Every time I read the Septuagint (OT translation to Greek) I learned something new. A few days ago, as I was contemplating sending my new book to a few of my friends in New Zealand and Australia, I came across this verse from Psalm 138 (Hebrew Ps 139). How do I honour God's friends? Abraham was called a friend of God in Isaiah. I have a number of friends, though some I have not contacted for years, so I thought I might surprise that with the gift of my new commentary.
Thursday, January 28, 2021
Tuesday, January 26, 2021
Several weeks when one of my elders preached on Sunday, I was struck by what he said about John receiving his revelation in Patmos and writing what was later called the book of Revelation. I saw that as an allegory of my own situation as pastor of a small church, not involved in any way with Seminaries except the one occasion which I went to teach an intensive course last July. I had my Patmos moment in that I could write when the Lord quickened and revealed to me His divine mysteries. When I was writing my commentary on the Song of Songs I was home most of the time except the couple of occasions where I wrote in coffee shops when we were allowed to dine in. I attempted to visit a local Seminary's library last August but I was asked to leave the premises.
Monday, January 25, 2021
Yesterday while preaching our online Sunday service, I saw a church member entering the church hall. As we were only allowed a certain number of people on the premises, I was a bit apprehensive at first but I did not have the heart to ask him to leave. So I preached a 45-minute sermon and only by God’s grace I could finish as strongly as I had started. In fact, a few moments before ascending to the pulpit I was not feeling well and I prayed that I would not collapse while preaching. After the sermon I had wonderful fellowship with the recording crew and the unexpected guest.
Monday, January 18, 2021
Saturday, January 9, 2021
I read a couple of reviews on Gary Burge's Mapping Your Academic Career (2015). I used Burge's textbook on New Testament (New Testament in Antiquity) for three years when I was at Trinity Theological College. I could have been an academic myself if I had wanted to. Now on the verge of publishing my fourth book, I reckon my former College would have been proud of my "scholarly contributions." But it was not meant to be. If I had stayed on in my former College or perhaps applied to another College somewhere, my academic career could have advanced. But is it the Lord's will for me? That I could answer with a definitive "no". It may be a career for some in the academia, but certainly not for everyone who holds a doctorate in theology or Biblical Studies. Even my most memorable papers presented at prestigious Universities were done when I was not a lecturer or professor. I spoke at a Conference held at the Peking University in China when I was pastor of my home church, SIB Likas (BM).
I clicked on a blogpost which I wrote 8 years ago, celebrating the end of the Year of the Dragon in 2012. I reflected on the year that just went past and 2012 was truly monumental in many ways. But then I realised in 3 years' time, the year of the dragon will come round again and that means a cycle of 12 years has run its course. For me, the Chinese Zodiac is a good marker of time and our age since every time our "animal" or "zodiac sign" comes along, we have aged another 12 years. Within a short 3 years, I would have completed 5 cycles of the Chinese Zodiac. It's time to count my days and number my years in order to gain a heart of wisdom and ensuring one is in the centre of God's will.
Friday, January 1, 2021
I ended the year 2020 with preaching until 5 minutes to New Year 2021. It's been a year of turmoil, joys and immense challenges, upended by the ongoing Covid-19 crisis. One memorable line last night was that, "Covid-19 does not celebrate New Year" and "it is not going away when the clock strikes 12 midnight" as many people had hoped. I shared from Psalm 23, one of my favourite psalms. I spoke about the Lord being our shepherd. How we allow Him to lead, rule and be enthroned as King in our lives. I spoke about 5 things, which I drew from David's five smooth stones that I called as 5 spiritual precepts or spiritual weapons for Christians to fight the battles of 2021 and beyond.
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If one really seeks after God, one would know His will because God delights to show His people His ways. Jesus said that, "if anyone wa...