Sunday, February 27, 2011

Preparing For The Sacrifice

This is the title of the sharing by Bro. Micheal in our Church this morning.

Before going into the message proper, Bro. Michael asked "Do you know where you are going after you die?". He said as a young man a matured Christian asked him that and he could not answer because he did not know at that time. Now he knows. Indeed, if we are Christians we ought to know. Do you?

Bro. Micheal's message was based on Mark 14:1-42, the story of Jesus preparing for His sacrifice on the Cross. Bro. Micheal said when we read the Bible we have to put the passages into context, like when, how, why etc so that we do not misinterpret the messages.

He said even though Jesus knew that He was going to die, he carried out His teaching like usual instead of going away to pray and prepare for His death. But for us human, if we face anything serious we would withdraw perhaps to think through the things that were happening instead of going through our normal activities.

Like many of us, His disciples were ignorant, He was already going to the Cross, yet His disciples argued about who should sit at His right side in heaven.

Jesus also showed His human side by His prayers to the Father to remove the cup from Him. He was suffering and in agony as written in the Bible. Mark 14:36.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Middle East Protests Not Accordance To God's Command

Christians in the US have mixed feelings about the protests in the Middle East. There are a number of experts who are unsure whether these protests will lead to a better tomorrow for the minority Christians in these lands. Some said situation could be worse after the fall of these governments.

Influential evangelical like John MacArthur said these protests are against the commands of God. He said we are to "submit to the powers that be because they're ordained of God." Christians are to live orderly in whatever governments are ruling. Chaos can be bad for the minority Christians.

He observed that Japan and Western Europe have freedom of religion but very few Christians. Whereas in China Christians are persecuted yet the numbers of Christians are growing by the millions.

Let's continue to pray for peace in the Middle East.

To read more please click on the title of this post

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Isaiah Chapter 19 - Prophecy On Egypt

In Biblical time, Egypt was an important country, a number of verses mentioned about Egypt. To me Isaiah Chapter 19 stands out because before the fall of Egypt an elderly member of our church went around one Sunday urging the congregation to read Isaiah 19. I read it later. On a report written by Pastor Shaddy Soliman an Egyptian pastor in Florida who also urged the reader to read this chapter in Isaiah. Well, there must be something in these verses.

Now writer Don Finto said there are several verses in the Bible referring to prophesy on Egypt, and again he wrote about the prophecy in Isaiah 19 which is interesting. He also added a prayer for the Middle East. He wrote:

"There is a much more encouraging Scripture that has often been ignored as we ponder the events in the Middle East. Isaiah looked forward to a time when Egypt, along with Assyria (today's Iraq and other parts of the Middle East), would become a blessing in the whole world (see Is. 19:19-25).

Has this Isaiah-depicted scene ever happened? No. Is it therefore yet to come? Yes. Is this a picture of these nations during the millennium? Probably. But could it possibly describe some strange phenomenon that will happen before the Lord's return? Possibly. Why not let this be our prayer? Could this not be the most God-honoring outcome of the present conflict?

Lord, work a miracle in the Middle East. Turn the hearts of "Assyria" and Egypt to you even in our day. Let there be a spontaneous revival that bursts forth on the Middle East and changes the whole landscape of Israel and Israel's neighbors.

Bring Jewish people to acknowledge their own Messiah Yeshua, according to Isaiah's prediction (Is. 6:8-13) and Your own prediction of Matt. 23:39. Bring the surrounding nations to embrace those "greater riches" that would be released into the world when Israel comes into her "fullness" (Rom. 11:12).

We acknowledge You, Yeshua, as king of the whole world, even though the world as a whole does not yet recognize You. Amen."

source: Chrisma magazine

Sunday, February 20, 2011

How To Pray For Middle East As Unrest Spread

After Tunisia and Egypt failed we are now seeing unrest in Bahrain where 5 had been killed, Libya 140 killed, and Yemen citizens crashes with authority. Looks like more middle Eastern countries may follow. Like many Christians all over the world are praying for peace in the Middle East, Pastor John Piper advised Christians on how we should pray as follows:

"Christians should first of all pray for "all who are in high positions" (1 Timothy 2) – that is, for political leaders and structures in the Middle East.

And there are two goals in praying for them, Piper listed: so that the followers of Jesus "may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way" and so that more people would be saved.

"When we pray for the Middle East, we should be praying mainly for conditions to prevail that sustain freedom and peace for the followers of Jesus, so that the gospel would run and triumph, and millions would turn to Christ and be saved for his great glory," he explained.

"Such conditions would include freedom for other religions too, since Christians do not spread their faith by the sword, but by proclamation and service."

Quoted from Christian Post.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Pastor Ben Wong - Shepherd Community Church

Our Church has the honor of having Pastor Benjamin Wong from Shepherd Community Church, Hong Kong to coach us. He has been here a few times. Thank God for him because about two years ago our Church went through a difficult time, and he was here for us. Since last year he has helped our Church to arrive at six ethos specific to our Church. Now he is here to coach us further and also to help us to implement at least two of the ethos, that is Relationship and Empowerment. Over the past two days our leaders have sat down with him and have arrived at a plan to implement these ethos.

Pastor Ben's expertise is in discipleship, essentially the first two ethos are about relationship and building people according to God's Word. Pointing people to Jesus.
He is now coaching people including pastors all over the world. Pastor Ben has also brought along copies of his book "Making A Permanent Difference -Investing your life in others" and gave them to our Church. Basically, this book is his three decade experiences in discipling people. This book is also translated into Portuguese, Spanish, and in the process of being translated into Japanese. Pastor Ben told us that he was surprised that this book has won a prize in Brazil for a foreign Christian writer! Praise God! We are happy for him.

Meanwhile, his Church has missionaries in China,Japan, Taiwan, Indonesia, Thailand, Pakistan and India.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

More News on Egypt

There are still many uncertainties in Egypt after the fall of Murbarak. A group of experts said, if the Muslim Brotherhood comes to power it could be safer for Christians there. Another group said otherwise. From reading the news about the Muslim Brotherhood and their ideologies, I tend to support the second group who are not in favor of the Muslim Brotherhood. Certainly, we can read between the lines of the responses of Muslim all over towards non Muslim.

One of the second group expert said “Islam is neither philosophically nor theologically compatible with other religions or with democracy. Therefore, it is difficult to take seriously the Muslim Brotherhood’s claims that it wants nothing more than a democratic government,” remarked Dave James, co-founder of the Alliance for Biblical Integrity, in a response to Kubinec’s article".

The view of Islam not being compatible with democracy is also shared by Pastor Shaddy, an Egyptian now based in Florida which I blogged about under the title "Trouble in Egypt".

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

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Muslim Brotherhood

You would have read about Eygpt's trouble and also about the Muslim Brotherhood. Who are they? Many Christians around the world are worried about this group who are against non Muslim. Here is a quote from Charisma Magazine:

What is the Muslim Brotherhood that we’re hearing so much about these days? Back in 1928, Egypt was under British rule. They had an Egyptian parliament and cabinet, but the British controlled three key cabinet positions: the army, the police and the finances.

At that time, a young school teacher by the name of Hassan al-Banna, under the influence of the Wahabi movement in Saudi Arabia, declared that a war of independence from British rule must be fought. He believed that this war must not be waged on a secular “classic liberal” basis but, instead, through Islamic ideology. But that meant Egypt returning from modernity to “Stone Age” 700 A.D. Arabian rule, under which the founder of Islam and his successors, the Caliphates, claim to be inspired by Allah and his Shariah law.

Shortly after the founding of the Muslim Brotherhood, they developed a “secret apparatus” which became involved in assassinations and terrorism. This group was responsible for the assassinations of prominent politicians and Coptic Christians whom they saw as hindrances to achieving their Islamic state.

For example, in December of 1948, the Muslim Brotherhood’s secret apparatus assassinated Egyptian Prime Minister, Mahmud Al Noqrashi Pasha, whom they saw as a British puppet. In October 1954, their attempt to assassinate President Nasser proved to be their undoing. He rounded them up, put some to death and others were sent to hard-labor prisons. The imprisoned Brotherhood members remained there until Nasser died in 1971 and his successor, President Anwar Sadat released them.

Since 1971, Brotherhood members have been reorganizing themselves in a variety of ways (even under the guise of doing charitable work) with the goal of becoming a formidable force to take control of Egypt and eventually the world. Many of those who were released from prison in the early 70’s left Egypt and settled in other Arab countries, namely Qatar. In fact, most Al Jazeera operatives are former members of the Muslim Brotherhood; hence their agitation and expulsion from Egypt a couple of weeks ago.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Signs of End Time

For many years many people including Christians were predicting the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ. However, all these predictions did not come true. Recently someone predict that Jesus will return on 26th May 2011. That's very near!

Recently in many parts of the world we saw earthquakes, famines, drought, heavy snowfalls, huge floods,wars, it is natural to assume these are also signs of end time.

This morning Pastor Richard preached on the above subject based on Mark 13:1-37. Even during Jesus' time His disciples were asking Him about the signs of the end of this world. After describing all the calamities which He said we will experienced, He said He did not know either. He said 32 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Be on guard! Be alert[a]! You do not know when that time will come. 34 It’s like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with their assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch". Jesus said only the Father knows when is the end time. Meantime, He advised us to be alert and keep watch.

Dr.Gary from Indonesia

This morning we have a friend from Kalimantan, Indonesia, Dr. Gary. He is no stranger to us having visited us many times before. He is a missionary from US running a hospital in the deep jungle of Kalimantan. Dr.Gary started it some 45 years ago, and it is thriving. They have about 25 doctors and more than 100 nurses working in the hospital. It is an inspiration to see such sacrifice by Dr.Gary and his team. He could have been in the US, earning huge sum, but he felt the call of God to serve in Indonesia. At the suggestion of our elder Dr. Tiong, our congregation gave a love offering to Dr. Gary to help in running the hospital.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Trouble in Egypt

The turmoil in Egypt is disturbing to people who has knowledge of this country's history. Egyptian born Pastor Shaddy Soliman, now based in Florida spoke about his unhappiness with what is going in his country. On the surface democracy is good forEgypt but deep down it may not be so. The opposition group Muslim Brotherhood established in 1928 vehemently opposed any organization that is non Islamic. Of grave concern is its objective to destroy Israel. Pastor Shaddy gave example of Iran after the Shah's downfall, it is now rule by extremist Islamic regime. When asked about whether democracy will work in Eygpt, he said "Islam and democracy will never work. The idea of democracy is this: a government by the people, for the people, and lawmakers that make laws that agree with the people to protect the people. We vote our representative in. This is what Islam says, “People have no voice.” Islam says, “Allah gives us the law and the law is the Sharia law and we will enforce it to the world by the sword.” End of story." . Charles Colson, President of Prison Fellowship when commenting on democracy for Egypt also shared similar thoughts, he said the Muslim Brotherhood does not subscribe to democracy like we do. He said "To call the Brotherhood a force for democracy is insane-and dangerous".

Pastor Shaddy referred to Isaiah chapter 19 on the prophecy of Egypt. In the beginning things are bad eventually God will turn things around, but he does not know when. He said we all need to pray for peace in Egypt.

To read more click on the title of this post

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Monday, February 7, 2011

Weak Prayer Lives

In the recent Desiring God conference, speakers/pastors were sharing about their prayer lives, Pastor Francis Chan shared how God has answered many of his prayers, however, this lead to some pastors feeling discouraged. One of them confessed that in his 20 years ministry he could not recall God answering specifically any of his prayers.

Francis Chan suggested to those who could not testify to answered prayers to examine their lives, relationship such as marriage and the motives of their hearts. Pastor John Piper agreed with his view. He said "It's either give up on Him and go sell insurance ... or say 'I trust you [God].'"

This is not meant for pastors only, even regular Christians who could not identify any answered prayers should re examine our lives to check where we have fall short. I believe many Christians all over are struggling with their prayer lives. Recently, the President of NECF, in Malaysia said one of the issue of Malaysian Christians is prayerlessness. Certainly if we do not pray, or give prayer priority we do not expect God to answer our prayers.

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

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Triumph Over Jewish Leaders

This morning Pastor Richard preached on the above subject based on Mark 11:27 to 12:34. The Jewish leaders tried to trap Jesus by asking him religious, political and social issues, however, they were unable to trap him. They were angry with him for teaching as well as claiming to be Son of God.

In the parable of the vineyard, the vineyard represented Israel, and the servants sent to collect rent represented the prophets some of them were killed like the prophets sent by God. The master was God, and the son he sent represented Jesus. Yet even God's Son who was sent to Israel was killed by them. However, God was a patient God, he forgave the Israelite, even sending His son to died on the cross for their sins.

After the service

As this is the 4th day of Chinese New Year, most Church members stayed behind to greet each other "Happy New Year", and to fellowship.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Chinese New Year Day 1 and 2

It has always been the tradition during Chinese New Year to visit family members, relatives as well as friends.

For me and my family we visited mostly our family members, like mother, mother in law, aunties and uncles. (both my father and father in law had passed on). When we visited these relatives we usually have a lot of talking. Usually tit bits, cakes and drinks will also be served. For people from Asia with Chinese populations these traditions are quite usual, but for people outside of Asia these traditions may seem unusual. Nevertheless, these traditions are to foster closer relationship with each other. At lease for smaller city like Kuching,many Chinese people are still following these traditions, however, I noticed that in bigger cities in Malaysia, the tradition of visiting families, relatives and friends are slowly dying out. It seem that many people nowadays prefer to leave for holidays overseas during Chinese New Year.

The Chinese New Year last for 15 days. On the 15th day usually we will celebrate the end of new year season with a special dinner.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

"Happy Chinese New Year"

Wishing all Chinese people a "Happy and Prosperous Chinese New Year!". Today is the eve of the New Year according to the lunar calender, and Chinese all over the world will celebrate with an all important re-union dinner. This is the important dinner that all family members from far and wide meet to part take in this dinner. This is to meet once again for those from a far and also to celebrate with family members the coming of the New Year.

This year is the year of the Golden Rabbit according to Chinese astrology. It symbolize diplomacy, peace and harmony.

As Christians we Christians Chinese also celebrate this occasion as a non religious event. This celebration is cultural in nature, and there is no religious significant in the event.

Once again "A Happy and Prosperous Chinese New Year!". According to Pastor Kenny Chee of Singapore, this is the only time in the year we can wish people great prosperity without being accused of peddling the prosperity gospel!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


This is an inspiring video. No matter how good we are we cannot redeem ourselves only Jesus can cleanse us of our sins.