Monday, February 16, 2009

My Visit to Foursquare Gospel Church, USJ

I was invited by Pas. Henry Liew to preach in his church, Foursquare Gospel Church in USJ. Yesterday was the big day, as many of you would have known. I prepared hard to make a good impression as this would be my first time there. I was told the church consisted of mainly younger people (youths, young adults, new families, etc.). It was also a relatively smaller church compared to Canaan, there is normally about 30 in attendance.

The service starts at 10:00am, but we arrived at the church at 9:07am, to be exact. This was because I had to make sure I had time to get lost, but my handy Samsung Omnia made no mistake, linking up with global positioning satelites to make sure I didn't that I didn't even make one wrong turn. GPS ROCKS! Realizing that we were way too early, we did the Malaysian thing, we headed out in search of food. Kok Leong who insisted on joining us at the last minute, as we normally carpool to church, was in generous mood as he normally is, and picked out of the steamer a whole lot of dim sum. Mid way through dim sum I realized it is now a reasonable time to call Pas Henry Liew to make sure I was at the right place (and at the right time). He informed me that he was about a hundred yards from the church, I explained that I was at this dim sum place and he told me that he would come right over. It was a relieve to see him and finally know for sure that we are at the right place at the right time. We will finish our breakfast before we headed to the next street where the church was located.

By 9:30 I realized there was way too much food for me, so I decided to leave Melanie, Mikayla and Kok Leong and walked to the church as I had to make sure my powerpoint (with video) would work properly. The powerpoint ultimately did not work, until halfway through the message, they missed out on the video that I was going to show them. I promised them the video would be up on my blog if they searched and it will be at the bottom of this post for all your viewing pleasure.

Mikayla enjoying herself at a new church

The service started slightly late, I expected this, as smaller churches tend to wait up for each other before kicking off. There was fewer people than I expected, there were about 25 who turned up that day. It turns out that there was a missions trip at that time and about 5 of the church members were in Hanoi. The smaller and younger than expected crowd helped put me more at ease. Joel Liew a long time friend and resident PK led the worship with a guitar. Worship was simple, 4-piece band. Although I didn't recognize nearly half the songs, I enjoyed the worship. In Canaan I would be concerned about how the music sounded, if there was any techinical mess ups, etc. This was not my church, I was not responsible for anything, so I was able to be more focus. That was a nice.

I was introduced as the speaker, and that I will also be leading the cell groups over the next 2 weeks in their pastor's absence (Pas. Henry will be at APTS). I took the stage and in the wake of Valentine's Day, preached the sermon that I titled as "The Brokeback kind of Love". The message was about the love, but not the usual love that is propagated in movies and Valentine's Day advertising. It was about love between friends, it was the "bromance" kind of love, between brothers and sisters.

Here are the four main contrasts that I made from King Saul and Prince Jonathan and how they related to David:

The Brokeback kind of Love
Bible Text: 1 Samuel 18:1-9

1. Unchain your heart... Don't chain your friend. (verse 1-2)
  • Jonathan unchained his heart toward David.
  • Saul tried to chain David to himself.
2. Make a one-way covenant... not a two-way contract. (verse 3 & 5)
  • Jonathan made a one-way covenant with David.
  • Saul made a two-way contract with David.

3.Give a gift... don't expect one. (verse 4-5)

  • Jonathan freely gave what he had.
  • Saul expected David to make him look good.

4.Enjoy your friend's sucess... don't be jealous of it. (verse 6-9)

  • Jonathan enjoyed David’s victories.
  • Saul kept a jealous eye on David.

Here's the video that was supposed to be part of the sermon powerpoint:

Brokeback Mountain Christian Edition

Now you understand why I call it the brokeback kind of love? If not try this: I grieve for you, Jonathan my brother; you were very dear to me. Your love for me was wonderful, more wonderful than that of women. - 2 Samuel 2:26

After the service we had a special lunch as it was "Birthday Week". It was good to be able to get to meet some of the people. Our entourage was too stuffed with dim sum so we missed out on the food this time around. After that I was pleasantly surprised to have been asked to speak to the youths. Since I did not have anything prepared, Joel basically had an informal "interview session", asking me questions about youth ministry. There was a tight group of about 6 youths, but Joel who was heading the group was aggresive about growth. I spoke to them and basically offered some suggestions and consultation to them.

This was taken during the youth meeting... I need a better photographer!

All in, it was a good day. Came back, played some computer (since futsal was canceled), then later we went out for dinner at Ikea with Kok Leong, Sarah, Rachel and Irvin. Had a great time fooling around at Ikea riding shopping carts, messing around with the stuff on display, and even bringing some of it home! Good day. Thank you Jesus. Now I am looking forward to other upcoming stuff.

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