It’s past time for another update! I spent 5 days in the hospital being released on May 1, International Labor Day, in time to get to the last couple hours of the church hike/BBQ that had been taking happening.
The reason for being in the hospital was not for any procedures, but just to try to get to the bottom of why I have the high BP that was likely the cause of the tear in the aorta in February.
They have ruled out some possibilities, but I won’t know results… some of them until an appointment in June. Others will await the at least two more tests. I’ll have an endoscopy in August, and a test for sleep apnea at some point, which I learned can be the cause of high blood pressure. I’m not sure I have it… many people aren’t aware if they do.
I was given a reference letter by my doctor to go to the Tseng Kwan O hospital for an appointment and then an overnight sleep apnea test. I got the appointment…. April 14, 2020! I guess this is what many people face in the swamped government system. So that test I’ll likely have to get it done in a private hospital.
I’m still cutting down on trips to the office but actually can still do quite a bit from home. I’m not allowed to fly or drive yet, according to the doctor. Hopefully, that will change soon.
I started this Fodder on Monday, but it’s been a busy week! Maybe I need to stop using the “Monday”, and just call it the “Fodder.”
In our church news, at the end of April, we had our first Spanish-speaking service. My colleague, Pastor Tommy preached in Spanish. There were 21 in attendance for the service, 16 from our Spanish-speaking group. A few of them attend our regular English service at which we also provide Spanish translation most Sundays.
This coming Sunday, one of our OMS missionaries who is visiting Hong Kong with his wife, Spanish-speaking John Mark and Susan Brabon, will preach for our English service at 12pm and the Spanish service at 3:00pm. I used to see John Mark every year at the OMS Field Leader’s meetings. I miss those special times.
Cindy will be returning to the States at the end of the month. She still has a lot on her plate to get ready to go. Please remember her in your prayers.
That’s it for this time. Make it a great week. Blessings, Dave
His Final Prayer Was About You. . .
As Jesus stepped into the garden, you were in His prayers. As Jesus looked into heaven, you were in His vision. As Jesus dreamed of the day when we will be where He is, He saw you there.
His final prayer was about you. His final pain was for you. His final passion was you.
He steps into the garden, and invites Peter, James, and John to come. He tells them His soul is "overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death," and begins to pray.
Never has He felt so alone. What must be done, only He can do. An angel can't do it. No angel has the power to break open hell's gates. A human can't do it. No human has the purity to destroy sin's claim. No force on earth can face the force of evil and win - except God.
"The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak," Jesus confesses.
His humanity begged to be delivered from what His divinity could see. Jesus, the carpenter, implores. Jesus, the man, peers into the dark pit and begs, "Can't there be another way?"
Did He know the answer before He asked the question? Did His human heart hope His heavenly Father had found another way? We don't know. But we do know He asked to get out. We do know He begged for an exit. We do know there was a time when if He could have, He would have turned His back on the whole mess and gone away.
But He couldn't.
He couldn't because He saw you. Right there in the middle of a world which isn't fair. He saw you cast into a river of life you didn't request. He saw you betrayed by those you love. He saw you with a body which gets sick and a heart that grows weak.
He saw you in your own garden of gnarled trees and sleeping friends. He saw you staring into the pit of your own failures and the mouth of your own grave.
He saw you in your Garden of Gethsemane - and He didn't want you to be alone.
He wanted you to know that He has been there, too. He knows what it's like to be plotted against. He knows what it's like to be confused. He knows what it's like to be torn between two desires. He knows what it's like to smell the stench of Satan. And, perhaps most of all, He knows what it's like to beg God to change His mind and to hear God say so gently, but firmly, "No."
For that is what God says to Jesus. And Jesus accepts the answer. At some moment during that midnight hour an angel of mercy comes over the weary body of the man in the garden. As He stands, the anguish is gone from His eyes. His fist will clench no more. His heart will fight no more.
The battle is won. You may have thought it was won on Golgotha. It wasn't. You may have thought the sign of victory is the empty tomb. It isn't. The final battle was won in Gethsemane. And the sign of conquest is Jesus at peace in the olive trees.
For it was in the garden that He made His decision. He would rather go to hell for you than to go to heaven without you.
~ Max Lucado ~ From "And the Angels Were Silent"
Copyright 1992. Max Lucado
YOUR MOM WEARS TATTOOS by Pastor Rick Sams
I’ve seen a lot of tattoos, mostly forgettable and underwhelming. Advertisers are now offering cash to put their prod (product) on your bod (via tattoo). Goodyear used to offer free tires to tattoo you with their trademark. Somebody stop me!
Since I don’t have any tattoos I suppose I’m not a credible expert on why people wear them. People tell me personal EXPRESSION and DISTINCTION are the big motivations. For example, my son in law has the pi symbol on his arm muscle since he’s really into math. He claims it took gallons of ink because it had to be so huge. LOL.
How about the “tattoos” Jesus wears for us? They are expressions for sure, but only of His love for us. They also reveal His distinction-uniqueness as the ONLY Savior of the world.
The Old Testament prophet, Isaiah, paints a word picture of Jesus’ tattoos in Isaiah 49:16: “See I have engraved you on the palms of my hands…”
In the verse before the wise prophet compared God’s love with a mother’s, and we KNOW how much they love us (and remember her day is coming quickly): “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget [and we’ve seen some tragic examples of this], I will not forget you” (Isaiah 49:15). You are tattooed on her heart.
Thomas, the doubting disciple, wanted to check out Jesus’ tattoos up close: “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it” (John 20:25).
Jesus let Thomas inspect and explore, after which Thomas fell at Jesus’ feet, willing to follow Him anywhere, exclaiming: “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28).
We are tattooed on Jesus’ hands, feet, side, and heart. What advertiser would want his or his art hidden on anyone’s heart?
But God did. He knew that the world would not miss all of Jesus’ sacrificial, substitutionary scars showing God’s great love.
What EXPRESSION of love will you show Him? What DISTINCTION makes you stand out as belonging to Him?
A mother took her three-year-old daughter to church for the first time. The church lights were lowered, and then the choir came down the aisle, carrying lighted candles.
All was quiet until the little girl started to sing in a loud voice, "Happy Birthday to you, happy birthday to you..."
My brother-in-law, who is a minister, responded to a Red Cross appeal for blood donations. When he didn't come home by the time his young son expected him, the boy asked his mother, "Is Dad going around visiting all the sick people?"
His mother replied, "He's giving blood."
"But we know it's really grape juice, don't we Mom?"
@Sent by Tommy Wilkerson
I was a new Army basic trainee at Fort McClellan, and one requirement was a demanding 12-mile march. We got started at 6 a.m. and were pumped up for the trek.
An hour later, feeling the heavy load of our packs, we wondered if the end would ever come.
"Men," our sergeant yelled, "you're doing a fine job. We've already covered four miles!"
Revitalized, we picked up the pace.
"And," continued Sarge, "we should reach the starting point any minute now."
You can't run through a campground.
You can only ran, because it's past tents.
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After being retired for a couple of years and completing all the jobs my wife had lined up for me, I began to feel somewhat useless and decided to enroll in a couple of courses at the local adult-education school. I noted, upon registration, that there was no tuition fee for a person over 60. As I handed my tediously-filled-out papers to the clerk, I announced, "I'm 63." Then, pulling out my wallet, I asked if she wanted to see my driver's license. She replied, "No, that's okay."
A little surprised, I asked, "Oh, do I look honest?"
"No," she answered. "You look 63."
Rules to live a long life:
- Don't throw a brick straight up.
- Walk around toxic waste dumps, not through them.
- Don't microwave yourself too often.
- Don't stick body parts into electrical outlets.
- If you're on a ball field and someone shouts "Heads up!" don't actually raise your head up. Cover it with your arms and duck.
- No matter how tempting it is to be one with nature, stay on the outside of all fences at the zoo.
- Don't skinny dip with snapping turtles.
- When sticking thumb tacks into bulletin boards, press on the flat end.
- Don't take long naps while driving.
Elementary School Excuse Notes:
- "Ronnie would not finish his work last night. He said his brain was too tired of spelling."
- "Amy did not do her homework last night because we went out to a party and did not get home until late. If she is tired, please let her sleep during recess time."
- "Henry stayed home because he had a stomach ache from eating too much frosting."
- "It was my fault Mike did not do his math homework last night. His pencil broke and we do not have a pencil sharpener at home."
- "Tommy wasn't in school yesterday because he thought it was Saturday."
@Laugh & Lift - http://www.laughandlift.com
A doctor told her patient, “I’m sure I have the answer to your problem.”
Answered the patient, “I certainly hope so doctor. I should have come to you long ago.”
The doctor asked, “Where did you go before?”
“I went to the pharmacist.”
The doctor sarcastically remarked, “What kind of foolish advice did he give you?”
“He told me to come see you.”
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