March 31, 2020 by Pastor Frank

弟兄姐妹平安!歡迎再次來到每週兩次的牧者分享。今天我們來到創世記第四章。一樣的,如果你還沒有讀過,請先停下來,讀完之後再繼續。

當先祖亞當夏娃犯了罪之後,就被趕出伊甸園。第四章看到,他們生了兩個兒子,一個是該隱,一個是亞伯。當時他們要獻祭給上帝,是感恩,也是贖罪。感謝上帝的恩典,並為人有罪來獻上當作代贖。接下來我們就看到聖經的記載:

5只是看不中該隱和他的供物。該隱就大大地發怒,變了臉色。

6耶和華對該隱說:「你為甚麼發怒呢?你為甚麼變了臉色呢?

7你若行得好,豈不蒙悅納?你若行得不好,罪就伏在門前。它必戀慕你,你卻要制伏它。」

 

我今天不會來談為什麼上帝不喜悅該隱的供物。但我要從該隱的反應以及上帝的回應來思想,到底我們應當如何獻祭。第一,獻祭的對象是上帝,是否蒙喜悅的標準也是神,不是我們。該隱面對他的供物不被接納,第一個反應就是,為什麼不是我?從他的反應,看到他是一個以自己為中心的獻祭。他的對象不是上帝,是自己。弟兄姐妹們,這段時間我們無法去教會聚會。每週我們都有直播的崇拜。但是,老實說,牧師我們看不到你是用什麼樣的狀態來主日。但是,上帝知道。或許這就是一個很好的機會,讓我們來看看到底我們的信仰生活,我們的主日獻祭,如果你看待主日的聚會是一個獻祭的話,我們這實質上的獻祭到底是獻給誰。應當是給上帝,是無論在教會或是在家裡,心態也好,行動也好,都應該是一樣的敬畏,一樣的恭敬,不是嗎?讓我們好好反思過去這幾週的崇拜,是否討神喜悅?也同時間去回顧,過去這幾年你我面對主日崇拜的態度,是否有需要調整。

第二,反省過後需要帶出行動來。上帝告訴該隱,你若行得好,豈不蒙悅納?我們的行為當與悔改的心相稱。該隱知道他不討神喜悅,卻一意孤行的,最終讓他的自己的罪越放越大。但是我們願不願意的正視我們的問題,並帶出改變來?前面提到那是反省。但光是反省還是不夠的。我們願意做出什麼樣的實際調整?面對這個主日,將要來到的,你我願意做出什麼樣的改變,是可以討神喜悅的?

我們教會的AV團隊很努力的,每週直播後馬上檢討,聽取意見,好叫之後的直播可以更完整。馬上做出改變來。我們在敬拜神的事情上,在獻祭的事情上,願不願意做出改變來,好叫我們越來越討神喜悅呢?前幾天主任牧師也發出關於敬拜我們應當有的預備與態度,或許這就是一個很好的起點。

讓我們不要走入該隱的後路,不要繼續的以自己為中心,而是轉向上帝,使我們的生命都是以神為中心的!

 

March 30, 2020 by Pastor Tony

How do we view this coronavirus from a biblical-theological worldview?

In the last post, we looked at how the coronavirus, disease and death are a result of the fall. The fall isn’t limited to the evils in the world, but also include all the evils within the human heart that tries to live life apart from the living God. At the same time, God has created the earth in its original state to flourish, to be fruitful and multiply rather than to die, and is even today sustaining the earth and upholding life and flourishing. However, that is not all that God is doing, He is also doing the work of redemption.

The Redemption – God is involved in the making right all that is wrong and evil. This redemption includes the redemption of creation (Ro 8:20-21), and the reversal of the curse from Genesis 3. But He is also redeeming people. He has provided the ultimate cure for death in all of its from through the resurrection from the dead (though through common grace we can delay death and give better quality of life). But the redemption from sin includes the forgiveness of sins and the transforming of all that is wrong in the world, namely the sin that is at the root of all evil. For us personally, that would include my words, the seeking of my kingdom rather than God’s kingdom, and being aware that I live before the One in whom I ought to fear (Lk 12:4) and seek refuge like the Psalmist (Ps 91:9-10)

  • Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place— the Most High, who is my refuge— 10 no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent. (Ps 91:9-10)

But that is not all, there are new opportunities for ministry. For some it might mean that we have more time for prayer and reading our Bibles since we cannot meet with others in person for Bible study. For others it might mean doing things with our families such as leading family devotions, praying with a spouse, things that we always wanted to do but never before seemed to quite have enough time for. We may learn to value of our neighbors more, our small groups, our friends – in a way that we want to bless and encourage when we do see them online or across the street. There is always the need for the word of God to be shared in some manner – for like Paul says in 2 Timothy regarding his own quarantine – in jail rather than due to pandemic

  • Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, descendant of David, according to my gospel, for which I suffer hardship even to imprisonment as a criminal; but the word of God is not imprisoned. (2 Tim 2:8-9)

Paul proclaimed God’s word through pen and paper. How might you share the Word of God with others?

So while this theological study may not address this particular epidemic, it helps to put it into the work that God is doing. We do not know what the future has in store, though we are confident in a future glorification. However, in the meantime, we trust that God is still at work, and may even open up new opportunities for ministries of mercy and ministries of the Word. May the Lord make us childlike to God (Ps 131), and helpful to others during this time of quarantine.

Discussion thought: How might you reach out to someone else who might feel isolated or just in need of a friend during this quarantine period? How might we pray for each other or share a Scripture to encourage another person (like how Paul prayed and wrote physical letters to others)?

March 27, 2020 by Pastor Frank

大家早!歡迎你們再次收看今天的牧者分享。我們的影片也開始會上傳在教會的臉書上面,之後等教會的中文網頁更新後,也會放在上面,所以在這裡也歡迎新收看的兄姐,無論是國語堂會,還是廣東堂會,或是英文堂試著學習聽中文的弟兄姐妹!我衷心期盼你能藉著這些分享,思想天上的事,讓我們不再琢磨在眼前無法控制的恐懼害怕,而是緊緊抓住那掌管全部的主。

今天我們要繼續從創世記的經文來分享。不知道你讀過第三章了沒有?如果沒有,邀請你先停下來,讀完之後再繼續。要記得,每一次我們會分享一章,所以請記得要收看前先讀過喔!好了!讓我們來從創世記第三章來領受。

創世記第三章記載了我們的先祖如何受撒但蛇的引誘而犯罪吃了不該吃的果子。之後在第九節到第十節我們看到當人犯罪之後會有的結果。

9耶和華上帝呼喚那人,對他說:「你在哪裏?」

10他說:「我在園中聽見你的聲音,我就害怕;因為我赤身露體,我就藏了起來。」

我們看到,當人吃了分別善惡的果子,犯了罪之後,就與神有的隔離。過去是可以赤身肉體毫無羞恥,但如今卻要躲藏,害怕神,不敢將真實的自己呈現給上帝。上帝知不知道我們是什麼樣的?當然知道!上帝會不會因為我們的不完全,我們的羞恥,而不愛我們?當然不會!但是卻是因為罪在我們當中,我們有了驕傲,自卑,自以為是,自我不成熟的分別善惡,以至於我們對上帝躲躲藏藏。

弟兄姐妹們,我們與神的關係是如何?你願不願意,敢不敢,肯不肯,將自己的真實面坦露在神面前?我跟師母在談論萬一有一天孩子長大了,要交男女朋友,我們的反應是什麼。後來我們就有一個結論,那就是我們不太在乎他們什麼時候交朋友,當然我們希望他們越成熟越好。但是我們會很在乎他們有交朋友卻不告訴我們。那表示他們對我們的不信任,我們會覺得是否我們做了什麼讓他們有畏懼,害怕,不放心分享告訴我們。

我們在天上的父也是如此。他會因為我們的躲藏而難過。他渴望我們與他分享一切,包括我們的軟弱,失敗,擔憂,恐懼,失望,憤怒,不解,我們一切的想法,包括對人甚至對神的。因為當我們真實的坦然到他面前的時候,那是對他的不信。甚至,你可以真實的對他說,上帝,我想要相信你,但我信不足!這都是我們最真實的自己。

罪使我們與神隔絕。但當耶穌死在十字架上,聖殿裡的幔子從上到下一分為二的裂開的時候,我們不再蒙著幔子可以到神面前來,藉著十字架耶穌的死與復活,使我們得以坦然無懼的赤身肉體的到他面前陳述一切我們的所有。

你願不願意,真真實實的到神面前去,不用躲藏,不用假裝,不用帶面具,開始與神建立關係?把你一切的恐懼,擔憂,無助,告訴他?當你看了太多的關於新冠狀肺炎的消息而擔憂時,好不好我們真實到上帝面前來述說。當我們開始這樣做的時候,或許就會發現,上帝早已知道,他也會用各樣人心無法想像的方式,承擔我們一切的真實。

讓我們好好把握這段時間,建立與主的關係,將一切向他述說。

March 27, 2020 by Pastor Godfrey

If you've never done--or even heard of--video conferences or live streaming before, don't worry. You will get it soon enough. However, doing church online introduces a host of other issues regarding protocol and etiquette. Here are some guidelines that we're forwarding to you from other Christian leaders.

Glossary of acronyms:

  1. SG = Small group
  2. SGL = Small group leader
  3. PPT = PowerPoint
  4. FB = Facebook

Guidelines for Church Video Conferencing and Live Streaming

A. Small Group Online Meeting Guidelines

  1. Before SG starts, please prepare in advance to minimize distraction during the meeting, for example: take care of your kids, pets, chores, silence cell phones, talk between spouse to decide how to rotate to take care of the kids if needed (rotate each week? Or rotate every 30 min? etc.)
  2. All SG members should turn on their camera so everyone can see each other – to help everyone to focus and not double-tasking.
  3. Please make prior arrangements so you can join the full length of the online gathering.
  4. Join on time, join the online group 5-10 minutes before the starting time, may start to pray for the meeting.
  5. Use phone or other communication, to make sure each SG member knows how to join the online meeting – provide the necessary help in advance.
  6. Send out the outline or material in advance, have everyone read it first. It is also more effective if we make an PPT and share screen to everyone – so everyone can see the discussion question.
  7. Your group may choose to use different way to praise and worship: Reading out loud Bible verses? Praise with prayer? Giving Thanks? Taking turns to mention something you are grateful for? Send out lyrics first, have 1 person lead it? Or share screen Youtube clip. (Note, if Youtube, it’s suggested that you ask others to mute their mic, to avoid slowing down the clip or creating echoes)
  8. During the meeting, do not just talk about the COVID-19 situation or update. We still need to have balanced study and discussion about the Bible.
  9. We do not want to suppress people’s emotion or feeling. It is ok for people to express their emotion, the others also need to learn to listen, show empathy, care & comfort appropriately. Do not cut off others when others are sharing. If certain SG member has a lot more emotional need, SG leader/core can help to show caring outside of the SG time. If needed, can suggest to seek for professional help. Most of the therapist/psychologist still provide telemedicine during the lockdown. If you need any information, please seek help from the Pastoral office.
  10. Avoid making aggressive / overly critical comments toward any specific nation, political leader, or political party. Do not share or post unchecked/unproven news or rumors during the meeting or in your SG chat group. SGL should be a good guardian managing this.
  11. Do not speak for God, for example, something like: “this is a punishment from God!” We should use empathy, positive words, to edify each other.
  12. Do not judge! We do not judge any member who stopped coming before the outbreak got serious, nor we judge anyone who stops showing up online, or anyone who switches to a different group or even a different church during this time, or anyone who will not come back after the disease pandemic is over.
  13. If there’s any need, you may ask the pastoral office to provide information on topics/speaker – to have online seminar to provide useful information for our SG members.

B. Sunday Worship Service Live Stream Viewing

  1. SGL please remind your members the coming Sunday’s church sermon online streaming link & offering methods/website. (fcbcfv.org
  2. Encourage all SG members to still dress up for the online message when it’s broadcasted on Sunday. (rather than finding time at your own convenience during the week)
  3. SG members may go on different church’s website to listen to different messages during the week. However, for unity and continuity of church’s direction & teaching, we still encourage FCBCFV attendees to save Sunday service time slots for FCBCFV’s online message streaming.
  4. We encourage the SG members may turn on 2 different devices, so they can have some bonding time with other SG members on the 2nd device while listening to the sermon with their 1st device. They can listen to the sermon “together” by interacting with each other, as long as it’s not overly distractive.
  5. After the Sunday message streaming, SG members can do a quick online prayer for each other.

C. Small Group Guidelines During the Pandemic

  1. Do not stop gathering! Change physical meeting to online meeting, frequency no less than once per month.
  2. Please do not gather physically or visit each other, all the visitations should be done through Online/Facetime.
  3. You may join multiple SGs one week, joining different SGs / from different congregations – as this is a good opportunity for bonding and church unity. However, please do not judge or gossip anything you hear in other groups if the sharing was more personal. Unless approved by the person who shared it, do not pass the what you heard to others in the church.
  4. We should actively invite newcomers, non-Christians, and those who stopped coming to joining our group. However, do not try to actively invite those are already regularly attending another church.
  5. If you need to sell/purchase essential items during this time, the seller please sell it at cost. If you do not remember the cost, then please see what the major market /website’s listing price for that item (NOT the private sites such as Ebay’s price-gouging standard)
  6. It is still prohibited to promote or advertise your own business. Do not introduce direct-sale business to anyone you met in small group or at church. If your business happens to provide an essential service or product needed by other members, we suggest you to promote on your own FB or social media, and not during the SG gathering. For price, please see guidelines in aforementioned C-6.
  7. If someone has financial need, you should avoid borrowing money to him/her. You may notify the congregation’s Pastors or Deacons of the person’s need, so the church may provide help after reviewing the situation. If you have a heart to donate to any individual in private, please prepare your heart to give unconditionally and do not expect to be paid back. Church will not provide any tax-deductible offering receipt for such donation.
  8. If people want to do group purchase, please confirm the seller and the source is legit. This should be your personal decision, releasing FCBCFV or SGL of any liability.

March 26, 2020 by Pastor Steven

March 26, 2020 by Pastor Tony

How do we view this coronavirus from a biblical-theological world view?

As we encounter what for us is a new and probably once in a lifetime experience of a worldwide epidemic, we find that people including ourselves tend to respond from pole to pole.  Some fear the absolute worst both for our country and for our loved ones. Others have no fear because we are young and healthy, or because we don’t live in ____ (NY, China, etc.) or we can mute our fears with a que sera sera kind of fatalism (unless the virus hits closer to home).  I suspect we are all somewhere along the spectrum of these feelings.

While getting a biblical theological worldview may not solve many of our issues of testing, alleviate all fears, etc, it can help us get oriented to how the Bible views such pestilence and plagues (of which there are numerous references in Scripture).  A simple way to put such disasters is through a biblical grid of God’s creation, man’s fall, God’s redemption and the future glorification. We will examine the first three theological categories which hopefully can get us oriented with our feet on solid biblical footing.

The Fall – this epidemic is a result of the fall (see The Coronavirus is a result of the Fall).  The fall of Adam and Eve into sin resulted in both a curse upon creation itself (Gen 3:17-18) but also the entrance of death and all the intermediate causes of death (Gen 3:19).  So these would include such things as pandemics and disease. But the fall is not isolated to such evils such as the coronavirus, but also the inheritance of our sin nature. This would include our responses to the virus in a godless manner (hoarding, anxiety without God, foolhardy imperviousness – without seeing our dependent creaturely status before God – see Martin Luther article p. 5-6 - https://blogs.lcms.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Plague-blogLW.pdf)

The Creation – God created the earth to flourish, to be fruitful and multiply rather than for death.  He instituted government for our good in His common grace, for the welfare of each nation in the effort against the pandemic, though of course all governments are fallen and imperfect.  God has also given through common grace people who really do want to be helpful – whether Christian or non-Christian – through public health, health care workers, services of mercy throughout the world, some who work in overwhelmingly hard areas.  In the best of humanity, God created all men, believers and unbelievers in His image, to be fruitful and multiply, to seek to grow life. Finally, God in His common grace has preserved people throughout history through good and bad (as someone on FB said – “this too shall pass”) 

Now what would happen if we were to ignore either of these two large theological categories in our thinking about the coronavirus?  If we ignore the fall, then we might think that this world is all there is and we had better just make the best of it. But including the fall in our thinking we know that this is not the way it is supposed to be.  The world is not how it ought to be, death is just wrong, and living apart from any hope is God or the resurrection just leaves us all alone to fight coronavirus and the overwhelming forces of death all by ourselves. 

Discussion thought:  How does the doctrine of the fall help you to grapple with all that is wrong in our world today?  How might you thank God for His common grace found in health care workers, government aid, our families and many other good gifts in the midst of trying times?

March 25, 2020 by Pastor Godfrey

Brothers & Sisters,

We are now 14 days into the shutdown (as a church, and as a state). "How long, O Lord...?" If the experiences in China, South Korea and other places are indicators for us, we will probably be shutdown for quite some time. At this moment, we are planning to hold Good Friday and Easter Resurrection Sunday services online.

So, officially, FCBC-FV campus will continue to be closed at least through April 12. As for when we might reopen, we will follow the lead of state and local governments (including school districts). 

Thank you, Lord, we have no cases of COVID-19 reported among our church members. That may change, but for every day without a case, we will give thanks. Worldwide, however, the number of infected people and deaths continue to rise--closing in on 19,000 deaths--and the rate of increase is accelerating.

When will this "curve flatten" and even better begin to decline? "O Lord, you know. Let your power over disease and death be manifest, Lord Jesus, and may people turn from fear to You in faith during this crisis."

Beyond the concern about sickness, there is also the very real fear of joblessness, financial struggles, bankruptcies and even homelessness. "Lord, may you cleanse us of the love of money, and may you provide for what we need--not too much nor too little. Strengthen our faith so that we may be able to pray, 'give us this day our daily bread' and then to trust you for tomorrow's bread."

Stay in touch and let us know how we can be praying specifically for you. And, if you have good ideas worth sharing to the church, please do so! (one option is to post on our Facebook page--see below). 

Love and faith in Jesus,
Pastor Godfrey

 

FCBC-FV is Online!

Facebook (search for "FCBC-FV"):

  1. This is a private group, so request to join.
  2. Use this group to send messages to the rest of the community and to stay updated (the information will mirror that which is on the website).
  3. Please refrain from using it to post complaints or criticisms, or for non-church related topics, activities and causes. Thanks!
Sunday Worship Services:
  1. Go to fcbcfv.org/live (use Google's Chrome browser if possible).
  2. 9:00 Chinese; 10:45 English; 12:30 Vietnamese.
  3. Please note: there is a fairly long delay, so even if we begin the service at 9:00 sharp, to you the service maybe starting a little later. So be patient!
  4. The weekly church bulletin with the sermon notes will also be there
Wednesday Prayer Meetings:
  1. Go to fcbcfv.org/live 
  2. 10:00 am Mandarin & English; 7:30 pm English
  3. You can send updates and thanksgivings in real-time during the meetings on the chat board that is next to the video window.
  4. The printed prayer bulletin will NOT be there; please email request to Dian.
Electronic Giving
  1. Church website: fcbcfv.org and click on "Give" at the top. 
  2. ChurchCenter app: select FCBCFV, then "Give"
  3. Text to 84321

March 24, 2020 by Pastor Frank

各位弟兄姐妹,大家都好嗎?週日我用創世記第一章來分享信息,我就想,接下來我們就藉著每週兩次的牧者分享延續創世記的領受。所以我期盼,鼓勵你,在聽到視頻之前,先讀過經文。每一次就是一章,我會從當次的章節裡來分享一兩節我自己的領受。再次提醒大家,我會每週二,五用視頻的方式與大家分享,所以請大家能在之前就把相對應的經文先讀過。

今天我們要來分享創世記第二章牧師在當中所領受到的感想。我想這段經文大家應該多少有所熟悉。不過當我再次讀過的時候,第二章第九節再次提醒我,我也想用這段荊節來與你們分享。

第九節說道,『耶穌華上帝使各樣的樹從地裏長出來,可以悅人眼目,其上的果子好作食物。園子裡又有生命樹和分別善惡樹。』這裡提到,園中的果子都是『悅人眼目』的。但是不是每個悅人眼目的果子都可以吃,因為當中有分別善惡樹的果子。我們常常在做決定,而往往吸引我們的抉擇,都是悅人眼目的。不是說悅人眼目的決定就是錯的,或是不應該的。畢竟上帝讓人吃的,都是美的,是好的。但不是所有『悅人眼目』的事情就是可吃的。重點不是在是否悅人眼目,而是在上帝的話語與心意。

今天我們是否對上帝的話語夠熟悉?我們是否對上帝心意夠清楚?我們是否與神的關係足夠,好使我們能知道上帝的旨意?我很喜歡用這樣的比喻。我們接到電話,是一通沒有Caller ID的電話。如果這是你的另一半打來,我想我們都會馬上的認出來。可是如果打來的人我們不熟悉,相對的我們也很難認出來他是誰。我之前在牧會的時候就有一個會友常打給我。他都不會先說他是誰,只會說,牧師啊!一開始我認不出來,講久了才想起來,喔,原來是某某某。但是第二次,第三次,只要他一開口說『牧師啊!』我就馬上認出來是誰了。

今天我們是否認得出上帝的聲音與旨意?我們是否與他的關係夠熟悉?當我們在做決定的時候,都很悅人耳目,或是有一個是比較悅人的,另一個比較不是那麼好看的或是嚮往的,我們決定的準則是什麼?是否只是在我們的眼目,還是在上帝的話語?

大家都有看到政府公告關於Safer At Home什麼能做,什麼不能做的廣告或是公告嗎?上面列了很多的什麼是可以做的東西,我們是否可以多加一項,就是好好的與上帝親近?過去我們可以有很多的藉口,上班好累,沒有時間。但如今,我們有什麼樣的藉口不讀經不禱告的?或許這也是好好檢視我們與上帝的關係。或許,這也是上帝要藉著這樣的危機,在你生命中化為轉機的時刻!

讓我們更多的倚靠神,經歷他,建立關係。不再是以『悅人耳目』作為我們的準則,而是以上帝的心意成為我們的選擇。

 

March 20, 2020 by Pastor Frank

幾年前跟我之前服事的教會租借的白人教會邀請了非洲兒童合唱團來作音樂見證分享,我們有幸去參加他們的音樂會。跟我們一起去的人都很感動,很被他們的笑容,音樂感染。老實說,這些孩子都是從很貧窮的非洲地區來的,但是他們的表演,他們的分享,讓我們感受不到他們的現實情況。隔天早上,他們來到教會整理東西,我在停車場碰到幾個小孩,他們一看到我就用大大的笑容看著我,然後張開他們的雙手跑來跟我擁抱,霎時我就被融化了!我就在想,到底他們的喜樂是從哪裡來的?

路加福音12:22~34節耶穌告訴我們,不要憂慮。這是一句很容易講的話。不要憂慮。可是事實上,卻也是很難做到的一個鼓勵。到底耶穌是什麼意思呢?尤其是面對現在的情況,我們不免會擔憂,不知道病毒何時會結束,食物夠不夠,我們的工作被影響沒有收入生活怎麼辦,孩子在家裡我們快受不了該怎麼辦,我們會不會被感染。這些都是很實際的情況。但是耶穌卻說,不要憂慮!

我想從幾個方面來鼓勵大家與提醒大家。首先,耶穌所教導的不要憂慮,不是要我們不在乎,或是什麼都不做。沒有食物,要不要買?當然要!我們也可以用各樣方式找網網路上的外賣或是外送服務。這裡說的不要憂慮,更多是不因為在乎,或是過度的在乎,而產生憂慮,使我們睡不好,整天提心吊膽什麼都做不了。為什麼不要過度憂慮?因為你的憂慮,並無法使情況改變。我們必須明白一件事,就是人是很有限的!我們擔憂,是因為許多事情已經超出我們的掌控了!所以我們沒有安全感,我們沒有把握。但是,正是因為我們有限制,所以路加福音更進一步告訴我們,當要倚靠主!

所以,不要憂慮,也是更提醒我們要尋求主。耶穌吩咐我們不要憂慮吃甚麼,喝什麼,穿什麼,因為上帝已經知道了!他使野地的花漂亮,使空中的鳥有得吃,他豈不更看顧他所愛的孩子嗎?所以要先求祂的國,和祂的義,這一切就加添給你們了!

上帝如何加添給我們?或許,是當我們轉眼仰望上帝時,上帝就把祂預備好的出路讓我們看見。上帝早就預備好,只是我們一直專注在自己身上,自己的方法,不住的憂慮。其實,上帝早要告訴我們該怎麼做,只是我們不願意聽。當我們轉眼的時候,就看到,就聽到了。

又或許,其實我們只是自己嚇自己,心中沒有了平安。當我們轉眼倚靠主,承認自己的不足,看到自己的有限。當我們轉眼的時候,才把自己抓住的重擔放下,頓時我們輕鬆了,就不再過度憂慮了。

又或者,其實我們的擔憂是不必要的。我們擔心不夠,其實是足夠的,只是我們一直陷在·不足夠的想法裡。只有當我們從自己眼光轉移,才發現其實我們有的很夠!

有一次,我因著某些我無法掌握的事情很憂慮。整個晚上提不起勁來,也吃不好,也什麼都不想做,很是煩躁。一直找事情做試著去轉移注意力,卻還是腦中想著我無法解決的事。後來想到,不如交托吧!就開始禱告,把我真實的感受想法擔憂大聲在家裡禱告。禱告禱告後,忽然有一首歌進入我的心中,我就開始唱出來。

『我的心哪,你為何憂悶,為何在我裏面煩躁?

我的心哪,當仰望神,他用笑臉幫助我們!

他用笑臉幫助我們,他用笑臉幫助我們,他用笑臉幫助我們,

是我的力量是我的神!』

 

當我唱完之後,頓時烏雲消散大半,心裏的重擔馬上放下。上帝用很奇妙的方式解決了我的憂慮!

 

弟兄姐妹們!外在的情況可能不會馬上改變。但我們可以改變的是我們的態度以及我們的心情!讓我們藉著這個機會,更多向上帝禱告!過去我們總覺得自己能隻手遮天,可以靠自己成就很多。可是當我們被迫留在家裡,發現自己的無助,開始很是擔憂。讓我們記得到神面前來,因為他要幫助我們,他要用笑臉幫助我們!

你多久沒有來跟上帝好好說話了?你多久沒有好好的告訴他你的心情了?讓我們學習交託仰望,將我們的真實的擔心向他述說。你就會開始經歷,上帝如何用笑臉幫助我們!

March 19, 2020 by Pastor Steven

March 18, 2020 by Pastor Godfrey

Brothers & Sisters,

As we transition more of our ministries online, here's a quick overview as of today.

Sunday Worship Services:

  1. Go to fcbcfv.org/live (use Google's Chrome browser if possible).
  2. 9:00 Chinese; 10:45 English; 12:30 Vietnamese.
  3. The weekly church bulletin with the sermon notes will also be there
Wednesday Prayer Meetings:
  1. Go to fcbcfv.org/live 
  2. 10:00 am Mandarin & English; 7:30 pm English
  3. You can send updates and thanksgivings in real-time during the meetings to the phone numbers or email addresses that will be posted.
  4. The printed prayer bulletin will NOT be there; please email request to Dian.
Offerings
We understand that some people may have lost income and business as the pandemic has devastated the economy. And, if that is the case, please let us know how we as a church can help you. We are committed to praying for our members in need, and supplying tangible support.

Some people have asked about how to give tithes and offerings. Here are several options.
  1. Send a paper check to the church office directly. 
  2. Automatic "bill pay" through your bank's checking account. 
  3. Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) or credit/debit cards: We now offer the option to give electronically. Please rest assured that the system is secure and payments are processed through Stripe, which handles e-payments for many of the largest corporations and non-profits in the country. Here are several ways to use this system (and they are all very user-friendly!)
  • Church website: fcbcfv.org and click on "Give" at the top. You can set up to give automatically.
  • ChurchCenter app: download from Android or Apple store, and select our church: fcbcfv. Again, you can set up to give automatically on a regular basis.
  • Text to 84321. The first time you do this, you'll need to link to (or setup) your ChurchCenter account. 
Much love to you all,
Pastor Godfrey

March 17, 2020 by Pastor Godfrey
Brothers and sister in Christ,

Just when we thought the restrictions could not get any worse, Orange County's health officer, Dr. Nichole Quick, has now banned all gatherings, public or private, of any size anywhere in the county, except for those who serve "essential functions"--of which church worshipers and workers are not considered to be. (But we know our essentiality comes through Jesus Christ)

While this does not add any additional restrictions to our church services or meetings--we've already suspended all meetings on campus--it does impose additional restrictions on any social gatherings you might have been planning at home or out in public. Also, we pastors and Dian will no longer be on campus during working hours.

Furthermore, we are now prohibited from gathering on campus to live-stream our prayer meetings and worship services. Nevertheless, we still want to gather online to pray together with you.

For tomorrow's prayer meetings, we are still planning to live-stream them, but from our homes instead of the church. Thanks AGAIN to our IT professionals who have quickly set up our system to make this possible.
10:00am English and Mandarin only--no Cantonese interpretation will be available
7:30pm English only.
Please pick one of the meetings and join in with your family. In normal times, a few dozen people regularly gathered in each prayer meeting on campus. But in these perilous times, may God bring many more--hundreds more!--of us together tomorrow to pray God's peace, favor and blessings.

Stay tuned for more info to come...things are changing by the minute. But, the more things change, the more Jesus Christ stays the same. Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

May your faith be bolder, your hope stronger, your love closer, your peace deeper and your joy fuller as you seek and find the Lord in the midst of these strange and uncertain days. May God protect you and your loved ones not only from the SARS-CoV-2 but also from fear, worry and anxieties. May others see Christ in you, the Hope of Glory...through your witness on Facebook, Instagram, Facetime, Hangouts, text messaging, emails, phone calls, etc.

I miss you, love you in Christ, and am praying for you all.

Pastor Godfrey

March 16, 2020 by Pastor Godfrey
Brothers and sisters in Christ,

I hope you were able to get online and worship together with us yesterday. I was so blessed to hear that there were old friends worshiping with us from out of state, even as far away as the East Coast! Welcome back, friends! (BTW, it's recommended that you use Google Chrome as your web browser to view the live stream)

Although it's only been four days, we miss seeing you, worshiping with you and having fellowship in Christ with you. Please know that we care and are praying for you, and we look forward to the day when these restrictions will be lifted. Meanwhile, please make the most of the time at home...getting projects done, reading those books that have been piling up, and, most importantly, spending quality and spiritually-enriching time with family.

The latest recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is for all group gatherings larger than 50 people to be canceled for eight weeks. We will be discussing what this means for us as a church, and will let you know shortly. As of now, we are still closed for all group meetings and worship services on campus for the rest of March (through 3/31).

You may have many questions and concerns: your children's education at home and who will watch them; your jobs and businesses and whether there will be layoffs; your savings--watching the stock market crash over the past two weeks has been unnerving. And then there is also your health: how can you avoid infection? What can be done medically if someone does get sick? And finally, there's this big one: When will Costco get more toilet paper and disinfecting wipes?!

We will be praying for these things and more. Please let Dian know how we can pray for one another in our prayer meetings. Speaking of prayer meetings, may be wondering about prayer meetings or Sunday Schools online. Here's what we are making available for the next two weeks (at least):



Prayer Meetings
When: We will live-stream our prayer meetings on Wednesday at 10:00 am and 7:30 pm (usual times). Plan for about one hour each.

How to join: You can watch the live stream the same way as you did yesterday, through a link on the front page of our website: fcbcfv.org

Language: For those who speak Chinese-only (Mandarin or Cantonese), we recommend that you join us in the morning meeting, as interpretation will be provided. For those who can understand English, feel free to join either meeting.

Open Sharing: Because it is a live-stream (not a teleconference) there is no way for us to see you or for you to see each other. It will essentially be a live broadcast with us four pastors leading all of you in prayer and thanksgiving. However, we still want to hear from you, so we will provide you with our email and phone numbers so you can send in your thanksgivings, updates or special requests, and we'll announce them over the live-stream.

Bulletin: To receive a copy of the bulletin, please email your request to Auntie Dian at the office. No need to write anything; just indicate "Please send prayer bulletin" in the subject line.



Sunday Schools and Small Groups/Fellowship Meetings:
Your teachers, leaders or sponsors will contact you with options to get together either:
  1. Online via teleconferencing options like Hangouts or Zoom.
  2. Or, they may provide you with pre-recorded videos..
  3. Or, they may suggest small group gatherings outside somewhere.  




Children's Sunday School and Worship:
Lifeway, the publishing organization of the Southern Baptist Churches, is making their DigitalPass membership for Lifeway Kids at Home curriculum free for the next two months (for grades 1-6). Every week on Thursday at midnight, they will make a new lesson available.

We checked it out and it looks like a great resource. There are interesting videos and handouts to print, along with lesson plans for parents. There's also an app (both iOS and Android) for your phone or tablet that contains Bible stories, puzzles and games. We downloaded the app a few years ago and Shane loved it.

Here's how to sign up and access the lessons.

Step 1: Go to digitalpass.lifeway.com (and bookmark this as this will be your main portal).
Step 2: Click on "Redeem your digital pass"
Step 3: Login, or if this is your first time, setup an account.
Step 4: Enter redemption code: VZMD4SSQ38
Step 5: Click "Access" (if prompted to sign in again, sign in) and then click "My Dashboard," and go to "LifeWay Kids at Home."

After setting up an account and redeeming the code, you will NOT need to redeem it again. In future weeks, just return to the portal webpage and sign in. 
 





AWANA
We don't want the kids to miss out on opportunities to continue working through their handbooks, memorizing their Bible verses and earning their awards.

So, when your children are ready to recite, they can call or Facetime with their leaders to recite their verses and get their sections virtually signed off! We will find a way to get awards to them (either in person or by mail!). And, of course, we as leaders want to stay in touch to encourage and pray with them too!

Though we are a temporarily scattered church, may each of you find comfort and peace in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at this time. And, again, thanks to modern technology, may your times of fellowship online be as genuine and encouraging as they would be face-to-face.

In the name of the One who is always and everywhere, Jesus Christ our Lord,
Pastor Godfrey



Hebrews 10:24–25  ...and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.

Psalm 56:3–4 When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You. In God, whose word I praise, In God I have put my trust; I shall not be afraid. What can mere man do to me?
 

March 13, 2020 by Pastor Godfrey

Brothers, sisters and friends of FCBC-FV,

How things change in a matter of days. Since the last email you received from me, circumstances have drastically altered. Universities are sending students home to take their classes online, the NBA, NHL and NCAA have suspended their sports seasons, Disneyland is closing its gates on Saturday, and state government has forbid all gatherings of large groups. 

Officially, the number of confirmed cases is still low in Orange County, but that is likely due to the fact that test kits are in short supply. If and when large-scale testing begins, it is very likely the numbers will jump. Moreover, every contact made between individuals increases the likelihood that the virus spreads through the population.

In light of all this, your pastors and deacons have made the sober and what we believe to be the most-wise decision to cancel all meetings, small groups, classes, activities and worship services on campus through the month of March. This is obviously not what we want or prefer. We would much rather see you this weekend to worship and serve together, to lift up the name of Jesus, to proclaim the Gospel, to enjoy table fellowship, and to extend a warm greeting in hugs, high-fives or handshakes. Alas, the current situation conspires against that.

So, beginning today (Friday), there will be no meetings on campus: NO Grace Fellowship (seniors), AWANA, AOK, ROCK, Cantonese, Mandarin or English fellowship meetings.

Thanks to modern technology, we can still be in fellowship. Hebrews 10:24–25 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.

I urge every fellowship sponsor, group leader or host to put into action the Four C's of Evangelism and Discipleship: Count, Contact, Care, Consistently. Take the time to go through your roster and extend virtual arms of love to your members over the phone or the internet. Pray, sing, study God's Word and give thanks together. Encourage and support one another in Christ. Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell richly among you, in all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another through psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.

Look for a future email with information about different options for hosting web-based meetings. And, just because we are not meeting in large groups on campus, you might consider still meeting up in small groups at the park or the beach, while maintaining "social distance." Of course, please use discretion in all face-to-face meetings, no matter where you are.

This Sunday, we will attempt to provide a live streaming (i.e. real-time via internet) worship service at the usual times. You will receive instructions later today or tomorrow about how to view these services on your computer.
 

Sorry, we have no provisions at this time for children's worship, but we'll see what we can do moving forward to facilitate all-family worship at home.
 
  • Those who are involved in the worship service (musicians, technical, A/V, pastors)...you will be receiving separate instructions.
  • Ushers...though there are no people to usher, your presence is welcome but not necessary.
  • Lunch will still be served, believe it or not, thanks to sister Lily and her team who were prepping it today. For those of you who live close to campus, feel free to stop by and pick up some lunch...they will be in to-go boxes!
As I've tried to wrap my mind around all that's happened in the last 24 hours, the words of Mordecai keep ringing over and over: "For such a time as this." While the historical context was completely different, I keep thinking about how God (who is never mentioned in the book of Esther) had orchestrated circumstances so that Mordecai and and Esther would be in position for God to perform His mighty work to save His people. And I eagerly await to see how God will use us, His Church, to bring about hope, faith and salvation through such a time as this.

1 Corinthians 13:7 ...always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

Together for His Name and His Fame,
Pastor Godfrey

 

 

March 10, 2020 by Pastor Godfrey

Brothers, sisters and friends of FCBC-FV,
We have been closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation in Orange County, and responding appropriately and as necessary.

According to the OC Public Health Care Agency, there is no outbreak of COVID-19 at this time. While the situation is fluid and our response may change, here's what we advise today, per CDC recommendations.

本會十分關注新冠狀肺炎病毒在橙縣的情況, 在適當時候會作出相關的應對
暫時仍未有病情爆發危機, 但對未來發展, 我們會更進應對情況.
以下是我們跟根據CDC建議而發出的忠告:

Please stay home for at least two-weeks and contact your healthcare provider if you...

  1. Have cold or flu symptoms (fever, aches, chills, cough, weakness, shortness of breath).
  2. Have been exposed to someone with symptoms.
  3. Have traveled overseas, or been on a cruise ship.
  4. Are part of a community with a known case of COVID-19.
  5. Have pre-existing conditions or compromised immune system

如有以下情況, 請留在家中兩週並尋找醫療服務:

  1. 有感冒症狀 (發燒, 肌肉痛, 發冷, 咳嗽, 氣促)
  2. 曾接觸有病徵的人
  3. 曾往外地旅遊, 坐遊輪
  4. 在有新冠狀肺炎病毒的社區
  5. 已有健康問題, 抵抗力不足

Please do your best to prevent spreading or getting an infection:

  1. Wash hands and/or use hand sanitizer frequently
  2. Avoid handshakes and touching your face
  3. Sneeze or cough into tissue, clothing or elbow
  4. Disinfect ("Clorox wipe") frequently touched surfaces: doorknobs, handles, etc.
  5. Wear mask if recommended by healthcare professional

請盡量防止散播或受到感染:

  1. 經常洗手或用消毒液
  2. 避免握手及觸摸臉孔
  3. 打噴嚏時用紙巾, 衣服或手肘
  4. 用消毒抹紙來擦桌面, 門柄, 手柄等
  5. 如醫務人員建議戴口罩, 請依從

The church will:

  1. Continue to hold regularly scheduled meetings and services, for now
  2. Have online live streaming of our worship services for those who stay home
  3. Maintain a clean facility, and station hand sanitizers and disinfecting wipes around the campus.
  4. Continue to pray, and worship Him who is sovereign over all things.

教會措施:

  1. 現時繼續舉行經常聚會及崇拜
  2. 留在家中的可以觀看崇拜直播
  3. 在不同地方放置清潔手液和消毒抹紙..以保持場地清潔.
  4. 繼續禱告和敬拜, 祂掌管一切

Let us continue to trust in God and have His peace during these troubling times.