Monday, September 12, 2011


I have been working with my daughter specifically on some fear issues. I feel determined to teach my girls to push on through the fear and not let fear keep them from moving forward in an area. Just recently we read 2 Timothy 1:7
 For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.
 As we are memorizing this verse and walking forward, the Lord reminds me that some of my former fear issues tend to raise their ugly heads.

What do I fear?

*I fear working on this language but still not being able to communicate with those around me. (ie. Carry on basic conversations)

*I fear being alone and not having friends to hang with.

*I fear getting fat.

Ok, I said it. Right now, those are some of my biggest fears—yes, and I recognize that 2 of them are vainly selfish and related to me. (I won’t even go into the fears related to my children at this time)

Psalms 32:3 says, “When I kept things to myself I felt weak deep inside me.”

So, instead of not putting a name on it like I can tend to do when I am going about my busy days, I will put a name on it and confess it. I know this fear is not from the Lord, so I am going to confess it to him (and to you). If I am not careful, I can start to feel dread, hopeless feelings when I don’t put a label on my feelings.

Isaiah 41:9-10 New Living Translation (NLT) says
I have called you back from the ends of the earth,
saying, ‘You are my servant.’
For I have chosen you and will not throw you away.
 Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
 I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.

So, now, I have a choice. Am I going to practice what I preach or am I going to give into fear?

What do you fear?

Pushing through the fear in His strength,

Monday, September 5, 2011

God Be Merciful To Me

What a whirlwind of a few weeks! God has been faithful. He has been good. Started language back today and was reminded after just one day, how much language takes out of me. It makes me a little less willing to engage with my family, a little less likely to want to look for those contacts, missing PE shirts, etc. I’m making recordings that I store on my computer in ITunes and they play in a loop. After the last one played the next track to play was Jars of Clay, “Lord Be Merciful To Me,” and I thought it was very timely! I need his mercy to make it through my days esp. when I am in language study!

Here are the words:

God be merciful to me on Thy grace, I rest my plea
Plenteous in compassion Thou
Blot out my transgressions now

Wash me, make me pure within
Cleanse, oh, cleanse me from my sin

My transgressions I confess
Grief and guilt my soul oppress
I have sinned against Thy grace
And provoked Thee to Thy face

I confess Thy judgment just
Speechless, I, Thy mercy trust

I am evil born in sin
Thou desirest truth within
Thou alone my Savior art
Teach Thy wisdom to my heart

Make me pure, Thy grace bestow
Wash me whiter than the snow

Gracious God, my heart renew
Make my spirit right and true
Thy salvation's joy impart
Steadfast make my willing heart
Steadfast make my willing heart

Broken, humbled to the dust
By Thy wrath and judgment just
Let my contrite heart rejoice
And in gladness hear Thy voice

From my sins, oh, hide Thy face
Blot them out in boundless grace
Now, you might ask….”What sin are you confessing?” Well, since you asked…. :>

I’ve been reading in Numbers lately, about the Israelites complaining in the wilderness. (Why do I have to be in language study AGAIN?) I must confess that tends to be me! Nope, I don’t tend the have the optimistic outlook of Joshua and Caleb, but instead tend to see what are hard, needs to be changed or fixed about a situation. At one point in the story Moses says, “I wish the Lord would give his spirit to all of them,” and then I think: “I HAVE His spirit. There is another time in the story that the Lord says to Moses, “Do you think I am weak? Now you will see if I can do what I can say.”

Last wk, riding in the car K and I were having a conversation. I was trying to get him to understand the seriousness of this menopausal brain lag and confusion and I was complaining about not being able to remember things. K looked at me and said, “honey, I think this is going to be one of those times when you are going to have to rely on God and his faithfulness. His faithfulness to help you remember.”

Gracious God, my heart renew
Make my spirit right and true
Thy salvation's joy impart
Steadfast make my willing heart
Steadfast make my willing heart

Broken, humbled to the dust
By Thy wrath and judgment just
Let my contrite heart rejoice
And in gladness hear Thy voice

From my sins, oh, hide Thy face
Blot them out in boundless grace

God be merciful to me on Thy grace, I rest my plea
Plenteous in compassion Thou
Blot out my transgressions now

Sunday, August 21, 2011

New School yr

Here we are again at the beginning of a new school yr. It is hard to believe. Malia is a junior, Savannah a sophomore, Noah in 8th grade and Sage in 7th. This is the beginning of the 2nd week of school. The sun is shining right now but it's been a very rainy week. Kel and I have decided to do something different this yr. We are taking a course at Hope in Ft. Worth early on Monday mornings. It is a counseling course...or rather a living in community and helping those with serious problems type of course that we hope to be able to incorporate into our ministry here.
Please pray for us. I am still in jetlag so feeling a serious slowness after getting up that early this morning but we are committed and grateful for the opportunity to be a part of something Hope related. It's been a long time. Modern technology makes it possible and the commitment and hard work of Sallie and Randy to make it happen.
I'm still unpacking and reorganizing the house and am putting off getting started this morning. i just do not know where to put all of the things. :> We are considering moving the boys upstairs but are not sure if that is the best thing to do or not. We need to sell our elliptical along with 2 beds. I would like to clear out more books but it's really hard for me to do that, esp, since it is so hard to get books here. The Kindle makes it a little easier to do that.
The ATM machine ate my card on Sat. so I need to call and find out what is up with that. I, also need to go up to the school at take a check for Malia's ACT. Tonight for supper we will have meatloaf, mashed potatoes and green beans. Kel is still getting all his tickets together for his travels this weekend. Pray for him because the Thai Leaders training he has been so excited about starts on Sat.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A New Sis!

Prov 8: 34-35 "For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the Lord.
But those who miss me injure themselves. All who hate me love death.”
Finding life…..this is why we are here and this is why we are doing what we are doing. God continues to amaze us. Last night, the ladies went back to visit a couple of the girls they met last week and S was very excited to see them. She was like an excited child when they shared with her that Jesus is not dead…..”He’s Alive!” She jumped up and down and shouted, “He’s Alive!” Then she told them she really, really wanted to pray and believe and after they prayed with her she said, “I believe, I promise, I promise!”
A few blocks away we were sharing with another lady in a bar a few blocks away. She had never heard the name of Jesus before and didn’t have a clue the difference between Christianity and Buddhism. She did not want us to pray with her or even share a blessing with her. She enjoyed visiting with us, though and would not let us pay for our own drinks (her husband owned the bar). Pray for her and for her to continue to remember our conversation. On our way back to the car we met two other girls that we promised to come back and visit next week.
Now we will follow up with S. Please continue to pray for her and pray for us to have wisdom as we disciple her. Keep praying that we are able to locate the two believers in the foot massage places near the Empress. One of the girls and I will go this weekend and try to find them.

Friday, April 1, 2011


God continues to amaze us. He has brought us to people who have been involved in the ministry before—one has even decided to join us. He has confirmed our leanings for the purpose of the group not to be getting the girls out but to take them the good news. This past week two ladies had some exciting conversations. They prayed that God would go before them and give them opportunities to talk with the girls. They also asked God to confirm we are going in the right direction. God answered their prayers. One of the ladies noticed some of the “girls” reading tracts. It seems like someone had come before them on that day, sowing the seed. She was able to encourage them to read them. They ended up at another place—saw the same tract and were able to have some good conversations with two ladies about the tracts they were reading. Some of the conversation went like this:
"Did you know that you don't have to give money to God? He will help you even if you don't pay him." She responded. "Really?"
One of the girls mentioned that she was having difficulty praying to God because her English wasn’t very good. She was encouraged that God could hear her Th-ai prayers and she could pray to God in Th-ai. This was also new to her.
Please continue to pray for God to lead and direct us. We have heard about two Christian ladies that work in the area that we want to try to find. Pray that God will lead us to them. Also pray that God will continue to guide each step that we take. It has been a surprise to see God using the different strengths and gifts of the ladies to work together in this ministry. It is truly a pleasure and privilege to be walking this path together.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

What does she look like?

What does a bar girl look like coming to a conversation class? What form of transportation does she take? What is she wearing? Does she always look like a bar girl? Or does she sometimes look like a student? As I stood outside the hotel and waited for someone to show up I pondered these questions. I’m guessing they don’t come in tuk tuks or taxi’s. Those are too expensive--Probably not in vans or cars either. I’m fairly sure she is not the women with a scarf on her head. There sure were a lot of them today. I’m pretty sure she’s not the middle aged over dressed woman or the younger nicely dressed one for that matter. Could she be the one in jeans who walked by with that young man who had the oversized purse? Could she be the two that walked in dressed in red lace and white satin painted to the hilt? I watched them walk in. Possibly. They never came back out. Their clothes didn’t exactly match the normal clientele of the hotel. Would it be the young woman in short shorts running across the walk way? I noticed a baby bottle in her hand. I’m pretty sure that is not one of the girls we talked to. What does a bar girl look like coming to a conversation class? Well, the answer to that question is yet to be determined as we didn’t have one show up for Coffee and Conversation today.

What did we learn from this? Perhaps we are on the right track considering taking things slower than faster. I think it’s quite telling that we didn’t even really know what to expect them to look like. We need to get more information about what their life is like outside of the bars, as well as inside of the bars and what their needs are. Thankfully, he is providing opportunities for us to do this. The more I hear and understand about this ministry it doesn’t sound like it has been that successful in this city in the past. Am I discouraged? Maybe a little bit. A teeny, tiny little bit. Because I know God has called us to do this and we are taking one step at a time in obedience to him. I trust that he knows where they were today. He knows the number of hairs on their head. I am grateful to him. Why didn’t they come? Maybe the hotel we picked was too nice for them to come. We can trust him to make clear our next step---Just our next step forward. That’s what we are asking for. I'll let you know when I find out what they look like. I'm guessing she's a lot like you and me.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Moving forward....

We continue to move forward with these girls in fear and trembling. I laugh, as I thought about the other night. There I 10 pm at night--walking down the streets in CM--without my husband, trying to engage people. For those of you who haven't been around me in a long while, I know it's hard for you to imagine that after 15 years of living in Asia and not being able to communicate like I would like with those around me, I have become an introvert. Not only am I an introvert, but I am a Morning introvert--which basically means I get up early and am pretty much down for the count by 8:30. (that means pretty useless) I had a long day of basketball so we were unable to go out until 8pm. The week was full so we decided we couldn't wait for time on the schedule we were just going to have to do it and so 8pm was the time. We needed to follow up with the girls we had taken the gift bags to.
Six of us went out this time. We spent time before praying that God would lead us to ONE person. This time we took small cards inviting the girls to Coffee and Conversation at a nearby hotel on Sat. afternoon. I have to say when we planned on Coffee and Conversation on Sat. our thoughts were one or two people might come. We decided on the hotel because it was easy. We knew the girls would know it and honestly, I didn’t have time to go down there and scope around for another place. We decided on 3pm because I may have another child playing in a basketball tournament until later in the day—probably not—but may.
Three of us stood around the corner praying while three of us went back to the first bar. (never thought I would say that in a post, did you?) We recognized some of the girls as we talked to them. While we were talking, one girl was coming out with someone and tried to come and talk to us. She was one of the ones we had met with before. It was encouraging to us that she wanted to talk to us again. One of the other girls seemed very open and gave us her name and seemed to want to engage us more. We hope she will come on Sat.
We then went back to join our Pray-ers and regrouped and prayed some more. Then we walked down the street, mapping out the place and looking for others. In an unexpected turn of events we were able to invite a larger group who seemed surprised that we would offer this to them. She went inside and asked permission to come and told us they all would be coming.
We also met a lady boy on the street and were able to pray with him for his new business. It was an interesting turn of events when he told us he is a Christian—or was one in university. We need prayers regarding whether to follow up there or not. He gave us his telephone number.
So, here we are….getting ready for Sat. We are planning to meet in the hotel coffee shop because that was the original plan. We will be thrilled to have one show up—remember we prayed for ONE. :> (I know, O me of little faith!) We had to pull some others in to help us since only two of us can be there on Sat. just in case we have more than that. We have a tentative plan but will adjust as needed. We are focusing on conversation…hoping to make it more like an English club than an actual class. Most of these girls have had some English instruction.
One of the other things I keep asking God about is that we are all mom’s-- with other jobs with very little time-- to put into this kind of ministry. We can’t think about it, plan and focus on it all day because we don’t have time to do this. We send up SOS prayers, spend hrs in the middle of the night praying, pray before, during and afterwards and just ask God to move. Not to mention the fact that none of us has studied the language full time or really have very good language. Several of us can spit out words and phrases and one of us can carry on a decent basic conversation. What are we doing? Right now, we are just being obedient, moving forward one step at a time. We know he’s told us to move forward so we are just doing the next thing that we know to do.
Please pray for us on Sat. Pray for the girl(s) who are coming and pray for wisdom and direction for how to share with them. Pray that God communicates clearly through us. Pray that God will already be stirring their hearts and drawing them to him. And, then pray that God will make it clear the next step forward.

Basketball Ending

It's been a busy week with basketball tournaments. The JV girls won their tournament in a tight match with CMIS for the final victory. It was a night we will always remember since they lost this same game last yr and had to fight hard to win. It wasn't easy for us mamas sitting on the sideline to watch the girls shooting free throws with tears streaming down their faces.

They were asked to be the fill in team for the Varsity tournament this weekend and will play Grace Varsity girls in the morning semifinals. They had a fun time last night in the last game they played and decided to "play for fun" because they didn't really want to win so they could play our girls in the semi's. They want our girls to win the varsity tournament and did not want to play them in the final game. The varsity girls are better in skill and formation than we are but we hope to give them a run for their money in speed and determination. Last night they did a few funny antics like Starfish during the game. You can ask Savannah about it if you are curious. It was nice to see them playing for fun after the intensity of their last few games.

Our boys won their tournament on Wed. also. We had a big upset with CMIS where we came from behind to beat them. Our boys were not playing in their best form in that first half. One of the guys scored 3 3 pointers in the last quarter. This is Under 13 yr olds! We were astounded! Our Noah got back in his groove the 2nd half of the game and their tall guy only scored 2 points the second half of the game. (Noah plays center) Sage went on to really show his skills in the last game of the tournament. I'm pretty sure his position is point guard. He's the one who takes the ball up and down the court for all of those lay ups.

This basketball gives us a fun, free source of entertainment a few months every year. The boys will have to work really hard to make the team next year since they are moving up to the JV category. There is much competition at that level.