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Loaves+fishes july sept 2013

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Loaves+fishes july sept 2013

  1. 1. LOAVES + FISHES JULY/SEPT 2013 MICA (P) No: 104/03/2013 The Covenant Community Methodist Church Magazine GIVING YOUR CREATIVE BEST TO GOD WHAT MAKES A CHRISTIAN MINISTRY STAFF? Your Children in cyberspace The Proverbs 31 Woman Today Interview with the new LCEC Chairman Pastor Ling Kin Yew shares his testimony A simple, no-fuss recipe to make mouth-watering Char Siew
  2. 2. Luke Detwiler CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 THERE IS NONE LIKE YOU Lenny LeBlanc There is none like You, No one else can touch my heart like You do, I can search for all eternity long, And find, there is none like You. There is none like You. No one else can touch my heart like You do, I can search for all eternity long, And find, there is none like You. Your mercy flows like a river wide, And healing comes from Your hand. Suffering children are safe in Your arms, There is none like You. There is none like You, (There is none like You, Lord) There is none like You. I can search for all eternity long There is none like You. I can search for all eternity long There is none, (there is none,) There is none, Lord, There is none like You. Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. [Colossians 4:2] LET’S RESPOND AND GATHER TO PRAY Church Prayer Meeting 22 October, 22 November 8 pm, Youth Hall
  3. 3. WAiting for the word CC BY 2.0 CONTENTS SURE & STEADFAST Interview with Pastor Ling Kin Yew 7 DAVID KOH The new LCEC Chair shares 9 TOGETHER IN CHRIST A cross-cultural union 11 ACE TALK THE SERMON OF JESUS Bishop Emeritus Robert Solomon + 24 & 31 October 2013 7.30 to 9.30 pm Chapel SO MUCH MORE Doing Better than Best for Jesus 14 THE PROVERBS 31 WOMAN TODAY Is It Possible? 18 THE BIBLICAL ROLE OF CHRISTIAN PARENTS 20 4 5
  4. 4. THE CHRISTIAN IN CYBERSPACE 24 Ask Abigail 33 Crafts for Kids (pull out) Crumbs 48 Good Things 40 Kitchen 47 Manga Hero 38 News Bites 35 SOAP 46 Songs & Singers 32 Food for Thought 34 To the Point 13 Promptness Barometer OUR CHILDREN IN THE WILD WIDE WEB Engage, Teach, Communicate 26 A YEAR IN CAMBODIA 30 BECOMING A CHRISTIAN MINISTRY STAFF Three Testimonies 42 6 BE GOD'S COMMUNITY REGULARS Punctuality of our congregation boils down to whether each of us is punctual. How many times did you get to church on time in the last quarter? 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. Good and Faithful 12 11 Well done! 10 A bit more effort, please 9 8 7 Be consistent; don't be complacent 6 5 4 Prepare breakfast on 3 Saturday night 2 1 Get a new alarm clock 0 Loaves + Fishes is published quarterly by Covenant Community Methodist Church Level 4, Methodist Girls’ School 11, Blackmore Drive Singapore 599986 Tel: 64669652 Fax: 64667470 Email: admin@ccmc.org.sg www.ccmc.org.sg MICA (P) No: 104/03/2013 Printed by Oxford Graphic Printers Pte Ltd EDITORIAL COMMITTEE Editor Rev John Benedict Foo Editorial Advisor BG David Koh Managing Editor Goh Eck Kheng Members Chong Cheh Hoon Lester Ng Contributors Gracia Chiang Koh Siang Kiang Tara Lee Lim Kim Pong Stefanie Lim Nah Miao Chay Mason Tan Yap Kian Seng Yeo Hwee Lan Yutaka Imanishi ON THE COVER (from left) Ps Ling Kin Yew, his wife Pamela, and their daughters, Joyanne (left) and Janine. like how the Word of God from 1 Peter 2:9-10 describes God’s people being set apart from this world: But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. I like this passage because it talks about community – God’s community – Covenant Community. Yes, God has chosen us to be His special possession. He has taken us out of darkness into his wonderful light so that we may show His goodness and love to others. By His mercy, He has made us to be His people and placed us into a special covenant relationship with Him and a special covenant community with one another. And it is to that latter end that the various issues of Loaves + Fishes have been testifying to – that, as a Body of Christ here at CCMC, we are constantly living out our lives together in faith, truth and love. As a covenant community, God has provided us with genuine companionship and mutual support for one another. We acknowledge our dependence on God, but we also recognise that we are created for community, to give and to take, to love and be loved, to care and be cared for. My prayer for our church is that we may become a loving and caring community, where deep, authentic and wholesome relationships are built with one another. We are called to be devoted to one another in brotherly (and sisterly) love, and to honour one another above ourselves (Romans 12:10). So let us strive to keep the true light of Christ shining brightly in our lives as we seek to light up another’s life with the wonderful light of Christ. As you read this issue, may you sense the pleasure and delight we have in being the Covenant Community here at CCMC. Rev John Benedict Foo 7
  5. 5. on’t just let anything be your everything.” These are words that Pastor Ling Kin Yew, Covenant Community Methodist Church’s new Assistant Pastor, lives by. It reminds him of the need to place God, rather than material things or even earthly relationships, at the centre of his life. Explaining further, Pastor Ling shared how he has encountered many people who derive their selfworth from their careers, status or possessions. However, once these are taken away by circumstances, they find themselves broken and shaken to the core. Instead, he has learnt that having eternal things at the centre of one’s life provides a firm bedrock to buffer life’s challenges. D Pastor Ling Kin Yew SURE & STEADFAST 8 by LESTER NG Growing Up Born into a non-Christian family, Pastor Ling’s first exposure to Christianity was at an early age when he joined The Boys’ Brigade at Katong Presbyterian Church while at Tao Nan Primary School. Having a firm anchor in heavenly things is something that is key to the motto of The Boys’ Brigade: ‘Sure and Steadfast’. It comes from Hebrews 6:19, “Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil”. His conversion to Christianity in primary school took place at around the same time as that of his mother’s. This lent him the support needed to pursue his new-found faith. Over time, and with much prayer and persistence, the entire Ling family eventually started attending church and they ended up worshipping together at Bedok Methodist Church. While growing up at Bedok Methodist Church, he served in various capacities including cell group leader, youth worship leader and eventually youth chairperson. Ps Kin Yew with his parents on his first birthday. (( he has learnt that having eternal things at the centre of one's life provides a firm bedrock to BUFFER life's challEnges. )) Passion for Missions Pastor Ling got his first taste of missions in 1998 when he went on a mission trip to Cambodia as a university student. Reflecting on that first trip, he shared that it was then that he felt “a tugging of the heart and a passion for the people” he met in Cambodia. This led him to develop a heart for missions even as he pursued his undergraduate studies at the National University of Singapore. After graduating with an Honours in English on a teaching scholarship, he returned to a junior college as a teacher in General Paper (GP) and Project Work. Ironically, during his own junior college days, he had to attend remedial classes for GP. On hindsight, God was preparing him for ministry through the choice of subjects he took at university and his first career as a teacher. By gaining experience in teaching, he would be well-positioned to pursue his passion for missions in overseas countries such as Thailand where qualified English teachers were always welcomed. In 2009, after completing his scholarship bond, he left the Education Service to serve fulltime at the Methodist Missions Society (MMS) where he was the coordinator for missions in Thailand. To this day, Pastor Ling still has not lost his passion for missions. Last year, he even took the opportunity to travel with his wife and two young girls, Janine, 7, and Joyanne, 4, to Venezuela for a month to gain “exposure to missions as a family.” With the experience of having served in different countries, he also takes a broader perspective of the opportunities to reach pre-believers, expressing that “Singapore itself is a mission field; people from all countries are now coming to us!” 9
  6. 6. Not surprisingly, missions is one of the areas that Pastor Ling will be serving in while at CCMC. New Beginnings Having graduated with a Masters in Divinity from Trinity Theological College in May this year, other areas which Pastor Ling will be involved in at CCMC include the Small Group Ministry, Youth Ministry and Baptism & Membership. Even as he takes on his new role at CCMC, one of the Bible passages that continues to speak to him is the prayer Jesus prayed for all believers in John 17:20-23, “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one. Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one – I in them and you in me – so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” Jesus’ words spur his belief in the power of a Church united. At the heart of this belief is that with God at the centre of the ‘universe’, whether in personal or corporate terms, the urgency of the Church’s mission and purpose here on earth will take precedence over other agendas that one may have. This view is also shaped by his experiences in the mission field where different Christian denominations readily set aside differences to work together as one to effectively reach out to unchurched peoples such as the Chin tribe in Myanmar. “If Christians truly love God with all their hearts and love our neighbours as ourselves, this unity will allow us to act together and achieve great things for the Lord.” 10 What ministries have you been involved in in CCMC? Marlene and I used to run the toddlers' Sunday School class for about 4 years. Then we joined the Family Life Ministry where we continue to serve. What do you think are the strengths of the CCMC congregation and how would you build on it? There is a lot of talent and resources in our congregation. The challenge is to get everyone on board to serve, and to channel all to ministries where they can contribute to their fullest. (( IF CHRISTIANS TRULY LOVE GOD WITH ALL THEIR HEARTS AND LOVE OUR NEIGHBOURS AS OURSELVES, THIS UNITY WILL ALLOW US TO ACT TOGETHER AND ACHIEVE GREAT THINGS FOR THE LORD. )) (Top) Ps Kin Yew with his wife Pamela and daughters Janine (aged 7) and Joyanne (aged 4). (Below) During a mission trip to Cambodia. DAVID KOH: SOLDIER LEADER Loaves & Fishes speaks to CCMC's new Local Church Executive Committee Chairman, David Koh (48), a career Army officer in MINDEF. He is marrried to Marlene, and they have three children, Daniel (17), Rachel (13) and Michael (11). David enjoys playing golf and spending time with his family. How would you describe yourself? A systems-thinker. I like to understand the big picture, what we are trying to achieve, and why, before I embark on doing actual work. This prevents confusion and unnecessary work. When and why did you start attending CCMC? We started attending CCMC in 1997 when Daniel was 6 months old. We used to attend Wesley, but it was just too leceh with a pram and to have to deal with all the steps – so we moved to CCMC where the parking and access were much easier! [Call us shallow, but that's the truth!] There have been jokes about Stand By Bed, salutes and BMT (basic ministry training). How would your background as a military man benefit the carrying out of your role as LCEC chair? Ha ha. Actually, there are a lot of similarities in how the military is run and how the Methodist church is run. Both have a clear hierarchy; systems and structures in place; procedures to follow; an overall "rule-book"; and strong governance oversight. And the instincts of both organisations are the same – when in doubt, form a committee! In your observation, how far has the church come? And what next? In my view, CCMC has come a long way. We're a young church, but we have a grown to be a good-sized congregation in only 18 years. The next step, in my view, is to move towards adulthood. Just as a child is primarily focused on himself, and must learn to think beyond himself as he becomes an adult, so we, too, need to look beyond ourselves and reach beyond our congregation. I believe as CCMC comes of age, we should similarly start to look beyond ourselves and see where God wants us to serve His Kingdom's needs. The following were elected into the church leadership at the Last Local Conference of CCMC held on 10 September 2013. LOCAL CHURCH EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Chairperson BG David Koh Lay Leader Dr Tan Buck Chye Property Management Mr Edward Chye Finance Mrs Elizabeth Chua Treasurer Mr Nicholas Au-Yong Recording Secretary Mrs April Ong Church Archivist Mrs April Ong Discipleship & Nurture Mrs Tan Ming Ying Prayer Mr Mason Tan Church School Superintendent Mrs Hau Yin Siau Communications Mr Goh Eck Kheng Family Life Mrs Marlene Koh Missions Dr Chung Kong Mun Outreach & Social Concerns Mr Leslie Wong Small Group Mr Manfred Seah Witness & Evangelism Dr Ronald Lim Worship & Music Dr Calvin Chong Youth Ms Adeline Ee Young Adults Ms Louise Wong Church Governance Dr Wu Dar Ching SFSC Management Ms Jacqueline Khoo Pastor-Parish Relations & Staff Committee BG David Koh Dr Tan Buck Chye Mrs Elizabeth Chua Dr Wu Dar Ching MRs Tan Ming Ying Mr Nicholas Au-Yong Mr Mason Tan 11
  7. 7. YUTAKA'S STORY (( MY GIRL FRIEND (NOW MY WIFE) TOOK ME TO A CHURCH CASUALLY IN 2005.… I WASN'T REALLY INTERESTED, BUT JUST WENT ALONG WITH HER AS A DATE. )) YUTAKA IMANISHI & STEFANIE LIM TOGETHER IN CHRIST 12 Facing (from left): Tomoko, Yutaka, Stefanie and Emy. Japanese people are generally confused by many religions. My birth was typically celebrated in a Shinto shrine. During my youth, periodical rites of passage ceremonies were held in a shrine and Buddhist temple. (You usually find a shrine near every temple.) Many modern Japanese couples these days get married in a Christian-style wedding. I tend to think that the reason for such a mixture of religion is due to the Japanese – and for that matter, humanity's – keen interest in the spiritual realm (because God created us!) My first encounter with Christ was in 1976. My host family in Los Angeles was a devout Christian family. The host brother who is now a senior pastor in Kansas bought me a Japanese Bible which I still have, and he took me to every youth Bible study. But I had no idea and was simply having fun playing tennis in L.A. with long hair. I recently found out that he had prayed for me to be saved. My second exposure was during secondary and tertiary schools in the early and mid-Eighties. I somehow kept running into a group of Christians. The odds of meeting so many Christians must have been very small as the percentage of Christians in Japan was less than 0.5%. Still, I was having fun playing golf. The third time was when my girl friend (now my wife) took me to a church casually in 2005. At that time, I was quite involved in Thai Buddhism. I was critical of Christianity and thought it was one of the ways to reach a spiritual goal just like the other religions. I wasn’t really interested, but just went along with her as a date. After casually going to the church for a few months, I was suddenly struck by the Word of God one Sunday morning and felt a warm and compelling feeling during the sermon. I raised my hands in front of thousands of people for prayer. I was surprised at myself and still remember the look of surprise on Stefanie's face. I’m still amazed that the Lord did not push me all those years. He kept offering me a chance while respecting my choice. I used to view religion as a means of spiritual relief with many choices. But now I believe Jesus is the Way and the Truth and the Life (John 14: 6). I had been lost for 45 years, but now I’m found. I am glad that I got to experience other religions before so that I can now share my newfound faith with those who have yet to be saved and are confused. STEFANIE'S STORY As a child, I was raised to believe in material gains, and thought that achievements were the keys to success and happiness. I felt tired and empty. During college, my friends from school invited me to a church and I attended some church camps where I learnt about Jesus. I found love, peace and joy. I was set free from the bondage of myself and allowed the Holy Spirit to work within me. Jesus loves, Jesus comforts, Jesus protects, and Jesus heals. Jesus is a friend, too. I was baptized in Faith Community Baptist Church on 19 September 1993. 13
  8. 8. MAKE CHRISTIAN SYMBOLS WITH ORIGAMI A square or strip of paper is all you need, then follow the instructions on this and the following pages to fold a heart, a dove, a cross and a sheep. MAKE A HEART The symbol of God's love On 11 March 2011, the Lord showed my family and me undeserving grace and love. We were living in Japan. There was a strong earthquake. We lived in Shin-Urayasu, Chiba, on reclaimed land. The ground cracked up on three sides of the house due to liquefaction. My children Emy, then aged 5, and Tomoko, aged 3, were huddled under our dining table and we prayed. Miraculously, our front porch did not crack up and the entrance was not destroyed so we could drive out for supplies. Yutaka managed to return home at 11 pm after travelling 25 km for 4-5 hours on foot and on an abandoned, punctured bicycle. It was very frightening as all modes of communication were down. We cast all our cares to the Lord and He remained faithful and loving. We arrived in Singapore safely three days after the quake. We are blessed as we learned to lean on the Lord. YUTAKA & STEFANIE'S STORY Before our marriage, going to church to worship on Sunday 14 became an important part of our life. We were happy at New Creation Church (NCC). The girls joined the Sunday School and we belonged to a small group. In mid-2009, we relocated to Japan for Yutaka’s new role to set up a Tokyo office for his company. For Stefanie and the two young girls, it was their first experience living in a foreign country with an unknown language. The first thing we did was to find a church where we would feel safe and comfortable (though I learnt later that that is not the standard for choosing a church). However, after visiting many churches – sometimes driving 50 km one way – we were unable to find a suitable one. We ended up ordering sermon CDs and DVDs from Singapore. Three days after the major earthquakes in Japan on 11 March 2011, we fled back to Singapore with three suitcases and decided to stay permanently due to fear of radiation leakage for the young girls. We naturally thought of eventually sending our daughters to Raffles Girls' Primary School, Stefanie’s old school. So we settled our home along Bukit Timah Road at Maplewoods condominium. And we returned to NCC. One day, when we were driving on Blackmore Drive, we realized that there was a church next door to our home with a primary and secondary school attached (not the other way around)! We were curious about a smaller church setting where everyone ought to know each other as we had since then found NCC almost too big. When we first visited CCMC, we were positively surprised to find it full of Christ. All the members were so nice and welcoming. Then we visited the second time and found it the same. And the third time and fourth time, and so on, even now we find it the same. We also noticed there’s a strong sense of humility which we would like our girls to have in their lives. Emy Christina who is now in P1 at MGS and Tomoko Sarah both really enjoy CK. We were also accepted by the Blessed West Tree small group. We now feel a part of CCMC. We feel what matters is not only learning the Word of God but also serving and worshipping God as a family of Christ. Yutaka enjoys this aspect in the CK band. 3 Your paper should now look like this. Flip over. 6 Fold on dotted line so the top edges meet in the centre. 9 Fold on dotted lines so you end up with a heart shape. 1 With the back side facing up, fold vertically and horizontally. Unfold. 4 Fold on dotted lines so both sides meet the centre. 2 Fold up on dotted line. 5 Your paper should now look like this. Flip over. Fold top corner 7 to bottom corner without folding the white triangles on the side. The flap will fold inside the white triangles. 8 Fold triangles on dotted line to the centre. 10 Your heart should now look like this. Fold on dotted lines. Flip over. 15
  9. 9. MAKE A CROSS The symbol of Jesus' sacrifice MAKE A DOVE The symbol of the Holy Spirit 1 Fold over to make a triangle. 2 1 Cut a strip of paper to about 0.7 x 30 cm. 2 Fold on dotted lines to make a square. 3 Fold on the dotted line to make a triangle. 4 3 Fold one-third down the strip. 4 Fold end around back. Fold around front. Fold along the dotted lines. Crease and unfold. 5 5 Lift the flap. 6 Bring the corner of the triangle nearest to you to the middle of the the side of the triangle away from you. 7 6 7 8 Fold the end in front. Fold around the back past the centre and loop back, making sure that each side of the crossbar is of equal length as indicated. Crease to flatten. Pull bottom of strip through and up the centre of the crossbar. Crease to make one wing. 10 9 8 16 Flip over and repeat steps 5, 6 and 7 to make the second wing 9 Crease both sides for the beak and fold inward to make the beak. Crease both sides for the tail along the dotted line. 10 Fold inward to make the tail. Fold down along the dotted line and thread through the centre again. Fold up behind the cross and tuck the end into the centre of the cross. Crease. 11 Turn over and the cross is complete. 17
  10. 10. To The Point Prayer = Meditation Psalm 51:10 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. MAKE A SHEEP The symbol of Christians 1 4 5 6 7 10 9 8 1 Thessalonians 5:17 Pray all the time. 12 13 Psalm 139:23,24 Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Prayer engages you to have an intimate relationship with our Heavenly Father. It is a two-way communication with God – we need to learn to listen to as well as talk to God. – by Mason Tan HOW OFTEN TO PRAY 11 Prayer Psalm 139:23,24 Investigate my life, O God, find out everything about me; cross-examine and test me, get a clear picture of what I’m about; see for yourself whether I’ve done anything wrong — then guide me on the road to eternal life. 3 2 Matthew 6:6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. Ephesians 6:18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Prayer = LovING God Isaiah 62:1 Because I love Zion, I will not keep still. Because my heart yearns for Jerusalem, I cannot remain silent. I will not stop praying for her until her righteousness shines like the dawn, and her salvation blazes like a burning torch. 1 Corinthians 16: 22 If anyone has no love for the Lord, let him be accursed. Our Lord, come! 14 18 15 16 Praying = Listening Psalm 37:7 "Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him." Psalm 46:10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” How to Pray? 2 Chronicles 7:14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Matthew 6:9-13 “This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’ 19
  11. 11. SO MUCH MORE Is doing your best the best you can do in serving God? If not, what is better than best? LIM KIM PONG Lim Kim Pong is married to his childhood sweetheart, Choon, and together they have four beautiful children in Ken (22), Dan (20), Ashley (18) and Kelley (16). Family also includes Buddy the shih tzu, Keko the terrier and Cat Cat the cat. Pong was the Chair of CCMC Youths and Young Adults ministry. 20 Today, he is still deeply involved with the OC and the young adults ministry as a speaker and mentor. He is currently the Master Coach for Halftime in Asia where he speaks, facilitates and coaches. He is also a passionate strengths advocate through his role as a Gallup Strengths Coach and Speaker. erving in church is hard. Not just that it is hard to serve people, it is sometimes just hard to see ourselves in the roles that are available in church. Three of my friends, a banker, a real estate developer and a CFO all wanted to avail themselves to their church to serve. The banker was asked to count Sunday offering. The real estate developer was asked to join the car park team. The CFO was asked to audit the church accounts. All three are willing servants but wondered if there is more that they can do. I have known many others like them. They are men and women in the marketplace. They are successful, love God, are humble and are willing to serve. Many are key contributors, movers and shakers of the businesses they are in. But in church, they are the silent majority as they either have nowhere to serve or they don’t know how and where to give their best contribution. As a result, we have many of them sitting in the pews – waiting. For many, the bus that they are waiting for never quite turned up. Church has become just Sunday sermons, worship, and fellowship. "The harvest is plentiful but the labourers are few." When Jesus said that, I don’t think it is because there is a lack of people to send but rather, a lack of people with a sense of mission. The Baby Boomer generation of the Sixties and Seventies belong to a generation that is healthier, wealthier and more educated than any other generation in recent memory. The average lifespan a hundred years ago was about 48 years old compared to the 80 plus years we have today. This is a generation with immense marketplace impact and success but with comparatively little or no Kingdom impact. Churches all over today have become huge pent up store- S houses of latent Christian energy that are locked up and shut down. If we can find ways to release this latent energy, it is potentially an unstoppable force that God can use to change the world. But how? I have the incredible privilege in the past three years of serving men and women in the marketplace in helping them find their callings and purposes in God through my role as a speaker, facilitator and coach with the Halftime movement. As I serve these individuals in moving from success to significance, I notice almost everyone struggles with the same thing. Status quo. It is the status quo of responsibilities and obligations that have built up over the years – something that we can't seem to shake off easily. Its gravitational pull locks us into a paralysis mode. We seemed to be doing many things – old things, same old things – and yet nothing. The excitement of building our career and net worth has lost its shine and life no longer seems to be an adventure with God or with the people we love. It has lost its thrill and yet we hang on to our status quo. Somehow, it lulls us into a false sense of security in the familiar comfort of a life making a living and postponing indefinitely a living making a life. I am reminded of the question asked by my three friends, "Is there more?" Fortunately, there is. Yet, you have made him a little lower than God, And you crown him with glory and majesty! - Psalms 8:5 NASB In God's mind, we are meant to be glorious by destiny. The reality is that many of us don't claim that destiny but continue to live our lives in status quo by default. It is just easier. Many of my friends feel that we have past the prime of our 21
  12. 12. (( why wouldn't we want to claim something that is especially tailored for us to be our very best? )) 22 youth and days of glory, and we just cannot see how we can become glorious and great according to God's plan. But we are meant to be more. So much more. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. - Ephesians 2:10 NASB We have been fearfully and wonderfully made for a purpose – for good works. And God has prepared the good works way beforehand, in advance and ahead of us. Good works not just in church but also outside of church. Good works in the family, in the marketplace, in the world. Good works that are both spiritual and physical. Good works that can do. God planned it in such a way that we can do them. We are meant to be so much more. And in God’s time frame, it is for eternity. It is never too late to take up what God has prepared for us. And we want to claim this destiny that God has for us. Why wouldn't we? Why wouldn't we want to claim something that is especially tailored for us to be our very best? By all logic, we definitely would! But we need to look up from our status quo, lock eyes with God and allow Him to break us free from the pull of paralysis and into His calling. We want to lock eyes and give Him full permission to re-invent us all over again. When my daughter, Ashley, was three years old, she would cry like any other child. And I learned a way to soothe her. I would hold her face in the palms of my hands, look her in the eyes and say, "Shhh.... It's okay, Daddy is here." I would then see her eyes darting around and after a short while, she would lock eyes with me. Then I will say it again, "Shhh.... It's okay, Daddy is here." Shortly after, her cries became a whimper, and the whimper became silence. The tears stopped flowing and then there was peace again. All Ashley knew at three years old was that I am her father. Besides that, she knew next to nothing about me. She does not know what I am thinking, where I came from, or what I have planned for her. But at that point in time, she knew she could trust me. Locking eyes with God is just like that. We may not know everything that He knows or see everything that He sees, or hear everything that He has planned for us, but all we know is that we can trust Him. And if we say we trust Him, then you and I would want to do something about it. Paul said: Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life. - Galatians 6:4-5 The Message I love The Message Bible in the way it puts the truth across so plainly. If you want to break free from your status quo and into God's calling, spend time and thought (careful exploration) to find out your perfect design (who you are) for the perfect purpose (work you have been given). And when you do, immerse your life completely into living it out (sink yourself, take responsibility). Howard Thurman, an African American theologian, gave us a helpful hint on discovering who we are and what we have been given when he said, "Don't ask what the world (or church) needs and go do that. Ask what makes you come alive and go do that. What the world (or church) needs is men and women who have come alive." When we put together the way God made us and the what He gives us, it makes us come alive because we are living our being and doing our calling. He has given you and I a specific personality, a specific family, a specific experience, a specific set of talents and strengths for a specific purpose. All these He prepared way in advance. And when we discover them, we would want to do what He says. And Paul exhorts us to do our creative best with this life! I asked a group of 15-year-olds why is 'best' not good enough in Paul's exhortation. Why must it be our 'creative best'? Ryan Ong, the son of May San and Kheng Kok, said that to do our best is simply to do a good job to the best of our abilities. But the word 'creative' is from the word 'creation' which is about life. So, to do our creative best is to do what makes us come alive so that it brings about more life around us. And he is spot on. Ryan's comments made me realize why the silent majority in our churches remains silent and the Christian energy remains latent. I believe it is not because people do not care. I believe people remain silent because they either are not excited about what the church needs or, in whatever they are doing, it is done only to the their best of their abilities – and not by their creative best. Paul also mentioned two obstacles faced by people who do not do their creative best. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. If pride does not get you out, selfdoubt will. Pride makes us unwilling to test drive God's calling while self-doubt makes us think we are unworthy to even get into His car. Either outcome is a result of not really knowing how God made us and what He has planned for us. We sing the song about God: (( each of us must take responsibility to find out who we are, what we have been given, sink ourselves into them and go give our lives away in our creative best to fulfill our God-given purpose. )) There Is None Like You. In the same way, though we are all made in the image of God, there is none like us. Everyone of us is unique. We bear a special part of God's thumbprint. We cannot find anyone that is anywhere quite like us on this planet. And if God does not deviate from the blueprint of His design, why should we? He has been preparing us since the day we were born to show us off to the world. So, it is totally unrealistic to force fit ourselves into ministries that happen to be there or expect ourselves to be like another person in a church ministry or to be as passionate as she is. It is also totally irresponsible and reckless of us to remain in status quo and not lock eyes with God and check out what He has planned for us. But each of us must take responsibility to find out who we are, what we have been given, sink ourselves into them and go give our lives away in our creative best to fulfill our God-given purpose. My banker friend eventually stopped counting money for the church and found her calling in ministering to people in pain through the prayer ministry in church. My real estate developer friend responded to the deeper yearnings of his heart and did not settle for what was available in church. He eventually went on to become the global spokesman for the Halftime movement. And what about my friend who is the CFO? He has still not found his calling, but he is sinking himself into what God is showing him in this season. He feels that God wants him to pour his life intentionally and tangibly into loving his beautiful wife and five children. And he is doing exactly just that. Today, he is still auditing the church accounts but with his head lifted up and eyes locked on to God, he waits expectantly for God to reveal his assignment in His time. 23
  13. 13. ABIGAIL GOH tHE PROVERBS 31 WOMAN toDAY tired of being a supermom? feeling overwhelmed by all the responsibilities at work and at home that demand attention? TARA LEE SHARES HER SOLUTION. Tara Lee is blissfully married to Colin Wan. They have two children, Elizabeth and Seth, aged 7 and 6 respectively. When Tara is not working or tutoring kids, she spends most of her time baking, surfing the Internet, cycling and sipping a cup of coffee with Colin. 24 WHile the clock is ticking away, here I am typing this article, rushing my kids to bathe and at the same time running in and out of the kitchen to stir my pot of curry in preparation for the family gathering at my place. In this dynamic and ever-changing society, I am very confident that my situation is not unique and, in fact, could be very familiar to all women. It is not surprising that each individual, both at work and at home, has multiple roles to assume and perform in tandem. One then has to deal and struggle with multiple commitments, challenges, competitions and constraints. More often than not, despite the demanding roles, uphill tasks and critical deadlines, performing ‘good enough’ is really not good enough and, for some, may not even be acceptable! The self-expectation to be the best in all realms or to continuously strive to be perfect when compounded with other common stressors for working mums – such as demanding bosses, competitive colleagues, limited time, insufficient sleep, tight finances, sick kids and other family members, exam periods and an insensitive spouse – can really drive me to self destruction had God not been in my life. In the cost-cutting environment and a society where the fittest survive, it is hardly astonishing to learn that one needs to deliver more using less and at a faster pace! The busyness of life and the difficulty to say ‘no’ naturally lead women to assume the role as a multi-tasker who aims to climb up the corporate ladder whilst aiming to actively serve in the Church or community, raise brilliant kids, be a filial daughter/ daughter-in-law and look like a goddess to the husband. Preoccupied with never-ending to-do lists and jammed packed meeting schedules, rarely do I have time to be still and calm before I head home. Very often, the inability to distance work emotions from family life causes me to bring the unhappiness and tensions of the office back home. More often than not, I find myself complaining and pouring out my grievances to my husband who tries to be empathetic while having to concentrate on bad traffic as we head home. Other times, I choose to indulge in retail therapy, massages or even desserts. Over the years, I learned that these outbursts only soothe me momentarily and I will be like a broken record once history repeats itself at work. But the predicament of women today is not new. Proverbs 31, is a description of a virtuous woman of Biblical days, but also describes the women of today. She plays multiple roles and bears various traits including a God-fearing woman (v30b), trustworthy and submissive wife (v11-12, 22b, 23), caring and loving mother (v15, 21, 27), a kind samaritan who provides for the poor and needy (v20), resourceful and diligent business woman who has a sharp business acumen and the ability to manage vastly different businesses (sells handmade linen garment, supplies sashes to the merchants and planting a vineyard, v13, 14, 16, 18 & 24), a caring and hands on boss (v13, 15b, 17, 19) and a prudent investor (out of her earnings, she buys a field and plants a vineyard, v16). This can definitely be achievable if the priorities and expectations are set right upfront and, most importantly, if Christ is in the center of all. If not, women risk being like an over-stretched rubber band which easily snaps or a rubber band that has lost elasticity because it was left too long in the sun. I can now better appreciate the need for personal quiet time. My timeout is not a luxury and selfish act but instead an essential break, greatly needed for recharging my spiritual, emotional and physical health. In fact, it is when I am spiritually, emotionally and physically rejuvenated that I can be a better caregiver, productive worker and having more possibility of being a successful woman! Timeouts are now mostly spent in the kitchen baking or testing new recipes with the song ‘In Christ Alone’ played on repeat mode in the background, researching Bible verses and praying. Truly, God is my source of strength and hope and is indeed the One whom I turn to when I am in a deep valley or a dark hour of my life. Do you enjoy receiving bad news or downside surprises at work? Has anyone ever looked forward to hearing recommendations for improvement in their personal workspace? Will anyone ever take delight in having a third party question their job functions/ processes/empowerment that they hold dearly to? (( truly, god is my source of strength and hope, and is indeed the one whom i turn to when i am in a deep valley or a dark hour in my life. )) My job as an internal auditor requires me to deliver all of the above and these indeed create a significant amount of stress for me, particularly before delivering negative messages to unappreciative/unreasonable auditees. Taking a few minutes to pray for tactfulness, Senior Management’s objectivity and right opportunities to speak always helps! My colleagues and boss are often amazed by the end results of the meeting. There are two verses that never fail to lead and sustain me. Matt 7:7 – Ask and you will receive, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you. 1 Thes 5:16-18 – Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 25
  14. 14. CHRISTIAN PARENTS by Dr Koh Siang Kiang A A Biblical Pattern The biblical imperative for parenting in Deuteronomy 6:4-9 is not a new idea for our consideration. Rather, it should be seen as a reminder to return to a long-neglected biblical pattern. The earlier verses sets the background to our text. In verse 1, God called His people to know His commandments so they would know how to act when they entered the promised land. Verse 2 identifies the “sons and grandsons” as the target, and their “fear of Him, to keep His law” as the reason for this teaching. Known as the shema from the first Hebrew word “hear”, the writer first declared the focus of their worship: “The LORD is our God, the LORD is one.” The word “hear” implies both listening and acting on what is heard. What were they to 26 CONIFERCONIFER CC BY-2.0 OZinOH CC BY-NC 2.0 The Biblical Role of picture of an NS man with his maid carrying his backpack posted on facebook brought reactions of disbelief. Together with ongoing discussions was a forum article entitled, “NS does not make men, parents do”, prompting this article. For more than 200 years the evangelical Sunday School movement has been trying its best to provide Christian Education to do Proverbs 22:6. Besides this, many other children’s programme were developed to enable the children’s spiritual growth. Despite the teaching, these second and third generation Christian children and youths are not responding. What has gone wrong? How can the situation be rectified? Whatever changes might be suggested, Christian Education in the church still MUST continue to play an important role. But, the purpose here is to examine an earlier imperative given to caring for the next generation. (( This means that the task of passing on the 'faith of the fathers' must come from the parents. no doubt, the lord uses other sources, but this is a personal responsibilty. )) hear and act on? Four specific action areas are indicated in this passage: 1) Personal response to the love of God (v5); 2) Personal response to the Word of God (v6); 3) Personal participation in the life of the next generation (v7); 4) Personal symbols to teach the next generation (v8-9). Why ‘personal’? In the New American Standard Bible (NASB) the pronoun “you” is used nine times, and “your” eleven times. That would suggest that this injunction is given directly to someone. If it is to those who have “sons and grandsons, the “you” and “your” would have to be parents and grandparents. Also, note the sequence of parenting. Verses 5 and 6 begins with asking the parents to make a personal response to God and His Word. Only when that is done can the next two steps of teaching the next generation take place. This means that the task of passing on the “faith of the fathers” must come from the parents. No doubt, the Lord uses other sources, but this is a personal responsibility. In Exodus 12:24 and Joshua 4:6, when Moses and Joshua instructed the Israelites to build memorials, it was to enable the parents to teach “your children.” The Book of Proverbs records communication of life-principles from a father to a son. In the New Testament, in several of his epistles, Paul wrote specifically to Christian fathers concerning working with their children. Principles and Applications Now, let me go back to explain and make present day applications of the above four principles from our text in Deuteronomy. 1) There must be personal response to the love of God (v5). The Hebrew people were commanded 27
  15. 15. TELL SOMEONE ELSE TO LOVE GOD IF WE OURSELVES DO NOT RESPOND TO HIS LOVE. WE MUST SHOW THEM HOW TO LOVE GOD, NOT JUST TELL THEM. )) 28 occur naturally when you are together. In other words, it is not a classroom setting but a normal interaction of life. The following are suggestions for contemporary day-to-day application of this principle in the life of the next generation: a) Make it a point to eat with the family. Table talk is good for the body, the mind, and you can make it good for the soul. Also, when your children watch a TV programme, be there with them so that you can discuss the pros and cons of the show; b) Make deliberate plans to “walk by the way.” Not only is it good exercise, it gives you a chance to connect with your family. In Singapore we have many parks that make it very conducive for this; c) Unlike the Hebrew family, today’s social order promotes the luxury of separate bedrooms which robs us of relaxed time together. TV and computer games may fill the mind and emotions with worldly values until fatigue drives us to seek a night of sleep. Thus we miss our pillow talk. Therefore, it is important for us to reexamine our priorities and learn to tie spiritual truth to the ordinary affairs of daily life; d) “When you rise up” – this can be very early for families, with some school children having to leave at 5:30 am. This may be considered a sacrifice for tired parents to wake up to be with their children to set the direction for the day. Preparing and eating breakfast with them gives opportunity to talk about the day. Even a short prayer before setting off for school will remind them that God and His Word are to be central in all they do that day. Relating to the children takes time. We cannot have quality time without quantity time. This can become a challenge considering how busy people are, and many more mothers returning to the workforce 4) Personal symbols used to teach the next generation. The binding of the Word “as a sign on your hand and … on your forehead” (v8) became a literal Jewish custom. It indicated that their conduct and contemplation must be totally subjected to God. “You shall write them on the door post of your house and on your gates” (v9). Even as they entered and departed from their home they were to be reminded that the Word is their guard and their guide. In modern homes, what does one see upon entering? Is the Bible visible? Are there any Christian plaques? Do you hear Christian hymns and songs? Are Christian books invitingly displayed? Sadly many homes advertise worldly things almost to the exclusion of godly symbols. Conclusion Deuteronomy 6:4-9 was addressed to a particular people in a particular place at a particular time. But, as with all of the Scripture, the principles may be applied to all the people of God, whatever their circumstances, in the 21st century. Parents, grandparents, aunties and uncles, we have a God-given responsibility to the next generation. As the world bombards them with glitzy images, we must rise to the responsibility of showing them, as well as telling them, how to love, fear and obey God in the day-to-day activities and complexities of life. They need to see faith in action in the pursuits and pleasures of daily life. By your example, determine to stimulate them to love and good works. Dr Koh Siang Kiang is Associate Professor, Christian Education; Director, Field Education; and Director, Centre for Continuing Theological Education (English). She is also an executive member of Mayfair Park Neighbourhood Committee. Characteristics and SPIRITUAL Development of Children kevin jaAKO CC BY-NC 2.0 dalemcneill CC BY-NC 2.0 (( WE CANNOT as individuals to love God with “all your heart, with all your soul and with all your might.” In the Gospels, Jesus affirmed that this was “the great commandment” (Matt 22:3738). Love for God must begin with the individual. And it must permeate the whole person. We cannot tell someone else to love God if we ourselves do not respond to His love. We must show them how to love God, not just tell them. 2) There must be personal response to the Word of God (v6). When the words “love God…” are acted upon, lives are changed. In the Great Commission (Matt. 28:1920) Jesus commanded that our task include “…teaching them to OBEY everything I have commanded you….” We are to teach the Word of God expecting that it will change lives. But first, the Word must change our own lives. It reminds me of Ezra 7:10 where we are told “Ezra set his heart to study, PRACTICE and teach the Word.” Our willingness to practice what we have learned will help our children (and others) see the truth in action. 3) There must be personal participation in the life of the next generation (v7). The Word which has been practiced must now be taught “diligently” in all of the normal interactions of daily life. This would require effort and time. This verse provides practical suggestions to help a parent know when to “pass on” the love of God and the Word of God. In the devoted Jewish home, parents talk to their children a) when you sit in your house; b) When you walk by the way; c) When you lie down; d) When you rise up. In other words, they take advantage of the ordinary occasions for interaction at a higher level . Here we see that it is not a matter of “setting aside time” to spend with the children for a concentrated period. Rather, it involves optimizing the teachable moments which Luke 2:52 says that Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man. Thus, it can be said that children grow and develop in a number of aspects: Wisdom. Children grow mentally, in the way they think and what they know. Stature. Children grow physically, in size, strength and coordination. In favour with man. Children grow socially and learn to get along with others. In favour with God. Children grow spiritually in what he knows about God and how he responds to Him. What follows is a rule-of-thumb guide to the stages of the spiritual growth of children. Age 4 to 5: Believer Easily led. Think of the Lord in a personal way. Can be taught to talk to God, to thank God. Understands that willful disobedience is sin. Can believe and receive Christ. Age 6-8: Discerner Discerns between right and wrong. Trusts people. Quick to receive Jesus as saviour. Can learn to pray and live for the Lord. Needs spiritually mature examples. Age 9-11: Worshipper Responds to teaching or spiritual growth. Can understand doctrinal truths. Asks questions about Christianity. Have an interest in people; can be good witness. Age 12-14: Challanger Asks why, where, what and how. Sincere and serious in their desire to know more about God. Desperately needs guidance. Needs to be involved in church or youth fellowship activities. 29
  16. 16. ABIGAIL GOH THE CHRISTIAN IN CYBERSPACE BY GOH ECK KHENG he rapid development of computer technology continues to revolutionise culture, commerce and communications. As Quentin J. Schultze states in his book, Internet for Christians: Everything You Need to Start Cruising the Net Today, "These are the two faces of the 'Net' – one repulsive and one attractive, one that reflects goodness and grace, and the other that displays human sinfulness.” Christians must therefore understand and use the World Wide Web in ways that are pleasing to the Lord. As the Internet allows people to become anonymous and to take on different persona and behave in ways they would not in the physical world, it is key that Christians maintain our identity as children of God in cyberspace. T 30 God’s omniscience extends to this disembodied world. We are the same person to Him whether we use our real name or a screen name. We are never anonymous nor invisible to God. Our Christian testimony includes how we live via social media and our Christian life can be influenced by how we use the seemingly limitless resources online. What we post and how we interact with others on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram directly impacts our role as Christ's ambassadors in the world. Do THINK before you post. Ask yourself, is what I am thinking of posting True? Is it Helpful? Does it Inspire Confidence? Is it Necessary? Is it Kind? In the spirit of the test that is in the heart of Charles Sheldon's book, In His Steps, ask: Would Jesus post this? This would include testing your own motivation for putting up what is on the face of it, a harmless post. There are those who collect followers for the sake of just having more and more followers, rather than for true appreciation of what they share. This habit belies vanity, insecurity and the deep hunger for affirmation so much so that we crave it from total strangers. Turn instead to God who calls us his sons and daughters; what more affirmation do we need? Even if social media is not used as a crutch but used to advantage to connect and keep us in touch with friends, family and those in the mission field, it could be at the expense of people immediately around us. Sadly, it is not uncommon today to see family members around the dining table more connected to others through their mobile devices than to each other in conversation. This is but one form of cyber addiction. Internet Addiction Disorder was proposed as a satirical hoax in 1995. Today, this and the related Communications Addiction Disorder and Online Gaming Addiction have become realities. The tool of the Internet must not be allowed to become our master. An easy test to find out if we are being held captive in the cyberworld is to see if we suffer from withdrawl symptoms when we stop using it for a day. This, of course, would not include the use of the Internet for research, for the most universal value of the World Wide Web is the ease of finding information. There is a seemingly limitless amount of knowledge available with just a few clicks and keystrokes. Among this is a vast ecclesiastical library of Christian material from Sunday School resources, to online Bible studies, commentaries and websites created by cyber preachers. This range reflects the wide spectrum of spiritual views, including those which are Biblically unsound. Misinformation and disinformation is as common as true, real, valuable information in both secular and Christian spheres. Thus, when referring to Christian resources online or engaging in Christian discussion groups, it is important to test the soundness of views being shared. Ask these questions: Who is the author of the article and creator of the website? Is background information about the author/creator available? What are the author’s qualifications and experiences? What is the purpose of the site? Is the information and teaching Biblically sound? A good rule of thumb is, when (( god's omniscience extends to this disembodied world. we are the same person to him wHether we use our real name or a screen name. we are never anonymous Nor invisible to god. )) there is the slightest doubt, do not rely on the resource until you are given assurance by someone who is well-versed in Biblical theology that the resource is sound and reliable. This brief survey of godly use of the Internet would not be complete without a discussion on the perils of online pornography. The ease of access and the cloak of anonyminity makes it a real temptation. A common sense and effective measure is to subscribe to a filtered Internet access service to block the bulk of the dangerous material. Avoidance is the first line of defence. As Proverbs 4:14-15 says: "Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away." Although the Internet did not exist in Bible times, a biblical model for dealing with online pornography is when Joseph fled from the seduction of Potiphar's wife. Flirting with temptation is dangerous and will result in falling into sin. A practical way of fleeing is when temptation comes, immediately turn off the computer and pray or read the Bible for a while. Accountability is another effective way of providing a safeguard. It could be as simple as positioning the computer so that others can see what is on the sceeen, or signing up with a Christian filtering and accountability service such as Covenant Eyes (www.covenanteyes.com). Just as we do not compartmentalise our life in church, at home and at work in the way we live for God, we must also not have different values on the Internet and other parts of our daily lives. God is the Lord of all. He wants to be the Lord of every aspect of our lives, and that includes how we bear witness for him in cyberspace. 31
  17. 17. ABIGAIL GOH our children IN THE WILD WIDE WEB Engage, Teach, Communicate BY GOH ECK KHENG 32 eeping your children safe on the Internet requires that you review your own habits on the web. You are your kids’ ultimate role model. To be aware of children’s online lives, stay involved as much you can depending on their ages and injecting sound values to counteract the less desirable aspects of the World Wide Web. Surf with your children and show each other what you like to do online. Foremost, teach your kids about online safety. Start by establishing a code of conduct for cyberspace: if they know it’s wrong to say something to someone face-to-face, they shouldn’t text it, tweet it, or post it. Use the THINK acronym (see page 24). What would Jesus do if he used the Internet? The Golden Rule also applies: You should treat others as you would like others to treat you. Help your child grow to become a good digital citizen. Learn about the types of networks and situations your teen is experiencing online so that you can identify pitfalls, solutions and encourage critical thinking. Teens should question who posted something and why. They should also think critically about their own posts: “Why am I posting this? Who will see it? Could it be misunderstood?” Just as you have taught your children not to walk down dark alleys alone at night, they need to know how to avoid threatening places online. Like in the real world, staying in safe neighbourhoods will keep one out of trouble. Another key point is to keep channels of communication open. Teenagers may feel that parents are disconnected from their perspective and dislike conversations about online safety. Create an environment where K your children will come to you when they face any strange or unusual activity on the Net. Fear of punishment is a major deterrent to openness. Thus, don’t punish your child for revealing such information. Keep an open dialogue about online safety. The more you talk about this, the easier it will get; don’t be discouraged if they don’t seem to want to respond. Ask non-judgmental questions such as: What are your favorite things to do online? What could you do to be safer online? Safety Basics There are a number of basic strategies to stay safe on the Internet, not just for children but for people of all ages. Computers that have Internet connection ought to be placed in a place at home where there is free access to the whole family. Young children should not be allowed to use the Internet unsupervised. Monitoring your child’s Internet habits is not a violation of their privacy anymore than watching out for them in real life would be. If teens complain that you are treating them like children, remind them that most employers monitor Internet and email usage of employees. Advise your children to take care when choosing a user or screen name. As those names will become as identifiable with them as their given names, hopefully it will not be an embarrassment to them in years to come. More importantly, a screen name should not include personal information like surname or date of birth. Make sure that children understand they should never give out any personal information over the Net. Also, make sure they understand that they should never meet anyone they met online face-to-face without parental (( Just as you have taught your children not to walk down dark alleys alone at night, they need to know how to avoid threatening places online. Like in the real world, staying in safe neighbourhoods will keep one out of trouble. )) 33
  18. 18. permission, or give up their privacy by allowing strangers to identify who or where they are. Take their online relationships seriously. Warn your children and teens that online predators use false names and fake profile photos to lead others to believe they are someone they are not. Recognise that the anonyminity that the Internet gives also allows your child to take on a different persona to her real self. This in itself is unhealthy even if they are not pretending to be someone more beautiful, more popular or rich. Being true to herself on the Net is a measure of your child's self-worth. Cyberbullying is real. Never send hurtful messages or respond to any such messages is a good rule. Instruct your child to “block” bullies or delete your child’s current account and open a new one when faced with cyberbullying. Tell your children that they can count on your help if they encounter a bully online. Save the evidence by taking screenshots of the comments and images, and take note of the date and time of the harassment. Contact your Internet service provider or cell phone provider to remove the content created to hurt your child. Passwords should not be shared with anyone but parents. Remind your children that they must log out of their accounts each time they leave a public computer, even if just to use the washroom. Many social networking websites and blog hosting websites have minimum age requirements for signup. These requirements are there to protect your children so don’t start an account for them if they are not of age. Inappropriate Content Before children are allowed to use the Internet, rules about what content they are allowed to access 34 should be laid down. Children may not tell you about something they have seen because they are afraid that their Internet time will be taken away. The best way is to openly discuss inappropriate content before problems arise. Also keep in mind that children may come across inappropriate content unintentionally. Discuss your family values and be clear about what content aligns and does not align with those values. Installing blocking, filtering, and monitoring software is a sensible approach, and do this before you introduce any child to the Web. Teach them to leave the site immediately when they encounter inappropriate content and tell you what had happened. Online Privacy In practice, there’s no such thing as online privacy. Anything posted can be seen by or forwarded to anyone: strangers, university admissions officers, and potential employers. So, it is even more important to have an agreement with your children about what is acceptable to post as what they post will reflect well or poorly on them. Remnants of digital footprints can remain online for a very long time, something that children don’t realize. So, a post put on the Internet in a moment of indiscretion can come back to haunt them years down the line. Even if they take it down, the electronic record still remains. Keep also in mind that the quick response and the nature of the Internet allow what is posted in public to be copied and broadcast to thousands and thousands of people before a post is regretted and taken down. Social Networking This has become part and parcel of engagement in cyberspace for people of every generation. It can benefit children by allowing them to explore new interests and meet like-minded people online. Some talking points you can use with your kids are: What kinds of things do your post on your page? How do you decide who to add as a friend? Would you feel comfortable if I checked your profile? (( MANY SOCIAL NETWORKING WEBSITES AND BLOG HOSTING WEBSITES HAVE MINIMUM AGE REQUIREMENTS FOR SIGNUP. THESE REQUIREMENTS ARE THERE TO PROTECT YOUR CHILDREN SO DON'T START AN ACCOUNT FOR THEM IF THEY ARE NOT OF AGE. )) Blogs A sensible approach is to advise you child never to post anything that he or she would not want to share with everyone they know. Ensure that your child is using privacy settings. Talking points: Do you keep a blog? Could I read it? Who do you think is reading your blog? Would you feel comfortable letting anyone read your blog? What do you think your blog says about you? Can you show me some of your favorite blogs? Instagram This networking service, open to membership for anyone 13 years and up, allows users to share photos and apply a variety of filters to them. Note that Instagram photos are accessible to the public by default and allows users to view public photos posted by others and by those they follow. Instruct children to make their Instagram profile private so that users have to send a request to connect to them. However, setting Instagram to private may not be enough. Any account connected to Twitter, Facebook or other social media platforms will share photos uploaded. To ensure real privacy, each of those programs must also be set to private. Your teenager should select an appropriate profile photo that you both agree on. It is best to not use a personal photo but use an object or scene that represents his interests. Join Instagram yourself to be aware of its processes and terms in practice. Follow your teen so that you can see what others have access to. YouTube YouTube allows users to upload and share original and bootlegged videos, anything from the wonderful to the unacceptable. It’s the place to go to watch the latest viral video that everyone’s talking about or a favorite music video. Thanks to YouTube, kids can access millions of videos instantly, and they can very easily post a video for the world to see. But note that the site says that teenagers 13 to 17 are welcome with permission from a parent or guardian. It's up to you if you think your kids are ready for it. Go explore YouTube to see for yourself what subject are available on its channels and who the popular YouTube personalities are. You will be able to have a much more open and informed discussion with your children once you’ve seen for yourself what is available. Keep a lively conversation about what's current, popular and going viral on YouTube. Talking points: Do you watch YouTube (stupid question, really)? What do you like about it? Have you ever posted anything? If so, what? Twitter This is a public space messaging system which delivers short bursts of information known as Tweets. Each Tweet is limited to a maximum of 140 characters, but can also carry links, photos and videos. Users can conduct conversations directly by Tweets. Although Tweets can be configured so that only approved followers can read them, most users share their Tweets freely with everyone on Twitter. As these short messages encourage impulsive behavior, remind your kids that if they wouldn't say it to the person's face or out loud, they shouldn't say it via Twitter too. THINK before Tweeting. Talking points: Can you trust all the people that see the information on your profile? How could your Tweet be interpreted? Tumblr Tumblr is a streamlined blogging platform that allows users to create and re-blog (share from others' posts) photo, video and audio files. Although users can post traditional blog articles, what attracts the youngsters to Tumblr is the ability to create a collage of material that represent their individuality in the context of a community. Tumblr keeps safety simple. In the process of signing up, you’re asked for your age, and if you type in anything below 13 Tumblr automatically rejects your registration. However, many children (and parents on their behalf) lie about age and the computer knows no better. Talking points: What communities do you belong to? What subjects do you search for? How many people are following your posts? The Big Picture A time will come when your child's engagement with the Internet will go beyond your control. What you can depend on then is the value system and self-discipline you have inculcated in them from their childhood. Pray for wisdom and discernment and safety for yourself and your children. Continue to keep a lively and interesting conversations in your family about online activity. In this way, we can effectively teach each other by example. 35
  19. 19. A YEAR IN CAMBODIA By YEO HWEE LAN 36 n 2012, CCMC’s partnership with Methodist Mission Society (MMS) in Cambodia reached another phase. Our church was to help build a church building for Chress Methodist Church. I was involved in this project since the beginning, and was stationed in Cambodia to help facilitate the construction work from February 2012. The project team of CCMC volunteers comprised a lawyer, an architect, a quantity surveryor, a developer, and our Church Mission Committee members. Praise God for His provision of talent! As a team, we worked diligently and prayerfully since mid-2011, drafting the tender documents, interviewing the contractors, and finally awarding the contract in March 2012. The construction work started in July as there was a delay in getting the construction permit from the relevant authority. But thanks be to God, everything was completed within the contract time! I would have liked to contribute much more to the building team, but due to my lack of expertise, all I could do was to help with logistics when the team visited the work site, to keep track of the progress and update them regularly. It was on-the-job training for me most of the time! Thank God that He provided me with a patient team and friendly local engineers who took time to explain to me the work progress and the floor plan which, at times, I really did not understand. Besides the construction work, I coordinated and planned the three short-term mission trips from our church. This was much easier for me. Much of 2012 was spent in getting to know the Chress church members better, especially the church youth. I also taught God’s Word during the youth fellowship, helped out with the church’s learning center for children held Mon- days to Fridays in the afternoons, and the children ministry on Saturday mornings. All these took place in a rented house while the new building was under construction. In early 2013, as the building neared completion, I was busy with the furnishing of the new church. Most time was spent shopping for furniture, meeting with the carpenter, viewing samples etc. It was like furnishing my own house all over again just that this time it was 100 times bigger! Towards the end of my posting, I helped the church set up a Children’s Club for kids in the neighborhood village. I was thrilled to see over 80 children streaming into the church building with the proper facilities in place, to use the library, activities room and attend English classes. The Chress youth were excited as well as they helped with the running of the club, led the children in songs and told them Bible stories. When I was posted to Cambodia, I had served CCMC’s Covenant Kids ministry for almost 5 years. I had yearned for a change and sought God for new directions. Thus, I felt that this posting was an answer to prayer. I was excited to discover what God had in store for me in this journey of self-discovery. Although I had been to Cambodia in numerous short mission trips, staying for such a long period was a different ball game. It was not only a change in ministry but also a great change in culture, living conditions, social life, eating habits and working partners. I had to totally uproot myself to another new environment. To be very honest, it was overwhelming in the beginning, as I not only needed to deal with the day-to-day chores such as making sure that there was clean drinking water in the house and cooking my own meals, I also had to learn to take the local transport to Chress church and master basic conver- sational Khmer. I also had to learn to work with the local pastor, the MMS missionaries and to learn the Cambodian work system and culture. On top of that, I had to help with the building project, lead mission teams and help with Chress Church ministry. I realized that I had to adapt to this totally new environment very quickly. Everything was happening at the same time so I just had to figure out how to cope with all the changes. I thank God for His provision that I could cope and adapt to the changes with the help of the missionaries and through the many prayer supporters from our church whom I “ran” to for comfort when I was down and stressed. (Thank God for technology! Skype, chat, whatsapp, etc). I would like to share a few valuable lessons that God taught me in Cambodia. 1) Be sensitive and respectful of the local culture. Try to understand why the locals do what they do. Their belief system and worldview are very different from ours. I taught this lesson many times to different mission teams but when living out this principle myself, I would falter and would be in need of constant reminder. 2) Having a strong support team in the home church is crucial when in the field. We all need friends and family to support us – in particular through prayer – especially when we are down and discouraged. 3) Self-knowledge is essential. Knowing what works for you and your coping mechanism will make the transition easier. 4) Be always in step with the Spirit. God’s work can only be done in God’s way and in God’s power. Trying to do otherwise will always lead to miserable failure. And in all things, may God be glorified! 37
  20. 20. Songs & Singers LENNY LEBLANC STOP PRESS! Lenny LeBlanc will be featured with Don Moen in Give Thanks on 7 Nov 2013. Tickets from SISTIC. ((HE COULDN'T BELIEVE THAT GOD WOULD GIVE HIM SOMETHING THAT GREAT. )) 38 ABIGAIL GOH THERE IS NONE LIKE YOU Dear Abigail, BY GOH ECK KHENG Lenny LeBlanc's successful pop career, beginning in the mid-1970s, is perhaps most remembered for the 1977 single Falling recorded with Pete Carr. For the rest of the decade LeBlanc's career continued to peak. In 1981, he got a call from a good friend, a drug smuggler, who excitedly said that "he got saved". LeBlanc had no idea what ‘saved’ meant; he hadn’t been inside church in 20 years and the church that he’d grown up in never talked about salvation. His friend sent him a Bible. The words on the pages spoke to his life; he cried out to God for forgiveness and became a Christian. At that time, LeBlanc was contracted to Capitol Records with one more record committed. However, as he got down to write that album, praise and worship songs instead of pop lyrics poured out. He called his manager and asked if Capitol would release him from the deal. His manager thought LeBlanc had gone completely crazy. Crazy or not, Capitol Records did agree to suspend the contract on condition that he couldn’t record for another label unless they bought out the contract. Finding himself in an early retirement from the music industry, LeBlanc used his other talent and started making stained glass. This led to creating windows for a church and receiving an invitation to give his testimony and sing. He also continued to write songs – songs about the things of God. By the time LeBlanc had written more than a dozen Christian songs, God began to open new doors as well as shut old ones. LeBlanc began to meet key figures in Christian music circles and Capitol Records released him from his contract. He recorded his own albums for small Christian labels but industry shake-ups and financial considerations often interfered with his releases, leaving a sour taste in his mouth. So he retreated from the music industry and started to lead worship at his home church. It was then that he realised that there was a need for more strong praise and worship music and started asking God to give him some songs that would relate to his generation. God did. At that time, LeBlanc met leaders of Maranatha! Music, and they started using some of his songs and voice on their albums. In the early 1990s, Integrity Music asked him for a worship CD. There Is None Like You was one of the songs written for that project, Pure Heart, in 1994. LeBlanc shared: “I had a deadline. A lot of times… I’ll sing words that don’t make any sense to anyone else, but I’m trying to stir up an idea. But that morning I started singing, ‘There is none like you….’” It was after he had completed the chorus and fine tuned it that the weight of it hit him: here was a song that was going to have a huge impact all over the world. He got on his face and started weeping. He couldn’t believe that God would give him something that great. “Then I started writing the verse, and the verse took me down, too. It was just a weeping morning.” He realised that God touches us – in our hearts, in our spirits, – like nobody else can. “No one else can touch my heart like You do. No person, no thing, no amount of money, no fame. I don’t care what you put up against it, it doesn’t even hold up.” ASK ABIGAIL Dear Abigail, My girl loves Sunday School. Besides learning about God, because she goes to church every week in MGS and sees the interesting drawings and decorations in the classrooms, she has her heart really set on becoming an MG girl. I am not an old girl of MGS myself, but I have been a CCMC member even before I got married. I know I qualify for Phase 2B, but I am worried that with the new rules of P1 registration announced by MOE recently, my daughter may not get into MGS. I really, really want my daughter to get the values and spiritual life of the school. Since CCMC is in MGS, do CCMC members have extra priority for a P1 place in the school? A Brigadier General has become the Chairman of our LCEC. I hear rumours that to get us to come to church on time, there will be stand by PEW. Hopeful Dear Hopeful, I am so very sorry to tell you that CCMC members do not have any extra priority for P1 registration in MGS just because the church uses the school's facilities. I do understand your motivation for wanting your daughter to be an MG girl. So rejoice and be glad, for your daughter is already on her way to being a Methodist Girl. Your bringing her to Sunday School regularly is giving her a grounding about God. And as you continue to nuture her relationship with God at home, she will benefit from the sound values and true spirituality that you are giving her. So, do not worry even if your daughter does not get into MGS for she is already a MG girl – a Methodist Girl. The way you are bringing her up will teach her to master, grow and serve. And as you show her by example these values, she will grow up into a Godly woman of excellence with a heart of love. From another Methodist Girl, Abigail Yah Yah Papaya Dear Yah Yah Papaya, Stand by PEW? Not possible because Pastor Edwin Wong is now pastor-in-charge of Toa Payoh Methodist Church. On the ball Abigail Dear Abigail, It's embarassing to ask, but what is the church 19th anniversary gift for? Ignorant Dear Ignorant, It is a bag of tricks which can be used as: (1) a small mammal cage (2) a portable sieve (3) a two-bottle carrier (4) a beansprout germinator (5) a large-print Bible tote Sincerely, Abigail Dear Abigail, Who were the greatest financiers in the Bible? Stockbroker Dear Stockbroker, Noah and Pharaoh's daughter: He floated his stock while everyone else was in liquidation. She went to the Nile and picked up a little prophet. Bullish Abigail 39
  21. 21. FAILURE – THE SEED OF LIFE BY YAP KIAN SENG + Why are prayer meetings more well attended during a crisis? -------------------Prayer is a movement of trusting, gradually moving from the doubts of "why" to the faith of "why not?" -------------------Prayer is not about spending hours just talking and talking and talking. It is about coming into the presence of God, talking when there is a need to talk, listening when there is a need to listen, asking when there is a need to ask, pleading, crying, lamenting, complaining, arguing, disputing, recollecting, discussing, and above all, presenting our whole selves before God. It is waiting for that special moment; for that spark that gets the fire of love going; for that utterance that may come loudly or softly, quickly or slowly; for that whisper that may otherwise be missed when we fail to pray. 40 Someone asked me about what defines a person in life? In one of my shoot-off-the-hip replies, I said: “Failure. Failure defines the contours of my life.” I then rattled off some of my failures, academic, social, career, and relational. Come to think of it, behind every crest of success is a trough of failure. Football fans will be familiar with the runaway success of Manchester United. Currently the richest and deemed the most successful club in Britain, it was till recently helmed by Sir Alex Ferguson, whom many has called the most successful manager in Britain. Behind this success, it is humbling to note that it is failure that had provided the seeds of hard work, competitiveness, and grit. Nearly sacked in 1990, seeing their rival Liverpool rake in more trophies only made Ferguson more determined to climb out of the pit. Ten years later, Ferguson led Manchester United to become the first English team to win three prestigious titles: The Premier League, the FA Cup, and the Champions League. More than twenty years later, Manchester United has won more Premier League titles than any other English club. What if a failure is not the end of a dream, but the beginning of another? One friend of mine failed miserably in his business, only to find that it saved his marriage. Another became more humble through failure. Still others found their calling when their original plan failed. Many notable inventions flourished out of a fertile ground of failures, like the story of Edison’s famous electric light device. Perhaps, we may be frustrated when our Plan A fail to take off. Instead, we may seem resigned to frequently fall back on Plan B. Perhaps life is like that. It is not the success of Plan A that shapes us. It is how we respond to failures that molds us. Life in many ways is like that. When our top choice crumbles, we do not fall back but push ahead with Plan B or even C. Perhaps, Plan B is actually God’s ‘Plan A’ for us. My friends, do not fret or be afraid of failure. Even the Bible is replete with examples of people who often begin imperfectly as failures rather than perfect heroes. Moses was a murderer. David committed adultery. Peter denied Christ thrice. Elijah fell into depression. Jonah fled from God. Abraham lied about his wife. Noah got drunk. Paul persecuted Christians. The list goes on. Yet, they are all recipients of God’s grace. Failures tried to break them. God’s grace saved them. God’s love touched them. God’s persistence moved them and gave them life. Failure, after all, is a seed of life, not a death sentence. God’s grace provides the sunshine, the moisture, the nutrients, and the love to make it grow. I too have been branded a failure, but in God’s eyes, I am always a potential for goodness and success. In his good time, I will be made whole. In the promise of God, there is no failure, only constant grace in action. The words of John Newton aptly capture our life’s struggles. “I once was lost, but now am found. Was blind but now I see.” Yap Kian Seng has wide interest in theology and spirituality. He serves as an associate pastor in a local Church in Vancouver, BC. RAINDROPMEMORY BY CC BY-ND 3.0 Food for Thought News Bites WORSHIP BANDS WORKSHOP GOOD LINKS The CCMC Fellowship Retreat was held over the Hari Raya Puasa and National Day long weekend (8-10 August 2013) at Tanjong Puteri Golf Club in Johor. Rev Dr Norman Wong was the Retreat Director and the age range of the 32 participants was 10 to 91 years old, the eldest being Cecil Wong, Rev Wong's father. The reatreat gave the opportunity to play at all three courses of Tanjong Puteri: the Straits Course, Plantation Course (Championship) and Village Course, and was anchored by three teaching sessions: 1. Playing G.O.L.F (Game of Life First), a study of Psalm 37 and 139 on rediscovering life's purpose. We are human "beings" not "doings". 2. Jesus as the Ultimate Mulligan*, where Jesus through His perfect life and sacrifice provides all that we lack. Following Jesus is not about a set of rules but developing a personal relationship. 3. Unlimited Mulligans. God offers us unlimited grace and forgiveness. When that happens, we tend to play better – in golf as well as in life. Snippets of Ultimate Mulligan videos based on a book by Ken Blanchard (author of The One Minute Manager) and Wally Armstrong were screened. There were also break-out groups of four to six, and afterdinner gatherings which saw deeper fellowship and spontaneous sharing. The 10 family members who didn't play golf enjoyed the bowling alley, pool and nearby shopping centre. Anton Chan ably scheduled the 22 golfers (including Cecil Wong who played all three games) into 4–5 flights. A friendly competition was held on Day 2 with prizes sponsored by Terry Ng. The winners were: • Handicap 0 -18: Solomon Fang • Handicap 18.1-24: Kim Hyunjin • Ladies: Oh Ming Choo * A mulligan is when someone gets a second chance to perform a certain move or action. The worship bands attended a workshop on Contemporary Band Dynamics conducted by Mervin John from Grace Methodist Chuch on 10 and 17 June at CCMC. The band members were given a football analogy where the defence are the percussion, drums and base; midfielders are the acoustic guitar, second keyboard and rhythm electric guitar; attacking midfielders are the main kyboard and lead electric guitar; while the strikers are the vocalists. The role of the music director is to give direction and arrangement to the team. The strategy is to play off each other and not fight against each other. One of the fundamental takeaways was that a worship musician must have technical skills and the ability to bring what is applicable and appropriate to worship. Emerging leaders Eleven youth leaders from the One Community (OC) attended the Global Leadership Summit (Emerging Leaders) on Saturday, 13 July at Bethel Assembly of 41
  22. 22. News Bites God Church. Together with about 500 other leaders from different churches and denominations in Singapore, they gathered to sharpen their leadership edge. The summit challenged the young leaders – from the ages of 13 to 30 – to bold leadership. The theme was “Dare to Lead”. Pastor Steven Furtick, from Elevation Church in the United States, called the young leaders to have an audacious faith. He shared that it is a bold faith that takes us from inspiration to implementation. Screened via video, other summit speakers included Pastor Craig Groeschel, founder and senior pastor of LifeChurch.tv, and Catherine Rohr of Defy Ventures that offers former criminals a new lease of life by training them to run their own businesses. What was especially helpful was the discussion time after each session. Participants were guided through reflection and discussion questions by a Singaporean facilitator. This helped them unpack what they learnt and turn it into positive action. During the lunch break, a few of the OC youth leaders joined a networking lunch with Youth Pastors, Youth Workers and Youth Leaders. Organised by Ignite Singapore – a network of youth pastors and leaders across denominations – the lunch was anchored by youth pastors who shared their experiences and fielded questions about youth ministry. It was an invaluable time where our OC leaders gleaned practical wisdom from the pastors’ years of youth ministry experience. The summit closed with a powerful time of worship and exhortation of our young leaders to arise and dare to lead. May our younger generation step up to lead boldly – not just in the future, but also right now, where they are! 42 42 News Bites BAPTISM AND CONFIRMATION (Above) Jacqueline Khoo with her children, Catelin and Joshua. (Below) Laureen Chan, Jody and Julian witness Justin's baptism. On Saturday, 10 August 2013, four children and four adults were baptised in a service attended by their family a friends held in the chapel. The children were: Joshua Khoo Yao Ming, son of Jacqueline Khoo. Jody Chan Yunn Tyng, Justin Chan Zi Kin and Julian Chan Zi Yin, children of Henry and Laureen Chan. The adults who were baptised were: Tan Ngian Chin, Nah Miao Chay, Lee E Shyen and Laureen Lee. The next day, new members were confirmed and received by transfer from other churches. At the 9 am service, Laureen Lee, Anton Chan En Liang, Joseph Anandan S P Sebastian, Jovina Lim Soon Peck and Annie Cher Poh Yoke were confrimed, while Tan Seng Hock and Galen Tan Kok Kheng were received by transfer. Shaun Nguee Zhixian and Jamie Tong Mei Jin were confirmed at the 11 am service. CHRESS CHURCH DEDICATION On the morning of 7 September 2013, the new building of our partner church in Cambodia, Chress Methodist Church (CMC), was opened and dedicated by Bishop Dr Wee Boon Hup. Our pastors, Rev John Foo and Rev Khoo Kay Huat, and some church leaders and members also attended this joyous occasion. In addition, a team of 15 mission trippers was there to assist in hosting the dedication service. Several senior pastors from the Methodist Church of Cambodia (MCC) took part in the dedication service and served Holy Communion together with our pastors. It was a very special occasion as two different groups of leaders and church members came together to partake of Holy Communion. We are all children of God regardless of the different backgrounds we come from. Rev Hongly, the District Superintendent of MCC Phnom Penh, expressed her gratitude and sincere appreciation to CCMC for helping with the church building and ministry of CMC. She was very touched by our love and generosity for her country. The next day, on 8 September 2013, CMC held a carnival at the church. Three hundred invitation cards had been given to the people in the neighbourhood to draw attention to the church. Touy Ay, one of the youths of CMC, shared: “I am very happy to see my neighbour coming to the church.” Her sister, Touy Euy added “I am also very happy because we very seldom have the chance to go to a carnival like this.” Regina Wong, a CCMC mission tripper, commented: “The carnival was a success! We managed to attract more adults and families to come into the church compound compared to the past.” Lidiang, a Methodist Mission Society missionary, also shared: “This carnival is a good follow-up after the dedication service. It is a great joy to see many smiles on the faces of the newcomers as they leave with bags filled with gifts and food. It is my prayer that many will return to the church to know of God's saving grace.” If you have news and events you would like to share with the church community via Loaves+Fishes, please write to ccmcloavesfishes@gmail.com 43 43
  23. 23. ELIJAH God sent Elijah to Mt Horeb where He promised to meet him. After a mighty wind, earthquake and fire, God spoke to Elijah in a still, small voice. (1 Kings 19:11-12) God sent the prophet Elijah during the reign of the seven kings of Israel. They were all wicked men who rebelled against God. The last of these kings was Ahab. His wife was Jezebel. (1 Kings 16, 1 Kings 17:1) Manga by GILLIAN GOH Elijah foretold that there will be a great drought. God sent him to a ravine where ravens provided him meat and bread. Water was supplied by a brook until it dried up. (1 Kings 17:2-6) God then sent Elijah to a poor widow where the prophet multiplied the little flour and oil she had. Later, the widow's son died and Elijah raised him from the dead. (1 Kings 17:7-24) Elijah challenged the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel. The prophets of Baal could not call down fire to burn the offerings but God answered Elijah and his offerings that were soaked in water were burnt up by the fire sent by God. (1 Kings 18:18-40) Elijah foretold the end of the drought and a small cloud grew to bring heavy rain. (1 Kings 18:41-46) Despite the mountaintop experiences, Elijah sank to despair when Jezebel threatened to kill him. He ran to the wilderness, sat beneath a bush and asked God to let him die. (1 Kings 19:1-5) King Ahab wanted Naboth's vineyard and Ahab's wife, Jezebel, got Naboth murdered to get the land. Elijah told Ahab that for this, his descendants would be wiped out. Ahab repented and God delayed the punishment. (1 Kings 21) Ahab died and his son, Ahaziah, became king. He hurt himself and sent messengers to ask the god of Ekron if he would get well. God told Elijah to tell Ahaziah that because he looked to a false god instead of the true God, he would die. And so he did. (2 Kings 1) A chariot of fire and horses of fire came down from heaven and took Elijah to heaven. (2 Kings 2:11)
  24. 24. Good Things SIMPLE, BEAUTIFUL TREASURES If you are looking for a meaningful yet affordable gift for someone special – male or female – go to Lisa Skinner's Christian jewellry web stores. There, you will find over 200 simply elegant bangles, rings, pendant and crosses handmade in copper, brass and sterling silver. Her designs use different techniques: cut, hammered, textured, sculpted, melted, patinated, and more. Lisa is an artist – drawing, painting, sculpting and making jewellry with her heart and hands, using what she testifies as a gift from our Creator God. Making things has been a passion since her childhood, and she loves discovering new mediums for creative ideas that continually come to her. www.etsy.com/shop/ ArtAffectionsJewelry# www.etsy.com/shop/ AAJsilverdesigns || Goh Eck Kheng 46 Good Things PRIVATE DINING WITH SOUL Fancy a private dining experience in a quiet, exclusive dining room? Then Soul Food is well worth considering. The simple yet tastefully decorated dining room is opened only for private lunch and dinners for a minimum of 8 and a maximum of 16 persons. You can design your own menu from its signature dishes including mushroom soup with porcini oil, pumpkin shrimp chowder, minestrone, peach clafoutis, sherry trifle, and chocolate mousses. What makes Soul Food even more special is that it is a social enterprise to teach young people with special needs cooking methods and techniques. With these skills, they produce high quality soups, sauces and desserts that feature in the restaurant's menu and are sold as ready-toserve products to other eateries. Since full operation began in March 2010, seven of nine trainees have attained the basic food hygiene certification through Soul Food's one-on-one training and coaching. A 3-course lunch plus coffee or tea starts from $35 nett and a 4-course dinner from $45 nett. Soul Food is located at Blk 78 Commonwealth Drive, #01-575 Singapore 140078. For enquiries and reservations, call 98234455. || Chong Cheh Hoon HEARTSPACE In 2006, Joanna Tan with the parish of the Church of St Mary of the Angels founded Heartspace Open Studio as a safe and healing space for people to discover and express their inner selves through art. As no prior experience with art is required, many people of diverse backgrounds and ages have found a haven in the quiet little basement room of the beautiful Catholic Church on a hillock of Bukit Batok. Some have found they could explore their personal potential and problems through art, while, for others, Heartspace launched meaningful excursions and whole odysseys. Most have fun and enjoy just painting what their hearts desire. Participants work with mediums of their choice: Clay, oils, watercolours, coloured pencils. Get an insight of the activity of Heartscape at www.youtube.com/ watch?v=D4GI_kMRR-0. A trained art therapist, Joanna runs the open studio twice a week at the Church of St Mary of the Angels. Registration is required through the Heartspace website: http://joannatan.com/form.htm. || Goh Eck Kheng THE BIBLE MADE EASY Phil Vischer, the creator of the popular Christian cartoon series, VeggieTales, has launched another 13 fast-paced and fun-filled DVD series called Buck Denver asks… What's in the Bible? Hosted by Buck Denver, the intrepid news reporter of Jelly News, and featuring a host of cute characters, the package presents God's entire redemptive plan by showing how the Bible narratives from the Old to New Testaments fit together. Though it seems to be made for young children, it's fun viewing for the whole family. The website (http:// whatsinthebible.com/) sells the videos and has lots of activities for free download, including colouring pages, popsicle stick puppetry, and family activities. Available too is a CD of the 18 most singable songs from the series. || Goh Eck Kheng CHRISTIAN WAREHOUSE SKS Books Warehouse has one of the widest range of Christian resources at a single location: 315 Outram Road, Tan Boon Liat Building, #09-03. The 20-year-old shop offers more than 90,000 titles, including the latest Christian books, DVD and music CDs. || Chong Cheh Hoon BAKERIES in A ROW You will be spoilt for choice for baked goods when you stroll along the corridor of blocks 105 and 109 fronting Sunset Way off Clementi Road. This is because Swisslink Bakery, Drips Baker's Playground and Balmoral Bakery are lined up there within a 100-meter stretch. Swisslink Bakery is famous for their wholesome homemade style Apple Pie, Beef Shepherd's Pie and Chicken Pie. These pies are available in slices and whole. Drips brings artisanal baking to the mix with more bread than pastries. Their Butter Brioche, Rosemary Chicken Bun and the Singapore fusion Sambal Prawn Bun are worth trying. This is also where you can get freshly baked baguettes, multi-grains and dark rye. To round up the trio is the oldschool Balmoral Bakery established in 1965. Head right to there for cakes that take you back to your childhood: Rum Balls, Custard Puffs, Swiss Rolls and those charming cream-filled swans fashioned from choux pastry. Wait! There's a bonus: a short drive down to Clementi Arcade will bring you to Classic Cakes (41 Sunset Way #01-06) famous for its Mille Crêpe Cake and Yam Cake! || Goh Eck Kheng HAVE GOOD THINGS TO SHARE? Send your recommendations to ccmcloavesfishes@gmail.com 47

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