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Do Not Fear
Written by Conrade Yap   
Sunday, 08 May 2011 11:11

Written by: Conrade Yap
Date: 15 March 2011


“Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.” (Luke 12:7, NAS)


There is a sense of fear in the world right now. Since the tsunami on Friday, the media has been feeding us one bad news after another. How can anybody not be frightened? In the old days, we used to get our daily news digest mainly on workday mornings or evenings after office hours. With the ubiquitous smartphones and mobile gadgets in our hands and pockets, we get up to the minute news flashes, 24 hours a day. It has been said that fear is like a darkroom that develop negatives. True. When we let fear dominates, we unwittingly diminishes God from our lives.


The old adage: “No news is good news” seems to be conveniently set aside. After all, technology has empowered us to have news on the go, regardless of the negative sentiments and fear it tends to amplify. Hawking fear is a highly profitable enterprise. Think 9/11. Think earthquakes. Think big disasters that affect stock markets. Think Tsunami. All of these headlines draw viewers and millions of website clicks. All of these lead to bigger profits for the content providers like TV, Internet news sites, radio, and talk shows. Bad news sells. Fear sells.


Last Updated on Saturday, 14 May 2011 21:45
Falling Into Love, Growing Into Divorce
Written by Gary Thomas   
Friday, 14 October 2011 21:30

Note: Permission has been given by Gary Thomas to re-post this article written on 10 Oct 2011 here.


While “love” is something many people think they fall into, studies show that divorce is something we usually grow into.  

William Doherty, professor of family social science at the University of Minnesota, provides an insightful distinction between what he calls “hard reasons” and “soft reasons” that split couples up and lead to divorce.  In Doherty’s view, “hard reasons” include “chronic affairs, chemical dependency, and gambling” in which “The person is not willing to change.  They have a drinking problem and won’t get it fixed.  They’re gambling the family money away and won’t get help.”  “Soft reasons” include “general unhappiness and dissatisfaction, such as growing apart and not communicating.”  (USA Today, Sept. 29, 2011, pt. 1-2D.)
Doherty found that most marriages aren’t destroyed by “hard reasons” but rather by “soft” ones.  In Doherty’s study, the number one reason couples gave for getting a divorce was “growing apart,” followed by “unable to talk together,” “how spouse handles money, “spouse’s personal problems,” and “not getting enough attention.”  I’m not sure how Doherty defines “spouse’s personal problems,” but at first glance, none of the top five reasons given are biblical excuses for ending a marriage.  It’s not until number six that “infidelity” is mentioned.

What this study highlights is that even when marital satisfaction reaches a crisis point, the problem isn’t the marriage, but our lack of skills. Quite frankly, on a relational and spiritual level, most of us are seriously under qualified to enter marriage.  We soon find that we’re in “over our heads” and feel like we’re drowning.  Marriage all but demands that we grow, and a lot of us either resent the implication that we need to grow or are too lazy to work towards personal growth.

Last Updated on Sunday, 19 August 2012 22:53
Ecclesiastes 1
Written by Conrade Yap   
Wednesday, 30 May 2012 12:12


DATE: 30 May 2012
AUTHOR: Dr Conrade Yap
TEXT: Ecclesiastes 1:1-11
"What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun." (Ecclesiastes 1:9)
The writer of Ecclesiastes has made the search for meaning as a key theme in this biblical book. While traditionally most readers see King Solomon as the author of this book, many modern scholars prefer to remain agnostic about this. In other words, while they accept the conventional attribution to Solomon as writer and author of Ecclesiastes, they are convinced that the text, the language, and the literary style is actually another person other than Solomon. The biggest factor that determines authorship is agreement as to WHEN the book was written. Most scholars nowadays will prefer to treat the author as "unknown" with an acknowledgement of a possibility of Solomon being the writer. Those who argue that Ecclesiastes was written somewhere in the early 10th Century BC will say that King Solomon is the author. Those who argue that the book was written much later, even up to 200 AD, will say that the author is not Solomon.

The Hebrew title of this book is "Qoheleth" which is sometimes translated as "Teacher" or "Preacher." Reading this book from can be depressing as we see how the author struggles with finding meaning in all the things he does. What then do we make of the meaninglessness pronouncement throughout the book, at least at the beginning?

Key to understanding this book is to adopt its energetic and intentional search for truth and true fulfulment in life. Notice the recurrent theme: "under the sun?" From the Jewish Talmud, it is commented that because of all the meaninglessness of activities under the sun, therefore, one ought to learn to shift attention from under the sun to things ABOVE the sun. Here is how it works.

What does a man gain from all his labour? He can only do his best. He can only work what is within his control. He can only manage the manageable, and trust God for the rest. Life and nature looks more like a cycle of events and phenomena. Like the way the sun sets and rises, how the rivers flow into the sea constantly but never full, because water evaporates into the sky and falls back to the ground as rain to complete the cycle. This is the truth. Life is a cycle. As long as man is on this earth, he remains part of this cycle of events: mundane, routine, and often punctuated by a rhythm of meaning and meaninglessness.

Reflecting Christ: Jesus comes to earth to help us end our cycle of sinning toward damnation. He comes to offer us life, of learning to spiral upward toward heavenly kingdom, purposeful joy and hopeful anticipation.



Last Updated on Wednesday, 30 May 2012 12:25
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2018 LPC Summer Conference

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Here are some new songs that we’ve recently introduced,

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