Saturday, December 29, 2012


A massive head injury as the result of a tragic car accident left Krickett Carpenter in a coma just two months after her marriage to Kim. When she finally emerged from the coma, she recognized everyone in her life except her husband Kim! 
Starting all over, they built a new love and dedicated their lives to each other all over again. Their story was captured in book and film and entitled The Vow.

Imagine. It would be like fitting all the odd pieces to make sense of the pattern.  Knowing you once loved this stranger, yet possessing none of the emotions you would expect to experience. You would need to accept your husband or wife filling in all the special memories you had forgotten.

I'm certain it would be a horribly frustrating and scary situation in which to find yourself. Everything that was told to you would have to be accepted by faith. And could you really trust this stranger? Would everything he or she told you be the truth? It would be something you'd have to figure out by listening to the relatives also, and watching how everyone related the whole story. Look at wedding albums and see the proof with your own eyes.

Even so, it would be a matter of faith in the long run. Do you believe what others tell you about this person? It's your choice to believe and accept, or to reject. You don't have pictures to look at but you do have the testimonies of many hundreds of people from long ago and also the present time.

Maybe this is similar to the Christian faith. Can you accept what others say about Jesus?  Are you prepared to read what is written about Him in the Bible? Or you can simply reject what others have experienced of Him and go your own way. After all our gracious God has given us a free will. This is a precious gift we should not hold lightly.

Let us face this New Year learning all we can about this God Man Jesus who cared enough about us to willingly come into our world to teach us the way to live and the Way to follow. And may you enjoy a Happy & Blessed New Year!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012


Is Christmas a holiday you've been looking forward to? It's a special time for family members to get together and celebrate, isn't it? 

Yet Christmas can be a very stressful time with all the planning of meals and gifts associated with it. Even buying the right gift for the person who has everything is a real hassle. And too often the credit card is stretched to the point of incurring a sizeable debt.

My friend asked her small son to end his prayer with the Lord's Prayer and when he got it muddled up she corrected him. What he'd said touched her and she wrote this poem.

Forgive us our Christmases

“Our father who are in Heaven”,  Prayed the lisping three-year-year-old.   He paused while Mummy prompted, then continued as he’d been told.

Again he raised his sweet clear voice, “Give-us-this-day-our-daily-bread,                             
... and-forgive-us-our-Christmases ...”   Then Mummy lifted her head.

That isn’t in the Lord’s Prayer, dear,  She gently reminded him.                    
It’s “forgive-us-our-trespasses”,     And they bowed their heads again.

The prayers were done;  he was tucked in bed;    And Mummy tiptoed out,                            
But the words he had prayed,  still lingered on,     Perhaps he was right at that.

“Forgive-us-our-Christmases?”   Oh Lord, It is so true,                           
We pamper ourselves and everyone else,      But forget to remember You.

We buy the presents for our friends,    When it’s really your birthday,                            
 We decorate and motivate,              It's our favourite holiday.

How this must grieve the heart of God,     When He looks down upon ...                         
The sons of men to whom He gave,           The greatest GIFT, His Son!

“Joy-to-the-World” we glibly sing,           And promptly then forget,                    
That to Him Who made the Heaven’s ring,     We owe a tremendous debt!

“Forgive-us-Lord,-our-Christmases”,     With all their wasted endeavour,                   
And may this Christmas honor Him,        Who lives and reigns forever.
But there's another side of this special holiday. Police say that squabbles break out even among family members. Too often long held bitterness comes to the fore, because of alcohol freely consumed. And it's not long before violence erupts and things get nasty.

And what of those who haven't families to gather around them? So often they're left out in the cold. If it wasn't for charities offering the comfort of Christmas dinners, so often these folk would go hungry.

Let's remember it's Jesus' birthday we remember and honour. He is the Prince of Peace. Let us share His love and His peace to those around us.  Happy Christmas!

Friday, December 14, 2012


Abbie (pictured) shares her thoughts when "things don't work out".

Hovering beneath Christian jargon and hiding our authentic God-given judgment hides us from reality. Some days will be hard (like when you want to console, or be consoled by, an ex), and some situations are plain awkward (like seeing an old crush or seeing a new one with your old best friend). The alternative, however, is to stuff our pain in statements like, “I know God, so I shouldn’t be upset,” or “God always has a happy plan and future for me, so I’ve just gotta suck it up and move on.” Truth never modeled such a tale. To risk hurting one’s feelings, or risk handing over your real feelings, will usually be hard. But if God is true and truly Lord over outcomes (including feelings), we’re better off being authentically upset, heartbroken, and maybe even awkward, rather than maturing a lie.

Scripture says His overarching will for our lives is holiness. But what about when holiness doesn’t fix us or necessarily make us feel happy? And why is it that holiness seems to happen more often, even, through the likes of heartbreaks and breakups, than smooth-sailing life? Although sometimes holiness involves happiness, other times it involves suffering, even unfulfilled longing. However, the challenging belief is that God is good and has His (and your) best interests in mind.

Either God is good and for our good and knows what He is about, or He doesn’t. Either pain and death are the end of our stories, or they’re not. Successful dating should not just be classified as those who “get hitched.” Successful dating, or “courtship,” or life, that is, happen when a man and a woman are moved closer to God. Even in courtships that break up, then, or unrequited love that never requites, God’s hand is still initiating and making something new. Sometimes God breaks up two good people with two good paths for no other reason than to draw us closer to Him.

Friday, December 7, 2012

CHINA - Book on Marriage

 As a former corporate executive ,Andrew Yuan Da Tong is possibly China’s most famous proponent of marriage and parenting. He has been in ministry since the 1990s  in China, ZDL Books, are proud to be long-standing supporters of Andrew. His most recent book on marriage is entitled  Marriage, a Covenant for Life.

Andrew’s primary goal is to influence leaders, to share with them that their marriage is a reflection of their spiritual life and has a direct correlation to a healthy family and church. For many Chinese pastors, this is counter-intuitive. The perception is that ministry and service to the church come above their responsibility to their wife and family. This year alone, Andrew has conducted training sessions for over 12,000 people. He has spoken at the Three Self Patriotic Church, the Family churches and has been asked to teach at Yanjing Seminary.

 Some responses from pastors:

“This content is not from overseas. This is heartfelt and your teaching really touched us”
Pastor from Anhui Province

“We have never heard this before. When can you come back again?” Pastors from Wenzhou

Please pray for Andrew and his wife Erling's health and ministry as they increasingly devote themselves to sharing this desperately needed message.