Jesus did such a good job as Christ because he is Christ!

Dear friends,

As you have heard from Elder Sean Lee, the prayer meeting at church tonight is cancelled due to the snow.  You are encouraged to spend time worshipping with your family members at home.

We have been studying the Gospel of John verse by verse in our family devotion.  It can be highly edifying to work through the text that way.  But it does require a rigorous discipline to focus on the authorial intention:

Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. (John 20:30-31)

You heard my complaint in the email I sent Monday (posted here “IMHO, Gary Oldman is better at acting than Jesus” as a blog entry).  Popular Christian writers often try way too hard to remake Jesus into a role model, according to certain fashionable image and likeness of theirs.  Instead of seeing Man according to Imago Dei, they remake God according to their Imago Hominis.  Such “application interest” is often sadly coupled with little regard for the intention of the biblical authors.  Look, the evangelists were not interested in teaching you how to become a successful teacher, entrepreneur, activist or what not through the life of Jesus!  The evangelists tried to show you how good a job Jesus did as Christ to make the case that He is Christ!  The evangelists were not even necessarily teaching you how to live a better life; they were mostly worried that you don’t have a life!  KEEP THAT IN MIND!

I will go into chapter 2 of Experiencing God this coming Sunday.  Please read Deut. 10:12-22 before you come.  The flip side of my warning against mismodeling Jesus is that there are plenty of overtly stated biblical teachings on how to live a better life — how to be a better neighbor, spouse, parent, child, and sibling.  They are no less the words of God!  Learn them so that you may love God, fear God, and worship God for whom God truly is. 

Thank you and I hope to see you at church this weekend.

Blessings,

Gideon Lee

English Ministry Pastor, CBCGL

 

Prayer Walk for Construction Launch

Dear brothers and sisters,

To celebrate the launch of the new building construction, we plan to hold a mini prayer walk this coming Sunday (2/25/2018) from 12:30 to 12:50pm.  We will divide up into four teams.  Mandarin, English/Youth/Children, and Cantonese teams will gather at the courtyard to pray. The Elderly team will pray at the 1/F sanctuary.  The logistics of the prayer walk can be found here.  Do not forget raincoat and umbrella!

The committee for the coordination of volunteer builders (CCVB) has begun to recruit brothers and sisters to avail their houses for hosting volunteers and to support the volunteers on site.  There will be a special announcement Sunday.  Preliminary information and registration are now online.  Please visit this page for more information.

After further deliberation, we have decided to make the parking lot traffic one-way counter-clockwise during the duration of the building construction.  When you enter the parking lot, please turn right, go around the Building B construction site, and reach the parking lot before Building A via the back of the building.  When you exit, please follow the driveway in front of Building A facing Route 110.  Please visit this page for more details.

In Christ,

Gideon Lee

English Ministry Pastor, CBCGL

 

Parking Lot Traffic Direction

During the construction period, traffic will proceed one way at the church parking lot.  When you enter the parking lot, please turn right and drive around the Building B construction site, passing through the back of the building to reach the parking lot by Building A.  When you leave, please drive in front of Building A by route 110.

Some parking spots will not be available during the construction period. Please refer to the floor plan.

02-25-2018 Prayer Walk Logistics

[ Download PDF ]

12:30 12:35 12:40 12:45 12:50
Mandarin Wait@ 2/F Corridor by the bookstore Pray @ Courtyard Re-enter via the door under the bridge
English / Youth / Children Wait @ Children room Pray @ Courtyard Re-enter via the door under the bridge
Elderly Wait@ Corridor by 1st floor sanctuary Enter 1/F sanctuary via “East” door Pray @ 1/F Sanctuary Exit 1/F sanctuary via “West” door
Cantonese Exit 1/F sanctuary via “West” door Pray @ Courtyard Re-enter via the door under the bridge

 

Team 1, Mandarin, Elder Sean leading

  • Assembled by 12:30PM at the 2/F corridor by the library and bookstore.
  • At 12:35PM, go to the end of the corridor, walk down the stairs, exit the building through the side door near Rt. 110, and assemble at the courtyard.
  • Pray at the courtyard.
  • At 12:40PM, re-enter the building through the side door underneath the bridge.

Team 2, English/Youth/Children, Minister Tom leading

  • Assembled by 12:35PM at the children room
  • At 12:40PM, go to the end of the corridor, exit the building through the side door near Rt. 110, and assemble at the courtyard.
  • Pray at the courtyard.
  • At 12:45PM, re-enter the building through the side door underneath the bridge.

Team 3, Elderly, Elder Ming leading

  • Assembled by 12:40PM at the corridor outside the 1/F sanctuary
  • When the Cantonese service is over at 12:40PM, enter the 1/F floor sanctuary through the “East” door (near the children library).
  • Pray at the sanctuary.
  • At 12:50PM, exit the 1/F sanctuary through the “West” door (near the piano).

Team 4, Cantonese, Elder Rick leading

  • Worship at the 1/F sanctuary until 12:40PM.
  • At 12:40PM, exit the 1/F sanctuary through the “West” door (near the piano) and assemble at the courtyard door.
  • At 12:45PM, go into the courtyard and pray at the courtyard.
  • At 12:50PM, re-enter the building through the door underneath the bridge

An Overview of the Coordination the Volunteer Builders

Two teams of volunteer builders will be visiting us at CBCGL this June.  The first team (Mobile Baptist Builders) consists of volunteers coming mostly from Alabama and they will be here from Friday 6/1 to Saturday 6/9.  The members of the second team (Maryland’s Builders for Christ) come primarily from Maryland and they will here from Friday 6/22 to Saturday 6/30.

For both teams, we need church members to help with (1) housing, (2) transportation, (3) cooking, (4) joining the volunteer builders at the construction site, and (5) participating in their evening worship celebration.  We will also need church members to (6) serve the Saturday dinners on 6/2 and 6/23, (7) assist in the outdoor worship services on 6/3 and 6/24.

Throughout this year, we will need helpers to lead initiatives in public relation, multimedia production, and prayer.

If you are interested in supporting the volunteers, please:

          Determine your availability f the weeks of 6/2-6/9 and 6/2-6/30 to host volunteers at your home or to assist at church.

          Learn about the requirements for hosting volunteer builders (Chinese: 关于接待建筑义工, English: Hosting Volunteer Builders).

          Complete the online form to communicate how you would like to support the volunteer builders.

Please mark the weekend of Friday 4/6- Sunday 4/8 on your calendar. The leaders from both teams will visit us at CBCGL to help us organize the support effort. Most planning meetings will happen in the morning of Saturday 4/7.

Hosting Volunteer Builders

Hosting Volunteer Builders

If you are one of the many churches who have chosen to use volunteer labor to help you in our building project, we have compiled the following information to help you and your teams. I believe this information will help you to complete the task in a way that will glorify God. It will also help your congregation to be more prepared and to have a pleasant experience. The main responsibilities for the church to consider are: (1) Transportation to and from the airport and to and from the work site. (2) Housing (3) Kitchen facilities. We will go into this further later on in this booklet. It helps the team if the church will assign a person to be in charge of each of these responsibilities. Most of all, remember to be flexible. No two teams will be alike. Different teams require different things. Let us break this down and be more specific.

Contact Process

The contact process works in many ways. Remember to plan ahead. The further in advance you decide to build, the more likely you are to get teams. Most teams plan for the summer in October and November. Many volunteers need to make vacation commitments early. You should contact NAMB as soon as possible. You can reach NAMB in Atlanta at 1-800-462-8657 Ext 6445 or 6440. You can also contact NAMB on the web at NAMB.net. Interested building team can get your information and then contact you.

A second way on the contact process is personal contact of known teams. This can be done by contacting other churches that have completed a building project with volunteer building teams. They can give you the name of the team leader and you can contact him personally.

A third way is to send a mess mailing to team leaders all over the United States. Most states have a list of construction teams. You can contact the conventions in each state to get the lists. Explain in your letter what you are planning to build and the dates you will need the teams. Remember some teams have special qualifications and are specialized in one area of construction, such as framing, electrical, sheetrock, and finish, etc. Some teams are large and some are small. It is best to have your large team to be the first team on the project. Smaller teams can follow up to do the rest.

Arrival Dates

The first team will need the slab in place or a sub floor ready to erect the walls on. You should try to get this done many weeks before the team arrives. Sometime weather will play an important factor in this. If the project is large, an onsite supervisor is money well spent. If you have trouble in locating a project supervisor, you can contact NAMB and they can help. He can help to expedite the work and materials for efficient scheduling. This will save you money over the course of the project and give you better results. A member of your building committee should be designated to work on the scheduling and the arrival of the building teams. Be sure not to overlap the building teams. This can create a big problem. Remember to get as many teams as possible to help you complete your building program. The more help you can get, the less you will have to do.

Housing

There are many ways to provide housing. Our favorite is to stay in church families’ homes. The bonds made with new friends are irreplaceable. As you receive the roster of people from each team, request the ages, occupation and if any one is allergic to any thing such as cats or dogs and smokers and nonsmokers. Try to match up team members with the congregation. “Please” tactfully assign your host homes by being aware and sensitive to the needs of the team members, ages, occupations, allergies, etc. Also, be sensitive regarding cleanliness and atmosphere of the host homes. Remember 60% of the team’s time will be building, 30% sleeping and some in between for meeting with their host families. Always try to provide a bed or a mattress for the building team member. Do not put them on a cot. They will be working 10 to 12 hours each day and will need rest. If your church is small and cannot accommodate a large team, you may want to ask a sister church to help out. You could try to obtain group housing at a school campus or military base nearby. A local motel may give you group rates. If you use a motel, you should be responsible for the cost although some teams will insist on helping with the cost. Remember that some teams will be coming in RVs and will need a place to park. The church grounds are the best. However, an RV park may be needed. Having done all  the above, church families’ homes are the best and hotels are the least desirable options.

Food

There are several ways to do food. However, remember to be flexible. Do whatever works to feed the team. Some teams arrive on Friday and some arrive on Saturday. The host church and the host families should be prepared to feed the team through the weekend. This can be handled in different ways. Friday night on arrival of the team, the church can have a pot luck or the host church families can be responsible for their team member. Saturday is totally the responsibility of the host church. Sunday is also the responsibility of the church or the church families. The team responsibility will begin with breakfast on Monday morning. They will continue the entire week. It is always helpful if the host church can furnish the evening desserts a few times during the week. We like to invite the host families to eat with the team. This varies with each team.

The host church needs to provide a kitchen large enough for the team’s kitchen crew. This can be done on site of the existing church or the kitchen of a nearby sister church, or by using the kitchen facilities of a campground or school where you have access. An additional refrigerator is usually needed to keep enough food for the team for a week. You will need electric skillets, griddles, pots and pans, coffeepots, tables, chairs and ice maker or a supply of ice. As I said before, a person from the church should be assigned to work with the kitchen crew. They will make contact weeks before the team arrives. And again remember to be flexible!!!!!

Insurance

Most church building teams will carry an accident insurance policy for the team. This is usually purchased through companies affiliated with NAMB. However, it is the host church’s responsibility to make sure that the church insurance will be extended to volunteer workers. This is very important and should be covered with the team coordinator.

Transportation

If your team arrive by mass transportation, such as airplane or bus, you will need to transport them to the work site. Church buses, vans or trucks are needed for luggage and tools. If team members stay in homes, the host families will need to transport them to and from the work site or lend them a car. (Note: You can ask all the members of your church for any unneeded car or truck the team member can use for the week). If the team is in mass housing facilities, you will need to arrange transportation from their lodging to the work site. Many times the team member will drive his own car and will transport themselves. Remember to have someone from your church be responsible for transportation.

Sightseeing

As teams contact you, some will want to schedule a day to sightsee. Others will not. Assist them in locating some attractions that are no more than three hours away. If they have flown in, they will need to use tour buses, church buses and vans or rental cars. Your host families may want to take them around on Sunday afternoon to see a few things.

Work Schedule

Each team does the work day differently. Some start early (6:00) and then eat later (8:00). This lets the kitchen crew go to work the same time as the men. Other teams eat first and then go to work. This means that the kitchen crew will have to get up approximately two hours before the men. Mobile Baptist Builders do the first and then they will put off lunch until 1:00. They then work until 5:00 or 6:00 and then eat dinner. Remember that each team is different so be flexible.

Host Church

Remember: Host as you would like to be hosted. Make your team as comfortable as possible. You may need to erect a tent, obtain extra cooking utensils, and do many other things to meet the challenge. Flexibility is important. The teams will be saving you a lot of money in labor cost. Host church, you want to have your people participate in the building process, mealtime, prayer and praise time as many as possible. They will find this very rewarding. Make their stay a pleasant one and they will go out again to help yet another brother and sister church.

Pastor of Host Church

Each building team does things differently. Some have devotions 1-3 times a day, in addition to dedicated service at the end of the workweek. Other teams also have devotions during the day and after the evening meal. They have a praise and worship with testimonies. This is usually the best part of the whole mission trip. It is a revival that will inspire your people to get involved in mission, as well as to look forward to future team’s arrival. Take advantage of this and encourage your people to become involved. Remember that each team is different and they do things differently.

 

 

Other Teams

No two teams work, worship and do things the same way. Our Motto is “Being Flexible.” You will get something from every team. Remember they will all be the same, yet different. Each team should have leaders for various responsibilities such as the head cook, sightseeing coordinator, construction boss and worship leader. Find out who they are and work closely with them. Most teams will bring their own cooks and kitchen crews; However, some may not. That is why flexibility is important.

The “Most Important” Prayer Ministry Coordinator

Purpose: To establish an intentional prayer effort to support the construction period of the home church.

Responsibilities:

  • Develop a monthly prayer calendar for each month during the construction phase.
  • Develop a visual reminder for church members to be praying for the construction phase and teams.
  • Develop a prayer chain ministry to keep the church informed on critical and urgent prayer needs.
  • Develop and oversee monthly prayer vigils for the construction phase and ministry.
  • Enlist prayer warriors for the effort of developing a strategic prayer ministry.
  • Maintain a list of current prayer needs for the construction period and for the church as a whole.

For more details and information call or write Burben Sullins at 7268 Cottage Hill Road, Mobile, Alabama 36695, 251-633-6402, or 251-633-6672. Fax 251-633-8437 Email  BSullinsJR@aol.com   Web MobileBaptistBuilders.com

Remember church building began 2000 years ago with two nails in the hands of a carpenter.

The Best Defense

Dear friends,

This coming Sunday, Pastor John Frazier will continue our ETB study of Acts with a message titled The Best Defense? “I’m following orders”, based on the Apostle Paul’s testimony before King Agrippa (Acts 26:19-29).  Please catch up you Acts reading to chapter 26.  Reflect on Agrippa’s upbringing in a dysfunctional family: how does that affect his political leanings and how does that impact Paul’s presentation of the gospel?  Think about 26:19 and apply it to yourself: have you proven obedient to your own heavenly vision?

The regularly scheduled weekly prayer meeting will take place at church Wednesday evening.  Please remember sister Leina Chen, wife of Andy Kuo, in your prayer.  Leina was admitted to the hospital Monday because her OB/GYN doctor thinks there is a chance of premature delivery for her pregnancy, which is near the 23-week mark currently.  Please also remember Lily and Alan Lam, who are looking after Oliver and Heniah, the children of Leina and Andy, in the meantime.

Many high schoolers will be attending the Winter Teen Conference this weekend.  Please pray for spiritual renewal and travel safety.  Friday is Chinese New Year.  Let’s pray that family and church gatherings happening this weekend will help build friendships and open doors for people to experience the love of Christ!

A reminder on behalf of Marina Lam about the volunteer training at Living Waters Center of Hope on March 5: you can register for the training event here.

Thank you and have a blessed week!

Gideon Lee

English Ministry Pastor, CBCGL

Weekly announcements

Dear friends,

The English ministry weekly announcements have been posted here.  The weekly Chinese bulletin announcements can be found here.

Marina delivered the Chinese New Year Appreciation Lunch to the Chelmsford policemen and firemen today, together with Oscar and Van.  Please take a look at her blog entry.  Great pictures (more here)!  Our officers seem pretty happy with the delivery!

Please note that the memorial service for sister Peling Liu (刘佩玲姐妹) will take place tomorrow, Saturday, Feb 10, 10AM, at the English sanctuary.  Please lift up her family in prayer.

Thank you and I hope to see you at church this weekend.

Blessings,

Gideon Lee

English Ministry Pastor, CBCGL

English Ministry Weekly Newsletter 12/15

Dear friends,

The weekly announcements have been posted here.  This coming Sunday, Pastor Nathan will bring us a message on Acts 15:1-35, “Expectations for Believers like You.”

As a background, I have posted a note on Romans 14, the Laws of Liberty and Love, two basic Christian ethical principles core to the ministry of the Apostle Paul that could be seen as taking root at the Jerusalem Council.

I hope to see you at church this weekend!

Blessings,

Gideon Lee

English Ministry Pastor, CBCGL

A Call to True Worship

Dear friends,

This coming Sunday, Pastor Raymond Lee will bring us a message on John 4:23-24 and Acts 14:8-20 titled “A Call to True Worship.”  Please read the passages before you come.  Check out my blog entry, “The Idolatrous Heart” for a reflection on Acts 14.

The weekly announcements are posted here

We currently plan to have our regularly scheduled fellowships and Sunday school classes this weekend.  A snowstorm of 3-6 inches is forecast to visit Southern New England this Saturday and Sunday.  All church activities are cancelled for Saturday, including the Caroling and baptismal candidate reception.  But we currently plan to observe the Sunday worship services and the baptismal service.  Please come back to http://news.lowell.church for updates.

Gideon Lee

English Ministry Pastor, CBCGL