Monday, October 30, 2017

Village Life

I would have thought by now I have adapted to village life. This morning at dawn I was awakened by the cock’s crow. I am in another village about one hour from Ranau. I looked at the rice fields in the vicinity, coconut trees and a mother hen leading her chicks from house to house. Houses here at village land reserved for those who had come to open up the lands generations or hundred years ago. As families grow and children become adults and have their own families they start building houses and here in this village almost every foot of land is taken up by a tiny but to store the harvests or houses completed or in the process of building.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

5-Minute Test Romans Exams

For Romans exams I have asked my students gave a 5-minute presentation on a topic of their choice from Paul's letter to the Romans. They are free to choose to comment on an issue or a verse or a passage in Romans. All in all 17 students took part and the exams took 2 hours to complete.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Hebrews Exams

Today my fourth year class of 11 students sat for their Hebrews’ exams. I set them 5 questions and they needed to answer three within 2 hours. The questions are all in Malay but the English is as follows:

Monday, October 23, 2017

Jesus ate Fish

Fish is frequently mentioned in the four gospels. So much so in the late first century and second century the sign of the fish had become a symbol of Christianity even more popular than the cross. Jesus ate fish. At least four of his disciples were fishermen. Peter the chief apostle was a fisherman. It was as a result of a great catch of fish that Jesus issued his famous summons that "you will become fishers of men". And the Gospel of John ends with the mysterious 153 large fish caught by the disciples (photo: food at the Student Dining Hall).

Sunday, October 22, 2017

The Time is Near

I will be conducting my 5th seminar on End-time seminar and the book of Revelation in Sabah this Saturday. Only the third since I returned to Sabah (for good) three years ago. I think the pace will pick up a bit as the time draws near. We are experiencing floods as never seen before. Humanly we can say it is due to climate change. Sabah is known as the land below the wind because typhoons and strong winds only hit our northern neighbours the Philippines. Not anymore. But in recent years we have had earthquakes. Yesterday for almost 2 minutes rocks and trees and mud just came down at the side of mount Kinabalu near the Malisou village. Before the June 2015 earthquake a popular resort at Malisou was frequented by tourists but it had to be shut down after boulders as big as trucks came tumbling down. Just a couple of months before the earthquake struck I went up there to meet my Singaporean friends twice. Now the mountain starts to rumble again.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Mighty Torrential Rains (Job 37:6)

What would you do if it rains non-stop for days? It has been the third day raining without ceasing in Kota Kinabalu. Today that was a break from the rain at 12 noon with bright sun shine and I thought the rain would be over for good. But as soon as I got back back home at 2pm, it started raining and there is no end in sight. Imagine in the days of Noah - 40 days non-stop rain. 4 days are plentiful for me and Lord grant us sun shine once more. As I bought lunch for my wife at home, I let out a torrent of thanksgiving in my spirit. I have everything I need. Thank you Jesus I said under my breath for 5 or 6 times in quick succession. I thank You Lord for giving us food in providing for my family. For giving me a shelter from rain, a car to go from A to B and moreover a good enough car to travel to far away places for the Gospel's sake. There were many fallen trees left and right and several streams and rivers I passed by were about to burst their banks. In KK low lying areas have been flooded for days and pictures of Kota Belud, one of the main centre just an hour's north of KK has been inundated with waters. The whole town is covered by floods. The voice of the Lord is above the floods (Ps 29).

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Ordering Books

I purchased a couple of books earlier in the year, Paul the Apostle E.P. Sanders and then, the Shack a popular Christian novel. Now towards the end of the year, my itch for books cannot be contained. I am expecting two books from Amazon any day now, one which is about the numbering of kings and chronology - how exciting! The other is about the the hidden life of a tree from a German forester. I was attracted to this book, remembering that in 2010 I presented a paper at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, God cares for the Trees based on Revelation 9:4. Today I ordered three more books for my holidays reading in a month's time.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Short Time on Earth

I thought I had one of my busiest weekends with visitors on the Saturday and preaching on Sunday. When I left the hall after service one student told me that her church leaders would be coming to the College with padi which was just harvested but not processed into rice. After lunch I thought of resting but the thought of guests turning up when I fell asleep and had to get up got me in restless mood not knowing when the visitors were arriving on one hand and not able to rest on the other hand. The church leaders arrived at just past 2.30pm and I had to welcome them as there was no other lecturer present on Campus then. Anyhow it was a church I knew from my days as chairman of the pastors' fellowship in Ranau. We fellowshipped until almost 4pm and I went back to my house to finally rest. But my mind could not rest until 5pm and O got up at 5.45pm and had my usual late afternoon coffee. As I was reading the Psalms for my evening devotions several text messages lit up my phone screen. I was told that there was a wake to attend at 7.30pm and as Chaplain I was supposed to conduct the wake which means preaching the wake sermon.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

A Full Week

It is a joy to serve You Lord for You are worthy O God. Today I preached in the Dining Hall of the College as when half the College community is not present on Campus we gather not in the Chapel but at the dining hall. I was surprised to see almost 30 adults turned up. It was awfully hot as I preached from 8.50am until 9.30am. I shared from John 16:20-28 with the key verse "Ask and you shall receive so that your joy may be full." Today was the 6th day in a row that I had an intense task.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Class on Constitution

I completed my lectures on the Federal Constitution of Malaysia yesterday. It has taken us 7 weeks with 2 hours per week. It has been exhilirating to say the least as I could comment on many legal and political issues of the day that are part of them major talking points across the nation. I trust my students benefited from the lectures, first time ever being offered at Bachelor level. Knowledge of the law in fact the highest laws of the land is essential if we wish to minister contextually as I was able to draw attention to these issues discussed by politicians and journalists with reference to the Federal Constitution.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Middle Earth & Bible Apps

I am not talking about the Lord of the Rings or hobbits. I am writing about stopping over in middle earth for brunch before travelling another 50kms up to mountains to Ranau. There are several stalls selling wild boar meat and if one doesn’t have it too often it should be fine. It affords about 30mins break before continuing on the journey taking in the fresh mountain air. At KK one hour ago I packed my usual things - my tablet and smartphones in my small bag and laptop in my larger bag with the books I carry with me all the time. Now I just chuck them into the car unlike Paul the apostle travelling on foot or by sea and perhaps at most can carry a couple of scrolls like Isaiah and the Psalms.