Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Thank You Senator.

Are there any Pennsylvanians surprised by this piece of news?

Veteran Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter switched from the Republican to the Democratic Party on Tuesday, saying he has found himself increasingly "at odds with the Republican philosophy." The switch puts Senate Democrats one vote shy of a filibuster-proof majority of 60 seats. They can reach the 60-seat mark if Al Franken holds his current lead in the disputed Minnesota Senate race.

I must say I'm not shocked by Sen. Specter switching parties. At all. I think Pat Toomey was absolutely right when he said:

Senator Specter’s decision is in keeping with his record. He is more at home in the Democratic Party than the Republican Party. That has been true for decades, not just true today.

Just another shining moment for Pennsylvania... Praise the Lord our confidence is not resting in men!!!!


Have you ever had a day when nothing in particular was going wrong but it just seemed as if the day was forever long? Tuesday was such a day for me. There were no problems with the computers and work was getting done (I insert that for the missionary's benefit:D), but at 3:15ish something snapped. To quote my housemate, "It feels like I'm slogging through mud!" Pookie chatted me (yes, she was sitting two desks away and chatted me... we all normally have earphones in, so it's easier to chat;). Anyway, she asked me when I was going to pick up my camera and I looked over at her and said, "now!" Carolyn's ears perked up at that, because she was "slogging through mud" too:).

We got to the camera store and decided to sit down since there was another customer there. Waiting in a store is so much more fun with friends, wouldn't you agree? Carolyn, Pookie, and I chit-chatted and laughed, all the while wondering where the receptionist was. An employee poked his head around the corner twice -- by this time a third customer was waiting -- and then ducked back behind the wall. After sitting there for 20 minutes, Pookie walked to the back room and asked the employee for a little, you know, service or something. He promptly informed Pookie that the receptionist was out to lunch (at 3:45???) and would return in 15 minutes.

I betcha he would've never said anything to us if Pookie hadn't asked... gotta love that thinking! "It's not my job, so I'll just wait for the receptionist to come back and deal with the customers." :D

Rather than wait at the camera store, we decided Auntie Anne's Pretzels would be a better place to wait and we would get a pretzel out of the deal.

Ironically enough, we ended up waiting 15 minutes for our pretzels.

Ahh, God has a sense of humor:).

Sunday, April 26, 2009

This And That.

I was routinely looking at Sitemeter this morning when I noticed someone came here by way of Sarah!!! Sarah has been such a dear, dear friend to me and between Sarah, Emily, and I, we've had some pretty fantastic times together, including coming up with a new holiday:).

Not only that, Sarah has been the most faithful person in writing to me while I've been in Thailand. I hang up each and every card I receive (by the way Jackie, thanks for your card last week!) and everywhere I look is the familiar signature of "Sarah Jean" :). So go check out Sarah's blog!


And in completely unrelated news, I started reading this book last night and just could not put it down. So far it's been a challenge to me, and reminds me a lot of a course my pastor taught in Bible Institute.

Well, it's time to go to prayer meeting before we start a brand-new week in the office!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Turkey Day Football.

I clicked on to CNN this morning and was interested to see a story on football with this opening line: It's been dubbed the No. 1 high school rivalry in the United States.

Of course I know what they're talking about because you can't live in the Lehigh Valley without knowing that Thanksgiving Day in my area means rival high schools play a special football game. I just didn't realize that P-burg and Easton were #1 high school rivals in the US.

The things I learn by reading the news:).

Monday, April 20, 2009

Bloggy Friends.

I started reading blogs long before I ever became a blogger myself, and although the list has fluctuated over the years, I probably have about 75 blogs I check in Google Reader.

[A quick side note: Google Reader is great! It's very easy to add blog subscriptions and that eliminates the need for me to click through all 75 blogs I read every. single. day. Try it! Ok, this public service announcement is now over.]

One of the blogs I began to read was one written by a sweet girl around my age. I honestly don't remember how I found her (or perhaps she found me!), but I soon followed along with her blog and greatly enjoyed reading it. She eventually shut down her blog, but not before we exchanged e-mail addresses:).

We started e-mailing and even found each other on Facebook. The funny thing is, she doesn't live in the States, so it would seem to be almost an impossibility for us to ever meet. Even if we don't ever meet, I am so thankful for the friends that the Lord has brought into my life.

And I have a sweet e-mail in my inbox that just showed up this evening from my friend "J" to prove it!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Microphones - Gotta Love 'Em.

It's now a little after 11 PM and the party across the little street is going strong. As in, the music is still being played and the little mom and pop shop is still open. The thing that is cracking me up (and therefore I'm going to share with you!) is the fact that they are using a microphone even though seven people are at this shindig. Yup, I counted the people gathered around.


Now, I probably need to explain this little fact: Thai people love microphones. At any given moment, while walking through the mall, someone invariably is on a microphone somewhere within the 5-story building. Never mind the fact that you would be able to hear (quite clearly, I might add) without the aid of the microphone. Or the fact that a lot of times two people will each be talking to each other using a microphone.

So I suppose that's why I'm not surprised they are using a microphone across the street to celebrate Thai New Year. I should count my blessings, right?

At least they can sing:).

Songkran in Bangkok... Or Lack Thereof.

For those of you who have been wondering about Songkran and all the political protesting that's been going on in Bangkok, here's an article I found today and thought it was interesting enough to share:

The streets of downtown Bangkok remained untypically dry on Monday, with few people venturing out to splash water on unwary passers-by, with all official Songkran festivities cancelled and the city under emergency law.

The traditional convoys of pickups and trucks laden with drums of water and people soaking each other and pedestrians were conspicuously absent from the city's roads.

Even the tourist centre of Khao San road, usually the scene of total water mayhem during the Thai New Year celebrations, was relatively quiet.

Visitors were wandering through the area in the morning with water guns and being splashed by people on the pavement, but only a shadow of the crowds of previous years.

The Songkran celebration there was put to an end at 2pm, when the chairman of vendors at Khao San road told visitors through loud speakers to return to their homes or hotels because of the political unrest on the streets.

The government had for weeks considered banning the sale of alcohol over the holiday period to combat the annual road toll, but alarmed revellers had not expected the city to be 'dry' in this fashion.

The Interior Ministry reported there were 1,605 traffic accidents throughout the
country in the first three of the ''seven most dangerous days'' of the Songkran

A total of 139 people had died on the roads and 1,718 were injured in the accidents.

The chief of the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department, Anucha Mokhaves, there were 675 road accidents on Sunday, with 44 deaths and 726 people injured.

The accidents were mostly caused by drink driving and speeding, he said.

Safety truly is of the Lord!

Monday, April 13, 2009


I'm in a slump.

A blogging slump, that is.

I've been blogging for about four years now, and while I don't feel like I need to make apologies for lack of posting, I do feel as if I'm doing a poor job of communicating. That's almost a joke because there are so many communication methods out there.

E-mail. IM. Hi5. Facebook. MySpace. Blogging. Twitter. And so much more.

I recently picked up a pen and paper and wrote some notes to people back home. One of the team members was leaving to head back to Texas, so I gave her money to mail a package to Pennsylvania. As I wrote the notes, I thought about how half of the people I was writing to I could actually "instantly" communicate with, rather than wait a week for the notes to even reach them.

Several months ago, a bizarre and strange thing happened on my IM account (with MSN) where all my contacts showed up twice so I had 140 contacts. But the weird thing was it only showed up like that on the computer at work, not on the computer at home. So in a moment of pure stupidity :), I went through the contact list at work and deleted all the "extra" accounts. I was so happy to get my contact list back to normal, but that happiness lasted for approximately 4 hours until I got on the home computer and signed in to MSN IM. Silly me, most of my contacts were deleted, leaving me with seven (7) contacts. I had to wait until people chatted me so I could add them back into my contacts. This actually turned out to be a good thing, because my list of 70 contacts dropped down to 36. And in reality, I probably only chat with about 22 of those contacts now.

A couple of weeks ago, I did the same thing with Facebook. I was at about 200 friends, but realized that I didn't really stay in touch with all 200 of them. I decided to trim down the friends list and got it to 95. Just today, someone sent a friend request and I agreed. Out of 105 people, one person re-sent a friend request. Now I do not mean to say that the 104 other people don't want to keep in touch. It just seems to me that it is overkill - too MUCH. We've become so familiarized with one another through social networking that I think we often forget to actually communicate.

So that's what I've been pondering recently. All this communication at my fingertips, and yet I still feel like I'm doing a poor job at, well, communicating. Any thoughts on the matter?

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Happy New Year The Thai Way: Songkran!

A hot topic around here recently has been the Thai New Year festival - Songkran, especially the throw-water-on-other-people part! Normally April is the hottest time of the year in Thailand, so water would feel really good, I'm sure. This year has many of the Thai people surprised because it's not hot. We're not complaining over the weather by any stretch of imagination because it has been very pleasant. Of course, by pleasant I mean:

Location:Hua Hin
Distance:93 mi from Bangkok
Temperature:86 °F
Comfort level:93 °F
Dew point:73 °F
Barometer:29.74 "Hg
Wind:5 mph from 110°

You all have the comfort level of 93 °F, don't you? :D

Even though April hasn't been as hot as we expected, the Thai people are still steaming ahead with preparations for Songkran, especially that whole throw-water-on-other-people part. So we decided to arm ourselves and went out and bought little squirt guns.

Yes we know people will have 50-gallon buckets filled with water. We also know that super-soakers will be used. And I think I've heard of a water hose or two being used during this festival. So a little squirt gun should do the trick, don't ya think?!? :)

In addition to the whole throw-water-on-other-people thing, I understand Bangkok -- a city of 13 million people -- will be empty for several days. Most people return to the northern provinces to visit their families during this time of the year, so I'm sure Bangkok is going to look like a ghost town, which would be quite a feat I assure you!

I suppose Pookie was thinking along these lines this evening after our Bible study and meal. She is going to visit her family in a province about two hours away and so will miss the whole throw-water-on-other-people thing around here. As I finished cleaning the dishes, Pookie walked over to the kitchen in the Langes' house. Not thinking anything of it, I began to wipe down the counter. Suddenly I heard Pookie shout, "SONGKRAN!!!!" as she sprayed me with water.

Not once.

Not twice.

THREE times!

She then looked penitent and said, "I'm sorry; I was wrong! Please forgive me!!!"

So now I just have to decide whether to put water in her bed or on her chair. Decisions, decisions!


Join in with us on the other side of the world.... throwing water is just plain fun!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


I don't believe I've ever introduced you all to our turtle named Mr. Turtle <--- creative, I know:).

Mr. Turtle was acquired at the beginning of October and used to have a friend in the tank with him, but that friend decided life was too much for him and croaked. We think he had pneumonia, which turtles are apparently susceptible to getting. Yeah, I didn't know that either until I actually researched it. That's the first time I've ever put "turtle ailments" into a search engine!!
While his friend was living, Mr. Turtle was very shy and just simply would not eat. I've never heard of a turtle starving itself, but ours certainly did for about two months. Then suddenly, he began eating one day. Isn't that strange?!? He has now doubled in size and is quite happy. He has provided us with endless amusement as he gets super-excited whenever anyone walks by his tank. He just thinks we're going to feed him all the time now:).
Now tell me if this little guy is not the cutest dog you've ever seen:

Unfortunately, he is not ours:(. We just borrow him to play with and have a good time. His name is Focus and he gets really excited whenever he sees a hand out. That means he's going to have a good time playing with that hand! He does have sharp teeth, but I think half of the fun for him is catching the hand:).
Today his owner came to our office for some reason and she didn't even realize that Focus followed her down the street! He walked right into our office as if he owned the place and proceeded to have a good time entertaining everyone:).
Berm made the mistake (?) of feeding Focus something, so after that Focus stayed by Berm's side very diligently:). We just love this little dog!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

My Master.

Sundays are often a busy day around here, especially since we live about 40 kilometers away from church (that's about 25 miles). Today we were only home for about 30 minutes, so most of the day was spent in church services. We finally came home this evening, and so I got on the computer in preparation for listening to my church's morning service. I turned on some music and was zipping through my e-mail and Google Reader when I heard this song. This is one of my favorite songs as it gets me thinking every time about my relationship with the Lord.

Jesus walked this path before me
Void of friend with comforts few.
If I follow in His footsteps
I must know his heartaches too
He was mocked and scorned, rejected,
Left to die upon a tree.
Am I greater than my Master,
He who gave His life for me?

Shall I stay and dwell with Jesus
Though all others turn aside.
He has giv’n to me His promise,
In His shadow I’ll abide.
Help me stay upon the altar,
A living sacrifice I’ll be.
Am I greater than my Master,
He who died on Calvary?

Though the way be straight and narrow
Though I’m weary, bruised, and torn.
I must press forever onward
‘Til that glorious joyful morn.
When I see my risen Saviour
Touch the wounds He bore for me.
Am I greater than my Master,
He whose blood bought victory?

I shall see my risen Saviour,
Touch the wounds he bore for me!
Am I greater than my Master
He whose blood bought victory?

Good words to think on as I end a really good day...

Friday, April 3, 2009

Too Blessed.

I'm Too Blessed To Be Stressed,
Too Anointed To Be Disappointed

I refuse to be discouraged,
To be sad or to cry.
I refuse to be downhearted
And here's the reason why:

I have a God who is almighty;
Who is sovereign and supreme;
I have a God who loves me,
And I am on His team.

He is all wise and powerful;
Jesus is His Name;
Though everything else is changeable,
My God remains the same.

I refuse to be defeated!
My eyes are on my GOD!
He has promised to be with me,
As through this life I trod.

I am looking past my circumstances,
To Heaven's throne above.
My prayers have reached the heart of God.
I am resting in His Love.

I give thanks to Him in everything.
My eyes are on His face.
The battle is His; the victory is mine;
He will help me win the race!


Author Unknown

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Visa Run.

"Be ready to leave either Friday, Saturday, or Monday."

Being duly warned, we weren't exactly surprised when we had a staff meeting last Thursday night and decided to leave for the Thai/Burmese border on Friday at noon. Carolyn and I threw our stuff into suitcases, made sure our work was up-to-date in the office and patiently sat around Friday morning at 11:20 ~ "ready." The minutes ticked by as we waited for our Thai co-worker to get something at the mall that needed to go with us on our trip. We finally pulled away from our little soi at 2:10, which wasn't a problem because we were ready!

About two hours north of us is another missionary who used to live in Bangkok. This missionary's daughter needed to renew her visa, so we stopped outside Big C (the equivalent would be like a K-Mart/Wal-Mart) to pick Sarah up and continued our way west. By the time we completed our journey, it was dark and we were pretty tired:).

Sarah needed to get back home asap, so early, early, early (did I mention early???) Saturday morning, we got up and headed to the border. It didn't open up until 6:30 so we meandered a bit, just biding our time.
Can you tell it was early? :D
This is on the bridge between the two countries.

One of the (many!) things I love about Thailand: fresh fruit!!! We snagged some bananas, oranges, and papaya for us to munch on at the house during our trip.

Who would have thought Popeye would be hanging out in this border town? :D

This is a fairly typical sight. In fact, we've seen four people on motorcycles with people holding onto bags of groceries or boxes with computer equipment in them. Is now a good time to mention we took a motorcycle home the other evening? :)

Welcome to our shower! This is a dipper shower, although there was a shower nozzle on the wall that shot out coooold water. Take your pick;).

This is at the start of our trip going home. The town we were in is located on the other side of a mountain, so the first hour is spent just getting back to the main road! 18-wheelers will pass other 18-wheelers on these curvy, twisty mountainous roads, so the prayer for safety was never far from our lips!

The beautiful mountains of Thailand (with telephone wires thrown in there for good measure!). A picture just doesn't do it justice, so take my word for it;).
All in all, it was a great trip. Because we were there for 5 days, we were able to see more things than we've seen on our previous trips. We didn't do anything touristy (trust me, crossing the border to renew a visa is not my idea of fun), but the Lord did open our eyes to more needs people-wise and expanded our vision for souls!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Wandering In To Say Hi. [*HI*]


I'm still alive (which is a good thing because how weird would that be having a dead person typing on this blog??? Strange, I know.)

Anyway, we had a whirlwind of a trip to the border and came back today to be hit with a mega-load of problems, thankyouverymuch,devil.

With that said, I think I'm going to bed. What a day!

Btw, I did get a new pair of brown Hush Puppies tonight, after wearing my Wal*Mart special brown sandals for six years. Shoes are so refreshing and fun to shop for, don't you agree?