I ended the first half of the year with a bang. My wife and I travelled to Papar which is exactly one hour's drive from KK but the village church took another 25 mins to reach. We were met in Papar town and the chairman and his wife were kind to invite us for breakfast and we drove to the church just after 9am. It was supposed to be 9.30 am start but the meeting started at 10am and I preached at 11.20 am. I must have preached for 1 hour and 5 mins as I did not once look at my watch until the end. As there were a number of Mother's and Father's Day celebrations events on so the church service went up to 1.15pm and we had lunch fellowship until just past 2.10pm before we drove home. We stopped by KK city for satay and reached home at 4pm. It was 11 hours since I got up at 5am to prepare for the sermon. Nowadays as much as I try not to preach too long I try not to rush since I spent several days in preparation and hours on the road. I want to make my sermon count.
At night I received a photo from the chairman and words of thanks how much they were blessed with the Word of God. And I got invited back. It is the 3rd time in a row that I got invited back straight after ministering in a particular place. Praise be to God. I actually thought that people know me in Papar but I was wrong. I have not been in the church and the last time was a district event in the town hall where only a few leaders of the church attended. One woman leader thought I was from Hong Kong because I shared a testimony that my wife and I visited a replica of Noah's Ark in Hong Kong 10 years ago. I preached about two families, Noah’s and Lot’s but almost one hour was up when I finished with Noah so I only spoke briefly about Lot and his wife.
I mentioned five things in my sermon. First, the generation of Noah and our present generation. Second, Noah was righteous and blameless in his generation and we are meant to live uprightly in this sinful generation. Third, Noah's secret to his righteousness is that he walked with God. Fourth, Noah made an altar and offered burnt offerings as his first act after alighting from the Ark. How we should build altars of prayers and quiet times at home and be example to our sons. I testified how until now my adult son still texts me and asked me to pray for him. I think it is because from young he knew his dad as a man of prayer and I shared with my son many things the Lord did through answered prayers. Fifth, Noah's blessings and curse to his sons. How as fathers we should bless our children and nor curse them despite their failing and rebellion. I shared how I encouraged one deacon in Ranau not to give up on his son because he refused to come to church with him but prayed and showed love to his son.
All in all as the church was not airconditoned and I was wearing a tie while preaching I must have lost at least half a pound during my sermon as my shirt was all wet and I wiped my face several times in the course of the delivery of the sermon. It is not just the one hour long preaching but days of preparation and the stress of travelling I suppose the life of an itinerant preacher is not easy but we came back filled with joy knowing His people were blessed with the truth of His Word.