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Scripture Memory: Being Frugal.
VERSE : Proverbs 21:20 
"There is treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the wise; but a foolish man spendeth it up."

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O Worship the LORD in the Beauty of Holiness

28 April 2013
9 am Combined Worship Service:
Rev Colin Wong (A Biblical Model of Lay Ministry, Neh 4:6)
6:00 pm Evening Service:
Dn Lee Hock Chin (Christ, the Good Shepherd, Jn 10:1-38)

5 May 2013
8 am & 1045am Worship Service:
Rev Charles Seet (Victory Over Exploitation, Jas 5:1-6)
6:00 pm Evening Service:
Rev Bob Phee (Christ, the True Bread from Heaven, John 6:25-40)

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How to Guide Children Online

I was troubled after reading news articles on the online dangers faced by impressionable children and youths. Parents today struggle to supervise their tech-savvy kids on their smartphones day and night. These articles warn parents of the dangers faced by their children’s excessive exposure to TV and videos, girls’ participation in an Instagram beauty pageant, and children’s unknowingly being trained by casinos to gamble. Technology may be new, but Satan’s ways are not. The Bible does provide timeless principles to guide our children online. Let’s first look at the news articles.

Article 1. "The Child, the Tablet and the Developing Mind," Nick Bilton, New York Times, 31 March 2013. The journalist recounted a restaurant dinner he had with his sister and her two children, four and seven years old. The adults were trying to talk while the two noisy kids fought and argued nonstop. Exasperated, his sister pulled out two shiny iPads. Suddenly the children were quiet, mesmerised by games and videos for an hour, so the adults could eat in peace. But she was worried: "Do you think it’s bad for them?" A study of 19,000 British children found that those who watched more than three hours of television, videos or DVDs a day displayed more behavioural, emotional and relationship problems by the time they were seven years old, than children who did not. A professor explains that meal conversations are valuable lessons for children. Another expert says children develop imagination and creativity by coping with being alone and through conversations with others. Children who spend a lot of time on screen instead of talking are likely to be less creative.

Article 2. "Instagram beauty contests worry parents," Cecilia Kang, Washington Post, 6 April 2013. Instagram is a popular website that allows sharing of photographs among its 30 million users. A recent virtual beauty pageant on Instagram drew entries from thousands of girls, mostly 12 or 13 year olds. Instagram users can post comments and vote on each girl’s appearance. Once a girl’s photo garners a certain number of negative remarks, a big red "X" or "OUT" is scratched across her face. One user even commented that a girl was "UGLY." Many girls were undoubtedly devastated by such cruel social interactions. Teenage girls are particularly sensitive to online comments about them, and seek a quantifiable way of gaining acceptance by getting more "likes." These girls may become targets of online predators.

Article 3. "No one wins when children play with gambling apps", The Daily Telegraph, 1 April 2013. Simulated gambling apps, Slotomania, Zynga Poker and DoubleDown, now account for 13 per cent of all game users on Facebook. A recent Australian government review raised concerns that increasingly more young children are playing blackjack and poker machine games on Facebook. The odds have been inflated to favour the young online player, which may mislead them about the ease of winning. Slotomania, operated and controlled by a subsidiary of casino company Caesars, was the highest grossing app in 2012 at Australia’s iTunes store. These casino-style games, created by casinos, may hook a child to gambling and encourage them to visit the casinos and play for real money.

As I write, news emerged that the April 2013 Boston marathon bombing suspects could have been radicalised online and learnt how to launch terrorist attacks. The Internet provides a cover for a double life, and that’s why their family members and friends were shocked that the suspects whom they described as "nice" and "kindhearted" actually committed the atrocities. Dangers on the Internet are so under-estimated by parents who should be very concerned about their children’s online activities.

What can parents do?

1. Warn your children of online dangers

(a) Danger of online predators. The apostle Paul warns us not to be ignorant of Satan’s devices (2 Cor 2:11). The Internet is a dangerous place. Therefore, we must inculcate cyber safety in our children. Apply Proverbs 22:3: "A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished." Predators and religious extremists constantly trawl the net for simple-minded victims. If you have pre-teen boys and girls, read Proverbs 7:1-27 with them so as to warn them of the dangers of cyber-sex, pornography, adultery and false teachings.

(b) Danger of addictions. The apostle Paul reminds us: "all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any" (1 Cor 6:2). Online addictions are more dangerous than drugs and alcohol, because of their low cost and accessibility. Addicts of video games, social media or pornography become slaves. To overcome temptations, teach children to pray to Christ for grace to help (Eph 6:18; Heb 4:16). If we have trusted in Jesus, His precious blood has washed away our sins and freed us from bondage to sin. Sin has no more dominion over us. The best way to prevent addictions is: don’t even begin. If your child is hooked, immediate pastoral counsel and amputation of every source of temptation (Mt 5:27-30) are needed. Regularly update children with news reports of cybersex, pornography and online gaming addictions, etc.

2. Teach them cyber-safety.

a) Obey online safety rules. Children must be on guard, and not have a false sense of security in their homes by hiding behind online anonymity.

b) Do not dislose online, personal particulars such as address, school, and telephone number. Whenever in doubt, they should ask parents for advice.

c) Obey the law. Remind children to control their emotions on twitter/facebook, especially in response to hate comments from other users. Share with your children news reports of people who broke the law online. For example, a Singapore cartoonist was recently arrested for alleged sedition after posting two cartoons on facebook.

d) Obey God’s law. As believers, we must not only obey the authorities, but also our Holy Judge for every "idle word" (Mt 12:36). Let our online words and actions be edifying, kind (Eph 4:29, 32) and glorifying to God (1 Cor 10:31).

3. Supervise their online activities

(a) Public surfing. To reduce temptation at home, place the computer with Internet access in the living or study room. Disallow smartphones in toilets.

(b) Time limit. Some children spend much time online because parental supervision is lax or absent. Parents should steer children away from TV, video games or smartphones by cultivating an interest in sports, hobbies and reading. Spend family time reading Bible stories, singing and praying.

(c) Password. Before opening online accounts, agree with pre-teens that they should disclose their password to parents. The purpose is not to invade their privacy, but to protect children from potential harm. Teach your children to impose self-discipline before posting comments. Knowing parents can read their postings will help them think before writing. We cannot be ‘helicopter’ parents hovering over them 24/7. They must learn to fear an all-seeing God. When they have proven to be responsible, more freedom can be given.

4. Love them with God’s Love.

(a) Do not discourage them. Fathers may provoke children to anger (Col 3:21) and discourage them by harsh, critical comments. Children may then seek escape from an unpleasant home or affection from peers or friends online. Parents need to balance correction with praises and love.

(b) Love them unconditionally. When parents say, "if you don’t get straight As, mommy/ daddy will not love you anymore," kids feel insecure as parental love is based on their performance. God assures us and demonstrates His love (undeserved) towards us in that while we were still sinners, Jesus Christ died for us (Rom 5:8). Demonstrate the same unconditional love to your children. When they sin and repent, forgive them and teach them to ask God for forgiveness as promised (1 Jn 1:9). If you love your children, spend time with them, instead of indulging them with expensive tech gadgets.

5. Help them find their identitity in Christ alone.

(a) Challenges of adolescence. A teenager who is sandwiched between childhood and adulthood, struggles to find his identity in a confusing world, while learning social norms and Christian values. Some teens go astray because the pull of the sensual world is much greater. They mimic popular teen idols and fashions. They may know biblical principles, but do not obey God because they do not yet have a relationship with Jesus Christ as their Saviour and Lord. Nevertheless, we imperfect parents must still strive to live a godly life, and pray that the Holy Spirit will open our children’s hearts to receive and follow Christ. Encourage kids to grow in spiritual maturity by putting away childish games (1 Cor 13:11).

(b) Love not the world, for the worldly lusts of the flesh, lusts of the eyes and pride, are not of the Father (1 Jn 2:15-16). A friend of the world is an enemy of God (James 4:4). Believers must flee lusts (2 Tim 2:22) and not indulge in Internet and TV programmes that portray the lustful love of the world.

(c) Love Christ more (Lk 10:27) and love self (and the world) less. Find contentment and joy in Christ alone (Ps 16:11 and 1 Tim 6:6,8). God must increase, I must decrease (Jn 3:30). As disciples of Christ (Lk 9:23), we must deny self, take up our cross daily, and follow Christ. We are created in the image of God to glorify and have fellowship with God. Our life-long goal is to be Christ-like (Rom 8:29).

Ultimately parents must model Christlike life and godly contentment, love their children biblically in order to help them safely navigate through not just cyberspace, but to live holy lives in an unholy world. — Dn Lee Hock Chin

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Vacation Bible School 2013 
(5-7 June, Wed to Fri)

"Happiness is the Lord!" (Luke 15:10)

Registration is now open for all N2-P4 children.
Helpers (teachers/logistics/games) are needed. Please avail yourself to serve (Titus 3:8).

Registration forms for children and helpers are available at the front of the Sanctuary. Registration may also be done online at www.lifebpc.com/vbs. Sign up now! Closing date: 12 May.

CONTACT: Russell Indran at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 9188-9980.

Note: VBS Staff briefing at MPH for all helpers on 19 May 2013, 12.30pm to 3pm (lunch provided). Attendance is compulsory.

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ERBL SEMINAR

The Art and Science of Understanding the Bible by 
Dr Edward Paauwe

24-29 June 2013 (Mon-Sat)
8.30 am-1.00 pm (Mon - Fri)
7.30 pm-9.30 pm (Mon, Wed, Thu & Fri)

Details are available at www.lifebpc.com. Complete registration forms and place them in the box, together with payment.

Closing date: 15 May 13.

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ERBL LECTURES (JUL-NOV 13) : Expanded to Day Lectures!

Day Time Course Lecturer

Mon 7.30 - 9.30 pm OT Survey I Rev Charles Seet

Tue 10 - 12.00 pm Basic Greek I Rev Ho Chee Lai

Wed 10 - 12.00 pm Ten Commandments Rev Charles Seet

Thu 10 - 12.00 pm 1 Corinthians Rev Isaac Ong

7.30 - 9.30 pm NT Survey I Rev Ho Chee Lai

Fri 10 - 12.00 pm Christian Education Rev Dr Jack Sin

Closing date for ‘Early Bird Discount’ of $5 is 9 Jun 13. Lectures begin on 8 Jul 13. Please complete registration forms and place them in the box, together with payment.

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1) Life B-P Church Camp, 17-20 June 2013 at Bintan Lagoon, Indonesia. On-line registration at the church website, www.lifebpc.com. Registration forms are also available at the front entrance for those who have no internet access. Love gifts to defray the cost are welcome. Registration closes on 12 May 13.

2) 2013 Combined B-P Youth Conference. Fri, 24 May 13. 9.15am-4pm. Beulah Centre. "The Crossroad" by Rev Mathews Abraham. Lunch will be provided. Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..http://tinyurl.com/bpyouth2013.

3) Gideon Chia and family would like to thank the church for their support in attendance, prayers, gifts, and condolences during the demise of his grandmother, Boey Ah Miew (85 yrs) on 19 Apr 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

October 15 & 22 - The Cost of Discipleship

For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. Matthew 16:25