Sunday, October 27, 2013

Modern Man Shall Not Live by Cyber Technology Alone

About 2,000 years ago Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” As I reflect on His Word today, it is as if He is telling me in a fresh new way – same message, but different context – that: “Modern man shall not live by cyber technology alone”. Thus, for the whole next week I will not update any post or blog entry. See you again friends and readers and remember to... THINK BIG.
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Friday, October 25, 2013

Mengapakah Tuhan yang baik mengizinkan Penderitaan?

Mengapakah Tuhan yang baik mengizinkan Penderitaan?” Ini soalan lama. Empat ribu tahun lalu, seorang mangsa yang mengalami masalah peribadi, keluarga, dan kewangan telah berseru, “Adilkah Engkau bersikap sekejam ini, menghina ciptaan-Mu sendiri?” (Ayub 10:2-3, BM). Soalan ini masih ditanya. “Adakah Tuhan membenci saya? Sebab itu Dia membenarkan saya menderita? Mengapa saya dan bukan orang lain?

Jawapannya ada. Meskipun tidak lengkap, tetapi cukup memberi kita pandangan yang betul tentang penderitaan, dan sanggup menghasilkan yang baik dalam diri kita. Seterusnya buku ini menunjukkan bahawa syurga tidak semestinya menjawab segala soalan kita, ia memberi kita segala jawapan yang kita perlukan supaya terus percaya dan mengasihi Tuhan, yang memanggil kita semasa kita mengalami penderitaan.

Yang menulis buku ini,
Martin R. DeHaan II

Yang menggalakkan buku ini dibaca,
Richard Angelus

Kamu ingin Memiliki Buku ini?
Saya ingin mengedarkan 3 buah buku (sahaja) ini kepada sesiapa yang tertanya-tanya atau ingin tahu “Mengapakah Tuhan yang baik mengizinkan Penderitaan?” (Hanya 40 muka surat). Apa yang kamu perlu buat ialah lakukan 2 langkah ini:

1) Tuliskan, “Saya ingin membaca buku ini kerana....
2) Beri nombor telefon & alamat rumah kamu untuk tujuan menghantar buku (sahaja)

Selamat Membaca!
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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Jesus, the Awesome Forgiver

Peter came to [Jesus] and asked, ‘Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?’ ‘No, not seven times,’ Jesus replied, ‘but seventy times seven!’” (Matthew 18:21-22, NLT)

I’m so amazed by God! In the Old Testament, God did not reject Abraham because of his many lies. God did not reject Moses because of his violent crime. He did not reject David because of his adultery. God did not reject Jonah because of his disobedience. Whenever these heroes of faith truly repented from their sins and ask for forgiveness – God forgave them.

What amazed me more is that in the New Testament, God is still the same! When I read about how God deals with Peter, He does it in exactly the same way. Peter has been one of the closest disciples to Jesus (together with his brother James and John). He has heard Jesus’ teaching and seen Jesus performed miracles after miracles. Peter has even preached and worked miracles in Jesus’ name. Besides all that, Peter has seen Jesus transfigured, glowing with the glory of God (see Mark 9), and he was the one who know and confess that “[Jesus] are the Messiah” (Mark 8:29), the Son of the living God.

But not long after that Peter denied Jesus. Not one. Not twice. But three times Peter denied Jesus, insisting with swear words that he did not know his Lord (see Mark 14:66-72). As Peter remembered Jesus’ words and his own betrayal, he broke down and wept. Did this mean that Peter was finished? That God would never use him again? That he would be rejected from the Twelve? That Jesus would despise and ignore him? That he would be publicly rebuked? That Peter had to do something to make up all of his failures and mistakes? The answer is: No! God of the Bible doesn’t behave like that.

As soon as Jesus had risen from the dead He appeared to Peter (see Luke 24:34). Behold, Jesus took initiative. He makes the first move. He went to the sinner and embraced him. I imagined how precious words and wonderful images it was for Peter when he experienced forgiveness and forgiven by the Lord. Awesome! Jesus then appeared again to Peter to show that he is forgiven and that Jesus had a place for him in God’s service. As if to counter-balance Peter’s three times denial, Jesus asked him three time questions: “Do you love me?” (see John 21:15-17). Jesus wants Peter to feed and to take care for the Good Shepherd’s sheep.

Peter’s sin did not mean that he was written off. God’s forgiveness means that the relationship was restored exactly as it has been before the betrayal. Jesus takes the initiative in forgiveness – Peter responds – Peter is forgiven and given a new task for God’s service. The God who said to Peter to go on forgiving others (that’s what it mean by ‘seventy times seven’) did exactly that to Peter – without any conditions and hesitation. Awesome!

This kind of God-heart-size-forgiveness is available as you have a personal relationship with God. Do you know this God of forgiveness and of reconciliation? Do you want to know Him? Jesus invites you to “Come and see”. I hope and pray you’ll go. Take the first step toward knowing this awesome God. From here your journey to the faith will begin… God be with you. Amen.
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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

An Apologetics Discussion about Food with a Kid

“[So] Jesus told all the people to sit down on the ground. Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, thanked God for them, and broke them into pieces. He gave them to the disciples, who distributed the food to the crowd” (Matthew 15:35-36, NLT)

I love children. But I can’t stand their many questions because I always want to answer them (and sometime if I can’t answer them, I’ll go search for it!). This is both a blessing and troublesome moments. I love children more when I only observe them from afar. Three days ago, however, I met my friend’s little boy. During lunch time at KFC, eight-year-old David asked me why I thanked God before eating our foods. So I asked him,
Where did this chicken fried come from?”
From the kitchen,” David confidently replied.
Yes. How they get it here?”
They send it here.”
From where?”
Err…” David puzzled. “From the KCF factory,” his dad interrupted.
What factory is that?” I asked further.
KCF factory” “Yes, but…” “Oh, Chicken factory!” said David.
That’s right,” I affirmed him, “Chicken farm to be exact. Now, who’s taking care of the farm?”
The farmers
And where did the farmer get the chickens?”
From chicken’s egg
Who made the chicken’s egg?”
David wisely answered, “Adult chicken!”
Okay,” I said. Pause. I was beginning to get irritated with this never ending chicken-egg rotation answer. Then I rephrased my bottom-line question: “David, tell me, who made chicken and chicken’s egg?”
He thought for awhile and then speaks up, “God!”
And that,” I began to smile, “is why we should thank God for the meals.”

I read about a missionary named Nathan Snow said this while trying to adjust to the curious food on his Asian mission field, “Where [God] leads me, I will follow. What He feeds me, I will swallow.”What contentment and thankfulness is in this sentence! Be thankful for the food that is on your table. Remember the One who provides us our “daily bread”. God is the source of everything we have – give thanks and praise Him always!
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Monday, October 21, 2013

A Moravian Hymn on Prayer

A Moravian hymn
[Check Wikipedia for 'Moravian Church']
By James Montgomery

Prayer is the soul’s sincere desire,
Uttered or expressed,
The motion of a hidden fire
That trembles in the breast.
Prayer is the burden of a sigh,
The falling of a tear,
The upward glancing of the eye,
When none but God is near.
Prayer is the simplest form of speech
The infant lips can try;
Prayer, the sublimest strains that reach
The majesty on high.
Prayer is the Christian’s vital breath,
The Christian’s native air,
His watchword at the gates of death;
He enters heaven with prayer.
The saints in prayer appear as one
In word in deed and mind,
While with the Father and the Son
Sweet fellowship they find.
Nor prayer is made by man alone,
The Holy Spirit pleads,
And Jesus on the eternal throne
For sinner intercedes.

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Sunday, October 20, 2013

Serve God Diligently (and Expect Rewards)

The person who can distinguish between being tired
and being lazy will go far
” (Unknown)

In his book The Normal Christian Worker, the Chinese teacher Watchman Nee listed the character qualities needed for effective Christian service. Chapter one is devoted to ‘Diligence’. Noting that our Lord criticized the man in his parable in Matthew 25:24-30 as being both “wicked” and “lazy”, Nee warns his readers about laziness, saying:

Look at the apostles. How diligent they were! Think of the colossal amount of work Paul accomplished in a life-time. See him travelling from place to place, preaching the gospel wherever he goes, or reasoning intently with individuals; even when he is put in prison he is still buying up opportunities – preaching to all who come in contact with him and writing to those from whom he has been cut off. Read what he writes to Timothy from prison: ‘Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season.’ Imprisonment might restrict Paul’s outward movements, but it could not limit the effectiveness of his ministry. What spiritual wealth he ministered through his prison epistles! There was not a shred of laziness about Paul; he was always taking time by the forelock.”
[Quote from Watchman Nee, The Normal Christian Worker (Hong Kong: Church Book Room, 1968), 12]

Read Jesus’ parable in Matthew 25:24-30, you’ll discover that those who ‘invest’ and ‘earned’ and ‘went to work’ (v.16-17) were said by their master as: “Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!”(NLT) What rewards for those who work in Christian service and for those who are faithful, diligent and hardworking – an honorable compliment from the Master: “My good and faithful servant”! Wow! But for those who are “wicked” and “lazy”, the master said: “Now throw this useless servant into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (v.30) No…

Always be diligent in Christian service and expect God to reward you
But be ashamed if you find yourself lazy – God may throw you away
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Friday, October 18, 2013

How to Maintain a Positive Attitude Before and During Exams

Pray. Study. Eat. Study. Play. Relax. Eat. Study. Free. Play. Study. Pray.”
My advice to a student who study for exams)

A certain amount of stress can be a good thing. Stress can makes your body and mind alert and give you energy and motivations to do your best. Some students (based on my own experiences and what students told me), however, experience too much stress before and during exams, especially mid-terms and finals, that results in lower grades or pointers.

Worry that cause by stress can makes you sweating, nausea, dizziness, headaches and fatigue. It can reduce your ability to concentrate and make you feel overwhelmed and depressed. But you can minimize your worry by preparation thoroughly and building a positive attitude.

For preparation before exams, I let you think for yourself. You know how you can study best – your own techniques and methods. But for maintaining positive attitude, which I’m more concern about, I have few suggestions:

See the Test as an Opportunity to Learn
[Melihat Ujian itu sebagai Peluang untuk Belajar]
All too often, students view tests as contests that they either “win” or “lose” (“pass” or “fail”). If you see a test as an opportunity to learn, unlearn and relearn, mastering the material of your studies will be more important than “winning”.

Understand that Tests Measure Performance, Not Personal Value
[Sedar bahawa Ujian ialah Untuk Menguji Kebolehan, Bukan Untuk Menilai Keperibadian]
Your grades or pointers do not reflect your ability to succeed in life. Remember this: whether you get an A or an F, you are still the same person (As Christ follower, you’re still loved by God no matter what).

Appreciate Your Lecturer’s Purpose
[Menghargai Tujuan Guru atau Pensyarah Kamu]
To a good lecturers or instructors, exams are opportunities for students to show what they know, not chances for them to make students’ life more difficult. Good lecturers want to help you succeed, so don’t hesitate to visit them during office hours and send e-mail (or inbox their Facebook) questions to clarify materials before tests [P.s: I love when people ask me questions about Christianity and their faith in Christ. I desire that people not just read my blog entries or simply listen to me while doing Bible studies but also ask questions. Even if I can’t answer all of them I’m happy that people really want to know and learn more. I guess that is what good lecturers desire their students to do too].

Seek Study Partners who challenge You
[Mencari Rakan-Rakan Belajar yang Sentiasa Mendorong Kamu]
Find study partners who can inspire you to do your best. Try to avoid people who are also stressful and lazy, because you may pick up their negative feelings and attitudes. Be friend with many, but be friend only with those who are hardworking, positive and who can inspire you when you want to find study partners.

Set Yourself Up for Success
[Mengingin Kejayaan bagi Diri Kamu Sendiri]
Expect progress and success – not failure. Take responsibility for the outcome of your exams through your work and attitude. Know that, you are responsible for the outcome.

Practice Relaxation
[Praktis untuk Menenangkan Diri]
When you feel your stress or worry mounting up, breathe deeply, close your eyes, and think of what would happen if you get a good result; God will be glorified, your parents will be proud of you, you may inspire others to do well too etc. Try to ease muscle tension – stretch your neck, tighten and then release your muscles. Get some exercise. Relax.

Pray and Practice Positive Self-Talk
[Berdoa and Praktis untuk Berkata Sesuatu yang Mendorong Diri Sendiri]
Tell yourself that you can do well, that studying will pay off in the form of a good grade, and that it is normal to feel worry (that leads to positive actions), particularly before an important exam. As you walk into the testing room, give yourself a ‘talk’ that builds self-confidence, something likes, “I’ve study hard for this and I’m going to pour out the best as I can”; or get rid of perfection mentality inside you by telling yourself: “I don’t have to get a perfect score, I just have to do my best”.
And one indispensible thing that you have to do before, during and after every exam is this – Pray “God, help me to remember what I’ve learn. Help me to rely and trust in You. Amen” Pray builds God-given-confidence in you. No matter how positive our thinking and attitude will be God is the One who gives us our successes and failures. Always bear in mind that God is sovereign over all the outcomes in our lives; but that doesn’t excuse us not to take responsibility to do our best. Pray.

Whatever you do (that include exams!), do it for the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31)
It is better to failed your exam even though you’d study hard
then to failed because you’re lazy to study and unprepared;
but blessed are those who study well and passed their exam.
Maintain your positive attitude. Do your best! God be with you. Amen.
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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Be Happy and Serve Others

A man, although extremely wealthy, probably one of the wealthiest men in Sarawak, was very depressed. One day he offered a large sum of money to anyone who would make him happy. He even advertised this offer in all national broadcasts five minutes daily.

It wasn’t long until a young musician artist brought him a Sarawak traditional instrument, sape, to teach him how to play. At first it was intriguing and the rich man was every excited, but after a few days he grew weary of playing it.

Soon another candidate was called in. He had a different plan. He is a master craftsman who is very well-known throughout Kuching area. He put the rich man to work sawing boards, planning them, and making all sorts of interesting things. This lifted his self-esteem and spirits for a while, for crafting is a great lightener of the heart. But the day came when he could think nothing more to build. Probably this is not his thing. So his gloom returned.

Finally, a third candidate came. He is anonymous. He refuses to take any money because he only wants to offer the rich man an advice: Begin doing things for other people. So the rich man does just that and he has been happy ever since. This is just a tale to emphasis one point: Happiness comes as we doing things for other people. And when people are happy, they tend to make others happy too.

William Arthur Ward once wrote: “Real happiness is more of a habit than a goal, more of an attitude than an attainment. It is the companion of cheerfulness, not the creature of circumstances. Happiness is what overtakes us when we forget ourselves, when we learn to open our eyes in optimism and close the door in the face of defeat. We win happiness when we lose ourselves in service to others

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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Don't Waste Your Illness

A sickbed often teaches more than a sermon” (Thomas Watson)
A faith that can’t be tested can’t be trusted” (Warren Wiersbe)

While illness is a hardship every person wishes to avoid, it comes sooner or later upon us all. The Bible teaches that suffering is not to be wasted. “What circumstances could have rendered the Word of God sweeter and the presence of God so real, the help of God so precious?” asked Hudson Taylor about a difficult period in his life.

Several Scriptures point to special blessings that can come from periods of illness, including:

Awaken to us the sweetness of Scripture (Psalms 119:50, 71, 92, 143)
Driving us to prayer (Isaiah 38:1-2)
Deepening the prayer lives of others (James 5:13-15)
Leading us to spiritual introspection (Psalms 119:67)
Humbling our souls (2 Corinthians 12:7-10)
Developing the qualities of patience and endurance in us (James 1:2-4)
Developing maturity (Romans 5:1-5; Isaiah 48:10, Hebrews 2:10)
Enabling us to empathize and comfort others
who will later go through the same thing (2 Corinthians 1:3)
Heightening our desire for heaven (Job 19:25-29; Romans 8:18)
Providing an opportunity for us to witness to others (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)
Glorifying God (John 11:4; 2 Corinthians 12:7-10)
[from Robert J. Morgan, Preacher’s Sourcebook of Creative Sermon Illustrations (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2007), 741.]

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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Ai, Kenapa Yesus Meludah? Hmmm...

Yesus menjawab, ‘Orang ini buta bukan kerana dosanya sendiri ataupun dosa ibu bapanya, tetapi supaya kuasa Allah boleh dinyatakan dalam hidupnya” (Yohanes 9:3, BM)

Apabila saya membaca tentang Yesus mencelikkan mata seorang buta (Yohanes 9:1-12), saya tertanya-tanya: Kenapa Yesus mengutus seorang buta itu “pergi membasuh muka[nya] di Kolam Siloam” (ayat 7)? Kenapa Yesus tidak hanya berkata “Pulihlah” atau “Sembuhlah” dan orang buta itu melihat semula? Yesus boleh melakukan itu tetapi untuk kes seperti ini, Dia tidak. Yesus ingin orang buta itu melakukan sesuatu – mentaati perintah-Nya – dengan mengutus dia ke Kolam Siloam untuk membasuh mukanya.

Namun begitu, ada satu perkara yang menarik yang berlaku di dalam cerita ini. Sebelum Jesus mengutus orang buta itu pergi, Yesus menyapu tanah pada matanya. Persoalan saya ialah: KENAPA? Pernahkah kamu melihat orang “meludah ke tanah dan meliat tanah itu pada mata” (ayat 6) seorang buta? Bagaimana perasaan kamu jika dia terjadi kepada kamu?

Selepas saya bertanya, saya berdoa dan berfikir. Dan ini yang Tuhan Yesus ingin katakan kepada saya pada masa itu (mungkin kepada kamu juga): Tanah yang melekat pada mata orang buta itu menyebabkan dia ingin mentaati perintah Yesus. Tanah itu menjadi pendorong, pemberi sebab untuk orang buta itu pergi ke Kolam Siloam untuk menbasuh mukanya. Tanah di mukannya membolehkan dia melakukan perintah yang Yesus ingin dia taati.

Kadang-kadang (saya menulis secara metafora) kita tidak mengerti mengapa ada tanah yang menutupi mata kita. Tetapi jika ianya tidak ada disitu, kita tidak mungkin akan membawa masalah, pergumulan atau kesusahan kita kepada Yesus dengan mentaati perintah-Nya. Tanpa ketaatan, kita tidak mungkin dapat melihat pekerjaan Tuhan di dalam hidup kita. Allah yang Maha Pengasih dan Bijaksana, kadang-kadang akan menggunakan ‘tanah’ untuk memulihkan kembali ‘pengelihatan’ rohani kita. Persoalannya ialah: Adakah kamu menurut dan mentaati perintah Yesus?

Jika kamu ingin dipulihkan dan mahu melihat Yesus, “cahaya bagi dunia” (ayat 5) dan – “supaya kuasa Allah boleh dinyatakan di dalam hidup [kamu]” (ayat 3) – percayalah, bertindaklah dan taatilah perintah Allah.
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Monday, October 14, 2013

Never take Relationship for Granted, Express Affection Every Day

[Each] man must love his wife as he loves himself,
and the wife must respect her husband” (Ephesians 5:33, NLT)

Dr. Nathaniel Branden is a California psychologist whose advice about marriage has appeared in several national magazines. When couples come to him asking, “Are there specific ways in which couples who remain happily in love behave differently from couples who don’t?” Branden says, “Yes!” He points out that couples who stay in love never take their relationship for granted, but they express their affection for each other every day in various ways. In his article on Reader’s Digest entitled ‘Advice That Could Save Your Marriage’, he writes (summaries):

·        They frequently say “I love you
·        They are physically affectionate, holding hands, hugging, cuddling
·        They express their love sexually
·        They verbalize their appreciation and admiration
·        They share their thoughts and feelings, learning to self-disclose what’s on their minds and hearts to each other, confiding in each other
·        They express their love materially, giving little gifts to each other
·        They create time alone together

Marriage are made in heaven,
but we are responsible for the maintenance work
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