Christmas Break Reading

I am currently reading three books besides my Bible. I highly recommend each of them to you if you are looking for good books to read!

"A Quest for Godliness" by J. I. Packer
A Quest for Godliness explores the depth and breadth of Puritan spiritual life. Drawing on a lifetime of study, Packer surveys the lives and teachings of great Puritan leaders such as John Owen, Richard Baxter, and Jonathan Edwards. He examines the Puritan view of the Bible, spiritual gifts, the Sabbath, worship, social action, and the family. The Puritans' faith, Packer argues, stands in marked contrast with the superficiality of modern western Christianity.

In a time of failing vision and decaying values, this powerful portrait of the Puritans is a beacon of hope that calls us to radical commitment and action, both desperately needed today. Beautifully written, A Quest for Godliness is a moving and challenging exploration of Puritan life and thought. I am really enjoying and being challenged by this book.

"Troubled Minds - Mental Illness and the Church's Mission " by Amy Simpson

Mental illness is the sort of thing we don't like to talk about. It doesn't reduce nicely to simple solutions and happy outcomes. So instead, too often we reduce people who are mentally ill to caricatures and ghosts, and simply pretend they don't exist. They do exist, however--statistics suggest that one in four people suffer from some kind of mental illness. And then there's their friends and family members, who bear their own scars and anxious thoughts, and who see no safe place to talk about the impact of mental illness on their lives and their loved ones. Many of these people are sitting in churches week after week, suffering in stigmatized silence. In Troubled Minds Amy Simpson, whose family knows the trauma and bewilderment of mental illness, reminds us that people with mental illness are our neighbors and our brothers and sisters in Christ, and she shows us the path to loving them well and becoming a church that loves God with whole hearts and whole souls, with the strength we have and with minds that are whole as well as minds that are troubled.

"Stiches: A Handbook on Meaning, Hope and Repair" by Anne Lamott

What do we do when life lurches out of balance? How can we reconnect to one other and to what's sustaining, when evil and catastrophe seem inescapable?

These questions lie at the heart of Stitches, Lamott's profound follow-up to her New York Times-bestselling Help, Thanks, Wow. In this book Lamott explores how we find meaning and peace in these loud and frantic times; where we start again after personal and public devastation; how we recapture wholeness after loss; and how we locate our true identities in this frazzled age. We begin, Lamott says, by collecting the ripped shreds of our emotional and spiritual fabric and sewing them back together, one stitch at a time.

It's in these stitches that the quilt of life begins, and embedded in them are strength, warmth, humor, and humanity.

(Book descriptions used from Amazon.com)

Seeking Him

The Old Testament points to God's people seeking the Messiah (Isaiah 55:6; Jeremiah 29:13)

At the birth of Jesus the shepherds sought Him after being told of His birth by the angels. (Luke 2: 8 - 17)

The Magi from the east sought Him when they saw His star. (Matthew 2: 1- 12)

Jesus tells us to seek Him - to seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33).

Faith is active.
Faith is about seeking the things above where God is (Colossians 3:1)
Faith is about putting to death the deeds of the flesh (Colossians 3:5)
Faith is about putting on the attributes of Christ - compassion, kindness, mercy, grace, love (Colossians 3: 12 - 14)

The Lord does not forsake those who seek Him (Psalm 9:10)

He promises that if we seek Him we will find Him (Proverbs 8:17)

Just as Jesus came to seek and save us (Luke 19:10) may we seek Him in all our ways, not only this Christmas season, but every day of our lives.

I wrote a Christmas song some years back that speaks to this:

WISE MEN STILL SEEK HIM, THIS TINY INFANT KING.
JUST LIKE THE WISEMEN OF OLD FOLLOWED HIM
AND IF I'D BEEN THERE AT HIS BIRTH, WOULD I HAVE SEEN HIS WORTH?
AND WOULD I HAVE SOUGHT HIM AS MY LORD? THIS TINY INFANT KING!

1.AND IT'S A MIRACLE, NOT TO CELEBRATE ONE DAY A YEAR; BUT EVERYDAY GIVING THANKS ALWAYS TO THE FATHER FOR HIS SON. AND IT'S A MIRACLE: THIS TINY INFANT KING LYING IN A MANGER, A BARN FOR HIS SHELTER IS OUR REDEMPTIVE KING.

OH, COME LET US ADORE HIM; OH, COME LET US ADORE HIM;OH COME LET US ADORE HIM; CHRIST THE LORD!

2.AND IT'S A MIRACLE TO BE CELEBRATED EVERY DAY! GOD'S REDEMPTIVE PLAN, WRAPPED UP IN THIS SMALL BABE! HIS LOVE FOR US; UNCOMPARABLE AND NEVER ENDING, THIS TINY CHILD, THE KING OF KINGS, IS OUR ETERNAL HOME. HOSANNA, HOSANNA, HOSANNA TO THE KING HOSANNA, HOSANNA, HOSANNA TO THE KING.

3.AND IT'S A MIRACLE, NOT TO CELEBRATE ONE DAY A YEAR

BUT EVERYDAY GIVING THANKS ALWAYS

TO THE FATHER FOR HIS SON.

AND IT'S A MIRACLE: THIS TINY INFANT KING

LYING IN A MANGER, A BARN FOR HIS SHELTER

IS OUR REDEMPTIVE KING.

Copyright 1984 and 1993 - Beth M. Bottomley Symanzik

Ben and Friends

I just wanted to share a picture of Ben with his friends Michael and Joel. They've been good buddies for many years now!


Here are the boys at Jerard's funderal in May of 2012,
along with another friend, Jadon, who is presently on home assignment with his family in the USA.

It Is What It Is

I have a bracelet I wear that states, "It is what it is." That simple saying reminds me of the Biblical mandate to be content in all things.

I've been asked about how we can be so patient as we await James' adoption to be finalized. God has led me on a path through the years of knowing that He ordains our circumstances and there is no need for fret or worry; it doesn't help anything.

As Jerard used to lean into me and rest on me, my Saviour wants me to lean into Him and rest on Him in all things.

Two key principles I've been learning are
Being content and giving thanks
These are key to a peace-filled, joyous Christian life.
It doesn't mean there are not trials, but we can know contentment in the trial, peace in the waiting and rest in the wrestling.

Philippians 4: 4-13

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice....do not
be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made
known to God....I have learned in whatever situation I am to


be content. 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.

As one of my favourite songs says,

"Somedays we forget
To look around us
Somedays we can't see
The joy that surrounds us
So caught up inside ourselves
We take when we should give.

So for tonight we pray for
What we know can be.
And on this day we hope for
What we still can't see.
It's up to us to be the change
And even though we all can still do more
There's so much to be thankful for.

Look beyond ourselves
There's so much sorrow....

So for tonight we pray for
What we know can be.
And on this day we hope for
What we still can't see.
It's up to us to be the change
And even though we all can still do more
There's so much to be thankful for.
There's so much to be thankful for

I Timothy 6: 6-8
...godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of
the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we
will be content

Hebrews 13:5 Keep your life free from love of money, and be content
with what you have, for he has said, "I will never leave
you nor forsake you."

Some various things to be thankful for........................

friends


scripture in own language

work


family

What can you be content with and Thankful for this holiday season?

Jet Lag and Thankful

Hi, I'm back in Davao now. So thankful for safe travels, thankful for time with family and friends in the USA, thankful to be here with my husband and three children.
My brain feels foggy as I work on resetting my body clock thirteen hours ahead of where it had been when I took off from the USA on December 3rd.

"Jet lag can occur any time you travel quickly across two or more time zones. The more time zones you cross, the more likely you are to be sleepy and sluggish -- and the longer and more intense the symptoms are likely to be.That's because it can take up to a day for each time zone crossed for your body to adjust to the local time."

(http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/excessive-sleepiness-10/jet-lag-remedies)

I'll blog more when my brain feels less foggy but for now I'll share some pictures with you!!!