TD Fri. – Frumpy Friday/Opening Message – Look Inside!

A throwback “classic” audio podcast from our first Frumpy Friday 4 years ago. Have a listen!

Hi TD,

Prolific social critic, Os Guinness, author of A Free People’s Suicide, has insightfully called America a “cut-flower civilization,” a term he uses to describe a nation that has been cut from its roots and foundations.  While a bouquet of cut flowers may appear vibrant and exquisite for a season, it isn’t long before it deteriorates and becomes ugly.

As a nation persistent in keeping God out of education and out of the public, over and over we are alarmed at the results.  TD, let us respond to the growing cacophony of what’s evil and wrong in our nation by passionately resolving to highlight the One who is Good and Right-eous, and who can bring true life and salvation to rotting and broken souls.  That’s done one person at a time through one genuine, authentic Christian at a time.

Transformed societies come from transformed people, not from those playing at or pretending to be transformed.  TD, we can’t change the world (yet), but we can change our worlds, and that’s where it starts.

Please join us on Friday as I give the opening message of our new theme, Renew: Transforming Our Lives in Christ.  

This Friday, we need you to come … frumpy.  Yep, frumpy.   Please come in ugly, frumpy clothes.  Don’t do your hair, don’t gel it, no hairspray, don’t blow dry it, don’t shave, don’t put makeup, no bows, no hair clips, no jewelry.  Wear your glasses, not your contacts.  Wear flip flops or old shoes you’d normally only wear around the house when nobody’s around.  We’ll explain at TD!

See you there! – Arthur

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Something Personal to Share …

Hey TD,

I was hesitant to share this with you all, but as I’ve been preaching all year long, we are trying to forge a family culture that is transparent and that lets one another into each others’ lives., whether we have good news or bad news to share.

While last week, I was named All-Area Boys Tennis Coach of the Year by both Pasadena Sports Now (first time) and Pasadena Star News newspapers (4th time – 2 girls, 2 boys), it wasn’t something I was planning to exactly share here.

However, as I’ve been emphasizing an upward, outward, downward approach to our life in Christ that does get out there in our communities and that reaches beyond our church walls, I thought this article, written by one who has not yet come to faith in Jesus (but who I pray one day will come to know the beauty of life in the Lord), may help give one more illustration of outward engagement in the community in His Name.  So, for what it’s worth, here it is.  – Arthur

Pasadena Sports Now

Boys Tennis: Arthur Hsieh Named Pasadena Sports Now Coach of the Year; Maranatha Reaching New Heights with Lessons of Faith, Family

Hsieh Family

By Brian Reed-Baiotto, Sports Editor

Maranatha had never really been thought of as a tennis school.

That was until the arrival of coach Arthur Hsieh, who runs both the boys and girls programs.

Coach Arthur Hsieh at CIF Finals with Matthew Alleman.

The girls program won a CIF title a couple of years back.

The boys team, though, hadn’t been a championship caliber squad before Hsieh, and there was no reason to believe the 2017 season would be any different.

But there was one person who did believe bigger things were possible.

That man is 49-year old Arthur Hsieh.

He led his Minutemen to the title match in the CIF-SS Division 4 playoffs, which was the first time the boys program had ever made a championship appearance.

Top seeded Los Osos defeated Maranatha, 11-7, but the bar has risen drastically thanks to their coach.

More importantly, if you speak to any of his athletes, Mr. Hsieh impacts their lives much deeper and greater off, than anything that happens on a tennis court.

For his unwavering support of his players, his being a role model as a standup adult figure, and his success this season, Arthur Hsieh was named the Pasadena Sports Now Boys Tennis Coach of the Year.

Maranatha was 17-2 this season and won another Olympic League title.

It was their fifth league championship in his five years at the school, and their overall record in league play over that time is 43-1.

“Coach Arthur had a tremendous impact on us both as players and people. Every day before we even started practicing, he would read John Wooden’s book on the keys to success,” No. 1 singles player Matthew Alleman said. “More than anything, it taught me patience, as all I wanted to do was get on the court and start hitting. He invested so much of his time and energy into us which definitely paid off over time and helped us go as far as we did.”

Interestingly enough, Hsieh met John Wooden when he was 88 years old and struck up a conversation with the UCLA basketball icon.

As the event he was attending was about to start, Hsieh asked Wooden if it would be possible to continue the conversation another time, and to his delight, Wooden said he would love to, and they became friends.

John Wooden died in 2010 at the age of 99, but his books on success and life story have impacted thousands, including Arthur Hsieh.

“I tried to use ‘Woodenisms’ with my players, because they don’t just impact you as an athlete (or coach), they are keys to success in life,” Hsieh said.

One of the lessons he learned really stuck with his players.

“Coach taught us about the pyramid of success and competitive greatness,” No. 1 doubles player Drew Sierra said. “It was about being able to play your best when your best is required and that really stuck with me and my teammates, and I think it was part of us getting over the hump psychologically as a team that hadn’t been this far before.”

Hsieh is a deeply religious and moral man, and while that might not be everybody’s cup of tea as a coach, he is a perfect fit at Maranatha and has bettered the lives of all these young student-athletes he’s had the joy of coaching.

But it all starts at home.

Hsieh has a remarkably close, intelligent and beautiful family.

Next week, he and his wife Sandra will celebrate their 27th year of marriage.

Sandra also does her part in making both the boys and girls programs excel.

He has three sons.

Nathaniel (24), Randall (22), Daniel (20) were all athletes in their day, as is 17-year old Angela, who plays No. 1 singles for her father in the girls program.

“The reason this is so much fun for me is because everyone in my family is involved,” Hsieh said. “We enjoy impacting young people’s lives and my kids and wife have gotten to know and care about our players like I do.”

His daughter has another year at Maranatha that Hsieh will serve as head coach, and then the future is going to be a year-by-year decision in what he does with the program.

But for five years, Maranatha has been lucky to have a man that is as quality a person as he is a coach.

Regardless of when he steps off the courts, Hsieh’s lessons on life will reverberate through his players throughout their lifetimes.

Quotable:

Maranatha Athletic Director Brian DeHaan: “We affectionately refer to Arthur as the ‘tennis whisperer,’ because he has a way of softly, yet firmly, bringing the best out of the young people he works with. Arthur and his entire family ARE Maranatha tennis. His leadership has brought the program to the highest of heights, but most impressive is the impact he makes in the lives of student athletes. He has built this tennis program on character and we are all better people having worked with Arthur. He has the unique ability to bring discipline that is rooted in love into the lives of young tennis players and their families. He speaks truth with conviction and fosters an environment of love and accountability.”

This year’s CIF finals run has been built on the shoulders of those who fell short in prior years. We have seen the run coming and it couldn’t have happened for a better group of young men. The entire Maranatha community is thankful for the excitement this year’s team brought to campus. They have left an indelible mark in the history books of the program and raised the bar for future teams to reach.

Maranatha Senior Drew Sierra: “Coach is super ‘wise.’ his advice is applicable on and off the court. Even though he’s super nice and respectful, he’s very competitive and we all took him seriously. A lot of times in practice, we’d do our stretches and do drills and volley’s and repetition really helped me get better. His advice— being the most competitive version of yourself. He fueled the competitive fire in me.”

Maranatha Senior Bryan Lin: “Our coach fostering us to get that mind set of competitive greatness. Through our teamwork as well and our unity led to our success. I am really proud to be part of the program and where it stands now.”

 

Sights and Sounds from A TD Thanksgiving

img_20161118_194432-001abbyHey TD!

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!  As I told my SS class today, even moreso, I hope God had a great Thanksgiving with you!

With thanks to Peter, you can take a look at pics from A TD Thanksgiving by clicking the link below.  Thanks Peter!

You can also listen to Abigail’s Thanksgiving devotion, her first at TD! Great job, Abby!

A TD Thanksgiving – pics

A TD Thanksgiving Devotion – Abigail (mp3)

TD This Friday – Look Inside!

Hey TD!

We’re excited for TD this Friday at my household (… well, most of us), as you’ll see in the video (incl. special guest appearance by …)  We’ve got a great TD planned this Friday, chock full of goodness! What do we have planned, you ask?

  • Well, Show Hope is coming!  Yep, Phil and Dan from Show Hope are on a West Coast tour right now with Steven Curtis Chapman, Mac Powell of Third Day, and Brandon Heath.  But they wanted to break away from the tour for a day to come visit TD!  They will be driving up Friday from San Diego to come be with us, and then will drive out to Phoenix on Saturday morning to rejoin the band for the Saturday night concert!
  • We’ll be unveiling TD’s theme for the year and I’ll be giving the opening address that will begin the process of what I believe could be a life changing year for many of you.
  • We’ll explain some of the new happenings and initiatives at TD.
  • Great worship and great fellowship, beginning with the Pre-TD Party at 7:15 p.m.!

So, make sure you come out to TD this Friday, be ready to hear from the Lord, be ready to engage with your fellow TD’ers, and be ready to have a good time!

See you Friday!

–  Arthur

Girl With Down Syndrome Posts Letter to Doctor Who Wanted Parents To Abort Her

Hey TD,

Are you anxious about the future? The fact is that we all are, to some degree.  How we live with those fears will in fact heavily influence that very future we fear.  As I read the article below, I couldn’t help but think of the paralyzing fear that parents can have when they are told that their unborn child will be born with special needs.

When Sandra was pregnant with our eldest, Nathaniel, our doctor recommended an amniocentesis to be taken.  This is a procedure where the doctor draws amniotic fluid from the mother’s amniotic sac for testing.  When we asked what they would be testing for and why she recommended it, the doctor said that they would be testing for Down Syndrome, so we could abort the baby if the results came out positive.  We said that we would be keeping the baby no matter what.  I asked if there were other health concerns for Sandra to take the amnio.  The doctor said no.  So we refused the procedure.

The article below also reminds me of when Sandra was pregnant with our fourth child.  At the time, we had three boys, so people at church would often ask whether it was a boy or a girl, and say something like, “You want a girl, right?”  I would reply that we didn’t know and that we’d be totally fine with whatever God gave us.  And then sensing where we were coming from, they would say something like, “Oh yes, yes, of course.  Well, as long as it’s healthy,” leaving us once again to try to gently disagree with them, though I knew they were well meaning.  So, my response would be, “We will take whatever God gives us, boy or girl, healthy or not.  It will be our child and we will him or her fully, regardless.”  That child turned out to be Angela, and as promised, we love her fully indeed!

Courtney Baker’s doctor recommended her to abort her daughter after her amniocentesis results came in.  And boy is she glad she didn’t!  Here is a powerful letter she and her daughter, Emmy, recently wrote to her doctor.  Please read and glean!

See you at TD this Friday! – Arthur

Girl With Down Syndrome Posts Letter to Doctor Who Wanted Parents To Abort Her

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“This is Emmy, mailing our letter to the prenatal specialist who didn’t want her to live. He repeatedly suggested we abort. He said her and our quality of life would be horrible.” Emmy’s mother Courtney Baker says, “He was so unbelievably wrong. I want to do something to advocate, but other than my letter to him, I don’t know what yet.”

Emmy was diagnosed prenatally with Down syndrome.

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Last month, Courtney wrote the doctor a letter- the very one Emmy mailed off to the specialist who suggested so many times she abort her daughter. And here is a copy of the letter.

“Dear Doctor,
A friend recently told me of when her prenatal specialist would see her child during her sonograms, he would comment, “He’s perfect.” Once her son was born with Down syndrome, she visited that same doctor. He looked at her little boy and said, “I told you. He’s perfect.”
Her story tore me apart. While I was so grateful for my friend’s experience, it filled me with such sorrow because of what I should have had. I wish you would have been that doctor.
I came to you during the most difficult time in my life. I was terrified, anxious and in complete despair. I didn’t know the truth yet about my baby, and that’s what I desperately needed from you. But instead of support and encouragement, you suggested we terminate our child. I told you her name, and you asked us again if we understood how low our quality of life would be with a child with Down syndrome. You suggested we reconsider our decision to continue the pregnancy.
From that first visit, we dreaded our appointments. The most difficult time in my life was made nearly unbearable because you never told me the truth.
My child was perfect.
I’m not angry. I’m not bitter. I’m really just sad. I’m sad the tiny beating hearts you see every day don’t fill you with a perpetual awe. I’m sad the intricate details and the miracle of those sweet little fingers and toes, lungs and eyes and ears don’t always give you pause. I’m sad you were so very wrong to say a baby with Down syndrome would decrease our quality of life. And I’m heartbroken you might have said that to a mommy even today. But I’m mostly sad you’ll never have the privilege of knowing my daughter, Emersyn.

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Because, you see, Emersyn has not only added to our quality of life, she’s touched the hearts of thousands. She’s given us a purpose and a joy that is impossible to express. She’s given us bigger smiles, more laughter and sweeter kisses than we’ve ever known. She’s opened our eyes to true beauty and pure love.
So my prayer is that no other mommy will have to go through what I did. My prayer is that you, too, will now see true beauty and pure love with every sonogram.

And my prayer is when you see that next baby with Down syndrome lovingly tucked in her mother’s womb, you will look at that mommy and see me then tell her the truth: “Your child is perfect.”

 

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Courtney told ParkerMyles.com,  “Emmy has two siblings. Rhyan is almost 15 and Evynn is 11. They are crazy about their sister!! They had been through so much at that point [when we received the diagnosis].

We tried to be honest with them while keeping strong in our faith, but they knew about our pain and struggles with the specialist. When they heard that her diagnosis was confirmed at her birth, they were afraid.

Emmy was taken from me immediately after birth because of low oxygen levels, so the girls met her when I did. It was such a surreal moment after all that time of fear and heartache. She was there and she was ours.


The girls both said that at soon as they met her they fell in love. And it was obvious. A lot of healing happened at that moment. We never looked back to the fear and sadness, it’s been onward in the smiles and joy. Rhyan is the calm, quiet, motherly refuge for Emmy. Evynn is the wild, fun, cracking up laughter for her. They are a perfect trio.”

Follow here

Kat Abianac

Kat is a writer and a passionate advocate for inclusion in the media and advertising. She has two children, one with Down syndrome. Use the ‘contact us’ tab on this site to request her media kit or to get in touch. You may republish content from http://www.parkermyles.com on your own site, provided a pingback is made to her original article and she is fully credited as author.

Get ready for Offerings 4!!!

(Angela and Sandra reciting Psalm 139 during Offerings 2)

Hey TD,

During Offerings 4, on 3/11/16, we will be celebrating the goodness of God through creative, fresh, original, fun offerings of praise via music, poetry, art, recitation, reading, writing, acting, dancing (yep, I said dancing), and whatever way you want to honor the Lord!

So, please be praying about and dreaming about how you can participate in this special (and safe) night, where encouragement abounds and hearts are touched.

In the meanwhile, enjoy the recitation above of Psalm 139!

Greetings From Atlanta!

Hey TD’ers!

Sandra, Daniel, Angela, Eunice, Judy, and I are in Atlanta for RZIM’s Summer Institute this week.  I’ll share more about this later this week.  But something struck me during service this morning as songwriter, Matt Redman, led worship.

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He has a new cd that is being released this week, Unbroken Praise, that was recorded at the legendary Abbey Road studios in London.  The album cover is inspired by the white wall outside the studios, where anyone can sign their names or write a note on it … and tons of people have done it over the decades.  The wall is cleaned and/or repainted consistently, making it white again before more people write on it.  It used to be cleaned every 6 – 8 weeks, but now must be cleaned weekly due to neighbors complaints.  But the studios still encourage people to do it and are willing to keep cleaning it.  Now that’s commitment.

I couldn’t help but realize afresh how persistent, committed, and complete God’s forgiveness of sins is, washing our sins once and for all at the cross, so that our “walls” will perpetually be “white” before the throne of God.  But what also amazed me anew is how committed and patient God is in persistently washing our souls afresh each day with the blood Jesus spilled 2000 years ago, as we continue to “mark” our souls afresh each day (though decreasingly so!).

Isaiah 1:18 declares, “Come now, and let us reason together,” says the LORD, “Though your sins are as scarlet, They will be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They will be like wool.”  What a promise.  Hallelujah! What a Savior!  Jesus is Life!

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As you embark on a new week, go and live hard for the Lord!  Be daring.  Be courageous. Be biblical.  Be obedient. And as you do, know that your Savior is right there, ready to continue to clean your soul and to work on completing the good work that He began in you the day you surrendered your life to Him!

Each light bulb you see on the sign represents the new life of new believers in Jesus at the church.  Each bulb is signed by the new believer and placed in the socket.

May we do our part to bring the life and light of Jesus to our world.

– Arthur