Saturday, October 30, 2010

Week 18: Encouragement - What you and I need.

'There is no better exercise for strengthening the heart than reaching down and lifting people up. Think about it; most of your best friends are those who encourage you. You don't have many strong relationships with people who put you down. You avoid these people and seek out those who believe in you and lift you up.' - John C. Maxwell.

When I first said to some people that I 'highly' trusted that I want to write a book someday, most of the respond was, 'You're still young', 'None of your friends done that before... maybe...', 'Just be an average person', 'be a normal person', my mom even said, 'Crazy' and some smile with no responded and zero interest. My dream became shallow, seems like it is impossible because after all what they said was 'blended' with truth such as I'm still young, really none of our close friends ever wrote a book (as far as I know now), and been an average person seems so relevant in this world especially when you're a village boy like me. It's true but why does it discourage me?

When I was almost give up, feeling down and no enthusiasm to achieve my dream, I met up with my close friends whom I also trusted too. Three of us sitting at the open-air restaurant and up dated one another. The conversation was getting to warm up until one of us, (I can't remember who) started to ask this question: What is your dream?

The first person said, "A millionaire" That was kind of self-centered dream I said to myself. But he continued, "I want to further the Kingdom of God by helping missionaries, full time workers and others". This man helping others even before became a millionaire; he's already a millionaire in his mind.

The other person said, "I want to become a praise and worship leader. Going all around the world and proclaiming the Gospel of Peace and the Grace of the Lord through songs and prayers." 'How big it is?", the other person asked. "All around the world, you tell me." Indeed, this man until today is faithfully serving in the church with songs of praise and worship. Anyway you want to place him either back up, lead singer or standing in the crowd; he's faithfully serving the Lord and others.

'How about you?', they asked. "I want to write a book.’ I said. 'Well, tell us what the title is? What kind of book? Have you started it already?... ", they eagerly asked. What they do was this:
  • Instead of telling me the impossible, they tell me that I can do it.
  • Instead of telling me that I am still young, they said learned and gain more experience you'll success. 
  • Instead of deliver me the sinister smile, they genuinely smile and we cheers together for our dream.
  • Instead of discourage me with tons of the 'what I'm not', they injected me with the seed of encouragements.
Encouragement can 'water' up people's dream. Encouragement from strangers can lift you up but not for long until it faded away, but encouragement from a friend and the trusted one- lasted forever! Be a person who encourage other to achieve their dreams no matter how crazy or stupid it may sound; because once people have the right dream to benefits other and glorified God added with positive encouragements from the people that they trusted are able to 'move the mountains'.

Be encouraged and encourage others. Don't ever give up on your dreams and share it with the people that you trust. Along the way you may failed and be fail by someone, but don't give up. May you find friends whom you trust and believe in your dreams and always give you the seeds of ENCOURAGEMENTS.

(I dedicate this note to Albert R. Macewell, future millionaire and Souisa Ding, the singer that God loves very much. May your dreams Glorify Jesus Christ. I can't recall very clear what we said to one another that night, but please gives me a message if I wrote it wrongly.) Best Blogger Tips

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Faithful Dog, Hachiko

It had been 9 years, yet Hachiko still waiting for his master to go back home with him. His master was a professor in the agriculture department at the University of Tokyo. How he met Hachiko, I do not know... let films or books tell us about it because I can't even remember either how I met Zorro, my cat at the first place.

Their relationship lasted for almost 2 years or less, it was in 1924 that the master first met with this extraordinary dog. During the fellowship, Hachiko and Professor Hidesaburo Ueno became best friend; most of the time, Hachiko greeted Ueno at the end of the day nearby Shibuya Station. Unfortunately for Hachiko, on May 1925, Professor Ueno did not return... their daily routine well, no more. The professor died due to suffered from a cerebral hemorrhage (to be honest, I don't know what kind of disease is this, all I know is that, it's a deadly one) and never again his fellow friend met him again.

Poor Hachiko because no matter how smart a dog can be, they just don't understand what does 'never return' really mean. They know about death, but 'disappear' is out of their dictionary. [Not that I’m suggest that dogs have dictionary, I hope you know what's my point okay] Hachiko also don't know what does faithful mean, all he knew is that he just want to meet his friend- Proffesor Ueno. It's like a baby, when they cry, they just cry without knowing that they are crying. Not until their brain develops into maturity then they will understand that their 'action' is equal to crying. [What I'm talking about?]

Since dog like Hachiko don't understand why they do what they do, he waited for his master faithfully for the next 9 years at Shibuya station, hoping for his master returns. [Oh how I wish someone would do the same for me at the Kuching International Airport constantly for 5 years waiting for my return.]

After his master's death, Hachiko was given away to someone else but he seems to be so faithful. He would routinely escape, returning again and again to his old home. Realized that Professor Ueno no longer lived at the house, due to his animal instinct I guess, he would looking for his master at the train station. Hachiko waited, waited and waited.
His acts of faithfulness attracted the attention of the regular commuters. 'Many of the people who frequented the Shibuya train station had seen Hachiko and Professor Ueno together each day. They brought Hachiko treats and food to nourish him during his wait.' (Quote from Wikipedia)

On 8th march 1935, Hachiko found death on the street near Shibuya. His heart was infected and few yakitori (Japanese for marinated chicken kebabs) sticks were found in his stomach.

Hachiko was born on 10th November 1923 but until now his story was made more alive than his 11 years of living. He is called, 'faithful dog Hachiko' and hundred of dog lovers often turn out to Hachiko as an icon of loyalty.

What can we learn from this story? In Japan, his faithfulness to his master's memory is applied to fire up the spirit of family loyalty all should strive to achieve. Teachers and parents used Hachiko's story as an example for their children to follow. We may not be impacted much by the life of Hichiko because it happens in Japan and only recently made known today. [At least for me] But where else we can find a model of faithfulness. It can be found in the Bible... It can be found in the Book of Daniel. Daniel remain faithful to God.

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Monday, October 25, 2010

Week 17: Remain Faithful - For the One who can Save

This song haunted me for days, it begin on Cameron Hill starting last week when I'm away with team. The song title 'We're the Pilgrims on the Journey', its quite an old song which I'm not familiar with; since at my young age, English language is my last (3rd) language besides Iban and Bahasa Malaysia. I remember the first line of the song but I just copy and paste the rest of the chorus;
Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful,
May the fire of our devotion light their way,
May the footprints that we leave,
Lead them to believe,
And the lives we live inspire them to obey.
[Oh how can I make this note fun for reading? I should added fun and funny stories, so that you may not fall asleep on your PC, but this time... can we skip that for awhile?]

True story, Daniel was a young man when he and his fellow Israelite were selected from the noble and royal family to serve in the royal court. This happens when King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia attacked Jerusalem and surrounded the city. 'They had to be handsome, intelligent, well-trained, quick to learn, and free from physical defects' (Daniel 1:4) [If I were the Israelite that day, I would be left behind, because none of the qualifications fits mine] Years goes by, young Daniel become old Daniel and Babylonian empire had fall to the Medes and the Persians empire.

Under King Darius the Mede reigns, he recognized the elderly Daniel's wisdom and planned to put him in charge of all other officials. Jealousy, the officials tried to trap him down. After much attempts, Daniel finally thrown down to the pit filled with lions which cannot be satisfy by 'Mee Maggie' or 'KFC'- they need meats, preferable: Human flesh. He was thrown because he violated the Medes and Persians law which what the king issues cannot be changed, “People could pray to no one but him (the king) for 30 days". You know why he was punished? Because 'He knelt down at the open windows and prayed to God three times a day.'! (Daniel 6:10) The next day when the king checked out on Daniel, he was suppressed to know that Daniel had not been hurt at all, for he trusted God.

What a faithful man Daniel was!
He spends most of his life at the foreign country and still he was faithful to his God. Living in the different culture doesn't make him compromise with other rituals and traditions; instead he was faithful. His enemies sought to find a ground for complaint or against Daniel with regard to the kingdom, but they could find no ground for complaint or any fault, because he was faithful, and no error or fault was found in him. They said, 'We shall not find any ground for complaint against this Daniel unless we find it in connection with the law of his God'. (Daniel 6:5)

The lives of Daniel become a part of the Bible because his life displayed his faithfulness toward God. This is His Story not Daniel's.

Would someone who comes behind us find us faithful?
Can the fire of our devotion light their (this and next generation) way?
Are our footprints that we leave can lead them to believe?
And does the life that we live inspire them to obey?
That's the challenge for you and me this week.

The God that save Daniel from the pit of lions can save us today because He is the same yesterday, today and forever. We may fall into 'the pit' of troubles and bad situations, yes we will as long as we are called 'Christian' in this world, but God can 'shut the lions mouth' and no harm can over take you. They may kill your body but God will save your soul, if you remain faithful to Him.

'Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful'
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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Week 16: Be Original - Durian cannot become Coconut

(Warning: This is a fiction story)
I asked Durian,’ Who do you want to be; the best durian in the world?
Durian makes that sad face and said, I want to be Coconut.

Hey, why you want to be coconut?’ I’m confused. First, I thought Durian is the King of Fruit in Malaysia and every fruits want to have that title. Second, I’m confused; why I talked to Durian???

Because coconuts are very useful; they can be use for cooking… bla bla.’
I was thinking how in the world Durian know about Coconut so well, I can’t believe this.

You’re created as Durian. Be it! Not everyone like you, especially your smell… but most people does. You’re created an original, don’t die shaping yourself to be coconut...  don't copy other fruits.’ I said while looking at 'him' tried to shaping flat 'his' spikes out. Durian then smiles back at me and lo and behold, it was a dream. [Does that sound familiar?]

Eric Hoffer said, ‘When people are free to do as they please, they usually imitate each other. When Michael Jackson died (or even before he died), many of his raging fan try to imitate him; the way he walks, talks and especially his famous dance ‘Moon Walk’. There’s nothing wrong when we try to exemplify someone else, but there’s a point when we need to realize that who we are is who we are created to be. None like you, you’re custom made. You’re originally made; you’re the only one in all of creation who has your set of abilities.

So stop copy someone else, be original. There are things that you just can’t do or don’t have, don’t worry. You are not created to be all things to all people. But you can be something for some people. Durian cannot be coconut, but Durian is King after all.
The copy adapts himself to the world, but the original tries to adapt the world to him’ writes John L. Mason. He continued, While the original is always hard to find, he is eay to recognize. God leads every soul in an individual way.

Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” (Romans 12:2)
When you become the original you, you will learn to know God's will for your life... and always, God's will is good and pleasing and perfect for you. Do you want to be original? THINK BIG. START SMALL. GO DEEP. Best Blogger Tips

Friday, October 15, 2010

Road to Golgotha

"It was a regular trip. No one was supposed to die. His wife is too distraught to speak and his two children are only three and six years old. How can we tell them that their father is dead? asked Chuan Aik. His brother Goo Chuan Heng died on the spot in the accident along the North-South Expressway involving an express bus and five other vehicles on 10th October 2010.

The Star newspaper reported on Tuesday news wrote, "Most of them were young and had their whole lives ahead of them. They had boarded the ill-fated express bus on route to Kuala Lumpur on Sunday full of plans- many were students, one had just graduated, another was a teenager traveling for the first time by herself, all ready to visits friends while some others were young parents. They never reached their destination". Now it is confirmed that there 13 people died in the accident.

When you hear this news either read from newspaper or watched it from television or both; how do you feel? When I read this on newspaper, honestly writing (not speaking); I felt sad but not for so long, just 2-3 minutes and it was gone. 'Oh, their family must be very sad...', but that was it, nothing more just for a moment. Why? Am I less human? Am I so selfish that I will think 'Itu mereka punya pasal @ That's their problems' kind of attitude? No! I believe that 99.05% of you who read this news won't felt that way too. The reason we didn't get effected by the news very much is because... are you ready for this? The victims are not our friends and family (or someone whom we knew) not because we're less human.

On the same newspaper that day, the condolence section published 10 persons whom I don't know died. Why didn't I cry or sad? Because they are not my friends and family. So you get my point already right? We can't feel sad deeply (we can, but not deeply) unless we know someone that we loved or whom we met before died. In the same way, there's a joy when our friends and family get well and healthy.

'So, Richard, what does this have to do with your 'Weekly MOTIVATION story' stuffs? Aren't you suppose to motivate rather than reminding us about out dead friends and family...’ you may asked. Well, I have to admit that it is my purpose to do that. Why? Because 'How can we be effected by the death of Jesus Christ on the Cross IF we don't have personal relationship with Him?' When I heard the death of my grandfather years ago, I just couldn't help but to cry and griefs for that lose because I knew him and we have personal relationship. He was a great and kind person I could ever know...

Do you know who this Lord that you worship is? Is He your Lord and Savior on weekday too? Do you have a personal relationship with Him?

We are a sinner. But He suffered the penalty of sin on your behalf. He bore all the punishment you deserve, leaving you none to pay, none to work off. Not even a little. 'If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.' (Roman 10:9) Charles R. Swindoll writes, 'This is grace. Unmerited favor. Mercy you had not earned, did not deserve, had no right to demand, and could only receive. Grace is free. Completely free.' ~ Have a personal relationship with Jesus. His death got to have effect on you, if not; it is simply because He is not yet your 'friend and family'. May this note motivate you to want to know Him personally…
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Monday, October 11, 2010

When God whispers your name... Do you hear it?

I'm sitting here at McDonald with my medium size Milo (Rm.3.75) and 1 large French Fries (Rm3.60) with RM0.37 tax. total Rm7.72 with discount Rm0.02. I wonder what my mother would say to me, "Why you waste money buying that! I can cook for you." Even now as I bite that french fries I can hear her 'voices' whisper on my ears.

Then there was a kid passed by, 'Mommy.... mmmm...yyyyy....', that too kept echo in my mind.
"What is your name?", stranger may asked you.
"My name is ...... ", you said.
But what if you said, "My name... er... my name... er... wait... my name is.... e.. errr... I don't know."
Then suddenly God reminds you, "Son, I know you, your name is Richard Prince of Narnia." for example, How would you react? I thought you gonna call me son or daughter? or Here ye my servant? No, now He called you by name. Real name. How would you react?

The Scriptures said, "I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it." (Revelation 2:17)

Isn't it incredible to think that God has saved a name just for you?
One you don't even know? Your name, in my case Richard may not be Richard when He called me. But when He called me with that new name, I know it is mine because that's my Real Name.

So God has one reserved just for you. There is more to life than you ever thought. There is more to your story than what you have read. There is more to your song than what you have sung. A good author saves the best for last. A great composer keeps his finest for the finish. And God, the author of life and composer of hope, has done the same for you. Max Lucado writes;
The Best is yet to be.
And so I urge you, don't give up.
And so I plead, finish the journey.
And so exhort, be there.
Be there when God whispers you name
When He whisper your names... do you hear it? Best Blogger Tips

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Week 15: Burn Up! Because He's Big

I have a friend back to my primary school named Bakar. In short we called him 'Burn' because it's easy and fun to pronounce. Since he don't mind about it (I don't know about now), we started calling him that way and sometimes it confusing others when we shouted, 'Burn! Burn! Burn!' assuming that there's a fire going on. We love it! Our teachers at first disallowed us to called him that way, but soon okay with it because you see... Bakar one day came to the class with his sun burn face.

Burn out; what does it mean?
Simply states as: To make or become exhausted, especially as a result of long-term stress.( My friend told me, "Richie, I don't want to do this anymore. I'm tired... I lost the joy of serving in my church and study in my campus." His expressing was weak and I can see that he was emotionally stressed. As much as I want to say something that day, I just couldn't - I don't know what to say. There're times when you don't need to answer or say anything and expect to have all the answers figure out. Honestly, if possible I try to get away from troubles. But this I can't, he's my friend. We talked all night long and I inserted some jokes to release his face muscles tension due to stress.

Soon, I realized that what causes him to burn out was this:
Having too much work (assignments and extracurricular activities such as clubs, sports, church or volunteer work) "Can you reduce some of the activities?", I asked. He said, "I can't."
Relationship problems. Friends avoided him (He though so, but not sure), he want to have a girlfriend but none responds to him.
Parent pressure. His parents want him to succeed in school be a good boy, having a good grades and they also want to see him excell in club and attending church activities. At first, he said, "I enjoy it all. But over time, I find that I MUST do this instead of WANT to do this." That was profound, I wrotes what he said.
Lack of rest.

Are you burn out? Don't want to study anymore? Don't want to work any more? Give up on the project? Not attending church regularly? Feeling of no purpose of directions? Never ending task or work? Doing this and that and soon find out that none can satisfy you? Are you burn out? Depression, hopelessness, difficulty of concentrating, inability to sleep, lack of interest; work no longer has any meaning, loss appetite, overeating... Are you burn out?

As I'm writing this, I'm surrounded by books, so I browsed some good stuff of suggestions for me and you to overcome burn-out or for us to help people from burn out:
1) Take a break and learn the art of relaxing. "I don't have time! I'm busy.", he said to me. 'Well friend, you are not busy at all. You talked with me all night long."

2) Take regular time off. You aren't called to work harder than your Creator. After 6 'sessions' of creation, God rested on the 7th. (Genesis 1 and 2) Jesus said, 'Come apart and rest awhile.' If you don't rest awhile, you'll soon come apart!

3) Get proper exercise and sleep. 1 year ago I don't dare to say this, but since I practiced it, I'm more and ought to urge you to exercise and sleep well. (I don't ask anyone to do what I didn't do myself)

4) I love this, Have fun! To belong to the kingdom you have to be like little children. They aren't bothered about piles of correspondence or running the world. "Do something! And laugh sometimes! Did you know your body will not let you laugh and develop an ulcer at the same time? Remember, with humourist Kin Hubbard: 'Do not take life too seriously; you will never get out of it alive!'" (Rowland Croucher)

5) Pray and surrender your burden to our 'Big God'! Yesterday, I watched a video from Louie Giglio on 'How Great is Our God' tour, he describing on how tiny we are in the face of the universe. Its okay not to achieved everything... let go some of it. Don't burn yourself out too much.

Are you burn out? Like Moses, His father-in-law advised him in Exodus 18:18, "The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone”, you know what? Liverpool fans singing, "You'll never walk Alone", You don't have to do/ handle/ walk alone! God is Bigger than your stress and problems... as my friend said, "When I looked at my problems in the view of God's perspective, all things seem to fade away." He's doing better now. Keep burn-up because He's Big! Best Blogger Tips

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

You are Beautiful!

One day I wake up, I saw the ugliest man in the world! His hair 'bloom' like a bread baked with extra yeast (equivalent to Macy Gray or Alleycat), his eyes is big like an alien from other space (from Rosewell town), he is short, unwanted belly around his waist and a big nose like Jackie Chan. What was weird that day is that whenever I raise my hand, the image seems to follow what I did.  Whatever I did, the image doing exactly the same thing, so I did a final experiment before I make a conclusion; I did 'The Rock' famous eyebrow trademark! The image did the same... so it was confirmed: the ugly man was/is ME!

So the next day I cut my hair short. Then, after Sunday Service at Church someone approached me,
"Why did you cut your hair?" "I don't like my hair..." "What? I love your curly hair you know, it's unique."
I don't know what got into her, she has to be blind. But when I passed by a hair saloon next to the Church, I realized that there was a service to curl your hair! And it worth RM25! There're people out there are willing to pay hair dresser to curl their hair but I didn't pay anything for God to creates my hair curl!

Men laugh at my big eyes, but ladies think it is cute. I'm glad because I can make people laugh and my eyes are admirable. I'm short physically, but Jesus never looked down on me like people do. Even when He saw Zacchaeus ‘a short/little man' when he climbed a tree, The Scriptures said ''He (Jesus) looked up' and talked with him. (Luke 19:3-5) [In this context, #1 He looked up because Zacchaeus was on top of the tree, #2 He noticed Zacchaeus even people labeled him as the chief 'sinner' and everyone looked down on him]

About my excessive fat around my waist, it can be 'fix', I can choose to exercise etc. Because when you eat too much and not exercise (unless due to certain diseases), you choose to be fat! It's a choice. Regarding on my big nose, I just realized that it's normal. When I saw how ugly myself that day, I just keep on looking for my negative appearances. But when I see myself in a different view which is more positive, suddenly some of my ''flaws' appearance seems so small.

If I said, "All you have to do is think positive and everything will be alright'', don't believe me. It's not Biblical at all. Don't lie to yourself or deny the facts, face it! First recognize that you're 'ugly'- Inside and outside. When you realized for example; you're fat then exercise and control your diet. There're things that can be done without expecting 'extravaganza' miracle, just do something about it. But there're things that we cannot change and out of our control, appreciate it, knowing that the God Almighty is the One who created

Don't cling to the standard of the world demand from you or what it wants you to be, fix your standard with God's standards. Psalm 139:13-14 writes,
''For you created my inmost being;
You knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.''

Zondervan NIV Study Bible comments 'You yourself put me together in the womb and ordained the span of my life before I was born. You know me so thoroughly because you made me.' From now on, when you looked at yourself and realized how 'ugly' you are, turn the pages of the Scriptures and read what He got to say about you. He knows you best because He's the one who made you. It might be 'hurt' in the beginning, but in the end you'll be glad to know that:

Jesus loves you... 'Not because of who you are (‘ugly’) but because of what He done (created us), not because of what you done (beautify ourselves) but because of who He is (Beautiful)' - Angelus

You're beautiful! And so does everyone else.
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Monday, October 4, 2010

All things are possible with God

Because once I fall in love with Lun Bawang girl, I decided to read about Lun Bawang so that I can discover her background for easy communication or to spark the conversation. When you fall in love, such approach and 'little digging' is necessary. For your information Lun Bawang is one of many tribes in Sarawak. In the end, little that I know that she already has a boyfriend. "I should 'dig' on basic information’s first before goes into deep. Lesson learned, check!” I said to myself. But what I want to share with you is about the book that I read, 'Drunk before Dawn' written by Shirley Lees.

Somewhere in 1933 - 1934, local newspaper 'Sarawak Gazette' published an article about how Lun Bawang people would have a feast for 100 days every year in drunkenness. Long time ago, they were many but at that time their tribe was almost goes into extinction. When they celebrated wedding or any other festivals, they would drink rice wine (‘tuak’ or ‘burak’) to the fullest. Their festival would go on for few days and even their children will also get drunk. Shirley writes, 'Everyone would get drunk except dogs!' Their place was filled with vomits; dogs and pigs move freely under their house and when the wind blow, horrible smell would pollute the air.

Missionaries such as Carey Tolley, Hudson Southwell and many others really pray for revival toward Lun Bawang people. Once, Limbang Resident said, 'We cannot allow you to go there because they are dangerous'. Mr. Banks, curator from Sarawak Museum told Southwell that nothing much they can do, 'they are dirty!', he said. Even in 1935 Rajah Vyner Brooke said, 'Let them die... they bring no benefits to us and there's no hope for them.' Carey Tolley writes, 'They are affected by many diseases. In 4 years, diseases had taken many lives which reduce them to only a small numbers.' Some of long houses even lost up to 50% of their people. There were only few hundred that were left. Their addicted to 'burak' (Rice wine) brings them closer to grave each days.

For many years, Carrey Tolley and his teams refused to give up, live among them and over and over again preached the Good News. There are many great stories about the adventures and challenges by early missionaries, which it is not fair for me to 'compact' the whole stories into this note. But what I want to share with you in this story is that: When there seems to be no way, God will make a way. Gives hope to the hopeless. When men said, 'Impossible', God said, 'Nothing is Impossible. I AM able!’

Years later, Lun Bawang people had been transformed by the Good News, 'What have you done to these people, Southwell?', asked Mr. Banks with amazement. 'Not me', answered Southwell. 'You had written about them in drunkenness, now you have to write about their transformation.' With much delight, Southwell explained that, 'This place had become very clean... Murut longhouses at Trusan were once very dirty and nasty in Sarawak, but now it's become very clean and tidy.' (Sarawak  Gazette, 1st July 1939) Good News doesn't affect only the Lun Bawang people; Iban, Bisaya, Kelabit etc were also transformed from darkness to light.

The word Gospel mean Good News, it used over 90 times in the New Testament. And what do you do with the Good News? Well, friends you got to tell it! What makes the possibility of Good News is Bad News. The Bad News is 'our sins', but the Good News is that Christ died for our sins. What motivates me from this story is that: "With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God." (Matthew 10:27)

P.s: For those who had read the English version of the book, if any error please inform me because I translated it from BM version Best Blogger Tips

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Week 14: Give - The secret of Living is Giving

I remember when I was a little boy during dinner time with my family; my mother would sometime fry chicken's wings and chicken's drumsticks as our 'grand' menu. We are moderate family, nor that I want to use the word 'poor' because at least we have shelter, clothes and foods(!!!), most of the time we would eat 'paku-pakis' (fern shoot etc), bamboo shoot and maybe if fortunate- some fishes and meats. So when mother fried chicken, that's when I and my brother would be having 'eating competition'.

Because mother didn't distributed fried chickens during dinner, more than often me and my brother would quarrel on who will get the last piece! The rule was "we cannot take another piece until we finished the previous piece". Just because he's older than me (I can't explain how that could be a problem), my brother would finished first, then he took another one... so I took another one too... then he took one... then me... then him again... and so on. I bet I count it all, and he was always the 'winner'. I love him very much but 'hate' him during dinner.

Then at one odd moment, when mother would fry chicken again, suddenly there was a very unfamiliar 'happening'. My brother during the 'competition', he took the last piece and places it on my empty plate. My mother don't know what to say neither do I, because since we're kids we always fight, quarrel, fight again and quarrel some more. This acts of giving, really touch my heart (but I didn't refused the last piece), he gives it to me maybe because he was 'tired' of our rivalry, or maybe he loves me or both. As I reflect that moment again, I begin to know why I did that childish act: I'm so into myself that I have no time for others. I only think about how I can gain as many as I can before others get it!

Mother Teresa told a story about the needy poor; she said,
"One night a man came to our house and told me,
'There is a family of eight children. They have not eaten for days.'

I took some food with me and went.
When I came to that family, I saw the faces of those little children disfigured by hunger. There was the pain of hunger in their faces. I gave the rice to the mother. She divided the rice in two, and went out, carrying half the rice.
When she came back I asked her,” Where did you go?'

She gave me this simple answer, 'to my neighbors, they are hungry also!''

Anthony Robbins in his famous book, Awaken the Giant Within lists out 'Contribution' as The Ten Emotions of Power. He writes, "The Secret of living is Giving" What a profound statement from non-Christian writer!
Can you give to those who really need it?
Can you give when everyone is keeping?
Can you give what you had decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion?
Can you give out of love for Christ?

Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 9:7, "God loves a cheerful giver!" He loves us that He want to give us eternal life but He's also Righteous that He need to punish our sins; so He gives His one and only Son for us on behalf of our dead sentence so that we can both received and not been punish eternally. Give as He's given not out of expectation to receive it back (but somehow I suspect that my brother wants to claim that fried chicken back someday), but give as our respond to His gracious toward us. "Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!" (9.15) Best Blogger Tips

Aku Sebuah Buku

[Friday, October 1, 2010 at 11:26am]
I was born somewhere in the factory which I'm not sure where. I'm the best-seller book in the world, translated in many languages and almost every person like my owner in the city owns 'us'. I'm not sure what kind of persons they are but they seems to be normal, but some are cheerful especially my 14 years old owner. The day she saw me first time at MPH Bookstore, I was so shy... because unlike many 'books' surround me, I was medium in size and slim. She passed me by that day… hmm… I was so sad

The next day early in the morning, she came again but now she was with her mother. She said to her mother, "Mommy, I want this book, all my friends have this kind of book but I don't have any... please." Her mother was so quick to respond saying, 'Okay, whatever you wish honey.' Instantly, she took me up and brings me to the counter. In-case you might wonder, why she took the medium and slim size book like me... I'm the only leather covered book that was left.

For the first time, I had the feeling of belonging. I have a master and she loves me very much! She wrapped me with colorful plastic cover and wrote her name with fanciful metallic pen. She read me everyday before she went for sleep. Every weekend, she always brings me out with her. At first it was so dark but after she pulled me out from her bag, I saw many people surround her. They were hundreds of people. I can see that everyone was holding my fellow 'friends' but some are manufactured in difference size and color. They sing very loud. They shake hands a lot… even with strangers. Sometime they read my 'friends' very loud and with enthusiasm.

I was so happy when my owner colored me, wrote some notes about me, studied me, quoted my 'contents' and share it with her friends. I'm so proud! My pride is almost reached to its limit when she said to her friends that my 'contents' changed her life. I'm so proud! Very proud!

...but that was 4 years ago.

Now she's 18 years old. She's so busy with her life that she can't spend her time with me any longer. Now I'm looking at her from distance. I'm no longer her best friend. She didn't read me. She didn't clean me. I'm so dusty and look older than before. When I see her, she seems to be very busy... Early in the morning she would gets out from her room. When she returns home, she would quickly either chat with her friends or watch television until mid-night. There are times when I see her having a free time during school holiday she would spends her days with some 'weird' black slim box. I’m envy them… really… all I want it to be read.

I'm cold and lonely. Other books had piled up under me. I'm all in dark place and I can't even see her anymore. How I wish she would read me again... because once she said her life had been changed by my 'contents'. How I wish she read me again... How I wish…


 P.s: Not just she but he also. Best Blogger Tips

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