Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Work & Rest

This Raya weekend has been all ministry with last Friday's lectures on the Church Constitution and Sunday-Monday seminar on Church Growth. Just when I thought I deserved some rest today I have to drive back to Ranau late afternoon for my lectures tomorrow on Hebrews 2 & 3 perhaps reaching Hebrews 4 on Thursday if I add extra classes. Hebrews 4 is on rest and those who have believed are entering into God's rest.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Sandakan Sunrise

I am on my final leg of my trip to Sandakan having preached yesterday morning and conducted two sessions on Church Growth last night. There are three more sessions this morning and I fly back to KK later in the afternoon. It has been a tiring but yet relaxing trip thanks to the hospitality of the hosting church that accommodated me in one of the top hotels in Sandakan at the sea side with a stunning view of the Sulu Sea from my 21st floor room and breakfast by the sea has a soothing effect to the body and soul.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Other Sheep

For the first time for a long long time I served my own denomination's major events twice in a month. But it is good to know that there are other sheep across the paddock. I am reminded that when I was in Dunedin studying for my PhD my neighbour literally kept a couple of sheep to chew on the grass and keep the backyard tidy.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Working Sunday

I did not preach yesterday but it was one of the most fruitful Sunday I had for quite some time. I visited two of my students who are on a 2-month practical field work. I got up early and just before 8am I drove some 40kms to Tenghilan a township between KK and Kota Belud. It was a small town with two rows of old wooden shops and a row of new shops with a supermarket. I reached there before 9am and my student was seated at the door of the church with the worship team in rehearsal for the 10am service. My student took me to his residence just next to the church and we spent 40mins catching up. He was due to preach so I did not want to distract him too much. The Sunday service was eventful with the Secondary school girls presenting a native dance in their traditional attire of Dusun Lotud, one of the many Dusun sub tribes.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Companion Shepherds

I did not expect to preach a fourth sermon in the first two weeks of June but last Tuesday we had an opening service for the 2nd Semester and I was asked to preach last minute. Despite having just a few hours preparation I managed to preach from Song of Solomon 1:6-7, first about looking after our vineyards and secondly about following the lead or tempo of the shepherd in v. 7. Often time, we wonder where our Lord, the good Shepherd is feeding his sheep, where He wants us to be and the lack of His presence in our lives causes a few flutters here and there. As the woman exclaims in SS 1:7 why should I be wandering with the flocks of His companions? We can't trust in men or the Lord's associate shepherds as we desire our beloved, the one and only shepherd.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

36 Hours

I rested for 36 hours after my exertions in speaking for almost 2 and a half hours over 2 sessions, the first went on for 1 hour and 20 mins and I felt the anointing strong. Today after more than 48 hours after the Pastors' Conference had ended I was still receiving text messages of thanks and encouraging feedback. One senior leader came up to me after the first session that it was time local preachers stepped up. I kind of joked as I began my first session by asking the audience not to compare me with the invited speaker the night before, one of the biggest names in the Indonesian circuit. But God was no respecter of persons as He who anointed Paul the apostle also anoints His true and faithful servants.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Pentecostal Power

LORD I give thanks to You O Lord for You have heard my cry for mercy and empowered me to preach Your Word this morning.  I got up earlier than usual but I suppose it was normal to do so when I am preaching in a Sunday service. I have not preached for a whole month before today and I was a bit worried about being rusty and the pulpit might seem an unfamiliar place. But all my worries were gone as I worshipped the Lord this morning in the cool of dawn. I have a list of songs on MP3 and usually in the morning I plugged in my earphones so as to not disturb my neighbours or those who are still asleep. I did not preach about Pentecost despite being Pentecost Sunday partly due to an assigned topic a month back and I thought I needed to respect my leaders who invited me to preach.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Sweet & Bitter

"And I took the little scroll from the hand of the angel and ate it. It was sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it my stomach was made bitter." (Rev 10:11). The English expression perhaps follows the angelic command which has the bitter first then sweet, thus the saying "bitter sweet". But my experience followed John's experience of sweetness then bitter. I had this wonderful experience this morning of completing my sermon for tomorrow's service, Pentecost Sunday. I read many passages in the OT about Pentecost or the Feast of Weeks and also about the early and latter rain. It was sweet in my mouth and in my heart for the revelation of the Word of God produces sweetness and great delight. But at the same time, I felt bitter in my stomach thinking whether God's people can receive the Word to be preached.  Can they take solid food or the prophetic Word as all the three major Feasts portend?