Sunday, January 30, 2011

Week 30: Success isn’t one-sided

'Positive thinking won't let you do anything. But it will help you do everything better than negative thinking will." Zig Ziglar

Zig Ziglar, 85 years old, selling and personal achievement and motivational speaker constant message is that success requires full engagement and hard work. When combine with an unshakable positive attitude and character, success is inevitable. In article by Erin Casey about him in Success Magazine (August 2010), she outlines 3 of Ziglar's tried-and-true strategies together with some explanations which I have simplified.

1) Live a Balanced, Focused Life
Ziglar says there are 8 basic things people want to feel successful, "People want to be happy, healthy, reasonably prosperous and secure; they want to have friends, peace of mind, good family relationships and hope." He continues, "You are here for reason. That purpose is to get everything out of you that is humanly possible so you can make your contributions to mankind." Focus on what you want not what you don’t want.

2) Take a (Mental) Bath Every Day
We are easily motivated to start a life-improvement project, but staying motivated takes work. People frequently complain that the effects of motivational seminars, books and audios don't last. His response: "Neither does bathing; that's why we recommend it daily". [May I add something profound here? The effects of Sermons, Camps and Christian Seminars don't last too. That's why we need to read the Scriptures and attend all the above continually. At time Holy Spirit will lead your way, but never neglect the reading of Scriptures.] Read and listen to a positive, inspiring or motivational message. 'You can change what you are; you can change where you are, by changing what goes into your mind.'

3) Help Others get what they Want
Erin Casey summaries Zig Ziglar's comment: Commit today to become others-focused. With your spouse, your children, your prospect and your peers, keep the question, "How can I help you?" as a primary focus in the relationship.

I would like to end this note with 3 questions. Zig Ziglar said, "People want to be happy, healthy, reasonably prosperous and secure; they want to have friends, peace of mind, good family relationships and hope." Take a moment and ask yourself these questions:

If I earn millions of dollars, but destroy my health in the process, is that success?
If I become the best in my industry, but neglect my family and friends, is that success?
If I acquire great wealth and notoriety, but compromise my integrity and faith (in Christ), is that success?

The answer to all three questions is ‘No’, success isn’t one-sided. 

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Friday, January 28, 2011

Part 1: Message before Valentine's Day - Sex is sacred!

Before writing this post, I Google up some facts about Valentine; here is my finding. Top 10 Surprising Facts about Valentine’s Day  
  1. Women spend half as much as men
  2. Condom sales are highest on Valentine’s Day 
  3. March and pregnancy tests go Hand-in-Hand 
  4. Florists make a killing (by increasing the price) around Valentine’s Day. 
  5. Millions purchase Valentines for their pets (especially for single people) 
  6. Women don’t need men on Valentine’s Day (???) 
  7. Romance is only a tiny part of valentine’s Day 
  8. Women prefer cards to flowers 
  9. Flowers are a man’s best friend 
  10. In Japan, men receive more Valentines
 When I was young and dangerous, I never heard about the seventh commandment: ‘You shall not commit adultery’. 1st I hate English, 2nd I don’t read Bible and 3rd what it has to do with me? But as I’m growing into maturity, despite many mistakes in life, I’ve learned that sex is sacred.

Dr. James I. Packer, in his book I want to be Christian, reminds us that sex is for marriage and for marriage only and marriage must be seen as a relationship of lifelong fidelity. Some misuse of sex (cheap sex) he said is due to longing for short-term excitement, for relief from mental and physical tension, or loneliness or boredom, etc. Today, our society is been bombarded by some irresponsible people who inject negative influences from media to stimulate our minds with unhealthy images such as pornography, etc.

The fact that ‘Condom sales are highest on Valentine’s Day’ (25% higher) and ‘March and pregnancy tests go Hand-in-Hand’ is on the list above shows that there are people out there who misinterpret that Valentine's Day = Sex’s Day.

As for young men and women out there (no more boys and girls) let us remember that there is an increasing rate of sex outside marriage, baby dumping, sexual abuse and prostitute globally. Even here in Malaysia, cases for such a crime due to ‘mistake’ are shamefully destroyed our society. Never such cases happen so drastically like this before. Let’s keep sex as a sacred matter. Just like what Peter Paris quote in his blog sesamamu, ‘Cinta sejati setia menunggu' Indeed, TRUE LOVE WAITS.  
Can you wait? 
"Believing that true love waits, I make a commitment to God, myself, my family, my friends, my future mate, and my future children to a lifetime of purity including sexual abstinence from this day until the day I enter a biblical marriage relationship." (
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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I look at the Heart (1 Samuel 16)

Israel first king, Saul, persistently disobeyed God. Prophet Samuel was so disappointed with Saul and refused to see him any longer. (Merajuk lah?) Samuel was filled with grieved and the Lord said to him not to be sad. The Lord instructed him,
"Get some olive oil and go to Bethlehem, to a man named Jesse, because I have chosen one of his sons to be king".
He went to Bethlehem for the Lord had assured him, "... I will tell you what to do. You will anoint as king the man I tell you to." and there he met Jesse and his sons.
When Samuel saw Jesse's son Eliab, maybe he was equivalent to Jung Ji-Hoon a.k.a. Rain a Korean singer; tall and handsome, he said to himself, "This man standing here in the Lord's presence is surely the one He has chosen."
I don't know how they communicate, but surely Samuel was close enough to the Lord when he heard Him said, "Pay no attention to how tall and handsome he is. I have rejected him because I do not judge as man judges. Man looks at the outward appearance, but I look at the heart."
Samuel was humbled. Then Jesse presented seven of his sons, but none was chosen. "No, the Lord hasn't chosen any of these.” Samuel said on behalf of the Lord.

I can imagine that all of Jesse's son were face down, disappointed. Like those who when for American Idol audition, but instead of hearing Paula Abdul's 'Yes', they hear solid "No" from Simon Cowell.

Only after Samuel pressed Jesse did the elder shepherd acknowledge that he had another son. "There is still the youngest...".”Tell him to come here", replied Samuel. Few minutes later (could be hours later), a handsome, ruddy, healthy young man, and his eyes sparkled. The Lord said to Samuel, "Rise and anoint him; he is the one."
His name is David. A multiple talented man. A king, the most honored in the entire nation's history. A man after God's heart.

There are many lessons we can learn from this chapter. A single note couldn't contain the richness of a portion of this Scriptures. But I just want to highlight the uniqueness of our God. When today's generations judge us by how much money do we have, how big your car or house is, pretty or handsome or tall and measure us by 'success' ruler. God remind us today:
"I do not judge as man judges. Man looks at the outward appearance, but I look at the heart."

Hebrew ancient writer writes, 'Do not compliment a person on his good looks. On the other hand, do not look down on someone who is unattractive. Compared to most flying things, a bee is very small, but the honey it makes is the sweetest of foods.'
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Monday, January 24, 2011

Week 29: Integrity - my Words, my Talk and my Walk

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in the moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy (Martin Luther King, Jr.)
With integrity you have nothing to fear, since you have nothing to hide. With integrity you will do the right thing, so you will have no guilt. With fear and guilt removed you are free to be and do your best. (Zig Ziglar)
About 10 years ago, I'm facing such a challenging moment: a test of integrity. It was a critical moment, nobody was there. My mother already went to work and brother will only coming back home after 1 hour. It was a critical moment. I promised to my mother that I won't take more than 3 pieces of fried chicken. But you see... nobody was there. Our house is too small and it was not necessary for my mother to put security camera on our kitchen hall. It was a critical moment indeed.

"If I take extra one piece, my brother wouldn't know. In fact, he won't know that our dinner is fried chicken." I said to me, myself and I. Myself said to me, "Come on. This is your chance." I tempted me, "Take it quick! Nobody will know about it.” Then, me reasoned to myself and I, "Yes, you are right. Forget about your promise and your principle of life, what's the different if I just take extra one piece."

            In everyday life, we will always be dealing with challenges and difficulties that require our integrity. Integrity means integrated around principles. It means wholeness, oneness, and seamlessness. In living a Christian life, integrity is important; our principles must be based on the Scriptures.
            For example, "Do not steal" (Exodus 20:15) When nobody see: spouse is out, parent are away, boss is not in the office, housemates are out for dinner etc. and that temptation appear, that opportunities are right before our eyes... would you still be truthful to God's command, His principle, 'Do not steal'? If yes, you have shown integrity both toward men and most especially toward our only audience in this stage of life, Father in Heaven. A word of caution: We show integrity not because we want to be Christian, but because we are Christian, we should show integrity.

3 verses I would like to quotes from Stephen R. Covey, Everyday Greatness:
Solid Integrity - Integrity includes consistency and an unwavering adherence to values and beliefs.
Standing on Principle - Standing on principle involves holding firm to what you feel to be right. How firmly are your feet planted?
Private moments - Integrity's greatest victories are won in those private moments when no one else would know.

In critical moment, in time of challenge and controversy, during private moments; what would you do? (…between ‘fried chicken’ and principle). Would you still hold firm to the principle that was taught to you in the Scripture?

P.s: As I write this, I challenge myself to do the same. That's the risk a writer should take. If my writing doesn't match with my walk, I have a big problem. 
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Sunday, January 23, 2011

What was the Best Time of your Life?

[Author: Unknown  with minor modification]

It was June 15, and in two days I would be turning 30. I was insecure about entering a new decade of my life and feared that my best years were now behind me.

My daily routine included going to the gym for a workout before going to work. Every morning I would see my friend Nicholas at the gym. He was 79 years old and in terrific shape. As I greeted Nicholas on this particular day, he noticed I wasn't full of my usual vitality and asked if there was anything wrong. I told him I was feeling anxious about turning 30. I wondered how I would look back on my life once I reached Nicholas's age, so I asked him, "What was the best time of your life?"

Without hesitation, Nicholas replied, "Well, Joe, this is my philosophical answer to your philosophical question:
"When I was a child in Austria and everything was taken care of for me and I was nurtured by my parents, that was the best time of my life.
"When I was going to school and learning the things I know today, that was the best time of my life.
"When I got my first job and had responsibilities and got paid for my efforts, that was the best time of my life."When I met my wife and fell in love, that was the best time of my life.
Unauthorized Picture...
"During World War II, my wife and I had to hide to save our lives. When we were together and safe, that was the best time of my life. When we came to Malaysia and started a family, that was the best time of my life. When I was a young father, watching my children grow up, that was the best time of my life.

"And now, Joe, I am 79 years old. I have my health, I feel good and I am in love with my wife just as I was when we first met. This is the best time of my life."

 I love what Joel Osteen said:
"To live your best life now, you must learn to trust God’s timing, you may not think He’s working, but you can be sure that right now, behind the scenes, God is arranging all the pieces to come together to work out His plan for your life."
Your best time of your life could be at where you are now!
P.s: I heard that this story had come out in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series.
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Friday, January 21, 2011

Two is better than one

There is a song by Boys like Girls feat Taylor Swift, called ‘Two is better than one’. It is true? Are two is better than one?

Last Thursday, I went to Putrajaya with my friends from UKM campus for friendship outing. The plan was to go kayaking (which I didn’t play) and cycling. For cycling we went to Botani Park. We get to choose either using normal or 2-seater bicycle. I’m craving to ride 2-seater bicycle but, to cut the story short… I end up using normal bicycle instead.
Because Botani Park is quite huge and that was the first time I went there, after 5 minutes cycling with a reasonable amount of confident, I said to myself, a self declarations: I’M LOST!  At that moment, above song comes to mind: Two is better than one. I realized that lost in the middle of no way is not good (of course) especially alone.

From the movie Twilight; when vampires want to attack Bella, Edward Cullen placed her on top of a mountain (hill?) so that they cannot sense her smell. If you watch the movie (don’t deny it), Jacob Black also want to protect her from the enemies. There was a scene, I thought it was funny, when Bella was near death from cold and the only way for her to survive was to get body heated from Jacob a hot-blooded werewolf. What could a cold-blooded vampire boyfriend like Edward do? He ends up watching her under the arm of someone else’s.

Forget about the romantic part, just think of the extremely cold weather and you’re alone. In that moment of desperate… isn’t two is better than one?

Normally, in relationship we want to have the other person. No one like to be alone, be with others. Sharpen your people skills and trying to mix with others. “Loneliness is the first thing which God’s eye named not good” (John Milton refers to Genesis 2:18) In the case of Adam, God had provide woman for him. In our case of relationship with others, God will also provide the most valuable resource in the world- people for us.
If you have found one, you’re rich! A companion can offer assistance, comfort, and defense. Don’t loose them, treasures them. If you have found none, maybe it’s time to open your eyes wider for they are near and  here all this while.

 “Are two is better than one?” is our question today. King Solomon replied;

Two are better than one because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)

In simple English, he said, ‘Yes’.

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Serve beyond what is required

About 2 minutes walk from my place, there is this Thai food shop called Khunthai Restaurant. I shall give you the address of this restaurant by the end of this note for advertisement purpose and for prove to my claim that this restaurant staffs (at date of writing) are mostly friendly.
Before I entered the restaurant, I heard a  foreign greeting, "Sawat dee kap!"

This is not him, okay.
One of them (I don't remember his name) lead me to my seat and asked, 'How are you?' in Chinese language but then soon realize that I’m not. His interactions were genuine as he was talking to a friend rather than words from a script. Food was served at the very reasonable time and I observed that most of their visitors are regular customer. He asked me either the food was nice and told me that he is available if I needed anything more.

After I paid for the meal, I looked at the bill... I was shock by the fact that the restaurant did not include any service charge! Exactly 09:17:55pm, 17th January 2011, an axiom comes to mind: Average people serve what is required, but extraordinary people serves beyond what is required. It was a lesson of a life time.

Sometime I do things just to get by and barely get through the day. When I was working part-time at Sushi King Restaurant, I came just in time to work and exactly on time to go back. What should I expect? More salary? No! Whatever I sow is what I will also reap. I get paid for what I work for; nothing much and nothing less. John C. Maxwell writes, 'The average day is average only because we don't make something more.'

If all this while you want to pass an exam just to get by ('cukup makan'), or while working hour running here and there, busy doing nothing and staring at the clock on the wall to tick at 5pm; don't ever dream to be an excellent student or get any promotion. We can stay where we are now and do the work of the average OR we can do beyond what is requiring for that is what Faithful Servant does. 

In your ministry toward others, in serving the Almighty Creator, apply this Servant Leadership principle in your daily life: - Take every opportunity to serve beyond what is required.
Will you work extra 5 minutes today?
Will you study more than playing games tomorrow?
Can you serve without extra 'service charge' now?

Khunthai Restaurant
6, Jalan 5/44, Petaling Garden,
Off Jalan Gasing, 46000 PJ, Selangor.

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Saturday, January 15, 2011

Week 28: Shut Up! - There's a Time for Everything.

"Smart people keep quiet about what they know, but stupid people advertise their ignorance." (Proverbs 12:23)

One night after watching movie we went to a restaurant for a cup of coffee (okay, I'm the only creature who ordered coffee that night) and have some Kolo Mee, which may or may not equivalence to Chilly Pan Mee at SS2, Petaling Jaya. While our drinks reached to half-full level and mee shifting from a plate to our stomach with a help of reddish chop sticks... someone started a conversation about how cinema industry works.

Now I have to tell you that I had work as Assistant Cinema Manager for one and a half years at Golden Screen Cinemas (not for boosting but for validation) and this man was a friend of friend… and he was talking too much. He talked about how the ticketing system, how the projector works and bla bla. He did mention on some elements in the cinema, which come to my amazement that it was told half-truth and most of it was totally 'heretic'. He seems to know-it-all! From cinema to human psychology, economy, politic and the worst of all- about the Scriptures! When all had been said and done, I'm glad that I speak only few words.

Have you met someone who seems to know-it-all? Who can name every star in the sky and every cell in our body? or someone who is called ‘Living Encyclopedia'? Well, maybe it's time for us to examine ourselves and take a deep thought that; we don't have to know everything or appear to be so. In her book, 30 days to Taming your Tongue, Deborah Smith Pegeus writes;
"Even if you have knowledge of insight into a certain situation, sometimes it's prudent to keep silent and give another the joy of fulfillment of explaining to you... Assuming the role of the arrogant expert on almost every topic is a sure indication of pride, which is repulsive behavior to God and man."

She continues that if we want to let go of that know-it-all tongue, you can start by letting someone share information with you that you already know without letting him know that you know it. This can be a great training in humility and emotional maturity.

I love what the ancient writer of wisdom, Joshua, son of Sirach writes, "Some people keep quiet because they don't have anything to say; others keep quiet because they know the right time to speak. A wise person will not speak until the right moment, but a bragging fool doesn't know when that time is. No one can stand a person who talks too long and will not give others a chance to speak."

There are time when I'm tempted to write about everything and trying to impress you with how smart I am which totally fake and you know well: - I don't. Because God had provide us with two ears and one mouth, it's intelligently enough if we can be 'quick to listen and slow to speak' as James in the Bible advised us to do. When we are in a group or with people, try to actively listen to others, ask for ideas and limit our input to only two or three points.

Did I just told you to be silent and don't speak at all? No! The philosopher in the book of Ecclesiastes writes, "There's a time for everything... a time to keep silence, and a time to speak."
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Friday, January 14, 2011

Habakkuk complained, "Oh, Lord are you not from everlasting?"

... why are you silent..?
Habakkuk raises a question that most of us want to ask but afraid that we might don't get the answer or afraid that people may think that we're faithless, but the truth is: we are unsure sometimes. He raised a question that doesn't seem like a prayer but a mere complaint directly to the throne of God. 
"O Lord, how long must I call for help before you listen, before you save us from violence? Why do you make me see such a trouble? How can you stand to look on such wrong doing?" (1:2-3)
Ten verses after that, Habakkuk made another complains;

"... why are you silent while they destroy people who are righteous than they are?" (1:13)

He raised these questions shortly before Babylon invaded the Jewish nation of Judah in 586 BC and erased it from the map.

[Obviously, Habakkuk didn't read the Dale Carnegie's book, How to Win Friends and Influence People. The first principle noted in this book is; "Don't criticize, condemn or complain". He was few thousand years earlier before the book was published.]

In today's contexts, we may raise a similar question when we're having the difficulties trying to rationalize everyday events with human's mind. If you're like me, you may raise questions after watching evening news such as; "How could rapists or murders only sentence to jail penalty while he should deserve a dead penalty instead?", "Why You let Your Churches burned?", "Why you let the wicked rich and let the righteous begging for support?", "Why Believers persecuted because they worship You, O Lord?" etc.

The only way to get away from these questions is by deciding that there is no God; that all things happen by chance and we're only a physical creature, here today and gone tomorrow. But we're smart enough to realize that it's not true. (Write to me if you have problem about this) Just look at the stars, sun and moon. We have many clues that He is exist then He is not. (So why live like there is no God?) Why He is silent, I do not know. He may reveal some of His plans but not all.

When reading through Chapter 1 of the Book of Habakkuk, I'm imagining that there was a long pause between verse 4 and 5. After a long waiting He replied to Habakkuk;
"Keep watching the nations around you, and you will be astonished at what you see. I am going to do something that you will not believe when you hear about it." (1:5)

Wait for a minutes, what should Habakkuk do? None? Just keep watching??? Who do the work of judgment? God of the Bible said, "I am going to do something." So I said with the same mind as Habakkuk, "Well, do it now! I cannot stand watching the injustice happening around the world." He gently whispered to Habakkuk and Habakkuk writes to me and you what He said:
"Put it in writing, because it is not yet time for it to come true. But the time is coming quickly, and what I show you will come true. It may seem slow in coming, but wait for it; it will not be delayed." (2: 3)

What astonish me is that God never rebuked him for complaining. God answered when we are sincerely asking. Habakkuk never lost his faith in Him. He learned the lesson of faith by the end of this book - 'to trust in God's providence regardless of circumstances. He declares that even if God should send suffering and loss, he would still rejoice in God his Savior'. (NIV Study Bible commentary)

Do you still have hope for God to turn your tear into laughter? Would you hold on to your faith in Him and 'keep watching'? Will you let Him using you 'to do something' in this world?

I don't feel that I've done much justice to The Book of Habakkuk by writing this simple note because it is rich and hundred fold more amazing than this. But let me summaries this book with our context today; we are to wait for Him 'to do something' in our country (Malaysia), wait patiently, prayerfully and live by faith- trusting in Him.
"The righteous will live by his faith" (Habakkuk 2:4)
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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

They are asking you now, 'Can you forgive me?'

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?" Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. (Matthew 18:21-22)

Coming to the year 2011, it is not difficult to see that many people bring up some 'excessive baggage' of hurts from the past. Forgiveness seems to be the work of a saints, and we reason ourselves that 'I'm only human' and to forgive only can be done by those who have achieved an Angel-ship. This is of course, is not true. Day to day agenda, we sometimes consciously or unconsciously, intentionally or unintentionally; hurts others. To make the story worst, hurt people hurt others. When forgiveness seems to be alien from one lips, it develop into anger, and from anger to stress and all of its bad habits will eventually follow. Soon or later, it kill a person faster than cancer.

Why did Peter asked such a question? I do not know. We may assume what happen but thanks to his boldness, we can hear what Jesus' replied. Jesus said, seventy-seven times. Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary commended, 'Until seventy times seven-that is, so long as it shall be needed and sought: you are never to come to the point of refusing forgiveness sincerely asked'

"Richard, it's easy to say then done.", You may ask me. Well, I may say that it's easier for me to write this down then to speak to you face-to-face. When we read the Scriptures, what Jesus said was never a suggestions, it may be said with a soft spoken tones or with a very kind expressions but none of His Word was just a mere words- His Word is a command speak in a language of love.

When we forgive, we shown to the world that God is alive. When we forgive, we shown to our neighbor that the Holy Spirit is in you. When we forgive, we shown to our brothers and sisters that I can't do it, but Jesus is able to change my heart. When we forgive, we agreed with the fact that 'I'm only human' and He is the Only God that is able. When we forgive, we are forgiven. When we forgive... Our prayers will be heard.

They are asking you now, 'Can you forgive me?' What would you say?

P.s: I'm giving away 2 books of Charles Stanley, The Gift of Forgiveness for free. All you have to do is write to me a short comment on what happen after you forgive others @ when someone had forgive you. Best Blogger Tips

Monday, January 10, 2011

Week 27: Kindness - so that the deaf can hear and the blind can see

I believe that the message of the gospel must be spoken and shown to the watching world. (Steven Sjogren, Conspiracy of Kindness)
 Charity does not require a large deed. It often takes little acts of kindness in the form of a warm smile or a kind word. (Steven R. Covey, Everyday Greatness)

I remember well when I went back home by bus to Petaling Jaya from Shah Alam after visiting my friend, Jimmy Awang. It was crowded, and for your information; RapidKL service don't have conductor bus. So as you can imagine, it took lots of time during transaction. 30 minutes later, an old lady with her big black giant bag came in for a ride, I'm suspect she was a real Indian from India. I knew this when she replied me, 'Hellu' instead of normal 'hello'. 

She was sitting next to me and looking straight through a transparent glass on her right side without a word or any indication to communicate with me. Maybe she thought that I'm an unfriendly Chinese guy (I'm Iban, but most people think that I'm Chinese) or maybe she just doesn’t want to talk, just enjoy the ride. 

I want to communicate with her, but I doubt that she can understand me. So I take out chocolate- Nips, and offered her to have some. Suddenly, she smiled, shakes her head which is a sign of 'yes' and open wide her right hand and said 'thank you'. When she arrived at her destination, she said 'bye bye' and what a magic it was- she gave me the loveliest smile ever!

Do you remember when is the last time you do the act of simple kindness toward others? It doesn't cost much but the effect is tremendously great. It was a win-win situation. She has her chocolate, and I have her attention. It's not the size of your deeds or gifts that's matter; it's the heart of the giver that counts.

As the children of God, we must demonstrating His kindness by offering to do some act of humble service with no strings attached. When you saw an opportunity to serve others, don't waste it! Offer yourself up, make the best of what you have at hand now and do it great as possible at that moment.

A Nips chocolate can make this old lady’s day a little bit brighter. It cost me RM1.80 for the chocolate but I received a specious 'gift' in return, a smile on her face. When we show the kindness toward others, it is not for the sake of receiving back, but to show how great our God is. It’s our respond, because He gave so we give.

Will someone this week understand the Gospel better because of your simple act of kindness?
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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Anything worth doing does not have to be done perfectly- at first

Anything worth doing does not have to be done perfectly- at first. - Ken Blanchard, The Heart of a Leader.

Every leader- employee, employer, parent, student or those 'without title' (as Robin Sharma say it) should recognize that accomplishment or success will not come unless first, a failure or short coming at one point or another.

For example, when we start to learned how to walk, do we all felt during our first attempt? What we do as a baby? Don't we rise up again, try and try again until one day, we finally walk?! So when you see people walking at Mid-Valley Mega mall or The Spring Shopping Complex, you must remember this- they all had felt before. (Though some may still fall using high heels)

Don't be too hard on yourself. Do not be discouraged if you cannot play the guitar and decided that Guitar-Pro software doesn't work. Make it a positive experience if you fail your exam for the first time. Your parent may put a lots of hope and pressure on you for this new semester, but don't get too hard on yourself. Make it a joy and privilege to be where you are right now; adsorbs all the hope but some of the pressure to make you move ahead. Don't expect instant perfection.

Ken Blanchard continues; it’s unfair to be hard on yourself the first time you attempt something new. It is also unfair to expect such an unrealistic standard from others. It's not necessary to do everything exactly right the first time.
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Monday, January 3, 2011

Week 26: Sacrifice - 'Even death itself will turn backwards'.

            It is the Law of Narnia, the Deep Magic that every traitor is belong to the queen Jadis, White Witch. Edmund as we know it from the first movie, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, was a traitor. The evil White Witch said, 'His blood is my property', while pointing out her finger toward repented Edmund. In the Law, the punishment is to die on the Stone Table, '... as is tradition.' said the self-proclaim queen. This claimed happen in front of Great Lion, Aslan. 'Come in~', as he invites the Witch for a diplomatic talk with the enemy.

            We don't know what they are talking about, C.S. Lewis keep it for himself. As they when out from the tent belong to Aslan, it is quite surprising when Aslan announces that Edmund is released. People scream out in joy, but Lucy as she always is, known there's something wrong in Aslan's voice.
Jadis asking Aslan for a last time, "How do I know that your promise will be kept?"
Aslan roared mightily toward her to ensure that he kept his promise. But what promise? What did he promised to the evil witch?
We as human as we are though... or rather reason ourselves that we can make up for our own wrong doing. We say, 'I steal only once, I'm sure God won't punish me. In fact, I'm doing many good things now.' We thought that we can get away with our wicked life by the Law of Balance; steal RM2 then pay back RM2 in a form of charity or gifts and then zoooopppp! our sins disappear. We thought that God can be fool! 'Here God, look I have pray 23 hours per day, fasting 2 months and read the Sacred Book 3 times every week. Now I know that I'm righteous!’ God is love, He will forgive our sins but God is also Just, He must punish our sins.
Edmund must die. Edmund repent, yes, but he still has to die. If Aslan lets Edmund get away without any punishment, he's a law breaker, a liar and not trustworthy. What did he promised to the witch?
He will bear Edmund's punishment- to die on the Stone Table.

That night with heavy heart but willingly, he went to meet White Witch to sacrifice on behalf of Edmund- to die. He knew that Susan and Lucy are following him, so he said, 'It is time, from here I must be alone... you must trust me. Farewell~'

At Stone Table
"Behold, the Great Lion.", as the witch saw him with gladness. He was wounded, bound, tied and his hair was shaved. His Glory, an honor of a Lion was removed from him. Jadis whispered,
'You know Aslan; I'm a little disappointed in you. Did you honestly think by all this that you could save the human traitor? You are giving me your life and saving no one... So much for love.'
'Despair and die!' she loudly yelled and the cold knife went deep into his flesh. He breathes his last...
'The Great Cat is dead!!!'

Edmund have two choices: to die and the witch would have his soul or to live but someone else have to die. Aslan have two choices too; to give out Edmund to the witch and not being a responsible King and a loving Cat or; he has to sacrifice on behalf of Edmund and remain responsible and loving but powerless. In this case, Edmund didn't choose at all, Aslan volunteered and prove to be powerless... is he?

The next morning, the Table Stone was break into two and Aslan body was gone. Moment later, there he was, standing as an old Wise and Magnificent Lion, a King, resurrected from his death. Susan in her disbelieved, 'But we saw the knife... the witch.'
Aslan said to her and Lucy, 'If the witch knew the true meaning of sacrifice, she might have interpreted the Deep Magic differently. That when the willing victim who has committed no treachery is killed in a traitor's instead, the Stone Table would crack and even death itself will turn backwards.'

This is a friction story, but I believe that there's a true story. I don't believe in Deep Magic, I believe in Deep Truth. I don't believe in the Law of Narnia, but I believe in the Law of God. I don't believe that Aslan is the Most Mighty Lion; I believe that Jesus is the Lion of Judah. I don't believe that we can clean our own eternal sins; I believe that Jesus’ Blood had sacrificed Himself to redeem us from the punishment of our sin.
This is the only motivation for life that I knew that we don't need to do anything except believe, have faith. Be motivated to live out your life on the assurance that the Lord is Powerful, 'even death itself will turn backwards'.

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