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Showing posts from August, 2018

Meaning of Independence

For Sabahans 31st August brings a mixed bag of joy and sorrows. Joy in that we are part of Malaysia whereby Peninsular (Persekutuan tanah Melayu) achieved independence from the British 61 years ago today. But Malaysia only came about 16 days later on 16th Sept 1963 which makes it the 55th National Day for Malaysia. When we talk about a nation or National Day we talk about when Malaysia came into being or became a nation. It was not 31st August 1957 but 16th September 1963 when Malaysia became a nation known as Persekutuan Malaysia when Malaya together with Singapore, Sabah (North Borneo), Sarawak formed Malaysia and so rightly Malaysia's birthday or national day is 16th September. I was hoping this new government would correct past injustices but obviously it will take another decade or a generation longer for us East Malaysians to have our history rightly interpreted and applied.

GST or SST or SSS

Ultimately I fear SSS the most though the imposition of SST has caused me some concern. I read that toothpaste and toiletries will increase by 10percent this Saturday on 1 September. SSS is “stubbornly strong Singaporean (dollar)” as the Star newspapers put it today. It means every time I visit Singapore it will be more expensive. In fact I am one of the few in my former School’s group that argued for the retention of GST.

Preaching God's Word

I will put my main ministry as preaching God's Word and after that teaching. I am a preacher first and teacher second. I preached at College yesterday almost a month after I preached for a special service when a church came visiting pastored by a former student who served me meals for almost 2 years. It was a kind of repaying her kind deed with the ministry of God's Word. But yesterday I preached again and I know there won't be many opportunities before I call time at College.  I shared with my College community the gist of two messages I heard in KK one from a Korean Professor at the Mission church seminar and the other from a Penang pastor who spoke at our Youth Conference last week. I exhorted my College community to look beyond the four walls of the church and serve the Nation at large with the manifold ministries and talents God had given to each one of us.

Time is Nigh

I can’t believe it. When the new teaching terms begins afresh it will be only 5 weeks before my trip to Singapore. I will finish at least two courses on Eschatology and Romans and the Malaysian Constitution class has to be extended to mid October as I just got my Federal Constitution text last week. I bought the whole lot and I shall be offering to churches and church leaders weekend seminars if they want to learn about the foundational document of the country. But alas how many love knowledge as they seem contented with what they know as the saying goes ignorance is bliss. How foolish as Scriptutal text time and time again laud those who pursue knowledge and understanding.

Circling the City

In the past several days of Semester break I have been driving from one end of the city to the other. On Monday I took my cousin from France with her two lovely kids to Signal Hill’s Observatory tower and looked over the city from north to south. I will circle the city in the next few days more and in circling conquering for the Lord. I intercede in my spirit when I stop for my coffee breaks and I pray aloud and silently when I am in the car.

Best Wine is left to the Last

Sometimes the unexpected happens. We have to expect the unexpected as we serve a God most High and most powerful. If only expected things happen as expected then there is no need for a God. Last Sunday many unexpected things happened. I did not expect to preach such an impactful message as it was my third and the day before was a struggle against many things. An early drive from KK to Kota Belud reaching there at 7.15am when the meeting was supposed to start at 9am. Then there was an 9 hours wait to the evening service during which I had to endure 6 or 7 times power cut and despite the room being air conditioned there was no table or chair for me to sit and write. So at night I slept barely 4 hours after a long hard day with two intense sessions.

They will speak to you in foreign tongues

I had survived the 3-day seminar on Missional Church. For the few sessions I attended I enjoyed the most the night session on the 2nd day mostly because it was delivered in English and translated to Malay. The translator was capable but in other sessions the speakers spoke in Korean and translated by a Korean interpreter half proficient in Malay. It is difficult enough to translate Korean into Malay even for someone who has mastered both languages because theological talks are never easy with a number of theological jargon and thus the mastery of Malay expressions and idioms is simply essential to get the message across.

30 Years

I had lunch with a lawyer friend who is celebrating 30 years in legal practice this month. We were admitted to the Bar on the same day. But it was 25 years ago that I relinquished my legal practice to enter full time work in the Lord’s harvest fields. 25 years ago I was my own boss in fact I started when I was 24 years old as sole proprietor of my legal firm. It seems so long ago that I had my own future in my own hands and not rely on anyone for an income. I have been a faithful churchman as much as it is right in the sight of God and men. I am no man pleaser and I have always spoken out in open either in Malaysia or in Singapore or in New Zealand. When you are in employment and someone else is your superior or boss it is never easy to navigate between speaking one’s mind or just towing the line. I had chosen the former and it had cost me.

Keeping Track

This year I have not travelled as much but my pick up chocked up more than 10,000kms in less than 6 months. I thought I better put down on record my travels for the Lord especially those involving preaching and ministry of the Word. In recent month or two I have preached 4 times at College Chapel most times in my capacity as Chaplain. I could have assigned it to someone else or a senior student but I thought when opportunity comes my way it is important not just in class but in worship I address the College community. I can't remember what I did in the beginning of the year but during the first Semester break in March I travelled to Kiau Teburi a village just before Mount Kinabalu for a day long End time Seminar and preaching on Sunday.

Preaching Revival Meetings

It is ironic sometimes we use different terms to describe our meetings. One is this concept of revival meeting or kebangunan rohani or pembangunan rohani as it was called for the two-meeting series on Saturday, one in the morning and one at night. Sometimes the last thing one feels is revival either for the lack of turnout or response before and after the sermon. Saturday morning session is especially difficult as most people relax or go out for recreation or activity after a long week at work. Even many teachers have to return to School for extra curricular activities. So when I am scheduled to preach on a Saturday morning I have to pray especially hard for this men’s meeting (persekutuan Wira) knowing that getting 50 men to come would be a success. But praise God about 90 men turned up and at night possibly cloae to 200 men with a few women. 20 years ago I would expect double the numbers at night but this is the sign of the times when men especially men experience famine of the hear…

Pre-Dawn Breakfast

I am enjoying a predawn breakfast in Kota Kinabalu. I reached home after a hectic 4 days of ministry at Namaus. We suffered another bout of dry tap for 2 days and whole day no electricity yesterday. I led early morning prayers before the Chapel service and joked that we must pray for the new science technology and innovation minister so that she can truly deliver for Sabahans in terms of stable supply of electricity. We had commenced the 40 Day prayer and fasting on Tuesday until Malaysia Day on 16th September. I felt so fatigued after lectures yesterday and late afternoon’s drive back to KK that I slept before 10pm and got up before 4am and drove to KK city centre at 5am for some predawn breakfast. A number of shops were already open by 5.30am and there are a few 24 hour eateries around. So KK like Singapore but in a smaller version is a city that does not sleep. I read a white paper on KK transport that cited some population figures and my spirit stirred when I read that by 2020 (17…

Preaching from Leviticus

Leviticus 10 is right in the centre of the five books of Moses or better known as the Law. I preached from the first 11 verses on Friday night to the College community. We don't usually hold services on a Friday night but 20 visitors from Keningau district asked that they could worship with us. So I preached about 50mins with plenty left in the tank when I finished. The title was taken from Ezekiel 44:8 "keep charge of my holy things says the Lord". Aaron's two older sons Nadab and Abihu did something strange by offering strange fire in the tent of meeting something the Lord had not commanded. And fire came from Lord and consumed them. I spoke about how as pastors and leaders we are spiritually priests and the Lord has charged us to keep his holy things.