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Scripture Memory: The Power of Prayer.

VERSE: James 5:16 “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”

 

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O Worship the LORD in the Beauty of Holiness

 

21 January 2018

8am & 11am: Worship Service

Rev Charles Seet (Finding Him Who Found You, John 1:35-51)

6 pm Evening Service

Rev Quek Keng Khwang (Choices and Consequences, Genesis 13:5-18)

 

28 January 2018

8am & 11am: Worship Service

Eld Ng Beng Kiong (Manifesting His Glory, John 2:1-11)

6 pm Evening Service

Rev Peter Tan (Perils of Victory, Gen 14:17-24)

 

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Reflections from Biblical Tour of Israel

(24 November - 6 December 2017)

Part 2

 

My first trip to Israel has been educational and enjoyable. “A picture is worth a thousand words” - very appropriately describe my feelings.

It is not just “still pictures” that you see in books or Google from the Internet but “live pictures” that I saw with my own eyes the historical sites and names of people that are accurately recorded in the Bible. The trip made the Bible come alive for me. I am impressed by the accuracy and reliability of the events recorded in the bible.

Every historical site is special as it relates its history and culture as recorded in the Bible. But the sites that left deeper impressions are the Qumran Caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls are found, Herod’s Palace, Hezekiah’s Tunnel, Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea.

Qumran, Herod’s Palace and Hezekiah’s tunnel, amongst others, are better preserved in terms of its historical structure and completeness.  Sea of Galilee and Dead Sea may have reduced in size over time but its historicity and location remains the same since ancient times.

While faith in God and our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ comes from believing and not seeing (John 20:29), seeing these historical sites did strengthen my faith.  Deeper and better understanding will come with continual reading, studying and applying of God’s word.

I thank our Loving Almighty God for Rev Lee, our guide Mickey, Andrea, our coach driver Eleazer, our tour members, and all at home who prayed for our safety or helped in one way or another to make our trip edifying, enjoyable and safe.      - Eric Tan

 

The ancient city of Shiloh was the last place we visited. It was late afternoon when we arrived. The warm hues of the setting sun provided a tranquil backdrop. Treading the grounds and beholding the hills surrounding the area, I felt I was transported back in time to the days of Joshua. What helped was that there were no other tour groups there. As we watched a movie enactment of biblical events, Joshua 18:1 stated that Shiloh was the place where the Tabernacle was set up after Israel’s wilderness wandering for 40 years. At Shiloh, Joshua cast lots and divided the land for the remaining 7 tribes of Israel yet to receive their inheritance. At Shiloh’s tabernacle, 1 Samuel 1:9-11 tells us that Hannah, saddened by her barrenness, prayed for a son. She had prayed from  her heart to a God who rejoices her heart  (1 Samuel 2:1).  God answered her prayer.  In biblical times, people made pilgrimages to Shiloh 3 times a year to celebrate the major feasts and sacrifices. The pottery used during the feasting were not to be reused but to be broken. The archaeological discovery of much broken pottery in the hills around the Tabernacle attests to that practice and location of the tabernacle. Two years ago, an ancient olive press was also excavated in Shiloh.  Olive oil extracted provides continuous lighting in the Tabernacle.

At the Israel Museum, amongst many exhibits that struck me was that of a nail embedded in an ankle bone. Whilst it was not that of Christ’s, it belonged to a young man who was crucified. It dawned on me that Christ had also suffered the excruciating pain of having such big nails hammered repeatedly into his bones pinning Him to the cross.  The Romans undoubtedly had devised one of the cruellest forms of torturing a person to death. How agonizing the pain must have been, the unimaginable pain that a sinless Christ endured in order to shed His precious blood to wash us of our sins. He died in our place. But we have redemption through His blood (Ephesians 1:7)!

Following the crucifixion, Jesus’ body was laid in a tomb (Matthew 27:57-60). Prophecy was fulfilled that Christ would be among the rich in death (Isaiah 53:9). In Jesus’ time, only the rich could afford to prepare for themselves a tomb hewn out of a rock. Jesus was just a lowly stonemason, but a rich man, Joseph of Arimathea laid Jesus’ body in his (Joseph’s) own new tomb. Typically, a body would be laid in the cave tomb for a year and then the bones removed after that, to be placed in an ossuary. In Jesus’ case, His body was only in the tomb for two days for on the third, Christ conquered death and rose from the dead. So we who trust in Christ no longer need to fear death.

We may not know which is the tomb that held the body of Christ. It didn’t really matter. As we entered the garden tomb in Jerusalem, a sign read: “He is not Here - For He is risen.”

Praise God, we serve a risen Saviour. He is alive!                                                   - Sherrie See

I thank God for this opportunity to visit Israel. I have learnt so much and am grateful for the protection and blessings which God bestowed on us.

We visited many places that traced the Galilean ministry of Jesus – some of which were in the evangelical triangle, namely Capernaum, Korazin and Bethsaida, where Jesus did the bulk of his ministry of teaching and healing. The synagogue uncovered in Capernaum was probably used during Jesus’ day.  Jesus denounced many who did not repent.  Bethsaida was a major city of Geshur, homeland of King David’s wife, Maacah (daughter of Talmai king of Geshur, 2 Sam 3:3), and a refuge for their son, Absalom.  Apostles Peter, Andrew and Philip were also from Bethsaida.

Caesarea Maritima took Herod the Great 12 years to complete. Here, Herod Agrippa I (who persecuted the church and killed Apostle James) gave a proud speech and was killed by the angel of the Lord (Acts 12:19-23).  The places we visited matched what we read from the Bible and I really felt the pages of the Bible came alive.

Next stop: Mt Carmel where prophet Elijah had a showdown with 450 false prophets of Baal.  Immediately after his victory, Queen Jezebel wanted to kill him. Elijah fled into the wilderness of Beersheba where he felt hopeless, alone and forsaken as he fought the enemies with his own strength.  But God had not forsaken Elijah and reminded him that there were 7000 faithful men in Israel who had not bowed down to idols.  This encouraged me that though our lives may at times be challenging and our faith may waver during difficult circumstances, nonetheless, we can look to our Almighty God who is in control. He will never leave us nor forsake us (Heb 13:5). From the vantage point of Mt Carmel, we got a pristine view of the lush fertile plains of the Jezreel Valley, the location of the future final battle between Christ and Satan.

On our way to the Dead Sea, our coach met an accident. We thank God for His protection as none of us were injured.  The Dead Sea is about 400m below sea level and its waters are rich in potassium, magnesium, bromine and salts.  We managed to have good fellowship floating on the Dead Sea, helping and encouraging one another.  We learned from the Bible that Lot’s wife turned into a pillar of salt when she looked back as her heart was with the world.   Time and again, we have received countless blessings from God and we are reminded never to look back to trust in the things of the world.  Instead, we need to learn to be content with God’s provisions.

The Timna National Park held a life-size replica of the Tabernacle - the place of worship for the Israelites wandering in the wilderness.  Our guide explained that every article in the Tabernacle, priestly garments and rituals pointed to God’s salvation plan through the atonement of Jesus Christ.  Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Through Jesus, we now have direct access to God.

The Jerusalem Temple Mount was built at Mount Moriah.  The Western Wall is considered Judaism’s holiest place where Jews are permitted to pray.  We saw the western wall excavations which revealed the two thousand year old street in ruins below the Temple Mount.  Also visible was the remains of the Robinson’s Arch, which was probably the way in which Jesus and his disciples entered and exited the Temple.

I was also thrilled to walk through the 2,700-year old tunnel built by King Hezekiah as Jerusalem faced the threat of an Assyrian siege.  He diverted the Gihon spring outside the city wall into the city through an underground tunnel and collected the water into the Pool (reservoir) of Siloam (2 Chr 32:3-4, 2 Kings 20:20).

The desert oasis of En Gedi was one of the hideouts of David when he fled from King Saul.  David was a man after God’s heart while Saul gratified the desires of his own heart.   Again, this reminds us that we should desire God’s presence in times of troubles and remember God’s faithfulness regardless of circumstances.  Thank God for making it possible for me to enjoy a wonderful meaningful trip to Bible land.

                                                                                                       - Lorene Yeo 

Praise and glory to God for leading and protecting us through our pilgrimage to the Holy Land. My grateful thanks to Rev. Lee for meticulously planning a trip packed with abundant spiritual and physical feasts. Visits to the various historical sites of the Bible enriched my soul.  I am spiritually revived and yearn to study the Bible more as I can better visualize some of the places mentioned. I thoroughly enjoyed fellowship with brothers and sisters with whom I hardly get a chance to talk to in church. Above all, I thank God for the passion of a Christian sister to share the gospel wherever she went. It encouraged, motivated and emboldened me to do likewise.  On my return trip, I gave tracts to strangers.                                                                                                                                - Jane Ho

I was told that the Holy Land is at least 60% desert sand, stones and rocks. Starting our travels from the Ben-Gurion International Airport, up north towards Mount Carmel, eastward to the Sea of Galilee, then up north to Tel Dan, going south to the Dead Sea, further south to the southernmost city of Eilat, and then finally the last leg back to Jerusalem, I could see most of the landscape was desert.  However, along the desert hill country and desert plains, some areas are grown with tall palm trees, bushes and farm crops.

I marvelled that God provided water from the ground (in addition to the limited rainfall) and the agriculture technology to the Israelis to grow trees and crops in the arid desert.  I saw God’s providence of water in the En Gedi oasis.  At this desert Judean hill country, streams of clean spring water flowed out from the ground, creating two waterfalls, the upper one called “David Waterfall” and the other “The Lower Waterfall”.  Somewhere in En Gedi, David once took refuge while being pursued by King Saul.

I took a few sips of this running stream water along the way up to the David Waterfall - it tasted refreshingly sweet - far better than Singapore tap water.  Truly, God has given this Promised Land to the Israelites to be filled with “milk and honey”, and one of these is the clean underground spring water.                                                                        – Lun Chee Leong

I thank God for yet another opportunity to visit Israel where we learnt to “read the land, see the text and live the book”. After the second trip, I realized it really did not matter that many places on the itinerary were not new to me, I still met God in many new and refreshing ways.

First and foremost, in the last trip, my mom did not go. The fact that she was on this tour with me made it extra special: Thank you, Lord for enabling her to make this trip. I cherished the quality time spent with my mom.

Secondly, our coach had an accident during the trip. My heartfelt thanks to all who had prayed for us. Although shaken, no one was seriously hurt. We all felt the hand of God in our lives and was reminded of the One really in control.

Another somewhat nerve wrecking incident that I encountered during the trip was at the Temple Mount. It is a highly sensitive place due to its significance, not just to Christians, but also the Jews and Muslims as well. Prior to the visit, we were given multiple reminders on the code of conduct to be respected. Bag checks, barriers, metal detector gates are expected at the designated entrance for tourists and non-Muslims — I have been there, done that. However, one thing happened during the slow security clearance that caught me by surprise. A uniformed officer questioned my nationality and religion. This did not happen the last time. He also did not question the person in front of me. I found out later that was a random check. In that brief and vivid moment I felt threatened but answered truthfully, for which I am so thankful. It was a small test of my faith, no doubt, but a test nonetheless. May the Lord help me to be faithful, all the days of my life.

For the rest of the trip, my fondest memories include:

  • Witnessing the way of life during Bible times reenacted by real people and animals at the Nazareth biblical village
  • Camel ride at Genesis Land was rather thrilling. We also had a taste of hospitality during the days of Abraham, having lunch in a colossal tent overlooking the spectacular desert.
  • Floating in the Dead Sea, of course. It was fun filled!
  • Trekking through various national parks (Israel has many beautiful and well maintained ones), particularly the scenic En Gedi oasis. The views from Masada fortress and the trek down via the snake path were awesome.
  • Seeing the beautiful rock formations and above all the actual-size replica of the Tabernacle described in Scriptures at Timna Park — this greatly enhanced my appreciation and understanding of the subject.
  • Walking through and singing in the Hezekiah’s tunnel. The darkness, cold and wetness (spring water as high as thigh level at one point) did not dampen our enjoyable trek.
  • The three worship services we had: (1) during a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee; (2) in the hotel at Jerusalem (3) at the Garden Tomb where we partook holy communion — thank God for Rev Hock Chin’s devotion in preparing the messages and his leadership.
  • The blessedness of bonding with God’s people over meals, singing, quizzes on the coach, cup noodles, sharing and discussions, shopping, and even rounds of Bridge game.

Truly, the Lord has been so good to us in every way. Few other journeys can compare to the rewarding experience of walking the land of the Bible. It enhanced my appreciation of the Bible -Jerusalem, Gethsemane, Caesarea, Bethlehem, Judea became real, and strengthened my faith. It is these very reasons that urge me to return to Israel.
                    Lee Jing Jing

I was moved by many spiritual experiences on this Israel trip. However the most moving was at the Empty (Garden) Tomb of Jesus. I can't believe that I was standing at the place that many Christians believe was where the power of Jesus' Resurrection was mani-fested! Jesus rose from the dead. When I saw the place where many believed the body of Jesus’ crucified body was once laid, immediately I felt strangely moved in my spirit - images flashed through my mind that one day, I, too will experience this power of Jesus' Resurrection when Christ returns to call us home.                                                                                          – Benjamin Heng

Thank God for this great privilege to visit Israel together with family and church friends, to view the sites where Bible history took place, to walk the path that our Lord Jesus Christ, the King of kings and Lord of lords had trod at His condescension to earth and visit the main locations of His ministry in Caesarea Philippi, Capernaum and Nazareth.  Here are some highlights from my travel journal:

25th Nov 17. Forty five of us descended on Tel Aviv, Israel, “a land flowing with milk and honey” (Ex 3:7).  I was impressed with its rich, fruitful and majestic landscapes.  Olives trees lined the streets of Jerusalem and other cities.  Vibrant rosemary bushes dotted the public parks.  For the first time in my life, I see enormous eucalyptus and cedars trees. Despite being a desert country, I am amazed by the greenery at the national parks and drip-irrigated agro-farms.

27th Nov 17. We zipped past orange groves outside Tel Dan National Park.  We learnt that Dan Spring and stream is an important source of the River Jordan. This explains the denser woods in that region.  Among the ruins in Dan was the cultic high place built by the wicked king Jeroboam for the abominable worship of the golden calf (1 Kings 12:28-32). This served as a reflection on my life.  Have I created any ‘golden calf’ alongside Christ? God forbid (Dt 5:7-9)!

30th Nov 17. At the Timna National Park we visited the life-size replica of the Tabernacle.  I learnt that each sacred Tabernacle item foreshadowed Jesus the Messiah and God’s perfect salvation plan to bring sinners back in fellowship with Him.  It was a beautiful manifestation of God’s great love for me. The lady guide strongly urged us to reach out to lost sinners with the Gospel of salvation. She explained in great detail, the purpose and significance of each item in the Tabernacle.  The Tabernacle is about God meeting with us.  It’s also about our separation from the sinful world, and our need for cleansing in order to enjoy fellowship with our Holy God.   The date farms at the Yotvata area were a hit among us as we stopped twice to buy delicious gelato, dates and local produce.

4th Dec 17. After a very fun 45 minutes of trudging through the cool clear spring waters in the Hezekiah Tunnel at the City of David, we arrived at the Garden Tomb in the late morning.  We were shown a possible location of Calvary Golgotha and the Garden tomb.  I believe I was not the only one who was touched by the sharing of Graham, the UK minister, who was a volunteer in-house guide.  He spoke of the boldness of Joseph of Arimathea in asking for the body of Jesus, and challenged us not to be secret Christians as many in the UK were too timid to profess their faith in Christ to protect themselves from being accused of endorsing the so-called ‘hate crime’.  Tears almost welled up the elderly pastor’s eyes as he shared the gospel of Christ and asked us to pray for the salvation of England. Again, I am reminded I am an ambassador for Christ.  STAND UP FOR CHRIST!

At the Garden Tomb, we partook of the Lord’s Supper.  Here, God reminded me of His great love for sinners, in giving us His perfect Sacrifice in the Person of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ who took our place to die on the cross, to redeem us from our sins.  In his various sermons to us, Rev Lee HC reminded us that if we truly love God, we must give our lives to serve Him. And true worship must also stem from a heart of love for God. Without love, even our costly sacrifices will not be accepted by God. As a matter of fact, all things belong to God and were made by Him; He does not need any of our sacrifices. But our loving, sacrificial giving of ourselves to God pleases Him.

As we drove into ancient Shiloh for our last stop, vineyards on the surrounding slopes of Tel Shiloh caught my eyes.  Almond trees lined some stretches of the path.  In Shiloh’s Seer Observation Tower we watched a short movie about ancient Shiloh, the first capital of the twelve tribes of Israel.  Next we visited a possible location of the Tabernacle where Hannah prayed from her heart for a son of her own (1Sam 1:9-11).

Considering the distances covered over thirteen days, I thank God for His protection.  The near fatal accident (28th Nov 17) on the way to Genesis Land, was a real scare.  But the Lord had mercy on us and spared us.  I was humbled.  My powerful God who created me and gave me life could also take it away anytime as He chooses.  What shall I do with this second life that God has granted me?  How prepared am I to leave my loved ones and meet with my Lord?

Yes, even in the desert country of Israel, where it seemed nothing good could come from its barren ground, the Lord God Almighty has chosen to bless Israel with milk and honey.  Likewise, God has chosen me despite there being nothing good in me. And God chose to favour and bless me as His child.  I treasure and enjoy the daily rich and sweet spiritual fellowship with God which tastes just like milk and honey.

May the Lord continue to bless Israel. “And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” Gen 12:3
                                                                                                                                - Mrs Wendy Lun

 

 

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Ladies’ Tea Fellowship 2018

27th Jan 2018 (Sat); 2:30–5:00 pm. Beulah Rm 1-6

Food Demo on Pineapple Tart by Aunty Patricia

Followed by Bible Study workshop on Habakkuk

Faith in God’s Sovereign Plan

Habakkuk 1: 1 - 11  (Led by Sis Wai Peng)

All sisters are welcome ! Please invite your friends to join us for a time of fellowship and studying of God’s word.

 

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1) Membership Roll Update Exercise: If you are a member of Life B-P Church, please fill the form and put it in the box at the church entrance.

2) Life B-P Church Camp 2018 Church Camp is from June 11-14 (Mon-Thu) at Palace of the Golden Horses, KL, Malaysia. Theme: Behold, The Glory of God, by Dr Tedd Tripp. Registration starts TODAY, online at www.lifebpc.com/church-camp-2018 and will close on May 13 or when rooms are fully allocated. Love gifts to defray costs are welcome.

3) Music Seminar: All church members are invited to attend the upcoming Music Seminar on 3 March 2018 (Sat), 9am to 6pm with lunch provided. Venue: Church Sanctuary. Please refer to: lifebpc.com/music-seminar for the programme and registration. Do register early. For more details, contact Dn Russell Indran . Paper forms are also located at the front of the sanctuary .

4) You are invited to join the Door to Door Evangelism at Yishun on every 1st and 3rd week of the month. For enquiry, please contact Amos .

Preaching appts: Rev Seet at Thai Grace BPC, 2.30 pm. Rev Khoo at Chinese BSF, 7.00 pm.

Vision & Mission

 

To build a united church family that is committed to making disciples through Salvation, Sanctification and Service, to the glory of God.

Verse for the Week

February 18 & 25 - Fruit of Obedience

If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. John 15:10