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Showing posts from March, 2018

Holy Saturday

Historically, holy Saturday is celebrated with solemn reflections and prayers of lamentation and hope. With Christ dead and the disciples scattered each to his own place, what would happen to the nascent movement begun by John the Baptist and then Jesus himself manifested to Israel? After three short years at the most, it was all over with the crucifixion of the leader of the new movement. Often times, over the course of this Semester, I have lectured on John's Gospel and consistently over 10 or 11 chapters of the Gospel, Jesus spoke in conflict with the authorities of the day, especially the Jews led by the High Priest, chief priests and leading Pharisees. Often times, Jesus could only respond that it was His Father who witnessed to Him and that Jesus was sent by the Father and had come in the Father's Name.

Passover is Here

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This morning at Borneo Theological Seminary we are celebrating Passover. So quickly we have moved along to the end of March, a quarter of the year is gone.  Passover is a spring festival in Israel where grains of barley are harvested (Ruth). It is the beginning of the harvest seasons followed by wheat at Pentecost fifty days after Passover and at the Feast of Tabernacles grapes and olives. It is also called the Feast of ingathering, spritually speaking a harvesting of souls and maturing of the church at the end times.

End-Time Seminar

This College break has gone passed too quickly.  Tomorrow is my last day off before heading to the mountains to conduct an End time seminar on Saturday. It will be an 90 mins drive up the mountain just before reaching the foot of Mount Kinabalu. I hope to get there by 8.30 am to start off my 5 session seminar that will go on to 5pm. I managed to get the organisers to cancel the night meeting with the carrot that I would be preaching on Sunday. I remember this place well when more than 20 years ago they had asked me to preach times in 9 services over the Friday to Sunday revival meetings. I was in my early 30s then and generally the spiritual condition of the church was much more fervent compared to what I could see in the last 10 years.

Ready for War

I am enjoying teaching Early Church History. Finally I felt my specialty and interests besides biblical studies are being whetted. I love the Church fathers. They are my heroes. They fought against wild beasts and false prophets and they won the martyrs’ crown. They struggled against ungodliness and lukewarmness and they brought great revivals and spiritual refreshments. They were at war against fleshly lusts and most lived in relative poverty and scarcity and yet they triumphed. In some small measures I feel my past 3 years plus have been a struggle against many things. Against natural elements of heat and cold. Against village lifestyle that I am unaccustomed to. Against racial and social prejudice. Serving in a foreign culture and among the tribes. In more ways than one Singapore was more than a natural home for me, among people of the same race and educational attainments.

Teaching & Preaching

I missed Chapel today. It could be my second time missing morning Chapel in more than 2 years. Last night I taught a class until 9.45pm and stopped by at a colleague’s place to have supper. When I reached home at 10.15pm I found that the tap water restored after almost 5 days without tap water since the earthquake struck Ranau. There was a massive crack in the water pipe nearby and it took 5 days for the Water Dept to fix it. This morning I taught my third 3-hour block class from yesterday. Preaching on Sunday also took a lot of my energy as the Chapel with only zinc roof without ceiling was boiling hot by 10am.

Earthquake in Ranau (Again)

I was just getting ready to shower when the 5.2 earthquake struck at 9.06pm. I felt the walls shook for 3 or 4 seconds and then the floor shook and swayed for 2 or 3 seconds. These few seconds of tremors managed to grab our attention and caused us to pray and asked God what was happening. Perhaps we had gotten too complacent and so busy with so many things. Tomorrow we have a big do at College ground breaking (no pun intended) ceremony and God can shatter the earth anytime. One colleague was so scared that she thought Jesus was returning to earth. If only that were true Come Lord Jesus come. But these are just the signs of birth pangs, worse things will happen before Jesus returns. In about half an hour after the quake I was told that the student tasked to preach at Chapel this morning could not do so due to illness and I immediately decided to speak to address what the Lord may be saying to the College community.

Season of Seminars

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After a relatively quiet February, the month of March is going to get busy. Yesterday I was exhausted after my 2nd consecutive day of teaching that I felt asleep at noon and missed lunch before getting up for an afternoon Faculty meeting. That came at the culmination of travelling back and forth Namaus and Kota Kinabalu over 72 hours. But I needed to pace myself and prepare for the new season of ministry. After tomorrow's class on John's Gospel I plan to begin earnest preparations for the two End-time Seminars coming in the last 2 weeks of March. Before that I have a 10-hour course on Reformation History on 17th March in Kota Belud, the first time I taught about Reformation at an academic setting, a topic or a period of history close to my heart.

24 Hours

One of my favourite dramas was 24 or 24 hours, a drama of the life and exploits of a secret agent. As for God’s servants, we are also supposed to do exploits for they who know their God will do exploits (Daniel). Thus in exactly 24 hours I accomplished what I wanted to do at College and drove back to KK. Not that I enjoyed another ardous drive in the rain and mist but I must meet a friend who contacted me from England and he will be in KK for a fortnight. I thought I meet him today because for the next three weekends in a row I shall be occupied.

Three Strikes

I don’t have lectures tomorrow which means I could ask for another day’s leave and I would have gotten a long weekend in Kota Kinabalu. But I wanted to celebrate Lunar New Year with my student home group tonight and with my colleagues at Faculty Tea break tomorrow. Further it is a new month and a new theme for Chapel’s services, I needed to explain the theme I chose for March from Daniel 12:4 “knowledge shall increase”. At the end of my 24-hour Singapore trip I managed to bring 9 books with me, 7 from my collection at a local Seminary and two I bought from Takashimaya bookstore. As Proverbs says “buy the truth and sell it not..”.