Some of my thoughts and musings on faith, life and ministry. All that is posted here are of my own opinions and do not necessarily represent any organisation, church or ministry that I am a part of/affiliated with. 

Back Again


After a long absence from this space, I am glad to say I am back again - and this time I will try to keep the frequency of my non-appearances to a minimal. My hiatus was more circumstantial than intentional, a lot has happened since I last posted. Let me get you up to speed: 

1. I went through an extended period of crisis in my family life last year: 

- My mom had severe depression from January up to June. 

- My dad was extremely sick from December 2016 up to his eventual passing in September 2017. It was a difficult period with a lot of drama attached to it, but by the grace of God I pulled through. You can hear of how Jesus helped me through this all here. 

2. I have been handed the responsibility of leading SIBKL's Worship team. Depending on who you ask, this is considered a "promotion" or a "punishment." On top of leading NarrowStreet and looking into building a strong culture amongst the church staff - my plate is pretty full (but I am pretty fulfilled!)

3. I found out earlier this year that my wife is pregnant and we are expecting our first child this coming September! It was hard for me to believe at first, and I was only fully convinced of it when I saw the tiny blob from the ultrasound - even after 3 positive results from home pregnancy kits.

I am grateful to God for this miraculous gift, and the only regret I have is that my dad would not be able to meet the little one. He loved children very much, I remember him showing a lot of affection to any child he meets - he would have been thrilled to have a grandchild of his own. 

What a ride it has been with so many ups and downs! But I have learnt much throughout this time. 

If God can take away something you’ve never expect losing, He can replace it with something you’ve never imagined having.

I really did not want to lose my dad, but out of all that I have gained much as well:

  • I realised I am loved and supported by many. The amount of people that showed me support and rallied together when I needed it greatly touched me. Community is key - we can't do life on our own nor should we even try. 
  • I am stronger than I realise. The crisis around me revealed the Christ within me - it was only truly by the grace of God that I could stand up taller and stronger. 
  • I am highly favoured and deeply loved by God. When you have faith in spite of your circumstances and feelings, God not only never fails to come through but He brings about something even GREATER than before. 
  • God has always, is still, and will forever be "Jehovah Jireh": The LORD Our Provider.
  • When you leave everything in the hands of God, you will see God's hand in everything. 
There is purpose in pain, but also pain in purpose. Ultimately, it is the purposes of God that prevails.

I thank God that the promises of tomorrow overshadows the problems of yesterday, and I am expectant for even greater things ahead. 

Whatever good that has happened for me, can happen for you. There is no exclusivity when it comes to blessing - God has more than enough to go around! As you read this, I want to encourage you to believe again, trust once more, and to keep the faith going - you will surely see the goodness and mercy of God. (Psalm 23)

More updates to come, keep a lookout here. 







Leadership Lessons - Part I


One of the things that I am very passionate about (apart from Jesus, my wife, motorcycles, Manchester United and coffee) is leadership. While I don't consider myself a guru in this area, but having been involved in different areas of leadership for almost 10 years - I'd like to think I know a thing or two about it. My leadership journey consists of different levels: leading small groups of 10 people to eventually multiplying after hitting 30 members, growing a ministry from 100-120 to 250-300 with 60 volunteer leaders and to now being in a staff development committee for approximately 60 full time employees. 

Some of these principles I am sharing will be more applicable in a Church/Ministry setting, but most of them are relevant to any form of leadership/management context.  Leadership, after all is a spiritual gift (Romans 12:8) exercised by many characters in the bible (including Jesus Himself) and I would even argue that some of the best leaders in the world are in the Church - because they have the challenge of mobilising unpaid volunteers! 

I've got a lot to say about leadership, and I will do so over a few parts. I wanted to put it all down in just this one article but realised I have too much to say... but hey it is my space - so if you're interested here is part one:


Personality, Gifting And Talent IMPRESSES People But Only Character, Integrity And Authenticity Can Truly IMPACT Them.

If you truly want to leave a positive, lasting impression on people as a leader - it is going to take more than just showing how good you are (although you do still need to develop certain skills to gain credibility). But that's the good news: anyone can learn new skills, but it takes a lot of intentionality to work on our character (which not many people do) and vulnerability to be authentic with those whom we lead. Character is not your personality (shy or outgoing, loud or not); it is what determines the choices you make everyday: your work ethic, the way you treat others, the way you handle challenges, how you speak to people etc. 

Authenticity I would classify as genuinely being passionate about what you do and the people that you lead. Believe in what you do, find the significance in it. If you are in a school/university club or department in a company/business see it as an opportunity to impact people. The saying goes: people don't care about how much you know until they know how much you care. Leadership is messy. Get your hands dirty. Get close to those you lead. Don't just see those as tools to be used but as people to be developed. Share your failures and struggles - sometimes it goes a longer way than blowing your own trumpet. Here's another thing: if you made a mistake, admit it and apologise to them. Trust me, they won't respect you less for it but rather MORE because of you did! 

People "buy into" persons more than plans, vision, systems or organisations. Show those around you that you are worth following and you will get their support. 


Be Personal, But Don't Take It Personally

Oh get this one right, and you would be miles ahead of so many other people! What do I mean by this? Be personal in all your interactions with people. Show warmth, display good manners, always try to extend grace. Make people feel valued, like you are genuinely interested in them (and not just what they can do for you). Encourage and appreciate them, get into their world whenever possible - all these little things go a long way. 

But if people do not respond the way you expect them to ... don't take it personally! Don't take things to heart - it will quickly cause you to lose steam as a leader. People are complex. They are not like mathematics, where if I apply a certain formula to a certain equation I should get a certain result. We do not always get the outcome we expect with people and it is very normal. Everybody has their own battles to fight, and sometimes we don't really know what is really going on with them. Sometimes people need time, so be patient with them. 

If people criticise you or disagree with you... don't take it personally and be personal in the way you respond to them! Nothing causes a leader to lose "buy-in" faster than reacting extremely insecurely to criticism or someone disagreeing with them. 


If You Want To Go Fast, Go Alone. If You Want To Go Far, Go With A Team

You know what I used to really hate back when I was still a student? Group projects. It is difficult to get an assignment done when you got so many people involved, particularly if you got non-contributing or absentee members (and then only one or two ends up doing all the work)! Doing things solo is definitely less complicated but a good leader knows the power of a team. 

A team is only effective when it has a good leader. So what must a good leader do? You must trust your team. Trust that they can get the job done. This is first and foremost. If you do not have faith in your team it will show in the way you treat them - and they will know it too. If they need guidance - give it to them, but don't over micromanage. It is very frustrating for both them and you. If they can get the job done but not in the way you expected - it's ok! If they found an even better way to do it than you originally proposed - applaud them! 

Learn conflict management - this will minimise politics and gossip, which can develop into a toxic culture and kill morale and productivity. Learn how to work with and manage different personalities - recognise that different people have different personalities and work with their strengths. Only address character issues, don't try to change personalities. 

When the right time comes, don't just delegate tasks - delegate authourity. In that way, you are not just producing doers but more leaders. If you just produce doers, you can keep your thing running. But if you produce more leaders... what you are doing will naturally grow. 


This is simply the first part, and I have more to share. I love discussing leadership and would love to help any who would want it - send me an email or tweet me! 

JESUS: "Why Do You Fear?"


2016 will undoubtedly be remembered as the year of the "unexpecteds". Nobody expected Donald Trump to become the 45th President of the United States. That alone deserves an article on its own - but I won't. Brexit happened.  Leicester City Football Club were crowned the English Premier League Champions of the 2015/2016 season. Worth mentioning because the odds of this happening was 5000/1. In fact some pundits pegged Simon Cowell had a high chance of becoming the British PM at 500/1. (source)  

But I digress.

If you are from Malaysia and are reading this, well you would know things aren't going well for us and it does not seem like it will pick up. Our currency, the Ringgit, is the worst performing currency in Asia (and has been for a while) amidst the 1MDB scandal and the continuous reports of corruption, abuses of power and lack of transparency in the current government. Top it all off with the dire state of the world's economy  - to say that there is much to be worried about would be an understatement. 


When I think upon these things, I sense a gentle but firm tugging in my heart. I could almost hear Jesus saying: "Why do you fear?"

I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33 (NLT)

Take a look at these words of Jesus. He PROMISES us that we will have problems here on earth! Newsflash! Reality check! Being a follower of Jesus does not mean the absence of trouble - but it does mean the presence of the One who overcomes in our trials. There's both bad and good news in what Jesus says here. I get why Jesus often said "He who has ears let him hear..." which could be translated to "you are hearing, but you are not listening"

We are reading the words in the Bible but we are not believing.

That is why we fear. 

As Christians, we are told that faith is the number 1 absolute thing we need to have. Yet, as human beings we are often quick to react in fear instead of responding with faith when faced with issues. However, fear and faith cannot coexist. In fact, they are the antithesis of each other. Faith mobilises, fear paralyses. 

Faith moves mountains, fear creates them.

Yes, there is much to worry about and much to fear. But this is where the rubber hits the road: the sermons we have heard, the songs about God that we sing - are they simply rhetoric? Just theory? Just information? This is when we truly know whether the Word of God is simply occupying our mind or it has already taken root in our heart. Remarkably, much of the promises found in the New Testament was written under difficult and trying circumstances. Yet the authours knew who their God was - and so can we. 

So maybe you have much to fear at this point: the uncertainty of the economy, the lack of direction of the future, the turbulent time your family is enduring, the disarray in your relationships... can I invite you to take heart, and have faith. 

Fear will paralyse us: it cripples us, it causes us to become stuck, it makes us expect the worse (even though the worse hasn't even come, kinda like reverse faith), but the choice of faith will mobilise us to: 


Philippians 4:6 (NIV)
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

There can never be enough sermons, messages, articles and books about prayer. We know the importance of it, but sadly we don't do enough of it (kinda like exercise). OK lets pick up the thought on exercise. Once you get into the habit of doing it you realise how beneficial it is and you reap the rewards: you look great in outfits, you feel much more energetic and stairs don't make you feel like cleaving your lungs out. What's the toughest part of working out? Getting started. But once you find the motivation - the habit of it will keep you going.

Just like prayer. Starting will be tough. But once you get the hang of it - it becomes second nature. 

A personal prayer life is essential when following Jesus. A Christian who does not pray is like a car without fuel - it goes nowhere! I can speak from personal experience: I don't consider myself an expert at praying, but I make it a point to spend time with God and I feel the difference. Trust me when I say this: something always changes when you pray. God either changes the situation, or He changes you to face it. 

When your faith moves you to pray, you begin to gain a heavenly perspective. This beats an earthy one - which is often marked by fear, uncertainty, doubt, speculation, dread, distress etc. Even been on a plane? My favourite part is when the plane is taking off. I love looking out of the window to what's below. The buildings and vehicles almost seem like toys. I love it when I recognise a familiar building and I go "OH! So that's how it looks like from above" or how it is interesting to see places in relation to one another. You know what that is? Perspective! 

Life wouldn't be so difficult and scary if we prayed more - kinda like how a flight of stairs will be like a walk in the park if you exercised. 



Proverbs 18:21 (NLT)
21 The tongue can bring death or life;
those who love to talk will reap the consequences.

Did you know what your words will form your worlds? This is an important Kingdom principle: words have power! When God created the world He didn't mould it with His hands; He SPOKE it into existence! (Check it if you don't believe me) Let me give you some practical examples: Have you ever been around people who are so negative all the time? They only know how to point out what is wrong, complain and whinge - after a while you feel a wave of negativity creeping into yourself as well. Someone could have said something that hurt you whether on purpose or by accident and it sticks to you for a really really long time. 

You know that saying: "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words cannot harm me?" I think if we were really honest, we would agree that this statement is not really true.

Now, I am not advocating a "name it and claim it" philosophy or an "airy fairy" kind of attitude where we don't face facts. But the truth is, speaking and spreading negativity rarely brings about any solutions. The modern day equivalent for this would be how we use social media. People just love sharing bad news or posting all their emotional spew online - that's why you feel kinda icky after spending a long time on social media. 

As believers of Jesus, I would spur you to start proclaiming the promises of God more - both online and offline. I want to be led by the promises of God and not be pushed by the problems of this world. I want to speak life where ever I go! Whether it is over our nation, our cities, our friends, our families, our people. If all of us caught onto this, how different things would be!

Words (whether in person or online) have the power to shape atmospheres, and the most amazing part is words are free - it is how we use them that may cost us. Our proclamation determines the posture of those around us - let us spur people onto faith! 



Faith will also mobilise us to partner with the one who we have our faith in: God. Often times we feel a sense of hopelessness because we feel powerless, or we feel that there is no one who could help us in our troubles.

Divine intervention begins where mortal reliance ends.

Political parties, currencies, education, properties etc all these things can come and go and if we find ourselves looking for security in these things we will always be left wanting. Trust in the sovereignty of God. That He has a reason for every season, a purpose for every pain and a plan for every problem. 

I have learnt (and I am still learning) to trust God in spite of any circumstance - and He has never ever let me down. Jesus is real! I don't follow Him just because - I do it with the utmost conviction that He is alive and is still at work today. 

You will not get a better partner than Him, and the best part is He often leads the way - and makes a way even where there is none. 


In all things, always choose to respond in faith - and not react in fear.




A New Challenge I Give To You: Follow...

If I were to ask you to complete this sentence: "I dare you to follow...", what would your choice of words be? Chances are if you are a millennial (aged 34 and below, according to Google) you may answer: "follow your heart; your dreams; your ambition; your passions etc." Our generation is constantly bombarded with platitudes like these, we have been urged to "find something you like doing and you will never have to work another day in your life" (because nobody is hiring in that area). 

This is probably spurred by our consumption of "feel-good-and-seemingly-wise" articles on Thought Catalog, Elite Daily and so forth. Maybe we even hear it in our churches occasionally: "God wants to fulfil your dreams!". We are a generation with so many options, more so than those before us. Some industries that exist today were unheard of 5-10 years ago. Yet amidst the myriad of options available to us, a generation has never ever felt so lost. 

We try to comfort ourselves a little by romanticising this: "not all who wonder are lost", yet the truth is many people feel disenchanted, paralysed by uncertainty and plagued by indecision. What should I study? Where should I go? How do I get a good job? Who should I be with? Why can't I be sure of anything? Compounding matters is this phenomenon called "Social Media". We compare our lives to the extremely curated profiles of people we admire, whose lives we dream of living. 

Now, it sounds like i have downed a big juice of pessimism for breakfast which has turned me into a Negative Nancy - but hear me out. There is nothing wrong with following your heart and dreams per se, but to you reading this: I issue you a greater challenge:


I dare you to follow Jesus.


That's right. 


Wholeheartedly. Without reservation. Consistently and persistently. 

Will there be fortune on the other side? Not really. Will I feel better about myself? Depends. Will all my dreams come through? Subjective. Is this venture "Instagrammable"? Probably not. Will it be easy peasy? Far from it. Geez! Why would anyone do this then? That is a good question, and it is logical to want to know what the benefit would be before actually doing something.

When you follow Jesus, you may not get all that you want. BUT... you will be guaranteed to have all that you need. 

When you follow Jesus, you will always find meaning in the mundane, significance in your struggles and purpose in your pain.

There are some very intriguing words by Jesus found in Matthew 7:13-14:

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

If I were to rephrase that, it would sound like this: "The path to true contentment and purpose is not the obvious road. It is the one that looks the least likely to lead anywhere. It will barely make any sense when you first see it, therefore not many people will go that way. But those who actually do will find true life." 

John 10:10 (NIV)
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

When you truly give your all to follow Him, boy do things change! He transforms your mind, renews your perspective, heals your heart. You begin to see everything differently, you begin to understand, you are filled with HOPE. I now know why the Bible says that we are a "new creation" when you believe in Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:17). I can barely begin to describe it. I can scarcely do it justice with my words. You have to experience it for yourself. 

If you are thinking: "sounds great, but how does this help me practically?" How do I get the answers, resources and opportunities I need? To which I will tell you of the promise of Jesus: "Seek the kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need." (Matthew 6:25-34)  This is the paradox of it all: if you try to make your life, you will end up breaking it. But if you lose yourself in Jesus, you will find yourself again. 

Sometimes the more we try to figure out things on our own the more we end up feeling lost. So here is my challenge to you: let go and let God. Cease all striving and simply start living. Don't dwell on the past or idealise the future, just live in the present - God's way. Be kind to those around you, forgive those who hurt you, help those in need, worship with all your heart, believe in what you read in the Bible, work hard, be grateful for what you have, cherish those around you. 

Why? Because here is the secret: "When you follow the ways of God you will always flow into the will of God." 

That is the greatest of all paradoxes and biggest of all challenges. It does not make any sense, but it absolutely works. Trust me. When you live by faith and not by sight (or feeling, or compulsion, or by ideas, or by anything else) - you will always see the other side of breakthrough. When you live by faith, doors that you knock on will be opened. Opportunities that you never imagined possible will suddenly become a reality. 

God rewards a lifestyle of faith (Hebrews 11:6): faith to live by the principles of God, faith to trust God for better, faith that God has a purpose in all things.

Following Jesus is neither an event nor a destination. It is a process, a journey. A daily affair. A step by step thing. That is the challenge. To live every single day so conscious of Him, so in step with Jesus, so inline with His Spirit. Don't confine a relationship with Jesus to the weekends. Make time for personal prayer and worship. Make room for those private moments where it is just Jesus and you. 

So whatever stage of life you are at now: a crossroads, figuring out your next step, confused and having no direction, worried and anxious, starting a new phase of life - a new challenge I give you: I dare you to follow Jesus 

Psalm 37:23 (NLT)
The Lord directs the steps of the godly.
He delights in every detail of their lives.

What Should We Make of "Pokemon Go"?

The international phenomenon known as "Pokemon Go" was officially release on the 6th of July earlier this year, and boy has it been stirring up a storm ever since. If I am not mistaken, this is probably one of the first games that incorporates both the virtual and physical world. The general concept of the game is players walk around in public hunting these "Pokemon". Different locations serve as different hotspots for "Pokemons", with some areas having more than others and the possibility of catching a rare Pokemon depends on location as well. Players can visit PokeStops (which are usually placed in places of worship, restaurants, monuments, parks etc) to get items and experience (to level up) for free and a player can pit their Pokemons against others at PokeGyms. 

Pokemon came to Malaysia a couple of days ago (August 6th I think) and to say that it is really catching on is... an understatement. I decided to give this game a try just to see what all the hype was about and I'll admit it can be VERY FUN making it REALLY ADDICTIVE! While I knew this game is a big hit, it did not prepare me for what I was about to see. I discovered the area I lived in had many PokeStops, so I ventured out to go get myself some free items. I thought it would pretty embarrassing to be seemingly wondering around aimlessly while staring at my phone but when I got there - there were PLENTY of people doing what I was doing! Some in groups, some alone... some were young children with their parents (the parents were playing too), some were in office attire etc. In fact, I noticed everyone (almost) is playing it everywhere (really)! 

The game is definitely fun, and you actually do not need to have any prior knowledge of Pokemon to enjoy it.  So the question that comes to mind then is... is Pokemon Go demonic, evil, dangerous, bad? Should Christians avoid playing Pokemon Go? Is this a tool of the devil to bring about the destruction and demise of people all around? 



Some people have responded to the game's popularity by deeming it demonic. Firstly, because "Pokemon" literally means "Pocket Monster" in Japanese (where the game originated from). These "monsters" vary from cute to grotesque and unnatural - they surely must carry demonic symbolism! Let's address this first. Pokemon is a cartoon, and like many cartoons out there they contain elements of fantasy and imagination. Think of every cartoon that comes to mind, they each have different characters ranging from fantasy creatures, talking animals, to a mystical world etc. 

Now, unless we have substantial proof that Pokemon Go has diabolical subliminal messaging (that conflicts with the Christian worldview) and/or creators and writers who are outrightly anti-Christian, it would be unfair to pass judgement based on this but giving exceptions to other fictional content. Think of every movie that Disney and Pixar have produced: don't they all involve more or less the same things? In fact, if I were to use the same line of thought I would go so far to say VeggieTales, a popular Christian cartoon for children which features talking vegetables is "unnatural" as well and hence should be boycotted!

Some then bring up the fact that Pokemon has elements of evolution which is against Christian teaching... again not very solid reasoning. The key here is to distinguish between fantasy and reality. If we are able to draw clear boundaries on what is real and what is imaginary, this should not effect us. If we are to absolutely avoid everything that could potentially influence us in a negative manner or lead us astray... the solution will be to completely avoid all forms of entertainment altogether. 

Yet, that sounds silly doesn't it. Christians and churches that wage an all out war against culture may do really well in avoiding "contaminating" themselves but end up doing really poorly in reaching out to the world, which is a mandate for all Christians (Matthew 28:18-20). So on this note, I will say this: to me there is no substantial evidence that Pokemon Go is demonic unless proven otherwise. 


EDIT: A few people pointed out to me that there was an "interview" supposedly confirming that the creator of the original Pokemon series was motivated by his disdain towards his parents' Christian beliefs. That interview is a HOAX. Read the real interview here



However, I will say this: proceed with caution. The fact that it is really fun just means that the temptation to spend a ridiculous amount of time and energy (and even money) is real. This is like any other video/computer game: prolonged exposure to it can cause addiction, irritability, feelings of aggression and inability to concentrate on anything else. This is not just limited to Pokemon Go, but applies to social media, the internet, other online games, movies, series etc. 

The key here is moderation. While there is nothing outrightly sinister about Pokemon Go, it does come with its own risks and drawbacks. Just as the bible tells us: 

1 Corinthians 10:23 (NLT)
23 You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is beneficial.

The truth is, not many of us are disciplined enough to keep ourselves in check though. If you can, set a schedule for this game. Do not neglect your school, work, social, work and church responsibilities. If you have trouble setting boundaries, ask for help from your leaders, family members and friends. If you have been spending too much time on this game, allow other people to point it out to you without getting agitated. 

Take time to understand the risks and dangers that could potentially arise from this game. Search the internet for some safety tips, and parents read this for some helpful advice. 



Not every new thing that comes along should immediately be labelled as "demonic." I understand that people have concerns, but that does not warrant a knee-jerk reaction that many Christians have. The truth is, we are too quick to pass judgment on things that we do not understand or that does not suit our own preferences. This kind of attitude actually alienates us even more from a world that we are called to reach, and we should be looking to build bridges instead of more walls.

But I do acknowledge that there is a real enemy out there who is actively trying to lure people away from God (1 Peter 5:8). He is known as a deceiver, and he would often use either TEMPTATION or DISTRACTIONS (which is more effective in my opinion) to keep us away from the things of God. We must be aware of the spiritual world and battle that we are involved in as Christians, and must do our part to live wisely (Ephesians 6:10-18). 

Here are some questions to ask yourself as you play Pokemon Go:

  1. Does it cause me to neglect my studies/work?
  2. Does this game take away quality time from my friends and family?
  3. Do I find myself making decisions based on the game without taking into consideration of those around me?
  4. Do I find myself constantly thinking about the game which makes me unable to concentrate on anything else?
  5. Do I find myself feeling frustrated, agitated, annoyed, grumpy while/after playing this game?
  6.  Does this game actually make me not want to go to church, read my bible and/or pray? Do I find the quality and quantity of my time with God has reduced as a result of playing this game? 

If you answered YES to any of these questions, then take some time to evaluate with the help of a leader and/or parent whether it is wise to carry on playing this game. Think of Pokemon Go, and any other form of entertainment really, in "nutritional" terms. Physically, we need a balanced diet of protein, fibre, carbohydrates, vitamins etc which would ensure we are "healthy" in our bodies. The occasional indulgence in "bad foods" will not be detrimental to our health, but we cannot live on cake, chocolate, pizzas, potato chips and the likes alone. 

In the same way, our "spirits" need to be fed the right amount of things as well. We need time with God (church, bible reading and prayer) and time with our loved ones to ensure that we are "spiritually healthy." So by all means, play Pokemon Go if you like with a clear conscience - just remember that you are the one who owns the game and not be in place where the game owns you. 


For more practical information by Focus On The Family including a guide for families, a review, parental guides as well as a breakdown on Pokemon's worldview, click this link.