In the packed sitting of 250 people of mostly youths, I preached a message about how we could achieve life's full potential. I started by referring to an article I read some years back that the brain of each unborn child has more than 1 billion neurons and only about 5% of the brain is used throughout adult's life. I ventured to speculate that the 95% is reserved for those born of the Spirit, having minds transformed, enabled to understand spiritual truths and to communicate with God. In each baby is life's full potential given with the hope that each person could reach his or her full potential in their adult life. I told them about genetic mapping and how one geneticist found that all human beings whatever their race or continent of origin share the same DNA structure to at least 99.99% similarity.
Monday, March 30, 2015
I started last Monday expecting a normal week with 2 sermons (midweek and Sunday), chairing a leaders' meeting and sharing during Saturday gathering of secondary students. But by Tuesday, two elders pulled out of preaching and my load immediately doubled. As I can't repeat my sermons, I have to prepare 4 different sermons. On Saturday I had a full day's work and fun with the students and I was about to rest late afternoon when an elder told me that a church member's father had just passed away and I was needed to conduct the wake at night. I managed to catch about an hour's sleep before getting on my bike for a 30-min exercise around the block. By 7.30pm I was ready to go and I preached a wake sermon of about 15 mins.
Saturday, March 28, 2015
Friday, March 27, 2015
Wednesday, March 25, 2015
I have not commented on other blogs for a long time and I received the occasional comment in my blog and I like it that way. This is a far cry from my early days of blogging when commenters could get personal and heated exchanges ensued so much so I stopped blogging for almost a year in 2011. But in the past couple of days I had commented on the Anglican Down Under (Notes on 1 Timothy), a blog I followed from time to time for news down under and you can read my comments and counter-comments there.
Sunday, March 22, 2015
Saturday, March 21, 2015
I read Kelantan Chief Minister's Malay speech on the tabling of the Hudud bill in full as reported in Utusan Malaysia. The adoption of Hudud or Islamic Criminal Code and Punishments in Kelantan two days ago is a watershed moment in Malaysia's 51 years' history.
Thursday, March 19, 2015
Israel's elections saw Netanyahu returned as PM for the fourth term and will head one of the most nationalist-religious coalitions ever in Israeli modern history. Will we see the 3rd Temple rebuilt in the near future? Significantly, Netanyahu's first public appearance after the elections was praying at the Wailing wall, the only remaining structure of the Second Temple razed by the Romans in 70AD. The 2-State solution is practically dead as Netanyahu distanced himself from it a couple of days before election day to win over the right-wing camps. Israel will face increasing pressure from EU and US if another Democrat becomes the next President in 2016. The war between Israel and Iran cannot be ruled out though Netanyahu has been warning the world about Iran's nuclear ambitions for the past 5 or 6 years. With ISIS gaining ground and the Syrian civil war in its fifth year, the Middle East is getting more restive and a larger regional war could be on the horizons if the Israel-Iran nuclear standoff does not come to some resolution. Europe is also facing its economic crisis and Greece's troubles are no where resolved and the Euro will face increasing scrutiny as to its sustainability and viability for the whole of Western Europe.
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Monday, March 16, 2015
Monday is my rest day. I catch up on sleep. I am well rested for the Lord grants his beloved sleep. "Rest here a while (in Ranau)." It has been a non-stop 2 and a half months. At least the AGMs are over for my church and we will begin real work soon enough. Yesterday I took over as Chairman of the church council, another added responsibility and burden. Now the ball is in my court. I will have to take it up and run with it. The leaders look to me for leadership. We have 7 elders, only two of them are younger than me, and one is already 70 years old. Most of them come from the generation that experienced the early 70s revival in Ranau and Taginambur, two of SIB strongholds. They are the second generation leaders, most of whom hold senior positions in the General Council and Executive Council today are from the second generation. Most of them are getting on in years and it is a matter of time the third generation takes over, those who came through the late 80s revivals as youths and they are now in their 40s.
O Lord in the morning thou dost hear my voice; in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for thee, and watch (Psalm 5,3). In the cool of the morning at 6am I felt the breeze of Ranau caressing my face. It is hot season now over a month but morning temperatures hover about 20 or 21 degrees. I looked around me across the town with several 4-wheel drive rumbling through the empty streets. A few souls joined me for breakfast and I reflected on God's Word from Daniel 10.
Sunday, March 15, 2015
The season for meetings and AGMs is almost over. The church's AGM went for 6 hours from 10.10am to 4.10pm today. That was the fifth and last AGM after four AGMs within 6 weeks for the four ministry wings, children's, youths', men's and women's fellowships. There were meetings in preparation of the meeting.
Saturday, March 14, 2015
Friday, March 13, 2015
Yesterday an elder asked to take over one cell group tonight which means I shall be preparing a message based on a book we used for teaching. A few days ago I thought I was going to rest this Sunday from preaching but the elder who was allotted to preach told me that on the AGM Sunday the pastor should be doing the preaching. So instead of a quieter week, I found myself preparing for 3 messages, one for yesterday at College, one for tonight and one for Sunday.
I preached a longer sermon than expected for the College's devotions yesterday. Usually it is an 15 min homily but yesterday I preached for 25 mins and continued after the bell rang for class. I was only asked to preach the day before and my instant reaction was to turn it down but after a short prayer in my heart I accepted the invitation. It had been 2 months since I preached at College during the orientation and I felt I needed to address a few issues concerning leadership since it is election year for our denomination.
Thursday, March 12, 2015
Wednesday, March 11, 2015
My turn came late despite turning up early Monday to welcome the Vet Team from ATA. It was a good start as the leader of the group knew me from my days in Singapore. I had graded a MTh thesis from her school. I was asked to comment on the thesis writing manual for BTh and report on the quality of two theses which I managed to read through quickly yesterday. I also translated for the Academic Dean and chatted with the ATA team before being excused. Hopefully after lunch ATA will make a statement as to our application for accreditation.
Sunday, March 8, 2015
Saturday, March 7, 2015
Friday, March 6, 2015
Thursday, March 5, 2015
Monday, March 2, 2015
We have just finished reading the book of Genesis yesterday as part of Scripture reading for worship. It had taken the church almost a whole year. For the past couple of months we saw how Egypt experienced 7 fat years and 7 lean years under the stewardship of Joseph. I had experienced 7 fat years mostly in Singapore but spiritually it was one of the leanest times of my ministry.
Sunday, March 1, 2015
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 Res...
It is time to reflect on the first half of the year. The second half has just begun. What have I done for the Lord? It is good to have a rep...
I did not preach yesterday but it was one of the most fruitful Sunday I had for quite some time. I visited two of my students who are on...
For the first time for a long long time I served my own denomination's major events twice in a month. But it is good to know that there ...