The Crescent Through the Eyes of the Cross

Need a fresh Christian perspective on sharing the gospel with Muslims? Want to understand a little more about how Muslims think and what they value? Then maybe the book, "The Crescent Through the Eyes of the Cross: Insights from an Arab Christian" is for you.

I just finished the book myself and I appreciate the perspective that I gained from this Arab Christian who has spent his life grappling with the issue of loving and communicating the gospel to Muslims.

Here in the Philippines, especially in the south, there is a significant Muslim population. There are communities of Muslims that live closer than a mile from our house. I have friends that minister to Muslims groups in this part of the country.

Yet, I have also found that many Christians, both Filipino and non-Filipino, are frightened or at least wary of their Muslims neighbors. And I suspect that the same holds true for the other direction: Muslims are suspicious of Christians as well.

Well, I don't want to continue like that. While I cannot change the attitude of anyone else, I can change my attitude. This book has helped me a lot.

It is Ramadan right now, the time of fasting and prayer for Muslims around the world. Maybe we as Christians should do a little soul searching as well during this time? I know other Christians think this way as well. For more information, check out this website: Loving Muslims Through Prayer.

Blessings Abound

"For all the blessings of the year,
For all the friends we hold so dear,
For peace on earth, both far and near,
We thank Thee, Lord.

For life and health, those common things,
Which every day and hour brings,
For home, where our affection clings,
We thank Thee, Lord.

For love of Thine, which never tires,
Which all our better thought inspires,
And warms our lives with heavenly fires,
We thank Thee, Lord."

I tend to think in music lyrics...especially hymns. The above hymn and also the chorus, "Lord of all to Thee we raise, this our hymn of grateful praise" have been playing in my mind lately.

A couple days ago James and Jerard were blessed with the gifts of a playpen, toys, numerous textured balls, formula, and diapers from a friend here in Davao.

The noisy toys have been great for Jerard. He happily listens to them, feels the textured balls, and seems to really enjoy the new sounds and feels.

Unexpected blessings like these toys, especially the noisy ones that help Jerard interact with his world, remind me of how much God loves us. I'd been praying for a way to get noisy toys for Jerard as part of his physical and developmental therapy....and wow, God answered in a big way!...."Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not;
As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be.

Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!"

There is no concern to small for him. He cares for the sparrows....He cares about toys that will help a little boy who is blind.

"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."

James is patiently waiting for us to put batteries in the train!

Shells of Isla Reta

I realized today I'd never posted pictures of the shells we found on the beach at Isla Reta.

When I look at the intricate detail God put into the shells and coral I am amazed and awed at His creativity!

Psalm 92: 1-5 It is good to give thanks to the LORD, to sing praises to your name, O Most High;
to declare your steadfast love in the morning, and your faithfulness by night,.....
For you, O LORD, have made me glad by your work; at the works of your hands I sing for joy.

How great are your works, O LORD! Your thoughts are very deep!

Psalm 86:8 There is none like you among the gods, O Lord, nor are there any works like yours.

An Update From James

James is happy to announce that he and his brother both have their two bottom front teeth in!

He also says he really likes the Green Bay Packer outfit that he and his brother take turns wearing!!!!

He would also like you to pray for his brother, Jerard, who has caught a cold, has a cough, and has spent a large part of today sleeping! Thanks!

Mikayla and Kirsten

Kirsten and Mikayla are enjoying school.

Mikayla was recently elected secretary/treasurer for the Student Council. She is in band and will be playing soccer starting next week.

Kirsten is enjoying 5th grade. She is learning to play percussion instruments in band and enjoying art class. She's been doing very well in her studies.

Both girls have been enjoying making recipes from the "Redwall Cookbook" Kirsten received as a birthday gift. We are learning the art of substituting ingredients since some of the items called for in recipes we haven't found here (yet...)

Mikayla has become the resident popcorn maker for the family. She has perfected the art of stove top kettle popping, unlike her Mom who tends to burn it every time!!!

I thank God for the daughters He has given me!