Dear family in Christ

Church camps and Christian retreats hold many wonderful memories in our hearts. We spend time learning God’s Word together and encouraging one another in the Lord. We laugh and play together and get to know fellow church members better in close fellowship. Many lives have been blessed, impacted and strengthened after attending church retreats.

I call upon all SJCp members and regular worshippers and our families to gather together at Tunamaya Beach Resort (Desaru) from 3 to 6 June 2018 for our biennial church retreat. It will be a meaningful and fruitful time of learning, growing, playing and resting. Our retreat theme is “Look, Walk, Rest” (Jeremiah 6:16). We are glad to have Canon Yee Ching Wah as our retreat speaker. He is the Dean of Thailand and the diocese associate director of missions. Brother Darius Foo will be the speaker and program leader for the Children’s ministry.

We want to appreciate all the hard work and preparations by the camp committee, ably led by Gabriel Paul and Kevin Lee. May we request of you to register for the camp soon, so as to help the committee with their planning.

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”  Hebrews 10:24-25



Pastor John


Lenten 2018  Message  by Bishop Rennis Ponniah

2018 Year of Prayer: SEEK HIS FACE (Psalm 27:8)

In the grace of God, we have begun the Church’s season of Prayer & Fasting, the 40-day period that commences on Ash Wednesday and leads into the climactic victory of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ that we celebrate on Easter Sunday. What will the season mean for you, your family and your small group?

It is amazing that there is resonance across the body of Christ in Singapore that 2018 is to be the Year of Prayer. The Lord goes ahead of us and by His Spirit, prepares the way.  Many of you will be aware that this Year of Prayer leads to the Year of Proclamation in 2019 (the ‘Celebration of Hope’ National evangelistic rally); which in turn leads to 2020 as the year of Personal Discipleship. We are entering a season of god’s amazing visitation upon the church and upon the land. It’s all because of God’s merciful heart and unstoppable purpose. I believe it will be a visitation of the Lord that leads to radiant holiness, a bumper harvest of souls, righteousness in the land and a marvellous raising of Kingdom workers for the mission fields of the world (in keeping with the Antioch calling of the Church in Singapore).

How can you and I meaningfully participate in this Lenten season?

  1. Use the Diocesan Lenten Prayer Guide 2018 in your daily devotions
  2. Set aside at least one day weekly for fasting from food (for a set time) in order to focus on prayer and increase reliance  on God.
  3. Join a larger group (from just 2-3 persons to a church prayer meeting) at least monthly.

What are some common prayer themes that we can all pray for this Lent?

(a)  Brokenness of spirit: the defilement of sin in all of us, our repentance from pride, waywardness and self-reliance; acknowledgement of our failures; and our utter dependence upon the Lord apart from whom we can do nothing (John 15: 4-5)

(b)  Oneness of the body: true unity of heart & mind among pastors & leaders at the national level as well as at denominational & local church levels: that we will find a new freedom in the Spirit to forgive one another, to stand with one another & be content to be nameless.

(c)  Fruitfulness of the harvest: that the Lord will wonderfully open the eyes of multitudes of people to behold Jesus as God’s appointed King over all the earth and to embrace Him truly as their Lord and Saviour so they are ready from conversion to serve Him with their lives.

(d)  Righteousness in our land: that the moral gate of our nation will be guarded against the tide of liberalism and licentiousness that is sweeping across the nations, philosophies that promise freedom but entrap humankind in fetters and spread the dust of death over society.

Where can you & I begin? Let us begin by restoring the practice of secret morning devotion with the Lord (Psa 57:8-11). Let us, with the Holy Spirit’s help, enter daily the Tent of Meeting (Exo 33:7-11) through adoring prayer and Bible meditation. When we do so, we will begin to experience the promise of the new covenant that beholding the full glory of God in the image of Jesus Christ, we are “being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another” (2 Cor 3:18). What a realm to enter more deeply and explore more fully!

As I start Lent this year with you, I find that God has given me a special anchor text from       1 Tim 6:11-14: “But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life… keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ…”  Do keep me in your prayers too so that we might journey into all that God in His boundless goodness has prepared for us. May we become a channel of REVIVAL to His great praise and glory!

Warmly in Christ,

Bishop Rennis

            Many people have written to the press to complain that certain celebrities (those who have recently fell from grace) are bad role models for them and their children. I can only say, served them right for choosing those celebrities as their models. These people are famous for their athletic skills or film making, no one ever said that they are saints. You get what you choose.

            What do we look for when we choose a model? If it is fame and fortune, then you will likely go for the so-called celebrities. After all, they are always in the news and many like to be in the limelight. Then there are those who choose what everybody else is choosing without thinking through.  One day they wake up and realise what a fool they had been.

            But we do need models as we grow, do we not? Yes, and it is vital that we choose the correct ones. Parents, especially fathers, should aspire to be good role models for their children and those around them. If your children model themselves after you, at the least, you would know the minimum standard they would attain. Also, you cannot blame anybody else. Is that perhaps why some do not want to be role models, because you might have to carry the blame yourself?

            As a full-time worker, I hesitate to being a model for anyone. Pastors can fall too, and there are many examples. It is no excuse for all of us, myself included, not to live a life worth imitating. After all, the apostle Paul did exhort the believers to imitate him. But read carefully, he added, ‘…in the way I imitate Christ.’

             The ultimate model we should modelled after is the Lord himself. He will never fail nor disappoint us. But how do we know how he is like? This is why reading and studying the Bible comes in. How often we fall short of reading the bible, then we lament that we do not know God nor His will. He had already revealed Himself in Christ and the Word. If we choose not to study the one book that can lead us to the Lord and keep us in the narrow path, then what are we complaining about?

             The life in Christ is not a difficult life. It is a life of freedom; He promised that. It has its demands, but they are there to prevent us from falling into pitfalls that will destroy our lives.

            Live a life that is worthy of the Gospel and enjoy the freedom that is centred around God. There is no other joy greater or better. Follow Christ, for He is the only model worth following.


God bless!

Many celebrities have fallen prey to infidelity recently. One of them is a famous local film director. The newspapers have had a field day with all these and chased the news to the logical end in order to sell as many newspapers as possible.

What stood out among the three cases – T, T and J – were the reactions of their respective wives. As far as I know only J’s wife forgave him. My admiration for this lady’s action is derived from the fact that forgiving someone’s infidelity is never an easy thing to do.

When the news of J’s infidelity broke out, many behaved like sharks smelling blood, especially the news reporters. Many such people went out to dig more dirt. They cannot wait to hear more “juicy” details. Truth and lies spurn up everywhere. All these happened without due regard to J’s family. Even Christians have joined in the stone-throwing.

We, Christians, should not busy ourselves in the folly of others. When all of us stop getting excited about “bad” news, then such news will not get that big a coverage. It will make it easier for the fallen to rise up again, instead of fading out into oblivion.

We should instead busy ourselves in the well-being of a fellow man and his family. There are too many broken families already; we do not need another. Support and encouragement are needed, not heaping on more insults. J’s wife did a wonderful thing; did we focus on that? Did we highlight that forgiveness which will help heal the rift in the family? Was prayer even offered unto God to strengthen the family and help them weather the storm? Unfortunately, NO!

My brothers and sisters in Christ, let me remind you that the merciful shall receive mercy. The bible also exhorts us to think and dwell on all that is good, and stay far away from all that is evil. Keep this in mind.




God bless!

The church saw the arrival of several newborn babies in recent weeks. We rejoice with our brothers and sisters with the new additions into their family and into the wider church community. We all get excited when the newborn comes along. There is so much hope for the future amidst the uncertainties. Most times hope supersedes the fears, as such, these occasions are usually joyous. The naming of the child is another important matter as it brings with it our aspirations and hope for the child.

Today (6th March 2010) is a special day. It is indeed the day that the Lord has made. For many years, there has been a desire to plant a new congregation/church. Today we see this promise of God fulfilled in our midst, the birth of 1 John. Praise be to God.

There is also much that we hope for the new congregation, or new addition, to SJCp. As siblings from the same family of God, we would want to remain united as one people before God, even though we worship at different time slots. There must be a deliberate and conscientious effort to keep this unity. As the psalmist put it: “How good and pleasant it is for brothers to dwell in unity!” It will be together that we serve Christ and advance His kingdom. Together we will uphold His glory, His name and His honour.

1 John must be like St. John in being founded on the Word of God and led by the Holy Spirit. It must never grow up grounded in principles other than that of God – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness faithfulness, gentleness and self control. In a world of evil, we will, together, shine as a beacon of hope pointing the way of salvation to those who need the Lord.

Together, as one people of one faith, one baptism and one Lord, we will march on forward for the work of Christ till He comes again. Together we will attempt great things for God and expect great things from God.


Together in the service of Christ.




God bless!

My friend and I were at a coffee shop catching up with each other, when we were rudely interrupted by cigarette smoke. A smoker had sat in a no-smoking zone and started smoking. We asked him to either stop smoking or go to the smoking section which was quite empty. He lamented that it was hot there as the sun was shinning directly on it. “Well, you have the choice not to smoke,” retorted my friend. The smoker went off grudgingly.

We are not without choices. In life, there are many occasions that we have to make a decision to choose one path over the other. Our choices may at times be informed, uninformed.  They may sometimes be hurried, unhurried, once a while forced, other times, voluntary. Whichever the case, we make choices and pray that we made them well.

In making a choice, we also choose the result. Whether that will be the desired end result is anybody’s guess. This is also the reason many people prefer not to make decisions, not to choose. They avoid it for as long as possible. It will be even better if the need to choose eventually goes away by itself. Yes, that may happen, sometimes. Along with such an escapist mentality come lost opportunities.

Of all the choices that we need to make in life, the most important is to choose life or death – to choose to follow Christ or not to do so. This is one decision that we have to make and the time frame for avoidance is limited. It may even be cut short without notice.

For “Christians” there is the vital choice of making to REALLY honour God or try to explain everything away with well-crafted theological debates. Somewhere in our hearts we know the need to face up to the truth.

So, my friends, make the right choice. Do not delay. Work while is still day, for the night will soon come where no one can work.





God bless!

CNY was about the only chance for me to catch up with some television programmes. In one of those “ancient” Cantonese movies, a colloquial phrase set me thinking – “发誓当吃青菜” literally translated making a vow like eating vegetables. It meant not keeping one’s vow and the person is not to be trusted.

There are many people who make their vows before God, more commonly, couples getting married. The question is, how many actually keep their vows? Many vow to change when they are going through a rough spot in life. When things get a little better, their stance changes. After all, God would not mind as He loves us. Isn’t it so?  You may want to think harder.

On the topic of keeping vows, what about the commitments we made before God at our baptism or confirmation? Are we serious about them? Or have we forgotten them? Are we not reminded as we sing and worship God every Sunday? One sad place to look at is the divorce rate among Christians; do you think they were serious about their marriage vows before God? This is especially common in younger people nowadays. Before they get married, they would promise all kinds of things – especially “till death do us part”. Before marriage, differences are complimentary; after marriage, they become irreconcilable. It was Wow and not Vow. This is a very sad trend.

God wants us to honour our vows. That is why He also warned about making vows frivolously. Honouring our vows is God-honouring, because our Yes is Yes and No is No. There are times when honouring the vow means being in a disadvantage. Well, we made that vow and would have to bear the consequences.

You may want to take some time to try to remember all the vows or commitments that you had made all this while. Then go and fulfill those vows. It is good for your soul.




God bless!

While fetching my son home from school, I was amazed at the number of drivers talking on their mobile phones without a handsfree kit on the road. Do they not know the penalty if they were caught doing so? If they can afford a phone, surely they can afford a handsfree kit as well, which, by the way, is very affordable. In case you do not know:

 A first-timer convicted of phone and drive offence shall be liable to 12 demerit points and a maximum fine of up to $1000/- or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or both. He/She may also be disqualified from driving. The offender’s handphone and SIM card will be seized to facilitate investigation. These may be forfeited by the court upon conviction.

Then again, many people are informed of the hell that they will be in if they do not know Christ. Yet, they refuse to accept him as Saviour. They will try to circumvent the truth, bend the truth, reinterpret the truth and find other excuses to suit their ways. Every other way they will try, except for really coming to faith in Jesus Christ. It is a very sad situation that the human beings are in.

We must learn to recognise the truth; more importantly to face up to it. This does not just apply to accepting Jesus as Saviour. It applies to living out the life that is worthy of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Do not attempt to use catch-phrases (cultural mandate, modern generation, archaic beliefs) to try and get around the truth without following it. God is not fooled. He did tell us that we are in the world but not of the world. There are things that we cannot run from. Think about them.

Brothers and sisters, be careful how we conduct our lives. The days are drawing to a close and the return of the Lord is near. We need not worry about life itself, just how we live it.




God bless!

We have heard all about the disaster in Haiti by now. Huge amount of funds are pledged and slowly pouring into the country. For those who do not know, Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and has experienced political violence throughout its history. The irony is that it is very near a superpower, whose main problem is obesity due to its excesses, and not much help was rendered to help Haiti prior to the earthquake. When a disaster came upon Haiti, there was a sudden interest to help. (Yes, I do appreciate and also grateful for the help that they are giving).

I am not trying to say that if Haiti is rich they would not be affected by the earthquake. They will be. My feel is that the responses by the people may be different.

Let us take a quick look at our spiritual life. What state is it in? Are we living in a false sense of security or are we realistic about our spiritual well being? Have we prepared well to handle all that the devil would hurl at us? Is there a need to come face-to-face with a “spiritual earthquake disaster” before we are shaken into looking for God? Do not take this lightly. In the course of my ministry I had dealt with many who would look for God, and do not know where to look, until a calamity strikes. After they are “healed,” God would lose His place in their lives once again, until the next “calamity” strikes, of course.

Are we so proud as to think that we do not need to “practise” the presence of God? Do not think that there is no necessity to read the bible as there will always be time to do so. When the time comes, you will know how to pray. You really think so? Do not be fooled. It is time to wake up from that slumber and be serious with God which is much more serious than obsession over golf, soccer or sales.

Count our days and be wise. Look at the world and be warned. It is time to stand up for God. 

Once again, the choice is yours.



God bless!

            I was at the dentist when I needed to use the washroom. They pointed me to the other end of the building. As I approached the toilets, I saw a man standing outside what looks like the male toilet. The sign was not clear and there was no wording. He stood there for a long time trying to decide if he should “risk” it. He decided against it and went to check the other toilet. At least this sign was clear that it was the ladies. Both of us went back to the other toilet. Why can’t they just put up two simple words instead of such misleading pictures?

             The ways in the world is increasingly confusing. Black and white issues are now interspersing with many shades of gray. There are all kinds of psychological disorders to help you justify your actions. Anything you eat is a potential “killer” or “saviour” depending on who you listen to.  Economic theories abound to either paralyze you or liberate you, again depending who you want to listen to. There are enough bogus religious teachings out there to help you part with your money and to become disillusioned with the institution.

             In the midst of all these different confusing signs and pictures, what is there for a Christian to want to stand firm in the ways of Holy Scripture. How can one live a life that is truly glorifying to God? How is he or she going to have the strength and resolve to stand firm? How is one going to even be able to differentiate the right from the wrong? The picture is grim and demoralising.

             Praise be to God that it is not as bad as it seems. Remember that we are but pilgrims in this world. Anything that is too good to be true in this world is likely not good. If we are not greedy, then we are in a lesser position to get cheated. Stay firm to the plain Word of God. Read the Scripture and study it well. Together with a consistent prayer life, the Holy Spirit will enlighten us and lead us through the maze of life.



God bless!