Sunday, June 21, 2009

I Remmember My Father

by Rev. James wong

I think about my father today. I cried like a kid on the day he passed away. The sense of loss lingered with me for a number of years. When I meet someone of his age of 70s I somehow remember my father. I can only take comfort in the thought that he is now with the Lord and enjoying eternity with Him. Father’s Day always reminds me of the many fine and significant moments I have spent with my father. Here are some of the things that my father did that impacted me.

1. Work ethics. My father was a hard working man. He began his career as a photographer working for a mean employer. Meeting the needs of a family with five children was difficult. He was pragmatic. He prayed to the God of his employer that if he would bless him when he ventured into business he would believe in him. He took the risk; borrowed money from his sister and bought a car and began his business as a mobile hawker. My father and mum would wake up at 2:00am in the morning and started to prepare all the foods and drinks for sale. He toiled before sunrise, sold his foods and drinks under the fierce sun, and prepare all the necessary dough in the evening. Due to overwork, my mum was often sick. I learn the value of hard work from my parents.

2. Independence. Due to the workload, my father assigned me the tasks of making coffee and baking bread. I remembered I asked my father to buy me an electric guitar and he gave me the challenge of washing about a thousand Coca-cola bottles. The task was done and he gave me the money to purchase the guitar. I am glad he did not let me have the money easily. That gave me the confidence of using labor to pay for the things I need in life. Work is no more pain but through which I can accomplish my dreams and fulfill my needs.

3. Recreation. He had a hobby of rearing fish and took much interest in that. However, he never stopped me and my brothers taking interest in setting up a musical band. That gave us the freedom to fiddle with the guitars and other instruments instead of having nothing meaningful to do in our free time. This has much impact on me later in life. I have always taken keen interest in different hobbies to enrich my life and strike a balance between work and play to keep myself from burnout in work. My father kept his hobby until his last day and I continue my hobby in playing the guitar.

4. Spiritual work. Although my father began his faith with a bargain with God, that bargain proved to be the most valuable asset in his life and in the family. As he experienced the blessing of God in the success of being a mobile proprietor, he returned that favor by bringing the whole family to Christ. I had the opportunity of growing up in the church and coming to know Christ. ….. In his last days he had a request. He wanted a cross placed directly in front of him when he was confined to a chair due to his breathing difficulty caused by lung cancer. He grew weak each day but grew stronger in faith. He requested daily worship and prayer. On the day when all of us were ready, and he was ready to meet his creator, we ask God to take him into glory. That happened on the same day.

I cried again writing this because I still miss my father. He was my true friend.

A Man's Journey

Father's Day
Luke 15:11-32
by Rev. James Wong

The Work Pressure and Life Pressure of a man.
Salary RM3,000.00 ok kah?

1. A Father’s Pressure
“The younger son told his father, 'I want my share of your estate now, instead of waiting until you die.' So his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons.” - Luke 15:12 (NLT)

2. A Father’s Love
"So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long distance away, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. “ -Luke 15:20 (NLT)

3. A Father’s Advice
"I am about to go the way of all the earth," he said. "So be strong, show yourself a man, 3 and observe what the LORD your God requires: … so that you may proper in all you do and wherever you go.” -1 Kings 2:2-4 (NIV)

4. A Father’s Wish

The Ultimate Father

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails. (1 Cor 13:4-8 NIV).

This describes action, not merely feeling. A father who employs these attributes cannot help but connect in a profound way with his children and propel them on their way to being responsible community citizens. Unfortunately, many fathers are not sufficiently immersed in their children’s lives to employ these attributes, and as a result, both fathers and children miss out. There can be a variety of reasons for this distance. Some men are a product of parents who believed children is the sole responsibility of mothers. Others are simply too concerned with their own needs.

However, those men who realize they are responsible for their children, and who invest the time it takes to connect with them, find their lives are greatly enriched by the experience. Pruett makes several suggestions to help men develop a strong connection with their children. He writes: “What I mean by fathering is ‘involved’ fathering. This is male behavior beyond insemination that promotes the well-being and healthy development of one’s child and family in active ways.” Je lists a few of the ‘everyday characteristics” of an involved father:

1. Feeling and behaving responsibly towards his child.
2. Being emotionally engaged.
3. Being physically accessible.
4. Providing material support to sustain the child’s need.
5. Exerting influence in child-rearing decisions.

Love involvement requires more than words. A father must be plugged in to the daily operation of his family so he can clearly see his children’s needs. It is increasingly evident that fathers can’t sit on the sidelines and let mothers parent alone. In his book The Hurried Child, child psychologist David Elkind refers to the family as “a school of human relations in which children learn how to live within a society”. A committed and nurturing mother and a positive, actively-involved father together form the backbone of a healthy family and the basis of a strong community. (Natural Health)

Senior Camp For BB & GB Members

The 2nd & 3rd Sandakan Boys’ & Girls’ Brigade Company Annual Camp 2009
By Chiang Lisa

The BB & GB combined together to organize the annual camp 2009 at the Sung Siew Primary School and the National Service Training School. The camp was held on 10th to 13th June 2009. The objectives of the camp were to build up the brigade members physically and discipline themselves in drill, to learn team building, to experience and equip themselves for National Service training and also to enjoy gathering as one family of the Brigade. About 90 officers and brigade members participated in this camp.

Day 1 – 10th June 2009
All the campers entered the camp at 7.30am for the registration and immediately moved into their accommodation before leaving to the National Service Training School. Upon arrival the members were given a briefing and the group was divided into three smaller groups to have their drill session which was conducted by the NS instructors. Members learned how to read the bearing of a compass among other things. After lunch, the members had low rope course with a few games; such as rope creativity, Hole in ONE, balancing log, king finger and etc. Before leaving the training school the members had their second drill session under the hot sun. During the evening at Sung Siew Primary School, there was a time of Praise & Worship led by BB officer Jackey Tan, and Rev. James Wong shared a challenging message on true friendship.

Day 2 – 11th June 2009
Everyone woke up at 6.00am and had their breakfast before moving to the National Service Training School. Members participated in the high rope course which is known as the flying fox. Some of the girls were frightened at first but they eventually attempted the game and screamed as loud as thunder while flying down from the high tower. The members were led into the jungle and learnt how to set up a fire for cooking as part of the jungle survival skills. After lunch, the members had their drill session as their last activity for the day. At night, Pr. Yoa Ye Jiun was invited to give a sharing for the Praise & Worship session. All the campers were brought to worship God and they enjoyed gathering as one family.

Day 3 - 12th June 2009
It was the last day to the NS training school. The first activity for the day was the drill rehearsal for the camp closing ceremony. Members were introduced to many station games. Some of the games were tough and a few members dropped into the pool while others watched and laughed their lung out. Every group was also given a compass and a list of places to explore around the training school. In the evening there was BBQ for dinner until late into the night. As this was the last evening of the camp, some members played football on the field before retiring for the night.
Day 4 – 13th June 2009
After breakfast the members had their last rehearsal for the drill presentation. After lunch the members wore their full uniform and prepared for the closing ceremony. A few of the campers helped in the refreshments and photos exhibition. Around 1.00pm, the parents, visitors and members who did not join the camp came to attend the closing ceremony, while Isaac Pang, as the guest of honor attended the closing ceremony at 2pm and the campers march in with the guard of honor and colour party. Then, there were different drill presentations by the campers with different groups. At the end of the ceremony the guest of honor was given a memento and refreshment was served for the guests, parents, and visitors. Around 3.30pm, the members returned home, fully exhausted but with sweet memories that will remain with them a life time.

Family Fellowship Discovery Camp

Friday, June 5, 2009

Love Becomes Flesh

by Rev. James Wong

Fellowship With My Cell Group is the last session in our Fellowship Life Campaign. Sharing is the key word in the cell group. As the church grows larger, it must also grow smaller at the same time otherwise the relationship within the church will be very superficial. This is the reason why the cell group is an important place where members could deepen their relationships in order to really care for one another. Here was what happened in the early church:

42 All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching, and to fellowship, … 44 And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. 45 They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. 46 They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord's Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity*— 47 all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved. ~Acts 2:42-47 (NLT)

The content of this passage poses one of the greatest difficulties to many modern church operation. The believers had fellowship in the Temple and also at homes. The real substance of fellowship includes liquidating properties and sharing the money with those in need. This is love in action; love becomes tangible in the sharing of resources to help those who are in need. While speaking in a family camp a few days ago I discovered ...

Edison (not his real name), a member of BCCM, died penniless and left behind a wife and four young children. The widow had to return to her country because of her foreign status and the children were left to themselves with nothing. The church swung into action immediately by providing the children with shelter in the church, paid for their education and all living expenses. Guardians were assigned to the children. After more than three years, the two elder brothers finished Form Five. One went to NS with the dream of continuing his education later and the other joined the church as a clerk. The younger sister is active in church and leads in worship. The mother returned after one year and was reunited with the children. The church is still taking care of this family today. I ask the pastor and the Elder why they are doing this? ‘Because of love’ was their simple answer. This is a church where they walk their talk and put flesh into love!

If you meet someone in need, let your love become flesh, help someone. However, let me caution here. Love is not blind and grace is not cheap. No one should take us for a ride just because we love. I am talking about meeting real needs, which is the practice of the true tradition of the Church of Christ.

Fellowship With My Cell Group

Fellowship Life Campaign (7)
by Rev. James Wong

42 All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord's Supper*), and to prayer. 43 A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. 44 And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. 45 They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. 46 They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord's Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity*— 47 all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved. ~Acts 2:42-47 (NLT)

1. Learning from the Word of God
Your life can only be transformed by the renewal of your thinking and attitude according to the Word of God. The Bible is not hard to understand. Underline and remember what is important to you. It will set a new direction for your life and helps your to realize your great potentials.

2. Fellowship and sharing of meals

Spending time together for worship and meal time help to strengthen relationships. One of the best ways to build and value relationships is to have meals together. There was great joy and generosity in the fellowship.

3. Praying together
This is the power base of the church. The Korean churches attribute their phenomenal growth to the way they pray. They pray together often and they pray aloud, causing an electrifying atmosphere! Come and help build your church by coming for the Thursday morning prayer from 6:45am—7:30am.

4. The miracles of God

The Holy Spirit grants the gifts of healing to the church. Take a step of faith and pray for the sick and believe that God will work a miracle. There are very few miracles in the church today because we do not seriously believe in miracles. God cannot operate in the areas of our unbelief.

5. Share everything they had
The Greatest Commandment is about loving God and loving our neighbors as ourselves. To follow Christ is not just about living a life of good morals. You don’t even need a religion to teach you that. It is the love of Christ compelling us that set us apart. Can you share what you have with those who are in need? This is the real test for you and me. Let our love become flesh!

Offering Sympathy ...

Offering Sympathy Meets Two Human Needs
by Rick Warren

“As holy people . . . be sympathetic, kind, humble, gentle, and patient.” Colossians 3:12 (GWT)

In real fellowship people experience sympathy. Sympathy is not giving advice or offering quick, cosmetic help; sympathy is entering in and sharing the pain of others.
Sympathy says, “I understand what you’re going through, and what you feel is neither strange nor crazy.” Today, some call this “empathy” but the Bible word is “sympathy.” It says, “As holy people . . . be sympathetic, kind, humble, gentle, and patient” (Colossians 3:12 GWT).

Every time you understand and affirm someone’s feelings, you build fellowship.

Sympathy meets two fundamental human needs: the need to be understood and the need to have your feelings validated. Every time you understand and affirm someone’s feelings, you build fellowship. The problem is that we’re often in such a hurry to fix things that we don’t have time to sympathize with people. Or we’re preoccupied with our own hurts. Self-pity dries up sympathy for others.

There are different levels of fellowship, and each is appropriate at different times:

· The simplest levels of fellowship are the fellowship of sharing and the fellowship of studying God’s Word together.

· A deeper level is the fellowship of serving, as when we minister together on mission trips or mercy projects.

· The deepest, most intense level is the fellowship of suffering (Philippians 3:10; Hebrews 10:33–34). This is where we enter into each other’s pain and grief and carry each other’s burdens. The Christians who understand this level best are those around the world who are being persecuted, despised, and often martyred for their faith.

The Bible teaches us to “share each other’s troubles and problems, and in this way obey the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2 NLT).

It is in the times of deep crisis, grief, and doubt that we need each other most. When circumstances crush us to the point that our faith falters, that’s when we need believing friends the most.

We need a small group of friends to have faith in God for us and to pull us through. In a small group, the body of Christ is real and tangible even when God seems distant.

This is what Job desperately needed during his suffering. He cried out, “A despairing man should have the devotion of his friends, even though he forsakes the fear of the Almighty” (Job 6:14 NIV).

© 2008 Purpose Driven Life. All rights reserved. Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and best-known churches. In addition, Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller The Purpose Driven Life and The Purpose Driven Church, which was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th Century. He is also founder of, a global Internet community for ministers. Pastor Jon Walker is a writer for

Busting the Myths ...

Busting the Myths of a Christian Marriage (Part 3)
By Judy Bodmer

One couple thought being Christians would save them from marital problems. Their naïve beliefs made everything worse.

Myth #3 Scriptures can be a simple guide for our marriage.
One of the hot issues with which Larry and I dealt was who should handle the money. We thought that to be scripturally correct Larry should pay the bills and balance the checkbook. He always felt pressured by the time it took to do this. Since he handled all our money, I never knew how much I had to spend on groceries and clothes. This added to an already tense situation.

Here's the truth: Scripture can be a valuable guide for our daily living—as long as we don't misinterpret what it says. Intensive Bible study taught us that God intends for us to be one unit, submitting to each other and working together for the good of the whole. That means using our giftedness. Right now, I have more time available to handle our daily financial tasks. There have been other times when Larry took this responsibility. We've also learned that together we make better decisions than we do individually.

Myth #4 We need to keep our marital problems to ourselves.
When I joined a women's Bible study, everyone I met looked happy and put together. I knew no one would understand that Larry and I sometimes said ugly, hurtful things to each other, so I kept quiet about what was happening in our marriage.

But the truth is: God created us as social beings to live in community where we can help each other. That weekend retreat opened my eyes. It was a couple daring to be open with us about their problems that began the healing in us. In James it says we are to confess our sins to each other so that we can pray for each other and be healed (5:16). By keeping quiet, I hindered the healing that could have come from sharing with these other women who may have been just as afraid as I was to share what they were going through. (to be continued next week)

May 7 Perak State Assembly

May 7 Perak State Assembly sitting
Unruly, fresh elections the only way out
(Extracted from HERALD the Catholic Weekly, May 24, 2009)

KUALA LUMPUR: The Council of Churches of Malaysia (CCM) is deeply concerned at the events that unfolded at the Perak State Assembly sitting on May 7.

In a statement signed by President Rev Dr. Thomas Philips and released on May 7, the CCM felt “the unruly scenes, the scuffles an the removal of the Speaker of the House by force, have all violated the dignity of the State Assembly and made a mockery of basic democratic principles that citizens have come to expect from a nation that champions human rights.

“The power and authority of the Speaker have been undermined. The police had overstepped its authority by the harassment of duly elected representatives, and of peaceful protestors exercising their rights of free expression guaranteed under the constitution. The police must remain above politics to have integrity and the confidence of the people.

“The CCM realizes that the political crisis in Perak is a great worry to all just and peace-loving citizens of our country.

“The CCM feels that it is time for the government to uphold its commitment ot building a democratic and peaceful Malaysia by returning power to the people to decide by whom and how they should be governed.

“To this end, the CCM joins civil society in calling the Sultan to exercise his sovereign power by calling for fresh elections in the state. This is the only way to resolve the current political impasse.

“As Christians, we believe that justice will have its day, because God expects that the nation is governed by principles of righteousness and justice.

“As churches pray for the speedy resolution of the political crisis in Perak, we remember the words of the bible: “To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice …. The violence of the wicked will sweep them away, because they refuse to do what is just” (Proverbs 21:3, 7).

“The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know. 2 Pray especially for rulers and their governments to rule well so we can be quietly about our business of living simply, in humble contemplation. 3 This is the way our Savior God wants us to live.” ~1 Tim 2:1-3 (The Message)

Church News 090607

Words of Welcome
1. Welcome to the house of God. It is our great pleasure to have you worshipping the Lord together with us. May you find joy in worshipping God with us. We believe the Word of God will bring transformation to our lives for the better. We hope to see you again next Sunday.

The Sandakan Parish Evangelism department has organized a short term mission trip to BCCM Kuching Mission Centre, Kuching from 6-10 Jun. The mission team will organize a children camp for the church there. The eight-member team includes: Rev. and Mrs. Yen Seg Vui, Vun Ngai, Chiong Ying, Sherry Soong, and from our church, David Lai, Jessica Pang and Sylvia Lai.

It is through Baptism that a person becomes a follower of Jesus Christ and become a member of God’s spiritual family, which is the church. Please take note of the followings:
Date: 14 June 2009
Closing Date: 7 June 2009
Registration: Please register with Pr. Lo Shen Loon

Date: 20 June 2009 Program: Steamboat Night Time: 6:30pm.
Venue: Trig Hill Registration Fees: RM22.00
Register with: Elder Lo Closing date for registration: 14 June 2009

This will be held on 21 Jun 2009 (Sun) and after the service there will be a breakfast fellowship to be held at the Canteen B of SM Sung Siew Sec. School. We will collect a fee of RM5.00 per person (free for children age 5 and below) and you can pay to your Life Group leaders or to Bro. Wong Vui Min to defray the cost.

This is a conference for Elders and all those who are interested in the caring ministry to believers. It will be held in BCCM Inanam on 10-11 July 2009.Registration fee is RM20.00 person and the deadline is16 June 2009. Please register with Pr. Lo Shen Loon.

(全球客家福音行动大会) Date: 10-13 Sept 2009 Venue: Jakarta, Indonesia
Speaker: Dr. Lee Xiu Quan Deadline: 31 July 2009
Registration: Twin Sharing Room—US$185.00
Single Room—US$275.00
Contact: Preacher Yao Yee Jiun (Chinese Department)
Note: Register early. Air Asia has cheap tickets if you book early.

June is the designated GB month. As usual, the girls will put in efforts to get donations from their parents and church members to support their ministries. We encourage our church members to give them a hand when they approach you for donations.

Pix: Cast all your anxiety ...

BB & GB Senior Camp

BB & GB SENIOR CAMP (11-13 June)
Reaching People, Touching Lives.

The BB and GB are the evangelism arms of the church that reaches out to the juniors and youths for Christ. According to plan, we will be running a three days camp for the seniors on the 11-13 of June 2009 and we are targeting 100 participants.

According to plan, we will be running a three days camp for the seniors on the 11-13 of June 2009 and we are targeting 100 participants. This is an innovative program we have undertaken this year to reach the young people.

This is the vision of the BB; “The advancement of Christ’s Kingdom among Members and the promotion of habits of Obedience, Reverence, Disciple, Self-Respect and all that tends towards a true Christian Manliness.” In short, their motto is: “Sure & Steadfast” in their life and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

The vision of the GB is to “help girls to become followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, and through self-control, reverence, and a sense of responsibility, to find true enrichment of life.” The motto of the GB is ‘seek, serve and follow Christ.”

News From Alex Liew

Dear Brother and sisters,
Grace to all of you. Here is the picture I have taken with the group. They are also the first time counselors like me.

Day 1; I reached Chicago terminal. John and Mark fetched me and after dinner, together with the rest of the counselors we had the first session.
Day 2; After breakfast we had Session 2, and followed by Session 3 after lunch. Then Katie brought us to the Chicago Lake and it was wonderful. The picture was taken at the lake.

Day 3; After breakfast the team took a bus to the terminal and we had to go separate ways. Each of us depart to different states in USA. I went to Alexandria in Minnesota. When I reached Minnesota, Jody fetched me and she sent me to Larry and Kathy’s house. I stayed there for four day before going into the Bible Camp.