Monday, December 24, 2018

Three Feet from Gold: Turn Your Obstacles Into Opportunities! (2010) by Sharon Lechter with Greg Reid, Book Review


Three Feet from Gold: Turn Your Obstacles Into Opportunities! (2010)
by Sharon Lechter with Greg Reid

One of the most common causes of failure is the habit of quitting when one is overtaken by temporary defeat.” This interesting success journey allegory (or fable) is based on Napoleon Hill’s revolutionary bestseller Think and Grow Rich. It is about a young entrepreneur, Greg Reid (co-author as the character), who was struggling in his business and life, went through a life-changing series of encounters with some of today’s foremost business leaders and inspirational figures. When he was about to give up, only “three feet from gold,” his mentors inspired him with their stories and encouragements. When I read his story, I read mine. Truly, Napoleon once said: “Every adversity, every failure, and every heartache carries with it the seed of an equivalent or greater benefit.

The title Three Feet from Gold is based on a real-life story of R.U. Darby (you can find it in Think and Grow Rich introduction). His uncle had been struck by gold fever. He had traveled west to get rich in the mining business. In the book, Don Green, one of Greg interviewees told him the story: “This would-be prospector had many more hopes than solutions, you see because he had not invested the time to learn how to do what he wanted to accomplish. He just wanted to find gold… Fortunately, after weeks of manual labor, Darby’s uncle was rewarded with the discovery of gold, and lots of it! While it was a good problem to have, he quickly realized that he really wasn’t prepared. He needed machinery to remove the enormous amount of heavy rocks and dirt that covered the shining ore…” to own machinery it will cost lots of money, so Darby’s uncle covered the mine and traveled back to his home to persuade his family and friends to invest for the equipment needed. After that, he and young Darby return to the gold mine and start digging for the promised treasure. Sure enough, they found high-quality gold!

Don continues, “Darby and his uncle were convinced they were about to make a huge fortune from their gold mine. Then tragedy struck… the gold simply disappeared. Just when their hopes were at their highest, the Darbys were crushed to reach the end of the rainbow – the proverbial pot of gold was no longer there… Discouraged and defeated, Darby and his uncle sold both their mine and their equipment to a local junkman… With that, [they] caught the next train and returned to their home in Maryland, ending their quest for gold… [But] the junkman hired a mining engineer to inspect the claim, and together they discovered what is known as a fault line. The engineer explained that gold ran in long veins and that the previous owners had simply drilled through one side of the vein and come out the other. The engineer explained that if the junkman were to go back and dig in the other direction, perpendicular to where the Darbys had made their first discovery, he would most likely tap back into the treasure… [He] followed these simple instructions and, sure enough, he hit one of the largest pockets of ore ever uncovered – a mere three feet away from where the Darbys had quit mining…” They quit only three feet from gold!

Darby learned his lesson and used that experience as motivation for him not to quit his next chosen work. Hill recorded him saying: “I stopped three feet from gold, but I will never stop because men say ‘no’ when I ask them to buy insurance.” You know what? Darby became one of the most successful salesmen of his time. When Greg heard this story, he was determined not to quit from pursuing his dreams in business and life. Through ups and downs, external circumstances and internal conflicts, Greg don’t – but almost – quit! By the end of the chapter, Greg and his co-author, Sharon Lechter (both as characters in the book itself) produced a book based on his interviews and life experiences. They came out with The Success Equation, namely, ((P + T) x A x A) + F. P stands for Passion, something that makes your heart sing; with T stands for Talent, something you excel in; multiply it by the right A stands for Association, successful people or organizations; and A stands for Action, concrete steps you can take toward your goal; and then add your F stands for Faith, the unwavering belief in yourself. So, keep moving toward your God-given dreams, never giving up or quitting – you are Three Feet from Gold!

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Wednesday, December 19, 2018

The Millionaire’s Path: Passion, Optimism, and Wealth (2000) by Mark Fisher, Book Review



The Millionaire’s Path: Passion, Optimism, and Wealth
(2-Books-in-1, Hardcover Edition, 2000) by Mark Fisher

I never heard about this book mention in self-help or financial book reviews or recommendations anywhere. Why? I don’t know. Do you know where I get this book? At the The Hills’ Second Time Around Book Fair. How much? Just Rm7.90! This is crazy! The value of this book (or these books) worth more than Rm7.90, it is worth a million ringgit! Carlos Santana, legendary rock-jazz musician, once said, “Your mind is a magnet. You don’t attract what you need or what you want; you attract who you are.” Perhaps I was thinking about success and personal development all day long when I browsed through the books (this is what I called Purposeful Browsing) and then like a magnet - this book ‘appeared’ in front of me. I’m glad that I bought it. I praise God that I’m able to read and understanding it. Thanks God for written language and His God-given mind.

This book consists of two books The Instant Millionaire and How to Think Like a Millionaire. One is a story; the other is a prose. One is a wisdom fable; the other is simplified success principles. Both have one overarching goal: “By deciding to read [these books] you have just taken the first step toward success and living your dreams,” writes Mark Fisher. These books are easy to read and straight to the points. It gives me somethings to think about such as don’t give up on my dreams, do what I love, managing my priorities in life, managing my financial situation, and set goal in my life. Mind you, the lessons and principles lay down in these books are not new as the author(s) states in the introduction. What make the message refreshing is the way the author(s) narrated the story and how he puts the principles in the most practical terms. Also, it doesn’t really teach you HOW to be a millionaire but its more on how to THINK like a millionaire. I’m okay with that. I read Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations few months ago, and this is one of my favorite quotes on thinking: “The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.” Not money.

The Instant Millionaire: A Tale of Wisdom and Wealth (1990) by Mark Fisher. If you like Ken Blanchard’s One Minute Manager writing style, then you will like this book. It is about a young man who meet a wise old man called ‘Instant Millionaire’ through the process of mentoring and on the spot teachings. The old man reveals that financial prosperity and a fulfilling life well lived are goals we can all achieve if we understand and practice the principles of success. Through the pages, when I read it, I felt like I was the young man... probably... I am.

How to Think Like a Millionaire (1997) by Mark Fisher with Marc Allen.  The essence of this book is this: Success can’t be attributed to fate but to the deliberate application of very specific principles. Age, education, money, background and childhood experiences do not matter in the face of these principles. Many of the successful people had commonplace, poor and sometimes miserable childhoods. At school, many of them were considered slow learners. Yet, each one of them, at a crucial moment in their lives, decided to take fate into their own hands and enlightened by a book, by the word or example of another person or by a powerful sense of intuition, set out to be successful. You may have reached that critical point that will change your life. This book can help you to stand out among the rest and inspired you to greatness... yes, you can... if you applied the principles taught in this book in your life.

Surely, I recommend this book(s)!

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Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Think and Grow Rich (1937) by Napoleon Hill and 13 Steps to Riches


Think and Grow Rich (first published in 1937, this is a modernized version)
by Napoleon Hill

I’ve read this book for the third times now. The first time was in 8th February 2010 and I was so excited to read it that I finished reading it on the 16th February. I probably can read faster today than 8 years ago, but if I can finish a book in 9 days in the olden days, then surely that book was very interesting. And it is! I might be not as wealthy as I want to be (not yet) but in my mind, I’m a rich person! This is not a positive self-talk, this is matter-of-fact. Because of this book, I learned to treasure my mind: keep it, nurture it and filled it with great inspirations and positive mental attitude. There is a reason why this book was entitled ‘Think and Grow Rich’ and not ‘Act’ or ‘Do and Grow Rich,’ because wealth – may it be spiritually, financially, emotionally, physically and intellectually – is a state of mind. As the saying goes: “Watch your thoughts, they become words; watch your words, they become actions; watch your actions, they become habits; watch your habits, they become character; watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.” It all started in the mind.

There are many things you cannot control, but you can control the only things that really matter: your mind and attitude. External forces have very little to do with success. Those who program themselves for success find a way to succeed even in the most difficult of circumstances. This quest for success has led Napoleon Hill to write this book. In 1908, as an unknown author and reporter, Hill got the opportunity of a lifetime to interview America’s richest man at that time, Andrew Carnegie. To cut the story short, Carnegie presented to the 25-year-old Hill a letter of recommendation that would grant him access to 500 men of top achievers (including Henry Ford, Alexander Graham Bell, and Thomas Edison) in business, politics, science, and religion in order to discover the common denominators for success. From these interviews, Think and Grow Rich was created and written. As history revealed, Hill and this book have given life to the personal development movement that has since swept the world! As Christian, read this book with cautious and discernment, but do not dismiss this book altogether. Read it and you’ll surely reap its benefits – for the sake of your mind.

This book covers The Thirteen (13) Principles and the Philosophy of Personal Achievement and Success. For each principle, I will quote Napoleon Hill and briefly comment:

Principle #1 Desire: The Starting Point of All Achievement. All of the top achiever started with a certain amount of dreaming, hoping, planning, and desiring before they became rich. They imagined riches before they even have it, Hill explains, “Wishing will not bring riches. But desiring riches with a state of mind that becomes an obsession, then planning definite ways and means to acquire riches, and backing those plans with persistence which does not recognize failure, will bring riches.”

Principle #2 Faith: Visualization of, and Belief in Attainment of Desire. Believe that you can achieve your goal. Growing rich starts with your mindset — with the belief that you can have it. Hill writes: “Riches begin in the form of thought! The amount is limited only by the person in whose mind the thought is put into motion. Faith removes limitations!”

Principle #3 Auto-Suggestion: The Medium for Influencing the Subconscious Mind. Turning desire for money or success into reality requires sending your subconscious mind phrases and affirmations that support your goal. You have to repeat out loud what it is that you want, and how you plan to get it, so you become obsessed with your purpose, Hill explains: “Your ability to use the principle of auto-suggestion will depend, very largely, upon your capacity to concentrate upon a given desire until that desire becomes a burning obsession.”

Principle #4 Specialized Knowledge: Personal Experiences or Observations. Knowledge is potential power. An education only becomes powerful and leads to great wealth when it is organized and applied to life. It also must be continually sought after. You're never done learning, Hill emphasizes: “Successful men, in all callings, never stop acquiring specialized knowledge related to their major purpose, business, or profession. Those who are not successful usually make the mistake of believing that the knowledge-acquiring period ends when one finishes school.”

Principle #5 Imagination: The Workshop of the Mind. If you can imagine it, you can create it, says Hill: “Ideas are the beginning points of all fortunes. Ideas are products of the imagination... Man's only limitation, within reason, lies in his development and use of his imagination.”

Principle #6 Organized Planning: The Crystallization of Desire into Action. Once you've visualized your success, you need to take action and go after exactly what you want. You must act with persistence and enthusiasm. Hill explains: “Opportunity has spread its wares before you. Step up to the front, select what you want, create your plan, put the plan into action, and follow through with persistence…”

Principle #7 Decision: The Mastery of Procrastination. A key trait Hill recognized in all of the individuals he studied was – decisiveness. Those who settle on decisions quickly know what they want and they tend to get what they want. He writes: “People who fail to accumulate money, without exception, have the habit of reaching decisions, if at all, very slowly, and of changing these decisions quickly and often.”

Principle #8 Persistence: The Sustained Effort Necessary to Induce Faith. Persistence is crucial when trying to accumulate riches – don’t-give-up spirit is a must! Hill writes: “Riches do not respond to wishes. They respond only to definite plans, backed by definite desires, through constant persistence.”

Principle #9 Power of the Master Mind: The Driving Force. To have a "Master Mind" group is to surround ourselves with talented friends and colleagues who share our vision. The alignment of several smart and creative minds is exponentially more powerful than just one, Hill explains: “No individual may have great power without availing himself of the ‘Master Mind’...” We become like the people we associate with.

Principle #10 The Mystery of Sex Transmutation. Sexual energy is an incredibly powerful human energy — it creates physical life and develops emotional life, and when it is harnessed and redirected, it can enhance our creativity, passion, enthusiasm, and persistence, all which are crucial in accumulating wealth. Hill says: “Sex desire is the most powerful of human desires. When driven by this desire, men develop keenness of imagination, courage, willpower, persistence, and creative ability unknown to them at other times.” And women too.

Principle #11 The Subconscious Mind: The Connecting Link. If you truly want to be rich, you have to plant that desire, and then your plan, into your subconscious mind. Hill writes: “The subconscious mind will not remain idle! If you fail to plant desires in your subconscious mind, it will feed upon the thoughts which reach it as the result of your neglect.”

Principle #12 The Brain: A Broadcasting and Receiving Station for Thought. Our brain is a “transmitter and receiver of thought vibrations" — it absorbs thoughts from other individuals surrounding us, making it even more important to associate with intelligent, creative, and positive individuals. Hill writes: “Every human brain is capable of picking up vibrations of thought which are being released by other brains…”

Principle #13 The Sixth Sense: The Door to the Temple of Wisdom. The final principle — the "sixth sense" — occurs only after you've mastered the other 12 principles. You'll experience a sort of mind-shift, Hill says: “Through the aid of the sixth sense, you will be warned of impending dangers in time to avoid them, and notified of opportunities in time to embrace them.” In short, trust your gut!

In the final chapter, Hill wrote How to Outwit the Six Ghosts of Fear, in which he exhorts us to take inventory of ourselves and to examine how many ‘ghosts’ that may have stopped us from thinking and growing rich. “Fear is nothing more than states of mind,” writes Hill, “One’s state of mind is subject to control and direction…” He ends this book with a challenging question: “Will you make the start and be convinced?” I can’t tell enough how much this book had changed (and continue to change) my mind and attitude about life and success in general. Famous authors like Anthony Robbins, Robert Kiyosaki, Zig Ziglar, Les Brown, Brian Tracy, Ken Blanchard, Bob Proctor, Mark Victor Hansen, Og Mandino and many more had been blessed by Napoleon Hill’s philosophy. I’m aware that there are articles and investigations on the life of Napoleon Hill and his works lately claimed that the real Napoleon Hill was not at it seems to be. Maybe true, maybe not (I only see Jesus Christ as the perfect Man and no others!). I also realized and very alert that some – if not, more than a dozen – of his teachings are not biblical sound. Regardless, as I read Think and Grow Rich, I’m taking a pragmatic approach. Enjoy!

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Sunday, December 16, 2018

FREE EBOOK entitled "Time: Maximize God-given Time"


Have you ever wasted a whole day? How did you feel? Most of us will feel lousy and unproductive after a day in which nothing has been accomplished. We feel that we have been cheated out of something very precious. Now, if you waste all day playing video games or mindlessly surfing the internet or scrolling on social media, you will not feel you have wasted your time instantly. Only when the length of time wasted is accumulated, when you wake up from the virtual reality, then you’ll feel it come at you. I believe God made us that way. God has put in all of us a tremendous desire to achieve – in our hearts, our minds and our emotions. Our days are extremely valuable and certainly not a commodity to be wasted. Just think of it; our lives are measured out to us in units of time. How old are you?

The reality is: Lost time is never found again. In my new e-book, Time: Maximize God-Given Time (2018) - simple English and only 25 pages - I would like to invite you to explore with me on what the Scripture says about time - Let’s think about time, the theory of time, the framework of time, how the wise use time wisely, four (4) basic time management tools, and many more.

To get this e-book for FREE, do these simple steps:
  1. Go to my Facebook account Richard Angelus (click here: https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=2211135845876852&id=100009413758674)
  2. Write a comment “Maximize Time” and I’ll contact you personally.

 Seize the opportunity. Remember: Lost time is never found again.

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Angelus' Quote: You Already Have RM86,400 In Your Bank Account Daily


Let's say this is real. An officer calls from the bank and tells you, "Someone who loves you very much and is very wealthy has given you a large sum of money. This anonymous donor will be depositing Rm86,400 into your account every single day." "Who is that? Why?" you ask curiously. "He wants to be known as an anonymous giver, but he loves you very much. Every single day, he will deposit Rm86,400 into your account." "That's pretty huge amount?!" You're surprised and still curious.

"But there is one condition," the officer continues. "You have to spend it every single day. You can't save it up. You can't add it to the next day's balance. Every day, you must spend that money. What is not spent will be taken away. The man will do the transaction every day, but the condition is that you must spend the money." Still surprised, you push a calculator App and calculate, 86,400 x 365 days = Rm31,536,000 or Rm31.535 million a year! That's a humongous amount and unreal... Yes, this is only a fantasy.

But let's deal with reality. Someone who really does love you very much deposits into your bank of time 86,400 seconds every single day. That someone is God. In Christ, He refused to be unknown to us anymore. Jesus, God with us, Emmanuel. That's grace-bank-account. So, the condition is that you must spend it. You can't save up time today and apply it toward tomorrow—there's no such thing as 25 hours or 23 hours a day. Only 24 hours for each person. Each and every day, you have the opportunity to invest your precious commodity of time.

The psalmist wrote, "Show me, O Lord, my life's end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life" (Psalm 39:4). Paul also has a very time-conscious line: "Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is" (Ephesians 5:15-17). This my time theology: Lost time is never found again so use God-given time wisely. Every second count! How do you spend your time? Do you invest in it or waste it? Do you seize the day or let it slip?

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Angelus' Quote: Not Only Dream but Believe, Not Only Believe but Act


Let me cut the story short: Colonel Harland David Sanders (September 9, 1890 – December 16, 1980), who at the customary age of 65 received his first old age pension social security payment felt so dissatisfied that he decided to do something about it. Taking full responsibility for himself and with an idea in his mind, he changed his life with the only asset he had – a family recipe for fried chicken.

At 65 he started to try and find restaurant owners who would pay him a share in their increased profits for their fried chicken sales that used his special recipe. 1,007 times he was told “No!”(Definitely, if he were to come to me with this idea, I would probably say no too). Only the 1,008th time, he received a resounding “Yes!" 9 years later he sold his business for USD2,000,000. That was a huge amount of money… the rest is history. Today his influence of idea is greatly known as Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC).

Colonel Sanders said, “I could have just complained about the system, cursed my luck and blamed everyone else, but I would have still been trying to live on that social security income, I had got me in that position. It was up to me to get me out.” If he never got the idea, take the action, persevere in the midst of 1,000 times rejection, relentlessly achieving his dream – we will probably never taste his famous fried chicken. We will never hear of his great idea. “One sound idea,” writes Napoleon Hill, “is all you need to achieve success.” So, when you see KFC sign or when you eat at KFC, remember this: To accomplish great things we must, not only dream but believe, not only believe but act... Do you have a dream? What actions are you taking TODAY?

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Angelus' Quote: Apa Yang Kamu Fikir, Itulah Kamu


Ada seorang pelajar bertanya kepada saya, “Kenapa perkara buruk berlaku kepada orang baik?” Selepas berfikir seketika, saya menjawab, “Soalan kamu bagus tetapi tidak bermanfaat kerana tidak ada jawapan yang tepat untuk persoalan itu.” Tarik nafas. “Soalan yang lebih bagus ialah, ‘Apakah tindakan orang baik jika perkara buruk terjadi kepada mereka?’ Melalui soalan ini, kamu dapat belajar sesuatu yang lebih bermanfaat.”

Ianya sangat tidak membantu bila kita berfikir bahawa tidak ada perkara yang buruk akan berlaku kepada orang yang percaya kepada TUHAN. Malah, perkara buruk akan berlaku kepada orang baik. Contohnya, saya bukanlah seorang yang sangat baik tetapi saya pernah ditipu beberapa kali. Dulu saya pernah cuba membeli telefon bimbit pintar melalui Carousell tetapi wang saya telah digelapkan. Saya juga pernah memberi pinjaman untuk membantu kawan saya tetapi sehingga sekarang tidak dipulangkan. Beberapa tahun dulu, ada seorang yang saya percaya menyimpan wang kami bersama tetapi bila hubungan itu tidak kekal saya meminta balik, dia tidak respon apa-apa.

Jadi apakah respon saya? Berpura-pura bahawa semua perkara itu tidak pernah terjadi? Tidak. Saya harus berfikir secara realistik dan positif. Berfikiran realistik dengan mengakui kesilapan sendiri, dengan mengiakan bahawa perkara itu sudah berlalu, dan dengan mengistiharkan bahawa tidak semua orang boleh dipercayai sepenuhnya. Saya juga harus berfikiran positif. Saya belajar sesuatu yang baru melalui semua pengalaman ini, saya lebih matang untuk membuat keputusan, saya lebih menghargai kawan yang setia, saya bersukacita kerana hubungan yang tidak sihat sudah diputuskan. Alkitab ada mengatakan: “Sebab seperti orang yang membuat perhitungan dalam dirinya sendiri, demikianlah iya.” Apa yang kamu fikirkan, itulah kamu. Berfikiran secara realistik dan positif tidak akan menghilangkan masalah tetapi ia dapat menolong kamu apabila kamu melaluinya.

Yesus berfirman, “Dalam dunia kamu menderita penganiayaan, tetapi kuatkanlah hatimu, Aku telah mengalahkan dunia” (Yohanes 16:33). Yesus tidak berkata bahawa perkara buruk tidak akan berlaku kepada orang percaya. Dia berkata, bila ia berlaku, kamu harus memilih untuk berfikir dan bersikap seperti pemenang kerana Dia adalah Pemenang! (“mengalahkan dunia”). Ingat, apa yang kamu fikirkan, itulah kamu. Jika kamu membuat perhintungan yang realistik dan positif dan optimistik dalam diri dan fikiran kamu, demikianlah kamu. Jadi, apakah tindakan orang baik jika perkara buruk terjadi kepada mereka? Mereka memilih untuk percaya kepada janji-janji TUHAN dan memenuhi fikiran mereka dengan Firman Allah. Mereka mungkin pernah tewas dan beberapa ketika kalah, tetapi diakhirnya, kerana Yesus adalah Pemenang, mereka akan menang!

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Angelus' Quote: Ketikaku Bertindak Mukjizat Itu Nyata


Saya paling jarang mendengar lagu-lagu rohani Kristian, bukan genre kegemaran saya, tetapi semasa di gereja saya akan menyanyikannya. Satu lagu yang saya agak suka ialah 'Mukjizat itu Nyata', korus: "Di saatku tak berdaya, kuasa-Mu yang sempurna; ketikaku percaya, mukjizat itu nyata; bukan kar'na kekuatan, namun Roh-Mu ya TUHAN; ketikaku berdoa, mukjizat itu nyata."

Ketika kita percaya, ketika kita berdoa, mukjizat itu nyata. Lagu ini bukan Firman Alkitab tetapi ia sebuah lagu yang Alkitabiah. Oleh itu, saya ingin menambah: mukjizat (juga) nyata atau berlaku apabila kita bertindak. Mukjizat terjadi bila kita meminta. Mukjizat bermula bila kita melangkah. Pertolongan TUHAN itu dekat dan sentiasa ada, tetapi ia hanya akan dikurniakan ketika kita mencari-Nya. Mungkin mukjizat yang Allah beri tidak semestinya akan melepaskan kita daripada masalah tetapi Dia akan memberikan kita kekuatan untuk melaluinya dan jalan keluar daripada masalah itu. Apa yang penting ialah kita harus bertindak. Tidak ada apa-apa yang akan berlaku jika kita hanya berasa kasihan terhadap diri sendiri dan tidak melakukan apa-apa.

TUHAN berkenan bila iman kita radikal dan sanggup mengambil risiko (bertindak). Bila Nabi Nuh membina bahtera, nyawa diselamatkan. Bila Yosua dan para askar berkawat, benteng Yerikho runtuh. Bila Musa mengangkatkan tongkatnya, laut terbelah dua. Bila seorang budak mengongsikan apa yang dia ada, 5,000 orang juga diberkati. Bila seorang wanita menyentuh jubah Yesus, Dia berhenti dan memberi perhatian. "Anak-Ku, imanmu telah menyembuhkanmu" (Lukas 8:48). Iman wanita itu kepada Yesus hanya dalaman sahaja jika dia tidak bertindak untuk melakukan sesuatu. Apabila dia bertindak untuk menyentuh jubah Yesus, barulah keadaan luarannya pulih. Iman tanpa perbuatan itu sia-sia. Tetapi, iman + perbuatan = mukjizat!

Ramai orang percaya tetapi mukjizat tidak terjadi. Ramai orang berdoa tetapi mukjizat tidak nyata. Setiap pagi Ahad pasti ramai orang percaya dan berdoa untuk mukjizat, tetapi kenapa pada hari Isnin dan hari-hari seterusnya (99%) kehidupan mereka seperti hari-hari biasa? Kenapa? Kerana mukjizat terjadi hanya bila [selepas percaya dan berdoa] kita bertindak! Jadi, adakah kamu mengingini mukjizat terjadi di dalam kehidupan kamu? Soalannya... Apakah tindakan yang akan kamu buat? Ingat, ketika kamu bertindak, mukjizat itu nyata!

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Angelus' Quote: TubuhMu itu Tempat Kediaman Roh Kudus


Jika kamu belajar tentang doktrin akhir zaman (atau eskatologi), kamu akan diajar tentang apa yang akan terjadi kepada kita setelah kita mati secara fizikal. Dipendekkan cerita, kita tetap akan memiliki tubuh di dunia akhirat nanti. Kita tetap akan ada tubuh atau jasad tetapi ia akan berbeza daripada sekarang.

Apa yang cacat, akan dipulihkan; apa yang hilang, akan diadakan; apa yang cela, akan disempurnakan. Tubuh kamu akan berbeza tetapi ia tetap sama, atau, ia tetap sama tetapi berbeza dari yang dulu (atau dalam bahasa canggih sekarang, "mengalami tranfomasi"). Tubuh kamu yang ada sekarang akan sama dengan diakhirat kelak. Adakah doktrin ini mengubah perspektif kamu tentang tubuh kamu? Saya harap ia dapat menyedarkan kamu tentang betapa pentingnya kamu menjaga tubuh kamu.

TUHAN memandang tinggi tentang tubuh kamu. Jika tubuh kita dikatakan sebagai "tempat kediaman Roh Kudus" (1 Korintius 6:19), maka, haruslah kita "menjauhi perbuatan cabul" (6:18) atau perkara yang merosakkan dan mengotorkan tubuh kita. Jika Allah peduli, kamu juga harus peduli tentang tubuh kamu. Hormati tubuh kamu. Ya, hormati, tetapi bukan menyembah ia. Saya katakan lagi: hormati tubuh kamu. Ia ialah tempat kediaman Roh Kudus yang suci. Berwaspada tentang apa yang kamu lakukan dan berikan kepada tubuh. Jaga ia dengan baik dan penuh hormat.

Saya tidak menyuruh kamu berhenti merokok atau minum arak, saya cuma mengingatkan kamu untuk menghargai tubuh kamu. Saya tidak mengarahkan kamu supaya tidak membuat tatu di badan kamu, saya katakan bahawa kamu harus menghormati tubuh kamu. Saya bukan menyindir berat badan dan kesihatan kamu, saya hanya berkata bahawa kamu harus menjaganya dengan baik. Pernah kamu menyuruh orang asing menyelerakkan rumah kamu? Pernah kamu membiarkan bilik kamu dipenuhi dengan najis? Pernah kamu bersukacita bila melihat sampah di katil kamu? Tidak, kan?! Jadi bagaimana dengan "tempat kediaman Roh Kudus"? Malah, bukankah tubuh kamu itu sebenarnya "milik Allah"? Jadi, "gunakanlah tubuhmu untuk memuliakan Allah" (6:20).

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Angelus' Quote: Kesedihan menjadi Tarian Riang


Dalam Mazmur 30, setelah Daud memuji TUHAN kerana kebesaran, kekuatan dan kasih-Nya, dia menyatakan perbuatan Allah dalam kehidupnya: “Engkau telah mengubah kesedihanku menjadi tarian riang; Engkau telah melucutkan kedukaanku dan meliputiku dengan keriaan…” (ayat 11).

Dari kesedihkan menjadi riang; dari dukacita menjadi sukacita; dari tangisan menjadi ketawa. Di dalam Perjanjian Lama, bila orang Israel menangis dan berkabung semasa kematian atau kehilangan, mereka akan meletakan debu pada dahi mereka sebagai tanda kesedihan. Tradisi berkabung seperti ini adalah perkara biasa yang dilakukan mereka. Ini yang menariknya: umat-umat Allah dibenarkan bersedih untuk beberapa masa tertentu. Kemudian, mereka harus meneruskan kehidupan mereka seperti biasa. Contohnya dalam Ulangan 34:8 semasa kematian Musa, Alkitab berfirman, “Orang Israel menangisi Musa di dataran Moab selama 30 hari. Setelah itu, selesailah masa tangisan dan perkabungan kerana Musa.”

Bagi orang Israel, 30 hari ialah masa yang ditentukan untuk mereka berdukacita. Selepas itu, jangan bersedih lagi, kehidupan harus diteruskan… begitu juga dengan kita. Bila kita mengalami keperitan hidup, TUHAN tidak pernah menghalang kita untuk bersedih atau menangis. Masa untuk kita meratap sangat penting bagi emosi, fisikal dan mental kita manusia. TUHAN membenarkan kita meratap (Buktinya, di dalam Alkitab ada satu buku yang dipanggil Buku Ratapan). Tetapi jangan kita meratap setiap masa, memikirkan perkara yang sudah berlalu atau menyesal dengan perkara yang lepas. Jangan hidup seperti itu!

Ambil masa untuk meratap, tetapi jangan kekal dalam keadaan seperti itu. Kehidupan kamu harus diteruskan. Jangan jadikan kesedihan, dukacita, dan tangisan menjadi cara hidup kamu. Ia mengundang kepahitan dan pemikiran negatif dalam diri kamu. Ia juga akan mempengaruhi orang lain. Seminggu, cukup. Setengah bulan, cukup. Sebulan, cukup. Setahun? Jangan! TUHAN mengingini supaya kamu bangkit semula. Roh Tuhan Allah akan “mengurniai [kamu] perhiasan kepala sebagai ganti abu, minyak kegirangan sebagai ganti perkabungan, dan jubah puji-pujian sebagai ganti semangat yang pudar” (Yesaya 61:3).

Ambil Alkitab kamu (bukan App)… Baca Mazmur 30 sekali… Baca lagi Mazmur 30, sekarang, baca dengan suara yang nyaring (atau minta teman kamu membaca untuk kamu)… Gariskan dan salin ayat 11 dalam buku nota kamu… Berdoa dan percaya. Yeah!

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Angelus' Quote: The LORD is With You, You Mighty Man of Valor!


When the Angel of the Lord appeared to tell Gideon how God wanted him to save the people of Israel from the Midianites, the first words spoken were, “The LORD is with you, you mighty man of valor!” (Judges 6:12) Gideon showed his true colors when he replied, “But Lord, how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family” (v.15). That was the beginning of his many excuses.

Sound familiar? So often, we sense God telling us that He has something big for us to do. But because of a poor self-image, we say, “God, I can’t do that. You’ve got to find somebody more qualified. I don’t have what it takes.” We misheard what God is telling us. He says, “I’m with you” over and over again – that’s awesome! But then He adds, “Have I not sent you?” (v.14) God is saying this: “You are not alone, I’m with you. You're not the one who will fight, I will. I will fulfill what I sent you to do. Just obey.” Like Gideon, we count on our own strengths, “How can I save Israel?” You can’t. But God can! Like Gideon, we focus on our weaknesses, “My clan is the weakest…” but God says, “You are a mighty man (or woman) of valor!” Like Gideon, we feel “least” but He says – “The LORD is with you.”

Probably you’re hiding like Gideon (see v.11). But no more! Stand up you mighty man and woman of valor! You may feel unqualified, insecure, weak, fearful and insignificant, but God sees you as a victor!

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Sunday, December 9, 2018

6 Observations from Kuching Christmas Parade 2018 (and Why You Should Come Next Year)


Trinity Methodist Church (TMC) Kuching is a missional church. I had attended TMC for about 2 years and then moved to the local Anglican Church. I was involved in TMC Mission Ministry for one year as part of the committees. I’ve witnessed the church genuine passion for Christ and desire for others to know Him as Lord and Saviour. TMC Mission is “Being and Making Disciple for Christ” and the leaders lead by Rev Dr. Lau Hui Ming (a very humble man) make sure that their members – the church – grasp the vision and mission into their lives. They put their money (and prayer) where their mouth is. The church grows because the church go. So, no wonder TMC has been organizing Kuching Christmas Parade since 2007 because it aligns with their mission statement.

This year, the theme is Good News of Great Joy. It was expected more than 7,000 participants prior to the event, but it turned out to be more than 10,000 Christians from almost all the main churches in Kuching on an actual day. There were children and adults, church leaders and elders, youths and students, uniformed bands and decorated cars and Christmas trees. The 4-5km parade started from MBKS Jubilees ground to Kuching waterfront and back to the Jubilees ground. Malay Mail (8th Dec 2019) online news reported that the participating churches were the Roman Catholic Church, Anglican Church, Methodist Church SCAC, Methodist Church SIAC, BEM (SIB) Church, Seventh Day Adventist Church, Salvation Army, Sarawak Baptist Church, Blessed Church, Sarawak Grace Assembly Kuching, Hope Church Kuching, Calvary Family Church, Good News Fellowship, City Harvest Church, and Fellowship of Evangelical Students (FES). I joined under the banner of FES, a student ministry, which consisted of students from local campuses and universities such as UiTM, UNIMAS, TCS, SIDMA/UNITAR, I-System, etc. To use Nicholas Spark’s classic-romance novel, the parade was “a walk to remember.”

The picture was taken from Herald Malaysia (http://www.heraldmalaysia.com/news/some-10000-christians-take-part-in-kuching-christmas-parade/33776/1)

There are Six (6) Things that I observed during the parade that I want to share with you here:

#1 It Didn’t Rain. 2 hours before the parade, the weather was cloudy. When I took a picture at 4.04pm, I thought it was going to rain and the event will be canceled. But the people who were practicing that day seem to be ignoring the weather and proceed with the programme as if nothing bad going to happen. Either they were ignored or they have faith in God for good weather (or both), what was sure was that people were praying all day long. I was told that a group of intercessory prayer was praying for the event since morning until the end of the parade [To the point of contrast, anti-ICERD rally at Dataran Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur, ends early today due to rain. Coincident?].

#2 There Was No Wind. I noticed during praise and worship and prayers when most people bowed down and pray, I looked up and puzzled by the strangeness of the weather. The tree leaves don’t move at all. No wind. So how come the cloudy whether suddenly become clear? Strange. Usually, if the weather is cloudy and there is no wind, then most probably (90%) it’s going to rain. But during the parade, there is no rain at all, only drizzle after that. Miracle.

#3 The Most Smiling Faces of the Year. Pastor Nicholas Ningkau of the Sarawak Grace Assembly Church of Kuching said to the Malay Mail reporter, “When Christians take part in the parade, it has always been peaceful as we sing Christmas songs.” Imagine about 10,000 participants filled with Christian’s joy of celebrating the birth of the Saviour, met with about 5,000 plus excited people who stand sidewalk to witness the parade (including those in the cars), there was no doubt about the joy that we experienced together. I’ve never seen the most smiling faces in Malaysia any other month of the year except on Christmas (probably I'm biased).

#4 A Cloud of Witnesses. Cloudy weather? No more. A cloud of witnesses? Yes! Everyone knows that there are lots of Christian denominations in Sarawak. So much that even some Christians are confused. Thus, the Christmas parade is one of the biggest opportunity for us to show that although we are different – we are one. Also, Christmas parade is the largest gathering of Christians in Kuching (on the same day, there was also Christmas parade in Miri and Bintulu). Not only had we witnessed churches coming together as one body of Christ, but we also represent Christians from multi-ethnic and racial backgrounds. This reminds me of Jesus’ prayer for us in John 17:21, “that all of them may be one” so that “the world may believe that [the Father] has sent me.”

#5 Kids, Kids, Kids. One of the best parts in Christmas parade is the kid's joyful heart. If you joined the parade you’ll know what I mean. If not, I wish you join next year. For the sake of these kids, join the parade! They love to see us. They enjoy joyful celebration. They expect gifts from us. Even if some of the kids might not get any presents or candies, your smile, handshake, and hi-five are enough for them (although there were kids who solely came with one overarching purpose – to collect gifts only). If we can instill in the children’s mind that Christmas is a season of celebration, giving and sharing, then we already teach them the most important values in life.

#6 Sarawak Is Like No Other. You heard this so much that it might sound like a cliché but it’s true. Sarawak is a place where people of various races are (almost totally) free to practice their culture, tradition, and religion without hindrance. “For Sarawakians,” said Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg, “diversity is beauty and strength, and not division.” I agree! During the parade, a group of Malay Muslim wishes us “Merry Christmas!” and we did not end up with religious debate. Instead, we greeted one another in perfect harmony and peace-loving humanity. A group of Buddhist society (I assumed because they were wearing the same uniform) joined the parade and passed along biscuits for us to give to others. It wasn’t much but it shows that we all in this together. Jason Mraz puts it beautifully: “The question is why, why are we here? To say our hello's and goodbye's and then disappear; This beautiful life, what is it for? To learn how to master peace or master war… Love is still the answer.” And Sarawak is like no other (it rhyme).

Next Year Christmas Parade. Don’t Miss it. Join.
You Will Be Blessed and Bringing Blessing to Others. This is Christmas.
THINK BIG. START SMALL. GO DEEP.

P.s: I don't like big events. Crowd drains my energy, personal time empowered me. But Christmas Parade is different. It is churches coming together. It is an open invitation. It is a Church with no walls! Worship in buildings is comfortable, but worship in the open space is freedom. Christ's birth was announced to sinners, His death was a public execution, He rose again and taken up to heaven... all in public. This is not a secret society or buildings religion... this is Christianity, followers of the living Christ!

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Friday, December 7, 2018

Angelus' Quote: Bagaimana dengan Gambaran-Diri Kamu?


Yesus berfirman: “Mata ialah pelita tubuh. Jika matamu terang, seluruh tubuhmu penuh dengan cahaya. Tetapi jika matamu kabur, seluruh tubuhmu gelap. Jika cahaya di dalam tubuhmu menjadi gelap, maka gelap-gelitalah keadaannya!” (Matius 6:22-23, AVB). Apa yang kamu lihat di dalam diri kamu sendiri - gambaran-diri - akan mempengaruhi fikiran, emosi dan sikap kamu sendiri dan orang lain.

Jika kamu melihat diri kamu sebagai seorang yang kurang menarik, tidak bernasib baik dan selalu gagal, maka, gambaran itu akan direalisasikan di dalam kehidupan kamu. Walaupun gambaran-diri kamu itu tidak semestinya benar, kamu akan mengiyakannya. Saya ada seorang kawan perempuan yang cantik, tetapi dia selalu berkata kepada kami semua, "Tidak ada orang yang minat dengan saya..." Walaupun ramai yang cuba untuk memikat dia, dia tidak pernah mencapai kesimpulan bahawa dia sebenarnya seorang yang menarik. Mata dia "kabur." Sebelum menghadapi peperiksaan, seorang pelajar berkata, "Saya akan gagal lagi..." Kamu tahu? Iya menjadi kenyataan sebelum iya terjadi.

"Mata ialah pelita tubuh." "Mata" ini mesti merujuk kepada mata rohani. Jika kamu melihat diri kamu dengan menggunakan mata rohani, kamu akan melihat gambaran-diri yang berbeza. Yesus Kristus sudah mati dan bangkit semula bagi kamu (dan saya) dan menjadikan kita semua sebagai anak-anak Tuhan. Lihat diri kamu sendiri melalui perspektif ini. Lihat diri kamu diberkati oleh Allah dan memberkati orang lain; lihat diri kamu dikasihi oleh Allah dan mengasihi orang lain; lihat diri kamu bersukacita dan kamu akan melayani orang lain dengan sukacita.

Saya dan seorang kawan saya bernama Julai selalu membuat lawak dan berkata begini bila memperkenalkan diri: "Saya seorang yang tampan!" Bagi orang yang tidak mengenali kami, mereka mungkin menyangka bahawa kami sangat perasan (ada betulnya...). Tetapi ayat itu (sekurang-kurangnya bagi saya), sebenarnya dapat membangkitkan rasa yakin dan menghilangkan perasaan resah. Ada kalanya saya akan berkata kepada diri sendiri, "Saya ialah anak Tuhan"; " Saya berkenan di hadapan Allah"; "Saya boleh melakukan segalanya melalui Kristus yang memberikan kekuatan" (Filipi 4:13). Gambaran-diri sebegini akan membuka ruang untuk berkat dan kurnia TUHAN melimpah di dalam hidupmu.

Konteks Matius 6:22-23 ini ialah tentang menjadi hamba Allah atau hamba kekayaan. "Jika matamu kabur", kamu akan melihat bahawa menjadi hamba kekayaan itu baik (walaupun sebenarnya iya membawa kegelapan). "Jika matamu terang", kamu akan melihat bahawa menjadi hamba Allah itu baik. Dan ini yang kamu perlu tahu juga: Di dalam Kristus, kita bukan hanya dipanggil hamba-hamba Allah, tetapi juga anak-anak Allah. Berdoa supaya mata rohani kamu melihat realiti ini juga! Kawan, gambaran-diri kamu juga akan berubah! Pasti!

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Angelus' Quote: You Mighty Man of Valor!


When the Angel of the Lord appeared to tell Gideon how God wanted him to save the people of Israel from the Midianites, the first words spoken were, “The LORD is with you, you mighty man of valor!” (Judges 6:12) Gideon showed his true colors when he replied, “But Lord, how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family” (v.15). That was the beginning of his many excuses.

Sound familiar? So often, we sense God telling us that He has something big for us to do. But because of a poor self-image, we say, “God, I can’t do that. You’ve got to find somebody more qualified. I don’t have what it takes.” We misheard what God is telling us. He says, “I’m with you” over and over again – that’s awesome! But then He adds, “Have I not sent you?” (v.14) God is saying this: “You are not alone, I’m with you. You're not the one who will fight, I will. I will fulfill what I sent you to do. Just obey.” Like Gideon, we count on our own strengths, “How can I save Israel?” You can’t. But God can! Like Gideon, we focus on our weaknesses, “My clan is the weakest…” but God says, “You are a mighty man (or woman) of valor!” Like Gideon, we feel “least” but He says – “The LORD is with you” – that’s more than one!

 Probably you’re hiding like Gideon (see v.11). But no more! Stand up you mighty man and woman of valor! You may feel unqualified, insecure, weak, fearful and insignificant, but God sees you as a victor!

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Thursday, December 6, 2018

Rich Dad’s Cashflow Quadrant: Guide to Financial Freedom (2012) by Robert T. Kiyosaki, Book Review


Rich Dad’s Cashflow Quadrant: Guide to Financial Freedom (2012)
by Robert T. Kiyosaki

After I read the first chapter of this book, I realized that I should read Robert’s Rich Dad Poor Dad (1997) first because he always refers to it every time. But I don’t want to stop my momentum, so I downloaded the audiobook and decide to listen to Rich Dad instead (I listened to 6 hours audio in a week) while reading this book. In this way, I can understand this book as much as I can since I have only a little knowledge about financial education (sad) and economic terms. I regret that I only read this book NOW but at the same time I’m glad that I read it NOW. I wish I was more concern about my financial education early in my life. I was an ignorance then. But yeah, it’s not too late if I start now, right?

The main reason people struggle financially is that they have spent years in school but learned nothing about money,” said Robert Kiyosaki matter of fact. “The result is that people learn to work for money… but never learn to have money work for them.” As Robert’s Poor Dad used to say, “Go to school, get good grades, and find a safe secure job.” His Poor Dad as with many of our parents and parent parents always advise us to become either a well-paid employee (usually in Malaysia, work with the government) or a well-paid self-employed professional (such as a medical doctor, lawyer, engineer or accountant). Poor Dad was very concerned about a steady salary, benefits, pension, and job security. Poor Dad’s keyword is SECURITY.

But Robert’s Rich Dad (his friend’s dad), although uneducated in term of formal education, offered very different advice. He said, “Go to school, graduate, build a business, and become a successful investor.” Don’t be a slave of money, said Rich Dad. He believed that life is more important than money, but that money was important for supporting life. He often said, “You only have so many hours in a day, and you can only work so hard. So why work hard for money? Learn to have money and people work hard for you, and you can be free to do the things that are important.” To Robert’s Rich Dad, what was important was: Having lots of time to raise his kids; having money to donate to charities and projects he supported; bringing jobs and financial stability to the community; having time and money to take care of his health; and being able to travel the world with his family. “Those things take money,” said Rich Dad. “That’s why money is important to me. Money is important, but I don’t want to spend my life working for it.” Rich Dad’s keyword is FREEDOM. How? Robert introduces CASHFLOW Quadrant and tells us that we need to move from the left quadrants (E = employee; S = small business or self-employed) to the right quadrants (B = big business [500 employees]; I = investor). The CASHFLOW Quadrant represents the different methods by which income or money is generated.

This book is divided into Three (3) Parts:

Part 1: The CASHFLOW Quadrant. This part focuses on the core differences between people in the four quadrants. It shows why certain people gravitate to certain quadrants and often get stuck there without realizing it (now I realize it). It will help readers to identify where they are today in the quadrant and where they want to be in 5 years. Chapter #1 Why Don’t You Get a Job?; Chapter #2 Different Quadrants, Different People; Chapter #3 Why People Choose Security over Freedom; Chapter #4 The Three Kinds of Business Systems; Chapter #5 The Five Levels of Investors; and Chapter #6 You Cannot See Money with Your Eyes.

Part 2: Bringing Out the Best in You. This part is about personal change. It’s more about who you have to be, instead of what you have to do. Chapter #7 Becoming Who You Are; Chapter #8 How Do I Get Rich?; and Chapter #9 Be the Bank, Not the Banker.

Part 3: How to Become a Successful B and I. In this last part, Robert explains how to find success on the right side of the CASHFLOW Quadrant. Chapter #10 Take Baby Steps; The Seven (7) Steps to Finding Your Financial Fast Track. Step 1: It’s Time to Mind Your Own Business, Step 2: Take Control of Your Cash Flow, Step 3: Know the Difference Between Risk and Risky, Step 4: Decide What Kind of Investor You Want to Be, Step 5: Seek Mentors, Step 6: Make Disappointment Your Strength, and Step 7: The Power of Faith.

I have to admit that I don’t understand fully what Robert says in this book (although I find out that it was written in the simple language). I don’t understand how tax, mortgage, most investing methods, business systems, even loan, etc. works. This doesn’t bring me down. In fact, it makes me want to learn more. I might be far from financial freedom (but not so far) but I'm determined to learn more and take actions necessary to achieve financial freedom in my life! “Your boss’s job is to give you a job,” reminded Robert, “It’s your job to make yourself rich.”

THINK BIG. START SMALL. GO DEEP.

  
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Monday, December 3, 2018

Angelus' Quote: Kamu Akan Mengenal Kebenaran dan Iya Akan Membebaskanmu


Kawan, jangan menjadi banduan kepada masa lepas kamu. Banyak orang suka menghidupkan kembali hal-hal silam. Mereka tidak faham kenapa doa-doa mereka tidak dijawab; kenapa orang yang mereka kasihi meninggalkan mereka; kenapa mereka dilayani dengan teruk. Sesetengah orang tinggal terlalu lama dalam penjara diri sendiri, bersikap kasihan-kepada-diri-sendiri. Terlalu lama sehingga ia menjadi identiti mereka. Mereka membutakan mata dan kemudian dibutakan... tidak menyedari bahawa TUHAN sudah lama menunggu untuk mengembalikan apa yang mereka sudah hilang selama ini.

Jika kamu tidak sanggup untuk meninggalkan (atau melepaskan) perkara yang lama dulu, jadi, jangan berharap bahawa TUHAN dapat melakukan sesuatu yang baru dalam kehidupan kamu. Dia mahu dan Dia mampu, tetapi jika kamu tidak bertindak, iya tidak akan terjadi. Jika ada sesuatu yang kamu rasa tidak adil dilakukan terhadap kamu, buat keputusan sekarang untuk tidak lagi mengulangi kejadian itu di dalam fikiran kamu. Berdoa perlepasan untuk diri sendiri (kenapa perlu menunggu orang lain untuk mendoakan kamu).

Sebaliknya, fikirkan tentang perkara yang baik dan indah dalam kehidupan kamu (sebagai permulaan, ucaplah syukur kepada TUHAN atas nafas yang diberikan-Nya); fikirkan perkara yang dapat membangunkan kamu bukan menjatuhan kamu; fikirkan perkara yang mendorong kamu dan memberikan harapan bahawa masa depan kamu sudah ada di tangan TUHAN yang setia dan mengasihi kamu. Mulakan setiap hari kamu dengan janji-janji Allah dan kebenaran Firman-Nya. Yesus berkata di dalam Yohanes 8:32, "[Kamu] akan mengenal kebenaran dan kebenaran akan membebaskanmu.” Ingat: Jangan menjadi banduan kepada masa depan kamu, kenalilah kebenaran - Yesus Kristus dan perbuatan-Nya - maka Iya akan membebaskan kamu!

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Angelus' Quote: Jangan Khuatiri Hari Esok


Siapakah antara kamu dapat memanjangkan umur walaupun sedikit dengan mengkhuatiri hidupnya?... Oleh itu, jangan khuatiri hari esok, kerana ada cukup hal yang dikhuatirkan pada hari esok. Cukuplah kesusahan hari ini, tidak usah ditambah lagi
(Matius 6:27, 34,
BM)

Kita tidak boleh mengubah masa silam, tetapi kita boleh mengubah masa depan dengan mengkhuatiri hari esok. Soalan: Berapa ramai daripada kita telah merosakkan hari ini dengan kekhuatiran? Kekhuatiran akan ada kesan sampingannya seperti ulser, perasaan tidak tenteram, tidur yang tidak lena dan sebagainya. Ia membuat kita berasa teruk dan tidak gembira. Ia akan menambahkan lagi masalah dan langsung tidak membawa kepada jalan penyelesaian.

Soalan Yesus sebenarnya adalah kenyataan bahawa kita tidak dapat memanjangkan umur walaupun sedikit dengan kekhuatiran – tidak pernah terjadi dalam sejarah dunia! Jadi, betapa bodohnya kita jika kita sentiasa risau dan khuatir! Tetapi, kita mudah lupa tentang hal ini… Dalam kemanusiaan kita, kita boleh mencari 1001 alasan untuk sentiasa khuatir. Khuatir seperti ini adalah dosa kerana ia menunjukkan betapa kita tidak percaya kepada TUHAN. Bagi orang Kristian, jika kita khuatir, kita mungkin percaya bahawa TUHAN itu maha kuasa. Tetapi pada masa yang sama, perbuatan dan sikap kita mencerminkan pemikiran seperti ini: “Saya tidak pasti samada TUHAN peduli dan menjaga saya.” Jangan berfikir begini!

Kita harus yakin dan percaya bahawa TUHAN itu sentiasa setia. Dia tidak pernah lupa. Dia tidak mudah mengubah fikiran-Nya. Dia tidak akan lupa tentang kita dan janji-janji-Nya untuk sentiasa mencukupkan dan memberkati kita. Dia akan sentiasa menjaga kita – setiap sudut dan ketika dalam kehidupan kita. Kekhuatiran tidak dapat menyembuhkan penyakit, memberi kita makan minum, membayar bil, dan menyelesaikan masalah. Tetapi TUHAN boleh! Dia seringkali menunggu kita untuk datang kepada-Nya dalam doa dan kerendahan hati.

Permulaan iman adalah pengakhiran kepada kekhuatiran. Serahkan semuanya kepada TUHAN – kerisauan, masalah, perkara doa – dan biarkan Dia menguruskannya. Lakukanlah yang terbaik dan buatlah sesungguhnya hari ini, kemudian serahkanlah semuanya kepada TUHAN dan jangan khuatir. TUHAN sudah ada di masa depan kita.

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Angelus' Quote: Hati Yang Tidak Berbelah Bahagi


Kaleb ialah seorang pengintip dan salah seorang daripada pemimpin suku-suku Israel. Mungkin ada yang kurang berminat tentang kisah seorang pengintip tetapi percayalah, banyak yang kita boleh belajar daripada keperibadian Kaleb. Wow, saya berharap apabila saya berumur 85 tahun kelak saya masih bersemangat dan berpegang teguh kepada iman saya dan masih komited melihat janji-janji TUHAN digenapi seperti Kaleb. Apabila kebanyakkan orang mahu kehidupan yang lebih senang menjelang hari tua mereka, Kaleb masih lagi tidak sabar-sabar untuk berkhidmat. Dia digambarkan di dalam Alkitab sebagai seorang yang mengikut TUHAN dengan sepenuh hatinya. Kita boleh membaca tentang pengelibatan dia bersama Yosua dalam bukuBilangan bab 13 dan 14.

Kaleb ialah seorang yang beriman dengan sepenuh hati dia, tidak berbelah bahagi dan tidak setengah-setengah. Dia tidak hanya mengikut TUHAN apabila keadaan semuanya baik-baik sahaja atau apabila ia tidak melibatkan apa-apa kos dan berputus asa apabila keadaan semakin sukar. Tidak! Kaleb tetap terus berdiri teguh dan berani menghadapi cabaran walauapapun dugaan dan cabaran yang datang.

Kamu kenal orang yang selalu melihat masalah dan menjangka banyak perkara buruk yang akan berlaku apabila cuba untuk melakukan sesuatu? Kamu kenal orang yang selalu memberi banyak alasan kenapa ia tidak boleh terjadi? Kamu kenal orang yang sudah mengalah walaupun belum lagi melakukan apa-apa? Itu bukan Kaleb! Kaleb seorang yang teguh hati. Dia bukan saja percaya, malah, dia menggalakkan orang lain: “Kita cukup kuat!” (Bilangan 13:30). Ini bukan sekadar berfikiran positif atau sikap optimis yang membabi buta. Kaleb mempunyai sikap dan iman yang percaya kepada firman TUHAN. Dia melihat sesuatu keadaaan dan krisis dengan kaca mata TUHAN. Dia melihat apa yang akan terjadi bila TUHAN beserta kita. Dia mengambil serius terhadap perintah dan janji TUHAN.

Hati Kaleb tidak berbelah bahagi. Dia beriman dengan sepenuh hatinya. Kaleb melihat rencana TUHAN dan keinginan hatinya sama saja kerana dia telah mengabdikan dirinya kepada TUHAN. Dia percaya. Dia beriman. Dia memegang kepada janji-janji-Nya. TUHAN milik dia, dia milik TUHAN. TUHAN, berikan kami hati yang tidak berbelah bahagi seperti Kaleb dan sentiasa melayani-Mu sampai hari tua kami. Amen.

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Angelus' Quote: Allah Bekerja Untuk Kebaikan Orang Yang Mengasihi-Nya


Salah satu konsep yang indah dalam Firman Allah ialah Dia mempunyai rancangan yang istimewa dalam hidup kita, jika kita mengasihi Dia. Dalam Galatia 1:15, Paulus menulis bahawa Allah “telah mengasingkanku daripada rahim ibuku dan memanggilku melalui kasih kurnia-Nya.” Ya, Tuhan ada rancangan-Nya dalam kehidupan Paulus. Tiada apa dalam kehidupan Paulus – samada sebelum atau selepas dia menjadi pengikut Kristus – yang sia-sia. Semasa dia masih muda, dia menjadi murid kepada guru Gamaliel (Kisah Para Rasul 5:34-39), cucu kepada Hillel, antara guru Taurat Musa yang paling terkenal dalam sejarah orang Yahudi.

Semua pendidikan dan latihan Paulus dibawah Gamaliel, masa yang digunakan untuk mengkaji Alkitab dan Hukum Taurat, segala pengetahuan tentang adat nenek moyang orang Yahudi, semuanya merupakan sebahagian daripada rancangan Allah dalam kehidupan Paulus. Tuhan dengan kebijiksanaan-Nya telah menyediakan minda Paulus dengan Hukum Taurat dan telah meletakkan kasih kurnia-Nya dalam hatinya. Dengan ini, Paulus boleh bersaksi bahawa bukan Hukum Taurat yang boleh menyelamatkan kita tetapi hanya dengan darah Yesus Kristus, iman melalui kasih-kurnia-Nya. Bila Paulus bertemu dengan Tuhan Yesus segala-galanya telah berubah.

Allah telah mendahului setiap kehidupan kita yang percaya dan mengasihi-Nya. Dia telah menyediakan kita sebelum kita lahir ke dunia. Dia ada rancangan yang indah dalam setiap kehidupan kita. “Kerana kita ini buatan-Nya, dicipta dalam Kristus Yesus untuk melakukan perbuatan baik, yang telah disediakan terdahulu oleh Allah untuk kita lakukan” (Efesus 2:10).

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Angelus' Quote: Allah berfirman, Abraham memandang; Abraham percaya, Allah berkenan



“TUHAN membawa Abram ke luar lalu berfirman, "Pandanglah ke langit dan cubalah hitung bintang; engkau akan mempunyai keturunan sebanyak bintang."
(Kejadian 15:5)

Kenapa TUHAN berfirman kepada Abram untuk ke luar, memandang langit dan menyuruh dia menghitung bintang-bintang ketika Dia berjanji kepada Abram bahawa dia akan menjadi bapa segala bangsa? (Nama Abram ditukarkan kepada 'Abraham' yang bermaksud 'bapa segala bangsa'). Kerana TUHAN tahu bahawa Abraham tidak boleh membayangkan betapa besar janji Allah kepadanya. Kerana TUHAN mahu Abraham mendongak ke langat sebagai peringatan bahawa Dia yang berjanji dan berkuasa untuk melaksanakannya. Kerana TUHAN ingin meletakkan suatu gambaran baru di dalam fikiran Abraham.

Bagi Abraham dan Sarah, mereka sudah tua dan tidak mempunyai zuriat (lagipun Sarah mandul), maka secara logik dan semula jadi, janji Allah itu merupakan suatu perkara yang tidak mungkin - mustahil! Tetapi setiap kali Abraham melihat bintang-bintang di langit, dia akan diingatkan semula tentang janji Allah kepadanya. Dia melihat janji itu melalui mata imannya. Kejadian 15:6 menulis respon kepada 15:5, "Abram percaya kepada TUHAN, maka TUHAN berkenan kepadanya." Allah berfirman, Abraham memandang; Abraham percaya, Allah berkenan.

Bila kamu membaca Firman dan/atau bila Allah berfirman kepada kamu, adakah kamu memandang dengan mata imanmu? Apa yang kamu gambarkan di dalam fikiran kamu, itu yang akan menentukan tahap kepercayaan kamu. Janji Allah tetap teguh dan benar tetapi kepercayaan kita bergantung kepada mata iman kita. Ingat, "Abraham percaya" dahulu baru "TUHAN berkenan" kepadanya (Ini bukan tentang isu keselamatan). Kamu harus melihat gambaran itu di dalam fikiran kamu dulu sebelum ia digenapi di dalam kehidupan kamu. Kenapa TUHAN berkali-kali mengingatkan Abraham tentang janji-Nya dari satu peristiwa ke peristiwa seterusnya? Kerana Dia ingin meletakkan gambaran baru itu di dalam fikiran Abraham.

Ubah apa yang kamu gambarkan di dalam fikiran kamu, maka, kehidupan kamu juga akan berubah. Berfikiran negatif dan tidak-mungkin ialah kepakaran kita manusia. Jadi, untuk mengubah gambaran di dalam fikiran kita, cara yang terbaik ialah dengan membaca, memahami dan menghafal Firman Allah. Salah satu cara lagi ialah dengan melihat ciptaan Allah. Pandanglah ke langit dan lihat bintang-bintang... Jika kamu rajin, bawa kalkulator dan kira!

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