Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Travelling for the Lord

When I read how an Argentine tennis player drove 10 hours from Barcelona to Paris to play at Roland Garros I was mightily encouraged. Yesterday I rested all day from my long weekend ministry in Keningau. For the first time I took the Kimanis to Keningau road that passes through the Crocker Range. It has some majestic sights along the way but for about 30 minutes it was mostly steep climbs and my Triton pickup slowed considerably as it climbed to 4 or 5 thousand feet above sea levels. Reaching Keningau from my home 🏠 in KK in less than 2.5 hours was a relief. It was just past noon and my class did not start until at night so I managed to get some rest in a local hotel. I taught for almost 8 hours - 2.5 hours Friday night and 5 hours on Saturday. My students took me for morning tea break which went for 45 minutes but the fellowship of the saints was what mattered. I had a late lunch on my own and returned to the hotel to prepare for the Sunday sermon. It happened that on Saturday nighi there was a youth meeting for the District of Keningau.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

12 Days that Changed Malaysia

I have not been doing as much marking as I planned to do because the news got more exciting by the day and by the hour. It has been 12 days since Pakatan Harapan (Coaliton of Hope) won power in Malaysia. From the swearing in of the 7th Prime Minister on 10th May to the formation of the Cabinet of 12 ministries last night it has been an exciting 12 days. About a third of the new ministers had been jailed by the former government but how the tables have turned. Watching the new Finance Minister giving his first press conference I felt a sense of pride and elation. What a struggle for justice and truth in politics. As a son of the long enduring opposition leader, the new finance minister was an opposition politician for more than 30 years and finally reached his aim of sitting as part of the ruling party in government. With the country’s finances in dire straits with allegedly RM7 billion bailout of the 1MDB fiasco, no doubt there will be much house cleaning and getting the house in order in the next few weeks and next few months.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Home Sweet Home

I arrived in Ranau at 12noon after 3 weeks in Kota Kinabalu. I wasn’t planning coming back here until the new Semester starts but last minute I was called to teach an extension programme on Early Church History. I rushed to prepare 37 PowerPoint slides for a 7 hour long teaching session from 3pm to 10pm tomorrow. I hope the turn out will be good seeing that it took me 2.5 hours to drive back. But at the back of my mind I was thinking perhaps I could join my Students in the InterCollege sports in Lawas, Sarawak next Wednesday.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Forgetting my Father’s House (Genesis 41:51)

It is ironic. Joseph had come to a position of authority and power second only to Pharoah in the world power of the time. Many things were gifted him. As a foreigner and an inmate imprisoned on false charges he came out of prison and became king (Ecclesiastes 4). But more ironic was Joseph’s first born son given the name Manasseh which Joseph interpreted as God made me to forget my toils and all my Father’s house. Joseph had experienced great pains and bitterness in the hands of his brothers. 10 of them ganged up on him out of jealousy and hatred and almost had him killed. For 13 years he suffered as a slave in a foreign land. He had to forget his father’s house to move on in life and it was what he did when he assumed power without bitterness haunting him.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Malaysian Election Aftermath

For the past three days I had about 3 hours sleep each night. I am only a spectator but watch every piece of news from social media or TV. Malaysians have voted for change. 7 States in Peninsular are under the new coaliton Pakatan Harapan led by the former and now the newly appointed Prime Minister of Malaysia. I thought there might be trouble as the day after the election went on but there was no news about the swearing in of the PM-elect. The Election Commision did a lousy job this time round as final results only came in at 4.30am the next day. Apparently there were several recounts but the news were that as BN ruling party was losing badly in many States the results trickled in at snail pace. Tun Mahathir claimed victory before midnight and the losing caretaker Premier did not appear until the next day at 11.30am.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Malaysia's 14th General Election

It was a sight to behold. The power of citizenry. All lining up orderly to cast their votes. The cars lined the streets from one end to the other.  I had to walk 10 minutes to the polling booth and once I got there it was smooth. At most it took about 25 minutes as there were about 20 people in the queue for my polling station. My name was called out with my Identity Card number but I whispered to the Election official how to correctly pronounce my name. My right index finger was inked. When I showed them my right index finger I was asked for my left finger as people assumed that one is right handed.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Itinerant Preaching

I was on a mission. A good friend told me that he had visited a village 15 times in the past year for the sake of campaigning in the general Election. So I don't think my occasional travels for the Lord are any more strenuous than what politicians go through especially when the Election is near. But driving alone almost 4 hours was a test of endurance. I count the kilometres and on my way to Sipitang I only stopped at Beaufort 45kms away. But on my way back I stopped three times in Beaufort, Papar and Kota Kinabalu. I was welcome with the customary Lundayeh hospitality with afternoon tea. I reached there at 5.30pm after having satay at Sipitang Township at 4.30pm. At 6.45pm it was dinner time and the night meeting started at 8pm sharp. They only sang two songs before they handed the pulpit to me and I preached for about 45 minutes on 5 things about grace. So just after 9.10pm we ended our service but supper went for another hour before I excused myself and returned to my room at 10.30pm.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Forward Planning

For me preaching is going through a storm where one navigates all kinds of winds, opposing winds of false doctrines and political winds of the day as we draw near General Election next Wednesday. Last night I received news that I shall be preaching tonight as well as tomorrow’s Sunday service. I wish they told me earlier for better preparations and now I have to prepare mentally to preach twice instead of once. It is not something out of the ordinary but forward planning is not a forte for many people, pastors and leaders included. In class I spoke about the last minute syndrome and looking busy and important in those last hectic hours due to lack of forward planning.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Value of a PhD

There are many doctorates out there but I am talking about earned doctorate over a submission of a substantial original book-length thesis. My PhD thesis has a total of 150,000 words with 50,000 of them as footnotes. For both main text and footnotes in terms of word permissible I have reached the limits. My T & T Clark publishers basically suggested that I reduced one chapter of 40 pages but at the end without alteration or reducing any words it was published. I was a pastor then and I told my editors that I simply had not the time to make any revision let alone deciding what to take out from my thesis. But I have been reading about the worth of a PhD and not because of self doubt but due to my forthcoming 15th year anniversary of the conferment of my PhD.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

”My Miles I Travelled” (Psalm 138:3LXX)

I just realised I passed another milestone in my ministry, now in the 41st month since my appointment as pastor of a Ranau church. I did not realise last Sunday on 29th April 2018 I preached two messages which ended my 40-month ministry just as I started on 31st December 2014 in the same church and place. Preaching the second service in the new church just completed last month which foundations were laid in 2015 when I was pastor there. It could be that my next 40 months could be very different at least new compared to what I have been doing in the past 3 years. My ODO meter reads 76677kms.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Labour Day

I preached an 30 min sermon on Labour Day in Chapel before teaching an 2 hour class on the Holy Spirit and then rushing home to meet the student leaders for more than an hour. It was one of the most hectic 10 day period as far as I can remember and preaching twice on Sunday in my former church took a lot out of me. But that was indeed folder for my message yesterday and I expounded the Greek text of Luke 10:7 and 1 Tim 5:17 with 5 slides. I explained the word “worker” and “work” and the word “wage” mithos in Greek. I also explained that as workers in the Lord’s harvest we should not be embarassed to be paid for our labour. In fact 1 Tim 5:17 has double honour which in the Greek includes the idea of financial remuneration based on work done and performance.