Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Why I Like Church Family Camp

by Rev. James Wong

The Harvest Festival holiday is a popular time of the year to take leave and go away for a break. I am going away with BCCM Sandakan (E) members for a family camp at Sabah Tea Garden. A group from BCCM Likas and BCCM Tanjung will be visiting Sandakan. For BCCM Bundusan we have approved a subsidy of RM14,400.00 for the family camp to be held at Beringgis Beach Resort.

Some of the fondest memories that I have in the church come from attending outings, retreats or church family camps. They have enriched my life and broaden my Christian experience in my walk with Christ.

Jesus also took time off and went for a retreat with his disciples. “After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves.” (Matthew 17:1-2). Such retreat today is beneficial to us for a number of reasons.

1. It is a time of spiritual refreshment. There were times Jesus withdrew with his disciples to other places to avoid the crowd (Mk 3:7; 6:31-32). The incident on the mountain was known as the transfiguration where that experience helped to reaffirm the faith of the disciples that Jesus was truly the son of God. In every church camp, there is an opportunity for us to learn together and get spiritually refreshed.

2. It is a time to get acquainted with each other. A church family camp is a unique time for members and new friends to have a closer fellowship with one another and provide a time for bonding. Peter, James and John were known as the inner circle of Jesus, which means, they were closer to Jesus as compared to the rest of the disciples. I believe they spent more time with each other. We get acquainted with each other when we spend time together. Acquaintance is also a main key why people stay with a church.

3. It is a time to have fun. Church family camp is a fun time. How often do we play with each other? Relating to one another should be fun. Fun helps us to relax and enjoy each other’s company. This is the reason why we need to have ice-breakers in cell group meetings because they bring fun to relationships and help to build friendship. People stay together when there is fun, happiness and meaning relating to each other.

4. It is a time to work. It takes coordination to organize a successful church family camp. Members serve each other with their assigned responsibilities. This kind of team work in serving will help to forge unity that has a far reaching implication for the whole church. Peter, James and John were the three disciples who went on to witness the agony of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:37). They gave Jesus the emotional support that he needed most at that time. When we serve together, we also pave the way to give support to each other so that we all have a strong sense of belonging to the Church of Jesus Christ. Those who serve are the elite class in the Kingdom of God.

Different Hymns for Different Folks

· The Dentist's Hymn.............Crown Him With Many Crowns

· The Weatherman's Hymn..........There Shall Be Showers of Blessing

· The Contractor's Hymn..........The Church's One Foundation

· The Tailor's Hymn..............Holy, Holy, Holy

· The Golfer's Hymn..............There is A Green Hill Far Away

· The Politician's Hymn..........Standing on the Promises

· The Optometrist's Hymn.........Open My Eyes That I Might See

· The Tax Agent's Hymn...........I Surrender All

· The Gossip's Hymn..............Pass It On

· The Electrician's Hymn.........Send the Light

· The Shopper's Hymn.............Sweet By and By

· The Realtor's Hymn.........I've Got A Mansion Just Over the Hilltop

· The Pilot's Hymn...............I'll Fly Away

· The Paramedic's Hymn...........Revive Us Again

· The Judge's Hymn...............Almost Persuaded

· The Psychiatrist's Hymn........Just a Little Talk With Jesus

· The Architect's Hymn...........How Firm A Foundation

· The Credit Card Telemarketer's Hymn.....A Charge To Keep I Have

· The Zookeeper's Hymn...........All Creatures of Our God & King

· The Postal Worker's Hymn.......So Send I You

· The Waiter's Hymn..............Fill My Cup, Lord

· The Gardener's Hymn............Lo, How A Rose E'er Blooming

· The Lifeguard's Hymn...........Rescue the Perishing

· The Criminal's Hymn............Search Me, O God

· The Baker's Hymn...............When the Roll Is Called Up Yonder

· The Shoe Repairer's Hymn.......It Is Well With My Soul

· The Travel Agent's Hymn........Anywhere With Jesus

· The Geologist's Hymn...........Rock of Ages

· The Hematologist's Hymn........Are You Washed in the Blood?

· The Mens' Wear Clerk's Hymn....Blest Be the Tie

· The Umpire's Hymn..............I Need No Other Argument

· The Librarian's Hymn...........Whispering Hope


Mission Trip EGC & BCCM Bundusan

Church Concerns

Church Activities For This Week

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Bad Attitudes To Avoid

by Rev. James Wong

Attitude is our mental state involving our beliefs, feelings and views about certain things. Our attitude, not talent, intelligence, education, opportunities, or even hard work, determines our happiness and progress of success in life. William James, the American psychologist and philosopher said: “The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes.” Here are five common bad attitudes to avoid.

1. Pride. “A man's pride will bring him low, but the humble in spirit will retain honor.” Proverbs 29:23 (NKJV). Pride can get us down faster than anything else. None of us like to get along with a person with a big ego. Even “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." James 4:6 (NIV). Let not our learning, experiences or position make us proud in anyway. Jesus had no pride. He washed the feet of the disciples (John 13:5).

2. Anger. Uncontrolled anger is a symptom of a deeper problem which may be related to the person’s victimization from childhood, adult abuse, a personality disorder, a hormone imbalance, an unhealthy relationship and etc. “An angry man stirs up dissension, and a hot-tempered one commits many sins.” Proverbs 29:22 (NIV). A person who is hot tempered is a conflict producer. He will stir up strife in every relationship. "Don't sin by letting anger control you." Don't let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil” (Ephesians 4:26-27 NLT).

3. Anxiety. Anxiety is a stress booster. You will never be happy if you allow anxiety to dominate your mind. “Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, But a good word makes it glad.” Proverbs 12:25 (NKJV). How to overcome this negative emotion of anxiety? “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 (NKJV).

4. Fear. Fear does not come from God because “God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” 2 Tim 1:7 (NLT). Fear is a joy and faith killer and it promotes doubts and anxieties. “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear…” 1 John 4:18 (NIV). Let no fear take root in your mind by trusting in God’s unconditional love for you, that he has a good plan for your life to prosper you.

5. Broken heart. Everyone gets hurt and wounded in one way or another. Nursing our broken heart and wounds will chain us to our pain and prolong the suffering. We must allow God to bring us healing. “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalms 147:3 (NIV). May we break free from a broken heart and move forward by trusting in God’s perfect plan for us.

The word of God is an “anti-virus program” against bad attitudes of living.

Steps to a Successful Life

Joshua 1:1-9

Rev. Lee Tak Vui

What is they key to having a successful life?

7 “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. ~ Joshua 1:7-8

What are the steps of laying hold of the key to having a successful life?

7 steps

1. Verbalize it

2. Write it down

3. Sing_ it out

4. Act on it

5. Teach it

6. Review it

7. Depend on the holy Spirit

A Surrendered Life is a Generous Life

Bishop hails ex-cop's exoneration of Christians

Prayer Concerns

News on the Holy Spirit Seminar

Don't lose your marbles!

Church Concerns

Church Activities For This Week

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Peace Loving People

by Rev. James Wong

There is one name and one definition for peace loving people. This is how Jesus put it in Matthew 5:9, “Blessed are the peacemakers,

for they will be called sons of God.”

War divides nations, families and individuals from each other, causing disharmony, tensions and conflicts. Peacemakers are those who use their influence to promote public good and to reconcile contending parties to a state of unity. Peacemakers are known as sons of God.

The latest misdemeanor of fanning strife was the publication of a seditious report by Utusan Malaysia, a Malay newspaper, based on the unsubstantiated claim on “Christian state” conspiracy. BigDog, whose real name is Zakhir Mohamed sparked controversy when he alleged that pastors pledged to make Christianity as the official religion of the federation in their recent meeting in Penang. Such irresponsible publication in the media without stern action from the government in this case has provided the breeding ground for religious tension to thrive, pitting Muslims and Christians against each other in the country. Many political observers have asserted that the whole episode is a political ploy to gain political mileage by someone.

The damage has been done and the religious tension has been created by the lies. Our Bishop Dr. Thomas Tsen, being the president of the Council of Churches of Malaysia and prominent leaders of other Christian organizations, had a closed door meeting with the PM on the 12 May 2011. Bishop Ng Moon Hing of the Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) which represents over 90% of Churches in Malaysia said, "We only said we are very disturbed and unhappy... (over the) irresponsible, potential riot-type seditious words (which) shouldn't be published in the mainstream media, or any media for that matter." He also said, "We even offered our help and asked how Christians can contribute to develop the country together. We are interested in peace, harmony and we are non-partisan in politics."

Yes, as Christians, we are interested in peace and harmony because it is in accordance with the teaching of Jesus who says that peacemakers are children of God. For those who propagate lies, destroy peace and harmony, the Word of God has this to say:

"You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” Exodus 20:16 (NKJV). This is one of the 10 Commandments which is the will of God for his people.

“There are seven things that the Lord hates and cannot tolerate: A proud look, a lying tongue, hands that kill innocent people, a mind that thinks up wicked plans, feet that hurry off to do evil, a witness who tells one lie after another, and a man who stirs up trouble among friends.” Proverbs 6:16 (TEV). Let us be peace loving people.