Friday, July 31, 2009

Silly Things Actually Said By Commentators In The World Of Soccer

(Photo taken off

1. Well, it's Liverpool two, Ipswich nil, and if the score stays this way, I've got to fancy Liverpool for the win.
2. He had an eternity to play that ball, but took too long.
3. And so they have not been able to improve on their 100% record.
4. With the last kick of the game, he scored with a header.
5. Well, it's a fabulous kaleidoscope of colour: almost all the Brazilians are wearing yellow shirts.
6. If that had gone on, it would definitely have been a goal.
7. Their manager, Howard Wilkinson, isn't here today, which strongly suggests that he may be elsewhere.
8. I am a firm believer that if one team scores a goal, the other need to score two to win.
9. If a team scores early on, it often takes an early lead.
10. You cannot possibly have counted the number of passes made, but there were eight.

Source of Article unknown

Fading Towards Glory

Paul said in 2 Cor 5:1a “Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed…” I am coming to the experiential realization that our earthly tent WILL definitely be destroyed. Our bodies will wind down and decay as we grow older. Already I take a longer time to share off an ailment. Last Sunday I fell sick with all the flu-like symptoms except fever. I went to see the doctor. I was actually recovering already when I finished the medication course yesterday. But lo and behold, as I was sleeping last night, I started coughing again. Even as I write this, I am thinking that I am on a time-clock that will soon lose its spring. Only God knows when.

Yet I thank and praise God for the promise of 2 Cor 5:1b, “we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.” And to make sure we don’t miss the point Paul says, Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose…” (2 Cor 5:5). That is really grace, because we who deserve to be cursed have instead been endowed with blessing. Its like Warren Buffet strolling past you in your beggar clothes and then he suddenly stops and tells you, “Here, son, I am going to take you home to live in my house and everything I have there is yours.” Buffet has the legal right to ignore you and just pass you by, but he does not because of the grace he wishes to bestow on you. Multiply that to the nth degree and you still will not achieve the grace that God has bestowed on you, through his only Son Jesus Christ

What is our response then?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Twenty Truths to Remember

1. Faith is the ability to not panic.
2. If you worry, you didn't pray. If you pray, don't worry.
3. As a child of God, prayer is kind of like calling home every day
4. Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape
5. When we get tangled up in our problems, be still. God wants us to be still so He can untangle the knot
6. Do your maths. Count your blessings
7. God wants spiritual fruit, not religious nuts
8. Dear God: I have a problem. It's me
9. Silence is often misinterpreted, but never misquoted
10. Laugh every day, it's like inner jogging
11. The most important things in your home are the people.
12. Growing old is inevitable, growing up is optional
13. There is no key to happiness. The door is always open
14. A grudge is a heavy thing to carry, better to lose it
15. He who dies with the most toys is still dead
16. We do not remember days, but moments. Life moves too fast, so enjoy your precious moments
17. Nothing is real to you until you experience it, otherwise it's just hearsay.
18. It's all right to sit on your pity pot every now and again. Just be sure to flush when you are done.
19. Surviving and living your life successfully requires courage. The goals and dreams you're seeking require courage and risk-taking. Learn from the turtle - it only makes progress when it sticks out its neck
20. Be more concerned with your character than your reputation. Your character is what you really are while your reputation is merely what others think you are

Monday, July 27, 2009

Always Hold On To What You Treasure

Facing Your Giants

Numbers 13, 14 chronicles one of the most tragic moments of Israelite history. The Israelites were on the verge of crossing into the Promised Land. As commanded by God, they send in twelve men on a reconnaissance mission. After 40 days, the men return with a promising report of an abundant land overflowing with mild and honey. However, the men also reported that it was impossible to conquer the land because it was inhabited by giants who would surely destroy the Israelites if they attempted this. This fearsome report caused them to grumble and murmur against God and invited his wrath. For their sin of unbelief, God judged that none of that Israelite generation over 20 years old at that time would cross over into the Promised Land, except for Joshua and Caleb.

In the movie ‘Facing the Giants*’, American football coach Grant Taylor, the main character, is facing some ‘giants’ in his own life. His high school football team is perennially losing on the field. His house and car is breaking down, he cannot become a father and, even worse, he discovers a conspiracy to kick him out of his job. In his moment of despair, he asks his wife, “What’s God doing? Why is it so hard?” Yet, as the movie progresses, we see him overcoming his ‘giants’ of fear and failure and inspiring the people around him to do likewise.

What made Coach Taylor overcome his circumstances where the Israelites could not? In a pivotal scene, Coach Taylor walks in a field, praying the promises of Psalm 18 back to God to be his rock, his fortress and his shield. In his adversity, Coach Taylor turns to the promises of God’s Word. This is in stark contrast to the Israelites who turn away from the promises of God’s Word. They forgot God’s promise in Numbers 13:2 “send some men to explore the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites…”

More than simply being a guide to living well, the Bible is literally the promises of God to us. For this reason, it is important to read his Word, memorize it and reflect on it. When we do so, God’s Word becomes personalized to us and we can talk to God about it in our prayers. By doing so, we allow it to penetrate into the deepest nooks and crevices of our person, so that it becomes rooted within us, awaiting the Spirit’s bidding to bear fruit. Such a process of growth does not come overnight but it will come as long as we remain responsible to doing our part of reading, remembering and reflecting on Scripture. Let us return to this discipline of memorizing Scripture so that we may echo what the Psalmist says, “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you” (Psalm 119:11)

Judgment Day? Really?

So why are we still here?

When God Seems Silent

When Joshua and the Israelites crossed the Jordan into the Promised Land, the Bible tells us they also took twelve stones from the Jordan’s river bed. These stones were piled into a memorial to be a testimony of how God has worked for them. Joshua told the Israelites “the LORD your God dried up the Jordan before you until you had crossed over. The LORD your God did to the Jordan just what he had done to the Red Sea when he dried it up before us until we had crossed over. He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the LORD is powerful and so that you might always fear the LORD your God" (Joshua 4:23-24).

Testimonies and memorials are wonderful reminders us of God’s unchanging faithfulness to his children. As the line from ‘Great is Thy Faithfulness’ goes “As thou hast been, thou forever will be”. Reminders of his past faithfulness strengthen us to keep going in the face of adversity. The reality of our Christian life is that there will be times when our world falls to pieces yet God is silent. We cry out to God but we seemingly get no answer. We feel ignored. Situations like these are not unique to us although we tend to believe and make it so. The Bible tells us that the Israelites were enslaved in Egypt for 400 years before being delivered in the Exodus. This means whole generations of Israelites cried out to God for deliverance but faced God’s silence to their needs. Wang Ming Dao, with other fellow Christians, suffered greatly at the hands of cruel captors for many years during the Cultural Revolution. For many of them deliverance was long in coming and for many of them, not at all.

They remind us of our own adverse times when God seems silent – the only difference between theirs and being the degree of adversity. In moments like these, we should turn to past victories and recall God’s blessings. Recalling those victories will produce renewed confidence for our lives because they are testimonies of God's faithfulness. The Bible itself is a track record of God’s accomplishments in his people’s lives. Therefore, we should read it to commune with him so that he may remind us of his faithfulness in the past and his promises of hope for the future. The Bible also reminds us that God has already delivered us from the penalty of sin that we deserved. This testimony of God’s greatest act of deliverance is our strength. This is our assurance that he will also deliver us from the presence of sin and evil one day. Let us then be faithful to him because surely he is always faithful to us.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

What Is Our Worth?

The funeral of Michael Jackson recently was attended by thousands and watched on TV by a global audience of millions. I am sure you saw the many people, many not even born or were just babies when Michael was at his peak in the 80s, declaring how much joy he brought them through his music and dancing. Amazing isn’t it? He brought joy to me too at that time. I remember playing “Beat It” on my walkman (no Discman or mp3 then) and watching the videotape over and over again. I could sync with its street-life impressions.

Yet despite bringing happiness to millions of people, sometimes I wonder if Michael had full happiness in his own heart. In his last decade of life, Michael made many bizarre decisions. He went through operations to whiten his skin and change his features to look Caucasian. It looked like he really wanted to be Peter Pan, never growing old. To this end, he built a sprawling mansion and called it Neverland, the fictional name for Peter Pan’s homeland. In it were all sorts of amusement stuff to amuse the many children that he invited to have fun there. Perhaps, the happiness that was found in making these children happy could replace the happiness lost after he dropped out of the entertainment scene. This, making others happy, could well be the reason that drove him to tax his 50-year old body in training for a grueling 50-city tour.

Many of us are like Michael Jackson in this sense. We seek our security and purpose in things of the world - personal success, status, beauty, wealth, and the approval of others. These may fulfill but if our worth is only found in them, we will feel empty and purposeless after enjoying them for a while or when they are taken away. Ultimately, such things being temporal, we will again give in to the drive to set higher goals for success or seek the approval of others.

This is not something new discovered by psychologists of our time. It is a timeless truth dating back to Eden. Adam and Eve found their true security and purpose when God demonstrated his love for them by meeting all their needs. It was their relationship with a loving God that proclaimed their actual worth. When Adam and Eve abandoned this relationship in disobedience, they also lost their sense of worth. They began feeling ashamed, worthless and attempted to hide from the true source of their worth, God.

We must always base our self-worth on who we are in Christ. The Bible tells us, “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom 5:8). Our worth is not derived from what we achieve but because of who we are; people bought with the price of God’s own Son, Jesus Christ. Since that kind of worth is tied to the very nature of God, it can never change. If we apply this truth in our lives, we will profit by gaining real freedom. This is because in allowing God to control our lives and developing us to conform to his Son, we need not worry about gaining the approval of others or how they interpret the way we live our lives. This is worth reflecting on isn’t it?

(The introduction here is not meant to denigrate Michael Jackson in any way or his achievements. It is my prayer that his memory will be left in peace and that people will forego the hunger for sensationalistic news about his death so that we may always remember him for the person that he was – someone whose joy was in bringing joy to others)