God lives in Everywhere

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The God who made the world and everything in it, he who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by human hands, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mortals life and breath and all things. – Acts 17:24-25
Creation is the temple in which God dwells. It is a living temple, a holy place without walls. There are no walls that can contain God; there are no walls that can keep God out. There is no place where God is not; there is nothing from which God is absent. As a seed is in the flower that sprouts from it; as a child in the adult that she becomes; as spring is in the river that flows forth from it; as food is in the body that it fuels—so too does God the Creator reside within creation.

Sometimes you may have difficulty believing that God lives even in hatred, in chaos, in pain, and in death. But there, especially does God live, as a redeeming presence. God does not eradicate hatred, but overcomes it with love; does not eliminate chaos, but moves it toward order; does not abolish pain, but convert it into wholeness; does not end death, but resurrects it into life.

Celebrate God as a dynamic, creating, transforming presence. God is the Source and will not be separated from the world. Remind yourself as often as possible: God lives in everything.

Excerpt from Having the Mind of Christ by Paul E. Miller & Phyllis Cole-Dai

Valentine’s Day Thoughts

torah-with-glasses-636x477

 

28 One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” 
Mark 12:28-31

There is a story you all probably know already about a teacher who wants to teach about time management to his class. He walked into the room and put a glass jar on the table. Then he took out about a dozen rocks and put them in to the jar one at a time. When the jar was full to the top and no more rocks would fit inside, he asked, “Is this jar full?”

Everyone in the class said, “Yes.”

“Really?” he said. Then he reached under the table and pulled out a bucket of gravel. He dumped some gravel into the jar and shook it, causing pieces of gravel to work themselves down into the spaces between the big rocks. Then he smiled and asked the group once more, “Is the jar full?”

By this time the class was starting to catch on. “Probably not,” one of them said.

“Good!” he replied. Then he reached under the table and brought out a bucket of sand. He started dumping the sand in and it filled all the spaces between the rocks and the gravel. Once more he asked, “Is this jar full?”

“No!” the class shouted.

Again, he said, “Good!” Then he grabbed a pitcher of water and began to pour in the water until the jar was full to the brim. Then he looked back at the class and asked, “What is the point of this illustration?”

One eager student raised his hand and said, “The point is, no matter how full your schedule is, if you try really hard, you can always fit something more into it!”

“No,” the teacher shouted, “that’s not the point. The truth this illustration teaches us is this: if you don’t put the big rocks in first, you’ll never get them in at all.”

He made his point. The problem is—sometimes it is hard to know what the big rocks are supposed to be in our life. We need to know what the most important thing and we need to give them priority in our life.

What about Jesus? Have we ever wondered what is important to Jesus? Many of the teachers of the law were debating what was the most important law for Jesus. It is unbelievable that they identified 613 specific commandments in the Old Testament. We can narrow it down to the 10 Commandments. Which one is the most important? Which one took top priority? They would debate endlessly.

They wanted Jesus to be involved in the debate, so they asked Him. Jesus’ answer to this question would show a great deal about his own heart and the heart of God, the Father. Jesus set down where to start, what matters most to God, what big rocks should be.

When they asked Jesus, “Which of the commands is most important?” He answered that the most important commandment is the command to love.

Love the Lord your God (29)

29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’

Jesus’ answer is a quote from the Old Testament. This is the Shema from Deuteronomy 6: 4-9:

4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

Each word from this sentence is significant. Throughout the Bible, the word for heart (kardia) includes the physical, emotional, and spiritual life of a person. The heart is the source of our feelings and emotions. Feelings like joy, sorrow, depression, happiness all come from the heart. To love God with all your heart means to love God deeply and personally—like a love between husband and wife and parents to their children.

Love the Lord your God with all your soul. The word soul (nephesh) refers to the entire life of a person—sleeping, eating, working, and walking. Everything about us. Our soul is both who we are and what we are. If someone will ask you who you are, you might tell him your name. But your name does not describe who you are. If you want to be more specific you might say what is your work, where do you live, you are married, and you have a family with three children. Most importantly, you will say that you are a follower of Jesus. Loving God with all your soul means that God defines who you are and what you are.

Jesus then adds the word that is not originally in the Old Testament. He says to love God with “all your mind.” This is all about our thinking and learning. Loving God with all your mind implies centering our education on him—learning and growing in our ability to know Jesus deeper. We need to study about God, we need to learn more about Jesus until his love, power and grace overcome us.

And then Jesus says to love God with “all your strength.” Strength here has nothing to do with the amount of weight we can lift. This is about how and where we put our energy—our work, our jobs and our daily activities. Paul explains what it means to love God with all your strength when he says, “In all the work you are doing, work the best you can. Work as if you were doing it for the Lord, not for people (Col. 3:23).

When we put all these truths all together, this passage has a big impact in our lives. Jesus is telling us to love God with our whole self—every cell, every fiber of our being. It is a hard command. It’s hard enough to love a spouse or children who we can see and touch. How are we supposed to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength? We can do this through the help of the Holy Spirit.

How can we love someone who we do not know personally? We can love God with all our whole being we know Him very well. As we know Jesus more and more, we learn to love him more, and He open our hearts to a greater love. God wants us to know him, not to know doctrine or religion or system or creeds.

This is the challenge for us. Where does our knowledge of God come from? From his Word and from His people God uses to teach us about God and about Jesus. We need to study God’s word deeply and listen to the good teachers of the Word of God. Furthermore, we need to apply everything we learn about Jesus in our lives.

Hopefully it’s becoming obvious why Jesus said that this is the greatest command. But Jesus not only gave the greatest command, he gave the second greatest as well.

Love Your Neighbor (31)

31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

When Jesus said, “The second command is this: ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself,’” he was still quoting from the Torah—Leviticus 19:18 to be specific. And this was also an often-misunderstood passage.

Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.

During Jesus’ lifetime, the teachers of the Law were busy arguing what is the meaning of the word neighbor. For most of them, a neighbor was a Jew who faithfully followed the Law. People who were not Jews were considered enemies.

Jesus wanted to broaden their definition of neighbor, so he told them the story of “The Good Samaritan” to teach them that a neighbor is a person we meet who needs help. The question is not “Who is my neighbor?” but “Am I a good neighbor?” Loving our neighbor means loving and helping the people around us.

Loving our neighbor is the second greatest commandment, second only to loving God because loving people is just an extension of loving God. Jesus couldn’t have given us the greatest command without giving us the greatest command, because the two are always together. Loving people is the evidence that we love God.

How do we show our love to God? We can use our words to express our love to God through our worship, prayer or singing. We can even spend quality time with God through devotionals or Bible reading. We can show love to God by loving the body of Christ—the church. Furthermore, we can show love to God by serving the church and serving the people.

How do we gift give to God? We give gift to God by giving to the church and by giving to other people. When we serve, touch, and give gifts to other people, we are doing it for God. Jesus says, “I tell you the truth, anything you did for even the least of my people here, you also did for me (Matt. 25:40).

Loving God means loving people. It means going out of our way, giving our time and using our resources to help the people in need around us. When we do this, we are fulfilling the greatest commandment. Ultimately, we fulfill it when we share with them the love of God. When we share our loving relationship with God to our neighbors, we obey the greatest commandment.

How do people around us know that we are Christian? We may answer that the people know because we go to the church. Or because we believe in Jesus, that he died for our sins and that we have eternal life. We can answer because we read and believe the Bible. We may answer because Jesus change my life and I’m now a new creation. These are all correct answers, this is so true. But Jesus says that “all people will know that you are my followers, if you love one another” (John 13:35).

Our greatest testimony as Christians is our obedience to the greatest commandment: To love God with all our heart with all our soul with all our mind with all our strength and to love our neighbor as ourselves.

Conclusion

Perhaps the question is we need to ask is how we love. The Bible is very clear about this in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8:

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails. --1 Corinthians 13:4-8

While reading this, we realized that no one among us here can do this. When it comes down to the most important commands God has given, not one person has ever kept them fully in all of history. No one except Jesus. He is the only one of us who ever lived the commands to love God and love people. We can only love like Jesus if He is the King and Lord of our life.

In fact, it sounds so true when we replaced this passage with the name of Jesus. Jesus is patient and kind. Jesus is never envy, not proud. He never dishonors others, not self-seeking, not easily angered. He keeps no record of wrongs. He does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. He always protects, always trusts, always hope, always perseveres. Jesus never fails.

Adopted from Pastor Scot Bayles’ message.

Healing may take time*

blind-man

He took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village; and when he had put saliva on his eyes and laid his hands on him, he asked him, “Can you see anything?” And the man looked up and said, “I can see people, but they look like trees, walking.” Then Jesus laid his hand on his eyes again; and he looked intently and his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. – Mark 8:23-25
In today’s scripture, Jesus healed the blind man gradually. When his sight was not immediately restored, the man staged with Jesus and followed his direction until the healing was complete. This requires patience.
As we have previously noted, healing does not always come on our timeline. Furthermore, it does not always come in a form that we want or expect. In the scriptures healing means wholeness. Wholeness is not the same as the perfection of all the parts. You can be whole and still have some physical problems that will not go away. If you are deaf or lame, for example, you can be whole even though you may never be able to hear or walk. Although you have physical challenges, you are not prohibited from experiencing the fullness of lie as God intended it to be.
In the same way, you can be a whole person and still have some life challenges that will not go away. You can still celebrate wholeness even part of your life is less than perfect.
Find a person who experiences a chronic physical problem. Ask this person to share his or her story with you. You might ask several of the following questions:
  1. What it has been like to struggle with your pain, weakness, or limitation?
  2. In what ways have you experienced the power of God working in your situation?
  3. How have you been blessed because of the difficulty you experience?
  4. What transformation has happened in your attitudes, your faith, or your relationships as a result of the problem?
As you converse with this person, listen for his or her own sense of wholeness. And celebrate that you, too, can feel whole even when some parts of your body or your life are less than perfect.
Healing may take time.

*Excerpt from Having the Mind of Christ by Paul E. Miller & Phyllis Cole-Dai

Every moment is a blessing

After spending almost nine months in the Philippines, we are so happy for the opportunity to spend Christmas and New Year with all our children. It was a rare moment for us to be together for more than a week celebrating Christmas and remembering God’s faithfulness in our lives.

It is true, the unexpected extended time away brought about changes. First, we noticed that the children are more mature, more responsible and can do chores by themselves. Second, we can longer do the “heavy lifting." We are now a team with our children that each of us working together in a ministry God has given to us. Moreover, we believe our hosting of YWAM teams has come to an end.

It is easy to be thankful for the good things that happen in our lives but it takes faith to be grateful for all of our lives—the good as well as the bad, the moments of joy as well as the moments of sorrow, in success as well as failures, in health as well as sickness. We learn to trust the Lord that blessings are never in disguised. Every moment is a blessing from God.

This reminds us of Job when he says: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; Blessed be the name of the LORD.”-Job 1:21

Once again, we are thankful for your love and prayers. We remember you who sacrificed a lot financially to help us taking care of the children. God bless you more and more.

Sharing Jesus' Story

We had a busy Christmas. It is because Christmas is never considered a holiday here in Thailand. No Christmas break for the children. So, they had to divide their time. going to school and celebrating Christmas.

One of the special activities we did last Christmas was caroling. We went into the community singing Christmas gospel songs and praying for the people. Even non-Christians would invite us to sing and pray for them. An opportunity to share the gospel through songs and prayers.

Moreover, we participated in a Christmas party organized by our church. Our church is planting a church in the village. Christmas party here is the time when we share Jesus' story in the village and we do the “raffle” thing. People received a gift by drawing their respective numbers. We sang Christmas songs and the children presented a drama about the story of Jesus—his birth, ministry, death, and resurrection.

Prayer Concerns

We are holding several English camps (Daily Vacation Bible School) during school breaks. Our church will join us, and our children will serve as camp staff. Please pray for God’s provisions as we minister to the children in the community.

Our children are now the main worship team in our church. They lead the worship and play the instruments as well. We are hoping to buy more musical instruments like a bass guitar. We are hoping we can teach them more worship songs. Please pray that God will use them in this ministry.

Our truck is in the shop once again. It is still working well but the maintenance is getting costly. We are praying for a new van that we can use when our truck broke down and we need it during the rainy season. We may not get the van we are praying for, we are looking for another van.

We are praying to do the after school English classes once again. We are planning to work with the School of Tomorrow and its BLESS (Basic Literacy Education Saving Souls) Project. We are praying to teach the children in the community to read and write in English and eventually share the gospel with their parents. It was a ministry we were doing for years and we like to do it again better this time with us to undergo training.

Joey needs to go back in March for two weeks to the Philippines for monitoring. He will have bone scans, blood tests, x-rays, and other follow-up checkups. Praying for favorable results. We are praying to find a good oncologist here in Thailand so that we don’t need to go to the Philippines for monitoring. Please pray for safe travels and provisions.

Thank you once again for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers. We are feeling your love all the time. To God be the glory.

Meditation upon creation


But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; 
or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. 
Which of all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind. 

Job 12: 7-10

(One) kind of contemplative prayer is meditation upon the creation. Now, this is no infantile pantheism, but a majestic monotheism in which the great Creator of the universe shows us something of his glory through his creation. The heavens do indeed declare the glory of God and the firmament does show forth his handiwork (Ps. 19:1).

Evelyn Underhill recommends, "...begin with that first form of contemplation which the old mystics sometimes called 'the discovery of God in his creatures!'" So give your attention to the created order. Look at the trees, really look at them. Take a flower and allow its beauty and symmetry to sink deep into your mind and heart.

Listen to the birds they are the messengers of God. Watch the little creatures that creep upon the earth. These are humble acts, to be sure, but sometimes God reaches us profoundly in these simple ways if we will quiet ourselves to listen.

Lord, thank you for revealing more of yourself to us. Not only through your written words but also in your creation. In Jesus' name. Amen

Richard Foster, Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth, 2003 PDF

On Christian Meditation

This, in brief, forms the biblical foundation for meditation, and the wonderful news is that Jesus has not stopped acting and speaking. He is resurrected and at work in our world. He is not idle, nor has he developed laryngitis. He is alive and among  us as our Priest to forgive us, our Prophet to teach us, our King to rule us, our Shepherd to guide us.

All the saints throughout the ages have witnessed to this reality. How sad that contemporary Christians are so ignorant of the vast sea of literature on Christian meditation by faithful believers throughout the centuries! And their testimony to the joyful life of perpetual communion is amazingly uniform. From Catholic to Protestant, from Eastern Orthodox to Western Free Church we are urged to "live in his presence in uninterrupted fellowship."

The Russian mystic Theophan the Recluse says, "To pray is to descend with the mind into the heart, and there to stand before the face of the Lord, ever-present, all seeing, within you." The Anglican divine Jeremy Taylor declares, "Meditation is the duty of all." And in our day Lutheran martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer, when asked why he meditated, replied, "Because I am a Christian."

The witness of Scripture and the witness of the devotional masters are so rich, so alive with the presence of God that we would be foolish to neglect such a gracious invitation to experience, in the words of Madame Guyon, "the depths of Jesus Christ."

Richard Foster, The Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth.

Going to sleep is an act of faith





“In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, 
make me dwell in safety."
Psalm 4:8

We begin our lives asleep in the womb, formed by another. Passive in the darkness, we are made. When we finally venture into daylight action, we are not done with the passivities of sleep but return to them at once. In our early days we are more asleep than awake, as another, and others nourish us into the wholeness that we have neither the wisdom nor the strength to fashion ourselves. Gradually our waking hours lengthen and we take up for ourselves tasks others did for us, entering into the work of the world—loving, helping, feeding, healing, building, teaching, making.

But we never arrive at a condition where we are beyond sleep, self-sufficient in twenty-four-hour control. Daily we give up consciousness, submitting ourselves to that which is deeper than consciousness in order to grow and be healed, be created and saved. Going to sleep is a biological necessity; it can also be an act of faith. People who live by faith have always welcomed the evening hour of prayer, disengaging themselves from the discordant, arrhythmic confusion of tongues, and sinking into the quiet rhythms of God’s creating and covenanting words.

Are you able to go to sleep in peace, believing deep down that the Lord  keeps you secure during the night hour?

Lord, now I lay me down to sleep, believing that my soul you’ll keep. Amen.

"Welcome the Evening" by Eugene Peterson

Excerpt From: “Faith That Matters: 365 Devotions from Classic Christian Leaders.”



On silence and meditation


It is hard to find a silent moment in our churches today. Pastors and musicians feel like loud music is equal to intense worship. As if the period of quietness should be filled with noises like soft background music or prayers.  There is nothing wrong with that but I always think that a moment of silent prayer and meditation should be important in contemporary worship.

"Contemplation is not a psychological trick but a theological grace." - Thomas Merton

In contemporary society our Adversary majors in three things: noise, hurry, and crowds. If he can keep us engaged in "muchness" and "manyness," he will rest satisfied. Psychiatrist Carl Jung once remarked, "Hurry is not of the Devil; it is the Devil."

If we hope to move beyond the superficialities of our culture, including our religious culture, we must be willing to go down into the recreating silences, into the inner world of contemplation. In their writings, all the masters of meditation beckon us to be pioneers in this frontier of the Spirit. Though it may sound strange to modern ears, we should without shame enroll as apprentices in the school of contemplative prayer.

Richard J. Foster, The Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth, 2003.

Book I Read: Celebration of Discipline

 
I read this book when I was in the Seminary almost 30 years ago. Now that I was diagnosed with kidney cancer and having radical nephrectomy of my right kidney, I thought it would have a long and hard road to recovery. I have been struggling with my personal spirituality. But I know that during the difficult times, it is my spirituality that will help me stay strong. So I am revisiting this book on spirituality. No, I won’t write a book review but I will just post few nuggets that I hope will inspire those who will read to grow in their spiritual life.
 
Here is the descritption of the book written by Richard J. Foster.

From the Inside Flap

In the twenty years since its publication, Celebration of Discipline has helped over a million seekers discover a richer spiritual life infused with joy, peace, and a deeper understanding of God. For this special twentieth-anniversary edition, Richard J. Foster has added an introduction, in which he shares the story of how this beloved and enduring spiritual guidebook came to be.

Hailed by many as the best modern book on Christian spirituality, Celebration of Discipline explores the "classic Disciplines," or central spiritual practices, of the Christian faith. Along the way, Foster shows that it is only by and through these practices that the true path to spiritual growth can be found.

Dividing the Disciplines into three movements of the Spirit, Foster shows how each of these areas contribute to a balanced spiritual life. The inward Disciplines of meditation, prayer, fasting, and study offer avenues of personal examination and change. The outward Disciplines of simplicity, solitude, submission, and service help prepare us to make the world a better place. The corporate Disciplines of confession, worship, guidance, and celebration bring us nearer to one another and to God.

Foster provides a wealth of examples demonstrating how these Disciplines can become part of our daily activities--and how they can help us shed our superficial habits and "bring the abundance of God into our lives." He offers crucial new insights on simplicity, demonstrating how the biblical view of simplicity, properly understood and applied, brings joy and balance to our inward and outward lives and "sets us free to enjoy the provision of God as a gift that can be shared with others." The discussion of celebration, often the most neglected of the Disciplines, shows its critical importance, for it stands at the heart of the way to Christ. Celebration of Discipline will help Christians everywhere to embark on a journey of prayer and spiritual growth.

From the Back Cover

In the twenty years since its publication, Celebration of Discipline has helped over a million seekers discover a richer spiritual life infused with joy, peace, and a deeper understanding of God. Hailed by many as the best modern work on Christian spirituality, Celebration of Discipline explores the "classic Disciplines," or central spiritual practices, of the Christian faith. Along the way, Foster shows that it is only by and through these practices that the true path to spiritual growth can be found.

Dividing the Disciplines into three movements of the Spirit, Foster shows how each of these areas contributes to a balanced spiritual life. The inward Disciplines of meditation, prayer, fasting, and study offer avenues of personal examination and change. The outward Disciplines of simplicity, solitude, submission, and service help prepare us to make the world a better place. The corporate Disciplines of confession, worship, guidance, and celebration bring us nearer to one another and to God.Foster provides a wealth of examples demonstrating how these Disciplines can become part of our daily activities -- and how they can help us shed our superficial habits and "bring the abundance of God into our lives." The discussion of celebration, often the most neglected of the Disciplines, shows its critical importance -- for it stands at the heart of the way to Christ. Celebration of Disciplinewill help motivate Christians everywhere to embark on a journey of prayer and spiritual growth.

About the Author

Richard J. Foster is the author of several bestselling books, including Celebration of DisciplineStreams of Living WaterLife with God, and Prayer, which was Christianity Today's Book of the Year and the winner of the Gold Medallion Award from the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association. He is the founder of RenovarÉ, an organization and a movement committed to the renewal of the church of Jesus Christ in all its multifaceted expressions, and the editor of The Life with God Bible.

 
 

Don't Worry





Whenever we are staying in the house with Narlin’s sister, a little bird land by our window, sings some notes, hangs out for about ten minutes to “chat” with us, then flies away. She will be back in the late afternoon to do the same. What a joy to start and end our day, it seems that God is telling us not to worry about Joey’s health situation, reminding us of His promise in Matthew 6:25-27:

“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?”

It has been two months since we left Thailand and we are still here in the Philippines. Yes, it’s about my health. The last CT Scan in Thailand shows that a tumor is growing on my right lung. The radiologist’ impression it is a metastasis from the kidney cancer. Dr. Adefuin, my oncologist asked us to come home so that I can undergo PET CT to determine the “shape” and extent of the tumor.

We thought our time here would be shorter this time, but God has other plans. We can’t wait to go back home to Thailand to be with the people we love and serve.

Thankfully, it is still localized, not irregular in shape and according to her has a moderate to low malignancy. She requested for another CT Scan for correlation, but my creatinine level is high, my nephrologist has not cleared me to undergo the test. My lone left kidney is having a hard time keeping my creatinine at a normal level. The CT scan is postponed for two weeks.

Thank you so much for praying for us. We are touched by your love and concern, reaching to us through personal messages, comments, and emails. Thank you for praying for the children, church, and ministries, we left behind while we are undergoing medications.

Rain is A Blessing


We woke up with the sound of pouring rain and soft thunder, a welcome relief to long scorching summer heat. The rainy season has officially begun in Thailand. We have waited longingly for this season when the air is now refreshingly clean and cool, the grass and trees will be greener. It soon will be beautiful out here.

I (Joey) was preparing a message for Sunday when I came across this verse reminding us of God’s faithfulness in our life.

"The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands." - Deut. 28:12
Thank you so much for your love, support, and prayers. We are sharing with you how God is working in our lives these days.

The Kids Are Back to School

The school opens on the second week of May. The children were so excited to go back to school. They have new uniforms, bags, and school supplies. They would meet their old friends again and would make new ones as well.

Four of the children, Sam Ching, Dina, Jai, and Muey made it to the senior high. Ai Pang did not move up because his average grade is not high enough. He is now studying at a vocational school taking up hotel and restaurant management. The rest of the children are in elementary school.

Your support and contributions have helped the children to continue their studies. Two more years and four of them will be in the university. God has faithfully provided for their educational needs.

The Exciting News

We hint about this in our previous newsletters, the exciting news is that the Lord has given us the opportunity to expand our children’s home ministry. It may take a whole year to work out the details before it can come to fruition. The initial meetings with Divine Inheritance Foundation (DIF) have been encouraging.

We have been envisioning to take in more children, but our space and resources are limited. The founder of the DIF met with us and allowed us to use a portion of the property (which has not been used for more than a decade) for our children's home. The Foundation was established to help children-at-risk and our work fit in perfectly with their purpose.

Please help us to pray about this next phase in our ministry. We are praying to have another batch of ten to twelve young children next year. Pray also that an MOU favorable for both parties will be drawn. Please help us to pray for volunteers and paid staff who can help us. We do not know yet how this ministry will be supported but we have proven that God throughout the years that He is faithful.

By His stripes we are healed


He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed. -Isaiah 53:6
In about two days Narlin and I are flying back to Mae Sai. We have been away from home for practically three months. The longest time we have been away since we came to Thailand in 2006. It is also the longest time we are away from the children. We couldn’t wait to see them again. We are grateful to the Lord that under Jillian’s watch they did well performing their household duties and other responsibilities.

The unexpected surgery, the pains and the initial false-negative biopsy results had led to confusion about my disease. It is only after the further immunostain test and consulting with the oncologist that we understood better.  The oncologist told us that the tumor is renal cell carcinoma, a kidney cancer. The urologist’s decision to remove my kidney was right and probably eliminates cancer.  The only serious threat is if the cancer cells had already spread to the other organs.

Thankfully, the bone scan reveals that there is no evidence of tumor invasion to my bone. However, she suspected that the tumor has spread to the liver hence she will closely monitor it by having CT Scan every three months. Just in case cancer has spread to the liver then I have to undergo targeted therapy by oral medication.

Please pray for Narlin too as she needs to take care of her heart. Her doctor diagnosed that one of the chambers heart is getting bigger and because of her family’s health history she needs to take preventive medication.

Please continue to pray for complete healing from the surgery and total cure from cancer. I’m hoping this will be my last update regarding our health because we believe God will heal us sooner.

God lives in Everywhere

The God who made the world and everything in it, he who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by human hands, nor i...