Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Fighting against Covid19

My spirit was very much stirred up when news of a new cluster appeared at a religious school last Wednesday. Suddenly we hit 39 cases in KK just one case lesa before being declared a red zone. So I prayed and I prayed on Thursday. It was a violent session of prayer intercession. It was good that my office was secluded on an upper floor on the first floor so even if I shout and cry out to the Lord, no one would hear me except the Lord of the whole earth in heaven.

Monday, April 19, 2021

Love, Romance & Marriage Seminar

In less than 5 days' time, God willing, we will conduct our first Seminar since the Covid-19 health crisis struck. Please listen to my sermon on our church's You-tube Channel @multimediasibip on how I prayed for God's intervention when during mid-week, cases began to spike and caused a fright among many. For two days in a row on Thursday and Friday, I overheard conversations in coffee shops of another lockdown in KK. I prayed to the Lord, speaking in tongues for 10 minutes and continued praying until last Saturday when I sensed a measure of victory. The Lord laid in my heart how He answered Joshua's prayers for the Sun to stay still and perhaps 12 hours of daylight were added that day. I told my congregation to have faith in the Lord and in His love as "perfect love casts out all fear" (1 John 4:18).

Friday, April 16, 2021

Pastoral Ministry & A Short Runway

After turning down the initial invitation on another topic, I was invited again to speak on this topic on 30th April 2021 at our forthcoming Pastors' Conference. I was told yesterday that the Conference was going online and there would be no face-to-face meeting. The Covid-19 cases in Sabah have spiked in recent days, but I felt I should not just yield to what is happening around us, but intercede and pray. Prayed I did yesterday for about 30 minutes including speaking and praying in tongues half the time, pleading with the Lord to intervene so that the Covid-19 cases at least in Kota Kinabalu do not rise significantly, lest the government orders another round of church closure. I shall be praying in the next few days. I was in two minds the whole of yesterday until late last night the schedule for the Pastors' Conference came out through the Pastors' Whatsapp group. Mine is the middle slot, scheduled to take place in the afternoon, the graveyard hour as far as preaching is concerned.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Three Days before Good Friday

I have just finished the 10-powerpoint slides for Easter Sunday's service. For Good Friday we are having our Secretary-General as guest preacher and he will also conduct the Lord's communion on Friday. I have been flat out making most of the opportunity with Covid-19 cases falling below 50 cases for most days in Sabah and KK itself is in single digit for a couple of weeks now except for on one or two occasions. I have to put out some fires lit by some unscrupulous peoples, always criticising without basis but I am used to that now after 26 years in ministry. In my previous two pastorates, vast majority of leaders and church members were extremely supportive but one always has to be aware of Doeg who informed on David and caused the death of many priests.

Monday, March 15, 2021

Vision of Lights shining in Darkness

There is a time for everything. Much wisdom brings much grief and the increase of knowledge increases sorrows (Eccl 1:18). I find it hard to believe that things could go so bad within months. I had a vision during yesterday's Sunday worship during the worship song before the sermon. Suddenly in the Spirit, I saw many lights like stars sparkling over a canvas of darkness which in my spirit I knew it to be the city of Kota Kinabalu. In my spirit, I sensed these lights or stars numbered to one hundred or more. Then the Spirit spoke and told me that these were the churches in Kota Kinabalu pre-Covid19. But then I saw another cloud of darkness hovering over the city and I saw only 7 or 8 lights/stars.

Friday, March 12, 2021

Court Case & Church

So many things happened in the past fortnight that I don't know where to start. Two days ago the High Court in Sarawak allowed a Sarawakian's application to use the word, "Allah". The news brought much euphoria among Christians in the Press as well as group chats but I kind of put a dampener a little (though I rejoiced greatly in the Lord) as it had happened before that a major denomination having won in the High Court but then lost in the appellate Court and as it stands, the Court of Appeal's decision in 2013 seems to be the final say on the matter unless this matter is resolved in the highest Court, the Federal Court or the government and parties involved negotiate for an amicable solution without resort to the judiciary. Much to pray for!

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Happy Purim - Its Significance for Malaysia

This evening the Feast of Purim (Esther 9:20-23) is celebrated around the world among Jews and Christians. Sad, though, many Christians hardly know much about the biblical Feasts. Why do I use "biblical" instead of "Jewish" or "Hebrew" Feasts? Biblical is the right word because all these Feasts are written in the Bible, a book which we claim to be inspired. In fact, Paul the apostle says that "all Scripture is God-breathed.." referring to what we have now as the Old Testament or the Bible of Jesus' time. If the Feasts of Israel are in the Bible, why then Christians know so little about them? It comes down to biblical illiteracy. The lack of Scriptural knowledge among Christians who have confessed Christ for 30 or 40 years is widespread and not something remarkable.

Friday, February 19, 2021

Church Opening Again

I realized my fault in not praying for the government in its handling of Covid19 crisis. I realized I was perhaps fatigued in thinking about the pandemic and try to put it out of my mind. But in the past week SOPs were confusing to say the least so I realized the govt officers are human beings and they need our support in prayers. So I prayed in the past couple of days for consistency and it came around 5pm that the authorities are allowing church premises to be opened with 1/3 capacity. Before we were told only 45 max and we were deliberating whether it was worthwhile to open for such small numbers.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Year of the Ox

No one in church today wished me Happy Chinese New Year. But half the church council did on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. I guess I served in a church that the pastor is the only Chinese among about 200 members. We have one or two spouses of church members who are Chinese but they don't attend church regularly. But in the past 20 years and more in Sabah I have served races other than my own, mostly the indigenous peoples of Borneo. Only when I was in Singapore, I served Singaporean Chinese 99% of the time with the exception of a few Indonesian services which I  ministered in. But it's the year of the Ox. The ox or oxen also figure in the Bible including the New Testament.

Sunday, February 7, 2021

New Insights in New Book

My new book on the Song of Songs has a number of new insights which to the best of my knowledge have not been discussed in any commentary or monograph. Although there are a number of scholars who argue that the Shulamite woman was Abishag, none would tell the tale of Solomon's love with the Shulamite girl as a narrative framework for the Song as I attempt to do in my new book. Although the Song of Songs is a love-poem filled with symbolism, there is a human story behind it, especially from the two lovers' familial ties. The woman is called a Shulamite, so she is identified as coming from Shulam or Shunem in Israel. She has a family with a mother and a few older brothers. It could be that she is the youngest in the family, barely in her teens which made her a target of her brothers' anger as they made her work at the family's vineyards under the hot sun.

Monday, February 1, 2021

Cycle of Preaching

I have completed this cycle of preaching and will be resting from speaking this month of February. I have preached 4 times in Nov, 4 times in December and 4 times in January 2021 with yesterday' sermon on "Breaker and Warrior" (Micah 2:13; Psalm 89:20) as my third consecutive sermon. I was greatly refreshed with the feedback and encouragement from near and far with almost half of those listening in from non-church members. I am glad that I ended this cycle of preaching on a high note. I was gravely concerned on Saturday night with many chat groups talking about a certain preacher (non-Christian) making his rounds in Sabah. I spoke powerfully about why we must have discernment on what type of outside help we could or should receive.