Saturday, July 30, 2016

Silence

Our spiritual well-being is important to our overall well-being. When our spirits are calm and at peace, our bodies benefit.
The Bible tells us, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” Inspirational music, reading, and praying out loud can all help us do that, but there should also be times when we commune with the Lord in silence. He says, “Be still, and know that I am God.”
The goal of this spiritual exercise is to bring peace to your spirit by taking 10 or 15 minutes for silent reflection.
Find a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed. You may want to read a Psalm or listen to or sing a hymn or gospel song to clear your mind of other business and help you “enter into His courts with praise.” Then reflect on one or more of the following thoughts.
From the world of sin and noise
And hurry I withdraw;
For the small and inward voice
I wait with humble awe:
Silent am I now and still,
Dare not in Thy presence move;
To my waiting soul reveal
The secret of Thy Love.
—Charles Wesley
Relax and let go of everything as you enter into the awareness of God’s presence. You can relax and let go of everything, precisely because God is present. In His presence nothing really matters; all things are in His hands. Tension, anxiety, worry, frustration all melt away before him, as snow before the sun.
—James Borst
Be earth, with all her scenes, withdrawn;
Let noise and vanity be gone:
In secret silence of the mind,
My heaven, and there my God, I find.
—Isaac Watts
There is hardly ever a complete silence in our soul. God is whispering to us well-nigh incessantly. Whenever the sounds of the world die out in the soul, or sink low, then we hear these whisperings of God. He is always whispering to us, only we do not always hear, because of the noise, hurry, and distraction which life causes as it rushes on.
—F. W. Faber
Psalm 46:10 ESV – “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”
Psalm 62:5 ESV – For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him.
Proverbs 17:28 ESV – Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Worn Out?

7 ways to increase energy
1. Eat breakfast. Studies show that people who eat breakfast are more likely to report being in a good mood and having plenty of energy throughout the day than those who don’t. Researchers at Cardiff University also found that eating a bowl of nutrition-rich breakfast cereal every morning leads to lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol. As always, avoid health-zapping, highly processed food, which includes most boxed cereals.
2. Drink water. Sometimes even slight dehydration can leave you feeling tired and lethargic. Blood and other bodily fluids are mostly water. Even mild dehydration can cause blood to thicken, forcing the heart to pump harder to carry blood to cells and organs, resulting in fatigue. The solution is simple: a tall glass of water. In addition to drinking more water, consume foods that are high in water content, such as carrots, watermelons, and oranges, and other juicy fruits and vegetables.
3. Walk around the block. It may seem that physical activity when you feel tired is likely to make you even more tired, but the opposite is true. Moderate physical activity such as walking increases energy. In experiments conducted at California State University, not only did a brisk 10-minute walk increase energy, but the effects lasted up to two hours. And when daily 10-minute walks continued for three weeks, the walkers reported increased overall energy level and improved mood.
4. Eat a power snack. A treat that combines protein, a little fat, and some fiber—like peanut butter on a whole-wheat cracker, or some unsweetened yogurt with a handful of nuts—does the trick. The carbohydrates offer a quick pick-me-up, the protein keeps your energy up, and the fat makes the energy last. Try to eat every three to four hours. Having three smallish meals and two snacks can keep your blood sugar and energy levels stable all day long. Note the word “smallish.” Supersized meals demand more energy to digest, which can leave you feeling lethargic. Sweet foods cause a spike in blood sugar, which gives you an initial burst of energy. But that high is followed by a rapid drop in blood sugar, which can leave you feeling wiped out. Fiber has a time-release effect on carbohydrates, so the glucose released by high-fiber foods enters your bloodstream at a slow and steady pace—energy with staying power. Some suggestions of fiber-filled options are a bowl of bran cereal, black beans and cheese wrapped in a multigrain tortilla, air-popped popcorn or an apple.
5. Make it a latte. If you drink coffee, try pairing that quick caffeine boost with the sustaining power of protein by making it a latte. All that milk turns your java into a protein drink, which gives you extra energy. Also, the extra calcium is good for your bones, provided you don’t negate that benefit with lots of sugar. Combine it with an ounce of almonds, and the healthy fat will really tide you over, while making you feel like you’re spoiling yourself!
6. Reduce stress. One of the biggest energy zappers is stress. Chronic stress, even at low levels, will erode your energy level. Over time you will find yourself doing less and feeling it more. Whatever is relaxing to you will reduce tension, and that will help increase energy. Take belly breaths. When you breathe in, your belly should round and fill like a balloon; when you exhale, your belly should deflate. Of course, remembering to practice deep breathing isn’t the first thing on your mind when you’re under the gun, so as a reminder, try posting a tranquil picture with the word “breathe” next to your computer or wherever you tend to get stressed. Let go of grudges. Nursing a grudge prompts your mind and body to react as if they’re under chronic stress, resulting in an impaired immune system and exhaustion over time. On the other hand, practicing empathy and forgiveness keeps the body’s stress responses in check.
7. Energize your spirit. Life happens. Emotionally difficult situations are inevitable, but if you react wisely—prayer and positiveness help—then your brain and body will rebound, along with your vim and vigor. Splash some water on your face or take a shower. Studies report that a little H2O refresher can increase energy and take the edge off when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Listening to music is one of the most effective ways to counter a bad mood, decrease tension, and increase energy. Research suggests that music effectively distracts you from feeling fatigue. Play a CD of your favorite songs when you need a pick-me-up. Do some good. A study published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior found that acts of altruism can boost six areas that affect energy levels: life satisfaction, self-esteem, sense of control over life, physical health, mood, and overall happiness.
Isaiah 40:29 NIV – He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
Colossians 1:29 ESV – For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.
Psalm 22:19 NIV – But you, O LORD, be not far off; O my Strength, come quickly to help me.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Healthy Eating – The power of two

I woke up feeling exhausted, even though I’d just slept for over an hour in the middle of the day—something I rarely do.
What’s wrong with me? I wondered. Am I getting sick? I checked my temperature. That wasn’t it.
I had work to do, but couldn’t focus. Then it came to me, “Do a diet recall.”
It was easy to remember what I’d eaten that day—half a piece of toast and a cup of tea in the morning. I glanced at my watch. It was 4 pm.
I had been busy, I told myself. How was I supposed to fit in eating on top of everything else I had to do?
I’m one of those “lucky” people with a fast metabolism. It’s always been harder for me to gain weight than to lose it. I needed to eat frequently to keep up my energy and weight, but rarely ate very much at one time. And if a meal didn’t suit my taste buds or I was going through an emotional ordeal, I would skip it altogether. My “normal” small meals and snacks gradually tapered off until I was eating almost nothing.
As a result, my energy level was always low, I got sick frequently, and had a hard time recovering. I was finding it harder and harder to exercise, or even to get up in the morning. I had a problem, and it was getting worse.
The solution was obvious—I needed to eat better—but I was bound by bad habits. I prayed about the situation, and God showed me to ask for help from a friend.
At first, I was irritated by the “intrusive” phone calls and text messages from the friend that I had taken into my confidence. I had to keep telling myself that she was only concerned and that I needed her to check on me. I grew to appreciate hearing from her frequently, inquiring what I’d eaten that day.
Whether or not you have a friend or family member to help you, there is someone who is always there, who knows your body better than you do, and who will give you ideas and tips that will help. Whether it’s a matter of losing weight, gaining weight, exercising more, or simply eating better, God will help you find and do whatever it is you need to do to live a healthy lifestyle.
Genesis 1:29 ESV – And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food.
3 John 1:2 ESV – Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.
Proverbs 25:27 ESV – It is not good to eat much honey, nor is it glorious to seek one’s own glory.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Quality of Life

If you want to enjoy a good quality of life in years to come, you have to invest in your health today.
Sickness and accidents are a part of life, and sometimes you don’t have much control over what you come in contact with or what happens to you. On the other hand, how your body reacts initially to these things and how quickly it recovers or heals is something that you do have some control over, because your body’s resistance and resilience are in great part the result of choices you make every day in caring for your health—what you eat, how you exercise, how you manage stress, your sleep and recreation habits, and other lifestyle choices.
There are many practical points that can be beneficial when trying to determine how to stay in good health or get back to good health if you’re not, but the best advice you will ever get will come from God. No one understands your body and its needs as He does, so the smartest thing you can do is ask Him to show you what changes you need to make in order to be in peak health.
God can even use health problems to better your quality of life in the long run, believe it or not. No one enjoys being sick, but if you will make an extra effort to keep Him as your ever-close consultant and companion during such times, your relationship with Him will deepen. And if you ask Him to teach you something or bring about some other good through those physical problems, He will. You will also find that you have greater faith, peace of mind, and the comfort of knowing that He is in control—all of which will make those times of difficulty easier, and the wisdom gained will stick with you once you’re better.
The next time you’re faced with a storm of health problems, remember that every dark cloud has a silver lining and that sunshine will break through in God’s time, transforming even the blackest skies. The beauties of spirit that come through such trying times are grander than the rainbow after the storm and more valuable than any “pot of gold” at the rainbow’s end. It doesn’t matter what health problem you experience, how minor or how debilitating. Whatever it is, God can use it in your life for good.
Do what you can to live a healthy lifestyle. Give your body the good things it needs, and avoid toxins, stress, and other things that weaken it. Also do what you can to strengthen your spirit by living close to God, reading and absorbing God’s Word, and avoiding things that disturb, weaken, and drain you spiritually. Do what you can, and be assured that God will do what you can’t do. You’re His forever, and He loves you more than words can say!

Natural laws vs. miracles
While God operates in the realm of the miraculous and can do whatever He deems necessary to fulfill His will, we also need to accept the fact that most of the time God chooses to work within the natural order that He has set up. That means that you are responsible to do what you can to care for your body by following God’s laws for healthy living—eating properly, exercising appropriately and consistently, getting enough sleep, minimizing stress, being attentive to hygiene, taking precautions to prevent accidents, etc.—and when you do get sick or have an accident, taking practical steps to help your body heal. God will rarely override His natural laws to do something for you that you could have done for yourself. When it comes to health, doing your part includes taking good care of your body and spirit through a healthy diet and appropriate exercise, sufficient physical and spiritual rest, and getting medical help when necessary.

Mental and emotional well-being
The ways in which our body’s physiology interacts with our mental and emotional behavior is a vast subject. There are many causes of mental illness, ranging from past experiences and hurts that one has not come to grips with, to physical imbalances that affect one’s reasoning and emotions, to feelings of extreme fear or guilt or negativity or depression, or addictions, or intense physical pain, or stress, or even simply a lack of sleep over a period of time. How an individual is affected by those causes and for how long also vary greatly, depending on how that person deals with them and whether or not the cause can be eliminated.
More and more medical professionals are recognizing the benefit of faith in overcoming mental and emotional problems, especially those brought on by trauma. Patients who turn to God for comfort and help tend to recover more quickly.

Stress
Stress undermines health, in part by weakening your nervous system and in part by undermining whatever steps you are taking to improve your health. Reducing stress often involves reassessing your priorities and lifestyle choices. What do you need to start doing differently in order to bring your life into better balance? What will it cost you? What is your health worth?

Healing takes time
Be leery of products, methods, and treatments that claim to give instant results. Most systems in the body take time to regulate. While a certain pharmaceutical product, dietary supplement, or exercise gadget might relieve one symptom or help you overcome one problem, it may have side effects that could cause worse damage. Others are simply a waste of time and money.
As you consider the options for healing and health, it’s good to remember that healing of all kinds—physical, mental, spiritual, emotional—usually takes time. That’s the way God designed it. While He might sometimes choose to restore us to full health miraculously and speedily, for the most part it takes time for our bodies and spirits to be renewed or repaired. This is the way He’s made our bodies and how they function. It’s also one of the ways in which He deepens our spirit and perspective on life, and helps us to learn lessons and gain valuable experience and maturity.
Healing just takes time. It’s a process. If something is out of balance in your body, work on getting it back in balance through healthy living choices, through steady improvement, through incremental changes. Give your body time to heal from the inside out, to be strengthened, and to repair itself. And during that time, let Jesus work in your spirit and bring about beautiful and worthwhile changes and results that will stick with you for a lifetime. “Let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”
1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV – So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 3:17 ESV – If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.
1 Corinthians 9:27 ESV – But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Rose’s Curly Toes

My friend Rose has been going through a difficult time. Her knees and toes are swollen and inflamed, and sharp pains in her legs keep her awake at night. She has had these problems off and on since she was a teenager, but it was only recently that a series of tests at a rheumatology clinic revealed that she suffers from a particularly debilitating type of inflammatory arthritis. Rose is normally an energetic person, living a busy and full life. Naturally she wondered why she was afflicted with this incurable disease, so she did some research.
When we met up over coffee, I was rather mystified by her initial exclamation. “It’s all due to my curly toes.” Then she told me what her research had yielded. Her condition was primarily genetic. Like the unusually curly toes that ran in her family, Rose had inherited a susceptibility to this disease. Something environmental—probably an infection—had triggered her first episode.
“Doesn’t that make you feel down?” I asked.
“I’ll live with it,” she replied. “Just because my toes are curly doesn’t mean I have to curl up in a corner. I may have a predisposition to this disease, but I don’t have to let it ruin my life. God has been good to me!”
X-rays had revealed that despite the many years she had been battling arthritis, she had minimal damage in her joints, which surprised the doctors. No doubt her active lifestyle, determination to stay mobile, and positive outlook had all contributed to her being in relatively good shape.
After Rose had hobbled off with a mix of grins and grimaces, I thought about this long and hard. It’s true we can’t choose our genetic makeup, and not all of the physical traits we inherit are positive, but we can choose what we do with what we are given. The Bible describes our body as the temple for our spirits, and admonishes us to take care of it. My temple may be imperfect; like Rose, I have flaws that I have inherited and other conditions I have acquired. However, none of that changes my duty to “take care of my temple” by keeping up good living habits. By giving God my cooperation, He can help me make the best of things.
Enough sitting at this keyboard! The sunshine is beckoning me outside.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 ESV – Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Philippians 4:8 ESV – Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
Psalm 37:5 ESV – Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Take a Load Off

I have a riddle for you. What could seem to make a little more work now‚ but save much more work in the long run?
Here are some hints. It is mentioned repeatedly in the Bible, and those who have accomplished the most for God have all depended on it. It is a life-altering concept, but also one that is often hard to grasp because it goes contrary to natural reasoning.
The answer is “resting in Jesus.” That means stopping what we’re doing and taking a little time to get quiet and plug in to Jesus in spirit in order to be renewed and regenerated. Then we need to learn to take that restful spirit with us as we go back to whatever we were doing, so circumstances won’t weigh so heavily on us and eventually wear us out.
It sounds simple enough, but it’s not always easy to do, especially at first. One big reason is that it goes against our natural bent. When we have so much to do, the last thing we feel like doing is slowing down, taking time to pray and read God’s Word, and letting Him speak to us. That’s not what we feel like doing or what seems sensible when we have a deadline or life is speeding along all around us.
But if we look at the lives of those who have done great things for God, we find many examples of people who relied on this principle. In fact, Jesus Himself needed such times of resting and refilling, according to several accounts in the Gospels. One says that having risen long before daylight, He went to a solitary place to pray. Another says that He continued all night in prayer to God, and another that it was His custom to go to the Mount of Olives to pray.
Most of us need a major change of mindset in this regard. We need to stop thinking we have so much to do that we had better get started, and instead think, Wonderful! Jesus, here is an opportunity for You to step in and help as only You can.
We can’t learn to rest in the Lord if we’re not doing our part by pulling away from the fray. If we’ve been busy, busy, busy, then when our spirits need a rest we are usually swamped with thoughts about all there still is to do.
But if we can get in the habit of stopping our work long enough to turn our concerns over to Jesus and draw new strength and inspiration from Him, we won’t be so tied into the vicious cycle of pushing ourselves beyond our limits and falling further behind. Instead, we will create a positive cycle where He strengthens us for the tasks at hand, and as a result we will have more faith to place our burdens on His shoulders and trust Him to take care of things.
We all want to feel that peace and contentment and wisdom that Jesus can give us when we spend time with Him, but the test comes when we go back to work. All too often we leave the realm of calm and peace and infinite possibilities, and start trying to do everything we can—and before we know it, we’re back in the rat race.
Resting in Jesus means not trying to bear the burdens ourselves. It means continually putting them back on Jesus’ shoulders. It means doing our part in prayer, so He can do the heavy lifting. It means valuing our time with God enough to make time for it, and because of that, having more of His blessings and Spirit in everything we do, because we’ve given the weight to Jesus through prayer, rather than trying to carry it ourselves.
It’s easy to get on our own little “treadmill” and feel that we have to keep running to keep up, and yet feel like we’re not really getting anywhere. We need to have enough sense, before we get to that point, to step off and ask Jesus to help us get in step with Him again.
Making the change can start a cycle of strength, relief from pressure, and real progress. If we’re resting in Jesus‚ if we’re taking time with Him, if we’re pushing our burdens onto His strong shoulders and letting Him work in the spirit, we’ll have the strength and the time for anything and everything else we really need to do.
Matthew 11:28-30 NIV – Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
Philippians 4:6-7 NIV – Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Psalm 37:7 NIV – Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.

Caring for Our Bodies

Once there was a rich man who had two sons whom he loved dearly and showered with good things. When his sons were grown, he gave them the deeds to houses he had put in their names the day they were born. Besides being amazingly well designed and constructed, the two houses had another thing in common: they needed regular upkeep. One son kept on top of repairs and even made a few improvements, but the other son let his house go to rack and ruin. Which do you think could expect more good things from his father?—Yes, the one who showed gratitude by taking care of his gift.
That’s not one of the parables Jesus told, but I think it could have been. (He would have told it better, of course.) Or maybe it would have gone like this:
Once there was a rich man who gave each of his two sons a house. One son took good care of his house, and the other didn’t. And the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on the houses. The house that had been cared for made it through the storm, but the house that had been neglected collapsed.
Then I think Jesus would have explained the parable like this:
The rich man is our heavenly Father, we are His sons (and daughters), and the houses are our bodies. They are amazing—“fearfully and wonderfully made,” as the Bible puts it—but they require upkeep, especially if they’re going to withstand the storms of life. One way we can show God how grateful we are for our bodies is by taking care of them. When we do, we win in two ways: We are better prepared for life’s troubles, and we can better enjoy all of the other good things our Father showers on us.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 ESV – Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
3 John 1:2 ESV – Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.
1 Corinthians 3:16 ESV – Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Listen

“The heavens declare the glory of God,” the Psalmist wrote. “The skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge.”1 The Creator speaks through His creation.
You can hear Him too, if you’ll stop what you’re doing and listen.
A quiet spot in nature is best, but if that’s not possible, a view of a tree, a few plants, or even a patch of sky will do.
Switch off your phone. Forget your work. Forget the mess. Put all other thoughts aside, and give God your full attention. Block out everything in your vision that is manmade, and concentrate on something that God made—a flower, a tree, a bird, a butterfly, a cloud, a pond or stream, the breeze. …
Imagine the love and care that God put into creating that single thing. Then multiply that by all the others like it in the world. What does that tell you about God’s love and care for you? Doesn’t that give you a sense of peace and well-being?
Take a few long, deep breaths. Relax, soak in God’s love, take in the view, and listen as God reveals more of His truths.
Romans 1:20 ESV – For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.
Psalm 46:10 ESV – “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”
Job 37:5 ESV – God thunders wondrously with his voice; he does great things that we cannot comprehend.

Prayer Points

1. Please intercede for our Corps family
Bro Steven Foo, Sis Casey Chan and Allison.

2. Please intercede for up coming events:
- Boundless Malaysia Celebration
- Penang Open Day

3. Please intercede for Bro John Lee and Sis Susan Zechariah as they move into their new job in KL.
Pray for smooth transition, strength, wisdom and protection.

4. Please intercede for one another for good health, spiritual life and families.

5. Continue to intercede for our nation Malaysia.

Announcements

1. Boundless Malaysia Celebration 78 Years
Date: 20th - 21th Aug 2016 (Sat - Sun)
Venue: Pear International Hotel,  Kuala Lumpur
For more information, for those that need transportation, please submit your name to the Corps Officer.

2. 21 August 2016 Sunday
Please take note that there will be no Sunday Service in Penang Corps on this Sunday.
Joining the combine service in KL. Please help to spread out this special news. Thank you.

3. Penang Open Day Coupons and Stall
Date: 10th September 2016
Time: 9am - 2pm
Venue: Penang Children's Home

Once again your help and support is needed in selling the coupons and setting up the stalls. 
Any assistance and volunteer is greatly appreciated. Please look for officer for more information. Thank you.