Monday, September 29, 2014

By His healing hand

Thank you so much for those who have prayed for me when I was down with dengue last July.  Yes, I was bitten by the small, yet deadly Aedes mosquito while on an exploratory trip to Sanggau in west Kalimantan.  Some until today still refuse or can't believe that I was infected.  Nevertheless,thank you so much for your care and concern.

As I procrastinate to put this experience down in writing, one of Rev. Poh's sermons gave me an encouragement and reminded to put this into action.  His sermon entitled, Yam Seng to God, text taken from Psalm 116:12-23.  Verse 12 says, what can I offer the Lord for all His goodness to me?  Indeed there are so much that He has done in my life that I could never pay back.  And in the sermon, he said, "Lift up the cup of salvation and call on Jesus name".  Yes!  With a grateful heart, a receptive heart, a praise full heart and a testifying heart, I am putting this small portion of the many great wonders that Jesus has done in my life into a written testimony.

It was Friday evening when the fever started,2 days after our team returned from Sanggau.  We were in New Hope ministry, which is under the umbrella of World Outreach.  It has a similar setting to Mount Hope, only that the children attend schools which are near the town.  It was a blessed trip and amazing to see how our Lord guided the team and worked wonderfully in every moment.  I even saw the junction image that was in my prayer a few months back.    

Thinking that it was a normal fever, I took 2 panadol tablets (pain killer) and went to bed.

I woke up Saturday morning, still with a feverish feeling.  I thank God for His mercy that the supposedly trip to Brunei did not materialize.  I felt feverish the whole day and my wife got a little anxious as Koon and Justin were supposed to fly to Singapore the next day.  They had booked their flight earlier in the month without me because of my supposedly trip to Brunei.  Then Sunday morning came, and I was still having the fever but I tried to hide from Koon and Justin how bad it was.  I wanted them to have a good holiday, we prayed and I sent them to the airport safely. 

After church service I went home, spending quiet time in reading the scriptures and praying.  I did not know what was happening to me but sensed that something was not right.  I continued hoping that my fever would go away soon.   For obvious reason, it did not but it got worse in the evening.  So I took a stronger pain killer and yet the fever came in at a closer interval after each dose.  There was a tremendous discomfort behind my eye balls.  I kept praying, drank lots of water and slept a lot.

Then it suddenly hit me to switch on my computer to Google for symptoms of dengue.  I do not know why but that was the first prompting that I received.  And most of the descriptions on the list matched my conditions.  The scary news is that, there is no medication for cure!  I finally gave in and messaged my doctor friend and was advised to get myself a check-up and blood test.  Thank God for cell group members who prayed for me and offered to send me as I was getting too weak to drive.

Even before the blood test, I had a strong feeling in my heart that it was probably dengue.  I spent a wonderful timeto worship God at home and beautiful intimate time to pray.  God never promised a trial free life on earth and I was prepared with a joyful heart andknew my hope in our Lord Jesus.  During the past evenings, the greatest comfort is that I did not have fear. I also did not feel lonely even though Iwas alone at home. Instead I had great peace even though there was aching in the body.  How amazing!

Wednesday morning, Brother Stephen came to pick me up to go to the policlinic for my checkup.  And a few hours later,the result confirmed that I was dengued!  I was given the option to be hospitalized or stay at home.  Being stubborn, I opted to stay at home,alone!  And I have to go back to have my blood platelets check every day!  I also had to call Koon and Justin and obviously they insisted to fly back soonest, which was 2 days later as it was school holiday and there were no seat available.

Thank God for His HolySpirit that I can pray.  One of the distinct prayers I remembered was asking for our Lord to reveal the reason for this trial and praise God, that I can see that this trial binds the church together in prayers and develops patience, faith, love and trust in many people, including myself. 

As there was no medication for cure, it was by God’s grace that I recovered.  My body needs to build up its immune system to fight the virus. Death never once occurred in my mind as I knew Jesus have defeated it and He is my healer and savior. And for the next two weeks of recovery, it was a great comfort even in pain.  How odd is that statement but it is what I experienced.

I thank God for preparing me, by equipping me with His word through the disciple class and various bible studies and seminars.  My faith and foundation grew stronger with every trial. What a wonderful journey indeed.  He is changing me every moment. I can confidently know that He is a faithful God, who is always by my side.  He is also my friend and my refuge in time of storms.

As I am writing this, in the background; the lyrics of the song "Help me find it" reminded me of how wonderful our Savior that gave all believers hope and a victorious life.

"I'm giving You fear and You give faith.  I giving you doubt.  You give me
Grace.  For every step I've never been alone.  Even when it hurts,You'll
have Your way.  Even in the valley I will say.  With every breath. 
You've never let me go.  I will wait for You.  You've never failed before. 
I will wait for You"

Emotions and feeling will come and go. And I can never stop emphasizing that it is very important for every believer to be grounded in the Word of God.  Grass will wither, flowers will fade and the Word will last forever.  I can't stop praising God for putting His Word into my heart so that I can stand firm especially in some of my darkest moments.

Trust in the Lord with your whole heart and lean not on your own understanding.  In all ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.  (Prov 3:5-6)

Thank God that Christ in my life and that He will never leave; nor will forsake me (Hebrew 13:5b)

My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever (Psalm73:26)

May this be an encouragement to many. Trust in our Lord and step out in faith daily and we will experience him and grows in our confidence.  For, He is my faithful God and I will hold on to his promises until I see Him again.  May we all find the purposeful life that God has intended. Let us all pray unceasingly, equipped our self with His Word and never forsake gathering together (cell group is a great place to start!).  All glory to our Lord Jesus.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

What is God's plan?

Many Christians get really (really!) upset when I asked, what is God's plan for them.  

Usually I get funny look or get backlash because they direct their frustration of not knowing and shifting the blame to me.  But I am glad that the question challenges their thoughts but it made me ponder on why do they get so agitated?  

Could it be because they are ashamed because they do not know God's plan for them? Or they do not know God that well? Or they do not know Him at all?  Maybe that sounded a bit harsh, but that's the reality.  There is a huge difference between knowing about God and knowing God.  Most people these days in urban area know about Jesus but they never truly seek and establish a relationship with Him.  God is usually a one sided affair; God please bless me because I need this and that and those too.  Often we become like a spoilt brat children that keep demanding things from their father. We worship for the wrong reasons.  

Could it be because they do not want to stir the hornet's nest!  As long I have good health, having fun with my friends, stable job or prosperous thriving business with great income to pay for my house and for those with children, good education.  I don't do harm to other people, so I am fine.  I only live once and I want to do my own thing and I want to travel and see the world before I die. I am thankful.  Sometimes I pay my dues at church and occasionally do some sort of charity work.  I am good! - Does that sound familiar to you?  Do you have any idols in your life?  Be it your career, your family, your ministry, your business, your possession?  Transformation or revival usually hurt and make us uncomfortable. We want to remain carnally and we want to live in a box of our own.  Some even live selfishly in a building that they call church.  

Could it be because of complacency?  As the time draw closer, many churchgoers are satisfied with their attendance on Sundays and sometimes at prayer meets.  A few occasionally involve themselves in some sort of ministry work when they have the free time.  That's a great start and I am encouraged to see the involvement of more people but God is the one that truly know the desire of our heart.  Are we doing it out of God's Love or we just want to occupy our time or certain motives?  Usually others, are plagued with the thinking of there is always another day; I am not good at it or wait until I retire.  Worship is a lifestyle; age and ability is not a limit because it involves our whole life and our life is at God's mercy every moment.  

Our Lord doesn't hide things from us, but we are often not prepared to receive them and until we are in the right condition in our spiritual life.  Jesus said, (John 16:12) "I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now".  When we believe and receive the power of the risen Lord.   His Word will become understandable.  God cannot reveal anything to us if we don't have His Spirit.  And without repentance, our own understanding and worldly opinion will effectively prevent God from revealing anything to us.  I was once spiritually blinded and the Bible never made any sense to me until His amazing grace set me free.  

The bible most quoted verse (John 3:16) For "God so love the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life".  Nothing we can do less or do more can change that.  Believe and by God's grace we are save.  However having Faith in Him does not give us a license to continue sinning against our Lord nor does it make us free from prosecutions or problems in this fallen world.  Perseverance by embracing His Love and promises is the only hope we have.  Keep learning just like the disciples and be encouraged to continue to strengthen your faith.  Or pride will take over life!  

God made us to worship Him. He wants us to worship Him in Truth and in Spirit.  I pray that you and I will not have any idols in our life that hinders our relationship with Jesus. He gave us unconditional love that He died and was pierces for our sins and He was raised to give us all hope for those who believe and repent from our unbelief.  Truly, no one can see the Kingdom of God until they are born again.  

If you have never had a relationship with Christ before and regardless of where you are reading this, I invite you to bow your head and quietly whisper the prayer that will change your eternity: "Jesus, I believe in you and I receive you.  Thank you for dying on the cross to pay for all my sins.  As much as I know how, I ask you to come into my life and help me learn to know you, trust you, and love you. Change my life. Amen"  

Go ahead!  If you have sincerely prayed the prayer, Congratulation!  Seek your pastor or closest church to help you grow spiritually.  

So what is God's plan for you life?  As you grow, humbly ask and it shall be given.  He is always with us and never forsakes us.  Jesus my living God speaks all the time, as you ask and learn to listen.   May the will of Jesus, the Lord of your life, be done through you on earth as in Heaven.    

All praise to be the Lord.  God Bless.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Navigating Storms of Life

Life's storms may hit the most unexpected people.

Recently, a Malaysian airline flight MH370 that flew out of Kuala Lumpur bound for Beijing, went missing a few hours after into it's flight.  Many speculations and theories.  The world suddenly become abuzz with overnight aviation specialist and arm chair critics.  Sad but that's the reality of life in this world.

The blame game, conspiracy theory, terrorist attack, suicide, racist remarks, you just name it, you will hear it especially in this age of information technology where internet is the king of evil and good.

Thank God that this incident has brought so many countries with different ideology offering to help. There is still humanity left in this world!  However, progress is slow even with all the latest gizmos and technology, what remain the truth is that the plane is still not found after 5 days.  Prayer goes out to those waiting in pain and agony; not knowing the fate of their love ones.

I can relate to the families, as I went through similar painful waiting during the 1995 Tawau MAS fokker plane crash.  I remembered the night before, I was having a drink with my buddy at holiday inn lounge.  He even invited me to follow him to Tawau the next day but somehow I declined and even offered to drive him to airport the next morning but he politely and considerately said no as the flight was very early.

That was the last time I saw him.  When the news came about that a flight crash the next day, my heart sank when I was told that it was the flight to Tawau and I waited agonizingly for the TV news and hoping that his name would appear on the survivor list.  But it was fated that he perished about the others.  I believed he died trying to save others  before the plane exploded.  That's my friend's compassionate character.  God rest his soul.

Taking a step backward, one can see that it is amazing that the world came to their attention for the 239 that went missing in a plane, yet ignore that everyday 150,000 lives perished without being saved by Jesus.  The urgency of the gospel seems to have being consumed by darkness and worldly matters.  Have mercy upon us Lord.

Have a thought on this;  when was the last time you prayed to God, your creator and this universe?  Have you heard or shared the Good News?  Do not wait until a storm comes crashing in your life before deciding to believe and repent, you might not get the chance.

Life in this fallen world will not be free of trials but we look for to the eternal life promised for those that believe.  For God love the world he sent His only son to die on the Cross for you and me.

May you be bless and acknowledge, Christ is Lord and Savior.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Big plane, big load?

Spotted this huge plane on the tarmac at Kuching International Airport this morning.

When I got closer, the name on the plane drew blank, as I never seen or heard of such airline. Southern Air? When I Google it I found that its a chartered freight cargo plane that operates from the United Stated. Which made me wonder, what in the world is it doing here in Kuching, Sarawak?

According the their official webpage, the plane in the photo that I took above is a Boeing B747-200f; one of the 15 B747 freight fleet planes that this company lease or charter out to carry anything imaginable.

Who in Sarawak would want to chartered this plane and what will it be carrying?