Friday, October 31, 2014

Beauty of Nature

I know I go on about nature and post pictures of nature often.  I do because it is one of the main ways I connect with God.  When I am in nature, surrounded by nature, I feel closer to God, like He is walking with me.  I enjoy chatting with God as we walk, run, or sit together in His beautiful creation.

Here are a few pictures I took while wandering around Horizon Village in Chiang Mai.  (I highly recommend Horizon if you are going to Chiang Mai!)

Sunset over the canal

Sunset over the pond

Arch over a different pond

Looking up into a palm tree

Trees in front of our seminar building-
obviously not completely natural!  They grow naturally,
just formed by humans.

Some pretty red flowers


Fish gathering for food

Sunset another night

Lotus flower in the pond by our breakfast location

Growing in the trees

Camels having a fest

Sunrise from our balcony

New Experiences

Sometimes I get excited about new experiences.  Sometimes I do not.  yet, almost always, I look back on the experiences with fondness, glad that I tried.

Melissa and I took an overnight flight to a country neither of us had ever visited or, actually, even had the desire to visit.  Yet, here we are in Thailand.

We are here to study, fellowship, worship, make new friends, and even have some fun.  (It is still summer here, so today after we arrived, we enjoyed one of the pools!  Fun!)

Everything is new, sounds, tastes, sights, people, language, customs.  It has been a fun and challenging day.  Ia m glad to get to have this new experience with my friend!

We are praying the week will draw us closer to God and each other as well as to our new friends.  We are also praying the study will give us new vision and direction for ministry.

God is already at work.  Thankful.

(I wrote this post on October 21st when Melissa and I arrived in Thailand.  I didn't realize that it hadn't posted, so I am posting it now, 10 days later!)

Saturday, October 11, 2014

A Hundred Times

"And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life."  Matthew 19:29

When Jesus said this He was talking about the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on His glorious throne.  However, I would say that I have also experienced this in the here and now.

Yesterday was one of those times.

The gospel choir I joined six years ago, Anointed Gospel Choir (AGC), is preparing for a concert next week.  Yesterday during our rehearsal we didn't have time to go through all of the songs, so our director was taking requests.

There is a song in Japanese that I have not quite memorized so I requested it.  About halfway through the song, as the lyrics really started to sink in, my eyes started to overflow.  I did my best to mouth the words of it and the final two songs.

I thought I had pulled myself together.

At the end of rehearsal, I am usually asked to pray.  I thought I would be fine.  But, again, the tears started and I had a hard time speaking.

After choir there were lots of encouraging words and hugs, yes, hugs from my Japanese friends.  These ladies who have become dear friends, not to replace the friends I had in the US before coming, but to be added, shared my worry and hope.

Friday my dad started chemotherapy.  The song we were singing is: 希望の光 (The light of hope)
Being far away at a time like this is a challenge to the heart!  But, I was filled with hope as I sang the song and was reminded of the light of hope God has placed in my heart, and in my dad's heart.

My AGC friends stepped up and filled in the gaps.  Thank you, my dear friends.




Taken from 1 Corinthians 11:13 and Matthew 11:28

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

New Trust

This picture is actually from September!
Here it is, October 1!  From the comments of several friends on Facebook, I am not the only one surprised by how fast September passed.

Many new things are happening this month.  Some are good things, some are things I'd rather not have to experience, but through it all I know God will go with me and guide me and others involved.

I am grateful to have the peace of God, which passes understanding.  I know that through it all God will work and look forward to how He will be glorified and praised.

"Surely God is my salvation;
I will trust and not be afraid.
The Lord, the Lord, is my strength and my song;
He has become my salvation."
Isaiah 12:2

Because He has been faithful in the past, I know He will be faithful again.  I can trust Him because He knows the outcome.  He already has a plan.

I know this is pretty vague, but thank you for your prayers for all of the newness I will be experiencing this month.