He Is (at 32:45)

Old notes taken mostly from my personal time with God. We're moving house again, so, I guess we're back to being, literally, pilgrims on the Rough Roads of Planet Earth. (Photo taken on a road to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, North Auckland, NZ, Dec 2009.)

Friday, April 29, 2011

Rev. David Wilkerson Goes Home

Yesterday I posted a link in my MySpace profile on the news that said Rev. David Wilkerson was killed in a head-on car collision the other day, 27th April 2011, in Texas. I am disappointed that MySpace profile stream no longer supports links on news reports as it used to. Thus, I write this note instead.

Rev. David Wilkerson Killed in TX Car Crash



Pastor David Wilkerson founded Teen Challenge which later became World Challenge, a ministry that helps rehabilitate drug addicts and bring them to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, in the '60s. He's also the author of the famous book, "The Cross and the Switchblade" which tells of the saga of his ministry which started with the gangs in the streets of New York. He also founded The Times Square Church. I thought now that we're in New York I will be able to visit that church but so far have not been able to. It's quite far from where we live and I will have to get up early to probably catch their morning service. And with my younger daughter's current "illness" I am not sure actually when I would be able to do that. Apparently, he and his wife have already retired and gone back to their home state of Texas and they have passed on the baton of the Times Square Church to younger pastors.

I am most impressed by his obedience to the Lord on his call to reach out to the underprivileged teenagers in the inner city of New York, especially those caught in the vicious cycle of poverty and drug addiction. He was a very skinny and young country pastor called by God to the glitzy city of New York. He didn't have much money and he knew nobody in New York. He only proceeded as the Holy Spirit led him, based on an article he read in LIFE magazine about a teenager who was facing criminal charges in New York. His love for those teenagers won them over to the Lord. His was a story of daring, raw faith and true love.

In memory of this genuine man of God who impacted my generation, I quote in full here his last blog "When All Means Fail." I believe it has a timely message for all of us, emphasis mine:


WHEN ALL MEANS FAIL
by David Wilkerson, April 27, 2011

To believe when all means fail is exceedingly pleasing to God and is most acceptable. Jesus said to Thomas, "You have believed because you have seen, but blessed are those that do believe and have not seen" (John 20:29).
Blessed are those who believe when there is no evidence of an answer to prayer—who trust beyond hope when all means have failed.
Someone has come to the place of hopelessness—the end of hope—the end of all means. A loved one is facing death and doctors give no hope. Death seems inevitable. Hope is gone. The miracle prayed for is not happening.
That is when Satan's hordes come to attack your mind with fear, anger, overwhelming questions: "Where is your God now? You prayed until you had no tears left. You fasted. You stood on promises. You trusted."
Blasphemous thoughts will be injected into your mind: "Prayer failed. Faith failed. Don't quit on God—just do not trust him anymore. It doesn't pay!"
Even questioning God's existence will be injected into your mind. These have been the devices of Satan for centuries. Some of the godliest men and women who ever lived were under such demonic attacks.
To those going through the valley and shadow of death, hear this word: Weeping will last through some dark, awful nights—and in that darkness you will soon hear the Father whisper, "I am with you. I cannot tell you why right now, but one day it will all make sense. You will see it was all part of my plan. It was no accident. It was no failure on your part. Hold fast. Let me embrace you in your hour of pain."
Beloved, God has never failed to act but in goodness and love. When all means fail—his love prevails. Hold fast to your faith. Stand fast in his Word. There is no other hope in this world.


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May his final sermon bring a challenge and charge to our own lives. The Lord bless you, my dear friends!

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Great Expanse - Waitangi Grounds

I miss the great expanse - the open spaces, the blue skies, the green trees, the shorelines, the hills and slopes, the fresh air… yeah, I miss Auckland. My younger son and I were talking about it last week and he said, “Yeah, you’re right. You just never miss anything until you lose it!” Here it’s just all houses, buildings, “dead” trees (now sprouting as it’s already Spring), cars and roads. You just can’t see anything beyond those. I used to complain that driving in Auckland is so hard because the roads go up and down, have too many sharp turns and are mostly single-lane. But then as you drive up and down the hills you get to see breath-taking views, and I swear, the best views I had seen were those I saw while driving. And I couldn't take photos of them because I was driving!

I wanted to take lots of photos of meadows dotted with animals – cows, sheep, horses. But the best places to take those photos are along roads where there are solid yellow lines and signs saying you can’t stop at any time!! And in places where you can stop there are snooty farmers giving you that glare which says nothing short of: “Get off my property!!” As a friend once said, in New Zealand, the whole country is like a national park. It’s scenic everywhere. I totally agree. But the “free” views you can get are only in the real public parks. The rest of the views were on unfriendly ground.  :(I never quite get this madness for “private space” or “privacy,” the Kiwi way. Even in driving, making a reverse (3-point turn) in somebody’s driveway is illegal!! In Asia, nobody bothers and nobody even notices if you do a reverse in their driveway. (I’ve visited for only 3 weeks before here in the US, and we’ve been here three months already, but I haven’t driven here yet. But I doubt if it’s anything like that here. Americans are so open and friendly. Well, I will soon find out as I have to pursue a driving license really soon.) That snootiness is the one thing I don’t miss about New Zealand. And of course, the other thing is the UV-rich sun. :(

Meanwhile, these views from the Waitangi Treaty Grounds are views to die for!

























































The Waitangi Treaty Grounds is located in the Bay of Islands, Northland, North Auckland. The following photos were taken when we were leaving the place.















I really like the animals grazing on the vast meadows everywhere we passed by and I took many of such photos as we sped by them:





















On our way home, it was already getting dark but I really wanted to pass by Scandrett Park, my favourite, so we dropped by there for an evening picnic. These photos were taken in late Dec 2009, so the day was quite long - it was summer in Auckland.











In the previous summer (2008) it was along this beach that we saw the endangered dotterel chicks.







The seagulls, one of the things you take for granted in Auckland as they are always around. But here in New York, we miss them.





The following photos were taken on our way to the Waitangi grounds. We passed by Paihia Beach and that's the seagull lurking around us waiting for dole outs from our snacks. :)






The water in Paihia Beach didn't look as clean as in the Bay of Islands but there were more people there and some of them were really playing in the water.




















In Paihia Beach there was an old church named St. Paul's Church.








The interior of the church. It was very small inside.









The beach in front of the church.









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The Many Versions of Love Stories 1. Boy meets girl, they fall in love, kiss and marry. They live happily ever after. 2. Boy meets girl, they fall in love, kiss and marry. The marriage sours, they part, and live happily ever after. 3. Boy meets girl, they fall in love, kiss and marry. Then boy finds out it's more fun to be girl... or girl finds out it's more fun to be boy, they part, change sexes and live happily ever after. 4.Finally, boy or girl meets God. It's love at first sight... The roads went rough, the tides rose high, the strong winds blew and the quake shook the ground... but they truly live happily ever after, forever and ever. 5. Try God's love... it's always happy forever after, and the story never ends. :-D