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Scripture Memory: Folly of Pride.
VERSE : Proverbs 16:18 
"Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall."

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O Worship the LORD in the Beauty of Holiness

30 June 2013
8 am & 1045 am Worship Service:
Rev David Wong (O Grave, Where Is Thy Victory? 1 Cor 15:50-57)
6:00 pm Evening Service:
Rev Charles Seet (Do You Honour Christ? Jn 8:48-59)

7 July 2013
8 am & 1045 am Worship Service:
Rev Quek Keng Khwang (Portrait of a Christ-Centred Life, 2 Pet 1:5-11)
6:00 pm Evening Service:
Dn Lee Hock Chin (El Olam: The Everlasting God; Gen 21:33 & Ps 90:12;)

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THE CHRISTIAN AND DEATH

Death is a subject many people avoid talking or thinking about. Each time when the subject is broached, they try to dodge it. This happens even among Christians. And yet they, as Christians, know that at some point in time, sooner or later, they must return to God, their Maker.

Job said, "Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord." (Job 1:21a)

Death is a Reality

We are all mortal beings; all of us are going to die. Our "lives are directed towards death" and our lives and times are in God’s hands.

"For we must needs die, and are as water spilt on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again..." (2 Samuel 14:14a)

"For I know that thou wilt bring me to death and to the house appointed for all living." (Job 30:23)

Did you read the obituary page in the newspaper today or did you just give it a skip? Whatever the case, take a look at Genesis chapter 5. When you read it, is it not like reading the newspaper’s obituary columns? Do you notice the constant repetition of the phrase "and he died," "and he died" (vv.5, 8, 11, 14, 17, 20, 27, 31), with the difference being that only no dates of birth nor dates of death are mentioned. Even Methuselah, who was the longest lived man, died at the age 969 years!

Even though our Lord performed a stupendous miracle when He raised Lazarus four days after he was buried (John 11:17; 39-44), subsequently, death must have caught up with Lazarus, although it was not recorded in the Bible.

How Death Entered the World

Death came to mankind in the Garden of Eden through the disobedience of our first parents Adam and Eve, to God’s command. "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned" (Romans 5:12; 1 Corinthians 15:21). Hence death is the lot of every human being ever since (Genesis 2:16-17).

"For the wages of sin is death..." (Romans 6:23; see also 5:12-18). Sin resulted in universal desolation. The cause of death is sin but its cure is through Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who gives eternal life to those who trust in Him.

No One Can Escape Death

Death is universal; no one can escape it. The psalmist said, "What man is he that liveth, and shall not see death? Shall he deliver his soul from the hand of the grave?" (Psalm 89:48; see also Genesis 6:3; Joshua 23:14; Job 30:23; Ecclesiastes 9:5a)

In fact, the Bible constantly reminds us of the frailty and fleeting nature of life.

Moses said, "The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away." (Psalm 90:10; see also Ecclesiastes 12:2-7)

James said, "For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and vanisheth away." (James 4:14)

"…He knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust. As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone…" (Psalm 103:14-16; see also James 1:10-11; 1 Peter 1:24).

Only two men did not experience death. The two exceptions are Enoch (Genesis 5:24) and Elijah (2 Kings 2:11). As for us, when Christ comes again and we are still around, we, too, may not see death (1Thessalonians 4:16-17).

Types of Death

1. Physical Death: Separation of body and soul (Ecclesiastes 12:7; Genesis 3:19b; Romans 6:23).

2. Spiritual Death: Separation of the individual from God (Genesis 2:16-17; 3:19; Ephesians 4:18).

3. Eternal Death: Separation from God forever; termed the "second death" or hell (Revelation 20:10, 14).

Biblical Perspective on Death

The Word of God assures us that when we as believers in Christ die, we immediately go to be with Christ (2 Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:21, 23); we immediately go to Heaven to be with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8; 1 Thessalonians 5:10).

Jesus told the repentant thief: "Today shalt thou be with me in paradise." (Luke 23:43; see also 1Thessalonians 5:10)

Death is therefore not a cessation of life. According to Tertullian, one of the early church fathers, "Death is the disunion of body and soul." It is "a transition to another dimension in which our conscious existence continues". For Christians, the soul goes to be in the very presence of God, delighting in the bliss of Heaven’s glory (Psalm 16:11).

Death is not an accident but an appointment with God at the end of one’s life. It is said that "all of us have a God-ordained appointment with death". We are all "destined to die once", but after that comes God’s judgment (Hebrews 9:27). Thus, do not be deceived by the world’s philosophy: "Let’s eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die."

Various Descriptions of Death

Death has been variously described as:

1. promotion to glory

2. release from suffering

3. relocation to a far better place

4. departure from earth to heaven

5. being absent from the body, but present with the Lord

6. falling asleep in Christ

7. cure from all diseases

It is a Biblical fact that the bodies of the dead go back to dust. At death, the body returns to the ground, but the soul returns to God, the Giver and Taker of life (Job 1:21b; Ecclesiastes 12:7; Psalm 104:29).

Words of Wisdom from a Dying Pastor

It was said that when Pastor Richard Baxter lay dying, and his friends came to see him, almost the last word he said was in answer to the question, "Dear Mr. Baxter, how are you?"

"Almost well," said he, and it is so. Death cures; it is the best medicine, for they who die are not only almost well, but healed forever."

"And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away."(Revelation 21:4)

The Apostle Paul said, "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain... For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ, which is far better:" (Philippians 1:21, 23).

The Apostle Paul said, "For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him... For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven... and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord." (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17) This is the bodily resurrection of every believer when Christ comes again to take us to be with Him. What a blessed hope! In Christ we have an endless hope but without Christ, it is a hopeless end!

God’s Perspective on Death

From God’s perspective, "Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints" i.e., the death of His loved ones (Psalm 116:15). He is looking forward to enjoying perfect and eternal fellowship with His blood-bought children, His redeemed!

When John was exiled on the island of Patmos, he wrote, "And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them." (Revelation 14:13)

Heaven is a Prepared Place

Jesus said," … I go and prepare a place for you, and if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again to receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also" (John 14:2; Luke 23:43; 1 Thessalonians 4:17).

John Owen said, "Heaven is a state of deliverance from sin, from all sin, in all the causes, concomitants and effects of it."

Heaven is a place of eternal reunion, a place of eternal relief, a place of eternal rejoicing.

Death, from God’s perspective, is not loss but gain because when a Christian dies, his/her soul departs to a far better place. There is life beyond death’s door.

How Should Christians Prepare for Death?

"O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end." (Deuteronomy 32:29)

Moses, the man of God, said, "Teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom" (Psalm 90:12), that is, that we may know how to live this life, while we are on earth.

Paul said, "And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith."(Galatians 6:9-10; see also 2 Corinthians 4:1; Proverbs 3:27)

In the words of the late Pastor Timothy Tow, "Do something good for Jesus every day; do something good for Jesus wherever you go; and even out of the way."

John Wesley puts it this way: "Do all the good you can, in all the ways you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can."

Conclusion

Let us pray that God would make each one of us aware of the brevity, frailty, uncertainty and fleeting nature of life. Let us learn to number our days. Whether we are young or old, whatever our age, let us realize that our time is running out.

Spurgeon said, "Never fear dying, beloved. Dying is the last, but the least matter that a Christian has to be anxious about. Fear living - that is a hard battle to fight, a stern discipline to endure, a rough voyage to undergo."

Gospel Invitation

For those of you who have not accepted Jesus as your personal Saviour and Lord, may I urge you to do so without delay because this will determine your destiny: Heaven or Hell? Remember, life is short, life is uncertain, life is frail but death is sure. And tomorrow may never come!

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16; see also Romans 5:8)

"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." (Acts 4:12)

"How shall we escape if we neglect (or ignore) so great salvation...?" (Hebrews 2:3a)

"For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" (Mark 8:36) —Elder Khoo Peng Kiat

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TESTIMONIES OF CHURCH CAMP (17 - 20 JUNE 2013)

All glory and praise to God that I had been given the opportunity to co-labour with the Camp Committee members in the organisation of the Church Camp. I thank God that the Committee members and all the campers had been gracious and exercised brotherly/sisterly love with each other -- "Banner over me is love"!!

The Camp Committee members had been reminded of Psalms 100:2(a) (Serve the Lord with gladness) and Romans 12:11 (Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord). While much planning was done, God revealed to us that He is the only One who will ensure its success. I experienced God's guiding hands when a challenge was placed upon the Committee. There was very long delay in the immigration clearance on arrival at Bintan. A cry to God for His mercy and help was answered. On reflection, it reminded me to meditate on Romans 12:12 (Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer). God will challenge me with problem and tribulation, but I must be patient and wait upon Him. Also, I must not use my own strength to solve the problem but to immediately pray and cry to God for deliverance. God has a purpose in all events.

I have been refreshed with the preaching of God's Word from Ephesians 6:10-18 and reminded to put on the whole armour of God. In particular, it is critical to protect the most vulnerable part of our body, which is the head. In verse 17, I was reminded to put on the helmet of salvation, instead of the "helmet of cash and worldly treasures."  I shed tears of joy when my beloved brother, for whom we have prayed for many years, publicly testified that he has also put on the helmet of salvation during the camp. All praise to God for salvation so rich and free! – Dn Mark Heah Eng Siang

I am thankful for the privilege to attend this year’s church camp. It has been a great blessing. Here are a couple of lessons that I have taken away:

1. Who am I fighting? Dr Paul Choo shared that very often Christians fight one another instead of fighting the evil that is without. That point struck me as I saw this in myself. As sinners we come to church with our various dispositions, personalities, leadership styles, temperaments and perspective. Thank God for how He has made us each of us differently. But we desire to do things our way; sometimes, we feel our way is better than others. We learnt at the message that it is far more important for us to battle sin, the devil and the world, instead of striving against one another. A few years ago Pastor Tan Soon Yong reminded us at a church camp from Phi 2:3 “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory: but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves”. Indeed a difficult verse to put into practice! But I’m praying that the Lord would help me, for His sake.

2. Delighting in God’s Word. In message 4, we learnt how to enjoy our time spent with God instead of viewing it as a boring routine. An important point I took away was that whenever we read His Word, God tells us exactly what we need to hear. It is wonderful to have a God who is so personal and cares so deeply for us. I am often guilty of not praying and trusting God enough when I read His Word. But in the days after the camp, I reflected on the intimate relationship I had with Christ and once again rekindled the joy of reading God’s Word. Truly Christ is our Dearest Friend and our Beloved, the Chiefest among ten thousand (Song 5:10,16)! I’m praying that my heart may echo the words of Jeremiah 5:16a: “Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and Thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart”.

Thank God for every lesson He teaches us, for every opportunity to grow closer to Him and to be more like Him. The Lord will perfect that which concerns us (Psalm 138:8). May God be praised for the blessings of this spiritual retreat!    - Russell Indran

I was born and raised in a Christian family. Since young, I constantly thought of ways to escape church because I was more attracted to the things of the world and thought church was uncool. Ever since my Dad went home to the Lord, I skipped church totally.   For the past ten years, I found myself with worldly peers most of the time, gossiping, hanging out and always trying to do things to please men which were very meaningless.  As I recall, even though I laughed much wth my non-Christian friends, I often felt empty when I returned home to my room at night. Leading a life without prayer and doing things not pleasing to God led me further astray from Him. However, my heart was  revived spiritually last year when I was in an overseas exchange programme.  It was the worst period of my life as I encountered many hardships. I blamed God for taking things away from me and not helping me. When I returned to Singapore, flashbacks of my sufferings kept bothering me. I felt so helpless and devastated for many months.  Then my sister brought me back to church and I can say now that I am attending faithfully.  The messages spoke to my heart and made me set aside time for church camp. I was worried I could not adapt to the camp initially because this was my first overseas church camp.  I thank God for the messages. It changed my perspective on many things. Although I am still struggling with my faith and obedience in wearing the armour (obeying God’s Word), at least I know now that God is not just someone up there, but someone whom I can pray and call “Papa” (My father). This is my biggest takeaway from the messages because “calling God Papa” brings me closer to God.   – Jocelyn Teo.  

I would like to thank the organising committee for making this camp a success!  I hesitated joining this year’s church camp due to work commitment, no companion and weariness from fighting my own battles. I felt like a car running on an empty tank - losing the fighting spirit, drained.  Nevertheless, I committed this time to God and initially registered only myself. As the itinerary comes with 2 block of free activities, I invited my husband to join me for a R & R session. Dn Mark Heah contacted me and encouraged me to register my husband Sam as well, as there may be opportunities to share the gospel with him.  By God’s grace, Sam agreed to join.

I had a blessed time catching up with many familiar friends whom I have lost touch. They were delighted to see me and Sam.  The Lord opened Sam’s heart slightly and he attended six messages out of seven.  He shared that Dr Paul Choo’s messages were easy-to-understand manner, even to a non-believer.  Dr Choo has indeed met our needs to make God’s word simple and readily received.  Sam and I enjoyed moments discussing the messages. Praise the Lord!  Many Lifers, friends, elders and deacons warmly welcomed Sam by handshake, greetings, chatting over meals and golf games. These bridge-building efforts have planted the gospel seed into Sam’s heart.  Please pray that Sam will one day receive Christ as his Saviour.  I will continue to pray for his salvation and suit myself with the armour of God’s teaching and patiently wait for His perfect timing.

Dr Paul Choo reminded us that we should be armoured with the right “equipment” to spread God’s word and reach out to and befriend unbelievers, align ourselves with God’s teaching and learn from Jesus’ example.  When I was a teen, I was invited to Life Church and the first visit left a deep impression. I was greeted with a warm smile and a simple “good morning” that warmed my heart on a cool morning service (8am).  After backsliding for many years and being called back by God, I was once again received by good friends in Life church who helped me to re-build a stronger foundation based on God’s word.  Without these little gestures here, little guidance there, I may have backslided once again.  The Lord has been gracious, even after many years of church hopping. I find myself back to Life church and was baptised in 2005 together with my younger daughter.  I have learnt so much from this camp and am so encouraged to brave through these difficult times when I reach Singapore and go back to the routine.  This time it is different: I have God planning ahead of me and all I have to do is to follow.  My faith has been strengthened and rooted to God.  I pray that God will use me as His messenger to reach out to more unbelievers and also to edify our brothers and sisters with God’s love.  -  Elaine Loh

I have learnt six precious lessons from the camp messages:

1.  Battle Footwear Ephesians 6:15 “And your feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of Peace.”  Sharing of the Gospel begins with the feet. We have a journey to take with the non-believers. We have bridges to build and cross, highways to walk with them. What is the preparation for this gospel of peace? I have long since realized that non-believers read our lives (not the Bible) and they love to call Christians “Hypocrites”. We cannot preach a Gospel of Love based upon a life of no love.  We must demonstrate love to them before we can talk of Jesus’ love.  This is especially challenging for me as I live with my family members - (one who has moved away from the Lord and two who are totally resistant to the Gospel).  They read my life closely. Lord, help me to daily build bridges of love with them and that my life will not dishonour you.

2.  My Battle Foe  Ephesians 6:11 “stand against the wiles of the devil.” Ephesians 4:26,27 “Be ye angry, and sin not …  Neither give place to the devil.”  The word whole armour is repeated in verses 11 and 13. It is essential that every piece of my armour is put on, no matter how much effort it requires. This is because my battle foe is the devil, who is wily and knows how to attack any of my weak spot.  I should never give place to the devil. It is common place for couples to quarrel and go to bed angry with each other. Their sleeping position is back facing back, as far as one can possibly go on a double bed.  As a married person, this verse in Ephesians 4 is visually impactful - we give a place to the devil. Yes, the devil will then have a place between me and my spouse putting sinful thoughts in my head throughout the night.  Lord, how wise You are to even give these instructions in Your Word. Please give me strength to put on Your whole armour all the time as my foe is wily.

3. The Helmet of Salvation  (Ephesians 6:17).  Yes, the helmet protects my head from injury and concussion. My head contains my brain, which is a very important part of my whole being.  The brain is my thought centre which controls my every action. I have always thought that as long as I am saved, I do not have to put on this helmet.  Not so…. my helmet of salvation must be put on at all times to have a clear thinking pattern.   My daily thinking pattern must be based on the facts that I am a child of God, that this world that I live in is only temporary and that I am going to spend eternity with God.  Many times my mind is wearing a wrong helmet – helmet of cash, helmet of materialism, helmet of academic success and even helmet of home renovation!!  Lord, am I wearing a wrong helmet? Help my mind always wear the helmet of salvation.

4.  Wearing the Belt of Truth  Ephesians 6:14 “Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth…..”  The belt holds up the pieces of armour. So it has to fit well.  How many times have I told myself to loosen my belt as I eat more and put on weight?  As my belt size grows bigger to fit, I deceive myself into thinking that I have not grown fatter.  In the same way, it is important how I wear this belt of truth.  It is important that I am not adjusting it to fit worldly situations and deceiving myself (James 1:22).  Lord, help me use your truth to honour you.  Help my belt to fit your Word, and not adjusting my belt to fit the World.

5.  Holding Up my Shield.  Ephesians 6:16 “Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.”  The picture of the soldier holding up the large heavy bulky shield of faith tells me that this is difficult to sustain.  Just as doing more repetitions of arm weights brings you to a point of muscle fatigue – causing you to rest.  In our battle with the wicked one, he is firing flaming arrows at me all the time and so I cannot afford to put my shield down.  Lord, you have promised me that my strength is in faith.  My faith is not wishful thinking but is based on your promises. I must daily claim your promises and live according to them.

6.  Wielding the Sword of the Spirit.  Ephesians 6:17 “And take………the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God.”  The sword of the Spirit is the only offensive weapon in God’s armour.  It should give me victory in battle.  It should give me victory in daily life. I should not be struggling with sins of discontentment, worry, impatience, anger, envy, bitterness and the list goes on…  But I am struggling – so where have I gone wrong?  Am I taking up the sword?  It is the sword of the Spirit who is living in me so I have no excuse.  After I take the sword, am I wielding it accurately?  Am I attacking the correct opponent?  Lord, help me daily to take up the sword of the Spirit, wield it accurately and wield it at the correct opponent.  May I live a victorious life of joy, peace and hope.    - Mrs Tan Hui Tin 

Thank God for this year’s church camp, especially for the camp committee’s labour of love to make this camp so enjoyable. I have been touched by the messages that speak of my loving God who wants to have a personal relationship with me.  I am reminded of the need to fight my spiritual battle.  I am always deceived by Satan. I don’t put in the effort to fight the battle because of my distant relationship with God.  I want to re-align my walk with God by working on the sword of the Spirit (reading God’s Word) and examining my life and sins. I  confess and repent of my sins. I want to walk in the truth and closer to my loving and faithful God.   – Evelyn Teo.  

After these four days at camp, I had learnt much from the seven messages given by Dr Paul Choo.  I realized how precious the Word of God is, and how little time I spent studying the scriptures. I must prepare for spiritual warfare by putting on the armour of God.  My biggest takeaway would be to use the only offensive weapon in the armour, the Sword of the Spirit.  I am motivated to be more active in evangelism, and to meet other’s needs before evangelism.  Furthermore, I was inspired to peruse the Word more often, and not just treat Bible reading as a routine.  I particularly enjoyed the refreshing discussions with my peers and church leaders on Christian issues.  Life BPC Church Camp 2013 was an excellent and bountiful time of fellowship and spiritual refreshment, and I certainly look forward to next year’s church camp! – Ryan Lim  

I began to forget the importance of asking questions when I started to think I knew more and more of the Bible. However, at this church camp, I reevaluated that.  Almost every night, Josiah, Ryan Lim and myself who were roommates, would gather a few guys in our room, to discuss what we learnt and ask questions. It was a time of heartwarming fellowship, seeing the younger ones desire to clarify doubts through their questions. I was reminded of how I used to be humble enough to ask simple questions, and then I got puffed up over the years. After mulling over the matter for awhile I decided to pose questions to church leaders that I thought may have been simple and embarrassing to ask.  I felt happy as my understanding of the Christian faith grew.  My learning point was therefore to revive that childlike curiosity that I once had. 

I also remembered the importance of making new friends. Through the years of growing up in church, I tend to form and stick to my own cliques. I once had a burden to befriend newcomers and loners.  The older I grew, the less I desire to fellowship with others who have few friends.  As many of my close friends could not attend camp this year, I realised how antisocial I had become. Hence, I resolved to make new friends at this camp and it was a memorable blessed experience.  I reflected deeply on my walk with God: it was the first camp where I learnt so many lessons, through the messages and the simple, ordinary things around me. All praise be to God who works in wondrous ways! – Theodore Lee  

I thank God for many lessons learnt in this camp. One is the answer to a question that has bugged me for the last few years: how should we relate to youths who attend church but are not interested in Sunday School and worship? The speaker mentioned that Jesus, while He was on earth, “built bridges” by befriending tax collectors, publicans, prostitutes, basically people who were disliked by society and were not interested in God.  Jesus took time to get to know them and met their needs. This act of love touched and prepared their hearts to receive the Gospel of Jesus and the way of salvation.  Since Jesus is our Supreme Example, we ought to imitate Him. We should spend time with these troubled youths, meet their needs and wait for God to open their hearts.   When they see God’s love through us, God-willing, they will be more ready to receive Christ.  They will see that Christianity is love in action, it is real, and we are sincere in reaching them.  When their spiritual appetite is whet, they will enjoy the spiritual food. There is no point force-feeding an unwilling diner.  I pray that I will apply this, and that as a church, we will learn from Jesus’ example to reach out to our unsaved loved ones and friends. Build bridges.      – Chang Hui Chuien

O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. – Psalm 107:1.  The church camp was a heartwarning, fruitful and rewarding experience: from spending time listening to God’s Word being expounded by Dr Paul Choo, to chatting with fellow believers building and mending friendships.  Thank God the messages convicted me of certain bad habits and sins like ‘compartmentalizing God in my life’ and motivated me to study God’s Word.  They reminded me of the times when I trusted in myself and neglected prayer.  I must beware of the wiles of the devil. “Pray without ceasing” – 1 Thess 5:17. With my blackberry, I could not connect to the hotel Wi-Fi system.  It was a blessing in disguise as I was forced to meet people and talk.  I made new friends and enjoyed wonderful fellowship with my room-mates Ryan and Teddy.  Food, jokes and laughter aside, we held edifying nightly discussions, reflecting on the messages, gleaning truths and applying lessons.  Whenever we had unresolved doubts, we asked Rev Seet and Dn Lee.  In our dorm discussions with guys, it was heartwarming to hear views shared by the younger ones.  I enjoyed fellowship with people with whom I have a “hi-bye” relationship, and renewed and strengthened bonds with long-time friends.  Finally, I hope this song encourages you to lead a more prayerful life as it has encouraged me: “Did you ever talk to God above, tell Him that you need a friend to love, Pray in Jesus’ name believe that God answers prayer!”    –  Josiah Tan

Message 5 on Spiritual Growth made the deepest impression on me. I’ve learnt that one cannot preach the gospel of love without having or showing actions of love. One good way is to build bridges by meeting other’s needs. May God help each one of us to be hearers and doers of His Word.  – Ben Tan

Thanksgiving: Thank God for a wonderful, joyful and fruitful Church Camp for my family.  Fellowship: My children spent quality time with their close friends. Iris and I had good time catching up with 'old friends' over meals. During one of the nights I enjoyed a time of sharing and praying with a brother. Service: I feel honored and delighted to be given the opportunity to serve the Lord as chairperson on the second morning's service. Spiritual Feasting: The messages were encouraging, practical and simple to understand.   Physical Fun: This camp was conducted somewhat differently from the previous camps. All campers (young and old) were willing to participate in team games where we enjoyed laughing at ourselves and one another.  Also saw the other (lighter) side of Mr S. C. S.   – Sonny Loe.

Thank God that the camp committee was led to choose “Armoured for Victory” as this year’s camp theme.  The messages were very applicable and reminded me of truths that I needed. Satan often casts doubts in my mind about the truth and reliability of God’s Word.  Being someone who is sceptical by nature, I have fallen so many times into Satan’s trap, doubting God and thus sinning against Him.  While the principle of putting on the whole armour of God was something that I had been trying to do in order to stand against the wiles of the devil, the messages emphasized that God’s Word is entirely true and indeed powerful. I need to cling on to this, and by God’s help, learn to consistently trust and obey His Word and claim His promises. Also, I often seek and ask God for rest from warfare because of weariness and discouragement. But Dr Paul Choo reminded us that the earth is our battleground and hence we must always put on the armour and be prepared for spiritual battle.  Our rest would be in heaven, which is eternal, compared to the temporal trials on earth. It is indeed a challenge to apply all that I’ve learnt because of my rebellious nature and weakness.  But I need to trust God to help me overcome sin and Satan, because Christ lives in me and gives me victory over sin.  – Charmaine Low

I thank God that I can make it for the recent church camp at Bintan. We had high doses of laughter. The Ice-breaker session tickled us first and then through the messages by Dr Paul Choo. We were taught simple truths and reminded of simple actions like smiling when welcoming new visitors to our church.  And I also learnt how every Christian must do his part in putting on the full armour of God.  I am most touched when Dr Choo showed us slides on his mission work. He elaborated that Jesus in his earthly ministry met the needs of sinners and demonstrated His love through his actions. This message confirmed my convictions on mission work.  I thank God for Ps Moses Hahn and his son Timothy, for their efforts to teach me a Korean gospel song “Calling to Mission.”  Ever since I heard this song a few months ago, I have wanted to learn it.  By God’s providence, Ps Moses mobilized a few more campers who knew the Korean language to form a team of 9. We learnt the song, and presented it during the testimonies session on Thursday morning. I am moved by the lyrics “My Father, please send me....”

Lastly, I must not forget the two enjoyable sessions of Ukulele cum Singing Fellowship.  Ibu Roska taught us a new Indonesian song plus an accompanying traditional dance. The sisters are so sporting and thoroughly enjoyed it. My heart is warmed to see the sisters’ enthusiasm to master the ukulele. I loved the beautiful singing of sisters. I believe that a singing Christian is a glowing Christian. May the Lord continue to give us gospel music so that we can share with others.  Finally, I want to thank the camp committee and helpers for their hard work in providing the best to the 440 campers. May all Praise and Glory be unto our LORD!   -  Annie Wong

As a "veteran" who has attended several church camps consecutively in recent years, I can testify that each camp is unique with its special blessings and memories. I learnt that even if I no longer get that "wow" mountain top feeling, the camp messages act like a spiritual thermometer where I do self checks on areas for improvement.  Several key words stuck in my mind for this camp & reinforced the challenges I faced in my walk with God:

(1) It is all about matching my actions (PRACTICE) with my POSITION as a child of God

(2) Forgetting to claim God's PROMISES which has been banked into my account as a child of God.

(3) Building bridges by meeting NEEDS.

(4) It all starts with having the right PERSPECTIVE on reading the bible & prayer.

As a member of God's family, I  have privileges and promises given by God. The armour is given by God as a promise of victory in fighting our battles while on earth. My responsibility is to PUT ON the armour of God (helmet, breastplate, sword, belt, shield, shoes). It is not about me having the knowledge but about my actions (PRACTICE). In other words, be a doer of God's Word, not just a hearer. As a Christian, God promises that we cannot lose our salvation but we will be useless if we don't put on the armour. The armour is not the same as the hedge that God puts around us (e.g. on Job); it is a personal responsibility we put it on ourselves, not something put on us. Often Satan succeeds in casting doubts in my mind and I pray for God to give me spiritual resources to fight my battles when in reality, as a child of God, I forget that God's promises are already banked into my account. I am reminded that I must carry the shield of faith founded on God's promises.

There are many daily battles we need to fight but Dr Paul Choo focused on being soldiers for the Great Commission to tell the gospel. Jesus did not parachute down to preach. Real sharing begins with the FEET, not the MOUTH. Dr Paul Choo used the powerful visual illustration of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples at the Last Supper. His whole ministry was about meeting needs.  He taught the way to evangelise is to first meet needs. Finally, we are to treat bible reading & prayer as special, spending time with and knowing God, and being intimate with God. I thank God for His many wonderful blessings. – Mabel Seah

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1) Greece & Turkey Biblical Tour (6-18 Dec 2013) - registration closes today (30 June). If you’re interested to join this study tour, please contact Dn Lee Hock Chin (9456 2516) to complete the booking form by today.

2) Scripture Memory Verse Review No. 3. A written review exercise of the verses is obtainable at the front counter. Review No. 1&2 are also available for those who missed it. Please submit by 14 Jul 13.

3) Church Staff Employment: The Session is pleased to announce the appointment of bro Russell Indran as Media & Technology Officer (MTO) wef 1 Jul 2013.

4) Catechism Class for Anniversary 2013 Baptism will commence next Sunday, 9.30 am at Rm 5-4, Beulah Centre. Those seeking baptism, reaffirmation of faith and transfer of membership must attend the Catechism Class.

5) ERBL Lectures (Jul - Nov 13) commence on 8 Jul 13. Please complete registration forms and place them in the box, together with payment.

Appointment: Rev Seet at Maranatha BPC, 10.45am and Life Evening Service, 6pm.

Rev Wong departs for London New Life BPC on 4 July 13, EK 433 at 0650 hrs; returning 3 Oct 13.

Vision & Mission

 

To build a united church family that is committed to making disciples through Salvation, Sanctification and Service, to the glory of God.

Verse for the Week

December 3 & 10 - Holy Living

Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, 2 Peter 3:11