Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Royal Rangers Camp in Perting Valley

Last weekend, we traveled to Perting Valley campsite which is located in Bentong, Pahang. We were attending the Royal Rangers Melaka #1 Annual Camp and I was invited to be their Guest Speaker. It is indeed an honor and privellege to be given this opportunity especially sharing the word of God to a group of young people.

Our journey to Perting Valley took almost 6 hours. We started at 6.15 a.m. The journey might be shorter but due to our passion to search for good food, we stop couple of places for some food. I will blog about one of the restaurant in my next article.

I thank God for His presence in the camp. I was scheduled to speak for two session based on Psalms 46:10. The Lord gave a timely message for the camper and it was later confirmed by one of their leaders. It is indeed challenging to speak in front of a group of children of various age category starting from 6 years old all the way to 17 years old. Need to constantly change the style of presentation so that all different group of kids are able to receive the Word of God. I really thank God for His favor and wisdom. With my own strength, I would have failed miserably but His word assured me that I can do all things through Christ. Amen!!!!

Overall, the camp was superb. Excellent environment.....camping beside a water fall in the jungle with basic facilities. It is indeed enjoying nature at its best. I really look forward for places like these where I can get way from the chaos of corporate world and modern society into a place where everything is basic.

Thank God for great organizers and friends. We had good time catching up. The children are also great. They bring lots of laughter to us.

I thank God for last weekend. Pray for many more of such experience in near future.

Be Blessed.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Dream no small dream

In 1970, Wally Amos started baking chocolate chip cookies for his friends. He used a recipe and process pass down by his Aunt Della. For five years, he made cookies and gave away every batch – even though folks told him that his cookies were so good that he should sell them. But to Wally, the cookies were just a sideline. His major goal was to be a big time show business manager.

One day, a friend told Wally that she know someone who could put up the money for a cookie-making business. That comment sparked Wally’s thinking. He talked to some of his friends and convinced them to put up some money.

Originally, Wally intended to open only one store, on Sunset Boulevard, just enough of a business to make a living. But Wally’s enterprise grew faster and larger than he could have imagined. Soon, Wally’s “FAMOUS AMOS CHOCOLATE COOKIES” were being distributed worldwide. Wally became a spokesperson for other products, including a telephone company. He had once dreamed of managing celebrities. Now he is one.

Sometimes dreams come through the back door. So keep it unlocked. You never know how the cookie is going to crumble.

2 Chronicles 15:7 "But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded."

Be Blessed and have a great weekend.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Knowing Yourself

It's important that you can evaluate your own self. Why? Because others will treat you according to how you treat yourself! This is not pride, it's just healthy self-esteem. When you have it, it affects every area of your life. Truth be told, it determines how far you'll go in life.

Stop and ask yourself today, "How do I really feel about myself?" Before you answer read these ten principles. Better yet, keep them before you daily.

(1) Never think or speak negatively about yourself;

(2) Know your strengths and learn to encourage yourself, for much of the time nobody else will.

(3) Don't compare yourself to anybody else. You're unique, one of a kind, an original. So don't settle for being a copy.

(4) Focus on your potential, not your limitations.

(5) Find what you like to do, do well, and strive to do it with excellence.

(6) Have the courage to be different.

(7) Learn to handle criticism. Let it develop you instead of discourage you.

(8) Determine your own worth instead of letting others do it for you. They'll short-change you!

(9) Keep your shortcomings in perspective - you're still a work in progress.

(10) Focus daily on your greatest source of confidence.

So start looking at yourself today and know that you worth more than what you think you are.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Spiritual activities can never replace Spiritual intimacy

In the past few weeks, the quote “Spiritual activities can never replace Spiritual intimacy" keeps on playing in my mind. Many of us today are so busy in our service for God and we neglect setting aside time for spiritual intimacy with our Father Who Art in Heaven.

God used the story of two well-known women in the Bible to demonstrate to us the meaning of spiritual activities and spiritual intimacy. There are two set of encounters with Jesus that was recorded in Luke 10 and John 11. Both Mary and Martha were believers in the one true God. Martha was busy in her service for the Master and Mary was spending her time at the feet of Jesus - notice both Luke 10 and John 11 speaks about Mary was at the feet of Jesus.

In John 11, it is pretty interesting to see how Jesus responded to their cry about their brother, Lazarus. Both Martha and Mary said the same thing, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died”. For Martha’s plea, Jesus responded with a question asking Martha whether she really believe in Him. But to Mary’s cry, Jesus wept. He is moved in compassion. The secret I see in this passage is that Mary had spiritual intimacy – she learns to wait patiently for the Lord and secondly, learn to fall at the feet of Jesus (John 11:32).

In Luke 10, Martha frantically rushes over to interrupt the intimate gathering. Feeling compassion for Martha, Jesus reassuringly says, “Martha, Martha … you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her." After all, if Jesus could feed the 4,000 (Matthew 15:32-39) and the 5,000 (Matthew 14:14-21), then certainly He could handle supper for a house full of people.

Sometimes we just forget how big our God is and we run around with what I call the “Martha Syndrome” trying to make everything just right when all we need to do is just Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and lean not in our own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6 KJV)

I pray that we would learn to be like Mary - learn to be still at the feet of Jesus.

Be Blessed.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Be still and know that I am God

Today I had an interesting conversation with a good friend of mine. We were discussing on Psalms 46:10 "Be Still and know that I am God". Many times in our Christian walk, we associate this verse with topics like prayer or meditation. But as we begin to study the word of God in depth, we realize that the entire chapter is talking about something else rather than what we perceived before.

One important aspect of reading and interpreting the Bible is to look at the whole passage and see the context of the statement. The Bible originally was not written in chapters and verses. It was added centuries later.

The New American Standard bible says "Cease striving and know that I am God". The 1599 Geneva Study Bible give a good comment on verse 10. It says, that God is warning those who persecute the church to cease their cruelty for also they will feel that God is too strong for them against whom they fight. The basis for this statement is due to the preceding two verses - verse 8 and 9 that says "Come, behold the works of the LORD, how He has brought desolations on the earth; He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and shatters the spear; He burns the chariots with fire".

This verses shows the power and might of our Almighty God against those who disregard Him and His people. One of the greatest preacher who is also known as "Prince of Preachers", Charles H Spurgeon in his commentary of verse 10 says "Hold of your hands, ye enemies! Sit down and wait in patience, ye believers! Acknowledge that Jehovah is God, ye who feel the terrors of his wrath! Adore him and him only, ye who partake in the protection of his grace".

I hope today's write up will give you a brand new perspective of Psalms 46:10. It is not talking about meditation. Rather it talks about a warning to those "striving" against God and His people. They are to stop striving and realize Jehovah God is mighty and that their effort against Him is futile.

Aren't you glad that we serve a God who will stand for us and defend us when the enemy comes after our soul? He will indeed says to our enemy "Cease striving and know that I am God".

Be Blessed and have a great weekend.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Believe God For Great Things!

With God all things are possible. - Matthew 19:26 NIV

The poet wrote, "Beware of those who stand aloof, and greet each venture with reproof. The world would stop if things were run, by those who say, 'It can't be done.'" Refuse to let the word 'impossible' stop you. Jesus said, "With God all things are possible." If those who've changed the world had left every 'impossible' task undone, we'd still be living in the Dark Ages. Here are four examples:

1) German experts predicted that trains travelling at 25 mph would cause severe nose bleeds and the passengers would suffocate going through tunnels. American experts added that we'd need more mental institutions because people would go mad when they saw the first trains.

2) When the YWCA first announced typing classes for women, there was a furious backlash on the grounds that the 'female constitution would deteriorate under such strain.'

3) Experts insisted that iron ships would never float, that the iron would wreak havoc with the compass readings.

4) In 1797, New Jersey farmers denounced the first cast-iron plough, insisting it would poison the land and stimulate weeds. So much for 'experts!'

More of us are persuaded into believing for too little than believing for too much. Vision is essential for survival. And a God-given vision is conceived by faith, sustained by prayer and fuelled by God's Word. It's not about what you can do, but what God can do with your life when it's fully surrendered to Him. It encompasses things outside the realm of the predictable, the safe, and the expected. "Where there is no vision, the people perish" (Proverbs 29:18 AMP). If God has given you a vision; pursue it, and believe Him for great things!

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, August 10, 2009

Quality of Medical Service

Recently I have been observing that the medical services in some of the clinics are getting worse. Many of the medical practitioners are just focusing on making money and little emphasis is given on value for life. A classic example happen last Thursday night at one of the well known clinics near our place.....named after one of the neighboring country.

I took my wife to this clinic as she was having having sore throat, mild fever and cough. After registering my wife, I sat down and make some observation on the other patients. I notice that every patient who walks into the doctor's room comes out from the doctor's room within 70 to 80 seconds. As my wife's name was called in, she too had had the sane short encounter with the doctor. I was wondering what kind of prognosis can a doctor give within that short period of time.

My wife was also annoyed with the kind of diagnosis that the doctor has carried out to determine her exact condition. In fact, the doctor was not even concern with hygiene. The doctor was using an Ear Thermometer without using the hygienic probe covers.

Looks like some of the doctors are not following the Code of Medical Ethics crafted by The Malaysian Medical Association. It is good for commoners like us to understand the code of medical practice which suppose to give guidelines for our doctors. Check it out at the following link : http://www.mma.org.my/Portals/0/pdf/MMA_ethicscode.pdf

Having said all this, I still believe there are a lot of good doctors out there who cares for the needs of their patient. So good doctors, thank you so much.......to the others whom I am taling about earlier, you can start by watching the movie "Patch Adams".

Thursday, August 6, 2009

You'll Get Through This Storm

It is I; do not be afraid. - Mark 6:50 NKJV

Are you in a storm today? Then read these words: "the boat was in the middle of the sea; and He was alone on the land. Then He saw them straining at rowing, for the wind was against them. Now about the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea, and would have passed them by. And when they saw Him walking on the sea, they supposed it was a ghost, and cried out… But immediately He talked with them and said to them… 'It is I; do not be afraid.' Then He went up into the boat to them, and the wind ceased" (Mark 6:47-51 NKJV). There are four lessons here for us:

1) It's when we feel most separated from God, that He's teaching us the most. Dave Dravecky said, "Looking back… I have learned that the wilderness is part of the landscape of faith, and every bit as essential as the mountaintop. On the mountaintop we are overwhelmed by God's presence. In the wilderness we are overwhelmed by His absence. Both places should bring us to our knees; the one, in utter awe; the other, in utter dependence."

2) God doesn't show up early. Usually He comes in the worst part of the storm when you think you can't take any more - but He will always be on time.

3) God takes us through different storms, revealing more of Himself to us in each one. Otherwise there are aspects of His character, and divine strategies we'd never understand.

4) God's presence alone should be enough for us in any storm. The moment He shows up and says, 'It is I,' our every fear should be calmed.

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, August 3, 2009

H1N1....What else???

H1N1 is now already in pandemic state. In our nation alone, we are seeing death rate increasing day after day. Based on World Health Organization(WHO) report on 27th July 2009, over 134503 people worldwide are infected so far but they do have a footprint message that states "Given that countries are no longer required to test and report individual cases, the number of cases reported actually understates the real number of cases".

Our world today is so interconnected that even the threat of a pandemic causes immediate community reactions. How often have we seen schools and higher learning institution being closed for a period of time due to flu?

Three influenza pandemics occurred in the past century. The Spanish flu in 1918-19 was terribly virulent and deadly, affecting half the world's population. The estimates of the number killed range from 20 to 100 million worldwide. The Asian flu in 1957-58 caused 70,000 deaths, and the Hong Kong flu in 1968-69 caused 33,000 deaths.

Fear of a disease pandemic can paralyze a nation more completely than a large natural disaster confined to one area. Because all parts of advanced societies are interconnected and interdependent, there is the domino effect. A breakdown in one area hurts many other area

As everyone is putting effort to stop the spread of H1N1 and also to find some vaccine to prevent it, there is another plague starting in a remote area in China. The Malaysian Insider reports that a remote town in China’s far north-west has been sealed off after an outbreak of pneumonic plague claimed a second victim in days. In fact the health official in China said that the plague outbreak may prove deadlier than SARS or Influenza A (H1N1).

So what can you do? Do your best to stay in good health and practice all the usual safety precautions for avoiding contagious diseases. But the most important thing you can do is to have faith in God and rely on Him to be your Protector and Savior. God has promised blessings, including protection, for those who love and obey Him. Consider the reassuring words of Psalm 91 that describe how God is able to protect those who obey Him from the heart in all circumstances:

"Surely He shall deliver you...from the perilous pestilence… You shall not be afraid...of the pestilence... A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come near you… No evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling" (Psalm 91:3-10)

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Knowing God Better

Spiritual activities can never replace Spiritual intimacy. A lot of us go to church with the wrong focus. We want to know what the pastor's subject is. What we should be thinking is: 'Lord, whatever the preacher says today, I want You to speak to me personally so I'll know what Your will is for my situation.'

When God's Word starts coming alive for you in ways that change you and take you in a direction you would never have discovered for yourself, you're on the same wavelength as the Holy Spirit, whose job is to clarify and reveal God's purpose for your life. Living on this wavelength puts you in a world apart from others, even many professing Christians.

Paul said in 1 Corinthians 2:14 that the "natural man" can't grasp anything from God because his Spirit is dead. He says the things of God are "foolishness" to such a person. So a mature believer is worlds removed from the understanding of the Spiritually dull or dead person. The truth is, even church-goers don't understand the mature believer. Paul said such a person "is appraised [properly understood and evaluated] by no one" (1 Co 2:15 NASB). People can't figure mature believers out because they have "the mind of Christ" (1 Co 2:16 NIV). This kind of intimacy with God is rare today, even though the mind of Christ is God's will for, and is available, to each of us. Spiritually mature believers have a passion to pursue and know God, and they aren't satisfied until they are in an intimate relationship with Him. So make it your goal to know God better.