December 2013: Grace


“What’ll we do with them? There’s no room at the inn!” sighed Darlene Cunningham, co-founder of YWAM.

Soon after our family of six excitedly stepped off the airplane and into our first-ever missions experience, Darlene met with us. In her confident and engaging manner, wearing her flashingly radiant smile, she wanted to discuss our housing. Or, as we soon learned, “our non-housing.”

Darlene, in her confident and positive manner startled us by saying, “We’ve been praying that you would not come (What? Alarm bells clanging in our ears!) unless . . . you have God’s grace for what I’m about to tell you.

“There is no housing. What we had planned has not worked out, so we’ve got some old army tents for you and others to live in for the next few months.”


I sometimes wonder about the Bethlehem innkeeper who apparently didn’t have room for Joseph & Mary; did he even offer them the stable? Or did he gruffly and inhospitably turn them away without an option? Were the young couple just retrieving their donkey in the stable when the baby suddenly came? This much we do know, when all that happened, grace abounded.

And what if there had been room at the inn? Probably, a bunch of noisy, grubby, smelly, uncouth shepherds would not have been allowed inside the inn. They would have been denied ‘first view’ of the Savior, and would not have broadcast the good news as they did.

But grace was written all over that story in the stable.

Do you have grace when things turn bad, when events don’t go your way? Grace is always available; often you and I need the humility to gracefully accept decisions by those in authority; especially decisions that appear to be unjust, unfair or plain wrong.

For grace to kick in, humility opens the door.

May that Christmas Grace be yours,



[We were one of the first ready-made families to join YWAM—all six of us. And obviously God’s grace came upon us—our first newsletter was entitled, “Content in a Tent.” You can read the whole story in “The Last Thing I’d Ever Do,” our family’s adventure into faith and missions.] Click here to go to YWAM Publishing and search for “The Last Thing I’d Ever Do”

                      The Cradle & The Cross

Jesus was the only baby . . .

  • Whose conception was not the beginning of His existence (Gen 1:1; John 1:1). It was just His appearing on stage
  • Who was conceived without a human father (Matt 1:20; Luke 1:35)
  • Who was born without a trace of sin
  • Who was born in order that He might die (you might say that His cradle and His cross were carved from the same tree).

(From my notes in Kona in the late 70s by a great bible teacher whose name I have forgotten.)


A couple of Christmas videos, somewhat profound, a bit pithy (but fun)

         Haiyan Help Still Needed

Philippines Typhoon Rebuilding Goes On

Thanks for the article on control. Here’s what the great Christian educator, Comenius, had to say about it: “There is no control in love.” Tom Bloomer

Here are some control insights that Gerrard Seow of Singapore picked up:

  • God is not in control, we are at the controls
  • I am not in charge but He is
  • Keep the runway clear
  • Avoid collision, steer others away also
  • He is not a God of confusion
  • Don’t panic!

As always, a good workout for the heart! We are always learning from Jesus’ servant-leadership aren’t we? Jesus served communion to Judas and washed his feet. That is servant-love that gives me the shivers. Margaret Tooley, NZ

Donna’s Corner

Peace & Joy

I’m praying that you will sense God’s Peace and Joy during this Christmas season.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the Kingdom of God—Righteousness, Peace and Joy in the Holy Spirit. [Rom 14:17] Jesus also said that the Kingdom is within those who have Him as King of their lives . . . and if we seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, all our needs will be met.

The Kingdom is NOT a matter of talk but of power, and we’ve seen this! Peter was so close to death when he fell off the stage backwards in Hong Kong in July, but 600 Asian leaders cried out to God for his resurrection, and today he has no side effects. We are blessed. Prayers of righteous people are so powerful!

Thank you for being on this journey with us here on earth. When we get to heaven, it’s going to be amazing. No more tears, pain, goodbyes—just a lot of rejoicing with those who have gone on ahead of us. Because of Jesus’ coming here to earth as a baby, He showed us how to live and how to die and is now at the right hand of the Father interceding for us. I can hardly wait to meet Him face to face.

Love and Blessings,


Gatherings & Camps

For information on 2014 Camps in Europe, click here
More details next time

And Finally . . . 

Have a blessed Christmas!



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