OUR CHURCH 教會簡介

Brief History

教會歷史

活石園基督教生命堂(原名:西橘園基督教生命堂)是新澤西州的第一家基督教生命堂。由於一些居住在新澤西的華人基督徒家庭的要求,在西橘園建立生命堂的工作於1973年開始實施。在此期間,楊摩西牧師發生車禍並受傷。從這次事件中,他開始質疑說建立西橘園基督教生命堂是否合乎上帝的旨意。他跪下禱告並祈求上帝明確指示。主使用詩篇66:12:「 你使人坐車軋我們的頭;我們經過水火,你卻使我們到豐富之地。」 這一節經文清楚向楊牧師表明並啟示祂的旨意。憑著極大信心,楊牧師於1974年初建立西橘園基督教生命堂。

教會於2006年6月3日, 得到上帝奇異恩典, 搬到利文斯頓(Livingston)而改名為活石園基督教生命堂。感謝上帝為祂的事工提供地方!

活石園基督教生命堂是美國國際神學福音佈道會生命堂之一。目前,國際神學福音佈道會在國內外擁有超過五十間 生命堂。教會擁有多元化的會眾組合。我們歡迎各界人士參與。

The Christian Evangelical Church in Livingston (CECL), formerly the Christian Evangelical Church in West Orange, is the first of the CEC churches in New Jersey. In 1973, at the requests of several Chinese Christian families living in New Jersey, preparations were set in motion for the establishment of the CEC in West Orange. However, around that time, Rev. Moses Yang got hurt in a car accident, which led him to question if it was God's will for him to establish the church. He knelt before the Lord in prayer and obtained clear direction from the Lord in Psalm 66:12 "Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water, but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place." This scriptural passage provided clear revelation and confirmation of God's will to Rev. Yang. With great faith, he established the church in early 1974. The church moved to its current location on June 3, 2006 when God wondrously provided the Livingston property for His work.

CECL is part of Evangelical Mission and Seminary International USA (EMSI), which is comprised of more than fifty (50) churches globally. The church has a diverse congregation and welcome people from all walks of life.

A Word from the Pastor

教牧致辭

我們的教會願藉此榮耀主:

  1. 敬拜: 我們的敬拜著重上帝和祂大能的作為。我們宣講上帝的話語使人能應用在生活 上。我們用釋經及解經方法以傳達上帝的話語。我們藉著投影片方式 使上帝的信息更清楚明瞭。
  2. 主日學: 我們教導孩子們上帝寶貴的話語 ─ 聖經,並且祈望他們能牢記上帝的應許 長大成人。
  3. 團契: 崇拜後有午餐愛筵,藉此提醒我們在主裡合一,並且彼此關懷和睦相愛。
  4. 禱告會: 我們為著教會及個人的需要禱告。
  5. 查經: 我們注重研讀聖經,並如何應用在生活上。
  6. 戶外活動: 我們在夏天時會組織徒步旅行、野餐並划船,為建立美好關係,。
  7. 暑期聖經班: 我們每年主辦成功的暑期聖經班。小孩子學習尊敬長輩們、服侍他 人、盡責任,為別人著想,重要是學習上帝的愛和真理。
  8. 牧養: 牧者陪同會友在喜樂、得勝、痛苦和憂傷時都在一起。

我邀請您與我們一同來建立上帝的教會,經歷上帝在我們日常生活中的同在、得勝及 慈愛。

願上帝賜福您!

林耀奇牧師


We are a church dedicated to glorifying God in:

  1. Our worship. Our worship is centered on God and His mighty works. We proclaim the Word of God in relevant and practical ways that people can identify with. We use exegesis & expository method in communicating God's Word. To make the Word of God clear and understandable, we use PowerPoint presentations in proclaiming God's message to people of today.
  2. Our Sunday School. We teach children the treasures of the Word of God. We pray that they will remember the promises of God when they become adults.
  3. Our fellowship. After the worship service, we have lunch fellowship (koinonia) together. This is a reminder that we are one in Christ and have to care for one another and be united in love.
  4. Our prayer meeting. We pray for the needs of our church and the needs of individuals.
  5. Our Bible study. We have a more in-depth study of God's Word with emphasis on the application to our daily living.
  6. Our outdoor activities. In summer, we go outdoors to build our relationships. We go hiking, picnicking and canoeing.
  7. Our Vacation Bible School. We have a successful Vacation Bible School every year. The kids learn to respect authority (parents, grandparents, great grandparents, etc), to serve others, to be responsible, to think of others, and, more importantly, to learn of God's love and God's truth.
  8. Pastoral ministry. The pastor is present for his congregants. We are together in times of rejoicing and victory and in times of pain, suffering and sorrow.

I invite you to join us in building up the church of God, to experience God's presence, victory and love in our daily lives.

God bless you!

Pastor Stephen Lim

Testimonies / Testimonials

見證

Hi David,

Thank you so much for having ____ in your Club this year. He always had a great time and gained knowledge through hands-on activities. Most importantly, he grew spiritually and I saw him praying from time to time. Thanks for making this life impact on __.

Best,

L & K

Dear Bro. Stephen.

We love the people in your church and how you conduct ministry. Being an evangelist, I (and my family) have experienced many churches and I can earnestly say that CECL is led by the Holy Spirit...

God bless you.

DLR

Dear Pastor Stephen,

God has really changed me tremendously with the move to OH. He took me out of my comfort zone and challenged me to do things I would have never had the time, courage or inclination to do if I had stayed in NY/NJ. I don't think I ever told you but part of the encouragement to go to OH and do the things I'm doing also has to do with a sermon you once gave. It had to do with a frog being in a well and how it was so comfortable being there that unless it jumps out, it would never know that there's something far greater out there. I remember hearing that sermon and afterward I told Winnie that that's me - I'm the frog. So, I just wanted to say a quick thank you for God to allow you to give such a life-changing message and I hope that it has affected others as much as it has touched me.

In Him,

K

Our dear Pastor Stephen,

We would like to thank you for the sermon you preached today about "Surviving Stress". Although this is a very common subject matter, the words you used, as well as the illustrations you gave, were very precise and appropriate to get the point across. We appreciate the efforts you put into it. It's always a blessing to be reminded that we can always survive stress by trusting in God and keeping our faith in Him.

May God continue to use you mightily for His kingdom.

In Christ,

Caring CECL members

Dear Reverend Lim,

I attended the Memorial Service for Mr. ___ on Saturday. I was very impressed with the beauty of the Service. Your Pastor Thoughts were comforting and inspiring. You demonstrated a great deal of compassion for everyone involved. The music provided by your wife, and the Choir was beautiful.

Thank you for your wonderful service.

MD

I Surrendered My Life to Our Lord

My first attendance at the CEC in West Orange was in mid-October, 1995. On November 24, 1996, I invited Jesus Christ to come into my heart. I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior. I declared to Him: 'Lord, I give my life to You; You are in control; My life is in Your hands; God is so gracious and merciful that He provided salvation to us.'

When I learned that I had cancer before my conversion, I was anxious, worried, stressed out and I experienced dreadful moments and the fear of death. I was looking for inner peace. But when I become a newcomer at the CEC in West Orange, Julie lent me her Bible and introduced me to Bible verses like Philippians 4:6-7. "Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving; let your request be made known unto God. And the peace of God which passeth all understand shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Other Bible verses I learned from our Bible study about assurance of salvation and inner peace helped me before and after my conversion.

On the day that I surrendered my life to our Lord Jesus Christ, my life was changed. It was a turning point in my spiritual life and journey, and the fear of death faded away.

After my conversion, I learned to value each day, keeping in touch with the fact that life is a gift from God, and that every day is a gift from God. I appreciate everything much more than before.

By God's grace and mercy, God has extended my life to this day. I do not know if I will still be here tomorrow, the next day, next week, next month or next year. Only God knows. Everyday I live as though it's my last day on this earth. With anticipation, I know Jesus is returning at any moment.

Every step I make, every breath I take, for every heartbeat, God holds my being in His hands. God is my sustainer, redeemer, my refuge and the source of strength in my life.

Every day, I praise and thank God for a new morning, a new day, for all the blessings He has showered upon me. I thank Him for His love and care, for His protection and provisions, for supplying all my needs. I also thank Him for the miraculous provisions during my disability years.

I also learned about God's sufficient grace: God gave me an affliction that made me depend on Him and in my weakness, He leads me to trust in His strength. God's word in II Corinthians 12:9 "My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness..."

Lastly, my thanks to Pastor Stephen and Eunice Lim, for their Christlikeness leadership and godly counsels. And thank you to all the church members, thank you for your love, prayers and care for me all these years. Thank you for your friendship, fellowship and for everything you have done for me and my relatives. Saying thank you is not enough; it's only a portion of my deepest appreciation and gratitude to all of you. Thank you for sharing so much goodness and kindness from your hearts.

With a grateful heart, I give thanks to our Lord and to all dear friends who touched my life, who bless me with your acts of kindness, your prayers, and encouragement.

To God be the glory, honor and praise!

MC

O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go

There are usually turning points in a person's life when an event or a decision radically alters his life. For many Christians, it is often the day they take Christ as their personal Savior. We often hear touching testimonies of miraculous transformations in peoples' lives when they believe in God and form personal relationships with Him. For the Apostle Paul, his encounter with Christ on his way to Damascus not only changed him personally, but also benefited all of Christianity. Unfortunately, not all such transformations are positive. For every positive example we may be able to find one to the contrary, e.g., the prodigal son. Nevertheless, these negative episodes do not have to be final. As with the prodigal son, there is always room for hope, restoration, and renewal.

Unlike Paul's, there was nothing dramatic about my conversion experience. I was brought up in a Christian household. I had attended church ever since I could remember. I underwent a gradual progression from Sunday school to youth groups to regular church meetings. There wasn't a specific "aha!" moment to speak of. I could remember thinking to myself that I would not make a good testimony for Christ given the "non-dynamic" nature of my salvation experience. I even prayed for a "dynamic" salvation, not really knowing what it meant. However, as the saying goes, be careful what you wish for...

Things came easily to me when I was growing up. I did well both at school and at work. God has been gracious to me and has blessed me with good academic achievements and career advancement. Instead of glorifying God by living a life worthy of His calling, I made an unwise choice shortly after graduate school that launched me into a downward spiral. I began to squander away my life, just as the prodigal son did. I started to live a life that was completely indistinguishable from that of worldly people. I stopped attending church fellowships, abandoned all spiritual pursuits, carried on a life independent of God, and even forsook certain Christian values. My life became a mess. Not only did my life suffer, but that of my family's as well. Our children were raised with minimal knowledge of God and with very little Christian values; my manner of life rendered me ineffective in sharing my faith. On the surface, things looked normal but inwardly, I was in a rut. There was no real joy or satisfaction.

During this time of reckless abandon, the Lord shone His light upon me and set me on a path towards recovery. It started out as a longing to restore some semblance of a Christian life for the sake of the kids. He led me to the CEC in West Orange, now Livingston. I began to attend church services, albeit irregularly. My attendance was then mostly an outward formality devoid of life and reality. While I attended services on and off, my Christian life continued to stagnate.

Praise God that "He who began a good work in us will carry it on to completion." Through the perseverance of brothers and sisters who indefatigably prayed for my family, who demonstrated their love and concern through persistent contact, and who painstakingly devised ways to usher me back to Christ by involving me in some church services, the Lord has wonderfully restored me back into the flow of life. Beginning in late 2010, through His appointment, first to the Sunday school service and then to the translation service, the Lord has richly blessed me. These services forced me to come before the Lord to draw supply from Him. They also enabled me to keep more of His words in my heart to serve as a constant reminder of how we should live our lives before God. By His unfailing mercy, I was able to restore a more grounded Christian life with daily devotionals, Bible-reading and prayers. I thank the Lord for providing such loving shepherds in the church who act in concert with our Great Shepherd to restore lost sheep to the fold. May this be the beginning of a closer walk with God and a turn towards all things godly and eternal. May I continue to experience Christ as the Author and Perfecter of my faith.

The phrase "O Love that will not let me go" from a hymn speaks to this stage of my Christian experience. While we may forsake Him, the Lord will never forsake us nor leave us. He may occasionally cut us some slack and allow us to venture out on our own due to our stubbornness, but He will eventually corral us back to His fold. Thank God for His faithfulness and loving kindness. Through His dynamic love and saving mercy, He has restored me into His fellowship. I pray that my family be not too far behind.

EK

Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. 
若不是耶和華看守城池,看守的人就枉然警醒. 
- Psalm 詩篇 127:1