Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Ministry under the Movement Control Order (MCO)

I tend to get busier when the lockdown or Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) took effect almost two months ago. We started a google meet for young teenagers' class last week and tomorrow we will be continuing our study on John 5. By this Sunday I shall have preached 4 weeks non-stop which would be a first for me as a pastor since I started January 2020. But one learns many new things during this current health crisis that brought about many changes. Churches have closed down and many big or mega churches have been brought to their knees though their online services are still ongoing and can garner thousands of views. Church finances suffer as well as staff and Bible College lecturers received pay-cut or no pay at all. What is God saying in all these? I always thought perhaps by the end of the year I will preach a message entitled, "10 Reasons why God allows this Covid-19 to come upon Malaysia and its effect on Churches". If there is a lesson we have learned, it is how powerless human beings are.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Google Meet Bible Study

 I was so thrilled after completinng my first google meet bible study with my young teenagers. A total of 24 people logged in which means minus the adults there were 18 or 19 teenagers, my target group. I expounded from where we left off two months ago in the middle of ch 4 of John's Gospel. Before the class I had a few nerves as I am bit slow to technology though my table looked well set up with two laptops and a tablet and my John's commentary in Malay for reference. The kids were good although only two askee questions and a few more wrote on the chat forums. All in all it was well worth it so much so my Chairman texted and thanked me and suggested another Bible study next week same time same forum on google meet. I had fun and technology is a boon for us as a few from a far away village could follow and link up though I could see that their line was not consistent throughout. God's Word is taught and His people are blessed and that's all I prayed for and thankful to God for His gift of teaching and it went really well for 1 hour and 10 mins. 

Monday, November 16, 2020

Excitement Rises

Sometimes after preaching on Sunday, I can only rest on Tuesday because on Monday I still feel the glow of the anointing that flowed throughout the preaching of God's Word. Last evening I could not rest at all, feeling the effect of the God's Word for hours. I went for afternoon tea break and at night I slept like a baby and got up at 4.30am. Excitement rises because sometime today I shall be picking up the first copies of my new book, printed for the purposes of proof-reading. I already detected several typos, and I hope if I can find two or three proof readers, my book can go into printing by end of the year. Welcoming the New Year with a new book will be icing on the cake.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

A New Book

I am pleased to announce that my new manuscript is 99% complete with proof-reading and sourcing of publishers still to come. This morning I got up early and by 6am I was working to revise my book for the 20th time and worked until 10.30am. No wonder they say that the early bird catches the worms. I always find the first three hours of my morning to be the most fruitful. By 12 noon I was satisfied with my work and now I need to pray so that I could find at least two proof-readers and a good publishers.

Saturday, November 7, 2020

Preaching in front of a Crew & Camera

It's been surreal or unreal in many ways. I have not gotten used to preaching in front of the multimedia crew and cameras. But I preach I shall do in the foreseeable future as the Covid-19 infections have not decreased and it will take several more weeks, or even months before things become better. Early in the MCO I told my congregation not to expect to celebrate Christmas in church. So this year we have missed all the Christian feasts, Passover in April, Pentecost at the end of May (first MCO) and now most likely we will miss Christmas in December. I will press on with my job at hand, recording and preaching online sermons to my congregation. Technology is a two-edged sword. Much good comes out of it as we can learn much, hold business meetings, listen to lectures but online services are not the assembly of the saints as where there is no gathering, then there is no church (ekklesia).

Monday, November 2, 2020

"My Times are in Your Hands" (Psalm 31:15)

Worldly timing or human planning have always thrown a spanner into the works. Jesus in John's Gospel repeatedly said that, "My time is not yet". If it is just human reckoning, I should now be taking a sabbatical since my return from Singapore more than 6 years ago. But I have to wait for a long time for ministry appointments so much so, one reader who read my book texted me and asked why that was so. Only the Lord knows the answer but I have always waited for His time. I waited 6 months before starting in Ranau in 2015, then for two months out of work when I completed my Semester as Acting Principal. Before the current pastorate, I waited 11 months, out of work for nearly a year in 2019. Who is able to do endure all these?