Monday, June 18, 2012

Reaping a Multiple Reward

For every disciplined effort, there are multiple rewards. That's one of life's great arrangements. In fact, it's an extension of the Biblical law that says that if you sow well, you will reap well. 

Here's a unique part of the Law of Sowing and Reaping. Not only does it suggest that we'll all reap what we've sown, it also suggests that we'll reap much more. Life is full of laws that both govern and explain behaviors, but this may well be the major law we need to understand: for every disciplined effort, there are multiple rewards.

What a concept! If you render unique service, your reward will be multiplied. If you're fair and honest and patient with others, your reward will be multiplied. If you give more than you expect to receive, your reward is more than you expect. But remember: the key word here, as you might well imagine, is discipline. 

Everything of value requires care, attention and discipline. Our thoughts require discipline. We must consistently determine our inner boundaries and our codes of conduct, or our thoughts will be confused. And if our thoughts are confused, we will become hopelessly lost in the maze of life. Confused thoughts produce confused results. 

Remember the law: "For every disciplined effort, there are multiple rewards." 

Learn the discipline of writing a card or a letter to a friend. Learn the discipline of paying your bills on time, arriving to appointments on time, or using your time more effectively. Learn the discipline of paying attention, or paying your taxes or paying yourself. Learn the discipline of having regular meetings with your associates, or your spouse, or your child, or your parent. Learn the discipline of learning all you can learn, of teaching all you can teach, of reading all you can read. 

For each discipline, multiple rewards. For each book, new knowledge. For each success, new ambition. For each challenge, new understanding. For each failure, new determination. Life is like that. Even the bad experiences of life provide their own special contribution. But a word of caution here for those who neglect the need for care and attention to life's disciplines: everything has its price. Everything affects everything else. Neglect discipline, and there will be a price to pay. All things of value can be taken for granted with the passing of time. 

That's what we call the Law of Familiarity. Without the discipline of paying constant, daily attention, we take things for granted. Be serious. Life's not a practice session.
If you're often inclined to toss your clothes onto the chair rather than hanging them in the closet, be careful. It could suggest a lack of discipline. And remember, a lack of discipline in the small areas of life can cost you heavily in the more important areas of life. You cannot clean up your company until you learn the discipline of cleaning your own garage. You cannot be impatient with your children and be patient with your distributors or your employees. You cannot inspire others to sell more when that goal is inconsistent with your own conduct. You cannot admonish others to read good books when you don't have a library card. 

Think about your life at this moment. What areas need attention right now? Perhaps you've had a disagreement with someone you love or someone who loves you, and your anger won't allow you to speak to that person. Wouldn't this be an ideal time to examine your need for a new discipline? Perhaps you're on the brink of giving up, or starting over, or starting out. And the only missing ingredient to your incredible success story in the future is a new and self-imposed discipline that will make you try harder and work more intensely than you ever thought you could. 

The most valuable form of discipline is the one that you impose upon yourself. Don't wait for things to deteriorate so drastically that someone else must impose discipline in your life. Wouldn't that be tragic? How could you possibly explain the fact that someone else thought more of you than you thought of yourself? That they forced you to get up early and get out into the marketplace when you would have been content to let success go to someone else who cared more about themselves. 

Your life, my life, the life of each one of us is going to serve as either a warning or an example. A warning of the consequences of neglect, self-pity, lack of direction and ambition... or an example of talent put to use, of discipline self-imposed, and of objectives clearly perceived and intensely pursued.

By Jim Rohn

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Lessons of the Wounded Knee

There was water in the big black plastic tray under the dog cage. I had washed it the previous night and the water had gathered there. Early morning, I decided to clear the tray. As I carried the heavy tray to the drain, the right side of my Croc sandals got stuck to the rugged floor of the front porch. So it became a 'stumbling block' and I tripped over it. I fell head-on and landed with my head hitting the plastic tray. That somehow cushioned my head from being badly hurt. My two hands were also protected by the tray and so did not get bruised. But the two knees took the rest of the body weight. A jarring pain shot through the left knee, overriding the milder pain on the right knee and my forehead.

A delivery man at the neighbor's house shouted his concern. I got up, very dazed but could stand in spite of the pain. I waved at the concerned delivery man who was already observing me from the front of my gates. My three dogs went berserk and attacked the gates. I was in no mood to call the dogs off. All I wanted to do was to call Grace to help me.

After climbing the impossible staircase, I was safely in bed. Grace was surprised that I fell. She thought that I was joking but she began commanding the pain to go and the injured parts to be healed in the name of Jesus. She is one faithful Elijah Challenger, after having been trained with me by Pastor William Lau. 

After that, she took out her faithful bottle of medicated oil and applied vigorously on the 'blue black' spots. While I was screaming in pain, Grace was laughing. She thought that her husband was such a wonderful actor. All my former jesting and feigning calamities had caused her to think that I was just playing with her. Only when I put on a very serious face and exclaimed that I was not acting but dying of pain, then she finally believed.

For the life of me, I did not realize that knee injury could be so painful. I had not bruised my knees since army days... and that was about forty years ago. I had totally forgotten how such pain felt like. The next pain that I worried was the pain of my wallet. When Grace fell in the toilet, some months ago, and injured her knee, we spent a huge sum for her treatment. And she was no better after that... not until she went to church and was healed by the Lord through the healing commands given by two young believers. In the midst of the pain, I was determined to get well by divine intervention plus whatever intervention my wife lavished at my wounded knee.

While Grace ministered to my injury, I went online with my iPad to ask for prayers and healing commands. In Singlish, (since I am a Singaporean) we say, "Die, die, also must go online!"  Apart from having such attentive wife, I must say that I have many caring Facebook friends and church members. In response to my crisis report, prayers and commands for healing poured in. Grace and I were so touched and moved by their gestures of love.

One FB friend even gave the advice on how to treat swollen knees. He sent the acronym, RICE which stands for "Rest, Ice, Compress and Elevation." After reading this advice, my dear wife sprung into action. The left leg was quickly elevated (with pain and a little bit of complaining) with a host of pillows and the icy compress (made of multiple plastic bags of ice and a towel) was quickly placed on my swollen left knee. 

I couldn't believe it - the icy cold compress did not numb the pain but made it so much worse. It was "killing me softly" just as an old lyric declared. I wanted to take the cold compress off but did not. It wasn't because of my threshold of tolerating pain was high. It was rather the stern look of my wife that made taking the cold compress off undesirable. I was safer enduring the pain than having to face her unhappy stare for the rest of the day.

Thank God that the pain subsequently subsided when I remained still. The swelling went down but my movement still invoked sharp pain. The bladder was not sympathetic and rebelled. It forced me to visit the toilet three times in one hour. So, it was pain, pain and more pain all the way to the toilet. Then pain, pain and more pain back to the bed. The compress was put back again and the whole process was repeated two more times. After that, I had to command all bodily fluid to remain in the body.

After a long rest, the pain is more manageable. I can now hobble around with my old walking stick. The swelling has reduced to a small bump and the pain is only in between the left knee cap and whatever that is inside the knee. The laceration on the right knee was taken care of with antibiotic cream. Now, I can at least sit by the computer and type this blog without feeling much discomfort.

What have I learned from this accident? Well, I thank God for a good spouse and many good friends who care. I also thank God that He had kept me safe during the accident. I could have injured my head or neck because I landed on my forehead first. I learn that every part of the body is so uniquely designed by God that if one small part is hurting, the whole body hurts. 

As a pastor, this reminds of the Church. We should always care for one another. If one of us is hurting, we all should make every effort to care for that hurting individual. Since I did not amputate my left knee just because it hurts badly, so the Church should not quickly 'amputate' any member just because he or she is hurting. We should all seek to heal so that the hurting individual can recover and function normally as God has intended. 

I also learned that even though it was not the knee that tripped over the 'stumbling block' but the foot, the knee took the brunt of the whole fall. In many instances, one family member fails and certain family member or members may take the brunt of the failure. Therefore, we should all be sympathetic and kind. We must never be quick to judge but also be full of the grace of God. When someone is hurting in the Church, we should find out the reason so as to bring healing and cure. It is only through love and care, that the Body of Christ experiences joy and good health.

God bless!

Rev Albert Kang