July  11, 2016

These are old slides I scanned in last year that I took in the 70's and 80's. When we first came to Hong Kong there were many boats like this... fishing junks. They provided the livelihood as fishermen and homes for many. Aberdeen, in the bottom photo was home to many fishing junks, and sampans (smaller than junks.. literally meaning" 3 boards".) Many of the junks in Aberdeen were not sea-wrothy. A fire in the 80's destroyed some of the junks and thereafter the HK Government built houses on the nearby Ap Lei Chau and housed those who had lost their homes on the boats. Now Aberdeen is home to many luxury yachts.

This is an exceptionally busy week for me with a day retreat, board meetings, an interview with a new pastor, at least 3 appointments with friends, and the the normal fellowship and prayer meetings.

Thus, this update will be short!  

I have not yet gotten a call from the hospital yet, so I’m still in the waiting mode for the surgery. Fortunately, things are relatively stable, except for a bout with 24-hour intestinal flu yesterday. It started Saturday night. I don’t think it was bad food, as I did not eat anything different than others on Saturday, and nobody else got sick.

We will interview another candidate for the lead pastor of Yan Yue church this evening. Please continue to pray for the way forward for both Yan Yue and RiverGrace. These are crucial days.

Yesterday after lunch, RiverGrace started the training of T4T (Training for Trainers). Grant McAllister, who recently came to Hong Kong with his wife, Vicky, is doing the training. The course teaches people how to tell their story, God’s story, and helps them to train others to do the same thing. It’s a process of discipleship that is working in many parts of the world. In a church like ours, with different cultures and languages, the Gospel can easily spread in a variety of cultural or language areas as people reach their own network of friends and acquaintances.

We also started a Cantonese class last Wednesday afternoon, making contact with Mainland Chinese students / graduates who are studying or working in Hong Kong. Three PhD students joined us for the first class. After dinner this coming Wednesday,  I will also invite them to practice their English, using the T4T method of story-telling to share and discuss a Bible story.

Please keep us in your prayers for this outreach efforts.

That’s it for today. Make it a great week!   Blessings, Dave


Duping Ourselves - Ravi Zacharias

     ”An utterly fascinating illustration of this duping of ourselves is the latest arts building opened at Ohio State University, the Wexner Center for the Performing Arts, another one of our chimerical exploits in the name of intellectual advance.

     Newsweek branded this building "America's first deconstructionist building." It's white scaffolding, red brick turrets, and Colorado grass pods evoke a double take.

     But puzzlement only intensifies when you enter the building, for inside you encounter stairways that go nowhere, pillars that hang from the ceiling without purpose, and angled surfaces configured to create a sense of vertigo.

     The architect, we are duly informed, designed this building to reflect life itself - senseless and incoherent - and the "capriciousness of the rules that organize the built world."

     When the rationale was explained to me, I had just one question: 'Did he do the same with the foundation?'

     The laughter in response to my question unmasked the double standard our deconstructionists espouse.

     And that is precisely the double standard of atheism!

     It is possible to dress up and romanticize our bizarre experiments in social restructuring while disavowing truth or absolutes. But one dares not play such deadly games with the foundations of good thinking."

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The Stark Contrast - Jerry Bridges

2 Corinthians 5:17   “The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”

     Probably no other passage suggests more starkly the contrast between living by grace and living by works than Romans 7:6: "But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the spirit and not in the old way of the written code."

     The new way of the Spirit is not a less rigorous ethic than the old way of the written code. The difference doesn’t lie in the content of God’s moral will. Since that’s a reflection of the holy character of God, it cannot change. Rather, the difference lies in the reason for obeying and the ability to obey.

     Are you seeking to build and maintain your relationship with God on the basis of "keeping the law"—on the basis of your personal performance—or on the basis of the merit of Jesus Christ? Do you view God’s moral precepts as a source of bondage and condemnation for failure to obey them, or do you sense the Spirit producing within you an inclination and desire to obey out of gratitude and love? Do you try to obey by your own sheer will and determination, or do you rely on the Spirit daily for his power to enable your obedience?

     Do you feel God has set before you an impossible code of conduct you cannot keep, or do you view him as your divine heavenly Father who has accepted you and loves you on the basis of the merit of Christ? For acceptance with God, are you willing to rely solely on the finished perfect work of Jesus instead of your own pitifully imperfect performance?

@Sent by Mary Sutherland


The Rescue

     An orphaned boy was living with his grandmother when their house caught fire. The grandmother, trying to get upstairs to rescue the boy, perished in the flames. The boy's cries for help were finally answered by a man who climbed an iron drainpipe and came back down with the boy hanging tightly to his neck.

     Several weeks later, a public hearing was held to determine who would receive custody of the child. A farmer, a teacher, and the town's wealthiest citizen all gave the reasons they felt they should be chosen to give the boy a home.

     But as they talked, the boy's eyes remained focused on the floor. Then a stranger walked to the front and slowly took his hand from his pockets, revealing severe scars on them.

     As the crowd gasped, the boy cried out in recognition. This was the man who had saved his life. His hands had been burned when he climbed the hot pipe. With a leap, the young boy threw his arms around the man's neck and held on for dear life.

     The other men silently walked away, leaving the boy and his rescuer alone. Those marred hands had settled the issue. And so it is with Jesus. His nail-pierced hands remind us that he has rescued us from sin and its deadly consequences.

     "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." (Galatians 2:20)

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     Smith goes to see his supervisor in the front office.

     "Boss," he says, "we're doing some heavy house-cleaning at home tomorrow, and my wife needs me to help with the attic and the garage, moving and hauling stuff."

     "We're short-handed, Smith," the boss replies. "I can't give you the day off."

"Thanks, boss," says Smith, "I knew I could count on you!"


     Once upon a time in their marriage, my Dad did something really stupid. My Mom chewed him out for it. He apologized, they made up.

     However, from time to time, my mom mentions what he had done.

     "Honey," my Dad finally said one day, "why do you keep bringing that up? I thought your policy was 'forgive and forget.'"

     "It is," she said. "I just don't want you to forget that I've forgiven and forgotten."

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3 stages of Life:

Teen Age – Has time & energy – But no Money

Working Age – Has Money & Energy – But No Time

Old Age – Has Money & Time – But No Energy

@Sent by Carolyn Wheeler


     A boy was sitting on a park bench with one hand resting on an open Bible. He was loudly exclaiming his praise to God. "Hallelujah! Hallelujah! God is great!" he yelled without worrying whether anyone heard him or not.

     Shortly after, along came a man who had recently completed some studies at a local university. Feeling himself very enlightened in the ways of truth and very eager to show this enlightenment, he asked the boy about the source of his joy.

     "Hey" asked the boy in return with a bright laugh, "Don't you have any idea what God is able to do? I just read that God opened up the waves of the Red Sea and led the whole nation of Israel right through the middle."

     The enlightened man laughed lightly, sat down next to the boy and began to try to open his eyes to the "realities" of the miracles of the Bible.

     "That can all be very easily explained. Modern scholarship has shown that the Red Sea in that area was only 10-inches deep at that time. It was no problem for the Israelites to wade across."

     The boy was stumped. His eyes wandered from the man back to the Bible laying open in his lap.

     The man, content that he had enlightened a poor, naive young person to the finer points of scientific insight, turned to go. Scarcely had he taken two steps when the boy began to rejoice and praise louder than before.

     The man turned to ask the reason for this resumed jubilation.

     "Wow!" exclaimed the boy happily, "God is greater than I thought! Not only did He lead the whole nation of Israel through the Red Sea, He topped it off by drowning the whole Egyptian army in 10-inches of water!"


     While trying to explain to our six-year-old daughter how much technology had changed, my husband pointed to our brand-new personal computer and told her that when he was in college, a computer with the same amount of power would have been the size of a house.

      Wide-eyed, our daughter asked, "How big was the mouse?"


"I suffer from two phobias: 1) Phobia-Phobia, the fear that you're unable to get scared, and 2) Xylophataquieopiaphobia, the fear of not pronouncing words correctly." - Brad Stine

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The parishioners are talking with the minister at the back door of  the sanctuary.  "We were so glad to hear you say you didn't know where the money for the budget was going to come from.  For a while, we thought you were going to ask us for it."