Monday, December 27, 2010

Voice in the Dark

"The LORD came and stood there, calling as at the other times, 'Samuel! Samuel!' Then Samuel said, 'Speak, for your servant is listening.'"1

"One summer night a young man who lived in Scotland decided to take a shortcut across the moors on his walk into town where he worked.

"The countryside was known for its limestone quarries. He knew he would be passing near one of these quarries, but thought he could avoid it. The night was pitch black without a star in sight, but the young man set out through the rock and heather anyway.

"Suddenly he heard a voice call out with great urgency, 'Peter!'

"He was unnerved but stopped and called back into the darkness, 'Yes, who is it? What do you want?' There was no response—just a gentle breeze over the deserted moorland.

"He decided that he'd been mistaken and walked on a few more steps. Then he heard the voice again, this time even more urgent than the first: 'Peter!'

"He stopped dead in his tracks, bent forward to peer through the darkness, and stumbled to his knees. He reached out a hand to the ground before him, but only clutched thin air. It was the quarry! Sure enough, as Peter carefully felt around in a semicircle he found that he had stopped on the edge of the abandoned limestone quarry one short step before a fatal plunge into the abyss. Out there in the desolate moor someone knew him and someone cared about him.

"Peter Marshall never forgot that incident. Dedicating his life to the one who'd called him by name, he went on to become one of America's greatest ministers.2

Did you ever stop to realize that God also knows you by name—and everything else about you. Have you ever "heard" him calling you? If you learn to listen with your heart, you will hear what he wants of you.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, help me always to be sensitive to your call. Please give me an attentive mind and a listening heart as well as a willing spirit to always heed your bidding and obey your word. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. 1 Samuel 3:10 (NIV).
2. Steven R. Mosley, Glimpses of God, (Sisters, Oregon: Questar Publishers, Inc., 1990), pp. 149-150. Cited on


Daily Encounter by
Richard (Dick) Innes of ACTS International

Saturday, December 25, 2010

The Task of Reconciliation

What is our task in this world as children of God and brothers and sisters of Jesus? Our task is reconciliation. Wherever we go we see divisions among people - in families, communities, cities, countries, and continents. All these divisions are tragic reflections of our separation from God. The truth that all people belong together as members of one family under God is seldom visible. Our sacred task is to reveal that truth in the reality of everyday life.

Why is that our task? Because God sent Christ to reconcile us with God and to give us the task of reconciling people with one another. As people reconcile with God through Christ we have been given the ministry of reconciliation" (see: 2 Corinthians 5:18). So whatever we do the main question is, Does it lead to reconciliation among people?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Light in the Darkness

We walk in a "ravine as dark as death" (Psalm 23:4), and still we have nothing to fear because God is at our side: God's staff and crook are there to soothe us (see Psalm 23:4). This is not just a consoling idea. It is an experience of the heart that we can trust.

Our lives are full of suffering, pain, disillusions, losses and grief, but they are also marked by visions of the coming of the Son of Man "like lightning striking in the east and flashing far into west" (Matthew 24:27). These moments in which we see clearly, hear loudly, and feel deeply that God is with us on the journey make us shine as a light into the darkness. 

Jesus says, "You are the light of the world. Your light must shine in people's sight, so that, seeing your good works, they may give praise to your Father in heaven" (Matthew 5:14-16).

Henri Nouwen 

Rich Is Not What You Have

"Then he said to them, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions."1

Dr. James Moore wrote, "During World War II, four young American soldiers who had been on the front lines of battle for some time, were sent back to a small French village for a little R & R. When they arrived in the village, they realized that it was Christmas Eve. They began to discuss how they would like to spend Christmas. One of the soldiers said, "You know, as we were coming into town earlier today, I noticed an orphanage on the outskirts of the village. Why don't we go there in the morning and take some Christmas joy to those children?" The others liked the idea and the more they talked about it, the more excited they became. So they went out and bought all kinds of toys, candy, clothing, food, books, and games. Early the next morning they showed up at the front door of the orphanage with wonderful Christmas presents for all the children.

"The orphanage director was pleased and all the children were delighted as they opened their gifts. All the children that is, except for one little girl who stood quietly off to the side. She appeared to be 5 or 6 years old and her face looked very sad. One of the soldiers noticed that she was not participating, so he asked the orphanage director about the little girl. 'Bless her heart,' said the director, 'we just got her last week. Both of her parents were killed in a car wreck. There was no one to take her in, so we brought her here.'

"The soldier went over to the little girl and gently he said to her, 'It's Christmas morning and we have wonderful Christmas presents here: toys, clothes, candy, food, books, and puzzles. Which would you like? What do you want most for Christmas?' And the little girl said, 'I want somebody to hold me.'

"Maybe that is the best Christmas gift of all—someone to hold us. As somebody once put it, 'Rich is not what you have. It's who you have beside you.' Well, this sacred season comes along once each year to remind us that 'Love Came Down At Christmas,' that God is even now reaching out to us with open arms, and that He wants us to accept His love and to pass it on to others."2

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you that love came down at Christmas from Heaven in the birth of your Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, who came to earth to give his life as a ransom for my sins. In gratitude for all you have done for me, help me to live with eternal values in view and not get caught up in the materialism of this world. But rather, help me to give to others as you have given to me. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

Note: If you have never accepted God's incredible Christmas love gift, be sure to read, "How to Be Sure You're a Real Christian" at:

1. Luke 12:15 (NIV).
2. Dr. James W. Moore, ChristianGlobe Sermons, ChristianGlobe Networks, Inc., 2003. Cited on


by Dick Innes

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Grail Prayer

Lord Jesus,

I give you my hands to do your work.

I give you my feet to go your way.

I give you my eyes to see as you do.

I give you my tongue to speak your words.

I give you my mind that you may think in me.

I give you my spirit that you may pray in me.

Above all,

I give you my heart that you may love in me your Father and all humanity.

I give you my whole self that you may grow in me, so that it is you, Lord Jesus, who live and work and pray in me.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Freedom to Refuse Love

Often hell is portrayed as a place of punishment and heaven as a place of reward. But this concept easily leads us to think about God as either a policeman, who tries to catch us when we make a mistake and send us to prison when our mistakes become too big, or a Santa Claus, who counts up all our good deeds and puts a reward in our stocking at the end of the year.

God, however, is neither a policeman nor a Santa Claus. God does not send us to heaven or hell depending on how often we obey or disobey. God is love and only love. In God there is no hatred, desire for revenge, or pleasure in seeing us punished. 

God wants to forgive, heal, restore, show us endless mercy, and see us come home. But just as the father of the prodigal son let his son make his own decision God gives us the freedom to move away from God's love even at the risk of destroying ourselves. Hell is not God's choice. It is ours.

Henri Nouwen 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

How can we recognize the voice of God?

This question has been asked by countless people throughout the ages. Samuel heard the voice of God, but did not recognize it until he was instructed by Eli (1 Samuel 3:1-10). 

Gideon had a physical revelation from God, and he still doubted what he had heard to the point of asking for a sign, not once, but three times (Judges 6:17-22, 36-40). 

When we are listening for God's voice, how can we know that He is the one speaking? 

First of all, we have something that Gideon and Samuel did not. We have the complete Bible, the inspired Word of God, to read, study, and meditate on. “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). 

When we have a question about a certain topic or decision in our lives, we should see what the Bible has to say about it. God will never lead us or direct us contrary to what He has taught or promised in His Word (Titus 1:2).

Second, to hear God's voice we must recognize it. Jesus said, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27). Those who hear God’s voice are those who belong to Him—those who have been saved by His grace through faith in the Lord Jesus. These are the sheep who hear and recognize His voice, because they know Him as their Shepherd and they know His voice. If we are to recognize God's voice, we must belong to Him.

Third, we hear His voice when we spend time in prayer, Bible study, and quiet contemplation of His Word. The more time we spend intimately with God and His Word, the easier it is to recognize His voice and His leading in our lives. 

Employees at a bank are trained to recognize counterfeits by studying genuine money so closely that it is easy to spot a fake. We should be so familiar with God’s Word that when God does speak to us or lead us, it is clear that it is God. God speaks to us so that we may understand truth. While God can speak audibly to people, He speaks primarily through His Word, and sometimes through the Holy Spirit to our consciences, through circumstances, and through other people. By applying what we hear to the truth of Scripture, we can learn to recognize His voice.

Recommended Resource: Hearing God's Voice by Henry & Richard Blackaby.

Source: Got Questions

Cherish While You Can!

One day a woman's husband died, and on that clear, cold morning, in the warmth of their bedroom, the wife was struck with the pain of learning that sometimes there isn't there "anymore". No more hugs, no more special moments to celebrate together, no more phone calls just to chat, no more ‘just one minute….’

Sometimes, what we care about the most gets all used up and goes away, never to return before we can say good-bye, and say ‘I love you.’

So while we have it, it is best that we learn to appreciate it, love it, care for it and fix it when it's broken. We heal it when it's sick.

This is true about marriage... and old vehicles... and children with poor report cards, and dogs with bad hips, and aging parents and grandparents. We keep them because they mean so much to us and also because they are worth our care and concern.

Suppose one morning, you never wake up. Do all your friends and loved ones know that you love them?

I am thinking...if I were to die today, tomorrow or next week, are there any wounds that need healing and relationships that need rekindling? Have I expressed those three words “I love you” to those who have blessed and cared for me.

Just in case I am gone tomorrow, I want you to know that “I love you”. I live with cherished memories of those whom I love and had passed on. I wish I had spent more time with them and live with regrets that I had not expressed enough of love and care for them.

As tomorrow is not promised and may never come. And so today, I want you to know that I love you very much and treasure you deeply.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Saint of Auschwitz

Father Maximilian Kolbe
"Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends."1

You may be familiar with the story of Father Maximilian Kolbe, a Catholic priest who was imprisoned in a Nazi concentration camp during World War II. Father Kolbe's love for the other prisoners earned him the nickname "Saint of Auschwitz."

One day, a prisoner escaped from the camp. Each time anyone escaped, the guards executed ten men as a punishment. As the guards prepared for the execution, Father Kolbe came forward. He asked to take the place of another prisoner, a man named Gajowniczek. The guards agreed.

Father Kolbe and the other nine men were placed in a cell and starved to death over the next few days. Father Kolbe died on August 14, 1941.

Every year, Mr. Gajowniczek returns to Auschwitz to commemorate the death of Father Kolbe. It is his way to say thank you to the man who died in his place.2

Suggested prayer: "Dear Jesus God, how can I ever thank you enough for giving your life and dying on the cross in my place so that I could inherit your gift of eternal life. Help me to always live in an attitude of gratitude for all that you have done for me. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

NOTE: If you have never accepted God's gift of love for you, be sure to read: "How to Be Sure You're a Real Christian—without having to be religious" at:

1. John 15:13 (NIV).
2. From "A Man for Others" by Patricia Treece. Found in God's Unexpected Blessings, edited by Kathy Collard Miller (Lancaster, PA: Starburst Publishers, 1998), pp. 79-80.


By Dick Innes

Monday, December 13, 2010

It All Began With An iPhone...

It all began with an iPhone...

March was when my son celebrated his 15th birthday, 
and I got him an iPhone. He just loved it. Who wouldn't?


I celebrated my birthday in July, 
and my wife made me very happy when
she bought me an iPad.


My daughter's birthday was in August 
so I got her an iPod Touch.


September came by so for her birthday 
I got my wife an iRon

It was around then that the fight started......

What the wife failed to recognise is that the iRon can be integrated into the home network
with the iWash, iCook and iClean. This inevitably activates the iNag reminder service

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Ask More Than Once

Mark Gungor is hilarious. You want to watch this video even though you are not in the Second Half of your game.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Following Leads to Honor

If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honor. (John 12:26)

The highest service is imitation. If I would be Christ's servant I must be His follower. To do as Jesus did is the surest way of bringing honor to His name. Let me mind this every day.

If I imitate Jesus I shall have His company: if I am like Him I shall be with Him. In due time He will take me up to dwell with Him above, if, meanwhile, I have striven to follow Him here below. After His suffering our Lord came to His throne, and even so, after we have suffered a while with Him here below, we also shall arrive in glory. 

The issue of our Lord's life shall be the issue of ours: if we are with Him in His humiliation we shall be with Him in His glory. Come, my soul, pluck up courage and put down thy feet in the blood-marked footprints which thy Lord has left thee.

Let me not fail to note that the Father will honor those who follow His Son. If He sees me true to Jesus, He will put marks of favor and honor upon me for His Son's sake. No honor can be like this. Princes and emperors bestow the mere shadows of honor; the substance of glory comes from the Father. Wherefore, my soul, cling thou to thy Lord Jesus more closely than ever.
C. H. Spurgeon

Monday, December 6, 2010

The One Who Guided The Stone!

Your adversary would love for you to assume the worst about your situation. He would enjoy seeing you heave a sigh and resign yourself to feelings of depression. However, it's been my experience that when God is involved, anything can happen. 

The One who directed that stone in between Goliath's eyes and split the Red Sea down the middle and leveled that wall around Jericho and brought His Son back from beyond takes delight in mixing up the odds as He alters the inevitable and bypasses the impossible.  

The blind songwriter, Fanny Crosby, put it another way: "Chords that were broken will vibrate once more."

Charles R. Swindoll

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Living Is Giving

Living is giving your best self away,

Living is helping someone every day;

Living is giving more than you get,

It’s treating an animal like a person, instead of a pet.

It’s helping the handicapped across the street,

It’s smiling at the new person at work that you meet;

It’s respect for all nations, colors and creeds,

It’s sharing and caring for your neighbor’s needs

One of God’s greatest laws you can live and believe,

Is the more that you give, the more you’ll receive!
Denis Waitley

Saturday, November 27, 2010


Vitamins for the Mind
by Jim Rohn


The two great words of antiquity are behold and beware. Behold the possibilities and beware the temptations.
Vocabulary enables us to interpret and to express. If you have a limited vocabulary, you will also have a limited vision and a limited future.
Well-chosen words mixed with measured emotions is the basis of affecting people
It’s okay to send flowers, but don’t let the flowers do all the talking. Flowers have a limited vocabulary. About the best flowers can say is that you remembered. But your words tell the rest.
Words do two major things: They provide food for the mind and create light for understanding and awareness.
"Vitamins for the Mind" is a weekly sampling of original quotes on a specific topic taken from The Treasury of Quotes by Jim Rohn. The burgundy hardbound book with gold-foil lettering is a collection of more than 365 quotes on 60 topics gathered from Jim's personal journals, seminars and books and spanning more than 40 years. Click here to order The Treasury of Quotes.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Christmas Food Court Flash Mob, Hallelujah Chorus - Must See!

Simple But Unusual Prayer

Challenging the Congregation to Worship with all their hearts
Last Sunday (21 November 2010) was a good day of worship and ministry in our church. 

During the worship, I was prompted by the Holy Spirit to walk up the stage and challenge our congregation to worship freely. It was an unusual move. The usual sequence of our service is for the worship leader to hand the stage to the person making the announcement. 

However, on that day, the Holy Spirit was ready to do a deeper work. Many were indeed touched by His presence. 

After the service, I totally forgot about this matter until a Pakistani brother told me a strange request that he had made.

During the worship, this Pakistani brother was praising God as the worship team led. However, he was not spiritually satisfied and felt he needed to go further in depth in worship. He prayed for "pastor to go up and take over the worship". 

In fact, he and his family were sitting one row behind my wife and me. It's amazing that he was actually making such quiet request. The Lord heard him and that was why the prompting was extremely strong for me to take over the worship.

High Praisers dedicating their lives to the Lord at the end of the service
The Pakistani brother said that he was really surprised when he saw me walking to the stage. That day, a number of worshippers testified about experiencing the deep presence of God working within them. Among these, was our Pakistani brother's wife. She had felt dry and then after the worship, the Holy Spirit just refreshed her weary soul.

Through this incident, I learn that I must never be afraid of tradition. I may never have done it this way at High Praise Church before but I must remain obedient to the voice of God. 

When the Holy Spirit makes us do strange things or things that are out of the norms, He has His own intention. We are, but servants! We have to listen carefully or else those who need to be blessed by Him may miss out of such blessing.

Rev Albert Kang
Pastoral Advisor
High Praise Church

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Challenge of Aging

Waiting patiently in expectation does not necessarily get easier as we become older. On the contrary, as we grow in age we are tempted to settle down in a routine way of living and say: "Well, I have seen it all. ... There is nothing new under the sun. ... I am just going to take it easy and take the days as they come." But in this way our lives lose their creative tension. We no longer expect something really new to happen. We become cynical or self-satisfied or simply bored. 

The challenge of aging is waiting with an ever-greater patience and an ever- stronger expectation. It is living with an eager hope. It is trusting that through Christ "we have been admitted into God's favour ... and look forward exultantly to God's glory" (Romans 5:2)

Henri Nouwen 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Fruits of Our Salvation

By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples" (John 15:8)

What do I know about bearing fruits? Absolutely nothing! I have never been a farmer or even a gardener. All my dying plants in the backyard prove that I am a better preacher than a gardener. The only fruits that I ‘pluck’ are those out of fruit stalls and supermarket shelves. Even that can be a tedious task because I do bring back fruits, to the cringe of my wife, that are not so fresh or partially crushed on one side. I hope to do better by bearing spiritual fruits.

If buying fruits is tough, then I presume growing fruit trees must be terribly tough. The world of orchard management is a harsh one. Trees that do not produce good fruits are cut down. In the spiritual orchard management, the Holy Spirit is also onetough farmer.

"Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away" (John 15:2). 

However, Jesus comforts us that we are given chances to bear fruits before the ultimatum is being exercised.

A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. Then he said to the keeper of his vineyard, “Look, for three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none. Cut it down; why does it use up the ground?” But he answered and said to him, “Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it. And if it bears fruit, well. But if not, after that you can cut it down” (Luke 13:6-9).

Trees that produce good fruits are pruned to maximise their output. The word that comes to my mind is ‘pain’! 

To provide salvation for our souls, Jesus had to go through pain of the Calvary. The disciples went through the pain of torture and martyrdom just to share the Gospel. So why should you and I be exempted from pain as we grow in the Lord.  

The pain of discipline and abstinence is all a part of our Christian discipleship. Paul the Apostle admonished the Christians to "have a walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God" (Colossians 1:10).

This means that the fruits of our salvation are good works. We must clarify that we do not do good works to gain salvation but these fruits are borne as the result of the perfect work of Christ on the Cross. In another word, good works will not get us to heaven but they are the expressions and fruits of our salvation. Paul understood this well, "And let our people also learn to maintain good works, to meet urgent needs, that they may not be unfruitful" (Titus 3:14). 

The Born-again believers are filled with the love and grace of God. With these, they learn to be sensitive and respond to the needs and struggles of the people around. The fruits of good work also include financial sacrifice. The early believers gave to the poorer Christians in Jerusalem and Paul mentioned this financial offering as a fruit. The spirit of sacrifice is also considered as a fruit (Philippians 4:16-17). Praising God and giving thanks to Him is also known as the ‘fruit of our lips’ (Hebrews 13:15).

Walking with the Lord through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit will bear the ‘fruit of the Spirit’ - love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:16,22-23). 

All these experiences that the believers have the privilege of enjoying are desired by many in the world. Therefore bearing fruits is a form of lifestyle evangelism. Producing good fruits does not only glorify God but also show the world what the true love of God is all about.

Rev Albert Kang

Friday, November 19, 2010

Have You Made a Deposit Lately?

Think of your friends and relationships as bank accounts, into which you deposit and withdraw from. If you’re the list-making kind, go ahead and indulge to your spreadsheet-loving heart’s desire. Make a list of your closest friends, and consider your last few interactions with them.

Was your last conversation or last time together helpful, supportive or impactful for them—in the way of advice, listening or troubleshooting? Count that as a deposit. Did you seek advice, need a friend to hear your point of view, or ask a favor of them? Then, you made a withdrawal from your friendship’s “value bank.”

Evaluating your friendships this way will help you realize if you’ve been taking too much from your friends and not returning the favor. Or conversely, realize that some friends may readily detract from you and rarely reciprocate. Relationships, after all, are investments of your time but well worth the reward.

source: Encouragement-wired

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Acting in the Name of Jesus

Ministry is acting in the Name of Jesus. When all our actions are in the Name, they will bear fruit for eternal life. To act in the Name of Jesus, however, doesn't mean to act as a representative of Jesus or his spokesperson. 

It means to act in an intimate communion with him. The Name is like a house, a tent, a dwelling. To act in the Name of Jesus, therefore, means to act from the place where we are united with Jesus in love. 

To the question "Where are you?" we should be able to answer, "I am in the Name." Then, whatever we do cannot be other than ministry because it will always be Jesus himself who acts in and through us. The final question for all who minister is "Are you in the Name of Jesus?"" When we can say yes to that, all of our lives will be ministry.

Henri Nouwen

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Two Great Lights

God made two great lights--the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars.(Genesis 1:16)

The Lord created the sun and the moon. The bible is clear that the 'greater light' was created to govern the day and the 'lesser light' to govern the night.

Those who reject the creation story, mock at this verse. They say that we all know that our solar system is only one of those in the hundreds of billions of galaxies in the universe. Each of the galaxies may have 10 billions stars but some have ten times that number. Therefore there are billions of solar systems in the billions of galaxies. 

To these non-believers, how can this creation story be true? To state that God only created two sources of light proves that the believers are naive and the bible is not accurate at all. 

Yet, the same critics of God's creation use terms like 'sunrise' and 'sunset'. Don't these people know that the sun does not rise nor does it set? If we were to  use the same measure that these atheists wield, can we accuse them of being ignorant? Of course not!

Since both believers and unbelievers live on earth and  therefore from our earthy perspective, the sun and moon do rise and set. It is therefore nothing wrong or ignorant to use terms like 'sunrise and sunset' or 'moonrise and moon-set'. God is very wise! He gives us terms that we can understand and appreciate from our perspective.

What terms would you use to describe the 'morning' and 'evening' to young children? Would an elaborate scientific description be more appropriate than 'sunrise' and 'sunset'? If you were to be God, what terms would you used to describe the sun and moon to Adam and Eve? From the perspective of our first parents, there were two great lights in the sky. The rest of the elaborate scientific facts of the universe is then left for their descendants to discover.

Since that time when God told Adam and Eve about the great lights, the heavens continue to declare the glory of God (Psalm 19). From the 10,000 stars visible to the naked eyes, we now use the materials from God's earth and make super telescopes to view the heavens.Since the last 500 years, we understand more about our world and the universe at large. The immense size of our universe can only speak of God's wonderful creation. Imagine the closest star next to our solar system which is called Alpha Centauri, is four light years away. That is a very far distance because light travels at 186,300 miles (299,820 km) and if we can travel constantly at that speed, it will take more than four years to reach it. Traveling there with normal driving speed will mean reaching there in 30 million years. Now consider the nearest galaxy, the Andromeda - it is 1.5 million light years away. Imagine, even at the speed of light, we will never be able to reach in 1.5 million years. The farthest comic object that the astrophysicists can see with their super telescopes is said to be 20 billion years away. 

How are we able to even comprehend the greatness of the One who created all these? David realized this long ago and thus in his ancient song, he declared in Psalm 19:1-4 - 

1 The heavens declare the glory of God;
   the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
2 Day after day they pour forth speech;
   night after night they reveal knowledge.
3 They have no speech, they use no words;
   no sound is heard from them.
4 Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
   their words to the ends of the world.
By Albert Kang

Resignation As An Adult

To all my friends,

I hereby officially tender my resignation as an adult. 

I have decided to accept the role and responsibilities of a six-year-old boy. 

I want to eat at hawker stall with kerosene lamps and think of it as it is a five-star restaurant. 

I want to drink ice-cream soda and think of it as the most expensive wine.

I like to move a stick across the sky and see a jet in flight. 

Two sticks in flight and I will have a dog-fight.

The same stick that slides across the muddy puddle will be my Chinese junk.

Then I like to submerge it to become the super submarine that will send chills to all navies.

I like to make stones to skid on water and end their journey with a splash.

I want to run in the rain and swim in the mining holes.

I want to play football with rubber balls and cardboard boxes.

I want to paint with my fingers and eat with my hands.

I like to catch rainbow fish from the drains and lie with my puppies on the front porch.

I want to think that keropoks are better than cash and roasted peanuts better than coins.

I want to return to the simplicity of the kampung and listen to roosters at the breaking of dawn.

I like the village where I can leave my doors open with no fear of robbers or thieves.

I like the spicy aroma of freshly fried kangkong and the fragrance of the smoky kitchen. 

I want to roll on my mama's bed and bite the corners of her pillows.

I like to draw beautiful sketches on the walls and run to hide when mama comes.

I want to leave all the wars, prejudices, injustices, abuses, hungers. diseases and sufferings behind.

I want my Savior to gather me into his arms and say, "Come to me, my child. I love you to come stay with me forever."

Today, I am six again!

“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” 16 And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them. (Mark 10:14-16)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

It's Time To Dream Again!

When I passed the big five-o, I was still affected by the pain in my back due to ankylosing spondylitis, I thought my dream was over. For almost ten years, whenever the nerve attack came, I died a little. As I stayed in bed, feeling the excruciating pain that drew tears from my eyes, my dream died a little. 

God did not allow me to enjoy my pity party. He whispered to me about a purpose even in my pain. Like Job, I had asked God to take me home. I did not want to wake up in pain for the rest of my life. 

God had asked me to trust Him. He wanted me to get rid of my doubts. He assured me there was work for me to do - crippled or not. He wanted me to dream again. The dream of being miraculously healed in His name.

Today, for the last five years, I have been miraculously healed in the name of Jesus. My nerves do not suffer inflammation and my back does not hurt. I am not only a healed man but today, I go to different churches to teach about the authority and power to heal in the name of Jesus. (For more info of my ministry: The Elijah Challenge and Elijah Challenge Asia)
Are you hurting? Are you in a crisis? Did the doctors say that you have no more hope? You are not dead yet and GOD HAS A DREAM FOR YOU. When God gives you a dream, He looks for you to become a willing dreamer who believes. 

Whatever age you are now at. Whatever situation you might be in. Whatever crisis you are going through. Would you begin to dream God's dream again... by faith.

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. 
Hebrews 11:6 

By Albert Kang

Friday, November 12, 2010

Fulfilling God's Will by Being Inactive?

There I was, lying in bed, with a massive nerve attack. My back hurt, legs hurt and my spirit hit bottom. In my cold home in MacDonald, PA, I was immobilized by an inherited genetic disease known as Ankylosing Spondylitis. The pity party had begun as members of my church visited me. Everybody asked me how I felt. I just replied that I was in severe pain. But far worse than the pain was the inability to do the things I normally did. The pain had prevented me from sitting at the computer desk and communicating with the world. It had prevented me from focusing on my sermons and essays. It also stopped me from visiting my flower garden in the front of the house and the vegetable patch in the backyard.

Different members had helped me in cleaning the house and taking care of the basic necessities of life. I was thankful that they had helped me but I would rather do all these myself. Nothing was like being active and mobile. So there I was lying in bed, feeling totally helpless and desperate. In a situation such as that, the only appropriate thing to do was to pray.

I complained silently to God making sure that no church members heard that. In the night when I was alone, I vocalized the complaints loudly. The patience of God was amazing and sometimes... irritating. Throughout the entire praying experience, His presence was in the room but not His voice. I wanted so badly to get a definite answer but none was available vocally. Little did I realize that God could speak in total silence!

I asked for complete healing from that pain and the restoration of my activities. I negotiated that if He had no intention to heal me, then it was better for me to go home to heaven. No response or answer! Just total silence.

In those arduous nights, the suffering of Jesus became very real. When He was betrayed by Judas, He experienced loss of freedom and activities (Mark 14:10). The Greek meaning for the word 'betray' is 'to be handed over'. Jesus was 'handed over' by a traitor. In Romans 8:32, the same Greek word is being used to describe God 'handed over' His Son for us. Jesus had to accept the fact that He would 'be handed over' so as to fulfill the will of God to save mankind. To be passive in the final stage of his mission may be the most difficult part of His works.

For the Creator of the universe to be incarnated and come as a man was already a great sacrifice in itself. And then as the Creator of all powers, He had to become powerless. Nothing was more devastating than being the Creator of all lives, He had to submit Himself to death.

For the early part of his earthly sojourn, Jesus was a student and a passive learner. Then when He reached adulthood and the appointed time, He launched into active ministries. He traveled up and down Israel. He preached and healed. He was active and so many of us can identify with his life of activity.

When He was arrested, all His activities ceased. Things were being done to Him and He could offer no resistance at all. Jesus was arrested. He was being led to be judged by different authorities. He was tortured. He was crucified. He became the object of the will of others. His actual mission was happening while he was rendered inactive.

As a helpless victim on the Cross, Jesus concluded His messianic mission by proclaiming that "it is finished" (John 19:30). The well-known preacher, Leonard Ravenhill, says that these three words were "the greatest words ever uttered by the greatest man that ever lived". The symbolic meaning of all the sacrifices in the Old Testament was being expressed in the ultimate sacrifice of the Savior. "It is finished" is not to be understood that Jesus had done all the things He wanted to do. "It is finished" depicts the truth that Jesus had given up control and ceased to be active so that He could fulfill the purpose of His life on earth. He did not just please God the Father by His activities but also by ceasing His activities.

Paul the Apostle learned similar lesson. He was most fruitful when he was not traveling or preaching. In fact, he was in a Roman prison. It was in such restricted situation that Paul produced a major part of the New Testament that is still blessing the world today.

What did I learn from that terrible bout of pain? I learned that when I was inactive, lying in bed, I could still fulfill the will of God. The willingness to accept my inactive condition and be cheerful about it could only come from a heart burning with passion for God's will to be done. Passion for God took a different meaning since that time. Passion is no longer what I can do for God but what He can do through my life.

God has His reason when He put His servants on pause. If you are going through a 'pause' moment in your life, look up and trust Him. God knows best and He is never wrong.
What happens to my infirmed condition? I did recover from the nerve attack. It was five years after that massive nerve attack I was miraculously healed by the Lord. Today, I am no longer in pain and that is another story.

by Albert Kang