"May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, oh Lord..." Psalm 19:14

Friday, May 20, 2011

capturing the heart of God

This photo was taken by my church friend, Benjima, at our last beach baptism party!

Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.
Luke 15:3-7

We've finally reached my favorite part about teaching 6th grade social studies, when we read in our history books about the rise of Christianity. I try my best to be objective, I really do, and our textbooks aren't Christian or anything...but the awesome thing is, no matter what you think about church or Christians even, you have got to admit that the God of the Bible is compelling.

We just learned about the life of Jesus, and so the students are learning different parables He taught. As I explained the one mentioned above, I was just moved by the heart of our God. What kind of God is this, who aches and longs to rescue every single soul...that no matter what else is going on, He is consumed by the hunt for his lost sheep?

It's made me think of all the breakthrough I'm seeing in my friendships and at my church...Why does this surprise me? Is this not the heart of God? That we ache and hunger to see the lost saved? That we are found on our knees, praying and fasting for our friends who don't know Jesus? That the Church -- His Body -- is obsessed with sharing God's love, with seeing more and more people saved and baptized? And if that is the heart of our God, then, of course God will bless this. Of course God will answer our prayers. Of course God will use us to reveal Himself.

It must be what He was talking about when He said, "Ask anything in my name, and I will do it." When we join God in His heart and purposes, nothing can stop us.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

the harvest is plentiful

"But I say, wake up and look around. The fields are already ripe for harvest. The harvesters are paid good wages, and the fruit they harvest is people brought to eternal life. What joy awaits both the planter and the harvester alike! You know the saying, ‘One plants and another harvests.’ And it’s true. I sent you to harvest where you didn’t plant; others had already done the work, and now you will get to gather the harvest.”
-Jesus (Jn. 4:35b-38)

Paulina (Pastor Daniel's wife), me, and our new friend, Daeng

I had the immense joy and privilege of seeing two new friends come to know Jesus this week!!! One of these friends I met on my flight back home from Jakarta last month (crazy, right?)...and then yesterday, she brought her friend to church and he decided at dinner last night that he needed Jesus too! Unbelievable. My heart is so overwhelmed....that You would use me, Lord?

One of the hardest things about following God is never really knowing when breakthrough will come. We never know when we will see the lost saved, or when revival will break out. And yet we are called to pray and believe that it's coming -- whether that means in days, or months, or years and years. And by praying and believing towards it, we are helping bring it about. Sometimes we fool ourselves into thinking that breakthrough comes when we say and do exactly the right things, but really, it's a battle won by faith and obedience. The role we play is not up to us. Sometimes we get to actually "see" the fruits of our labor...and sometimes we don't.

As I spend my days here in Bangkok, I am convinced that this is a very, very special season for my church and for this city. I believe that God is stirring up something big, and that breakthrough is coming. Hearts are open, and there is a longing for truth among us. Oh God, that You would call me here for such a time as this? I am humbled and honored and amazed.

Please keep us near to your thoughts and join with us in your heart and prayers.

  • Pray for Thailand. God is opening ways for the Gospel to be proclaimed to those who have never heard...and it is a beautiful thing.

  • Pray for my church, Life Center, as we prepare for the official opening August 4-7. Pray that we will find the perfect new venue...a place where we can grow, and meet often, and create a welcoming ambiance. Already we have about doubled in size in the past couple months. Pray for vision and provision and a continued outpouring of His Spirit among us. God is doing great things!

  • Pray that I am able to sell my car this summer, and if you know of anyone who could use a 2006 Mazda3, pass the word along -- $9,000...about 50,000 miles and still under a bumper-to-bumper warranty!

  • Pray for God's favor in empyting my storage in WA. I've been tottering back and forth about keeping it or not. But the bottom line is, I am spending $70 a month...to store a bunch of stuff I never use. To be honest, the main thing holding me back is the logistics of manpower, time and energy, a way to sell things, etc. If somehow you could and would want to help, please let me know. I'd be ever, ever grateful!