Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Caroling Night Dec 24, 2009

We were blessed to have 51 AFers visiting 11 families on Christmas Eve 2009. There were two salvations; namely, (1) Wai-Lun Chu 朱慧倫, who is Yook-Chung's sister, and (2) Mrs. Hua, who is Chao-Ying's sister-in-law. Of course, the seeds of the gospel were spread among the hearts of many.
I especially thank God for the group members of the Team of Love (Elam's Small Group), who have worked closely and fervently for 50 days in praying, planning, and implementing this outreach as we celebrated the birth of Jesus, who is the reason for the season.
Thank you very much for the delicious dinner, beautiful and environmentally-friendly decoration, on-budget gift baskets, concise script translation, smooth registration, leadership of emcees, passionate singing and hand-motions, listening counselors, and smooth transportation.

Please take time to give glory to God by sharing your comments at this blog post. May His name be magnified!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Give Your Faith a Target


Today´s Passage: Heb. 11:1-12

希 伯 來 書 11:1 信 就 是 所 望 之 事 的 實 底 , 是 未 見 之 事 的 確 據 。

"Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see" (Hebrews 11:1, NLT)

Today´s Word:
So many people today are depressed and discouraged because they only focus on their present circumstances. They´re constantly dwelling on their problems, what they don´t have, and what´s wrong with them. They don´t realize it, but they´re allowing the enemy to steal their hope. This negative frame of mind is what keeps people from moving forward in life.

Understand today that faith is confidence and assurance about the things we hope for according to the promises of God. Like an arrow, your faith points to the target of hope. If you don´t have hope, that arrow of faith will just drop to the ground. It won´t accomplish anything. But, when you keep your hopes up, when you keep expecting and keep believing, it´s as if that target gets larger and larger—easier to hit!

Choose today to live with an attitude of expectancy. Get your hopes up! Start by taking captive any negative thoughts you may have one at a time. As you focus on God´s goodness and faithfulness, you´ll feel that hope inside you growing. You´ll give your faith a target, and you´ll move confidently into the blessings and peace the Lord has in store for you!

Father in heaven, today I surrender every thought to You. I choose to release my cares and concerns so I can focus on Your goodness in my life. Thank You for the gift of faith to see the impossible become possible as I continue to place my hope and confidence in You. In Jesus´ Name, Amen.

What major problems in life are you faced with now? Is your faith pointing to the target of hope, or the target of disappointment? What top-3 negative thoughts should you put to jail, one at a time?

(Adapted from Joel Osteen Ministry Devotion Series; Cantonese version available in video.)

Hope Against Hope


Today´s Passage: Rom. 4:16-25

羅 馬 書 4:18 他 在 無 可 指 望 的 時 候 , 因 信 仍 有 指 望 , 就 得 以 作 多 國 的 父 , 正 如 先 前 所 說 , 你 的 後 裔 將 要 如 此 。
"Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him…" (Romans 4:18, NIV)

Today´s Word:
Do you feel like you are in a hopeless situation today? Is there no sign of change in the natural? Remember, we serve a supernatural God. What looks impossible with man is possible with God.

In the Bible, God told Abraham he would be the father of many nations. But in the natural, this looked impossible. Both he and his wife were beyond child-bearing years. They had no reason to hope or believe it would happen. They had nothing to go on in the natural. But one translation of this verse says, "Hoping in spite of hopeless circumstances, he believed." And you probably know the story. Abraham finally had a son, Isaac and his son, Jacob had 12 sons—the twelve original tribes of Israel with descendants outnumbering the grains of sand on the shore!

Today, I encourage you to do what Abraham did and go against all the odds; hope on in faith anyway. Keep believing. Keep praying. Keep moving forward. Don´t focus on the impossible circumstances, focus on the God who makes the impossible possible! Keep looking through your eyes of faith because He has blessing and victory in store for you!

Heavenly Father, today I choose to hope in You even when everything around me looks hopeless. I invite You to breathe Your life into the impossible circumstances around me. Have Your way in and through me as I dedicate every part of my heart and mind to You. In Jesus´ Name, Amen.

What seems impossible to you in the natural? How can you keep moving forward? Honestly, how big is your God?

(Adapted from Joel Osteen Ministry Devotion Series; Cantonese version available in video.)

He’s Working on Your Behalf


Today´s Passage: Rom. 8:18-30

羅 馬 書 8:28 我 們 曉 得 萬 事 都 互 相 效 力 , 叫 愛 神 的 人 得 益 處 , 就 是 按 他 旨 意 被 召 的 人 。

"We know that God will work all things together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28)

Today´s Word:
God is working behind the scenes in your life today. No matter what you may be facing, no matter what trial you may be going through, God has a plan to turn things around in your favor. Right now, He is working out a plan for your good. Right now, He is orchestrating the right people to come across your path. He is orchestrating the right opportunities to open up to you. You may not see it in the natural, but look with your eyes of faith today. Keep standing. Keep believing. Keep hoping. Keep following His Word. Focus on His goodness in your life, knowing that He rewards the people who seek after Him. As you meditate on the faithfulness of God and show your love for Him by following His Word, you will see His plan come to pass. You´ll experience His peace and joy, and you will live in victory all the days of your life!


Heavenly Father, thank You for Your faithfulness in my life. I trust that You are working behind the scenes on my behalf. Give me Your strength and peace today and fill me with Your faith to overcome. In Jesus´ Name, Amen.


How close are you walking with God recently? Do you long to seek after Him each day? How can I show my love for Him a little more?

(Adapted from Joel Osteen Ministry Devotion Series; Cantonese version available in video.)

Live in Integrity


Today´s Passage: Prov. 22:1-16

箴 言 22:1 美 名 勝 過 大 財 ; 恩 寵 強 如 金 銀 。
"A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches…" (Proverbs 22:1, KJV)

Today´s Word:
What do people think when they hear your name? Do they think, "Oh, that person is always so trustworthy and faithful; they always do the right thing?" Or do they think, "Watch out for that person. You never know what they´re going to do?"

You might say, "Oh, I´m a pretty good person. I do the right thing most of the time." But understand it´s the little foxes that spoil the vine. You can veer off course just a little bit, and before you know it, you´re miles away from your destination. Don´t allow the little things to keep you from your destiny; choose integrity—even when no one is looking. For instance, you might need some paper at home, but you shouldn´t take supplies from the office. Or, you might be running into a store for just a minute, but don´t park in the handicap parking spot unless you´re supposed to. Sure, you might need a few extra bucks this week, but if the checkout clerk makes a mistake and gives you back too much money, that´s not God´s provision; that´s a test of integrity. If you´ll be faithful and choose integrity in the little things, it will be a great treasure in your life. God will pour out His blessing on you as you honor Him all the days of your life.

Father God, today I commit to live a life of integrity. I choose a life of excellence and ask for Your hand of favor. Show me any area that is not pleasing to You so that I can continue to grow and increase in You. In Jesus´ Name, Amen.

Are you off the course right now? What are those little things in your life that “spoil the vine” and compromise your integrity? Do you trust God that He will give you that extra break or an open parking space, just when you need it?

(Adapted from Joel Osteen Ministry Devotion Series; Cantonese version available in video.)

What’s Your Attitude in Adversity


Today´s Passage: Hab. 3:16-19

哈 巴 谷 書 3:17-18 雖 然 無 花 果 樹 不 發 旺 , 葡 萄 樹 不 結 果 , 橄 欖 樹 也 不 效 力 , 田 地 不 出 糧 食 , 圈 中 絕 了 羊 , 棚 內 也 沒 有 牛 ; 然 而 , 我 要 因 耶 和 華 歡 欣 , 因 救 我 的   神 喜 樂 。

"Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior" (Habakkuk 3:17-18, NIV)

Today´s Word:
We all face challenges, difficulties, and times when things don´t go our way. God doesn´t send these storms, but He will allow us to go through certain things in order to shape our character and prove our faith. Really, it´s in our times of difficulty that we grow and develop.

God wants to use the tough times in our lives to do a work in us. He wants to strengthen and develop us. Our attitude in times of adversity is the evidence of our maturity. Are we going to treat people right even when we´re being mistreated? Are we going to stay full of joy even when the bottom falls out? Are we going to be faithful even in the dry seasons of our lives when we don´t see anything good happening?

It may take more effort. You may have to work harder to keep a good attitude, but remember: attitude is the key to your promotion. As you keep that positive attitude of faith and expectancy, even in times of adversity, God will deliver you and move you forward into the destiny He has prepared for you!

Heavenly Father, I want to grow spiritually and be more like You. I choose to trust You in times of adversity knowing that You are working things out for my good. Renew a right attitude within me by Your Spirit. In Jesus´ Name, Amen.

What storm is looming in your horizon? How would you prepare to ride out the storm? What kind of right attitude do you need inside?

(Adapted from Joel Osteen Ministry Devotion Series; Cantonese version available in video.)

Preparing for Promotion


Today´s Passage: John 16:25-33

約 翰 福 音 16:33 我 將 這 些 事 告 訴 你 們 , 是 要 叫 你 們 在 我 裡 面 有 平 安 。 在 世 上 , 你 們 有 苦 難 ; 但 你 們 可 以 放 心 , 我 已 經 勝 了 世 界 。

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world" (John 16:33, NIV)

Today´s Word:
Are you going through a season of difficulty? Does it seem like for every step you take forward, you take two steps back? The Bible tells us that hard times and difficulty will come in this life, but we can rejoice because God promises us victory!

Whatever you may be facing today, make the decision that you are going to shake off negative thinking and trust that God is working behind the scenes. The more we trust Him and exercise our faith in Him, the more we are preparing ourselves for promotion. Focus on the fact that brighter days are just ahead. Weeping may endure for a night, but when you fight the good fight of faith, God promises that joy is coming in the morning! If you´ll work with God, He´ll take that adversity, turn it around, and use it for your good. It may be uncomfortable at times, but you´ve got to know that you are growing. God is maturing you.

He is building character in you, and he is preparing you for the promotion and increase He has in store for your future!

Heavenly Father, today I release all of my cares on You. I choose to focus on the blessings that You have given me. Search my heart today and remove anything that is displeasing to You. I bless You and honor You alone. In Jesus´ Name, Amen.

How have you been exercising your faith? Do you face with difficulties head-on yourself? Or do you let God be God? When was the last time you felt joy coming in the morning? Knowing the promotion and increase that God has in store for you, what area is God nurturing you for maturity right now?

(Adapted from Joel Osteen Ministry Devotion Series; Cantonese version available in video.)

He Increases Your Strength


Today´s Passage: Isa. 40:27-31

以 賽 亞 書 40:29 疲 乏 的 , 他 賜 能 力 ; 軟 弱 的 , 他 加 力 量

"He gives power to the faint and weary, and to him who has no might He increases strength [causing it to multiply and making it to abound]" (Isaiah 40:29, AMP)

Today´s Word:
In the Bible, Joseph went through seasons of difficulty. He was rejected by his family, sold into slavery, lied about, mistreated, abandoned, falsely accused, and thrown in jail. But through it all, Joseph never gave up. He kept pressing through and doing the right thing even though the wrong thing kept happening. The Bible says in Psalm 105 verse 18, as Joseph laid in prison in those chains of iron, his soul entered into that iron. In other words, as Joseph just kept on fighting life through, his soul became as strong as that steel. God developed a supernatural strength in him that no one could take away.

If you are going through difficulty today, God wants to increase your strength. He wants to increase your power to overcome. He wants to make your inner man as strong as steel. When you keep standing, keep believing, keep doing the right thing, you are opening yourself to God´s supernatural strength. That´s when you know you are growing in Him. Be strong today. Keep pressing forward because God is at work increasing strength in you so that you can live in victory in every area of your life!

Father in heaven, today I surrender every difficulty to You. I release the questions, hurts, and frustrations. I choose to trust You and do the right thing. Increase Your strength in me so that I can live in the victory You have in store for me. In Jesus´ Name, Amen.

Think about a recent hurt or frustration you have gone through. Did you feel God playing any role in easing this hurt on your behalf? What strength can you draw from God and from your supportive friends? How are they different?

(Adapted from Joel Osteen Ministry Devotion Series; Cantonese version available in video.)

He Has Good Things in Store


Today´s Passage: Psalm 23:1-6

詩 篇 23:6 我 一 生 一 世 必 有 恩 惠 慈 愛 隨 著 我 ; 我 且 要 住 在 耶 和 華 的 殿 中 , 直 到 永 遠 。

"Surely or only goodness, mercy, and unfailing love shall follow me all the days of my life…" (Psalm 23:6, AMP)

Today´s Word:
God has a plan to take every adversity, every hardship you go through and use it—not to beat you down and make your life miserable. No, God´s dream is to take that difficulty and supernaturally turn it around and use it to bring you good. He will use those tough times to bring you out stronger, more mature, and prepared for promotion! Goodness, mercy, and unfailing love are God´s plan for you!

You may not understand everything that´s going on in your life right now, but keep your head held high. Know that God is working in your life. Keep being faithful. Keep doing the right thing knowing that in the end God is going to turn things around in your favor. If God is for you, who can be against you? No one. Greater is the One who is in you than anyone who can be against you. No matter what´s going on around you today, you can put your shoulders back and put a smile on your face because God has good things in store for your future!

Father in heaven, thank You for Your goodness and faithfulness in my life. Thank You for all You´ve done for me in my past and for what You are preparing for my future. Help me keep my eyes on You. Help me stand strong in You and look for Your goodness all the days of my life. In Jesus´ Name, Amen.

How do you think God can use our failure to turn things around? Do you agree that success is moving from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm? If so, how? When was the last time you felt God put a smile on His face? And on your face?

(Adapted from Joel Osteen Ministry Devotion Series; Cantonese version available in video.)

In an Instant


Today´s Passage: Isaiah 29:1-24

以 賽 亞 書 29:5-6
5 你 仇 敵 的 群 眾 , 卻 要 像 細 塵 ; 強 暴 人 的 群 眾 , 也 要 像 飛 糠 。 這 事 必 頃 刻 之 間 忽 然 臨 到 。

6 萬 軍 之 耶 和 華 必 用 雷 轟 、 地 震 、 大 聲 、 旋 風 、 暴 風 , 並 吞 滅 的 火 燄 , 向 他 討 罪 。

"…And in an instant, suddenly, you shall be visited and delivered by the Lord of hosts…" (Isaiah 29:5-6, AMP)

Today´s Word:
All through the Bible, we have examples of how God suddenly showed Himself strong on behalf of His people. But sometimes when we´ve struggled in an area for a long time, it´s easy to just give up and accept things the way they are. One of the enemy´s favorite lies is to tell you that nothing is ever going to change. He´ll tell you that you´re never going to get well, that your relationship isn´t going to work out. But I want to tell you today, it doesn´t matter how long you´ve been in those circumstances, God can change things in an instant! In a split second of time, He can turn it all around. One touch of God´s power can heal your body. One touch of His favor can promote you. One touch of His goodness can solve that problem. Just one touch from Almighty God can instantly change your life.

I encourage you today, keep believing, keep standing, and keep hoping. Don´t let the enemy drag your thoughts down because God is working behind the scenes. Your time is coming. Your breakthrough is going to happen suddenly—in an instant!

Father in heaven, I choose to trust that You are working things out for my good. I choose to stand in faith, believing that my season of breakthrough is coming. Give me Your strength and peace as I patiently wait on You. In Jesus´ Name, Amen.

Are you feeling discouraged that nothing is ever going to improve? Do you honestly believe that God can change things in an instant? Granted that your breakthrough may not be visible right now, how can you keep hoping every morning?

(Adapted from Joel Osteen Ministry Devotion Series; Cantonese version available in video.)

Twice as Much


Today´s Passage: Zech. 9:11-17

撒 迦 利 亞 9:12 你 們 被 囚 而 有 指 望 的 人 都 要 轉 回 保 障 。 我 今 日 說 明 , 我 必 加 倍 賜 福 給 你 們 。
"Return to your fortress, o prisoners of hope, even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you" (Zechariah 9:12, NIV)

Today´s Word:
God wants to bring to pass everything that He´s promised to you! He longs to give you the deepest desires of your heart. He wants to restore to you twice as much as what´s been stolen from you! But you have to do your part and stay filled with hope. That means that no matter how long you´ve been in that negative situation, no matter how many setbacks you´ve suffered; you´ve got to get up each day with the attitude that this could be the day God turns it all around!

The Bible says that the Name of the Lord is a strong tower. When you put your trust and hope in Him, you are in a fortress of strength. Nothing can steal your joy, peace, or enthusiasm. You are positioned for victory! You are positioned for power! And you are positioned to receive everything God has in store for you!

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your goodness and faithfulness. Thank You for Your promise to restore every area of my life. I choose to be a prisoner of hope trusting in Your Name alone. I bless You today and always. In Jesus´ Name, Amen.

What Promise from God do you need to claim in His name today? Does your inner flame glow with a passion to claim this promise? How can I prevent anything or anyone from stealing my joy, peace, and passion?

(Adapted from Joel Osteen Ministry Devotion Series; Cantonese version available in video.)

Your Appointed Time


Today´s Passage: Hab. 2:2-20

哈 巴 谷 書 2:3 因 為 這 默 示 有 一 定 的 日 期 , 快 要 應 驗 , 並 不 虛 謊 。 雖 然 遲 延 , 還 要 等 候 ; 因 為 必 然 臨 到 , 不 再 遲 延 。

"For the vision is yet for an appointed time…though it tarry, wait for it" (Habakkuk 2:3 KJV)

Today´s Word:
God has an appointed time to fulfill the visions, dreams, and desires in your heart. Just because it has taken a long time or because you´ve tried and failed, doesn´t mean it´s not going to happen. Don´t give up on those dreams! Don´t be complacent about pursuing what God has placed in your heart. Our God is a faithful God. No matter how long it´s been, no matter how impossible things looks, if you´ll stay in faith, your appointed time is coming.

Remember, every dream that´s in your heart, every promise that has taken root, God put it in there. And not only that, but He has every intention of bringing it to pass. Hold on to that vision today by declaring, "My time is coming. God is working behind the scenes on my behalf. I will fulfill my destiny!" As you continue to hold on to that vision and speak life over your dreams, you´ll see them begin to take shape. You´ll see your faith grow, you´ll see your hope strengthen, and you´ll see yourself step into the destiny God has prepared for you!

Father in heaven, I receive Your truth today. I receive Your promises today. I ask that You ignite my heart with Your holy fire so that I can pursue Your perfect plan for my life. Make my thoughts and words agreeable to Your will. In Jesus´ Name, Amen.


What dreams do you have in your heart right now? If your dream has been dead, what does it take to revive it? If your dream is not budding, what is preventing it from growing?

(Adapted from Joel Osteen Ministry Devotion Series; Cantonese version available in video.)

For Your Sake


Today´s Passage: 2 Peter 3:1-9

彼 得 後 書 3:9 主 所 應 許 的 尚 未 成 就 , 有 人 以 為 他 是 耽 延 , 其 實 不 是 耽 延 , 乃 是 寬 容 你 們 , 不 願 有 一 人 沉 淪 , 乃 願 人 人 都 悔 改

"The Lord isn´t really being slow about His promise, as some people think. No, He is being patient for your sake…" (2 Peter 3:9, NLT)

Today´s Word:
It doesn´t take very long to discover that God´s timing is not always our timing. It´s easy to question and wonder why you´ve been waiting for your breakthrough for 15 years and your neighbor got their breakthrough in 15 minutes! In the Bible, Abraham waited 20 years for his promise, and in the upper room the disciples waited about ten days. I don´t know how long you´ll have to wait, but you´ve got to understand that God has your best interest at heart. He is being patient for your sake. He´s aligning things and waiting for the exact right moment! If you´ll just continue waiting with the right attitude, then at the right time, God will bring it to pass.

Remember, God is always working behind the scenes for your good. Just because you don´t see any changes taking place doesn´t mean they aren´t happening. Keep standing, keep believing, and keep hoping because your breakthrough is coming for your sake!

Father in heaven, today I choose to surrender all my questions, all my fears, and all my doubts. I know that You have only my best interest at heart. I trust You and believe that You are working behind the scenes for my sake. In Jesus´ Name, Amen.

Have you ever given up on something or someone too early and thus ended up regretting for not waiting? What drives you not to wait a little longer? What could have caused you to persevere and endure?

(Adapted from Joel Osteen Ministry Devotion Series; Cantonese version available in video.)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

He Collects Your Tears


Today´s Passage: Psalm 56:1-13

詩 篇 56:8 我 幾 次 流 離 , 你 都 記 數 ; 求 你 把 我 眼 淚 裝 在 你 的 皮 袋 裡 。 這 不 都 記 在 你 冊 子 上 麼 ?

"You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in Your bottle. You have recorded each one in Your book" (Psalm 56:8, NLT)

Today´s Word:
Do you know how important you are to God? He cares so much about every detail of your life. He cares about your thoughts, feelings, and emotions. In fact, what you are going through is so important to Him that He records every sorrow and collects every tear you´ve shed.

Why would God record your sorrows and collect your tears? It´s because He loves you so much. He is your Defender. He´s keeping account of every wrong that´s ever been done to you so that He can make up for every single one of them. He wants to restore everything that has ever been stolen. He wants to heal every single hurt and pain. He sees the longings and desires of your heart, and you can rest assured that behind the scenes He is working things out for your good!

Be reminded that God is with you today. He is on your side. He has your best interest at heart, and He is working to bring restoration and peace to every area of your life. Keep standing, keep believing, and keep doing the right thing because the One who collects your tears will restore every broken place in your life!

Heavenly Father, thank You for loving me and setting me free. Thank You for being my Defender. I choose to release every hurt, pain and sorrow, knowing that You will make all things new. In Jesus´ Name, Amen.

When was the last time you shed a tear? Do you believe that God has been keeping account of your tears? How did you think God would collect your tears and restore your broken heart?

(Adapted from Joel Osteen Ministry Devotion Series; Cantonese version available in video.)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Natural vs. Spiritual

Oswald Sanders wrote in his classic book Spiritual Leadership about the following differences between our Natural vs. Spiritual behaviors.
Self-confident ----------- Confident in God
Knows men -------------- Also knows God
Makes own decision ------ Seeks God's will
Ambitious ------------------ Self-effacing
Uses own methods ------- Finds and follows God's methods
Commands others ------- Objey God
Motivated by self -------- Motivated by love for God and man
Independent ------------- God-dependent

Our old self often stands in the way of our goal towards Spiritual Maturity. Spiritual goal requires spiritual means. Thankfully, it is possible for us to get there through God by prayer with the help of the Holy Spirit.

Friday, September 18, 2009

A Love Letter from Jesus (with Reply from Martha)

During my long spiritual journey, I have treasured a very meaningful "Love Letter from Jesus" which was circulating on the Internet. I liked this letter so much that I translated it into Chinese, and then authored a follow-up letter titled "A Reply from Martha", acknowledging that we all share the "DNA" of Martha sometimes.

Please click HERE and listen to both audio letters, which I co-produced with a few dear CSAFers. (See if you can recognize their voices.)

The Lyrics of The Love Letter from Jesus is provided below.

How are you? I just had to send you this letter to tell you how much I love you and care about you. I saw you yesterday as you were walking with your friends. I waited all day, hoping you would walk and talk with me also. As evening drew near, I gave you a sunset to close your day and a cool breeze to rest you. Then I waited, but you never came. O yes, it hurt me, but I still love you because I am your friend.

I saw you fall asleep last night, and I longed to touch your brow so I spilled moonlight upon your pillow and your face ... Again I waited, wanting to rush down so we could talk. I have so many gifts for you.

You awakened late this morning and rushed off for the day. My tears were in the rain. Today you looked so sad, so alone. It makes my heart ache because I understand. My friends let me down and hurt me many times but I love you. I try to tell you in the quiet green grass. I whisper it in the leaves and trees and breathe it in the colours of the flowers. I whisper it to you in the mountain streams and give the birds love songs to sing. I clothe you with warm sunshine and perfume the air. My love for you is deeper than the oceans and bigger than the biggest want or need you could ever have.

We will spend eternity together in heaven. I know how hard it is on earth. I really know because I was there and I want to help you. My Father wants to help you, too. He's that way, you know. Just call me, ask me, talk to me. It is your decision ... I have chosen you and because of this I will wait ... Because I love you.

Your Friend,

Direct Line to Heaven

I heard a funny joke about "Talking to Heaven" by Pastor Joel Osteen of Lakewood Church in Texas. It always brings smile to my heart everytime I listen to it.

Click HERE to play the audio. Enjoy!

Remember that wherever your DEVOTION PLACE may be, it will also be a LOCAL CALL !

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Rise Above the Earth

To look above the horizon in near-space, the secret is figuring out which facet of our life to motivate to embrace the issues of life. Our hearts have to: rise to an altitude high enough to pursue God's will, withstand extreme pressure of the peers, and be trackable from where we got lost in our life. All you need is a committed heart, and some willing time to try.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Preparing to Meet God

God does not quickly run into someone's presence. There is no place for a sleepy, careless attitude in contacting and communing with the living God. We must prepare ourselves for it.

Here are a few reminders when you do your daily devotion:

(1) Be willing to obey
(2) Be sensitive to listen
(3) Be clean in your hearts
(4) Show a deep respect for God's presence

You need to meet regularly with God. Priority number one is to find a place where you won't be disturbed for a minimum of 30 minutes. Go to any safe place. Put up a "Do Not Disturb" sign if you have to.

You must provide yourself with that place these things:
(1) Desk - sit down in a comfortable posture.
(2) Light - ensure you have plenty of illumination for reading.
(3) Bible - read the printed scriptures systematically. Don't rely on your memory.
(4) Journal - use a note-pad to remember what God says. This is your personal life-book.

Your spiritual journey starts today!

p.s. To show your reverence for God Almighty, I learned that some may choose to take off their shoes, clean up well, turn off cell phone, etc. Whatever you desire to do for such sacred moment, that is between you and God.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Small Group Devotion Series (2009-2010)


Main Goals:

• Practice devotion daily (or weekly at the minimum).

• Re-calibrate our life to depend on God more.


• Form a habit (Learn from others, Practice useful skills, Nurture a desire to meet Jesus).

• Do it together on the last Saturday of each month.

• Utilize common devotion materials to promote sharing of experience.

Please PRAY for your commitment to participating during the coming year.

Monday, September 07, 2009

He Who Honors God

A recent movie night for my small group rekindled the smoldering fire within me. Eleven of us (including little Susan) watched the classic film 'Chariots of Fire' together at my home. The immediate audience reaction to different scenes was priceless. You have to be there to feel the disappointment when Eric Liddell was bumped off the track, and the elation when he rised up from the dirt to break the tape at the finish-line. Of course, who can forget the little girl's blush when Eric winked at her jokingly during a church service scene?

Though it was my seventh time viewing this movie, its impact on me remains strong as ever. At the 400-meter final heat, Liddell (the Christian giant who refused to dishonor God on Sabbath Day and gave up his chance of winning the 100-meter race which happened to be on a Sunday) honored God, and God honored him in return. This was indeed a great learning moment for all of us. Let us continue to run the best race we can in our life to honor God, for His pleasure. He promised to honor those who honor Him. Amen!

撒 母 耳 記 上 2:30: "因 此 , 耶 和 華 ─ 以 色 列 的   神 說 : 我 曾 說 , 你 和 你 父 家 必 永 遠 行 在 我 面 前 ; 現 在 我 卻 說 , 決 不 容 你 們 這 樣 行 。 因 為 尊 重 我 的 , 我 必 重 看 他 ; 藐 視 我 的 , 他 必 被 輕 視 。"

1 Samuel 2:30: "Therefore the LORD God of Israel declares, 'I did indeed say that your house and the house of your father should walk before Me forever'; but now the LORD declares, 'Far be it from Me--for those who honor Me I will honor, and those who despise Me will be lightly esteemed."
To re-trace this memorable moment, go to:

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Dubai - Heaven On Earth?

The Dubai Short-Term Mission Team (DSTMT) has had a brief taste of the so-called 'Heaven On Earth" for two weeks. Is it really as glamorous as advertized? As my flight touched down at DXB, I immediately marveled at the lavishly designed skyscrapers, competing for the pitch-dark skyline. I noticed that the airport police does not carry any visible weapon or gun. I reasoned that everyone here is so rich that they want for nothing. The crime rate here must have been much much lower than that of L.A. However, on the very next day, I witnessed first-hand the rudeness of a local Arab quarreling over a minor traffic issue. My impression of Dubai as the 'Heaven On Earth' immediately changed. At any rate, I was glad to be in Dubai as a member of the DSTMT, bringing a message of hope and love in Jesus name to the hundreds of foreign Chinese laborers we came into contact. May they all find Jesus as their personal source of faith, hope, and love, especially during today's turbulent time of global financial tsunami.

Young Chinese Professionals in Dubai

These young professionals are only in their 20s, yet they have left China and come to Dubai for better job opportunities. All of them are well-educated college graduates in China, but they are now working in hotels or restaurants as waiters and waitresses. When we played games with them, they are all full of energy. That night, I had the chance to share my personal salvation testimony, and to remind them of the importance of caring for one another, rejoicing in the Lord always, and bonding with unity in Christ. I pray that my spiritual journey can be an encouragement to these young people as they grow up through life. We left the sand dune just a few minutes after mid-night. How I wish that their future will be filled with better opportunities than what they have now in Dubai. More importantly, I pray that they will all grow up spiritually to become stronger and more matured Christian leaders when they return to China some day.

These young people enjoyed singing Amy Sand's song, especially "有一天" (One Day). Here is the lyrics: (詞曲:盛曉玫One Day music/lyrics: Amy Sand)
有一天, 你若覺得失去勇氣,
有一天, 你若真的想放棄,
有一天, 你若感覺沒人愛你,
有一天, 好像走到谷底.

那一天, 你要振作你的心情,
那一天, 你要珍惜你自己,
那一天, 不要忘記有人愛你,
那一天, 不要輕易說放棄.

這個世界, 真有一位上帝,
祂愛你, 祂願意幫助你,
茫茫人海, 雖然寂寞,
這個世界, 真有一位上帝,
祂的雙手, 渴望緊緊擁抱你,
漫漫長夜, 陪你走過,
祂愛你, 伴你一生之久.

Celebrating 2009 New Year Eve in the Sand Dune

The foreign workers work long hours. During their break time, at around 8pm, we met them in the sand dune nearby their workplace. The sand dune location is not marked at all. I am sure I will get lost if I were to go there by myself. You got to have been there a good number of times before you can recognize where exactly it is located. Of course, Pastor Sze knows the way, just like a shepherd who knows his sheep. After walking through the sand for about ten minutes, we finally arrived at our destination in a trough area away from the windward side. There we were greeted by about 30 workers waiting for the program to start. That night, we led the praise time for about 30 minutes, then sister Agnes shared her personal testimony. In the cool of desert night, Paster Sze gave a message of hope right on the New Year Eve of 2009. Then we divided up into small groups to pray for one another. We not only prayed for the future of the foreign workers, but also for the future of their mother land China. May the testimonies of these Christian workers in Dubai shine forth as the light of the world wherever they go.

There's a Story Behind Each Face

Many Chinese workers lived in the apartment complex nearby the Dragon Mart. Here sister Lo opens her apartment home for gathering. I was told a good number of Chinese workers currently reside at this small apartment. I had a good chat with brother Li Chen, who came from northern China (he is seating by the door in the picture). He told me he accepted Christ about 3 years ago, and he works in the bathroom products business. But due to the economic turmoil in Dubai, he must now return to China. It was a joy listening to his stories about his witnessing to a non-believer friend and his personal testimonies about his overcoming the temptation of greed. Along with many other Chinese transient workers, Li lived at sister Lo's apartment which is full of bunked beds. Just a side note, when I entered her apartment, I met an Indian man who is typing at a computer to access the Internet. Then I realized that sister Lo is also running a home business servicing as an "Internet Bar". To make room for our gathering that night, all of the computer terminals have already been put aside by the walls. Praise God that sister Lo is willing to let Pastor Sze use her place for fellowship and outreach. The Dubai Short Term Mission Team (DSTMT) spent some one-on-one time with every single visitors. Initially, two DSTMT members chatted with one visitor. As more visitors arrived, we divided up into smaller groups. The small room of about 200 square feet was quickly filled with more than ten tenants who just returned from their work in the Dragon Mart. Then, Paster Sze shared some words of encouragement, and publicized about the upcoming baptism a few days later (Jan 2). Praise the Lord, several of sister Lo's tenants came and got baptized right on that day. The wonderful work of God continues in Dubai.

Work on the Knees

All work begins with the words of prayer. God already knew our needs even before we ask Him. Indeed, He loves to hear our prayer. Even Christ Himself listens carefully to our petition so that He can intercede on our behalf. Right after our worship on the Lord's Day (which is on Friday in Dubai), Pastor Sze called for a prayer circle to petition on behalf of a sister (facing out in the picture on right) whose husband is still not a Christian yet. We all kneeled down and prayed fervently for his salvation. There were tears streaming down from her face. And we all look forward to hearing from our sister the good results of our prayer some day.

First Experience of a Home Church in Dubai

On the second last day of our trip, Pastor Sze requested two Dubai Short Term Mission Team (DSTMT) members, with 1 brother and 1 sister, to join him and visit a male worker camp in the suburb. He told us that the dormitory room we planned to visit is not big enough to fit the entire DSTMT team. So, he left it to our own discretion. Except for two members who had to stay behind to plan for the next day, the rest of us (2 brothers and 4 sisters) were able to sign on. Upon our arrival after an hour's drive, I immediately sensed tension in the air at the gate of the compound (see picture). Seeing a few police cars parked outside the gate, Pastor Sze cautioned that we probably shouldn't stay for too long. (We later found out that there had been some incidents within the compound earlier that day caused by some racial disturbance between the Chinese and Indian workers.) At any rate, Pastor Sze led us to a small dormitory room (about 10 feet by 20 feet) occupied by a Christian brother. Within 5 minutes, about 15 brothers showed up. Then, sister Jane shared her testimony to encourage them, and we all sang a few songs, including "有一位神" (There is One God). Then Pastor Sze's shared a brief message about peace. It was such a cozy meeting with no room to spare; everyone was jam-packed shoulder-to-shoulder just like those home churches in China. I sensed God's presence in that little room with His protective arms over-shadowing His sheep. Since it is not proper to bring so many visitors (especially females) into a male worker compound, we did not stay for too long. Right before we departed, we sang for them their most favorite song "我今天為你祝福" (Today I Bless Thee). Its lyrics speak from our hearts: "我今天為你祝福,耶和華必天天看顧, 你在家,在外,你出你入,耶和華必一路保護, 你當除去恐懼的心,因為這不是從神來, 靠著耶穌永不搖動,我們一生蒙了大福。" Trying not to cause any unnecessary trouble to our Christian brothers, we left quietly from the back side. During this quick 30 minutes visit, I witnessed first-hand the harshness faced by our brothers in the dormitory. And I felt really blessed being able to worship freely and comfortably back in the U.S.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

A Fortress in the Desert

For two weeks, the Dubai STMT (DSTMT) stayed in this comfortable two-storey house, hosted by a Singapore brother Samuel who has a vision for the gospel and a heart to outreach to the people in Afghanistan and in Dubai. His wife Ling is a wonderful cook. Here in this spiritual fortress in the desert, the DSTMT was fed healthily every morning before we departed for each spiritual battle. In the evening, after we returned from a long day of work, we were always treated with surprises and surprises of delicious dinner. I thank God for their faithful service. May God continue to bless their ministry in Dubai. Interestingly enough, a Moslem mosque is nearby this house. Every morning, the mosque's loudspeakers broadcast its chanting of Islamic prayer call at about 5am and at 7am. God does have a sense of humor; He utilized these chanting calls to keep our work schedule on time. We never needed an alarm clock to wake up.

An Evening of God's Working in Dubai

Under the cover of the night, the remaining 6 Dubai Short-Term Mission Team (DSTMT) members (Janet Suen, Stanley, Janet Lau, Vicky, Wei-Wei, and Victor) held our last rally at the designated worship center which is located about 1 hour's drive away from our residence. Upon our arrival, a crowd of more than 170 foreign Chinese workers had already gathered, eagerly waiting. There the DSTMT praised God with them together and offered our personal testimonies of thanksgiving. Actually, this rally was also a special evening celebrating the 2 year anniversary of the Dubai Ministry started by Pastor Sze and his co-workers. When Pastor Sze asked if there were any born-again Christians who wanted to be baptized, about 25 to 30 people raised their hands (as seen in the picture). Within 30 minutes, all of them (with a couple sisters) were baptized right on the spot. I thank God for the moving of the Holy Spirit. And I could clearly see the genuine smile on their faces. Though the future of these foreign workers may be uncertain, I am confident that they are all in the good care of God's loving hands, guiding them through every single step of their way. Personally, I had never witnessed such an unreserved response to the call for baptism by so many Christians all at the same time. For those Christians who have been contemplating about baptism for over ten or twenty years, perhaps this may prompt them to act more quickly to get baptized.