The Time and Weather is for Hua Hin, Thailand where we currently live

Daily Bible Verse

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Puppy Like Passion. . .

A little over a month ago we got an auburn colored toy poodle puppy. Because of her coloring, we named her 'Sweet Pumpkin Spice', but we call her 'Pumpkin' for short.

When we got Pumpkin, we had to teach her how to get up the stairs to reach our front door. Before we got Pumpkin we had decided to combine our yard with the neighbors (our ministry partners) so that they would have more room for their sons to play. So at that time we moved the 2 foot high chain link fence very close to our house to protect their dog from getting in our driveway and accidentally getting out our front gate.

We soon found that when we are on the other side of the fence, Pumpkin has a deep desire and almost a desperation about getting to us. In the beginning she taught herself to climb the chainlink fence, dangle on the top, and then push off dashing over to us.

To keep her from climbing the fence Bill attached plastic fencing to the chainlink so that she could not get her paws in the links to climb it. We thought this did the trick . . .

Well, the other day, Bill and I were on the other side of the fence talking with our neighbor and Pumpkin was crying on our side of the fence. The next thing we knew, there was Pumpkin at our feet wagging her tail bouncing from Bill to me. We laughed and picked her up, then carried her back to our side of the fence wondering all the while how she had gotten over the fence. Before we were even back to where we were standing and talking, Pumpkin was already at our feet again wagging her tail and bouncing around just thrilled to be with us. Her whole countenance just oozed joy. The neighbor said that she had climbed a large flower pot in our garden and then flung herself onto the fence where she dangled for a moment before pushing off hitting the ground and dashing over to us. I have to say that our hearts were full seeing how much Pumpkin wanted to be with us. She would not let anything deter her. She just had to be with us. She wanted us to pick her up and hold her, all the while she covered our faces with kisses.

The next day we were planting some vegetable plants in our garden. (Let me just say that it has been interesting for us to try and plant a garden in Thailand. Seeds that we took for granted in America, are very hard to find in Thailand. We bought some tomatoes and ate all, but the seeds which we planted. We did the same with watermelon seeds. :-D )

Pumpkin stood crying on the other side of the fence as we worked in the garden. She has been known to pull out plants so we could not let her in the garden with us. We talked to her as we worked. We told her it is okay, we will be with you soon, etc. Well, in her mind, soon was not soon enough. She wanted to be with us now! Before we knew it she was in the garden with us. We scooped her up and again wondered how she had gotten over the fence. We placed her back on the other side, she immediately scampered to the corner where the house and the fence came together at an angle. She then pressed her back against the house and proceeded to press her way up and over the fence. It was amazing! This puppy was so excited to see us. Yes, we had just been with her, but it was not enough. She wanted to be with us all of the time.

The Lord spoke to my heart, asking me what would our lives be like (that is the lives of Christians) if we had the same passion to be with Him that our puppy had to be with us. How would our lives be more rich, how would we bless the Lord if every morning we woke up and said “Yes, I get to be with Jesus.” What if we did not let anything get in the way of being with the Lord. Not our busy schedules, not chores, not family or friends, not work. Nothing.

Oh, I pray, that my heart would have the passion and desire to spend time with my God and Savior above all else. To get to know Him better. To rest in His warm embrace. To listen to the still small voice that whispers in my heart. Never feeling the I have spent enough time with my Lord, always thirsting for more time with Him. Always joyful and passionate about spending time with God.

“For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” Colossians 1:9-14

By April

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Is the Brake On? . . .

Yesterday, Bill and I went with our neighbor and ministry partner, Mark, to Bangkok for a Pastor's meeting. Mark drove his van, and we left at 8:00 a.m. for the noon meeting. Traffic actually flowed nicely and we made it to Bangkok a little early. The meeting, lunch, and prayer time were really great.

After the meeting, Mark offered another pastor a ride, as we were all going to the Sky Train. We pulled into the parking lot and started searching for a parking spot. The pastor we had given a ride to, called out that he saw a spot one row over, so we went down and around and started up the next row. He stated that it was the third spot from the end. We all craned our necks to see the approaching spot. I looked in disbelief, well yeah, there was an empty spot, but there was a vehicle double parked completely blocking the spot. As Mark slowed the van, the other pastor jumped out saying that he would move the car that was blocking the spot. I got a knot in my stomach as I imagined the car alarm going off as he pushed it, or worse yet, that the owner would approach indignate that we were moving his car. To my surprise, the car moved with ease. No one came running to yell at us. In fact, another man wondered if we needed help moving the car?! Hmmm, I am trying to imagine this scenario in America. :-)

I had heard that it is common practice for drivers to put their vehicles in Neutral when parking someone in, but experiencing it was another thing altogether. As far as the emergency brake goes, they do not use it because they never know when someone will have to move their car.

In Pennsylvania, we always put our car in Park, the emergency brake on and set the car alarm.

The Lord started to stir in my heart . . .

Oh how our lives can be like a parked car. When we decide to do something, do we leave ourselves in Neutral with the emergency brake off, in case we need to be moved by the Lord or by someone else? Or, do we dig our heals in 'putting ourselves in Park, with the emergency brake firmly in place, and our alarm set' just in case someone tries to change our course?

There are of course times to stand our ground and dig our heals in. That is when the Lord has clearly told us to stay the course no matter what. But, what about when the Lord tries to get us to change our direction? How willing are we to release the brake, turn off the alarms, and allow Him to move us? Yikes, this sounds like we have to leave ourselves vulnerable to change. Sometimes it can seem so logical to follow the plans that we have made.

However, I have found that in order to be in the Lord's will, I need to 'leave it in Neutral, the emergency brake off, and the alarm off' so that I can be movable enough for the Lord to use me.

Romans 12:1-2 (The Message)
Place Your Life Before God
“So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.”

By April