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

Daily Bible Verse

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Casting Our Nets. . .

The other day Bill and I went to look at a possible house to move too, as we have outgrown our house. Well, our Youth Group and Friday night Bible Study have outgrown our home, to be perfectly honest. So, we have been looking for a house with a large living room for gatherings and a large yard for Youth Group games. The house that we looked at is on the other side of town, about 15 minutes away from our current location, and the rent is really inexpensive. . .

When we got to the house, we peered at the yard and the outside of the house through the 6 foot high wrought iron gate and over the cement block walls that surrounded the house. The yard was overgrown but definitely had potential for all kinds of games, nothing that a few hours (okay, maybe more than a few) spent mowing, pulling weeds and planting grass seed wouldn’t fix. The house also needed a little loving care, and a couple of gallons of paint. We are supposed to see the inside the house tomorrow or Sunday. I’ll keep you posted as to whether this is the answer to our prayers for a larger space or not.

After looking at the outside of the house we decided to grab a quick lunch, as I had a friend coming over soon, and then we had other people stopping by right after that. So Bill drove toward the beach in this part of town that we are not familiar with, and we found a cute little outside restaurant. We got off of our motor scooter, but were not sure if they were open or not, as we did not see any customers. The staff caught sight of us, and came running saying “We are open! Two for lunch? This way please.” The restaurant was right up against the beach, so we sat at a table overlooking the beach and gazed out over the Gulf of Thailand during lunch.

As we looked out over what looked like the endless water of the Gulf, we noticed a Thai man walking across the sand toward the water. He had a blue net over his right shoulder, and instead of stopping at the water’s edge he just continued to walk into the water. He not only got his feet wet, he walked in until the water was up to or just above his waist. We watched as he very slowly walked in one direction, parallel to the beach for 5 to 10 minutes. His head was tilted down as he intently stared into the depths of the water. Evidently he was looking for fish, or something in the water that would indicate to him that he should throw his net out into the water.

After nearly 10 minutes, he slowly turned around and started walking in the opposite direction, still trying to discern when he should cast his net. Another 10 minutes went by and again he turned around and headed back in the direction he had started in. Suddenly his steps slowed, and then he stopped. He slowly dropped his net down his arm and lowered it into the water to get it wet, then he lifted it from the water and cast it out in front of him. Standing motionless he stood and waited. Was he praying? Then he slowly gathered his net to himself. It was empty.

The man did not appear to be discouraged; he simply tossed his net over his shoulder and continued the process of slowly walking back and forth parallel to the beach. A while later he again cast his net.

As I watched this man during our time at the restaurant, I felt the Lord place on my heart this thought. As Christians, sometimes we get discouraged when we cast our nets. . .aka, tell people about Jesus, and then do not see the fruit of people giving their lives to Jesus. However, our job is to keep our eyes on Jesus, to praise and worship Him, and to listen to the Holy Spirit as to when and how we should ‘cast our nets’. When we come before the Lord in Heaven, He will not be asking us one by one to show our spreadsheets showing the number of people that came to know Jesus because of us. We are to act as directional signs, always pointing to the Lord. (We should never be pointing at ourselves, which we inadvertently. . . well maybe not so inadvertently when we let the sin of pride take over, do at times.)

Some of us get so excited about telling people about Jesus that we just keep throwing our nets and throwing our nets, oblivious to the timing of the Lord. In our enthusiasm we may actually alienate people rather than draw them to Jesus. Instead, like the fisherman we saw, and like the fishermen that Jesus spoke to, we should look for the fish that God puts before us, and throw our nets in His timing.

"When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, "Now go out where it is deeper and let down your nets, and you will catch many fish." "Master," Simon replied, "we worked hard all last night and didn't catch a thing. But if you say so, we'll try again." And this time their nets were so full they began to tear! A shout for help brought their partners in the other boat, and soon both boats were filled with fish and on the verge of sinking. When Simon Peter realized what had happened, he fell to his knees before Jesus and said, "Oh, Lord, please leave me--I'm too much of a sinner to be around you." For he was awestruck by the size of their catch, as were the others with him. His partners, James and John, the sons of Zebedee, were also amazed. Jesus replied to Simon, "Don't be afraid! From now on you'll be fishing for people!" And as soon as they landed, they left everything and followed Jesus." Luke 5:4-11 NLT

By April

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Has It Really Been a Year. . .

Has it really been a year since Bill and I left America and moved to Hua Hin, Thailand as missionaries? August 30th was our 1st anniversary of being in Thailand.

Wow, in some ways it seems like we have been here for years. We have made wonderful friends; the Lord has worked through us and used our home in a mighty way, as only He can. At other times it seems like the year whizzed by, and we can hardly believe that a year is up already.

The blessings over the year have come in the form of starting a weekly:

Ladies Bible Study -

Men’s Outreach Project

Men’s Bible Study

Day of Prayer

Youth Group – Games, Bible Study, Dinner & Fellowship

As well as, moving the Friday night Dinner and Bible Study to our home; and my taking over all of the church accounting; and Bill produces a weekly church bulletin and prints Our Daily Bread in English and in Thai for those attending Sunday services. We have added a prayer box at church for those that do not wish to lift up their prayer concerns during the service. We pray over all of the prayer requests each day of the week.

We praise God for faithful Bible Study participants that come eager to learn about Jesus; share in praying for each other and share in giving praise to the Lord.

We praise God for youth that show up for Youth Group half an hour early with grins from ear to ear, they are so happy to be here. They don’t let flat tires, or rain drenched days keep them away, and they thank us profusely for letting them come when they leave. They are joyful and thankful. Praise God!

We have added a Prayer Box and Prayer Pops program for the youth. When the youth leave a prayer request in the Prayer Box, they get to take a Prayer Pop (a tootsie pop type lollypop). It has been such a blessing to hear the hearts of the youth. They confess weaknesses and ask for strength in following the Lord, and they lift up the needs of others. We lift up these prayer concerns to the Lord every day.

Of course there have been some difficult times, but as Jesus reminds me during those times of trial “Keep your eyes on Me!”

As we continue to live and minister here in Thailand, we pray that when people see us – they will see God; and when they hear us - they will hear God. Every day we will seek to see where the Holy Spirit is leading us; seek to follow Him in all we do; and pray that we reflect Jesus everywhere we go.

A beautiful friend brought us beautiful roses to commemorate our 1st anniversary of being in Thailand. What a blessing! Thank you, Moni!

By April