Archive for December, 2009

Making Sweet Memories

December 23, 2009

Singing carols with Nanny Rose.

How much do you value prayer?

December 18, 2009

Edith Schaeffer writes:

One of my early memories as a very little girl in China was of walking along the paths of the China Inland Mission property in Shanghai. It was morning and the time when Dr. Hoste, the director of the mission (who followed Hudson Taylor), took his four hours daily of prayer for the mission, praying individually for every missionary in each province and for their children by name. I was a tiny four-year-old as I looked up to his height of about six feet. “Hello,” I said, preparing to accompany him along those paths through shrubs and trees.

“Hello, my dear, you may walk with me, but you must not talk. I am praying, you see.” He then continued to pray and walk.  He prayed aloud and was very reverent in honoring God as well as earnest in naming people and their needs. I felt so pleased and excited when he prayed for Wenchow, my city, and all the missionaries there whom I knew, then for my mother and father, for Janet and Elsa—my sisters in Cheefoo School—and for Edith!

“Oh, he prayed for me!” I thought delightedly. “I guess I do matter.” I discovered when I got older that Dr. Hoste felt his most important work as director of the mission was to pray for each missionary and each child daily. He felt that intercessory responsibility was his first responsibility, coming before any kind of administrative work.”

Thank-you for being our intercessors in this work.

Exam Results

December 17, 2009

Thank-you to so very many of you who prayed for our second and third sons as they took their First Year Law Exams and subsequently, as they waited weeks for the results.  Yesterday, they called the California government office — great news:  they both passed!!!!!

Smiling Again

December 2, 2009

It’s been a long while since we regularly blogged.  We’ve been in a difficult patch, but feel the hand of God pulling us up out of it, and as the Birthday of Christ nears, our spirits are rising up to celebrate!  God has been blessing us with marvelous relationships, a warm fellowship of believers, and increasing contact with wonderful Christian brothers and sisters around the world.  We are so thankful that you care with such open hearts and with such generous encouragement to continue pressing on.  This is an awesome mission: turning hearts back to God who loves us beyond human comprehension, and who requires of us so very little.

Seems like with the gospel a free gift, His love so vast, and His yoke upon us so light, we’d be jumping at every opportunity to serve Him. Knowing that His call might mean not living our lives our own way sometimes makes us hesitant in our spirit to follow Him to the very last ounce of our strength/finances… and takes away the deep inner joy that we’d have if we were totally surrendered to Him.

I was on the edge of drowning in a full-blown pity party the other day.  All I wanted was something for one of the children. That was what touched off the top layer of discontent.  With that layer ruffled, it didn’t take long to see other deeper layers beneath it. Praying, “search me, O God, and try my heart today…see if there be any wicked way in me” is not a prayer to pray only sporadically.  The Holy Spirit will come into your life like a hurricane and your whole pile of unfinished emotional loose ends will be exposed in all its messiness.  It would be better to pray daily that God would entirely clean out the crumbs of unhappiness, including the ones you are SURE aren’t crumbs of unhappiness (“I’m just a little disappointed…” and “It’s no big deal…”).  If you don’t, the thin layers of dissatisfaction/displeasure tuck into one another, and kind of squish down so that you can’t see how much is accumulating until something tips you into a pity party.

Well, the Holy Spirit has come into the room where I keep my displeasures and blown them all about.  The Good News is that when I finally acknowledge my varying vexations and get down on my knees with my helplessness to solve them, and get downright sorry to the core, He comes in to my life like a giant vacuum cleaner and sucks out all my sins of discontent…woo hoo, it feels good to have a clean slate!

In the midst of all this going on the last few weeks, yesterday the oldest came to me regarding a “watershed decision” I had handed down to the children earlier in the day, and he said with a HUGE smile, “could we start with a fresh slate?”  It’s the line about forgiveness and a fresh start that we’ve used with the children since as far back as I can remember, and oh yeah, they can definitely start with a fresh slate.  That’s what I want from my heavenly father, and that’s what Todd and I will grant them again and again and again.

Because we don’t sin any less than they do.

I’m smiling again.  Hugs to all of you who pray regularly for us,