Thursday, March 31, 2011

Stamped Alkitab as Museum Pieces

The stamped Alkitab ( Malay Bible )have been redeemed by Bible Society of Malaysia from Port Klang. However, they will not be sold, but they will be retained at museum pieces to remind future Malaysian Christians of how Christians were persecuted.

The importer Gideon at Kuching have not announce their intention.

The CFM maintain its stand:

“Our position is that there should be no restrictions, proscriptions or prohibitions whatsoever on the bible or the use of the language of our choice in the practice of our religion, as it was in the days before and after the formation of Malaysia,” CFM said in a statement here today, adding that the Alkitab issue was not the only restriction.

It noted that there has been a “systematic and progressive pushing back” of Christian rights — dating back to the 1980s — namely the right to practise, profess and express their faith.

Malaysian Christians in particular, as well as Christians all over are requested to pray for wisdom for the leadership in the Christian organizations that are engaging with the government to resolve this issue amicably.

To read more click on the title of this post.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Egypt - Coptic Fears

The referendum to change the country's constitution has just been completed about a week ago. However, the Coptic Christians a minority in Egypt are weary of the result which allowed the amendments to the constitution to allow free election. The Christians said the election is coming too quickly which benefit established groups like the Muslim Brotherhood, and National Democratic Party(NDP). Many are very concerned about the Muslim Brotherhood coming to power because they will certainly marginalize the minority Christians. Recently they had formed a political party whose objective is to destroy Israel.

Christians may be a minority in Egypt, but they are 10 million strong. Egypt has the largest Christians community in the Middle East.

Ironically, as the Christians want more freedom, a spoke person in the video below said persecution is good for them.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Bahasa Bibles Controvercy

Bahasa Bible is the Malay language Bible use by many Malay speaking Christians in Malaysia. Recently the Malaysian government had imposed conditions on those Bibles that were imported from Indonesia. The main reason was that the Bibles contain the word "Allah" referring to our God.

There are many views about the reactions of Christians in Malaysia, and this subject has been a major news item for the past several weeks.

Many bloggers and pastors have also made their comments, including BLOGPASTOR, a blog by Pastor Kenny Chee of Singapore. In his recent blog he has attached links to several bloggers who had commented on this issue. They are informative about this subject. To read Pastor Kenny's blog and the links please click on the title of this post.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Sarawak Baptist Church

On 26th March 2011 Sarawak Baptist Church held its Annual Delegates Conference at Regency Rajah Court Hotel, Kuching. The conference was attended by some 70 delegates from a total of 30 Baptist Churches through out Sarawak.

The Sarawak Baptist Church as an organization comes under the umbrella of Malaysia Baptist Convention (MBC). Rev Koe Choon Huan of MBC declared the meeting open as well as sharing his message to the delegates.

Beside, the usual matters of Baptist Church, we had two guests from Kuching Ministers Fellowship (KMF) to share with us the current issue about the retention of the Bahasa Bibles (Malay language Bibles)and also the constitutional rights of Christians in Malaysia. These issues are important to all Christians in our nation,as Baptist we also support the various Christians organizations' stand.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Tsunami Signal Second Coming?

The natural disaster and nuclear meltdown in Japan is going to cost about USD309 billion. As a comparison, the tsunami damages in Sumatra in 2005 cost about USD5 billion. For a couple of generations, it appeared the second coming was drawing nearer. The recent disasters, either natural or man-made appeared to be larger and more frequent. This led many to speculate that we are drawing near to end-time. Author Steve Wohlberg also observed that the disaster are bigger than before. When asked whether these events are judgments by God, he said sometimes God just allowed these events to happen. Whether these are judgments by God, it is very difficult to tell, because we are mere human, we do not know all about God.

Even the Bible does not tell us the exact day of the Second coming.

36 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son,[a] but only the Father." Matthew 24:36

The most important for Christians is to be ready when He comes.

Steve Wohlberg said:

The most important thing is for us is to be ready—to be in a right relationship with Jesus. I think we should be hoping Jesus comes back

To read more click on the title of this post.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Concerns About Muslim Brotherhood

The referendum to amend Egypt's constitution to allow parliamentary and presidential election has just been successfully concluded. People are very concerned for Egypt because it means that the Muslim Brotherhood which has great influence in Egypt may take control of power. In the previous post, Pastor Shaddy Soliman, an Eqyptian leading a church in US has shared his concerns. Now another former Eqyptian Muslim, Dr. Mark Gabriel has also shared similar concerns. They are both Eqyptians with deep knowledge of the political situations in Egypt. The Brotherhood had organized a political party recently and one of its objective is to destroy Israel, so you can interpret what they will do when they come to power. Beside trying to destroy Israel, Christians are certainly marginalize in Egypt.

Dr. Mark Gabriel said :

“We need to pray for the entire Middle East because whatever God is going to allow to happen in Egypt is going to influence the whole region,” says Dr. Mark Gabriel, who was born and raised in Egypt as a Muslim before converting to Christianity, changing his name, and moving to the U.S. Gabriel is author of Islam and Terrorism.

“So we pray for the local church in Egypt. We pray for the situation and ask the Lord to come and intervene,” Gabriel says. “We pray for the position of the U.S. as the world leader to handle the transition in Egypt in a very wise way based on clear understanding of the situation.”

To read the whole article click on the title of this post.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Kuching Ministers Fellowship - Prayer Rally

Last evening, the Kuching Ministers Fellowship (KMF) together with Sarawak Ministers Fellowship organized a very successful prayer rally at Christian Ecumenical Worship Centre, Kuching. The turn out of Christians were unprecedented, more than two thousand Christians gathered to pray for current issues such as the Bahasa Bibles retained by the authority, the general erosion of Christians' right as enshrined in our Constitution, and also the coming state and general election. The main theme was to pray for religious freedom for all Christians.

Praise God! Christians from various denominations, and various races were there in unity to pray for breakthrough in areas of religious and political freedom.

A pastor said that Christians in other states are watching us, the Sarawakian Christians as an example for all Christians in Malaysia. ( More than 40% of people from Sarawak are Christians). We as a state is important because we have the largest Christians population in Malaysia.

We Christians in Sarawak must pray as One to achieve breakthroughs in areas that we want to see progress. Of course, we also welcome all our fellow Christians in Peninsula to join hands in prayers for our nation.

Indeed, Glory to God for the tremendous turn-out of Christians. Only He can move so many hearts. Praise God, Hallelujah!

Note: click on the title of this post to read a news item about the rally.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Bahasa Bibles Released

For those who are not from Malaysia, "Bahasa Bible" means "Malay Bible", Bible in the Malay language generally language spoken in Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore.

Recently, in Malaysia Christians who speak and write in the Malay language were unable to get about 35,000 Malay Bibles released from Port Klang and Kuching because these Bibles contain the word "Allah" which means "God", which the Muslim in Malaysia claimed they have exclusive use, and no other religions can use this word to refer to God. Earlier the government allowed the release provided they are stamped with the Home Ministry Approval, words "For Christians only" and serial numbers on each Bible.

The Christians communities in Malaysia stand firm on not accepting such conditions because they defaced the Bible, our Holy Book. Beside, serial numbers are control over these Bibles.

Praise God, and thanks to the prayers of all Christians in Malaysia which resulted in the government agreeing to release these Bibles according to the terms of the Christian community! We also thank Idris Jala, a Sarawak Christian in the Prime Minister department who helped in the release of these Bibles.

To read the Malaysian Insider news on the release click on the title of this post.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Not Why? But What Now?

When calamities strike like what we observed in Japan and elsewhere recently, many tend to ask the question why these happened ?

Chuck Colson, President Prison International wrote an interesting article addressing this issue. Essentially he said we should ask "What Now ?"

God gave us intelligence and abilities to learn many of nature's behaviors. Earthquakes and the likes are natural occurrences due to activities in the earth. Beside, if man chose to build cities along the fault lines, we are expecting and taking the risks of disasters. Than should we be asking "Why these happened?"

How should Christians respond in these situations ? ( I am learning too )

He said :

But as a Christian, what do I do when disaster strikes? I pray for the victims, console the grieving, and love my neighbor created in God’s image. That is, I get to work and help those in need. And I have no doubt that Christians -- those who follow a God whom the atheists call cruel and inhumane -- will be in the vanguard of helping the hurting in Japan because He has taught us to love one another on this beautifully created, intricately complex, and even sometimes dangerous planet on which we live, and because humans are, after all, the crown of creation.

As the Psalmist writes, “When I look at thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars which thou hast established; what is man that thou art mindful of him? Yet thou hast made him a little less than God, and dost crown him with glory and honor.”

To read the whole article click on the title of this post

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Tsunami An Apocalyptic Sign ?

Many people are calling the earthquake and tsunami in Japan one of the apocalyptic signs. Pastor John Piper commented of this when he saw the devastation in Japan. Now author Steve Wohlberg said there are signs pointing to this direction. The natural disaster like earthquakes happened one after another, and there are man-made disaster like civil unrests in the middle east and the nuclear disaster in Japan.

According to him these signs were mentioned in the Bible. Luke 21:11 "There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven".Verse 25"There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea".Verse 26 "People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken".

These are commonly known as signs of end-time.

Worst things are yet to come.

Wohlberg said "It’s going to get worse before it gets better. But the good news is that when it’s all over, it’s going to get really good. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. The Bible says that Jesus is going to come and He is going to get rid of sin. Satan is not going to have the upper hand like he does right now. God is going to put down evil."

To read more click on the title of this post

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Japaness Dog Won't Leave Friend after Quake

"This is one of the most touching videos. Amid all the sadness and tragedy in Japan right now, even dogs are bonding together. This dog in particular will not leave their injured friend’s side. What an amazing creature!"

Even in tragedy like the tsunami in Japan we are seeing inspirational story like this one. A heart warming video.

"A friend in need is a friend indeed!"

You don't need to understand Japanese to understand the story.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Tsunami in the Bible

It is interesting and humbling to learn that our Holy Bible prophesied about tsunamis thousands of years ago. Thanks to scientist, archeologist and geologist, Dr. Jeffrey Goodman who had been studying the Bible to search what it says about tsunamis. In the Bible it is referred to "floods", one particular familiar ones is "Noah's Floods". He said the great flood was caused by a 3 mile wide comet hitting the earth, crashing into the Indian ocean, resulting in great foods, or tsunamis.

The Bible prophesied that tsunami will occur during end-time

8 The second angel sounded his trumpet, and something like a huge mountain, all ablaze, was thrown into the sea. A third of the sea turned into blood, 9 a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed. Rev 8:8-9

Many scientists are studying the catastrophes in the Bible. Dr.Jeffrey writes:

A growing number of astronomers and planetary scientists have begun to write about how the catastrophes of "Revelation" accurately describe different types of cosmic impact, depending on whether the land, sea or atmosphere is hit. Dr. John S. Lewis, a leading expert on cosmic impacts in his 1997 book (pages 11-13) "Rain of Iron and Ice" asks "Did John (the author of the Book of Revelation) somehow know more about impact phenomena than any scientist before the present decade?"

To read more click on the title of this post

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Muslim Brotherhood Showing Their True Color

The Muslim Brotherhood featured very prominently in Egypt's recent revolution. Some experts said this may be good for democracy as well as Christians there. However, experts like Pastor Shaddy Soliman, an Egyptian now pastoring a church in Florida said otherwise. In my previous blog post I had shared about Shaddy's comments saying democracy and Islam just cannot mix. He also warned against the agenda of the Muslim Brotherhood. Now they are showing their true color by organizing a new political party called Freedom and Justice.

An exiled leader,Al-Qaradawi went home and called for the destruction of Israel including Jerusalem. This was reported :

"Al-Qaradawi asked the Egyptian army to open wide the Rafah crossing and to pray for the re-conquest of Jerusalem by the Muslims, so that he and the Muslims could pray in security at Al-Aqsa Mosque. This part of his sermon was cheered and applauded by the crowd,”

Muslim Brotherhood is certainly up to no good. This is proving the skeptics wrong that they are moderates and have peace in mind.

The minorities are certainly going to suffer when the Brotherhood takes control.

Lets continue to pray for all minorities including the Christians in Egypt, that they will unite to face their enemy. Pray for peace and that they will not suffer under the new government.

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

Monday, March 14, 2011

Piper Called Tsunami "Apocalyptic"

The tsunami in Japan is beyond expectation of many people. The death toll is said to rise to over 10,000 according to Miyagi prefecture police. Although it is an estimate more may die. Another bad news is that the Fukushima nuclear plant explored early this morning. Seriousness of damage unclear.

Pastor John Piper called it "apocalyptic" seeing the devastation on television and internet. Beside tsunami in Japan, there is earthquake in China, recent earthquake in N.Z, and also volcano eruption in Sulewasi, Indonesia. With so many disasters happening close to each other, it is quite natural to associate these with end-times. Added to the natural disaster equation, there is the Fukushima nuclear plant explosion.

Pastor John Piper was shaken and he prayed the following prayer:

"Father in heaven, you are the absolute Sovereign over the shaking of the earth, the rising of the sea, and the raging of the waves. We tremble at your power and bow before your unsearchable judgments and inscrutable ways," he said in a prayer for Japan.

"O God, we humble ourselves under your holy majesty and repent. In a moment – in the twinkling of an eye – we too could be swept away. We are not more deserving of firm ground than our fellowmen in Japan. We too are flesh."

The earthquake, tsunami and risk of nuclear explosion are terrible things, yet we know God is in control. Let us continue to pray for peace in the hearts of the affected, pray for their safety, and that people will not go cold and hungry.

May our Good Lord be with the people of Japan. Amen.

To read more click on the title of this post.

Fukushima nuclear plant explosion

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Discipleship - Pastor Matthew Foo

Pastor Matthew Foo is the youth pastor from Damansara Utama Methodist Church (DUMC), Kuala Lumpur. He has been a youth pastor since 1998. Our church has the privilege of Pastor Matthew to lead in our youth camp starting 16th March in Lundu.(outskirt of Kuching)

This morning his sermon was on discipleship. It is timely for our church as we are embarking on the discipline of discipling our people.

He started with reference to Isaiah 58:11-14, in particular verse 12 "aged old foundation", he said this is about disciple making.

There are two methods in winning souls, one is by massive evangelism like Billy Graham crusade, and the other is one-on-0ne discipling. The result of one-on-one is better than mass evangelism.

Examples of discipling in the Bible:

Paul and Timothy 2Tim 3:10-11
a. Paul opening his life ti Timothy
b. Timothy followed Paul wherever he went
c. Involved in hand-on ministry

Barnabas and Paul Act 9:26,27, 11:22-26
a. Enccouagement
b. Correcting with right teaching

Jesus and His disciples Mark 3:14, Act 4:13
Jesus intruded in His disciples' lives in a positive ways.
a. Intruded into their lives
b. Holistic approach to every part of daily life

Moses and Joshua Ex 17:14, 24:13
Re-hearse into his ears
a. Modelling a lifestyle
b. Looking out for next generation

Abraham and Lot Gen 12:4, 13:5-9
Not all will turn out well.
a. Disappointment part and parcle of discipling
b. Keep on keeping on

How do we disciple ?
a. Engage him in Scripture
b. Disciple him life-on-life
c. Equip him to multiply his life
d. Maintain the centrality of Christ

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Alpha Classic 2011

Last evening our church, FBC had our first week session on "Is there more to life than this?".

Praise God that the session went very well! We had about 14 guests attending. Some could not make it last evening, and about 8 teachers trainees were on holiday, they will join from third week. Therefore we had two groupings. I was the host of one of the group and I was apprehensive of the response of the group discussion, but praise God that it went very well, and most of the guests shared their feelings. A number of them shared that despite their material gains, they felt something was missing inside. They came to the right course! One guest of about 60 years said everyone will come to a stage where he or she will search deep inside, and find something missing. He said he had been searching since his student days. We all pray for him to discover Lord Jesus in this course. One former believer said he has not been to church for many years. Sometimes while working, he questioned himself whether what he is doing has any meaning. We pray he will continue this course to discover the meaning of life for himself. Another guest said he was baptized as a child, but now he believes in all religions. he wanted to know how can he be sure he will be saved by Jesus. Again we pray and encouraged him to continue this course and he will find the answers.

Overall, a very encouraging session. Both groups reported that the discussion were lively and interesting.

We pray that all our guests will come back for the following weeks sessions.

Glory to our Almighty God, who made this Alpha session a success!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Bird Cage

An inspirational video of what the Lord has done for us sinners.

Watch it.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

God Has Big Surprises For Middle East

Just like Soviet Union and Berlin in 1989 where the Holy Spirit worked amongst the population to overthrow unpopular governments. Editor of Charisma J Lee Grady said we are witnessing similar patterns in Middle East.

He said we are facing Youthquake - freedom movements in the Middle East engineered by young Arabs. This youth movement has spread from Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain, Iran and Libya. Social Network site like Facebook has helped with the spread of information.

People are saying, the chaos in Middle East will result in militant Islamists taking power to enable Anti-Christ to emerge, but Grady believes that the Bible is a positive Book.

He said "My Bible says Christians are called to take the gospel to every nation—and Jesus calls us to bravely preach His message no matter what obstacles we face. He does not call us to be wimps, pessimists or fear mongerers. My Bible says Christ’s kingdom will increase, and that the knowledge of the glory of the Lord will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea (see Hab. 2:14). God wants us to have a victorious mindset about the future. After all, we are on the winning team!"

Looking at situations in the Middle East it is easy to be pessimistic, but God has His ways which are better than human ways.

In any case, let us pray for peace in the Middle East.

To read more click on the title of this post.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Crazy Mission - Francis Chan

About a year now since Pastor Francis Chan left his mega Church, Cornerstone, Simi Valley, California.

Many thought that he was crazy to leave his church and to so what he said was God's leading. He said it may seem crazy to people but to God what he has done was not crazy at all, but just following the leading of God to serve poor and needy people. Since leaving his church he has been to China, India and walking the streets of America to observe and serve the poor and needy.

In a recent interview he expressed that he was uncertain of God's leading in leaving his church, bu he said he knew he had to leave and that his congregation than was expecting his leaving.

If one said he is weird and his theology is incorrect, he said:

“If we say, ‘That’s a weird person, that’s a weird theology,’ it automatically excuses us from doing anything similar. And to me, I don’t see it as strange,” Chan says. “Honestly, when I read the Scriptures, I really believe the Lord puts a heart in us when we become believers. And when the Spirit comes in us, there is this concern for the poor and for those who are in need, and this love for them to where you go: ‘Man, I would happily give you the shirt off my back. I would happily give up my future retirement to help you guys stay alive.’”

Nearer to home, we in FBC has experienced someone whose walk is similar to Francis Chan, he is non other than Pastor Ben Wong from Shepherd Community Church, Hong Kong. Pastor Wong had come to help us on five occasions over the one year or so because we do not have a pastor. His church started with three people about 25 years ago, now they have 2,500 members. It is not the number that counts but his trust in the Lord every step he takes. Hudson Taylor is his model, trust the Lord in everything we do.

To echo his mentor, "Keep the main thing, the main thing". Meaning get into the basic of the Bible, and really follow all commands of Jesus our Lord.

To read more about Francis Chan click on the title of this post.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Good Book Blog

This new blog is started by 30 seminary professors from Biola University's Talbot School of Theology, California, USA.

Their objective is to help all Christians to understand the Bible better, as well as educate us in subjects related to Christianity. Subjects range from Apologetic to Theology. According to the professors Biblical literacy is low and this blog will certainly help.

The past two days I have been reading this blog and I find it useful, it has subjects in different categories.

Quote : "At a time when biblical literacy is at an all time low and there are so many muddled, uninformed views of the Bible, something like The Good Book Blog is such a breath of fresh air," said author of Hipster Christianity and blogger Brett McCracken.

This blog is for everyone. Quote "Overall, the Good Book Blog aspires to be a resource for anyone seeking solid biblical scholarship and a vital addition to the online evangelical discourse."

Start reading, you will find this blog a source of valuable Biblical information.

Wow! where can you get the works of 30 professors in one place! Praise God and thank all the professors for their passion to impart their knowledge free of charge!

Here is the internet address:

To read more click on the title of this post.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

God Is Shaking the Arab Nations

Mission workers are saying that God is shaking the Arab nations as seen by the up rising in many of these nations. Latest news is that in Oman people are also rising up against their autocratic government.

Abdul Al-Latif an Egyptian Christian admitted that the uprising caused difficulties, but in these difficulties can bring blessings.

He said “Usually we say hardship is difficult and we are scared of it. But hardship has brought blessing, it has made us stronger in our faith,” he said.

Another Christian Moklis Amin said in the past people dare not share the Gospel, but now there is an opportunity.

People are now turning to God, they are praying for the Christians, Muslims, and their countries. Many are also going to Church.

The situation in many of these countries may be difficult for many yet Christians are rising to proclaim the Words of God.

However, all Christian elsewhere should not be naive but continue to pray for peace in the Middle East.

"The LORD is far from the wicked,
but he hears the prayer of the righteous"
. Prov 15:29

To read more click on the title of this post.