Monday, July 26, 2010

Bringing it to the NEXT level

It has been a while since I update my blog. Have been with & other commitments. Anyway, glad to be here and I'm glad to hear that some of my readers are blessed by my blog content. I hope it inspires you and God will continue pouring His blessing into your life.

For the past few weeks (months) i've been busy with teaching, auditioning, doing workshop, gigging and the best of all..travelling! It's such an amzing experience how God brought me to places I never been before..teaching at places i never thought before, talking & inspiring people i never met before. It's such a great season for myself. I believe this is just some part of the reward that has been prepared by God. I learn to remain faithful with whatever little things He has entrusted me with. And for the past few years...He kept me hidden, sharpen me (and still) and pour His grace and blessings upon my life & my family's life.

This is a season for me to share my knowledge / experience, teach & mentor new musicians/young people. I just thank God for the momentum and i know, there's a price for all these. A friend once told me that he wish if he can be like me..travelling around, performing here & there. But I know that this is nothing compare to what God has prepared for me. There is time for everything. I always believe that it is important for us to remain faithful with little things. God will reward us according to our faithfulness. He will bring us to the NEXT level. From good to better, better to best. From 1, become 2, become 4, 8 and so on...we need to be faithful and be persistent. Don't copy other people's process in life...just learn the principles.

Oh, need to some work to be done. Have a great day friends. Remain faithful and remain hidden...until God release you. Stay blessed.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

God's Workmanship

"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them (so we may do them)" Ephesians 2:10

We know that we're redeemed by God (Ephesians 1:7-12), we are who we are and what we are today because of His work of redemption at the cross. Now, God didn't stop there. In Him, Jesus Christ, we are his workmanship. Jesus, The Creative One, has created us, design us, shape us not just to look good or to be seen good, He created us to do good works. There's long list of good works and we have the capabilities to do it. I believe that for every single problems or issue in this world, God already have the answer for it and it is inserted in us through Christ Jesus. We just need to walk in it.

Sometimes we christians try hard to squeeze our head to find a solution the problems/issue we're facing at the moment, we forgot that it is already prepared, the solutions (the good works) is already prepared before hand. We just walk in them one step at a time.

I pray that today, as you read this post, Holy SPirit will work in you and open your eyes to see the path that God has prepared for you. Don't use your head, your experience or whateve limited knowledge you need to walk by faith. Be prepared to walk on unfamiliar teritory and I believe, you will walk from glory to glory, victory to victory. Amen.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Burned but not burnout (spiritually!)

Have you ever experience burned by the Holy Spirit? Me too! Do you still remember the time when you're on fire, all your energy, time, money..your whole life is dedicated for the work of God. Day and night, everything is about serving Him and His people. I've experience it. It's such a great feeling. Now, have you ever experienced burnout? NO? Impossible! You can't experience burnout if you haven't been burned by the Holy Fire.

Here's some defination of Burnout : "Burnout is a real term used in psychology to express a syndrome in which a person who works (minister), often in a high demand job (busy ministering), suddenly becomes disillusioned (lost), exhausted and disinterested (lost passion) in work. Work performance suffers (not ministering effectively anymore), the individual with burnout may seem withdrawn (give up and isolated oneself), and some people, feeling that there’s no recovery from the condition (permanently withdraw from ministry), leave careers (ministry) at which they’ve been very successful, or behave in ways that cause them to get fired (being disciplined or kicked out from the ministry). "

There're few people in the bible who experience both burned and burnout. Some of them are Moses, Jeremiah, and even Elijah. Check them out in the old testament. This is a huge topic to cover but here's my point, all of us has experience burnout or maybe some of you are experiencing it now. It is a humbling experience, it's a season where God wants to shape you, mold you and renew your strength. Based on my experience, here's some points that can lead to burnouts:

1) Overconfident
-I'm over confident with what God has done in my ministry. I forgot that it is not by me, it's God's work through me. Really! I boast, pride starts to sneak in your heart and cover your eyes. I'm doing ministry based on my knowledge and past experience with God and not by fresh revelation from Him. When there's no fresh fire and wind, when there's no fresh manna, there's no revelation.

2) Being Superman
-Being Superman is the foolish thing a christian minister can do. I've done it before. Becoming one man show. I run the show, I know everything, I handle everything and everybody just need to listen to me because I'm the superman! Well, we know that superman is a joke! What kind of superheroes wear his undies outside his pants? Even Jesus didn't do that! Guys, don't try to be Superman, doing everything on your own and assuming that God only speak to you and everything from you is right. You need the right commmunity to support you and to nourish you. When you feel tired and hopeless get someone to pray for you and give you inputs. But don't wait until you're tired. Even when you're on fire, you need people to keep you fired up...Elijah try to be superman, Moses did...but in the end he give up and as his uncle, Aaron help him doing God's work.

3) Unconfessed sin
-Be open, share to your guys about your struggles with sin. Let them pray for you. Find your mentor and ask him/her pray for you and check on you. Most of all, confessed your sin before God, He listens. When you pretend to be sinless, when you pretend not to notice how dirty your hands has become, you're actually beginning to die spiritually.

4) Connected 24/7
-Nothing can keep us on fire 24/7 other than a consistent relationship with God. we must receive fresh manna everyday. Get new ideas everyday. Read His word and obey them tho it seems ridiculous! (I'm serious!). God can only work through His servant. Let us be His servant, we learn to listen to Him, talk to Him and love Him more every day.
I like to talk more on this topic, maybe some other time :) Have a great day guys. Stay on fire!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Acceptance and Approval

We all know that Christ accept us as His child. That’s why He send His only Child, Jesus to earth. To redeem us. I, and I believe most of us been a situation whereby we need to distinguish the difference between God’s acceptance and God’s approval. We often mix both of them in our daily life. Here’s some straightforward example. Jesus Himself love sinners, but He hate sin. He accept sinners but disapprove what the sinners did (which is sin) (Luke 19:10).

Another example; I always know that my dad, my biological father, will always accept me as his son. Even though I let him down few times, he still accept me as his son. No doubt about it. But, despite the acceptance, I know clear there’s few things he didn’t approve of me. Being lazy, he didn’t approve it, committing crime, he didn’t approve that too (of course lah). But he approve it when I’m doing things that he instruct me to do, he approve it when I’m doing things that pleases God.

NEVER mix acceptance and approval. NEVER take for granted our acceptance in Christ and blindly take it as approval to commit sin. In church ministry, we can always twist acceptance and approval. Yeah, it’s a crime that we commit (either we realize it or not). Example, we know that God accept the sacrifice and offering of His we give our tithes, our offering and serve Him. But God never approve us to come to Him with our offerings without reconciling with others. Read Mat 5:23-24 “ Therefore if you offer your gift on the altar, and there remember that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift."

So guys, you got my point right? Know what is accepted and know what is approved. Have a blessed and fruitful day.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Fear of Losing Your Creativity?

Ideas...we love ideas aren’t we? How about creativity? We love creativity so much that we afraid if we lose it. All kind of profession or jobs in this world needs creativity, even in church ministry. I’ve been involved in music & media ministry for many years and I thank God that the ideas still flowing and even grow until this day.

Have you ever encounter a situation where you can’t think of any ideas? Or maybe you didn’t realise that all this while you have been a selfish artist. Yeah, you afraid of people copying you or stealing your ideas and that make you reluctant to share with others. I’ve experienced it before until recently. God open my eyes and my understanding.

It all began in Genesis. God is The Creator. That’s what He does until He rest on the 7th day (Genesis 2:1-3). Every single thing in this world is created by God. Our God is creative, He make the impossible become possible, the “nothing” become “something”. Just read the story when Jesus do His miracles, He turn plain water into wine, feed 5000 men with 5 loaves and 2 fish and the list goes on. John 1:3 says “through Him, all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made” . This is clear enough that everything...I mean EVERYTHING. Does EVERYTHING include music? Creative ideas and resources? I hope you will understand how creative our God is. He is limitless, there’s no end to His creativeness and ideas. I urge you not to underestimate God, please don’t think God is an old-fashion God. He’s way up-to-date than us. He knows what kind of trend will happen in the future..long we before we predict it.

When you have creative ideas or when you have talents, just use them, give them to others, don’t keep them but develop and let them grow. As you give, He will fill you up (Luke 6:38). New things will be added to you. If you afraid of losing your ideas or creativity, that shows you either have lack of faith or have no idea how creative our God is...or you simply being satisfied with the ideas/creativity you get last year or few years ago.

Same goes with youth ministry or any ministry in church. Keep on raising the standards of creativity in your church, don’t worry, as you faithfully use your talents and deliver your God-given ideas, I believe more ideas will come. If you think otherwise, you’re basically depending on your own experience and your own head.

Here’s some tips I want to share on how to stay creative:
1) Practice your imagination
-practice to imagine things in your head before doing it. Visualize how you want your event to be like, visualize how you want your design to look like or music to sound like. I use the word ‘practice’ because that’s how you develop your imagination.

2) Open your eyes
-Walk around shopping malls to see what are the trend and how people display their products. Look for billboard and advertisement as you walk around. Even it is just a piece of flyers. Write notes whenever you got an idea. I used to write my ideas at the back of my shopping receipt.

3) Get inputs from the mass media
-Watch the right TV channel (apart from astro, 8tv is my favourite!)
-go to bookstore and browse through some magazines (they have lots of good magazines with good graphics and content out there).
-Search for blogs and website, there’s thousands and millions of samples out there.

4) Mix with creative atmosphere
-Well, I know it’s a bit difficult if you’re the only people who understand and can see all those crazy ideas...well, what I usually do is, mix with different kind of creative people. I have friends who’re actors and dancers; they’re creative in their own way. Mixing with them does help me see from different perspective.

5) Clicked to GOD
-This is the most important thing of all. We can have all resources in this world but without God, our ideas are no different from the world.
-As we get connected with Him, He’ll reveal His heart and His creativity. When God pour His ideas into you, it is something beyond comprehension!

So friends, continue to invest your ideas, continue to give your ideas, continue to execute your ideas because God will add more to you and you will get more fresh ideas. May God be glorified by His creativity that overflow in us.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

NEW BUT OLD (part 2)

I’m a person who enjoy food very much. I’m blessed to have a wife who enjoy eating like myself. Namun demikian, kegemaran ini boleh saja memudaratkan saya. ..yes. Terlalu banyak makan akan menjejaskan kesihatan dan boleh membawa kepada sakit penyakit dan kematian. Terlalu banyak makanan masuk, khususnya makanan yang tidak sesuai, pasti membawa akibat yang negative. Saya menggunakan analogy ini sebagai gambaran bagaimana kita sendiri boleh saja menjadi “pelahap” kepada perubahan.

Kakak ipar saya adalah seorang nutritionist (seorang yang pakar dalam hal nutrisi pemakanan). Dia banyak melawat klinik-klinik kecil di negeri Sarawak untuk memberi pendidikan kepada penduduk kampung mengenai cara pemakanan yang sihat khususnya untuk kanak-kanak yang sedang membesar. Setiap makanan yang dibeli ada kandungan nutrisi yang tersendiri dan itu harus diperhatikan sebelum memakannya. Vitamin C, A, B, E dan supplement lain harus di ambil dalam jumlah yang betul.

Sama seperti waktu kita memakan ubat/makanan, kita harus meneliti kandungan nutrisi yang terdapat di dalamnya bagi mengelakkan “food poisoning” atau “over dose”. Saya melihat hal yang sama dalam setiap perubahan yang ingin kita “makan” (consume). Tidak setiap perubahan itu harus terjadi pada waktu itu, ada yang perlu melalui suatu tempoh waktu, ada yang belum waktunya dan ada yang tidak perlu. Ada beberapa hal yang boleh menjadi pertimbangan kita dalam kita mengalami perubahan. Jika kita mengambil sesuatu perubahan dengan terburu-buru, kita boleh saja “overdose”, perubahan yang pada awalnya bertujuan baik itu akhirnya menjadi buruk dan sia-sia.

Here’s another anology. Sewaktu saya pergi ke korea selatan pada tahun lalu, saya telah mencuba beberapa makanan tradisional korea. Banyak macam jenis makanan, ada yang sesuai dan ada yang memang susah mau masuk. Namun, saya yakin, saya pasti boleh menyesuaikan diri saya dengan makanan-makanan tersebut sekiranya saya tinggal lebih lama di sana. Tubuh badan dan deria rasa saya memerlukan masa untuk membiasakan diri dengan rasa, tekstur dan bau makanan yang ada disana. Begitu halnya dengan perubahan yang baru, tubuh, fikiran dan hati kita harus dipersiapkan terlebih dahulu, jika tidak, kita boleh saja “memuntahkan” idea-idea perubahan yang datang sekiranya kita bertindak tanpa menyelidiki perubahan yang mau diambil dan kesan aplikasinya kepada diri kita.

I have seen so many good ideas and good teaching (in church) been brought in and there’s no doubt that these things bring positive changes to the person/church/organization. However, if it’s not at the right timing, the right dosage and the right method, all this will be wasted. Saya ingin membagikan beberapa hal yang mungkin boleh kita ambil dalam kita mengalami suatu perubahan baru

1 // selidiki dengan kebenaran firman Tuhan setiap perubahan yang ingin kita lakukan. (1 Yohanes 4:1, 1 Korintus 2:15).

2 // The right timing. Segala sesuatu berasal dari Allah, termasuk pembaharuan. Namun segala sesuatu ada waktunya (Pengkhotbah 8:6).

3 // Is it useful?. Ketahui apa yang berguna bagi diri anda / gereja anda / organisasi anda (1 Korintus 10:23). Kita mungkin sibuk membawa masuk perubahan demi perubahan tanpa menyedari apakah ianya membangun diri kita. Segala macam jenis buku kita baca dan segala macam fakta kita masukkan dalam fikiran kita dan langsung mengaplikasikannya tanpa menyelediki apakah ianya berguna atau tidak. Apa yang berkesan bagi diri orang lain tidak semestinya berkesan bagi diri kita.

Ada perubahan yang memang Tuhan wujudkan khusus untuk orang lain dan khusus untuk orang tersebut sahaja. Jangan kita mengotakkan (meletakkan di dalam kotak alias menghadkan) pekerjaan Tuhan. Dia punya cara yang berbeza bagi situasi, tempat, peribadi dan waktu yang berbeza.

4 // devine intervention. Segala sesuatu perubahan yang ingin kekal lama harus ada campur tangan dari Tuhan. Setiap perubahan yang berdasarkan hikmat kebijaksanaan dan pengalaman manusia pasti tidak akan kekal lama.

I hope and pray that God will speak to you from these postings of mine. I would like to hear your comments If you’re given new insight and new revelation after reading this. Have a blessed day.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

NEW BUT OLD (part 1)

Roma 12:2 memang setiap kita sudah maklum “Janganlah kamu menjadi serupa dengan dunia ini, tetapi berubahlah oleh pembaharuan budimu, sehingga kamu dapat membedakan (membezakan) manakah kehendak Allah: apa yang baik, yang berkenan kepada Allah dan yang sempurna.”

This is one famous verse dan ayat ini banyak sekali digunakan setiap kali kata TRANSFORMASI atau PERUBAHAN itu dilaungkan. Demi menyahut seruan PERUBAHAN ini, maka gereja-gereja Tuhan termasuk peribadi-peribadi sendiri, mula lah melakukan perubahan. Terjadi pertobatan dan transformasi...ada yang mendadak, ada yang mengambil masa yang cukup lama untuk “berganti kulit” bahkan ada yang give up dan berbalik kepada kondisi yang asal.Saya sendiri tergolong dalam kumpulan orang yang sukakan PERUBAHAN dan selalu melaungkan kata PERUBAHAN / TRANSFORMASI.

Penampilan peribadi pun berubah, bahkan penampilan gereja pun berubah, lebih bersifat kontemporari dan ibadah langsung berubah, komsel berubah, cara pelayanan berubah, cara bekerja berubah, cara belajar berubah...semuanya mengalami perubahan (meskipun ada yang selesa dengan tradisi lama). Namun, there’s a little problem, these changes didn’t SUSTAIN. Perubahan ini tidak kekal lama. Banyak program, event-event diadakan bagi tujuan mempromosikan perubahan yang ingin diwujudkan, namun perubahan yang terjadi tidak kekal lama. Saya mula menyelidiki dan merefleksi diri saya sendiri. Apakah perubahan dalam diri saya bersifat sementara, jika tidak, apakah saya konsisten menghasilkan buah-buah pertobatan sesuai dengan perubahan yang saya alami? Apakah gereja saya dan youth gereja saya konsisten dengan perubahan yang terjadi?

Kita cenderung melihat perubahan itu berlaku dari luar, padahal perubahan itu harus dari dalam. Cenderung ditekankan perubahan fizik secara luaran agar kelihatan meyakinkan...agar orang lain lihat bahwa kita itu sedang berubah dan up-to-date. Ya, kita boleh saja menghadiri seberapa banyak kelas pemuridan, seminar-seminar dan membaca buku-buku...namun perubahan itu berlaku SETIAP HARI, SETIAP SAAT dan ianya sesuatu yang FRESH! dan bermula dari dalam! Kita boleh saja memiliki gedung gereja yang sesuai dengan tahun konsep 2010 namun pemikiran kita, cara pelayanan kita, mentality kita masih lama! Lebih parah lagi kalau mentality kita masih di takuk lama (canggihnya bahasa), in other words, we might appear as an up-to-date person/church/organization, but inside us, in our head, it is still ideas/the mind of the old one. We can appear NEW outside but OLD inside.

Saya selalu diperingatkan Tuhan untuk mendapat rhema baru (fresh revelation) daripadaNya setiap hari. Bahkan dalam setiap kesempatan pelayanan, saya minta sesuatu yang baru dari Tuhan meskipun apa yang saya akan ajarkan/khotbahkan adalah hal yang sudah saya kuasai . Mengapa kadangkala kita conflict dengan setiap perubahan yang terjadi disekitar kita, khususnya perubahan yang masuk ke gereja kita? Konflik timbul kerana fikiran kita tidak dibaharui terus menerus sehingga kita tidak dapat membezakan “..manakah kehendak Allah: apa yang baik, yang berkenan kepada Allah dan yang sempurna.” Semua macam jenis perubahan, jenis pengajaran pun kita masukkan ke dalam fikiran kita tanpa kita analisa dan selidiki apakah ini waktu yang sesuai dan apakah diri kita siap untuk menerima dan hidup sesuai dengan perubahan yang wujud. Perubahan bukanlah sesuatu yang hanya diperkatakan dan dilaung-laungkan, sebaliknya dihidupi sehingga menjadi gaya hidup.

Saya sangat percaya, setiap perubahan yang mahu dicapai harus ada persiapan. Persiapan secara rohani ( Roh kita, fikiran & hati kita) mahupun persiapan secara fizik (hal-hal teknikal). Persiapan ini harus dipersiapkan terlebih dahulu sebelum men”download” input yang baru. Namun, banyak terjadi dimana anak-anak Tuhan (termasuk saya dulu), terus menerus mendownload input-input yang ada tanpa persiapan. Akhirnya, perubahan itu tidak dapat ditangkap sepenuhnya dan hanya luaran / casing / packaging nya ja yang ditangkap, tapi intinya belum ditangkap sepenuhnya. Kononnya sudah berubah, kita pun mempamerkan packaging baru kita padahal, dalam diri kita masih yang lama. Akhirnya, perubahan itu tidak kekal lama kerana kita mulai jenuh (boring), mulai tidak konsisten menjaga “casing” luaran kita...mulailah berkompromi dengan standard-standard dan nilai-nilai yang disepakati bersama sewaktu perubahan tersebut mula terjadi. Sebab apa? Sebab pemikiran kita belum menganalisa sepenuhnya perubahan yang terjadi, sebab kita sendiri belum mengerti, belum menangkap esensi sebenar bagi perubahan tersebut.

Seperti dalam Matius 9:17 “ Begitu juga tidak ada orang yang menuang anggur baru ke dalam kantong kulit yang tua. Sebab kantong itu akan pecah dan rusak, lalu anggurnya terbuang. Anggur baru harus dituang ke dalam kantong yang baru juga, supaya kedua-duanya tetap baik.”

I will continue with second part of this topic later. Sebagai kesimpulan, sesuatu perubahan itu harus berlaku dari dalam diri kita sebelum ianya dimanifestasikan diluar diri kita. It is something not easy but God will give us the strength to sustain throughout the whole process. I’m being process by Him, I believe same goes to you. Stay blessed.