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CULTIVATE YOUR BARREN LAND

April 8th, 2017 Comments off


Speaker:Rev. E.E. Abraham, Emmanuel Christian Fellowship Center

Sermon: January 15, 2017 at the Newbern Chinese Alliance Church in Vancouver

Recorded by:Rosa Yau

Translated by Stephen Li

Edited by: Rev. Paul Lai (including material from the book [Why Die Before Your Time]

 

Snatched from the Jaws of Death — It’s All God’s Grace

Over 20 years ago, I did not know what I was living for. Life was filled with gloom and a sense of helplessness. As life’s dreams could not be fulfilled, there was no point in continuing to live, so I decided to end my life under the train that passed through the suburbs every evening.

As I was contemplating killing myself, suddenly a thought crossed my mind:  my death must not bring trouble upon my kind and loving parents, so I should at least leave a note behind, absolving them from any involvement in my death. The police were sure to question them.

To do this, I entered another room in search for a piece of paper. I knew that I could find some under my grandfather’s Bible that was kept in one of the cupboards. I reached out and lifted up the Bible. Suddenly, I heard a voice saying ?on, open the book and read!??o:p>

I held the Bible and let it just fall open. My eyes fell upon Ecclesiastes 7:16-18: [—–Do not be over wicked, and do not be a fool. Why die before your time? It is good to grasp the one and let go of the other. The man who fears God will avoid all extremes,]

[Who is setting all of this up? Did someone find out my suicide plan?] I wondered. Although no one was around, yet I kept hearing a voice saying, ——-persist in keeping this, and do not avoid it or disobey.??This was so wonderful ??it appeared to be directed right to me. At precisely that moment, within the depths of my heart, I knew that God was speaking to me, even though I did not know Him. Thank the Lord, He rescued me from death, led me into His grace and salvation, and even called me into full time ministry.

A Barren Land – An Unreached People

For many years I served in mission work in southern India. As time passed, I experienced various trials and buffeting, even assassination attempts by religious radicals who opposed Christianity, but was amazingly protected by the Lord. After a period of ministry there, God called me to northern India to take the gospel to a barren land, where the inhabitants were poor and abandoned. They had not heard of the gospel. They had not experienced God? grace, peace, joy and eternal life!

 

 

Categories: 生命再思

題目:開荒你們的荒地

April 4th, 2017 Comments off

題目:開荒你們的荒地

講道:Rev. E.E.Abraham[ Emmanuel Christian Fellowship Center] 創會/會長

講於2017年1月15日加拿大溫哥華福群宣道會

筆錄: 邱柯慧娟

整理:賴建鵬(本文為講道筆錄及《Why die before your time》取材於一書整理

自殺不死,全是恩典

卄多年前的我 是一個不知活著是為什麼?人生充滿了許多無奈 苦悶 心靈空虛 的年輕人,人生的夢想不能實現,重重的打撃,既然活著是如此,不如死去 一了百了 , 故我選定了火車來臨的時刻 ,準備臥睡在火車軌道上 ,了結此生。瞬間 , 我又想若我這樣死去 , 警局一定追查我的死因 , 為了不帶給慈祥及厚愛我的父母親麻煩,我應該在未自殺前寫下一紙條説明我是自殺而是死,與會家人及別人無關,於是跑回家匆匆忙忙地到處找 一張白紙,心想袓父的房間一定找到 紙,當我打開櫃框呈現在我眼前的是一本聖經 突然耳邊傳來一微聲:[ 不要行惡過分,也不要為人愚昧,何必不到期而死呢?你持守這個為美,那個也不要鬆手;因為敬畏神的人,必從這兩樣出來。」傳道書七16-18 . 糟糕! 是誰対我説話?難道有人知道我的自殺計劃?我周圍覲望卻不見有人 ?同一句話大聲地重複著。最後的一句是:「你要坚持持守这聖經的話,不要避而不聽」真奇妙,這話似乎是針對我而言,就在此一刻,我心靈的深処知道是神対我説 雖然之前一直與不認識祂,感謝主,是祂拯救了我不死,且因此而蒙恩得救,之後 , 祂更呼召我成為全職的傳道人。

荒蕪之地,未得之民

我多年來都在印度南部作拓展宣教事工!隨着年月經歷着不同的試煉和雕琢,曾經遭受反對基督教的異教徒暗殺 蒙主奇妙保守,一段時間事奉之後,祂呼召我到印度的北部,將神的福音帶到一些荒蕪之地,在那裡居民一向是被人遺棄貧苦的一群,他們未曾聽聞福音,未曾親嘗主恩的滋味,平安喜樂和永生之福!

真誠奉獻,薪火傳承

感謝主 ,祂垂聽禱告,我們教會一位姊妹無條件地,捐獻在該處一塊土地興建禮拜堂;這地位於印度北部比哈爾邦,冶安並不安穏,當地人民一直活在水深火熱之中,是未得之地從未聽聞福音真理,是神要我們去開墾這片荒蕪之地!哈利路亞,行奇事的全能真神,祂做了這奇妙偉大的事工,我们教會信徒藉着同心迫切的禱告 , 和你們宣道會福群堂的樂意無私捐獻,「印度以馬內利福群教會」終於誕生.這裏的居民,人心乾硬,就像一條河,河水稀少,且不流通,與河底的淤泥混合而汚濁發黑如乾地,此際,我們深信神要讓這裏成為活水江河,滋潤當地人們的乾旱的心靈,讓純潔的真理,基督耶穌的救恩引領他們走義路,得着復興和燃亮起新的盼望!奔那擺在前面的路程!「福群宣道會」是記念一位愛主為主赴中國的劉福群宣教士,一生在中國和香港事奉達四十六年之久,1972年安息主懷,他如一粒麥子埋在地死了,但他的果子四十年前在加拿大溫哥華,結出美好果子—-福群宣道會,如今這教會又在印度結出一果子—-名為「印度以馬內利福群教會」深信這幼苗將不久會茁壯成長,發芽開花,結果纍纍,30-60-100倍呈獻與主 ,榮耀主名。

諸般攻擊 , 堅固銅牆

銅是越煉越精,越擊越響!縦然我在事奉主的㱑月曾遭到諸般的攻擊,數次遭受反對者暗殺 蒙主保守 我與內子永不言棄,因神的話一直激勵我,以致能憑信心去完成祂托負的使命!神説:「我必使你向這百姓成為堅固的銅牆。他們必攻擊你,卻不能勝你,因我與你同在,要拯救你,這是耶和華說的。」- 耶利米書15:20

約伯從海、陸、空和地上一切所充滿的,他都看見神的作為!神的智慧無窮無盡,决不會錯,神的權能奇妙,永不失敗,神的慈愛深厚,總不改變!請繼續懇切為宣揚神的事工禱告和奉獻,同心去參予這項拯救靈魂的工作!印度這麼大 , 人口這麼多 , 但我們深信福音更廣傳 ,使在印度北部的居民聽到福音. 悔改歸向真神更多失喪灵魂䝉恩得救。,30-60-100倍呈獻與主 ,榮耀主名。

諸般攻擊 , 堅固銅牆

銅是越煉越精,越擊越響!縦然我在事奉主的㱑月曾遭到諸般的攻擊,數次遭受反對者暗殺 蒙主保守 我與內子永不言棄,因神的話一直激勵我,以致能憑信心去完成祂托負的使命!神説:「我必使你向這百姓成為堅固的銅牆。他們必攻擊你,卻不能勝你,因我

 

Categories: 生命再思

THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT YVONNE

April 3rd, 2017 Comments off

By:Paul Lai

 ranslated by:Edwina Leung

 

 

Yvonne Believed She Was Her Father’s Favorite Child

 

Yvonne had three sisters.? Among the sisters, she was the most filial towards her father.? She would take care of the housework; whether it be washing the dishes or sweeping the floor, she did it all.? When she brewed coffee in the morning, she always gave the first brew of coffee to her father.? Then she would brew a second pot for herself.? While he was enjoying his coffee, Yvonne would run down from their three-story home into the street market to buy a freshly baked baguette for him.? (That’s why I would always give Yvonne the first brew of coffee.? I did this after we married as a treat because she was such a filial daughter.)

 

To avoid jealousy or conflict among the children, Yvonne’s father never mentioned whether he had a favorite daughter.? Naturally, all of the children thought they were his favorite.? Of course, Yvonne also believed with certainty that she was his favorite child.? But why?? It was because of their deep conversations.? In particular, he asked her to take care of her three sisters. Because she had been accepted into a school in France, he asked that she do everything she could to help her sisters prepare for the same course of study overseas.? Yvonne met this promise.? Within a year, she helped her third-youngest sister move to France.? She also helped enroll her youngest sister into a French high school in Ottawa, where we lived at the time.? Unfortunately, when her sister and her father received the airplane tickets in the mail, Phnom Pehn was in a stage of political unrest, and they were unable to fly to Ottawa.  

 

“You Never Bat an Eye at Me When You are Preaching”

 

Yvonne once candidly told me, “When you’re preaching on stage, I sit in the congregation praying incessantly for the Lord to give you strength in your message and in your preaching.? I always look up and give you a smile, but you’re always so focused on preaching, you never bat an eye.”

 

I immediately answered, “It’s not that I don’t want to look at you, but if I did, I’d be afraid I’d smile back.? Then I’d probably become distracted from my message.? Therefore I can’t; I have to be responsible to God and to the audience.”

 

In Sermon Preparation and in My Writings, Yvonne Helped Me a Lot

 

As pastors, we often have the opportunity to further our studies.? The same goes for pastors’ wives.? Once, a guest speaker said that in preaching, one of the most important factors is attention to cultural themes and applying spiritual truths from the Bible.? Yvonne heard this advice and understood immediately.? When she was studying French language and culture, she learned the relationship between the culture and the language, and therefore she understood the art of Scriptural translation.? Therefore, Yvonne helped me in preparing numerous sermons, as well as drafts for my writings.

 

Because Yvonne spent a great deal of time in France, her thoughts and speech reflected that of a Westerner.?? She often asked “Do you love me?”? To which I would reply, “Well of course, why do I need to say it out loud!”? She said, “Love needs to be acknowledged by saying it out loud!”? That’s why she would tell me “I say ‘I love you’ many more times than you.”

 

 

 

I Can Learn a Lot From Yvonne!

 

She easily forgives.? You can tell what she thinks about someone because she is honest and tells it like it is.? But I am lacking her eloquent and graceful display of godly character!? She says “I love you,” “sorry,” and “thank you,” countless times more than I say these to her, and that is why we only had a handful of arguments over the years.? I’ve done things offensive to her, and miscommunicated with her many more times than she has to me!? This, I think, must come from the traditional Chinese idea to “man up” and run the house!

 

“Yvonne is so Westernized!”

 

In my early days at Phnom Penh, a brother said to me, “Yvonne is so Westernized!? Why are you dating her?? Aren’t you afraid she will spread her Western influence to you?”? I really didn’t understand his reasoning at the time.? Maybe he was being influenced by the popular Communist education in Cambodia!? I think it was wrong for him to have prejudice against Western education.? In fact, it is quite the opposite of what he was thinking!

 

Why Do You Only Ask for 10 Years?

 

Before I became ill, I was really impressed by the book “10 Years with Blood Cancer.”? When my doctor told me I was in stage three and not quite stage four of cancer, I prayed to the Lord and asked Him to extend my life for 10 more years.? Yvonne heard this and immediately asked me to take back my prayer; she said I was naive because 10 years is too short.? “You shouldn’t pray like that!? You need to have more faith!” she said.? Thank God for her advice and reminder.

 

Yvonne’s Remarkable Dream

 

 About one year ago, Yvonne had a dream.? She dreamt that she was like a princess, riding into town.? The people around her were waving, welcoming her with much excitement.? At that time, I thought her dream symbolized the possibility of moving to a new mission field where we were being welcomed by the crowds.

 

It hadn’t crossed my mind to compare her dream to her inevitable passing and entering into the Lord’s embrace.? Now that I think about it, I sense God used Yvonne’s dream to give her a glimpse of her heavenly home.? Therefore, Yvonne experienced a deep sense of peace ten days before she passed; she was ready to go to her heavenly home.

 

The night before we held her last fellowship meeting in our home, she said the hymn “God Prepares” was impressed upon her.? She was inspired by God to know that it was time to go home, and in the middle of the night, she asked that we sing this song together.? She requested we sing the second phrase “Whether now, or later, God prepares.? Although it is not according to my timing, not according to my timing, it is according to His timing.”? When to live?? When to die?? It is all according to God’s perfect timeline.? We only need to accept it.

 

That amazing hymn is one that I haven’t sung in years.? So on that night of fellowship, she invited the brothers and sisters to sing “God Prepares.”

 

GOD PREPARES

 

Verses:

  1. Whether this way, or that way, God prepares.? Although it is not according to my plans, or your plans, He has His plan, He prepares.

 

  1. Whether now, or later, God prepares.? Although it is not according to my time, or according to your time, He has His timing, He prepares.”

 

Chorus:

I depend on Him, because He prepares.? I wholeheartedly depend on Him, because He prepares.

Categories: 生命再思