Saturday, December 27, 2014
Friday, December 26, 2014
Monday, December 22, 2014
I attended UMS Pesta Krismas last night at UMS' Chancellor Hall, the first time Christmas celebrated on Campus. It was grand event. The Deputy VC attended to the guest of honour, a State cabinet minister and MP for Tuaran was also present. As it was raining heavily, the programme started late, about 8.30pm. I enjoyed it despite being my 4th event in 24 hours.
Saturday, December 20, 2014
Thursday, December 18, 2014
It is never easy to part with what is familiar. It is never easy to say goodbye to close friends and familiar surroundings. Tonight I am having my neighbours come over. I think they will be surprised when I will say goodbye to them. Not that I see them often in the past but they thought I was back in KK for good. It has been a good run. In few days' time I will have stayed in my own house for 2 months without interruption for the first time in 7 years. I will say goodbye to my readers as well. The next chapter is in Ranau and if my book is published you will read it.
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Several years I wrote a blog post titled 7 cities of the world, a kind of 21st century equivalent of the 7 cities of Revelation in the late 1st century. Sydney, Singapore, London, New York and Los Angeles were among the five listed. Whenever something happens in one of these cities, you will get global attention by the global media as we had witnessed in the Sydney siege that ended in the early hours today. I watched pictures live as gunshots were heard midnight and it was tragic that this morning I read that a Sydney lawyer and the cafe manager had perished along with the lone gun man.
Monday, December 15, 2014
Sunday, December 14, 2014
I wasn't mistaken. About 30 or 40 people from the village and about 60 adults from my homechurch. So I preached to my homechurch members as I came prepared. I just recovered from flu but my voice never great in the best circumstances was struggling throughout. But God enabled me to preach without much difficulty for about 50 mins. It was an expository type preaching from beginning to end. I preached about born again or born from above.
Saturday, December 13, 2014
This year I shall be preaching 2 Christmas sermons. Tomorrow the set text is taken from John 3,16 "the Father's love". I thought this village church only had about 30 adults but I was told to expect 100. For the second I was given a free hand and I shall be preaching from Isa 53 "by his knowledge my servant will justify many." I shall be speaking of the knowledge of God, knowledge of his ways and knowledge of Scripture. I see that in many churches that I am associated with there is not much learning of God's Word besides the Sunday sermon. Even sermons tend to be topical and jump from one title to another. My people perish for the lack of knowledge (Hos 4) and indeed there is a famine not of bread but of hearing the words of God.
Thursday, December 11, 2014
Last night I attended Christmas caroling at my friend's house. He is one of my closest friends in church and every year he will have an open house for Christmas. He would have his neighbours come over and there is food and fellowship aplenty. Last night it was no different. Around 12 families came together and we had our church youth group sang carols at 8pm sharp. When the host commended the youths for turning up on time I remember when I was pastor I had reminded the youths to be punctual even for carolling. I was called upon to pray twice, once for the carolling team and another time for the two cell groups that celebrated Christmas together last night. The newest pastor of the church preached a wonderful sermon on Immanuel (Matt 1,21-23). This new pastor is a Filipino, a new graduate of our Bible College. He was baptized during my last year as pastor in 2007 and now he is a pastor of the church. I am proud of him and in my prayers I prayed for him to be anointed by the Lord as he commenced ministry in church, reaching out to the street kids, mostly of Filipino descent. When I was pastor, there were only two Filipino families among the majority Kadazan-Dusuns and I made sure none of the Filipinos and Indonesians felt left out in the mainstream of church life.
Tuesday, December 9, 2014
Monday, December 8, 2014
I had a wonderful Sunday yesterday. I thank God that after almost 33 years I still find much excitement going to church. "I was glad when they say, let us go up to the house of the Lord." But I was greeted by a Christmas carol and my mood for worship declined. I don't mind singing carols during caroling or on Christmas Day, but it was too early for me. It is still difficult to get readers to read Scripture in the way that honours the text and its original authors. Before the sermon, I excused myself and went to another SIB church service at 9am. Despite the church being small of about 100 members. I was welcomed with warm handshakes all round. Again, I was asked to pray twice, once after the sermon and also the benediction. I will be preaching in this church's Christmas service on 20th Dec. "Fear not little flock it is your Father's pleasure to give you the kingdom". Speaking of little flocks I am preaching in another Christmas service in a village at the outskirts of KK. My homechurch planted this fellowship and next Sunday will be the official launch of the new church building for this fellowship of about 30 adults and 20 children.
Saturday, December 6, 2014
I have been following the news on the decisions of two grand juries to not indict the policemen that were involved in the death of two black Americans. I don't know much about the circumstances of the Ferguson shooting but the choke-hold that led to the death of a street vendor seemed irrefutable. The defenseless black man was pinned down and he repeatedly cried out "I can't breath." When President Obama was first elected there were high hopes that there would be less racism and racial discrimination. What else can you not think if Americans elected a black American (Obama's mother was white) that the President will see to it that his own people, the African Americans will be empowered and any trace of racial discrimination in America might be a thing of the past? Think again. Whenever Obama speaks on race issues especially regarding African American, he seems to be not full throttled as if something is holding him back. I am not a psychologist, but children of mixed parentage could choose one race over the other. Though in Obama's case, since he married a black American, he might lean more to the blacks as far as culture is concerned. But in American politics you need the white American votes to get elected and Obama might just feel somewhat reluctant to speak up more vigorously for black Americans lest he upsets the political elites. It is a sad day in America with a black American President but racism is still very much alive.
Wednesday, December 3, 2014
I think I am entering the next decade which will determine what kind of legacy I want to leave behind. Ten years are a short time. I can remember every decade of my life like it was yesterday. In the year 2025, I want to look back and see that I will have accomplished what I want to accomplish without regrets. In the short term, I will want to quickly establish myself as pastor of the church in Ranau. I will be moving to a new home which is exciting in itself. I was told that it is a large house and I trust the church members will find their pastor's house a place they can come and enjoy godly fellowship. Is it not an overseer's requirement to be hospitable?
Monday, December 1, 2014
One key verse in my coming to the Lord and learning His Word is this: "His God teaches him aright." (Isa 28,26 MT) The LXX has quite a different take, "So you will be disciplined by the judgment of your God - and you will rejoice." It is by no means irreconcilable. He who is taught by the Lord is one who accepts discipline and through that discipline of bending his mind and will to the teaching, he will rejoice. For I rejoice in your Word more than the abundance of gold and silver, says the Psalmist. Whenever I approach Scripture I ask the Lord to teach me. What are the requirements of being taught? A teachable heart, a humility of spirit to listen and if granted understanding, a quickness to obey. What did David pray for his son if it was not for an obedient heart? As Ezra the scribe is said to study and research the law of the Lord and to obey it before teaching it to the people of Israel (Ezra 7,10).
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