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IT'S TIME TO FALL IN LOVE AGAIN

I hope it’s still not too late for me to wish every faithful reader of our Virtual Church blog…A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR 2009! It has been quite a long time since my last entry was posted here and for that I would like to apologize to everyone for my ‘inactiveness’ in contributing something here. I hope I can be a more active witness of God in this year. Do pray for me as well as the other authors/admin of this blog ministry.

On the last day of 2008, a good friend of mine said to me that we can understand life more by looking at our past but can only experience a real life if we continue to move forward. I agreed with him. True enough that we can understand and perhaps should learn life more by looking at our – good and bad – past. But of course we are not only talking about something by just looking at it and then stop there. It’s more than a mere look. It’s a deep searching and learning process that promote improvement in our lives. Okay, time for self-assessment. Actively my mind started its auto-job, forcing me to look back at my past days throughout year 2008. Few questions aroused. What good and bad things had I done? Have I been closer to God or the other way around? Have I loved God more and more or less and less?

Every thought indulged, every deed done, each word said went on screening, being evaluated, and for some time my mind was sort of in agony remembering and feeling that my love relationship with my Lord has somehow gone cold. Possible causes? Too much time spent indulging worldly pleasures. Too easy to get distracted by life’s perplexities. Too fast to make selfish judgments and yet very slow to learn. Many times along the way I almost could see myself as first in everything, thus putting God as the second or even worse sometimes last. I got enough time and strength to do lots of other stuffs but less interest or too busy to personally read and meditate upon the Word of God. Thank God that despite of all these weaknesses, God never forsakes me alone. He has been always with me through it all exactly as He has promised… “Behold, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen” Matt 28:20.

Friends, your walking experience with the Lord in year 2008 may be or may be not the same as mine but I believe we all do face multiple challenges every now and then that either would strengthen or loosen our love relationship with God. Whatever my or your faith condition is and in spite of all our weaknesses, never dare even once to think that God has forsaken you. If you feel so, that is just the devil trying hard to make you doubt on God’s wonderful promises.

Just as true as God loves us unconditionally and endlessly, it is also true that God hates sin. It really hurts Him when we choose to deny Him and betray His love. But He never gives up on us. God loves us so much and doesn’t want to lose us no matter how terrible we are. Listen to this blessed assurance…Isaiah 44:22 I have put your evil doings out of my mind like a thick cloud, and your sins like a mist: come back to me; for I have taken up your cause.


Friends, if we feel that we have gone astray from God, it definitely just the right time to come back to Him. If we feel that our love with God has gone cold or we have turned away from our first love... it’s time to fall in love with God again and resolve to always think, act and say “every moment I love you Lord” for each new day in 2009.

Don’t be discouraged for what “bad” had we done in year 2008 because by the grace of God, we can always begin a new start of change that is by “Forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead” like what Apostle Paul did. After all we can only experience a real life when we choose to move forward with God!

Note: There’s nothing we can do to make God love us more, there’s nothing we can do to make God love us less. God always loves sinners like you and me!

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Don't Give Up

Sometimes ago I got this email from a friend of mine. I really love the story as it's very inspiring (at least to me). I would like to post it here to share the blessing with everyone. The original writer is anonymous, so I couldn't give a specific gratitude. Anyway, whoever the author is, if you ever see this story posted here (in our blog), I hope you don't mind and thanks again. God bless you and everyone who read this wonderful story. Here's the story...

***

One day I decided to quit... I quit my job, my relationship, my spirituality... I wanted to quit my life. I went to the woods to have one last talk with God.

"God", I asked, "Can you give me one good reason not to quit?"

His answer surprised me... "Look around", He said. "Do you see the fern and the bamboo?"

"Yes", I replied.

"When I planted the fern and the bamboo seeds, I took very good care of them. I gave them light. I gave them water. The fern quickly grew from the earth. Its brilliant green covered the floor. Yet nothing came from the bamboo seed. But I did not quit on the bamboo. In the second year the Fern grew more vibrant and plentiful. And again, nothing came from the bamboo seed. But I did not quit on The bamboo. He said. "In year three there was still nothing from the bamboo seed. But I would not quit. In year four, again, there was nothing from the bamboo seed. I would not quit." He said.

"Then in the fifth year a tiny sprout emerged from the earth. Compared to the fern it was seemingly small and insignificant...But just 6 months later the bamboo rose to over 100 feet tall. It had spent the five years growing roots. Those roots made it strong and gave it what it needed to survive. I would not give any of my creations a challenge it could not handle."

He asked me. "Did you know, my child, that all this time you have been struggling, you have actually been growing roots".

"I would not quit on the bamboo. I will never quit on you."

"Don't compare yourself to others." He said.

"The bamboo had a different Purpose than the fern. Yet they both make the forest beautiful."

"Your time will come", God said to me.

"You will rise high"

"How high should I rise?" I asked.

"How high will the bamboo rise?" He asked in return.

"As high as it can?" I questioned.

"Yes." He said, "Give me glory by rising as high as you can."

I left the forest and brought back this story. I hope these words can help you see that God will never give up on you. Never, Never, Never Give up. For the Christian Prayer is not an option but an opportunity. Don't tell the Lord how big the problem is, tell the problem how Great the Lord is!

***

Blessed Year 2009 to everyone.
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Azam Tahun Baru

Shallom! Bertemu kembali di Gereja Maya di tahun baru 2009. Di kesempatan ini saya ingin merakamkan ucapan terima kasih yang tak terhingga atas kesetiaan anda untuk mengikuti perkembanagn pelayanan maya ini. Saya berharap siapa pun anda, telah diberkati oleh perkongsian2 yang kami telah sampaikan di sini. Berkat itu bukan daripada kami, tetapi Bapa di Syurga yang telah menyatakan kasihNya kepada dunia ini melalui AnakNya Yesus Kristus. Segala salah dan silap perkataan, kami memohon berbanyak2 kemaaafan dan kami mendoakan semoga tahun ini menjanjikan berkat yang besar untuk kita semua.

Seperti kebiasaannya apabila tahun baru menjelma, orang pasti akan bertanya tentang azam baru. Bagi saya secara peribadi saya sudah mula tidak menyenaraikan apa azam baru setiap tahun sejak beberapa tahun kebelakangan ini. Bukan kerana tidak ada azam baru, tetapi saya lebih selesa jika saya hanya meletakkan azam baru saya sebagai 'mahu memberi dan menjadi yang terbaik untuk Tuhan'. Oleh kerana itulah azam baru yang saya sentiasa pegang, maka saya tidak perlu menukarnya lagi atau menyenaraikan lagi azam2 baru yang banyak. Saya anggap semua itu hanyalah usaha2 saya untuk mahu 'memberi dan menjadi yang terbaik untuk Tuhan'.

Jika perlu disenaraikan juga beberapa di antara usaha itu, sudah pasti seperti ramai saudara/i ketahui saya mahu buat yang terbaik dalam usaha saya untuk mengusahakan klinik sendiri di pekan Kota Belud yang akan bermula pada bulan ini (semoga dapat dimulakan pada 19 Jan 2009). Sedikit masa nanti saya akan buat artikel dan laman khas mengenainya. Apa yang pasti, dalam segala sesuatu yang saya ingin lakukan, Tuhan tetap menjadi yang terutama dan yang terpenting. Apa saja usaha yang saya buat, saya mahu melakukannya untuk memuliakan namaNya.

Tahun ini (Bulan ini) juga saya dan isteri akan menyambut ulang tahun perkahwinan yang ke-5. Saya secara peribadi mengharapkan agar kami sekeluarga akan terus diberkati dan diurapi Tuhan. Hubungan saya dengan isteri tetap penuh kasih dan bahkan semakin intim dan penuh pengertian. Sentiasa menjadi harapan saya yang besar agar kami sekeluarga akan sentiasa memelihara kasih Yesus dalam kehidupan kami, melayani dengan penuh kasih dan menjadi berkat bagi orang lain. Anak2 kami akan memulakan persekolahan; Ada yang masuk tahun 1 (anak angkat), ada yang masuk tadika satu (anak sulung) dan yang bungsu baru melepasi umur 2 tahun.

Banyak perkara lain juga yang saya ingin lakukan di tahun yang baru ini, tetapi cukuplah perkongsian kali ini. Jika ada kesempatan yang lain dan ada keperluan, saya akan kongsikan. Untuk itu saya mengajak kita semua yang percaya Yesus agar terus giat di dalam Tuhan; belajar firman Tuhan dengan lebih tekun, semakin mengasihi sesama dan sentiasa saling mendoakan. Marilah terus menjadi terang dan garam bagi dunia ini; secara nyata ataupun maya. Selamat Tahun Baru 2009 dan Tuhan memberkati kita semua.

Note: There's a saying, "God First, Family Second, and Career Third. It's not a philosophy, but it's a reality."
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