Monday, June 29, 2015

A heart to heart about the Supreme Court Decision



By now most people know that the Supreme Court ruled for same sex ‘marriage’ and by  now I’m sure most people on Facebook or in daily life have heard the controversies. We’ve seen it all – comments with genuine love and concern and comments with hate.

I don’t often post about controversial things because it honestly scares me to offend people. I try to grow my readership not offend and diminish. I also don’t want to start vain arguments because the Bible talks against that in 2 Timothy 2:16.

However, as a Christian I do want to share my heart and beliefs. I want to make sure that people who read this blog or who know me in person know what I believe. I want to share a word for Christians and non-Christians.

I’ll say this quickly and then I’ll get to my point – what God says about marriage is still true. The Bible is the final authority. Period.

Now…

Christians, myself included, why are we so surprised?

Many people in our country live and advocate a homosexual lifestyle, so the fact that they elected leaders to change the laws shouldn’t come as a shock to us. But I’m still shocked. And I’m deeply saddened. 

Saddened because as a nation, in many areas, we are sinning against a very Holy God. I just finished reading the book of Ezekiel and I’m not even going to tell you I understand 85% of that book but what I got out of it is this: God is HOLY! Just the description of the creatures flying around his throne put a holy terror and holy fear of Him in my heart. God doesn’t wink at sin. He won’t let it slip by. He is too holy and too loving for that.

But here is the other thing that I’ve been thinking about a lot…

I have put a lot of hope and trust in my country. I love my country! A lot!  And I think deep down in my heart I banked a big portion of my security in my country. And I think I’m wrong to do that.

BUT the thing is this:

God never wrote the Declaration of Independence.
God never promised the American dream.
God never promised earthly security.
God never promised that we would live in a land where righteousness was prevalent.

What did He promise us?

This –

That He would be with us unto the end of the world – Matthew 28:20
That if we are godly we will suffer persecution - 2 Timothy 3:12

So what do we do now?

Well, we do what we are told to do. We continue to lift Jesus high (John 3:14-15). We continue to tell sinners that sin is sin. That God is very Holy and that sin must be and will be punished. We tell them that Christ died for our sins, that He became sin for us so that we could be made the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21). We tell them Christ willing took the punishment for us.

We preach what Luke 24:47 says “that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.”

And please know that when you lift Jesus high, when you lovingly confront sin you will offend. You might lose friends and GASP we might suffer persecution you guys!

But wouldn’t you rather suffer with Christ now then to stand against Him someday?

So for us Christians – lift Jesus high. Speak the Truth in love. Know that Christ is with you.

For those non-Christians, I hope you know we love you. Whether you ever believe and accept Christ or not isn’t going to change our love for you. We aren’t perfect Christians, I’m not a perfect Christian but we hope to point you to a Savior who is perfect and who loves and died for you.

And for my final thought. I’m kind of tired of everyone stealing the rainbow and the ‘love wins’ saying. God made the rainbow as a reminder of His promises and love did not win because of a Supreme Court ruling. I’m taking it back! And to do that I felt inspired to write this little poem called “Love Wins”

LOVE WINS

Love wins
Because when Adam first sinned
Christ immediately stepped in.

Love wins.
Because when Mary gave birth
It was a Savior who changed the Earth.

Love wins.
Because there on the tree of Calvary
A Savior bled and died for you and me.

Love wins.
Because even though my heart may groan
God is still on His Eternal Throne.

Love wins.
Because although there is much sin.
Christ is coming to rule and reign again.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Week 1 of School with 4 Year Olds



Week 1 of School. 

I really don’t know how to properly write about school. Especially week 1 of school. I’ve thought and thought about what to say and have written this post more than once. 

As a lot of you know the school year here runs June – February so we started school on June 1st. I’m teaching 4 year olds and my class currently has 16 super cute students. I have an amazing assistant teacher in my room and enjoy working with her a lot! 

The first week of school, to be honest? It was incredibly hard! I knew it would be but knowing and experiencing are two different things. 

Why so hard? Well for starters the kids are 4 years old and this is their first time being in a classroom. For a couple of the kids it was their first time being away from their Mom and there was definitely some major screaming, wailing and thrashing around for a couple of days. It was sad you guys. 

The kids have to learn everything for school, like how to push a chair in, to get in line, stand up, sit down, etc. etc. That is hard for a normal 4 year old but put a child who speaks Myanmar in an English classroom and hard just became extra hard. 

And you know what? I struggled though that first week of school. And I felt really guilty about it! I picked this! Why was I struggling?

BUT on Sunday at church the Pastor talked about how when we work for eternity and when we are working for the souls of men it is hard and we can expect it to be hard. He talked about the Apostle Paul and how on human terms he was a big fat failure but in reality was making a difference for eternity. 

Now I’m no Apostle Paul but I will say that God spoke to my heart that Sunday. It’s okay that teaching has hard moments. It’s okay that I’m going to say push your chair in 1 million times. It’s ok! Because you know what? This English foundation and the Bible foundation we are giving these kids are going to be seeds planted into children’s hearts and someday these little kids are going to grow up and, Lord willing, will be women and men of God who make an impact for eternity too. 

Now teaching isn’t all hard you guys. I mean look at how cute these kids are! And they are funny! And Smart! We are also on week 3 (4 by the time this publishes) and we are all getting into more of a routine. That doesn’t mean I’m not completely tired at the end of the day but the days are going better, the kids are learning, I’m learning and the kids sure do know how to wiggle their way into my heart, which means I’ll cry ugly when it’s time to say goodbye. 

These pictures are from the first week of school and I think they are super fun! I hope you enjoy them.

This is Bethia. Friendly, well behaved and is pretty good with English. 

Kyron with her cute little nursery rhyme books and in the 2nd picture her cute little chicken hair bow. She loves her chickens!

Sweet! This girl! I'm telling ya what! She is something else and I love her. This is her 1st time in school and she doesn't understand much English at all. She also has 12 toes which I think is super duper cute.


This is Shane. This is also his first time in school. He loved iPad class so much that he didn't want to pause to use the restroom so he just went right in his chair. He is cute though and I like him.


Zora! Always smiling. Always skipping and she loves to swing.


Can you see Sweet in the bottom right hand corner? This girl LOVES to be in pictures!


Elbert! He isn't in my K4 class but he is always smiling!


Don't know this girls name but I thought this blurry picture was funny.


OH recess time! It's crazy you guys!


We try and make a puppet once a week at school. The kids LOVE them!


And there you have week 1, friends!

I know a lot of you have prayed for me, for the kids and for the school and I want to sincerely tell you thanks! I know your prayers are heard and God is at work. I honestly couldn't make it without The Lord's help and I appreciate you all taking us before His throne!

Do you all have any questions about school? My classroom? If so let me know and I'll do my best to answer them. 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Life Lately #28


Hi Friends!

I’m so glad I can finally update you all with what is going on with us! The internet in Myanmar is slower than dial up so blogging has been minimal.

Dave and I are in Thailand this weekend for a quick visa run. It is an incredibly short visit but we have been so blessed to reconnect with our friends and brothers and sisters in Christ here. We also use Thailand to update all our devices and do quick Skype sessions with as many people as we can. 

It’s weird to not be blogging as much but the break has been nice too. I’ve tried to blog but 1 picture took 40 minutes to upload and I just can’t bring myself to sit at an internet cafĂ© for that many hours. I’ll have to share more of how blogging in Myanmar works sometime but lets just say I’ll be really excited when I can just open my own lap top from home, compose, and hit publish! It’s the little things, people!

The weather! It’s cooling off here and raining just about every day. When I say cooling off I mean it is in the mid 90’s instead of 120’s. And 90’s feels pretty darn amazing! That hot season was the most hot I’ve ever been in my life.

I have to share this story because it’s just too crazy not to… the first week of school I was sitting in a chair reading to the kids. The power to the AC was out which meant our class had no AC and no fan for 2 hours. I knew we were all extremely hot but then my eyes started closing (and not because I was tired) but I was about to pass out! I fought it and then decided that being that hot made me want to cry really hard but I fought that too because I have 16 four year olds in there looking at me. The poor kids were sweating buckets but the power came back on and we all were fine. Later I was told the temperature was 124! 124 you guys! Super hot + we have no windows to open in our room.

We are in week 3 of school! Time is definitely going by faster with school in session. It’s also put us into a routine which I think has been good for us.

Speaking of school Dave and I have the pushup rule implemented (started by Alisha and I in Korea) where if we sing a kid song at home we have to do 10 pushups. I’m going to be buff you guys! I don’t mind kid songs but they get majorly stuck in your head and you sing them over and over and over and over.


Dave and I are hosting our small group from church for the rest of June and July. We meet every other week and I’m excited to open our doors to fellow Christians. Our group has people from Japan, Australia, Bolivia, USA, Vietnam, Singapore and sometimes more countries are represented too. I love that the body of Christ is global!


I’ve been doing a Bible study on fruits of The Spirit by She Reads Truth and it’s been really good! I’ve been going at my own pace with it because I’m trying to study each fruit in detail. I’ll look up that fruit (ex: kindness) in the concordance of my Bible and then read a bunch of verses on kindness. The biggest lesson I’ve learned is that the fruits of The Spirit aren’t ever going to come from me. They come from abiding in Christ. I know that is a super obvious truth since the fruits are called ‘fruits of The Spirit’ but often I forget that and try and do things on my own.  

I also have been able to update IG pretty easily so if you want to stop by and see some Myanmar pictures please do! I’d love to share life here with you all!


AND now I want to hear how life is going for you lately?
How is summer going? Are you loving it? What’s been your favorite activity so far? 

Eat a s’mores for me! <--- I'm sure I just misspelled that! and a hamburger. And cheese. And a donut. And every other delicious American food!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

A Photograhphy Feature on Pray Scripture


Something I am really passionate about is The Word of God! It has an answer for every aspect of life and is God, in written form, penned for us to know Him. I've mentioned before that something I am working on is my prayer life.

And then ... there is photography! I love it and I have so enjoyed taking lots and lots of pictures over here in Asia.

How do these three things tie together? Well I'm about to tell you. 

A month or so ago my friend Jenny messaged me and told me I should start selling or featuring some of my pictures. It was a really encouraging comment but I really didn't know how to go about doing any of that. She also told me about a ministry called Pray Scripture that uses photographs to write Bible verses in prayer forms. I thought it sounded right up my alley so I e-mailed Pray Scripture and NEXT WEEK my photography is going to be featured to pray through the book of I Peter. It will start on Monday, June 8th! 

The pictures in this post are sneak peeks of what they will be using next week!! So exciting! 

Also, I didn't get paid for these pictures and I wouldn't want to be paid for them. I'm just excited that God is going to use these photos to put Scripture in prayer form for us to pray over our families, friends, your children and more!
 

I asked Danielle from Pray Scripture to explain a bit more about this ministry and here is what she has to say: 

"I started the website because after I became a mom, I really wanted to pray God's best over our son.  I found lots of great resources for praying 10 promises from the Bible, or 30 character qualities, etc, but really wanted to search through all of God's Word to choose what I wanted to pray over his life.  Once I started praying Scripture it completely changed how I prayed, what I asked for, and what I believed in faith God would do in my son's life. And  I knew that every parent, or grandparent, etc, would want to pray the same way-bold, God-centered, God-inspired, prayers. Recognizing the busy life of most young moms (and Dads), I wanted to make praying scripture simple and convenient so that people with any amount of time each day or experience with God's word could make this a daily habit.

We officially launched 1 year ago in May, and currently serve over 3,000 subscribers via email and social media in over 25 countries. I am SO thankful and humbled to see how God is answering people's prayers and calling people to pray His word on a daily basis."


I absolutely loved hearing about Danielle and am just so thrilled to be a part of praying The Bible over those I love. I hope you all will join us in praying through I Peter. I also recommend that you read through I Peter to get some more of God's Word in your heart and to be ready to pray these verses. 

Pray Scripture verses are sent out daily and can be found on the following social media platforms:
Instagram: @prayscripture
Twitter: https://twitter.com/pray_scripture
 
Have you ever heard of pray scripture before? 
Do you pray Bible verses over yourself, your family and friends?  

Monday, June 1, 2015

Project 12: May


If you are wondering why you are reading ‘Project 12: May’ for the second time that is because I titled last month’s recap incorrectly. I have  no idea why but I also know no one commented or e-mailed me to let me know of the huge error I made. #thanksguys ;)

Anyways today I am officially recapping May! May was fun! It was our last month of summer break and we packed it full. By summer I must restate that it was a blazing 117 degrees, hot, sunny and I thought I was melting! But I didn’t. Dave did run a few times in that heat and I took an ac taxi home.

Ministry Updates:

Dave and I joined a small group at church. We are looking forward to getting plugged in and will actually be leading the group for June and July.

Classroom Preperations – I have slowly been putting my classroom together, studying curriculum and lesson planning. We have had in-service the last week of May and classes start on June 1st! Dave and I got to help lead devotions for the teacher in-service meetings. We were thankful to be able to share from God’s Word with our fellow teachers. 

Prayer Requests: 

I will have 17 four year olds and only 1 of them knows English fluently. You all know I’ll need prayer for that! Specifically though please pray that the children will have a good foundation for English and that they will clearly understand The Gospel. 

For Dave as he runs the clinic and teaches. Please pray God will send Dave more patients. 

We are going to Bangkok on June 19th for a visa run. 

Good Health – With rainy season approaching the mosquitos are approaching as well. They are known for giving Dengue fever which is coined ‘bone crushing disease’. We really don’t want to get this. Please pray for the health of the students and teachers as well. Oh and our bowels could always use some prayer. I’ll just leave it at that but seriously!

Fun events in May: 

11th - Kyron came over to our house one evening. I took her to buy a bow, a journal and fun pens. We than had princess pasta for dinner, played hide and seek, and had a wonderful time!

12th – Received an e-mail congratulating us on our 2nd 2nd anniversary. Dave and I both completely forgot so we celebrated and went to Tony Roma’s (the 1st American food chain here). We shared a burger and then both were glued to our phones because Tony’s is one of the best places for wifi in town. You know you are in Myanmar when you go on a date where good wifi exists.

13th - 22nd Tom and Elicia arrived to Yangon! I’ll have to share more later how we met but they finished their teaching contract in Korea and were traveling SE Asia and made Myanmar one of their stops.


I’ll just do a bullet point of what we did because if not this will be a novel:

*Ate a big bacon breakfast, toured school and the local market
*Took them to Shwedagon Paya, downtown Yangon tour, 999 Shan Noodle
*Yangon Circle Train, Bogyoke Market, Aung Mingalar Shan Noodle
*Toured Bagan together, had a scorpion join us for our dinner
*ebikes, tea cup shopping, bussed to Mandalay
*Mandalay Hill, World’s Largest book
*Ubein Bridge, our taxi driver ran over a dog on accident, which was disturbing.


Tom and Elicia left Mandalay on the 22ndso Dave and I did a bit more sight seeing. We visited the Mandalay zoo which Dave and I both decided it was the best zoo we had been too because you can feed and get real close to all the animals.
They also had this hilarious bike! 


We toured Pyin Oo Lwin with the highlights being the amazing gardens they have up there, which we can thank the British for building them! Thank you Britain!!! They had this awesome tower:

 

 Restaurants: 

Top Left: Shan Noodles // Bottom Left: Vegetarian Indian Food // Bottom Right: Sticky Shan Noodles
Aung Mingalar Shan Noodle – A place to get a cheap bowl of Shan noodles. They were okay but a little too oily for us. Plus we really loved some of the other Shan Noodle restaruants around. 

Street Food – I am not a brave/ at anything off of the street kind of girl but we had guests this month and they helped me try some new street foods. We had a pancake and I don’t even know how to explain it but YUM! It was made from coconut batter, had melted brown sugar inside, shredded coconut and peanuts. So good! It also did not send me running to the bathroom later which is always a plus in my book.

Indian food at a restaurant and a street stall in Mandalay - Both were really tasty but they lose points for the soon bathroom run that followed… 

FatMan Steaks – Where they have huge ginormous delicious American burgers. Plus they have a big American flag hanging on the wall which makes me want to scream ‘I LOVE AMERICA!’ but everyone would think I was really weird. Living abroad makes you more patriotic though!

YaKunToast – A new restaurant right by us. They have really good tea! Dave ate a ‘cooked’ but runny egg which made his stomach hurt later (I warned him!). We also ate a grilled pb&j which sounds gross but was pretty good. 

Pizza Heaven – We ate here on Mother’s Day. Pizza is my Mom’s favorite. The pizza was good but not my favorite.

Rangoon Tea House – best tea place in Yangon! Plus the atmosphere is super nice and clean. 

Corriander Leaf – Okay technically we tried this last month but seriously they have some of the best Indian tandoori chicken I’ve ever had. If you haven’t had Indian food before you need to add that to your bucket list ASAP!

Harleys – A fast food joint with burgers and fries. We both voted it was better than McDonalds. That’s our standard in Myanmar you guys. #dontjudge

Books Read

Dave is clearly kicking my rear in the reading department. But that is ok! 
I finished reading the book of Jeremiah which was big for me! I struggled to get through that book. 

Dave read the following in April and May: 
Doce Mujeres Extrodanario – 240p. (Yes, this was in Spanish) 
Unlimiting God – 184p.
The wonderful Spirit Filled Life 240p. 
Worship the Christians Highest Occupation 280p.
 Jesus Among Other gods 145p
Not a fan (audio)
The Case for Faith (audio)
In the Grip of Grace (audio book)

Other Notable Events: 
Our market got paved! I know that doesn’t sound like a big deal but walking through the nasty dirty sludge verses cement is a big. big. deal. 

We took the Yangon Circle Line Train! It basically goes around the whole city and they have a station right by our house. We took it to downtown. The cost? $.30 for ac and $.20 for no ac.

I started the mini Polarid rainbow roll! Isn't it fun and colorful?


I also started Project Life! It took me a while to figure out where to print pictures that wouldn't charge me $1.00 per pictures. My new place charges 7 cents! 


AWESOME EXCITING I’M GOING TO JUMP UP AND DOWN NEWS:
David’s sister and her husband (Becky and Byron) and my parents all have purchased airplane tickets to come to Myanmar to see us! I’m so so so excited! They will be visiting back to back which means we will have visitors from August 18 – September 14! YIPEE!

That was May you guys! This post is long and took waaaay to long to compose but that's ok!

How was your May? What was your favorite thing that happened?

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