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Showing posts from January, 2018

Songs of Deliverance

I must say that spiritual songs have kept me sane not in the Saulish sense but that in times of great pressures and hardships God has given me songs of deliverance to keep me on even keels and not slide off into depression or destruction. There are times that the whole mind and body tell you just quit and find something more bearable and where you find acceptance. In this second half of my life I am determined to hear the still small voice and obey what the Spirit says even in barren and rocky places and in the wilderness until the Spirit is poured out on us.

Sun Set, What a Beautiful Name

A man goes out in the morning to work and return in the evening (Psalm 104). Now that the Sun is setting I can write about my 14-hour long day. As usual the journey back to Namaus was exhausting and coupled by the fact I lectured straightway for 3 hours upon arrival multiplied the tiredness factor. It was good to get some rest in the afternoon before starting to prepare for my Sunday sermon at Chapel. I am asking my students to sing a song named, "What a Beautiful Name" surprisingly won a Grammy for the Kiwi born singer and another songwriter.  I was singing the song several times over today while making my way up the mountains and down the valleys. What a beautiful name. What a wonderful name. What a powerful Name.

Sun Rose

The sun rose when I reached Mount Kinabalu giving it a golden glow just like when the morning sun rose on the Temple of God on Mount Zion 2000 years ago. May the Temple be built in my generation.  Then I saw dense white clouds beneath me covering Ranau as with a canopy. It is like Lord smiling on Ranau and her peoples. Perhaps it is more of the Lord showing me a sign for good that He still wants me to be in Ranau. I don’t know how long I can keep this up in my mid 50s driving before dawn and later when I reach Namaus I will lecture on NT theology.

It’s Done

The 7th angel with the seventh and the last bowl of God’s wrath pours out the bowl and cries out “It’s done!” (Rev 16). At least my lectures on Revelation have ended with exams currently on going. I lectured for 25 hours in 4 days not quite 30 hours but I have reached my limits after a busy fortnight at Namaus. By 31st January I would have lectured for 40 hours on 4 different Subjects and preached 5 times.

Christ's Knocking

This is my third day teaching and my energy levels are recharged by the day. This morning I thought I left early for class to beat the traffic but I found the front gates locked and I could not enter the class. Only last night I indicated to my students that I would be ready to teach at 7am (hint hint😁) but the starting time was 8.30 am and with some reluctance from the course coordinator I managed to get the class to agree to start 15 mins early in the morning and 15 mins early at night. I thought I might not teach an 30 hour course in the next 10 years so I am giving it my best shot and students won't get short changed for the lack of teaching hours.

All Ready

After three days and three nights of relatively calm and peace in preparation, I am all ready for the book of Revelation starting tonight in less than 3 hours. I read many chapters of Revelation again and received blessing for reading as promised by John, the author of his Revelation. I have written an assortment of notes on chiasm, 7 churches, the two witnesses and Babylon and Rome. I have set a textbook written by an Indonesian professor since this course will be taught in Malay, second time I am doing so since 2004. My health is holding up though my voice might not last 30 hours but fingers crossed. I expect around 10 people coming just for this course so plus those enrolled for BTh since last year I should have about 30 students.

Teaching the book of Revelation

If my battered body could survive another 24 hours I will probably be teaching the book of Revelation tomorrow, God willing. Fatigue is not something easy to shake off with other ailments besides but the thought of teaching Revelation at a BTh level is enticing and spirit reviving. It is comforting to know that the apostle Paul soldiered on in Galatian ministry despite taken ill or struggling with ailments. To think of it, this is the first time teaching a 30 hour course on Revelation at a degree level in Sabah since 2003 or 2004. I taught Revelation at MDiv level at a Seminary in Klang Valley in 2007 before my move to Singapore in 2008 where I taught Revelation twice at MDiv level and once a Diploma night course over 8 weeks.

Christ’s Slaves

In practical terms how do we live our lives as Christ’s slaves? Especially for those who hold positions of authority and leadership. As perhaps the Spirit’s unction is still strong from Namaus or the general excitement of the start of a new year I could not rest for a moment as I got up real early to get work done. Then I drove down to KK at 8.39am but the traffic was fair as Saturday mornings’ traffic tends to peak by 10 or 11am. I took several books to a photocopy Centre to copy reading materials for my course and was told to come back at noon. I proceeded to go to a local Seminary that has a great library and added some references. With my 11inch MacBook Air which I carry around with me most times I managed to get some work done. By 11am I drove to Samsung service centre in another part of town though not too far away to bring my student’s handphone for repairs.

Third Sabbath

It is neither sane nor healthy to work 16 days without a sabbath rest. I reached Kota Kinabalu with cracked lips because of the cold weather in Ranau. A few nights I could swear that it was probably below 15 degree Celsius. I also have a sore knee and sore eyes. Cracked lips because of much speaking and dehydration. When one preached 4 hour-long sermons within 8 days and lectured for 9 hours within 4 days I was thankful that I did not fall ill by the grace of God.

In the Zone

When you are in the zone you don’t feel anything except focus on what takes your attention. It has been 16 days since I returned to College and this morning I taught my third course for the week on the Gospel of John for year 2, having taught NT theology yesterday to year 4 and Early Church History for year 1. We had nine full services on orientation week and a full day of prayer and fasting. As Chaplain I was in charge of most things and along with consecutive Sundays I had preached 4 times and led prayers for the world and conducted the Lord’s communion. With two heavy duty admin tasks, I got up most days at 4.30am and this morning at 3.30am to prepare for my lectures. Last night I had counselled three male students with a colleague and by the time I reached home at 9pm I had enough and slept just after 10pm.

Preaching First

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I preached the first sermon of the year at College just now. It was the culmination of 5 days' work since getting back last Wednesday. I spoke about doing our duties wisely and faithfully based on Luke 12:42. I might have preached for 45 minutes and I felt the anointing strong. Thank you Lord for using Your servant as an instrument of Your glory and Your Word. I did not expect to be given extra duties though I imagined there would be some changes when we lost two colleagues during the end of the year vacation.  One was transfered to another Campus, the other passed away suddenly. So on top of the Chaplaincy, I was appointed head Warden, a heavy duty job since we are a residential college and this year we have increased intake allround with 20 families. I counted all the family quarters on Friday when I was given the list of names and there are 21 quarters but two are uninhabitable due to fallen ceilings and rain sipping through. I wonder why nothing was done during the break. So …

Mountain Man

When I reached Mount Kinabalu today the song that came up was one of my favourites and I felt the Lord’s presence strong through the 5 minute rendition until the next town in Kundasang. The lyrics of the song read “I give You thanks O Lord that I could do Your will”. When I said goodbye to my wife this morning I told my wife that it was God’s will that I served Him up in Ranau. This is my fourth year and my times are in Your hands O Lord. Up the mountain just at that moment perhaps I have become like a mountain man.

Setting Targets

It is good to set targets, things to do in the New Year in 2018. I am glad I set a target at the beginning of my end of the year holidays. I set out to write a commentary and  I hope to reach 200 pages by the time College reopens next week. I can report that I reached 150 pages and God willing I can get 10 more pages done. Even if I fell short of my 200 page target it is still a satisfactory achievement of 150 pages, three quarters of the target.