I can't wait to go back to the longhouse for Gawai. The family will be joining friends in Lemanak. Gawai in the city is no fun, the atmosphere is not really there. We will be taking off after church service this coming Sunday, hoping to be back on Saturday in time for relative's wedding and Sunday service. The kids love taking bath in the river. It can be dangerous though, because the current is very very swift. For longhouse kids, it has never been a problem, they are so used to it. They jump from top of trees and have good time. This was what I used to do as a kid. We were so used to things and there were no cases like asthma or other sicknesses. We were fit! One of the things I used to enjoy doing was fishing. Each time I go back to the longhouse, I never fail to go fishing. At least it brings back memories of past childhood.
Me and my very close friend 'Aki Amos' had breakfast at a coffee shop called Xian Ge Cafe. To many of us friends it is better known as "Traffic Light". I was told that the place used to be a pub called 'Traffic Light', that was well before I came. So to us, it's still 'Traffic Light'.
Rev. Roannie served for many years in Miri & Lutong before moving to St. Thomas' Cathedral in Kuching. We attended SMK Datuk Patinggi Kedit & SMK St. Augustine's Secondary School, Betong. Did Theology together at the House of Epiphany for 4 years.
Mark 6:47-48 says, "And when even was come, the ship was in the midst of the sea, and He alone on the land. And He saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them: and about the fourth watch of the night he cometh unto them, walking upon the sea, and would have passed by them"
This is one of my favourite Bible passages.
Jesus saw them toiling and rowing. The disciples didn't see Him, but He saw them. And guess what else? He never took His eye off them.
What was Jesus doing when He sent the disciples on a boat journey and He went up the mountain? He was interceding for them. Hebrews 7:25 says, "Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them."
Are you in the midst of a storm? Jesus is watching over you, and He is praying for you. You can say, "His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me."
This is my Bible. I am what it says I am. I have what it says I have. I can do what it says I can do. Today, I will be taught the Word of God. I boldly confess. My mind is alert. My heart is receptive. I'll never be the same. In Jesus' name. Amen.
This is a prayer we'll be saying every Sunday right after the reading of the Gospel while people are still standing. We'll confess & proclaim the Word of God.
Pastor Jailie spoke at Kpg. Merakai early May about his testimony. He mentioned about being dead for 7 hours. He was shown both heaven and hell. Here at this kampong, he shared his personal experience of the trip to heaven and hell. Great stuff.
Posing with Mr. Timbol (or Timothy, as he's fondly called in church). Timbol is from LA and he's a close friend of mine. We share a common hobby i.e. nyala. Phota taken during Gawai St. Helen on 15 May 2010.
I was working in my garden, uprooting and clearing overgrown grasses, only to find that my mango tree was infested by termites. My main concern and fear now is that these termites might come into my house and begin to eat the timbers. Years back, when I planted the tree, some friends did warn me about the danger, and truly enough, it happens now!
This month of May, the Mission & Evangelism committee of St. Faith's Church, Kenyalang is organising a Life in the Spirit Seminar. They have asked me to conduct a session on Baptism in the Holy Spirit. I have done this topic for years, and I consider it a privilege to have been invited. I was told that there are some 80 plus people registered for this seminar, and I am looking forward to it.
The Holy Spirit, who and what does He do? The Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit is God. Acts 5:3.4. The Holy Spirit is not a power, a force or an energy; He is a person. As a person, He has feelings (Eph 4:30), a mind of infinite knowledge (Rom 8:26,27) and a will. He speaks (Acts 13:2) A force or power does not have these attributes and abilities.
The Holy Spirit is at work to do the following:
He convicts the world of sin, righteousness & judgment. Jn 16:8
He guides us into all truth. Jn 16:13
He regenerates. Jn 3:5,6
He glorifies Christ. Jn 16:14
He reveals Christ to us and in us. Jn 16:14,15
He is our leader. Rom 8:14
He empowers. Acts 1:8
He fills us. Eph 5:18
He teaches us to pray. Rom 8:26,27
He tells us that we are children of God. Rom 8:16
He produces in us the fruit of the Spirit. Gal 5:22,23
He gives special supernatural gifts. 1 Cor. 12:8-10
Every true Christian is born of the Spirit. But (there is a but!), we might not have it all! This is what I want to present to the people on Tuesday 18 May. There is that dimension of power that God wants for His children that can only be reached thru the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. The main purpose of the Baptism in this life is to give us more power to demonstrate Christ and win people to Him, so that they can be saved.
Speaking in tongues? It refers in general to speaking in languages unknown to the mind of the speaker by the power of the Holy Spirit. On occasions, the hearers may understand what is being said, but usually they do not. The speaker does not speak with his mind or understanding, but with his spirit. In general, he or she speaks not to men but to God ( I Cor. 14:2).
Jesus said, "And these signs will follow those who believe: In my name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues."
You can pray in tongues while traveling, reading, listening to radio. Why speaking in tongues is good.
He who speaks in an unknown tongues speaks to God. 1 Cor. 14:2
Speaking in tongues enables us to pray much.
Speaking in tongues allows us to pray for things and situations we don't know about.
He who speaks in an unknown tongue edifies himself. 1 Cor.14:4
Speaking in tongues can be a spiritual gift to help others, when translated. it also helps us to train our spirits to hear the voice of God; and to operate in other gifts of the Holy Spirit. 1 Cor. 12:8-10
We should imitate Paul. 1 Cor. 11:1
Speaking in tongues refreshes our spirits and our minds. Isaiah 28:11-12
Speaking in tongues helps God get control of our tongues. We must yield our tongues to God when we speak in tongues. This is a good habit to get into, since the tongue is by nature the most unruly member of our bodies, the most dangerous and the hardest to control. James 3:8
This is Ugek, a handy man and church warden. He does a lot for St. Helen. A former Pegawai Warrant 1 but now doing the little nitty-gritty things for church. He opens the doors and gate every morning even before I am awake! How we need people like him, not NATO (no action talk only!)
This is Aki & Ini Tubu, taken on Maundy Thursday service at the Washing Of Feet. A lovely couple who live by themselves in a village called Span (sometimes called Spain) but never miss church on Sunday. Amazing!
They are in the persons Mr Valentine Jirok & Mdm. Awa. I call them 'Aki & Ini Tubu' becos years back I was given delicious bamboo shoots cooked in the bamboo. This was not ordinary bamboo shoot, it was taken from China, planted in Span but yet still have this originality of tubu cina!
From then on, I call this lovely couple 'Aki & Uni Tubu'.
Aki Tubu has two squirels which he wants to give to me for rearing. I don't whether to call them 'Aki & Ini Tupai'?
This morning I drove to Aki & Ini Tapang's house hoping to say hello and cheer them up but unfortunately, they were not in. I greeted them with "assalamulaikum" but to no avail. We have quite a few senior couples in the parish and they could do with a bit of cheering up becos sometimes they can get a bit boring with not much to do. They must have been out in the market probably.
They are called 'Aki & Ini Tapang' becos they live near a Tapang tree.
On 1 May (supposed to be Labour Day) we celebrated Mothers' Day at St. Helen's Church, Serian. This date chosen for convenience sake. The mothers presented their dances (poco-poco) and ngajat. The Women's Fellowship came up with a heaps of presents for the mothers. The men bought some flowers for the mothers. We had pot-bless afterward. There were plenty of foods.
What is a magnificent Mother? 1 Sam 1:10-28 Mothers are perhaps the most powerful and influential class of persons upon the face of the earth. The head of the home is the father, the heart of the home is the mother. 1 Sam tells of Hannah, who was barren and prayed to the Lord for a child so that she could raise that child for God and give him back to God.
Here are some principles for raising godlly children and living our lives to the maximum for the Lord.
1. Priority vv. 10-11 Hannah's priority was her God-given instinct to have a child.
2. Prayer v.10 Hannah prayed with all of her heart for a child. Children should be prayed for even before they are born.
3. Purpose v.11 Our prayers and priorities determine our purpose. Hannah's purpose was to give her child back to God. if this child is a gift from God, then he must be given back to God.
4. Persistance. vv.12-20 Not only did Hannah pray for Samuel before he was born, she continued to pray for him after he was born.
5.Persuasion vv.21-28 Hannahj trained and influenced Samuel for Jesus Christ.
Children need acceptance, belonging and confidence. A godly mother, through her influence, can still instill these necessities and principles in her children's lives, and thus, change the world.
This morning (12 May 2010) I rode my pushbike to town for breakfast. After quite a heavy meal at Samarax, I decided to ride the pushbike to town in order to get some exercises. The tyres were a bit flat so that I had to get them pumped at one of the auto shops. The mechanic was quite friendly when I asked for permission to use the pump. After it was done, I proceeded to Traffic Light Cafe. It's actually known as Xiang Xe Cafe but we prefer to call it Traffic Light, the reason being, that place used to be a pub called Traffic Light.
There I met SD Estel Simpo, our senior sub-deacon at church. I had a cup of coffee si and a bowl of mee sup, and he had mee curry and a cup of tea. We had good conversation. Estel paid for the breakfast. After breakfast I went to the market to buy some tomatoes, apples and limau Bintangor (which is grown locally). I have tried the limau, tasted ok but not quite the same as the original Bintangor limau.
I was driving the jeep in the middle of Serian when I saw people lining up. Curious, I took a closer look and found out the reason why these people did just that. Apparently, there were lining up just to purchase two packets of sugar. Personally, I don't like sugar, and as far as possible I don't take sugar in my tea or coffee. You know what I did? I joined the line and bought myself two packets of sugar, just for the fun of it. Some cannot live without sugar! I heard some people take as much as 2 kilo of sugar a day! My goodness!
Tonite 11 May, Apai Amoi, myself and a friend had a cup of coffee at Armadillo Cafe some 5 minutes drive from Serian. I like this place because it is unique, clean, quiet, and you get to see children and mothers there. Steve, the guy who owns this place is an American married to a local from Kpg. Remun. He is friendly.
John 19:30 So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, "It is finished!" And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.
It is a finished work! It is a completed work! You cannot finish a finished work. Our salvation is won by Jesus on the cross. Our sins are forgiven. We are forever righteous by His blood. Christ paid completely and perfectly for our total forgiveness, righteousness and every blessing.
The Greek word telesai is used for a servant when reporting to his master: "I have completed the work assigned to me."
You are not going to be healed because you are already or have been healed. It happened 2,000 years ago on the cross. Isaiah 53:5 declares, "By His stripes you are healed."
The work is finished. The victory is won. Our blessings have been bought by His blood! Only believe - it is finished!
This evening I was invited to say prayers for Jezreel & Abigail's birthday at Pullman Hotel, Kuching. I sat next to a Chinese guy who happens to be a Ph D holder from UK. Sitting on my right were my friends Freddy Sullang and Joseph Sinayun. Freddy attended St. John's Church, Sibu when I was serving as a priest there. From then on, friendship developed. I have not met him for quite a while now. And Joseph goes to St. Faith's Church, Kenyalang, a church I served for some 15 years. I still see him from time to time. It was good catching up with them, and their wives and kids; the little cute Michele particularly.
Anyway, coming back to this new friend I met and talked to. His name is Dr. Lau, married with 3 kids. The youngest was probably about 4 years old, and he teased me a lot! I enjoyed that. Dr. Lau, who hails from Johor in West Malaysia, is an engineer by profession. He used to work in KL for 7 years, and he didn't like the lifestyle there. He enjoys Kuching better. He was telling me about his family particularly his father who sacrificed a lot for the sake of his 10 children. I was told all of them have good education. Dr. Lau remembers well as a kid, one apple had to be divided into 4 slices in order that every one had the chance to have a bit! That was life for them then, having had to learn to share things. His father lived simply, eating simple food. The family had a rubber garden which eventually the trees had to be cut down to make way for oil palm. Dr Lau had to tap the rubber, which reminds me of my childhood days, when my brother and I had to tap rubber in order to fetch some pocket money to go to school! Those were the days.
What did I learn from the meeting with Dr. Lau? I learned about parents' sacrifice. Can you imagine having to feed 10 hungry mouths daily? We should learn about sacrifice and contentment. Appreciate and treasure our parents' contributions.
Complaining is so common these days that it could be called a way of life for many people. Just about everybody complains. And why not? There is so much to complain about: traffic, church, troubles of all kinds! But the commonness of complaining does not make it right. The Word of God comes down pretty hard on the sin of complaining. The Bible teaches us that complaining is wrong for Christians.
In Number 11, we see the complaining of Israelites. We see the tragic consequences that come to Israel because of their complaining. They journeyed thru the wilderness. God had brought His people out from bondage and slavery in Egypt thru Moses. They complained about the little nitty-gritty hardships of living and traveling in the wilderness, and the Lord was not pleased with them, and the fire of the Lord consumed some of them.
Do we also complain about problems of everyday living? We complain about food, weather. I heard Christians complained about the rain saying, "celaka hujan." Yes, all these hardships include the rain, may cause us some inconveniences at times, but we are not to complain about them. The Lord always has good reasons for the hardships He permits to come our way. Read Deut 8 to find some reasons for Israel's hardships in the wilderness.
The sin of complaining was one reason why Israel wandered in the wilderness for 40 years. It took only a few hours to get the people out of Egypt, but it took them 40 years!
Is it possible that we are "wandering in the wilderness" of Christian living because of the sin of complaining? Complaining is of course just the surface symptom of a much deeper problem - DISCONTENT. This is why the Bible so strongly condemns complaining.
We may know it by different terms - griping, grumbling, whining or murmuring. But regardless of the word we use to describe it, complaining always has the same symptoms. The dictionary defines it as "an expression of unhappiness, dissatisfaction, or discontent. Complaining is the outward expression of discontent from within.
Complaining is Evidence of Unbelief.
Regardless of whatever circumstances may cause discontent, complaining is always an expression of unbelief toward God's order in our life. Our lives and circumstances are in the Lord's hand, thus, if believers complain, it really becomes an accusation against the Lord! Complaining is unbelief. On the other hand, thanksgiving is the expression of gratefulness and faith in God.
Complaining Gives Place to the Devil
Apostle Paul warned Christians of the danger of complaining. 1 Cor.10:10. The devil thrives in an atmosphere of complaining. The Lord was fed up with the complaints of Israelites in the wilderness. He allowed the destroyer to answer their complaints.
Complaining is Not for Christians
Apostles Paul tells Christians to do all things without complaining. (Phil 2:14), and the epistle of Jude places complainers in the same category as ungodly sinner who will inherit judgment. (Jude 1:15-16)
I used to think people complained because they had a lot of problems. But I have come to realize that they have problems because they complain. Complaining doesn't change anything or make situation better. It amplifies frustration.
How important it is that believers guard the words of their mouth! The scriptures tell us that our words are literally the basis for whether we are justified or condemned. Realizing this, we should eradicate negative words, griping or grumbling, and fill our mouth with praise and thanksgiving! Amen.
Welcome to my blog. I hope to be able to find time to contribute and update it as often as possible. But then again, Lao Tze says, "Time is a created thing." It means that we cannot say we don't have time because we can create it. I suppose it is an excuse!