Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Trusting in the Lord

This morning I set out from KK at 6,15am and reached Namaus Bible College at 8.25am just as the students were leaving the Chapel for class. I managed to greet quite a few students at the door and that was enough tonic for me to recover from a tedious journey. I read a blog saying that we should trust God and He will often lead us to places that we do not want to go. Humanly, Namaus village is the last place I want to be.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Melancholy & Sorrow

Ecclesiastes says that it is better to be in the house of mourning than feasting and merriment. Sometimes it is good for the soul to be melancholic and even sorrowful. The same biblical book also says that if one increases knowledge one is more sorrowful. Now that I have been back at College for nearly one and a half months I can say that I have experienced an equal measure of joy and sorrow. Perhaps the latter feelings will dominate after the initial euphoria of returning to the place where I once led for a whole Semester. The students' welcome for a second time was especially touching and will not be forgotten. Some people think the students are young (most in their 20s) and perhaps even naive but when the more mature and veterans do not know how to judge and show love it is left to the young to lift up the spirit of the righteous.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Ministry Widens

One distinct advantage of being a lecturer and not a pastor is that on Sundays or weekends I am free to accept invitations to preach in churches. After the Youth Conference last week I am now preparing to lead a praise and worship retreat where I will conduct a series of sermons or talks on the theology of worship over 7 sessions. It will be a long weekend no doubt but I am looking forward to connecting with the church that opened its door to me when I was writing up my doctoral thesis in 2001. It's been 15 years and most of the youths then are now established in their careers and with young families. Christmas again is the busiest season and all the 4 weekends from early December are taken up in travelling to various districts for preaching. From Sipitang, Kota Belud, Kemabong and then to Entilibon for Christmas day itself.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

37th Youth Conference Ends

I can't explain why I did not preach well in my two sessions during the 37th Youth Conference which ended yesterday. Perhaps I was seated next to the speakers and loudness of the music and bass just prevented me from worshipping the way I used to. If there is a next time, I will insist I sit or seated far from the speakers. But I am fairly satisfied with the two messages I delivered. Although I did not feel the surge of the anointing which I usually do in my preaching but I think I managed to get the message across. What I learned is that numbers mean little to the Lord.  I felt a great anointing preaching to 50 students on 30th August after a 5 hour midnight journey but I fell flat preaching in front of 5,000 people. But the SIB youths are a wonderful and loving generation that loves the Lord.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Spoken too Soon

Perhaps I have spoken too soon. Sometimes I run on adrenaline though my strength is far spent. The whole weekend I was almost homebound as I recuperated from the exertions of the past 72 hours in Namaus. The constant travelling at 5,000 ft above sea level, up and down, twisting and turning had gotten to me. I am glad that I turned down the opportunity to teach an extension class in Papar on Saturday. I need to be well rested for the Youth Conference starting tomorrow night. I may even take up the offer of hotel accommodation near the venue to save me 45 minutes one way travel from my house through heavy traffic. Kota Kinabalu is not the same like 10 years before. During my pastorate in KK 2003 to 2008, the traffic was still manageable, one just needed to avoid the peak hours. Last week at 3pm I took about an hour to travel less than 12kms. My sermon is almost ready in my heart though not on paper.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Renewed Vigour

I have returned to KK for the last leg of my preparations for the Youth Conference.  In the early hours of the morning I drove with vigour from Namaus reaching KK just before 7am. I had listened to the worship song of the Conference all the way sung by my students. I did not expect them to sing my song but they did and did not let me down. I am like a man born again. How refreshing to see my students respond to the truth and walk in love.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Stretching Faith

Abraham grew strong in faith and hope against hope he believed... (Romans 4). Faith is a quality of heart and mind in the Lord and His promises where one believes that whatever God has said and is saying is wholly trustworthy and as such the believing person acts upon the sheer promise of God without first obtaining or seeing the evidence or the outcome of God's benevolence. Faith can be stretched because we can grow weak or grow strong in faith. As such Scripture says, let's each one minister according to the measure of his faith. I have learned to stretch my faith a bit more in the past week.