Sunday, March 15, 2009

Seminars on Goal Setting & Financial Freedom by Dr Wong Hong Meng

Dear Friends,

The Full Gospel Business Men's Fellowship (FGBMF) is again working with the Bible College of Malaysia and the the Friends of BCM Fellowship to be a blessing to the churches and Christians in the Klang Valley. We will be conducting two helpful seminars for these challenging times. Suitable for all ages but most beneficial to the young adults both seminars can be evangelistic. A church in Sri Damansara used the goal setting seminar to invite non-believers to come learn something useful and to get to know the church.

Seminar #1

"GOAL SETTING for an Abundant Life - turning good intentions into positive actions."

A Half-Day Seminar

Date : Saturday, 18 April 2009,
Time : 2:30pm to 5:30pm
Venue : Bible College of Malaysia, Jalan Gasing, Petaling Jaya

Myles Munroe said that the cemetery is the richest place on earth because of all the unutilized potential buried there. This seminar provides you with a proven methodology on how to set goals in all areas of your life and to remain motivated for their achievement. You will begin to use more and more of your untapped potential. I used this method to complete my doctorate at the age of 60. The seminar will be conducted in English but the handout and power point presentation will also be available in Chinese. So if you have some understanding of English you would be able to follow the presentation. Commercially this seminar would probably cost at least RM500. Please send your registration and the RM30 to BCM.

For more information, click on flyer to enlarge. To return, click on "Back" at top left hand corner.

Seminar #2

"FINANCIAL FREEDOM" - a series of 20 life transforming video based lessons from the Institute of Basic Life Principles.

A 10 Saturdays Programme

Date : 2 May to 4 July 2009,
Time : 2:00pm to 6:00pm
Venue : Glad Tidings, Kelang

This is the sixth year we are running this programme and the third with BCM. Successful completion of the programme is worth 4 credit hours with BCM. Past participants rated the programme highly.

This is a comprehensive coverage of the Biblical principles on the management of personal finances. It is not just a video presentation. The principles are explained, expanded and contextualized for practical application with time for discussion and exploration. That is why the programme is so long. But it is worth it.

The usefulness of these ten half Saturdays to your life could be greater than the 3 years you spent at university. Each session is self contained so please do not worry if you cannot come for all 10 sessions. You will benefit from whatever you can attend. GT, Kelang is just 20 minutes from PJ on the NKVE. You would not need to go through the traffic jam in Kelang.

Please send your registration to FGBMF. All surpluses from these two seminars go to the BCM. Although the registration is only RM130 or RM150 (RM13 or RM15 per session), the Financial Freedom programme had contributed meaningfully to BCM the last two years. Please note that the beautiful hard-cover Financial Freedom Manual costs RM120. Well worth the investment but if you do not wish to have a personal copy you may share or borrow from a past-participant. We will not be providing photocopies.

For more infomation, click on flyer to enlarge. To return, click on "Back" at top left hand corner

With His love and blessings,
Hong Meng

Administrator's Note :
Up to last year Bro Dr Wong Hong Meng was the National Secretary for FGBMF and is now its National Director for Leadership Development. Part of his doctoral research was published in the 2008 peer-reviewed Journal of Business Ethics Vol.81 No.1 pp. 169-191. The paper is titled, "Religiousness, Love of Money, and Ethical Attitudes of Malaysian Evangelical Christians in Business."

Friday, March 13, 2009

Inspirational Short Stories for March


BC thank the reader below for alerting us on the authenticity of this short story. We have removed it for further reading. We sincerely apologize for any misunderstanding this story, which we had received through an email to us, may have caused anyone who has read it earlier. We appreciate Soaring Eagle for the quick alert. Please read the link below for the true story.

(Quote) Hi, I read your post on the Gingham Dress - the story on how the Stanford University being found. I did a check on the original history from the Stanford University website and they say this story circulated widely on the internet was untrue. Kindly check it out. (Unquote)

Best Regards,
Soaring Eagle.


Story # 2 THE SEED

Author Unknown

In the Far East the emperor was growing old and knew it was time to choose his successor. Instead of choosing one of his assistants or his children, he decided to do something different. He called young people in the kingdom together one day. He said, "It is time for me to step down and choose the next emperor. I have decided to choose one of you."

The children were shocked, but the emperor continued. "I am going to give each one of you a seed today - one very special seed. I want you to plant the seed, water it, and come back here one year from today with what you have grown from this one seed. I will then judge the plants that you bring, and the one I choose will be the next emperor."

One boy, named Ling, was there that day and he, like the others, received a seed. He went home and excitedly, told his mother the story. She helped him get a pot and planting soil, and he planted the seed and watered it, carefully. Everyday, he would water it and watch to see if it had grown. After about three weeks, some of the other youths began to talk about their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow. Ling kept checking his seed, but nothing ever grew. Three weeks, four weeks, five weeks went by, still nothing. By now, others were talking about their plants, but Ling didn't have a plant and he felt like a failure. Six months went by -- still nothing in Ling's pot.

He just knew he had killed his seed. Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing. Ling didn't say anything to his friends, however. He just kept waiting for his seed to grow. A year finally went by and all the youths of the kingdom brought their plants to the emperor for inspection. Ling told his mother that he wasn't going to take an empty pot. But his mother asked him to be honest about what happened.

Ling felt sick at his stomach, but he knew his mother was right. He took his empty pot to the palace. When Ling arrived, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by the other youths. They were beautiful -- in all shapes and sizes. Ling put his empty pot on the floor and many of the other children laughed at him. A few felt sorry for him and just said, "Hey, nice try."

When the emperor arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted the young people. Ling just tried to hide in the back. "My, what great plants, trees, and flowers you have grown," said the emperor. "Today one of you will be appointed the next emperor!"

All of a sudden, the emperor spotted Ling at the back of the room with his empty pot. He ordered his guards to bring him to the front. Ling was terrified. He thought, "The emperor knows I'm a failure! Maybe he will have me killed!"

When Ling got to the front, the Emperor asked his name. "My name is Ling," he replied. All the kids were laughing and making fun of him. The emperor asked everyone to quiet down. He looked at Ling, and then announced to the crowd, "Behold your new emperor! His name is Ling!"

Ling couldn't believe it. Ling couldn't even grow his seed. How could he be the new emperor?

Then the emperor said, "One year ago today, I gave everyone here a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and bring it back to me today. But I gave you all boiled seeds that would not grow. All of you, except Ling, have brought me trees and plants and flowers. When you found that the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for the one I gave you. Ling was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he Is the one who will be the new emperor!"

If you plant honesty, you will reap trust. If you plant goodness, you will reap friends. If you plant humility, you will reap greatness. If you plant perseverance, you will reap victory. If you plant consideration, you will reap harmony. If you plant hard work, you will reap success. If you plant forgiveness, you will reap reconciliation. If you plant faith, you will reap miracles. S o be careful what you plant, now; it will determine what you will reap tomorrow. The seeds you now scatter will make life worse or better for you or for the ones who will come after you. Someday you will enjoy the fruits or you will pay for the choices you make.

Two thousand years ago someone else told the same story with fewer words,

"What you sow, so shall you reap". If you know who said this, nothing else needs to be said

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Preparing for Eternity—On Purpose (A Conversation With Rick Warren)

We received an e-mail containing the testimony of Pastor Rick Warren. We wrote to Pastor Rick’s website for permission to publish his testimony. We obtained the full interview conducted by Jim Dailey in February 2004. Please note that the Interview was conducted by Jim Dailey, the Executive Editor for Decision magazine, a publication of the Billy Graham Evangelical Association. Read and be encouraged and blessed.

If you've looked at the best-seller display at any bookstore—secular as well as Christian—you've probably seen Rick Warren's book "The Purpose-Driven Life." It reached the New York Times best-seller list in January 2003, and to date some 19 million copies have been sold. Decision recently spoke with Warren (who also serves as a vice chair of this month's Greater Los Angeles Billy Graham Crusade) about the book and also how its success has affected his life.

by Jim Dailey

Q: Your book "The Purpose-Driven Life" is the best-selling hardcover non-fiction book in history. What do you think has made the book connect so passionately with people?

A: First, it deals with the most fundamental issue of life, and that is "What on earth am I here for?" Everybody is interested in the question of existence, which is "Why am I alive?"; the question of intention, which is "What is my purpose?"; and the question of significance, which is "Does my life matter?"

Second, it is extremely simple. I worked very hard to make the message simple and understandable. I don't think there is a single thing new in the book that hasn't already been said in classic Christian books. It's just that each generation has to hear it again—that we are here for worship, evangelism, fellowship, discipleship and ministry.

Third, the book is kind of "the anti-self-help book." The first line in the book reads, "It's not about you." It's funny that it is considered a self-help book. Try to name another self-help book that starts with "It's not about you." I think people are tired of self-centered, narcissistic culture. They are saying, "There's got to be something bigger than my own self-fulfillment in life." And, of course, there is. We were made by God and for God, and until you figure that out, life isn't going to make sense.

Q: So you want to help Christians gain a fresh perspective on the big picture?

A: Yes. People ask me, "What is the purpose of life?" And I respond, "In a nutshell, life is preparation for eternity." We were made to last forever, and God wants us to be with Him in heaven. One day my heart is going to stop, and that will be the end of my body—but not the end of me. I may live 60 to 100 years on earth, but I am going to spend trillions of years in eternity. This is the warm-up act, the dress rehearsal. God wants us to practice on earth what we will do forever in eternity.

Q: How do you apply these big-picture kinds of principles to your life?

A: It takes both discipline and habit. Life is a series of problems: either you are in one now, you're just coming out of one or you're getting ready to go into another one. The reason for this is that God is more interested in your character than your comfort. God is more interested in making your life holy than He is in making your life happy. We can be reasonably happy here on earth, but that's not the goal of life. The goal is to grow in character, in Christlikeness.

This past year has been the greatest year of my life—but also the toughest, with my wife, Kay, getting cancer. I used to think that life was hills and valleys—you go through a dark time, then you go to the mountaintop, back and forth. I don't believe that anymore. Rather than life being hills and valleys, I believe that it's kind of like two rails on a railroad track, and at all times you have something good and something bad in your life. No matter how good things are in your life, there is always something bad that needs to be worked on. And no matter how bad things are in your life, there is always something good you can thank God for. You can focus on your purposes, or you can focus on your problems. If you focus on your problems, you're going into self-centeredness, which is my problems, my issues, my pain. But one of the easiest ways to get rid of pain is to get your focus off yourself and onto God and others.

Q: Did it take you awhile to hone "The Purpose-Driven Life" down to the five principles of worship, growth, evangelism, fellowship and ministry?

A: As I studied the Scriptures, I wrote "The Purpose-Driven Church" first. In it I considered, "What is the purpose of the Church?" And I began to see these patterns over and over in Scripture, that God wants the church to worship, to help people grow, to reach people through evangelism, to fellowship and to minister to the needs of people. And I believe that these are not only the purposes for every church as a body; they are the purposes for every individual.

The clearest expressions of the five purposes are the Great Commandment and the Great Commission. We have a phrase at our church that goes, "A great commitment to the Great Commandment and the Great Commission will produce a great Christian." We get two purposes from the Great Commandment and three from the Great Commission. The Great Commandment (Matthew 22:35-40) says, "Love God with all your heart." That is worship. Then it says, "Love your neighbor as yourself." That is ministry.

The Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) says, "Go and make disciples." That is evangelism. Then Jesus says, "Teach them to do everything I've commanded you." That's discipleship. And Jesus also tells us to baptize. We are baptized into the Body of Christ, and the fifth purpose is fellowship.

Q: Jesus was purpose-driven but always took time to deal with interruptions.

A: That's because one of the purposes is ministering to people. And they are not interruptions; they actually are divine encounters that God planned. If we are to become like Christ and be conformed to His image, then we have to learn to love. You have to be in relationships to grow up spiritually. In other religions, the holy men are the guys who isolate themselves—they sit up on a hill completely untainted by culture. Jesus was the exact opposite. He said the way you become holy is by loving other people. He was called the friend of sinners. These are not distractions—they are divine encounters.

Q: Where do I start?

A: Ask: "Am I going to live for possessions? Popularity? Am I going to be driven by pressures? Guilt? Bitterness? Materialism? Or am I going to be driven by God's purposes?"

When I get up in the morning, I sit on the side of my bed and say, "God, if I don't get anything done today, I want to know You more and love You better." At the end of the day, if I've done that, the day was a success. On the other hand, if I get to the end of the day and I haven't gotten to know God better and love Him more, I just missed the first purpose of life, and I've wasted the day. God didn't put me on earth just to fulfill a to-do list. He's more interested in what I am than what I do. That's why we're called human beings, not human doings.

Q: What has this past year been like—not only with your book sales but also with your wife's cancer?

A: We discovered quickly that, in spite of the prayers of hundreds of thousands of people, God was not going to heal Kay or make it easy for her. It has been very difficult for her, and yet God has strengthened her character, given her a ministry of helping other people, given her a testimony, drawn her closer to Him and to people—all the five purposes we've been talking about.

You have to learn to deal with both the good and the bad of life. Actually, sometimes learning to deal with the good is harder. For instance, this past year, all of a sudden, when the book sold 15 million copies, it made me instantly very wealthy. It also brought a lot of notoriety that I had never had to deal with before.

I don't think God gives you money or notoriety for your own ego or for you to live a life of ease. So I began to ask God what He wanted me to do with this money, notoriety and influence. He gave me two different passages that helped us to decide what to do. First, He gave me 1 Corinthians 9. In that passage, Paul says those who preach the Gospel should make a living by the Gospel. But that he would not use this right, because he wanted to serve God for free so he would be a slave to no man. So we made four decisions.

First, in spite of all the money coming in, we would not change our lifestyle one bit. We made no major purchases. Second, about midway through last year, I stopped taking a salary from the church. Third, we set up foundations to fund an initiative we call The Peace Plan—to plant churches, equip leaders, assist the poor, care for the sick and educate the next generation. Fourth, I added up all that the church had paid me in the 24 years since I started the church, and I gave it all back. It was liberating to be able to serve God for free.

Then, regarding the influence, God led me to Psalm 72. It's Solomon's prayer asking God to make him more influential. When you read this Psalm, at the start, it sounds like a selfish prayer. Solomon was already the wisest, wealthiest, most influential man in the world. Yet he wanted God to make him more powerful and influential. Then you read down and it says he wants this so he may rescue those who are oppressed, defend the afflicted and needy and to judge the afflicted with justice—to care, basically, for the marginalized of society.

To me, God said that the purpose of influence is to speak up for those who have no influence. That was a turning point for me. I had to repent and admit that widows and orphans have not even been on my radar. Now God is saying, "I'm giving you a platform to speak up for those who have no influence." And I said, "OK."

We intend to use the affluence and influence to do The Peace Plan and to mobilize hundreds of thousands of churches to speak up for those who have no influence. It's a whole new direction, and I know it is what God wants me to do. The phrase that I have adopted for the rest of my life is "living for the global glory of God." Purpose is all about that.

by Jim Dailey

Jim Dailey is the executive editor of Decision magazine.
©Billy Graham Evangelistic Association;

Photos/Illustrations: ©Greg Schneider
Copied from the November 2004 issue of "Decision" magazine


The interview you’re referring to was conducted in February 2004 by Jim Dailey, the Executive Editor for Decision magazine, a publication of the Billy Graham Evangelical Association. The information that’s been circulating on the internet that Paul Bradshaw conducted this interview is incorrect.

Here’s the link to the original article from Decision magazine’s November 2004 issue and you’re free to quote from it giving the proper credit.

All God's Best,

John Mogush
Assistant to Pastor Rick
Saddleback Church

Thursday, March 5, 2009


Pastoral note: David and Mabel Chang are faithful deaf members of the Deaf Faith Fellowship, a ministry of World Revival Prayer Fellowship. Experiences like what David had are not equal in authority to the Bible, and like prophecies, are not to be despised, but to be discerned. Take what is good.



A photo of Mabel and David.

Mabel, Sunday 15th June 2008
My husband, David & I went for breakfast before our church service. David began feeling unwell so we decided that he should go home to rest while I went on to church. That day, I had a bad headache so I went home for a nap after church. David was not in and messaged that he was in Changi General Hospital (CGH). At 7pm, David returned from the hospital. However, he still felt very uncomfortable so we hurried back to the hospital where the doctor decided to ward David for further observation.

Mabel, Monday 16th June 2008
I went to CGH the next morning to find David shaking in a fit. He said he could not see and then suddenly he lost consciousness. The doctors attending to him decided to transfer David to the Singapore General Hospital (SGH) where they had more experience in dealing with liver problems similar to that which they had diagnosed David to suffer from.

David, Monday 16th June 2008
I was at CGH when I must have passed out. One moment I was in hospital, the next, everything around me became a blur. Then I suddenly became detached from my body. A bright, big doorway was before me and I walked through. On the other side of the entrance, an angel met and led me to be judged by God. He explained about the Book of Life, saying that those who backslide and denied Him would be condemned to the Hell. Those who accepted Jesus as their Saviour, are faithful, and fear God, reading the Bible and worshiping Him will go to Heaven. Their names are found in the Book of Life and will be accepted and welcomed by God himself, into Heaven. Then I met Jesus! I could not see His face as it was dazzlingly and shining but I knew it was Him.

Mabel, Monday 16th June 2008
David was at SGH’s ICU (Intensive Care Unit). He was in a coma and in a critical condition. Many tubes were plugged into him. The breathing support machine sucked air into his body and in the background, the heart-monitoring machine beeped, ticking the time he had left on earth. Doctors explained that his liver had failed and toxin had spread to all of his body. They told us to prepare for the worse.. David, according to the doctor, was brain-dead. My whole family, mother-in-law and relatives all were weeping. Many people prayed earnestly for David.

David, Nil date
Heaven is amazingly beautiful.. It is bright and shining, singing and worship music filled the atmosphere. Angels are everywhere. So are many happy people who had accepted Jesus. There is no need to have any food and no sickness. Our spirits feed on the word of God. The words “Holy, holy, holy” seemed to resound in my head. The angel beside me told me that Hell is drastically different. It is a heavy, dark and burdened place. None can see through the blinding darkness of hell.

Mabel, Tuesday 17th June 2008
David was in a coma and did not wake up. His condition did not improve but became increasingly worse.

David, Nil date
I met four people/groups of people face to face in Heaven.. I could see their faces only:
1) Bro. Lai - a deaf brother from Deaf Faith Fellowship
2) Former Senior Pastor P. Johnny from World Revival Prayer Fellowship
3) My father and sister
4) My relatives.

Brother Lai told me more about Heaven.. He said Heaven is a beautiful place. In the back, I could see a cross. Those who accept Jesus would be at Heaven. Hell is terribly different from Heaven. It is a place of suffering where backsliders and those who deny Jesus who are judged, are sent. Brother Lai explained that God would clean our unclean and sinful hearts, leaving cleansed hearts in us if we confess. It is simple to confess our sins to God as He forgives us easily and readily.

Brother Lai asked for a favour from me. Could I tell Caroline Phua-Wong that he is happy in Heaven? He said that Caroline used to visit, care for and clean him for a very long time when he was sick in a nursing home.

I realized amazingly that we talked without using sign language! In Heaven, we do not need the sign language for we could all talk like normal people.. Brother Lai looked younger and very different from when he was alive.
Former Senior Pastor P. Johnny looked wonderful. He was happy and very much younger in Heaven. His face was filled with glory and shone. I was again aware that I could talk to him normally.

Mabel, Wednesday 18th June 2008
David was still in a coma. Doctors approached us about possibility of removing him from the breathing support machine. There was no improvement in his condition and he was beyond the doctors’ abilities to save. It would be useless for David to have a liver transplant, as there was absolutely no hope for recovery. Doctors explained as kindly as possible the expensive cost of keeping David alive on the breathing support machine. It would be a pointless financial burden for us. About 5pm that day, doctors again suggested that the family consider removal of the life support systems from David. I stopped them. I wanted my children and relatives to have a chance to be with David while he was still alive even though he was in a coma.

David, Nil date
I met my father, sister and relatives who were Christians - they looked younger and happy too. They encouraged me to walk the straight path of Jesus, be faithful to God and not to backslide. God spoke to me. He said we look old on earth but we will look young when we are in Heaven! He even showed me how young my wife, Mabel, would look when she is in Heaven one day. I was astonished.

Mabel, Wednesday 18th June 2008
Our children, relatives, friends and pastors came to come to pray for David. The decision to remove the life support systems from David twisted like a strangling cord round my heart. I cried continuously, frightened to make the life and death decision for David. My daughter, Christine, Senior Pastor Kenny Chee and Pastor Barnabas Phua discussed funeral arrangements for David by both her church and WRPF in preparation for his passing on. Kenny, Barnabas and a few members of WRPF gathered inside David’s ICU room to pray for the trust to let God to take over the situation. Tubes from David’s mouth were smeared with blood - he had lost a lot of blood. It was time for me to make the final decision on the removal of all life support systems from him. My daughter, Christine, and son, Jeremy, agreed to let their father go and I consented. At around 11pm, doctors removed the oxygen mask. They expected David to pass on within 48 hours. My children and I stayed by his side praying and crying for him all night.

David, Nil date
While I was in Heaven, I could see my body in the hospital bed. My wife, son, daughter, mother, siblings and relatives, my daughter’s church pastor and her church friends, WRPF church Pastors Kenny Chee, Barnabas Phua and church friends were all praying for me. Jesus told me to go back to my family and take care of my liver. He asked me to control my hot temper and anger... He said the Bible is the truth. I must read it to keep close to Him. He gave me a last reminder about the Book of Life before sending me back. I said goodbye to Him and the angel led me to a small door. I walked to open it. The next thing I knew, I had woken up. I am still alive.

Mabel, Thursday 19th June 2008
When the morning came, three doctors checked on David and found his eyes opened! His breathing was completely normal. The doctors were extremely puzzled and asked me how David woke up alive and well. This was something they never expected. Christine and I immediately told them that our God healed him. It was unbelievable to the doctors. A complete check was made on David and they pronounced him well. He was transferred to ICA for more observation.. Drips and the feeding tube were again attached to him. David could recognize all of us; his family, relatives and friends. When many came and saw him, thanksgiving and praises to God overflowed. I am very grateful to God for bringing David back to us safely.

David, Thursday 19th June 2008
I am thankful to God for those 3 days of coma and the unbelievable and enriching experience of Heaven.

Mabel, Friday 20th June to Saturday 5th July 2008
Daily, David showed physical improvement. Doctors monitored his liver and high blood pressure condition. He was finally discharged on 5th July 2008, after 2½ weeks in hospital. When David shared his experience of heaven with us, we were amazed.. Caroline Phua-Wong was shaken to hear Brother Lai’s words for her.. Her visits to him had been done in utmost secrecy and no one could have known about it. We give glory and praise to our real and Almighty God. We would like to thank all their prayers for him and all of us. Hallelujah!

(Interviewed and written by Caroline Phua, edited by Aileen Wee)

This testimony was obtained from link below. Click to read Comments made by readers.


Feel free to use the story to spead the good news of God's mercy and grace. A simple acknowledgement of source would suffice.

The Lord bless and keep you,