Sunday, August 29, 2010

Mercy: A 'Song' we need to 'Sing'

Pastor Dr. Phillip Lyn said a story when he was in Sabah (probably 10 years ago), a story which he told with much passion and some element of humor that creates his story very attractive- lovely and meaningful. As he sat down at food store enjoying his meal, he saw a beggar went from table to table scrabbling some left over to a plastic bag. The owner of this stall well of course chased him away, you see, it was bad for his business. He said that the beggar was very 'dirty'. He has a long beard, his shirts all over was a mess and 'yuck!’ He said that his appetite was reduced to zero as he continued perceived this man doing his business and the shout of the owner chasing him away was so loud that he can't ignored such noise.

At one moment he said suddenly his heart was 'touch' to treat this man a meal. So he invited this man to sit near to him and he asked him, "What do you want to eat? How can I help you?” The stall owner come in when he called for order (though he at first insisted to 'entertains' this beggar but soon soften his heart because you see, it was good for his business). Mr. Phillip wish that he would ask for RM5 and go away, but instead the beggar said, "I want Nasi Goreng Ayam (fried chicken rice)..." Well, it such a relieved for him to know that... not until the bagger continued, "... err, I want chicken drumstick too!” "What??? Oh, I which he would just asking me for RM5 instead", Mr. Phillip said to himself.

7 minutes later, his ordered finally arrived. As soon as the plate touching the table, he rushed to the food and ate it like hyena. Rice was spill all over the table; chicken was 'clean' 100% pure bone! For an instant, the beggar finished his 'happy' meal, (probably after licked the plate off) move himself away from his chair and without saying good bye- he just went away... just like that... no thanks... oh, young Phillip said to us, his collar suddenly filled with 'heat'. "That's it? No thanks!' A moment later, the stall owner gives a 'helpful' commentary, "I said don't help beggars here. They are all the same, ruin my business and never appreciate anyone. They don't want to work. They like a dog! Don't help them.' After paid the bills, he moved to his car and checking left and right if the beggar would come back and thanks him for the help. No he said to us, with his high tone voice and my collar 'heat' all the way back.

Maybe on his way in his car or somewhere else, I just can't remember where he been when he said that he was 'touch' again in his heart regarding to the old, stinky, mess up and poor beggar. 'I'm very mad now, Lord. How could he just walk by just like that? At least, he said thanks!’ he poured out his disappointments in his prayer. It was honest. He said, "as I’m struggle with it, the Lord reminded me of the Scripture in Matthew 25.’You did it to me', Jesus said to me. I was stunned and don't know what to say. I cried and lifted my hand to heaven, praise the Lord and asking for forgiveness.'

Micah 6:8, 'He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?'

He told us in his sermon 'A theme song for the Church' a 'song' that we need to 'sing' now as a Christian is to act justly and to love mercy. A 'song' in deeds and acts in respond to His Goodness to us. He soon shared what does to love mercy mean. It is to S.T.O.P.:-
Helping the Special,
Providing for the Torn,
Visiting the Oppressed,
Giving generously to the Poor

I did some editing and summaries his story above in one way or another as I'm only listening and reflected it this evening but I hope that his main concern in his sharing today would move our faith into actions. Before he finished his sermon, he challenged us with this question: When is the last time you serve the poor?

The Lord want to tell us today about how to 'sing' His 'song' to the world, to Malaysia and to the place where we are now. Jesus said,
For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.' Then the righteous will answer him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?' And the King will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.' (Matthew 25:35-40)
... you did it to me.
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Friday, August 27, 2010

Week 9: Self-Control - Show to our body who is the Boss!

"Never miss a good chance to shut up" - Will Rogers
"Oh shit!” I said. It was loud and clear s.h.i.t. word. (I won't tell you why I said that but I did) It is suppose to means dung, but what I really mean is in the context of 'profanity' in Modern English. I was stunned with my own word because back then I remember I said to myself not to use any profanity language anymore. (James 3) Those are pretty common problems, aren't they? We have all exceeded the bounds of wisdom by failing to restrain ourselves. We all suffer from the same ailment: lack of self-control.

I'd been with someone who will kicked the chair if his favorites football team losing the games. I myself shout when someone had across the 'boundaries'. My brother would smash his hand phone when something really pissed him off. (Twice; one of it is mine- he paid me back) Politicians would scream at the parliament not knowing that the TV’s cable and the mike are ON! Mother would 'bang' that kitchen ware just because of a single tinny fly is freely flying around the room. You... yes you; do you remember when someone pushing you back rushing to get their sits when that school bus is coming? Or do you remember that 'enemy' of yours when he/she say something that's untrue about you to your love ones? Oh 'bang!', 'what the f**k!', 'Shut up!', 'you bit*h!' etc automatically comes out of your mouth... you feel good... finally 'I said that', you smile and thought that he/she deserved it. Ha ha... em... ouh... ~ I don't believe I just said that... 'I'm sorry. I didn't mean to say that... I was angry, frustrated, stupid...’ By the time you realized that you shouldn't said it, it was too late. (Please stop reading if you never done that or if you think that you're on the 'right' side) We were (are) lack of self-control.

One of the greatest weapons of destruction for men is: tongue! James wrote "Look at the ship... though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things". With it we praise and pray and bless others. From the same mouth we also curse and say those nasty words. So what we gonna do? I don't suggest us to remove it and all of this mess will never happen again, I suggest us to control it. Show to our body who is the boss! Tongue will not say it if it is not our will. We can control it! We can have self-control.

The dictionary tells me that Self-control is Control of one's emotions, desires, or actions by one's own will. Base on yours and my experience, to implement self-control has proven very difficult. Yet as difficult as it is, don't make it an excuse.
The Book of Proverbs outlines very well regarding on self-control, here are some examples:
  • Being careful in what we say protects our life, while being careless may ruin everything.
  • Talking too much makes sin unavoidable. The wise person controls how much he says.
  • The person who loses his temper easily is a fool. The wise person will quietly ignore insults.
  • A gentle answer will turn away someone’s anger while harsh words will only provoke it.
  • A wise person says little and remains calm.
But tongue is not the only place we need to have self-control. We also need to control our thought, hands, feet’s, and eyes (get out from that pornography videos and websites!) Like I said even though this body is ours, beyond any human capabilities, soon or later we will fall; defeated by our own flesh. Paul the apostle struggle with the flesh very much like we does, 'I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but everything that I hate... For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out... For I do not do the good that I want, but the evil that I do not want is what I keep on doing.' (Romans 7:15-19) Do you feel the same way? P.s: We need the highest power to overcome these self-control foes called tongue and flesh. We need God.

Finally (though I have much to share, incase you already boring), there is no greater example of self-control than Jesus. Richard J. Foster in his book 'Christian Reflections on Money, Sex, and Power' writes:

Have you ever noticed the number of times Jesus refused to use power? He refused to dazzle people by jumping off the pinnacle of the temple (Matthew 4:5). He rejected the temptation to make more 'wonder bread' to validate His Ministry (John 6:26). He refused to do many wonderful works in His own hometown because of the unbelief of the people (Luke 4:16-27). He said no to the Pharisees when they demanded He give a sign to prove He was the Messiah (Matthew 12:38). At His arrest, Jesus said He could have summoned a whole angels but He did not (Matthew 26:53).
That's self-control! You and I may fall during this process but don't give up. Refuse to surrender to the flesh, surrender instead to Christ and let Him live His life through you. Have self-control. Fin. Best Blogger Tips

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Delusion: Reflection on "I love the way you lie"

Just gonna stand there and watch me burn, that's alright because I like the way it hurt,
Just gonna stand there and hear me cry, that's alright because I love the way you lie.
There's nothing more error than to live in the delusion of 'feeling' good while it is obvious there's something wrong happening in the world today. In the neighborhood where we thought that's nothing going on here, 'boring' 'same old day', we are deluded. Violence, drug addiction, infant killing, child abusing, missing child, rape, killing, people dying, hungry children, widows in needs and all kind of behaviors that seems like animals are having higher moral value than we are. "'Peace, peace,' when there is no peace”, the Scripture said (Jeremiah 6:14). Adam Clark comments this verse by saying 'You shall have prosperity - when there was none, and when God had determined that there should be none... the people continued in sin, being deceived'. These days, newspaper filled with promises on easy income, do this and that and money will come to you. Some are true and mostly are not. Nothing wrong with that BUT you see, 'Easy come, easy go'.

This song chorus by Eminem feat Rihanna gets me to think that - We are easy to be deluded and deceived by our own thought about happiness base on our ignorance than facing the facts. (Thanks to Eminem for bringing this out, yeah man) It burn but 'I like the way it hurt'. It false but 'I like the way you lie'. Peace! Peace! Peace they say when there is no peace. Back to our family, yet there is no absolute peace, we somehow manage to 'fight' within our own flesh and blood. Run as far as you can and stay on the remote island all alone. Do you think you can find peace? No! Even Tom Hanks in the movie 'Cast Away' argues with a coconut!

Until us facing the reality of what happening in the world today, we can never really find peace. Someone said that the world is getting better and better everyday. I like to believe that, after all I'm an optimistic kind of person, yet I also realized that no matter how positive thinking I am - the world is not getting better! To be clear, I'm not saying that the world is getting worst but definitely it is not getting better. Let me give an example of what going on in the world today. Fact: the world hunger!

WFP (World Food Programme) had compiled a database on Hunger Statistic (2006 - 2009) in their website:
  • 1.02 Billion people do not have enough to eat
  • 907 million people in developing countries alone are hungry
  • More than 60% of chronically hunger people are women
  • 10.9 million children under five die in developing countries each year.
(Peace? Try reading our local news headline…)
When all we can think about everyday is ourselves, we will have little or no time to think of others in need. When the world say 'You is important', 'How about me?', 'You can get everything you want', the ignorance believe and exhaust themselves to get it by any mean; leaving no time for kids, wife, family, friends and God. Delusion and deceive blinded their mind. It 'burns' their life yet they like the way it 'hurt'. They realized that they have faith on false promises but it so sweet in the beginning that they soon fall in love with 'lie'. Open your eyes to the world today. Don't be a generation of ignorance. The world is not getting better, but we must do something about it. Start with you (and myself) first. Face the reality, acknowledge our sin, come back to repentance and seek for ultimate peace: Jesus the Prince of Peace.

Once the inside is clear and the truth is reveal, we can finally see the reality of what happening in the world today. We not gonna see the world in the same way again- we gonna see the world in God's perspective. We can see the needs of other as well as ourselves. We got to change from the inside-out.

We not just gonna stand there and watch them burn, that's not alright because we don’t like the way they hurt,

We not just gonna stand there and hear them cry, that's not alright because we love to see them smile.
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Sunday, August 22, 2010

Week 8: Awake - It's time to grow up!!!

14 years ago, I was somewhere between my home and my classroom. I was still asking my mom for money. Need to buy this and that. I remembered saying this to my father, "Pa, I need money to buy textbooks, pencil case, and my bag is tearing apart... need a new one." That green short school pants... yes, that one... I remember the embarrassments where I have to wear those short and tight pants while all my friends using the up-date version of green long pants. Cool! My father was a construction worker. - working 12 hours per day, yet little that I bother the sacrifice of my parent. What I want is trend and styles not their ‘lecture’ on how their sweat and hours of working that I want to hear. My parent can't afford to buy toys or every need that I and my brother want to have, but they will try very hard to fulfill it. We don't care, we don't have mercy and we don't understand... we were kids.

As we are grown up, somehow we care and we understand now what our parent going through just to provide what we needs. But you see, some still in the old mind sets. Age increased but maturity retarded. It's time to grow up. Yes, it's time to grow up. Paul said, 'I have to feed you milk, not solid food, because you were not ready for it.' (2 Corinthians 3:2) How shame it would be for us when someone always takes that spoon and 'feed' us everyday.

Physically, its okay for disable people those with special needs or someone who are sick and children whom still too young to work for anything. But what could be the excuses for those who are fully and almost perfect physically to always... I mean always waiting for someone to 'feed' them. I see a healthy young men sitting begging on the street. I talked to average families (they called themselves poor, yet really poor people don't have shelter and wear quite well-dressed) making excuses (some are true, most are not) that the Government didn't help them. Especially Bumiputra, with all the resources we have and advantages we earn- we keep waiting for Government to 'feed' us. It's time to grow up. Work, take action and do as much as we can to not TOO depending on others.

Mentally, we need to grow. One of the great dangers of life is believing that you have arrived. If that happens to you, you're done growing. My friend when to my room and chuckle at me and said, 'Richard, don't need la to read all this books. You already work apa.' (* Malay-English) That's the kind of thinking when people stop learning after achieving some goal. Isn't that true? Have you met someone when they achieved certain position or status they stop learning and thus, what they said is forever the same. John C. Maxwell said, "I read daily to grow in my personal life. I listen daily to broaden my perspective. I think daily to apply what I learn." Buy those books! Buy those audio books! (Or you can download for free from iTune) Read the Scriptures! In all time, maintain an attitude of teach-ability.

Finally, this is important. Spiritually, we need to keep on growing. Again Paul said in Hebrew 5:14, 'Solid food is for the mature, who through practice are able to distinguish between good and evil.' How shame it would be after 10, 20, 30 years after receiving Christ never shown any indication of growth in spiritually… still the same. I was in this state before where almost nothing changes in my spiritual growth. My knowledge about the Word of God is never improved, my prayer life is zero, and my pursuit to Christ-likeness is never cross my mind even a second. This kind of people waiting for their pastor to 'feed' them- every Sunday 'holy' but the rest of the day back to normal life and go back to church again 'to recharge' and over and over again… 10, 20, 30 years. But I want remind you and myself to not believe in everything we read and hear without checking it first. Test it! To 'distinguish between good and evil', John McArthur said could only given to those who knew Jesus as Savior. The person who has come to Christ for spiritual completion is then trained by the Word to discern truth from error and holy behavior from unholy. It's time to grow up.

Together you and I; physically, mentally and spiritually- it's time to grow up! Best Blogger Tips

Week 7: Ask, seek and knock - Don't be Presumptuos

I had a friend who was always depressed and sad (ok, most of the time). While in campus during my studying years, I almost never see him smile for more than 15 minutes. He always got an issues going on. There are times when I saw him from the distance I would questioning myself, 'Oh my, should or shouldn't I met him... he gonna make my day cloudy'. Are you smiling now? I bet you had been in this kind of situation before huh? …So I said to myself, 'Ok not now!' and I hide somewhere behind the wall, pretending to be busy. "Hey, what are you doing?” he asked me. Well, of course, our campus is not that big plus, who won't recognized someone who wearing white T-shirt among many who wears black that day. (Gothic la konon pakei baju hitam) I replied, "On my way to my room, class cancel today." We talked about 5-7 minutes.

During that conversation, I just can't ignored the fact that something is bothering him because he kept making the sound 'huh' 'hah' 'hmmm...' a signal for 'please ask me'. It's not that I don't care about how he felt, I asked him for so many times before and the problem was always not that big deal, it was a small and tiny Minnie problem. Since I value this guy as a friend, I have not 'choice' but to asked him, "What happen to you?” Then, he said his 'big problem' is his roommate always steals his 3-in-1 Nescafe pack and didn't tell him about it.

See, that's why I try to avoid asking him. I pat him on his shoulder. I told him that you really need to ask your roommate personally. Talk to him gently and politely. Don't assume. Finally, I confessed to him with a nice massage on his shoulder that I took 2 packs from him during his camp and the rest, I don’t know. (hi2) Yes, he talked with his roommate and their relationship was getting better.

How many times we mad, sad or discourage about something that we don't really know what exactly happen? Or the problem may arise by our own assumption? The other contribution to this kind of similar disease is: believe in 2nd hand news 100%. Someone share with me that '_____' book is not good to read. 'Why?' 'Because I read the summary of others critics saying that it’s all about money and personal success, it just not right.' 'Is it? Have you read the book?' 'No I didn't' 'Then, how to do really sure that it is not good?' (Some critics said that movie 'Fireproof' is very bad, I nearly believe, not until I watched it for myself. I burst into tears... like a cry baby. The movie is amazing!)

If you hear that a friend has done something wrong, ask him about it. Maybe it isn't true. If it is true, he won't do it again. If you hear that a neighbor has said something he shouldn't, ask him about it. Maybe he didn't say it. If he did, he won't say it again. If you hear something bad about a friend, ask him about it. It might be a lie. Don't believe everything you hear. A person may say something carelessly and not really mean it. Everyone has sinned in this way at one time or another. If you hear something that makes you angry with you neighbor, ask him about it before you threaten him. Don't create a big problem out of small issues. John C. Maxwell say, "Never let the situation mean more that the relationship".

I said Jesus is the Son of God. He dying on the cross to cleanse and forgive our sins. Would you just believe me? I hope you will, but perhaps I maybe lied. Check it for yourself. God bless you. Best Blogger Tips

Week 6: Prayer - The Cheapest Call

I said to her how I wish to grasp that guitar and pluck it louder and I can make it more enthusiasm. 'This is not much alive! The song leader didn't sing whole heartedly and man... that guitar player really disappointed me', I said this with my hand moving like an espanyol’s actor. And then in the middle of that conversation, she asked me a burning question: "Did you pray for them?"
How can I miss such a basic discipline? How can I be so blinded by the outer expression and not aware of inner need of others? What a selfish statement could ever come out from my heart? "Pray for them? Err... you know, I never thought about it", I answered.

Sometime in the business of our society we forget to pray, even the simplest prayer such as 'Thank you, Lord' is so alien to our tongues. Homework, assignments, meetings, appointments, datelines, jobs, responsibilities etc, often become our Master that hinders us to pray. From my own experiences and others that 'accidentally' share with me will make such a 'logical' excuses:
"God know what I need, so I don't need to pray"
"I've been praying for __ days/ weeks/ months/ years (I suspect, seconds) yet God doesn't answer me, what for?"
"No time" Similarly "Busy lah"
"I don't know how to pray"
"I don't feeeeeeeellll like to pray"
"Pray? What is that?"

The greatest motivational tool in the universe is no doubt none other than PRAYER. Prayer is not to get what you want things to be done. Prayer is not claim it and it will be given to you. It is not a ritual or code to unlock the greatest you. Prayer is one's personal conversation with the Almighty that includes both expressing our concerns and listening to His response. Pastor Chew Weng Chee said 'When we work, we work; when we pray, God work'. It is our most powerful, most immediately accessible, most useful recourse for responding to the moment-to-moment challenges of both good and bad times.

Lead like Jesus by Ken Blanchard & Phil Hodges suggest ACTS as a way to begin.
Adoration - Tell the Lord that you love Him and appreciate Him for who He is.
Confession - our first response to meeting and adoring God is confession.
Thanksgiving – is an expression of gratitude to God for all He had done. (Toothpaste, air, water, clothes, pen etc...)
Supplication - asking for what you need. (ha ha... most of us including me start with this first) Start by praying about others' needs and then ask for your own needs to be met.

When is the last time you pray? What did you prayed for? How and where you pray is not so important, the posture of the body is not as important as the posture of the heart. The subject of prayer is much more interesting than this, yet I don't want you to be 'burden' with too many words to read on this simple note.

The greatest leader, speaker and Savior once had prayed such a selfless prayer, "Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done." (Luke 22:42) My action above indicated how I had a center-minded attitude toward myself and how I want things done like what I want it to be. I was reminded to have a prayer habits all the time, pray for others then myself and let God's will not mine be done. Yes, it is easier said than done but it worth to follow. I hope this may encourage you, and what can a 'fool' man like me to teach you how to pray.

His disciples said to Him, "Lord, teach us to pray..." (Luke 11:1)
"Prayer is listening as well as speaking, receiving as well as asking; and its deepest mood is friendship held in reverence. So the daily prayer should end as it begins- in adoration." (George A. Buttrick)
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Week 5: Save - Child is a Gift

On 31st July, there was a baby born. No Angel appeared to his parent before he was born. But his mother knew that he will come when he kicked that tummy of her. He was born in a comfortable place; a hospital not a manger; with all the latest instruments and machines not with the domestic animals around him. He was lucky... yet his parents don’t think so, they said "He's a gift from God". So he was and is now.

As I read newspaper on Sunday, 25th July 2010 on that beautiful evening, I read the most heart breaking news of all. New Sunday Times reported that on 23rd July 2010, a new born baby girl was found inside a garbage bin outside flats somewhere around Kuala Lumpur area that night. Police chief said the body with umbilical cord still intact was wrapped in a cloth and plastic bag. The news column for this case was only covered 2% of full page on the newspaper and not even in the front page! (It was pg. 11, Oh ya, I should tell you that one of the headline on the news was about Kristen Stewart! da???) You and I know that this is not the first time we hear about it. Out there could be hundred or even thousand of cases that never been told let alone only God knows about it.

An innocent baby was dumped in a garbage bin, inside the drain, in a box, eaten by worms! Imagine that. It was warm (in her mother's womb)... 'huh' that was her first fresh air to breath... 'wa wa wa wa!' that was her first word to speak (repetition is the mother of learning, no wonder we cry alot)... she then slowly opened her eyes, that was her first expose to light... she felt someone holds her. It was warm and familiar, but she doesn’t trace any love so she cries louder. Minutes later, she felt cold, cold as lying on the floor. Suddenly, the light turned to darkness. She can't breath! It was so tight! She can only hear her own voice 'wa wa wa.... wa wa... wa... w... a.....' She’s dead.

A child is a gift from God. Some people say unborn child is not a fully human; therefore they (intelligently) promote and justify ABORTION. Where is the value on human life? Throwing a baby inside a garbage bin is not a choice! Abortion is not a choice!

Someone text me few years ago, telling me about she was pregnant. 'It was an 'accident",
she said. "But I'm not ready; I'm thinking of... abortion."
What a shock to me. I was just 20 years old, what could a young man and immature person ever advice her regarding abortion? (Now I realized that girls normally not asking for advice or anything else, they just want someone to listen to them) I was thinking and thinking... what should I reply... then the most intelligent and very wise answered ever produce at that time come in my mind. I replied, "Don't do it".
That was it! Don't do it. Of course she was not buying into my pleading, she already decided. She aborted the baby. Now I don't know what happen to her, I don't have her contact anymore. She's gone.

Sitting here and writing this note, a thought come to mind. What would I say to her if I receive her text now?
I would send her a Scripture:
"You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body, and knit then together in my mother's womb.
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! It is amazing to think about.
Your workmanship is marvelous- and how well I know it.
You were there while I was being formed in utter seclusion!
You saw me before I was born and scheduled each day of my life before I begin to breathe.
Every day was recorded in your Book!"
Psalm 139:13-16

We can make a different. Teach others the Word of God. Share them the Word of God. Copy the Scripture above and memorize it. Photocopy it, and attached it at your room or washroom doors. Stick it at your text books, pencil case etc. Who knows, who knows... someone may read the Scripture and remind you (and me) or your friends (or others) before they about to do or though such a nasty thing. Bible won't save you, no, not that bunch of papers can save you. It’s the Word in the Bible that can save you. "For she will have a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for He will save his people from their sins" (Matt 1:21) and "His name is called the Word of God". (Rev 19:13) Best Blogger Tips

Week 4: Thank you - For What You've Done

One day, I decided to say 'thank you' as often as possible to anyone whom I met that day. What triggered me to do that was maybe the books that I read or the audiobooks that I heard at that particular time - I’m not sure (could be both). I always remember this moment when I say it to my mother. Every morning after my mom made breakfast to my brother before he went to work, she will get ready to cook for our lunch together. Mom and me (At that time, I was taking my off day).

I enjoyed my lunch that day, as my mother is an excellent chef housewife. I always finished my meal first, because you see, my mother talked when she was eating. Right after that, I said something that I really can't remember the last time I said it to her... I said, "Mom, today lunch is wonderful and yummy, THANK YOU very much". As soon as I finished saying that, she smile ever bright and in replied she said, "You are welcome." I can see that her day was unusually great that day, just because I said those two magic words.

As a children to our parent sometime we thought that- 'Why should I say thank you to them? After all, this is their duty'. Sometime, we forget that we didn't appreciate them very much (not until someone is gone). Most of the time, we forget that we owe someone a 'thank you’ just because we thought that it was their responsibilities- cleaners, policemen, firemen, taxi drivers, doctors, nurses, teachers, friends, colleagues, Prime Minister, boss etc.

When you say thank you, you are saying 'I appreciate of what you had done to me'. Appreciation and gratitude, actively expressing can make your life meaningful both for you and for the one you verbalized it to. In his book, 10 Powerful Phases for Positive People, Rich DeVos lists 10 phases that are very important;
1) I'm wrong
2) I'm sorry
3) You can do it
4) I believe in you
5) I'm proud of you
6) I need you
7) I trust you
8) I respect you
9) I love you

These are easy words to remember, but we (including me) are easy to forget about it as fast as we remember it. Jesus was going into a village when He met by 10 men suffering from dreaded skin disease. They shouted for healing and yes, Jesus healed them all. 'When one of them saw that he was healed, he came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself to the ground at Jesus' feet and thanked him... Jesus spoke up, "There were ten men who were healed; where are the other 9?" (Luke 17:11-19)

Give thanks to 'little' things that your parent did to you; cooked, washed your clothes, saving money for your college, make up your bed, brought you shoes, worry for your future etc. Give thanks to your friends who always there when you're up or/and when you're down. Give thanks to your brothers and sisters who stand for you even when they know you're wrong most of the times.

Above all, give thanks to the Lord because 'He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him may not die but have Eternal Life' (John 3:16) Question, who you will give thanks to today? Best Blogger Tips

Week 3: Action speaks louder than words

Someone e-mail me asking 'Richard, did you really wrote the notes?' I replied back 'yes'. The wonderful things about writing this kind of note are that I can speak my mind and I enjoyed using God's gift of writing for good. But on the other side, it's also dangerous. People may judge you and using your own words to 'attack' you back. That's why I got to practice what I preached and preach what I had practice at the best effort as I can. The old saying 'Action speaks louder than words' is the best topic for this week message - I think.

In the Good Samaritan story,.there was a man who was on his way for a journey attacked by robbers and he was beaten up, leaving him half dead. One day, it so happened that a religious man (know what to do) was passing by the road; but when he saw the man, he walked by on the other side. In the same way a Well-known man (know how to do) also passing by, when over and looked at the man, and then walked on the other side. But an Action Oriented man who was traveling that way came upon the man, and when he saw him, his heart was filled with pity. He went over him, cleans his wounds and bandaged them; then he took him to an inn, where he takes care of him.

Who is this Action Oriented man? He is the man who knows what to do and how to do and take ACTION. You probably heard someone said 'I want to reduce my weight within these 3 months' while keep going to KFC and ordered Chicken Double Cheese burger for breakfast. He knows what to do; lose some weight. He knows how to do; take simple breakfast, reduce cholesterol intake, exercises etc. But he lack of something- follow up action for his word.

What are the things that you knew you need to do it but until now still hesitate or procrastinate to do it? What are the ‘wish’ prayers that you need to act upon? Is it- loss some weight, writing a books, helping people, say 'thank you' to your boss, kiss your mom, or hug your dad, finish your homework/assignment when you promise your teacher/lecturer to pass it next week, read the Bible, stop smoking, say 'hi' to your neighbor, cook at home, belanja others makan etc.

When Jesus said 'Love your neighbor as you love yourself' to the people, he then told a parable and concluded, "In your opinion, which one of these 3 acted like a neighbor toward the man attacked by the robbers?" (Luke 10:36) They answered 'The one who was kind to him'. I love this. Jesus replied, "You GO, then, and DO the same."

At time, I may fall short in what I do in regard to what I said and - you may too. Yet let’s remember, as long as we are still sober and wise, let's our "Action speaks louder than words". Anthony Robbins said "Action is what produces results". With this opportunity I would like to ask, do you want to know Jesus Christ personally? If you want, take this action now. Get that Bible, read it out, pray for understanding and experience it for yourself first hand. Take ACTION now. Best Blogger Tips

Week 2: Self-Image - How you see yourself is how you see others

"I'm a lion!"
 To love others you need to love yourself. I’m not saying in term of being selfish, I’m simply saying that you got to appreciate and love yourself before you can begin to love others- You need to have healthy self-image.
Common sense:- Would you 'sell' both of your legs and freedom to walk in this planet for RM1, 000,000? If you're a normal person most probably you don't want.

Science explains that to duplicate human brain, we need to have a large giant computer and billions dollar to create almost similar one (If I'm wrong, don't watch the national Geography channel anymore, OK). Even that will not match the brain power that human have. Generally, our brain uses 20% of our body's energy, but it makes up only 2% of our body's weight. Amazing as it is, we only use 10% of it capability. How cool is that?

Bible verifies it. Psalm 139:14 declares, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” The context of this verse is the incredible nature of our physical bodies. Every aspect of the body, down to the tiniest microscopic cell, reveals that it is fearfully and wonderfully made. There's one time when a kid shouted at me as if I’m deaf saying, 'God loves me!' Surely, this kid has a very healthy self-image.

How you see yourself is how you see others. If you see others as troublesome, not cooperative, less valuable, unimportant etc, most probably... most probably, it's an indication of our inner self. If we want to attempt to correct others, please be sure that we shall examine ourselves first. Jesus in His famous Sermon of the Mount said, Do not judge, or you too will be judged".(This doesn't mean we shall not correct our brothers when they did something wrong, but we need to check our motive- either to condemn or to correct)
See yourself in a different way now according to God's standard, and you will be able to recognize that people is not that bad as we thought they were. When we see ourselves right, our perspective toward others will be revolutionize. How do see yourself now?

Recognize this, there is an important match going on before you're born. Its call "Sperm Competition". Among thousands of sperms release, there's one winner who 'met' one ovum. After a series of creation, the competition creates YOU. Selected! not by random acts. Wonderfully made! You're a Winner because God create you.

[Unless, you believe we evolve from monkey, then beyond reasonable doubt that my note is nonetheless- wasted.] Smile, have a healthy self-image... when you truly love yourself (not in a selfish manner) then you can easily love others.

"Love your neighbor as you love yourself" 
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Week 1:Smile- Costs nothing, creates much

One day, I decided to smile to everyone I meet no matter what happen. First I tested it to my mom before I went to church at hometown Sarawak. She said ‘OK, bye bye’ maybe because she thought that I want to bribe her on something. 15 minutes after, there I was... at the church. There I begin my experiment; to 1st usher standing at the stairway- I smiled, 2nd usher at the entrance - with my high pitch voice said ‘Good morning!’ and give her extra smile. Both of them in an instant with the high speed responded consciously smile back at me. ‘It worked!’ I said as I want to conclude the experiment that morning with a sense of success.

Not until I met a guest pastor who will deliver a speech that morning. I shakes his hand, a good morning greeting and of course a smile at him - (I’m about to change my mind on the conclusion though) He shook my hand, say ‘good morning to you too’ and… he was not smiling. I thought; what happen to him today? Am I not smiling sincerely? Ya maybe I thought. So I smiled for a second time and showed him my thumb up and said, ‘Thank you for being here.’ His respond was still the same.

Right after he finished his sermon, I came to him and with curiosity asking him,
Pastor, this is between you and me. Do you have any problems? Maybe I can help you.
Why do you think I have a problem?’ He said.
Oh, this morning I greeted you. But you aren’t smiling.
Then, in the twinkling of an eye: He smiles at me. He said, ‘it’s my face. Happy or sad, my face expression is like this.’ He seems like smiling.
Yes, I know now. Even he was sincerely wanted to smile; I can see that he force his face muscles to create the expression of what we called: Smile. But there’s another reason he don’t smile- it was kind of ugly. (Ha ha). It ends up with a great conversation. I joke about his smile, and he jokes at me back about my Maggie mee’s hair.

Smile can make your day much much better. Your smile is a messenger of your good will. Your smile brightens the lives of all who see it. David Schwartz said ‘When you smile, smile. Show few teeth. Maybe your teeth aren’t attractive, but that’s really unimportant. For when you smile, people don’t see your teeth. They see a warm, enthusiastic personality, someone they like.’ Unless you have a face muscles problem like this pastor I’m writing about or you are born with no lips- I urge you to smile. If you’re not in the mood to smile, just smile. No one can be angry and smile at the same time.

Say to yourself: I have no silver and gold, but what I have I give to you (others): my smile.

Start your day with a smile. Maybe you can brighten up those people around you today. God bless you.
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