Sunday, November 22, 2015


Some Sundays I have a really hard time remembering that it is Sunday. Today was one of those days. During my quiet time, I begged the Lord to give me that "joy" in serving Jesus. Admittedly, my joy was lacking the last day or so. What changed? Not God. No, it was definitely me that moved.

As we started our service, I sang the first hymn with one eye on the hymn book and one eye on two reluctantly-seated children. Going through the motions, you know? But then my glance fell upon the hymn on the opposite page and when Nat asked me for a favorite, I said "Once For All". 

As we sang, the words ministered to my heart:

Free from the law, O happy condition,
Jesus has bled and there is remission,
Cursed by the law and bruised by the fall,
Grace hath redeemed us once for all.

Once for all, O sinner, receive it,
Once for all, O brother, believe it;
Cling to the cross, the burden will fall,
Christ hath redeemed us once for all.

Now we are free, there’s no condemnation,
Jesus provides a perfect salvation.
“Come unto Me,” O hear His sweet call,
Come, and He saves us once for all.

“Children of God,” O glorious calling,
Surely His grace will keep us from falling;
Passing from death to life at His call;
Blessed salvation once for all.

After we finished singing this song, my mom chose "What A Friend We Have In Jesus" - a song very dear to my heart. The Lord was answering my prayer as my perspective slowly shifted from my bad attitude to what He has done for me! The things of this earth tend to fade away whenever I turn my gaze to Calvary. We finished our service out with a message on the grace of God and by the time it was over, the joy was back! Praise God. How good and patient He is with me.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Amazing Thailand!

Prior to getting married, I lived in Thailand for a year working with some missionaries. When I first returned to the States after that year, all I could talk about was Thailand. I didn't realize how much I was talking about Thailand until a family member said, "Umm, Thailand is all you ever talk about."


That first visit was a long time ago (over 8 years ago!) and since then I have come to love this country in a big way. From the distinct smell and humidity that engulfs you when you step out of the airport, to the cacophony of sounds coming from every direction, Thailand is like no other country I have visited.

Some of the ladies over at Baptist Missionary Women are sharing interesting tidbits about their countries, and so I thought I would jump in and share Thailand with you. After all, I couldn't stop talking about it before! ;-)

1.) The normal Thai greeting is the wai. My daughter does a much better job doing the wai than my son does!

2.) Iced drink shops are everywhere here! Coffee, bubble tea, smoothies... you name it and someone probably has a shop for it! My Thai tutor explained it's because it is so hot here that people feel cool and refreshed with an iced drink.That works for me!

~my kids love this part of the culture~

3.) Blonde-haired, little Americans are a magnet. I'm serious! I am stopped several times a week by someone asking if they can take a picture of my kids. Around here, my kids are constantly called dolls, particularly Ellie!

4.) You will see "Amazing Thailand" printed on many tourist items (hats, shirts, etc), and for good reason. This country has a rugged beauty. No, there are no snow-capped mountain tops, but there's plenty of breath-taking valleys and lush rice paddies. I especially love seeing a rice paddy with new shoots. So fresh and green!

~this rice is just about ready to be harvested~

~"the sleeping lady"~

~each evening brings a spectacular sunset~

5.) Who doesn't love Thai food?!? My favorite Thai dish is chicken fried rice with freshly-squeezed lime. Yum!

6.) On any given day in any given neighborhood, someone is driving around peddling their wares. The best I've ever seen was full-sized wardrobes on the back of a pick-up truck (who looks out their window and thinks, "Oh, look! They're selling wardrobes on that pickup truck! I've been meaning to buy one.") We also buy some of our vegetables from a lady hauling them around on her motorcycle cart. And then of course you can buy tarps, ladders, or brooms, depending on the day. :-)

7.) Speaking of motorcycles, that is a main method of transportation for many people... and things. I am always impressed at the creativity of Thai people and how they can fit quite a bit on a motorcycle.

8.) In the market or at the grocery store, you will see lots of interesting things. Never a dull moment in going shopping here!

~in the grocery store~

~at the market~

9.) Often I will see Thai people wearing a coat, pants, socks, and a hat --- in 90* weather! Thai people don't like sun burn, so they will completely cover up. Even then, sometimes I'll see an umbrella just as an extra precaution!

10.) Let's face it - Thailand is hot. We've acclimated over the last two years, and now think low 70s is downright chilly. But give us 88 degree weather, and we only need a fan! Praise God for air conditioning for when the humidity makes it feel like 100 degrees!

Now that you're done here, head on over to April's blog and see what it's like for her!