My last day of employment in China was the 11th of June, 2016. The total work contracts (five of them at a public school in Shenzhen, three others for QSI International School of Dongguan) spanned a length of 7.77 years. It was time to move on, with a teaching certification left to wrap-up, with the last step having to take place in the US in one of a dozen partner states. That number has slimmed down to 11, Arizona dropping affiliation on the website of ABCTE.org.

Ten days & over 2,oookm later, after a stop in Spring’s hometown of Yueyang, we waylayed in Beijing having sent ahead five or so pieces of luggage by delivery. There were about 12 bags, counting the carry-on. Since Hunan, my momther-in-law had accompanied us, seeing us off that rainy day spent shopping and touring Tiananmen grounds. Were those raindrops on her face as she bid us farewell? Maybe not if it were just me and her first child going off to America, but we had two of her favorite grandchildren in tow.

The flight: long & somewhat less memorable than the Amtrak trip from Seattle to Whitefish a few weeks later. When a double trailer semi has a train pass through it on the tracks leaving Wenatchee, it tends to delay the process.

We’d spent the first 2 1/2 weeks with my folks in Kirkland, getting to know just how international the area was becoming through interactions with folks at the public parks/beaches and assembling with the Lord’s Recovery congregation in Bellevue and the Kirkland Church of Christ. A French friend Samuel whom I’d met at the U of M while attending ’04-’08 also met up with us one day. I’d also been getting applications in to the Dept. of Education in Idaho and some schools in and around the panhandle. The idea was to try and settle in the Spokane/Coeur D’Alene area after getting a vehicle in Kalispell, MT. My 83 year-old grandmother came (with my Aunt Cheryl’s boy Dustin along) and snagged my family from Whitefish. The car we had first considered was getting fixed up by Dustin but not necessarily cleaned out, so we began looking elsewhere, seeing as how my uncle coming down from Alaska would be using it for a couple weeks at the end of July.

I met up with Nick Palmer, a former co-worker with the FSSS office (now known as ISS). HE’d moved to Korea in the time I was in China and also came back with an asian wife. They have one child & he had even landing some teaching gigs in the Flathead Valley, but was employed at the hospital for the time-being. He steered me toward the classifieds page for the Flathead on Facebook & within 15 minutes I was responding to a post about a ’95 Honda Odyssey. Only $1350 and it’s still showing it’s worth a few tires, rear brakes, a radiator hose, tune-up & starter later. We even made it throughout the winter without chains. We left the next day to stay in Spokane for a couple of weeks, then on to Moses Lake for three. The stay in Spokane was vital, since our border crossing in the Sea-Tac airport resulted in Spring having her 6 month stay chopped to only two months. Since Spokane had an immigration office to work through, we were able to get an application to the Chicago field office to arrive on the date her stay was supposed to end, August 31st. Since they received our request to adjust status and extend her stay (things expressly prohibited according to the CBP stamp) on said date, a process was in motion under the jurisdiction of the USCIS to help us toward a permanent residence (aka green card). We’re currently a medical examination correction and update away from that status, but her employement permit has cleared and this is the 2nd weekend she has put some time in at All Seasons as a housekeeper, legally employed.

The episode in Moses Lake needs to be left alone, for the situation we found ourselves in was all-around bad news, with the exception of seeds sown for the gospel with some fellow workers within the crop of cannabis cultivation I’d found somewhat gainful employment in as an inventory specialist. Thank the good Lord for family camp. I’d not had any success by Labor Day weekend in finding a teaching job in Idaho nor Washington (though I was blessed with at least one interview at the Coeur D’Alene reservation school). Since I had Montana on my mind with the annual meeting of numerous congregations in Bozeman approaching, I decided to upload my details to the Montana Office of Public Instruction website and within a week got a couple of calls. One was from a gal in Poplar, MT and a second from the superintendent of White Sulphur Springs school district #8.

When Larry Markuson from WSS SD#8 called, I associated him with the Poplar school and thought I might need to relocate to Eastern Montana and assemble with the Williston crew, which was truly exciting. After speaking with both schools initially and letting them know that I was not licensed to teach in Montana (the closest I was to being certified anywhere was Idaho, at least in the northwest region of the U.S.), I’d pretty much written myself off from getting a job in a school in my favorite state. Since I’d referred a friend to Mr. Markuson (remember Nick Palmer? It turns out he’d made pals with my cousin Andy Kirk, the older half-brother of my uncle Jim’s girls since I’d been in China & it was Andy that agreed to help me sponsor Spring, since me doing it alone without an income over the summer doesn’t appeal to the immigration process), I called him back about it on the way to Bozeman. We’d just spent the night at a sister’s place in Missoula and I’d prayed to the God of the Universe to take over after it seemed my efforts over the past couple of months had proven fruitless. When I spoke to him, he assured me that not only had he spoken to Nick, but that the position had been filled by a gal that was also contemplating a teaching gig in China with Disney English. I let Larry know that I’d be interested in anything he might have to offer down the road, but he didn’t even let me off the phone before offering a proposition of enough part-time work to keep one full-time busy. What he told me was ultimately true I discovered that Tuesday following Labor Day, but I’ll save that for another post. God is good all the time…and all the time, God is good. It’s good to be back.

80 days after our plane arrived to the States, I was in Montana within a week’s time of starting work…first just supervising kid’s on the playground at lunchtime and cleaning up the gym/locker rooms, but with a little more testing and training, I was driving school bus and teaching reading classes, even enrolling Matthew in time for him to temporarily be in one of them with a few other boys.

Things have gone well here so far, but plans are in motion to once again look for some closure on this teaching certification that is most possibly and probably to take place in Idaho. Feel free to pray that we may end up in a location that keeps us connected to the body of Christ, for times of spiritual drought in China took its toll on me. I need hearty and healthy fellowship, as a parched ground needs the rain.

I’ll share what we’ve been doing as far as encouragement in the Lord here in Montana in the next published post.

Appreciated is your making it this far. May the Lord bless you as He has us.

David, Spring, Matt & Autumn.

 

Twenty-two months have passed since my last post & I’m amazed at how time flies. I actually began drafting a post exactly a year to the day named ‘Autumn’s Winter’ (hence the ordinal # in this title), a fact I just discovered when checking the date stamp of the last edit. God continues to delight my number-loving nature, even as prepare for Mathematics class this morning. I have found myself slipping into old habits of the flesh again lately & desire to revive this godly habit of the Spirit. I have much to share and will make a concerted effort to engage all yours minds with the info of our updates soon. Chinese New Year is just around a quick upcoming corner, so in the mortal words of the Austrian-born former governor of California: I’LL BE BACK (Then again, Jesus was 1st to say that).

‘He who testifies to these things says,

“Surely I am coming quickly.”

Amen.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!’

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

Amen.’ Revelation 22:20-21

In Him,

David James Cook

PS- Just as I was copying & pasting this verse, Spring comes in to ask me a question, “What is the first name to show up in the New Testament and the last name to show up in the New Testament?” Since it’s the same name, I think you just read the answer. He is the first and the last in every way=)

PPS- Interesting that the 22 months corresponds with Rev 22, another simple pleasure of seeing the same numbers pop up.

 

“Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ,” writes the Apostle Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians, 11th chapter verse one, as we know it. In immediate context, it follows the words from chapter ten: “I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved.”

Praise God! That was exactly what happened this past week in our lives, as tragedy marked this week in April with explosions in Boston, so too some big bangs were creating new life on our end (God’s sense of humor can be seen in the fact that he does what the darwinists try to explain happened in the material realm by chance, but His work is everlasting in the spiritual realm).

Some background info is helpful in reference to last Lord’s Day’s chain reaction being set off. It begins with a disciple I’d immersed in the winter of 2010-2011 who’d stayed with us before after some relationship issues. After a rather short marriage, his search for a new partner seemed to get more and more futile with each pursuit. One of the gals, also in the circle of those studying the Scriptures with us at the time,  came to our home for a shoulder to cry on. With this first instance, we advised her to make space between herself and him at the time and if God wills it, He’ll most certainly bring them back together. They stayed apart, meaning we only saw her once or twice again at our weekly study.

The second young woman to flee to our home for refuge did very much that. At first, she was coming with him in January and when he was occupied by my company and when the coast was clear, would divulge some strange behavior she’d observed in her Christian boyfriend. You see, she was the first non-believer I’d seen him with, which of course raised red flags with me right away. I even happened to be at the Sunday assembly where they’d met, a friend with whom I first started breaking bread back in 2008, after I’d first come to China. It was at Boo’s place that we all gathered that evening to listen to the  visiting preacher from Singapore, whose family this girl Monica had accompanied.

Monica was an artist involving mostly oil on canvas on the outside, though at the time I suspected her account of our friend TMG (the initials of his three English names together) to have been also painted with a flourish. Admittedly, as insinuating as the charges seemed to be, I wanted to extend the benefit of the doubt to the brother in Christ. His story was quite opposite of the accusatory tale of him holding her in this relationship against her will. In fact, he claimed she was smothering him at a time he was seeking an opportunity for break-up.

That opportunity came at the Chinese New Year, just after we’d spent the eve of the auspicious holiday period with a couple who seemed to relish each other’s company. He even shared his excitement at this time about how he’d changed her name to be more like my wife’s, since they’d formed a close bond from their many shared instances of common ground, such as coming from the same province and the passing of their fathers. He now called her Summer, with which I was initially uncomfortale, as it shed a bit of light on the fact that he might truly be controlling her.

That brings us up to speed in a general sense to a week ago. It turns out that even after their break-up, contact was maintained and Summer was once again persuaded to return to Shenzhen for another go at being TMG’s girlfriend. Of course, he’d disappeared off our radar, to the extent I wasn’t even sure he was in town. It had come to my attention that he was around after our buddy Boo spotted him at a pentecostal service or two playing in the praise band. When I got ahold of him to inquire as to why he’d been such a stranger lately, he invited me to hear him sing a couple of times, though the timing wasn’t jiving with my schedule at the time.

Then, last Lord’s Day, after I gone to be a guest teacher in a home assembly near my school (my first opportunity to preach in a home assembly apart from our own since I first came to China), my wife called me saying that Summer (aka Monica) had flown the coop, so to speak. TMG had taken her to another pentecostal meeting nearer to our home. She made an escape during an opening prayer after being granted permission by TMG to join the women’s study group.

She hid out in a conveniently-placed convenient store and attempted to persuade the clerk on duty to flag a taxi for her. With the worker being on duty, the young man who came into the store was the next target for this desperate request. Crouched down from any possible view through a window, knowing that TMG could come in at any time, she was able to get all this accomplished. Thanks to her dead battery in her cell phone, this all took place during a fumbling exchange of SIM cards with the store clerk in hopes she could reach the friends with whom she’d already discussed her plight a month or two ago.

At first her beacon for help went unanswered. Jenica, Spring and Summer’s mutual friend, was already experiencing problems with her phone to the extent that calls went undetected unless she was constantly checking it, which apparently she wasn’t. That left the reluctant option, call Spring. The way my wife relates the account, her demeanor was cold enough to not draw the first call. No worries, for the ice was about to thaw in Spring with the help of Summer. 

The two were able to make it back to the house with a Lily in tow. Being Lord’s Day, Lily hung around until the assembly. Aaron, a new contact, joined us later that evening. I made his acquaintance  at an English corner down the road from us, a coffee shop called Origo. The manager there is also called Spring. I’ll be hosting that a second week in a row for Dave Gordon, a pilot friend and brother with whom I’ve already come through a couple of rocky faith-testing exercises.

The lesson that night was about Jesus our Rock, and Aaron was interested in grilling my wife for more info, both about the Scriptures and about the current situation. Spring let me know that night before that Summer wanted to become a Christian. She spent the night and when I went off to the 4 kindergarten classes in the morning, Aaron came back over for support and protection. Jenica was able to join them around lunchtime, too. I got a call in the morning telling me there was no need to stop by the Baby store and buy a pool. Spring had already done that. I was excited and quite taken aback that Monica wasn’t swayed away from Christianity with this wolf in sheep’s clothing derailing her life for some time.

I had prepared a few Chinese songs and was putting in order some passages from Scriptures I’d go over to guage her understanding of what she was choosing to do. Then the doorbell rang. We’re on the 7th floor with no elevator, which bought some time when Aaron got up to call over the intercom to find out who it was. I heard TMG’s voice and subsequently the door opening and closing shut as if someone were either going out or coming in, letting him in the sheep’s gate. I through on my shoes and met him between the 3rd and 4th floor on the stairs, turning him around with my actions and words. As I led him out through the same door at ground level and across the small lot by which he’d just come, he answered my inquisition as to what was going on by saying he had cancer. Within the next ten minutes or so, I’d learned other dark secrets which explained this complete downturn of events he was involved in to some degree.

As we spoke in plain sight of anyone who might be peering out our back sliding glass door, though later I’d find that to be no one, he disclosed that a missing persons report had been filed on Summer. It had the official red star stamp of the government and thankfully he was willing to give it to me. I told him I’d take it to her and advised him to give this pursuit of his a rest. He told me that he only wanted to talk to her one more time and that I should trust him, which is where I slipped and said he could talk to her in heaven if he turned back to the Lord and remained faithful. I told him in about two hours time she’d be a Christian, which surely condemns me for counting Christians before they’re hatched.

 It turned out to be longer than two hours, but still the same day. Of course, that’s still a story in itself (I hope you’ve learned to skim for pertinent info by now, hehe). After I let the kitten out of the bag that she’d be immersed soon, he started to ask questions like: “You know where she is?” & “Is she at your place?” Since I’d pretty much had to take anybody before that day to either a duck pond or swimming pool, it was easy for me to switch directions by asking him, “If she’s getting baptized, do you think she’d be at my place?” As I walked off in the opposite direction of where I lived, I told him I’d take the paper he gave me to her. Sure, I assumed he’d follow me, so my short-term destination was the bus stop across the street and down the road I’d figure out how to shake him. The trick was getting him a good distance away from her while uder the guise of leading him to her. 

Since I’d not brought a wallet, keys, money nor phone on my person in my haste, I had to ask TMG to use his phone to call my wife and let her know I’d be gone for a bit. She reluctantly answered, thinking it to be him, but after realizing it was me, bluntly said she was leaving with Matthew to a safer place, like her hometown. It turned out to be a much closer location. Once on the bus w/TMG, he pleaded with me to trust him. I told him I had to get back home, since this situation was messing with my marriage and family, too. As I got up to disembark at one point, he held my hand and said I needed to trust him, as he held me against my will. I told him he had to leave her behind. Naturally, this looked a bit queer to the four high schools situated immediately before us. A few stops later, I said we needed to get off the bus & was able to convince him to meet me the next day to talk while I hopped in a taxi to go back.

As the driver pulled away, I watched TMG cross the street as if he was listening to me to go home and get rest, since he said he’d not slept all night. I opened up to the taxi driver about the situation in my best broken Chinese and eventually come to the thought that Spring would depart before my arrival. I asked the bemused driver if I could use his phone and contacted my wife at about the same time we were both passing Shekou Walmart going opposite directions. My driver made a U-turn to allow me to first pay him, then join my family and Summer as they made a getaway to Gongming, where my wife’s former church was located. It had been where she was first sprinkled for salvation, but they’d as of late based their stance on the biblical model of immersion. Alongside this, however, they continued to speak in a babble they innappropriately labeled ‘speaking in tongues’. We arrived to the apartment converted to an assembly hall within an hour’s time and the ladies present (Cecilia, Sarah and Tongling) began to prepare for a new addition to King Jesus’ family.

For the purpose of bringing a new child into God’s Kingdom, they refrained from free-form jibber-jabber, though still setting the mood with some spirited singing and frenzied prayer. I took Matthew aside in some separate rooms in order to not disturb the ladies as they sang, taught, prayed and persuaded Summer to follow through with starting completely over with a brand new life. I must admit, since I was able to join them after a couple of hours when Matthew laid down for a nap, that Cecilia’s teaching of what happens in immersion was spectacular in even the 14th Century’s use of the word, which is a “specially prepared or arranged display.” It would take some special work for me to be a better job, but the fact they were all ladies developed an atmosphere I surely could not reproduce. 

Much of what has happened since that new birth will have to come in a follow-up post. My wife is completely on fire for the Lord now & wants to share so many amazing details of her own. There were 7 people at the pool that night, which I can’t help but think I may have influenced the way she thinks about that number, but ultimately that leads back to the glory of God. The seasoned sisters Spring and Summer were also together bonding in the Spirit nearly non-stop for six creative days with the first 24-hour period involving the Spirit hovering above the waters and a new sister taking form from an empty void of darkness, and the sixth day witnessing the conception of human life. Assuming that little one is revealed a little sister for Matthew Beloved, Autumn is due in Winter.    

Your prayers are appreciated and solicited,

David N Spring

 

 

Jan 05 2013

Come Thou fount

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Every blessing that was poured out on me last year continues to motivate and mobilize me to make longer and straighter strides in this new year of our Lord. I’m eager to count each one that has come along in twenty-twelve, though my inventory is best kept between me and God, as many of these blessings are markers of overcoming the flesh. I also consider the wisdom of our Father in allowing the Spirit to intercede, as looking to the past for how my habits of the old man have increasingly fallen to the wayside may puff me up and cause me to stumble with the memories of forgotten mistakes clamoring for undue attention.

May I now switch gears and express at least my thoughts on the family camp that occurs every year in the Philippines around this time. It was December 28th, 29th and 30th this time around and brothers in Christ Jun Macusi, Crispin Ganir, Rommel Vivit, and myself were those fortunate to build up the assembly with messages on spiritual maturity. A visit was also made to brother Dante, being the highlight of our journey.  The readers with a bit more info on the situation have just as much as I do.

Once again my family was able to go along and enjoy the fellowship and friendship of young and old alike. This time Matthew was spared of any medical emergency (though it seems he’s picked up a little something due to the change in climate since our recent return). We were able to enjoy a bit of swimming on Ninia’s 15th birthday, even with the cloud cover and a few extra Bible studies more info

were scheduled for a couple of families before the camp began.

I’ll admit, there are a few weak points I’d like to address before my next visit as far as communicating the Word, but all in all that is why this always a great time of growth for me as well, even when that is not the theme of the camp=) As for our getting back into the swing of things here in China, a 3-day holiday to kick the year off welcomed us back. These would have been useful in the ‘Ppines had I considered them before booking my tickets. Nevertheless, they also proved fruitful for a couple of chances to fellowship with Jericho, whose wife was still away until Friday the 4th and Scott, who has returned from Ningbo, near Shanghai. Especially pray for the growth of these two disciples.

Jericho, his spouse Jenica, Scott, Steven and Xie Guo You (谢国右) or Jonathan, all joined our 1st Friday night Bible study of the year. I hadn’t expected this large of a group to filter in, as they arrived at differing times between 6pm and 8, leading me to reserve the next topic in the series of God’s plan of salvation, ‘What must I do?’, until next week. We took a gander at the extensive proof the Bible provides in its defense against Mormon teaching of the priesthoods they claim. It was a way to share with them a bit of my cultural background and arm them with the confidence of knowing that Christ has been with us from the beginning. Melchizedek maintains His spirit of mystery throughout the ages.

Thanks for your continuing prayers,

David N Spring

Nov 21 2012

Unsevened bread

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Tell it on the rooftops, in the streets & dark alleys

Hope has come to town from the heights & deep valleys

Anchors aweigh as we rest in the port of steadfast faith

Never fearing shipwreck when hearing what the Lord saith

Knowing & loving Him, since He knew and loved us first

Saved through living and pure water, satisfying our soul’s thirst

Given a new life in His Son, dying His passionate death

I was buried and born at the same time, in the same breath

Victory has been granted as we gather the spoil

Incredibly entrusted with planting seeds in the soil

Not that it was seen, heard or inside of man’s heart

Graciously given only by You, our Father, from the start

This thirtieth day of November, approaching the last month of the year, marks a time for me to drop less breadcrumbs along the way. I pray you all already known the path I follow is the forward momentum one and not that which returns to a world I don’t call home. I’m finding the weekly post I succumbed myself to a few years ago is starting to weigh me down with a burden that I’m under no obligation to bear. I had hoped by this time to turn it into a weekly bulletin back akin to Mr. Miller’s studies on this site, but it appears that my words for the purpose of encouragement may be better compiled if given a month in which to do it. This means I should probably familiarize myself with forming first drafts of my written ramblings and continue to build on them throughout the month.

The last couple of Friday nights have seen a new couple grace our group with their truth-seeking presence. Tonight was certainly an evening of hard-hitting questions, with the passage about Jesus cursing the fig tree stumping me more than the run-of-the-mill inquiries of whether or not we’re born with sin and what about those miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit? These are questions which God gives asufficient amount of data packed within His Word, that the soul hungering and thirsting may continue in hope.

As for my adventures here in seeking the lost souls and leading them to salvation through the  ‘washing of water with the word’ (Eph 5:6), the race of endurance continues. This means any prayer on your part is appreciated and that my focus over the next month may gauge how I might contribute to the blog this coming year. Perhaps a refreshed weekly update will still be necessary for me to spill whatever beans I may have on the burner. No other place may I mix metaphors as freely. Have a wonderful December and I shall see you soon.

His,

DJC

Nov 14 2012

Vowing

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Having the privilege to lead a man and woman into wedded union through their vows before witnesses, it gave me the uncommon opportunity to meditate on the vows we make before our King. In fact, in almost every instance where the word ‘vow’ or its derivatives are used in God’s Holy Scrit, it refers to what we pledge toward our maker. This should prove exciting to anyone who has considered our bethrothal to He who is Love and Spirit .

“If a man makes a vow to the LORD, or swears an oath to bind himself by some agreement, he shall not break his word; he shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth. Or if a woman makes a vow to the LORD, and binds herself by some agreement while in her father’s house in her youth, and her father hears her vow and the agreement by which she has bound herself, and her father holds his peace, then all her vows shall stand, and every agreement with which she has bound herself shall stand.” Numbers 30:2

This passage above sheds light on the father present in wedding ceremonies to give away the hand of his ‘precious little girl’. I met with the new husband this morning for coffee and he’s agreed to sit down on Thursday mornings to prove that the Bible is the Word of God. In the few years I’ve known him, I only just this morning heard about his coming to faith shortly after leaving Iran during the hostage crisis of ’79. Pray for Paul’s heart to be open to the full gospel of the glory of Christ, as there may be challenges ahead in our discourse together. I thank the Lord that He is with me wherever I go.

Your brother and friend,

David

“Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall.” 2 Peter 1:10

As the election comes to a close and I left you hanging in last week’s post about ‘calling’, I thought it might be pertinent to gather together the verses that talk of calling and election and allow you to sort them out. I may try to comment on them as a whole, though I find my time to be more and more limited these days. I may soon switch to a once-a-month update, now that I see new content of great interest popping up on the site, thanks to my brethren in ‘rice-revive-pull’, the literal equivalent of the phoneticized ‘Mi-Su-La’. Here are the verses for your perusal:

“Paul, called by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and our brother Sosthenes, to the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours” 1 Corinthians 1:1,2

” to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God…consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth.” 1 Corinthians 1:24,26

“For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.” Romans 11:29

“I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.” Eph 1:16-21

“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called…There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call” Ephesians 4:1,4

 “…one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13b,14

“To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power” 2 Thessalonians 1:11

“Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began” 2 Timothy 1:8,9

“To those who are called, beloved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ” Jude verse 1, latter half

 “They will make war on the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with him are called and chosen and faithful.” Revelation 17:14

All these verses above use either klētos & klēsis in the Greek (an invitation & invited {saint}, respectively). I can’t help but be reminded of the parable Jesus tells about the king’s wedding feast where invitations were sent out. Those who responded with disdain were razed and those who came were raised, with the exception of an unclothed who was unfortunately roasted for disrobing the Christ he once wore. The 2 Greek words above come from the shorter form of kal-eh’-o, meaning to “call” (for more valuable info on this, see the Strong’s included below), this word being the source of the following verses:

“To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.” John 10:3

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.” Romans 8:28-30

“For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” Galatians 5:13

“And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.” Colossians 3:15

 “we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory.”  1 Thessalonians 2:12

 “Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.” 1 Thessalonians 5:24

“For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness.” 1 Thessalonians 4:7

“But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. To this he called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Thessalonians 2:13,14

 “Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” 1 Timothy 6:12

“how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God. Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant.” Hebrews 9:14,15

 “By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.” Hebrews 11:8

“As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.'” 1 Peter 1:14-16

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light…when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.” 1 Peter 2:9,20b,21

“Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.” 1 Peter 3:9

“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.” 1 Peter 5:10

“His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence” 2 Peter 1:3

“And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.” Revelation 19:9

The Strong’s definition for kaleo, along with Thayer’s definition, proves interesting to me:

G2564
καλέω
kaleō
Thayer Definition:
1) to call
1a) to call aloud, utter in a loud voice
1b) to invite
2) to call, i.e. to name, by name
2a) to give a name to
2a1) to receive the name of, receive as a name
2a2) to give some name to one, call his name
2b) to be called, i.e. to bear a name or title (among men)
2c) to salute one by name
Part of Speech: verb
A Related Word by Thayer’s/Strong’s Number: Akin to the base of G2753; to “call” (properly aloud, but used in a variety of applications, directly or otherwise): – bid, call (forth), (whose, whose sur-) name (was [called]).

It amazes me to read how Jesus called forth Lazarus from the tomb and put it into perspective with the way God calls us, even by commandment, as the root suggests:

G2753
κελεύω
keleuō
Thayer Definition:
1) to command, to order
Part of Speech: verb
A Related Word by Thayer’s/Strong’s Number: From a primary word κέλλω kellō (to urge on); “hail”; to incite by word, that is, order: – bid, (at, give) command (-ment).

Finally, not necessarily meaning to keep the best for last, though the process of research sifted it out and set it aside for us to look at. In the verse below from James, talking about the rich folk oppressing the brethren, dragging saints into court and lastly, blaspheming “the honorable name by which you were called”:

“Are not the rich the ones who oppress you, and the ones who drag you into court? Are they not the ones who blaspheme the honorable name by which you were called?” James 2:6b,7

It begs the question of which name we are called. Take a peek at the Greek:

G1941
ἐπικαλέομαι
epikaleomai
Thayer Definition:
1) to put a name upon, to surname
1a) to permit one’s self to be surnamed
2) to be named after someone
3) to call something to one
3a) to cry out upon or against one
3b) to charge something to one as a crime or reproach
3c) to summon one on any charge, prosecute one for a crime
3d) to blame one for, accuse one of
4) to invoke
4a) to call upon for one’s self, in one’s behalf
4a1) any one as a helper
4a2) as my witness
4a3) as my judge
4a4) to appeal unto
5) to call upon by pronouncing the name of Jehovah
5a) an expression finding its explanation in the fact that prayers addressed to God ordinarily began with an invocation of the divine name

I find the surname aspect to of greatest interest, especially when put together with some Old Testament prophecies and their New Testament fulfillments.

Isa 60:14  The sons of those who afflicted you shall come bending low to you, and all who despised you shall bow down at your feet; they shall call you the City of the LORD, the Zion of the Holy One of Israel.

Isa 62:2  The nations shall see your righteousness, and all the kings your glory, and you shall be called by a new name that the mouth of the LORD will give.

Isa 65:15  You shall leave your name to my chosen for a curse, and the Lord GOD will put you to death, but his servants he will call by another name.

“…And in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians.” Acts 11:26

“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named” Ephesians 3:15

Stay tuned for at least on more weekly post & beyond that whatever the Lord wills. He provides, so may it be for encouragement on my part.

DJC

As yet another All Hallow’s Eve (the night before All Saints’ Day) passes observed in a tradition not too far from it’s roots, consider these words written by one outside of Christ to get the perspective of what the world deems harmless:

“Halloween is an annual celebration, but just what is it actually a celebration of? And how did this peculiar custom originate? Is it, as some claim, a kind of demon worship? Or is it just a harmless vestige of some ancient pagan ritual? Halloween is one of the oldest holidays with origins going back thousands of years. The holiday we know as Halloween has had many influences from many cultures over the centuries. From the Roman’s Pomona Day, to the Celtic festival of Samhain, to the Christian holidays of All Saints and All Souls Days. Hundreds of years ago in what is now Great Britain and Northern France, lived the Celts. The Celts worshipped nature and had many gods, with the sun god as their favorite. It was “he” who commanded their work and their rest times, and who made the earth beautiful and the crops grow. The word itself, “Halloween,” actually has its origins in the Catholic Church. It comes from a contracted corruption of All Hallows Eve. November 1, “All Hollows Day” (or “All Saints Day”), is a Catholic day of observance in honor of saints. But, in the 5th century BC, in Celtic Ireland, summer officially ended on October 31. The holiday was called Samhain (sow-en), the Celtic New year. One story says that, on that day, the disembodied spirits of all those who had died throughout the preceding year would come back in search of living bodies to possess for the next year. It was believed to be their only hope for the afterlife. The Celts believed all laws of space and time were suspended during this time, allowing the spirit world to intermingle with the living. Naturally, the still-living did not want to be possessed. So on the night of October 31, villagers would extinguish the fires in their homes, to make them cold and undesirable. They would then dress up in all manner of ghoulish costumes and noisily paraded around the neighborhood, being as destructive as possible in order to frighten away spirits looking for bodies to possess. Probably a better explanation of why the Celts extinguished their fires was not to discourage spirit possession, but so that all the Celtic tribes could relight their fires from a common source, the Druidic fire that was kept burning in the Middle of Ireland, at Usinach. Some accounts tell of how the Celts would burn someone at the stake who was thought to have already been possessed, as sort of a lesson to the spirits. Other accounts of Celtic history debunk these stories as myth. The Romans adopted the Celtic practices as their own. But in the first century AD, Samhain was assimilated into celebrations of some of the other Roman traditions that took place in October, such as their day to honor Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit and trees. The symbol of Pomona is the apple, which might explain the origin of our modern tradition of bobbing for apples on Halloween. The thrust of the practices also changed over time to become more ritualized. As belief in spirit possession waned, the practice of dressing up like hobgoblins, ghosts, and witches took on a more ceremonial role.

The custom of Halloween was brought to America in the 1840’s by Irish immigrants fleeing their country’s potato famine. At that time, the favorite pranks in New England included tipping over outhouses and unhinging fence gates. The Halloween we celebrate today includes all of these influences, Pomona Day’s apples, nuts, and harvest, the Festival of Samhain’s black cats, magic, evil spirits and death, and the ghosts, skeletons and skulls from All Saint’s Day and All Soul’s Day. The custom of trick-or-treating is thought to have originated not with the Irish Celts, but with a ninth-century European custom called souling. On November 2, All Souls Day, early Christians would walk from village to village begging for “soul cakes,” made out of square pieces of bread with currants. A: The more soul cakes the beggars would receive, the more prayers they would promise to say on behalf of the dead relatives of the donors. At the time, it was believed that the dead remained in limbo for a time after death, and that prayer, even by strangers, could expedite a soul’s passage to heaven. The Jack-o-lantern custom probably comes from Irish folklore. As the tale is told, a man named Jack, who was notorious as a drunkard and trickster, tricked Satan into climbing a tree. Jack then carved an image of a cross in the tree’s trunk, trapping the devil up the tree. Jack made a deal with the devil that, if he would never tempt him again, he would promise to let him down the tree. According to the folk tale, after Jack died, he was denied entrance to Heaven because of his evil ways, but he was also denied access to Hell because he had tricked the devil. Instead, the devil gave him a single ember to light his way through the frigid darkness. The ember was placed inside a hollowed-out turnip to keep it glowing longer. The Irish used turnips as their “Jack’s lanterns” originally. But when the immigrants came to America, they found that pumpkins were far more plentiful than turnips. So the Jack-O-Lantern in America was a hollowed-out pumpkin, lit with an ember. So, although some cults may have adopted Halloween as their favorite “holiday,” the day itself did not grow out of evil practices. It grew out of the rituals of Celts celebrating a new year, and out of Medieval prayer rituals of Europeans. And today, even many churches have Halloween parties or pumpkin carving events for the kids. After all, the day itself is only as evil as one cares to make it.” Original author unknown, as I found it copy & pasted on many a Chinese English-teaching website.

I’ll be the first to admit that I sought to inform others about legends found here as an opportunity to share the truth with folks. It’s yet another example of mythology deriving from a man-made holiday, similar to the way Christmas and Easter have changed from their original intent. The difference of couse, is that ‘C & E Christians’ attend services on those holidays due to their semblance of a focus on Christ Jesus. I’m more than happy to work toward (and work out my salvation) by applying God’s Word:

“One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it. He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he who does not eat, to the Lord he does not eat, and gives God thanks.” Romans 14:5-6

I’m convicted that above all else, these days are great teaching points to launch from, with truth-seekers discovering who the true saints are.

DJC

Oct 24 2012

Do not cease

humblebe | Saint's Sojourns | 0 Comments

“For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding” Colossians 1:9

For those who say they don’t know how to pray, it seems the best place to find examples of top-notch supplications inspired by the breath of God Himself would be in the Scriptures…make that the only place, with those qualifiers mentioned. Spiritual understanding is vital in the most literate sense of the word, the difference between life and death. To know that we are passing from a groaning creation into an abode that the Holy Spirit describes in this fashion:

But as it is written: “EYE HAS NOT SEEN, NOR EAR HEARD, NOR HAVE ENTERED INTO THE HEART OF MAN THE THINGS WHICH GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM.” 1 Corinthians 2:9

This may bring Jesus’ words to mind when He said “I go to prepare a place for you.” He follows up those words with the statement “and if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:2,3). Not only do these words comfort us regarding our eternal reward as Christians, but they give us the blessed hope while we wait for His return, just as the original way Isaiah said the words that Paul quotes above.

“For since the beginning of the world Men have not heard nor perceived by the ear, Nor has the eye seen any God besides You, Who acts for the one who waits for Him.” Isaiah 64:4

I’m truly encouraged half-way across the globe to hear of the strong finish Mrs. Jay Wilson attained along with her promised resurrection from the dead, which those of us locked in the mechanism called time still await.

I imagine most are like me in remembering where they were when a notable death occurred in their lives. From the age of five to the present day, I recall the location of my being upon hearing the passing of a loved one. With Lonna, the latest, I was listening to Mr. Wilson give the account of her last hours, singing and praying, with her spirit flying away in the middle of Jay’s conversation with God. What a joy I embrace in the peace in which she now rests, namely Paradise.

The examples I have in my spiritual family, Mr. Marsten Miller and now our dear sister Lonna, both show us that we ‘do not cease’ when our heartbeat stills, but are released to sing with the Father His victory song.

Keep praying. Wonderful things happen that may seem tragic on the outside, but are really the fulfillment of our overwhelming conquest in Christ.

Your brother and friend,

David James Cook

In my later teen years I began to notice certain coincidences in my life were derived from more than mere random chance. There seem to be interesting patterns and connections in life that could only be explained as part of a grand design. Of course, we find that design in the pages of our Bible, which is key to proving it as the Word of God, but you have only my cognitive recall of what actually happened in my lifetime’s history of events. All I know is that long before my conversion, the Lord was working on my heart in many arduous ways to win my soul if I were so interested.

One of those ways was through the various messages I heard and how easily my response was accepted among men without any basis for belief. For example, I was asked by my mother and her friend if I regarded Jesus as my Lord as we soaked in Lava Hot Springs pools in southeastern Idaho. They joyously received my reply of  “yes” though I had no idea of what my answer really meant and yet I recall it to be an honest answer on my part. Consider the numerous Israelites delivered from oppressive bondage by God’s servant Moses.

“For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened.” Hebrews 4:2

Deception crept in this year through another gospel, referred to as the Message. It was my Bible-reading version until earlier this month when I decided to factory reset my phone due to lack of phone memory storage. It worked, but it also successfully disabled the Bible software I was using.  Through it, I ingested a daily dosage of MSG (the abbreviation for ‘the Message’). I found cravings for the paraphrase translation to rear its ugly head, as it gave me a fresh perspective on God’s Word, though not without altering a few concepts along the way. I’m thankful to be back to a word-for-word translation and consider it a fruit of repentance. Though the ESV isn’t respected in all circles, I use it in a class with two sixth-grade girls on Wednesday afternoons since they now each possess a bilingual version. When seeking some offline Bible apps after the last one’s performance fizzled, I found an ESV with study note and cross references. This is the best one I’ve seen yet for the Android user, though a second place was discovered shortly after. Some of you may be acquainted with E-Sword. This app is called MySword and works in much the same way, offering modules to be downloaded. One of the modules I joyously jumped up and down in the Spirit over was ‘pinyin’ or simply put, Chinese with our alphabet. The app allows a compare mode, which is extremely useful in learning Chinese with the Inspired Word, along with being able to compare the Strong’s numbers from the KJV with those in the CUV. Again, more bilingual integration, which is most useful since a few months back when most of my studies with other souls have started to be interpreted by my wife, Ted or our water-bearing buddy, Kevin. Most notably Kevin, once declaring his view of baptism to be an ‘inward sign of an outward grace’, an invention not found even in the paraphrase versions of the Bible, has been learning a rightly divided teaching of Scripture through his efforts to convert our message from one tongue to another. What a blessed message we’ve heard, eh brethren? Allow me the liberty to leave you with a few verses from the apostle John hand via the Holy Comforter:

“This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.”

1 John 1:5

“For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.”

1 John 3:11

Thanks for not changing the channel,

DJC

 

Oct 10 2012

Up down

humblebe | Saint's Sojourns | 0 Comments

“But the righteousness based on faith says, ‘Do not say in your heart, “Who will ascend into heaven?'” (that is, to bring Christ down) or “Who will descend into the abyss?”‘(that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).” Romans 10:6-7

Matthew’s favorite game is one where he chooses a height suitable to jump from, yelling first “up down!” and then making the respective leap. It reminds me of my childhood, though I’m not sure I had a rally cry before my performance, where I would jump off the roof of our house at 628 W. Poplar in Pocatello. I used to actually take a Hefty garbage bag with me to break my fall, but noticed the drag was barely noticeable after a time or two. Bending my knees and rolling on impact was the lesson I may have learned from TV and then sought to apply it to my life…over and over. But only when my folks weren’t home. Mostly.

Though I didn’t reach for the stars in my launching abilities, there has recently been a daredevil performing the stunt of dropping into the atmosphere at the edge of space. In searching for the article about him, however, I’ve stumbled upon an iPad dropped from the edge of space getting more hits on Google (on a more random note, I got the chance to explain to one of my students last night what the original ‘google’ meant). Yet none of these feats can even come close to making the Word flesh or raising His body from the dead. What God does for us, we could simply never do for ourselves.

I just came across in my daily reading the verse from Isaiah 7:11 (convenient, huh?):

“Ask a sign of the LORD your God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven.”

I’m not sure if ever pondered that deep enough. I’m also reading Hebrews 7 at the same time, which strikes my attention in recalling someone last year saying that they don’t believe Jesus was Melchizedek due to Him having a mom and pop (Joseph actually being His step-dad). I affirmed my position by picking up a few clues in careful reading tonight from the text. It may prove useful, as I’ve gained the opportunity more than thrice to share about Jesus’ role as High Priest these last couple of weeks. After reading Isaiah 5 the other day, I desire to share with the brethren here the wonderful work God has done in His vineyard, even in such a place as this. Honestly, I find many here to be white for harvest.

Please continue your supplications for our ministry here. Satan seems to be working on the soils lately and I pray the birds be kept at bay, and that the thorns and thistles be rooted out. May our salted speech be a shade against the sun, that no withering would come to pass, but abundant watering by His washing Word.

In my continuous hearing of the Word from faithful men, most especially those from Billings, Bozeman, Missoula, Bellevue and Wauseon, great and wonderful truths have kept enlightening the eyes of my understanding and causing my heart to rejoice in the blessed hope we have in our Savior. Thank you, brothers and sisters and those yet wayward for continuing to seek the Way.

In truth and in deed,

David

Though this week led to many a study about the significance of the working of God in the waters of immersion, there’s been yet in our close proximity a soul to come forth from that watery tomb as Jesus commanded Lazarus after 4 days post-mortem.

But the family (half the size of Noah’s) got to visit the Ark-sized replica on Ma Wan island in Hong Kong. You can read about it here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noah%27s_Ark_%28Hong_Kong%29

I’m still trying to figure out why I can’t hyperlink on the blog anymore, though it could be on my end.

I’ll try to post pictures of our visit last week, as some remarkable facts came to light in our tour of the many exhibitions the Ark park offers.

I believe all difficulties can be overcome, but I am careful and compelled to use my time these days more for offline activities. I have found a place to post the photos, but I anticipate providing the link may simply bring you to a page with some characters you may or may not understand, depending on your depth of knowledge in Chinese language studies. Here it is anyhew:

http://user.qzone.qq.com/379206924/infocenter#!app=4&via=QZ.HashRefresh

Let me leave you with a verse of encouragement to counter whatever else may be assailing you this week, as I’ve allowed this post to slip into sub-par zone…like Double Bogeyville.

DJC

p.s.- “He will not grow faint or be discouraged till he has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands wait for his law. Thus says God, the LORD, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people on it and spirit to those who walk in it: ‘I am the LORD; I have called you in righteousness; I will take you by the hand and keep you; I will give you as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations, to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness.’”       Isaiah 42:4-7

 

 

This week has been the most active holiday period in my history of living in China concerning the study of God’s Word. I’ve had much opportunity, thanks be to God, to provide the Scriptures as an answer to many of the questions circulating among the new relationships we have with some local couples.

One of those couples have a daughter not too much older than Matthew, which makes it a lot easier for my wife to participate in Friday night’s study. The husband (named Lewis) initially came to our place to assist us with IT issues, first reformatting Spring’s computer and later helping me install the necessary drivers on my own computer. The wife (whose English name I don’t know…possibly because she doesn’t have one) has to work most nights, but Lewis was at our place half the nights of last week, when I actually had time to spare in the evenings, due to the extended holiday.

Another couple I may have mentioned before, but have seen them become a lot more respondent to the message from God’s word in the recent days. The woman, whose name is Jenica, was reading the Bible one morning when Spring and I were at the local coffeeshop (called ’85°,’ which I assume is the temp at which their coffee is brewed) for devotion. I later came up with a name for her husband while in prayer, Jericho. He has taken it upon himself to teach me Chinese on Monday nights, though I was able to fit in an extra night or two this last week. Fortunately, the lessons are from my ‘Good News Reader’, which is somewhat an evangelistic primer for learning how to share the gospel in Mandarin. My self-study of the book has been pretty meager in the 3 years I’ve owned it, so it’s truly wonderful to have a fellow bellows to stoke the coals.

Both these couples are starting to understand the deeper meaning of immersion, even as I’m continue to work on establishing a firm foundation of the Bible’s authority on Friday nights. We may soon have the privilege to hear by faith the heavenly host whooping it up soon. I’m thankful to be a part of the process, presenting the Word and watching eyes light up…or tear up, as was the case this last week when the hearer took a moment to consider how great Abraham’s faith was in believing in the resurrection of the dead way back when. Just think of how great her joy might be when I share the significance of Jesus’ words in Matthew 11:11!

“Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. ” Matthew 11:11

 

That means even greater than Abe, he whose name when amended by God took on the meaning ‘father of the multitude.’ How could one not be excited!

Keep building, brothers and sisters. This is God’s Edifice we’re working on and He’s not coming back until ‘it is finished’ in the spiritual realm.

From China, with love.

DJC and his kin

 

HOW?:

homeless

orphans

widows

It’s taking me awhile to get around to expounding on this thought that came about in my classes when teaching about compassion. On a practical note, there has been some opportunity to reach out to homeless and orphans, but I’ve yet to make many a widow’s acquaintance. We know they make the cut in ‘pure and undefiled religion’, as penned through James by the power of the Holy Spirit, but sometimes I’m tempted to spirtiualize this and take it even further.

As far as widows are concerned, I see those who have fallen away being a picture of an estranged woman from her Husband. These are probably just as difficult to seek out as widows in the material realm, but our ears should always be attentive to their cry.

Consider also the orphans. Most folk carrying on everyday life as adults are separated by sin from their Father. It’s our mission to reconcile these lost kin to Him with rejoicing and thanksgiving.

“More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.” Romans 5:11

Lastly (the first shall be last…), the homeless. The ones who have yet to come to Christ through obedience to the faith have yet to inherit a place prepared for them by the very Son Himself.

DJC

u.p.s. (über-postscript)-

“Thus says the LORD of hosts, Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another,  do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor, and let none of you devise evil against another in your heart.” Zechariah 7:9 & 10

Already a month later, I’m adding a verse of relevance, as it just so happened to be part of my daily Bible reading=) [10/18/2012]

 

Sep 12 2012

Promising

humblebe | Saint's Sojourns | 0 Comments

While we wait upon our new books which actually establish our curriculum for once, I continue to do what I’ve always wanted to do in my class, share the character of Christ. Nowadays, I do it a bit more explicitly, teaching the 4th & 5th graders certain character traits, beginning with ‘commitment’. This was a way to allow them to promise with me to first make English fun; secondly, to listen; thirdly, to speak English. I’m still working on my part of the bargain, but may be leaps and bounds above their desire ( not their potential) to fulfill their vowed obligation. They did raise their right hand (some, their left) with me in a pledge, after all. When the new books arrive, I’ll be sure to enjoy the challenge of weaving the traits into my lessons.

Our adventures in the Kingdom continue to add color and excitement to our lives, opening up some more doors with a couple, Rosemary and Barry. Rosemary came a couple of different Friday nights when we were still teaching at Dave’s place. She’s a friend of Dave or Melody, having previously attended the Shekou Fellowship. Through her I made the acquaintance of Mr. Wrong, or Irvin, with whom I try to meet weekly. Irvin, his wife, his daughter and Rosemary, her husband and son gathered with the three in our family for Sunday brunch and we continued into afternoon tea after that. It turns out our friend Boo has been scheduling Tuesday with them for study, so I indicated Mondays would work for me. I’m looking forward to how this might also grow with God’s Hand and for His glory.

I had a chance to share about the Lord’s Supper at Boo’s this past week, and even as I anticipated a greater effort to allow the Scriptures to teach us concerning the pattern which we should follow, the exhortation fell on deaf ears for the time being and the Lord pulled me back from further engaging in dialogue with the leadership involved. The pot continues to be stirred and I’m thankful to be in the mix.

Your prayers are appreciated,

The Cooks

 

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