Tuesday, January 17, 2017

As A Man Thinketh #3 Don't Dwell Upon the Mistakes of Yesterday (Move On)

Do not dwell upon the sins and mistakes of yesterday so exclusively as to have no energy and mind left for living rightly today, and do not think that the sins of yesterday can prevent you from living purely today
(James Allen)

It’s been said that the majority of conversations by men over forty are about the past. Sometime it’s about the ‘good old days’ and sometimes it’s about the deals gone bad, the ‘if I only had’ stories, the missed opportunities, etc.

Letting our “sins and mistakes of yesterday” dominate our thinking today robs us of our present joy and our future happiness. It causes us to miss the opportunity of today! John C. Maxwell, in his outstanding best-seller Failing Forward, gives some great practical advice: “To move forward today, you must learn to say goodbye to yesterday’s hurts, tragedies and baggage. You can’t build a monument to past problems and fail forward.

Take time right now to list the negative events from your past that may still be holding you hostage. For each item you list, go through the following exercise:

1)    Acknowledge the pain
2)    Grieve the loss
3)    Forgive the person
4)    Forgive yourself
5)    Determine to release the event and move on

Your best days are definitely ahead of you if you treat your “mistakes” as necessary lessons to be learned. If you understand that each lesson brings with it a certain amount of wisdom, you can understand how truly enhanced your life is becoming. Many people can’t achieve the success of their dreams because they won’t leave their past behind. They won’t tear down the monuments they’ve built to their old hurts and problems. “Don’t dwell upon the sins and mistakes of yesterday.”

Think about it!

Lord, Give Us Today Our Daily Idea(s)

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

A Leader Who Earn My Respect: When I Think of Tok Nan (1944 - 2017) I Think of King Cyrus

Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Datuk Amar Haji Adenan bin Satem (27 January 1944 – 11 January 2017) or as the people called him, Tok Nan, was the fifth Chief Minister of Sarawak. He officially took the oath of office in a ceremony held at Astana on 28 February 2014. He was born in Kuching, Sarawak during its occupation by Japan in World War II. He received his early education at St. Joseph's Primary School, and later at St. Joseph's Secondary School. He once worked as a journalist and teacher before pursuing his studies in law at the University of Adelaide, Australia. I like what The Coverage writes about him, “Talk about Malaysia’s Barisan National (BN) political party and most will reply with an endless barrage of hate and disapproval. In Sarawak however, one BN man is apparently doing all the right things to capture the heart of Sarawakians.” Yes, I wish Tok Nan doesn’t represent BN at all, but like it or not, we all love him as a person and leader of Sarawak!

When I think of Tok Nan, I think of King Cyrus the Great (600 or 576 – 530 BC). This pagan king is important in Jewish history because it was under his rule that Jews were first allowed to return to Israel after 70 years of captivity. Before Cyrus issued a decree to free the Jews, prophet Isaiah already prophesied about him 150 years before Cyrus lived (Isaiah 44:28; 45:1, 4; see also 41:2-25; 42:6). King Cyrus also very active in assisted the Jews in rebuilding the temple in Jerusalem under Ezra and Zerubbabel. Cyrus restored the temple treasures to Jerusalem and allowed building expenses to be paid from the royal treasury (Ezra 1:4–11; 6:4–5). Besides his dealings with the Jews, Cyrus is known for his advancement of human rights, his brilliant military strategy, and his bridging of Eastern and Western cultures. He was a king of tremendous influence and God used him mightily.

Tok Nan was a Malay and a devoted Muslim as far as I know. These facts doesn’t stop us from respecting and loving him as a person and leader. Sarawakians love for him doesn’t affect by his race or religion, we love him because he genuinely love the people. As YB Baru Bian writes in his Facebook account: “We have lost a CM (chief minister) who truly cared about Sarawak and Sarawakians of all races, ethnicity and religions. He chose to carry on with his role as CM even though his health was declining. He did his best for Sarawak and I had the greatest respect for him.” That’s why when I think of Tok Nan I think of King Cyrus.

Let me explain. The Jews honoured Cyrus as a dignified and righteous king even though he was a pagan king; people from different races and religious honoured Tok Nan as caring and chief minister berjiwa rakyat even though he was a devoted Muslim. In history, King Cyrus was thought of as a ‘messiah’ and liberator; Tok Nan was our answered prayer when we asked for leader who fear God and ruled people justly. King Cyrus unites his conquered nations; Tok Nan represents the true spirit of 1Malaysia. God’s use of Cyrus as a “shepherd” (Isaiah 44:28) for His people illustrates the truth of Proverbs 21:1, “The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases”; no doubt God raised up godly leaders such as Tok Nan in the midst of our corrupt government. I personally believe Tok Nan’s heart is in the hand of the Lord too.

When I think of Tok Nan I think of King Cyrus. But then again, they are totally different. Tok Nan doesn’t rule on his ‘throne’ like Cyrus. Tok Nan loves to be with the people. He walks among us. He eat moderately and he speaks our language. He was not power-hungry leader like many leaders today (read 10 Reasons Why Adenan Satem Is Winning The Hearts Of Sarawakians). I don’t know much about politics or about his personal life, but what I do know is that Tok Nan have my respect. I will remember him as champion of Sarawak rights and model for righteous leader. Thank you Tok Nan for everything and may God have mercy on Sarawak. Lord, raise up leaders like him! Amen.


Thursday, January 5, 2017

As A Man Thinketh #2 You Are Today Due to the Books that You (or Don't) Read

People are anxious to improve their circumstances, but are unwilling to improve themselves; they therefore remain bound
(James Allen, As A Man Thinketh)

We spend hundreds of ringgit a year for clothing, cosmetics, body products and other items to change or improve our outward appearance but very little money or time to change our inward condition. Many people easily spend hours a day online, going to gym, playing games, watching series and movies but find every reason in the world not to spend even a few minutes a day to improving their minds.

Since it is our thoughts that determine the life we will have, you must focus on doing those things that will change your thoughts, and nothing is more effective at changing your thoughts than reading the right books. Charlie ‘Tremendous’ Jones writes, “You are today the same you’ll be in five years from now, except for two things: the people you meet and the books you read. The people you meet can’t always be with you, but what you read in books can remain with you a lifetime. How often we hear of individuals who began a new era in their lives from the reading of a single book.”

Are you a book reader? Why not start a new habit today? Spend just 15 minutes every day in the morning or before going to bed or whenever you’re most concentrate and focus. Read from a personal development book or biography of someone you admire (ask me if you want my book suggestions on both topics). At the end of a year you will have read about 12 books – at the end of a five years about 60 books! Through your changed thoughts you will have become much more like the “vision you enthrone in your heart.”

As English writer Aldous Huxley observed, “Every person who knows how to read has it in his power to magnify himself, to multiply the ways in which he exists, to make his life full, significant, and interesting.”

Think about it!

Lord, Give Us Today Our Daily Idea(s)

1.      As A Man Thinketh (1903) by James Allen
2.      Day by Day with James Allen (2003) by Vic Johnson

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