Monday, September 28, 2020

Historic Year in Sabah

It's been a historic year in recent memory. The last we had a Snap Election was back in 1986 when there were riots on the streets of a few cities in Sabah. But this time round, thankfully it all went peacefully. I went out to vote as early as 6.15 and by 7.30am I reached the polling booth there were already long queues before the Booth opened at 7.50am. It has been a historic Election in various proportions. The sitting government is unseated with a new coalition led by the Malaysian PM's party gaining a simple majority of 38 seats in a 73-Seat State Assembly with three independents who are likely to support the winning Coalition. Th only crux that left Sabahans in suspense is the choice of the Chief Minister. DAP won big in cities and they lost only one seat. My own constituency saw the DAP candidate making history as winning with the biggest majority of more than 14,000 votes. But DAP miscalculated badly.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

War Horse (2)

I did not get to advertise the sale of my double-cab Triton, as my war horse holds much sentimental value to me. If I have it maintained, it may run up to 200,000kms and that will be another 10 years of use, since I don't drive it so often now. In the past fortnight when flash floods occurred often, it is good to know that one has a car with a higher ground clearance. With much politicking in the State, the roads are filled with many potholes and I wish the politicians just focus on their work, and give all the civil servants the necessary guidance and encouragement to get the job done. Streets are flooded everywhere because plastic bags clog up the drains and clearing of drains and maintenance thereof falls behind schedule.

Monday, September 21, 2020

Recovery & Progress

For three weeks in a row now, our Sunday services are almost full (90 adults capacity). Now we have reached half of our average attendance pre-Covid 19. It is in the process of recovery and we praise God that the finances are also recovering with members giving more generously though not a few have lost their jobs or given no-pay leave for 3 months or more. Better still, I feel there is progress in spiritual growth. Twice in recent weeks, members of the church actually clapped spontaneously when I spoke.

Friday, September 18, 2020

Teaching Teenagers

Sometimes it is good to listen to outside speakers once a while. They bring a fresh perspective on things. Even from Christian politicians. A few of my leaders and I went to listen to a Member of Parliament from Kuala Lumpur. I have already read her book so I was not that surprised with what she shared. Yet it was good to listen to her in person. The YB mentioned a few things that the Lord used to confirm what I have been doing. I am glad a few elders and deacons were also there and they could evaluate what was being spoken. The MP said that it was important to give priority to children's and teenage's ministry. In her words, "send your best pastors to teach Sunday school and teenagers." It was like an arrow from the Lord when she said that.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

My War Horse

Suddenly today the thought of selling my double-cap Triton 4 by 4 came to me so much so that I called the Borneo Post to inquire about putting up an advertisement under "Car for Sale". My car has been my war horse for nearly 6 years since November 2014. Where would I be and where have I gone or not gone if not for my war horse? I had been into at least 50 villages in the past 6 years, together with the 70 villagers which I ministered in 25 years earlier, the total now must exceed 120 villages. I realized that at least 10 villages that I had preached in had not been included in my book, "Departure Points". Well, I had always planned for a 2nd edition down the road (God willing, in 15 years' time). It will be sad if I have to part way with my car that had served me so well.

Friday, September 4, 2020

"I was cast aside in the house of God" (Psalm 83:12 LXX; MT Psalm 84)

I don't know how many times the Lord spoke to me through the LXX translation of the Old Testament. No wonder most NT authors quoted Scripture from the LXX (80% of the time) rather than the Hebrew MT. Late last night, I had a great struggle, almost in proportion to Jacob's struggle with the angel at the stream of Jabbok. I woke up several times, thinking about the events of last night and then at 4am sharp I got up for good to read my Bible and prayed. I came across Psalm 83:12 LXX, "I was cast aide in the house of God" instead of the MT "I rather be a doorkeeper in the house of God". During the beginning of PKP (MCO) I felt that the MT spoke to me as often I would go to church on my own and just prayed at its entrance when we were barred from holding public services for more than 3 months. I was like a doorkeeper in God's house. Then now back in church, the house of God I felt cast aside. It is an interesting Greek word, "pararriteisthai" quite a mouthful but it means to be thrown down.

Thursday, September 3, 2020

20 Years or 240 Months of Active Service

This month I am celebrating the completion of 240 months or 20 years in active service. I entered full-time ministry in December 1994 when I was 30 years old, four months and 5 days old, which means by this December it will be my 26th anniversary in full-time ministry. However, if I deduct the time I took for my post-grad studies and time waiting for the next appointment, it adds up to five and a half years. I waited for 10 months recently before coming into this current pastoral position. When I returned from Singapore I waited for 6 months until 1st January 2015 before taking my position as pastor in Ranau. Then even after stopping as Acting Principal, I waited for one and a half months before being reappointed as lecturer in the Bible College. All in all, I spent 49 months (7 x 7) in Ranau, travelling almost every weekend for more than 3 years up and down the Mount Kinabalu route.