Saturday, 30 January 2010

Song - What can I do by Paul Baloche



1. When I see the beauty of a sunset's glory
Amazing artistry across the evening sky
When I feel the mystery of a distant galaxy
It awes and humbles me to be loved
By a God so high

Chorus: What can I do but thank You
What can I do but give my life to You
Hallelujah, hallelujah
What can I do but praise You
Everyday make everything I do a hallelujah
A hallelujah, hallelujah

2. When I hear the story of a God of mercy
Who shared humanity and suffered by our side
Of the cross they nailed You to, that could not hold You
Now You're making all things new by the power
Of Your risen life

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Saturday, 23 January 2010

Song - Give us clean hands by Chris Tomlin



We bow our hearts
We bend our knees
O Spirit come make us humble
We turn our eyes
From evil things
O Lord we cast down our idols

Chorus: So give us clean hands
and give us pure hearts
Let us not lift our souls to another
O God let this be
a generation that seeks
Who seeks Your face, O God of Jacob (repeat)

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Friday, 22 January 2010

Survey - Sermons fail to inspire change in believers

A recent UK survey of 193 Anglicans, Catholics, Methodists and Baptists showed that
only 17 percent said sermons frequently changed their attitudes towards others or helped them look afresh at controversial or topical issues. Sixty-two percent of those questioned said sermons frequently gave them a sense of God’s love and helped them to understand Jesus; two thirds said they “frequently” looked forward to the sermon; and 84 percent said the sermons should be rooted in the Bible.
(read more)

I wonder what if a similar survey was done in Singapore, would the results be similar?

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Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Youth need truth, not 'easy believism'

Apologists gathered on an AFA broadcast "Church Dropout: Overcoming the Youth Exodus" to discuss the pervasive problem of youths leaving the church. Those in attendance included Frank Turek, William Lane Craig, Bill Dembski, Mike Adams and Josh McDowell.
Citing surveys by The Barna Group and LifeWay Research, (Frank) Turek says that about three in four youths who are brought up in the church walk away from the church after high school. And the problem exists across denominations "from Roman Catholic to Pentecostal and everything in between," he said ... One in five surveyed young adults said they wanted to take a break from church once they finished high school. Responding to the excuse, Turek said students are likely to think college is "a good time to put God on the back burner" because they are on their own for the first time and "don't really want to live like a Christian" during their college years.
(read more)

Their conclusions? Youths need to be challenged about and taught the truth, intellectually why Christianity is true, and why and what they believe. A good book related to this topic written by McDowell is Beyond Belief to Conviction.

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Monday, 18 January 2010

Ps 45

Psalm 45

Introduction
- a royal wedding/romance (Solomon & his bride)
- divine romance between King/Messiah & us
- love relationship, not just exposition, but invitation to enter that love relationship
- God wants us to make Him the sole agenda
- no higher purpose in life than to walk in intimacy with our God
Read the full article >>

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Pastors' Prayer Summit @ Malacca, 18-21 Jan 10

Attended my 2nd Pastors' Prayer Summit (PPS) from 18-21 Jan 2010. Last year, we went up in 1 car with my senior and 2 other pastors. This year, my senior plus 6 other pastors from our church attended, some went by car, others by coach. The format and structure of this year's PPS was similar to previous years, with added focus on personal reflection and solitude. There was no one central theme, though several of the messages were in line with the themes of returning to our first love, spiritual disciplines, and our identity in Christ.

Read the full article >>

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Saturday, 16 January 2010

Book Review - Real Church by Larry Crabb

Crabb, Larry. Real Church. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2002.

As the subtitle reads, this book explores if the real church actually exists, and what constitutes a real church. Crabb, in his uncanny wit and direct frankness, explores the state and situation of the church, mainly in the context of North America. He then moves to 3 common misconceptions of what a church exists for, namely for a better life, to save ourselves and others, and to change the world. He then unpacks his own definition of a real church, focusing on 4 areas, namely spiritual theology, formation, community and mission.
The church I want to be part of, a real church, will teach spiritual theology that stirs a hunger for spiritual formation that surfaces the need for spiritual community that then marshals its resources for spiritual mission.
Not being familiar with Crabb's earlier and popular books e.g. Inside Out, I initially found his style and comments rather suspicious and a little too tongue-in-cheek, though I understand he was being extreme and in-your-face for emphasis, and also speaking his mind, but slowly then drawing the audience to think outside the box, for themselves, and also get drawn into his reasoning and unpacking which comes subsequently. The content and material he puts forth is not new, but still refreshing, especially his take of what many Christians view as church, or what church should be for. I find him leaning towards emergent church theology, though he mentions clearly at least twice his misgivings and concerns about the movement. He also uses terms and phrases that don't necessary sit well with evangelical theology, e.g. dancing with the Trinity, addiction to God, hearing heaven's music, etc. Also, I find that the book is a little imbalanced, because he spends so much time reflecting on the state of the church, and misconceptions of the purposes of a church, it seems he rushes through the 4 areas, and before it can reach a climax, ends rather abruptly, concluding that theology is the thing that draws the other 3 together, without really explaining too much why and how. Instead, he leaves us thirsty for more, which creates a great plug-in for his other book 66 Love Letters, which he then promotes. On purpose, or just in line with his conclusion? I leave it to you to decide.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com <http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html>: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Thursday, 14 January 2010

Leading the small church - misconceptions of success

Excerpts by Les Puryear on Glenn Daman's Leading the Small Church.

Misperceptions about success in the small church:
1. Successful pastors are visionaries
2. Successful pastors are effective CEOs
3. Successful pastors are program developers
4. Successful pastors are growth agents
5. Successful pastors serve large churches
6. Successful pastors are well-loved

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Saturday, 9 January 2010

Ebook (free) - Theological Clarity & Application by Scott Thomas

Scott Thomas from Acts 29 Network has produced a 91-page condensed interactive workbook based on Wayne Grudem's Christian Beliefs: Twenty basics every Christians should know (Zondervan, 2005), which itself is a condensed version of Grudem's Systematic Theology (Zondervan, 1994).

The best part of it? It's absolutely free and reproducible in its entirety. A really useful resources for preparing leaders for ministry and a basic systematic theology curriculum, even for youths and young adults.

Click here for the full color version. Visit their website for other free versions (B&W, questions only, etc).

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Friday, 8 January 2010

Muslim groups hold protests in Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR : Muslim groups held protests outside 10 mosques across the nation on Friday, amid a dispute over the use of the word "Allah" by non-Muslims.

Police deployed officers to patrol churches and mosques across the country after a midnight attack gutted the ground floor of a church in suburban Kuala Lumpur.

Molotov cocktails were thrown into the compounds of two other churches in pre-dawn raids, but did not cause serious damage.

Prime Minister Najib Razak condemned the attacks which he said could destroy racial harmony in multicultural Malaysia.

"As a multiracial community we must practise respect for one another... it cannot come under threat from anybody," he told state media, pledging action to prevent any further incidents.
Read the full article >>

Malaysian church fire-bombed ahead of Muslim protests

KUALA LUMPUR: A church in Malaysia has been fire-bombed in an attack that gutted its ground floor, church officials said on Friday, escalating a dispute over the use of the word "Allah" by non-Muslims.

A fire department official said all stations were on alert for more blazes at religious buildings, ahead of planned nationwide protests on Friday by Muslim groups angry over the use of the word as a translation for the Christian "God."

The three-storey Metro Tabernacle church in suburban Kuala Lumpur was set ablaze in the attack which took place around midnight, said church leader Peter Yeow, 62.

"Witnesses saw four people smash the glass and throw incendiaries into the church building. They came on two motorcycles," he told AFP at the scene as fire department forensic officers picked through the wreckage.

There were no casualties in the attack on the church, which occupies the corner lot of a row of shop houses and which Yeow said draws some 1,500 people weekly.
Read the full article >>

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Younger pastors and the hope of a future

Al Mohler wrote these observations after spending hours with a group of a rising generation of young pastors.

Summary of his main points
  1. They are deeply committed to the Gospel and to the authority of Scripture.
  2. They love the church.
  3. They are gifted preachers and teachers.
  4. They are eager evangelists.
  5. They are complementarians who affirm the biblical roles for men and women in both the church and the home.
  6. They are men of vision.
  7. They are men of global reach and Great Commission passion.
  8. They are men of joy.
(read more)

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