The More I Can’t Have This, The More I Want It

armrest

Ever had this experience?: You are sitting in a plane or a movie theatre when someone takes his seat next to you. The arm rest you did not take notice before becomes no longer available as that guy conveniently rests his elbows and takes his place. Your desire for your armrest back becomes compulsive and obsessive. There’s nothing you wanted more in your movie or flight experience than your much needed armrest.

Most of us take for granted the things that are right in front of us. It’s the moment when we can’t have it anymore that we want it more than anything else. Look around you, what did you take for granted? Or rather, who did you take for granted?

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How Full Is Your Love Tank?

Full and Half Tank

Knowledge Tank vs Love Tank

It is said that “Knowledge puffs up but love edifies” (1 Cor 8:1)

It’s so easy to be puffed up and prideful. The more knowledge we have, the easier the tendency to be arrogant about it.

Have you seen the colleague at work bragging about how good they are after they’ve worked there for a couple of years thinking that they are indispensable? Have you seen that Christian who loves to display their wide scope of Bible knowledge to the newcomer at church? Have you been in a situation where you see mutual leaders trying to size one another up, gauging how much experience or exposure they’ve had in their field? Knowledge indeed puffs up. Love beats it all.

I love reading, love knowledge and I love wisdom. But I realize that I can have all the knowledge in the world and it doesn’t change me on the inside. Knowledge can be gained by anyone. I’ve heard of a Bible school with a Muslim teacher who taught the Word of God in Bible classes. I was in a cell group at a parachurch organization as a new Christian in the past and realized half a year later that my cell group leader did not believe in the Good News! He did not believe Jesus finished His job on earth but was insistent that He will come back again as a baby to save the world. Jesus said “It is finished” at the cross! This cell leader taught biblical principles as if he was saved. He had knowledge but no application in his heart.

If we keep gaining knowledge through reading the Bible, books, seminars, conferences but don’t apply a heart change, our knowledge tank increases, but our love tank remains the same. Having knowledge is not wrong. But how can we ensure that we do not get puffed up as we gain more knowledge? I’ve stuck by this principle which helps me a lot: We have to ensure that our love tank is higher than our knowledge tank. A great way for me is to apply what God’s Word says through Life Journaling, a Bible reading plan developed by Ps Wayne Cordeiro from New Hope. Life Journaling isn’t about writing a diary, it’s about finding that one thing in the day’s readings that touch my heart and how I can be different from what I read. This application pushes up our love tanks as we apply God’s heart and love with the knowledge gained. The result is an edification of ourselves, the people around us and I believe, not through head knowledge and theoretical arguments, but it’s by this true love that we can touch the world.

Do you Life Journal and what are your experiences like? If you feel gutsy enough, share your journal with us, it’ll touch someone’s heart!

Learn how to Life Journal here (Video): http://www.enewhope.org/nextsteps/journaling

Obtain a free copy of the Life Journal plan here: http://discover.org.au/download/bible-reading-plan

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I Love This Mule’s Attitude

Mule

“A parable is told of a farmer who owned an old mule. The mule fell into the farmer’s well. The farmer heard the mule ‘braying’ — or whatever mules do when they fall into wells. After carefully assessing the situation, the farmer felt sorry for the mule, but decided that neither the mule nor the well was worth saving. Instead, he called his neighbors together and told them what had happened and asked them to help haul dirt to bury the old mule in the well and put him out of his misery.

Initially, the old mule was hysterical! But as the farmer and his neighbors continued shoveling and the dirt hit his back, a thought struck him. It suddenly dawned on him that every time a shovel load of dirt landed on his back: he should shake it off and step up! This is what the old mule did, blow after blow.

“Shake it off and step up… shake it off and step up… shake it off and step up!” He repeated to encourage himself. No matter how painful the blows, or distressing the situation seemed, the old mule fought “panic” and just kept right on shaking it off and stepping up!

You guessed it! It wasn’t long before the old mule, battered and exhausted, stepped triumphantly over the wall of that well! What seemed like it would bury him, actually ended up blessing him. And, all because of the manner in which he handled his adversity.”

This mule’s attitude really determined his altitude – high enough to get out of that well! The devil has been trying his same old pile-up technique for “mule years” to Christians, delivering blow after blow trying to discourage us from serving God. That’s his aim, to stop us from being productive for God. It’s amazing how lying in front of a television daily or staring into space often don’t meet much resistance. It is when you are trying to do something for God when life seems tougher! Guess who is behind all these problems? No matter what blows might try to come at us, we win big time when we step out of that well.

How formidable Christians will be, when all of us can have this mule’s attitude: Repeatedly shake it off and step it up!

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God is Trying to Kill Me

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A comforting fact for all of us: There are two “people” who wants us dead: God, and the devil. However, both have 2 separate reasons and methods.

The devil is trying to tie us down, steal, kill and lead many into eternal damnation. God, on the other hand, is trying to set us free, give us life, and life to the fullest. We can choose who we let to do this. For me, God is a much better choice any day. I know that when I let God do it, there is a guarantee – Resurrection is promised! He’s done that before and I know He can do the same for anyone else.

The more dead we are to ourselves and surrender our lives to God, the easier our lives will be. I realized recently it is IMPOSSIBLE for a dead person to be:

  • Sad or depressed
  • Offended or angry
  • Feel rejected or sorry
  • Lost without hope or purpose

Rick Joyner says this best: “It is amazing how clear everything becomes when we are dead! If we are dead, all of the confusion caused by our selfish ambitions, pride, and secret desire to sin, vanishes.”

God can use us best when we are dead to ourselves.

How dead are you today?

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5 Steps to be a Goals Conquering Ninja


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It’s the time of the year…. when we make our New Years Resolution and try our very best to keep them. I’ve made goals every year, but most of the time when it’s into a quarter of the year, I forgot what goals I set, not to mention, trying to keep them. Recent years were different, I made goals, and achieved many of my goals. I saw the difference as I executed some steps down which totally changed the way I see goals and reach goals. I’ll introduce the “5 Steps to be a Goals Conquering Ninja” to you!

Before I can even get to that, the most important thing to do is to review your past year’s goals. You will have to pull out your goals, sit down, think and know why you did not hit your previous goals. How were you distracted? What was your plan to focus on your goals? Not knowing why will ensure a repeat of the same mistake.

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1. Write it. Pray, Dream, Think & Write them down. “Writing makes a man exact” Lord Bacon

“Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, That he may run who reads it” Hab 2:2

As you write them down, your goals should be quantifiable – Basically put numbers into your goals.

“I want to save this year” versus “I want to save $5000 this year” makes a big difference. The latter is measurable, quantifiable and you know it when you reach your goal. Quantifying it allows you to plan and reach your goal. You know when you reach your “win”.

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2. Break it. Break it up into chewable bits just like how you do karate!

For example, if you want to save $5000 this year, it might seem like a big amount to you, but when you break it down: $5000 a year means $420 a month, means $96 a week. $96 is much easier to handle than thinking $5000.  If you don’t break it down, at end of November, you’ll find it almost impossible to save $5000 in a month to reach your goal. When you break it down, you know how much you need to do monthly, weekly and even daily to reach your goals. Pace yourself throughout the year.

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3. Track it. Convert your goal into a program and turn it into your to-do list.

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One of my goals in 2012 was to read 52 books. I’m glad to have achieved that goal.

The first thing I did in the beginning of the year is to put in a spreadsheet and list 1 to 52: Title and Author. The entries are blank at the start, but as I read, I filled in those blanks.  I turned my goal into a trackable program and this way, I know throughout the year how I fare and I can see the finish line. You might think that’s a lot of work? Takes me less than 1 minute to update it! And seeing the list filled on the last day of the year is all worth the effort of tracking it. This is the reason why I also use a Life Journaling plan to read the Bible once through each year. It is a pre-written goal, broken down to reading 3-4 chapters a day and trackable. You can do the same for your other spiritual, finance, career goals etc

The Bible Plan is available for free download here: http://discover.org.au/download/bible-reading-plan

Slide164. Review it. Reviewing intensifies your concentration. So many things in 2013 that is going to distract you and take away you achieving your goals piece by piece.

My dad is extremely good at record keeping, not only that, he is excellent at reviewing. Every single document is categorized and filed neatly. As I grew up, I saw that every receipt from my family expenses is kept and checked off when the statement arrives. He knows exactly how much our family spend each month and how much he saves, invests etc. He reviews every statement monthly. These little habits goes hand in hand to why my dad is successful in finances. At every end of the year, he will evaluate all finances, sit my mom down with him and discuss how to move money, how much to invest and how to move forward in the next year etc. He never misses his once a year review with my mum. Consistent reviewing along the way brings focus to your goals. Review your yearly goals monthly, weekly, better still, daily.

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5. Faith it. “Attempt something so great for God, it is doomed to failure unless God be in it” John Haggai

There are some who say when you set goals, set achievable goals. On the other hand, there are those who say, set targets that you can’t reach so that even when you are unable to reach your goals, you reach the maximum that you can.

My recommendation: Do both! Make some goals that you know you can achieve (just to encourage yourself!) and make some that requires a lot of faith! Jesus told His disciples “Can’t you watch (pray) with me for an hour?” and Paul says “Pray without ceasing”, both achievable goal and one that requires a lot of faith and discipline! Remember, faith pleases God!

As you have fun setting goals for 2013, will you remember to include “souls in your goals” to see more people receive Jesus and come into God’s Kingdom? Including souls in your goals is putting God’s priority, our priority. Plan into your life, something that matters to God.

I’ve included a free Ninja 2013 Goals Template that you can use to set your goals. It’s categorized into different areas of your life, you can add more categories as you need. Download here: 2013 Goals Template Go Ninjas!

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I Needed Help

When work caught up with me, I got so busy that I didn’t realize for a long long long time, I’ve slowly and regretfully neglected my fitness and in turn health. Few months ago, I tried to get back into fitness, but well, it was winter, too cold to exercise or go outside, besides, my exercise time is best in the evening and something seems to be so conveniently taken up that slot of time everyday.

Exactly 4 weeks ago, I felt in my prayer that God is placing His finger on my fitness level, it was a gentle, yet firm finger pressure. Worse, I had a dream that night confirming it. The next morning, I knew in my heart I needed to take action. I felt stuck, but God gave me an idea. I made one of the best decision in my life. Continue reading

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The Compound Explosion

I’ve been going through the Financial Peace University course by Dave Ramsey. The first session blew me away when I saw this chart. Let me first explain to you the Story of Ben and Arthur:

Both save $2,000 per year at 12% interest. Ben starts at age 19 and stops at age 26, while Arthur starts at age 27 and stops at age 65.

At age 65, even though Arthur only saved for only 8 years and Ben, 39 years, Arthur never caught up with Ben! This is the power of compound interest! The lesson we all learnt in that class is that compound interest is a mathematical EXPLOSION and we have to start NOW.

My first thought after learning about savings turned to God. Sharing Jesus with others and investing in others are also under the power of compound interest. Can you remember the person whom you shared Jesus with and got saved? How they in turn got discipled and influenced another soul for Jesus. I’ve heard that if you reach one soul for Jesus each year and in turn that person reaches another each year, it will only take 33 years for the whole world to be saved. Imagine if the person who told us about Jesus simply procrastinated, well, because it was “out of their comfort zone” to share the gospel, the number of lives that are at stake, including yours.

It’s easy to procrastinate. There’s a resistance force that is present in everything good that you want to do. Steven Pressfield in his book “The War of Art” explains what this resistance is. There were many points, but I’ll share only 8 of them that impacted me:

  1. Resistance is Invisible: You can’t see it, hear it, touch it etc, but it’s there when you want to accomplish something
  2. Resistance is Internal: It is the enemy within
  3. Resistance is Insidious: It will tell you anything to keep you from doing your work. Resistance has no conscience
  4. Resistance is Implacable: It cannot be reasoned with. It understands nothing but power
  5. Resistance is Impersonal: It doesn’t know who you are and doesn’t care
  6. Resistance Never Sleeps
  7. Resistance is Fuelled by Fear
  8. Resistance is Most Powerful At the Finish Line

We have to fight resistance and not procrastinate in life. I rather be a Ben than an Arthur, and this takes starting early and starting NOW. Not only in finances, but also in the things of God. I don’t want to miss out on any compound impact that I can have on others, that’s why I’m determine to start early and start NOW. I believe that God rewards us by our efforts and His rewards are also compounded when what we do affect others in a compound way. Don’t keep putting off things that you feel God wants you to do, if you keep leaving it for tomorrow, at the blink of an eye, you’ll turn old (*gasp*) and regret it. Don’t miss out on what God has in stored for you. Start NOW!

What do you do each day to fight Resistance in your life?

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The Deception

I believe ALL Christians love God in their hearts and want to do something for God in their lives. Most have the intention of helping others and see other lives changed for God. Some might even feel a dream that God has placed in their hearts but feel trapped or stuck in their everyday lives to see this come to past. The devil hates these dreams placed by God and seek to destroy every single Christian’s hope, dream and call. There’s a constant battle going on in the spiritual realm for us to do the work of the ministry.

Sometimes we unknowingly accept what the devil cunningly puts in front of us and I believe this is one of it – laziness. If we get deceived and become lazy, less and less Christians serve God and it hinders the gospel from going forth. Here’s what some great men of God are saying about laziness and being idle:

Continue reading

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We Caught A Peeping Tom!

This was back in my uni days when I was staying in the hostel. The girls were all on one floor and the guys on another. One night, an excited girl friend ran to our rooms and got a few of us girls out immediately. She was the curious type and when she bent down to check who it was in one of the locked cubicles of the female toilet, she saw a big feet with hairy legs. Come on! I’m sure we know none of us on the same floor with that legs description!

Our hearts were pumping really fast. Continue reading

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How’s Your Spiritual Stamina?


Ever ran in a marathon? Well, I have not ran in a full marathon, but I’ve done a half marathon and many other running competition. There will be some point, where you feel like giving up, where you want to stop and rest. During the race, everyone will experience almost the same feelings as you do to a degree, where your legs want to stop, you want to catch your breath and rest.

In a race, everyone will feel the same tiredness, thirst, want to stop and sit down and rest. Continue reading

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