Thursday, December 31, 2009

Resolution 2010


It is time of the year for us to write our resolutions. This article is a good one about this subject because it gives a Godly persective. Indeed, I myself is resolving to walk a closer path with our Lord. Perhaps this is a guide for you too. Read on....article by:
Peter Beck
Professor, Author

Another New Year is upon us. For many of us there have been too many and they come too quickly. As Christians we understand the idea of new beginnings. In salvation God has given us new life and new hope. We know that we don't have to wait until January 1st for a second chance to get things right. By the grace of God, everything can be made right today, right now.

However, celebrating the New Year is a helpful exercise. It gives us an excuse to refocus our efforts, to redirect our thoughts, and to resolve the lingering weaknesses in our lives: to be more holy. To that end, many of us make New Year's resolutions.

Many of my spiritual heroes made resolutions of their own.

Jonathan Edwards, the great Puritan preacher, kept a diary. In that diary he wrote 70 resolutions, things that he resolved to do. Many of us would do well to emulate his resolve.

"Resolved, that I will do whatsoever I think to be most to God's glory and to my own good, profit, and pleasure, in the whole of my duration, without any consideration of the time, whether now or never so many myriads of ages hence."

Another Puritan, Matthew Henry, had great resolve, as well.

"I do in the beginning of this New Year solemnly make a fresh surrender of myself, my whole self, body, soul, and spirit, to God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, my Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier, covenanting and promising, not in any strength of my own, for I am very weak, but in the strength of the grace of Jesus Christ, that I will endeavour this year to stand complete in the Will of God."

What resolutions are you going to make this year? Lose weight? Find time? Break habits? Mend fences?

I would like to suggest a few things that we all should be resolved to do in the New Year:

1. Praise God for every new day (Psalm 118:24)
2. Read through the Bible (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
3. Pray daily for one another and the church (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
4. Share your faith with at least one new person each week (Romans 10:14)
May Matthew Henry's New Year's prayer be ours:

"Lord grant that this year I may be more holy, and walk more closely than ever in all holy conversation; I earnestly desire to be filled with thy holy thoughts, to be carried out in holy affections, determined by holy aims and intentions, and governed in all my words and actions by holy principles. O that a golden thread of holiness may run through the whole web of this year."

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Upside Down

This is a very interesting video. When you read the story from the top it appeared that the story of Jesus is negative, but if you read the story from the bottom, you see the Real story of Jesus. Watch it closely. Be blessed!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Prayer the Write Way


We face challenges and changes in Church as well as in our lives. It is indeed timely that FBC is starting a Night Watch service on 31st Dec, 2009. Here we will be praying corporately as a Church.

However, it is also necessary for us to pray individually. Many great Christians have testified to the effectiveness of prayers over the centuries. Even modern writers like Philip Yancey in his book “Prayer Does It Make Any Difference?” concluded that prayers indeed change things.

We all know the importance of prayer, yet many struggle with it because of competing circumstances. Yet as a Christian one has to take a stand and be disciplined to pray for oneself, others and our Church. Prayer is like blood flowing in our bodies, how can we survive if there is no blood in our bodies? The next question is how should we pray? (This is not to be little our seasoned Christians but to share some ideas). Of course there are several methods of prayers, and I am sharing a particular method. You may find it useful.

It is prayer the “write way”, that is you write down your prayers. As you know prayer is a two-way communication with God, and writing them down give you an opportunity to record what you hear from God. Example you have a specific prayer request, so you prayed and asked God for a favour, now God may not respond right a way, but in the time he dims fit. Say after several days He answered your request, you can go back to your journal and record His answer to your request. As you travel this life journey with God, you can also refer back to your journal to encourage yourself because you will find that God answered many of your prayers, and if not you will see what lessons He is teaching you.

Prayer by writing down is a method I learnt from author Becky Tirabassi.
There are four sections, P.A.R.T

P – Praise, you praise God for who He is. You glorify His Name,
His Being, His Holiness. In any other ways, you may praise Him.

A – Admission, is also confession of our sins, repent from our sins. We admit and
tell Him our msitakes and sins.

R – Requests, our prayer requests to God, and what favours we want from Him.

T – Thanks, here we thank God for what He has done in our lives, thank Him
for answering our prayers. Also be thankful that Jesus redeemed us from
darkness and save our lives.

“I pray that you find this useful and that if you lack a method let this one help you to pray effectively, Amen”.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Sunday Service


Brother Soon King shared with the Church the up coming Alpha Conference organised by Trinity Methodist Church on April 16 & 17, 2010. He went through the out line of the conference to provide more information to our members. All in leadership like elders, ministry heads, Cell leaders and assistant Cell leaders are encouraged to join. All others members are also encouraged to join because this is a training program for all of us.

The D-Factors

This is the title of Pastor Richard sermon this morning. He referred to Philippians 3:12-16. He said that this famous passage is a favourite of pastors to preach during the end of the year or the beginning of the year. As this is the last Sunday of 2009, it is appropriate for him to share on this passage.

3;1 – 11 Paul spoke about the past
3:12 – 16 Paul spoke about the present/now
3:17 – 21 Paul spoke about the future

At present we are all pilgrims, on a journey. We are also disciples of Jesus Christ. As disciples we are learners. We are incomplete.

Destination

Year 2009 drawing to an end, but it is not our end. Our focus and destiny is not on 2009. Whether the year is bad or good, let us turn things from better to best. Saul met Jesus on Damascus road, his destiny was planned by God, that he will suffer for Christ sake.

Devotion

The story of the rich young ruler, Mark 10:17. He was to sell all his possessions if he wanted to follow Jesus. About the story of Mary and Martha, only one thing is needed, that is to focus on Jesus. Mary found one thing, that is devotion to Jesus. We tend to get distracted by many things and we lack devotion to Jesus.

Direction

Pastor Richard shared that when he first came back recently he saw the vision and mission of FBC and he likes it because these give the Church focus and direction where to go. Keep us focus on our goals, like single mindedness of an athlete. Focus and move forward.

Determination

The story about Peter’s walk on water, and when he was discouraged he stumbled and fail into the water. We must have determination to go forward to carry out the tasks.

Discipline

Pastor Richard shared that he is glad that FBC is getting on the basic, that is obeying the Words, put words into actions. Be discipline in our prayer life, otherwise we will decay.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Celebration 25th Dec, 2009


This morning Brother Soon King shared that to the secular world the meaning of Christmas is different from our Christian world. Jesus is our focus and not santa. He briefly shared how Jesus is better in many areas as compared to santa.

Next Brother Nee Wen wished everyone a “Merry Christmas” and he shared that Pastor John has wrote him a Christmas card and asked him to share with the congregation his message. Pastor John cherished the time he shared with FBC and wish everyone a Holy Christmas.

The Reasons for the Seasons

Brother Soon King welcomed Pastor Richard Sim back to our Church as he has just returned from Australia to help our Church. We thank him for his dedication.

Pastor Richard shared on Luke 2:1-11, the story of the birth of Jesus. He said to the secular world the meaning of Christmas is different than ours.

To the secular world “Christmas” means:

C – celebration
H – holiday
R- reunion
I – intoxication
S – shopping
T – turkey
M – music
A – Angel
S – santa

For us it is the reasons and not the seasons, because we celebrate the coming of Jesus who came to save this world. He gave us the greatest gift. Going back to the story of Jesus, before His birth Augustus ordered a census which required His parents to travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem. It was a tough journey for a pregnant woman to travel a distant of more than 100 miles. But it was the plan of God that Jesus was born in Bethlehem.

To the Christians “Christmas” means:

C- Christ Jesus
H- humble
R- Reconciliation
I – initiative
S – Sin
T – Thanks giving
M – Mission
A – Angels
S – Sharing

God gave us the best gift, Jesus Christ, the Saviour of this world.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas and the Meaning of Surrender


Here is a story about surrendering to God extracted from Christianity.com

The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God." "I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said." Then the angel left her. --Luke 1:35-39

Imagine this—a young girl, betrothed to a reputable man, finds herself pregnant and the father is not her beloved. Two thousand years ago, this potential scandal could have cost her a reputation and maybe even her life. However, Mary was called out by the Lord. Probably no older than 15 years of age, she certainly had no job and no intentions of becoming a mother just yet. But God entrusted her with a great responsibility.

When the angel of the Lord appeared to her and assigned her this task, she didn't respond as most would by saying, "But I can't take on that responsibility, Lord. I am about to get married. I just want to enjoy time with my husband right now. Please pass this assignment off to someone else! I don't want you to call me to do this!"
No, instead Mary willingly obeyed the Lord and submitted to His will for her life. Many people confuse Mary's status—some put her on the same pedestal as Jesus and some even worship her as they would the Lord. But Mary was simply the woman God called to bear the Messiah and the woman who was willing to carry out the task He laid before her.

As believers, we must learn the meaning of surrender. When God places a call on your life, there is no room for questions or hesitation. Is God calling you to some specific task? Are you willing to surrender all to obey Him? You must simply say, "I am the Lord's servant. May it be to me as you have said." Take with you the very valuable lessons of surrender, compassion, obedience, and love displayed in the Christmas story.

PRAYER CHALLENGE: Ask the Lord to show you His will for your life, and pray that He would help you to be a man or woman that is completely surrendered and obedient to Him.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Servant Way



This is the Savior of the World

All the world has heard the story
of the little Christ Child's birth.
But too few have felt the meaning
of His mission here on earth.
Some regard the Christmas story
as something beautiful to hear,
A lovely Christmas custom
that we celebrate each year,
But it is more than just a story
told to make our hearts rejoice
It's our Father up in heaven
speaking through the Christ Child's voice,
Telling us of heavenly kingdoms
that He has prepared above
For all who trust His mercy
and live only for His love...
And only through the Christ Child
can man be born again,
For God sent the Baby Jesus
as the Savior of all men.

Helen Steiner Rice

Monday, December 21, 2009

Sunday Service


Morning Prayers

One hour prior to our Sunday service, we had morning prayers to cover our Church, its leaders and the congregation. All agreed that prayers are important to us, individual can pray on their own, and as a corporate boby we come together to pray for our Church and its leaders.

All are encouraged to come to the morning prayer each week.

Sermon by Dr.Tommy Chung

Again we have the privilege of having Dr.Chung to share with our Church. We are honoured to have him bringing the Words of God to us.

His sermon entitled “Violence of the Kingdom”. If one looks back to the history of Israel violence appeared to be the theme. Moses redeemed the Israelites physically from Egypt, and in a sense also delivered them spiritually from the Egyptians.

The evil one came as a impostor and also destroy by violence.

God works on three areas: a) the world denies God, b) God work amongst the Jew, c) God working in the Churches. In these three areas the common theme is violence.

Violence also occurred in nature as in natural disasters.

Jesus lived a life of violence, everyday some one was trying to harm Him. At birth King Herod ordered babies to be killed, hopefully to kill Jesus too.

Later, the Jewish people were also slaughtered by Hitler. Six million of them perished. To this day, the nation of Israel is still fighting against other forces.

This is the battle in the life of Christians so that the glory of God can be manifested in us. Every human is a “shipwreck” whether we know it or not. Only Jesus can salvage us.

Let us focus on Him through prayers. The power of prayers can not be denied.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas Celebration with Old folks


This morning some of our Brothers and Sisters Celebrated Christmas with the old folks from Sarawak Hun Nam Siang Tng Old folks Home at Sekama.

This old folk home was started in 1954, and it is supported by donations from the public. Most of the inmates were non believers and we had this opportunity to share the gospel with them. We were very encourgaed by Brother Chin who gave a good message in Mandarin. He even had his speech written down! Praise God for Brother Chin!

Later we sang a few gospel songs in Hokkien, like Lu Kan Wau a Chiu (You Hold My Hands), Chin Chia Ho ( Very Good) and some Christmas songs.

There were 34 inamtes, 20 men and 14 women. Each was given a gift pack as well as an "Ang Pow".

After that all our Brothers and Sisters chit chat with all the folks. Many were happy to see us. One of them, Mr,Lau who was wheel chair bound was unhappy because he could not move around himslef. Sister Chuei Lian, Sister Sarah and Brother Chin shared with him the good news of Jesus. We also prayed for him. We were touched that he was receptive to the gospel message.

Praise God that we had this opportunity to share Jesus's love with those who do not know him. We pray that some will come to know Jesus eventually.

We may not be able to do great things, but we can do little things that show Jesus's love for them.

Note:

If you want to view all images like photos, clik on "View All Images" at the bottom of the slide screen.

You can see the title of each photo when you point your cursor on each of the photo.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A Real Christmas


Christmas is around the corner, and people are celebrating and sadly many will not remember its significant. People look forward to enjoy the eating, drinkng and exchange of gift, but we Christians should celebrate the Real Christmas, that is the reasons why Christ was born. He came to save us and to bring us peace, His kind of peace not ours. We have to face the reality of this hurting world, and He came so that we can bear such hurts. Read this devotion from Daily Bread.

This Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against. —Luke 2:34

A quotation in our church’s Advent devotional guide caused me to rethink my approach to Christmas:
“Let us at all costs avoid the temptation to make our Christmas worship a withdrawal from the stress and sorrow of life into a realm of unreal beauty. It was into the real world that Christ came, into the city where there was no room for Him, and into a country where Herod, the murderer of innocents, was king.
“He comes to us, not to shield us from the harshness of the world but to give us the courage and strength to bear it; not to snatch us away by some miracle from the conflict of life, but to give us peace—His peace—in our hearts, by which we may be calmly steadfast while the conflict rages, and be able to bring to the torn world the healing that is peace.”
When Mary and Joseph presented the infant Jesus to the Lord, Simeon said to them: “Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against (yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed” (Luke 2:34-35).
Christmas is not a retreat from reality but an advance into it alongside the Prince of Peace.
— David C. McCasland
Christ did not come to shield us from
The grief and pain of life;
But those who have His peace inside
Can thrive within the strife. —Sper

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

For Unto Us a Child is born

This is a devotion I read on christianity.com

This devotional was written by Jim Liebelt

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be upon his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. —Isaiah 9:6
Who would come to save the world? A powerful ruler? A mighty warrior? A skilled politician? Any of these expectations would make sense. But, God decided that Jesus would enter the world scene, just as we all have done, as a baby. As an adult, Jesus did not seek a political office. He did not come to overthrow governments. He came in obedience to do the will of His Heavenly Father. Through his obedience, and by His death and resurrection, He was proved to be the Son of God.

So bring Him incense, gold and myrrh;
Come peasant, king to own Him.
The King of Kings salvation brings;
Let loving hearts enthrone Him.
This, this is Christ the King
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing.
Haste, haste to bring Him laud,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.
(from What Child is This?)


The angel Gabriel told Mary, "You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end." Luke 1:31-33
We celebrate Christmas as the coming of Jesus, the Son of God, whom the Scriptures say will reign forever and ever.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Combined Christmas Celebration


On Sunday 13th Dec, we had a combined Christmas celebration. FBC,Agape Baptist, and Kota Samarahan Baptist came together for the first time after many years to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, our Saviour. The hall was filled to capacity. Praise the Lord!

We had three special guests, Pastor & Mrs.Leong and Pastor Richard Sim with us.

Pastor Leong and Mrs.Leong shared that they were very happy to be back to their original Church after so many years away. They spent 25 years in Sarawak. Pastor Leong is from Sabah. He shared that we all need to be rooted in God's Words. No matter what happened if we have God's Words we are on the right path. Mrs.Leong shared all these years, she has been guided by Psalm 23, "The Lord is our Shepard".

Pastor Richard Sim is back from Australia and he said it was like coming home because he used to serve in Kuching for a few years. Similarly he is from Sabah. Pastor Richard Sim shared on John 17 "Jesus's Prayers".

We also have Dr.Tommy Chung who gave the congregation a semon base on Isaiah 58:12 He spoke about the 4 "Rs" in this verse, "Rebuild", "Raise up", "Repair", and "Restore". He said these "Rs" were appropriate for the Baptist Church especially for year 2010. He said he was happy that several Baptist Churches can gather together to worship God and he was encouraged.

In addition to the mesages from the speakers there were singing and dance performances by the three Churches.

To welcome our guests light refreshments were also served to them.

We had a joyous celebration and getting to know each other from the different Baptist Churches.

"Thank you Lord for making all these possible and a big thank you to all in the Churches that made the celebration a success, Amen"

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Cell Meeting

Last evening we had our cell meeting at Brother Howe Tung's and Sister Chuei Lian's home again. Thanks to both for graciously allowing us to use their place.

Dr.Tan shared on subject of discipleship, what it means to be a disciple of Jesus. At the same time she also showed some pictures of Afganistan which she took while serving as a volunteer doctor a few years ago. Her experiences there touched her and people there.

Mrs.Ling shared how she is touched by many who arise to serve the Church. She said to herself that she may be busy but she wants to do something for the Church. That was encouraging to many people. After that Brother Nee Wen shared about the past few months, how our Church went through tremendous change. He could see the real hearts of many who chose to stay, they have hearts for our Church. Despite wanting to give up, God told him to stay and serve. He said he stay to serve and stay focus on Jesus and not on any man. This is the right attitude for all of us to follow. All in all he believed that we are stronger now and many people have arisen to serve God in our Church. He encouraged all of us to continue to build our Church and to be God centered.

Brother Nicholas shared about our Christmas activity to visit the old folks at Sarawak Hun Niam Siang Tng this coming 18th Dec. We will be showing the people the love of Jesus no matter who they are.

"Oh Father thank you for your blessings upon us and Lord for giving us strength to continue to build our Church because it is Your Church, and Lord also thank you that you gave us the ability to stay focus on You and no one else. We pray all these in Jesus Most Precious Name, Amen."

Watch this video of the beautiful people of Afganistan

The lady appearing at 0:35 is a famous picture featured by National Geographic magazine many years ago. Notice her grey-blue eyes.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Don't Lose Jesus At Christmas


In the midst of celebrating Christmas, even we Christians get caught up with the celebration like the secular world, and tend to lose sight of Jesus. But Christmas is all about Jesus, afterall it is His Birthday! Read this story that reminds us all.

"Thank You Lord Jesus for coming into this world to die for us".

"For many ... we don't have time for the baby Jesus. We're too busy 'celebrating Christmas,'" Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in southern California, said in a sermon Sunday.
In the midst of finding good deals at retail stores, holiday parties, and other activities that come with the Christmas season, it's easy to lose sight of God and turn Christmas into "Seasons Greetings," Laurie noted.
While people outside the church may be "hijacking" Christmas and turning it into "Winter Solstice" or simply a holiday, believers in the pews are also forgetting what Christmas is all about.
"You can be in the church, attending every Sunday and still lose sight of Jesus," Laurie pointed out.
"We get so busy ... with spiritual things. We can be so busy working for God, we miss God."
At the same time, the first things believers seem to cut out from their daily activities when pressed for time is studying the Word of God, praying, or even church, Laurie noted.
"Being a Christian is not rocket science," the evangelist said. "There are certain disciplines we need to have to grow spiritually" (i.e. regular Bible study and prayer).
"You don't get beyond that," he stressed.
Though Christians and others may have lost Jesus, Laurie proclaimed the good news that "God never loses sight of us."
"The message of Christmas is God is with us," he said. "You're the one who was lost, not God. And Jesus said he has come to seek and save that which is lost.
"Let's not lose Jesus at Christmas."

Source: christianpost.com

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Bible Society Stick to Real Story this Christmas

Nowadays, more people forget the true meaning of Christmas everywhere. In UK the Bible Society is doing their part, also in the US efforts are made to tell the real story. Please read on.

LONDON – More than five million stickers telling the real story of Christmas are being made available across the Untied Kingdom this season.
The stickers, produced by Bible Society, are designed to be stuck next to stamps on Christmas cards as a novel way of reminding people that Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Jesus.
“Christmas is at the heart of the Christian faith, yet year after year, there is no room in society’s inn for the nativity," said John Ranford, Bible Society Development Officer. "We want to put Christ’s birth at the center of everyone’s celebrations this year.”
Hundreds of Christmas Story stickers were handed out to shoppers in Ely last week to mark their nationwide launch.
The launch coincided with the Living Nativity staged by Churches Together in Ely to coincide with the turning on of the Christmas lights, in which three camels bearing wise men were led through the grounds of Ely Cathedral to a stable with Mary, Joseph, Jesus and a donkey.
Helen Wright, from Churches Together in Ely, said she was thrilled at the hundreds of people who had turned out for the event but encouraged people to remember the real meaning of Christmas.
“We staged the Living Nativity with real camels and, of course, Joseph, Mary, wisemen, shepherds and the sheep all playing their part,” she said.
“We just want to remind people about the good news that Christmas brings, in the midst of the consumerism that can blot out the love of God.”

Source:christianpost.com

Monday, December 7, 2009

Thank You God



Here is a devotion from Dailybread I read:

Reasons to Say Thanks

Did you ever find yourself staring at the words Thanksgiving Day on the calendar and wondering what in the world you had to be thankful for?
It could happen if a job loss makes you wonder how you'll ever get enough money to survive. Or if you have recently heard nothing but bad news from the doctor. Or if someone you had entrusted with your heart has broken it and run away.
The reasons we may find it hard to give thanks are as many as the troubles that strike us each day. Difficulties don't pause for a Thanksgiving break.
There is a way, however, to find reasons to be thankful during even the darkest episodes of life. When the curtain of struggles seems to block out all joy, we can choose to be thankful.
One way is to look into Scripture to see all the things we have to be thankful for, which have nothing to do with circumstances. Despite our trials, we can give thanks for God's unfailing goodness (Ps. 106:1); for God's holy name (Ps. 30:4); for deliverance from sin (Rom. 7:24-25); for victory over death (1 Cor. 15:56-57); for God's nearness (Heb. 13:5).
When all joy seems gone, we can still find reasons to thank God—even if it means thanking Him that our difficulties will one day be replaced by the joys of heaven. — Dave Branon
REASONS TO THANK THE HEAVENLY FATHER
The gift of His Son Jesus, who gives us eternal life.
The gift of earthly life to serve Him.
The gift of each other, so that we may enjoy community.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Sunday Service

This Sunday our Church has guests from Peninsula Malaysia, they were the King’s Kid, a ministry of Youth With A Mission(Ywan). There were about 20 or so children under the care of Pastor Voon.

Pastor Voon made a presentation of what the King’s Kids mission is about. They are raising children to be obedient to God and guiding them to live godly lives. A staff of Ywan shared about her life especially after her husband passed on in 1983, and how by grace of God her three children were given scholarships to continue tertiary education. One daughter is a doctor now.

Ken Jun a boy of 16 years shared how the Lord guided him over the years when he felt unhappy and tormented. He has been delivered since he came to Sarawak. Praise God!

Biblical Mandate for Evangelizing

Brother Poh Teck Lim shared on the above subject. He reminded us of FBC’s vision and mission. One important point is to fulfil the Great Commission.

From statistics he noted that the picture looks grime e.g 95% of the Christians never won any soul for Jesus Christ, only 2% are involved in mission work. Nevertheless we are not to be discouraged, but to continue to win souls for God.

Evangelism means speaking to non Christians everywhere, and eventually they may not be converted. We just need to spread the Words, God will convert them.

Mission means sharing gospel with cross cultural, language groups across countries, or within country. He quoted the work of Pastor Liaw in PNG.

Often time we felt that we are not ready to spread the gospel, but do not be discouraged, let us be committed and God will help us. He quoted the example of Moses who was reluctant to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. God gave him the abilities.

As Christians we need to be committed to want to spread the Gospel to the non believers. Brother Poh said, we can start with our relatives and friends, and later people we meet in the public. Sometimes, it may not be necessary to share specific Words, but to show by our actions. How we live our lives as Christians.

He quoted John Piper, “Go and tell mission, not come and see mission”.

Here is a video of the difference between evangelism and Mission by John Piper

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Cell Meeting


4th Dec, 2009

Last evening, again we had our Cell meeting at Brother Howe Tung’s and Sister Chuei Lian’s home.( 4 Cells combined) A “big thank” to both of them for hosting our meetings for the past several weeks. Thank you for your generosity.

Uncle Ben shared about his work in Prison Ministry. We would like to appreciate him, Brother Song, Pastor Kueh and Brother Chin for their efforts. Their work is not very well appreciated by others because they are low key as well the work involving just a few of them.

When asked why he decided to serve in the Prison ministry he quoted Luke 4:18 - 19

Since Uncle Ben started this ministry 15 years ago, his team has baptised 303 prisoners, mostly from Indonesia, China, India and Africa. Their team minister to the prisoners a few times each week. Uncle Ben and his team had special permission from the Prison Director. Now he also hold special permit to visit and share the Gospel with prisoners sentenced to death.

The Prison ministry here is also associated with Prison Ministry International, and they keep each other informed of prisoners in each other’s country. He related that was where he found that a Sarawakian prisoner in Perth who turned out to be the son of Uncle Ben’s former classmate!

The new prison is ready on the outskirt of Kuching which also has a women section. Uncle Ben advised that he needed ladies to help because only women are allowed to attend to women prisoners.

On behalf of our Cell, we thank Uncle Ben, Brother Song, Pastor Kueh and Brother Chin for their tireless work.

Next, Brother Chiew Chung Yii and Sister Lee Nah shared about their recent visit to Turkey. Brother Chiew said he realised Turkey’s significant connection with Christianity when he was there. He and Sister Lee Nah felt connected while visiting some Biblical sites in Turkey. The 7 churches in the Book of Revelation, namely Church of Ephesus, Church of Smyrna, Church of Pergamum, Church of Thyatira, Church of Sardis, Church of Philadelphia and Church of Laodicea were located in present day Turkey. In fact, mount Ararat where Noah’s Ark was reputed to have landed was also in Turkey. One can understand how Brother Chiew and Sister Lee Nah felt while visiting Turkey especially knowing that Apostle Paul passed those places centuries ago. How wonderful to feel walking on the ground once travelled by the great Apostle.

Brother Chiew also shared about the modern cities in Turkey like Istanbul and other great cities. It was an interesting sharing especially about those Biblical

Here is a video of Biblical sites in Turkey


Brother Chiew also mentioned they went to Cappadocia, where people used to lived in caves home. See picture.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

White Christmas


I suppose many of us in the tropic would like to experience a white Christmas. The snow and the whiteness seem to bring nostalgic feelings. Here is an interesting story about "white Christmas", and more importantly about the birth and life of our Lord Jesus, Our Savior God. Read on....

Christmas Day 1941, eighteen days after the devastating attack on Pearl Harbor. People found it hard to celebrate the "peace on earth, good will toward men" that usually brought comfort and joy during the holiday season. A day of pure celebration turned into one of dark despair.
And then on Christmas night, Bing Crosby sang White Christmas for the first time. In minutes people forgot the tragedy and their minds drifted into the beautiful lyrics reminiscing about a snow white Christmas.
Whether in a muddy foxhole in Europe or a modern family room in American suburbia, nothing says "the holidays are here" like White Christmas. Those words bring Christmas images to mind. A fire flickering on the hearth…the twinkle of lights on the tree…the aroma of sugar cookies….
The "white" in "Christmas" evokes so many seasonal memories. Snow evokes so many images that speak of the true meaning of the Christmas season.
Something about a baby in a manger echoes the purity of newly fallen snow. As it thaws and melts, it soaks the earth, preparing the ground for an explosion of new life each spring. It falls thousands of feet in silence and lands without a sound, reminding us that Christmas is a time to block out the noise of the world for at least a day. The uniqueness of each snowflake—scientists tell us no two snowflakes are alike—reminds us of the uniqueness of each person whom God's unique Son came to save.
Snow reminds me of the One whose birth we remember each year. Can anyone doubt the purity of the baby born in Bethlehem—the purity of His birth and His life? When Daniel the prophet saw the Ancient of Days, Daniel described His garment to be white as snow (Daniel 7:9).
A snow crystals' large number of reflective surfaces give it a white appearance as it reflects pure light. It is because He is pure that Jesus Christ can make us pure. After the heart of King David had been strained by the blackness of sin, he cried out to God, "Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow" (Psalm 51:7). His prayer was answered because the God of Israel had promised His people that He would take their scarlet sins and make them white as snow (Isaiah 1:18).
Like snow, Jesus brings new life. As "the snow from heaven…so shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it" (Isaiah 55:10, 11). By the Word which comes afresh to us at Christmas, we are saved and made whole: "For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord," a Savior who will "save His people from their sins" (Luke 2:11; Matthew 1:21). The life-giving snow of Christmas speaks of the life-giving Savior of Christmas.
The day is coming when all the earth will keep silence before Him. Even now, "The Lord is in His holy temple. Let all the earth keep silence before Him" (Habakkuk 2:20). Jesus was born into this world to be judged in our place. Rather than being silent in fear of judgment, we are moved to silence at Christmas because of God’s unspeakable Christmas gift.
God alone is God—there is no other (Deuteronomy 6:4; Job 23:13). And "there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). The uniqueness of every Christmas snowflake speaks of the uniqueness of our God and His "one and only Son" (John 3:16). Without Jesus, there would be no Christmas.
My prayer is that your days will be "merry and bright" because the radiant light of the King of kings has filled the manger of your heart, causing you to meditate on His purity, new life, silence, and uniqueness.
Whether you have snow or not, when you celebrate the One born to live, die, and come again for us, you'll have a White Christmas.

Source:christianity.com

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Christmas With a Capital "C"



Christmas is just around the corner, and we get to hear more Christmas songs now. This Christmas song is interesting,"Christmas with a capital "C". This reminded me of what my brother in law said about people spelling "Christmas" as "X mas". He said that was disrespectful, and I agree. Our Savior Jesus Christ, how can anyone spell His Birthday with an "X"? As Christians we have to be mindful of this thing and hold our Savior with high regard. He died for us on the cross. He is also called "Immanuel", "God with us".

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Over 150,000 American Signed Manhattan Declaration

Friday, Nov. 27, 2009 Posted: 2:52:54AM HKT Source:Sg.christianpost.com

U.S. - More than 150,000 people have so far signed the Manhattan Declaration, just a week after the document was unveiled.

And one of the document's drafters, Chuck Colson, hopes the number will soon reach a million so that Christians would put America on notice that they will not compromise their faith, no matter what.

Leaders from the evangelical, Orthodox and Catholic traditions released "The Manhattan Declaration: A Call of Christian Conscience" last week to stand firm on what they consider the three most foundational issues in society – the sanctity of life, the historic understanding of marriage, and religious liberty.

It serves as a proclamation to the nation's leaders that they will not abandon or compromise their conscience on the three issues and as a call to the Christian church to unite in upholding the truths as followers of Jesus Christ.

Jim Daly, president and CEO of Focus on the Family and who was among the leaders at the release, has called the document "a historic development within the American church."

"The document is a fresh and lively presentation, a renewed rallying cry to those who have been engaged in this historic effort of spiritual and cultural conversion," Daly stated in an e-mail Wednesday. "This is not a manifesto for culture war; it is a prescription for cultural change."

"This is a document that exhorts us to champion Christian truths in a Christian manner," he asserted.

The Manhattan Declaration, which was drafted last summer, comes as Christians feel the sanctity of human life, traditional marriage and freedom of religion and conscience are under assault. The original signers have stressed, however, that it is not a political statement and that the document could have been released 10 years ago or even 10 years later.

The message emphasized in the document is the same message Christians have been proclaiming for centuries but this is the first time Catholics, Orthodox believers and evangelicals have rallied together behind it, Dr. Timothy George, one of three leaders who drafted the document, noted last week.

Though the church leaders hope the time will not come when they would be compelled to practice civil disobedience, they say if American laws impinge on their conscience in any way (i.e. forced to conduct an abortion procedure), then they will not comply with the law in order to honor their own conscience.

"We pledge to each other, and to our fellow believers, that no power on earth, be it cultural or political, will intimidate us into silence or acquiescence," the declaration states. "It is our duty to proclaim the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in its fullness, both in season and out of season. May God help us not to fail in that duty."

Monday, November 30, 2009

A Little Boy Explanation of God



This is an interesting article of a boy's explanation of God I read on TheMalaysianmirror.com.

THIS IS FABULOUS! It was written by an eight-year-old named Danny Dutton, who lives in Chula Vista, CA. He wrote it for his third grade homework assignment, to 'explain God.' Could any us have done as well?
And he had such an assignment, in California, and someone published it. Guess miracles do happen!

EXPLANATION OF GOD:

'One of God's main jobs is making people. He makes them to replace the ones that die, so there will be enough people to take care of things on earth. He doesn't make grownups, just babies. I think because they are smaller and easier to make. That way he doesn't have to take up his valuable time teaching them to talk and walk. He can just leave that to mothers and fathers.'
'God's second most important job is listening to prayers. An awful lot of this goes on, since some people, like preachers and things, pray at times beside bedtime.. God doesn't have time to listen to the radio or TV because of this. Because he hears everything, there must be a terrible lot of noise in his ears, unless he has thought of a way to turn it off.'
'God sees everything and hears everything and is everywhere which keeps Him pretty busy. So you shouldn't go wasting his time by going over your mom and dad's head asking for something they said you couldn't have.'
'Atheists are people who don't believe in God. I don't think there are any in Chula Vista. At least there aren't any who come to our church.'
'Jesus is God's Son. He used to do all the hard work, like walking on water and performing miracles and trying to teach the people who didn't want to learn about God. They finally got tired of him preaching to them and they crucified him But he was good and kind, like his father, and he told his father that they didn't know what they were doing and to forgive them and God said O.K.'
'His dad (God) appreciated everything that he had done and all his hard work on earth so he told him he didn't have to go out on the road anymore. He could stay in heaven. So he did. And now he helps his dad out by listening to prayers and seeing things which are important for God to take care of and which ones he can take care of himself without having to bother God. Like a secretary, only more important.'
'You can pray anytime you want and they are sure to help you because they got it worked out so one of them is on duty all the time.'
'You should always go to church on Sunday because it makes God happy, and if there's anybody you want to make happy, it's God!
Don't skip church to do something you think will be more fun like going to the beach. This is wrong. And besides, the sun doesn't come out at the beach until noon anyway.'
'If you don't believe in God, besides being an atheist, you will be very lonely, because your parents can't go everywhere with you, like to camp, but God can. It is good to know He's around you when you're scared in the dark or when you can't swim and you get thrown into real deep water by big kids.'
'But...you shouldn't just always think of what God can do for you. I figure God put me here and he can take me back anytime he pleases.
And that's why I believe in God.'

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Prophetic Counterfeits


This morning, Brother Malcom shared with on the above subject. He said that when man prophesy you have to check whether these are true, when Scriptures prophesy you just obey.

Prophesy of man : 1 Thessalonians 5:19-22
1 Corinthian 14:29-40
Act 17:11

Prophesy of Scriptures: 2 Peter 1:20,21
2 Peter 3:15,16
2 Timothy 3:16

Things to be aware of arrogance, greed and immorality.

We are to focus on the genuine 2Peter 1:5-11, 2Peter 1:5-7, Galatian 5:22-26



Saturday, November 28, 2009

Pot Bless







Yesterday evening several Cells gathered at Brother Howe Tung and Sister Chuei Lian's residence for a pot-bless.

At the same time we celebrated the sixteen wedding anniversary of Brother Chung Check and Sister Phaik Im, as well as a farewell to Sister Celina who is going to work in Bangkok soon.

Sister Patricia invited her two Australian colleagues to join us. We all have a great time worshipping our God as well as played a game organised by Sister Sarah.

Oh Yeah! The foods were great and plentuful! We could even go for second rounds after the first round dinner. On top of that Brother Gui's son brought durians and many had a good time enjoying the King of fruits!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Are You Saved?

Your Thanksgiving Inventory



Be thankful for the appriopriate things.

Forever Thanks

Give thanks for the blessings
that daily are ours-
The warmth of the sun,
the fragance of the flowers.
With thanks for all the thoughtful,
caring things you always do
And a loving wish for happiness
today and all year through!


Helen Steiner Rice

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Condolence to Brother Nicholas

Just received news of the passing of Brother Nicholas's father. We have learnt about his sickness for sometime now.

On behalf of our Brothers and Sisters,our condolence to you Brother Nicholas on the passing of your father. May he rest in peace with our Lord.

On the Other Side of Death

Death is a gateway we all must pass through
To reach that fair land where the soul's born anew,
For man's born to die, and his sojourn on earth
Is a short span of years beginning with birth.
And like pilgrims we wonder until Death takes our hand
And we start on the journey to God's Promise Land-
A place where we'll find no suffering or tears,
Where time is not counted in days, months, or years.
And in that fair city that God has prepared
Are unending joys to be happily shared
With all our loved ones who patiently wait
On death's other side to open the gate.


Helen Steiner Rice

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Insurance Cut Over Facebook



Social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and others are indeed double-edged swords, they can help or harm. The recent news about a Canadian woman’s insurance claim was denied by the insurance company is a good example(read story below).
Our young people don’t seem to understand this problem from the ways they talked about themselves, their families, and uploaded all sort of pictures, one day these may come back to haunt them. I have read of a case where an employee said some damaging things about her employer on Facebook, she was found and fired! We need to warm our youngsters to be discerning and careful in putting information on the internet, pictures included. Nowadays, employers are checking thoroughly applicants, and the undesirable information on the net about oneself can be damaging.

Proverbs 10:19 (New American Standard Bible)

19When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable,
But he who restrains his lips is wise.


The second part of this proverb said it clearly to restrain what we say as in normal talking, and also writing a blog or on anything on social networking sites.

Insurance cut over Facebook bikini photos

By Agence France-Presse, The Washington Times, 22nd Nov, 2009
MONTREAL | Facebook can be a double-edged sword, a Canadian woman learned when an insurance company cut her health benefits, claiming she was healthy after seeing pictures of her smiling in a bikini at the beach.
Nathalie Blanchard, 29, took long-term sick leave from her job at IBM in Bromont, Quebec, more than a year ago for severe depression. She was receiving monthly benefits from her insurance company, Manulife.
When Ms. Blanchard called Manulife to inquire why the payments dried up, the insurance company said that "I'm available to work, because of Facebook," she told CBC television.
She said that Manulife cited several pictures Ms. Blanchard had posted on her social-networking Web-site page, including some showing her enjoying herself during a male strip-tease show at a Chippendales bar, celebrating her birthday and sunbathing.
Based on these postings, the firm claimed Ms. Blanchard was no longer depressed.
Manulife declined to comment on the incident, but said in a statement that "we would not deny or terminate a valid claim solely based on information published on Web sites such as Facebook."
But the company did recognize that it uses such information to learn more about its clients.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Five Signpost of a Healthy Church


Adapted from article by Jack Egger
As we re build our Church, we certainly would like to know how to build a healthy Church. Here are the five signposts.
These five signposts will tell you how to bring our church new strength.

Rediscover your purpose

Our Church has just revised our Vision and Mission in order to establish our purpose. We said “We are a Christ-centred Community impacting our city and beyond” This statement is in broad terms, and we as a Church has to fine-tune to specific purposes.

One of the most observable principles of physics is the law of entropy, which states that things left to themselves will degenerate and become useless. Unfortunately, the Church as an institution has historically been a reliable place to observe this law in action. For example, a telling passage in 2 Kings 22 highlights the "spiritual entropy" that plagued the Israelites throughout the Old Testament. In this chapter, we find the Temple in disrepair—literally falling apart to the degree that young King Josiah imports new stones and timber for its restoration.
Many of today's churches no longer rooted in the Great Commission, they have gradually succumbed to the attacks of entropy and have fallen into a rut of useless activity.
• Satan. The Great Commission embodies all that Satan hates and fears and so he will do everything in his power to destroy a Kingdom Lighthouse. Using the pride, fear and greed of individuals, he subtly bends the focus of a congregation inward, until it can only see itself.
• Division. The interests, experiences and cultural views of individual members, while positive for a congregation in terms of diversity, will hollow it out from the inside if there is no unifying purpose.
• Sin. When it is not dealt with biblically, the sin of individuals—especially church leaders—will tarnish the "light of the world" until it is cold, and dim and ineffective.

Return to the Original Vision

Take an active step by reshaping your original purpose into clear, compelling words that can be adopted and applied by all.
Have you ever experienced a "self-service" church? On the outside, these types of churches are hard to distinguish from other churches unless you know what to look for: a lack of fruit. These churches seek out volunteers, raise money and sponsor activities; but it seems as if their only goal in going through these motions today is to ensure that they will be able to go through them again tomorrow. In other words, their sole purpose for engaging in Christianity is to further the cause of Christianity, not to further the cause of God and bring Him glory through fulfilling His Great Commission.

Rededicate the Church Family

All the members of a Body must covenant to work together before positive steps can be taken and momentum established.
Nature abhors a vacuum and will seek to fill it with anything available. Similarly, no church really exists without a purpose. The problem is that so many churches today simply have the wrong purpose. The church is slowly dragged away from its original vision, which creates a vacuum, and that vacuum is quickly filled with whatever is most convenient and enjoyable.

Reorganize Your Approach to the Community

The church must take an honest look at the community surrounding it and eliminate any blind spots. It has to be relevant to the surrounding community.
Therefore, churches with a blind spot must reorganize their approach to the community and must do so using the examples of those who got it right. For example, in Acts 2, after the anointing of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, the followers of Jesus were emboldened to take their message to the streets using different languages to make sure they would be heard. They did not care that they were made fun of and ignored by some; they only cared that they were noticed, were given a chance to proclaim the good news, and were used by God to save the community around them. They had no blind spot.

Remember

Continually remembering, repenting and redoing your church's vision is essential for its vitality.

God expects us to remember. Throughout the Scriptures, He continually exhorts us to remember our experiences with Him, both good and bad. For example, the Israelites were commanded to remember the miracles of God through feasts and celebrations, such as the ceremony of Passover and the Feast of Booths (see Exod. 12:21-27; Deut. 16:13).
It is important to note that this type of spiritual memory is different from human memory. It bears no resemblance to a middle-aged man looking back at his glory days on the football field. Instead, this spiritual memory is focused on the present and the future. In other words, the primary function of spiritual memory is to relocate an original vision in order to adjust the present and prepare for the future.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Cell Meeting - 20th Nov 2009


For the last three weeks we had combined cell meetings because some cell leaders were not available. Sister Chuei Lian gathered our brothers and sisters to worship our Lord at their place as well as at Brother Ne Win’s place last night. Praise God that we can gather to glorify God !

Last night Brother Nicholas played a downloaded message about anti Christ from Corner Stone Community Church Singapore. Pastor Yang shared on this subject which is relevant to us as Christians. He quoted many verses and the main one was 2 Thessalonians 1-12. These verses instructed us not to be unsettled by prophesy of the last day and of anti Christ. As mentioned in the scripture the anti Christ is within the church. There is no need to look elsewhere, or to pin point anyone being the anti Christ. We have to guard ourselves. He said many famous preachers wanted to preach in their church, but he said their church has to find out whether the preachers believe in Jesus or not and also why they want to preach in their church. He was alarmed that many so called famous pastors do not preach the Words in the Bible, instead telling the Christians to depend on their spirits. Pastor Yang also dwelled on the pride of man. This also reminded me of teaching of Pastor Ben and Pastor Liaw about this subject. We must be humble, and not proud. In my previous post on pride, I quoted C.S Lewis who said, the proud cannot know God. Here Pastor Yang illustrated by a story. He was in Hong Kong attending a conference where many pastors from around the world attended. Some asked him which church he was from, he answered Corner Stone Community Church Singapore and he was the pastor. They said yes, they know the church but they had not heard about him. Pastor Yang exclaimed “Hallelujah Praise God!” because he was a nobody because he glorifies God and not himself. This is a real example for all of us. The proud cannot know God. God loves the humble, not for humble sake, but for a heart of humility towards all people.

Those who would like to listen to more sermons please log in to Corner Stone Community Church website.

God bless all of you.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Hearing God

Psalm 19:1-4 (New International Version)
For the director of music. A psalm of David.
1 The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
2 Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they display knowledge.
3 There is no speech or language
where their voice is not heard. [a]
4 Their voice [b] goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun.

Last Sunday during the prayer meeting, Brother Michael Wong was sharing and at one point he asked us to be quiet for a while to listen to God. In our prayer life perhaps we have been “talking” too much and we did not listen to God at all. Listen to hear from God. For any effective communication to occur both talking and listening are important.

Here is an article by John Wesley
( 1703-1791 ) about hearing God:

When a person is born of God, born of the Spirit, their existence changes drastically! Their whole soul is now aware of God, and they can say, by sure experience, “You discern my going out and my lying down, you are familiar with all my ways… You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me” (Psalm 139:3,5). The Spirit of God immediately breathes life into the new-born soul…and awakens all the senses of the soul, making them capable of discerning spiritual good and evil…All the darkness is now passed away, and the child of God lives in the light of God’s approval. Their ears are now opened, and voice of God no longer calls in vain. They hear and obey the heavenly calling. They know the voice of their Shepherd. All their spiritual senses being now awakened, they have a clear course of communication with the invisible world. Consequently they know more and more of the things which before their hearts could not begin to understand. They now know what the peace of God is. They possess joy in the Holy Spirit. They have experienced the love of God which has been poured out into their hearts.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Sum of All Prayers


This is an article on prayer that I just read in my devotional Bible.

Mathew 6:9 “This then is how you should pray……”

Thomas Aquinas believed that everything we need to know is found in three documents: The Apostles’ Creed tells us what to believe; the Ten Commandments tell us what to do; and the Lord’s Prayer tells us what to pray.

The Lord’s Prayer is like a compass. It points to our true north, God’s heart, and when we know that, we can discern east, west and south. In other words, when we are clear on God’s priorities, all other concerns fall into their proper place. The Lord’s Prayer purifies our longings and desires, and gives them proper expression. Every area of our lives can be hung on the pegs of its petitions.

Clearly, Jesus meant for the Lord’s Prayer to be repeated, not as meaningless repetitions, but as meaningful repetition. It can be like Christmas tree, on which we hang our own “decorations”, our own prayers. Or it can be like a map: The directions are there, but we must take the trouble to travel, to pray them. Each direction, each guideline, says, “pray this way”:

That God’s name be hallowed, revered, held in awe and adored. The beginning of wisdom, afterall, is the fear of the Lord ( See Psalm 111:10, Proverbs 1:7).

The God’s kingdom come, that he sovereignly bring about the glorious day when the earth will be as full of the knowledge of him as the waters that cover the sea ( See Isaiah 11:9), that every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord ( See Philippians 2:10-11).

That God’s will be our food and drink as we work and wait for his kingdom
( See John 4:34).

That God give us what we need in the meantime: our bread, our necessities, whatever we need to persevere ( See Matthew 6:25-34).

That God forgive our sins. Isn’t it lovely that Jesus teaches us to wait before we talk to God about our sins – to speak first to God about God before we speak to God about us?

That we be protected from every evil as we struggle in this spiritual warfare for God’s rule on earth ( See Ephesians 6:10-12).

Monday, November 16, 2009

God Opposes the Proud


Proverbs 3:34 (New International Version)
34 He mocks proud mockers
but gives grace to the humble.



James 4:6 (New International Version)
6But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:
"God opposes the proud
but gives grace to the humble."


In many ways many of us are proud in certain ways, and at times in our lives we may have been proud because of what we did. Even if we thought we were not proud, other people may perceive us differently. I am guilty of this too. The way I see it is that as a Christian, I try my best to be humble and also to show that I meant it. Of course, there will be times when no matter how we present ourselves, others will still say that we are proud people. What really matters is that we must be genuinely humble, because we are answerable to God. It must be from our heart. It is also His command that we should not be proud as illustrated in the above verses. I have been thinking about this subject, and recently the two speakers Pastor Ben and Pastor Liaw really showed us how to be humble from the way they live their lives. They follow the foot steps of Jesus closely, and show the love of God to people they are in contact. Pastor Liaw said it clearly, by his human capability he cannot love, but the love he shows came from God. God gave him the ability to love, and to provide services like a servant who is never proud of what he does.

C.S Lewis said in his book “Mere Christianity”, “A long as you are proud you cannot know God. A proud man is always looking down on things and people: and, of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you”.

Really as Christians we have no reason to be proud.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Pastor Liaw from PNG


Pastor Liaw and Mrs.Liaw are missionaries to Papua New Genuine(PNG). Pastor Liaw hails from Sarawak. They have two grown daughters Joys and Mercy. Their main aim was to translate the Bible to the native PNG language. They served among the Hinihon, Perare, and Hinangave people. These villages are deep in the jungle and to get there they have to track many hours to reach the villages.

Mrs. Liaw said that about 27 years ago she suffered from severe kidney problem and had to be treated regularly. She did not know how long she will live so she worked for a Christian organisation in Kuala Lumpur, and at the same time she could get treatment from the general hospital there. Pastor Liaw studied at a Bible college (MBS) for one year in Kuala Lumpur.

After his studies, the Liaws went to Papua New Genuine( PNG). Pastor Liaw said it was a calling, because otherwise he would not have the strength to go to such remote place. They faced many challenges there, and because of God’s love and grace they were able to continue with their work there. They have two assistants whose education was about form three level and they helped with the Bible translation. Because of their limited knowledge of the Bible, most of the work had to be done by the Liaws.

Pastor Liaw shared with our congregation Matthew 9:35-38. In particular verse 37

37Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field."

The harvest field is large but there are few people to help. People asked Pastor Liaw why did he reach out to PNG villagers when he could have gone to China to touch many lives. He said going to PNG was his calling. Like Jesus, he wanted to touch individual live. People asked him it is worthy it to do so much for so few people? ( The village the Liaws is based has about 1250 people. PNG has 5 million people). He said as long as he can love the people like Jesus it is worth it.

He said in today’s world people find their worth in the work they do, things they have and depended on themselves. He said his self-worth is on Jesus and not on any other things. If he depended on his own strength he cannot survive in PNG. If he depended on his own love, he cannot love the PNG people like what he is doing now.

Pastor Liaw is really living like Jesus and love like Jesus. He and his wife is such an inspiration to our congregation. Recently Pastor Ben Wong has preached that we need to love people more and to build up relationship with each other. Indeed, Pastor Liaw’s sharing is a good example for us to learn how to love one another like Jesus did.

Pastor Liaw said one of the important lessons he learnt is to get away from self-fulfilment through performance and result orientation. Like many present mega church pastors, they look to growing their churches. People became statistics. That should not be, we should love people. He urged us to obtain our fulfilment from Jesus alone and not from anyone or any other things.

Papua New Guinea

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Honouring Your Father and Mother

2"Honor your father and mother"—which is the first commandment with a promise— 3"that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth."[a]
Ephesians 6:2-3

Other verses : Exodus 20:12, Deuteronomy 4:1, 40, Hebrews 5:1-6, Mark 7:6-13, Matthew 15:1-9. Isaiah 29:13, 1 Timothy 5:3-8, 16

Last night at our cell meeting, Brother Malcom led us through the subject of honouring our father and mother. This is an important command of God written in the Bibles, and also a reminder to the present younger generations.

Four groups were formed to discuss about how we honour and dishonour our parents. Later we discussed about what we shared in each group.

From the heart – we said honouring our parents must be from the heart, things we really want to do for our parents and not as our duties.

With respect – we honour with respect for they being our parents because it was because of them that we are around now. Brother Jong shared that “h” in word “honour” is silent, so it is about the heart.

Getting them involved – even though our parents may be old, get them to join in decisions that relates to the family to let them know they are part of the family. Decisions can be simple ones.

Emotional needs- be aware of their emotional needs, and not only physical needs. They are our parents treat them accordingly.

Spiritual needs – foe example, they may have pains and aches, we have to pray for them and with them.

As discussed during the meeting there are many challenges in looking after elderly parents especially when they are physically disabled, like suffering from dementia. Physically we may not be able to cope, but we have to pray to God to help us in helping our parents. Brother Malcom shared how Pastor Ben Wong took care of his elder mother by talking to her daily although she could not recognise him at times.

Friday, November 13, 2009

My Redeemer

See video on the opening page.

Redemption Defined: To be set free from captivity or slavery.

In Old Testament times, it was required that sacrifices be made to cover the penalty of sin. This temporary redemption involved offering food and animal sacrifices as a substitution for the sin of the people in the tabernacle. The Jewish people were waiting for the promised Messiah who would provide one final blood sacrifice for all sins. The animal sacrifices covered sins temporarily, but the Messiah would take away sin permanently.

O Israel, put your hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love and with him is full redemption. He himself will redeem Israel from all their sins. (Psalm 130:7, 8) (NIV)

And in Jesus, the promise of the Messiah was fulfilled. His substitution for our sins has redeemed us - set us free from sin.

But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. (Hebrews 2:9) (NAS)

“The central theme of redemption in Scripture is that God has taken the initiative to act compassionately on behalf of those who are powerless to help themselves. The New Testament makes clear that divine redemption includes God's identification with humanity in its plight, and the securing of liberation of humankind through the obedience, suffering, death, and resurrection of the incarnate Son.” (Excerpted from Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology)

Source: www.christianity.com

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Fellowship With God and With Others in the Church


The previous post was about love, here is another article also about love from a devotion which is meaningful.

“Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God.”

3 John 11

Love needs truth to have a backbone. A concern for the truth will determine the proper boundaries between what is faith and what is not. Love needs the support of sound doctrine to be effective. By itself, mere passion can be foolish or destructive. The proper order in the life of the church is “ready, aim, fire”, not “ready, fire, aim”.

But truth needs love, too. John’s concern in this memo is that the church be loving and hospitable, “so that we may work together for the truth”. Let the emphasis here fall on the word “together”. Jesus said the greatest argument for the truth of the gospel would be the unity of his people. Note that he didn’t say the greatest argument for the truth would be an argument! Beyond words and powerful rhetoric, as important as they are is the love of Christ manifest in Christ’s people. The truth is credible only when we proclaim it in the way live together. That’s why Diotrephes is such a dangerous man. He “loves to be first”, gossips maliciously, refuses to welcome other Christian leaders, and even goes to great lengths to prevent others from doing so. That means he is more than an irritant in the church, he is an enemy of the truth.

Pray for your church. Pray that the truth of Christ will be commended to outsiders by the way you live together. Shun absolutely gossip and slander, backbiting and competition, so you can pray and work together.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Love Believes All Things


Pastor Ben Wong spoke about building relationship in our church and its involves loving others. Sometimes we may feel certain people do not "deserve" our love. However, as Christians we are taught to humble ourselves and love each other like Jesus Christ loves us. We all can learn a little from the Daily Bread article below. Today's verses appearing on your left margin is also appropriate 1John 4:16-21

[Love] believes all things, hopes all things. —1 Corinthians 13:7



It was 40 years ago or more that I observed a friend of mine showing great affection for someone I considered unworthy of love. I thought my friend was being taken in, and I was afraid he would be disillusioned and saddened in the end.

When I expressed my concern, he replied, “When I stand before my Lord, I hope He’ll say of me that I’ve loved too many, rather than too few.” I’ve never forgotten his words.

Paul insists that “[love] believes all things” (1 Cor. 13:7). Love “believes” in people. It can see the potential in them. It believes that God can take the most unattractive and unworthy individual and turn that person into a masterpiece of beauty and grace. If love errs, it must err in the way of trustfulness and hopefulness.

Certainly, we must be aware of danger when we see it coming, and become “as wise as serpents” (Matt. 10:16). Tough love may be the best response to irresponsible and foolish people, but we can be too guarded, too wary and distrustful.

It doesn’t do us any real harm to be hoodwinked and defrauded (Matt. 5:38-48). It’s better to believe in someone and have your heart broken than to have no heart at all. British poet Alfred Tennyson wrote, “ ’Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” I agree. — David H. Roper

Lord, help us to believe in people
And all that in them You can do,
So we can say we’ve loved too many,
Rather than too few. —Sper

Love looks beyond what people are to what they can become.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Corrie Ten Boom 1892-1983

Corrie ten Boom, a prayer warrior who risked her life to hide Jews from the Nazis during World War 1. Her life story is inspiring, especially of her faith in God and also of her prayer life. Here is her story extracted from a devotion.

Then Help Me. Lord

Her prayer was simple and desperate, “Lord Jesus, protect me!”. It was all she could gasp out as the Gestapo beat her. Demanding to know where her family had hidden the Jews. She kept her secret. That night, in jail, her father led the family in devotions from Psalm 91: “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty”. The ten Booms had hidden Jews from Nazis, surely God Would shelter and hide them, too. However, in the months that followed, Mr.ten Boom died in prison, and Corrie and her sister Betsie were sent to the infamous concentration camp Ravensbruck. There, Betsie also died after months of intense suffering.

Corrie ten Boom grew up in a family that was amous for its hospitality. After Worl War 1, Germany was filled with thousands of deprived and malnourished people. Although the tem Booms lived in the Netherlands, Mr.ten Boom, as president of the International Watchmakers, arranged for many needy Germans to be taken into the homes of the members of his organisation. Four young children came to live with his family.

The ten Booms also reached out to their community. Corrie ten Boom started a youth club. Its first law was “Seek Your Strength Through Prayer”. She could not have known then how prophetic that law would be for her personally.

It was only natural that the ten Booms family would open their home to hide fugitive Jews during the beginnings of the Second World War. It was also only natural that Corrie ten Boom would find strength in prayer to endure the awful punishment the Nazis wreaked when they caught her and her family. The story of her struggles in Ravensbruck and the faithfulness and grace of God for such a time is a classic example of the power of prayer.

Years after the war, Corrie ten Boom spoke at a church in Germany, telling again of God’s amazing faithfulness in dark places and the need to forgive enemies. After the service, to her surprise and profound discomfort, she saw a former Ravensbruck guard walking her way with his face beaming and his nand extended. “Thank you for the message”, he said. “Isn’t it wonderful that Jesus has washed my sins away?” His hands was still extended as hers hung limply at her side. He was the one who had stood by leering as she, Betsie and other prisoners were forced to strip naked to enter the showers. Rage rose up inside, “I can’t do it, Lord. Don’t ask me for this; it’s too much”.

Then she remembered the message of forgiveness she had preached all over the world and in that place just moments before. She also remembered the many times the Lord had answered her simple, desperate prayers. “Then help me, Lord”. She prayed silently. She felt a power rush through her arm and a warmth enter her mind, as she extended her hand and shook his. Once more she cried out to Jesus to help her, and once more he had given her strength.