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

Daily Bible Verse

Monday, January 18, 2010

A Clean, Fresh Slate . . .

The other night Bill and I went out to dinner, to celebrate my Birthday. My parents had said they would treat us to dinner, and that we should find a nice restaurant. We went to a wonderful restaurant right on the beach in Hua Hin. The restaurant was carved into the side of a steep hill, with two terraced levels with tables and chairs. Each table was set with woven place mats, a napkin and utensils, as well as fresh flowers and a candle.

As we sat overlooking the beach and the ocean, we watched the sky change to include hues of pink and deep blue . . . and then it was dark. We are still surprised by how quickly the sun sets here in Thailand each evening.

After we ordered, we sat quietly enjoying the sound of the waves from the Gulf of Thailand rolling in and out. Each wave lulled us into feeling of relaxation and peace. In the background playing quietly we could hear soft English speaking songs, which was a nice surprise.

As I looked at the sand in the fading light, I noticed that there was hardly any undisturbed sand. Everywhere I looked I saw footprints going in all different directions, the remnants of sandcastle works of art, and random holes dug for who knows what purpose.

The Lord started to speak to my heart . . . if I were to come to the beach tomorrow morning what would I see? Would I see the disheveled beach of the day before, or would the beach look like a clean, fresh slate, free of footprints and sandcastles, and holes to fall in? This Bible verse came to my mind, “The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.” Lamentations 3:22-23

Each morning. Wow, not every once in a while. Not once a year, but each morning God's mercies begin afresh. How awesome is that?! (And I reserve the word awesome for God.) Just as the beach would be clear of the disarray each morning, so too are our lives a clean, fresh slate each morning.

Thank you Lord for Your great mercies! Thank you for the clean, fresh slate that you gift us with each morning. All praise and honor and glory be to You, oh Lord!

Seeking to serve HIM in all that I do!

By April

Monday, January 11, 2010

Thanks for the Encouragement. . .

As I have said before, working with the Youth Group has been a blessing, but to be perfectly honest sometimes I wonder just how much they are taking in. After all, almost every week we have youth from 3 different countries. As we play games, fellowship, and study God's Word it is obvious that the non-Americans are not seeing things as we do in America. At times we are laughing our heads off, and the others in the group look puzzled. So, imagine my delight when one of the Thai youth accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior the other night. . .

Bill and I walk everywhere we need to go, as we do not have a car or motorcycle. So, the other night Bill and I were walking home from the mall when all of a sudden we heard one of the boys from Youth Group yell “Hello.” We looked around but did not see him. He spoke again and we looked through the slats of a fence of the house we were passing. Sure enough there he was, sitting with a Thai girl from Youth Group. He cut right to the chase, “How would you describe salvation to her?”

Okay then. . . We were taken a little off guard, but we were thrilled that this young girl wanted to know more about having a relationship with Jesus. The young man explained that he had come by to visit her and that she had gone right into her house to get her Bible. She immediately started to asked questions about salvation, and now he wanted us to jump in and help explain things to her. Through the fence I explained the plan of salvation to her, but the young man said that she still did not understand.

Bill and I left, and walked the short distance home. I kept praying that God would show me how I could reach this young lady. We put our packages in the house and I grabbed a dry erase board, a marker and an eraser and headed back to the girls' house. I went around to the gate and entered the yard. The young man seemed relieved that I was back, but started to laugh when he saw my supplies.

The young lady was immediately intrigued and listened intently while I told her about God and Jesus. I told her that God was the creator of the heavens and the earth, and each one of us. I said that he loves each one of us, but that he did not want us to love Him because He put a gun to our head or something. I told her He did not want robots walking around saying “I love you Lord. I love you Lord.” Then I grabbed my dry erase board and gave her an illustration about how in the beginning we were in harmony with God, but then after we sinned we were separated from God. God then offered His only Son, Jesus, as a sacrifice for our sins. When we ask for forgiveness of our sins, give our lives to the Lord, and ask Jesus to come into our hearts, Jesus then becomes our Lord and Savior. It is as if He holds a hand out to us and a hand out to a Holy God, and when we take hold we are united through Jesus.

I am so thankful that this young lady accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior. I am so thankful that the Lord encouraged the heart of the young man that had been talking to her about Jesus for over 4 years, and our hearts, by helping us to see the fruits of our labor. Praise God!
“in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession—to the praise of his glory.” Ephesians 1:12-14

“Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” 1 Peter 1:8-9

By April

Friday, January 1, 2010

Christmas Presence. . .

In case you are wondering. . .Yes, I do know how to spell. :-)

In the days leading up to Christmas I was so excited. About presents, you might inquire? But the answer would be 'no'. I was excited to see how the Lord's Presence would affect people here in Hua Hin, Thailand where we are currently serving as missionaries.

I heard many people around me talking of gifts they hoped to get, or about the gifts they were giving. But as we approached Christmas my eyes were on THE GIFT, JESUS, and I looked with anticipation as to how that GIFT would be received.

In the weeks before Christmas, Bill and I received and saw many others receive Christmas Presence.

Several weeks before Christmas, a woman at church came up to me and said that she did not feel that she has ever really embraced the Lord as her Savior. She said that although she had been going to church for years, she felt that she had a huge hole in her heart. She said that she sensed something different about me and wanted to talk with me about her lack of faith. She and another woman decided to come to our home to talk and for prayer. The Lord was so faithful in giving her HIS Christmas Presence. The Lord gave me just the right words, to speak into her heart. She gave her life to Christ and we hugged and cried. Praise God for Christmas Presence!

Then there was the Youth Group Christmas Presence. The Youth Group baked hundreds of cookies to be used as part of our outreach. It was so great to see the care and concern the youth put into making and baking the cookies. We went caroling at a local hospital and open air restaurants around town giving out cookies, tracts and information about our church services. The youth did such a wonderful job.

The Youth Group also packed backpacks with school supplies, food and toiletries to give to needy mountain children. We prayed over the backpacks and for each of the children that would receive them. We drove a little over an hour to meet the children and give out the 78 backpacks. As we got in the truck to head home, the youth said that we had to come back, and we started talking about what we could do for them next time.

Bill and I walked and walked and walked, around neighborhoods and along the beach (hey, somebody had to do it ;-) ) giving out information about our Christmas Eve service, Prayer Time and Bible Studies. We distributed over 500 hundred fliers throughout the area.

Another Christmas Presence occurred on the beach. We were walking down the beach with fliers in hand, when a young Thai woman said “Hello”. We stopped to speak with her, and she opened her heart saying that she was sad and feeling depressed. We spoke for quite a while and then we prayed with her, leaving her with a flier. I am still praying that she will come to church, because you see, she was depressed that she could not find a job and I found someone at church who thought they could hire her. I am hoping that as the Lord continues to work on her heart, she will find the courage to come to church. I believe she will be blessed in many ways.

On Christmas Eve we had a church service followed by a time of fellowship. The Pastor invited people to stand and say Merry Christmas in their native tongue. It turned out that we had people from 15 nations attending the church service. People stayed around for quite a while talking and munching on cake. Bill and I had gotten two cakes from a local bakery. One said Merry Christmas, and the other said Happy Birthday Jesus. It was such a blessing to fellowship with other believers from around the world.

Thank you Jesus. . .for Your Christmas Presence. I look forward to seeing them throughout the year!

Praise God and thank You Jesus!

“The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"—which means, "God with us." Matthew 1:23

“Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name;
make known among the nations what he has done.
Sing to him, sing praise to him;
tell of all his wonderful acts.
Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice.
Look to the LORD and his strength;
seek his face always.”
Psalm 105

By April