Thursday, November 30, 2006

Do nothing at home and go crazy soon

The fear I had before coming back to Malaysia has intensified. I have not get a job yet, and been sitting at home for almost 2 weeks doing nothing. My friends are busy, have not meet them yet, and I do not have money to go shopping or travel around. I do not know why God let this happen again and again. My life is still same as before I go to New Zealand. It is like, I have been to paradise, and now put me back to hell. Why I have to come back? Because I have not seen my family for 2 years. Why I have to work? So that I do not have to be a burden for my family. Why I have to work here? Because my mum wants me to stay here with her longer. Why I have difficulties to find a job, meet a friend or find a good church? Because transport is not convenient here. I used to able to take only one bus to reach city centre, now I need two. If I want to go back to my former school, I need to take 4 different vehicles, including LRT, I used to take 2-3. I don’t mind to travel, but it is not safe out there, my house nearby there was a robbery yesterday that the robber got killed by security. Robbery and rape or other crime activities are very common here, although I trust God can protect me, but do I have to risk myself? I only have 2 months to work. Nobody wants to hire me. Yes I can work in retail, but I need to sacrifice public holidays and weekends, that means I cannot go to church. It is hard to decide, I rather to suffer for something meaningful, but not. I am doing nothing!

Church


After reading ‘Guidance and the voice of God’ by Philip Jensen and Tony Payne, I have a clearer picture in the importance of go to church and deciding a church. Church is a meeting or gathering of Christians. In Hebrews 10:24-25 it clearly states that Christians should gather together, being edified and edify others. We are imperfect and need each other’s fellowship to be rebuked and corrected and encouraged to persevere. To choose a church, we can only have fellowship with real Christians instead of counterfeits.How to determine if the church is consists of real Christians?

1. Justification by faith (Galatians 1:1-10)

2. The Real Jesus (1 Corinthians 12:1-3, 1 John 4:2-3)

3. The Apostles' Words (1 John 4:6)



Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Rejoices in the truth and glorify God

My faith and obedience comes when I realise that how big God is, and how small I am. God is opposite to me: He is big, glorious, mighty, sovereign, powerful, and strong; but I am small, fallen short of God’s glory, insignificant for the world, powerless, and weak. Yet He still loves me, still willing to die for me, have mercy on me, want to involve in my life, and want me to be happy, for His own glory. He deserves everything I have and I am. He deserves my praise, worship, and thanksgiving. He alone deserves everything.

“God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him” says John Piper. This has challenged me a lot. I never see God in this way before. “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4) Delight, rejoice, satisfy in the lord, and seek His kingdom first… As humans we have the desires to be satisfied, the problem comes when we pursuing the wrong things to satisfy our desires. We thought when we gain this or that we can be happy, but we missed out the greatest joy and what we created for: to desire and glorify God. We could not see that if we keep ourselves occupied with pursuing temporary happiness and satisfaction from worldly means, or being anxious. God is good, he created us for his glory, and at the same time he wants us to be happy. We can have greatest joy and satisfaction when we our greatest desire is to glorify God. Pursuing joy and glorify God can be one passion, according to Piper. What is this one passion? To Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. (Deuteronomy 6:5) Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. (1 Corinthians 13:6) How to love? By rejoices with the truth. How to know the truth? By reading and meditating upon the word of God, be truthful, and obey the truth. These are just my little thoughts.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

God is God and I am not

I do not know why, sometimes people said I am oversensitive, in terms of criticising churches, especially church teachings. I would not dare to say that I know everything about the bible, and whatever I say is right. In fact, there is still many things I need to learn and experience. I did not feel comfortable when some churches is overfocused on “me” instead of “God”. “What should I do so that God can bless me?” is a very common topic in most church sermons. The content might use a lot of bible quotations, and sounds reasonable. However, they magnified “me” instead of who God is. It is danger as it might distort the image of God. Indeed it makes people feels good about themselves, and is very attractive to the crowd. I cannot say it is wrong. But I just do not feel comfortable about it.

For me, knowing God’s promises and knowing the way God could bless me did not help me much in my spiritual growth. Only by knowing who God is (His character/attribute), and what He did through relationship with Him (prayers and meditating upon His Word), my life has changed since then.

Statement of belief

What do you think of the statement of belief of this church?
What We Believe
1. We believe in the plenary-verbal inspiration of the accepted canon of scriptures as originally given. The scriptures are infallible, inerrant and the sole and final authority for all matters of faith and conduct.(2 Timothy 3:16; 1 Corinthians 2:13)
2. We believe in the eternal Godhead who has revealed Himself as one God existing in three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, distinguishable but indivisible.(Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14)
3. We believe in the creation, test and fall of man as recorded in Genesis; his total spiritual depravity and inability to attain to divine righteousness.(Romans 5:12, 18)
4. We believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior of men, conceived by the Holy Spirit, born by the Virgin Mary, very God and very Man.(Luke 1:26-35; John 1:14-18; Isaiah 7:14; 9:6)
5. We believe Christ died for our sins, was buried and rose again the third day, and personally appeared unto His disciples.(1 Corinthians 15:1-4; Romans 4:25)
6. We believe in the bodily ascension of Jesus to heaven, His exaltation and personal, literal and bodily coming again the second time for His Church.(John 14:2-3; and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)
7. We believe in the salvation of sinners by grace, through repentance and faith in the perfect and sufficient work of the cross of Calvary by which we obtain remission of sins.(Ephesians 2:8-9; Hebrews 9:12, 22; Romans 5:11)
8. We believe in the necessity of water baptism by immersion in the name of the eternal Godhead in order to fulfill the command of the Lord Jesus Christ.(Matthew 28:19; Acts 2:34-36; 19:1-6)
9. We believe in the baptism in the Holy Spirit as a real experience at or subsequent to salvation, with the scriptural evidence, namely, speaking in other tongues as the Spirit gives utterance.(Acts 2:1-4; 8:14-17; 10:44-45; Galatians 3:14-15)
10. We believe in the operation of the gifts and ministries of the Spirit as enumerated in 1 Corinthians 12-14 and Ephesians 4, as manifested in the early Church.
11. We believe in the Spirit-filled life, a life of separation from the world and perfecting of holiness in the fear of God as expressing the true Christian faith.(Ephesians 5:18; 2 Corinthians 6:14; 7:1)
12. We believe in the healing of the body by Divine power, or Divine healing in its varied aspects as practised in the early Church (Acts 4:30; Romans 8:11; 1 Corinthians 12:9; James 5:14) and by deliverance in the name of Jesus.(Mark 16:17)
13. We believe in the table of the Lord, commonly called the Communion or the Lord's Supper, for believers.(1 Corinthians 11:28-32; Matthew 26:26-28)
14. We believe in the reality and personality of the Devil and eternal judgment in the Lake of Fire for the Devil and his angels.(Matthew 25:41; Revelation 20:14-15)
15. We believe in the eternal life for believers (John 5:24; 3:16), and eternal punishment for the unbelievers.(Mark 9:43-48; 2 Thessalonians 1:9; Revelation 20:10-15)
16. We believe that there is one true universal Church, made up of genuine believers, but this one universal Church is also composed of many local Churches in given localities. These Churches are under the sovereign headship of the Lord Jesus Christ, exercising autonomous government under Him, administering all its local affairs and ministry, as well as the propagation of the gospel.(Acts 15:22; Matthew 16:18; 18:15-20)

Still looking for a good church

I’m very disappointed with the condition of churches in KL (Kuala Lumpur), perhaps until the point of despair. We have been living in KL for almost 9 years, and we still floating around and finally given up in looking for a good church. Same thing happens everywhere in the world: the churches are corrupted themselves and not being in line with the teachings of the bible. Some people rather read the bible at home and refuse to go to church because of that.

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. (2 Timothy 3:1-5)

These people are referred to people in the church, I myself and my parents have met these people, and God wants us to avoid them. Does that mean that do not go to church? But God wants us to serve. I am hurted, and confused, really confused.


Sunday, November 26, 2006

Stand firm in grace, truth, and power of Christ Jesus

I’ve been at home for almost a week. I feel that my faith is getting weaker, the thing that I was worrying all the time before I came – forget about God and walk further from Him and walk towards the crowd, or more straightforward, the world. I did not go to church today. As me and my parents were discussing which church should we go, we did not come out with a conclusion, so we end up went to the market instead. It is hard; especially it is weird to “intrude” a church that you do not know anyone there. I’ve been trying to read the bible and Christian books everyday. However there are too many distractions, the noise level in KL especially in my house is amazing – my brother plays music, rock and metal music at home, and parents were watching television, even I shut my door I still find it hard to concentrate. I could say – the quality of quiet time is not as good, and I found it really hard to focus and think about God. I knew it, I knew that I am weak, I knew that without the surrounding of my fellow brothers and sisters I cannot be that strong. I start missing New Zealand, start thinking how would I be if I’m still in Palmy, walking with my flatmate to the church, meeting my fellow brothers and sisters there, have church lunch after that, and talk about God and everything. Those are the most precious times that I had.

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” (Philippians 4:8-9)

Yet I still have to fight, or more correctly, stand firm in my faith in Christ.

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.” (Ephesians 6:10-18)

And from 2 Timothy Chapter 2, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus, as a soldier who wants to please his commanding officer, as an athlete that competes according to the rules, as a hardworking farmer, an approved workman, a clean vessel, and a faithful servant.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Back in KL

Finally I’m back at home after 2 years in New Zealand. Everything seems not much different here. It’s like I never been away. Weather and temperature are just nice. Food is nice; connection speed is awesomely fast at home (with broadband). Yesterday during the trip from Auckland to KL I met many different people: a German photographer for international car rally championship, a Malaysian software developer who is going to travel around Asia, an Indian man who wants to buy an external hard drive in KL, and a Malaysian PhD pharmacy student from Otago University. I was thinking about God all the time, and hope I can have meaningful conversations with these people. Only for the pharmacist, who was sitting beside me in the plane, I managed to talk about God and shared the gospel with him within the last 2 hours. Before that I was struggling if I should talk about God with him, I did not want to. But deep in my heart I knew God wants me to, and I prayed that He will make the progress easier if that is His will. I prayed before I have the meal, and he asked if I am a Christian, and we started the conversation about God. We had a very interesting conversation. He is a Roman Catholic, but believes all religion leads to God, like Christianity and Islam are the same. I told him that Jesus is the only way, truth, and life, and I encouraged him to seek the truth, to read the bible. He said we Christians always have a group of people do things together, and seems very “holy” and he doesn’t want to be involved. He is kind of nice guy and doesn’t want to offend me, he told me he has his own set of belief, but respects mine. But anyways, I managed to take out two ways to live and shared the gospel with him, I don’t know if he got it or not, I have done everything that I can. I was happy then, because I won’t have regrets. Oh ya, I met Fran while boarding, we were shocked seeing each other there. We didn’t sit together, but we were walking together after we arrived KL.

That guy asked me a question: Why Christians always say heaven is up there in the sky, and hell is down there in the earth?
I didn't answer him directly, I said I wasn't sure. But I asked him why he wants to know, I told him God is everywhere all the time. Heaven and hell exist, but are spiritual realm. I don't know if I said it right?

Monday, November 13, 2006

Emotional

Can’t believe tomorrow I’m going to finish my exams, and the day after SLC, and in a week time I’ll be at home! Can’t believe I’m moving out from this flat, leaving my loving flatmates. I’m filled with a mixture of emotions at the moment. On one hand I wish I can study harder for exam tomorrow, and I do not have confidence in passing it, but on the other hand I could not wait until everything’s over! 2 years! Things have been change a lot in 2 years! I knew I’m going to miss New Zealand and everyone here, but I’m sure I’ll be happy to reunite with my family and friends...

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Go to SLC if you can!

“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.” (Matthew 13:44-46)


I cannot wait to go to SLC (student leadership conference), and I urged people try their best to go if they can. However, I got annoyed when people do not seem understand why going to conference is so important. I don’t usually force people to do something, except this time. I got really frustrated when I knew that a person have the chance to go but refuse to go for whole week. It is like: putting a mountain of treasures in front of you, and you just take some of it, because you leave your arms for something that is less valuable. If only you know who God is!

It is not about what the conference about, yes indeed you going to learn heaps there about God. But for me, it is about being in the Kingdom of God, being in a place where everyone has the same focus, same belief, same God. I never regret went to conferences, everytime I went I feel refreshed and strengthen again. I knew it is good for me, and I know it is essential for me, as I can put my focus back on to God himself and put my perspectives on the right place again. I enjoy the fellowship with other Christians, encouraging each other and pray for each other. I’ll try my best to go even I do not have sufficient money. People think I am mad because I would have done something else and save some money. But no… it’s not about self-enjoyment. It is about being equipped by God, so that I can do his work better, so that I do not waste any opportunity in life. Why I am still on earth after I accepted Jesus Christ in my life? There must be a purpose: to be His disciple.

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I will be with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)

So you know being a disciple and making others disciple is Jesus’s command. But how do you do it? That’s why SLC is a good place to learn how to do it, yes you can learn through other ways, but here is the place and specially designed for you to equip you. But it means nothing for you if you do not have the passion for God and being a disciple is not the focus of your life.

Last year I went to SLC, and met Auntie Gloria there, I told her that it was too wonderful that I do not want to leave. I told her that I wish I could be like that: study God’s word, praise and worship God, do everything for God everyday. She told me: “don’t worry; you’ll be like that when you go to heaven.” Yes, experiencing God is the most wonderful thing that you can get, it satisfying me so much, because it is why I am created for: to experience God and to worship Him.

This morning’s passage is Hebrews 12:1-2: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Yes, throw off everything that hinders! Run! With perseverance! Fix our eyes on Jesus! Got it?!

Love, not obligation

Again I got severe headache and could not sleep. I lie down on the bed, listening to music, hopefully to relieve the headache. I think back things that happened in my life. My heart aches as there were so many people who loved me, cared about me, but I had forgotten, and neglected them. I hardly contact any of my best friends from high school back home, not even my former colleagues. Even friends that I first met in NZ who helped me a lot during hard times before, I had forgotten them. Fewer calls were made to my parents, and one day I called my mum, only realised how much she missed me and waited for my call for so long. How did I live my life for the past 2 years? Yes I became a committed Christian, I know more about the bible than before, and I serve in a ministry. But, who really am I? I realised I have not changed much. I am still selfish as, or even worse than before, I am a hypocrite. The bible says look out for one another’s interests, not just for my own. But to what extend, or did I even look out for other people’s needs? Do I even care about them? I questioned my attitude towards God and people, something’s wrong, but I do not know what it is. I am sure God’s love is enough to overfill my heart and make me able to love and serve other people. However, all I feel is dryness, weariness, and emptiness. I trust that God still loves me, his love will never change. But what’s wrong with me? I think of the people back home, think of my friends, I felt stressed and burdensome. I want to share the gospel with them, but more like an obligation, not out of love.

"I may be able to speak the languages of human being and even of angels, but if I have no love, my speech is no more than a noisy gong or a clanging bell. I may have the gift of inspired preaching; I may have all knowledge and understand all secrets; I may have all the faith needed to move mountains – but if I have no love, I am nothing. I may give away everything I have, and even give up my body to be burnt – but if I have no love, this does me no good."(1 Corinthians 13:1-3)

One day when I was studying with a friend about world hunger, she was despairing and told me that love is the only way that works. And I told her confidently that the bible says God is love, the world needs God. (But do I really know either God or love?)

“Dear friends, let us love one another, because love comes from God. Whoever loves is a child of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love.”(1 John 4:7-8)

No wonder I could not grasp God, I could not even recognise Him anymore, because I do not love. At this point, I asked for God’s forgiveness.

“Love is patient and kind; it is not jealous or conceited or proud; love is not ill mannered or selfish or irritable; love does not keep a record of wrongs; love is not happy with evil, but is happy with the truth. Love never gives up; and its faith, hope, and patience never fail.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)

“Meanwhile these three remain: faith, hope, and love; and the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:13)

“And God showed his love by sending his only Son into the world, so that we might have life through him. This is what love is: it is not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the means by which our sins are forgiven.” (1 John 4:9-10)

Love is the hardest thing to learn and understand. But God is love, to imitate God, we have to imitate His love. I pray that I can love my friends even they are not Christian, and share with them the good news of Jesus, not just to obey God. I love them, because God loves them.
Link to:
  • God Demonstrates His Love Toward Us by John Piper
  • Tuesday, November 07, 2006

    Bored

    2 more days I will: finish 151.333 exam
    1 more week I will: finish all exams + go to SLC
    2 more weeks I will: reunite with my family in my home land! Woohoo!

    Things I am going to do in Malaysia:

    1. Find a good church
    2. Get a job
    3. Try different foods everyday and every meal
    4. Snorkelling
    5. Road trip to KL from Singapore
    6. As a tour guide for my uncle’s family and a friend
    7. Meet up with my friends
    8. Shopping!
    9. Update my blog
    10. Share the gospel (great challenge!)
    11. Share with my family about God and OCF (yeah!)
    12. Cook for my family at least once
    13. Drive a car
    14. Visit aquarium in KLCC
    15. Volunteer in health sector
    16. Watch TV
    17. Go Pasar Malam (Night market)
    18. Buy Souvenirs for friends
    19. Mail postcards to friends around the world
    20. Travel by LRT/Monorail
    21. Hang out with friends at Mamak stall until late night
    22. Read a “meaningful” book
    23. Take photos
    24. Practice Bahasa Melayu, Cantonese, and Hokkien languages
    25. Buy a new cellphone
    26. Jungle trekking?
    27. Visit my school?
    28. Eat durian by the street?

    These will keep me going until I finish my exams!!!

    Sunday, November 05, 2006

    Centre of my life
    Hillsong United

    Let my walk speak loud
    And my words be true
    Let my life be whole
    With my eyes on you
    Lord I'm stepping out
    From the comfort zone
    Letting go of me,
    Holding onto You

    Freedom comes
    When I call You Lord
    You are Lord my God

    You are the centre of it all,
    The universe declares in awe
    Your majesty
    I surrender all
    I make you the centre of my life
    Lord, I respond with all I am
    you placed in me the song
    Of heavens melody
    Your Majesty I live to sing Your song

    I have found Your peace
    It replaces any fear
    You have done it all
    I can trust in you
    So I'm stepping out
    From the comfort zone
    Letting go of me
    Holding onto you

    This is your song not mine
    It is your song that bring healing to this land
    This is your song not mine
    It is your song that brings feedom
    Freedom comes, when I call you Lord
    Freedom comes, when I call you Lord
    You are Lord, my God
    You are the song
    You are the majesty
    I live to sing your song
    Your majesty
    I live to sing Your song
  • How to Be Spiritually Minded
  • Saturday, November 04, 2006

    “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God has overcomes the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.”(1 John 5:1-5)