Pastor’s Corner | Let FCBC be clearly “About His Business!”

One day, I accompanied one of our sisters to visit the home of an elderly man and his wife.   As he entered the room, he looked at me and quietly said to his wife, “Ah Yah, my English isn’t good enough to talk to this guest.”  After a few minutes, we were having a great time talking about life in Asia, Chinese calligraphy, Chinese history, and other things…..great fun for me since his Cantonese was just fine!

As we gradually moved into spiritual discussion, this couple remained quite open and very inquisitive.  With a Catholic background from Hong Kong, it was surprising how little he, and his wife, knew of a personal relationship with Christ. They knew some about “Christian religion” but they obviously know not the Christ!

As we left, no personal decision to follow Christ had occurred but we were assured they desired us to return again.  So, was it a waste of time?  Absolutely NOT!  For this couple, they had heard the simple gospel and were left thinking about it.  For my sister and myself, we had been responsible in carrying Christ’s love and message to ones in need.  For Christ, His name had been glorified.  The results of your sharing Christ with a lost friend is not in your hands but our Lord cannot bless our church, and your life, if His business is not found in us.  May we pray that God’s burden for the lost will overwhelm our lives, our church, our fellowship/home builder groups, and all that we are in order that we can become meaningful tools for His service!  If this happens in our spiritual lives, the year 2019 will be an exciting year!  Act now….pray now.


FCBC清楚的在“祂的事工”上

有一天,我陪同我们的一个姐妹去一位年长的男人和他的妻子家探访。当这位男士加入我们的时候,他打量我后,轻轻得对他的妻子说,“哎呀,我的英文没有好到可以跟这位客人聊天。”几分钟过后,我们很愉快得谈论在亚洲的生活,中国书法,中国历史,还有一些其他的……。让我觉得有趣的是他的广东话也还好!

当我们逐渐转移到属灵的讨论时,这对夫妻依然很健谈并且充满好奇。在香港天主教背景下,令人惊讶的是他和他妻子对于耶稣与人的私人关系这个概念懂得很少。他们了解一些“基督教信仰”的概念,但是对耶稣一无所知。

当我们离开的时候,他们并没有决志信主但是很愿意我们再去拜访。所以,这一次算是浪费时间吗?当然不是!对于这对夫妻而言,他们听到了简短的福音信息,并且让他们继续思想此事。对于我们的姐妹和我,我们的责任是把耶稣的爱和福音传给需要的人。让祂的名得荣耀。跟迷失的朋友们分享耶稣的结果不在我们手里,但如果我们不做祂的事工,主就不会赐福给教会和我们的生活。 让我们祈求上帝,让我们的生活,我们的教会,我们的团契/家庭小组都对失丧的灵魂充满负担,让我们的一切成为在祂事工上有用的器皿! 若这样的负担充满我们的属灵生命里,2019年将是振奋人心的一年!现在就行动…现在就祷告…

Pastor’s Corner | So, what is an “Effectual Fervent Prayer?” (James 5:16)

Prayer is not something you do when there is nothing else going on. Prayer is not just an activity that divides up a worship service between singing and the offering! Prayer is the expectant communication between you and your creator. Prayer is not an excuse for a church-wide activity. Prayer certainly is of value to FCBC so we hope you will do it more! It is time, and energy, well spent with your Lord. When I listen to a television personality or politician say that we should pray for others, I often wonder to whom they are encouraging the audience to address their prayers? Is the encouragement to truly pray to their Lord Jesus Christ or to simply “hope” that things will get better with a good heart? Prayer is NOT about feelings alone.

In James 5:16, the Scripture says about prayer, “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that you may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”  The emphasis of this prayer directive is that great value is given when done by a “righteous man!” The focus is not on the activity of anyone who just wants to “think good thoughts” but Scripture says that prayer has power when done by a person in special fellowship with their creator.

When we look at James 5:16, there are some key concepts that may assist us in our prayer lives. Prayer is not to be feared or ignored by His children. Looking at the final words of the verse, we can see that God selectively welcomes prayers from the righteous person. God distinguishes who is speaking from their heart. This challenges the idea that God doesn’t see all prayers as “effectual or sufficient for results!” The reference to “an effectual fervent prayer” seems to call for a committed and passionate prayer that expects results from the recipient, God! The point being that to pray without expectation and passion is to reveal whether or not we are righteous children of our Father.

Our church, the people of FCBC, need a united heart of boldness. We need God’s blessing. We need to expect great things from the Lord as we walk with righteous hearts of commitment to serving the Lord. It is easy to look elsewhere for things that are better than our church but it is more of a blessing to focus our efforts in being the righteous and expectant laborers of God as a team of servants.

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祷告不是你在没有其他事可做时做的事。 祷告不是一个在崇拜时,分开唱诗和奉献的活动! 祷告是你和你的创造者之间一个期盼的沟通。祷告不是一个教会活动的藉口。祷告确定对第一华人浸信会很有价值,所以希望你会多祷告! 花时间和精力与你的 主交流,是值得的。当我听到电视人物或政治家说我们应该为他人祷告时,我常常在想他们在鼓励听众向谁祷告呢? 他们鼓励人真正向他们的主耶稣基督祷告呢?或者只是好心「希望」事情会变得更好呢?祷告不是只是感觉而已。

雅各书5:16说, 「所以你们要彼此认罪,互相代求,使你们可以得医治。义人祈祷所发的力量是大有功效的。 」这祷告的指引强调是义人的祷告是大有功效的。焦点不是在任何一个人只希望有「想好想法」;而圣经说,祷告有力量是一个人与他们造物主有特别的相交。

看雅各书5:16, 有数个关键观念,可以帮助我们的祷告生活。 上帝的儿女是不必害怕或不可忽视祷告。看这一章节的最后几个字,我们可以看到上帝拣选欢迎从义人而来的祷告。上帝可以辨别谁是从他们的心里说话。这个挑战我们了解所有祷告不都是一样的。「义人祷告所发的力量是大有功效的」是呼召委身及热情的祷告者,期盼上帝的回答!那个重点是说祷告没有方向和热情的,会表示我们不是公义的人。

我们教会,第一华人浸信会的弟兄姊妹们,需要上帝给我们的负担而联合一起。我们需要上帝的祝福。我们同行公义,委身侍奉主。我们从上帝期盼大的事情。我们很容易找寻其他比我们教会好的地方,但是如果我们集中力量,做上帝公义和期盼的同工团队,我们会得到更多祝福。

Pastor’s Corner | “Growth Through Trials!”

A church is not best evaluated by how it functions in good days of revival and church growth but is most clearly evaluated when struggles and difficulties come its way.  No church has only smooth and fun times.   It is under these times of pressure and disappointment that we can see how the brothers and sisters reveal their sincerity of dependency on the Father.  As followers of Christ, our task is to remain persons of integrity, honesty, transparency, responsibility, and love even when circumstances reveal a lack of full appreciation or understanding of how things are going within the church body.  We need to learn to control our tongues and remember that complaining and giving negative criticism seldom shows the spirit of love that the church will benefit from. Instead of showing our displeasure toward that which we question, let us learn to contribute and focus on making our church be what we desire it to become!

As we move forward in service to our Lord, may we remember that following Christ has never been an easy path and has seldom found full acceptance in society.  Let us seek to learn and mature from any challenging or difficult days as we remember Job’s greatest days of fortune came after he endured testing and questioning from all around!

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教会在复兴和成长时,不是最好的时候被评鉴;只有在挣扎和忧患来临时,教会才可以清楚地被评鉴。没有一所教会只是有平顺和有趣。只有在压力下和失望的时候,我们才可以看到弟兄姊妹如何表示他们对天上的父的真诚依靠。 基督跟随者的工作是,对教会经历的事情,即使四围显示缺乏完全的感恩或了解,仍然继续保持众人的正直、诚实、透明、责任感和爱。我们需要学习控制我们的舌头,并且记得抱怨和给予负面批评是很难张显出教会会受益的爱的精神。 取代表示对疑问的不悦,让我们学习对我们的教会服事有贡献和集中重点,让我们的教会成为我们想要的样式!

在我们往前事奉主时,让我们记得跟随基督从来不是一条易走的路,并且它是很少为社会完全接受的。记得约伯最富足的时候是在他忍耐丛四周而来的试探和疑问之后!让我们在任何挑战或者困难的日子中,寻找学习并成长成熟。

Pastor’s Corner | “More or Less” may not represent our values well, eh?

The following are some comments maybe we ought to “evaluate carefully?”

-“I just know that it must be OK because everybody does it that way.”

-“Well, it is what it is!”

-“Progress requires we do something now!”

-“Well, you do what you’ve got to do!”

-“A few cuts, here and there, won’t really hurt anything.”

Sitting in an airport lounge recently, I overheard the above comments by a businessman.  This fellow was justifying his approaches in work to the guy on the other end of the phone line and apparently was being successful.  Let us face it, we live in a world where compromised ethics is the norm.  If our youth and young adults apply the comments above to their dating lives, you can imagine the behavior being lived out.  If career people in their 30s and 40s live with these attitudes in their offices, you can guess how it impacts the work done.  If our courts apply these views, what will happen to our society?  If hospitals apply these ideas to medical situations, what dangers lurk?  When a Christian follows these principles, what is the quality of church witness we leave behind?

A number of years ago, an earthquake killed thousands in central Taiwan.  I, like many others, was involved in some of the relief work for the early months that followed this horrifying experience.  We brought in water purifiers, dug people out of the rubble, bagged up bodies, fed the hungry, put up tents, and many other things.  In the midst of this nightmare, it was found that many of the collapsed buildings had been built with pillars that had empty 5 gallon cans inside them to save on the expense of cement and steel.  You see, “doing what you’ve got to do” is simply not good enough when others are hurt!  As Christians, our goal must always be to be truthful, fair, and sensitive toward the needs of others….even when it appears there are “short-cuts” available.  How are we doing?


以下是一些需要“小心評估”的評論:

﹣「其他人都是這樣做的,所以肯定沒問題。」

﹣「沒有辦法,就是這個樣子了。」

﹣「進步就是要我們立刻行事。」

﹣「做你需要做的事。」

﹣「小小傷害,無傷大礙。」

廣東口語:

– 「人哋都係咁做架啦,冇問題嘅.」

– 「冇計啦,啲嘢係咁㗎啦.」

– 「唔做啲嘢點進步呢?」

– 「你做你要做嘅嘢啦.」

– 「小小受傷好閒啫.」

最近坐在飛機場裡等登機時,我無意聽到兩生意人的以上對話。一位人仕與對方辯解他做事的方式,並且貌似很成功得合理化他的觀點。我們必須承認我們活在一個道德受損的世界裡,認為妥協、折中是正常的。如果我們的年輕人引用以上的態度在他們的感情生活中,你能想像出他們的行為會是怎樣。如果三、四十歲的就業人仕在辦公室有這種態度,你能猜想這會如何影響工作。如果法庭應用這種觀點,我們的社會會變得怎樣?如果醫院把這種概念帶到醫療業務,有多危險呢?當基督徒跟隨這些原則時,教會留下的見證質量如何?

數年前,臺灣中部一個大地震有上千人受害。我與多人一齊參與這場災難的救災工作。我們帶濾水器去當地、把人從瓦礫救出來、把屍體安置好、給飢餓的人飯吃、幫災民搭好帳篷等。在這噩夢中,發現在很多倒塌的建築物柱子裡,為了節省鋼筋水泥的費用,填滿的是大大的空鐵罐。「做你需要做的事」,在他人受傷時,就不夠好了。即使能見到生活中的捷徑,身為基督徒,我們的目標必須是誠實、公平、敏感地對待他人的需要。我們做得如何?

Pastor’s Corner | “Social Work Without Christ is Dead”

Social Work without Christ is dead… something I learned in Social Work classes in seminary!  James 2:17 speaks of the balance needed between our faith and our works.  I have recently been confronted with some thinking that seemed to only focus on Social Justice, Reconciliation, and Social Action at the cost of ignoring foundational Christian redemption first.  The intense presentation was disappointing to hear as my background of having lived in China has taught me that societal actions, no matter how good the intent, should never be taken in isolation from the concerns for the spiritual health of man.  The temporary results of man-made reconciliation will last just as long as the memories of the men involved.  We must remember that we are sinful beings living in a world that daily compromises with the values of evil.

You see, the Jesus that I follow focused first on the heart of man and allowed a changed and contrite heart to be the motivator for how we relate to the world in which we live.  Social, Environmental, Political, Economical, and other human concerns are legitimate ones that should challenge the Christian disciple’s heart for action or aid.  Yet, one can be a person with these societal concerns and still have an empty spiritual walk.  This is evidenced by many of the governmental laws and actions intended to give equality or retribution as tied to past actions within society.

Adam & Eve had difficulty with the balancing of their work responsibilities and their need to keep their spiritual lives in good stead.  Sin was the result for them as they placed God, and His Will, behind their own desires.  To be a follower of Christ is to humbly repent of one’s sins because we see ourselves, and our sin, clearly.  It is through our repentance, and clear understanding of our sinful nature, that we view the world around us properly.  Yes, I am interested in evangelism, societal change, healthy churches, prayer, spiritual conversion, reconciliation, and other things as long as Jesus is the heart of all that is considered.  I Cor. 2:2 says it for me,  “For I am determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.”  With this Scripture at your bow, your ship will not become distracted for purpose or direction.

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社會工作沒有 基督福音就是死的…這是我在神學院修社會工作學時學到的。雅各書2:17說到我們的信仰與行為需要平衡。最近我遇到一些思想似乎只集中焦點於社會主義、和好關係及社會行動,付出的代價卻是忽視救贖為第一的基督徒基礎。極端的言論令人失望。我曾在中國居住的經驗教導我,忽視屬靈關顧的社會行動,要想得到真的改變是徒勞無益的。社會行動不管是否出於任何好意,但都不可脫離個人屬靈健康的關心;短暫的人造和好關係結果,只會維持在參與人記憶中一段時間那麼長。我們必須記得我們是有罪的人,生存在一個每天要和罪惡價值讓步的世界裏。

我跟隨的 耶穌焦點先集中在人心,容許被改變與悔悟的心成為我們改變社會的動機。社會、環境、政治、經濟及其他人類的關心本應影響到基督門徒行動及幫助的心。但是人也可以對這些有關心,卻仍然感覺靈命空虛。許多政府的法律及行動給予平等待遇或彌補社會對某人群的過錯正是反映這空虛的關心。

亞當與夏娃在平衡他們的工作需求與他們的屬靈需要碰上了困難。當他們把自己的喜好放在 上帝和 祂旨意之先,後果就是罪。要成為 基督的門徒就是要看清自己的罪惡後謙卑悔改。當我們能清楚明白我們的罪性,用悔改的眼光透視,我們才看清我們周圍的世界。不錯,我的興趣包含宣教、社會改革、健康的教會、祈禱、屬靈增進、和好關係、甚至其他,只要 耶穌是在核心。哥林多前書2:2寫說: “因為我曾定了主意,在你們中間不知道別的,只知道 耶穌基督並 祂釘十字架。” 當我們確定這終極時,我們的方向和目的就不會走错。