As I post this, Japan is facing a horrendous aftermath of an incredibly strong earthquake that was only 20 miles deep.
Tsunamis are heading towards the Philippines, Indonesia and other islands in this region.
Please pray for God's peace to rest on His people, for His name to be glorified, for many to come to Him in this disaster, for good, fast relief efforts to be provided to those hit by the earthquake(s) and tsunamis.
From the US embassy "TSUNAMI ALERT
The United States Embassy alerts...the possibility of a tsunami hitting the eastern shores of the Philippines following a magnitude 8.9 earthquake which struck the east coast of Japan Friday afternoon. ..... The following coastal areas in the Philippine provinces fronting the Pacific Ocean are expected to experience wave heights of at most one meter: Batanes Group of Islands, Cagayan, Ilocos Norte, Isabela, Quezon, Aurora, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Albay, Catanduanes, Sorsogon, Northern Samar, Eastern Samar, Leyte, Southern Leyte, Surigao del Norte, Davao Oriental, Davao del Sur.
The first tsunami waves are expected to arrive between 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., Friday (Philippine time)....."
We are on the eastern side of Mindanao but inside a bay. It is not expected to hit Davao city.
Psalm 46:1 - 3
1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.
A couple weeks ago our web hosting server had some major problem and we were off line until today!
That we are back on line today is a blessing as we'd been told all our blog history was lost!
A prayer I've been working on memorizing is this:
Teach me to treat all that comes my way with peace of soul
and with firm conviction that Your will governs all.
In unforeseen events let me not forget that all are sent by You.
Elisabeth Elliott quotes this Orthodox prayer in her book "A Path Through Suffering." So I am sure there has been a reason for this downtime we've had.
This few weeks without being able to blog has been a bit frustrating for me as I really enjoy blogging and keeping family and friends updated through this blog site! I am very thankful our website has come back on line and we have not lost the past four years of blogs.
....now to do a back up of all these blogs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Watch for more posts soon! Just wanted to let you know we are thankful to be back on line with our website!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This past weekend I attended a women's retreat at a near by retreat center.
The theme of the retreat was "LIVING INTENTIONALLY."
Elim Evangelical Free Church is a congregation of about 200 in Puyallup, Washington. They sent over a team of 6 women to lead this retreat for us. They are also doing another retreat for missionary women in Manila. One of the missionary family's they support used to live here in Davao but are now up in Manila.
It was a wonderful time of laughing, playing fun games, having quiet time to pray and talk, make new friends/deepen existing friendships, etc.
making jewelery during free time
playing "In it to Win it" and trying to stack 6 apples in under a
minute. We played several other games like this - the room
was filled with laughter. It was great fun!
For me, it was also a much needed break. The theme verse was
And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the
Lord and may please Him in every way: Bearing fruit in every
good work, growing in the knowledge of God.
Praise and worship time
"Living Intentionally' - "Living with my past", "Living with Boundaries",
and "Living with Brokenness" were the three primary sessions. Good food for thought.
I am thankful these women were willing to work on planning this retreat, make the financial sacrifices needed to fly over here, bring us good messages, USA chocolates, chex mix, Starbucks coffee...but mostly I am thankful for the 6 new friends I have gained.
Thanks, Tomina, Gretchen, Nancy, Kim, Frances, and Cheryl.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust
in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13
Mothering is hard work and to be honest, it has taken me a while to re-mold my priorities back to being a stay-at-home mom of toddlers again. When my older three were little I was a stay-at-home and home-schooling Mom. I'm so thankful I was able to stay at home with them.
Our three older kids were all school-aged when James and Jerard came into our lives. I was "doing ministry" outside the home with our mission's guest house and as hospitality coordinator to new missionaries coming on to the field.
But God, in His infinite patience and wisdom, has worked a change of heart in me to desire again the role of full-time homemaker/Mom. We only get one chance to really impart scriptural truths to our kids and the soil is so fertile in their little hearts as toddlers. I can honestly tell you I am enjoying being a stay-at-home mom again. James and I enjoy playing, reading, baking. He loves to be outside. Jerard loves me to throw a ball with him, sing, massage his limbs, sing and talk to him. These two boys are such blessings.
And God has been encouraging me to memorize His word and pray scripture for my kids. His Word is our lamp and light. His Word is our food.
We've traveled over (and continue to travel over) many rough roads here on the mission field. He alone is our rock (Psalm 18, 19, 27, 31, etc...)
Praying for my children is a high spiritual priority for me. Spiritual growth in my children's lives is accomplished by the power of Jesus. "For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure." (Philippians 2:13).
As each of my kids have dealt with various issues in their lives, I have tried to pray based on scripture for that situation. Truly "the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart." (Hebrews 4:12)
It is humbling and awe-inspiring to see my Abba work in the lives of each of my family members and in me. Here is one scriptural prayer I've been praying for each member of this family. Perhaps you'd like to pray it for yourself and your kids too!
(Based on an article by John Piper - http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/taste-see-articles/how-to-pray-for-the-soulyours-or-anothers)
Dear Loving Abba,
Incline (my - insert names of whomever you are praying for) heart and soul to You; to desire deeply and passionately to know You. Incline _______ heart to Your testimonies and not to gain (Ps. 119:36). Open the eyes of ________ heart to see all the wonderful things from Your law (Ps. 119:18). Enlighten ____ heart to perceive the glory in Your word. (Eph. 1:18).
Father, You know the condition of ____ heart, how fragmented our hearts are as humans. Parts of our heart can be enlightened while parts are in the dark. I long for ____ heart to be united with You, God. Create healing and wholeness in ____ heart - unite ____ heart to fear Your name (Ps. 86:11). Satisfy ___ in the morning with Your steadfast love, that ____ will rejoice and be glad all (my/his/her/their) days. (Ps 90:14). But I don't want ___ happiness to be fragile or weak, but to be strong and durable in the face of the worst adversities You see fit to ordain. Grant ___ to be strengthened with power through Your Holy Spirit in the inner man (Eph. 3:16) I do not desire this strength to be simply for (myself), but for others. It truly is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35) so produce good deeds and works of love for others so that Your glory will be seen in ____ life and others will taste and see that You are good. Help ____ walk in a manner worthy of You, Lord, bearing fruit in every good work. (Col. 1:10)
I pray all this in the name of Jesus Christ.
Check out these resources: - - http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/10-reasons-to-pray-the-scriptures - - "Praying the Scriptures for Your Teenagers" and also, "Praying the Scriptures for your Children" both by Jodie Berndt
James recently received a "Hermie and Friends" vcd entitled "Flo the Lyin' Fly." He absolutely loves this show and watches it numerous times on a daily basis! It's a kids cartoon about telling the truth and not teasing people.
One of James' favourite lunches to have is scrambled eggs and rice.
Today he requested I make some eggs and rice for him, so I said I would. But his Lola, our helper, Arlene, teased him and said, "we have no eggs, James!"
As the Hermie video was playing in the background he says to her "Don't tell a lie, Lola!" We all cracked up laughing! The message is sinking in to him from this excellent Max Lucado video series for kids.
Colossians 3: 9 - 10
Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the
old self with its practices 10and have put on the new self,
which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of
Remove far from me falsehood and lying;...