Here are a couple more street scenes in Tsim Sha Tsui. The first is a double decker bus on Nathan Road. When we first arrived in Hong Kong the buses were not air-conditioned. There were conductors on the bus to collect fares,depending on how far you were going to travel. Now the buses are nice and use coins or octopus cards with stored value on them. The second photo is of Cameron Road, a block and a half from Yan Yue and RiverGrace.
There’s not a lot of news this week, but just wanted to bring you up-to-date with baby Elia. She is gaining weight slowly, which is good. Becki said she’s a lazy eater and falls asleep about as soon as she starts. Becki said she lays her on the changing table and uses cold rags to wake her up sometimes. Anyhow, I guess that situation is improving.
What concerns them most is that she has some breathing episodes where she almost stops breathing. Please remember her in your prayers that they’ll be able to figure out what’s going on with the breathing issues.
Summer has arrived. In Hong Kong there is not much springtime. It goes from cooler dryer are coming from the north to the balmy wet air coming from the south. We’ve had quite a lot of rain so far this year as well. But this is the cloudiest time of year, though we don’t normally get the heavier rains until the typhoon season comes.
I have another Doctors appointment this coming Wednesday, but it’s not with the surgeons at Queen Mary. It is a routine visit with the doctor that will do the follow-up, and with whom we had the initial appointment in the government system.
As we arranged with the Queen Mary doctors, they said they would wait until sometime after mid-May before they could call me to come for surgery. So I need to be ready when they call. They said they’d give me a week to enable Cindy to come back in time.
That’s about it for this week. Make it a great week! Blessings, Dave
I look forward, not to what lies ahead of me in this life and will surely pass away, but to my eternal goal. I am intent upon this one purpose, not distracted by other aims, and with this goal in view I press on, eager for the prize, God’s heavenly summons. Then I shall listen to the sound of Your praises and gaze at Your beauty ever present, never future, never past. But now my years are but sighs. You, O Lord, are my only solace. You, my Father, are eternal. But I am divided between time gone by and time to come, and its course is a mystery to me. My thoughts, the intimate life of my soul, are torn this way and that in the havoc of change. And so it will be until I am purified and melted by the fire of Your love and fused into one with You.
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1 Corinthians 11:31-32 (31) Now if we would examine ourselves, we would not be judged. (32) But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, so that we will not be condemned with the world.
Verse 31 teaches that God allows us the opportunity to exercise self-discipline and avoid His judgment by watching—searchingly examining ourselves, detecting our shortcomings, and recognizing our own condition. Yet, if we fail to exercise discipline, He will not. As in the example of Jonah, He is faithful and will complete His purpose (Philippians 1:6). If we fall short, He will discipline and chasten us because He does not want to see us destroyed. God's purpose—our salvation—does not change. Again, the only variable is how much we choose to suffer before He accomplishes His purpose. We choose whether we will be humble or be humbled.
In many cases, not necessarily all, we choose our trials. It is the same in any family. If one son is dutiful and obedient, and the other is rebellious, pushing the envelope at every opportunity, it would come as no surprise which son suffers the greater trials (or receives the most discipline) in both number and severity. Each child has a choice. We also have a choice—to exercise the discipline now, or to receive it from God at some time in the future.
So, how do we searchingly examine ourselves, detect our shortcomings, and recognize our own condition? How do we find the path we should be taking? God promises us in Proverbs 3:6, "In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths." The Message, a paraphrase, renders this verse as, "Listen for God's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he's the one who will keep you on track."
When we acknowledge His presence—which striving to pray always does—He shines His light on the decision or thought. Consciously including God in the process makes the right choice more obvious. It also makes the choice a conscious one of obeying or disobeying God, rather than relegating it to habit or impulse.
Too often, we are not exercising self-control because we are hiding from God's presence, just as Adam and Eve did (Genesis 3:8). We may hear that "still small voice" (I Kings 19:12), but we turn off our minds and just go with the flow, unresistingly following the dictates of our human nature, which has been under Satan's influence since our births.
This tendency makes striving to pray always, being in constant contact with God, the best way to accomplish effective self-examination. By communicating with God before every decision, even before every thought (II Corinthians 10:5), we invite God into the situation, putting the spotlight of truth on our thinking and motivations—human nature's worst nightmare.
With God's presence through His Holy Spirit, we are able to recognize our shame and our helplessness before God, helping to create a stronger awareness of sin that we cannot easily evade by rationalizing it. When face to face with the holy God, we cannot easily say that our sin is only a little thing. Nor can we use others as examples, saying, "They are doing it, so what is the big deal?" With God there, right in front of us, all our excuses fail.
Once we bring God into the picture, the right way is more obvious, removing the many excuses our human nature concocts to allow disobedience. Then, the stark choice of obedience or blatant rejection of God faces us. When this occurs, it is a good time to pray for the will and power to do the right thing (Philippians 2:13).
— Pat Higgins
OUR CHOICES IN THE MIDST OF TRAGEDY - Text: Job 1:6-2:8
Imagine for a moment what it must have felt like to be in Job's sandals. Warriors, fire, and wind wiped out his vast fortune and killed his children. To add injury to insult, his boil-infested body was so irritated that he scratched at the enflamed skin with a shard of pottery. Had Job believed in luck rather than the Lord's sovereignty, He likely would have taken his wife's advice to "curse God and die" (2:9).
Job was brought low and he didn't know why. Read the book carefully, and you'll notice that he never learned the reason behind his testing. The reader is privy to the conversation between God and Satan, but the Lord did not share those details with his humbled servant. Left in the dark, Job had to decide if his faith in God's goodness would stand.
Viewing the new chapter in his life as part of the Lord's larger plan (42:2), Job made a courageous choice to trust God in the midst of tragedy. The impoverished man could have railed against God, as his wife suggested. Or he might have followed his friends' unwise advice and racked his brain for an unconfessed sin that earned divine punishment. But neither of those actions would have been fruitful. Instead, Job acknowledged God's right to do to him whatever He desired for the glory of His name (Job 1:21).
Accepting the good things that God sends our way is easy. Our challenge is to receive tragedy with a willing attitude and a teachable spirit. Chance is not part of the equation--nothing comes into our life except through the Lord's permission.
-- Charles Stanley
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A minister wrote in his weekly column in the church newsletter that he was setting goals for the new year. One of his goals was to clean up his desk. Another of his goals was to find last year's goals.
Do you remember back when a lot of little churches built the john behind the pulpit. There was often an outside door as well as an inside door to access it.
In such a church in Rocky River, Ohio, (just west of Cleveland where I grew up) the pastor was waxing eloquent on Rev. 3:20. With great pathos he exclaimed that the Lord is standing at the door of your heart and crying, "Let Me in. Let Me in!"
He walked over to the aforementioned door just off the pulpit. He knocked on it and again reminded us that God was at our heart's door crying "Let Me in. Let Me in!" when back came the plaintive cry, "Just a minute." (By Burt Kettinger)
Our church, before its renovation, lacked adequate restroom facilities.
One Sunday, Pastor Dennis, preaching about the attributes of John the Baptist, didn't know why the congregation snickered after his emphatic statement: "What this church needs is more Johns."
"What's your father's occupation?" asked the school secretary on the first day of registration.
He's a magician," said the new boy.
"How exciting. What's his best trick?"
"He saws people in half."
"How impressive! Now, do you have any brothers or sisters?"
"Yep...one half brother and two half sisters."
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A young man who was also an avid golfer found himself with a few hours to spare one afternoon. He figured if he hurried and played very fast, he could get in 9 holes before he had to head home. Just as he was about to tee off an old gentleman shuffled onto the tee and asked if he could accompany the young man as he was golfing alone. Not being able to say no, he allowed the old gent to join him.
To his surprise the old man played fairly quickly. He didn't hit the ball far, but plodded along consistently and didn't waste much time. Finally, they reached the 9th fairway and the young man found himself with a tough shot. There was a large pine tree right in front of his ball and directly between his ball and the green. After several minutes of debating how to hit the shot. the old man finally said, "You know, when I was your age I'd hit the ball right over that tree."
With that challenge placed before him, the youngster swung hard, hit the ball up, right smack into the top of the tree trunk and it thudded back on the ground not a foot from where it had originally lay.
The old man offered one more comment, "Of course, when I was your age that pine tree was only 3 feet tall."
A traveler became lost in the desert region of Algeria. Realizing his only chance for survival was to find civilization, he began walking. Time passed, and he became thirsty. More time passed, and he began feeling faint. Reduced to crawling, he was on the verge of passing out when he spied a tent about 500 meters in front of him. Barely conscious, he reached the tent and called out, "Water!"
A bedouin appeared in the tent door and replied sympathetically, "I am sorry, sir, but I have no water. However, would you like to buy a tie?" With this, he brandished a collection of exquisite silken neckwear.
"You fool," gasped the man. "I'm dying! I need water!"
"Well, sir," replied the bedouin, "If you really need water, there is a tent about 2 kilometers south of here where you can get some." Without knowing how, the man summoned sufficient strength to drag his parched body the distance to the second tent. With his last ounce of strength he tugged at the door of the tent and collapsed.
Another bedouin, dressed in a costly tuxedo, appeared at the door and enquired, "May I help you sir?"
"Water..." was the feeble reply.
"Oh, sir," replied the bedouin, "I'm sorry, but you can't come in here without a tie!"
A turtle is mugged by three snails. When asked by police to give a description of what happened, he replies, "I don't know, it all happened so fast!"