Mid-Autumn Festival Celebration 2016

Chinese Christians do celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival. As a Chinese Christian, and being a Christian does not mean that one is no longer a Chinese. Chinese Christians can embrace their own culture so long as it does not contradict with the Word of God. "'Everything is permissible' - but not everything is beneficial. 'Everything is permissible' - but everything is constructive. Nobody should seeks his own good, but the good of others...So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." (I Cor. 10:23,24,31)

The spot light of 2016 Mid-Autumn Festival Celebration was the ministering of God's Word and singing by Pastor Edward Chiu.

There were two presentations for this year.

The English Conversational Class presented a song titled "The Cross Representing God's Heart".

Brother Thomas Tan, the ironman was back in action post his cataract surgery. He presented a song in harmonica titled "Ping Ann Keat".

The height of the JBBC Mid-Autumn Festival was the "Lantern Riddle". Gifts were given to the winners.

We would like to give thanks to God for using sister Nelly and sister Fern as a team to lead a friend of sister Nelly to the Lord during this event. Heaven rejoices over the conversion of one sinner. Glory to God.

Ask the Lord of the harvest AND …..

The Meek 7 sharing our meal & stories, giving glory to God.

The Meek 7 sharing our meal & stories, giving glory to God for leading us in the harvest field

Ask the Lord of the Harvest and HE DELIVERED!!!

Hello. It's me again.

2 weeks ago, 14 of us went out to City Square/Komtar JBCC in two's to testify about our faith. We came back happy that though we did not reap, we managed to sow and water 27 souls. We praised God that He gave us the ability to conquer our fears, hang-ups and weaknesses. Read here.

Last week, 9 of us went out to CS/Komtar in two's and three and this time we managed to talk to 10 souls. One young man prayed the Sinner's Prayer and another brother re-dedicated himself. You can read about it here. Truly, when we asked, God answered. Amen.

This morning, "only" 7 of us went out, again to CS/Komtar.

Let me bring you back to last night's sermon 'God is in the Business of Transformation' by Pastor Chee Seng, with the text primarily from Romans 12: 1-2. Pr CS 3 points were that (1) our Christian journey of faith is being constantly changed by God (2) our changed lives compel us to preach the Gospel and (3) our salvation and redemption compels us to serve HIM by doing good works. We let Jesus be the centre of our lives.

Allow me to bring you a bit further back to our church camp in June where Rev Tony Phang preached about our Living Sacrifice, again from Romans 12:1. There is a cost. We need to leave behind our comfort zone. God notices truthful sacrifices and He always responds to a sacrifice. Read about it here.

Before we left church this morning, we worshiped our Father and prayed fervently that He would lead us to the harvest field.

My friends, we managed to share our faith and/or testimony with 18 souls, out of which 4 souls prayed the Sinner's Prayer and 1 soul re-dedicated himself. We met people who were lost, down, harassed and helpless. 10 took away the 4 Spiritual Laws booklet. We helped them, we challenged them, we pointed them to The Way. Truly, it is all to God's Glory. Amen.

Who did we meet? We met workers, the sick, the old, students, free-thinkers, shoppers, brothers you used to know the Lord, people who heard about the Gospel a long time ago, etc. They are the ones that our Jesus had compassion on and they need the love of God in their lives. One of the saved souls stayed very near by to JBBC! The harvest is truly plentiful!

There is plenty more work to do in following up. Will you help us in taking care of our new brothers and sisters, should they choose to join us at JBBC.

May I be so bold as to challenge you, new, young and old Christians? Challenge you to just believe that our Lord wants us to not just learn more about our faith but to also take action on it, and that is to go out to 'make disciples of all nations'.

God doesn't use the mighty, the numerous or the gifted ones. He uses the meek, the remnants and the available ones.

You can do it too! Will you join us to save souls? The Joy of the LORD will be your strength (Nehemiah 8:10)

Peace.

The Workers are few AND …..

Hello everybody, again!

It’s the 3rd week of our evangelism month. Yes, the workers are few and yet by divine appointment, the team had the privilege of leading 2 souls to pray the Sinner’s Prayer! All glory to God who answered our prayers.

There were only 9 of us and to be honest, most of us admitted that we would have preferred to do something else on a Sunday morning. Before we left for City Square/Komtar JBCC, we prayed, asking that God would give us success, that the Holy Spirit would give us Power and that our Jesus would give us the right attitude to shine for him.

This round, we went out in 4 groups of 2s or 3s and we managed to sit (or stand) with 10 souls, sowing, watering and reaping!

Out of these 10 souls, one young man from Skudai prayed the Sinner’s Prayer, another lost Christian brother re-dedicated himself by praying the Sinner’s Prayer and 2 young girls (students) read through the 4 Spiritual Laws, asked questions but were not ready. They did however agree that we can follow up with them. What is there to say, except that God lead us to them and they to us.

Our Lord, on the night he was betrayed told his disciples that he would be leaving them (John 13: 33). The disciples were troubled but Jesus comforted them. Read John 14. Then Jesus told them about the Power of Believers in John 14: 12, “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.”

My friends. Jesus has gone to be at the right hand of the Father but he did not leave the disciples OR leave us to fend for ourselves. He left the Holy Spirit and it is that POWER of the Holy Spirit that works in us to accomplish God’s Purpose. What’s more – our Lord himself said that we will do even greater things that what he had been doing 2,000 years ago! Wow! What comfort!

For those of you still troubled over your “inadequacy” in sharing your faith, I urge you to not let THAT trouble you. Not when the Jesus whom you committed your lives to said it to YOU, that YOU will do even greater things than what Jesus did! Don’t ask me what that would be, just believe by faith. Boleh?

Still not too late to join us in sharing your faith with the harassed and helpless. Next week 24th July 2016, 10 am, meet at God’s House, pray, then go out in 2s or 3s to sow, water and reap. Amen!

Peace.

The harvest is plentiful but …

Hello everybody.

We went out from church as scared sheep (well, at least most of us) and came back as roaring lions (at least some of us)! The harvest is indeed plentiful.

In Matthew 9: 37, 38 the Lord had compassion on the crowds when he saw that they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd (verse 36). He then said to his disciples the classic prayer, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field."

You see, my friends, sometimes we make the mistake of coercing members to serve when God actually says in Matthew 9: 37, 38 that we ought to pray for Him to thrust forth labourers. It's as if we could substitute God's ways by coercing God's people to serve Him in God's harvest field. God does not need unhappy, disgruntled workers, but obedient workers willing to be sent out for the harassed and helpless sheep.

Earlier this morning at 10 am, 14 of us gathered in church to respond to our Jesus, pray and seek God's favour as we prepared to go out into God's harvest field. Just for the record, the 14 were: Daniel & Shirley Leong, James & Shirley Bong, Agnes and Rebecca Tan, Nelly Parrett, Felicia Lai, Fern Tang, Tan Keng Chong, Alex Fong, Yin Fong, Sean and yours truly.

20160710_131056

We enthusiastically shared our experiences.

We split into 7 pairs, each pair to work together. When one shares, the other prays, just like Batman and Robin (Yalo, when Batman wacks the baddie, Robin prays for the baddie's repentance). The harvest field was either Komtar JBCC or City Square and we left church around 11 am.

Our job description was to share the love of Christ. The intention was to sow, reap or water. The objective was to manifest our zeal for and obedience to the Lord.

All of us came back to church by 1:10 pm. We did it! We obeyed and we did sow and water. We did not reap, but we knew we had done our job. All in all, we shared and/or prayed for 27 souls!

We had a case when we met a Hindu priest and managed to share with him about Jesus' love and that Jesus, the Son of God, is the bridge to heaven. We prayed for him, that he will one day come to know how high and how wide and how great is the love of that one true God that he himself believes in.

I now urge YOU, my fellow brothers and sisters of JBBC, take some part in our Evangelism Month. Tell the Lord that you would like to act on your compassion and love for the harassed and helpless sheep. ASK that the Lord of the harvest will send you as His Worker into His harvest field.

Now I know that some of you feel that going out into a busy shopping complex on  a Sunday morning and just randomly meeting people, then quickly share, does not cut it in today's society. That we ought to make friends first, get to know the sheep before springing on them the gospel.

I couldn't agree more with you ..... if I use my head knowledge. Our job is to share, leave some tracks, pray for anyone who would like to be prayed. Along the way, if there is a lost soul that God has sent to us, by divine appointment, then we will praise God that He has allowed us to reap what was probably sowed by someone some time ago.

You see, my friends, the truth is this: our BOSS is not like your boss, always demanding results. No sales, no pay, or less pay, then out you go! No, our BOSS is a gentle and humble boss and he only wants you to have love and compassion for the harassed and helpless. He wants you to take  every opportunity to share your faith and the gospel. He wants your beauty to shine like in Romans 10: 15, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring the good news!"

We're having another opportunity next Sunday. Want to give it a go? Let Daniel Leong know. Or come and surprise us at 10 am, Sunday 17-Jul-16.

Peace.

Heads Up! Fresh Encounter Workbook Has Arrived!

Hello everybody.

Here's a Heads Up to all you saints  that the Fresh Encounter Workbook has arrived after an epic sea journey of 7 months!

I would like to quote what Henry & Richard Blackaby and Claude King wrote in page 100 in their Fresh Encounter book, which is part of Chapter 8, "God's Pattern for Revival: Created For a Love Relationship":

Throughout history God has called people to Himself so He had a holy people through whom to work. When God delivered the Israelites, it was not so they could become wealthy and comfortable in the promised land. Notice the call God gave His people:

Moses went up to God, and the LORD called to him from the mountain, saying, "Thus you shall say to ... the children of Israel: 'You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles' wings and brought you to Myself. Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people .... And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.'" (Exodus 19: 3-6)

 

 

We usually say God brought Israel to the promised land, but God said, "I ... brought you to Myself" (v.4). God did not primarily lead them to a place but to a relationship. That is what set them apart. Out of their relationship with God, the Israelites would be God's special treasure, a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation.

Wow! Our ultimate destination is not our promised land (wherever it is), and certainly not a spanking new building of concrete, steel, bricks, glass and mortar. It is a personal relationship with our LORD GOD ALMIGHTY, who has 'engraved us on the palms of His Hands;' (Isaiah 49:16).

Join us to study this workbook together as a Body of Christ. Look for your nearest Nurture Group at the back of our weekly bulletin.

Peace.

THE JOURNEY … so far

My friends.

It has been almost a week since we came back from camp. This is a devotion about THE JOURNEY ... so far.

A journey starts with a DREAM.

That DREAM started in 1964, when Pr Victor Tan from Queenstown Baptist Church in Singapore had a vision about planting  a baptist work in Johor Bahru. Together with Pr Jarrett Ragan, a representative from the Foreign Mission Board who was with the Calvary Baptist Church in Singapore, both of them were instrumental in setting up the Johor Bahru Mission in 1965.

The Mission became a Chapel and then the Chapel became the Johor Bahru Baptist Church (JBBC), when it was formally registered with the Registrar of Societies on 20th March 1980.

THE JOURNEY had its mountain highs and valley lows through the years but the DREAM was always there, and that is to 'make disciples of all nations' in Matthew 28: 18-20.

Part of the valley low periods was when JBBC was served with 2 eviction notices from the local authorities, the first in 1990 and the second in 2003. The land on which the church premise was situated was for residential purposes. During this valley low period, the people of JBBC came together to earnestly seek the Lord to intervene in our predicament.

One of the mountain top experience was when JBBC, through the powerful and miraculous Hand of God and by the faithful prayers of the faithful in JBBC, moved the State Government to approve our application for conversion of our land title to that for a church on 25th April 2005. With this approval, JBBC had rest from 'opposing forces'.

Since the beginning of 2011, JBBC had been without a pastor and attendances dwindled for various reasons, including exodus of worshippers to other churches throughout the world.

On 1st August 2015, our brother John Chan delivered a sermon entitled, "From death to life" with the text taken from Ephesians 2:1-10. I was the worship chairman that day and at the close, I referred JBBC to the church at Ephesus in Revelations 2:1-7, that we find back our love that we had at first for our Lord Jesus Christ.

Since that day, I believe that events have moved the people of JBBC to  JOURNEY along together as a Body of Christ, and by faith to trust GOD to take us through what we think could be an impossible task, and that is to raise RM4.38 million to build a new church building. We put our faith in a loving GOD who we trust will see us through this JOURNEY.

We now understand that THE JOURNEY is to reach our destination, and that is to build the people of JBBC up spiritually first and from there our GOD will open His Hand to allow us to build the church building, to be supported solidly on firm foundations. This new church building will then serve as a spring board to 'make disciples of all nations', to further extend GOD's love to the unsaved within the JB locality.

On 27th May 2016, I reminded the church that there would be no worship service on 4th June 2016 as most of us would be at the church camp and I used Isaiah 40: 28-31 as a call for those who were not going to use this passage of Scriptures as their devotion for the week. Being the worship chairman for our Sunday worship service on 5th June 2016, I had it in my mind to use this passage as Scripture Reading for the congregation.

On 3rd June 2016, the day before leaving for the camp, Our Daily Bread devotion for that day was titled, Strength for the Weary, and the day's reading was taken from Isaiah 40: 28-31. I felt that God had reassured me that the passage chosen for Scripture Reading was what He wanted read.

At the camp, we heard more affirmations from our camp speakers, Rev. Tony and Rev. Christine Phang about our JOURNEY.

That Saturday afternoon, at the welcome, our Camp Commandant, Brother Dr. Hong opened with a quotation from Psalm 133, 'how good and pleasant it is when God's people live together in unity!'

On Saturday night, Rev. Tony spoke about 'Rebuilding our temple', with the text taken from 2 Chronicles 29: 3-6. He spoke about the need for the church to build this intimate relationship with GOD again. There is a need for immediate service; for religious reform; for a Holy Place; for Sanctification; and for Confession of Sins.

On Sunday morning, Rev. Tony spoke about 'The Power of Sacrifice', with the text taken from Romans 12:1. There is a cost when sacrifice is involved; we have to leave away and behind our comfort zone; great achievements are achieved by great sacrifices; God notices truthful sacrifices; and God always responds to a sacrifice.

After the worship service, God used Rev. Christine to remind us about God's care and love, for everyone in this world, not just for His Children and that God's love for us is immeasurable, beyond what we can ever imagine.

That Sunday evening, Rev. Tony exhorted 'The Ministry of Waiting On The Lord', with the text taken from Isaiah 40: 29-31!!! My hair stood on their ends because God has used this Scripture to speak to us 3 times within 9 days. Rev. Tony told us that the first church was born after much prayers; that we do not need to impress God with how spiritual we are; that God accepts us just as we are; that we have nothing to prove (it is finished!); and that after our waiting and renewal, it is then time for us to come out of our cave, like Elijah at Kerith Ravine to do God's Will.

Rev. Tony's 4th and last message was 'Jesus' Favourite Place' with the text taken from Matthew 21: 17 'And he left them and went out of the city to Bethany, where he spent the night.' Jesus' Favourite Place was Bethany, where He was welcomed and heard. Jesus found peace, joy, rest and friends at Bethany. Rev. Tony asked us whether our home and church would be Jesus' Favourite home and church, where He would be welcomed and heard. Where He would find peace, joy, rest and us as his friends. Whether it is our homes or JBBC, we need to be united, in a bond of peace.

Rev. Tony's last scripture reference was taken from Psalm 133! The camp opened with this psalm and then we finished our series of messages with Psalm 133 and the last line was verse 3b, 'For there the Lord bestows his blessing, even life forevermore.' Because our homes and JBBC ought to be the favourite place of our Jesus.

My friends. Our JOURNEY continues and I pray that each and everyone of us continues with this unity and bond. I then remembered that the example of king Hezekiah opening the doors of the temple, thus returning the people of Israel and Judah back to rightful worship of the LORD (Rev. Tony's text in his 1st sermon) did result in the Hand of God being placed on the people to give them unity of mind to carry out what the king and his officials had ordered, following the word of the LORD. (2 Chronicles 30:12)

Let's follow our Jesus together in OUR JOURNEY because our GOD is going to place His Hand on us to give us unity of mind to continue with our JOURNEY to the DESTINATION that GOD wants us to go. And that DESTINATION is to build up JBBC spiritually and then make disciples of all nations. Amen.

Peace.

Proverbs 4:18 The path of the righteous

Our Camp Speaker, Rev Tony Phang shared with us that all of us are work-in-progress and he quoted Proverbs 4:18, "The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day."

The best is yet to come! The picture at Tanjung Sepang Resort, taken at 7:06 am on a beautiful Sunday morning, says it all.

 

 

 

 

As simply said by our Camp Speaker, Rev Tony Phang, "God wants you to get better and better, greater and greater, and blessed and more blessed!"

May you continue on your journey of faith, knowing that your path will get brighter and brighter each passing day as you go through various transitions in life.

Peace.

Church Camp. Do you not know? Have you not heard?

Hello everybody. Again. Do you not know? Have you not heard? About our Church Camp.

If this sounds familiar, go read Isaiah 40: 28 - 31.

The good news is that most of us at JBBC are heading for our church camp at Tanjung Sutera Resort, Kuala Sedili Besar, from 4th June to 6th June 2016.

The not so good news is that with so few people left who could not join for various reasons, we are unable to hold our worship service on the Saturday night (4th June 2016). We will however conduct a worship service at our camp site on the Sunday morning on 5th June. We will keep all those who are unable to join us in our prayers.

 

So if you're one of those who could not join us, why not read Isaiah 40: 28 - 31 and use this passage as your devotion for Saturday night? The Lord bless you and keep you as you devote yourself to the reading of the Word.

10,000 apologies that JBBC will be closed on the 4th June. Do join us the following Saturday on the 11th June.

Blessings.

One … Two … Three …. A Very Big Thank You!

Hello everybody.

One ... Two ... Three ... A Very Big Thank You!

To all those seen and unseen hands that worked tirelessly to make honouring mothers very meaningful last night.

From the decorations to the parking wardens, to the worship leader, to the song leader and her musical team, to the ushers, to the speaker and his interpreter, to the cooks, helpers and washing up, to the arrangements of chairs, tables, etc., to the children and their parents of the DC, to the video film director and producer, to those looking after small children, to the cheerful folks of the English Conversational Club, to the rain, for pouring at the right time and for stopping at the right time (thus cooling JBBC down), to the DC teachers, to the hardworking people that arranged the Mothers' Day and "to-mum-with-love-flower" gifts, to the gracious folks who let others take their food first, and to the Fellowship Department for organising the whole event.

 

Colossians 3: 23, 24, "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving."

Last but not least, to our Almighty and Sovereign LORD for being a shining example, not only to mothers, but to all of humankind.

One more time, a loud One ... Two ... Three ... A Very Big Thank You!

And a thousand apologies to those I may have inadvertently missed out. Be assured, Our Heavenly Father knows!

Amen.

Church Camp News Flash!

  • Hello everybody!
You may have seen Dr Hong's post in our JBBC Community WhatsApp Chat in which he announced that the church camp will be from Saturday 4th June to Monday 6th June 2016. http://www.tanjungsuteraresort.com/ I think the pictures paint thousands of words. Don't expect the Shangri-la or the Ritz-Carlton but the reviews from Tripadvisor are not too bad (Ranked # 3 out of 11 hotels in the Kota Tinggi area). Here is a Tripadvisor review from Singaporean Andrew Yew :
“Second stay” 4 of 5 stars
Reviewed 12 August 2015. Managed to find time to come back here again. Since my last visit, I noticed that there were improvements made:
  • New children pool built
  • improved wifi, can download some data this time
  • there were much less insects than before, maybe due to season
  • electronic gate installed enhancing security
  •  free flow of drinks
  • I also have a nicer room this time round.
  • I really love the nearby Temala Beach. It is just a short 5 min drive away.
  • The food is just as good as the last time with large portions.
  • As my stay is short this time I did not need to go the village provision shop for comfort food like potato chips.
  • The coastal beach is picturesque so everyday I saw a marriage couple there for photography session. From the old map, there is a durian plantation nearby but we did not find it.
  • We enjoyed our stay here away from the city.
 
 
So hurry hurry! Say Yes, lock-in the dates and we can build relationships and camaraderie among the JBBC community, maybe even invite friends to join in.
 
The cost apparently is pretty reasonable and JBBC will look into some form of generous subsidy and arrange transport. Details will be forthcoming. Just say yes and Dr Hong and his team will start the planning.
 
The camp speaker (not confirmed yet) should be Rev Tony Phang. He spoke to us last year in December. Remember? He and his wife, Rev Christine Phang, served as missionaries in Kenya.
 
The theme would be "Building Up a Strong Church" with text taken from Ephesians 2: 20 - 22.
 
See you there?
 

Sunrise at Tanjung Sutera

Tanjung Sutera Resort

Swimming pool

Multi-purpose hall

Standard Chalet