Friday, December 31, 2010

I was visiting in a friend's home yesterday,and framed on her dresser was this verse from Isaiah 42:16 "And I will lead the blind by a way they do not know, In paths they do not know I will guide them. I will make darkness into light before them And rugged places into plains. These are the things I will do, And I will not leave them undone." I stood for a long time looking at the verse and remembering...a young woman who was getting ready to break free from a long period of bondage, very fearful and wanting above all to be led by the Prince of Peace. I didn't know the Scripture from Isaiah so the Lord gave me a dream where I experienced it. Later on I was stunned when I came upon the verse.

I am no longer a young woman and I know I'm not completely walking in all the freedom He wants to give me. On the brink of a new year He brought to my rememberance that He will be leading me in paths that I don't yet know. I have His promise to make darkness light before and rugged places into plains. He is my Guide, my Light, and the Leveler of my Path. My Lord knows the way through the wilderness, all I have to do is follow.

I pray that you will allow Him to be your Guide and Companion into the New Year that awaits you.

Love and abundant blessings,

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Focus on the Philippines

A letter from my niece and nephew Scott and Karen Taylor who have been serving faithfully in the Philippines for twenty years.
Dear Rell & Carol,
The thermometer is pegged at 90 degrees, the Northeast trade winds are blowing steadily, the waves are pounding the seawall, and a typhoon is forming to the South of us. This kind of weather can only mean that Christmas is near!

We now are entering into our busiest and most productive time of year. The people of the Philippines are very receptive to things of a spiritual nature during the holidays. In addition, the holiday season is very long. It begins in November and continues thru New Years. In February, the Chinese community will usher in the year of the Rabbit and the Vietnamese here will celebrate the Tet New Year.

Two days from now, we will be holding our annual Christmas celebration with the Batak. We are expecting around 100 people. How different it will be, from our first Christmas celebration with them, twenty years ago. At that time, there were only 19 people in our entire village. Because of our very limited language ability back then, we could not explain to them why we were celebrating. There were no churches in any of the Batak villages in spite of sixty years of missionary work. Happily, God in His goodness has been working in the hearts and minds of the Batak. Today, there are probably more Batak believers per capita than there are American.
After the Batak celebration, we will be hosting a Korean Missionary group as part of our camp ministry. They are currently working with three tribal groups found here in Palawan, and campers will be coming from as far as 150 miles away, to attend the three day event.

These past months have been very eventful ones for our Youth Center ministry. It continues to grow and the church members are maturing in the Faith. You might remember a story we wrote about some years ago. The children of one large family had earned Bibles and proudly took them home to show their father. Sadly, the father took the Bibles and threw them out the front door, where they landed in the mud. He said, “Bibles were not allowed in his house and the children were forbidden to attend church.” Last week the same father confessed,” he now sits outside every Sunday and listens to our worship service. For years, his wife and children have been regular members and his oldest daughter helps with children’s Sunday school. She would also like to attend Bible school next year.

Please pray for the safety of the fisherman, of our Youth Center ministry. Recently, they have been experiencing very violent storms that seem to come out of nowhere. We personally experienced one of these storms just last week. Sudden, gale force winds littered our base with coconuts and broken tree limbs. A bathroom door blew off, which then tore out a section of fence! The rain was blowing so horizontally, it actually traveled up the tailpipe of our jeep and filled the muffler with water! At The Youth Center, several trees were blown down.
Also last week, one of our fishermen came upon three men, clinging to the wreckage of their fishing boat, about 100 miles offshore. There was also a body tied to the wreckage.
Three days earlier, the men had been fishing when their boat was struck by lightning, and sank. One of the men was killed instantly. The survivors spent the following three days and nights, drifting without food or water. They were also forced to fight off the fish that were consuming the body of their friend.
Recently, a group arrived at our Youth Center saying,” The land where our Center is located belongs to them, and they were going to take it.” We took the threat very seriously because this group is known for its violent, land grabbing activities. A member of this group is the same person responsible for Scott being called before a grand jury several years ago, accusing him of being head of a criminal syndicate! While we were trying to figure out what to do, the brother of Scott’s former accuser, stabbed and killed someone while attending a wake. The family of the victim decided not to press charges, and the murderer was released from jail. As soon as he was released, a member of the victim’s family killed him! It is not likely that this group will be bothering us, as long as they are busy fighting one another.

Things continue to go well for us on the legal front. In spite of our nine cases continuing throughout 2010, the prosecution scored no major victories. We are thankful that one case was dismissed, when the plaintiff fail to appear for three consecutive hearings.

We are astonished at the development currently taking place around our Dakuton Base. When we arrived in the area ten years ago, it was a wild, sparsely populated place. Today, we are surrounded by resorts and more are being built. A group of investors from mainland China recently bought a nearby resort and plan to develop it. There is now a large, Korean school within walking distance of our house, where wealthy Koreans come to learn the English language. In spite of all of this development, most of the local people in our area still live in grinding poverty, and are controlled by superstition. Recently, in spite of the fact that a typhoon was threatening, the top story locally was about a family of vampires that was supposedly in the area. The radio was actually urging people to remain calm!

About this time last year, we experienced major flooding at our base. One of the vivid memories we have was that of one of our neighbor’s children walking by, as we surveyed the damage to our place. The ten year old girl had been forced to abandon her flooded house. She was walking alone, carrying all of her possessions in one, small plastic bag. Six months after the flooding, this same child was the victim of a violent rape. In addition, the girl’s mother began having serious emotional problems, and disappeared. With no relatives in the area, the child has been living with our Youth Center workers for about a month now. Please remember her in your prayers.

In January, we will have a new addition to our team of workers here. Mallory Oliff is from Tallahassee, Florida, and will be joining us for six months. Please pray for him as he adjusts to major changes in climate, food, and culture. Also pray for wisdom and patience as he attempts to learn a new language.

What’s the latest from Hanging Dog? Sorry it has been a while sense I have written. The motherboard went out in my computer and they had to send all the way to China for another one.
Yes, our neighbor has really been something. Just last night, I was playing my guitar, getting ready for the rehearsal of our Praise band. I hear this horrible screaming, and it was her telling me to turn my guitar down! Many nights, I have fallen asleep to the sound of drunken prostitutes and their customers, singing karaoke at her resort! If you come for a visit, I will make sure I introduce you.
I don’t know if you have heard the news that Ariel is expecting. We are really excited. Ariel continues to work in Waukesha while her husband finishes Bible school. I am having a lot of fun at the motocross track. When I beat a loud mouth, hotshot teenager in a race, I now get to kid him about getting beat by a Grand paw!

I might have told you before, that the courthouse where I spend so much of my time, is located right next to the motocross track. After a stressful day in court, I de-stress out at the track. Lots of court cases = lots of practice. The Philippine National Motocross season just concluded and I ended up 14th in points standing for 2010, in the veteran division.

This year, the price of postage has sky rocketed here. There has also been a big increase in the number of people that are experiencing hunger right now. What we decided to do is: instead of sending you a Christmas card this year, we took the amount of the postage saved and threw a big Christmas blow out. We are sending a picture of the child you sponsored. She received a big meal, a small gift, and was a happy camper!

Well, I’ve got to sign off and get back to work. Everyone sends their love.

If the Lord would lead you to contribute to this ministry the address for contributions is:
The Taylors (this is the only address to send contributions)

C/O Glenda Norris
25665 Nightingale Drive
Lebanon, MO 65536
Their Field Address:
Scott and Karen Taylor
P.O. Box 113
Puerto Princessa City
5300 Palawan, Philippines

Friday, December 17, 2010


I often ask the Lord for a word in due season. One that will encourage a heart that may need it that would stop by the blog. This morning..I'm resharing something that I need to be reminded of. Hope....can't live without it.
After the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, the LORD said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses' aide: "Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them--to the Israelites. I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. Joshua 1:1-3

When I was raising my children I never wanted to break a promise to them. I tried to under promise and over deliver because I didn’t want to hear their words of disappointment claiming, “You promised.” I wanted them to trust and believe me, and know that their mother was a woman of her word. Therefore, I often had to add qualifiers…. if it doesn’t rain, if your dad gets home in time etc.

Our Father shows even more care in fulfilling His promises. Joshua 21:45 could proclaim, “Not one of the good promises which the LORD had made to the house of Israel failed; all came to pass.”NASB He had promised Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Moses a land and even though they were long gone, He kept His word. “All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance.” Hebrews 11:13a NIV

I am brought to my knees by the faithfulness of God. Not one of His promises to us will fail. Even when we close our eyes in death we can rest assured that His promise to us will be fulfilled even if we don’t get to see it come to pass in our life time. He is a covenant making God, a promise keeping God and we who know Him are “prisoners of hope”.

There have been times in my life when I wanted to suppress my expectations because I didn’t want to deal with another round of disappointment. I was sure the fulfillment of a promise was just around the corner and it wasn’t. I found that I couldn’t continue very long in a pit (that is where it takes us) of hopelessness. It was not because I was such a woman of faith, but because He is and always has been a God who keeps His word. As I stayed in His word, and prayed His word the faith, hope, and confidence in His loving heart would rise once again. In Zechariah 9:12 Israel is told to return to their “stronghold” you prisoners of hope. In this Scripture the stronghold is a good thing. It is a high place, a fortress of safety and I would much rather live there than in a pit of doubt and unbelief.

I was given a Fruit of the Spirit Bible by a dear friend. One morning as I was reading my eyes fell on this remark in the notes, “Jesus, if I do not see your promises fulfilled today, I will set my alarm extra early tomorrow morning." I believe that is a heart attitude that is a delight to our Father and will strengthen those who live with us or around us.

Are you in a pit of hopelessness? Are your eyes on the problem or the promises? Lift your eyes to the One who does not lie and cannot go back on His word. Return to your place of safety. Trust in Him at all times O people. By all means pour out your heart to Him; He will be your refuge. Psalm 62:8 NASB Tell Him you are struggling. He already knows it, so ask Him to restore you to that place of safety. Trust Him.
Lord, I believe you are at work even when I don’t see your hand. You are trustworthy and I am a prisoner of hope. Thank you for your covenant keeping ways and your unfailing love.

Monday, December 13, 2010

One Child - The Nativity

Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

What a beautiful prophecy and description of the Savior. Unto us a Child is born (His humanity) Unto us a Son is given (His divine nature) I have known Him as my Wonderful Counselor, as my Mighty, Nothing is Impossible God. He has been the Father my heart always needed and longed for. My Prince of Peace in the midst of all that life can throw at me. He's more than enough and exceedingly abundantly above all I could ask for or think. Let's not lose sight of this wonderful gift in the midst of the season.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Dolly Parton; Selah - Once Upon a Christmas

I love this version of Once Upon a Christmas. It amazes me that Dolly Parton wrote it, just the way it amazes me that crazy (in a good way) Mark Lowery wrote Mary Did You Know. I guess the Lord means it when He says, "but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised, God has chosen, the things that are not, that He might nullify the things that are, that no man should boast before God." 1 Corinthians 1:27-29 NASB That's what gives me hope that I may do some lasting good in this life. Those who know me recognize what God has done.
It is hard for me to take when someone compliments me on some aspect of giftedness and they don't realize what a work God has had to do to bring it to pass. It isn't a false sense of is a deep realization as Paul says in Romans 11:36 "For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen."
I don't want to ever lose sight that these creative gifts come from the great Creator for the benefit of us all.
I hope you are enjoying this wonderful season. Cast all your care on Him because He cares for you.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Charlie Brown Christmas

A friend of mine on Facebook posted this video. It really moved me and made me think of an old hymn we use to sing when I was a child. "I love to tell the story, for those who know it best seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest. And when, in scenes of glory, I sing the new, new song, 'twill be the old, old story that I have loved so long." Isn't that so true? I hope it is true in your heart and life. May we never lose the wonder and joy of the story of His coming.

Monday, December 6, 2010

In Christ Alone by Newsboys

Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.
1 Corinthians 15:1-5
Thank you O my Father, for giving us Your Son and leaving Your Spirit til the work on earth is done.
Dear friend, I pray that this season finds you focusing on the Giver of every perfect gift. Don't allow yourself to miss the wonder of who He is and what He has done. Embrace the true spirit of this season.

Friday, December 3, 2010

I Know

"For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day." 2 Timothy 1:12
Great quote but better reality.

God is not a belief to which you give your assent. God becomes a reality whom you know intimately, meet everyday, one whose strength becomes your strength, whose love, your love. Live this life of the presence of God long enough and when someone asks you, “Do you believe there is a God?” you may find yourself answering, “No, I do not believe there is a God. I know there is a God.”
~Ernest Boyer, Jr.