It is good to be home. Home to me is where the people of God are. My delight is in the saints of the land. When I reached Namaus after 2.5 hours drive I was feeling haggard but I rushed to the 3.30pm prayer meeting. A leader must lead by example and by his presence. Whether I lead prayers or say a word or not, my presence is enough to lift spirits and keep the enterprise going. When I return to my room I came across a few hostelites and they greeted me, selamat kembali. Welcome back.
Tuesday, March 29, 2016
Monday, March 28, 2016
Saturday, March 26, 2016
Holy Saturday is a day we reflect on the inevitability of death and the hope of resurrection. Even though we do not go through like Jesus' death and Resurrection, most mortal beings contend with death and hope for life beyond this world. Sometimes metaphorically we are at the edge of death, defeat appears certain but at the last moment we escape from the jaws of death as if reborn in a resurrection. Even now, I live in this paradox of death and resurrection daily.
Friday, March 25, 2016
The Messiah is called anatole in Zechariah 3 LXX instead of the branch in MT. Anatole means rising (Sun) or the East in the sense that the sun rises early in the east while proiinos means early (morning) and Jesus is called the bright and morning star in Rev 22,16, the final of many titles for Jesus in the book of Revelation.
Thursday, March 24, 2016
I am getting adjusted to College life. Before dawn, I drove from Ranau to attend the pre-dawn 5am devotions and prayers at the men's hostel. At 8am we have our regular morning Chapel. Then at 3.30pm in this month of Lent and prayers, we pray until 4.30pm. When there are 3 times of prayers during the day, at night I did not miss my former church that much.
Monday, March 21, 2016
I experienced the dark night of the soul. From 11pm to about 1am, I struggled to sleep as I reflected on the state of my soul. Feeling lonely and without a church for a first time (though the College community is now my church), I struggled to make sense of this constant moving and going. Literally I drove close to 1,000 kms last week, from Telupid to Ranau to Namaus twice, then to KK and back to Ranau and Namaus. What is the point in all these? I struggled to understand the nature of my calling. I questioned whether I should stick to one place either as a pastor or as a scholar. I was reading books online as our library's resources are limited in this part of the world where I live. I came across my name as a contributor to an essay in a book edited by two US-based professors (see here). I thought 2 years ago I had already withdrawn my article from publication. But as I read part of the book on Google books, I felt a sense of restrained joy as a published author for a second time since my first and only book in 2005. A decade passed by like the twinkling of the eye.
Sunday, March 20, 2016
Friday, March 18, 2016
Wednesday, March 16, 2016
Thursday, March 10, 2016
Wednesday, March 9, 2016
It was a send-off that I did not expect. My worship team honoured me by arranging for a final tambourine dance. It was a rare occasion in church due to limited space. But we removed two rows of chairs and when I saw people coming in half an hour after the 2nd service had started I joked that no one was allowed to put chairs in front after the worship was over. I knew in my spirit something was going to happen as I needed space to make an altar call. It was not one of the best messages but I sensed the power of God at work as I preached on God forming us for his praise and glory and He knew us by our names, each and everyone of them.
Monday, March 7, 2016
I thought I was going to get emotional. But the only moment I felt that I was going to weep was when I hugged one of the older members of the congregation (in his 70s). This member is among the first to arrive in church and he would always greet me with one of the warmest handshakes and smiles. After service, he would thank me profusely and would give me a hug before he went on his way. I only see him in church so yesterday when I reached out to him, I felt a tinge of sadness that I would not see him in the Muhibbah church again. On Saturday I had an early start with the Secretary-General bringing a former principal to visit the College and we had wonderful fellowship until almost 2pm. By 7pm, I was back in church for the rehearsal and we had dinner fellowship and it went on until almost 9pm before the rehearsal began. I had to ask them not to try too hard when I saw the clock ticking 11pm and it was time to leave the church in order to rest and return by 7.30am the next morning.
Tuesday, March 1, 2016
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 ...