I've been working with James to learn the answers to the first five questions of the young children's catechism.
It is so sweet to hear him say in response to "Who made you?", "God did" in his soft voice.
He doesn't speak out the answers to the other questions yet, but he is learning them......2. What else did God make? All things.
3. Why did God make you and all things? For His own glory.
4. How can you glorify God? By loving Him and doing what He commands.
5. Why ought you to glorify God? Because He loves me and takes care of me.
Why have I taught all my children this catechism? To get the truth of God into their hearts and minds, to give them food to ponder on, to turn their hearts to the godward life rather than a wayward life.
As I was reflecting on these first five questions and answers it reminded me of a story I'd heard of a well-known evangelist, admired for his depth of knowledge and devotion and love for Christ. He was elderly and ill. Someone asked him what the most important lesson was he had learned as a Christian all his many years of life. After pondering for a moment he said, "Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so..."
These first five questions and answers in the children's catechism and the beloved hymn taught to children are rich in truth and give us much to consider.
1 John 3: 1How great is the love the Father has lavished on
us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears,we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 3Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself,
just as he is pure.
Praying the truth of His love for each of us sinks deep in your heart today!
"In times of trouble go not out of yourself to seek aid;
for the whole benefit of trial consists in silence, patience, rest, and
resignation. In this condition divine strength is found for the hard
warfare, because God Himself fights for the soul." Miquel de Molinos (1640-97)
2 Peter 2:9 "The Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials,"
Happy New Year from us to you!
Elisabeth Elliott well expresses my thoughts on this New Year's Day.
"New Year's Day is a good time to fix one's eyes on the only One who knows what the year is to hold.......My goal is God Himself - not joy, nor peace, nor even blessing, but Himself, my God. 'Tis His to lead me there, not mine, but His - At any cost, dear Lord, by any road! So faith bounds forward to its goal in God and love can trust her Lord to lead her there; Upheld by Him, my soul is following hard, Till God hath full fulfilled my deepest prayer...."
(from "Secure In the Everlasting Arms" by Elisabeth Elliott)
"Thy shoes shall be iron and brass; and as thy days, so shall thy
strength be" Deuteronomy 33:25
Our family just spent three wonderful days with friends at Ilihan Beach Resort on Samal Island. It reminded me very much of camping at a state park in Michigan.
We rented a big gazebo and all 19 of us slept in it.
The hut we stayed in.
Our Filipino friends made delicious Filipino food for us.
Bringing breakfast to the gazebo
Bebe, Arlene, and Alan cooking pork bbq and rice.
Arlene cooking pork bbq with Ben.
We went to Hagimit Falls which is a beautiful waterfall place on the island.
We spent a lot of time in water, talking, and enjoying the quiet, peaceful setting. It was a wonderfully, relaxing opportunity and I enjoyed getting to know our friends better. We shared many laughs together, sang songs at night, talked, prayed. I thank God for our friends!
Shaul, Mikayla, Chaim, and James enjoying cokes.
Joebert's and our families.
Bebe and Alan
Gigi and Joebert cooking supper.
Kurt and I.
James playing with a starfish. Yes, it is blue!
Jerard sitting on a swing with Arlene.
A favourite activity at night was to take flashlights and look
in the tidal pools for seacreatures. All kinds were found.
It was a lot of fun.
Ben and James looking at a crab.
Shaul and James.
Arlene, Bebe, and Jerard.
Bebe, Me and Julie
Lori Ann and Mikayla talking and swinging.
James on a swing.
Lori Ann, Kirsten, and Lani Lou exploring the seashore.
Cherry Joy, Gigi, Joebert and Julie
Ben and J.R. being silly.
James kicking a beach ball.
James and Chaim.
Playing Frisbee Football.
We also enjoyed time playing frisbee and badmiton.
Mikayla and Kirsten enjoying 'sister time'.
Our group - not in order of picture - Arlene, Chaim, Shaul
Joebert, Gigi, Cherry Joy, Julie, Alan, Bebe, Lori Ann, Lani Lou,
J.R., Kurt, Beth, Mikayla, Kirsten, Ben, James, Jerard.
(on our last day there another family from Faith Academy was
camping at Ilihan too. Their daughters, Linea and Maggie are
in the picture too. Linea is a classmate of Ben's in 2nd grade.)
I thank God for the good time and fellowship we had at Ilihan. It was restful, peaceful and enriching!
I am already planning a return trip for part of the summer break!
For the beauty of the earth, for the glory of the skies, for the love which from our birth over and around us lies; Lord of all, to thee we raise this our hymn of grateful praise.
For the beauty of each hour of the day and of the night, hill and vale, and tree and flower, sun and moon, and stars of light; Lord of all, to thee we raise this our hymn of grateful praise.
For the joy of human love, brother, sister, parent, child, friends on earth and friends above, for all gentle thoughts and mild; Lord of all, to thee we raise this our hymn of grateful praise.
Merry Christmas from our house to yours!
It is now 11:30am Christmas morning as I write this.
Here in the Philippines, most Christmas celebrations are held on Christmas eve. It was quite loud last night with music, laughter, vehicles driving around.
This morning it was wonderfully quiet as all the people who stayed up late last night slept in.
We had our own Christmas eve service at home as few, if any, churches hold Christmas eve services here.
This morning we enjoyed family time opening gifts from relatives and each other. Now we are relaxing and enjoying some of our new gifts!
Carolers at the gate! These guys were really good singers!
Kuya Ben playing with his little brothers on Christmas Eve.
Mikayla and James making 'rock cakes' for our Christmas
breakfast! These are wonderful jam-filled muffins...not hard
Kurt working on his computer.
Kirsten working on crafts in her room.
Ben wasn't feeling well yesterday so laid on the couch for a
while. Thankfully, he feels better today!
The 'velcro tree' we made for several reasons....James can
take ornaments on and off all he wants without breaking any;
Mikayla requested we make one in memory of her Grandma
who had made her one when she was two; and it is a great
therapy tool for Jerard to learn about pulling off and putting on.
Kirsten and James passing out gifts sent to us in a big red
'Santa-clause' type bag! Thanks, Nancy and Jason!!!!
Jerard thought eating the paper was easier than trying to tear
Jerard, a bit overwhelmed by the activity this morning, resting
in his Daddy's arms. Reminded me of Isaiah 40:11 He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.