LEAVE A LASTING LEGACY. BUILD GOD’S HOUSE
BE STRONG IN THE BATTLE OF THE MIND
WHAT NOT TO WEAR: ANOTHER LOOK AT MODESTY
WHY DOES GOD ALLOW EVIL TO EXIST?
ONE OF TIME MAGAZINE’S 100 MOST INFLUENTIAL PEOPLE (2013)
REV WILFREDO DE JESÚS “People are in distress, and God is still looking for men and women to stand in the gap in our homes, in our neighborhoods, in our cities and towns, in our nation, and in every corner of the world.” – In the Gap, author Rev Wilfredo
Guest Speaker Rev Wilfredo De Jesús, affectionately known as Pastor Choco, is the Senior Pastor of New Life Covenant Church in Chicago, a congregation that has grown from 120 to over 17,000 members globally. One of TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People (2013), Rev Wilfredo also has served as the Vice President of Social Justice for the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Organization.
Vision Month 2015
Leave a Lasting Legacy. Build God’s House! This Vision Month, catch God’s vision and heart for Trinity. Be empowered through this sermon series and by our guest speaker!
2-week Sermon Series Sat & Sun, Sep 5 & 6 Sat & Sun, Sep 12 & 13 Trinity@Paya Lebar – Sat 5pm & Sun 10am Trinity@Adam – Sat 5pm & Sun 8.30 & 11am
Vision Rally Fri, Sep 18, 8pm Trinity@Paya Lebar Guest Speaker: Rev Wilfredo De Jesús
Vision Weekend Sat, Sep 19, 5pm Sun, Sep 20, 10am Trinity@Paya Lebar only Guest Speaker: Rev Wilfredo De Jesús
GREATER FAITH CONFERENCE
16 & 17 SEP 2015
TRINITY @ PAYA LEBAR 247 PAYA LEBAR ROAD with Rev. Wilfredo De Jesús Senior Pastor, New Life Covenant Church TIME’s 100 Most Influential People 2013
New Life has grown from 120 to 17,000 globally through church plants and more than 130 ministries reaching the poor, homeless, drug addicts and gang members. – CBN News Wilfredo and New Life exemplify amazing faith in ways worth emulating – Bill Hybels
Day Meetings > 9.30am to 1.00pm (By registration only) Night Meetings > 7.30pm (Free admission) Early Bird > $50/pax by 15 August ($70/pax thereafter) Enquiries > email@example.com Mandarin interpretation via headsets is available during the night meetings. Organized by The Assemblies of God of Singapore
Note: This is course is a pre-requiste for Prophetic Ministries 1.
STAND UP FOR WHAT YOU STAND FOR
p40 STAND UP FOR WHAT YOU STAND FOR
26 ENVISION LEAVE A LASTING
LEGACY. BUILD GOD’S HOUSE A Look Back at Trinity’s Journey of Faith
I PROMISED AND HE PROVIDED Real Life Miracles
BUILDING IN FAITH The Faith Promise – A Trinitarian Tradition
TRINITARIAN HERO His Life the Musical Hospitality Volunteers
#JUBILEE50K CHALLENGE Bless and Proclaim, Transform Our World
CLOSE 102 UP CAUGHT ON
STAND UP FOR WHAT YOU STAND FOR What to do When Culture and Christ Collide BE STRONG IN THE BATTLE FOR OUR MIND Learning to Turn Your Thoughts Towards Christ
BE FILLED! Experience Transformation and Power Through the Holy Spirit WHAT WE CAN DO WHEN CULTURE GOES HAYWIRE How to Respond When Our Beliefs Are Challenged
30 WAYS THE HOLY SPIRIT WORKS FOR US Reminders that We Don’t Stand Alone WHAT NOT TO WEAR Another Look at Modesty
Problems? Only one point?
So many devices to charge!!
Find yourself checked into the hotel room with multiple devices to charge but only one main power point? Worse still, if there thereâ€™s two pax in the room, twice the number of devices to charge. Some even resort to getting up in the middle of the night to charge the next device. Which device to charge first? Source: The Business Times ÂŠ Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Permission required for reproduction.
Charging devices on the floor?
Awkward working conditions?
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CONTENTS ISSUE 03/2015
p16 HIS LIFE THE MUSICAL
p50 BE STRONG IN THE BATTLE FOR OUR MIND
p22 I PROMISED AND HE PROVIDED!
p91 READY TO CHARGE!
p80 LIFE CONFERENCE 2015
p76 JUBILEE DAY OF PRAYERS
TOUGH QUESTIONS ANSWERED Why Does God Allow Evil to Exist?
MISSIONS AT A GLANCE An Overview of Trinity’s Missions Efforts from Jan to Jun 2015
65 HEARTBEAT MISSIONS REPORT
A Highlight of Trinity’s Missions Efforts from Apr to Jun 2015
76 PULSE JUBILEE DAY OF
TRINITARIANS GO TO THE NATIONS! MITs that Happened from Apr to Jun 2015 CHANGING THE NATION, ONE INITIATIVE AT A TIME Trinitarians Partner With CCSS to Impact Lives
LIFE CONFERENCE 2015 Discovering What it Means to Live the “Abundant Life”
TRAINING AND CONSULTATION Empowering Churches to Grow HIS LIFE THE MUSICAL Presenting the Greatest Story Ever Told
88 PULSE IGNYTE HAPPENINGS Overnight Prayer, IMMOVABLE Worship Concert
MENTORING PASTORS An Update from the M2 Program
PRAYERS One Day, One Place, One Heart
91 PULSE READY TO CHARGE! Campus Camp 2015
Pastor Dominic Yeo
Pastor Janice Chng
Diana Lim Jessie Chew
Daniel Koh Hannah Tan June Teh Lye Hui Xian
Miranda Zhang Rebecca Vinod Sharon Lim
Amy Lim Ben Voon Dr Richard Goetz Karen Jensen Salisbury Pastor Dominic Yeo Rachel King RIck Joyner Rev Samuel Rodriguez Tabitha Ko
Big Detail Pte Ltd
IGNYTE Photography Team David Teo Boon Hwee Michael Chan Jason Bok Jeremy Lau Kenneth Xavier Tan
Kevin Kwok Cheong Yian Ling Kelvin Chua Kelvin Lim Noelle Lim Twenty4Frames
Dear Trinity, I want to take this opportunity to thank you for being there for us – my late wife, Sharen Soh Ping Ping, and me – before and after her passing. Sharen worked at Trinity’s Agapeland for 14 years and was a Member of Trinity. Although she chose to join me in another church, she was a Trinitarian at heart. In fact, all of her friends are Trinitarians! I have known Pastor David Chan since the World Trade Centre days. He was with us in the hospital, helped with all the funeral arrangements, and conducted first night service. Pastor Carmelo also helped with logistics for the funeral and burial, including conducting the service at Mandai. Many other Pastors supported us through this time. In fact, we were overrun with Pastors on the first day of the wake! Thank you for supporting us in action and in prayer. It was, and still is, a difficult journey but I thank God for all the prayers and support Trinity has provided.
Dear Trinity Christian Centre, I wish to express my thanks for Pastor Wilson’s strong and deeply moving message [Leading the Family with Authority]. By sharing the painful chapters of his life, he made 2 Samuel 13 very meaningful for me. I am thankful that God will forgive if we truly repent of our sins; I truly believe He has forgiven me of mine. Although I’m still looking for a home church, I am very grateful for having attended your service. Trinity, thank you for being a wonderful host. Boon
Every time the Trinitarian comes to my office, I kick back, go through the pages, and rejoice at how God has been working through Trinity! Dr Kevin Mannoia – Professor of Ministry and Chaplain, Azusa Pacific University
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Dear Trinitarians, 2015 has been a significant year for Christians in Singapore. Besides celebrating our Nation’s Golden Jubilee, the Church will also be celebrating the Jubilee Year of the Lord! Under the Hebraic calendar, this Jubilee Year will start on September 13, 2015 and end on October 2, 2016. This intersection of calendars holds great spiritual significance for us all. 2015 also has been an exciting year for Trinity. We thank God for the approval to proceed with the redevelopment of Trinity@Adam. A Trinity fact: did you know when Trinity committed to purchasing the land at Adam Road, the Board had no idea where the finances
IT TAKES ALL OF US, TO LIVE BY FAITH, TO STAND STRONG AND LAY CLAIM IN ORDER TO SEE TRANSFORMATION TAKING PLACE IN OUR FAMILIES, OUR WORKPLACES, AND OUR MINISTRIES.
would come from? Find out more about our journey of faith on pg 26. As our House is expanding, know that the Family of God is also growing. At the recent His Life the Musical, reported on pg 16, we witnessed open heavens. There was such a strong presence of God moving among us and many of our loved ones received salvation. Let us believe that in this Year of Jubilee, as we continue to boldly bless and proclaim the favor of the Lord, we will surely reap a mighty harvest of souls! Trinity also has been, and continues to be, actively transforming the social
media landscape through the #Jubilee50K Challenge. A few months ago, The Straits Times released an article, “ A kinder, gentler social media?” (republished on pg 38), highlighting a trend of documenting acts of kindness on social media.
and nominated three pastors, both outside of Trinity and beyond Singapore, to join me in the #Jubilee50K Challenge. I believe that as we continue to bless and post, to nominate our friends to join in proclaiming God’s goodness and freedom, we will continue to be part of something greater than ourselves. While we continue to advance the Kingdom of God, we face an increasingly liberal culture in our world today. It’s a culture that endorses alternative lifestyles, and very often contrary to what we believe in. What should we do when culture and Christ collide? Will you “Stand Up for What You Stand For” – pg 40 or flow along with the culture and trends that are popular? There is a greater need for the church to take courage and stand up on what we stand for. We cannot remain silent and hope to transform our world. It takes all of us, to live by faith, to stand strong and lay claim in order to see transformation taking place in our families, our workplaces, and our ministries. Let us transform our world!
Personally, I’ve completed more than 10 acts of blessings
From July 15–19 2015, Trinity Christian Centre, in collaboration with Promise Ministries International, hosted His Life the Musical (“His Life”). Over the course of 2½ hours, audiences were led through an accurate account of the life of Jesus: His birth, ministry, death, resurrection and ascension to Heaven. Believers and pre–believers testify to how they were impacted by the performance. By Daniel Koh Zhi Guo
His Life the Musical was birthed in 1989. To date, the production has been seen by 39 million people from around the world.
Randy Brooks, the actor playing Jesus, has performed this role for 27 years!
Promise Ministries International (from New York, USA) flew in almost 80 cast members to stage His Life in Singapore.
And Trinity had the opportunity to have seven of our cast (including baby Jesus) on this production.
Baby Jesus was Pastor Frank Smitâ€™s four-month-old Son!
His Lifeâ€™s Singapore run was eight performances over the course of five days. Over 22,600 people attended the peformances and 396 people made decisions to follow Christ.
HIS LIFE THE MUSICAL
HIS LIFE THE MUSICAL
The presence and love of God was so tangible at His Life. Mary Seah, homemaker, shared that, “..there was a lady sitting alone next to me, a complete stranger. When Pastor Dom asked the audience to raise their hands to receive Jesus, I saw that she continued to her hands up and was weeping. When Pastor Dom gave the altar call, I was prompted to invite her to take a step of faith. The woman initially hesitated but when I assured her of God’s love, she stood up. I had the privilege of walking her, as well as my cousin, down to receive Jesus. Praise God for the two salvations! His Life also was a breakthrough for Trinitarians as they persevered in inviting their oikos for the presentations. Eric Argadji, accountant, 27, tried for two years to invite his friend – a former drinking buddy – to church. “She felt Easter and Christmas events were ‘threatening but when I invited her to a musical, she readily agreed.” His friend, whom he described as a “smartphone addict”, watched His Life with great concentration; her phone remained in her bag throughout the performance. When it came to the altar call, she was hesitant to raise her hand. “She thought church was only for good people, and she felt embarrassed over how she has lived her life. I told her that every one of us has a history of sin – our own story. She didn’t raise her hand and stayed silent. It was when Pastor Dominic started counting down to lead the Salvation Prayer that she asked, ‘Will you accompany me if I go down?’” Eric gladly walked with her to the altar and she accepted Jesus.
In 2013, God asked Andrew Ng to take a greater step of faith – to commit a large sum for the Vision Faith Promise. Although the family was in a period of uncertainty – a new job and fresh loans – he chose to see beyond his present circumstances and trust that God provide for the future. What Andrew experienced over the course of the year completely changed his perspective on giving. By Daniel Koh Zhi Guo
UP CLOSE I PROMISED AND HE PROVIDED!
The second-half of 2013 was a season of transition for Andrew Ng. Professionally, work was demanding; he had just changed employers and was serving a threemonth’s probation with his new company. His family situation also was challenging; they just relocated to another flat to be closer to his son’s secondary school, his parent’s home, and church (Trinity@Paya Lebar). The flat required extensive renovations that the family paid for by taking out a bank loan. During Vision Weekend 2013, God prompted Andrew to write a certain amount on his Vision Faith Promise card.
“I couldn’t rationalize how I would able to fulfill that amount, it seemed impossible,” Andrew shared, “Things at work were uncertain and the amount could instead be used to pay off a large portion of the renovation loan.” Andrew knew that he being challenged to turn the focus away from his circumstances and towards his Provider. Despite his worries, Andrew obeyed God’s prompting by writing that sum on his Vision Faith Promise Card and handing the card to a Pastor. Over the next few weeks, Andrew and his wife, Mun Hwa, set aside time to pray together for the Vision Faith Promise. He also shared with his son about the Vision Faith Promise and how they, as a family, were trusting God to provide. At work, Andrew would start his day early at the office, praying and committing each workday to God. However, Andrew continued to worry about the Vision Faith Promise. Given his work situation, it seemed impossible for him to fulfill the large amount; the chance of a favorable year-end appraisal or a good performance
bonus was remote. “I regularly looked at my Vision Faith Promise card and thought of the impossibility of the situation. The timing was just not right,” Andrew recalled. One day, he came across Mark 10:27,
“…with man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.” “This verse helped steer my focus back to God,” Andrew said. “It reminded me that He is the Source and Creator of all things.” Over the course of the year, Andrew saw God’s favor in the workplace. His new team had understanding bosses and supportive colleagues that worked with him to achieve his unit’s business goals. At the end of the work year, Andrew was surprised to receive strong appraisals from his superiors. He was even more amazed to learn that he was receiving a bonus for the year, an amount that was twice as much as his Faith Promise! With this financial provision, Andrew was able to fulfill his Vision Faith Promise three months before the start of the next Vision Faith Promise. “I serve an awesome God,” declared Andrew, “God is good all the time, and all the time He is good!” Though this experience, Andrew now uses every opportunity to share his testimony of incredible provision. He also prays boldly for the others, especially for situations that seem “impossible”. “Expect the impossible,” Andrew exhorts, “Be confident that through Him, all things are possible!”
Leave a Lasting Legacy. Build God’s House! LOOKING AT THE PAST, THE PRESENT, AND THE FUTURE When we look at the “House of God” we have today – Trinity@Paya Lebar, Trinity@Lavender, and Trinity@Adam – it’s hard to imagine that Trinity Christian Centre was once a nomadic congregation renting premises throughout Singapore. Trinity always had a vision to build a strong church and a desire to leave a lasting legacy for the generations. Let’s take a look at Trinity’s journey of faith and God’s miraculous provision throughout the years.
By faith, Trinity committed to purchasing the plots of land and Trinitarians rose to the call to give sacrificially; some even mortgaged their properties in order to build God’s House. For the congregation of roughly 1,000 – mostly young adults and parents with small children – giving wasn’t about what they had; giving was about doing whatever it took for Trinity@Adam to become a reality.
not knowing where the finances were going to come from.” – Pastor Naomi Dowdy, former senior pastor of Trinity Christian Centre
In 1981 the two plots of land, at 21 and 23 Adam Road, listed at over two million dollars – a very large sum of money in those days. “When we first bought Trinity@Adam, I called for a board meeting and told them if we signed this deal, there’s no turning back. If we don’t have the money within the next 3-4 months we would lose our down payment. The board collectively agreed and we proceeded in faith
1988 – 1992 Construction of 21 Adam Road commenced in 1988. Despite numerous construction challenges, the structure on 21 Adam Road was completed in 1990. We finally had our own church building! In 1992, 21 Adam Road was paid off and Trinitarians celebrated with a symbolic act of burning the mortgage papers!
1998 – 1999 The Shell Sports Club, a large plot of freehold land along Paya Lebar Road, became available for tender in 1998. After much prayer, the Board of Directors took a step of faith and submitted a bid at 19.1 million dollars, a whisker higher than the second-highest bid.
1993 – 1995 Construction of 23 Adam Road commenced in 1993 and completed two years later, just in time for Trinity’s 25th Anniversary! Trinity@Adam could now hold larger services in its new 1,000-seat auditorium. God soon used the new auditorium in a powerful way. In 1996, Trinity produced “Heaven’s Gates & Hell Flames” (HGHF). HGHF was so popular that its intended run was extended from one to four weeks. Over 17,000 people attended the performances and 4,700 made decisions to follow Christ! “After we paid up the loan for Trinity@Adam, I recall saying to Pastor Dowdy (rather cheerfully) that we don’t need to take Vision Faith Promises anymore! She rebuked me, saying, ‘Raymond! When we stop building, we stop growing!’ This statement has set the foundation of my faith whenever I wrestle with whether to go forward with the next building project.”
Finances were tight, Trinity only had to enough to pay for the initial down payment.
1996 After repaying the building loan for 23 Adam Road, God opened doors for Trinity to purchase three adjacent freehold properties on Lavender Street. After numerous submissions to various government authorities, Trinity was granted permission to combine these properties, increasing its floor space. Trinity@Lavender served as an additional service center for Trinity until 2006. Since then, Trinity@Lavender continues to be a lighthouse for the community by renting out its premises to churches in need of facilities.
Trinitarians were challenged to stretch their faith like never before, giving sacrificially towards building God’s House. Not long after purchasing the land at Paya Lebar, Trinity paid off the building loan for Trinity@Lavender and raised enough to complete the purchase of land at Paya Lebar.
– Raymond Leong, former board member
LEAVE A LASTING LEGACY. BUILD GOD’S HOUSE!
2001 – 2003
2012 – Present
Trinity applied to have the land at Paya Lebar re-zoned and to increase the plot ratio. Trinity entered into a season of submissions and dialogues with the relevant authorities while Trinitarians prayed with audacious fervor.
Trinity continues to grow with a weekly attendance of almost 7,500. The family of God is expanding and we must prepare so that more people can come into His House.
In 2002 the change of zoning was approved and in 2003, Trinity was granted a higher plot ratio!
2004 – 2011
Despite national and world events – the Nicholl Highway collapse in 2004, the Indonesian sand ban in 2007 and the world financial crisis in 2008 – Trinitarians continued to sow in order to see the completion of Trinity@Paya Lebar. “What amazes me is not just the few Trinitarians who gave in the hundreds of thousands but the many Trinitarians who gave of their ‘widow’s mite’ believing in leaving a lasting legacy.” – Khong Yew Cheong, present board member
Construction of Trinity@Paya Lebar occurred in two Phases. Phase 1 commenced in 2004 and was completed in 2006, just in time for Watchnight Service! Phase 2 was completed in 2009, again, just in time for Watchnight Service. Despite double-parking, the newly-opened multi-level basement carpark struggled to accommodate all the cars that came on New Year’s Eve. Multitudes of Trinitarians filled the 3,000-seat Sanctuary and even overflowed to the Chapel! Throughout the years, Trinity experienced many miracles, such as paying off the 10-year land loan for Paya Lebar in four years and paying off the 15-year building loan in less than 5 years. The greatest miracle is the number of people who have made Trinity their home – our weekly attendance grew from 4,000 to 6,500 people!
We can now begin redeveloping Trinity@Adam! “Trinitarians, we have been blessed with a rich legacy of faith that began more than 40 years ago. However, we cannot just stand upon the faith of the previous generation. God is about to do something great in Singapore and Trinity. It’s one thing to pray for a revival, it’s another to build the store houses in faith that they will be filled!” – Senior Pastor Dominic Yeo Trinitarians, let’s continue to “Leave a Lasting Legacy. Build God’s House!”
Over the years, many prophetic words have been released over Trinity. Trinitarians continue to hold these words close to their hearts, to walk in faith that they will come to pass. “I’m sensing in the prophetic that you are pregnant and you are ready to give birth to revival in Singapore. And I sense in my Spirit that what you’re going to see is a rapid growth, and it is not going to be transfer growth. But it’s going to be growth out of conversion, out of your loins. You’re going to see people come into the Kingdom. And as a result of the growth that God is going to give you, you’ve got to expand. I believe that God is orchestrating these things because He is preparing you for a great harvest.” – Ché Ann, President/Presiding Apostle – Harvest International Ministry, 2000
“God says He is opening a door that no man can shut. He is giving you favor. He is giving you buildings, plans. And it’s just started. I say, you’re just started, compared to where you are going.” – Bishop Bill Hamon, Founder – Christian International Ministries, 2000
“…and I will begin populate you with a mighty harvest. It will be a season where you come freely and you will see and receive a mighty harvest. Know this day my sons and my daughters; a new season comes upon you. And you will have to follow me, see me, and seek me where I can found of you. In this season of harvest, there will be the repayment of that which the devil has taken from us. A seven-fold harvest will come into your bosom. There is a shield of fire that will surround this seven-fold harvest – it will not be taken away from you.” – Senior Pastor Dominic Yeo, 2013
BUILDING IN FAITH God invites us to rise to a new level of faith through our giving. Making a Faith Promise is great way to see Godâ€™s provision to and through you! Find out what a Faith Promise is and how you can be a part of this Trinitarian tradition.
WHAT IS A FAITH PROMISE? A Faith Promise is a commitment, made in faith, between you and God. It is a time where you ask the Lord how much He wants you to give towards a particular area of His Kingdom work and trust that He will fulfill this commitment in the coming year.
A Faith Promise is not based on the finances you already have. Rather, a Faith Promise is based on the figure God has impressed upon your heart and continued faith to believe that He will provide the amount in the year.
In Zechariah 8:23, we see God’s promise to restore Jerusalem so that the city, and the people of Israel, would be a conduit of God’s blessing to the nations. Similarly, as Trinitarians, we are called to see beyond the present, to sow into the future of Trinity Christian Centre (“Trinity”) so that she can continue to be a blessing to Singapore and the world.
In Trinity, we have two opportunities to make Faith Promises:
The central message of a Faith Promise is that it a channel for blessing. Through a Faith Promise, God gives us the privilege of being a part of the expansion of His Kingdom. In making and keeping a Faith Promise, we demonstrate faith and stewardship by believing in a miraculous provision and ultimately surrendering the financial provision He gives for Kingdom-building.
Trinitarians of all ages and backgrounds participate in these annual traditions. Many are prompted by God to pledge amounts by faith, to trust that He will provide the finances to fulfill the Faith Promise.
Missions Convention in March; and Vision Rally in September.
The first opportunity goes towards Trinity’s Missions efforts while the latter goes towards the building fund.
For who are relatively new to the concept of a Faith Promise, it’s important understand what a Faith Promise is and what is not.
BUILDING IN FAITH – THE FAITH PROMISE Vis ion
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An offering is given as a general act of worship to God, a love gift to Him.
c. Faith Promise = An Opportunity for God to Provide Through You
In a Faith Promise, we commit to giving over and above our normal tithes and offerings, stepping out in faith and trust that He will make it possible for us to fulfill our commitment.
God’s provision is proportionate to, and often greater than, our giving to Him. Luke 6:38 reminds us to, “Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full – pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.”
When we receive a Faith Promise Card, there is a section
A Faith Promise is made over and above your tithes and offerings. Tithing demonstrates that we acknowledge God’s ownership over everything we have (i.e., our resources). We respond to this by returning a portion of our resources back to him (Malachi 3:10).
A Faith Promise is a commitment made between us and God. The Church will never ask about our Faith Promise or send a bill. Our Faith Promise is not a pledge that we are responsible to pay. Instead, a Faith Promise demonstrates a partnership between us and God. As God does His part by blessing us with financial provision, our part is merely to fulfill the promise by releasing and directing the funds towards Kingdom-building.
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where we fill out our particulars. This is to demonstrate how serious we are about our commitment towards the Faith Promise, a physical proclamation that we want to be His channel of blessing and that He can count on us to sow into His Kingdom.
b. Faith Promise ≠ Pledge
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Whatever way He chooses for us to fulfill our Faith Promise, remember that His blessings can extend beyond the material and into areas such as sustained health, miraculous healing, favor in the eyes of man, and/or the removal of barriers.
Be a Channel of Blessing! The act of giving demonstrates our love for God and His Kingdom. As Amy Charmichael, a missionary to India, once said, “You can give without loving but you cannot love without giving.” God has given Trinity an incredible vision. Let’s take courage to be used as God’s channel of blessing and provision!
WHY I GIVE Trinitarians Share Their Heart for Trinityâ€™s Vision We asked several Trinitarians the following question: Why do I give to the Vision Faith Promise? Be encouraged by what they had to say.
May Lee, North District Trinitarian for 2 years
I came to know Christ through Trinityâ€™s Christmas Production in 2013 and have worshipped here ever since. I am very thankful for the commitment of Trinitarians in their Vision Faith Promise. Through them, Trinity has been blessed with two places of worship. Now, as a Member of Trinity, I want to give so that I can see more people, including my family, come to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Priscilla Voon, North District Trinitarian for 6 years
By taking part in the Vision Faith Promise, I have learned to trust God as my provider. I want to be a cheerful and confident giver and leave a legacy for the future generations to have more places to worship the Lord Most High!
BUILDING IN FAITH – THE FAITH PROMISE
Lee Chien Wang, South District Trinitarian for 16 years
By obeying the Holy Spirit’s promptings and committing in the Vision Faith Promise, I have gained a deeper understanding about what it means to be a Christian: it is my responsibility to give towards Kingdom-building; God is faithful in His promise of being my Provider; and with Jesus as my anchor, I have no fear of the future. He will provide me with the grace to continue in this journey of faith. Seah Koek Choon, East District Trinitarian for 20 years
The Bible often talks about land and sheep. For us, the church is the land where sheep (His people) will graze and grow. Without land the sheep will die. When I think of my children, and their children, I think of the church as a place where they can grow and graze. They are the reason why I contribute to the Vision Faith Promise. Mary Poh, East District Trinitarian for 18 years
When we are sincere in building His House, He will not fail to provide for us. Not only did He bless me with more than enough to fulfill last year’s Vision Faith Promise, He also blessed me with bountiful grace and favor.
Jonathan Ang, West District Trinitarian for 12 years
I give because I believe in the vision God has given to this Church. Trinity is, and will continue to be, a physical reminder of God’s promises to us and a legacy for the generations to come. Tina Ng, West District Trinitarian for 28 years
I give to Vision Faith Promise because I want to build God’s House. I give so that I can be a role model for my children, to teach them the value of giving and to demonstrate that we can never out give God. Sharon Tan, West District Trinitarian for 7 years
I have been blessed tremendously by Trinity’s messages, LEAD course and Life Skills seminars. Giving to the Vision Faith Promise is my way of supporting the church, building the House of God, so that every Trinitarian can be equipped for strategic leadership.
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Sze Hern Knoo, Campus Ministry Trinitarian for 4 years
I believe God has a specific calling for our Church, a vision for Trinity to fulfill. I know I must partner with God, to provide resources, in order for this vision to be fulfilled. I believe God will use our resources to empower lives for His glory. Josias and Delia Teo, Campus Ministry Trinitarians for 4 years
Trinity is where we have found a spiritual family. It is a place where we have learned to obey Jesus’ command to nurture and disciple. We give to the Vision Faith Promise because we want to invest in the eternal and leave a legacy for the next generation.
Calen Seah, 5 years old (Kindergarten 1)
Just as I have been blessed by the sowing of Trinity’s pioneers, I want to do my part and sow into the lives of others. I believe God wants to do more in and through our church. It is a privilege to partner with Him so that Trinity can a blessing for many years to come!
I want to make Trinity bigger so that more people can come and know Jesus! My mummy and daddy met each other at Trinity. I went to Nursery and learned about God when I was two years old. I hope other families will be like my family and that other kids can also know God.
Sera Cheng, IGNYTE Ministry Trinitarian for 7 years
Joash Cheng, 12 years old (Primary 6)
The Vision Faith Promise teaches me to trust in God’s providence, to remember that lives and salvation matter more than money.
Giving is just another expression of my love for God. Although I don’t have a lot of money, I give by faith so that others can experience God in His House. God has helped me fulfill my Vision Faith Promises in the past. I know that He will also help me fulfill this year’s Vision Faith Promise!
Jaylyn Leong, Campus Ministry
Trinitarian for 8 years
Gideon Tay, IGNYTE Ministry Trinitarian for 14 years
I give because I want to grow in my faith. During Vision Weekend, I am challenged with large sums as my Vision Faith Promise. Committing these figures teaches me to obey God even when it feels like fulfilling them is beyond my capabilities.
BUILDING IN FAITH – THE FAITH PROMISE
Devi, Indonesian Ministry Trinitarian for more than 5 years
Initially, it was hard for me to give. I am just a domestic helper that doesn’t make much. I began to ask myself what it means to give. After all, the Lord gave me life.
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Sirichai Namwiset (นาย สิริชัย นามวิเศษ), Thai Ministry Trinitarian for 12 years
I join the Vision Faith Promise because I love God and know that thousands, and tens of thousands, can be saved through this offering.
เพราะข้าพเจ้ารักพระเจ้าแล ข้าพเจ้ามองเห็นดวงวิญญาณเป็นพันเป็นหมื่นดวง จะได้รับความรอดผ่านการถวายนี้ Ivy Lee (李梅英), Chinese Ministry Trinitarian for 17 years
I give to the Vision Faith Promise because Trinity is not just my church; Trinity is my home, my family. As part of this family, I want to do my part and share in the responsibilities.
我之所以参与建堂信心承诺是因为三一对我而言不只是教会, 它是我 的家。身为家庭的一份子, 我要尽我的本份, 分担责任。 Tew Eng Chew (周秀英), Chinese Ministry Trinitarian for 12 years
I see Trinity as my family and Jesus is the one that holds this family together. We must all love our spiritual home. We must all play our part in building the House of God. I hope everyone will have the heart to contribute.
对我来说，教会就是我的家。建立家园，是每成员的责任。在耶稣基 督里，我们连接成一家人。我们都应该爱这个家。我希望每个人都会 按照能力和心意作出奉献。 36
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During the Vision Weekend, God prompted me to write a large sum. Though I struggled for weeks about the Vision Faith Promise, in that instant I committed that sum without a second thought. From that point on I saw how God changed my perspective on spending. He granted me wisdom and discretion and my finances became more stable. I now know that when I trust the Lord and commit to the Vision Faith Promise, He will work out the rest for me. My life is in His hands.
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Vision Faith Promise for me is an invitation from God to participate in the fulfillment of His vision. It is challenging at times but also exciting to witness many lives being touched by God during events held in church. 私にとって、会堂建築ビジョン約束 献金は、神様のビジョンの実りの一 部となるための招待です。神様への 信頼へのチャレンジでもあり、 同時 に教会施設を利用した様々なイベン トでたくさんの人々が神様に触れら れるのを証できるのは、 とてもワクワ クします。
Roselyn Gebayeron, Filipino Ministry Trinitarian for 9 years
I give to Vision Faith Promise to build and expand God’s House. I am thankful that we have good facilities to worship God and train others to become His harvest force.
How Do I Make a Faith Promise?
How do I Fulfill My Faith Promise?
a. Come to Vision Weekend! Join our Combined Celebration Service, September 19 and 20, at Trinity@Paya Lebar
You can fulfill your do so in a variety of ways.
1. Collect a Faith Promise Card from one of our Celebration Hosts 2. When instructed, complete the Faith Promise Card and return the upper portion to our Celebration Hosts b. If you can’t go for Vision Weekend – From September 21 onwards, collect and return your Faith Promise Card at the Information Counter (Level 2 at Trinity@Paya Lebar or Level 2 at Trinity@Adam)
By cash or check (made payable to Trinity Christian Centre) 1. Collect an Offering Envelope from our Celebration Hosts during one of our Celebration Services 2. Drop your filled Offering Envelope in the offering bag Via AXS Stations (e.g., Level 1, Trinity@Paya Lebar, below Passion Café) 3. Click ‘Community’ and search for the Trinity logo 4. Enter amount and proceed with payment Via DBS ATMs 1. Select iBanking, Cashcard & More Services Credit Card/Bill Payment Trinity Christian Centre Ltd 2. When prompted for a Bill Reference Number, enter “1”, “2”, or “3” (1 – Tithes/ Offering, 2 – Missions Faith Promise, 3 – Vision Faith Promise (Building))
Via DBS iBanking 1. Log into https://internetbanking.dbs.com.sg/IB/ Welcome 2. Select Payment Services Add New Billing Arrangement Trinity Christian Centre 3. When prompted for a Consumer Reference Number, enter “1”, “2”, or “3” (1 – Tithes/Offering, 2 – Missions Faith Promise, 3 – Vision Faith Promise (Building)) 4. Select account to pay from and confirm with billing arrangement
3. Enter amount and proceed with payment
On July 26, 2015, The Straits Times published an article, “A kinder, gentler social media?” reporting a possible trend of documenting and sharing positive acts via social media. Posting random acts of kindness are progressively seen as a means to inspire other social media users to do the same. “Social Media is...becoming a wonderful platform to share news – much of it good news. It creates a kind of sub-culture in which sharing positive things is cool.”
It is no coincidence that the #Jubilee50K Challenge started this year. God’s agenda of blessing and proclaiming
THE #JUBILEE50K CHALLENGE IS ABOUT ALL OF GOD’S PEOPLE – FROM EVERY COUNTRY AND CULTURE – PROCLAIMING GOD’S GOODNESS AND FREEDOM!
is moving throughout our communities and reaching the masses! The #Jubilee50K Challenge is gaining momentum. To date, we have over 11,000 recorded posts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter! Each additional post is one more opportunity for us to inspire others to be a blessing to others.
Though the #Jubilee50K Challenge started in Trinity Christian Centre, it is not meant to stay within Trinity. The #Jubilee50K Challenge is about all of God’s people – from every country and culture – proclaiming God’s goodness and freedom! Continue blessing and posting! Once you’ve completed 10 acts of blessings, start nominating
others to do the same! Your nominees are not limited to Trinitarians or even people living in Singapore! To help you and your nominees navigate the #Jubilee50K Challenge, visit the new website – www.Jubilee50K.com. There, you can understand the heart of the #Jubilee50K Challenge, find answers to common questions, and be inspired by the social board that features the latest #Jubilee50K posts.
1 2 3 4
The Sunday Times | Sunday, July 26, 2015
Topof theNews HELP FOR HOMELESS MAN
In a video posted on Facebook on July 20, a group of Marsiling Secondary School students are seen going around Woodlands looking for a homeless man. They gave him new T-shirts and chatted with him briefly. The video has been shared more than 2,800 times. TRAILER RESCUE
A Facebook video posted by Mr Foo Suan Wang , 50, on Wednesday shows some 30 passers-by helping to lift a trailer and free a man trapped underneath. The incident took place at the junction of Bendemeer and Boon Keng roads. Netizens have given the clip more than 1,480 “likes” and also shared it more than 5,900 times.
A kinder, gentler social media?
GOOD SAMARITANS HELP PREGNANT WOMAN
Mr Syed Zukarnain, 46, posted an account on Facebook of how he and his wife tried to rush a man and his pregnant spouse to the hospital. But the mother-to-be delivered in the car on the way to the hospital. Mr Syed’s wife, Reena, 47, helped to deliver the baby girl in the backseat. The incident was featured in a Straits Times story on Wednesday, which was shared some 26,000 times by readers. STANDING UP TO A BULLY
On July 7, Mr Muhammad Hanafie Ali Mahmood, 25, stood up for a commuter being bullied by another in an MRT train. The incident was filmed by his girlfriend, Ms Nabilah Nasser, and the video which was later shared online went viral. Mr Hanafie was also given the nickname MRT abang, which means MRT brother in Malay, on several online forums.
Recent good deeds documented and shared widely
online suggest possible trend, say observers
The ST article about a pregnant woman who gave birth in a car (right), with the help of two good Samaritans, was shared about 26,000 times by readers. Another kind act publicised online this year was that of Edgefield Secondary School student Vince Thant (far right), seen here with his friend and schoolmate Leong Jun Hao. Vince gave up his shoes to a barefooted boy. PHOTOS: SYED ZUKARNAIN, TNP FILE
people are taking the initiative to share them... It would serve as a positive example for others,” said who is an active user of The past fortnight saw at least Mr Baey, social media. Singapore three acts of kindness in Shipping executive Josh Tan, 35, on widely shared and documented the positivity. “There is social media – in what some say is a welcomed about anonymity onrefreshing departure from the neg- something brings out the ugliness in ativity often found on the Internet. line that it was kind of refreshing A Facebook video showing some people. So good deeds,” he said. these see to a lift 30 passers-by teaming up to Dr Wan said that Meanwhile, and man, trapped a trailer to free case of “negative” videan online account of a pregnant even in the as a recent one showing a woman who gave birth in a car os, such elderly neighbour bewith the help of two good Samari- 58-year-old ing slapped, the response from Intans were two such examples. has been “positive”. The video of the trailer rescue, ternet users Dr Wan said netizens displayed a filmed and posted by an eyewitness disapproval” and generon Wednesday, was shared over “collective pressure that such acts 5,900 times as of yesterday. The ated social be condoned. other incident took place on the are not to “In their comments, people same day; it was featured in a Straits they cared about the elderTimes article that was shared about showed ly woman and displayed empa26,000 times by readers. added. Wan Dr thy,” acts good these of publicising The Mr Michael Lum, an executive follows cases earlier in the year is in his 50s, said the when good deeds, such as that of an coach who found on social media is Edgefield Secondary School stu- negativity of a vocal minority who dentwho gave up his shoes to a bare- the result like to complain. footed boy, were shared online. But he believes that with more Some people who carry out charigood deeds online, table deeds are also choosing to pub- people sharing change. “Social media is licise these online – not for fame things will a very powerful medium to remind but to influence others to do good. they are blessed and For instance, four 13-year-old people that return their blessto need (they) students from Marsiling Second” ary School bought a homeless man ings to society. new T-shirts and gave him money email@example.com for food. They filmed what they did and a B5&6 friend shared it on Facebook two SEE INSIGHT weeks ago. The clip was shared over 2,800 times on Facebook, CHANGE with some netizens saying they al- A REFRESHING so wanted to do good. is something On their kind act, one of the Mar- There siling Secondary students, Shafiq about anonymity Iswandy Abdullah, told The Sunday brings out Times: “It’s good that it motivates online that others to do the same thing.” the ugliness in Observers say these cases sugit was kind gest a possible trend of highlight- people. So ing positive acts on social media. of refreshing to see Dr William Wan, general secretary of the Singapore Kindness these good deeds. Movement, said Singaporeans apof acts for lookout the on be to pear generosity, with the wish to spread the word about them. TAN While noting that no study has SHIPPING EXECUTIVE JOSH been done to ascertain whether this is indeed a trend, he said nevertheless: “Social media is generally becoming a wonderful platform to share news – much of it good news... It creates a kind of sub-culture in which sharing positive things is cool.” Tampines GRC MP Baey Yam Keng said the social media landscape could be becoming more mature, and people are moving beyond vigilantism and just putting up videos of wrongdoings. “There are many good acts in society that may not get into mainstream media, so it is good that
Source: The Sunday Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Permission required for reproduction.
Let’s choose to build a culture of blessing others, one act and post at a time.
Proclaim His goodness on your car and windows! Pick up your #Jubilee50K car decal at Trinity@Adam and Trinity@Paya Lebar during any of our weekend Celebration Services.
FOCUS STAND UP FOR WHAT YOU STAND FOR
Wendell Berry, an American novelist, once said, “What I stand for is what I stand on.” However, when we do not know what we are standing for, the reality is that we will not stand for anything. There is an increasing number of Christians that have a shallow understanding of their faith, resulting in an inability to live by Christian convictions. We see evidence of this when Christians choose to follow distorted theology or remain silent about contentious issues. The Bible tells us that in the last days, there will be false teachings that will lead people astray (Matthew 24:11). In 2 Timothy 3:1–5 we are warned that, “… there will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God – having a form of godliness but denying its power.” The struggle between our Christian faith against an increasingly liberal culture will only continue to escalate. Therefore, there is a greater need for us to take courage and stand up on what we stand for. Will we conform to the culture around us or choose to renew our minds, living lives that reflect a holy God? •
In a culture where divorce is seen as acceptable, will we choose to safeguard our marriages?
In a culture where drinks and flings are seen as harmless fun, will we choose to demonstrate holiness?
In a culture where premartial sex is encouraged, cohabitation is widespread, and unmarried couples going on holiday is popular, will we choose to demonstrate purity?
In a culture where abortion is seen as an easy (and discreet) way out of an unwanted pregnancy, how will we choose to advise our girlfriends, daughters, and friends when there is an “accident”?
In a culture where sin is seen as a mistake or problem – instead of comparing it against the severity of hell – will we choose to repent, confess, and be held accountable for our actions?
In a culture where truth is relative, will we choose to follow the Word of God in its entirety?
Friends, we are called to live for a higher purpose. Therefore, we need to develop the ability to discern what is God-honoring and God-pleasing. We must commit to living our lives for Jesus, even if it means that our lifestyle will be seen as unattractive or unpopular. When we choose to stand firm in what we stand for – our Christian convictions – it is important to recognize that we cannot do this alone. That is why God has given us the Holy Spirit to empower us, to be our light in darkness, to give us strength, to help us stand our ground. In order to live powerfully for Christ, we need to continually Be Filled (p42) with the Holy Spirit. We need to remember that there are more than 30 Ways the Spirit Works For Us (p49). Apart from the partnering with Holy Spirit, we also need to be grounded in biblical doctrines, to Be Strong in the Battle of our Mind (p50). Discover practical handles on how to stand for God in “What You Can Do When Culture Goes Haywire” (p56). Let us be people that choose to stand up for what we stand for – a people living for Jesus in righteousness and truth.
BE FILLED! 30 WAYS THE SPIRIT EMPOWERS US BE STRONG IN THE BATTLE OF OUR MIND WHAT YOU CAN DO WHEN CULTURE GOES HAYWIRE WHAT NOT TO WEAR: ANOTHER LOOK AT MODESTY
42 49 50 56 60
By Rev Samuel Rodriguez
FRESH FIRE CONFERENCE 2015
The Bible – in Ephesian 5:8 – tells us to, “Be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Be filled! The Bible doesn’t say touched, caressed or be excited. God says be filled with His Spirit! So, what does it mean to be filled with the Spirit? The Old Testament documents that the Spirit of God fell upon His people. We see men whose lives were changed once the Holy Spirit fell upon them. • When the Spirit of God fell upon Moses and the prophets, they were not afraid to prophesy. • When the Spirit of God fell upon Joshua, he led the Israelites to conquer the land of milk and honey. • When the Spirit of God fell upon David, he became king.
In the Old Testament, every time the Spirit of God fell upon His chosen ones, something powerful happened. • When the Spirit of God fell upon Gideon, he blew the trumpet and won the war. • When the Spirit of God fell upon Samson, he broke the ropes that bound him. In the Old Testament, every time the Spirit of God fell upon His chosen ones, something powerful happened. The Spirit of God would cover His chosen person, providing empowerment so that they could complete a God-given assignment. However, this was only on a temporary basis (e.g., a specific season); there was not a permanent place of residence for the Spirit of God. Why? Because the blood of Jesus had not yet been shed.
FOCUS BE FILLED!
God wanted to have a more intimate relationship with us, something far more permanent than the falling of the Spirit. How could He do that? The only way to accomplish that intimacy was to send Jesus to pay the price for us on the cross. Through the shedding of the blood of Christ – the propitiation for our sins – Jesus gave us direct access to the Spirit of God. And this is not
We do not merely have a religion, an idea, or a concept. The Spirit of the Living God, the same Spirit that resurrected Jesus, now lives within us!
just for a moment; we now live filled with the Spirit of God! We do not merely have a religion, an idea, or a concept. The Spirit of the Living God, the same Spirit that resurrected Jesus, now lives within us!
Why does God fill us with His Spirit? God does not give us the Holy Spirit for us to feel good; it’s not about us feeling good. The Spirit dwells in us for our transformation and empowerment so that we can continually be a light in the midst of darkness. • When the spirit of the Living God falls upon you, it is impossible for you to stay in the pit. • When the spirit of the Living God falls upon you, you cannot be silent, you must declare the word of the Lord! • When the spirit of the Living God falls upon you, you will conquer the promise.
When the spirit of the Living God falls upon you, everything changes!
• When the spirit of the Living God falls upon you, you will be changed into a different person. • When the spirit of the Living God falls upon you, you will function under His anointing. • When the spirit of the Living God falls upon you, you will win the battle and all the things that held you back will be broken. • When the spirit of the Living God falls upon you, everything changes!
To be filled with power! Acts 1:8 tells us that when we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we are filled with power. The most powerful people on the planet are not those with guns or armies or fame or fortune; the most powerful people on the planet are people washed with the blood of Jesus and filled with His Holy Spirit. We are Spirit-empowered people, therefore, we need to act like we have power, we need to use our power to change the world around us! When you are filled with the Spirit of God, you have power; things around you have to change! Realize that:
• You have the power to shake off the dust when people reject you; • You have the power to preach the word in and out of season; • You have the power to pursue righteousness; • You have the power do justice, to love mercy; • You have the power to shine the light, to be still, to be fruitful; and • You have the power to change the world!
If you say you are a Spirit-empowered believer, act like one!
• You have the power to move mountains; • You have power to cast out demons; • You have the power to speak truth with love;
We cannot say that we are filled by the Holy Spirit and act powerless; we can’t speak like heaven and look like hell! If you say you are a Spirit-empowered believer, act like one!
FOCUS BE FILLED!
To experience freedom in Christ! We live in a world where people are bound by many things: mental illness, addictions, sexual immorality, the list goes on and on. Why is that so? Because the enemy understands that the most powerful person is one set free by the blood of the Lamb and empowered by the Holy Spirit; free people do powerful things! • It was a free man who approached Pharaoh and said, “Let my people go.” (Exodus 5) • It was a free man who said, “As for me and my house, we shall serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15) • It was a free man who faced Goliath and said, “You come against me with a spear, a sword and a javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord God Almighty.” (1 Samuel 17:45)
• It was three young people who demonstrated freedom even in the midst of a fiery furnace. (Daniel 3)
For we are: • Baptized with Christ (Romans);
• It was a free man who prayed down fire from heaven and then had the audacity to shout, “Here comes the rain.” (1 Kings 18)
Free people do powerful things! However, the greatest declaration of freedom came two thousand years ago from a man hanging on a cross as a sacrifice for you and me. Jesus personified His teaching in John 8:36, “For he who the Son sets free is free indeed.” It is time for us to rise up and convey to each person that – in Christ – we can be free from a life of sin (Revelations 1:6), the torment of fear (2 Timothy 1:7), and the sentence of condemnation (Romans 8:1).
• Crucified with Christ (Galatians); • Seated with Christ (Ephesians); • Strengthened by Christ (Philippians); • Hidden in Christ (Colossians); and ultimately • Reigning and ruling with Christ forever (Revelations)!
To be transformed into radical worshippers! When we are filled with the Spirit, we are filled with the constant inclination and commitment to worship. John 4:24 writes, “For God is Spirit, so those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth.”
God calls us to spirit-filled worship, worship that is filled with sound. Why? Because the audible always comes before the visible. We see this even in the beginning where, “…God said, ‘Let there be light’, and there was light” (Genesis 1). The Bible records in Acts 2 that there came from heaven a sound before the tongues of fire. God inhabits sound; that is why He inhabits the praises of His people (Psalm 22:3). I grew up thinking that our praise was based on our culture. But after traveling the world, I realized praise has nothing to do with the color of your skin or the environment we are raised in; praise transcends race, culture and socio-economic backgrounds.
The size of your praise is directly proportional to the magnitude of the hell God took you out of. If God took you out of a little hell, then you give him a little praise. But if He saved you, delivered you, healed you, if He turned your life around and placed your feet on solid ground, then you open your mouth and give God the highest praise for what He has done in your life! When you’re filled with the Spirit, you become a radical worshipper, you get excited that there is power in the name of Jesus!
The size of your praise is directly proportional to the magnitude of the hell God took you out of.
THE HOLY SPIRIT WORKS FOR US 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30.
He helps us (John 14:16) He counsels us (John 14:16) He comforts us (John 14:16, Acts 9:31) He dwells in us (John 14:17; 1 Corinthians 3:16) He teaches us (John 14:26) He reminds us of the Word (John 14:26) He testifies of Jesus (John 15:26) He convicts us (John 16:8) He guides us into all truth (John 16:13) He speaks to us about things of God (John 16:13) He empowers us to be witnesses (Acts 1:8) He fills us (Acts 2:4) He speaks to instruct us (Acts 8:29) He calls us (Acts 13:2) He frees us (Romans 8:2) He leads us (Romans 8:14; Galatians 5:18) He bears witness that we are children of God (Romans 8:16) He helps us in our weaknesses (Romans 8:26) He intercedes for us (Romans 8:27) He reveals Godâ€™s plans to us (1 Corinthian 2:9-10) He gives gifts (1 Corinthians 12:4-11) He brings us freedom (2 Corinthians 3:17) He transforms us (2 Corinthians 3:18) He produces fruits of the Spirit in us (Galatians 5:22) He seals us (Ephesians 1:18) He unites us (Ephesians 4:3-4) He gives us joy (1 Thessalonians 1:6) He sanctifies us (2 Thessalonians 2:13) He renews us (Titus 3:5) He calls for Christ to return (Revelations 22:17)
Interested in learning more about the Holy Spirit? Attend our LEAD course, Holy Spirit and I! For more information about this course, or any other LEAD course, visit our website, http://www.trinity.sg/en/Coming-Up/Courses-and-Seminars/ 49
Times have changed. Consequent to this sociological change, truth is no longer seen as absolute but subjective. Lines defining right and wrong are increasingly blurred and what was once black and white is now gray. We live in a time where information is so readily available. Through the internet we have the ability to feed our minds with whatever we want, whenever we want. However, this modernday blessing also comes with huge pitfalls. For instance, we have become more vulnerable to feeding our minds with information that may sound good but come from unknown or questionable sources. It is an increasing challenge for Christians to feed our minds with things that are right and Biblical. Therefore, it is crucial that we honestly review of our beliefs and develop strong convictions against the onslaught of worldly views. The battle for our Christian mind is real and we must know how to handle our minds in order to emerge victorious. Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-His good, pleasing and perfect will.” The mind is a battleground for Satan. That is why the Bible tells us to be transformed by the renewing of [our] minds. If we Christians are unable to discern what the truth is, we will easily fall prey to the lies and deception of our culture and norms around us. What goes on in our mind will become what we will do. What we do reinforces who we become.
What are the main battlefields for our mind?
“I am right in my
perspective / position because truth is relative.”
Jesus says that He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. While there are many universal truths, all truths are ultimately subject to the absolute truth of God’s Word, God’s nature, and God’s order. The foundation in the belief that ‘truth is relative’ stems from logic, justification, and rationalization. While it is not wrong for us to exercise our mental faculties, if our mental faculties are the be all and end all, where then is the place of faith, obedience and conviction in the Word of God? Though the Scriptures are very clear on certain issues, people who choose to rationalize can find and twist Scripture to justify their actions. For example, one can justify not tithing by rationalizing that they must be good financial stewards for their family. Another can justify dating a pre-believer by rationalizing that they are evangelizing to the one they love. For the reluctant giver we ask, “Where is your faith in God to provide?” For the dater we ask, “Does God not warn us about being unequally yoked?” While we may experience His blessings in the midst of our deliberate sin, the reality is that these blessings are a result of God’s providential grace being poured into 51
FOCUS BE STRONG IN THE BATTLE OF THE MIND
our lives. Therefore, to continue justifying our deeds, to sin when we know it causes Him anguish, exploits the grace of God in our lives. The danger of rationalizing is that it doesn’t show up straight away. However, when rationalizing is fully manifested, the believer is no longer walking in faith. Rather they are being led by the spirit of pride. Proverbs 16:18 warns us that, “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” The problem is many of us think we know it all. We feed our minds with all sorts of information from the internet and unknown sources on social media. We pride our knowledge ‘gained’ to the point where we ignore sound teaching; we choose to trust our mental faculties instead of the Word of God.
The battle for our Christian mind is real and we must know how to handle our minds in order to emerge victorious Holiness is not merely a state of being, it is allencompassing and involves complete integrity of one’s soul, mind, and spirit. If left unchecked, the compartmentalization of our thoughts versus our actions will infiltrate into other areas in our life. This is how many Christians, strong ones included, fall into moral failure. Christian theologian and philosopher, Dr Francis Schaeffer, offers the following summary:
“I am okay as long as I don’t
sin through my actions.”
Some choose to justify their thought life to an inward indulgence by repressing the outward expression of those thoughts; “As long as my actions are righteous, I can continue to entertain wrong thoughts.” Take, as an example, pornography. Some Christians allow themselves to indulge in these lustful images because they have not engaged in the physical act of sex or masturbation – they do not believe they are committing a sin. However, by failing to take authority of this ‘secret sin’, they allow Satan to push the boundaries of their minds and confuse their convictions. It is incorrect to believe that the lordship of Christ is only for one’s spirit-man. The Scriptures explicitly command that we are to, “Be holy just as He is holy.” (1 Peter 1:16) 52
Christ is Lord of all, over every aspect of life. It is no use saying He is the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, the Lord of all things, if He is not the Lord of my whole unified intellectual life. I am false or confused if I sing about Christ’s Lordship and contrive to retain areas of my own life that are autonomous. This is true if it is my sexual life that is autonomous, but it is at least equally true if it is my intellectual life that is autonomous, or even my intellectual life in a highly selective area. Any autonomy is wrong. Autonomous science or autonomous art is wrong if by autonomous science or art we mean it is free from the content of what God has told us. This does not mean that we have a static science or art, just the opposite. It gives us the form inside which, being finite, freedom is possible. If we fail to take an all-encompassing approach to holiness, we risk falling into moral failure. Therefore, we must be willing to take an honest look at our beliefs and choose to change before our degraded convictions negatively impact our lifestyle or our relationships with others.
Unhealthy competition – A thought pattern where we view the success of others as negative instead of inspiring or motivating. This thought pattern adds undue stress and, if objectives cannot be met, it can climax into a state of depression. Inferiority complex – A thought pattern where we live in a world of smallness, never stepping into all that God had intended for us. Sadly, too many of us remain ‘potentials’ without experiencing fulfillment because we have allow these deceptive thoughts to cage us in.
“ I will never have enough.”
“I will never be like ____”. “I am not good enough.”
Ever catch yourself making these negative statements in your mind? While these are common thoughts, when constantly repeated they can become an unhealthy part of our psyche. The Bible makes it very clear that, as Believers, we are more than conquerors in Christ. Scriptures also exhorts us to remember that we can do all things through Christ! Constantly entertaining negative thoughts can bring us one of the following destructive thought patterns: unhealthy competition or an inferiority complex.
“What if this happens? What if that happens?”
This state of constant worry and anxiety seeks to insert overwhelming pressures and concerns (both real and imagined) into our mind, stopping us from stepping out in faith to see God’s power to be at work in our lives. Such deception can cause us to over-think and/or jump to conclusions about events that may not happen. Unknowingly, we enthrone our worries and anxieties and dethrone God in our minds. These thoughts will, both mentally and emotionally, suck the life out of us.
Holiness is not merely a state of being, it is allencompassing and involves complete integrity of one’s soul, mind, and spirit. 53
FOCUS BE STRONG IN THE BATTLE OF THE MIND
“Bad things always happen to me.”
“As a man thinketh, he will be.” This thought pattern is the classic “selffulfilling prophesy of doom.” Our thoughts are intricately connected to our behaviors. We allow deception to blow the images of negativity out of proportion. The reality of life is that, as a consequence of sin, bad things can happen even to good people. However, continually projecting negative consequence denies Christ’s work on the Cross. On the Cross, every power of Satan is broken. At the resurrection, Christ gave us His victory. As Believers, we must affirm and believe that He has given us victory and freedom.
The more intimate we are with the Word of God, the better we will be in our ability to discern the subtleties of this battle.
How can we be victorious in this epic battle for our mind? 2 Corinthians 10:4-6 reminds us that, “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete.” First, we need to know the Word of God. We need invest time to find Scriptures that deal specifically on the battle for our minds. We also need to constantly pray these Scriptures into our lives to stop negative thoughts from having an opportunity to manifest in our lives. The more intimate we are with the Word of God, the better we will be in our ability to discern the subtleties of this battle. Like a bank teller who handles notes day in and day out, we can sharpen our skills and learn to recognize when a counterfeit, a negative thought, is presented to us. By choosing Christ as absolute Lord of our lives and dwelling in His Word, we will be protected from the lies and deceptions of the enemy. The Bible says that the Word of God is sharper than any two edged sword. When we live in alignment with the Word of God, it will expose falsehood and lies. The Word of God will cleanse us from the deceptions and rationalization of our minds. Second, we need to demolish every wrong thought and bring it to the captivity of Christ. The Word of God must be the sole authority for faith and practice in our lives. We must use the Word of God to govern our thoughts and actions, to arrest and destroy every wrong thought before they grow uncontrollably. We need to be deliberate in examining our thoughts and act on what Scripture approves, deny, or rejects. We cannot entertain negative or impure
The Word of God must be the sole authority for faith and practice in our lives
thoughts lest rationalization and deception enter our minds. We must learn to take an honest look at our beliefs and turn them towards Christ, put our pride aside and allow the Holy Spirit to search our hearts for areas that are not fully submitted to Him. That is all done in the battleground of the mind, our thought life. Our thought life must be disciplined by the Spirit and the Word. The apostle Paul instructed the church to renew our minds by the Word of God. This is how we can demolish the strongholds of both rationalization and deception. Once we are guided and led by the Spirit and the Word, there will be a birth of convictions and the strengthening of beliefs, thus demolishing the intended work of the enemy.
Third, we must form godly friendships that can help, support and correct us. We were never meant to walk alone in this journey of faith. This is why my motto in life is, “You never walk alone.” The Christian community is one that will help hold us accountable for our individual growth and development, to encourage us and help us achieve restoration in Christ. “As irons sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” (Proverbs 27:17) Therefore, if you are constantly struggling with certain battles in your mind, I encourage you to be accountable to a spiritual leader for prayer and support. You don’t need to fight these battles alone. The enemy will try to bind you with lies of shame and guilt. However, once you choose to step out and speak about you struggles, the grip loosens and you can begin that journey towards freedom. Galatians 5:1 reminds us that, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Let’s continue to renew our mind, to fill it with things that are right and Biblical. Let’s stand strong in our convictions and turn our thoughts towards Christ, for we know we already have the victory in Him.
One of the most important things that you and I have is the power of choice, to decide what we will and will not do. Unlike the rest of the created order, we do not have to succumb to our natural instincts; we have the power of choice! Exercise your freedom by choosing to believe in the Word of God versus of the words of the enemy. Pastor Dominic Yeo is the Senior Pastor of Trinity Christian Centre. Listen to his sermons at www.trinity.sg/media/sermons 55
By Rick Joyner
When divorce is seen as a trivial matter of “conscious uncoupling”– a term made popular by actress Gwyneth Paltrow – and the US Supreme Court rules to constitutionalize gay marriage, these headlines go global. What can believers do when our beliefs are challenged?
We must resolve that we will obey God rather than men. The Supreme Court does not have authority over the Supreme Being. Christians are commanded to respect and obey the laws of civil governments until they conflict with the laws of God. Then we must obey God rather than men. This test has come frequently in history, and is a basic determining factor in who we are really worshipping. We will all one day stand before the judgment seat of Christ. The worst thing we could suffer is to come before Him as a watchman who did not sound the alarm, or a shepherd who failed to protect His flock. Let us resolve above all things that we will obey Him regardless of the consequences. The greatest souls to ever walk the earth were all similarly tried. Many of our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ risk their lives every day to worship and obey Him. How about us?
Know what you believe, and why.
We must resolve to base our convictions on the clearly revealed Word of God in the Scriptures and to reject the enemy’s devices to confuse them. If Jesus, who is the Word, would take His stand on “It is written!” how much more do we need to know what is written and resolve that we will believe and live by it regardless of what anyone thinks of us? Spurgeon once said he could find 10 men who would die for the Bible for every one who would read it. This is likewise a great tragedy of our times and a reason why so few believers are true salt and light as they are called to be. Have the noble spirit of the Bereans who, even after hearing the great Apostle Paul, went back to search the Scriptures for themselves to see if the things he taught were true.
Engage in the crucial issues of our times.
According to Isaiah 15, an ultimate depravity a nation can fall into is to start calling evil good and good evil, to honor the dishonorable, and dishonor the honorable. Good is what God calls good, and evil is what He calls evil, not what is politically expedient. For the sake of our country, our fellow believers, and even our enemies, we must never compromise our convictions, regardless of the consequences. It is time to be bold. The great ones who have taken such a stand in history have often lost all they had, including their freedom and in many cases their lives. But they never lost their faith in God. It is worth any price to remain faithful and not compromise His truth that has been entrusted to us. The Lord promised that if just two or three would gather in His name, He would be with them. Two or three with Jesus is an overwhelming majority against even the biggest forces of evil. Do not be like the 10 spies who were intimidated by how big the giants were in their land; be like the faithful Joshua and Caleb who saw the same giants, but saw how much bigger their God was than any of them.
FOCUS WHAT YOU CAN DO WHEN THE CUTLURE GOES HAYWIRE
Never forget that “Love never fails.”
We must love the Lord above all else. We must love our neighbor as ourselves. If we love someone, we will tell them the truth. If we love the truth, we will devote ourselves to finding it, and then obeying it, always keeping in mind that truth is what God says it is, not what men say it is. Always remember that God’s definition of a word is what counts. His ways are higher than our ways, and His love is higher than our love. His love is not like that which is based on human sympathy or lust. His love will never fail, and it is His love that we must seek and walk in. His love is also severe at times. Do not confuse fallen human emotions with His love. Keep in mind that the heathen only believe as we would believe if we had not been shown grace. They are only doing what we would be doing if we had not been shown grace. It is not just a cliché but sober truth that “except for the grace of God there go I.” We must pray for grace for our adversaries, and the greatest victory of all is their salvation.
“Love never quits.”
This is how the verse from 1 Corinthians 13 could have been translated, and it also applies. Do not give up on your country. The greatest prophets arose, and the moves of God in history all came during the times of greatest darkness and debauchery. Regardless of whether or not we personally get to see it in this life, the truth of God will ultimately prevail. The nations will come to His light, just as we are promised in Isaiah 60:1 3 and other places. We must not put limits on how long we will stand or what cost we will pay to stand for God and His truth. We do not just stand for truth because it is the winning side, but because truth is our oxygen. God’s truth will ultimately win, but for His own reasons, the Lord often allows setbacks to test His people. Truth will win over all deception and lies, but we may not get to see that in our lifetime; however, our life can
For the sake of our country, our fellow believers, and even our enemies, we must never compromise our convictions, regardless of the consequences. It is time to be bold. help lead to this victory if we live by the truth. We stand because it is the right thing to do. Just as the apostles went out rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for the sake of the name of the Lord, to be persecuted for His truth is one of the greatest honors one can have in this life. This is something we now get to do. It is now our time. Don’t give up. The ship can still be saved. It is heavily damaged and listing to the port side (left), but as long as it is still floating, we must resolve to save her. We cannot allow to be lost on our watch what so many paid such a high price to found and to preserve.
Walk in the truth.
Again, truth is what God says it is. The first principle of walking in truth is to know what God has said about the matter and to obey this. We must not continue getting our worldview from humanistic philosophies such as political correctness, but rather on what God has clearly said. That being said, it is not enough to merely know the truth, or stand for it, if we ourselves are not walking in it. One of the greatest veils of deception on all people is rooted in the tendency to judge people or groups by their most extreme elements. Conservatives do this to liberals, and liberals do it to conservatives. Christians do this to the LGBT, and the LGBT does it to Christians. It is not right to do this, and is in itself a deception.
the content of our character, this is a good time to practice it. It is the right thing to do regardless of whether the other side does it or not. For now, resolve that you will know the truth, stand for the truth. There is much more that can be and is being said on this ultimate battle for our country and our faith. As this battle continues to intensify, never forget 1 Corinthians 15:58:”Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”
Rick Joyner is the founder and executive director of MorningStar Ministries n Fort Mill, South Carolina (USA). Reprinted with permission from Charisma. Copyright © 2012 by Charisma Media, USA. All rights reserved. www.charismamag.com
As the Apostle Paul wrote that we should not judge anyone after the flesh (externals) but after the Spirit, and Martin Luther King Jr prayed that the day would come when we would no longer judge each other by the color of our skin but
By Karen Jensen Salisbury
Every Christian is responsible for their own decision to objectify another human or treat them with respect. If you’re like me, you’ve probably heard both sides of the modesty debate – men versus women. From a woman’s point of view, we’ve heard men are very visual and it’s up to us Christian women to protect the minds of men by the way we dress. We’ve been instructed to wear clothes in a way that covers a lot of skin and respects our body as a temple of the Holy Spirit. We’ve been told our curves have the power to make our brothers stumble so it’s our responsibility to cover them up. Many times it’s been presented as if our choice of clothing will help keep men on the path of righteousness. It’s no wonder Christian women are confused when you look at the mixed message the church has been sending them: “Look attractive ... but not too attractive! Dress modestly ... but fashionably! Look good ... but not too good!” Women (especially young, impressionable ones) can be left feeling ashamed of their bodies as they try to meet these vague, ever-changing ideals. From a man’s point of view, we’ve heard the burden of looking away falls to the man. In other words, temptation is everywhere, but with God’s help
it’s not impossible to resist. It takes humble recognition of male weakness and real determination to think about the female body the way God does. But it does require vigilance, obedience and occasional confession and repentance. Meanwhile, men have also been told that they need to dress modestly too, in ways that won’t make women stumble! So which of these viewpoints is right?
Commandments that refers to a person who covets his neighbor’s property. Lust takes attraction and perverts it into coveting, as though a woman’s body was a piece of property. Notice Jesus didn’t say, “Everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart – so ladies, be sure to dress more modestly.” No, Jesus placed the responsibility for lust on the person doing the lusting, and rightly so!
Lust vs Attraction I think both are right. To put the responsibility heavily on one or the other gender is burdensome and incorrect. God made men and women for each other. It’s natural for them to be attracted to one another. Attraction between the sexes is a normal biological response. But lust is an entirely different matter. It’s a product of the enemy, a perversion of what God created. Lust obsesses on natural, God-given attraction until it turns into a sense of ownership or a drive to conquer. In Matthew 5:28, when Jesus said, “Whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (NKJV), He used the same word we find in the Ten
FOCUS WHAT NOT TO WEAR: ANOTHER LOOK AT MODESTY
Every Christian is responsible for their own decision to objectify another human or treat them with respect.
in His Word for a reason. And anything that God sets forth in His Word should be looked upon as good news. Because it is!
So this issue of modesty really boils down to a matter of the heart, and there are two crucial things that must be addressed: holiness and walking in love. These are choices Christian men and women can – and should – make every day. When we choose to live and emulate a holy lifestyle and to walk in love with each other, the issue of modesty is taken care of.
Living a holy life is good news. It’s the way God has called us to live, and it has great rewards. We can’t expect to walk in God’s power, be a light to the lost, get our prayers answered and walk through storms victoriously if we’re not living the life He’s called us to live. So, what is holiness? Does it mean wearing long sleeves, no makeup and no jewelry? Does it mean having absolutely no fun and living like a monk? No.
What’s the Deal With Holiness? I realize that word holiness is not very popular these days, but it’s biblical. That means God has written it
W.E. Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words describes holiness as “separation to God” and “conduct befitting those so separated.” It goes on to describe “the quality of ‘holiness’ in personal conduct.” In other words, the emphasis is on conduct. One definition of modesty in Merriam-Webster›s dictionary is “propriety in dress, speech or conduct.” Again it’s talking about conduct. So I think we’re safe to say that modesty and holiness are focused on how we act.
“Modesty is the loving prerogative of the mature.”
Should we act like Christians? I believe we should. And what does that look like? I think we know! It doesn’t mean acting like the world – acting in inappropriate ways that don’t glorify God. I’ve heard Christians say, “It doesn’t matter how I act. God loves me unconditionally. I’m saved by grace and the completed work of Christ.” It’s completely true that we are completely saved by grace (Eph. 2:8) and that God loves us without condition (Eph. 2:4). But it’s also true that our behavior matters! A quick read through chapters 4–6 of Ephesians gives us an idea of how God wants us to live. Paul tells us to “walk worthy of [our] calling” (4:1), to put off our “old sinful nature ... which is corrupted by lust” (4:22, NLT),to “stop lying” (4:25, LB), to “have no fellowship with ... darkness” (5:11, NKJV), to “submit to one another” (5:21) and to be obedient (6:1, 5). Add to that Paul’s admonition in 1 Timothy 2:9 to “dress modestly, with decency and propriety” (NIV), and you see once again that all of the instructions have to do with our conduct. Yes, we are saved
by grace, but here is what we’re supposed to do now that grace saved us: Live a life of holiness, one in which our conduct glorifies God, attracts the lost and sets an example to those around us. It matters how we act in our daily lives! I believe when both men and women get a firm handle on biblical conduct, living the way the Bible instructs us to live, it will set the modesty issue in a much more manageable context.
What Does It Mean to Walk in Love? When we’re talking about modesty, the real issue is how our conduct – our clothes, our conversation, our way of life – affects others. Ephesians 5 gives us a snapshot of how to do it: “Therefore be imitators of God. ... And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us” (vv. 1–2, NKJV). How do we imitate God? We walk in love as Christ did. And how did Christ love us? He gave Himself for us. We can see here that love gives. Love lays down its own rights and its own ways for the sake of someone else. Love thinks of the other person before itself. For example, in this context of dressing and behaving modestly, we have a choice to walk in love or to have our own way. We can say, “I’ll wear whatever I want because I want
to look good! Don’t be prudish or put that bondage on me.” Or we can say, “How will this affect someone else? I will put them first.” I like the way one Christian dad put it: “Modesty is the loving prerogative of the mature.” The real foundation for dressing and conducting ourselves modestly comes from Romans 14, which speaks of accepting those whose faith is weaker than our own and not doing anything that would cause them to stumble, even if the thing you want to do is not inherently sinful (vv. 1– 4, 13–21). Paul is talking about food in these verses, but he’s emphasizing a broader principle that can be applied to conducting ourselves modestly. He’s pointing out that as Christians, we do some things not because we are required, but just for the sake of others. I realize this is hard for us to swallow because we value personal liberty above all else. But as we renew our minds with the Word of God, we begin to see that as Christians, our choice to live holy and walk in love is how we imitate our heavenly Father and how we reach out to a lost and dying world. The apostle Paul is telling us to do whatever we can to help our brothers and sisters from stumbling. This passage isn’t
really even talking about how we have to dress or act – Paul’s not saying that eating the right foods (or in the case we’re talking about here, the right clothes) is a compulsory action. He’s saying instead that considering what you eat or drink (or wear) is something we can consciously do for others – not because we have to but because we want to. For a woman, that means we don’t have to dress modestly, but when we do, we might be helping someone. Modesty is best described not as a “have to,”motivated by force or blame, but as a conscious decision based on strength and love. As Christians we are all responsible for resisting our own temptation, for renewing our minds, for looking away from the computer or movie screen when provocative scenes pop up. And we need to realize this applies to men as much as women. Men have an equal responsibility to cover themselves modestly – again, not because they have to, but because they love their sisters enough to curtail the freedoms they have. Karen Jensen Salisbury is the author of Why, God, Why? What to Do When Life Doesn’t Make Sense. She’s been a senior pastor and an instructor at Rhema Bible Training College in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma (USA). Reprinted with permission from Charisma. Copyright © 2014 by Charisma Media, USA. All rights reserved. www.charismamag.com
AT A GLANCE
STATISTICS FOR JAN – JUN 2015 GO – MISSIONS IMPACT TEAMS (MITs)
Countries (Bangladesh, Indonesia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore)
Trinitarians going for the first time
GO – TRAINING AND CONSULTATION TRIPS
Countries (Bulgaria, China, Japan, Malaysia, Poland, Romania, Spain, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Vietnam)
Destitute children In Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Myanmar and Thailand sponsored
Child discontinued from home/ school
Children graduated from home/school
APRIL TO JUN E 2015 This quarter, a total of 29 Trinitarians participated in Mission Impact Teams (MITs) that went to Indonesia, Philippines and locally through the Care Community Services Society’s Senior Activity Centre (“CCSS SAC”). The Indonesia MIT ministered to the destitute children that Trinity sponsors. They also had the opportunity to share the love of Christ in the universities and had the privilege of leading 54 to give their lives to Jesus. The Philippines MIT participated in seven instant healings (including healing for a stiff neck and stroke) and saw 104 decisions made for Jesus! The Philippines MIT was also given a divine opportunity to share the love of Christ in the Statutory Board Office, leading 18 to receive Him into their hearts. Our pastors continued to go on training and consultation trips, equipping churches in Bulgaria, China, Japan, Malaysia, Poland, Romania, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, and Vietnam. The churches are strengthened in faith and equipped to implement carecells. We rejoice that many of these churches are starting to see the fruits of their labor through enhanced
leadership skills and increased structure in their open carcell model. Trinity continues to sponsor more than 1,200 destitute children in Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Myanmar, and Thailand. We rejoice with the 18 children that graduated from the sponsorship programs! Be a partner in prayer for Trinity Missions! • Missions Impact Team: Journey-mercies and spirit-anointed ministry • The Champions: For children to intimately know God and fulfill their God-given destiny • Ambassadors & Trainers: For wisdom and breakthrough anointing to help churches transform into disciple-making churches • Missions Admin Team: Wisdom in providing smooth administration support for Trinity’s missions efforts
Thank you Trinitarians for Going to the Nations!
In the second quarter of 2015, we had the privilege of sending three MITs; one within our local community, one to Indonesia, and another to the Philippines. We rejoice with those that have made decisions for Christ! Let’s also continue to pray for those have yet to receive Jesus. May every seed that has been sown continue to be watered and nurtured to fruition!
Philippines Apr 10 – 17
Singapore (Local MIT) Jun 25 – 27
595 decisions made for Christ I’ll never forget the hospital visit where God used me as a channel for healing. I prayed for a stroke victim who was very weak in his left leg. After the first prayer, he was able to shuffle his feet in small steps. When I prayed a second time, the pace of his stride doubled! An entire ward of patients and visitors also witnessed this miracle unfolding right before their very eyes! – Heng Meng Hee
1 decision made for Christ This local trip was very meaningful to me. We were able to make a number of home visits in the MacPherson area to spend quality time with senior citizens living there. I have grown in understanding the needs and concerns of the elderly, as well as the importance of compassion and servant hood. – Earnest Cheang
Indonesia Jun 23 – 29 81 decisions made for Christ The presence of God was so strong on this trip. The people were very hungry for God and many responded to the altar calls! It was humbling to see people of another country and tongue worshipping God. This experience showed me that God is for everyone. Because He shows no favoritism, I also am called not to judge others or think that their need for God is any less than mine. – Penny Huang 66
In the second quarter of 2015, our pastors went to several countries â€“ Bulgaria, China, Japan, Malaysia, Poland, Romania, Spain, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, and Vietnam â€“ to equip churches with the TCC Cell Church Model. Empowering churches to be a harvest force has always been the goal of the TCC Cell Church Model. It is a model that is effective across cultural boundaries: from Asia, to Europe, and even the Americas.
HEARTBEAT TRAINING AND CONSULTATION
We hear from Pastor Roy Smit (Senior Pastor – Centro Biblico International Central Florida Assembly of God (Orlando, FL (USA)) on how his church has been transformed since introducing the TCC Cell Church Model two years ago.
In the past, one of our biggest struggles as a church was the lack of unity; this hindered the growth of the church and of our members. Several years ago, we came to know about the TCC Cell Church Model. When we started on the 30-week plan, we had nine leaders. After a year of ministering under the TCC Cell Church Model, our leadership base grew to 21! Introducing and implementing the TCC Cell Church Model helped us effectively raise leaders and spiritual parents (i.e., cell members with an active lifestyle of praying for, winning, and nurturing souls for Christ) who were trained to look after the needs of their cell members. As a result, church members became (more conscious of the needs of others. It’s exciting to see how we take the TCC Cell Church Model outside the walls of our church. For example, when a cell member came to know of a family in need, different members in the carecell organized to do “care acts”,
helping the family in tangible ways. The family was deeply impacted by the genuine care and concern for the cell members showed them. When the cell invited the family to the church services, they came! Now, the wife has been through spiritual parenting training and desires to be a spiritual parent. The TCC Cell Church Model has transformed our lives and our church. Since we adopted it, our church has become more like a family. I want to thank Trinity Christian Centre for the blessing your staff has been to us; thank you Pastor Dominic, Pastor Naomi, and Pastor Jeffrey. The TCC Cell Church Model is more than a plan to grow a church; it is about establishing God’s kingdom wherever we are placed. My commitment is to work hard at continuing the model. We bless and love you.
Since its inception in 2014, the Ministry and Mentoring (“M2”) Program has given Senior Pastor Dominic Yeo the opportunity to formally disciple pastors in their ministerial journey and personal lives. We’re grateful for the chance to speak with Pastor Kirk McAtear (Connect Church – Birmingham, England) on his involvement with the M2 Program.
HEARTBEAT God Centered • Life Transforming • Culturally Relevant
School of Counseling Postgraduate Diploma in Counseling Master of Arts in Counseling Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling School of Creative Arts Continuous Learning Program 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
神学系（中文部） Chinese Department
圣工证书科 Certificate in Ministry
神学文凭科 Diploma in Theology
神学学士 Bachelor of Theology
圣工硕士 Master of Arts in Ministry
道学硕士 Master of Divinity
Global Recognition, Global Partnerships • Asia Theological Association • International Registry of Counsellor Education Programs • Singapore Association for Counselling • Theological Seminary of the Assemblies of God of Spain (Facultad De Teologia Asambleas De Dios, Spain)
Master of Theology 249 Paya Lebar Road #03-11 Trinity@Paya Lebar SIngapore 409046 www.tca.edu.sg • 6304 7602 • firstname.lastname@example.org 72
取经之道－ 从西游记看人性 THE WAY TO THE SCRIPTURES: A STUDY ON HUMANITY FROM JOURNEY TO THE WEST This seminar is conducted in Mandarin.
This seminar analyzes the main characters of the Chinese classic novel through a Christian perspective. Journey to the West tells the story of Tripitaka (Tan Xuanzang), Monkey King (Sun Wukong), Zhu Bajie, and Sha Wujing travelling to the West (India) to seek religious scriptures. Through the many trials and sufferings along the journey, different facets of humanity are demonstrated by each of the main characters. Dr Huang skillfully extracts the humanistic characteristics of these main characters to edify and inspire believers into deeper reflection on Christian spirituality.
Cha nging the Nation, One Initiative at a Time Since its inception in 1996, Care Community Services Society (CCSS) remains unwavering in its mission: to serve the community and to influence and equip individuals and families for empowered living through all generations. Trinitarians have often come alongside CCSS to assist as volunteers and donors. Amy Lin shares two stories of how Trinitarians have partnered with CCSS in various initiatives. Douglas (name changed) was sentenced to 15 months for drug-related offences. In June 2015, he was released from prison. However, he re-entered society with no family support: his mother passed away several decades ago and his father was in palliative care. With no work history and little education, Douglas’ future looked bleak. However, the darkness slowly turned to light after a visit from one of CCSS’ senior case workers. During the home visit to Douglas’ one-room flat, the case worker noticed that his place was old, poorly maintained, and sparsely furnished. After speaking to him, she realized that he was trying to turn over a new leaf: he was responsible at his current job, regularly paying off his arrears, and cutting off contact with his old group of negative influences. As a result, she recommended
Douglas as a candidate for CCSS’ Make Their Day (MTD) project, to surprise him with a home makeover. When a husband and wife came to know of Douglas’ MTD project, they partnered with CCSS to make it happen. Over the next few weeks, the couple rallied their cell members to take part in Douglas’ MTD project. The couple communicated with CCSS to find out what pieces of furniture Douglas needed and encouraged different cell members to contribute in purchasing new furniture. Over a July weekend, eight cell members carried out this MTD
project. Their task: to clean and refurbish Douglas’ HDB rental flat. Their spirit was unwavering. With paint cans in hand, they set out to re-paint the walls, even under the threat of bad weather. Eight hours later, Douglas’ home was like new! The cell had given his dull flat fresh coats of paint. An array of furniture: a brand new sofa-bed, study table and swivel chair, two-door wardrobe, threetier drawer, and kitchen supplies, made Douglas’ house a home. Thanks to this cell, the MTD project gave Douglas a revived living space and a brought him renewed spirit for life.
It started out as a conversation among friends. A group of runners, the Warriors Running Club, believed they could use of their passion of running for a cause. Inspired by several Trinitarians in the Warriors Running Club, the group decided to raise funds - and increase awareness - for CCSS; the Warriors brought the B60 Run to life. For the inaugural run – held in 2014 – the Warriors organized the event using their own resources. They sourced for donors and sponsors. They rallied for volunteers to help with planning, organizing, and taking charge of actual day logistics. Many of their friends and families also took part in the event. As a result, 39 volunteers enabled 122
participants to run their best race, raising over SGD50,000 for CCSS. The second run, happening on 5 September 2015, aims to be bigger and better! At the time of this publication’s release, more than 200 runners had signed up to participate in B60 2015. The funds raised in every B60 Run will enable CCSS to continue serving its beneficiaries. From providing underprivileged children with a safe, after-school environment, serving the elderly at Seniors Activity Centres, and assisting ex-offenders reintegrate into society, CCSS is committed to guiding people down the road of transformation and empowerment.
CCSS Weekend is coming soon! Visit ou r booths – both at Trinity@Paya Leba r a nd Trinity@Ada m – from October 18 to 19, 2015 to find out more a bout what CCSS does a nd how you ca n be a pa rt of tra nsforming lives. Have a n idea for a Ma ke Their Day or fu ndraising project? Conta ct CCSS at +65 6304 7604 or send a n e mail to ccss@ca recom.org.sg!
Pa rtner with CCSS! F ind out how by visiting ou r website: www.ca recom.org.sg
Join next year’s B60 Run! Visit their website for more information: http://www.b60.sg
5 JULY 2015 SINGAPORE SPORTS HUB CELEBRATE AND PRAY TOGETHER AT
SUNDAY â€˘ 4.14 PM
July 5, 2015 was a historic day for the Church of Singapore. Over 50,000 believers, from across denominations, came together in one place and for one purpose: to lift the Nation up in prayer. A glimpse of heaven on earth, the presence of God filled the National Stadium during the Jubilee Day of Prayer (JDOP). The event also left an enduring mark in the lives of the Trinitarians that participated. June Teh reports.
JUBILEE DAY OF PRAYER (JDOP) ONE DAY, ONE PLACE, ONE HEART
e r a h s s n a i r a t i n i Tr experience at their JDOP
JDOP was such an awesome experience where I felt the powerful presence of God! The glorious sound of 50,000 of God’s people singing “How Great is Our God” brought tears to my eyes. It was as though God was showing me that we are His chosen people – His representatives and ambassadors in this nation – set apart for His glory. JDOP was a reminder for us to stand strong and proclaim the name of the Lord!
It was amazing to be in the presence of God at JDOP. I felt the unity of believers in that place. I am blessed to be part of this historic event, a first in 50 years and possibility a once-in-alifetime experience.
While uniting with my sisters and brothers in Christ in prayer, I experienced a moment similar to what the early church (in the book of Acts) might have encountered: thousands gathered – in the tangible presence of God – for a time of celebration and intercession.
It was a historic day as a strong presence of God swept over the [National] Stadium. The prayer over the leaders of Singapore was prophetic and the Proclamation of Destiny over the next generation left a great impact on me. JDOP was like experiencing of God’s cloud of fire blazing above us. There was an incredible sense of unity in believers praying over Prime Minister Lee; I believe that he was very moved by our prayers.
l e e
I love the prophetic acts! I believe that much has been accomplished in heaven through our prayers and proclamation. Pastor Dominic’s prayer was powerful, especially the portion on ‘establishing the ancient landmarks’, a truth that is needed more and more on our land.
Emotional – that is the word I would use to describe the event. JDOP was an awesome open-heaven moment where God deposited something into each person, especially when we blessed Prime Minister Lee with the Aaronic Benediction. I have never felt more pride in being a citizen of a small little island than at JDOP I believe God can and will use our country to do greater things!
Everyone gathered – in the Unity of Christ – and a beautiful, heavenly atmosphere lingered in the National Stadium during JDOP. The presence of the Holy Spirit was evident as we prayed for a great revival, claiming victory over our home and believing that our prayers can impact the lives of our Leaders. In Christ Jesus, there is strength, victory and hope for everyone! Praise the Lord!
On June 11-12, 2015, Trinitarians came together at Trinity@Paya Lebar to find out what it means to live the “Abundant Life”. By Rebecca Vinod
So, what is the “Abundant Life”? Is it possible to live the “Abundant Life” in the midst of trials? Over the course of the Conference, our guest speakers – Rev Gary Rucci (Director of Missions, Assemblies of God of Great Britain) and Rev Glynn Barret (Senior Pastor, !Audacious Church) – gave
Trinitarians insight on how to navigate through the challenges of life. Afternoon workshops, ranging from Christian ethics to living a rested life, helped to break old mindsets and provide practical handles to live the way God has always intended.
LIFE CONFERENCE MAIN TRACK
For Trinitarians that were tired from the daily grind – or dry in spirit – Life Conference was a breath of fresh air, bringing new perspective and passion for living the “Abundant Life”. My children were very enthusiastic to attend and that influenced me to sign up on the first day of registration. Although I did not know the exact details of Life Conference, I knew it would be a time dedicated for God. I thoroughly enjoyed Life Conference and brought home personal and precious lessons to apply in my daily life: to live out the abundant life in Christ. – Chua Sor Leng, West District
I have been attending Life Conference since the very first one in. I deliberately set aside time to attend the Conference. I can see how God moves during these sessions and have benefited greatly from the workshops. – Sharon Tang, North District Life Conference helps to break the momentum of the hectic life I face every day. It allows me to spend time in worship and fellowship . I especially like the teachings that help me to live the “Abundant Life” – a life that brings me into my destiny and helps me to be a blessing to those around me. – Samson Shadrak, North District
For Trinitarians that were tired from the daily grind – or dry in spirit – Life Conference was a breath of fresh air, bringing new perspective and passion for living the “Abundant Life”.
LIFE CONFERENCE YOUTH TRACK
Over 180 IGNYTErs took time from their busy lives – co-curricular activities (CCAs) holidays and exam preparations – to attend a Life Conference track specially designed for them! After two days, they emerged with a new passion and zest for the authentic and abundant Christian life. When faced with setbacks, I tend to become discouraged and lose hope. After the message about living God-blended lives, I learned that we also must embrace the bitterness in our lives, that we can surrender our bitterness to God. Life will never be smooth and perfect but instead of dwelling on all my past and present setbacks, I now know God has His perfect plan for my life! He will make all things work together for my good to deliver me from the impossible situations! – Gabrielle Lum, 14
I went into Life Conference with great expectations; I really wanted to receive from God. One of the games we played was about carrying unwanted burdens that weigh us down. That really spoke to me because I was constantly troubled by things happening around me; I was unable to run the race that God had for me. The breakthrough came during the night service when I respond to an altar call. There was such a sweet presence at the altar, a sense of peace. I also felt God telling me that whom the Son sets free is free indeed! At that moment, I was finally able to let go and let God. When I went to bed that night and, for first time in a very long time, I slept soundly without any worries. – Briana Ong, 16
At Life Conference, Pastor Glyn Barrett shared about the need to build the fire for someone else even when we are facing cold and rainy times. I realized that I had been so focused my own needs that I do not see the needs of others. I know God wants me to change, to look out for the interest of others above my own. Sacrificing my time and effort will be a struggle but I believe that with God’s guidance I will be transformed to be who He wants me to be. – Jost Png, 17
My experience at Life Conference was awesome! I made new friends, played so many fun games, and learned more about God’s word. What I enjoyed most was Pastor Josh’s message about being worthy and the apple of God’s eye. I won’t hesitate to sign up for the next Life Conference! – Jillian Eng, 14
Life Conference was an incredible experience for me. Words cannot describe the impact this event has had on my spiritual growth. I really felt His presence throughout Life Conference and have drawn closer to Him. It was amazing to meet other youths with the same fire and passion for God! I am especially thankful for my group mates that encouraged me to reach new levels in my faith. – Rachel Fong, 13
I honestly didn’t want to attend Life Conference. I needed to study for my midyears and had a lot of CCA stuff to settle. Besides, none of my friends were attending. However, I felt a prompting to go, an assurance that I would learn something about God. I obeyed and attended. True enough, I made new friends, had many revelations about His truth, and learned how to live as a powerful Christian! God never fails us when we choose to obey Him. I still managed to settle all my CCA things and got good grades in most of my subjects. Glory to God! – Amanda Lee,17
Life Conference made a huge impact on my life. Through Life Conference, I now have a new hunger and passion for God and the church! I used to have an addiction to K-Pop songs. Most of the songs in my phone were in K-Pop songs. After Life Conference, I was prompted to remove all the Korean songs replace them with Christian songs. Now, I pray more frequently and can’t help but sing praises to God every time in school and on my way home! – Chloe Sim, 15
LIFE CONFERENCE CHILDREN’S TRACK
SET IGNYTE Overnight Prayer Meeting By Benjamin Voon
"I must be crazy. I must be out of my mind." Those were the words repeating in my head when I made my way to church for IGNYTEâ€™s Overnight Prayer Meeting. On June 26, 2015, 277 IGNYTErs came together from 10pm to 6am the following morning, sacrificing sleep to seek God in prayer. For the first time in IGNYTEâ€™s history, we positioned ourselves as intercessors, pressing in and expecting God to do a mighty work in the hearts and lives of our generation.
10:00 pm I was blown away by all the IGNYTErs that flooded into Theaterette 1. After a long day of school, tuition, work, or army camp, I honestly didn’t expect to see so many of us to come. God used that moment to show me that He was raising a generation committed to warring for His kingdom and for the lost. We worshipped God with all our might and the hours passed like a flash of lightning.
12:00 am - Midnight As we entered into Saturday morning, we were still wide awake and alert, not surprising for a generation of night owls! Pastor Gary taught us what it meant to seek God’s agenda (Matthew 6:33), calling us to make a commitment – at the altar – to take God more seriously. Almost all of us, if not everyone, came down re-commit our lives to Jesus.
4:00 am After a 30 minute “bao break” – char siew bao, tua bao, tau sar bao; the bao variety was extensive – fatigue started to set in. Pastor Kah Fei and Brother David taught us the different types of prayer we can use based on the life issues at hand. Though some of us were visibly struggling to stay awake, we pressed on and pushed ourselves to pray like never before. We prayed for breakthrough in our families, schools, and army camps. We also prayed that our backslidden friends to experience and come back to the Father’s love.
6:00 am Though we should have been physically and mentally exhausted, it was amazing to see that nobody looked sleepy or tired. Instead, we were jumping for joy, going insane, and praising God with every ounce of our being. Eight hours! We did it! Words could not describe the renewed desire we had for prayer, intercession, and worship. Our lives will never be the same again! Through Overnight Prayer, what we know is this: everyone matters to God and every IGNYTEr is a conqueror in Christ!
Follow IGNYTE on Instagram @ ignyte.trinity
IMMOVABLE IGNYTE WORSHIP CONCERT
“Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.” (Psalm 95:1)
IMMOVABLE was really impactful! It was a great time to take my eyes off exams – and everything else – to just worship God! – Vanessa, 14
On August 7, 2015, 565 IGNYTErs came together to live out this verse – hosting a concert, inviting oikos, and boldly encountering God through worship. The event saw 65 first-time visitors and 15 decisions for Christ!
IMMOVABLE was an amazing experience of praise. The presence of God washed away the worries and heavyheartedness I felt. It was great worshiping the Lord with all my heart and soul. – Jonathan Su, 14
See what our youths have to say about this experience.
Through the testimonies shared at IMMOVABLE, I know and understand God more. I know God will fulfill His promises and that I can face my challenges with confidence. I know God will be there with me! – Joash, 14 IMMOVABLE helped me realize that God’s grace is always there for me, even when I run away from Him. I was reminded that only God can love us so patiently and unconditionally despite how messed up we are. – Hui En, 18 I was really excited when I brought my friends for IMMOVABLE. They were worshipping and singing along! We were completely immersed in God’s presence. – Joy Sze, 14
I brought a friend who felt really distant from God, frustrated, and angry with herself. By coming for IMMOVABLE she encountered God and everything she felt before was gone! – Megumi, 17 During IMMOVABLE, I was reminded of God’s love and how He never ever fails. I was also reminded of how He is faithful and works for the good of me. Indeed God is an immovable rock that I can trust and lean on. – Brianna Ong, 16 The event reminded me that while things in the world may change, my God is immovable. His love for me is immovable as well! Now when my heart doubts, I know to go to God for strength, be reminded of His immense love, and remember that He always wants to have a relationship with me. – Janis Teo 17
I’m taking O-Levels this year and have been filled with doubts about the road ahead. Through IMMOVABLE, God reminded to just trust in Him. He filled my heart with an overwhelming peace. God also shared that He loves even when I may not love myself. I am assured that He will never leave me or forsake me. He will always be there: loving and guiding me through the storms of life. – Estelle Tan, 16
Campus Camp 2015
From June 23-26, 2015, more than 150 Campus recruits reported to Camp Trinity@Paya Lebar for training. Over the course of three days, each recruit became equipped for battle, testing their limits and sharpening their skills in order to CHARGE and advance Godâ€™s territory. Tabitha Ko reports.
CHARGE: to rush forward in attack. On June 23, 2015, Campus recruits enlisted at Camp Trinity@Paya Lebar. The objective: to be trained for Godâ€™s Army. For three days, they would be challenged like never before: exhausting their wits, stretching their muscles, and opening their hearts to be equipped in the ways of righteousness and truth. Physical training came in the form of station games where Campus recruits struggled for resources
and overcame clan challenges. In a dramatic representation of unity, the final battle required all clans to come as one in order to defeat the Nerf blaster-carrying enemies and retrieve the clan flags. Spiritual and mental training came in the form of workshops and services. Before commencing,
READY TO CHARGE!
Pastor Wendy called for each Campus recruit to first establish the Lordship of Christ over their lives. Ting Yan (Year 2, School of the Art Institute of Chicago) recalls that, “What Pastor Wendy shared convicted me to stand firm amidst the lies and temptations that the world may throw at me. It helped me to realize that God is greater than anything that I can and ever will face; in Him, I can overcome”. One workshop –“Quest for Love” – drew from the life experience of Campus Sectional Leaders (and newlyweds), Josias and Delia Teo, specifically, their journeys in dating and marriage. Each Campus recruit was reminded that their identity, worth, and sense of completeness is not found in man (or woman) but found in Christ.
Pastor Dennis Lum, using 2 Timothy 3:16-17, equipped the Campus recruits with practical guidelines on how to engage in deep and meaningful bible study. Campus recruits also were challenged to allow the Word of God to move their minds, hearts, and wills by applying Scripture in real-life situations.
Pastor Wendy and Ministry Intern Juan Pablo followed by equipping Campus recruits for power evangelism – evangelism with the conviction that oikos will experience signs, wonders, and miracles. “Evangelism is not natural, it is supernatural,” Juan Pablo declared. Campers recruits were charged to carry the heart of God, partner with the Holy Spirit, and boldly step out to advance God’s Kingdom. After three days of intense training, Campus recruits suited up and went into the field – their campuses. With 10 invitations for the upcoming “His Life the Musical” in hand, the Campus recruits boldly moved out to engage in street evangelism and prayer walks. As the Campus recruits cast their nets wide, handing out over 1,500 invites to His Life the Musical, God’s favor was with them and they
experienced tremendous open heavens. Campus recruits, your training may be over but the battle continues. Keep Christ as your commanding officer, the Bible is your Code of Conduct, and prayer as your ultimate weapon. CHARGE on in righteousness and victory!
“Through Campus Camp, I now know that that obedience is about following Him in small steps, not struggling by our own works, and developing a passionate hunger for His Word. I am now convicted that Christ is the only one we should follow in our lives” – Melvin Liu (Year 4, National University of Singapore).
WHY DOES GOD ALLOW EVIL TO EXIST?
By Dr Richard Goetz TCA College
The world is filled with various manifestations of evil. Many of us have experienced evil – pain and anguish – inflicted upon us our upon or loved ones. Psalm 119:53 describes the anguish from evil, “Look upon my suffering and deliver me, for I have not forsaken your law.” What does all this evil and suffering have to do with God? The Christian philosopher Ronald Nash wrote that, “…the most serious challenge to theism (belief in the existence of God) was, is, and will continue to be the problem of evil.” If evil is such a big, painful problem, why does God allow evil to exist? Why doesn’t God completely eradicate evil? All belief systems and religions must come to grips with the concept of evil. Atheists do this by denying God exists. Some religions deny that God is all-good or all-powerful, others go as far to deny that evil really exists. However, the Bible affirms four truths concerning God and evil: God exists, God is all-good, God is allpowerful, and evil exists. So, what is “evil”? St Augustine argued that although evil is real it is not actually a thing. For example, when you turn the lights off in an enclosed room, the darkness you experience is real but it is not a thing. Darkness it is the absence of light. In the same way, evil is not a thing; evil is the absence of good.
RECOGNIZING TWO TYPES OF EVIL It is important to recognize that there are two kinds of evil in the world: moral evil and natural evil. Moral evil (e.g., war, human trafficking) is the suffering caused by humans exercising free will – the unrestricted ability to make choices. Because humans are given the ability to exercise their free will, they also have the ability to cause pain and suffering. Natural evil (e.g., accidents, diseases, storms and earthquakes) is the suffering caused by natural order of life (i.e., not a result of human action). As God is the creator of natural order, it would appear that He is directly/indirectly responsible for natural evil. However, by establishing that evil is the absence of good, it is not possible for God (who is all-good) to be directly/indirectly responsible for natural evil. Rather, natural evil is a consequence of the disobedience Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden; natural evil is a result of sin entering the world that caused a breakdown in the natural order of life. UNDERSTANDING WHY EVIL EXISTS By defining evil and exploring why evil exists, we are ready to answer our question: Why does God allow evil to exist? The most direct answer is this: God permits evil, both moral and natural, to exist because eliminating evil would result in; (1) the existence of a greater evil; or (2) the non-existence of a greater good.
FOCUS TOUGH QUESTIONS ANSWERED
So, what are the greater evils God is preventing or the greater goods God is preserving? This article will briefly explain three: (1) the preservation of free will; (2) the preservation of the natural law (of cause and effect); and (3) greater opportunities for spiritual development. PRESERVATION OF FREE WILL If our choices can result in evil, then why does God allow us free will in the first place? Why doesn’t he just take away our free will? These questions reflect an assumption: that free will is an option or a gift. The truth is that free will is a necessary part of being human. Genesis 1:27 affirms that, “God made man in his own image.” Since God has the freedom of choice, humans also must be given this same freedom. It is free will that explains why God placed the tree of Forbidden Fruit in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve needed to have the ability to choose between God’s will versus their own will. Otherwise, the absence of the tree of Forbidden Fruit would demonstrate that they didn’t have free will and, thus, were not truly made in His image. If God wanted to eliminate moral evil, he could do so by taking away our free will. However, God desires a world of creatures, made in His image, who choose use their free will to love, obey, and worship him. Thus, preserving our free will is a greater good that God chooses to preserve, even if it risks creating an ever-present possibility that we would misuse our free will. PRESERVATION OF THE NATURAL LAW (OF CAUSE AND EFFECT) The natural law (of cause and effect) allows humanity to have confidence in the world. By observing and testing the world around us, we are able learn how things work and ultimately decide how function within it. From gravity to combustion, we live life with a sense of confidence because we know and expect
specific actions to produce specific results. Imagine that you are driving down the road and you see another car coming towards you at a very high speed. Natural law tells you that, because the force at which the other car is coming is faster than your ability to put on the brakes, you will be in an accident. Because you anticipate that the accident will cause you a great deal of pain and suffering, you hope for God to prevent the accident from occurring. Therefore, in order for God to do so, He would need to suspend the natural law of cause and effect and perform a miracle. Because God is sovereign, He is able to suspend the natural law of cause and effect. In some instances, God may choose to do so. However, if God suspended natural law on a regular basis, we would never know when God will choose to suspend natural law, causing our actions to be unpredictable and inconsistent (“Would He choose to stop the accident this time around?”). By eliminating predictability and consistency, humanity loses the ability to distinguish between good and evil because neither force is reliably experienced. The general preservation of the natural law (of cause and effect) is a greater good because it gives humanity the freedom to exercise their free will, choose positive actions and lead meaningful lives. OPPORTUNITIES FOR GREATER SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT Spiritual development can happen in a variety of ways: attending weekly Sunday services, participating in a carecell, engaging in Time Alone With God (“quiet time”), joining facilitated bible studies (e.g., LEAD Courses). However, most Christians would testify that their greatest seasons of spiritual development happened in the midst of suffering – in times of crisis, loss, and pain. Though we would rather
not experience pain and suffering, such experiences are often where we learn even more about ourselves and about Him. Peter writes in 1 Peter 1:6-7, “Now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory, and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” Therefore, losing opportunities for greater spiritual development would be an even greater evil to God than the elimination of evil. GOD’S RESPONSE TO EVIL How does God respond to evil? The Bible affirms that God is deeply affected by our suffering from evil; He weeps with us when we suffer. Jesus wept over the death of Lazarus (John 11:35) and over the pending Roman destruction of the city of Jerusalem (Luke 19:41).
As long as we live on this fallen world, we will deal with the issue of evil. We must accept that we will encounters seasons of suffering – times of crisis, loss and pain. In the midst of agony, God reminds us to hold on to hope. Paul encourages us with these words in Romans 5:3, “We rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us.” Continue to hold on to the hope that He who has created us also will bring us through evil for His good and glory. Dr Richard Goetz has been a professor of theology at TCA College since April 2010. He earned in Ph.D. in Philosophy (Systematic Theology) from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (USA). Dr Goetz’s teaching interests include systematic theology, ethnics, apologetics, and church history.
We are assured that God is with us in the midst of our suffering. The Psalmist David writes, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me” (Psalm 23:4). Jesus promises that His abiding presence to be with us in good times and bad – “And surely I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20) OUR RESPONSE TO EVIL Although God has the ability to remove evil, He permits evil to exist for: (1) the preservation of our free will; (2) the preservation of the natural law (of cause and effect); and (3) greater opportunities for our spiritual development.
HERO “OVER 39 MILLION PEOPLE HAVE WITNESSED THIS THEATRICAL PHENOMENON”
Jul 15 – Jul 19
FREE ADMISSION! Entrance is on a first-come, first-served basis
His Life the Musical (“His Life”) would not have the success without the help of those on-stage (80+ cast members), off-stage (stage hands, technical crew), and from Ministry Expressions (Celebration Hosts, Traffic Marshals).
In addition, we had a very special team of eight hospitality volunteers to care for the team from Promise Ministries International (PMI). Three of these volunteers share their hosting experience here. By Rachel King
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF AND HOW YOU BECAME A PART OF THIS TEAM. I’m Jeremiah from the South District. A member from the church office contacted me and I decided to lend a hand. I’m Elaine from the Creative Ministry. Pastor Victor asked me to assist and I gladly stepped up. I’m Rachel from the IGNYTE Ministry. My AlphaTrack pastor asked if I was available during His Life the Musical week to help and I said, “YES!”
WHAT WERE SOME OF THE THINGS YOU DID?
eremiah We made sure meals were ready after every presentation. Additionally, because there were two shows on the weekend, we reminded the cast and crew to have snacks and water during and between shows. When we noticed that some of the cast members started having sore throats, we also bought Pi Pa Gao (a Chinese herbal syrup) for them to take.
laine We watched over Theatrette 1 (their resting/holding room) during the performances, making sure their things were safe and the room tidy. On days I was serving, I also blessed the cast and crew with homemade cakes!
HOW HAVE YOU BEEN IMPACTED/BLESSED THROUGH THIS EXPERIENCE?
eremiah I learned a few Korean words! Aside from the language lesson, I was blessed and encouraged by the determination of the children to serve the Lord. They had given up their summer break to be a part of His Life, to share and sing the gospel to the Nations.
achel Hosting the production team has been such an amazing experience! The act of hosting them, seeing their happiness when they were provided for, brought a great sense of joy in serving. Also, serving as a hospitality volunteer gave me a greater sense of ownership for the event. I was really excited about what God is doing through His Life!
ARE THERE ANY SPECIAL SKILLSETS NEEDED TO BE ON THIS TEAM?
laine Nope, just keep smiling!
eremiah A willing heart to serve your guests. Trust me, you will be blessed!
ANY OTHER WORDS TO SHARE?
achel If you desire to serve in whatever ways you can, donâ€™t wait, be a hospitality volunteer! Email email@example.com for more information. 99
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Golf Prizes given out by GOH Mr Sim Gim Guan, CEO, NCSS.
ciety y Services So it n u m m o C Care vent Charity Golf E
CCSS Patron Mrs Kay Iswaran with Winning Bidders for Auction Paintings
Novelty Hole Prizes given out by Naresh Kalani, Director, Operation, Property and Projects, Guardian (DFSG)
Pastor Dominic on the green.
Golfing for Charity
CARElderly Ukulele and Handbells Performance The Bhangra and Drums performance by children from Stamford CareHut
Share your Trinity moments with us. Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
Give your loved ones
the greatest gift of all. CHRISTMAS 2015
Trinitarian Magazine Issue 3/2015