“We talk of the Second Coming; half of the world has never heard of the first” – Oswald J. Smith

Ouch. If that doesn’t step on our toes and create an unsettled feeling in our hearts, then Father help us all !

I came across this quote the other day. My heart sunk and my mind went wild.

I’ll be honest, I’m ashamed. Ashamed at how many so called Christians are OK with not telling others of that first coming of Christ. Instead, so many choose to stay silent and keep it to themselves. Were we not once one of those who didn’t know about His first coming? And someone out of the kindness of their hearts and love for the Father shared with us? Once we were in darkness, but now we have seen the light and heard the good news!

However, we are called to more than that. One doesn’t burn a fire and build a towering wall over it. To hide the flame and keep in the heat. No! Never. A fire is started, and it gives off warmth and a great light. This light will be seen from a great distance. Like a city on a hill.

Why do we want to keep it to ourselves? Have we not truly grasped the HUGE debt that our Savior paid for us? He knew absolutely NO sin. But stood in the gap as the perfect, spotless Lamb and took on our sins. Paid in full. Not just for me and you. But for them as well.

While we keep talking about that Second Coming, and are in our own little worlds, the person next door, the child on the street corner, the man in prison, the prostitute on the other side of the world, the widow in the most remote village is dying. Not only physically but more importantly spiritually. And time is ticking.

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.

How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in Hm of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent?

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As it is written: How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news.

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Heaven, Sweet Home Above

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My thoughts of late have been on Heaven above
Where we’ll forever be worshipping our God of love
With every tribe and nation, we’ll lift up our praise
To the one and true, Ancient of Days

We’ll be reunited with loved ones who’ve gone on before
And goodbyes will be said no more
Our eyes will see beauty beyond imagination
That all points to Him, who is the Master of Creation

And face to face, our Jesus we’ll meet
Oh how I can hardly wait to worship at His feet
I imagine Jesus anxiously waiting to call us home
To tell us “Child, you must no more roam”

If you’re reading this, you’ve not reached the heavenly place
There are still plans He wants you to embrace
Take every chance and opportunity He sends your way
And remember it’s Jesus you ought to portray

I’m homesick for a place I’ve never been
But I will keep running, Christ within,
In such a way to reach the final goal
And forever spend my days with Him who made me whole

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Sovereign Over Us

There’s this song that I’ve been recently introduced to. And it has been playing on repeat in my heart, mind and my iPod. I’ve been claiming it in my life and proclaiming that God is “Sovereign Over Us”.

“There is strength within the sorrow, There is beauty in our tears
You meet us in our mourning, With a love that casts out fear
You are working in our waiting, Sanctifying us
When beyond our understanding, You’re teaching us to trust”*

He’s been teaching me to trust. And to not lean on my own understanding.

About two weeks ago, myself and my team took a trip to southern Thailand to a city called Hat Yai. The Father wanted us to go to this city of unrest and danger. Where there are so many hurting and lost people who don’t know Him. He wanted us to seek Him for answers for our future and if He wanted us to move there. So many things didn’t make sense for me and my team. However, we knew the Father is all knowing and He would direct us. We were going to be the Light while we were there and worship Him with all we have. Trusting that He would come through and speak to us.

 

“Your plans are still to prosper, You have not forgotten us
You’re with us in the fire and the flood
Faithful forever, Perfect in love
You are sovereign over us”

There is so much I could say. So much I could tell you about how the Father worked in my life that week. But I might end up writing a book instead of a short blog post. There were a number of occurring events during our time in Hat Yai that really opened my eyes as well as the teams. After a week of seeing lives in bondage, experiencing bomb explosions, worshiping the Father, visiting local Universities, touring the city, prayer walking, enjoying beach & ocean =His beautiful creation, relating with my team, and experiencing His Spirit speaking to all of us, we were able to leave the week with faith and trust that He guided us and has given us direction.

“You are wisdom unimagined, Who could understand your ways
Reigning high above the heavens, Reaching down in endless grace
You’re the Lifter of the lowly, Compassionate and kind
You surround and You uphold me, Your promises are my delight”

His ways are way higher than mine. He’s been teaching me to not make mountains out of hills. To daily surrender my ways, deny myself and follow Him. Though it may be hard, it’s so rewarding to walk fully in Him and His Light.

“Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.” Hebrews 11:1

The Father told us it’s not our time just yet to move there. I am thankful for hearing from Him and His voice. However, Hat Yai will always hold a special place in my heart.

“Even what the enemy means for evil
You turn it for our good, You turn it for our good and for your glory
Even in the valley You are faithful
You’re working for our good, You’re working for our good and for your glory”

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Overlooking the city of Hat Yai.

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The location of the first explosion, in front of a 7-Eleven. My team and I were in a cafe about 50 yards from here when it happened.(Day 1)

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The day we left, the reconstructed 7-Eleven was ready for business once again. We were excited to be able to step into it!

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In the distance, we could see some ramifications of the largest explosion.

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The sunset on Beach Samila.

This beauty is created by the Lord Almighty who I am honored to serve.

Until next time.

 

*Sovereign Over Us by Aaron Keyes

At the beginning of the year, I spent 6 weeks living in an Ahka Village.

I had the privilege of living with one of the local families. They were such loving people

This was quite possibly one of the most stretching yet exciting times in my life.

I’m going to let the pictures do most of the talking. Because they can do way better than I can 🙂

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The scenery was absolutely gorgeous.

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^ After attempting to fry a fish over the fire, but losing him in the fire while not paying attention.

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 ^Friends and I after a day of hiking and fishing!

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^ Some of my family enjoying mookata. ( Thai style bbq)

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Teaching her to write 🙂

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^This girl brought such joy to my life!

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^ Traditional Ahka head attire

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^ Beautiful life

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^Triple Trouble!

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Kitchen area

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^ Where we prepared the food

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^Cooking done on an open fire!

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^One of the highlights of the day was the food truck!

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Playmates

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^I’m really not a giant! But this picture gives a clear idea of how the Father designs people so differently!

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^ My host mother weaving tall grasses for the chicken house roof.

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^Working on the chicken house

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^A pretty typical meal

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^My friends and I. I enjoyed trying on their traditional dress!

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^What a sweet woman.

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^This mother is my age and has 2 daughters; 3 years old and 5 months old. I enjoyed getting to know her.

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^And what a treat to have friends come visit my new home and “family”

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^Ah yes. Butchering a chicken.

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^More little friends.

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^This is Ama, my host mother. She is unable to read or write. This doesn’t make her feel bad.

But these hands of hers are able to do so much creating. Far more than I ever could.

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^The little children captured my heart!

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^Like mother like daughter.

New Journeys, No Stop Signs

A few days ago, I found myself riding on the back of a songthaew which is a pickup truck used as a taxi and a way of transportation for a lot of people. Two benches sit on the back of the truck where people are piled in to get from point A to B.

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We were on the way home from the airport. We had just dropped off and said goodbye to someone who had spent the last 8 – 9 months in Asia being the hands and feet of Jesus here. We had prayed over him before he went through his gate. Someone mentioned how God is the same in the States as He is in Asia. And how true this is! The Supremacy of God doesn’t depend on where we live. And they prayed that the fire and zeal the young man had would continue to grow when he arrived back to the States. 

So, as we head back home, I’m just taking in all the sights of the city and the people and the newness of it all. I suddenly saw a sign that caught my attention. 

It read Real Life Never Stops”

Isn’t that the truth?

I was just taken by surprise by the random sign. I didn’t get the chance to see what they were advertising or promoting. But I read it, my mind went back to our prayer minutes before and to a dozen other thoughts.

How many times do I put my life on hold? How often do I think tomorrow, I’ll do what I need to do.  Thinking, that once this or that  happens, and I’m at a certain place real life will occur and I’m going to do something big. Something good. Inspiring. Life-giving. Jesus honoring. Once I become who I wish to be or once I have a task checked off of my long list of things to do, my life can truly begin. Not true.

The truth is life never stops. Ever. The way I live my life today is how I live it tomorrow, and the next day.

Chapters of our lives will come and go. They begin and live out their season and even end. But our life as a book will never end until our last breath. When we are in transition, remember that season is also very important. We have no excuse to be doing nothing. We’ve been given a important and unique task from the Lord.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race of God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith” Hebrews 12:1-2

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Songbirds & Imitating

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There is a unique comparison between songbirds and humans.

During the early stages of life, a young child is dependent on their parents to teach them the necessities of life, one of them being how to speak. At first, a child just makes noises. They may think they are saying something, and they might be; in their own little minds. Yet it doesn’t make any sense to the average human. As the child continues to grow, it will learn more in detail the specifics of sounds and how they work together. This is learned by listening and imitating the adults in the child’s life.

As a young songbird, it begins to imitate vocal sounds of the adult birds during a very important growing and developing stage of life. It begins from scratch and really relies on the adult birds for somewhere to start. The first while it may sing an unstructured song, but slowly develops the capability of imitating the adult bird, and even sings a song of its own!

I very much long to be more like the songbird. Looking to my Father for example, so that I can imitate Him. So that I may walk in complete holiness with Him. To follow the very footsteps in which He has taken. To only trust His voice, so that I can learn as well, and grow. This is still always fresh for me. Even though I’ve been a believer for a while, I keep growing and am learning to keep listening.

“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” Ephesians 5:1-2

I’m excited to be on this journey of life. Mostly, excited that I am not alone. Ever. And I’m learning to sing.