November 21, 2016

Cindy's Trailwalker Team, Lynn, Sally, Cindy and Annie. photo 2 and 3. The support stop in Shui Long Wo, about 2 kilometers from our house. Photo 4: the Faithwalker hiking group. Photo 5: The team of Nepalese policemen who won the event this year.

Last weekend the annual Trailwalkerevent was held.  The 100km (62 mile) fundraising charity event is sponsored by Oxfam, a large worldwide charity. <>.  It is an organization that fights poverty in various places in the world.

This year in the Trailwalker Hong Kong there were some 1300 4-man/person teams. (Is that being sexist… probably to some people!)  Anyhow, it’s a huge event and fun to participate in.

The teams have to walk the full distance together.  Cindy was on an official team, but had some cramp / knee / digestive issues, and endue up going just over half the distance. Another of her team members also had drop out, so only two of her team members completed the whole distance.  Cindy was disappointed, as anyone would be, but it was a wise decision as she could not eat or drink.  That sometimes happens in an event like the Trailwalker.

This year, the team that won the event, a team of Nepalese policemen, had a time of 11 hours and 2 minutes. It was just 4 minutes shy of the record time of 10 hours and 58 minutes, set in 2013.

I’m grateful that I was able to meet my goal. I walked stage 1 and 2 of the MacLehose Trail with a couple friends. That had been my goal after the open-heart surgery.  The total distance was 24.5km (16.2 miles) and the altitude gain over those 2 stages was equal to 203 flights of steps. I felt fine most of the way, though I would have preferred it to not be so hot and humid. It was about 82 degrees and the humidity was near 95%.  

We joke that we were leading the event for a couple hours as we started at 7:30am and the official start was not until 8:30am. It was fun to see the Nepalese team run almost effortlessly past us, and by the time we finished were were passed by many of the fastest teams.

As for the weather, the cooler temperatures will come a few days late. By Thursday, this week, we’re supposed to get our first cold spell of the winter, which for this time of year means a low of 14C. (57F.). The high that day is to be about 17C. (63F.)  I welcome this time of year, and wish it could last longer than it does.

It’s hard to believe it is nearly Thanksgiving time. In the past we always had a Thanksgiving dinner with our missionary team. Usually we did it on Thanksgiving Day, though not being a public holiday in Hong Kong, sometimes we had to hold it on another day if there were schedule conflicts. Now that we don’t have a missionary team (or family) here, we generally don’t celebrate it anymore.

Cindy and I will sort of celebrate this year. We’ll take a couple of days to go to Cheung Chau Island… but we need to do some work. We need to plan our exit strategy from Hong Kong to retirement.  It won’t happen immediately. But we need to take into consideration various factors, like our family in the States, health issues, mission support and the transition of RiverGrace to a new lead pastor..

In addition, we also need to make some decisions soon about where we will live when we move back. So please remember us in your prayers as we consider some of these options.

That’s it for this week. Wishing my American friends a Happy Thanksgiving. You’d better eat some turkey for us as we won’t be having any. Blessings, Dave


Life, With Thanksgiving - By Phil Ware

     I love the Bible search engines available for most computers. I have them on my Windows machines, I have them on my Macs, I even have them on my PDA's. Every once in a while, I like to just put in a phrase and see what rolls out. Since Thanksgiving in the U.S. is approaching, I thought I would do a thanksgiving search  not about the holiday, but about the attitude, the lifestyle, of thanksgiving. So I checked out the phrase "with thanksgiving" and this is what rolled out:

*  I will praise God's name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving. Psalm 69:30

*  Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. Psalm 95:2

*  Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. Psalm 100:4

*  Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving; make music to our God on the harp. Psalm 147:7

*  Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  Philippians 4:6

*  They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving... 1 Timothy 4:34

     As I examined these "random" passages, they taught me several powerful lessons.

    First, when we talk about going into the presence of the Holy, Almighty God, we go with thanksgiving. We don't go with fear, regret, dread, sorrow, anguish, but with thanksgiving. Now don't get me wrong, we approach God with a deep and reverential awe. We also go with the things that are on our hearts, small and large, good and bad. We approach him out of the place we find ourselves in our lives and he meets us there. But, for God, the key to our approach is thanksgiving and praise. No matter where we are in our walk through the world, we know our destination, we know our victory lies ahead around God's corner, and we know that God's grace has triumphed over our doubts and defeats. So when we approach God  whether in prayer, song, or meal  we go with thanksgiving!

     Second, thanksgiving before God is not just about things we consider "normal worship," like prayer and song, but it also involves our food. We remember Jesus' example when he broke bread and blessed it (cf. Matthew 15:36). We know the disciples on the road to Emmaus recognized Jesus as they ate together with him (see Luke 24:35). In fact, if you listen closely to Luke's story of Jesus and the Early Church (in Luke and Acts), you can tell his story around the meals that are mentioned. Eating food with thanksgiving along with those that love us and that love Jesus is very much a part of worshipping God (Acts 2:46). Maybe that is why one of the words for the Supper of the Lord is The Thanksgiving (eucharisteow from which the word Eucharist comes  Luke 22:17, 19).

     Third, a crucial part of a life that is triumphant over difficult circumstances is the ability to give thanks to God. This thanksgiving, offered even in the middle of difficulty and hardship, helps ransom our situation with the promises and grace of God. As Paul put it, "if God is for us, who can be against us?" (cf. Romans 8:31) Approaching God with thanksgiving in our songs, our prayers, and our meals helps us rise above the mundane and catch a glimpse of the glory our God longs to share with us.

     So, whether you're from the U.S. or not, why not take this week and dedicate it to giving thanks. Heaven will be a little closer, the hardships of this world will be a little more bearable, and the Father who waits to bring you home will definitely be near, enjoying it even more than us!



    Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts

Well, this is it: the place where the vaunted Pilgrims planted their boots in 1620, and where, the next year, the Pilgrims and the neighboring Wampanoag tribe sat down to the First Thanksgiving  the excuse, I may add, that many of you give for eating turkey. "Hey," you say, "If it was good enough of the Pilgrims, it's good enough for me!"

Grrrrrrr. The stuff they teach you people in schools these days. No wonder you folks don't have the brains to tie your own shoes anymore. First off — and I can't believe I have to repeat this, since I already dealt with this last year  there's no evidence the Pilgrims ate turkey at the first Thanksgiving. An account of the first Thanksgiving notes that some of the Pilgrims went out shooting for birds, and then Massasoit, the Wampanoag chief, showed up with a bunch of deer. No details on the birds. Any assumption that the birds were turkeys is mere irresponsible, wild assumption. We can neither confirm nor deny. So if you're going to go with "tradition," eat a deer. No, this won't make me popular with the deer, but hey  we know they were there.

     Second  why on Earth would you want to follow the Pilgrims' example, anyway? No offense to you, but the Pilgrims were morons. Proof? Well, for one thing, they landed in the wrong place. And not just by a little bit. We're talking hundreds of miles, here.

     Fact: The Pilgrims were aiming for Virginia. Massachusetts ain't anywhere close to the same neighborhood, folks. You'd think the captain or someone else might have leaned over the side of the Mayflower and asked someone where Virginia was. But you know men. Always too proud to ask for directions.

     Second Fact: After realizing they were hundreds of miles off course, the Pilgrims then decided to stay in Massachusetts for the winter. Just imagine that decision: "Uh, so, winter's coming on, so let's stay up here, where the soil is poor and where the winter is bound to be harder, meaner and colder than it'll be down south in Virginia!" Yeah. That makes perfect sense. No wonder half of them died that winter.

     Look. The only reason that the Pilgrims survived at all was that the local folks, the Wampanoag, took pity on the Pilgrims and taught them how to survive. And what did the Wampanoag get out of it? A nice hot potluck supper about a year later, sure. But then, they brought the bulk of the food. Hmmph.

     In short, if I were a human (and every day, I get down on my little turkey knees and thank the Big Guy Upstairs that I am not), just about the last people I'd want to imitate are the Pilgrims. If you want to emulate someone at the first Thanksgiving, take after the Wampanoag. They were the ones that did all the heavy lifting in that relationship.

    And, may I add, they ate deer.

The MAD Turkey


My Bedside Table


Old age is catching up with me,

From my toes up to my head.

I felt it most while gazing

At this table by my bed.


I laid my hair piece over there,

My own has grown quite thin.

The hearing aid is next to it;

I'm deaf 'til its put in.


Also, I can't see a thing,

Without my glasses on.

They're beside my false teeth;

Yes, my own are gone.


I kinda get the feeling

As at those things I stare......

There's less of me here in this bed

Than on that table there.

@Laugh & Lift -


      A woman caught her husband on the weight scale, sucking in his stomach.

      “That won’t help you, Joe, you know?”

     “Oh it helps a lot,” says the man, “it’s the only way I can see the numbers!"

@Sent by Mike Neifert