​To say that ‘Jesus is the reason we celebrate’ goes further than ‘Hooray, we wine, dine & celebrate because it’s Jesus’s birthday!’ to 
He is the reason we want many more to come to that joy of knowing and loving Him. 
To truly celebrate {and treasure} Jesus requires more than a metaphorical birthday cake and the blowing of candles.
It is remembering the reason to why He came and aspiring to do as He did.

Christmas 

Christmas – Jesus is the reason we celebrate. So what’s next? 

We have parties, we celebrate. 

We post photos of clinking wine glasses, glittery tinsel and bountiful spreads of food surrounded by friend and kin. 

But why did Jesus come? 

So we could have another reason to party, shop for new clothes and have a good time? 

I hope we all (including me) truly learn to embrace the true spirit of Christmas by emulating the Man who is the reason for Christmas. 

Here’s a reflective poem my dear husband wrote many years ago on Christmas day. 

Like the sand, they spread across the beach

Twas’ the night before Christmas, the crowds gathered for

Some choose to spend it with friends

Some with loved ones

All are looking for something to do on Christmas day
Amidst the joyous echoes of Christmas carols

Empty heart are crying out

Eager eyes, look toward the sky,

Looking for hope,

Looking for something to do on Christmas Day
Many do not know, the man that was born this day

Many do not know, the sacrifice he made

Many do not know, the story of love, the story of the cross

Many are just searching for something to do on Christmas
As the clock ticked pass midnight, the crowd began to cheer

Joyous celebration of a day they did not know

Would they still shout, would they still sing

If they knew what they were celebrating for

Or are they just here because they have nothing better to do on Christmas Day
Many do not know, the man that was born this day

Many do not know, the sacrifice he made

Many do not know, the story of love, the story of the cross

Many are just searching for something to do on Christmas
Who will tell them about the Christ in Christmas?

For there is no Christmas, without Christ

And the many can stop searching for something to do on Christmas

Because it would just be another day without Christ

His Approval

Feelings of inadequacy & ‘unusefulness’ have been my common enemy here on the mission field. I am not physically strong, do not appreciate being under the hot sun & am simply not the go-girl kind who lives on adventure and change. I value family life and it’s strong traditions and thrive on constancy. With all those pulled away from under my feet, I often feel out of place, trying to find a constant and steadying place to find my balance. 

Recently, I was surprised with some very precious gifts from our dear Dayak friends and team members on my birthday. I did not expect anything, as usually, the person with the birthday is in fact, expected to throw the celebration if he so wished & come out with all the provisions needed for it.

So when Hengki and susi came bearing sweet home-made gifts and letters, I was touched deeply. The letters were simple and heartfelt and reflected humility and gratitude that blessed me . I am grateful for their love & acceptance of who I am, especially when I know that my flaws would be more evident to them as we work closely together as a team. I felt the love and respect they had for us expressed through  every word. God certainly used those letters to encourage and speak to my heart. 


Recently the Lord has been teaching me to yield my need for approval and recognition and to instead be seeking to please Him above all else. Why has it taken me so long to learn? It’s a wonderful thing to want to be the kind of wife and friend that seeks to make others happy and feel good about themselves but it also has the ugly and dangerous tendency of becoming an idol when I become more concerned about their opinions and feelings about me more than anything else. 

Teach me to be a woman of God who is strong and courageous . Let me be a woman who fears God and stands sure in confidence knowing that she has found favour in His sight. 

This is the woman I want to be. 

She Stands Alone 

She stands alone, both tall and true.

The perfect picture of solitude.

The soul of a woman encased in bark.

With limbs that move in a majestic arc.

Alone she’s faced the storm of life.

The wind and rain, disease and strike.

Others gave up but no, not she.

And there she stands for all to see.

She’s had her share of troubles and woes.

But she made it through and still she grows.

Like her I too know grief and pain.

I’ve faced the wind, I’ve felt the rain.

And like her too, I still stand tall.

It may throw punches, I may take a blow.

But in the end I too shall grow.

Each storm I weather increases my strength.

And beneath this skin, my soul’s to thank.

The elm and I, we know what to do.

We count on ourselves, and make it through.

-Kelly Cook

Teach Me How to Love… 

​Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the  gift  of  prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the  poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. 

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 

Love never fails.

1Co 13:1‭-‬5‭, ‬7‭-‬8 NKJV

The Follow up Post… 

Dear friends, 

to those who read and prayer alongside me, 

Thank you. 

God truly answered our prayers & our major concern (with the border soldiers) have been resolved. We were raya visiting with one of my student’s family who happened to have connections with the commander at the border. This neighbour travelled 3 hours to the border and another 3 hours back to get us our identity cards which had been held by the soldiers at the border. Talk about going the extra mile. This was on the 3rd day of Hari Raya, and Raya celebrations usually go up to a week with the first few days being the busiest. We are just grateful & thankful.

It also gives me a glimmer of hope that relationships are being built & that our work is somehow being recognised and appreciated (this cute pak cik informed the commander that I am teaching his son to speak English. The commander then replied saying that I should come and give all of them lessons too. Hallelujah!) 

Our water is slowly returning and we are able to get cooking/cleaning and washing again (mostly at odd hours, 10:30pm is the time to get laundry done 😁). 

Thanks friends, for praying and for your love. We appreciate it. 

I’m Tired Today 

Today’s one of those days where I’m so tired that I can’t even cry. 

Our life here sometimes feels like an Amazing Race or a Survival Boot Camp except that our challenges do not last for a month or two. They are continual, this is a marathon. 

It’s just one of those days where we are both battling a cold and tired from a long trip back home. The soldiers at the border did not treat us well this time & were expecting a bribe during this festive season. It was stressful and very draining

We came home to find an unexpected water disruption and for the past 2 days, I’ve not been able to cook or clean and our laundry from the past 4 days (we have been away & I’ve also had to change our bed linen) is accumulating – 2 baskets full. The weather has been harsh with very little or no rain, and this exacerbates our physical discomfort and makes recovery slow

I’m feeling tired, disorganised and disoriented. 

This is just one of those days. 

I hope tomorrow will be a better day. Pray for us.