Kirsten is 13!!!

Today is Kirsten's 13th Birthday!!!!

She is a real blessing to us!

Kirsten, Your Dad and I pray that out of God's glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your heart through faith. (We are thankful you've accepted Christ as your Saviour!)
And we pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord's holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
In Christ's Holy Name we pray, Amen and Amen.

Beautiful the Mess We Are...

Today (Wednesday June 15), I had a young woman fall at my feet in sorrowful, repentant tears begging forgiveness.

As I sat with her head on my lap, rubbing her back as she wept sorrowfully for her failings, I could not help but think of my Sovereign Saviour, Jesus, having His feet washed with the tears of a repentant woman.

As she wept I thought of all the times I have wept bitterly over my mistakes and shortcomings. I thought of how often I have begged for forgiveness from my Heavenly Father.

My heart prays and breaks and compassionately loves this girl.

How could I not forgive her?!

We'd been helping her go to school to better her life.
She has put herself in the unenviable position of being an unwed, pregnant teenager. her life is much harder now with a new life forming inside her.

She is very ashamed. It was very hard for her to come tell us what had happened. She broke her promise and our trust.
Her course in life has changed drastically.

Of course I forgive her.
How can I not?
He forgives me so much.
I have made many mistakes myself.
May HIS compassion flow.

Please pray for this girl. She is two months pregnant. Pray for her baby. Pray the love of Jesus Christ penetrates her heart and she comes to know the love of Jesus as her own.

God loves a lullaby
In a mothers tears in the dead of night
Better than a Hallelujah sometimes.
God loves a drunkards cry,
The soldiers plea not to let him die
Better than a Hallelujah sometimes.

We pour out our miseries
God just hears a melody
Beautiful the mess we are
The honest cries of breaking hearts
Are better than a Hallelujah

...The tears of shame for what's been done,
The silence when the words won't come
Are better than a Hallelujah sometimes.

We pour out our miseries
God just hears a melody
Beautiful the mess we are
The honest cries of breaking hearts
Are better than a Hallelujah

Luke 7:36-50
Now one of the Pharisees was requesting Him to dine with him. And He entered the Pharisee's house, and reclined at the table. And behold, there was a woman in the city who was a sinner; and when she learned that He was reclining at the table in the Pharisee's house, she brought an alabaster vial of perfume, and standing behind Him at His feet, weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears, and kept wiping them with the hair of her head, and kissing His feet, and anointing them with the perfume. Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he said to himself, "If this man were a prophet He would know who and what sort of person this woman is who is touching Him, that she is a sinner." And Jesus answered and said to him, "Simon, I have something to say to you." And he replied, "Say it, Teacher." "A certain moneylender had two debtors: one owed five hundred denarii and the other fifty. "When they were unable to repay, he graciously forgave them both. Which of them therefore will love him more?" Simon answered and said, "I suppose the one whom he forgave more."
And He said to him, "You have judged correctly."
And turning toward the woman, He said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has wet My feet with her tears, and wiped them with her hair. "You gave Me no kiss, but she, since the time I came in, has not ceased to kiss My feet. "You did not anoint My head with oil, but she anointed My feet with perfume. "For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little." And He said to her, "Your sins have been forgiven." And those who were reclining at the table with Him began to say to themselves, "Who is this man who even forgives sins?"
And He said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace."

-Luke 7:36-50

...God's Purposes...

I listened to an excellent message today by John Piper.
John Piper states so well what God has been teaching me in our missionary journey these past four plus years. I urge you to take 35 minutes and listen to this sermon!

The passage he bases his message on is John 9:1-39 where Jesus heals the blind beggar. His disciples had asked him who had sinned, his parents or the man.
"Jesus turns the question around and says, in effect, human causes are not decisive in explaining things. Divine purposes are decisive. Verse 3: "It was not that this man sinned, or his parents
, but that the works of God might be displayed
in him [God's purpose]."

The reason causes are not the ultimate explanation for things is that God is not ultimately a responder but ultimately a planner. In
other words, when God ordains that something happen,
God is not, at the bottom, responding to human causes.
He is, at bottom, planning a purpose.

The implication of this for your life is profound. No matter what mess you're in or what pain you're in, the causes of that mess
and that pain are not decisive in explaining it. What is decisive in explaining it is God's purpose.
Yes, there are causes. Some of
them your fault, perhaps, and some of them not. But those
causes are not decisive in determining the meaning of your mess or your pain. What is absolutely decisive is God's purpose. "It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of
God might be displayed in him" (verse 3).

And if you will confess your sins, and hold fast to Jesus as your
Rock and your Redeemer and your Riches, God's purpose for
your mess and your pain will be a good purpose. It will be worth everything you must endure. We know this is true because God says so. Romans 8:28: "And we know that for those who love
God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose."


Here in the Philippines, the grading system is opposite of the USA system.
I have a 1.0 in my master degree classes for a counseling degree so far! Don't worry, I'm not flunking!!!! It means I have A's!

A Day of Firsts June 2011

Today was the FIRST day back to school for Filipino students! (Their summer is April and May).

Today was the FIRST big outing Jerard has had since his major siezures a year ago.
Today was the FIRST boat trip James and Jerard ever went on.
Today was the FIRST boat trip our wonderful helper, Arlene, has ever been on.

This is the FIRST boat trip I've been on in which people coming
on boat trip were delayed getting to the dock due to a
flag-raising ceremony by a military post housed near
the boat dock area.

Tired boys!

FIRST boat trip for newborn, Luke, and his momma since giving
birth about two weeks ago!

It was a great day on the ocean, enjoying time with friends and family, the sun, ocean, and sand.