Thursday, October 06, 2005

Update – Monkey on John’s head – Tambon – No RIGHTS!

Hello everyone out there!

I sat down and wrote a book! Not a real book - I just mean I wanted to give everyone an update on what's going on and I wrote, I've broken it up into 3 posts.

1. Update - Monkey on John's head - Tambon - NO Rights!
2. My birthday is Tomorrow! WOW!
3. Our Financial Need - Holding the Rope

So please...when you have the time read goes part one....

*Sit tight – this is a long post!*

It’s been a while! Micheal – our bestest friend since high school – is officially in Thailand with us. He arrived last Saturday and is working through jetlag. It’s great to have Micheal here – no that he is here it already feels like he’s been here all long.

We’ve been really busy – John spends almost all day in the villages with Clinton passing out tracts and reaching out to all that they meet. From 10am – 3pm they have been going into the deep parts of the villages sometimes riding through the woods on their bikes for 30+ minutes only to get off and walk door to door through jungle like areas going to each house in the village. In some of the areas that they go to the people have never seen a white person – much less, heard the name of Jesus.

Just yesterday John, Clinton and Katherine were on the outskirts of a pretty big village. They handed a tract to a guy and he wanted them to sit down and explain the gospel to him – so they sat…Clinton begins to explain about who Jesus is and about how He is the only way to heaven…(John 14:6)…and while John is sitting there a monkey came out of a tree – ran across everyone’s lap and jumped on John’s shoulder. John handled it well as the monkey continued on by picking through John’s hair and cleaning him as if he was one of its own!!!

This whole month is a very religious ‘Buddhist’ month. Although, you really can’t call it purely Buddhist because they have mixed their religions with many many others – such as Chinese and Hindu. All month long they go to the ‘wats’ (temples) around Thailand and offer sacrifices of food and prayers to there gods and to show respect to the monks. There are numerous festivals around town throughout the month. Many of the shops and street vendors have shut down for a week or more for this occasion. Last month they made offerings to dead relatives…trying to appease the dead people for several weeks.

This week is tamboon…they make many different kinds of offerings like food offerings, money offerings and some even pierce their bodies. From what I understand for the rest of this month there will be many parades and festivals in which many Thai people get swords, broom and mop handles and pierce their jaws through – they parade in the city like this. Some put hooks through their backs and walk on fire to show strength of spirits that they allow to enter them. At times they sit in front of the monks and they chant over them to communicate to their dead relatives…and sometimes they allow themselves to get possessed by spirits (aka demons). Many sons go into monk hood for two weeks to make merit for their bad kharma and the bad kharma of their parents. Also this month there are yellow signs all over the city that remind people that they are not supposed to eat meat all month – to purify their bodies and atone for their sins because they are not killing animals. Not all Thai people do these thing but many do.

With all this going on this month the whole team has felt a sense of urgency to make sure everyone that we encounter hears the gospel – even if it’s just a tract. Tonight as I sit here John is with Clinton again downtown passing out tracts because they are having one of these huge festivals right now.

John has literally been going non-stop from going to villages to studying Thai. It’s incredible to see my sun drained husband walk in everyday and tell me what went on that day in the village. Every Thursday from 10-11am Katherine and I are going to be the Bible to Thai people. Today Katherine brought the main lesson out of Romans 6 about being dead to sin and alive to Christ and what it means to truly live for Jesus. It was wonderful because what I am going to be sharing on next week went perfectly along with she felt like she needed to share today.

I shared about how God has called us to be people who have no rights. If we have truly given our lives over to Jesus and we are really striving to live as Jesus said we should – dead to sin and alive to Christ – then we are to realize that we forfeit our rights as humans for the will of God in our lives. Is He not our creator and the one who knows what is best for us and our lives? Do you really believe this truth?

One example is when we get angry with our friends or our spouse. We are to be like ducks in a pond. When a drop of water hits a ducks back it rolls off and never penetrates the ducks body. We are supposed to be people who walk and live in such a way that when people do things to make us mad or irritate us we let it roll off our backs just like water off of a ducks back and we return their wrong treatment with love.

We don’t have the right to get angry anymore…you know, it is really hard to communicate this through writing. I really admire writers…because I know right now there some people who will read this and think – WHAT?!? Is she crazy!? We don’t have any rights as Christians?!? And I feel that if I were able to explain this in person I could make more sense. But since I can’t…I’ll continue.

As Christians can we speak our heart and our mind…? Yes – of course! What I mean by no rights is that we have no rights to the following: lying, anger, selfishness ect… The only rights we have is the right to love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. You know..that’s it! I’m trying to put into my own words what the word of God says perfectly…read this: (Gal. 5:13-26)

13For you have been called to live in freedom--not freedom to satisfy your
sinful nature, but freedom to serve one another in love. 14For the whole law can
be summed up in this one command: "Love your neighbor as yourself." 15But if
instead of showing love among yourselves you are always biting and devouring one
another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another.

16So I advise you to live according to your new life in the Holy Spirit. Then you won't be doing what your sinful nature craves. 17The old sinful nature loves to do evil, which is just opposite from what the Holy Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us
desires that are opposite from what the sinful nature desires. These two forces
are constantly fighting each other, and your choices are never free from this
conflict. 18But when you are directed by the Holy Spirit, you are no longer
subject to the law.

19When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, your lives will produce these evil results: sexual immorality, impure thoughts, eagerness for lustful pleasure, 20idolatry, participation in demonic activities, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, divisions, the feeling that everyone is wrong except those in your own little group, 21envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other kinds of sin. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

22But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, and self-control. Here there is no conflict with the law.

24Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. 25If we are living now by the Holy Spirit, let us follow the Holy Spirit's leading in every part of our lives. 26Let us not become conceited, or irritate one another, or be jealous of one another.

Yep – that says it pretty well! :) I am just not a writer…I communicate much more effectively in person. Anyway, this morning was very encouraging!