Hello from Manila, Philippines where Robert and I have been speaking at the Global Peace Convention. globalpeacefestival.org/convention/ We are enjoying a very inspirational few days while sharing ourselves and also listening to the other presenters. This morning is Sunday here and we have just been greatly inspired by the peaceful message of Archbishop Eliud Wabukala from Narobi, Kenya as he spoke at an interfaith prayer and meditation service. Yours truly was asked to go up on the platform and help lead in the singing of "Amazing Grace". Somehow the organizers got the message last year that I am the one in the family who sings(not!) I just know all the words to all the songs!! I did sing and it was special.
Right before we left to fly here I posted a photo of our son, Anthony's homecoming. Maybe you were wondering why I had nothing to say?! I actually did but my time was abruptly cut short. Last Tuesday evening Robert and I were home packing and preparing to leave for the airport when I happened to pull-up our flight itinerary. At that moment I realized that our flight left that night at 9:15 pm, NOT 12:15am, three hours later, as we had planned! It was at 7:15pm when I made the discovery, shortly after I had posted Anthony and Robert's photo!! Since we live 65 miles South of LAX airport and since Robert was showering at the time, at that point we did not expect to make our flight. We "flew" out the door just after 7:30. With the help of our daughter, Christina, who drove us, and with the assistance of some very efficient and flexible concierge service personnel at LAX, we managed to get there and check-in 45 minutes before departure, and we even checked our luggage!! And guess what? Our luggage made it too! Well, almost all of our luggage! Once we got to LAX Robert realized that he had left his suit bag with all of his business attire hanging on the back of our bedroom door. In our haste he had remembered his duffel which was filled with exercise clothes, tennis shoes, toiletries, and a case of his newly released books. Not exactly the proper attire for an opening speaker at the Global Peace Conference. (By the way we both travel really casual, especially for a 15 hour flight so those clothes on his back didn't help any!)
This entire episode brings to mind a great scripture found in Proverbs 19:21 "Many are the plans in a man's (or woman's) heart but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails." As much as we try and make things turn out according to our plan (like arriving to the airport at least two hours before an international flight departure!) sometimes things happen and we have to do our best to make it work out anyway. We also have to try to stay calm and remember that God knows what is best and if we "work like it all depends on us and pray like it all depends on God" then we will have a better chance of fulfilling our purpose for the minute, the day, the week, the year, and a for our lifetime.
As it turned out we arrived in the Philippines at 5:30 am which gave us plenty of time to shop for Robert. And in a country where Robert is considered gigantic at 6'3" and 200 pounds, it only took us a short while to find the perfect slacks, shirts and even a navy blue blazer! Once again God proved himself faithful and he provided exactly what we needed when we needed it.
A word on "Welcome Home" from last time. If Robert and myself are this excited about our son's homecoming how much more isn't our heavenly father elated when his children return to him? If there is anything keeping you from a beautiful and fulfilling relationship with our Lord I pray that the obstacles would be lifted and that you would also be able to experience His love and His "peace which passes all understanding." God is waiting to welcome you home.
God is blessing you during this holy season of Christmas. Donna
What a story with your flight Donna...!!! You remained calm, did all your necessary and with the help of God everything turned out well. Even that with the suit bag! - I think the photo with Robert and Anthony speaks for itself. - If we face obstacles it makes no sense to run around headless. Remaining or almost calm, brings more peace in our bodies and we are able to do the right things. - Do we really must have a nice singing voice in church?! When we sing we do it out of joy and to prays God and Jesus. I do it like that. My voice is nothing special. Enjoy your beautiful Philipines trip. - Blessings RosemarieReplyDelete
God has Blessed me!ReplyDelete
Yes, it was horrific when I returned to Canada from a journey of Faith to Californis and heard Robert Anthony and his dad at the last day Robert spoke in 2008. I was lost.
I tried to make sense of how this wonderful trip and the month my wife and I had spent traveling across the area from Palm Desert to CC to San Juan Capistrano, across the desert to Salton Sea had ended with it being over for me at CC?
No, it took a long time but it has led me to more Faith and friends in Faith than I ever found in the comfort of watching HoP weekly!
CC HoP was great until HE had better plans for Robert, Donna and ...me.
I have The Gathering/St Patrick Project with Bobby & Hannah, Donna's Blog, Angie's Blog. I have followed Mark Chop's own blog and Jacob's Cafe wonderful insight of Josh.
Out of my crushed sense God showed me what a greater present and future lay before me. I learned to reflect on whether I am too comfortable at times. For me, I think God wants me to accept or seek new challenges that do not feel comfortable at first... and I need to find a way to find the comfort God has hidden in EVERYTHING!
So, HE has blessed me by leading me "through the valley" as HE always has done.
I pray we all here see how HE has and is Blessing all of us today and everyday!
Happy Christmas with LOVE
Jan-Michael ( Canada )
I LOVE this story, Donna! So, funny! I can see it all playing out in my head now. Enjoy your time in Manila. Also, I spoke to Anthony this week...yay! I love that guy. AngieReplyDelete
global peace festival seems really to be a big and inspirational event. I enjoied watching the online video. Thanks for sharing your stories and for being such an open-hearted person. - Blessings RosemarieReplyDelete
Hmmm...misread the time of the tickets, left the bag of clothing behind, then "God proved himself faithful and he provided exactly what we needed when we needed it." Is this the way God works?ReplyDelete
Terrific story and though I cannot say I have run into that circumstance and I am sure you did not see any humour at the time, I sense you realize how I (we) can envision Robert's surprise at your rushing around after you realized the short time; Robert wet from the shower saying perhaps "Hey, Donna, what's wrong? We have lots of time". You replying perhaps in quick sentences "No. Taxi in 15 Minutes! No time to explain. We need to hurry"ReplyDelete
Yes inspirational too as when we make a mistake, HE has wired us to do things in a new way that we had not planned and we have the kindness of others as did you, to help speed you into the terminal areas.
HE has prepared us and others to react as necessary! As HE wants. HE wanted you at the conference and HE gave us all this story through you!
Blessings and Love
BRIMAR, God knew that Robert, Donna had to be at Manila because they had to speak at this peace festival, so he helped them to reach the flight. even it was the own fault of Donna or Robert because they did not payed to much attention when really the exact flight time was. God never abondan his children. - Our earthly fathers should do the same...! -Blessings RosemarieReplyDelete
Thanks for the clarification, Rosemarie. You wrote "God never abondan his children". What about those who miss their flights? Are they abandoned? Or just not that important? I'm sorry, but I don't understand your reasoning.ReplyDelete
BRIMAR, question, are you believing in God and have a bit of knowledge who our Father in Heaven is? - If yes, you know that he gave us a brain to think. So we can think wrong or right. Nobody is perfect. But he can help us when we are mistaken. I hope you understand it this time. -Blessings RosemarieReplyDelete
Rosemarie, my brain thinks you didn't answer the question. I'll restate it: If "God never abondan (sic) his children", are those who miss their flights not that important?ReplyDelete
BRIMAR, I fully answered your question. I can't answer your question better, because I never told some kind of people, in our case here, almost missed flight, are less important to God, or he could abandon them because of their on mistakes. Please dear fellow do not let us argue back and forth. Thanks. - Blessings RosemarieReplyDelete
No, rosemarie, you didn't answer my question, not to any understanding of mine, and I don't believe you can answer my question. If I understand the original post, and your answers, it appears that God's ways are a mystery - sometimes he helps people catch their flight, and other times he lets them miss their flight.ReplyDelete
No argument about that. Thanks, and blessings to you, rosemarie.
Wow! I never thought I would cause such a "discussion" regarding a blog that I posted (ironically) at an international PEACE convention!ReplyDelete
Let me try to clarify a couple of things! I do believe that God does always give us what we need but not necessarily what we think we need. If we had missed the flight then that would have been a situation that we'd of accepted and dealt with accordingly. I do not think that the reason we made the flight is because we are "that important"! We have misssed flights in the past for various reasons and have learned to trust God's plan through those situations as well.
We both recently lost our jobs and although it was a very painful experience never once did I doubt that God had a plan/reason for allowing this change. And now, just over a year later it has proven to be a better situation for us in many ways. I can even say that losing my father in a car accident when I was only 13 has over the years strenghthened my faith in God. I don't believe God caused the accident but I do know that God has helped me become a better, more empathetic person where loss is concerned as a result of that tragic event so early in my life. As a pastor's wife my situation has made me a better listener and counselor of grieving people. I try to always hold on the the promise of "All things work together for good to those who love God and who are called according to His purpose". I also believe that if we accept stressful situations with the above attitude and we prayerfully consider our options in time of stress, this leaves us open to the blessings of God. I also believe that this is why we were able to secure Robert a new "outfit" so quickly in a country where he is considered very large so the selection of clothes for him is very small. Had we been worked-up and angry or overly-concerned about it I don't think our eyes would be open to all the blessings to be had from the otherwise stressful episode of leaving a suit bag behind. Just the bonding alone which takes place when one has to be more resourceful is a lesson in itself for me. I hope this helps although you can always pick apart my theology since I am not a theologian. I only try to speak from my experiences and how God sometimes reveals himself to me. Also remember that although we won't all agree discussions can be healthy and good.
I am so filled with joy at the birth of our new grandaughter! Blessings to all of you for a Merry Christmas! I will blog about Robert's next book chapter soon. I couldn't resist sharing the packing story.
And thus I sign always, in all things, God is blessing you. Donna
Thanks for all your wise words Donna. - I think you are right with the things you are telling us. - Blessings and hugs RoseReplyDelete
Congratulations on the safe arrival of your Grandaughter, Haven Claire Schuller, as Bobby announced the names awhile back on The Gathering. A lovely name. Congratulations to all the family!
Also, I was able to follow some of the Global Peace Conference on their website. Hopefully it will bring the world closer in understanding.
With HIS blessings and LOVE
Dear Donna, Congratulations on the birth of your grandaughter. What a great blessing.You and Robert must be very proud!ReplyDelete
Thanks for sharing your flight story. I thought that this could only happen in a nightmare!
I'll remember your wise words next time when I go on a flight and try to stay calm at all times and put my trust completely in the Lord.
Blessings to all
What wonderful news about the birth of your granddaughter! Hurry home and share your experiences as grandparents! It's a beautifulReplyDelete
feeling and very rewarding. God bless you and
Dear Donnna & Robert. How wonderfull to hear of the birth of your granddaughter .. All safe and sound at the most wonderfull time of the year When we are celebrating Jesus birthday. God Bless Everyone.ReplyDelete
Donna and everyone,ReplyDelete
Good to read here again. My surgery was very successful. I am slowly on the mend.
I am not living at home anymore though. My brother and mom booted me. I am in a Christian-based women's shelter. I will continue on with school and work.
love to all,
A bit of Christmas fun:ReplyDelete
To Mary Alvarez particularly, who asked me on a prior blog (Updates and Pumpkins) ...
"Jan-Michael I find your research very interesting, especially about Marcus Welby M.D. as I used to watch that show. Let us know if you find any other interesting tidbits".
So ever notice the link of program
"House" to Sherlock Holmes...
House vs Homes
Their friends Dr Wilson vs Dr Watson
Their drugs Vicadin vs Cocaine
Episode on House where an apartment is shown 221B vs 221B Baker Street is Sherlock's address and
lastly, both illiminate the impossible and what is left is the solution.
Merry Christmas to all "Houses and Homes"!
Dear Marcianne. I am so happy to hear your surgury went well and that you are home. Sounds like where you are you will have good care and get stronger with out stress. May you have a peacefull and joyfull Chritsmas. God Bless.ReplyDelete
Tomorrow Sunday you are rid of me...he,he!!! I'll go to the snowy mountains for two weeks without computer. - I do not want to miss to wish you all a blessed and peaceful Chistmas and a wonderful New Year. God's blessings. Swiss RoseReplyDelete
The best to you Rosemarie and I like your new picture with the rose! Stay safe on the slopes.ReplyDelete
Marcianne, as Cysradill said I too am pleased your surgery went well but sorry you have had to leave your home for a women's Christian shelter. I will pray that your family difficuties are resolved well and that the shelter friends and you make this season as happy as possible. You have already started kindly by posting here on Donna's site for all of us who pray for your good days to come. Merry Christmas...J-M
I will say an extra prayer for you this Christmas. I am very glad that you have shelter although it must be difficult to be without a home.
I read a very interesting paragraph in my devotions this morning. E. Stanley Jones is quoted as saying, " The way to meet unmerited suffering and injustice is not to bear them but to use them." He makes this comment after reading the scripture found in Luke 21:13 " ...that will turn out for an opportunity for you to bear witness..."
God's promises can still be found even in the most trying of our situations although it can be especially difficult to deal with during this time of year. The feelings associated, both joy and sorrow can be amplified as we think of times gone by, happy or sad. May you all get at least one blessing out of the heart of everything as you celebrate this Christmas.
God is blessing you. Donna
Donna, thank you for a thoughtful response as you wrote to "clarify a couple of things". I'm glad you were able to make the Peace conference, and find all the necessary items for Robert.ReplyDelete
Where I lose your reasoning is in this statement: "Once again God proved himself faithful and he provided exactly what we needed when we needed it." I find it hard to understand God providing ordinary items such as 'business attire'.
There are tens of thousands of hungry children on the streets of Manilla where you were attending the Peace conference, and no one is providing food for them. Please understand I'm not picking on you personally, I just don't understand the theology, or the reasoning.
I am taking a break from my Christmas wrapping, etc. Christina and I are also cutting fringe and tying knots on the fleece ponchos which are going to some needy persons close to The Gathering Church in Orange. It feels good to do something different for a few minutes.
I don't feel "picked on" at all. I welcome the interaction. I agree that my wording can sometimes be a little odd in places. That's the funny thing about writing...unless I decide to spend more time and also ask someone to proof everything carefully, I will continue to make blunders in what I say!! I am not an English major, I'm just sharing from the heart regarding my own personal experiences. I know it is sometimes difficult for me to articulate my gratitude for God's faithfulness to me. I believe God's mercies and blessings are more apparent when we remain prayerful and calm rather than anxious or angry. I do have training in the sciences and I know that this is a proven physiological phenomena as well. The positive results of prayer have been proven. If you have never read the studies, I'm sure that some, if not all, are available online via Google.
The peace convention was amazing and I am happy to say that the first tenet of the organization is "service". Many needy people including hungry children are being cared for and fed as a result of the people who are involved in these global peace initiatives in their respective countries. One of the major issues in the Philippines in government corruption. As a result resources are not getting to the most needy. The very generous and kind local businessman who chaired the Manila convention has had his life threatened more than once since is an activist involved in stopping corruption in the Filipino government. The delegates were from all over the world so this is not just a small faddy thing going on but it is a world movement which is proving to be very effective in helping with poverty, disease, education, fighting among religions, AIDS and other disease relief, providing of clean water, and much, much more. It is very hands-on and that's why I like it so much. I feel honored to be a part of such an awesome movement and I will continue to do what I can to promote peace among all of God's people. After all one of the things we call Jesus is "the prince of peace". I believe he wants us to be messengers of love and peace. So "peace-out".
God is blessing you, Donna
PS- I don't think that God himself actually "provided what we needed when we needed" it as far as material possessions go. I do know that he provides encouragement when I am about to go off the deep end(figuratively)due to a stressful situation. I have to do the physical part myself!! i.e. going to malls to find the right clothing!! He didn't give me the money for it either, I had to earn it! "Pray like it all depends on God and work like it all depends on you." :DReplyDelete
Hi Donna, It's a blessing that I'm able to find your blog. My husband and I were married at the Crystal Cathedral in 1995 and your husband baptized my son - Samuel Your ministry has been a part of our lives as we look forward to going to church every Sunday to listen to Robert's message. We always leave feeling uplifted from his positive message and I personally felt the love and warmth in your voice when you speak in the pulpit. We miss listening to Robert's live message and watch him tap his feet while listening to the great music from the choir or a guest gospel singer. How can we find out more about where he will be next? BTW, how was your trip in the Philippines? I hope it was pleasant. I grew up in the Philippines but now live in California. My family and I would like to take a trip to OC to hear his sermon again. With Love and Prayers, SheilahReplyDelete
Hi Donna, I'm back from my mountain vacationes. - Do not worry about what BLIMAR said. He is just a single person, didn't understand your thinking. Please, please continue to write in your own words and styl, express your thoughts and feelings like you feel theml!!! I love it! I always express myself without theological knowledges or knowing a special writing styl. I'm not afraid of this. I think your way makes your blog special easy going and lovable. - New Year's lessings, RoseReplyDelete
I'm sorry to hear about the tough circumstances you and Robert are going through. My thoughts and prayers go out to you both. I believe that you and Robert have a great ministry and you are guided by God.
God will bless you both.