Wednesday, March 21, 2007


I miss home. Never felt this homesick until today after the first few months of my first arrive in this country. I realised how much blessed I was in Malaysia, “spoiled” by the love, care and protection from my family, and being so abundant. For my parents, I am so important to them that they have given me all the best things. I felt more ‘important’ there: the children in my workplace loves me and respects me, my workmates like me, my parents pampered me, my brother obeys me, and my friends treasured me. Everything was familiar to me back home, and I kind of fit in the social expectation there. I enjoyed the weather, the food, the entertainment, and the environment there. I can speak the languages that everyone can understand without difficulty. I have the same skin colour as everyone else; I enjoyed what people enjoy there. I ‘belong’ to there – because it is my home. Just because I had ‘tasted’ what I considered ‘the best’, somehow I feel not satisfy with what I have at the moment.

Shift the focus from me to Jesus, how did he felt when he left God and incarnated into a weak human being? It must be very frustrated that he had given up all his power, authority, and glory. He must felt very lonely indeed, especially in the wilderness, he was tested all ways by the devil. The degree of difference between Jesus owns EVERYTHING and became NOTHING must be much bigger than the difference of the times in my life when I was abundant and poor. I remembered my teacher in high school told us that the saddest thing is not that we always have nothing, but is that we had everything before, and lost it all. It’s like Job, he was a very rich man, and has seven sons and three daughters. He possessed many animals (properties), and has many servants; he was considered the greatest of all the people of the east. But later on, everything was taken away from him, even his own health. How did he feel, when he lost everything? Will you and I ever understand/comprehend the degree of pain and suffering he went through? How about Jesus? He was the Son of God, he was above everything, possessed everything, and yet became nothing! He even suffered and died on the cross! The bible clearly indicates that Jesus indeed being in an agony and prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground! I would say that we will never understand how much he had suffered and went through until we truly see what He has (or rather who he is) in the heaven!

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. 1 Peter 4:12-13

…for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:12-13

This is what I ought to learn from Paul, to be able to rejoice and content by gaining strength from Christ all the time. I have to believe that Jesus loves me and accepted me, and will give me the best thing in the universe – God Himself and enjoy him forever. If only I can fully believe and recognise that, I will do whatever I can to persevere and wait upon Jesus!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

This is a selfish world.

As I read through the required text for marketing paper, I pondered upon some issues that I’ve been facing at work. The book author suggested that people are basically selfish – it is a part of human nature. “This selfishness, though hidden, is present in all human activity (particularly employers), is necessary in order to survive and is not automatically ‘bad’. The idea strikes me especially when he mentioned the reality is all employers run on selfishness. He speaks out exactly how I feel: ‘My employer doesn’t really care for the customers the way I do. They just selfishly want to gain profit. So, why should I help them?’ On the other hand, the manager might think: “These selfish employees! All they want is more money and less work. Why should I be interested in listening to them?” (taken from When Customers think we don’t care: 2nd edition of the enemy within by Richard W. Buchanan) In the end, everyone is not happy with each other, instead of doing their best, they just perform minimal duty and give minimal reward (wages).

I guess this is the root problem of the dilemma: human nature of selfishness. That doesn’t meant that I agree with everything the book says, just that I admit selfishness is part of our fallen nature. The bible says, do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. (Philippians 2) And the rest of the passage describes Jesus’s example of humility. Jesus doesn’t wants us to be selfish.

I’m so used to the community of committed Christians that everyone is usually selfless and striving to apply biblical principles in their lives: love one another, forgive one another, for Christ first loved us, and laid down His life for our sins. I feel comfortable working with them, partnering with them in the work of the gospel, and serve the Lord. However, I didn’t realise that in the “real world”, it is different. People generally are selfish; people are not living under the grace of God. Therefore I shouldn’t assume that everyone is selfless and work the same way as Christ’s followers do.

I came back from work everytime almost in tears. I am full of anger, resentment, due to the unfair treatment, unrewarding experience (other than wages) and exhaustion from work. I couldn’t stop myself from complaining about everyone. I found it so hard to accept the way people are. The challenge for me is: will I able to give my best into work and serve cheerfully even in difficult, unmotivated, selfish environment? In fact, I should not expect to live in Christian circles throughout my life, even Christians can be very selfish, because the Kingdom of God is yet to come! Therefore, by what principles should I live on? Should I automatically assume that everyone is selfish and I myself become selfish as well in order to fit in and survive? Should I work for the sake of money only so that I could feel better?

In Romans 12:1-6 says, I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

I turned to Ephesians 6:5 – slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ, not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man, knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free.

The keypoint is here: serve and please the Lord, not the man. The next verse: knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free. It is funny that my motivation to work is still selfish: to receive back from the Lord! Indeed, I am selfish! But it is better to seek reward from the Lord than man.

Last verse to encourage myself and whoever experiences the same kind of suffering: But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair, persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. (2 Corinthians 4:7-10)

In the end, all these things will soon become past, and the only thing that remained is my character: the spirit that sanctified by God. I will see God, with my own eyes. When I cling to that hope, the present sufferings doesn’t really matter anymore.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Easter Camp 2007

Organised by PNOCF & WICF

40 Hour Famine

Give Basics Give Life! Sponsor me on 40 Hour famine on my website. Help the children!

Friday, March 02, 2007

Reasons Believers in Christ Need Not to Be Afraid

Spiritual Immunity

We knew that in order to prevent sickness we need to strengthen our immune system daily through getting enough rest, drink plenty of water, and eat nutritious foods. When we do not take care ourselves properly, our immune system will be weakened, eventually collapsed and we get sick. I believe that our emotional and spiritual health works the same way too. When I do not seek rest and gradually losing joy and peace in God, I get very tired and weary. In the end, I found it more difficult to resist temptations and spiritual attacks. I feel more difficult to control my temper, easily get depressed and less patience. The most critical thing is, I found it difficult to pray and read (or meditate) the Scripture.

I do not know what is the most effective way to maintain this “spiritual immunity”. At the moment, I found constant prayers (to be in the presence of God) and worship (do things for God’s glory and honour God) helpful. In that way, I can be reminded of God’s grace and the gospel thus gives me hope and joy so that I can draw strength from it.

Just to share a few Scripture verses:

2 Timothy 2:1 You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.

Nehemiah 8:10 The joy of the Lord is your strength.

Isaiah 40:31 but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

Ephesians 3:14-21 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith – that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever, Amen.

Don’t know if these verses are appropriate in this context. Anyway, I think the vitamins to be prescribed for spiritual immunity are: grace of Jesus, joy of the Lord, hope for the Lord, love of Christ, and power of Holy Spirit. In one word: God!

Does it make sense?