Volume. XIX, No. 13
Sunday, 26 September 2004

From the pastors heart: VBS

Another time of Vacation Bible School (VBS) comes just around the corner. It seems that VBS has been part of our church tradition. It is usually held for five days from Monday through Friday during one of the children’s school holidays, children of our church members and children from nearby neighborhoods are invited to attend this special event, usually built around its theme with Bible studies and songs and a bit of fun. For a few hours in the mornings, children come to our church, whose teachers and volunteers tell them about God’s love and their Savior, Jesus Christ. The children hear Bible stories, learn Scripture verses and Christian songs, pray, create arts and crafts, participate in skits, enjoy snacks and games and are encouraged to ask questions. Why do we do it every year? Why do we invite an able man like Brother Hai Seng Lim? Why do we pray for him after all? All answers to these questions are found in Proverbs 22:6. “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.” There are many reasons why we need to train our children from the Bible and to nurture them in the Lord’s admonitions.

First, it is because they are precious gifts from God. We must not neglect them as if they are not important. Psalm 127:3-5 says, “Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. 4 As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. 5 Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.” Children are blessings from God. Therefore, we need to take care of God’s blessings carefully.

Second, it is because they are to be instructed. Postmodern education philosophy encourages children to think themselves and to make their own decisions. In the one hand, it is not a bad idea to challenge them to think and to expand their minds. However, it does not mean that all their decisions are right, and they have all power to make their own choices. They need to be guided and to learn values. For example, The Lord commands our children to honor their parents in Leviticus 19:3, “ Ye shall fear every man his mother, and his father, and keep my sabbaths: I am the LORD your God.” It also talks about the value of keeping the Sabbath. It must speak to parents how they should teach and guide their children concerning the day of worship. Deuteronomy 5:16 clearly states that God commands the children to honor their parents. “Honour thy father and thy mother, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.” Proverbs 1:8 says, “My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother.” Proverbs 4:1-3 says, “Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding. 2 For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law. 3 For I was my father's son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother. 4 He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live.” Children should not be left alone without learning proper values. There is no such as value-neutral. All men and women have their own propensities. They are biased one way or the other. Our children must not be left to make their own choices without knowing the will of God and His instructions. Therefore, we need VBS to teach them. Of course, parental teachings are the best kind. However, it is reality that even many of Christian parents are not well equipped to teach and guide their children in Biblical principles. Churches are not doing the parents’ work, but assisting them to look after the needs to their children.

Third, it is because they are to be corrected. It implies that there are rights and wrongs. Where are they going to learn all these values? They spend most of their time in a secular learning environment, and they are easily swayed by the values of Hollywood and the current affairs on TVs. King David taught his values to his son, Solomon, in 1 Chronicles 28:9, “And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.” Proverbs 22:15 says, “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.” If we do not correct the wrongs of our children and do not teach them biblical values, we are not doing well. Correction is one of the privileges that true children have. Hebrews 12:8 says, “But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards.” Children can be taught and need to be taught. Proverbs 20:11 says, “Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.” Proverbs 19:18 says, “Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.” We want to use VBS to teach our children while there is hope. Proverbs 13:24 says, “He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.” We are not going to use physical rods to teach them but spiritual rods, which is the canon, the Bible. They will learn about what is right and what is wrong.

Forth, it is because they are under our care. Teaching our children is our duty. Deuteronomy 6:6-9 says, “And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: 7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. 8 And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. 9 And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.” Proverbs 17:6 says, “Children's children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers.” If we will not teach them, then we will meet times to cry for them. However, if we’ll be faithful to our duty, then we shall see them becoming our crown. The future of our church is in their hands.

We may not have any Sunday school age children, but all children in our church are our children in the Lord. If we do not care for their spiritual growth and needs, who will care for them? I am grateful for Brother Hai Seng’s coming to minister to our children. It is my prayer that all of us will pray for him and support him one way or another. If you can provide some snacks and drinks for our children and teachers, I’ll be most grateful. Whatever we do in the name of the Lord will not be forgotten. Everything will be remembered in heaven. May the Lord bless everyone involved in VBS 2004!

Lovingly, Your pastor

More Lively Hope



Shorter Catechism Question 69: What is forbidden in the sixth commandment? The sixth commandment forbiddeth the taking away of our own life, or the life of our neighbour unjustly, or whatsoever tendeth thereunto.

Please pray for healing for Rev Peter Clements, Sisters Myung Ki, Nan van Buuren, Aranka Rejtoe, Irene Turner & Susan Varadi. “ The Lord is my their strength, and he is the saving strength of his anointed;” (Ps 28:8).

Please pray for protection of Bro Phannith & family, & the Christians in Paillin; Rev & Mrs Stephen Choi & his ministry in Phnom Penh and Kandal, Cambodia; and for journey mercies for Rev & Mrs Ed Paauwe (Perth), Bro Hai Seng Lim (Melbourne), Sisters Min Yen Chia, Jasmin Chua (Adelaide), Serene Wong (Melbourne & Adelaide), Gillian Ong, Amanda Fu (Adelaide Hills) & Mr & Mrs Ray Price (Europe).

Praise and thank God for the successful YAF & Teens’ Coffee Night, the good attendance & the organisers & contributors; working bees yesterday; journey mercies granted to Dn & Mrs Ngie Joo Gong, Bro Hai Seng Lim (Adelaide), Sis Jasmin Chua (Melbourne & Adelaide), Bros Raphael Ng & Tae Yul Lee, Sisters Bernadette Lee and Minyen Chia (Adelaide), Mary Ting & Serene Wong (Adelaide & Melbourne).

Special Prayer for Rev Ed Paauwe as he takes over as Pastor of BPCWA, Perth, from 1 October 2004, and Rev James Sun as he leaves for USA in next few weeks.

Warmest greetings and thanks from Mrs Lehia Paauwe to Hope BPC for their warm hospitality during her stay in the Stone Mansion.

Welcome to our pulpit today Bro Hai Seng Lim & may God bless his stay with us.

RPG’s are now available and are on the table in the foyer. $1 per copy.

New Bibles (KJV) are needed to replace the worn out ones in the pews. Please pray for God’s provision.

Rosters for the next quarter are available. Please see Dn Edwin D’Mello for your copy.

Korean Presbyterian Church will hold a Night of Praise at Concordia College Chapel, 45 Cheltenham St, Highgate on Saturday, 9 October at 7:00pm. All are invited.

Looking Ahead: ECM after Worship Service on 10 October to vote on amendments to the Church Constitution. Amendments will be posted on the notice board.

Looking Ahead: Christmas Concert: Saturday, 11 December.



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14 Bedford Square, Colonel Light Gardens, South Australia 5041