Monday Fodder - November 16, 2015

Banquet to celebrate Yan Din Church's 50th anniversary.

Last week was a busy one with at least thee evenings spent having dinner with friends. Seems no matter how often we do it, there is still not enough time to see everyone we’d like to see and spend time with them.

One of the events I attended a week ago Saturday was the 50th anniversary banquet of our Hong Kong Evangelical Yan Din Church. It is out in the New Territories… Yuen Long, and if I remember correctly it was the first church we attended when we arrived in Hong Kong in 1975.

Our late colleague, at the time, Buddy Gaines, had to preach that Sunday, and we went with him, traveling over Hong Kong’s tallest mountain, Tai Mo Shan, to get there.

At the time, Yan Din was meeting in a small building near Gam Tin, in a walled village. The walled city is still there, but long ago the church outgrew that facility and moved into Yuen Long.  The church has been one of our most productive church in terms of growth and outreach.  They have outgrown their present location and have continued to expand by sending some of their members to at least three other locations, where they have planted daughter churches.

In the beginning, the church was pastored by a former military office, turned pastor, Rev. Tsang Kong. He had 5 children, some of them who are still serving in the church. I always loved their family, and was colleagues of one of the sons at United Chrisitan College in the early years.  Another of the sons was the Secretary of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. The oldest son, who passed away just a couple years ago, pastored Yan Din for a few years before he went to Canada to pastor in a Chinese church in Vancouver.

Rev. Tsang has been gone for quite some time now, but his 90+ year old wife was in attendance at the banquet.  

I preached in the church a number of times through the years when I was Hong Kong Field Director. I always loved preaching there because of the wonderful welcoming spirit of the church.

Yesterday was a special day for RiverGrace as we had three ladies baptized as part of a joint baptism service organized by the Hong Kong Evangelical Church. Kyla, Anie and Myra were baptized. I will share more photos on Thursday when I put out our RiverGrace church newsletter. We are blessed to know how God has worked in each of their lives.

Like the Monday Fodder’s Website, I had to set up a new one for RiverGrace when I changed Web building programs. It’s not yet complete, but if you’d like to visit our church homepage, you can at

That’s it for this week. On Wednesday I have the appointment with my new cardiologist. They said I need to allow for a half a day, so I guess they’ll be doing more tests. Hopefully I’ll come away with a better idea of when the surgery will be as well. It’s difficult to plan things not knowing when the surgery might be.  Thanks for your prayers for that and our ministry. We’re blessed. Make it a great week. Love and blessings, Dave.



Psalm 108 begins with, “My heart is steadfast, O God;” My response: “No. It is not!”

     How can I say my heart is steadfast? Steadfast means, “resolutely or dutifully firm and unwavering.” That is not my heart.

     My heart is far from “resolutely firm.” My heart wavers constantly. Oh, sure there isa part of my heart that constantly longs to know God and express my love for Him. But,that longing is easily distracted by life’s demands, life’s problems, life’s temptations, life’s struggles, and life’s pleasures. How easy it is to say “I love You, Lord” one moment and in the next moment express something completely different.

     The heart regarded as the center of a person's thoughts and emotions, especially love or compassion. How can I say my heart is steadfast? Oh sure, my heart’s desire is to love people, all people and help them know and understand the love the Father has forthem, but how quickly I forget to, or choose not to, express that love to the person who has annoyed me, interrupted me, criticized me, betrayed me, or simply ignored me. How quickly I fail to show compassion to the  person who disagrees with my point of view

or disappoints me.

     My heart is far from dutifully firm. Oh, I dutifully obey the rules.  I dutifully fulfill my expected role(s). I dutifully perform my assigned tasks. I dutifully keep my commitments. But my heart seems far from dutifully firm. Another person's actions or lack of action can result in a heart that easily gets discouraged.

     My heart is far from unwavering. Oh, I have my moments or seasons when my heart stays constantly focused where it should be…seeking the Lord. And there are times when though my heart suddenly veers off track due to some unexpected interruption or someintentional departure of my own. But, to be unwavering consistently enough where I could say, “My heart is unwavering” is a stretch.

     When I read the words of the Psalmist I am a bit envious and at times disappointed in my resolve because must admit that I do not always “sing and make music with all my soul.” I do not always “praise you, Lord, among the nations.” Or “sing of you among the peoples.”

     But then I read verse 4: “For great is your love, higher than the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies.” And verse 11: “Is it not you, God, you who have rejectedus.”And verse 13: “With God we will gain the victory.”

     After the complete reading I understand better than even though my heart is not always “steadfast,” the Lord is steady. When I am wavering He is fighting with me and for me. When I am not dutifully firm, God is solid and standing with me and for me and will help me stand firm.

    The only excuse I have for not having a steadfast heart is my weakness as a human being. The only hope I have for ever having a steadfast heart is You, O God, who will “Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let your glory be over all the earth.” And who will ‘“Save us and help us with your right hand.”

    I long for my heart to be steadfast, O God.

-- Tom Norvell

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     God uses closed doors to advance His cause. He closed the womb of a young Sarah so He could display His power to the elderly one. He shut the palace door on Moses the prince so He could open shackles through Moses the liberator. He marched Daniel out of Jerusalem so He could use Daniel in Babylon. And Jesus. Yes, even Jesus knew the challenge of a blocked door. When He requested a path that bypassed the cross, God said no. He said no to Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane so He could say yes to us at the gates of heaven. God’s goal is people. He’ll stir up a storm to display His power.

--Naeem Callaway

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     The first-time father, beside himself with excitement over the birth of his son, was determined to do everything right.

      "So, tell me, Nurse," he asked as his new family headed out the hospital door, "what time should we wake the little guy in the morning?"


    Two kids are talking to each other. One says, "I'm really worried. My dad works twelve hours a day to give me a nice home and good food. My mom spends the whole day cleaning and cooking for me. I'm worried sick!"

    The other kid says, "What have you got to worry about? Sounds to me like you've got it made!"

     The first kid says, "What if they try to escape?"

@Laugh & Lift -


     "Mom, I'm not going to church today."

     "Why not?" she asked.

     "Two reasons: I don't like anyone there and nobody likes me!"  

     She pondered.  Then she replied: "Oh yes you are going to church."


     "Two reasons. First, you are forty years old. And second, you are the Pastor of the Church!”

@Sent by Rick Sams



What Turkeys Need To Know But Don't

1. By limiting your corn intake to 175 kernels a day, you can lose thirteen pounds or three hours baking time, whatever the case may be.

2. There is no such thing as the friendly axman.

3. Hiding inside old Jack-O-Lanterns never works.

4. Running helps you lose weight, but you will never fly, ever.

5. Stop writing to Benjamin Franklin; he's dead, and you lost that National symbol argument long ago.

6. No one buys the "you can't eat a turkey with glasses routine."

7. If anyone asks you about your drumstick size, be afraid; be very afraid.

8. Sweet corn meal is NOT low in calories. Stop eating it.

9. Pretending to be "just a chicken" is not very smart.

10. If there are not pigs or geese on your farm, you should probably worry about Christmas as well.


Pilgrim Interrupters

     Excerpts from a book called "Then Some Other Things Happened", a collection of short pieces about history written by eighth graders (spelling errors included) and compiled by Bill Lawrence, a teacher and columnist.

     The Pilgrams were a bunch of English wonderers who wanted to worship as they wanted to. They excaped the Church of England and came over here because they heard that American churches were different.

     The May Flower was the ship with which they came in. It didn't have a bathroom on board so there was quite an oder. Priscillia Mullins was the captain.

     First the Pilgrams had gone to Holland but left when their children started developing customs there. After a stopover at Williamsbug when a large storm blew them off course they landed on a big, slimey rock in Massatusetts. They spent the winter there.

     Before they got off the ship even they drew up an agreement for the people of Plymouth to agree on the voting for governors and congressmen. They kept this hid in the May Flower Compact. Lord Delaware was elected the first governor of Plymouth Rock.

     A friendly Indian named Rhone Oak showed the Pilgrams how to plant corn by putting it in the ground. Rhone Oak had been the first Indian to come to America and always wanted a beer. He traveled around with Miles Standy and translated language. He knew enough English to interupt.

     Another interupter for the white man was Squanto, who was called that because he was so short. Squanto drew up a declaration to give the settlers freedom of goverment in the new land. The Pilgrams gave the Indians thanks for all this and that's what started Thanksgiving.

     The Pilgrams then appointed Thanksgiving as a national holiday. Abraham Lincoln later pronounced it and gave it to them and it soon became a national holiday  all around the world.

     These people always wore old shoes with a big buckel on the top of them. The men wore pants that only came a little ways past the knees and the girls wore funny bonets.

     But if these people wouldn't had of come to America the United States wouldn't be like it is today.

@Sent by Fred Miller

Some of the HKEC pastors. The new pastor of Yan Din is the third from the left. Joseph Lai is Chairman of the Hong Kong Evangelical Church and Kato Chow is the General Administrative Secretary of HKEC.

View from the 37th floor of our friends' (Anthony and Pauline) house in Shatin, wher we enjoyed a nice dinner last Monday evening.

A view from one of the view points coming down from Fei Ngo Shan. It was cloudy at the top where the best view is. This is of part of Kowloon and the lights in the distant of Hong Kong Island.

Anie, Myrna and Kyla at lunch before going to the afternoon baptism service.