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Scripture Memory: Living Wisely
Psalm 90:12 
"So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom."

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O Worship the LORD in the Beauty of Holiness

8 January 2012
8 am & 10.45am Worship Service:

Rev Colin Wong (Are You Wasting Your Life? Lk 15:11-32)
6:00 pm Evening Service:
Rev Quek Keng Khwang (Secrets to Spiritual Growth, Col 1:9-14)

15 January 2012
8 am & 10.45am Worship Service:

Rev Quek Keng Khwang (Are You Growing? Mat 13:3-8,18-23)
6:00 pm Evening Service:
Rev Charles Seet (Who’s Number 1 in Our Lives? Col 1:15-20)

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LTF CAMP TESTIMONIES

THE Lively Teens Fellowship (LTF) Camp is an annual affair, which many teens eagerly anticipate. This year, the Lord blessed us with approximately 80 campers, 10 Young Adult/Adult Leaders (to lead group discussions), and a team of F&B Ladies. We thank God for each one of them and believe that God has a special purpose for bringing each teen to the camp.

The camp committee chose the theme "Living for Jesus" for this year’s camp. Many teens struggle to put God above the many pleasures the world offers, and ever too often they succumb to the temptation of placing fun, studies, and friends above Him. Indeed, the theme "Living for Jesus" posted a challenge to those who had not yet dedicated their lives to God, and caused many others to reflect on whether or not they had truly been living for Him after accepting Him as Lord and Saviour.

Rev Philip Heng delivered God’s Word from the book of James, teaching many practical and pertinent lessons on how we ought to live for Jesus. We also had a workshop on the boon and bane of technology by Aunty Charlene, where the teens were given Biblical guidelines on how to use social networking websites for God’s glory. We thank God that the lessons were presented in a manner which all the teens could understand and relate to despite the extremely wide age range of 11-17 year olds!

On the last night of camp, the camp committee gathered to reflect on God’s goodness and gave thanks to Him. There was truly much to be grateful for! The Lord had provided so many enthusiastic campers, sufficient leaders to minister to both the younger and older ones, effective and animated speakers, good weather for every outdoor activity, and not forgetting the faithful F&B ladies who prepared sumptuous meals for us! Most of all, the Lord worked in the hearts of the campers, causing His children to dedicate or re-dedicate their lives to Him. Many of the campers can now sing our camp theme song with resolve and sincerity. As the chorus goes,

O Jesus, Lord and Saviour,

I give myself to thee;

for thou, in thine atonement,

didst give thyself for me;

I own no other master,

my heart shall be thy throne,

My life I give, henceforth to live,

O Christ for thee alone.

We ask that you join us in praying for the teens, that these words will always be their heart’s desire and commitment to God – not a resolution made based on an emotional high. May the Lord grant you a burden for the teens and touch your heart too as you read the testimonies by the campers. To God be the glory! –Rebecca Tan

John Lee (17 years old) - Camp Commandant

The rainbow has long been a symbol of God’s promise to man, but recently those who attended the LTF Camp have found rain to be a symbol of His sovereignty. Someone shared that the weather forecast for the week of the camp showed that it would rain every single day, but not once did the rain disrupt our plans. Whether it was games, or the caroling outing to Ling Kwang Home, the weather was a testament to the fact that God was watching over us and guiding us.

My heart was filled with thanks throughout the camp. I knew I was an unworthy servant, as were the rest of the camp committee and anyone else who was serving in the camp. Because of that I easily lapsed into doubting God. I doubted that He could keep all of us safe; I doubted that He could control the weather, and I doubted that He could change lives. My prayers were never fully in faith that He would be in control and that His will would be done. It was because of this that James 1:6 turned out to be such a rebuke: "But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed." I was that double-minded man! But I thank God for His tremendous mercy in showing me and the rest of us who were at the camp that while we might fail Him, He will never fail us.

It was not just the weather that I worried about; I was worried about being able to keep the younger campers under control (we had many 11 and 12-year-olds this year). But thank God for giving Becky and myself the strength to be stern with them when we needed to. He knew that it was not natural for us to have to lecture them, but He gave us the strength when we needed it the most. It turned out that though we doubted God, He really changed the hearts of some of the younger ones during the camp.

I had my worries about the caroling outing too: Would we reach there safely? What if the elderly do not like our singing and get bored? What if the campers refuse to sing properly? What if the buses did not arrive? But all these worries melted away as I saw the faces of the elderly light up at the sound of our voices. Indeed, I believe God touched the lives of some of them, and opened their heart to the gospel. I was even more surprised at how God worked when I heard many campers sharing that they learnt much through the outing: how they ought to respect the elderly, how they ought to treasure their grandparents, and even how they ought to spend their time wisely – because they could one day be living in an old folks’ home!

But all these worries could not compare to my greatest worry: that the campers would not grow spiritually from the camp. At the start of camp I set out two objectives for the campers: 1. To grow spiritually, and 2. To make new friends. I knew that given enough time they would warm up to each other and start friendships, but deep down inside I knew that without the work of the Holy Spirit, none of the campers would grow spiritually. I was deeply concerned that many of them were not saved, or were not assured of their salvation. As the words of the hymn go,

I would the precious time redeem,

And longer live for this alone,

To spend, and to be spent, for them

Who have not yet the Saviour known.

Spurred on by the words of this hymn, I endeavoured to spend, and to be spent, for them: all 80 campers who attended the camp. I did not know how I would be used, but I trusted that God would use me if I would only let Him.

This final, aching worry finally vanished on the last night of camp. The time was open for the campers to share their testimonies of God’s goodness towards them during camp, and how He convicted them of sin. It was at this blessed time that God sent forth His Spirit to move many to come forward and share. Some shared of how wretched they were in the sight of God, and how they desired to come back to Him. Others shared of how they were initially reluctant to come to the camp, but God changed their hearts in the process. More shared of how God led them through the year and did not give up on them. I could not thank God enough for the work He had done in our midst. I was truly at a loss for words at the end of the session, and I could only direct the campers to the song "My Tribute", which really said all I wished to say:

How can I say thanks

For the things You have done for me –

Things so undeserved

Yet You give to prove Your love for me?

The voices of a million angels

Could not express my gratitude –

All that I am and ever hope to be,

I owe it all to Thee.

To God be the glory,

To God be the glory,

To God be the glory,

For the things He has done.

Nathaniel Goh (16 years old) - Logistics Head

This was my first year serving in the camp committee as the Logistics Head, and though I had prior experience working as one of the Logistics subcommittee members during previous camps, the task of being Logistics Head was completely new to me. When I first agreed to be the Logistics Head for this year’s camp, admittedly I agreed almost entirely out of a sense of obligation because as we all know, it’s really hard to turn someone’s request down, especially when you don’t have a good reason to. Thankfully my reason for service changed after the Leaders’ Retreat camp which reminded me of what ought to be the reason for service which is because ‘I love Him, and want to do His will because we live only to glorify God’. Through understanding this, my perspective of service had changed and I had a greater and stronger motivation for my service, which resulted in me starting to take my work seriously and be more on task, and I thank God for this.

Besides that I also thank God for overseeing the smooth running of the camp. Through it, I really experienced first-hand that God provides. For the most part of preparations, I was fretting over the lack of sub-committee members. However, although I thought we had few people on the job for night-cleaning, we managed to pull through the first night and we finished quite quickly. But I realized in the morning that most of those who stayed up to clean-up at night could not maintain their consciousness of mind in the morning! Thus I realized that we probably couldn’t last the whole camp with the manpower we had, which was quite worrying…

But God’s providence showed, as help came. Two campers, John Law and Yen Khey, volunteered to help out with the night-cleaning, and their assistance proved to be a great help. John is and has always been enthusiastic to help, and he was a big assistance as well as encouragement to me. As the logistics head I feel rather guilty, as most of the time, it was John who was doing the most work, even more than me! And I must also thank some of the camp committee members who stayed up to help out with the cleaning in spite of the fact that they had to wake up early for their prayer session. Through all this, I can confidently proclaim that without God’s providence and help, the camp would not have been as smooth as it was, and through this experience I could really see God’s providing hand working.

Jamie Tan (14 years old)

I thank God for my first opportunity to serve in the games committee this year. It was really a different experience from the previous times when I attended LTF camp because I was serving in camp this year!

With regard to games, I want to thank God for holding the rain. The week before, I went to check the weather forecast and was quite disappointed as the forecast for whole week was thunderstorm. But though it did rain during the camp, the sky was clear when we played games. PRAISE GOD!

During the camp messages we learnt from the book of James. I realized that the most important thing I need to correct is to control the tongue. I tend to just let my tongue roll and say stuff without thinking. I’m sure this is something that most people face too. And the worst thing is that we actually don’t realize it hurts others and this brings a very bad name to our Christian testimony. After the camp I made a resolution to control my tongue and really take action! I didn’t expect that the very next day, God had already prepared a test for me. My mom was reminding me about stuff and my natural self would have shouted back at her because I get annoyed when I hear her nag. But I remembered what I learnt in LTF camp, so I controlled my tongue and replied "okay". And the usual expected scolding did not come. It felt really different and I thank God for helping me to do it. Without Him, I would have remained as the same unchanged person.

The thing that impacted me most came during the night game. The game was about an underground church. The pastor would find a room as the church and in order to get in, we had to say the password at the door. There were 3 missionaries who spread this password to "the Christians". As the majority of the campers were "the Christians", their aim was to get into the underground church to worship God. While doing so, guards would go around to persecute the Christians and question them about their faith. During that process the Christians were to share their testimony to the guards and if it was not convincing, they would be sent to jail where there would be further questioning. Since I was in the games committee, I was a guard. So my job was to question them about their faith and get them to tell me their testimony. I found that many of the questions I threw at them were questions that I could barely answer. And when they could not answer me, I would shout at them. I felt really bad after that. I felt like a hypocrite.

After the games, I was wondering if this were a real life situation, what would I do? I was thinking, would I give my faith away? If you look at our camp theme song, Living for Jesus, at verse 3, the third line says "willing to suffer affliction and loss". I was honestly not sure if I would be willing. The chorus says, "O Jesus Lord and Savior, I give myself to thee". I wasn’t sure if I could fully surrender my whole self to God. Usually when I sing this song, I would sing it with no meaning but now I know that I have to put God at the throne of my heart. So now when I sing this song, I want to sing it, Living for Jesus!

Johannah Koh (15 years old)

I thank God that I was given the opportunity to serve in the camp committee as logistics assistant leader, where I have learnt much about service to God. Serving in logistics was physically and mentally strenuous for me. Every day, the logistics crew would have to stay up till past midnight to accomplish the mission of cleaning the toilets, sweeping the floors, clearing the dustbins, etc. Accompanying this, was the short hours of rest each day, sleeping late at night and waking up early in the morning for prayer sessions. It was this fatigue that tempted me several times during the camp to complain or to give excuses to be inattentive to the speakers.

Nevertheless, the Word of God shared by Becky the night before the camp started reminded me that intimacy with God should be above tiredness and that spending time with God was of greater importance as compared to service. Luke 10:42 "But one thing is needful; and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her." By God’s grace, I was strengthened each day and given both the physical strength to continue in my service and the mental strength to give attention to God’s Word throughout the camp.

I also thank God for the courage to share my testimony at Ling Kwang Home. I was very afraid before I spoke. Being the nervous type, I couldn’t imagine myself speaking before a huge group of people. I prayed to the Lord and I thank God for comforting me with His Word in Philippians 4:6 "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God." God took away my fear by providing people whom I could talk to on my way to Ling Kwang Home. I was really amazed by the courage that God had given me to speak. It was truly by God’s grace that I was able to share my testimony there.

I have learned much from the night game too. When the game started the first thing I knew was that I was caught and sent to ‘jail’. I was so fearful of the ‘jailors’ that I completely forgot about God’s goodness to me and only thought of how to please the ‘jailors’ at that point of time. I realized how weak I was in the face of persecution and it reminded me that there are Christians around the world facing the same thing too, most probably even harsher than what I went through. But these Christians live up to their faith – doers, not just hearers of the Word. I had the experience of putting myself in the shoes of those persecuted Christians and I am very encouraged by them to stand up for my faith and to live for Jesus in whatever situation I am in, fearing God rather than man. "Living for Jesus, wherever I am, doing each duty in His Holy Name; wiling to suffer affliction and loss, deeming each trial a part of my cross."

I thank God for His Word in James 1:6, "But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed." I have seen how God answered prayers during the camp. God held back the rain and provided good weather during games and caroling. It was encouraging to see God’s Hand working so mightily through the camp. In addition, I thank God for all the testimonies shared during Special Night, as they were really encouraging to me. They showed me how God worked in the lives of many and brought them out from their miseries and troubles. Indeed, God is a Great and Almighty God who would hear us every time we pray in faith. Praise be to the Lord!

John Law (17 years old)

I really want to thank God for everything in my life. If I remember correctly, this LTF Camp is my sixth one. What I want to thank God for is that he allowed me to serve in the camp F&B sub-com which was the first time in the six years I was in LTF. I thank God for Aunty Stephanie who has just joined LTF this year as the second adult leader apart from Uncle Ching Wah. She called me on Wednesday, the week before the camp as I was working in church to ask me if I could serve in the F&B sub-com with Esther Toh and Lois Quek. I said "Yes" immediately as I always wanted to serve and help in the LTF Camp. However, this may be my last LTF Camp as I’ll be 18 years old next April but I really hope to come back to serve in next year’s camp.

The purpose for my coming to this camp was really to learn and understand more of God’s Word and achieve more proper friendships and have godly fellowship with fellow Christians. But most importantly I wanted to help look after the younger campers and be an example to them as a big brother to them and serve whoever needs my assistance. I came to this camp wanting to thank God for seeing me through my ‘N’ levels year, as He has wonderfully given me the courage and wisdom to pull through since the start of this year. Through the trial and hardship I’ve gone through this year and all the years since Primary 1, I really want to thank God, as the name my parents chose for me means "God is Gracious". This shows that our names are not chosen in vain and it gives life, hope and meaning as God is very real in our lives.

I also want to thank God for all the people that He has blessed me with and who have helped me in my studies, and in my physical and spiritual life. Many people have been very gracious to me and have loved and cared for me even when I was very violent (in primary school), playful and not attentive in class (in Church or in school when I was in primary school). So I thank God once again and will continue to serve Him until the day the Lord comes back, whatever the cost, come sunshine or rain. He has done so much for me that I am willing to surrender my life to Him and trust Him as I’ve trusted Him in this ‘N’ levels year.

I’ll be joining the catechism class on 1 Jan next year as I’ve learnt in the camp that the tongue is an unruly evil and it can destroy many souls. To be saved, one must confess the sins that one has committed and repent sincerely. I also want to obey God so I decided to go for the catechism class to reaffirm my faith in the Lord as my parents had brought me for infant baptism so I want to declare my faith publicly. I also ask God to remove all the sins that I’ve done in the past and focus on God who is the most gracious and forgiving God who will never leave nor forsake us in times of trial and trouble.

May this testimony be a blessing to all who read to see that God is real in our lives and He is with us wherever we go and whatever we do. Our lives are short. One of the notes the camp speaker gave to us shows that the 70 years given to us by God is only 25,600 days and when we are 18 years of age (I will be 18 next April) that means one quarter of our life is gone. I need to number my days and serve the Lord to my fullest until my death comes or until Jesus comes again to bring Christians to be with Him in glory forever as He had promised us 2000 years ago.

Esther Toh (16 years old)

I really thank God for the opportunity for me to attend and serve in this camp. I have learnt a lot from it especially through the messages by Rev Philip Heng. He showed us through God’s Word how we could live for Jesus in our daily lives. One of the things that impacted me the most was the strong reminder that living for Jesus means that I have to give my life, body and soul entirely to Him and that there is no ‘time out’ from being a Christian as we are all servants to our Master, God himself. I have also learnt that it is wrong to be half-hearted or two-souled when we look to God but instead, we should trust the Lord with pure faith as "a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways" (James 1:8).

During the night games, God helped me to realize how much He had done for me and how He had been with me through the trials I had faced, as He had promised in His Word. It also caused me to reflect on the past year and revealed to me how I’ve at times taken all these for granted. Through this camp, God has shown me that we should never have a reason to ever stop counting our blessings and praising Him for His boundless grace towards us as He has truly done so much for us.

Jedidiah Koh (12 years old)

As this was my first time going for the LTF camp, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had just returned from a different camp and did not want to lose another week of my holidays on another one, but I felt God compelling me to sign up. I guess it was just a fear of being haunted by my conscience that caused me to give in. However, it was not a waste of time as God has blessed me richly throughout the camp. I had a dorm leader who would throw thought-provoking questions at us during devotions. On the first night, he asked us why we were at this camp. Were we forced to go, or were we truly eager to learn more about God?

On the third night, we played a game of underground church. It was a representation of how it was like during the persecutions of the Christians with a slight twist—we were not killed. If caught by a guard, we would either have to share a testimony or answer questions posted to us. The second time I was caught, the guard asked me what was church to me. I answered that it was a place to praise and worship God and learn more about Him, but as I went to sleep that night, I pondered over whether that was really true to me. I realized that church was like a weekly activity on my things-to-do list. I was convicted of my attitude towards attending church.

Throughout the camp, I have learned much about God and how to live for Him. I am looking forward to coming again next year.

Meilina (13 years old)

I was drawn away from God. I stopped praying and I stopped spending time with Him. I was drawn away from Him for months. I didn’t know why I stopped, but every time when I thought of going back to Him, I couldn’t do it. God was helping me too, by appearing in my mind and reminding me to go back to Him, but things that were distracting me made me chose the other way. Even though I felt guilty every night when I thought of the day, I didn’t do anything about it. And I realized it’s really hard to go back to Him.

But during camp, Rev Philip Heng talked about returning to God. And I know that I need to go back to Him. So I prayed and repented of my sins. And when I was doing that, I actually found myself very guilty of treating God like a nobody for months, for forgetting Him like He was someone who is not important at all. And I realized I’ve used my tongue in many false ways. Sometimes when I got very angry, I couldn’t control my tongue and would say things I shouldn’t say, and in the end, I hurt the person I was angry with. Rev Philip Heng reminded me to make the right decisions too. And I’ve chosen to live for Jesus.

I know that it’s difficult to give up chasing dreams and it’s difficult to do everything in God’s will, but I know that nothing is impossible with God. I thank God that I’ve finally returned to Him. I hope that I’ll continue to spend time with him and also continue to pray without ceasing. But most of all, I want to thank Him that I’ve made the right choice to live for Him.

Kimberly Yeap (14 years old)

This year’s LTF camp was very meaningful as it was very applicable to me. It has helped me see myself for what I am and taught me how to live for Jesus.

The most important thing I learnt is that the tongue is evil. James 3:10 says that "Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be." I must confess that sometimes I do not use my tongue wisely. At times, I can argue with my sisters and yet say nice things to others. I also learnt that I should control my tongue and although James 3:8 says that "the tongue can no man tame"; I believe we can control it with God’s help.

Another thing I learnt in camp was that life is very uncertain and we do not know when we will die. James 4:14 says, "Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away." The next verse continues to say that if it were God’s will for us to live, we will live. This has taught me to thank God for every day I live.

Not only were the messages enriching, so were the games. During the night games, we were to pretend to be members of an underground church. We had to find where the church was as well as the password to get into the church. This game taught me to really put my faith in God. I realized then that my fear of men was greater than my fear of God and that was probably one of the reasons why I was the first person in jail. I was put in jail three times. However, I was still not able to get to church. As I was about to give up hope of ever finding the church, God sent us a missionary and we were finally able to get to church.

At the end of the camp, Rev Philip Heng asked several questions and that was when I decided to rededicate my life to Jesus as I was not living the way he would have wanted me to. This year’s camp has taught me a lot of things and I want to thank God for letting me attend the camp this year.

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EMMANUEL REFORMED BIBLE LECTURES

Time: 7.30 pm – 9.30 pm

Venue: Beulah House, 10 Gilstead Road.

Mondays: Biblical Defence for a Reasonable Faith (Rev Jack Sin)

Thursdays: The Unfolding Drama of Redemption (Rev Ho Chee Lai)

Lectures begin on 9 Jan 12.

Please complete registration forms available at the reception counter and place them in the box, together with payment.

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1) Membership Roll Update Exercise: If you are a member of Life B-P Church, please fill the form and put it in the box at the church entrance.

2) Catechism Class for Easter Baptism on 8 April 2012 at Beulah Centre Rm 5-4, 9.30 am. Those seeking baptism, reaffirmation of faith and transfer of membership must attend the Catechism Class.

3) Australia Orientation Meeting 2012. Where: Greek and Hebrew Room, 9A Gilstead Road, Singapore 309063. When: 21 Jan 12 (Sat), 10am - 12 pm. Others: Info session, Fellowship, Refreshments.

4) Church Camp this year will be held from 11 - 14 June 2012 at Nirwana Resort, Bintan. Speaker: Pastor Tan Soon Yong. Apply for annual leave to attend this spiritual feast. Look out for more details on the camp and registration.

5) Lost Item! A member left his Canon digital camera in the sanctuary. Please contact the church office 6594- 9399 if you know its whereabouts.

6) Congratulations to Mr & Mrs Daniel Tay Chee Kiong for the gift of a baby boy, Bennett Tay, on 31 Dec 11. Please pray for wisdom and strength as they bring up their child in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ.

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