sure a lot of you visiting this blog are wondering – why that name?

Well, the simplest way for me to begin answering that question is for us to first think about what a comma is. Most of us would know by basic linguistic knowledge that a comma is a punctuation mark that indicates a pause or a short interval between parts of a sentence.

A comma is not a full stop/period. It is only a temporary stop. When we read a sentence off a page, like now, we know that when a comma appears, there is more to be said.

So while we pause to take a short breather at commas, we do not stop there forever. We know it’s not the end of the story. In other words, commas are only a short delay before we move on to the rest of what the writer has to offer.

“Okay, man. Commas are cool. We get it! But are you saying you named your blog after commas because you over-analyzed them?”

Not exactly.

One day, when I was thinking about what to name my new blog, “Comma” just dropped into my mind. And as I thought more about it, it just made too much sense for me to ignore it.

Firstly, I enjoy writing. Using a punctuation mark as my blog’s name just seems so appropriate, doesn’t it?

But secondly and more importantly, the word “comma” reminds me of lessons I’ve learned over the past year. I believe that most, if not some of you can relate to this. We all have certain dreams, visions and goals that we want to achieve. And I’m no different.

But over the past year, there were so many moments that I wanted to give up. It seemed like no matter how much I prayed or how hard I tried, I just could not experience breakthrough on a level I was hoping for.

Sometimes I questioned if I really was living out my purpose and calling in life. It was a season when it seemed like my life took several pauses. It felt like my dreams were delayed. I thought maybe that’s the end of the story for my breakthroughs. “Is this it?” I asked sometimes, having thoughts of putting a full stop to a sentence & story that has yet to be fully revealed to me.

But thank God I did not give in and give up. See, as a Christian, I believe in Jesus and the Bible. And something that always kept me going were the promises He laid out for us in Scripture.

While I experienced discouragement now and then, constantly reminding myself of God’s Word always gave me faith to fight for the things I believed in.

I would probably say my personal Verse of 2018 is the one that says:

So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.

Galatians 6:9 (NLT)

While initially, I held on to these words with faith, I eventually experienced it in such a real way at the end of the year. I had the best Christmas season of my life and everything I have been hoping for the entire year came to pass.

So why did I name my blog “Comma“?

Because it reminds me of how sometimes, while we think it’s the end of the story for us – our dreams, our blessings, our breakthroughs, our joy… it really isn’t the case.

God is a good God. This is what He says:

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Jeremiah 29:11 (NKJV)

God wants us to have peace! He is not evil and does not place problems into our lives intentionally. He also wants us to have a great future. So if it doesn’t end well, then it just means it’s not the end yet. The Writer – our God has more to offer. He has more to say and do!

These so called “obstacles”, “setbacks”, “delays” and “moments of silence” do not indicate the end of our story. They are only but commas that God has allowed to be placed into our lives to prepare, grow, change and expand us so that our heart, mind, character and spirit will be ready for the rest of the story He has written for us.

The problem with some of us is that we place a full stop in areas of our lives where God has meant for a comma, and place a comma in areas where God has meant for a full stop.

Friends, let us never place a full stop in our lives where God has meant for a comma.

I can’t imagine if I just gave up and stopped believing for my own breakthroughs or stopped trusting in God. I would never have experienced the joy and miracles that came after the “comma”.

Of course, not all “commas” are bad. A short break, a vacation, holidays, recreational activities or a certain nice blog makes up for some pretty “good commas”. But no matter what kind of comma we find ourselves in, let’s always remember – stories don’t end here.