Reflections, Announcements, & Updates from the BCEC

Small Group: Roots

19:00 Thursday@Someone’s House
Contact Kiet

Roots is a great mix of young professionals that meet up weekly to share with one another and spend time together with God. We meet on Thursdays, where we gather in one of our homes, share a meal together, and then spend time worshipping, sharing in God’s Word, and then praying for one another.

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Small Group : Firelight

18:30 Thursday@Rebecca’s
Contact Rebecca

Firelight is a group of university students and young working people. They dig deeper into the Bible and explore their relationship with God, applying what they learn to their lives as young adults and students in Birmingham. They meet every Thursday to share a meal together before jumping into discussions and sharing.
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Small Group : SEEDS

19:00 Thursday@BCEC
Contact Stephanie

SEEDS cares for students in Birmingham through meeting up regularly. The group is a mix of cultures and languages, and provides a safe and friendly place to explore spiritual issues. The group consists of students from all 4 universities with a mix of local and international students from Hong Kong, Mainland China, Taiwan, Indonesia and Malaysia. The Group aims to achieve a sense of belonging to a ‘family’ to provide a relaxing yet nurturing and supportive environment so members can feel a sense of belonging to this ‘happy family away from home’.
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Small Group: Foundations

19:30 Tuesdays@Sam&Mike’s
Contact Mike

Foundations is the perfect group for you if you’re just beginning to explore Christianity, or if you’re trying to discover who God is. A group of people from different lifestages, but with a common goal of learning more about God, this group meets on Tuesdays for dinner first, before heading into a deeper look into who Jesus is.

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Small Group: CNS

20:00 Mondays@Someone’s House
Contact Junny

CNS (caring and sharing) is a group of women from various life stages. From university students, to mothers, this group of women meet together to share in their journey with God, as well as love and support one another. A great group that helps women from all walks of life to know more of God in their own lives and in the lives of others.

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1 John 1:1-10

This past Sunday, Bert introduced a new mini-series on the book First John.  In his sermon, he highlighted the idea of “fellowship” — a word so familiar in Christian circles.  Commonly, we use this word as a substitute for the word “socialise” — “Let’s watch a movie and have some fellowship.”  Yet the challenge that Bert gave us is the idea where fellowship is a time when we proclaim Christ to one another.  We are to share our joys and burdens to one another and be encouraged, challenged and prayed for by our brothers and sisters.  God is not a mere subject.  Rather, God becomes realised in our conversations and, time and time again, the Word becomes flesh.  Anything short of this is effectively atheism — the denial of the existence of God. Read more on 1 John 1:1-10…

Outer Life: Balancing Responsibilities

Since I’m not currently in England, I played Bert’s sermon on mp3. It’s surprisingly difficult to take 50 minutes out of life to sit down and listen. In the end I finished the sermon in several segments while cleaning house, waiting in the car, and shopping. It seems slightly ironic that while hearing about how to balance life, I was busy running around filling different roles. Getting everything done– and still keeping the priorities straight– is something we all struggle with.
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Outer Life : How Do We Model Christ With Our Lives

So regretfully, this week’s sermon didn’t record! Apparently, i’d turn down the line input so i recorded an hour and half of silence. Nice. I suppose that would have worked better for the message on Solitude.

We had the privilege of having Kenny Gan speak to us this past Sunday, and as usual it was challenging, inspiring, and typically kenny gan funny. And as he spoke about spiritual disciplines and modelling Christ with our lives, there were a couple things that he said that really stood out.

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Inner Life : Renewing Your Mind

Let’s face it. For most of us, we desire the path of least resistance. We’d like life to be easy, problems to be few, situations to be simple, and to have to think about things as little as possible. I don’t want to say that we’re lazy, but there is this desire to not challenge minds or our bodies into action. It’s much easier to simply drift along the river, than to paddle upstream.

And yet, if we really think about it, there’s something excellent about achievement. About pushing through difficulties. About triumphing over hardship. There is something good about pressing forward instead of surrendering to our slothful desires.

I suppose that’s why Dr Kawashima’s brain training has sold so many copies. People want to achieve. They want to move forward. They want to keep their brains sharp.
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Inner life : solitude

Solitude – when I want it, I can’t get it. And when I have it, I don’t want it or I don’t know what to do with it.

To be honest, solitude is not high on my list of christian disciplines. I find it easier to be by myself than be by myself WITH God. It takes tremendous focus for me to be with God by myself. Stripped of fellowship, church, cell group, it is interesting to see what my (our) relationship with God looks like. I admit, mine is not that good.
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Kingdom of God

When I think of kingdoms I imagine scenes of epic battles in far off lands ruled by kings and queens in stone castles. It’s not too dissimilar to how I see the kingdom of heaven in some ways, a far of place that is disconnected to the realities of our lives here on earth. Until the day we die, the reality of heaven has hardly any relevance or importance to our day-to-day work, relationships and worries. But when Jesus prays in Matthew 6:10, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven, does it mean that we can somehow see or experience heaven now, here on earth?

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Inner Life : Developing Spiritual Disciplines

Reflecting on Rob’s sermon, I realised that in our lives there are often two sides to the coin– an inner and an outer life. If we are spiritual in our inner lives but aren’t able to relate this to the community around us, how will people see Christ in us? Let us look at Jesus. His outer life truly reflected his inner life. People saw his love, sincerity, compassion, healing and forgiveness. While it is good to have prayer, Scripture reading, worship and fasting, if we don’t apply this externally then we will struggle in our walk with God.
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