Thursday, June 29, 2023

Doctoral Seminar

I was invited to be the respondent to a doctoral candidate's presentation and thesis proposal which I duly carried out yesterday via Zoom. It was a quick affair lasting just 35 minutes with the student taking about 18 minutes to present and I took exactly 10 minutes to respond.

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

The Week that Was

It's been a crazy week. Finally I was told the number of students in each of my classes. I miss the large community at MTS/BTS when I served as Acting Principal when we had 81 full-time students. At TTC, Singapore there were years that we exceeded 200 full-time students in both English and Chinese Departments. I also changed last minute the Gospel I would be teaching from St John's to St. Matthew's Gospel. I felt I made the right decision but it meant I spent about the whole week re-reading Matthean texts and commentaries. I prepared a series of notes for the introduction to Paul's 13 letters as part of Introduction to New Testament 2 class. It's been a crazy week. I was assigned to preach at Chapel in the 2nd week of July, so this weekend will be given to sermon preparation.

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

The Longest Day

Today is the longest day. It gives me just little bit more time to unpack a few things. Last night my wife helped me to put up several curtains in my new place. The lights outside are just too bright (reminds me of Singapore) and I had to do double curtains in order not to be stay up all night with lights shining through the old curtains. It’s amazing how much time this time around that I took to move in and feel settled and regards it as my home.

Monday, June 19, 2023

Elijah's Three-and-a-Half Years (A Time of Testing)

The pandemic lasted for more than 3 years with USA among the last countries in the world to lift travel restrictions last month, exactly three and a half years since the confirmed arrival of Covid-19 in December 2019. I spoke at least twice about the Elijah's period as a sign that this Covid-19 will not go away quickly but will last at least three years. Just over a year ago in March 2022, no one in Malaysia would predict that by May 2022, the government would announce lifting of restrictions like in a majority of nations at that time. Australia and New Zealand lifted all restrictions by the fourth quarter of 2022 and travel in and out of those country was practically back to normal by the beginning of 2023. Why three and a half years? It is half of 7 years. It is a time of testing and trial and the people of God are tested. Tested whether they believed in God and trust Him for His protection.

Sunday, June 18, 2023

Restless Sunday

Today is Father's Day. I am going to church with my wife but I had gotten up by 4.45am and there was a long 5 hours before the 10am service. I feel restless because I would have loved to attend church much earlier, but I am encouraged by the verse by Paul that those who have wives need to please their wives. At least I am obedient to God's Word, though Paul added that it was better not to be married so that the unmarried is not tied to anyone, and they can serve the Lord unreservedly and devotedly.

Friday, June 16, 2023

Transition is Tough

I am now well into my 3rd week into my new ministry at a Seminary in KK. Since my house is only about 13kms away I thought I could move everything and settle in within 2 days. But alas there are many unforseen situations that crop up and I need to deal with them with patience one by one. So this morning at 4am I drove from home to my Seminary because I needed to take a few things. I take pride on the fact that I can move from one place to another in 2 weeks, for instance moving from Sabah to New Zealand in 1998 to start my postgraduate study in theology. It is no accident that I call my memoirs “Departure Points”. But I did not expect that to move from one place to another within the city precinct may also take 2 weeks.

Thursday, June 15, 2023

In the Middle of the Month

Reaching the middle of the month is a good time for some reflection. When I reported to work on the 1st June 2023, most people at the College were taken by surprise as it was right in the midst of holidays just coming after the Harvest Festival that ended 31st May. I wanted to stay overnight in my assigned apartment which has been my practice wherever I had been because that was a sign that I was committed to the new place. Unless one spends the night in the new place, it was difficult to feel one has moved in. I was given an office within 30 minutes and while they were tidying up the office, I went to the library at 8.05am just 5 mins after it was opened. I took out my first three books from the shelves. The Principal came about an hour after I had arrived and I appreciated that as he was on leave.

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

"For you have prevailed against God and men"

Jacob was given a new name to represent his new identity and self-awareness of who he was in the sight of God. It was after his wilderness experience of 20 years struggling against the elements, his relatives and his in-laws, not to say his own wives could be a handful and tiresome to deal with. This was after his struggle against his twin, first for his birth-right, then running for his life from his brother Esau and at last still fearful of Esau that he would take revenge against him after 20 years.

Sunday, June 4, 2023

First Sunday Back

After 5 days back in Sabah, my body is slowly adjusting to the time zone. Twice I got up at before 3am and could not get back to sleep as my body thought it was already 7am in NZ. I came back filled with joy and I told my friends that I experienced 7 miracles while in Auckland and I only shared with him 3 miracles. All praise and glory be to our God. Having settled down to work for two days and driving back at peak hours at 4.45pm I realised that my insistence for College’s accommodation is fully justified.

Thursday, June 1, 2023

Life's New Page

Early this morning at 4am, I turned on my phone and checked my email and lo and behold a message from a far country sending well-wishes for a new career and life's new page. I like the latter phrase a great deal for it is indeed a new page in a book written by the Author of Life, God himself. If He pleases to still use His servant, He will turn a new page for me which He had done and today it is the start of a new chapter in my life and ministry. Every new chapter has its first page and in the coming days and weeks, these life experiences will be the first pages in this new chapter of my Christian service unto the Lord. Not many people understand it which is understandable for spiritual things are spiritually discerned and really there aren't many spiritual people around be they Professors of theology, Pastors of big and small churches and so-called Christian leaders of all sorts.