Thursday, October 30, 2008

God's hand of protection

Do you believe that God's hand of protection is always in our lives? My wife and I saw God's protection on us up close and personal this morning, and we are so thankful. It was a situation where if God had not protected us, we would be injured and our car would be badly damaged. What God did was amazing!!!

This morning while driving to send my wife to work, the traffic was heavy. It was raining and the road was wet. Furthermore there are pools of water everywhere.

Suddenly a car stopped as the driver was trying to avoid a pool of water. He is not able to take the left lane as there was other car. Another car that was tailing the first car closely was not able to brake on time and hit the first car. Subsequently, two other cars crash into the second car.

My car was the fifth car. My wife notice and quickly told me to be careful. Thank God, I am able to apply my brake and swayed the car to the left. Praise the Lord, there was no car in the left or behind me. I know with my own strength, I would not have manage to avoid this accident but His Hand and favor was upon us this morning.

Psalms 91 says:

1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust." 3 Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare and from the deadly pestilence. 4 He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. 5 You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, 6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. 7 A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. 8 You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked. 9 If you make the Most High your dwelling— even the LORD, who is my refuge- 10 then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent. 11 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; 12 they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. 13 You will tread upon the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent. 14 "Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. 15 He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. 16 With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation."

The Lord is indeed my refuge and my present help in time of need.

Be Blessed.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The battle belongs to the Lord

Last Sunday, while busy helping my mother in law in the kitchen, I notice a scene outside where a dog attack and bite a plantation worker. There was no warning sign given by the dog. Normally a dog would give some kind of warning bark but this dog was totally silent. It simply walk quietly behind the worker and bite the leg of the worker and than ran away. The worker ended up with two puncture holes on the leg and blood gushing out as the hole hit one of major veins. As usual, yours truly, ViveAlive, being trained in first aid during Royal Rangers days ran out to help the worker. As it was, as you can imagine, there was blood everywhere. Manage to control the bleeding and send the worker over to a nearby clinic for further medical attention.

As I was reflecting the whole incident, the Lord reminded me the importance of being on guard in our spiritual walk. The enemy of our Soul, Satan, will attempt to sneak in and attack our life without any sign. The enemy wage battle against us daily in an attempt to draw us away from the Lord. As Christian, it is important that we know our position in the Lord. Someone once said, "A good soldier knows many battle are always looming on the horizon, so he prepares to handle them one by one". We need to be always prepared and be on guard.

The battles in which we are involved are a calling and we should be proud to defend the cause of Christ in this age of "anything goes" and moral decay. In Ephesians 6:10 Paul request us "to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might." Further in this passage, verse 13, it tells us, "Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day."

Effective Christians are alert and ready. They know the drums of battle are always on the horizon. It is good practice to take up the armor mentally every day in our devotions. Make putting on the armor of God a conscious part of your day. The strength of your faith will grow immensely if you do. And, your effectiveness as a Christian soldier will, too.

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Be Blessed.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


It has been a great holiday weekend for me especially spending time with family members and friends. I cherish moments like this a lot as we are able to get together and have lots fun and be ourselves.

This festival season started with a trip down to Banting where my in-laws stays. Banting is a small town located in Selangor and it is pretty close to KLIA and Klang. Not much of local attraction except for the Morib beach, its seafood and the famous beggar chicken. For me, the beach is not attractive as the one in East Coast. I am from Kuantan and there is no where else has a better beach compare to Teluk Cempedak.

This time around, Alyna and her 12 years old son, Darrien Loh a.k.a. Darrien SupLim followed us back to Banting. Darrien had his first time experience living in a village setup. He learned how to slaughter chicken and in fact he slaughtered 3 chickens. What a proud moment for him!!!

The festival celebration started with a dinner on the eve of deepavali. We went over to Uncle Loga and Aunty Mani's house for deepavali get together. Had a great fun over there. This time was special for me as I get to know my wife's cousin, nieces and nephew closer. Mind you that some of them are as young as 4 years old. Had a real fun time showing them some magic tricks and jokes.....and guess of them came and ask me for an autograph and phone number.....what a proud moment for me...!!!! But I am impressed with youngsters today. The really have much higher IQ at their age compare to my generation.

On the deepavali day itself, things get more exciting especially seeing Arsenal winning the match against West Ham and the arrival of our good friends from Malacca and KL and not forgetting relatives from near and far.

As usual, the Malacca RR team reached on time for lunch and came with a group 15 members and later joined by Eddy Law and his family members. The center of attraction of the day was 6 months old Tiffany Law. The whole house was filled with loud voices and laughter especially from Steven Chia.
My mother-in-law prepared various dishes. She is a good cook.....a potential candidate for AFC shows especially with her famous fish cutlet. Not a single fish cutlet was left behind. I know my good friend Steven Chia consumed almost half of them. She started cooking as early as 12.30 a.m. and continued on till the day end, entertaining relatives and friends. What a strong woman!!! I am sure many young person today will not be as strong as my mother-in-law. Many today prefer to cater food rather cooking it themselves.

On Tuesday, we return back to Penang. We stop for dinner at Ps. Nathan and Mala's place in Ipoh. Mala is a good cook too especially with her own style of cooking. After a good dinner, we continued our journey back to good old Penang and reached home at 11.00p.m.

It is time to reduce food intake after heavy eating through out the long weekend. Back to bread and water.

Above all, I thank God for family, friends and relatives especially the young ones who brings joy and laughter.

Be Blessed.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Balik Kampung

Dear Friends,

ViveAlive will not be updated for the next few days as I will be away traveling back to hometown.....actually to my "tior-mm"'s (mother in law in hokkien dialect) place. My good friend Ivan always has this saying when he goes back to his mother-in-law's place....he says,"I am going back to see my mother-in-law to apply for my visa extention"........haaa...haaa...haaaa......I guess that is what all married men says right!!! I believe when a man get married, he is married not just to the girl but to the family where they become part and parcel of the man's life. We are responsible for them too.

Oh well, as for me I am looking forward for this trip especially to spend time with family, friends, chicken, duck, dogs (emmmm, I am not sure about that) and basically run away from the concrete jungle of Penang to a natural village setting.

So, to all my Hindu friends, wish you Happy Deepavali and to others, enjoy your holiday. Stay tune at ViveAlive for more updates next week.

Till then, God Bless You.

Be Blessed.

Festival of Light

In the next couple of days folks in my nation will celebrate Deepavali or some called it Diwali which means Festival of Light.

Talking about light, we need to understand the importance of light both in physical realm and in the spiritual realm. In physical realm, light is essential for life to exist. Without life plants, animals and man would be left in darkness and in fact a lot of life giving process will seize to exist. Light was created before the plants and animals because they needed light in order to live. Light is needed not only to live but also for sight.

Someone once defined darkness as the absence of light. How true it is!! God, who first gave the physical lights of the universe—the sun, moon, and stars—to creation, also gave another light to meet the spiritual need. A Light that will hope in the midst of spiritual darkness. This Light was mention in the Old Testament. Isaiah 9 says, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined.” Here is the light that is needed for our dark and sinful lives! Here is the light that is needed by our dark and sinful world. A light for the everyone!

Jesus Christ, as we’ve already said, is that Light of the World. His light pierces the darkness to expose the lawless deeds of sin, but even more so, shines a more glorious ray to illuminate the path of life! Jesus Christ is that path, the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Here is a golden beam of light that brings life out of death, making us alive from sin just as the sun’s rays awaken the tiny seeds of a plant from their death in the soil. This is the light we need and that we want.

The greatest giver of light, Jesus Christ, said in John 8:12 "I am the light of the world: he that follow me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life."Jesus lights the way to eternal life. When one accepts Him, He fills that person with light and creates a beacon through that person so that they can become a lighthouse for Jesus to the rest of the world who are lost in darkness.

In these troubled times, look above the clouds of adversity and see the Light of the World. He drives the weather in your life; He brings the rain so that your future won’t be bleak and desolate.

So today if you are searching for the true light, go to the source of the true light, Jesus Christ. He is always waiting to welcome you back.

Be Blessed.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

RM10 a day

This morning I feel so moved to write this article especially for my young readers. It is not specific to any individual but a general advice to all the youngsters who are very dear to me.

Do you know that in my country, one can survive with RM10 a day (~ USD $3.2). Yes, it is fact and I am one of them who spend RM10 a day. For example, a breakfast will cost an average of RM 2.00 (I small teh tarik [tea] and 1 roti kosong tambah kari [local pan cake with extra curry]), RM4.00 for lunch (Economy Rice with 1 meat dish and 2 vegetable) and dinner RM4.00 (meals at food court or tosai or capati).

A lot of people especially the youngsters will tend to disagree with me on the amount above. Today breakfast itself will cost more than RM 10 for some of them...e.g. breakfast at Coffee Bean or Starbucks. For some, RM10 is the amount they use daily to purchase their mobile prepaid top-ups.

Times like this, it is important that we are prudent in our spending. Youngsters, listen up !!! Many of you are still being supported by your parents. Do take note that the pocket money that your parents give you comes from the hard work that they have to toil everyday. I am speaking this from experience. Even us, the adults, are starting to tighten our belts especially in our spending. Recently, my PATI club members (my unofficial social club) agreed that when we go out for a meal, the cost per head should not be more than RM15. Mind you that many of my PATI friends are managers in large organization.

Youngsters, count it a blessing with money that you have today. They are many who don’t even have RM10 a day for meal. We need to glorify God with the money that we have. So, now start asking the question, “God in what way can I best use this money so that it bring honors and glorifies You!” Let God be part in your money decisions. You’ll be shocked with how much joy you’ll end up with when you are concerned that God is worshiped in your money spending decisions.

Great wisdom is found in the saying, “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.” Let us find our satisfaction in glorifying God! When we spend our money with God in mind, God gets the glory and we get the joy!

Proverbs 21:20 says “There is treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the wise; but a foolish man spendeth it up.” In order not to be considered as foolish, we should learn to spend our money wisely. Do not buy things impulsively, without thinking, but take time to consider whether the need is proportional to the cost.

We need to make stewardship as a way of life.

Be blessed.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A Great Couple

I thank God for the opportunity HE has given me to further my studies in Dunedin, New Zealand. There are lots of fond memories of New Zealand that is still fresh in my mind. But one thing that is very dear to my heart is the opportunity to get to know Uncle James and Auntie Evelyn.

I get to know Uncle James and Auntie Evelyn when I first attended Southern Hills Christian Center in South Dunedin (now known as Nations Christian Centre). It is a vibrant AG church in Dunedin. If you are in Dunedin on Sunday, don't forget to visit the Nations ( They have a great pastor, great music team and great people.

My good friend, Eddy Law, introduced me to the church as I was looking for place where I can grow and serve. It was my first experience attending a church outside of my nation. To be honest, I was a bit loss especially understanding the new environment and culture. But in the midst of the congregation, I saw this awesome couple. Honestly seeing an Indian couple (in the midst of Kiwis, some Malaysian Chinese, one Iban guy (now known as Dr. Lorend...a.k.a the singing dentist) and some others nationality) is a real joy and pleasant surprise. Uncle James and Auntie Evelyn were the elders of the church. They have been residing in Dunedin since they migrated from Fiji.

Eventually they become my mum and dad in Dunedin. They took care of me like their own son. Above all, they made me to be involved actively in the church and in fact challenge us to start the campus ministry in Otago. They are always every ready to meet our needs. Uncle James will faithfully drive us around especially during holiday period where he will be extremely busy sending the foreign students to the airport. Auntie Evelyn on the other hand would always cook for us home cook meal especially after church and during our cell meeting. One of my favorite dish is samosa. Auntie is an expert in baking cakes especially fruit cake.

Uncle and Auntie has a big heart for foreign students. They would give their very best to anyone who come across their path. We started Hope in Campus to reach out to the foreign students in Dunedin. I remember the days where we organize free BBQ parties and there will be over 100 students coming this gathering. Auntie would faithful prepare all the BBQ meat especially marinating them with her special sauce. Uncle would make sure that logistics arrangement are done so that all those who attend the BBQ party are blessed. Today, Hope in Campus is known as the CitySide church of Nations Christian Center with a congregation over 70 people. God is awesome!!!

Both Uncle and Auntie live a very simple life but they have a big faith as the know they serve a big God. Till today, they are still impacting lives of the students in Dunedin in their own special way. They thought me about humbleness.

Recently, Uncle James received his ordination from Assemblies of God New Zealand. I told Auntie that long before this, Uncle has already been shepherding us. He is has been our pastor in one way another.

There are no words to describe how much I adore and love Uncle and Auntie. They have been my God sent guardian when I was in New Zealand. Till today, we still speak over the phone and correspond via email. Everyday, I thank God for Uncle James and Auntie Evelyn. For their love, their care and for investing in my life. They have been a great model for me and been a great example and blessing.

Uncle James and Auntie Evelyn, thank you so much for investing in my life and for being such a good role model to me and Sathy.

Happy 37th wedding anniversary. May the good Lord bless both of you always.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Challenging Moments

The economic turbulence seems getting from bad to worse. News on corporate fallout and government bailout are sweeping across every nation in the world. A lot of financial analyst are expecting for something really bad. Something far more worse than the crash in the 80's and 90's. I am not an economist but I read a lot of articles to understand the situation. The impact of the crisis seems starting to reach to ordinary people. Job loses, high inflation, factory closure, suicide, robbery, share market crash and other sad news are occupying our headlines today. Simply talking to my mum, I understand how high the price of good has gone up.

People are living in anxiety and fear. A lot of people are fearful of what will happen tomorrow. God only knows how deep and how long this bumpy ride will be. However, we have access to a peace that passes all understanding. I know it is easier said than done but I really pray that God will give all of us that supernatural peace and that we can say with confident - “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your request be made known to God, and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).

Let us be wise like Joseph (Genesis 47) who stores up goods in anticipation of severe drought and famine. And when the drought really come, we are able to help our family and friends. Sometime it is worth to save the extra that we have from spending unnecessarily.

May the peace of God rule in our heart - "Let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts" (Col 3:15 NLT).

Be blessed.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Congratulations -- Julian and Yvonne

Julian a.k.a. "Baba" and Yvonne,

Congratulations. We rejoice together with you on this special day - 18/10/2008. We pray that God will continue to bless both you abundantly. Amy Bloom once said "Love at first sight is easy to understand; it's when two people have been looking at each other for a lifetime that it becomes a miracle". I believe that the miracle of marriage will prevail in your lives.

Sorry for not able to join the wedding reception but do know that our thoughts are always with both of you.

Selamat Pengantin Baru kami ucapkan semoga berkekalan ke anak cucu!!!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Osmosis Berbalikan.!!!

Yesterday I was attending a seminar in a 5-star hotel in Penang. Great place, food and setup. But something strike my attention. The label in the complimentary water bottle from the hotel says "Osmosis Berbalikan". I turn the bottle to the other site and see the description in English that says "Reverse Osmosis". Suddenly my love for the national language burst up and I got very patriotic and pursuit for answer started.

In my entire schooling life, I had never heard the word "Berbalikan" in the national language. Although the word "Berbalikan" seems derived from the word "Balik" which means "Return", but the word "Berbalikan" was never thought in my schooling days or maybe I did not pay attention to my language teacher. Anyway, I don't dare to rate myself as a subject matter expert in national language and literature.

I was wondering whether the word "Berbalikan" is now an official word recognised by Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (the national language and literature organization) because I want to start using it immediately....e.g. Encik, Tolong berbalikan kereta anda (Mister, please reverse your car).

Out of curiosity, I decided to do some finding. As usual, the first place to go is to google for the word "Osmosis Berbalikan". Only 1 site was found. It is the site with the picture of the same item that I saw. Then I decided to go to Dewan Bahasa and Pustaka website and do a search there. To my surprise, the return feedback was zero.

I decided to try to google again but this time using only the word "berbalikan" and finally I discovered that it is an Indonesian word which means "be the opposite". Still it sounds so weird to describe "Reverse Osmosis" in the national language.

I am still puzzle how on earth someone can approve such label design especially for a 5-star hotel. I hope I am wrong and that the word "Osmosis Berbalikan" really exist. Till then my curiosity will never end....... :-) Hello sir, do you need a "Be the Opposite Osmosis" water?

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

An Old Cobbler Friend -- by Emily Yoong

My good friend from Melaka, Emily Yoong, emailed me this article that she wrote on one of her life experience. I want to share with you as I believe it speaks volume to all of us.


We all come from different walks of life and we have different childhoods and they will be a part of us and actually mould us into what we are today. We cannot choose our parents but our history occurred to us for a purpose and God's eye were watching then too.

Next door to my late-father's goldmith shop where we lived , was an old cobbler who worked outside my dad's shop and lived upstairs. A group of homeless men rented the place to smoke opium but they lived there too. He was my friend for as long as i could remember and until i was 12. I would watch him mend shoes and haggle prices with the people that walked past and sometimes patronised my dad's shop. These 'princes of the earth' would come in to purchase goldplated ornaments to adorn themselves and make themsleves presentable for the coming kenduris and let the copper goldplated pieces pass as genuine gold ones. they would also sit at my dad's shop while waiting for my dear friend to attend to their broken shoes in need of repair. With these earnings my friend supported his opium addiction.

During his spare time when business was slow he would pick up cigarette butts , remove the remaining unsmoked grass in them and then rolled it into cigars for his own puffing. I would join him in his venture after my schooling hours. But I was more enterprising . I noticed that my grandfather who was with us during the day as he needed to do his goldsmithing , was also rolling cigar grass in white pieces of paper to make his own cigar. So I collected more cigarettes butts to help him save on having to buy the grass. Good kid i was. !! But my friend soon grew old and his opium addiction was too much on him.

One day ,he fell from the stairs and the neighbours called an ambulance and sent him to hospital . But as he did not have any identification papers, the hospital would not treat him and he was sent away to walk home. He couldn't work and must have gone begging on the roads. One night, on my errands at the alley across the bridge from my house I saw a crowd gather. I joined them and my eyes met those of my dying friend. At age twelve i looked into the hollow eyes of dying and death and I then walked home, feeling helpless I could do nothing for my friend. And I felt the helplessness of being helpless. And the helplessness of being alone and dying.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Thank you

Stef, the article "A debt that can never be repaid" at brings great encouragement to me. Thank you so much for your kind words.

Just want you to know that it is never a debt but it is a pleasure for us to help you through in achieving the Gold Medal of Achievement. Above all, God is faithful and I thank God for the chance to contribute something in your life. Along the way, I have learned a lot from you.

Be blessed and continue to shine for Jesus.

Childlike Heart

The picture above is taken recently at a church camp in Kuantan. It shows Rev. Richard Ong, the Senior Pastor of Grace Charismatic Center(GCC) Kuantan, playing games with the young people from GCC. The picture strike my thinking. Rev. Richard is in his early 50's but he connects well with the young generation in the church.....A Childlike Heart.

My passion in Christian ministry is to reach out to young people...both the teenagers and children. Over the last 12 years, this has been my focus area and I really enjoy serving God in reaching out to this age group and helping them in their Christian walk.

Jesus himself set a great example in reaching out to children. Jesus says, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children.” Luke 18:16. In the Gospel accounts, Jesus acknowledged the great value of children. In a culture that tended to ignore and otherwise devalue children, Jesus made it clear that he viewed children as people with great value in God’s sight. Jesus reached out to children, welcoming them into his presence and blessing them (Matthew 19:14-15). On several occasions Jesus went out of his way to heal children (Luke 8:49-56). He was willing to be "bothered" in order to minister to children.

I still remember an advice given to me by Aunty Joyce How from GCC Kuantan many years ago. She said, "To work with young people and children, one need to have a childlike heart but don't be childish". It is a wise advice and I still keep it very close to my heart.

I believe young people are a gift from God. They are heaven's smile entrusted to earth. We need to invest in their lives and build them up to be man and woman of God who will one day take the baton from us and run the race for Jesus.

Be Blessed.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Brazen Altar

We are going through the study on the Tabernacle of Moses in our Youth Impact meeting. Last Saturday was my turn to share on the topic of "The Significant of the Brazen Altar" based on Exodus 27:1-8 & 38:1-7. It is a very interesting subject and there are lots of spiritual truth in this study. Do you know that the bible has only 2 chapters covering the topic of creation but 50 chapters covering the topic of tabernacle? Interesting right!!!

Here are some points for reflection:

1. The Brazen Altar is the first artifact that the Israelite will see when they enter into the tabernacle. . Before we could come into the presence of the Holy God, we need to deal with the issue of sin. It simply talks about coming to the throne of grace with a heart of repentance.

2. The Brazen Altar is the largest artifact in the tabernacle. This simply describe the heart of forgiveness of our Father in Heaven (John 3:16) He is ever willing to forgive us and His grace is abundance for us.

3. The Brazen Altar is used for the sacrifice of animal that is used as an atonement of sin. In the old testament days, the Jews are required to bring animal sacrifice as a sin offering. In the New Testament, Jesus died once for all for all our sins. He is our ultimate sacrifice (Hebrew 10:10-14). One point to note here is that the animal sacrifice in the old testament differs from the ultimate sacrifice offered by Jesus. The animal sacrifice is only able to cover our sin but the blood of Jesus, remove our sins (1 John 4:10).

4. The Brazen Altar has 4 horns pointing upward and outward on each other. The horns has two purpose. One of it's purpose is to tied down the animal. The other purpose is for salvation. Israelites who are in trouble would flee and take hold of the horns on the brazen altar (1 King 1:50-51). It is a place of salvation (Exodus 21:13-14). The horn talks about salvation (Luke 1:69 & Psalms 18:2). Love bounds Jesus on the cross (John 10:8). He is our ultimate horn of salvation.

Friends, the fire in the brazen altar must be always available. Jesus is ever ready to forgive us and provide a hope and salvation for us. Jesus has made a way for us to come to the Father anytime to seek His forgiveness, grace and mercy.

Be Blessed.

Monday, October 13, 2008


from left : Paul Raj, Daniel Chia, Stephen Raj, Stefanie Sim, Snr. Cmdr. Steven Chia, Councilman Ivan Foo, Senior Pastor James Krishnan

Congratulations to Royal Rangers Melaka #1 and the recipients of the Royal Rangers Malaysia National Award. I thank God for all of you and I rejoice in your achievement.

Paul Raj : Bronze Medal of Achievement
Daniel Chia: Bronze Medal of Achievement
Stephen Raj: Silver Medal of Achievement
Stefanie Sim: Gold Medal of Achievement

Continue to shine for Jesus. God Bless You.

Note: Photo from

Pleasant words

On Sunday evening, I received an encouraging text message (Malaysian like to call it SMS) from young man. It came as pleasant surprise to me and came at the most appropriate time. Here is the what the text message said:

"Hey Cmdr.....How are you? I wanna thank you for guiding me through everything and making me to what I am today...You really play an important role in my life...I also thank God for blessing me with such a wonderful commander..Thanks for everything ya..."

I almost shed tears when I read the message. It is like what Proverbs 16:24 says - "Pleasant words are a honeycomb, Sweet to the soul and healing to the bones".

I had the privilege to be the commander for this young man for almost 11 years when I was serving in Royal Rangers in Melaka #1. Literally saw him growing up. Today, Stephen Raj is serving faithfully in Calvary Life Assembly in various ministry. In any Ranger's camp, you can see him playing an important role in helping out the commanders and other rangers. Above all, I learned a lot from this young man and other rangers. They thought me a lot of valuable lesson in life.

Kind and gracious words are a sweet dessert of any occasion. They go into our ears and souls with pleasure, and they enliven our hearts and even our steps. Our faces glow by their instant effect, and energy and vitality are quickly restored to the cast down. We can create such words out of a thin air by our lips especially when wisdom is guiding our speech. Proverbs 16:23 says "The heart of the wise instructs his mouth And adds persuasiveness to his lips." Psalms 37:30 says "The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom, And his tongue speaks justice."

So why don't you send a text message or an email today and bless someone with kind words.

Be Blessed.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Obedience better than Sacrifice

I am sure all of us are familiar with the term Obedience is better than Sacrifice. The whole concept was taken from the Bible and can be found in 1 Samuel 15. The Lord told King Saul through prophet Samuel to destroy the Amalekites. This was because of what they did to the people of Israel years before, when they came up from Egypt.

The Lord told Saul to “destroy everything” - He didn’t mince words there, He never does. He said to destroy it all. He told Saul to spare nothing so Saul went out and gathered his army and headed off to Amalek to ambush the city. The Lord gave King Saul a clear instruction. He still give clear instruction for our life too today through His Word.

King Saul started out on the right track. He was following everything God told him to do, but then something happened. Saul began to get his own ideas of what would be better. He destroyed the Amalekites but did spared something. He spared spared Agag and the best of the sheep and cattle, the fat calves and lambs - everything that was good.

God was not happy with Saul. In fact, in verse 11, He tells Samuel, “I am grieved that I have made Saul King.” Samuel went to Saul to tell him how he had basically disappointed God and that he hadn’t obeyed what God told him to do. Saul tried desperately to justify it with his own thinking. Infact Saul sounded so spiritual by tell Samuel "The LORD bless you! I have carried out the LORD's instructions." (1 Samuel 15:13)."

Then when Samuel confronts him, saying that Saul failed to carry out the Lord's instructions, he denies it. "But I did obey the Lord" (1 Samuel 15:20), he insists. He even attempts to turn his disobedience into religious service - "The soldiers took sheep and cattle from the plunder, the best of what was devoted to God, in order to sacrifice them to the LORD your God at Gilgal (1 Samuel 15:21)."

Was God pleased with the good "fruits" that Saul spared? After all, Saul "spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God".

Even though Saul's disobedience was for good — "to sacrifice unto the LORD" — God was not pleased! Why? Saul utterly destroyed the "vile and refuse" and spared "the good" — for the Lord! God clearly says "to obey is better than sacrifice". God is more pleased with our obedience than ANY fruit our disobedience to the Word of God could produce!

Obedience honors God. Sincere, from the heart, obedience. Repentance glorifies God. This is His delight. The fruit of the cross of Jesus Christ is a life of principled obedience to God now in our hearts, and one day, in glory, perfectly. The sense of God's delight in obedience is precious. Therefore, for Him to say to us, "Well done, good and faithful servant," oh, what words for mere mortals to hear. Oh, for the grace, then, for each day to live a life of obedience to Him. Christ has saved us so that we might show forth our praise and thanks. And nothing so expresses praise to God as obedience.

Have a blessed weekend.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


I was checking through my old emails and came across this article. It is worth to ponder on the comparison. Be blessed.


Some people have a JOB in the church;
Others involve themselves in a MINISTRY.
What’s the difference?

If you are doing it because no one else will, it’s a JOB.
If you are doing it to serve the Lord, it’s a MINISTRY.

If you quit because somebody criticized you, it was a JOB.
If you keep on serving, it’s a MINISTRY.

If you’ll do it as long as it does not interfere with your other activities,
it’s a JOB.
If you are committed to staying with it even it means letting go of other things,
it’s a MINISTRY.

If you quit because no one praised you or thanked you, it was a JOB.
If you stay with it even though nobody recognizes your efforts, it is a MINISTRY.

It’s hard to get excited about a JOB.
It’s almost impossible not to be excited about a MINISTRY.

If our concern is success, it’s a JOB.
If our concern is faithfulness, it’s a MINISTRY.

An average church is filled people doing JOBs.
A great and growing church is filled with people involved in MINISTRY.

If God calls you to a MINISTRY, don’t treat it like a JOB.
If you have a JOB, give it up and find a MINISTRY.

God does not want us feeling stuck with a JOB, but excited and faithful
to Him in a MINISTRY.

Author unknown

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Shepherd of my soul

When I was studying in Dunedin, New Zealand, I love to observe the shepherds and their flocks in a vast green field. It was quite a sight to watch the shepherd down the valley surrounded by waves of white wool. The scenic view reminds me the story of the Good Shepherd who loves us and willing to give His life for us.

There is a story about a man traveling in a Middle East country, relates how he stopped to watch three shepherds who were at a well watering their flocks. The three flocks were all mingled together at the watering place. The traveler could see no difference between them, and he wondered how they would get them separated again without great trouble. But presently one of the shepherds stood forth and called out, "Menah," the Arabic for "Follow me," and sure enough thirty sheep immediately separated themselves from the indiscriminate mass and began to follow the shepherd up the hill. Then, a second shepherd lifted the cry, "Menah," and a second flock separated themselves and started after him, while the rest of the sheep remained as unconcerned as if no one had spoken at all.

The traveler was so astonished that as he saw the third shepherd preparing to depart, laying his hand to his crook and beginning to gather a few dates fallen from a palm beneath which he had been resting, he stepped up to him and asked: "Would your sheep follow me if I called them?" The man shook his head. "Give me your shepherd's cloak and crook and let me try." The traveler said He even wound the shepherds turban round his head and standing forth began to cry, "Menah, Menah!" but no sheep stirred. They only blinked at him lazily in the sunshine. "Do they never follow any one but you?" asked the traveler. Only when a sheep is sick; then the silly creature follows any one." the shepherd said.

The sheep knows the shepherd's voice. Isn't that powerful!!! Jesus said in John 10:27- "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me."

A true sheep under the leadership of our Lord Jesus Christ will know His voice and abide to His call - John 10:4 - "And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice."

Whose voice are we following today? Are we willing to obey Him as what it is written in the song "Shepherd of my soul"

Shepherd of my soul I give you full control,
Wherever You may lead I will follow.
I have made the choice to listen for Your voice,
Wherever You may lead I will go.

Be it in a quiet pasture or by a gentle stream,
The Shepherd of my soul is by my side.
Should I face a mighty mountain or a valley dark and deep,
The Shepherd of my soul will be my guide.

Be blessed and know that the Shepherd of our soul loves us and He is by your side.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Metamorphosis is a biological process by which an animal physically develops after birth or hatching, involving a conspicuous and relatively abrupt change in the animal's form or structure through cell growth and differentiation.

You may be wondering why am I sharing about Life Science today. Continue reading and you will find out more.

One good example that all of us are well verse with metamorphosis process is the transformation of a caterpillar into a beautiful butterfly. When a caterpillar goes through metamorphosis process, the butterfly DNA which has been hidden inside of the caterpillar emerges in all of its glory.

The word Metamorphosis originates from the Greek word “metamorphoo”. In English, it means to be transformed.

The similar word has been used in Romans 12:2 “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

When we accept Christ in our life, His spiritual DNA (his call, giftings, and glory) is implanted in our heart. Our spiritual metamorphosis is intended to get that DNA from the inside of us to the outside of us where it can be observed. That is why we must be transformed, or more literally, metamorphosed.

Do take note that Romans 12:2 speaks about renewing of our mind as a key for our transformation. But the question remains, "How do we get our minds renewed in this way?" I believe this involves spending time in His presence, reading His Word and letting Holy Spirit to take control of our mind. The Greek word for renewing means 'to align your thoughts with God's'. Abandon those self-defeating thoughts that tell you "you're not, you can't, and you'll never be able to". God says: "You are, you can, and you certainly will be able to," because of His indwelling power! John writes, “For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith” (1 John 5:4 NLV).

Spiritual metamorphosis is process that will change our thinking. It is a process that will change us to be more Christ-like in our daily walk. It is process that will change us from a conformer to a transformer. Being a transformer will help us to choose to get behind the wheel of life and take charge instead of choosing to stay in the passenger seat singing “Que Sara Sara. Whatever will be, will be”.

Yield to the ongoing work of God's Spirit in our life today! Trust in the finished work of God's Son today! And praise the greatness of God's love and the glory of His grace that planned it all.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Malaysia United

My header today may sound weird. You may ask did I make a typo error? No, it is not. It is out of purpose.

I always believe in this nation. I believe Malaysia is for all Malaysia and one of the key for the nation's success is unity. There are times I wonder where we are heading as nation especially when we hear the statements from those in politics. Sometime I wonder it is really bad as what people in the street is talking about and some blogger describe in their blog or it is an over statement. I for one believe in praying for the prosperity and success of this nation and I believe people who are in authority are to be respected as there is a divine hand that is involved in their appointment.

Last week, I observe something unique that raises my hope again. Two friends from two different ethic background and religion meet up together after 28 years. When they saw each other, the first thing they do is to hug and embrace each other. The scene that I saw last week amazes me and raised my level of faith in racial unity in this beautiful land.

The two friends who serve the nation together in building up the future generation were seen so close and respect each other. I hear them sharing the good old stories over some Raya cookies. They talk about the good old days where they serve the nation without any complaint and run the extra mile for the country. They talked about the fun time they had while teaching in rural school. I was also amazed that they even remember their students whom they taught over 25 years ago. I only sum up to one thing, their friendship has no boundaries. There is no boundary of religion, race or skin color among them.

How I wish our kids today is able to relate in the same manner. How I wish our leaders able to see others as Malaysian rather than by ethnicity or by religion. How I wish my fellow Malaysian will embrace again the principal of Rukun Negara and abide to it.

I pray that unity in this nation will be strengthened again and that we will respect each other as fellow Malaysian. Malaysia Boleh!!!!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

A Good Break

The last five days has been one of the best relaxing time for us for this year as we traveled over 1000km to places like Kuantan and Melaka for short holiday. Kuna and Cheng joined us in this trip. It is memorable trip for Kuna as he managed to meet up with some old friends whom he has not seen for over 28 years. Will update about one of these reunions on my next article.

Our first stop on the way to Kuantan was at a small town called Tg. Malim. We wanted to try out the famous chicken pau in Tg. Malim. Although there are much good things written about this particular shop, our ratings would be opposite. We think Penang has much better pau's compare the one that we tried in the so called famous pau shop. It was a disappointment.

We continued our journey to Kuantan. We drove straight to the house of Kuna's friend in Union Garden. He is the principal of St. Thomas Secondary school which is my Alma Matter. Got a lot of update about the school from him and to my surprise, my class teacher, Pn. Khor is still teaching in St. Thomas.

Then drove back to my parent's place. They have been looking forward to see their son and daughter-in-law. Mum was telling that dad was waiting outside in anticipation of our arrival. As usual, mum prepared my favorite chicken "parratel" (chicken with thick gravy). Also met up with my brother and sister-in-law.

On the second day, we meet up with Uncle Toong Kien and Auntie Chie. Good to see Uncle Toong Kien still strong as ever and Auntie Chia with her sweet smile. Spend sometime with them. Both Uncle Toong Kien and Auntie Chie have been very inspirational in my life. They are the one who invested a lot in my life and created the desire to love computing. I remember when I was in college, I use to go over to their computer firm during college break and help them....actually they are the one who help me. Got the chance to follow Uncle Toong Kien to the customer's place and service their computer. Uncle Toong Kien is a genius. He knows both computer software and hardware but he has a degree in Town Management.....interesting right......One of the project that is still fresh in my mind is the project to install PABX and telephone system for a seaport in the east cost. Both of us laid the cables and did all the connection ourselves. It was an experience I will never forget.

Back to my trip to Kuantan, after meeting up with Uncle Toong Kien and Auntie Chia, we went over to fetch Kuna and Cheng and drive to Pekan, a small town 40km away from Kuantan. In Pekan, we visited Kuna's old school where he was the teacher there in the late 70's. It is a nostalgic moment for him as he recalls the good old days in Pekan. We drove around Pekan town and then head back to Kuantan.

In the evening, we had our dinner at Pak Su Seafood in Beserah. It was crowded with people. While waiting to order our food, a fight broke out between two mobile DVD sellers. It looks exactly like those fight in Chinese drama. Broken beer bottles, fist thrown towards each other and etc. If it was Indian drama, they might have roll over couple of times...but to bad, it was not. Some of the patrons decided to take the advantage of the fight to rush out of the restaurant without paying the bill. But we stayed on and ordered our food and enjoyed our meal.

The third day, we took dad out to buy shoes for him. Unfortunately not many footwear shops were open. After couple of rounds, we manage to find one Bata Footwear just opening their doors for business after the long break. We were their first customers. I guess we made the sales girl happy. Then fetch Kuna and Cheng back to our parent's home and had lunch together. This time, mum cooked mutton parattel....yummy......!!!!

After lunch, we left Kuantan and drove to Pekan to meet up with one of Kuna's old friend. Along the way, we bought some goodies (keropok and salted fish) for our friends and family members. After an hour stop in Pekan, we drove straight to Melaka.

In Melaka, our good friends were waiting for us. My good old buddies have organized a pot bless meal. Lots of food and we chat till late night covering all different topics.

On the fourth day, met up with some friends over lunch and then proceed for tea time at Dinesh and Abby’s place. In the evening, we attended Julian and Yvonne’s wedding dinner. Check out more on this couple at ( Meet up with Robert and Julie for Ice Kacang after the dinner. Went back to Ivan’s house and had a long chat till 1.15 a.m. with Ivan and Soon Ling.

On the fifth day, we woke early at 5.00am in order to prepare ourselves for the journey back to Penang. We were anticipating a huge traffic pile up with North South Expressway but to our surprise there were few cars heading towards north. Reached Penang at 10.50a.m. and slept till 5.30p.m.

That’s a summary about our 5 days trip to Kuantan and Melaka. We thank God for journey mercy and for friends we met along our journey. Stay tune for more detail update on this trip.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Cuti Cuti

"Cuti" means Holiday in Malay language. Will be traveling back to Kuantan to see mum and dad. Then to Malacca to meet up with my old buddies there and also attend the wedding dinner of my Baba friend.

So, you will not see much update at vivealive for the next few days. Stay tune for some update after the holiday period. If you are a Malaysian, enjoy your Hari Raya holidays.

Take care and God Bless.