August 12, 2016

Taken on a rare clear day when there was hardly any pollution... I took the photo from the OMS office looking west over Yan Yat Chuen, Kowloon City. The road in the forground is Tong Yam street.


I’ve had a fairly good week. The pain is mostly gone now and I’m sleeping better at night.


I had my first follow-up doctor’s appointment last Wednesday… a week after my release from the hospital.


Everything was in good to acceptable range. My blood thinner range of 2.5 to 3.5 was just a bit low… 2.3 but not of particular concern to the dcotor.  If it gets too low, it could lead to blood clots. If too high it could lead to excessive bleeding.  Anyone on Coumadin will know that range well. Its brand name here in Hong Kong is Warfarin.  


It takes a good chunk out of the day for the appointment at the hospital as I need to give blood as soon as I get there, Then it’s followed 3 hours later with a doctor’s appointment to give enough time for them to test the blood levels.


This time I also had a chest X-ray and an EKG which both showed everything was fine.


After the doctors appointment I have to go and get the meds… pay first, take a ticket and wait for my number to be called. There are probably a couple hundred people also normally waiting, for their meds so it can take an hour or more for that part alone. It’s like a production factory!


The next appointment is a week from this coming Wednesday (2 weeks apart).  This time I do not need the EKG or X-ray.  But I’ll still have the 3-hour wait, plus getting the meds for the next period of time, however long that will take, likely 4 1/2 hours at the least.


At some point, I’ll be transferred back to the Grantham Hospital where the original cardiologist took my case.


Otherwise, I’ve been going to church on Sunday and Wednesday’s fellowships (after the hospital visit, though I’ve not gone for the whole day as I normally would.


I’ve also been going out about three times a week for walks. I would have gone out to day but there was a thunderstorm warning and it was raining. Friday I walked 6km, (nearly 3 miles) in 53 minutes.


In Hong Kong news, today, Joshua Wong and the three main student leaders of the umbrella movement in 2014 were sentenced.  Joshua was charged with inciting an illegal movement. He was a graduate of our school, United Christian College - Kowloon East. His sentence was 80 hours of community service. The lenient sentence shows the restraint shown by authorities here, but also the tensions that exists between the authorities here and China. The sentence would have been far different if they had been in the Mainland.


That’s the news this week. Make it a great week. Blessings, Dave


SERIOUS FODDER


Preaching An Odd Enterprise

     Preaching is an odd enterprise.

      Some preachers are wordsmiths, crafters of fine art. Others are silver-tongued orators who dazzle listeners with their dexterity in juggling language and moods and gestures. Some are scholars who come across as possessing more knowledge about the Bible than God does.

     Others communicate a sincerity that warms the listener, while still others burn with such intensity that those who hear find themselves caught up with conviction.

     The rest of us do the best we can, trying not to put anyone to sleep the way Paul did in Acts 20,  while being careful not to dangle too many participles or heresies along the way …

     Preachers who have integrity recognize the audacity of standing up and speaking on behalf of the Ancient of Days when they can’t even balance their own checkbooks.

     And honest listeners know they too are more prone to chat about the daily news than to ponder heavenly mysteries.

     But the Scripture is read. A prayer is said. The preacher expounds. And sometimes, something happens.

--Joseph Phelps, “Leadership,” Winter, 1993, p. 138

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~~~~~

     Our Failures and God’s Sovereignty  -  Proverbs 19:21    “It is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.”

     God’s sovereignty doesn’t do away with our duty to act responsibly and prudently on all occasions. But does our failure to act as we should frustrate God’s sovereign plan? The Scriptures never indicate that God is frustrated to any degree by our failures. In his infinite wisdom, God’s sovereign plan includes even our sins.

     When Mordecai asked Queen Esther to intercede with King Xerxes on behalf of the Jews, she demurred with the explanation that she could not enter the king’s presence unbidden, under threat of death (Esther 4:10-11). Mordecai sent word back to her, "If you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place" (Esther 4:14). God was not limited to Esther’s response. His options for bringing about deliverance for the Jews were as infinite as his wisdom and power. He literally did not need Esther’s cooperation. But he chose to use her. Mordecai’s closing argument to Esther—"and who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?"—assumes that God uses people and means to accomplish his sovereign purpose. As subsequent events proved, God had indeed raised up Esther to accomplish his purpose. But he could just as easily have raised up someone else or used an altogether different means.

     God usually works through ordinary events (as opposed to miracles) and the voluntary actions of people. But he always provides the necessary means and guides them by his unseen hand. He is sovereign, and he cannot be frustrated by our failure to act or by our actions, which in themselves are sinful. We must always remember, however, that God still holds us accountable for the very sins that he uses to accomplish his purpose. (Excerpt taken from Is God Really in Control?) — Jerry Bridges

@Sent by Mary Sutherland

~~~~~

The Gossiper - (Author Unknown)

      A woman repeated a bit of gossip about a neighbor. Within a few days the whole community knew the story. The person it concerned was deeply hurt and offended. Later the woman responsible for spreading the rumor learned that it was completely untrue. She was very sorry and went to a wise old man to find out what she could do to repair the damage.

     "Go to the marketplace," he said, "and purchase a chicken, and have it killed. Then on your way home, pluck its feathers and drop them one by one along the road."

     Although surprised by this advice, the woman did what she was told.

     The next day the wise man said, "Now go and collect all those feathers you dropped yesterday and bring them back to me."

     The woman followed the same road, but to her dismay, the wind had blown the feathers all away. After searching for hours, she returned with only three in her hand.

     "You see," said the old man, "it's easy to drop them, but it's impossible to get them back. So it is with gossip. It doesn't take much to spread a rumor, but once you do, you can never completely undo the wrong."

@Laugh & Lift - http://www.laughandlift.com/


GUFFAW FODDER


     A pastor's son, a musician's son, and an artist's son were talking.

     The artist's son said, "My dad can scribble something on a piece of paper, call it a picture, and sell it for $100."

     The musician's son said, "Oh, that's nothing! My dad can scribble something on a piece of paper, call it a song, and sell it for $1000."

     The pastor's son looks at them and said, "You guys don’t know anything!!! My dad can scribble something on a piece of paper, call it a sermon, and it takes like 6 guys to gather all the money!"

@Sent by Mike Neifert

~~~~~

     It is reported that the following edition of the Book of Genesis was discovered in the Dead Seal Scrolls. If authentic, it would shed some light  on the question, "Where do pets come from?"  And Adam said, "Lord, when I was in the garden, you walked with me every day. Now I do not see you anymore. I am lonesome and it is difficult for me to remember how much you love me."

     God said, "No problem! I will create a companion for you that will be with you forever and who will be a reflection of my love for you, so that you will know I love you, even when you cannot see me. Regardless of how selfish and childish and unlovable you may be, this new companion will accept you as you are and will love you as I do, in spite of yourself."

     God created a new animal to be a companion for Adam. And it was a good animal. And God was pleased. And the new animal was pleased to be with Adam and he wagged his tail. And Adam said, "But Lord, I have already named all the animals in the Kingdom and all the good names are taken and I cannot think of a name for this new animal."

     And God said, "No problem! Because I have created this new animal to be a reflection of my love for you, his name will be a reflection of my own name, and you will call him DOG."

     And Dog lived with Adam and was a companion to him and loved him. And Adam was comforted. And God was pleased. And Dog was content and wagged his tail.

     After a while, it came to pass that Adam's Guardian Angel came to the Lord and said, "Lord, Adam has become filled with pride. He struts and preens like a peacock and he believes he is worthy of adoration. Dog has indeed taught him that he is loved, but no one has taught him humility."

     And the Lord said, "No problem! I will create for him a companion who will be with him forever and who will see him as he is. The companion will remind him of his limitations, so he will know that he is not always worthy of adoration."

     And God created CAT to be a companion to Adam. And Cat would not obey Adam. And when Adam gazed into Cat's eyes, he was reminded that he was not the supreme being.

     And Adam learned humility. And God was pleased. And Adam was greatly improved.

     And Cat did not care one way or the other.

@Sent by Lauri Ferguson

~~~~~

     A guy was visiting his friend in the hospital who was "all torn up."

     "What happened?" he asked.

     "Well, we were hunting the Mumba snake. It has orange and black stripes. It likes to sun itself lying across a pathway in the jungle. You catch it by grabbing the tip of its tail with one hand and quickly running your other hand up the length of its body so you can grab it behind the neck."

     "Go on."  the friend said.

     "Well, I stealthily sneaked up to the tail laying across the jungle path, grabbed it by the end and rapidly moved my other hand upward, just as the procedure goes."

     "So why are you so beaten up?" the friend asked.

     "Have you ever 'goosed' a tiger?"

~

     Leaving Montreal for Quebec, I decided to make a stop at one of those rest areas on the side of the road.

     I went into the washroom.

     The first stall was taken so I went to the second stall. I'd just sat down when I heard a voice from the next stall... "Hi there, how's it going?"

     Now I'm not the type to strike up conversations with strangers in washrooms on the side of the road. I didn't know what to say, but finally I said, "...Not bad..."

     Then the voice said, "So, what are you doing?"

     I thought that was kind of weird, but I said, "Well, I'm just going to the bathroom, then I'm going back east..."

     The voice interrupted, "Look, I'm going to have to call you back. Every time I ask you a question, this guy in the next stall keeps answering me!"

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