Page 1

www.trinity.sg

Issue 03/2014

Real-Life Miracles: My Cup Overflows!

22

Do not Remove the Ancient Landmarks

26

The Most Damaging Attitude in our Churches

40

RAISING CHAMPIONS IN CHIANG MAI

48


Contents Issue 03/2014

12 ENVISION

ENVISION

up close

up close

12

26

22

74

WE ARE TRINITARIANS Celebrating Vision Month

DO NOT REMOVE THE ANCIENT LANDMARKS Knowing what must never change

MY CUP OVERFLOWS! Real-Life Miracles

TRINITARIAN HEROES Capturing God’s Love

HEARTBEAT

HEARTBEAT

HEARTBEAT

HEARTBEAT

46

48

50

52

MISSIONS AT A GLANCE An overview of Trinity’s Missions from Jan to Jun 2014

RAISING CHAMPIONS IN CHIANG MAI The official Children’s Homes Opening Ceremony

TRINITARIANS GO TO THE NATIONS! A photo journal of the MITs this quarter

TRAINING AND CONSULTATion Training and Consultation trips for this quarter


Do not

remove the

ANCIENT

LANDMARKS “ Do not remove the

ancient landmark

which your fathers have set.

– Proverbs 22:28 (NKJV)

26

HEARTBEAT

FOCUS

FOCUS

PULSE

54

40

70

58

EVERY PARTNERSHIP COUNTS Partnerships can be powerful in community service

THE MOST DAMAGING ATTITUDE IN OUR CHURCHES Why subtle cynicism doesn’t look like Jesus

TOUGH QUESTIONS ANSWERED How could the author of Genesis know what happened at creation before he was even created?

PROMISED! IN A SNAPSHOT Church Camp 2014

PULSE

68 IMPRINT MARKED FOR ETERNITY Church Camp

JUN 9-12


mittee. You worked incredibly Kudos to Trinity’s camp com camp ute detail to ensure a great hard, considering every min wd, cro ve ssi ma this of stomachs experience for all. Filled the the age us, and even managed created fun activities to eng toilet cleanliness super-well! put in by all camp leaders and Thank you for the hard work champions. I salute you.

Teh Joo Nah

Advisor

Pastor Dominic Yeo

Chief Editor

Pastor Janice Chng

EditorS

Editorial Team

8

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Yvette Leong Diana Lim Miranda Zhang Carol Lim Daniel Koh Ivan Koh June Teh

Kevin Kwang Lye Hui Xian Sharon Lim Will Yong

Contributing Photographers

Amy Lin Cara Joyner Krystle Foo Rachel Yong Pastor Dominic Yeo Pastor Jeffrey Wong Pastor Joseph Tan Pastor Margaret Tay IGNYTE Photography Team Goh Hieng Teck Pufferfish Studio Renatus Pte Ltd Twenty4Frames

Designers

Big Detail Pte Ltd

ILLUSTRATOR

Low Yilin

Contributing Designers

Faith Koh

EDITORIAL SUPPORT

Sarah Lau


Dear Church Camp Committee This was the second time I’ve attended Church Camp. Though there were some frustrations over the hotel being overbooked, by the grace of God, we were still able to have a reasonably good hotel to stay in. Thank God that shuttle services between the two hotels were provided almost any time of the day, without having to wait for half hour intervals. Having to manage over 2,000 campers for 4 days 3 nights isn’t an easy task. I must commend the Camp Committee for doing a great job. It’s a lot of careful planning and execution to ensure everything is in divine order. Great job, Camp Committee! The other ministry which I would like to commend is the Children’s Ministry. I saw the great amount of work and preparations that went into this camp. Thank God for all the dedicated DiscoveryLand (DL) helpers who assisted our DL Pastors. Six consecutive sessions to manage all the children isn’t an easy task at all. Kudos to all DL Pastors, Team and DL helpers. Thank God for everything, Thank God for Trinity Christian Centre and I’m glad I joined this year’s PROMISED! Blessings.

Corine

Do you have someone to thank?

Send your appreciation notes to connect@trinity.org.sg.

Advertising Sales & Admin

Sarah Lau

For ad sales enquiries, Tel: 6304 7718 Email: sarahlau@trinity.org.sg Mailing Address

Singapore Post Centre Post Office PO Box 616 Singapore 914021 Website

The Trinitarian is published quarterly by Trinity Christian Centre. Company registration number 197802911H MICA (P) 070/04/2014 Printed in Singapore by Refine Printing Pte Ltd License number L005/06/2014 All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without express written permission is prohibited. Opinions and views expressed do not necessarily constitute the official stand of the church.

www.trinity.sg Email

admin@trinity.org.sg ISSUE 3/2014

Thank you

9


10


Dear Trinitarians, There are moments which last for a second, and there are moments which go on forever. For me, one such lasting moment was when I first stepped into Trinity in 1980. I reeked of alcohol and cigarettes and a “red sea” of people parted around me. Nobody came to pray for me except this American lady, who put her arms around me and prayed for me. She was Pastor Dowdy. That day, I felt God’s love and grace through her. I felt as though God had given me a second chance and I stayed on in Trinity till today. Since then, God has transformed my life. Trinity is my home church. It is where I grew in my faith, became a pastor, met my wife, and

where my children grew up. Trinity is the place where I had so many precious ‘Godmoments’ that I hold dear to my heart. This is why when people ask me which church I’m from, I’m proud to say that “I am a Trinitarian.”

upon our church so far. I am in awe of what He has done through Trinitarians to bless our church as well as the nations. But God is not done with us yet. Let us continue to pray and give to building this vision.

“We are Trinitarians!” is not just a slogan, it embodies our ‘God-moments’ as well as our relationships with one another. It means standing together as a church and identifying with the vision that God has given to Trinity.

It is undeniable that our societal landscape is changing quite drastically. In the midst of this, as Christians, it is important to seek God for the wisdom to know what change is necessary and what must never change.

Many of you have shared with us why you, like me, are proud to be a Trinitarian. You can read some of the SMSes on p14. Over the last decade, we have seen God lead Trinity through some troubled times to grow to where it is today – p20. As we celebrate Vision Month together, let us give thanks for God’s miraculous provision

I urge you to read ‘Do not Remove the Ancient Landmarks’ on p28 which is adapted from a sermon I preached. I thank God for the amazing Trinitarians that have been serving faithfully week-inweek-out. In this issue’s Trinitarian Hero, find out more about our Video and RGB teams on p72. As you plough through these pages, I pray that you will be encouraged by the stories and testimonies shared by your fellow Trinitarians. May God continue to stir in you a greater passion for His Kingdom.

“We are Trinitarians!” is not just a slogan, it embodies our ‘God-moments’ as well as our relationships with one another. It means standing together as a church and identifying with the vision that God has given to Trinity.

Remember – We are Trinitarians!

Senior pastor message 11


ENVISION

We are

12

S!


That’s what we call ourselves. But what does it mean to be a Trinitarian? How did our church buildings come to be? Flip the pages to find out!

13


God’sHand at Work

ENVISION

From nomads with no permanent dwelling place, God provided us three free-hold properties in land-scarce Singapore. It’s all because Trinitarians faithfully sowed into the vision to build a house for the LORD despite what was happening in the world at that time. As we take steps of faith toward our God-given vision, we see His hand at work at every milestone.

1981 The land at Adam Road cost $2m – a large amount in those days. But Trinitarians rose to the call to give toward the building of God’s house. Many gave sacrificially, some even mortgaged their houses and we were able to pay off both plots of land by the deadline set.

14

1988 Securing a bank loan to build the building was difficult as no bank wanted to finance a church in those days. But God not only opened a door to a bank, it gave us very good rates.

1995 Construction of 21 and 23 Adam Road was complete. We celebrated our 25th anniversary with the dedication of Trinity@Adam. We also had our first service in the 1,000-seat auditorium.


1996 As TCA College was then housed in Trinity@Adam, we wanted Care Community Services Society (CCSS) to have its own premise as well. And, after paying off our existing loan for Phase 2 of Adam Road, God opened the doors for the land at Lavender Street. In our Vision Rally, faith promises exceeded $2m. Our “first fruit” offerings for Lavender Street extension center amounted to over $1m. After numerous submissions to the government, we got approval to combine the three shophouses by breaking the walls down internally. Hence, Trinity@Lavender was born.

19971999 God opened the opportunity to acquire a 3.71-acre land at Paya Lebar Road. After much prayer, the church Board took a step of faith to purchase the land at Trinity@Paya Lebar at S$19.1m. We won the bid by a whisker. Finances were tight as Trinity had only just enough to pay for the initial downpayment. Moreover, we still needed to pay for the balance of the construction loan for Trinity@Lavender. Then God provided. Not long after, through the faithful giving of Trinitarians, we paid off the building costs for Trinity@Lavender and raised enough to complete the purchase of the land at Trinity@Paya Lebar.

20012002 Trinitarians prayed with audacious fervor for Paya Lebar to change its zone from Sports and Recreation to Church, Civic and Community and Education. There were several submissions and dialogues with the authorities. Finally a miracle happened! The change of zoning was approved. We were granted three separate plots – Institution (Civic and Community), Institution (Education) and Place of Worship. The development charges for re-zoning were originally estimated at S$4.5m but came to zero in the end.

15


2003

ENVISION

The unemployment level reached a record high of 5.5%. Trinitarians continued to give and prayed for an increased plot ratio and sowed into the building. Our request for a higher plot ratio to maximize land was approved and we paid off the 10-year land loan for Trinity@Paya Lebar in four years.

2007

“Our bankers were

very surprised because we had taken a 10-year loan for the purchase of the land at Paya Lebar but paid it off in 4 years. It was truly God’s provision. – Raymond Leong, former board member who served as Treasurer for 11 years.

The price of sand shot up three-fold due to the Indonesian sand ban. Many contractors were pushing for 100% compensation for the increased use of sand for concreting; our contractor did it with a 50% defrayal, saving us millions! Soon after, we moved to Trinity@Paya Lebar, our attendance also crossed the 5,000th mark.

2008 In the thick of the world financial crisis, Trinitarians continued to give to the completion of Trinity@Paya Lebar.

“Every month when

I see the amount of faith promises, tithes and offerings, I simply stand in awe of God. Miraculously, the giving never stopped, regardless of the downturn. What amazes me is not just the few Trinitarians who gave in hundreds of thousands, but the many Trinitarians who gave of their ‘Widow’s Mite’, believing in the legacy they will leave for generations to come. – Khong Yew Cheong, board member

16


2009 Phase 2 of Trinity@Paya Lebar was completed and our attendance grew past 6,000.

2011-2014 There was still uncertainty in the global markets and economy. But Trinitarians continued to sow into the building and Trinity@Paya Lebar was fully paid off. We now have a weekly attendance of more than 7,000.

In 2005 when I became the senior pastor, I told God that we were not going to raise funds for the building in Paya Lebar for the rest of our lives. I believed we would pay off Trinity@Paya Lebar in 5 years. We took a 15-year bank loan for the building and we started repaying in January 2008. God surpassed all our expectations! As of September 2011 Vision Month, we had completely paid it off – in less than 5 years! Moving forward, I believe that God will also provide for the redevelopment of Trinity@Adam, we will not need to take up a bank loan. Trinitarians, continue to give to our vision and pray for the plot ratio approval for Trinity@Adam.

– Pastor Dominic Yeo, senior pastor 17


ENVISION

We are We asked you SMS to tell are proud to Trinitarian! some of the

18


S!

to send us an us why you be a Here are reasons.

19


ENVISION

God

gave us our

Dream Home

We live with our two kids, two cousins, and a sister-in-law. As our kids were growing, we thought about upgrading our 3-bedroom flat to a 4-bedroom flat. During Vision Rally 2011, a Trinitarian shared how God blessed them with a house when they honored Him. The testimony touched me. By faith, I committed a figure God showed me as a one-time gift to the church, believing it’d be fulfilled by the next Vision Month through the sale of my existing flat. But as 2011 came to an end, we still couldn’t sell our house. Then, God reminded me: “Through Me, all things are possible.” With this in mind, I ushered in 2012, trusting God to provide. My husband and I made a new year’s resolution to attend the monthly prayer meetings as a family. During the January 2012 prayer meeting, a sister prayed for me and told me she saw a vision: an open gate. She prayed that I’d walk through the gate by faith to receive God’s promise and encouraged me to ask Him what this meant. I told my husband about the vision and asked if he had any idea what it meant. After a few seconds, my husband replied, “Could it be the dream house which has yet to come to pass?” Suddenly, I was awakened to the revelation that God had opened the gate for us, and we just needed to walk through it by faith. Together, we prayed every night and asked God to reveal how we could proceed. We felt God’s peace in our hearts, knowing we could trust in Him in this journey of faith. Two months later, I received an SMS from HDB regarding the Sale of Balance 20

Flats Exercise. A small voice spoke to me, “Why not choose one for yourself?” I was stunned. My immediate reply was, “No lah, this type of exercise where got 4-bedroom flat?” But the voice continued, “You didn’t check, how you know?” Still doubting, I clicked on the selection category for 4-bedroom flats. To my surprise, there were two units available – one just five minutes away from my son’s school! We thanked God for showing us this unit and asked Him to lead us through the applications. That weekend, we went down to see the flat. My elder son was excited as he had friends staying nearby. We took the lift up and found out that it was an Executive Maisonette and the door was open. According to a friend, we’d only be able to view the outside of a sale of balance unit. To see the open door was a sign to us that matched the vision of an open gate. However, I still had concerns – any loan shark issues, if the lower floor had a bedroom for my elderly parents etc. It happened that another family came to view the unit. We overheard the wife say, “Wow, this door has no red paint (poured by a loan shark), very clean.” And the daughter said, “Lower floor there’s a room.” They’d been viewing many Maisonettes and said this unit was the best. We were amazed. The Lord is good. He sent this family to affirm us. Our hearts became more certain that this unit was the one God prepared for us. But not knowing the unit’s layout still bothered me. We took the lift down. While our kids went


to play at the exercise corner, we asked God to send my son’s classmate, who lived in the same block, down to play. Five minutes later, our son ran to us to tell us his friend had just come down to play. We were amazed and our hearts overflowed with joy. God is fast! We asked if we could visit his home and he led us home to meet his mum. She was friendly and invited us to view her home without hesitation. Before we left, she told us, “Don’t know why my son suddenly asked for permission to go down and play. Actually he was playing computer, and initially I was reluctant as the weather would be hot. I later decided it’d be good for him to take a break, so I let him go.” It must be God who did this! By faith we submitted our application to join the Exercise. After a few months, we selected the house and our ballot number was ‘3’. The two families ahead of us didn’t select the unit we desired. The Lord had reserved the unit for us! Once we confirmed that the unit was ours, the officer showed us pictures of the house. Our jaws dropped, and we had tears in our

eyes. The house was bright and well-kept; the kitchen was spacious and had built-in cabinets that looked brand new. Moreover, the officer told us that the corridor space had been bought by the previous owner, and it had been paid off! We were truly amazed! We bought this unit without using any cash except the $10 for the application! The rest could just be paid using our CPF. Less than three months later, we sold our old flat. With the profit earned, I was able to fulfill the Vision faith promise I made in 2011, and even had extra to do painting and touch-ups for our new flat, and some new furniture too. Our God is faithful and He can do more than what we can ask or imagine. He is an awesome God! This year our nephew came over from Malaysia to study. Thank God that we now have enough room to accommodate him. This was divine provision for us to be a blessing because while in Singapore, he accepted Christ during one of Trinity’s services! Kevin and Yen Ping, North District

What is a Faith Promise? A Faith Promise is a faith commitment between you and God, where you ask the Lord how much He wants you to give toward His Kingdom in the coming year. The Faith Promise is not based on money that you already have on hand. Rather it is made by faith, believing that God will somehow provide the amount through you. How can I give? Through offering envelopes: Pick up a tithing envelope from the Celebration Hosts and drop it into the offering bag.

Through AXS Stations: Click ‘Community’ and you will find the Trinity logo. Check out the AXS Station at Trinity@Paya Lebar, located at Level 1 (below Han’s café). Through DBS ATMs: • Select IBANKING > BILL PAYMENT • Select TRINITY CHRISTIAN CENTRE LTD under the list of corporations • Enter Bill Reference No. 1. Tithe/Offering 2. Missions Faith Promise 3. Vision Faith Promise (Building) 21


UP CLOSE

> Real-life MIRACLE

My Cup

Overflows! God gave me a new job!

G

od met the needs of these Trinitarians, above and beyond what they could imagine. And His blessings overflowed for a greater purpose – to enable them to bless others. Carol Lim speaks to Roy Tan and Jenny Lee to hear their stories.

22

Another weekend burnt by work. Staring at my office calendar, I wished I was home, or elsewhere – anywhere but here! Working retail hours and weekends left me with no time for things that were truly important to me – friends, family, and serving God. Months ago, I was seeking God regarding my work. Whenever I poured out my complaints to God, He would encourage me to be contented and joyful in my job. Throughout my struggles at work, I was thankful that my wife and Sectional Leader came alongside to encourage

me. God used people around me to assure me of His goodness. My wife has always been very understanding of my job situation. Before we were married, we had a heart-toheart talk regarding my work hours. Together, we prayed and committed the situation to God. I never thought I would see a change in my job situation. In my life, I have heard many powerful testimonies of how our miraculous God provided for my friends’ needs. But it would be even more awesome to be able to experience it first-hand as well.


I remember when God first gave me hope that my stressful work situation could change. It was a Friday evening and our carecell gathered for dinner before the God Encounter Meeting (GEM). Out of the blue, my carecell member shared that her company was hiring. Something within me lit up. However, I had already established with God that I would try to be joyful and stay put in my current job. At the same time, I trusted Him to do whatever was necessary. A still small voice asked if this job opening could be from God. Nevertheless, I reasoned, “This is probably my own human thinking. Since God’s message for me was to stay put, I guess I should!” I brushed aside the thought of applying for the job. During GEM, Pastor Dominic gave an altar call for those seeking new jobs. I shifted uneasily in my seat. Even though I willed myself to be joyful in my current job, I was honestly not happy. I struggled if I should go to the altar to be prayed for. I wrestled with God like Jacob in the Bible. My mind tried to process these thoughts while my heart tried to stay calm, but the thoughts and feelings would not ease until I submitted to God, saying, “Yes, God! Take control of my job situation.” Taking a step of faith, I went to the altar. When Pastor Dominic urged us to write a testimony to the church when God answered our prayers, a sense of warmth welled up within me and a calming peace enveloped me. As I was being prayed for, I felt that God was giving me a big hug and all my doubts melted away.

company I moved to was expanding. Hence, I was given this job during a time when they needed more staff. Furthermore, my immediate supervisors were supportive when I shared that my new job was provided for by God. I could have faced resistance and difficulty in leaving this job, but instead God gave me much peace and favor when I left. Now I thank God for a job with weekday 9-5 working hours; I have more time to spend with family, friends, and to serve God. I promised God that I would invest more time in serving Him and equipping myself through LEAD classes. God’s provision allowed me to give more too. Even though I did not have prior experience in this industry, I received a 50% pay increment. This increment for the rest of the financial year made up the exact amount needed to fulfill my Missions Faith Promise. I was speechless when I realized this. “Wasn’t this the work of God?” I exclaimed in amazement. We are indeed blessed to be a blessing! I know that it is not by my might, nor by chance, that I landed this job. It is our God who provides through His grace. Do you need God to intervene in your situation? Let us trust Him with our requests, as spoken by our Lord in Matthew 7:7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”

Monday came. I was supposed to send in my resume to my carecell member but had not done it yet. Quickly, I submitted it before heading to work. I prayed and committed the whole process to God. My carecell member told me that several candidates had already been rejected, but my wife and I clung to the faith that if this job was from God, He would open the doors for me. Two weeks and four interviews later… I got the job! I could hardly believe it. Jehovah Jireh, God our Provider, blessed me with this new job. Praise God! God’s ways and timing are perfect. The 23


UP CLOSE

> Real-life MIRACLE

We can never out-give God! “This is exactly the one I used to have,” I mused, looking wistfully at the car in front of me. At the carpark of my new workplace was one which was the same color and model I used to have. Every morning when I went to work, I would see this car. “Did I make the right decision?” I questioned as I walked past, swallowing a knot in my throat as I tried to converse with God. You see, I used to be a manager, and a car (and petrol) was part of my pay package. The convenience of having a car was precious to me. With this change in job, I was doing away with that convenience. Two years ago, I began looking for a more community-centered 24

job. I found my previous job meaningless and wanted to do something different. I started praying, and I whispered to God, “Anything but full-time ministry.” I joked about it with my friends too. During this time, there were occasions God seemed to be nudging me towards full-time ministry, but I simply brushed those thoughts away. The turning point came last August when I attended Trinity’s baptism service. Seeing many of our fulltime staff, a thought struck me: “One has to love God a lot to serve in the full-time ministry.” The next day, I realized that the church office was looking for an Assistant Manager in a certain department. At that moment, God broke through the silence and asked,“Do you love me a lot?” I


was taken aback yet touched by His voice. I knew that it was God calling me to serve Him in a full-time capacity. Opening my heart and mind, I responded in obedience to His call. I knew deeply in my heart that God could not be wrong. However, transiting into my new job was not easy. The workload, working hours and responsibilities were different from what I was used to. I found it hard to adjust, but I refused to cave in to stress because I knew that God placed me here for His purpose. I prayed for strength to be an overcomer in Christ, determined to work through the obstacles. God is marvelous! Daily, He assured me of His call, affirmed my decision, and never once gave up on me. During the GEM sessions, as I responded in faith, God assured me that He would provide for my every need, even beyond my wildest imagination. Weeks passed, and I realized that as I turned my eyes upon Jesus and His promise of providence, I was no longer looking out for that car at the carpark anymore. Then, God orchestrated something amazing. A couple was migrating overseas, and having known about how I “gave up” my car to enter full-time ministry, they felt led to offer me a blessing – their car. Wow! This took me by surprise. It was beyond what my mind could comprehend. But I was worried about not being able to cope with the cost of maintaining a car, and hence declined the offer. During the church camp, the couple again persuaded me to consider taking up their

offer. They told me that God will definitely provide for me. Faith welled up within me as I recounted the many times God had graciously provided in my life. I remembered there was a time when our family needed a new coffee table and God provided us with a new one through a friend. This was just one example of His mind-blowing generosity. Time and again, God always assured me that in Him, I would have no lack. With renewed courage, I took a step of faith to receive the car from this couple, trusting that God would work all things - including the finances - out for me. I knew that it was not just convenience for my family that came with the car, but God had a greater purpose for blessing me with one. The first time I was blessed with a car (in my previous job), I would use it to fetch my son’s friend to church every Sunday. This was my way of being a good steward of His provision. Now I am waiting in anticipation of what God wants me to do with this car. I am blessed so that I may give! Through these events, I learnt an important lesson: obedience is the key to unlocking God’s providence. When we respond in obedience, God will bless and take care of us. We can never out-give God. When I made the decision to take on the new job in faith, I could trust Him to lead and provide. He is good and always will be. When you have a need, never be afraid to ask God and to obey Him. “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21 (NKJV) 25


ENVISION

> DO NOT REMOVE THE ANCIENT LANDMARKS

Do not

remove the

ANCIENT

LANDMARKS by Rev Dominic Yeo

“ Do not remove the

ancient landmark

which your fathers have set.

– Proverbs 22:28 (NKJV)

26


W

hen you run a business, if you do not embrace the need for change, your business will no longer have a competitive edge and eventually, it will come to a standstill and possibly drop out of the market. Management and marketing methodologies have evolved tremendously over the last decade. What worked like a charm before, no longer impresses buyers today.

“Change is the only

constant. In fact change is needed for

“

survival in this world. It makes us effective and efficient.

Telecommunication has changed. Technological advancements have improved our way of life. The mobile phone industry is constantly developing new phones to attract buyers to upgrade. In fact, every three months, a new phone is launched. And companies that fail to keep up with the change eventually lose their market share. Change is vital in today’s world. Beyond economical change, nearer to daily living, change has taken place in our local education system. Pick up a primary school mathematics test paper and you will find that even adults are stumped after reading the questions. Our children are also expected to know how to read and write by the time they enter primary one instead of learning when they enter school.

27


> DO NOT REMOVE THE ANCIENT LANDMARKS

In parent-child relationships, we as parents need to change to keep up in knowing what interests teenagers have and what are their present-day challenges. If you don’t catch up, your children may find you ‘old-fashioned’ and distance themselves from you. Even governments are not spared from change. Expectations of people and the norms of society are shaping the policies of the governments. In the political arena, any government that ceases to change will soon find themselves obsolete and voted-out. However, as much as change is an integral part of life, not everything should be changed. Change is needed for being effective and efficient. Change is vital for transformation in our lives. But we should not change for change’s sake. As the Church, we need to have the wisdom of God to know what needs to be changed and what cannot be changed. In 2 Timothy 3:5, Paul wrote to Timothy to warn him about the situation where the church had a form of godliness but denied its power! Why did the church not have power? It is because she had changed and deviated from her original call and purpose. In 2 Thessalonians 2:1328

15, Paul exhorts the Thessalonian church to stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle. To hold fast to tradition does not mean that we are anti-change. Rather it means that in a changing world, we need God’s wisdom to know what we must change and what we must never change. Proverbs 22:28 and 23:10 says: Do not remove the ancient landmark which your fathers have set. What does this mean for us? There are ancient landmarks that God has set for us as believers. What are these ancient landmarks that should not be changed or removed? Why are they important?

We need to have the wisdomtoof God know what needs

to be changed and what cannot be changed.

ENVISION


Why are Ancient Landmarks Important?

Landmarks Depict Ownership In Biblical times, the ancient landmark or “boundary stone” as it is termed in some translations marks the boundary of the land that you own. It says in Proverbs 22:28 (NLT): Do not steal your neighbor’s property by moving the ancient boundary markers set up by your ancestors. Every time landmarks are shifted or removed, it causes confusion, contention and even chaos because neighbors will start fighting over the ownership of boundaries. There are landmarks that God has placed within believers that denote that God is the King and owner, and we are His people. It also shows us our rights as children of God and that we can evict the enemy if he infringes into our boundary.

Landmarks Depict Direction When we tell someone how to get to a place, we usually describe the prominent landmarks that surround the place. It is these prominent landmarks that give people direction. Similarly, the ancient landmarks depicted through the Bible stories show us

whether we are close to God or heading in the right direction. They give us our spiritual bearings. They also point people toward God. In Genesis 12:10-20, a famine struck and Abraham took matters into his own hands and got into a lot of trouble in Egypt. God intervened and rescued him and in Genesis 13:4, we see how Abraham went back to the place where he had first built an altar and there He called on the name of the Lord, to align himself back to God’s direction and plans.

Landmarks Depict Experiences The Bible tells us that wherever the forefathers of the nation of Israel encountered God, they would set up an altar for the Lord. These altars were landmarks that depicted the occasion and place where they had a personal encounter with God. When God provided a ram in place of Isaac, Abraham built an altar unto the Lord and called the place “The Lord will provide” (Genesis 22:14). The victory of crossing Jordan river were also marked with stones to serve as a reminder to the generations to come: That this may be a sign among you when your children ask in time to come saying, “What do these stones mean to you?” (Joshua 4:6)

These ancient landmarks hold true through time. As God met the needs of Abraham and delivered the Israelites, He will do the same for us. And just as God led our forefathers in Biblical times, He will also lead us to fulfill our destiny in Him. What are these Ancient Landmarks?

Ancient Landmark 1: Power and Anointing of the Holy Spirit The Holy Spirit is God’s deposit in every child of God. Without the Holy Spirit, we cannot experience the power of God. In John 14 and 16, we learn that the Holy Spirit is our Advocate, our Counselor. God gave us the Holy Spirit to teach us and guide us into all truth. I always tell people that the more time we spend with Jesus, the more we should be better spouses, better parents, better employers, better employees, and etc. But we don’t see it happening as much as it should be. Why is it so? It’s because many of us tend to rely on our own strength and means to change into better parents, spouses, friend and etc. We ignore the Holy Spirit. We quench the Holy Spirit. When He tells us to forgive, we say ‘No!’. When He tells us to be patient, we rise up in our own rights and flare 29


ENVISION

> DO NOT REMOVE THE ANCIENT LANDMARKS

up. Every time we say ‘no’ to the Holy Spirit, we lose the empowerment. It says in 2 Timothy 3 that in the last days, men will hold on to a form of godliness but denying its power. When there is no power from God, you will not be able to sustain godliness in your life. And worse, you will not be able to break free from the bondage of sin, and breakthrough in your walk with God. It is the power of the Holy Spirit that transforms us into His image, to become more Christ-like. It is His power that changes us. Ephesians 5:15-18 says to be careful with how we live, not to be foolish but to understand the will of God and to be filled with the spirit. It shows how important it is to fill ourselves with the Spirit. More than just building ourselves up, the Holy Spirit anoints and empowers believers for the works of the ministry. From the opening pages of the Scripture, we see the Holy Spirit involved in creation, and how the Holy Spirit has walked with certain individuals to anoint and empower them to accomplish certain tasks for God. However, in the New Testament, just as Jesus walked in the power of the Holy Spirit, teaching, healing the sick and casting out demons, we read about 30

the Holy Spirit coming upon men and women to commission them, bless them and empower them to do great exploits for God’s glory, as well as experience great success for the fulfillment of their destiny. Without the power of the Holy Spirit, there is no fulfillment in our lives. That’s why in Luke 24:49, Jesus instructed His disciples saying: “I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” He told them to stay put until they have received the power of the Holy Spirit. Also, in Acts 1:8, the last instructions to the disciples before Jesus ascended into heaven was, “…you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” In Acts 2:4, we read of the empowerment of the church when the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples in the Upper Room and enabled them with the gift of tongues. That is when Peter stood up to address the church, pointing out that this is what the prophet Joel has prophesized: “In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.

Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.” The modern Christian walks without anointing because we have shifted the landmarks of God. In 1 John 2:20, we learn that the anointing is the unction of God and the breath or presence of God in our lives. We substitute the anointing for emotions like having to fall down at every service, shake and wave our hands and laugh. If it’s truly of God, by all means. But if it’s not, then don’t fabricate it. The anointing isn’t something you create out of some magic formula. Real anointing will cost you. The anointing of the Holy Spirit will require us to tarry in His presence. The modern human has scheduled himself so tight, that he hardly has any time for God. The church has become a convenience store where people come and “pay” their tithe for their worth of emotions and promptly leave. We fail to host the Holy Spirit. If we want the anointing, we need to spend a lot of time in God’s presence. The anointing of the Holy Spirit will require us to give up our rights. The anointing is always for blessing others, and not for us to feel good and spiritually high. It is to


The modern church is slowly eradicating the power and gifts of the Holy Spirit. Some churches have substituted the power of the Holy Spirit for theatrics in their services. Instead of letting the congregation experience the power of God that is inside us, they rely on an external “power” – the “power” of music, lights and sound. While we may have the production equipment to do all these things, we must not become a church of theatrics. Many churches are substituting the gifts of the Holy Spirit, such as speaking in tongues, for greater acceptance, compromising itself to become more accepted by the world. The Church is not called to be accepted by everybody, rather we are here to show Christ and to live victorious lives so that the world will know that God is real and has real power. Years ago, when I was saved in 1980, my friend invited me to Trinity. He told me that before I go with him to church, I needed to understand a few things – the church was pastored by a female pastor and the congregation spoke in this strange language called “tongues”. He was afraid that when I heard the

strange language, I would be frightened and run away. So he prepared me. Both of these things did not bother me as long as the church was a good church. And thankfully, I went with him and was initiated into a Spiritfilled, Spirit-empowered church and was transformed by God. As Pentecostals, we have a great heritage of experiencing the power of the Holy Spirit, let us not lose it to blend in. Let us not remove this ancient landmark, let us speak in tongues as the Scripture tells us that anyone who speaks in a tongue edifies themselves. (1 Corinthians 14:4) If you have substituted the power and gifts of the Holy Spirit for other things, it is time to ask the Holy Spirit to come and flow in your life once again.

The Holy Spirit is God’s deposit in every child of God.

Without the Holy Spirit, we

cannot experience

the power of God.

manifest God so that others will be touched.

31


> DO NOT REMOVE THE ANCIENT LANDMARKS

Ancient Landmark 2: Prayer The modern Christian has also slowly eradicated the time for prayer. In the busyness of our lives, we respond logically and equate that if we spend less time in prayer we will have more time for other things. But that is exactly what cripples a Christian! In fact if you have no time, then you need to have more time in His presence. Listen Church, prayer is the lifeline of every believer. It says in Jeremiah 33:3 (NKJV): “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” God is waiting for us to call upon Him. In James 4:2 it says, “We have not, because we ask not”. If you eradicate prayer from your life and become a prayerless believer, you will become a weak Christian. And when things happen, you become a headless chicken running all over the place. God wants believers to respond in prayer in the face of overwhelming odds. He wants believers who will call upon Him in times of peril, so that His power can manifest to bring about great and mighty things, and He will be glorified. On top of being our lifeline, prayer is a privilege of every 32

believer. Romans 8:14-17 tells us we do not have to earn the right to call Him “Abba Father”, as we have already been adopted by the blood of Jesus, we have become the sons and daughters of God.

“If you have

no time , then you need to have

more time in His

presence.

ENVISION

When I was about to fall asleep one night, I received a phone call. In my halfasleep state I picked up the phone. “Dad! It’s me!” It was my son. Instantly, I woke up. “Yes son, what do you need?”

“I need a ride, can you please come and get me?” “Where are you? What time is it now?” “It’s past midnight. I just got off work.” Immediately, I got into my car, drove over and picked him. If an earthly father can do that for his son when he calls, how much more would God answer when we call upon Him as our Father! As it says in 1 John 5:14 (NKJV): “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” We have the confidence to know that when we call on Him, He hears us and responds. What great access we have! Sadly, the modern Church has eradicated this ancient landmark of prayer. We no longer have a prayerful heart. We fall asleep while praying. We don’t’ know how to pray. Some of us can’t even pray for more than five minutes. The Church today has ceased to pray because it’s filled with many people who do not know how to pray. Church, I urge you to pray in the Spirit and to take time to seek the Lord in prayer. Come for church prayer meetings – the best place to grow your prayer life is at these meetings. There is no need for religious gymnastics to encounter God. You just need to come


Ancient Landmark 3: Word of God The Word of God is God’s revelation to every believer. The Word of God reveals God’s character and personality. It tells us He is our healer, provider, and redeemer; He’s holy and just, full of love, grace and mercy. And He is faithful. It tells us what pleases Him and what displeases Him. You cannot know God without knowing His Word. The more you know God the more God reveals Himself to you and the more you begin to understand who you are in God. The Word of God reveals God’s work. It reveals how powerful He is. Scripture records for us how He delivered Israel and His interventions in humanity. His past record is an indication of what He will do for us in the present and the future. Our faith and hope has to be based on the Word of God. If we do not know or study the Word of God, we will not have standard to adhere to and are unable to make sound judgments on what is truly of God and what is not.

119:105 tell us that His Word is a light on our paths. It reveals His will and purposes for us through the Scripture. But instead of looking to His Word for His revelation, we substitute His Word with things like worship songs and seek prophecies from prophetic ministers. There is nothing wrong with worship songs, but if you rely solely on these things and not study the Word of God, you will not have His revelation of His character, works and direction in your life. Without revelation, we are directionless. That is why Proverbs 29:18 says “Where there is no revelation,

people cast off restraint; but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom’s instruction.” The Word of God is also our Spiritual food. If we do not feed the Holy Spirit inside of us, we will become weak. Our human nature constantly fights with our spiritual nature. And when you are weak you will not have a strong Christian conscience and will fall into temptation easily. Where a prayerless Christian is a weak Christian, a Wordless Christian is a defeated Christian. That’s why Jesus used the Word of God to fight the devil when He was tempted in the desert.

“ Where a

prayerless

weak Wordless defeated

Christian is a Christian, a Christian is a

Christian.

into His presence today and pray, “Father, I need you!” Take time to pray, take time to be in His presence.

The Word of God reveals God’s direction. Psalms 33


ENVISION

> DO NOT REMOVE THE ANCIENT LANDMARKS

Ancient Landmark 4: Family and Marriage A while back, we received a request for the bride to walk down the aisle with her dog instead of her father. We can laugh at how ridiculous this sounds, but the sad truth is that marriage is an institution created by God and it has come under tremendous attack. In Genesis 1:27, it says that God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. The institution of marriage was formed right from the creation of man. We see in Genesis that when God created man, Adam, He said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” (Genesis 2:18) Then God created woman, Eve. And it is said in Genesis 2:24: that is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh. Genesis 4:1-2 says: Adam made love to his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, “With the help of the Lord I have brought forth a man.” Later she gave birth to his brother Abel. We derive the Biblical theology of the family unit from Adam and Eve – a man and a woman united together as one flesh and God blessed them to procreate and multiply and 34

fill the earth. (Genesis 1:28) God did not make mistakes when He created man and woman. He created man and woman to pro-create and form the family unit and this is an ancient landmark that should not be removed. When you remove these ancient landmarks, there will be chaos. The Bible clearly states that the family unit should be made up of a man and a woman. God made man and woman so biologically distinct that they can connect. As Christians, this is what we believe and it should not be shaken. It is upon the institution of marriage that God ensures protection, procreation and pleasure. The institution of marriage is where God ensures His protection on humanity. When we allow other people or things from outside the marriage of a man and a woman into the marriage bed, you will have dysfunction and chaos. When you start sharing things that you should share with your spouse to someone at work, you begin to allow your marriage bed to be infiltrated. And you are eradicating this ancient landmark and you step out of God’s protection. Some of the diseases we have today have become rampant due to loose morals where men and women sleep around

with any Tom, Dick and Harry. Even animals! AIDs is not a curse from God, it is the consequence of humanity removing the ancient landmark set by God when we move out of God’s protection. And if we continue down this path, humanity will be destroyed. The institution of marriage is where God ensures procreation of humanity. God’s original intention was for one male and one female to unite in marriage and procreate – to be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. (Genesis 1:28) But man today has eradicated this ancient landmark and so there is no need for a husband and wife to procreate. Anyone and anything will be able to form a family unit with artificial means of procreation – outside of God’s design for marriage. The institution of marriage is where God instills pleasure between a husband and a wife. This is more than the physical and emotional pleasure of intimacy, it is a spiritual significance of a marriage. The love of a husband for his wife is an expression of God’s love for the Church. Ephesian 5:21-31 talks about how the husband should sacrifice himself for his wife just like Christ had sacrificed himself for the Church. Through this fruitful and Biblical relationship of love


The Christian marriage – how we love and sacrifice for one another – becomes an expression of God and the Church. This is why we need to hold fast to this ancient landmark, so that our children understand the expression of God’s love for them and their privilege to call out to Him and that we can be a message to the world. The family is the foundation of society. If there is no family, there is no posterity and the world will come to an end. Our society and nation needs the family. Strong family builds strong societies. Likewise, dysfunctional families build dysfunctional societies. The dysfunctional behavior we see in the lives of young people is the result of the dysfunctional family unit. When we remove the ancient landmark, the family will cease to become a refuge of hope and a harbor of rest. For families with single parents, my prayer is that God’s grace will be with you even more as He establishes His design and blessings of a Biblical family unit in the hearts of your children. Often children from single parent homes feel a

vacuum and seek to fill that insecurity with what the world presents. My prayer is that your children will experience the fullness of God in their lives and have a clear concept of a godly family, to stand fast in a dysfunctional and chaotic world.

“ When you start

sharing things

that you should share with

spouse

your to someone at work, you begin to allow your marriage bed to be infiltrated.

and sacrifice within a family, pleasure is seen and through this, the world – that is plagued in pain and chaos – can see Christ through the Church.

35


> DO NOT REMOVE THE ANCIENT LANDMARKS

Ancient Landmark 5: Tithing This has been a hotly debated topic on the Internet over the last five years in particular. In fact, this was an issue debated in theology a decade ago: Does tithing still apply to the modern New Testament, New Covenant church? Why the need to tithe? The Scripture tells us in Psalms 24:1 that everything in the Earth belongs to Him. God created the earth, and humanity simply had the privilege of tending and expanding on what God has given to us. Humanity does not have ability to create, but to innovate. What is ours is from God, He merely asks us to return 1/10 of it. Those opposed to tithing argue that it is “old testament” agrarian language – the need to tithe 1/10 of your crops. Of course, it was agricultural – it was before the Industrial Revolution! Scripture is contextualized in time, written at a certain time for humanity. Some say that nothing is written in the New Testament on tithing unlike the Old Testament where God instructs His people to tithe. But they forget Matthew 23:23 and Luke 11:42, where Jesus rebuked the Pharisees, for tithing but 36

not giving to the poor and neglecting justice. Jesus told them off for trying to be pious, because tithing was a concept that was ingrained in the community, and therefore Jesus did not have to speak about it. Some, then, may say that tithing is part of Judaism, but a lot of what we do as Christians has its foundations in Judaism. Coming together to pray weekly for example is a Judaism practice. Also, in the book of Hebrews, Abraham gave 1/10 of the spoils of war to Melchizedek, the High Priest. It was whatever you made and earned, and not just agricultural crops that were tithed to the Lord.

Tithing teaches us who owns our lives. God does not need our tithes, but He instituted it to remind us that we belong to Him. And that everything we have comes from Him and belongs to Him. Just like the Sabbath, where out of seven days you give one day to God; out of 10, you give a tenth. Tithing teaches us to honor God by recognizing Him as Lord in our life. It is an expression of obedience to God and an expression of worship. As New Covenant believers, we understand that grace does not nullify the law but fulfills the law, and we tithe not to “pay back” but as a response in worship and thanks to God.When we stop tithing, we lose one an important landmark to remind us of who God is in our lives.

“ God does not

our tithes

need , but He instituted it to remind us that

we belong to Him.

ENVISION


Ancient Landmark 6: The Community of God There are believers that think they do not need a community in church – that they only need God and God alone. They feel the community of God is extra commitment, and optional. They live outside the community. They say: “Just give me my dose of worship and sermons, and leave me be.” According to 1 Peter 2:9, we are a chosen people called out of the darkness by God to declare His praises. George Eldan Ladd explains in his book ‘The Kingdom of God’ that a community exists because there is One who has called them into a community. Like a king and his subjects in a kingdom, a community pre-supposes there is a God, for without subjects; there can be no king. It presupposes therefore that there exists a local congregation, a national congregation and global congregation. In the book of Acts and in the Epistles, Paul does not write to individuals, but always to groups of people – to the Romans, to the church in Ephesus, to the Galatians, to the Thessalonians. Our slogan, “We are Trinitarians!“, reminds us of the need to come together as one. We are one church – not divided by our districts

or our differences. I have often said that our pastors are not pastors of districts or ministries, but pastors of Trinity. Quite often, when there are pastoral movements, I hear people say they have “lost” their pastors. They haven’t! They are still pastors of Trinity Christian Centre. When we think this way, we miss the concept of community and polarize ourselves into segments. Being in the community of God means no one is left behind. It saddens me when people make a decision for God, and there is no followup. Communities in the book of Acts and the Epistles lived, worked and served together. As a community, we do not draw lines or push others out

of the community with our cliques. The cell-based church teaches us this sense of community. Being in the community of God means we serve together. Seen through the book of Acts, whenever there was a need, the church came together, shared what they had and served each other such that no one would be in need. Paul writes in the book of Corinthians that spiritual gifts are given for the common good and he writes in Romans 12 that the body becomes strong when everyone deploys their gifts. In Ephesians, gifts and offices are given so that the body can be trained and released to do that which God has called. 37


ENVISION Peter wrote in 1 Peter 4:7-11 that the gifts of hospitality and prayer ought to be practiced by every believer, and more so as the Day draws closer. It is pre-supposed that believers are in a community so they can serve each other for the common good. And that is why we encourage believers to serve in the various ministry expressions we have. When you serve the community, you build the body of Christ. Being in the community of God means we have covenantal relationship with each other. As believers, we are born into the Kingdom of God, we are family. It is in this covenantal relationship that we have an agreement to love, support, encourage and walk with each other – to correct and rebuke, to nurture and to disciple. Our carecells should be an expression of this covenant. Beyond our local church,we need to see that we are part of a national church. What impacts one church impacts the other churches in Singapore. As part of a global community of believers, what happens in the persecuted churches and their pastors should be of concern to us. When we read about what is happening, this landmark of God tells us that we should be praying for them and asking ourselves how we can help them. 38

The modern church has a form of without power because we have taken the Blood out of our language, out of our teachings and out of the church.

godliness

Ancient Landmark 7: The Blood of Christ Revelations 12:11 states that they overcame by the blood of the lamb and by their testimony. Churches today do not often preach on the Blood, but if you go back 20 years, you will hear many sermons and songs about the Blood, such as, “There is a fountain filled with blood,

drawn from Immanuel’s veins.” The Blood came at a price to bring salvation. We need to be conscious of the price that was paid. Salvation is found in the Blood of Christ, for which without it there can be no remission of sin. But the modern church wants a church without the Blood. William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army made the statement that, “…the chief


dangers which confronts the coming century would be religion without the Holy Ghost, Christianity without Christ, forgiveness without repentance, salvation without regeneration (that is, the Blood), politics without God and Heaven without Hell.” There’s always a price to be paid. While salvation is free, it cost Jesus His Blood. If we understand that salvation cost God His only son and Jesus’ blood, if we know how great the sacrifice was, we will treasure our salvation and the One who gave us our salvation. But the modern church has a form of godliness without power because we have taken the Blood out of our language, out of our teachings and out of the church. There is no Christianity without the Blood. It was the Blood of Christ that paid the debt of sin. It was the Blood that cancelled all curses. It was the Blood that washed all our sins and made us whole. It is the Power of the Blood that delivered us out of Satan’s trap! The Blood releases the anointing and authority to us. Every child of God is marked and covered by the Blood. The Blood cleanses us, causes us to be holy so that God receives us. It gives us authority to heal the sick and cast out demons. However, it’s not

just using the ‘blood’ as a magic formula, or a ritualistic practice but having a true understanding that it is by the blood that was shed that we have the power over Satan, sin and sicknesses! We inadvertently move this landmark when we are no longer conscious of the sacrifices of Jesus in our lives. We need to be aware of the Blood of Jesus every day in our lives.

Pastor Dominic Yeo is the Senior Pastor of Trinity Christian Centre.

Listen to this sermons at www.trinity.sg

The ancient landmarks were placed in our hearts by God. We need to consider how these seven landmarks relate to our lives, our relationships, and our relationship with God. If we have shifted or removed the landmarks, then we need to confess and ask God to embed these landmarks back into our lives. May God give us the wisdom to know what needs to be changed and which landmarks must never be changed. As we reset the ancient landmarks back into our lives, I pray that God will bless us with victorious living and use every one of us, to be shining beacons of hope in this dark and chaotic world.

39


Focus

THE

Most

Damagin Attitude

g in ou

Churche

s

40

r


It was an attitude I learned in Church, and I used to believe it was a strength.

Why subtle cynicism doesn’t look like Jesus. By Cara Joyner

I thought I was simply a critical thinker, full of constructive insights. My husband and I shared a “gift for reflection” and spun many conversations around what we considered to be compelling observations about what the Church and other people were doing wrong and what they could do better. Never mind the fact that our tips were not actually being presented to those we believed would benefit from them. At least we saw the problems, right? But with time, the satisfaction of hearing ourselves talk began to fade and a nauseating feeling settled in its place. No matter how positive a light we tried to cast it in, we were filling up on bitterness and tasting the result. Subtly, without even realizing it, we had become cynics. And the toxic effect could be felt in our marriage, our relationships and our ability to communicate Christ’s love for the world. We tend to think of cynicism as something that’s overt. We love watching the overt cynics—Bob Kelso, Gregory House, Don Draper. We

41


Focus

laugh at their bitter rants and quote their best one-liners. Perhaps their extreme negativity makes it easier to justify our quiet tendency to be overly critical, especially in the name of something good. But cynicism doesn’t always present itself in the sweeping, broad negativity we see on TV. In the day-to-day, it looks more like quick, unwarranted, “constructive” criticism. I’m not talking about the critical thinking required for success as an adult. I’m referring to the way we constantly evaluate and critique people and what they do: “Worship was great this morning! I can’t believe all those people were just standing there and not raising their hands. Some people just don’t take worship as seriously as I do.” “Worship was great this morning! I was trying to be still and reflect, but the guy next me was moving so much and flinging his arms around. Some people just don’t take worship as seriously as I do.” “The sermon was good. If he had just said this, it could have been better.” “I was so annoyed by this guy at the mall. He had no common sense and was so rude. Nobody teaches people how to be polite anymore.” “The problem with the Church today is ___________.”

Sound familiar?

Subtle cynicism, or the overly critical nature of our culture, is a toxin Satan uses against the Church. And it’s all

42

the more damaging because we often don’t even realize it’s happening. It’s time to change our posture. I’m not suggesting an extreme alternative of falsely positive, overly peppy Church culture that says nothing is wrong. Jesus, Paul, David and every writer of scripture has shown us that this is not Biblical. But when we recognize the dangers of subtle cynicism, we are able to engage in honest conversations that are productive, loving and full of grace. When Paul wrote to the church in Philippi, he addressed a steady stream of negativity. He pleaded with the church to rally around their shared love for Christ, sacrifice for each other and “do everything without grumbling or arguing.” With this as our example, let’s remember the following when we are tempted to snap sarcastic quips or offer unsolicited insight:

The Church is the Bride of Christ and deserves our respect

It is made up of broken people. We may not agree with everything, in fact, we may be spot on in calling out behavior that opposes the Gospel, but let’s speak truth with the love and humility of Jesus. He died for this Bride that He adores, so I’d imagine how we talk about her matters to Him.

Reject anything that resembles an “us” versus “them” mentality Jesus was honest about truth and spoke confidently to those who


challenged it with their hypocrisy and legalism, yet He did so without mocking or belittling anyone. He didn’t post open letters on the town gates and He didn’t publicly ridicule those who questioned him. He met them with Scripture and self-control. Any foolishness they felt came from getting caught with their foot in their mouth, not from Jesus laughing at them with crowds behind Him.

Focus on what is good

In the four short chapters of Philippians, Paul instructs the Church to rejoice 15 times. It’s interesting to note that he appears far less concerned with why they are negative and much more concerned with their choosing to change. Identifying problems is easy. Following Paul’s call to focus on what is good, lovely and admirable takes intentional work, and it breathes new life into our relationships. If God can choose to no longer look on our sin, we can choose to stop focusing on the things we would change in others and get busy loving them instead.

When we become subtle cynics, our ability to grow becomes stunted

Unveiling flaws outside of ourselves requires little to no personal sacrifice. Examining the depths of our own brokenness

requires vulnerability and risk, both of which are essential for growth. Life in Jesus involves the death of self (Mark 8:34-35). This is difficult to do while clinging to the belief that we know more than someone else. But as we move into a space of grace, our eyes are opened to lessons we were blinded to before, and we begin to find the places in our hearts God longs to address. If we are too busy discussing the ways everyone else needs to change, we lose the ability to see our own need for restoration and we get stuck rather than grow.

Pray first. Talk later.

Paul begins his letter to the Philippians by writing that he thanked God every time he thought of them. If we model Paul’s heart in this way, the thoughts and words that follow will reflect Jesus. There are times when a thoughtful, loving, critical response is the most appropriate one. But before we jump in to offer it, we should examine our hearts and consider what is most beneficial, being willing to say nothing if it tears others down and hinders the Gospel of Christ. What we say matters. Choose carefully. This article was originally published on RELEVANTmagazine.com

43


“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” Jeremiah 33:3

Encounter God at Church Prayer Meetings! Wednesday Oct 1 . Nov 5 . Dec 3 8pm Trinity@Paya Lebar, Level 4, Chapel

44


45


Heartbeat

MISSIONs AT A GLANCE

The SECOND quarter of 2014 marked yet another exciting season in Trinity’s Missions.

Statistics for Jan - JUN 2014

GO – Missions Impact Teams (MITs)

7 98 24 4 4 1,485 5

Countries (Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand) Trinitarians Trinitarians going for the first time Evangelistic MITs Humanitarian MITs Decisions Healings

GO – Training and Consultation Trips

GIVE

46

19 9

1,138 23 65 22

Trips Countries (Bulgaria, China, Japan, Poland, Romania, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, USA, Vietnam)

Destitute Children In Cambodia, India and Thailand Sponsored Children graduated from home/school Children discontinued from home/school Ministries Supported


One of the highlights for this quarter was when a Missions Impact Team (MIT) went to Chiang Mai to help Trinity’s two children’s homes, The Champions@Chiang Mai City and The Champions@Maerim, get ready for their official opening in July this year. The team helped to paint the homes, did health checks and also ministered to the children. Our Trinity ambassadors as well as our partners for the homes, Pastor Jeph and Apple, covet your prayers for the more than 50 children housed in these homes.  Our sponsorship of destitute children has also expanded to two new countries, Indonesia and Myanmar. We also rejoice with the 23 children that graduated from the sponsorship programs. Besides the MIT to Chiang Mai, there were five other MITs of 63 Trinitarians that went to Indonesia, Myanmar, Philippines and also our very own Care Community Services Society (CCSS) Carehuts to share the love of God. The MITs were involved in a variety of ministries, including building houses, distributing food packages and stationery. It was the first time that an MIT went to Myanmar.  We also supported various ministries, including the sponsorship of church planters and Project Rescue. Project Rescue is a ministry that exists to rescue and restore victims of sex slavery through the love and power of Jesus Christ.  Our pastors continued to go on training and consultation trips to equip churches in China, Japan, Poland, Romania, Taiwan and Vietnam. The people were strengthened in faith and equipped to implement carecells. Many have seen the fruit of their labor as they launched their leadership and open carecells.

MISSIONS REPORT FOR APR TO JUN

Be a Partner in Prayer for Trinity Missions! Pray for: • Partnering Churches and Organizations - to have the breakthrough anointing to reap the harvest • Future of Trinity’s Missions - for divine alliances, connecting Trinity to the right partners • Our Sponsored Children - for their characters: that they will live lives that demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit; and for their competencies: that they will grow and mature – physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually

47


Heartbeat

Raising Champions in Chiang Mai God loves children. No child should be neglected, deprived or abused. Trinity plays a part in giving 55 children in Thailand a safe place called home. Our ambassador, Cal-lin Neubronner reports on the opening ceremony of Trinity’s second and third homes in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

O

m, 6, couldn’t even lift up her head to look at anyone. Mum was on drugs, Dad didn’t want to care for her. But today, at the Children’s home, she has been transformed into a bright, cheery and cheeky girl. Partipond, 6, who was abandoned by his parents, came to the Children’s Home. Recently he had painful sores on his body and couldn’t walk. Medical care was provided for him. Our Trinity ambassadors, Steven and Rita took turns to stay with him at the hospital for more than a week. They also gathered the children to pray for him at devotion every morning. Partipond shared, “I want to come back to this home because I have friends here.” Today, he is completely

48


healed and happy in the big family of 30. These are two of the 55 children in Trinity’s two new Homes. July 5 was a significant day for them. All 55 of them trotted onto the stage, trying to calm their nerves. It would be their first time performing in public. As the notes of the keyboard strung together a familiar melody, the children began singing “How Great is our God” in both Thai and English. One by one, those present began lifting their hands giving glory to God – marveling at the actualization of the shared dream and vision of both Trinity Christian Centre and Hope Alive Foundation for the setting up of two children homes, The Champions@ Chiang Mai City and The Champions@Maerim. Indeed, how great is our God! Many of our children are considered destitute in their society. Many have lost either one or both their parents due to death, incarceration or separation. For others, their parents are unable to provide for them due to bad health or poverty. They are the minority in their own country,

coming from various hill tribes – Hmong, Karen, Lahu and Lisu – the furthest being eight hours away. All these factors add up against our children. But as Pastor Dominic delivered the message for the official opening of the Homes, it was a message for every child - the children’s past doesn’t determine their future, instead it is God who knows His plans for their lives, it is God who gives them hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11)! “More than a home that provides food and shelter, The Champions aim to teach the children about God’s Word and raise them in the ways of the Lord, so that they’ll be champions and become agents of change in their community when they grow up.” Pastor Jeffrey adds. Trinitarians, let us do our part. Let us pray that every child, all 55 of them will stand proud and tall. Each with a story not of defeat, but of victory. Each with a hope of a future promised by God. Each, a Champion!

49


Heartbeat

Trinitarians Go to the Nations This quarter, a total of 6 Missions Impact Teams were sent out to the nations. Here’s what they did. June Teh reports. Where: Singapore (local missions through Care Community Services Society) People we blessed: New Town Carehut children and CARElderly Senior Activity Centre Aim: Represent Christ through acts of care and concern Main activities: Children’s program and intergenerational activities – arts and crafts, terrarium building, kampong games Testimony: “It was a blessing just being able to serve the children and elderly. I learnt that it isn’t just about how well we prepare, but how much we trust God to work in and through us.” – Samuel Soh Where: Chiang Mai, Thailand People we blessed: 54 Children (The Champions@ Maerim and The Champions@Chiang Mai City) Aim: Humanitarian support for the soon-to-beopened Homes Main activities: Painting, cementing, medical health checks Testimony: “After my return, I have been praying for the children at The Champions@Chiang Mai City and realized that God has placed in me a heart for ministering to children.” – Grace Hee Where: Padang, Indonesia People we blessed: 220 families, 121 children, a local church Aim: Humanitarian work and local church ministry Main activities: Built houses; blessed families and children with food, farm tools, and stationery; conducted children’s program and ministered at a local church Testimony: “It’s a great joy to see lives being transformed as we displayed God’s love and compassion to the people. Just seeing the smiles of the families when we finished building their houses was sufficient reward, even though it was very tiring and tough. I felt I have truly experienced what it means to have the joy of the Lord as my strength.” – Fernnie Leong 50


Where: Myanmar People we blessed: Pre-believing adults and children Aim: Evangelism and ministry Main activities: Children/ adults programs and revival meetings held in partnership with a local church Decisions: 17 youths dedicated their lives to be used for God’s purposes, 199 decisions Testimony: “God used us to open the local church’s eyes on the possible ways of doing evangelism, fired up their hearts and faith to believe for greater things through God. The church had an average of one water baptism and a few salvations a year. We were able to encourage them while we were there – four people were water baptized and over 20 people received Christ during the short trip!” – Anthony Phang 

Where: Yogyakarta, Indonesia People we blessed: Youth, children, and the sick Aim: Empowering youths for evangelism, medical support, blessing a children’s home Main activities: Conducting a 3-day youth camp, a day of medical camp, ministry at a children’s home and a local church Testimony: “I was given many chances to share my personal testimonies with the local Christian community which in turn strengthened my faith. I was very encouraged when the people who heard my testimonies thanked me for sharing.” – Adrella Teoh

Where: Iloilo, Philippines People we blessed: Youth, children, mountain village communities Aim: Evangelism, empowering the local church, blessing the rural community Main activities: Evangelistic meetings with the local church, house-to-house evangelism, children’s food and evangelistic programs Decisions: 1119 salvations, 5 healing miracles Testimony: “As I sat among the children, I could feel God’s compassion and love for these children. Tears flowed as I touched the heads of each child within my reach, blessing them while thanking God for giving us this opportunity to reach out to them so that they can know Jesus at such a tender age. I have truly been transformed through the AlphaTrack program.” – John Ho 51


Heartbeat

TRAINING AND CONSULTATION All around the world, churches are being inspired, equipped and empowered by Trinity’s cell church model. Through modules such as Spiritual Parenting classes, Carecell Leaders’ Training, and consultations, God is using Trinity to prepare the global Church for a great end-time harvest. It is humbling to realize that we, a church in a tiny Southeast Asian country, have been blessed with powerful strategies that are impacting nations as far and as large as China, Bulgaria, and the USA. In the second quarter of 2014, we thank God for open doors in China, Japan, Poland, Romania, Taiwan, and Vietnam. In these six nations, Trinity’s pastors had the opportunity to invest in training 778 pastors and leaders in 86 churches to reach the lost and to help their people fulfill their God-given destiny. Praise the Lord! - By Yvette Leong

Pastor Margaret with training participants in Bucharest, Romania

Learning how to pray for, win and nurture in Galati, Romania 52

Pastor Steven conducting Spiritual Parenting training in Galati, Romania


Pastor Margaret providing consultation in Poland

Pastor Christina conducting Carecell Leaders’ Training in Vietnam

Pastor Jeffrey teaching CCLT in Vietnam

Pastor Kelvin teaching in Nanki, Japan

53


Heartbeat

Every Partnership Counts

Everyone deserves a tomorrow they can look forward to. Partnerships are vital in the life of Care Community Services Society (CCSS), and ensure that every person we reach out to receives something that gives them hope for their tomorrows. From a volunteer helping a child with his math problem, to a large corporation donating their time and treasures to the work of CCSS, partnerships that make a difference happen all the time. Krystle Foo and Amy Lin show us just how powerful partnerships in community service can be.

54

1) Partnership Empowers One music school and three of its talented teachers are teaching 20 CARElderly folks how to play the ukulele. These ukulele sessions keep the elderly actively engaged, and empower them with a new skill. The progress the elderly make in picking up the instrument has contributed to affirming their self-worth, and they look forward to a class every month. 2) Partnership Lightens the Load D’Klub is CCSS’ special tuition and mentoring program for children from disadvantaged families. Every Saturday, more than 30 volunteers give their time to make the two d’Klub sessions per week successful. Michelle, our d’Klub program executive shared that partnering with her volunteers is key. Volunteers give tuition to the kids, mentor them, and conduct activities with them. Without these volunteers, the 30 children from disadvantaged

family backgrounds will continue to stay at home with no supervision or guidance. 3) Partnership Adds Color 14 staff from an organization put in 100 man-hours to create a beautiful mural painting for Stamford CareHut. Designed by a child at Stamford CareHut, this mural painting was completed over the course of two days by the management team of a government agency. Many children were so excited to see the finished product that they sat outside watching these volunteers paint the mural. It is amazing to witness how a simple change can brighten and lift up everyone’s spirits. 4) Partnership Changes Lives 12 youth mentors gave at least 576 hours to make an impact in the lives of disadvantaged youths. Through this one-toone program, the youths get connected with a mentor who will coach them and speak into their lives. These mentorships


go beyond schoolwork, as mentors walk with them through life’s challenges. Recently, a mentee shared his gratitude in a note to his mentor, saying “Thanks for watching [over] me like a big brother!” 5) Partnership Helps More People Seven CCSS case managers, together with the Singapore Prison Service, helped 200 ex-offenders reintegrate into their families and society. CCSS case managers make at least one home visit to better understand each person’s needs, and have follow-up meet-up sessions with the client and/or their family members. This way, help is not only rendered to the clients but also to the community around them. CCSS engages community partners like the Singapore Corporation of Rehabilitative Enterprises (SCORE), shelters, and halfway houses to make sure every ex-offender’s transition to

community life is as smooth as possible. 6) Partnership Provides Resources 35 individuals and corporations raised $230,000 in our annual charity golf event this year. A total of 133 golfers turned up on a sunny Friday to tee off for a good cause. Without such funding, our programs and services that give better tomorrows to the young and old would not be possible.

Do you have an idea for partnering with CCSS to make a difference in the local community? Contact our office at 6304 7604 or email ccss@carecom.org.sg

Find us on

at www.fb.comcarecommunityservicssociety

55


TCA College is an accredited

multi-disciplinary Christian college founded by Trinity Christian Centre in 1979.The College trains and releases well-rounded leaders to make a fresh impact in the church and marketplace. .

OUR FOCUS

God Centered God is the center of all that we are and everything we do.

Life Transforming We are transformed in our thinking, values and ministry approach.

Culturally Relevant We are positioned on the cutting edge of what God is doing.

Global Recognition, Global Partnerships • •

Asia Theological Association Singapore Association for Counselling

Exceptional Schools, Exceptional Programs School of Counseling (Recognized by Singapore Association for Counselling)

Postgraduate Diploma in Counseling Master of Arts in Counseling School of Creative Arts Continuous Learning Program

*Specific Creative Arts Courses can be taken as part of School of Theology Bachelor & Master programs.

Creative Arts Workshops Trainings and Consultations School of Theology English Department Certificate in Ministry Diploma in Theology Bachelor of Theology Graduate Diploma in Christian Studies Master of Arts in Intercultural Studies Master of Arts in Ministry Master of Divinity

Chinese Department Certificate in Ministry Diploma in Theology Bachelor of Theology Master of Arts in Ministry Master of Divinity Master of Theology

249 Paya Lebar Road #03-11 Trinity@Paya Lebar Singapore 409046 Tel:6304 7602 • admin@tca.edu.sg • www.tca.edu.sg 94


TCA College’s School of Counseling is proud to announce the launch of the Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling (MAPC) in January 2015!


PULSE

ffIc aved the heat, tra br s n a ri ita in Tr 0 30 more than 2, uare Hotel, Kuala , 14 Sq 20 es 12, m 9Ti n ya Ju a m rj o Be Fr at Lyn, eues and gathered u q G N lO d Speakers Dr Philip n p a m s a m C ja p. m a c h rc r Pastor, Dominic triennial chu io n r u Se o r r u o fo d r n a pu r m a Lu cAte ang, Pastor Kirk M Le k Se g n O r exciting days. r u o fo st e Pa es th er v o ’s promises Yeo unpacked God ts at Camp Promised! omen

rable m snapshots of memo eir th e ar sh ns ria ta Trini gs to God. and their thanksgivin

REGISTRATION

pers still “I witnessed how cam backs. set te spi de sought God down, ke bro ch coa the en Wh ile wh ip rsh wo a camper led to be ch coa the for g itin wa repaired.” t

Janet Tan, East Distric

58


JUN 9

ON THE ROAD

By plane, car, taxi or coach, 2,330 Trinitarians made their way to Kuala Lumpur.

“Our family of five, including our 9-month old baby, had been greatly blessed in many ways during camp! We had fresh revelations and anointing from the Lord through the impacting sermons and altar calls.”

Martin & Michelle Goh, South District

“Although being a Camp Champ was physically tiring, I’ve been very encouraged by seeing the campers enjoying Camp Promised!” Hwee Cheng, South District

“Throughout the four days, the hotel staff was very helpful and minimized the inconvenience of us staying at a nearby hotel. We’ve been very blessed by Camp Promised!” Patricia Yeo, East District

59


PULSE “I was impacted by Pastor Ong’s sermon ‘When Promise is not Enough’ and was reminded to be faithful to use the gifts that God has entrusted me with. Even if I fail, I should just learn from it and continue to trust God.”

Charlie, South District

JUN 10-12 CAMP nded a

Trinitarians atte camp with power-packed n, youth, and re ild English, ch ms. Chinese progra

“I had a vision when Pastor Dom asked us to close our eyes and pray on the last day. I saw my children who looked so joyful. Isaac and Grace were all grown up in their teens and Charlotte looking just the same amazingly, didn’t age a single bit. I suppose this is my promise from our Heavenly Father!” Serene Siow, South District

“Camp was good! A time to refocus my spiritual life and be refreshed. I was encouraged by the word from the speakers.” Tay Ee Guan, East District

“We arrived at hotel at 7.30pm. Tired, hungry, we were soon energized by the warmth of the Camp Champs who attended to our search for forks and spoons so that we could take our dinner.” 60

Lai Whee Mein, North District


“The message of ‘Fly High, Last Long’ taught me that waiting is a virtue. Only by not giving up can we see the breakthrough.”

Clarinda Kal Wong, East District

“I was super excited and grateful that my carecell member responded to the altar call by faith and received the baptism of the Holy Spirit evidenced by speaking in tongues.”

Megan Lee, North District

“It’s my first time attending a church camp. I went to the camp with a delightful heart and received bountiful of blessings from the preaching of the guest speakers and the testimonies of Trinitarians. Now, I’m absolutely certain of my identity in Him and that despite whatever circumstances I’m in, I know that I’m an overcomer by the blood of the Lamb and the word of my testimony! I’m really glad I went for this camp!”

Timothy Lee, East District

61


PULSE

62


63


PULSE

ises m o r p r u all Yo f me ! o o g t e l won’t

are ade, they y m s a h d o b romises G ‘Amen’ is spoken p y n a m him the tter how For no ma st. And so through ri ‘Yes’ in Ch ry of God. lo g e us to th ns 1:20 2 Corinthia

64


On the last day of camp, Pastor Dominic prayed prophetically over each generation present at the camp, declaring the truth of God’s perspective and promises in the midst of the world’s perspectives and challenges.

If you are in your 20s and below, How the world sees you:

Future generation – Still finding direction and establishing place and purpose in the world. E.g. career, life-partner How God sees you: You are the Now generation – Take hold of His Promises and become all that He has called you to be. You are not the leader of the future; you are a leader right now! His promise: “Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” – 1 Timothy 4:12

65 65


PULSE

If you are in your 30s or 40s, How the world sees you:

Established and preoccupied – Juggling family, career, ministry with no time for God and meaningful things. E.g. mid-life crisis How God sees you: You are in the prime of your life – The present leadership and core of Trinity. Walk in the assurance of your identity in Christ and no ‘mid-life crisis’ or confusion will overcome you. Walk in God’s authority and continue to impact wherever God has placed you. His promise: He gives wisdom and discernment in an age of knowledge explosion. He also gives His anointing of stability in an age of uncertainty.

If you are above your 50s, How the world sees you:

Old and past your prime – Losing steam and vitality. Not as useful as before. How God sees you: You are God’s silver army – Armed with longevity, youthfulness and a wealth of experience and resources to share. 50 is the new 30! There is so much of what God can do through you. Arise and give of yourself to the purposes of God! His promise: Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. – Isaiah 40:30-31

66


Spanish Indonesian

Filipino

TRINITY’S

LANGUAGE SERVICES

Japanese

Know someone who speaks Filipino, Indonesian, Japanese, Spanish or Thai? Invite them to our language services at Trinity@Paya Lebar! Filipino Service Sun, 10am Lecture Theatre 2

Indonesian Service Sun, 10am Classrooms 5 & 6

Japanese Service 2nd & 3rd Sun, 10am Hostel Block, Classroom H1

Spanish Service Sun, 10am Lecture Theatre 1

Thai Service Sun, 3pm Lecture Theatre 2

Thai

67


PULSE

From Jun 24 to 27, 113 campus students came together with expectant hearts as they set off to a resort in Johor Bahru, Malaysia on a journey to seek God’s imprint of His Spirit and divine purpose on their lives. Rachel Yong reports. “In my growing years, I always questioned God’s love for me,” shared Priscilla Chin from Nanyang Technological University (NTU). “I was going through a dark season of my life when God paved a way for me to attend Camp Imprint. At one of the altar calls, I was touched by God’s tangible love for the first time and joy overwhelmed me. Since then, spending time alone with God was no longer an obligation but an enjoyment. I thank God for this wonderful breakthrough.” Many other campers like Priscilla were touched by God at the recent Campus Camp Imprint. 68

rnity

for ete marked

Joseph Yio Linao, from the Management Development Institute of Singapore, experienced the power of God as well. He said, “I attended Camp Imprint with only two expectations – to experience God’s love and to know His purpose for my life. But, God went way beyond that. He met me at the altars and affirmed me of His love and also called me to embody His love and hope to others, reigniting my passion for His people. I was amazed at His work as I caught His purpose for me clearly. I also received many revelations and breakthroughs. Glory to God!”


Set against the backdrop of “Trinia”, a fictional land, campers embarked on a “mission trip”. Four clans, consisting of four groups each, took part in mini challenges to redeem materials for the construction of a human-sized photo frame. It was a time where many, especially freshmen who were new to the Campus Ministry, forged new friendships and bonded to the Campus community.

Kingdom-giving. Attitudes toward tithing and wealth management were shifted toward a Kingdom perspective where we recognized that God is the owner and we are merely stewards of His blessings. Dr Richard Goetz covered apologetics at the second workshop. This session widened our insights and equipped us with the readiness to defend our faith with gentleness and respect.

Beyond the fun and games, campers experienced life-changing encounters with God during the services. Pastor Janice preached on God’s imprint of the Holy Spirit. Like King David, we are all marked with God’s presence and destiny as well as honor for Him, leaders and family. At the second night service, many were brought to their knees in a time of confession and repentance. Campers were convicted to walk in God’s grace and live a life of freedom at the subsequent morning service preached by Pastor Wendy.

After the four days and three nights, we checked out of the camp with refreshed spirits immersed in the ocean of God’s unending grace, presence and purpose.

Through the services, campers were led into a place of surrender where God worked very deeply in them. The altar was filled with many who laid their lives before God and received the outpouring of His love and Spirit. Besides the services, two impactful workshops were held. The first workshop, led by Pastor Beatrice, addressed

“The Pastors declared prophetically that we were a Davidic generation – people marked with honor, grace, passion, destiny and devotion,” said Ho Yi Jie, from the National University of Singapore (NUS). “During my time alone with God on the last day of camp, God led me to David in Psalms 27:4, whose burning desire for the presence of the Lord was remarkably inspiring. It was a powerful and timely reminder for me to seek the Lord unceasingly and allow him to mold me into a man after His own heart.” Similarly, I believe that we should never stop seeking God with that burning desire for His presence and to be filled with His Spirit daily.

69


Focus

How could the author of Genesis know what happened at creation before he was even created?� By Rev Joseph Tan

TOUGH 70


H

ow could the author of Genesis know what happened at creation before he was even created? Before attempting to answer this question, it would require us to know who wrote the creation account in the book of Genesis. Did Adam write the Creation account? Could Adam have written the story of creation since he was there at the creation of the world? Well, he was only created on the sixth day (Genesis 1:26-31) and he was not present at the beginning of time. Therefore, someone still had to dictate to him the events before he was created.

Current research shows that writing only began late in the fourth millennium B.C. in the land of Mesopotamia and Egypt. Early writing was either expressed by complex signs, hieroglyphic or hieratic scripts. Around the mid-second millennium B.C., Hebrew writing was then developed out of the Canaanite Linear Script. It was a much simpler alphabetical system which had consonants and markings. The book of Genesis (as well as a large part of the Old Testament) was written in this Hebrew script. Adam could not have known Hebrew, since he lived much earlier before the second millennium B.C. It is very likely that he did not write the

story of creation although it is possible that he may have transmitted some of the details of the creation account orally to his descendants. Did Moses write the Creation account? Other possible candidates who knew Hebrew could have been the author of Genesis. The most likely would have to be Moses. In the book of Exodus God commanded Moses to write down the defeat of the Amalekites in a book as a memorial (Exodus 17:14). This incidentally is the first mention of writing in the Bible. Then when Moses came down from Mount Sinai, he wrote down all the words of the Lord and read them to the Israelites (Exodus 24:4, 7). These would include the set of laws given by God (Exodus 20-23), which was later expanded in the book of Deuteronomy (Deuteronomy 31:9, 24). Moses must have written the words of the Lord in Hebrew. It would be hard to imagine if he had written it in another language and then have it translated into Hebrew. Subsequent writers readily acknowledge that Moses’ authorship of the first five books of the Bible, known as the Law of Moses or Pentateuch. Joshua wrote a copy of the Law of Moses in the presence of the Israelites (Joshua 8:32), and ordered them to be obedient to the law which Moses commanded them to do (Joshua 22:5; 23:6). David charged Solomon to follow God according to everything written in the Law of Moses (1 Kings 2:3). The New Testament writers also constantly referenced the Law of Moses (e.g. Matthew 5:17-18; Luke 2:22; 16:31; Acts 15:21). Jesus, on the road to Emmaus, revealed to the two disciples that “all things which are written about me [Jesus] in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” (Luke 24:44). The Early Church fathers, the Jewish rabbis and most Evangelical scholars would not hesitate

uestions answered

71


Focus to acknowledge Moses as the author of the Pentateuch as well as the creation story.

20:1-17). In other places, he described events as revealed by God.

God’s Revelation and Other Creation Accounts It is not surprising to see why God would choose Moses as the author. It is recorded that God [or the Lord] spoke to Moses more than two hundred times in the Bible, more than to any other person in Scripture. It was God who revealed his personal name, Yahweh, to Moses (Exodus 3:14). It was God who told him to deliver the Israelites out of Egypt, and to celebrate the Passover and the annual festivals. It was God who gave the Law to Moses at Sinai, and instructed him to institute the sacrificial system of worship. It was God who directed him on the details of the Tabernacle. Moses was God’s servant of instruction and judgment. It would be surprising if God did not reveal the beginnings of creation to Moses so that the Israelites may know that the Lord is the Creator God of all (cf. Deuteronomy 4:32).

Moreover, Moses lived in a context where there were other cosmological texts from the surrounding nations. There was the Babylonian creation epic of Enuma Elish and the Egyptian Memphite texts. Moses was well aware of these texts, which often picture a chaotic beginning and how the gods came to being. How does he make sure that God of the Israelites created the world that is described differently from the other cosmologies?

However, did Moses write down the creation account verbatim? Was he merely recording word for word what God instructed him to write? The answer is yes and no. In several places he wrote down verbatim since he recorded God’s speeches (e.g. the Ten Commandments, Exodus

In Genesis 1:16, Moses wrote that “God made the two great lights, the greater light to govern the day, and the lesser light to govern the night.” While it is obvious that the greater light represented the sun and the lesser light represented the moon, Moses deliberately did not use the words “sun” and “moon,” for that would mean that God created the Canaanite sun god “Shemesh” and the moon god “Yarich.” Unlike the other religions, the God of the Bible does not create other gods, and He, himself, is not a created being. Moses further instructed the Israelites to “know …and take it to your heart, that the LORD, He is God in heaven above and on the earth below; there is no other.” (Deuteronomy 4:39) Therefore, in writing about the creation of the world, Moses had the revelation from God, and adeptly worded it in such a way that it was different from the creation myths of the other surrounding nations. There is also the possibility of collecting the creation stories that might have been transmitted from Adam and his descendants, but it remains uncertain. In any case, all these would result in carefully putting together an account of how “in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1).

Sources consulted: Millard, A. R. “Writing.” In Dictionary of the Old Testament: Pentateuch, edited by Alexander, T. Desmond and David W. Baker, 904-911. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2003.

72

Walton, J. H. “Creation.” In Dictionary of the Old Testament: Pentateuch, edited by Alexander, T. Desmond and David W. Baker, 155-168. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2003.


UPPULSE CLOSE

> TRINITARIAN HERO

CAPTURING GOD’S LOVE

By Sharon Lim

“One. One on. Standby three. Three on. Very nice three. Coming to one - one, if you can get a shot of the choir, that’ll be nice. One, focus. Dissolving one...” In a dark room tucked away from the service, lit by multiple screens with the soft humming of electronics, our Video team maneuvers a switchboard controlling what we see onscreen during service. Like a well-oiled engine, they splice together the different angles from the cameras in the service hall, alongside an RGB team that controls the timely projection of slides and lyrics. Join Sharon Lim as she turns the spotlight on the people who are behind the visuals of our service experience at Trinity@Paya Lebar and Trinity@Adam. Meet Dayna Chong (DC): 20, undergraduate, Isaac Lye (IL): 24, undergraduate, Addie Lee (AL): 51, project management, Ann Tan (AT): 48, finance industry, Elene Lau (EL): 51, teacher, Elizabeth Whey (EW): 43, professional, and Jacob Cheng (JC): 43, professional. 74


he had, and to pair up with him so that he could continue to enjoy serving in the team. JC: I wanted to serve backstage.

Why did you choose to serve in the Video/ RGB team? DC: Having served in IGNYTE tech, I was naturally fascinated with the elaborate technical set-ups in the adult ministry. It means a lot to me, seeing every single one of us “techies” as important cogs in this elaborate machine, operating to enhance the total worship experience. 

AL: I choose to serve in RGB because to me, the lyrics on the screen will come alive and minister to people, especially the visitors. What are some challenges you face while serving? DC: I find it difficult to serve and engage in worship at the same time because I’m new and am still learning the ropes. There are lots of things to remember and it’s quite nerve-wrecking having to juggle between the

IL: Honestly I didn’t know what to expect when I signed up for Video. I simply applied during one of their recruitment phases with my dad, because he wanted to try something new. However, after my first few sessions of serving, I realized that I really enjoyed each experience and decided to remain! AT: I serve in RGB because I like to create colorful PowerPoint slides and it’s a ministry that works behind-the-scenes. EL: I was hesitant to join RGB initially as I wasn’t tech-savvy. I didn’t have any idea how to use PowerPoint! I was strongly encouraged to join and thankfully, I have a good mentor who patiently guided me. EW: My husband, Jacob, was serving in the RGB team. I sensed a change in him since he served. He became more interested in church events and clearly had a strong sense of belonging. He had this vibrancy that wasn’t present before. However, juggling his work commitments and service in church became increasingly tedious for him, so I decided to join the team to experience this passion that

75


different knobs and gears or adjusting the filter, ‘bokeh’ and lighting at the same time. IL: The biggest challenge I feel would be the inability to focus on the message spoken during the sermon, as half my focus is on the camera and listening to the Videoin-charge through the headset. However I resolved that by serving on Sundays and attending service with my carecell on Saturdays. 

I faced was my lack of technical expertise. I was fearful because RGB goes on “live”. But the team is very supportive. They are more interested in having a willing heart than proficiency. None of them complained when I took a long time to learn the ropes.

AT: Pre-service prayer is quite challenging as we need to be precise, accurate and fast in keying in all the prayer requests and medical terms read over the pulpit! But God is good—He sent two doctors to serve at 5pm!   EW: As a wife, mother and daughter, I belong to the “sandwiched generation”. I have to ensure that my two sons and my father, who has a mobility issue, get to their respective “stations” on time. Many of the courses I attend are also scheduled on weekends.  But somehow, God will orchestrate events such that everything falls into place every week, to enable my husband and me to continue serving. Another problem 76

JC: I used to feel that I’ve to be an octopus to sort various things out at the same time. Nowadays, it’s more getting used to juggling the family schedule and getting to church on time to serve.


other not only in prayer but also in action whenever there is a need. If you have to come up with a tagline/ slogan for the team, it would be: DC: Your Potential, Our Passion AT: Releasing God’s Blessings IL: Video - Capturing God’s love EL: seRving God our Best EW: Project a Better Image- Serve in the RGB. JC: RGB – Ready, Get-set, Bring it on! AL : RGB – Really God’s Beacon

AL: Impromptu songs are challenging sometimes as we need to be alert to catch the first line to search for the song and project it in a timely manner. How has it been rewarding for you? DC: My passion for serving is rekindled after meeting fellow tech experts who would lead and guide me through my bumbling ways with immense fervor and unending patience. The “occupational hazards” have been rewarding too, sharpening my eye for detail whenever I’m observing camera angles and shots on film.  IL: Video is an exciting ministry to be in! Apart from having the various equipment we get to play with, we also take pride in improving our skills and expressing our creative video shots. I’m grateful for being able to capture moments of people encountering God.  AT: I get to see many people get blessed through technology, especially answered prayers during pre-service prayer!  EW: When my sons saw that their parents were serving, they chose to do the same. If they have to teach their mother how to use her mobile phone and yet she is serving in the RGB team, they figured they can too! AL: I found a new family in Christ, the “5pm RGB service family”. We support each

Find out how you can be part of the Video or RGB team, email us at connect@trinity.sg today! Non-techies are more than welcome too!

77


Advertise with The Trinitarian DON’T MISS OUR SPECIAL PACKAGE RATES!

The Trinitarian captures readers’ attention. The content is credible and readers trust the magazine. This is important to advertisers. Soh Liang Liang, media director

The Trinitarian magazine is a quality Christian publication with articles relevant to life in a contemporary society. • • • • •

Quarterly Readership – at least 28,800 Global Reach – churches in Singapore and around the world Readers – professionals, managers, executives and businessmen Online – available on www.trinity.net (ads included at no extra cost)

FOR ADVERTISING RATES: Sarah Lau . 6304 7718 . sarahlau@trinity.org.sg 78


79


Ordinary Folks,

Extraordinary Wealth Sun, Oct 12 | 2.30 – 5.30pm Trinity@Adam • 21 Adam Road

Many dream of financial success. But most feel that this is a distant reality unless they earn a fat salary, have rich parents, or can invest like Warren Buffett. Ordinary working professionals can acquire wealth through time-tested and robust wealth management. Discover how to systematically plan for financial success. About the Speaker Anthony Tse is the Associate Director of IPP Financial Advisers Pte Ltd. He is a regular speaker at marriage preparation courses, financial planning talks and corporate seminars. He is also a certified Associate Estate Planning Practitioner (AEPP). Prior to his wealth management career, Anthony was a regional business head of a telecommunication MNC. IPP Financial Advisers Pte Ltd is a leading financial advisory firm in Singapore. It was ranked number one in the finance industry under SME 500. Register online at www.trinity.sg

Trinitarian Magazine Issue 3/2014  

Trinitarian Magazine Issue 3/2014

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you