Friday, December 31, 2010

God on the Mountain

I read about this famous 1973 gospel song on a Christian website. The son of the song writer Tracy Dartt is making a documentary of how this song has touched many people.

Indeed the lyric is very meaningful and encouraging. God is with us no matter what the circumstance we are in. He is here in the day and night, in good time and bad.

As we are looking forward to a new year, it is timely that we listen to this song with thanks giving and praise God for His goodness and faithfulness to all of us.

God On The Mountain Lyrics

Life is easy when you're up on the mountain
And you've got peace of mind like you've never known.
But then things change and you're down in the valley.
Don't lose faith for you're never alone.

For the God on the mountain is still God in the valley.
When things go wrong, He'll make it right.
And the God of the good times
is still God in the bad times.
The God of the day is still God in the night.

You talk of faith when you're up on the mountain.
Oh but the talk comes easy when life's at its best.
But it's down in the valley of trials and temptation
That's when faith is really put to the test.

For the God on the mountain is still God in the valley.
When things go wrong, He'll make it right.
And the God of the good times
is still God in the bad times.
The God of the day is still God in the night.

"God On The Mountain" words and music by Tracy G. Dartt

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Problems of Malaysian Christians

The Chairman of NECF, Rev Eu Hong Seng in his year end message said the top 5 issues that plagued Malaysian Christians are :

1. Prayerlessness - just look at the attendance of prayer meetings in most churches, if they still hold them. Most believers would hardly spend more than 15 minutes in prayer daily. Where is the altar in our lives?

2. Migration - this is symptomatic of lack of trust in God who has placed us in this country for good and not for evil. Barring a sovereign word, every migration speaks of our unhappiness with our lot in life in the country God has placed us in. We worship our happiness rather than obey the will of God.

3. Materialism - we succumb more and more to the desire to acquire and enjoy. We are more holiday conscious. We have no qualms about spending thousands of ringgit on ourselves but gripe so vehemently about the few dollars we have to pay for Christian courses and seminars which we need to improve ourselves.

4. Content to be Christians, but not disciples - lukewarmness characterizes so many in our churches. We are prepared to "surrender" a few hours to our God on Sundays and no more. Many could be mistaken as "Christian atheists", as far as their lifestyle and faithlessness is concerned.

5. Reluctance to be sent - Jesus Christ's command to "Go…make disciples" wherever He sends us is but a good suggestion for a few to do. The church has become "immoveable" for the wrong reasons.

These are real issues if one observed the Christian scene in Malaysia. Some years ago I remembered a member of a church in Kuala Lumpur said a number of their members were migrating. You may have experienced that in your church.

Note: to read more, click on the title of this post.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Google Earth Used for Theft

This is another problem with internet technology. Recently it was reported that Face Book users were getting into marital problems after spouses contacted their "old frames" and now it has been reported in the UK that thieves are using Google Earth to target churches in order to steal lead and other metal objects. Google Earth is a powerful technology and this good technology can also be used for bad thing like theft of properties. Insurance companies in the UK reported only 12 such cases in 2002 but by 2008 this type of case has increased to 2500! Lead and other metals from churches can fetch high prices in the market. Insurance companies advised churches to look out for suspicious happenings at their premises to prevent thieves from stealing their metal properties.

What is Google Earth ?

a virtual globe program that shows the earth by the superimposition of images obtained from satellite imagery, aerial photography and GIS over a 3D globe.

Note: second picture is a google earth image of Twin Tower Kuala Lumpur Malaysia. You can zoom in very near to buildings, that was why thieves could see the details of churches.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Francis Chan Stepping Down from Church

Several months ago it was reported that Pastor Francis Chan of Cornerstone Community Church was stepping down from the church he founded. Now it is reported that finally he is leaving his church and moving to Asia. Which Asian country is not certain.

Francis is a popular pastor and has written popular books like Crazy Love and Forgotten God. He is humble enough to know that teaching about Jesus is more important than he himself and his image. He said he felt disturbing that his congregations mentioned his name more than Jesus in his church. He is afraid that people come to his church because of his popularity than because they are seeking after God.

Indeed it is quite natural for us Christians to seek out or adore famous Christian pastors or leaders. I remembered once a famous Chinese pastor called "The Heavenly Man" came to Kuching and I told one of my fellow brother excitedly that I was attending his meeting. My fellow brother questioned me whether I was going to see and hear him speak or to hear God's message through him. That question really struck me. Am I going to see this famous pastor or to listen to God?

The lesson is what is our motive in attending evangelistic meetings led by famous people. Are we there to listen to God or man?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Day Celebration

On Christmas Day our church congregations attended the Christmas Service. Pastor Richard shared the Christmas message. In general about Jesus"s birth which was prophesied many hundred years before His birth.

After the message our caroling team again was there to perform several Christmas songs. Some I were not familiar. Nevertheless their performance were wonderful and everyone enjoyed the show. Thanks to Sister Paik Imm and Sister Siew Hoon who had put in several months of hard work in training the youths of our church.

To finish the celebration we had some foods to eat and fellowship with each other.

From 2010-12-25Christmas 24 & 25th Dec2010

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Eve Celebration

On the eve of Christmas our Life Group ( Cell group) had our gathering to celebrate Christmas. We invited non believers as well as some guests from our Life group. Each of our Life Group member contributed to the foods for the celebration. All these foods were cooked by our members. We had a lot of foods as you can see in the slide show.

This year it was special of our church because we have a caroling group going to members' home to sing some Christmas songs to celebrate as well as to add to the festivities. We thank our sisters, Paik Imm and Siew Hoon in training the youth and making all the efforts to make this Christmas special. So the caroling team also came to sing to our Life Group.

After the food we had a little ice breaker (game) to relax a little and to enjoy some fun.

Our Life Group organized members to share their testimonies to encourage the non believers. Brother Peter, Brother Jong and Brother Nick shared last evening. The sharing focus on what God can do for us and only through Jesus we can be saved. It was encouraging sharing by our brothers.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Social Network Christmas

Recently there is a video of social network nativity story, and now here is a socila network Christmas.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas in Malaysia

Christmas in Malaysia is some what subdue as compared to Western countries. We have quite a lot of Christians here, but most just celebrate Christmas in small scale. But usually one can find the Christmas atmosphere better in the shopping malls in our country. In our capital city Kuala Lumpur where there are several large shopping malls like The Pavillion, Mid Valley, One Utama and others, where they have extensive decorations. You can really feel the festivities in these malls. I also read that in Indonesia, the decorations and festivities of Christmas are also confined very much in the shopping malls. Here in Malaysia we are blessed that in some small cities, the local authorities do put up some street decorations during Christmas.

In the slide show are pictures taken in two of the shopping malls, The Pavillion and Mid Valley. The life size sleigh and rein deers and artificial snow scapes are in The Pavillion and the others from Mid Valley.

Writing about artificial snow, here is a picture (above) of a Christmas tree producing artificial snow, and the reverse umbrella is used to collect this "snow".

Wishing all readers a "Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!"

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Nativity Story - Social Media Way

Now a days, social media is a big thing and at least 500 million people are involved. Here is the nativity story told the social media way.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Saved to Serve

This was the title of Pastor Richard's preaching this morning based on Mark 10:32 to 52. Jesus told His disciples three times that he was going to die. Yet it was amazing that John and James asked saying "we want you to do for us whatever we ask" and also asked to be seated one of His right and one on His left. Pastor said it was like your dying father giving you advice and you asked that you be the new CEO of his company or asking him to will all his properties to you. Jesus was going to die and yet John and James was jolting for position. The other disciples were angry with John and James.

Who wants to be great must be a servant. Beware of bad yeast that can grow in us to destroy. The Son of Man came to serve and not be served. In fact, the whole life of Jesus was to serve others and actually He died for all of us.

Pastor compared the difference of a "servant" and a "bond servant". In general a servant serve with conditions, sometime with a contract, but a bond servant served without condition, and usually because of his/her love for the master will serve him for life. Like Paul he said he was a bond servant of Jesus Christ his Master.

We are saved to serve and not be served.

How to serve? Full fill the great commission Matthew 28:19-20

Watch this video about the servant way of Jesus.

Friday, December 17, 2010

USD 11 Million Christmas Tree

How can a Christmas tree worth USD11 million, you may ask. Well, this Christmas tree located at Emirates Place Hotel, Abu Dabi is hung with luxurious jewelries, watches, pearls and other precious stones that all in all cost USD11 million!

It is just to attract people to the hotel, and of course making headlines all over the world.

Click on the title of this post to watch a video.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Incredible Christmas Concert

It seem like the most popular electronic gift for this Christmas season is an iPad.

We know ipad can be useful, but do you know it can be turned into various musical instruments?

Watch this incredible Christmas musical concert.

"Merry Christmas to all of you".

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Chasing After The Wind

On Sunday, I worshiped at People's Park Baptist Church, KL where guest speaker Rev Khoo preached on the Book of Ecclesiastes and he also shared about his teaching mission in China. This Book is reputed to be written by King Solomon. He had everything in the world, palaces, gardens, art works,etc, you name it he had it. Yet he found life meaningless. He tried to get what ever earthly possessions to be happy yet he was miserable. In this Book which talked about meaninglessness of life, yet this Book is meaningful. It tells us about live. The bottom line is, without God our lives have no meaning.

Throughout the ages, people pondered over the meaning of life. Some wrote stories about it some wrote poems. There is a fairly famous poem called "Dash" by Linda Ellis which described about meaning of life especially the "dash" between your date of birth and date of death. A few words from the poem ..

For it matters not how much we own;
The cars the house the cash
What matters is how we live and love
And how we spend our dash.

The lesson is do not Chase after the wind.

Watch the video of the full length of this inspirational poem.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Alpha Training

I just got back from attending an Alpha training in Kuala Lumpur. The course was to train Alpha course facilitators so that after this training the trained participant can go back to their home churches to train others in facilitating the course. The course was supposed to be for two days, but because all of the participants had gone through Alpha courses, it was shortened to one day. About 20 participants from various churches through out Malaysia attended. The biggest group came from FGA, KL. They had 6 of them attending. It is a big church so they need more trainers.

Each participant was asked to deliver a presentation on the topic given. It was to ensure participant can deliver the training with the material given by Alpha Malaysia. Personally I felt it was a good course because it gave me a chance to go through all the topics and also to practice delivering the course.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Jingle Cat Silent Night

Christmas is just around the corner. People are in the celebration mood. Our church is also preparing some Christmas activities.

I wish you a "Merry Christmas and Happy New year!". Enjoy this cat Christmas tune.

Will be away for the next few days. Blessed week a head!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Pastor Francis Chan

A while back, I blogged about Pastor Francis Chan of mega Church Corner Stone, Simi Valley, California. He has since left the church because he did not want the "celebrity status" to get into his head. He was humble enough to recognize that he may be way led, at the same time he felt God's call for him to do something else. It was understood that after visiting and witnessing the poverty in Africa, upon his return to US, he sold his big house and moved to a smaller house, the extra money were given to support the poor.

The fact that many people call themselves Christians but do not live like Him or obey His commands disturbed him. Now he is producing films called "BASIC" to address this issue. Pastor Francis was also disturbed that people would travel 60 to 70 miles just to hear him speak.

His message is that we need to follow the commands of Jesus and live like him. Although his message seem to direct to audience in the US, but I believe this situation is happening in many countries, including ours - Malaysia.

To read more click on the title of this post.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

How Does A Christian Resist Temptation?

Every one goes through this process of being tempted. There is no one who can escape temptation. Yet our God is a faithful God, He gives us a way out.

No temptation[c] has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted[d] beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted,[e] he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

1 Corinthians 10:13

Note: watch a video on this subject by clicking the title of this post.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Rev Stephen Tong

Reverend Stephen Tong is an evangelist from Indonesia. Even at the age of 70 years when most people are relaxing, he is still traveling around the region preaching the gospel. He came to Kuching several times to hold evangelistic meetings.

Reverend Tong leads one of the largest church in Jakarta called, The Cathedral of Messiah of Jakarta Reformed Evangelical Church. It covers 600,000 sq ft and can accommodate 6,300 people. It was declared open on 20th September 2008.

It was something notable to build such a large Church in Indonesia, because it is a Muslim majority nation. Its citizens are known to be not tolerant of other religions. In fact, over the years many churches there had been attacked.

To read more click on the title of this blog post.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Prison ellowship Ministry

Our Church, FBC has been involved in the Prison Ministry here in Kuching for the past 16 years. I understand that it was indeed difficult in the beginning although there are still challenges now, our members are able to attend to the needs of the prisoners.

Thanks to a group of dedicated brothers like Uncle Ben,Brother Song, Brother Arthur, and Brother Chin, and Brother Teck Hwa who visited the prison weekly to minister to the inmates. Over this 16 years numerous inmates have been saved and called Jesus as their Savior. Praise God!

Our Brothers labored tirelessly and often people do not appreciate their work. We really salute these Brothers for their dedication.

Due to the good work that the Prison Fellowship Ministry had done all these years, the Malaysian Government recently awarded the ministry a certificate of accomplishment. Indeed it is an honor to this ministry and the people who are involved. This award was given out by the Home Minister of Malaysia, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein when he was here in Kuching last week.

Uncle Ben received the certificate on behalf of the ministry.

Brothers thank you for the good work !

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Choices and Consequences

Today Sunday, we had interesting sharing from two brothers. Some how their messages were similar although there was no prior arrangement among these two brothers. In a way we can say this was something from our Lord, as a message that He wants us to hear in Church.

Brother Dr. Adam, an American has just attended a six-day course with the Haggai Institute here in Kuching. Dr Adam works here as a medical doctor. This course here was meant for people in this region and not meant for American. Yet he was here to attend. In fact, he had to decide whether to attend an international medical conference or Haggai, and he chose Haggai because he was inspired by a dream he had earlier. In his dream he was asked what he will do if he was to die the next day. Matthew 7:13 spoke to him. This verse said a narrow path leads to life and he broad path leads to destruction. Another example he gave was playing American football back home. He was a quarter back, and one day his coach asked him to call the shot at an important competition the following day. But he said he could not because he had not been trained to take that role. His coach asked him to do it, and he had to do it. Adam's team was playing a champion team that had not lose a game, and there he was leading his team against a champion team. Adam stepped out in faith, and his team won 28 points! We Asians don't know much about American football, but hey 28-0 got to mean winning by a large margin!

Note: Picture of Adam holding an American football.

Next, we had brother Song sharing from Mark8:31 to 9:32. In fact the title of this blog is his topic of sharing. Again here he shared about stories of people making choices for God instead of the world. He said, a man by the name of AD Leong an ex drug dealer from Bintulu sentenced to death and later sentence commuted to life in prison, due to good behavior he was released after 15 years. He chose his name as "AD" which to him means "after death". Yes, his old self died and he met Jesus in prison and turned a new leaf. Now he goes around schools to teach the young people. He operates a tailoring shop to support himself. AD made the right choice by traveling on the narrow path that leads to life.

Another story was about an Australian woman Cindy who got involved in drug with his uncle. His uncle escape from police but she was caught and imprisoned. After she came out she got married to a drunkard husband. One day she thought of killing him to end her pain. She cried "If there is a God help me!". While at a petrol station she met an ex convict who asked her to join him to church. She went with her husband and became a believer as a result she did not attempt to kill her husband. Later he died of natural cause. Cindy studied for a counseling degree and now she counsel young people to get them off drugs.

Today, we really have inspiring stories from our Brothers and more importantly teaching from the Bible to make the correct choice and to stay focus on Jesus.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Gift of Pain - Dr Paul Brand

I learnt about Dr Brand from reading books by re-known Christian writer Philip Yancey. Dr. Brand was born in India to missionaries parents. At age 9 he was sent to Britain to study. After completing his medical degree he went back to India to start a leprosy sanatorium. He was an expert in leprosy treatment and dedicated his life to helping patients who were treated as outcasts in India. He was full of humility and sacrifice all for his patients.

He died in 2006 at the age of 86.

In Philip Yancey's book, Soul Survival he described Dr Brand's life as well as his sacrificial work for the lepers in India. His life story was very inspiring, especially when one reads about how much efforts he put in just to help the lepers. Pain is a gift because lepers could not feel pain,so they hurt themselves without knowing until it was too late for treatment. In a way, he tried to help the patients to feel pain. Dr. Brand co wrote the book "Gift of Pain" with Philip Yancey.

His life is an example for Christians all over, he lived like Jesus. A servant to the patients he served without complain.

Read what one of his patient, Sadan said, "Still I must say I am happy that I had this disease. Apart from leprosy, I would have been a normal man with a normal family, chasing after wealth and a higher position in society. I would never have known such wonderful people like Dr Paul and Dr Margaret (Mrs Brand), and I would never have known the God who lives in them".

Dr Brand knew God made human in his image, and how our bodies are wonderfully made.

Philip Yancey said,
"Dr. Brand would just marvel at the wisdom of the Designer in putting together the body. [Dr Brand was] the first person I had ever met who marveled at the design of the pain system in the human body. But he would say, ‘Thank God for pain. If there’s only one gift that I could give my leprosy patients, it would be the gift of pain.”

Friday, December 3, 2010

Face Book Danger

Recently I blogged about how a Pastor in a US church asked his officials to delete their face book accounts after he found many had extra marital affairs through face book. Like many things, face book can be good or bad, depending on how you use it.

In Malaysia, the government found that increasing number of varsity going Malaysian girls are lured to become drug mules by African syndicates who promised expenses paid holidays overseas. These girls are gullible and greedy. There is no free rides!

Since 1991, 785 Malaysians arrested overseas for drug offense, 149 were women. 70 have been sentenced to death.

International survey firm TNS reported that Malaysians have the most friends on Face Book. No wonder the crooks are out there lurking to entrap these gullible girls.

This kind of problem can happen anywhere, and it is advisable to be careful when we are in cyberspace.

The problem is that people are greedy and they fall into traps by crooks out there.

The Bible says :

"The greedy stir up conflict, but those who trust in the LORD will prosper."

Proverb 28:25

Note: to read the detail report on The Star. click on the title of this post

Thursday, December 2, 2010

King James Bible 400 years Old

The King James Bible is also known as the Authorised Version of the Bible in Britain. The first copy was written in 1611, so now it is 400 years old. Originally this Bible was written for the use of the British Isle, but as you are aware, the Bible is now used by the whole world.

Some said it has sold 2.5 Billion copies in various versions, other said it sold 6.5 Billion. Whatever is the number of copies,many agreed that it is the best selling book of the world! Praise God!

The Bible is God's breath.

2 Timothy 3:16 (New International Version, ©2010)

16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


My previous blog post was about a silent retreat where one can meditate and pray. However, Christian meditation is different from the Eastern way of emptying one's mind as practise in Yoga meditation.

Christian concept of emptying of the mind is not emptying it to a blank space. R. Albert Mohler Jr. Southern Baptist Seminary explains:

"The biblical concept of meditation on the Word of God does involve an emptying, of course. We must empty our minds of ungodly and unbiblical thoughts, of desires for sin and resistance to the reign of God in our lives. But that emptying never involves an empty mind. Instead, it involves a mind in which unbiblical thoughts are replaced by the truth of Scripture -- not a blank slate of meditation that revolves around the self."

Professor Don Whitney, Southern Seminary explain further:

"The idea of emptying the mind is not biblically based," says Don Whitney, associate professor of biblical spirituality at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky. "There can be a danger."

Referring to meditation's long association with Hinduism, Buddhism and other Eastern religions, Whitney says, "Some of the yoga stuff, where you're given a mantra, that is rooted in false religions." He sees no problem with stretching, but once you start chanting, you're treading on treacherous ground, he says.

His beef is that some people are seeking tools to help them live and de-stress. "That's very selfish," he says. "Our lives should be lived to the glory of God."

Now the question is should Christian meditate? Yes, we should but we should meditate on the Word of God and not empty our minds like in the Eastern religions. We should empty our mind and fill it with Scriptural and Biblical wisdom and teachings - nothing else.