Cindy left for the Philippines yesterday for two-week Elijah House retreat. Please pray for them as they have a very busy schedule. Cindy will be supervising some of the groups and furthering her experience with their approach to prayer counseling. She will not be doing any sight seeing, but will be in that one location for the whole time. There are 70 some participants in the retreat.
The highlight of the week for me was yesterday's service and baptism at the Home of Loving Faithfulness (HOLF). We baptized two Filipina ladies and one gentleman from Taiwan. All three came to the Lord here in Hong Kong in RiverGrace. The one from Taiwan is currently studying in Japan, but came back for the baptism.
HOLF is located in Sheung Shui. One of our RiverGrace attendees is on staff there. It is a home that cares for mentally or physically handicapped people. Most of them joined our time of worship, which we translated into Cantonese. The main reason we held the baptism there was that they have a swimming pool. Some of our folks put to use after the barbecue lunch. It was a good day, and the weather cooperated. It was hot, but we have had so much rain for the past three weeks that we were happy to see the sun!
I have known of HOLF since the early 80s, when we started going up to Sunset Peak for our holidays on Lantau Island. We would spend two or three weeks at a time there at Lantau Mountain Camp, and on Sundays there would be a worship service. Since it was not any particular church, and those that were staying there or from many different churches, the offering that we took always went to HOLF. Sunday was my first time to actually visit the home.
On Wednesday, I need to go back to the hospital for my blood test. It's the first one in four months. I thank the Lord that I've not had any particular problems taking the blood thinner Coumadin, or as they call it here Warfarin. The only thing that is different is that occasionally I get momentary numbness in certain parts of my body, mostly my arms or hands, or a cramp-like pains in my upper body, arms or back. It lasts 2 to 3 minutes. Once in a while, I get a bit of dizziness or the double vision that may last just a few seconds up to a couple minutes, and then it's gone. It doesn't happen often, but it does seem to be more frequently after I hike or walk/jog.
We are getting excited about seeing our families, grandkids and friends in the States in the middle of July. We plan to be at our annual church conference called Yearly Meeting July 22 to 24. Hopefully will be able to see some of the extended family as well while we are home.
Please pray for RiverGrace has we take the initial steps towards becoming independent. We have our leadership team, and we set up a special transition team, to help us work through this process. We are excited, to say the least, about what God has in store for us.
That's my report for this week. I hope you have a great week. Blessings, Dave
Romans 11:33 "O the depth of the riches of both the wisdom and the knowledge of God! How unfathomable are His judgments and unsearchable are His ways!"
James 1:17 "Every good act of giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with Whom there is no variation, nor shadow of turning."
A Faithful Version Change Bible versions
Most successful televangelists preach what is called "the Prosperity Gospel." Using select Scriptures, they teach that if one gives his life to Jesus, and if he follows certain biblical principles, God is obligated to fulfill His promises of wealth, health, and well-being. In the end, God becomes little more than a genie-in-a-bottle, granting wishes out of sheer compulsion. To these preachers, this is the abundant life God promises, and hundreds of thousands of people agree with them.
It is true that the Bible is full of promises. It is also true that Jesus tells us several times in John 14-16, "If you ask anything in My name, I will do it" (John 14:14; see also 14:13; 15:7, 16; 16:23-24, 26). Psalm 37:4 pledges, "Delight yourself also in the LORD, and He shall give you the desires of your heart." These sound like absolute promises, and if God is to be true to His Word, He must fulfill them, right?
This is what the televangelists have concluded, but in the end, it is a facile conclusion. Very few of God's promises in the Bible are absolute in nature; they are, instead, conditional promises, governed not only by our responses to God, fulfilling certain requirements, but also by the perfect judgment of God. As James 1:17 says, He gives only good and perfect gifts; He will never give one of His children a "blessing" that would ultimately derail His purpose for him or that would be too much for him to handle.
It works similarly among mere mortals. A human parent would not send his son to vocational school if he really wanted him to be a doctor, even though tuition to the vocational school would be a "good thing." Likewise, the same parent would not entrust his child with thousands of dollars in cash at Toys 'R Us, despite the fact that such sums of money would be considered a wonderful gift. If human parents have enough wisdom to give goal- and maturity-dependent gifts to their children, how much more does God (Romans 11:33)?
The faithful Abraham and Sarah are good examples of this aspect of God's promises. In Genesis 12:2, God tells Abraham, age 75 at the time (verse 4), that He would make of him "a great nation," implying that he would have children. God makes this promise again in verse 7: "The LORD appeared to Abram and said, 'To your descendants I will give this land.'" Yet, He does not give Abraham the promised child when he is 76 or 78 or 80!
After his rescue of Lot from the confederation of kings, Abraham pleads with God in Genesis 15:2-3—he is now 80 years old—for an heir. God repeats the promise, and Abraham believes Him (verses 4-6), yet Sarah does not become pregnant any time soon. Later, after Ishmael is born of Hagar when Abraham is 86 years old (Genesis 16:16), the patriarch wonders if this is the promised seed, but when the boy is thirteen—Abraham is now 99!—God reiterates, "No, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son" (Genesis 17:19).
Finally, . . . the LORD visited Sarah as He had said, and the LORD did for Sarah as He had spoken. For Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him. . . . Now Abraham was one hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. (Genesis 21:1-2, 5)
Evidently, a great deal had to happen in the lives of Abraham and Sarah—predominantly in terms of spiritual maturity—before God felt the right time had come to give them their promised baby boy. Twenty-five years passed before God fulfilled His promise. Notice that Scripture itself informs us that God performed the miracle to allow Sarah to conceive "at the set time." There was one perfect time for this promise to be fulfilled, and God fulfilled it when all the conditions were right.
And we can thank Him profusely for doing the same for us (II Corinthians 4:15).
— Richard T. Ritenbaugh
@The Berean - http://www.theberean.org/index.cfm/fuseaction/Email.addressBook
Q. Did you hear about the man who fell into an upholstery machine?
A. He's fully recovered.
A student reported for his University final exam which consisted of true or false questions.
He took his seat in the examination hall, stares at the question paper for five minutes, and then in a fit of inspiration took a coin from his pocket. He started tossing the coin and marking his answer sheet true for heads and false for tails.
Within half an hour he was all done whereas the rest of the class was still sweating it out.
During the last few minutes, he was seen desperately throwing the coin, mumbling and sweating. The moderator, alarmed, approached him and asked what was going on.
He responded, “I am rechecking my answers, and for some reason they just aren't coming out.”
ALLEGED BUMPER STICKERS
- Entropy isn't what it used to be
- Clones are people two
- A waist is a terrible thing to mind
- Atheism is a non-prophet organization
- Does the name Pavlov ring a bell?
- Editing is a rewording activity
- Help stamp out and eradicate superfluous redundancy
- I used to be indecisive; now I'm just not sure
- My reality check just bounced
No sense being pessimistic. It wouldn't work anyway.
A man approached an attractive woman in a very large supermarket and asked, "You know, I've lost my wife here in the supermarket. Can you talk to me for a couple of minutes?
“Why?" she asks.
"Because every time I talk to a beautiful woman, my wife appears out of nowhere.”
John Jones, the head of the company asked his manager to write a detailed employment review describing Bob Smith, one of his programmers.
1. Bob Smith, my assistant programmer, can always be found
2. hard at work in his cubicle. Bob works independently, without
3. wasting company time talking to colleagues. Bob never
4. thinks twice about assisting fellow employees, and he always
5. finishes given assignments on time. Often Bob takes extended
6. measures to complete his work, sometimes skipping coffee
7. breaks. Bob is a dedicated individual who has absolutely no
8. vanity in spite of his high accomplishments and profound
9. knowledge in his field. I firmly believe that Bob can be
10. classed as a highcaliber employee, the type which cannot be
11. dispensed with. Consequently, I duly recommend that Bob be
12. promoted to executive management, and a proposal will be
13. executed as soon as possible.
A MEMO WAS SOON SENT, FOLLOWING THE INITIAL LETTER:
That idiot was reading over my shoulder while I wrote the report sent to you earlier today.
Kindly read only the odd numbered lines above (1, 3, 5, etc...) for my true assessment of him.