Posts

Showing posts from February, 2018

Which Family?

I have been juggling with two families. My family here in Kota Kinabalu and my family in Ranau. My family in Ranau is the College community in general and my home group in particular. In fact, the home group is my direct charge should anything issue arise the lecturer in charge of the group will be told first. But as Chaplain I am looked upon as the pastor of the College so in a way the best way to shepherd the flock is regard them as my family in love and devotion just as we do so to our natural family members. Perhaps more so because they are my brothers and sisters in Christ bound by the love of the Spirit with God as the Father of us all.

23 Years (Jeremiah 25:3)

Image
For 23 years Jeremiah said that the Word of God came to him and he had faithfully delivered it to the people of Jerusalem. When my eyes came upon the 23 years it struck me that it has been 23 years since the Word of God came to me and I have faithfully delivered it in Sabah and in Singapore. I have preached in New Zealand, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Thailand and West Malaysia but a vast majority of my ministry is among the tribal peoples of Borneo except for my 6-year sojourn in Singapore. But like Jeremiah the main focus of my preaching has been repentance from evil way and evil doings.

Family Reunion

This year it is especially joyful over the Lunar New Year. Perhaps last year at the recent passing away of my father the mood was still sombre. But with an addition to the Siew family with my niece who is now 7 months old we are all rather contented. My youngest brother is returning to Australia for the son’s education and his daughter is going to England for her A levels. Whatever one can say of the Chinese as a race is that culturally we try to improve our lives generation by generation. My parents were not tertiary educated but they saw to it that all their four sons are thus. We expect our children in their generation do better but certainly not worse.

Who is my Family?

I have had several rounds of family reunion and dinners and another lunch tomorrow. But who is my family? I miss my College family. I rather be with them than with the ungodly and unbelievers. It is better one day in the Lord’s house than a thousand elsewhere. Tomorrow College’s Chapel continues for probably half the College Community that did not return to their villages for the Lunar NY weekend. I am taking another week off to be with my son who is returning to Kota Kinabalu tomorrow. I may just make a quick trip to Ranau with my son to teach my Thursday class on John’s Gospel, though officially I am on leave for about 10 days. There is nothing much for me to do in KK. My true family is in Ranau. I long to be with them.

Origen on the Holy Spirit

“Since by the Spirit’s guidance he has come to know the reasons for all things that happen, and why and how they happen, his soul can never be in any way disquieted or admit any feeling of sadness (cf. Jn 14:26-27); nor is it in anything afrighted, for it clings to God’s Word and wisdom and ‘in the Holy Spirit calls Jesus Lord’ (1 Cor 12:3)....the word ‘paraclete’ ought to be understood as ‘comforter’, because he provides comfort to souls to whom he opens and reveals a consciousness of spiritual knowledge.” On First Principles (pp. 148-149).

Time & Books

God willing, my books may be on their way home after 44 months in Singapore. It is close to the Danielic period of 1,335 days (Dan 12:12) after I moved my books to another Seminary in Singapore for safe keeping when my future is up in air. Not that my future is anymore certain now but I think it is time for my books to come home if I can call Sabah home. The books have been away too long and like my own children I miss them terribly enough for me to make a day trip to Singapore to see whether I can bring them home with me in the near future. Time is of the essence. If Daniel’s 1335 is an extension of time from 1150 days to 1290 days and then finally 1335 days, God’s time shall not be extended further. As in the days of the 7th trumpet’s 🎺 sound, time shall be no more (Rev 10:6-7).

Year of Fulfilment

You have caused men to ride over our heads; We went through fire and through water; But You brought us out into rich fulfilment (Psalm 66:12). Last Christmas I preached several sermons on the theme of fulfilment. I felt it applied to my ministry at this juncture of my life. When all seems so bleak the sun might shine the brightest. Often the Israelites felt all seemed lost, the Lord granted a reversal of fortunes and they were saved by a mighty hand. Just as in the days of Esther and  Mordecai and at David's escape into the wilderness to avoid bloodshed in Jerusalem with Absalom's treachery - when it all seemed lost, victory is snatched at the jaws of defeat.  How sweet is the victory that God so allowed that his people are tested to their limits before intervening with His mighty deliverance. Call on me and I shall deliver you and you shall glorify Me says the Lord. 

Running Errands and Theological Curriculum

The week before the Lunar New Year is always the busiest time of the year. Traffic seems to double and everywhere is a crawl. I managed to service my pick up late Thursday. I will probably do some shopping before heading back to Ranau. I have three more classes to teach before the New Year and I hope I can be back in time to KK for the reunion dinner. My mother is arriving in KK today and she will be here for 2 weeks. In between these errands I am writing notes on my MacBookAir and I have Origen’s On First Principles with me all the time. Malaysians are generally not readers. Either they are staring blankly at the walls or looking down on their handphones.

Origen’s On First Principles

On First Principles is one of Origen’s famous writings. I am rereading parts of it now in preparation for Monday’s lectures on Church History. We are entering the period of the 3rd century when the action really began to heat up. Not that it was less exciting in the 2nd century AD with the Marcion’s division and canonisation of NT writings gathering pace. But with Origen you have one of the greatest church theologians of all time rivaling Augustine who was more familiar with Latin in the late 4th and early 5th century. We can say that Origen’s writings became the focus of attention and debates for the next 300 years. When someone commented last night on my blogpost on Origen more than 5 years ago I reread what I wrote and was immensely blessed by it. In it Origen commented on how one person much lesser than the other could exercise authority over one who is greater than him.

Teaching Anointing

For the past fortnight I struggled with many things. But one thing was certain for the teaching and preaching anointing. I preached one of the more powerful messages last Sunday in Chapel and taught three classes of 3 hours each within 36 hours in order to return to KK today to run some errands for CNY. One thing is certain that is the teaching anointing. Whatever heartache I felt was somewhat alleviated by my students.

24th Year

24 is a good number. There are 24 elders in heaven worshipping the Lord in Revelation. 24 is 2x12 which is double the people of God represented by the number 12. May the Lord multiply His people. 24 may stand for God’s people in the OT and NT, the OT by the 12 tribes of Israel and the NT by the 12 apostles. 24 is also 3x8 a new beginning times 3 which is represented by the number 8 for new beginning. 24 is also 6x4 where the number 6 is man or humanity and 4 the four corners of the earth.