Friday, February 27, 2009

Nothing is free nowadays

Yesterday, my good friend, Ivan Foo blogged about the surprise letter that he got from Celcom. In that envelope, it contains free Petrol vouchers as a token of appreciation for Ivan being a loyal Celcom customer. After reading his article, I decided to write an email to my telecommunication provider (one of the largest telecommunication in Malaysia) and ask them what they have to offer to a loyal customer like me and relate to them how Celcom is taking care of their loyal customer. In fact I email them the link to Ivan's blog site.

After an hour later, I got a call from the Customer Service. The person referred me to the Rewards section of their corporate website and told me that they also have rewards for loyal customers. After browsing that section, the only stuff that I see are discounted items and one miserable RM50 voucher where you need spend RM100 in order to use that voucher.

I guess the customer service personnel did not get my message. It is time for me to visit some other providers since we can continue to keep our phone numbers (thanks to the initiative of the government). Maybe Harith Iskander or the Yellow man has some goodies for me.

A lot of local companies do not learn or understand the term "enticing your customer". Gone are the days of single provider. Today, lots of us have many options available.....emmmm....except for Pay TV- we only have Astro in Malaysia. Somehow the companies who are providing services are living in their comfort zone and do not understand the meaning on continuous engagement with the customers.

Anyway, I have already engaged Celcom services for my broadband access....!!!!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

An interesting quote


Recently I came across this quote in one of the website. It makes me to pause from what I was doing and think for a moment. It makes a lot of sense. We always dream for a perfect partner (e.g. the perfect man or the perfect woman) but the reality is there is non. The fact remains that each one of us are unique and we have our sets of strengths and weaknesses. Marriage is where two come together to complement each other and strengthen each other in their area of weakness.

What is your thought on this? Hoping to see some good comments.

Be Blessed.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Grace in Action

My week has been filled with lots of news of people falling off from their Christian walk and messing up with their lives. It is sad to see friends being in such a situation simply because we put our world pleasure on top of our love for God and living in obedience to His Word. But sadly, many times we as Christians will take the legalistic approach of disciplining or worst case condemning these precious life instead of offering the grace of God to them and love them as what Jesus have done for us when we were a sinner.

As I was reflecting on this issuesa and toiling on the idea of grace, I realize how many times we miss the mark in understanding the grace of God in our personal walk with Him. Instead we end up defining how a Christian shoud live in our limited knowledge and when a fellow brethern sin, we cast the first stone of legalism and pound them with condemination (packaged nicely under the term Christian discipline),

Over and over again in the New Testament, Paul is absolutely clear that the gospel is simply grace. Anything else does not merely fall short of the full gospel, it is actually opposed to it. This makes it crucial that we fully understand grace, and understand how it can be undermined in our lives by its arch enemy, legalism, which is essentially any attempt to improve on what God has done for us by adding things that we do for him. Apostle Paul makes it clear that believers are "not under law, but under grace" (Rom. 6:14). To be "under law" is to "fall from grace" (Gal. 5:4) in the sense that one chooses to live under the lie that God's love is dependent upon one's performance in the Christian life. It is a place of fear - fear of losing God's love. God never places us "under law" (or under legalism), and it is a shame that so many Christians choose to live as though they are.

F.F. Bruce, the great scholar, has defined legalism well: It is "the idea that performance will win acceptance before God." Simply, legalism is a false, non-Christian religion that says God's love is gained or lost, increased or diminished, based on one's behavior. It is an "if-then" religion - "If you are a good Christian, then God will love you." Legalism is a lie, and the exact opposite of grace.

The victorious Christian life is not obtained on the basis of performance, but rather on the basis of grace. God's grace continues to set us free from legalism, and instead allows us to become expressions of Jesus who lives in and through us.

Be Blessed.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Busy but Fulfilling Weekend

I am back again from a busy but fun filled weekend. Last weekend, I had the privilege of spending my time with Ps. Steven Teo from Melbourne, Australia. Together with him were Ps. Albert, and Ps. Raymond and his wife and daughter. We click together well especially when we were all involved in Royal Rangers ministry before.

Ps. Steven was the co-founder of Royal Rangers in Singapore and was the man who assists in the inception of Malaysian Royal Rangers. Ps. Steven is man of wisdom and stature. He has been working in the corporate world before going into fulltime ministry. In fact, he was the Chief Executive Officer of the Singapore Office of an international Insurance Group until the day God called him to fulltime ministry.

Within the two days of lunch and supper sessions, I have learned a lot from this man of God. One statement that he made is still fresh in my heart and makes me to reflect upon it. He said "If you love what you do, you will never have to work a day in your life". What a profound truth. He shared a lot of insight in his experience as CEO who leads a multi-million dollar company. I count it a privilege to spend time with him and I thank God for this opportunity.

Check out Ps. Steven's website at http://www.pssteventeo.com

Be Blessed.

Friday, February 20, 2009

S.U.R.F Coming Up Live in Penang!!!

Another exciting event by
Youth Impact@TOP
on 14th March 2009



S.U.R.F.

Students Uncovering Real Faith


@

Tabernacle of Praise, Penang


video

Thursday, February 19, 2009

From Surviving - To Thriving!

Increase... and possess the land. - Deuteronomy 8:1 NIV

After 400 years of slavery God handed the Israelites the deed to a lush, plentiful land they could finally call home. Up until now everything they owned had been provided for them by their Egyptian captors. But slavery had crushed their will and destroyed their initiative, consequently God had to break them of their reliance on people rather than on Him. (People-dependency can make you vulnerable and stunt your growth.) So when God led the Israelites into the wilderness and the leeks and onions they enjoyed in Egypt were gone, they were forced to develop an appetite for manna - something only God can provide!

Understand this: When God takes away an old source or system and gives you a new one, it doesn't mean the old one was no good. It just means He's chosen a new way of guiding and providing.

When God makes you a promise He always keeps it, but you have to be willing to remove the training wheels of your reliance on people. In the wilderness the Israelites griped and bellyached for the comfort of the familiar, even though it meant going back to an old season that was over. But they couldn't, and you can't either! When God said, "Increase... and possess the land" (Deut 8:1 NIV), His plan for them went beyond surviving - to thriving. It meant being weaned off the breast milk of people-dependence and on to the meat of God-dependence. Paul writes: "Not that we are sufficient of ourselves... but our sufficiency is from God" (2 Cor 3:5 NKJV). When God pushes you out of your comfort zone en route to your destiny, expect to go through some unfamiliar, anxiety-producing territory. It's the only way to go from surviving - to thriving.

Note: The article is taken from The Word for Today", by Rhema Broadcasting Group in association with The Vine - www.thevine.co.nz.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Jonah - Part 3


Today I want to share another exciting revelation I had while I was reading the book Jonah. My focus was on Jonah 1:17. In Jonah 1:17 we read these amazing words: “But the Lord PROVIDED a great fish to swallow Jonah and Jonah was inside the fish three and three nights. And from inside the fish Jonah prayed to the Lord his God.”

I love the word Provided but above all, I love the PROVIDER. The Lord Himself provided a big fish to rescue Jonah. He is Jehovah Jireh. “Jireh” means to see, to behold, to regard; Jehovah Jireh means the Lord will see, and the Lord will see to it…the Lord will provide!! Throughout the Old Testament God reveals Himself by many different names and each of these helps us to understand a different aspect of God’s person and His nature. Each name reveals a distinct and different aspect of who God is. Jehovah Jireh was first described when God provide the sacrifice that Abraham needed, and a ram took Isaac’s place on the altar. And Abraham discovered a new name for God—Jehovah Jireh! The Lord will see to it.

Jonah was definitely not in the right place. He was not where God wanted him to be. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time. He was disobeying God. But the Lord provided…Can you imagine in Jonah's disobedient, God still graciously provides to Jonah's needs......a big fish to save him from drowning. Some of us may feel like we have missed the way or been distracted from the focus God has for our life. We may have been like Jonah, totally disobedient. But God is faithful…call out to Him, turn to Him, and He will see you, and meet your need. He is Jehovah Jireh.

In topic of provision, if the Lord is a Jehovah Jireh for Jonah, how much more He will be for us who walk in obedience to His Word, His call and purpose. I just cannot imagine!!!! Awesome God. I am so amazed with His love for us. We cannot out give His love for us. Remember the words of the Apostle Paul: “My God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

Be Blessed.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Why the wedding ring should be put on the fourth finger?

I got this email from someone recently. Interesting analogy but I will reserve my comments.

Pls read the following, This is from a Chinese excerpt and it is interesting!

Firstly, join your palms as shown in photo below, center finger bend and put together back to back. Secondly, let the rest of the 4 fingers touch tips to tip. Game begins, follow the instructions below for all the 5 fingers but only 1 pair can split.



Try to open your thumb, the thumb represents parents, it can be opened because all human being do go through sickness and death. Whoever may be, our parents will leave us one day.

Please close up your thumb, Then open your second finger, this finger represents brothers and sisters, they do have their own family which is the reason that they will leave us too.

Now close up your second finger, open up your little finger, this represents your children. Sooner or later they too will leave us for they got they own living to live nevertheless, close up your little finger.

Try to open your fourth finger in which we put our wedding ring; you will be surprised to find that it cannot be opened at all. Because it represents husband and wife, this whole life you will be attached to each other.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Jonah - Part 2

Here are some additional thoughts that I have gathered while going through the book of Jonah especially Chapter 1.

The book of Jonah speaks a lot about our own self. Of all of the Old Testament prophets, I believe many of us find ourselves like Jonah. There are times we are running away from God and from the great commission that He has given to us. We may have our very own reasons for running away but God who is gracious will lead us back to Himself and His will.

In the case of Jonah, God Jehovah has to bring a storm into Jonah's life to wake him up from the slumber of disobedience. I believe strongly that in our Christian walk, God will bring "storms" in order to bring us back to His will and purpose. But many times, we mistaken the storms as trials and we start to rebuke the enemy for bringing it into our lives. We need to learn to discern between the storms that God send into Jonah's life and the trials that Job has to go thru.

God always gives us the freedom to make our own decisions. Even when He gave Jonah direct instructions, He allowed Jonah to choose to disobey.Yet, let’s always remember that there are always consequences to our decisions or actions. How do we today attempt to run from God? We act to please ourselves rather than do what the Lord desires of us. For example, we ignore wise counsel regarding a potential marriage partner or refuse to discipline our children. We cannot disobey God without it costing us in some way.

Obviously, we cannot run from God. Proverbs 15:3 "The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good." But the good news is our God is a Loving God. Many times the Lord gives us another opportunity to obey Him. After the sea creature deposited Jonah on land, the prophet traveled to Nineveh and preached to the people.They responded to the divine warning and turned from their evil ways.

So the good news here is that the Lord often gives a second chance to obey Him. Have you been running from God in some area of your life? If so, return to the Father and give Him complete control. He delights to work through available, obedient servants.

Be Blessed.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Valentine - Complete love with Jesus

On 14th February, the world will celebrate Valentine's Day. It is a time to express our love and devotion to our loved one. But many of us face Valentine's Day with loneliness. We may have a good life partner but deep within us, we may be lonely and feel unloved. There is vacuum in us that no earthly love can fill and we are in a dire need for that place to be filled with divine love.

Friends, today I have an answer for you. My Jesus can fill up that vacuum with His ever lasting love. He can be your true love story. Before Jesus can be your love story, He has to be invited. Ask yourself, “Is my life what I want it to be? Do I want a good and loving God, One who understands my needs and desires, to be my love story?”

Surrender your life—everything about yourself to Jesus. That is the beginning. Jesus can’t be everything you’re hoping Him to be until you make Him your number ONE love and surrender everything to Him. Jesus has already gone all the way for you at the cross 2000 years ago and He is the ultimate love gift. Now it’s your turn to go all the way for Him. He’s waiting for you to make the next move. He said in His Word, "Draw near to me and I will draw near to you".

You’re never too old, broken, or used up for this kind of a love story. Jesus is ready and willing to take all your regrets, failures, and lost dreams and to make something new and inspiring out of your life with or without an earthly love. It’s never too late. Let Jesus be “The Love Story” of the rest of your life.

Why not invite Jesus into your life in this Valentine Day Celebration and you will experience the True Love.

Be Blessed.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Best Photo of the Week


I am really touched with the photo of a Australian firefighter shows compassion by rescuing a koala and offer his share of water to the koala. It is one of the many scenes taken from the wildfires that swept through the southern Victoria state.

The koala was found in a burned-out forest near Mirboo North, east of Melbourne, Victoria's capital. Interestingly, koalas normally drink almost no water because they get almost all their fluids from the leaves they eat. I guess this koala is really thirsty especially having their home destroyed by the fire.

The Australian fires are just so heartbreaking. Many lives are lost and the damages are still not accounted for. Let's remember the Australians in our prayer especially those who are living in the state of Victoria. Pray that God will send rain to stop the wildfires from causing more damages.

A special note to David Tree (who is the firefighter in the picture above): You are great!!!! Thank you for taking care of this adorable creature. You have shown humanity at it's best. God Bless You.

Be Blessed.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Perfectionism!

Instead of worrying, pray. - Philippians 4:6 TM

Striving to do better is a good thing, but perfectionism guarantees misery, for in life "it's always something!" The mother of three children complained to her doctor, "I just can't get the house cleaned the way I like it before everyone leaves in the morning." She was so stressed out he put her on antidepressants. It was like she'd a gun at her head and a voice inside saying, "Every dish must be put away and every towel folded - or else!" Life had become one big emergency and she could never "catch up." Yet no one but herself had created the stress she was experiencing - and distributing to others! Answer these questions:

(1) Have my goals and responsibilities become so all-consuming that I've forgotten how to rejoice along the way, or to cut myself some slack?

(2) Have I made my preferences a condition for my happiness?

(3) Do I beat myself up when I can't meet my self-created deadlines?"

The first step toward recovering your peace of mind is to admit that you are creating most of your stress. Life will go on wonderfully even if it doesn't go according to your plan. Don't wait until you lose your family or have a heart attack before you discover that. Whether it's obsessing over your looks or your performance at home or on the job, the roots of perfectionism grow in the soil of insecurity. It whispers, "You'll never measure up!" That's a lie; don't believe it. You are loved, approved and accepted - by God! Your worth comes from Him, and His opinion of you never changes!

Be Blessed

Note: The article is taken from The Word for Today", by Rhema Broadcasting Group in association with The Vine - www.thevine.co.nz. The original title of the article is "Healed From Perfectionism!"

Monday, February 9, 2009

Kawe pergi Kelate...

What do you do when you are struggling to cope with stress in a fast paced city life? De-stress yourself in a slow-paced city with a laid back style. That is exactly what BA, Jessy, Sathy and I did during the last weekend long holiday. We took a drive to Kelantan and spend three days there. I always enjoy my trip to town like Kota Bharu where life seems to move in much slower pace and people take simpler approach to life compare to many of us from the big cities. It is my fifth trip to Kelantan.

The trip to Kelantan took us 5 hours of driving from Penang via the East West Highway. Not sure whether to call it a highway as the road needs urgent maintenance. It is the first time for me to drive from Penang to Kelantan via the Baling-Gerik highway and then cut over to East West Highway that connects the town Grik (Perak) and Jeli (Kelantan).

I am always impressed with friendliness of the Kelantanese folks. Everyone is treated with respect. I see how Kelantanese Malay and Chinese foster close relationship especially in their daily business. I must say that the state government has done tremendous job in ensuring such close ethic relationship. I saw how a young Kelantanese Malay girl adores a Chinese baby. Kelantanese seems to care for each other without looking at race, religion or skin colour. We personally experience this while waiting for our table at White House Coffee shop which is located in the heart of Kota Bharu town. As usual, the shop is always filled with patrons enjoying their toast bread and half boiled egg while sipping their coffee. As we were waiting, a Pakcik (mean uncle in Malay language) woke from his seat and offer us a place. He told his family to share the table with us and he give up his seat so that we can enjoy our morning breakfast. I am captivated with that gesture of kindness and hospitality shown by this elderly Pakcik.

The places that we visited during this trip includes Siti Khatijah market, Handicraft Museum, Pantai Cahaya Bulan, Pantai Sabak fishing village and of course Rantau Panjang. The food in Kelantan is awesome. We tried a number of their local delicacy and not forgetting the famous Nasi Kukus Ayam Berempah. It took us some serious drive searching to locate the stall that we use to buy Nasi Kukus. Finally we found it and save the location coordinates in my GPS.

If you are looking for a place to spend your holiday, why not visit Kelantan!!! See for yourself the friendliness of the Kelantanese folks and you can then say "Kawe Pergi Kelate" (your friend has gone to Kelantan).

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Lompat Si Katak Lompat

Lompat Si Katak Lompat.....I am sure all of us remember the children rhyme that we use to sing during our primary school days. For those who don't know Bahasa Malaysia, it means "Jump Oh Frog Jump". I heard recently that this song has been reintroduced in the state of Perak. People from all sort of background are singing this song.......from Teluk Intan up to Grik.....everywhere it is all about "Lompat Si Katak Lompat." They might even come out with a rap version of the song.....maybe from Mr. Namewee...still remember him and his famous controversial song "Negarakuku"?? I don't agree with him in insulting the national anthem but this dude really got some good talent in composing song.

Back to the frog story, maybe the frog in Perak is really jumping here and there nowadays........some even jump from one site to another and back to the same old dumpster. I wonder whether these frogs are being rewarded handsomely for performing their act. Who knows what is inspiring this frogs!!!!

Sometimes frog becomes a nuisance to the society. I wonder whether anyone have classified frog as a household pet....I guess not.....Anyway, based on the lesson learnt in Perak, frog is definitely not as faithful as a dog.

For me, frog is only good to be served in hot clay pot especially cooked with "kung poh" style......I guess it is time for me to visit my favorite Frog Moi shop again. By eating some frogs, it might help to reduce some of this frog problem in Perak......By the way, some of these frogs need to remember that comes the next election cycle, they might not able to jump anymore......people are frustrated and lost trust in some of this frogs and will be a time for change!!!! This time, it will be voting for faithful ox rather than these disrespectful frogs.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Discovery !!!


Last night I was reading the book Jonah in preparation of the upcoming bible studies that our church will embark on. Yes, we will all embark on the study of the book Jonah. As I was reading the book of Jonah Chapter 1, the Lord brings into revelation an important principle that I have not realized when I was reading the same chapter before.

The Lord can use our disobedient to bring salvation to the lives of others in our surrounding. Notice in Jonah 1:5, "All the sailors were afraid and each cried out to his own god". All the sailors were religious men, devout in their prayers to their gods. Yet their gods were really nothing, and could do nothing.

Then something takes place in Jonah 1:14-16 "Then they cried to the LORD, "O LORD, please do not let us die for taking this man's life. Do not hold us accountable for killing an innocent man, for you, O LORD, have done as you pleased." Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm. At this the men greatly feared the LORD, and they offered a sacrifice to the LORD and made vows to him." Notice that the vows of the sailors came after they were delivered. Based on this, many commentators believe that the sailors came to a true faith in God. I believe strongly that the sailors accepted God Jehovah as their God. God was using Jonah in spite of himself to bring about salvation to the Phoenician sailors.

God is sovereign. He does not condone our disobedient but He still use the situation for His glory and His name sake. The Lord can use our disobedience to further His kingdom. He can use us in spite of ourselves.

I am discovering a lot of new insight while studying this book. Will write about it next time.

Be Blessed.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Determination

Today I put a mini poster in my work cubicle which has the following quote:

"Determination - Today's Preparation DETERMINES Tomorrow's Achievement"



As I was reflecting on the quotes, I am amazed how true this statement is even in my own life. The hard work that we toil today will lead to success in near future. A farmer who is determining to work on his land have to toil day and night in plowing the earth before he can even proceed to plant the seed. Once he has planted the seed, he got to water and take care of it till the plant grows and bring forth produce that he can sell. This process does not take place overnight but over seasons and time. Determination is one of the key success factors for the farmer. If he gives, there will be nothing useful comes from his land 

If we dream of something, we need to start working on the dream. What makes the difference between wishing and realizing our dreams? Lots of things, and it may take months or years for dream to come true, but it's far more likely to happen when you care so much about a dream that you'll do all you can to make it happen. The key is determination. Focus on the end result and we work towards it with full determination.

Determination plays an important role in our studies, our work, our ministry and even in our spiritual walk. So dream big and let your determination assist you in achieving your dream.

Be Blessed.