Friday, 27 March 2015

What are you passionate about? By Christine Pang Loo Yit dated 22.3.15

Christine Pang is from Pahang but she lives in Kuantan. She came from a family who practise ancestors worship.  At seven years old she went to a Christian school where she was exposed to Christianity.  By 18 years old she became a Christian. She was working as an account clerk, but she had a call from God.  John 6:27 – inspired her. God asked us not to work for foods that will spoil but to work for foods that endure for eternal life.  At age 23 years she joined Logos.  In 991 she joined OMF and had her first mission to the Philippines. Later she went to Macau.
She said if you are passionate about something you will spend time and effort towards that goal.  E,g if you are keen on environment you will go green.
Act 6:1-7 Story of Philip
1.       Ordinary yet extra ordinary – full of the Holy Spirit.
The above passage was about the Grecian Jews complaining about the Hebraic Jews that their widows were not taken care of.  So the 12 disciples arranged for various people to have different responsibilities.  Philip was assigned with the group to spread the Word because he was full of faith and the Holy Spirit.  Just like him we must be passionate for God.
2.       Out of comfort zone brought outstanding outreach.
Act 8:4 – the disciples were persecuted, they were scattered but while there they spread the Gospel.  Simon the magician thought he could buy the Holy Spirit.  But the Holy Spirit is not for sale, the Holy Spirit is free for all.  Simon was converted.
3.       On your mark go – Acts 8:26
Are you passionate about being Spirit led?  Acts 8:26 Philip was led by the Spirit to go to Gaza where he met the Ethiopian eunuch. He was reading Isaiah which was talking about Jesus but he could not understand.  Philip explained to him and converted and baptised him.
Tips on evangelism
A.      Gospel calls for understanding
B.      Spirit brings illumination
C.      Point them to Jesus, His Good News
D.      Fulfil Jesus’s Great Commission
(Matthew 28:18-20) baptise and teach them to obey God’s commands.
My Last Four Years in Macau
1st May 2010 – 31st Aug 2014
After her mission to Philippines, she went home to start a Chinese church in her home church.  After that she was sent by OMF to Macau.  She was sent to a Cantonese speaking church.  She struggled because of her broken Cantonese with Malay word influenced.  But by grace of God she used the method of teaching to her mum into good use there.  She was asked to be a Bible teacher in Pui Ching School where she taught English to form 2 and form 4 students.  She was well liked and did a good job there.  In her other ministry she met people from China and she helped some of them to be Christians.
She also had the opportunity to meet Vietnamese house helpers in Macau.  She met Ah Dong a leader of the Vietnamese, and through her work many also came to know the Lord.  Another Vietnamese Ping Onn was converted and she shared to lead others to Christ.  A Pastor of Zion church there was keen on helping the Vietnamese and through his church many Vietnamese were ministered to.
She met Thelma an 80 years old Christians who has been residing in Macau for 20 years.  Her ministry was distributing Christian tracks to people.  Christine saw that her track was useful and she wanted to use it but she did not know how to convey this to Thelma.  One day Thelma called and offered her the copy right if she could produce 10,000 copies in Vietnamese.   She did not have to pay for them.  Christine agreed but wondering how she was going to achieve that goal.  God was graceful and He brought several Vietnamese some in US, some in Macau to work on this project.  Christine met a Vietnamese Christian in Macau who is familiar with IT as well as printing.  Finally the tracks were produced.  Praise God!  These will be given out to Vietnamese in Macau, Malaysia and other countries.

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

FBC Focus 2015 - Witnessing by Song Ting Kee dated 8.3.15

Bible passage 1 King 18:16-40 the story about Elijah challenging to see whose God was real by praying for the sacrificed bulls to be burnt.  Bro. Song said he chose this passage because we are talking about witnessing.  Was Elijah witnessing?  Indeed he was.  He was witnessing to the non believer about the true God.  His name means "Lord is my God". He called upon God to bring fire to the sacrificed bulls and God sent fire to burn them up. As opposed to the Baal, their gods did not respond at all.  Elijah was witnessing his whole life.  His very name bear witness.

Acts 1:5-8

Jesus told His disciples that they will be witnesses to the ends of the earth. His disciples were asked to be His witnesses.

Acts 2:32

God raised Jesus from the dead and His disciples were witnesses.

Story of a student

Bro. Song met a student recently and asked her what she has learned after 4 and half years.  She said she became a Christian after her friend witnessed to her.  Her life has changed, now she is more patient and she has many friends in church. Bro. Song had shared with her earlier but she became a Christian via some one else.

Billy Graham
Bro. Song shared that he and his wife had their honey moon in 1978 attending Billy Graham crusade in Singapore where they experienced great anointing and witnessing by Billy Graham. He has spoken to 215 million people in 185 countries. During this Crusade they met a form four student from Kuching who is now a senior pastor in a local church. We can see the power of witnessing here.

Johnny Ang

Johnny is also known as Hallelujah Ang. He is also known as "Anytime pastor" because of his willingness to share the Gospel with any one any time.  Bro. Song got to know him in a meeting and has since got him to share his testimony with the students. He was a former businessman who failed in business and contemplated killing his family and himself. He has 9 children.

An Associate Professor

According to this Associate professor, you need to be a significant person to some body who is not your family members.  You must spend a long time with this person to share and influence him.  To make a difference in his life.  We need to do this intentionally.  Not "touch and go" like how Bro. Song explained this.

If we desire to be with God, He is more than willing to give us, heal us, and restore us.  As another example of how he and his wife influenced a neighbor's children, he said at one time they brought their neighbor's children to church for 9 years.  After they were grown they became Christians.  Praise God!

If we have been loved by God, helped by God, naturally for us to talk about Jesus to others.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

FBC Focus 2015 – Compassionate Heart by Dr. Tiong Tung Hui dated 1.3.15

Opening Prayer
We have read about the persecution of Christians in the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere.  We also read of the kidnapping of about 200 Christians in Syria by ISIS.  In light of all these events, Dr. Tiong started with a prayer for all persecuted Christians in all these places.
FBC Mission
One part of this mission statement talks about compassion for the marginalized and unreached in Sarawak.  It is this part that Dr. Tiong’s sermon will cover.
Profile of compassionate heart
In FBC profile of a disciple, there is also a section on how to have a compassionate heart.
Dr. Tiong expressed that personally he also needed help in this area and said he may not be the right person to share on this subject.  He felt that he also needed help in showing compassion to others.  He said he is also a learner.  Our world is not a compassionate one, e.g people are cruel, there are injustice everywhere and many are taken advantage of.  In the Bible we are asked to be salt and light to the world.  At times Dr. Tiong wondered how this should be done.  He said thankfully FBC is known in the Christian circle to be a Church with compassion.  He thanked all Brothers and Sisters for doing their part.
Compassion is to be moved inwardly, to feel inwardly so as to understand the others.  Compassion in Greek is splagchnizomai.
If we look into the Scripture there passages calling us to be compassionate, to love others, and to be sympathetic to others.  These seem to be the major themes of the Scrpiture.  There are several thousand verses about being marginalized.  In the first three Gospel, 10 % of the verses talked about the poor. In the Gospel of Luke, one in seven of it talks about the poor.
The Central theme of the Gospel
Matthew 22:37-39
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
It is a command to be compassionate.  However, it is easier said than done.
We are to look after those who are in need.  If we ignore those who are needy we are ignoring God as it is His command that we do so.
Who are the people in God’s heart?
There are two groups of people.
Group 1
The sick, needy, poor, orphans, and widows.
There are many stories in the Bible covering what Jesus and His disciples did for these people.
John chapter 4 – The story of the Samaritan woman Jesus spoke to.  The Samaritans were hated by the Jews, yet Jesus showed her love and compassion.
Matthew 15 – Jesus feeding the four thousand people.  He showed compassion to them as they were hungry.
Mark 1:40-42 – The story of the leper who asked to be healed.  Jesus showed compassion for him and healed him.
Acts 3:6 – How Peter healed the crippled.
Group 2
The second group are people who are lost and they are drawn away from Christ. 
The Great Commission gives us motivation to share the Gospel with these people.
Galatians 6:10
10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
Our Response
How should we response to the call to be compassionate?
We are to pray for ourselves especially that our hearts to be soften to obey God’s command to be compassionate to the less fortunate and needy.  That our hearts be tender to help these people.
Be Involved
We do not have to create any new ministry to get involved.  There are already so many ministries that we can be involved.  E.g World Vision, World Outreach, Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, Breakthrough Ministry, Hope Place, SMILE, Prison ministry and children work in Sanggau.  Dr.Tiong is glad that our church members are already involved in some of these ministry.
We help others in turn our hearts are changed.
But involvement may cause us our time, inconvenience, disappointment etc.  We have to bear the cost.  When we help others we are like holding their hands.  The outcome is not that important but that we have extended our help to these people.
We are not to wait until we are perfect to help others.  Even if we are imperfect in some ways we can help others. 
Dr.Tiong said Pastor Malcolm has been asking him to share about the work in hospice. But he felt that the subject may not be interesting to people and may even be “morbid”.  However, he share stories of what he heard from hospice worker when attending a hospice seminar.
Terminal Cancer Young Woman
A young woman had breast cancer, and she had her chemo done, however it seemed that these chemos did not work.  She being a loving mother wanted to walk her son to school as she used to when she was well.  Knowing her time is limited she took time to walk her son to school.  After several trip her son told her mother that he did not want her to walk him to school any more.  His mother asked him why.  He said his friends told him his mother looked like a ghost. (result of medical treatment).  How do one response to such situation and question?
Mother of Six children with breast cancer
Dr.Tiong now thanked his Life Group members for helping in this case.  A young woman with six children had breast cancer.  Her husband left her with three children, the others he took them away.  She and her children lived in a run-down place belonging to her relative.  Everything was dirty.  Her cancer got worst and one can see her bones through the whole in her body.  Dr.Tiong’s LG members took turn on alternative day to dress her wounds and make her family more comfortable.  A lawyer brother helped with her will.  Breakthrough Ministry helped to repair her kitchen so that it can be used.  After looking after her for two years she passed away.
These stories really make us appreciate life.  There are so many who are less fortunate than us other there.
John 13:35
35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
The Story of the Star fish
This story is usually used by Alpha to illustrate about sharing the Gospel with others.  Actually this story was created by a businessman who was burnt out.  In any case, the story is that there may be thousands of dying star fishes on the beach, the ones that were thrown into the sea will survive.  No matter that there are only a few survivals but yet they do survive.  The story is the same for us, there are so many needy people out there and it is impossible to help all of them, but if we reach out to help the few we are already helping these people.