Contemporary Christian Acappella Vocal Band from Singapore!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Easter Greetings from AGAPELLA

Monday, April 17, 2006

Easter Gig

So yesterday, we were supposed to have a grand day out in the sun... rained made sure our plans changed.

So instead we all camped over at our house and watched a replay of our concert. We laughed at each other and our quirks, cringed at a couple of points but all in all, we all agreed that it was an amazing concert (especially for all the newbies who had their first full-on concert).

But later, we spoke about how the concert had impacted people and it was amazing. There was more than a few accounts of how the evening had touched people and saw them reaching to Christ.

This is the mission of Agapella for sure... but it never fails to impress me when God takes control and uses it to draw souls... I was completely amazed at all the accounts of being saved...



God spoke to me on Easter.

I'm serious... here's the story.

So we had our gig on good friday (which i will write about later) and after that, we went to supper in serangoo gardens... we must have hopped locations 6 - 7 times looking for a decent (read: airconditioned) place to chill out. We failed, so we settled for Cafe Cartel, our motley crew of 14 people. In the middle of dinner I asked Uma a question (seeing how she's the only one of our bunch with a real theological degree) about the ressurection. The conversation ended without me reaching my answers... and on Sunday, those very questions were answered through the pastor. It's simply amazing when God decides to show up and assure you that He's still real and relevant in our lives today.

See, if we are to believe that Christ is the Son of God AND that he has redeemed us from our sins. One very important conclusion must be reached - He resurrected and lives today! If not, then Christ is just a good man, not unlike Muhammed or Buddha or Confucious.

Read here for a simplified (not simple!!) explanation:

But something still bugged me. in Matthew, Jesus himself said that he'd spend 3 days and 3 nights in the belly of the earth (in a comparison to Jonah). But if this was true, then supposing he died on a friday, His ressurrection would have been on Monday (and give us 1 more public holiday!) But we all believe he rose on Sunday.

The inconsistency is not derived from the actual days and nights but in the semantics of Jewish speech. In Jewish, they describe 1 day (24 hours) as a day and night. What was intended to describe was instead to say that he would spend a spend of time that would stretch over 3 days. So... he died on Friday afternoon (Friday night & day), remained dead on Saturday (Sat night and day), and rose on Sunday before dawn (Sunday night and day).

So while he didn't spend 96 hours in the tomb, he did spend 3 days in the earth...

Oh but what a cop out? Did you say? You must understand that the passage of time is hard to track... anyone who has gone about a day without a watch or handphone will have difficulty telling time. This is no different from those times. Which accounts for the 'vague' time passage.

There's evidence of this in Genesis when the writer describes creation: " There was day and night, the first day" Also there's precedence in early writings of this 3 day issue. In the book Esther, it is written that she asked the Jews to fast for 3 days and nights and after, she would present herself to the king. But a few verses down, it reads that she went to the king on the 3rd day.

At the end of the day, we are looking at eyewitness accounts from almost 2000 years ago. There will bound to be errors. But that doesn't mean the event didn't occur. But that is what faith is all about.


Friday, April 14, 2006

Our pastor read this story during the Good Friday sermon this morning. It's called The Ragman, by Walter Wangerin, Jr. May you be touched in a fresh way by this familiar story as i was. love, dorcas

Even before the dawn one Friday morning I noticed a young man, handsome and strong, walking the alleys of our City. He was pulling an old cart filled with clothes both bright and new, and he was calling in a clear, tenor voice: "Rags!" Ah, the air was foul and the first light filthy to be crossed by such sweet music. "Rags! New rags for old! I take your tired rags! Rags!" he sang.

"Now, this is a wonder," I thought to myself, for the man stood six-feet-four, and his arms were like tree limbs, hard and muscular, and his eyes flashed intelligence. Could he find no better job than this, to be a ragman in the inner city? I followed him. My curiosity drove me. And I wasn't disappointed.

Soon the Ragman saw a woman sitting on her back porch. She was sobbing into a handkerchief, sighing, and shedding a thousand tears. Her knees and elbows made a sad X together. Her shoulders shook. Her heart was breaking.

The Ragman stopped his cart. Quietly, he walked to the woman, stepping round tin cans, dead toys, and Pampers. "Give me your rag," he said so gently, "and I'll give you another." He slipped the handkerchief from her eyes. She looked up, and he laid across her palm a linen cloth so clean and new that it shined. She blinked from the gift to the giver. Then, as he began to pull his cart again, the Ragman did a strange thing: he put her stained handkerchief to his own face; and then he began to weep, to sob as grievously as she had done, his shoulders shaking. Yet she was left without a tear. "This is a wonder," I breathed to myself, and I followed the sobbing Ragman like a child who cannot turn away from a mystery.

"Rags! Rags! New rags for old!" he sang. In a little while, when the sky showed grey behind the rooftops and I could see the shredded curtains hanging out black windows, the Ragman came upon a girl child whose head was wrapped in a bandage, whose eyes were empty. Blood soaked her bandage. A single line of blood ran down her cheek. Now the tall Ragman looked upon this child with pity, and he drew a lovely yellow bonnet from his cart.

"Give me your rag," he said, tracing his own line on her cheek, "and I'll give you mine." The child could only gaze at him while he loosened the bandage, removed it, and tied it to his own head. The bonnet he set on hers. And I gasped at what I saw: for with the bandage went the wound! Against his brow it ran a darker, more substantial blood? his own! "Rags! Rags! I take old rags!" cried the sobbing, bleeding, strong, intelligent Ragman.

The sun hurt both the sky, now, and my eyes; the Ragman seemed more and more to hurry. "Are you going to work?" he asked a man who leaned against a telephone pole. The man shook his head.

The Ragman pressed him: "Do you have a job?"

"Are you crazy?" sneered the other. He pulled away from the pole, revealing the right sleeve of his jacket, flat, the cuff stuffed into the pocket. He had no arm.

"So," said the Ragman. "Give me your jacket, and I'll give you mine." Such quiet authority in his voice!

The one-armed man took off his jacket. So did the Ragman and I trembled at what I saw: for the Ragman's arm stayed in its sleeve, and when the other put it on he had two good arms, thick as tree limbs; but the Ragman had only one. "Go to work," he said.

After that he found a drunk, lying unconscious beneath an army blanket, an old man, hunched, wizened, and sick. He took that blanket and wrapped it round himself, but for the drunk he left new clothes.

And now I had to run to keep up with the Ragman. Though he was weeping uncontrollably, and bleeding freely at the forehead, pulling his cart with one arm, stumbling for drunkenness, falling again and again, exhausted, old, old, and sick, yet he went with terrible speed. On spider's legs he skittered through the alleys of the City, this mile and the next, until he came to its limits, and then he rushed beyond.

I wept to see the change in this man. I hurt to see his sorrow. And yet I needed to see where he was going in such haste, perhaps to know what drove him so.

The little old Ragman, he came to a landfill. He came to the garbage pits. And then I wanted to help him in what he did, but I hung back, hiding. He climbed a hill. With tormented labor he cleared a little space on that hill. Then he sighed. He lay down. He pillowed his head on a handkerchief and a jacket. He covered his bones with an army blanket. And he died.

Oh, how I cried to witness that death! I slumped into a junked car and wailed and mourned as one who has no hope because I had come to love the Ragman. Every other face had faded in the wonder of this man, and I cherished him; but he died. I sobbed myself to sleep.

I did not know? how could I know?? that I slept through Friday night and Saturday and its night, too. But then, on Sunday morning, I was wakened by a violence. Light? pure, hard, demanding light? slammed against my sour face, and I blinked, and I looked, and I saw the last and the first wonder of all. There was the Ragman, folding the blanket most carefully, a scar on his forehead, but alive! And, besides that, healthy! There was no sign of sorrow nor of age, and all the rags that he had gathered shined for cleanliness.

Well, then I lowered my head and, trembling for all that I had seen, I myself walked up to the Ragman. I told him my name with shame, for I was a sorry figure next to him. Then I took off all my clothes in that place, and I said to him with dear yearning in my voice: "Dress me."

He dressed me. My Lord, he put new rags on me, and I am a wonder beside him. The Ragman, the Ragman, the Christ!

Monday, April 10, 2006

The Long Silence

AT THE END of time, billions of people were seated on a great plain before God's throne. Most shrank back from the brilliant light before them. But some groups near the front talked heatedly, not cringing with shame - but with belligerence.

"Can God judge us? How can He know about suffering?", snapped a pert young brunette. She ripped open a sleeve to reveal a tattooed number from a Nazi concentration camp. "We endured terror ... beatings ... torture ... death!"

In another group a Negro boy lowered his collar. "What about this?" he demanded, showing an ugly rope burn. "Lynched, for no crime but being black !"

In another crowd there was a pregnant schoolgirl with sullen eyes: "Why should I suffer?" she murmured. "It wasn't my fault." Far out across the plain were hundreds of such groups. Each had a complaint against God for the evil and suffering He had permitted in His world.

How lucky God was to live in Heaven, where all was sweetness and light. Where there was no weeping or fear, no hunger or hatred. What did God know of all that man had been forced to endure in this world? For God leads a pretty sheltered life, they said.

So each of these groups sent forth their leader, chosen because he had suffered the most. A Jew, a negro, a person from Hiroshima, a horribly deformed arthritic, a thalidomide child. In the centre of the vast plain, they consulted with each other. At last they were ready to present their case. It was rather clever.

Before God could be qualified to be their judge, He must endure what they had endured. Their decision was that God should be sentenced to live on earth as a man.

Let him be born a Jew. Let the legitimacy of his birth be doubted. Give him a work so difficult that even his family will think him out of his mind.

Let him be betrayed by his closest friends. Let him face false charges, be tried by a prejudiced jury and convicted by a cowardly judge. Let him be tortured.

At the last, let him see what it means to be terribly alone. Then let him die so there can be no doubt he died. Let there be a great host of witnesses to verify it.

As each leader announced his portion of the sentence, loud murmurs of approval went up from the throng of people assembled. When the last had finished pronouncing sentence, there was a long silence. No one uttered a word. No one moved.

For suddenly, all knew that God had already served His sentence.

-Anon (story found on the internet)