ministering to the elderly

The Magic of Psalms, Singing Hymns and Spiritual Songs

Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you,
with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another
with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,
singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. (Colossians 3:16)


ministering to the elderly Yesterday, we had the opportunity to hold a devotional with some residents of The Terrace Rest Home.

The place is home to elderly people offering care, comfort and companionship.

I asked Jewel and Errol to come with me.

We started the meeting with the singing of two stanzas of “Great Is Thy Faithfulness”.

Then after I gave the invocation, Jewel sang “His Strength is Perfect

Errol read Psalm 27, the scriptural basis of my devotional message.

I gave a very short reflection, maybe five sentences because prior to speaking the Holy Spirit prompted me to dwell more on singing hymns and spiritual songs.

I asked for prayer requests and prayed for them.

Then, I called on Jewel to sing the second song she prepared for the moment, “O Holy Night”.

I told them that this will be our closing song and I thanked them for listening and spending time with us.

As Jewel sang “O Holy Night”, the audience became animated and I could see several lips singing with her.

They clapped in appreciation of Jewel’s singing.  Just when we thought we’re done, one of the staff members came to us and requested Jewel to sing another song.

Smiling, the lady said, “I’m sure she has one more song to sing”.

Running through our memory as to what song to sing, Errol suggested “What a Friend We Have in Jesus”.

Again, perhaps being familiar with the hymn, some sang with Jewel.

Thus, we ended the devotional with that hymn.

What peace and joy seeing the residents and staff very happy and thankful for what we have shared them.

The atmosphere yesterday reminded me of the lines of the popular chorus, “The Time To Be Happy“, which says:

And the way to be happy is to make others happy
And to have a little heaven down here

Yes, I saw a glimpse of heaven yesterday because we taught and admonished with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs.


… Errol for your presence and reading Psalm 27.

… my dear wife, Jewel for sharing your talent and ministering to the elderly through singing.


How God Used A Blog Post to Inspire Support for a Multicultural Ministry in South Canterbury


And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

Wilson Street Multicultural Response

The Multicultural Response Website

Last week The Timaru Herald published “Pastor Spreads Word in His New Business” to highlight one result of the Tell-a-Friend Promote South Canterbury program.

May I share that before any idea of creating Online Writing Niche Ltd. was ever discussed, there’s a far greater undertaking that has unfolded .

Far greater undertaking because one blog post, “Reasons for Beautiful Living in South Canterbury” inspired support for the Multicultural Response Ministry, which I and my wife take part.

Wilson Street Baptist Church, through Pastor John McMullan, Errol James, the Church Elders, and the members, supported the holding of the “Evening of Praise and Worship“, the first multicultural worship ever held on 20 April 2013.

We held the second multicultural worship on 6 July 2012. We have set our sights to holding the third event in November 2013.

The church has considered creating the multicultural response team that will stir up participation in pursuing the ministry vision.

The Lord God touched the hearts of a couple in Timaru after reading the article published in The Timaru Herald titled, “Pastor’s Blog Becomes Ad for South Canterbury. Learning about the ministry vision, the couple committed to giving financial support.

Then we created the Multicultural Response website. When Ross Waugh requested me to work on his website projects, I’m not so adept with wordpress themes, domain hosting and file management.

Thus, the Multicultural Response site became my learning laboratory while putting up online presence for the ministry.

Isn’t it wonderful to see God’s hand working through His people and many avenues? He is always in the lookout for hearts committed and passionate to serve Him.

As the song “Pass It On” says “It only takes a spark to keep the fire going”, I believe that God has more things in store now that the multicultural response ministry is ablaze.

Please don’t miss listening to this lovely rendition of ‘Pass It On’ by Evie Tornquist Karlsson. 🙂

Work Scheme to Repay Victims of Young Offenders Works Well in Timaru


I’m impressed by how the Timaru community redeems the offenders and victims through the work scheme.

Through joint administration of the Child Youth and Family, Timaru District Council and Barnabas Trust, the teenage offenders get paid doing manual jobs around the community such as trimming edges and painting fences.

The money they earned goes to the victims for damages done. Victim Support administers the payment to victims.

I believe it’s a tough project to undertake but retribution has very priceless results for offenders, victims and most of all for Timaru community.

Please click on the image below to read the full article I scanned from The Timaru Herald.

Congratulations to the organisations involved in perpetuating this program. Congratulations Timaru for this noble project!

redeeming the youth

You can read the article on the web too.

Click this link:

Timaru Lighthouse

Tribute to God’s Awesome Goodness


As we celebrate our second winter in New Zealand, we remember how good our God is.  In June 2012, we were praying and waiting for the job that’s pivotal to our getting residence visa.

Our 9-month work-to-residence visa was ending 10 August 2012, barely two months then.

God’s Mighty hand at work, He moved people, caused events to happen, and guided us to a places where He wanted us to be.

So, we always thank the Father for the things that He has done and for the things He’s yet to do.

Thank you Lord for being doubly good.

We are also forever grateful to our brothers and sisters in Christ who have been with us in our faith journey.

Please watch the video my wife created —Beautiful Sights of Timaru, Canterbury, New Zealand


SONG CREDIT: “Doubly Good to You” by Amy Grant

south canterbury autumn

Autumn Leaf Colours – Salute to Life’s Death Rehearsals


Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith,
who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame,
and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2

south canterbury autumn

autumn in timaru

It’s autumn in South Canterbury. The marvelous burst of colours that autumn gives to the surroundings is quite amazing.

As we delight at how autumn changes the scenery from lush green to yellow, red, or gold, we all know that eventually the leaves would become crisp brown.

Then the cold south wind will blow the leaves away. Falling to the ground, the autumn leaf colours will soon be gone.

Yes we all know that the radiant autumn leaf colours are there momentarily. We could look at it as nature’s last hurrah or salute to the coming of winter.

I can’t forget what one of my theology professor told us in class one day. He said that everyday we must rehearse death to ready us for the appointed time.

new zealand autumn

Quoting Psalm 44:22, the Apostle Paul stated in Romans 8:36 “As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

Are you aware that indeed we rehearse death daily?

Isn’t that when we fall asleep at night, as we close our eyes and fall into deep slumber, we rest whatever ‘life’ we had when we were awake.

Of course, we’re alive, breathing and just having a good night sleep but who really knows whether we will be awake the following morning? Only God knows!

It is only through His mercy and grace that we are alive both physically and spiritually.

Our greatest consolation is that nothing “will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

It is really great that when we are in the ‘autumn’ of our daily lives, we call on to Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord so we can calmly live through the ‘deepest winter’ of our lives.

My thoughts and prayers to all of us who are facing life’s deepest ‘winters’. May the Lord God Almighty strengthen us all as we face sorrow, pain, and other difficulties. May the Holy Spirit protect and guide us all now and in the days ahead. Amen.

Timaru Botanical Garden

PHOTO CREDIT: Autumn is Awesome by Diane King

A Multicultural Event at Wilson Street Baptist Church


Let us pray for the multicultural event that will unfold at Wilson Street Baptist Church on 20 April 2013 – 7:30 in the evening.

I believe that the evening of praise and worship is just the first event for the multicultural response that the Lord God has started with Wilson Street Baptist Church.

Those who are living in South Canterbury area, you are all invited to come and join. Please read the text below for more information.

Evening of Praise & Worship   Wilson Street Multicultural Response

To God be the glory, great things He has done!