Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Youth Impact - A Heart of Giving

I love working with the young people in our church. Working with young people makes us younger and actually do slow down our aging process. I have been working with them over two years now. They are a great group of young people with a big heart.

The youth in our church call themselves Youth Impact. They live up to their name by impacting their peers, their community and the society at large.

I am so blessed to see in the recent years, the youths have rise up and play a pivotal role in the church activities. From music, to drama, to serving food in our community project, they are there to provide their skills and ability.

I was sharing in the Youth Impact meeting on 13th December 2008. It was our last meeting for the year 2008. While preparing the message, the Lord spoke clearly to challenge the youth to give and bless the underprivileged children in our city. Our God works in an awesome way. He told me clearly, "Vive, challenge them and you be a part of it. Every dollar they gave, you give a dollar". Wow....I told Lord, I will obey to your voice.

During the Youth Meeting, I challenge the young people to give their best in this season of Christmas for a good course. I give them just a day to collect and told them give as the Lord inspire them. We decided the collection will start on Sunday 14th December 2008 from 10.00a.m till 12.30p.m. In my own limited mind, I was thinking they will raise around RM300 to RM350. The Lord proves me that I am wrong. The Youth Impact collected around RM905 within 2 hours of collection. I was in a state amazement to see the heart of giving among the young people of our church.

With RM1810 in hand, we gave the freedom to the Youth Impact leaders to go and buy gifts for two children homes in Penang. On 20th December 2008, we went over to the Children Protection Center and Salvation Army Children Home and bless them with the gifts from our young people. It is a joy indeed to bless someone during this season of giving.

I feel such a joy because I see the heart of giving in our young people. They are willing to give their very best so that the name of the Lord will be lifted up.

A big THANK YOU to all of you in Youth Impact. You have really proved your heart of giving. I am amazed. I sure you bring a big smile to our God and to the children in the two homes. A special thanks to Yi Lin and Melissa for buying the gifts and packing it nicely. Thank you to Aaron, Desywn, Nic, Sue Lin and others who joined us in the delivery of the gifts and spending time with the kids at the home.

Be Blessed.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

2009 Resolution

Started to reflect on what I want to do for the coming new year. I am sure many of us are reflecting our 2008 resolutions and it's achievement and at the same time writing down our new resolution for 2009. Well it is good to have plans.

As for me, I am seeking the Lord on His plans for our lives (both me and my wife). I wonder where the Lord will lead us next. I truly believe the year 2009 would bring some changes to our lives. The greatest desire I have is to walk and live in accordance to my Heavenly Father's will. Proverbs 19:21 says "Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand." There are wishes and dreams that I hope for in 2008. Some came to past and some is yet to be answered. I believe God will answer in His time. I am excited of 2009. I know the Lord has lots of things in place for us in the coming year.

As we approach 2009, let's us reflect on the goodness of the Lord in our lives for the year 2008. The Lord has good things prepared for us. Jeremiah 29:11 says "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope."

Be Blessed.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Back to Penang

Yesterday was one of the longest drive I had from Kuantan to Penang. Took us almost 8 hours with one coffee break at Tapah rest area. Rain was one of the reason for the slow down. It was raining heavily along the PLUS highway. Anyway, I enjoyed the drive as Ps. Geoffrey and Felicia was travelling along with us. We had good conversation and good laugh along the way.

Overall it was memorable trip for me and my wife as we manage to meet up with a lot of church friends in Kuantan. I have not met some of them for ages. Some who were once in their 20's/30's have already shown sign of ageing. Met some of young kids of the church who have grown up and some even have started to work. It is good to visit back my home church, Grace Charismatic Center. Many of us left Kuantan after completing our high school in pursuit of further studies and work and many of us settle down elsewhere.

The beauty of Christian friendship is even after such a long time you have not met someone, the moment you see the person, the whole friendship will be rekindled. What a joy!!!!!

Now, here I am back in the rat race. Catching up on datelines, managing people and their expectation. Trying my best to spend the rest remaining days of 2008 to the fullest.

Wish you a blessed week and God Bless.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The depths of God's word

Today I had the privilege of sitting down with two great men of God and listening to their discussion on the account of creation as recorded in Genesis. I count it a great privilege indeed. So many truth and revelation was shared. One thing I know for sure, their deep understanding and experiences comes from the many hours that they spent in meditating on the word of God. One of them told us that they spend about one year on reading and meditating Genesis Chapter 1 to 6.

One thing I have learned, as we seek the Lord and ask of Him to reveal the meaning of His word, He will bring into revelation the deep truth of His word. I believe that is why the word of God says in Matthew 7:7 "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you".

Psalms 25:14 says "The secret of the LORD is for those who fear Him, And He will make them know His covenant." Those who want to know God and His truth seek God by his ancient eternal word in the Bible. He will reveal Himself to them and give them His promised blessings because they respect Him above all others. God has shown you his love by giving you His word so we may know the right way.

God says, Isa. 45:19: “I have not spoken in secret, In a dark place of the earth; I did not say to the seed of Jacob, 'Seek Me in vain'; I, the LORD, speak righteousness”

I pray that as we approach a brand new year, let it be one of our resolution to read and meditate on His word and go deeper in understand His word.

Be Blessed.

Friday, December 26, 2008

The best sms Christmas wishes


I have been receiving tons of Christmas wishes via sms since Christmas eve. A big Thank You to all of you who have sent Christmas wishes via sms to me and wife. We are so blessed. I am sure that the telco companies in Malaysia are having big fat smile as every single sms adds profit to their business. Hope they can join the spirit of Christmas and gives some good discount or rebate to their loyal customers.

One of the best sms I received this year was from Ps. Albert Ong. Here is the sms:

Santa lives at the North Pole. JESUS is everywhere. Santa rides in sleigh. JESUS rides on the wind and walks on the water. Santa comes but once a year. JESUS is an ever present help. Santa fills your stockings with goodies. JESUS supplies all your needs. You have to wait in line to see Santa. JESUS is as close as the mention of His Name. Santa lets you sit on his lap. JESUS lets you rest in His arms.

JESUS lives and HE lives forevermore.

Be Blessed.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Best Christmas eCard

It is Christmas day. Here I am blogging from my parent's home. Thanks to my new Celcom broadband service that gives me the luxury of surfing the Internet while I am traveling.....

Nowadays everyone resort into sending eCard. Gone are the days of traditional Christmas greeting cards send via snail mail (refering to our good old postal service). Today I want to reflect upon an interesting eCard that I have seen this Christmas from DaySpring. It contains a nice flash animation with a poem written by Holley Gerth. I am pretty impressed with the poem especially with the truth that is made simplied in the poem pen down by Holley Gerth. Here is it goes for your reading pleasure.

Jesus is the Gift Jesus is the gift that perfectly fits every heart and it is with His love that all celebration starts. We rejoice in Him as we remember His birth and thank God for sending His only Son to earth. His life led from a manger to a cross on a hill where He faithfully followed His Father’s perfect will. He freely laid down everything so that we could live, and there is no greater treasure anyone could give. Like a scarlet ribbon His love wrapped around the cross and He offered it to us all at the greatest cost. So each time that we give we remember what He’s done and honor the perfect Gift?God’s one and only Son. — Holley Gerth

I pray that all of us will appreciate Jesus as our perfect Gift. The bible says in John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave…”. God gave us the perfect Gift for Chrismas. He is no other than Jesus Christ....He is the reason why we celebrate Christmas.

Have a blessed Christmas.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Wet Christmas Eve

Here I am.....back to my good old hometown, Kuantan which is located in the state of Pahang.. Been a wet Christmas eve as the three states in East Cost of Peninsular Malaysia are experiencing Monsoon weather. Well, the Monsoon weather that I know during my childhood days are totally different compare to Monsoon today. Those days, it use to rain continuous for couple of days. There are times when we have no shirts and pants since all our clothing are wet and not able to dry fast. Nowadays, due to the Green house effect, Monsoon is much different with rains during certain hours but yet it can devastating with rising water level.

Anyway, since it is Christmas time, my focus and attention are geared up in celebrating the birth of the only Savior of mankind, Jesus Christ. May His love fills your heart this season. Thus says the Lord: "... I have loved you with an everlasting love." Jer 31:3

Be Blessed and Happy Holiday.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Merry Christmas

Dear ViveAlive readers,

Wishing all of you Blessed Christmas. This blog will not be updated for the whole of next couple of days as I will be away on journey back to my hometown. Yea....it is Balik Kampung (means back to village) time again.



It has been a rough year with lots of sad stories especially on the latest economic turmoil that has affected many. Nevertheless, I still believe there is hope in this Christmas because Jesus brought hope into our hopelessness. This season of holiday, let us celebrate the things that we have. Let us count our blessings.

Be Blessed & Happy Holiday.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The true meaning of Christmas

Santa Claus (also known as Santa, Father Christmas) and Christmas is almost becoming a synonym nowadays. When some talks about Christmas, a lot of people will never miss Santa Claus. Dear friends, Christmas is not about Santa Claus but it is about Jesus Christ, our Lord and God who came to earth as man and die for us so that we can live and rescued from eternal condemnation.

The original Santa is actually known as Saint Nicholas was apparently a godly man who helped the poor and oppressed during the 4th century. He lived in the town of Myra in what is now southern Turkey and was the Bishop of the local Catholic church. If he were around today, I'll bet he would be shocked to see how the celebration of his legacy has been greatly embellished and how it has in many ways eclipsed the birthday of Jesus.

The theme of Christmas is also being distorted with lots of marketing gimmicks. I have even seen an hotel advertisement that states "Come and enjoy the fairy tale of Christmas". I call up the hotel and spoke to the customer relation officer and reminded them that Christmas is not a fairy tale but it is true account of the birth of Jesus Christ.

The Star had an article today with the headline "‘Father Christmas’ turning teens into samsu addicts". It is a story about how irresponsible people are taking advantage of the season of Hope by bringing hopelessness, and in this case, to the young generation. According to the article, they label the "samsu" or also known as distilled spirits as "Father Christmas" and sell it to the public. The alcohol drinks are being consumed by schoolchildren as they are readily available at sundry shop. It cost between RM1.50 and RM3 for a 150ml bottle which is within their weekly allowance.

Satan is trying his very best to blind mankind from the true meaning of Christmas. In the case of "Father Christmas", he even brings physical blindness. We need to pray like never before and we need to show the world that Jesus is the true reason for Christmas.

There's no Christmas without Jesus. It's to Him our eyes should see. Not to jolly old Saint Claus nor a glittering Christmas tree!

Be Blessed.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas - A renewal of hope


The world's definition of Christmas is nothing more than parties, shopping, gifts, Christmas tree and Santa Claus. Many will spend the holiday season drinking, partying and all sort of other activities. But for Christians, it is a reminder of the the hope that Christ has brought to mankind.

Since the fall of mankind, sin has separated us from a holy God. God seemed distant, hidden in the Most Holy Place of the Tabernacle and only accessible to the high priest. Others would not even have chance to experience the presence of God nor assure of their salvation.

But God the Father who loves us since creation, bring us hope through His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. Christ brings hope to mankind. Even if we are struggling through the disappointments of life, if we have Jesus, we have hope. And He is not a childish fairy tale that we wish will have a happy ending. When Christ rose from the dead, that ended the argument of hopelessness. Period. Our hope in Him is solid and it is real.

The Psalmist says in Psalms 33:22 "May Your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in You." Christmas is a renewal of that hope. It reconfirms it for us if our vision has grown dim. It was settled 2000 years ago in Calvary, so we don't have to doubt any more. Jesus is the fulfillment of our hope, our deepest longings come true.

Let me encourage you with Romans 15:13 “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Let hope arise in us today.

Be Blessed.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Immanuel - God with us


Throughout the New Testament, Jesus was given many names. Each of these names reflects a different facet of His character and helps us understand who He really is. Of all the names that were given to Him, none brings more comfort to my heart than Immanuel—God with us. Immanuel gives me the assurance that God is with me all the time. In my joy and in my sorrow.

The name Immanuel was recorded in Matthew 1:22-23 "All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 'The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel' - which means, 'God with us.'".
The angel was telling Mary and Joseph that the child she would bear would be God Himself coming down to live among men. By the way, Matthew 1:22-23 is the fulfillment of the Old Testament promise in Isaiah 7:14 "Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel."

Do you believe that God is with us all the time? We turn to God quickly during our time of sorrow and despair. Unfortunately, many times, we forget about Him in times of joy and rejoicing. Although He promise to be with us, we mostly seek for Him when we are in trouble, in fear or in struggle. If God is the giver of joy and He is "God with us," then He must want to share in those moments of great joy - and even those times of silly laughter and fun. Bible scholars tell us that the when the Bible speaks of God dwelling among men it literally means “He pitched His tent” among us. It literally means that He came to live right where we do.

As we approach Christmas in 9 days time, let us remember - "Immanuel ... God with us." What more does Christmas need to be to me? To you? All we need is Jesus. He is more than enough this Christmas. Let us ask him to help us focus less on our holiday agendas, as we spend more time at his feet worshiping Christ, our King.

Be Blessed.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Grace of Giving


It is 10 days to go before Christmas. One of the greatest lesson we can learn from Christmas is about the Grace of Giving. God the Father gave us His only begotten Son so that we will not perish but have eternal life. The promise hope for mankind that mention as early as in Genesis and in the book of Isaiah comes to fulfillment when Jesus was born in a humble manger so that he can be accessible to all mankind, from the shepherd to the wise men.

Christmas is a time where we bless others with gifts. But above all, I trust the Lord is looking at our heart. It is the attitude of giving that the Lord is looking at in our heart.

Paul in his second letter to the Corinthian Christians describe about the grace of giving among the Macedonian Christian (2 Corinthians 8:1-12). He was using them as an example to the Corinth church. During that time, the church in Jerusalem was going through difficult moments. There was famine and a great deal of poverty in Jerusalem. In response, the apostle Paul spent close to ten years taking up a collection for the needy in Jerusalem. Paul says despite severe trial and extreme poverty, the Macedonian gave to the needs of their brethrens in Jerusalem out of overflowing joy. The poverty of the Macedonians is confirmed by secular history. The Romans took most of their wealth when they conquered this former homeland of Alexander the Great. They were so motivated by their dedication to Christ, their love for fellow believers, and the joy of helping others that they opened up their hearts and wallets and gave generously.

In a world of self-centeredness, this doesn't make any human sense. I believe when we experienced the grace of God in our lives, we won't use difficult circumstances in our lives as an excuse not to give. I believe that is what defined as the grace of giving. Giving is a work of God’s grace in us. The Macedonian Christians did not just give but the bible records that they gave enthusiastically – they actually pleaded to give to God. What an awesome grace of giving in them!!!

As Christmas is approaching near, let us look around us and see if there is a need where we can exercise the grace of giving. There maybe someone who is in need. Why not offer our life and our resources so that His name will be glorified.

Be Blessed and have a great week ahead.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Shine for Jesus

Recently I came across the testimony of a great footballer of our time, Kaka. A Brazilian play maker who plays professionally for AC Milan in Italy was named the World Player of the Year by FIFA on 17th December 2007. There is an amazing testimony about this man and how he honor God in his job. His faith is so much a part of him, and he carries it so naturally that the secular press, whenever writing about him, almost without fail mentions that he is a "devout Christian".

This what Kaka or his fullname Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite said in an interview with Reuters after he receive the Best Player award:

"Tonight is really special for me," said Kaka, who helped Milan to their seventh European Cup title in May and was also inspirational in Sunday's 4-2 Club World Cup final victory over Argentina's Boca Juniors. "When I was young I dreamed of playing for Sao Paulo and playing just one game for the national team. That was it...but the Bible says God gives us more than we ask for and that is what has happened in my life."

Kaka defies the model of a modern footballer. The 26 year old chooses to let his football make the headlines, not for his own glory but for the name of the Lord to be lifted up. Kaka, a devout Christian, largely avoids celebrity parties and does not worry too much about his image, expressing himself on the pitch with mesmeric skill and driving runs. I am sure if you have watch the movie Goal, you will get a picture how is the life of professional football players.



He glorified God in the even when he achieve the highest achievement a footballer can achieve in his career. He does not let success go to his head or subscribed to the hedonism that many famous players are notorious for.

I like the other statement that he made to an Italian press. Here is what reported by the press: "Kaka says life as an evangelical pastor appeals to him after football. But football is his calling now."

Proverbs 3:1-6 says: "My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, For they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity.Let love and faithfulness never leave you; Bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man. Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight."

What an amazing testimony. Do we see our job as our calling? I believe God has placed us in strategic places to bring glory and honor to His name.

Be blessed and have a great weekend.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Breaking the Limit

In 1903, Harry Andrews, a British Olympic coach, stated, “The mile record is 4 minutes 12.75 seconds. This record will never be broken.” There was a fierce intellectual debate that the human body had reached its full potential. Proof was offered based of the analysis of the anatomy of the body that a human being could not run a mile any faster than 4 minutes and 12.75 seconds.

In 1954, Roger Banister became the first person to break the 4 minute mile barrier. He sprinted to the finish line in 3 minutes and 59.4 seconds. In that that same year, 2 other people ran 4 minute miles, too, right after him. And the next year, a phenomenal 236 people also did what was considered impossible! And since then, new record has been set and broken and set. Interestingly, today the record stands at 3 minutes, 43 seconds set in Rome in 1999, by Hicham El Guerrouj of Morocco – a full 17 seconds less than set by Roger Bannister!

Roger Banister took what was accepted as a brick wall limit and pushed it in the ditch. His proof that it could be done mentally cleared the way for others to also “do the impossible.” Roger Banister broke the barrier.

In similar fashion we today are capable of limiting God whenever we refuse to allow God to act in ways that exceed our imagination, understanding or comfort zones. We set barriers and sometimes this barriers comes from the negative words and the discouragement that we had before. We limit God whenever we restrict God to what is familiar and comfortable for us. Even though we may profess God can perform miracles, the reality is we frequently have doubts when viewed in specific circumstances. Unfortunately, in such instances both God and we are the less for our disbelief.

The key fundamental for breaking barrier is Faith. The author of the book of Hebrews says “To have faith is to be sure of the things we hope for, to be certain of the things we cannot see.” (11:1) Faith in action is not always rational, familiar or comfortable. Frequently faith requires us to step beyond what is recognizable and believe in what is hidden from our eyes.

I pray we approach a brand new year, 2009, let's seek the Lord to grow into greater heights in our relationship with the Lord and in our ministry. Let 2009 be a year of Breaking the Limit.

Be Blessed.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Nocompromise

For months Eric Liddel trained as a track athlete for the purpose of winning the 100 meter race in the Olympics of 1924. Sports writers all over the country predicted that Liddel would win the 100 meters. And then he learned that the 100 meter race in 1924 in the Olympics was scheduled for Sunday. This posed a problem. Eric believed that he could not honor God by running in the contest on the Lord’s day. His fans were stunned by his refusal. Some who had praised him began to call him a fool and the press laughed at Eric Liddel because he wouldn’t run on Sunday.

Suddenly, a runner dropped out of the 400 meter race and they had no alternate to take his place and it was scheduled for a week day. Eric offered to fill the slot even though this is four times as long as the race he had trained to run. When he ran the race, Eric Liddel won the race. In 1924, "The Flying Scotsman" had a gold medal and a world record, 47.6 seconds. Incredible time. Most important of all, Eric Liddell had kept his commitment to his convictions of faith. And he was a winner. Later, Eric Liddel went to China as a missionary and in 1945 he died there serving the Lord...ever as uncompromising as he had been before.

Does every man have his price? Will everyone of us sell out at some point or another? Do all of us have moral standards that are only valid insofar as they accommodate our desires? Or, do we then when we have a greater desire, set it aside for the sake of those standards which we say we believe?

The bible speaks about many men and women of God who are took a stand of no compromise in their believes. One of them is about Daniel. Daniel along with 10,000 other Jews had just been deported to Babylon from Judea by Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel and his three friends remain faithful to God Jehovah by not submitting to the ungodly request of their captors such as eating of unclean food and worshiping foreign gods. There is price to be paid when we do not compromise on our faith. For example, Daniel has to go through Fiery Furnace and Lion’s den experience. But God is a faithful God.e was there with them during the ordeal. In fact the Bible states that God rewarded Daniel and his 3 friends for their stand of no compromise. Here are some example:

1. Giving them supernatural strength and health (Dan 1:15-16)

2. Ability to excel in their studies and making them smart (Dan 1:17-20)

3. Giving them supernatural gifts – ability to know and interpret the dream of the King. (Dan 1:17)

4. Raising them to be the top government official (Dan 2:48-49)

How can we be like Daniel and his 3 friends in this 21st Century? Here are some pointers:

1. Knowing who is our God

2. Knowing the source of our help and strength

3. Knowing that there are price to pay and there are reward awaiting for us for living an uncompromising life

Let us today strive to live a life of uncompromising faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. A quote from Blaise Pascal says "the serene, silent beauty of a holy life is the most powerful influence in the world, next to the might of God"

Honor God in all you do, and He will honor your obedience with a life that counts for eternity. "Complete surrender" to Christ is total victory.

Be Blessed.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Life Challenges

“Is it really worth it to obey God?” Nearly every Christian at some point in his journey asks that question. Life seems so hard, very confusing, very hard and packed with lots of challenges.

In the book of James 1:2-4 says "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."

James further states on God's promise for an overcomer in Chapter 1:12-15 says "Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death."

I love how honest James and the other authors of Scripture are about the struggles of ordinary faith. Scripture doesn't avoid the hard questions nor the harsh realities of living in a fallen world. The Scripture is full of interesting stories and graphically honest accounts about how things happen in a fallen world.

Often we hear throughout the Scriptures, hollow and desperate cries of the faithful who are confused asking, “How long, O Lord?” This is where we may be living today. James really shows us that he believes in a sturdy gospel, a robust gospel.

These verses remind us that because of grace we don't have to deny problems, avoid reality, explain around trials, put a smile on and act as if everything is OK. No, James exposes the rawness of human existence—a real heart with real pain and real struggle, but also a God who is awesome in His grace, incredible in His patience, and stunning in His wisdom.

Dear friends, you don't have to dress yourself up and make yourself acceptable to God. you can bring yourself to Him as you are. You can bring your questions to him. God will regularly take us where we hadn't intended to go in order to produce in us what we could not achieve on our own.

Remain steadfast in Him during the moment of life challenges for the crown of life is awaiting for you.

Be Blessed.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

TOP Big Party @ Penangnettv


Today I receive a call from Joshua Yee informing me to visit www.penangnettv.com for a documentary on our monthly Big Party programme. Big Party is a community project organized by our church, Tabernacle of Praise, Penang, to contribute something back to the community around the Jelutong area. I am so blessed to see the online video and I am reminded that we serve a faithful God. As my best friend Ivan quote it in his blog, A Pinch of Salt, big party is about "A Touch of Lives".

The handsome man in the picture above is our beloved pastor, Rev. Geoffrey Yee.

Go ahead and enjoy the documentary at http://www.penangnettv.com/tabernacleofpraise/

Be Blessed.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Excellence

We live in a world where we compete to be the best in what ever we embark on. We teach our children and our teenagers the importance excellence but sometimes we miss the mark in ensuring that excellence must be obtained with a servant-hood heart. Healthy competition are good for the soul when it leads to excellence but not when it leads to striving for self-glory. We got to watch out this danger of self-glory. Self-glory to a certain degree will lead to destruction of one's soul. We got to watch out even in our christian ministry. We would be doing well in our ministry but we must be aware the danger of self-glory.

One day Christ's disciples started arguing about who would be the greatest in His kingdom. Jesus listened, then He picked up a towel and a basin of water and began to wash their feet. When He finished they were speechless, their hearts exposed, their attitudes corrected. "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who...made Himself of no reputation (Philp 2:5-7).

Jesus taught us excellence through serving others. The Son of God shows us excellence by washing the feat of his disciples. In fact the bible says in order to be the greatest, we got to be the least among all. Least here speaks about excellence with a servant's heart. It does not talk about defeat or being a failure As we approach another weekend, let us learn to serve rather than striving for self-glory.

Have a great weekend and Be Blessed.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

We serve a God of Faithfulness

Our God is indeed a faithful God. He is a God who is our very present help in time of need. Deuteronomy 7:9 says "Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; He is the faithful God, keeping His covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love Him and keep His commands."

The Hebrew root from which the words translated "faithful" and "faithfulness" in the Old Testament are derived means "to prop" or "stay" or "support". The intransitive use of the word signifies to stay oneself or be supported. With that understanding, we can translate the word "faithful", as applied to a person, means someone a person can safely lean upon. The Greek word used in the New Testament means "trustworthy" or "to be relied upon".

We can lean on God and find rest in Him in our trouble times. He is indeed a Faithfull God and we can depend on Him. His love and commitment to us is the underpinning force in our lives. 2 Timothy 2:13 says "If we are faithless, He will remain faithful, for He cannot disown himself". He cannot deny himself; every promise He has made to us is true.

Let us therefore, have trust in His promises and throw ourselves upon His grace. He wants to take our cares, so lets give them to Him. He is forever working for our good and for His Glory.

Problems will arise in life, trials will at one time or another beset us, but Jesus will never leave us or forsake us, He is sovereign and in control of every situation in life. God is faithful, and our trust and faith in His faithfulness should be the most encouraging thing in our lives.

Be Blessed.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

December Celebration

December is a month filled with lots of birthday. Last night, we had an early birthday celebration for BA (December 3rd) and Alyna a.k.a. Tiormm (December 4th). It was fun filled time at BA & Jessy's house with home cook meal plus with lots of salads and healthy dessert. My Tiormm prepared Egg curry and some other dishes and Jess with her signature salads. It is one of the best egg curry I ever tasted in Penang. We talk and talk the whole night till we almost forgotten that all of us are working on the next morning. I cherish moments like this where we are able to share openly our thoughts, our challenges and our views. Deline, if you are reading this article, you were in our thoughts and we wish you were here too.



To BA and Alyna, wishing you Happy Birthday and Many Happy Returns of the Day. Want to encourage both of you with this verse from 2 Corinthians 6:2 "For he says, “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation. Thank you for your friendship, for your love and for your care. You have touched many of us in your own special way. We are blessed to have you in our lives especially those of us from clubPATI. May the good Lord continue to shower you with His rich blessing in all areas of your life and He lead you to a new experience with Him.

Not forgetting Hui Ping (December 4th), Happy Birthday to you too. May the good Lord continue to shower His blessing upon your life especially in your studies and everything that you embark on and may He grants the desire of your heart according to His will and time.

The month of December also reminds us that "Unto Us A Saviour Was Born". It is Christmas season again. Christmas is not just about gifts and party but above all, it is about God came to earth as man to provide a way for us to have communion with Him. God brings Joy to the World. He love us so much that He is willing to leave His throne and come and die for us as the ultimate sacrifice for our sin so that none of perish but have eternal life through Christ Jesus. Jesus did it once for all in Calvary. Isaiah 9:6 says "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."

The Bible says in 1 John 1:9, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." All sin, all unrighteousness—past, present, and future—is washed away by the blood of Christ when we confess our sins and receive his cleansing salvation. Our souls are forever freed from the crushing weight of guilt, thanks to the loving sacrifice of our Savior.

So you better watch out and you better not cry for Jesus is coming back soon. Hosanna in the Highest.

Be Blessed.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Waiting for an answer.......

Few days ago, I changed my Facebook status to "still waiting for an answer". There are some answers in life that I am waiting and earnestly seeking the Lord for guidance and some breakthrough.

To my surprise, my pastor from Dunedin, New Zealand responded. Pastor Graeme's first respond was "Hey Vive, not sure of the question, but I have some ideas about the answer.....".

This morning when I open up my mail, I saw a second response from him. I am lifted in my faith with this word of encouragement from Ps. Graeme:
"Hey Vive. I better send you some thoughts by email. I will do so later today. Here is the scripture God has given me for you. ... 2 Kings 6:1 And the sons of the prophets said to Elisha, “See now, the place where we dwell with you is too small for us." Big changes ahead for you both!!"

Wow, I am indeed amazed the way how God moves. He still speaks today and He confirms what He has placed in our hearts. I have not shared with Ps. Graeme what is in my heart but yet God Almighty reveal to him.

I have not met Ps. Graeme for more than 10 years now. We do email occasionally. Ps. Graeme imparted a lot of Godly leadership values into my life. He challenged me to do the impossible. I remember he inspire us to start Hope On Campus. A ministry to reach out to International students in Dunedin. Today, they have an outreach church running near the campus with about 70 members. He gave one main Sunday service for us (the International students) to run. I remember one day Ps. Graeme told the International students to run the main Sunday service and I was given the honor to share the word of God. All of us felt it was an honor and a valuable experience. For me, it was my first pulpit sharing experience. He even give us the opportunity to share communion on Sunday service. When I left NZ, I was well equipped to bring back what I have learned in my short stint in NZ and apply it in Malaysia.

I always thank God for pastors who have impacted me in many ways. Pastors like Pastor Geoffrey, Pastor Graeme, Pastor Richard & Pastor Benjamin are great leaders who have invest into my life and many others. They demonstrated Godly leadership especially a servant-heart leadership.

I am blessed and I am looking forward for the email.

Be Blessed.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Positive Words

Words can bless a person or they can curse a person. Words can build a person or destroy a person. This is a day and age in which sarcastic humor is the thing to do. We need to be cautious on how we bring our message across especially all of us who knows the Truth and the Truth that has set us free. A wrong choice of words may sometime leave behind permanent damage. Proverbs 16:24 says "Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones." I am not saying that we need to go around the bush but my emphasis is in using the right choice of words.

Words will heal or make you sick. How you speak about yourself and others has a direct bearing on what the mind creates. Words that ridicule, torment, harass and tear down a person will never bring life. Thoughts that are always fearful and bitter will never remove fear and worry. The Lord says our thoughts are not His, but they can be His if we will change our way of thinking and speaking. We have what we have because we speak into existence.

Some once said, "Speak kind words and you will hear kind echoes". How true is that statement. It is echoing what the Word of God said in Matthew 7:12 "Therefore, whatever you want people to do for you, do the same for them, because this summarizes the Law and the Prophets".

A lot of trouble in this world is caused by combining a narrow mind with a wide mouth.

I pray that the Lord will give us a tongue that is slow to speak and ear that is ever ready to listen.

Be Blessed.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Easy & Difficult

In life there are things that are easy and things that are difficult. In those difficult moments we need the Father's grace to carry us through so that we can be more like Jesus.




Easy to occupy a place in the telephone directory.
Difficult to occupy the heart of somebody.

Easy to judge the errors of others.
Difficult to recognize our own errors.

Easy to hurt those whom we love.
Difficult to heal those wounds.

Easy to forgive others.
Difficult to ask for forgiveness.

Easy to exhibit victory.
Difficult to assume defeat with dignity.

Easy to dream every night.
Difficult to fight for a dream.

Easy to pray every night.
Difficult to trust God in the smallest of things.

Easy to say we love.
Difficult to demonstrate it every day.

Easy to criticize everybody.
Difficult to perfect ourselves.

Be Blessed & Have a great weekend.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Silent Prayers

Today, I grieve with the family members who have lost their love one in last night Mumbai horrific terrorist attack. Over 100 people have died in this horrendous attack. I pray that the Lord will surround them with His unchanging love and peace especially in times like this.

I wonder what was going on inside the mind of the killers? Have they ever wondered that all of us come from the same offspring that is Adam and Eve? I wonder what makes a person to be so revengeful until innocent lives are downed in split seconds.

Today, over 100 families might have lost a father, a mother, a son or a daughter. For some, it may be a loss of a sole bread winner for the home. For some, it is the loss of a sole care taker. I pray that the Lord will make a way for them.

I wonder when will all this come to an end. When will human being learn to respect each other and live harmoniously? When? When?

I suggest we offer a silent prayers for those family who lost their love one. May their soul rest in peace.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Leadership

One of my favorite management topic is in the area leadership. Leaders and managers- the words are often used interchangeably, but they are different. Those in management positions do not always possess the qualities and skills of a leader. On the other hand, leadership is just one of the many skills that a manager must possess

In fact I always tell my staff that I don't believe in managing people but I believe in leading people. People are well trained to manage themselves and what they need is guidance and direction. This is where a leadership come into action. In my personal opinion, leadership takes precedence than any other management skills.

The word "leadership" comes from the Old English word "lad" for a "course". A "lode" is a vein that leads or guides to ore; a lodestone is a magnetic stone that guides; the lode-star is the name for the star that guides sailors, the Pole star. The word "management" comes from the Latin word "manus", the hand, from which we also get "maintenance" and "mainstay". Leadership guides by setting a ship's course. Management keeps a hand on the tiller.

John Adair in his book "Leadership" compares management and leadership to the old dichotomy of Art and Science. Managers are of the mind, accurate, calculated, routine, statistical, methodical. Management is a science. Leaders are of the spirit, compounded of personality and vision. Leadership is an art. Managers are necessary; leaders are essential.

Jim Clemmer, one of the leading leadership guru, view of leadership states "A leader doesn’t just react and respond, but rather takes the initiative and generates action. A leader doesn’t say “something should be done”, but ensures something is done. An effective leader is a “people person”. Effective leaders connect, stay in contact with, and are highly visible to everyone on their team in their organization. Leaders have developed the skills of supercharging logic, data, and analysis with emotion, pride, and the will to win. Their passion and enthusiasm for the team or organization’s vision and purpose is highly contagious. They fire the imaginations, develop the capabilities, and build the confidence of people to “go for it”. Leaders help people believe the impossible is possible, which makes it highly probable."

In his book, "Being Leaders: The Nature of Authentic Christian Leadership", Audrey Malphurs defined Genuine Christian leaders are “servants with the credibility and capabilities to influence people in a particular context to pursue their God-given direction.” Working from that definition, Malphurs concludes that authentic Christian leadership is the “process whereby servants use their credibility and capability to influence people in a particular context to pursue their God-given direction.” Maphurs, a professor at Dallas Theological Seminary further stressed that good leaders influence people, but in a Christian context, that influence should always lead toward transformation - a change in thinking leading to a change in behavior. Effective influence, in a Christian context demands that the leader be a transformed person also.

This leads to a new term in the Christian context of leadership called "Servant-heart Leadership". Servant-heart leadership is a humble service of others based on our love for them. It is not passively ignoring one’s own legitimate needs; it is not wallowing in one’s own weakness, doing for others what they ought to do for themselves.

I pray that the Lord will give us a heart of a servant-heart leader when we serve Jesus Christ, our Master.

"You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." (Mark 10:42-45)


Be Blessed.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Joyful Weekend

It is indeed has been a joyful weekend for me and my wife as we had Ivan and family came up to Penang on Friday night to spend some days at our place. I always count it a blessing to have friends like Ivan & Soon Ling. In fact I look forward for them to come up to Penang....maybe for good!!!! Ivan, you got to leave Egypt one day and come to promise land (you know what I meant).

This time around, the family in Penang got bigger. We are not alone anymore....haaa...haaa...haaa... our family members from PATI was part of the crew in the fun time we had with the Foo's.

Being a true Malaysian, food is our first priority and I believe it is the catalyst for Penang's tourism development. It was four days full of food, food and more food. Read more on the places that we visited at http://ivanfoo.blogspot.com/2008/11/friendship-bliss.html

I am blessed to have friends in Penang, Melaka and elsewhere. Anyway, it is time to diet again after the Penang Food Marathon. My wife has packed some salad, cold meat and energy bar for my meal today.

"A friend loves at all times....." Proverbs 17:17

Be Blessed.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Ontological Inversion

Ontological means our "essential being"; or our "personhood". We are created spiritual beings who are given a physical body. We are first spiritual beings, then physical beings! At the fall (Gen 3), there was an 'ontological inversion' - we now see ourselves first as physical beings with physical appetites rather than first as spiritual beings with spiritual appetites. We are spiritual beings having a human experience rather than merely human beings having a spiritual experience. Therefore, our relationship with God becomes so important.

Let's take a look of Gen 1: 26-27. 'Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.'

All the while I thought 'our image' & 'our likeness' in the passage are very much refer to our outward appearance. Only lately that I discover that it is not what I thought initially. Actually, 'our image' & 'our likeness' were not meant to refer to our outward appearence, but they're meant to refer to our very essential being... we are indeed created in His likeness and He has imparted His divine attributes in us. Therefore, we are precious in His eyes.

"When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet.." Ps 8:3-6

Now, I could truly embrace the reason why our King of Kings and Lord of Lords is mindful of us... for we are His spiritual children, created in His own image & likeness. Although I have read Gen 1:26 many times, yet the conviction is very much different... How to describe it?? It is like the knowledge in my head suddenly got transferred to my heart and it get rooted deep within...


Note: This article was written by my good friend, Mei. It brings your Christian life into a new perspective of understanding our purpose and our position in the Lord. Be Blessed.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Festering Wounds

Physical wounds are detrimental to health. They ought to be treated and not left to heal on its own. When left to fester, pus forms on wounds which soon turn gangrenous .The body is poisoned and maggots probably soon appear. The wound soon gives out a stench and the body is on the pathway to ill health.

How often it is the same with our soul. We carry 'cans of festering hurts' in our soul afflicted by circumstances; people who should have loved us but fail to do so and the unintentional acts of others that was never carried out to hurt. And along the pathway of inevitable associating with others in our daily lives, people rub us and open up the forgotten wounds that were covered through the busyness of life but were never healed. Painful circumstances are actually opportune times to make changes.We could dress those wounds with the balm of forgiveness , let them heal and then give the body strength to move on with the bigger picture of the life God has prepared for us. If we choose not to do, the wounds continue to fester deeper, the soul and also very soon, the body falls sick and people soon sense the stench of brokenness in us.

Ananias was afraid of the festering wounds inflicted by Paul upon the Christians. But he was a listening christian. He told God his fears about Paul when asked to meet up with the man and prayed for him. God showed him the bigger picture and Paul received his sight.

How dangerous and devastating it is to leave our wounds to fester. We not only die, but those around us too.

Bring ye all your 'cans of wounds, hardships and pain'. if they be opened up , get them dressed, healed and move on. There is a bigger picture to behold beyond licking your wounds in self-pity.

Note: This article was written by my good friend Emily Yoong and I have edited the content so that it can be shared in this blog. Be blessed and have a great weekend.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Jehovah Jireh

I am sure every Christian are familiar with the one of the name of our Almighty God...Jehovah Jireh. Abraham, the patriarch of faith mentioned this beautiful name when he was going up to Mount Moriah to offer his son as an obedience to the Father's call. The truth contained in this name of God, Jehovah Jireh, planted deep in Abraham’s heart even before he uttered it and established it as a memorial in in Mount Moriah where God provided a ram as a substitute for Isaac.

Many things must have crossed Abraham’s mind which might have caused him to disobey God. As he start the journey to Mount Moriah, he must have had many faith-testing questions like the promises of God on Isaac and maybe what would the response of his friends and neighbors to his act of slaying his only son in the name of God. Put on your sanctified imagination and try to picture yourself in Abraham's shoe. How would it be?

But Abraham obeyed God regardless of cost or consequence. Abraham said to himself, "The Lord will see and the Lord will provide. He will not break his promise. He will not alter his word. Perhaps he will raise Isaac from the dead. But even if he is not pleased to do so, by one means or another, my God will justify my obedience and vindicate His command. Abraham knows that our God will provide his needs.

The Lord honor Abraham's faith and provide a ram as substitute.

Today, we need to cling on the promises of God like never before especially in believing that He is our Jehovah Jireh who will see into our needs. Let this reality be renewed in our thinking, then watch the flood gates of Heaven open on our behalf, fulfilling all that our need.

Be Blessed.

Nature's Light


Nature always amazes me with its beauty and its magnificent. I know that it also reflect the greatness of the Creator. Genesis 1 talks about how the world was formed and how the Almighty God created the various elements that fills the Earth today.

Couple of years ago, I visited the firefly sanctuary in Kuala Selangor together with Rangers boys from Melaka. It was an awesome scenic view watching the fireflies flashing in synchrony creating a Christmas tree like twinkling effect in a mangrove forest along the riverbank.

On last Sunday, I visited the Nibong Tebal firefly sanctuary which is located along the Krian river. Nibong Tebal is located in the mainland of Penang. The place was open just over 3 years ago. In terms of fireflies population, it has much lesser population compare to the one in Kuala Selangor but it is enough to amaze you with the wonders of creation. The tour operators in Nibong Tebal include in other activities beside fireflies watching. The package I took consist of river cruise over the Krian river, bird watching and visiting a fish farm in the open sea.

Since it is school holiday, why not take a cruise down the Krian River and witness a brilliant show of nature's light

Be Blessed.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

No update

There is no update on Tuesday as I am resting at home due to food poisoning. Do uphold me in prayer.

By the way, it has nothing do with the Pizza. I consume pizza on last week Thursday. I think it has do with some seafood I consume on Monday.

Thank you and Be Blessed.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Food Review: Best Pizza in Town

I have been tasting pizza's in different places. Even tried in Italy before...!!! In Malaysia, I have tried at the major pizza fast food chain like Pizza Hut, US Pizza, Shakey's Pizza & Domino Pizza. I have also tried at some Italian restaurants in Malacca, Kuala Lumpur and Penang.

Talking about pizza, Malaysia has its own style of pizza making especially for the toppings. The fundamentals are still the same but the ingredients and flavouring are customed to the local taste. Try asking for Rendang Pizza or Tomyam Pizza in Italy !!!! Some of my European friends find pizza in Malaysia so weird but being a true Malaysian, in my opinion, ours is the best.


Recently I was introduced to a humble Pizza stall in Penang. In fact the stall has no name. It is located at the Goodall Food Court in Jalan Gottlieb in Georgetown, right across the Penang Chinese Girls High School. The stall has variety of thin crust pizza with the right blend of herbs, sauce and cheese. The taste is awesome. One of the reason the pizza is good is the way how it is baked. The oven is fueled by fire wood. A lot of my friends have tried the pizza there and their feedback was excellent. The price is reasonable and in fact much cheaper that the one offered in fast food chain.

If you are looking for a good pizza, try the pizza stall at Goodall Food Court. You will fall in love with it.

Have a great week ahead.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Thank you

Dear Friends,

I want to thank God for adding another year in my life. Today marks the beginning another journey in my life. As I look back, God has always been faithful for my God is a faithful God. I just don't have words to describe how much I am grateful to my Jesus for all He is done in my life.

I want to thank God for my wife for her love and faithfulness over the last 10 years (not including the courtship years). I know that she is a gift from above. Sathy, you are special and will always be the apple of my eyes.

I want to thank my parents (parents here include my in-laws) for their guidance and advice and above all for the love they shared. Also thank God for the discipline too...!!! Thank God for family members and relatives......thank you Prettysha for the kind wishes over the phone. You will always bring cheer and joy.

I want to thank all the great men and women of God who have invested in my life in many ways since I was young......Ps. Geoffrey & Felicia, Ps. Richard & Irene, Ps. Nathan & Mala, Khoo & Judy, Uncle Toong Kien & Auntie Chia, Eng Ching, Ms. Chee, Tina, Ps. Ben and Ps. Sally, Rajen, Steven Cho, Ps. Graeme & Sharon, Uncle James & Aunty Evelyn and many more whom God alone knows who have in many ways impacted in my Christian walk.

I thank God for good friends whom God bring into our life so that we can be a blessing in one way another to each other.......Ivan & Soon Ling, BA & Jessy, Alyna(tiormm), Jason & Shirley, Eddy Law & Alicia, Steven & Wan Sin, Dinesh & Abby, Errol & Jessica, Lih Gin, Esther Tham, John Loh & Deline, Dr.Lorend & Dr.Margaret, Jo Ann, Betty, Emily, Janet, Julian & Yvonne, Robert & Julie, Cristal Teo, May Ching, Jamie, Rachel Fu, Bee Hua, Mei, Wilbur & Mary, Kuna & Cheng and many many many more....only these names comes out in my mind right now but I know there are many many many more.

I thank God for the young people from Youth Impact and Royal Rangers Melaka #1 who always make me feel young. All of you are special in my heart.

I also want to thank my PATI members...BA, Jessy, Alyna(tiormm), Esther, John, Derris, Suplim and Deline for the dinner hosted last night. Awesome food and above all, great time of fellowship. Thank you for the flowers too...emmm...first time in my entire life, getting a flower....wow...I feel special!!!....I am so blessed to have you all in my life. BTW, PATI is just the name of our fellowship group in Penang...why PATI? Well it is a long long long story to tell. I thank God for each of them. We can literally express our feelings, our joy and our sorrow openly to the team.

I want to thank all of you for your kind wishes via sms, phone call, facebook, email or in person. It is a joy to know all of you and I count it a privilege to know all of you. Been receiving calls from as young as 5 years old.....I just have one word to say...I am blessed.

Ivan, thank you for the article, A Tribute at http://ivanfoo.blogspot.com/2008/11/tribute.html . I give all glory to God for without Him, I am nothing. The article brings back a lot of sweet memories.

Thank you so much and God Bless You. Have a great weekend

Be Blessed

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Education System

Yesterday, there was a good article is NST written by Hassan Talib on the state of our education system. The title of the article is, "Revert to old school set-up". It is a great piece of write-up. Being a product of the new school system, I agree completely with Hassan on his views and wisdom. It is true that those who are from the English medium education are a class of their own compare to us who were placed in the KBSR/KBSM system.

The outcome of the new system is so evident today in our society. Our standard of English has drop drastically. Once, we were one of the best English scholars in the region but today, we are lacking behind in a lot of ways. The failure of the primary and high school system has been transferred into our higher education system. Today we produce graduates like a manufacturing factory except that in manufacturing factory there are tight quality control processes.

In my course of work, I have the opportunity to meet up with new graduates coming out from our local universities. In comparison to foreign graduates, the local graduates are far behind the foreign graduates both in technological knowledge and in general knowledge. Looking at the kind of projects they do for the final year itself gives you some indication. Oh well, I am speaking in general term here. There are some exception out there.

One of the most notable failure that the new system has introduce is the emphasis on academic grades. Today, students are just studying to make the grades instead of obtaining knowledge. Students have no time for serious co-curricular activities. I guess that speaks volume why our competitiveness is sports has drop drastically. Many of them are busy with tuition and other academic programmes. Even when they go for Piano lesson, it is all about what grade the kids can achieve.

I had the privilege of studying my final year degree in New Zealand. I am so grateful for the opportunity as the experience in NZ totally change my perception and gave me a new dimension of understanding in my pursuit for knowledge. I was amazed to see young kids in NZ who are able to name the stars in the skies. Mind you that some of them are as young as 10 years old. Try asking our kids? Maybe they can name those stars in Akademi Fantasia.

Something got to be done with our education system. A major overhaul is needed. Most important thing is don't bring politics into our education system. The introduction of teaching Mathematics and Science in English is a good decision but more is needed. If nothing is done as soon possible to improve the state of our education system, the current situation will just get worse.

I pray and hope that many more Hassan Talib will rise up to sincerely address the importance of revamping our education system.

Be Blessed.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Politics in the Christian Community


I was contemplating to write this article for a long time. I don't want to be judgemental in my writings as it will not bring honor to God. But recent turn of events had inspired me to write this so that we are aware and be conscious in our Christian walk. When I write this article, I am reminding myself about the danger of myself getting involved in church politics.

I am fully aware of the political game being played both in a nation and also in the corporate world. In fact, in the corporate sector, this is almost norm in many organization. But seeing it in the House of God brings heartache and sadness for me. I thought Christian suppose to shine the Light of Jesus to the world and be a role model to a dying world.

Recently I came to understand the intense of politics in the Christian community when I see one leader (Leader1) stopping the another leader (Leader 2) from being successful in his/her ministry. Sadly, both of the of ministers are under the same denomination. Leader 1 used to be head of the ministry at the national level and Leader 2 is the newly appointed leader of the ministry. Leader 1 has given instruction to his members not to be involved in the national leadership team of Leader 2. Mind you, Leader 1 has a group of talented leaders for this particular ministry.

Church politics comes about when christian departs from either the leadership of the Holy Spirit or from the guidance of the Bible. The Word of God has clear guidelines and standard laid for Godly leadership practice and the Holy Spirit will reinforce it when we are willing to listen to His still small voice.

The problem is when we depart from the standard and guidelines of the Word and the leadership of the Holy Spirit, we begin to engage in religious spirit. This religious spirit seeks to counterfeit the voice and authority of the Holy Spirit in the life of the leader. Even the partial influence of a religious spirit will have a negative effect on the development of the work of God. Religious spirits leads people to legalism and formalism These religious spirits seek to divert our very purpose in serving Christ. Religious spirits operate deceptively, justifying selfish behavior on the part of leadership. Such spirits seek to lead people into greater bondage.

I believe a leader should be a role model in love and servant heart and not simply preach it so that he might be loved and served. Church politics replaces the values taught by Christ of love and servant heart. This leads to pride, ambition and a love of power and I am sure it will grieve the Holy Spirit.

The bible has many example of this. Extreme politics took place during King Saul and David's time. King Saul used various tactics hoping to kill David, but without success, because God was with David. The entire story gives us many insights into christian politics which is active in many segments of church life today. The sad thing about this is the consequences or the end result. Along the way, King Saul killed many true priests of the Lord because they had innocently sheltered David. In the same way, those with a church politics will seek, if possible, to kill the ministry of anyone they perceive to be helping those of whom they are jealous.

Today, I pray the Lord will give us servant hood heart as we serve Him in the last days. The lives of great men and women in God's Kingdom are marked by humble service. They never seek to be lifted up to a prominent place. They served God sacrificially, with a heart of humility. Samuel Brengle, who, when he was referred to as great, wrote in his diary, "If I appear great in their eyes, the Lord is most graciously helping me to see how absolutely nothing I am without Him, and helping me to keep little in my own eyes. He does use me. But I am so concerned that He uses me and that it is not of me the work is done. The axe cannot boast of the trees that it has cut down. It could do nothing but for the woodsman. He made it, he sharpened it, and he used it. The moment he throws it aside, it becomes only old iron. O that I may never lose sight of this"

Luke 9:48 - "...because the one who is least among all of you is the one who is greatest."

Be Blessed.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Soar high like an Eagle

One of my favorite bible verse is found in Isaiah 40:31. I am sure many of you are familiar with this bible verse and to some of us, it is printed deep in our heart. Isaiah 40:31 says "but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."

We are called to be like eagles but unfortunately there are many chicken Christians around. Instead of soaring high with the Lord, we are busy pecking in the dirt and trash. Instead of being more than a conqueror, we live a life that is defeated.

Chickens are earthbound, they keep their eyes on the things of this world. They scratch out an existence and never lift their heads to look any higher then where they are. They scratch in the dirt, eat whatever is thrown to them and search greedily in their crowed barnyards for more to fill their bellies, much of it unclean. By nature chickens are an unclean bird, they are bound to their existence and are satisfied with it. The Bible says in 1 John 2:15-16 "Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world."

The eagle focus on high place and soar to the heavens. An eagle has an inherited nature that will not survive confinement. It may look lonely up there because not many will dare to rise to such heights. But the eagle doesn’t care; it’s not in his nature to need the approval of the majority.

When encounter a snake, a chicken is normally defenseless but an eagle would put a fight. An eagle deal with the snake by laying hold of the snake with their talons, removing his head and using their bill to peck the snake to death. Eagle's will also pick the serpent up and drop him on a jagged rock causing him to die.

As an Eagle Christians, we know that we will always have to deal with the enemy, who is the Serpent. We, using the Word of God as a Rock, can crush and destroy the devil as well. In Luke 10:19 it says, "Behold, I give thee authority to trample on serpents and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you."

My prayer for you:

Mighty God, whose hands holds together our universe, give those who can barely walk the strength to continue as they face the stress and assault of the evil one. I specifically want to pray for those I know personally who are facing trying times. Please, dear LORD, give them strength and meet their most pressings needs. I pray, O God, that they will rise on eagles wing and soar high for You. In Jesus holy name I pray. Amen.

Be Blessed.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Busy Weekend

Weekend has been a great time for me especially with some adventure activities. On Saturday morning, my department when out for hiking trip to Monkey Beach which is situated in Penang National Park. As it's name suggests, the beach is inhabited by monkeys especially one unique species that eats crab and I think it is called the Crab-Eating Macaque. I always thought monkeys are vegetarian but this one is different.

The hike along the cost to Monkey Beach took around 1.5 hours. A variety of fauna and flora can be found along the way. It was great time for especially getting to know staff much better especially in an informal setup. We had our brunch at Monkey Beach under the watchful eyes of a group of monkeys aiming at our Nasi Lemak, Curry Puff, Sandwiches and other stuff. We manage to secure our food stuff and belonging from the monkeys. Had some good beach game with the team. Our return journey was much relaxing. We took a boat ride back to the park entrance.

In the evening, together with my good friends, we went to try Frog Moi again (frog porridge). Unbelievable right...!!! We had frog moi twice in a week. This time we drove over to the mainland to try out at another outlet belonging to the same chain of restaurant that we visited on Monday. The journey to Bukit Mertajam took about 1 hour by car. Interestingly, the frog moi in the mainland taste much better than the one in the island. Furthermore the frogs are much fatter than then one in the island. I wonder whether the frogs in the islands are going some dieting program...haaa...haaa...haaaa.....!! As usual we ordered the extra spicy Kung Poh Frog with porridge, veggie and kung poh eel.

On Sunday, as usual, we went for Sunday service. I was serving as backup singer last weekend. After service, we suppose to have Operation Tanggam Meener but was not able to carry out due to some technical glitches. Will try again next week. Emmmm....you would be wondering what is this project all about....It is for us in PATI to know and for you to find out. We had lunch in church as it was our church fellowship weekend. We then proceed to BA and Jessy's new home for fellowship and testing of their new reclining sofa set....Awesome...wish I got one at home.

We reach back home at 5.30p.m......took my usual weekend evening nap but this time, it was a bit unusual.........I woke at 9.30p.m.......shows how tired I was after the busy weekend.

That's all folks from me today.

Be Blessed.

Friday, November 7, 2008

The Ultimate Trip to Heaven

Received this email from my good friend, Abby Phua. Wanted to share with all you.

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Planning to go to heaven? Here's a traveler’s guide...The ultimate trip ... see you there! ...

1. ACCOMMODATION
Arrangements for first-class accommodation have been made in advance.
'In My Father's house are many rooms ...... I am going there to prepare a place for you.' (John 14:2).

2. PASSPORTS
Persons seeking entry will not be permitted past the gates without having proper papers/credentials and having their names registered with the ruling Authority.
'Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life'. (Revelation 21:27).

3. DEPARTURE TIMES

The exact date of departure has not been announced. Travellers are advised to be prepared to leave at short notice.
'It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by His own authority.' (Acts 1:7).

4. TICKETS

Your ticket is a written pledge that guarantees your journey. It should be claimed and its promises kept firmly in hand.
'I tell you the truth, whoever hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.' (John 5:24).

5. CUSTOMS

Only one declaration is required while going through customs.
'That if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.' (Romans 10:9).

6. IMMIGRATION

All passengers are classified as immigrants, since they are taking up permanent residence in a new country. The quota is unlimited.
'...... they were longing for a better country - a heavenly one ........ He has prepared a city for them.' (Hebrews 11:16).

7. LUGGAGE

No luggage whatsoever is necessary.
'For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.' (1 Timothy 6:7).

8. AIR PASSAGE

Travellers' going directly by air are advised to watch daily for indications of imminent departure.
'After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.' (1 Thessalonians 4:17).

9. VACCINATION AND INOCULATION

Injections are not needed, as diseases are unknown at the destination.
'He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain....' (Revelation 21:4).

10. CURRENCY

Supplies of currency may be forwarded ahead to await the passenger's arrival. Deposit your heart, mind, soul and life.
'But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.' (Matthew 6:20).

11. CLOTHING

A complete and appropriate new wardrobe is provided for each traveller.
'...For He has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness....' (Isaiah 61:10).

12. TIME CHANGES

Resetting of watches will not be necessary to adjust to the day/night schedule.
'The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp........ for there will be no night there.' (Revelations 21:23,25).

13. RESERVATIONS

Booking is now open. Apply at once.
'...... now is the time of God's favor, now is the day of salvation.' (2 Corinthians 6:2)

14. CORONATION CEREMONY

The highlight of the journey is the welcoming reception and coronation which await the arrival.
'Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the Righteous Judge, will award to me on that day - and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for His appearing.' (2 Timothy 4:8).


The Blessings of the Lord be upon You
Lamentations 3:21-23,25 'But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness...the LORD is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him.'

Be Blessed.