Pastor’s Blog

 

10th year

2014 Easter

2014 Easter

2014 is the 10th year anniversary of 3CW. So, the church board has come up with many special events. As an old boring guy like me, I always worry about new ideas. So, when Simon Huang suggested we could celebrate Easter with a Sunrise Service, I grumbled in my heart saying, “Who would go to a 5:45am Sunrise service if they can’t even make our 11:30am regular service on time?” Well, I was wrong. 20 of us showed up. After that, we had a wonderful breakfast at Simon Huang’s house. I could still go back home to have a nap before our 10 am Sunday school!

In April, God blessed us with a joint-church youth conference by Alex Chediak. Thank you for your prayer. This conference was well received. One mom told us that her son shared with her everything he learned when they were on their way home. You can listen to the recording at http://www.3cw.org/college_prep/ or read Alex’s books: Thriving at College and Preparing Your Teens For College.

During the Memorial Day weekend, we had our church retreat. Once again I worried because we promised the camp we would have 50 people but on the morning of our deadline, we only had 35. Well, I was wrong again. By the end of the day, 15 more had signed. We actually had over 60 people came to the retreat.

The retreat was a worry-free weekend for me because Albert Lui and many others had taken care of all the details. And when I didn’t need to worry, I can do something crazy! Check out: https://www.facebook.com/groups/382532701885670/



Happy New Year

2013 is a special year for 3CW

By the end of 2012, there were 4 families leaving 3cw (including our youth minister, Rich). For a church of a hundred people, it had a big impact for 3cw. So, no one knew how it would affect our ministry and offering. Imagine the 52-week calendar is our game clock. For 2013, our offering were always behind our budget. By the 3rd quarter, we were 2 months behind. But by the 51th week, we tied the game. At the buzzer, we blew out our opponent. When I recounted this story in our prayer meeting, someone asked me, “Pastor, did you worry?” I paused and I changed the subject. Then, everyone laughed.

In 2013, God sent Simon Huang to us as our family minister. And through him, God bless 3cw. Simon came up ideas that I would never imagine:

“Should we start tutoring service for students?” IMG_8199 (We ended up providing a tutoring service from Mon-Fri for Chinese students. One student came to know Christ.);

 

“Our Vacation Bible School should be a full day camp.” (We ended up have 25 kids came to our VBS in a week of June.)

 

 

2013 VBS

“We can have a open gym session after Sunday service.” (We now have people who would not come to 3cw come to the open gym.)

 

 

 

Even though we started with less people in the beginning of 2013, we had more people stepping up to serve.

 

No Human Mind Has Conceived

           worship in Gym B

For the past 5 years, 3cw used New Life Academy’s gym for Sunday worship. We always wanted to have a better place for worship. Our plan was to buy a place and build a church. In fact, 3cw had signed a purchase agreement at one time but it had not gone through.

            But God has a better plan. New Life Church shared with us their 5 million expansion plan in spring, 2013. After listening to their plan, we asked them if we could use their newly build youth worship room for our Sunday worship. Now, we move our worship to the “upper room.”

upper room worship

Just as 1 Corinthians 2:9 says,

“What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”— the things God has prepared for those who love him.

 

 

 

 

 

2014

2014 is 3cw 10th year anniversary. God is blessing us with some special events:

  • Youth Retreat by Alex Chediak (4/25-26)

Dr. Chediak is a U.C. Berkeley Material Science PhD and he is also a Physic professor. He is the author of Thriving at College and Preparing Your Teens For College. He will speak to youth and their parents on these 2 topics.

  •  Christopher Yuan Evangelistic Meeting (6/6-8)

Christopher and his parents will come to share with us their testimony. Christopher’s father is a Chinese immigrant and a dentist. Christopher was studying dentistry too. But because of his homosexual inclination, he left his family. They will share their testimony how Jesus turned this family around. Christopher will also talk about homosexuality and the Bible.

 

 

 

We are excited for what God has planned for us. You can check out our church’s website 3cw.org for more details.



Faith Principles from Charles Spurgeon

Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892) was known as the “Prince of Preachers” of the 19th century. To Spurgeon, you can grow great faith that overcomes life’s challenges.

 

Faith principles from Spurgeon:

  1. Believe in continuing supernatural power
  2. Develop Faith as Spiritual Sensitivity to God“Spend much time alone with Jesus, and you will have much assurance. Spend little time alone with Jesus, and your faith will be shallow, polluted with many doubts and fears, and lacking in the joy of the Lord”
  3. Get Your Faith from Christ Himself
    Christ is the source of our faith and He must be the object of our faith.
    “When you have no faith in yourself, there is more room in the soul for faith in Jesus.”
    “By faith all things become possible to us, yet the power is not in the faith but in the God in whom faith relies.”
  4. Tap into God’s Power Forces of Faith and Prayer
    He describes the prayer life of his church as the ‘heavenly electricity of believing prayer.’ Our prayers do spur God to act on our behalf but Spurgeon did not mean that God is bound by our prayers. Our prayer must spring from faith imparted by Him. 
  5. Faith Acts on Knowing Who We Are in Christ. Spurgeon believed we have the right and privilege to bank on God’s promises – “Some bank bills require the signature of the person for whom they are drawn, and they would not be payable at the bank, through regularly signed, unless countersigned by the person to whom they are due: now many of the Lord’s promises are drawn in like fashion.” 
  6. You Can Grow Your Faith by Exercising It
    • Faith is increased by praying for more faith
      “Let us not rest contented with weak faith, but ask, like the apostles, to have it increased.”
    • Faith is increased through trials
      “Faith untried may be true faith, but it is sure to be little faith.”
    • Faith is strengthened by an attitude of joy
    • Faith is increased by confessing the word of God
    • Faith is increased by sowing a seed


Prayer lessons in the life of J. Hudson Taylor

Hudson Taylor (1832-1905) was the founder of the China Inland Mission (today known as Overseas Missionary Fellowship). To Hudson Taylor, faith was a supernatural adventure.

Faith principles from Hudson Taylor:
1. We have a supernatural relationship – be in constant communion with Christ.

Taylor believed that he could not be satisfied with anything less than the best, God’s best – the real and constant enjoyment of His Presence. The real secret of an unsatisfied life lies too often in an unsurrendered will.

“How then to have our faith increased?” Taylor answered, “Only by thinking of all that Jesus is and all He is for us … not by one own mental effort but by dwelling on Jesus and His Word, and experiencing the joy of unbroken communion.”

2. We are a supernatural people – exercise the muscle of faith

Taylor believed faith is a gift from God, but it grows by exercise of the “spiritual muscles of faith,” which he claimed, is impossible without trial.
Taylor learned to “claim God’s supply from the bank of heaven.”
“God’s work done in God’s way will not lack God’s support.”

3. We are kept by a supernatural power – trust in God’s providential protection

Taylor learned was to trust in God fully, yet not presume upon Him. The use of means ought not to lessen our faith… it would appear as presumptuous and wrong to neglect the use of those measures which He Himself has put within our reach.

4. We are led by a supernatural God – trust in God’s faithfulness

When Taylor was a young missionary, he often struggled with his faith until he came into “the exchanged life” – he exchanged his weak, defeated life for Christ’s life. Not by striving after faith, but by resting in the Faithful one.
Gal 2:20
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
我 已 經 與 基 督 同 釘 十 字 架 , 現 在 活 著 的 不 再 是 我 , 乃 是 基 督 在 我 裡 面 活 著 ; 並 且 我 如 今 在 肉 身 活 著 , 是 因 信 神 的 兒 子 而 活 ; 他 是 愛 我 , 為 我 捨 己 。

5. We are sustained by a supernatural food – partake of the Word of God

His faith rested on the promise of God. He believed “superhuman wisdom” is needed to comprehend the Word of God.

6. We have a supernatural victory – be an overcomer

“Satan, the Hinderer, may build a barrier about us, but he can never roof us in, so that we cannot look up.”
“the less I spent on myself and the more I gave to others, the fuller of happiness and blessing did my soul become.”

[Taken from “Moving Mountains” by Paul L. King (pp 35-48)]



Prayer lessons in the life of George Muller

George Muller is a 19th century English christian who established 5 orphanages based on faith principles. His orphanages cared for thousands of children over sixty years. Here are 8 faith principles we learn from George Muller:
(1) Just ask God

Jas 4:2 你們得不著,是因為你們不求。
You do not have, because you do not ask.
a) Ask God for provision
b) Ask God for protection
c) Ask with expectation that God will answer
d) Ask God for faith
Mark 9:24 我信!但我信不足,求主幫助。
“I believe; help my unbelief!”

(2) Trust God alone
(3) Establish a positive attitude daily through the Word and worship
(4) Saturate your mind and spirit with the Word of God
(5) Expect God to use trials to feed your faith
(6) Get the leading of the Lord

a) Wait on the LORD
b) Use Spirit-enlightened reasoning
c) Get confirmation from others
d) Do not presume upon God

(7) Keep on praying and praising until God gives assurance
(8) Believe and use biblical financial wisdom

a) Give generously
b) Ask specifically
c) Stay out of debt
d) Examine your motive

[Taken from “Moving Mountains” by Paul L. King (pp 15-34)]



Book Sharing: Out of a Far Country by Christopher Yuan & Angela Yuan

I watched Christopher Yuan’s testimony on YouTube and I was so impressed and decided to read his book “Out of a Far Country.” It is a story about a young man who came out from his closet. Chris started as a PhD student, and then became a gay, then became a drug user, then became a drug dealer. However, God turned Christopher around through his mom in a period of seven years.

This book encourages me to pray like Chris’ mom, Angela. When we are in the midst of trouble, we may think things are out of the God’s control. How come the more we pray, the worst things become. Over more than 5 years, Chris didn’t change but only getting worse. However, if we persist, pray not according to our will but God’s will, God will do wonderful thing. God did not change Chris alone, He also changed Angela and her husband Leon. At the end of the story, we praise God for His faithfulness and goodness.

One interesting aspect of this book is that it is written by Angela and Chris together. So, the same incident is recorded from two perspective.



2012 Easter Sunday

3CW invited Pastor Bruce Scott from Friend of Israel on the Easter Sunday. We asked Pastor Bruce to explain the relationship between Easter and Passover. So, Pastor Bruce demonstrated the “Passover Seder” (The Feast of Unleavened Bread). And something was both funny and educational happening on that day. This is how Pastor Bruce described in his monthly update:

April 8: Speaking about the meaning of Passover at Chinese Christian Church, Woodbury, MN. A funny thing happened while I was giving my presentation. There is a part in the presentation where the children in the church look for a hidden piece of matzah called the afikomen. When one child finds it, he/she brings it back to me and I give them a small financial reward (maybe $3.00). This is not unique to me. Giving a reward for finding the afikomen is also done at Passover seders in Jewish homes. On this occasion, the children helping were especially rambunctious. They all seemed to look for the afikomen together, a bubbling mass of flailing arms and legs. When one boy found it, they all moved amoeba-like back to me. I gave the boy his money. He took it out of the envelope and the whole group became excited, talking hurriedly about what was to be done with the newly found treasure. As the winning boy was waving the prize $3.00 around, one child said, “Put it in the offering!” Another boy, however, kiboshed that idea and said, “No, put half of it in the offering!” It was hilarious. How like all of us to want to give back to God only half of what He has given to us!