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August 2016 Prayer Memo





LAST PRAYER MEMO February 12, 2016



Our oldest daughter Val and her husband Jeff moved in with us on Saturday May 28 after a flurry of packing and selling off some of their household items, and moving some of their needed items into our apartment where we have lived for the past 17 years (5 bedrooms that used to be filled up several years ago). They took over 3 rooms. In April and May, Barbara had been caring for Blake (18 mos) and Evangeline 3 daytimes a week, then 5 days after the pastor’s wife went back to the states in mid-June. Jeff finished his English teaching job June 30 and returned to Pittsburgh to live with his sister and set up for Val and their four kids, to return September 8. It will be necessary for Barb to accompany them on the return flight since there are two lap children. Barb will visit family for two weeks. Val finished her job teaching English preschool July 30, so she is home all the time now and getting more stuff sold, packing boxes and making doctor’s visits while they still have health insurance here. Jeff has purchased a car, now has a full time job as human resource manager for a non-profit with about 400 employees in downtown Pittsburgh, and just signed a lease for a three bedroom place in Ingram PA, not far from the Pittsburgh Airport. It appears that his student teaching at earliest will be arranged for the spring somewhere in the Pittsburgh area. They have begun to purchase needed household items or get donations from area relatives. Pray for their return flight Sept 6th pm-8th afternoon EST and for their adjustment to a whole new way of life and climate there.


Natalie continues working full time as executive assistant to Illinois State representative Tom Morrison and Doug continues in his PhD program at Univ. of Chicago Divinity School in NT.  The recently got a small dog, Niles, so that has added a new dynamic to their family.


Jonie and Kaitlyn have been working a summer internship for The Wonderful Company near Bakersfield CA, Jonie for the agricultural section and Kaitlyn for a public service, health-educational  aspect of their company serving children in an employee community. They leave soon for their fall internship in Nepal helping farmers there with apple and kiwi growing, and plan to visit us here in Taipei in December on their way back to CA.


Janine continues to work 10-13 hour days at Kintetsu in the airfreight shipping division. She recently found a church that both she and Karen enjoyed attending, though it is about a 40 minute drive from home. She continues to enjoy body building at the LA Fitness Center in the evenings.


Karen initially planned to return to her same summer job as last year at Space Camp in Huntsville AL, then in the week before departure, decided to stay in Chicago. She got a job in the evenings as a waitress at a deep dish pizza place and found another morning job helping a local resident doing work around her house. She starts her junior year (Christian Ed. major) doing a one semester urban Chicago internship at a community center, also taking three classes at Wheaton’s urban classroom site. She’s considering taking another intensive year at Wheaton after the BA to study at the Wheaton Grad. School for theology and biblical studies.


Trisha played spring Girls C level basketball in April (short one month season due to Bethany spring break and other sports) and I coached her team two days a week after school with a little help from Barb. We had a disappointing tournament day performance on April 30. Trisha and Nathan have had a noisy summer (May 28-Aug 8) along with the rest of us after all their nieces and nephews moved in with us the day after they finished school. (Savannah 8, Garrett 4, Blake 20 mo, and Evangeline 4 mos). Savannah and Garrett were in Chinese school during the days until the end of June.  We did a few day activities, mostly swimming at local pools, remote streams or going to the beach, a restaurant buffet, and an amusement park, but no extended family vacation away.   Barb’s sister Becca came to visit from where she serves in the Philippines to see all the kids from June 29-Aug 10. Trisha and Nathan started back to school (Trisha 6th, Nathan 4th) August 8. Their school is building a new campus outside Taipei to be completed in 2018, so that may lead us to move closer to their school and increase my commute to CRTS.


Barb did some English tutoring this summer, but on a reduced schedule. I worked from home to help out with all the chaos from mid-June until our kids started school last week. Barb will be back in the Butler area Sept 8-20, primarily to accompany Val and their four kids on the plane, but also to see family and friends. They have a stop overnight (Barb both ways) in Chicago to see Nat & Doug, (plus meet their new dog), Janine and Karen. 


Pray for family in all these various stages of life and service.


MINISTRY NEWS at China Reformed Theological Seminary, Taipei


My plan for the past several years has been to write a book on counseling theology. I just finished teaching that class in the spring, so I had a revised set of notes to work from. I met with Dr. Vern Poythress in early June, discussed my ideas, asked for his input on some of my written formulations and whether he felt the material was worthy of publication. He was very encouraging and felt my ideas could make a theological contribution. He encouraged me to write a theology book. After more consideration on my own, I decided to try to integrate these theological concepts with a book on parenting, believing that integration would do more overall service for those in any type of discipleship or counseling ministry. Parenting is the most significant discipleship ministry in the world, from which all others are only derivative subsets. During my stay at home this summer, when not helping out with kid chaos or taking about a week of vacation time, praise God I was able to complete a first draft of the book I’m titling, Be Thou My Vision: The Supremacy of God in Biblical Parenting. The content for about 2/3 of the book was adapted from class notes’ outlines from my classes on counseling theology, Gospel of John, and parenting, while the rest was newly written for the book, including adding substantial footnotes linking to other related sources. I had to read several new Kindle books to familiarize myself with some of the most recent related resources. It is not an easy to read, how-to book filled with parenting stories about how to produce wonderful kids. Currently there are no stories, only examples of types of behaviors or situations parents face. I may add stories in later after discussion with family. For instructional and memory facilitating purposes, I have used the hymn “Be Thou My Vision” in chapters 2, 3, 6, 9, some self-formulated catechism type Q&A at the beginning of chapters 5-11 and a master illustration at the end of chapter 12. I am in discussion with a friend in Taipei who is a musical composer for children’s songs to see if we might be able to develop some musical or drama adaptations to further increase the memorability of the concepts as an aid for teaching children. The book is a reorganized development of the original omni-attributes of God, continually revising concepts I had developed in my Westminster DMin project since 1997, applied in derivative senses to Christ and his elect people, thus to Christian parents and their believing children.  As such it is somewhat unique, joining topics that are not usually associated in the same book. I hope the doctrine of God applied to the most important topic of life might yield pleasant fruits for God-centered parenting teaching and practice. Our prayer memo recipients are welcome to check it out and offer your comments or criticisms (you can read online or download pdf, it’s the top file on the page by the same title as the book) if you wish at  For those looking for the practical applications to parenting first, start with chapters 2, 12 and 13, then go back and read 5-11 for the foundational theology. If you want to know about why and how this book compares to some current publications and with the Westminster Standards, read the introduction to chapter 4. I have submitted a book proposal to P&R and emailed the draft to various people who might be able to offer constructive comments, including, hopefully, some who are authors in theology, counseling or practical theology who might be willing to write an endorsement if they like it. Please pray for the next stage processes that still need to happen to see this get into print.


The spring semester was fairly routine, teaching Counseling Theology (3 credits), Youth Counseling (2 credits) and Counseling Case Studies Discussion & Role Play (1 credit). I supervised four students as they researched and completed writing their biblical counseling theses (about 60 pages each). I was preaching quite a bit on Sundays in local area Chinese churches in the spring and summer (7 times). I was asked to assist with a bilingual wedding in April in one of our seminary supporting churches by preparing the sermon, but I also needed to do some premarital email counseling prior to preparing a meaningful sermon for this couple. This took a lot more time than I imagined when I agreed to help . . .


Academic administration as the Dean was fairly routine, preparing for 2 faculty meetings and meeting with students and staff as needed.  


I did several Family Counseling Center seminars in the spring, one on youth dating (one hour at CRTS), one on anger (two hours at CRTS) and one on parenting (four hours at a local church). FCC is cooperating with CRTS to increase the number of 1 credit mini-classes in biblical counseling CRTS is offering by asking MABC graduates to teach a 14 hour class using their graduation thesis.


We had a record number of 14 students graduate this year on June 4th, 5 M.Div. men (four headed into full time ministry and one into full time ThM studies), and other MA degrees; 1 NT, 2 Christian Studies (MACS), 4 Biblical Counseling. This year two more graduates received our first distance learning MACS since the program started in 2009.


CRTS, FCC and CRTS.TV cooperated with the Amazing Grace Taiwan Reformed Presbyterian Church sharing opposite halves of the same building to remodel and rent a ground level classroom just around the corner, so we will probably start using that facility more this fall.


The big proposal for the Doctor of Ministry in Biblical Counseling I had developed, that had passed the faculty, went to the CRTS Board of Directors to consider at their June 3 annual meeting. The week prior to the meeting I realized that this was not going to pass, since a number of board members either do not yet believe Biblical Counseling is important enough to have a D.Min focused only on BC or do not see it as a significant part of their own ministries. As a result, when I was given a few minutes to present the proposal, I offered to revise the proposal to a general D.Min. in pastoral ministry or consider a two-track approach with both types of D.Mins. With support from board chairman Dr. McCafferty, the board passed just the concept of starting a single pastoral ministries D.Min. in the fall of 2017, with the need to resubmit the actual program design to the faculty and board at next year’s meeting prior to implementing. So over the summer I finished revising a new D.Min. proposal for our faculty meeting next month. I may be appointed as the Dean of this new program and will be involved in teaching or supervising-arranging guest lecturers for 4 of the 12 courses in a three year cycle. Though not what I had originally envisioned, I am happy to serve under the Board’s wisdom to strengthen a broader range of pastoral ministry skills and competencies beyond biblical counseling, but also including some counseling as one component of the overall set of courses offered.   


I was invited to Jakarta to teach a mini-class in Chinese on the topics of counseling, possibly next spring for the ongoing work there associated with Dr Stephen Tong, and the Chinese seminary they are trying to establish under STEMI. 


Pray for these various ongoing types of ministry among the Chinese.  


for a low quality videos (I used my smart phone on a tripod :>( of my parenting seminar in Chinese and at two other times in English, type "Tim Yates parenting seminar" into YouTube search.