Volume. XXI, No. 27
Sunday, 31 December 2006

From that pastors heart: the year end reflections

“Time” is one of the most frequently used English words.  According to the Oxford English Corpus, the word 'time' comes top in the list of most common nouns in the English language.  It may refer to season, a particular portion or part of duration whether past, present, or future.  In English grammar, time is related to different tenses such as “was,” “is,” and “will be.”  It also refers to a part of duration from other parts such as ancient time, or modern times.  Time is currently one of the few fundamental qualities, which cannot be defined via other quantities because there is nothing more fundamental than what is presently known.  Thus, time is defined via measurement.  The origins of our current measurement system go back to the Sumerian civilization of approximately 2000 BC.  It is known as the Sumerian Sexagesimal System based on the number 60: 60 seconds in a minute and 60 minutes in an hour.  Time in Greek language also means “opportunity,” “occasion,” or “an event that comes.”  At the same time, different people may judge identical lengths of time quite differently.  Thus, to some people time seems to drag and goes too slowly.  To some, time can “fly.”  The psychologist Jean Piaget called this form of time perception “lived time.”


Time comes quickly and goes away quickly, too.  It also appears that time passes more quickly as we are getting older.  With increasing age, each year becomes shorter and faster.  While a year for a five-year-old child is 20% of his entire life, for a 50 year old adult a year is only 2% of his entire life.   We often say, “time flies.”  It all shows that time is also perceptional.  Albert Einstein often said as he explained his theory of relativity as following: although sitting next to a pretty girl for an hour feels like a minute, placing one's hand on a hot stove for a minute feels like an hour.  This is intended to introduce the listener to the concept of the interval between two events being perceived differently by different observers.  The concept of time has long been a major subject of science, philosophy, and art.  In science, the measurement of time was a prime motivation in astronomy.  It has economic value as we say, “time is money.”  It also reflects personal value because of an awareness of its limited nature.  When a person’s mind is altered, he is not able to measure time properly.  Negatively, if a person’s mind is altered by certain substances, he cannot measure the passage of events.  More positively, if a person enjoys something, then he may not fully aware of time spent.  Some times we say, “I cannot believe it is already midnight.” 


Many ancient philosophers as well as modern day philosophers wrote lengthy essays on time, believing it to be the essence around which life was based. A famous analogy was one that compares the time of life to the passing of sand through an hourglass. The sand at the top is the future, and, one tiny grain at a time, the future flows through the present into the past.  The past ever expanding, the future ever decreasing, but the future grains being molded into the past through the present.  It is an interesting analogy for time and life.  Now we are standing at the end of year 2006.  Whether we feel that time has gone away too quickly or too slowly, all depends on our perception for life.  To some, there are lots of regrets, and to some, it appears to be joyful to receive a new year.  Ecclesiastes 3 seems to be a text teaching us about life and time.  To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: 2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; 3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; 4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; 5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; 7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; 8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace. . . . 11 He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end” (vv. 1-8, 11). 


How have you spent your time in year 2006?  There have been many events for our church this year.  I praise the Lord that a few people got baptized.  As you know, some of them were exchange students from overseas.  Some people came to the Lord for salvation, though they were not baptized yet.  In this regard, the Lord has given us a fruitful year.  There were some happy occasions such as weddings: Craig and Clara in March, and Raphael and Bernadette only recently.  We had a good Easter camp in Victor Harbor.  At the same time, we had some sad events such as the loss of our loved ones, or the loss of some of worshippers due to their jobs or study opportunities else where.  There have been many visitors from both overseas and interstates.  I am very grateful to those who have been hospitable to the visitors (Hebrews 13:1-2).  The fact, that there are people in Hope church who are willing to spend their time and money into hospitality ministry, makes me so happy.  Whatever we have done in the name of the Lord shall not be in vain.  There are people who have given their time and efforts for the Lively Hope productions.  There are also people who have taped the services, and who have helped to install A/V and air conditioner systems in the church.  There are people who have played music for various services and who have done flower arrangements.  We celebrated our 20th anniversary, and Christmas carol night was one of highlights for this year.  Many of the Hopefuls have visited the sick in hospitals, and have spent time with senior citizens.  There are people who have cleaned the church premises inside and outside.  There are people who have given time and money for outreaches and missions.  There are people who have made contributions for Esther Koo for the last five years.  Some have invested their resources to upgrade our computer networks.


In particular, there are some ladies who have done so much work for Sunday lunches.  I will not name them here because their rewards must be in heaven.  I trust that the Lord remembers what they have done.  There are people who have done so much work behind the scenes.  In particular, the session members have done so much work behind.  Thank the Lord for them.  During my frequent absence this year, they have carried heavy burdens to run the church smoothly.  There are personal thanks to you all from me.  Thank you for your prayers and support.  You have been appreciative always and provided so many things from groceries to expenses in the mission field.  Thank you for your kind and encouraging words. 


As we are evaluating our own time on earth, so someday the Lord will make a verdict on our lives.  Hope and pray that we shall spend our time well to please the Lord.  It is unbelievable that this year is about to be ended.  Time really flies.  I wish you a very blessed new year.


Lovingly, Your Pastor

More Lively Hope



Shorter Catechism Question  77: What is required in the ninth commandment? The ninth commandment requireth the maintaining and promoting of truth between man and man, and of our own and our neighbour’s good name, especially in witness-bearing.


Please pray for health & God’s healing: Rev George & Sis Nan van Buuren, Rev Peter Clements, Rev David Koo, Rev Timothy Tow, Dr S H Tow, Preacher Zhang, Dn Yaw Chiew Tan; Bros S Dhamarlingam, Makoto Kobayashi, Raphael Ng’s father, & Winston Selvanayagam; Sisters Sheila George, Myung Ki, Alice Lee’s father, Aranka Rejtoe, Chrisanthi Selvanayagam, Juanita Tong, Susan Veradi, & Giok Yeo’s sister-in-law; Auntie Oei & others in affliction. "The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand.” (Ps 121:5).


Please pray for – a) Cambodia Missions - Bro Roth Phannith - preparing for further studies at FEBC; Bro Samnang’s & Sis Shulamy’s ministry); b) Laos Missions - Bro S Dhamarlingam; c) Pastors & believers in India & Pakistan; d) Sketch n’ Tell Ministry - Bro H S Lim; e) Journey Mercies - Dn Tony & Sally Law (Noosa/Adl); Sisters Marion Chan (KL), Shu Siang Lo & team (Melb); f) More rain - to end the drought in Australia; g) God’s guidance - those in authority in Australia; h) Hopefuls & worshippers overseas & interstate; i) Persecuted brethren - in Islamic & Communist countries; j) Hospital placement for completion of Masters degree - Bro Eu-Jzin Tan.


Praise and Thank God for – a) Christmas Day Service on Mon; b) Journey mercies - Ps Ki; Dn Ngie Joo & Sis Sooi Chin Gong; Bros Joshua & David Chung (Adl), Checkie Ma (HK); Preacher & Mrs Sung Hun Lee, Mr & Mrs Ong, Sisters Amanda Fu, Gillian Ong (S’pore), Smrithi George (Bangalore); Mrs Christina Foo & Amanda (Kuching); Sis Shu Siang Lo & team (Adl, from Ebenezer); c) Ministry of Ps Ki in Life BPC (S’pore); d) Ministry of Preacher & Mrs Sung Hun Lee in Hope BPC; e) Contribution to Hope BPC by Bro Checkie Ma.


Vacation Bible School 2007 - Parents and families, please note that VBS 2007 will be from 17 July, 2007 - 21 July, 2007.  Speaker: Bro. Gabriel Lee (Perth, WA).  Please keep these dates free.


Adult & Children RPG for the next qrtr now available on the Literature table.  A gold coin donation will be much appreciated.


Special Thanks to all Hopefuls and worshippers who have contributed their time, labour, talents and wealth in serving the Lord in 2006.  May the Lord bless you in 2007.


Watch Night Service: Please come & share all that God had done for you in the past year.


Attendance: Last Lord’s Day: 107. Pre-service: 5. Christmas Service (Mon): 89. Christmas Pre-Service: 6.


Offerings: Last Lord’s Day - Tithes: $612.00. Gen Offering: $1,173.15. Designated: $1,254.60 + S$500.00. Total BF: $12,550.03. Pastor’s Car Fund: $18,882.45. Thanksgiving Fund: $4,724.00.  + S$150. Total Ebenezer BPC BF loan AC: $12,030.60.



© Hope Bible-Presbyterian Church
14 Bedford Square, Colonel Light Gardens, South Australia 5041