Some through the flood...fire...

The past couple days in Davao have seen many lose their homes, be displaced while cleaning up from floods, and lose loved ones in a mall fire.

Why God ordains these things to happen is hard to know, but like we sang this morning at church "God is too wise to be mistaken God is too good to be unkind So when you don't understand When don't see His plan When you can't trace His hand Trust His Heart Trust His Heart"

Our hearts are saddened this holiday season as one of the workers who lost her life in the mall fire December 23 was an alumni of Faith International Academy. She'd played on the soccer team along with our oldest daughter. We grieve for her family and her loss.

The sudden ways life can change makes me appreciate all the more time with my family, phone conversations with my daughters, friends, relationships.

We sang a hymn this morning at church that reminded me every generation knows pain and suffering. Jesus promised us we'd have suffering in this life, but He is our hope and I rest in His leading!!!

In shady, green pastures, so rich and so sweet, God leads His dear children along; Where the water’s cool flow bathes the weary one’s feet, God leads His dear children along.

Refrain: Some through the waters, some through the flood, Some through the fire, but all through the blood; Some through great sorrow, but God gives a song, In the night season and all the day long.

Sometimes on the mount where the sun shines so bright, God leads His dear children along; Sometimes in the valley, in darkest of night, God leads His dear children along.

Though sorrows befall us and evils oppose, God leads His dear children along; Through grace we can conquer, defeat all our foes, God leads His dear children along.

Away from the mire, and away from the clay, God leads His dear children along; Away up in glory, eternity’s day, God leads His dear children along.


To read more about the fire at the mall check out http://cnnphilippines.com/regional/2017/12/23/Davao-City-mall-fire.html

Early Morning Christmas Thoughts

Christmas lights blink and glow

Muslim call to prayer plays in the distance

Fan rumples paper, blows cooling breeze

Fresh coffee hot and soothing A snowman mug its container

Not a white Christmas here but a content-filled holiday

Decorations and shopping done

holiday peace

baking cookies, my relaxation and fun

baking breads, cinnamon smells, memories wafting

meloncholy and contentment

missing daughters, sisters, friends

happy to be here, this missionary adventure as I call it

relationships the focus

Christmas breakfast with friends

skype calls to daughters, sisters, relatives

enjoying the taste and smell of baked goods and ham

the sound of laughter

playing games

holiday peace

meloncholy and content

gifts are nice but not the point

playing games, reading, baking, talking

not busyness

the Muslim call to prayer resonates peace

centeredness

Centers me on Christ

His birth, His death, His resurrection

and all the world will know one day that He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords

His mercy and grace abound

Christmas lights twinkle and glow my heart glows in His love

my heart sings

“oh for a heart to praise you more... A heart in every thought renewed, and full of love divine; perfect and right and pure and good — a copy, Lord, of thine.”

I pray for family and friends yet unsaved

The best gift will be to see them in Your eternal home, Dad.

And, as the song playing now sings,

“All is well, All is well

Angels and men rejoice,

For tonight darkness fell

Into the dawn of Love's Light

Sing Alle, sing Alleluia!!!”

Christmas lights twinkle and glow

my heart glows in His love..........


Song authors and words:

"Oh For A Heart To Praise My God"

Charles Wesley, 1742 1 O for a heart to praise my God, a heart from sin set free; a heart that's sprinkled with the blood so freely shed for me: 2 A heart resigned, submissive, meek, my great Redeemer's throne; where only Christ is heard to speak, where Jesus reigns alone: 3 A humble, lowly, contrite heart, believing, true, and clean, which neither life nor death can part from him that dwells within: 4 A heart in every thought renewed, and full of love divine; perfect and right and pure and good — a copy, Lord, of thine. 5 Thy nature, gracious Lord, impart, come quickly from above; write thy new name upon my heart, thy new best name of Love.

"All Is Well"

Michael W. Smith, 1989.

All is well all is well Angels and men rejoice For tonight darkness fell Into the dawn of love's light Sing A-le Sing Alleluia

All is well all is well Let there be peace on earth Christ is come go and tell That He is in the manger Sing A-le Sing Alleluia

All is well all is well Lift up your voice and sing Born is now Emmanuel Born is our Lord and Savior Sing Alleluia Sing Alleluia All is well

Whate'er My God ordains...

I have a love-hate relationship with a medicine I've been taking since August.
I've been in chronic pain since July – shooting nerve pains on the left side of my skull, radiating from my ear to the center line of my brain, other pain that feels as if my eye will pop out, shooting nerve pains, and constant pain.

I've had an MRI and there is some thought that blood vessels are wrapping around a nerve that affects the left hemisphere of my head. Other thought is that it is some sort of chronic migraine.

The medicine helps ease the pain, but it makes me tired and forgetful. If I try to go without the medicine, then shooting pain ruins the moments of life....so I take another pill...praying that this “.... should leave me” (2 Corinthians 12:8) But, I do hear my loving Abba tell me, ““My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12: 9 – 10).

I think in songs often and the hymn “What'ere my God ordains is right, Holy His will abideth. I will be still whate'er He does, And follow where He guideth. He is my God, Though dark my road. He holds me that I shall not fall Wherefore to Him I leave it all..." (Original words by Samuel Rodigast (1676), translated by Catherine Winkworth (1863)) sings through my mind often.

I rest in His sovereignty.

But, next time you have a headache, pray for me! Thanks!

Family Happenings December 2017

This week, Faith International Academy elementary students presented a Christmas concert entitled "Joy To The World." It was very well done.

James is in the back on the left.

THANKFUL

Colossians 3 tells us let (allow) the peace of Christ to rule in our hearts and to be thankful. These are matters of choice. Faith is active and as we each work out our own salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12) may we also be thankful in all things. There are at least 133 scriptures containing the mandate to give thanks. At this time of the American Thanksgiving holiday may we each remember we have so much to be thankful for and that choosing thanks-living is just that, a matter of choice, a matter of setting our hearts and minds on things above (Colossians 3:1-2).

1 Chronicles 16:34 Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!

Psalm 50:14 Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving...

Colossians 3:15..let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Philippians 2:12- 13 AMP.... continue to work out your salvation [that is, cultivate it, bring it to full effect, actively pursue spiritual maturity] with awe-inspired fear and trembling [using serious caution and critical self-evaluation to avoid anything that might offend God or discredit the name of Christ]. 13 For it is [not your strength, but it is] God who is effectively at work in you, both to will and to work [that is, strengthening, energizing, and creating in you the longing and the ability to fulfill your purpose] for His good pleasure.