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

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!


'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.'
' 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.


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)


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.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Brother Ching Nam Sharing on Sunday

Ephesians Ch 6:10-19

Brother Ching Nam shared on the above verses on Sunday. He said he base most of his sharing from Watchman Nee’s work. Acording to him Watchman Nee used word “Stand” to illustrate Ephesians chapter 6.

We are living in the world where Satan is attacking Christians. However, not all bad things are from Satan, some are from ourselves. For example if we eat fatty foods most of the time we are bound to have high cholesterol.

Watchman Nee used “Stand” as defensive weapons unlike present day weapons which are mostly offensive ones. The Lord has done everything. And He fights differently from us. If we fight on our own we will lose.

Like Job he was a righteous man, and Satan could not do anything to him if God did not allow Satan his ways. If we are attack by Satan let us wear the armour of God to defend ourselves. When we face trials, rest on the Lord. Have faith trust in the Lord. Do not be afraid come to the Lord He will lift us up.

Examine ourselves and come to the Lord. In Jesus everything is accomplished. Satan thought he has won when Jesus was crucified, but he was wrong. Now people rise up representing Jesus all over the world.

Why does God trust us so much? He trusted us because we have Jesus in us.

Let us shift from man-centred to Christ centred.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Henri Nouwen-Being the Beloved

Henri Jozef Michiel Nouwen (Nijkerk, January 24, 1932 - Hilversum, September 21, 1996) was a Dutch Catholic priest and writer who authored 40 books on the spiritual life. His books are widely-read today by both Protestants and Catholics alike. The Wounded Healer, In the Name of Jesus, Clowning in Rome, The Life of the Beloved and The Way of the Heart are just a few of the more widely recognized titles. After nearly two decades of teaching at the Menninger Foundation Clinic in Topeka, Kansas, and at the University of Notre Dame, Yale University and Harvard University, he left to share his life with mentally handicapped people at the L’Arche community of Daybreak in Toronto, Canada. He died in September of 1996 from a sudden heart attack. His spirituality was influenced by many, notably by his friendship with Jean Vanier. At the invitation of Vanier he visited L’Arche in France, the first of over 130 communities around the world where people with developmental disabilities live and share life together with those who care for them. In 1986 Nouwen accepted the position of pastor for a L’Arche community called "Daybreak" in Canada, near Toronto. Nouwen wrote about his relationship with Adam, a core member at L’Arche Daybreak with profound developmental disabilities, in a book entitled Adam: God’s Beloved. Father Nouwen was a good friend of the late Joseph Cardinal Bernardin.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

God Answering Prayers

Hallelujah! Praise God! Last Sunday at the prayer meeting one of our elder-sister arranged for a sister J.C from Chinese church to be prayed for because she was scheduled for an operation on Wednesday. At the same time she is pregnant therefore the operation may lead to complication. Our church prayed for her. On Thursday our elder-sister informed that the operation was a success! Praise God for His faithfullness and His protection. Let us continue to pray for her speedy recovery.

Those who are in need of prayers you are encouraged to approach any elders so that prayers can be arranged.

"Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective."
James 5:16

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Love For Each Others

Recently in Pastor Ben Wong's sharing in our church, he urged us to build relationship with each other as well as to love one another. According to him, and I believe we can agree that it is an important first step for us to build lasting relationship with our family, friends and fellow brothers and sisters. This is also one of the teachings of Jesus.

Romans 12:9-13

9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord's people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

In the process of re building our church let us endeavour to love others in the church as well as those outside there.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Five Fingers Prayer

Prayer is the "life blood" of a Christian, and we know it is important to us. I recalled Dr.Wong shared about the five fingers prayer in our previous cell group. While reading The Daily Bread I rediscovered it. Here it is:

Prayer is a conversation with God, not a formula. Yet sometimes we might need to use a "method" to freshen up our prayer time. We can pray the Psalms or other Scriptures (such as The Lord's Prayer), or use the ACTS method (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication). I recently came across this "Five-Finger Prayer" to use as a guide when praying for others:
• When you fold your hands, the thumb is nearest you. So begin by praying for those closest to you—your loved ones (Philippians 1:3-5).
• The index finger is the pointer. Pray for those who teach—Bible teachers and preachers, and those who teach children (1 Thessalonians 5:25).
• The next finger is the tallest. It reminds you to pray for those in authority over you—national and local leaders, and your supervisor at work (1 Timothy 2:1-2).
• The fourth finger is usually the weakest. Pray for those who are in trouble or who are suffering (James 5:13-16).
• Then comes your little finger. It reminds you of your smallness in relation to God's greatness. Ask Him to supply your needs (Philippians 4:6,19).
Whatever method you use, just talk with your Father. He wants to hear what's on your heart.

Our prayers ascend to heaven's throne
Regardless of the form we use;
Our Father always hears His own
Regardless of the words we choose.
—D. De Haan

Monday, November 2, 2009

Sunday Service Sharing by Pastor Ben Wong

Pastor Ben started his sharing by relating about church growth in China. When the communist took over in China, all churches were shut down and many pastors and priests were sent to prisons. Despite the dire circumstances, the church grew in China, and members grew more than double during this time. In Hong Kong, since 1997 (H.K was given back to China) till today church grew 100%.

Pastor Ben is a very humorous pastor and many of us have not seen such pastor before. His presentation was filled with experiences that he acted out to tremendous laughter’s from the congregation. Many had not laughed so much in their church lives! That was good, it helped members to relax and pay attention to him.

He said it was good that we are going through hard times because hard times build us up. The bad times are our good times! Without bad times we get too comfortable and we do not do anything useful for God. In bad times, God moulded us and set “fire” to refine us.

He shared on Matthew Ch 16:18 “And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it”.

God said He will build the church and He is not depending on other people. In the Old Testament times the people wanted human kings, but not God, so God gave them kings. However, from history we know that most kings were evil.

Pastor Ben related that when he was young he did badly in school and his report card contained many red marks, therefore his parent punished him by locking him in a room. Pastor Ben was the number eight child, and his surname is “Wang” in Chinese, if one were to translate that, his name was “Wang Pak(8 in Chinese ) tang” which means a rascal ! That really brought the house down! Since, young he had low self esteem, but over the years he learnt and grew in the Lord, and of course later he became pastor of his church.

He went to church as a young boy and he noticed that some elders had more than one wives. He questioned the elders but they asked him to shut up and said he did not know as he was a kid. Later he noticed that many came by Mercedes cars, and he realised that the church tolerated such elders because they could donate large sum of money, and if they go the money will go too. From than on he said he will not go to such church and he quit church at age 16 years. Only later at 19 years old when he studied in Australia he was born again. He promised God that he will not have anything to with church that go after financial gains.

According to him, church buildings are not important. Buildings confine people within. Let us look outward. The more important things of church is people. It is the people that build the church. We need to build relationship with each other. In fact we should love one another like Jesus loves us. Let us love other people too.

Be One accord with God. He prophesied that God will re build FBC to a greater height. God said "fear not, I am with you”.

We thanked Pastor Ben for sharing with all of us. His visit was indeed timely and only God could have arranged such visit. Infact, he was not suppose to speak to us as he was on holiday to visit one of our Brothers who was his classmate in Australia.

Thank you Lord for Pastor Ben.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Revival Hymn Redux

Pastor Benjamin Wong's Sharing

30th Oct and 31st Oct, 2009

On the evening Friday 30th Oct, 2009 Pastor Benjamin Wong from Hong Kong shared with us in church. He is popularly known to his congregation as “Ah Ben”(Chinese name Wong Lee Min). He shared with the congregation about his experiences in founding his church of about 2,000 members. He is a very humorous man and he made many laugh with his action packed examples.

His church, Shepherd Community was started 22 years ago by 3 pastors and 2 lay persons. It seem impossible at that time, but by grace of God his church grew. The church did not solicited nor organised funds raising events. All their needs were obtained by prayers. Pastor Ben said his inspiration came from Hudson Taylor, one of the earliest missionaries in China.

In Hong Kong 70% of people are of lower income, 30% higher income. 98% of the churches serve the higher income group, only 2% serve the lower income. There his church’s mission is to serve the “grass root” as he puts it. The church aimed to carry out the great commission.

Another objective of his church is mission. At present his church has 200 missionaries ready to serve overseas, 50 of them are already in the fields of Japan, North Vietnam, South Thailand and Indonesia. They are going into Pakistan soon. This is like the early church that sent missionaries to the surrounding regions to convert people.

In the 70s Asia was the slowest in terms of growth in Christianity, however, in 2006 survey showed that Asia was the fastest in growth. Pastor Ben has been working on his mission and now he is seeing fruits of his labour.

Pastor Ben said we should get into the basic again. He had a saying in Chinese that translates, “Raise the banner of Jesus to the highest, take His Words like you dig deep into the roots”.

On 31st evening, the meeting was informal and members sat in circle. Pastor Ben shared on cell church and how his church became a cell church. In his church, they do not have permanent building like many big churches. Their members meet in rented places such as community halls in housing estates. Once a month all members come together to worship in a large hall. Pastor Ben learnt from Ralph Neighbour how to start the cell church. Earlier on his church was like other churches, until he adapted the cell church concept and the church meet in various places on Sundays. Larger congregation has about 500 members, and many in 100s. According to him many churches grew to very large sizes, at the same time the pastors became inward focus on themselves rather than God. Pastors became proud and loss touch of the people. This is what we all have to be careful about. In his church everyone dresses casually in t-shirts and you cannot tell doctors, lawyers, labourers, and ordinary people apart. In fact, people do not address him as “pastor” but “Ah Ben”.

Again he dwelled on the basic of Christianity. That is building love relationships with all members. God first love us now we are able to love others. Basically Christianity is not so much about theology and the Bible, but essentially about life and our relationship with each other as Christians. He said when you see God later, he is not going to ask you how much you know the Bible, but he is certainly to ask you how much and whom you have loved. The church is about people. It is usually difficult to keep people after you convert them. We need to get down to basic of loving people, build relationships, respect people, and everyone is important.

One of our brothers asked him about his opinion of spiritual father because during the sharing he shared how his spiritual father in Australia treated him when he was a student there. It appeared it was more like a father-son relationship, rather than any thing else. Since this person was like a father to him, and he was a Christian who treated Ben like a son much more than his own father treated him, so he called him “spiritual father”. Therefore, it was not meant to be anything more than this kind of relationship. Certainly he did not make his spiritual father like some kind of a “god.”

In relation to building relationship in family and in the congregation, he shared on 4 types of power:

1. Powerless-like a husband delegating headship to his wife.
2. Power by force-like employer threatens to fire an employee
3. Power by coercion-like telling a child he can have an ice cream if he behaves.
4. Biblical Power-power by honour, the type used by Jesus. He served the people.


It has been valuable sharing by Pastor Benjamin. We thank God that he sends him in our midst in time of our greatness needs. We just faced a tremendous change in our church which was not seen in years, and he came along to share with us his experiences, both successes and failures. Getting down to basic Biblical teaching of love-relationship is what we certainly can learn from him. The other important thing is to have faith in God through prayers. His church is driven by prayers in all that they do.

Praise God for His faithfulness and love for our Church that he sends Pastor Ben to us just as we needed help. Hallelujah Praise God!