Japanese Fan

Kirsten really enjoys putting puzzles together. She received a beautiful Japanese fan 1000 piece puzzle for Christmas and put it together over the holiday break! (sorry the pics are on their side!!)

Japanese Garden Fan puzzle

Hope For The Family

We occasionally stay home on Sunday and have a church service at home. We have really been enjoying the sermons of Timothy Keller, pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City.

We have been listening to the "Hope for..." series (4 messages).
Today was about Christian marriage.

The synopsis of this sermon is "The premise of Christian marriage is that two people are filled with the Holy Spirit and are committed to serving one another. Wives are to grant husbands leadership in the marriage. Husbands are to use that leadership not for their own selfish desires but to sacrificially serve their wives. The purpose
of Christian marriage is not for individual self-fulfillment,
but to work for the growth and sanctification of the spouse. Lastly, Christian marriage is not an end in itself, but a pointer to Jesus Christ, the ultimate spouse who will never let us down."

The web address to listen to this sermon is http://sermons2.redeemer.com/sermons/hope-family"

I was greatly challenged by this sermon and plan to listen to it again as well as study the scripture passages quoted in the message.

Ephesians 5: 21 - 33

Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do
to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ
is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church
and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing
her by the washing with water through the word, and to
present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.

In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies.
He who loves his wife loves himself.
After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed
and care for their body, just as Christ does the church-- for
we are members of his body. "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two
will become one flesh." This is a profound mystery--but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

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.


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.