Wednesday, September 28, 2011

When Mr. Criticism knock your Ears

If what they are saying about you is true, mend your ways.
If it isn’t true, forget it, and go on and serve the Lord
.”
(H.A. Ironside)

Sometimes a constructive criticism is necessary, but most of the time it is better to left it unsaid than to let it out and make things worse. Here is my suggestion: be a selective hearer. Whenever you hear someone say words that smell like a bad-rotten criticism shut your ears (I’m just using figurative words here but it can also be literally applied).
Twice I did good, and heard it never;
Once I did evil, and heard it ever.”

But when you hear a constructive-right-motive criticism, take note and take your time to examine it. It could be a sign that God may want to confront you of your sins, faults and wrong doing – it is good for your soul.
“God uses critics in our lives to help us see our pride,
To teach us true humility, to change us from inside.”

I once read a short biography of Dawson Trotman, founder of the Navigators. He had a good method for handling all criticisms directed at him. No matter how unfair the criticism might seem to be, he would always take it into his prayer closet and in effect spread it before Lord. Then he would say, “Lord, please show me the kernel of truth hidden in this criticism.

Brothers and sisters;
THINK BIG Criticism is a spice of Life – expect it!
START SMALL Be a selective hearer.
GO DEEPIf people speak ill of you, live so that no one will believe them” (Plato)



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My best friend is my best!: "Friend without Benefit" (Part 3)


Part 3: Friend without Benefit

There is a movie called ‘’Friend with Benefit’ where Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis are the main hero and heroin. I haven’t watched it due to my busy days and the movie just not worth of my RM6 (pirate CD price) or RM9 ( Miri Starcineplex ticket fee).


This is the synopsis I read from websites, the benefits:


1. Jamie (Mila Kunis) is playing nice to Dylan (Justin Timberlake) by bringing him to the whole city just to get a signature for recruitment contract for GQ Magazine Company.


2. Dylan is being the true friend to Jamie which they indicate it as ‘’no feeling attached’’ relationship but commitment to make each other feels good. So they kissed and make up although their label is just friend.


3. Jamie got dumped by a guy after few months of dating. She ran to Dylan for comfort but this time around she has the feeling on Dylan but not Dylan.


4. Dylan got Jamie’s attention to replace his fear on being attached so he maintain the ‘’friendship’’ by introducing Jamie to his family. To make Jamie stay with him.


5. Jamie realized she is facing the most stupid situation so she left the ‘’friendship’’ she has with Dylan after figured out Dylan is still not having any feeling on her.


6. Jamie turned to be workaholic to get Dylan out of her heart. Well, she is still getting the commission from her company as long Dylan never get out of GQ Magazine contract.


7. (Alright I'm tired to summarize the movie, so lets end it with this happy ending ...) In the Dylan, being the gentlemen approached Jamie back, get on his knees to date Jamie for real with feeling and commitment attached.


As I listed the synopsis down, I get tired to summarize it because its way too complicated to put it in 1 phrase. This is how we live our life today; we complicate the simplest and sweetest part of our life, friendship. We can laughs and critics on this movie storyline but not to forget, it has to be based on real true life experiences, so it’s real. It might happen in your friendship too without we realized.


I have plenty male friend. I can name them here:

2009; from left-
Yahya, me and Peter
1. Pete Khamis- Tanzanian
2. Mohammad Yahya- Iranian
3. Emmanuel Itanyi- Nigerian
4. Mc Goven- Malaysian/Mirian
5. Dominic Jenna- Malaysian/Mirian
6. Richard – Malaysian/Kuchingian

And so on..I have more male friend than the female. It’s all because of my personality, rough and tough but still feminist. My Male friend and I never have complicated definition of friendship. It’s all about love.


When I was with no money back in my University's life, Peter and Yahya is the one feed me everytime I’m hungry. When Peter and Yahya are sick, I always cook and nurse them.


When I was down, Emmanuel and Dominic is the one makes me laugh with their ridiculous joke. When Emmanuel and Dominic is having problem with their assignment, I usually assist them.


When I do not want to go on the date alone, Mc Goven usually join in to meet my date to be the eyes. When Mc Goven have family problem, I always be the one who listens and pray for him.


When I have curiosity, I usually ask Richard. He answers me with the simplest clarification so that I understand. When Richard needs thought about ladies or women, I always share my opinion via this blogs or just s.m.s.


There might be some element where it ‘give-and-take’ involved in my friendship with the boys but it’s never to get any benefits for selfish reason. The selfish reason here means when only one side is satisfy with the friendship.


Jamie and Dylan story is way out the life God wants us to be in. For more explanation the sex and make-up point, do refer to (
Week 60: Sex - Save it for the Best! CLICK HERE to read).

Differentiation in gender and preferences are not supposed to be the barrier in friendship. If your girl friend or wife or fiancé who has closed male friend, please do not stop her to maintain the friendship. This world is not only belonging and run by you and your partner but it need to be complete with other pieces of life.
 ....
Click HERE for Part 1: Knowing your Friend’s Quality
Click HERE for Part 2: Toxic Friend
..........
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, September 27, 2011

Living Together (but not married)

“Living together without the commitment of marriage is setting for far less than God wants for your life.” (Rich Wilkerson)
People today are hopelessly confused about their sexuality. For vast numbers the word 'love' means nothing more than a tumble in some bed.” (Richard Foster)

Mary’s face (not her real name) projected ‘something is wrong’ expression. She holds tight to her 10 inches text book as she walked her way toward me. It was during my campus day. I was sitting, cursing the hot weather. Ice-cream was on my right hand and book opened but never read was on my left. She checked either her boyfriend was around – she sensed no aura of his present, so she started to talk.  
Richard, I want to tell you something.”
As I licked that yellow ice-cream ball, I nodded my head.
Me and my boyfriend are staying together since last semester. There are 3 rooms in our renting apartment. We are staying in one room. You know that we’re not married, right?
Again, I nodded my head. 
Her eyes signal “please-hear-me-but-don’t-lecture-me” so I keep silent. She continued,
We are committed to each other, we’re in love with one another, we will get married soon, I guess. But I don’t feel right about living together~
And then she stopped talking. She walked away. Within 5 seconds she disappeared. I was hot from the outside (due to heat of the day), cold in the inside (due to ice-cream) and left alone; clueless.
……………….
At this writing, as I remember the scent, I wonder what would my answer be if she added some questions at the end of her short ‘heart-pouring’ session such as; what is wrong with living together? Is God upset with what we are doing?
Living together has become more and more common in our society today. In the past, such case is consider rare in Malaysia setting but nowadays it is common and wherever we go, if we really open our eyes (and ears) – we can see that the case is growing fast and wide; even among Christians. It broke my heart…
…………….
What is wrong with living together?

In the beginning, God intended for man and woman to be together (see Genesis 2). Man was thrilled with God’s creation and has been finding fulfillment in woman ever since. There was no minister to perform or marriage court to legalize a wedding ceremony – but the Lord was there. And that was enough for both of them.

Mary said, “We are committed to each other…

Christ’s love is agape love. It is unselfish, unconditional, and pure. His love, my friends, reaches to us in complete commitment. Rich Wilkerson writes, “Living together without the commitment of marriage is setting for far less than God wants for your life.” To be committed means to end up your relationship into marriage. My ex-colleague and life-long friend, Mark Leong once declared, “I will marry my girlfriend”. Now that is commitment! Living together as a trial, to know if the relationship will work out or for the purpose of experimenting is a deathly wrong. When things go wrong, a relationship without commitment can simply split up. And since there are no strings attached, no responsibilities can be assumed with both parties. And normally, girls, you always be the one who bare the most consequences.

Mary also said, “We’re in love with one another...

Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians 4:3, “It is God’s will that you should be holy; that you should avoid sexual immorality.” It is almost impossible for man and woman who is in 'love' with one another and living together in one room can ever avoid sexual immorality. The Word of God (in case some of you might not aware) has made it clear that sex outside the commitment of marriage is fornication, which can be plainly explained and simply translated as – SIN.

Again, Scripture outlined God’s command (not suggestion) in 2 Corinthians 7:1, “Let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.” His command is always for our own good. He commands because He loves you so much that He wants only the best for your life. Living together without marriage can bring you pain and a broken heart. Moreover, living together is sin, and it breaks the heart of God.

Mary said, “We will get married soon, I guess.”

I assumed that every couple who are living together has every intention of getting married. But intention is not enough. The question I never get to ask Mary is this; “Why haven’t you?” Rich Wilkerson wisely advice, “If this is the man (or woman) God has provided to be your marriage partner for the rest of your life, why wait? If, however, you are living together because you are unsure about him (or her) …perhaps you had better do some serious praying and seek God’s will in this matter.”

But I don’t feel right about living together.”

Living together with your boyfriend or girlfriend is always not right. Don’t trust too much of your feeling, trust God more when He said, “avoid sexual immorality”. Stop it! Make a decision to respect yourself and God’s Word through repentance. Purify yourself from fornication. Living together is a sin. And God hate sin! John the Baptist screamed in the wilderness, “Repent!” Jesus Christ started His ministry by saying, “Repent! Living together is a sin. Period.

Last words:
If your boyfriend (or girlfriend) is unwilling to go God’s way, break off the relationship. You! You make a u-turn to God. Repent and He’ll receive you. The Lord loves you and wants the very best for you.
And Mary, Jesus only want the best for you. 

 THINK BIG. START SMALL. GO DEEP.
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Monday, September 26, 2011

How to Get Along Better with People

If you treat a person as he is, he will stay as he is. But if you treat him as if he were what he ought to be, he will become that bigger and better person.” (Johann von Goethe)
Some people possess an unseen but sense-able quality that draws others to them like magnet. They may not have the look but they have the ‘thing’ that draws people to them. They’re more than just likable, they are irresistible. They can easily get along with others… and sometime you may wonder; Are they ‘gifted’, ‘lucky’, ‘blessed’ with personality traits that spell success without effort? Read these words as a loud shout: “Not for a single second!!!”

One of the natures of my work is meeting people; lots of people. Therefore, I have to learn and practice my skill in human relations. Sharpen it, fuel it and cultivate it. It doesn’t come naturally for me at first, but over time as I learn to love others and invest in relationship; it comes to me ‘automatically’. It’s doesn’t mean that everyone will like you or everyone will respond positively toward you but it is safe to say that; You must try your best to get along better with people around you.

Below are some of my practices that can be helpful for you to apply in your daily walk in relationship with others. Take these 10 points as suggestions only;

1) Guard your tongue. Say less than you think.
2) Make promises sparingly. Keep them faithfully.
3) Never let an opportunity pass to say a kind word.
4) Be interested in others, their pursuits, work, families.
5) Be cheerful. Don’t dwell on minor aches and disappointments.
6) Keep an open mind. Discuss but don’t argue. Disagree without being disagreeable.
7) Discourage gossip. It’s destructive.
8) Be careful of others’ feelings.
9) Pay no attention to ill-natured remarks about you. Live so that nobody will believe them.
10) Don’t be anxious about getting credit. Just do your best and be patient.

THINK BIG-START SMALL-GO DEEP
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Week 62: Health - You gotta Move It, Move it!

“The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don’t want,
drink what you don’t like, and do what you’d druthers not.

(Mark Twain)
So many people spend their health gaining wealth,
and then have to spend their wealth to regain their health.

(A.J. Reb Materi, Our Family)

Put your snacks aside for awhile and let me ask questions; what is the major cause of death in Somalia? Not enough food. Now, what do you think one of the major causes of deaths in Malaysia? With no surprise and wow-factor it is – food. Eating too much food to be exact! We literally are eating our way into the grave.

In December 2010, it was reported that Malaysia had been listed 6th among Asian countries with the highest percentage of obese people. The National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS) in 2006 showed that 2 out of every 5 adults (43%) were either overweight or obese. The 10-year survey showed that obesity among Malaysian adults had increased by 250%, while the number of overweight adults went up by 70% from 1996 to 2006. Besides that, about 38% of teenagers were also overweight, while more recent survey of 10,000 primary school pupils showed that 24% were either overweight or obese.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong said, “Available data on the prevalence of overweight and obesity indicates that the problem we face may be more serious than those in other countries of the region.”*

As far as I can think of, here are the top 2 major contributors of growing waistlines;

1.   Eating culture. Malaysians especially, are eating 24 hours around-the-clock. We are keeping awake till late to indulge in what is becoming a top national pastime activity – heavy supper. Proof? Mamak shops or any food shops generally close to and way past midnight. In the past we used to have 2 or 3 meals per day. These days, however, we are eating 5 to 6 times daily with late-night suppers. 

2.   Sitting in front of a computer or/and television for too long, all day, every day. Thus, we often neglecting to schedule in some form of physical activity.

Do you realize? We have a healthcare problem. No matter who you are and where you’re from, we aren’t taking proper care of our own health. Arnold H. Glasow penned, “Your body is the baggage you must carry through life; the more excessive baggage, the shorter the trip.” You might be a person who are hard working, accomplish many successes, gain much wealth and have a happy family and friends – but what’s the use of it all if you’re dying on your bed? Take care of your health. In a physical realm, this is your body. But the truth is; your body belongs to God. If you take care of it properly, you’ll be healthier (I don’t dare to say that you’ll be completely healthy, but I’m convince that you’ll be healthier) and thus, you’re faithful steward toward the Lord.

Watch what you put into your mouth
You can’t lose weight by talking about it, you got to take actions! You got to move it, move it! Go exercise; run, swimming, take an evening or morning walk, climb stairs, cycling etc. Stop and take deep breaths (at least 10 times) for at least three times a day. Through healthy breathing your body is getting what it needs most – oxygen. Eat rightly (I often failed with this one~). In fact, the best way is to control your consumption of foods. Do you want to eat a lot? Then eat a little, in that way, you’ll be around long enough to eat a lot. Do whatever it take to gain your health and maintain it… You got to move it, move it!

Ancient Hebrew writer, Joshua, son of Sirach writes;
“It is better to be poor, but strong and healthy, than to be rich, but in poor health. A sound, healthy body and a cheerful attitude are more valuable than gold and jewels. Nothing can make you richer or give you greater happiness than those two things. It would be better to be dead, asleep forever, than to live in the misery of chronic illness. The finest food means nothing if you are too sick to eat it.” 

THINK BIG Health enables you to enjoy life much better.
START SMALL Watch what you put into your mouth and move your body a lots.
GO DEEP You own your body but it belong to God. Therefore, take care of it properly.

............................
*Statistic above is taken from The Star newspaper, Sunday, April 2011. Article by Florence A. Samy. "Malaysians getting obese - by eating too heavily at night".


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Friday, September 23, 2011

Free Book: Confidence - How to Succeed at Being Yourself

If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.” (Vincent Van Gogh)

One of my greatest strengths (and also my greatest weaknesses) is having a fair amount of confidence. I once read that confidence can leads to two courses: It can lead to pride, which results in arrogance and boosting, or it can lead to inner assurance, which produces a healthy self-esteem. I hope that your confidence will produce healthy self-esteem.*

Dr. W. G. Covington, Jr. reviewed this book on Amazon.com:
“Dr. McGinnis writes, "One of the strangest things we observe in therapy is that people who doubt themselves often cannot accept compliments." He prefaces this observation with a call for balance, saying this book is not designed to present an exaggerated look at self-esteem. The other extreme to be avoided is low self-esteem and false modesty. The approach taught in the Bible is to "love your neighbor as you love yourself." That is the balance he advocates.”

I would like to give you a copy of Alan Loy McGinnis’s book entitle Confidence: How to Succeed at Being Yourself. There are only 3 books available for you to request. 

Do you want to have a copy of this book? Do these 2 things:
1)    Comment below “I want to have confidence that will produce healthy self-esteem_(Your name)”
2)    E-mail me at Motivates4life@hotmail.com OR send message to my Facebook your real name, phone no. and your postal address.

...................
*Introduction is from my weekly post: Week 40: Confidence destroys fear (Click HERE to read)
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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Break my heart for what breaks Yours

"Heal my heart and make it clean, Open up my eyes to the things unseen, Show me how to love like You have loved me, Break my heart for what breaks Yours, Everything I am for Your Kingdom's cause, As I walk from earth into eternity" (Brooke Fraser, Hosanna lyrics by Hillsong)

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” (James 1:27NIV)

"Open up my eyes to the things unseen"
How would you react when you see the poor is treated badly? How would you react when you see the disable people been pushed around? How would you react when you see the cry of the orphanage and widows been ignored?
Indifferent? Unresponsive? Whatever?
Or does your heart beat a little faster… or does your eyebrow rise like Bruce Lee ready to fight… or maybe your temperature go up a degree or two?

Nope? Well, try this – how about instead of somebody else who is been exploited, imagine that your own family member being exploited. Imagine your parent is treated badly. Imagine your children been pushed around. Imagine your love ones’ cry is been ignored. Now, how would you respond to that?

"Break my heart for what breaks Yours"
Due to lack of food stocks and oppressed by the Persian; the Hebrew were forced to mortgage their properties and to sell themselves even also their own family members into slavery in order to pay their debt. Do you know how does Nehemiah respond? “When I heard their complaints, I was very angry.” (Nehemiah 5:6NLT) Almost all Bible translations translated Nehemiah as being “very angry”.
Angry that leads to positive actions, “I spoke out” (5:7); “…I called a public meeting to deal with the problem.” (5:7); “Then I pressed further…” (5:9); “I called the priests and made the nobles and officials formally vow to do what they had promised” (5:12); “The whole assembly responded… praised the LORD… people did what they had promised.” (5:13)

You may not have great influence like Nehemiah, you may short of your resources to help others, you might thing that you’re nobody but you have equal responsibility to stand up for the injustice – simply because you’re a Christian. An obedience Christ follower is equips to contribute small or average or great task at hand. When you do the right things based on the Word of God, Christ will empowered you with the Holy Spirit. He’ll provide you the exact needs to work it out.

On our way to watch movie Johnny English, my friend and colleague, Peter Paris said a very profound words. He said, “The signs of a person who really know Christ can be measure by the amount of his/her give and his/her respond toward injustice.” If you really know Christ and as you grow toward Christ-likeness; what break His heart will break yours, you’ll see what He sees, you’ll be interest in someone suffering hardships, you’ll not look the other way when you see injustice, you’ll take your part (great or small it maybe) to fight injustice. 

THINK BIG Examine question:
How do you react when you see the injustice happen all around you?
START SMALL Take interest, look for a way to assist rather than simply avoid it.
Your act of justice no matter how small or big it is – It’s matter to God.
GO DEEP Your action may not only create a divide moments in the lives of those of whom you rescue but also in the hearts of those who may see it.

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Give em' Education! (Especially for 'academically weak' students)

“Selected Few”

The rule in every school is clear; every child needs to be educated.”
(Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim, president of Parents Action Group for Education*)

Troublesome”; “Stupid kids”; “Head strong”; “Impossible to change”; “Know nothing”; “Like teaching a wall”; “Monkeys!”; – those statements once in a while came out from some teachers that I knew personally and through stories that I heard from friends to friends. Schools used to label classes started from the most accomplish, brilliant, and good-grade students as class “A” and so forth. I even heard that the ‘selected few’ will be selected by some teachers who will give them more attention, energy and effort because these special bright students will be their hope to raises up the school academic reputation (and their own personal reputation)! And what left for the lowest class students? “Free time”, “Do whatever you want” and “No class for today” are taught in class instead.
What a cruel jokes and open discrimination that is!

“Academically Weak”

(From left) Idie Ganyol, Edward Ujoh Augustine and
Richmend Mangi were not allowed to sit for the recent UPSR
.
Three Year Six students from SK Bandar Bintangor, Kuching, Sarawak was locked in a room to prevent them from sitting the Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) exam. Idie Ganyol, Edward Ujoh Augustine and Richmend Mangi; the “academically weak” trio were locked in a remedial classroom from 8am until noon while their classmates sat the exam on September 13 and 14. The reason is rather simple but critical: the school is emphasis on good academic result. They stop the boys from taking exam so that it won’t “pull down” the school overall performance.
Meradong assemblyman Ting Tze Fui comments, “On receiving the reports on Wednesday, policemen who went to the school found the boys locked in a room. They were eating and playing there.”*

“Power-Image-crazed Society”

The children have every right to sit the exam, not withstanding their poor academic record. It is not the school’s business to handle the matter in such a ways this would ruin pupil’s future… our capability as teachers to ensure they become good citizens who will contribute to the country”, comments Hashim Adnan, president of National Union of the Teaching Profession.*

This issue is far more than about student’s right to take their exam in school; it is about the abusive of power. It is more than about how the school that we place our hope on generally and teachers in whom we trust especially in handling the farewell of our children; it is about the integrity in the midst of this power-image-crazed society. In Malaysia alone, numerous reports about some political leaders who give more energy to ‘fishing’ for position than to serving the people; business executives care more about achieving the top ladder in big companies than to produce a useful product for their customers; university professors seek sophistication more than truth; and religious leaders care more for their image than for the worshipers spiritual growth!

Wrath thicker than smooth lava

Reading the news about this issue makes my heart boil with anger. Angry about how can such thing happen in our school today. Angry about how dare they discriminate the poor academic record students by denying their very right to take the exam. Angry about some teachers (I believe positively that majority of teachers are really sincere in their vocation) who overemphasis on good academic results than the pupils’ future.
I’m angry of this injustice!
Where are these irresponsible people? Come out! Who are they? Show yourselves! Why there’s no apologize? Speak up! I’m angry of this injustice!

........................................
“It’s time for action”

In my hot boiling anger and wrath that thicker than smooth lava – I see the urgency; a giant red alert, a big clock of universal alarm that we as a citizen of this wonderful country should make a difference in our society. Since not all teachers are shameful, not all politicians are corrupt and not all religious leaders are power-crazed; so it is with every one of us. If we could only take that small steps of faith, virtue of integrity, and hope for the better future – we can make a difference in our society, in our neighborhood. 

Enough of pointing hands, it’s time for action. Slow down the volume and heavy noises that had polluted our ears in the four-walls of our lavish Worship buildings. It’s time to listen to the cry of others who are chained by the injustice and constantly screaming for our mercy and helping hands. It’s time for action.

We shall be the agent of positive change in this broken generation,
We shall go against the current of this injustice ways,
We shall be the voice that bring healing to the nation,
We shall translate our holy anger into actions,
We shall makes our faith known by willingly to dirt our hands for the cause of others,
We shall sacrifice some of our dreams and wishes in order for others who are less fortunate to reach theirs.
We shall get out from our comfort zone and start to take the first step beyond our familiar territory,
People, it’s time for action… We shall make a difference!

*Quotes from News Strait Times,  21st October 2011, Pg 1,12
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