June 5, 2017
Another Monday has rolled around. Seems like every couple of days it’s Monday again!
There are plenty of things on our plates right now, especially with the RiverGrace and our request to become an independent church. We have made our case as best as we can, which is basically that we need more classroom space for our cell groups, and for space for Sunday school during our Sunday service.
Yan Yue will vote this coming Sunday and a 2/3 “yes” vote is required for it to happen. Some may be happy to see us find a new place, some may reluctantly vote “yes”, not wanting us to leave, but realizing that for the growth of both churches it will likely happen sooner or later, and some may vote “no” because they like the atmosphere that our international group brings.
Either way, we’ll still push ahead and look for creative ways to make the best of the situation and continue to do what we feel God wants us to do. Please pray that the Lord will guide the decision, in any case.
Sunday we had special guest preacher for the service… Ginger Pinili. Ginger’s husband husband, Jun, was a pastor in the Philippines in one of our OMS related churches. He died of leukemia just over two years ago. She shared about her experiences and how God was faithful and provided above and beyond her expectations. It was a moving account. She wanted to to come to RiverGrace to thank the church for their support in prayers, and even financially, as some of our Filipina ladies sponsored a fund-raising walk to raise money for the medical care for Pastor Jun.
On Thursday evening, I attended a prayer vigil in Tamar Park on Hong Kong Island. The event was organized to bring together people to pray for the country of Venezuela. The conditions in the once, oil-rich country, have deteriorated to the point where people cannot get food, medicines and other basic supplies. Unfortunately, it’s cause is completely human… brought on by corrupt and dictatorial leaders. When Hugo Chávez came to power, he brought in socialism, which started the economic landslide. Nicolás Maduro the current president, who came to power after Chávez’s death, set aside the constitution to remain in power, and continues to put down demonstrations against his government with a heavy hand, even the killing of demonstrators.
At any rate, those changes have caused a substantial exit from the country, some who have come to Hong Kong. Many are ethnic Chinese who were born there, or went there to do business. Several of those attending our Spanish fellowship are from Venezuela. I shared several photos of the event on the Website, (and some just of the beautiful skyline of Hong Kong Island from the vantage point of Tamar Park. Please keep the country in your prayers. Those in Hong Kong often fear for their families that are left behind.
Cindy and I are planning on coming back to the States this summer. I’ll be there for nearly 3 weeks, getting back just in time for the annual conference of our supporting Friends Church… Yearly Meeting. It staring on July 20th, and it will be good to connect with the delegates and friends from all of our supporting churches. I’ve not attended for maybe 5 years. Cindy was able to attend last year, as she was home for a longer period of time. I had not come back because of the pending open-heart surgery.
That’s the news for this week. Make it a great week! Dave
Recently I have been picking a book - usually a short one - out of the Bible and reading it non-stop. I try to take the time to let it speak to my mind and my heart.
The last few days I have been reading the book of Second Timothy. This verse caught my mind and my heart, "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." The two words that caught my attention were "sound mind". Actually, there is one compound Greek word that is translated "sound mind". [sos = safe + phren = mind, thus "safe-thinking"]
Oh, how we have a need in our world today for "safe-thinking"! "Safe-thinking" is found in the Word of God. The Apostle Paul stated it this way, "Finally, my brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue, and if there is anything praiseworthy - meditate on these things ." (Philippians 4:8)
What more contemporary words of encouragement for wholesome, "safe-thinking" could be given than these? In a world filled with the antithesis of "safe-thinking" what better guidelines than those found in Philippians 4:8?
I am concerned that, in today's media, we find much that is unwholesome and unsafe. Television is filled with programs and commercials that take us away from "safe-thinking", and move us toward the profane and dark side of mankind.
The descending maelstrom of today's media blitz is weakening the foundation of gospel truth and Christ-centered thinking which set this nation's foundation. Proverbs 23:7 declares, "For as a man thinks in his heart, so he is…" Thoughts generate direction, and direction determines destination. We all would do well, in the unwholesome media blitz, to consider what direction our thoughts are encouraging us to go, and what destination we are headed for.
In a world whose airwaves are being filled with "darkness", and are controlled by the prince of the power of the air, I would like to encourage us all to follow the Apostle Paul's exhortation in Romans 12:2 - "Do not be conformed (Don’t allow peer pressure and trends to be the model to follow) to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, (by the Word of God and the Holy Spirit) - that you may prove (by testing the truth of Scripture) what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God."
-- Ken Trevithick - The Barnabas Chronicles
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THE KING'S HIGHWAY ~ Author Unknown
Once a king had a great highway built for the members of his kingdom. After it was completed, but before it was opened to the public, the king decided to have a contest. He invited as many as desired to participate. Their challenge was to see who could travel the highway the best.
On the day of the contest the people came. Some of them had fine chariots, some had fine clothing, fine hairdos, or great food. Some young men came in their track clothes and ran along the highway. People traveled the highway all day, but each one, when he arrived at the end, complained to the king that there was a large pile of rocks and debris left on the road at one spot and this got in their way and hindered their travel.
At the end of the day, a lone traveler crossed the finish line warily and walked over to the king. He was tired and dirty, but he addressed the king with great respect and handed him a bag of gold. he explained, "I stopped along the way to clear a pile of rocks and debris that was blocking the road. This bag of gold was under it all. I want you to return it to its rightful owner."
The king replied, "You are the rightful owner."
The traveler replied, "Oh no, this is not mine. I've never known such money."
"Oh yes," said the king, "you've earned this gold, for you won my contest. He who travels the road best is he who makes the road smoother for those who will follow."
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Grant me, O Lord, to know what is worth knowing, to love what is worth loving, to praise what delights you most, to value what is precious in your sight, to hate what is offensive to you. Do not let me judge by what I see, nor pass sentence according to what I hear, but to judge rightly between things that differ, and above all to search out and to do what pleases you, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
-- Thomas Kempis
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After a very long and boring sermon the parishioners filed out of the church saying nothing to the preacher. Towards the end of the line was a thoughtful person who always commented on the sermons. "Pastor, today your sermon reminded me of the peace and love of God."
The pastor was thrilled. "Nobody has ever said anything like that about my preaching before. Tell me why."
"Because it endured forever."
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A lady is throwing a party for her granddaughter, and had gone all out . . .. a caterer, band, and a hired clown. Just before the party started, two bums showed up looking for a handout. Feeling sorry for the bums, the woman told them that she would give them a meal if they will help chop some wood for her out back. Gratefully, they headed to the rear of the house.
The guests arrived, and all was going well with the children having a wonderful time. But the clown hadn't shown up. After another half a hour, the clown finally called to report that he was stuck in traffic, and would probably not make the party at all.
The woman was very disappointed and unsuccessfully tried to entertain the
children herself. She happened to look out the window and saw one of the bums doing cartwheels across the lawn. She watched in awe as he swung from tree branches, did midair flips, and leaped high in the air.
She spoke to the other bum and said, "What your friend is doing is absolutely marvelous. I have never seen such a thing. Do you think your friend would consider repeating this performance for the children at the party? I would pay him $50!"
The other bum says, "Well, I dunno. Let me ask him. HEY WILLIE! FOR $50, WOULD YOU CHOP OFF ANOTHER TOE?"
Talk about a big mistake? A cake decorator was asked by a bride to inscribe I John 4:18 on a wedding cake. Unfortunately, the decorator didn't know the Bible very well. So, instead of putting on the words, "There is no fear in love, but perfect love casteth out fear..." on the cake, the decorator wrote the words from John 4:18: "You have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband." The bride and groom did not see the cake until their reception, as they were getting ready to cut it.
A farmer who lived on the Great Plains had never traveled to a city of any size, but one day a trip allowed him to do just that. When he got home, his wife asked him what he saw and what he learned. He told her all about it, including the fact that their group had attended church on Sunday in a large congregation which has a really big choir. "They sang an anthem," he told her.
"What is an anthem?" she asked.
"Well," he replied, "you know we sing hymns here at home. If I were to say to you, 'Martha, the cows are in the corn, Amen,' that would be a hymn. But if I were to say, 'Martha, Martha, Martha, the cows the big cows, the little cows, the black cows, the red cows, the green cows, all the cows, all the cows, all the cows are in the corn, the corn, the corn, the corn, Amen, Amen, Amen, Amen,' that would be an anthem!”
Two moose hunters from Texas are flown into a remote lake in Alaska. They have a good hunt and both manage to get a large moose. When the plane returns to pick them up, the pilot looks at the animals and says, "This little plane won't lift all of us, the equipment, and both of those animals. You'll have to leave one. We'd never make it over the trees on the take off.”
"That's baloney!" says one of the hunters. "Yeah," the other agrees, "you're just chicken. We came out here last year and got two moose and that pilot had some guts! He wasn't afraid to take off!”
"Yeah", said the first hunter, "and his plane wasn't any bigger than yours!”
The pilot got angry, and said, "Hey, if he did it, then I can do it! I can fly as well as anybody!”
They loaded up, taxied at full throttle, and the plane almost made it, but didn't have the lift to clear the trees at the end of the lake. It clipped the tops, then flipped, then broke up, scattering the baggage, animal carcasses, and passengers all through the brush.
Still alive, but hurt and dazed, the pilot sat up, shook his head to clear it, and said, "Where are we?”
One of the hunters rolled out from being thrown into a bush, looked around and said, "I'd say ... About a hundred yards further than last year.”
Patient: "Doctor, every time I look in the mirror, I get sick!"
Doctor: "At least your eyesight is good."
A waiter brings the customer the steak he ordered with his thumb over the meat.
"Are you crazy?" yelled the customer. "Your hand is on my steak!"
"What," answers the waiter, "you want it to fall on the floor again?"
The photos are of the sparkling Hong Kong skyline, the prayer vigil for Venezuela a photo of Robert and Cindy. Robert can now ride the MTR, buses, and ferries, for the same price as me as an old guy... HK $2 or about a $.25 USD. The last photo was taken on a morning near the bus stop in our village.
Ma On Shan
Tai Wan Village
Fei Ngo Shan