Friday, May 29, 2009

Newspaper Reading Pattern....

It is interesting to observe the changes of reading newspaper among the Internet savvy folks out there. I for one realize that my entire pattern of reading news have change drastically in the past few years. Gone are the days of subscribing to hard print newspaper.

First of all, I am completely into electronic news. I only buy The Star on Saturday as it has some interesting business writeup. Furthermore, I need to read something when I seat on my "throne" every morning. It will take me one whole week to finish my hard print newspaper while enjoying the tranquility of sitting on my good and faithful "throne".

Secondly my choice of news providers has also change. My preference of a news provider includes those who are open and transparent and does not hide or manipulate the news. So nowadays, my first preference is always Malaysiakini. Then it will be followed by The Malaysian Insider and the famous Malaysia-Today. Then only I will look at the others like The Star. This has been my reading pattern nowadays.

I guess readers nowadays are looking for news report that is honest and with integrity. Not something that has been cooked up for benefit of certain group of people. At least nowadays people are to reason things out and able to distinguish between truth and some make up story.

Oh well, I wonder whether you are affected too by this new trend? Maybe yes and maybe not...again it is one's personal choice.....wish you a good weekend.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

What Are You Called To Do? (Part 2)

When God called Moses, one of the questions He asked him was, 'What is that in your hand?' (Exodus 4:2 NIV). Moses held his shepherd's staff. It represented his livelihood; it's what he was good at. It represented his income; his flock was his wealth and his family's security. God asked him to be willing to lay it down. God still asks, 'What is that in your hand?' What has been given to you? Your gifts, your money, your temperament, your experience, your relationships, your mind, your education.

God has given you what Dr Martin Seligman calls 'signature strengths.' Seligman found that human abilities fall into certain categories. He defined them as:

a) wisdom and knowledge (which includes abilities like curiosity, love of learning, sound judgement, and social intelligence)

b) courage (perseverance and integrity)

c) humanity (with capacities for kindness and the expression of mercy)

d) justice (the ability to bring about fairness and leadership)

e) temperance (qualities like self control, prudence, humility)

f) transcendence (the appreciation of beauty, the expression of gratitude, the ability of hope, the capacity for joy).

We all have the capacity for each of these strengths, but a few resonate more deeply in you; they are your 'signature strengths.' Identify these, and you begin to understand your calling.

Sometimes we think God couldn't or wouldn't use us because of our weaknesses. No, the opposite is true. No one can speak to those who grieve, better than those who've suffered loss. Chuck Colson was the chief White House lawyer, until Watergate. But it wasn't until he was a convict that he was prepared to begin prison fellowship. Today, if you let him, God will use you.

Note: The article above is taken from daily devotion email from The Word for Today brought by TheVine in association with The Rhema Broadcasting Group Inc, New Zealand and UCB International Ltd.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Several years ago, a preacher from out-of-state accepted a call to a church in Texas. Some weeks after he arrived, he had an occasion to ride the bus from his home to the downtown area. When he sat down, he discovered that the driver had accidentally given him a quarter too much change. As he considered what to do, he thought to himself, 'You'd better give the quarter back. It would be wrong to keep it.'

Then he thought, 'Oh, forget it, it's only a quarter. Who would worry about this little amount? Anyway, the bus company gets too much fare; they will never miss it. Accept it as a 'gift from God' and keep quiet.'

When his stop came, he paused momentarily at the door, and then he handed the quarter to the driver and said, 'Here, you gave me too much change.'

The driver, with a smile, replied, 'Aren't you the new preacher in town?' 'Yes' he replied.'Well, I have been thinking a lot lately about going somewhere to worship. I just wanted to see what you would do if I gave you too much change. I'll see you at church on Sunday.'

When the preacher stepped off of the bus, he literally grabbed the nearest light pole, held on, and said, 'Oh God, I almost sold your Son for a quarter.'

Our lives are the only Bible some people will ever read. This is a really scary example of how much people watch usas Christians, and will put us to the test!

Always be on guard -- and remember -- You carry the name of Christ on your shoulders when you call yourself 'Christian.'

Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.

The Will of God will never take you to where the Grace of God will not PROTECT you


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

What Are You Called To Do?

Sometimes what a person contributes doesn't get noticed until they're no longer around to do it. The story's told of the husband who came home from work to find his house in a complete mess. The baby was crying, there were dishes piled up in the sink and dirty laundry on the floor. The TV was blaring, beds weren't made, carpets weren't vacuumed and dinner wasn't ready. When he demanded to know what was up, his wife said, 'You know how you always ask what I've been doing all day? Well, today I didn't do it.' The Bible says, '… Each one should retain the place in life… to which God has called him… ' (1Corinthians 7:17 NIV). This doesn't mean that we should not aspire to greater things. It just means that if we can't start here where we are, we can't start at all.

One day Jesus healed a demon-possessed man who'd spent years separated from his family. After being set free, the man wanted to travel with Jesus. But Jesus said, '… No, go back home and tell them what the Lord has done for you… ' (Luke 8:39). In other words, start where you are, use what you've got, and do what you can. The Bible says: 'You are the salt of the earth.' Salt doesn't exist for its own pleasure. It must be poured into something bigger than itself; only then does it fulfill its purpose.

But be careful, don't be ego-driven. The quest for significance can be misleading. You can't do it by yourself for yourself, you must do it with God and for His purposes; then God will bless you!

Note: The article above is taken from daily devotion email from The Word for Today brought by TheVine in association with The Rhema Broadcasting Group Inc, New Zealand and UCB International Ltd.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Desert Experience

“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes,though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 1:67

All of us, at a certain season of our Christian walk, will go into what I call a "Desert Experience" or sometimes we called it the "valley experience" based on Psalms 23. This are those times of trial or testing, when we discover that God is very near.

Our faith is so valuable to God that He frequently tests it. God does not want a puppet on a string! He wants us to serve Him of our own free will. He wants us to serve Him in faith not for emotional rewards. He will make opportunities in our life to grow our faith. He not only does this through allowing various trials to come into our life, but sometimes He seems to withdraw and remain silent for periods of time. Times like that, we will be like living in a solitude and we no longer have any emotional or “supernatural” experiences. We may not hear the Lord speak to you for some time. That’s because God wants to grow our faith. He wants us to determine that we will serve Him, no matter what.

When we have gone through the desert of hardship, God uses us to more effectively minister to others. Do we find ourselves in a "desert experience"? Maybe God has some training in mind for us. Remember, we can never be too small for God to use; only too big.

Be Blessed.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Seed.......

A successful business man was growing old and knew it was time to choose a successor to take over the business.

Instead of choosing one of his directors or his children, he decided to do something different. He called all the young executives in his company together.

He said, "It is time for me to step down and choose the next CEO. I have decided to choose one of you. "The young executives were shocked, but the boss continued. "I am going to give each one of you a SEED today - one very special SEED. I want you to plant the seed, water it, and come back here one year from today with what you have grown from the seed I have given you. I will then judge the plants that you bring, and the one I choose will be the next CEO"

One man, named Jim, was there that day and he, like the others, received a seed. He went home and excitedly, told his wife the story.

She helped him get a pot, soil and compost and he planted the seed. Everyday, he would water it and watch to see if it had grown. After about three weeks, some of the other executives began to talk about their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow. Jim kept checking his seed, but nothing ever grew. Three weeks, four weeks, five weeks went by, still nothing. By now, others were talking about their plants, but Jim didn't have a plant and he felt like a failure. Six months went by--still nothing in Jim's pot. He just knew he had killed his seed. Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing. Jim didn't say anything to his colleagues, however. He just kept watering and fertilizing the soil - He so wanted the seed to grow.

A year finally went by and all the young executives of the company brought their plants to the CEO for inspection. Jim told his wife that he wasn't going to take an empty pot. But she asked him to be honest about what happened. Jim felt sick at his stomach, it was going to be the most embarrassing moment of his life, but he knew his wife was right. He took his empty pot to the board room. When Jim arrived, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by the other executives. They were beautiful--in all shapes and sizes. Jim put his empty pot on the floor and many of his colleagues laughed, a few felt sorry for him!

When the CEO arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted his young executives.

Jim just tried to hide in the back. "My, what great plants, trees, and flowers you have grown," said the CEO. "Today one of you will be appointed the next CEO!" All of a sudden, the CEO spotted Jim at the back of the room with his empty pot. He ordered the financial director to bring him to the front. Jim was terrified. He thought, "The CEO knows I'm a failure! Maybe he will have me fired!" When Jim got to the front, the CEO asked him what had happened to his seed - Jim told him the story.

The CEO asked everyone to sit down except Jim. He looked at Jim, and then announced to the young executives, "Behold your next Chief Executive! His name is Jim!"

Jim couldn't believe it. Jim couldn't even grow his seed. How could he be the new CEO? the others said.

Then the CEO said, "One year ago today, I gave everyone in this room a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and bring it back to me today. But I gave you all boiled seeds; they were dead - it was not possible for them to grow. All of you, except Jim, have brought me trees and plants and flowers. When you found that the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for the one I gave you. Jim was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be the new Chief Executive!"

If you plant honesty, you will reap trust

If you plant goodness, you will reap friends

If you plant humility, you will reap greatness

If you plant perseverance, you will reap contentment

If you plant consideration, you will reap perspective.

If you plant hard work, you will reap success.

If you plant forgiveness, you will reap reconciliation

So, be careful what you plant now; it will determine what you will reap later.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Mourning Into Dancing

Psalms 30:11-12
You have turned my mourning into dancing;
you have taken off my sackcloth
and clothed me with joy,
so that my soul may praise you and not be silent.
O LORD my God, I will give thanks to you forever.

The above Psalms speaks to us who are children of the Almighty God. We go through seasons. Good times, bad times, times of sorrow and times of joy. David is admitting that he’s in a time of grief,trial, and mourning. But, he also praises the Almighty God who will bring him joy once again. Being a Christian is not ignoring hard times, but, being able to trust God in the middle of them. He will not forsake us in our circumstances. I took solace when David wrote, “Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.” He’s a good God and above all He is a faithful God.

Meeting every situation with thanksgiving isn't a denial of trouble. It helps us see those situations from God's perspective—as opportunities to discover His power and love. Every time we express gratitude to God in a difficult situation, we're declaring, "He is sovereign!"

Be Blessed.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Everything Happens For Good

There was once a King who had a wise adviser. The adviser followed the King everywhere, and his favorite advice was, “Everything happens for the good”. One day the King went hunting and had a little accident. He shot an arrow at his own foot and was injured. He asked the adviser what he thought about the accident, to which the adviser replied, “Everything happens for the good”. This time the King was really upset and ordered for his adviser to be put in prison. The King asked his adviser, “Now, what do you think?” The adviser again replied, “Everything happens for the good”. So the adviser remained in prison.

The King later went on a hunting trip, this time without the adviser. The King was then captured by some cannibals. He was taken to the cannibals' camp where he was to be the evening meal for the cannibals. Before putting him into the cooking pot he was thoroughly inspected. The cannibals saw the wound on the King’s foot and decided to throw him back into the jungle. According to the cannibals' tradition, they would not eat anything that was imperfect. As a result the King was spared. The King suddenly realized what his adviser said was true. The adviser also escaped death because had he not been in prison, he would have followed the King on the hunting trip, and would have ended up in the cooking pot.

So the moral of the story is everything in life happens for a purpose, and always for our own good. If you think about it, all our past experiences actually happened to bring us to where we are today, and it is always for the good. All the past experiences make us a better person. So, whatever challenges that we may face today, consider it happening to bring us to the next level.

Monday, May 18, 2009

When The Wall Gives Way

Proverbs 10:9 "The man of integrity walks securely, but he who takes crooked paths will be found out."

We can only hide our lack of integrity for so long. Eventually we'll experience failure, and whatever influence we've temporarily gained will be swept away. Hurricane Katrina taught us that. When the storm came, the river embankments in New Orleans broke and the city went under.

Integrity is like a wall - erected one brick at a time. That's why it's crucial to take care of the little things. A lot of us don't understand that. We think we can do whatever we want when it comes to small things; we believe so long as we don't have any major lapses we're doing well. But that's not the way it works. Webster's New International Unabridged Dictionary describes integrity as adherence to moral and ethical principles, soundness of character, and honesty. Ethical principles are not flexible.

A little white lie is still a lie. Theft is still theft, whether it's one dollar or one million. The truth is, if you can't be trusted at all points you probably can't be trusted at any point. Each time you break a moral principle you create a crack in the wall of your character, and when times get tough it becomes harder to act with integrity - not easier.

Character isn't created in a crisis; it just comes to light. Everything you've done in the past, including the things you've neglected to do, comes to a head when you're under pressure.

Someone writes, "Integrity commits itself to character over personal gain, people over things, service over power, discipline over impulse, commitment over convenience, and the long view over the immediate."

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Right Side Of The Boat

Throw your net on the right side. - John 21:6 NIV

When you make decisions based on doubt and unbelief, they never turn out right. After hearing Jesus promise to rise from the dead, and then actually seeing Him alive, the disciples still went back to what they were doing before they met Him: fishing. Now God will use our past experiences to teach us, but He always leads us forward - never back. When fear and uncertainty make us want to go back to the security of what we know, we end up like the disciples: "They went out and... got into the boat, and that night they caught nothing" (John 21:3 NKJV).

But there's good news: If God called you, you're still called. Notice how Jesus addresses them: "Children, have you any food?" (John 21:5 NKJV). In spite of your lackluster performance, you're still His child! Next He tells them: "Throw your net on the right side of the boat... When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish. Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, 'It is the Lord!'" (John 21:7 NIV). That morning Jesus ate breakfast with them, renewed fellowship, removed their doubts and sent them out to change the world.

What's the lesson here? When we work outside of God's will it's like fishing on the wrong side of the boat; we wear ourselves out and in the end have nothing to show for our efforts. Are you succeeding in life? No? Maybe you're fishing on the wrong side of the boat! Things aren't going to work out right until you submit to Christ, renew your fellowship with Him and allow Him to direct your steps.

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

Monday, May 11, 2009

Kim Gary.......

I have been receiving numerous SMS asking why my blog has not been updated for the past one week. Oh well, it is simply because I have been tight down with some important task that I need to ensure that it is carried out well. Well I will let you know more in detail when the right time comes. Anyway, I thank God that reinforcement came last Sunday to help me out on this important task. I am sure by now you will be asking what it is.....well, it is for me to know and for you to find out.

I want to share with you today my experience at Hong Kong Kim Gary Restaurant in Queensbay Mall, Penang. Kim Gary is a pretty nice place to get some interesting Chinese food. Unfortunately, they have one messed up menu system. In order to make a selection, one has to go through many menus in different shape and colour and decided what to eat. That process alone takes ages. Then you got to fill up some form on the orders that you are placing. The classic of all is that after you place the order, the waiter will come back with a computer printed order slip which is all in Mandarin.

This is really a joke. I am sure there are many non-Chinese Malaysian who patronize places like Kim Gary but we don't have single clue what is printed in our order slip. I do have Chinese friends equally at lost like me as they are not Chinese educated. Maybe the owners of Malaysian Kim Gary should remember that they are operating in Malaysia and not in Hong Kong. It is time to use some common language such as English so that all of us can understand and verify our order slip. Better still, if they can print the order slip in the language preferred by their customers....English, Tagalog, Tamil, and etc......

On the positive side, the crew who works in Kim Gary are pretty good employees. I enjoy their hospitality and their customer service.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Dynamics of Small Group Meeting

There is a potential when we meet in small group and discuss over spiritual and general matters. That is why I believe there is a dynamics in cell group meetings. Church life involves a lot more community life, hospitality and friendship than a meeting once a week on a Sunday can provide. God made us for community. Beyond a large congregational meeting, we need to relate in small groups so that we can challenge one another and encourage one another. The early churches, pictured vividly by Paul in Romans 16, started as a home fellowship, often over a meal. It is no surprise that the largest church in the world, Dr. Yonggi Cho's church in Seoul, Korea, with several hundred thousand members, is built on the house and cell group principle.

"Whenever two or three of you come together in my name, I am there with you" (Matthew 18:20),

Cell groups can impact us individually and definitely a catalyst in helping us to grow in our Christian walk.

Below some good example of how small group meetings have impacted some great people.

  • The world's best known theoretical physicist: Twenty-two year old Albert Einstein and like-minded friends met frequently in each other's homes or talked on hikes, sometimes all the way through the night. These conversations had an enormous impact on his future work. They called themselves ''The Olympia Academy.''
  • The most successful entrepreneur: Fifteen-year-old Bill Gates met regularly with other computer enthusiasts who called themselves ''The Lakeside Programmers Group.''
  • One of the wisest men of all time: Benjamin Franklin met every Friday for decades with a diverse group of civic-minded thinkers called ''Junto.'' Many of his great accomplishments were a result of cross-pollination from this group.
  • Two of the most popular writers: J.R.R. Tolkien (Lord of the Rings) and C.S. Lewis (The Chronicles of Narnia) met with ''The Inklings'' on a weekday morning in a pub and Thursday evenings at Lewis' house, often reading their manuscripts aloud to get input.
Acts 2:46-47 - Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

Why not you share your thoughts in the comment section so that the other readers would be blessed by your experience with Small Groups!!!

Be Blessed.