Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Up-2-Date [30-09-09]

Do youth ministries cause problems for the church?
Mistakes pastors make in practicing church discipline
Church growth in the USA
Oxymoron? Pastors enjoying community

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Saturday, 26 September 2009

Prepare self before sermon

No book on a minister’s philosophy of preaching is complete without pausing to look at the preacher himself….The preacher must be a man who is characterised by spirituality in an unusual degree..The preacher’s first, and most important task is to prepare himself, not his sermon.”
(Martyn Lloyd Jones, quoted in Tony Sargent, The Sacred Anointing, p.90)

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Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Christians urged to mentor consumerist generation of believers
by Jenna Lyle (CP, 23 Sep 2009)

Christians growing up in the consumerist generation need help to maintain their faith and live for Jesus as they transition to adulthood, said evangelical leaders at a recent symposium.

They were responding to the results of a survey of young Christians which were unveiled during the Evangelical Alliance council symposium on mission among 18- to 30-year-olds, the so-called "missing generation."

The survey of 800 young Christians at a Soul Survivor conference found that most were drawn to a church that could provide resources to help them in their own personal faith, followed by one which provided excellent worship or was a place where they could relate to the people.

The characteristics least likely to attract them to a church were being mission-orientated or a safe place to invite friends.

Addressing the council, Soul Survivor’s Mike Pilavachi said that a culture of consumerism, individualism and entitlement had “eaten into the psyche of 20-somethings.”

(read more)

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Monday, 21 September 2009

Why the Evangelical Manifesto did not "work"
by Michael Patton @ Parchment and Pen (21 Sep 2009)

Patton wrote an interesting post on why the Evangelical Manifesto (released 07 May 08) did not "work". See my previous post for the full document, summary and initial reactions from the likes of Al Mohler, Darrell Bock, Justin Taylor, etc.

See related article
An Evangelical Manifesto (07 May 08)

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Saturday, 19 September 2009

A failure to think

John Stott quotes Martyn Lloyd-Jones, commenting on Matt 6:30, in his book Your Mind Matters.
Faith according to our Lord’s teaching in this paragraph, is primarily thinking; and the whole trouble with a man of little faith is that he does not think. He allows circumstances to bludgeon him. … We must spend more time in studying our Lord’s lessons in observation and deduction. The Bible is full of logic, and we must never think of faith as something purely mystical. We do not just sit down in an armchair and expect marvelous things to happen to us. That is not Christian faith. Christian faith is essentially thinking. Look at the birds, think about them, draw your deductions. Look at the grass, look at the lilies of the field, consider them. … Faith, if you like, can be defined like this: It is a man insisting upon thinking when everything seems determined to bludgeon and knock him down in an intellectual sense. The trouble with the person of little faith is that, instead of controlling his own thought, his thought is being controlled by something else, and, as we put it, he goes round and round in circles. That is the essence of worry. … That is not thought; that is the absence of thought, a failure to think.

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Do You Know? - Convergence

See related articles:
How would you present the gospel on Twitter? (08 May 09)
The gospel in 3 minutes (New Word Alive '08)

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Thursday, 17 September 2009

All-Asia EFC Conference @ Cebu, 15-18 Sep 09

Had the privilege of attending the 8th All-Asia EFC Conference @ Cebu, Philippines from 15-18 Sep 2009. Delegates from all over Asia gather every 4 years to share country updates, prayer needs, and network and renew our vision and commitment to make disciples of all nations. This year's conference saw 150+ participants from Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and representatives from ReachGlobal USA, the missions arm of EFC America. About 20+ pastors from EFC Singapore attended, from 7 out of the 9 EFC churches here. The theme was "Leaving a lasting legacy."

In one of the morning sessions, Ps Edmund shared from Josh 24:15, 31; Jdg 2:10 on 3 generations of Israel.
  • Conviction - know God (Reality of Faith) -> Commitment
  • Convenience - know about God (Routine of Faith) -> Carelessness
  • Compromise - does not know God (Rejection of Faith) -> Confusion

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Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Up-2-Date [15-09-09]

The "idea" of evangelicalism (2): Distinctives vs. norms
Too much too soon
Why discipleship is our only hope
Youth pastor segregation
The narcissistic church
Commanders, kings and celebrities

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Sunday, 13 September 2009

Always be prepared

What would you do if you knew that you only had 1 month left to live? How about 1 week? How about 1 day? Would you live your life any differently, do all the things you always wanted to do, but never got the opportunity or time to? There's something about the urgency of time when we know that our end is near. Somehow we abandon rational or logical thinking, such as saving up for a rainy day, or the perspective that we work hard today so that we can enjoy in the future. I believe that it is something that God tries to remind us, yet only when we realise the brevity of our fleeting lives, that life is short, and that many endeavors and goals in life are temporal, without eternal value or significance, that we stop to ponder and gain perspective of what is important and what we should focus on in life.

Jesus exhorts his disciples in Mk 13:33 to “Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come” and elsewhere, in Matt 24:42 to “keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.” Time and time again, throughout the New Testament, there is a consistent and imminent message, “The kingdom of heaven is near.” One day, sooner or later, Jesus Christ is coming again. As Christians, we have the assurance that either we will die and be united with Him in heaven, or He will return in our lifetime to reign over heaven and earth.

As we study the book of Revelation, there might be times when we ask ourselves, what relevance does the end times have with my life? Ask yourself, if Christ returns tomorrow, would you be ready to give an account for your life? What would be the things you wished you had done or accomplished, for yourself, for your family, for God? What would be the words that you would regret not saying to your loved ones, your friends, your spouse or children? Would you regret not spending more time or money on the things and people that matter most?

Don't live your life simply for tomorrow. “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself ... Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matt 6:33-34) Live for Christ today. He exhorts us to deny ourselves, take up our cross daily and follow Him (Lk 9:23). Let us proclaim His good news with boldness and urgency, since “with the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise ... He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Pet 3:8-9). May we always be watchful, always alert, always prepared.

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Saturday, 12 September 2009

Do you love the applause of people?

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Friday, 11 September 2009

Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit

Had the wonderful privilege of attending the Dead Sea Scrolls (DSS) exhibit when they were in town for a few weeks. Initially I was not expecting much, and figured I would be paying S$20+ to view an individual small exhibit showing a fragment of the DSS. I was amazingly surprised! There were 3 full exhibition halls, one of the DSS, another of OT documents, and the last of NT documents. They had replicas and copies of the Geneva Bible, the first English Bible, the Bibles Luther, Erasmus, Wycliffe used for translations, the first printed Bible, etc. They also had fantastic round-the-clock guided tours for each section led by young curators who quoted historical dates, figures and events like a preacher quoting Scripture. It was definitely worth the trip, and to be part of this tiny part of history, when Singapore hosted the DSS exhibits, and I got to share this experience with my wife, and her siblings.

Click here for some of the photos we took at the exhibit.

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Thursday, 10 September 2009

Fashion photographer captures Jesus in 21st century

by Michelle Vu (CP, 10 Sep 2009)

A veteran fashion photographer who is used to having his works featured in Vogue, GQ and Elle will release his most “rewarding” collection – “Journeys with the Messiah” – on Friday, the eighth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

His website:

(read more)

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Saturday, 5 September 2009

Team Hoyt

I first was introduced to Dick and Rick Hoyt, or Team Hoyt as they're more commonly known, by Dr Gary Thomas when he conducted a counselling seminar here on his book "Sacred Marriage".

He was sharing how he personally met and knew them, noting that they were not Christians. Dick also shared just recently, at a routine medical checkup, his doctor discovered he had a mild heart attack, which he wasn't even aware of, and if not for his excellent conditioning and fitness level, he could have died from it. Dick commented, it was not him saving his son, but that his son actually saved his life.

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