Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas is a time to Love


Friend: 'Isaac, I come visit you on Christmas day ok? Very bored la here..'

Isaac:' Sure sure, come come. You can come with me to spend Christmas day with my pastors at their house.'

Friend: 'So how to get to your place ah?'

Isaac: *pauses* 'Alamak! Christmas day got no public transport!'

Friend: 'Taxi le? I don't mind paying.'

Isaac: 'I don't even think you will get a taxi la, Its Christmas Day!'

Christmas is the biggest holiday season for the majority of the western world. It is estimated that UK consumers spend about £20billion in gifts during that short 1 month spending spree. People will save up an entire year to be able to buy presents for their family and friends. For most retail businesses, it's a time to cash in on the habitual spending season. For children, its a time to play, get new toys, eat chocolates and sweets all day. Boys look forward to their favourite football jersey or the latest games console. Girls wish for their favourite dress or heels or even the latest fashion set. Men the latest technology or gadgets, women have an never ending list that I won't even attempt to list out.

Another interesting fact is that on Christmas morning, the church, chapel or cathedral is packed to the brim for the first time in 365 days. They some times call it ending the year with a bang! Attending Christmas service has become some sort of a pilgrimage or ritual for many. For many of these so called 'Christmas service goers', they might be able to recite Matthew 1 and Luke 2 by heart so the good thing is that at least they're memorising scripture.

A sight that is rarely seen in Malaysia is empty high streets. I first experienced this in Buenos Aires, Argentina when i was there over Christmas a few years ago. We were staying in a hotel right in the middle of their busiest shopping street. I remember coming down on Christmas morning and it was dead, you could even hear the pin dropping even before it touched the ground. It is likewise in London. Christmas eve is swarming with people doing last minute shopping, Christmas day is as empty as my stomach now and the people pack the streets again on Boxing day for the sales. The contrasts is enormous especially when it is only in a space of 3 days.

Some Christians have also gone to the extreme of condemning Christmas as merely a pagan ritual that promotes imprudent spending. A very small minority don't even celebrate Christmas as an act of protest against Santa, reindeers, mistletoe and even presents. Claiming that historically, Jesus wasn't even born on the 25th day of the 12th month. I agree that many of us have been brought up with an expectation of things like presents, roast turkey and singing carols which has certainly become more of a ritual than many of us realise.

In the past decade or so, preachers have been coming with quotes like 'Christ is the reason for this Christmas season' and my very own 'Christmas without Christ is just Mas'. Putting the focus back to Jesus is great and absolutely necessary reminder for us all. I know many churches that put up great performances, bonanzas and events as an opportunity to share the good news of Christ during this season. But, imagine Christmas without presents? or fasting during the Christmas week? Can do? So much for Christmas is all about Christ huh..

Christmas has an unusual feel that unites and bonds people of all faiths and races. Even those who do not practice the faith of Christianity spend Christmas with their family over this holiday season- at least in the UK. The nation is at a virtual standstill for a full 48 hours or so. Silent night does actually exist if you are on a deserted university campus, high street or cottage in the countryside. There seems to be a special feeling around and about the place. I call it Love.

The song 'Christmas is a time to Love' is one of my favourite caroling songs. Christmas for me is ultimately about 3 things.
1. Christ
Jesus' birthday speaks not only the birth of our Lord and saviour but faithfulness of the Father to his sons and daughters on earth.

2. Love
Presents, food, chocolates are all acts of love that many might not know how to express. It is a form of love that is most recognised by the majority.

3. Family
An incredible bond in the family happens during Christmas. I have heard many stories of reconciliation among family members so that everybody can celebrate a happy Christmas.

Families come together, literally putting a stop to their busy lives to be with loved ones. Culture here is that people do not and will not work over time for money. They will rather spend time with family and take the few days off. Something that might be quite different from Asian cultures.

So why all these blabber?

Its my third year in a row not celebrating Christmas with family. I have always been very close to my family and even the outer family is a very closely knitted group. Do i miss them? Yes of course i do. Its not that only now that i have realised about the importance of family, rather I'm actually an advocate for family values to be instilled back into society. Just that in the UK where this country has been founded on biblical values, it is one of those values that still appears to be embedded within her citizens. I have never experienced such a big scale 'family holiday' before and it is indeed weird to find a virtual standstill in one of the most developed countries on earth.

To wrap this off, this post was inspired by Steven Curtis Chapman's song 'All i really want for Christmas'. Its a beautiful song that i hope you will be blessed and reminder of God's goodness to us. There are many out there who just long to be loved and a family to spend time with. As i was always taught since young, family comes after God in our list of priorities.

All I Really Want
Well, I don't know if you remember me or not,
I'm one of the kids they brought in from the home,
I was the red-haired boy in an old, green flannel shirt,
You may not have seen me, I was standing off alone

I didn't come and talk to you ' cause that's never worked before,
And you'll probably never see this letter, anyway,
But just in case there's something you can do to help me out
I'll ask you one more time

Chorus:
All i really want for Christmas is someone to tuck me in,
A shoulder to cry on if i lose, shoulders to ride on if i win,
There's so much I could ask for, but there's just one thing I need
All i really want for Christmas is a family

Well, I guess I should go ahead and tell you now,
If it's really true about that list you have,
Somehow I always seem to end up in a fight,
But I'm really trying hard not to be bad

But maybe if I had a brother of a dad to wrestle with,
Maybe they could teach me how to get along,
and from everything I've heard, it sounds like the greatest gift on earth
Would be a mom

All i want for Christmas is someone who'll be here
To sing me happy birthday for the next 100 years,
And it's okay if they're not perfect or even if they're a little broken,
That's alright, 'Cause so am I

Well, I guess I should go, it's almost time for bed,
Maybe next time I write you'll be at home

video

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Another dimension of Love..


Its been a hectic few weeks for me. Final year of university isn't easy at all. Church ministries have been piling up with even more responsibilities to be taken, but its been exciting. My other involvements in ministries both in Malaysia and outside have been pouring in. I thank God for those opportunities, but its been a tremendous challenge. Keeping a daily routine hasn't been as easy as it was with random things cropping up most of the time. Yet it seems that time hasn't gone by as fast as i thought it will. Or at least i had hoped...

I had an assignment due today and finished it in double quick time, to my delight. I didn't want anything to interfere with what many called as my 'big' day. I wanted a day where i can just relax and chill out. So, after a long thought i decided to get Dominoes pizza and watch a movie for the night. The movie i picked out from the pastor's house was 'Fireproof'.

I somehow missed out watching that movie quite a few times, and many people raved about it. But somehow on numerous occasions, i just didn't manage to watch that movie. Now i know why, because it maybe wasn't time yet. God told me on my flight back to London in early October. He said that He had a final piece of the puzzle for me for this season. He only said one word, Love.

1 Corinthians 13:4-13 are verses that describe Love. I have heard numerous messages on love. I know that God loves me and many other people whom i care about. I know that it was love that put Christ on the cross and all that. I know that we will never achieve perfect love. I know that each day we learn lessons to love our neighbour, enemy, irritating person etc. It wasn't until I watched 'Fireproof' that it all just suddenly clicked.

The covenant love of marriage. The love of Christ with the church as the bride. I don't really know how to describe, but its as if i have been just hit with a brick. Its as if I am in another dimension of Love that I have never been nor encountered before. Ever since the beginning of this year, I seem to be on this journey which leads to what many call 'a relationship' or 'marriage' if you're talking about the end product. I have come across so many movies talking about love. I've had books on marriage and relationships given to me. I've had God open my eyes to possibilities out there. I have had opportunities that put love to the test. I have been learning about covenant. It all seems to be piecing together.

Is it just the age to be exposed to this stuff? Or is God just preparing me for it?

Well, I guess I just got my answer today. The day i turned 22. I was reluctant to turn 22 because 21 just seems like such a nice number. I think God chose this day to reveal to me His plan and His preparation for my new journey of Love. I am ready, and eager to learn all there is to learn. The responsibility of a man seems tremendous (as i have also been studying and learning about manhood) according to biblical standards. I knew it was important but after my recent studies, goodness no wonder they needed two separate words to describe males.

All i can say is, that it's going to be an exciting year ahead!

Lord, i thank you for giving me this experience. Thank you for speaking to me about this new journey that we are embarking together. Help me throw away my childish ways and grow with maturity in You. Lord, i want to be the Man that you purposed me to be. The father to the generations, like you have been the Father to the generation before. I pray God for your mercy and grace. For Your Name's sake, Amen.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Coming soon..

Dear all,

Its been a hectic and crazy few weeks for me. A lot has happened, but just haven't got to sitting down to pen it down. A new post is coming soon though.

*deep voice* COMING SOON! *music fades in the background*

Blessings,
Isaac

Friday, October 9, 2009

Not home yet..


'Welcome home, Isaac!', a church friend exclaimed as she jumped off her chair to give me a hug.
'Errmm yes, I'm back..', i duly replied.

I have been able to build incredible bonds of friendships here in the UK. My active involvement in my church Majesty Christian Centre in London has only been slightly over a year in total. Its only by God's grace where i am at with my pastors and leaders in terms of our relationship. The pastors have really been like my parents over here. I can go over to their house anytime, make myself at home, sleep on the couch, raid their fridge, call on them anytime and they'll be there for me. Some of the church leaders have been some of my best friends. The rest of the congregation at large has truly been like a little family or community. A rather closely knitted one too. I'm absolutely comfortable with this place which i have been for more than 2 years now. I have accustomed to the surroundings and its ins and outs. To top it all, everybody said that they missed me, literally (that's what they said).

But, why cant i seem to be able to acknowledge and call this my 'home'? Aren't all the above characteristics of a 'home'? Why do i find it hard to agree with my church friend?

To tell you the truth, i don't really know. Its a weird feeling. Even when my pastor asked me 'Isn't it good to be back Isaac?'. I answered 'Yes, it is.' But not with the usual vigour and optimism that you would expect from me. Well, there is one thing i learnt though. There is a time and season for everything. I know that God still has a final piece of the puzzle to teach me during this season of training in the UK. What yet, I'm not exactly sure. But i shall wait with anticipation.

The UK is a place God has chosen to plant me for this season of time. There is a purpose for me here, and its process is not complete yet. Therefore, for the next 10 months. This will be my home.

Give me life on earth till my work is done; give me work on earth till my life is done.

Until the Father comes and takes us, ultimately we are Not Home Yet.


UK address:
Flat 50, Room 2, Fleming Hall,
Topping Lane
UB8 2TR Uxbridge
Middlesex
United Kingdom

UK hp number: +447512407692

facebook: Isaac Lee Xing Wei

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The challenge of - INTEGRITY


When people think of politicians, they think corrupt. When people think of businessmen, they think greedy. When people think of government, they think self centred and untrustworthy (in which the sentence might most likely end with a nasty swear word). Of course this is just generalising and stereotyping the above. When people think Christian, what would they say about us?

I would not be surprised if people actually think that we are all of the above. I recently read a book called 'They like Jesus but not the church' by Dan Kimball. Especially in this country (UK), when people here the word Christian, they cringe. I have realised that there is a tremendous mental block (more like a mountain actually) towards Christianity. How do you share the gospel in a country that were one of the major instruments in actually spreading the gospel to all the world for the past hundreds of years. Christianity is no new thing, but has been seen as more of a nuisance than contributing to society. The majority of the British population call themselves Christians, but that will only be true if being a Christian is to just celebrate Christmas and having a public holiday on Easter Monday.

So what has happened? Aren't we supposed to be salt and light? Well, we are in the world and yet show reflections of the world instead of the Kingdom of God. We have achieved the first part of integration with the world, but don't really know how to get out of it. This is because there is little difference between so called ‘Christians’ and ‘the world’. That is why people come out with terms such as ‘ungodly Christian’, ‘nominal Christian’ or ‘unholy Christian’. If that is true, then we should have terms such as ‘godly hindus’ or ‘holy atheist’. The more I think of it, the more ridiculous it seems. The term ‘Christian’ means ‘Christ-liked’. So by calling someone an ‘ungodly Christian’ in reality is actually like calling ‘ungodly Christ’. Its an oxymoron, both are contradicting each other and cannot coexist.

The reason for all these confusion is because the term Christian has been taken too likely. In the book of Acts, when the term ‘Christians’ was used, they were described as fanatically Jesus followers. That was one of the reasons the gospel spread like wild fire. They didn’t just leave their jobs to share the gospel. In fact, they shared the gospel through their work, business, school, farm etc. Their lives were totally transformed, and their fellow colleagues, workers and friends had ‘no choice’ but to be influenced by them totally and converted into Christianity.

So what’s wrong with us now? What has deteriorated the most ever since?
It is Character and Integrity.

In the destiny of every moral being there is an object more worthy of God than happiness- it is character.’ Austin Phelps

In these days of deception and duplicity many are crying out for integrity. Even our now former Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dato’ Seri Abdullah Badawi had to be nicknamed ‘Mr Clean’. So does that mean the others are all ‘dirty’? Integrity in relationship is rated highly among people surveyed; in fact it is considered more important in their friendship than any other trait. As we see in Job, God Himself considers integrity the highest priority. He even boasts about Job’s integrity to Satan.

A simple and famous explanation of ‘integrity’ is ‘what you do when no one is watching’ or ‘what you do behind closed doors’. Upon examining the dictionary, this nine letter word ‘integrity’ seems to be loaded with meaning. It is derived from a Latin word which means ‘wholeness or soundness’. It also means adherence to a code of values, utter sincerity, honesty and candor. Comprehensive as the dictionary is, ‘salt and light’ Christianity goes much further.

An even more interesting fact which I found fascinating was that the root word of ‘integrity’ was ‘integer’ now a mathematical term which means untouched, whole and entire. A closer examination of the root word ‘integer’ means whole numbers like one, two, four, eight and even zero. Fractions and mixed numbers like one and a half (1.5), or one fifth are not integers. This gives a revelational fact into Christian living. One cannot be a half Christian, one third Christian or even a 99% Christian, and possess integrity. We have to be 100% Christ’s to find wholeness, completeness, and fulfilment. As integrity forms an integral part of being a Christian, such is the standard of living out as a ‘Christ-liked’ one. Nothing lesser than full fledged integrity shall suffice the privilege of being affiliated with our saviour, king and master. Even if water is clear, that doesn’t mean it is pure. A drop of poison can destroy its purity, if not its clarity. So our purity – integrity – has to be complete.

It is certainly a tall order but an extremely necessary one! Lord, may we live a life of relevance without compromise for the sake of your Name.

Character is like a tree and reputation is like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.’ Abraham Lincoln

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Shaking hands with Eternity..


'Walt Disney was sitting on a bench one day, staring into space. Someone who passed by asked him, 'How are you sir?' Without looking at the man, he said:' Fine', and kept on staring. So the man said:' Sir, what are you doing?' 'I'm looking at my mountain and my world.' he answered. Walt told his architects about the Space mountain that he wanted to include in Disney World and they begun drawing up plans. Walt Disney died before Space Mountain was built, so he never saw it constructed. When Space Mountain was dedicated, the mayor and governors were all present as was Walt's widow. One of the young men stood up to introduce her, and said:' It's a pity that Mr Walt Disney isn't here today to see this mountain and magnificent park. But we are glad that his wife is here.' Mrs.Disney walked up to the podium, looked at the crowd, and said, in effect, 'I must correct this young man. Walt already saw the mountain. It is you who are just seeing it now.'

What a powerful story of Vision. Proverbs 29:18 states, 'Where there is no vision, the people perish'. It may sound harsh, but it is absolutely true. The full essence of this statement implies that where there is no revelation of the future, people throw off self-control and personal discipline. Where there is no destination, any path will do.

Vision is fueled by a purpose. Purpose is determined by the creator. Therefore, God the creator of man has purposed each and everyone of us for something special because uniqueness is part of God's creation. In Ecclesiastes 3:11, it reads 'He has also set eternity in the hearts of men.' There is something within us that is being called by eternity. The vision God has put in our hearts is 'a piece of eternity' that He gave us to deliver on earth in the form of time and space. Therefore, God has done something awesome. He lives in eternity, yet He has specifically placed us in time so that others on earth will be able to see a piece of eternity that is in Him. Therefore, a God given vision is not only fueled by a God given purpose for us to manifest on earth but, it has also been completed in eternity.

'I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.' Isaiah 46:9-10

In this passage, God mentions two things that He does.
Firstly, He establishes the end before the beginning. This means that He finishes things first in the spiritual realm, and then HE goes back and starts them up in the physical realm which is bounded by time.
Secondly, He reveals the end result of something when it is just the beginning.

This is what it means when God says I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. When God starts something, He has already completed it in eternity.

Just as a builder has an idea in his head. He visualises and pictures the house. He then draws it out exactly the way he wants it to be. The landscape, the color scheme, the windows, the doors, the garden etc. A detailed picture of what the completed house would look like is drawn. That picture is then placed to a board which is then placed at the building site with a big sign above it reading 'Coming soon'. The house was not built yet but, by showing the completed picture of the house it was revealing the end of its purpose. The builder had a vision for that building, because it saw the finished product before construction had even started. God essentially completed us before He created us.

Everything was already finished in God's mind before He laid the foundation of the world. God had already imagined and planned how He wanted everything to be, then He initiated the beginning by creating the heavens before working on project earth.

It can be defined that 'Vision is foresight with insight based on hindsight.' We have insight into God's purpose for us based on what we know God has already accomplished in eternity. Vision is a glimpse of our future that God has purposed. We might not know all the details of how our purposes will unfold, but we see the 'ends' because God reveals them to us in the vision He gives us.

Lastly, so if God had already imagined the entire history of mankind. He already planned everything as He pleases. Everything was already completed in the spiritual yet not manifested in the physical yet. And God is indeed the beginning and the end. Then, when Adam who was the first man on earth walked with God in the cool of the Garden of Eden. When he shook hands with God, he was actually shaking hands with everything which was, which is and is to come. He shook hands with eternity.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Judas Asparagus!


Its been a really busy month for me and i haven't got to sitting myself properly to blog. Things have been piling up with uni, church, The Ambassadors and others. I will try to put some of my thoughts down soon. In the mean time, enjoy this article which found me laughing, crying, rolling, smiling, jumping all at the same time. Reminds me once again why Jesus cherished them so much and even commanded us to have faith like a child!

A child was asked to write a book report on the entire Bible. This is what one of them wrote. Enjoy and be blessed!

The Children's Bible in a Nutshell:
In the beginning, which occurred near the start, there was nothing but God, darkness, and some gas. The Bible says, 'The Lord thy God is one, but I think He must be a lot older than that.
Anyway, God said, 'Give me a light!' and someone did.
Then God made the world.
He split the Adam and made Eve. Adam and Eve were naked, but they weren't embarrassed because mirrors hadn't been invented yet.

Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating one bad apple, so they were driven from the Garden of Eden.....Not sure what they were driven in though, because they didn't have cars.
Adam and Eve had a son, Cain, who hated his brother as long as he was Abel.
Pretty soon all of the early people died off, except for Methuselah, who lived to be like a million or something.

One of the next important people was Noah, who was a good guy, but one of his kids was kind of a Ham. Noah built a large boat and put his family and some animals on it. He asked some other people to join him, but they said they would have to take a rain check.
After Noah came Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Jacob was more famous than his brother, Esau, because Esau sold Jacob his birthmark in exchange for some pot roast. Jacob had a son named Joseph who wore a really loud sports coat.

Another important Bible guy is Moses, whose real name was Charlton Heston. Moses led the Israel Lights out of Egypt and away from the evil Pharaoh after God sent ten plagues on Pharaoh's people. These plagues included frogs, mice, lice, bowels, and no cable.
God fed the Israel Lights every day with manicotti. Then he gave them His Top Ten Commandments. These include: don't lie, cheat, smoke, dance, or covet yourneighbor's stuff.
Oh, yeah, I just thought of one more: Humor thy father and thy mother.
One of Moses' best helpers was Joshua who was the first Bible guy to use spies. Joshua fought the battle of Geritol and the fence fell over on the town.

After Joshua came David. He got to be king by killing a giant with a slingshot.. He had a son named Solomon who had about 300 wives and 500 porcupines. My teacher says he was wise, but that doesn't sound very wise to me.

After Solomon there were a bunch of major league prophets. One of these was Jonah, who was swallowed by a big whale and then barfed up on the shore.
There were also some minor league prophets, but I guess we don't have to worry about them.
After the Old Testament came the New Testament. Jesus is the star of The New. He was born in Bethlehem in a barn. (I wish I had been born in a barn too, because my mom is always saying to me, 'Close the door! Were you born in a barn?' It would be nice to say, 'As a matter of fact, I was.')

During His life, Jesus had many arguments with sinners like the Pharisees and the Democrats.
Jesus also had twelve opossums.
The worst one was Judas Asparagus. Judas was so evil that they named a terrible vegetable after him.
Jesus was a great man. He healed many leopards and even preached to some Germans on the Mount.

But the Democrats and all those guys put Jesus on trial before Pontius the Pilot. Pilot didn't stick up for Jesus. He just washed his hands instead.
Anyways, Jesus died for our sins, then came back to life again. He went up to Heaven but will be back at the end of the Aluminum. His return is foretold in the book of Revolution.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

The renewing of our mind..


This is a follow-up to the previous post on my conversation with God where He used the analogy of the computer to teach me lessons. A couple of days later after that conversation, God had a part 2. He started to explain to me about the different parts and functions in a computer and how it related to Him and my life.

1. Hardware
The hardware of the computer is the physical components onto which can be loaded into a multitude of software that enables the computer to perform functions. Hardware is liken to the Word of God. The Word is the foundation of all we can do. It provides our core values and belief systems. It is the basis of whatever we do and determines our actions and words.

2. Software
Computer software is a general term which sums up all the programs that perform some tasks on a computer system. Software is liken to our understanding, our mind or our intellect.
(a) Anti Virus
Anti Virus is like our defense system against the evil one. We are constantly in warfare and need to be updated with the latest and most efficient tools. No use defending with a wooden shield when others have missiles. We need to be aware of the enemies viruses that seek to corrupt our mind and most importantly know how to defend ourselves or counter attack.

(b)Programs
Programs are like new artillery. New programs enables us to carry out tasks in a more efficient way. Imagine still entering numbered codes to type out a letter. We need to have innovative ways to carry out the assignment that God has given us. We need to keep up with times and constantly update ourselves to keep up with our surroundings. We should actually be the ones coming out with the new programs with Godly and kingdom principles. We should be the trend setters, not trend followers!

3. Warranty (Authorized Dealer)
All products have a warranty and the company will only honour the work of an authorized dealer in regard to repairs, and any violation of this agreement would result in the cancelation of the warranty. God (Manufacturer) created us (Product) humans to be placed on earth for a purpose. Since Adam violated the warranty, God sent His one and only Authorized Dealer, Jesus Christ to repair our damaged relationship with the Manufacturer. Therefore, our relationships with God can only be restored through Christ.

4. Source of Power
With all the hardwares and softwares in place, it will not power up without the source of electricity or power. Therefore, the Authorized Dealer (Jesus) came to restore the Spirit of the Creator to our lives. We are now able to connect to our Power source. God is our only source of power and we cannot do anything without Him.

As the old chinese saying goes, 'As we live to a ripe old age, so we will learn to a ripe old age'. The hardwares need to be changed over time as we grow in maturity. The hard disk needs to be upgraded to have larger space to accomodate the things that we have learnt. The softwares need to be up to date with the newest technology available to be relevant to the world and aligned with God's new move and plan. We must always rely on our only Authorized dealer, Jesus and not violate the warranty. Finally, our power comes from the ultimate source of all, God our heavenly Father.

The mental transformation in this computer analogy would be the downloading or updating of new software. It is a process that will take time and it will involve the changing of ingrained perceptions, thoughts and habits. It involves the passing of the old and installation of the new. This is the process of the renewing of our mind.

'And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.' Romans 12:2

Monday, February 16, 2009

Time to upgrade!


I was feeling down but not knowing the reason. I was feeling moody which was totally unlike me at all. I didn't know what was going on with me. Others realised it, and asked me how they can pray for me. I didn't know how to answer them because i genuinely do not know why. I just felt it. I cried out to God. It was a strange feeling because i didn't know what i was crying out about. But the following was my conversation with God.

God:' Isaac, why are you still using windows 95?'

*Wah, this hit me like a brick. I knew what it meant straight away. I have been living on my past. I have not been growing enough. I thought i was accomplished enough. I was in the mindset of mediocrity. I did stuff just enough to get by. One specific area i knew He was refering to me was in the studying of His Word.*

God:' Isaac, i want to teach you how to use Windows 2011. Ok?'

Isaac: *very excited* 'Yes, of course i want to learn. Teach me now!'

God:' Ok then, i will install it for you.'

*after a short pause*

God:' Sorry, i couldn't install because there wasn't enough memory. Too much junk. And you really need to update your anti-virus software.'

*I was speechless. This was a follow-up to His recent directions in asking me to FOCUS. I had too many things on my plate and needed to focus and prioritise on the things that matters most. I needed to clear out lots of the rubbish that i have been having. I need to free up memory for the new software.*

I think this is God's way of telling me that i need a renewing of my mind!

Every few years, we get a new handphone. Why? Because our old one broke or most of the time we felt the need to upgrade. There are new technologies and we want to keep up with times. Every few years, we get a new laptop or computer. Why? Because the old version is too slow. New softwares, hardwares and systems are available.

How often do we upgrade our spiritual system? Are we constantly updating our spiritual softwares? Are we keeping up with the spiritual times? Do we have the latest spiritual anti-virus software to protect our system?

Like everything else, we need to keep up to date with times. We need to constantly study the Word of God. We need to be up to date with God's move in His church locally, nationally and internationally. Renewing our mind. Changing from the old to new wineskin. Constantly listening to Him day by day, not get a word and feed on it for the next 1 year. We need a fresh Word from God every single day.

Lord, may my mind be renewed every single day or my life. May i be broken before you everyday. That i will be constantly aligned with Your will and purpose. That i may not stray from Your plan and Word. That my eyes will always be fixed and focus on You! This i pray Lord, Amen.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Being still in the midst of the storm..


I recently attended a business conference by a well known American Christian business man. It was very interesting, and a first such conference of its kind for me. One of the principles that he spoke about was ‘Focus’. It’s a simple principle but one that few master. He was explaining about our productivity rate. Most people operate at a 20-30% rate of productivity when carrying out a particular task.

The reason: We are often distracted by our surroundings.

Our mobile phones are usually the biggest distractions. An incredible piece of technology that has revolutionised our lives has become more of a nuisance than an asset of convenience. A loud beep like thunder announces the arrival of a text message into the inbox. Fancy music rings into the air of an already sound polluted environment. It has become a habit for most that we must attend to the beeping of a text message or a ringing of a call, immediately. Our minds cannot refocus until we reply that message or see whose call we actually missed. Sound familiar? An average manager is being interfered by their mobile phone every 7 minutes.

There was a study that was done by the University of Michigan. A particular guy was able to operate at an 80% level of productivity when on a particular task. What they did was to place another project file on his desk for his next task even before he had completed the first task. At that point of time, his productivity immediately dropped from 80% to 50%. When yet another file was place on his desk his productivity dropped yet again to about 20%. Therefore, a crowded or in most cases a messy work table, results in a low productivity rate. Some people might beg to differ.

I have actually personally experimented this and I found it to be true. I’m naturally quite tidy and can’t work with a messy table. But I will usually place my assignments or tasks that are to be done stacked orderly on the side. But when my eyes appear to catch that piece of work on the table, my mind immediately wanders about those projects. So now, I put them away under the table or in a drawer. And I realise that I get the job done quicker. Not only quicker but at a standard of higher quality. I never thought about it before, but it trains my mind to be focus.

According to research, it is said that students usually only have an attention span of 20 minutes. Sermons have to be cut short because the congregation has a short attention span. Conferences now have multiple tea breaks for just a morning session. These are all just excuses of indiscipline. What has happened? Man has allowed too many distractions into our lives that we have lost the ability to be focussed.

In the same way, it is similar to hearing the voice of God. The famous quote from the Bible, ‘Be still and know, that I am God’. How often are we still before God? Can we focus on God? When we are in church listening to the sermon, are we actually hearing from God or thinking about what we will be having for lunch later. When we are doing our quiet time, are we actually focussed on God or thinking about which route will allow us to avoid the jam to school. When we are worshiping, are we actually worshipping or thinking about making new friends with that new girl.

Have you ever thought why we close our eyes to pray? Who came out with this bright idea? Did Jesus pray with his eyes closed? I don’t think so. The Jews pray with their eyes open. They still do. Somewhere along in history, someone started to pray with their eyes closed to help focus on God better. That is usually the explanation given. Why? It was because the surrounding was a distraction. I am not trying to open a debate about open and closing of eyes, but merely pointing it out as a thought to think about.

I realise that as we practice concentrating our focus on the Lord. Focus on tuning our frequency to the Lord’s. Shutting off all possible distractions when we come before Him. And just being STILL before the KING. It is a special moment of reverence before our creator. When all things around us do not matter. The storm, the wind and the snow fade in the background. Our eyes are fixed with total FOCUS on Jesus! It is then that we truly experience the awesomeness of God!
Do not ask God to still the storm, instead that we may be still in the midst of the storm!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Love through a child's eyes..
















LOVE.. Many people try to complicate this word. The most powerful word cannot be fully explained in mere words but through expressions through the works of our hands. I came across an email recently about a research that was done among children ages 4-8years old on the meaning of love. I was really touched and nearly put me to tears after reading their findings.

In Matthew 18, Jesus said:' Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes a humble place—becoming like this child—is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.'

There is so much we can learn from these little ones. Their understanding is truly out of this world, heavenly. Be Blessed!

WHAT LOVE MEANS TO 4-8 YEAR OLD

A group of professional people posed this question to a group of 4 to 8 year-olds, 'What does love mean?' The answers they got were broader and deeper than anyone could have imagined.

'When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn't bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That's love.' Rebecca- age 8

'When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.' Billy - age 4

'Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other.' Karl - age 5

'Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries
without making them give you any of theirs.' Chrissy - age 6

'Love is what makes you smile when you're tired.' Terri - age 4

'Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before
giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK.' Danny - age 7

'Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing, you still want to be together and you talk more. My Mommy and Daddy are like that. They look gross when they kiss' Emily - age 8

'Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.' Bobby - age 7 (Wow!)

'If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate.' Nikka - age 6 (we need a few million more Nikka's on this planet)

'Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it everyday.' Noelle - age 7

'Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well.' Tommy - age 6

'During my piano recital, I was on a stage and I was scared. I looked at all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and smiling. He was the only one doing that. I wasn't scared anymore.' Cindy - age 8

'My mommy loves me more than anybody. You don't see anyone else kissing me to sleep at night.' Clare - age 6

'Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken.' Elaine-age 5

'Love is when Mommy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Brad Pitt.' Chris - age 7

'Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day.' Mary Ann - age 4

'I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones..' Lauren - age 4

'When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you.' (what an image)Karen - age 7

'Love is when Mommy sees Daddy on the toilet and she doesn't think it's gross.' Mark - age 6

'You really shouldn't say 'I love you' unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget.' Jessica - age 8

And the final one ...

The best of all was a four year old child whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife.

Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman's yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there.

When his Mother asked what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said,

'Nothing, I just helped him cry'

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Embrace the dawn of hope


When was the last time the headlines of the newspaper was about something good? Nowadays, the majority of front page newspapers are often bombarded with tragedies, wars, credit crunch etc. One of the main sources of media that we all excess to feeds our eye and ear gates with all kinds of rubbish and depressing news. It has a psychological effect on the people, therefore we succumb ourselves to unnecessary panic, blame the government for everything under the sun (to the point that the government pays those who don’t work), rumours and gossip or better known as coffee shop talk. The world is being painted to be a picture of turmoil and suffering with a never ending chain of problems. The media seems to give the impression of, ‘If you can’t stop it, live with it’ attitude. Steps are taken to try and curb the problem or seemingly taking a course of action to help the public. Often things need to be politically correct and manipulation seeps in.

What has become of our world? End of times? Is there still hope?

As Elron, Lord of the Elves once said: ‘As the darkness grows in the east, the fate of man lies in the balance, but all hope is not lost yet.’

2009 is a year to be hopeful for. This is going to be a year of acceleration. A year of consecration of God’s people.

The number 2 speaks of division and separation.

The number 9 speaks of judgement.

3+6=9
The number 3 represents God.
The number 6 represents Man.

There is going to be conflict between God and Man. It will either be God’s way or Man’s way. We will have to choose. No more lukewarm-ness. No more grey areas. No more ‘just sit and wait’. God is looking for the nation changers and people willing to answer His call. Its time for us to wake up and press in.

2008 may have been a good or bad year for some. Whatever it is, 2009 is a new year!

Memories of yesterday, Challenges today and Anticipation for tomorrow.

Analogy of the Farmer:
'The farmer had a bad year of harvest. There was not enough rain, the seeds were not planted properly and there were prowlers who damaged the crop. He does not curse the gods for not providing enough rain. He does not fault the ground for being infertile. Neither does he blame the prowlers for being the spoil spot.

Yet, he picks up his tools and puts his hands to the plough once again. He gathers the failed crop not to throw them away, but to bury them. He turns the failed crop under the soil and plants the new seeds on top of it. The failed crop is used as fertiliser for the new harvest. He works hard, not knowing what season lies ahead. The ecosystem is messed up and he cannot predict anymore.

Nevertheless, when the rain comes, the farmer and his field will be ready. He is putting himself in preparation for the abundance.'

The farmer let the failed crops be the compose for tomorrow’s harvest!

Barack Obama, the new American president was lauded for his campaign slogan of ‘CHANGE we can believe in’. In his victory speech, he reiterated his stand and stated: ‘Today, Americans can HOPE once again’.

Joshua chapter 5 speaks of the Israelites preparing and strategizing to conquer Jericho. Jericho seemed too strong a fortress to subdue. Joshua is then confronted with a Man whom is the commander of the Lord’s army. The Man draws his sword against Joshua, not to engage but to challenge him to HOPE for the task ahead. The Lord will fight the battle on behalf of us, but we must do our part. Joshua laid his HOPE in the Lord for He has promised. He then goes back to his generals, scraps and CHANGES all the plans and applies God’s strategy. The Israelites did what seemed absolutely ridiculous by marching round Jericho city. I’m sure there was certain moaning and doubt of such an insane plan as they marched for 6 days. The Jericho-ites must have been laughing at the Israelites of what looked like a little ‘merry-go-round’. But on the 7th day, Jericho fell. Joshua was fixed on the dream and goal of taking down Jericho.

Don’t worry about the 6 days of marching, fix our eyes on the 7th day of triumphing!

God is our hope. Hope is the assurance for the future. Hope is the glimmer of possibility in the wake of uncertainty.

Let us bury our failures, prepare ourselves for the harvest and fix our eyes on the goal!

'Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.’ Philippians 3:12-14