Announcements (29 May 2016)

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May 292016
 

Missions Presentation (TODAY in Chapel @11.30am) will be conducted by the Missions team that visited Philippines last year. All are welcome.

Infant Baptism on Sun 12/6 during the worship service for baby of Mr. & Mrs Neoh Kheng Tian.

Pr. Tann Heng has decided to terminate his service with NLBPC. The Missions Committee will be ready to answer any questions from members NEXT SUN 5/6 after Sunday School at 12.30pm @ Chapel.

Pastor Gan is in Siem Reap (27-31 May) to settle an urgent matter.

NLBPC Members SMS Broadcast Phone list: Did you receive the church Test SMS on Tues 24/5? If not, kindly inform the church office so that we can include your mobile number in the church list.

New Life London 20th Anniversary will be held on 14/8. If you wish to attend, kindly inform Ps. Lim Chee Boon.

Israel Trip (19 – 30/11): vacancies open. If you are interested, please see Sis. Julia Ong.

29 May 2016 – Philippines Team Testimonies

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May 292016
 

Philippines Team Testimonies  (29 Nov – 9 Dec 2015)

Introduction By Dn. Emmanuel Gumapon:

Every year since 2009, we embark by faith to Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro, Philippines to conduct Medical, Dental and Value Formation Programmes. Over the years we have been blessed at how the Lord has enlarged the mission field, from serving one school in 2009 to two schools since 2013. Of all our Philippines Mission trips, the one in 2015 was special as we were asked to extend our Medical and Dental services to all the Teachers and Staff of the Oriental Mindoro National High School, where Sister Lina (the wife of Pastor Gener) is teaching. The school is the largest both in area and school population with more than 200 teachers and staff and about 10,000 students. In appreciation of our outreach, the school presented a Certificate of Appreciation to our church.

 

The team was made up of twenty individuals from NLBPC:  Elder Sim, Deacon Emmanuel, Arlyn, Justin, Jamie, Yue Xin, Lilli, Linda, Jinni, Edmund, Timothy and Julia; two families –  Min Ling, Hui En, Hui Jie, Theophilus, and Vincent, Angela, Christianne, Faith. There were also in the team sixteen Filipinos: the doctors are Joel, Honey, Lisa, Shane, Perla, Ana dental assistant Anna; and the nurses are Reniel, Mae, Doreen, Alex, Jared  – these formed the medical and dental teams and volunteers:  Riza, Jacky, Nhitz and Lorah.

Testimony By Sis. Julia Ong

“God has a perfect timing; never early, never late.

It takes a little patience and a lot of faith but it is worth the wait.”

Someone sent me this message when I returned from the Philippines trip. As I pondered over these words, I was amazed at how God worked in gathering twenty of us for this trip. The church prayed for the twentieth person and at the right and perfect timing, I was “selected” at the eleventh hour.  From the trip, marvelous testimonies of God’s leading and His faithfulness were shared. Truly, God will never leave us alone but with His lovingkindness, He will surely provide our needs and oversee in every bit of our life.  The teachers at the elementary schools were more receptive to the gospel sharing by Deacon Emmanuel. The students received us warmly. They enjoyed listening to the bible stories and singing David’s song.

Throughout the days while we were in the Philippines, the weather was good.  However, a powerful typhoon called Nona crossed the central Philippines bringing damaging winds and torrential rain a few days later after we left the Philippines.  Thank God that He is always in control of everything!

In this trip, there were two families from our church and lots of first timers from Singapore and the Philippines.  On the second day in Calapan, we had a day of team-bonding session; it was good as it helped us get acquainted.  Since we are part of God’s family and in a short time, we got on very well with each other regardless of race and age.

Our day usually started with a morning devotion after our breakfast and ended with an evening debrief and a night devotion after our dinner.

Altogether, the team was divided into three groups and we served in 1)Ibaba Elementary School, 2)San Antonio Elementary School and 3)the  Mangyan tribe. The medical and dental team provided medical and dental treatment to the students.  The rest of us helped in various support work like registration, hospitality, delousing/hair washing, weight and height measurement, teaching, as well as coordinating work.  After the work at the elementary schools and Mangyan, we went to help at the Oriental Mindoro National High School by providing the staff with medical and dental consultation.

On the 6th day before we left Calapan, there was a youth evangelistic outing which involved the younger people from the team.  The senior ones helped out in the kitchen.  Aunty Jini who was our chef led us to cook sumptuous meals for everybody in the team as well as the youths.  The following day which was a Sunday, we worshipped at Calapan Grace Community Church.  We had good fellowship and a good lunch before setting off for our rest and relax at Tagaytay.

A walk with God in the Philippines – Testimony by Bro. Timothy Ho

A step of faith: I have always liked the idea of going for a mission trip in God’s name, but I have never been bold or courageous enough to go for one. Uncle Manny (Dn. Emmanuel) and Aunty Linda (Lim) approached me two weeks before the scheduled departure date, and an opportunity presented itself. I spent that very afternoon praying and searching my heart for an answer. I came to the conclusion that this time I would take that step of faith. And I have never looked back since.

United in Christ: It was eleven fulfilling days spent with God and His people. It was encouraging to see everyone coming together to serve God zealously. Regardless of our ages, background and other differences, we were united in Christ and bonded by God’s love for us. In our respective fields of mission, be it in the schools or in the tribal area, we encouraged and motivated one another. In both our strengths and weaknesses, we kept our faith and believed that God would empower us as we went around doing His work.

God is love: I learned many precious lessons during this trip. But it all had a recurring theme, and that theme was ‘love’. Throughout the eleven days, I was constantly reminded of God’s great love for us. And that prompted me to think of the importance of loving God, and loving others as well.

Loving God: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart…” It was lovely meeting and getting to know fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, both from Singapore and the Philippines. However major or minor, it was comforting to hear their stories and to know about their experiences with God. While they may all be different, they share one thing in common; they love God sincerely.

It was also a pleasure meeting the children and teenagers from rural poor Mindoro. It was both heartwarming and heart wrenching at the same time. These kids have very little in their lives. As I reflected on my own life, I realized my struggles are nothing compared to theirs. In all their hardship, they continue loving God wholeheartedly with immense joy. In absolutely nothing, they found everything in Christ.

Loving Others: “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself…” For these people, their love for God has been translated to love for others as well. During the trip, unlike anything I have experienced before, it was especially comforting to be loved and to love fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. It was something plain and simple. At the end of the day, we love simply because God first loved us.

My reflection: By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another…” God wants His family to be known for its love more than anything else. I have learnt a great deal about loving God and loving others through this trip. It has dawned on me that when God evaluates my life, it would not be about the awards I received, the degrees I have, the work I do or the money I make. It will be about how I have loved Him, His family, and others whom He has planted in my life.

A closure: No words can adequately describe this experience. The eleven days spent with God and His people were simply amazing. Such a privilege it is to serve God, what great joy it brings. The challenge now remains, to begin loving God, loving others, today, and everyday. The church is not a bad place to start!

Testimony by Sis. Jini

All praise goes to God in whom we put our trust, and faith which results in victory. The Almighty blessed the team with good health and weather. The Lord was always there. In our team there were two families who brought their children with them and it’s so good to see them serving God together as a family and teaching them to love one another as they serve. Not to forget the youths and the older ones – everyone did their part wholeheartedly. There was truly a nice bonding with the church family. The Mission trip was awesome for me. The Lord is mighty and he will choose his people and establish his Kingdom! Wherever he sends us, we will go. Amen.

Testimony by Sis. Sim Min Ling:

There were 2 aims I had in mind when I decided to go for the Philippines Mission Trip last year. One was to see what it is all about, and the other was to keep an eye on my youngest one – as my children and I set out together on this mission trip.

For the mission section, I was in Team B which was assigned to Ibaba Elementary School. The first day morning I was assigned to do delousing with Sis Jini. It was our first time doing it. There were some hiccups but God was good to see us through. On the second day we were better at it. I felt sorry for the kids who needed delousing. To add, it was my first time seeing fully grown lice and I felt sorry for the children who were experiencing the itch and pain. Some of them were even bleeding due to too much scratching. In the afternoon, we had Bible school. I shared the Bible story in English but the kids stared at me blankly. Thank God my class had some kids who helped to translate into Tagalog. God is really good to provide translators.

The elementary school was very run down – just like my school when I was in primary school. The interesting thing is that teachers were also wearing uniforms. The kids were very warm & helpful. You can’t help but love them. It’s my prayer that they will personally experience God.

The rest of the trip was recreation. I thank God for His beautiful creation. The places we went were great and the scenery at Tagaytay was breath-taking. The activities were interesting too. It was my first time going up a steep slope on a horse! Thank God for keeping us safe while we had fun.

I really thank God for the opportunity to go for the Philippines trip. Through this trip, I got to know some church members better. I was encouraged by their love for God and His people. May God bless them all.

To those who plan to go for this year’s mission trip, I would suggest picking up a bit of Tagalog. May our good Lord prepare the hearts of those planning to go for Philippines Mission trip that it will be a fruitful and edifying one! To God be the Glory!

Testimony by Sis. Chew Hui Jie:

I thank God that I could join the Philippines mission team last December. It was my first mission trip and it was truly a great experience. I was assigned to Team C—the team responsible to minister to the Mangyan tribe. As such, I didn’t manage to experience first-hand what it was like at the elementary schools. Our trip up to the Mangyan tribe was a very good time of team bonding. Team C was a very lively team who laughed a lot! The R&R time we had as an entire mission team was great as we enjoyed the greenery around us that we don’t get much in Singapore. Thank God for His work in the Philippines and may future mission teams enjoy their time spent doing His work there as well.

Testimony by Bro. Vincent Lim

It was through God’s grace and providence that I was able to join the mission trip with my wife and two daughters. That’s something I never thought possible. Indeed nothing is impossible with our Almighty God!

This mission trip has been a very good learning and humbling experience for me. As this is my first mission trip, I was anxious as to what I could do. I was even more anxious when given my task! When we arrived at San Antonio Elementary School, I found out that some of the children are so poor that they can’t even afford to buy shampoo to wash their hair. As a result, many of the children have lice in their hair and I was assigned to wash their hair and kill the lice. That was something which I have never done before. I asked those who have done it before and when we arrived at the school, I did as told. I actually enjoyed the work for two mornings despite having to work under the hot sun. Seeing the smiles on the children`s face was reward enough for me. Even though the children are poor, they are happy and courteous.

The team also provided medical and dental care for the children. In the afternoon, the team told Bible stories to the children and taught them Christian songs.

I encourage everyone who is able to join the mission trip regardless of your age and circumstances.

Testimony by Sis. Angela Eng (Mrs Vincent Lim)

Our Philippines mission trip has taught me to have complete faith and trust in God and believe in the power of prayers.

The experience there was not only memorable but also very uplifting for me spiritually. It will be an experience that will remain with me for a long time. I thank God for the wonderful opportunity to serve Him and stand firm in one spirit, striving together as one faith of the gospel for God’s glory.

“And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.” Colossians 3:23-24

Testimony by Sisters Christianne and Faith Lim

As first timers going for a mission trip, it has been a great eye-opener for us. We were really glad to be able to work with the Philippines mission team, especially with the doctors and nurses. The Medical Mission at the respective schools left us with many thoughts and feelings.

The children, although having much lesser than us, were far more content and cheerful. Moreover, despite the language barrier, we were overwhelmed by the warmth and welcome they gave us.

Most importantly, this mission trip gave us a lot  of opportunity to have fellowship and bond together with the church members, bringing us closer to one another, as most of us see each other only on Sundays.

Throughout the 10 days of mission trip, we really gained a lot from the experience. We are glad to have played a part in the mission work and being able to serve God as we served the children.

It was an unforgettable experience and we really look forward to our next mission trip!

Testimony by Bro. Edmund Tan

Thank God for His providence for me to join in the mission trip. This is my first mission trip as a Christian since I accepted Christ in 2013. As a Christian, I want to preach the Gospel to the unsaved. The chance to go overseas to do His work for the church is one area I want to try.

He has cleared the way for us so that we can do His work. The mission work that Dn. Emmanuel and the team put together is hard work. My team went to the tribe in the hill. The work there in that trip was to plant trees, build a toilet, and provide handwashing education.

I was apprehensive but Dn. Emmanuel reminded me to just trust in the Lord. I enjoyed the work there. I met also Dr. Shane, a very friendly dentist and many other Filipinos. I also visited and helped at the schools. I encourage all New Lifers to go on at least one mission trip.

Announcements (22 May 2016)

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May 222016
 

Adults SS: (11.30am at Chapel) Lesson 2 Dr. Jim Berg’s “Quieting A Noisy Soul” All are Welcome!

Parents Appreciation NightTHIS Sat 28/5 from 5.30-9.30pm will be held at Safra Yishun Pin Si restaurant. Registration is now closed. Please come if you have bought tickets for an evening full of fun and memories! Bus will leave church at 5pm.

Test SMS Broadcasting for NLBPC Members: NLBPC is trying to firm up the SMS call list. We will be sending out a Test message on Tues 24/5 – if you do not receive the sms, kindly inform the church office so that we can include your mobile number in the church list.

New Life London 20th Anniversary will be held on 14/8. If you wish to attend, kindly inform Ps. Lim Chee Boon.

Rejoice Hymns: Copies for sale – Please enquire in the Church Library.

Rejoice Hymns in Church Website: Do drop in and check out the hymnal page. If you are not sure how the hymn is sung, you can listen to the piano recording.

Israel Trip (19 – 30/11): vacancies open. If you are interested, please see Sis. Julia Ong.

22 May 2016 – Honour the Lord with our speech

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May 222016
 

“Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.”  Psalm 19:14

By Bro. Neoh Kuan Soon

I recall a disturbing incident at a University Convocation Day in the year 2011.  The lady valedictorian concluded her speech with an obscene F-word, which to my amazement, set off a thunderous applause amongst the graduates in the audience. I was shocked and thought to myself: “What on earth was happening here?”

What was once frowned upon as taboo, obnoxious, ill-upbringing and ungodly behavior is now considered by the present generation as “cool”, empowered, stimulating and acceptable.  When university graduates clapped at obscenities, one wonders what will they do next.

How far has our society changed? Thanks to the movie industry, for it not only glorified the use of expletives, but also subtly glamorized taking of the name of God in vain.  Sadly, the explosive growth of social media has contributed to this pervasive trend of God-bashing.

What must Christians do?

Christians live, work and play among the heathen and unsaved in the world where foul language is often used to express anger, frustration, disagreement, etc.   And words like “OMG” and “Jesus,” the name of our Lord, are spouted as convenient exclamations of surprise or shock.

Some people argue that OMG is harmless, as it means “Oh my gosh”.    Beloved, do not be deceived by the devil.  These words are thinly-veiled euphemized mutations of evil intent.   Similarly, words like “frigging” and “freaking” are actually the adjective forms of the F-word, disguised in seemingly harmless garb. They should not be in our vocabulary.

Using the name of God flippantly is an affront to the Almighty and, obscene language is a direct frontal attack on the beauty and wonder of God’s creation.   We need to recognize that Satan is the protagonist behind these activities.   As a matter of fact, the name of our Lord Jesus is the one and only proper noun ever deployed as a “swear” word.   Why is that so? Simply, Satan hates Christ because he knows that our Lord is his nemesis.  [Genesis 3:15]

The Bible has clear instructions for us.  As ambassadors for Christ (but still in our weak mortal frames), we need to equip and safeguard ourselves against this onslaught, in order that we may not “be of the world” and lose our witness for the Lord.

(a) We need to show our unbelieving fellowmen our conviction that obscene language, regardless of its intent, is offensive to God.  “But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not not be once named among you, as becometh saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient…” Eph 5:3-4

(b) We need to show our strong disapproval without fear, when the name of the Lord is trivialized; rather admonish those who do. “Thou shall not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.” Exodus 20:7

(c) Satan is extremely subtle. (Genesis 3:1). He and his minions in the media will continually beguile us and numb us and eventually swallow us up like quicksand. Thus, we need to “be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour”. 1 Peter 5:8

As the apostle Paul instructed the Ephesians, we must “put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness in this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” Eph 6:11-12

(d) Daily, we need to come before the LORD to seek His wisdom and strength, that we might be able to bear good testimony unto His holy name in all manner of conduct, speech and written words. Pray that no corrupt communications proceed out of our mouths but that whatever we say or write will be edifying to the hearers. (Eph 4:29)

Christians are commanded by Christ Jesus himself to be the “salt of the earth” and “light of the world” (Matthew 5:13). Further, we must not be conformed to this world: but be transformed by the continual renewing of our minds, so that we can testify to the good, acceptable and perfect will of God (Romans 12:2).   And we must root ourselves in the word of God, and continually look up unto Jesus Christ who is the author and finisher of our faith.

In these last days, many of us will find it increasingly difficult to swim against a generation of scoffers.  However, do not lose hope.   The Lord will give us the peace and courage; he has overcome the world. (John 16:33).   Even when we feel weak, Christ himself will be our strength. Beloved, may we honour the Lord with our speech. Let us, therefore, shun profane and vain babblings. 2 Tim 2:16

Announcements (15 May 2016)

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May 152016
 

New Adults SS series by Dr. Jim Berg from TODAY! “Quieting A Noisy Soul” (11.30am-12.30pm at Chapel) All are Welcome!

Session Meeting (TODAY @1.45 pm): All Session members, please attend.

Parents Appreciation Night on Sat 28/5 will be held at Safra Yishun Pin Si restaurant. Adults $45, Students and senior citizens $27.  Registration – LAST DAY TODAY!

Emmanuel Reformed Bible Lectures 2016 @Life BP Church by Prof. John Battle.

  1. A Biblical Appraisal of the Crucial Contemporary Concerns of the Postmodern Era (20 – 25/6 @8.30am – 1 pm in Beulah House) Cost: $40(Audit); $80 (Credit)    Please pick up the flyer to register.
  2. Biblical Formation and Church Growth (20/6 & 23/6 @7.30-9.30pm in Beulah House. Free Admission. All are welcome.

Israel Trip (19 – 30/11): vacancies open. If you are interested, please see Sis. Julia Ong.

15 May 2016 – Celebrate Your Parents

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May 152016
 

Celebrate Your Parents:

“Honour thy father and thy mother” Exodus 20:12a

By Rev. S. V. Nathan

Introduction:

“When I was a kid, my Mom liked to make breakfast food for dinner every now and then. I remember one night in particular when she had made breakfast after a long, hard day at work. On that evening so long ago, my Mom placed a plate of eggs, sausage and extremely burned biscuits in front of my dad. I remember waiting to see if anyone noticed! All my dad did was reach for his biscuit, smile at my Mom and ask me how my day was at school. I don’t remember what I told him that night, but I do remember watching him smear butter and jelly on that ugly burned biscuit. He ate every bite of that thing, never made a face nor uttered a word about it!

When I got up from the table that evening, I remember hearing my Mom apologize to my dad for burning the biscuits. And I’ll never forget what he said, “Honey, I love burned biscuits every now and then.” Later that night, I went to kiss Daddy good night and I asked him if he really liked his biscuits burned. He wrapped me in his arms and said, “Your Mom put in a hard day at work today and she’s real tired. And besides–a little burned biscuit never hurt anyone!” As I’ve grown older, I’ve thought about that many times. Life is full of imperfect things and imperfect people. I’m not the best at hardly anything, and I forget birthdays and anniversaries just like everyone else.

But what I’ve learned over the years is that learning to accept each other’s faults and choosing to celebrate each other’s differences is one of the most important keys to creating a healthy, growing, and lasting relationship. And that’s my prayer for you today…that you will learn to take the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of your life and lay them at the feet of God. Because in the end, He’s the only One who will be able to give you a relationship where a burnt biscuit isn’t a deal-breaker! We could extend this to any relationship. In fact, understanding is the base of any relationship, be it a husband-wife or parent-child or friendship!” (Source unknown; http://livinglife4u.blogspot.sg/2013/02/the-lesson-of-burnt-biscuits.html).

This beautiful and touching story reminds us about our parents. Our parents are imperfect and simple people, yet how much labour and sacrifices they have done for us.  Thus, it is high time for us to remember to celebrate our parents, giving due credit and appreciation to them for what they have been in our life, without whom we are not what we are today. With that thought, I call your attention to the scriptural commandment to “Honour thy father and thy mother:” (Exodus 20:12) by celebrating them during their lifetime on this earth. Let us heed what the Prophet Moses has to say about our responsibilities towards our parents. This verse could be divided into two aspects, first the Divine Mandate or Demand and secondly the Divine Promise. We will discuss only the first part.

  1. The Divine Mandate or Demand (vs 12a): “Honour thy father and thy mother”

In the Decalogue of Moses, the Fifth Commandment marks a transition from the first four (which have to do with our vertical relationship with the LORD) to the following five (which have to do with our horizontal relationship with others). The commandment to honour our parents is therefore basic to all other social relationship and is the foundation for decent human society.

Honour comes from a Hebrew word meaning “to be heavy” or “to give weight,” and is often used to refer to the glory of God. It involves taking someone seriously into account, offering profound respect and a place of importance. The opposite of honoring someone is trivializing him, treating him as if he didn’t matter. Honour begins in our homes. Our parents resemble the Creator, since they were God’s partners in the creation of the child. The child must never shame his/her parents, never bring them any pain or heartache: never display anger toward them.

It is not an arbitrary edict; it is a command, not an option. It is the parents (father and mother equally) who is the natural symbol of authority and the representative of God to child. Honoring your father and mother is being respectful in word and action and having an inward attitude of esteem for their position. Thus, I urge everyone of us to give due honour to our parents during their lifetime. Remember they may not be with us forever on this earth.

  1. Honour them for what they are: There is a misunderstood notion among many, even bible-believing Christians, only to honour the worthy parents. According to this commandment, it demands every child to honour their parents regardless of what they are. In other words, children of all ages should honour their parents, regardless of whether or not their parents “deserve” honour.
  2. Honour at all time of your life: It is wrong to think that only under-age children/dependent children should honour their parents. Once we are financially independent, we no longer need to honour them.  This commandment is also very clear as long as they live, we must honour them. Parents are for our lifetime, we must honour them all through our life by giving them due weight in our life, for what they deserve.
  3. Honour always: It has become a norm that the children once a year, on the mother’s day or father’s day, visit, send greeting cards, bring some gifts and take them out for a dinner. For the rest of the year, most of us give excuses as we do not have time to visit or call them. Personally, I feel very sad, for these lame excuses, because the very parents have devoted and sacrificially spent their lifetime for the well-being of the child.  The true honour requires constant and continual support in these evening years of our parents. What they have done cannot be compensated in any way. Today technology has become a great blessing to communicate and visit our parents.  Don’t give any lame excuses to your parents. It is not very far or and we must make the time.

Conclusion.

Finally, I want to remind everyone, that we should not only celebrate Mother’s day and Father’s day once in a year.  As the story reminds us that many a time our parents were not perfect, superman or superwoman. Most of us had they were very simple, humble and imperfect parents, poor and less educated than we, even some of them worked as menial labourers to feed us. But they were behind us in everything and they tried their best to provide and protect us in our life.  Learn to appreciate your parents in your life. They are God’s gift to us, speak kindly to and about them, show them care and consideration, by making time for them. Let them into your life. Let them share your highs and lows. Provide for them adequately. Remember, there are many who do not have parents and our parents will not be here forever.  Let us celebrate them every day of their life on this earth. It is the proper way to glorify God and thank our parents. God bless you and your parents abundantly.

Announcements (08 May 2016)

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May 082016
 

Blessed Mother’s Day: Session wishes all mothers special blessings in their calling as mothers!

SAF Meeting at NLBPC Chapel on 14/5 at 4:00-6:30pm. Speaker: Rev. Yap Beng Shin. Topic: Christian Character – Thanksgiving-Hannah. Pot-luck dinner at NLBPC Fellowship Hall. All are welcome.

Session Meeting (15/5 @1.45 pm): All Session members, please attend.

The Ultimate Quest 2016 (Sat 21/5) is an annual evangelistic outreach for students from Pri 1 – 6. Registration closes on 8/5. All are welcome to participate so do invite friends and relatives! If you can volunteer for this event, please contact Daniel Wong (97377997) or James Pang (90228956) or any of the YAF-ers.

Parents Appreciation Night on Sat 28/5 will be held at Safra Yishun Pin Si restaurant. Adults $45, Students and senior citizens $27.  Registration 24/4 to 15/5. Sign up early!

Emmanuel Reformed Bible Lectures 2016 @Life BP Church by Prof. John Battle.

  1. A Biblical Appraisal of the Crucial Contemporary Concerns of the Postmodern Era (20 – 25/6 @8.30am – 1 pm in Beulah House) Cost: $40(Audit); $80 (Credit)    Please pick up the flyer to register.
  2. Biblical Formation and Church Growth (20/6 & 23/6 @7.30-9.30pm in Beulah House. Free Admission. All are welcome.

Israel Trip (19 – 30/11): vacancies open. If you are interested, please see Sis. Julia Ong.

08 May 2016 – Notes of In-Conversation Session (9 Apr 2016)

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May 082016
 

Notes of In-Conversation Session held at 4pm on 9 April 2016 in the Fellowship Hall
By Dn. Ronnie Tan

The following members attended the meeting: Rev Lim Chee Boon, Rev Gabriel Gan, Rev S.V. Nathan, Eld Sim Chee Seng, Eld Yap Chee Kian, Dn Emmanuel Gumapon, Dn James Goh, Dn Ivan Lim, Dn Ronnie Tan (Note-taker), Dss Indravathy, Bro Lim Chin Hong, Sis Lynda Lim, Sis Sim Beng Suat, Sis Arlyncradel Gumapon, Bro Aaron Tan, Bro Kua Kok Leong, Sis Belinda Kua, Bro Ang Puay Lun, Bro Ronnie Pang, Bro James Pang, Sis Ang Minwei, Bro Freddie Tan, Sis Lilian Lee, Bro Gabriel Choo, Sis Koid Bee Yan and Bro Li Wei (non-member/ observer)

SHORT EXHORTATION: The meeting began with a short exhortation from Ps. Lim. The exhortation, from Nehemiah 6:10-19, looks at how there are 2 enemies opposing the work of God. The enemy outside are the people who do not want to see the work prosper, and the enemy inside is fear. Fear renders the worker ineffective in his task.

Ps Lim appealed to members to be free and open. The In-Conversation session serves as a platform for providing feedback and we will work at possible solutions.

MATTERS RAISED: Four members sent in questions earlier and these were considered in the meeting:

A. By Bro Neoh Kuan Soon

It was agreed that matters raised by Bro Kuan Soon would be discussed with him in private as many matters concerned logistics in the church. Pastor Gan has already given him a tentative reply by email.

B. By Bro Ronnie Pang

1. Reinstating Christmas Eve Service
The Christmas Eve Service is already reinstated in 2016 – this is reflected in the church calendar this year.

2. Annual Church Camp
a. Rev Gan noted that the next church camp would be held in 2017. Hence it is still too early to ascertain the impact until the first biennial camp is held.
b. Anyone who needs financial assistance to attend church camps could inform Dn Ivan Lim or approach the pastors.
c. In lieu of a church camp this year, the following activities have been confirmed:
i. YF will have their annual year-end camp
ii. AF and YAF have each confirmed plans for a retreat
iii. Chinese congregation will be heading to Cambodia for a mission trip on 13-18 June.
3. Inter-personal relationships and skills
a. Rev Lim noted there is a need to build rapport between Session members and members and to be able to continue loving one another. In addition, relationship building could be done not just in church camps but also in fellowship meetings and anytime when members meet.
b. With regard to addressing relationship issues between church and Session members, it would be best done at a personal level instead of being done in the open.
c. Rev Lim informed all present that the full-time staff are deeply affected by comments made by members. In this regard, he requested that members avoid forming opinions about others until they have spoken to the person in question.
d. With regard to the question of perceptions, Bro Kok Leong felt that early clarification of matters raised would help prevent misconceptions from arising. He cited the incident a few months ago when there was an additional order of bento sets as a case in which members perceived a lack of communication between church staff. Rev Gan assured all present that the matter was addressed at a staff meeting and there has not been a repeat situation since then. Bro Kok Leong replied that it was good that the problem has been addressed but the root cause of the miscommunication needed to be addressed. In reply, Rev Lim informed him that the problem has been resolved as the staff are now clear who will order for which congregation in future.
e. With regards to building skills, Bro Ronnie Pang asked for an update following raising this matter at the previous In-Conversation (IC) session. It was acceptable to him that an update is not available at the moment.
f. Rev Gan added that he would check with Bro Chin Hong on the matter as there were plans that were put forth for Session to consider and initiate.

4. Strategy for leadership development
a. A leadership training programme was instituted during Pastor Peter Tan’s time in which the pastors took turns to teach a certain subject twice a month. However, Rev Lim noted that the attendance had been rather disappointing.
b. Preacher Lek started training on family worship and held two seminars on the subject and also produced two volumes of Amazing Grace. The attendance again was poor.
c. The three pastors had met to ascertain the feasibility of conducting bible college-style courses. However, they have found it challenging to do so given time and resource constraints, as well as deciding on the best days for people to come.
d. Elder Yap interjected that there was a need to pray for leaders and people available for leadership training
e. Leadership positions in Session:
i. The pastors are looking at those who are in their 30s for future leadership positions in church. Nonetheless, it does not mean that those who are older are being overlooked
ii. Rev Lim noted that the BP Church Constitution does not allow one to become an Elder straightaway; in fact, there is a need for the person to be a Deacon for six years before he could be     elected the office of Elder.
iii. Rev Gan noted that apart from identifying potential leaders, there would be a need to mentor younger men for leadership positions. For instance, there is the case of Bro Ronnie Pang mentoring Bro Justin Gumapon as Captain of the 58th Company of the Boys’ Brigade.
iv. Rev Gan also mentioned the need to mentor people who could potentially serve in the full-time ministry in future.

5. Visitation Program for the English Congregation
a. Rev Lim informed that the matter would be raised at one of the coming Session Meetings for someone to spearhead it. He hoped that more people would participate in this ministry. One way (proposed) would be to announce proposed visits in the Newsline.
b. However, there are some issues to be aware of; for instance, some members would not want to be visited, especially if they have a conflict with one of those who are in the visitation party, thus potentially making the situation awkward.

C. By Bro James Pang

1. Affirmation of the King James Version (KJV)
a. Elder Sim and Rev Lim reaffirmed the church’s statement on Bible versions has not changed, including versions in other vernacular languages, such as the CUV (Chinese Union Version) and Tamil Old Version). In a written reply, Eld Prasad said that references quoted from the KJV are sometimes difficult to understand and would therefore need to be paraphrased to bring out the meaning of the reference. Rev Gan added that there is also need to go back to the Greek text for better clarity.
b. With regard to the use of other versions, Eld Sim informed that it is not always possible to get good materials, especially for Sunday School with Bible quotations exclusively from the KJV.
c. Sis Arlyn Gumapon added that it is often hard for the domestic helpers, whom she teaches, to understand the KJV. As such, she needed a simpler version. Therefore, one should avoid being judgmental in such circumstances.

2. A “Charismatic” approach to worship service
a. Bro James Pang expressed concern that acts such as saying, “Good morning, church!” and eliciting a response as well as saying, “Amen” to choir presentation, is verging on the Charismatic way of worship. He felt that such responses should be spontaneous and not elicited from the congregation.
b. Rev Lim clarified that saying, “Amen!” does not mean we are veering towards Charismatism. He stressed that a church is Charismatic by its doctrine and not simply by the form of worship. Today there are many non-Charismatic churches which are employing a contemporary style of worship.

3. Using materials from other online sources
a. Bro James felt that there should be a need to limit the amount of materials that preachers can take from online sources. He advocated giving a percentage on the amount that could be taken, if the practice is feasible.
b. Bro Chin Hong advised against having such ‘restrictions’ as it would not be efficient to do so. However, it would be good practice to acknowledge the source of the materials. On the other hand, habitual copying should be avoided.
c. In this regard, Rev Lim assured that all the invited speakers’ messages are original and that they credited the sources they used.

D. By Bro Kua Kok Leong

1. Emails sent to nlbpc@singnet.com.sg
a. Rev Lim informed that Bro Steve Tan would read all emails sent to nlbpc@singnet.com.sg and forward them to the relevant people. Sis Lee Lee and Sis Lilian are the other persons who have access to this email account.
b. Every fulltime staff is given a church official email account for all work-related mails.

Bro Kok Leong noted that there was an occasion when he sent an email to nlbpc@singnet.com.sg but did not receive a reply. In this regard, both Sis Lee Lee and Steve will be asked to check the emails regularly.

2. Who do Bro Steve, Sis Lee Lee and Young Yee report to?
a. In reply to this question, Eld Prasad replied (in writing) that:
i. There are some lapses and a system would be put in place soon.
ii. In this regard, Bro Kok Leong opined that a lack of clarity on this matter had given rise to the perception that there is miscommunication between staff
b. Eld Sim informed that a staff/Session retreat would be coming up soon and that Session felt the need to come up with Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for activities such as ushering, weddings, photography, etc.
c. Rev Gan also added that he had informed Eld Prasad and Eld Sim of his frustrations about a lack of clarity of staff JD and reporting. He also noted that administrative support was lacking in some areas. Hence, the need to address these matters.
d. With regard to the issue of providing transport to the late Sis Kin Leng’s wake, Bro Chin Hong informed that he asked Eld Sim about it and the latter made a judgment call by hiring a bus for the occasion. The matter had shown the need for a proper process to be put in place and it would be tackled at the upcoming Staff/Session retreat.

3. Administrative matters: putting up church theme banners in sanctuary
a. To Bro Kok Leong’s enquiry about putting up banners in the sanctuary, it became clear that Bro Peter Koid, who is the husband of Sis Ruth, our caretaker, put them up by using a ladder tall enough to reach the top.
b. Bro Kok Leong was assured that safety was considered. However, Bro Kok Leong noted that Bro Koid is not a paid staff and complications may arise should an accident occur. Sis Belinda interjected that the church needs to ensure that it gets its safety compliance matters in order.
c. As for the two pieces of paper that were placed at the top in the center of the projector screens, it is clear that Sis Ruth had taken them down.
d. Rev Lim pointed out that Bro Steve had been told to ensure that he closely supervises any work done by our contractors and the contractors do not leave any debris behind. All work should stop by 6.30pm.

The session ended at 6pm.

Announcements (01 May 2016)

 Weekly Announcements  Comments Off on Announcements (01 May 2016)
May 012016
 

Deepest Condolences to the family of Sis. Rajam (Tamil Cong.) who went home to the Lord last week.

J.O.Y. Sunday: All youths Sec 1 upwards are welcome to this youth programme @ the Chapel 11.30am.

The Ultimate Quest 2016 (Sat 21/5) is an annual evangelistic outreach for students from Pri 1 – 6. Registration closes on 8/5. All are welcome to participate so do invite friends and relatives! If you can volunteer for this event, please contact Daniel Wong (97377997) or James Pang (90228956) or any of the YAF-ers.

Parents Appreciation Night on Sat 28/5 will be held at Safra Yishun Pin Si restaurant. Adults $45, Students and senior citizens $27.  Registration 24/4 to 15/5. Sign up early!

Pastor Away: Ps Gan is on leave (29/4 – 3/5). Pray the Lord will refresh and restore him during his leave. Members who need counsel and assistance are to approach Ps Lim or Ps Nathan or Elders during his absence.

Note of thanks to the contributors to BB and GB ministries! The Lord bless you!

Israel Trip (19 – 30/11): vacancies open. If you are interested, please see Sis. Julia Ong.

01 May 2016 – Worry Steals our Joy

 Weekly Article  Comments Off on 01 May 2016 – Worry Steals our Joy
May 012016
 

By Rev. Gabriel Gan

Is worry a problem in your life? Have you ever laid awake at night worrying about something?

Our English word “worry” comes from an Anglo-Saxon word that means “to strangle.” Worry certainly does “strangle” people physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Worry will steal the joy of your salvation.

Proverbs 12:25 tells us that “Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad.” An anxious heart weighs a man down. And the heavy burden of anxiety offers no real benefits. Jesus highlighted this futility when he said, “Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?”  (Matt. 6:27).

The fact is: worry does not help us cope with tomorrow; it drains strength we need to cope today. William R. Inge says, “Worry is interest paid on trouble before it is due.”

One interesting set of statistics indicates that there is nothing we can do about 70% of our worries:

What We Worry About

40% are things that will never happen.

30% are about the past—which can’t be changed.

12% are about criticism by others, mostly untrue.

10% are about health, which gets worse with stress.

8% are about real problems that can be solved.

As you can see, worry is really a waste of time. Not only so, it is actually bad for us. The physical and emotional damage of chronic anxiety is well known and well documented. Dr. Charles H. Mayo of the Mayo Clinic pointed out that worry affects circulation, the glands, the whole nervous system, and profoundly affects the heart. No wonder the Bible tells us “Be anxious for nothing,” and it tells us 350 times to “fear not.” We would be healthier both physically and emotionally if we heed the Word of God!

But beyond our physical well-being, there lies a more pressing spiritual reason. When God tells us in the Bible not to worry, it isn’t a suggestion; it is a command. Failure to obey is sin. To worry is to tell God that we don’t trust Him–His sovereignty, power, love and wisdom. Worry short-circuits our relationship with God. It fixes our eyes on our situation rather than on our Saviour.

Don’t misunderstand. When Jesus told His disciples (and us) not to worry, he wasn’t telling us there’s nothing to be concerned about. It is important to distinguish between healthy concern and toxic worry:

Concern Worry
Involves a legitimate threat Is often unfounded
Is specific (one thing) Is generalized (spreads to many things)
Addresses the problem Obsesses about the problem
Solves problems Creates more problems
Looks to God for answer Looks to self or other people for answers

This distinction is helpful: concern draws us to God; worry pulls us from Him. We face legitimate concerns every day. But instead of fretting and worrying, we need to focus on discerning what we can do (with God’s help) and what should be left entirely up to God.

The secret to the Apostle Paul’s rejoicing despite his rotten circumstances is found in verse 5, “the Lord is at hand.” This is a truth that anchors everything else in this passage. If God is near, we can rejoice no matter how hard things get. Paul goes on to say, “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth (surpasses) all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Phil.4:6).

 Paul’s prescription to counter worry is simple: Turn your anxieties into petitions. This has profound implications for how much joy we experience. We pray because we have a God who is big enough to solve all our problems. We pray because we have a God who is so powerful that nothing is outside of His sovereign control (Jer. 32:27).

The point is, worry flees when we focus on God’s adequacy. The result: “The peace of God, which passeth (surpasses) all understanding, will keep (guard) your hearts and your minds by Christ Jesus” (Phil.4:7).

God is urging His people to lay aside their worry and to cast all their cares upon Him (Matt.11:28). Beloved, will you pray? Or will you worry?