Sprained Arm

On Sunday January 5th in the evening, I was kicking a soccer ball around with James when I tripped over the ball! I put my left arm out to stop my fall and landed hard on my wrist, jarred my elbow and shoulder too. My family took good care of me that night after the accident, making bags of ice to put on all the swelling joints!
I went to the doctor and thankfully, nothing is broken, but I am wearing a wrist splint for at least a week while my very achy arm and wrist heal.
Please pray my arm heals up well with no residual problems! Thanks!

Thoughts for the New Year

Ecclesiastes 3 states For everything there is a season,
and a time for every matter under heaven:

a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.

Recently, I read some thoughts by George Carlin, a comedian from the 1970's and 80's that states succinctly what I was pondering while in the USA. Many times people asked me what I enjoyed about life in the Philippines and I'd reply, "the slower pace of life and the importance and focus on relationships over getting something done."
Over the years here in the Philippines I have learned to slow down, walk in more patience and rest, trusting my Saviour that all will happen in His timing, His way. I also cherish my relationships with family and friends so much more.
This writing by George Carlin is lengthy but well worth the reading.

May this new year find each of us slowing down to enjoy our loved ones more, to focus on our relationships with each other and with Christ, and to walk in His way, knowing that He has a time for everything that occurs.

SOMETHING TO PONDER: George Carlin

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers,
wider Freeways, but narrower viewpoints.
We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less.
We have bigger houses and smaller families,
more conveniences, but less time.
We have more degrees but less sense,
more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems,
more medicine, but less wellness.
We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.
We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values.
We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.....
We've learned how to make a living, but not a life.
We've added years to life not life to years.
We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor.
We conquered outer space but not inner space.
We've done larger things, but not better things.
We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul.
We've conquered the atom, but not our prejudice.
We write more, but learn less.
We plan more, but accomplish less.
We've learned to rush, but not to wait.
We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.
These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion,
big men and small character,
steep profits and shallow relationships.
These are the days of two incomes but more divorce; fancier houses, but broken homes.
These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill.
It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom.
A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete.
Remember to spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever. Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.
Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn't cost a cent.
Remember, to say, 'I love you' to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it.
A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.
Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again.
Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.
And always remember, life is not
measured by the number of breaths we take, but by those moments that take our breath away.
George Carlin

January 5

Six years ago on January 5th, 2008 our family went from three children to five children. I am so thankful James and Jerard came to us.

Jerard is with Jesus now, but always in my heart.
We are waiting to receive adoption approval, hopefully this month, for James. Pray that the adoption is approved soon so we can start arranging travel papers for James.

A Day at Paradise Beach

The day before New Year's Eve
We went to the beach for family time


enjoying good conversation


tired out after a day of swimming

Wrestling to Rest

It seems many Christians have an overriding paradigm of a victorious Christian life - that there should be no problems in this life for a Christian. But this is a direct contradiction to what Jesus said in John 16:33, "I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart, I have overcome the world."
Our peace and rest is in Him.

1 Peter 4:12 - 13 tells us not to be surprised when fiery trials are what we go through. These trials make us partners with Christ in His suffering.
We are to consider it joy when we go through hard times (James 1:2).
Hebrews 11 tells of many Christians who were tortured, killed, destitute, etc.

Hard times are part and parcel of the Christian life. While we have a future hope knowing someday we will be with Him forever with new bodies and new minds, our existence here on earth is that there are hard times we go through - be it physical illness, emotional turmoil, mental illness, financial problems, relationship issues; it is all part of life here on earth.

The question of suffering has been one I've been pondering deeply for many years now. My quest to understand the role of suffering in a Christian's life started in earnest when Jerard became a member of our family. God used that little guy to turn my thoughts to this matter of suffering and pain.
Jesus said we'd be like Him. He suffered; we will too and we do - whether its a physical illness, emotional problem, mental illness, a "thorn in the flesh" as Paul talks about in 2 Corinthians 12:7-9, etc..
one thing God is really making clear to me is that in the wrestling is rest.

"Teach me wisdom in the secret heart" Psalm 51:6 says, and He says "Rest"

"Blot out my transgressions....my sin is ever before me." - - my restless soul struggles, my heart desires Him, to be like Him

And He says to me, "like Jacob wrestled with the angel to be blessed, I desire you to wrestle with your struggles to find rest in Me."

Isn't God amazing?
He uses the weak things of the world to confound the wise,
He uses the humble to destroy the proud;
He sends Jesus to die as our sacrifice for sin so we can have life eternal.

Paradox - a statement or proposition that seems self-contradictory or absurd but in reality expresses a possible truth.

In the struggles I cling tighter to my Saviour. Like David said in Psalm 51, "create in me a clean heart, and renew a right spirit within me."
Can't you see him? A man devastated by his sin, weeping and wrestling in his bedroom, calling out to God in his anguish? This psalm was not placidly spoken. That's how I picture it. I've done similar many times myself.
"Restore me to the joy of Your salvation"
Passionately poured out words from a hurting, wounded soul.
"Cast me not away from Your presence. Take not Your Holy Spirit from me."
And Jesus answers, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." (Hebrews 13:5)

In Psalm 52, as David wrestles to rest, he ends the psalm with "I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever...I will wait for Your name, for it is good."

There is a peace that we can cling to in the midst of trials, in the midst of storms; but learning how to stay in the calm center eye of the typhoon swirling around takes wrestling. And eventually in that wrestling comes rest.

God wants our honesty, not a facade. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart. (Psalm 51:17)
Then, this picture comes to my mind...

as Jerard rested on me, I am to rest on my Saviour.
And like a weaned child, I have calmed and quieted my soul.
Jesus loves me, this I know.
So whether the struggle is mental illness, emotional turmoil, relationship issues, physical illness, financial problems, etc....one thought I leave you with is this, there is rest in the wrestling.