So much pruning and TLC (tender loving care) are needed to ensure healthy shoots and fruitful leaves. The whole ecosystem of a bonsai tree is fragile and delicate. We once had a bonsai, but it didn’t last – due to poor maintenance.

My study desk and bedroom reflects my life in a nutshell. What worldly stuff seeks my daily attention?

My immediate life is layered on a wooden surface with an area of 140cm (length) x 81cm (width). On my study desk, I have a custom-built PC, a wooden chess set, a cabinet of electronic bits-n-bobs, some webby and arty books, a bunch of study bibles, a shelf of business books, some devotional booklets, an audio interface and mic kit, a drawing tablet, a Rubik’s cube, headsets, and a Linux laptop. Unfortunately, I have no room for a cuddly toy…

Admittedly, I find it challenging as a believer to maintain my focus on the LORD. Much of the worldly stuff that seek my daily attention are items and services that I consume to make a living. And yes, I still exert a growing desire and purpose to build for God’s Kingdom outside the physical walls of a local church using these items and services.

At the centre of my study desk is my bible and devotional booklets. These items (alongside my growing walk in the LORD) force me to evaluate how I can better serve the LORD in a bigger sense. I’m careful not to have the millennial mantra of the me-centred persona, but how I can serve behind the scenes.

Quite simply – I don’t have a definitive answer.

I only have my lived experience to recognise that people need to see lived faith in action. Above all, believers ought to live faithfully and witness in honest Christian living. The Christian struggle is the least of our worries – but we shouldn’t fear to live as authentic believers in Christ. I find this characteristic rare, because most believers would rather conform to this world, as they worry about how the world judges them.

It may explain why there is less conviction in preached sermons. It’s like the Church use Christ as a branded mascot to sell guff and merch, as opposed to the faith, hope and love of the LORD Jesus Christ.

It is also a passive reason why I grow uncomfortable with Christian literature (outside of the Scriptures). Often, personal thought from preachers and ‘thought leaders’ are based on a theological branch, with each branch proclaiming to be the ‘true’ way to Christ. Like everything else in life, we will likely pick the branch with the warmest of fuzzy feelings (i.e. the least convictional branch).

When will believer’s start living out the Good News with invitational messages who DON’T attend a local church?

Meanwhile, my problem isn’t so much living out the Good News, but I live out my faith like a hermit – even though I encounter and converse with people each day.

I also prefer to rely on the Scriptures alone, which is my personal conviction to walk the narrow path that I believe is the way, the truth and the life of Christ. And yet, I find myself steal God’s gracious time to develop my earthly skills instead.

~Richard

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