Thursday, March 12, 2015

Sophia

Give a brief background about when you joined CS. How many years have you been a member? Was it what you expected when you first joined?

"With a shared love for the musical theatre, our pastor, Dr. Chanson Lau Board of Regents, asked me to start a ministry using the tool of music and drama to spread the gospel in 1989. I always felt a calling to do more than our music ministry at our church, a calling to share the gospel abroad. Not just to share to the unsaved but to encourage the saved as well who are not having a full relationship with our Savior Jesus Christ. It was a beginning of a constant learning journey. Without written Christian Broadway-style musicals in the market, we had to write our own music and dialog, work in the choreography, build a team, record an album, and work in a program of songs and testimonies. Was it all I expected? I’m not sure what I expected, I just knew there were many decisions to be made, tasks to be done, and rehearsals – I knew it was time to get to work!"

What was the one thing that made you decide that you wanted Jesus to be the Lord of your life?

"There was a deep emptiness in my life that nothing could fill. When I was a child of 7, I asked Jesus to be my Lord and Savior because my Sunday School teacher told us we would go to hell if we did not receive Jesus. I did that day and I have always believed that God was real, but I thought all He did was sit in heaven and watched the world go by. Between the years of 13 -15, I felt an emptiness in my life and tried to fill it with friends and parties….virtually anything. I would come home late at night and feel the emptiness, seeing my Bible on my shelf, I felt there may lie the answer, but I just turned away and cried myself to sleep. It was not until I went to a church summer camp and saw people who were genuine and had a true love for God that I decided this is what I wanted. I surrendered my life to the Lord and started a relationship with Him. He is not a God who just sat in heaven and watched the world, He wanted a relationship with me and He was the only One who was able to fill the aching emptiness I had."

How has God deepen your relationship with Him through being in Cornerstone Singers?

"I have been challenged greatly with Cornerstone Singers. I find myself constantly depending on God and running to Him for emotional and physical strength. I am constantly pushed out of my comfort zones, whether it’s on the stage which by the way the most uncomfortable, or situations stretching my faith. I’ve come to talk to God about everything."

What is the best part of being in Cornerstone Singers?

"The fellowship; loving, laughing, crying, praying, working, growing, rehearsing with wonderful brothers and sisters."

How would your life had been different if you were never in Cornerstone Singers?


"I don’t think I would have been able to know so many brothers and sisters in Christ in different countries and circumstances, to experience how much of a bond we have in Jesus Christ. It’s like family everywhere we go."

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Lisa

Give a brief background about when you joined CS. How many years have you been a member? Was it what you expected when you first joined?

"I still remember when I was asked to join the ministry. I was excited and a bit worried at the same time because I haven't been in a ministry for many years due to raising a family. Like most working moms, I was very busy trying to multitask. My desire is to be the best wife and mom so I never thought I would be back serving God because I thought I couldn’t balance between family and serving. I was asked to think and pray about this decision. I almost wanted to say "no" but I didn’t, instead, I discussed joining the group with my husband and 2 boys who were 10 and 6 at that time. I explained I would be away every Thursday night for rehearsal and will be on tour for 2 weeks to different places every year. They all encouraged me to join. My sons were in the children’s choir at the time and they said if we serve in the music ministry then you should too so you can be a blessing to others. My husband also wanted to see me grow in serving God in a ministry that he knows I would love and be challenged. So after 2 weeks I said yes to join the cornerstone singers. I expected to sing and work hard to blend my voice with others, but I was most challenged by the drama and choreography. All the other members are so patient which makes me feel much better. Some of them even spent extra time outside of rehearsal to help me. This really shows me God is using others to help me grow and see God's goodness and grace."


 What was the one thing that made you decide that you wanted Jesus to be the Lord of your life?


"I came to know God through a musical at my home church, Cornerstone. God changed my stubborn heart through His words in the musical. God made me realize that only His amazing unconditional love can change me. He accepts and loves me just the way I am. He even sent His one and only Son to die for all my wrong doing, that is my sins, and all I have to do is ask Him into my life and ask Him to forgive me. It was that night, being 17 years old and in high school, I asked Jesus to be the Lord of my life. I have never regretted this decision because it is the best decision I have made in my whole life. God filled my heart with His love so I could learn to love my parents and learn to love those who I couldn't love."


How has God deepened your relationship with Him through being in Cornerstone Singers?


"My relationship with God definitely deepened through these years being part of Cornerstone Singers. Our devotional time, sharing, praying for each other, and singing the songs has touched my life which helps me grow to be the person God wants me to be. This is also humbling. I truly see I have so many faults especially in the area of not trusting Him and taking things in my own hands. I’ve learned and still learning to let God take control instead. I'm reminded that it’s a privilege to be use by Him. God doesn't have to use me but He allows me to serve, grow, and see His wonderful grace. Whenever I feel I don't deserve His Grace and Love, He show me He cares All I have to do is trust and let God lead me in every situation."


What is the best part of being in Cornerstone Singers?


"I trust God more knowing He always goes ahead of us. Seeing people come to know God, seeing believers being encourage by our performance really makes me want to shout, “God you are awesome!”. One of the best things being in CS is when we have the opportunity to share in the shelters and rescue missions. It opens my eyes to people who are less fortunate than I and I am able to pray for their needs. Another thing is the way our group with different personalities and background can still work hard and laugh together even under hot weather and difficult circumstance on every tour."


How would your life been different if you were never in Cornerstone Singers?


"I am not sure what I would be if I am not CS. I probably wouldn’t be faced with so much challenges and wouldn't be as sensitive to God's words and the Holy Spirit."

James


      Give a brief background about when you joined CS. How many years have you been a member? Was it what you expected when you first joined?

"I have always had a love for music and drama, but not necessary the skills and talent to perform. I’d been attending Cornerstone Evangelical Baptist Church for a number of years and there, everyone is welcome to join choir and drama without regard to ability. They were looking for heart: a willingness to learn and serve. So I did join the choir and the drama group. And I had many happy and enjoyable years participating. When I was invited to join the Cornerstone Singers, I was conflicted. I definitely wanted to be a part of this amazing group, but I had to be honest with myself. It’s fine to be mediocre in our local church performances, but a totally different thing to be an ambassador to the outside world. When I brought up my lack of talent, I was informed that I was not asked to join for my talent, but despite it. All they wanted was faithfulness, a serving attitude, and teachable. The rest, as they say, is history. I’ve been with the group since 1994 though I’ve missed 3 separate years because of military deployments.
I didn’t really have any specific expectations. I guess I thought it would be like the other related groups I’ve been with, namely choir and drama. Those had a more relaxed casual atmosphere. Very different from Cornerstone Singers. Rehearsal were more demanding, serious, dare I say, “professional”. But I would say with a much higher level of dedication and commitment comes great rewards or as I call them, “small miracles”. Experiencing God’s work, seeing how God works, and witnessing God touching others has been an amazing."

What was the one thing that made you decide that you wanted Jesus to be the Lord of your life?

"I don’t think there was one thing. I’m the kind of person that needs to see, touch, taste, smell, or hear it to believe it. A real doubting Thomas. I had been going to church, “seeking” answers, but not really finding one that satisfied me. I hit a low point in my life and was ready to walk away from religion, but I had made a committee to perform in a drama that kept getting postponed. It was during this time that one of the Pastors talked to me. He told me that there will always be questions that can’t be answered. That’s where faith comes in. He challenged me to start a relationship with God. What did I have to lose? I could always walk away. That night, I prayed to accept Jesus Christ into my heart. It was the best night of sleep I have ever had."

How has God deepened your relationship with Him through being in Cornerstone Singers?

"Well first of all, this group is very dedicated to serving God. So we’re accountable to each other. We help each other out. It’s like a family. We can’t just believe in God’s love, we have to live it. Another thing, it’s not only singing and acting. We also spend time studying the bible and sharing how our relationship with God is going. And the last part, which is probably the best, is seeing God work. How He touches lives, provides just enough, places the right people in the right places, or allows us to see Him working though our group. (Again, those small miracles.)"

What is the best part of being in Cornerstone Singers?

"Well the best part for me is, of course, the small miracles, but I really enjoy talking to all the people we meet in our travels. I guess it’s part of those “small miracles” I mentioned. It makes the world a smaller place. People are people. We’re all pretty much the same. And God is much bigger. I can see His hand, even halfway around the world."

How would your life have been different if you were never in Cornerstone Singers?

"I have definitely traveled to places, met people, and seen “small miracles” I might not otherwise have visited, met or seen. But I don’t know how different. I would like to say I would have continued to serve Him in different ministries. My relationship might not be as close. But God teaches and shapes me regardless of my situation. So who knows?" 

Winston

Give a brief background about when you joined CS. How many years have you been a member? Was it what you expected when you first joined?

"When I joined the Cornerstone Singers in 1995, I had no idea what to expect.  I merely knew it would take commitment of my time.  I didn't realize to what degree!  About all aspects of my life was forced to grow - physically, mentally, and especially spiritually."

What was the one thing that made you decide that you wanted Jesus to be the Lord of your life?

"I had been searching for deeper truth in my life as long as I could remember.  When I first heard the gospel, I didn’t fully understand, but I just knew that Jesus had real truth.  Following him seemed the only way to find truth, and so I decided to follow him in June of 1991.  Over the years, Jesus has proven himself true and has given me even more than real truth, but also meaning in my life."

How has God deepened your relationship with Him through being in Cornerstone Singers?

"God has drawn me closer to him through being in Cornerstone Singers many ways, but the one very poignant way I'll never forget: all the long and lonely train rides between university and home for rehearsals.  There was much time to think, ponder and just be in God's presence  It's interesting how He isolates us at times so we can be with Him."

What is the best part of being in Cornerstone Singers?

"The best part of being in Cornerstone Singers is seeing how God works in the lives of the diverse people we meet.  Whether it’s in another state in the US, or as far away as Australia or Indonesia, it's always humbling to experience the culture and language transcending love of Jesus from believers around the world."

How would your life been different if you were never in Cornerstone Singers?

"I can’t imagine how my life would be if I was never in Cornerstone Singers.  I really don’t think I would fully understand the meaning of worshipping and serving Jesus in the face of life inevitable difficulties.  Understanding that we struggle to learn our music and drama lines for a higher cause - sharing the love of Jesus, gives ultimate meaning to the hard work we put in as a group.  This understanding also translates to my personal life.  My own struggles also have purpose - maturing as a child of God."



Josh

Give a brief background about when you joined CS. How many years have you been a member? Was it what you expected when you first joined?

 "I joined Cornerstone Singers in my first year of college back in 2005. I’ve watched the Cornerstone Singers perform before I was asked to be in it and the musical caliber of the group was impressive.  When I first joined, the expectation was very much satisfied and found myself joyfully sacrificing certain things in life to serve God through music at a higher capacity."


 What was the one thing that made you decide that you wanted Jesus to be the Lord of your life?


"The one thing that made me want Jesus as Lord of my life is understanding the truth that I am not perfect and only Jesus is perfect.  He loves me so much that he died on the cross so that I can be with him in eternity one day—that someone would die for an insignificant, messed up being, such as myself."


How has God deepened your relationship with Him through being in Cornerstone Singers?


"Cornerstone Singers has been a platform where I’ve left my own comfort behind to glorify God and preach the good news of Jesus Christ despite my selfish desires. By giving my life to him through this ministry, God has proven Himself that he is enough for me. He has given me the strength to help me overcome various adversities in my life through this ministry."


What is the best part of being in Cornerstone Singers?


"Through sharing the gospel through drama and music, the best part of being in Cornerstone Singers is seeing people’s desire change before your eyes, to want God in their life whether they make a commitment to believe in Jesus or encouraged to seek Him more."


How would your life been different if you were never in Cornerstone Singers?


"If I was never in Cornerstone Singers, I probably wouldn’t be giving my whole life to Christ and go into full-time ministry. It was this ministry that sparked a realization in me that I was created to share the gospel, love, and reach people’s hearts through music."

Mike

Give a brief background about when you joined CS. How many years have you been a member? Was it what you expected when you first joined?

"In late September 2002 Sophia asked me to meet with her before choir because she wanted to “talk.”  I was thinking Sophia want me to sing for communion like I had done once in the past. To my surprise, Sophia asked me what I knew about Cornerstone Singers; that she had spoken to our Senior Pastor for his input and was extending an invitation to me to join the group. I was stunned. How could an invitation be extended to me, a person with no talent? Sophia explained to me that it was a person’s heart and willingness to learn and serve that was the criteria to join Cornerstone Singers, not ability. Now after 11 years with the group I am amazed by the faithfulness of the “old timers.” I don’t remember what my expectations were at the time that I joined the group but I am humbled serving with these individuals. We go by faith, serving wherever our Lord leads us."

What was the one thing that made you decide that you wanted Jesus to be the Lord of your life?

"There was no "one" thing that made me decide that I wanted Jesus in my life again. Jesus had always been lord of my life; I just did not want to recognize that fact.  A rebellious nature clouded my judgment based on routine. By that statement I mean as a young child growing up as a Roman Catholic, no one spoke to me about a personal relationship with Jesus.  I felt distant and robotic. During college friends encouraged me to read the Bible (my first time) and hear what God had to say to me and what He wanted for me."

How has God deepened your relationship with Him through being in Cornerstone Singers?

"God has blessed me with this special fellowship group. Yes we as a group go out to sing and minister to others but for me God has placed this group in my life to share in His love and minister to me. As Christians we have all heard the term "fellow believes," brothers and sisters in Christ who share in your life. With Cornerstone singers we do participate within each others lives and act like a family. Being in this group has caused me to look at myself and reevaluate my personal relationship with our Lord, not because someone said that I need too. No, this change came about because I wanted and need too.  Doing devotions with the group has had a profound effect on my devotional life and my walk with God.  Sometimes we get into a routine of superficial devotions when left on our own but with Cornerstone singers I have learned that I need to put effort into my devotions. Whether leading or just participating, we strive to have deep, thoughtful discussions covering scripture and how scriptures changes us, motivates us, moves us!"

What is the best part of being in Cornerstone Singers?

"Such an easy question to answer. Devotions, meeting people and sharing meals with the people. A great part of our ministry is simply sharing with people about our lives and how our Lord has been working within our lives, teaching us, molding us and guiding us."

How would your life been different if you were never in Cornerstone Singers?

"It all comes back to personal devotions and loving people. Before cornerstone singers my devotion time was just minimal at best. I differently was not thinking about how to convey what I believed in to others. Being an introvert, evangelism had never been my strong point but by being in cornerstone singers many opportunities opened up for me to share with others. I have been blessed with opportunities to share my life and God's love at work, in malls, while being hospitalized and at car accidents. And cornerstone singers have helped me open up my personality allowing me to grow in God's love and express His love."

Winnie

Give a brief background about when you joined CS. How many years have you been a member? Was it what you expected when you first joined?

"I have been a Cornerstone Singer for about 4 years now and it is definitely a lot more than I expected. Different from just being in choir, there is a lot more concentration and work that needs to go in to singing your part. When I first joined I was a freshman in college and still trying to juggle going to school, working and needing to do homework. Adding in Cornerstone Singers and it became difficult to juggle it all. And when it came to long rehearsals when getting ready for performances I really had to manage my time wisely and fit in the homework for the next day.  I am very grateful that everyone understood the situation and when finals and papers came around I didn’t go to rehearsal. As time went on, it became easier to balance all that I had to do with the help of God and the wonderful group of people He has provided me with."

What was the one thing that made you decide that you wanted Jesus to be the Lord of your life?

"I accepted Jesus into my life when I was 5 after my Kindergarten teacher woke me up from my nap and asked me if I wanted Jesus to be my friend. Of course as a 5 year old I wanted nothing more than a friend who would be there for me all the time. I didn’t really know much about it then, just what the teachers told us in class. As I became older and was able to learn more and grow in my walk, it was more than just having a friend there for me. It is the unconditional love that He provides that gives me joy even when I’m hurting, when everything else is wrong I look to him for comfort to fill my heart so I can get up and walk again. I also later understood that accepting Him into my heart will not only fill it with love, but He will also give me eternal life, which I want."

How has God deepened your relationship with Him through being in Cornerstone Singers?

"Throughout my years as a Cornerstone Singers God has definitely showed me and taught me that I need to be less controlling of my life. I need to give everything up and trust that He will provide and always be there for me even when things seem to be going completely wrong."

What is the best part of being in Cornerstone Singers?

"The best part of being a Cornerstone Singer is traveling the world and seeing God’s works every step of the way. Providing for us, protecting us and using us. He uses each and every one of us differently and it is beyond amazing to hear the stories of how he has used us and the lives that we have touched when on tour."

 How would your life been different if you were never in Cornerstone Singers?

"I don’t exactly know how my life would be different. I know for sure that my walk would not be as strong as it is today and I would still have trouble understanding why things happen and would always be questioning God. Cornerstone Singers has allowed me to just trust God and trust that the things that are happening will lead to something that is so much more better in the end and to not blame Him for things that happened."

Jon

Give a brief background about when you joined CS. How many years have you been a member? Was it what you expected when you first joined?

"I joined CS in the summer of 1999 as a piano player.  In 2001, I moved to San Diego for college and didn't re-join CS until I graduated and moved back to San Francisco in 2006.  It's been a total of about 9 years that I've been a part of CS now.  Since re-joining in 2006, I transitioned from playing piano to singing and acting in the musical drama.  Majority of the ministry was not what I expected when I first joined.  I would have never imagined how much I would have been able to witness God working in people across the world, including people within our own group."

What was the one thing that made you decide that you wanted Jesus to be the Lord of your life?

"In High School, I was going to school with the same friends everyday and I thought our friendship was pretty close.  When I finally started attending fellowship with these same friends and others that I knew at church, I noticed that their relationship was very different.  They had a bond and joy that I had not seen even though we saw each other almost every day.  I wanted that joy and I knew that it came from an actual relationship with God that they all shared.  That's when I decided to rededicate my life to Christ."

How has God deepened your relationship with Him through being in Cornerstone Singers?

"God has been very amazing in the time I've been in CS.  He's allowed me to see how the attitudes of people change just in the short time of our program.  He's also provided brothers and sisters that treat us as family solely for the reason that we are fellow believers in Christ.  God has also been faithful to show us that those who come to know Him as Lord and Savior are through the conviction of the Holy Spirit and we are privileged to witness this process.  Each time CS goes on tour, it's with faith that God will take care of our safety, our family, and how He will give us enough strength to complete the work He's asked of us.  He has yet to fail us and continues to amaze each one of us on how He provides."

What is the best part of being in Cornerstone Singers?

"The absolute best part of CS is seeing souls being saved.  When our pastor gives the invitation to receive Jesus Christ as your savior and I'm able to witness people making the decision to be a new creation and reborn through Christ, my heart is moved with renewed faith and strength in our God."

How would your life been different if you were never in Cornerstone Singers?

"Without witnessing the miracles that God has performed while I've been in CS, I do not think my faith would be have grown as much.  Knowing that I'm doing the work God has called me to do, I am blessed to be fulfilling one of the purposes in my life.  In short, without CS in my life, I would be missing out on many blessings that God has in store for me."