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Easter Lunch and Spirit-filled Worship

April 26, 2014 Leave a comment

Easter lunch

We get a long weekend over Easter here in the UK – Good Friday, then Easter Monday. Loads of locals legged it home for the break so it was nice to have the “left-over” people round for lunch after Easter service. A mish-mash of people who hadn’t met before – some had been at the Local Church for almost a decade and some had only visited three times, but all chatting happily and discussing life and doctrine by the end of the meal.

The English lamb shoulders were superb. Bunged 4.5kg in the oven at 120°C just before leaving for the Easter service and they were just about done by the time I’d managed to extricate myself from various happy chats to run home and turn off the oven. Seasoned only with salt, pepper, garlic, and rosemary, the meat was tender and sweet and flavourful without the stench of sheep.

at the butcher's

shoulder of English spring lamb shoulder of English spring lamb
shoulder of lamb

To accompany the baby sheep, we had “truffled” potato dauphinoise and roast carrots and parsnips, and a simple salad of spinach leaves and strawberries with poppyseed dressing:

potato gratin

Before pudding (blood orange almond cake and lemon cream tart), we’d gotten to what it looked like to live as Christians. Happily, because i live in a house full of church associates, Bibles were quickly produced and Romans 12 was pointed to.

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

It’s far too insipid and trivial to think of worshipping God as merely a matter of singing and dancing; it is about giving our whole selves over to God, to be living sacrifices. It would be frankly ridiculous to think that God would be interested in just the things produced by our vocal chords or flailing limbs over the period of a few hours – our man-made idols might accept that, but not the real and living God of the whole creation.

And we begin to be able to worship God rightly in our living by first being transformed by our already renewed minds (see previously in Romans). We start by having a right view of ourselves, especially in relation to the church:

For by the grace given to me I say to every one among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgement, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.

Worship doesn’t start with wanting the opportunity to use our talents to the full within the body or some other form of self-fulfilment; it starts with understanding that we all contribute to life in the body of Christ, and also that we are innately inter-dependent (“individually members one of another”!). And so we serve with the right attitude.

blood orange cake

lemon tart, with blood orange cake looking on

Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. 10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honour. 11 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.

14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight.

How diametrically opposed to the hell-ish reality described in Romans 1:

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honour him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonouring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever! Amen.

26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonourable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God’s decree that those who practise such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practise them. (Romans 1:18-32)

The changed life of the Christian detailed in Romans 12:9-16 sounds great, we might say, but it seems more like one of those things to nod about and aspire to, with the knowledge that, like so many New Year resolutions and diet fads, we will never really stick with it. Yet, it is absolutely vital that Christians not conform to this world as described in Romans 1:18-32.

This is not a matter of following the rules of the new club we’ve joined, but a fundamental change in us – we once did not and could not rightfully honour God and now we have both the desire and ability to do so. We were once dead in our sins but are now alive in Christ; we were once slaves of unrighteousness but are now slaves to righteousness etc…why would we want to go back to eat our own vomit?

We can now worship God rightly because Jesus has paid the price for our sins so God’s wrath no longer remains on us and his judgement is no longer against us. And we do so with the third member of the Godhead himself – the Spirit. Again, how frankly ridiculous to think that we somehow control the Spirit by inviting him to our “Sunday Worship Sessions”, and even more frivolous, asking him to perform magic tricks like making people faint or giggle or have gold fillings in their teeth.

The Spirit does a far more important job of enabling us to worship God rightly with miraculously changed lives! And not only that, as we pray constantly for God’s help in living in a way that pleases him, the Spirit gloriously helps us – magnificent assurance that God will help us persevere to the end:

26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. (Romans 8)

pink Spring girliness Easter lunch - pudding

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Singing Along with Lou Fellingham (and The Phatfish) for Easter

March 22, 2013 Leave a comment


Who Could Understand (Christ Crucified) (Nathan & Lou Fellingham)
WHO COULD UNDERSTAND the depth of Your plan, to bring sinners home?
Will we ever know the size of the cost? The shame of the cross?
So foolish to human wisdom but to Your children it’s life and power

We preach Christ crucified, it’s the only way for souls to be saved who have gone astray
We preach Christ raised to life and now He reigns
Interceding for us till He comes again.

Self sufficient ways run through our veins, fighting Your grace
But Your grace invades, stronger than flesh, demanding a change
So foolish to human wisdom but to Your children it’s life and power

It has the power to break in
And wash away every sin
The only hope for our generation
One day He will come again
And life will truly begin
Restored to how we were meant to be


See The Lamb of God
Down into darkness His body had been laid
Lifeless and broken a sacrifice was made
What can be done now our hope is in the grave
Who will save us now?

He who had come, as the truth, the life, the way
Nailed to a cross, God forsaken and betrayed,
But His blood spilled for all to redeem the world He made
Jesus saves us now

See the Lamb of God
Risen from the dead
Seated on the throne
His reign will never end
Hail him king of love
Jesus Christ the Lord
The champion of hearts
Who lives forevermore
Where everything cries Holy, Holy, Holy is our God

God shook the earth as His power was displayed
Death put to death as Jesus Christ was raised
God is alive and His Spirit lives in us
Hallelujah


You Alone Can Rescue (Matt Redman, chord sheet)

Who, oh Lord, could save themselves,
Their own soul could heal?
Our shame was deeper than the sea
Your grace is deeper still

Who, oh Lord, could save themselves,
Their own soul could heal?
Our shame was deeper than the sea
Your grace is deeper still

You alone can rescue, You alone can save
You alone can lift us from the grave
You came down to find us, led us out of death
To You alone belongs the highest praise

You, oh Lord, have made a way
The great divide You heal
For when our hearts were far away
Your love went further still
Yes, your love goes further still

We lift up our eyes, lift up our eyes
You’re the Giver of Life
We lift up our eyes, lift up our eyes
You’re the Giver of Life
We lift up our eyes, lift up our eyes
You’re the Giver of Life
We lift up our eyes, lift up our eyes
You’re the Giver of Life
We lift up our eyes, lift up our eyes
You’re the Giver of Life
We lift up our eyes, lift up our eyes
You’re the Giver of Life
We lift up our eyes, lift up our eyes
You’re the Giver of Life
We lift up our eyes, lift up our eyes
You’re the Giver of Life

You alone can rescue, You alone can save
You alone can lift us from the grave
You came down to find us, led us out of death
To You alone belongs the highest praise
To You alone belongs the highest praise
To You alone belongs the highest praise


And Can It Be (Words: Charles Wesley)
And can it be that I should gain
An interest in the Savior’s blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain—
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

’Tis mystery all: th’Immortal dies:
Who can explore His strange design?
In vain the firstborn seraph tries
To sound the depths of love divine.
’Tis mercy all! Let earth adore,
Let angel minds inquire no more.
’Tis mercy all! Let earth adore;
Let angel minds inquire no more.

He left His Father’s throne above
So free, so infinite His grace—
Emptied Himself of all but love,
And bled for Adam’s helpless race:
’Tis mercy all, immense and free,
For O my God, it found out me!
’Tis mercy all, immense and free,
For O my God, it found out me!

Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray—
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.

Still the small inward voice I hear,
That whispers all my sins forgiven;
Still the atoning blood is near,
That quenched the wrath of hostile Heaven.
I feel the life His wounds impart;
I feel the Savior in my heart.
I feel the life His wounds impart;
I feel the Savior in my heart.

No condemnation now I dread;
Jesus, and all in Him, is mine;
Alive in Him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness divine,
Bold I approach th’eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.
Bold I approach th’eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.


Before The Throne Of God Above
Before the throne of God above
I have a strong and perfect plea
A great High Priest whose name is love
Who ever lives and pleads for me
My name is graven on His hands
My name is written on His heart
I know that while in heav’n He stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart
No tongue can bid me thence depart

When Satan tempts me to despair
And tells me of the guilt within
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end of all my sin
Because the sinless Savior died
My sinful soul is counted free
For God the Just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me
To look on Him and pardon me

Behold Him there, the risen Lamb
My perfect, spotless Righteousness
The great unchangeable I AM
The King of glory and of grace
One with Himself, I cannot die
My soul is purchased by His blood
My life is hid with Christ on high
With Christ my Savior and my God
With Christ my Savior and my God

Original words by Charitie Lees Bancroft (1841-1892), alternate words and music by Vikki Cook
©1997 Sovereign Grace Worship (ASCAP)


Awake, Awake O Zion
Awake, awake O Zion
And clothe yourself with strength
Shake off your dust
And fix your eyes on Him
For you have been redeemed by
The precious blood of Jesus
And now you sit enthroned with Him

Our God reigns
He is King of all the earth
Our God reigns
And He’s seated on the throne
Lift your voice
And sing a song of praise
Our God reigns
The Awesome God Most High

How beautiful the feet are
Of those who bring good news
For they proclaim the peace
That comes from God
Rise up you holy nation
Proclaim the great salvation
And say to Zion “Your God reigns”

Emmanuel, Emmanuel
Our God is with us now

The watchmen lift their voices
And raise a shout of joy
For He will come again
Then all eyes will see the
Salvation of our God
For He has redeemed Jerusalem


There Is A Day (Phatfish)
That all creation’s waiting for,
A day of freedom and liberation for the earth.
And on that day
The Lord will come to meet His bride,
And when we see Him
In an instant we’ll be changed

The trumpet sounds
And the dead will then be raised
By His power,
Never to perish again.
Once only flesh,
Now clothed with immortality,
Death has now been
Swallowed up in victory

We will meet Him in the air
And then we will be like Him
For we will see Him, as He is
Oh yeah!
Then all hurt and pain will cease
And we’lll be with Him forever
And in His glory we will live
Oh yeah! Oh yeah!

So lift your eyes
To the things as yet unseen,
That will remain now
For all eternity.
Though trouble’s hard,
It’s only momentary
And it’s acheiving
Our future glory.

Easter Lunch at The Cornerstone Restaurant and Why We Won’t Come Back As Zombies

April 10, 2012 Leave a comment

Cornerstone Restaurant, Bishan Park 2 Bar, Cornerstone Restaurant, Bishan Park 2
Cornerstone Restaurant, Bishan Park 2

A congregation of locusts bustled up to The Cornerstone restaurant (facebook) in Bishan Park 2, 1380 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1, for Easter Sunday lunch. A short walk from the car park, having outdoor seating gave it the opportunity to be child-friendly and pet-friendly.

Mushroom Soup, Cornerstone Restaurant, Bishan Park 2 Mussels in cream, Cornerstone Restaurant, Bishan Park 2
St. Nicholas Short Ribs, Cornerstone Restaurant, Bishan Park 2 Sausage Platter, Cornerstone Restaurant, Bishan Park 2
Grilled Squid, Cornerstone Restaurant, Bishan Park 2 Level 2 Chicken Wings, Cornerstone Restaurant, Bishan Park 2

The appetisers for sharing: mussels in cream sauce, St. Nicholas short ribs, sausage platter, grilled squid, level 1 and 2 chicken wings were all decently done.

Yeo Kian Tiong, former executive chef at Xi Yan who used to run Sumi Yakitori in Centrepoint and now Ramen Monster at Novena, was probably not in the kitchen, but the standard of the mains was mostly above average: juvenile lobster pasta, ribs, fish and chips (with the exception of one of two orders of half roast chickens which was rather dry, and the beef which had a broiled grey flavour -> sous vide?).

Juvenile lobster pasta, Cornerstone Restaurant, Bishan Park 2 Ribs, Cornerstone Restaurant, Bishan Park 2
Fish and chips, Cornerstone Restaurant, Bishan Park 2
Burger, Cornerstone Restaurant, Bishan Park 2
Half roast chicken, Cornerstone Restaurant, Bishan Park 2 Cornerstone Restaurant, Bishan Park 2

It’s already been said that the authenticity of the resurrection of Jesus is the cornerstone of Christianity. Paul, in his letter to the Corinthians, establishes this (1 Corinthians 15:1-9) before considering the implications of Christ’s physical resurrection (vs. “oh, Jesus lives on in my heart”): if Jesus had not been bodily raised,

our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. (1 Corinthians 15:14-19)

It is only because Christ is risen that we have any sort of true hope – hope that isn’t just an expression of desire for a particular outcome in the future, but a certainty about what will happen in the future:

  • hope of more to life than death – why be nice to people? Why take care of your health? Why not steal and rape and kill (just avoid getting caught, but hey, why have laws against all this in the first place)? If death is inevitable and the end all, then we must grab everything we want now. But because Christ is risen, the certainty is that there will be a resurrection of all [who have died] (1 Corinthians 15:20-22). This is why all the suffering now that is the result of standing firm in what God has said is worth it – that is why Christians do not despair of losing out in this life;
  • hope of life beyond death – Jesus has taken the sting from death and is victorious over it, so while Christians still mourn the death of another Christian, they do not fear death (1 Corinthians 15:55-56);
  • hope of new bodies – spending time at the gym to create that buff body and six pack this current generation assumes is beautiful, keeping up with fashion trends, worry about that cellulite and those varicose veins, splurging on cosmetics and salves and lotions and pills that promise to keep your skin youthful and wrinkle-free and your head of hair full? Our present bodies are made for this perishable world – they are perishable, dishonored, weak, and natural. These are not bodies that are to be kept for all eternity. For the new world that God will create, our present bodies will be changed and raised imperishable, glorious, powerful, and spiritual. (1 Corinthians 15:35-49)

Because of this, then only one thing is important in this life: giving ourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because we know that our labour in the Lord is not in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58).

Good Friday Celebrations in Singapore

April 7, 2012 Leave a comment

Dinner tableCelebrating Good Friday? Isn’t it a bit crass to be feasting to remember the day a man died horribly on the cross? And as Christians, shouldn’t we be mourning the loss (and some might add, murder) of our great teacher and lord?

Not quite.

Good Friday is described as “good” for a reason: Jesus was born to die; as the eternal Son of God he came to earth as a human being specifically for the purpose of saving all other humans (who could not (and cannot) save themselves from the death penalty they were under for their sins).

Roasted red pepper + anchovy + green olive pintxo / pincho / tapa /crostini Smoked salmon + crème fraîche + truffle salsa pintxo / pincho / tapa /crostini
(pintxos/pinchos/crostinis/tapas: roasted red pepper/capsicum + anchovy + green olive; smoked salmon + crème fraîche +truffle salsa)

We celebrate because Good Friday means that God has not forgotten the humans he created. Him remembering us would have been a scary prospect, since we have all rebelled against him (by not acknowledging him as our Creator and our God), and deserve only death. It would have been better if he had just forgotten about us, really. But the God of this world is both rightly just (and so must punish sin) and remarkably merciful, so while remembering our heinous crimes against the Deity, he has also given us a way to be saved from judgement.

Roasted pork collar with apricots and garlic(not roast lamb but delicious succulent roast pork collar, studded with apricots and garlic. nice with sides of French beans and sweet potato mash + double cream + horseradish. accompanied by Butler’s Grove Devil’s Revenge Mustard from Dart Valley Foods.)

Jesus was born as a Jew and the concept of God rightly judging Israel and yet giving them a way out was not new to them. The Passover, the day that Jesus died, was celebrated every year to commemorate how God saved the people of Israel from slavery in Egypt. Just a peek at the wrath of God, the death of all the firstborns in Egypt in one night, would put the fear of the LORD in the Pharaoh (who had a rather short-term memory, seeing he soon forgot his proper fear and went on to hunt down the Israelites later on) (Exodus 12).

The part of the instructions for the first Passover were to take a lamb without defect, slaughter it, paint the household doorframes with it, and roast the meat and eat it within the house. For what reason? Said God to Moses:

On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn of both people and animals, and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the LORD. The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are, and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt. (Exodus 8:12-13)

Roasted red pepper   anchovy   green olive pintxo / pincho / tapa /crostini Smoked salmon   creme fraiche pintxo / pincho / tapa /crostini

Waitaminute. Why were the people of Israel also in danger of the plague? Was God unable to control his power so he might have accidentally set the radius of his destructive scope a little too wide? Nope – he demonstrated that he was quite in control during the first 9 plagues, plus a little lamb’s blood on the doorframes wasn’t going to stop anything!

Did God need visual cues to tell him where his people were located? Nope – he managed to identify them very well thankyou during the last few plagues.

It seems the people of Israel were in danger of judgement because they were just as culpable as the evil Pharaoh. Even though oppressed and downtrodden and victims of human rights violations, they too didn’t acknowledge God and in fact, scorned God’s words and God’s servant Moses. The blood on the doorframes was a sign not for God but for the people of Israel themselves – God was giving them a way both to repent and to be saved. If the crime was not to trust God, then the painting of blood etc would be a demonstration of their trust – that they believed he was coming to judge and that they believed that just by obeying his words, they would be saved from this judgement.

So it is the same with Jesus:

God so love the world that he sent his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but shall have eternal life (John 3:16)

Lemon cream tart with strawberries Wholewheat brownie with walnuts and dried cranberries

But if the blood of the lamb could do, then why did Jesus have to die? Well, seriously, how can the blood of lambs, and later, bulls and goats, actually pay for one’s sins? So the writer of Hebrews reasons:

The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. Otherwise, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins. It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.

Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said:

“Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,
but a body you prepared for me;
with burnt offerings and sin offerings
you were not pleased.
Then I said, ‘Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll—
I have come to do your will, my God.’”

First he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them”—though they were offered in accordance with the law. Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. (Hebrews 10:1-10)

What can be more fantastic than this? Can we not help but rejoice?

Easter in Singapore

April 2, 2012 7 comments

Easter Party Table with appropriate pastel coloured confectionsEaster celebrations started early, with an Easter party and egg hunt last Sunday full of whooping children and sugary goodness.

Mini carrot cake cupcakes with pastel buttercream and sprinkles from Plain Vanilla Bakery Pastel Coloured Easter Almond M&Ms

So the plethora of chicks, eggs, bunnies, and pastel colours signifies spring and stuff huh, i commented about a month ago, but was corrected by an Irishman who claimed that they were meant to signify the new life that accompanies the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.

Plastic Easter eggs in baskets awaiting Easter egg huntHmmm but then what could be the significance of the egg hunt? In any event, no one was going to let arguments about the pagan origins of Easter get in the way of an event worth celebrating (regardless of the exact date that Jesus did actually rise again).

Rainbow cake from Jacqui Co. with rainbow sprinkles and homemade bunting

(one of the usually too-cool-for-school boys almost fell over in excitement upon sighting this rainbow cake)

I’d think that Easter is far more worth celebrating than Christmas – the death and resurrection of Jesus more than his birth (although technically, he had to be born to die etc). His resurrection is a bit like a rainbow, because both signify certain of God’s promises, though Jesus’ resurrection gives actual proof that God has been faithful.

The historical fact of Jesus’ resurrection demonstrates, inter alia:

1. that God had been faithful to his promises in the Old Testament to send his suffering servant and divine king to the world to save us – when he was alive, Jesus claimed to be the Son of God. The Jewish leaders then persuaded the authorities to have him crucified for claiming to be equal to God. Unfortunately, they failed to consider that it isn’t heresy if the accused is actually divine. Jesus’ resurrection and ascension to the right hand of God proves also that he was/is who he claimed to be (Romans 1:4), because Isaiah has told us that this person would have no stately form or majesty that we should look upon him, nor appearance that we should be attracted to him. He would be despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and like one from whom men hide their face (Isaiah 53:1-3) and Psalm 16:10 has said that this awaited person would not be abandoned to Hades nor would he see decay (Psalm 16:10);

2. that God had been faithful to his promises in the Old Testament to save us from eternal death, the consequence of our constant rebellion against him. Jesus had said that his death would pay for our sins so that God’s wrath would pass over us (Romans 5:9), just as God’s judgement passed over the Israelites in Egypt, so that we can be reconciled to God and enjoy eternal life with him instead of gnashing our teeth for all eternity. But if Christ had not been raised, our faith in these promises is futile; we are still in our sins. (1 Corinthians 15:17). Death first came into the world as a consequence of the first man/woman’s rebellion against God in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3). So if Jesus had just died, period, then he would have been just as deserving of death as any of us. However, Jesus was sinless, therefore, it was impossible for death to have any hold on him (Acts 2:23-24), thereby proving that our faith in God’s promises and Jesus’ claims is grounded in reality.

Hot Cross Buns from MilkbarWhat all this means is that there will come a day when everyone who has ever lived will be raised from the dead:

“And many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt” (Daniel 12:2).

“Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; those who did the good deeds, to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment” (John 5:28-29).

And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. . . . And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:13, 15).

Therefore, to understand Easter as the celebration of the end of the Lenten period of fasting and deprivation is somewhat erroneous. The fact that Jesus rose again from the dead is simultaneously (1) the greatest warning that there will be a judgement day for all at some point in the future; and (2) the most wonderful comfort that his promise that whoever trusts in God’s Son will not perish at this certain future judgement, but will have eternal life.

*the mother of one of these children said he enjoyed the concept of fake money and a shop so much he requested this to be included in the party for his 7th birthday. Would want to understand why he found this so enjoyable!

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Sources and Resources for Easter Partying and Egg Hunting in Singapore

Was pleased to observe that an Easter party and egg hunt is quite do-able even on a rather tight budget.

Decorations

Cloth, People's Park Complex Cloth, People's Park Complex
Bunny Cloth, Spotlight, Plaza Singapura

Cloth for bunting or other purposes from Spotlight (air-conditioned comfort) or People’s Park Complex (more choices, some chaos).

Easter Pipe Cleaner Ducks and Chicks, Spotlight, Plaza Singapura Easter Hoppers, Spotlight, Plaza Singapura

Pipe cleaner ducks and chicks, Easter hoppers also at Spotlight.

Crepe Garlands, Spotlight, Plaza Singapura Bunny Slippers and Bath Accessories, Spotlight, Plaza Singapura

Though not specific to Easter, Spotlight has crepe garlands and bunny, rabbit-referencing items.

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Fake grass, Daiso Plastic grass, Daiso

Paper lanterns, plastic and rattan baskets, string, plastic flowers and grass from Daiso.

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Puffed Rice in Carrot Packaging, Daiso

More general chick and bunny items too at Daiso – socks, plastic cutlery, correction tape, and puffed rice in a carrot-shaped packet.

AZ Gift & Trading Easter goods, AZ Gift & Trading

Heartlink Trading Easter goods, Heartlink Trading
Easter eggs, Heartlink Trading Egg decorating kit, Easter eggs, Heartlink Trading
Chicks & Rabbits, Heartlink Trading Bunny ears, Heartlink Trading
Easter Eggs, Heartlink Trading Easter eggs, Heartlink Trading
P&G Party & Gifts Easter egg decorating, P&G Party & Gifts
Easter eggs, P&G Party & Gifts Pinatas, P&G Party & Gifts
Ribbons, P&G Party & Gifts Balloons, P&G Party & Gifts
Bunny ears, P&G Party & Gifts

The Middle Road partyware shops that used to be at The Concourse stock loads of these, including piñatas (seen in some Easter parties). Three of them (P&G Party and Gifts, Heartlink Trading, and AZ Gift & Trading) are right next to each other.

SKP is worth a look as well, though its products are more functional than aesthetic.

Egg Decorating Kits and Aids

Easter Egg Decorating Kit, Spotlight, Plaza Singapura

Egg decorating stencils at Spotlight.

Egg Decorating Kits, Cold Storage
Egg decorating kits, Cold Storage.

Easter goods, AZ Gift & Trading

Egg decorating kits at The Middle Road party shops.

Easter Egg Hunt Baskets

Easter Bamboo Baskets, Spotlight, Plaza Singapura Easter Egg Baskets, Spotlight, Plaza Singapura
Easter Egg Baskets, Spotlight, Plaza Singapura

Bamboo, felt?, and plastic ones at Spotlight with Easter-themed decorative details,

Rattan baskets, Daiso Rattan and bamboo baskets, Victoria Street Wholesale Market

bamboo or rattan ones at Daiso or Victoria Wholesale Market. There is also a shop along Arab Street that has a good variety of baskets but they are rather dear and aren’t quite suited for little hands.

Tableware

Cutlery, napkins, table cloth. Spotlight, Plaza Singapura Cutlery, napkins, table cloth. Spotlight, Plaza Singapura
Cutlery, napkins, table cloth. Spotlight, Plaza Singapura Pink Cups, Spotlight, Plaza Singapura

Cutlery, plates, bowls, tablecloths (plastic, paper as the case may be) in pastel and spring colours at Spotlight (great discounts on these sometimes that offer the same items at 50-90% discounts to real party shops like Party City).

Middle Road partyware shops have themed ware with relevant visuals.

SKP, People's Park ComplexSKP definitely, with its many branches islandwide, but you may not find appropriate colours.

Plastic ware, Victoria Street Wholesale MarketThere are some plastic ware shops at Victoria Street Wholesale Market too.

Plastic Egg Shells for Easter Egg Hunt

Easter goods, Heartlink Trading Easter eggs, Heartlink Trading
Easter eggs, Heartlink Trading

The Middle Road partyware shops stock some discounted ones (smeared paint but otherwise serviceable, best deal was 36 normal-sized ones for S$10) and some in requisite pastels.

Shredded Paper, Spotlight, Plaza Singapura
Easter Bunny Hats, Egg Hunt Shells, Spotlight, Plaza Singapura

You also find a small selection at Spotlight, together with plastic Easter-themed baskets and shredded paper for grass nests (Spotlight “VIP” members get discounts on some items),

Plastic Easter Eggs, Cold Storage
Easter egg hunt baskets, Cold Storage Easter Grass, Cold Storage

and at Cold Storage supermarket, together with brightly-coloured baskets, and shredded paper for nests.

Chocolate Easter Eggs and Bunnies and Friends
Almost every supermarket and hypermarket (Cold Storage, NTUC, Carrefour, Meidi-ya, Giant) have an Easter chocolate, confection, and accessories section:

Easter goods, Cold Storage Golden Eggs, Zero Gravity, Hard to Find Eggs, Cold Storage
Hershey's Eggs, Cold Storage Easter goods, Cold Storage
Peeps and other Easter confections, Cold Storage, 112 Katong
Cold Storage – not all branches are alike and some branches had good 50-70% discounts on multi-coloured fruity mini marshmellows and Peeps.

Easter goods at Meidiya Supermarket Easter goods at Meidiya Supermarket
Easter goods at Meidiya Supermarket Easter goods at Meidiya Supermarket

Meidi-ya Supermarket

Lindt Bunny Chocolate, Carrefour
Carrefour, Plaza Singapura

Bunny chocolate, Marks & Spencers Mini Hot Cross Buns, Marks & Spencers
Easter chocolate eggs, Marks & Spencers Easter Chocolate, Marks & Spencers
Easter Chocolate, Marks & Spencers

Marks & Spencers

Kinder Joy chocolate eggsKinder Surprise or Kinder Joy eggs with toys inside can be found almost everywhere but were cheapest, of all places, at Watsons and Guardian Pharmacy…presumably because their customers weren’t snapping them up.

Easter Egg Fillers

Hershey's Kisses, Hershey's Miniature Bars, Wonka's Laffy Taffy, Sheaves of Bunny MoneyHershey’s Kisses fit well, as do mini-sized Hershey’s and Mr. Goodmans bars.

ABC Cheapest Store in Singapore Sweets at ABC Cheapest Store in Singapore

You can get these at supermarkets or on discount from budget shops like Radha Exports‘ ABC Bargain Centre and Valudollar outlets.

There are many ways to conduct an egg hunt. Since safe space is a limited resource in Singapore, there may need to be some variation to the plain vanilla run-search-grab. Perhaps having different coloured eggs for different age groups to ensure everyone gets something, or dividing the kids up so that each group can only go for odd or even-numbered eggs etc. I went with staggering start-times and putting bunny money in the eggs together with the chocolates.

Bunny money to be hidden in plastic Easter eggs for the Easter egg huntBunny money – free download from Rosemary Wells. (Got a bit sidetracked here because there was some discussion about money supply, prices of goods, inflation, monetary policy, distribution of wealth.)

This meant the kids could use the bunny money to purchase what they wanted from the Bunny Shoppe (so there would be less waste) and get larger goodies as well, including:

Tai Sing
Model Cars, Tai Sing Model Cars, Tai Sing
Model Motorcycles, Tai Sing Stikfas, Tai Sing

discounted Stikfas and model cars from toy wholesaler, Tai Sing;

Hot Wheels, Glow-in-the-dark Dinosaurs and Stars, Zuru‘s Crazy Headz Rocket Shotz and Roomarangs, Bubbles, Playdough from the sale at Toys’r’Us, Miffy stickers and pouches from Daiso and Nanairo, another Japanese S$2 shop in the basement of Liang Court;

Themes plasters for Easter egg huntcolourful plasters from various pharmacies (divi-ed up into little packets for more mileage);

Red Accessories for the Bunny Shopperather nice necklaces and bangles in solid colours from a crazy S$1 clearance sale at SIX Accessories, Vivocity.

Party Food

Mini carrot cake cupcakes with pastel buttercream and sprinkles from Plain Vanilla Bakery

Plain Vanilla Bakery (facebook, 34A Lorong Mambong, Holland Village) does good mini cupcakes, and they tinted the buttercream on their moist carrot ones pretty pastels. All Good Things Bakery (facebook, 7 Rodyk Street, Watermark at Robertson Quay) does minis as well.

Rainbow cake from Jacqui Co. with rainbow sprinkles and homemade buntingJacqui Co. (facebook, 231 Jalan Kayu) baked this tender-crumbed rainbow cake, with the right gradation of colours. Sprinkled some millions (or thousands) for added effect.

Baby pink and purple cake bunting, made from cheap origami paper Clove Hitch to secure cake bunting to satay stick flag poles

Also stuck in some bunting made from the origami paper Daiso sells in packs of 330. Affixed to two satay stick flag poles with clove hitches.

Hot Cross Buns from MilkbarMilkbar (facebook) does hot cross buns. Sandra handcuts orange peels and boils them together with granny smith apples and lemon pieces to create the candied fruit for the buns, adds dried sultanas soaked in rum until they plump up, and washes the baked buns with an apple and spice glaze. Cedele also offers hot cross buns in the following flavours: classic, apple and cinnamon, and sun-dried tomato and cheese wholewheat. Supplemented with a platter of mini ones from Marks & Spencers (half price as they neared their expiry dates). They all needed a bit of a toast before consumption.

Excellent Homemade Cream SconesLovely homemade cream scones from the kitchen of good bakers and cooks.

Annie's Gluten-free Gingersnaps and Cocoa & Vanilla Bunny Cookies Annie's Organic Pretzels in Rabbit shapes

Annie’s Homegrown, with its bunny-shaped products, rather fits the theme too.

Cookie Cutters
Easter Decorations, Spotlight, Plaza SingapuraBunny, chick, egg shaped cookie cutters can be obtained from Lemon Zest (43 Jalan Merah Saga, Holland Village) or, again, Spotlight.

Easter Chocolate and Candy Moulds

Bunny chocolate mould, Spotlight, Plaza Singapura Easter Egg Decorating Kit, Spotlight, Plaza Singapura

Lemon Zest, Shermay’s Cooking School, Phoon Huat, and Spotlight

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