Thursday, November 28, 2019

Long Drive

It took me 5 days to go to and fro Kota Kinabalu to preach twice in Kemabong, some 4 hours’ drive away. We stopped overnight in Tambunan before heading to Ulu Tomani, about 35kms from Tenom. When we went back, we stopped over in Tambunan for two nights as I was too tired to drive on Monday. It was a total sabbath for me after only preaching twice. I had to contend with the elements and the environment in a far away Village. There was a fan in the room but it was creaking and making weird noises all the time. And the windows can’t be shut so at night I was kept awake by mosquitoes. I am particularly sensitive to mosquito bites and I don’t know whether I had slept for 3 hours after preaching at night which service ended just before 11pm and supper fellowship for another hour.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

New Stirrings

The Spirit of God is stirring afresh in my heart. I have been getting up real early, sometimes before 4am. I sensed God’s presence strong as I wait upon Him until sunrise. By 7am I was working on my John’s Gospel commentary and editing ch. 8 with four more chapters to go after this. I hope by the end of the year I can find a publisher and print my book and it should be out by the first quarter of 2020. My other book is delayed as the printers are based in Kuala Lumpur and shipping takes at least two weeks from KL to KK after the printing is done.

Friday, November 15, 2019

My Books are Returning Home

One of my most read blogposts is “Books whither Thy Home?” which I wrote some 5 and a half years ago. But my 300 books are returning home for good. It has been a long sojourn in Singapore, separated from its owner for 5.5 years. I am grateful to the Faculty and library of BGST for keeping my books in good shape, in fact two shelves were provided for them for easy access to users to browse and borrow if they wished. Altogether by February 2020 my books would have been in Singapore for nearly 12 years. It is a long home coming. These are my best books, series of commentaries and Hebrew and Greek lexicons. I can’t wait to have them back home.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Light at the End of the Tunnel

Perhaps it was right after all that I attended the College’s convocation. It was the first time many District superintendents and a few general council members saw me after the previous year’s AGM. There have been rumours whirling about my whereabouts, whether I had joined another Seminary or even a few thought I had returned to Singapore for good. So it was good to touch base with many church leaders so that they know I am still with them in heart and mind and in the struggle of faith for the advancement of God’s kingdom through SIB.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Closure at College

I drove up to my former College at 5.30am last Saturday stopping over at Tamparuli to have breakfast. I saw that the College advertised its convocation starting at 8am and I was determined to get there before that just I had for 3 full years for the 7.50am Chapel start. But somewhat not everything went according to plan as for the first time my pick up broke down just a few kilometres from Mount Kinabalu. I stopped over a shop for a while and sought help. I knocked on the door of a village shop and must have startled the owners at 7.15am. He helped check my car and determined that it was the turbo problem but I could still drive car slowly to Kundasang or Ranau to get to a workshop. So I drove about 40kms an hour for about 20kms and the engine was making strange noises every time I tried to step on the accelerator. I arrived at Ranau bustop and parked my car there at 8.15am. I had stopped by at a workshop that could fix turbo problems but the shop only opened at 9am. I wanted to attend the College’s graduation so I decided to take my chances and would return to the workshop to sort out my car after the Convocation at noon.

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Departure Points again

Perhaps the Lord is telling me something. This morning I calculated the number of places the Israelites had departed and moved on to another place (Numbers 33). After 33 stops and departures, Aaron died at the age of 123 and the Israelites stopped over in 7 more places before crossing the Jordan into the promised land. A total of 40 places in 40 years, on average they moved once a year, all departures in the wilderness by the command of the Lord through Moses. By the time they reached the 40th place Moses had completed his ministry of 40 years and he also died before reaching the promised land.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Sometimes a man must walk alone with his God

I rose up at 3.45am today. I did not want fall back to sleep. Perhaps the preparation yesterday wasn’t complete so I have had 5 hours this morning before the 10am service to seek the Lord and wait on Him. It was a quite morning and was dark for another 90 minutes before dawn. I preached as if borne along by the wind of the Holy Spirit today. It lasted one hour and 5 minutes. I did not look at the watch until the end. I was supposed to start off a series on Revelation and for the introduction I took about 25 minutes before the sermon proper for another half an hour from Rev 2:18-29. I only prepared 4 slides and the multimedia person asked permission to distribute to the church members. But before preaching, my spirit was uplifted by the worship and I mentioned how I preferred Malay songs to English songs most of the times, not that I don’t listen to English worship songs anymore. It is just that the Malay or Indonesian songs are so much more melodious and I was touched to the core of my soul today. I did not weep but my eyes were wet throughout as I felt God’s love poured into my heart. I felt God’s faithfulness and His amazing goodness.

Friday, November 1, 2019

Departure Points (Numbers 33:2)

That’s a strange title for a book, but on second thought it might just sum up my life and ministry thus far. In the past two months I have been putting the finishing touches on my book and God willing, it will be ready by year’s end. I have never stayed in one place for too long. In fact, my Singapore’s sojourn was the longest of 6 years followed by my pastorate in KK for 5 years and 3 months. So I have majored in departing (Greek, exodus),  both literally and metaphorically. Departing from this life means death and in fact Christians are called to die, to bear the cross and not love our lives unto death. “Departure points” is Robert Alter’s translation of Numbers 33:2. “And Moses wrote down the departure points of the Israelites, their journeyings by the word of the Lord”.