Sunday, July 31, 2011

Short Term Mission From Hong Kong

On Saturday our Church's Mandarin and English congregations hosted a home-cooked dinner for a group of fellow Christians from Hong Kong who are here for a short term mission. They came here through the connection of Pastor Ben Wong from Shepherd Community Church, Hong Kong. This group of 11 young students led by Pastor Edwin and Pastor Michael Lau. They are from four different churches in Hong Kong who gathered purposely to come here to visit long house near Sri Aman area, about 200 Km from Kuching city. During the week, they have already visited the long houses and spent a night at a long house.

We thank God for their visit because they also blessed our church with their testimonies. On Saturday evening after worship, a few of their members share the testimonies of their visit here. We are very encouraged to see these young people pouring their love for strangers because they have God's love in them. The main theme of all their testimonies was love for our neighbors.

On Sunday morning, a few more members shared in all three congregations, Mandarin, English, and Bahasa (Malay). Again our members were touched by their stories.

Pastor Michael Lau followed with s sermon on hospitality referring to Luke 14: 16-24.

Our brothers and sisters from Hong kong will be going back on Tuesday.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

In Memory of John Stott

John Stott a great Servant of our Lord has just gone to the Lord. Christianity Today called him an Architect of 20th Century Evangelism. You can read a detail account of his life and work by Christianity Today by clicking the title of this post.

Good-bye to Uncle John.

Breivik Claimed He Is A Christian

The question is whether terrorist Anders Behring Breivik is a Christian as he claimed to be one. This question is of concern to all true Christians because the press has been calling him a "Christian Terrorist", and as such has negative implications on all Christians. People are associating his actions and motives with the Christian beliefs and this will give Christianity a bad name.

In his 1,500 pages manifesto he said about being a Christian “If you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and God then you are a religious Christian. Myself and many more like me do not necessarily have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and God. We do however believe in Christianity as a cultural, social, identity and moral platform. This makes us Christian.”

From his own admission, you can discern that he is just a nominal Christian or a cultural Christian. The teaching in the Bible commands us to have a personal relationship with God, like each individual can communicate with God and follow His commands and instructions. But Breivik said he does not have such relationship with God.

There are four Biblical means to confirm one's claim to be a Christian:

1. Do I believe the gospel?

2. Am I a member of a doctrinally sound local church where this gospel is preached and members strive to confirm only professions of faith that are credible?

3. Do I submit to church discipline, lovingly, graciously, and faithfully administered?

4. Am I making continual progress toward inward godliness, fueled by the indwelling Holy Spirit, not legalism?

From the news that have been reported about Breivik's actions and claims, he does not seem to comply with any of the four "standards".

This question of whether one is a Christian is a lesson to all of us. We have to examine ourselves and take sock of whether we are really Christians and true disciples of Jesus.

To read an article of this subject click on the title of this post.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Norway Turning to God

Again, the world is numbed by the evil killing of about 92 innocent lives in Norway recently. One resident said it reminded him of 9/11 in the US. It is real sad that so many innocent people died needlessly in the hand of just one person. This murderer even called himself a fundamental Christian.

Why such evil exist we do not know. Many will ask why God does not prevent such evil from happening. It appears that this is a very old question that has been asked whenever evil events happened. No one has the answer.

Like the story of Job in the Bible. Job suffered so much he lost everything, yet he did not curse God as he was instructed by his wife. Instead he stayed close to God. We do not know why evil is allowed to exist, but one thing for sure, we know God is with His people.

"Even though I walk through the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me, your rod and your staff, they comfort me,"(Psalm 23:4)

People of Norway are nominal Christians and in this time of needs people are turning to God as many are attending churches. The churches there are also opened in shifts to cater to the spiritual needs of this wounded people.

As long as we live in this world, we are going to face evil of one kind of another. However, we can be comforted to know that our loving God will always be with us no matter what evil is being imposed on people.

God said "I will never leave you nor forsake you". Hebrews 13:5

To read an article of the tragedy in Norway click on the title of this post.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Internet The Greatest Threat To Christianity

Apologist Josh McDowell said the internet is the greatest threat to Christianity. What meant to be a great tool, may become a great threat to not only Christians but the morality of people all over the world. Nowadays, many people even in the third world has access to the internet. He said the internet has given non believing people and ideas access to our children who are vulnerable to negative influences.

"The Internet is weakening Christian witness and “we better wake up to it because it’s just beginning.” McDowell added that his greatest asset, value-wise, used to be his time until a year and a half ago. “My greatest asset now is my focus. There is so much out there just one click away, what am I going to focus on?”

McDowell, who considered himself an agnostic before accepting Christ, warned that the sexual immorality through the Internet was “marginalizing the maturity of the witness of Christ…all over the world.” It’s an “invasive, intruding immorality… that is all just one click away.” He said the majority of questions young people ask him are about sex, mainly “oral sex.”

Just the other day I was watching Oprah Winfrey show and the topic of discussion was how pedophiles used the internet social network sites to befriend young children. Although the show was taped in 2008, I believe the problem is now more extensive than before.

This news is a warning message to us here and if we want our children to be brought up as Christians we have to instil in our children God's Words and His commands. I believe it is not too late because God has promised His people He will not leave nor forsake us if we are willing to follow Him.

To read the full article click on the title of this page.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

How To Empower Your Future

On Sunday, our church had the privilege of Dr.Paul Ang from SIB, KL to speak to our combined congregation (Englist, Madarin and Bahasa). Dr.Ang has spoken at our church last year when we went through a season of difficulties.

His sermon is as above. Basically he asked how we see our future. It is in God's hands or in our hands? He referred to Deu 30:15 - 20 the Israelites were instructed to follow God otherwise they will be destroyed. Dr.Ang shared a story of a young man asking a wise man what will happen to a butterfly he holds in his hand if he releases it. This young man thought he got this wise old man, because if he says it will live, the young man will squeeze it to death, if he says
it will die, he will release it unharm. But the wise man answered, it depends on you, what you will do to this butterfly. Our live is in God's hand as well as in our hands.

Dr.Ang shared 4 points where we can empower our future:

1. Need to release your past

We cannot do anything about our past, it is like a cancelled cheque. Do not waste time living in the past but move on.

2. Maximize your presence

What do you have now? In the story of Naomi in Ruth chapter 1, she got Ruth although her husband and sons died. Is there something God has given us that we can use? Count your blessings, and do not complaint. If you have a Proton car (cheaper car) do not crave for a BMW ( expensive ) because you will cry when you have to pay for servicing it!

3. Trust God for your future

You life is in whose hands ? It is God as well as your hands. If you evil man can give good gifts to your children, how much more our heavenly Father will give us his children. Trust the Lord for your future. He is the author and finisher.

4. Dream your dreams

What do you see yourself when you are 85 years old ? Old and waiting to die? Dr. Ang shared when he was about 10 years old he dreamed of seeing snow and autumn scenery. God answered when he had the chance to visit Scotland during winter. He saw autumn scenery when he was on his way from Washingston state, US traveling to Vancouver on a preaching assignment. This story may not seem dramatic, but you must realize that Dr.Ang had never been oversea before.

Dr.Ang advice :

A) Be young, energetic, and strong
B) Hopeful and purposeful
C) Helpful and stay focus
D) Dreams maximize your threshold
E) Maximize faith muscle for the impossible

His message is encouraging to the individual as well as our congregations.

Glory to God for Dr. Ang's message.

You can read his website from the blog and link on the left hand side bar.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Marriage Course

Yesterday evening, 17th July 2011, our church FBC started the fourth session of The Marriage Course (TMC). Bro. Howe Tung & Sis. Chuei Lian have graciously opened their home to enable this course to be ran. They are leading this course together with Bro.Arthur, Sis.Ah Moi, Bro.Chin Luke, Sis. Stella,Bro.Chew, Sis Leena, Bro Malcolm & Sis.Irene with helpers from Hope church. Bro. Chai Say, lend his musical equipments as well as helping to set up them up.

There were 17 couples attending. Although more would like to join but due to space constraint only 17 couples can be accommodated. It was encouraging to see quite a number of young couples attending (in the 30s ). Participants were from FBC, Hope church, and Trinity Methodist Church.

We have a senior couple who have been married for 31 years attending this course. Praise God that despite the years they have been married they decided to attend !

Glory to God, that the first session went well.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Genesis Genealogy

On Friday evening and Saturday morning Philip Lee, PHD President of Berit Distance Lifelong Education,Korea was at Good News Fellowship to conduct a seminar on Genesis genealogy. This seminar is based on the work of Dr.Abraham Park,Korea. Dr.Abraham has written a best selling book Genesis Genealogy and two other books.

Philip Lee came to Kuching to share Dr.Abraham ideas to the local churches. This seminar was organized by the Kuching Minister's Fellowship (KMF), and its free.

According to the message, God already has plan for the redemption of believers starting from Genesis. Philip Lee explained the genealogy and how each person in Genesis was connected. He also explained the time frame of what happened in years since the people came out of Egypt and went into the Promised Land, Canaan. It is important to know the time frame of what happened to get a better understanding of God's plan for His people.

This is what other expert said "I joyfully recommend Rev. Park's The Genesis Geanalogies and The Covenant of the Torch to all the churches of the world, for they not only satisfy the spiritual aspirations of thirsting Christians, but also are an absolute necessity for those who desire a more mature life of faith". Dr. Andrew J.Tesia, President of the Research Institute of Reformed Theology.

Click on the title of this post to The History of Redemption

Note" Top picture of Rev.Dr Abraham Park.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Hoppping With Joy - Borneon Rainbow Toad Found

Not only the scientists all over the world are hopping with joy, I am also joyful and grateful to our Almighty God for the re-discovery of the Borneon Rainbow toad at the outskirt of Kuching city, at a place called Penrissen. By road from Kuching Penrissen is about 30 Km, but the place where this toad is found is deep in the mountain range.

This toad was last seen in 1924, and after 87 years it has now been sighted and photos taken of this thought extinct toad. Praise God for this discovery as well as our local researcher Dr.Indraneil Das who is a researcher with University Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS), Kuching.

The news of this discovery is carried by newspapers all over the world, like CNN, BBC, National Geographic and others.

Click on the title to read a news article on Malaysian National paper "The Star".

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Pastors Depressed

Are pastors suppose to be depresses ? How can this be, they are our shepherds. Well, the truth is that pastors like any normal human also face depression at times. A recent survey in the US found that 80 % of pastors are discouraged and felt unqualified to be pastors. Demands on pastors are certainly increasing when many channels of communications are available to contact pastors when the church members are in need. Many pastors are certainly over worked and they do not take vacation leave. Like people in other vocations, vacation leave or sabbatical is important for pastors to relieve their stresses as well as to reflect on their walk with God. I remember about two years ago Pastor John Piper took a 6 months sabbatical to reflect on his life as well as his ministry.

In the Bible great prophet like Elijah was also depressed when Jezebel pursued him and tried to kill him. 1 King 19:2. Since, great people are affected we are no different. From an outsider, it seem depression is "something in the mind" only and there is nothing to it. But after having experienced a season of depression myself, I can say depression is not making up stories. It is a serious illness and if not treated promptly can have serious consequences.

There is no survey of this nature in Malaysia, so we do not know the extend of this problem. Beside, culturally people have negative perception of mental illnesses like depression and patients tend to hide such conditions. Perhaps this issue is not serious because there is no reports in the Christian communities here.

Click on the title of this post to read an article.

Watch a video about depression.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Alpha Parenting Course At Kuching

Today, the city of Kuching is honored to host the Alpha Parenting course at Good News Fellowship Church. Understand that Kuala Lumpur was the first city outside of the United Kingdom in hosting the Alpha Parenting Course. According to the National Director of Alpha Malaysia, Kuching is chosen because churches in Kuching are the most active in conducting the Alpha Marriage course, hence it is logical to encourage people here to continue with the newly launched Parenting course.

The main aim of this course is to teach parents how to bring up well adjusted and godly children. However, this course is opened to those who are interested regardless of their religion just like the Marriage course which has been attended by many non Christians who benefited for such course.

We in Kuching are indeed honored to have Micky and Sila here from the UK to conduct the Parenting course here. They are very busy and yet could find sometime to conduct this course here. On behalf of people in Kuching a big "Thank you".

About 160 people attended this one-day course. After this one-day course all participants also attended a dinner function at a local restaurant.

Click on the title of this post to the website relationship central

Watch a slide presentation

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Home Mission Board

This morning Pastor Gramen, Chairman of Home Mission Board (HMB), and Pastor Daniel Kion, Co-ordinator of HMB came to our church to share with us the work the Board is doing.

HMB is an organization under the Sarawak Baptist Convention. The Convention takes care of about 27 Baptist churches through out Sarawak. The main objective is to spread the Gospel to the people in Sarawak especially in the interior of Sarawak by helping these people to improve their lives like helping them with their education, building them amendities and etc.

Our church like many other Baptist churches support the HMB by providing some financial support. But they also requires other resources like manpower to preach and build things for them.

Pastor Daniel shared one very encouraging testimony. HMB under the leadership of Pastor Daniel built a micro hydro system for Nanga Sepaya Longhouse at Sri Aman, the second division of Sarawak. The hydro is built with HMB own efforts and it was designed by themselves. All materials were purchased locally. A cable company donated about RM10,000( USD3,000) worth of cable. This 52 families Long house had never have any electricity for the past 30 years, and when the light came on for the first time many of the long house folks cried! Praise God that they had light eventually. Because of the love shown by members of HMB to these non believers, all the people in this long house came to accept the Lord! Hallelujah Praise God! The surrounding people near this long house has heard of this new hydro at Nanga Sepaya and they also requested HMB to build them a micro hydro, here the door is opened to HMB to spread the Good news. Due to lack of resources, HMB is working to help build more micro hydro in the interiors.

Our church is very encouraged and our leadership is looking forward to send a mission team into the interior before the end of this year. It is also our church mission to carry out the Great Commission.

For the benefit of foreign readers here(top) is a picture of a Long House.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Homosexuality: A New Calamity

John Piper commented that normalization of homosexuality is a new calamity in American as a number of states in the US has approved of same-sex marriage. We know homosexuality is a sin.

22 You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination. Leviticus 18:22

The trouble is that many people are accepting homosexuality as normal. Piper said the calamity is that people are celebrating it. He said "alongside its clearest explanation of the sin of homosexual intercourse (Romans 1:24-27) stands the indictment of the celebration of it,"

Sins not only affect homosexuals but also heterosexuals, what he is doing is helping the church to see the assault on the church. He is not the only one seeing homosexuality as sin of a nation, John MacArthur in my previous post also spoke about this issue.

This is an issue the church worldwide has to face as more countries are accepting homosexuality as normal. In Malaysia homosexuality is against the law, so people who are homosexuals are laying low to avoid the law.

To read John Piper's article click on the title of this post.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

John MacArthur: USA Under Divine Judgement

John MacArthur said America is under divine judgement. What has this judgement got to do with Malaysia? But it appears that what he said also applies to Malaysia.

He said “Materialism, drunkard pleasure seeking, arrogant conceit, defiant sinfulness, moral perversion, and corrupt leadership… Do you not see [them] in America?”

Replace "America" with "Malaysia",and these seem to apply equally in Malaysia. If you know what the political, social, economic and religious climate of Malaysia you will see the similarities. Like politics, the Malaysian government is way off mark,leaders are less than truthful, many are in there for their own gains. People are ready to march in the streets to seek reforms in the election processes to be more transparent.

In terms of religion, the Christians are speaking out to protect their rights under the federal constitution. E.g the government prohibits Christians to use the word "Allah" in the Malay Bible and other restrictions on Christians.

Like MacArthur said, God called us to be holy that is "being separated from sinners". But people worship other gods rather the True God of the Bible. No doubt that God will judge our nation for the many sins it is doing.

One positive observation is that Christians of various denominations are coming together to pray for our nation as well as up holding godly members of the government when prayers rallies are held or in their respective churches.

As Christians we are called to be holy and this is what we should do on a personal level. If we have not been holy or close to God, this is the time to begin.

To read the article about MacArthur click on the title of this post.

Watch a 2009 video of MacArthur

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Sunday Service - Bro. Kirk Weaver

This morning, our church had the honor of Bro.Kirk Weaver, Director, Family Time Training, Focus on the Family, USA to speak to us. Bro Kirk is here in Kuching to conduct a course for Focus on the Family. He is from Littleton, Colorado. ( To read more about his ministry click on the title of this post to his website).

The world is so small, just last week we had Pastor Christina Tan from Houston and today we have Bro.Kirk from Colorado.

Bro.Kirk sharing was timely because like in America people seem to be drifting away from God. His sharing was about building godly family. In fact, this is his ministry and this subject is close to his heart.

He shared stories in the Bible like David who knew God intimately, Solomon drifted away and Rehoboam worshiped idols. By the third generation people forgot about God. It is the same now therefore it is important to teach our children at home and do not let the Sunday school teachers bear all the burdens. Our young children are with us all the time, and we are the ones who have influence on them. If we want them to be godly, we have to teach them ourselves.

There are three types of people, 1) Christians, 2) Nominal Christians, 3) Non Christians. He used three cups of milk to illustrate how we should live as Christians and how we can bring up our children in godly ways. He added chocolate syrup(representing Jesus) to the first and second glass, put a wooden spoon representing Holy Spirit)each to first and second glass. He stirred the first glass which turned brown because the wooden spoon (Holy Spirit) has worked in this person. In case of the second glass, the chocolate sank into the bottom of the glass because this person has Jesus and Holy Spirit but does not act on their instructions. The third glass reminds white milk because he does not know God.

The moral of the story is that if we do not teach our children about God and help them to have a personal relation with Jesus, our children will be like the third glass ( white in colour). If we ourselves is like the first glass (brown in colour after the working of Holy Spirit) and we teach our children well, they are mostly likely to resemble us.

Watch a video of Bro.Kirk explaining this idea

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Three Things

A friend of mine in Australia sent me an email entitled "Three Things", and I found it encouraging. I have made it into a slide show. To all of you who are reading this, may these messages encourage you and help you to be a little closer to God.

Please read this slide: