Sermon: Living Your Passion By Telling Your Story – John Cheah

This past Sunday – the first Sunday of 2014, John spoke to us about “Living Your Passion By Telling Your Story“.

John Cheah

Today, the 12th day of Christmas, we here a different perspective of the Christmas narrative, not from the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, with angels and shepherds and mangers, but from the Gospel of John. He speaks of Jesus as the Word of God, the Son of God, God himself, who came amongst us to save us. This Gospel gives us hope, at a very important time. At a time when we Christians in Malaysia need to hear of hope, just as the Gospel’s original audience, at a time when Christ followers were facing persecution as well.

The John text, along with Ephesians 1:3-14 as the New Testament text, reminds us of who Jesus is (God) and who we are in Christ (co-heirs with Him). Being in the same family and receiving the same inheritance as children of God, we can have the confidence to live as Christ would want us to live. Along with the blessings come the responsibility to be Christ followers, and we have the assurance that we have been empowered to live this way.

How then shall we live? By the grace that God has given us by adopting us as His children, we can live our passions to the fullest, telling our own stories (blending in His story) to become witnesses (sharing our testimonies) of the light, as what John the Baptist was doing (John 1).

Therefore, we can go and bless others, sharing our lives with others, undergirding all we do in the love of Christ, that we may change the little corner of our world, and who knows, with us all doing likewise, we may even change the world as a whole!

Reminder: #FirstFriday at BLC – 8:15pm, 4 Oct 2013 :: A Song & A Story

BLCBoat

Just a reminder for this Friday 4 Oct 2013, where we will have our monthly #FirstFriday worship gathering. This month’s gathering is themed “A Song & A Story“.

Come on by to close the week at The Father’s House with just a round of storytelling, singing, listening and prayer.Here’s what we’re going to do:

1. Everyone is invited to pick a song to share.
It can be a hymn that we’ll sing or listen to together on YouTube.
It could be something you’ve written yourself and that we’ll be hearing for the very first time.

2. Tell a story about this song.
The best kind of story, of course, is your own. Tell us how the song you chose is a reminder of an important moment in your life, whether a time of crisis, despair, revelation, searching, or celebration.

Or you could even tell us the story of how the song came to be (especially if you wrote it yourself!). Many hymns have great stories behind them, too, and the lives of the writers who penned the powerful words and tunes have inspired great biographies and even a movie or two.

3. When each person has shared both their story and their song, she/he will state a prayer request.
It could be a matter directly related to the song/story, or it could be something else that the Holy Spirit has placed on your heart.

We will lift that matter up in prayer together before passing the time to the next person.

– – –

More information is available here.

This is an open event – so please feel free to invite your friends! A public Facebook Event Page has also been set up for you to share readily – click here.

See you tomorrow!

#FirstFriday at BLC – 8:15pm, 4 Oct 2013 :: A Song & A Story

BLCBoat

This Friday 4 Oct 2013, come on by to close the week at The Father’s House with just a round of storytelling, singing, listening and prayer.Here’s what we’re going to do:

1. Everyone is invited to pick a song to share.
It can be a hymn that we’ll sing or listen to together on YouTube.
It could be something you’ve written yourself and that we’ll be hearing for the very first time.

2. Tell a story about this song.
The best kind of story, of course, is your own. Tell us how the song you chose is a reminder of an important moment in your life, whether a time of crisis, despair, revelation, searching, or celebration.

Or you could even tell us the story of how the song came to be (especially if you wrote it yourself!). Many hymns have great stories behind them, too, and the lives of the writers who penned the powerful words and tunes have inspired great biographies and even a movie or two.

3. When each person has shared both their story and their song, she/he will state a prayer request.
It could be a matter directly related to the song/story, or it could be something else that the Holy Spirit has placed on your heart.

We will lift that matter up in prayer together before passing the time to the next person.

– – –
Join us for a quiet evening in this corner of Bangsar, away from the bustle of Friday night KL.
Get to know a friend or fellow BLC-ian better.
Maybe make an altogether new friend!
(Yes, please bring with you anyone who you think would be blessed by being at this gathering as well!)

We’ll provide some cookies so that those who wish to make themselves a cup of coffee, tea or Milo will have something to dunk in their beverages in case there was no time for proper dinner before 🙂

– – –
About First Fridays:

First Fridays are monthly evening gatherings at Bangsar Lutheran Church: A simple hour of contemplative and reflective worship for those seeking an “alternative” space to slow down at the end of the week… a respite from the busyness of our daily experience and a chance to renew our strength in God’s presence and one another’s fellowship.

In the past, this meeting has included moments of silent prayer, art, scripture reading and reflection, and songs.

First Fridays are an experimental space to share fresh approaches, as well as to revisit age-old traditions in Christian worship. Guests are invited to suggest readings, music and other prayer & thought points for future meeting. Please feel free to contact any of the event hosts/admins with your ideas!

This is an open event – so please feel free to invite your friends! A public Facebook Event Page has also been set up for you to share readily – click here.

See you this Friday!

We’re All In The Same Boat – David, Sigrun, Kirsten & Declan Berry

Today marks the 13th anniversary of BLC’s founding – we’ve come a long way since our founding on April Fools’ Day, 1 April, 2000. To mark this day, we wanted to share a story about one of the more common – yet possibly easily overlooked – sights in our church.

BLCBoat

You might have seen this wonderful “Boat” candle stand in The Father’s House – but not many of you may have known the story behind the it. It was actually a gift from the Berry family, who have since moved back home to Australia.

We asked David and Sigrun to share a little bit about the story behind the boat and here’s what they said:

The ship is an ancient Christian symbol. It is the Church tossed on the sea of disbelief, worldliness, and persecution but finally reaching safe harbor with its cargo of human souls. Part of the imagery comes from the ark saving Noah’s family during the Flood (1 Peter 3:20-21). Jesus protecting the Peter’s boat and the apostles on the stormy Sea of Galilee (Mark 4:35-41).

It was also a great symbol during times when Christians needed to disguise the cross, since the ship’s mast forms a cross in many of its depictions. In an illustration for Psalm 69 from the Belleville Breviary, chosen to accompany the sacrament of Confirmation, St. Peter lies in a boat on a storm-tossed sea while God blesses him from the heavens, symbolizing the soul’s refuge in time of trial in the ship of the Church which is blessed by God.

The final traditional symbolic meaning of the ship is a means of conveyance between this world and the next. In Christian tradition, in which earthly life was seen as a pilgrimage, the ship of the church transports the faithful through the seas of the world to the heavenly home. (Source: http://www.jesuswalk.com/christian-symbols/ship.htm)

I appreciated the recent blogpost by Rama Ramanathan. Rama said BLC reminded him of Adullam’s cave.

Before David became King, he was hounded by King Saul. One of David’s hiding places was called the Cave of Adullam. Those who were loyal to David, those who recognized him as a righteous man, and a man chosen by God, stayed with him. They swam against the tide: they were amongst the few who wouldn’t betray David, not even to their lawful King, Saul.

Rama writes that we know what a church is: it’s not church members who decide who should become church members. It’s God who decides.

Food for thought, thought I.

For us, BLC certainly was a sanctuary. We felt like disciples in that boat, part of the team of fellow believers, having a common goal. The single most common descriptor for me would be that BLC is non-judgmental.

I still remember the very first day we arrived at Bangsar Lutheran Church, on the day of Chinese New Year 2003. A car arrived about the same time as us and we were reassured and welcomed to the church… in that car was the Tew family (Ed Tew Wai Kin later becoming our care group leader). After church we were invited to Uncle and Aunty Long’s for fellowship – do I remember correctly that this was our first yee sang? The Longs made me appreciate how important it is to have all age groups represented in a community. Having them by our side just made us feel good.

Having to leave BLC just before Christmas 2006, was having to leave family. We yearn for heaven to play some more! 

We bought the boat in Singapore. It seemed to say so much of what we felt in BLC.

I wrote this after we left:

To BLC,

Consider what you have. Be thankful for it. Know that the growing families are the true blessing. Do not yearn for what you do not have. Do not live for the day in the land of tomorrow- your happiness is in the everyday. If your focus is on Jesus, God will surpass your widest imagination. We are learning this. Place your true confidence in the Lord. His equations continue to amaze me. His ways are great indeed.

We need to be persistent and faithful in our walk. When things just seem shitty in our community, we are called to re-evaluate who we are ourselves. Much learning comes from facing us and ourselves. We carry much pain which requires healing, so don’t stop looking into that mirror of yours!

Support your leaders. They cannot do their jobs without your guidance, support and encouragement. Find solutions. Embrace opportunities. Be reformers for change. Dare to consider being leaders yourselves.

Your hearts are so warm! Your smiles are so bright! Your hugs are so loving! Thank you for being such an accepting community. Continue to value people as they are. Do not judge one another. Support each other through the seasons of your life. Love the children, but dare to discipline them too. Continue to live with great passion.

You are a blessed people.
Shalom!

The Berry Family - Circa 2011The Berry’s at Kirsten’s confirmation, circa 2011. L-R: Sigrun, their current pastor, Kirsten, David and Declan

Blessed Christmas 2011!

Blessed Christmas 2011!

May the peace, joy, hope and love of Christ be made known and made more real in our lives as we celebrate how God has come to be with us… Emmanuel.


(via Igniter Media)