Brrrr! It has been cold these last few days. Of course, cold is a relative, depending on where you are, but we've even had some rare frost warnings some evenings. The Royal Observatory just issued one a few minutes ago for tonight. It was 6.5°C this morning when I went out, which is around the low 40s Fahrenheit. It was low freezing on top of Tai Mo Shan our tallest mountain.
I'm sure that doesn't seem so cold to the people in the north of the USA, or Canada, but in Hong Kong, we have no heat other than some space heaters. When it's been so cold for several days the cement walls holding the coldness and it is nearly the same temperature inside as out. So we either sit in front of the heater, or layer up, or both.
Cindy again did the 50km / 32-mile Green power event on Saturday. Although she is off of her times of the past, she finished in a good enough time to place second in the Ladies Masters level, which is any the Ladies over 50 years old. In recent months she's been bothered pretty badly by sore knees, and that was probably the biggest reason for the slower time.
I still hike nearly every week, but I am more into leisure hiking these days, rather than doing anything serious. The heart is working fine, and that doesn't slow me down it seems, nor is it bionic, unfortunately, with the titanium, aortic valve. Other than always having to take Coumadin or what they call Warfarin here in Hong Kong, I’ve had no major problems, for which I thank the Lord.
I still have to go in and get my blood thickness checked about three times a year, but other than that, and not eating too many healthy greens or things with vitamin K in that, there are not any other specific things I have to do or watch.
In our church, RiverGrace, we have seen some milestones in terms of the development of our Spanish Fellowship. This past Sunday, the first Sunday of the month, in which we regularly have a concerts prayer, we featured Venezuela. We had different Spanish speakers and translators share about various aspects, then we prayed for the country and its leaders and for the Spanish speakers that are now in the thousands who art in Hong Kong because of the dire situation in their homeland. Unfortunately the situation there is a humanly created problem due to the dictatorial and corrupt socialistic regimes of Victor Chavez before, and now Maduro. An oil-rich country and also has plenty of natural gas and even gold.
As for RiverGrace, please pray for wisdom as we seek to minister to the spiritual needs of the Spanish speakers. There are not any Spanish-speaking churches in Hong Kong, that we know of, so there is a growing need.
And I will be going to Thailand next week for our East Asia OMS retreat for I week. Therefore, I will not be doing the Monday fodder next week. Blessings to all, Dave
'...This man welcomes sinners...' Luke 15:2 NIV
Let's look at two sinners Jesus welcomed:
First, Matthew. As a tax collector working for the Romans, he was hated by his own people, the Jews. But Jesus had special plans for him. Because he was skilled in keeping records Jesus not only saved his soul but salvaged his talents. As a result he ended up writing the first of the four Gospels. Do you still think God can't use you? Not a chance. The fact Matthew invited Jesus over to his house for dinner is surprising. The fact Jesus accepted was truly amazing, given the times. They didn't understand why 'This man welcomes sinners.'
Second, Zacchaeus. Zacchaeus wanted to see Jesus so badly that he climbed up a tree. He was willing to go out on a limb to find God. 'When Jesus reached the spot, He looked up and said to him, "Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today." So he came down at once and welcomed Him gladly. All the people...began to mutter, "He has gone to be the guest of a sinner." But Zacchaeus...said to the Lord..."Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody...I will pay back four times the amount." Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house"...' (Luke 19:5-9 NIV).
The Bible says that God '...is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him' (Hebrews 11:6 KJV). So be diligent in your search. Be persistent in your quest and relentless in your pilgrimage. Turn away from the puny pursuit of possessions and positions and seek the Lord. You will not be disappointed!
@Written by Bob & Debby Gass by way of Cup O’Cheer (email@example.com)
VALUE OF PAIN
They were there for breakfast. The hundreds who gathered in fourth-floor ballroom at the Marriott Renaissance in Detroit, Michigan, on the morning before Super Bowl XL were clearly touched by the featured speaker. That speaker was Colts Head Coach Tony Dungy.
An hour into the breakfast, emcee Brent Jones introduced Dungy, who was welcomed with a lengthy standing ovation. Dungy thanked the crowd, then told the crowd he was going to talk about a lesson he had learned from one of his three sons. The crowd fell silent. Then Dungy spoke.
And although this was a breakfast - and although at many such events speakers speak over the clinking of glasses and murmurs from semi-interested listeners - for most of the 15 minutes the room was silent except for Dungy's voice.
He spoke of his youngest son, Jordan, who has a rare congenital condition which causes him not to feel pain.
"He feels things, but he doesn't get the sensation of pain," Dungy said. The lessons learned from Jordan, Tony Dungy said, are many.
"That sounds like it's good at the beginning, but I promise you it's not," Dungy said. "We've learned a lot about pain in the last five years we've had Jordan. We've learned some hurts are really necessary for kids."
"Pain is necessary for kids to find out the difference between what's good and what's harmful." Jordan, Dungy said, loves cookies.
"Cookies are good," Dungy said, "but in Jordan's mind, if they're good out on the plate, they're even better in the oven."
"He will go right in the oven when my wife's not looking, reach in, take the rack out, take the pan out, burn his hands and eat the cookies and burn his tongue and never feel it."
"He doesn't know that's bad for him." Jordan, Dungy said, "has no fear of anything, so we constantly have to watch him."
The lesson learned, Dungy said, is simple.
"You get the question all the time, "Why does the Lord allow pain in your life? Why do bad things happen to good people?"
"If God is a God of love, why does he allow these hurtful things to happen?" Dungy said.
"We've learned that a lot of times because of that pain, that little temporary pain, you learn what's harmful. You learn to fear the right things."
"Pain sometimes lets us know we have a condition that needs to be healed."
"Pain inside sometimes lets us know that spiritually we're not quite right and we need to be healed."
@Christian Voices - Send an email to ChristianVoices@att.net to subscribe
The young boy was spending a Sunday afternoon with his grandpa. Looking at pictures of his grandpa in his military uniform, the boy asked, "Grandpa, did you ever kill anyone in the war?"
"No champ, I never did."
"That's a good thing."
"You're telling me," began grandpa, "I was the cook!"
The psychology instructor had just finished a lecture on mental health and was giving an oral test. Speaking specifically about manic depression, she asked, "How would you diagnose a patient who walks back and forth screaming at the top of his lungs one minute, then sits in a chair weeping uncontrollably the next?"
A young man in the rear raised his hand and answered, "A basketball coach?"
The mother of the brilliant college student bragged, “Every time we get a letter from our daughter, we have to go to the dictionary.”
“You’re lucky,” her neighbor said, “Every time we get a letter from ours, we have to go to the bank.”
My son, a kindergartner learning to read, was enjoying the Christmas lights as we drove around checking out the beautiful decorations.
Noticing one display in a yard, he promptly spelled out the letters, "N-O-E-L" and asked what word it was. "Noel," I matter-of-factly replied. Back came an exasperated reply, "But, Mom, if there's no 'L,' then what does it spell?"
@Doc's Daily Chuckles - go here firstname.lastname@example.org to subscribe
T-Shirt Slogans - A Washington Post columnist runs a column each summer listing interesting t-shirts observed at the Ocean City, Maryland beach:
- "I childproofed my house, but they still get in."
- "On the front - 60 is not old. On the back - If you're a tree."
- "My reality check just bounced."
- "I'm not 50. I'm $49.95 plus tax."
- "Buckle up. It makes it harder for the aliens to snatch you from your car."
- "It's my cat's world. I'm just here to open cans."
- "Keep staring....I may do a trick."
- "My mind works like lightning. One brilliant flash, and it's gone."
- "Every time I hear the word "exercise", I wash my mouth out with chocolate."
- "Cats regard people as warm-blooded furniture."
- "Live your life so that when you die, the preacher will not have to tell lies at your funeral."
- "In God we trust. All others we polygraph."
I heard the story about a king in Africa who had a close friend that he had grown up with. The friend had a habit of looking at every situation that ever occurred in his life (positive or negative) and remarking, "This is good!"
One day the king and his friend were out on a hunting expedition. The friend would load and prepare the guns for the king. The friend had apparently done something wrong in preparing one of the guns, for after taking the gun from his friend, the king fired it and his thumb was blown off. Examining the situation the friend remarked as usual, "This is good!."
To which the king replied, "No, this is NOT good!" and proceeded to send his friend to jail.
About a year later, the king was hunting in an area that he should have known to stay clear of. Cannibals captured him and took them to their village. They tied his hands, stacked some wood, set up a stake and bound him to the stake. As they came near to set fire to the wood, they noticed that the king was missing a thumb.
Being superstitious, they never ate anyone that was less than whole. So untying the king, they sent him on his way. As he returned home, he was reminded of the event that had taken his thumb and felt remorse for his treatment of his friend. He went immediately to the jail to speak with his friend. "You were right" he said, "it was good that my thumb was blown off." And he proceeded to tell the friend all that had just happened. "And so I am very sorry for sending you to jail for so long. It was bad for me to do this."
"No," his friend replied, "this is good!"
"What do you mean, 'this is good!' How could it be good that I sent my friend to jail for a year."
"If I had NOT been in jail, I would have been with you."
@Laugh & Lift - http://www.laughandlift.com/