Thursday, September 27, 2007

Youths Today What Tomorrow?

Generations come and generations go.

Teens when the country celebrated Merdeka are today's senior citizens.

What happens in between is a matter of choice.

Yes, Joel. You're right on the bingo dot! It's about choices!

Look around you and for a moment and soak in the sights. Not just with your eyes but with your heart. And you'll see what I see.

Judges in the Bible describe cycles of rebellion, retribution, repentance, and rescue. The Israelites sinned repeatedly bringing on their heads dire consequences. Then each time, God raised a judge to deliver them when they repented and cried for mercy. But after each rescue, they slipped into sin again.

The book began and end with the main thought: The people did as they pleased because they had no king. Interestingly, right after that in the book of Samuel, God finally gave the people a king. The first king, Saul, messed up his life and the nation.

So it wasn't about an earthly king that God was concerned with. The Israelites forgot their KING and asked instead for a king. So basically, the Israelites rejected God.

Today, we find the same cycles of 4 Rs in the church today. The problem is some people wander off or got carried away by plunderers. Others never repented, and so are still in the dungeons of their own rebellion. Many are running to and fro churches looking for something that makes them happy, feel good, wanted, important, and the list goes on.

The solution is not out there. It's not looking for the perfect or better church. It's not looking for the better preacher. It's not looking for the better music band. It's not looking for the better facilities. It's not looking for the better feel. It's not looking for the better king.

Because the KING is right here. In their hearts. Unless of course, they have REJECTED the KING.

Subtle huh?

Never thought of it that way huh?

Anyways, WHAT DOES IT MATTER to you?

If it matters, it matters.

If it doesn't, then it doesn't.

The journey continues... the hunt for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow continues.. the search for your king continues.

What does the Church say when families break down?

The Federal Court is postponing making a decision in the appeal of a woman, Subashini, 28, trying to prevent her Muslim-convert husband from dissolving their marriage in the Syariah Court and converting their second son.

This is simply because the judgment is critical as it affects similar cases in the future.

Earlier in September last year, the Kuala Lumpur High Court had dismissed Subashini’s application to stop her husband Saravanan, 31, from resolving their marital problems in the Syariah Court.

When the case was brought to the Court of Appeal on March 13, the three judges had ruled in a 2-1 majority ordering her to take her divorce and custody claims to the Syariah Court.

However, thankfully, two weeks later, the same panel in a majority judgment, granted an injunction preventing Saravanan from initiating or continuing with any proceedings in the syariah courts or converting their younger son.

Meanwhile, both Subashini and Saravanan have yet to finalise their divorce. In the midst of all these, their two children – Dharvin Joshua, 4, and Sharvin, 1, are in limbo.

But I supposed they have been that way for awhile. While they may not fully understand what's going on around them, I'm sure the two have been picking up negative vibes from their parents and those embroiled in the fracas.

What we're looking at is a situation that points to two things:

One. The stand and role of the church in matters like this.

Two. Also the condition of families in the country. Which all of us know is not limited to unbelievers. We are all too familiar with dysfunctional homes among Christians.

For the first part, we know that the Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) has expressed its concern over the decision of the Court of Appeal. In a press statement in March, the federation stressed that the Federal Constitution, as the supreme law of Malaysia, should secure the rights of all non-Muslim citizens in seeking justice in civil courts.

Bishop Paul Tan, the Chairman of CFM concluded by urging all elected members of Parliament to defend the Constitution and safeguard the rights of non-Muslim citizens.

For your information, the Christian Federation of Malaysia, incorporating the Council of Churches of Malaysia (CCM), the National Evangelical Christian Fellowship (NECF), and the Roman Catholics, was formed in 1986.

But what about the second point?

Are you aware of the pain around us? Are you part of this kind of pain?

What does it matter to you?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Baby Tanya

A time to be born.

This is a picture of Carl's month-old daughter. He'smy diving kaki in Phuket. He's Swedish and married a Thai wife. He runs a dive shop in Kamala Bay. I'm looking forward to diving with his outfit when I take teams out to Phuket at least once a year.

Remember you were once a delicate, chubby, cute, drooling, excitable goo-goo gaa-ga, angelic and trusting babe like Tanya.
But how are you today?

Maybe not as delicate with acne volcanoes erupting all over your face as you go through your hormonal storms.

Maybe still chubby with baby fat clinging on as your body prepares for post-teen growth. Some have lost the fat and are down-right skinny. While others are fat. Thankfully, none humongous that I know of.

Cute? Most of you are simply cute. Thankfully still.

Drooling? Yes. Better tuck in that tongue and smack in your lips shut. With the puddle of saliva all over, one'd think you have no self-control at all. Food. Movies. Music. Hunks. Pretty lasses.

Angelic? You tell me!

Excitable and trusting? Whaddya think?

O well. What does it matter. We're all going through a phase. What matters is how we'll turn out tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Fighting in the Church

In an interview with Leadership Journal, Bill Hybels, founder of Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Illinois, with a 17500 congregation weekly, and who at age 52, leads a network of 10,500 churches and trains more than 100,000 pastors each year, has this to say about fighting in the church.

Bill Hybels: Unity isn't the word we use to describe relationships at Willow Creek. The popular concept of unity is a fantasyland where disagreements never surface and contrary opinions are never stated with force. We expect disagreement, forceful disagreement. So instead of unity, we use the word community.

The mark of community—true biblical unity—is not the absence of conflict. It's the presence of a reconciling spirit.

This was one of the quotes that inspired and challenged me early in my ministry.

Today, I strive to live by this biblical principle. In the words of Steven Covey: High courage, High consideration.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Dr Mahathir's Third Operation

Yesterday Tun Dr Mahathir was operated on the third time in Institute Jantung Negara. Despite his age and weak condition, thankfully, the operation went through successfully and he is now under post-cardiac surgery care and monitoring for the next 36 hours.

Surprisingly, when I read his daughter, Marina's blog post, I sort of felt for the man, wishing that he would survive, in spite of all the negative vibes about his past leadership dealings in the country.

Apparently an infection had developed 18 days later where he was cut up during his second heart bypass. The same team that worked on him had to do another surgery to rid the infection. After five hours of nervous waiting, the family greeted him as he was wheeled out of the operating theatre.

Dr Mahathir got through the operation fine.

Life is short and fragile. For some, 83 years is a long time. But compared to eternity, it's merely a sniff in time.

The richest, most powerful and famous man in the world may live to a ripe old age of 120. Even then, that is merely a longer sniff in time.

So how are the rest of us mortals planning to make good our short journey on earth? We who are less rich, less powerful, and less famous?

Does our sniff get smaller because we've achieved less? How do we measure up on God's larger blueprint? Surely, the world's standards are not God's. And if we truly believe that, then how is it that we so often find outselves trying to live by the world's approval instead of God's?

What does it matter?
Any thoughts on this?

Sunday, September 9, 2007


We just read in the news that the war in Iraq is far from over. Osama bin Laden has just released a video calling on America to convern to Islam or face the wrath of Allah in the hands of his executioners a.k.a Al Qaeda.

But what's that to you?

As far as most of us are concerned, life goes on, eh... our exams, this evening's Paradise music pleasure, our next plate of nasi lemak, and catching a movie later this week.

And meanwhile, thousands of US troops have been diagnosed with traumatic brain injury, or TBI.

What's that again?

The people on the streets like and me call it plainly - brain damage.

But hey, wait a minute, you say. Brain damage??? I know what's that.

Yes, I'm sure you do.

But let me tell you what brain damage is and see if you find similarities among those in our midst.

Those coming back from the war in Iraq experience blast-caused head injuries that are so different from the ones doctors are used to seeing from falls and car crashes so much so that treating them is as much faith as it is science.

As more troops return from the war, their brain damage makes them unable to continue a normal life and hold a steady job. The damage may not just be physical but physiological, psychological, and yes, spiritual.

Most of these young fighters recover within a year. But one-fifth of the troops will have prolonged or lifelong symptoms and need continuing care.


People with TBI have frequent headaches, dizziness, and trouble concentrating and sleeping. They may be depressed, irritable and confused, and easily provoked or distracted. Speech or vision also can be impaired. Some sufferers have been misdiagnosed with personality disorders. Others have lost jobs because of unrecognized and untreated symptoms.

Hmmm. Are there people around you who exhibit such symptoms? Are you one of them?

While the soldiers got their brains damaged in the line of duty under fire, some of us get ours from a different kind of pressure. We see many people behave in funny ways around us as a result of coming under fire in our urban lifestyle.

Even in church?
What does it matter?
What do you think?

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Malaysia Boleh

Did you know the tune of our National Anthem was taken from an old song, Mamula Moon? Check it out. The slow waltzy sleepy draggy coconut tree swaying with the ocean waves rushing the shore kind of music

Sunday, September 2, 2007

knot Sure

Most of us are a bundle of tangled knots and loose ends. A result of twirling around frivolous talk and habits as well as lashing onto the wrong things in life.

So learn the right knots and when to use which in different situations.

Is it any wonder some ropes are so knotted they are of no use anymore? And you have to cut it off into smaller strands for some menial use or else just trash it? Frightening huh?

Let's look at a couple of examples:

The bowline is a yatchman's favourite. It is sure and strong and easy to undo.

The sailor's knot or anchor's bend works wonders in wet conditions and is known to be the strongest, and yet it doesn't snag and is easily untied.

But aha, did you know that the figure of eight or stopper knot is one that you purposely make to make sure the rope doesn't frazzle at the ends?

The sheepshank knot is used to shorten a length of rope or to strengthen parts of it that are chaffed or frazzled. Amazing how this technique can redeem an otherwise unusable portion.

One last knot to go. The most common and popular knots that most people know and use frequently, like to tie the opening of a sack, a parcel, or a bundle of newspapers. It's the reef knot. Easy and quick.

DO YOU KNOW YOUR KNOTS? Learn them well and use them in the right time and right place for best results. Otherwise, things come off. Things break loose. Things are lashed so tight you need surgery to cut them loose, and THAT would be nasty. Worse when you are in a hurry and you don't have a knife with you.

So what's this post about?

Still not sure? It's not just about knots. It's about the nots you must beware in life. The nots you must apply and know when.

I could go on and on. But then, I'm not so sure too many knots in one post would leave you more knotted than not.

Heh heh.