• Commentary,  Reflection,  Thoughts

    Commentary on Philippians 1:18-20

    It is hard to get people to have a civil, honest conversation that does not raise barriers and irritation. We have lost the ability to agree to disagree. From my personal experiences, some would even argue from out-of-context passages and even from personal opinions that it is more noble or righteous to make a stand for your beliefs (in other words, never agree to disagree). Such one-sided insistence which plays on our natural sinful propensities to self-worship makes a person master in his or her own echo chamber. Perhaps that is the reason why many are ignorant that their practical belief in the word “peace” is actually “being happy when…

  • Thoughts

    The Current Political Scene in Malaysia Amidst Covid-19 Issues

    As the country is fighting off the global pandemic (COVID-19), politicians have decided that one and a half months of ‘ceasefire’ is enough – the political news became active once more. There are just too many things to be said of Malaysia’s political scene. Accusations are thrown left, right and center. To top this off, just before the Movement Control Order was put into effect, mid-March, there were the infamous “Sheraton Move” where one of the parties that made up the ruling coalition decided to join forces with the old regime. This “move” sent panic among the political scene in Malaysia and the citizens who were in the know waited…

  • Thoughts

    Verbal versus Written Conversations

    Over the years I found myself writing a lot. From a cold start – that is without any preparation at all – I can type about 75 word per minute. That is alright. But I do know that I have averaged much higher over the years especially when I get into the “zone”. Writing takes skill, however. Anyone can write, but to write with clarity and with economy of words is truly something that takes experience and also talent. In this, my wife has the better skill in writing. I have to remind myself that everyone has their own style – some are more long-winded than others, while others are…

  • Movies,  Reflection

    Movies Worth Re-watching (My Pick) – Gladiator (2000)

    One of the great changes in academia at the time this film was released was the re-ignited interest in the Roman Empire of old. I remembered that many journals and magazines were peppered with articles and facts about the victories, drama, politics and ultimate downfall of the greatest empire in human history. Rare feat for a film in my own opinion. There were a lot gore in the show – no sexual graphics – and a lot of story. It was the time tested story of a man who gained the world and lost it all in a moment. Against the rule and wrath of a mad emperor, this broken…

  • Christianity,  Preaching,  Reflection

    Traumatic Listening Experience

    It is often something that is not talked about publicly, but something that is frequently talked, whispered in private – that there is something disturbing in certain types of preaching. Coming from a conservative, evangelical, Reformed Christian persuasion there are things that are plainly obvious but are considered taboo to be talked about (at least openly). Simply: some preachings are dangerous to the listeners. Having time to step back from the activity of preaching, it is more plain to me now that certain types of preaching should be avoided at all cost and not indulged in – particularly if it is a weekly dose of. In my previous posts, I…

  • Commentary,  Devotion

    Commentary on Philippians 1:12-17

    It is easy to be in a hurry to rush that we miss many important aspects of “growth” itself. This is certainly very evident when it comes to the spiritual dimension. Paul, the apostle who grew not just intellectually but in his character and actions, showed the type of maturity that is often neglected and ignored by many impatient Christians: an ability to look at life through God’s lens. In verse 12 of his letter, he declares and points out to the brethren that the unpleasant circumstances that befell him was not out of God’s control but was purposed for God’s glory. How can imprisonment, isolation and persecution be purposed…

  • Devotion,  Thoughts

    Commentary on Philippians 1: 1-11

    The Word of God is bristling with power. This “power” is not perceived by worldly measurements; it is of divine origin. It is such a pity that many Christians flock to the weekly meetings on the Lord’s Day (Sunday) to be revitalised (in their mind), forgetting that we have the best fuel for our soul and body in this book (see 2 Peter 1:2-3). The natural tendency for the Christian believer is to take the Word for granted – to treat it like any other book. They insist that different books within the Bible must be held down by their own made-up pillars – often by their theological leanings and…

  • Christianity,  Reflection,  Thoughts

    Psalm 1:1-3

    The psalmist proclaims the blessedness of walking upright before the LORD in the opening verses of the poetic magnum opus of the Bible. If we were to read it with a liberal mindset that is saturated with modern inclinations and belief, we would find the first verse offensive: how can the psalmist have an elevated view on such a “holy person”? There is great offence to claim that a spiritually sensitive, godward looking person is more “blessed” than a pagan person. The world we live in has unfortunately become a morally selfish and dark world – one that elevates self to godhood (even though the words may not explicitly state…

  • Christianity,  Reflection

    On Whose Authority?

    And when he entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came up to him as he was teaching, and said, “By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority? Matthew 21:23 (NASB) The question posed by the Jewish leaders actually captures their religious mentality and mannerism at that time – spirituality is all about citing or referring to a particular rabbi or teacher: the more prominent the teacher, the “better” the teaching would be. In giving his own testimony of the conversion wrought in his heart, the apostle Paul would give evidence to the religious leaders of his own “religious…