It’s been just a day short of a month since my last issue of Monday Fodder. These weeks have been busy with extra meetings, routine visits to the doctors, holidays, and our RiverGrace church anniversary.
The last time I posted the Fodder was just after super Typhoon Mangkuht hit Hong Kong. Meteorologists said it was the strongest typhoon on record. You can see a few samples of the damage it did to Hong Kong on the Fodder website, but other than some blown-out windows, some businesses near the sea, scaffolding, and vegetation/trees being affected, we’re grateful that it was not worse than it was. Amazingly, there were no deaths reported.
Unlike Hurricane Michael that hit the Panhandle in Florida, Hong Kong has building standards that are strict, and the buildings are meant to be able to withstand storms and even earthquakes, though Hong Kong is not situated in a place that has many earthquakes.
If you have a Facebook account you can go here… https://www.facebook.com/dave.aufrance/posts/10160762739860099 and https://www.facebook.com/dave.aufrance/posts/10160762756540099 to see all the photos I took from the storm damage in our area.
Another event was on October 1, China’s National Day. Some from our church visited and hiked in the beautiful Hong Kong Geopark Cindy and I had hiked there with a few friends last December. It was a beautiful day and I walked the farther I had since February… over 15km. While I posted a couple of photos from October 1 on the website, you can see all of them, again on Facebook, here https://www.facebook.com/dave.aufrance/posts/10160814884940099 and here https://www.facebook.com/dave.aufrance/posts/10160818143860099.
On October 7, RiverGrace celebrated its 1st anniversary of being an independent church and the 7th anniversary since the start in 2011 when we started it as an English fellowship in our Chinese mother church, Yan Yue HKEC.
It was a joyful celebration and was joined by 75 people. It featured worship songs in 5 languages, all of them represented in our church. We also had a wonderful worship dance, and I played the anniversary video which I had put together for the occasion reviewing the year’s main highlights.
On Facebook you can see all the photos I posted at https://www.facebook.com/dave.aufrance/posts/10160818143860099. I also posted some videos, including the anniversary video, on YouTube here https://www.youtube.com/user/daveaufrance.
This week is a bit more relaxed with another holiday, and no major events we are planning for at the moment. Cindy is in Guam for Elijah House meetings. Pray for her as she returns on Friday evening.
That’s it for this week. Blessings, and thanks for remembering us in your prayers. Blessings, Dave
God Owns My Business
"So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? (Luke 16:11).
Although he was an innovator in the reclamation of silver in the photographic process, Stanley Tam of Lima, Ohio, is best known for his commitment to Jesus Christ. A large sign adorning the home of United States Plastic Corporation proclaims "Christ Is the Answer," and Tam's widely read book, God Owns My Business, describes how he arrived at the conviction that he should legally make God the literal owner of his business.
Tam, who has traveled throughout the country and world to testify about his Christian faith, is one who is willing to "put his money where his mouth is." Although his business success could have made him a millionaire many times over, he and his wife, Juanita, draw only modest salaries from U.S. Plastics. All profits are channeled through the Stanita Foundation, with those funds designated for a variety of Christian ministries, primarily overseas missions.
In the fall of 1954, Tam was speaking at a revival meeting in Medellin, Colombia when God confronted him in a supernatural way. God let him know He wanted him to turn the business over to Him completely and become His employee. So, on January 15, 1955, Stanley Tam ceased being a stockholder in either of his companies, States Smelting and Refining Corporation or United States Plastic Corporation.
In order to do this God had to deal with one area in his life. "I have always enjoyed making money, and God knew that. Had He left me undisturbed in this area, I could have become a proud, materialistic, self-centered spiritual misfit. In asking of me the submission of the greatest drive of my life, He removed a blighting influence and replaced it with an inner peace and satisfaction such as I could never have known otherwise.
I don't think there is such a thing as a part-time Christian; we are all in full-time ministry. We each need to ask God to take our vocation and make it a ministry. And if we ask Him, He will do it."
Does God own your business or your work life? If not, why not make that decision today and let Him use your work life for His glory.
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(Personal note. I met Stanley before. His support is responsible for a few of our HKEC churches in Hong Kong. I remember one time when I was still Hong Kong Field Director that the said that his goal was to share the gospel personally with 5 people every day. He did that in different ways, including handing out gospel tracts with the shipment of the products that went out from his factory. Someone asked if he reached his goal. They said not quite, it was only about 4.5 people every day. Here is another article if you would like to know more. He has donated millions of dollars to the mission we are associated with here in Hong Kong… One Mission Society.)
Houdini's Failed Escape
Harry Houdini's name is one that is recognized by almost everyone. His claim to fame was that he was a magician and an excellent escape artist. He would free himself from handcuffs, chains, ropes and straitjackets, often while hanging from a rope or suspended in water. He escaped from coffins, riveted boilers and canvas bags. Houdini was even locked inside a high security prison but, of course, Houdini always got out.
But then on October 24, 1926, death laid its hands on Harry Houdini and he would never escape. Houdini reportedly had told his wife, Bess, prior to his death, "If there is any way out. I will find it. If there is any way out, I will find you and I will make contact with you on the anniversary of my death."
For ten years after Houdini's death, his wife tried to make contact with him. Then, she finally acknowledged, "Houdini did not come through. My last hope is gone. I do not believe that Houdini can come back to me, or to anyone...The Houdini Shrine has burned for ten years. I now, reverently... turn out the light. It is finished. Good night, Harry!"
Bess Houdini was right to admit what people have been forced to admit for centuries -- death comes for all, and not even the famous Harry Houdini could change that fact.
But what a tragedy that Bess Houdini could only say of her departed husband: "My last hope is gone." For we can find our hope in the one who overcame death - no, not Harry Houdini, but Jesus. He offers us hope of life beyond the grave.
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade - kept in heaven for you." (I Peter 1:3-4)
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At last, confirmation of 'Murphy's Law' with a wonderful Irish explanation
Murphy drops some buttered toast on the kitchen floor and it lands butter-side-up.
He looks down in astonishment, for he knows it's a law of the universe that buttered toast always falls butter-down. So he rushes round to the presbytery to fetch Father Flanagan.
He tells the priest that a miracle has occurred in his kitchen. He won't say what it is but asks Fr. Flanagan to come and see it with his own eyes.
He leads Fr.Flanagan into the kitchen and asks him what he sees on the floor.
"Well," says the priest, "it's pretty obvious. Someone has dropped some buttered toast on the floor and then, for some reason, they flipped it over so that the butter was on top."
"No, Father, I dropped it and it landed like that!" exclaimed Murphy
"Oh my Lord," says Fr. Flanagan, "Dropped toast never falls with the butter side up. It's a mir....
Wait... it's not for me to say it's a miracle. I'll have to report this matter to the Bishop and he'll have to deal with it. He'll send some people around; to interview you, take photos, etc."
A thorough investigation is conducted, not only by the archdiocese but by scientists sent over from the Curia in Rome. No expense is spared. There is great excitement in the town as everyone knows that a miracle will bring in much-needed tourism revenue.
Then, after 8 long weeks and with great fanfare, the Bishop announces the final ruling.
"It is certain that some kind of an extraordinary event took place in Murphy's kitchen, quite outside the natural laws of the universe. Yet the Holy See must be very cautious before ruling a miracle. All other explanations must be ruled out. "
"Unfortunately, in this case, it has been declared 'No Miracle' because they think Murphy may have buttered the toast on the wrong side!”
@Sent by Carmen Corpez
"I played for a semi-pro baseball team. At every game, we sold raffle tickets. Half the money paid the team's expenses, and the other half went to the winning ticket holder.
One day the drawing was held just as I stepped up to bat. The home plate umpire pulled the winning ticket, and then he turned to me. 'Could you read me the number? My vision's not too good.'"
Oh, The Things Children Say...
STEVEN (age 3) hugged and kissed his Mom good night. "I love you so much that when you die I'm going to bury you outside my bedroom window."
BRITTANY (age 4) had an earache and wanted a painkiller. She tried in vain to take the lid off the bottle. Seeing her frustration, her Mom explained it was a child-proof cap and she'd have to open it for her. Eyes wide with wonder, the little girl asked: "How does it know it's me?"
SUSAN (age 4) was drinking juice when she got the hiccups. "Please don't give me this juice again," she said, "It makes my teeth cough."
DJ (age 4) stepped onto the bathroom scale and asked: "How much do I cost?"
The Sermon I think this Mom will never forget: "Dear Lord," the minister began, with arms extended toward heaven and a rapturous look on his upturned face. "Without you, we are but dust..." He would have continued but at that moment my very obedient daughter who was listening leaned over to me and asked quite audibly in her shrill little four-year-old girl voice, "Mom, what is butt dust?"
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