Action for God in Asia- New Blog

As many people know, I’m planning to spend most of the month of July in Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam.  So, I started a blog dedicated to sharing snippets of my time over there.  I’ll be trying to upload updates, pictures, and movie clips so that you can enjoy the people, culture, and land with me and also see a little bit into some of the missions in those countries.  Get ready to pack your suitcases because here we go!

Visit-  https://actionforgodinasia.wordpress.com/

I’ll also be sharing the same things via email; so if you prefer that, feel free to message me your email address.

Advertisements

Ascending Home

By the middle of May, it seems that Easter was a long time ago.  But what we may have forgotten, is that the “Easter” story is not over.

I am always touched on Good Friday as I remember the agonizing way Jesus gave up His life to take my place.  I celebrate on Easter Sunday that He conquered death, because without that, we would have no hope for life.

But there’s a part of the story that is not finished, the part that leaves me speechless with excitement.  That’s the part of the story that I am celebrating today.  I’m closing down work and calling it a holiday today because that is what it truly is.

After Jesus’ resurrection, He spent a few weeks on earth spending time with those He loved and giving final encouragement and instructions to His disciples.  And then He ascended.  He left this pathetic earth to go back Home.

But the best part is- He didn’t forget about us.  The reason He went Home was to prepare welcome-home banners, blow up balloons, and get all ready for when He brings us Home too.

He didn’t ascend into Heaven to get away from us- quite the contrary.  He ascended to “prepare a place for us that where He is, there we may be also.”

Okay, if reading that didn’t want to make you jump up and down, try reading it again.  “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

My brother and I recently watched a movie called “The City of Ember”; although it was a strange movie, he pulled a beautiful analogy from it which I just had to share.  Without going into lengthy detail, I’ll try to explain the movie quickly.

People from earth had decided to make an underground world for people to live in so they would never have to know about our wars and unrest up here.  It would be a perfect place.

Well, the Law of Entropy still applied, even hundreds of feet under the ground, and the underground city started falling apart two-hundred years later.  Through a slightly heart-pounding race against time, two teenagers managed to find a way to escape back up to earth so they would not die with the collapse of their world.

When they reached earth, it was dark because it was nighttime.  The teenagers from the underground figured that earth was no different from the world in which they had lived.

But then morning burst forth.  Never before had they set eyes upon sky and sunrises and the beauty which surrounded them.  They could have not even begun to imagine what it would be like because their imagination was limited to the context of the world they had known.

We are the same way.  Our imaginations can only spin off of what we have seen or heard on this earth.  I’m pretty sure that it is safe to say that Heaven is gonna knock our socks off.  Jesus has been working on it for about two-thousand years (that’s some major renovating going on).  And He’s doing it because He just can’t wait until it’s time for Him to say to us, “Come Home!  I’ve been waiting for this moment ever since I ascended on the first Ascension Day.  This is the reason I allowed myself to be crucified.  This is the reason I conquered death.  And now, everything is finally made right.  Welcome Home, my Beautiful Bride!”

May you have a beautiful Ascension Day getting a little Homesick and celebrating the fact that one day, you will finally be able to ascend Home too.

A Royal Princess

Yes, I admit it- I’m completely fascinated with the Royal Baby.  A certain member of my family can’t seem to grasp my excitement.  To him, he sees just another kid, except this one has a lot of money and power and publicity which she never had to earn.  I see his point and can agree to an extent.

But this is why I have fallen in love with the Royal Princess.

First of all, there are hundreds of years of history wrapped up in that little bundle.  She can trace her family line back further than most of us.  Yes, it helped that her ancestors were monarchs and mentioned in every history book; but still I’m fascinated.

Then there’s the fact that her parents seem like fairly decent people.  Our “role” models nowadays are Hollywood stars who are always caught drinking, cheating, swearing, or breaking somebody’s nose.  Not to mention how they dress- (or more like undress).  William and Kate work, rewear clothing, do their own shopping, and still uphold manners and propriety, all A +’s in my book.

Royalty and leaders do deserve our respect.  I know that hundreds of years ago, English kings and queens persecuted my ancestors; but those Christian martyrs still honored and respected the one upon the throne.  However, there is a difference between worship and respect.  I don’t have Queen Elizabeth posters hanging up on my walls, but I am still called to respect her (whether or not her actions deserve it or whether or not she is the Ruler of my country).  We are called to do this for any of our leaders, be it Presidents or Police Officers.  Sadly, respect for those in authority is missing in most citizens today.

Romans Chapter 13:1-7

Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.   Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.   For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:  For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to [execute] wrath upon him that doeth evil.  Wherefore [ye] must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.   For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.   Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute [is due]; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.

But the main reason that I am fascinated with Prince George and Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana is because every Christian is a Royal Child, just like them.  Fairytales do happen because there is a King and He has made us Children into His Kingdom.  The celebration in England is nothing compared to the celebration in Heaven when we are born into the Kingdom and when we finally come home to the King. 

Being an earthly prince or princess is rare; it’s a title that few will hold.

But being a Royal Child of the King of Kings is possible for anyone, no matter our color of skin, wealth, or family name.  He longs to place a crown upon our heads, all we have to do is ask!

Our Sons and Daughters

mother

Do you ever have those days when you start dissecting your life and your future?  You know, those kinds of days when you feel as if you have your own personal thundercloud hanging over your head?

Well, that was me.

I was contemplating my value to this world and started to become melancholy at the results.  And after the pinch of melancholyness (yup, that’s not actually a word), came a twinge of envy.  I was just a little bit jealous of friends my age who have cuddly babies and mischievous toddlers.  And yes, the mother dealing with postpartum depression, wailing infants, and crayon marks on walls is thinking, “You’re completely insane.  Come take my place for a day and you’ll learn what it’s really like!”  No, I was not envious of the messy diapers and sleepless nights, but I was thinking about those tiny feet, little giggles, and sticky kisses.  I was feeling a bit worthless and like I hadn’t achieved to some greater maturity and specialness because I’m single and am not raising, teaching, and loving a child with the same last name as me.  I was comparing myself to that ever-perfect Proverbs woman whose children arise and call her blessed.  Here I am, just plain me, who at this point will have no one to call my own or pass my legacy on to when I am eighty years old.  I feel embarrassed saying this because we, singles, don’t like to admit our feelings on this subject.  I feel really embarrassed admitting this because I am not very old, a lot of things can change in my future, I truly love every minute of my singleness (I’ve been able to do amazing things that I couldn’t have done otherwise), and being vulnerable with my feelings is plain down embarrassing because not everyone will understand.  But I share this to encourage others who may be facing the same thoughts in this stage of their lives.  Motherhood is a usual desire amongst most single females (despite the pain, selflessness, commitment, and frustrations that we realize go along with having and raising children) because it’s a maternal longing that God gave us.

Then God stopped me right there in the middle of my negativity.  God had to do this for Elijah and he still has to do it for us humans today.  Anyways, He brought to my attention the verse, Isaiah 56:3-5 (KJV) “Neither let the son of the stranger, that hath joined himself to the Lord, speak, saying, The Lord hath utterly separated me from his people: neither let the eunuch say, Behold, I am a dry tree.   For thus saith the Lord unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant; Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off.”

The eunuchs could not have children and were one of the lowest on the social scale.  Because they had no offspring, they could not leave a name or heritage behind, but God hadn’t neglected them.  First, notice the conditions in the verse- keep the Sabbath, choose the things that please God, and take hold of the Lord’s Covenant.  Then notice the promises- being given a place and name better than of sons and daughters within God’s house and walls and being given a name which will not be cut off.  Isn’t that beautiful!  Perhaps I shouldn’t pull out this solitary set of verses and try to apply it to singles, but I think it fits well and can hold a lot of meaning for us.

But that Still Small Voice wasn’t finished talking yet and began to awake me to the fact that I do have children and I will leave a heritage behind when earth’s departure flight comes for me.

Let me explain- My children are the hundreds of little lives which have entwined themselves around my heart through camps, choirs, classes, etc…  To them I have given tears, love, lessons, and prayers.   Every time we hold a Sunday-School Class, become a counselor at camps, teach a classroom of students, hang out with the nieces and nephews, help with VBS’s, support and sponsor orphans, and take the time to impact the life of a child, God has given us sons and daughters.

I was recently at the Meadows of Hope Banquet, and this thought kept coming to my mind as I watched the single young ladies with the girls they are mentoring and helping.  Those girls may not have the same last name or physical resemblances as the women who care for them, but that won’t make any difference when they are walking streets of gold.  Those women may not have physically birthed them, but they have birthed hope, courage, faith, and trust in the girls’ lives.  Because those young ladies are single and childless, they won’t be celebrated on Mother’s Day; but nevertheless, they do have “children” who arise and call them blessed.  Their heritage left behind will tell of countless lives who loved them and viewed them as a second mother.

We, singles, have many opportunities to help “raise” the children around us.  Don’t view your babysitting job or weekly kids’ clubs as unimportant, but use the “parenthood” God has given you to dry tears, apply band-aids, feed hungry tummies, break-up quarrels, teach valuable lessons, and impact little lives for eternity– which really is no different than any actual mother or father would do for their children.  And one day when we look across Heaven and see the faces of our “sons and daughters”- the children we taught and loved, we will realize that we truly do have an everlasting name and heritage!