Tuesday, December 30, 2008
But even still, in my personal devotions I've always wanted to read the Bible the whole way through. Every January I would start off in Genesis - never mind the fact that by the time December rolled around I was only in Isaiah or Jeremiah.
So January of 2007 I decided to (once again!) read through the Bible and started off in Genesis, like I usually do. Only this time, I continued on in January of 2008! Now as we approach January of 2009, I am happy to report that I am in the book of Acts - chapter 14. My goal is to be finished by April. :)
It has always been easy for me to get caught up on one or two verses and spend a big chunk of time on them. It's been said before: "it's a marathon, not a sprint!" and I'm applying that to my Bible reading:). There are too many gems and diamonds in the Word of God, and I don't want to miss them!
A new year is always a time of goal-setting and resolutions. My pastor preached an amazing message on Sunday night (Monday morning my time - thank you internet!). I've probably heard this message a half dozen times over the course of 11 years, and yet this is the first time I'm actually applying it. He calls it "year-end inventory." Since I didn't really set any goals for this year outside of this missions trip to Thailand, I really don't have anything to inventory from this last year. But this new year - what an opportunity!
Here in Thailand, it's already New Year's Eve. I'm really excited about 2009 and all that the Lord is going to do!
Happy New Year!!!
So in an all-out effort to ditch the itch, I am turning to you guys. What do you do to prevent bites or scratching?
Something has to give. And I'm trying to forget the fact that mosquitoes carry dengue fever.
Soooo, any ideas?
Saturday, December 27, 2008
On Tuesday afternoon I was cleaning my turtle's tank when Sharon walked by with the Lange children. After exchanging a few pleasantries, Jon asked me, "So, Anne, where is your turtle?" I glanced up from cleaning the turtle tank and said, "Jon, he's right..... oh no!!!! Where did he go?" Here, my rather determined turtle decided he would rather be smashed to smithereens than kept alive in the tank, so he took off running for the street. Again, the neighbors were completely amused by our shouts and rightly so. My turtle dashed for the street (and believe me, turtles dash!), Sharon stopped traffic, I tried to run out the gate after the turtle, realized the gate was locked, and quick darted out the Gaudets' gate, all the while my turtle is running for the road. The poor driver of the truck was looking so confused at what the farangs were doing. I'm glad to say I reached the turtle before the wheels did!
The next amusing moment came on Christmas Day....and it involves that little rodent that is pictured in the post below. As I already mentioned, our door was wide open so when I went out to check on the grill, I was pretty surprised by the sight of the rat just sitting there. Of course I did what most girls do and started to shriek:). This time the shopkeepers across the street and the food vendors down the street all looked our direction with much curiosity. Thankfully the rat had more sense than we did and ran off for the sewer!
I suppose today's escapade wasn't really seen by the neighbors, but I'm throwing it in there for good measure. Carolyn and I were sitting in the living room chatting when we suddenly heard a loud popping sound. As we looked around, Carolyn said, "something must have backfired." I looked at her incredulously and said, "from our kitchen?" We ran to the kitchen and smelled the worst burning smell. Here Carolyn had some eggs in a pot boiling....and, well, boil they did! The popping sound was three eggs exploding in the kitchen, leaving behind a rather charred pot with egg whites and yolks decorating our floor and wall. We took the burnt pot outside where I believe it is still residing. Who knows, maybe the rat will eat it:).
They say laughter is the best medicine, so our neighbors must be pretty healthy:).
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Those would be fried grasshoppers.... I wasn't here when this was brought out; someone else had my camera:).
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Lest I be construed as a kill-joy, I definitely am not. Let's just say I needed this. I tend to get caught up in all the "hustle and bustle" of Christmas at home. But it's been very refreshing to have no plans for this entire month; well, no plans outside of the normal plans:). Our plans for tomorrow are very simple ~ a picnic-style lunch with our team members.
But the most important plan I have for tomorrow is to reflect on the birth of Christ - my precious Lord and Saviour. I know He was not born on December 25th, but this is the day we set aside to celebrate His birth. My mom used to make a "Happy Birthday Jesus" cake and that is the true meaning for tomorrow.
So I wish all of my dear blog readers a hearty and merry Christmas. Wherever you may find yourself tomorrow, be reminded that the birth of Christ truly is the reason for the season!
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
I'm going to add my own little works-for-me tip because it's so fresh on my mind... and on my hands! I decided to make chocolate-covered pretzels tonight - my first time ever. So I wasn't exactly up-to-date as to how to do it, and the first little try of melting chocolate in the microwave brought about a little, um, smoky smell that soon cleared out of the house:). But I soon got the hang of it. One reason why is because I added milk to the chocolate that was melting and it turned out marvellously!
A second tip I have involves pulling the chocolate-covered pretzel out of the pot. My roommate brought with her "cheater chopsticks" ... which is good for me because I still haven't figured out how to use real chopsticks. It worked so well and was terribly easy:).
Monday, December 15, 2008
We were very blessed to have all sorts of decorations already here at the house - left over from previous girls who came to work with the missionaries. So, using what we had, we managed to decorate our house in two hours! I've never been able to do that before:).
Anyway, welcome to my humble home in Thailand. Come in, make yourself at home, and kick your flip flops off at the door....:)
An overview of our downstairs.... we even found an appropriate tablecloth:).
While not the best picture, this certainly lights up our evenings. I guess it's nostalgia, but I love to sit in the living room and just look at the lights:).
The birth of Christ isn't celebrated by many in Thailand...of course the commercial aspect of it all is. Just one more reminder to me as to why I am on the mission field!
Well, I'm off to go help decorate the missionaries' house:).
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Chorus: Channels only, blessed Master,
The challenge in the verse was so clear: emptied that Thou shouldest fill me. Empty of what? Pride. Dreams. Self-preservation. Bitterness. Selfishness. Vain pursuits. Laziness. Hopes. Anger. Expectations. The list goes on and on.
I can never be filled until I am first emptied. It's like Elisha and the widow woman. He told her to borrow empty vessels (2 Kings 4:3) so he could fill them with oil. What would have happened if the widow woman brought full vessels? Talk about unusable.
And so the challenge resounds in my heart tonight. Before He can flow through me and use me every day and every hour, I must first be empty.
Friday, December 12, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
This morning Theresa's son, Jon, came along with us. He's come before, but normally uses his little scooter. This time the scooter was deemed unusable - it kinda helps to be able to turn it! - so Jon walked instead. We tend to walk a little fast, so Jon had to do this skip/hop/jog thing to keep up... personally I think he was enjoying having all those options:).
As we neared the development, Jon suddenly fell flat down. After checking for blood (nothing!) and bruises (none!), Jon bounced back up and we continued on. Later in the walk it happened again, and as Theresa helped him up, she was explaining why he needs to watch where he was going. Whether she knowingly did it or not, she managed to work a spiritual principle into the conversation:
"We need to watch out for the rough spots and take heed lest we fall."
Because I just had the concept visually demonstrated in front of me, I had a pretty good idea what 1 Corinthians 10:12 was talking about. Jon falling down brought tears both times. He was so sure that he had really hurt himself, and sniffled his way down the road with us.
I thought about how I fall in my spiritual walk; how I miss the rough spots for a myriad of reasons. When I fall, I sometimes wonder how it happened. The Lord tenderly picks me back up, encourages me with His Word, and reminds me to "take heed" and learn from the fall.
I'm so glad I got up for a walk this morning... sometimes the Lord uses everyday occurrences to teach me!
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Some of the current team members... we were having a good time, as evidenced by the smiles on our faces:).
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
So even though I am not home, I still had a glimpse of home.... thanks Nina!!!
Monday, December 8, 2008
The other evening I went over to the Langes' house to borrow a movie. Both Jeff and Theresa were busy at the moment, so I spent a couple of minutes playing with their son. As we were playing, I asked Theresa if I could borrow "Over The Hedge." Jon instantly dropped the ball and said, "No!" He then backpedaled and said, "Well, I mean you can watch it here, but I really don't want you to take it home." Apparently he and the movie were really good buddies, but eventually Mom and Dad won and I had the movie in hand.
Just before I left, I turned to Jon and said, "Thanks, Jon, for being so willing and letting me borrow the movie." As he touched the DVD case, he looked me straight in the eye and said, "But I'm not willing." At that point, Sharon and I lost it and had a really good laugh over that:). What was really funny was the next morning when we were walking, Jon was telling me about this book he had on veterinarians and said, "You can borrow that if you want to." Oh wow, thanks:).
Later I got to thinking about the incident and realized that while I might have thought that in my mind ("hey! I'm not willing!"), I would have never said it. Jon just blurted it out, but at least he was honest. In my opinion, it's worse to think it in my mind and yet be all "showy" on the outside and pretend everything is alright when it's not.
Just for the record, I returned the movie to the owner the next morning...and I got to read the veterinarian book! All is right in my world:).
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Right in the center of Future is this wide open space that is used for, well, everything. We've seen carnivals, cake displays, dances, concerts, and workshops take place here. So it really wasn't any surprise to see the center of Future being used today. What did surprise me was the amount of people that showed up to see their little kids perform.
Friday, December 5, 2008
I sure hope this is a blessing to someone:).
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
"As we have a high old time this Christmas, may we who know Christ hear the cry of the damned as they hurtle headlong into the Christless night without ever a chance. May we be moved with compassion as our Lord was. May we shed tears of repentance for these we have failed to bring out of darkness. Beyond the smiling scenes of Bethlehem may we see the crushing agony of Golgotha. May God give us a new vision of His will concerning the lost and our responsibility."
So there you have it! A quick, easy, workable tip:).
But don't come to me if you want tips on keeping turtles alive.... I'm not the "go-to" person for that, as evidenced by the lack of one turtle in the aquarium this morning!
Monday, December 1, 2008
Venus, Jupiter and the moon winked at me Monday night in Thailand.... I love when the Lord does stuff like that and moves planets and stars into place!
But I'm sorry for you folks in the States:
Unfortunately, because North Americans are on the other side of the equator, they'll view the phenomenon upside down — as a mono-browed frown over a pair of eyes.
It was still pretty neat to see!