Dec 27, 2012

This Christmas – A time to forgive


Last month, I got to know one of my relative is diagnosed with a 4th stage cancer with only 3 months to live. Mixed feeling stirred up as it dawned on me that still hated her for the wrongs that she did to my family, in particular to my dad.

As I allow God to work in this area of my life, God inspired me to pray this “Lord, as we come before You, may our hearts be changed, renewed.” during last Sunday pre-prayer before the morning service began. Mind you, this was also sung later, after a brother stood up and asked the congregation to sing *. Knowing that God is ministering to me, I burst out to tears as this was exactly what God told me to do and I could not deny it.

Following that, God has showed me more clearly of the weight of my unforgiveness towards my aunty by expounding from Matthew 5 – 9 to me.
Matthew 5:21-22a, NKJVMurder Begins in the Heart
“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. 
I am guilty of murdering too! Though I do not wish to be associated with the criminal who kills but God says that if I continue to be angry with my relatives, I will be judged by our Righteous Father.

Also, God reminded me of the many lessons I have learnt over the years that He would be pleased, only if I mend my relationship with my relatives. I noted that the consequences for not forgiving is that I will eventually poison and imprison myself (not a physical prison but an emotional, psychological and mental prison, ya, until I have paid my “last penny”).
Matthew 5:23-26, NKJV
Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. Assuredly, I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny.
All these while, I know this passage (in the head) but have intentionally skipped this part of the Bible which calls for radical living. I must admit that I have compartmentalized my life so well that no one but God (He knows everything!). Come to think of it, I have refused to love my enemies, pronounce blessings and good wishes to my relatives who curses my family members, do good to them who hated us, and pray for them.


Amazingly, the Holy Spirit caused me to start pray consistently for the salvation of these relatives almost the same time as my aunty was diagnosed with cancer. And now, I guess God makes me continue to work out the unforgivenesss which I have not fully dealt with, from a few years back
Matthew 5:44-48, NKJV 
But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
Below is the 3rd set of scripture given by my mentor during my Sabbatical break few years back and the verses that stood out among the many verses were verse 12, 14-15. I have argued, wrestled, and struggled with God many times as why should I forgive men of their sins but God gave me the key - that “as we (I) forgive our debtors”. 

As I pleaded God to forgive me for being lazy, proud, self-righteous, selfish, disobedient etc, I must come to terms with God – to forgive those whom I hold grudges with. Again I must say that our God is a holy God and I, a small creature His sight must learn to submit regardless how painful it may be and how unworthy the other is. AND having understood that I was being made clean by Jesus’s precious blood, nothing of my own merit that I have been rendered righteous. How then can I judge another person? God forbid!
Matthew 6:9-15, NKJV
In this manner, therefore, pray:Our Father in heaven,Hallowed be Your name.Your kingdom come.Your will be doneOn earth as it is in heaven.Give us this day our daily bread.And forgive us our debts,As we forgive our debtors.And do not lead us into temptation,But deliver us from the evil one.For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
For others who fell sick, my heart usually goes out to them and pray for them but in this instance, I felt my heart hardened like stone. Was not sure whether I should pay a visit or whether they will let us their house (as our relationship was not good), I was hesitant to pray for healing for that matter and God nudges me to go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” (Matthew 9:13, NKJV)


While I view my relatives as hypocrites, God asked me to be merciful to them as He is a merciful God; and me, a servant of the Lord should do likewise. Also, God tells me that He does not enjoy my tithes and sacrifices but my obedience to His will.
1 Samuel 15:22-23a, NKJVSo Samuel said:“Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices,As in obeying the voice of the LORD?Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,And to heed than the fat of rams.For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft,And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.
In closing, I would like to dedicate this song to God that Love lifted me: 



In Christ,
Yit Mun
aka IP Man

p.s.
*referring to song 691: The power of Your love. For those of us who usually attend morning worship, this song was not being chose by the same brother who chooses this song usually but another brother, thus it was even more impactful to me.

Images taken from: (for illustration purposes only)
http://linsharliana.blogspot.com/2011/10/takut-dengan-servis-hospital-kerajaan.html
http://hecatedemeter.wordpress.com/2011/07/15/thursday-poetry-blogging/prayer-and-care/
http://www.freewebs.com/bythelordsgrace/

Dec 10, 2012

Youth Camp 2012 - I am His and He is mine.


Official details:

Date: 13th - 17th December 2012 (Thursday - Monday)
Location: Peace Haven, Genting Highlands
Fees: RM250.00
Time to gather at church: 9.15am
Time of arrival back at church after camp: 2.30pm or so

Things to bring:-

- Heart yearning to meet and know God personally!
- Bible
- Notebook and Pen
- Clothing (including sportswear, sweater/jacket)
- Toiletries
- Some spare money

The management has made clear to us that "NO OUTSIDE FOOD IS ALLOWED". So we would like to be campers who are responsible and pleasant at this campsite. There is a cafeteria there and we would be sure to supply you sufficient food (and not the kind of 'hunger pangs' to eat because you feel like eating more!) so it'll be least of your concerns when it comes to this.

--------------------------------------------------

In this theme this year around, we'll be exploring the most important foundation of our faith with Jesus Christ, our Lord, Saviour and friend.. which is, how much do we treasure and work at this relationship with Him? So be sure to keep in mind to pray for all of us involved in this camp (including yourself!) and that God would speak to us as we prepare our heart and minds to be sensitive to His voice.

Any questions you want to clarify just contact either Gary or Daryl at Facebook or at these numbers:

Gary: 017 6256130
Daryl: 017 5378881

See you guys soon!

God bless.
TTDGCYTM Committee

Dec 3, 2012

Seek Him


To many, 1 & 2 Chronicles would seems to be a boring book in the Bible as it mainly talks about the kings of Israel and Judah and their life events, and I myself was not spared from this "dull mentality" towards those books initially. However, when I re-read these books during my quiet time, something struck me hard.

The verse that struck me most is this:-
2 Chronicles 12:14, NKJV (Scenario 1) 
And he (King Rehoboam) did evil, because he did not prepare his heart to seek the LORD.
It is appalling to note that if we failed to seek Him, it is as if we have been doing wicked things in the sight of the Lord. What a contrast, when you compare the above with the verse below:-
2 Chronicles 15, NKJV (Scenario 2) 
And he went out to meet Asa, and said to him: “Hear me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin. The LORD is with you while you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you.
But when in their trouble they turned to the Lord God of Israel, and sought Him, He was found by them. 
Then they entered into a covenant to seek the LORD God of their fathers with all their heart and with all their soul; and whoever would not seek the LORD God of Israel was to be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman. 
And all Judah rejoiced at the oath, for they had sworn with all their heart and sought Him with all their soul; and He was found by them, and the LORD gave them rest all around.
God’s promise is so sure that if we diligently seek Him, He will be found by us (2 Chron 15:4 and Matt 7:7). However, there is also a warning for those of us who forsake Him and He will not continue to dwell in us. Just like the Israelite, sometimes we would be busy running our own life and put Him aside. Because of His great mercies, He would still be found by us, whenever we call out to Him.



During the reign of King Asa, I infer that the people of Judah were serious with God and willing to take an oath with God. King Asa was also very zealous for the Lord that those who would not seek the Lord were to be put to death, regardless of their social class / gender etc. 

Moreover, the people of Judah rejoices over their pledge to their Lover as they did it sincerely and wholeheartedly. As a result from that, the Lord granted them peace and rest from wars.

During the recent Church camp, the speaker Rev. Dr. Lim Kar Yong also mentioned that scholars from other religions know our Bible inside out. What about us? Do we know our faith well that we would not be swept away by all kinds of teaching under the sun? According to one article that I have read, it says that the whole of Europe is having a drastic movement of a religious movement, and by the end of the century, it would be have been identified with a brand new religion from what it's used to be known for.

Isn’t it an irony that the West which is once-called Christendom would no longer be known as so? What about us here in Malaysia? Would we exemplify Scenario 1 or 2? Would you & I want to give your live back to the Saviour at this juncture of your life?
2 Chronicles 7:14, NKJV
if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
In Christ,
Yit Mun (aka IP Man)

p.s.
1) words in italic denote that it was from me.
2) The above examples of “seeking the Lord God” or “sought after the Lord” sharing are not exhaustive. For your own reading, you may read from 2 Chronicles 12-20.

Images taken from:http://www.jewishtreats.org/2012_11_01_archive.htmlhttp://www.daily-manna.com/read-bible-in-a-year/day-86-king-of-israel/attachment/king-david


Nov 16, 2012

Parable of the Rich Young Ruler



This parable was taken from Luke 18. The parable starts off with the ruler asking Jesus for the checklist of eternal life. Jesus in reply recites to him the commandments. The ruler then claims to have kept all those commandments. Here comes the interesting bit, Jesus then asks him to sell all he has, give to the poor and follow him.

Was not keeping the commandments enough? Was not the ruler a “good and faithful” Christian by doing so? Those were tough commandments that we all struggle to keep and he has kept them. What does eternal life have to do with wealth? Does that mean if I am abundant in wealth, I will not have eternal life?

Carrying on, the ruler was sorrowful at Jesus’ command, for he was very rich. Why was he sorrowful? He knew what he wanted. He knew how to get there. He had direct instructions from Jesus.

Just to share one of my experiences, and I am quite sure many of you have heard this before, of people wanting a sign from God or to hear the voice of God. You know how they always say, “if I had a sign/hear (from) God, I will definitely change my ways or take my relationship with God more seriously. All I need is a sign”. Well, if only it were that simple.

This ruler heard from Jesus and even had really clear and specific instructions but still he was sorrowful. He knew he could not give up that which he loved, wealth, for Jesus.

Now moving to us, have you ever had or have something that you know you have to give up as it is coming between you and God? Maybe it is a habit, maybe it is a hobby, maybe it is a relationship, maybe it is a material wealth, maybe it is a social status, maybe it is your career?  You know how that idol is affecting your walk with God and you still cannot give it up. You sort of want to give it up and you genuinely try, but time after time you fail again and again. Well, be not defeated.


The parable ends with the disciples asking who then can be saved, which Jesus’ then states the purpose of His death. Jesus replies, “Things which are impossible with men and possible with God’.

Your struggle in getting rid of your idol may seem impossible in your own effort, but what is impossible with men is possible with God. Jesus died on the cross to redeem us. He has cloth us in his righteousness, making us holy and acceptable before God. The fact of the matter is that no matter how hard you try, you will fall back to your idol eventually unless you rely on God. Commit it to Him, take it a day at a time and walk with God. Take the necessary steps to avoid all temptations of falling back to your idol. He will carry you.

“If He carry the weight of the world upon His shoulders, I know my brother that He will carry you”

Don’t make the mistake of the rich young ruler, who was sorrowful, but instead of turning to God, he turned away

- Alex Tan

Images taken from:
http://jonathanmerritt.com/blogs/news/ifjesuswereheretoday.html
http://www.dontwasteyourhomemaking.com/2012/01/exposing-our-idols.html






Nov 10, 2012

Bubbled world


Mid of last month, I went for a personal retreat with a few like-minded individuals who are also seeking to hear God through the way of meditation. Please do not get me wrong as though we embarked on something to do with chanting or those similar to that of the new age movement or any other religion. Our meditation is basically reading, memorizing, reciting, reflecting on the Bible scripture that God has impressed upon our hearts.

The verse that I meditate during the retreat was 1 Cor 13:11, NKJV
When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. (The context of the verse is on “love” but God showed me this is the right verse for my current state at the moment, which is not quite related with “love”).
I have meditated on this verse for a few times and again meditated on the same verse during the personal retreat, and God has spoken much more this time. As I quieted down my heart and mind and allowed God to speak to me, I began to see much more incidences which I have not been able to carry myself well and the consequences that accompanied.

After some quick chat with the Bible study teacher, I realized that my issue of not being able to carry myself well is very much related to my laziness issue which I am still battling with.

Looking back my past, one of the reason that I was not being able to carry myself well was due to the many cartoons that I watched during my childhood. I realized that I have immersed myself so much into it and unable to break free from my “bubbled world”. Being “mama/papa/sister’s girl” does not help either.


Perhaps subconsciously I feel more secured to stay in my “bubbled world” and thus reluctant to face reality. I really thank God for breaking me from my laziness 2 years ago (you may refer to my sharing dated 7 Nov 2011 & 5 Dec 2011 for a glimpse of what it is all about), that my spiritual eye sight have gotten better (see highlight for the verse concerned).

Rev 3:14-21, NKJV
The Lukewarm Church
“And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write,
‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God:  “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot.  So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.  Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked— I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.  As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.  To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’”
During the “breaking” process and heightened during and after the personal retreat, my lost memory of my past flowed to my mind and it has served as a reminder to me to continue my fight against my laziness and weakness which I shares herein. When I match those childhood experiences and my current state, I burst out with praises with our good God who is so gentle and so longsuffering towards me, so that I may repent.

2 Peter 3:9, NKJV
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
I could recall how my sibling refused to go shopping or allow me to hang out with her friends as she felt ashamed. I could also recall how I was being despised and taken advantage of. I thank God for giving me a second chance to change and now the slight change that I have also caused a good change in my relationship with my family members in which my sibling also invite me for trip and makan :D


I also thank our God for bringing people to chide / rebuke /chasten me, though it is a painful experience.

Hebrews 12:5b-6, NKJV
And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons:“My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD,Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him;For whom the LORD loves He chastens,And scourges every son whom He receives.”
May you be encouraged to meditate on the verses which God wants you to know and thus grow in Him, for it is indeed good to have the practice of meditating on His Word.

Philippians 4:8, NKJV
Meditate on These ThingsFinally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. 
In Him, Yit Mun aka IP Man

Images taken from:

http://my.salvos.org.au/events/2012/11/12/semi-silent-spiritual-retreat/
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/oct/18/tv-toddlers-educational-tv
http://hokkaidokudasai.blogspot.com/2012/02/eating-with-chopsticks-ohashi.html

Oct 30, 2012

Discipleship Orientation?



For those who has already entered their colleges and universities or for those who just made their entrance recently, the word "orientation" would bring certain thoughts and memories to mind. Oh yes, and for those who might find this word rather foreign, it basically means "an introduction, as to guide one in adjusting to new surroundings, employment, activity, or the like." (Quoted from dictionary.com)

I recalled my experience back in college. It felt more like fun than having a serious tone that you're gonna suffer for the next 2 years upon completion of the diploma. But perhaps, it was a course of mass communication (studying about television, film, radio, newspaper, internet and so on) and hence, for a person like myself who enjoy making new friends would be quite an enjoyable time going through their ice-breaking activities!

Yet, I also come to know many who purposely skip their orientation because they're told it doesn't mean much and the time spent can be used better else where.

After going my series of quiet time on Luke, God spoke to me on how we often forget or even worse, overlooked the "orientation' that Jesus had for His disciples when He first picked them after a whole night of prayer. Take note starting from Luke 6:12 onward, where He selects the twelve disciples,
"And when it was day, He called His disciples to Himself; and from them He chose twelve whom He also named apostles.." Luke 6:13
And IMMEDIATELY after selecting them and letting them know that now they're His disciples, it was interesting to see how He wanted to show them what it means to be His followers by showing actions instead of just mere words. It was like as if, He's telling them: "Orientation begins right now!"
"And He came down with them and stood on a level place with a crowd of His disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem, and from the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear Him and be healed of their diseases, as well as those who were tormented with unclean spirits. And they were healed." Luke 6:17-18 
It's like imagining for myself, the moment I was called to Him and embraced Him as my Lord and Saviour, I could witness the beauty and joy of serving others and meeting their needs with the love of Christ..instead of just sitting back and relax, while having a "Christian" membership card in my wallet. Not to mention, these were people with diseases and unclean spirits, not people who were rich, wealthy and influential.. dressed in beautiful garments and feasting in a large mansion.


And to proceed on to the next part of the "orientation", Jesus then lifted up His eyes toward His disciples and preached about the Beatitudes. He set the tone and the foundation for His disciples to know what it meant to be His followers and promising rewards in the Kingdom of Heaven..instead of focusing on the immediate rewards on earth. Notice the first line He said when He preached the Beatitudes,
"..Blessed are you poor, For yours is the kingdom of God.." Luke 6:20b
Can you imagine what was on the disciples mind? They were most probably expecting to be delivered from their oppression and sufferings from the authorities, seeking to be rewarded with great riches as this person proclaims to be their Saviour! But instead, He tells them to set their hearts on the things above and be prepared for sufferings to come, in the path of following Him.
"Blessed are you when men hate you, And when they exclude you,And revile you, and cast out your name as evil,For the Son of Man's sake.Rejoice in that day and leap for joy!For indeed your reward is great in heaven,For in like manner their fathers did to the prophets." Luke 6:22-23
And mind you, they're very clear what happened to the prophets of the past and how their fathers treated them. (Feeling a little blur about this? Time to read up some Old Testament books! =P )

After the 12 disciples went through all that took place above, Jesus went to address their minds to turn away  from how the earthly rules and what it means to have the "Rules of Kingdom Life". For He says,
"But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them." Luke 6:32
It was as if Jesus was spelling out the practical ways of living out as His disciples, as the Beatitudes may seem rather profound and difficult for the disciples to grasp. Notice how He further mentioned:
"But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High." Luke 6:35 
Probably by now, you might be scrolling down and be thinking (TLDR WOI! Too Long Didn't Read) But if I were to persuade you to really ponder about it, the 12 disciples would be in a position of wondering, "What else to expect next in being His disciples?" Because, Jesus was far from being done with His first day of "orientation".

He went on to speak 2 more parables before concluding His "orientation", where He starts off with the first parable - Parable of the Blind leading the Blind.
"A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher. And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not perceive the plank in your own eye?" Luke 6:40-41
Jesus sees the hearts of His disciples and knows the serious problems most followers would struggle with even among our churches today. He tells us how our pride and arrogance of thinking "I know better" and to turn away from listening what God has to teach us as well as hypocrisy that makes divisions and conflicts among members today. We're always so quick to condemn others and try to teach them on how to fix their "problems" while we ourselves purposefully ignore of our own!


And to knock it off, Jesus further speaks about the heart of the heart:
"For a good tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. For every tree is known by its own fruit.." Luke 6:43-44a
He's telling them that if they truly follow Him and deny themselves, people will know if they have grown to be a good tree or.. a bad tree. Whether we became His disciple to seek His kingdom first, or ourselves first!

And finally, He shares with them about the Parable of the Two Foundations.

“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built." Luke 6:46-48

So... I was thinking to myself, how would I personally respond if I were to journey through this "orientation" if Jesus was showing me what it means to follow Him on the same day I "signed up" literally? How would you have responded?


- daryl 's u n d a e' heng

Images taken from:
http://w3.xs.edu.ph/?p=3765
http://foodhistorjottings.blogspot.com/2012_05_01_archive.html
http://adams-jonathan.blogspot.com/2011/03/hypocrites.html

Oct 20, 2012

Love thy neighbour!

Hey guys it’s me again!!

So… Twas a crazy month I had this October, mainly because of the onslaught of a few new work that I have recently taken up, mostly volunteering.

Hence, today I would like to share with you guys some of my experience volunteering in various places.
But first let me quote from the Bible,
"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” JOHN 13:34
It was truly a random encounter that brought me into teaching in an orphanage, I was searching for a place in which I could contribute, and as God would have it, my college had a program in which the special scholarship students will form 4 teams and each team will be affiliated with one orphanage, and before I knew it, I was affiliated with Ti Ratana, A Buddhist Orphanage. In hindsight, I realized that I was not ready at all the moment I chose to volunteer to teach the children there.

I remembered the first day I spent in the orphanage. I was nervous, pacing around, trying to make conversations with the people there, with the children, praying desperately that I would not do anything inappropriate. After all, this would mark the first time that I would have to be in close contact with a child for a long period of time. But thank God, the children quickly warmed up to me and my friends and we were soon comfortable around them.

In the beginning, half of the team members took care of the older children, guiding them with their homework, while the other half took care of the babies and toddlers, playing and having fun with them.  Everybody was happy with the arrangement, the children too.

However, it did not take long before problems began to surface up, one after the other (I would not go into the details or it will be TL;DR). Soon, it began to demotivate the team members and I stood and watched with my team leader as the numbers of our volunteers begin to dwindle down. Before we knew it, the volunteers dropped from 20 over to a mere 5. Dark times indeed._.


Before we knew it, our time was up. Our 4 month arrangement with the orphanage ended, and we left feeling defeated, unmotivated with a slight sense of guilt and regret for we could not live up to our promises and also we did not actually help the children at all.

And 2011 passed, and in come 2012.

After my midterms were over, I decided to start anew in another establishment, but this time alone. However God had already set his plans in motion. The week I was about to choose a new establishment, my ex-team leader decided to return back to the orphanage and do it right this time round. I was hesitant at first, REALLLLY HESITANT, as the previous experience had already imprinted a bad memory within me and I simply just do not want to re-live that experience all over again - it was a nightmare.

But I remember one Sunday in which I and John were having dinner with Uncle Chong Sheng and Auntie Lai Kiam in a restaurant, and I ask them whether I should continue to serve in Ti Ratana or to move on elsewhere. Now, I do not remember exactly what they have said to me, but I remember that auntie Lai Kiam encouraged me to go on with it, telling me to reach out beyond where I am to others, and that as Christians we should show love to others.

And so, we went back, but not before having meeting after meeting to identify what went wrong previously and also to find a solution to our problems. I remember that there were a few critical issues that we had to deal with if this was to work, and if we could not iron it out, we will have to really give it up. This problems were far beyond our own capabilities and resources to handle, but as I said before, God has already set his plans in to motion.

Everything fell in place. Everything.

We were quite pleasantly surprised the 2nd time we went back. Much have changed in the orphanage, it felt as though God was preparing the stage just for us to come back. And we did.

Though the 2nd time we went back, we only had five of us, yet we finally were able to make a positive contribution to the children there and also form real bonds with them. Ultimately, we managed to prepare a new system in which the next batch of students from HELP could easily adopt, sparing them unnecessary trouble and heartache.

And here I am now, more than a year has passed since I first began to volunteer there. I’m currently serving there for the third time, but our time there is also about to end. Next week will be my final teaching session (though we have 2 more weeks with them to just play with them). As I sit here typing this out, I really Thank God that he has so gracefully allowed me to complete my work here, without any regrets.

But perhaps the one thing that really spoke out to me throughout this entire experience was how tough and challenging it was. I cannot even begin to count the many days in which our patience were pushed to the limit by the children, to have our work trampled upon (literally). And also the many hours in which we have to sacrifice to prepare the materials for the children. Many silent tears were shed, and I remember coming home every night on a Thursday feeling completely exhausted, worn out.


There were times, I felt like just giving up or to just lose my temper and shout and scream at the children, or worse, to simply not care at all for them.

At times like this, the three words “LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR” just keeps playing in my head. And I open my eyes to see beyond myself and look at the child in front of me, my team members, and also to God himself. And it keeps me going.

This chapter in my life is about to end, and I am looking forward to the plans that God has for me, currently I am volunteering in the National Stroke Association and occasionally in Kiwanis Down Syndrome Foundation, and what strikes me is that there are so much good that needs to be done, surely I alone can’t do much, but just because I can’t do everything for them, it does not mean I should not try to do something for them. God is a super efficient God, nothing is really ever wasted, not your efforts, not your time.

So…. I guess that concludes this post. I thank you all for taking your time to read this. UNTIL THEN!! [GLORIOUS ENDING SEQUENCE]

- Derrick Khor Zhong Wei


http://dribbble.com/shots/555271-Love-Thy-Neighbor
http://mrfreakinbrightside.blogspot.com/2011/08/poet-in-me-died-repost.html
http://www.highperformanceatc.com/trainingprograms.html



Oct 11, 2012

Church Camp 2012 to me


I must admit that I wasn't much prepared for the Church camp this year. However, all the sessions “came home” to me. Thank God for the speaker, Rev Dr Lim Kar Yong and those who prayed fervently for the camp, who helped to make the messages came through so strongly and relevant to me (and I'm sure I'm not the only one who benefited from this!) =)

During the last session whereby Rev Dr Lim Kar Yong talked about “Walking in the challenge to renewed lives: Romans 15:1-13”, he used the imagery of KL Twin Towers to explain how we could build our faith. All in all, the KL Twin Towers’ foundation took 2 years to complete while after the completion of the foundation, each storey of the Twin Towers only took 3 days to complete. Likewise, in our spiritual walk, we need to spend time building a strong foundation upon the Word of God.

Then Rev Dr Lim Kar Yong went on to touch on how we could build our brothers and sisters-in-Christ. He mentioned that throughout recent Church history, there are many youths and young adults between 18-29 years old leaving church. Among the many reasons as found in the book entitled “You lost me” are due to overprotecting Church and parents, Church people who rarely deals with complexity (anything just ask people to pray with no practical solution), Church is shallow (too program-oriented), Church is exclusive,  repressive and the youngsters are not encouraged to discuss their doubts concerning Christian faith in Church.


When I hear his exposition on this matter, my heart sank as many of my acquaintances which includes my close friend who left Church and got married with a non-Christian some years back came to mind. I wonder could these be some of the reasons she left Church as well…

At one point of my life, I was also disheartened to note that my Church friends who were almost the same age as me left TTDIGC one after another and I was left all alone. However, praise God who channels my mentor to encourage me and got me embarked on a few months of Sabbatical leave for me to refocus upon Him. During that period of time, I was also rather burned out, as I ran the youth activities by my own strength, instead of God’s.

Yes, thanks be to God who did not give up on me and I am still worshipping and serving at Church today and I have indeed “live” as per what God has done in my life :D
Ezekiel 16:6, NKJV“And when I passed by you and saw you struggling in your own blood, I said to you in your blood, ‘Live!’ Yes, I said to you in your blood, ‘Live!
If you are one of those who felt that the majority of the Church does not understand you, would you step out from your comfort zone and seek help from someone whom you respect and is easily approachable?

If today you find the Church is boring and the world seems to be more exciting, would you ask God for help?

If today you find your quiet time is dry or your prayer life is shallow, would you continue to seek God in these aspects?

If today your closer circle of friends are no longer at Church, would you feel awkward to come to Church or would you even consider invite him / her to come back to the Good Shepherd’s fold?

If you have been grown up most of your life in Church, hanging out with Christians most of the time, would you care to offer a prayer for friends that were once fellow shipped with you?

To the more spirituality matured ones, would you be willing to spare your time, energy and other things that cost you, to heed the sermon by Rev. Dr Lim Kar Yong to be the mentor / discipler to those who come to you? Why not consider reaching out to them?
Let us not let opportunity slipped by, instead let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith (Galatians 6:10, NKJV)
In doing so, your actions are very much in sync with the purpose that Christ came to save mankind.
Matthew 18:11, NKJVFor the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.

Thank you.

In Him,
From Yit Mun, aka IP Man

Images taken from:
http://www.firstchurchokc.com/church-camps
http://aboutaburningfire.com/5-reasons-to-leave-your-church/


Oct 3, 2012

He who loved me and gave Himself for me!

Recently I have been going through tremendous pressure and stress; I have been working on this project for 6 months now and have involved a lot of people. The project is currently inching really near to its launch date. This project doesn't merely cost me if it were to fail; it will cost others as well in terms of reputation, their time and effort. I will have my constant deep sighs and I feel like I could break inside anytime.

Some of you must be wondering why I am writing with such “exaggerated” emotions - I write it because it’s real. I can’t deny what is really going on inside and neither do I want to deny it. But I had great difficulties doing so. I would constantly argue within myself, on one side, I would convince myself that the project will turn out as a great success; on the other side, it will be a total disaster.  Both way, I can substantiate good reasons and arguments to why it could be either way and it will never end.


I would constantly tell God that this is about His Glory, I am doing this for Him. As much as I would like to think that I am being very selfless and godly about the whole project, through time, God finally revealed my heart to me. Truly, the heart is beyond wickedness and I often tell my brother “the best liars are often ourselves”.

I was doing my quiet time and as I finally managed to steer away the concerns and deep anxiousness I had, I listened what God had to say to me. He said in His word in Galatians 2 : 19 – 20 :
“For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
Paul saw what Peter did because he was afraid how others who are “righteous” would see him being amongst the gentiles, he quickly withdrew himself from them (gentiles). Paul in fact said “he wasn’t acting in line with the truth of the Gospel”. But what really hit me was in the passage as quoted above was “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.” It really hit me that the source of my anxiousness and worries were really of my own selfishness. My pride and reputation, the deep desire to be vindicated in my family tree (I have the background of being the blacksheep) and amongst others.  It is no wonder why now I didn’t have God’s peace inside of me, I haven’t allowed Christ to live in me!


Having the peace of God does not mean I have tranquility in me, it means that I suffer in the surety of hope. Not an empty or shallow one (which is based on your own strength).

And then as I went deeper and as the silence of my own voice subside during my time with God, His following words cut my heart deeply, He said “…I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

Paul didn’t merely stop at saying “I live by faith in the Son of God” although that may already sound very holy and righteous. He went on to write and elaborate what sort of faith in the Son of God he meant, “…who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

What a beautiful faith is that! And how much I was actually missing out in living as a fool!

It is not as though I don’t already know this truth, but when bigger trials come, we being the weak self wavers so easily and gets tossed by the strong waves that come crashing in. More than that, God reminded how much He loved me and again, the power of His resurrection from the cross.

While Jesus was crucified as He makes His way up to the hill with the rugged cross on His back, in His mind He had His Father’s Glory in focus and manifested His Father’s love for me, my very wretched soul! And what I was busy thinking of in this suffering? Myself. I was deeply ashamed and never felt so ungrateful to the One who saved my soul from eternal darkness.


But God in His steadfast love and faithfulness immediately ministered upon my soul. I was liberated once more from my own foolish suffering and now, I start to suffer in joy. Suddenly, I realized failing is not the end of the world. Even if I did fail and the world were to blame me and shame me for it, I remember the faith I should live in and suffer I must. At least, I try my best to. Of course I am saying this with caution that I do not suffer meaninglessly; meaning to say that I did a sloppy and horrible job and I tried to justify that “suffering” as to something holy and righteous. That is different, that is a deserved suffering for one’s sin.

I pray that this post may serve as an encouragement or a gentle reminder to any sister or brother who is reading this. Amen!

- Gary Heng

Images are taken from :

http://trinities.org/blog/archives/category/humor
http://www.vappingo.com/word-blog/black-sheep-of-the-family/
http://www.opgart.com/NewWebsite/Fine_Art/People/PlayingForKeeps.html

Sep 19, 2012

Where’s Your Mission Field? (A Thanksgiving Message)


Further to my sharing on 11 January 2011, I did mention that my dad is a psychiatric patient and the family situations that I am now in. However, despite the many struggles and hard times, I must say that God has always been so faithful to me and my family.

Sometime September Iast year, my dad has gotten violent, threatening to hit me and my family. As things became critical, I braved myself to bring my mom to the nearest police station in Taman Tun. The policeman initially refused to take our complaint and advise us to bring him to the hospital. However, after I have showed the “weapon” used by my dad that could possibly endangered us and explained that we were not being able to bring him to the hospital, one of the policemen was very helpful to the extent of offered to handcuff him and escort him to hospital.

For many years, I have been praying for opportunities to ward him as he refuses to take his medication. On that particular day, it suddenly came to my mind that this was indeed God answering my prayer even though I have forgotten I did made such prayers before! I was overjoyed even though from the registration process till the warding process took approximately 8 hours though the nurses were not particularly helpful. Again, I thank God for getting a good doctor for us and bringing Church members to pray and offer practical help. The doctor that we have had was experienced and has a good heart.

Just a bit of background story: my dad did see a psychiatrist some years ago and did the usual follow-up check-up but he did not tell doctor the truth of his sickness and did not take the prescribed medication. It was to my heartaches as the previous psychiatrist wasn’t very professional, in my opinion and perhaps, unethical to some extent. For the few months that I was able to obtain leave to see that particular doctor, I did bring photographs and notes of his latest developments pertaining to his illness but the same doctor took it so lightly. At the later stage, he was even asking me to buy medicines from his clinic and the medicine that he sold to me was just a generic one.


We see and heard a lot of stories on how those chronic patients waited for hours and weeks for the appointment to see doctor in order to get medication and so many of them are not being treated properly at the government hospital. Due to financial constraint, most poor and needy and even average family like mine could not have afforded to seek medical advice from private clinic or hospital. I strongly encourage those who you who do medicines/pharmacist/any other field to go into government service as the poor and marginalise people would need your help.
Ephesians 4:1 (New King James Version) 1 I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, 
You could be a shining light to those who have no light/dim light if you let God take charge =)

In Him, From Yit Mun, aka IP Man

Images taken from:
http://familymedia.tv/news/world/article/archive/2012/march/article/god-is-faithful/
http://www.redorbit.com/news/health/1112494030/study-finds-developing-countries-suffer-from-poor-hospital-care/

Sep 4, 2012

David Cook: 2 comes before 3!

It was such a blessing to have David Cook to share 2 sermons with us last Sunday! Praise the Lord for such refreshing thoughts and perspectives =)

Out of the many interesting points he brought up, there's just one particular point that made a significant impact in my mind. All this while, I always tried to share with others about how our intimate relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ worked so naturally that as we fall deeply in love with Him, everything else falls into place.


Well, David Cook was mentioning that he shared about how his good friends at the gym back in Australia was astonished with one of the few things he preached to them when they were invited to one of his theological sessions. And apparently, as David mentioned - it's pretty obvious that 2 comes before 3 , but to his friend, it was such an "insight" for him!

He referred to the passage of the 10 commandments, where if we actually give a proper look into it, the Lord first redeemed the Israelite as He freed them from slavery in Egypt and call them His own and in effect of that, He only then gave the 10 commandments to them to obey as a result of gratitude and to please their Lord and Saviour.
Deut 5: 6 - 7 
I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
You shall have no other gods before me.
Today, many are still struggling with that point of view, often time confusing it with trying to go with 3 first.. then only with 2. I myself personally in the past have struggled with this issue, where the moment I sinned against the Lord, I feel terribly unworthy to face Him and that I feel as if He is gravely upset with me of my "performance" and treatment towards this relationship.


It was as if, the nature of my faith depended on how well I "performed" as a Christian, which then only I can grow closer to Him. What a perverted point of view indeed!

So the 2 clearly comes naturally before the 3:

2: He's my Lord, Saviour, Father, friend, lover - 3: that's why I naturally desire to listen to Him, talk to Him, pour out my expression of love and gratitude to Him, serve others as He tells me it pleases Him so!

Hence, many people find that eventually they have many disappointed hopes and expectations, worship becoming less "entertaining",  and serving others is purely a favour to claim back from eventually. No wonder the term "hypocritical" appears frequently in the Word of God itself!

So... have we gotten our 2 first, before 3 comes into place?


- daryl 's u n d a e' heng

Images taken from:
http://mycrazylifeasanavywife.blogspot.com/2012/08/our-personal-relationship-with-god-has.html
http://whatislistening.com/blog/the-quest-of-the-mustard-seed-and-sorrow.php

Aug 26, 2012

Personal Sharing: Church Camp 2012

Hey there everybody.

Church camp in Cameron Highland was recently over, and BOY, was it an experience.

To give a general overview of the camp, it was a 4 days 3 night camp in Heritage Hotel, and our camp speaker was none other than Rev Dr. Lim Kar Yong.

WHOA, REV + DR? Imagine that person in your mind, A grey haired professor with a wise old man look wearing an equally grey blazer, that was the mental image I had in mind.

I was wrong. Here’s a picture.


SHOCKING.

Despite his youthful appearance, this man was the real deal, throughout the 6 sessions that he had with us, he managed to drive home some points close to the hearts of many of us in an interesting and informative way, the kind where you can just sit down and listen for hours upon hours.

Well, I can’t possibly hope to summarize EVERYTHING that he shared with us during camp, so I’ll just share with you a few highlights which are my personal favorites.

One of the first imagery that he shared with us was of that of BUCHENWALD concentration camp. He drew an analogy between our sinful life and our redeemed life, with that of confinement within Buchenwald concentration camp and freedom from it.

Concentration camp… what’s that? You ask. Well, I can tell you for sure that it is not a camp where Asians go to increase their level of concentration, at least not in this context.

Use of the word "concentration" came from the idea of using documents confining to one place a group of people who are in some way undesirable. In a nutshell, a concentration camp is where the NAZIs kept their political enemies, and mainly people whose interest runs against their ideology. People like Jews, homosexual, and clergies make up the majority in these camps.

So…. Buchenwald, what’s so special about that? In order to fully understand the context in this case Rev Dr Lim proceeded to expound on a few facts about Buchenwald, among the few notables were:
1. It was the largest concentration camp that the NAZIs had
2. How big? NEARLY THE SIZE OF TAMAN TUN DR ISMAIL
3. It kept confined to it, 240 000 men and women
4. Out of this number, there was a death rate of 24 percent, or more precisely 56545.


What led to that extraordinary rate of death?  The primary factors were harsh living conditions which encouraged the development of diseases, starvation and as if that was not enough, the prisoners there were quite literally worked to death under the Vernichtung durch Arbeit policy (EXTERMINATION THROUGH LABOUR). Also, many of these prisoners were subjected to inhumane experimentations, some including the development of poisons where the prisoners were taken as guinea pigs to determine JUST the right dose to use, cause you know, wasting is like totally wrong you know?

(On a random note, it made me think about the differences between the Concentration Camp and our Church Camp, hahaha, imagine signing up for the wrong camp.)

So, after elaborating all the facts about Buchenwald camp, the Rev Dr begin to draw a parallel between our sinful lives and that to confinement in Buchenwald camp.

Ultimately, all the prisoners in Buchenwald camp would have been liberated on April 4th 1945 by the allied soldiers from the United States. One can only imagine the joy of the prisoners to be able to finally escape the Living Nightmare that they were trapped in and walk into the path of FREEDOM.

And Ultimately, Jesus would have liberated all of us from our sinful, self defeating lives when he died on the cross for us. All that was needed was for us to accept him as our personal savior and repent. Imagine a prisoner who refused to be liberated, who chose to STAY with his or her own captors, who after Buchenwald camp was liberated, chose to stay in another concentration camp. (Stockholm Syndrome much?) It’s like, imagine him walking up to the Nazis and say “Umm.. hey guys, you see, the allies have destroyed Buchenwald and I would really like it if you could accommodate me into another camp where I can be severely starved, brutalized, work to death, and be freely experimented on, I hope that’s not too big a trouble.”

What Rev Dr Lim shared that day hit me close to my heart; it struck a raw nerve, wound in me which prodded me into deep thought. [Assumes thinker pose]

Like everyone, I struggle with sin, and often sin seems to be winning most of the time. Often times it left me demotivated , stripped of my confidence and distanced me from God. I hated that feeling, quite literally at times, right after committing a sin, I feel alone. A sense of loneliness and emptiness as though everybody had left, and I was alone in this world.

After much soul searching during the camp, I came to realize, that for me, my real reason for defeat was that I have strayed too far away from God. Sure, I did many things to help others; I’ve dedicated all my successes to God, I’ve committed my time, abilities and effort to benefit others. BUT I was too far away from him.

A fundamental lie that prevailed in my life was that I always thought things such as quiet time and bible study were not a real necessity in my spiritual life, I mean sure they were important, but to me back then it was always work in the community that took priority above all the rest. I guess I was a Martha instead of a Mary.

Thinking back to a period of my life which I seem to be more at peace with God, I realized it was so because back then I took the pain to read the bible and pray every single night, come rain come shine.  Proud and Arrogant, I have fallen.

HENCE, in order to address this issue, I have once again decided to restart my daily “pilgrimage”, once again come rain come shine, I would faithfully resume back to my quiet time and bible study. And additionally I would make more time for Church and fulfill my role in it as best as I know how.

Time is a scarcity in my life. Though I’m always rushing from one job to the other, I now fully realize that ultimately if I do not make time, forcefully create time for my personal walk with God, I am DOOMED  to fail, doomed to once again walk back into the concentration camp that once kept me confined, bitter and shackled . [SIGH] I have to change._.

AND all this because of only ONE session. HAHAHAHA, I would not be lying if I said that most of the session had a profound impact in the way I think and provided me a fresh perspective of looking at things. That and the honest and heartfelt conversation that I had with my discussion group which I truly appreciated.  I can’t hope to cover everything in this one post. But to me, this Buchenwald example was the lesson that I kept the closest to my heart, and I feel I would to share with it with you awesome people!

And well to end this post, let me quote from the bible a verse which I find particularly relevant.
In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey it’s evil desires. Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. For sin shall NOT be your master, because you are not under law, but under GRACE.  – ROMANS 6:11-14

- Derrick Khor Zhong Wei

IMAGE 1-http://2.bp.blogspot.com/FiiBCxfV4O4/TVi6wiHEFtI/AAAAAAAAGPU/bSxcsY3n_NM/s1600/LimKarYong02.jpg
IMAGE 2-http://memoiredeguerre.pagesperso-orange.fr/lieux-dep/buchenwald-entree.jpg
IMAGE 3-http://www.ushmm.org/museum/exhibit/online/kristallnacht/images/image6b.jpg

Aug 13, 2012

God’s will or mine?


Many times when waves of uncertainty and troubles hit our lives, we often turn to God and pray. We pray for him to guide us through the hard times, we pray for His strength to be able to work out the problems and if you are like me, we pray above all for His will to be done.

Now, there is no problem in praying for these things, but sometimes the prayers we pray may become, well sort of mechanical and not truly from the heart.  I recently went for the young adults retreat at Fraser’s and wow, it was amazing how God showed me that I have been saying the words but not meaning them.

As some of you may or may not know, that quite recently I’ve been trying to deal with a big wave being tossed my way. The story is that my parents want me to pursue my studies overseas, and I didn’t want to. So I turned to God and started praying for the things mentioned above. Little did I know I was just saying the words and not meaning them in my heart. I’ve been asking for God’s will to be done when in reality I only wanted my will to be done.

God showed me this during the meditation session at Fraser’s. The verse given to meditate on was
Philippians 4:6-7: Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
So I started off by asking myself what does being anxious mean? The definition of anxious is the experience of worry or concern. Then I asked myself two more questions, what am I anxious about and why am I anxious about it? The answers to those two questions were easy, firstly I was anxious about going overseas to study and I didn’t want to go because I would be leaving behind so much here, my friends, family, all the times that I could spend and the memories that I could create here would be gone.


Then moving onto the next part of the verse I questioned myself again, have I really really been praying about this matter? Am I actually thankful for the opportunity to study overseas? Have I even been letting my request to stay here in Malaysia to study be made known to God? Then I felt it, that sinking feeling we often feel when we realize something not so nice to realize. The answer to the questions above was a simple two letter word: NO.

I continued to question myself and I imagined a situation where it was clear that God’s will for me was to study abroad. Would I actually go wholeheartedly? If God said to me I am sending you to Australia because I have a plan for you there, will I really trust in God and leave the people I hold dear here and go? I wanted to say yes I would go, but deep down I felt as if I was reluctant to go even if God said so.

By this time, I was actually walking all over the place trying to work things out in my head. And then something clicked, it hit me that I’ve not been sincere in my prayers to God. I’ve always prayed, saying “Lord whatever it is your will be done” when actually deep down in my heart I would say “Ok hopefully his will is for me to stay here and not go anywhere”. I realized that I’ve been trying to superimpose my will over God’s.


Then God brought a couple of verses to me, which were Matthew 10:38-39: “And if anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” and also Matthew 16:24: "If anyone would come after me he MUST DENY HIMSELF and take up his cross and FOLLOW ME”. These two verses really hit me hard. It became so clear that I needed to really lay everything down at His feet and trust in Him. It also struck me that I have been acting like the rich young man mentioned in Mark 10:17, how my “riches” have actually been my comfortable lifestyle here in Malaysia along with my friends and family.

I soon started to pray and ask God for forgiveness for the way I’ve been acting. I also asked for strength to truly want His will to be done for my life and to be able to trust in Him completely even while laying down my “riches”. Comfortingly God showed me Proverbs 3:5-6: "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”

Soon I felt God’s peace calm my heart and I can honestly say that my worries about this matter just evaporated. So with that in mind, are you willing to trust in God? Can you deny yourself pick up your cross and follow Him if he has called you to something? It’s not going to be easy, far from that, but when you start to trust in God, He will guide you through it all!

- Matthew How

Images taken from:
http://dmariepowell.wordpress.com/2012/01/07/be-faithful-in-prayer/
http://ronorenstein.blogspot.com/2010/05/west-malaysia-frasers-hill-setting.html
http://matt-lifeinthespirit.blogspot.com/2011/02/21811-deny-yourself-pick-up-cross-and.html

Aug 1, 2012

Training Your Conscience


In 1984, an Avianca Airlines jet crashed in Spain. Investigators studying the accident made an eerie discovery. The “black box” cockpit recorders revealed that several minutes before impact a shrill, computer synthesized voice from the plane’s automatic warning system told the crew repeatedly in English, “Pull up! Pull up!” The pilot, evidently thinking the system was malfunctioning, snapped, “Shut up, Gringo!” and switched the system off. Minutes later the plane plowed into the side of a mountain. Everyone on board died. 

When I saw that tragic story on the news shortly after it happened, it struck me as a perfect parable of the way modern people treat the warning messages of their consciences. The wisdom of our age says guilt feelings are nearly always erroneous or hurtful; therefore we should switch them off. 

But that kind of thinking betrays a deep misunderstanding of what the conscience is and how it works. Your conscience isn’t the voice of God or the law of God. It’s not an external force of any kind. 

As the Puritan Richard Sibbes wrote, the conscience is "the soul reflecting upon itself."1 Put another way, it is the human faculty that judges our actions and thoughts by the light of the highest standard we perceive. Like any warning system, it needs to be programmed—it needs to be taught and trained to discern right from wrong before it can be fully effective. 

Your standard for morality—whatever it is—will shape, guide, and direct your conscience. 

Therefore, it’s absolutely crucial to establish the Lord’s holy standard for purity and godliness in your own heart. Anything less will lead you to have a weak, shallow conscience that regularly permits you to fall short of God’s commands.


Or worse—it could lead you to sin. If you subscribe to the world’s no-shame, man- centered standard, your conscience can actually encourage you to sin. It can become so perverted and twisted that it makes you think you ought to be lying, cheating, and gossiping. It might even make you believe, as many people do today, that it is normal to get drunk, defraud people, and have sex outside of marriage. 

The fastest way to turn yourself over to the corruption of the world is to adopt its faulty, post-modern standard of morality and pervert your own conscience. 

Instead you need to guard your conscience and protect it from the pollution of the world. You need to feed it regularly on the rich truth of God’s Word, establishing His perfect law as the standard for your life. You do that through faithful personal Bible study, consistent intake of quality teaching and exhortation from Scripture, godly accountability and persistent self-examination. 

The Lord gave you a conscience to help protect and defend you spiritually. But you’ve got to protect and defend your conscience if it’s going to do you any good. 

 Reference: gty.org

- Alex Tan

Images taken from:
http://www.nycaviation.com/2012/01/on-this-day-in-aviation-history-january-25th/
http://thedarkglobe.wordpress.com/2012/07/12/guilty-conscience-cure/

Jul 16, 2012

Copa IBA 2012: A Perspective

I believe Copa iba was a tiring day for most of us. One of the most obvious reason is because some of us didn’t sleep and some had very little sleep the night before. We met and made a lot of new friends. We had plenty of nerve-wracking matches, some of it had some “dramas” where people fell and was injured. Through it all, it was definitely more than just physical fatigue - it was definitely emotionally draining as well.

The practices that went behind all of the games in Copa Iba came to an end when TTDI reached to the quarter final stage.

Instead of the emphasis where the speaker talked about how we should race like an athlete in the faith earlier that morning, I would like to highlight on something else instead.  I think it’s fair for me to say that we felt a lot of upset and rather depressed emotions felt that day. Well, especially after going through some real bad “trashing” in some of the matches, I know this sounds cliché but the saying that goes “That’s life!” fits here because it simply is!


1 Corinthians 9:24 “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.”
I don’t honestly believe that anyone could go through so much (or at least substantially enough) of effort can just face a defeat without feeling anything bad about it. Let’s admit it, we’re all human and I think it is good to actually go through the disappointment and certain extent of sadness. But what comes after matters even more, do we want to try again and be better this time or just give it all up and let defeat get the best out of us?

Copa iba is just a onetime off event annually; life is a whole stretch of decades for the most of us. Obviously Copa iba is not going to be only thing you’re going to place a lot of effort and expectations. So how are we to ensure that we can handle disappointments and grief the right way in other circumstances in life? Or at least in the healthiest manner?

On one hand, you don’t want to grief to a point where you never rise up again. On another hand, you don’t want to numb your feelings just to cope with it either. That will carry through your entire life and will definitely scar a lot of relationships (because that’s how you taught yourself to cope with these negative feelings). I have come to know a lot of youth (including myself) do a lot of things just to deal with all these negative feelings.  We can come to think that it works (at least in a short term) and that will be the way we handle it that way for the rest of our life. The truth is this; those “solutions” will always have limitations and most often a very back lashing effect.


Ultimately, it’s always back to our Saviour and ever present comforter and teacher - Jesus Christ.

Releasing your emotions and choosing to believe that He is capable of bearing all of it for you is not an easy process. It takes a lot of trusting, a lot of time and most of all – faith. But there’s no other way. I maybe young but up until before I was a Christian, I found no better way to deal with my negative emotions until I found Jesus in my life. Things have never been the same again.  Previously, I will either find an avenue to release it which costs a lot of money and most of all the people who care for you.

Years before this, Daryl and I started up our own company known as ESPGL.com.  Some of our church friends today know about it but trust me; we really placed our all into the project. We had countless sleepless nights, on some days, sleeping a few hours is what we needed to do just to get things done.
I can’t forget when is the last time I actually stopped sighing during then because the stress never ends, I just can’t stop sighing. We had a lot of people having expectations and demands on us all the time and we can never stop meeting all of it. Yet, we can’t choose to ignore it because they are our “customers” and we need them in order to get our company to be successful.

Eventually, God said otherwise about our success of the company and the whole went into a flop after one year of pure hard working of planning, travelling, buying and executing.


At that point of my life, I never knew Jesus and I really took out my frustration and disappointment in ways that were really selfish and damaging to the people around me. My parents suffered the most and I was just so tired of trying again. I can’t imagine going through all that painstaking effort and planning just to face another acute disappointment.

A year after that, I committed my life to Christ. I started having the faith to try again but this time no longer in myself but in Jesus. Whether I succeed or fail, I ask God to give me the strength to trust Him enough to go through that phase and still praise Him.

Matthew 11:29 “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
Obviously I will not have a total emotional tranquility or neither will I always be happy all the time. The difference is;  I know my life is always well secured even if I have not lived to last day of my life yet. I don’t rely on myself to think of that, I rely on His promises.

So whoever of you reading this who have put your part in Copa Iba, let not the disappointment stop you from trying for next year or even anything else in life. Remember that all in all, we have committed our emotions and dreams to our only Lord and Saviour. J

- Gary Heng

Images are taken from :

http://www.unchainedfitness.com/blog/how-often-should-an-athlete-train
http://www.inpowerwomen.com/research-summary-overcoming-the-backlash-effect/
http://stephaniej-whatithink.blogspot.com/2011/06/hard-work-you-want-to-know-what-i-think.html
http://victoryoutreachwhittier.wordpress.com/2010/04/06/what-are-you-looking-at/



Jul 9, 2012

Part 4: Philippians 3:12-14 (Press On)

"Not again", you might ponder in your heart. Yit Mun has been getting more and more naggy and long-winded?? Sharing on the same verses again and again…

What has happened is this:


Due to God’s grace, I managed to bring my dad to Chinese Ministry’s Parent Day Dinner, hoping that my dad can hear the gospel once again. After the preaching, I did some following-up with my dad on his opinion and so on. His feedback actually pierced my heart and at another incident, my sister also pointed out her views on me. No doubt these have caused a great impact on me as I was thinking that I've improved as a Christian but my family thinks otherwise. After the Bible study group prayed for me, again the above-mentioned verses on “press on” popped-out in my mind.
12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.
Seriously I know I am nowhere near perfection but I press on, that I may grapple the purpose that Christ Jesus has for me. I must say I’m still “work-in-progress”! I am asking God to give me the extra portion of strength, grace and better time management to handle the things before me!
13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,
Brothers and sisters, though God has unfolded many things through my meditation and time alone with Him, I still need more time to figure out the full plan from Him to place me in such a situation.


But something for sure here is that, God urges me to lay aside my baggage and slowly forget my past that has daunted me every now and then. Here, God asked me to throw away everything that hinders my growth (Heb 12:1a) and stretch forth my hand to what He has in store for me.
14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Again, He prompted me to march on until I reach my target for the eternal reward of His specific calling in my life. May this piece of sharing encourages you in your walk with our good God! XD

In Him, Yit Mun (aka IP Man)

Images taken from:
http://mklasing.wordpress.com/2009/05/08/business-failing-well-raise-your-prices-just-ask-the-post-office/
http://www.amazon.com/High-Sierra-Luggage-32-Inch-Wheeled/dp/B004UB3P3O