Reflections, Announcements, & Updates from the BCEC

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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And Now For Something A Little Different, Part II

It is so easy to focus on the external. And we (or should I say I), tend to focus on it more than I realise.

Recently I was considering a friend’s dire predicament. If only she could get a job, or lived in a nicer house, or had more money then maybe her life would begin to look more hopeful. She told me that those things didn’t matter to her. It was her heart that needed healing. It was the inside of her that needed to be restored. (I’m glad that she got her priorities right!) I thought I was thinking practically, but in reality the job, money, house is all superficial. My friend was hurting and all I could do was think about ways to “solve” her problems. It is so easy to address the external matters and forget about the person inside.
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BCEC Retreat 2009

One of the things I love most about BCEC is being a part of Christ’s family here on earth. Being a part of this crazy and nutty but always loving and caring family-in-Christ that I believe God has most uniquely placed us in Birmingham for. As our church continues to grow (praise God for that!), and as I’ve seen personally from the days when the entire English congregation can actually all go to someone’s house for a bbq to now when we pretty much take over the entire Wing Wah Restaurant for lunch on Sundays, I strongly believe there is an increasing need for events like our annual BCEC English Congregation Church Retreat. Something like this will allow us as a whole congregation to meet with God and to meet with one another for a dedicated weekend of encouragement and support and also some fun as well. Read more on BCEC Retreat 2009…

And now for something a little different…

This Sunday, i switched the sermon topic a little bit. Why? Because i feel that our church is missing something. There’s something that’s just a little out of sync at the BCEC. Though we’re growing, people are maturing, and things are moving forward — there’s this part of me that still feels that we’re losing sight of what’s real — of the reality of Christ.

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The Mission Field in Turkey

I’ve know Franki since I was a teenager going to church and youth group, so hearing him share this Sunday about what God has been doing in his family’s life for the past five years in Turkey, has for that moment drawn me away from a self-absorbed world. When I hear of what has happened to this family I am amazed at how God has brought them on a journey of faith, from Hong Kong to Wales and now to Turkey in the face of so many trials and uncertainties. During Franki’s sharing I was reminded of still so many places in this world, shrouded in spiritual darkness and in desperate need of knowing God’s truth and love. People and places steeped in deep and complex influences that makes it seemingly impossible and dangerous for anyone to reach these lost souls.

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Upcoming Events


We’ve got some good stuff going on this weekend!

Saturday, 20 June | 10:30-12:30 | @BCEC
Alexander Chow gives a seminar on Perspectives on Christians and the World. Come by and have a gander.
Saturday, 20 June | 6:30pm-10pm
The Men’s Fellowship are getting together for some food! Donald Yung has more details, but it’s open to anyone who’s a male.
Monday, 22 June | 6pm – 10pm | @BCEC
The Women’s Fellowship (not to be trumped by the men), will be having a guest speaker, Jenny from Open Doors, to come and share.

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Why Love Those You Hate?

Love.  All religions and cultures teach about it.  They claim it to be among the world’s greatest virtue.  Is it a feeling or an action?  Is it in roses and chocolates or through special words and unexpected gestures?  Whatever form it takes, it is clearly not something that is innate within us.  When you look at a baby, the only one he truly loves is himself.  I cry when I’m hungry.  I cry when I poop.  I cry when I wake.  I cry because I want things.  And yet, as adults, I actually don’t think many things have changed.  As I have learned so many times through marriage, still, the only one I truly love is myself.  Instead of crying, these days I just whine.  Many arguments and annoyances that erupt in my relationship with my wife seem to stem from the same source as when I was a kid: my purely selfish nature.  It seems as though the reason all religions and cultures talk about love so much is because it is so absent in our very beings.  Rather, as this past sermon seemed to suggest, something that is perhaps more true about human nature is the very presence of something completely opposite: hate.  It is a harsh word but when you take the façade and fakeness away from statements like “I’m just annoyed at her” or “He irritates me so much,” it really translates out to hatred. Read more on Why Love Those You Hate?…

Why Does The Great Commission Matter?

Every year in the area I grew up, OMF (Overseas Mission Fellowship) would host a missions conference for churches to keep up on the Christian work happening around the world. Even in the children’s program the focus was on missions. We’d hear missionary stories, learn about different countries, and fold origami or weave African baskets. And so I thought the Great Commission meant traveling to far-off places and coming back with stories about witch-doctors and miracles.

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