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Happy new year. May your life be blessed with abundance.

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Zion’s Christian Soldiers

This book explores whether Christians’ support of the modern state of Israel is justified according to the scripture.

The belief that God judges people based how they treat the Jewish people and the state of Israel is based on the promise God made to Abraham that God will bless those who bless Abraham and curse whoever curse Abraham (Genesis 12:3).

Is God’s promise to Abraham still applicable to his descendants today? Even though the promise was iterated by Abraham’s son (Isaac) to his grandson (Jacob), like the promise to Abraham, it was a personal blessing.

Unlike the present day Israel that wants an exclusive Jewish state, Moses warned the Jews against racial exclusivity (Deuteronomy 23:7-8). King David looked forward to the day when other races would share the same identity and privileges as the Israelites (Psalm 87:4). God welcome “those who acknowledge me” — an inclusive Israel. The Bible does not grant a racial exclusivity; it does not give any race preferential or elevated status in God’s kingdom.

Abraham was chosen to lead his family to follow God, so that his descendants would become a godly nation, and through them, the whole world will be blessed. The promise made to Abraham was conditional — the privilege of being ‘chosen’ brought with it responsibility. The promised blessings were conditional on the faithfulness and obedience to God’s law. In his letter to the Romans, Paul explains why the majority of Jewish people of his day, having rejected their Messiah, were now excluded from the covenant promises.

Was the founding of present-day Israel the fulfilment of God’s promise? The boundaries of the land God promised to Abraham and his descendants are demarcated in Genesis 15. If these boundaries were applied today, it encompasses parts of Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Palestine, Iraq, Kuwait and part of Saudi Arabia.

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Kembara Peniaga Jalanan

Ikram Al-Banjari tidak berasal daripada keluarga peniaga tetapi minatnya untuk berniaga membuak-buak sejak kecil. Ketika berusia sepuluh tahun, beliau menjual buah jambu bila saja ada acara di padang sekolah di hadapan rumahnya.

Pada usia 13 tahun, dia belajar berjualan di gerai Pak Man yang dibuka semasa Forum Perdana Ehwal Islam bersiaran langsung. Pak Man mengajarnya cara menarik minat pembeli mendapatkan lebih daripada satu produk.

Dia berkuli di kedai makan Abang Lan. Di sana, dia bukan saja belajar melayan pelanggan, tetapi juga belajar cara menyediakan air dan memasak juadah untuk pelanggan. Ada cara tertentu untuk memastikan air yang dibancuh sedap untuk diminum pelanggan. Kalau nak tahu rahsia membancuh secawan kopi yang sedap, dapatkan buku ini di sini. Sebahagian pengalaman di sini, bertahun kemudian digunakan untuk membuka rantaian warung Tu Dia! Char Kway Teow.

Semasa di universiti pun dia berniaga sambil belajar — khidmat basuh kereta dan kereta sewa untuk pelajar-pelajar antarabangsa.

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Leaving Time

Jenna Metcalfe’s parents were scientists, who ran an elephant sanctuary. When she was three, tragedy strike. An employee of the sanctuary was killed after she was trampled by one of the elephants. Alice, Jenna’s mother, was found injured and unconscious at another part of the sanctuary.

Alice was rushed to the hospital. When she regained consciousness, she was informed that Jenna was missing. Alice checked out of the hospital and disappeared. Thomas, Jenna’s father, was committed to a mental institution shortly after.

Jenna was brought up by her grandmother, who refused to talk about her mother. For ten years, she wondered why her mother left.

Desperate to find the truth, Jenna sought the help of Serenity (a psychic) and Virgil Stanhope (the cop who investigated the accident at the sanctuary). As the unlikely trio set on a quest to find the truth about what happened to Alice, Jenna’s memory of her childhood started to reveal a series of unexpected events. Would uncovering the truth be so painful that it would be better to bury the past?

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Memoirs of Tan Sri Ani Arope

I bought this book online at Kinokuniya. When it arrived, I was rather disappointed that the book was so thin (139 pages). I thought a man like the late Tan Sri Ani Arope (TSAA), with his infinite wisdom, would have much to share.

TSAA was one of Malaysia’s prominent corporate figures, who was also well known for his wit and sense of humour.

The story started with his childhood. He was the fifth of seven children and grew up with a mother who was a single parent. Word War II broke when he was nine years old and with it came the hardship of war.

He fell in love for the first time when he was seventeen. It did not last long and they met again 60 years later through their children.

He attended a university in New Zealand, and upon returning home, started his career as an agronomist. Shortly after, he met a beautiful young woman who later became his wife. TSAA narrated about his challenges as the CEO of TNB and what led to his decision to resign.

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