My master was so very poor

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1. My master was so very poor,
A manger was His cradling place;
So very rich my master was
Kings came from far to gain His grace.

2. My master was so very poor,
And with the poor He broke the bread;
So very rich my master was
That multitudes by Him were fed.

3. My master was so very poor,
They nailed Him naked to a cross;
So very rich my master was
He gave His all and knew no loss.

– Harry Lee

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The fast worth fasting

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Fasting is only worth it, if it pleases the heart of God

Isa 58:6-7 “Berpuasa yang Kukehendaki, ialah supaya engkau membuka belenggu-belenggu kelaliman, dan melepaskan tali-tali kuk, supaya engkau memerdekakan orang yang teraniaya dan mematahkan setiap kuk, supaya engkau memecah-mecah rotimu bagi orang yang lapar dan membawa ke rumahmu orang miskin yang tak punya rumah, dan apabila engkau melihat orang telanjang, supaya engkau memberi dia pakaian dan tidak menyembunyikan diri terhadap saudaramu sendiri!”

“Isn’t the fast I choose: To break the chains of wickedness, to untie the ropes of the yoke, to set the oppressed free, and to tear off every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, to bring the poor and homeless into your house, to clothe the naked when you see him, and not to ignore your own flesh and blood?”

The coffee shop beggar

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“Give to the one who asks you, and do not reject the one who wants to borrow from you. -Matthew 5:42

I eat out quite a bit, and my favorite food is hawker food. And very often I meet beggars at the coffee shop asking for money. Sometimes I give, sometimes I refuse. Sometimes I offer to buy them a meal.

In each situation, i always struggle with the, “to give or not to give” question. What is the right principle to follow? What is the right decision? How do I discern? Is the beggar going to waste my money? Is the this beggar ‘worth’ it? What race or religion is the beggar?

So many questions, it’s impossible to reason out the answer to each one, in a matter of seconds while beggar is right there in front of you. The result, my response is more of a spontaneous sort rather than a reasoned one – one that depends on my ‘mood’.

I think the answer is to have thought out the answers beforehand and have a consistent response as to how to give to beggars.

Dont give at all. No need to think, just refuse to give. This is just wrong and reeks of selfishness. I don’t remember Jesus having an attitude like this, ever.

Okay…

Don’t give money. Just buy meals. This seemed to be the safest response, if a beggar comes along, just offer to buy a drink or meal for them, if they refuse, their loss, and at least I get to ensure the money is well spent, rather than the beggar wasting it on cigarettes or drugs. Seems right, but in all honesty, it’s not good enough. Not all beggars beg because of hunger. What if a lady has a child she needs to buy shoes for? What if she has a debt to pay? My pre-decided response would help no one but me (coz I get to keep me money!)

What saith the Lord?
As Christians, ultimately this is the question that needs answering. The answer from the Lord should then shape our decisions.
Give to the one who asks you, and do not reject the one who wants to borrow from you. -Matthew 5:42″
In any language or version, the meaning the same.

Give.

No terms and conditions, no fine print, no prejudice, no worry about how it will be used.

We should learn to give, as the bible asks to give. Give within our means. In most instances when before a beggar, parting with one, or two, ringgit is not going to burst our budget. Of course there will be times when we don’t have sufficient cash in hand, and we need to sadly refuse the beggar, but this should the exception rather than the norm.

If we are worried about how the money will be used, think about Jesus and the ten lepers. All cried for help, Jesus healed all of them. But only one came back to give thanks. Jesus, being God knew this would happen, but did he keep his grace from them? No.

So the next time a beggar approaches us, let our response be a spontaneous obedience to Word of God – give. Leave the consequence to the Lord

A Burmese Hari Raya

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We had the priviledge to visit a burmese family for Hari Raya. Their children come to our Sunday School. We had a good time getting to know them better, their children were friendly, hospitable and made us feel very much at home.

Some of their stories are really touching, and I can’t share all of them here, but here are some that I can.

The man in the background of the picture below, he lives in Ampang as a municipal worker. He is a relative visiting the family we were visiting. He has  a wife and two children in Burma. He has not seen them in 17 years. The oldest child, is 17.

Titus giving apples to the children

Titus giving apples to the children

This pretty girl here in the next picture loves to learn, but the government has refused entry of foreign children into our local schools. So she stays at home and helps mum look after the other kids.

The eldest girl and Sophia spent some girl-time.

The eldest girl and Sophia spent some girl-time.

They are our friends. We had a good time.

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They served us some really, really, really, hot beef curry and nasi himpit. It was awesome. Did I mention it was hot?

The next time you meet someone underpriviledged, take time to talk to them, more importantly, listen to their stories, there’s just so much to learn!

Learning from Kickdefella

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Homeless

There are more homeless people on the street than we would like to believe

reading his post detention post, i was most encouraged by this statement:

Of course I do not anticipate Ramadan Buffet during this holiday as that will be a sin for me because those people whom I fight for, never ever even heard the word buffet, leave aside imagining about it in their life’s

Yes, that statement of his really hurt the ego of the hypocritical bigot in me. Many times I claim to have sympathy and concern for the less fortunate, but I not sure of whether I would give up my comforts in an effort to identify and be ‘as one of them’.

I have to thank kickdefella for reminding me of what Jesus has done for all of mankind. Sacrificing His glory. Taking on the human flesh. Dying on the cross to make possible the forgiveness of sins to all who would believe in Him. What condescension!

For your meditation:

Now if a brother or a sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one from amongst you say to them, Go in peace, be warmed and filled; but give not to them the needful things for the body, what is the profit? So also faith, if it have not works, is dead by itself. (James 2:15-17)

For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that for your sakes he, being rich, became poor, in order that *ye* by *his* poverty might be enriched.
(II Corinthians 8:9)