Monday, September 16, 2013

From 4am to 4pm, from 6am to 6pm

I have had two incredible days. Lord, have I spent my strength for nought? I woke up at 4am yesterday and by 5am I was revising and reflecting on my sermon. At 7:30am I took the early bus to church. Due to some misunderstanding I went to the wrong address and the pastor had to come to fetch me. It turned out well at the end as during the 10-minute trip to the venue, the pastor shared with me a number of things which helped me to understand the two congregations better (English and Mandarin). I had a wonderful time in preaching especially in the second Mandarin service, though it was interpreted it went smoothly and the 100 strong congregation or so was blessed. After lunch at One North shopping centre I took the MRT to the circle line to Buona Vista and then onwards to Clementi. I stopped for a short time as it was raining and enjoyed my usual cup of coffee at Toast Box. By the time I reached home, it was about 4pm, 12 hours since I woke up and I had the satisfaction of preaching twice and enjoyed some wonderful fellowship with the pastor and church members. This morning was no different. I thought I was going to sleep in until at least 7am but I got up at 6am and proceeded to prepare to lead worship for an 11:30am's Chapel service.

I could not do much between 8am and 11am as my mind was occupied in getting everything ready for the 35-minute service. My FG members were most supportive. We had a full band with piano, drums and guitar and 3 back-up singers. I led just one song, "For You alone deserve all glory" and read from Exod 23 and Romans 3. For the NT reading I read from the Bahasa Indonesia version in honour of Malaysia's 50th Jubilee Year today, a major public holiday in Sabah and Sarawak. Malaysia was formed 50 years ago, with four entities coming together, Malaya, Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore (Singapore became independent from Malaysia on 9th Aug 1965). We also prayed for the founding Prime Minister of Singapore on his 90th birthday. Mr Lee KY is someone I admire greatly and we need decisive and dedicated leaders like the first PM of Singapore. More so in churches today, there seems to be a dearth of leadership; not many dare to speak up or make a stance on issues confronting the Church or Christianity as a whole. Last year during the Day of Prayer I preached on the need for compassionate and courageous leaders or else the church will be like sheep without shepherd (Matt 9). After a 30 minutes rest over lunch I returned to my office at 1:15pm to prepare for my Romans lectures and for 3 hours from 2pm I expounded on Romans 8 with a 40-point note of 3,600 words. I had a fortnight to prepare for Romans 8 but with preaching constantly over the past 8 days, in reality I had about 3 full days to come up with the notes. By 6pm this evening I was so tired that I fell asleep for 45 minutes. It was a full day's work, from 6am to 6pm, even as I laboured for You, Lord from 4am to 4pm on Sunday Sabbath. Lord may You bless the works of Your hands and grant that Your glory be made known in the church through the ministry of Your servant.

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