Tuesday, August 30, 2016

“This Is Good!”

An African folktale
The story is told of an African king and his close friend, who had grown up together. The king’s friend had a habit of looking at every situation positively and remarking, “This is good!”
One day the king went on a hunting expedition, and he gave his friend the job of loading his guns and handing them to him. Apparently the friend did something wrong at some point, because one gun misfired and blew the king’s thumb off.
“This is good!” the king’s friend remarked as usual.
“No, this is not good!” the king replied, and he sent his friend to jail.
About a year later, the king was hunting in an area that he shouldn’t have ventured into. Cannibals captured him and took him to their village. They tied his hands, bound him to a stake in the ground, and stacked firewood around his feet. However, just as they were about to set fire to the wood, they noticed that the king was missing a thumb. The cannibals had a superstition that forbad them from eating anyone who was less than whole, so they untied the king and sent him on his way.
As the king traveled home, he was reminded of the event that had taken his thumb, and he regretted the way he had treated his friend. He went straight to the jail and released his friend.
“You were right,” the king said. “It was good that my thumb was blown off.” And he proceeded to tell his friend about his brush with death. “I am sorry for sending you to jail for so long,” he said. “That was very bad of me!”
“No,” his friend replied, “this is good!”
“What do you mean, ‘This is good’? How could it be good that I sent my friend to jail for a year?”
“If I had not been in jail,” the king’s friend replied, “I would have been with you.”
Romans 12:21 ESV – Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Psalm 37:3 ESV – Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.
Hebrews 13:16 ESV – Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

Monday, August 29, 2016

The Sun Still Shines

As far back as I can remember, I didn’t like cloudy days, especially in wintertime. They seemed endless and without hope, chilling both body and soul.
Still, they are a part of life, so I decided to learn to like them—and now I do. My secret? Actually I have several.
Sometimes I take advantage of those days to bake a cake, cookies, or some other treat to enjoy with my coffee. The entire house smells of freshly brewed coffee and homemade goodies, and that creates a warm, satisfied feeling.
I’ve also learned that I can help brighten the day by what I wear, like a favorite brightly colored sweater or a little extra jewelry.
Most of all I’ve learned to thank God for those days. I’m still not crazy about them, but I have a warm house that doesn’t leak, a cozy bed, food on the table, and someone to enjoy my blessings with.
Not too long ago, I was out on one of those gloomy days. Although it was overcast, I didn’t expect it to actually rain, so hadn’t taken an umbrella. Mid-morning I was 25 blocks from home when I was caught in a downpour. By the time I got home, I was sure I had more water in my clothes and hair than was left in the clouds. A hot shower and lunch put it all behind me, though, and I felt much better.
When I had been caught in the rain, I had prayed for all the people who were at that moment victims of some disaster. Not a disaster like burning the chicken or having their hair dye turn out wrong—I mean a real disaster like being left homeless by an earthquake, with no hot shower, dry clothes, and warm meal to set things right.
When bad weather or some other circumstance has you down, praying for others who have it worse puts things in perspective and does the soul good, like a hot shower warms the body after getting caught in the rain, or the smell of homemade cake lifts the gloom of a dark day. When we remember that we have a very big God who sees and knows everything, who loves us dearly, and who will never let us be tested beyond what He knows we can handle with His help, this lifts the spirit, like the aroma of freshly brewed coffee.
Even when the sky is overcast, the sun is still shining above the clouds. That’s a fact. The clouds might keep us from seeing it, but it’s there, just as round and bright as on any other day. When darkness closes in around us, the sunshine of God’s love is still there, as constant as ever, waiting for just the right moment to dissipate the clouds and warm our souls once again.
Romans 15:13 ESV – May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
Romans 8:24 ESV – For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees?
Jeremiah 17:7 ESV – Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

That’s Life!

A prayer of thanksgiving
Jesus, thank You for life and all it involves. When something goes wrong, we often say, “That’s life!” But life is so much more than the little things that don’t turn out the way we wish they had.
Waking up each morning with eyes that see and ears that hear—that’s life!
Talking with a child and catching a glimpse of the world through those innocent eyes—that’s life!
Pausing in the middle of a hectic day to watch a bird soar or a butterfly flit among the flowers—that’s life!
Chatting with an old friend and remembering just how special that friendship is—that’s life!
Receiving an unexpected word of encouragement—that’s life!
Holding a newborn baby and catching his first smile—that’s life!
Walking in nature, taking in its sights and sounds, and breathing that fresh air—that’s life!
Lying down to sleep at night and thanking God for all the blessings that the day brought—that’s life!
1 Thessalonians 5:18 ESV – Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Psalm 7:17 ESV – I will give to the Lord the thanks due to his righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High.
Psalm 107:1 ESV – Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!

Prayer Points

1. Please intercede for our Corps family
Bro Koon Hock Sun, Bro Fong Yen Wong, Bro Neoh Ah How

2. Please intercede for up coming events for good weather and fruitful time.
- Penang Open Day

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

4. Continue to intercede for our nation Malaysia - Government, MP's and State's Representative as we celebrate 59th Years of Independence. Pray for the peace and stability of the country.

Announcement

1. Cell Group
Date: 2 Sept 2016 (Fri)
Time: 8pm
Venue: Penang Children's Home Chapel

2. Penang Open Day Coupons and Stall
Date: 10th September 2016
Time: 9am - 2pm
Venue: Penang Children's Home
Note: Please help to sell off the coupon on your hand if possible by end of  Aug 2016.

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.

3. West Malaysia Youth Council
Date: 14-15 Sept 2016 (Wed-Fri)
Venue: Banting Corps
Accommodation: Tudom Hill Resorts
Activities: Lake Crossing Mission & Bamboo Raft Race.
Please register with Corps Officer.

4. Malaysia Day High Praise 2016 (Combine Churches)
Organized By: Christian Federation Malaysia.
Theme: Bridging Malaysia with God Grace & Peace
Date: 16th Sept 2016 (Friday)
Time: 10am - 12noon
Venue: Penang First Assembly of God (MMC)

Saturday, August 27, 2016

The Positive Power of Praise

Question: I’ve heard that positive thinking can make all the difference in difficult situations, but sometimes I’m at a loss for things to be positive about. What can I do to get on a positive channel when everything seems to be going wrong?
Answer: When your heart is weighed down with worry, fear, sorrow, or pain, instead of dwelling on your woes, think about Jesus and His love. Count your blessings. If nothing else, you can be grateful for all the other problems you could have but don’t, because God has spared you from them.
Look on the bright side. Think on the good things. Thank God for all He has done. Chase away the dark clouds by letting in the light of God’s Word, prayer, praise, song. Do anything you can to occupy your mind with positive thinking.
If you’re thinking about God’s goodness and putting that in the focal point of your concentration, then this pushes the devil and his doubts and lies and fears out of the way. You can’t be positive and negative at the same time, so fill your mind with the light of praise to God, and it will push the darkness out.
Psalm 150:6 ESV – Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!
Psalm 30:11 ESV – You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness.
Psalm 149:3 ESV – Let them praise his name with dancing, making melody to him with tambourine and lyre!

Friday, August 26, 2016

Perspective Adjustment

During an especially busy time, I had a perspective adjustment that changed my outlook for the better.
I was involved in several major projects, had a huge amount of work to do, and was quite tired—almost exhausted.
The verse that came to mind and changed my attitude about my circumstances was, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.” I realized that the long hours of work, the tiredness, and the difficult decisions I faced were all part of my “reasonable service.”
Most of us have responsibilities that are sometimes difficult and trying. We all face situations that are challenging or cost us personally. We all have times when we feel so tired we think we can’t go on.
Some of the great men and women of God, our forefathers in the faith—people like Abraham, Moses, Peter, and Paul, as well as outstanding Christians down through the ages such as David Livingstone and Mother Teresa—made great sacrifices and endured many hardships and sorrows during their lifetimes. They repeatedly suffered poor health, many of them experienced loneliness, some of them struggled with depression, and they sometimes worked years on end without seeing much in the way of results. When we look at our situations from that perspective, it helps to see some of the things we go through in a different light.
The verse that comes right after “present your bodies a living sacrifice” says, “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” That verse applies well to having the right perspective on the sacrifices we make. If we have a realistic and yet also positive, praiseful attitude, it can make a big difference. When our perspective is renewed and realigned with the Lord’s, it does literally transform our life.
So whenever you are tempted to feel that life is too rough, try to look at the sacrifices you have to make through this new perspective. When you do, you can’t help but see things more positively.
2 Corinthians 4:18 NIV – So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Isaiah 55:8 NIV – For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.
1 Peter 5:10 NIV – And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Positive Programming

Most of us battle negative thinking at some point in our lives.
We put ourselves down for real or imagined faults and weaknesses, or we compare ourselves negatively to others. The use of positive statements that you can repeat to yourself is a proven technique for overcoming that negativity.
Our thoughts shape our attitude, our attitude shapes our actions, and our actions help to shape our future. A changed life begins with a change in thinking. The Bible instructs, “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” You set that process in motion by filling your mind with godly, positive thoughts. “Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things … and the God of peace will be with you.”
The key is believing that what you are affirming is possible, because once you believe that a certain thing is possible, it is. “If you can believe, all things are possible.” It takes practice to focus on the positive, but in time you will see results in a happier, more secure life.
The Bible is filled with positive affirmations. As we learn to apply those to ourselves and everyday situations, we begin to see ourselves and life more as God does, and that is reflected in our thoughts and behavior.
Here are a few examples to get you started. We are all different and have different needs, so choose the ones that seem to apply the most to you, or come up with some of your own.
• Whether or not I feel capable of this task, I am going to do my best and trust Jesus to do the rest. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).
• I made a mistake today, but I’m determined to learn from it, get up, and try again. “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholds him with His hand” (Psalm 37:23–24).
• Things may not be working out the way I had hoped—at least not yet—but I’m going to keep trusting that God has something good up His sleeve. “We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).
• I may not be perfect, but I’m special to God because He gave me a unique mind, a unique personality, unique abilities, and a unique destiny. “I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works” (Psalm 139:14).
• Nothing can come between me and God’s love. “I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38–39).
• I have nothing to fear because God is love and He is always with me. “Perfect love casts out fear” (1 John 4:18).
• God wants me to be happy and enjoy life. “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full” (John 15:11).
• Today I’m going to think more about others and less about myself, and I’m going to make someone else’s day better. “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).
• I am not going to give up! I refuse to call it quits! Jesus promised that His strength is there for me as long as I keep trying. “Let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart” (Galatians 6:9).
• I may not have as much materially as some people, but I have things that matter more—integrity and peace of mind. “Godliness with contentment is great gain” (1 Timothy 6:6).
• God wants to guide me through today and help me make the very most of it. “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know” (Jeremiah 33:3).
• God will help me make the right decisions. “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5).
These aren’t mere random, feel-good statements that don’t have any solid foundation. Each is based directly on one of God’s unfailing promises, and what He has promised, He will also perform. With God, there are no limits!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Beware of the Negabugger

Scientists have recently made a fascinating discovery about an unseen and little understood parasite, the negabugger—so called because of the negative effect it has on its human host’s mental and emotional well-being.
It is too small to be seen by the naked eye, yet the symptoms of infection are plainly evident. It lives by attaching itself to the soft membrane of the inner ear. Its tiny buzzing wings vibrate at a frequency undetectable by humans, but which interferes with brain waves and leaves the victim feeling confused and depressed.
These negative vibrations can be difficult to distinguish from one’s own thoughts, and the subject may easily be led to believe the buzz of negative self-talk. In more serious cases of infestation the negabugger can move into the brain of its host to lay its young, breeding thousands of little negabuggers that can quickly become airborne and infect others via negative words uttered by the host.
The negabugger is a serious pest, and treatment should be administered at the first sign of contagion. The negabugger must be dislodged and shaken out of the victim’s ear.
In standard cases, treatment can be self-administered by tilting the head in the direction of the negabugger and hopping vigorously while pounding the opposite side of the head. If it is unclear which ear the negabugger is residing in, apply this technique to both sides of the head to be safe. If more than one negabugger is present, it may be necessary to repeat the process.
In extreme or stubborn cases, the victim may need assistance. If a bop on the head with a pillow fails to dislodge the parasite, it may be necessary to shock it out of hiding. A splash of cold water is nearly always effective. To prevent re-infection, place the subject under headphones and play uplifting music and inspirational readings. Also practice positive self-talk exercises with the subject.
In a clinical study involving my children and young teenager, I have found the prescribed treatment to be quite effective in helping them pull out of bouts of self-pity and other negative emotions.
For example, one day I entered the kitchen to find my then 13-year-old sobbing over a sink of dirty dishes. I sympathized, saying, “I am so sorry you’re not happy. I want you to know how much I love you. In fact, I love you so much that I have to do this. …” Producing a pillow from behind my back, I went to work. My daughter laughed and begged for mercy. Post-treatment, the patient appeared to have made a miraculous recovery.
She returned to washing the dishes, but to my dismay she quickly relapsed. Time for step two. I went for the cold water. She saw it coming, but never thought I would really do it. After a brief chase around the house, I had her cornered and … splash! Even she thought that was funny. A few rounds of laughs, and the dishes were almost done.
As the mother of an emotional teen girl, I have spent many hours reasoning, cajoling, comforting, and praying in various attempts to pull her out of her hormonal bouts of gloom, but lately I have found the negabugger treatment to be even more effective and faster working.
Once the negabugger’s unsuspecting targets are made aware of the danger, they can learn to recognize and take steps to protect themselves from it by not entertaining negative or destructive self-talk. An ounce of awareness is worth a pound of cure. Beware of the negabugger!
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 1:1 ESV – Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers.
1 Peter 5:8 ESV – Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.