Sunday, July 17, 2016
Soooo! Moments later I ask the staff..."oh are you Christian?" They reply: "No" I said to them "oh the music is Christian" .... they said "Oh it's YouTube" - meaning they just put clicked on a playlist on YouTube that unbeknownst to them has been ministering Christian music for the past 20+ minutes! LOL!!! I can't !!! Lord You are too Great... Yes truly every nation shall bow and hear of Your glorious Name!
Posted by Life In Christ at 12:17 AM
Wednesday, July 6, 2016
There is a theme of "steadfastness" that the Lord appears to be highlighting in my life right now.....
Hebrews 3: 6 & 14
"Let us be diligent"
"Let us hold fast our confession"
"This hope we have as an anchor...be sure and steadfast"
This theme of "holding fast" our faith is woven all throughout Hebrews and "He" (Jesus) is certainly "Brew"-ing this theme in my life today. I literally have gone through so much that it's only by the Grace and Mercy of God that I am even able to still call Jesus Lord.
Trying to maintain your faith in the midst of this worldy abyss is more than a notion. Especially when you have no clue what it is you are to do the next hour ...let alone the next day or year.
When going back to the place you came from is not an option but moving forward is such a clueless hint. Steadfastness sweeps in like a night wind to briskly slap your face and remind you to
Build. Pray. Keep. Look.
Sorry Julia Roberts but this story was played out well before yours. I have to keep reminding myself that "tortoise wins the race" .... Be patient. Stay diligent. Be content with where you, who God is and what God is doing in your life.
Maintain an aerial perspective. Count it all joy and be grateful - rejoicing in all things.
And oh yeah! Ease up!! "Mai bpen rai"(as the Thais say) ....Have compassion and mercy on yourself ...Breathe....then you will be able to be at rest and remain steadfast as you....
Build. Pray. Keep. Look
(Jude 20-21 NKJV)
Posted by Life In Christ at 4:28 AM
Sunday, June 26, 2016
That was the key word that kept jumping out at me during a worship service I attended today at a small Baptist church in Lampang, Thailand.
Through a wacky series of events too long to recount, I ended up getting invited to a church yesterday that quite frankly I was on the fence about going. But despite my trepidation, I called up the pastor to see about attending his church. He (and his wife) offered to pick me up without hesitation, despite my late call to him in the evening.
The next day, they arrived and a young woman (who I will call Kun) introduced herself to me along with her mother. Unsure as to the level of Thai I needed to speak, I approached the conversation gently. After realizing that Kun spoke fluent English, I loosened up a bit and began opening up a bit more in conversation. I was also a bit timid to speak about much because I didn't know the degree to which she or her family knew the people at the organization that I had come to Thailand to work with.
A very, very, very long story short- the organization that I had come to work with was nothing short of a disaster- on all ends of the spectrum. I was on the tail end of transitioning out of it and didn't want to delve out any negative press in the event they knew the organization/organizers (since someone inside the organization actually referred me to church).
Anywho, as we arrived to the church the grounds and building were beautifully kept. You could tell this community really took care of it.
Sunday school began and the assistant pastor began teaching out of Acts 11....as Kun was my translator...I was able to get the gist of the message-which I thought was well prepared. I could tell the speaker had sat with the text, meditated on it, as well as researched key contextual historical matters.
For this I was spiritually enriched.
We took a short break then started the Sunday service where we sang traditional hymns. Of course in Thai ;) but there were words in English underneath on the projector screen. The pastor introduced me as a guest, thus I stood up and gave a Sawasdee kaa wai (simple hands clasp w/ a slight bowing motion) to all of the members in the church.
As the message began, Kun told me that the title of the sermon was "being in the will of God."
Immediately, I knew I was in for a doozy.
Rewind just a bit...
For over a year, I knew I felt a leaning towards living abroad and my initial move was going to be towards South Korea. I had been accepted into a teaching program that was going to pay me well, but when I heard about the opportunity to do ministry in Thailand, as well as teaching, I ended up switching gears towards this opportunity (which btw paid a third of what I would make in S Korea).
After weeks of prayer, mental analysis and some consultation. I finally felt at peace with my decision to move to Thailand.
Fast forward to the past four weeks of my life:
Everything that I did not anticipate being a challenge-WAS....yet all the things that I predicted would possibly be obstacles -were not. Literally everyday, I wondered - okay Lord which angel did I piss off?? Why are these things that don't have to happen, why are they happening? What changed? I thought for sure I heard the voice of the Lord propel me towards this direction...I thought for sure making the decision to come here was me "being in the will of God." Especially, because I had chosen "God over money." So I just didn't get it....I was completely baffled for days....weeks... until now.
I was reminded of something I said to someone a while back that I was now finding I needed to chew on. I remember I said, "just because things are difficult doesn't mean you made the wrong decision." A right decision does not automatically equate to ease, good times and positive happenings. Sometimes, matter of fact, oftentimes a right decision leads to just the opposite...test, trials, and unpredictable shenanigans.
Which leads to the first verse that was highlighted in the message today
AND the pastor reminded us of Psalm 34:15
“The Lord watches over the righteous and listens to their cries;” (which I found to be true)
No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to humanity; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13) (which God is doing)
“Good people suffer many troubles, but the Lord saves them from them all;" (Psalm 34:19 GNT)
As I heard this message I literally had to hold back bursting out in tears in the middle of the service, because I realized that God was speaking directly to me...and that I did not have to question whether or not I made the right decision to come to Thailand...and I am in the will of God even though things took an un-expected turn. Nothing was unexpected for God- only me...
I can rest knowing this and lean into God...not turn away (bc of frustration or confusion).
AND I can know the love of God is with me, especially when I re-trace how my steps were ordered to even get to this place where I heard this message. I mean the extravagant lengths God takes to show Gods beloved how much they are visible to God is so incredibly baffling and mind blowing to me....I couldn't help but worship with a revered and radiant heart.
Today I was encouraged to remain steadfast....
Today the Lord met me in a new way in Thailand.
Posted by Life In Christ at 7:01 AM