Tuesday, June 30, 2009
This morning I was reading in Joshua 1,
1Now it came about after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, that the LORD spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' [a]servant, saying,
"Moses (A)My servant is dead; now therefore arise, (B)cross this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them, to the sons of Israel.
I was struck by the fact the Lord told Him to arise... I couldn’t think of the last time anybody had told me to arise and then given me an order.. It occurred to me that this word meant more to Joshua than a simple physical “sit up”. I think it was God telling Joshua, to arise like a King tells to a man recently knighted. There is a calling pinned to the word arise that a simple “get on your way” lacks..
My tendency is to hear songs like “I will rise” and for myself to both cringe and revel. I have heard that song sung so many times at Friday night church and part of me would cringe at the idea of rising up.. All I could think was I needed to become smaller. Less of me more of God. I know my heart, and the last thing I needed was to stand up and become bigger!
But I was mistaken, there is a calling to rise up that is not about a physical rising but a call to something higher. The Lord calls us to live a life that is sanctified by the blood of Jesus Christ. We have been adopted into the family of God! No longer wretches of the sin that entangled us, we have been made new. We have been called and we need to arise to the battle that has been made known to us! He has prepared the Armor of God that we might put it on.
So I bid you Arise... Arise out of the ordinary, you have been called by a God who’s extraordinary. You have been named His Son’s and Daughter’s and have been inputted grace through it. Arise.
13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen..."(heb. 11:1)
"Faith honors God. God honors faith and goes wherever faith puts Him. Faith, Biblical faith, can do all that God can do. (Because its sole desire is God's glory, it would not ask anything amiss- 1 John 5:14.) Faith's supreme longing is for the return of the glory that has departed from the sanctuary. Its ambition is not colored by the clay vessel. Faith is wedded to the love which "seeketh not her own." Faith longs for an overthrow of the powers of darkness. Faith yearns that the world might know the message of redeeming love, and aches for the enslaved millions to be unfettered from the chains of sin. Faith has compassion for those 'Bound, who should conquer; slaves, who should be kings." -Leonard Ravenhill, Revival Praying.
"And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him."-Hebrews 11:6
"For we walk by faith and not by sight."- 2 Corinthians 5:7
Faith...what is there even to say? I can't even begin to scratch the surface. In praying and seeking God, faith keeps on being impressed upon my heart. We absolutely and entirely need faith to be able to present ourselves as an effective tool in the hand of our Father. It is impossible to please Him without it. We need faith to dream big, to see the unseen, to believe the unbelievable, to not only agree that God is indeed able, but that He WILL provide. Jesus Himself tells us to, "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened." (Matt. 7:7-8) But James then warns us, " but he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord..." (James 1:6-7). Oh, if I only had faith the size of a mustard seed! Thailand needs people who have faith. God, who is faithful, has drawn many men and women of faith to this land to establish His kingdom in the heart of its people. Yet still, only 1% of Thailand has come to the saving knowledge of Christ Jesus. It is hard to think that God can penetrate a hardness of that degree, but we can believe in faith that ALL things are possible with our King. God give us faith to believe that You will create worshippers in Thailand!
Pray that we would walk by faith, lead our lives in Christ, whom we received by grace through faith, and that we would ask God in faith, fully assured that He is a good, compassionate, giving God who desires that all might become more like His Son.
Monday, June 29, 2009
This is my sweet little friend Hannah...Hannah decided to wake me up one day by placing this little rodent on my knee... Now I'm in thailand and when your asleep and you feel a bunch of little hairy claws start moving around on your skin...you don't think Russian Dwarf Hamster... This little guy probably no longer has working ear drums and was very close to having his poor little body launched across the room... But from the look of his bitty face, he might have appreciated it....
"Help me PETA!"
Yesterday we went to Burma, it was interesting.. The U.N. recently named Burma the most corrupt country in the world...so when they asked us to hand over our passports to get in, we really prayed we would get them back... God is good :) My Mom and Dad are probably choking about now but rest assured God is in control..
The first thing we did was go visit a local doctor’s office that Ron met a little girl at a few weeks ago.. She was trying to run away because her parents were making plans to sell her to a local casino. She was asking the Doctor to take her and her sister into the orphanage he runs. When Ron and Courtney left they felt uneasy and felt like they needed to go back and get her. During that time her parents had called the Police and taken her away... they soon sold her to a local Casino. So we went back to ask the Doctor where she was taken to hopefully get her back. He was not there and we were told he will be back in four days so we are going to go back for more answers.
One of the things you can pray about however is that the Doctors heart would be softened for the girl. We sense that he might be hesitant to share her location because he holds a position in the community... This is just what we sense so we are praying that His heart is stirred for the girl. The Doctor is a christian but a lot of time we justify things because we want to believe the greater good is better...if we neglect one. We know Jesus died for her though and we believe that her life is worth a position of greatness...if it comes down to that... So we are praying that the Lord would stir His heart in compassion for her.. That His position would not hinder his compassion.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Friday, June 26, 2009
Thursday, June 25, 2009
"Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages past, but now is manifested, and by the scrpitures of the prophets, according to the comandment of the eternal God, has been made known to all the nations, leading to obedience of faith, to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, be the glory forever and ever. Amen." (Romans 16:25-27)
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Since you are honored and I love you,
I will give other men in your place and other peoples in exchange for your life.
5"Do not fear, for I am with you;
I will bring your offspring from the east,
And gather you from the west.
6"I will say to the north, 'Give them up!'
And to the south, 'Do not hold them back '
Bring My sons from afar
And My daughters from the ends of the earth,
7Everyone who is called by My name,
And whom I have created for My glory,
Whom I have formed, even whom I have made."
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
These guys got a real laugh out of me, I was trying to get an up close picture of the lizard below when it jumped....I squealed. That little bugger was massive!!
My new companion :) Carl, he's sitting next to me now.
My favorite!!!! This is a little hut they built for the kids!
It raining! I’m loving it here already... Today we got picked up from the airport and were given a tour of the orphanage, then joined the staff for lunch. Rice, chicken, green beans and HOT sauce. :) I was happy to have real food in my stomach considering we have been living in an airplane or in layover for the last two days and I already posted pictures of the food...soo you know why.
Anyways we got to sit down with Ron, the man who started the orphanage and hear story after story of God’s grace over the children and the staff. One story that truly struck me was that every year they give the children 500 baht for christmas... 32 baht=1dollar
it was around 15 dollars a piece... That november Ron had taken a few of the older orphan boys to a orphanage that was struggling significantly so they could help aid them for a few days. The boys came back and told the other orphans about the conditions of the other orphanage and a little girl spoke up and said she wanted to give her christmas money to them. She was only the first.
It was moving to hear. I want to meet her just so i can learn from her. What generosity!
God’s grace is so amazing to me. He continues to offer it arms open to all. What relief is gained by so easy an acceptance. What is it within us that pushes it away? It is confounding to me, but then i remember I’m not who I was... I remember that anything worthwhile in me is through the grace of Jesus Christ. He who died on a cross, needs nothing from us... we need only to surrender, and that grace is bestowed upon us. He takes the burdens that shroud our minds and weights of brokenness and moves to heal. We are the one who beg him not to do it, believing we can do it on our own, when its just more weights we unknowingly add to shoulders so small...
I guess its just human nature is so opposed to God’s... if you think of holding a grudge. We do it because we want to...It is human nature to hold it, but God commands us to forgive. We realize not that the grudge is but a poison we have drunk, hoping the other person dies. So pointless our vindication to destroy anybody but ourselves while God bids us forgive! What weights are lifted at receiving it and what blessing by giving it?!
Its just raining and thinking is a good thing to do when it raining... Blessings from Thailand!
Monday, June 22, 2009
We made it safely to Bangkok! We ate some delicacies from Burger King and are now sitting in a little cafe trying to kill time until our next flight departs in a few hours. The flight here was uneventful and peaceful; the Lord really covered it with His hand and we both slept a lot, which will be very important as we might not be getting much in the coming weeks...:) For some insight into prayer for Thailand, something the Lord has begun to show me is the lack of conviction for so many in Thailand. A lot of foreigners come here expecting to do whatever sinful fantasy they have conjured up without ever being accountable to anyone or anything for it; and in the immediate sense they are usually right. However, they are accountable to God and they will have to deal with their sin one day for eternity. Romans talks about this. "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness." (Rom. 1:18); "And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper." (Rom 1:28). This verse then goes on to list all of the "unproper" things people now do in rejection and rebellion to God's presence and truth. But God is still present here in Thailand, "for in Him we live and move and exist..." (Acts 17:28a), regardless of what people want to think. Pray that God would send conviction to the hearts of those engaging in unrighteousness and perverse sin in Thailand. Pray for those who mobilize these sinful acts, those who contribute to it financially, the women who are trapped in prostitution, and those who apathetically ignore it. May God's presence become REAL and THICK in Thailand! Who can stand in the presence of a living and holy God? Only through Jesus Christ and His work on the cross; so please pray that Jesus would become so beautiful and longed after by hearts here.
Thank you all for checking up on us; we truly love you! Keep us in your prayers, that we "may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that we will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strenghthend with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously gving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to share in the inheirtance of the saints in Light!" (Col. 1:9-12)
A Scatter-brained Account of our Thailand Adventures:
Day one: We are sitting in the airport, Bethany’s chowing down on a fish taco/with a substituted chicken, and I’m writing this thinking about you all. Its already been a great day with Beth!
I love to people watch...i could sit all day long on a bench observing people and their different attributes...love, frustration, spontinuity, youth..its all so interesting to me...... And Airports are one of my favorite places to people watch!
I swear, its like a sociologist’s candy land... Different people, different ways of life, different languages, different size bags...different stress techniques. It could easily become like a I-SPY game of “spot the strange” :)
I spotted a woman in first class line with a translucent shirt and leopard bra... Bethany responded “well that just doesn’t bless anybody” HAHA....I LOVED it! I laughed about that one for awhile! What a response!
I liked the way she was thinking about it.. what blesses others!? If we could all think in context of what would be a blessing to others how our lifestyles would change... Anyways TTYL (talk to you later) and keep us in your prayers :)
Thursday, June 18, 2009