LOAVES + FISHES
MICA (P) No: 104/03/2013
The Covenant Community Methodist Church Magazine
Joy is a Flag
How to Better Manage Time
sing IN HARMONY
with your teens
By Popular Demand: Terry Ng’s Roast Beef and Gravy Recipes
Academy Awards Winner
CUBA GOODING JR
Each time you see this page
PRAY FOR CHRASS CHURCH
The true story of the world’s
His mother gave him courage,
his faith helped him believe,
his brillance gave him
the power to change lives.
god's vision and wisdom for Pastor Phirun
unity and dedication for chrass church leaders
godly enthusiasm in the chrass youth
THAT chrass church will be the light of christ
CLAIM THE CHILDREN OF CHRASS FOR JESUS
Chrass Church Dedication Service
Saturday, 7 September 2013
Bishop Dr Wee Boon Hup
Rev John Benedict Foo and Rev Khoo Kay Huat
CCMC Family Movie Night
Saturday, 28 Sept 2013 * MGS Auditorium
Dinner: 6.30pm sharp * Movie: 7.15pm
Free admission & dinner
Register with Sherlyn Yeung at email@example.com
giving the number attending and having dinner
STEVEN ROLLAND BY CC 2.0
HEART OF WORSHIP
When the music fades
And all is stripped away
And I simply come
Longing just to bring
Something that's of worth
That will bless your heart
I'll bring You more than a song
For a song in itself
Is not what You have required
You search much deeper within
Through the ways things appear
You're looking into my heart
A family witness
I'm coming back to the heart of worship
And it's all about You
All about You, Jesus
I'm sorry Lord for the thing I've made it
When it's all about You
It's all about You Jesus
Memories & child care
King of endless worth
No one could express
How much You deserve
Though I'm weak and poor
All I have is Yours
Every single breath
For dads and sons too
Its all about you
HELP! I HAVE NO TIME!
Time management truths
for today and tomorrow
MOMS AT WORK
Two CCMC moms share
Ask Abigail 39
Crafts for Kids (pull out)
Good Things 44
Manga Hero 32
Songs & Singers 38
Food for Thought 34
To the Point 17
Here's how we fared in punctuality on average
for eight services from 7 April to 26 May.
There's much room for improvment.
Practise these tips regularly, especially on
Sundays, so we can honour God with the time
He has given us.
1. Make a commitment to arrive slightly
ahead of time.
2. Plan for real world delays and give yourself time to spare.
3. Find creative ways to use pockets of time
created by being early.
Loaves + Fishes is published
quarterly by Covenant Community
Level 4, Methodist Girls’ School
11, Blackmore Drive
Tel: 64669652 Fax: 64667470
MICA (P) No: 104/03/2013
Printed by Oxford Graphic
Printers Pte Ltd
Rev John Benedict Foo
Please wait for the
doors to open!
I think there are some
seats up front.
Someone is in my
Looks like the faithful
remnant are here.
Am I at the right place?
Goh Eck Kheng
• 11AM 48%
Chong Cheh Hoon
Lee Yin Siau
Tan Buck Chye
Yap Kian Seng
ON THE COVER (from left)
Kevin, Nicole and Jason Tong
veryone matters here at Covenant Community
Methodist Church! Regardless of your age or gender,
you are always welcome to have fellowship with us
as a community of covenant-keepers. More importantly,
you are specially invited to journey together with us as we
heed the call to walk the path of discipleship. Our heart’s
desire is to trust God to grow us towards higher spiritual
maturity and greater love for Him and others.
We are passionate about helping every person enter into an
intimate and dynamic relationship with God. There will always
be times in our lives when we need others to come alongside
us to help support and build us up. There will also be times for
us to encourage and affirm others in their time of need. Perhaps this and subsequent issues of Loaves + Fishes can become
a staple encourager in your life as well.
Things matter in communities. Here at CCMC, we value your
heart for the Lord. We value your desire to make a difference
in your own family, in our church family, in your social circle,
and at your workplace or school. God has gifted our church
family with a whole plethora of spiritual gifts. This is evident
in the recent Holy Week and Aldersgate services where we
thoroughly enjoyed the beauty of the worship services with
members coming forward to use their gifts for the glory of
God. Let us all continue to roll up our sleeves and put our
hands to the plow.
You have in your hands a magazine that is filled with articles
that are reflective, relevant and personal. Enjoy the gamut of
thought-provoking and fascinating topics covered in this issue!
May God bless your reading as He unveils to you a unique covenant community here in CCMC.
Rev John Benedict Foo
(( WHEN WE
NOW, WE CAN
TESTIFY OF GOD'S
IN GUIDING US
STEP BY STEP IN
A Witness as a family of God’s
direction, provision, and goodness
upon our lives.
By robert samuel
for His Ministry
One evening, I had gone to
the northern part of Chennai
(previously known as Madras) to
purchase something. I was riding a
motorbike then. When I was about
to start the bike, I felt strongly
that I should take another route
back home instead of the shorter
route I usually take. I had a friend,
Dr. Prosper, who stayed along this
longer route and I thought that I
would just stop by and say “hello”
to him. Dr. Prosper is a medical
doctor and a businessman too.
We were talking for some
time and suddenly Dr. Prosper
went to the phone (there were no
handphones then in 1991) and
called Vibha’s father and asked
if he was interested in meeting
a God-fearing Christian person,
who could be a match for his
second daughter. After some
discussion (which I could not
hear), he told me that he had set
up an informal ‘meet-up’ with
the Thacker family at St. George’s
Cathedral where Vibha’s family
used to go.
God had showed me in a dream
what my wife would look like,
and when I first saw Vibha at St.
George’s Cathedral, God confirmed
that she was the one since I had
already seen her face in the dream.
There was no turning back from
difficulties and hardships initially
in our life but if we cling on, the
Lord God will lift us up step by step
and will establish and bless us in
Singapore. We were reminded of
Abraham and God’s calling upon
his life and decided as a family to
follow the path God has set apart
When we came to Singapore,
because of the economic crisis,
companies that had placed orders
with the Belgian company I worked
for cancelled orders and the
business done that year was way
below the target. My immediate
manager wanted me to go back
to India. However, because God’s
word had already prepared us for
the situation, we were encouraged
to look at Him rather than the
circumstances. We clung on.
The Belgian company acquired
an American company whose
products were already popular in
South East Asia and I was able to
get the required business.
When we look back now, we
can testify of God’s goodness and
His faithfulness in guiding us
step by step in our lives – settling
Set apart by His callinG
Facing (from left):
Rovik, Vibha, Rovina,
Robert and Ronak.
God had opened a miraculous door
for us to re-locate to Singapore as
a family through the posting by a
Belgian multinational company in
India. This was amidst the peak of
the Global Financial Crisis of 1997.
Before we moved to Singapore,
there were many prophecies
over us that there would be many
Rovik, Robert and Vibha’s elder son, is a co-founder of The
Hidden Good with Leon Heng, a personal initiative by these
two NSmen. Here, he tells what it's about and why it was started.
"The Hidden Good started from a conversation I had with
Leon Heng in the MRT.
"It was about how people are apprehensive about sitting on
the reserved seat even when the train is empty out of a culture
of fear of being STOMPed or how people are so inclined to capture the negative aspect of Singaporeans and post it online.
"It would cause a self-fulfilling prophecy of us being a lousy
society. Truth is, we've witnessed and seen so many amazing
acts of kindness and goodwill out there and there's very little
celebration of that aspect of our society.
"We decided that we would unveil this hidden good in
Singapore and agreed that setting up scenarios would help
establish a watchable video series people would enjoy, learn
something from, and most importantly, share.
We have two sub-series: 'The Singaporean' sets up situations for people to respond to and to prove that Singaporeans
are not the busy, self-centred people we assume ourselves to
be. 'The Great Hood Giveaway' aims to dispel the feeling that
people would think you're weird if you did something good for
"The Hood Factory will upload bi-weekly episodes in a twoyear timeline. Our goals are simple:
1) Get Singapore to celebrate and appreciate the good that exists,
2) Add to the conversation on what it means to be a
Singaporean and part of our society.
"It's been amazingly fun and exciting to see Singaporeans in
action. It's affected how we respond to people in need as well –
we're more acute of opportunities to step up.
"We have a core team of 4 to 5, including our Creative
Director, Jay Teo, who manages the technical side of things. Our
regular videographers include Jonathan Tan Zhon Hao and Ser
Joon Sin. The pool of people who volunteer their time and skills
goes up to 20-30 people. Filming is done on weekends. Preparation and planning are done over the weekdays.
"We also plan to have workshops/outreach sessions in
schools and organisations to convey our message."
by benny bong
my young family (eldest son was
then just 4 years old and second
son only 8 months old) with His
security, provision and guidance
in a land where we then had no
family, friends or support to getting
permanent residents status to
become citizens of Singapore. All
glory to the Lord Jesus! There has
been no looking back since then...
Rooted for His Kingdom
We were worshipping in Bethesda
Cathedral at Bedok since we were
living in the east. When we moved
to the west, we were looking for
a family-oriented church where
our children could settle and grow
in God’s word and leading. We
decided to try CCMC since a few
friends had recommended it.
The warmth and the fellowship
of the members during our first
day at CCMC pleasantly surprised
us. Our children also wanted to
continue coming to CCMC. Of
course, the spacious car park was
another big attraction. We have
been attending CCMC for four years
now and we are blessed week after
There is only looking forward
to: more of God's direction and
leading in our lives for our family.
‘Forgive, yes. Forget…’
How often have we
heard the expression,
“I can forgive, but I
Perhaps we too have
said this on an occasion
or two, and there is
some truth in this
sentiment. Forgiving is
an act of the will, whilst
forgetting is not within
our control. You cannot
will yourself to forget.
OF OUR RIGHT TO
BE ANGRY AND
OUR RIGHT FOR
that she will not discuss or ask any
questions about his extra-marital
affair. After all, did she not offer her
As a family and marital
therapist, I believe that forgiveness
and memory should be handled
allows relationships to recover.
Forgiveness is the surrendering of
our right to be angry and our right
for recompense. Its focus is not on
the past but on the future; not on
our feelings but on the importance
of our relationship with those who
have hurt us.
Memory is the conscious effort
we make to acknowledge the
importance of the event, no matter
how painful it might be. Memories
allow us to learn difficult lessons.
However, when the memory serves
no more useful purpose, we need
to let it go. We do this by refusing
to dwell on it. We do this by
having and remembering happier
'Let no man put asunder.'
With these solemn words, we are
reminded that no man should
be allowed to come between a
husband and wife. Whilst most
couples do their utmost to guard
against this, the invaders that
ultimately undermine a marriage
can take shapes and forms that we
I want to focus on a disruption
of marital harmony which comes
in a rather innocent package. For
most people, the arrival of a baby
heralds the relationship moving
to a new level. It can be another
point of connection for the couple
and a fulfilment of hopes and
dreams. In some instances, it may
even breathe fresh life to a stale
However, some marriages are
impacted in a negative way with
the arrival of a baby. Husbands
complain of being displaced as the
centre of their wife’s attention.
Couples exhausted by the
constant tending to the needs of
a vulnerable, helpless child may
have little time and energy for each
other, even less for themselves.
In such circumstances, how can a
couple prevent their marriage from
slipping into the doldrums?
Firstly, it is important to keep
remembering that the basis of
strength in a family is the strength
of the couple’s bond. This bond
will help weather the stress and
strain of disrupted sleep every
night to feed the baby. How
effective they are at being effective
parents is dependent on how well
they synergise their role as father
Secondly, even though their
personal and couple needs may
not be at the top of the list of
priorities, they cannot be deferred
indefinitely. Some couples may
agree to postpone it temporarily,
for example, till the child is off
pampers or till he finishes PSLE,
before they can expect to enjoy, on
a regular basis, their own personal
space and couple togetherness.
This is assuming that the couple
has only one child. If they have
more, the period of their sacrifice
for their children would be a
But doting parents in Singapore
who feel the kiasuism of giving
their children the best possible
education, tuition and enrichment
programmes to be one up on the
Tans next door will extend their
time for parenting responsibilities
right up to O-levels or beyond.
By that time, their couple
togetherness has become a hazy
memory of their courtship days or
early married life before the kids
came. The sooner they learn to let
go of their children, the better it is
for their relationship as a couple
and as parents who can provide a
loving, harmonious home for their
children to grow up in.
Thirdly, learn to agree on how
to raise your child. Parenting will
uncover a myriad of differences
in nurturing your child’s potential
and moral values, ways to enforce
discipline, allowing grandmother
to indulge, etc. Parenting is a good
test to see if you can compromise
and agree on the upbringing of
someone who means so much to
each of you.
The patter of little feet may
bring a couple closer in their
common goal to raise a child
they can be proud of, or it could
swing the other way, and rent
the marriage apart when their
frequent squabbles over the child’s
behaviour or school performance
start to erode the love they had
for each other that had led to their
exchange of marriage vows.
EXHAUSTED BY THE
TO THE NEEDS OF
MAY HAVE LITTLE
TIME AND ENERGY
FOR EACH OTHER,
EVEN LESS FOR
Benny Bong, a member of
Kampong Kapor Methodist Church,
is a family and marital therapist.
ALL PHOTOGTRAPHS: GAIL M TANG BY CC2.0
For many, forgetfulness is an
inconvenience, such as when we
forget a name, telephone number
or where we left our keys. But for
a few, not being able to forget is
a curse. This is true for the wife
who complained that her husband
would question her relentlessly
and continually about her
previous sexual encounters with
her boyfriends. The fact that she
has strenuously denied them, the
fact that these were relationships
before their marriage, and the
fact that this was about alleged
events more than 30 years ago,
all had not stopped her husband
from repeating these groundless
Such memories have a corrosive
effect on those who hold them.
They may be recycled, recalled
back to the present and in such
instances, be re-lived. If the
memory is painful, remembering
them can be re-traumatising. Some
memories can also be hurtful to
others. They form part of the lens
through which we view others.
Thus, for the husband mentioned
earlier, his regular accusations
paints his wife as a loose woman
in his eyes. His memory, not of
an incident but of an accusation,
repeated and repeated, begins to
take a life and reality all of its own
and threatens to tear his marriage
How do we as believers deal
with difficult memories? Is it
consistent for us to say, “I can
forgive you but I cannot forget
what you did” to someone who
may have wronged us?
I recall here the many Christian
couples who struggle with
infidelity and where the aggrieved
spouse is faced with the difficult
task to forgive. In some instances,
when the unfaithful spouse
confesses his infidelity, he expects
his wife to forgive him. He also
expects her forgiveness to mean
By YAP KIAN SENG
CHURCH AND WEEKDAY
LIFE? LOOKING FOR
THE PERFECT PULPIT TO
GIVE ENOUGH JUICE TO
PROPEL YOU TO NEXT
SUNDAY? HERE IS A
Yap Kian Seng is husband
to Mary, and father to three
teenagers. An engineer by
training, he has wide interest
in theology and spirituality,
and has studied at Regent
College and Gordon-Conwell
Theological Seminary. His
doctoral thesis is on Sabbath
Keeping. Currently, he serves
as an associate pastor in a
local Church in Vancouver, BC.
ne of the most common
struggles many Christians
face is aptly described in the
title of the book by Laura Nash
and Scotty McLennan: Church on
Sunday, Work on Monday1. The
authors bewail the dichotomy of faith
and work, where people observe
religious duties each Sunday, only
to revert to a secular lifestyle from
Monday. The cycle then repeats itself
every week, where many a professed
Christian hardly intersects with Wall
Street or Main Street, let alone home
base. This leaves many Christian
believers a sense of discomfort and
confusion about why their faith is
largely disconnected from the real
The book by Nash and McLennan
is itself a sharp critique of the Church.
They accuse the clergy of playing
minimal or no role to help equip fellow
laypeople with tools and resources to
address this very dichotomy. Worse,
based on their surveys, the Church
does not seem to have any clue on
how to help members in this regard.
Maybe they have too many religious
responsibilities. Maybe they believe
their members already know best
about what to do. Maybe, they do
not have a clue how to connect
Sunday to Monday in the first place.
If that is the case, why should anyone
be surprised if laypersons themselves
The presumed solution must be
something that leads to a deeper
sense of connection between worship
and work. The presumed method is
thus about learning the 'how.' The
desire for ‘how’ gets louder each
time anyone talks about the SundayMonday dichotomy. This call is a
common one. In writing about work
and faith, Gordon Preece2 concurs
with both Nash and McLennan,
arguing that the Church in general
ought to 'shift its pastoral and mission
priorities toward Monday.'
Like Nash and McLennan, Preece
observes in a similar way that there
is a “disintegration of work and faith”
among Christians as they move from
Sunday to Monday. Their desire to
marry faith and work is a noble one.
The thinking is that as we make our
faith more relevant to our work, our
work becomes a better testimony of
faith. As our work becomes a better
testimony of faith, we will bring glory
to the God of Creation.
Preece’s tend to be understood more
in terms of evangelism and outreach,
and less in terms of what holistic faith
is all about. Some call it friendship
evangelism. Others call it workplace
evangelism, or whatever. The trouble
is, it reduces weekly faith into
something like Christian marketing
on the outside, after a weekend
charging of one’s spiritual batteries
on the inside. It is still a form of
dichotomy. Like Nash and McLennan,
for all good intentions, the Christian
faith has become streamlined into
some kind of an evangelistic outfit
dressed in office attire. Here lies the
problem: Our cluelessness about
worship affects our understanding of
our role in the world.
In this article, I want to explore
how cluelessness impacts our
Christian life. If we are clueless
about the meaning of Sundays, the
purpose of the other six days, and
the understanding of God’s will for
all our days, we will remain clueless
for many days to come. Clueless
about Sunday Christianity; clueless
about Christian discipleship; clueless
about what it means to be a Christian
in the first place. The key to it all is
not the how-to, but the why. It is
not the what, but the who. It is not
the grasping and grabbing, but the
giving and releasing that will lead
us through the fog of cluelessness.
Unless we are clear about worship,
our words remain blurred.
The biggest problem in any organizational or personal life is this:
Lack of Clarity. On 9 September
1923, an armada of US destroyers
was coasting down south from San
Francisco to San Diego. All was going
well until they encountered thick fog.
Despite the poor vision, the captain
of the lead destroyer maintained a
fast speed of 20 knots, trusting in the
skills and techniques of the highly
talented navigator crews, as well
as the familiarity of the Californian
coastline. The USS Delphy led the
way, with several other destroyers
following the exact orders by the
captain of the squadron. Soon, the
lead ship crashed into the rocks of
Point Arguello. The strong metallic
hull of the great destroyer was no
match for the rocks of nature. The
USS Delphy’s hull split into two. Six
other destroyers ran aground. Many
sailors died. In one day, the US Navy
lost more ships than all of World War
I. All because of a lack of clarity.
This reminds me literally of the
King James translation of Proverbs
29:18, “Where there is no vision, the
Likewise, management gurus
often teach, “If we aim at nothing, we
will probably hit it.”
If we are clueless about Christian
discipleship, or what it means to go to
Church, we will most likely be clueless
about what it means to be a Christian
B) Clueless About
Connecting Sunday to Monday
The symptoms of cluelessness are
many. After all the flurry of religious
activism, and the spiritual food that
people get, the week subsequently
knocks the heavenly Christian back
to existential reality. What on earth
does it mean to be a Christian in the
workplace? What happened to all the
Sunday highs? The flurry of questions
• How do I relate the Eschatological
hope of heaven with the practical
challenges of reality?
• What did the Apostle Paul say about
being a good engineer?
• Is there anything that Luke the
(( WORSHIP IS
NOT ABOUT US
GETTING TO DO
WHAT WE WANT
TO DO. IT IS ABOUT
GETTING A BIGGER
SENSE OF GOD IN
1 Laura Nash and Scotty McLennan,
Church on Sunday, Work on Monday,
2 Gordon Preece, Work, in The
Complete Book of Everyday
Christianity, edited by Robert Banks
and R Paul Stevens, (Downers
Grove, IL: IVP, 1997), p1129.
3 Marva Dawn, Reaching Out
Without Dumbing Down, (Grand
Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1995), p8.
4 James K. A. Smith, Imagining the
Kingdom, (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker
Physician has to say about being a
good medical doctor?
• What did the preacher say yesterday
• Oh brother! Why did I sleep through
the sermon yesterday?
Without a proper understanding
of what Sunday means, our Mondays
will be blurry. The assumption is
that the pastor shares the Word on
Sunday, the Spirit moves the people,
and the people go into the world of
work after that. Sadly, this is more
difficult than what many of us think.
The problem is, worship is not about
us getting to do what we want to do.
It is about getting a bigger sense of
God in everything we do.
C) Blaming the Clergy:
Clueless About Mondays
The clergy is to blame! So says
Harvard and Stanford professors,
Laura Nash and Scotty McLennan.
In calling for greater involvement
of the clergy beyond Sundays, Nash
and McLennan propose dialogue
and engagement throughout the
week. They ask for clergy to be more
involved and more interested in the
working lives of the members. They
ask the Church and religious staff to
learn to see their ministries beyond
the Church walls on Sundays. They
implore them to venture into the
offices, the workplaces, and the
outside world, instead of cocooning
themselves within the sacred walls of
Church. Support the people. Engage
with them. Help them. These are the
pleas from the authors to the clergy,
on behalf of a massive lay population,
• Help us connect our faith with our
• Help us reconnect our understanding
of God’s will for our lives.
• Help us live boldly in this world as
one integrated whole.
People need help because they
themselves are clueless about any
link between Sundays and Mondays.
They believe there is. The problem
is, they do not know how to connect
D) Blaming the People:
Clueless About Sundays
The people must share the blame!
After all, if Sunday worship is about
the people of God coming together
to break bread, to sing praises, and to
hear the Word together, working well
is also a communal responsibility. We
have a responsibility to pray for one
another. We have a responsibility to
exercise our gifts for the Church, our
talents in the world, and our best for
Maybe, it is the pastor praying and
the layperson sowing. Maybe, it is the
Spirit working hand in hand with each
person obeying step by step. Maybe,
it is simply being faithful to one’s
work responsibilities are listed in the
employment contract and executed
according to the principles listed
in the spiritual covenant. That still
leaves a gaping hole on what it means
to worship on Sundays.
So what is Sunday all about? Let
me offer some ways to clarify our
thinking about worship.
My professor, Dr Marva Dawn3,
gives two brilliant insights with
regards to worship. Firstly, worship
is not about maximizing our time
during a worship service. It is about
'wasting time' in God. In other words,
don’t rush God to fit into our own
schedules. Learn to take pleasure in
letting God show us what it means to
enjoy His presence. Stop the clock.
Remove the watch. Just enjoy the
presence of God. Worship Him!
Secondly, Dawn is particularly
concerned about the introduction of
the 'how-to' thinking into Church and
worship. Instead of Sundays being
a day for worshipping God alone, it
has become another work-day for
Christians. In simple terms, six days
you shall work in secular grounds,
on the seventh day, you shall work
on sacred ground. Dawn traces the
problem to the indoctrination of
marketing ideas into the Church since
the 1970s. Such ideas include:
• We have to make Church more
relevant to society.
• We need to draw up attractive
programs to bring in the masses.
• We need to reach out, even though
it may mean dumbing down some
traditional rituals that come across as
archaic, boring, and irrelevant.
• The ‘how-to’s are more important
than the ‘who’s and the ‘why’s.
If that is so, it is not surprising that
people feel a sense of emptiness even
on Sundays. The thinking is simple: If
they do not have all the right fuel on
Sundays, how then are they to drive
This leads to a host of unhealthy
expectations for all. The clergy is
expected to feed the spiritual appetite
of the masses. The laity expects their
churches to help them meet the
demands of the heavy workweek. The
world demands more of the Christian
worker, knowing his/her strong work
ethic. This turns Church into a giant
spiritual battery charging station, so
that one can have enough power to
last the grueling workweek.
E) Bringing Clarity to
Sundays and the Rest
Dawn thinks otherwise. Worship on
Sundays is much more.
“Knowing that Christians are
saved totally by God’s grace and not
by any efforts on our part, the Church
throughout the ages has understood
that its task as an institution is to
provide opportunities for the worship
and praise of God and the educating
and forming of its people for a life of
caring for others in response to that
grace. We might compare these two
tasks to the two great commandments
– to love God with all our heart, soul,
mind, and strength and to become
the kind of people who will love our
neighbors as ourselves.”
Now, that is clarity. Love God.
(( IF WE ARE
MEANS FOR US,
OUR MINDS WILL
BE CLEAR ABOUT
OF FAITH AND
WORK. WE WILL
THAT THERE IS
THE REST OF THE
Love people. Serve Others.
Sundays is about loving God,
loving people, and serving all. The
same applies to Monday, Tuesday,
Saturday, and the next week.
It then circles back to the same
message: Love God, love people,
This one message will blow away
the fog of cluelessness.
If we are clear about what Sunday
means for us, our minds will be clear
about the question of faith and work.
We will recognize that there is no
dichotomy between Sundays and the
rest of the week. We will know that
there is not one rule for Church and
another rule outside of Church.
I am always fascinated with
methods and techniques. After all,
I am an engineer by profession, and
one who works all the time with
technology and electronic gadgets.
Even my books and reading material
are increasingly either online or on
my computing devices. I love it when
things work. I beam with pride when
I fix things well. I often dream about
how to solve computing problems
with maximum efficiency and
However, when it comes to
spiritual matters, such a mentality
must grind to a screeching halt.
Something else takes over. James
K. A. Smith4 describes worship
as 'imagining the kingdom.' In a
recent book, Smith writes about
the centrality of worshiping God for
every believer, how that one mood
of worship impacts the rest. At the
end of worship is the sending out
of the believer. It basically means
that the work of the worshipper
begins immediately after the service.
According to James, 'the end of
worship comes with a responsibility.'
What this means is that there
is no such thing as a SundayMonday dichotomy, as long as we
all understand the link between the
two ends of the Sunday worship
service. Our mission to the world
To The Point
(( HOW THEN
DO WE MOVE
THE TRUTH IS:
begins immediately after the worship
This is where the power of
Mother Teresa’s ministry lies: the
ministry of prayer. Each day, her
Sisters of Charity wake up faithfully
at 3-4 am to pray together before
the beginning of a busy day. That is
their formal point of worship. They
practise the same simple truth: Love
God (demonstrated in prayer); Love
one another (praying together); serve
others (serving all).
F) Clarity about Religion
and the Secular World
How then do we move from Sunday
Christianity to Christian Discipleship?
The truth is this: We don’t. Whether it
is Sunday or any other day, the same
truth applies to each and every day
of the week: Love God; Love People;
If we are clear about what
worshipping God is all about, we
will automatically want to worship
God through loving one another,
and serving all others. At the risk
of oversimplification, let me put
it even more bluntly. We love
God and worship God at each
worship service together (Sunday
Christianity). We love one another by
living together in the ways of Christ
(Christian Discipleship). We serve
all others by upholding the truth of
Christ everywhere we go (Christian
Miroslav Volf, Croatian Protestant
theologian, laments the state of
religion in the secular world, and
tries to make sense of why religions
are getting such a bad public rap
nowadays. He notes that Christians
are rightly to be blamed for some
of the 'malfunctions of faith'. He
writes that, “the Christian faith has
sometimes failed to live up to its
standards as a prophetic religion.”
For Volf, one of the major
purposes of the Christian is to
shape the lives of people in their
communities. In order to do this, he
proposes an ethic of doing good to
all people, regardless of language,
ethnicity, religious persuasions, or
any other human differences. We are
to engage the world in faith, through
sharing wisdom with all, maintaining
solidarity as fellow human people,
and publicly engaging the world in
order to bring about positive change
and common good.
A disciple of Christ will surely
be excited about all of these
propositions. It will all flow naturally
from this simple truth: Love God;
Love People; Serve Others.
In summary, the reason for
disconnected spiritualities is because
of our mistaken belief that puts the
cart of 'how-to' before the horse of
'love-to.' If we know the 'why,' we
will do our level best to look for the
'how.' If we truly know God, we will
naturally know what to do next.
Life is not meant to be complicated.
If there is a fog of cluelessness, slow
down and stop if necessary. Then
let the breeze of the simple truth to
'Love God; Love People; Serve Others'
help us navigate through the often
treacherous seas of life. There is no
need to rush rapidly ahead. When
our vision is blurred, it is important to
pause or slow down, and stop when
necessary to clarify our thoughts and
our directions. Just having all the
techniques and the knowhow does
not necessarily mean we must use
Finally, I know that there are
some readers who will say to me:
“Yeah! We have heard these two
commandments before. There is
nothing new. Tell me something new.”
To that, I will reply: “If you have
already heard it, memorized it, or
analyzed it, there is one more thing
you need to do. Do it.”
Let me close with this thought
by Andrew Murray, which sums up
nicely what it means to be a disciple
“Our love to God is measured by
our everyday fellowship with others
and the love it displays.”
who we worship
WHO SHOULD WORSHIP
You shall worship the
Lord your God and Him
only shall you serve.
Therefore, I urge you,
brothers and sisters, in view
of God’s mercy, to offer your
bodies as a living sacrifice,
holy and pleasing to God—
this is your true and proper
worship. Rom 12: 1
All people and creation
… Let them praise the name
of the Lord, for at his command they were created,
Psalm 148: 1-13
Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known
among the nations what he
has done. Sing to him, sing
praise to him; tell of all his
1 Chron 16:8-9
whY we worship
Praise him for his
mighty deeds; praise
him according to his
God is present when
But You are holy, enthroned
in the praises of Israel.
I will declare thy name unto
my brethren: in the midst of
the congregation will I praise
thee. Psalm 22:22a
In the midst of the assembly
I will sing praise to You.
Worship is our greatest love expression to God. It is our response, both personal and
corporate, to God for who He is, and what He has done; expressed in and by the things
we do and say and the way we live.
SOME FORMS OF WORSHIP
Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise
him with the harp and lyre,
praise him with timbrel and
dancing, praise him with the
strings and pipe, praise him
with the clash of cymbals,
praise him with resounding
cymbals. Psalm 150: 3-5
Moses quickly bowed to the
ground and prostrated himself in worship. Ex 39:8
Bow and kneel
O come, let us worship and
bow down, let us kneel
before the Lord our Maker.
Psalm 95: 6
David, wearing a linen
ephod, danced before the
Lord with all his might
2 Samuel 6:14
I lift up my hands toward
your most holy Place.
"This people honors Me
with their lips, but their
heart is far from Me"
Spirit and truth
But the hour is coming, and
now is, when true worshippers will worship the Father
in spirit and in truth, for the
Father is seeking such to
worship Him. God is Spirit
and they that worship Him
must worship Him in spirit
and in truth. John 4: 23, 24
Fear and awe
I will worship toward and at
Your holy temple in reverent
fear and awe of You.
Psalm 5: 7
let us draw near to God with
a sincere heart and with
the full assurance that faith
brings, having our hearts
sprinkled to cleanse us from
a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with
By doing good
Through Jesus, therefore, let
us continually offer to God
a sacrifice of praise — the
fruit of lips that confess his
name. And do not forget to
do good and to share with
others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased
Hebrews 13: 15-16
ALL PHOTOGTRAPHS: YAN SONG BY CC2.0
by Pam Farrel & Doreen Hanna
mom is like the orchestra
conductor in the symphony
of her daughter's life. Mom,
if you tap your baron to the
sheet music of Scripture, some
amazing things can happen in your
Moms have a profound influence on us – for good, or not. Both
of us feel grateful for mothers who
cared for and influenced our lives
in amazing ways. Our mothers' influence gave us a heart for serving
others and the confidence to lead.
Doreen: I am grateful that God's
divine plan purposed that I would
be raised by a godly mother. I carried her simple words of wisdom
into the lives of my own two daughters and now I'm beginning to see
them passed on to my granddaughters. We establish traditions by the
things we speak to the next generation (once again we see the power
of our words).
Pam: My mom would get a high
mother rating because she provided
a beat for my life that I could dance
to. The resounding mantras of my
mother's words echo in my heart:
take the high road, be part of the
solution, and search for God until
you find Him. Her efforts matched
her words that still echo in my heart
each day as I rise to lead: "You can
do this thing, Pam. Do it well."
My mother is the first to point
out her shortcomings, though. You
also might feel inadequate in your
motherhood role for some reason,
but that's what is so wonderful
about God. He takes our best efforts and adds Himself to the mix, in
spite of any inadequacies we feel as
a parent or any imperfections in our
* For Dads + sons too.
a life that is a series of beautiful
notes? The traits your daughter
needs to see in you are:
(( MY MOTHER'S
WORDS ECHO IN
MY HEART: TAKE
THE HIGH ROAD,
BE PART OF THE
SEARCH FOR GOD
UNTIL YOU FIND
These are the same traits to begin weaving into her own life so she
can live out God's song for her.
We know that teen girls today
face tough decisions. Your daughter
needs to feel secure and safe in her
relationship with you.
Doreen: First and foremost,
I believe there must be the element of trust between mother and
daughter. As our daughters begin
to develop physically, it generally
comes with a growing spirit of independence.
Peer pressure often adds to this
new spirit of wanting to see and
try things differently. I am talking
about small things – like the way
they dress, speak, comb their hair,
and so on. I am not referring to
choices that endanger their lives.
Demonstrating your trust in
your daughter is the greatest gift
you can give her at this stage of
her life. Allow her to begin making
As the maestro of your daughter's life, what are the main chords
God would like you to play in her
heart so that someday she can live
help! i have
Three Time Management Truths You Need to Know
ecently an old CCMC friend
who migrated to Australia
a few years ago came back
for a holiday with his
family. I met them several times
during the week, catching up, chatting about old times and eating his
favourite hawker fare. Just before
he left, I asked if he still misses Singapore as home. He nodded slightly
but said our lifestyle here is too
hectic. I retorted half in jest, ‘sure,
go back and watch the grass grow.’
Much as we may be defensive,
we have to admit that the general
perception of friends residing in
other countries is that our quality
of life in Singapore is compromised
by the hurried pace, and time is at
a premium and in general shortage.
Yet, busy as we may be, prime time
television still finds its way into
most households, and our numerous golf courses are usually filled
with busy executives.
The truth is that all of us,
regardless of lifestyle, will always
find time to do the things we like.
After work, sleep and daily routines, there will always be some
discretionary free time, and more
on weekends, where we have a
choice on how we expend it. The
Bible says, ‘For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also’
(Matthew 6:21). This is also true
with time, as we love what we find
time to do.
Truth #1: You will always find
time for things you like or feel are
By TAN BUCK CHYE
Time management is a misnomer that Albert Einstein understood as an oxymoron, as time is a
constant that cannot be managed.
Everyone has the same amount
of time and it cannot be saved or
stored. It is also a great leveler in
that, eventually, time will catch up
with everyone. The only instance in
history where time stood still was
when God delayed the sun going
down for about a full day to let
Joshua defeat the five kings of the
Amorites (Joshua 10:13).
Instead of trying to manage
time, what we can do is to improve
our self-management so as to make
better use of time, as the Apostle
Paul exhorted the Ephesians: ‘Be
very careful, then, how you live –
not as unwise but as wise.’ (Ephesians 5:15). And as the Psalmist
prayed, “Teach us to number our
days aright, that we may gain a
heart of wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12).
John Maxwell said we choose
our life by how we spend time. Indeed, that is so, and how we spend
our time is the sum total of choices we make based on values and
attitudes we carry, and principles
we live by. To improve our stewardship of time, we need a closer self
examination so as to improve self
Truth #2: You cannot manage
time; you can only manage yourself.
The late Peter Drucker, revered
as the father of modern management and a respected Christian
leader, had advocated strongly that
to be effective is to ‘do the right
things well’. Good self management then is not about being more
disciplined in working harder and
efficiently in getting things done
faster, but in recognizing and doing
the right things well.
King Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 10:10 that ‘If the axe is dull
and its edge unsharpened, more
strength is needed, but skill will
bring success.’ We need to sharpen
and work smarter, not just harder.
To this end, an important lesson
can be drawn from what our Lord
Jesus told busy Martha, that only
one thing was needed at that time.
To be effective, we need to focus
on important things to pursue as
Everything on our plates to be
done can be segregated into four
categories as shown in the diagram
(( we choose
our life by how
we spend time.
indeed, that is
so, and how we
spend our time is
the sum total of
choices we make
based on values
we carry, and
needed to follow through.
Most of us tend to prefer avoiding the pain of discipline. It is often
easier to laze around and perhaps
watch some TV instead of going for
a sweaty workout. To stay focused
on set priorities, we need to recognize the tradeoffs: in this instance,
avoiding the short term pain of
exercise will lead to a longer term
pain of regrets when our health becomes an issue. We need this clear
perspective to keep motivated in
effective self management.
Three Success Secrets
1. The main thing is to keep the
main thing the main thing.
I M PO RTANT
We will naturally attend to the
important and urgent matters in
category 1 first. After that, time
should be allocated to important
matters in category 2, instead of
being dominated by the tyranny of
the urgent in category 3. Unfortunately, we often unwisely neglect
the important matters in category
2 which may not appear urgent.
These are what Stephen Covey
in his 7 Habits of Highly Effective
People called the big rocks in our
life, such as our health and relationships. We will not drop dead
even if we do not exercise, and our
loved ones will not disown us even
if we do not spend time with them.
Over a sustained period though,
category 2 matters will eventually
migrate into category 1. We get
into stress and crisis when we get
too many matters in the urgent
and important category to juggle.
Effective people will recognize
priorities and proactively allocate
more time to make sure these are
Truth #3: Vital few and trivial
many; life will clutter if you allow it.
For most of my adult life, I have
adopted a four-pronged approach
to self management in recognition
of the three truths shared above;
expressed in the acronym below
on how I PASS my time:
Act on plans
I pursue priorities proactively
and set goals regularly to galvanize
action plans, and avoid procrastination. My activities and tasks are
scheduled yearly and monthly in
advance, and also weekly and daily
in constant adjustments.
Above all, self discipline is
Jesus said in Matthew 6:32-33
that we should seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all
other things we need will be given
God is sovereign, divine and
supernatural. Putting God first in
our equation of life will keep us in
His perfect and pleasing will. He is
the Rock we should focus on and
on which to build our foundation
in life. He is our refuge and deliverer, and will bring all things to pass
in His good time.
Some years ago, I met regularly
with a small group of marketplace
Christians for weekly early breakfast devotion. One of them is a
regional Chief Executive of a large
MNC and we were wondering how
he managed to join us regularly despite his busy travelling schedule.
His reply was that his work and life
were so hectic that he just could
not cope without Jesus; and that
was why praying and sharing with
a group of brothers was so important that he would not skip it.
Why labor and sweat in our
fallen self when Jesus wants to carry us in His arms? He said, “Come
to me, all you who are weary and
burdened, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn
from me, for I am gentle and
humble in heart, and you will find
rest for your souls. For my yoke is
easy and my burden is light.” (Matt
Since I was born again in Christ
some 12 years ago, I have always
sought to put Him first in my life.
I can attest to the fact, as most
of you will agree, that God is a
debtor to no man and His arm is
not too short for anything. As we
honour Him, our God will meet all
our needs according to the riches
of His glory in Christ Jesus (Phil
2. Develop & Maintain
When we live life on the edge,
we risk squeezing God as well as
other important ‘big rocks’ out
when we get too busy. The unexpected can often be expected in
life, and wisdom calls for margins
to be built and developed to insure
a good balance in our body, mind,
soul and emotional well being.
Spiritual margin is built in our
devotional life with God; ability
margin in not biting more than
we can chew, keeping one’s health
in check with a regular exercise
regime and moderate eating;
financial margin is living below
our means and staying out of debt;
and emotional margin is gained by
spending adequate time with family, friends and having ‘me’ time.
Life is not a race towards our
graves to cross into eternity. Take
time to smell the roses, as they say.
For me, I find it useful to schedule
regular buffer periods in each
week. This allows me the slack
to accommodate spill-over work,
unexpected tasks such as writing
this article for you, and time I can
devote to thinking, reading and
mediating on God in solitude.
When we eventually meet our
Maker, I don’t think He will be asking how we had spent our time.
We are called to be fruitful here
on earth, to be His salt and light
shining for Jesus. Only a life lived
for Him will be fruitful for eternity.
That is why it is a privilege for us
to be able to serve Him.
It is my prayer that more
brothers and sisters in Christ
will be led to want to give more
precious time to serve Jesus and
to stand up for Him. If God has
burned this desire in you, I look
forward to hearing from you. No
matter how much time you have
or which season of life you are in,
God will honour your desire. The
little boy on the plains had just
five loaves and two fishes. In the
hands of our Master, five thousand
Give your best and God will do
3. Enjoy Your Journey
(( LIFE IS NOT A
TO CROSS INTO
FOR ME, I FIND
IT USEFUL TO
Tan Buck Chye and his family has
been worshipping in CCMC since
1999. He is currently the church's
Lay Leader, Chairman of PPRSC, as
well as a Local Lay Preacher. He is
active in marketplace and men’s
around me, however difficult it
may be sometimes. Help me not to
be conceited but to treat everyone
equally, regardless of whether society considers them lowly or not.
LYNN LOW (TONG)
God's Amazing Grace
In this issue, the Tong family
who S.O.A.P.s together, shareS
their devotions with us.
S: Rom 12:16 Live in harmony
with one another. Do not be proud,
but be willing to associate with
people of low position. Do not be
O: Do I live in harmony with the
people around me? Am I too proud
to associate with those who society
deems of a lower position? Am I
A: This verse holds many reminders for me. Firstly, the call to live
in harmony is an important one.
From the driver who cuts into
my path without signaling, to the
client with unreasonable demands,
God’s command is pretty clear. Be
they fellow brothers or sisters in
Christ, we are to live in harmony
with them all, however difficult it
may be. Secondly, do we smile and
greet the cleaners and security
guards we see? Or are those smiles
reserved for important clients and
business associates? Yet another
reminder that God loves everyone
equally and that we as Christians,
are to do the same.
P: Lord, help me to live as Christ
did, in harmony with everyone
S: Romans 3:22-24 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus
Christ to all who believe. There
is no difference between Jew and
Gentile, for all have sinned and
fall short of the glory of God, and
all are justified freely by his grace
through the redemption that came
by Christ Jesus.
O: All of us have sinned and fallen
short of God's glory. Yet God, with
loving kindness and abounding
grace, through His Son Jesus
Christ, made us right before Him.
This righteousness which God has
graciously given us comes through
simple faith in Jesus Christ.
A: All of us, whether male or
female, young or old, poor or rich,
good or bad, kind or unkind, are
totally undeserving of God's grace.
Yet God, through His abundant love
and the sacrifice of His Son Jesus
Christ, delivered us from the consequences of our sin. It is through
faith, the belief that Christ Jesus
died for our sins and rose again,
that we are made right with God
and saved from our sins.
P: Dear God, humble me to realise
that I am totally undeserving of
your grace, and yet through your
wonderful love and sacrifice, your
grace is available to all. I thank you
that it is through your loving grace
alone, not by my works or merit,
that I am made right before you.
Unworthy as I am of your grace,
there is no sin too great to lessen
the abundance of the grace available to us. Thank you, Lord. Amen!
How He Loves
S: Deut 11: 14-15 To the Lord your
God belong the heavens, even the
highest heavens, the earth and
everything in it. Yet the Lord set
his affection on your ancestors
and loved them, and he chose you,
their descendants, above all the
nations—as it is today.
O: God is all powerful, he does not
need to love me, nor do I deserve
it. God could have chosen to make
my life terrible, laugh at me, torture me, but God is love. He chose
to care for each and everyone of us
and for that we need to be grateful.
We always will have the mighty
and powerful God on our side because He first chose to love us.
A: Do I deserve anything I have?
No. Do I have any reason to judge
or feel superior to another? No. I
need to start realising how each of
us is the same, undeserving, weak,
but loved. Whether or not another
one is Christian, I must love him/
her and not feel superior or judge,
because I am as underserving. I must
love them with the love of God.
P: Dear Father, may I marvel at
your power and majesty, but most
of all, at your LOVE. May I desire
to love others the same way as you
love each of us. Amen.
people there. When we read this
verse, we find out that the goal
of Timothy's mission is love. This
stems from three things: a pure
heart, a good conscience, and a
sincere faith. How do these three
things add up to love? Verse 6 says
that those who wander away from
these things will have meaningless
talk. Therefore, we must assume
that these things bring meaning to
whatever is said.
A: How can I have love in my life?
I need to embody these three
important values that join together
to form love. We must remember
that the ultimate goal is love; that
means it is the end point, the target
which we want to fulfil.
P: Dear Lord, help me to have love
in my life. Help me to have a pure
heart, a good conscience and a
sincere faith in order to achieve the
goal which is love. Amen.
S: Matt 18:4 Therefore, whoever
takes the lowly position of this
child is the greatest in the kingdom
O: Jesus told the disciples that
whoever humbles himself like a
child is the greatest in the Kingdom
O: The command probably was
Paul's instructions to Timothy to
stay in Ephesus to minister to the
P: Dear God, please help me have
this childlike faith, this real faith,
this innocent childlike faith so that
I can glorify you in all things that I
do. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.
What Shapes Love
S: 1 Tim 1:5-6 The goal of this command is love, which comes from a
pure heart and a good conscience
and a sincere faith. Some have departed from these and have turned
to meaningless talk.
A: We must humble ourselves, be
teachable and have faith that is
unchangeable, that is there forever,
real faith, like a child, an innocent
child, to totally believe in Jesus
Christ. That is the greatest in the
Kingdom of Heaven.
A YEAR OF
BY LAU SHI MEI
Reading the Bible once through AND enjoying it. Check.
What’s on your checklist of 'to do' things for the year ahead?
For me, reading the Bible once through was rarely on my list.
After all, previous attempts were either forgettable (I struggled
through) or utter failures (I gave up halfway).
And so for many years, my quiet time diet consisted of
devotionals. My Utmost for His Highest, Our Daily Journey
and Our Daily Bread were my faithful companions. It was a
wonderful season of hearing from God through these trusted
guides. I loved the variety and relevance of the messages. God
spoke, and often it was powerful.
In March last year, I was introduced to the world of S.O.A.P.
– Scripture, Observation, Application and Prayer. Just four simple steps to conquer the entire Bible. Armed with these tools,
my Bible, journal and reading plan, I dived right into it. And I
haven’t looked back since.
Suddenly, the huge 'task' of reading the entire Bible in
one year was made magically simple. Just focus on ONE thing
that speaks to you each day. I was freed from the pressure of
having to absorb everything at one go. Instead, I could pick out
one verse (or a few) that really spoke to me, and meditate on
those. S.O.A.P. helped me digest the Bible one tasty morsel at
a time. No more biting off more than I can chew and suffering
Journalling down my thoughts also brought clarity and focus to what I was learning. It helped cement what I sensed God
was saying to me. God is speaking to us, every day! My S.O.A.P.
journals remind me of that.
My spiritual muscles have grown too. I learnt to persevere
through difficult passages in the Bible to uncover the ONE
thing that God was saying to me. I learnt to think for myself –
to draw my own observations and applications. Verses were
read in context – making my understanding of the Bible richer
In the past year, the Bible has come alive in an amazing
way for me. I am proud to say that I have read the Bible once
through, AND enjoyed it!
for Today and Tomorrow
on the way
go, and even
DR PAUL HAWKINS
In today’s world where children have access to seemingly
limitless information on the Internet and all manner of
opinions on the myriad of social media platforms, what
role does education have in the spiritual health of our
children and whose responsibility is it?
very child has an
intellect that needs to be
challenged and trained,
a physical body that
should be kept healthy and built
up, emotions that ought to be
positively nurtured, a will that
requires modulation, and a spirit
which must be inspired and
elevated. Today’s educators are
committed to training the intellect,
the body and sometimes help to
build boundaries for emotional
stability. However, perhaps the
most important part of a child’s
makeup – his spirit – is frequently
neglected. How does one train a
child’s spirit through education?
The above leads us into a
discussion on the philosophy of
education. Many switch off when
the word ‘philosophy‘ is used.
However, we are all in a sense
philosophers because we have
a way of seeing ourselves and
the world around us. That is our
philosophy of life – our worldview
– which affects all we do.
In An Introduction to the
Philosophy of Education, Dr
Ralph Kneller of the University of
California Los Angeles wrote, “To
educate men wisely we must know
what we educate them to become.
To know this, it is necessary to
ask what men live for – what's the
purpose of life and what sort of life
should it be? In any walk of life we
must have a philosophy of our own
in order to know where we are
going.… We cannot deal adequately
with any single subject until we
have a working knowledge of what
it means to exist, to know, to value,
to inquire into things in general.”
The late Dr Derek Prince,
Oxford graduate and respected
international Bible teacher stated:
“One of the most urgent needs
of our contemporary culture is
to restore the moral foundations
of education which have been
eroded by a false, humanistic set of
values.… To train the intellect, but
(( ONE OF THE MOST
URGENT NEEDS OF
CULTURE IS TO
RESTORE THE MORAL
TRAIN THE INTELLECT,
BUT MAKE NO
PROVISION FOR THE
HEART, IS A PROCESS
THAN IT SOLVES.
– DEREK PRINCE
of using that
will only serve
to reinforce selfcenteredness
we see so evident
in the global
make no provision for the heart,
is a process which creates more
problems than it solves.”
Even the founders of Harvard
University understood this as
evidenced by the founding motto of
the university: "Let every student
be plainly instructed and earnestly
pressed to consider well the main
end of his life and studies is to
know God and Jesus Christ which
is eternal life, and therefore to lay
Christ in the bottom as the only
foundation of all sound knowledge
and learning and seeing the Lord
only giveth wisdom, let everyone
seriously set himself to prayer in
secret to seek it of Him."
Dr Abbott Lawrence Lowell,
President of Harvard University
(1909-1933) once visited a
laboratory in the university where
experiments were being done on
earthworms to see if their behavior
could be affected by outside
stimuli. After the visit, he wrote,
“[These earthworms] have been
changed by this Harvard course,
but I can’t say they are any better
earthworms for having been at
Harvard.” What a straight-forward
statement. Are our children better
for having been educated?
Dr Harold Taylor, former
president of Yale University
in Student, Teacher and Values
wrote, “Education is… a process
of growth and development… the
content of education is not a body
of knowledge. It is a cluster of
attitudes, feelings, perceptions,
insights, abilities, and skills,
of which the ability to think
independently and clearly is of the
first importance, and the ability to
experience life fully and honestly is
certainly of no less value.”
We certainly would not disagree
with Dr Taylor on the need to
develop thinking skills but the
need for character development
is also of utmost importance.
Perhaps that is what he meant by
“the ability to experience life fully
This is highlighted by John
Alexander in Education: A
Christian View when he states,
“The overriding purpose of a
Christian educator (and of a
Christian school) is to help people
gladly obey the Lord Jesus Christ.
Secondly, to help a person learn to
think; to construct good questions,
to formulate true answers, to
observe carefully, to analyze,
to remember, to recall useful
information, to employ imagination
creatively and constructively, to
Thus, we must understand
the need to educate our children
in the whole truth, not selective
information or mere knowledge.
Dr Cornelius van Til, professor
of apologetics at Westminster
Seminary in the United States for
forty years, wrote: “The end of all
knowledge getting should be the
attainment of an understanding
of life as it is. Knowledge consists
of knowing who God is, who man
is, and what the external world is.
God is the completely original and
exclusively original personality
which serves as the foundation
for the meaning of all human
predication. Only on this Biblical
foundation can a pupil know
himself or the world he lives in.”
Equipping our children with
knowledge without the moral
means of using that knowledge to
benefit others, will only serve to
reinforce self-centeredness and
selfishness we see so evident in the
global community today.
How can we accomplish this
character development? According
to Os Guinness in Time For Truth,
"Character was traditionally
understood as the inner form
that makes anyone or anything
what it is... Character was the
deep selfhood, the essential
stuff a person is made of, the
core reality in which thoughts,
words, decisions, behavior,
and relationships are rooted.
As such, character determined
behavior just as behavior
demonstrated character. Character
was who we are when no one sees
us – but God,"
One could call this the result of
For years I have always reacted
to the statement, “Parents have
the ultimate responsibility for
the education of their children.” I
didn’t know why that was the case.
It seemed to put a heavy weight on
my shoulders that I was unable to
joyfully bear. Over the years, my
wife and I have realized we are not
capable of meeting all of our sons’
needs. We have had the privilege
of living in a Christian community
which has provided a Christian
school for our children and I have
been involved in its direction
and leadership for many years
serving as teacher, headmaster and
During a conference with
my associates in the faculty of
education where I served as
associate dean, this issue came up.
Because of the open relationships
in the group I was free to say,
“Every time one of you says that
a parent carries the ultimate
responsibility for the education of
his children, I react. Can we find
An intense discussion followed
resulting in the following
understanding: A parent carries
the ultimate accountability for
the education of his child, but it is
a shared responsibility with the
body of Christ. When it was first
verbalized my response was, “Yes,
that’s it!” I knew we had hit on
something that I had been trying to
verbalize for years.
The statement freed me from
a heavy weight. I understood that
the spiritual/character education
was my responsibility, but it also
required others in the body of
Christ to be responsible. In that
way, it made me accountable to the
body of Christ how I taught and
brought up my children.
There is no doubt our children
are facing a troubled world and
need to be equipped to handle the
issues that they will face, many of
which we older generations have
We are required to take a closer
look at their needs. Of certainty,
one hour a week of religious
instruction is no longer sufficient.
Home, church and school must
function together in a reinforcing
balance to prepare this unique
generation to face the world most
adults have not faced.
If the local church does
not fulfill her responsibility to
work with the parents and the
Christian educator, we will not
see God’s purposes fulfilled for
this generation. It is not just the
responsibility of the parents. It
is the responsibility of the whole
body of Christ whom parents are
Dr Paul Hawkins serves in Youth With
A Mission and was formerly dean of the
faculty of education in YWAM's University of the Nations.
By profession, Paul was a tentmaker (Acts 18:3).
Paul went to Macedonia after having a
dream of a Macedonian man pleading
with him, "Come over to Macedonia and
help us!" (Acts 16:9).
Born in Tarsus, circumcised on the
eighth day, an Israelite of the tribe
of Benjamin, a Hebrew and a Pharisee,
zealously persecuted the church; as
for righteousness based on the law,
faultless. (Philippians 3:5-6).
Saul met Jesus in a blinding light on the road
to Damascus and was converted (Acts 9:3-7).
On his second missionary journey, Paul saw an altar to 'the
unknown god' in Athens and proclaimed to the Athenians that
God had been revealed by Jesus Christ (Acts 17:16-34).
Manga by GILLIAN GOH
In Damascus, Ananias baptised Saul and
Saul was healed of his blindness (Acts
On his third missionary
journey, Paul preached
in Jerusalem and was
arrested and sent to
Caesarea where he
testified before Felix
and King Agrippa (Acts
Saul set out on his first missionary
journey to Cyprus (Acts 13:4-6).
Saul (a Jewish name associated with
King Saul) changed his name to the
Latin name Paul (which means 'small')
Paul claimed trial before Caesar. He was
shipwrecked on the way to Rome (Acts 27).
Paul and his friend Silas were imprisoned for casting out a spirit from a
slave girl. God caused an earthquake and
they escaped (Acts 16:16-34).
SAAAUL! SAAAUL! WHY DO YOUU
W Y TO
Paul was imprisoned and wrote a number of
his letters to the churches while in prison
(Acts 27) before he was
Francesco 'Architetto' Rollandin CC BY 2.0
Food for Thought
Rules for Self Discovery:
1. What we want most.
2. What we think about
3. How we use our money.
4. What we do with our
5. The company we enjoy.
6. Who and what we
7. What we laugh at.
― A.W. Tozer
-------------------We must have unity, not at
all costs, but at all risks. A
unified Church is the only
offering we dare present
to the coming Christ, for
in it alone will He find
room to dwell.
– Charles H. Brent
-------------------Again and again in public
and private devotion the
Lord's Prayer is taken on
hurried lips, and recited
at a pace which makes impossible any realization
of its tremendous claims
and profound demands.
– Evelyn Underhill
BY LESLIE QUAHE
My sheep listen to my voice. I know
them and they follow me. John 6:27
The two most beautiful sounds to my
ears are the sound of my wife’s voice
and the sound of my children laughing. This would be true for audible
sounds that I pick up with my human
ears. But I would like to add that the
most beautiful sound to my spiritual
ears is the sound of God’s voice.
Many have asked me how they
would know it is God’s voice and not
their imagination. For many years,
I struggled to answer that question
with credence and not cliché. It is
only recently that I realized the answer is to be found in spending time
in His presence. That is to say, if we
spend much time in His presence, we
will start to recognize His voice.
I remember watching several
shepherds in Israel chatting with one
another while their sheep intermingled. I wondered how they would
sort out which sheep belonged to
which shepherd? That question was
soon answered when they got up to
leave and each shepherd began to
call out to his sheep. To my fascination, the sheep separated and
followed after their own shepherd
even though the shepherds were
moving off in different directions and
all calling at the same time. Looking
at the different brand marks on the
sheep, it was obvious none of them
were following the wrong shepherd.
We were city folk watching this
phenomenon, but Jesus’ audience
would have understood immediately what He was saying. From
‘lambhood’ the sheep would have
learned to recognize the voice of the
shepherd who had delivered, fed
and cared for them. That is why they
know his voice and follow Him.
Just as we long to discern God’s
voice, I believe He delights in listening in on us. The Psalmist has told
us that He inhabits the praises of
His people. When God listens in on
our lives and He hears praise and
thanksgiving, He graces us with His
presence and He inhabits our praise.
I have often listened in on my
wife, Lin, playing with our daughters in their room. There is such an
indescribable joy and peace to listen
to them particularly when they get
animated, and excited chatter is
mixed with peals of laughter. As the
sound of their joy fills our home and
moves my fatherly heart, I can’t help
but move to join them.
How much more does our heavenly Father delight in our joy and
praise. Fill your life and being with
praise and thanksgiving and soon
you will learn to recognise His voice
singing and rejoicing with you.
Leslie Quahe is a leader of Bangna
Christian Fellowship in Bangkok.
is the f
wn hig y heart!
What you need:
Scissors, glue, 2 pairs of disposable
What to do:
1. Cut out the pennants.
2. Cut out the symbols for the sacrifice
of Jesus, God’s love, the Holy Spirit, and
the Lordship of Christ.
3. Paste a symbol on each side of the
4. Apply glue along both sides of the
dotted line on each pennant.
5. Put one chopstick on the dotted line,
fold, and glue.
The new CCMC 11 am choir was
formed by God's grace (pun
When the Worship and Music
Ministry leaders heard that our
new pastor's wife, Grace, has
a lovely singing voice and had
experience conducting choirs, they
asked her to form and lead the 11
am choir, and she agreed.
Grace has proved to be a very
able and encouraging conductor.
Their son, Benedict, is our pianist,
and eldest daughter, Angeline,
sings as a soprano. Evangeline,
their youngest daughter, helps to
set up the chairs for our practices.
The choir practises every
Sunday from 9.30 am in the MGS
Music Elective Programme Room.
From the word 'go', it has sung at
every 11 am service except when
there are combined services.
For a typical service, the choir
sings a choral introit, an anthem
during the offering, and a choral
The choir currrently has 20
members, inclusive of conductor
Its first practice was on 21 April
2013, and made its debut, with a
couple of reinforcements, at the
11 am service on Mother's Day.
Grace was both speaker and choir
conductor that day. The anthem
was 'The Blessing Song', adapted
for Mother's Day.
Wong Yueh-ti, a soprano in
the choir, said, "Although musical
excellence is desirable, what is
more important to our conductor
is our heart attitude – singing
the words with sincerity and
conviction with the aim of blessing
Thus, Grace makes every effort
to draw the choir's attention to
the meaning of the lyrics of a song
by explaining them clearly or by
telling the story behind it.
Yueh-ti continued, "The anthem
that we are going to sing next
month, 'He is No Fool', is based on
the quote by the missionary martyr
Jim Elliot – He is no fool who gives
what he cannot keep to gain what
he cannot lose. When Grace first
introduced this song to us, she took
the trouble to tell us the story of
Jim Elliot's martyrdom for the sake
of bringing the Gospel of Christ to
the savage Aucas of Ecuador. This is
what makes our practices inspiring
as they focus beyond technique to
All are welcome to join the 11
am choir. If you are interested,
please contact Maureen Wang at
ALTAR MINISTRY REVIVED
The post-9 am service prayer
ministry was re-started in March.
Two teams of usually same-gender
prayer partners, drawn from a pool
of 14 members – each approved by
the pastoral staff – pray with those
from the congregation who require
CCMC GETS A BOHEMIA
BABY GRAND PIANO
When a church member heard
that CCMC wanted to replace the
electric piano in the chapel with
a new electronic instrument, this
member generously donated a
Bohemia baby grand piano on
condition of anonymity. Thus,
our church has become the proud
owner of a most distinguished,
The Bohemia piano factory
began making pianos in 1871.
After Word War Two and the
nationalization of commerce in
Czechoslovakia, the government
used the name Petrof for all the
countries’ piano factories.
In 1989, the new government
began gradually giving back
companies to former owners or
creating management buyouts in
the interest of privatization. Thus,
the Bohemia Piano Company
was formed when its employees
became the owners.
Bohemia originally handcrafted
just vertical pianos, and its grand
piano factory was built only in
2000, with an annual grand piano
production of 180 pianos. In
2005, Bohemia was purchased
by the famous German Bechstein
company and Bohemia was once
again brought to new heights.
The total Bohemia production
today is less than 2000 pianos in
capacity, far below world demand.
In fact, the 2001 full edition of
Larry Fine's Piano Book, did not list
any Bohemia piano because there
was no Bohemia piano in the U.S.
for him to review. In subsequent
years, Fine consistently ranked
Bohemia as a 'Group 2' high
performance piano, a category
dominated by small, cherished
European brands. By comparison,
Yamaha, Kawai, and all Korean
pianos are ranked as 'Group 3'.
The Bohemia piano line is
incredibly lyrical and musical –
qualities that have eluded massproduced pianos.
THE BOOK BUS ROARS INTO SFSC
Thirty-five Covenant Kids (CK)
teachers met on Saturday, 25 May,
at Pines Country Club to officially
meet Pastor John Foo and his wife,
Grace, and receive his teaching
about the Core Truths of our Faith.
In preparation for the training,
the sub-committee for Church
School curriculum comprising Lee
Yin Siau, Tjio Bee Ann and Goh Eck
Kheng had drafted SSOT – Simple
Statements of Truth (e.g. God is
all powerful; He used his great
power in creation) drawn from the
core truths. During the training,
teachers were asked to choose
Bible stories which highlights
particular SSOT and core truths.
In this way, CK will be better able
to teach the core truths more
comprehensively no matter what
Sunday School curriculum is used.
Pastor John began his talk
by saying that he was given an
impossible task: teaching the
entire truth of the Christian
faith in 45 minutes. He however,
highlighted some key points that
Sunday School teachers often find
challenging to communicate. These
included the Trinity, and creation
in the light of science.
Please continue to pray and join
hands with CK teachers as they
nurture the spiritual life of your
children together with you.
Two weeks' collection of new and
pre-loved books in church for the
Sembawang Family Service Centre
(SFSC) Book Bus Project made
some 500 quality titles available
to 25 families in the centre's Kid's
The range, which would have
warmed any librarian's heart,
included books by such respected
authors as Maurice Sendak, Eric
Carle, Roald Dahl, and Dr Seuss –
all in good condition.
Thus, a heavily laden Book
Bus trundled up to Sembawang
on Saturday, 2 June and the books
were displayed in SFSC's Students'
The programme that afternoon
was in three parts. The children,
mainly aged 5-8, were told stories
from the Mooty Mouse series by
it's author Jessie Wee, who had
just a week before been given the
inaugural Lifetime Achievement
Award in Children's Literature by
the Asian Festival of Children's
Content organised by the National
Book Development Council of
Ho Sau Kuen, Director of SFSC,
said, "Our children are usually
quite active and I was initially a bit
concerned about how they would
behave. But they were engrossed
by Jessie who is such a great story
While the children relished the
stories, their parents attended a
talk on the importance of reading
for leisure at home given by Kenny
Leck, the owner of independant
bookshop, Books Actually.
Kenny shared candidly about
how his life was transformed as a
child growing up in Toa Payoh by
the books his taxi-driver father and
housewife mother lavished on him.
Kenny was so impressed by the
project that he has volunteered to
be involved in follow-up sessions.
The highlight of the afternoon
was choosing books to start home
libraries. Each family had already
received a set of Jessie Wee's books
most generously donated by the
author and a well-wisher.
Following instructions, each
child selected three books to take
home; the number was lismited
so that the children would make
a more considered decision as to
which books they really wanted.
Parents were then reminded about
one main point in Kenny's talk:
Allow your children to choose the
books that interest them; don't
expect them to read books they are
not interested in.
Sau Kuen said of the pilot
project, "Parents actually see the
importance of reading and would
like their children to read more
but may not know how. Our Book
Bus Project is the first step and we
hope to organise more rounds so
that more parents and kids will
benefit." Thus, the remaining books
will be kept for the next session.
Books at home is the light to
the opportunities of the world. We
sincerely hope to see that happen
in the SFSC community.
If you have news and events you
would like to share with the church
community via Loaves+Fishes,
please write to ccmcloavesfishes@
Songs & Singers
JÖRG LOHRER BY CC 2.0
(( I WANT
TO FIND OUT
How do I get my kids to wake up on
time for church on Sundays?
BY LESTER NG
One day, Zach Sobiech, a Minnesotan teenager, came home from jogging
with a pain in his hip. A trip to the hospital and an MRI later, at 14, he was
diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer that inflicts mostly children.
In May 2012, after exhausting all treatment options, he was told by doctors that he had a year to live. As a way to say his goodbyes, he penned the
song 'Clouds', which was uploaded to YouTube in December 2012
Listening to 'Clouds', you do not hear a teenager resigned to misery and
despair. Instead, it starts off with the bright chimes of a glockenspiel before
Zach launches into a catchy and folksy melody with a voice CNN says is,
“kind of reminiscent of Jack Johnson’s.”
Well I fell down, down, down
Into this dark and lonely hole
There was no one there to care about me anymore
And I needed a way to climb and grab a hold of the edge
You were sitting there holding a rope
And we’ll go up, up, up
But I’ll fly a little higher
We’ll go up in the clouds because the view is a little nicer
Up here my dear
It won’t be long now, it won’t be long now
As a song about facing death, 'Clouds' has served to touch millions of
people around the world with its expression of bravery, hope and positivity.
In a video on SoulPancake’s YouTube channel, Zach is described as “someone you can trust will always be smiling the next day despite his condition,”
and this comes through in his music.
Zach describes his own philosophy as, “It is really simple actually: it’s
just try and make people happy.” With this outlook on life, Zach’s aim of
spreading his message of making the world a better place is on its way to
being accomplished. 'Clouds' reached No. 1 on the iTunes Singles Chart in
Speaking about the experience of battling cancer with her son, Zach’s
mother said, “I think that is actually one of the blessings of cancer – that
you kind of come out of denial and so, in doing that, things are better; life is
richer, everything means more, beauty is more beautiful.”
Zach's four-year-long battle with cancer ended on 20 May 2013. He
had just turned 18 on 3 May. At his funeral, his friend and songwriting
partner Sammy Brown shared, “He has taught me to see beauty and joy in
everything… Life gave my friend Zach a lot – but life gave us Zach, and we
can always be thankful for that.” The funeral ended with the congregation
joining together to sing 'Clouds'.
With his passing, Zach leaves behind a legacy of music through songs of
love and hope. The lessons from Zach's life are ones that we can learn from.
His life is a reminder of what is important in life: cherish the ones you love,
be grateful for what you have and learn not to take a single day for granted.
Get me to the church on time
Dear Get me to the church on time,
Same as when you get them to the
airport on time.
Leaving on a jet plane,
I overheard some church members
talking about a 5 o'clock service.
The perfect one for my family, I
thought. Hubby and I can sleep in on
Sunday morning, we can take time
to organise the kids and go out for
brunch. So, last Sunday, we went to
the 5 o'clock service and got there
well ahead of time (unheard of
for us at the 9 am service) but the
auditorium was locked. So we went
up to the chapel, thinking that the
service might be there, but it was
locked too. At first we thought we
were too early, but at 5.15 there
was no one around except for some
rowdy people near the school field.
If a service is going to be cancelled, it
should really have been announced
ahead of time.
I am delighted to know that you
and your family are game to try a
new service. You are ace! There is,
as you said, an advantage to going
to church on time, indeed early.
Although what happened is no fault
on your part, you are advised that
the baseline is to check the nature
and times of church services well
be-forehand. We do have a first
service at 9 am, and a second service at 11. To avoid a double fault,
please note that the said 5 o'clock
service relates to the tennis service
when CCMC members meet on the
court for games. Still, I do invite
you and your family to join in this
love game. After all tennis is very
Biblical. Genesis 41:64 says: Jospeh
served in Pharoh's court.
My MGS daughter announced
yesterday that she no longer wants
to go to CCMC. She doesn't want to
go to school seven days a week. How
can I change her mind?
Dear MG Mum,
Send her for a lobotomy.
Alternatively, tell her that she
can do these things in school on
Sunday but not on weekdays:
(1) Wear her hair down
(2) Wear her skirt up
(3) Get dropped off in the
principal's car park lot.
(4) Meet boys
(5) Ride the lift
Mastering, Growing and Serving –
The men served such an outstanding
breakfast on Mothers' Day. Will they
prepare breakfast for us the whole
I am on diet and you want to send
temptation my way? Get thee behind me!
Hoping to be svelte,
In 1819, the Malay scholar Munshi Abdullah complained:
'I felt really distressed when I saw that it was women who
sold in the market and women who hawked goods…' So,
mums at work is as old as the history of modern Singapore
But the choice of occupations outside the home
was limited until the education of girls took root, the
first school being St Margaret's in 1842. With literacy,
horizons widened and soon the opportunity of tertiary
education gave women like Lee Choo Neo and Teo Soon
Kim the ability to become the first doctor and barrister in
Singapore in 1919 and 1929 respectively.
However, this did not signal the start of the phenomenon of working mums. Most women, once married,
resigned from work and took on the twin roles of wife
and mother. This was even after the transformation of
women's role in society with rapid industrialisation in the
1960s and 1970s, and the expectation that they contribute
to the national economy.
The lure of financial and psychological independance
happened in the 1990s with significant impact. A survey
in 1995 showed that 31 percent of women contributed to
half or more of family income in dual-career households.
By 2000, 45 percent of Singapore households were dualincome with 675,000 women in the workforce. This figure
swelled to 942,000 in 2012.
The challenge of work-life balance of Singaporean
women has thus been called 'Three Paradoxes' in a 1999
study: the expectation of being both corporate amazon
and super mum, facing conflict between work and family,
yet still hitting glass ceilings in managerial positions.
Branch Head, SAF Counselling
Mother of three, aged 17, 13
Work is a sacred vocation.
Is this true for you?
Work is not only a sacred vocation, but I consider my vocation
sacred too. In my job as a counsellor, I have the opportunity to help
people deal with their struggles,
and guide them in making better
choices in their lives.
As an SAF counsellor, I counsel
service personnel in distress and
help them negotiate transitions
and downturns in life. I have met
many young men who come to me
with a variety of problems, such as,
difficulties in adjusting to national
service, in relationships, and their
growing-up pains. I have also met
and helped other personnel with career, marital, and family problems.
Although I have considered
stopping work, and have the opportunity to be a stay-home-mum,
I have always felt I should continue
working. This is because my work
is meaningful and I can make a
difference in many people's lives.
God has given me this gift of be-
ing able to help and encourage people, and I feel that I should use it
fully. And, through the people that I
meet and help, I have also gained in
terms of perspectives, experiences
and personal growth.
What are your priorities in
My family comes first, above all
my other commitments. I have
learned to juggle multiple roles.
I have found that a better way, as
a working mother, is to be there
for my kids as much as I can, and
when it matters; and to also allow
other caregivers (i.e., grandparents,
home helpers, teachers, tutors,
coaches) to play a part in helping
me raise my kids. After all, it takes
a village to raise a child, not just me.
My kids have also learned
that while my husband and I are
deeply committed to them, we have
other family obligations, work and
church responsibilities to fulfil.
They are proud of our achievements as we are of theirs. They
also know the importance of dad
and mum needing couple time. For
a happy marriage is the pillar of a
What challenges have you faced
in balancing work and family?
When our daughter, Rachel, was
diagnosed with acute lymphoblas-
tic leukaemia at the end of 2009. It
was the saddest point of my life as
a mother. The treatments that Rachel had to undergo were intensive
and harsh; and any mother would
know how painful it is to see your
own child suffer.
As if this rollercoaster journey
with Rachel was not enough, I had
to also be there for my father who
came down with lung cancer in
2010. It was quite tough having to
cope with two major illnesses in
the family at the same time. But
through it all, our family stayed
tightly knitted – the kids learned
to be more independent, and to
appreciate the little good things
that came along.
My husband, David, was and
is my greatest supporter, mentor
and best friend. We knew we could
count on each other no matter
what happened. Together, we
placed our trust in God, knowing
that He would see us through be-
(( I HAVE FOUND
THAT A BETTER WAY,
AS A WORKING
MOTHER, IS TO
BE THERE FOR MY
KIDS AS MUCH AS I
CAN, AND WHEN IT