Monday, August 24, 2009

Project Report #35 - Close Encounters of The WEIRD Kind

It’s the end of August already, many things has happened throughout the past one month or so. I’ve been extra active in a lot of things lately because God has placed me in a position where I have no choice but to stretch my physical and spiritual capacity. I just came back from a ministry trip in Kota Bahru with Ps Ryan and 4 other Harvest Generation leaders. We really had a great time there ministering in the adult and youth service. We were also fed beyond our capacity with awesome food, I had one of the best durians in the world there as well =))

Church is really growing at a fast rate! It’s so exciting to be able to have a hand in building God a great house! Ps Ryan kicked off the Financial Series in our church last weekend, a sensitive topic most church would not dare to even touch, but the church has really been blessed by the message. It is tough to NOT allow money be the master over our life, since every aspect of our life requires money, but by putting God first in our hearts and through His power, we can be masters of our money. The beautiful thing about being masters of our money is that we can control when and how money can work for us. If money is our master, it will control us. God is not against us having more money, but God is totally against money having us.

I have always been so disturbed in my spirit with people, long time Christians in particular, who always condemn other Christians for being rich and having much wealth. Obviously, these people don’t know the Bible and God very well, as they claim to know.

But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms His covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today.

Deuteronomy 8:18

There are so many accounts of great people in the bible who do marvelous things that change the course of an entire nation, who love God fervently, who one of them is even called the very man after God’s own heart, that were very VERY wealthy not just in their sprit, but in their physical possessions.

You don’t believe me? Do open your Bible and refer to the following references:

  1. Abraham (even when he was still Abram)

· Genesis 12:1-3

The LORD had said to Abram, "Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you.

"I will make you into a great nation
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.

I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you."

· Genesis 13:1-2

So Abram went up from Egypt to the Negev, with his wife and everything he had, and Lot went with him. Abram had become very wealthy in livestock and in silver and gold.

  1. Isaac

· Genesis 26:12-14

Isaac planted crops in that land and the same year reaped a hundredfold, because the LORD blessed him. The man became rich, and his wealth continued to grow until he became very wealthy. He had so many flocks and herds and servants that the Philistines envied him.

  1. Jacob (wealth inherited from Isaac)

· Genesis 37:1

Jacob lived in the land where his father had stayed, the land of Canaan.

  1. Joseph (Pharaoh’s appointed Prime Minister)

· Genesis 41:44

Pharaoh also said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, and without your consent no man may lift His hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.”

  1. Job

· Job 1:1-3

There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil. And seven sons and three daughters were born to him. Also, His possessions were seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen, five hundred female donkeys, and a very large household, so that this man was the greatest of all the people of the East.

  1. King David (his preparations to build God’s temple)

· 1 Chronicles 22:14-16

“Indeed I have taken much trouble to prepare for the house of the LORD one hundred thousand talents of gold and one million talents of silver, and bronze and iron beyond measure, for it is so abundant. I have prepared timber and stone also, and you may add to them. Moreover there are workmen with you in abundance: woodsmen and stonecutters, and all types of skillful men for every kind of work. Of gold and silver and bronze and iron there is no limit. Arise and begin working, and the LORD be with you.”

  1. King Solomon (richest king of ALL human history)

· 1 Kings 10:14-22

The weight of gold that came to Solomon yearly was six hundred and sixty-six talents of gold, besides that from the traveling merchants, from the income of traders, from all the kings of Arabia, and from the governors of the country.

And King Solomon made two hundred large shields of hammered gold; six hundred shekels of gold went into each shield. He also made three hundred shields of hammered gold; three minas of gold went into each shield. The king put them in the House of the Forest of Lebanon.

Moreover the king made a great throne of ivory, and overlaid it with pure gold. The throne had six steps, and the top of the throne was round at the back; there were armrests on either side of the place of the seat, and two lions stood beside the armrests. Twelve lions stood there, one on each side of the six steps; nothing like this had been made for any other kingdom.

All King Solomon’s drinking vessels were gold, and all the vessels of the House of the Forest of Lebanon were pure gold. Not one was silver, for this was accounted as nothing in the days of Solomon. For the king had merchant ships[b] at sea with the fleet of Hiram. Once every three years the merchant ships came bringing gold, silver, ivory, apes, and monkeys.

  1. Paul (a tentmaker-biblical time hotelier to wealthy travelers)

· Acts 18:1-3

After this, Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all the Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see them, and because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them.

· Acts 20:33-35

“I have not coveted anyone's silver or gold or clothing. You yourselves know that these hands of mine have supplied my own needs and the needs of my companions. In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the LORD Jesus himself said: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.' “

  1. Jesus (He wore designer clothing of the new testament times, it was so expensive that the soldiers were very careful not to tear it, instead they gambled to see who wins it)

· John 19:23-24

When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took His clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining. This garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom.

"Let's not tear it," they said to one another. "Let's decide by lot who will get it."

God desires to bless us and make us wealthy, otherwise He wouldn’t have given us the power to make wealth. However, the foundation of wealth is generosity. Without a generous heart, the wealth that we gather will never last.

There is one who scatters, yet increases more;
And there is one who withholds more than is right,
But it leads to poverty.
The generous soul will be made rich,
And he who waters will also be watered himself.

Proverbs 11:24-25

I still don’t understand where ‘so-called Christians’ get the idea that becoming a Christian, we must be poor. God NEVER related humility to being poor in the physical. However, Jesus did mention that we have to be poor in our spirit so that we will always depend on him (Matthew 5:3). Being poor in spirit doesn’t mean having nothing in our spirit. When we talk about being poor, it’s always related to being hungry, not having enough. It is the same in our spirit, being poor in the spirit means always being hungry and desiring for so much more of what God has for us, totally depending on His wealth. So in other words, we can be rich in the physical, having everything that’s top notch this world has to offer, yet we must continuously be hungry for more of God.

I personally had enough of the nonsense from the older generation of ‘christians’ condemning fellow believers because of their wealth. Being a strong believer doesn’t mean we must live scrapping the bottom of our buckets every month just to feed ourselves. My God is a God of Abundance! If I choose to put Him and His desires first in my life, He will add on to me all the things I need to live abundantly without any worry (Matthew 6:32-34). So personally think that ‘christians’ that have a problem with wealth are plain weird..

God promised us that if we give our offerings and tithes in obedience, He will bless us even beyond our own measure (Malachi 3:10-11). To the measure of our hearts in how we give, God will bless us back with so much more (Luke 6:38). Most of the time, people who have a problem with Christians being wealthy have a problem with giving and tithing in church. These people are so weary of what the church will do with the money that they have missed out on God’s blessing for them if they were to have sown (Ecclesiastes 11:4).

Giving and tithing is a personal thing between a believer and God, we don’t have to worry what happens to the money after we’ve offered it to God because true giving out of a generous heart is to totally release the wealth with trust. Do you think God will keep quite if someone were to steal from the church? I HIGHLY doubt, because God is a just God, even if they escape in this life, they won’t escape eternal judgment. So if Christians working outside church can make wealth through obedience, why can’t full-time workers in church be wealthy too? Does God practice double-standards? Definitely NOT!

How great would our testimony be if the God whom we declare as the creator of the entire universe, the one who supplies all our needs, can’t even provide for our daily needs? How great would our testimony be if full-time pastors can’t even send their children to the best universities? How high would people regard Christianity if full time church workers don’t even have enough to provide for their own families? If we Christians live in poverty, we are actually declaring God a liar and publically saying the Bible is fake! It is written in the Bible that we, as believers of Christ, shall not beg for bread (Psalm 37:24-26). So Christians, be very careful not to reject or condemn God’s financial blessings on other as well as yourself because rejecting or condemning God’s word is an outright blasphemy.

We can glorify God through our wealth. I believe God is raising up a new generation of millionaires and billionaires, who are strong in the Word and totally dependent on the Holy Spirit, to cause a major impact in world economics, moving governments and impacting nations. A new generation that doesn’t gather wealth for his or her own self consumption, but a people who will fund that many ministry and missions works, building many churches across the world, relieving poverty and giving welfare to the needy, all for the expansion of His Kingdom, making His Name great! All this is because we’re are blessed by God to be a blessing to the nations (Genesis 12:1-3).

Hope this little sharing has inspired you to live out your dreams, to make more money for the glory of God. If we choose to build God a great house, to go after what matters to Him first, He will add on much to us. I’m so glad I’m now planted and discipled in Harvest Generation, a church which believes in taking embraces EVERY PROMISE that God has for us as believers of Christ. I want to be very wealthy one day, and I want other people to see my wealth, particularly non-Christians, not to boast of my ability to make wealth, but to boast of God’s favour, goodness, blessing and greatness over my life and the lives of my future children, to be greater blessing to them not just in spiritual and emotional support, but also in physical finances.

Do mark my words, if you think money is a problem or even a curse, Please Bring Your 'Problems' and 'Curses' to me! I will gladly DELIVER you from ALL of it~!! HAHA!

PROJECT REPORT! I’ve just traded in my old car audio amplifiers to a more powerful one as the former was causing my sound system to produce a lot of white noise. I’ve also added 2 new Clarion mid range speakers to the back of my car to create a surround sound feel in my car. Now I’m blasting Eminem songs from it and it sounds fantastic! HAHA! Other than that, I’m currently planning my finances to change my worn-out clutch and clutch pressure plate. Planning to change to a Trinity 6-puck racing clutch couple with Exedy racing pressure plate from to be able to support the torque my engine is currently producing. It’s about time my gearbox is serviced also.

That’s all the time I have for now, thanks for taking time to read this post. Hope you’ve enjoyed reading it as much as I’ve enjoyed sharing it with you. Have a great new week ahead! Take care and God bless!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Project Report #34 - A Simple Plan

Hey people, hope you’ve all had a great week so far. It has been a very eventful week for me, we had Rev Kumar to speak in our church last weekend, it was a very powerful time. He spoke on the 3 Ds of Success – Desire, Discipline & Dedication. To just briefly summarize the entire message, every dream or vision must begin with a desire, in the Bible it says that God will grant to us the desires of hearts, it did not say that God will grant to us our heart’s desires. So in other words, the desires of our hearts are God given. Get it? It was such a fresh revelation to me personally.

Then to carry out that desire, we need to be discipline to maintain the pace to head towards our dream or vision. Discipline will keep us going, but Dedication is what brings us further. Discipline will only bring us to the level expected, but dedication will bring us to supersede the expectation. However, dedication cannot be activated without first having the discipline, and discipline cannot be activate without first having the desire. So cool right?

Other things that happened in past week is that Carol injured her spine to the extent of not being able to walk or sit up straight for short periods of time. It was probably aggravated during the days where she needed to finish her final thesis, the chair she sat on for long hours didn’t give her good back support, which result to her having backaches every other day at the time. It just took one dance practice to trigger a chain effect that caused her back to sprain. Plus she had an accidental slip when she went shopping and fell on the floor, which probably made it worse – this I only got to know last night. The doctor diagnosed her condition as Acute Spinal Sprain. But really praise God that her condition is much better now, at least she can move more now compare to a few days back. Do continue to pray for her that God will bring about complete healing to her spine.

A team of us went up to Ipoh last Saturday to minister in a ministry called Song at YMCA building. We really had a fantastic time there, Calvin spoke a good message on Talents, encouraging the young people there to really put effort in developing and using their talents faithfully for God’s glory. Other than ministry, the food was fantastic too =) We went to the new Foo San dim sum restaurant and had a good feasting session there. Again, we saw Phebe Ting there, haha! Second time we caught her in Ipoh. She was there for makan session after doing a camp in Cameron Highlands. It was really nice to see her again, we are all so proud that she’s still so fervent and faithful in her ministry to God.

Speaking of faithfulness, it is so vital for us to remain faithful in whatever we’re given at this current point of our life. A few weeks back, Ps Victor Wong came to our church and gave a word to people saying that some of us are getting restless with the positions we’re currently in, be it in ministry or in our careers, everything seems like it’s static and going nowhere, but God is asking us to remain faithful in it because He is working something in us even in these mundane times. Stay in the small pot for because God is still grooming and preparing us, when the time comes, God will move us to bigger pot. We just have to remain faithful in our small pots for now, that’s our responsibility, whereas promotion is God’s responsibility.

When I was reading a Daily Devotion posted by Rev Kong Hee about God Uses Faithful People, the story of Gideon really stuck me hard. Upon further studies, I found that many principals that we could learn from Gideon even before he was called by God to do great exploits. A brief explanation on the situation during Gideon’s time, in Judges 6:1-10, because of the disobedience of the people towards God, there was great oppression on Israel. Every time their crops were ready for harvesting, the enemies will swarm them over locusts and take everything away. Nothing was spared, event all their livestock were either taken away of killed. It’s like one of those moments in our lives that we wonder “where is God?”

Then in Judges 6:11, God sent an angel to meet with Gideon while he was threshing wheat in winepress. If this statement doesn’t seem weird to you, let me further explain, pay attention to the words ‘threshing wheat’ and ‘winepress’.

Threshing Wheat – To beat the harvested wheat so that the wheat grain would be separated from its chaff. This is normally done on an spinning horizontal cylinder-like device to collect the wheat grains. Here is a picture, adopted from website, of how wheat threshing activity looks like.
Winepress - A wine press is a device used to extract the juice from crushed grapes during wine making. Here’s how a winepress looks like, image adopted from website.
Just by looking at the images of the how the two activities are done, it’s so obvious that it is not right, unnatural, senseless or even stupid to thresh wheat in a winepress or crush grapes on a wheat threshing device! Yet, Gideon had to do this ‘stupid’ senseless act in order to hide from the enemy so that he and his family could have food to survive. No one would suspect that he’s threshing wheat in the winepress because it doesn’t make sense to do so. During the oppression, Gideon didn’t have the luxury to thresh a whole lot of wheat at one time, he probably had to do it little by little to avoid being detected. He didn’t have to just do it once, he probably had to do it faithfully a few times a day, single every day.

This ‘stupid’ act in our today’s terms, if we refer to what we have today, is like mixing our bread flour in a juicer machine! Isn’t that senseless and downright STUPID?! I found this very amusing when the Holy Spirit revealed it to me, yet it stuck my heart to its very core. Would I be found faithful if I am called to do something diligently without complain, even if it seems stupid and senseless to others around me? Something that others view as valueless and insignificant, would I still be found passionately working at it? You see, Gideon had to do this, not only just for his own survival, but also for his family. This speaks to me personally that I have to be faithful in the mundane, boring tasks given to me not just for my benefit, but the benefit of my family, which is the church!

Many times, big things come crumbling down because small things were not handled or executed well. If your little toe’s bone is broken, did you know that your entire body’s balance while standing up is affected? So we have to be faithful with the little things, even the stupid things that others look down on, in order to keep the church going. Rev Kong Hee said that when the angel of the Lord appeared before Gideon, the angel found him being faithfully threshing wheat in the wine-press. When God appears before us, will He find us being faithful with even the smallest task given to us?

In the bible it says that for those who are faithful with the little, much will be given (Matthew 25:21) God found Gideon faithful, that's was why He could trust him with the great things that was about to happen. Gideon rose up to be a great man in battle, he defeated the enemies that were oppressing the people of Israel (Judges 7:22-25). He was used by God to deliver and bring salvation to an entire nation, such was the great exploit that God has enabled Gideon to do. When we’re faithful with the little, God can even trust us with the revival of our nation! Imagine that!

So in conclusion, I have to speak even to myself, that we have to remain faithful in our current positions even though it may be small and insignificant, be it in church, in our companies, or even in our families and among our friends. What we do and who we are now may seem insignificant to many, but if we’re found faithful in God’s eyes, He can use us in things far greater than what we can even imagine. There are days where I feel like what I’m doing is not much appreciated and sometimes even unnoticed. But I have to constantly remind myself that above everything, I am ultimately serving God in all I do and I know He notices me. Did you think that Gideon had in mind that he was gonna be used by God, to deliver an entire nation from the oppression of one of the greatest armies of the world, while he was threshing wheat in the winepress? I highly doubt so, he just faithfully did what he needed to do, even when no one else notices.

Hope you guys are blessed by this short sharing. This is something I hope that will open up your hearts and challenge you to be faithful at a greater level as it did to me. This short passage of scripture in Judges 6 has really spurred me on to serve in my church, company and family more diligently.

PROJECT REPORT~! Nothing much has happened to my car lately. I drove if up to Ipoh last week and noticed a lot of heads turning. They probably wondering why they haven’t seen this car around although it is a Perak number plate, or maybe they’re just thinking who is this Ah-Beng driving this Ah-Beng car? HAHA! Anyway, when I got home from Ipoh, I found that my break fluids are leaking a bit from one of the brake caliper pistons. Will have to send it in for repairs hopefully this weekend. I did however made a new personal top speed with my car on the way back from Ipoh. How fast? Hmmm… I won’t announce it on the this blog ;P But just for the record, there were no other cars on the highway that time and I was actually just following behind a BMW 5 Series when I realized how fast I was going, haha!

That’s about it from me today, hope you’ve enjoyed reading this post as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it. Do pop by Harvest Generation Church tonight, we’ll be having Ps Frankie Khoo, a powerful prophet of God, to speak in our special service. We’re really expecting a wonderful time tonight. Take care people! God Bless!