Announcements (26 Feb 2017)

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Feb 262017
 

Junior SS Classes as usual @11.30 am

BB/GB Ministry Presentation Today @11.30 am, Chapel. Those in Senior and Adults SS are strongly encouraged to attend. All are welcome!

Catechism Class Lessons 5 & 6 @11.30 am in the Kindergarten Office.

Catechumens, please attend.  Teacher: Eld. Prasad.

ACM/Election 2017. Nominations closes Today at 12 pm. Please submit all duly filled nomination forms in the Box provided or to the Church Office.

The following persons have kindly agreed to participate in the coming Election:

Election Co-Ordinator: Bro. Ronnie Pang (assisted by Bro. Aaron Tan)

Election Commissioner: Rev Ho Chee Lai (Sharon BPC)

Returning Officers:   1) Eld Chia Ah Lak (Life/Evangel BPC)  2) Dn Leo Tai Suan (Sharon BPC)

Note: Pastor Gan is on leave till 3rd Mar 2017. If you have any urgent matters, please approach Rev Lim or Rev Nathan or one of the Elders.

26 Feb 2017 – To Rejoice or Not To Rejoice

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Feb 262017
 

To Rejoice or Not To Rejoice – Christian Joy (by Dn Emmanuel)

Do we have an option not to rejoice? In 1 Thessalonians Chapter 5 and verse 16, we read “Rejoice evermore”. It is a command to all believers to rejoice. There are no qualifiers, no caveats, no exceptions, no ifs, ands or buts; in fact, in the Greek the order is reversed and the literal translation would be, “At all times be rejoicing.” The Greeks put the word order to express the emphasis. It is not primarily an emphasis on rejoicing, but primarily an emphasis on “at all times rejoicing,” – you haven’t obeyed until your joy is unceasing.

We have no options as it is a command and if that joy is diminished in the life experience of a believer; that is sin because it amounts to disobedience to this command. As what John MacArthur said “There is no event or circumstance that can occur in the life of any Christian that should diminish that Christian’s joy. Let me say that again, there is no event or circumstance that can occur in the life of any Christian that should diminish that Christian’s joy.”

How are we going to cultivate that Christian Joy?

Below is the paraphrase on the 7 ways to cultivate Joy. Adapted from “Seven Ways to Cultivate Joy,”Insights(March 2001).

  1. Rehearse with God the reasons you trust Him.Tell Him which of His attributes is your favorite right now. Read the praises of Scripture back to Him — begin with Psalms 103:1
  2. Keep a “joy journal.”Record the reasons you have to rejoice and the reminders of God’s faithfulness that you encounter in your everyday life. Think big — expand your journal into a “joy box” or a “joy drawer” that brings floods of joy each time you open it.
  3. Surround yourself with joyful people.Joy is contagious — so build relationships with friends whose lives exhibit their confidence in God.
  4. Approach life’s challenges and trials redemptively.God doesn’t waste the difficult circumstances of your life but uses them to develop His character in you. ReviewRomans 5:1and James 1:1for help in processing pressure productively. Joy will sneak up on you when you view your hardest lessons as gifts from God.
  5. Make praise and gratitude a habit. Has God met a need? Praise Him! Have your challenges given you greater opportunities to see Him work? Thank Him! Joy flows from a grateful and responsive heart. Before you turn in at night, write down three to five blessings in your “joy journal.” Make it a habit, and watch your joyful attitude grow.
  6. Fill your mind with music.Listen to, sing, and meditate on music that draws your heart nearer to God and His Word.
  7. Take the long view. Investors advise their clients not to worry about the daily ups and downs of the stock market — what matters is the long view. Does life present incredible challenges today? Are your reserves at a low, or are you enjoying a content plateau? Regardless of today’s events, take the long view. Remember that God remains in charge of your days and will faithfully develop His character in you. Remember, joy springs from viewing the day’s events from eternity’s perspective. Trust that God controls your life’s details (Romans 8:28), that He hears your every request (Psalms 116:1), and that His joy will be your strength (Nehemiah 8:10).

Finally, even if the hardships we experience due to changes in life, we can rejoice that we serve a God who offers comfort and hope to endure every trial; as we read in Romans 5:3-5 “3And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 4And patience, experience; and experience, hope: 5And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”

And so, let us be diligent to do the will of God: Rejoice always…!

Announcements (19 Feb 2017)

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Feb 192017
 

The family members of the late Sis Chong Lee Wan wish to express their appreciation to all Newlifers for their condolences during their time of bereavement.

The Session expressed their deepest condolences to the family members of late Sis Chin Lan Thye (Chinese Member) who was called home to be with the Lord on 16 Feb 2017.

Junior & Senior SS Classes as usual @11.30 am.

Adults SS Class @11.30 am, Chapel. All are welcome!

Catechumens’ Class Lessons 3 & 4 @11.30 am in the Kindergarten Office. Those who applied for baptism, affirmation & transfer, please attend.

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

English YF 32nd Anniv on 25 Feb @3.30 pm, Chapel. All are invited to join in giving thanks to God for His grace and goodness to the EYF.

BB/GB Ministry Presentation on 26 Feb @11.30 am, Chapel. Those in Senior and Adults SS are encouraged to attend.

ACM/Election 2017. Nominations closes at 12 pm on 26 Feb. Nomination forms are available for your use at the ushers’ table. Do follow the instructions carefully and use one form per nomination.

Pastor Gan will be on leave from 24th Feb to 3rd Mar 2017. If you have any urgent matter, please approach Rev Lim or Rev Nathan or the Elders.

19 Feb 2017 – Knowing the Ways of God

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Feb 192017
 

By Rev. Nathan

Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is thy people.” Exodus 33:13

 Introduction:

Spiritual leadership is crucial to any church. As, we are drawing near to Election of our Church Spiritual Leadership in 2017. We will be participating in nominating and electing our leadership. Thus, it is a very important exercise for the glory of God and the growth of our church in the right direction. Hence, I urge every one of us to take serious thought, pray and consider right people for this very important task. Also, I request those who are going to participate in the leadership may prayerfully prepare themselves for this high calling. With that note, I call your attention to Moses who had been a great leader and learn some of the spiritual lessons how he prepared himself for the great calling.

Moses had the great task of leading a congregation with more than three million people, through the wilderness and into the land of Canaan for 40 years. Moses knew that he was neither able, nor fit for the challenge. Thus, he had only one option to look to God’s favour to lead these people. Hence, prayed a special prayer and it is recorded in the Scripture in Exodus 33: 12-14. He was asking God, to “shew me now thy way” (vs.13). Was this prayer answered? Did God show Moses His way? Indeed, He did. In Ps.103:7 we read this and it is very significant, “He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel.” When Moses humbled and pleaded with God to show him His ways. God answered his prayer by showing His Way and His Presence throughout. Thus, we need to “Know the Ways of God” to lead His people in His way. Hence “Knowing the ways of God” requires us to do certain things in our life such as…

i) Prayer (vs13a):Now therefore, I pray thee…”

When Moses was in distress and troubled over the people of Israel, he did not seek anyone for help or depended on his ability. Rather, it had drawn him to God in prayer. He knew that the only solution to his problem is to come before God the Almighty with the heart of humility and submission by praying for the people of Israel. The best way to solve our problem is to seek the counsel of God and to come to Him in prayer and supplication. Thus, we need to pray for the leadership that would be like Moses, depend on God to lead our Church.

 ii) Passion (vs13b): “…if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way…”

Secondly, prayer must be with the passion to do His Will. In this verse Moses did not pray anything else except “shew me now thy way”. Moses determined to do God’s will by living and leading the people of Israel. Therefore, he prayed to God asking Him to show him God’s way. God’s ways include His thoughts and motivations. Knowing God’s ways helps us know Him intimately. We should know His ways; it is His command to us, “Oh that my people had hearkened unto me, and Israel had walked in my ways!” (Psalm 81:13). When we know His ways, we will develop intimate relationship with God. In other words, Moses wanted to know the heart of God intimately, so that he may guide and lead the people of Israel in the ways of God.

Hence, to know the ways of God, one must have the passion and devotion. Do we really want to know the ways of God for our church and leadership? The first step is to pray earnestly by submitting ourselves. Secondly, we must have the burden and passion to do His will in our life.

iii)Providence (vs13c): “that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight:..”

Thirdly, Moses having the foresight, which he knew only with Divine Providence of “knowing the ways of God,” is the sure evidence of God’s grace in his life that would enable him to lead the people of Israel. Like Moses we must have the confidence that only by knowing the ways of God, and the divine providence, we will be successful in all our endeavours by His grace alone. Thus, our church’s future is in God’s hand. Hence one must ‘know the ways of God’ not only to pray with passion and burden but also understand the divine will to lead and guide our lives.

Conclusion:

Though, the people of Israel had sinned against God repeatedly, when Moses prayed with earnest burden and passion having known the providence. God promised him with His Presence and Peace (vs 14. And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest). When we walk in His ways, the Divine Providence of God’s Presence and Peace will continue to be in our church as it was with Moses and His people. We are in dire need of God’s presence for better future of our church. We need leaders and members willing to know and walk in the ways of God. Shall we know and walk in the ways of God like Moses. May God bless us with godly leadership to lead our church.

Announcements (12 Feb 2017)

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Feb 122017
 

SS Classes as usual & Joy Sun @ 11.30am, Chapel.

Adults SS Class @11.30am, Fellowship Hall. All are welcome!

Catechumens’ Class begins today, 11.30am @Kindergarten Office. Those who applied for baptism & transfer, please attend.

Marsiling NBC meets on 17 Feb (3rd Fridays only) @8-9.30pm in the Fellowship Hall. Members who are not in any NBC and living in Marsiling or Woodlands are invited to join us! Facilitator: Ps Gan

English YF 32nd Anniv on 25 Feb @3.30pm, Chapel. All are invited to join in giving thanks to God for His grace and goodness to the EYF.

ACM/Election. Nominations are open till 12 pm on 26 Feb. Nomination forms are inserted in the Newsline for your use. Do follow the instructions therein. If you need more forms, please approach the church office.

12 Feb 2017 – Tips for Controlling Anger by Rev. Gabriel Gan

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Feb 122017
 

Anger, in and of itself, is not sinful. We learn this from Paul’s careful distinction between being angry and sinning: “Be ye angry and sin not” (Eph. 4:26). Anger is a normal, healthy emotion. But when it gets out of control and turns destructive, it can lead to problems—problems at work, in your personal relationships, and in the overall quality of your life. With insight about the real reasons for your anger and some anger management tips, you can learn to keep your temper from hijacking your life.

The Nature of Anger

Anger is “an emotional state that varies in intensity from mild irritation to intense fury and rage,” according to Dr. Charles Spielberger, a psychologist who specializes in the study of anger. Like other emotions, it is accompanied by physiological and biological changes; when you get angry, your heart rate and blood pressure go up, as do the levels of your energy hormones, adrenaline, and noradrenaline.

Anger can be caused by both external and internal events. You could be angry at a specific person (such as a co-worker or supervisor) or event (a traffic jam, a cancelled flight), or your anger could be caused by worrying or brooding about your personal problems.

Anger is a natural, adaptive response to threats; it inspires powerful, often aggressive, feelings and behaviours which allow us to fight and to defend ourselves when we are attacked. But we can’t physically lash out at every person or object that irritates or annoys us; laws, social norms, and common sense place limits on how far our anger can take us.

Anger Management

The goal of anger management is to reduce both your emotional feelings and the physiological arousal that anger causes. You can’t get rid of, or avoid, the things or the people that enrage you, nor can you change them, but you can learn to control your reactions. James 1:19 says, “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak and slow to wrath.”

So, while it’s perfectly normal to feel angry when you’ve been mistreated or wronged, anger becomes a problem when you express it in a way that harms yourself or others. What can you do to control your anger?

 Tip 1: Explore what’s really behind your anger

In order to express your anger in appropriate ways, you need to be in touch with what you are really feeling. Is your anger masking other feelings such as embarrassment, insecurity, hurt, shame, or vulnerability?

Tip 2: Be aware of your anger warning signs and triggers

While you might feel that you just explode into anger without warning, in fact, there are physical warning signs in your body. Becoming aware of your own personal signs that your temper is starting to boil allows you to take steps to manage your anger before it gets out of control.

  • Pay attention to the way anger feels in your body
  • Identify the negative thought patterns that trigger your temper
  • Avoid people, places, and situations that bring out your worst

Look at your regular routine and try to identify activities, times of day, people, places, or situations that trigger irritable or angry feelings. Then think about ways to avoid these triggers or view the situation differently so it doesn’t make your blood boil.

Tip 3: Learn ways to cool down

There are many techniques that can help you cool down and keep your anger in check.

  • Take some deep breaths.
  • Exercise. It releases pent-up energy so you can approach the situation with a cooler head.
  • Stretch or massage areas of tension. Roll your shoulders or gently massage your neck and scalp.
  • Slowly count to ten. Focus on the counting to let your rational mind catch up with your feelings. If you still feel out of control by the time you reach ten, start counting again.

“He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly” (Proverbs 14:17).

Tip 4: Give yourself a reality check

Ask yourself:

  • How important is it in the grand scheme of things?
  • Is it really worth getting angry about it?
  • Is it worth ruining the rest of my day?
  • Is my response appropriate to the situation?
  • Is there anything I can do about it?
  • Is taking action worth my time?

“He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down and without walls” (Proverbs 25:28).

Tip 5: Find healthier ways to express your anger

If you’ve decided that the situation is worth getting angry about and there’s something you can do to make it better, the key is to express your feelings in a healthy way. When communicated respectfully and channelled effectively, anger can be a tremendous source of energy and inspiration for change.

  • Pinpoint what you’re really angry about
  • Take five if things get too heated
  • Make relationship your priority
  • Focus on the present
  • Be willing to forgive

“The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a trangression” (Proverbs 19:11; cf. Eph. 4:32).

Tip 6: Consider professional help for anger management if:

  • You feel constantly frustrated and angry no matter what you try.
  • Your temper causes problems at work or in your relationships.
  • You avoid new events and people because you feel like you can’t control your temper.
  • You have gotten in trouble with the law due to your anger.
  • Your anger has led you to physical violence.

 

If your loved one has an anger problem, you probably feel like you’re walking on eggshells all the time. But always remember that you are not to blame for your loved one’s anger. There is never an excuse for physically or verbally abusive behaviour. You have a right to be treated with respect and to live without fear of an angry outburst or a violent rage. While you can’t control another person’s anger, you can control how you respond to it:

  1. Set clear boundaries about what you will and will not tolerate.
  2. Wait for a time when you are both calm to talk to your loved one about the anger problem. Don’t bring it up when either of you is already angry.
  3. Remove yourself from the situation if your loved one does not calm down.
  4. Consider counselling if you are having a hard time standing up for yourself.

Put your safety first. If you feel unsafe or threatened in any way, get away from your loved one.

(Adapted from various sources)

Announcements (05 Feb 2017)

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Feb 052017
 

Please note that there will be No SS Classes Today

SAF will meet Today in the Chapel from 12:00 – 1:15pm, after the Fellowship Brunch. Elder Sim will share a short exhortation on “Encouraging One Another!” followed by a short discussion among the groups. All are welcome!

Catechumens’ Class begins on 12 Feb, 11.30am @Kindergarten Office. Those who applied for baptism & transfer, please read lessons 1 & 2.

English YF 32nd Anniv on 25 Feb @3.30pm, Chapel. All are invited to join in giving thanks to God for His grace and goodness to the EYF.

ACM/Election. Nominations are open from Today and closes on 26 Feb @12pm. Nomination forms are inserted in the Newsline for your use. Do follow the instructions therein. If you need more forms, please approach the church office.

Visitation from Feb: Pastor & Elders with the deacons will be taking turns to visit New Lifers in line with our church theme 2017.

05 Feb 2017 – Church with Zero Debt!

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Feb 052017
 

Church with Zero Debt!                    By Eld. Prasad

New Life Bible Presbyterian Church is blessed with our very own buildings and fixtures on our leased land, fully furnished and equipped. We have worship sanctuaries for three congregations; a towering church bell to call the people to worship; classrooms for bible studies, devotion, choir, kindergarten; playground for children; fellowship halls for gatherings, for meals, refreshments, meetings, marriage and birthday celebrations; parking lots for light and heavy vehicles; games and recreational facilities. Unlike some other churches with shared premises, we have the premises exclusively for our use. The church was built for us by Life Bible Presbyterian Church, our mother church. Our fully developed church, cost millions of Singapore dollars, all of which were paid for by love gifts from God’s children. No bank borrowings!

New Lifers were indeed blessed for we were privileged to start the Lord’s work in Northern Singapore with zero financial debt.

Our Bible Presbyterian forefathers firmly believed that it did not seem wise for a church to be in debt. In nearly every instance where debt is mentioned in the Bible, it is in a negative light, example, Deuteronomy 15:6 and Deuteronomy 28:12.

Essentially, when a church takes on a debt, it becomes a slave to the institution making the loan. Proverbs 22:7 says, “The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender”. During the Old Testament time, God wanted Israel to be a creditor nation, loaning money, and not a debtor nation, borrowing money. Deuteronomy 28:12-13 states, “The Lord shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his  season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow. And the Lord shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the Lord thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them:” In other words, God promised His people that He would make them the creditors if they obeyed Him, debtors if they disobeyed Him.

Three compelling reasons for a church not to go into debt:

First – Borrowing denies a church the opportunity to see God’s blessings: – 2 Corinthians 9:8, “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work” and Philippians 4:19, “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”John tells us that, if we have confidence before God, we will receive from Him whatever we ask, because we keep His commandments, and do the things that please Him (1 John 3:21-22).

Second – A church having to service a debt restricts its ability to serve the Lord. Important ministry decisions may be affected by a need to make debt payments, and the actual work of the church may suffer as a result.

Third – Some churches choose to go into debt with the reasoning that “the new building, etc.”, will bring in more people, which will help to pay off the debt. However, what really happens is that the church contributions go toward the interest payments and not to the work of the gospel (Matthew 28:19-20). Studies have shown that churches that go into debt spend more on their interest payments than they do on evangelism or mission work. Perhaps the most damaging result of a church going into debt is the tension it places upon its members. The church wants to grow, but now its motives are mixed. It now has the additional obligation to keep up the monthly loan re-payments. The singleness of purpose and unity of motive becomes diluted by the need for more income. If attendance slackens, financial difficulties are soon on the horizon.

When a church goes into debt, it is essentially trying to serve two masters, God and mammon (Matthew 6:24). In 2 Corinthians 5:7, God tells us to walk by faith; but Money tells us to walk by sight. In 1 Peter 5:5, God teaches us humility; but Money teaches us pride. In Colossians 3:2, God tells us to set our minds on the things above; but Money, on things of the earth. In 2 Corinthians 4:18, God tells us to look at things unseen and eternal; but Money, at things seen and temporal. In Matthew 6:31-33 and Philippians 4:6, God tells us not to be anxious for anything; but Money and anxiety are seldom separated. The church cannot serve both God and Money and remain unified. Many churches have been set back by an inability to sustain or pay off debt. Church leaders must demonstrate through their abiding faith in God that He can and will provide whatever resources are needed, including financial resources, for we walk by faith, and not by sight. A church with no debt is an influential witness to its community that God does provide for His people, and it is blessed to serve others instead of servicing a debt.

Our church has a 60 year land lease from HDB. Less than 30 years remain for the lease to expire. On expiry the lease is renewal, but at the market rate prevailing at that point of time. An indicative renewal price could be in the region of S$10 to S$20 million, in land scarce Singapore. It is a very substantial amount and therefore we have to continue to build up our reserves constantly, actively and conscientiously, lest we fall into debt.

2 Peter 1:2-3,”Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord. According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.” As God has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness, we can also be assured that everything the church needs will be provided as well.

Let it be our prayer that New Life Bible Presbyterian Church will always remain a ‘Church with Zero Debt’.