I hardly know where to begin, but I’ll make a stab at it. It’s been 20 days (November 7) since I sent out an abbreviated version of Monday Fodder.
This is somewhat of a abbreviated version as well in terms of the Website, but I hope to get back on schedule now.
On November 12, we hosted a RiverGrace thanksgiving service to celebrate God’s goodness to us as a church. It was not related to American Thanksgiving Day, but just for our RiverGrace, which became independent on October 1. We had many guests, and it was a wonderful time. We had worship songs in 4 languages, 2 worship dances, and we gave away new RG T-shirts and gifts to those who have played a part and getting RG to where it is today as a church.
Two days later I left for a 9-day trip to Israel, and a day and night in Jordan as well. How can one sum up that trip in a few words? We are grateful for God giving health and safety to the 34 people who joined the tour. Most were pastors of Hong Kong Evangelical Church or related to our seminary, United Wesleyan Graduate Institute. We visited from north near the Golan heights to the south at the Dead Sea and the fortress of Masada, and many places in between.
There were several meaningful places we visited, and experiences we had, but I suppose one of the most long-lasting effects will simply be in reading the Bible with a deeper understanding of some of the situations and hardships faced in a land. Except for certain locations the land seemed rather barren, and not what one would imagine in a land of “milk and honey.” It was humbling and meaningful to think that we were actually standing on, or visiting places I’ve heard and read about all my life.
We were usually on the go from our 6 or 6:30am wake up call until in the evening. It was really impossible to process all the information and feelings that came as we visited each place. My Web design program does not handle many photos very well and it’s a slow process, so I won’t post many on the Fodder Website. However, if you have a Facebook page you can see the photos I’ve posted so far here: https://www.facebook.com/dave.aufrance/media_set?set=a.10159504157190099.1073741861.753795098&type=3 I will post more photos and video clips on Facebook as I have time.
I arrived back in Hong Kong last Thursday evening and then had to finish planning for another big event yesterday, the United Baptism service of Hong Kong Evangelical Church of which RiverGrace and 14 other HKEC churches joined. HKEC had planned two separate baptismal services, but a typhoon in October closed Hong Kong down on a Sunday, and so they two were combined into one service. It was my turn to do the baptisms. I baptized 5 elderly people by sprinkling and baptized 25 others in the standard way. RiverGrace had 4 ladies baptized. 2 are from the Philippines, 1 Is from Nigeria, and the last one is a local Chinese lady.
In our morning service and also in the united baptismal service all of our members were formally accepted into RiverGrace. So we continue to work through the process of our independence as a church.
On the Trailwalker. Cindy was not able to finish this time. She was naturally disappointed. Fortunately her other 3 teammates were able to finish in under 30 hours. Cindy had been having knee issues for a few months, and she took a strong pain medication race-day morning. As a result, her knees felt fine, but it seems the medicine, which she had not taken before on a hike like that, messed up here stomach, and she could not eat or drink. At any rate, she did finish over half of it… over 50K or 32 miles. So there’s no shame in not finishing it.
I didn’t even get to wish my American Friends Happy Thanksgiving, as I spent most of my day close to heaven… between Istanbul and Hong Kong. Have a good week. Blessings! Dave
Having just experienced some of the barrenness of some of Israel and Jordan, this miracle seems all the more amazing…
The Biggest Mathematical Miracle in the World!
Moses and the people were in the desert, but what was he going to do with them? They had to be fed, and feeding 2 or 3 million people requires a lot of food. According to the Quartermaster General in the Army, it is reported that Moses would have to have had 1500 tons of food each day.
Do you know that to bring that much food each day, two freight trains, each a mile long, would be required! Besides you must remember, they were out in the desert, so they would have to have firewood to use in cooking the food.
This would take 4000 tons of wood and a few more freight trains, each a mile long, just for one day. And just think, they were forty years in transit. And oh yes! They would have to have water. If they only had enough to drink and wash a few dishes, it would take 11,000,000 gallons each day, and a freight train with tank cars, 1800 miles long, just to bring water!
And then another thing! They had to get across the Red Sea at night. (They did?) Now, if they went on a narrow path, double file, the line would be 800 miles long and would require 35 days and nights to get through. So, there had to be a space in the Red Sea, 3 miles wide so that they could walk 5000 abreast to get over in one night.
But then, there is another problem. Each time they camped at the end of the day, a campground two-thirds the size of the state of Rhode Island was required, or a total of 750 square miles long...think of it! This space just for nightly camping.
Do you think Moses figured all this out before he left Egypt? I think not! You see, Moses believed in God. God took care of these things for him. Now do you think God has any problem taking care of all your needs?
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Dr. Warren Wiersbe – Mind, Heart & Will – Psalm 86:11-17 Here is a good prayer for you today. "Teach me Your way, O Lord; I will walk in Your truth; unite my heart to fear Your name" (v. 11). The whole person is wrapped up in this prayer.
First, we see an open mind. "Teach me Your way; . . . I will walk in Your truth." Is your mind open to God's truth? Do you really want Him to teach you His way? He revealed His ways to Moses and to the Israelites. He will do the same for you also. We need people today who will say, "Lord, I have an open mind. I want you to show me Your way and truth."
But that's not enough. We need to have an obedient will. The psalmist makes a promise in verse 11: "Lord, if you show me your way, I will obey it." Jesus said, "If anyone wants to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority" (John 7:17).
Finally, we see a united heart. "Unite my heart to fear your name." A united heart is wholly fixed upon the Lord. A divided heart is dangerous. Jesus said, "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon" (Matt. 6:24). James 1:8 says a double-minded man is unstable in all of his ways.
If you want God to guide and bless you today, follow the example of this prayer. Give to Him an open mind and say, "Teach me." Give to Him an obedient will and say, "I will do what you want me to do." And give to Him a united heart. Fear His name, and you'll end up praising Him, glorifying Him and enjoying His blessings.
@Sent by Mary Sutherland
Pardon me, lady," said the man trying to get back to his seat in the darkened movie theater, "but did I step on your toes a few minutes ago?"
"You certainly did!" said the woman in the aisle seat.
"Good, then I'm in the right row," the man said as he went back to his seat.
Just sold my homing pigeon on Ebay...for the 27th time!
@Sent by Mike Niefert
On a visit to New York, an Englishman and a Scotsman go to a pastry shop.
The Englishman whisks three cookies into his pocket with lightning speed. The baker doesn't notice.
The Englishman says to the Scotsman: "You see how clever we are? You'll never beat that!"
The Scotsman says to the Englishman: "Watch this, a Scotsman is always cleverer than an Englishman."
He says to the baker, "Give me a cookie, I can show you a magic trick!"
The baker gives him the cookie which the Scotsman promptly eats. Then he says to the baker: "Give me another cookie for my magic trick."
The baker is getting suspicious but he gives it to him. He eats this one too.
Then he says again: "Give me one more cookie..."
The baker is getting angry now but gives him one anyway. The Scotsman eats this one too.
Now the baker is really mad, and he yells: "And where is your famous magic trick?"
The Scotsman says: "Look in the Englishman's pocket!"
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ACTUAL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL EXCUSE NOTES
classroom* "Jerry was at his grandmother's yesterday, and she did not bring him to school because Jerry couldn't remember where the school was."
* "Ronnie would not finish his work last night. He said his brain was too tired of spelling."
* "Eric hurt his knee in a karate tournament over the weekend. He won his age group, but was in too much pain to do his math assignment."
* "Amy did not do her homework last night because we went out to a party and did not get home until late. If she is tired, please let her sleep during recess time."
* "Henry stayed home because he had a stomach ache from eating too much frosting."
* "It was my fault Mike did not do his math homework last night. His pencil broke and we do not have a pencil sharpener at home."
* "Scott didn't practice last night because he lost his tooth in the mouthpiece of his trumpet."
* "Diane was late on Wednesday. She fell asleep on the bus and was taken back to the bus yard."
* "Cody was absent yesterday because we were out bowling until 2 AM."
* "Tommy wasn't in school yesterday because he thought it was Saturday."
Early one morning, my husband, who works in a funeral home, woke me, complaining of severe abdominal pains. We rushed to the emergency room, where they gave him a series of tests to determine the source of the pain.
My husband decided not to have me call in sick for him until we knew what was wrong. When the results came back, the nurse informed us that, true to our suspicions, he was suffering from a kidney stone.
I turned to my husband and asked, "Would you like me to call the funeral home now?"
With an alarmed look, the nurse quickly said, "Ma'am, he's not THAT sick!"
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