Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Words on Viktor E. Frankl’s “Man’s Search for Meaning”

For the meaning of life differs from man to man,
from day to day and from hour to hour.
What matters, therefore, is not the meaning of life in general
but rather the specific meaning of a person's life at a given moment
(Viktor E. Frankl)

Next month book to read
Consciously, I don’t like to judge people by their appearances. In other words, I’m trying my best not to ‘judge a book by its cover’. But I do judge people by the books they read. So my habit as I went to someone’s houses, I’ll look for their book(s) shelf in the living room or anywhere accessible and within the boundaries, if you know what I mean. Due to that habit, few months ago, I ‘found’ a book, Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl at my cousin’s house. It was an interesting book. Since I only browsed here and there, I however, managed to read the introduction of the book. It was sort of hard-to-read book (at least for me), so to quince my curiosity I just read summaries of the book from many websites in the internet and I come out with this conclusion or rather – a short summary of the book:

Since World War II, an Australian psychiatrist, Viktor Frankl, has written extensively on the relation of the meaning of life to the whole structure of personality. He claims that the need to find meaning in life is more basic to human being than pleasure or power or anything else. The thesis he repeats again and again is that if the person has a “why” to live, he can endure almost any “how”. But if that dimension of “why” is lacking, then the whole structure of one’s life eventually collapses.
This insight into the important of meaning was developed by Frankl during the years he spent as a Jewish prisoner in a German concentration camp. Life there was unbelievably harsh and brutal. The prisoners were forced to work long hours and were barely given enough food, clothing, and shelter to survive. As the months unfolded, Frankl began to note that some prisoners soon collapsed under the pressure and gave up and died, while others under the same conditions continued to hope and managed to stay alive.
Using the tools of his psychiatric training, he would talk in the evening to scores of fellow inmates about this, and he found a pattern beginning to emerge. Those prisoners who had something to live for, and objective that gave a sense of meaning to their lives, were the ones who tended to mobilize their strength and survive.

Their objectives varied widely. One prisoner had a retarded child back home and had a great desire to get back and take care of the child. Another had a girlfriend he expected to marry as soon as the war was over. “Frankl himself”, writes Roy B. Zuck, “had begun a book and had a fierce desire to survive and finish it and get it published.”
Viktor Frankl

Viktor Frankl thesis in this book is worth repeating: if the person has a “why” to live, he can endure almost any “how”. When I thought about it, I say – well, God had placed in us a “why” to live. In the Bible language it is called: purpose. God created you for a purpose. It only makes sense that your Creator knows exactly what will satisfy the longings of your heart. I believe that the question “why” in our life should be seen in a big-picture not just in the ‘here and now’ such as take care of a child or marrying your girlfriend (or boyfriend) or to finish and publish a book… it should also, most importantly, be seen in a God’s perspective:- wider and much more real. Do you have a ‘why’ to live? If not, ask God to reveal it to you. Don’t worry about the ‘how’ just search for the ‘why’. Psalms 57:2 says, “I cry to God Most High, to God who will fulfill his purpose for me.” (NLT) Oh, cry out to your Creator. He made you. He knows what you’re made for. Keep asking. Keep searching.

Never stop searching – the searching, my friends, will keep you close to God.
Hmmm… Close to God… maybe that is one of your chief purposes in life.
God be with you in your searching. Remember, He made you; He knows what you're made for.

Best Blogger Tips

Thursday, February 23, 2012

What 2 Corinthians 5:7 Speaks Today

“…for we walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7ESV)

2 Corinthians 5:7 speaks today. It rings and echoing in my mind. It helps me to delight in God. The word ‘faith’ is to believe in something or someone, to fully trust, to be so confident that you base your actions on what you believe. It is more than just 'believing'; it is entrusting your very life to what you believe. To have faith is to be fully convinced of the truthfulness and reliability of that in which you believe. To have faith in God then means to have the kind of trust and confidence in God, in Jesus Christ that leads you to commit your whole soul to Him as your personal Savior and Lord of All. To walk by faith as I defines it in a compress mode is to walk with God, keep your fellowship with Him even if you don’t feel it and see Him physically but you know, deep down to your soul that He is ever present in your life. It is a deep trust and confidence in God. It is in the delight of treasuring Jesus in your life. Faith in a single Object: God Himself. That’s faith!

Below is one of the best expressions (a poem) of 2 Corinthians 5:7 I come across so far. Oh, it’s very much helpful in my appreciation in this verse today.

By Faith Not Sight
written by Ruth A. Morgan

Sometimes I’m sad. I know not why.
My heart is sore distressed;
It seems the burdens of this world
Have settled on my heart.
And yet I know … I know that God
Who doeth all things right
Will lead me thus to understand
To walk by faith … not sight.

And though I may not see the way
He’s planned for me to go,
The way seems dark to me just now
But oh, I’m sure He knows!
Today He guides my feeble step
Tomorrow’s in His right.
He has asked me to never fear
But walk by faith … not sight.

Some day the mists will roll away,
The sun will shine again.
I’ll see the beauty in the flowers,
I’ll hear the bird’s refrain.
And then I’ll know my Father’s hand
Has led the way to light
Because I placed my hand in His
And walked by faith … not sight.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Very Unhelpful Remarked by my Mother and Psalm 105:4

Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually!” (Psalm 105:4ESV)
Consider Jesus. Know Jesus. Learn what kind of Person it is you say you trust
and love and worship. Soak in the shadow of Jesus.
Saturate your soul with the ways of Jesus. Watch Him. Listen to Him.
Stand in awe of Him. Let Him overwhelm you with the way He is
.” (John Piper)

It was 18th February morning that my car couldn’t start due to battery problem. I was sweaty, hot and in a bad mood. Meeting had to be delayed. I have to summon Peter to fetch Kim Cheng at the airport on behalf of my delight duty. As I tried to fix the car with my little knowledge, my attempt proved to be useless. To makes the matter worst, my mom gives me a very unhelpful remarked. Her sermon that morning is like a thorn in the flesh. She said,
Why yesterday your car was fine and now it’s not…”
Huh, it was not a question at all… it was a sarcastic statement! But before she can pierce that thorn deeper to my soul, in quick respond, I said, “If we can be so full yesterday evening, why this morning we go hungry again???” [In Bahasa Malaysia:Kalau kita sudah makan sampai kenyang petang semalam, kenapa pagi ini kita lapar semula?’]
She silenced. Acted normal. And resumed her works.

When I thought about the event few days later (today), the words I said, it dawned on me that this statement is quite profound when it come to our relationship with God. What I’m trying to communicates to my mom that day was (I bet she doesn’t understand – but it’s okay, I guess); that yesterday is yesterday, you can’t assume the same for today. You can be so full (satisfied) in God yesterday but you can go hungry again (not satisfied) without communion with Him today. Don’t brag about your relationship with God was so glorious during your youth and now that you’re older assume that it doesn’t matter how you lived today. Don’t be proud of yesterday fellowship that you neglect the Lord today.

There are many Christians who are genuinely believers in Christ but live in utter misery because they have only a mechanical communion with God. They are like some marriage couples that I knew who still live together for years, quarrelling their way between anniversaries, held together by children… but never really have a love relationship between one another. They live together with God but not on speaking terms with Him. They were ‘yesterday’ hot couple but not ‘today’. May you not be that way with the Lord. May you continue your fellowship with Him daily. Pray, converse with Him daily. Read God’s Word, the Bible daily. Meditate on His Word daily. In short, daily seek the Lord. Psalmist writes, “Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually!” (105:4ESV)

THINK BIG Yesterday is yesterday, you can’t assume the same for today.
START SMALL Seek [the Lord] continually/ continuously/ constantly/ regularly/ daily.
GO DEEPTo fall in love with God is the greatest of all romances;
To seek Him, the greatest adventure;
To find him, the greatest human achievement
.” (St. Augustine)
Best Blogger Tips

Monday, February 20, 2012

Week 77: Set Goals - Know Where you are Going

You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” (C.S. Lewis)

The tragedy of life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal.
The tragedy lies in having no goal to reach
.” (Benjamin Mays)

You have to have a dream so you can get up in the morning with a purpose. Too often, people wake up just to do the same thing over and over again. Those who don’t know where they are going is like someone who is carrying a basketball and don’t know where the net is. No wonder I often came across posts on Facebook saying, “I’m boring!”; “Don’t know what to do…”; “I’m wishing for miracles to happen” etc. Readers, goalless life leads to confusion and emptiness. You might do something or many things, but it won’t be fulfilling and it doesn’t give you any long-term satisfaction. It would be dull, robot and directionless. Without goals people just wander through life.
I asked a fellow friend one day, “So, after you graduated where do you plan to work?”
He stared at me and said, “I just go with the flow… I don’t know. I just trust God will guide me.”
Well,” I replied sarcastically, “just so you know, God won’t filled the job applications for you~” 
[After 3 days we become friend again]

Having goals in life is very important. Goals keep you focused on your primary mission and determine how you conduct your life. As I focusing on my personal goals daily – Its change the way I think and the way I set my priorities. Its determine the books I read, TV shows that I watch, the questions I ask, the words I speaks, the people I intentionally want to spent time with, and the many investments in term of financial, time and energy I’m willing to sacrifice. William P. Merrill writes, “Unless you give yourself to some great cause, you haven’t begun to live.” Goals shape the way you live each day.

Goals give you strength and endurance. Added with hope, goals can keep you going when everything seems to ‘black-out’. Cecil B. de Mille says it well, “Most of us serve our ideals by fits and starts. The person who makes a success of living is the one who sees his goal steadily and aims for it unswervingly.” Goals with burning desire, however, can go much further. It is like a ‘drug’ that can boost your physical power, energy, and enthusiasm needed to accomplish your goals. But as it is important to write your goals down (both short-term & long-term goals) and to really determine what you want; never ever forget that goals are remain a dream unless it is a dream being acted upon. You got to aim for a goal and start on your way; act upon it!

In closing, I want to ask you; what are your goals? What is it you want to have accomplished? What are your God-given talents and skills that you want to sharpen (or discover)? What about your future career or relationship? Or could it be surrendering your life to Christ, establishing a relationship with God, getting a promotion at work, getting out of debt or spending more time with the family? Whatever it is – set your goals! Hey, God is sovereignty in control of our today and our tomorrow, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t set goals for yourself.  The Apostle James taught us to make plans with the qualifier "if the Lord wills" (James 4:13-17). Therefore, as you sets your goals in life, bare this word in mind:
All goals are subject to change and to the perfect will of God. I will surrender my future to Him alone.

Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you” (Psalm 37:5)
Set goals!

Best Blogger Tips

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Did you See how Poor some People can Be?

A great story to share:
One day a father of a very wealthy family took his son on a trip to the country with the purpose of showing his son how poor some people are. They spent a couple of days and nights on the farm of what would be considered a very poor family. On their return trip, the father asked his son,
“How was the trip?”
“It was great, Dad.”
Did you see how poor some people can be?” the father asked.
Oh, yeah,” said the son.
So what did you learn from the trip?” asked the father.
The son answered, “I saw that we have one dog and they had four. We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden and they have creek that has no end. We have imported lanterns in our garden and they have the stars at night. Our patio reaches to the front yard and they have the whole horizon. We have a small piece of land to live on and they have fields that go beyond our sight. We have servants who serve us, but they serve others. We buy food, but they grow theirs. We have walls around our property to protect us, but they have friends to protect them.”
With this the boy’s father was speechless. Then the son added,
Thanks, Dad, for showing me how poor we are.”

Mother Teresa once writes, “Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat... even the rich are hungry for love, for being cared for, for being wanted, for having someone to call their own.” Among all kind of poverty such as social, environmental, educational, economic, health etc.; Spiritual poverty is the most disastrous of all. It affects our whole immortal soul. Spiritual poverty in God’s eye is not measured by how much material wealth we have or by our good health and level of educational background. It is measured by our understanding of the Word (for those who have access to God’s Word) and ways of God. It is by our growing knowledge of God’s love through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior that we can be truly rich toward heaven.

Come and join THE TRIP OF LIFE to see how ‘poor’ we are today. Take a deep look, observe, contemplate your life… When the Father asked, 
“So what did you learn from THE  TRIP?”
May our answer would be, “I saw how spiritually poor I am and how much I need of You, O Father in Heaven, because I’m truly convinced of my sins, my many guilt and helplessness to save myself.”
With that the Father will surely answer your brokenness with gladness and joy in His heart, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3ESV)

“Thanks, Father, for showing me how much I need You in my life.”

Note: God is not only concern about our spiritual life; He cares about our needs. Ask (Pray) for what you needs (not wants) and it will be given to you (Matthew 7:7). The Bible also urges us to remember the needy and the poor by helping or serving them to show God’s love in a practical ways… God bless you. [For Biblical foundations on caring for and serving the poor; click HERE]
Best Blogger Tips

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Christians are Destroyed for Lack of the Knowledge of God

As disciples we are to be learners in a continuing affair with the Scripture. No one can be called mature who does not continue to learn; neither can disciple be disciples unless they are gathering day by day an increasing use and understanding of the Word of God.” (Calvin Miller)
The phrase scientia potentia est (sometimes written as scientia est potentia) is a Latin maxim often claimed to mean "knowledge is power". It is commonly attributed to Sir Francis Bacon though some may have doubt that - me. Because of this ‘realization’; whenever we encounter this powerful maxim we thought that we must strive to gain as much knowledge as possible… after all, knowledge is power, right? We loves power (and sex and money). But there’s nothing unusual about that for the right used of power can be beneficial both to us and others (vice versa for wrong used of power too).

God, however, have much more to offer than this human-effort-use-of-knowledge as power to bring greater good for humankind – He has greater view in mind. God demands that we should pursuit knowledge for His Glory. [and then eventually, we can serve others effectively] For the World-given-knowledge is purely selfish; God-given-knowledge is selfless. It makes us think more about God and think less about self. God’s knowledge humbled the proud heart of men. For the more we gain knowledge about God, the bigger our view of Him and our view on self became smaller and smaller, that’s what I mean by ‘humbled the proud heart of men’.

The Bible urges us to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 3:18ESV) And also God’s Word admonished us to “count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord.” (Philippians 3:8KJV) Very boldly the Lord declared: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6KJV). Yes, our generations today are about to be destroyed because we lack of the knowledge of God. Christians cannot grow into maturity because the Word of God, the most direct revelation of God to mankind is neglected. Growth in the understanding of His Word, and personal experience almost never happened. All seems too superficial, ‘feeling addict’ and ‘hyper emotional worship’ and almost never study on the Word! Oh, where is the Word of God!My people are destroyed because we lack of the knowledge of God’!!!

Come my brothers and sisters in Christ, The Word of God is the most essential source of our true knowledge. It contains gives knowledge that expand your mind for the things of God. It’s the only knowledge that can humble our proud heart to see the Majesty of God. Knowledge that lead you to the Wisdom of all: Lord Jesus Christ. Knowledge that doesn’t give you power but telling you instead about the One All-powerful God, Jesus Christ.  Oh, come and learn the Word of God! Come and make it your supreme Christian's duty to study and meditate upon the Word of the Lord. Learn it so that you may love for its content and respect for its relevancy. Learn because God is the Author, God is the Main Actor, God is the Treasure in our life.

First Psalm writes,
"Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the LORD,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.
The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
for the LORD knows the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish."

Finally, my pray for you is so that you may “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” and above all things “count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord.” Come learn, study and meditate on the Word of the Lord. Amen. THINK BIG. START SMALL. GO DEEP.
Best Blogger Tips

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

God is Love

God’s love is different from human’s love. His love is consistent and dependable. Our love is mostly hormone, shaky and with strings attached (“If you love me, I’ll love you back” etc.) God’s love is there when other loves are gone - constant. All other relationships that doesn’t have God’s love will someday faded away, ‘tasteless’, lifeless, unfaithful and robot. Our source of loving one another is from God. Thus, to continue to love is to ask God to filled you with His love and learn from Him.
Oh God filled us with your love!

Our happiness as Christians comes from this. Mind you, happiness is not our goal in life. Nor being a Christian; God will make you happy (as many false teachers preached nowadays!) It’s the result of your walks with God. Calvin Miller writes, “God [does not] exist to make us happy. Anyone who holds such a preposterous view is going to have a miserable relationship with God. He does not lavish his children with a jolly discipleship so that they may swim in spiritual ecstasy between conversion and death.” He continue, “God is a giver, but he does not give happiness. He gives redemption, meaning, security, love, victory and indwelling of the Holy Spirit. And happiness is our response to his gifts.” God gives love – happiness comes in respond to that love.
Oh God filled us with your love!

Pic from: http://p2pearth.blogspot.com
God is Love” (1 John 4:8): Apostle John wrote under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. It doesn’t claim that “God has love’. Jesus doesn’t give love as though it were a possession or present for our birthday. It says, “God is Love” – Jesus is love. It’s not an attribute or quality or character of God but His substance and being. God cannot exist without love – He is love. Therefore, because we are created by God who is love; to get ‘fuel up’, to have our nourishment, to sustain our life – we need food for our spirit, namely, God’s love.
Oh God filled us with your love!

God is Love”. God's love is unconditional, and it's not based on feelings or emotions. He doesn't love us because we're lovable or because we make Him feel good; He loves us because He is love. He created us to have a loving relationship with Him, and He sacrificed His own Son, Jesus Christ (who also willingly died for us) to restore that relationship. That famous truth in John 3:16 says it all, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." God’s love in action was ultimately displayed on the Cross. The Cross is God’s extravagance love gloriously revealed and our only source of everlasting love.
Oh God, oh God, filled us with your love!

Let us pray: Oh God, filled us with your love.
Teach us to love you and thus,
help us to learn to love others too. Amen.

Important note:
Hell is real. Hell is the absence of love – a place where love can’t reached. You might ask, “How can a God of love send anybody to Hell?” I’d say God has done everything He possibly can to keep you out of Hell and still leave you as a person with free will and not just a robot. That's the way He made us – after His image, after His likeness, the power to say “yes” or the power to say “no,” the power to reject our own Creator, and of course to take the consequences. “God is Love”; the cross of Christ is the way to eternal life with His never-ending love. The Scripture say "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10:13) it’s you choice to make, ‘yes’ or ‘no’… think about it.

Best Blogger Tips

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

How to Building or Rebuilding you Relationship (by no expert)

I not only want to be loved, I want to be told that I’m loved.” (George Elliot)

In his most popular book See You at the Top, Zig Ziglar gives 14 step-by-step procedures to follow in building or rebuilding a happy marriage. Even though he outlines these steps especially for husband and wife; I think that it’s also applicable for boyfriend-girlfriend relationship since I believe that relationship before marriage should be viewed in the big-picture thinking – beginning in dating, starting in married and ending in graves (I got the last one so far, huh?). Any relationship that doesn’t include commitment is not worth to build up for it reflects lust over love.

Enough of this saying, here are 14 steps (summaries & modifications mine) in building or rebuilding a happy marriage or relationship in general:
1.     Remember what you did before you know much about each other. Bring back its original bloom (memories, as I interpret it) and even add a depth, commitment, and beauty to the relationship.
2.     Bare this in mind: Relationship is not 50/50 proposition; it is a 100%/100% proposition. Guys give 100% to the relationship and girls do the same.
3.     Start and end every day with a declaration of love for your partner, and during that day, if it’s feasible, take three minutes to telephone (or sms – at least but not always, depend on the distance) just to chat and express your love.
4.     Surprise him or her with an occasional gift or card (or your latest jokes and romantic words, if you’re earn not much like I am)
5.     Unless distance is your problem, don’t neglect the power of spending some quality time together.
6.     This is simple and most important: be a good listener. Period.
7.     [Emmm…  I have to skip this.]
8.     When you disagree, remember you can disagree without being disagreeable… You can be honest and yet sensitive to each other.
9.     In relationship, someone needs to be depended on to make the difficult decisions. In my opinion, most of the time that someone should be a man. No apologies needed.
10.  You will often have to ‘bend over backwards’ to please or understand you mate. I say, relationship is more important than problems.
11.  This is interesting; Zig Ziglar called this a ‘Recipe’ guaranteed to cook up a happy relationship. “Take Love and Loyalty and mix thoroughly with Faith. Blend with Tenderness, Kindness and Understanding. Add Friendship and Hope. Sprinkle abundantly with Laughter. Bake with Sunshine. Serve generous helpings daily.” Taste yummy huh?
12. Use Ephesians 4:32, “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”
13. Pray together (at this writing, I still work on it).
14. Keep this in mind. When the inevitable disagreement takes place, who makes the move to ‘make up’ isn’t important. However, the one who makes the move demonstrates the greater maturity and love. Wise!

THINK BIG Be matured in your Relationship with each other
START SMALL Keep on building and rebuilding your relationship,
don’t be static, boring and numb.
GO DEEP Be mature especially in Christ.
Never neglect your first Love – the Almighty God.
Let Him be the center of your relationship.

Best Blogger Tips

They Click it A lot. [Top 7 last 7 Days]