Happy 25th Anniversary!

Andy Goh is a pilot who has been in Cornerstone for many years. This week, he posted on his Facebook page a bulletin from the church dated Dec 10, 1995. That brought back so many sweet memories. I love that he has kept this for over 25 years and, if you want to buy it, I hear he is selling it at $10,000. Good buy! Mint condition. 
 
I recall in those days, our bulletins were photocopied, our songs were projected on an overhead projector, and we all had funny haircuts and wore strange clothes. Who could forget the bright and loud fuchsia pink and yellow blazers our ushers donned while proudly serving? But what was so timely was, just a few days ago, we quietly crossed our 25 years as a church. June 2, 1995 was the day we stepped out in faith and we just crossed our 25-year milestone this week! Of course, with the current coronavirus situation, a huge celebration is impossible, but what a journey it has been. 
 
I’m privileged to have a front-row seat to watch this amazing pageantry of grace unfold before me. 25 years ago, this week, 300+ of us came out of the denomination we were a part of to start Cornerstone Community Church. Not in my wildest imagination could I have dreamt that God would bring us so far. I’m humbled by what He has accomplished through us collectively, but we must not be blindsided by success. If anything, it should spur us on to greater heights. 
 
It was nostalgic to see what we were doing way back then. I wrote a blog (we didn’t call them blogs in those days) to encourage people into full-time ministry. I’m still doing it 25 years later. I’ve not regretted a single moment of the life He has chosen for me. My wife was hosting an afternoon tea with the ladies in our church; we were encouraging people to be water baptised; getting people to sign up for our T&E classes and promoting our mid-week services at the Peninsula Hotel; and after all this while, it’s amazing that we’re still doing all this, but the only difference is, our numbers and perhaps, influence, have increased. One thing I noticed was the frequency and fervency of our prayer meetings then. We gathered almost daily in the church to pray. And when this lockdown is finally over, we need to ramp up prayer in the church. This has always been such a burning desire in my heart, to see the church doors open for every one to pray. 
 
I want to take this opportunity to thank those of you who were part of the original core that took the risk to come out with me – first in 1990, and again in June 1995. We could never have done it without you. I want to thank especially my full-time staff, those who heard the call of God to leave your nice comfy jobs to serve God. I do not take this for granted. Some of the original full-time team are still with us after all these years, and it’s you I salute. Thank you! You’ve a ‘special place’ reserved in Heaven for you.
 
Finally, I’d like to emphasise the great need for unity of Spirit, purpose, and vision as we press ahead. I believe that the Lord has clearly set the agenda for Cornerstone to be a church without spot or wrinkle – a Bride prepared for her Bridegroom. We must not settle for anything less. To settle for any mountain other than Zion is to settle for second best. 
 
While we recognise a variety of ways in pursuing these goals, we cannot be diverted nor distracted by personal agendas. These are times when our willingness to die to self is most needed, when we dare submit our own personal plans for the corporate vision and agenda. With this comes a corresponding ethos. Cornerstone Community Church is – and shall be – a New Testament Church and all that God desires of her shall be fulfilled. There’s no other type of church acceptable to God or to us. May there also be a spiritual atmosphere, an environment of freedom in the Spirit, stripped of all man-made bondages and traditions, and religiosity, so that faith and love may be pursued and Cornerstone may become a true reflection of God’s nature and purpose.
 
Here’s to an amazing 25 years as a church, and many more exciting ones to come!


Ps. Yang Tuck Yoong

Radical Discipleship

Recently, while reading the Acts of the Apostles and preparing to teach a class on it, two characters in the book caught my attention – Stephen, the first martyr of the New Testament Church, and the Evangelist Philip (not to be conflated with the Apostle Philip) were not part of the apostolic leadership. Some may even argue that they’re peripheral to the main narrative of the Book of Acts. Yet their significant acts left a deep impact on my heart.

Stephen was described as being full of faith, power, and the Holy Spirit. He did great wonders and signs among the people. The men who opposed him were not able to resist the wisdom and the anointing by which he spoke. They were cut to the heart as Stephen preached, Saul being one of them. As they stoned him, the read more…

A Mind-Blowing Truth

It seems so easy to gloss over the weightiness of Scriptures because we’ve become so familiar in our Christian walk. I think one Scripture deserves much more attention from all of us.

“To Him Who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” Rev 1:5-6

With one and half verses and 37 words, John the Revelator postulates something so profound and earth-shaking (I don’t mean to exaggerate here, but I mean it earnestly).
 
Consider the magnitude of what Christ has done for us here:
 
He loved us.
He washed us from our sins.
He washed us with His own blood.
He elevated us to become read more…

Words of Truth

I’ve heard this said, “Don’t mix your words with your mood, you can change your mood but you can’t take back your words.”

The World Health Organisation (WHO) recently complimented our Prime Minister for controlling the Covid-19 situation effectively. It said his words turned out to be meaningful compared to other leaders. Two months after his first speech, we got over some huge bumps in the ‘controlled’ environment.

He communicated the situation to Singaporeans and I don’t think they’ve an easy job manoeuvring through some of the landmines. But what was key was their commitment to communicate, to keep the country in a state of peace and security amid uncertainties.

Our Lord Jesus was a master communicator and people were always amazed at His authority, power, and insights. His words evoked mental and emotional read more…

Caves of Hope

“David… escaped to the cave of Adullam.” 1 Sam 22:1

While you may not necessarily think so at the moment, staying home for a few weeks may not be so bad. Consider 3,000 years ago, David was involuntarily quarantined in a cave called Adullam. Now, a cave is not a very inviting nor desirous habitat. The indoor plumbing is horrendous. Beds are rock hard. Even a 2-watt bulb would be cause for celebration. Your wife will definitely not like the kitchen. And, no Netflix.

Still, if you plan to be there for long, you ought to head over to the stores to pick up a broom, mop, and a few supplies to make your cave a bit more homey. Put a few pictures up on the walls (if you can figure out how!) You shouldn’t have to walk far to read more…

Fulfilling The Great Commission Amidst Covid-19

For the past 10 years, our Couriers short-term missions programme would’ve been launched around this time to send our people out to the nations. Without fail, God always shows up in wondrous ways as they go – thousands are saved, healed, and blessed. Our Couriers volunteers come back rejoicing and transformed!

However, the Great Commission is not just an annual short-term missions programme. If that was our perspective and endpoint of missions, we’d have greatly failed. The Great Commission is Jesus’ final commandment to His disciples to “go and make disciples of all nations” (Matt 28:16-20). Mission opportunities abound around us while we’re homemaking, working, commuting, etc, in Singapore or anywhere in the world. It’s to be our daily mission.

There’s a greater urgency for The Great Commission in the COVID-19 global pandemic. Many people read more…

The Key Is In The ‘Beginning’

If you’re like me during this ‘Circuit Breaker’ lock-in with young children, you start your day early with your morning devotions and emerge full of faith and grace. Then, when the clock strikes 8am, the first giant called ‘Home-Based Learning (HBL)’ is unleashed, followed by the second giant called ‘Work From Home (WFH)’ at 9am.

As the day wears on, these giants often end up fighting each other, competing for the trophy called ‘Wi-Fi connectivity’, with the winner enjoying smooth and seamless video conference calls and online streaming.

If you and your spouse are working, there’ll be this internal struggle within you – “Whose job is more important?”, so that the one with the ‘less important’ job will have to fight that HBL giant and rescue the helpless child. When it’s lunch-time, you think it was just read more…

’Ritardando’* Time

2020 began with a bang for me. On the first day of the New Year, I was caught on camera for speeding and slapped with a hefty fine and demerit points for failing to conform to a red light signal. The traffic light had just turned amber and I had thought I could make it across at my current speed. I was wrong! It wasn’t the happiest way to start the year, but I felt that the Lord was teaching me some precious lessons in preparation for the coming days of peril. 

Slow Down to Stop

For those like me who need a refresher course, amber means slow down and prepare to stop! Period. 

One of the characteristics of modern life is that of ever-increasing speed. Let’s be honest; even during this period of quarantine and enforced rest, it’s still very read more…

Unprecedented

In all my life as a believer, I’ve never seen what I’m witnessing right now – this Covid-19 crisis is certainly setting the Church up for the ‘Return of the King’!

Everywhere in the world, there’s a spiritual awakening. It’s unprecedented. Various ministries are launching major global prayer initiatives, and seers are exploding with incredible visions. I believe this growing crescendo is building up to that one moment where we’ll see the spark light up a massive global revival. Yup, the day we’ve all been speaking about is now here. It has come!
 
For starters, this week we celebrate Passover on Apr 8. It’s epic. For the first time in 2,000 years, Passover 2020 will be celebrated the way they did on the 1st Passover evening in Egypt, in family units. I find this remarkable. In the read more…

Presence & Provision

The Parable of the Prodigal Son comprises three central figures – the father, the prodigal, and the older brother. While a substantial portion of the narrative focused on the prodigal, the title of the parable in fact points to the real target audience rightly being the older brother. After all, the Lord was addressing a complaint from the Pharisees and scribes about the sinful company Jesus was keeping.

I point our attention to Luke15: 31 – the father’s response to the older brother who complained about his once-profligate sibling. The father said, “Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours.”

Let me categorise the reality that escaped the older brother – he had presence and provision without limit. He had the two most highly-prized assets in the household, and yet, neither realised it nor luxuriated read more…

Maturing Through Crisis

This Covid-19 pandemic is like a huge reset button that ‘rudely and forcefully’ interrupted our routined lives; without ample warning and without our consent. It’s heavily featured on every country’s news headlines and dashboards. Suddenly, things that once mattered to us don’t really matter anymore.

Every day, we’re forced to evaluate and decide on what are the truly important priorities in life. Our values & convictions are constantly challenged against this backdrop. And just when you think one wave has subsided, another wave sweeps in. Our National Development Minister Lawrence Wong just said on 25 March 2020 that Singapore is only at the “beginning of a very long fight” against Covid-19.

The fight against Covid-19 is not just a collective battle, but an individual and a personal one. Perhaps the greatest revelation during this crisis – one that has eternal value – is not the medical read more…

Possessing the City Gates

Cities don’t have walls anymore. We don’t have to pass through massive, guarded gates which are impenetrably barred at night, or in times of danger. People come and go at will, bringing with them their wares and cares. There’s no inspection, no questions asked. There may even be a big ‘Welcome’ sign.

We’d have to go back a millennia or more to fully grasp the importance of walls and gates of the city to the people in Biblical times. What was their purpose then, and what’s their relevance to our lives today? If we fail to understand their meaning, we may inadvertently be leaving ourselves vulnerable and defenseless. This is no time to be caught unawares! We need to increase our vigilance, and ensure our gates are secure.

The first mention of possessing the gates of our enemies came as read more…

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