Dear Readers,

As a young pastor learning to minister, I have made it a habit to read the writings of the late Rev. (Dr) Timothy Tow, the founding pastor of the Bible Presbyterian Church in Singapore. He was also the founding Principal of the Far Eastern Bible College, which was used by the Lord to train workers to serve Christ in the harvest fields. He was also my pastor when I first joined Life BPC and later True Life BPC.

Rev. Timothy Tow was a master of restatement and summary. The Lord gave him a keen mind to take deep spiritual truths and present them simply and succinctly. One can benefit much by reading his pastoral and theological insights of the Scriptures.

The following are some of the pastoral gems I have gathered recently. I hope to edit and reproduce some of these throughout the year.

May you be richly blessed just as I have.

Yours affectionately,
Pastor Clement Chew



There is a Chinese saying, “A thousand people, a thousand woes. And no two woes are the same.” This saying is true, but Chinese philosophy offers no solutions to our problems. Is that the reason why you are coming to Church – to find a solution to your problems? That is the wisest step that you have taken!

Praise God, we have the solution. Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour invites you. “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matt. 11:28) This is the first step to the solution. Come as you are, whatever the load of your sinfulness and the burden of your problem. Come and give yourself up to Jesus!

Now the second step, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” (Matt. 11:29) After we have put our trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, we must do as He tells us. The Bible is the Word of Christ. His philosophy of life is opposite to the world’s. His yoke, His assignment to our daily living, is an easy one. Not that which starts off on a rat race and with a vengeance against the one you hate, but rather one of resignation to God’s Will. This brings peace and rest to our souls.
Jesus is meek and lowly of heart, of our own making.

Here is a chorus composed by Dr Tow Siang Hwa (to the tune of Higher
Ground): Is there a problem in your life? Christ is the answer to your quest Is there unhappiness and strife? For peace and joy and happiness
Christ is the Answer, He can save
He meets your needs from day to day,
From ev’ry problem you may have, He is the Life, the Truth, the Way.

Thank God Christ is the Answer to your problem. For He who died for your sins, the root of all problems, is able to deliver you inasmuch as He had risen from the dead to conquer sin and death for us.

Courtesy is Doubly the Christian Way of Life (1984)

In order to inculcate courtesy into ugly Singaporeans, our government has waged a campaign mightier than the one waged on mosquitoes. The slogan is “Courtesy is our way of life.” Without courtesy, one’s way up the ladder of life is blocked from the outset.

Courtesy is the first of four strands that bind a nation together according to Confucian philosophy – “Courtesy, Righteousness, Incorruption, Sense of Shame.” The world knows the importance and value of courtesy, what more the Christian! Therefore, a Christian who is made righteous in Christ must be doubly courteous. Yes, courtesy is doubly the Christian way of life. “Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.” (Col. 4:6)

Now what is this virtue called courtesy? Chambers dictionary defines it as “an act of civility or respect.” Webster calls it “politeness with kindness.” For when somebody has dealt kindly with us, has helped us in our hour of need, do you not think we should reciprocate some gratitude? This is what is defined as
“politeness connected with kindness.”

Ingratitude, which is conspicuously manifested in conveniently walking away without a word to our benefactor is the surest way to doom. So, instead of learning “how to win friends and influence people” (Dale Carnegie), we supplant with “how to lose friends and infuriate people”. Ingratitude, says Shakespeare, is more unkind than winter wind. One proverb say, “ingratitude is the worst of vices.”

Now, let me come to a sore spot in this short discourse of Christians’ bankruptcy in courtesy. I can look back with dismay on at least half a dozen cases in the last decade in respect of their use or misuse of our Church for weddings. After the Benediction, they can walk away without even a “Thank You” card! Not only is the church left in the cold, so is the caretaker, bell-ringer and others who may have helped one way or another. Yet, these thoughtless couples could spend thousands at a hotel restaurant (Editor: how many thousands today?), or go on a tour to Japan or USA. Thankfully, these has so far been a minute fraction of the blissful company. So let me say again, “Courtesy is doubly the Christian way of life”. It augurs well to every young couple who so practise it as they embark on the voyage of life.

Doctor: “Show Me Your Tongue”

One look at your tongue by an experienced doctor can tell him many things about your physical health. Similarly, your speech one can tell many things about your spiritual health, whether you are worldly, selfish, covetous, spiteful, vindictive, unforgiving, sensual, hypocritical. So guard your speech. “For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” (Matt. 12:37)

A careless word may kindle strife, a cruel word may wreck a life.
A bitter word may hate instil, a brutal word may smite and kill.
A gracious word may smooth the way, a joyous word may lighten the day.
A timely word may lessen stress, a loving word may heal and bless.

Editor’s note: Right Words and Right Actions at the Right Time takes a whole lifetime of learning. Win friends and influence people with Christlike behaviour. Do not lose friends and infuriate people with thoughtless words and actions. Do not sin with your words.

Yours affectionately,
Pastor Clement Chew