Category Archives: Christianity

Please Take From Me My Life…

Some time ago, when I was driving back to KL after an appointment down south, I popped in my Third Day MP3 collection. And when the drive is long and seemed endless, we’d usually find some time to reflect on the words of the songs being played.

One particular track caught my attention – Take My Life – it’s live version was simply brilliant as it expressed the words and intentions clearly.

How many of us have been found to say “Lord, take my life!”, “I surrender all to You!”, “I put my life in Your Hands”, etc. in times when we are OK. When we are happy. Or joyous. With friends in church?

What about when times when we feel just so weary. So challenged. So tired. So helpless. So depressed…

Wouldn’t it be ideal for us to surrender our burdens and ourselves to God who promised to give us rest? Yet, it is typically during those times when we lose sight of God and forget to lay our burdens to Him who can carry us through those times.

So, the chorus of this song is an incredible reminder for all of us that whilst it is great for us to declare ourselves to God then times are good, when times are bad and we seriously just don’t have the strength to cry out to God, then it becomes a plea for God himself to reach out and take our lives instead.

How beautiful that picture that is represented through this song of a God who will never let us go and always has us in His loving hands. Enjoy!

Take My Life – Third Day

Take My Life (Third Day)

How many times have I turned away
The number is the same as the sand on the shore
But every time You’ve taken me back
And now I pray You do it once more.

Chorus:
Please take from me my life
When I don’t have the strength
to give it away to You Jesus

How many times have I turned away
The number is the same as the stars in the sky
But every time You’ve taken me back
And now I pray You do it tonight.

Of Justice, Mercy and Grace…

What’s the difference between JUSTICE, MERCY and GRACE?

Thie following extract taken from the Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry (CARM) gives a very interesting explanation and illustration:

In brief, Justice is getting what we deserve.  Mercy is not getting what we deserve.  Grace is getting what we don’t deserve.

Let’s suppose you have a bicycle and I want it.  So, one night I sneak over to your house and steal it.  You catch me and I go to jail.  (Jail would be where I “pay” for my crime of breaking the law.)  The penalty is met and that is justice.  I get what I deserve.

Let’s change it a little.  I sneak over to your house and steal your bike.  You catch me.  But you don’t send me to jail. Instead, you tell me to forget about it.  The penalty, jail, is not met.  That is mercy.  I did not get what I deserved.

One more change.  I sneak over to your house and steal your bike.  You catch me.  You don’t send me to jail.  In fact, you give me the bike plus a hundred dollars.  That is grace.  The penalty is met (by you paying the ‘damages’) and I was given what I did not deserve (the bike and money).

Justice, which demands payment, does not meet the requirement of mercy, which seeks forgiveness.  Mercy does not meet the requirement of justice. Grace meets both.

Have you been touched by God’s grace yet?

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Eph 2:8-9)

Youth Quake 2010!!

Personal
1. Facing Facebook – How to be wise and accountable using services provided by internet.
2. Emo-ing – dealing with emotions, emotional maturity, emotional quotient
3. Optimizing my Life – Self management – priorities, discipline, purpose
4. In His Image – image of God, own self esteem, own self value
5. Money not Enough! – how-what they think of money, tithing to God, etc.
6. Break Free – break free from addiction – internet games, pornography, alcohol, hurting self
7. Man:
Knight in Shining Armour
– male identity
8. Woman:
Fairest of Them all
– female identity
9. Responding rightly to Conflict – respond to conflict with people
Family
1. Alien in my own home – Christian living in a non-Christian home
2. Inner healing – on healing
3. Understanding parents – how to unravel the mystery of parents
4. Home Wars – handling conflicts at home
5. Rock you role – your role-mission at home
6. When you have to Disobey your parents – situation of disobeying their parents on their own believes but not disrespecting
7. Culthure: when do I Draw the line – decisions of what to do in non-Christian background like Taoism, Hinduism, etc.
8. Agent of change – Influencing your family
Community
1. Real BFFs – who are our friends
2. Cults & Occults – on cults and occults
3. Help! My church is Boring – how can youths in church working with adults
4. God & Evolution – on evolution
5. Strangers in my own church – how the youths can accept the church community as part of their family.
6. Community healing – how the youths can be in church community in area of healing – emotions, families breakdown
7. Peer counselling – how to be an accountable friend
8. Dancing with porcupines – how to be wise in areas where they face difficult people

What are you waiting for?

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All men are like grass…

Sometimes we do not need to travel far to admire the beauty of nature, of God’s creations..

Took some of these pictures from my very own garden one morning..

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I soon realised that the flowers that bloom in my garden come and go just like that…and they are quickly replaced with new beautiful  flowers….sometimes I even see flowers with different colours coming out from the same plant! Just makes us wonder in awe of God’s creative fingers at work, doesn’t it? 😀

Seeing these new flowers bloom every one-two days also reminds me of the verse in Isaiah 40:6-7 which goes:

A voice says, “Cry out.”
And I said, “What shall I cry?”
“All men are like grass,
and all their glory is like the flowers of the field.

The grass withers and the flowers fall,
because the breath of the LORD blows on them.
Surely the people are grass.

“Lord, if the grass in me is growing unwanted weeds, please trim me as You may, and help me to grow deeper rooted in Your Word; and may your mercy and grace bloom like fresh new flowers every morning in my life. Amen.”

Rooted in Faithfulness?

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A recapturing of something that I shared during the recent SSS teacher’s retreat in Frasers.

As I was doing my morning devotion, I chanced upon the roots of some tree embedded deep inside the walls of the ledge along the road leading up to the Methodist bungalow. The more I looked at the roots, I began to reflect on its usefulness – bringing water to the tree, help to prevent landslides, etc. It then occured to me that the tree/s and its roots must have been so, so, so old already, based on its colour and deep-rootedness (for lack of a better word..).

So, if the roots have been so faithful over the years with the simple function or responsibility of holding the tree together and help prevent landslides, can I be just as a faithful Christian with just one simple function of obeying God?

What more when we are oft burdened with many more responsibilities of family life, church ministries, youth shepherding, etc. how do we remain ever so faithful then? Oh, how vulnerable we can be to just fall away and lose sight of God…

Some of the reassuring words I got from other friends at the retreat included “Don’t worry….He will make sure you don’t slide away..”, and “God will be with you through it all…”

Lord, give me the love and strength everyday to remain faithfully rooted to You, just like the great example shown by the roots in Frasers, who are and still is so faithful all these years in carrying out its functions. Amen.

“Your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens,

your faithfulness to the skies.”

(Psalms 36:5)

Child-like Service

What are the basic ingredients of Servanthood?

In his book, Improving Your Serve, Charles Swindoll gives us three basic steps to remember…1) Giving, 2) Forgiving and 3) Forgetting

As I was preparing my lesson on Service for my church youths about two months back, I was scratching my head for illustrations to help me present these basic ingredients of servanthood. Suddenly, it dawned on me all I needed was to look at my very own children!

In 2 Cor 8:1 – 5, the servant is taught to be someone who would give anonymously, generously, voluntarily and personally. The servant as a forgetter means that when we do service, we should not be keeping score. The servant should take delight in forgetting the deed and go about doing the service virtually unnoticed.

In my house, Collin would sometimes happily take up the broom and dustpan and start to sweep the floor without being told. It may seem cute and all, but the lesson of servanthood was written all over it!

In his simple act of sweeping the floor, Collin has demonstrated how he has given generously, in ways beyond his means and age. Heck, the broom even looks larger than him! He was also given voluntarily as he picked up the broom and started sweeping without being told. His service is also something personal since it was brought out of him personally. Last but not least, I’m pretty sure Collin isn’t keeping score of the deed of sweeping the floor (or his other noble deeds to wiping the sofa, throwing laundry into the basket, etc.) – demonstrating the servant as a forgetter excellently.

I guess when Jesus said we should all have faith like children, He may have also meant we should all serve like them too. 😀

How has your service been today?

New Life, New Building…

It was a meaningful Easter indeed yesterday in my church where in addition to the usual Easter service and delicious paus, there was also a simple but special ground-breaking ceremony in the car park next to the existing Youth Centre which will make way for the development of our new building within the next few years!

Kinda ties in nicely too as we celebrate and remember new life through Christ’s resurrection, we commemorate new life of our church’s new building as well. Great day for the ground breaking..

I’m sure gonna miss the Youth Centre though…sniff sniff..:-D

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Lovely painted easter eggs!
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Posing at the ground-breaking site of KLWMC with Collin

The Pearl of Great Price

As I ponder upon Good Friday this year, I am reminded of the illustration of the Pearl of Great Price, as extracted below from Juan Carlos Ortiz,Disciple(Wheaton, IL: Creation House,1975) p34-35

The Pearl of Great Price

“I want this pearl. How much is it?”

“Well,” the seller says, “it’s very expensive.”

“But, how much?”

“Well, a very large amount.”

“Do you think I could buy it?”

“Oh, of course, everyone can buy it.”

“But, didn’t you say it was very expensive?”

“Yes.”

“Well, how much is it?”

“Everything you have,” says the seller.

“All right, I’ll buy it.“

“Well, what do you have?” he wants to know. “Let’s write it down.”

“Well, I have ten thousand dollars in the bank.”

“Good- -ten thousand dollars. What else?”

“That’s all.. That’s all I have.” “Well, I have a few dollars here in my pocket.”

“How much?”

“Well, let’s see–thirty, forty, sixty, eighty, a hundred, a hundred twenty dollars.”

“That’s fine. What else do you have?”

“Well, nothing. That’s all.”

“Where do you live?” He’s still probing.

“In my house. Yes, I have a house.”

“The house, too, then.” He writes that down.

“You mean I have to live in my camper?”

“You have a camper? That, too. What else?”

“I’ll have to sleep in my car!”

“You have a car?“

“Two of them.”

“Both become mine, both cars. What else?”

“Well, you already have my money, my house, my camper, my cars. What more do you want?”

“Are you alone in this world?”

“No I have a wife and two children…..”

“Oh, yes, your wife and children, too. What else?”

“I have nothing left! I am left alone now.”

Suddenly the seller exclaims, “Oh, I almost forgot! You yourself, too! Everything becomes mine-

wife, children, house, money, cars–and you too.” Then he goes on. “Now listen–I will allow you

to use all these things for the time being. But don’t forget that they are mine, just as you are. And

whenever I need any of them you must give them up, because now I am the owner.”

—–

As illustrated above, it certainly is not easy being a disciple of Jesus Christ considering the number of things we have to give up. But what are these things compared to the life that Jesus gave up for us all on Good Friday? :-)

As we reflect on His sacrifice for us on the cross this year, let’s also look into ourselves and ask what are the sacrifices we have done for Him lately…

Have a meaningful Good Friday and blessed Easter Sunday 2010 as we celebrate Christ’s resurrection!

Cry Out To Jesus

The 9/11 terrorism attack. Hurricane Katrina. The H1N1 virus. The Tsunami. The Indonesian quake. The Australian heatwave. Etc…..and most recently…the Haiti earthquake, now with already hundreds of thousands deaths. :-(

Natural disasters or phenomenons that claim lives all over the world. is it just me or does it seem more frequent in this millennium?  Hmmm. Anyway, human responses has been quite similar – either they would question God for bringing such calamities…or they would be moved and turn back to God…for refuge, for support, for love.

Makes me wonder too if God sometimes allow these things to happen so that His people would be ‘poked’ to turn back to Him? And the scary frequency of ‘reminders’ these past couple of years would give us some food for thought. Do we need reminders to turn back to God?

Anyhow, I would like to share an inspirational song to all the quake victims in Haiti. May it help them all to get back on your feet again as they cry out to Jesus. Amen.

Cry Out To Jesus – Third Day

Cry Out to Jesus (Third Day)

To everyone who’s lost someone they love
Long before it was their time
You feel like the days you had were not enough
when you said goodbye

And to all of the people with burdens and pains
Keeping you back from your life
You believe that there’s nothing and there is no one
Who can make it right

There is hope for the helpless
Rest for the weary
Love for the broken heart
There is grace and forgiveness
Mercy and healing
He’ll meet you wherever you are
Cry out to Jesus, Cry out to Jesus

For the marriage that’s struggling just to hang on
They lost all of their faith and love
They’ve done all they can to make it right again
Still it’s not enough

For the ones who can’t break the addictions and chains
You try to give up but you come back again
Just remember that you’re not alone in your shame
And your suffering

When your lonely (when you’re lonely)
And it feels like the whole world is falling on you
You just reach out, you just cry out to Jesus
Cry to Jesus

To the widow who suffers from being alone
Wiping the tears from her eyes
For the children around the world without a home
Say a prayer tonight

Allah Yang Setia

It is indeed gloomy times in Malaysia of late.

To date, four churches have become targets of cowardly arson attacks in the wake of the recent decision of the Malaysian High Court to allow Catholic’s Malay version of their publication The Herald to use the word ‘Allah’.

Personally, it is really sad to see such brutal acts happening in our own backyard. The audacity of these ‘internal terrorism’ clearly reflects how safe Malaysia is. On the other hand, the drama and events we are witnessing in front of our very own eyes has also brought out the voices from all quarters. A large majority of Christians and non-Christians (including Muslims) have come out to condemn these actions that is threatening national security.

As a Christian, this episode has made me reflect much deeper about my faith and God’s faithfulness.

1. In times of gloominess and darkness,  I’m confident His light would be able to shine brighter!

2. Looking at the brighter side of things, this episode has brought more Christian to their knees in prayer! A weapon oft forgotten, let’s continue to pray fervently for our nation.

3. We should also not allow our emotions to take over the situation. Rather, we should (more than ever) depend on God’s promise that He would be faithful to be with us, trusting God to protect us and eventually make the necessary judgments.

With my eyes turned upon His faithfulness, allow me to share this beautiful piece from the inspiring pen of Jonathan Prawira called Allah Yang Setia. Enjoy!

Allah Yang Setia

Allah Yang Setia (Songwriters : Jonathan Prawira & Joseph S Djafar (Music); Vocals: Franky Sihombing)

YESUS, KAU TELAH MEMULAI
S’GALA YANG BAIK DALAMKU
ENGKAU MENJADIKANKU
SERUPA GAMBARAN-MU
DAN BERHARGA DI MATA-MU

YESUS, KAU TELAH MEMULAI
KARYA YANG MULIA DALAMKU
KAU BERIKAN HIDUP-MU
S’BAGAI GANTI DOSAKU
KAR’NA KASIH-MU PADAKU

REFF:
S’KARANG KUMEMUJI-MU
ALLAH YANG SETIA
YANG TAK PERNAH MENINGGALKAN
PERBUATAN TANGAN-MU

S’KARANG KUMENYEMBAH-MU
ALLAH YANG MULIA
SEMPURNAKAN SEG’NAP HIDUPKU
AGAR INDAH BAGI-MU