OVERVIEW OF DCBC PHASES FOR REOPENING 分階段重新開放指南

PRESCHOOL AND ELEMENTARY PARENT INFO 學前班及小學家長信息 

PAST WEEKLY PASTORAL LETTERS 往期教牧書信

ONLINE SERVICE LORD'S SUPPER INSTRUCTIONS 崇拜直播聖餐領受指南


 PASTORAL LETTER OF AUGUST 8, 2020: Where Do We Go from Here?

Brother Walter Chiang, former Deacon Chairman, long time member of DCBC, went home to be with the Lord yesterday evening. To many of us, this sounds surprising. Yet this is not a surprise to those of us who have been close to him and his family. Brother Walter has been suffering from lung cancer for the last three and a half years. He remained courageous and upbeat, and continued to serve the Lord at church faithfully. We have a beautiful and well planned campus. I was told that Walter’s leadership was instrumental in each of our building phases. One of his last projects at DCBC has been the renovation of our Education Building in celebration of the DCBC 50th Anniversary. Walter also helped the Frisco Community Bible Church, our sister church, in her building phases. Other Chinese churches in town also benefitted from his expertise and help.

A little over one month ago, Brother Walter’s condition became critical and he was hospitalized. He came home to be under hospice care. Several of us pastors and ministers, including my wife and I, visited him in the afternoon and prayed for him and his family. He was peaceful and not struggling. At sunset, the Lord came and took Walter home to be with Him (John 14:1-3). Perhaps the Lord does not want Walter to suffer any more.

Brother Walter was always kind, understanding, humble, generous, and encouraging. I have never seen him getting angry or hearing him utter a harsh word. His faithful ministries at DCBC and beyond will be awarded by the Lord as he enters His presence. His exemplary Christian walk will continue to inspire us all.

At a sad moment like this, there is no greater source of comfort than the inspired words of the Holy Bible. This is what happens when a Christian soul finishes its course and departs out of this life.

According to our Lord Jesus, at the moment of departure, the Lord Himself will come to bring His sheep home: Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also (John 14:1-3,ESV). Hence at that moment, some Christians in the room may experience a sense of ineffable peace and holiness. I experienced that when my mother passed away in 1998, with me holding her hand and reciting Bible verses for her. Chaplain of the U.S. Senate Rev. Peter Marshall’s wife mentioned vividly a similar experience in her book “A Man Called Peter.”

The Apostle Paul assured us that the departed Christian soul will come into the presence of our Lord Jesus. He said in Philippians 1:23: I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. That must be a state of great blessing and felicity, for Paul said that experience is “far better” than anything we can experience in this life.   Brother Walter’s wife Sylvia expressed the same sentiment in these beautiful words: “Walter took his last breath on earth and his first breath in heaven at 5:45PM today!”

Some Bible scholars call that stage the “Paradise.” This is because our Lord Jesus assured the repentant thief on the cross in these words: “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43, ESV).

Some interpreters think that there will be a rendering of account before the Lord. This is because the Apostle Paul reminds us that all our works in this life will come under scrutiny by the Lord: each one's work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire (Corinthians 3:13-15, ESV).

Again some interpreters think that we will also render to the Lord an account for our stewardship of our time, talent, and treasure. Our Lord Jesus describes the Kingdom of God in these words: “For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master's money. Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them (Matthew 25:14-19, ESV).

At the end of time, the Lord Jesus will descend to earth. The dead in Christ shall be raised in the first resurrection. Those Christians still living will be “raptured,” as stated in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17: But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.

The most reassuring hope is: “so we [all the Christians] will always be with the Lord [and each other]”.

In George F. Handel’s “Messiah,” there is a sublime piece of music that stirs the soul. It is based upon these beautiful words from 1 Corinthians 15:52-54, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 53 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. 54 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”

This truth is further confirmed by Revelation 20:6, Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.

Because of our belief in the resurrection of the dead and life everlasting (per the Apostles Creed), we wish to be buried next to our loved ones. In order that at the first resurrection, we may awake and see each other first in our glorified, perfect bodies. Some Medieval theologians think that we will all look 33 years young, because Christ resurrected at that age. By then my wife may even say, “Honey, you have finally lost weight!”

At the end there will be the Final Judgement before the Great White Throne of God: Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:11-15, ESV).

Some Bible scholars see this judgement also in Matthew 25:31-32: “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.

Then God will usher in the New Heaven and the New Earth. In the new capital New Jerusalem, Revelation 21;3b-4 thus describe our quality life in the presence of the Lord and Light of the Lamb: and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away’’ (Revelation 21:3b-4, ESV).

Hence the last prayer of the Bible is Maranatha—Come, Lord Jesus (Revelation 22:20, ESV)!

Most of us have family group pictures. As time flies, new members are added to the picture, while the older folks inevitably one by one disappear from the scene. Wise King Solomon observed, “A generation goes, and a generation comes…” (Ecclesiastes 1:4a, ESV). But the circle will become unbroken only when our Lord comes again and-- provided all our family members have received the Lord Jesus as Savior and Lord. The Victorian Poet Robert Browning thus described heaven:

“On the earth the broken arcs,

In the heaven a perfect round.

All we have willed or hoped or dreamed of good shall exist…

When eternity affirms the conception of an hour.”

Let is continue to hope in Christ, and may we be comforted by His Word.

With peace and blessing in Christ,

Rev. Samuel Ling & the Pastoral Team

 

2020808日教牧書信:人生何去何從?

DCBC資深會友,前執事會主席,我們親愛的姜文焯(Walter Chiang)弟兄昨晚歸回天家與主同在。對我們許多人來說,這是個令人震驚的消息。但對於那些與他和他的家人關係密切的人來說並非意外。姜弟兄在過去的三年半中一直患有肺癌。但他依舊勇敢、樂觀,並一直忠心地在教會服事我們的主。我們的教會擁有一個精心設計的漂亮園區。我聽說在建設期間的每一個階段,姜弟兄都發揮了重要的領導作用。他在DCBC的最後一個項目是為慶祝教會成立50週年而返修我們的教育樓。並且他還協助建設了我們的姐妹教會費斯可基督徒中國教會(Frisco Community Bible Church)。周邊一些其它的華人教會也都曾從他的專長和幫助中受益。

一個多月前,姜弟兄因病情惡化而入院,之後回到家中接受臨終關懷。包括我和我太太在內的幾位教牧於昨天下午前往探訪了姜弟兄,並為他和他的家人禱告。姜弟兄一直都很安詳。日落時分,主把姜弟兄接回天家與他同在(約翰福音14:1-3)。或許主不想姜弟兄再受病痛的折磨了。

姜弟兄總是那麼友好,善解人意,謙遜,慷慨,能鼓舞人心。我從沒見他生過氣,或聽他說過一句苛刻的話。當姜弟兄進到主的面前,他在DCBC內外的忠心服侍必將受到主的賞賜。他那基督樣式的生命典範必將繼續啟迪我們所有人。

在這令人悲痛的時刻,再沒什麼能比聖經中的話語更能給人帶來安慰了。當一個基督徒的靈魂走完今世旅程,離開今生,接下來的事將是這樣的。

我們的主耶穌曾告訴門徒,在啟程的那一刻,主會親自前來接屬祂的羊回家:你們心裡不要憂愁;你們信神,也當信我。在我父的家裡有許多住處;若是沒有,我就早已告訴你們了。我去原是為你們預備地方去。我若去為你們預備了地方,就必再來接你們到我那裡去;我在哪裡,叫你們也在哪裡(約翰福音14:1-3。因此,在那一刻,房間裡的基督徒可能會體驗到無法言喻的平安與聖潔。1998年,在陪伴母親最後時光的時候,我握著母親的手為她詠誦聖經經文,那時就曾親身經歷過。前美國參議院牧師彼得·馬歇爾(Rev. Peter Marshall)的太太也曾在《一個叫彼得的人(A Man Called Peter)》一書中也描述了類似的經歷。

使徒保羅向我們保證,已逝基督徒的靈魂將會進前到我們的主耶穌面前。在腓立比書1:23他這樣說:我正在兩難之間,情願離世與基督同在,因為這是好得無比的。離世與基督同在一定是充滿祝福和快樂的狀態,因為保羅說那是好得無比的,是我們今生所能經歷的一切所不能及的。今天下午545分,Walter(姜弟兄)結束了他在地上的最後一次呼吸,並開始了他在天上的第一次呼吸。”——姜弟兄的太太馮思穎(Sylvia)姐妹用這樣美好的言語表達了同樣的真理。

一些學者稱這個階段為樂園。因為我們的主在十字架上向那悔改的強盜保證說:我實在告訴你,今日你要同我在樂園了(路加福音23:43,中文和合本)。

一些解經家認為人們都要在主的面前交賬。因為使徒保羅提醒我們,我們今生所有的工作都要接受主的試驗:各人的工程必然顯露,因為那日子要將它表明出來,有火發現;這火要試驗各人的工程怎樣。人在那根基上所建造的工程若存得住,他就要得賞賜。人的工程若被燒了,他就要受虧損,自己卻要得救;雖然得救,乃像從火裡經過的一樣(哥林多前書3:13-15)。

又有解經家認為,我們還要以神託付給我們的時間,才能,以及財富在神的面前交賬。我們的主耶穌這樣描述天國:天國又好比一個人要往外國去,就叫了僕人來,把他的家業交給他們,按著各人的才幹給他們銀子:一個給了五千,一個給了二千,一個給了一千,就往外國去了。那領五千的隨即拿去做買賣,另外賺了五千。那領二千的也照樣另賺了二千。但那領一千的去掘開地,把主人的銀子埋藏了。過了許久,那些僕人的主人來了,和他們算帳(馬太福音 25:14-19)。

在末後的日子,主耶穌會降臨在地上。在基督裡死了的人,會在第一次復活中復活。那些還活著的基督徒則將會被提,正如帖撒羅尼迦前書4:13-17所述:論到睡了的人,我們不願意弟兄們不知道,恐怕你們憂傷,像那些沒有指望的人一樣。我們若信耶穌死而復活了,那已經在耶穌裡睡了的人,神也必將他們與耶穌一同帶來。我們現在照主的話告訴你們一件事:我們這活著還存留到主降臨的人,斷不能在那已經睡了的人之先。因為主必親自從天降臨,有呼叫的聲音和天使長的聲音,又有神的號吹響;那在基督裡死了的人必先復活。以後我們這活著還存留的人必和他們一同被提到雲裡,在空中與主相遇。這樣,我們就要和主永遠同在。

其中最令人安心的盼望是: 這樣,我們(所有基督徒)就要和主(以及彼此)永遠同在。

在亨德爾(George F. Handel)的作品《彌賽亞(Messiah)》中,有一段莊嚴的樂曲震撼著靈魂。那段樂曲取材於哥林多前書15:52-54就在一霎時,眨眼之間,號筒末次吹響的時候。因號筒要響,死人要復活成為不朽壞的,我們也要改變。這必朽壞的總要變成不朽壞的,這必死的總要變成不死的。這必朽壞的既變成不朽壞的,這必死的既變成不死的,那時經上所記死被得勝吞滅的話就應驗了。

啟示錄20:6進一步證實了這一真理:在頭一次復活有分的有福了,聖潔了!第二次的死在他們身上沒有權柄。他們必作神和基督的祭司,並要與基督一同作王一千年。

由於我們相信身體復活和永生(依據《使徒信經》),我們希望被安葬在親人身邊,好讓我們在第一次復活醒來時最先見到彼此充滿榮光的完美身體。一些中世紀的神學家認為,復活後的我們看起來都會是33歲的樣子,因為那時基督在33歲時復活。那麼,我的師母到時甚至可能會說:親愛的,你終於減肥成功了!

末期便是神白色大寶座前的最終審判:我又看見一個白色的大寶座與坐在上面的;從他面前天地都逃避,再無可見之處了。我又看見死了的人,無論大小,都站在寶座前。案卷展開了,並且另有一卷展開,就是生命冊。死了的人都憑著這些案卷所記載的,照他們所行的受審判。於是海交出其中的死人;死亡和陰間也交出其中的死人;他們都照各人所行的受審判。死亡和陰間也被扔在火湖裡;這火湖就是第二次的死。若有人名字沒記在生命冊上,他就被扔在火湖裡(啟示錄20:11-15)。

一些聖經學者在馬太福音25:31-32也看到了這個審判:當人子在他榮耀裏、同著眾天使降臨的時候,要坐在他榮耀的寶座上。萬民都要聚集在他面前。他要把他們分別出來,好像牧羊的分別綿羊山羊一般。

之後,神就會引入新天新地。啟示錄21:3b-4如此描述了在新耶路撒冷這個新的都城,我們在神的同在以及羔羊的光中的美好生活:神要親自與他們同在,作他們的神。神要擦去他們一切的眼淚;不再有死亡,也不再有悲哀、哭號、疼痛,因為以前的事都過去了。

因此,聖經中最後的一句禱告是瑪拉拿他(Maranatha,主必再來)——主耶穌啊,我願你來(啟示錄22:20,中文和合本)

我們大多數人都有家庭合影。隨着時光流逝,隨着新的家庭成員加入到照片中,家中的長輩們也無可避免地一一消逝。智慧的王所羅門看見一代過去,一代又來……”(傳道書 1:4a,中文和合本)。只有當我們的主再來的時候,這個羣體才會變得完整。而前提是我們所有的家庭成員都接受了主耶穌為救主和主。維多利亞時期的詩人羅伯特·勃朗寧這樣從而這樣描寫天堂(譯者佚名):

在地上是破碎的弧,

在天上是完整的圓

凡我們所欲、所望、所夢寐的美好都將存在,

……

當時間匯聚到永恆。

 

“On the earth the broken arcs,

In the heaven a perfect round.

All we have willed or hoped or dreamed of good shall exist…

When eternity affirms the conception of an hour.”

讓我們在基督裡持守盼望,願我們因祂的話語得安慰。

敬祝主內平安蒙福,

凌頌恩牧師及教牧同工


AUGUST 1, 2020 PASTORAL LETTER: Do This to One of the Least of My Brothers

Most of us have been under the COVID-19 Pandemic lockdown since March, 2020. One of the side effects of the lock down is that we get to get out of the house less and incur fewer expenses. It is time for us to take this opportunity to do something positive for the Lord—Please support our “I Got Your Back” initiative of the Mission Committee. This is an initiative to donate school supplies for children of needy families to begin a new school year:

"I Got Your Back" Project - please take a look at this YouTube video to see how you and your fellowship / community group participate in this partnership with BridgeBuilders! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gi63CQ6f2ck

Let us remember again the teaching of our Lord in Matthew 25:31-40 (ESV):

31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

Let us remember the words of our Lord and take this opportunity to give generously.

With peace & blessing in Christ,

Rev. Samuel Ling & the Pastoral Team


202081日教牧書信:作在我這弟兄中一個最小的身上

我們大多數人都是從20203月就開始處於新冠疫情的封禁之下。封禁帶來的影響之一就是我們減少了外出的次數,也減少了相應的開銷。現在是我們利用這個機會為主積極做工的時候了——請大家支持教會宣道委員會發起的我是你的後盾(I Got Your Back這一倡議。這是一項旨在為貧困家庭的孩子們捐贈學習用品的計劃,用以幫助那些孩子開始新學年的學習:

我是你的後盾(I Got Your Back事工——請通過以下鏈接觀看YouTube視頻,以了解您和您的團契/社區小組如何參與到與主辦機構Bridge Builders的合作中來!https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gi63CQ6f2ck

讓我們再一次回顧馬太福音25:31-40中主的教導(中文和合本):

31“當人子在他榮耀裡,同著眾天使降臨的時候,要坐在他榮耀的寶座上。32萬民都要聚集在他面前。他要把他們分別出來,好像牧羊的分別綿羊山羊一般;33把綿羊安置在右邊,山羊在左邊。34於是,王要向那右邊的說:你們這蒙我父賜福的,可來承受那創世以來為你們所預備的國。35因為我餓了,你們給我吃;渴了,你們給我喝;我作客旅,你們留我住;36我赤身露體,你們給我穿;我病了,你們看顧我;我在監裡,你們來看我。’37義人就回答說:主啊,我們什麼時候見你餓了,給你吃,渴了,給你喝?38什麼時候見你作客旅,留你住,或是赤身露體,給你穿?39又什麼時候見你病了,或是在監裡,來看你呢?’40王要回答說:我實在告訴你們:這些事你們既作在我這弟兄中一個最小的身上,就是作在我身上了。

讓我們牢記主的話,並利用這個機會慷慨地奉獻。

敬祝主內平安蒙福,

凌頌恩牧師及教牧同工


JULY 25, 2020 PASTORAL LETTER: “But He knows the way that I take” (Job 23:10a, ESV)

One of the passages that we studied last week in the Children VBS is Acts 27, when the Apostle Paul encouraged others in a shipwreck amidst a storm. We have been in the COVID-19 pandemic since March 13, with no end of the pandemic in sight. Some of us may feel that we are no different from how Paul and his shipmates felt: When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope of our being saved was at last abandoned (Acts 27:20, ESV).

While almost everyone on that drifting ship was abandoning hope, but not Paul the Man of God. What he boldly shared was touchingly moving,

“Yet now I urge you to take heart… For this very night there stood before me an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I worship, and he said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar. And behold, God has granted you all those who sail with you’ (Acts 27:22-24, ESV).

While almost everyone on that ship in the storm believed they were helpless, yet God knew exactly where Paul was. For all those terrifying stormy days and nights, an angel of the God to whom Paul belonged was there in that sinking ship with him. Jesus Christ our Lord affirmed this truth, as He assured us in Matthew 18:10, See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven (ESV).

While almost everyone on that ship in the storm thought they were hopelessly lost, God knew exactly where Paul was going. As His angel told Paul, “Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar” (Acts 27:24, ESV).

God knows where we are and what will happen next. We have little to fear and nothing to worry about as long as we walk in the center of God’s will.

When I read this part of Acts as a child I was always curious why God did not just lift Paul by the Spirit off that sinking ship and land him safely in Rome before Caesar, as He did with some of the prophets. But now as I read on I realize that God wanted Paul to be His witness on that ship and later brought the Gospel to the Island of Malta. We also need to find out what God wants us to do for Him during this pandemic. Don’t forget that we are the disciples of Jesus and we are here on His mission.

As I write this letter, I recall a testimony that my father shared with me. In the year 1937, he heard the hymn “His Eye is on the Sparrow” for the first time in the Shanghai Community Church. For the next 56 years until he went home to the Lord, that hymn has carried him through numerous wars and social-political upheavals. Here are the lyrics of this beautiful hymn:

Why should I be discouraged and why should the shadows fall?

Why should my heart be lonely and long for heaven and home?

When Jesus is my portion, my constant Friend is He,

His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me.

His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me.

Let not your heart be troubled; these tender words I hear;

And resting on his goodness I lose my doubts and fears;

For by the path He leadeth but one step I may see;

His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me.

His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me.

Whenever I am tempted; whenever clouds arise;

When songs give place to sighing; when hope within me dies;

I draw the closer to Him; from care He sets me free;

His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me.

His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me.

Chorus:

I sing because I'm happy;

I sing because I'm free;

His eye is on the sparrow

And I know He watches me...

Let us trust in our Lord, just as Job said,

But he knows the way that I take;

when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold (Job 23:10, ESV).

With Peace & Blessing in Christ,

Rev. Samuel Ling & the Pastoral Team


2020725日教牧書信:然而祂知道我所行的路(約伯記 23:10a,中文和合本)

上週我們在兒童暑期聖經班中學習了使徒行傳27章的一段經文,內容是保羅在風暴中遭遇船難時安慰他人。自從313日起我們一直在抗擊新冠疫情,直到今天仍舊沒有要結束的跡象。或許我們當中有些人覺得,我們和保羅以及他的同船乘客們的感受沒有什麼不同:太陽和星辰多日不顯露,又有狂風大浪催逼,我們得救的指望就都絕了(使徒行傳 27:20,中文和合本)。

在這條飄搖的船上,幾乎人人都絕望了,但保羅這位屬神的人卻沒有。他大膽的分享深動人心,現在我還勸你們放心,……,因我所屬、所侍奉的神,他的使者昨夜站在我旁邊,說:保羅,不要害怕,你必定站在凱撒面前;並且與你同船的人,神都賜給你了’”(使徒行傳 27:22-24,中文和合本)。

在這條身處暴風中的船上,當幾乎人人都覺得他們已是窮途末路的時候,神卻確切地知道保羅身在何處。就在這駭人的暴風中度過的十多個晝夜裡,神的使者,就是保羅所屬的那位神差派使者,一直在那將沉的船上與保羅同在。我們的主耶穌基督確認了這個真理,正如祂在馬太福音 18:10向我們保證的那樣:你們要小心,不可輕看這小子裡的一個。我告訴你們,他們的使者在天上,常見我天父的面(中文和合本)。

在這條身處暴風中的船上,當幾乎人人都覺得他們已經絕望地迷失方向的時候,神卻確切地知道保羅要去往何處。就像祂的天使對保羅所說的,不要害怕,你必定站在該撒面前(使徒行傳 27:27,中文和合本)。

神知道我們身在何處,也知道接下來將要發生的事。只要順著神的旨意行事,我們就沒有什麼可害怕的,也沒有什麼可擔心的。

小時候當我讀到使徒行傳這一段經文的時候,我總是好奇為什麼神不藉着聖靈直接將保羅從將沉的船上提起,再讓他安全地在羅馬降臨在該撒面前,就像祂曾對一些先知所做的那樣。但是當我繼續讀下去的時候,我意識到原來神要保羅在這條船上為祂作見證,後來還要藉著保羅把福音帶去米利大(馬耳他)島。同樣,我們也需要知道在這場疫症流行期間,神要我們為祂作什麼。不要忘記我們是耶穌的門徒,我們是肩負著主的使命而來的。

在寫這封信的時候,我想起父親和我分享的一個見證。那是1937年,他在上海國際禮拜堂(Shanghai Community Church.)第一次聽到《祂既看顧麻雀》這首讚美詩。在接下來的56年裡,這首讚美詩陪伴著他經歷了數不清的戰亂和社會政治動盪,直到他回到神的家中。以下是這首優美的讚美詩的歌詞(譯者佚名):

為何灰心常怨歎?為何黑影彌漫?            Why should I be discouraged and why should the shadows fall?

為何心靈覺孤單,甚至欲脫塵寰?            Why should my heart be lonely and long for heaven and home?

耶穌是我的永分,是我良友恩深。            When Jesus is my portion, my constant Friend is He,

祂既看顧小麻雀,深知我必蒙眷佑;        His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me.

祂既看顧小麻雀,深知我必蒙眷佑;        His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me.

你心裡不要憂愁!祂柔聲來勸誘;         Let not your heart be troubled; these tender words I hear;

在祂愛中我安息,不再懼怕憂疑;            And resting on his goodness I lose my doubts and fears;

雖我只見前一步,祂正引領無誤。            For by the path He leadeth but one step I may see;

祂既看顧小麻雀,深知我必蒙眷佑;        His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me.

祂既看顧小麻雀,深知我必蒙眷佑;        His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me.

每當試探來引誘,烏雲密佈四周;            Whenever I am tempted; whenever clouds arise;

每當歎息勝歌唱,心中滿了絕望;            When songs give place to sighing; when hope within me dies;

我就向祂更靠近,讓祂解我憂心。            I draw the closer to Him; from care He sets me free;

祂既看顧小麻雀,深知我必蒙眷佑;        His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me.

祂既看顧小麻雀,深知我必蒙眷佑;        His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me.

副歌:

我唱因我有喜樂,                                        I sing because I'm happy;

我唱因我自由;                                            I sing because I'm free;

我救主既看顧麻雀,                                    His eye is on the sparrow

深知我必蒙眷佑。                                        And I know He watches me... .

就讓我們如同約伯所說的那樣信靠我們的主,

然而他知道我所行的路,

他試煉我之後,我必如精金(約伯記 23:10,中文和合本)

 

敬祝主內平安蒙福,

凌頌恩牧師及教牧同工


JULY 18, 2020 PASTORAL LETTER: CHRIST’S POWER PULLS US THROUGH

This is the middle of summer; one could not but feel emotionally fatigue as the COVID-19 lockdown continues with no end in sight. We have been in lockdown since March 13. The midsummer came and went quietly on June 24. This week is Children VBS week. Like the theme of the online VBS this year, we need Christ’s power to pull us through, like the powerful engine on a long train. We can certainly learn valuable lessons from the VBS curriculum:

VBS 2020   ROCKY RAILWAY: JESUS’ POWER PULLS US THROUGH

DAY

BIBLE POINT

BIBLE STORY

KEY VERSE

1

Jesus’ power helps us do hard things

Ananias helps Saul (Acts 9:1-19)

Philippians 4:13

2

Jesus’ power gives us hope

Paul encourages others in a storm and shipwreck (Acts 27)

Psalm 31:24

3

Jesus’ power helps us be bold

Peter and John teach about Jesus

(Acts 3:1-4:31)

Isaiah 40:29

4

Jesus’ power lets us live forever

Jesus’ death and resurrection (Matthew 26:17-28:10)

Romans 8:11

5

Jesus’ power helps us be good friends

The church is united (Acts 2:42-47; 4:32-35)

John 15:12

Special thanks to Ministers Sherry Cheng and Jenny Xiong, whose leadership has made this online VBS blessed many families. Thanks to the many volunteers for your dedication and support. Special thanks to all the parents and grandparents who have entrusted your children to us and supporting these lovely boys and girls to learn about Jesus Christ. It is my prayer that every one of these children will become a disciple of our Lord in His time.

Philippians 4:13 assured us: “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (KJV) Let us continue by relying fully on His strength.

Peace & Blessing in Christ,

Rev. Samuel Ling & the Pastoral Team 

2020718日教牧書信:基督的大能牽引我們前行

現在已到仲夏; 新冠肺炎疫情封禁也還沒有停止的跡象,人們愈發難以忍受情緒上的疲憊。我們自從313日以來一直處於封禁之中,又在封禁中度過了悄然而至的端午節。教會在這一周舉辦了兒童VBS(兒童暑期聖經班)。就像今年網絡VBS的主題一樣,我們需要基督的大能牽引我們前行,好像一列長長的火車被強勁有力的車頭牽引。我們的確可以從VBS的課程中學習到寶貴的功課:

2020VBS攀山鐵路:基督的大能牽引我們前行

日程

聖經主題

聖經故事

聖經金句

1

耶穌的大能幫助我們面對困難

亞拿尼亞救助保羅

(使徒行傳 9:1-19)

腓立比書 4:13

2

耶穌的大能帶給我們盼望

保羅在風暴和船難中鼓勵他人

(使徒行傳 27)

詩篇 31:24

3

耶穌的大能令我們剛強壯膽

彼得和約翰傳講耶穌

(使徒行傳 3:1-4:31)

以賽亞書 40:29

4

耶穌的大能為我們成就永生

耶穌的死和復活

(馬太福音 26:17-28:10)

羅馬書 8:11

5

基督的大能讓我們親密無間

同心合意的教會

(使徒行傳 2:42-47; 4:32-35)

約翰福音 15:12

特別感謝程天欣傳道和熊佳姊妹。在她們的精心籌備和帶領之下我們的VBS祝福了許多家庭。在此還要感謝眾多支援者的投入與協助。特別鳴謝所有的父母及祖父母,願意將孩子們託付給教會並盡全力支持這些可愛的孩子認識耶穌基督。為此我禱告祈求,願這些孩子都按著我們主的心意成為祂的門徒。

腓立比書 4:13 向我們保證:我靠著那加給我力量的,凡事都能作。(中文和合本)讓我們繼續全然倚靠祂的力量前行。

敬祝主內平安蒙福,

凌頌恩牧師及教牧同工

 


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*Action to be taken when church is able to meet health and facility protocols

*當教會能夠達到健康和設施(清潔消毒)標準時所采取的措施

**At-risk population are those who are 65 or older, especially those with chronic lung disease; moderate to severe asthma; chronic heart disease; severe obesity; diabetes; chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis; liver disease; or weakened immune system

**高風險人群指65嵗或以上的年長者,尤其是有慢性肺部疾病;中度至重度哮喘;慢性心臟病;重度肥胖;糖尿病;慢性腎病並接受透析;肝病;或免疫系統較弱者

Additional Information and Resources

額外信息和資源