Having experienced the pain of struggling and the joy of healing when those hurts were allowed to surface within an authentic community, Li Ping, owner of Kara Café & Dessert Bar, desires for others to be able to tap into the power of safe spaces too. ⠀ ⠀ “I used to think other Christians didn’t have to deal with the deep emotional struggles I faced. But actually, everyone struggles,” she observed.⠀ ⠀ Hence when Li Ping had the chance to take over the loft above her cafe, she was moved to bring in God’s presence and do something special. That idea culminated in Kara Moments, a multi-purpose space that hosts Christian events as well as regular worship nights called Kara Loft Sessions.⠀ ⠀ “That’s the purpose of Kara – it’s so important to let everyone know that there are safe spaces out there for them. And hopefully to teach others about safe spaces so that in the future, more of such spaces can be nurtured,” she pointed out. ⠀ ⠀ In Hebrew, qarah means “to be at the right place at the right time”, while in Latin it translates to “beloved” or “loved”. ⠀ ⠀ Li Ping said: “When we did the first worship night (in December 2018), we saw the bonding and the relationships that were forged. Even collaborations and entrepreneurial ideas were birthed. I saw the power of community and safe spaces where people can come in and be themselves. Since then, I started seeing God’s vision more strongly.”⠀ ⠀ Even before she truly knew God, He was already at work. Despite her brokenness, He had placed in her heart a burden to nurture deep and meaningful connections with others. And in pursuing this, Li Ping ended up walking into her calling.⠀ ⠀ If you’re curious about what an authentic community and safe space could look like, you’re welcome to pop by Kara Loft Sessions. The next one will be held on July 17, 2019 at 7.30pm. For latest updates, head over to @karaloftsessions.
Although Jiamin's life is generally free from life-threatening dangers and perils, Jiamin still finds much to be afraid of.⠀ ⠀ She's afraid of large dogs. She's afraid of leaving a bad impression. She's afraid that she won’t find a meaningful job when she graduates or that she’ll make a wrong decision. The list goes on. Call them unnecessary anxieties or irrational fears, but they often feel very real to her.⠀ ⠀ Perhaps the deepest and worst fear of all, is Jiamin's fear of insufficiency — the tiny voice that tells her she's not good enough.⠀ ⠀ The fear of insufficiency often comes from unmet expectations, whether instilled in Jiamin by society or by herself. Jiamin's failure to meet those (often subconscious) expectations can lead to strong waves of anxiety and fear.⠀ ⠀ There are three verses in particular that have helped to frame Jiamin's mindset in fighting against her fear of insufficiency, and she has found them to be helpful whenever she's paralysed by fear.⠀ (Adapted from @ymi_today’s original post and republished with their permission)
Ivan was recruited to the army in April. One of the biggest changes he had to adapt to was having to listen to his commanders almost absolutely. It wasn’t about his will or pleasure, but his obedience. He just had to push himself to do it. ⠀ ⠀ But when he reflected on the amount of effort he put in to obey his commanders, Ivan realised he hasn’t put in half of that effort to obey Christ. The word “Christ” is not the surname of Jesus. It means the anointed one. To the Jews, this would be a figure like David who was an anointed king. It was a title of authority. To call Jesus “Christ” is like saying, King Jesus.⠀ ⠀ In the army, this is the equivalent to the president who has the highest authority. Ivan's National Service (NS) experience thus far has made him reflect on whether he's taken his commands lightly. Does he put in the same effort to obey his King?⠀ ⠀ Brothers and sisters, how much do you care about what the King of the universe has said? What will you do if He gives you a command?⠀ (Contributed by Ivan Feng)⠀ —⠀ Got a story to share about your NS life? Email us at
– stories should be have a personal/local angle, and be about 500-1,000 words.
You might find yourself possessing strong feelings about topics such as racial discrimination, abortion, same-sex attraction, systemic poverty, modern slavery and sex trafficking – and that’s normal. It’d be abnormal to feel nothing about the social issues that plague our world. That’s because we were created to be compassionate, to love and to be kind.⠀ ⠀ But we were also created to act and speak. Otherwise, love, compassion and kindness are only ideas. Our apathy, silence and inaction will perpetuate the darkness.⠀ ⠀ There are times when the influential – governments, industry leaders, even spiritual leaders – refuse to broach controversial topics out of a fear that masquerades as “wisdom” or “propriety”.⠀ ⠀ Edmund Burke once said: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” If we’re not part of the solution, we become part of the problem by our lack of action.⠀ ⠀ “But I’m a nobody. How can my words or action do anything? The most I can do can’t even change national policies or cultures in the slightest!”⠀ ⠀ Still, that's a good place to start. Read the story of Moses in Exodus. We all have a voice and a circle of influence – people we may directly or indirectly interact with – and that’s all we need. Yes, some of us may be better positioned to make a change, perhaps in the arenas of politics or education, or as heads of households. But all we really need to wield influence is to use our voices.⠀ ⠀ What if each of us decided today to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with our God (Micah 6:8)? What if we became a voice for the voiceless, broken and lost?⠀ (Adapted from @theprojectjsg’s original post and republished with their permission)
God does not favour a church with a shiny auditorium more than He does a smaller church with humble facilities.⠀ ⠀ The main purpose of church is for worshippers to gather and learn more about God and to encourage one another. Acts 2:42 records that the early church “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer” (Acts 2:42).⠀ ⠀ In light of that verse, Michele reconsidered the small church she had reluctantly been a part of for the previous two years, and she realised that she had been discontented because she was superficially comparing it to larger churches.⠀ ⠀ During Michele's hard times, she didn’t need a posh building to find God or His people. Because God is not found in a grand structure – but wherever worshippers gather.⠀ ⠀ She's come to look at a church based on healthier standards. Are the pastors living up to God’s Word? Are their teachings biblically sound? Are the sermons in line with Scripture? Importantly, are the sermons more than just a feel-good Sunday message — do they encourage me to grow and develop to be a mature Christian? What are the church’s small groups like? How is the church serving their community?⠀ ⠀ It can very easy to judge a church based on its building. For example, a big beautiful church could be seen as a healthy, growing one, and a church worshipping out of a rented community hall could be mistaken as a church that isn’t flourishing. But Michele has learned to take a step back and think: If a church is to be stripped of all its furnishings, will their core still shine for God?⠀ ⠀ Focusing on trivial matters such as the auditoriums and the refreshments robbed me of the joy of truly seeking God. It helped Michele realise that she was idolising the lifestyle the church offered when she should be putting God at the centre of it. But thankfully, God has taught Michele to see that no matter the size of a church, what matters most is that a church is focused on Him and His teachings.⠀ ⠀ And that’s what church is really all about.⠀ (Adapted from @ymi_today’s original post and republished with their permission)