Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Woman's Defined by God - Book 1 - Part 1 - B

Part 2 of Chapter 1. By the way, the author Jane Chin is the full-time ministry woman leader in Hong Kong Church of Christ. You can find her on the website

7. Scriptures on molding the thoughts
              Job 42:2
              Ps 139:2
              Pro 4:23, 21:2, 22:11
              Jer 4:14
              Isa 11:5
              Lk 6:45
              Rom 12:3
              Eph 4:17
              Rev 3:2

    8. Scriptures on Controlling Emotions
      Pro 16:32
      Rom 6:12
      Jam 3:2
      2Pe 1:5-9
      Jer 35:6
      Dan 1:8
      1 Cor 9:27
    9. God Provides Our Needs
      Job 38:2-41
      Ps 1:3, 23:5, 31:19, 78:20
      Pro 6:8
      Amos 9
      Mal 3:10
      Mk 6:25-33, 4:20
      Eph 3:20
      1King 17:6
      2King 4:6
      Phi 4:19
    10. Strong Foundation Family
      Gen 2:24
      Deu 4:9
      Pro 18:22
      SS 8:7
      Col 3:19
      1Tim 3:4, 5:4
      Titus 2:5
      Heb 13:4
    11. Dedicating Our Children to God
              Ex 13:12
              Num 3:13
              Deu 21:17
             1Sam 1:11
              Neh 10:36
              Lk 2:22

    12. Parents' Love and Wisdom
            Gen 18:19
            Ex 2:3
            1Sam 2:19
            1Ki 2:1-4, 3:26

    Monday, November 02, 2009

    Woman's Defined by God - Book 1 - Part 1 - A

    I'm translating a Chinese book written by Jane Chin, titled "Woman's Defined by God". As my wife can't read much Chinese, and this book is really good for Christian women of all life stages. There is a section which is particularly focus on stage of pregnancy which is what my wife is going through now. So this is just half of chapter 1.

    Part 1: Scriptures for the Pregnant Sisters
    13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, 16 your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. - Psalm 139:13-16

    1. Regarding God's Love
    Deu 7:8
    Jer 31:3
    John 3:16, 13:1, 15:13, 16:27
    Rom 5:8, 8:35
    Eph 2:4-5
    1John 3:1

    2. Regarding Blessings of Children
    Gen 33:5, 48:9
    Jos 24:3
    Ps 113:9, 127:3-5, 128:3
    Pro 17:6

    3. Regarding God's Doing During Pregnancy
    Job 31:15
    Ps 119:73, 139:13-16
    Ecc 11:5
    Isa 42:5, 43:7, 44:2-3, v21, v24, 45:11, 49:5
    Zec 12:1
    Acts 17:24-28
    Col 1:16-17
    Rev 4:11

    4. Regarding Baby's Health
    Deu 7:13-15, 28:1-11
    Mal 4:2

    5. Example of Confident and Fearless Women
    Sarah – Gen 17:15, Heb 11:1, v11
    Hannah – 1 Sam 1-2

    6. God is Peace, Strength and Protection
    Ps 28:6-8, 33:17-22, 34:18, 91:1-16
    Pro 28:18
    Isa 26:3, 40:31, 41:8-10, v13
    John 10:10, 16:21
    Phi 4:19
    1 Tim 2:15
    Jas 1:17

    Wednesday, September 16, 2009

    Your Labor Is Not In Vain – 1 Corinthains 15

    In 1Cor 15 Apostle Paul is trying to reassure the disciples the faith in God. That God truly has resurrected Jesus, not in the form of spirit but in his real physical form. And it is because of this resurrection that we can now be cleansed of our sin. Without Jesus truly raising up, Christianity would be meaningless. Therefore, Paul urged the disciples to always hold on to the truth.
    1Cor 15:58 “Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”
    Paul not just want to hold on to the truth but also stand firm, let nothing move us. There are many times when our faith will be tested. People of other faith can come to question you but also, there are times when troubles and worries of all sorts can wear out our faith. I feel that I need to constantly build on my faith. I need to study the bible more and study on how I can use the bible to people's and my own real life situations. Thus I know that no matter what I can trust God using the bible to help me in all situations.
    As I study out the bible, I know sharing my faith is really the mission of all real disciples. That's how Jesus' ministry started. And I know I have to do the same thing, go share my faith. If you have done it, you know it's not that easy, giving your hearts out to people. And many times, I have certain perception if people respond positively or not. As I read, the disciples kept reaching out and do not think much about the results. I thought if they have, they would be too negative to evangelise, to share God's love. Yet we know, we have to trust God for things to work out. God just need us to work with Him. Thus we know our labor in the Lord is not vain. I will keep on persevering.

    Saturday, September 12, 2009

    Love is the most important gift - 1 Corinthians 13

    In 1 Cor 12, Paul concludes by saying he will now show us the most excellent way. And the whole of next chapter is dedicate to talking about love. I'm impressed that Apostle Paul, a single man, a church persecutor turned apostle described love in such details and truth. I think this chapter has been quoted so often, we can see it everywhere.  Yet, I still think this passage on love is so well written compared to so many other description on love I have read.

    I have no doubt that only God could inspire a single man to write this. God wants us to really understand love, His kind of love, the love that goes through in the church, the love that spreads outside the church, the strength, the perseverance, such patience, such kindness, such belief and trust. The faith it provides, the security which everyone wants. Such selflessness and servanthood. Love never fails! And definitely, God is love. It's truth that we have not seen anyone who loves like God except the son of God, Jesus Christ.

    It's quite clear to understand that God is talking about love in the whole of chapter 13. Not about tongues of angels, it doesn't mean there's any. After talking about the spiritual gifts in chapter 12, Paul is trying to tell the christians don't focus on comparing the different gifts. We should desire greater gifts. And no matter what happens, love will always be here, even in afterlife, in heaven. I truly believes it's not always easy to love in all situations. Yet this is the challenge God wants us all to carry. To spread his love, to spread his gospels. Still I wonder has everyone in the world heard of God's love. I doubt so. Many times when I wanted to share my faith, I caught myself being distracted about my own problems or focusing on what could bring me more pleasures. And definitely sharing my faith does not come like my second nature. I need to work on this. I hope everyone will soon heard of God's love and share the love around. Everyone deserve to have a personal relationship with God.

    Thursday, September 10, 2009

    Unimpressive Recipes - Anmum Milkshake

    June is already in the 6th month of pregnancy and it's getting really exciting. She consistently needs a higher daily intake of supplement and minerals both for herself and the baby and thus I bought Anmum Materna. From

    "Anmum Materna™ is especially formulated for women who are pregnant or who are planning for pregnancy. Anmum Materna™ is high in Folate, which is important to maintain the growth and development of the foetus. Delicious tasting Anmum Materna™ also contains GA, SA, Calcium, Iron & other essential nutrients. It is an ideal supplement that will aid in maintaining the growth and brain development of your unborn baby."

    BTW Anmum did not pay me to do this, they don't need to. There's no particular reason why we chose it. Probably because friends recommends it, it has a specific one for pregnant mums, and also it has chocolate flavor which June prefer over the original ones. It takes 5 scoops and half cup of water to make. Initially I used hot water, trying to stir hard for the milk powder to dissolve but no matter how long and how hard I stir, there would be some stubborn milk particles not dissolved. And June does not like those milk residue. At the same time, I realized June is not taking a separate calcium supplement that I bought for her. She don't like the taste.

    And then it begins my unimpressive recipe again. I decided to make a Anmum milkshake, using just cold water or ice, with Anmum Materna, a spoon of Milo for better taste and the calcium powder supplement. Blend them with my cheap but poweful blender and wahlah my own Anmum milkshake! I poured it out but filter the foam. It looks rich and chocolate flavor taste great! The best thing is June loves it! And she is taking all the necessary nutrients happily and I'm happy too! You all can give it a try!

    Wednesday, September 09, 2009

    The Use of Spiritual GIft - 1Cointhians 12

    To my understanding, the church in Corinth has many disciples who are converted from pagan religions. And some of this pagan religions are attractive because they offer some form of miracles. I believe many of this pagan religion believers would feel good about showing off their miracle powers and probably many believers would even try to imitate to have the same "power". Probably having this miracle power would enable them to have some authority in that pagan sect.

    However Apostle Paul is teaching the Corinth church about gifts from God. Different people will have different gifts. As I read through this few chapters, I can see Paul is really taking some effort to explain about "gifts" here. I believe Paul feels that many members of the Corinth church has a misconception about gitfts and thus led to him explaining the basic in details. He says there are many different gifts and everyone will have different gifts. E.g. like having the word of wisdom, teaching the word, healing, speaking in tongues, interpreting the tongues. And all these effects came from the same spirit. I guess if according to what Paul has said, you would see a well balanced of people contributing in different areas in a bible based church.

    I'm glad that since I was baptised, I have been learning to take on different roles. First of all, is learning to take care of little children on Sundays, teaching them, discipling them. Then I was taught to take care of new Christian in a one on one way, guiding and helping them. These are teenagers and students. Then took part in choir and christmas caroling. Few years later, I learnt to lead a group of working singles adults, working hand in hand with the women side too. Then learned to go on stage to pray, make annoucements, do short sharing from the Bible. I would never imagine a introvert like myself would take the leap and be transformed by spirit of God. I see all these responsibilities and roles are a manifestation of the Spirit. I don't think that the spirit would only manifest to heal by laying hands and speak in tongues. However, even now a days, many Christians desire these two gifts more than the others. Just like the Corinth church, they have misunderstood the purposes of these gifts.

    I'm sure one would understand what Paul is drving at if one would continue to read on to the next few chapters. What are the purpose of these gifts? Is there one gift more important or more powerful than the other? What's the most important gift among all these gifts. I will talk more the next time, going on to the next chapter. As in v31, Paul urges us to earnestly desire the greater gifts and he will show you a still more excellent way in the next chapter.

    Tuesday, September 08, 2009

    Win this race for yourself! 1Corinthains 9

    1Cor 9:24-25 Apostle Paul talks about running in a race. He says when you run in a race, run in such a way that you may win. Everyone wants to run a certain race to win a certain thing that they desire. However Paul urges us to win the race that will award us eternity. I think running in any sort of race, takes some if not, a lot of training and as what the Bible says, exercises some form of self-control in all things. And when you are in a race, be focus on what it takes and what are you aiming for. Don't run aimlessly.

    I'm thinking of this race that Paul is talking about. The race to eternity, an everlasting place in heaven. Paul is very focus, he makes sure that everything he does, contributes to being able to go to heaven. Does that mean that it takes only works to reach God? I don't think so but he wants to make sure that he don't fall from this precious grace that God has given us through his son Jesus Christ. When we are baptised, we are saved, and it is then that God has prepared us much work to be done. Either to continue to work on our weakness, or preparing others for this race or simply to preach the word, share the good news. It's interesting that Paul at the end v27 says he have to discipline his body and make it his slave in order to really do the works of God. It sounds challenging yet in these days, hardly we heard anyone expecting much from themselves when it comes to serving God and others.

    And that after Paul have preached to others, he make sure that he himself will not be disqualified for this race. I thought who has more credibility than any of these great apostles. Yet Paul don't see that preaching to others will automatically let him win this race, a ticket to heaven. He made sure he also don't fall from grace. An example we can see an apostle who has fallen from grace is Judas Iscariot. This is really reminding me that my salvation is just my relationship with God alone. No amount of preaching, evangelising, baptism will draw God closer to me, it is simply my daily quiet time with Him. How much time do I spend each day with God, praying to Him, reading the Bible? How personal am I with God? I hope you understand, on top of our quiet time, we still have to serve God and people, it work hand in hand.

    Monday, September 07, 2009

    Relate, love and serve selflessly - 1Corinthians 9

    1Cor 9:19-23 Many great leaders, either of a country or a company, has made many great speeches and have won some followers. They potrayed as someone with great power and authority, and everyone looks up to them. However some may feel that these great leaders are not easy to approach. Yet in the eyes of these great leaders, how many people under them are they able to relate to, to reach out to?

    Apostle Paul described himself here that in order to relate to people, he becomes like one of them. He's not necessary referring to the physical outlook nor doing the same thing, but rather the experience he's drawing upon, he's trying to empathize with the people. To a slave, he becomes like a slave. To someone weak, he becomes weak. He did his best to relate and empathize with these people. That doesn't mean he joins them in their mistakes or sin. He's always reaching out to people and hopefully he might win some over. Though it seems like a lot of effort but little result but many onlookers and followers are convicted and inspired by his Jesus-like attitude, and would choose to follow and do likewise. Thus many would benefit and would follow the ways of Christ.

    However, how many church leaders would actually ask their members to join them, to humble themselves, stood lower, to reach out and serve more people around them. How many people are really inspired by the life of a servant. Even I felt difficult many times and I struggled greatly to love and serve selflessly. May God bear with my weakness yet prosper what I do in my service.

    Sunday, September 06, 2009

    Unimpressive Recipes - Proton Saga Spaghetti

    We had a long night of entertaining friends and of course there's lot's of food and thus some raw ingredients were left uncooked. As today is Sunday, we would love to go out and have a good meal. However I realise that our car is not starting up. It's starts to behave like an old car, coughing up but not starting. Weird, and so we are kind of stuck at home. Then June remembered that there's some left over ingredients where we can cook them for dinner. There's tomato carrot, celery and packet of spaghetti and few chunks of frozen fried chicken. And thus i begin to start up my creative mind. As lazy as I am, I decide to fried everything together. June told me to mix tomato paste with whip cream, this is a great idea. First I begin to chop up garlic, onion, celery and carrot. Next boil water to cook the spaghetti, remember to add olive oil and salt into the pot of boiling water. While the spaghetti is still cooking, heat up the wok, around 3 tablespoon of olive water. Once the oil is hot, throw in the chopped garlic and onion. Once the fragrance is out, throw in the chopped carrot and celery. After a minute, throw in a tablespoon of basil and oregano. The fragrance is getting stronger, after another 2 minutes, throw in half a can of tomato paste. Stir fry a while, then pour in a small cup of whip cream, until the color of the sauce turn orange. Start to add in salt to season until the taste is right. After 10 minutes, throw in the spaghetti and stir fry. Once the sauce is evenly stir fry on the spaghetti, it is ready to be served. I shall name this pasta, "Proton Saga Spaghetti". This umipressive receipe may serve you well when your car broke down. It sure taste delicious to us! Enjoy!

    Friday, September 04, 2009

    Love and respect the faithless - 1 Corinthians 8

    Here Paul talks about how some Christians converted from other faith, were still struggling in regards of those food being sacrificed to the idols. Of course in those days, God condems any form of idol worship, be it in Old Testament or New Testament. And any new converts will know well not to associate anything with the idols. So if the food was sacrificed to the idols before and seeing the Christians eating them, they are stumbled. Even though according to this chapter, idols are nothing, food sacrificed to idols are just normal food. But the new converts from those religions don't feel comfortable and felt stumbled. The older Christians know that the idols are nothing and the food is fine so they eat them without feeling much. However instead of rebuke the young Christians, Paul actually says the older Christians has wounded the young converts' weak conscience and have sinned against them. Paul says in such a situation when his strong faith has caused his brother to fall into sin, it's better for him to stop eating those meat.
    I thought Paul probably wants the Christians to exercise love and caution when there's younger Christians around. We have to understand their weakness, background and put our shoes in them. We need to care and even take initiative to care and respect them, so that they can be open and even be educated of their new found faith. That's when they will learn and grow, their faith will be stronger.
    I believe this is not just the case of Christianity but in other religions as well. I see some believers of other religions got stumbled, dumbfolded by other believers in the same religion. Within a same religion, if there's other practice or beliefs embraced by some but not all, seems like there's double standards. I wonder how long will this religion last. Even other than religions, even in the case of medicine, if one does not believe a certain medication works but the others do, that one person will be stumbled. But in the world today, who really cares of such details of another person. I'm amazed by the Bible, by how God cares of such details and make sure that our little faith do not get put out, but make sure that we all grow. This's just amazing!

    Expel any sin in you! 1 Corinthians 5

    Apostle Paul was condeming any form of sexual immoral act especially within the church. He was really serious and expects the church to expel the brother. I believe expel means out of the church fellowship and defninitely out of church membership. It's possible that even in the church, someone who's baptised can also be sexual immoral. And probably at that time in the Corinth church, there are quite a few of such people. And this problem is getting a bit out of hand, probably may have affected the Christians in the church. I believed even in this 21st century, sexual immoral sin is still at large today, just that people are not open about it, till the consequences strike. There are husbands going for someone's wives, dating couples have pre-marital sex, homosexual act. Imagine all these can be going on in a church, just because there are hidden sin, people are not open about it. Just as verse 6 "a little yeast works through the whole batch of dough" Yeast is being used by Jesus as a symbol of sin. It shows sin can start really small and insignificant like a human though. Our thoughts can arouse lust and evil thoughts, our hearts are decitful according to the bible. Any secret and unopen thoughts can be snowballed into actions whose consequences cannot be repair or undo. The lack of openness and church discipline and discipling, leads to such consequences. I hope I can urge more churches not to take this lightly. And definitely I have to ensure that I expel any sinful thoughts in me, and bring it to light. I'm glad that I have people who not just can advise me but sincerely care and listen to me, and help me, of course. This is the true church family.

    Wednesday, September 02, 2009

    Servants of Christ

    I just finished reading the Bible, 1 Corinthians 4, that how Paul urged the Corinthians to imitate him, to be like a servant of Christ. The Corinth church is pretty much divided into groups following different leaders. Probably some are impressed by one's teaching or model attitude. Though the leaders have a good heart but they should not encourage division in church. I thought some of those unspiritual leaders even feel good that group of believers are supporting them! They felt good to be pleased, felt good to have people stand up for them. However, these are not the kind of attitude that any leader should have especially a church leader. Leaders according to the Bible are not here to gather people to please them or stand up for them, but they are here to serve. Paul continued to imitate Jesus to serve the people around him, and urged all of us to serve too. I am reminded once again that I'm here in Seremban not to have people to praise me or encourage me but to serve the people here. I must say it's really not an easy job. But I must continue to trust God for He knows best how things should be done and even in 1 Corinthians 1:25, the foolishness of God is wiser than men, I would not claim to know what's best for myself. Like Paul, I choose to serve, not here to gain any self-glorifying moments. It's tough, may God help us. I am the servant of Christ in Seremban, Malaysia!