Announcements (25 May 14)

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May 252014
 

NLBPC Church Camp 2014: Dates: 11-14 June (Wed – Sat) @Tanjong Puteri. Theme: A Study of Faith and Forgiveness: The Life of Joseph Speaker: Rev. Gabriel Gan. Fees: Adults $250, Students & Senior Citizens (=>60yrs) $180, and Children (4-10 years) $140. Camp fees will be collected TODAY.

Love gifts for Parents’ Appreciation Night and Church Camp: Members are urged to prayerfully give to these events.  

Renovation Fund: Members are urged to prayerfully give to this fund.

Parents’ Appreciation Night (31/5 6.30-9:30pm @ Hilltop Garden Restaurant, Civil Service Club, Bukit Batok): Theme: Eph 5:16 “Redeeming the time …” Speaker: Pastor Daniel Khoo. Please remember to come if you have registered.

25 May 14 – The Rise of Extreme Tolerance

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May 252014
 

Article from Dr John MacArthur on “The Rise of Extreme Tolerance”.

Contributed by Dn. Ivan Lim

In the church today, there is a growing reluctance to take a definitive stand on any issue. Discernment is frankly not very welcome in a culture like ours. In fact, the postmodern perspective is more than merely hostile to discernment; it is practically the polar opposite. Think about it: pronouncing anything “true” and calling its antithesis “error” is a breach of postmodernism’s one last impregnable dogma. That is why to a postmodernist, nothing is more uncouth than voicing strong opinions on spiritual, moral, or ethical matters. People are expected to hold their most important convictions with as much slack as possible. Certainty about anything is out of the question, and all who refuse to equivocate on any point of principle or doctrine are therefore automatically labelled too narrow. Zeal for the truth has become politically incorrect. There is actually zero tolerance for biblical discernment in a “tolerant” climate like that.
In the secular realm, postmodernism’s extreme tolerance has been foisted on an unsuspecting public by the entertainment media for several decades. A plethora of talk shows on daily television have led the way. Shows like these remind viewers daily not to be too opinionated—and they do it by parading in front of their audiences the most bizarre and extreme advocates of every radical “alternative lifestyle” imaginable. We are not supposed to be shocked or notice the overtly self-destructive nature of so many aberrant subcultures. The point is to broaden our minds and raise our level of tolerance. And if you do criticize another person’s value system, it cannot be on biblical grounds. Anyone who cites religious beliefs as a reason to reject another person’s way of life is automatically viewed with the same contempt that used to be reserved for out-and-out religious heretics. The culture around us has declared war on all biblical standards.

Some Christians unwittingly began following suit several years ago. That has opened the door for a whole generation in the church to embrace postmodern relativism openly and deliberately. They don’t want the truth presented with stark black-and-white clarity anymore. They prefer having issues of right and wrong, true and false, good and bad deliberately painted in shades of grey. We have reached a point where the typical churchgoer today assumes that is the proper way of understanding truth. Any degree of certainty has begun to sound offensive to people’s postmodernized ears.

A new idea has crept in with regard to preaching, and it has taken various forms. A most significant one was that people began to talk about the “address” in the service instead of the sermon. That in itself was indicative of a subtle change. An “address.” No longer the sermon, but an “address” or perhaps even a lecture…what is needed is a chat, a fireside chat, quiet talks, and so on!

Lloyd-Jones was simply noticing one of the subtle harbingers of postmodernism’s contempt for clarity and authority. A problem that existed in embryonic form in his era is now a full-grown monster.

Many in the church, caught up in the spirit of the age, think Christians should never take an uncompromising stand, should never argue about anything. We’re not supposed to engage in polemics. I hear this frequently: “Why don’t you just state the truth in positive terms and ignore the view you disagree with? Why not steer clear of controversy, forget the negatives, and present everything affirmatively?

That ethos is why it is no longer permissible to deal with biblical issues in a straightforward and uncompromising fashion. Those who dare to take an unpopular stand, declare truth in a definitive way—or worst of all, express disagreement with someone else’s teaching—will inevitably be marked as troublesome. Compromise has become a virtue while devotion to truth has become offensive.

But many of the issues being compromised within the evangelical movement today are not questionable. Scripture speaks very clearly against homosexuality, for example. The Christian position on adultery is not at all vague. The question of whether a believer ought to marry an unbeliever is spelled out with perfect clarity. Scripture quite plainly forbids any Christian to take another Christian to court. Selfishness and pride are explicitly identified as sins. These are not grey areas. There is no room for compromise here.

Nevertheless, I constantly hear every one of those issues treated as a grey area—on Christian radio, on Christian television, and in Christian literature. People want all such matters to be negotiable. And too many Christian leaders willingly oblige. They hesitate to speak with authority on matters where Scripture is plain. The lines of distinction between truth and error, wisdom and foolishness, church and world are being systematically obliterated by such means.

The world needs Christians who embrace an antithetical worldview, a biblical mindset that answers questions of truth and morality in terms of black and white. Why? Because there is no salvation without absolute, unshakeable truth. Compromising, changing, tolerant opinions don’t provide answers for the “crazy and confusing and painful” issues that confront the pastor every day. Only truth saves and sanctifies and gives hope.

What’s needed today is a generation of men and women who will take a stand on biblical truth. People like that fear the Lord, not men, and will find power and courage from the Lord to uphold His truth in an age of extreme tolerance.

Announcements (18 May 14)

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May 182014
 

Session Meeting: TODAY at 1.30 pm. in the Conference Room.

Sunbeam Choir: Children will meet at 10.45am under the care of Sis. Lee Joon.

ROF Tracting for The Ultimate Quest (TUQ): In support of TUQ, ROF will invite children (P1 – P6) from the neighbourhood. Last visitation TODAY. Time: 1.45 – 4pm. To join them, please meet them at the Kindergarten classroom outside the church office. For more info, please contact Bro. James Goh.

The Ultimate Quest 2014 Theme: Two Ways to Live Date: Sat 24 May. Time: 9.15am – 6pm. Registration @ $3/= for all children P1 – P6 is open till 11 May. Registration is still open. Please contact Bro. Simeon Choo for more details.

Please register by today for Parents’ Appreciation Night (31/5 6.30-9:30pm @ Hilltop Garden Restaurant, Civil Service Club, Bukit Batok): Theme: Eph 5:16 “ Redeeming the time …” Speaker: Pastor Daniel Khoo. Tickets for Adults: $35. Children (4 to 12 yrs old), Student and Senior Citizens (>55 yrs old): $20. Do pray about bringing your parents, family and friends to this annual evangelistic event. Transportation to and from church will be provided. For those already registered, please send “Appreciation Message” to nlbpc2014parentnite@gmail.com! Only 2 messages received so far!

NLBPC Church Camp 2014: Dates: 11-14 June (Wed – Sat) @Tanjong Puteri. Fees: Adults $250, Students & Senior Citizens (=>60yrs) $180, and Children (4-10 years) $140. Registration continues till NEXT SUNDAY.  Camp fee will be collected on 18 and 25 May.  Theme: A Study of Faith and Forgiveness: The Life of Joseph Speaker: Rev. Gabriel Gan.

Love gifts for Parents’ Appreciation Night and Church Camp: Members are urged to prayerfully give to these events.  

SAF Meeting 4-6pm Sat 24/5 @ home of Bro. Ronnie Pang Speaker: Rev (Dr) Patrick Tan Topic: “The Plight of Man and the Power of God” Rom 1:18-32. Pot Luck Dinner: Contact Sis Lynda Kuan. Mini-Bus leaves church @ 3:30 pm. Contact Bro Ronnie Pang or Bro Chin Hong for any other information.

18 May 14 – Moving From Bitterness To Forgiveness

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May 182014
 

Moving From Bitterness To Forgiveness

By Rev. Gabriel Gan 

Many Christians are trapped. Hurt by friends, relatives, and even members of the Christian community, they sit behind walls of animosity and deep-seated anger. The fact is: we remember offenses better and longer than we do the good deeds that others have done for us.

Jesus knew that we as humans would hurt each other, either intentionally or unintentionally. In Matthew 18:7 He warned, “Woe unto the world because of offences! For it must needs be that offenses come; but woe to that man by whom the offenses cometh!”

That word “offense” is actually the Greek word scandalon, from which we get our English words “scandal” or “scandalized.” Originally, the word was used to refer to the bait used to snare a wild animal. It can be translated as “snare” or “offense,” and refers to anything that hinders our walk with God (cf. Matt.16:23).

It is sad to see that marriages are broken, churches are split, and believers are stalled in their tracks spiritually because they have not properly responded to offenses. They have become bitter and defensive, critical and hard-hearted, and Satan uses the offense to keep them bound. Such offenses can debilitate you and keep you struggling and render you ineffective as a believer.

Yes, time is needed to heal such wounds, but how much time? Some people keep their wound as fresh as it was the day the knife was thrust into their heart. For them, time does not heal because the offense is carefully nourished, kept fresh by the mind’s tape recorder that is often switched on involuntarily.

Can such an offense be overcome? Can that injury be healed and a life restored? The answer is yes. But only through the grace and forgiveness of Christ can anyone find lasting deliverance and healing from the binding power of an offense.

I believe genuine reconciliation to be the stuff of revival; because once our souls are unclogged of bitterness and hurt, the Spirit of God has freedom to move and heal. The body of Christ today includes countless bitter, hurting, and wounded people—bound by the power of a personal offense. Yet where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty—and liberty brings revival.

The goal of this coming camp (11-14 June) is to enable us to move beyond what others have done to us, looking to the future and not the past. Leaving our past baggage behind means we need to move from bitterness to forgiveness. And forgiveness takes faith.

The life of Joseph is full of rich, biblical insight and practical instruction concerning how to overcome offenses; which if heeded, will prove to be the pathway to freedom and perhaps the revival we so desperately need.

Let me invite you to join us in this church camp to walk the path toward healing and personal revival.

Announcements (11 May 14)

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May 112014
 

Blessed Mother’s DaySession wish all mothers a blessed Mother’s Day.

Session Meeting NEXT SUNDAY at 1.30 pm. in the Conference Room.

Pastor on Sabbatical: Rev. Lim Chee Boon will go for his one-year sabbatical leave from 1/6/2014 to 31/5/2015. Please pray for him as he prepares himself.

New Life In-conversation (Sat 17/5 4pm): Please reserve this date and come meet the new Session to talk about Church matters and how we can move forward.  

ROF Tracting for The Ultimate Quest (TUQ): In support of TUQ, ROF will invite children (P1 – P6) from the neighbourhood. Visitation continues TODAY and 18/5. Time: 1.45 – 4pm. To join them for these visitation, please meet them at the Kindergarten classroom outside the church office. For more info, please contact Bro. James Goh Hp: 9746-1740

The Ultimate Quest 2014 Theme: Two Ways to Live Date: Sat 24 May. Time: 9.15am – 6pm. Registration @ $3/= for all children P1 – P6 is open till 11 May. Register TODAY at the booth in the Fellowship Hall. Please contact Bro. Simeon Choo at +65 91260373 for more details.

Parents’ Appreciation Night Sat 31/5 Time: 6.30-9:30pm @ Hilltop Garden Restaurant, Civil Service Club, Bukit Batok. Theme: Eph 5:16 “Redeeming the time …” Speaker: Pastor Daniel Khoo. Tickets for Adults: $35. Children (4 to 12 yrs old), Student and Senior Citizens (>55 yrs old): $20. Transportation to and from church will be provided. Registration continues.

SAF Meeting 4-6pm Sat 24/5 @ home of Bro. Ronnie Pang (34 Jalan Bumbong, S739923) Speaker: Rev (Dr) Patrick Tan Topic: “The Plight of Man and the Power of God” Rom 1:18-32. Pot Luck Dinner: Contact Sis Lynda Kuan @ 96709007. Mini-Bus leaves church @ 3:30 pm. Contact Bro Ronnie Pang @ 81335574 or Bro Chin Hong @ 96348085 for any other information.

Love gifts for Parents’ Appreciation Night and Church Camp: Members are urged to prayerfully give to these events.  

NLBPC Church Camp 2014: Dates: 11-14 June (Wed – Sat) @Tanjong Puteri. Fees: Adults $250, Students & Senior Citizens (=>60yrs) $180, and Children (4-10 years) $140. Registration continues till NEXT SUNDAY.  Camp fee will be collected on 18 and 25 May.  Theme: A Study of Faith and Forgiveness: The Life of Joseph Speaker: Rev. Gabriel Gan.

11 May 14 – Honour Thy Mother

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May 112014
 

HONOUR THY MOTHER

By Rev. Lim Chee Boon         

The history of Mother’s Day is centuries old and goes back to the times of the ancient Greeks, who held festivities to honour Rhea, the mother of the gods. The early Christians celebrated the Mother’s festival on the fourth Sunday of Lent to honour Mary, the mother of Christ. Interestingly, later on a religious order stretched the holiday to include all mothers, and named it as the Mothering Sunday. The English colonists settled in America discontinued the tradition of Mothering Sunday because of lack of time. In 1872 Julia Ward Howe organized a day for mothers dedicated to peace and this was a landmark in the history of Mother’s Day.

In 1907, Anna M. Jarvis (1864-1948), a Philadelphia schoolteacher, began a movement to set up a national Mother’s Day in honour of her mother, Ann Maria Reeves Jarvis. She solicited the help of hundreds of legislators and prominent businessmen to create a special day to honour mothers. The first Mother’s Day observance was a church service honouring Anna’s mother. Anna handed out her mother’s favourite flower, the white carnation, on the occasion as they represent sweetness, purity, and patience. Anna’s hard work finally paid off in the year 1914, when President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the second Sunday in May as a national holiday in honour of mothers.

There many examples of good mothers in the Bible.  I want to mention two women, Lois and Eunice, the grandmother and mother of Timothy.  It is said “behind every man’s success is a woman.”  Timothy’s faith and life was trained and molded by these 2 women.  Acts 16:1 tells us that his father was a Greek.  For this reason his father had little influence on his religious life.

A.            Lois and Eunice taught Timothy the Word of God.

In 2 Timothy 3 : 14-15  Paul says to Timothy, “But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them, And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”

Where did Timothy learn about the faith?  Paul tells us that he learned it from the grandmother and mother from young.  The word “child” is brephos in Greek meaning an infant.  Strong’s Concordance suggests the word may also refer to an unborn child.  In any case, Lois and Eunice taught Timothy the Holy Scriptures from a very young age.

No child is too young to learn God’s truth.  Lois and Eunice are good example of parents who start training their children in spiritual things from a young age.  Proverbs 22:6 instructs us to “Train up a child in the way he should go:  and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”  This is the only assurance that our children be kept from waywardness.

B.      Lois and Eunice were exemplary in the Faith

In verse 14 of the text mentioned above Paul encouraged Timothy to remain steadfast in the things he had learned from his grandmother and mother.  Apparently Timothy had trying experiences in his ministry.  God has not promised us a bed of roses always.  But He does say in 1 Cor 10: 13 that “with the temptation (trial) also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”  For Timothy God had provided him the examples of his grandmother and mother.

We worked hard to provide for our children.  We put our hard earned money in a bank and build up our asset for our children.  We hope our children would not have to worry about their future.  Dear parents, don’t forget to leave with our children a spiritual legacy.  Material things will not last but faith and a true conviction of God’s promises are eternal.

Are there trying situations in our lives?  Let our Christian faith and resilience become godly examples to the next generation.

A Tribute to All mothers: Proverbs 31: 25 – 31

25Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.  26She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.  27She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.  28Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.  29Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. 30Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.  31Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.

Announcements (04 May 14)

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May 042014
 

Congratulations to all 14 Session Members who have been elected into the Session 2014 – 2017. May the Lord enable them to serve Him effectively.

Condolence to the family of Dn. Emmanuel for the demise of his father. The Lord comfort the bereaved family.

New Life In-conversation on Sat 17/5 4pm: Please reserve this date and come meet the new Session to talk about Church matters and how we can move forward.  

ROF Tracting for The Ultimate Quest (TUQ): In support of TUQ, ROF will invite children (P1 – P6) from the neighbourhood. Visitation continues TODAY and other visitation dates are: 11/5 and 18/5. Time: 1.45 – 4pm. If you are keen to join them on any ONE of these visitation, please meet them at the Kindergarten classroom outside the church office. For more info, please contact Bro. James Goh.

The Ultimate Quest 2014 Theme: Two Ways to Live Date: 24 May Sat. Time: 9.15am – 6pm. Registration @ $3/= for all children P1 – P6 is open till 11 May. Register TODAY at the booth in the Fellowship Hall. Please contact Bro. Simeon Choo for more details.

Parents’ Appreciation Night (31/5 6.30-9:30pm @ Hilltop Garden Restaurant, Civil Service Club, Bukit Batok): Theme: Eph 5:16 “Redeeming the time …” Speaker: Pastor Daniel Khoo. Tickets for Adults: $35. Children (4 to 12 yrs old), Student and Senior Citizens (>55 yrs old): $20. Do pray about bringing your parents, family and friends to this annual evangelistic event. Transportation to and from church will be provided. Registration starts 4th May.

NLBPC Church Camp 2014: Dates: 11 -14 June (Wed – Sat) @ Tanjong Puteri. Fees: Adults $250, Students & Senior Citizens (=>60yrs) $180, and Children (4-10 years) $140. Registration continues till NEXT SUNDAY.  Camp fee will be collected on 18 and 25 May.  Theme: A Study of Faith and Forgiveness: The Life of Joseph Speaker: Rev. Gabriel Gan.

04 May 14 – Christians’ Plea for God’s Leading

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May 042014
 

Christians’ Plea for God’s Leading: Ps 143:1-12

By Pr. William Goh       

Introduction

Psalm 143 is a penitential psalm in which David called for the confession of sin. Another example of a penitential psalm is Psalm 51 when David pleaded for God’s forgiveness and cleansing for his sin of adultery with Bathsheba. In that psalm, David prayed earnestly a true confession of sin: “Have mercy upon me O God… blot out my transgressions… Wash me… cleanse me from my sin… For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.” Penitential means the expression of repentance to God. Though we do not know exactly the background to Ps 143, many commentaries believe that David was troubled when his rebellious son, Absalom, schemed to usurp the throne of his father. While David and his men were in the battle field, Absalom, together with Ahithophel who was his advisor and General and his band of loyalists, staged a coup to overthrow his father’s throne (2 Samuel 17 & 18). David was distressed when he learned that his son wanted to kill him and to rule over the kingdom. In his distress, he asked God to deliver him out of his troubles so that he can continue to serve God the Almighty. He petitioned to God for three things: to save him from his enemies, to show him the way to walk in his spiritual life and to sanctify him and teach him to do God’s will.

Plea to save (verse 1-6)

David pleaded to God to save him (v1 to v6). He prayed in v1. “Hear my prayer, O Lord, give ear to my supplication: in thy faithfulness answer me, and in thy righteousness.”  David was paralysed him with fear (v3) because his enemies wanted him dead. In v4 he cried out to God that his heart was devastated: “My heart within me is desolate.” In v5 David remembered that God had delivered him in the past – for example from the persecution of Saul. In v6, he stretched forth his hands as he thirst for God just like the hart panteth after the water brooks.

Plea to show him the way to walk (verse 7-9)

From verses 7 to 9, David appealed to God to show him the way to walk in his spiritual life. In v7 David seemed to ask more urgently: “Hear me speedily, O Lord: my spirit faileth: hide not thy face from me, lest I be like unto them that go down into the pit.”  David was in danger and so he appealed to God to save him from his enemies.  David pleaded to God to show him where to walk in the midst of trouble:  “Cause me to hear thy loving kindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.” (v8) The psalmist made another plea to God to save him in v9, “Deliver me O Lord, from mine enemies, I flee unto thee to hide me.”  David desired God to lift him whenever he was in difficulty. When we are down or low in spirits, please do not give up. Make every effort to pray before you go to work, or before you study, and take your examination. Don’t think this is doom’s day for you; instead lift up your heart to exalt Him, praise Him, adore Him and strive to rise from your pessimism. For God will not fail to guide you and show you the way forward.

Plea to sanctify (verse 10-12)

David petitioned God to save him from his enemies and to show him the way to walk and the lastly, David asked God to sanctify him. “Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness” (v10). There are two things David asks God to sanctify him. One is to teach him to do God’s will and the second is for the Holy Spirit to counsel him and to lead him to do justly.  God guides His people by His word. We need God to teach us His word so that we may know and do His will. Through His word God will guide us to know His will. We must ask God for understanding and this should be our prayer always. In verses 11 and 12, David prayed again that the Lord would preserve his life for His good name’s sake, His righteousness and His mercy. May God help us.

Conclusion

We learn how the psalmist in his distress appeals to God for mercy to save him from his enemies when he is in trouble and how he depends on God for comfort, guidance, deliverance and vindication when in trouble. In our daily lives let us learn like the psalmist to pray to God to sanctify us and do the will of God. May we do His will and may God’s will be done for each and every one who are called into his ministry.