Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Pursuit of God is Now!


As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the Living God.
When can I go and meet with God?
(Psalms 42:1-2NIV)
Today there are many people who are hunger after God. Like the psalmist above, people today are longing for Him, they ‘pants for you, O God’. They are thirst for ‘the Living God’. Since I’m writing articles few years ago in my blog, there are quite numbers of people who responds wanting to know God of the Bible more and some even prayed, “I want to be serious with Jesus”.  It’s true. Yes, even as you reading this, you might be on your personal quest in seeking after something bigger than yourself – God!

But unfortunately, most people knew that they needed to know Him more, to have intimate relationship with Him and to be serious with Him but never take an initiative with passionate fire to pursuit Him. They love the blessing but not holiness. They enjoy the resurrection but not the cross. They love the Word but not the Person in Whom the Word is written for.

Come you who thirst, come to the Water… the streams of water that only God can provide. Before you can seek God, God must first have sought after you, and only God of the Bible, where God Almighty just did that in the past through His One and Only Son, Jesus Christ. And what can men do? Men must pursuit God. Men must respond to His offers of Love. Don’t be static in your faith. Don’t just dwell on your basic theology, go deep! A.W. Tozer writes,
“For it is not mere words that nourish the soul, but God Himself, and unless and until the hearers find God in personal experience they are not the better for having heard the truth. The Bible is not an end in itself, but a means to bring men to an intimate and satisfying knowledge of God, that they may enter into Him, that they may delight in His Presence, may taste and know the inner sweetness of the very God Himself in the core and center of their hearts.”
THINK BIG. START SMALL. GO DEEP. Be serious with God!
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Free Book for Month July 2011
I’m giving away 3 books (only) entitled The Pursuit of God: The Human Thirst for the Divine by A. W. Tozer. This 121 pages are the beloved, timeless classic and easy to read book (but take time to digest) is a must read for a serious Christian. Get your copy now!

How to get a copy?
Comment on this post; “Yahoo! I want a copy please.(space)(Your name)” Give me your real name and email me your postal address at motivates4life@hotmail.com for me to send it to you. Finally, read it until your nose bleed! Ok, just kidding… read it ya.
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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Psss… I have a Gossip to tell You~

Introduction;
With only just 4 verses from the Bible, the introduction seems to be enough for me to convince you that the Lord doesn’t like a gossiper. They are like a person who creates the smoke in which other people assume there’s fire.
A troublemaker plants seeds of strife; gossip separates the best friends.” (Proverbs 16:28)
Rumors are dainty morsels that sink deep into one’s heart.” (Proverbs 18:8)
A gossip goes around telling secrets, so don’t hang around with chatterers.” (Proverbs 20:19)
Fire goes out without wood, and quarrels disappear when gossip stops.” (Proverbs 26:20)
Few days ago, I talked with a long lost friend in my village. He asked me very challenging questions,Why my grandma still spread rumors even though she always goes to Church every Sunday? Right after she went out from the Church, she straightaway gossips about others! Why?”
I replied, “I don't know... maybe because she’s not a matured Christian.”

Indeed, a matured person, I don’t care either you’re a believer or not, should know that gossiping is dangerous to both the victims and the spreaders. I know that it’s fun to gossip. It makes us feel like we’re letting others in on our little secrets. Gossip is that which no one claims to like – but everybody enjoys. For example, everyone loves to be in on the latest news. My mother like to watch a local entertainment TV show called Melodi at TV3 every weekend just to get the latest news about today’s artists hot issues. (I was addicted to it too!)

The problem with gossip is that it based on rumors, not facts. The intention of gossip is usually to damage someone’s reputation instead of building it up. Gossip cost more damage than rape cases and murder cases combine! Gossip separates friends, causes much hurt, and puts you in a position to judge others. Gossip also reveals people’s secrets. Frank A. Clark once writes, “Gossip needn’t be false to be evil – there’s a lot of truth that shouldn’t be passed around.”

So what can you do if you’re tempted (which I always fall into) by the gossipers to join in their ‘party’? Here are some practical steps that can be helpful:
·        Stop it by changing the subject (It’s 95% works!),
·        Saying something nice about the person being targeted,
·        Simply stop hang around with ‘troublemakers’, (If you have to eat lunch alone, have less friends or accuse as a ‘freak’; don’t be ashamed! It is much better to do it than to spreading gossip!)
·        Ask him or her – this important question, “Have you talk to them about this matter personally?” If they say, “No” refuse to listen and let them continue.

If you don’t add gasoline to the fire, the fire will go out. So it is with gossips, it will cease once you stop spreading its wings. let the gossip end with you, don't spread it! 1 Peter 3:10 warned us,
The Scriptures say, “If you want to enjoy life and see many happy days, keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies.”

THINK BIG Gossip is hazardous! It’s dangerous! It can kill!
START SMALL Share the Gospel instead of share the Gossip.
GO DEEP Oh man, God hate gossipers!
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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Why those "Monkeys" are on your back?

I had a conversation one day with a student about his problem with monkeys in his college apartment. Monkeys always disturbed his clothes. Monkeys always make noise at odd times. Monkeys always steal his food through open windows. What a chaos monkeys can creates!

But there are another ‘monkeys’ that create much more problem than that. These ‘monkeys’ are what Dr. Kenneth Blanchard, co-author of the One Minute Manager writes in this book, “You are helping your people too much if you take responsibility for the care and feeding of their monkeys.” Monkeys’ in his context are refers to the tasks, jobs or problems that are the responsibility of other people which normally ‘own’ by subordinates, friends etc.

Dr. Kenneth continues, “Like any other pet, monkeys belong with their rightful owners not an adoptive parent.” My friend had to take care of her neighbor's dog named Jumbo. But no matter how much she takes good care of Jumbo, she could never be Jumbo’s real owner. Same as others ‘monkeys’, it’s belong to them not yours. Sometime we create our own problem when we try to put ‘monkeys’ on our back. Right now you probably desire to help someone and you said, “Let me help you”; “let me do it for you”; “I’ll take care of that” and once you’re hooked with their ‘monkeys’, they walks away and behold, without your realization – the monkey (the problem) is yours.

I’m not suggesting you to not to help others with their ‘Monkeys’ (problems). By all means, help if you can, but never… never… never ever take the responsibility of others and make it yours. Dr. Kenneth advices 3 responsive to keep the ‘monkeys’ off your back:

1.     Supportive response: State that you understand the complexity of the other’s problem and that you are willing to talk with them about how they (not you) can get it solved.

2.     Delegating response: Inform others that this is their responsibility, but give them some suggestions they might try.

3.     Coaching response: If you feel others do not have the ability to handle their monkeys, then give them specific directions. Explain the next move, or strategy, that you would recommend, and then supervise what they do.

Never never never ever take care or give bananas to other people’s monkey. And it is such a disgrace when the former owners check in to see how you are doing with their monkeys. Support them, give suggestions to them and coaching them… but don’t keep their ‘monkeys’!!!


THINK BIG Take care of your main responsibilities not other’s monkeys.
START SMALL Identify what you really need to be cared for, returned, or disposed of?
GO DEEP Let go and let God works on their ‘monkeys’ (problems) but allow Him to use you as a supporter, encourager and coach for them.
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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Week 50: Worship - The Largest Broadband in the Universe


Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.” (Matthew 4:10)

If worship does nothing else for us, it helps us discover the things that are important. Real worship will transform your life.” (Warren Wiersbe)
All human beings were created to worship. Everybody looks to something such as power, success, control etc or someone such as human leaders, rock stars etc to give their lives meaning. We may not consider our obsession with these as acts of worship, but they do. I remember when I went to rock band, Deftones live concert in Kuala Lumpur last February 2011; I was soo excited that I fall into idolizing them. (I repent!) Hundreds of young people including myself scream at the stage where Deftones were performing. You probably a fan of professional football or celebrity singers or obsess with cloth brandings, beware, you might worship them.
Another common thing that I better not skip in this short article is that – most of Christian workers tend to worship is their work. Oswald Chambers writes, “The one concern of a worker should be concentration on God… without this… he is apt to get his work on his neck; there is no margin of body, mind or spirit free, consequently he becomes spent out and crushed.” Beware of worshipping your work!

Adele Ahlberg Calhoun defines ‘worship happens whenever we intentionally cherish God and value Him above all else in life. Worship reveals what is important to us.” Richard Foster defines it as “the human response to the divine initiative.” We worship what we value most. We worship what we think all day long. We worship what we invest on every day. Question: What or who do you value most, think all day long and invest to everyday? May you fix your eyes on the One who is worthy of our worship – God Almighty.


Worship is more than just going to Church on Sunday
Heaven’s calendar has 7 Holydays from Monday to Sunday. Worship Him on your Monday class, Tuesday games, Wednesday fellowship, Thursday gathering, Friday hang out, Saturday lunch and Sunday service. Every day is worship day!


Worship connect you with God
The heart of worship is to seek to know and love God in our own unique way. In our unique way I said because we are made unique and therefore, though we are one Body in Christ, we are from difference parts. Your style of worship might be difference from mine. One style of worship is not better than another. The quality of worship emerges from the heart and its focus.


Worship is not based on feeling
I heard sincere Christians said, “I don’t feel like I want to worship God” and “My spirit is not activating yet”. We got it all wrong! Worship is never a feeling; it’s an expression of the heart. So even if you don’t feel like it, even if worship has been discouraging and dry – Go, worship. Go, praying. Go, seek Him!

Worship is a way of life
It honors God when you take time to praise Him whenever you see His wisdom, power, direction, care and love in your life. When worship becomes the way of life, you will find yourself experiencing divine moments with God more and more.


To worship is to change.
If all this while you doing ‘worship’ and your spiritual life never change – then, all this while you’re not really worshipping God. I know it’s a hard statement, but the truth is remaining the same: to worship is to change! Real worship will transform your life!


Worship must be in Spirit and in Truth.
John 4:24 “God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.” God’s nature is spirit and God’s Word is truth. Therefore, place of worship is irrelevant. You can connect with God in worship anytime (not just on Sunday or prayer meeting), anyplace (not just at Jerusalem or Church). And all the most, God’s Word is important!


Come let us worship Him today and forever because He is worthy to be praise! Heaven’s citizen worship Jesus Christ as He reveals Himself saying, “You are worthy, O Lord our God, to receive glory and honor and power. For you created all things, and they exist because you created what you pleased.” (Revelation 4:11)


Related post: Work is Worship (CLICK HERE)
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References,
1. My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers, April 23
2. Spiritual Disciplines Handbook: Practices that Transform Us by Adele Ahlberg Calhoun
3. Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth by Richard Foster

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Friday, June 24, 2011

Come back Home

This article I dedicate to all my friends at UKM Perkeb, Inti Nilai CF and HELP CF. Will be missing you all and thank you for your time, friendship and fellowship. May God bless your ministry in campus.

A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it.” (George Moore)

My home is here. I feel just as at home overseas, but I think my roots are here and my language is here and my rage is here and my hope is here. You know where your home is because you’ve been there long enough. You know all the peculiarities of the people around you, because you are one of them. And naturally, memories are the most important. Your home is where your favorite memories are.” (Pieter-Dirk Uys)

Have you felt this way before? When you grow up, home is a place you wanting to leave but once you grow old, home is where you wanting to get back to. If you have a family or at least a place called 'home', both of us knows that home is not the one tame place in the world, it is the one wild place in the world of rules of ‘do-and-don’t’ and a set of tablet stone of tasks such as make up your own bed, wash your own clothes or clean your own plate after every meals.

But never the less, home is where the heart can laugh without apology and shyness. Yes, I’m going back home to my hometown soon. Kuching is a place like no other. No amount of salary can separate me from my home. No bribe can keep me from voting to stay in Kuching. No other foods can compare my desire for fat, oily, high cholesterol and unhealthy foods in Kuching. If God clearly call me to go to other place, I’ll go but since He’s still silent about this – I’ll definitely stay!

May I ask; are you longing for home? Don’t you miss the place where you grow up? I heard someone said, when you finally go back to your old hometown, you find it wasn’t the old home you missed but your childhood. It’s true for me, I miss my childhood. Home is where our first childhood experience develops. Are you longing for home?

But perhaps some of you may not miss your 'home' that much. You feel like you don’t belong here on earth. Well, what you feel or longing is so much real than the reality is. Brothers and sisters, your actual home is not here… your home is with our Father in Heaven. You and I can’t fully enjoy this present place of what we called ‘home’ because the truth is God ‘has planted eternity in the human heart’ (Ecclesiastes 3:11). If you think that here on earth is your eternal ‘home’, I advise you to wake up! Hebrews 13:14 highlighted this truth, “This world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come”.

Heaven is where you belong. Jesus Christ is our promise-Bearer. Father is who you going to meet. Holy Spirit is the one who will convince you that by the Grace of God through your Faith in Christ – Heaven is your eternal home. Christians, mind you, our goal is not merely to reach Heaven but the real purpose of redemption is to be with Him who saves us from our sins. Home is abides in Christ. Home is when you see Jesus face to face. Are you longing for Home? I hope you do now.


This world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come.” (Hebrews 13:14) THINK BIG. START SMALL. GO DEEP.
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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Are you ready?

Are you REALLY ready?

I’m the type of person who likes to ask questions or curious about something, dig it out and get the information as much as I want until I feel satisfied. Most of the time, my family realized of my "curiosity’’ attitude until they feel ashamed of going shopping with me because they know I would ask the promoter as much question as I want before I buy any of the products. 
My curiosity leads to my concern about human’s attitude or reaction. There is one issue really attracted my attention, ‘Because of love, people change’.

The love I mentioned above is love of attention, love of money, love for fun, love for filling the leisure time and many more.

Let’s examine two cases which happened around me:

Case 1:
My colleague, 37 years old. She has been married for 12 years, has a beautiful daughter. As for the first day I met her in my office, she has informed me that her husband and her is just like a friend, not more than that. It strikes my curiosity but I refused to ask because we just met. In the end, after few weeks, knowing each other, she poured her worried and insecurity on me about her married life problem (for your concern, I didn’t digged it out, she just shared it with me, maybe because I never asked but she can see from my curiosity look or she just need somebody to talk). As she concluded, their married problem caused by her workaholic husband. Therefore, she is having an affair but recently, they just broke up. She cried over her ‘bf’.

Case2:
A friend of mine, 18 years old. Beginning of the year, our church mate met or ‘’kutip’’ or saved him while he was drunk at the bus stop nearby the church. Now he just started to be with the youth, serving church by cleaning up the church compound, following the priest for house prayer , etc. He has a good family background, he comes from a very wealthy family, and his dad is the richest Iban man in miri. However, if you ever meet him, he doesn’t look like one, his wear rugged clothes, which only 1 pair of jeans he wears almost everyday, with untidy hair and face. His rugged look attracted me to ask of the cause of all these. He answered me, ‘a girl destroyed my S.P.M, caused me to drink and smoke. I wear all this because I don’t want any girl easily attracted to me’. The funny part is, despite the fact, he proclaimed his life was destroyed by a girl, currently; he is dating a high school girl.

From this two cases, I concluded, human long for attention, feel happy when things get perfectly happened and seek for fun in order to love.

Mind me; I am not judging their life. Their life, reminds me of my own. I felt the same way and reacted the same way whenever faced familiar situation. 
I read a book about a lady (Elizabeth Gilbert), struggle to get out from promiscuous and misery life. She lost everything inside her heart, she cried thousand of time, lost her weight, and wrinkles attacked her facial in her early age. But from her book named ‘eat,pray,love’ stated she managed to faced it by not relying on attention and perfection from any man. Then on her another book, after ‘eat, pray, love’ , named ‘Committed’ stated, she decided to get married after few years of ‘ Eat, Pray,Love’ published.

Because of love, people change’. For better or worst. Elizabeth quoted from an old man while she was traveling in Bali, Indonesia, saying ‘Don’t look at the world with your head but with your heart even if you stumbled with your hand and knees on the ground

As for me, because of love with my heart, I use my head to look up on people who needs to know the truth about love. I’m trying my best not to seek any attention or perfection from any man anymore like before ( because I believe God will provide me the best man ever to be in my life,) but I want to do the best to help my friends around not to fall on their knees while their hand covered their head while saying in their heart ‘love sucks’.

HERE IS NOT ADVICING, EVERYONE TO GIVE UP ON LOVE, but questioned yourself and be curious about: DO I REALLY READY TO LOVE?

Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth— for your love is more delightful than wine. (Song of Solomon 1:2)
To be involved with someone life and be one with them is a lifetime process. While you are deciding to say ‘I do’ , start to love others, your colleague, your not-so-closed friend, your favorite shopping mall’s cleaner. "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13 NIV). Love is not based or from your spouse only. Love is God, by God and for God. 
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. (1 Corinthians 13:1-3)
One sweet Sunday morning, I curious about someone daughter dared to betrayed, shouted or disrespect her parent in although she is one of the regular church goer since her childhood, my dad answered me with a question, ‘How do you want to love and respect your parent if you don’t love or respect God? ‘. ARE YOU READY TO LOVE GOD?
Jesus said to him, 'You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' (Matthew 22:37–39 NKJV)

P/s: Lets us love each other without condition. Focus on our real meaning of love, everybody do mistakes, correct our partner with love but never provoke them. Ladies, with the existence of condition and expectation, thats when we tend to compare or seek for better element from other man. Don't ever try to compare, that is considered as mentally cheating.



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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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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

You are Only Young Once

We are only young once. That is all society can stand.” (Bob Bowen)
A person is always startled when he hears himself seriously called an old man for the first time.” (Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.)
This is just a picture :)
 Her walk was rather slow motion; I think a crawling baby is much faster than her. Both her legs shaking not because music Mambo No.5 was played but because of her muscles and bones start to ‘rusted’ slowly in her body. Her Indian-English accent worst than my Iban-English vocabulary when she asked me,
What is your name?
Richard”, I said. “What?” she moved her left ears toward my loud-respectful-soft voice,
What is your name again?
Richard!” “Oh, Richard the Brave?!” she added my name title without my permission. Since she loves it and I like it very much – I agreed to let that name ‘stick’ permanently to her mind. Our conversation held in a wide dining hall where most of the oldies hang around during tea time. The place called St. Mark Cozy Home where, you know, old folks ‘flocking’ together. It was a wonderful place and as wonderful as it is, my conversation with Granny (not her real name) was much more wonderful than that.
I love war movies,” I sparked her interest. She said, “I love it too.”
Have you watched Titanic?” I was digging the old time favorite’s movies to her. She nodded once she recognized some and most of the time she would stared at me as if I’m saying some sinful things to her. But along the way she managed to ‘conquer’ our conversation. She talked about her life, family, previous jobs and experiences. Most of her lecture I wish I never asked but one particular discussion I will never forget for the rest of my life.

You know what?” she said as she touched my hand. I know that she will answer her own question eventually, so I kept my mouth shut and start to focus on her lip when she continued,
There are so many things that I want to do… but I can’t. [She paused] I want to do this but my hands failed me. I want to run and walk faster but my legs limit me. I want to do so many things… but I can’t. I’m old. I’m old

I observed that her mind is still alert because she’s a vivid reader. She can trace back many memories from her mind-bank account but her body is weak – old as Proton Saga not like she used to be like gorgeous Myvi today. She looked at me in the eyes and said,
You’re still young. Do what you want to do. Do anything you want and enjoy your youth while you still can. One day, you’ll be old and weak like me… lives your life for the Lord.”

After that, everything she said to me previously started to fade away but never this nugget of wisdom: “You’re still young… lives your life for the Lord.” Then I remember the Word of God through the Preacher, “Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the day of your youth. Walk in the ways of your heart and the sight of your eyes.” (Ecclesiastes 11:9) Yes, enjoy your youth while it’s still yours. Don’t waste it! You are only young once! Now you can move, move freely. Now you can work, work cheerfully. Now you can do something – do something significant! Let Granny advised echoes in your mind, “You’re still young… lives your life for the Lord”. Remember, it’s much profitable for you to invest your life for the work of the Lord.

 The preacher continues, “But knows that for all these things God will bring you into judgment.”Remember this too...
THINK BIG. START SMALL. GO DEEP.
You are only young once, lives your life for the Lord.

P.s: This is one of my valuable experiences during SWEEP'11 (Social Worker Exposure & Embracement Program)  that I recently participated. It was held by FES Malaysia on 6th to 19th June 2011. 

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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Why should you be afraid? Why should you tremble?

The Lord is my light and my salvation – so why should I be afraid? The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble?” (Psalms 27:1)
King David was a mighty man. Throughout the Bible his life chart goes up and down. Faces many challenges, oppose by many enemies and oppress by many trials. In this psalms, he emphasized on his triumphantly confident prayer to God to deliver him from all those who conspire to bring him down. Zondervan NIV Bible Study comments on verse 1-3, “The king’s (David) security in the Lord in the face of all that his enemies can do.”

As much as we want to think that our confidence comes from our physical circumstances such as how good we look or how many academic certificates hanging on our living room’s wall, the truth is, it is our inner assurance that God is by our side that makes all the different. When you begin to lose confidence in God, go to his promises in the Bible. That’s why I advice those who want to build their confidence must first seek the Scripture. You can trust the Bible because the Holy Spirit assured us through Paul’s writing that “All the Scripture is breathed out by God…” (1Timothy 3: 16) God’s Word is our ultimate confidence. With Him by our side, we can boldly (confidence also can be translated as boldness) step out in faith to do His work.

When you face trials, troubles and temptations from the enemies, remember His Word;
The Lord is my light and my salvation – so why should I be afraid? The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble?

Yes, why should you be afraid?
Hey, why should you tremble?
THINK BIG. START SMALL. GO DEEP.
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Monday, June 20, 2011

Week 49: Back to School of Laughter

After God created the world, He made man and woman. Then, to keep the whole thing from collapsing, He invented humor.” (Guillermo Mordillo)
Happy is the person who can laugh at himself. He will never cease to be amused.” (Habib Bourguiba)

The poorest person in the world is the one who has lost the art of laughter. One day at Petaling Street, I saw a beggar laugh out loud when another fellow mate cracked a joke. But few steps away from their place, a man with tie and shining shoes was on call - shouting angrily and his face was sour as lime juice. As I ponder upon this two events right in front of me, I concluded that laughter cannot be brought or earn. Laughter belongs to everyone and everyone can laugh as long and as loud as they can. Laughter is one of human right.
 
I know that the Bible says that “Sorrow is better than laughter…” (Ecclesiastes 7:3 ESV) but you see the Bible also states that there is a time for everything, “a time to weep, and a time to laugh.” (Ecclesiastes 3:4) Laughter is not a crime. Laughter is a tranquilizer with no sides effect. Modern men and women today have become so mechanized; serious face 24-7 and even if they laugh it either forced or artificial (a.k.a. plastic). Don’t miss the fun of laughter. Don’t ever forget how to laugh! Victor Hugo once comments, “Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face.”

Have you heard an old time saying that “laughter is the best medicine”? Studied had proved that laughter can stimulate the immune system in our body. To laugh is to cure. Late Norman Cousins in his book, Anatomy of an Illness, testified on how he used the therapy of laughter to help him overcome a crippling disease. When he was in his hospital bed, Cousins didn’t watched T.V. program, instead he watched old Marx Brothers films and ‘Candid Camera’ shows. He was laughing naturally and genuinely. Doctors confirmed that salutary effect of laughter on his body had stimulate his body chemistry and thus, gave him pain-free sleep etc.

Richard Foster writes, “Why not! Jesus had a sense of humor – some of his parables are positively comical. There is even such a thing as ‘holy laughter,’ a frequent phenomenon in various revival movements… but whether God gives us this special grace or not, we can all experience times of wholesome laughter.” He continued, “Learn to laugh; it is a discipline to be mastered. Let go of the everlasting burden of always needing to sound profound.”

It is my habits to laugh and find something to laugh at. When watching movie I always prefer to watch comedy/funny movies rather than horror movies. I love to laugh together in the hall with hundred of strangers than to scream together. Laughter is a powerful thing! If you really want to improve your happiness, learn to laugh! The Scripture says that “He who sits in heavens laughs...” (Psalms 1:4), don’t you think that laugh is one of God’s natures too?

Come… let us go back to 'school' and learn to laugh again.


THINK BIG Laugh is free
START SMALL Laugh freely
GO DEEP Laugh is like a grace – shines on everybody.

References:
1.     Reader’s Digest Quotable Quotes; Wit & Wisdom for Every Occasion.
2.     Energy for Life audio by Anthony Robbins (interview with Norman Cousins)  


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Mother Teresa 'The Slum Sister'

One of the most influence biographies that I ever read is Mother Teresa; her real name is Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu born on 26th August 1910 in Skopje, Yugoslavia. She decided to become nun at the age of 12 and she said to receive the calling to serve the poorest of the poor whom she gave the term ‘call within the call’. 
At one point she served in Missionaries of Charity, Delhi, India where most of the time she working in the slums of Calcutta. That’s her ‘favourite’ place to hang out I’m suppose. When asked to what extend she would go, she said, ‘If there are poor on the moon, we shall go there too!

There is one time of her early ‘career’, where people called her ‘the Slum Sister’ which she responds positively, ‘I am glad to be just that for His Love and Glory’. When she saw how difficult it is for her leprosy patients to come from a far, or from the slums, she said ‘We must go to them. We must not stay behind our walls’. Can you imagine how I felt when I read this on a big comfortable cool library? Yes, offended.

(Don’t stop reading)

When asking about money she said, ‘Money, I never gives it a thought. It always comes. We do all our work for the Lord. He must look after us. If He wants something done, He must provide us with the means, and then it shows that He does not want that particular work. I forget about it." Then, she added, ‘The money I get is not for business. It’s sacrifice money. The people who give it sacrifice a lot. They buy cheaper clothes, go without meals.’ Upon this she also refers to the Hindus and Muslim’s families who helped her for shelter and helping hands. (Fact: MOST Muslim people are so kind that if you ask for help, they love to do it.)


Like many women I knew, she easily melds by children. “For me, even if a child dies within minutes, that child must not be allowed to die alone and uncared for. Even an infant can feel warmth. This is why a dying child must be loved and comforted”, “If there is an unwanted baby, don’t let it die, send it to me!” As I continued reading she said, “I cannot give the love a real mother can give, but I have never refused a child. Never, not once, each child is precious. Each is created by God

(Please continue reading)

In her Nobel Peace Prize lecture, Oslo in 1979, as if she addressed this message to Malaysia regarding to incident few months ago, when she said that she believed that the greatest destroyer of peace was not war but abortion. Abortion was a ‘direct war’, murder committed by the mother herself. Many people are very concerned with child of India, with the child of Africa where quite a number die, maybe of malnutrition, of hunger and so on, but millions are dying deliberately by the will of the mother. If mother can kill her own child, what is left?


She continued, ‘We are frightened of nuclear war. We are frightened of this terrible new disease, AIDS, but we are not frightened to kill an innocent child. Today I feel abortion has become the greatest destroyer of peace... I feel that the poorest country is the one that has to kill the unborn child. They are afraid to feed one more child, so as to enjoy a few extra pleasures.’ Wow, that’s bold! Like what Dr John Maxwell said “none of the people move a muscles when she giving this message”, everyone at one point or another was offended (please imagine who were the attendance that day) including me and you I’m suppose.

(Begging you to keep on reading)

When Navin Chawla, the first writer of her biography, interviewed one of her thousands of volunteer about how much they have helped Mother Teresa. The volunteer said, “We had no money in the bank, so we sold our car. These things are not important. Life is more important. What the children give to my wife and me cannot be compares with anything material... some people say we are a little mad. I tell them that we invest in children”.


There’re many wonderful journey of her life that are very inspired. Most importantly, she walks the talk. She sees what others need; seek guidance from the Lord and go. Not everyone can do what she does but like what Camp Cameron teaches me during Lectio Divina, ‘The smallest good deeds that are base on the Love of God is significant in God’s sight’.


Mother Teresa, 87, died on 5th September 1997 due to health problems. She born as Albania, live as “the Slum Sister”, died as Indian, and lives again as a child of God. Besides all the prestige people said about her, she constantly refrain that she, herself, is nothing, I’m merely a Pencil in the hands of God.


Your Writer,

Richard Angelus
on Wednesday, June 16, 2010 at 5:19pm (Revised and Updated)
THINK BIG. START SMALL. GO DEEP.
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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day - A Day to Remember

A good father is a little bit of a mother.” (Lee Salk)
Listen to your father, who gave you life…” (Proverbs 23:22)
 I love this quote very much, “My father didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.” It’s true for my father. He loves to talk but never a long whining preaching. He gives advice only if necessary. He lived a simple life and watch him doing it makes the word ‘simplicity’ simple. Nothing is more precious a father could give than to give his children space to make mistakes and enduring failures. When I make mistakes or surrounded by failures, father always be the last person to say anything but always be the first person to utter words of encouragement.

I remember when I failed my English paper for UPSR trial exam (You got to understand that in our family circle, failing English paper is not a big deal – it is expected!) his responded very wisely. That evening after work, he started his Yamaha motorcycle put on a cute little helmet on my big head and rides us to nearby mall. What he does after that was quite amazing – we climbed to 3rd floor and alas, a big signboard highlights the place for us; “Popular Bookstore” and behold he brought me a big red Malay-English dictionary as a ‘present’ for my failure. I’ll never forget that moment. Instead of punishment, he gives encouragement. Instead of criticism, he gives none. Instead of telling me what I should have done, he just told me what I should do about it.

Well, father is not always being a good husband and role model all the time. Occasionally, they do make mistakes. Sometimes, they can be irresponsible. My father is not far from that fact of life. He is now gone. But deep down inside every father’s heart (as far as I know), they love you very much. When I was hanging around with a group of drunken adults, I listened carefully what they were talking about. (Tip: Almost always men will tell the truth when they get drunk.) One of them, a construction worker telling us that he loves his children very much, “I may not have much money for my children, I may not have car to send them to school and I maybe too stupid to teach them anything but with all I have; I give it to them. I love my children very much.” Now stop judging him for being drunk... the point is- he is willing 'with all I have, I give it to them." What more can a wise father wish for his children?

Fathers, we want to wish you a very happy father’s day.
We love you very much.
Thank you for "giving us life".

Related topic:
1. Knowing God as a Father (Click HERE to read)
2. Dad... by Priscilla (Click HERE to read)



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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Dad...

Your dad might not be around anymore or your dad might not be the best dad ever but you were born with the genetic material of a father. 
Proverbs 23:22 "Listen to your father, who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old."
Not to boast or comparing about this issue, personally, I have the best dad ever. My parent is not the perfect parent to be displayed in any reality shows but they are the best for me because they pray for my sisters and I. Without their prayers, I won’t go far.

My recent accomplishment:

1. My S.P.M (Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia or O-level public exam) result did not get me into any of the government higher education institution.
2. My STPM (sijil tinggi pelajaran Malaysia) can be considered failed.
3. Thus, I had to attend foundation program in a private college.
4. I was qualified to further my degree but still not the government universities because my result was not fit for the quota to enter government universities.
5. As for now, I’ m a graduate with a very humble result. With my humble result, I managed to overcome the best scorer student back in my university with a good job and good company.

All the listed events I have gone through my years of studying, if I was walking alone, I would have fall back. I was determined to keep moving with the swift of invisible powers. It was my parent’s prayer. I just knew they were praying hard for me after my graduation, when my dad was giving his testimony at a house gathering.
Proverbs 17:24, "A discerning man keeps wisdom in view, but a fool's eyes wander to the ends of the earth."
Every time I received my results back in schools or university, I usually cried on the phone with unsatisfied spirit. But my dad, he always said ‘you have done your best. We put the rest unto God’s hand. Be thankful’. He never titled me as a ‘failure’ even if I never achieved his expectation. He is even proud of me, he attended my graduation, printed my graduation pictures to be displayed at home, he shared his gratitude with his families and friends, etc while at the meantime, I still feel my accomplishment was not enough.

Let’s take this week, as a child, we pray for our parents, especially our dad to commemorate the Father’s day celebration on Sunday 19th June 2011. We do not have gold or money to present to God for the better health for our dad but we have our heart, God hears our heart cries. “I offer you more than your earthly father ever could. Matthew 7:11”

Happy father’s day to all the men in the world, to be father, single guy (training to be dad) and a father. Do enjoy your day.
 ......
Link that Priscilla recommended, click HERE (Knowing God as Father)

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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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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Week 48: Slowing - Slow down Tiger!

One of the great disadvantages of hurry is that it takes such a long time. (G.K. Chesterton)
Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life trying to save. (Will Rogers)
Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom. (Psalm 90:12)
Today is my off day. I think that the best time for me to spend this precious moment is to read, write and relax. For the last few days, I forget to slow down my pace. “Buzz buzz buzz…” my alarm clock rings:
Morning: Hurriedly I wake up, brush my teeth, bath, drink a cup of water, skip breakfast, and get to work. 
Afternoon: Lunch; faster biting those meats and chewing that vegetable, drink my coffee and get back to work. (Oh even as I sit down, I still thought about work…)
Evening: 15 minutes instant dinner, get back to work, sit down but still doing something, lying on my bed sms’ing, get back to work, meeting for a while and sleep.
… And the circle goes round and round again for the next day. "What a busy day", I said to myself. Then I stop; take a deep breath and slowing down. Then this verse comes to mind, “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10) “Be still” can also be translate as “Enough!” or “Stop! Life is too precious to miss, and the faster we go the more likely we are to miss what really matters. Maybe you’re too hurrying – “enough!” Maybe you’re too busy –“stop!” Maybe you’re soo fast –“be still!”

Yes, slow down tiger! You need to slow down. Unless we break the addiction to busyness, hurry and workaholism we can savor the moment we are in now. It is here. And it will never come again. Busyness in your life overcrowds your mental resources. When you need to sit down and relax, your mind rather wondering around, “Oh, I forget to check my e-mails”; “I wonder what my friends’ comments about my Facebook post this morning”; “Where is Sally? She promises to call me!” Thus, you can’t experience the present moment –now. The faster we go the less we become. The hurry we become the less things we done. And no matter what, we certainly don’t become better people in haste. If your life is always busy, you may miss God’s guidance and His present in the moment. Friend (or rather tiger), God is telling you to ‘be still and know that I am God.”

"Slow down,
you are missing the scenery..."
Peter Kreeft writes, “If you can’t take time to do nothing, you’re slave to doing. Doing nothing is a radical, revolutionary act. It frees you from the universal slavery of our age: slavery to the clock. The clock measures doing but not being.Slowing is always a counter culture in our society today even in Malaysia. When you do things slowly people thought that you’re lazy, unproductive, wasting time and less enthusiastic. It can be true sometimes, but you see, there is a time for everything – a time to hurry up and a time to slow down, a time to get busy and a time to relax, a time for urgency and a time to be patient. Dallas Willard observed, “Though Jesus saw his work in lives of others as urgent, he pursued it patiently.” We ought to do the same.

Here are few things that I practice (not always but frequently) to discipline myself in the art of slowing down;
·        Take time to get out from my office or room and take a slow walk outside,
·        Make myself a cup of coffee and sit in a chair doing nothing,
·        Speaking more slowly,
·        Pause before respond or speak,
·        Chewing slowly when eating,
·        Look at a picture or scene and savor the moment,
·        Take extra longer shower,
·        Breathe slowly and deeply,
·        Read slowly,
·        Getting enough sleep… etc.
 Are you now in a busy mode? Are you addicted to hurry, rush and ‘Red-bull’ moment? What if you choose to do things slowly, can you savor it? Slow down tiger! God doesn’t demand constant activity; he desires both productive activity and refreshing rest. Get busy and slow down. Urgent and patient. My favorite author Adele Calhoun defines “Slowing is one way to overcome inner hurriedness and addiction to busyness. Through slowing, the sacrament of the present moment is tasted to the full.” God of the Bible makes it clear that we need time to slowing down, ‘Be still and know that I am God.” Slow down tiger!
THINK BIG Hurry cannot make our future faster,
START SMALL
Trusting God’s unhurried time schedule,
GO DEEPThrough slowing, the sacrament of the present moment is tasted to the full.”
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References:
1.     Zondervan NIV Study Bible,
2.     Reader’s Digest Quotable Quotes; Wit & Wisdom for Every Occasion.

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Sunday, June 5, 2011

Week 47: Teachability - How teachable are you?

If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.” (Mark 4:23NIV)
 “The Lord of the dance summons us to the floor, and it takes time and discipline to learn the steps, to cease tripping over own feet and to experience the obedient freedom of following God’s lead.” (Craig Dykstra)
 One day I was given an opportunity to speak in a small gathering. At first I was very uncomfortable with it because most of the people in the room were highly educated, some were older than me and most of them as far as I’m concern were very good in their Bible knowledge. Throughout the session, most of them don’t really focusing on what I’m trying to say. Some were sms’ing, some don’t even bother to turn pages, and others were talking with one another. After I finished my sharing, only one comes back to me and said, “Thank you, I gain so much from you.”

Teachability is the desire to remain a lifelong learner. Have you met or known anyone who is highly educated in their academic but never really want to listen to your suggestions, ideas or any outputs from you? Or have you encountered someone that no matter how wrong they had been, would never take your advice to turn from their error? We know many of them. They remain static in their spiritual life. They maintain rather than maximize their openness to learn. They thought “My way is right, you’re wrong.” I was one of them and perhaps you’re on that list too. Come let us humble our heart, together we learn to be a teachable person.

In Spiritual Disciplines Handbook, Adele Ahlberg Calhoun defines “Teachability is a propensity and openness to learn from God no matter who the teacher or what the experience may be.” I like it when she said, “no matter who the teacher”. How often we try to skip learning from someone unknown to us? Hey, God’s speak through anyone He likes; poor or rich, academically educated or none-educated, young or old – everyone! If only we would open our mind to the fresh wind of the Holy Spirit to ‘melt’ our hardhearted we can be wise rather than just knowledgeable. 

Here are some of points that you can practice in the discipline of Teachability:
1.     An appropriate openness to new ideas, opinions, styles and people
2.     Curbing the know-it-all attitude
3.     Asking questions that lead to deeper God awareness (For example, what new things have I learned about God in the last month?)
4.     Listening more, talking less
5.     Refraining from snap judgments based on appearances

To be teachable is to learn to open to the Holy Spirit’s doing a new thing. We become more perceptive listener, a more eager to learn, develop humility in us and overtime, we becoming more aware of harness of heart. When we aware of our short coming and realizing that after all we don’t know everything, it’s easier for us to say “I don’t understand about this, can you help me?” “Oh that’s really helpful. Thank you.”

If you’re familiar with the Bible, you might have read dozen of times when Jesus said, “If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.” Jesus is constantly looked for teachable people. Adele writes, “Jesus was passionate about those with ears to hear. He was attracted to those who willingly admitted how much they didn’t know. People who could lay aside their prejudices and entertain something new were often the recipients of Jesus transforming word. Jesus is still looking for teachable disciples.” May I ask – How open and teachable are you?
THINK BIG Being a lifelong learner
START SMALL Will you let go some of your own opinions, your words and your biases for the sake of learning something new from God through others?
GO DEEP ““If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.” (Mark 4:23) 

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Reference:
·        Disciplines Handbook: Practices that transform us by Adele Ahlberg Calhoun. Published by InterVarsity Press. (pg. 82)

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