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Recent Research on Revelation

In a crowded field of scholarship, I am delighted to see my name mentioned along with 40 or more scholars by Russell Morton's Recent Research on Revelation (Sheffield Phoenix, 2014; see here). If I were earning Singapore dollars I would have no hesitation to order the book for my library. The last book I ordered was last August when I was in Singapore, also on Revelation by C. Koester (Anchor Yale, 2014) and according to google scholar my book was cited 4 or 5 times in Koester's 940 page-long commentary (in fact it was cited 7 times!). I was invited by Asian Theological Commentary series to write a commentary on Revelation and I am still sitting on the invitation for the past month, not knowing whether I could find time to write. My Monday rest is take up with catching up on sleep. I wished I had a 2-day weekend.

Returning Home & Staying Put

It’s nearly 70 months since I returned from Singapore in 2014. If I make it to the end of January 2020 it would be the first time in 14 years that I have lived in my own house for a year without interruption. It is the fulfilment of God’s promise in the Jubilee passage in Leviticus 25 that in the 50th year one is to return to one own’s possession and land. Last Sunday a church member whom I knew well but had not the chance to converse with until on Sunday asked me whether I thought of migrating to New Zealand. Perhaps he has seen me around the church on and off without much to do.

Third Stint

I have to admit that I had my reservations. It will be my third stint as a pastor if God willing, I shall start again early next year. I had been pastor twice before, the first in my home church in KK and then 5 years ago in Ranau. Just like my teaching ministry as a lecturer I had gone through three different stints, the first when I first started full time ministry in Melangkap Kota Belud, then in Singapore and the third and final stint from 2016 to January 2019 in Ranau. Everything comes round and has a ring of equilibrium to it. I never planned it that way; it just happened as God so wills it, as we are obedient to the heavenly vision and do not turn back from following hard after Him.

“I will prolong my words...” (LXX Prov 1:24)

Last Sunday I received double portion of blessings, as I preached twice in church, once in the Sunday morning service and again at night at the 25th anniversary thanksgiving service. It was as if the Lord reaffirming the calling in my life to preach the Gospel and His Word. In the morning service, I shared how the Lord called me into His service as an 18-year, a second year University student. I said, “you can say anything about me, I will forgive you” but one thing is this “I am convinced of God’s calling in my life to be His servant”. God is in control as I received my letter of appointment at the end of the denomination’s AGM last Saturday, 30th Nov exactly a year after I resigned as lecturer of the College in Namaus, Ranau.

25th Anniversary Thanksgiving Service

I celebrated with 30 of my closest friends and associates in ministry along with 9 of my former students from Namaus and Melangkap Campuses. I appreciated that my "first student" from Melangkap in 1994-1995 came all the way from Labuan. He was in KK for the SIB AGM and had to return to Labuan on Saturday night for Sunday morning service and after service made his way (2 hours' ferry and 3 hours' drive) to KK to attend the function. He gave a wonderful testimony of his 20-year long in ministry and our times together in Melangkap 25 years ago. My other 8 students most of whom are pastors of rural churches came from their respective churches. With their basic salary of less than RM1,000 a month (one person told me that last year in 2018, she was only paid RM200.00 per month). They must have sacrificed time and money to come all the way and most had spent the night at a motel nearby before returning to their places of ministry on Monday. When you have nothing, you truly…

Long Drive

It took me 5 days to go to and fro Kota Kinabalu to preach twice in Kemabong, some 4 hours’ drive away. We stopped overnight in Tambunan before heading to Ulu Tomani, about 35kms from Tenom. When we went back, we stopped over in Tambunan for two nights as I was too tired to drive on Monday. It was a total sabbath for me after only preaching twice. I had to contend with the elements and the environment in a far away Village. There was a fan in the room but it was creaking and making weird noises all the time. And the windows can’t be shut so at night I was kept awake by mosquitoes. I am particularly sensitive to mosquito bites and I don’t know whether I had slept for 3 hours after preaching at night which service ended just before 11pm and supper fellowship for another hour.

New Stirrings

The Spirit of God is stirring afresh in my heart. I have been getting up real early, sometimes before 4am. I sensed God’s presence strong as I wait upon Him until sunrise. By 7am I was working on my John’s Gospel commentary and editing ch. 8 with four more chapters to go after this. I hope by the end of the year I can find a publisher and print my book and it should be out by the first quarter of 2020. My other book is delayed as the printers are based in Kuala Lumpur and shipping takes at least two weeks from KL to KK after the printing is done.

My Books are Returning Home

One of my most read blogposts is “Books whither Thy Home?” which I wrote some 5 and a half years ago. But my 300 books are returning home for good. It has been a long sojourn in Singapore, separated from its owner for 5.5 years. I am grateful to the Faculty and library of BGST for keeping my books in good shape, in fact two shelves were provided for them for easy access to users to browse and borrow if they wished. Altogether by February 2020 my books would have been in Singapore for nearly 12 years. It is a long home coming. These are my best books, series of commentaries and Hebrew and Greek lexicons. I can’t wait to have them back home.