Children Playing by Moonlight

Psalm 119:105 says of God’s holy scriptures, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.”  Indeed, without God’s word to guide us, then it is as if we are stumbling and falling about in the darkness.  And that would have been the case last Thursday the  27th of September for a whole bunch of parents and kids from Children’s Corner and Cornerstone who had gathered at the park at Jalan Bangkung if it was not for the pretty lanterns that lit up their way so that the could see where they were going and also made the park look truly magical.  Under the pale glow of the full moon, we had gathered to play with lanterns and to share mooncakes.

Officially, it is called the Mid-Autumn Festival but it is also known as the Lantern Festival or the Mooncake Festival for obvious reasons.  There are many tales related to the origin and purpose of the festival but it is clear that this has been celebrated by the Chinese community  for some 3,000 years in some form.  The mooncakes and lanyerns is said to have become part of the festival to commemorate a Chinese revolt to overthrow their Mongol rulers of the Yuan Dynasty in the 14th Century.  The Mongols did not eat mooncakes so the rebels used paper messages hidden in mooncakes distributed widely to the population to coordinate the timing of the planned attack.  In the same way, lanterns were used on hilltops by the rebels to signal one another.  The rebellion was successful leading to the establishment of the Ming Dynasty.  The event is remembered on this festival day by the eating of mooncakes and the playing with lanterns.

Of course, the kids just enjoyed playing with the lanterns and watching the pretty flickering show of light and shadows.  The traditional lanterns were in the shape of animals like cats, dogs, squirrels, birds etc but there were a few modern ones like the “angry bird” lantern!

Fun was had by all and it was good to see so many parents and grandparents there too.  It was especially great to see many fathers there even f they had to rush from work.

In the near future, the kids will be having another fun excursion – this time to the dentist!  Now I can’t imagine a visit to the dentist being as much fun as eating mooncakes and playing lanterns but the kids are really excited about it so maybe there is something I don’t know …… like the dentist gives out lollipops?

If you would like your child to join in these activities, please take note of the information given below.  Enjoy the photos.

Cornerstone

This is a kindergarten for children aged 3-6 years which is held at the church from Monday to Friday from 9-12.30pm.

Children’s Corner

Along side Cornerstone, there is also a playgroup for toddlers up to the age of 3 years which is held on Tuesdays and Fridays from 9.30 – 11.30 am.  Toddlers have the opportunity to learn while playing.  There is also singing and story-time.  Parents/care giver participation is expected.  A great time for all.

 

 

Praise Song: On Bended Knee

Another week and another new song.  As we are including more members as worship leaders, it seems inevitable that each of them are keen to introduce some songs which are new to the congregation.

This Sunday, brother Simon Hong will be worship leading and he has a truck load of songs to teach us but he is starting with this song, “On Bended Knee” by Robert Gay.

Again, we have put up this post ahead of time so that we might get familiar with the song before then.

Praise Song: Oil of Gladness

In the Praise Song series of posts so far, we have put up a video of a song that someone requested during Sunday Worship that not everybody knew so that we can learn to sing the song better the next time.  However, this week we are being pro-active and introducing a song before it is requested.

Brother Abraham Williams will be our worship leader this coming Sunday and he already knows which worship songs he is going to choose for the service.  One of them is “Oil of Gladness” by David Butterbaugh which Abraham describes as “an old with a catchy beat”.  However, I am not familiar with this song and I have never heard it sung before in church  so here it is.

Let us learn this well so that we might sing mightily during this coming Sunday service.

 

Bedside Report

Sister Chew Peng got onto a bike,
She had wanted to go for a ride,
But when she tried to stop,
She swerved into a flower pot,
The pot was fine but she had a bad fall,
But God’s hand was on her through it all.

One of the things that will stand out for many of us from our recent church camp at Bagan Lalang was our sister Chew Peng unsuccessful attempt at riding a bicycle.  She had a bad fall and her condition was a cause of great concern; especially the weakness on one side, slurred speech and unresponsiveness.  Church members reacted  quickly to send her to hospital while other brothers and sisters gathered in small groups to pray for God’s  grace and protection for Chew Peng.   While they were still praying for her, her condition improved substantially and most of the worrying symptoms began to disappear about 15 minutes into her journey to the hospital to the great relief of those accompanying her.  We must acknowledge that God in His goodness and love had His protective and healing hand over Chew Peng and we have to praise Him and  thank Him for this miracle.

Since then, many have been to visit her both at hospital and later at home.  The doctors were surprised that her injuries while not minor, have not turned out to be as severe as they had initially feared and certainly they found nothing that would explain Chew Peng’s earlier condition.  Anyway, Chew Peng has been told to lie flat as much as possible, wear a medical equivalent of a corset for back support and daily physiotherapy which they cheerfully call “gym”.   So how is our patient?  Recovering well but bored, bored and bored!  Despite being told not to worry about the church newsletter, Chew Peng still managed to push people for articles and contributions (with Chui Thean’s help) and personally typed up the newsletter within that first week of “lying flat”.

Here is her own account and reflection of the Big Bagan Lalang Bike Blunder written from her bedside ;

WHAT IS GOD TELLING ME? I texted Yoke Kuan when she asked how I was after my fall from the bicycle Day 2 at camp. Since then, I’ve had loads of time to reflect on this. The thought of falling must have passed my mind when I decided against taking my phone with me to rent bicycles from Hotel Seri Malaysia with Mei Ling and Esther (I didn’t want to drop my phone!). I changed into my shorts, put RM10 in my pocket, relishing the thought of cycling to the beach and stopping by for a cuppa.

My cycling comeback saw a rude and undignified end after a 2 minute practice run in front of the hotel when I used my legs to stop my cycling, then remembered braking should be done using the hand pedals by which time I had swerved into the big flower pot and landed on my back.

I recall lying on the tarmac, unable to get up after hearing/feeling something on my back. I didn’t realise how pucat I had turned, how immobile I was, how my left hand had weakened and how profusely I was sweating, according to Siew Choo, Mei Ling and the others who had come to my rescue. They decided I should be admitted and, like magic, Sung Wah and his Esteema, appeared and I, like royalty on my rattan throne, was carried into my carriage for that long ride to Serdang Hospital.

Never did I think I was not going back to camp – wouldn’t I be treated, bandaged and be able to rejoin camp?

How was I to know I had fractured my Lumbar 3, bruised my left kidney and possibly suffered a stroke (although the brain scans showed no signs)? How could a short cycling spree cause so much damage? An ex-colleague, however, reminded me we’re no spring chickens. I told Min Fook not to challenge the over 50s to get out of our comfort zones!

I’m still kind of dazed. God had the humor to let me dream a few nights later of a cycling trip where I was on a tandem bike, except that the 2 bikes were side by side, not one behind the other. Some way down the slope, the 2 bikes separated and I, on the smaller bike, went downhill but landed safe and sound! Maybe that was God’s way of reassuring me it’s ok, He’ll keep me safe.

So, what has God been telling me? – Kam Weng had said in Jeremiah 1:8 that God will rescue (yes, there will be trouble but He will rescue). And He did!  God is showing me the depth and width of His love through the glorious body of believers. I’m spoilt for all the care and attention I’m getting – from BGC, my friends, neighbors, family and yes, even strangers.

I’m more sympathetic of my mum’s condition. Now I know what it is like to be immobile, not to want to drink too much water to save the hassle of going to the toilet, worry when the bowels don’t move, worry about the nausea that comes when I’ve been lying flat in bed too long… I’m reminded of Jesus who became man so that He could identify with and understand our human frailties.

I’ve always found it challenging to sing the song “And I thank you Lord for the trials that come my way” and “God is good all the time”. I think it’s gotten just a wee bit easier as I think of the love He’s showing and the assurance that He is God – our sovereign, loving God who knows and is in control of all.

But I won’t be cycling no more. So, Mei Ling, you go look for younger folks, ok?

The Day We Went to the Fire Station

Well, today was a very special day for the kids, parents and grandparents of Children’s Corner and Cornerstone.  Today, we all went to the Desa Sri Hartamas Fire Station where the friendly Firemen treated all of us to all kinds of fun activities.

Upon arrival at the fire station, we were first treated to a talk by Uncle Nathan who explained that fire when small and under control, is our friend.  But we have to be careful because if the fire is big and uncontrolled, it can be bad.  He then taught us what to do if we were ever on fire – cover our face, drop and roll!

After that, we got to do dress-up …. in real firemen’s jacket and helmet.  They were kind of loose though…….I think most of us will have to grow up a bit before they will fit properly.  Still, I think most of us looked cool cause our parents were busy taking our photos.

Next, we got to do something really fun………we got to play with firemen’s hoses.  They got us to line up and showed us how to hold the hoses properly so that we can spray the water straight in front of us.  That was fun.  However, it was even more fun when we got to point the hoses at each other!  I was really surprised but some of our parents did not mind us getting soaked.  It was fan-tabulous!

The fun did not stop there! Next we got to ride inside the cab of the fire engine and they even put on the sirens and the lights!

The firemen then showed us how they were able to use ropes to come down from a tall tower.  They looked a lot like the Amazing Spiderman!

We got a bit worried though when they put our teachers into one of those big cranes and lifted them into the air until we could hardly see them.  But phewww, what a relief when they came back down again.

I was actually glad that the program ended there cause I had so much fun that I was tired out and I was looking forward to lunch!  There were about 60  of us there today, both kids and parents and we all had a load of fun.  Maybe you might like to join us next time?

 

(click on photos for bigger image)

Cornerstone

This is a kindergarten for children aged 3-6 years which is held at the church from Monday to Friday from 9-12.30pm.

Children’s Corner

Along side Cornerstone, there is also a playgroup for toddlers up to the age of 3 years which is held on Tuesdays and Fridays from 9.30 – 11.30 am.  Toddlers have the opportunity to learn while playing.  There is also singing and story-time.  Parents/care giver participation is expected.  A great time for all.

Word from the Elders (September 2012)

BGC Camp 2012 – Brave enough to follow

Needless to say there were some murmurs when the venue of this year’s camp was revealed sometime in June. The fact that we had been to the same venue 4 times in the last 5 years for camp naturally would raise some mild grunts and murmurs amongst the people. Nevertheless, on the practical side of things, few would argue that Seri Malaysia Bagan Lalang is indeed a great place to have our BGC family camp. Therefore, kudos to this year’s camp organizing committee for their labor of love in planning the camp for all 149 of us.

At this year’s camp, our Lord’s blessing came in double doses as we were extremely privileged to secure 2 excellent and gifted teachers in Dr Ng Kam Weng and Stuart Briscoe to be our camp teachers. I was joking with Dr Ng before he left home on Saturday morning that if we were to liken our 2 speakers to coffee, then Dr Ng is our ‘Aik Cheong’ coffee with local flavor (strong and hard hitting) and Stuart Briscoe is our gourmet coffee (refreshing but equally potent).

On hindsight, the analogy of coffee describing our 2 speakers is truly apt to me because in-spite of my tiredness and ill health at camp, I was kept totally awake by the inspired sharing and teaching of both our speakers. The messages were so rich spiritually, with so much to ponder, so much to learn, so much to work through and so much to be thankful for. There is no denying that our Lord is truly a Magnificent God, mighty in power and love and certainly worth following.

Dr Ng started his teaching on Thursday night by introducing us to the prophet Jeremiah, a young reluctant prophet lacking in confidence but yet called by the Lord. I will not go into details the 4 messages shared by Dr Ng as I know that many of us have been busy taking notes and searching our hearts as we learn how to follow our Lord faithfully and bravely in whatever situations we face through the examples and lessons learnt from the life of Jeremiah and his scribe, Baruch.

On Saturday morning, the teaching baton at camp was passed to Stuart Briscoe. Stuart took us through the life of one of my favorite character in the New Testament, Simon later known as Peter. Stuart had a style of teaching that was kind of new to BGC. Nevertheless, in each of the 4 sessions that Stuart taught and told stories about the successes and failures of Peter in following our Lord Jesus Christ, and supplemented by stories from his very own spiritual journey, we were blessed by the wealth of spiritual insights and lessons that Stuart provided us in our quest to follow our Lord bravely and steadfastly.

In the midst of all the camp activities, the incessant eating and our prayers of faith for Chew Peng’s recovery, the Lord has spoken to us through His word and His Spirit in this camp. I am so aware now that to be brave enough to follow our Lord steadfastly as individuals and as a church, we must firstly resolve the problem of our hearts (i.e., we must love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength and to love one another deeply) and just like Peter, we must also allow the Holy Spirit to transform us to the true potential that the Lord has called us to be.

I thank the Lord because this year’s camp is a fresh reminder and encouragement to us in BGC of our continuing desire to follow after the Lord’s heart as individuals and as a church.

As we in BGC seek to follow the Lord bravely and steadfastly, may He lead us to bring forth much glory and honour to His great and holy name. Amen.

Choo Min Fook

The Bangsar Church Camp 2012 in Pictures

Well, Church Camp 2012 has left us with much spiritual food, many fond memories and one shocking incident involving our sister Chew Peng but we can praise God for His goodness and greatness and thank Him that Chew Peng’s injuries were not more severe and that she is on the mend now.  Much to tell and we will be posting more about the camp through this week.  But for now, here are some pictures…….

Many thanks to Terence Ng for the photos.  For many more photos, visit Terence on his facebook page.