In life, there are often defining moments which either make or break you, not just as a person, but your entire life trajectory. These moments in life are often not in your control but can be the very moments which shape your character, for the better.
For Glenn Packiam, the singer, songwriter, and current pastor of New Life Church, his humble beginnings in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, were a far cry from his current calling which he finds himself in to-date.
“The population of Christianity in the country was around 10-11%,” Glenn says.
“So I started attending children’s camps, and one of the first songs I wrote, based on Psalm 1, was a simple chord progression which I composed music for on the spot,” he admits.
These were the beginnings of his music roots which eventually led him to move to the United States.
Challenges and changes
I vividly recall the first time I personally knew my calling in life. It was at quite a low point in my late teenage years, when I was trying to figure out if I wanted a career in business or to heed my calling in mission.
I somehow knew I had to make a defining decision which would have implications on my entire life as I knew it.
I cried out and asked the Lord to make the decision clear for me. It was then I realised my calling hasn’t changed, but the choice I had to make would change my life forever.
It was a similar situation in which Glenn found himself when he was often alone and making music to the Lord.
“I recall practicing in the piano room with no one around on a Friday night, and just sing my heart out to the Lord,” Glenn recounts.
For Glenn, it was an expression of his deepest longings and desires, and with the hope the Lord heard him and continued to guide him in those moments.
Life certainly is not an easy journey in which all questions are answered. Glenn knows firsthand. He attests that, “you need to plant deep roots; and the times when you are tested through the storms of life, you’ll be ready.”
Glenn eventually went on to pen the words to well-known worship songs such as, ‘Your Name’ and ‘My Saviour Lives’, which he calls “a humbling experience.”
He describes song writing and creating expressive lyrics a process in which “Whatever music emerges from our work was to bless the church.”
In a way, worship music goes beyond the music itself. Glenn says it is a blessing to “Being part of the music God uses,” in a way He has chosen to use songwriters and song-singers to be instruments of His praise.
As a pastor, Glenn now uses the pulpit to instil the same reverence for praise in his preaching.
“2009 was when I first began pastoral ministry and I realised local church ministry was where I wanted to be rooted,” Glen states.
He realises his preaching can actually be an act of worship towards God.
“When I preach”, Glen says, “I try and evoke worship.”
For many of us, life has a way of highlighting despair in our lives and making us lose sight of hope. Yet for those who are yearning for a better life, it starts with a shift in perspective.
“Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress; I will not be shaken.” - Psalm 64:5-6
In other words, our strength comes not from within, but from above. When we realise our hope does not depend on the changing times or the circumstances of life, our hope increases and our despair decreases.
As you continue the journey of life, you can find comfort. Despair may come, but hope remains.
Joseph Kolapudi's previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/joseph-kolapudi.html