Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Swansong


"By extension, swan song has become an idiom referring to a final theatrical or dramatic appearance, or any final work or accomplishment. It generally carries the connotation that the performer is aware that this is the last performance of his or her lifetime, and is expending everything in one magnificent final effort." (Source: Wikipedia)

A Swansong is one's final work or accomplishment. The last one. The final one.

This is our swansong.

It's been 2 years plus now since we started this blog. Many thoughts and ideas, many concerns and issues, many hopes and dreams have all been penned (a.k.a typed) here. We started this of as a place to express these things and hoping that it would be a place where we would be challenged, and a place to respond with our hearts.

We hope this has been the place for you.
We hope you have been challenged.
We hope that all that has been penned down here will be something that you can return to and think about over and over again.
Our hope here also is that some of the things that you have thought about or thinking about from the posts here won't remain stagnant, but be worked out in your life and the life of those around you.

My friends, its time to move. Time to move from our comfort zones. It's time to live.
And may God's Word always be our guide in whatever that we do. His Light unto our feet.

Mugz-N-Buzz will stop here for now till there may come a time to revive it again.

Cherring each and everyone one of you readers on...

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Price Tag

Yesterday, I heard a true story of a new Christian who was previously involved with vice activities. He left his old way of life to be a disciple of Christ. He not only gave up his large monthly income, but also began to practice abstaining from alcohol. Whenever he hangs out with his friends, they make fun of him for these two things. He simply says “Now I am a Christian, and Jesus says cannot get drunk.”

Have you counted the cost of being a disciple recently? We’ve had the Easter crucifixion replayed so many times in our minds that, as shocking as it is (the scary medical details; the violent scenes from the Passion movie; one of our church uncles drawing a beard, taking off his shirt and acting as a very Asian looking Jesus), we lose sight of Jesus himself and don’t ask Him or ourselves, “What will it cost?”

Strip away all the old layers of details and scenes, and return to that first Easter. Stand at the foot of the cross. What is the price Christ paid? Like the story I was told, can we hear Jesus asking us to pay a price? What is it that ‘Jesus says…’ to you?

Christ came to me the night he was betrayed,
Took my hands in His, asked “Will you obey?
Will you pay the price, when I have paid mine?
Through thick and thin, through test of time”

What are your thoughts on that first Easter? What will it cost you to be a Jesus disciple in your own community?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Sweeping Things Under The Carpet


I was hungry,
and you formed a humanities group to discuss my hunger.
I was imprisoned,
and you crept off quietly to your chapel and prayed for my release.
I was naked,
and in your mind you debated the morality of my appearance.
I was sick,
and you knelt and thanked God for your health.
I was homeless,
and you preached to me of the spiritual shelter of the love of God.
I was lonely,
and you left me alone to pray for me.
You seem so holy, so close to God
but I am still very hungry – and lonely – and cold.

I read this in John Stott’s ‘Issues Facing Christians Today’. This poem was written by a homeless woman to a country vicar whose response to her appeal for help was a promise to pray for her. I felt it was borderline hypocrisy, this vicar. Then I thought, “I’m just like him!”

It is a major concern among us Christians today that many of us do not bother about our social responsibilities. Sure we’re very much involved in evangelism. We see eternity as far more important than our physical world right now. Good. But if that means neglecting our social responsibilities as Christians then I think we’ve gone off-balanced! Maybe, evangelism and social responsibility goes hand in hand. Maybe, our idea of missions (and missionary identity) ought to be stretched.

When confronted with the thought of social engagement, it would seem that what many of us do best now is to hide behind a fa├žade of Christian ‘holiness’, hoping we wouldn’t have to get our hands dirty. Hoping a prayer or something will help solve the problem. And if the problem persists, we convince ourselves we have done everything we could. It’s like sweeping things under the carpet so it looks as if we’ve dealt with it, when really we’re just fooling ourselves.

Dear friends, do you think you’ll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, “Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!” and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup – where does that get you? Isn’t it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense?
James 2:14-17 (The Message)

Come and share, how did we become, as someone put it, so ‘heavenly minded to be of no earthly use’? How have we swept the social problems around us under the spick and span carpet of, apparently, our Christianity? And if you are currently engaged in social issues, come and share with us that too.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Movie Review-KAMI

I watched the movie Kami last year. It was an intentional decision to watch a local movie. It was a good movie. Simple, straight to the point. ‘Kami’ is a movie of 5 Malay friends who live through the struggles of being teenagers in KL There are scenes of drug addiction, broken families, delinquencies, rejection and so on. But what kept me focused is actually in their friendship.

At first I thought that the movie focuses on the Malay community in KL but as I pondered later it was actually a typical problem for all peoples living in the big cities. Though our friend would not portray all these problems in one go but there are problems. And it is across the board – every race, religion, family background and economic standing

And what keeps me wondering is what actually ‘Good News’ is for us? Have we made evangelism into a fit all formula? You have friends with problems. How is Jesus Good News for them? Do share.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Our Majority Neighbours

Being Malaysians and having lived in Malaysia for so many years now, it’s not surprising that every where we go, we are bound to see our Majority Neighbours around. In our campus, in our hostel blocks, in the apartment we stay in, in the housing area we are in, at the places we eat, at the post office and banks, everywhere! It’s no way we can escape it. But sometimes we do tend to turn our heads away from them; sometimes we automatically shut our eyes and ears towards them. Sometimes we also tend to make statements like “Aiya, they are like that wan la. Cannot help already”. Why? Perhaps it is the many prejudices we have towards them. Perhaps it is because someone with lower grades preceded us in a better university. Perhaps it is because of the political situations our country is in.

Stop. Listen to ourselves. Many times I myself have been caught red-handed generalizing our Majority Neighbours. But, really, aren’t we a lot like them too? We are as human as they are human too. We have needs just as they have needs too. We are broken just as they are broken too. We struggle with our studies just as they struggle too. We have fun and are crazy just as much as they have fun and are crazy. So then what makes us think that we are more of a human than they are or perhaps some may say, we are treated less of a human than they are?

I have a few Majority Neighbour good friends myself and I can very well say that they are just as human as I am. They are not like some robots that have been sucked into some kind of system. Some of them are in fact very nice people! They struggle just as much as I do. They work their way to succeed just as much as I do. They strive for spirituality and God just as much as I do. They cry and have fun just as much as I do. So yea, I’m just as much like them as they are like me. Sometimes we may think that they are the most privileged people in Malaysia. But in actual fact, many are not happy with the “privileges” given to them. They don’t have a freedom of religion. They don’t have as much of an opportunity in the secular world as we do because of the prejudices they face.

Perhaps it’s time we get thrown off of our seats to get to know our Majority Neighbours who sits next to us in class, or those who stay in the same block as us. Maybe even start by giving someone of the Majority Neighbour, who works in the post office, immigration office, post office, a smile to cheer their day up! Come back then and share your experiences with us. Perhaps you have already been a friend to our Majority Neighbours. Come and share with us your experiences too!

Monday, February 02, 2009

Outpost - Time Running Out

I wish I had done much more in my university days.
I wish I could spend more time doing something good or helpful for the community in my campus.
I wish I knew more close friends of different races.

I wish, I wish, I wish...

There are so many wishes we hope to fulfill but time is ticking. Let’s not waste anymore time. By the time u know it, you are already graduating and moving to the next phase of your life. It doesn’t matter now whether you are still a student or already working. Each of us are stationed somewhere to guard, to protect, to do something good and to complete our mission.
Stand up, and fulfill your mission well!

Share with us good things you did for your campus or workplace and what you hope to do or achieve.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Jekyll and Hyde

Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde[1] is a novella written by the Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson and first published in 1886. It is about a London lawyer who investigates strange occurrences between his old friend, Dr. Henry Jekyll[2], and the misanthropic Mr. Edward Hyde.
The work is known for its vivid portrayal of a split personality, split in the sense that within the same person there is both an apparently good and an evil personality each being quite distinct from each other. The novella's impact is such that it has become a part of the language with the very phrase "Jekyll and Hyde" coming to mean a person who is vastly different in moral character from one situation to the next.
Sadly this duality is often found in churches, CFs and any where the Christian body is located. Clearly this is not something unusual for Paul has vividly described of his own struggles in the book of Romans in the Bible. But Paul did not end with a voice of defeat. Rather if you continue to read, he offers hope to live a real authentic Christian life which is anchored in Christ and not in our own abilities or good intentions.
We need to break out of this weekend Christian mould and fully embrace the liberty as God’s children. Not that I’m advocating immorality or freedom to do whatever we feel like doing. Far from that! What we as the Living Body of our Lord Jesus Christ should strive for is to stop any kind of pretension and desire to live holy, authentic Christ like lives. By doing this others will see that true transformation is possible.
Please do not feel discourage if you fail for our Lord is ever gracious to forgive if we truly repent. The temptation will always be to retreat back to our comfortable weekend Christian mould. We must resist that! Remember it is Christ that has brought you out of sin and given you the Holy Spirit to live out your new life. You’re not fighting this battle alone. Further more we as Christians should always offer grace instead of condemnation to our brothers and sisters in Christ.
The struggle to live an authentic Christ like life is not easy. There are times of victories and also times of failure we rather hide or even forget. These are real stories of God’s work in our lives. Please share these stories with us so that others will be encouraged and inspired.