The Cornerstone Family

What does the thought of family mean to you? It’s no secret that the family structure has been under attack for a number of years. The driving force in today’s modern day culture has had success in dividing homes and redefining its values. The eventual fallout can be a loss of identity and purpose. The consequences are not limited to just an individual family, but it’s showing to be a national issue. What does this mean to Cornerstone as a church?

The Cornerstone family continues to see growth both here in Singapore and in the nations. The favour and blessing of God upon the church is undeniable but it’s a trust that comes with great responsibility. Though we rejoice at the increase that God has brought to us, we must never lose sight that we’re a corporate family; a gathering of people whose values and identity are God-given. The same forces that attack individual homes are setting their sights upon the church. Cornerstone must always have that sense of purpose and identity. It’s a shared responsibility involving the church leadership and its members. A brief reflection over the past few months may help put this into perspective. 

The Cornerstone Family Camp was a record gathering of members in Malacca over a period of four days. There was a noted cohesiveness that was felt amongst the families gathered, which went beyond the featured events as people interacted with one another. The content of some of my own conversation(s) was at a premium that proved to be mutually-beneficial to those I met. This is significant and noteworthy and it bodes well for the future growth and family health of the church.

The Cell Ministry was highlighted in the month of July, and without doubt one of the key components of what defines Cornerstone as a church. The 2-week exercise of getting to know your neighbour during service was an effective tool in showing how easy it is to connect. It was also an eye-opener in demonstrating just how disconnected we can be from one another. Do we really know the people alongside us? Remember, you may be just one conversation away from a breakthrough.

It was the recent gathering of the Cornerstone Global Network (CGN) of pastors and leaders that really brought this message of family to light. A few days before the conference, I viewed a 2-minute video which deeply impacted me. It was a short story of US military veterans who gathered to take a 4-day river kayak adventure. These veterans all fought for the same cause but were disconnected and drifting after their combat service. After four days, there was a bonding and camaraderie, that in their own words, would last a lifetime. They spoke about knowing that they now had each other’s back in going forward in life. They also shared how they were able to be vulnerable and transparent before one another over those four days. I was moved to tears after one of the veterans stated that he now felt as being part of a family. Is this not a great message to the church?

The CGN gathering had many of these same qualities. The meetings and planned events were very good, but there was something more. Once again, the conversations among the attendees were at a very high level. The giftings and experiences that were shared inspired and built up the network to a heightened family-like feel. Indeed, the Spirit-led bonding has resulted in the CGN of leaders becoming more like a family. This to me was the primary takeaway from this gathering.

Now more than ever, we need to take stock and reflect upon what God is saying. Cornerstone comprises families and individuals who serve the same God, yet coming from varied cultural and societal backgrounds. It’s important that we recognise our need for one other while also recognising that each of us has something to contribute for the strengthening of the church family. Let’s be sensitive to the promptings of the Holy Spirit so that we know our roles and functions. 

Heb 10:25 “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”

1Cor 12:11 “But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.”

Pastor Tim O’Connell

Of Dreams and Ideals

“Moses was one hundred and twenty years old when he died. His eyes were not dim, nor his natural visor diminished.” Deut 34:7

This was the description of Moses just prior to his death. Moses did not die of old age. He died simply because he had accomplished all that God had for him to do and it was time for him to return to his Creator. There’s no better way to die than this.

The description given of Moses was not mere adjectives of his condition and state but they were consequential statements of who he was even at the end of his life. What it means is that because his vision was not dimmed, therefore his strength remained unabated, even at the age of 120. To put it simply, Moses never lost his ideals and therefore read more…

Missions In Our Hearts

Our global network of pastors met this week in Johor Bahru for our Annual Summit. This is a time when all our key pastors from the nations come together for a time of recalibration, refreshing and fellowship. All in all, we had 65 pastors coming together from 16 nations. It was amazing to hear the stories and testimonies from different pastors, and to realise the impact we’re making as a network of churches, in reaching the lost, feeding the poor, setting captives free, and also discipling and releasing believers into the nations.

As I reflect on the time we had together this week with the pastors, a few thoughts come to mind:

1. MISSIONS IS IN OUR DNA
When Pastor Yang and Pastor Daphne started the church years ago, the Lord spoke to them specifically that Cornerstone should read more…

Transformation

Recently, I’ve been led to read three books simultaneously on my Kindle – “Shaping History through Prayer and Fasting” by Derek Prince; “The Power That Changes The World” by Bill Johnson and “The Book That Made Your World” by Vishal Mangalwadi. The paperback version of Loren Cunningham’s book entitled “The Book That Transforms Nations” was also part of my reading collection. The titles and the messages conveyed in these books are clear and consistent – TRANSFORMATION.

Was that not the message of the Great Commission which the Lord left for His disciples in Matt 28:18-20? They had the Book (Old Covenant), the Holy Spirit and the teachings of Jesus. They also demonstrated courage which enabled them to shake the world. These men faithfully fulfilled their call and mission. Throughout history, faithful disciples brought the Gospel to the nations read more…

The Erosion of Truth

Just recently, the leaders of the United Methodist Church in San Francisco voted to ordain their first female gay bishop. The Episcopalian Church has ordained not just gay pastors and bishops, but bisexuals as well. Many large denominations are now following suit. What in the world is happening?

Well, for starters, there’s a gradual erosion of truth in society and this is very diabolical. Ancient landmarks that God had set up to protect society are now being removed. And it’s happening not just in the world. It’s also in the Church. And of course, if one dares to speak up against it, they call that hate speech. Whether we like it or not, truth is now the new hate speech. People don’t want to hear the truth any longer and each day, it’s slowly being eroded.

Every year, Merriam read more…

Wisdom from a Wise Man

RT Kendall is a mentor and a dear friend. Twice each year, he writes an open letter to his friends and supporters, once on New Year’s Day and once on his birthday. I read his recent letter when he turned 81 and it’s packed with sound wisdom. So I’ve asked for permission to reproduce it. Hope it blesses you as it did me. I’ve edited a little of his personal travel schedule out but kept the bits of wisdom. Enjoy!

“Today, I’m 81. I often think of the funny line, ‘If I knew I’d have lived this long, I’d have taken better care of myself!’ But it’s true in my case. And yet God graciously gave me a wake-up call shortly after we retired – when I was 67. The late John Paul Jackson (I still grieve with read more…

The Power of Meekness

On the 1st Dec 1955, a public bus pulls to a stop in Montgomery and a black woman in her 40’s gets on. She sits on the row reserved for coloured people and watches quietly as the bus is filled with new passengers. Then came the defining moment in the history of the United States. 

The driver orders her to give up her seat to a white passenger and this black woman utters a single word that ignites one of the most important civil rights protest of the 20th Century. She said NO. The driver threatens to have her arrested.

She refuses to budge. A police officer arrives and she still wouldn’t budge. She’s arrested for disorderly behavior and on the afternoon of her trial, 5,000 people showed by at a Baptist church to support Rosa Parks’ single read more…

Respecting the Terms of Engagement

In the classic book “Needless Casualties of War”, well-known prophet John Paul Jackson shared about a time when there was a spate of problems in people’s lives who were coming to him for counseling. Women were at the verge of miscarriages, children in terrible rebellion, broken marriages, unexplained diseases and sudden illnesses, and even loss of life. So John Paul was perplexed by what was happening and went to seek the Lord about it. The Lord answered him by giving him a dream.

In the dream, he saw a night sky and a huge luminous moon that filled the horizon. Then he saw leaders, standing on circular platforms, pointing to the moon and shouting at it, urging others to follow them. As their crowds grew, their platforms would rise higher, some to precarious heights. Then the leaders, who each read more…

Takeaways from the Internship Class

One of my favourite experiences in my years of association with bible schools has been the chapel sessions where the students take part in leading worship, in addition to sharing short devotionals. This year’s class of interns at Cornerstone is no exception. Their testimonies provide “real-time” accounts of what God is doing during this unique period in their lives. This past week, four interns shared messages that had common themes; messages that should not be limited to the Internship class alone. The following four points represent a brief summary of what God has been speaking.  

1) Seeing from God’s Perspective 

Everything changes when we begin to see situations and people through His eyes. This results in our priorities and prayer life being greatly affected. It produces the burden and largeness of heart that our Lord has for read more…

An Incredible Week

Here’s something that you Cornerstonians might not know. Since our inception in 1995, there has only a year when we did not have a church camp and that was in 2008. That was the year when the world was reeling from a terrible recession and many families were trying to cope financially. So the leadership felt it wise to cancel the camp and instead help those families that were in need. But apart from that year, we’ve always had a church camp, every year since we started. It’s the highlight of our church calendar.

But nothing so far can beat the camp we had this year. I’ve had numerous people telling me that this was the best church camp ever in our 20 year history. I personally think it was too. It was certainly a high watermark for the read more…

Welcome to a Regular Week in Cornerstone!

My wife and I have just returned from an amazing trip to Vladivostok and Ussuriysk, Two unique cities in East Russia, in a region where temperatures fall to 35 Celsius below zero in the winter. It’s so cold that the sea turns into ice and you can actually “walk on water!” But it was here where we saw God move powerfully in a conference that touched so many lives. This followed a very successful time at the Bible College of Wales in Swansea where we witnessed the full restoration and inauguration of the famed Pisgah Chapel in Loughor and also the graduation of the second cohort of students from the College.

During this time, our church in Pakistan saw huge numbers of young people getting saved and delivered in conferences held in major cities across the nation. We read more…

Is It Live or Is It Memorex?

The above title was a famous 1970’s commercial that played in America. It served as a 1970’s catchphrase for Memorex, a cassette and VHS tape manufacturer. The most famous spokesperson for Memorex was Ella Fitzgerald, a jazz singer known as the “First Lady of Song” who could hit both low and high voice ranges in her songs. The million-dollar question was whether Ella was singing live or was it a recording. The quality of the Memorex tape made it difficult to distinguish even after 100 recordings.  

Have you noticed how increasingly difficult it’s becoming to distinguish the real from the fake? It’s seen in the counterfeiting of currencies, passports and other official documents. Are the photos you look at real or have they been photoshopped? All of these should alert us to the importance of having the ability read more…

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