...to be content

Paul states in Philippians 4:11 "Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content" and I was thinking about this statement as I watched the repair men carry our stove out of the house to take to the shop for repair.

It left me with nothing to cook in or on except a crock pot. But in short order I had a rice cooker and one burner

Losing a stove for a few days is nothing when compared to friends and acquaintences here who regularly cook with wood.....

and regularly deal with flooding....

My Filipino friends teach resiliance in their joyful life style. Yes, things are hard, but as one friend recently told me, "it's always been hard, since I was little. This is our normal so we accept it and go on"

Contentment is a choice. Setting my mind on the things of Christ, seeking His way, Him, FIRST, in ALL of life is His directive to me. Living here in the Philippines has taught me many lessons about resiliancy, contentment, and joy.

A few days without an oven is not a big deal here, or anywhere.

I thank God for His abounding grace and teaching, for His Word....Philippians 4 continues instructing....I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me......I am well supplied......And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus...." (Phil. 4:12-20)

Yes, He does!

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.Philippians 4:23

Comfortable Friendship

A friend who I met around the first day we moved to the Philippines was recently in Davao and we had lunch and wonderful conversation together. After we parted, this poem of sorts started going through my head.... Old friendship, like favourite old jeans slip on sweetly comfortable Conversation up and running as if years and distance non-existent. Thankful. My friend was such a blessing to me as a new missionary, transitioning to a new culture, learning to navigate the practicalities of life overseas as a mom...she has gone to other mission fields but over the years and distance we've maintained a bond of friendship, trust, sharing of good and hard......I am thankful for her.

This friend and I have been friends since 1983, before either of us married........35 years....and though our paths have gone in various directions, when we do get together, it's like we were never apart. She and her husband inspired us to look into becoming missionaries. Conversation picks up easily and deeply with her and I thank God for her.

This friend and I have shared many meal-making times at church, coffees, fun, deep conversations. And even though I've been half a world away for much of our friendship, when we get together....like with the other two....conversation picks up easily and deeply. I am thankful.

Proverbs 27:9...Oil and perfume make the heart glad, and so does the sweetness of a friend....

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!