Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Parenting Course - Train the Trainers

On Monday, the Parenting Course Train the Trainers was held at FBC, Kuching.  I believe it was the very first official train the trainers course organized in Sarawak.  Bro Howe Tung and Sis Chuei Lian from our Church FBC are in charge of this course.  In fact they have been appointed by Alpha Malaysia to head Relationship Central in Sarawak.  Under Relationship Centre, are courses such as pre-marital, Marriage Course and Parenting Course.  Parenting Course is the latest.  Malaysia is the second country after U.K to start this course.

About 40 over people from Churches such as Good News Fellowship, Hope Church, SIB, Emmanuel Baptist, Tabuan Jaya Anglican Church, Trinity Methodist Church, and Faith Methodist Church attended this course. Of course not forgetting our Church, FBC.  Our Church had the most numbers of participants.

Bro Howe Tung, and Sis Chuei Lian were assited by Bro Arthur, Sis Ah Moi, Bro Gui and Sis Fah Li.

The trainers from K.L were Bro T C Lau and Sis Gene. They are from DUMC, K.L.

National Director of Alpha Bro Foo Lai Wei and his wife Sis Ai Siang were also present to support this course.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Exact Day Jesus Crucified

Geologist has pin point the exact date Jesus was crucified by studying the seimic activity of the Dead Sea.  It has been recorded in Matthew Chapter 27 that there was an earthquake when Jesus was crucified.

The report says, "After analyzing seismic activity in the region along with astronomical data, the scientists factored in information from all four Gospels, and determined that the best match for the date of crucifixion would be Friday, April 3, 33."

Praise God that once again science is proving that the Biblical accounts are historical truths and they are real and not made up by ancient people!  

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Lunch at Church

Today our congregation had lunch in Church.  This is the second time we had lunch after Church service in our new Church.  Our leadership found that this is a good way to fellowship with each other as well as sharing a meal with invited guests.  Malaysians love their foods so this is a good idea.  All the foods were cooked by volunteers.  And the washing up also by various Life Group (cell ) members.  Our Life Group under Bro. Nick was in charged of serving coffee and tea to members and guests.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Extrabiblical Evidence of Ancient Bethlehem

Israelite archeologists have discovered a clay seal with the ancient word of Bethlehem that predated Jesus' time.  It is estimated to be 2,700 years old.  Prior to this discovery, the town of Bethlehem was mentioned only in the Bible, and now archeologists have found this name outside of the Bible.  This evidence also proved the authenticity of the Bible.

To read more click of the link above.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Can People Who Have Not Heard of Jesus Be Saved?

This is a question many people especially non believers asked.  The answer is no according to Pastor John Piper.  He said "You need to hear the Gospel to be saved," 

Pastor J.D. Greear also said there is no plan BHe said "I wanted (oh, how I wanted!) to believe in the escape-hatches and plan-B's, but just could not find allowance for it in Scripture," Greear wrote. "Where there is no preached word, there can be no faith, and without faith, it is impossible to please God. There is not even a hint of a hole in Paul's logic, and his conclusion is inescapable."

Human cannot say they do not have a chance to know God because in His Creation there are so many evidences. Many people just chose not to know Him. Roman 1:20 says "For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse"

To read further click on the link.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Pastor Ben's Coaching

Once again Pastor Ben Wong of Shepherd Community Church, Hong Kong was here to coach our Church.  For about two and the half years now he has been coaching our Church.  He came visiting the right time, as we faced a very difficult phase in our Church he was available to us.  Praise God !

From the leaders' meeting with him last Saturday afternoon, he noticed that our Church has made good progress, he noticed that members have been joining hands to help the Church in many areas.  Despite the lack of a English language pastor ( until 1st May 2012) our Church had been doing remarkably well according to him.  Really it is the work of all members of our Church to make this happened.  Beside, he said you just moved into your new Church recently!  He thanked God for our progress.  We are thankful to God too, because it is His grace that allows us to be where we are.

Pastor Ben shared with us that about a month ago he went to Norway to coach two Lutheran Churches there.  He said before he went he was with "fear and trembling" because he has not coach any Western Church before.  But when he was there he found out that these Churches have a lot to do to impact their communities.  Pastor Ben said he shared with these Churches our Church's ethos which got them excited too.  Our ethos a) Relationship b) Empowering c) Focus on Jesus d) Compassion for the loss e) Networking f) Structured to serve.  Glad that our ethos can be a model for these Churches in Norway.

Pastor Ben' visits to our Church was not an accident.  His visits over these two and half years were appointments of God.

Note: Pastor Ben with long hair.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Indonesian Christians Cried Out To God

Indonesia a Muslim country which is also our neighbor.  Quite often we read news of how Christians there have been persecuted and some of their Churches burnt.

To hear that the Christians there had organized a history praying rally recently is awesome.  Glory to God.  They rightly believed that God is doing things in their nation and certainly God is also doing many things in other nations.  The historic prayer rally was attended by 100,000 Indonesians. 

Last week I heard that some friends were traveling to Jakarta for a prayer rally, and I believe this must be the same rally.  It has been reported that about 5,000 ministers from other nations also joined this rally,

Praise God! He is shaking the whole earth!

To read further click on the above link.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Why Women Hear God More than Men Do
A survey found that more than two third of women prayed as compared to less than half of men surveyed prayed. This may be an American survey, but I believe this is true else where.

Why do women pray more?  Anthropologist Tanya Luhrmann said she found that women are better in using their imagination as compared to men.  The use of imagination is not in a negative sense but in positive ways as we are dealing with God who is immaterial.  She said our Church fathers knew about this.  She said, "For Augustine, the road to God ran through the mind. It is our own peculiar era that equates the imagination with the frivolous and the unreal. That is why contemporary Christians sometimes get nervous about the word imagination. But they shouldn't. C. S. Lewis knew so well that the imagination was a path to God that he entitled a chapter of Mere Christianity "Let's Pretend." "Let us pretend," Lewis writes, "to turn the pretence into a reality."

 Prayers are communication with God.  You say something and He reply.  According to her, imagining that God is sitting across will assist us to communicate with Him.  Personally, I have the image of Jesus in my mind as I prayed and imagining Him sitting on my side with His arm on my shoulder.  However, this image does not occur regularly.

Perhaps women hear more from God because firstly they prayed more, they are more relational as compared to men.

In general to hear more from God, we must have intimate relation with Him by reading His Words in the Bible, follow His commands closely, relate to follow human like how Jesus relate to those He met, and constantly live a holy live.

To read more go to the link above.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Answering People's Questions in the 21st Century

The above is the title to Ravi Zacharias' conference that I just attended over several evenings at Damansara Utama Methodist Church (DUMC) in Kuala Lumpur.  The other speaker is Micheal Ramsden, a professor from U.K.

Ravi Zacharias was born in India and now he resides in Atlanta USA.  He is one of the champions of Christian apologetics.  He is world re-known and he has been speaking around the world for the past 40 years.  Now even the governments of Singapore and China consulted him on integrity.

It was indeed a rare chance to hear him live in Malaysia because he may not come here again for a long while. He is an expert in defending the Christian faith, and it was enriching to hear him explained some of the questions that both Christians and non Christians asked today.  He share on the issues of pain, suffering, pleasures, whether man can live without God, what is worthwhile under the sun and other issues.

Many people, especially non Christians asked why there is evil when there is a God.  Why would He allows evil in this world?  Ravi said if there is evil, there must be good, and if there is good, than there must be a moral law giver.  The law giver is God.  You can watch his explanation in the video below.

The turnout for this conference was very good.  There were more than 2,000 people attending this conference at DUMC.  DUMC is a mega Church in Kuala Lumpur.  They have at least 3,000 members.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Internet Evangelism in Japan
The Japanese are very private people and they do not normally speak about religious matters with even people they know.  The internet comes in handy to allowed Japanese to learn about Christianity privately through the internet. 

Since last year tsunami and nuclear disaster many Japanese are turning to God for life tough questions.  Many Christians agencies have been to Japan to help the tsunami victims.  Pastor Ben Wong of Shepherd Community Church who is the coach of our Church also had a team there last year.  He told us that many Japanese are receptive to the Gospel messages.  He said this is the time for the Chinese Christians to evangelize to the Japanese.  Of course other Christians from all over the world are already doing work in Japan.  What he meant was that it is the right time for the Chinese to help out in Japan.

Christian Zebley said "The Internet lets them learn about God and His plan for salvation in a way that is comfortable for them and respectful of their culture. We believe this is the long-awaited moment for harvest in Japan."

To read more click on the link above. 


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Christians Most Persecuted Religion
Research has shown that Christianity is the most persecuted religion in the world.  Everyday you will be able to read of Christians being persecuted in the news.  Many governments and communities felt threatened by Christianity for various reasons.  Ironically one of Christianity's main theme is "love" and indeed Christian organizations have been helping people around the world for a long time now.  Are we doing anything wrong?   Most probably this issue is more complicated than we thought.  On the other hand, Christian persecution is not surprising because Jesus Himself has warned us that those who follow Him will be persecuted.  What are we to do when persecution comes?  Jesus has taught us to love our neighbors as ourselves, and we must follow His command even though it may not be easy for us.  Than again, Jesus also told us it is not easy following Him.  We have a choice to make if we decide to be His disciples.  From the many examples around the world even today like Egypt, Nigeria, China and other countries, Christians are persevering under attacks and in many cases killed.

We pray for all the persecuted Christians around the world, Lord may you help them to stay strong in you, Amen.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Gospel Hour

Gospel Hour is a one hour Gospel songs presentation organized by SIB Church ( Sidang Injil Borneo) or Kuching Evangelical Church.  It was held at Kuching Waterfront this evening from 5.30pm to 6.30 pm. 

I came to know about this event from Pastor Wilfred Jaboh's face book page where he advertised this event.  Pastor Wilfred is the pastor of SIB and he is also a personal friend.  It was great catching up with him again.  According to him his Church organizes such events at the Waterfront 4 times in a year.

This is a Christian event and praise God that the authority allowed such event to be held in a public area.  It is a tourist area too.  Glory to God.  Although Gospel messages were not preached, they were in the songs presented as well as the presenters add in short messages between songs.

Beside Pastor's presentations there were two other groups from his church as well as a Christian band, if not mistaken called "The Shine".  The songs were mostly in English, a few in Bahasa Malaysia and one in Mandarin and one in Hokkien.

Praise God that the event was well received!  About a hundred or so people were at this event.  A few Western tourists were there too. 

This is one way to evangelize to the public, through songs.  Seeds can be planted through these songs, and pray that these seeds will germinate in those non believers who attended this event.

Note: Pastor Wilfred Jaboh praying the acoustic guitar.

Friday, May 4, 2012

China To Eradicate House Churches

The Chinese government is going all out to eradicate "house churches" in China.  These churches are mostly underground meaning they do not have the endorsement of the Chinese authorities, thus they are persecuted.  Now the government is going all the way to eradicate these churches.  They are not even allowed to use the term "house church" instead they should refer to themselves as :house gathering".  This is a great threat to Christianity in China as a large portion of Christians worship in house churches all over the country.  Estimated number of Christians ranfing from 80 to 100 million.

House church leaders said "...over 95 percent of house church leaders said they had already felt the impact of these investigations, while 85 percent said local religious affairs departments had already created a dossier for their group".

Let us all pray for the Christians in China and that they will prevail in this persecution.  From the very beginning of Christianity as we read in the Bible, Christians have been persecuted and this is not new.  The Gospel said we will be persecuted.  Matthew 24:9 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me."  Nevertheless Christians will endure because we are doing the will of God.  I remember that in Egypt's recent revolution that overthrew Murbarak's government a Christian leader commended that persecution is good for the Christians.  That sounded odd, but indeed the Christians there are very closely knitted and strong.

Man's schemes like those in China has no match for God's purposes.  We will continue to pray for the Christians in China, that they stay strong in the Lord.

Some Christians in China said, "our experience of the Lord differs every week. It is His grace and peace that have protected us and sustained us until now,” a church staff member wrote. “May the power and glory of the Lord become our strength while waiting for God in this difficult circumstance.”

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

FBC Church Dedication Service

Glory to God! Today, First Baptist Church, Kuching (FBC) conducted a church dedication service attended by about 800 people consisted of members and invited guests.  It was a historic event for FBC, not only dedicating the new Church, but also celebrating our 40th anniversary.  Our Church started on 2nd April 1972. (Read history on FBC website, link on left sidebar).  Many pastors from Kuching as well as outside attended this service.

Shofars blowers led by Bro.Teck Hwa sounded the shofars to mark the start of the service.

Elder Dr.Tiong rightly said although it was a Church dedication, more importantly we must dedicate our lives to Christ Jesus.

FBC Choir and orchestra played five hymns.  The congregation joined in to sing two songs "You  are awesome in this place" and "Crown Him King of Kings".  FBC Choir was excellent, they played the songs with passion and hearts for God. Praise the Lord!

The opening prayer was conducted by Dr.Yap, Chairman of Sarawak Baptist Church.

Opening address was by Pastor Isaac Yim, President of Malaysian Baptist Convention.(MBC)  He spoke briefly about the history of MBC which FBC is a part, how it began small and now it has grown to include many programs to help Baptist Churches in Malaysia and beyond.  He said Christ is the capstone of our Church.  We are all living stones.

Pastor James Leong, the very first FBC Malaysian pastor when FBC started delivered his sermon entitled "The Church of Christ" with 4 sub headings, a)Theo centric is her stand, b) Bible her foundation c)love is her beauty d) making disciples her mission.  The message basically taught us to be Christ centered and to do God's will and not man's purposes.

All three congregations, English, Bahasa and Chinese read out loud a ten points Dedication to God, committing ourselves to carry out the will of God, to follow Christ's commands, and to share the Gospel with others, and to love one another as Jesus commanded.

The closing prayers in English was conducted by Pastor David Kueh, Mandarin Pastor Richard Sim and Bahasa Pastor Greman.

To end the service, the shofar was sounded  led by Bro Teck Hwa.

Thank God that so many pastors, and guests came to celebrate this auspicious and significant event together with our congregation.  All Glory To God!