Our internet at home is not working this evening, so I won’t be able to send the Fodder out sometime tomorrow afternoon, after the mechanic come.
It was another busy week, but actually more normal than most of the weeks have been recently. RiverGrace still has plenty to do in terms of organizing and planning, but each time we use UCC for our services and activities, we get a little more organized. At least I did not set off the alarm this past Sunday.
Weekdays and holidays will take some adjustments. When RiverGrace was meeting in Yan Yue, pastors could leave early earlier on Sunday if there were no scheduled events or classes. The Filipina ladies could stay and have their dinner and hang out till they had to head home. They close up the church themselves as long as the designated key holder was there. On holidays they could also use the church by themselves, even if there were no planned activities, and the pastors could not go.
That all changed with the move to the school. We need to be much more conscious of the security, with alarms and at least 15-20 keys to unlock the areas we use. So for now, one of the pastors, or deacons will need to stay there as long as there are people. We’ll make it work, in any case.
On the other hand, it is a great place to hang out informally, as there’s a playground and sports equipment to use if we wish. It’s certainly better than hanging out on the streets, which is what mot of the domestic helpers do to spend their day off.
Please continue to pray for our 20018 planning for RiverGrace.
We are planning a Thanksgiving service for RiverGrace on November 12. We’re inviting those who have had a part in RiverGrace’s startup to come, as well as anyone from HKEC, anyone, for that matter, who would like to experience a taste of RiverGrace. I’ll give more details about that even later. You’re invited to come if you would like. It will be on Sunday afternoon at 2:30pm at United Christian College.
The weather has cooled down a bit. It’s coming up my favorite time of year, when the humidity starts to fall, and it gets cooler. It’s only about 28 or 29C (close to 80F). It certainly makes our hikes more pleasant.
This past Saturday three of us hiked the trail appropriately called “The Blade.” It’s ridge of hills that extend from the Fanling station to Kadoorie Farm at the north base of Tai Mo Shan, the highest mountain in Hong Kong. There are many steps over the course of the 9.5km or just under 6 miles. My iPhone informed me that we had an elevation gain of about 750 meters, the equivalent of climbing a 227-story building. We weren’t so fast, but it was termed a leisure hike, even despite the climbs.
As for Cindy, she’s training to do the Trailwalker again… the 100km (62 mile) annual fundraising walk. It will be November 22. I will be in Israel at that time, so cannot offer support this year.
That’s all for this week. Have a great week. Blessings, Dave
NAMING THE SHEEP
The following story comes from Julie Helms in Christian Reader, "Lite Fare":
My husband and I, with our two daughters, operate a small sheep farm. One day a non-farming friend asked, "How can you bear to slaughter those cute little lambs?"
My husband explained, "We don't want to get emotionally attached to the ones we plan to eat, so we don't give them names."
Not satisfied, the friend probed, "What about your kids?"
Her husband quickly replied, "Oh, we name them!"
While very few of us are personally familiar with sheep and shepherds, the relationship between the two is one of the most powerful images in the Bible used to describe the relationship between Christ and his followers. The loving care shown by shepherds to their flock, and the willingness of sheep to utterly depend on what the shepherd can provide offer a glimpse of our personal relationship with the good shepherd. While it may seem to be a small thing, our name plays a significant role in that relationship.
"He who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out." (John 10:2-3)
"He calls his own sheep by name." Though there are many disciples of Christ around the world, we are not just "one of the masses", not just a number. We are intimately known and loved by the good shepherd. He knows us by name. It tells us not only that he cares about us, but that he plans for his relationship with us to be a lasting one.
May the fact that your shepherd knows your name give you comfort this day.
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Max Lucado writes, when his daughters were single-digit ages he wowed them with a miracle. He told them about Moses and the manna then he invited them to follow him on a trek through the house. Maybe manna will fall from heaven. Dressed in sheets, the girls were instructed to moan and complain about being hungry and demanded I take them back to Egypt. I urged them to play up their parts: groan, moan and beg for food. Look up I urged. Manna might fall at any minute. The two oldest girls had their doubts. How can manna fall from the ceiling? Just like the Hebrews how can God feed us in the wilderness? Just like you? You look at tomorrow's demands, next week's bills, next month's silent calendar. Your future looks as barren as the Sinai Desert. How can I face my future? God tells you what I told my daughters: Look up. When my daughters did, manna fell! Well, not manna, but vanilla wafers dropped from the ceiling and landed on the carpet. Sara squealed in delight but the older two wanted an explanation. I knew the itinerary. I knew when we would enter this room. Vanilla wafers fit safely on the topside of the ceiling-fan blades. While they moaned and groaned I turned on the fan. God's answer to the Hebrews was similar. Did he know their itinerary? Did He know they would grow hungry? Yes and yes. And at the right time, He tilted the manna basket toward earth. And what about you? God knows what you need and where you'll be. Any chance He has some vanilla wafers on tomorrow's ceiling fans? Trust Him. God meets daily needs daily and miraculously. He did then, He does still and He will for you.
....Max Lucado Everyday Deserves a Chance
@Sent by Donna Althouse
Reporters and city officials gathered at a Chicago railroad station one afternoon in 1953. The person they were meeting was the 1952 Nobel Peace Prize winner. A few minutes after the train came to a stop, a giant of a man - six feet four inches - with bushy hair and a large mustache stepped from the train. Cameras flashed. City officials approached him with hands outstretched. Various people began telling him how honored they were to meet him.
The man politely thanked them and then, looking over their heads, asked if he could be excused for a moment. He quickly walked through the crowd until he reached the side of an elderly black woman who was struggling with two large suitcases. He picked up the bags and with a smile, escorted the woman to a bus. After helping her aboard, he wished her a safe journey. As he returned to the greeting party he apologized, "Sorry to have kept you waiting."
The man was Dr. Albert Schweitzer, the famous missionary doctor who had spent his life helping the poor in Africa. In response to Schweitzer's action, one member of the reception committee said with great admiration to the reporter standing next to him, "That's the first time I ever saw a sermon walking."
- Author Unknown
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The relationship between Husband and Wife is very psychological - one is Psycho and the other is Logical; Now please don't try to figure out Who is Who.
AN OLD FARMER'S ADVICE
Good honest advice for life.~ Your fences need to be horse-high, pig-tight and bull-strong.
~ Life is simpler when you plow around the stump.
~ A bumble bee is considerably faster than a John Deere tractor.
~ Words that soak into your ears are whispered...not yelled.
~ Meanness don't jes' happen overnight.
~ Forgive your enemies. It messes up their heads.
~ Do not corner something that you know is meaner than you.
~ It don't take a very big person to carry a grudge.
~ You cannot unsay a cruel word.
~ Every path has a few puddles.
~ When you wallow with pigs, expect to get dirty.
~ The best sermons are lived, not preached.
~ Most of the stuff people worry about ain't never gonna happen anyway.
~ Don't judge folks by their relatives.
~ Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
~ Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you'll enjoy it a second time.
~ Don't interfere with somethin' that ain't botherin' you none.
~ If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin'.
~ Sometimes you get, and sometimes you get got.
~ The biggest troublemaker you'll probably ever have to deal with watches you from the mirror every mornin'.
~ Always drink upstream from the herd.
~ Good judgment comes from experience, and a lotta that comes from bad judgment.
~ Lettin' the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier than puttin' it back in.
~ If you get to thinkin' you're a person of some influence, try orderin' somebody else's dog around.
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I hate the idea of going under the knife. So I was very upset when the doctor told me I needed a tonsillectomy. Later, the nurse and I were filling out an admission form. I tried to respond to the questions, but I was so nervous I couldn't speak.
The nurse patted my hand and said, "Don't worry. This medical problem can easily be fixed, and it's not a dangerous procedure."
"You're right. I'm being silly," I said, "please continue."
"Good," the nurse went on, "Now, do you have a living will?"
Recently a friend was browsing through the 40th Anniversary Issue of Reader's Digest (dated Feb. 1962), and came across a reprint from the Washington News with an interesting quote. Considering some of our current debates, it only proves that nothing is really new, only a difference in when it happens.
The Quote: "Vice President Lyndon Johnson received the following message from an Indian (Native American) Chief residing on a reservation: "Be very careful with your immigration laws. We were careless with ours."
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