h3.post-title {font-family: 'Cedarville Cursive';}

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Jesus, YOU'RE the Reason

I have never walked on water, felt the waves beneath my feet
But at Your Word, Lord, I receive Your faith to walk on oceans deep

And I remember how You found me in the very same place
All my failings, sure they would have drowned me
Still You made a way

You are my Freedom,
Jesus You're the reason I'm kneeling again at Your throne
Where would I be without You here in my life?
Here in my life

You have said that all the heavens
Sing for joy at one who finds the way to freedom,
Truth of Jesus
Brought from death into His life

And I remember how You saw me
Through the eyes of Your grace
And though the cost was Your beloved for me
Still You made a way

You are my Freedom,
Jesus You're the reason I'm kneeling again at Your throne
Where would I be without You here in my life?
Here in my life

My Jesus, how I love You.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Its just CRAZY, I tell ya!

You said, "Ask and you will receive, whatever you need"
You said, "Pray and I'll hear from heaven, and I'll heal your land"

You said, "Ask and I'll give the nations to you"
O Lord, that's the cry of my heart!
Distant shores and the islands will see
Your light, as it rises on us

You said Your glory will fill the earth
Like water the sea
You said,
"Lift up your eyes
The harvest is here,
the kingdom is near!"

O Lord, I ask for the nations


[The jokers who went for camp - I love you all :)]

Post camp :
I am still in shock. In wide awed, dropped jaw wonder at how God moved SO unexpectedly at camp. And I know that this is only the beginning; that there are many, much greater things to come.

Let us not forget. Let us remember what happened that day. And lets not miss out! On the great sweeping revival that's going to come upon this land, upon our generation.

Friday, December 26, 2008

El for "God", not Spanish "the"

Reporting live from the depths of El Sanctuary, Alor Gajah:

The group arrived this evening at about 5 (while this writer was enjoying nyonya cendol in Jonker's :P). "We were all a bit cheesed off because the journey took almost 4 hours! Or at least it felt like it. Heh" , said Jack in his taekwondo uniform, during an interview. "But it was cool because the place (El Sanctuary) as a whole made up for it".

Everyone lazed around for awhile till the bell rang for dinner. Dinner was conducted Personage 2 style and the food was absolutely delish! Hats off to Chef Sherson and mom. :)

We're underground now, in a stone hall tucked away beneath the dining area. It's a great place to hide if there's ever a war.

Exciting days ahead!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

JOY to the world!

The LORD has come!

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem village, Judah territory— this was during Herod's kingship—a band of scholars arrived in Jerusalem from the East. They asked around, "Where can we find and pay homage to the newborn King of the Jews? We observed a star in the eastern sky that signaled his birth. We're on pilgrimage to worship him."

When word of their inquiry got to Herod, he was terrified—and not Herod alone, but most of Jerusalem as well. Herod lost no time. He gathered all the high priests and religion scholars in the city together and asked, "Where is the Messiah supposed to be born?" They told him, "Bethlehem, Judah territory.
The prophet Micah wrote it plainly:

It's you, Bethlehem, in Judah's land,
no longer bringing up the rear.
From you will come the leader
who will shepherd-rule my people, my Israel."

Herod then arranged a secret meeting with the scholars from the East. Pretending to be as devout as they were, he got them to tell him exactly when the birth-announcement star appeared. Then he told them the prophecy about Bethlehem, and said, "Go find this child. Leave no stone unturned. As soon as you find him, send word and I'll join you at once in your worship." Instructed by the king, they set off. Then the star appeared again, the same star they had seen in the eastern skies. It led them on until it hovered over the place of the child. They could hardly contain themselves: They were in the right place! They had arrived at the right time

They entered the house and saw the child in the arms of Mary, his mother. Overcome, they kneeled and worshiped him. Then they opened their luggage and presented gifts: gold, frankincense, myrrh.

There were sheepherders camping in the neighborhood. They had set night watches over their sheep. Suddenly, God's angel stood among them and God's glory blazed around them. They were terrified. The angel said, "Don't be afraid. I'm here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David's town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. This is what you're to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger."

At once the angel was joined by a huge angelic choir singing God's praises:

Glory to God in the heavenly heights,
Peace to all men and women on earth who please him.

As the angel choir withdrew into heaven, the sheepherders talked it over. "Let's get over to Bethlehem as fast as we can and see for ourselves what God has revealed to us." They left, running, and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. Seeing was believing. They told everyone they met what the angels had said about this child. All who heard the sheepherders were impressed.

For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Mighty God
Everlasting Father
Prince of Peace.

Saviour. He is Christ, the LORD.

Let heaven and nature sing!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Lookie here!

MALACCA: The inauguration of the Baba and Nyonya International Con­ven­tion here recently was a huge success with more than 500 delegates from Malaysia and countries around the region.

Being the birthplace of the unique Baba Nyonya community, it was apt that the three-day convention took place in Malacca.

The event at the Hotel Equatorial turned out to be a lively cultural showcase with women delegates dressed elegantly in their colourful traditional Nyonya Kebaya and batik sarongs.

Several booths were also set up at the lobby showcasing various traditional items, jewellery and clothing of the Baba Nyonya people.

Beauties in a row: The contestants of the 2008 Miss Nyonya Kebaya International Pageant.

From the fine pieces of Nyonya Kebaya and batik, traditional kuih such as love letters (kuih kapit) and rempeyek, intricate antique ornaments and jewellery such as hairpins (cucuk sanggul), brooches (kerongsang), silver belts, necklace, earrings, bangles and buckles, to the much-adored handmade beaded-shoes were on display.

The sounds of the Keroncong, Dondang Sayang and Joget including evergreen oldies playing overhead were also heard, with many of the delegates joining in to sing and dance whenever the music was played.

For the senior delegates, the convention was a walk down memory lane that brought back fond memories of yesteryears and a chance to meet up with long time friends.

Organising host Malacca Straits-born Association president Datuk Phua Jin Hock said response to the event was overwhelming as some of the delegates had travelled from as far as Penang, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and Australia to attend the convention.

A little game: Babas and nyonyas having a great time performing on the stage.

He said that similar gathering had been organised before but this was the first time that organisers had named it to better represent the Baba Nyonya community.

“We used to call it the The Baba Convention but decided to change it to the current Baba Nyonya Convention this year,” he said adding that it was only fair for women to be given due recognition for their role in the community.

“They (the women) have contributed significantly to the cultural enrichment of the community and its about time we acknowledged their role,” he said.

Phua also said the convention served as a timely reminder to promote awareness, understanding and a sense of pride of the Baba Nyonya culture, especially among the younger generation.

Pretty ladies: (From left) second runner up, Karen Chong Chooi Yin, champion Molek Lee Saw Im, first runner up, Sheryl Ong Mui Ai posing for the camera after receiving their prizes.

“The development of our community has come a long way and the challenges we face today are no more daunting than those faced by our forefathers.

“So it is important that we treasure and reinforce the close links between the existing Babas and Nyonyas in this region,” he said.

The Peranakan or Straits-born Chinese are Chinese migrants who intermarried with the locals and settled here, with some tracing their ancestry back to Malacca during the 15th century Sultanate Empire.

Their clothing and food exhibit strong Malay influence while retaining much of their Chinese heritage especially in religion, name and ethnic identity.

Phua said several discussions and talks were held at the convention covering topics such as heritage preservation, educating the younger generation on the importance of their cultural roots and building stronger links with the various Baba-Nyonya communities in the region.

One of the highlights was the Nyonya Kebaya Queen Contest, which saw 19 finalists strutting the catwalk in their best traditional Nyonya Kebayas.

Unique: Some significant Baba Nyonya antiques and curios were part of the attractions during the exhibition

It was a certainly a pleasant surprise for the boisterous crowd and finalist when septuagenarian Molek Lee Saw Im was crowned the winner.

The 73-year-old walked away with RM3,000 worth of prizes, beating other 18 much younger contestants with her grace and poise on stage.

“I am very flattered and excited at the same time as I am already 73-years old and never thought I had any chance at winning.

“The other contestants were much younger and sexier,” quipped the jovial Lee who hails from Penang.

Sheryl Ong Mui Ai, 29, was the first runner-up while 35-year-old Karen Chong Chooi Yin emerged as the second runner-up.

They walked away with RM2,000 and RM1,000 worth of prizes respectively

Preserving Centuries Old Legacy
by Allison Lai and Jason Lioh

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Some words and smells.

mustard and onions
I don't like chilli sauce.
meep! meep!
have sharp teeth
Ding, ding go the chimes!
Ding, ding go the chimes!
Star-shaped jelly
Batman fatman

Friday, December 12, 2008

For revival, for Salvation!

Bersyukur selalu bagi kasihMu di dalam hidupku
Takkan ku ragu atas rencanaMu tuk masa depanku
Sebagai Bapa yang baik, takkan pernah Kau melupakanku
Sebagai Bapa yang sangat baik, takkan pernah Kau meninggalku

Ku 'kan menari dan bersuka karnaMu, Oh Yesusku
Dan ku 'kan minum airMu
Bagai rusa rindu selalu
Ku 'kan hidup dalamMu dan hidupMu di dalamku
Oh Yesusku, Kau sangat ku cinta.

The world and all it contains was created for one purpose: to showcase the grandeur of God's Son. In Jesus, the nature of God is magnificently and perfectly revealed; He is the "expressed image" of God (Hebrews 1:3). Yet to gaze upon Christ is also to see God's pattern for man. As we seek to be like Him, we discover that our need was created for His sufficiency. We also see that, once the redemptive nature of Christ begins to triumph in our lives, mercy begins to triumph in the world around us.
How will we recognize revival when it comes? Behold, here is the awakening we seek: men and women, young and old, all conformed to Jesus.
When will revival begin? It starts the moment we say yes to becoming like Him; it spreads to others as Christ is revealed through us.
Yet to embrace Christ's attitude toward mercy is but a first step in our spiritual growth. The process of being truly conformed to Christ compels us into deeper degrees of transformation. Indeed, just as Jesus learned obedience through the things that He suffered (see Hebrews 5:8), so also must we. And it is here, even while we stand in intercession or service to God, that Christ gives us the gift of woundedness.
"Gift?" you ask. Yes, to be wounded in the service of mercy and, instead of closing our hearts, allow woundedness to crown love, is to release God's power in redemption. The steadfast prayer of the wounded intercessor holds great sway upon the heart of God.
We cannot become Christlike without being wounded. You see, even after we come to Christ, we carry encoded within us preset limits concerning how far we will go for love, and how much we are willing to suffer for redemption. When God allows us to be wounded, He exposes those human boundaries and reveals what we lack of His nature.
The path narrows as we seek true transformation. Indeed, many Christians fall short of Christ's stature because they have been hurt and offended by people. They leave churches discouraged, vowing never again to serve or lead or contribute because, when they offered themselves, their gift was marred by unloving people. To be struck or rejected in the administration of our service can become a great offense to us, especially as we are waiting for, and even expecting, a reward for our good efforts.
Yet wounding is inevitable if we are following Christ. Jesus was both "marred" (Isaiah 52:14) and "wounded" (Zechariah 13:6), and if we are sincere in our pursuit of His nature, we will suffer as well. How else will love be perfected?
Yet, let us beware. We will either become Christlike and forgive the offenders or we will enter a spiritual time warp where we abide continually in the memory of our wounding. Like a systemic disease, the hurtful memories infect every aspect of our existence. In truth, apart from God, the wounding that life inflicts is incurable. God has decreed that only Christ in us can survive.

The Wounds of a Prayer Warrior
Intercessors live on the frontier of change. We are positioned to stand between the needs of man and the provision of God. Because we are the agents of redemption, satan will always seek the means to offend, discourage, silence, or otherwise steal the strength of our prayers. The wounding we receive must be interpreted in light of God's promise to reverse the effects of evil and make injustice work for our good (see Romans 8:28). Since spiritual assaults are inevitable, we must discover how God uses our wounds as the means to greater power. This was exactly how Christ brought redemption to the world.
Jesus knew that maintaining love and forgiveness in the midst of suffering was the key that unlocked the power of redemption.

Isaiah 53:11 tells us, "By His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, as He will bear their iniquities."

Jesus possessed revelation knowledge into the mystery of God. He knew that the secret to unleashing world-transforming power was found at the Cross, in suffering. At the Cross, payment for sin was made. As Christ forgave His enemies, Heaven's power rent the temple veil in two. Christ's stripes purchased our healing. I am not just talking about suffering, but the suffering of love.
The terrible offense of the Cross became the place of redemption for the world. Yet, remember, Jesus calls us to a Cross as well (see Matthew 16:24). Wounding is simply an altar upon which our sacrifice to God is prepared.
Listen again to Isaiah's prophetic description of Jesus' life. His words at first seem startling, but as we read, we discover a most profound truth concerning the power of woundedness. He wrote, "But the Lord was pleased to crush Him, putting Him to grief; if He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, and the good pleasure of the Lord will prosper in His hand" (Isaiah 53:10).
How did the power of God's pleasure prosper in Christ's hand? During His times of crushing, woundedness and devastation, instead of retaliating, Jesus rendered Himself "as a guilt offering."
The crushing is not a disaster; it is an opportunity. You see, our purposeful love may or may not touch the sinner's heart, but it always touches the heart of God. We are crushed by people, but we need to allow the crushing to ascend as an offering to God. The greatest benefit of all is the effect our mercy has on the Father. If we truly want to be instruments of God's good pleasure, then it is redemption, not wrath, that must prosper in our hands. If we are Christ-followers, we must offer ourselves as an offering for the guilt of others.

Conformed to the Lamb
When Christ encounters conflict, though He is the Lion of Judah, He comes as the Lamb of God. Even when He is outwardly stern, His heart is always mindful that He is the "guilt offering." Thus, Jesus not only asks the Father to forgive those who have wounded Him, but also numbers Himself with the transgressors and intercedes for them (see Isaiah 53:12). He does this because the Father takes "no pleasure in the death of the wicked" (Ezekiel 33:11), and it is the pleasure of God that Jesus seeks.
Is this not the wonder and mystery, yes, and the power, of Christ's Cross? In anguish and sorrow, wounded in heart and soul, still He offered Himself for His executioners' sins. Without visible evidence of success, deemed a sinner and a failure before man, He courageously held true to mercy. In the depth of terrible crushing, He let love attain its most glorious perfection. He uttered the immortal words, "Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing" (Luke 23:34).
Christ could have escaped. He told Peter as the Romans came to arrest Him, "Do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will at once put at My disposal more than twelve legions of angels?" (Matthew 26:53). In less than a heartbeat, the skies would have been flooded with thousands of warring angels. Yes, Jesus could have escaped, but mankind would have perished. Christ chose to go to hell for us rather than return to Heaven without us. Instead of condemning mankind, He rendered "Himself as a guilt offering" (Isaiah 53:10, italics mine). He prayed the mercy prayer, "Father, forgive them" (Luke 23:34).
Jesus said, "He who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also" (John 14:12). We assume He meant that we would work His miracles, but Jesus did not limit His definition of "works" to the miraculous. The works He did - the redemptive life, the mercy cry, the identification with sinners, rendering Himself a guilt offering - all the works He did, we will "do also."
Thus, because He lives within us, we see that Isaiah 53 does not apply exclusively to Jesus; it also becomes the blueprint for Christ in us. Indeed, was this not part of His reward, that He would see His offspring? (see Isaiah 53:10) Beloved, we are the progeny of Christ!
Read these words from Paul's heart:
"Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His Body, which is the Church, in filling up what is lacking in Christ's afflictions" (Colossians 1:24).
What did the apostle mean? Did not Christ fully pay mankind's debts once and for all? Did Paul imply that we now take Jesus' place? No, we will never take Jesus' place. It means that Jesus has come to take our place. The Son of God manifests all the aspects of His redemptive, sacrificial life through us. Indeed, "as He is, so also are we in this world" (1 John 4:17).
Paul not only identified with Christ in his personal salvation, but he was also consumed with Christ's purpose. He wrote, "That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death" (Philippians 3:10).
For those who blame others for the decline of our nation, to be a follower of the Lamb, you must render yourself as an offering for their sin. By your wounds they shall be healed.
What a wondrous reality is the "fellowship of His sufferings." Here, in choosing to yoke our existence with Christ's purpose, we find true friendship with Jesus. This is intimacy with Christ. The sufferings of Christ are not the sorrows typically endured by mankind; they are the afflictions of love. They bring us closer to Jesus. We learn how precious is the gift of woundedness.
Let's pray: Father, I see You have had no other purpose in my life but to manifest through me the nature of Your Son. I receive the gift of woundedness. In response, in surrender to Christ, I render myself an offering for those You've used to crush me. May the fragrance of my worship remind You of Jesus, and may You forgive, sprinkle and cleanse the world around me.

Francis Frangipane
"The Gift of Woundedness"

"Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship." (Romans 12:1)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Monday, December 1, 2008

The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold. but the LORD tests the heart. - Proverbs 17:3