Sunday, June 24, 2018

Announcement

Penang Open Day Coupons
Date: 29th Sept 2018 (Sat)
Time: 9am - 2pm
Venue: Penang Children's Home
Details: Your help, support and assistant are needed to sell the coupons.
Please see Capt. Fiona for the coupons. Thank you.

80th Anniversary Charity Dinner & Celebration
Date: 18-19th Aug 2018 (Sat-Sun)
Theme: Amazing Grace
Details: For those interested to attend this celebration, please submit your form to Capt Fiona.

Cell Group (Southwest)
Date: 29 June 2918
Time: 8pm
Venue: Bro John Lee House


“All Things to All People”

The Bible tells us, “Do not be shaped by this world.” It also tells us to “become all things to all people.” At first glance these instructions may seem contradictory, but they can actually complement each other. God does not want us to conform to ungodly attitudes, no matter how prevalent they may be, but He does want us to be attuned to society in ways that allow us to better show His love to others, that we might bring them closer to Him.
The apostle Paul was a good example of this kind of flexibility as he related to and reached a great variety of people. When addressing a predominantly Jewish audience in Antioch, for example, he reminded them of the history of Israel from the time of Moses to the time of David, and then he showed how Jesus had fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies about the coming Messiah. But when Paul spoke to the Areopagus council in Athens, sophisticated Greeks who would not have been interested in hearing a history of the Jewish people, he began by referring to an altar he had seen in the city, which bore the inscription “To an Unknown God.” Then he quoted Greek poets to show that the attributes of this god—creation, providence, and judgment—were fulfilled in Jesus.
Francis Xavier (1506–1552) also lived the “all things to all men” principle. In order to relate to the Indian people who considered humility a virtue, he wore shabby attire and traveled on foot. When he later visited Japan, however, he found that humility was not considered a virtue and that poverty was despised. So Xavier dressed in fine clothing, brought expensive gifts to the emperor, and traveled at all times with an impressive entourage. He did whatever it took to present Jesus in the best possible light to the people he wanted to reach.
Jesus Himself “became all things to all people” when He left the grand halls of heaven and the intimate fellowship that He shared with His heavenly Father to come to earth in human form. He did this so that He could better relate to us, better understand our problems and weaknesses, and better intercede for us before the throne of God. Jesus wants us to follow His example. He wants us to manifest our love for others by reaching people on their level.
Philippians 2:5-7 KJV – Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God. But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.
1 Corinthians 9:22 ESV – To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some.
Hebrews 2:17 NIV – For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

People Are Good

I’ve known Alex for four years. He is 24 years old, has cerebral palsy, and is one of our Women’s Club food delivery recipients. Each time I deliver food, we spend an hour or so talking. “If you could go anywhere in the world,” I asked him several times, “where would you go?” His answer was always the same: St. Petersburg, Russia.
Last year he graduated from university with honors. For his extraordinary achievement he received plane tickets for two to St. Petersburg—a gift from a family that had heard about him through the food delivery program.
Alex was beside himself with happiness—so much so that he couldn’t sleep at night. Neither could his mother, who worried about where the money for all of the other trip expenses would come from. Four days in St. Petersburg could cost as much as several months at home, and she didn’t have that kind of savings.
They were looking into shared-accommodation possibilities when the manager of the St. PetersburgMarriott Hotel heard about Alex and offered them a complimentary room for their entire stay, breakfast included, as well as transfers to and from the airport.
A director at my husband’s company organized and paid for a private tour of the city, as well as visits to the Hermitage Museum, one of the finest art museums in the world, and Peterhof, the summer palace of Peter the Great. Memories for a lifetime!
People are good. People want to do good. If a few individuals who didn’t even know each other could make such a difference to Alex, how much more can we do when we unite with the clear purpose of changing lives for the better?
A man was walking near a beach when he saw a boy bend over, pick something up, and throw it into the ocean. Over and over the boy did this. The man went to see what was going on, and found that countless starfish had been washed onto the beach by the tide. Struck by the apparent futility of the task the boy had taken on, the man said, “You must be crazy! There are hundreds and hundreds of starfish here. You can’t possibly make a difference.” But the boy bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it back in the ocean. “I made a difference to that one,” he replied.
Colossians 3:17 ESV – And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Galatians 6:9 ESV – And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
Hebrews 10:24 ESV – And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,

Friday, June 22, 2018

Do Not Be Overcome

It’s interesting that the apostle Paul wrote that to the Christians in Rome, because there are some obvious similarities between the social climate of first-century Rome and that of much of the world of today.
Evil was rampant in Rome, and its pull was strong. The Roman Empire hadn’t become the undisputed ruler of the Western world through compassion, kindness, or humility. Wealth was in the hands of a few, and they used it to control the rest. The rich and powerful lived extravagantly while the masses struggled to survive. Perversions and debauchery were practiced by some and ignored by others.
Christianity was just one religion and Christ just one more deity. Considering the pantheon of gods that the Romans worshipped, it must have been difficult to convince anyone that Jesus was “the way, the truth, and the life.”
Starting to sound familiar?
It is easy to feel overwhelmed by the evil in the world. Every day we hear about another horrible crime being committed. Meanwhile, the popular media searches for new and more horrific ways to portray violence, perversion, and all manner of evil. Whether it’s a case of art imitating life or vice versa, life has lost its sanctity in the minds of many.
What can we do about a world so overcome with evil? This was the same dilemma that the Christians in Rome faced, and Paul’s counsel to them rings true today. “Overcome evil with good.”
If a dish is dirty, being angry about the situation does nothing to fix it. Neither does trying to ignore it. The only solution is to expose that dirty dish to the power of a little soap and water.
If a room is dark, you can curse the darkness or whine over how unpleasant it is—or you can flip the light switch or open the curtains and let some light in.
It’s the same with society’s evils. We can get discouraged, angry, or depressed—“overcome by evil”—or we can be a force for good, even if only through personal example. Not every dirty dish will be cleaned, and not every darkened heart will be enlightened, but we can each do our part day by day, person by person, decision by decision.
Romans 12:17-20 – Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it[a] to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.”
Romans 12:21 ESV – Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Ambassadors of Love

Through His children, God is trying to show the world what He is like. Jesus said, “As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” Jesus came to love the world, and He calls us to do likewise in every facet of life. The only way that others will ever find His joy and peace and love and happiness and heaven is through us.
No matter where we are from, if we have Jesus, we are now His ambassadors and represent the King of kings, the One who runs the universe.
What was Jesus’ last message to His disciples at the Last Supper, just before He was arrested, taken to jail, beaten, and killed? “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” He talked about love, that love was the most important thing.
Those first Christians turned the world upside down with the love of God. The way they lived convinced others that their faith was real. Even their Roman persecutors marveled. “Look at how these Christians love one another!” “Who is this Christ?” they asked the Christians. “And how does He make you so happy? Even though you have nothing, you’ve got everything! How can I find this kind of happiness too?” And within two hundred years, one out of five people in the Western world were professing Christians.
Today, nearly two thousand years later, the heart of man is still the same. So many people are searching for love, but seldom, if ever, finding it. People everywhere are looking around for some little ray of hope, some salvation, some bright spot somewhere, a little love, a little mercy, someplace where they can find some relief. We who have found God and His love have what others have been searching for all their lives and need desperately, and if we can show them that love exists, then they can believe that God exists, because God is love.
Even the little things you do can mean a lot. The light of your smile, the kindness of your face, the influence of your life can shed light on many and have an amazing effect on some of the people you think might be the least likely to be impressed. When they feel your love and you tell them it’s God’s love, they think, Maybe Somebody up there really does love me! It can change their whole outlook on life and give them a new start.
May we always be known by our love.
John 13:35 KJV – By this shall all [men] know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
Romans 13:10 KJV – Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love [is] the fulfilling of the law.
Hebrews 13:1 – Let brotherly love continue.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Because You Can

The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow; Do good anyway.
The first time I read these words, I remember thinking they didn’t make sense. That was going to change.
My mom and I had gotten on a bus, and as we walked down the aisle looking for two empty seats together, I noticed a young mother with a toddler and a baby. The toddler was obviously bored, and his mother was struggling to keep him seated while also trying to make her baby more comfortable.
We took seats directly behind them, and I selected a playlist on my MP3 player, hoping to tune out the distraction and enjoy the ride. But soon the baby’s whimpers turned to loud crying. I was getting annoyed.
The young mother looked stressed and embarrassed, but was that any of my business? No one else on the bus seemed to think it was any of theirs—except for my mom, who went and sat next to the struggling mother.
They had been talking for a few minutes when the woman turned in her seat. Tears were streaming down her cheek. I turned off my MP3 player and leaned in closer to hear what she was saying.
She was making the three-hour bus ride with her children in order to visit her husband, who was in jail. She was out of money and hadn’t been able to buy milk for the baby or lunch for herself and her son. I wondered if Mom believed her. Some people will say anything for a handout.
Mom reached into her purse and produced an apple, which she handed to the little boy. Then she pressed some money into the woman’s hand.
“Marianne,” she said, turning to me, “these people are changing buses at the same station as we are. Can you help the little boy?”
I looked at his dirty hair and stained clothes. Couldn’t he just follow on his own?Then another line from that poem came to me.
Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.
The bus stopped, and I bent down and scooped the little boy into my arms. It might not mean anything to him, but I could still choose to do good. I could show love anyway.
“Thanks,” the little fellow said, laying his head on my shoulder. We saw them to their next bus and waved as they pulled out.
Now I understand. Love gives because it can.
John 13:34 ESV – A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.
Hebrews 13:1-2 ESV – Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
Psalm 119:132-136 ESV – Turn to me and be gracious to me, as is your way with those who love your name. Keep steady my steps according to your promise, and let no iniquity get dominion over me. Redeem me from man’s oppression, that I may keep your precepts. Make your face shine upon your servant, and teach me your statutes. My eyes shed streams of tears, because people do not keep your law.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Being Neighborly

A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.
Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite [temple assistant], when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side.
But a certain Samaritan [a member of an ethnic and religious group shunned by Jews of that time], as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, “Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.”
So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?
—Jesus, The Parable of the Good Samaritan, Luke 10:30–36.
With the story of the Good Samaritan, Jesus taught that our neighbor is anyone who needs our help, regardless of race, creed, color, nationality, condition, or location. If we have love, we can’t just pass by someone in need; we’ll take action, like the Samaritan did. That’s the difference between pity and compassion. Pity just feels sorry; compassion does something about it. The compassionate put feet to their prayers and kind deeds to their kind words.
Love is making a connection between God and somebody who needs His love, and we do that by showing others His real love and manifesting it by genuine proving action. “The love of Christ compels us.”
What does love look like? It has eyes to see misery and want. It has ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. It has hands to help others. It has feet to hasten to help the poor and needy. That is what love looks like.
—Saint Augustine
If you’d stop to think about it, you’d probably be surprised at how many thoughtful little things you could find to do for others that would cost almost nothing and take almost no time. Become a master of the five-minute favor.
—Shannon Shayler
Luke 10:30-36 NIV – In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’ “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

Monday, June 18, 2018

Jesus’ Yoke

I had read that passage from the Bible I don’t know how many times. I memorized it years ago, and it has often appeared on these pages. “Come to Me [Jesus], all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Then I read something that helped me see those verses in a new light.
Philip Yancey writes, “I used to believe that Christianity solved problems and made life easier. Increasingly, I believe that my faith complicates life, in ways it should be complicated. As a Christian, I cannot not care about the environment, about homelessness and poverty, about racism and religious persecution, about injustice and violence. God does not give me that option.”
Yancey goes on to quote that old familiar passage, which he explains this way: “Jesus offers comfort, but the comfort consists of taking on a new burden, His own burden. Jesus offers a peace that involves new turmoil, a rest that involves new tasks.”
What new tasks? Jesus summed them up when He summed up the Christian faith: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself”—our “neighbor” being anyone we are in a position to help. Loving others as much as we love ourselves doesn’t come naturally and seldom is easy, but it’s one of the keys to happiness, fulfillment, and success in life.
Take Jesus’ yoke. Give Him yours. It’s the best trade you’ll ever make.
Matthew 11:28-30 ESV – Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Psalm 55:22 ESV – Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.
Galatians 6:2 ESV – Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.