Thursday, January 28, 2010

Tell the people you love

Never Too Busy for a Friend

One day a teacher asked her students to list the names of the other students
in the room on two sheets of paper, leaving a space between each name.

Then she told them to think of the nicest thing they could say about each of
their classmates and write it down.

It took the remainder of the class period to finish their assignment, and as
the students left the room, each one handed in the papers.

That Saturday, the teacher wrote down the name of each student on a separate
sheet of paper, and listed what everyone else had said about that individual.

On Monday she gave each student his or her list. Before long, the entire class
was smiling. "Really?" she heard whispered. "I never knew that I meant
anything to anyone!" and, "I didn't know others liked me so much." were most
of the comments.

No one ever mentioned those papers in class again. She never knew if they
discussed them after class or with their parents, but it didn't matter. The
exercise had accomplished its purpose. The students were happy with themselves
and one another. That group of students moved on.

Several years later, one of the students was killed in Viet Nam and his
teacher attended the funeral of that special student. She had never seen a
serviceman in a military coffin before. He looked so handsome, so mature. The
church was packed with his friends. One by one those who loved him took a last
walk by the coffin.

The teacher was the last one to bless the coffin. As she stood there, one of
the soldiers who acted as pallbearer came up to her. "Were you Mark's math
teacher?" he asked. She nodded: Yes." Then he said: "Mark talked about you a

After the funeral, most of Mark's former classmates went together to a
luncheon. Mark's mother and father were there, obviously waiting to speak with
his teacher.

"We want to show you something," his father said, taking a wallet out of his

"They found this on Mark when he was killed. We thought you might recognize

Opening the billfold, he carefully removed two worn pieces of notebook paper
that had obviously been taped, folded and refolded many times. The teacher
knew without looking that the papers were the ones on which she had listed all
the good things each of Mark's classmates had said about him.

"Thank you so much for doing that," Mark's mother said. "As you can see, Mark
treasured it."

All of Mark's former classmates started to gather around. Charlie smiled
rather sheepishly and said, "I still have my list. It's in the top drawer of
my desk at home."

Chuck's wife said, "Chuck asked me to put his in our wedding album."

"I have mine too," Marilyn said. "It's in my diary."

Then Vicki, another classmate, reached into her pocketbook, took out her
wallet and showed her worn and frazzled list to the group "I carry this with
me at all times," Vicki said and without batting an eyelash, she continued: "I
think we all saved our lists."

That's when the teacher finally sat down and cried. She cried for Mark and for
all his friends who would never see him again. The density of people in
society is so thick that we forget that life will end one day. And we don't
know when that one day will be.

So please, tell the people you love and care for, that they are special and
important. Tell them, before it is too late.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I will choose to trust You, Jesus

The Adventure of Obedience
Glynnis Whitwer

"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."
Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)

The story is told that when Dr. David Livingstone was working in Africa, a group of friends sent a letter saying, "We would like to send other men to you. Have you found a good road into your area yet?" Apparently, Dr. Livingstone sent this message in reply: "If you have men who will only come if they know there is a good road, I don't want them. I want men who will come if there is no road at all."

I wonder if God thinks this about us sometimes. I wonder if He ever calls us to obedience without showing us the path we will travel, or the end result, just to see what we will do. Kind of like a test. Will we obey without a road map?

And I often wonder why following God isn't easier. There are days when I feel tired of getting called out of my comfort zone to obey God. On those days I've been known to whine in my prayers asking God if there isn't any way I can serve Him from the safety of my recliner. But that's not God's ways. God does not wish me to be limited by my desire for security and control.

Maybe there is something within us that is revealed when we are pressured from without. Maybe the call to obey shines light on the truth about our faith. I know that in order to grow, faith must be stretched, and that's often uncomfortable.

You see, I have not learned to trust God in the easy ways of faith. I have not learned to trust God by reading a book or listening to a great sermon. Nor have I learned to trust God by hearing how my friend trusts God. No, I am learning to trust God by stepping out into an adventure of obedience and discovering for myself that He is trustworthy.

This happened when my husband and I started tithing (after I resisted for years), and watched God cover all our needs and more. This happened when I obeyed His command to write a book (even though I didn't know what I would write about), and watched God open doors of opportunity. This is happened when we said yes to adoption, and are watching the blossoming of two little girls who now have a hope and a future.

Obeying when God hasn't revealed the steps along the way or the final destination is challenging. But when we choose to walk by faith and not by sight, God gets all the glory in the end because we KNOW we couldn't have done it on our own!

Dear Heavenly Father, I praise You for being completely trustworthy. Thank You for having my best interest at heart, even when the path to obedience seems scary. Help me to take the next step of faith, even when I don't see where I'm going. I will choose to trust You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Make praise and gratitude a habit in your life!

Seven Ways to Cultivate Joy
by Insight for Living

Want more joy in your day? Cultivate it! Joy springs from viewing the day's events from eternity's perspective. With this intentional focus, you're sure to see today differently - with more joy and conviction that God is at work in your life.

1. Rehearse with God the reasons you trust Him. Tell Him which of His attributes is your favorite right now. Read the praises of Scripture back to Him - begin with Psalm 103. Join with another believer in prayers of thanksgiving, and delight yourself in His character.

2. Keep a "joy journal." Record the reasons you have to rejoice and the reminders of God's faithfulness that you encounter in your everyday life. In addition, why not press a leaf from your prayer walks into its pages or include a photo of a person that brings you joy each time you remember him or her? Think big - expand your journal into a "joy box" or a "joy drawer" that brings floods of joy each time you open it.

3. Surround yourself with joyful people. Joy is contagious - so build relationships with friends whose lives exhibit their confidence in God. Pray for each other that your joy in Christ would continue to increase.

4. Approach life's challenges and trials redemptively. God doesn't waste the difficult circumstances of your life but uses them to develop His character in you. Review Romans 5 and James 1 for help in processing pressure productively. Joy will sneak up on you when you view your hardest lessons as gifts from God.

5. Make praise and gratitude a habit. Has God met a need? Praise Him! Have your challenges given you greater opportunities to see Him work? Thank Him! Joy flows from a grateful and responsive heart. Before you turn in at night, write down three to five blessings in your "joy journal." Make it a habit, and watch your joyful attitude grow.

6. Fill your mind with music. Listen to, sing, and meditate on music that draws your heart nearer to God and His Word.

7. Take the long view. Investors advise their clients not to worry about the daily ups and downs of the stock market - what matters is the long view. Does life present incredible challenges today? Are your reserves at a low, or are you enjoying a content plateau? Regardless of today's events, take the long view. Remember that God remains in charge of your days and will faithfully develop His character in you.

Remember, joy springs from viewing the day's events from eternity's perspective. Trust that God controls your life's details (Romans 8:28), that He hears your every request (Psalm 116:1), and that His joy will be your strength (Nehemiah 8:10).

Adapted from "Seven Ways to Cultivate Joy," Insights (March 2001): 2. Copyright © 2001 by Insight for Living. All rights reserved worldwide.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Monday, January 25, 2010

Rejoice 2010!

3rd Jan 2010

Dear Prayer Partners,

1. TQ for your prayers during the last 2 weeks ministry in Sabah. It was a hectic but fruitful time to serve the Lord in the land below the wind.

2. Jessie and Ana went along with me. Jessie had been in Sabah once, around 25 years ago! She went to Sandakan for a mission trip during her undergraduate days. This was Ana’s first trip and she was super excited!

Day 1 – KK!

3. We landed in Kota Kinabalu (KK) and were greeted by Aunty J and Aunty V. They were ex-students that I had taken care of in the 1990. They were the batch that the government chose to send to the UK for further studies. I had the privilege to mentor them during the 2-3 years they were in Kuala Lumpur before going to England.

4. They blessed us with a night in the hotel, and Ana could not stop jumping like crazy on the bed! I almost had to shoot her with elephant tranquilizers to calm her! She was THAT energized!

Day 2 – Ranau

5. The next day, Aunty R drove us to Ranau, a 2-hour drive from KK. Aunty R is a school mate with Aunty V and others that will be mentioned later. Interestingly, I took care of her older sister - Aunty VE - when she studied from Sec One to A level (in 1980s) in northern part of Malaysia 25 years ago. I lost contact with her for 20 over years and only reconnected early this year (2009).

6. Btw, I call them Aunties because this is what Ana calls them – not because they are old, though most are married with kids.

7. The first night of the camp, I preached on the importance and power of the Scriptures. However, the participants were tired after the long journey so I did not individually pray for them.

Day 3 – Ranau

8. I preached in the morn, noon, and night! After the night services, I prayed for them and many of them had an encounter with the Holy Spirit. They lay on the floor and quietly wept before the Lord. A 9-year old boy who is a descendant from biblical Hagar, who has never seen nor experience the anointing of the Spirit, also rested in the presence of the Lord. Praying for his salvation.

9. I took the opportunity to pray for Ana and she too felt the power of God on her. Later on, she told us that when she was lying down, she “heard fireworks” and “saw many different colors in her mind.” Being only almost 4 years old, I think she may not fully understand the experience, but she knows it was Jesus who touched her.

Day 4 – Leaving Ranau to KK

10. The next day, while talking to Ana she suddenly out of the sudden said, “I want to be like daddy. I want to preach and pray for people so that they can experience the power of God.” I asked her are sure? And she answered confidently, “Of course, daddy.”

11. This has been my prayer for her that she will serve the Lord and preach the Word. That she will be open to the work of the HS. I continue to pray daily for her that she will be burdened for mission and be committed to fulfill the Commission of Jesus in her life. And that God would be pleased to call her into the ministry.

Day 5 – Kota Belud (KB)

12. We headed to KB (a 2 hour drive north of KK) as I was to preach in a service there. Half-way, I suddenly remembered one of my ex-students who had become a lecturer in a college. We detoured to visit him and to be pleasantly surprised that his wife just gave birth to their 6th child, about 6 weeks ago.

13. He had also become an elder in his church as the congregation had no pastor. The vision that the Lord gave to me almost 30 years ago to disciple-mentor these group of tribal East Malaysian students have become a reality in ways that only God had the ability to bring it to pass.

14. During this drive, Ana was so excited to see live cows, horses, and all types of animals that she does not have the opportunities to see in Spore. That night I shared with the youth service and encouraged them to continually grow in the Lord.

Day 6 – Tambunan (TBN)

15. The next day, we drove to Tambunan, a 4 hour drive from KB. I was scheduled to preach in the afternoon as well as the night. But we only arrived in the evening and after a short drink in the elder’s house, we were ushered to the church.

16. The congregation has been experiencing a mini revival since 3 years ago, according to the elder. Many of the congregation had come from a more traditional background but had been touched by the Spirit. I was led to preach on unity of the leaders so that the gospel will continue to grow.

17. It was a good service as I felt it was easy to sow the Word as the people were hungry for the Word. And when I started praying for the people, many felt His mighty presence. It had nothing to do with me, it was their passion and love for Jesus.

18. The service ended late and after a delicious supper, we headed to Keningau, an hour’s drive. We reached there past one am.

Day 7 Keningau

19. Sunday morning service, I preached in one of my seminary student’s church. He has been pastoring there for a few years. The HS was ministering to the people to challenge them to worship Jesus even much more in their lives.

20. After a short lunch, we headed to the hospital to pray for Aunty R’s father who has been bedridden for the past few months. The family only discovered a few days ago that he has been keeping some amulets and mantras, and now want to let it go. They asked me to come and pray with him to repent and to renounce those forbidden stuffs.

21. After the hospital visit, we went to Aunty R brother’s house. She has asked the family and relatives to come over so that they can do a family worship service and for me to pray for them. Around 20 of them came and the Spirit moved gently upon this family. For many of them, this is a first time that someone is actually laying hands on them.

22. There was another biblical Hagar’s descendant, and in the beginning she was not open to be prayed for. But as they persuaded her, this 16-year old came forward to be prayed for and she encountered the HS in her life. Praying for her salvation too!

23. Then they brought us to several houses to pray and dedicate them to the Lord. Then Aunty V drove the 3 hour journey back to KK, arriving around midnite. She has been a great blessing to all of us. Though she is a manager and has an MBA, she humbly, tirelessly and joyfully served all of us, especially Ana.

Day 8 KK – Nexus Resort Karambunai

24. After such a hectic one week of ministry, Aunty J blessed us with a stay in this place where some say its heaven. They thoughtfully planned for us to have some family time. Ana swam and swam in the nice swimming pool.

Day 9 Singapore!

25. Jessie and Ana flew back to Singapore in mid afternoon, as Jessie had to go back to work. I stayed on as I have other services to minister in. The night, Aunty V, Aunty M, and myself went to visit another ex-student, Aunty P. Her family was having a BBQ.

26. Aunty P is another long lost student (mid-1980s) whom I have lost contact. Currently she and her hubby are leaders in their church. They are one of the pioneers for a bilingual service which grew from 20 plus to about 200 in a span of 10 months. It was encouraging to fellowship with them and to hear what God has done and continue to do in their lives.

27. PTL for another fruit that remained faithful and fruitful. Thank you to those who have prayed and financially supported during those uncertain times. It has multiplied many times over.

28. I took the opportunity to pray for their children and their nephews/nieces that had come for the BBQ. The Lord touched them gently as I prayed for them. For a number of them, this was the first time they felt the anointing of the Spirit on their lives.

Day 10 Miscarriage!

29. Jessie sms from Singapore that she went to the hospital and they confirmed that she had a miscarriage. She had experienced some bleeding since the beginning of the trip but it was not serious until the final part of her stay.

30. PTL, she is fine now, just resting though busy working from home and taking care of Ana. Doctor gave her the all clear sign. Apparently she is supposed to go through a short confinement period – as though the body has given birth. Appreciate your prayers for her.

31. We also appreciate the Singapore church members who dropped by and prayed with her. It was truly the family of God at work, rejoicing with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep.

32. From another perspective, we have spilled blood for Sabah (the miscarriage probably happened during the Ranau camp, Day 2 or 3) as we desire to see revival in that land. We do not blame God or anyone, neither are we discouraged. In fact, the trip has strengthened us even more to serve the One who has the authority to write or blot out from the book of life. There is no regret. A bit of sadness and disappointment but we have turned it to worship and praise unto the Lord.

33. Today I visited another ex-student in KK. He has become a full-time pastor reaching out to the Filipinos in KK. He accepted the Lord during one of the camps that I was preaching in, back in 1989. It was a joy to see him become a minister of the gospel.

34. Then I visited another ex-student who is a school teacher in KK. He has organized several Bible camps for his students and seen them come to faith in Jesus. Again the vision that we gave to them in the 1980s continued to burn and spread. I may go in March to speak in his camp.

35. At night, I taught in a fellowship group. Though they are in their early 20s, they are into intercessory prayers. As they are hungry for the Word, I took time to teach them. There is a need for more teaching. Pray!

Day 11 Christmas Eve

36. I met up with the chairman of the Full Gospel Businessman of KK as well as a committee member of Gideons. They have kindly invited me to speak in some of their future meetings.

37. Then we headed to KB again where I would be preaching for their Christmas celebration.

Day 12 Happy Birthday Lord!

38. I preached on the life of Joseph, Jesus’ earthly father and challenged the church to emulate him as he obeyed the Lord. A number came up and told me they appreciated that message and that no one had ever preached from that perspective. All glory to the Lord.

39. Then its open house! Eat till u drop! I was brought to visit another person and bumped into another ex-student whom I have not seen for several years. He has become the chairperson of the church that he is attending as well as becoming the main person in charge of a government post.

40. He brought me to visit another ex-student – and he too has become the boss of a government post in another district. He is also one of the leaders in the local church. We rejoice that God is using all of them in their various capacities. The vision continues on for the Great Commission must be fulfilled in every generation.

41. I headed back to KK to stay in the hotel with another ex-student. He is working in Europe and has just returned to KK for Christmas holidays. He is involved in the European church there. The vision continues overseas!

Day 13 Beaufort-Papar-KK

42. We headed to Beaufort (2 hours drive) to visit and to pray with someone there. Then we headed to Papar (one hour drive) for some Christmas celebrations. We then had a short prayer ministry time with the last family.

43. We headed back to KK to visit a family for Christmas gathering. Unknown to us, they had a youth cell gathering and the parents asked me to pray for their teens. It was a good time to pray for them and to speak forth words of encouragement for them. I believe the Lord spoke some personal words for a number of them.

Day 14 Sunday service

44. I preached in a church service and encouraged them to see things from God’s perspective. Then we dropped by to have lunch with a pastor who is teaching in Singapore. After the lunch fellowship, we headed to attend the afternoon service in Aunty P’s church.

44. I met up with the pastor and we had a great fellowship as we had a number of common interests. He graciously invited me to preach in their service during my next trip.

45. Then we headed to another house to pray for the family. They have been under some sort of spiritual attacks. We had a good time of worship and the HS came upon the family members. I believe the Lord really ministered to them.

46. Continue to pray for them. Apparently one of them is a local celebrity and has to make major decisions in her life. If she chooses to obey the way of the Lord, I believe she can influence many people, especially in Sabah.

Day 15 Final Day in Sabah

47. We visited Sabah Theological Seminary (STS). It happens that the registrar and the academic dean are from my alma mater and we had a good time of fellowship. Though they have a lot of Chinese staff, it began as a Malay-language seminary in 1988. Then they added Mandarin and English courses. Then its’ off to the airport.

48. I decided to write this long and detailed trip so that you can get a sense of what God is doing in Sabah as well as the ex-students. Pray that revival will breakout upon this land and spread to other parts of the world.

God bless! Thank you for reading, praying, and replying! Love to hear your comments.

Blessed Christmas 2010!

13 Dec 2009

Dear Prayer Partners,

1. TQ for your prayers for the camp that was held in Broga, Selangor, Malaysia. The 4-day camp was organized by Glad Tidings Sunway (GTS), and I was the main speaker with the theme Inside Out.

2. The camp had about 40 participants, and the Lord was gracious and touched many lives. There were about 5 pre-believers and 2 of them gave their hearts to Jesus. PTL!

3. Pray with me that the campers will continue to humbly and obediently allow the Word and the Holy Spirit to change their character and perspective as they pursue God in their lives – so that they will be transformed inside out!

4. Pray for me as I prepare for the next camp and preaching series. Jessie, Ana and I will leave for Kota Kinabalu, Sabah early next week. It will be Ana’s first trip there and we are praying that she will catch the heartbeat of God for mission.

5. The next day after arrival in KK,
- 1st - 3rd day, I will be preaching in a camp for 3 days.
- 4th day, preaching in KB, thereafter take a 2-3 hours journey to the next stop.
- 5th day, preaching two services in TB
- 6th day, preaching in church & a home fellowship in KGU
- 7th Back to KK for some R&R
- 8th Jessie & Ana fly back to Sg, whereas I stay on
- 9th teaching Bible Study (continuation from last Aug)
- 10th & 11th Head back to KB to preach in some Christmas services
- 12th Preaching in PP
- 13th Preaching in KK
- 14th Fly home

6. Pray for protection and mercy journey as we travel to all the different places. Pray for the anointing of the HS as I share the life-changing Word that many lives will be changed and empowered to live for Jesus. Pray for divine appointments, good health, and financial provisions.

7. Continue to pray that the believers in Sabah (and Sarawak too!) will be revived and be passionate to obey the Great Commission. Many are distracted with the things of the world as well as with church activities, but not necessarily with the Savior or His Word. Pray for the fire of the Spirit to fall on them afresh!

8. For those who have not heard the news, Jessie is pregnant with our second child. The baby is anticipated to come in Aug 2010. Pray for her during this time of pregnancy and travelling in Sabah. Pray for a good pregnancy and for Ana to adjust to having a sibling.

9. Pray for me too to adjust ministry commitments. After this hectic 2-weeks trip to Sabah, I will only be back for less than a week before going off to Petaling Jaya to teach in a seminary for another 2 weeks. Appreciate all your prayers!

9. And before signing off, we want to wish every one of you:

A Glorious Heavenly Father-pleasing life,
A Blessed Christ-centered Christmas and
A Joyous-Energetic Spirit-anointed 2010!

We will encounter difficulties—sometimes intense and painful trials that seem too much for us. Yet we can rely on our heavenly Father to deliver and grow us in ways we could never imagine. He doesn't demand that we endure on our own, but He does allow us to respond and trust Him. His grace is amazing!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

this issue will determine the political and economic future of the country

US threatens sanctions over missing engines and church attacks
Tue, Jan 19, 2010

SHAH ALAM: The United States may slap economic sanctions if the Umno-led Barisan Nasional government fails to resolve two key issues considered crucial by the international community, according to diplomatic sources.

The latest edition of the Pakatan Rakyat weekly, Suara Keadilan, quoting the sources as saying that the administration of President Barrack Obama (picture) is demanding a detailed explanation from Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s government on the two missing F-5E jet engines and the series of arson attacks on churches and other places of worship over the last two weeks.

It also quoted Wisma Putra sources as saying if Najib viewed these issues lightly then Washington could slap economic sanctions on Malaysia.

The United States is Malaysia’s number one trading partner and in recent years has been ranked among the top three foreign investors. In 2008, it was the second largest investor, with investments totalling RM8.7 billion.

Any economic sanction will have a painful effect on the country, which is already suffering from a large deficit.

Wisma Putra sources said Washington’s diplomatic note reflects the seriousness of the Obama administration, which until now had only voiced their objections with statements.

“After this, if the government still dilly-dallies and takes no serious move to resolve the issues, heavier pressure will be instituted, including economic sanctions,” said one source.

In an SMS revert to Suara Keadilan, the US embassy’s media officer, Tina Malone, said Washington took a serious view of media reports of the missing jet engines, which were manufactured in the US.

“The US Government views seriously reports of the missing F-5E jet engines supplied to Malaysia,” said the SMS.

“The US Government has asked the Malaysian Government to provide a comprehensive report in relation to investigations into the matter.”

One of the Wisma Putra sources also confirmed that Waashington had sent a diplomatic note to the Malaysian Government over the petrol bomb attacks and vandalism on Christian churches.

America’s fear was underscored by its Commissioner for International Religious Freedom, Leonard Leo, who said: “How the Malaysian leadership deals with this issue will determine the political and economic future of the country.”

One ought to be able to laugh at the absurdity of it! The arrogance of politicians

January 20, 2010
Malay Provocation
New York Times

HONG KONG — One ought to be able to laugh at the absurdity of it. But the message is one of ignorance, religious and racial prejudice and political opportunism.

Last week, the Malaysian government declared that Christians in one part of the country could use “Allah” as the word for God when speaking Malay, but that those in most of the country could not. This is the same government that is currently running a public relations campaign called One Malaysia emphasizing the common identity of the nation’s racial and religious mix.

In reality, a government dominated by the United Malays National Organization (UMNO) is using spurious religious/linguistic arguments to shore up its support among a majority Malay electorate, which has been fed for years with preferences and privileges. Meanwhile, non-Malay money and talent exits the country.

The government had earlier tried to stop the use of the word Allah by all Christians. This was successfully challenged in the High Court. But instead of letting the matter rest, the government declined to back down, setting the scene for the fire bombing of churches. While these could not be laid directly at the door of UMNO, hotheads in the party may well have taken their cue from what non-Muslims see as a deliberate attempt to stir up ethnic/religious issues for political gain. Last year it was Hindus who were the target of Malay provocation.

UMNO political calculation demands that the organization sticks to its demands about the use of the word Allah in peninsular Malaysia, where all Malays are deemed Muslims and where Christians are ethnic Chinese or Indian, but not in the Borneo states of Sabah and Sarawak where there are large communities of Malay-speaking Christians. The UMNO-led coalition needs the support of the multi-ethnic parties in those states.

The word Allah has always been used without Muslim objection by Christians in the Arab world, as well as those in Malay-speaking Indonesia, where there are 10 times as many Muslims as in Malaysia. The word is itself derived from pre-Islamic Semitic language roots. Even Malaysia’s strictly Islamist opposition party, Parti Islam (PAS), agrees that all Abrahamic faiths are entitled to use the word Allah.

But such facts are of little relevance to UMNO politicians determined to drum up any issue that can be used to show their commitment to defending Malay and Muslim privileges and thus retain the support of a Malay majority against the appeal both of PAS and the multi-ethnic Keadilan party of the former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim.

UMNO cannot claim to be a party of the pious. Half a century in power has turned it into a vast patronage machine that enriches the Malay elite, providing support for luxurious lifestyles. Its insistence that all Malays are Muslims (and cannot convert) is an attempt to give religious backing to the message of Malay racial preference. That is barely in accord with the universalist notions of global Islam but keeps the loyalty of many Malays otherwise resentful of growing income gaps.

However, the racial and religious divides among the opposition still make an UMNO-led government seem a better choice than the alternatives — most likely ones in which the fundamentalism of PAS would replace the opportunism of UMNO. So despite the deterioration of communal relations in peninsular Malaysia, no major changes are in sight.

This carries two main dangers. The first is the continuing large scale exodus of capital and of talented non-Malays. Five years of generally good prices for its main commodity exports, oil, gas and palm oil, have delivered huge trade surpluses and a current account surplus of more than 10 percent of gross domestic product. But economic growth has been slow due to very weak private investment, only partly offset by large government deficit spending. Once a major recipient of foreign capital, Malaysia is now a source of flight capital. This is only sustainable while commodity prices remain at double levels of five years ago and three times those in 2002.

A longer term danger, at least as perceived by some leading Malays, such as the former Finance Minister Tunku Razaleigh, is that a combination of religious intolerance and resentment of federal exploitation of their natural resources will generate secessionism in the Borneo states. They joined Malaysia in 1963 without much enthusiasm but as the best option open to them as the British withdrew from empire. They do not want their traditions of racial and religious diversity to be poisoned by peninsular prejudices. Their separate treatment on the Allah issue will have some immediate benefits for Kuala Lumpur, but can only underscore just how different they are.

In short, the episode is sad commentary on a nation whose mix of races, its fine infrastructure and wealth of resources has held such promise. If only there really were One Malaysia.

Friday, January 1, 2010

We spend an insane amount of time swimming laps in the pool of regret!

Source: Ed Young Ministries Weekly Devotional

Multiple Choice - In Tense Part 2
by Ed Young
Week of August 24

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2

There is a line that separates everything we do. It separates the moral from the immoral; the ethical from the unethical; the wise from the unwise. And too many of us walk the edge and the ledge of that line trying to see how close we can get before we have to face the consequences.

God tells us, though, in order to reach our potential, in order to gain the full and rich life that he has in store for us, we can't walk that line. Instead, we need to be in line with him. And to be in line with God we must make wise, insightful decisions. When we fail to do that, we spend an insane amount of time swimming laps in the pool of regret. We look back at our dumb, what was I thinking decisions, shake our heads and say, "If only... if only... if only."

The best way to avoid diving into the pool of regret; the best way to make the right decisions is to ask ourselves the right questions. As you go through the decision making process, look at each option with "in tense" eyes. When you are in tense about your decision making process, you will gain the insight that allows you to see what is obscure to the rest of the world.

This week, ask yourself if your decisions are going to reflect what you have learned from your past; if your decisions are wise considering your present conditions; and if your decisions are the best options to get you where God wants to take you. Get in line with God and you will be able to see the right answers to life's multiple choice test