Monday, November 28, 2016

Reading Romans Reflectively

I have been reading Romans the whole day, morning, noon and evening. From chapter 3 to 8 and I will be finishing chapter 8 tonight. It's been a while; I have this practice that I must read through Romans at least twice a year; other books I can read through once but Romans is such an important book that one can do with repeated readings and reflective readings for that matter. Romans answers the deepest and most profound questions there are concerning the nature of self, sin and salvation.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Finding a Place for the Lord's Dwelling

When I think of all my travels and forthcoming journeys I can only ponder on David's Psalm 132 that David refuses to give sleep to his eyes until he finds a place for the Lord's rest. Behold David's afflictions. Behold my afflictions. Lord what I go through for Jesus' sake, for the sake of His church so that the Lord might find a dwelling among His people and rest in the midst of His children. So I brace myself for more travels starting again Wednesday to Nahaba to the north in Kota Belud District and then turning south to Sipitang next weekend. Only yesterday I accepted another invitation to speak at a Youths Christmas on 23rd Dec in Kota Belud. I comfort myself that through the Ranau bypass road I could proceed to the East towards Entilibon where I will preach 3 sermons over Christmas Eve and Christmas Day before heading back to KK on Boxing Day for a week's rest to prepare for the start of the new academic year on 3rd January.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Going to Gérar (Gen 26)

There was a famine in the land in the days of Isaac just as it was in the days of Abraham (Gen 26). Famine or severe economic crisis for poor people does not seem to abate where I dwell. The Ringgit has fallen to new lows, 3.1RM to 1SGD and nearing 4.5 to the USD. Food prices have gone up and a cup of coffee at hawker's stall once RM1.50 just last year is now 2.20 or 2.50. Inflation due to the fall of Ringgit and the rise of the cost of living hits the poor hard. I spoke about the 3rd Seal yesterday at FGB meeting in town about what would happen to us when 2 pounds of wheat will cost RM40.00 (labourer's daily wage) or a 5kg of rice will cost two days' wages. Those days will come as predicted by Scripture and countries that are well governed with strong institutions and the rule of law will survive better than those ruled by unstable personalities where corruption and evil reign supreme without anyone able to stop the rot from getting worse.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Endings of Paul's Letters

In my fourth and last sermon on Sunday, I preached from 1 Corinthians 16, the end of Paul's first letter to the Corinthian church. I told the members gathered from 14 churches of the District of Mendulong not to neglect the final words of Paul in his many letters as often times such endings provide us with spiritual gems of immeasurable value. I proceeded to preach from 1 Cor 16,9-16. I told the audience that often times when a great and effectual door is opened for us there will be much opposition. Do not think for a moment the devil is not out to try to destroy the work of God through God's servants. Especially so for us in the front line in the battle field the opponents and opposition would seem many and without ceasing keep attacking and trying to rob us of the joy of serving the Lord. After a  long weekend away from Friday noon to late Sunday evening, my energy was totally spent. I spent the whole day yesterday catching up on sleep as I barely slept in my 3 days away.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

10 Days Free of Travel

I don't remember that I did not have to travel for a span of 10 days as I have now experienced since College's academic year ended last Monday. I have been driving short distances within Kota Kinabalu, going into the city back and forth or the nearest suburb of Inanam for meals and tea breaks. But tomorrow I travel afresh and I am bracing myself for a 4-hour drive through several towns, Papar, Beaufort, Sipitang and then onwards to Mendolong.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The End of All Things is Near (1 Pet 4:7)

I was meditating on this verse (1 Peter 4:7) 👈 over a cup of coffee during lunch time yesterday while reflecting on the events of the past 24 hours, in particular the 7.5 Richter earthquake near Christchurch. Hamner Springs is the nearest town to the epicentre, a town close to my heart - this little tourist town of thermal springs where I worked during the holidays in my University days 30 years ago.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

3 Days & 3 Nights

Jesus was in the belly of the earth for 3 days and 3 nights like what Jonah went through in the belly of the fish. I have been back in Kota Kinabalu since noon Monday and spent three days and three nights first resting and then doing personal errands. I thank my God that when I returned home after 8 days away everything was in order. After 24 hours of rest, I spent yesterday paying for my road tax and car insurance. Wow it's been 2 years since I bought my 2nd hand pick up truck in anticipation of an interior mission work in Ranau and the surrounding villages. I don't regret for a second buying the car without which I would not have been able to traverse the mountain terrains and rivers or should I say streams and valleys below. I have logged tens of thousands kilometres in 24 months, visiting and preaching in every corner of Sabah from the East (Sandakan, Entilibon) to the West (Kota  Belud and Nahaba) from the north (Kudat) to the south (Kemabong & Long Mio). What a God. Lord I thank You for Your faithfulness and Your mercy for which I am not worthy (katonti).

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

The Week that Was

I could only marvel how so many events came together with some measure of success despite last minute preparations and frantic activity. Last Wednesday's Closing Semester service went for 4 hours from 7.40pm to 11:40pm. We had a full service, a song & dance galore and Christmas celebrations with exchange of gifts all in one. But we were mighty pleased and we returned home past midnight filled with joy. Then on Thursday preparations for the graduation dinner and convocation the next day took full steam. As I was in charge of the display section, I had to make sure everything was in order and we made several trips to the venue (Ranau Sports Complex) the night before. Graduation dinner was a pleasant experience with a wide selection of dishes all cooked by the College's kitchen staff (500 people on Friday night and more than 800 people on Saturday's convocation lunch reception). It was a herculean efforts by any measure with our limited resources and wooden kitchen hut housing several stoves and fire place. But non-graduating students helped out and worked their hearts out and I made rounds around the Campus late Thursday night.