A Sabbatical of Sorts

What Is the Meaning of Sabbatical?

Sabbatical is defined as any extended period of leave from one's customary work, esp. for rest, to acquire new skills or training.

It is a leave usually taken every seventh year.

I've had many ask why I've been in the USA for eight weeks in July - September and then again October - December.

Part of the reason I've been in the states so much recently is to help Mikayla get settled into college. We moved her into her dorm room at Covenant College in Lookout Mountain Georgia the third week of August and spent a week there with her.

I've also been there in October visiting her during her fall break.

Next week she will be here in Michigan for six days to celebrate Thanksgiving with me before I return to Davao.
On top of dealing with normal freshman college adjustments, many missionary kids, like Mikayla, deal with the added stress of adjusting to a new culture and dealing with parents being on a different continent.

I've also been here in the states to work on partnership development; talking with supporters and asking others to join our partnership team. We need to raise about 7% more support per month.
I've been enjoying talking with groups, individuals, going out for coffee, dinner, etc. Friendship and relationships are such blessings.

But, to be honest, a major reason I've been taking a break from life in Davao is because mission work can be stressful. And for myself the stress was starting to feel like a steam roller running over me. I wasn't handling it as well as I should've been.


Spent time at Baan Sabai a missionary retreat center.
Wonderful place run by a wonderful couple who understand
the unique stresses missionries face.

Like the prophet in Lamentations 3 I can say,

I am the man who has seen affliction He has driven and brought me into darkness without any light;
He has made my flesh and my skin waste away; He has besieged and enveloped me with bitterness and tribulation;
He has made me dwell in darkness...

my soul is bereft of peace; I have forgotten what happiness is;
so I say, "My endurance has perished; so has my hope from the Lord."

But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
"The Lord is my portion," says my soul, "therefore I will hope in him."

The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.
It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.
Let him sit alone in silence when it is laid on him;

For the Lord will not cast off forever,
but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love;

Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that good and bad come?
Why should a living man complain,....?

Let us test and examine our ways, and return to the Lord!
Let us lift up our hearts and hands to God in heaven:

"I called on your name, O Lord, from the depths of the pit;
you heard my plea, "Do not close your ear to my cry for help!'
You came near when I called on you; you said, "Do not fear!'

Seven years over seas have been filled with blessings, joys, growth, heartache, tears and I praise God for His leading us to join missions. I look forward to continued working in missions.
Some of you may know I will be working on a masters in counseling as I desire to become more involved in member care for missionaries.

I've been enjoying healing times of friendship, laughter, change of pace while working through some issues.

When you bury a child, when life sometimes feels like a fiery furnance of anger and pain, .......even soldiers get r and r from the front lines of combat. And truth be known, I really miss my son, Jerard, and ache for him almost daily. Grief is like that. I know he is with Jesus. I know I'll see him again, but his presence and the meaning he gave my days is sorely missed.

This time in the USA has been relief, healing, fun, enjoyable.
December 3rd I will fly back to Davao for six months, and then our family will be returning to the USA for a much needed furlough, time with our church family, friends, family and continued working in missions from the USA.

And one thing I have found is that as I praise Him in the storms, hope renews.As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you,O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.These thingsI remember, as I pour out my soul:

Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.

My soul is cast down within me; therefore I remember you
By day the Lord commands his steadfast love, and at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life.Hope in God; for I shall
again praise him, my salvation and my God.
(excerpts from Psam 42)

Eighht Redemptive Names of God

Eight Redemptive Names of God

JEHOVAH-JIREH

"The Lord our provider" - This is also the name Abraham gave to the place where the Lord provided a sacrifice in place of Isaac. (Gen. 22:14).

JEHOVAH-NISSI

"Our banner, a banner of love and protection" - Also the name Moses gave to the altar he built after defeating the Amalekites (Ex. 17:15).

JEHOVAH-SHALOM

"Our perfect peace" - Also the name Gideon gave to the altar he built at Ophrah (Judges 6:24)

JEHOVAH-TSID-KENU

"The Lord is our righteousness" - The name is applied to a future Davidic king who would lead his people to do what is right and thus bring peace (Jeremiah 23:6) and to the restored city of Jerusalem (Jeremiah 33:16).

JEHOVAH-SHAMMAH

"The One Who is with us everywhere for He is Omnipresent" - The Jerusalem of Ezekiel's vision (see Ezekiel 48:35 margin) was known by this name. Compare text at Isaiah 60:19-20 and Revelation 21:3.

JEHOVAH-SABAOTH

"The Lord of Hosts, our Protector."
C.H. Spurgeon said this about the phrase "The Lord of Hosts:

The Lord rules the angels, the stars, the elements, and all the hosts of Heaven; and the Heaven of heavens is under His sway... [the Lord] is on our side -- our august Ally; woe unto those who fight against Him, for they shall flee like smoke before the wind when He gives the word to scatter them."

See text at Psalm 46:7.

JEHOVAH-RAAH

"Our Shepherd Who tenderly leads us, loves us and will keep us safe." - the famous Psalm 23 tells us that "The Lord is our Shepherd and we shall not want...." Being illustrated as a shepherd implies a relationship with His sheep (His believers). The term shepherd appears approximately 80 times in the Scriptures, denotating meanings of: feeder, keeper, companion, friend, pastor and herdsman.

JEHOVAH RAPHA

"I am the Lord Your Physician or I am the Lord Your Healer - this name especially was a Name God prophetically spoke about Himself, not one that someone gave Him. Exodus 15:26.

Holman Bible Dictionary and the book All the Divine Names And Titles In The Bible by Herbert Lockyer used as source for certain material.

Helping The Philippines

Many have asked me about how to help the Philippines. Here is some information:

Many people have asked me about how they can help the victims of Yolanda; which organizations are reputable organizations that are serving in the Philippines.

This list reflects organizations that I trust and that our mission organizations are recommending be used for sending donations to help the typhoon victims.

These experienced organizations are aware of the local needs and are already involved in providing emergency assistance for children and families.

Operation Blessings International - https://secure.ob.org/site/Donation2?df_id=6920&6920.donation=form1

World Vision - http://donate.worldvision.org/OA_HTML/xxwv2ibeCCtpItmDspRte.jsp?funnel=dn&item=2639566&go=item%C2%A7=10339&

Compassion - http://www.compassion.com/typhoon-hits-philippines.htm

The Navigators (Philippines) do not have a web link for donations for typhoon relief, but they have workers who are ready to give assistance to victims on the ground. You can make donation through their bank account:

Banco De Oro (New York, Cubao Branch) Peso account: 00401-0000263 or Banco De Oro (New York, Cubao Branch) Dollar Account: 10401-0044066/Dollar Swift Code: BNORPHMM

Typhoon Update 11/11/13

Many have asked how we faired during the recent Typhoon Yolanda.
Davao was not affected by it but those north of us on Samar, Cebu and many other islands were. Please keep praying for the Philippines.

There are estimates of 10,000 or more dead.





Thankful that relief aid is coming to this devastated area

This article is from CNN 11/10/13
Tacloban, Philippines (CNN) -- No food. No water. Houses and buildings torn to pieces. Bodies scattered on the streets. Hospitals overrun with patients. Medical supplies running out.

As Typhoon Haiyan barreled across the South China Sea on Sunday, getting set to bring more destruction to Vietnam, many Filipinos grappled with devastation on a level they'd never seen before.

The Philippine Red Cross estimated at least 1,200 people were killed by Haiyan, but the full death toll could be significantly higher as officials make their way to remote, nearly inaccessible places pummeled by the storm.

Tacloban Mayor Alfred Romualdez told CNN it is "entirely possible" that 10,000 people may have died in the storm in Leyte province.

"People here were convinced that it looked like a tsunami," Romualdez told CNN.

*for more information go to http://www.cnn.com/2013/11/11/world/asia/philippines-typhoon-haiyan

Holy Herb

I've been working on a talk I'll be giving next week and while reading Psalm 51:7 I wondered what a 'hyssop' is.

This is what I discovered....
"Purge me with hyssop," the Bible records, "and I will be clean."

Hyssop has been used for millennia as a holy herb, consecrated
for cleaning holy places. Its name comes from the Hebrew word
adobe or ezob, which literally means*"holy herb"*.

Hyssop is an evergreen bushy herb growing 1 to 2 feet(60 to 90 cm) high on a square stem with linear leaves andflowers in whorls of 6 to 15 blooms. Native to southern Europe,it is grown in gardens in cooler climates around the world.Hyssop has a mint-like taste (which is understandable as it ispart of the mint family) that makes it a tasty addition to salads, provided it is used in small quantities. It has been considered anaphrodisiac when combined with ginger, thyme, and pepper. Hyssop has been hung in homes to provide protection from theevil eye, and from witches. It has also been planted frequentlyon graves as protection for the dead from the living.

information from the website http://www.mountainroseherbs.
com/learn/hyssop.php