Sunday, March 31, 2019

Preaching After 3 months

I have preached again after a nearly three months hiatus. I had a few nerves last night wondering how I would preach after such a long lay off and whether due to lack of practice the gift of preaching like many other gifts can wither away if one does not use them. But I preached a 40-minute sermon, half the length of last week’s sermon but I trust in the Lord it was twice as impactful. More than 10 members came up to me and thanked me for the message.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Sermon Preparation

I suddenly found myself with 4 sermons to preach with the first this Sunday and the next three on Good Friday and two on Resurrection Sunday. How do I prepare for sermons? After preaching 30 years I still don’t have a stock sermon. Nothing written up except brief notes here and there. Except for my TTC sermons that needed translation to Mandarin and two of 2017’s sermons for 370 SIB pastors gathered at that time. I wrote close to 4,000 words each sermon and there was food aplenty.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Sporting Greatness

I guess I can indulge once a while in writing about sports. Even apostle Paul uses quite a bit of sporting imagery in his letters. In the past weekend we have witnessed the pinnacle of sporting greatness. Roger Federer won his 100 tennis titles just 9 behind Jimmy Connors. But in the modern game Federer is without parallel though Nadal has beaten him more often in their matches. Federer holds 20 grand slam titles the most among men. But the sporting greatness that I witnessed though delayed telecast is Ronnie O’Sullivan. Without doubt he is the best snooker player in history despite Stephen Hendry winning 2 more world titles than O’Sullivan. But O’Sullivan reaches his 1,000 centuries’ breaks on Sunday in the last frame and winning the Players Champisonship against Neil Robertson who beat the inform player of the year Judd Trump in the semi final. The final clearance and the sustained applause and standing ovation afforded as he hit the second last red to make it 100 points and then total clearance including the cue ball entering after the black was a fairy tale end and it was indeed sporting greatness.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Godliness and Contentment (1 Tim 6:6)

Apostle Paul gave some great advice. Though he was not married he told how couples should behave and husbands to love their wives and wives should respect and submit to their husbands. In his first letter to Timothy Paul gave some advice as to how to live. Paul is not worried about housing or the lack of it. Only this morning I read that there was a glut of apartments above RM250,000 in the whole country but affordable housing is hard to come by. When you are earning RM3,000 or even RM4,000 a month with a car loan can you afford a house more than RM300K? But apostle did not mention housing at all.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

“God who fed me all life long” (Genesis 48:15)

In his deathbed Jacob blessed Joseph and his sons. Having lived for more than 100 years and many years in the wilderness of Midian and then losing Joseph his favourite son for more than 20 years Jacob had lived his life to the full through plenty and want, through abundant harvests and famines. Through it all he could say to Joseph that it was God of his fathers Abraham and Isaac before whom Jacob walked and it was this God who had fed him all his life long (Gen 48:15). The use of “fed “ instead of “shepherded “ in KJV is interesting because the latter could be spiritualised that God was a shepherd of one’s soul but He was not interested in feeding His people. The life of Jacob and the lives of Israelis throughout history has seen poverty struck God’s people yet God was faithful in making sure His people survived by giving them enough food for sustenance even in the most difficult of times.

Friday, March 1, 2019

Simple delights

After several weeks of hot nights and warm mornings I woke up early at dawn with a chill at my back. Even as I am enjoying breakfast at 6.30am in Menggatal the cool breeze is still blowing strong. The seasons may change and wind blows where it wills just like our seasons of ministry may change from one form to another and from one place to another place. For a whole month of February and for the first time in 50 months I did not have to travel to Ranau or anywhere else. Mighty relieved that I turned down 3 invitations to speak that would have involved driving for more than 4 hours each time. I have time to enjoy my city Kota Kinabalu or API-API in Chinese which is the Malay word for “fire”. I pray that the fire of the Holy Ghost be cast to this city of more than 1 million people. As I wait on the Lord I am enjoying simple delights, breakfast here and lunch there. A coffee here and a latte there.