May 30, 2011

Where is your faith?

Have you ever felt like God is very far away? Like God never helps you in extremely bad situations? You feel that when you need help at a critical point like hanging off a cliff and about to die, God still doesn't answer your prayers? I don't know about you, but this is a problem I sometimes face. I feel that God is never there sometimes, or he doesn't answer my prayers, or he just doesn't seem to be listening to me at all. He seems non-existent. I was thinking about it quite a lot lately, due to problems and unwanted circumstances. I start to doubt. Start to question, start to wonder. Until one morning, in chapel, the speaker answered all my questions.
Luke 8:22-25
Jesus Calms the Storm

One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and set out. As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger.

The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!”

He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. “Where is your faith?” he asked his disciples.

In fear and amazement they asked one another, “Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.”

The part where Jesus said "Where is your faith?" really hit me. In other words, during troubles, during storms in our lives, we tend to start questioning, start doubting, start wondering where God is during hard times. Our faith is shaken.

Secondly, I was struck with the question, "Do we truly know who our God is?" Cause the disciples were with Jesus wherever he went, and they still were so amazed at what he had done, they actually asked "Who is this?" Imagine spending time with someone and ending up asking "Who is this?" And this is the most comforting part. God is ALWAYS there. He may seem asleep, in the boat, where the storm will rage all around you and try to throw you off course, but he has never left the boat. He didn't promise that problems would not arise. He promised never to abandon you. So if we truly know God, if we truly truly believe in him, he will be real in our lives. I'd like to leave you with this one last verse.
Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

God bless :)

- Aaron Lim

May 25, 2011

Honor God, Honor parents

Just want to share with you in how God is breaking me and moulding me into His Sovereign will.

Every family is bound to have problems and that is the case for my family as well. I also struggle with many other issues in my life. One of it is that I was unable to honor my parents. In a very familiar passage from Exodus 20:12 (New King James Version) says
“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you”.
Year in and year out I’ll come across this verse and often time I chose to sweep it under the carpet.

As I was cleaning up my stuffs one day, I discovered my pledge during one of the camp session about 9 years ago. It mentioned how I wanted to honor God by honoring my parents. To my embarrassment, this was also one of the resolutions for some of the current and previous years which also mean that I did not take my yearly resolution seriously…

I began to consider those hymns that we used to sing about how we love the Lord. Do we mean it? It causes me to ponder is my love for the Lord real or genuine? If I love the Lord, I must also have love my family members which is in sync with what was told in 1 John 4:20-21 (New King James Version)
If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.
With much encouragement from my accountability partner and God’s working in my life, I wanted to change and ask God to help me to cope with my parents. At the back of my head, I know God placed me in my family for a purpose. I have no excuse not to change regardless how problematic things are in my family. I also realized that I can’t change my family members but at least I could allow God to change me (and prayerfully as I was changed to be more and more like Him, it could impact my family positively).

When I confessed this particular sin in my life, this was the verse that struck me the most
- Ephesians 4:22-24 (New King James Version)
that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
It implies that we (I) got to deny ourselves (myself) and follow Him. If we (I) do not want to follow Him, it would mean we (I) do not want to be a Christian.

Christian life did not stop when you say a sinner’s prayer. It’s just a beginning of your spiritual journey at the narrow way. You and I need to go through lots of thorns and thistles, experience dark valleys and dangers from lion etc. until we have gain the victory in Christ.

video

- Yit Mun

Images taken from:
http://www.learkentfool.com/?p=24
http://matteroffactsite.blogspot.com/2009/05/must-i-really-honor-my-parents-when.html
http://whenyouwalkalongtheway.wordpress.com/2009/07/28/what-not-to-wear/

May 20, 2011

Acceptance?

How interesting, I made a video with Evelyn, talking about the mentally retarded. The video's message was remind society that we should be sensitive and mindful of the handicapped and not be reckless with the words we use.

Just yesterday, a friend of mine got me a free ticket to a comedy night down in KL. While I was thinking it will be one of my usual local comedians like Harith Iskandar or Douglas Lim, apparently it was a night of Caucasian comedians.

Feeling really out of place with their dirty jokes and totally unprepared for that sort of God-forbidding humour, what really caught my attention for that night was this particular female comedian. The emcee told the audience that she's really special and I was wondering, "A special female comedian? How special woh. (cause most comedians are usually guys, statistically speaking)."

And there she was, a guy helping her up the stage and she climbs the steps in a very awkward manner. Thinking whether she's making it up just to entertain the crowd or.. "I'm brain damaged" she said.

The fact that she has a thick accent made it rather difficult to grasp what she's saying but her speech was rather handicapped too due to her condition, which made it even more difficult to listen. But nonetheless, I could still get a gist of she's trying to get at.

While she took advantage of her condition to come up with jokes like asking people what are they bad at and that particular audience took a really long time to reply, she said "Oh... do... you ... want... me ...to .. speak.. slower.. for.. you..?" Yet, that one thing that really got me pondering was, she made fun of our Lord and Saviour as well - our Lord Jesus Christ.

To me, I always had the idea that individuals who go through life with more challenges and obstacles, who tasted a lot more hardship than most people would have in their comfortable lives would have a higher possibility to ponder upon the meaning of life because of the injustice and ordeal they have to face through compared to others. But this particular lady decides to take it the other way and conform entirely to the world's standards - mocking the only greatest love giver to all humanity.

Funny thing is, though she may think and struggle to be "accepted", truth is, we're all handicapped and have fallen short. Rings a bell?
Romans 3:23
"for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,"
In some sense, yes, you may say that the contrast is rather huge between us and the handicapped individuals but really, what difference would it make if there's still a huge dark void in your soul? Even the most richest and healthiest person on earth will discover this at the end of his life,
Matthew 16:26
"What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?"
I pray and hope that she encounters the very Lord and Saviour that she mocked and joked about and to know, she doesn't have to resolve to that to be "accepted".

- daryl 's u n d a e' heng

Images taken from:
http://laurafday.wordpress.com/2007/07/29/the-unsung-heroes-of-music/
http://theheartofapastorswife.blogspot.com/

May 19, 2011

In Him I Trust

Hey guys. I decided to write something for the blog because of many recent events in my life that reminded me so much about how God is so real to me.

I know I'm not the most Biblically sound person with lots of theological knowledge so I feel that the safest way to go would be just writing about my experience as it is. :)

There's a lot going on and I had many things on my mind. In April alone, I had lots to do with piano exam, basketball tournament, debate tournaments, sports day (training and making the mascot), etc... (cant remember the rest lol.) What worried me the most was not about losing or failing the exam, but more of how I was going to juggle all of them at one go. See, all these things need constant practise and training, and honestly, there's only so much you can do in school. There was two whole weeks where every day I was alternating between basketball practice and debate training because of the clashes. So at the end of the day, not only did I 'ponteng' trainings, I was completely exhausted and this affected my piano practices as well. Because seriously, after tuitions and all, who in their right mind would be so 'semangat' to practise piano for the next 3 hours?

With all these things bugging me, slowly I forgot about God and actually prayed less frequently as I should. Every night I would just crash in bed and sleep without even thinking of praying and thanking the Lord for the day.

So.. when I DID remember to pray, (FINALLY!) I prayed that He'd give me strength to get through this. Sure enough, it's May now and I'm actually alive. Because one thing I learned is that all things will come to past.

When the time came for me to go through these major events one at the time, every time before it started I'd say a prayer. First up was my piano exam which I wasn't very prepared for. I knew there was a chance I'd fail. But after that, it didn't matter anymore because I knew at least I tried and did what I could. (Results come out in a few months..!)

After that was the basketball tournament followed by the National debate championships at HELP UC. My debate team and I weren't very prepared either and I knew unless God wasn't with us, we wouldn't have done so well. In fact, I was told by one of our church friends that one of our opponents from Sri KL won some International tournament.. And I freaked out. It was scary wei! Before every round I'd run to the toilet (nervous!) and pray. Hoping He'd be with us despite our "not-preparedness" and placed my trust in Him, knowing that everything is in His hands. So it was definitely, insanely awesome cos we went on and won all four rounds, beating every school and ranked 2nd in the whole championship. It was crazyyyy but this time I did not forget to thank the Lord once more.

So I realised that relying on Him is the best thing to do in every circumstance. Despite the fact that we didn't win the Cup, (I actually cried...) we knew that we wouldn't have gone this far without God. And as disappointed as I was, I felt okay after that, and began to believe once more that all things ARE possible with him.
Isaiah 41:10 says "Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."
After all that was our school annual sports day which was a PAIN. I was put in charge of the school mascot and I agreed because the pengerusi promised that it'll be JUST the mascot and nothing else. But I should've known that whatever is said is pure nonsense. haha. Cos I ended up helping with the banners and cards and whatnot. Every single day I skip school (the whole day..) and stay in the Art room painting and painting. And because of this I couldn't train at all for the long-distance races I took part in while the other athletes are busy training every day. There was no way I could train after school either because of several other commitments.

So it was a relief to see BUBBLES (fr Powerpuff girls) turn out perfectly and walk around the stadium. But the nerve-wrecking part was the races. I knew my stamina was long gone since the road run and I could only look to God for help. The first one was 800m open (terbuka), I was worried that I'd do real bad cos it's very short for a long-distance race and most of them will probably run real fast. Before the race, as I stood there with 20 other athletes, crapping my pants, I prayed, not that the Lord will help me win, but be strong and outdo myself. so after both races, it was clearly evident that He was there because even I myself was surprised at the result. I don't know how to put this, but it feels as though he gave me extra strength or something to be better than how i usually am. Even though i used wrong strategies for both races (which cost me gold, stupid me, had to settle for silver), it's heartwarming and awesome to know that we can do anything with God's help.

This isn't some random post just telling and ranting all the stories of my life. i don't know if you guys thinks it's just a show-off. It's not. Honestly, none of this would have happened without Him. If this were last year or something and I was looking at these stuff, I wouldn't believe myself at all because this is NOT me. I can't do this alone. I'd be like, "yeah right, are you kidding me?!" So, all credits to the Lord.

So, what I've learned, I think is a valuable lesson to us all. Every single one of us. How often do we actually commit everything we do to the Lord? Even the smallest things matter.
I don't know what exactly happens in your lives, but whether it's another assignment, an exam, an upcoming gig, going for a trip... We should all live our lives according to Christ and always be reminded of how He needs to be, and is, the center of everything. Even if we forget about Him often (like I did), the Lord is so gracious and kind to forgive and always shows mercy. BUT we should NEVER take that for granted.

Everything that goes on in our lives, the Lord wants to be included and involved. He wants to be a part of it. But do we let Him? Even if at the end of the day, things don't work out exactly the way you want to, (nothing ever does) it's who you place your trust on that matters.
Proverbs 3:5-6 says “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. ”
So, do you trust in yourself and your own capabilities alone, or God's?

Everything that goes on in our lives, the Lord wants to be included and involved. He wants to be a part of it. But do we let Him? Even if at the end of the day, things don't work out exactly the way you want to, (nothing ever does) it's who you place your trust on that matters. *Because if you start to trust the Lord and look to Him in all things, you'll see Him work wonders in your life like you could never imagine. And that's awesome, right? :)

- Jeana Joy

Images taken from:
http://www.toonzone.net/forums/showthread.php?t=236527&page=51
http://www.4catholiceducators.com/graphics/new_mark_10-27.jpg
http://kswpgoodfriends.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/trust.jpg

May 14, 2011

Jesus or Judas?


Lady GaGa: Judas Lyrics

Oh-oh-oh-ohoo I'm in love with Juda-as,
Juda-as
Oh-oh-oh-ohoo I'm in love with Juda-as,
Juda-as
Judas Juda-a-a, Judas Juda-a-a,
Judas Juda-a-a, Judas GaGa
Judas Juda-a-a,
Judas Juda-a-a, Judas Juda-a-a, Judas GaGa


[Lady Gaga - Verse 1]
When he comes to me, I am ready

I'll wash his feet with my hair if he needs
Forgive him when his tongue lies through his brain

Even after three times, he betrays me
I'll bring him down, bring him down, down
A king with no crown, king with no crown


[Chorus]

I'm just a Holy fool, oh baby he's so cruel
But I'm still in love with Judas, baby I'm just a
Holy fool, oh baby he's so cruel

But I'm still in love with Judas, baby
Oh-oh-oh-ohoo
I'm in love with Juda-as, Juda-as
Oh-oh-oh-ohoo
I'm in love with Juda-as, Juda-as
Judas Juda-a-a,
Judas Juda-a-a, Judas Juda-a-a, Judas GaGa


[Lady Gaga - Verse 2]

I couldn't love a man so purely
Even darkness forgave his crooked way

I've learned love is like a brick, you can

Build a house or sink a dead body

I'll bring him down, bring him down, down

A king with no crown, king with no crown


[Chorus]

I'm just a Holy fool, oh baby he's so cruel

But I'm still in love with Judas, baby I'm just a
Holy fool, oh baby he's so cruel

But I'm still in love with Judas, baby

Oh-oh-oh-ohoo
I'm in love with Juda-as, Juda-as Oh-oh-oh-ohoo
I'm in love with Juda-as, Juda-as


EW


[Bridge]

In the most Biblical sense,
I am beyond repentance
Fame hooker, prostitute wench, vomits her mind

But in the cultural sense I just speak in future tense
Judas kiss me if offensed,

Or wear ear condom next time
I wanna love you,
But something's pulling me away from you

Jesus is my virtue,

Judas is the demon
I cling to
I cling to

[Chorus]
I'm just a Holy fool, oh baby he's so cruel

But I'm still in love with Judas, baby
I'm just a
Holy fool, oh baby he's so cruel

But I'm still in love with Judas, baby
Oh-oh-oh-ohoo
I'm in love with Juda-as, Juda-as
Oh-oh-oh-ohoo
I'm in love with Juda-as, Juda-as
Judas Juda-a-a,
Judas Juda-a-a, Judas Juda-a-a, Judas GAGA




Fellow brothers & sisters in Christ, I'm appalled to see how the evil one has taken another step in his plans but by ALL means, please do not support this video and also use this opportunity to educate your friends what this video means and how it directly attacks our faith.

This video talks about how lady gaga worships Judas by saying "i cling to him" & "I'm in love with Judas", it also heavily implies that she is encouraging what he did to Christ.

I'm not advocating that we as Christians should hate Judas neither he obviously do not deserve worship as such in this video either due to what he has done. So just bear in mind the implication(s) your friends maybe giving by "liking" or "sharing" this video when their other Christian friends see this.

Please STOP this. The media has propagated homosexuality as a norm with katy perry as well as sex and violence with plenty other videos by other bands/artists.

- Gary Heng

Image taken from a screenshot of the music video.

May 10, 2011

Weeds

There was once a very young boy. He was given an assignment by his primary school teacher to grow a sunflower for a science project. The teacher gave each of them a few sunflower seeds and off they went. Excited, as this was his first time, he watched the little pot that he planted his seeds in everyday. Not before long, he began to see some weeds growing in it. Now the little boy had learn about weeds in class and the dangers they brought to the plants surrounding them. His teacher had already warned the class to pull them out if seen, but the little boy thought to himself, "Ah, they're so small. I'm quite sure nothing will happen. Besides, they make the pot look cooler. How much damage could these little things do?".

And so he left them there to grow alongside the sunflower. The time finally came for everyone to present their sunflowers. All the students displayed their sunflowers with big smiles on their faces. All, except the little boy. He noticed his sunflower was smaller and duller looking compared to the rest and then only did he realise his mistake. The weeds.

Our role here on Earth is like that sunflower in the pot. Often times we sprout weeds in our life without even knowing it. These weeds could come in the form of anything ranging from a relationship, to a new gaffer, to even work/studies. These things are not weeds themselves but have potential to become them. Basically anything that robbed the sunflower of it's needs were considered weeds, whether they were other small flowers or grass, because they were not what was suppose to be grown in that pot. Paying too much attention to these things turn them into weeds which rob us of our time, energy and focus on the race that we have been called out for. Christ died for so much more than us getting distracted by the world. He died so that we may live! It is our responsibility to always be on the lookout for weeds, so that they can be removed. The longer they are left there, the harder they are to remove as it already has a deep hold in our lives.

So what are the weeds that need to be removes in your life today?

- Alex Tan

Images taken from:
http://s378.photobucket.com/albums/oo230/ceekayfun2008/?action=view&current=Sunflower.jpg&newest=1
http://keanl.wordpress.com/2010/11/08/distrations-in-college-life/

May 3, 2011

Tracting - For the Kingdom of God

Hey everyone, how have you all been? It's been a while since I wrote something and this time around, this post is very relevant to me recently. I would like to share about the purpose of tracting.

A few of the reasons why I have suggested that the youth to undergo something as such as tracting is solely because sometimes we proclaim we are Christians but we sometimes don’t live a life that is worthy of Christ. Even when we live a life that is seemingly goodie goodie and all, sometimes what really set us apart then from the nice people we see in our classrooms or even workplace? The answer to this question, is Jesus Christ.

You see sometimes we don’t share about the Gospel, sometimes, we want to but we don’t know how. And to make things worse, instead of sharing the Gospel, sometimes we use the wrong choice of words and we end up giving our friends the wrong impression of who God truly is and what Christianity is all about. That was why the youth of TTDIGC would like to give the youth a brief exposure of what it is like to tell the world or maybe just the visitors to the curve what it is like to share the gospel using a the tract - CAN YOU SURVIVE AN EARTHQUAKE?!

You see we sometimes as Christians, we get complacent and we like to think that church is only for Christians. That my friends is when we get very wrong. You see, when Jesus Christ gave us the Great Commission, He told us in Matthew 28 v 18 - 20. 18:
"Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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 am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Jesus tells us today, that people of all races, nation, should come to know the LORD, and we
should be God’s messengers, to tell them about the Good News of Jesus Christ.

I believe only a few will turn out for the tracting but I truly believe God will transform and God will move in our hearts. Even if you are not joining tracting or even the briefing, what is truly important is that you do not limit God to a Sunday. I encourage you all to be salt and light to the world everyday and constantly look for ways to stand out for Christ. Being a Christian does not necessarily mean you have to tell people about Jesus Christ, surely, that must come but it starts from yourself living a life that is somehow different and when your friends notice that there is a difference within you they will somehow see the Holy Spirit - God working in you. In Matthew 5:16, it is written,
"In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven."
And if today, you have a desire to tell your friend about the Gospel but you don’t know how, you can always approach any of the Uncles or even Aunties in church or the older youths - we are always ready to help.

The gospel must be preached, because there is never a limit to the Love of God who wants to reach out to His beloved people.

- John Khor

Images taken from:
http://www.thewordstreetjournal.com/2010/05/tract-handing-101.html
http://trevinwax.com/2010/06/02/gcr-in-a-nutshell/
http://samandmariootero.blogspot.com/