TWC 20111106: Role Models for our Kids

Sunday 6 November 2011

One of my colleagues, a very senior Methodist pastor, once shared about his conviction on Sunday worship. He said that when his family goes on a holiday, they would continue to be committed to regular or weekly corporate worship as God’s Word instructs us to do so.  They would look for a suitable church to attend on a Sunday and if none could be found, they would hold their own worship service in the hotel room – singing songs to the Lord, reading and teaching God’s Word. He and his wife believe that, as the spiritual role models in the family, they need to teach their children and show them by example, the importance of weekly corporate worship. My wife and I share in the same conviction and have also done likewise with our boys. As you begin your day today (especially if you’re reading this before going to church this morning), choose to put God first and not allow anything to prevent you and your family from joining other believers in corporate worship on Sundays (whether you’re here at home or traveling overseas). In particular, I have observed that a good number of families would not come to church when the kids are having exams. Parents may not realize this, but when we do that, we are saying to our children that exams are more important than honoring God by obeying God’s mandate for us to gather together for corporate worship frequently. Under exceptional circumstances when going to church on a Sunday is not possible, then have your own worship service at home or wherever you’re staying if you’re traveling. Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and God will provide you and your family with everything you need. Have a great day and also honor God as a family by being early for church.

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Heb.10:24,25)

Pastor Barnabas Chong
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Today’s recommended video: Come, now is the time to worship ….


TWC 20111105: Who Are My Mother and My Brothers?

Saturday 5 November 2011

Jesus asked his disciples, “who are my mother and my brothers?” He went on to answer His own question saying, “Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.” For Jesus, the definition of family extends beyond biological ties, it includes all who do God’s will – spiritual ties. While his biological mother and brothers were looking for Him, He was not in a hurry to attend to them. This is not because Jesus did not care for them or love them, but He was simply making the point that those around Him (His spiritual brothers and sisters) were important to Him too. While God has given us wonderful families – spouses and children whom we love dearly, we must not forget that in Christ, we have other family members. While our primary responsibility is to love and take care of our immediate family, there are times that the Lord wants us to give some priority to the spiritual family and not to merely give priority to our biological family all the time to the point of neglecting our brothers and sisters in Christ. An example is when I have to attend to the needs of troubled church members. Or when I take time to have regular fellowship with the men in my cell. While I am a fulltime vocational pastor and this is part of my work and ministry, sometimes these occasions do eat into my family time and it is okay! Likewise, when my wife felt that she should spend some time  to reach out to a non-Christian friend along with a couple of sisters-in-Christ, or when she had to comfort troubled sisters in the Lord, she took time that could have been spent with the family otherwise. As far as I am concerned, it is perfectly fine because it was necessary for her to do so as they are part of our spiritual family. As you begin your day today, will you consider the fact that you have other family members – the ones who do the will of God and not just your immediate family? Will you prayerfully consider how you may give them some priority too as the Lord leads you? Have a great day!

Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.” (Mk.3:34,35)

Pastor Barnabas Chong
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Today’s recommended video: Welcome to the family ….

TWC 20111104: Spiritual Warfare at Home

Friday 4 November 2011

Some years ago, I was told this hair-raising story about a pastor who was seated next to a very prayerful lady on the plane. He noticed that throughout the entire flight, the lady prayed frequently and even fasted the meals. After some time had passed, the pastor introduced himself and with great curiosity, he asked the lady about her church affiliation and what she was praying so fervently about. To his horror, the lady replied with a sinister smile saying, “I’m a member of the church of satan and we’re praying for Christian families to be disintegrated and destroyed!” The Bible says the devil is like a roaring lion waiting for someone to devour. You and I need to be very prayerful and prudent about the way we relate with our spouses, kids and teenagers. Do not be too quick to speak when you are angry, instead be quick to listen and commit to God in prayer issues that are affecting the family. Exercise self-control. Master your temper and not let it rule over you. Harsh and hurtful words once spoken, cannot be retrieved. Not only will these words injure the hearts of your loved ones,  your own heart will also be stricken by guilt and pain. As you begin your day today, pray and ask God to give you patience and self-control so that your words will always build up and not tear down, heal and not hurt, give hope and not bring condemnation. Have a great day!

The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” (Prov.18:21)

Pastor Barnabas Chong
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Today’s recommended video: God has called you and I to be victorious ….

TWC 20111103: Who’s Looking After Your Kids?

Thursday 3 November 2011

I remember telling my friends back in the late 80’s that parents who are too busy with work and leave most of the child-raising to foreign domestic helpers will reap unpleasant fruits – and we will see the detrimental effects of the over-use of foreign domestic helpers within 10 to 15 years. (I am not saying that we should all do away with foreign domestic helpers but we should be careful how we deploy them.) Since I started fulltime pastoral ministry in 1995, I have seen many cases, in fact, an increasing number of cases of teenagers rebelling against authority of any kind including parental authority. My father served in a family service centre for a couple of years in the 90’s. He counselled many families with dysfunctional kids and teenagers. I typed all his reports and observed that every one of these families had parents who were very busy at work and who had left the primary care of their kids with other care-givers including foreign domestic helpers, grandparents and even private tutors! My conclusion then was that every dysfunctional kid had parents who were too busy for them though by God’s grace, not every family with busy parents had dysfunctional kids. I believe God’s intention is for parents to be the primary care-givers to our own children. While there may be occasional exceptions, I believe that when we as parents do our part and be the primary care-givers to our kids, we give them a better foundation for life. As you begin your day today, ask the Lord for His wisdom and strength to be the parents God intends for you to be, and parents your children and teenagers need you to be. Have a God-filled day!

The rod of correction imparts wisdom, but a child left to himself disgraces his mother.” (Prov.29:15)

Pastor Barnabas Chong
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Today’s recommended video: Great programme on how to communicate with your kids.

TWC 20111102: Dad, I Need You

Wednesday 2 November 2011

The apostle Paul tells fathers not to exasperate our children, instead to bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. We exasperate our kids when we apply too much pressure on them and expect too much from them. Our kids are also exasperated when we do not have time for them. One of the biggest problems teenagers face today is isolation. With parents busy working in the office, many teenagers grow up with too few Christian role models in their lives and they usually end up spending most of their time in the company of domestic helpers and friends. Unfortunately, they don’t always get the best influence from such company. Fathers are the spiritual leaders at home and we need to take the lead in raising kids. We need to be a godly example to them, and we need to spend time teaching them and showing them the ways of the Lord. The Christian faith must be caught and not just taught. As we begin our day today, let us (fathers) ask the Lord for grace to help us take time to lead and guide our kids and teenagers in the ways of the Lord – to teach them and show them the way that leads to life. Have a great day!

Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” (Eph.6:4)

Pastor Barnabas Chong
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Today’s recommended video: Dad, I’ll need you ….

TWC 20111101: On Husbands and Wives Again …

Tuesday 1 November 2011

The Bible says, “Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.”  This instruction by the apostle Paul is all about submitting to loving and sacrificial leadership. Jesus loves the church and gave His life to redeem us from our sins and to present us holy and unblemished to the Father. Thus, the instruction here is for wives to submit to loving and sacrificial husbands whose main concern is to present their wives holy and unblemished before the Lord. Thus, when submission leads to sin and suffering, then wives are free not to submit. But if submission does not lead to sin and suffering, then a wife must submit to her husband even if she does not agree with her husband’s view and decision, even if she does not feel like doing so. Yet, a loving husband is never unreasonable and does not lord it over his wife, treating her like a servant or slave. As you begin your day today, is there something that you ought to submit to your husband about and have not done so? If so, why not trust and obey God’s Word and submit to your husband? Blessing is preceded by obedience. As you obey God’s Word, God will certainly bless you. Have a great day!

“Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.” (Eph.5:22)

Pastor Barnabas Chong
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Today’s recommended video: I find this view of submission from a lady rather interesting and something we should consider in our attempt to understand more about biblical submission of wives to husbands ….

TWC 20111031: On Husbands and Wives

Monday 31 October 2011

The Bible says husbands should love our wives just as Christ loved the church and gave His life for her. This is all about unconditional and sacrificial love. Jesus gave His life for the church to present the church holy and unblemished, likewise husbands should give our lives to present our wives holy and unblemished before the Lord. One way to do that is to be willing to eat the humble pie first every time the two of you are unhappy with each other. In most, if not all disagreements and quarrels, there is probably something you can and should apologize for. Well, go ahead and be the first to apologize. And do not apologize saying, “I’m sorry, I was wrong BUT …” – no “but’s”, just apologize. Don’t even say sorry expecting her to apologize for her part too. You worry about what you ought to do and let God worry about what she ought to do. Be sincere and truly sorry, then just leave the rest to God. I can assure you, God will never let you down as you, the husband and spiritual leader in your family do what is right before God. Well, as you begin today, is there something you should apologize to your wife for? If there is, don’t wait any longer, just do it! Have a great day!

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” (Eph.5:25)

Pastor Barnabas Chong
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Today’s recommended video: Skit Guys – Adam and Eve ….