. . . the one who receives instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor. (Galatians 6:6 NIV)
I have been deeply touched at the many who have written in to say how much they have been blessed by the weekly eCommentaries. I heard from folks who have been following them for more than 10 years. Many gave useful suggestions, from lessening the frequency, making them purely occasional, enlisting more writers, folks volunteering to write, taking a sabbatical from writing before resuming, and even suggesting topics that I could write on. All these suggestions will be taken seriously and, as you can see, we have continued to publish them.
I am writing to ask if readers of this column will help us in continuing this ministry. As we periodically remind folks (we are not very good at doing this) we get 2/3 of our operating costs from honorariums and the sale of books. We still need to raise about 1/3 of what we need. We are in the midst of reviewing our ministry and are more committed than ever to the mission that God gave us — to see lives transformed through authentic relationships. So we seek to promote spiritual friendship in church and society through publishing and training. The last year has seen a growth in the work and we need more staff. We need your support.
We believe there is a mutuality in the Kingdom of God. As Paul reminds us in Galatians 6:6 above, God’s people share their blessings, both spiritual and material. If you have been blessed by Graceworks and want to help us to continue to bless others, do consider giving to Graceworks as you look at your year-end giving and as you plan for your ministry support for 2019.
(Graceworks is a company, so all giving will be sponsorships not donations, and are not tax deductible.)
How can you send money to us?
1. Write a cheque made out to Graceworks Private Limited and send it to:
22 Sin Ming Lane
#04-76 Midview City
Tel: (65) 6752 3403
Malaysian supporters can send us cheques in ringgit. We have a Malaysian account as well.
2. You could transfer money directly to our accounts:
Account name: Graceworks Private Limited
Account number: 0-418-10-0204-8
Account name: Graceworks Private Limited
Account number: 707-109815-9
If you choose to transfer money directly into our accounts please drop us a line to inform us. We need to keep accurate records.
3. You can “buy” an ecommentary at our online Store (https://graceworks.com.sg/store/).
A recent article on The New York Times Online is yet another reminder of the destructive effects of loneliness (Arthur C. Brooks, “How Loneliness Is Tearing America Apart,” The New York Times, Nov 23, 2018). I commend the article to you. You will also realise that this is not just an American problem.
Brooks begins his article by pointing out that:
America is suffering an epidemic of loneliness.
According to a recent large-scale survey from the health care provider Cigna, most Americans suffer from strong feelings of loneliness and a lack of significance in their relationships. Nearly half say they sometimes or always feel alone or “left out.” Thirteen percent of Americans say that zero people know them well. The survey, which charts social isolation using a common measure known as the U.C.L.A. Loneliness Scale, shows that loneliness is worse in each successive generation.
Brooks goes on to show how loneliness leads to destructive behaviours like suicide, drug overdose, and the politics of anger, and how such behaviours are on the rise. He concludes his article thus:
And there lies the challenge to each of us in a country suffering from loneliness and ripped apart by political opportunists seeking to capitalize on that isolation. Each of us can be happier, and America will start to heal, when we become the kind neighbors and generous friends we wish we had.
Reading the above I couldn’t help but think of the violent events in Malaysia the last few days, and the critical work of our dear friend William Wan as he leads the Singapore Kindness Movement here in Singapore. We need friends for life.