MEET TERENCE WONG

“I’m about to do something very, very irresponsible”

That’s the first time I knew of Terence. He commented on my post “When It’s Our Responsibility to be Irresponsible” on September 28th, and successfully piqued my interest. Not very often do people even comment on my  blogs, so to get one so direct and to the point, yet extremely mysterious, was intriguing, so I replied to his comment. I basically told him I was curious, and that he should email me the details if he felt inclined. I wanted to know what this guy was doing that was so irresponsible.

I then waited, and received an email on September 30th.

Terence then told me his name, encouraged me to continue writing, and told me to pray for him and another man. He said everything else would be revealed later, when God’s will in the matter was concluded.

Ten days later, Terence let me know about everything going on in his life. He hails from Adelaide, South Australia, is a university student studying Civil & Environmental Engineering, and grew up in the Christian church. I’ll let him tell you the rest as he told me:

“Coming from a fairly well off community, for most of our lives, our generation has grown up in a Laodicean church of sorts (see revelation letters). To cut a long story short, God broke in sometime last year and turned some of us from the ‘Christian’ by label people you see all the time [ or carnal Christians, or just blind people really] to actual followers of God.

For some this happened quicker than others, and this is not true for the whole church. It’s been a journey, mostly a small subset of our youth [uni/college youth not high school] have been unblinded and just speaking personally, it was maybe only two months ago that the letter to the Laodiceans became totally real, I realised how naked, poor, and depraved I was [in a spiritual sense].

My reality was shattered and it was like I was groping along the ground in search of truth. Thats where I found Jesus, in a real way. So to summarise, I was all in because I knew I had nothing so it was an easy choice really.”

So where is Terence’s irresponsibility? It lies in the simple act of obedience. Terence attended an “intensive course” just after attending the annual youth group camp, which he expected would be two weeks of painful learning. God had other plans, and put a man named Patrick “Adam” Grey into his life, and Terence felt the call to show this man the love of Christ over the time of the camp. Over the next twelve days, Terence wrote down his thoughts and what was felt in his heart in a journal.

This journal is the transformation of Terence from a man with his plans to a man with nothing but God’s plans.

Over the next month or so, I hope to show you these journals that Terence has so kindly allowed me to share. As you read, I hope you recognize the story shift from a man with his plans to a man relying only on God’s plans. I hope and pray that you recognize the goodness of God’s ultimate plan in our lives, demonstrated in the life of Terence.

Thankful and Awestruck,

Joel

“I’d just like to add that this ‘journal’ of mine is first and foremost a testament of how God uses ordinary people in the most ordinary circumstances to do extraordinary things, so long as people trust him with all they have. It also shows the significance of seemingly menial interactions between people, though you may not realize it, you have a sphere of influence and even the most trivial comment could change the course of someone’s mindset, and potentially direction. God’s over-arching story is never seen in its totality and he is always at work, using people like you to change the events of history. One day I hope to read the story as God wrote it, how all the intricate layers and behind the scene events were worked together to create something amazing.

Secondly, I gave this ‘journal’ to Joel Helenbolt with the express intention of helping his kingdom cause. This man gave it all to pursue a dream for God [writing] and during the ‘intensive course’ really impacted and encouraged me with his writing. That day I sensed a directive from the LORD to help explode his blog for the purposes of the kingdom. So if you have any enjoyment from these entries, or any encouragement from what Christ is doing in your life, don’t just start from this post, go back and read his stuff, it is written with the intentions of pleasing the Spirit, a worthy cause. I would also request of you to subscribe to Joel’s blog and also spread the word about this man’s blog. I really feel God wants to reward him for his faithfulness in leaving it all for Christ. But more importantly, the reason both of us do anything is to glorify the King of Kings, and I hope by this ‘journal’ as well as Joel’s past and future entries God may use all of it to glorify his own name amongst the nations.

Blessings,

Terence”

Advertisements

AS I SAW IT – MATTHEW 5:45

My last post consisted of a picture. There were no stories, life lessons, or great life realizations included with the picture, but simply a picture that I drew, and a verse that inspired me to draw said picture.

“For He gives His sunlight to both the evil and the good, and He sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.”

And then I’ve gotten a few questions on what exactly the picture symbolizes. So I’ll describe the logic behind it all.

“For He gives His sunlight to both the evil and the good, and He sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.” – Matthew 5:45

I think the main theme of the picture is pretty obvious at what I was getting at, and how I was inspired by this verse. The earth is going through a storm, while also enjoying the sunshine provided by God. The earth is filled with good and evil people, but everybody’s been rained on once or twice. I think people understood that part.

The part that confused was the rose. Why a rose? What does that symbolize? Where is that in Matthew 5:45?

The answer is, it’s not in Matthew 5:45, and, to be completely honest, I’m not sure I knew what it symbolized until someone asked me that very question.

The rose symbolizes us. Let me tell you why.

First, roses need rain. Without rain, a rose can’t grow into the symbol of love it has become famous for. We also need rain, because without rain we will have never been strengthened or tested by God. Even Jesus experienced rain for 40 straight days, being tempted by the devil. Rain is there to simply make us stronger.

Second is the meaning attached to a rose. Roses are commonly sought out for their beauty, their fragrance, and the meaning put behind them. A rose is a good thing to be given. But there’s also something annoying about a rose: it has thorns. Despite these thorns, a rose is still generally seen as a good thing. It’s seen as a compliment, a flattery even after it stabs you in the finger.

That’s a lot like how God sees us.

The only difference is we’re the opposite. We are people who are mostly flawed, yet slightly beautiful. We usually are sinning more than we’re giving, even if we don’t realize it. Yet God doesn’t see us this way. God sees us as beautiful people. He knows we have flaws, yet is willing to completely overlook them if we simply recognize ourselves as a ‘gift’ to Him.

We are as the rose – seen as good, despite our flaws. We see a rose as a good gift to someone we love. God sees us as a good gift to someone we love – Him.

We will also occasionally get wet, but we’d never grow into who He wants us to be without a little bit of rain.

Embrace the rain and thank God for seeing us as roses without thorns.