I can't imagine myself in KK caught up in traffic jams daily. I was enjoying a plate of kueh tiau and admiring the rustic surroundings of Ranau. I felt at peace being in a place where the Lord wants me to be, similar to how I felt almost 7 years ago when I first set foot in Singapore. When you are in the will of God, you abide in peace because Jesus has spoken and said, "peace I leave with you." Ranau is very different than what it was 25 or 30 years.
Saturday, January 31, 2015
Besides preaching in church services, I also teach one subject at the College, about 20 mins drive away. I almost wept when I saw the library the other day. Physical structures and facilities have vastly improved but the number of books remains low. I was shocked to find out how few books were purchased in the last 18 years since my time as Treasurer.
One down and eleven to go. I am about to complete my first month in my new pastoral ministry after 6 months on sabbatical. I think I should record some of my experiences for posterity. First, a lot of preaching. 12 sermons in a month, easily double the amount of preaching I did when I pastored a KK church. Last night I preached about giving up everything based on Luke 14,14 to 33. It was a small gathering as it was the 3rd meeting during the week (we had Tuesday and Wed night meetings), I felt free to preach a hard message among leaders and their families. I spoke about loving Jesus more than one's father and mother, brothers and sisters, even one's own wife. I spoke about not giving excuses when the things of God demand our total devotion and commitment. No excuse! As the parable teaches, fields, oxen and even newly wed, there are simply no excuses when the call comes to follow Jesus.
Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
Two weeks ago I preached about King David and his strained relationship with his sons. David was a great king, loved by almost all his subjects but his own family was chaotic. His wife, Michal despised him, his sons tried to overthrow him. David was a complex character, none more so as portrayed in 2 Sam 13 to 19. With 7 chapters devoted to the Absalom episode, it must be a pivotal part in the life and reign of David as king. Sometimes, great leaders are beset with family problems. How did David react as king? How did he react as father?
Monday, January 26, 2015
I read in New Zealand Herald today that a few famous Kiwis are turning 50 this year. I have watched them on TV growing up. Half of my Jubilee is gone. What a day to remember! It is Australia Day and it is also Auckland anniversary day. It is the mid-point of my Jubilee. Technically my sabbatical is over but spiritual I have 6 months to go. In fact I have entered into a perpetual Jubilee for those who believed have entered into rest as God did on the 7th day.
Sunday, January 25, 2015
The last part of the church council's meeting was devoted to discussing enlarging the tent of meeting. We have reached full capacity in our current premises. An elder told me that more than 230 people crammed into the first service meant to sit at most 150 people. I can sense the people's discomfort as they had to sit shoulder to shoulder and they are not free to clap or raise their hands. Let alone calling them forward for prayers. My feet were leaned against the stage right in front and today I preached a powerful message on Acts 2,40 to 43 and Acts 6,1-7. I also conducted the Lord's communion for the first time in 7 years.
Saturday, January 24, 2015
I reckon we need RM2million or RM2.5million to kick off if we are to implement a pension system for pastors. Perhaps a flat rate is fairer to all. All get RM500.00 per month irrespective of final salary before retirement. If 50 pastors are eligible, that makes RM25,000 per month and RM300,000 per year.
Wednesday, January 21, 2015
I had barely 2 days in KK and we drove back to Ranau after lunch though the seminar was scheduled to run until 6pm. It was a choice of driving at night which I rather not do. With a close friend and his wife accompanying the drive was a breeze though for the best part of an hour it was raining heavily. It was the pleasure of sweet fellowship that made the usual arduous journey a bearable one. This friend has been in the pastorate for 35 years and it told as part of our discussion centred on a proposed pension plan for retired pastors.
Tuesday, January 20, 2015
I am like a schoolboy starting School for the first time. I am going to attend my first State wide meeting later. When I saw the traffic I stopped by to have a tausa pau and teh tarik. I look forward to meeting my fellow pastors. If all attend, there will be 300 of us.
Monday, January 19, 2015
After 20 days in Ranau I found myself in KK again, a kind of retreat or reprieve for the first 20 days of my ministry. Former missionaries spent 5 or 10 years in the jungles of Borneo before they went for their furlough. Ranau is not exactly the jungles of Borneo. It is a pleasant village-town right in the centre of the State where traffic goes from East to West coast and vice versa. I can't pretend that 250 worshippers are a huge responsibility while you have megachurches in Singapore boasting 25,000 attendance on a Sunday or more impressive still the 6-million strong crowd that witnessed Pope Francis in centre Manila. Numbers don't prove a thing.
Sunday, January 18, 2015
Saturday, January 17, 2015
After attending my first elders' meeting last Sunday, my pastoral work begins in earnest with meeting my worship team. About 25 people turned up and it was wonderful to share heart to heart with the team members about praise and worship in church. I gave a short introduction of why we were meeting and handed over to the leader of the worship team to update me and the team with what has been happening since I have come in as the new pastor. Then we had about 30 minutes of getting to know one another and I prayed to God that I am given the gift of remembering names which I don't have yet. I also shared briefly my testimony since I am sure some of my church members would be wondering why a Chinese would want to pastor an indigenous church in Ranau. I felt I had connected with most of them and it is a good start with the worship team on your side serving the Lord together in love and unity.
Friday, January 16, 2015
I did not make it to the end of my first month in Ranau before visiting the doctor today. My elder who is like a father figure to me advised me to see a doctor since my throat has been sore for 3 days. I am a little concerned whether I could preach this Sunday, so I went to the Ranau hospital and duly paid my RM1.00 registration. It was excellent service as I waited less than 5 mins before being called.
Wednesday, January 14, 2015
Tuesday, January 13, 2015
Monday, January 12, 2015
Saturday, January 10, 2015
Friday, January 9, 2015
Wednesday, January 7, 2015
Saturday, January 3, 2015
Friday, January 2, 2015
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