Daddy blog

I started this blog when I was following the Life Journal Bible reading plan on YouVersion. (I've since completed that plan.) At that time, YouVersion didn't provide any way for people to respond to my notes, other than to "like" them. So this blog is here to remedy that problem. You may comment on my notes here in the comment section.
I also have a general blog.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Gospel according to Spiderman


S: Deuteronomy 27:18-19 ‘Cursed is anyone who leads a blind person astray on the road.’ And all the people will reply, ‘Amen.’ ‘Cursed is anyone who denies justice to foreigners, orphans, or widows.’ And all the people will reply, ‘Amen.’

With great power comes great responsibility -- Spiderman O: Spiderman has popularised this saying: "With great power comes great responsibility." This is actually a very biblical concept. Throughout the Bible, we are told not to take advantage of those who are less powerful than ourselves. The Deuteronomy passage above cites the blind, foreigners, orphans, and widows — people who are typically powerless in ancient society.

Each of us have a certain amount of power. Even if you're still a kid in school, there are more powerful kids and less powerful kids. This power might be in the form of popularity, being in the "in" clique, being stronger or bigger.

A: As followers of Jesus, we must not misuse our power. We must use whatever power we have to show Jesus' love.

P: Father, when I am tempted to take advantage of other people, please help me to instead show Jesus' love. In Jesus' name, amen.

Note: this is using the SOAP method. For more information, see this page (not written by me.)

Saturday, June 22, 2013

What do you do when you live in a culture where bribery is a way of life?


S: Deuteronomy 16:19 You must never twist justice or show partiality. Never accept a bribe, for bribes blind the eyes of the wise and corrupt the decisions of the godly.

O: God clearly condemns bribery for twisting justice. But what do we do when we Malaysians live in a culture where government officials often expect bribes to get anything done?

Some things are clear-cut. For example, if we are legitimately caught for a traffic violation, we should not pay a bribe to the policeman but rather should pay the ticket properly. However, some people cannot even get their legitimate job done if they don't pay bribes.

A: I'm very fortunate that as a lecturer, I don't face this in my job. But I have friends who are architects and civil engineers, who would never get their building plans approved if they did not pay bribes.

One friend who is a committed follower of Jesus facing this says that he doesn't pay bribes to get officials to twist justice -- to do anything they are not supposed to do. But he does pay them when it is necessary to get them to do what they were supposed to do in the first place.

As one who doesn't face this myself, I cannot stand in judgment of him. But this I know — as Malaysian Christians, we should do what we can to destroy this culture of bribery.

Businessmen face the same problem in India. Here is an article about what some Indian believers are doing about it.

P: Father, I lift up Malaysia to you and pray that we will be able to overturn this culture of bribery. In Jesus' name, amen.
Note: this is using the SOAP method. For more information, see this page (not written by me.)

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Pass it on


S: Deuteronomy 11:1-3 You must love the Lord your God and obey all his requirements, decrees, regulations, and commands. Keep in mind that I am not talking now to your children, who have never experienced the discipline of the Lord your God or seen his greatness and his strong hand and powerful arm. They didn’t see the miraculous signs and wonders he performed in Egypt against Pharaoh and all his land.

Deuteronomy 11:18-21 So commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these words of mine. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Teach them to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, so that as long as the sky remains above the earth, you and your children may flourish in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors.

Man wearing tefilin O: Tomorrow is Father's Day, and this passage reminds me of the responsibility I have as a father to pass the faith on to my children. In the 34 years since I received Jesus as my Saviour, I have seen His faithfulness many times. My children are still in Kindergarten, and they have not yet seen so much about of what He has done.

MezuzahOrthodox Jews took some of these injunctions literally, wearing small boxes containing Deuteronomy 6:4-9 (tefilin) strapped to their foreheads and arms, and putting decorative cases containing Deuteronomy 6:4-9, 11:13-21 (mezuzah) on their doorposts and gates.

A: As Christians, we don't have to wear tefilin and put up mezuzah, but God's principles should guide our daily lives, and we must teach our children God's principles and the great things He has done in the past, to build their faith.

P: Father, I lift up my children Joni and Hannah to You. Lead and guide me as I teach them about You, that they may grow up to be women of God. In Jesus name, amen.

Note: this is using the SOAP method. For more information, see this page (not written by me.)

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Maid to Work?

S: Deuteronomy 5:13-14 You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the Lord your God. On that day no one in your household may do any work. This includes you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, your oxen and donkeys and other livestock, and any foreigners living among you. All your male and female servants must rest as you do.

O: The commandment to rest one day a week also applied to people that traditionally are given no rest -- foreign slaves and servants.

A: Most foreign maids in Malaysia get no rest day. I'm glad that one of the stipulations in the new agreement with Indonesia says that Indonesians maids must be given one day off a week, just like what Filipna maids get.

It is a violation of human rights as well as Biblical principle to not allow your maid a day of rest.

However, not only maids: how many businessmen (especially in Chinese-run businesses) get no day of rest? The principle applies to the towkay as well as the employee. "All work and no play makes [everyone] a dull [person]."

P: Father, forgive us Malaysians for violating Your Principles. May we change to be more and more in conformity with Your Will. In Jesus' name, amen.
Note: this is using the SOAP method. For more information, see this page (not written by me.)
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