Friday, July 28, 2017

Letters to Annabel: Treat Addictive Substances Like Poison


My daughter Annabel,

            A total of 131,841 drug addicts have been registered in Malaysia between January 2010 and February 2016. Papa is burdened for young people nowadays. Among them are youth aged 19 and below amounted to 8,732 people, that’s the ones that we know of, reported cases. But how about those youth in rural areas? Papa read news last year that one in four students in Sarawak's most northern district of Lawas have been found to be taking drugs. It seems that drug dealers are now targeting youths and students. Oh Anna, nothing can break papa’s heart when I think about this… God saves Malaysia!

            Last month papa did a motivational talk at boy’s home, I chatted with them after that. Most of them said they taking drugs due to peer influence and out of curiosity. Dr. Tam Cai Lian, lecturer from Monash University said it well: Research shows that the social pressure to belong, to be accepted, and to be part of a social group, especially in teenagers, prompts them to conform to their peer group, and start trying out drugs. That’s how it usually begins.” Be careful to avoid the people and the places that can entrap your spirit and destroy your life.

The dictionary defines addiction as “the compulsive need for a habit-forming substance; the condition of being habitually and compulsively occupied with something.”  Well, that definition is accurate, but incomplete. For us, Christ followers, addiction has an additional meaning: it means compulsively worshipping something other than God.

            Anna, papa know that you’re a very responsible woman. But as your father, I need you to know this: don’t get addicted to something that destroys your health or your sanity. Ours is a society that glamourizes the use of drugs, alcohol, cigarettes and other addicted substances. Movies and social media are indirectly promoting it, but never fall into temptations. “Since you are tempted without ceasing,” writes Charles H. Spurgeon, “pray without ceasing.” When it comes to the trap of addiction, my daughter, it is easier to stay out than it is to get out. Yes, help is available. Plenty of people have experienced addiction and lived to tell about it… but you don’t have to experience it, in order to learn from it. Take heed now, learn from people’s examples, hold on to God’s Word, care for your body and mind, and be mindful of the destructive power of addiction.

But I do encourage you to be addicted to these things: praying and helping others, fellowship with the Believers and make friends in school, reading the Bible and mediate on it day and night, go for physical exercise and learn to have fun :)

P.s: Papa will be home this Sunday. We’ll go to Kuching Food Fest ya  
Love you baby,
Richard

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Monday, July 24, 2017

Letters to Annabel: Stand Up for Your Beliefs

When I return home, Anna, we watch 'Wonder Woman' together again ya. 

My daughter Annabel,

            Papa have to go back to the longhouses at Sibu for a mission trip. I hope your aunty take good care of you and when I return, I’ll tell you the story of how Christ works among the Iban people, our people. It is so exciting! But one news that have been troubled daddy since last week is that many of our young people, when they study or work at the city, they losing their faith. Those who grow or kept their faith and beliefs are those who attend church or/and Christian fellowship weekly. Daddy will share God’s Word to the young people tomorrow night, would you pray for daddy?

            Anna, they remind me of you my child. One word that came to my mind this morning as I prayed for you is this: Stand up for your beliefs. Be secure with who you are and where you stand in Christ. When you become more God-confident, then you become willing to stand up for your beliefs and your God the Father. And that’s good because if you’re willing to stand up for the things you believe in, especially in your relationship with Christ, you faith will be strengthen. And not only that, you’ll feel better about yourself and you’ll make better choices.

            “Let’s take Jesus at this word,” Max Lucado writes, “When He says we’re forgiven, let’s unload the guilt. When He says we’re valuable, let’s believe Him. When He says we’re eternal, let’s bury our fear. When He says we’re provided for, let’s stop worrying.” Franklin Graham also said, “The value and purpose of following God’s ways are not in seeing, but in believing, what God wants to say to us.” Part of why daddy wants you to read the Bible every day and meditate on it is because I desires for you be rooted in Christ and His Word. Stand firm, okay?


Daddy love you,
Rich

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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Jesus' Leadership #19 Transparent and Visible


Jesus was God’s love made invisible: “[the Word] became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). Jesus spoke out from the mountaintops; he did not mutter in the valleys. He spoke in synagogues, streets, gardens, and at every party he went to. He was not afraid to stand out in the crowd. When the Temple guards, uncertain of which man they were to grab, trying to arrest all the disciples, Jesus stepped forward and said, “I’m the one you’re looking for. Let these others go” (John 18:9). He was willing to be God’s lightning rod.

D. L. Moody was one of the greatest evangelists who ever lived. He drew crowds of tens of thousands of people every time he spoke. Once when someone asked him how he could be such a powerful speaker, he said, “Before I speak I just go out to an open place and say ‘Lord, set me on fire.’

A light should be set on a hill, not hidden under a bushel. Jesus was not a low-profile person.
He was visible.

How are you visible as leader?
What are some ways you could increase your visibility?

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