Thursday, February 5, 2009

February 4

Hey everyone. These last two weeks for me have been great. This week God blessed us a lot by sending us to a place called Ban Kruit. There was a missionary Conference there, with missionaries from Mongolia and China. Our job was to look after there kids while they had meetings. The ages ran from 1-15. I had the older kids which was awesome because we just did fun stuff all day. This place was beautiful, I really got to sit in God's beautiful creation. We stayed at a place on the beach and the ocean was so nice. The first night we were there we all went into the ocean in the middle of the night where there were 7 foot waves crashing over us. Well I was suppose to be body surfing but I pretty much just got rocked. Caleb was actually bleeding from the head because he got turned up and smashed on the ocean ground. It was awesome. Any way's long story short the week was phenomenal and we really blessed these missionaries. As we blessed them they blessed us, it was great. 
I want to talk about 3 people that are unbelievers rite now. I say rite now because I believe that is going to change. Our cell group at Pi Ghays coffee shop has been going very well. One guy named Mick is very close to accepting christ. Unlike people in North America, in other countries becoming a christian is a huge deal with the family. Here is his dilemma. His family is Buddhist and in some buddhist beliefs the parent's believe that if there son becomes a monk for a week or two they will have a better chance at making heaven. Now they never truly know if they will make it, they just try to do good and hope for the best. Mick is an awesome guy and he takes this very seriously as we all should because it is our salvation we are talking about. He love's his mom and does not want to disappoint her. Be praying for him because he has big decisions to make. The holy spirit is definitely working in him because he is asking a lot of questions and I think the only thing holding him back is his mom. 
The other two people are Pi Go and Pi Oi. They are a married couple and have a beautiful daughter who is a christian. God is working in both of there hearts because they have been asking a lot of questions as well. Caleb had an hour and a half conversation about God with Pi Oi last week and I believe she is very close to accepting Christ. She comes to church and coming to church is probably the worse hobby to do if you don't actually care about what is being taught there. I don't know why any person on there own will would come to church for fun. No, I believe the holy spirit is working in her heart. Now Pi Go her husband has just recently been intrigued by Jesus. He has tried praying and he has been asking questions as well. It is very evident that God is working in there lives, please pray for them. I am really excited for these three. We have been hanging out with Pi Go and Pi Oi quite a bit, they are so much fun, in fact in about 1 hour we are going to the beach to barbeque some shrimp and eat sticky rice, should be good. 
God's grace is so amazing isn't it. That He would intervene in our lives and lead us on the right direction. I know that's what happened to me. I was headed down a very dark road if I had continued what I was doing. Jesus had other things planned for me, I didn't choose this, He chose me and as I try to grasp that I fall in complete awe. I don't deserve his grace at all. As you know I have been reading through Hebrews and I am in this section that repeats itself a lot. I encourage you guy's to read through Hebrews if you haven't, it goes through the old testament and how God fulfilled everything through Jesus Christ. In these verses that I am going to write, it is taken from Isaiah and it is prophesying the coming of Jesus and of the New Covenant.
Hebrews 8:10b-12
10. "For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: 
I will put my laws into there minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
11. And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord' for they shall all know me. from the least of them to the greatest. 12. For I will be merciful toward their iniquities and I will remember their sins no more."
Man I love these three verses. Back in the old testament people would rite the law everywhere. On there foreheads, in there house, on there gates etc. Everywhere. But this new covenant through Jesus Christ, he will write it on our hearts and our minds. So my desires were never for God. I never use to want to read my bible, go to church or tell people about Jesus. But God changed my desires. As we persue him and develop our relationship with the living God he will transform our hearts and mind. This thing starts to shape together. It is not about religion about trying to do this and that. It simply will not work. In fact in Hebrews 9:26B says "But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself."
He did it all. IT IS FINISHED. There is nothing we can bring to him, our good works he doesn't need it. He has appeared once and for all. The sin is put away, every sin we commit past, present and future has been forgiven, man, praise Jesus. God will transform our hearts, let's just focus on persuing Jesus first. Verse 11 just simply talks about us as believers telling other people what they need to do to know the Lord. Whether you have been a christian for 20 years and you have a bible degree, went to seminary, you know the Lord just as much as the person who just became a christian. You can know Jesus deeper, you can have more knowledge of him and be in a deeper relationship but you both still know the Lord. Once you accept him you know him, he is not going anywhere. Once you accept christ, he is in you, you know the Lord. They shall all know him from the least of them to the greatest. I heard a really good analogy for verse 12. Think about a baby, I know most of you may not have one but just picture this. A baby takes it's first steps. Before those first steps there were so many fall's. But when the baby takes it's first steps, you rejoice, you get so excited, you just want to show everyone. Sometime's the baby will fall and it will be bloody and there may be tears but when that baby is walking you are so excited. When the baby is walking you don't even remember the falls because you are just so excited that the baby is walking. That is just like our God, we fall so many times but when were walking he is so excited and is rejoicing, in fact, he doesn't even remember the falls! Where do we find something like that, where in this universe can we find something like that. Praise Jesus, if you are a christian this should get you excited and put you in awe of our savior. I want to finish with one more verse for you guys. I could write for ever about Hebrews I would like to but I know most of you have already stopped reading this letter because it is far to long but that is okay. 
Hebrews 10:21-22
"And since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22. let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water."
Where do you draw near to God the most? Where is that place where you connect with God the most? What keep's you from drawing near to God? Ask these questions to yourself. Write them down, find those places where you draw near to God. He will transform your heart, HE WILL, trust me. Let's draw near to him guys. Let's draw near to God with a true heart.
I am really excited. Tomorrow my family comes along with my friend Kevin. Pray for there safety as they fly. Continue to pray for Thailand and our team. I am nearing the halfway mark in my time in Thailand which is crazy to me. Time is just flying by. As I am soon to think of my future if you guys could pray for me in that decision. I really want to follow God's plan for my life. My life is his so I want to do what he wants me to do. Pray against any fear or doubt that I am good enough. I meen I know I am not good enough, thats obvious, but trust that God can use me, that God can use a sinner like me to carry out his glory into this world. 
God bless you all, keep perusing Jesus 
Love you all

Jan 14

Hey, guys. Hope you all had a good christmas and new year. My christmas in Thailand was different. First off there wasn't three feet of snow out side. Christmas was busy, didn't really relax to much. New years was good. A bunch of us from the church started the night off by playing games, one included a massive game of dutch blitz. Later we went to the beach where there were fireworks. I have never been so close to them in my life. This is Thailand so they pretty much shot them rite above my head. One exploded literally like 20 feet away from me. It was awesome though. Two guys from our cell group came out. Mick and Oi. It is so good to see them coming out to church and engaging. The gospel is definitely working in there hearts. Mick has been asking a lot of questions and they both see a big difference in the way we as christians live. Pray for them God is working in there hearts. 
January 2nd, we got to go to Bangkok. This was a lot of fun to get away and see more of Thailand. We had the opportunity to check out the grand palace. I have pictures posted of it on my profile if you want to look at them. We were in Bangkok for 4 days. Came back on the 5th. 
On the 6th I was off to Chachengsao where the Bethel Church is. We had our normal cell group on wednesday. I will briefly talk about that day than I want to share a story about a guy named Art. We started with the normal kids group. Things went smoothly. Kids were themselves, crazy as usual. These kids can get really crazy trust me. They are little rats, thats what I like to call them, love them though. The adult cell group went well. Not as many people this time but it was really good that there wasn't. The last few weeks there have been so many new people that we haven't been able to go deeper with the other believers. This time Pi Nad had the opportunity to go more in depth. You can have a lot of people attending church but it is nothing if the believers aren’t growing with Jesus. We did have a few new people. Which leads me into my story about art. This is the soul part why I wanted to write an update letter to you guys. This guy Art has a wife and a daughter. He worked in Bangkok at a hotel. Life was alrite for him. I am sure he was just living life, probably never thought about Jesus or wanted to have anything to do with him. Well God took everything away from him. His job, his home and his money. A week ago on new years he ended up at the Mouban (Village). He showed up at Bob and Christine's house on new years. He ended up accepting christ as his savior. Now he wants to go hard for God. He wants his life to be all about him. He wants to live for Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. I got to talk to him a bit. He speaks pretty good english. His wife and daughter ended up going north to live with the wifes mom until things are sorted out. Well she is now coming down to Chachengsao to come live with her husband. Art told his wife that he has chosen to give his life to Jesus. He told me in his Tinglish. I want her to know the God. 
I have been reading through the book of Hebrews. I just read chapter 7. It is comparing Melchizedek to Jesus. Melchizedek was a high priest. I am not going to talk about the whole chapter it would take way to long but I want to talk about how the high priest Melchizdek leads to Jesus Christ. If you know your bible than you will know Jesus is known as the great high priest. What high priest would do is they would hold your life and compare it to the law. And the sins you would commit they would slaughter an animal and send him off. They are human. They sinned and had to sacrifice daily. I want to compare Levitical high priest to Jesus. This is going somewhere which will connect to my story about Art. 

Heb. 7:23-24
Levitical High Priest- Many in Number
Jesus the high priest- One

Levitical High priest- Temporary
Jesus the High priest- Permanent and eternal

Levitical high priest- Sinners who had to offer sacrifices for their "own sins".
Jesus the high priest- holy, innocent; offers sacrifice only for others.

Levitical high priest- Had to sacrifice "daily"
Jesus the high priest- Sacrificed "once for all"

Heb. 7:27, 9:11-14
Levitical high priest-Offered sacrificial animals
Jesus the high priest-"offered up himself"

Levitical high priest-Entered holy places through a man made tent and by means of the blood of goats and calves.
Jesus the high priest- Entered the holy place of the presence of God and by means of his own blood. 

Hebrews 7:26-27
" For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. 27 He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this once for all when he offered up himself. "

Jesus is here. He is alive. He sacrificed once and FOR ALL. Don't believe the lie that you need to clean yourself up before you come to him. He says COME AS YOU ARE. I am so fortunate to live in this time. Just think before Jesus came, people would only hope and wait for him. They knew he was coming in the Old Testament and that is what they were hoping for. Now us, 2000 years later. Jesus has come, he died on a Roman Cross once and for all. We have no need to hope, he did it already. 
Hebrews 7:18-19.
"For on the one hand, a former commandment is set aside because of its weakness and uselessness 19 ( FOR THE LAW MADE NOTHING PERFECT); but on the other hand, a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God.''

I have no idea where you guys are at, but maybe for some of you this needs to happen. Maybe God has to take away the things that are important to you for you to draw near to him. Art, he has nothing left. Money failed him. He is in a time of suffering, which can be the grace of God which it is in this situation. The only one who last forever is the God of the universe. The one who invites us all into a personal relationship with him. He doesn't invite us into religion. Religion does nothing good for you. What you need is Jesus. It all about Jesus, its only about Jesus. The law does not making anything perfect and it does not change hearts. The law is holy and we should by the transformation of the holy spirit live by the law but our sinful hearts is going to get in the way. The only thing that will change hearts is Jesus, the holy spirit. Yes I said it the holy spirit, some of you may think he is weird but he is actually God. The law is there to show us how much we need a savior and how messed up we are. He is the one who transforms lives, he will renew your heart. I am not saying because I have Jesus I have it all together. I don’t, I am so far from, it is not even funny. Being a Christian is not having it all together. It is in fact the opposite. It is saying, “ Jesus I don’t have it together, I cannot do this on my own, I am full of sin, I need a Savior because I am wicked.” Some of you may not be able to hear, the bible speaks of that. But for those who can hear rite now, what is it going to be? What other choices do you have? Maybe God has to take away all that is important to you, which is the grace of God if it brings you to him. ART has absolutely nothing! He is living in a place where people in North America would say is unlivable. But you know what? He is in a better spot than say Oprah. Oprah may be one of the riches people in the world but she doesn't have Jesus. God showed him grace, the only option for him was to take everything he has and look, his eyes were opened. Come on guys, I am pleading with you, take your life seriously, think about it. For some of you, maybe something tragic needs to happen in your life. I don't know. But we are invited into a better hope introduced through Jesus Christ, therefore we draw near to him.

Praise the Lord, thank you for your prayers. The Orphange is now under MBMSI foundation. We flew to Malaysia on Sunday got back Tuesday. We received 90 day visas. Continue praying for Thailand, the orphans, Chachengsao, Bethel, the boys Cell group, TLC, Angsila, and our team. Lot’s you can pray for. As well keep praying for language. I have picked up a bit but I would love to know a lot more so I can communicate more with the Thai people. 

Love you guys