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Friday, June 12, 2015

Hawai'i April 2105

I had the opportunity to travel to Hawai'i with my Dad this year. 
Here are some photos from my journey. 

                                   The apartment building where we stayed in Waikiki.


             My dad playing trumpet for passerby at the Hyatt Regent Hotel. There was a Farmer's Market going on there, so I enjoyed seeing all the fresh local fruit and products. I tried some chewy Lillikoi (Passionfruit) candy.

                                                   Traditional Hawai'an artwork at the hotel.

 The first day we arrived was cloudy, but humid. The weather reminded me of Hong Kong a bit.

Pigeons in a  Banyan tree.

A music group playing at sunset.

Thank you for stopping by my blog! 

The Gospel told in modern language

A neat video.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Bible reading and prayer

Hello faithful readers! Sorry for the lack of posts, I do not promise to write every week, but I am wanting to get back into writing more frequently. :) 

I have been reading the Bible a new way than I used to. I used to read one chapter in the Old Testament and one chapter in the New Testament. I would try to read a Psalm and Proverb for the day too. 

For about 7 months now, I have been reading one book of the New Testament for the whole month. So I read the whole book through each day. The next day, I read the whole book through again. 

Something I have been noticing is that I really absorb the message this way and key words and phrases jump out at me. In May, I was reading 1 Timothy, so I got to know it very well! I am reading Tim Lahaye's "How to Study the Bible for Yourself" and he mentions reading this way. He suggests studying the book after you have become familiar with it. I have gained a greater appreciation for the Word of God in the last few months. 

The more we read His Word, the more we can imitate it! Even though at times I have rushed through, or not made time to read the Bible, I see it now as essential nutrients for my Spirit. I have tried to use "No Bible, No breakfast" as a motivator, but that is not for everybody. 

 I encourage you to keep on reading and being nourished and built up in the Word. The Lord will bless you as you follow and obey Him.

"Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.  Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership.  Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all. Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you."
1 Timothy 4:12-16

I was blessed and inspired by the Week of Prayer for North America. It was held in Kansas City a few weeks ago, and the meetings were live streamed online. I didn't go to the actual meetings, but was able to watch and pray at home. You can watch the recorded sessions on youtube: or here: There is some great Bible teaching and exhortation. Some phrases that stuck with me:
"Are we, the church, a troop carrier or a luxury liner?" 

"You might be the answer to your own prayer." 

"Love God, Love people." Christ loves individuals.

"Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,  who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time..."
1 Timothy 2:1-6

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

In Honor of my Grandpa

This is a letter written by my Grandpa Ken, in 1948 when he was 23 years old.
He would have been 90 years old this year if he was still on earth. He is more alive now in Heaven than he's ever been! 

Dear Kansas Bible Campers,

By this time all of the mosquito bites should be healed and maybe you have forgotten about them.  If that is possible!  I hope you have forgotten the bites, but not the Bible lessons.  It is our prayer that those truths may be remembered through life.

Take the 'Quiet Time'  (QT)  for instance.  How is that coming?  Are you keeping that special time with the Lord each day - that set time when you speak to the Lord (prayer) and the Lord speaks to you (Bible reading)?  If you are, I am confident that you are experiencing real joy in your Christian life.

May I say that from experience, keeping the QT is one of the hardest things I have ever done.  Remember, Satan will do all he can to stop you.  I have just been looking at a little booklet on the Quiet Time and I found some very good suggestions.  I'll pass them on to you.

1)    Make Time:   You'll have to plan a certain time for your QT.  You know when it will be best for you.  I personally prefer the early morning, before my mind is clouded with so many details of the day.  Organize your day and set a certain time for you QT.  Rain or shine be there.
"Remember the Lord will be there even if you are not!"  We have set times for our meals, why not for our spiritual meals?  Certainly it is just as important....yes, more important. Decide right now on a time.

2)   Find a quiet place:   Try to be alone.  Sometimes this is difficult, even impossible.  In your home you may have a large family and it is difficult to not have interruptions.  Do your best and ask the Lord to help you.  If there is much noise, you must learn to really concentrate.  I found it very hard sometimes to have my QT in the army when there were men all around me making noise.  But remember the Lord will help you.  Decide right now on a quiet place before you read any more.

3)   Let your heart be still:  We read in the Word, "Be still and know that I am God." (Psalm 46:10) We should not rush into the presence of the Lord.  Nothing should hurry us.  Nothing in our day is of more importance.  We are meeting with our Captain before we go out to serve.  How foolish to think that we should go out for Him before we first have met with Him.  "In quietness and confidence shall be your strength." (Isaiah 30:15)

4)  Expect His presence:  Come to Him eagerly expecting something.  You will never be disappointed.  He may show you something in the Bible you have never seen before.  The Word of God is like a gold mine and you will never exhaust its supply.

5)   Look for something for yourself:  The QT is for you and not your neighbor.  You may want to pass on what you get, but that is not the purpose of the QT.  For those of you under high-school age, you may want to pick out a good verse in the chapter of your reading.  But certainly if you in high school and above you should look for a message for yourself.  When you find it, be sure to write it down in your QT notebook.  By the way, have a good notebook and keep a page for everyday.  You may title it like this:

      Quiet Time
       Matthew 1
       Sept. 1, 1948   7:00 AM

Under this title, put what the Lord gives you.  As you write do so in the first person.  For example:   "This is something I need - I need to follow the Lord as Joshua did."  As you close your QT summarize your thoughts into a prayer.

Be sure to have a good Bible.  Use one preferably with no notes at all and has a good sized print.

Start the Quiet Time right away.  These are only suggestions.  Most of them are not original.  I do trust they will help you to be a growing Christian.  If you have any questions about the QT, I would be glad to answer them.

In  His matchless Name,
Chicago, Illinois

Photo taken in 1944 at age 19.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Making Lebanese Ma'amoul cookies

Ma'amoul Cookies 

3/4 cup Medjool dates, pitted and chopped (I used chopped, dates I bought at Walmart. Amport Foods brand)
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon superfine (caster) sugar

Cookie Dough 
3 2/3 cups flour 
1 1/3 cups unsalted butter
1/2 cup confectioner's (icing) sugar (powdered sugar)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup milk

To make the date filling, blanch the dates in boiling water, then quickly immerse in cold water to loosen their skins. Peel and pit the dates, then put them in a saucepan with the water and sugar and bring to a simmer. Cook over a low heat, stirring continuously, until the dates soften and melt to a smooth, sticky mass. Remove from the heat and when cool blitz to a smooth paste with an electric hand-blender. (I used our Vita-Mix instead and it worked fine.)

To make the cookie dough, sift the flour into a large mixing bowl. Add the butter (I cut it in slices) and rub in with your fingers until it's the consistency of fine crumbs. Add the icing sugar and mix in well. Make a well in the center of the dough and add the oil and milk, then work in until you have a smooth dough.

Dust your work surface with flour. Divide the dough into 2 portions and shape each into a ball. I then put the dough in cling wrap and refrigerated for about 10 minutes while I prepared the cookie mould. Grease your Ma'amoul mold generously with coconut oil.
Take out the cookie dough and shape a small piece of dough and flatten it into the mould.
Use a spoon to put some date mixture inside the dough. Then put another piece of flattened cookie dough on top. Press the edges of the cookie dough together with your fingers.
Tap the mold until the cookie falls out and place on a  greased cookie sheet.

Bake at 325'F for 10 minutes. Then, lower the temperature to 275'F and cook for a further 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on wire racks. The cookies should not color, but remain pale and delicate. 

 They turned out light and flaky with a nice sweet filling. Happy baking!

Here is another recipe for Ma'amoul, with lovely photos too.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Lebanon 2014 -Part 2-

As promised. Part Two of my photos from Lebanon. I will do Part Three later. 

Cross in the mountains showing that it is Maronite land.

      Local shops

     Prickly flowers. I think they are related to the thistle.


      Goats scampering across a road in the Lebanese Mountains.
     Delicious fresh fruit and veg. I made sandwiches with labneh (thick yoghurt the consistency of cream cheese) cheese and cucumber in Saj. (flat bread.)

     Hot Lebanese bread with beef and spicy pepper on it.  I got this fresh from the bakery down the street from where I was living.

     Ma'amoul cookies. Similar to butter cookies with date filling in the middle.

       Arabic, French and English. The three languages of Lebanon... all seen on a car license plate.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Lebanon 2014 -Part 1-

I had the amazing privilege to go to Lebanon this summer. I was there for two short weeks volunteering at a christian school's summer program. 

The Lord was so merciful in my travels there, and I have such wonderful memories. I enjoyed meeting the local believers and hearing Bible teaching in Arabic. (Kind friends translated into English for me.) The arabic hymns were beautiful as well. I practiced Marhaba (Hello) Kifeek/Kifahk (How are you?) and Shukran (Thank you) frequently and added more words to my limited arabic inventory. 

I do not know where to start in writing about my experiences there.... Before I went, friends  expressed concern about me going to Lebanon. It is true, there are car bombs in Beirut, and different areas are dangerous for Americans, but I was in a Maronite Christian area, so I was relatively safe. Besides, when the Lord is with you, the Creator of heaven and earth, what more protection does one need? 

What I learned from the trip was that the Lord is always with me, even when it seems like I am alone. I had to trust in Him, as I flew from Heathrow to Beirut, navigated the airport, and got my luggage. I am accustomed to being with members of my family, so it was a little unnerving but I was on an adventure! I just had to take a deep breath and pray if I felt overwhelmed. This verse was a real encouragement to me. 

"But the Lord is with me as a mighty, awesome One."  
Jeremiah 20:11

Facts on Lebanon

  • Lebanon’s land mass is the size of Connecticut or Wales. Their population was 4,254,583 in 2010. 25% of the population is under the age of 15 years. 

  • The official language is Arabic, but French and English are widely used. 

  • Lebanon is the only Arab state that is not officially Muslim. Shia comprise 37% and Sunni 22%. There are 18 recognized religious communities: 4 Muslims, 1 Druze, 1 Jewish, and 12 Christian.

  • Lebanon remains the only land in the Middle East where all are legally free to change their religious affiliation. 

  • Believers from most other Arab countries can more freely come to Lebanon for Christian training. Pray for this religious freedom to be maintained.

  • Expatriate Christian workers still have a role to play in Lebanon. Pray for more to be called and enabled to identify with and serve the Church and all Lebanese.

Some areas where the love of Christ can be demonstrated: reconstruction, work with young people, drug rehabilitation, discipleship, and church development ministries.       (from p. 528-530, Operation World by Jason Mandryk)

                                  Wild grapes.

                Byblos Beach. We brought some of the children from the summer school here.

                                                               Anchor by Byblos Beach