Thursday, March 31, 2011

Start with What You Have

Every time after finished reading some inspiring books, I used to think that ‘hey, I want to write something that will inspire others too!’ Initially I was fired up, flame above my head and my enthusiasm level reached it full signal. Then few hours later, after having a hot refreshing coffee, TV breaks and cool shower - my fire down, no more flame and enthusiasm level drastically decrease below empty signal.

I let hesitation and procrastination keep me from doing anything about it. Maybe some of you have the same internal dialog that goes like this: ‘If only I had this… if only this were different… if only I had more money, idea, resource, then I could do what I want to do.’ I hesitate because I always questioned myself, ‘Am I able to motivate or inspire or encourage others to live their life to the fullest? Am I qualified to say those words to them? Would my average readers who have a much better educational backgrounds will ever consider to read articles from a much lower education and village-born guy whom they didn’t know?...’

Toxic! Toxic! Toxic! This is a toxic thinking! Procrastination is the symptom, hesitation is toxic, and fear is the problem. Never let what you don’t have keep you from doing what you can do with what you have. You may have no voice to sing, but you have hands to play instruments. 2 years ago, a friend came to me after Church, ‘Chard, I don’t know how to lead worship in the Church, I don’t know how to do Bible Study for Sunday school… I’m useless.’ he said. I replied, ‘Man, you can be the best usher in this Church tho.’ Yes he does! Almost every Sunday morning whenever I came to visits his church, I saw his white teeth and heavy handshake welcoming congregation. And more, now he playing guitar for worship service in his church. (I heard that he’s leading Bible Study every week too.)

We don’t need more strength, ability or great opportunity, what we need is to use what we have. I don’t have impressive master degree or PhD, but what I have is a passion to add value to others. I don’t have a great mind to utter brilliant thoughts, but I have books and people to refer to and I get my ultimate inspiration from the One who creates my brain. Start with what you have, not what you don’t have.

John L. Mason writes, ‘Don’t waste time in doubts and fears about what you don’t have; spend yourself in the task before you, knowing that the right performance of this hour’s duties will be the best preparation for the years that follow it.’ He then quotes, “Grow where you are planted. Begin to weave, and God will give the thread.” (German Proverbs)

Remember: THINK BIG don’t focus on what you don’t have, START SMALL start with what you have, and GO DEEP for what you have is a gifts from God. Use it mightily for His Kingdom.

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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Day 3: Alone with God

But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.’ (Matthew 6:6)
But when you pray...’ this verse suggests that God expecting us to pray. John Piper in his audio podcast Desiring God said, “God doesn’t say ‘if you pray’ but ‘when you pray’. He clearly wants us to pray and always expecting us to pray.” Dear readers of Motivate for Life, pray! Pray! Pray!

God sees everything we do, and He will reward our prayer done in secret. As Jesus’ followers we are not to make a show of our prayer like the hypocrites does. On previous verse, Jesus said, ‘And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men.’ Original word for hypocrites is hupokrites, which mean an actor under an assumed character (stage player). Have you seen someone dressed religiously pray in public places? Or group prayer in your local television channels? And you know that they acting doing it? That’s hypocrites!

‘…go into your room’, Jesus said. Room here refers to ‘storeroom’. My NIV Bible Study comments ‘… it is because; it had a door that could be shut.’ This does not mean that He’s condemning public prayer. But by praying in the private our motives is clear from pride and hypocrisy. During our Student Camp at Cameron Highland, my friend Enoch has a habit that he can freely pray during his shower. He closed the door, took his shower and prays.

J. Oswald Sanders in My Utmost for His Highest writes,
Prayer is the effort of will. After we have entered our secret place and have shut the door, the most difficult thing to do is to pray; we cannot get our minds into working order, and the first thing that conflicts are wandering thoughts. The great battle in private prayer is the overcoming of mental wool-gathering. We have to discipline our minds and concentrate on willful prayer”

Pray in secret. Shut the door and pray. His promise is this, “Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.’ Our goal in prayer is to have an intimate relationship with Him. Never pray just for the sake of receiving His reward but seeking the One who give it. My Father sees, my Father hears, my Father knows. Take time to be alone with Him.

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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Day 2: The True Worshipper

But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth. (John 4:23-24)

Where and when is the right time to worship God?’ that was my question when I was a new Christian. I thought that the only place I can worship God is in the Church and only on Sunday morning. The words ‘But the hour is coming, and is now here’ is simply means – not here or there only, but at all times and in all places. This is the privilege that the Lord had offer to us. Even 7-Eleven though there are many did not really open exactly 24 hours and as far as I know, there don’t have any store in the midst of Borneo jungle! D.A. Carson comments, ‘The prophets’ spoke of a time when worship would no longer be focused on a single, central sanctuary, when the earth would be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.’ This is the time!

Who are the true worshippers? “The true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth.” These are the worshippers who know the Father. They are those who truly and sincerely worship God, and they do it with the heart, and not merely in form. ‘…for the Father is seeking such people to worship him.’ It is amazing that the Father is the one who initiate the whole process for us to worship Him. He is seeking you and me. It’s not the matter of - did He really seeking me but it’s a matter of how do I respond to Him.

Oh this is how lovely our God is! I imagine that my earthly father went looking for me ‘Richard! Richard! Come!’ While he knew that I was hiding somewhere under my bed, it’s up to me to come out of it and hug him. True love doesn’t force. So it is for us to worship Him, it’s a volunteering work.

‘…must worship in spirit and truth’. In spirit because ‘God is spirit…’ it means that God is invisible, divine as opposed to human beings ‘unless He chooses to reveal Himself’ as D.A. Carson puts it. Just like He initiate to seek us, God had also made possible for us to know Him through Jesus Christ. Andrew Murray writes ‘The worship in spirit is the worship of the Father in the Spirit of Christ, the Spirit of Sonship.’ In truth because Jesus is full of grace and truth. He said regarding Himself, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’ (John 14:6)

To be a true worshipper we must worship Him in spirit and truth. We are carnal and cannot bring God the worship He seeks. Therefore, Jesus has given us the Spirit and enabling us to worship Him at all times and in all places!
Come, join me in this journey of prayer.

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Monday, March 28, 2011

Soren a Dreamer!

It was Sunday night, a Sabbath day for me and my housemates to rest and take time for leisure moments. We decided (actually I just chipped in without permission) to watch an animated fantasy movie Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole. It was an excited movie about a band of owls who dare to believe that the legendary group of owls the Guardians of Ga’Hoole is still exist and only they can save them from the evil scheme of the Pure Ones, the evil owls clan.

Soren is a fledging Barn Owl. He is also a dreamer. He believes what his father; Noctus said about a story or rather myth passing from one generation to another. I love this scene when they first learning how to fly, Soren somehow doing much better than his older brother, Kludd. ‘If you don’t mind, Kludd,’ he said, ‘I can tell you how I do it.’ ‘Alright, tell me how you do it~’. “I just imagine and dream that I’m in war with the Guardians of Ga’Hoole… flying with all my strength…’ Soren is a dreamer. By the end of the movie, his dream finally comes true. He lives what he dreams to become.

Walt Disney said, ‘All your dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.’ Don’t limit yourself, dream big dreams. Soren starts and finishes with a dream. This is not sleep and dream I’m talking about, this is wake up and dream. Wake up; declare war on compromise and procrastination. Consider your purpose and get out of mere existence mode. Enjoy your life. Pursue excellent rather than perfection. Wake up and dream!

Pat Mesiti tells us How to Find Your Dream:

• Know who you are: be yourself
• Work on your inner qualities
• If you don’t have a dream, find a need and fill it
• Identify your strengths
• Speak your dream into existence
• Develop other people
• Have fun
• Choose faith, not fear
• Keep your dream alive and GO FOR IT!

Remember, THINK BIG be a dreamer like Soren, START SMALL learn to ‘fly’ by imagining your dream comes alive, GO DEEP make your dream significant for the betterment of others.

Related Link, click on the title:
Week 23: Determination - I have a Dream!

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For better or worst?

People been hustling and swaging to love and be loved. I bet 90% of the congregation skipped the part when the preacher talks about ‘’surrender everything to God, He will do the rest, you better get rest’’. 

The action of putting God first in everything we do is just not the biggest quote ever to be accepted by anyone who is in love or broken-hearted. I was, been there and done that. I’ve been going through unstable relationship within 13 years, YES LONG JOURNEY INDEED BUT IT STILL GOING TO BE LONG ENOUGH because I am not married yet. The point is: I am a different person, as for now I am making a decision to be ‘’on the hook’’. 

Why I use ‘hook’ as the idiom?
Hook here refers to having a permanent ‘standard’ to move on after years of disappointment. My standard is God’s direction. I have downloaded my ‘GPS’ app from God-get as He installed it in my smart-life. Wanna try ? :P

Why do I emphasize too much on God’s direction?
Let us see Abraham’s life because he was the most faithful prophet whose listen to God’s direction very well (Hebrew chapter 11). One of the parts we are going to discussed is about his 2 sons: (Click picture to enlarge)

It got to my sense God was unjust between Isaac and Ishmael. As I did the comparison, there is nothing much different. Both of them were in difficulties, loved by Abraham and choose to be the covenants with many children. However, Ishmael was born in usual way compared to Isaac was born because of God’s promise to Sarah and Abraham. 

How does Abraham story apply on relationship matter?

Although without God’s direction, each of us will still going out for dates and have fun holding hand with our partner. I can write down the list of our ideal’s partner the whole night or enter and escape different relationships to gain experienced until I decide who to marry or even serving the church for God’s mercy to fix my relationship problem but I never feeling captivated by the love I was created or defined to soothe myself. 

God’s choice was based on His call not on anything we had done (Romans 9: 10-16). While I was out of God-GPS, I never been as happy and as free as I am now. I was emotional disturbed while searching for instant comforts but it happens to be just INSTANT comforts indeed. I surrender my future unto God, I do not even want to imagine the ideal guy whom I will married too, I am enjoying the day I am still a single lady (single here refers to not married yet status). 

I had wasted my time worrying too much about spouse or couple relationship issue but now I have decided to be ‘on the hook’, it bring out the priority to be back to the basic which is more time to spend with my families, friend and myself. They are in the circle of relationship line too. Therefore, there is no reason to neglect families and friends when we have blessed with a partner.

Remember this: For better or worst, before I say ‘I do’ to my bride, I would sign-in God’s direction application to be installed in my heart for easy access to hear His voice.
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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Day 1: The Only Teacher

One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray’ (Luke 11:1)

His disciples were with Him all this while and had seen Him pray. He is the Master in the art of prayer. Albert Barnes’s Notes on the Bible in my E-Sword writes, ‘Luke has taken notice of our Saviour’s praying often. Thus, at his baptism; in the wilderness; before the appointment of the apostles, he continued all night in prayer; he was alone praying; his transfiguration also took place when he went up to pray.’ No wonder his disciple asked him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray.’

When I was in school, I’m very poor with the subject of History. I just don’t get it why I should study about someone whom I didn’t know and why border to remember dates at all? (Do you still remember when was the date for Parameswara founded the Malacca Sultanate?) It was different for Beatrice, she loves to study History. She can ever remember names, places and dates. One day I came to her and said, ‘Beatrice, teach me how to study History.’ She taught me very well and I got a better result on my exam compared to my previous year.

I knew that I shouldn’t ask Sammy to teach me. He was also quiet slow and History was our worst subject. I must ask the right person. Just like Jesus’ disciples, they asked the right question, ‘Lord, teach us to pray’ to the right person: Jesus. Andrew Murray writes, ‘We can most joyfully say, “Who teaches like Him?” Jesus never taught His disciples how to preach, only how to pray.

Having realized that my prayer life is weak and I knew that faith without prayer is useless – I surrender. I couldn’t develop this wonderful yet quite difficult discipline without His help. The true method of praying can be learned only by our being properly taught. Indeed, we cannot pray acceptably at all unless God shall teach us how to pray.

Teach me to Pray 
by Henri Nouwen

Every day I see again that only you
can teach me to pray,
Only you can set my heart at rest.
Only you can let me dwell in your presence.

No book, no concept or theory will
ever bring me close to you
unless you yourself are the One
who lets them become the doors to you.

But Lord, let me at least remain
open to your initiative.
Let me wait patiently and 
attentively for the hour when you will come
and break through the walls I have erected.

Create new doors.
Teach me, O Lord, to pray.

Come, join me in the School of Prayer and asked Jesus, the Son of God to teach us how to pray. ‘Lord, teach us to pray.’  

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Welcome to the School of Prayer

This is a 31 days series of short note on prayer. Imagine that you and me alone in closed door. Burger King on your hand and Vanilla Coke on mine, your eyes look at me and my ears fix to the vibrations that come from your mouth. Then you ask, 'Richard, how is your prayer life?’ I would squeeze my coke can, head bow to the ground and shamefully tell you... 'Very bad... huh.. not good’. Now, if you have the same answer like mine, you may want to join with me in this journey to discover and learn this highest part of the work entrusted to us - 'the root and strength of all other work... there is nothing we need to study and practice more than the art of praying.'   
I’ll be using chapter titles from Andrew Murray classic book, With Christ in the School of Prayer. All of the contents in mine but I may quotes some of his writing to strengthen my point. I hope and pray that these 31 simple notes might help us to start our journey in becoming a warrior in the work of prayer.

I welcome your constructive critics, positive comments and valuable thoughts with open heart and mind. May we make prayer as our highest calling until the day Jesus comes again. God bless you. 

Click titles below to Read
Day 4: The Model Prayer
Day 5: The Certain Answer to Prayer
Day 6: The Infinite Fatherliness of God
Day 7: The All-Comprehensive Gift 
Day 8: Prayer must be Persistent 
Day 9: Prayer Provides Laborers
Day 10: Prayer must be Specific
Day 11: Faith that Takes 
Day 12: The Secret of Believing Prayer
Day 13: Prayer and Fasting 
Day 14: Prayer and Love
Day 15: Power of United Prayer
Day 16: Power of Persevering Prayer  
Day 17: Prayer in harmony with God
Day 18: Prayer in harmony with destiny of Man
Day 19: Power for Praying and Working
Day 20: The Chief End of Prayer
Day 21: The All-Inclusive Condition 
Day 22: The Word and the Prayer


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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Week 37: Attitude is Everything!

Manage your attitude right. Macho mean you are able to deal disaster and failure with a right attitude. (Goh Keat Peng) 
Many times the difference between your accomplishment and your failure is your attitude. (Zig Ziglar)
Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference. (Winston Churchill)

For sure we cannot tailor-make the situation in life, but don’t lost hope on it, we still can tailor-make the attitudes to fit those situations. While browsing books at HELP College’s library, I read a brief quotation by the great psychologist-philosopher William James, ‘The greatest discovery of my generation is that people can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind.’ Whenever I see myself in a mirror (especially big one) I said to myself: You may not be able to change your height or appearance, but you can change your attitude.

Dr. Caroline Leaf, author and learning specialist, said: “Behavior starts with a thought. Thoughts stimulate emotions which then result in attitude and finally produce behavior. This symphony of electrochemical reactions in the body affects the way we think and feel physically. Therefore, toxic thoughts produce toxic emotions, which produce toxic attitudes, resulting in toxic behaviors.” The process is this; thoughts – emotions – attitudes – behaviors.  What you think about something determines what you do about it. Life is more about how you react to your circumstances than about what actually happens to you. I heard a preacher once said, ‘The Bible doesn’t suggest being joyful or generous – it commands it!

Build your Great Attitude by using THINK BIG, START SMALL, GO DEEP model.
1.      THINK BIG
·        My faith in stronger than my fear.
·        I’m determine and willing to pay the price to gain great attitudes.
·        I won’t allow tomorrow’s troubles to sap my today’s strength.

·        I choose to associate with the right people (and still loving others as well).
·        I choose to select a great attitude model to follow.
·        I choose to learn from my mistakes.

3.      GO DEEP
·        I receiving my daily strength from God’s Word.
·        I receiving my motivation by the power of prayer daily.
·        I receiving my drive to show great attitudes by continually being filled with the Holy Spirit.

Recently, I finished reading book by late Keith Harrell, Attitude is Everything. He said that attitude is 100 percent of everything you do. ‘Remember that real wealth is measured not by what you have, not by where you are, but by the spirit that lives within you. Success is an attitude.’ According to our alphabet system, if you assign a numerical value to each letter (1 – 26), attitude will equal 100 percent. (Refer table on the left)

The bottom line is this: a genuine attitude as a believer must be originated from within. Mine is Christ. For every good that shows in my life is from Christ not mine. The Scripture said, ‘The Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. If you serve Christ with this attitude, you will please God.’ (Romans 14:17-18) Attitude is Everything! Remember: THINK BIG, START SMALL, GO DEEP.
Added later;
By Pastor Chuck Swindoll

Words can never adequately convey the incredible impact of our attitude toward life. The longer I live the more convinced I become that life is 10 percent what happens to us and 90 percent how we respond to it. I believe that single most significant decision I can make on a day-to-day basis is my choice of attitude. It is more important than my past, my education, my bankroll, my successes or failures, fame or pain, what other people think of me or say about me, my circumstances, or my position. Attitude keeps me going or cripples my progress. It alone fuels my fire or assaults my hope. When my attitudes are right, there’s no barrier too high, no valley to deep, no dream too extreme, no challenge too great for me.
Recommended reading:
1.      The Winning Attitude by John C. Maxwell (Thomas Nelson Publisher)
2.      Attitude is Everything by Keith Harrell (Collins Business)
3.      30 Days to a Great Attitude by Deborah Smith Pegues (Harvest House)
4.      Paul’s letter to the Philippians.

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Friday, March 25, 2011

People are not Alike

 “Share our similarities, celebrate our differences.” (M. Scott Peck)

Right now I’m listening to my favorite rock band Incubus in their Monuments and Melodies album, I always amaze by their music arrangements and the way they writes their lyrics. If you watch their live music videos you’ll find that they can play difference kind of music instruments. When I reflect on this, I realize that, just as all kinds of instruments strengthen their music, so it is for people with different gifts and perspectives make any team stronger. Don’t let differences causes us into confusion, conflict, and tension; rather see it this way: ‘It is often through such diversity that the most progress is made.’

Ancient Hebrew philosopher, Joshua son of Sirach writes, ‘Every human being was made from the earth, just as Adam was. But the Lord, in his wisdom, made them all different and gave them different tasks.’ People are not alike. I’m blessed to be in a team of difference kind of people, educational background and the way they think and diversity in gifts and talents. For example when my team come together to solve a problem or to brainstorming ideas; their differences are necessary to ensure that all angles are thought through, new ideas introduced, rough ideas sharpened, and in the end made a decision which can be agreed upon.
I find out that my life, my relationships and even my spiritual life can became stagnant if I ignore or detest the differences of others. You might never hear any songs from Incubus but think of one of your favorite rock band etc. To make such wonderful music, these masterpieces can only be produce from difference kind of music instruments. God made people different but the beauty of it is that through these differences He can make us work together to create a wonderful ‘song’ for people to ‘hear.’

Don’t allow differences to set your team members against each other. Strive to use their differences to bring them together to accomplish more than you ever thought possible.’ (Ronald A. Beers) Ask, how can I use people’s differences to strengthen my family bond and my team?

Remember, THINK BIG - teamwork result is far better than individual could have achieve, START SMALL by focus on how their differences can be work together and GO DEEP for each person is uniquely created.

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

God loves Everybody

When I was studying at UiTM Samarahan, there was a friend who always joining us for gathering in campus. Whenever he came, most of us would find a way to avoid him. He is a kind of man who would pollute the positive atmosphere by his negative auras. His present alone would make us want to commit suicide (at least for me). And when he speaks, his words are like a poison to our soul. What amazing was not because he managed to join us for the whole semesters, but it was a miracle because we can survive with him around! Have you met anyone like him? John Doe or Jane Doe or both?

When I recalled back this story, I discovered that it was not because of how good we are that we’re able to survive when he’s around… none of us were. It was a Christian Gathering that we attend. It’s a place for the broken, the joy giver, the weak, the strong, the poor, the rich, the dumbest, the smartest, the sinner, the righteous, the blur, the player, the pessimist, the optimist etc. We are one people gathering together even though we’re from difference kind of backgrounds, ethnics and languages… we serve the same Lord and Savior: Jesus Christ.

God loves everybody. Because of this fact, we are able to love the unlovable and show kindness to everyone. If you abide in Him, He will abide in you. St. John said, ‘Dear friends, let us love one another, because love comes from God.’ (1 John 4:7)

John C. Maxwell in his another great book entitle Encouragement Changes Everything (Thomas Nelson 2008, page 74-78), writes about someone who fell into a pit and couldn’t get out – and how others treated that person:

A subjective person came along and said, “I feel for you down there.”
An objective person came along and said, “Well, it’s logical that someone would fall down there.”
A Pharisee said, “Only bad people fall into pits.”
A mathematician calculated how the individual fell into the pit.
A news reporter wanted an exclusive story on the person in the pit.
A fundamentalist said, “You deserve your pit.”
A Calvinist said, “If you’d been saved, you’d never fallen in that pit.”
An Armenian said, “You were saved and still fell in that pit.”
A charismatic said, “Just confess that you’re not in the pit.”
A realist came along and said, “Now that’s a pit.”
A geologist told him to appreciate the rock strata in the pit.
An IRS worker asked if he was paying taxes on the pit.
The country inspector asked if he had permit to dig the pit.
A self-pitying person said, “You haven’t seen anything until you’ve seen my pit.”
An optimist said, “Things could be worst.”
A pessimist said, “Things will get worse.”

Jesus, seeing the man, reached down and took him by the hand and lifted him out of the pit.

God loves everybody. If we claimed to be his Children, our love should not be just words and talk; it must be true love, which shows itself in action.

Remember this; THINK BIG because His love is available for anybody who want to receive Him as Lord and Savior, START SMALL by showing your love for God in a practical ways - every time, everyday, everywhere and in every situations. GO DEEP in His Word, ‘I am giving you a New Commandment: Love each other, just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.’ (John 13:34-35)

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Make your skill a Masterpiece

What is the difference between Instant 3-in-1 Teh Tarik and Mamak Teh Tarik?* If you’re Teh Tarik lover, you can easily recognize which one is better. What make the different? Skill! Did you realize that sometime customer service at KFC was lousy but at another time it’s a great experience? Why? Because some display a great customer service and some don’t. That does require skill! My mom called me one evening ‘It’s an emergency’, I was told. She asked me whether I can fix her sewing-machine. At first I try my best to do it, but as you know I don’t have the skill to do such thing.

Skill is important. For example, Young David had a skill in throwing stone with slingshot. What a massive weapon of destruction, is it? ‘Are you kidding me?’ No, the Scriptures said so. His opponent is Goliath, a Palestine champion warrior. Height about 6-9 inches, he was tall, big, wore bronze armor that weighted around 125 pounds, using bronze helmet and legs shield, ‘and he carried a bronze javelin slung over his shoulder. His spear was as thick as the bar on a weaver’s loom, and its iron head weighed about 15 pounds’ (1 Samuel 17:6-7) Oh before I forget, he also had a big big shield. At this point, the winner is surely belonging to Goliath. But the Bible said the winner was the opposite? David. His tools? Shepherd’s stick weighed just like my mother household broom, 5 smooth (and silky) stones, a bag and his favorite sling.  

Ting! Ting! (bell ringing) Round 1:

He reached into his bag and took out a stone, which he slung at Goliath. It hit him on the forehead and broke his skull, and Goliath felt face downward on the ground. And so, without a sword, David defeated and killed Goliath with a sling and a stone!”
(1 Samuel 17:49-50)

First round and he won the battle. Even though his skill is insignificant, but he develops it day by day. What is your skill? If you have found it, sharpen it very often. Abraham Lincoln said, ‘If I only had an hour to chop down a tree. I would spend the first 45 minutes sharpening my axe.’ You can use your skill to produce a masterpiece. Use it to discover your potential and apply it to benefits others too.

Zig Ziglar in his podcast audio interview on his spiritual journey told a wonderful story,
A son asking his father, “Who is the brave one: Goliath or David?
His father answered, “Well of course David, my son. Can you see that Goliath (telling the entire story)... David stood up and he won the battle. What do you think?”
Dad, I think it’s Goliath. He fight the battle alone”, his son replied.

One of David’s advantages was not only his marvelous slingshot skill; it was not only his dependable on years of practice and application, it was his trust in the Lord. Goliath has many skills but he fight alone, David was with God. Identify your skill, develop it day by day and wait for the Lord to use it for His Glory. 

Remember this, THINK BIG for God had already installed His Gifts of skill, talent and potential in you,  START SMALL by developing your skill everyday and GO DEEP for skill without God is 'dead' (Goliath) but skill with God will surely win. (David)

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Monday, March 21, 2011

Do you fear ghost?

I watched a TV show today discussing on the topic of ‘Ghost.’ The host of that show asked the actress about her experience while shooting a scene in a grave on her latest movie where she acted as a ghost. This funny shining head TV host asked, ‘Have you encountered any paranormal activities while shooting this film?’ She answered, ‘Yes, one day right after my director said ‘cut!’ suddenly my bones chilled like something cold had passing through me. Everyone behave weirdly and I was wondering what is happening… only later they told me that there was something or rather someone was standing next to me and they managed to record it on the camera… I was scared to death.

Have you experience any paranormal activities? I was so scared when I was young. I always asked my mother or father to be my bodyguard outside toilet while I’m doing my ‘business’ fearfully. Why such a fear? Perhaps they heard many ghost stories from others; family, friends, books and movies or from their own experiences.

One of the major causes of this unnecessary fear is that almost all of them love to watch horror movies. One of the basic principles in the universe is this; What a man sow, that shall he also reap. It can be applied in many way. When you feed your mind with horror movies, guess what come out of your imagination? Happy? Inspired? Motivated? Of course no, what you’ll get are negative images that create unhealthy imaginations.

Personally, I don’t believe in the existence of ghost, but I believe that evil spirits does exist and they will always trying their very best in their short time on earth to draw our attention away from God. Don’t fear ghost or anything that is not powerful enough – fear God. Yes, fear Him alone. In Psalms 33:8, ‘Let the whole world fear the Lord, and let everyone stand in awe of him.’

Fear God is not the same as being afraid of God. Fearing God means being awed by his power and goodness which will draw us closer to him and to the blessings he gives. Because God is so great and mighty, and because he holds the power of life and death in his hands, you should have a reverent awe of him. Instead of bombarding your mind with horror movies (Malaysian movie makers will hate me for this.) or some other similar negative influences, why don’t filled your mind with the Word of God. If you sow positive and inspiring Word of God in your life, this is sure – a guarantee from Heaven that you’ll reap His divine leading in your life.

Fear Him alone. Prophet Isaiah recorded God’s promise in chapter 41 verse 10, ‘So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.’ What a promise!

Remember; THINK BIG by fearing God only, START SMALL by feeding your mind and soul with His Word precept upon precept everyday and GO DEEP in your relationship with Jesus. Be inspire and inspired others!

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The gift of Unhappiness

The whole world was in shocked after receiving CNN, BBC or friend’s tweets at about the Tsunami happened in Japan. The whole world starts to watch their news on TV for the latest video podcast on the disaster. The whole world starts to check their families and friends list in case anyone is in Japan for vacation or working with Japanese companies or studying at the Japanese institutions. The facebook’s shoutout post starts to flood the homepage walls tagging each other to check if anyone is doing fine.

At the meantime, at the small corner of a room located at the rugged street of Pujut 5, Miri (Malaysia) where a girl was facing the moment of silence. It was not a moment of silence of prayer for me. It was a moment of shocked as known as SPEECHLESS moment. I tried to watch the news via but the coverage for the internet was down. In addition, most of the news was in Japanese language. I ended my curiosity with sighs, off my laptop and slept off the night, still, with SPEECHLESS thought.

After the Tsunami incident, my mom just lost her brother in law, he died without we knowing the sickness, he was just visiting my another uncles at my mom’s village, sitting down at the dinning table while talking with the rest then out of consciences, he fainted and died. Last weekend (a week after the tsunami), while we were having our youth camp, we received another news about death. The death of our previous church brigade’s captain, she is a wife to my family’s doctor and she is a friend to my parent. For the matter of privacy, I may not publish here about her death story. All I can say, it was mystery, shocking and ANOTHER speechless moment for me.
Deep down of my heart, I never questioned or blamed God about the incidents because in Matthew 4: 7 says ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test’. I am trying my best to be patience about the surprising news; on the other hand, I yearn for answers or understanding about it.
Out of this SPEECHLESS moment I am having, I learned about a bigger view about human’s life on earth. 

I called it ‘The Gift of Unhappiness’’
(Inspired by Max lucado’s book titled ‘when God whisper your name’’)

1.       Unhappiness because I am dissatisfied. Why do I dissatisfy?

I used to be very stressful about certain aspect in my life every time it is not happening to my plan. With the minor knowledge I have about God’s plan for me in this earth, I believes nothing in the restaurant or shopping mall could satisfy my stress. There must be something or somewhere my satisfaction would be clear. I worked, I read books and articles about it just to rebuild to do right things in the next hour and to ‘reap the bountiful harvest’ of my life in the future, until, I put aside the most important aspect which is ‘’this world and my life is not mine’’ because we are ‘’like a foreigner and strangers in this world’’ (1 peter 2:11).

2.       Unhappiness because I have not reach the destination. Where is the destination?

As I understand my dissatisfaction about life on earth, I still wonder the element which triggered my determination to move forward not to give-up. Long time ago when I first ‘received’ Jesus I asked God to send me His Holy Spirit to guide my wisdom and knowledge about life, so do ‘’God has planted ETERNITY in the hearts of men’’ (Ecclesiastes 3:10).  Though I did ignore Him, I can’t because as Max Lucado stated in his book, ‘’our heart song won’t be silenced until we see the dawn’’. There is a funny phrase I read (which I forget where): ‘Everybody wants to go Heaven but nobody wants to die’. 

3.       Unhappiness because I have not go beyond my bed. How should I start?

The continuous catastrophe events on the earth lead to the choice I am making, I may not be an expert in any skill to write or design new house for the tsunami victims but I choose to be EQUIPPING like Moses. He was prepared to climb on the Mount Sinai to meet and ASK God to lead the Israelites to the Promised Land (Exodus 33). I am asking God to mold my gifts to bring happiness.

Many stories and sermons preached and warned people to wake up and take action on their faith due on the disasters and deaths happened. Everybody is proclaiming the end of the world is near. 

Let us not be stingy and greedy with our faith. Do not just focus in building self life just to get a place in Heaven but let us rebuild other people’s life as well. Lets ‘’ live as God’s slaves’’ (1 Peter 2: 16). No matter how good is our knowledge in Bible, our house, new car or new career, it is just a ‘rented’ life. Let us ASK God to use us as his vessels to rebuild the tsunami victim’s life and to restore the grief of the widows and orphanages. 

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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