Wednesday, May 29, 2019

God is Good

In the past several months I have been surviving on my savings and in many ways living by faith day by day week by week. There were and are too many coincidences. Just hours I posted my son’s photo in my updates last week I received news that he was coming back to Sabah for a few days, It was as if the Lord knew I missed him dearly. I wrote, “like Jacob and Joseph separated for a long time - 12 years”. Then I went to the bank to withdraw some money and I tried my best to live frugally now. The next day when I checked my account I realised someone had banked into my account the exact sum I withdrew. Was that a coincidence or God-incident? I rejoiced in the Lord for He is the cup of my salvation.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Travelling to Tenom

Tenom is famous for its coffee. But we didn’t buy any coffee this time. I drove to Tenom last Thursday stopping overnight in Tambunan before heading to Baru Jumpa, Tenom the next day. Baru Jumpa means (just met or just meeting now) is 28kms south of Tenom further to the southern border of Sabah with Sarawak and Kalimantan. The people here are mostly Lundayeh tribe or Lumbawang as they are called in Sarawak and many of their ancestors lived in the highlands of Borneo across the three borders of Sabah, Sarawak and Kalimantan, Indonesia. Many years ago people used to travel by foot up and down these mountains to visit other villages. The SIB church started in 1957 and I was introduced to the founder of the church on Sunday. He told me he was past 80 now and I replied I was coming to 55. “You are a young man” was his response. Yesterday I preached nearly an hour before a congregation of about 200 people in a church that can easily seat 1,000 people. The church is one of the biggest in the State and the pulpit is about 50 feet from the front rows.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Serving Freely

I have always thought that if one focuses on serving the Lord, one’s needs will be taken care of. I never saw that as earning a salary or a living. Yes, it is true we live by the gospel which means by preaching the Gospel material blessings shall flow from it. So in recent times many have asked me either directly or through texts whether I have an appointment somewhere or what ministry I am currently doing. Tough to answer. Officially I am waiting for an appointment from my HQ like any other pastor who is willing to serve. But I am not tied to anything in fact I find it refreshing to serve where I want to. Tomorrow I shall be travelling into the interior again, some 28kms south of Tenom which is 4 hours drive from KK.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Digging Wells (Genesis 26)

It was one of those days. This morning I woke up listless after two days of heady ministry. I preached one of my best sermons yet yesterday in church. Words just flowed from my mouth in rapid succession, all in Malay. Readers of my blog might not realize that since my return to Sabah, 99% of my ministry is now done in Bahasa Malaysia (Malay language). It went for just over an hour and an elder commented later that he did not feel the time because of the anointing. Straightway I was invited back to preach next month. On Saturday I conducted a Revelation seminar which was my 17th End-time Seminar since 2010. About 50 people from a small church attended and the women's fellowship that organised the event was brilliant throughout. But I stood up most of the times, 6 long hours of lectures from 8.30am to 5pm in the evening. So this morning I waited on the Lord and I read Isaac's experience of living in the land. When he went to Gerar, the local inhabitants contended with him. Isaac's men dug wells but one after another, Isaac's neighbours closed them and he had to move until such time when he dug a well and there was no longer contention.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

True Friends

A friend loves at all times a brother is born for adversity. In the ideal world, how fortunate Christians are meant to be because all fellow Christians are supposed to be our friends and more than that brothers who would come to our aid in times of adversity.  But the book of Proverbs also tells us how human relationships are viewed, our social relationships with our neighbours and friends. I thought I needed wisdom so I read Proverbs this morning. I am sometimes too quick to trust people and sometimes feel betrayed as a result. When you think he is a friend and a brother who should behave in a certain way but then he fails it can be quite disappointing. I realised not all friends are true friends but worse they are enemies. I realised that not all brothers are true brothers because like Paul says one of the dangers he faced was false brothers.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Praying for the Nation

The proof of the pudding is in the eating. The proof of a life of prayers is in answered prayers. I thought I had been pretty slack in praying for Malaysia since the new government came into power a year ago. But I was stirred afresh on Friday night 10.5.2019 to pray for the nation, for Malaysia and Sabah, and Sandakan in particular as the East Coast town of Sabah would be facing a by-election on 11.5., the first polls after one year of Pakatan Harapan government. The government coalition has lost three by-elections in a row in West Malaysia and I thought they simply could not afford to lose another one, especially a Parliamentary seat and that would embolden the opposition even more. So I prayed earnestly for Sandakan voters the night of 10.5 which happened to be the first anniversary of the new government in power (the PM was sworn in at 10pm, 10.5.2018). We were in a meeting of all pastors and church leaders that night and for a long time I was stirred to go up the pulpit and lead prayers for the nations.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

100 Days in a City

I didn’t think that I would travel again so soon after about 100 days since my coming down from Ranau to Kota Kinabalu at the end of January. Now I find myself in a village again. Fresh air, cool at night and the stillness of everything quietens down the voices of our souls. I rose before dawn as the cocks crowed at 3.30am until daylight. It is good to be near nature where time seems to stand still. It’s one lesson I learned in these past 100 days that is not to be bound by time, not looking at my watch constantly and not asking whether I have been productive or how many hours have I worked throughout the time. Is not eternity defined as the moment when there is no time (Rev 10:6)?

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Widows & Orphans

The Lord is defender of widows and orphans, so the Psalmist pronounces. We see that in the early church the widows were looked after from the church funds in Jerusalem (Acts 6) and also among Gentile churches planted by Paul in Ephesus and elsewhere (1 Tim 5). Why God cares for the humble and lowly folks? Because they can’t look after themselves and also they are blessed for being poor in spirit. God’s favour and bias is always towards the downtrodden and those who can’t fend for themselves.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

A Woman’s Love

I was nearing the end of ch. 8 of the Song of Songs on the 2nd April when I was somewhat distracted by some Conference faraway that I thought I might attend. It’s been a month and I need to return to it for some finishing touches. The Shulamite woman seems unsure of herself right until the end. First, her brothers think of her as their little sister unready for love. She has to assert that she is more than ready to please her lover and that in her the king has found peace. This is a remarkable statement of a woman’s love. Does her love for her man give him peace? Here, peace is shalom, wellness in wholeness. Can a woman say that she has given her husband peace and happiness? Not just peace for the lack of strife though that is itself remarkable in a relationship but shalom, a peace and wholeness to the man’s soul.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Labour Day 2019

Those who believed have entered into the rest; they have ceased from their own labours just as God did from His (Hebrews 4:10). I find this verse extremely powerful. As soon as we become believers we have ceased from our labours. If we labour, we labour in the rest of God. If we work it is because God works in and through us and it is not us who work. We have entered into that sabbath rest and peace. If someone asked me whether I have a job, I would tell them that I have not worked for the past 25 years or jobless in that time. I have stopped working for myself but I work for Christ by the strength He powerfully inspires within me through His Holy Spirit. Today is Labour Day. I have a moment to reflect on a year which a third is now past.