May 23, 2016
OMS Hong Kong missionary teams through the years... from the mid 60's to the late 90's
There's not a lot of news this week, so this will be short.
Our granddaughter, Elia, seems to be smiling now at about five weeks. It's always difficult at a young age to tell whether it's a smile or gas pains, but we’ll assume that it’s a smile. :)
Our oldest grandchild, Daniel, celebrated his 12th birthday. How fast they grow up!
This is a busy time of year for me, with extra board meetings, graduations, and end of year dinners for the schools of which I’m on the directors’ boards. I'm grateful I don't have to preach next Sunday as this week I'm busier than most.
I've been wanting to post some of the photos of our missionary teams and colleagues over the years. This year will mark the 41st year that Cindy and I have been living in Hong Kong and being associated with One Mission Society (OMS International). We used to have some fairly large teams of 15 people or more, but in recent years we are down to Cindy and myself, and harder Chinese co-worker, Gloria Kong, who's been working for OMS Hong Kong for 30 years.
I couldn't find photos for every year, so I'm sure I missed a few people, but I should have most of them who have served with us.
And That's it for this week. Make it a great week. Blessings, Dave
In a Plain Brown Wrapper
The song service is finished. The sermon begins. During the first three sentences, expectant faces look toward the preacher.
A single mother sighs, praying her children will let her make it through the sermon, maybe even listen. An older man in failing health turns up his hearing aid. Frustrated and angry with diminishing strength and energy, he searches to make sense of his losses. A high school sophomore listens with an MTV-conditioned attention span. She is not trained to listen long. A successful business person caught in the depths of depression hopes for an alternative to suicide.
A Bible class teacher dealing with major failure clings to faith by a fingernail. A married couple, sitting together in the pew but hardly speaking at home, hopes for renewal of lost affection. A frustrated parent of an angry teen looks for confidence. A widow's eyes fill with tears as her hand touches the empty seat beside her. A cancer patient needs a reason to suffer through another chemo session. The mate is desperate for strength to persevere.
A contractor, competing with kickbacks and cheats, wonders if his ethics are antiquated. A nurse, exhausted from a twelve-hour-pressure-filled shift, hopes for renewal. A lonely soul hopes for connection with others. New Christians listen to build faith.Long-time members hope for revival from spiritual lethargy.
Debaters want a convincing argument. Condemners want a reason to feel superior. Tired church volunteers long for a boost. Frazzled church staffers need a shot in the arm. Elders need power to persevere through the pressure. Deacons need to be uplifted.
The confused seek wisdom. The guilty seek forgiveness. The sad seek help. The mad seek release. The glad seek rejoicing.
The preachers stands.
For three sentences everyone listens intently, wondering, "Is there a word from God for me today?"
Who dares to rise to preach in the face of such need? Who can meet such a multiplicity of expectations?
God can. Only God can.
God speaks through the preacher's faltering words, stiff outlines, and overused illustrations. God speaks through his words, his tears, his personality, his humor, his gestures, his spirit. God uses unworthy vessels to anoint hearts, persuade minds, lift spirits, comfort pain, and enlighten understanding.
The power in preaching is not the preacher. It is God. God, speaking through a man, gives a beautiful gift in a plain brown wrapper.
God has a word for you. Shhhhh. Listen!
~ Greg Cummings Copyright (c) 2002.
"We are not human beings going through a temporary spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings going through a temporary human experience."
I like the idea behind this quote but it's not altogether accurate. God created us as human beings stamped with his image. There is nothing wrong with that. God said it was good. So I would word the quote this way: "We are not merely human beings going through a temporary spiritual experience, we are human and spiritual beings going through a temporary experience that is marred by sin and a fallen world."
Praise the Lord that world will one day be restored! That's what Easter is all about. ~~~~~
I heard about an old blacksmith who realized he was soon going to have to quit working so hard. With retirement in mind, he picked out a strong young man to become his apprentice, who, as fate would have it, was not the smartest fellow around. The old blacksmith was crabby, impatient and exacting. He told the young man, "Don't ask me a lot of questions; Just do whatever I tell you to do and you will do fine."
One day the old blacksmith took a white hot iron out of the forge and laid it on the anvil. "Get the hammer over there," he said to the boy, "When I nod my head, hit it real good and hard."
Now the town is looking for a new blacksmith.
"Don't ask me a lot of questions" is not very good advice. The truth is, it is almost always in our best interest to ask questions. Ask questions to learn something you don't know. Ask questions to clarify something you're not sure about. Ask questions to gain a new perspective on a matter.
Think of the men and women in the scriptures who asked questions:
The disciples came to Jesus and "asked him about the parable (of the sower)" (Mark 4:10). They received the best commentary in the world on Jesus' parables -- from Jesus himself! Why? Because they asked.
John the Baptist asked a good question -- "Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?" (Luke 7:20) Even though this may have appeared to be a "stupid question" coming from John, Jesus sent him a gracious answer.
The Philippian jailer asked perhaps the most important question in the world -- "What must I do to be saved?" (Acts 16:30) which led him to respond to Christ in an obedient faith.
I have known many people through the years who were hesitant to ask questions -- either in a classroom setting or even in private -- because they didn't want to appear to be stupid. As the saying goes, "There are no stupid questions." Don't be afraid to ask. The more you are willing ask, the more you will have the opportunity to learn!
Have a great day! - Alan Smith
"To do is to be" -- Descartes
"To be is to do" -- Sartre
"Do be do be do" -- Sinatra
A college student with a young child was pleased when her daughter became eligible to attend the day care center at the University. The director of the day care gave the mother a tour of the facilities. To assure herself of the center's high standards, the young mother asked about the curriculum.
"Well," said the director, eyes twinkling, "today we are studying the children's favorite philosopher: Play-Doh."
@Laugh & Lift - http://www.laughandlift.com/
A panel of doctors was asked for their opinions concerning a proposal to build a new wing to their hospital. This was what they said:
- The Allergists voted to scratch it.
- The Dermatologists preferred no rash moves.
- The Psychiatrists thought it was madness.
- The Radiologists could see right through it.
- The Gastroenterologists had a gut feeling about it.
- The Neurologists thought the administration had a lot of nerve.
- The Obstetricians stated they were laboring under a misconception.
- The Ophthalmologists considered the idea short-sighted.
- The Pathologists yelled, "Over my dead body."
- The Pediatricians said, "Grow up!"
- The Plastic Surgeon said, 'This puts a whole new face on the matter.'
- The Podiatrists thought it was a step forward.
- The Urologists felt the scheme wouldn't hold water.
- The Surgeons decided to wash their hands of the whole thing.
- The Anesthesiologists thought the whole idea was a gas.
Mrs. Jones was reading a letter at breakfast.
Suddenly she looked up suspiciously at her husband.
"Henry," she said, "I've just received a letter from mother saying she isn't accepting our invitation to come and stay, as we do not appear to want her. What does she mean by that? I told you to write and say that she was to come at her own convenience. You did write, didn't you?"
"Er, yes, I did," said the husband. "But I couldn't spell convenience, so I made it risk."
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A friend of mine heard this on a preflight announcement from an American Airlines pilot: "On our flight today, we will be flying at 34,000 feet. To give you an idea of how high that is, we would be able to fly over 50 Empire state buildings stacked one on top the other. Our speed will be about 500 miles per hour. That is just over the muzzle velocity of the standard military .45 pistol. We will be pushed along by two Pratt and Whitney JT8D200 turbofan engines. While thrust to horsepower varies with altitude, the total 40,000 pounds of thrust is greater than the combined power of 10 D9 diesel locomotives.
In other words, were faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, and as always your Dallas based crew stands for truth, justice, and the American way!"
- A man walked into a barber shop and said, "Just take a little off around the ears. I don't have time to listen to a haircut."
- The barber shop I go to has a large sign in the window: "Eight barbers: continuous discussion nonstop jokes"
- Barber: "Your hair is getting gray."
Customer: "Try cutting a little faster."
- A long-haired teen was getting a "trim". He said to the barber, "I'm taking a year or two away from college to find myself."
The barber replied, "If you'd get more than a trim, I'm sure you'd discover you've been there under all that hair all along."
- A guy walks into a barber shop, is seated, and says irritably to the barber, "I want my hair parted exactly in the middle."
After about 10 seconds, the barber replies, "I'm afraid that's not possible sir. I just counted them & you have an odd number."
- A fellow getting a shave asked the barber if he had another razor.
"Why ?" asked the barber, "Is there something wrong with this one ?"
"I don't know." replied the customer. "But I would appreciate a chance to defend myself."
- A new barber was far from proficient, nicking his customer a dozen times while giving him a shave. When he was finished, the customer asked for a glass of water.
"Do you feel OK ?" asked the barber, worried that maybe the fellow was going to faint, after seeing the blood on the towel.
"No, I'm fine." replied the customer. "I just want to see if my face or neck leak anywhere."