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Life OrdinaryEarnest & Mingli
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​​Song: Life Ordinary

by Earnest & Mingli

In the ordinary

Love your God and fellow Man
Love your God and fellow Man
In every neighbor see a brother, and enemy a friend
Know the Church is meant to serve
Know the Church is meant to serve
And in our serving we are sowing,
living seeds on earth
The kind that brings new birth

In the ordinary
In the daily ordinary
For there our testimony
Will be a liturgy
Sacred liturgy
In life ordinary

To be like Jesus where we are
Be like Jesus where we are
In the nature of a servant and not a superstar
Yet we say but cannot do
Lord we say but cannot do
How we need the Holy Spirit
To help us carry through
Our plans to follow You



Life ordinary x 2

In the plain and simple
Live as sacramental
With the least of those He loves
In the ordinary
Let daily testimony
Be a sacred liturgy
Let daily testimony
Be a sacred liturgy
In life ordinary


Songwriter's Reflections

In Lent 2020, we were drawn very much to the theme of living out the gospel in ordinary life. Very often, we think of social justice in terms of the big humanitarian projects or NGOs serving third world countries. And sadly, many of us disengage because we think the needy are too far away for us to do anything ‘meaningful’. Important as these projects or NGOs may be, Christian social justice starts in ordinary places.

We are all called to love God by loving our fellow Man. The gospel of Matthew 25 – the parable of the ten virgins, the parable of the talents, and the judgment of sheep & goats – reminds us that on the day of reckoning, everyone must render an account to the Lord on how we live, how we use the resources entrusted to us, and how we treat the folks around us every single day - especially the least.


The liturgy of daily loving service unto others counts as sacred worship unto the Lord. It is sacramental living – that out of our personal regeneration and communion in Christ, we can find power to be gospel agents of regeneration in the communities God has planted us.


Matthew 25

"For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me."

- Matthew 25:35-36 (ESV)


About the Songwriter


Earnest and Mingli are a singer-songwriter duo with 2 albums on Spotify - Paperscapes (2012) and Twelve Windows (2017).   Since 2012, they have ministered in churches, schools, Christian meetings, charity events and public spaces in Singapore and Malaysia. Earnest plays fingerstyle acoustic guitar in DADGAD tuning and leaves the singing to Mingli. They are also active in art and faith collaborations with pastors, seminarians and fellow missional artists. Pastorally supported by their home church St John’s St Margaret’s Church (SJSM) (Anglican), Mingli serves as a worship leader, while Earnest is a licensed Lay Reader.  Married for over 20 years, they have 3 teenagers and a dog.

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Visual: Serving Water

by Mitchell Kok, for OM MTI

About Operation Mobilisation, Mercy Teams International (OM MTI)

OM MTI was started to provide opportunities for Christians around the world to minister to the poor in the East Asia region, by sharing the hope of Christ and supporting community change. Millions of people in this region are living in poverty. Issues like trafficking, migration, abuse, lack of employment, addictions and natural disasters continue to plague the region. Rapid urbanization, population growth and climate change have also left many people, especially young children and youth, deprived of basic health, nutrition, education and shelter. OM MTI work alongside local Jesus followers to be the beacons of light in their own communities. Building on our global network, we equip, train, disciple and provide resources to these local communities so that together, we may share God’s love and justice through practical transformational development initiatives.

About Mitchell Kok (Photographer)

Mitchell Kok maintains a deep passion for photography. Ever since he first picked up a camera at the age of 13, he has been captivated by the process of creating images. Through the lens, he is especially motivated to capture the beauty all around in perspectives that are rarely seen.

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Devotional: Serving God In The Ordinary

By Rev. Dr. Tan Soo Inn

Pakiam was a manual worker who worked in the school where my dad was the school clerk. He had come to visit dad. Clearly, he was ill. His legs were swollen, and he had difficulty walking. He probably suffered from kidney failure. When he was ready to go home, I said I’d drive him home. But he had difficulty entering the car because his legs were stiff. So, I bent down and lifted his tired legs with my bare hands to help him put his legs into the car. I heard later that this had caused a stir in his family-- that I had driven him home, but more that I had carried his legs. I had no idea of the import of what I had done. It seemed to me just an ordinary act. I did not think twice about it.

This was many years ago. Both Pakiam and my dad have passed on. But in recalling that incident I was reminded afresh that often the significant things we do are ordinary things. We live in a world where only spectacular things done by important people are deemed significant. This is an expectation that I often find in our churches as well. Look at who are invited to give testimonies or to tell their stories. They are either important people doing spectacular things or at least ordinary people doing spectacular things. But most of us, for most of our lives, are ordinary people doing ordinary things. Do we count?

In the parable of the talents in Matthew 25: 14 – 30, we are told that one servant was entrusted with five talents, another servant, two, and yet another servant, one talent. They were given the talents based on their ability to manage the sums they were entrusted with. But the focus of the parable is not on the amount of the talents but whether the servants were good stewards of what they were entrusted with. So while we may speculate about our lot in life, the point here is not to spend too much time wondering why we were not “given more talents” but how we are using the talents we have. This is surely good news for those of us who may feel that our lives are ordinary. The parable is asking if we are using what we have for our master even if it is just doing ordinary everyday things with the love of Christ.

The story of the sheep and goats in Matthew 25:31 – 46 gives us suggestions as to some ordinary things we could be doing. Note that the original manuscripts would not be divided into chapters and verses. That means originally, Matthew 25: 31 – 46 would have flowed directly from Matthew 25: 14 – 30. Need some suggestions as to ordinary things we all could do? Here are a few:

Feed the hungry
Give water to the thirsty
House the homeless
Clothe the naked
Care for the sick
Visit those in prison

We always had the opportunity to do these things, but the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted all these needs and more. And there is a twist in the story. It seems that sometimes Jesus comes to us disguised as those in need to test our hearts. And we can’t ignore the fact that there are dire consequences if we fail the test. We are saved by faith but we are expected to show the fruits of our salvation.

Indeed, the need to be alert and to act responsibly because we do not know exactly when Christ will come back to give us the results of our final exam is in an earlier passage, Matthew 25:1 – 13, the Parable of the Ten Virgins. At all times we should be good stewards of our lives, doing what we can to be God’s agents of blessing in the world, even if we are ordinary people doing ordinary things.




Lord, awaken our hearts to know your ways, that you are not looking for special people doing special things but ordinary people doing faithful things. Open our eyes Lord as to the needs around us, and guide us as to what we can and should do. Protect us Lord from the need to get recognition for the things we do in your Name. May we be satisfied to be the ordinary servants of an extraordinary Saviour.

About Rev. Dr. Tan Soo Inn

Soo Inn is a director of Graceworks, a training and publishing consultancy committed to promoting spiritual friendship in church and society. He runs this ministry in partnership with his wife, Bernice. Bernice and Soo Inn have four sons.

He has worked as a dentist, pastored two churches and served in a number of parachurch organizations. He is an adjunct lecturer in various seminaries and also serves as the chaplain of the Christian Medical and Dental Fellowship, Singapore.

Soo Inn has a BDS from the University of Singapore, a ThM in New Testament from Regent College, Vancouver, and a DMin from Fuller Seminary. His primary passions include connecting the Word of God to the struggles of daily life, and the promotion of the discipline of spiritual friendship

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