Friday, 17 June 2011

New website & blog launched! (updated)

Update (19 Aug 2014)
The free web hosting provider I was using recently just suspended my account for over-usage, so I have decided to migrate back to Wordpress.com. Apologies all for the disruption. Visit us at Skillful Shepherds Blog.
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After a month of researching and upgrading my knowledge and use of open source software such as WordPress and Joomla!, and hunting for the best deal and platform for domains and web hosting, I'm pleased to announce that I've effectively migrated this blog to http://blog.skillfulshepherds.org. You can find all my old posts intact there. Thank you so much for your support, readership, and partnership in the gospel and Christian ministry. Looking forward to more interactions and dialogue, web partnerships and friendships formed and forged. To God be the glory!

Friday, 6 May 2011

Migration of blog to WordPress

Dear readers,

I'm in the midst of migrating my blog over to WordPress. Do visit my new URL @ http://skillfulshepherds.wordpress.com. All posts and comments are intact, just migrating blog server to accomodate future upgrading and enhancements. Thanks for your support and readership!

Shalom,
Timothy P

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Youths' level of faith dependent on community

http://www.christianpost.com/news/study-youths-level-of-faith-depends-on-community-50011/

A survey of 80 teens (10-20 year olds) from various faith communities, including Christian and Mulsim, conducted by a professor from a Mormon university found that parents, religious leaders, a faith community, rituals and traditions, faith tradition or denomination, God and sacred texts are crucial to a young person's faith.

It also found that
Keeping the traditions and a strong relationship with their church community not only helps teens in their faith commitment but also gears them toward seeking a religious network once they leave home and go to college – which tends to be a period when many either leave faith or place their faith on the backburner.

(read more)

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Singapore General Elections 2011

I'm really quite excited with the upcoming General Elections 2011. For the first time in my life, I'm eligible to vote, as I'm under Sembawang GRC, which is being contested by SDP this time round (in fact, 82 out of 87 seats, compared to 2006, 47 out of 84, and 2001, 29 out of 84). For the previous 2 elections, I was living in Novena under Tanglin-Cairnhill, which has been moved around from being a SMC, to part of Kreta Ayer-Tanglin, then now Tanjong Pagar GRC (which has never been contested, even this round, when the opposition team missed the submission deadline by 35 seconds!).

One of my schoolmates is even running under WP for East Coast GRC. You can find out more about him, Gerald Giam, at his socio-political blog here.
 
Blogpastor has written an excellent and succint summary of key issues to consider as Christians when voting in our General Elections. You can read it here.

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Sunday, 17 April 2011

Extravagant worship

Recently, there was a commotion in the media about the Ministry of Manpower buying designer Herman Miller chairs priced at S$575 for their civil servants. People were asking if this was really necessary, and whether the government should be spending so much money. On a more personal note, my wife is expecting our first son, and we recently attended a public talk on storing of a baby’s cord blood in private banks. The suggested fee worked out to $1k for enrolment, and about $250 a year for 1, 5, or even up to 21 years. Of course, the organizers, who represented a particular company, would strongly encourage and convince you that it is really vital and beneficial for you to store your baby’s cord blood, as it can be used in future for medical treatments of possible blood-related diseases. These two incidents caused me to reflect about the worth or value that we place on items, or what one would be willing to spend for a certain quality of item or service.

The passage for today's sermon (Mk 14:1-11) contrasts a woman who anointed Jesus with perfume, and Judas Iscariot who agreed to betray Jesus. Interestingly, the jar of perfume the woman broke was priced at 300 denarii (about $6000, a year's wages in those days), and it was Judas himself who complained (Jn 12:4), only later to agree to betray Jesus for a thirty silver coins (about $600). Perhaps to those present, the woman had wasted this precious perfume and money pouring it all over Jesus, but Jesus accepted her sacrificial offering, as she was symbollically anointing or blessing Him (in preparation for His burial). I wonder if we were living in Jesus' day, would we have felt or said the same things as those present?
Read the full article >>

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Saturday, 5 March 2011

7 marks of great preaching

Good article on 7 key marks of great preaching.
http://www.sermoncentral.com/pastors-preaching-articles/david-lose-7-marks-of-great-preaching-797.asp

A good sermon:
  • Engages the biblical text
  • Proclaims the gospel
  • Connects God's word to the lives of God's people
  • Is well organized and easy to understand
  • Engages the imaginations of the hearers
  • Is delivered well
  • Orients hearers to life in God's world
(read more)

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Saturday, 5 February 2011

The problem with pizzazz

http://www.christianitytoday.com/le/2011/spring/problempizzazz.html

Leadership Journal interviewed Chuck Swindoll about the use of entertainment values in worship, based on his latest book, The Church Awakening: An Urgent Call for Renewal, which outlines the dangers when churches seek the world's affirmation and copy the world's methods.

(read more)

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Sunday, 30 January 2011

新年蒙恩 (Blessed New Year!)

The Chinese Lunar New Year, or 春节 (chun1 jie2), normally celebrated in February, is traditionally tied to the arrival of spring, where everything starts to grow again and birds and animals return, symbolizing the new life that is about to spring forth. Some even suggest that an ancient myth involving a beast called 年 (nian2), may have had its origins from the Israel's Passover (Ex 12:1-30). Have you ever stopped to wonder why we celebrate or remember customs and traditions, particularly Chinese New Year, for those in our midst who are ethnically Chinese? Do our ethnic roots, beliefs and practices conflict with our Christian faith and testimony? It's interesting that our sermon passage for today begins, “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.” (Col 2:8)
Read the full article >>

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Thursday, 6 January 2011

Youth EE training (3-6 Jan 11)

Did our 3rd run of Youth EE training from 3-6 Jan. 7 youths and 1 young adult graduated from the course, making 77 contacts, sharing the full gospel with 50 people, and seeing 7 come to salvation and 3 reassurances of faith. Praise God for His blessings and favour!

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Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Sarah through the looking glass



A videologue* of one of my youth leaders, Sarah, who used the opportunity of her 21st birthday to share her birthday wishes, reflect on her life and friendships, and reach out to her non-Christian friends.
*video produced by another youth leader, Germaine

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