Countdown to 2012 Family Camp

The excitement’s building.  We’ve got 147 campers (as at 23 Aug), the youngest is 3 and the oldest 90.  We’ve got seasoned and 1st time campers.  Look forward to a invigorating time of fellowship.  Plus a stimulating time of learning from our two camp teachers, Ng Kam Weng and Stuart Briscoe.

 

Some questions you may have:

1.  When’s it again?

Thursday, 30 Aug to Sunday, 2 Sept.

2.  Need to take leave?

School’s out so no need to ponteng school.  If you’re working and don’t want to take leave on Thursday, that’s ok so long as you get to Hotel Seri Malaysia before 7pm for dinner on Thursday.

3.  How do I get to the hotel?

Hotel Seri Malaysia, Bagan Lalang is only about 1 hour from KL.  The map’s attached (map to serimalaysia baganlalang (pdf file)).  If lost, call Chien Seng at 012-2386078.

 

4.  When & how do I check in?

Check in is from 2pm on Thursday, 30 Aug.  Just go straight to the hotel reception and they’ll tell you which room you’re in.

5.  Who’s my roommate(s)?

The hotel has a list so when you check in, you’ll know who’ll be your snore mate(s) for 3 nights.

6.  What do I have to bring?

Your own stuff, including change and shoes for games, bathing costumes for swimming.  Dressing is casual throughout camp.  Bring a shawl or sweater if you cannot tahan cold we’ll be spending lots of time in the conference hall which can be cold depending on where you sit).  Hotel supplies towels and clean bed sheets, pillows and blankets. (Some campers, however, bring their own pillows, blankets, towels, soap, teddy bears….)

Bring a notebook and pen to take notes cos we’ve got 2 really great camp teachers, Ng Kam Weng and Stuart Briscoe.

Don’t bring too much money (for your personal snacks) or valuables – you’ll be spending most of your time out of your hotel room so nobody’s going to keep watch over your stuff.

Poll: How We Pray 1

Even as we embark on 40 days of prayer and fasting for the nation, it would be good for us to get a sense of where we are as a church in our practice of prayer.  So please just take a few minutes to answer the questions in the poll. Just make a choice from the selection of answers and press “vote”.  If you are interested, you can see the results of the voting for each question.  The results of this survey can help us in identifying areas to strengthen in the church.

Praying & Fasting for the Jubilee Year

The United Kingdom is having a very special year.  At the moment, the London 2012 Olympic Games is holding centre stage but not that long ago, the British celebrated their queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

However, this year is also a special Jubilee year for Malaysia as it is the beginning of our 50th year as a nation; for it was on the 16th of September 1963 that our nation of Malaysia was formed.

Today, the world uses the word “jubilee” to mark the celebration of a special anniversary but the origin of the concept of Jubilee is from the Old Testament.  In the laws given by God to the people of Israel as recorded in the book of Leviticus, Jubilee was meant to be observed every 50 years and was a year of emancipation and restoration as practiced through the freeing of  slaves, the restoration of alienated lands to their original owners, and omission of all cultivation of the land.

In the Year of Jubilee, God intends three things to be done throughout the nation; Restoration, Release and Rest.

And so, Bangsar Gospel Centre is joining with our Christian brothers and sisters from churches throughout Malaysia to pray for our country during this Jubilee year by participating in the 40 day National Fast & Prayer (7th August to 15th September 2012) coordinated by NECF.

During these 40 days leading to the start of Malaysia’s 50th year, we seek to humbly come before God to pray for the following;

1. The Church (Restoration)

Recognising that we need to examine ourselves and to recognise our own sins and failings and to turn back to God in repentance and to seek a revival in the church; specifically a renewal of spiritual hunger after the Lord, unity amongst all Christians and holiness.  We also need to uphold our pastors, elders, priests and spiritual leaders and cover them in prayer.

2. The Nation (Transformation)

As Malaysians, we are concerned that our nation continues to grow and prosper.  For this reason, we need to pray for wisdom and integrity for all our national leaders and pray that this will be a nation of righteousness, justice and peace for all Malaysians.

3.  National Elections (Integrity)

We cannot ignore that the coming national elections is a very important one in our nation’s history and key to our nation’s future too.  As responsible Christians and citizens we should pray for clean, fair and peaceful elections and that those elected will be men and women of integrity with the nation’s and the people’s concerns at heart.

Many in Bangsar Gospel Centre will be participating in this 40 day prayer and fast using the NECF prayer handbook as a guide.  If you would like to take part as well, you can get a copy of the prayer guide here.

“Consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants”  – Leviticus 25:10

—CL—

By bangsarbeacon Posted in Prayer

Word from the Elders (August 2012)

The Christian Olympics

The Olympic Games in London were officially opened on 27 July with much razzmatazz and with a spectacular show depicting the rich history and culture of the British and their ancestry.

I am sure that many of us will enjoy the various events and marvel at the high standard of skills shown by athletes in their respective field of sports.  Personally for me, I am hoping that Usain Bolt will have the race of his life and break the world record in the 100 meters.

However, I am reminded that as Christians, who are redeemed by the love and sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ, we, too, are in a race for our lives. It is not the ‘rat race’ that the world subjects many to, where you go round and round in circles.  Instead it is a race for us to pursue to know our Lord, to love our Lord and to live for our Lord daily, for as long as we have breath.

In 1 Cor 9: 24-25, Paul writes:  Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.  Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training.  They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.

The rewards we are promised by our Lord are not medals, fame, money or any transient stuff that will be forgotten, useless and become rusty some day.  We are in a race to obtain a crown that will last forever, a crown given by the eternal King of Kings.  It means that when we win this race set for us, our names will be remembered in all earthly and heavenly realms forever and ever, and our victory can never be erased or forgotten by anyone, as it is written in the book of life.

Wow, what a crown!

And, unlike the Olympics where only 3 or 4 medals are given to winners, and the losers just have to contend with the experience and emotions of competing, this crown promised by our Lord is given to anyone who finishes the race (i.e., there are no quotas at all!).

Therefore, I praise the Lord because we can go into this race full of confidence that our brothers and sisters are not our rivals but are our partners in helping each other to finish the race.

For many athletes, taking part in the Olympics is the reward and the result of years of discipline, sacrifice and hard work in training and being totally focused to be the best they can be in their field of sports.

In 1 Cor 9: 26-27, Paul writes: Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

How tragic it would be if an athlete was disqualified from the race he is supposed to take part in.  Paul reminds himself that he needs to be disciplined, focused, train hard, so that when he preaches to others to run the race, he himself will not be disqualified but will be able to join others in running and finishing the race.

I am truly humbled by this concern of Paul because sometimes it is so easy for us (myself included) to tell others how to follow our Lord but we live as if we are exempt from doing the same.  May the Lord search our hearts and lead us to His everlasting ways.

As we enjoy watching the Olympics this month, may we be reminded that we, too, must run our Christian race to know our Lord by praying to Him, meditating on His Word, loving Him, worshipping Him, living for Him, serving Him, giving Him all honor and glory daily in all that we do, to the best of our ability, until the day we touch the finish tape, cross the finish line and finish our race.

                            ~ Choo Min Fook ~

Murmuration & Praise

Do you know what a murmuration is?   According to the Merrian-Webster Dictionary, there are two meanings to the word “murmuration”.  The first and more obvious meaning is  the act of murmuring; the utterance of low continuous sounds or complaining noises as in one of my favorite English phrases, “the murmur of discontent”.

The second more uncommon and therefore more interesting usage is when describing a flock of starlings flying and forming a living cloud.  I, myself, only discovered this a few of months ago and wondered how I went through so many years of life without knowing this.  Perhaps murmuration is not new to some of you gentle readers but for those of you who have never seen a murmuration, then a picture is worth a thousand words and a video is even better.

Below is a video shot by Sophie Windsor Clive and Liberty Smith, two intrepid women film-makers of Islands and Rivers which explains the wonder of murmuration much better than I ever could.

I have been meditating on the fact that God gives rest, peace and restores our strength when we come to Him  in our weariness and surrender ourselves to His comfort.

The Book of Isaiah 40 and verses 28 -31 says;

“Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.”

This has been my experience of God and I hope you will have similar experiences.  God’s grace and love is like the hot thermals that gives lift to the eagles’ wings and allow them to soar ……….or the wind beneath the wings of starlings celebrating life with the aerial art of murmuration.

(Many thanks to Soong Mei Ling for suggesting this post).