Sunday, July 19, 2015
A Very Long Weekend
It dawns on me that I am a people's person as the intentional community here in Ranau somewhat revolved around the pastor. I don't see myself indispensable or important in anyway but at the looks of things, I have been at the centre of almost every church activity from baptism classes, post-baptism class, youth groups, secondary school students, adults, women's fellowship, family and main Sunday services. Unless I enjoy people's company soon a pastor will burn out or find himself unable to get up in the morning to go to work. But I felt exactly the opposite. On Friday the first day of Muslim holiday, I led my team to the Youth Conference, then went on to the pastors' fellowship rehearsal and enjoyed sweet fellowship with my fellow pastors. Then I preached a powerful message in an elder's home group that night from Mark 4:21-24. I talked about nothing hidden will stay hidden and whatever that is hidden will be revealed and applied that to Malaysia's current political situation. I also spoke about the need to seriously hear what God is saying to the church, hence Jesus' retort: "He who has ears, let him hear!" Even a short 20 minute homily blessed the 25 adults who were present. On Saturday I went into the zone, preparing for my two Sunday sermons while making sure all the preparations were ready for the church meeting after the second service. I attended as a matter of course the rehearsals for Sunday services and encouraged by the youths who despite their tireless ministry kept up their enthusiasm and sang a few new songs. It is never just rehearsal and in fact I worshipped the Lord often times during worship practice and sensed the Lord's presense strong. I went to bed at 11pm, still mulling over my two sermons. And today I surprised myself by preaching for only 16 minutes in the first service and we ended at 9.15am. I planned to conserve energy and sensing my energy level still high I preached a 40 min sermon in the 2nd service on Matthew 5:25-29. The Lord's anointing was on me to speak forth His words. I spoke freely on many things - the need to study God's Word. I reproached the parents for not taking seriously educating their children in Scriptural knowledge. I spoke about husband-wife relationships and cracked a few jokes about the difficulty in maintaining harmonious spousal relationships. It has to be worked upon. Several times I told my church that divorce is out of the question for marriage is for life for what God has put together let no one put asunder. I expounded on Deut 24 and how divorce and remarriage defiled the land as remarriage invariably involves adultery. No surprise that I received warm handshakes after the service. Despite a holiday weekend, we had about 250 adults in the two services. Three months ago holiday weekends' church attendance could be as low as 150 people over 2 services without the presence of secondary students. God has given growth and may God's Name be glorified. For the first time, I felt I was in control of the church business meeting. We managed to cover only half the agenda before we had to adjourn the meeting as a few elders and deacons had to leave early for various functions. It's still holiday weekend here with many open houses. I decided this evening I would rest despite a couple of invitations to visit friends' homes. I politely declined for it was a long enough day for me from a 4.30am start and ended at 3.30pm. This has been my weekend.
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