Pressed, Shaken and Running Over

 With all that's been going on the last few weeks, it’s amazing that I’ve had the time to read a book, but I think it’s been therapeutic. Especially the one I just finished; it’s called, “In Japan, the Crickets Cry”, and it was written by a friend and fellow missionary, Stephen Metcalf. If I could pull out the “takeaway” from the book in one sentence, it would simply be this: “Stuff happens to us all, but that doesn’t mean God isn’t there”.  “Crickets Cry” is the story of three men. Two of them we had the privilege of working with in Japan, and all three are very definitely “Heroes of the Faith”.  Their names were Steve Metcalf (the author), Eric Liddell and David Hayman.  Steve and Eric were incarcerated together in a Japanese prisoner of war camp in China. David came along much later in Japan as a friend and collaborator. All three of these men are now in Glory. Steve was a school boy of missionary parents, living and working in the remote town of Taku, deep in the mountains of C

Living in the Age

 Good morning Everyone, My Australian calendar says so; it must be true: Spring has officially begun. While you folks in the Northern Hemisphere are think about packing away the BBQ, putting the swimming pool into hibernation, and in those extreme places, installing the storm windows and stacking an extra cord of firewood, Down Under, we’re changing our long-sleeved shirts for sleeveless slip overs to go with our board shorts. I think I actually saw a hint of frost last month in the back yard, so I’m still recovering from that bit of trauma. And so with the signs of spring come signs of hope. It’s also Fathers Day here, so the home stores are sold out of power tools and everyone’s doing their best to get together.      Some days, it feels like winter is still lingering, and I’m not just talking about the air outside. The sadness of Dawn’s “graduation” last week, while most of the family remained isolated and unable to be near, remains in our hearts. And then as if to rub salt in the wo

No Words

 This morning it’s with a sad heart to tell you that my nephew’s wife, Dawn, succumbed to COVID last night as her husband Lyle sat by her bedside. I want to say a big thank you to all who have remembered us over here in Australia, unable to travel, during this emotional roller coaster. Dawn was a much-loved wife, mother and friend, and I know that we are all better people for having known her.  I know most of you are no strangers to such painful partings, and you know as well as I do that it never gets any easier, even when all those around are brothers and sisters in the Lord. It’s hard to accept sometimes that our plans and God’s plans are not always the same. But accept it we must, and rejoice in the knowledge that He loves Dawn and knows why He let her be healed only in Heaven.  We also know He loves us and feels our pain as well.     With a recent newborn in the family, I can’t help but remember the comment made in Tony’s “Letters to Schnicklefritz” (written in anticipation of Gra

Living a Life Worthy

 Good Morning Praying Friends, I have good news this week.   The last few days have been particularly hard for us, wondering each day if my nephew’s wife would live or die.  I’m happy to report that, and with thanks for your many prayers, there is some cautious optimism on the part of her doctors. Underscoring that, here’s a little vignette my nephew sent me about something that happened this week. These are Lyle’s words:  “A couple of weeks ago, when Dawn was so sick with Covid that she had to be airlifted to Casper, I tried to call the hospital but dialed a different number by mistake. It went to voicemail. I started talking, explaining that I was trying to reach my wife in the hospital.  Before I finished, a lady picked up the phone, explained that I had dialed the wrong number, and told me straight away that she would be praying for my wife. I apologized for misdialing and hung up. This morning, I felt led to call her number again to apologize and to thank her again for praying for

Sacrifice of Praise

 Good Morning Friends, Today I’d like to talk to you about a guy named David.  He was definitely a ‘Hero of the Faith”.  In fact he’s featured in a lot of the Bible and personally wrote several of the Psalms himself. There’s one particular story that really hits me every time I read it. If you’re not familiar with it, let me fill you in.  It’s in 2nd Samuel as well as a couple of other places.   David, again, had jumped in front of God’s will and carried out a census, even though his prophet Joel, cautioned him against it.  One reason I like David is that he so often jumps ahead of God in his enthusiasm, and then pays the price, much like some of us.   When he confessed his error to God, he was given three choices of ‘discipline’.  He picked the option of a three-day plague over Israel. When it was over, David was fully repented. Then on a Divine command from the prophet Gad, he set out to build an altar on a nearby threshing floor, and there to offer a sacrifice. He approached the own

Enduring Love

 Good morning all,  I hope you’re all coping with the continued conditions. We’ve had a long week’s worth of lockdown and are hoping to see the light soon. My sister’s son and family have Covid, so that’s been keeping our prayer life alive. The latest word is that perhaps they’re on the mend.   Today lets talk today about the Japanese.  As most of you know, they’re a very sensitive and spiritual people.  When I say ‘spiritual’ I don’t mean Christian, but they are deep thinking and artistic.  They especially like poetry and have several styles from Haiku (short) to longer Tanka.  I’m going to tell you about someone who wrote a lot of Tanka, but first I must share a Haiku that my son wrote in the third grade.  He was in Japanese school and I feel that he gave it his best shot, clearly showing the sensitivity and sophistication of the mind of an 8 yr old.  Here it is: I like the smell Of the big orange pumpkin Rotting And so on that note, I’d like to say that because of lockdown, I have b

Charming My Fears

 Good morning all! Our admin department just found a mailing list that somehow got replaced by the present one something like 6 years ago. Several of the folks on the list have gone on to Glory, but some are good friends who I thought were getting my weekly offerings all along. If you’re one of those, you don’t need to do anything; just look forward to a new blog every Sunday. If by chance you’re one of those who thought you’d gotten rid of me, you can (1) write and tell me to leave you alone, or, (2) mark the email as junk and direct it into your trash bin. I for one am super excited at the prospect of catching up with old friends from my past. If you have a chance, please push “return” and tell me what’s going on in your life since we last had contact. In the past seven years, we’ve retired to Australia, beaten Cancer, had a couple more grandkids, you know, the usual stuff.  If you want to read ad nauseum, you can catch up, so to speak, on either or marshawoods.blogspot.c