I rose up at 3.45am today. I did not want fall back to sleep. Perhaps the preparation yesterday wasn’t complete so I have had 5 hours this morning before the 10am service to seek the Lord and wait on Him. It was a quite morning and was dark for another 90 minutes before dawn. I preached as if borne along by the wind of the Holy Spirit today. It lasted one hour and 5 minutes. I did not look at the watch until the end. I was supposed to start off a series on Revelation and for the introduction I took about 25 minutes before the sermon proper for another half an hour from Rev 2:18-29. I only prepared 4 slides and the multimedia person asked permission to distribute to the church members. But before preaching, my spirit was uplifted by the worship and I mentioned how I preferred Malay songs to English songs most of the times, not that I don’t listen to English worship songs anymore. It is just that the Malay or Indonesian songs are so much more melodious and I was touched to the core of my soul today. I did not weep but my eyes were wet throughout as I felt God’s love poured into my heart. I felt God’s faithfulness and His amazing goodness.
As it was my first time back in the church after more than 10 years, I felt I should share a few testimonies. I shared how God provided for all things in these past few years of challenging times with little and no income. I shared how I gave up my Singapore PR to return to Sabah to serve and how even two years of savings in Singapore had helped to clear off most of my debts, housing loan and cars, etc. I needed to encourage young people to take the step of faith to enter ministry because it is tough and very tough in our denomination of low pay and no security in gainful employment. One elder asked me last night whether the HQ pay my salary while I wait for my next appointment. I laughed in my heart when I heard that but it was a perfectly valid question. Many pastors who had to wait 6 months or a year for a new placement had to survive of their own and that adds to their feeling of disengagement and anxiety for their families. No wonder since I entered ministry 25 years ago, no one who has gone into ministry with a professional background. So the imbalance of elders who are professionals and well educated and pastors with only a basic secondary education, no wonder they can’t do much, if anything to lead the church except becoming church employees and they are not leaders. So today after a spiritual high of preaching and a 90 min lunch fellowship with a fellow leader, I returned home feeling contented, yet I know there are times that a man must walk alone with his God.
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