12 I know that the Lord secures justice for the poor
and upholds the cause of the needy.
13 Surely the righteous will praise your name,
and the upright will live in your presence.
No doubt, we are living in a troubled world. There are senseless killings happening every day. Monday, there is the Baton Rouge police shooting leaves three officers dead. Today, I heard another shooting incident in Munich: at least 3 were killed in a shopping center. But this is not ISIS vs. the west, this is evil challenges us every minute. This kind of incident happens for a reason, a very wrong reason. People use injustice as a reason to grow the anger within; anger becomes sin and it leads to death (killing).
Perhaps, some believe a stronger hand can suppress this and avoid this to happen again. As a Christian, I believe we need to “Seek God and live” Amos 5:5.
As Romans 1 tells us without God, we are living in a “lawless” land. Our human law cannot change people’s heart. Only when we turn to God and regard as LORD, we will start to see another human as His creation, an image reflecting God Himself. We will respect God as our ultimate Judge. He alone can carry out justice and righteousness. Therefore in the middle of chaos and suffering, the author of Psalm teaches us to reply on God for justice.
For this particular moment, I ask the LORD to help us not to repay evil with evil but be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody (Romans 12:17). “Do not take revenge, my friends but leave room for God’s wrath” (v19). Also, “Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good” (v21). I believe these verses become a powerful reminder to our generation.
Dear LORD Jesus, help us to fix our eyes on you , guard over our mouths and let not our hearts be dawn to what is evil (Psalm 141:8, 3-4)
July 22, 2016
Dear Brothers and Sisters:
Welcome Esther back for summer vacation. Welcome also Michael and his wife (TJ’s friends) came again to worship with us Sunday.
Main points from the message on Sunday 7/17 Follow God’s Will – Acts 16:6-34
- Follow God’s will even when He has a Different Plan
- The Confirmation from the fruit of the Gospel
- Follow God’s will means opposition will come
- Follow God’s Will makes us rejoicing
- Follow God’s Will and people be saved
VBS 2016 will be August 4-6. This year theme is Submerged – Finding Truth Below the Surface, it is based on Psalm 139:23-24. We will have two days of activities August 4 and 5 from 9 to 11:30 am at Church. Then on Saturday, we will visit Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach. We welcome children 8 and under (if your child is older than 8, he/she is welcomed to come and help). Please spread the word and invite friend to come.
C&MA Annual Mission Conference – Mission 1:8 “Local Church & Global Engagement” will be held at the Grove on August 28 (3 – 8 pm) and 29 (8 to noon). If you interested to go (on either Sunday or both Sunday and Monday), please let Pastor know.
Call to worship
This week call to worship is taken from 1 Samuel 17:45
45 David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied
July 20, 2016
Dear brothers and sisters,
We are glad to be home! We had a great time visiting family in HK. We also visited Japan again on our way back. This time we got a chance to visit an Alliance church there, meeting some Japanese Christians. It was awesome (More details to come Sunday). While we were traveling, we also heard the sad news in Dallas. Then yesterday another painful news came from France. Many (84) including children died. I am heart-broken for this news even though it is not new to us nowadays.
For some, the first reaction is to strike back, an eye for an eye. Justice needs to be served. However, we, Christians should know that hatred produces hatred and anger produces even more anger. The root problem is: it is all because of sin. “And the wages of sin is death” Romans 6:23. I see the gravity of sin in these devastating attack to humankind. Sin propagates and it stays in the heart of people, waiting for the moment, it would lead people to death, as I see it happened in Dallas. Facing sin, there is nothing we can do, except rely on the grace of Christ. Let us remember Christ also suffered on the cross as the result of sin, but He (he) who suffers also produce perseverance.
Our only hope is through suffering, we will have perseverance (and not anger/hatred) as we follow the footsteps of Christ. Our hope based on our faith that Christ will come back, He holds the key to life and death, He is our ultimate judge and will vindicate those died but have faith in life – “but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”
Dear LORD Jesus, comfort those who lost their loved one. Help us not to promote our self-righteous. Let us realize that there is no true righteous in us. Give us perseverance in the time of suffering.
July 15, 2016
Dear Brothers and Sisters:
Welcome Diana’s Mom and Bezalel came to worship Sunday.
Some main points from the message on Sunday 6/19 How great is the love of the Father – 1 John 2:28-3:10
God is Love 1 John 3:1
- The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness Exodus 34:6-7
- For my Father’s will is that everyone believes in Christ shall have eternal life – 6:40
- For all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, God gave the right to become His children – John 1:12
What should we do?
- Purify themselves 潔淨自己
- Stop sinning 不能繼續犯罪
- Do not let anyone lead you astray 不要被人誘惑
- Do what is right 行善
- Love one another 愛弟兄姊妹
How can we do that?
Remain in Him – 1 John 2:28
Thanks everyone who helped out during the BBQ last Sunday (6/19)
Praise the LORD for the Youth camp! Our young people came back safely. I pray that they will continue to grow spiritually.
June 26 – Graduation Day – celebrate with our graduates this year
July 4: We will have our fellowship at Terence and Kitty Shum’s residence. We will have BBQ. Everyone is welcome. Please reserve your time and invite friends to come.
We set up a suggestion box in the lobby, if you have any suggestion of improvement, please write it down and put it in the box. We will check it regularly.
Please sign up for the Flower Offering on Sunday. The sign up poster is on the door in the lobby
We are studying 1 Samuel in our Sunday school class. Please take the material and come and join us in studying the Word of God 10:00am Sunday
Call to worship
This week call to worship is taken from – Psalm 116:1-2
1 I love the Lord, for he heard my voice;
he heard my cry for mercy.
2 Because he turned his ear to me,
I will call on him as long as I live.
June 22, 2016
15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
15 你們要謹慎行事，不要像愚昧人，當像智慧人。 16 要愛惜光陰，因為現今的世代邪惡
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Hope you survive the heat (113F in Riverside) yesterday. Today is around 96, (I can sense the difference), so I guess we need to give thanks!
I heard many Christians lamented that they feel distracted every day. They want to do devotionals, read bible and prayer in the morning, then suddenly things happen and need attention. Then there is no time to do devotionals. Oh, it is true! Even the day begins, sometimes we may already felt disturbed by a bad sleep last night and could not focus. There are indeed many distractions in the world. Beside something we cannot control, internet, Facebook could “eat” up our valuable time too. Perhaps, it can relate to what Apostle Paul says, “The days are evil”. The Evil one consistently changes something which is good and harmless be its “instruments” to distract us from the more important thing.
Let us admit that we only have limited resource, especially time. We do need to be a good steward of it. If you feel distracted by the internet, tv, game console, phone…etc., perhaps you need to exercise discipline to switch it off. Set a priority! There are always thing has to be done, but remember some are more important than the others.
Dear LORD Jesus,
36 Turn my heart toward your statutes
and not toward selfish gain.
37 Turn my eyes away from worthless things;
preserve my life according to your word
June 21, 2016
24 “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.
The Gospel of John tells us a very strong and intimate relationship between Jesus and God the Father. This verse is powerful! The love of the Father exists even before the creation of the world. Jesus experienced His love and He wants us to experience it too. That’s why Christ wants us to be with Him so that we can sense the great love of God.
This coming Sunday is Father’s Day. I want to wish all the fathers to have a wonderful Father’s day. It is not easy to be parent. We live in a generation with a corrupted image of our fatherhood. As Christian, I charge all fathers to be “light” and “salt”, always trust in Christ and follow His example, to love, to suffer and to sacrifice for the family.
“You are my Son whom I love; with you I am well pleased” – Luke 3:23. God the Father speaks to Jesus after His baptism.
One more practical advice: speak the language of love. In particular, speak the word of affirmation to your loved one, to your wife, to your children and don’t forget your parents too.
“My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.” John 5:17
June 16, 2016