Friday, June 24, 2022

The Life of Faith

Those with world-class doctorates should be on a trajectory of upward mobility, as one might think. It was Singapore's DPM at TTC's 70th anniversary in 2018 who mentioned my alma mater, Otago University alongside Yale University as world-class institutions with which my former College had links including joint research and doctoral supervision. But I have only experienced downward mobility despite like what Paul (if I wanted to I could boast in the flesh) said he could speak like a fool and boast. But Jesus Christ, who is with God and equal with Him chose to empty himself and became man, not just any man but humbled himself as a slave and suffered and died on the cross. There is no greater downward mobility than what we read at Philippians 2. I chose a life of faith, not just as a pastor or full-time worker but as a Christian and follower of Christ.

Thursday, June 23, 2022

The Making of Books

No wonder Solomon said that making of books could be a weariness of the flesh (Eccle 12). The final week of making a book is always the toughest because one has to read the final drafts and prints. My printers had been very helpful and over the past 6 days, they printed three different copies for me until I was fully satisfied with it. Considering the budget that I have, I could do what I could do without hiring proof-readers and cover designers. I did everything myself this time until the 40th draft. Everything has to be as perfect as possible from the margins, the font size, the cover design, the front page, the preface and last but not least the back cover.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

The Struggle for Truth & Justice

The struggle in the Church for truth and justice is never greater. Especially so since the pandemic struck and many churches are still slow in welcoming members back to church, vaccinated or unvaccinated. I have a feeling that a majority of vaccinated did not welcome the government's relaxation of SOPs almost two months ago. In fact, the Malaysian government announced in early April 2022 that unvaccinated could return to work with the vaccinated and there would be no restrictions whatsoever. Pastors and church leaders who claim to serve a living God are slow to respond as many unvaccinated pastors are still out of a job and are not welcome in some places. It is a struggle between light and darkness.

Friday, June 17, 2022

Laptop or Desktop Computer for Writing

I do not know how I survived using laptops for 8 years; the first four years, a small laptop of MacBook Air 11.6 which I bought with the gratuity upon leaving my former College in Singapore. I wrote the first 9 chapters of Departure Points using the laptop in Sept-Oct 2014. Then, with a generous gift I bought a MacBook Pro 13-inch at Changi Airport in Feb 2018 and until recently I have used it almost daily. The 13-inch laptop had produced three books, Departure Points (Dec 2019), Commentary on John's Gospel in Malay (Feb 2020) and Concise Commentary on the Song of Solomon (Jan 2021). Now I have used the 13inch laptop to revise the Song's commentary and it will be published in a couple of weeks, God willing.

Publishing Books

I spent the whole evening and three hours this morning tidying up my Concise Commentary on the Song of Solomon. When my friend asked me which is my favourite book among the four books I had written, my answer is simple - A Woman in Love. This book demands all my skills as an exegete of Hebrew and Greek texts and a poetry to boot. It is highly symbolic and the main theme of love and romance challenges any interpreter who wishes to comment on this little book of 8 chapters and 117 verses.

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Bank Balance

Two days ago my close friend whom I have lunch almost once a week or fortnight told me why don't I find something to do so that my bank balance does not drop. Even those closest to you could be a hindrance as Peter was rebuked by Jesus for telling him not to go the way of the cross. The vast majority of people including Christians think that ministry is being employed in a church or a Seminary. In fact, I preached a sermon on how prophets made their living on the basis of the book of Amos. You won't find too many prophets employed by the royal court or other institutions. In fact, many of those employed by kings and princes were false prophets because they had to speak what their masters told them or at least they dare not offend their pay-masters.

Monday, June 13, 2022

RM50.00 Per Month

In fact, it was less than RM50.00 per month. My insurance agent called this afternoon to inform me that my insurance policy had expired in April. If I were paying RM300 per month I am sure I would have received a call two months before expiry. Even agents did not really want to deal with low premiums and their petrol money spent to service such clients may not be worth their while.

Sadness increases with knowledge (Ecclesiastes)

Solomon must be a sad man. If you read Ecclesiastes in any fashion you will feel sad. Because when one increases knowledge one increases in sadness. Why is that so. Because one begins to understand how the world works, it’s futility and evil. Yes, evil. Much evil happens due to envy and hatred. Did not Cain slaughter his brother because Abel’s work is more righteous than Cain’s? It is the same now.

Sunday, June 5, 2022

Closing Ranks

This coming Sunday exactly a week from now I shall be preaching about church unity. It is time to close ranks after much rancour on church closure and vaccination requirements. As I walked into the church hall this morning ai met an old friend whom I had not spoken with for a long time. When he found out the reason why I was not employed in church, he told me his own stories.

Saturday, June 4, 2022

Tomorrow will take care of itself

In the past several months I have learned to live day by day, and not worry about tomorrow. In many ways it is the way to live without worries since if you think about what tomorrow may one is bound to worry. I packed a small bag enough for travel for 2 days and when I feel like it I will go where I think the Lord will lead me. At least I have a home to return to and a small village dwelling that I call my second home. Yesterday I started driving without knowing where I would go. I could go north to Kudat to sell my books or I go South to Sipitang to sell my books but I ended up in my wife’s village just after 11am. It was a long drive as the road condition was worse when I traveled there 6 months ago and there was an accident which kept me waiting in my car before the tow trucks arrived. Tomorrow I don’t know where to worship. Would it be in Tambunan or Keningau or I could drive back to KK early in the morning? I am free to go where I please and do whatever I want whenever I  want. I am free from all men so that I could be slave to all as I serve Christ.

Thursday, June 2, 2022

Teaching & Preaching

It’s almost confirmed now that I shall be teaching an intensive course on Johannine literature at the end of the month in Ranau. I was hesitant to take up the invitation not just because I have to drive for 3 hours to the College with the road conditions getting worse and heavy traffic most of the time but also nowadays I feel tired after a three hour course let alone a 30 hour intensive over 5 days. Next Sunday when I preach in church I will solicit prayers from my friends there and all prayer support is much needed. Today I spent some time writing Galatians 2 and it is really the most complex of any chapters in all of Paul’s 13 letters.