Friday, February 26, 2010

Learning From Others

A king rejoices in wise servants - Proverbs 14:35 NLT

Every five years, knowledge in most major fields doubles. That means if you do not stay sharp you will be left behind. Repeating the same lessons over and over means you are not learning enough. Study those who have succeeded where you want to succeed, in order to know what to do and what not to do.

Admiral Hyman Rickover said, 'Learn from the mistakes of others; you will never live long enough to make them all yourself.' To climb the next rung of the ladder use these three guidelines.First, do not shrink away from people whose experience and expertise are greater than your own. Peter writes, 'God has given each of you some special abilities… use them to help each other… ' (1 Peter 4:10 TLB).

We all struggle in certain areas; be careful lest your insecurity be misinterpreted as arrogance.Second, do not try to impress people by seeking to be their intellectual equal. If you find yourself in a discussion that intimidates you, listen carefully, ask questions, talk only about what you know and listen attentively to what you do not. The next time you meet you will be that much further ahead.

Finally, do not come to class unless you have done your homework. When God starts taking you higher, prepare your speech, your wardrobe, and your mind. Consult a trusted friend who understands where you are and where you need to go. If you cannot find one, read up until you grasp the basics. Solomon says, 'A king rejoices in servants who know what they are doing.'

The more you prepare yourself, the more opportunities God will give 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

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Life's daily patterns of living, working, sleeping and existing shield us from an amazing fact: Life is precious! Life is fragile and life, as we know it, will end. The Bible says it is appointed for all people to die at some point (Hebrews 9:27). How many more breaths will I breathe in and blow out?

I have been thinking of life in general and reflecting back my childhood days, the struggle growing up as a teenager, my dreams and looking at the goodness of the Lord in all aspect….both in success and failures in life's journey. Sometimes we take for granted all the small experiences that we encounter in this journey.

Recently I have been visiting a friend who was diagnosed with Stage 3 Cancer. It all happens so sudden. No major symptoms and no prolong illness. In his peak of life, sudden news of being diagnosed with this disease is heart breaking news. Many times we really don't understand what this journey of life lead us to.....we can only put our hope in the Lord

Wise King Solomon says that God "has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end" (Ecclesiastes 3:11). That is to say, no one can figure it out with his imagination alone. God must reveal these amazing truths to us. And yes, the truth is more remarkable than fiction.

The Bible continues to bedazzle us: "Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is" (1 John 3:1-2).

As I reflect upon this life that God has given me, I realize that my purpose of living is to love God, to love our neighbors and to go and make disciples of others who will do the same

Be Blessed.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Making The Tough Calls

The Lord is on my side; I will not fear...Psalm 118:6 NKJV

All the heroes of the Bible were flawed. And personality wise they were as different as chalk and cheese. But they'd one thing in common: they were willing to make the tough calls. Observe:

1) Tough calls demand risk. When the Soviet Union overran and annexed Latvia in 1940, the US Vice Consul in Riga was concerned that the American Red Cross supplies in that city would be looted. To guard against it he requested permission from the State Department in Washington, DC to place an American flag above the Red Cross to deter anyone from taking the supplies. 'No precedent exists for such action,' the Secretary of State's Office cabled back. When the Vice Consul received the message he climbed up and personally nailed the American flag to the pole, then he cabled the State Department: 'As of this date, I have established precedent.'

2) Tough calls require character. Chuck Swindoll writes: 'Courage is not limited to the battlefield or the Indianapolis 500 or bravely catching a thief in your house. The real tests of courage are much quieter. They are the inner tests, like remaining faithful when nobody's looking, like enduring pain when the room is empty, like standing alone when you're misunderstood.' Whether you lead a family, a business or a church, the temptation to complain comes easy. Thank God for the tough times. They're the reason you're there - to be the leader. If everything was going well you wouldn't be needed. When the tough calls must be made, your confidence can be found in these words: 'The Lord is on my side; I will not fear… ' (Psalm 118:6 NKJV)

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

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Hole in Our Gospel

The last 4 days of CNY holiday been a great time for me and my wife. We are able to take time off from the hectic corporate lifestyle and just enjoy meeting up friends and reading books and not forgetting catching up with my ICI studies. One of the day, we spend some time at the Borders book shop. My favorite section is always the Christian books segment. As I was glancing through all the books in the rack, one book catch my attention. As I was reading the foreword and some details about the author, I get very excited. From the first moment that I cracked open the book my heart was captivated by the story of how this man, Richard Stearns, felt the call of God on his life, how he tried to ignore it, runaway from it and then finally accept that God had chosen him for such a time as this.

The Hole in Our Gospel is the compelling true story of a corporate CEO who set aside worldly success for something far more significant, and discovered the full power of the gospel of Jesus Christ to change his own life. He uses his journey to demonstrate how the gospel was always meant to be a world-changing social revolution, a revolution that begins with you

It's 1998 and Richard Stearns' heart is breaking as he sits in a mud hut and listens to the story of an orphaned child in Rakai, Uganda. His journey to this place took more than a long flight from the United States to Africa. It took answering God's call on his life, a call that hurtled him out of his presidential corner office at Lenox-America's finest tableware company-to this humble corner of Uganda.

Richard Stearns shares his own struggle to obey God whatever the cost, and his passionate call for Christians to change the world by actively living out their faith. Using his own journey as an example, Stearns explores the hole that exists in our understanding of the Gospel. Two thousand years ago, twelve people changed the world and Richard believes it can happen again.

In one of the interview, Richard Stearns was posted with the following question: "You see a hole in our gospel. What is it, and why is it there?"

Richard Stearns replied "Many people believe that the gospel — and its message of salvation — represent a private transaction, almost a “fire insurance policy,” between them and God. I contend that Jesus Christ proclaimed a broader, bolder vision of the gospel, a gospel that proclaims Christians are to be “salt and light” in the world. Jesus intended that his followers would be on the vanguard of a social revolution that would change our world. We were to lift up the poor and the downtrodden; care for the sick; fight for the oppressed; challenge injustice; and love our neighbors — and our enemies — as ourselves. Our faith was never meant to be only a “fire insurance policy” for our own security. It was meant to change everything in our world."

Every since I started reading this book I have been telling my friends that they have to get a copy of this book. Rarely have I found a book that can radically transform how you view what's going on in the world around us.

Be Blessed.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Just Do It!

For he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven... by the wind...James 1:6 NKJV

The Bible says, 'for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.' (James 1:6-8 NKJV)). This Scripture applies specifically to asking God for wisdom, then rationalising and vacillating when He gives you an answer. But the same principle applies to all of life. Have you ever seen anything more fickle than a wave? The wind that takes it one direction today, takes it in an entirely different one tomorrow. 'How does this apply to me?' you ask:

1) if you've grown up in a family where every decision was made for you

2) if you spent your life around people who made reckless decisions that left you feeling 'it's too easy to get it wrong and too hard to get it right'

3) if the bad decisions you've made in the past have sabotaged your confidence; then today's devotion is just for you!

James makes the point that none of us learn to hear from God without making mistakes. So don't be hard on yourself. Learn from your mistakes, correct the ones you can, and continue being decisive. Don't fall back into a pattern of indecision because you got it wrong a few times. Often you'll only know that you've done the right thing; when you do it! Devote a reasonable amount of time to waiting on God, and when necessary seek the counsel of others. But don't be afraid to act; make a decision and follow through with it. In other words, 'just do it!'

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

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Making Important Decisions

The Lord directs the steps of the godly - Psalm 37:23 NLT

There are three considerations to bear in mind when making important decisions.

1) Beware of 'people pressure'. Facing 30,000 Philistine chariots, and Samuel the prophet not around to offer the required sacrifice to God ensuring their victory, King Saul decided to usurp the prophet's office and offer his own sacrifice instead. When Samuel showed up a week later and demanded an explanation, Saul said, 'The Philistines will now come down on me… I felt compelled… ' (1 Samuel 13:12 NKJV). He gave in to 'people pressure'. Samuel said to Saul, 'You have done foolishly… now your kingdom shall not continue… ' (1 Samuel 13:13-14 NKJV). God's will must be done God's way, so wait for His instructions and don't rush ahead of Him.

2) Make sure the timing is right. God says,'… I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it… ' (Revelation 3:8 NKJV). When you open a door you have to work to keep it open, but when God opens it, 'no one can shut it'. You don't have to manipulate anybody or anything - you can just walk in.

3) Remember the 'restraint and release' principle. Paul's missionary team tried to go to two different cities, '… but the Spirit did not permit them' (Acts 16:7 NKJV). Have you ever tried to teach a teenager to drive? What's the first thing you teach them about - the accelerator or the brakes? The brakes! If they're not interested, take your car keys back; they're obviously not ready to drive. As you get to know God better you'll discover that He guides by the 'restraint and release' principle: the brakes and the accelerator. That's how it works when your steps are directed by the Lord.

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

Friday, February 5, 2010

Commitment without sacrifice is vain

A story was told about a house church in the former Soviet Union received a copy of the gospel of Luke. Since in was illegal to possess this Scripture they tore it up into little pieces and distributed it among the body of believers. Their plan was to memorize the portion they had been given, then on the next Lord's Day they would meet and redistribute the sections.

On Sunday these believers arrived inconspicuously in small groups throughout the day so as not to arouse the suspicion of the secret police informers. By dusk they were all safely inside, windows closed and doors locked. They began by singing a hymn quietly but with deep emotion. Suddenly, the door was pushed open and in walked two soldiers with loaded automatic weapons at the ready. One shouted, "All right - everybody line up against the wall. If you wish to renounce you commitment to Jesus Christ, leave now!"

Two or three quickly left, then another. After a few more seconds, two more.

"This is you last chance. Either turn against your faith in Christ," he ordered, "or stay and suffer the consequences."

Another left. Finally two more in embarrassed silence, their faces covered, slipped out into the night. No one else moved. Parents with small children trembling beside them looked down reassuringly. They fully expected to be gunned down or, at best, to be imprisoned.

After a few moments of complete silence, the other soldier closed the door, looked back at those who stood against the wall and said, "Keep you hands up - but this time in praise to our Lord Jesus Christ, brothers and sisters. We, too, are Christians. We were sent to another house church several weeks ago to a group of believers - "

The other soldier interrupted, " . . . but, instead we were converted! We have learned by experience, however, that unless people are willing to die for their faith, they cannot by fully trusted.

The bible talk about a man called Demas. One of Paul's team member in his missionary journey. Demas is mentioned along with Luke. He was an important person in the efforts to spread Christianity. But in 2 Timothy 9-11, Paul has to write to Timothy to say "Demas has forsaken me". As we read Paul's letter to Timothy, we may think Demas has a poor grade for his commitment, but is Demas any worse than us?

Today, it is good that we reflect on our commitment to God especially in our ministry for Him. Are we committed in our walk with the Lord and in our service? Are we merely doing it for the sake of doing or are we really committed to serve Him – meaning sacrificing our all for HIS glory? There is a price to pay for commitment – that is sacrifice. Commitment without sacrifice is vain.

So many Christians just sit and rust when they could be serving sacrificially. Yes it is costly. Yes, you risk your life. But we need those who will really serve Christ. Paul says hold such as these in high esteem. We need to thank God for those who really serve Christ in our midst. We have so many faithful. We need to call others to be faithful.

Commitment means God can count on me.

Be Blessed

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

What peacemaking is not

Today we go a step further and affirm that no one can be spiritually or mentally healthy until they know what it means to have peace in their inner beings. A psychologist says "If we could only measure the amount of emotional energy that is dissipated within the human personality by lack of peace, we would be surprised to find that physical, mental and emotional loss would represent our greatest deficit within the human economy." He is simply saying that inner conflict tears us apart - physically, mentally and spiritually.

The intriguing thing is that as we make peace with God, a change comes about in our own lives and this, in turn, is reflected in the lives of others. We are not only at peace - we become peaceable. But even more that we become reconciler. We reconcile people to God and to each other.

We should be careful not to misunderstand the meaning of the word "peacemaker", so let's examine for a moment what it is not. Peacemaking is not just keeping the peace. Some strive to keep the peace because they do not wish to risk any unpleasantness that might be involved in trying to put matters right. They avoid a conflict by smoothing over the surface, but this is not peace. The true peacemaker sometimes has to be a fighter. Paradoxically, he or she is called not to a passive live, but an active one. Those who pursue this ministry must realize that peacemaking is not patching things up, but getting the roots of the problem. Peacemakers sometimes have to stir up trouble before they can resolve it.

Be Blessed.

Note: Article takes from a devotional book - Everyday with Jesus by Selwyn Hughes.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Engraved on HIS palms....

Last weekend, our worship leader, Chee Keong, mention something profound during worship leading that speaks to my heart. It was simple yet there is a lot of truth in his sharing. He quoted a verse from Isaiah 49:16 that says "See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me." He continued on to share on how God loves us and how HE engraved or inscribed us on the palms of His hands. Chee Keong who is managing a metal stamping business elobrate further the process of inscribing and that brings lots of clearity in understanding this verse.

I was reflecting on this verse for the past few days and I am so excited to realize the depth of God's love for us through this verse where He will engraved us on the palms of His hands. It is a figurative way of God expressing His love for His people, the Lord is in essence saying that He will never forget us. The word “engraved” is an eternal reminder, not written, but engraved. The Hebrew word is haqaq, meaning to mark out, inscribe, portrayed. Portrayed means a representation of something, or in other words a picture, a picture of you and me engraved on the hands of the LORD. We are engraved upon the palms of His hands so that we will always be in His sight and kept as an everlasting remembrance.

Isaiah 49:16 makes me feel very loved and very secure to know that my Lord is constantly thinking about me. He has my best interests at heart and He never forgets me. How could He? His Son gave His life for me. Even when we feel lonely and forgotten by others on this earth, our Heavenly Father is thinking about us with love and devotion. Jesus has only to look at his nail-scarred hands to be reminded how much He cares for us.

Be Blessed.