Relying Fully on His Grace

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (NIV)

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Is it All Worth it?

Planetshakers Youth Pastor, Michael GuglielmucciThe recent news about Planetshakers’ Youth Pastor (right), Michael Guglielmucci’s confession of his fraud and addiction to porn has brought many Christians into a shroud of disappointment and delusion.

From what I have observed more and more each day, I think this world is getting darker and darker with every passing year. It seems that we, as people are just getting more and more “sick” and evil in this present age.

My inner dialogue

Like many others, I can’t help but question myself if my all-out pursuit towards godliness is worth it.

Would it really make a difference or matter?

Why am I tiring myself for?

What good will it contribute to our world?

But God is always quick to draw me back to Him…

Honoring Him

Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Matthew 5:48

Albeit being surrounded by darkness, I know I will still choose to honor the Lord with all that I am as compelled by His grace. Even if setting a high godly standard is tiresome, I do know that it is worth it cos He’s worth it. I love Jesus.

And personally, I believe my obedience to stand tall on His godly standards do matter. But even if it doesn’t make much of a contribution as I hope it would, at least the next generation (my future children) will.

Charging onwards

As a saying goes, “The higher you are, the harder you fall.” When we are higher, we are also an easy target for the enemy.

Therefore, it is critical that certain “check and balances” have to be learnt and to be in its proper place from the beginning to prevent any slip-ups that may proof costly like what Michael Guglielmucci has experienced.

In all honesty, I have no reservations to say that living a godly life is an insurmountable task to achieve in a lifetime. But I’m confident that God WILL provide the sustenance for us in living a godly life in order that we can be His “lighthouse” in this world.

No matter what goes on, we need to continue charging onwards.

Some Fun Facts about The Bible

Here are some fun facts about the Bible:

Last word in the Bible                 :   Amen (Rev. 22:21)

Longest word (and name)            :   Mahershalalhashbaz (Isaiah 8:1)

Shortest verse                            :   John 11:35 (2 words: “Jesus wept”)

Longest verse                             :  Esther 8:9

Shortest book                             :  3 John

Longest book                              :  Psalms (150 chapters)

Middle books                              :   Micah and Nahum

Middle chapter                            :   Psalm 118

Middle verse                               :   Psalm 118:8

Chapters                                     :   1,189

Longest chapter                          :   Psalm 119 (176 verses)

Shortest chapter                          :   Psalm 117

No. of times “God” appears         :   3,358 (Appearing in all books except in Esther and Song of  Solomon)

No. of times “Lord” appears        :   7,736

Extraordinary Facts about The Bible

Besides being rooted in and intertwined with actual human history, the Bible makes some very exclusive claims as being “the Word of God.”

Divine revelation

No other book has been able to specifically fulfilled prophecies as the Bible has. We have today manuscripts dating well before the time of Jesus, containing Biblical prophecies which directly points to Him. Some of the strongest are found in Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53.

The re-creation of the state of Israel in 1948 is another fulfillment of both Old and New Testament prophecy. Present world conditions were prophesied by Jesus almost 2000 years ago in Matthew 24. No other religious or occultic book comes even close to the Bible when it comes to predicting the future.

God-inspired and authored

The incredible unity and consistency of doctrine right across the 66 books of the Bible, despite widely different authors in different periods of time, points to the common source of inspiration- God.

Consider the following facts:

  • It was written over a 1500-year span
  • It was written by over 40 different authors who lived in different time periods and were from every walk of life. For instance, David and Solomon were kings, Peter and John were fisherman, Moses and Amos were shepherds, Luke was a physician, Paul was an ex-pharisee and a theologian, Matthew was a tax-collector, Daniel was a statesman, Joshua was a general, etc…
  • It was written from different places
  • It was written in three different languages (Hebrew, Aramaic, and Koine Greek)
  • It speaks of literally hundreds of controversial topics

Most importantly, the Bible does works! Many around the world today (including myself) can testify that the Word of God has changed their lives when believed and applied.

The Great Illusion

15 August 2008
International Herald Tribute

By Paul Krugman

Some analysts tell us not to worry: Global economic integration itself protects us against war, they argue, because successful trading economies won’t risk their prosperity by engaging in military adventurism. But this, too, raises unpleasant historical memories.

Shortly before World War I another British author, Norman Angell, published a famous book titled “The Great Illusion,” in which he argued that war had become obsolete, that in the modern industrial era even military victors lose far more than they gain. He was right – but wars kept happening anyway.

So are the foundations of the second global economy any more solid than those of the first? In some ways, yes. For example, war among the nations of Western Europe really does seem inconceivable now, not so much because of economic ties as because of shared democratic values.

Much of the world, however, including nations that play a key role in the global economy, doesn’t share those values. Most of us have proceeded on the belief that, at least as far as economics goes, this doesn’t matter – that we can count on world trade continuing to flow freely simply because it’s so profitable. But that’s not a safe assumption.

Angell was right to describe the belief that conquest pays as a great illusion. But the belief that economic rationality always prevents war is an equally great illusion. And today’s high degree of global economic interdependence, which can be sustained only if all major governments act sensibly, is more fragile than we imagine

Read the full article here>>>

Right versus Wrong

I believe you would agree with me that the general rule which people will use in discerning the practice of right conduct is that first of all, they should not feel shame from the judgment of their family and friends when thinking or doing something right.

Next, the feeling of shame at the scorn of acquaintances and strangers would be the next level of measurement between right and wrong.

Generally speaking, all of us eschew the wrong and do what is right in this manner from adolescents to adults; from our family’s influence to society’s cultural norms. This will then naturally become a habit, and in time we shall acquire the disposition to prefer the right and dislike the wrong.

Question of subjectivity

As people who are naturally communal in nature, the reason that why we want to do what is right is more to gain acceptance or to avoid displeasing others. Though this is not entirely unhealthy or wrong in itself, but the question that demands to be answered is what is the true definition of good and wrong? And is there one global standard to follow?

For instance, in some countries it is an offence for a couple to hold hands or to display public affection. Such couples that are caught or usually shamed and slapped with a fine like this case that was committed by two students in Malaysia.

Not sure which part of the world you are in as you read this, but I can safely assumed that holding of hands between couples are perfectly normal in most countries. I think in some society norms, couples might even be looked upon as being weird if they are not holding hands or being affectionate to another assuming that they are of opposite genders of cos! Ha ha…

What if a child is raised in a family where the parents are chain smokers? I think the likelihood for this child to grow up thinking smoking is alright in spite of its ill-affects would be higher than a child that grows up in a non-smoking family.

When a person from a non-smoking family thinks of lighting his/her first cigarette, the first natural thought would be how it will affect his/her parents; the unwanted shame would be a resistance against smoking.

Objectivity with the truth

In truth, our world be a less chaotic and peaceful one without political and economical wars if there was one standard or authority on what is right and wrong that nations submitted to. As one man would always see himself greater and better than his counterpart, there will be no end of petty squabbling and politicking.

In my personal opinion, God is above all and is the highest authority. His word is what clearly defines right and wrong. It is eternal and powerful, and has proven itself true all these years in spite endless attacks to discredit what it claims to be as the Word of God.

The Word of God is not just for Christians, but for all mankind. Everything in it, provides the framework for us to discern the right from the wrong, and to practice what is right towards improving our quality of life.

More importantly, His Word points to our need for a God in our lives and His grace that we need to live by in order to live a righteous life.

You stumble day and night,
and the prophets stumble with you.
….
….. my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.

Hosea 4:5-6

So the answer to the question of what or how do we accurately distinguish the right from the wrong: The Word of God.

Without the knowledge His Word or the lack of it, would have an adverse affect on our lives as we would be plagued with inconsistencies and confusion; and to the extend of affecting those around us.

My Read of the Month:

Title: The Code of the Executive: Forty-Seven Ancient Samurai Principles Essential for Twenty-First Century Leadership Success
Author: Don Schminke
Published: 2000
Genre: Leadership & Management- Personal Development
Ratings: 2.0 out of 5 stars

The author, management advisor Don Schmincke presents principles and a set of moral code developed by samurai warriors in ninth-century Japan, but updating them as The Code of the Executive which he points out parallels between past and present and suggests this connection in our modern corporate world.

He divides fundamentals into categories such as “Personal Principles,” “Roles and Responsibilities, and “Education and Development,” and he shows how ancient wisdom on cooperation, integrity, accountability, sacrifice, power, and so on can apply to contemporary situations. It was a reasonably insightful.

The shortcoming of this book was though a short and useful read, it was actually a struggle to finish as it was written in a not-so-palatable manner; attempting to mimick the tradional japanese way of communicating which fell flat.

Who should read it: Working professionals who are keen to improve their standing in their workplace.