Monday, January 31, 2005

Aussie $20

Have you seen a 20 dollar notes Aussie? If you have seen this note, you might have note that this man face printed on the note. He is Reverend John Flynn.

John was born on 25 November 1880 in Moliagul, Victoria. In 1907 he studied at the Presbyterian Theological Hall (now known as Presbyterian Theological College) in Melbourne. The director of Home Missions came to know Flynn and noticed that he had distinctive qualities for missionary work. In 1910 he began the Mailbag League, where city folk would write to those in the isolation of the outback. He also published the Bushman s Companion - a small book that brought spiritual help as well as advice like making a will, postal information and first aid information. These books were given free in the outback, and his name became well known. In 1911 he was called as a missioner in the North of South Australia where he worked enthusiastically and began to visit the widely scattered members of his 'parish' in that state To keep in contact with his scattered members he published a quarterly magazine, The Outback Battler, which contained news of the work of the mission.

Towards the end of 1911, he saw the opening of a medical hostel at Oodnadatta. When asked as to why he established patrol and medical facilities throughout the outback, he replied that it was important to bring the Gospel by word and deed to the people of the inland. He would quote the pioneer missionary of Labrador, Dr. William Grenfall, as his example of contextualization of Christian ministry. "When you set out to commend your Gospel to men who do not particularly want it, there is only one way to go about it- to do something for them that they will understand."

Subsequently, he was appointed as Superintendant of the Australian Inland Mission (AIM) that covered the whole nation of Australia. His work expanded to include the Royal Flying Doctor Service in 1928. By using a suitably equipped plane with a flying doctor to provide medical assistance from a strategically placed inland base, he was able to bridge vital medical services of coastal Australia right into the heartland of the nation. With technological advances in radio, he was able to use the air waves to speak to people regarding a wide range of social, spiritual and current affairs matters. By this means, he broke the silence of the outback using the radio waves.

John was a man of great vision. By his words and deeds, he longed to make Aussies understand the Gospel in the way they could. In his vision statement of the AIM, he stated that he did it all 'for Christ and the Continent.' John had a great vision that captured the imagination of Australians. And for such contribution, it was not surprising that his face was included in the honoured list of Australians who had made a significant contribution to the nation. Truly, he was a man sent from God whose name was John Flynn.

Flynn died of cancer in Sydney on 5 May 1951 and his ashes were buried at the foot of Mt Gillen, Alice Springs. In 1956, the John Flynn Memorial Church was opened in Alice Springs as a tribute to a great Australian whose compassion, zeal and vision transformed the lives of the inhabitants of inland Australia.

A life yielded in God controlled by His Spirit.
A restful trust in God for the supply of all needs.
A sympathetic spirit and a willingness to take a lowly place.
Tact in dwelling with men and adaptability toward circumstances.
Zeal in service and steadfastness in discouragement.
Love for communion with God and for the study of His Word.
Some expereince and blessing in the Lord's work at home.
A healthy body and a vigorous mind.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Doa untuk hawariyun : Permintaan

Kemurahan dan kasih dari Bapa, Anak serta persekutuan Roh Kudus bersama-sama dengan anda sekalian.

Penulisan ini meminta doa dari kalian. Hawariyun ini bukanlah saint sangat. Dia pun ada kelemahan serta perkara-perkara yang sedang bergelut dalamnya.

Sebagai saudara-saudari dalam Kristus, rakan-rakan seperjuangan dalam iman dan sejemaat CDPC, saya meminta anda berdoa untuk saya:
  1. Mengasihi Tuhan Allahnya dengan sepenuh hatinya, dengan segenap jiwanya, dengan segala kekuatannya, dan dengan seluruh akalnya.
  2. Mengasihi orang lain dan menerima kekurangan masing-masing
  3. Dapat mengenalpasti dosa-dosa yang saya lakukan baik saya sedar atau sebaliknya agar saya bertaubat dan kembali kepada Tuhan. Saya ingin kekuatan darimu ohhh Roh Kudus. Saya ingin mengamalkan kehidupan yang memuliakan serta mengembirakan Tuhan Allah saya.
  4. Tekun berdoa dan melihat pada Yesus sebagai sumber kekuatannya.
  5. Tekun belajar ilmu ketuhanan serta mempraktiknya dalam hidupnya.
  6. Dapat mencari rakan untuk berdoa bersama di mana dapat meluahkan perkara yang sedang bergelut dalam kehidupannya.
  7. Ingin mengetahui fokus misi serta kerjayanya sekarang.
  8. Keadaan fizikal badan saya. Saya berdosa kerana tidak mengamalkan cara hidup sihat. Ingin servicekan tempat ibadat saya tu. Ini kerana saya mudah letih. Diharapkan agar tahun ini saya dapat mengurangkan beberapa kilogram.
  9. Blog ini. Saya tak tahu ingin meneruskan blog ini atau tidak. Apa yang penting sekarang pelayanan saya kepada Tuhan tidak akan kurang atau berubah. Untuk masa kini saya akan berblog kalau masih mampu

Kasih Kristus bersama dengan anda.

I Remember Rev Stephen Tay

On Thursday, 17th April 2003, Rev Stephen Tay was called to be with Jesus. A pastor who worked hard for the Lord was ushered into the presence of the King of kings and Lord of lords. He has now entered to the everlasting joy and rest with his Lord whom he served and loved.

I knew him when I was studying in Melbourne back in 1997. He, his wife Aunty Ai Ling together with his daughter and his son-in-law Dr Sam Lim was so kind to me while my stay in Melbourne. I was so blessed in knowing them.

For Rev Tay, who loves the old folks, used to go this old folks house and share the love of God to them. He spent some time with them and minister to them. He also minister to students and taught them the word of God since he was a chaplain of Monash University. Many biblical lessons can be learnt from him. He is so in depth with the word of God and loves to teach His word to his congregations not only on Sundays but also on every Wednesday night.

At that time he taught me to love and obey God. Disobedience always incurr God's wrath on us. Like how Moses advise Joshua that he should obey the Lord, he practised this with his congregation and students. He expound the scripture on the book of Daniel as he felt this the characteristics of Daniel should be follow by students. He, i would say a Reformed Calvinist. He admires to write without fail every week for his church bulletin.

A man of prayer who prays unceasingly for his church and his families. He learned to give because He has experienced the love of God and He is reflecting His love. He care for his sheep and pray for them. He can preached 3 different sermons. How can he did it? I believed the Lord has spoken to him many times and he has lots to share them.

Many things I have learnt from him. A man who even preach the word of God during his last moments on this earth. From one of his favorite hymns, "To the work we are servants of God...let us hope, let us pray and labor till the Master comes". This hymn has inspire him to work even to his death.

He will be always remembered as a good father, good pastor, good friend and good mentor.

He always mentioned to his pulpit...if we don't meet here again on this earth we shall meet again in the New Jerusalem. Indeed we will!

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Kasih sesama sendiri

Foto Galeri : Pelayanan untuk orang terbiar

Saya berkesempatan bersama dengan kumpulan sel Sec 12 untuk menerokai misi bagi orang yang terbiar seperti penagih dadah, orang yang tidak berumah, orang tua-tua dan sebagainya yang dipandang rendah oleh masyarakat. Saya bertugas sebagai juru kamera mengulas pengalaman saya.

Misi ini bertujuan untuk membuka mata kami untuk mengenal orang-orang ini serta membantu dalam menyediakan makanan dan minuman kepada mereka.

Misi yang tidak dipunyai oleh mana-mana gereja tetapi adalah sekumpulan gereja yang berperihatin bersama-sama menyahut seruan Yesus untuk mengasihi orang-orang yang sedemikian. Misi ini telah beroperasi selama tujuh tahun untuk membantu mereka baik dari segi makanan, kesihatan serta rohani.

Dilihat banyak orang yang tidak berumah, orang-orang tua, penagih dadah serta komuniti yang dipandang rendah dapat berpeluang mengisi perut mereka. Orang-orang dari misi itu membantu mereka dalam memahami kehidupan mereka itu serta mengadakan sessi kounseling. Diharapkan agar orang-orang ini dapat merasai kasih sayang dari Yesus melalui umatNya.

Pada pandagan saya, umat Kristian secara keseluruhannya hendaklah melibatkan baik dari segi kewangan, masa, serta pelayanan kita. Misi ini memerlukan banya wang. Kalaulah umat Kristian boleh mendermakan wang yang banyak untuk mangsa bencana Tsunami, apakah tidaknya kepada rakyat Malaysia kita sendiri.

Yang terutamanya mereka memerlukan Kristus. Makanan, minuman bukanlah suatu yang boleh memenuhkan jiwa mereka untuk selama-lamanya. Hanya kuasa kebangkitan Kristus yang mampu menyelamatkan orang ini.
Bukan umat Kristian, yang sebelumnya menerima Yesus itu sesat? Kita yang berdosa ini, dikasihani oleh Tuhan. Sekarang kita diterima oleh Tuhan atas kemurahanNya. Kita boleh mencerminkan kermurahan Tuhan kepada golongan yang dipandang rendah ini.

Semoga Umat Kristian akan maju seperti askar Yesus yang menuju ke medan perang (misi).

Friday, January 28, 2005

What then is preaching?

by Andrew Davies
It is more than instruction, though never less.
It is more than a sermon.
It is more than the careful exposition and application of the biblical text.
It is all of that. But it is more, much more.

1. It is a message from God through a man.

If a man does no more than prepare a sermon, explain the meaning, and show the relevance of the text without also bringing a message from God he has not preached. The exposition must become a burden.

2. It is encounter with God through exposition.

Something is meant to happen when the Word is preached. Preaching is an event, an occasion, in which the preacher and the congregation interact with each other so that there is an encounter together with God. It is a glorious thing when the preacher pours out his soul in the proclamation of the truth, and the congregation is gripped and moved and thrilled with him, both caught up and mastered by God’s Word.

3. It is praise through proclamation.

The preacher is a herald proclaiming God’s Word, announcing a great message from the King. He is to declare the greatness of God and the frailty of man. But that is not all. He is also to announce the coming of the King. God comes with the preaching of his Word. So the congregation is lifted up in praise and worship. Preaching like this is worship. It is the reason why the sermon comes at the end of the service as the climax and pinnacle of worship. (See Isaiah 40:1-11)

4. It is inspiration through instruction.

Preaching must be full of biblical content and rich in biblical theology, otherwise no basis exists for an appeal to respond. But at the same time it must inspire the congregation and move them to action. Peter said “I stir you up by putting you in remembrance.” Real preaching stirs the heart and touches the conscience as it penetrates the mind. It ought never to leave us as we were before. Paul prayed for “utterance” to be given him because he did not want simply to preach good sermons. There must be the demonstration of power as well as the power of demonstration if lives are to be changed and people galvanised to action.

5. It is freedom through form

There must be form! Structure, logic and order are important. Otherwise preachers will ramble. But it is very dangerous to rest contentedly with a good sermon. What is needed is real preaching, and real preaching is about authority and freedom. In the middle of a pastoral letter to a young minister Paul broke out into a cry of joy: “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief”. I shall never forget a sermon I heard at Brixham Baptist Church on the preeminence of Christ from Colossians 1, when the preacher suddenly stopped in the middle of his exposition and exclaimed: “What a Gospel!” He was so thrilled with the glory of Christ that he couldn’t contain himself. Nor could I! God grant more of this to today’s preachers.

6. It is application from God through attention to people.

Preachers need to be aware of their congregations and to give them their attention. All the time the Word needs to be applied to the lives of the hearers as the preacher seeks to put himself into their shoes. This will require contact with people, knowledge, pastoral love, and imagination. It is one thing to love preaching; it is another thing to love people. As the preacher gives his attention to his hearers the Holy Spirit applies the truth to their consciences. Preaching that is worthy of the name will be direct, relevant and applied.

The church today needs preaching that is authentically God glorifying, Christ centred and Spirit-inspired. For lack of it for too long the souls of men have suffered. But God can take His truth and make it live in our own hearts so that sermons become preaching. Above all may we avoid the terrible danger that every poet, musician and artist faces, namely, being drawn away from love of the thing told to love of the telling. As CS Lewis once said: “down in deep hell they cannot be interested in God at all but only in what they are saying about Him”.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

The Living Word

Jesus is called the WORD in John 1:1. "In the beginning there was the WORD, and the WORD was with God, and the WORD was God."

Words are wonderful things and we could not do without them. Words are the only means whereby we can communicate one with another. For the interchange of thoughts and ideas we use words, constructing them into sentences and thus are able to transmit our thoughts to others. The usual method is the spoken word. In the case of the deaf we use printed or written words or signs; but we must use words. In the case of blindness we use the Braille system of raised characters, which are words to the blind.

Whether through the ear, the eye, or the sense of touch, we are limited to the use of words in expressing ourselves. Now Jesus is called the WORD OF GOD. He is God's means of communicating with His creatures. Whether in the natural or spiritual, God speaks through His Son the Word. In nature we learn something about God, but it is still through the Word, for by the Word of God the heavens were made. All things were made by Him. In the spiritual sense Jesus is pre-eminently the Word, God's only means of communicating Himself to us.

Jesus said, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6). John said, "No man has seenGod at any time, the only begotten Son which is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him." Jesus is our Mediator, our Saviour, and our new and living way to God.

May we this day avail ourselves of Him as revealed in His written Word.

Poem by Caroline M. Noel, In The Name Of Jesus

In the name of Jesus Every knee shall bow,
Every tongue confess Him
King of Glory now,­
'Tis the Fathers pleasure
We should call Him Lord,
Who from the beginning
Was the mighty WORD.

Humbled for a season,
To receive a name
From the lips of sinners,
Unto whom He came,
Faithfully he bore it
Spotless to the last,­
Brought it back victorious,
When, from death He passed.

Name Him, brothers, name Him
With Love strong as death,
But with awe and wonder
And with bated breath!
He is God the Saviour,
He is Christ the Lord
Ever to be worshipped,
Trusted, and adored.

In your hearts enthrone Him,'
There let Him subdue
All that is not holy,
All that is not trues
Crown Him as your Captain
In temptations hour,­
Let His will enfold you
in its light and power

Brothers, this Lord Jesus
Shall return again,
With His Fathers glory,
With His angel train,
­For all wreaths of empire
Meet upon His brow,
And our hearts confess Him
King of Glory now

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

No depravitiy for mankind...

A friend of mine shared with me based on the noble Quran,

Set your face to the dîn in sincerity (hanîfan) which is Allâh’s fitrah (the nature made by Allâh) upon which He created mankind (fatâra’n-nâs). There is no changing the creation of Allâh. That is the right dîn but most people know not.’ Quran 30:30

Since Allâh’s fitrah is engraved upon the human soul, mankind is born in a state in which tawhîd is integral. Since tawhîd is intrinsic to man’s fitrah, the prophets, peace be upon them, came to remind man of it, and to guide him to that which is integral to his original nature.

The âyah describes a fitrah of primordial faith which Allâh Himself implanted in human nature. It implies Islâm’s essential message of submission to the will of Allâh as taught as practised by the prophets.

What has the Bible got to say :

Old Testament describes the inherent sinfulness of humanity.

The LORD saw how great humanity’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of their hearts was only evil all the time. (Genesis 6:5)

The LORD smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: "Never again will I curse the ground because of humanity, even though every inclination of their hearts is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done. (Genesis 8:1)

Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. (Psalm 51:5)

New Testament stands in full agreement with the Old Testament.

Consider just a few passages.

Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned — for before the law was given, sin was in the world. (Romans 5:12-13a)

The mind of sinful man [unredeemed humans] is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so.

Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. (Romans 8:6-8)

John Piper has a good write up on the original sins : What is the biblical evidence on original sin

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

The Knowledge of the Holy

The Knowledge of the Holy
The Attributes of God: Their Meaning in the Christian Life
by A. W. Tozer

Why We Must Think Rightly About God — Wrong ideas about God are idolatry. A right understanding of God lifts the burdens which destroy our souls.

God Incomprehensible — We cannot know what God is like in Himself. We can only know what God has disclosed about Himself. God shows Himself to faith (an organ of knowledge) and love (an organ of experience) not reason.

A Divine Attribute: Something True About God — How God is and what God is as far as He has revealed Himself to us.

The Holy Trinity — God has worked His every act as the Trinity in Unity. He cannot divide Himself into parts. It is a mystery too easily rejected by the mind entranced by faith in secularism and materialism.

The Self-existence of God — We were created, God was not. Only by faith and love can we catch a glimpse of the true meaning of that. We can never know what it is like to exist by the very nature of our selves. We are completely dependent on the continuing creative impulse of God.

The Self-sufficiency of God — God needs nothing. He cannot be given anything apart from what He has already given to us. God does not need us to believe in Him, but by His grace He works through anyone who places their faith in Him.

The Eternity of God — God exists outside the constraints of time. He exists simultaneously at the beginning and end of time. He was not created and He cannot be destroyed. He made us for eternity, yet we find ourselves dwelling in time and yearning for release from its limits. God is not subject to those limits.

God’s Infinitude — God is not subject to any limits. He cannot be contained within space. He cannot be measured because measurements describe boundaries. God has no boundaries. Because God is infinite, every attribute that describes Him is also infinite.

The Immutability of God — God never changes. He is always the same. This is the only comfort we have in a world that is constantly in a state of change. He is the only truly reliable person there is. Yet it is the instability of our human lives that is the very basis for our redemption. God can change us from our old selves into new persons possessing the life of God Himself.

The Divine Omniscience — God cannot learn. He knows everything there is to know. He knows instantly and effortlessly everything we have ever said, done, or thought. There are no deep dark secrets that we can hide from Him. He knows that very thing of which we are most ashamed. So it is that He can forgive us so completely when we accept His gospel. We are no longer subject to any accusation of guilt, because nothing has been held back from His understanding.

The Wisdom of God — God knows what He is doing. No matter how it looks to us, God always acts with perfect wisdom. He knows better than we do how best our lives should be lived. Only by turning control of our lives over to Him can we benefit from that perfect wisdom.

The Omnipotence of God — God has all the power. His power is inexhaustible. His power cannot be used up. His power is delegated to His creations, but never relinquished.

The Divine Transcendence — God is exalted so far above His created universe that we cannot imagine it. He is so completely unlike anything else that exists that it cannot be described. The difference is infinite. He is spirit. Apart from spirit, nothing has any value in the end.

God’s Omnipresence — God is everywhere. Everything in the universe originated in spirit, flows out of spirit, in essence is spiritual, and is inhabited by the Spirit. His personal presence is everywhere real and perceptible to those who seek Him.

The Faithfulness of God — God is everything He claims to be. He is completely trustworthy. Every attribute He has revealed is equally true of Him, and can be relied on as truth in our dealings with Him.

The Goodness of God — God is kind, cordial, benevolent, and full of good will toward us. He has only the best in mind for us. It is by the foolishness of our own rebellion that we do not receive the benefits of that goodness.

The Justice of God — Everything God does is right. He is the standard for what is right. Anything that conforms to the nature of God is good, anything that fails to do so is evil. God is compassionate because He is good, and goodness cannot exist apart from justice.

The Mercy of God — Mercy is God’s goodness confronting human suffering and guilt. God deals in justice when His mercy is despised. God’s mercy never violates His justice, and God’s justice never overpowers His mercy. We place ourselves in jeopardy when we decide God’s offering of mercy is not to our liking.

The Love of God — God desires our everlasting welfare and has the power to secure it. Because of this, we have no need to fear suffering or harm. God takes pleasure in his creation. He loves us and desires that we freely love Him in return.

The Holiness of God — Only the Holy Spirit can give us a sense of what holiness truly is. God’s holiness is beyond anything we can possibly conceive. Unholiness degrades and destroys God’s creation. God’s wrath is His intolerance of that degradation, and His preservation of what He has made.

The Sovereignty of God — God is in control. He is free to do whatever He wills at any time. Yet God does not force Himself on our hearts.

The Open Secret — God is a person. We can get to know Him by spending time with Him. Yet too many turn away from this wonderful possibility. Seek God. Find out who He is and what it takes to get to know Him.

Kristian boleh berbuah?

Mesej ini pernah disampaikan kepada kawan-kawan kita :

Pernahkah anda mendengar lagu ini :

Yesus pokok dan kita cabangNya
Tinggalah di dalamNya,
Yesus pokok dan kita cabangNya
Tinggalah di dalamNya,
Yesus pokok dan kita cabangNya
Tinggalah di dalamNya,

Pastikan kau akan berbuah

Yesus cintaku, ku cintakau, kau cinta dia,
Yesus cintaku, ku cintakau, kau cinta dia.

Yesus pokok dan kita cabangNya
Tinggalah di dalamNya,
Yesus pokok dan kita cabangNya
Tinggalah di dalamNya,
Yesus pokok dan kita cabangNya

Tinggalah di dalamNya,
Pastikan kau akan berbuah

Lagu ini memang tidak asing bagi mereka yang mengemarkan lagu rohani dalam BM.

Jika anda berpeluang memasuki dusun-dusun pokok durian, air liur anda akan terkeluar memandangkan buah yang besar. Anda juga boleh berbau buah itu. Dalam fikiran, bolehkah saya memakannya.

Dilihat juga ranting-ranting (cabang) yang berbuahkan durian. Ada yang berbuahkan banyak, ada yang sedikit. Apa yang pasti binatang serta manusia dapat makannya.

Dalam AlKitab ada tertulis bahawa Yesus itu pokok dan kitalah cabangNya. Cabang tidak dapat berbuah kalau diasingkan dari pokok itu. Pokok itulah yang membekalkan air serta mineral bagi buah durian itu.

Yesus menyarankan agar pengikutnya bersatu dalamNya. TanpaNya, kita tidak dapat berbuah. Memanglah Kristian bukanlah berbuah durian, rambutan dan sebagainya tetapi berbuah yang dapat membawa kebaikkan serta keberkatan bukan sahaja pada dirinya malah untuk orang lain. Yesus juga menegaskan kalau cabangNya itu tidak berbuah ia akan dipotong dari pokok itu dan dibuang.

Apakah ajaran Yesus agar kita dapat bersatu denganNya? Saya kira untuk berbuah kita kenalah 1. Kasih Tuhan, 2. Kasih orang lain walaupun bukan Kristian.

Dalam mengasihi Tuhan, kita kena tekun berdoa, memuji kebesaran Tuhan. Dengar dan baca firman Tuhan yang tertulis dalam AlKitab. Firman Tuhan dalam AlKitab tidak berubah walaupun bumi serta isinya berubah. Firman Tuhan kekal selamanya. Oleh itu sebagai umat Kristian. kita bukan sahaja mendengar serta membaca tetapi taat firmanNya serta lakukan apa yang diperintahkan Tuhan.

Kita kenalah mengasihi orang lain seperti Yesus mengasihi kita. Dia mengasihi kita sehingga mengambil hukuman dosa yang seharusnya dijatuhkan kepada kita. Sewaktu kita dalam dosa, Tuhan menunjukkan kasihNya kepada kita, Yesus disalibkan. Kasih Tuhan kepada kita tiada syaratnya. Dengan ini kita kena mengasihi orang lain dengan membantu mereka. Bagi kawan yang sakit, kita berdoa. Bagi mereka yang lapar, kita berkongsi makanan. Kita boleh menjadi penghibur untuk mereka yang sedih. Demikianlah kasih Tuhan disinar melalui kasih kita kepada orang lain.

Inilah perintah Yesus kepada kita dalam Yohanes 15:10 : Inilah perintahKu : Saling kasih mengasihi antara satu sama lain seperti saya mengasihimu.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Yesus pokok dan kita cabangNya

Visit photo gallery : Orang Ali Community Services

Jesus is the tree and we are His branches. If we remain in Him, surely we shall bear His fruits. We are commanded in John 15:10 that we must love one another as He has loves us.

God's love is for everyone including to our neighbour, orang asli. This message was presented to the orang asli. Contribution that CDPC provide for the development of this community is inresponse to God's call and of His love for us and these people too. Though they are living some remote place, though how uneducate they are these people are loved by God and they can response to God's love by accepting Christ when we shower our blessing to these people.

Jan 22, 2004 was CDPC second trip as a 18 people visiting these people. We have brought some rice and food for these people. I am happy to see these orang asli and also children who are living a simple live, without tension. They are living in a close community and one family.

Su Mei, Aunt Florence, Terrence, and few of us presented puppet show to kids to show them the creation of the world in Bahasa Malaysia. Suprisingly the adults are the one whom enjoyed themselves the most. I believe the children do enjoy though they might not know what really going on. We hope this simple message, God will work in them for greater purpose, maybe not today but in days to come. The way these people singging though a simple song, to God it is a melody. God is most glorified at that moment.

We also have a durian feast. The people there treated us with lots of durian. We enjoyed ourselves. Later we headed for wild boar meat and wan tan noodles.

Though journey is rough, it is a good adventure as we go in to the forest.

We also visited fishing pond. There are some small fishes swimming happily which later will be food to these people. This is a blessing to these people as it can meat and proteins for this people.

A school has been built recently. During our 1st journey there isn't any school yet. They built it to educate especially children so that they can read and write. We are thankful that they manage to get an indian girl to teach these children to read and write. We committed to provide materials e.g. books, stationery for this cause.

Not to forget that we went up the hill.... It's tiring plus walking through forest in dark. Anyway we manage to walk up though some kena leaches on their foot. We worshipped together with them. Some of use kena leeches. We were so happy worshipping with them. I too shared with them in BM.

We thanked God for safe journey to and fro and also for a good weather. Praise God too for fellowship we can have together. God has purposed this mission in us so that we can help them especially in education and fish pond. We are reflecting and shower them with blessings. I believe God can use us in other areas too in this mission. Now God has opened our eyes to see these people and their needs and lets us ask God how can we help this people. For now we will pray that God's will to be done in the life of these people especially education for children, safety, spiritual life etc.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Biografi : Fanny Crosby

Salah satu daripada orang yang saya amat hormati adalah Fanny Crosby atau Frances Jane Crosby. Jika anda meminati lagu himne, sudah pasti anda mengenali siapakah beliau.

Sepanjang hidupnya, beliau telah menulis lebih dari 8500 lagu rohani, banyak di antaranya masih sangat terkenal hingga sekarang. – misalnya Blessed Assurance ('Ku Berbahagia'), Safe in the Arms of Jesus (Selamat Di Tangan Yesus), Pass Me Not, O Gentle Saviour (Mampirlah, dengar doaku), Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross (Pada Kaki SalibMu). Setiap lagu yang dicipta beliau menandakan kasihnya pada Tuhanya, Yesus Kristus.

Fanny dilahirkan pada 24 March 1820 di Putnam County, New York. Ibu bapanya, John dan Mercy Crosby. Pada bulan Mei 1820, ketika beliau masih berumur enam minggu, ia terkena demam, dan menggangu sistem saraf pada bahagian matanya. Doktornya pada waktu itu berada di luar kota, mengaku sebagai doktor yang mengubati beliau, hingga penglihatannya rosak dan tidak melihat lagi. Orang itu meninggalkan kota karana panik.

Walaubagaimnapun, Fanny tidak pernah merasa dendam pada orang itu. “Tak pernah sesaat pun selama hidup saya yang lebih dari lapan puluh tahun ada kebencian padanya, kerana saya percaya…bahawa Tuhan itu baik… dengan cara itu memberkati saya untuk pekerjaan yang masih boleh saya lakukan.”

Ibu bapanya, orang Kristian yang taat, membesarkan Fanny menjadi anak yang berbahagia dan percaya diri. Beliau dapat mengenakan pakaiannya sendiri, membereskan rambutnya sendiri, dan berbudi perkerti yang mulia. Fanny banyak menghabiskan waktunya dengan memanjat pohon, berkuda, dan menceritakan humor pada teman-temannya.

Nenek Fanny, merupakan orang yang dapat memberikan pengaruh yang besar semasa zaman kanak-kanak beliau. Neneknya yang mengajar beliau akan karya-karya sastera serta cerita-cerita dari AlKitab. Neneknya yang selalu membawa Fanny keluar berjalan-jalan di taman, Fanny dapat meyentuh dan merasai bagaimana bentuk serta rupa daun-daun, pokok-pokok serta haruman bunga.

Seperti kanak-kanak lain yang normal, Fanny memang kehausan ilmu. Pada umurnya sepuluh tahun beliau dapat mengingat sebahagian besar Perjanjian Baru dan lima kitab Perjanjian Lama. Beliau berazam agar dapat belajar seperti kanak-kanak lain. Beliau dan neneknya berdoa, "Tuhan yang Mahabaik, tunjukkan pada saya bagaimana saya dapat belajar seperti anak-anak lain.” Tuhan mengabulkan doa beliau tidak berapa lama kemudian dengan berita yang gembirakan yang dibawa oleh ibunya tentang kesempatan untuk masuk ke Institut Bagi Orang Buta di New York.

Pada tahun itu juga beliau lulus dan menjadi guru. Beliau cenderung dalam penulisan puisi. Ketika umur beliau dua puluh tahun, beliau terkenal di New York dan menjadi rebutan ramai untuk mendendangkan puisi untuk upacara rasmi.

Dalam kemasyhuran beliau, beliau merasa kekosongan dalam hatinya. Lebih-lebih lagi bila pelajar-pelajarr tempat kolejnya mati akibat wabak kolera. Beliau berkata dalam hatinya yang dia belum bersedia untuk mati. Pada 20 November 1850 beliau berlutut di depan jemaat gereja dan memberikan hatinya kepada Yesus. Penulis biografi Basil Miller menceritakan kata-katanya: “Untuk pertama kali saya menyedari bahawa saya telah mencuba memegang dunia di salah satu tangan dan Tuhan di tangan yang lain.”Akhirnya, Tuhan yang diperkenalkan oleh neneknya menjadi nyata baginya.

Puisi-pusi yang dikarang beliau seterusnya menunjukkan perubahan di hatinya diiringi dengan penghasilan lagu-lagu pujian. Pada tahun 1864, beliau bertemu dengan lagu komposer Kristian William Bradbury. Bradbury membuat lagu-lagu bagi puisi-puisi yang dihasilkan oleh Fanny. Mereka berkawan rapat serta berkerja keras. Fanny pernah berkata caranya dia menghasilkan lagu pujian, "Mungkin cara ini kuno, iaitu selalu memulai pekerjaan dengan berdoa, saya tak pernah menuliskan lagu tanpa meminta pada Tuhan untuk menjadi sumber inspirasi saya.”

Beliau pernah diundang oleh orang-orang terkenal seperti Presiden Polk untuk memberkian kesaksian beliau.Pada tahun 1858, Tuhan memberikan padanya seorang yang istimewa dalam kehidupannya, seorang ahli muzik buta Alexander Van Alstyne. Mereka berkahwin selama 44 tahun dan mempunyai seorang anak yang meninggal dunia pada waktu bayi lagi.

Walaupun pada akhir masa-masa hidupnya, Fanny tetap sibuk seperti biasa, bukan hanya dengan menulis lagu. Beliau melayani dan memberikan perhatian kepada mereka yang kurang bernasib baik. Beliau memberikan nasihat secara peribadi serta memberitakan Firman Tuhan.

Fanny meningal dunia di rumahnya di Bridgeport, Connecticut, pada 12 Februari 1915. Pada makamnya terpahat dengan kata-kata yang berasal dari lagu-lagu pujian yang dihasilkannya : “Aunt Fanny” dan “Bless­ed as­sur­ance, Jesus is mine. Oh, what a fore­taste of glory divine.”

Saturday, January 15, 2005

The Devil & Martin Luther

During a serious illness of Martin Luther, the Evil One entered his sick-room and, looking at him with a triumphant smile, unrolled a big scroll which he carried in his arms. As the fiend threw one end of it on the floor, it unwound by itself, Luther's eyes read the long fearful record of his own sins, one by one. That stout heart quailed before the ghastly roll.

Suddenly it flashed into Luther's mind that there was one thing not written there. He cried aloud: "One thing you have forgotten. The rest is all true, but one thing you have forgotten: 'The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth me from all sin. "' And as he said this, the Accuser of the Brethren and his heave roll disappeared.

Marilah kita menghayati himne berikut :

There Is A Fountain Filled With Blood

When a large religious service was being conducted at the Golden Gate Exposition in San Francisco, many people quickly became aware that the minister delivering the main address was not thoroughly orthodox. Although a gifted speaker, he began to direct most of his eloquence against the power of the blood of Christ.

Ruth E. Marsden relates that when his fluent oratory ended, a timid, elderly lady stood up in the midst of the crowd and softly began to sing a great hymn by William Cowper as a touching rebuttal to the modernist’s remarks.

A hush fell over the assembly as they heard those faint but familiar words: “There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Immanuel’s veins, and sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.”

Before she could begin the second stanza, approximately a hundred people rose to join her.

By the time she reached the third verse, nearly a thousand Christians all over the audience were singing that blessed song of faith.

The triumphant, thrilling strains rang out loud and clear: “Dear dying Lamb, Thy precious blood shall never lose its power, ’til all the ransomed church of God be saved to sin no more.”

Many were deeply moved as that humble believer stood up for her Lord and with the light of Heaven upon her face.

There is a fountain filled with blood

(1) There is a fountain filled with blood
Drawn from Emmanuel's veins;
And sinners, plunged beneath that blood,
Lose all their guilty stains.
Lose all their guilty stains.
Lose all their guilty stains.
And sinners, plunged beneath that blood,

(2) The dying thief rejoiced to see
That fountain in his day;
And there may I, though sinful, too,
Wash all my sins away,
Wash all my sins away,
And there may I, though sinful, too,
Wash all my sins away.

(3) Dear dying Lamb, Thy precious blood
Shall never lose its power,
'Til all the ransomed Church of God
Be saved, to sin no more,
Be saved, to sin no more,
'Til all the ransomed Church of God
Be saved, to sin no more.

(4) And since, by faith, I saw the stream
Thy flowing wounds supply,
Redeeming love has been my theme,
And shall be 'til I die.
And shall be 'til I die.
Redeeming love has been my theme,
And shall be 'til I die.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Have you made vows before the Lord?

Excerpt from A.W Tozer

Some people object to taking vows, but in the Bible you will find many great men of God are directed by covenants, promises, vows and pledges. A carnal man refuses the discipline of such commitments. He says, "I want to be free. It is legalism." There are many religious tramps in the world who will not be bound by anything.

Now there are five vows which we do well to make before the Lord and keep them faithfully.

1. Deal thoroughly with sin before the Lord. Be holy as He is holy.
2. Dedicate all that you are and all that you have to God and give Him first place
3. Proclaim the good news of His salvation everyday.
4. Never pass anything on about anybody else that will hurt him.
5. Never accept any glory as it belongs to God alone. Praise His holy name always.

Remebering these 5 vows are not something you can write in the back page of the Bible and forget. They have got to written in your own blood.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

My Bible And I

The Bible is the greatest traveller in the world. It goes to every part of country in this the kampung-kampung (ulu area). It has been a good friend to everyone, from king, emperors to beggars. Like a Malay proverbs says "Di mana bumi dipijak disitu langit dijunjung". Not only that the power in the Bible changes lifes. I can say Bible and I will travell together. So treat your Bible with care and of course read it!

We've travelled together, my Bible and I
Through all kinds of weather, with smile or with sigh,
In sorrow or sunshine, in tempest or calm
Thy friendship unchanging, my lamp and my psalm.

We've travelled together, my Bible and I
When life had grown weary, and dath even was nigh,
But all through the darkness of mist or of wrong
I found there a solace, a prayer and a song

So now who shall part us - my Bible and I
Shall 'ism' or 'schisms' or 'new lights' who try?
Shall shadow for substance or stone for good bread,
Supplant Thy sound wisdom, give fully instead?

Ah! no, my dear Bible exponent of light!
Thou sword of the Spirit put error to flight!
And still through life's journey until my last sigh,
We'll travel together, my Bible and I.


Wasn't circumcision a command from God?

Wasn't circumcision a command from God? Then why Christians don't follow this command? Jews, Muslims even people of other faith practising it.

Regardless of whatever reasons you may get, lets us see how the Scripture reasons about circumcision:

The circumcision is viewed as a social or covenantal boundary marker— belongs to the old covenant. Meaning being God's people, they circumcise as a reminder that they are separated from others and dedicated to God. By removing the foreskin, a symbol that they putting away their fleshly desire and set apart, holy before God.

However, it is useless if God's people is charged of having "uncircumcised hearts" (Leviticus 26:41; Jeremiah 9:26; cf. Acts 7:51). Indeed, the old covenant demand was not merely circumcision of the flesh, but circumcision of the heart.

Therefore, circumcise the foreskin of your heart and stop being so stubborn!. (Deuteronomy 10:16)

Circumcise yourselves to the Lord and circumcise your heart, people of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem. If you do not, my anger will leap out like a flaming fire against you that no one will be able to put out. That will happen because of the evil you have done.(Jeremiah 4:4)

The new covenant, promised in the Old Testament, carries with it a promise of circumcision of the heart, rather than of the flesh.

The Lord your God will also circumcise your heart and the hearts of your descendants so that you may love him with all your heart and soul and so that you may live. (Deuteronomy 30:6)

With this command, by God's grace He promises to give his people with new hearts, putting a new spirit within them (Ezekiel 11:19; 18:31; 36:26), as well writing His law upon their hearts (Jeremiah 31:33; cf. Isaiah 51:7).

Thus Paul writes in echo of the promises in Deuteronomy and Jeremiah that God would circumcise our hearts.

"but someone is a Jew who is one inwardly, and circumcision is of the heart by the Spirit and not by the written code. This person’s praise is not from people but from God." (Romans 2:29)

"For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision carries any weight—the only thing that matters is faith working through love." (Galatians 5:6)

"For neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything; the only thing that matters is a new creation!" (Galatians 6:15; cf. Philippians 3:3; Colossians 2:11)

Even so, as Paul writes, God's commands still takes effect, including against idolatory and immorality of all kinds. This is true as what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 7:19

Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing. Instead, keeping God’s commandments is what counts. (1 Corinthians 7:19)

Indeed Christ has liberated us from all these ceremonial law (e.g., circumcision, food restrictions, Jewish calendar, bloody sacrifices, etc.). Thus this laws are now inoperative for those who are in Christ but God's morality and commands still stands (Romans 8; 1 Corinthians 5, 10; Galatians 5).

Christians have a high view of God’s law (or at least they should), though some laws were temporary illustrations of the heart of the matter — the human heart.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Majulah askar Kristian

Lagu himnal "Maju askar Kristus" atau "Onward Christian Soldiers" tidak asing bagi kita malah menjadi lagu / himne kegemaran orang ramai". Saya pun carilah apakah cerita disebalik lagu ini.

Himne ini dicipta untuk kanak-kanak yang pada waktu itu merayakan Whitmonday. Pada hari itu, semua kanak-kanak yang menyertai perbarisan yang berjalan di desa, membawa salib dan panji-panji serta menyanyi himne. Pendita Sabine Baring-Gould ingin memberikan satu semngat baru kepada kanak-kanak ini yang menyertai perbarisan. Dalam masa 15 minit, beliau menghasilkan suatu himne pada masa itu dipanggil "Lagu untuk perarakan dengan salib dan panji-panji". Selepas itu nama lagu diubah menjadi "Maju askar Kristian".

Lagu ini menyedarkan saya betapa pentingnya tugas serta tanggungjawab sebagai seorang Kristian. Nyata dalam hidup, kita dicabar dengan keinginan mengejar perkara-perkara duniawi. Ia juga mengingatkan saya bahawa perjuangan kita masih belum berakhir dan banyak lagi perlu dilakukan. Ya kuasa gelap dan kejahatan sememangnya hendak melekakan saya dengan perkara-perkara duniawi. Semoga Yesus menjadi prioriti serta fokus pertama dalam hidup.

Dalam hidup kita, kita diberi 84,400 saat peluang keemasan. Bagaimana kita dapat menggunakan peluang ini untuk memuliakan nama Yesus. Kita boleh melayani Yesus mengikut bakat yang diberikan Tuhan kepadanya. Kita sebagai anak-anak Tuhan diberikan kuasa untuk menginjil. Baik dalam pelayanan sepenuh masa atau dalam tempat kerja, kita boleh memberi perubahan dalam hidup orang yang tidak kenal Yesus. Apabila kita menginjil, bukankah Roh Kudus yang bekerja secara aktif dalam kita? Renungilah sifat rasul Paulus yang tertulis dalam Kisah Rasul-Rasul 17:16-17, "Sementara Paulus menunggu Silas dan Timotius di Atena, hatinya sedih melihat kota itu penuh dengan berhala-berhala. Oleh sebab itu di rumah ibadat, Paulus bertukar fikiran dengan orang-orang Yahudi dan orang-orang lainnya yang menyembah Allah di situ. Begitu juga di pasar-pasar setiap hari ia bertukar fikiran dengan setiap orang yang berada di situ." Paulus menasihati Timotius dalam 2 Timotius 4:2, "Beritakanlah firman, siap sedia baik atau tidak baik waktunya, nyatakanlah apa yang salah, tegurlah dan nasihatilah dengan segala kesabaran dan pengajaran." Dalam kedua-dua ayat ini, kita melihat azam Paulus yang sentiasa bersedia dalam setiap waktu untuk memberitakan firman Tuhan

Marilah saudara dan saudari, dengan satu iman dan satu pengharapan, kita melakukan kerja-kerja untuk Tuhan. Kita melengkapkan diri dengan firman Tuhan. Belajarlah firman dengan sabar. Renungilah apa yang dikatakan dalam AlKitab. Kedua kita kenalah berinteraksi dengan orang lain, dengan jiran kita. Sebagaimana Yesus berinteraksi denagn murid-muridnya serta denagn orang-orang yang berdosa, kita yang telah diselamatkan dari kemurkaan Tuhan haruslah mengasihani yang lain agar mereka dapat melihat Yesus dalam hidup kita. Inilah seruan untuk umat Kristian agar meneliti sama ada tingkah lakunya memuliakan Tuhan atau sebaliknya. Marilah berinteraksi dengan orang-orang yang tidak seiman, tidak sebangsa serta sama kulit dengan kita. Dengan ini kita dapat belajar budaya orang lain. Sesuai dengan itu, kita dapat menginjil mengikut kebudayaan masing-masing agar mesej Yesus dapat diterapkan.

Semoga kita mengangkat salib kita serta panji-panji untuk hormat, kemuliaan bagi Raja kita. Marilah kita berarak serta memberitakan firman sampai Dia datang!

Himne : Maju Askar Kristian

Click here to listen midi

Maju, askar Kristus, lawan kuasa g'lap!
Ikut salib Yesus, sungguh dan tetap!
Rajamu sendiri jalan di depan;
majulah, iringi panji cemerlang!

Maju, askar Kristus, lawan kuasa g'lap!
Ikut salib Yesus, sungguh dan tetap!

Saat dianjungkan panji Penebus,
kuasa Iblis mundur, dikalahkan t'rus.
Goncangkanlah neraka, kar'na mendengar
sorak-soraianmu nyaring menggegar.

Bagai laskar jaya G'reja maju t'rus
di jejak teladan saksi yang kudus.
Kita satu tubuh yang kudus dan am;
satu pengharapan, satu pun iman.

Kuasa duniawi timbul tenggelam,
tapi G'reja Kristus takkan terbenam!
Alam maut tak sanggup menjatuhkannya;
Kristus memenuhi isi janjiNya.

Kar'na itu, maju! Ikut salib t'rus,
turutlah memuji Raja Penebus:
"Hormat, kemuliaan, Tuhan, t'rimalah!"
Insan dan malaikat sujud menyembah.

Syair: Onward, Christian Soldiers, Sabine Baring-Gould 1864,
terj. Yamuger 1975
Lagu: Arthur Seymour Sullivan 1871

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Palm Tree

Do you know that Palm Tree has its own significance? It is so special that if we learn of its characteristics and find that we can learn of it.

J.S. Baxter has listed several wonderful characteristics of a palm tree.

  1. Uprightness. Whether the tree is planted on a plain or on a slope it grows uniformly upright. When we look at the palm tree we are looking at a 90 degree of uprightness.
  2. Its overcoming power even in the midst of dearth and drought of the dessert. The palm tree flourishes despites of most difficult circumstances.
  3. Its way of growth. Other trees add a new outer ring to the trunk every year but for the palm tree grows inwardly from the centre.
  4. Evergreen nature. The nature of this tree knows not of autumn browness or winter bareness.
  5. Beauty stature. It bears its fruit for the eyes of heaven rather than for the eyes of man. Its feather-like leaves provide a welcome shade for the weary travellers. Where the palm tree stands there is water besides it.
  6. Usefulness. It yields dates, palm sugar and palm wine. The older the tree is the sweeter its fruit.

The characteristics of this palm tree can shows us who Christ is. And we are called to follow His steps or characters.

The first characteristics of the palm tree represent Christ is our perfect standard of uprightness. The well known song "Ascribe Greatness ... good and upright is He". Thus we need to be upright.

Secondly, Christ came into this fallen world and sinful environment yet He lives a sinless life and overcame it with God's word. He overcome the power of death and grave through His death and resurrection. Romans 8:37 "No, in all these things we have complete victory through him who loved us!" As Christ has overcome, we have complete victory and we are more than a conquerors.

Kingdom of Christ grows from the centre. Christ wants our inward sanctification of heart and renewal of mind. Building of character you may say. He always changing us into a new creation. Paul afirmed this saying in 2 Corinthians 5:17, "So then, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; what is old has passed away—look, what is new has come!".

Word of God never fails and it refreshes to those who trust in His word. His faithfullness is new every morning. The Psalmist put it this way, Psalms 1:3 "He is like a tree planted by flowing streams; it yields its fruit at the proper time, and its leaves never fall off. He succeeds in everything he attempts".

Christ's beauty is the eyes of heaven. 1 Peter 3:3-4, "Let your beauty not be external—the braiding of hair and wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes— but the inner person of the heart, the lasting beauty of a gentle and tranquil spirit, which is precious in God’s sight." Our heart and character must reflect the beauty of our Lord.

Lastly, we need to bless others. Our fruits is to bless others. We need to be a vessel for honorable use, set apart, useful for the Master, prepared for every good work. (2 Timothy 2:21).

When Christians get into heaven to meet the King of Glory, we will see palm tree again. All God's people from every tribe and nations get together holding palm branches in their hands to welcome our King Rev 7:9 .

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Malapetaka & Penderitaan : Bencana Tsunami

Dalam kehidupan seharian, manusia sering melupkan Tuhan, berpegang pada idea masing-masing, berfikiran bebas serta memikirkan bahawa hidup mereka itu betul.

Tiba-tiba bencana berlaku - gempa bumi, peperangan, kebuluran, kebakaran, banjir serta pembunuhan. Wahal sesetengah negara fikir mereka itu berkuasa besar dan selamat tetapi walau macam mana selamat pun, dunia ini tetap akan bergoncak serta hancur akibat ego manusia itu sendiri. Adakah Tuhan dipersalahkan... atau manusia itu sendiri?

Peristiwa yang amat memedihkan hati bagi saya serta dunia secara amnya ialah bencana tsunami yang mengorbankan nyawa yang hampir mencecah 150 ribu orang. Angka kematian ini akan terus meningkat mengikut berita yang dilapurkan dalam Foxnews. Saya melihat ayah dan ibu menangis melihat mayat anak-anaknya yang mati dilemas oleh arus ombak. Dari kaca televisyen, tersiar mayat-mayat yang dibawa keluar dari laut. Anak yang berumur 4 - 5 tahun tidak tahu yang ibu bapanya mati. Ibu yang baru melahirkan anak dan masih berpantang terpaksa dipindahkan ke kawasan selamat.

Pelbagai soalan timbul adakah Tuhan menghakimi dunia ini yang penuh dengan dosa? Kenapa Tuhan membiarkan kejadian bencana alam bermaharaja lela sehingga mengorbankan beribu-ribu nyawa termasuk kanak-kanak?

Kita tidak mempunyai jawapan-jawapan untuk semua hal. Yang pasti Tuhan tetap berkuasa dalam segala yang berlaku di dunia. Dan sudah tentu Tuhan tidak berkenaan dengan apa yang berlaku yang mengorbankan beratus ribu nyawa.

Pastor John Piper memberikan pandangannya mengenai bencana ini dalam bahasa Inggeris :

Pada pandangan saya, pertama apa yang berlaku bukanlah di luar pengetahuan / kuasa Tuhan. Kita tidak dapat memahami minda Tuhan. Seperti apa yang terjadi pada Ayub, Ayub sedar bahawa segala sesuatu yang baik dan jahat yang berlaku dalam hidup manusia, Tuhan tetap bijaksana dan tidak melakukan kesilapan serta berkuasa sepenuhnya. Tuhan tidak akan menguji kita melebihi keupayaan yang kita boleh terima. Hanya pada Tuhan sahaja kita boleh berserah. Mazmur 46:1-4 menyatakan bahawa Allah itu perlindungan dan kekuatan kita; Dia selalu bersedia menolong kita dalam kesusahan. Oleh itu, kita tidak akan takut, walaupun bumi gempa dan gunung-gunung jatuh ke dasar laut; walaupun laut mengamuk dan bergelora, dan gunung bergoncang dengan kuatnya.”

Kedua, bila sesebuah negara mengalami bencana, sesuatu yang baik akan muncul. Ini memang tidak benar dari segi ekonomi mahupun sosial. Banyak wang yang perlu dibelanjakan bagi membantu mangsa-mangsa yang terlibat. Dalam hati manusia itu sendiri, ada yang menyalahkan Tuhan dan ada yang mencari jawapan untuk kehidupan. Bagi mereka yang mencari, ada kekosongan dalam hatinya yang hanya boleh dipenuhi dengan berita Injil, mesej yang tidak berubah dalam apa jua keadaan. Orang sebegini akan bertanyakan serta memikirkan pada Tuhan serta kehidupan. Yesus pernah mengajar dalam cerita Anak Yang Sesat bagaimana Tuhan menerima orang yang yang datang kepadaNya dengan keadaan keinsafan. Kemurahan Tuhan akan memberikan mereka pedoman dalam penerimaan Yesus sebagai Juruselamatnya.

Ketiga, semua orang termasuk umat Kristian tidak lari daripada bencana alam dan keselamatan kita boleh tergugat. Selagi kita berada di dunia ini, bermacam-macam masalah kita boleh hadapi. Bencana alam yang terjadi pada masa kini mengambarkan kejadian yang lebih buruk yang akan berlaku pada masa hadapan seperti yang dicatakan dalam Wahyu dalam AlKitab. Tuhan boleh membenarkan malapetaka, kesusahan serta tragedi berlaku dalam hidup manusia. Kita hendaklah faham bahawa Tuhan tidak meciptakan keburukkan. Pada mulanya sewaktu Tuhan menciptakan bumi dan langit, ia begitu indah sekali. Keindahan ciptaan Tuhan dinikmati oleh manusia pertama, Adam dan Hawa. Tetapi selepas Adam dan Hawa berdosa, keburukkan menimpa bumi serta manusia. Kita mungkin hidup hari ini dan mati dalam sekelip mata. Kita mungkin boleh kehilangan orang yang kita sayangi. Kita boleh kehilangan harta benda. Dalam Alkitab ada mengaskan walaupun kita berhadapan atau ditimpa dengan perkara buruk, tetapi kita tidak boleh dipisahkan dari kasih Tuhan. Ya... Tuhan boleh membenarkan perkara buruk untuk berlaku dalam hidup kita. Yang pasti Tuhan tidak duduk begitu sahaja. Pokoknya ada kebaikkan disebalik keburukkan. Itulah keagungan Tuhan. Kita tidak boleh memahami kehendak Tuhan dalam hidup kita, tetapi yang pasti kita kena belajar untuk berserah dan percaya pada keagungan Tuhan dalam setiap perkara. Yang nyata ialah kita kena akur serta belajar dalam menerima hal-hal buruk dariNya. Alkitab ada mencatatkan kesaksian Ayub dalam Ayub 2:10 "...Adakah kita mahu menerima yang baik dari Allah, tetapi tidak mahu menerima yang buruk?..."

Keempat...seruan serta peringatan kepada umat Kristian untuk membantu mereka yang menjadi mangsa bencana tsunami dalam apa jua bentuk baik dalam doa ataupun kewangan. Umat Kristian haruslah berdoa kepada mangsa-mangsa ini. Semua manusia adalah ciptaan Tuhan. Nyawa serta jiwa yang diberikanNya itu adalah amat berharga. Semua manusia dibawah penghakiman Tuhan. Kerana kemurahanNya umat Kristian mempunyai harapan walaupun dilanda bencana. Sebagaimana Tuhan bermurah dengan kita, kita haruslah bermurah dengan semua orang atau jiran kita. Umat Kristian merupakan saluran berkat dari Tuhan kepada semua manusia serta alam ini. Marilah kita berdoa untuk mereka yang melibatkan diri dalam operasi membantu dan menyelamat agar Tuhan dapat menguatkan mereka dalam masa ini agar mereka dapat menyempurnakan tugas mereka. Kita berdoa dalam masa ini, berita Injil dapat disebarkan sebgai mesej harapan bagi mangsa-mangsa ini. Diharapkan gereja-gereja dapat mengumpul wang dari jemaat masing-masing untuk membantu mereka walaupun tidak seiman dengan kita.

Sila klik untuk melihat bencana tsunami