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

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

How Can We Finish Well?

The apostle Paul was obsessed with finishing well. 
 He saw life as a race. When meeting with the Ephesian elders for the last time, he said: "However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace"—Acts 20:24. Paul was so motivated to finish well, that he challenged the Corinthian believers to "run (the race) in such a way as to get the prize...not...running aimlessly"—1 Cor. 9:24-26. 

In that passage he describes his disciplined training. He says He disciplined his body to make it do what it must, not what it wanted to, so that "having preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize"—v. 27. Then he came to the end of the race. What joy filled his heart as he testified at the end of his life: "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith"—2 Tim. 4:7. 

What moved the apostle Paul to press on, to go all the way to the finish line? Whatever it was, 

Recently when I started a study of the book of Daniel, I began in chapter 6, at the end of Daniel's life. I saw how he finished; I saw his resolve, even in the face of a lion's den. Then I asked the question, "What got him to the place of uncompromising faith?" 

With that question in mind, I began at the beginning of the book where I saw the initial commitments of Daniel and his three buddies, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. It was because they started right and maintained that initial commitment, that they ended well. 

From the example of Daniel, the call is to determine how each of us wants to end up. We can then back up from that point and determine what we need to do, what character we need to develop, what prayers we need to pray, what disciplines we need to establish in order to finish well. 

That remains a challenge, no matter how old or young we may be. 

What about George Mueller? What enabled him to finish well? After establishing an orphanage for 2,050 children, he continued to raise all the support for the orphanages, even while traveling 200,000 miles. The day before he died at age 93, he was still handling orphanage correspondence and protesting that he felt fine. 

What about Oswald Chambers? Up to the end of his 43 years, he served the Lord in Egypt ministering to British soldiers. Oswald often said, "I don't care what God does, it's what God is that I care about." His journals and sermons even after his death, continue to bless people around the world. My Utmost for His Highest continues to sell well even today. 

What about John Sung, a brilliant Chinese student with a Ph.D. in Chemistry? After several years at Union Theological Seminary where his faith was tested, and six months of forced confinement in psychiatric wards, he was released to return to China for 15 years, a highly effective but exhaustive ministry. Thousands were converted, and revival broke out wherever he spoke. 

All of these people provide a call to end well. What is it that enabled these people to finish their courses, in spite of their lack of perfection? Observe:

The characteristics of those who finish well

Heb. 12:1-3—"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2] Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3] Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."
From this passage and the words of authors like Paul Stanley and Robert Clinton, I have observed six characteristics in people who finished well. Here's the list as a preview. We'll view all but the last one. 

They had a network of meaningful relationships with peers and those they discipled, as well as several important mentors during their lifetime—Heb. 12:1a.  

They all had a weight problem and were clumsy, but they were constantly working at it—Heb. 12:1b. Stated another way: They all needed to be honest and confessional about their weaknesses and sins.  

They persevered in difficult times and were disciplined in important areas of their lives—Heb. 12:1c.

They had perspective that enabled them to focus—Heb. 12:2.

They enjoyed intimacy with Christ and experienced repeated times of inner renewal—Heb. 12:3.

They maintained a positive learning attitude and life-style all their lives, and were committed to the Lord and His Word as the main source of that learning —2 Tim. 3:16; Matt. 11:28.
  • Note: This last characteristic, is seen best in a complete study of the life Daniel. He models for us how to maintain a learning and praying posture our whole life. 
Extract from an article, "Finishing Well" by Rev Robert C. Stone

The Most Human and Most Divine Gesture

The two disciples whom Jesus joined on the road to Emmaus recognised him in the breaking of the bread. What is a more common, ordinary gesture than breaking bread? It may be the most human of all human gestures: a gesture of hospitality, friendship, care, and the desire to be together. 

Taking a loaf of bread, blessing it, breaking it, and giving it to those seated around the table signifies unity, community, and peace. When Jesus does this he does the most ordinary as well as the most extraordinary. It is the most human as well as the most divine gesture.

The great mystery is that this daily and most human gesture is the way we recognise the presence of Christ among us. God becomes most present when we are most human.

Henri Nouwen