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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.

Race Horse

This morning brought news of some cheers that my favorite snooker player O Sullivan has reached the final by beating Judd Trump 10-9 on the last black. But what interested me was the subsequent interview which I learned a few lessons. Ronnie O Sullivan has chosen a number of tournaments he played in, about half of what other players are doing. He said and I quote, “like a race horse if you race it too much he gets sick. And then he added, “I am more like a greyhound...ready to race.” I realised that I have been like a race horse in the past 4 years, just ended on the 1st Feb. I have raced from one place to another, one sermon to another - in total about 100 sermons in my first year in Ranau. This compared to a church in Singapore that offered me 8 or 9 times my Ranau salary to preach once a month, even that after I pleaded with them. 10 or 12 sermons a year. Then in my 2nd year I raced even more travelling to and fro the College almost every day for 3 months when I was holding two job…

Preaching must be Relevant

It is more than 2 months that I have listened to preaching and generally it has been about average standard except for one or two below par messages I heard in my visits to several local churches in KK. Yesterday on Sunday just two days after the Friday mass killing in two Christchurch mosques I was hoping that the preacher made reference to it and bring the Word of God to bear. Only a week ago we have the Ethiopian Plane crash and again not a mention in the 50 min long sermon. I don’t expect preachers to speak on current issues as there is no end to it because of the trends and the form of the world passes away but he who does the will to God remains forever. But preaching must be relevant. Just as the Sunday just after the May 9th election again the preacher failed to speak on that and I thought that was a big failure just as yesterday’s miss on certain world-shaking events. Although we are not of this world we are still part of it and live in the world and the Lord has called us to…

Sporting Greatness

I guess I can indulge once a while in writing about sports. Even apostle Paul uses quite a bit of sporting imagery in his letters. In the past weekend we have witnessed the pinnacle of sporting greatness. Roger Federer won his 100 tennis titles just 9 behind Jimmy Connors. But in the modern game Federer is without parallel though Nadal has beaten him more often in their matches. Federer holds 20 grand slam titles the most among men. But the sporting greatness that I witnessed though delayed telecast is Ronnie O’Sullivan. Without doubt he is the best snooker player in history despite Stephen Hendry winning 2 more world titles than O’Sullivan. But O’Sullivan reaches his 1,000 centuries’ breaks on Sunday in the last frame and winning the Players Champisonship against Neil Robertson who beat the inform player of the year Judd Trump in the semi final. The final clearance and the sustained applause and standing ovation afforded as he hit the second last red to make it 100 points and then to…

Godliness and Contentment (1 Tim 6:6)

Apostle Paul gave some great advice. Though he was not married he told how couples should behave and husbands to love their wives and wives should respect and submit to their husbands. In his first letter to Timothy Paul gave some advice as to how to live. Paul is not worried about housing or the lack of it. Only this morning I read that there was a glut of apartments above RM250,000 in the whole country but affordable housing is hard to come by. When you are earning RM3,000 or even RM4,000 a month with a car loan can you afford a house more than RM300K? But apostle did not mention housing at all.

“God who fed me all life long” (Genesis 48:15)

In his deathbed Jacob blessed Joseph and his sons. Having lived for more than 100 years and many years in the wilderness of Midian and then losing Joseph his favourite son for more than 20 years Jacob had lived his life to the full through plenty and want, through abundant harvests and famines. Through it all he could say to Joseph that it was God of his fathers Abraham and Isaac before whom Jacob walked and it was this God who had fed him all his life long (Gen 48:15). The use of “fed “ instead of “shepherded “ in KJV is interesting because the latter could be spiritualised that God was a shepherd of one’s soul but He was not interested in feeding His people. The life of Jacob and the lives of Israelis throughout history has seen poverty struck God’s people yet God was faithful in making sure His people survived by giving them enough food for sustenance even in the most difficult of times.

Simple delights

After several weeks of hot nights and warm mornings I woke up early at dawn with a chill at my back. Even as I am enjoying breakfast at 6.30am in Menggatal the cool breeze is still blowing strong. The seasons may change and wind blows where it wills just like our seasons of ministry may change from one form to another and from one place to another place. For a whole month of February and for the first time in 50 months I did not have to travel to Ranau or anywhere else. Mighty relieved that I turned down 3 invitations to speak that would have involved driving for more than 4 hours each time. I have time to enjoy my city Kota Kinabalu or API-API in Chinese which is the Malay word for “fire”. I pray that the fire of the Holy Ghost be cast to this city of more than 1 million people. As I wait on the Lord I am enjoying simple delights, breakfast here and lunch there. A coffee here and a latte there.

Giving & Waiting

I suppose I am well-trained in waiting. I waited for 9 months before my Ranau's pastorate came through. That's 5 years back. Now I have been waiting for about 3 months without much direction where my future may lie. Not that I am short of offers. It came in pairs. One ministry position I turned down within 24 hours and I am glad yesterday I met my superior in church and conveyed my decision to him. He was most kind to say that he would look at finding something nearer to home. I don't know whether I want to move out of Kota Kinabalu. The whole of last year the Lord laid in my heart a burden for this growing city of close to 1 million people and about 900,000 cars. Cars are a necessity here without good public transport and if there are buses, unreliable and perhaps unsafe as well.