Monday, February 28, 2011

Month of March Free Books

Hi readers,

This month I'm giving away 3 books. 30 days Taming your Stress, 30 days to a Great Attitude, and 30 days to Taming your Tongue. She writes a simple day-to-day easy-to-read books. Everyone will get stress someday, everyone may still posses some bad attitude and everyone could say something nasty over times - these books will give you  the ideas how-to manage it well.  
Get your copy now!!!
How to get this for free?
  • Comment on the column below and write 'Yes, give me ........... (Choose one of the three)!'. 
  • Then send me your mailing (not e-mail) address together with your comment or send it to if you don't want your address to appear on this blog. 
  • to readers in Malaysia ONLY.  
  • Only 3 books available.
  • That's all. Thank you. 
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Trust in the Lord (Jeremiah 29:11)

I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good not disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

I don’t know what to do after I graduate,” he said with a disappointed tones, “that’s why I do this.” Definitely my friend was having a difficult moment of decision. He’s not stupid, he just don’t want to graduate so soon. His famous line was: “I don’t want to get a job. I love my student life. I know it’s hard to get a job. Plus, the future is so fragile now. I’m worry about my future.” In short, he was not certain about his future.

He could graduate sooner but he made a decision to stay for a while and purposefully failed his exam paper. Over and over again he said, “I’m worry about my future.” I said to him, “Trust God.” I knew back then that I wasn’t really convinced by what I have just said to him. We all afraid sometime that if we trusting God, He may lead us to where we don’t want to go. If I trust Him, what would my future be? Me and Michael anak Bujang shared the same concern.

God’s plans are always good. Sometime it might seems so blur but the only way we can be sure that it’s always right is by trusting God. Don’t put your hope into things that change; relationships, money, talents, beauty and even health. Set your sights on the one thing that can never change: trust in God, your heavenly Father.

I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. If He holds my future, why shouldn’t I trust Him? “They are plans for good not disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” His desires for you will fulfill and satisfy you. Since God alone knows the future, no one can plan for it better than He. He doesn’t care whether you’re been as pure as saints or as sinful as I am; all that matters is your trust in Him.

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Sunday, February 27, 2011

The King For His People.

The whole crowd waited for him. He arrived with his spouse in elegance. The mic is set,he stood in the center of the stadium. He then unfolded his speech paper from his pocket. Paused….

Upon the first word, the second, the third, he said. After that, he “bloody” stuttered. 

The King’s Speech is one of the kind movies that I consider brilliant. In camera works, lighting, cinematography and the nature of its story. Most importantly, it is a story that everyone of us that can relate to. Nonetheless, it’s sad not many people enjoy such movies. I’ve came across people saying that such movie is not appealing to them. Well, that’s the cruelty of cinema, they screen movies that are primarily profit-centered and therefore, such usual movies are catered to arouse what audience wants to watch: Excitement, explosions, horror and etc. Such “commercial” movies transition in cinemas are so fast that people tend to forget movies that they’ve seen weeks back when arrival of new blockbuster hits the theater.  And sadly, The King’s Speech was not screened initially in local market but rolled into the cinema later because of its acclaimed reviews. 

Colin Firth played the late King George VI who wouldhad difficulty talking to large audiences due to his stutter. Alongside came Lionel Logue(played by Geoffrey Rush), a speech therapist to overcome his condition.

I’ve heard a comment from someone that after watching the movie, saying “(The movie) speaks of it’s better being an ordinary person rather than to be a person in position.” On the other hand, I find the film’s structure was quite the opposite. It’s ordinary people overcoming the extraordinary!

I bloody well stammer!”- King George VI, The King’s Speech

Stuttering is caused by many factors, primarily psychological. It can be triggered by fear in the past that we’ve long forgotten: embarrassment caused by friends, hurt by people we love and the list goes on. In this context, stuttering is referred to things that have been paralyzing us. Overcoming a long rooted paralysis is not as simple for some of us. For people who have living in such conditions, certain fear has been their comfort zone. Fear of leading, fear of failure, fear of people… It’s hard sometimes to get away and breakthrough. For we fear long enough, and forgot how was it like to be courageous once more. 
It takes more than determination, faith, focus and persistence to overcome such conditions.

“Do the things you fear and the death of fear is certain”

Besides that, he was called to be a leader for his nation. Do you have moments like that? A call to lead.A call to be an example.A call to be a light for others.A call to move the world around you. What happened to those callings? Do you have times to run away from them?

As in the movie, King George VI did have his moments of wanting to withdraw, back off and give up. Don’t we have moments like that? Yes we gave up. We find it hard to gain back the strength and hope to continue the journey… That’s not the end of it. The beauty of it in life, just like King George VI did, when he started to give up, along the way, he gave up for giving up! When we reach a point of stopping, we will not take it anymore, and we want to break it through! 

As you are reading this, if you feel tired, rest. If you don’t know where you’re heading, hang in there. If you found your hope, share it with the ones around you. I pray that you will help others to find strength along with their journey.

The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” (Psalm 118:6)                                                                                                                                                  
Great movies are movies that can impact us with their values. Therefore, I consider the movie, a pure classical film!
About author:
Paul Gan studied broadcasting in UTAR and now he has being hired by an Event company to host and emcee events. Movies has been his passion since young. He said, 'Been directing a videos... One of my videos was listed finalist in the Tony Blair Faith Short Competition." He is a funny man, cheerleader and I personally known his as a man who have a teachable heart.

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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Week 33: Friendship - Worth more than Gold

A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24)
A friend means well, even when he hurts you. But when an enemy puts his arm around your shoulder – watch out! (Proverbs 27:6)
I can talk to stranger spontaneously from random topic to their personal life. There was time when I talked with an entrepreneur who openly shares with me about his journey as a successful businessman. Early in his career he said that most of his friends and even his own family didn’t support his business. During our conversation (mostly he does the talking), suddenly I remembered the words of ancient Hebrew philosopher, Joshua the son of Sirach which can conclude very well the story of this middle age entrepreneur’s experience. He writes:

When things are going well, it is hard to tell who real friends are, but in hard times you can recognize your enemies; even your friends will leave you then. But when you are successful, your enemies will act like friends. Some people will be your friend as long as things are going well, but they will turn against you when troubles come.”

30 minutes later, he enthusiastically said to me that his business is growing up since he started to stayed away from ‘fault’ friends and start to focus on those few who is still continue to support his dream. At first I regret to initiate the conversation because he’s so open that I felt weird to know so much about a stranger than some of my own cousins’. But then I recalled what Joshua writes which is perfectly fits to describe this stranger’s real friends are;

A real friend will help you against your enemies and protect you in the fight. Never forget such a companion in battle; share the results of your victory with him.”

I didn’t get his name but it was a great conversation. Real friend is hard to find. Anyone can claim to be your friend, but some people are friends in name only. I have hundreds of friend during my secondary school, hundreds more during my primary school and by the time I stop smoking, start to withdraw myself from consuming alcohol and received Christ as my personal Savior – I only have less than 30 friends left and few faithful ones stayed with me. Who are your real friends? Identify them. Treasure them. Appreciate them.

Never abandon an old friend; you will never find a new one who can take his place. Friendship is like a wine; it gets better as it grow older.”

I’m very thankful that I have friends with me in whom I can trust. They are my treasure; nothing can take their place in my heart. They didn’t laugh when I share with them my dreams even how stupid it could be. They tell me when I did something wrong.  They are closer than my brother and sister. They mourn with me in my failure and they celebrate with me during my victory.

Try to filter your friends list. Are they helping you to climb or want you to crawl? Did you become more positive when you’re with them? And for ourselves: What can you do now to become a better friend?

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Friday, February 25, 2011

The Good behind the Pain

This note is dedicated to my friends: Ester Linda Gee who was going through her eye operation on 9th February 2011, Ivane Felsye who was going for her 3th operations this year on 25th February 2011 and who every you are that was or is going through hardship and pain at this present moment.  Only the Lord knows exactly what you all had been through. I’m so encourage that both of you still can smile and remain faithful to Him, thank you sisters for giving us hope to live through pain in this broken world. L’Chaim! (A Hebrew toast, cheers ‘to life!’)

Sometime we do question God – ‘Is pain my punishment?’ But have you heard or read the expression that the ‘rain fall on the just and the unjust’ – or someone may tell you, the just and the unjust, we are all the sinners. I’m aware that after reading many books and engage in conversations, there are people who denied the existence of sin in this world and saying that pain is just a state of mind.  I cannot argue with research that experts had made for many years which come to this conclusion, but by His Wisdom, I know that pain is more than just a state of mind, it’s real. 

All of us are or will be the victim of pain. It’s simply a fact of our existence, regardless of how good or bad we are. Max Lucado writes it wisely, When we face struggles, we often wonder, Why? Years from now, though, we may realize that it was those struggles that taught us something we could not have otherwise learned – that there was a purpose in our pain.

I’m not an expert nor do I claim to be, but these 4 things about pain I’ve learned:
It happens to everyone – It happens even to people of God like Abraham, Moses, David, Paul, rich or poor, male or female, adult or infant.
It may not seem fair – Life isn’t fair? No, but there is One who justifies life and understands that pain: Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
It is allowed by God – “This does not mean that God deliberately plans to hurt us. He wants us to let his love shine through to us always, and he never lets us be tested with pain... (added mine) beyond the ability he gives us to cope.” (Quote from Collins Bible Companion)
It can teach us more about God – it can be used to draw us closer to Him. It made us realize just how far we have wondered from God, or just how great and loving he is. It reminds us of just how much we need his help and power.

Many authors attempt to explain why God allow pain come to us and they wrote hundreds of pages about this topic, so, it is obvious that this note cannot contain all the details there’s regarding on pain. Nor that we can know fully the mystery of God (neither of us can, not here on earth) but let the mind of Christ conclude this note with a word of encouragement. Not my, but Christ:

"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."

God’s purpose is greater than your pain, and he has a greater purpose than your problems. Open your eyes wide for His purpose in your life, remain faithful and endure this pain with a joyful heart, never stop bless the Lord with your heart and your lip,

For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Encouragement beyond mere Talking

I like what Max Lucado writes in The Inspirational Study Bible when he tells a story about a general whose army was afraid to fight. The soldiers were frightened. The enemy was too strong. Its fortress was too high and weapons too mighty. The king, however, was not afraid. He knew his men would win. How could he convince them?

He had an idea. He told his soldiers that he possessed a magical coin. A prophetic coin. A coin which would foretell the outcome of the battle. On one side was an eagle and on the other a bear. He would toss the coin. If it landed eagle-side up, they would win. If it landed with the bear up, they would lose. The army was silent as the coin flipped in the air. Soldiers circled as it fell to the ground. They held their breath as they looked and shouted when they saw the eagle. The army would win.

Bolstered by the assurance of victory, the men marched against the castle and won. It was only after the victory that the king showed the men the coin. The two sides were identical. Max Lucado concludes, though the story is fictional, the truth is reliable: assured victory empowers the army.

People need encouragement to be victorious when they stand at life's crossroads, when they feel that life's challenges are stronger than they are. Give encouragement for your team, your friends and family. Encouragement inspires people to do their best and to be gracious, loving, and encouraging to others. 

To encourage others, you may not need to say a single word, just live a righteous life. More than often, people will be encouraged just by looking at how you do things in daily life. May through your encouragements, they gain confidence and only by God they are assured – and win victoriously. Solomon comments,

"A cheerful look brings joy to the heart; good news makes for good health.' (Proverbs 15:30)

Related post: Week 18: Encouragement - What you and I need. 
Click HERE to read. 

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Awaken your Given Potential, be more than a ‘carpenter’.

The amazing thing is that Jesus is not your typical hero. He never travelled more than 100 miles. He did not even finish SPM (Malaysia Examination Certificate*). He was neither a scholar nor a professor. A Jew, he grew up in a small town, similar, perhaps, to Kuala Selangor. He worked as a carpenter most of his life. Jesus walked wherever he went – he didn’t own a Proton Wira. Then, at age 33, he was executed by the Romans.

The carpenter who built my office cabinets also did not finish SPM. He’s in his late forties and seems comfortable working either with an unbuttoned shirt or without one. He is good at what he does, and I admire his handiwork. I can imagine myself having teh tarik (hot tea with condensed milk?*) with him, but I definitely would not give up my job to follow him.

This is where the similarities between my local carpenter and Jesus end. There was no radio, television or the Internet to make Jesus as famous as Westlife. Yet everyone – you and I – know of Jesus’ name. And more importantly, he has influenced and changed more lives than anyone else over the last 2,000 years. Surely, as one author suggests, he must be more than a carpenter.

Article above is taken from Phases: The Journey starts here magazine published by The Scripture Union in Semenanjung Malaysia with permission. *Translated for my international readers.

The best place to grow in your potential is at where are you now. No matter where do you work or study, there’s a room for improvement in your life. Take a look at your own life. Are you better than what you are today than yesterday? Did you learn new skills at your work place or in your study? Do you believe that there’s a potential in you?

God knew the potential he had given you, and He called every one of us to use it. He calls out the best in you, and he sees more in you than you see in yourself. You may look at your limitations, but God looks at your potential. If you want to reach your full potential, learn to see yourself through God’s eyes. He sees you for what you intended you to be.

Be a little bit better than where you are now. Be more than just a ‘carpenter’, be a ‘world changer’ in people around you. Start small, God measure success not by prestige, possessions, or power, but by how much you use your potentials to Glorify His Name. He knew you because He’s more than just a carpenter; He’s the Savior of the World and the redeemer of our soul.
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Monday, February 21, 2011

Part 1 BE Ladies: Knowing your Role

Every girls dream is BIG. Some of us want to be a princess or the pink power rangers because both are popular characters everywhere in books or television channels . Then maybe in the middle of primary school level, we change it into an ambition, maybe to be a teacher or a nurse because both job’s descriptions are easy to understand.

As waves of transformation inflicted deep inside teenagers spirit, we tend to go for sometime more creative and cool such as dreaming to become a singer or a dancer or an interior designer. None of these dreams is wrong because I myself has weird dream when I was a little kid such as - stuck in a mall for a night to enjoy all the clothes, the perfume and make friends with all the ‘’dumb doll’’. (influenced by a movie called Life Size where one of the ‘dumb doll’ turned to be a real human, she just look stunning, anyway, she is Tyra Bank)

However, no everyone ever thought or dream of being a lady when they were small because most of the girls think of future as career, marriage or love but not growth in attitude.

Here are the practical way to understand the femininity standard.

1. Knowing your Role
The book of Genesis has clarify how God created man and woman. In the book of God’s first story, its portraying the first ever manhood and womanhood. Men and women were created separately but its with equality. God created Eve from Adam and brought her to Adam to became his HELPER in the task. She was made to complement, nourish and help her husband (Genesis 2:18). This doesn’t minimize a woman’s role but it does defines.

Ladies need to understand and respect their role towards the Men. The respect does not only blesses the man in our life but it also to glorify God's calling. God's created us differently and but it is equally to the woman to voices out their ideas and be the encourager to the man.

Be noted. It is not only applicable when we the ladies are looking for the 'MAN' but is it also suitable to guide us to treat our other male friends. Treat them as your brother if you want them to respect you as how they respect their own sister. Never put a title until you are ready for constant growth and transformation in the waves of relationship.
This is a 4 parts series note. 

Priscilla Andrew is from Miri, Sarawak. She's a daddy girl, so we might assume that she's quite a tough young lady. She loves to quote, ''Look at the world with your heart not with your head'' Writing on Being a Woman doesn't mean she's there already, this is a long term process. But along the way; she's learning and that's when this note come into written words.

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(Isaiah 6) 'Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty'

Maybe the worst thing to share if you want to motivate people to live their life to the fullest is to write the word SIN. The rules are simple: Make people feel good, write what people want to hear instead of what they need to hear, and never ever mention about the words ‘sin’, ‘judgment’, ‘hell’ and ‘holiness of God.’ I don’t live by that rules and I hope you are on my side too.

His live had change since Prophet Isaiah which mean ‘God is Salvation’, when to the temple at Jerusalem to worship God. It was around 740B.C. that he saw an amazing vision of God seated on a throne above which were seraphs (six-winged angels, Google this if you want to know more.) It was a vision of God’s holiness and splendor, and he hear voices saying,

Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty;
The whole earth is full of His glory.” (verse 3)

Most of us have a basic belief, a justification that while we make mistakes, we’re still fairly ‘good’ people. That day, Isaiah whom many have called a good man, was confronted by the proof of his sin. My NIV Bible study comments that ‘‘Holy, holy, holy’ is the triple repetition underscores God’s infinite holiness.’ In front of God’s holiness, there’s no room for us to hide. Today before I write this note, I looked at myself naked in my shower room thinking ‘I could never survive… to have my place with God, I must be holy.’ Isaiah must be thinking the same way. He said,

“‘Woe to me!’ I cried. ‘I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.” (verse 5)

Such a sight inspired great fear in Isaiah, as he instantly recognized his sinfulness. Someone had asked me a question, ‘Richard, what would you say if God is standing in front of you?’ ‘I didn’t say anything; I just bow down before Him.’ The words come out of my lips is not mine, it was the Holy Spirit. Like Isaiah; my lips, our lips is unclean!

Then one of the seraphs flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.” (Verse 6,7)

E-sword explains that the word atoned (kaphar in Hebrew) means ‘cleanse, forgive, be merciful, pardon, purge (away), put off, (make) reconcile (-liation). Isaiah was declared clean before God. To be completely holy is to be sinless, pure, and perfect before God. Of course, rock band Simple Plan shout it out loud ‘I can’t be perfect’, but yet our ultimate goal and it will be our final destination when we stand before God in Heaven.

In their book Saint & Scoundrels of the Bible; Linda, Carol Chaffee and Drenda Thomas writes, ‘Isaiah went on to prophesy about the coming King of kings, who would come to earth as a man to suffer and die on behalf of all. This man – Immanuel – would ultimately make any who trusted in him clean before God, without having to use a coal to do so.’ He would be Jesus, the Savior.

I was thinking ‘I could never survive… to have my place with God, I must be holy.’ I don’t know how. We can’t make ourselves holy. A thousands good deed will not be enough to cleanse our sins. 24 hours prayer and 6 months of fasting will not make a different unless I acknowledge that I need help from God. St. Paul pointed us to a living hope for humankind. A message that was rejected by many,

“You were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:11)

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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Leader lead with Purpose

Early in the morning, I went to a train station to go to Mid-Valley Megamall to buy things. I knew what I want to buy because the night before I’d already planning in my mind which stores to go and where the items are - get it and leave. The plan was brilliant but I’m stupid enough not to put it on the paper.

With no surprise, I forgot what to buy and I ended up brought things that I never planned to have. I heard enough stories to confirm this fact, that: ‘A man without a purpose is like a ship without a rudder.’ (Thomas Carlyle)

The foundational key to becoming a leader is the discovering and capturing of a sense of purpose for your life. Discovering personal purpose for your life is finding reason and meaning for living. With purpose you can stay focus and on target. 

In the Scripture when Pilate asked Him, ‘So you are the king?’  Jesus answered, ‘You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world – to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.’ He is more than just a great leader, He is my Savior. But let me emphasis what I’m trying to highlight in this paragraph – He have a purpose in life.

As a leader, what is your purpose in life? Have you find it already? As you passionately pursue the purpose that God assigned you, he promises that your life will have lasting meaning, significance, and eternal results. 

If you have one, brilliant! Then, put it on the paper.

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Saturday, February 19, 2011

Week 33: Character - Make your public and private life consistent.

Be more concerned with your character than with your reputation. Your character is what you really are while your reputation is merely what others think you are.” (Coach John Wooden)

Good character is the best insurance” (Proverbs 11:6 The Message)

Character is a learned behavior. It is best taught at a young age starts at home. My family is not poor (meaning we still have some food on our plate) but a moderate one. Mama always taught us to be honest and do not steal. I did not say that I never once stealing but I repent once I realized I’m doing it.
During school break, I had a part-time job in a supermarket. One evening while going for break, I saw a beautiful orange RM10. Even there were many customer passed by, no one saw that gorgeous orange bill. In an instant a vision comes to my mind; RM3 for Kolo mee, RM2 for Nescafe ice and RM5 for tomorrow lunch.

Back then, I called it ‘instinct’ but now I’m sure that it was the Holy Spirit that prompted me to stop and returns back the money to its owner. [How do I know who’s the owner? It’s a long story] My trustworthiness, my character, was being tested. My reward in that experience revealed to me that I had developed the character traits that would help guide me throughout life. For this I give all credit to God alone. 

I’m sure that you had experience a similar situation like this. Either you return it back or not, ‘each action you take when face with moral questions or temptations will help form your habits, which in turn will determine your character.’ (Bob Harrison) 

Character must be build day by day, decision by decision, over the years. It starts with a small thing. In Luke 16:10, Jesus said: ‘If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities.’ Always be faithful with small things.

People often argue that our personal lives do not matter as long as we perform well on the job or look good in public. In God’s eyes, there is no distinction between our public and private lives. Does our character matter? Yes. I forget who writes this, its in my note; ‘Justice, righteousness, integrity, mercy, honesty, fairness, and faithfulness are the essential traits of godly character because they reflect God’s character.’ 

What character traits do you need to focus on in order to make your private life consistent with your public life?
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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Hidden Investment, Big Return.

Few years back, when I was growing up, my family didn’t have much financially. Watching my parents struggle to make a living. It becomes an eye opener for me to start developed a burning desire to prosper and help others prosper as well. I did experience the living. Let me tell you something, prosperity do not only deal with our finances but every single area of our lives. Again, every area of our lives. It is not how much money do you have now is counted, but how do you appreciate and utilize it is counted.

Couple of years ago when I was first started in real estate business, it was totally challenged me especially in financially. Trusting God and stay believing that the time will come is the only thing I have .That was and is my rule number one. Friends, whatever the status of your financial today, let me tell you from what I have experienced along the journey, God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.(Philippians 4:19). 
He knows your needs, He knows your circumstances. So, why worries? Just trust.

Trust is a commitment”...

And, people tends to live in freedom, expect the greatest financial waved ever, and yet one thing in common, we tend to honor God with our secondfruits of our all crops. It means, after we counted ours, then God’s. I didn’t mean, if only you pay God, then God will give you. His riches is beyond your thinking anyway. But, this is a movement of obedience towards Him. You bet, honor Him with your firstfruits, the result shall supply according to his riches to you

I still remember, at one time when I was in financial depressed for period of times, during the morning church, I was started to argue to give or not for the offering. At last, I decided to give the whole in faith, and, you know what? God is always good to His people. He blessed beyond of my thought. (*This is not a multilevel Christian marketing).I just wants to share how God works along my journey with Him. He is the best I ever had.
Get up. This is the time for you to arise .This is the time for you to activate your faith. The time for you to activate your trust to the God that we call upon in the day of trouble, will definitely deliver you. I do believe your hidden investment to God, by trusting God and stay believing and honor Him with your firstfruits will make a difference in your life. You will experience the excitement of faith. 2 Corinthians 5:7. God’s timing always perfect.

God bless.


 About the writer:
Albert R. Macewell work as a Senior Property Executive at Borneo Real Estate in Kuching, Malaysia. Graduate with Degree in Marketing. He is not an expert (yet), but his insight is valuable. His motto: "I DO BELIEVE THAT,EVERYONE CAN SUCCEED.IF ONLY HE/SHE HAVE DECIDED TO COMMIT." Best Blogger Tips

Leader must build Trust

When I was a boy, whenever my parent wants to go out; either balik kampung (going back to our hometown) or went out for quite a long time, my mother would remind me, "Take good care of our home. Make sure that you lock the door if you want to go out... bla bla..."- a standard version of a mother advice. She didn't said it to my brother because she knew (we knew) that my brother is not as ‘hommie’ as I am. Then the last thing she said to me is: “I trust you.”

Being a leader, it is important that your followers would someday as they follow your leading they will be able to say to you, ‘I trust you can lead us.’ When you hear those words come out from your followers, you know that they believe in you. Trust is not easy nor it hard to build; it took time and consistency, but to betray a trust it only took a second for it to crumble down.

John C. Maxwell said, “Some of the ways a leader can betray trust include: breaking promises, gossiping, withholding information, and being two-faced.” In his book Developing the Leaders Around You, he writes trust is built on many things:

Time. Take time to listen and give feedback on performance.
Respect. Give someone respect and he will return it with trust.
Unconditional Positive Regard. Show acceptance of the person.
Sensitivity. Anticipate feelings and needs of the potential leader.
Touch. Give encouragement – handshake, high five, pat on the back.

People will not follow a leader they do not trust. You must initiate and take responsibility to create trust within your circle.

"Without trust, words become the hollow sound of a wooden gong. With trust, words become life itself." (Unknown, help me with this)

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Networking your Talents and Gifts

 When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, "I used everything you gave me.” (Erma Bombeck)

Normally, I would write the conclusion at the last paragraph, but now I will make a conclusion first before we begin with the contents. This is it - God has already given you what you need to begin to create your future. Don’t waste it; use your talents and gifts before you. No one ever made a success of anything by first waiting until all the conditions were ‘just right’.

Mark Elliot Zuckerberg is a brilliant student who always enjoyed developing computer programs, especially communication tools and games. (#1, I wonder if he ever comes to Christian Fellowship at Harvard? #2, He might be brilliant at computer programs stuffs, but does he play sports?) On 4th February 2004, he launches Facebook as from his Harvard dormitory room. At first, it started off just for fun; but after that it slowly gaining much popularity, Facebook has become hits in social networking site. He and his co-founders Dustin Moskovitz, (Soon Eduardo and Chris joined them) started their first office in Palo Alto, California.

What seem to be a ‘hobby’ ‘for fun’ things, he did not waste his talents just to benefit himself. It is my own conviction, provided that I never know him personally; his purpose is to develop a social network that can help people to connect with each others.

On June 2004, Peter Thiel is the first investor for Facebook with USD$500,000. Then on May 2005; Accel Partners invests USD$13 million and November 2007; Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-Shing invests USD$60 million in Facebook.  According to MYC! News, ‘on 21st July 2010, Facebook reached the 500 million-user mark. Today, “Zuck” owns 24% of Facebook Inc. at the tender age of 26’. He had become a young billionaire. Now Facebook is used all over the world. (Except Syria, China, Vietnam, and Iran have banned Facebook.)

Everyone have their own gifts and talents- some have many, some have few but everyone have it. Some may not become a billionaire, but everyone can contribute by positively using theirs’ to create a better world for people around them.

Some may not have talent as significance as Mark Zuckerburg had, but even as simple it appears to be, your talents can always bring benefits to others. A mother who know how to calm a baby, a father who know how to tell good stories to his children, a writer who wrote a great books, a caring person who always give encouragement to others and all of this and many more- use your gifts and talents to achieve your dreams, to benefits others and above all, our main priority is to glorified God, the Generous Giver.

What would you do with your gifts? To whom your talents will be use?

P.s: Correct me if my facts about Mark Zuckerburg is wrong.
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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Helping Hands needed!

According to The Star newspaper on 30th January 2011, ‘Floodwaters cut off communications between a number of towns in Johor, Negri Sembilan, Pahang, Malacca and Sabah while more than 46,000 people were evacuated to relief centres Monday, in a repeat of the major floods which occurred in 2006.’

Many religious bodies, NGOs, student volunteers and individuals had come to help flood victims for gotong-royong (co-operate, work together) to clean up their house. I believe that most of us would like to help them but due to our works and other responsibilities may limit our time to give a helping hand. Have you ever asking yourself, ‘What could I do to help them?’ after you finish reading a newspaper or watching evening news about victims of wars, natural disasters, poverty or human trafficking around the world? or perhaps around your area?

If you are thinking like me; ‘I want to help them all’, ‘I want to change the world’ etc. perhaps you may want to reconsider a fact, that I’ve simply forget that everyone around us need help. The question is not how massive my action must be, but ‘am I willing to demonstrate Jesus’ love by releasing what is in my hands now?

There is a story about a beautiful statue of Jesus; it was badly damaged by the bombing in France. After the war ended, they begin to repair it. Every part of the statue was repaired but one – pieces of the hands were never found. Some people said, ‘What good is our Jesus without hands?
 That statement gave one of them an idea. At his suggestion, they made a plaque and attached it to the statue with these words: ‘I have no hands but your hands!

Throughout the Gospels, His hands bring healing, help, and compassion to hurting people. Jesus said that ‘as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you did it to me.’ (Matthew 25:40) and ‘whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do…’ (John 14:12) If you can accomplish a massive program to help others please do so, but if you only have a bread on your hands and there is a hungry brother asking for it, give it to him.

You cannot help all of 46,000+ flood victims, but you can help one of them. You cannot feed hundreds of poverty children in Malaysia, but you can help one. Touch one soul one day at the time; you’ll be surprise that within a year you have influence 365 souls per year.

What are your hands doing to help others?

"People never forget that helping hand especially when times are tough." (Catherine Pulsife)

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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A leader both Pray and Act

He’s the strong conscience of the whole Christian world.” (Billy Graham said about Pope John Paul II)

His real name is Karol Jozef Wojtyla, the archbishop of Krakow, Poland. I’m not sure if you can pronoun his name or recognize this man, but if I mention Pope John Paul II, maybe most of you will recognize him immediately. He becomes pope in 1978, the highest office on the Roman Catholic Church.

When I read his short biography in books, magazine articles etc. it amazed me that this small man did much work inside and outside his office. One of his great impacts on the international stage was his decisive role in the collapse of Communism in Europe in the 1980s and he was leading a major influence on spiritual life in Cuba.

In You can be a World Changer published by Honors Books writes, “He has done more than any other pope to mend relations with Jewish people and in 1996, became the first pope to enter a synagogue in Rome since the apostle Peter. In 2000, he publicly prayed for forgiveness for the Church’s failure through the centuries to combat atrocities against Jews, natives Americans, women, homosexuals, children abused by priests, and other maligned groups of people.”

When I read the above quote, I was touch by his willingness to admit the failure of Christians around the world. That is the boldness of a godly leader. He acts, going out reaching people and prays for others. In his private chapel, he would wake up at 6.15am everyday to pray.

When the World are making fun of Church leaders such as pope like him on movies etc, we often forget that being a leader is a serious business in the Kingdom of God. Some may bring out negative images to the world, but I believe most of Church leaders are people that are worth to exemplified. No matter if you’re a Church leader or father to your son; any positions or influence you’re making – remember this: Leader must be prayerful and action oriented person. But first Pope John Paul II said,

Brothers and sisters don’t be afraid to welcome Christ and to accept his power.” 

Christ is always be his first priority.
For more on Leadership, click HERE
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Friday, February 11, 2011

Week 32: Love - 'Love never Fails'

Have you watch animated movie called 'Despicable me'? It is a story about Gru, a genius inventor and a son who is always want to impress his mother. His profession is a full-time villain. He said to his people that his goal is, 'I will be the greatest villain of all time!' And his ultimate plan is to steal the moon with the help of his team, Dr. Nefario and yellow cute minions. On his journey to achieve his goal, Gru encountered another new villain called Vector. ("I'm not Victor any more. Victor was my nerd name. Now I am Vector!")

To cut the story short, he adopts three children; Margo, Edith and Agnes. While the plan is still on; a cold blooded Gru is slowly became a lukewarm blooded villain. His relationship with those kids has softened his heart. One night before the kids going to sleep, Agnes makes an unfamiliar request to Gru, "Will you read us a bed time story?... Pretty, please."
"The physical appearance of the 'please' makes no difference. No!", he said. Well, after a while he finally says yes. The bedtime story is called 'Sleepy Kitten':

Three little kittens loved to play; they had fun in the sun all day. Then their mother came out and said, "Time for kitten to go to bed." Three little kittens started to bawl, "Mommy, we're not tired at all." Their mother smiled and said with a purr, "Fine, but at least you should brush your fur." Three little kitten with fur all brushed said, "We can't sleep, we feel too rushed!" Their mother replied, with a voice like silk, "Fine, but at least you should drink your milk." Three little kittens with milk all gone rubbed their eyes and started to yawn, "We can't sleep. We can't even try." Then their mom sang a lullaby, "Good night kittens close your eyes. Sleep in peace until you rise. Though while you sleep we are apart, your mommy loves you with all her heart."
"The end. Good night.'

As they spent the time together, his already lukewarm heart became tender like a meat marinated with wine. Gru, was a lonely man but now his life has became more alive. After a great adventure together, he wrote a bedtime story for them. 'This gonna be the best book ever!’ said Agnes.
One Big Unicorn by Gru.
One big unicorn strong and free thought he was happy as he could be. Then three little kittens came around and turn his life upside down! They made him laugh. They made him cry. He never should have said goodbye. And now he knows he could never apart from those three little kittens that change his heart. The end.

Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 13:8a, "Love never fails." Never fails, never comes to an end, is never replace by anything else. When it comes to love, a true love, we couldn't stand a chance to be someone who we were before - it changes us. Gru, with all his ambitious to be the greatest villain of all is now became a loving father. What change him? It was love. John Darby comments, "This is the divine character... our relationship with God are in grace. Love is His nature."
Your heart today maybe as cold as Gru were, your life is filled with loneliness and you may have done or planning to do evil instead of righteousness. Lift your hand to Father, He might send you children or little kittens or bedtime story book. You might be surprise when He sent you the 'unexpected gifts' that will change your life forever. About 2,000 years ago, He wrote a love-action story, even better than 'Sleepy Kittens' and 'One Big Unicorn', it called 'The Gospel of Jesus Christ.' This is His first and ultimate gifts.

'God is love' (1 John 4:8) and Paul said 'Love never fails'. This is the same kind of love that they wrote about- Agape love, the love of Christ for mankind. God is love; therefore love never fails because God will never fail you.  
Do you want to receive His love today?

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Am I a Leader?

He said to me, "Maybe what they can do is to minimize the games time and get into the main topic fast." It was a good feedback and I didn't realize the problem until he started to mention it. So I told him, 'Why don't you tell the committee about it.' He said that, 'I'm not a leader and I'm nobody.'

There are times when we are doubting 'Am I a Leader?’ Ken Blanchard & Phil Hodges in Lead like Jesus, definite leadership like this;
Leadership is a process of influence. Anytime you seek to influence the thinking, behavior, or development of people in their personal or professional lives, you are taking on the role of a leader.

Example of those who are engaged in an act of leadership; A mother with a child at any time of day, a husband and wife who seek mutual agreement on day-to-day finances, a local government official who takes an unpopular political stand based on principle etc.

Each of these people is a leader because he or she is affecting or influencing others, either in a positive or negative way. Everyone is a leader in some part of life. It doesn't need position, fame or title to become a leader, It's start (but not only) with the simple desire to serve.  So the next question that we must asked is this, by recognizing that I am a leader, I must ask myself, ' 
Am I seeking to serve or to be served?
That's the question of positive leadership.

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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A 'cry for help' had been ignored

            She smiles like a normal girl. She when to school, a bright and well-behaved student, that's what her teacher said. Maybe she pondered outside the balcony on her 2nd floor classroom, maybe she said, "What would happen tomorrow?" Head faced ground... 'There', could be there.

            'In this life, there's nobody to trust', a familiar quote that she heard quite often in movies and TV dramas. Just maybe. Her walk was slowing down, anxious about life, feeling unworthy about herself, useless, without hope, and sinking into the depths of despair. Maybe, just maybe she thought, "It was my fault... I fail this relationship." Then suddenly, all the promises flashed through her mind one by one until the last one that she really couldn't let go: "I'll never leave you, no matter what... I'll always love you." Well, this is just maybe.
            The next day, she went to school again. This time she ‘wears’ extra smile on her face. She didn't sleep well these few nights, her energy low, tired, pain on her back and if possible; she don't want to met anyone. But that day, she behaved normal. 

            Maybe some tried to play jokes on her; maybe they just don't realize that she loss her weight these few days. Her sense of humor was vastly diminished, being replaced by self pity. She posted: [This would be my last Chinese New Year]. Maybe her friends thought, 'Well of course, Chinese New Year is only once per year, what's big deal about it!' She sees narrow road, not much choice, maybe she can see no way out of this intolerable situation - a lost of hope. ~Suicide~ 'is this the devil's call or my heart desire or this is the way I been looking for? I do not know.' Maybe if she posts another one, her friends will give her encouragements to proceed with this life. No! [Go ahead with whatever you want to do. I dare you.]Maybe just maybe, that was the respond. Her last attempt to gain attention is failed. A 'cry for help' had been ignored.

            Same school, same time, same classroom and same spot where she stand few days ago, a question that was raised her attention resurfaced on her mind once again, 'What would happen tomorrow?'. Maybe she wants to think about this a little bit more. So maybe she sits precariously on the corridor ledge facing her empty classroom... Decided! Without warning, when everybody least except... decided to take her life away. Yesterday she facing down still considering, but this time her face facing the sky determine to put an end to her misery.

            During that brief moment in the mid-air, what happen I do not know, neither of us can. Maybe she regret and wishing to go back to her original position, head faced ground and standing on solid cement instead of faced backwards and suffered fatal head injuries and died. Stupid? Crazy? Unthinkable? Hmmm, that is MAYBE, but is it really stupid, crazy and unthinkable?

I think when friends, the greatest need, a friend who suppose to love and support her as she walk through the dark valley left her alone is the real stupid. As crazy as how she end her life is not as crazy as those who asked her to go ahead with what she want to do is the real crazy. Unthinkable? No, there are a huge numbers of us who think the same way; no way out except end this life. 

What could you say?* You could say 'Accept that as you are at the moment, you are not the best person to decide the way out of your problems', 'Find someone you can trust and talk to them about how you are feeling', 'There is an answer', 'I'm going to pray for you', 'Choose life', 'When you feel ready, let begin to crack the problem together.' If you can't do this, please do not ignore them. Find someone who is trained for counseling.

The bottom line is this; let us together treat people as human being who craving for acceptance and love. Demonstrate it, don't just talk about it. Be prayerful, oh if you knew that the Power of God flow mightily when His Children pray! Don't lift you head and die, lift your head and pray! Keep offer hope and encouragement. Above all put your trust in the One who loves you, and gave His Son to die for you and me.

"I alone know the plans I have for you, plans that bring you prosperity and not disaster, plans to bring about the future you hope for. Then you will call to me. You will come and pray to me, and I will answer you. You will seek me, and you will find me because you will seek me with all your heart." (Jeremiah 29:11-13)
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