Wednesday, December 30, 2009

BYE BYE TWO O O NINE!




Another year whizzed past, in fact, another decade rolled by on this earth. It is fearful to think that I could have wasted my God-gifted life away if I do not sieze whatever God given opportunity for His glory!

Here are some of the highlights of the year 2009

MINISTRY

1. Teaching Youth Enrichment School (YES) evangelism - I love evangelism!
2. Vineyard Church Youth Camp - Enjoyed it throroughly.
3. Cambodia mission trip - Annual Affair, simply loved it.
4. Started afresh Youth Ministry with new core leaders, meeting every month.
5. Launched Young Adult Ministry
6. Asia Pacific Youth Alive Conference - Refreshing to the max!
7. Taking Teens to Old Folk's Home - simply awesome to see the young communicate with the not so young.
8. Christmas and Watchnight Retreat.

PERSONAL

1. Taken Pastoral Counselling Course, the penultimate before completing my Masters in ministry, probably next year.
2. Started PS BIBLE MINISTRY blog to keep a file on all my writings and also to bless others.
3. Travelling to Scotland and Ireland - awesome countries!

THE BEST MOMENTS

1. Seeing my dad accepted the Lord as His personal Lord and Saviour.
2. Seeing three soul saved in the Youth Camp.
3. Baptizing new members of the Church to greater commitment to the Lord.
4. Watching more youth serving God fervently.

THE NOT SO BEST MOMENTS

1. Procrastination and being idle.
2. Did not put much emphasis on prayer.

THE MOST INSPIRING PERSON/S I MET THIS YEAR

1. PASTOR JULIE KHOO, YOUTH PASTOR GTPJ
2. SHER-MAYNE

THE MOST INSPIRING PERSON I HAVEN'T MET THIS YEAR

JOHN MAXWELL

THE BEST MESSAGE

PASTOR LESLIE'S CHRISTMAS MESSAGE

THE MOST POWERFUL MESSAGE

PASTOR CLEMENT'S NIGHT SESSION AT APYAC

THE MOST AWESOME TURNAROUND

HATS OFF TO JARYL CHONG

THE MOST INSPIRING YOUTH

LIXUAN
KARLYN
JARYL ...and all who tirelessly and joyfully serve God!

All in all, it was a good year for me personally. It started slowly but ends with a BANG! I think it was the busiest December as far as I can remember! Last words (should be the first words) - I give God all glory for all the fruitful stuffs and not so fruitful stuffs, I ask the LORD for forgiveness!

Have a wonderful 2010, everyone! Sieze the opportunities to serve God!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

THE BABY MUST BE BORN

CHRISTMAS is just two days away and the shopping malls are being filled with Christmas decorations and shoppers, busy buying gifts for family and friends. Mostly last minute shopping. And the malls and most shoppers have one thing in common - they know not what Christmas means. Even Christians, planning parties, singing carollings just to add to the festive cheer and exchanging of gifts have also lost the true spirit of Christmas!

Celebrating Christmas is alright but losing the opportunity to tell the true story of the birth Jesus is losing the point of it all. In fact, 25th December is not really the actual birth of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world. But when the world somehow adopts 25th December as the birth of Christ, we have a wonderful opportunity to share the truth of God's love to mankind.

Although the cross is the centre of Christianity, the virgin birth of Christ started it all. The devil knew a little of the plan of God of sending a Messiah and that's why he wanted to destroy the baby before the King could be born. But God protected Joseph and Mary until the birth of baby Jesus, fulfilling age old prophecy of Emmanuel in prophet Isaiah. Emmanuel means “God with us” says it all. At last, God became flesh, visited the earth He created. He needed to come, the baby Jesus must be born.

The world needs a Saviour not Superman or Obama. It’s absolutely out of pure love that God sends His only Son to the world. Sin separates God with mankind but His love reconciles sinners to Him. Love gives God no choice but to bridge the gap of brokenness between God and man by a great price. The cute baby Jesus was born to be that price. Would any mothers or fathers understand the feeling of knowing that their only baby born would only result in a terrible death? What a price God paid to set us free! And sometimes we take for granted the birth of Jesus on Christmas day!

It is NOT about parties, Christmas trees, gifts and even carolling for fun that God intends Christmas to be but to explain with passion, the virgin birth of Christ, a Saviour born to set mankind free.


Truly good tidings to you, wherever you are! Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

GOD IS AWESOME IN APYAC!

Awesome God and awesome happenings at APYAC!

It was an awesome experience for me as I witnessed how God moved so powerfully in the conference. I was always at the back corner of the church during the sessions because of the bag(gage) I was carrying as I was the mobile central bank for YAM. It was a vantage point to see all the amazing things that were happening.

1. WORD OF GOD

The speakers were superb, especially Pastor Mike Pilavachi (although I heard the sermon before) and just like those participants, I wanted more of the Word of God! And there was our very own Youth Alive Director, Rev. Clement Wong who spoke Word of God boldly (sometimes aggresively) but it was timely! Nations need to hear and that's what the theme of this conference was all about, "Speak to the nations". The main anchor for the event, Rev. Julie Khoo was absolutely fantastic, hit all the right godly buttons everytime!

2. NATIONS

Twenty nine nations involved in APYAC and I dare say all came out of this conference touched and inspired! Although in the last days, where breakdown of religions were shown in each country and Christianity is often the minority, and much work needed to be done, there was a big HOPE that with our God, we are always the majority. Personally, I don't trust statistics because only God knows how many are truly His!

Different nationalities have come to me and said some great comments about the conference and I can see in their faces that they will be going back and do great things for their respective nation! One of the most memorable moments in APYAC was the unity shown in the Asia Pacific nations! With God, nothing is impossible!


3. WORKERS

The YAM committee have prepared this event for the last one year and on the last few weeks before the conference, it was a little bit messy with so many nations coming from everywhere, sometimes different flights and time. Furthermore, we have to arrange transportation and accomodations for some delegates as they just saved enough money for airfares and fees. Yes, YAM has prepared the groundwork but it was the GTPJ members (including parents support team) that implemented everything on the grounds during the conference. The huge responsibilities of actual running of this event were rested on their shoulders and they came out with top marks! Whenever I went around, I see smiling faces! I cannot describe what kind of people are you guys! I salute you all! (I also salute my church volunteers too who also serve with smiles on their faces and I am so proud of them)

4. THE HAPPENINGS!

The presentations from different nations were one of the highlights of APYAC to me. I see a glimpse of heaven where different tribes, tongues, nationality coming together for one purpose: to glorify the NAME ABOVE EVERY NAME - JESUS CHRIST! At the end of everything, Jesus deserves all praise and glory and honour!

The worship was fantastic! The bands from Indonesia and the Philippines were awesome! Brad, Rebecah and the team's songs were absolutely timely and somehow I believed God gave them inspiration for those songs to be written for such a conference as this! Last but not least, the YAM band, from various churches with some African flavour really brought out the best from the youth in worship! Especially the last night, it was simply magnificent just to sense the awesome presence of God!

The last night symbolic carrying of the cross across nations was something extraordinary! The cross of Jesus started it all! Then men and women who sacrificed their lives for the gospel, bringing it to nations not their own. And with their examples of sacrifices, so too, the next generation must dare take the challenge to step out and not only to take their nations for Jesus but also nations beyond their borders!


CONCLUSION

Until the whole world hears, we will serve and pray and give sacrificially!

See you at APYAC 2012

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

HERE I COME, APYAC!


Tomorrow Youth Alive Malaysia (YAM) is hosting APYAC (Asia Pacific Youth Alive Conference)! All in all, more than 1400 young people have registered, coming from all over Asia Pacific including Africa and the UK! I am privileged and honoured to be involved, albeit a small part in this youth event of the year in Malaysia. All I can say today is, "Let's bring it on!"


The planning started last year and it got to a feverish phase especially last few days, with so many angles needed to be covered. I thank God for Glad Tidings PJ for their wonderful and able workers who literally work round the clock to make this event a success! They did an excellent preparatory work which helps tremendously when APYAC kicks off tomorrow!


What I expect from APYAC....


1. Jesus Christ will be magnified and glorified!


2. Youth will be challenged to stand for Jesus no matter what!


3. Leaders, missionaries will be raised up by God in this conference!


4. Youth will be set free from all kinds of distractions and bondages to serve God all the way!


5. All participants will be blessed by the ever-gracious God who will pour out His grace in abundance. Everyone will be touched in a personal and powerful way!


Hallelujah! Amen!

Friday, December 4, 2009

UNTIL THE WHOLE WORLD HEARS!

I heard this song in U tube from a blog I frequented and I was fascinated by the lyrics. The song has some elements of the visions of our Youth Ministry. Anyway, this song is timely as the end draws near!

Song sung by a top Christian band, Casting Crowns - The band is at US #1 Christian chart right now and the song below, #2! Congratulations!



Lord I want to feel your heart
and see the world through your eyes
I want to be your hands and feet
I want to live a life that leadsChorus

Ready yourselves
Ready yourselves
Let us shine the light of Jesus in the darkest night
Ready yourselves
Ready yourselves
May the powers of darkness tremble as our praises rise

Until the whole world hears Lord we are calling out
Lifting up Your name for all to hear the sound
Like voices in the wilderness
we're crying outas the day draws near
We'll sing until the whole world hears

Lord let your sleeping giant arise
Catch the demons by surprise
Holy nation sanctified
Let this be our battle cry

Chorus

We'll sing until the whole world hears
We'll sing until the whole world hears
Want to be your hands and feet
Want to be a life that leads
To see you set the captive free
Until the whole world hears and
I pray that they will see more of you and less of me
Lord I want my life to be the song
You sing

Until the whole world hears
Lord we are calling out
Lifting up your name up for all to hear the sound
Like voices in the wilderness we're crying out
as the day draws near

We'll sing until the whole world hears
We'll sing until the whole world hears
We'll sing until the whole world hears
We'll sing until the whole world hears
We'll sing until the whole world hears
We'll sing until the whole world hears

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

CNN HERO OF THE YEAR: Efren Peñaflorida



Last week, I chanced upon the CNN - Hero of the Year awards ceremony and I almost hit myself for not tuning in earlier. I have never cried so much while watching television as this one. It was so inspiring to watch men and women who unselfishly gave their all to serve others! If this is not what the world needed, I don't know what is! God must have been smiling!

There were ten recipients of the HERO award chosen all over the world and only one, the best of the best, would receive HERO of the Year. The HERO award got USD 25,000 each and the HERO of the Year got extra USD 100,000 to further help them to serve others.

The winner this year for the HERO of the year is Efren Peñaflorida from the Philippines. He started the "Kariton Klassroom" to bring education to poor children who are easily influenced or pressured by gangs who will recruit them.

As a child, Peñaflorida was beaten and bullied by gangsters but he chose education over gang life in Cavite City where he was born. He vowed to create a way for other children to make the same choice. He set a Dynamic Teen Company and with teenage co-workers brought books to children in slums and on the streets, and the Company's 10,000 volunteers have brought reading, writing and hygiene to 1,500 youngsters.

The group later launched the “Kariton Klassroom,” an innovative way of bringing the classroom to the children in the depressed areas. The pushcart classroom is now complete with teaching aids, blackboards and even folding tables and chairs to allow children to sit and read materials.

Peñaflorida recalled that he and other volunteers had to endure discrimination and even being branded as “trash collectors” with their pushcarts whenever they carry out their noble mission.

The public, however, took notice of Peñaflorida’s ingenious way of bring education to poor children by nominating him to the CNN’s list of heroes for this year.

Peñaflorida urged the crowd to “be the hero to the next one in need.” He also called on them to “serve well, serve others above yourself and be happy to serve.”

“As I always tell to my co-volunteers... you are the change that you dream as I am the change that I dream and collectively we are the change that this world needs to be,” Peñaflorida said.

Peñaflorida created a program that “My message to children of all races, please, to embrace learning and love it for it will embrace and love you back and enable you to change your world,” Peñaflorida said.

Efren Peñaflorida, I salute you as I salute the rest of the nine CNN heroes and many million unsung heroes all over the world who helped to make this world a better place!

PS: What is your dream of serving others? Unleash what God has put inside you and with God, nothing is impossible!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

STOP HARASSING YOURSELF!


Last week, twenty year old supermodel from South Korea was found hanged in a Paris apartment. Kim Daul had great potential to make it really big and was already pretty hot for leading fashion brand like Channel. People said the fashion glamorous world is full of hellish challenges and super competitive; some models even took drugs and some not eating at all just to keep slim!
20 years old, just a year after her teenage years and already being thrown into the troubled and chaotic world of GLAM! Where's her mom and dad?

According to report, South Korea ranked third in terms of suicides per head of population among the 30 Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development member nations in 2007, with 18.7 in every 100,000 people killing themselves.

Kim Daul before she committed suicide had written in her blog about how she harassed herself in order to be successful! In other words, she was overly harsh on herself! She might be smiling for the camera or being nice to her friends and audiences but could be hating herself to the point of killing herself!

Are you harsh on yourself today? Sometimes I admit I am! God may have forgiven all of us but sometimes we cannot forgive ourselves! We make a mistake and we jump! When we did not meet our expectations, we hit ourselves until blue black with our words! Worse, sometimes we even think of suicide..woooooa.....!

I think it's time you give yourself a break! I know we want to do our best but more often than not, it is for our ego! I want others to see my best and not my mistakes! Be real lah! Life is not fair and we make mistakes! Stop living in a make believe world and stop letting others dictate what you need to do! God knows you and He knows your name! Ask him to give you direction for your life! Don't depend too much on other people for your life!

When we moan and groan because we made a mistake because we felt we have let others down! Others again! You know what, others would have forgotten what you did and they have their own life to live and own problems to take care of!

Most importantly, God loves you and He knows your weaknesses! And God will never ever say, "Hey, how come you so stupid one!"


PS: Caution: Don't use your weakness as an excuse too (I don't care you like it or not, I am like that loh)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

WE WERE WARNED, AND WARNED, AND WARNED, AGAIN!



2012 - the movie that shot up to #1 spot when it was opened in the States! People love to see how the world is being destroyed but crossed their fingers that it won't happen in their life time.


The young ones said, "Hey, I am not married yet", "Wei, I don't want to die young", "Yo, I have not really enjoyed life just yet," and many other things in view of the coming disaster!


The idea of doomsday haS been in existence since who knows when! Thousands of years ago, a prophet by the name of Joel (from the Bible) predicted of the coming world disaster - which was then carried along into the New Testament where Jesus confirmed it. By then, there was no turning back, the world has been bombarded by doomsday prediction right until the present day. Hollywood added another dimension to it by coming out with various ways of earth's breaking apart.


The Bible has been most consistent when it come to earth's breaking apart. From the OT to the NT, it was saying the same thing without contradicting each other.


(Joel 3:14-15) Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision. The sun and moon will be darkened, and the stars no longer shine.

(Isa 13:9-10) See, the day of the LORD is coming --a cruel day, with wrath and fierce anger-- to make the land desolate and destroy the sinners within it. The stars of heaven and their constellations will not show their light. The rising sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light.


(Mat 24:29-30) "Immediately after the distress of those days "'the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.' "At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory.


(Rev 9:1-2) The fifth angel sounded his trumpet, and I saw a star that had fallen from the sky to the earth. The star was given the key to the shaft of the Abyss. When he opened the Abyss, smoke rose from it like the smoke from a gigantic furnace. The sun and sky were darkened by the smoke from the Abyss.


There are some religious people who predicted dates that attached to doomsday. Jehovah Witnesses is the most frequent date predicters for Jesus' Second Coming and end of the world and every single time, they were wrong! And the recent 2012 would be another date to watch out for! Albert Einstein predicted (no one knows why) that when bees disappeared from the world, we would have 4 more years before the end! Strangely, by 2006, bees started to disappear in large areas of the world! Scary!


Jesus was asked about dates too whether at what time he would come again. Thank God Jesus did not tell us the date or else the world will shut down!


Because of the wrong predictions of dates leading to the end of the world, people today seem to relax and deep in their minds, they will say, "Where is this 'coming' he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation."


That saying above comes from a verse in the Bible (2 Peter 3:4).


If we will live beyond 2012 and I believe we will, then more people will get disillusioned.


Yes, we have to warn people of Doomsday but don't tell them dates. Just tell them be ready because it could be anytime! Maybe, even before 2012 - there I go again, dates!


(Mat 24:44) So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.

(Mat 24:50) The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

TATTOO ME, I AM DEPRESSED!



I read from a newspaper the other day of a guy, about 30 years old, tattooed all over his body words like, "Hell", "Death", "Devil" and many other hellish words. The reason, his wife left him for another man. Psychologists said that this depressed man actually longed to die or perhaps didn't want to bother about life anymore. What a depressing story, worse than Liverpool's defeats. Some are now calling Liverpool, Loserpool, grrrrrrrrrr!

What makes this man so depressed that he couldn't live anymore?

1. He puts his whole hope and life on his wife.

I believe in romance and I loved my wife very dearly. But there is one more thing in life much more than my wife, that is my God! God is the reason why I exist and the reason I have my purpose in life, that includes loving my wife, a major part of my life. But if your only hope is your wife or gf or bf, then watch out, you may have to tattoo yourself too!

2. He doesn't take advice from anyone.

I believe many have talked, counselled, pleaded with him, take him to watch football matches, movies, comedy shows, introduced him pretty girls. I don't think he listened well. His heart has taken over his mind.

3. He wants to gain attention so that maybe to hurt his wife or to have her back.

People resort to all kinds of actions when they are depressed. Most people would drink out their sorrows. But there will be double pain the next morning, the heart plus the head. Some people go for rebounds, getting involved in relationships unnecessarily, hurting more people in the process. Some even plunge into homosexuality. But this guy chose tattoo to show the world he is hurt. "See, wife, this is what you have caused me!" or "Now come back to me and I will rub off these tattooes, no matter how hurting it would be."

But the more weird things you do, the further the wife would go! That's the reality!

Depression can hit anyone, including Christians and it is normal. So, don't go around and tell people not to grief, or cry or feel heartsick. But Christians have one avenue which many non Christians do not have and that is our Father in heaven. The grace of God can help us to forgive others and move on. It does take time to heal (how long depends on the person) but with good supporting Christian friends, we can pull through.

1. Put our trust in our heavenly Father

2. Listen to counsel and go to friends for help.

3. Don't do weird things. It'll get worse!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A FUNERAL FOR YOU WHILE ALIVE, ANYONE?



David Tseng is 25 years old and terminally ill with genetic muscular disease. What's not normal for this suffering man is that he held his own funeral when he was still alive! That day, he was uplifted by eulogies and songs during this living funeral, witnessed by few hundred people including 100 doctors where he would donate his body for them for experiment.

"Live funeral" is not new concept. They were done before and strongly advocated by a Catholic priest who is suffering from lung cancer and launched a "goodbye tour" in late 2007 with a series of speeches to share his fight against lung cancer.
Living funeral. Is it a good idea?

I have mix feelings about it. As Christians, funerals are NOT about the dying person but more for the loved ones of the beloved who died. The services and eulogies are to encourage the living and not the dead. Let God take care of the dead and let humans love the living! (That doesn't mean we simply just get over with the dead person!)

However, one thing good about live funeral is that the dying person can speak his last message/s to all those who are not dying. Anyway, the dying person can speak lah, even not holding a funeral.

I am surprised to see a Taiwanese doing this because Chinese people are very superstitious. They will by all means avoid the word, 'Die!" Eeiyeh!

Last words, do not wait before you are about to die to do something for society and to glorify God. Do it NOW while you are still alive and kicking!

Is someone in the family needed your encouragement? Is a friend of yours wanted help? Is the church needed volunteers for a ministry?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

HEY, LOOK! I AM NAKED!



I think you should have read the now famous Singapore topless car washing service. Four topless ladies were employed to carwash for about 20 men who were selected through a website. The girls were paid, $1,400 Sing. Dollar for the work. One lady car washer from China was expelled from her college in Singapore just two months before graduation. One boy whose girlfriend was one of them was cool towards the whole thing. Is it cool? To have your dignity violated for less than two thou? I am not sure if I still want her to be my wife when she could expose herself publicly for some cheap cash!


To some, nudity may be cool but to me, it is a very private thing. I used to have one or two dreams of being naked on the street and woke up sweating profusely. Thank God it is not real! I would not do it for a million dollars! Anyway no one would give me a million for my nakedness!


Few things I observe in this constantly changing world,


1. People couldn't care less about what others think.


2. If I feel good, then I'll do it.


3. I want to be famous. Please talk about me! In the facebook, twitter!


4. Hey, you dare or not!


5. I just want to be entertained. Amusement derived from the root word, 'amuse', meaning 'No thinking'


PS: Recently it was uncovered in Hong Kong that teenagers as young as 14 served as call girl just to get enough money for branded stuffs!


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

WHAT LAH LIVERPOOL!

Benitez: Shall I go or not!


I am heart broken by the latest strings of poor results of Liverpool matches. Losing to Chelsea was not so bad but to Florentina, Lyon and Sunderland (OMG). Liverpool has not lost to Sunderland since 1991 (28 years ago).



It has been 20 years since Liverpool last became champion in English football, yes, 20 long years and it looks like fans like Tom and Dick and Ronnie are tired of Liverpool being second best. Something needs to change. Does Benitez, the manager, need to be replaced? Yes, he has done some great work but not good enough. Maybe he needs to walk alone for a while and think about things or his future.



I have been a fan of Liverpool club for almost 40 years and we will not part ways until Jesus comes. But before He comes, come on, Liverpool, win the title lah.



Maybe the motto, "You'll never walk alone" should change to "Walk by faith!"




Wednesday, October 14, 2009

CHRISTIANS AND THE WORLD

I came across a survey (couldn't verify whether it's true or not) that more people are becoming Christians today than ever before (great to hear) but more people are leaving church (oops!). What is happening here? Are we still relevant to the world today? During my time, when my mom asked me to sit still, I would sit still until further notice. Today, if someone asks a teenager to sit still, he/she will retort back with sharp questions like, "Why should I sit, why not stand?" or "Why should I sit here and not there?" or "Eish...why should I listen to you?"

DL Moody, the famous evangelist said, "If you meet a hundred people on the street and you will find that one would want to read the Bible to find the truths about God but 99 others read Christians."

Yes, they read Christians! They don't care what you say even though you have a PHD in Theology but when you live right, they notice you.

Today, many people are not living the way God wants them to live and these people are finding people to accept them and love them. Yes, they cherish people who agree with them.

What should a Christian do?

Yes, we must accept and love them like Jesus did.
No, we shouldn't agree with them BUT no need to yell out our views.

Christians should use our lives to reach out to seekers by,,,

1. Love and compassion
2. Living a godly life with joy
3. Accepting them into our lives if they want to become our friends but stay away from what they do (this is the most difficult part for most Christians).

I believe the seekers understand you if you do not want to be like them, but only when you already build a relationship with them.

This movie "Lord, save us from Your followers" had been shown in the US in September this year to great reviews! It tells us so much about how the world perceive the Christians...(although this is in US but whatever is in US will certainly come to Malaysia one day - maybe it's already here)

Friday, October 9, 2009

MONEY TALKS



I seldom speak of money in this blog and I think this is the first time. This is because there is a recent survey that came out in the United States...


A Christian gives averagely only about 2.56% of their money to churches or any charitable organisations. Although it is still better than general population, who gives about 1.8%, there is nothing to shout about. The survey also said if Christians in US give 10% as inspired by the Bible, the churches would have USD 161 billion to use. That's about RM563 billion! And I am just talking about USA! And only 10%!


The saddest part of all this is that 7 million children under five died since the beginning of this year alone were caused by extreme poverty. Most of these children were from places that had never heard of the Name of Jesus before.


God in His infinite wisdom knew all along that the world has enough resources to feed everyone on earth. But due to our greed and inwardness, we have slackened far behind. I believe in two reasons for God inspiring tithes.


1. God uses tithes (10%) to test our faithfulness. I thank God that He didn't require firstfruits to be 90%. I have seen non-Christians flinched when they found out about tithing to church. If any Christian flinched like them, I wonder whether we are saved? Or really committed to the cause of Christ?


2. God uses tithes to do His work, to heal and feed the world. Sadly, we are still far behind that purpose.


Money is a sensitive issue. We work with our blood, sweat and tears so that we can get a salary to commensurate with the effort we put in. Which means money is part of my life I toil for! It is valuable!


But let us also consider where do we get our strength from in order for us to earn our living or money. From food of course! But where does food come from? Let's talk about bread. Bread was made from wheat and had to be planted by farmers. Wheat comes from God of course! Plants have to grow using water and sunlight also provided by God. So when we go to buy bread, we don't pay for bread itself. Huh? Yaah! We pay the farmers, transportation, baker and retailer! Bread comes from God!


What about our house? Bricks to build our house came from hills and mountains and points us back to God. Did we pay for our house? No! We pay people who collect stones and bricks, transportation, builders and government agencies for the land, also belongs to God!


From food to strength to work to money! It points us back to God! And God only requires 10% from us! As far as God is concerned, everything that we have belongs to God!


We are living in a world of selfishness. Let us Christians show the way of generosity! God blesses generous people! I have experienced that myself. When I was stingy, my pocket like got holes. But when I was generous, God blessed me in ways I could not imagine.


PS Don't expect money in return when you give to God. Sometimes God blesses us with good health and peace of mind and many other ways.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

GARY CHAW AND JUSTIN LO



I must admit I do not know who Gary Chaw is but I did hear of Justin Lo before. Later I found out that Gary is a Malaysian who made it big in Taiwan and Hong Kong. But what Gary did in full view of reporters and friends was something shameful. He kicked and punched Justin like a man gone wild. There are many theories about why he did what he did.


First of all, definitely there was the element of alcohol in the whole thing. Honestly, I was not a drinker but before I became a Christian, I did try drinking. When I took a lot (in my standard), I felt somehow I was able to boldly talk and to talk sarcastically. And many people pretend to be drunk so that they could do something they cannot do when they are sober like punching and kicking someone they dislike. I had seen fights many times after much drinking. I remember once my parents took me to a wedding dinner and suddenly chairs began to fly. We knew that fighting had broken out and we rushed out in the nick of time. There was also once in a restaurant where a table was overturned by a disgruntled person I believe was intoxicated.


Secondly, perhaps Gary Chaw has an anger problem. He couldn’t control himself when someone said something that he disliked. I heard this is not the first time he had gone wild in anger. Gary had everything that he wanted yet deep within him there is something that he has not come to terms with. A deep hurt only God can solve. Perhaps when he was a child, he had not dealt fully with discouragement or grief or unforgiveness. I have heard and even seen rich people living sad lives!


Last but not least, Gary and Justin may have something they needed to solve within them. Friends don’t kick friends like that. On the surface they might be friends, but I believe issues of the heart are not fully settled. Jealousy, hurtful words spoken, different opinions which they may have taken too seriously, just to name a few.


When I first became a Christian, God began to heal me of my hurts mostly from verbal abuse. Today I could say I was 80% healed (Praise the Lord) but there is always that 20% of insecurities that would blow up whenever someone said something hurtful.


Why do I still have that 20%? Seriously, I don’t know. Maybe it is there to keep me humble and to always be grateful for the healing that God performed on me.


PS: I drove past a signboard this morning with a picture of Gary Chaw smiling so handsomely. I hope he could take a look at himself in this picture and say, “Hey, I can be like that, happy and satisfied with my life”

Saturday, September 26, 2009

YOU MEAN I AM CARRYING SOMEONE'S ELSE BABY IN MY WOMB?


UPDATE: Carolyn has given birth to a healthy baby boy and given back to its rightful mother. Sean and Carolyn had even sent them heartiest congratulations! What a great story in a mess-up world!

Carolyn Savage and husband Sean were so happy to find out that Carolyn was pregnant with their child. Then came the "out of the world" phone call as if a ton of bricks came crashing on them. The fertility center said that she had carried someone else's baby. How did it happen? Or rather, how could it happen? They had put in the wrong embryo into Carolyn's womb which is like one in a multi-million chance!

Carrying for eight months, nurturing it with great expectation to cuddle the baby and then whoosh, all came to nought!

The real mother of the baby, Shannon Morell and her husband Paul have mixed feelings, on one hand, excited and the other hand, distraught at the suffering of Carolyn.

What makes this story so extraordinary was Sean and Carolyn did the right thing, they will hand the baby back to the rightful owner. To many, this issue would have gone to the courts to be fought bitterly! Some may even abort the baby!
Carolyn said it was the most difficult thing that had happened to her but the first thing she thought was to give back the baby! This is definitely the grace of God and I salute her and her husband. They did not even name the fertility clinic for fear of backlash. They knew it was a mistake and mistake happens! If only the world has more of you guys!

Shannon Morell was so grateful to her indeed! "How do you thank somebody for what they've done?" Shannon Morell said. "I could say thank you a million different ways." She felt so guilty although it was not her fault at all. She would let Carolyn get close to this special boy to be born, perhaps be his godma or something (this suggestion was by this blogger).

Children are gifts from God! They belong to God and parents have been given responsibility to care and nurture them until they become a blessing to the world for God's glory!

Together, Shannon and Carolyn, and your respective husbands, Sean and Paul, nurture this kid to become a testimony for Christ!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

BIRTHPANGS GETTING STRONGER!

SYDNEY ORANGEPERA HOUSE



FOREST BEHIND STEPHEN'S HOUSE (PS ANNE'S BROTHER)


Welcome to orange Sydney, a dust storm turning the beautiful city into an Armageddon liked scene.
Jesus spoke of birthpangs before His second coming or His return to earth. Like a woman in final stage of her pregnancy, the baby will kick harder and stronger. When earthquake happened during the 80's, there would be great commotion around the world. But today, earthquakes are just normal thing in the eyes of people. I think the small ones are considered as a minor traffic accident, only the big ones are reported widely. People of the world are being prepared for Armageddon. Hollywood continues unrelentlessly to show violent and disaster movies, latest being 2012, coming to cinemas on Nov 12th. 2012 speaks about the end of the world according to the ancient Mayan civilisation. Their calender ends in 21st Dec, 2012. Then there is the recent film about death, Final Destination II, which further numbs the minds of audience about death. It is like Hollywood is preparing people for the ultimate judgment that is coming - Armageddon!
No matter how much the world leaders talked about lowering nuclear weapons, the nuclear bombs that they had are enough to destroy the earth many times over.
Are you ready for the "baby"? Thanks be to God that He prepares a way for Christians to escape His wrath that is coming. Those who believe Jesus as their personal Saviour and Lord will be shielded by God through rapture, the biggest and most dramatic disapperance act ever in the history of mankind. Transporting millions to heaven in a single second!
PS: The sandstorm is like a manna sent from heaven to car washing companies, the only good news sandstorm brought to Sydney.

Friday, September 18, 2009

LOTUS VS PENANS


I was actually disturbed recently to read about my own country's people actually starving. The Penans, a tribal (Bumiputera) people in Sarawak, were running short of food and some of the girls were raped by workers especially belonging to the logging companies as being reported. The shortage of food is recent but rapes have been going on for some time, without any action being taken from the authorities. I thank God now, their plight has been highlighted by the newspapers and everyone now knows about the Penans. This tribal group is mostly my brothers and sisters in Christ.

I want to thank God for Father Sylvester Ding (Two thumbs up for the Dings) for organising and delivering food for these people. Malaysia has boasted of sky scrapers, super highways, food haven and incredible numbers of rich people but starvation in our own backyard? What is happening, man??

Lately, the government is talking about getting into Formula One with Lotus (owned by Proton), a complete Malaysian outfit. Some people have estimated it would cost about RM1 billion to continuously manage the outfit in Formual One.

Formula One - RM1 billion
Penans - Starvation.

I think the government should rethink the decision. Unless we can get foreign sponsors for the Race in Formula One, please forget about getting famous!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

FINALLY, LIVERPOOL DROP CARLSBERG!

BYE BYE CARLSBERG!

WELCOME, STANDARD CHARTERED BANK

Finally, Liverpool changed its major sponsor! After 17 lo.....ng years, Carlsberg was dropped as the main sponsor thus the front portion of the famous Liverpool jersey. It will change to Standard Chartered Bank...BIG, STRONG, and FRIENDLY!

What a day for some fans like me, who do not like to "advertise" Carlsberg together with a glorious team like Liverpool. Please don't get me wrong, I HAVE NOTHING AGAINST CARLSBERG! They had served Liverpool well (money wise), sometimes get them drunk too. This is just a personal opinion and you don't have to agree with me.

With Standard Chartered, finally I will buy my Liverpool jersey! I told many people, my instant friends are those who came from Sitiawan (my hometown) and of course, Liverpool fans! Psss, I may even start a SC bank account!
Jesus loves you! Liverpool may fail you but Jesus never will!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

INTERNET IS NOW 40 YEARS OLD!


The Internet is 40 years old. 1969 was the year where the first e-mail was sent from one computer to another in a research done in the United States. Then Vinton Cerf and Robert Kahn developed it and called it "Internet' in 1974. In 1988, Internet became commercial and later domain names using dot-com and others came into play.

Time travel back to around 1988. I was at Richard Chong's place and he was talking to me about Internet when we had our music practice in his home. During that time, I was excited of such advance technology but couldn't comprehend how it play out in the future.

In 1989, Tim Berners-Lee completes the original software for the World Wide Web (WWW) and since then, nothing and no one can stop its Tsunamic (if you have such a word) growth. The Internet was used by just a few when it first came out, and now, a whopping 1.5 to 2 billion people using the Internet! With wireless connection and I Phones getting extremely popular, there is no stopping its growth.

Only 40 years and the world is shrinking into a global kampung. Right now, everything is open before our eyes, including very early and unhealthy sex education (or should I say sex exploration)! Internet has become such a part of our lives that I don't know of anyone who has not got into Internet at all. It's like saying to that person, "Hey, get a life!"

By the way, Internet is not a surprise to our Mighty Creator God. Anyway, every raw material that mankind uses and every drop of wisdom used to create things comes from Him. There is in fact, nothing new under the sun. God sees Internet coming to serve His purpose. I believe when Jesus comes again, Internet will come in handy or should I say "sighty" where U Tube that features His return will have historic number of hits and downloads! Blogs, Facebook and Twitter will discuss nothing else except Jesus and His return.

PS: I wonder whether Jesus would set up Facebook or a Blog when He comes back to rule!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

THE WORLD HAS GONE MAD!


Former Miss California, Carrie Prejean is suing some people in the Beauty Pageant Organisers. The 22-year-old beauty queen lost her crown in June for what was claimed by officials a "breach of contract" and failure to attend scheduled appearances. But her lawyer insisted she was kicked out because of the comments she made during the Miss USA competition in April, when she said marriage should be between a man and a woman.

I heard that myself on TV and she said it was her own opinion. You mean, nowadays, I cannot even have my own opinions anymore! The world has indeed gone mad! And her opinion is the opinion of majority peoples in the universe and I can say, it also includes God's! When she said that, there was some boos in the crowd who obviously didn't like what she said. They were thinking what's wrong when a man married a man and a woman married a woman. Someone said this and I quote, God did not create Adam and Steve, but Adam and Eve. God did not create a Madam and Eve to consummate!!

There is going to be a great challenge to what Christians stand for. There were challenges throughout history and in these last days, there will be tremendous onslaught against what the Bible proclaims!

(Rom 1:18-19; 21, 24) The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them....For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.... Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.

Note this phrase, "God gave them over.." God allowed their futile and unrepentant
minds to carry on rebelling against God until judgment takes place.

(Rom 1:26 - 27) Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.

Carrie Prejean, hang on to your stand! Don't even give away an inch on what you believe in!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

DON'T MESS WITH ME, I AM A TEENAGER!



I read with concern in The Malay Mail last week about a concert in Singapore of the famous Lady Gaga. She spoke to a 10,000-strong audience, using the F-word frequently and mostly teenagers in the crowd would respond with wild cheers! To my horror, there are some parents there who also cheered together with their children. And I heard about this “Drake” guy who had a song in the top of the charts, the chorus is absolutely vulgar. His U Tube video of this song garnered almost 20 million hits!


Even the Christian Miley Cyrus (her father is also a Christian) who is idolised by teenagers the world over, dressed and danced sexily in the recent Teens Choice Awards ceremony. She also said publicly that Britney Spears was her idol.


What is happening to teenagers today in our country? These are my views and opinions...


1. They are constantly looking for pleasures and hoping to get approval from parents, pastors and other adults (If someone disagrees, they may nod their heads but inside, “Who cares what you think?”)

2. They don’t like adults who guard their every move.

3. They think they have learned enough and are strong enough to face the world.

4. They think they can come back anytime if they fail or fall. (They often take consequences for granted)

5. They think that being cool (using F-words, scantily dressed, clubbing etc..) is the way of life. (Parents and adults are from the ‘older’ generation.) Certain mannerisms like greeting an elderly person or saying sorry are not cool.

6. They give up easily because they think there are lots of alternatives around.

7. They tend to rush and often miss what God is doing or saying, in the world filled with instant quick messaging services like MSN, SMS, FACEBOOK, TWITTER and etc....

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

NO CANE NO GAIN


Seldom Malaysia becomes huge news in the world but when Kartika, a part-time model was caught drinking beer and punished with caning by Islamic Laws, it was on CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera and practically right around the globe.

Meanwhile in New Zealand the Government who has an anti-smacking Law was challenged by parents who think that smacking a child is a correct form of discipline. Although the Government came out with the Law, the enforcement part is difficult. But the parents are concerned about it as they fear being harassed by the Law when they discipline their children in their own home.

Thus the big question, “To smack or not to smack”?

I believe the most quoted biblical reference to discipline a child is in Proverbs 13:24
“He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.”

Some argue that you can’t take an ancient text and apply it today. And also Jesus did not smack the children.

First of all, I want to say this, caning or smacking a child in appropriate measure will not kill him/her. No one dies from caning unless it is done with intent to kill or injure. Pain is a good way to deter a child from going the wrong way.

Secondly, let us be realistic that caning will not solve every problem in a child. It must be mixed with tender care and love and lots of patience. If caning is the only discipline in a home, then a child may grow up thinking punishment is the only way to change.

Thirdly, children who are disciplined and understand its usage, they will grow up thanking their parents for guiding them. Fear of caning to a child means fear of consequences when he/she grows up. There are consequences in wrongdoing. In my 2-sen opinion, I object public caning as this would bring shame publicly. Disciplining a child should not bring shame to him publicly rather generating remorse inwardly.

The Bible is ancient but it is God’s fresh Word for all generations! It is like a old, old telephone directory, as long as it still gets through, it is useful. Jesus never smacked children because Jesus left them to responsible parents to do the job.

PS: Kartika is an adult and caning an adult especially a lady is humiliating. Anyway, she is a first time offender and already repented. Society must discipline hardcore offenders harshly as only God can change them (I have seen God changed hardcore criminals) but must rehabilitate first-time offenders!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

ANOTHER PILLAR FALLEN!

The Storm that some said was God's signal.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church today voted to allow individual congregations to bless same-sex marriage in the church. More than 60 over % voted "YES" to the issue. It has been quite a debate in the United States about gays and lesbians' rights to marriage and their adoptions of babies. Religious groups especially the CHURCH in the States are the last bastion of pillars homosexuals fight to bring down. Today they have torn down another strong pillar after the Anglicans were done with.


Homosexuality is a such a huge group in America today that they are almost seen as part of a culture there, perhaps it already is. It is not strange that Churches are grappling with issues like this one. Shunning them would be turning them away from Jesus, their only Saviour. Accepting them would be detrimental to the stand of the Holy Bible we hold so dear.


Leaders of the Lutheran denomination met in Minneapolis few days ago to allow married and committed homosexuals to become pastors of their churches. They said homosexuality was not "central to our faith". While they were meeting, a tornado swept through the place causing some damage and disrupted their meeting. Some said God disapproved the meeting and sent a storm but the leaders laughed it away.


What is my stand?


We should welcome homosexuals into the church and that God accepts them now as they are. When they become Christians, they have to build a relationship with God by doing what God said. One cannot ignore some parts of the Bible that says, homosexuality is sin. The church must teach that and as the same time, release the homosexual Christians to grapple with their own conviction. I am totally against same sex marriage in the church and taking them as leaders of the church. This is a dilution of God's Word of a healthy normal relationship between a man and a woman.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

MY JOURNEY IS NOT A SPRINT!



Usain Bolt from Jamaica dipped below 9.6 seconds for the first time in the world when he won the 100-metre race couple of days ago. To be exact, 9.58 seconds, which once was thought to be humanly impossible. But now, Bolt has bolted that record and some are wondering whether he could run even faster than that. Imagine running less than a second in 10 metres! 10 metres = 30 feet. It is absolutely flying! Super human so to speak!


Yes, Usain Bolt finished his race in record time and got his glory. Medals, fame and money (& lots of "honey" too) all come with his great athletic skills. This is a worldly glory and to God, He would not be there to cheer him on even though Bolt may dip below 9 seconds one day. God would cheer those whose journey is not a sprint.


A sprint is like a star who shines so bright in a day and Ka BOOM, explodes the next. God cheers those who choose to run on and on for His glory admists distractions and disturbances. Troubles and trials for these "marathon" runners are just temporarily glitches towards the high-calling race God marks out for them. They will not be turned on by the bright lights of the world but will keep running towards the finished line where Jesus Christ stands waiting. A cheer from Jesus Christ from heaven is better than the roar of millions in this world.


Jesus is the author and the perfecter of our faith (Hebrew 12:2). Jesus holds our hand from the starting line to the finish line. The journey may fill with treacherous roads but as we fix our eyes upon Him, it is going to be an adventurous run.


Today, there are countless people who give up their journey, their torches snuffed out, signifying nothing. The one who runs to the end will make the difference. Their journey are filled with life-touching stories and testimonies. At the end of their journey, not only their own family members are saved and transformed, there will be fresh crop of young people rising up to run as well!


(Heb 12:1) Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.


PS: My dad was saved a week ago. He had a communist ideology and also believe in anihilation of soul once we died. I thank God that in my marathon race, I could see him being on the side of Jesus Christ, his Saviour and Lord!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

STATISTICS THAT CHANGED MY LIFE



Last night I went to a dinner hosted by GMT (Global Ministry Teams) for their graduating students. The ministry is founded by none other than Ps. Irvin Rutherford. These students from all over the world would come and do short-term missions training for 3 months. Although it is short term, but when I witnessed their passion, they are going to be missionaries for a long time to come.


I sat next to an Indian graduand Ajay James and we instantly felt a connection. He told me about how Christians in India in certain places are being persecuted. But the thrilling part of the story is the more they are persecuted, the more people accepted the Lord. Hallelujah! The speaker who spoke that night confirmed in my spirit that souls are coming to the Lord in their thousands because of God's servants who lived and died for the sake of the gospel.


I was blessed to see passionate servants of God who stand ready to fulfill the Great Commission. Most of them left the comfort of their homes and families to serve God. Are we willing? Or rather, am I willing?


I read this in their newsletter....it says, statistics that changed my life...


27 Million : - Number of people who are bound by modern day slavery.

80% of which are women and children.

50% of those women and children are forced into prostitution.

4,400 : - Number of languages that are currently without Scripture portions available.

World : - 1/3 well fed - 1/3 underfed - 1/3 starving.

1 Billion : - Number of people who cannot read or write their own name, much less read the Bible if it is available in their language.

1% : - Percetage of missionaries that work among people who live in un-reached people-groups and they comprise 40% of the world's population.

40,000 : - Number of people who starve to death every single day in a silent tsunami.

Words to ponder....

(Jonah 4:11) But Nineveh has more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left, and many cattle as well. Should I not be concerned about that great city?"