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A gecko is crawling across the ceiling. The music of the boardwalk is starting to get louder. The sunset has just painted an incredible canvas of God's beauty.

Debbie and I have taken four days to unwind. Even though we have had some great destinations, this is one of the few times that we have been away just for us, just to renew a relationship.

Turning off the responsibilities is going to have to be choice. In the light of the internet, blackberry instant messenger, facebook - work will simply not go away on it's own. There are demands, decisions to be made, people wanting to be paid.

Something inside wants to give everyone and everything else priority. Philippians 2 makes it clear that we are to emulate Christ - to count others more important than we are. But here is the kicker - once that is deeply imbedded as the way of doing life, resting for future ministry is going to take effort.

So today we let the fish nibble at our feet. And laughed together. And we enjoy one another.

And somehow I honestly believe that God is honored.

Although we have been so busy with meetings in the historic Bible Baptist Church of Cebu City, I have found a little time to shoot a few fotos. Very few.

Today Debbie and I slipped out of the hotel, avoided meetings and headed to see the historic site of Magellan's Cross, which is also right outside the first catholic church founded in the Philippines. Some strange mediums are willing to seek your fortunes inside the confines of the church - a wierd combination of candles and the occult.

Not far from those sites is the old fort; a triangular fort (three sides are easier to defend than a four sided object). Having contracted some kind of stomach bug, I cut the afternoon short. Tomorrow morning we head to one of the prettiest beaches in the Philippines: Borocay.

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Yesterday I read Psalm 101 and didn't get very far into the lines before it made me pause: I will sing of mercy and judgement.

There are songs that get into your head and are easy to remember. Singing about grace, mercy, forgiveness - that is where I live. My soul loves to sing about the things I receive, mainly because they are undeserved and I can never earn them.

So let's all join in on the chorus and sing about judgement. Whoa. That is the part in my soul that sounds like the wheels of the train screeching to a halt.

But it is true. I do need to sing about the change of perspective, the change of friends and influence groups on my life that comes when Jesus enters my life.

Do you know who does not mind singing about judgement? The person that does not secretly love sin and unrighteousness. I am afraid that this is exactly where the rub comes in my soul. Really.

Jesus, that is the kind of perspective I desire. To sing of mercy and judgement.

It was Granville LaForge, the associate missions director of the Baptist Bible Fellowship International that took me to the side in September of 1980. I was a young 22 year old seeking the approval for missions service. Our youth did not speak well for us, nor did the fact that Debbie had just delivered our first child via cesarean just 36 hours earlier. In light of those factors, he wanted to provide encouragement: "Keith, don't be too discouraged when you are turned down. You are young and still have time to go up for approval at a later date."

In light of that, it came somewhat of a shock when Debbie and I were approved to become Baptist Bible Fellowship missionaries to the country of West Germany.

Those men took a step of faith (or maybe they just had a bad day in assessing) and allowed us to begin what has become a true adventure as we seek to fulfill a calling, a passion to see churches planted in Germany.

Today in Cebu, Philippines, the same group has honored us for 30 years of continual service. We are deeply honored, deeply moved. Someday - someday soon - whatever honors we will have accrued, we will gladly lay them down at our Savior's feet.

In my humble opinion, Debbie is due double honor. For while she serves relentlessly in the shadows, no husband has been better served with a partner that completes his personality and gifting. While others might not see what she does, what she means, Jesus knows and I know.

And without partners who make it possible? Unthinkable. Therefore, you know who you are: Thanks. For hundreds of those in Germany that have come to Christ. For a church-planter in Lithuania. For a a family in Aschaffenburg planting a work. Thanks. The impact grows.

The time has flown by so fast. It scares me to think that in just a short period all of my years will be used up. So much to do. So much.