Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Choir Presentation

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Dec 252016
 

The following are the sound tracks from the Christmas Eve & Christmas Day Choir Presentations, sung to the glory of God. May these songs edify and encourage you.

Christmas Eve Choir Presentation:

Christmas Day Choir Presentation:

Announcements (25 Dec 2016)

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Dec 252016
 

Watch Night Service on 31 Dec 2016 @7.30pm. Let us come together to share God’s goodness and mercy for 2016. Sp: Eld. Prasad.

Fellowship Brunch on 1 Jan 2017 after Worship Service. Members and friends are encouraged to stay back for this meal and get to know each other. There will be no SS Classes on every 1st Sunday of the month.

SAF will meet on 1 Jan 2017 in the Chapel from 12 – 1pm, after the Sunday fellowship brunch. Pastor Gan will share a short exhortation on “The Seasons of Life,” followed by a short discussion. All are welcome to attend and SAF “regulars”; please invite friends or visitors as well.

ECM will be held on 15 Jan 2017 at 11.15 am after the Combined Service.

We appeal to all voting communicant members (21 years & above) to attend as we need a two-thirds majority for the changes to be approved.

Note: Please collect the envelope containing the agenda for the ECM and the proposed changes to the Church’s Constitution on 1 Jan 2017 after the Worship Service at the Fellowship Hall.

25 Dec 2016 – Charles Wesley

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Dec 252016
 

Of all the hymn writers, Charles Wesley is considered one of the greatest. He wrote some 6000 hymns. Some of his better known hymns included “And Can It Be That I Should Gain?“, “Christ the Lord Is Risen Today“, “Hark! the Herald Angels Sing“, “Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus“, “O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing” and many others.

Family Background: The father of Charles Wesley was the Rev. Samuel Wesley, Rector of Epworth, in Lincolnshire. There, on a very small income, the godly parents brought up their large family of nineteen children, ten of whom (three sons and seven daughters) lived to grow up. John was born on June 17, 1703. Charles was born four years later, on December 18, 1707. (Charles was the 18th child.)

Susanna Wesley was a strict but loving mother. One of the windows in the Lady Chapel of Liverpool Cathedral is dedicated to her— “To Susanna Wesley and all devoted mothers.” She was strict because she had to care for so many children and there was so little money. She never allowed them to cry or scream. If they cried at all, they must cry softly. She taught the children to read: she never taught them the alphabet until their fifth birthday. Then Mrs. Wesley put all her usual household duties aside for the day. No one was allowed to come into the room where she and her little pupil were, from 9 till 12, and from 2 till 5. During these six hours, everyone of her children, except two, successfully learned all the letters of the alphabet. After this she taught them to read the first chapter of Genesis. In a few days the difficulties of reading had vanished, and after that, all was easy and pleasant. She was always most anxious for the spiritual welfare of her children. It was her habit to have one or more of them in her room each evening for a quiet talk and prayer. “On Thursday I talk with Jacky, and on Saturday with Charles.” The children loved these quiet times with mother; and who can tell the results of that holy mother’s teaching and prayers?

 Faith Journey: Charles Wesley went to Westminster School and later to Christchurch, Oxford where he got his degree in 1729 and was ordained. He was with a group called the Methodists because they were so strict in their Christian disciplines.

He joined his brother John to Georgia, a colony in British America in 1735, as missionaries to the Red Indians. But on the ship when it met with a fierce storm, they admired the calm spirit of the Moravian Christians on board. Failing as missionaries, they returned to England and, they were later much influenced by the Moravians and learned the way of God from them more perfectly. Their conversion actually took place only in 1738 in Aldersgate Street.

It was only after their conversion that they became itinerant evangelists, travelling from place to place. They were very strong with their preaching and soon their plain speaking made them unpopular and unwelcome to the pulpits of the English church. So they preached outside – in the fields, in the streets, the jails – anywhere and everywhere, and the poor people heard them gladly. Even so, both John and Charles remained with the Church of England even to the end.

After he married – and his was a happy marriage – unlike that of John, he travelled less with John and devoted his work mainly in Bristol. He had 8 children but only three survived. His two sons Charles and Samuel were great musicians. Charles was the personal organist for the Royal family and Samuel was said to be the Mozart of England. Samuel’s son Samuel Sebastian Wesley became one of England’s foremost composers of the 19th century.

 His hymns: He wrote nearly daily and they really are all beautiful and full of doctrine – man’s hopeless and helpless estate; his depravity; God’s abounding grace and protection. Although it is Christmas, and we could look at some carols that Wesley wrote, I wish to instead draw our attention to the hymn: “Jesus, Lover of my soul”. There are a number of different stories connected with this hymn. Many of his hymns were written during times of trials. This hymn was said to be written after John and Charles were fiercely attacked by a mob from a place where they had been preaching. Another says that the hymn was written just after a frightened little bird, pursued by a predator bird – owl or hawk – had flown into Wesley’s window for refuge and crept into the folds of his coat. Note – both stories are unverified.

 

“Jesus, Lover of my soul,

Let me to Thy bosom fly;

While the nearer waters roll,

While the tempest still is high!

Hide me, O my Saviour, hide,

Till the storm of life is past,

Safe into the haven guide;

O receive my soul at last!

 

Other refuge have I none;

Hangs my helpless soul on Thee;

Leave, ah! leave me not alone,

Still support and comfort me!

All my trust on Thee is stayed,

All my help from Thee I bring:

Cover my defenseless head

With the shadow of Thy wing.

 

Thou, O Christ, art all I want;

More than all in Thee I find;

Raise the fallen, cheer the faint,

Heal the sick, and lead the blind!

Just and holy is Thy Name!

I am all unrighteousness;

False and full of sin I am,

Thou art full of truth and grace.

 

Plenteous grace with Thee is found,

Grace to cover all my sin;

Let the healing streams abound;

Make and keep me pure within;

Thou of life the Fountain art,

Freely let me take of Thee:

Spring Thou up within my heart!

Rise to all eternity! Amen

There was a beautiful story told in connection with the American Civil War. A former Confederate soldier was sharing about how he was once detailed one night to shoot a certain exposed sentry of the opposing army. He crept close enough and was about to aim at the sentry who at that point began to sing “Jesu, Lover of my soul”. When he came to the line: “Cover my defenseless head With the shadow of Thy wing” the Confederate soldier lowered his gun and stole away because he felt that he could not kill that man. In the company was an old Union soldier who checked quickly where that incident took place and then said that he was that Union sentry. He went on to tell how on that night, he sensed that he was in danger and he felt depressed. To keep up his courage, he sang this hymn. By the time he finished, he was entirely calm and fearless.

How wonderful that through the hymn, God had spoken to both his children although they were fighting in opposite camps. And how wonderful that a hymn written so long ago is still sang today! And still speaks to us.

Announcements (18 Dec 2016)

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Dec 182016
 

Adults SS@Chapel, 11.30am: “A Plan for Evangelism” by Ps Gan. All are Welcome!

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

Christmas Eve Service (24 Dec 2016)@7.30pm. Please invite your loved ones and friends. Sp: Rev Lee Hock Chin from Life BPC.

Christmas Service (25 Dec 2016)@9.30am.  English, Chinese and Tamil services on Sunday will be as usual timing and places.

Watch Night Combined Service (31 Dec 2016)@7.30pm. Let us come together to share God’s goodness and mercy for 2016. Sp: Eld. Prasad.

ECM (15 Jan 2017)@11.15am: Kindly take note that ECM will be held to decide changes on the constitution.  Letter will be issued to members on 1 Jan 2017.  Quorum will be needed to hold the meeting.  English and Chinese services will be combined at 9.30am on the same day.

Fellowship Meal on 1 Jan 2017 after Worship Service. Members and friends are encouraged to stay back for this meal and get to know each other. There will be no SS Classes on every 1st Sunday of the month.

Floral Gift and Fellowship Tea 2017: The new chart is on the notice board. Please fill in as the Lord leads you.

18 Dec 2016 – Just as I Am, Without One Plea

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Dec 182016
 

Just as I Am, Without One Plea

Rejoice Hymns – Hymnal 481, Text: Charlotte Elliott, 1789-1871
Music: William B. Bradbury, 1816-1868, Tune: WOODWORTH, Meter: LM

  1. Just as I am, without one plea, but that thy blood was shed for me,

and that thou bidst me come to thee, O Lamb of God, I come, I come

  1. Just as I am, and waiting not to rid my soul of one dark blot,
    to thee whose blood can cleanse each spot, O Lamb of God, I come, I come
  1. Just as I am, though tossed about with many a conflict, many a doubt,
    fightings and fears within, without, O Lamb of God, I come, I come
  1. Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind; sight, riches, healing of the mind,
    yea, all I need in thee to find, O Lamb of God, I come, I come
  1. Just as I am, thou wilt receive, wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse,relieve;

because thy promise I believe, O Lamb of God, I come, I come

  1. Just as I am, thy love unknown hath broken every barrier down;

now, to be thine, yea thine alone, O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Charlotte Elliott seemed to have everything going for her as a young woman. She was gifted as a portrait artist and also as a writer of humorous anecdotes. Then at the age of 33 she suffered a serious illness that left her weak and depressed. She became a semi-invalid for life after suffering a serious ailment.

One of Charlotte Elliot’s typical emotional outbursts was, “If God loved me, He would not have treated me this way”, as she vented her frustrations. She condemned God for His cruelty on her.

“Carefree Charlotte”, as she was known, experienced a severe spiritual crisis as she felt useless, not being able to do anything except to lie in bed. These negative thoughts poisoned her heart and put a strain on the lives of the entire family.

Charlotte’s father was a godly man at whose house the servants of Christ were often entertained. To uplift the listless spirit of his daughter, the Rev Charles Elliot invited Dr Cesar Malan, a noted Swiss minister and musician, to be a guest in their home at Westfield Lodge, Brighton, England, in May 1822.

One evening, as they sat conversing, the servant of God turned the subject to their personal relationship with God, and asked Charlotte if she knew herself to be really a Christian. Sensing Charlotte’s spiritual distress, Dr Malan exclaimed: “Charlotte, you must come just as you are – as a sinner – to the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).

Being a permanent invalid, in poor health, and often harassed with severe pain, tended to make Charlotte irritable. She resented the question thus pointedly put, and petulantly answered that religion was a matter she did not wish to discuss. Dr. Malan replied in his usual kind manner, that he would not pursue a subject that displeased her, but would pray that she might give her heart to Christ, and employ in His service the talents with which He had gifted her. It seems that the Holy Spirit used her abrupt and almost rude conduct towards God’s servant to show her what depths of pride and alienation from God were in her heart. After several days of spiritual misery, she apologized for her unbecoming conduct, and confessed that his question had troubled her greatly.  “I am miserable” she said, “I want to be saved. I want to come to Lord Jesus; but I don’t know how”. Dr. Malan answered, “Why not come just as you are?” “You have only to come to Him just as you are”. Wanting to be freed from her hate and anger, Charlotte replied: “I would come to God just as I am.”

Further conversation followed, and the Holy Spirit enabled Dr. Malan to make perfectly clear to the once proud but now penitent young lady God’s simple way of salvation through Christ; that on the ground of His shed blood for us, all who from their heart believe are accepted of God.

From then on, Charlotte experienced inner peace and joy in spite of her physical affliction. She placed complete trust in Christ’s redemptive sacrifice for her and penned her spiritual autobiography, in 1835, in a six-stanza hymn, “Just As I Am, Without One Plea,” which became one of the most influential hymns. The hymn is based on an experience rather than a specific scripture.

When Charlotte Elliott published this hymn in “The Invalid’s Hymn Book” she included with it John 6:37 – “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.”

So let us join with all Christians who experience doubt and uncertainty in their faith, to give thanks to God for His unconditional acceptance of which we are, and respond to Lord Jesus’ invitation to, “Come just as you are”.

This hymn contains all a Christian needs to be sure of the love of God and the assurance He will take care of our problems. Then just come as you are.

We come to the Lord just as we are. After coming to the Lord, we should not remain as what we were, but live by the new heart and new spirit that He gives us.

Sometimes it is hard to come to the Lord, because of our sins and weakness, but when we sing this hymn, we can touch the Lord. Wherever we are, and whatever circumstances we may be in, the Lord loves us, always! Praise the Lord.

Charlotte’s father died in 1833 and ten years later her mother and two sisters. Then the home at Brighton was given up, and Charlotte Elliott went to live with her only surviving sister on the Continent. Later they lived for fourteen years at Torquay. After this they went again to Brighton to live, where Charlotte remained until her home-call, Sept 22nd, 1871, at the advanced age of eighty-two.

Note: Adapted from various sources.  By Elder Prasad

Announcements (11 Dec 2016)

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Dec 112016
 

Christmas Eve Service (24 Dec 2016)@7.30pm. Please invite your loved ones and friends. Sp: Rev Lee Hock Chin from Life BPC.

Christmas Service (25 Dec 2016)@9.30am.  English, Chinese and Tamil services on Sunday will be as usual timing and places.

Watch Night Combined Service (31 Dec 2016)@7.30pm. Let us come together to share God’s goodness and mercy for 2016. Sp: Eld. Prasad

ECM (15 Jan 2017)@11.15am: Kindly take note that ECM will be held to approve changes to the constitution. English and Chinese services will be combined at 9.30am on that day. The necessary documents will be given to members of good standing on 1/1/17.

Fellowship Meal on 1 Jan 2017 after Worship Service. Members and friends are encouraged to stay back for this meal and get to know each other. There will be no SS Classes on every 1st Sunday of the month.

Floral Gift and Fellowship Tea 2017: The new chart is on the notice board. Please fill in as the Lord leads you. Thank you.

11 Dec 2016 – What a Friend We have in Jesus

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Dec 112016
 

Joseph Scriven, 1819–1886

A man that hath friends must show himself friendly: And there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24 KJV)

A true friend loves and accepts us just as we are, stays close to us in good or in bad, and is always ready to help in time of need. Because the author of this hymn text found just such a friend in his Lord, he decided to spend his entire life showing real friendship to others.

Joseph Scriven had wealth, education, a devoted family, and a pleasant life in his native Ireland. Then unexpected tragedy entered. On the night before Scriven’s scheduled wedding, his fiancée drowned. In his deep sorrow, Joseph realized that he could find the solace and support he needed only in his dearest friend, Jesus.

Soon after this tragedy, Scriven dramatically changed his lifestyle. He left Ireland for Port Hope, Canada, determined to devote all of his extra time in being a friend and helper to others. He often gave away his clothing and possessions to those in need, and he worked—without pay—for anyone who needed him. Scriven became known as “the Good Samaritan of Port Hope.”

When Scriven’s mother became ill in Ireland, he wrote a comforting letter to her, enclosing the words of his newly written poem with the prayer that these brief lines would remind her of a never-failing heavenly Friend. Sometime later, when Joseph Scriven himself was ill, a friend who came to call on him happened to see a copy of these words scribbled on scratch paper near his bed. The friend read the lines with interest and asked, “Who wrote those beautiful words?”

“The Lord and I did it between us,” was Scriven’s reply.

What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear! What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer! O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear, all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.

Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere? We should never be discouraged—Take it to the Lord in prayer. Can we find a friend so faithful who will all our sorrows share? Jesus knows our every weakness—Take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care? Precious Savior, still our refuge—Take it to the Lord in prayer. Do thy friends despise, forsake thee? Take it to the Lord in prayer; in His arms He’ll take and shield thee—Thou wilt find a solace there.

For Today: Psalm 6:9; Mark 11:24; John 15:13–16; 1 John 5:14, 15

Like Joseph Scriven, we too can find relief from our burdens when we turn to our Lord as a friend. Allow this musical truth to help you realize.

Announcements (04 Dec 2016)

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Dec 042016
 

JOY Sun @ Chapel, 11.30am. All youths are encouraged to attend as Ps Gan will be sharing the Church’s Vision/Mission and have a time of discussion.

Adults SS @Fellowship, 11.30am. Sharing and Feedback on Quieting a Noisy Soul – facilitated by Eld Sim. All are Welcome!

Christmas Eve Service (24 Dec 2016)@7.30pm. Please invite your loved ones and friends. Sp: Rev Lee Hock Chin from Life BPC.

Watch Night Service (31 Dec 2016)@7.30pm. Let us come together to share God’s goodness and mercy for 2016. Sp: Eld. Prasad.

Fellowship Meal on 1 Jan 2017 after Worship Service. Members and friends are encouraged to stay back for this meal and get to know each other. There will be no SS Classes on every 1st Sunday of the month.

04 Dec 2016 – The Christmas Gift

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Dec 042016
 

Introduction:

“A moral Science teacher once instructed her students to go out and be good. One of the students went out after school hours and walked down the streets, distributing gifts to the poor and helping whoever needed help. The next day he told the teacher of his good deed. But the teacher was not impressed by his action. She told him: “I asked you to be good not to do good”. People may do good without necessarily being good. For example, we offer gifts and other material goods to the poor and downtrodden mainly for publicity and not with genuine intention to help others. Goodness stems from good thoughts and intentions.” (Taken from Dr. G Francis Xavier: “The World’s Best Inspiring Stories for Successful Living”, page 152). This story reminds us that something is lacking in our gifting culture during today’s Christmas. It is not those material gifts which are more important but our attitude and its eternal value must be exemplified.

As Christmas is around the corner, we are preparing to celebrate this Christmas meaningfully. Let us consider that angel’s message in Luke 2:10 – what they have to say about the Christmas gifts which can be given by us to our near and dear ones in this Christmas season.

1.  The Sinner’s Problem (Luke 2:10a):

“And the angel said unto them, Fear not:”

The first and the foremost emotion that was felt by a sinful man after the fall was “fear” (Gen 3:10).

So fear is the reason for the entire problem of mankind on this earth. That’s why the angel first addresses the basic problem of mankind – “fear”. The message, which the angel had to deliver to the shepherds, begins with: “Fear not, for we have nothing to say to you that needs be a terror to you; you need not fear your enemies, and should not fear your friends or future” (Matthew Henry). It is very aptly said by the angel to the shepherds: “Fear not”.

Hence, people are living with all sorts of fears in their lives. The secret to removing their fears can be the best gift. It is a great opportunity for us to bring them to the saving knowledge of our Lord and Savior, which can save them from their eternal damnation and at same time, will provide them hope from fear.

Therefore, the world needs the same message from us during this Christmas season as a gift. The best gift that we can give to our friends and relatives this Christmas is the message of hope: “Fear not”. This has more lasting value than any material gifts. We should not hesitate to introduce them to eternal hope in Christ Jesus.

2.  The Saviour’s Promise (Luke 2:10b):

“Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.”

When Adam sinned, fear crept into him and caused him to lose the joy in God. The basic need for all mankind is joy and happiness in everyone’s life. That’s why the angel did not stop with “Fear not”, but went onto say, “Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy”. The birth of Christ is good news to the shepherds and to the world at large. It shall bring “joy to all people” and not to the people of the Jews only. The knowledge of God was no longer to be confined to the Jews, but to be offered to the whole Gentile world.

The world may suggest many ways to find joy in life, but Christ is the only way for us to receive joy and happiness on this earth and eternally. It is only made possible by the birth of Christ which must take place in our lives in a personal way. It is necessary for us to bring this good tiding of our Saviour to our near and dear ones as a gift in this Christmas season. Let this Christmas be a joyous Christmas in their lives with our Lord and Saviour Christ Jesus.

Conclusion:

Christmas is a time of giving gifts. Tradition says: it began when the wise men brought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. It is good to give gifts although it is not important to give material gifts just for the sake of giving. On the other hand, the intention must be with love and affection which we express when we lead friends and relatives to our Lord and Saviour JESUS CHRIST. This is a more valuable and eternal gift. Because, the very first Christmas has given us the best and greatest gift ever this world can give, that is our Saviour JESUS CHRIST. Let this Christmas be a fearless and joyful Christmas for our family and friends by the giving and receiving of Christ as our personal Saviour.

Rev. Nathan