September 2, 2018
I hope you’ve had an enjoyable and restful summer! As parents eagerly await the commencement of school, kids are relishing the last few days of summer holidays. Settling back into routine would be a welcome relief for many of us. Although we’ve had a couple of weeks of downtime with family and friends, this summer has been emotionally taxing. We were overwhelmed with responsibilities of supporting and caring for family members as well as hosting extended family from abroad. It is true that weddings and funerals are catalysts for reunions. I’m grateful for faithful friends who have supported us in prayer and in practical ways. They truly are treasures from the Lord, and I covet their prayers, words of encouragement, and helpful deeds. May the following prayer be a blessing and an encouragement to us all.
Ephesians 3:14-21 (NIV)
For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
Please be in prayer for the following:
- 2018/19 School Year – Pray for students as they prepare to return to school. Pray for safety in classrooms and on playgrounds. Pray teachers and staff would foster a safe and positive learning environment. Pray for guidance throughout the year. Pray for post-secondary students who will be away from home, especially for the first time. Pray they would be connected to a faith community on campus so they will continue to grow in faith. Pray for spiritual protection. Pray for a fruitful year of learning.
- Adult Sunday School Classes – We give thanks for our faithful Sunday school teachers and facilitators. We give thanks for the privilege to learn and grow in the knowledge of God together. Pray participants would seek the Lord with all their hearts. Pray the Holy Spirit would minister to each person according to their needs. Pray for spiritual growth.
- Elderly, Sick, and Recuperating – We remember those who are ill and recuperating. Pray the Lord would strengthen and sustain them daily by His grace. Pray they would surrender their circumstance to the Lord and rest in Him. Pray they would continue to trust and abide in Christ, especially when doubt and darkness closes in. Pray boldly for God to heal according to His will. Pray the Lord would sustain care givers who provide on going support and care.
August 5, 2018
Trusting you are enjoying your summer and have opportunities to spend time with family and friends in the beauty and grandeur of God’s creation. Praying we would remain in the heart of worship regardless of where we are, whether in the sanctuary of a church building or the sanctuary of God’s creation. May the beauty of a waterfall, a rainbow, a magnificent sunrise or sunset ignite our spirit to worship our awesome God who created all things for His pleasure!
“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – His eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” ~ Romans 1:20, NASB ~
Please be in prayer for the following:
- SCBC Graduates – Congratulations to our graduates! Please pray for them as they prepare for post-secondary education in the fall. Pray especially for those who are leaving home for university. Pray they will connect with a Christian fellowship group on campus and a church so they will continue to grow in faith. Pray for spiritual protection, wisdom, and discernment with regards to campus life. Pray the Lord would bless them in their first year of post-secondary study.
- City of Toronto – In the wake of the recent tragedy on the Danforth, we pray for families who have lost loved ones. Pray also for the gunman’s family as they come to grips with the lost of their son and the devastation he caused by his actions due to mental illness. Pray for forgiveness and reconciliation for all affected by this tragic incident. Pray for healing within the Danforth community.
- Short Term Missions – Pray for SCBC members who are on short term missions this summer. Pray for protection in travel and wisdom to speak Gospel truth with love and grace. For friends serving out of country, pray for adjustment to extreme climates, food tolerance, and good team dynamics. Pray many lives will be impacted by the love of Christ through the efforts of short term missions teams!
July 1, 2018
Saturday, June 23rd was the annual prayer gathering of believers to pray for our nation – Canada. Once again, it was an uplifting time of fellowship and prayer for all participants. There is great encouragement and power when the body of Christ congregate to seek His face and to intercede for our churches and for our country. We began with worship together and then separated into three focus groups for prayer. The first group, facilitated by a lovely couple and founder of “Nation at Prayer”, focused on prayer for Canadian political leaders at all levels of government. The second group, facilitated by a passionate director of church vitality, focused on prayer for churches, pastors, and lay leaders. The third group, facilitated by a physician with a burden for families, focused on prayer for Christian families and the next generation of believers. I was 1 of 25 participants in the second prayer group that focused on churches, pastors, and lay leaders. We were all seated around a large table in a quiet room, a multi-ethnic, multi-generational, and multi-denominational group from Canadian churches from coast to coast. Although diverse, we were united by the Holy Spirit in prayer so that our prayers were cohesive, as though it was one prayer. Our group prayed for the following: Spiritual healing for our churches; Seek God in the brokenness; Presence of God; Fear of the Lord; Repentance, forgiveness, reconciliation & restoration; Unity in the body of Christ; Awakening & Spiritual revival; Courage to stand firm for the truth; Unashamed & unapologetic preaching of the Word; Time for churches to rise up to be salt & light.
Please be in prayer for the following:
- Canada – We give thanks for this nation. May God continue to keep it strong and free. Please remember our political leaders at all levels of government. Please pray for them and their families. We give thanks for believers whom God has gifted and placed a burden in their hearts to intercede for our political leaders. May the Lord continue to bless their ministry and diligent work. May their faithfulness keep darkness at bay as they uphold our nation in prayer.
- Churches – Please pray for churches across this nation. Pray for spiritual healing and awakening. Pray for pastors & lay leaders to shepherd with wisdom and courage to stand firm in the truth. Pray that timeless Gospel truth would be preached in a timely manner. Pray against falsehood in Churches. Pray the Lord would expose falsehood in the light of His truth. Pray that as churches seek new & creative ways to reach the young generation, Gospel truth would not be watered down or eroded.
- Pray for Christian families in Canada. Pray that Christian parents would model Gospel truth in word & deed at home. Pray spiritual protection over Christian families. Pray the Lord would raise up young adult leaders, especially young men, to coach the boys in our congregation. Pray for intentional and God centered discipleship. Pray the Lord would strengthen Christian communities.
- SCBC Short Term Missions – Please remember SCBC Short Term Missions teams in your prayers. We have members from all three congregations serving in short term missions trips. Please pray for Six Nations team, Urban Promise team, Sudbury, Timmins and Peterborough teams. May the Lord be exalted and glorified in and through SCBC Short Term Missions this year.
June 3, 2018
John 1:1-18 is one of many scriptural passages that I treasure. I believe it captures beautifully the essence of the Gospel – the Good News and revelation of God and His redemptive plan in the person of Jesus Christ. Therefore, when I meditate and reflect upon “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us…”, I am in awe and humble reverence of God and His grace to reconcile humanity to Himself. “And the Word became flesh…” signifies the pinnacle of God’s redemptive narrative in the birth, life & ministry, death, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. The infinite, almighty God became incarnate – limited and contained in a human body yet fully God and fully man. If however, we were to take liberty and substitute the word “flesh” for any other word in the English language that differs in meaning from flesh, it would change the whole Gospel message! I believe it would nullify the Gospel of reconciliation and new life in Christ. There would be no Good News to share and no need for Missions. Thus in the book of Revelation, God cautioned believers to handle Scripture carefully and to not tamper with His word – lest they ignite God’s judgement and wrath upon themselves. Let us be mindful that as much as He is a God of love, He is also a God of wrath. As followers of Christ, our blessed hope and salvation hinge on this divine historical event, “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (NASB John 1:14)
Please be in prayer for the following:
- Missions Month – June is Missions month at SCBC. Please pray for missionaries who will be sharing their calling and ministries with us. Pray for their spiritual, emotional, psychological and physical health. Pray their sharing would encourage and strengthen believers at SCBC. Please continue to uphold them in your prayers.
- SCBC Orchestra Starlight Serenade – Sat. June 16 at 4 pm. Pray this would be an opportunity for us to introduce friends and family members to SCBC. Pray the concert, dinner, and conversation would demonstrate the generous hospitality of SCBC. Pray the seed of the Gospel would be planted in the hearts of seekers and that it would take root. Pray for a blessed night for all involved.
- SCBC Ministries – please continue to pray for SCBC ministries. Pray for upcoming Summer Fun day camp. WeeConnect parent support group with special needs children. Eagles’ Wings mental health support group. Children’s and Adult Sunday School classes. Kids to Knights and GLO programs. Youth Fellowship. UCC Group. Community Groups. Prayer Meetings. Worship Teams and Choir. May the Lord continue to work in and through us by His Spirit for His glory.
- Community & Global Needs – Please continue to be mindful of the needs of our community & world at large. May I encourage you to pray for needs that arise from day to day? Where ever you may be or what ever you may be doing, would you take a few moments to pray in your mind for our neighborhoods and the world as opportunities and needs arise.
May 6, 2018
For those of us who have school age children and as the end of another academic year approaches, we find ourselves in a whirl wind of activities. Students, teachers and parents are preoccupied with impending final exams, end of year trips, concerts, awards and graduation ceremonies. Just recently, I had the pleasure of attending an award ceremony with a special young man. The headmaster of the school focused his podium speech around apples, in particular, a familiar saying…”the apple does not fall far from the tree”. To emphasize his point, a shiny red apple adorned a corner of the podium. As each student proceeded up on stage to receive his award, the audience cheered and applauded. When the headmaster’s son went up to receive his award, the headmaster took the red gleaming apple off the podium and dropped it beside himself. Needless to say, the headmaster made his point and all the “trees” in the audience were amused and were proud of their “apples”. On many levels, the headmaster was stating that children reflect their parents, whether positively or negatively – such as the saying “one rotten apple spoils the bunch”. In much the same way, as children of God, we reflect His character and who He is to a broken and hopeless world. Thus, God has given us the community of believers, the church, to nurture and grow our faith so that every believer will reach maturity in Christ and will be equip for every good work. I sincerely extend a thanksgiving tribute to Pastors, Deacons & Elders, Teachers, and Counselors who faithfully serve to spiritually nurture the people whom God has entrusted to their care. May the Lord bless you and keep you!
Please be in prayer for the following:
- 2018 Summer Fun – Pray for campers, youth & adult volunteers, program directors and all who are involved with this important children’s ministry. Pray for safety in travel and field trips. Pray for group leaders to take concerted efforts to connect with campers. Pray for strength and perseverance for all involve. Pray gospel truth and precepts will be communicated clearly and faithfully. Pray campers will be encouraged to draw closer to God as a result of attending Summer Fun.
- Urban Promise – 20th anniversary celebration. Pray for the Youth Group as they will be joining in the celebration this Saturday, May 5th at Peoples Church. Pray they will be inspired by the stories and encouraged by the faithfulness of the Urban Promise leaders. Pray they will be affirmed in their knowledge that they worship a living God who is at work in their city. Please also pray for SCBC Urban Promise Short Term Missions this summer. Pray the Lord would raise up 10 individuals for this short term missions team. If you are interested in this great outreach opportunity or know of someone who is, please contact Felix Tam.
- Alpha – session began April 24th and runs for 8 weeks. Please continue to pray for seekers as they explore life, faith, and God in a welcoming and informal environment. Pray for group leaders to lend a listening ear and have discernment in leading discussion. Pray the seed of the gospel will be sown and it will take root.
- City of Toronto – recent tragedy along Yonge Street & Finch Avenue. We remember and continue to pray for the grieving families of this tragic incident. For victims who were injured and still in hospital, we pray for recovery without complications. For those who have lost loved ones, we pray for peace and comfort though they may struggle to understand why this happened. Pray for the affected neighborhood, that they would not live in fear but have courage to carry on. Pray this community will become stronger as a result of this tragedy.
APRIL 1, 2018
In remembrance of our Lord and His victory over sin and death upon the cross, we humbly prepare our hearts to worship Him this Easter Sunday. May the following devotion be an encouragement to you as it is to me. Praying blessings upon you with heartfelt gratitude.
“Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus.” ~ Hebrews 10:19
“Access to the holy God who created us is the most precious commodity in the universe. So precious, in fact, that no person can afford it, or can purchase it with any amount of money or sacrifice or even personal godliness. This is the lesson we are meant to learn from the Old Testament sacrificial system of worship. The innermost room (the “holiest”) of the temple was where God’s presence was experienced in a special way. Yet the writer of Hebrews reminds us that there is only one way to access the presence of God. What thousands of priests, over hundreds of years, could never accomplish, Jesus did for sinners once and for all through His death. We have boldness to enter the holy of holies, the special place of communion with God, through the blood of Jesus! Because Jesus sacrificed Himself on the cross for the sins of His people, those who are trusting in Jesus for their salvation are now able to walk confidently in where angels literally fear to tread. God is never reluctant to receive us in Jesus’ name. There is never a time when you cannot come to God, through faith in Jesus’ sacrifice on your behalf, and find reception, forgiveness, love, and communion. God sent Jesus to take our place on the cross so that He could receive us day after day, moment by moment throughout our lives.” (Whitefield Newsletter March 26, 2018)
Let us rejoice for He is risen!
FEBRUARY 4, 2018
Happy February to our non-Chinese friends, and Happy Chinese New Year to all who celebrate!
May the following devotion on Psalm 139:1 be an encouragement and reminder of God’s love and presence with us. May this mindfulness of God’s constant presence lead us to trust God in all circumstances of life.
“Notice two things from this statement. First, it recognizes the fact that God knows us and is
intimately acquainted with us. Second, it is a prayer recognizing God’s presence always with us.
This is the essence of walking with God. It is allowing our realization of God’s constant presence with
us, and intimate knowledge of us, to lead us to talk to God. Walking with God means speaking to
God anytime, anywhere. It is learning to talk to God constantly, because we have come to realize
that God is constantly with us. There is never a time when we can say, “God’s opinion of this does
not matter.” Nor is there ever a time when we should feel, “God is not here with me; He does not
care about this situation in my life.” Our goal should be to live in a deep awareness of the intimate
knowledge that God has of us, of our circumstances, and even of our thought life. And such
awareness should lead us to talk to God through the ups and downs of everyday life.”
- Special Event this Sat. Feb.3 9am-2pm SCBC Chapel – “To Know the World and Still Love the World” with guest speakers from Regent College, Jeff Greenman (President) and Steven Garber (Marketplace Theology Professor). We pray for a blessed time of learning that would challenge and mobilize us to share the love and hope of Christ with a broken world. We pray the Holy Spirit would speak to each participant of how they can be an agent of God within their sphere of influence, especially in the marketplace. We pray the Lord would empower His servants to deliver His message with clarity and conviction.
- ALPHA Video Series – Tuesday nights 6:30pm – 8:45pm beginning Jan. 30. We give thanks this video series will be shown in English, Cantonese, and Mandarin followed by discussion in each language. We give thanks that God has gifted SCBC to minister to these language groups. We give thanks for this venue to invite family members and friends to discover who Jesus is. Please pray the Lord would break any spiritual strongholds that may prevent a seeker from attending. Please pray for all seekers who will be invited, that they would agree to attend at least once…and pray they would return for more!
- 2018 Summer Fun – Babylon, Daniel’s Courage in Captivity June 29 – July 20. We commit this year’s Summer Fun program to the Lord. Please begin praying for all the children who will attend and all the volunteers and leadership team members. Please pray Summer Fun would touch the hearts of many children for Christ this year. Please pray God’s truth and precepts will be communicated and instilled in the hearts of children through the Biblical account of Daniel. May the children grow in godly character as they learn to be courageous for the Lord.
JANUARY 7, 2018
Happy and Blessed New Year! Trusting you have spent memorable time with family and friends to celebrate the birth of our Lord during this Christmas season. Apart from all the Christmas festivities, I treasure the last few days of each year as it has become my tradition to spend it in quite reflection. As I reflect upon the events of the past year, this often leads to spontaneous prayer. Whether it be thanksgiving for the blessings that God has bestowed or supplication for others and self, it is a blessed time with God and a perfect way to wrap up the year. Over the years, I have learned to discern burdens that I should leave in the past and burdens that I must carry forward. This quiet time with the Lord also inspires me to commit myself anew and entrust my plans for the upcoming year to Him.
As we usher in 2018, may the Lord renew our minds and refresh our spirit. May we seek Him with renewed hope and serve Him with renewed strength. May we look forward with great anticipation of His glorious work in our midst. May He work mightily in and through us, both individually and corporately, for His glory!
Please be in prayer for the following:
- SCBC – It is with warm affection that I give thanks to God for our SCBC family. God has showered His blessings upon us and has given us a heritage of faith and hope to share with all peoples, to proclaim His mighty name among the nations. May He enable us to fulfill this mission by the power of His Holy Spirit as we wait upon Him. We will uphold and commit to the Lord our brothers and sisters in Christ serving in various capacities at SCBC. Pastors – We commit to the Lord all our Pastors. Pray the Lord would refresh their spirit and renew their strength to preach, teach, and minister to us through God’s Word. Pray for wisdom in balancing ministry and home life. Pray they would covet their alone time with the Lord. Pray they would draw strength from the well of living water when ministry seems too heavy a burden. We also pray for the Interim Senior Pastorwho will be joining us this year. Deacon Board – We give thanks and commit all our deacons to the Lord. Pray for renewed strength and perseverance in their faithful service to the Lord. Pray for continued harmony and unity in vision and direction. Pray for wisdom and cooperation as they tackle the urgent task of improving operational and governance structure by eliminating unnecessary hurdles which undermines ministry effectiveness and efficiency. Pray the Lord would guide and bless each member of the deacon board as they strive to cultivate a healthy spiritual leadership culture. Ministry Teams – We commit our ministry teams (EMT, Mandarin, Cantonese, Worship, Hospitality, Communication etc.) to the Lord. May the Lord renew their strength for the coming year. May they find joy in serving and blessed in knowing they have the opportunity to positively impact those around them. May the Lord bless the work of their hands and increase their joy. Sunday School Teachers – May the Lord bless all our Sunday School teachers! May God inspire them with creative ways to effectively teach the gospel of Christ. May their enthusiasm for the Word of God and the gospel narrative spill over to their students. May the Holy Spirit enliven every classroom so that children will hunger and thirst for more of God. May the Lord open the minds and hearts of our children and youth to receive Him in all His splendor! Pray all our Sunday School teachers will be blessed with joy as they teach. Office Staff and Custodians – We give thanks to those who serve behind the scene to keep SCBC clean and running smoothly. Pray we would make a concerted effort to show our appreciation for their contribution. Pray the Lord would bless and deepen their faith journey as a result of working at SCBC. Congregation – We commit all three congregations to the Lord. May the presence of the Lord rest upon His people. May the Lord draw each individual to Himself and meet them where they are along their faith journey. May they taste the goodness of the Lord as they grow to trust in Him. May the Lord bless them and keep them always.
- 2018 Youth Retreats – Pray for our Junior and Senior High students as they prepare for Avalanche and High School Winter Retreat. Pray for safety in commutes and during the retreat. Pray the Lord would open the minds and hearts of our students to perceive and understand the message. Pray they would be encouraged in their faith journey and motivated to trust God in all circumstances. Pray for an awesome and fun time of connecting with other young Canadian Baptist as well as deepening existing friendships.
- Out Of The Cold Ministry – We give thanks for this partnership with Blythwood Road Baptist Church to serve the homeless community in Toronto. Pray the Lord would continue to resource and bless this vital ministry. Pray each SCBC team member will be blessed with joy by serving. Pray for discernment and sensitivity in conversation with patrons. Pray the love of God, the grace of the Lord Jesus and the hope of the gospel would emanate from the people of God.
- Partners in Missions – We uphold and commit to the Lord our partners in missions at home and abroad. We pray the Lord would refresh and renew them in body, mind, and spirit. We pray they would usher in 2018 with renewed hope in anticipation of what God would do in the field. We pray they would learn to rest in the Lord and take respite when needed. Pray they would not become so entangled in mission that they minister in their own efforts rather than depending on the Holy Spirit. Pray they would trust the Lord to supply all their needs – physical, emotional, spiritual. May they know with certainty that Christ is all sufficient for them. Pray the Lord would keep faithful those under persecution.