Is it possible to even think about posting any other photos than our new granddaughter and family? Hehe

April 18, 2016

What else can I talk about today, but the birth of our new granddaughter, Elia Grace Trask.  Here is what Ace posted on Facebook with the details…

“By the Grace of God we have been blessed with a third child! A GIRL!!! Elia Grace Trask, born April 15,2016 at 7:59am, 7lbs 3oz and 20.5 inches!!!! Mom is doing great she is a true professional. Baby is very healthy. Pronounced el-E-ah. Meaning: Jehovah is God or God is my God! Thank you for all your prayers and support.”

I would also like to add my note of thanks for all your prayers, and especially that Cindy could go back to help out at this time. I know that it has relieved a great deal of stress for Ace and Becky to have her there. She doesn’t get much rest for, at least for now, but I guess it's a different kind of busyness and stress anyhow.  Please pray that she can rest well.

Becky and Elia are doing fine, and they’ll probably come home on Tuesday if all goes as planned.

Daniel and Nate, our grandsons, are both playing sports. Nate is still learning to skate. Daniel is done with ice hockey for a while, but is now playing baseball and trying out for rugby for the first time. I didn’t know there were rugby teams in the US, at least at that young age. With Daniel’s solid build, he may turn out to be a good player.

That’s one of the things keeping Cindy busy as she’s taking them around to some of their activities, or at least going with them.

Would you please add one prayer request here to pray for the direction of RiverGrace’s mother church, Yan Yue. The church will be will be going through transitions in the next few months as  both, the senior pastor, and one of the pastoral staff, have exit plans from the church. It will leave only one lady pastor. The Yan Yue deacons will place an advertisement in some of the local Christian newspapers this week, and will be looking for a new pastor. However, in recent times, it's not been easy to find a pastor, much less a senior pastor.

That is my brief report for this week. Make it a great week!  Blessings, Dave


- "We are told to let our light shine, and if it does, we won't need to tell anybody it does. Lighthouses don't fire cannons to call attention to their shining - they just shine." ~ D. L. Moody

~"Conflict is inevitable, but combat is optional." - Max Lucado

~"Before we can begin to see the cross as something done for us, we have to see it as something done by us." - John Stott

~"The vague and tenuous hope that God is too kind to punish the ungodly has become a deadly opiate for the consciences of millions." - A.W. Tozer

~"I am convinced the greatest act of love we can ever perform for people is to tell them about God's love for them in Christ." - Billy Graham

~"Every package from hell comes disguised as ecstasy." - Jim Murray

@Sent by Mary Sutherland


Dare to Ask

     In the C.S. Lewis novel Till We Have Faces, the main character, Orual, has taken mental notes throughout her life, carefully building what she refers to as her “case” against the gods. Choosing finally to put this case formally in writing, she meticulously describes each instance where she has been wronged. It is only after Orual has finished writing that she soberly recognizes her great mistake. With a sobering blow of recognition, she sees the importance of uttering the speech at the center of one’s soul, for to have heard herself making the complaint was to be answered. She then profoundly observes that the gods used her own pen to probe the wounds. With sharpened insight Orual explains, “Till the words can be dug out of us, why should [the gods] hear the babble that we think we mean? How can they meet us face to face until we have faces?”(1)

     Never since has a book cut open my heart and laid it before me so plainly. It was simultaneously the moment I realized how distant I had become from God and the sudden suspicion: What if God had been near all along? I had spent a lifetime subconsciously compiling my case against this God. Through more turbulent years en route to faith and belief in Christ, I stood armed with my diary of questions, taking more a stance of interrogator than glad follower. Some of my questions were milder interrogations than others; in fact, some even embodied the possibility of exoneration. But the telling detail in this perspective was that I saw myself as the one holding the judge’s gavel, while God was the one on trial.

     I vividly recall the first time I realized the barrage of questions I was prepared and waiting to ask; it was not long before I would come across the pages of the book that brought me to surrender the gavel. I was reading the last chapter in the Gospel of John. In that scene, the disciples were fishing when Jesus appeared on the shoreline; this, just days after they had watched in horror as he was crucified on the Cross. No doubt with heightened anticipation, the disciples quickly drew in their nets and rushed to the shore where Jesus was preparing breakfast at the fire. John’s description places us aside a group of expectant fishermen. With bated breath we wait to hear how the silence will be broken. And then John writes, “None of the disciples dared to ask, ‘Who are you?’ For they all knew it was the savior.”(2)

     It was the word dare that got under my skin. Did they not have the nerve? Not have the need? It was suddenly and intensely irritating to me that none of them dared to ask. They had every reason to ask questions: Where did you go? How are you here? Why did you have to die? Why didn’t you tell us all of this? Couldn’t you have spared us from this? What does this all mean? That the disciples were not full of questions seemed to me remarkably unnatural. It did not take me long to realize that I was so deeply bothered by their lack of asking because I did dare to ask.

     The frenzied, almost illegible words in my journal still remind me how frustrated I was in that moment. In words more fired onto the page than composed, I asked everything I had ever wanted to ask of Jesus. Two weeks later, I picked up a copy of Till We Have Faces and was overcome with the absurdity of my “case”—even as I was overcome with the sureness that I had indeed been heard.

     Sensing ourselves far away from God is often riddled with the suspicion that it is God’s doing, that God has left, and that we have been abandoned. It is interesting how often for me these feelings coincide with an outburst of honest writing and confession. In such moments I realize, like Orual, the importance of uttering the words at the center of one’s soul—if for nothing more than to hear in my own words the sound of my anger alongside the intensity and passion toward the very one I am complaining is absent. To hear myself making the complaint is indeed quite often to be answered. And repeatedly, these moments of despair and distance, though still difficult, nonetheless, become realizations of proximity and awareness of the God who is there in the midst of it. In the disruptive gift of such moments, I don’t dare ask who it is either.

~ Jill Carattini is managing editor of A Slice of Infinity at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries in Atlanta, Georgia.

(1) C.S. Lewis, Till We Have Faces (New York: Harcourt, 1984), 294.

(2) John 21:12.

@A Slice of Infinity - go to to subscribe


Questions dogs might ask God:

- Dear God: When we get to heaven, can we sit on your couch? Or is it still the same old story?

- Dear God: Why are there cars named after the jaguar, the cougar, the mustang, the colt, the stingray, and the rabbit, but not ONE named for a Dog? How often do you see a cougar riding around? We do love a nice ride! Would it be so hard to rename the 'Chrysler Eagle' the 'Chrysler Beagle'?

- Dear God: Are there mailmen in Heaven? If there are, will I have to apologize?

- Dear God: Why do humans smell the flowers, but seldom, if ever, smell one another?

- Dear God: We Dogs can understand human verbal instructions, hand signals, whistles, horns, clickers, beepers, scent ID's, electromagnetic energy fields, and Frisbee flight paths. What do humans understand?

@Laugh & Lift -


     A young man hired by a supermarket reported for his first day of work. The manager greeted him with a warm handshake and a smile, gave him a broom and said, "Your first job will be to sweep out the store."

     "But I'm a college graduate," the young man replied indignantly.

     "Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't know that," said the manager. "Here, give me the broom -- I'll show you how."


How To Tell If You're Over The Hill:

- You no longer laugh at Preparation H commercials.

- Your arms are almost too short to read the newspaper.

- You buy shoes with crepe rubber soles.

- The only reason you're still awake at 2 a.m. is indigestion.

- People ask you what color your hair used to be.

- You enjoy watching the news.

- Your car must have four doors.

- You no longer think of speed limits as a challenge.

- You have a dream about prunes.

- You browse the bran cereal section in the grocery store.

- You start worrying when your supply of Ben Gay is low.

- You have more than 2 pair of glasses.

- You read the obituaries daily.

- Your biggest concern when dancing is falling.

- You enjoy hearing about other peoples operations.

- You wear black socks with sandals.

@Doc's Daily Chuckles - go here  to subscribe


Hymns In Reality - Maybe this should be in the Serious Fodder!

- The Way We Might Really Sing Hymns If We Were Being Honest!

- "I Surrender Some"

- "Fill My Spoon, Lord"

- "Oh, How I Like Jesus"

- "He's Quite a Bit to Me"

- "I Love to Talk About Telling the Story"

- "Take My Life and Let Me Be"

- "It is My Secret What God Can Do"

- "There is Scattered Cloudiness in My Soul Today"

- "Onward, Christian Reserves"

- "Where He Leads Me, I Will Consider Following"

- "Just As I Pretend to Be"

- "When the Saints Go Sneaking In"

@Laugh & Lift -


     Some Boy Scouts from the city were on a camping trip.  The mosquitoes were so fierce, the boys had to hide under their blankets to avoid being bitten.

     Then, one of them saw some lightning bugs and said to his friend, "We might as well give up. They're coming after us with flashlights."

     An old country doctor went way out to the boondocks to deliver a baby. It was so far out, there was no electricity.  When the doctor arrived, no one was home except for the laboring mother and her 5-year-old child.

     The doctor instructed the child to hold a lantern high so he could see, while he helped the woman deliver the baby.

     The child did so, the mother pushed and after a little while, the doctor lifted the newborn baby by the feet and spanked him on the bottom to get him to take his first breath.  The doctor then asked the 5-year-old what he thought of the baby.

     "Hit him again," the 5-year-old said. "He shouldn't have crawled up there in the first place!"