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.”

 

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These Verses Changed My Life

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Hey TD!

Don’t you love kids?  I do.  There is this raw, real, unpolished, unpretentious, unpackaged authenticity and realness to them, for better or for worse! 🙂  I also love young spiritual children as well (though they may be chronologically older, even adult-aged).  They too can have that wide-eyed hungry (even naive), teachable way about them that is refreshing and alive.  I love being around real life like that.  But with having children (biologically or spiritually) comes an enormous amount of spiritual responsibility.

It is when I had my first child, Nathaniel, that this hit me like a lightning bolt.  I read Deuteronomy 6:4-9, and it changed my life’s focus, calling, and passion.  Here it is:

“Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as [b]frontals [c]on your forehead.You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

There they were, my marching orders from the Commander Himself.  My duty and calling as the father to my children was to first and foremost teach and train them to walk with the Lord, even before my responsibilities to train and take care of them physically, socially, academically, etc.  I have been charged to constantly bring them before the voice, heart, desires, and will of our God Almighty, through the priceless gift of His matchless Word; and I am to do it passionately, authentically, creatively, and in heavy doses.  Every chance that I get.  Waking.  Sleeping.  Walking.  Playing.  Eating.  Talking.  Traveling.  Every chance that I get.  That was really the underlying impetus behind us homeschooling them.

That’s why I get so excited when I see a young couple like Robert and Kathy take that charge to heart as well, as they begin exposing their daughter to God’s Word at her young age (these pics are the first pics of Hannah “doing” Bible study 🙂 wink, wink).  They know that even though she’s the cutest little thing (did you see her last night??? Sooooo cute!), God’s Word tells us the truth: little Hannah is a born-sinner, depraved at her core.  Little Hannah needs a Savior and needs to come to Jesus and to grow in His grace.  And that cannot happen without the power of His Word.

And you cannot grow in grace without the power of His Word either.  Deuteronomy 6:4-9 applies to YOU.  YOU need to talk of His Word when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up.  YOU need to bind them as a sign on your hand and as frontals on your forehead.  YOU need to write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

As a spiritual father to some of you, and a spiritual uncle to most of you, I charge you and plead with you to examine the life you’re living, who you’re living it with, the way you spend your time, the activities you engage in, the conversations you have, etc. Then, I ask you to do some re-organizing of your life to make more time to study, sit under, meditate on, pray through … God’s Word.

Do it this summer, so that by the time you return to school, more time in His Word will be ingrained into your schedule! – 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.

Disability Ministry in China is Booming!

Hey TD, this is some encouraging news from Joni (just posted yesterday)!  I’ve always wondered why God has taken a Chinese church like ours and led it to be such a large force at the Murrieta Hot Springs Family Retreat for so many years.  It may well be as a segue for some of you to minister to the disabled in China!  Jenny has already served at a Family Retreat in Shenyang, China a couple of years ago.

This summer, Nathaniel is serving as the co-ordinator team leader for the STM’s at the same Family Retreat in Shenyang!  Please pray for him as he has been given quite a responsibility and workload.  May God’s hands and heart reach those families affected with disabilities in Shenyang!  Thanks in advance! – Arthur

Disability Ministry in China is Booming!

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada

Map of China showing where Joni and Friends is serving

In the last few weeks, three Wheels for the World teams have been delivering wheelchairs and Bibles (and Joni books in Chinese) in different parts of the People’s Republic of China, sharing Christ’s love and giving practical help. Just last week, we held our International Family Retreat in Nanjing with many special-needs families hearing the Gospel for the first time. In addition, our Pastor’s Conference was extremely well attended as we taught these Christian leaders all about the Savior’s mandate in Luke 14. And finally, this past weekend our teams completed a Special Education Training Conference, helping Chinese leaders understand how to reach children with autism (with a biblical worldview)! Please join me in praying that God will “grow” all the Gospel seeds we are planting throughout China (and the map shows you where). Praise be to God for His indescribable gift! And join me in asking God to cover our teams with His safe hand as they journey home to the U.S.

Who Are You God? The Immortal Word

Last night in TD, we began to get more clarity and soberness with respect to the spiritual world that we live in.  It’s certainly important to understand and get a handle on, for the realm of demons, angels, and the supernatural is real.  It would be foolish to ignore.  The Bible doesn’t. 

As we continue in our Who Are You God? series, in this piece, Nathaniel peeks through the curtains and gives us a vivid description of what heaven may be like.  It’s a brilliant and moving piece that he wrote when in high school that left me not only more concretely aware of the supernatural realms, but increased my yearnings and desires to know my Destiny more fully.

Please take the time to stop, read, ponder, and stroke your imagination; something God-given that we Asians tend to under-cultivate … but need to.  – Arthur

Stunned, I passed by the columns of heaven, glimpsing what appeared to be intensely familiar.  I looked again, intently studying the rich marble and the radiant gold lettering.  Yes indeed, embedded in the gates of the celestial city were the chronicles and laws of Moses, the laments and warnings of prophets, the cries and songs of David, the miraculous accounts of Luke, the impassioned letters of Paul, and the vivid revelations of John.  Scripture, Holy Scripture, indelibly etched into heaven’s eternal gates.  Yet my countenance must have revealed my awed bewilderment, for Empyrean, my guiding angel, aptly remarked, “It’s as if you’re stunned to see the Words of life immortalized.”  “Stunned alright,” I admit. “Wasn’t the Bible given for our use on earth?  I mean, I have just always assumed that being in the presence of God would be enough.  There is no need for partial revelation when we are basking in the full light of His glory, is there?”  Empyrean strolled along then paused in front of a massive column.  “You are wrong, my son,” he affectionately stated, “being in the presence of the Almighty, basking in His light is not enough.  It’s more than enough.  In fact it is more than any angel or man could ever absorb, process, or know.  No, for all eternity I will never cease to revel in and learn from the Holy One.”  Those were my thoughts exactly and that was why I was so stunned to see something from the finite realm transcend into the infinite one.

The Bible was God’s special revelation to humanity, but wasn’t its express purpose to shine light in a dark, distorted world?  Here, nothing could possibly add light to the brilliance of the Son.  To me, Scripture was an accommodation.  Yes it is so glorious and full of truth that it works in conjunction with the Spirit himself.  But isn’t the Word necessary only because we cannot stand before the face of God and live; only because fellowship has been broken; only because our hearts are hardened and our eyes blinded?  There was no need for Scripture in the garden when pre-fall man walked with Him and talked with Him, was there?  Empyrean stepped over to the massive edifice and reached out his undefiled hand.  Running his fingers over the golden words, he uttered, “Timeless truth, within these precious words are timeless truths. They are the Master’s words, each letter pointing to the heart of a Father.”  The column shone with haunting luminescence, reflecting its deep light off of the angel’s white robe and into my awe- stricken eyes.  Then Empyrean turned, casting me into the shadow of his massive figure.  “Define Scripture,” he ordered, suddenly taking on the role of a learned teacher.  “Scripture is,” I started, and then paused to collect my thoughts, “Scripture is the compilation of sixty-six documents written by over forty authors across a span of about sixteen hundred years.  Each and every passage was inspired by God and is profitable for bringing the elect to salvation and continuing the process of sanctification.”  Satisfied with what I believed to be a fairly comprehensive answer, I waited for a response from my angelic teacher.  “O, but it is so much more,” Empyrean exclaimed, “Scripture probes past sterile details and even musings of the mind. In this sacred text are words that pierce the heart.  The Word does not merely recount the Almighty’s words; it reveals the Creator’s own heart.  Likewise, the Bible does not merely chronicle the utterances of humanity; it exposes and lays bare their hearts, every thought, intent, and desire.  Scripture,” he declared with cadence, “is the pouring out, in love, of God’s timeless thoughts and omniscient heart.  What God has to say was never meant solely for a moment.  He is eternal and so are His words.”

Speechless, I stared dumbly at the pillar, pausing to absorb the weight of the words which had been uttered.  Then I started reading.  JOHN 19 the heading stated, “Pilate then took Jesus and scourged him and the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and put a purple robe on Him; and they began to come up to Him and say, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and to give Him slaps in the face.” I gazed at these all so familiar words and thought to myself, “Well the best is yet to come.  Good Friday always segues into the glories of Easter morning.”  Yet my anticipation soon turned into contemplation as I looked past the etched letters.  Before long, my gaze penetrated the immortal words and the pillar came to life.  As if by some cinematic miracle, I was confronted with the sheer agony of the Savior.  In vivid color I glimpsed the crimson blood dripping down the Savior’s face, past a tearful eye.  In rapturous sound I heard the cruel jeers of the crowd, the brutal mocking of the Roman centurions, and the silent sobs of a mother who was losing her firstborn son.  Overwhelmed, I shouted, “This is not the way it is supposed to be!  Where is the heaven without tears, without sadness, without death?”  Empyrean strode over to the column with an expression of satisfaction, “The eyes of God are not confined to time.  All of history is ever before Him.”  Stepping closer, Empyrean confronted me, “You see, dear one, Heaven is tearless only because of the bitter tears and bloody sweat of Gethsemane.  Heaven is joyful only because of the infinite sacrifice and total atonement of Golgotha.  Heaven is vitality itself only because of the victory of a hollow tomb.  Heaven is a place of remembrance.”  From my prostrated position I lifted my eyes and saw for the first time not merely grandiose Ionic columns, but stones of perfect remembrance.  I myself recalling the choruses of earth could not help but raise my soul in worship with the words of Robert Robinson, “Here I raise my Ebenezer; Here by Thy great help I’ve come; And I hope, by Thy good pleasure, Safely to arrive at home. Jesus sought me when a stranger, Wandering from the fold of God; He, to rescue me from danger, Interposed His precious blood.”

Suddenly, as if the blinders were removed from my eyes, I realized where I was.  The pillars of remembrance were arced in massive yet graceful semicircle, and there I was, in the middle, in front the central column.  “Do you finally see?” Empyrean inquired, “We are witnessing the climax of history, what all of creation has been and is longing for.  For this moment had God stepped out of eternity and into time so that you could step out of time and into eternity with Him.”  Indeed as my eyes slowly passed over the vivid heavenly gates, I realized that not only all of Scripture, but all of history converged at Calvary.  The near sacrifice of Isaac and the actual human sacrifice of the Aztecs spoke to the need for a bloody atonement.  The prophetic voices of Isaiah and John the Baptist mingle with the cries of Jezebel’s Baal worshippers who were acutely aware of their need for deliverance.  The epistles of Paul are viewed side by side with the condemning edicts of Nero, for both testify to the uncontainable and powerful truth of a dead and resurrected Christ who is worth dying for.  I turned and stared into the words of John 19.  Exuding from the image was an indescribably luminous beauty.  The torn, whipped flesh, the mingled dust, sweat, and blood, described with poignancy who God was.  Knowing that I had just experienced the piercing power and timeless purpose of the Word, Empyrean asked with the air of a masterful teacher, “So, who is God?”  “God is indescribable,” I started, knowing that no sole answer could satisfy such an ultimate, hallowing question.  Yet before I could excuse myself, my eyes fell on what was God’s very own answer through the special revelation of the Word and the incarnation of His Son.  Falling on my knees, I exclaimed to the Lord of the celestial city, “God, You are eternal truth poured out in Calvary love.”  And then with tears in my eyes, I managed to stammer what I should have been saying all along, “Thank You, thank You, thank You.”

– Nathaniel Hsieh

What Will You Give Jesus? Day 8

If you haven’t stopped to listen to Day 7’s John Piper poem, you NEED to. It’s phenomenal.

Today’s gift to Jesus is “Manger Throne,” a song that Nathaniel wrote for Jesus last Christmas.  Hope you like it.  Fyi, we’ll be singing his new Christmas song, “One of Us,” during this year’s Christmas Eve service 🙂 – Arthur

Manger Throne
by Nathaniel Hsieh
VERSE 1:
Journey on to Bethlehem
Though long the road may seem
Join with Mary’s wondering heart
“My Lord, how can this be?”
Come to the manger throne
Come worship Him alone
CHORUS:
As we sing Glory to God on high
For changing our world that holy night
For calling us into hope and life
Oh light divine, come shine on us
VERSE 2:
Journey with the wise men far
The star their only guide
Dream of peace for all mankind
A peace that will abide
Come to the manger throne
Come worship Him alone
VERSE 3:
Journey as the angels cry
“News, Good News, we bring”
Join as shepherds stand in awe
Then run to meet their king
Come to the manger throne
Come worship Him alone