Monday, March 27, 2006

Pure and undefiled Religion...

Things have been so unscheduled recently – it’s amazing.  Brian and MaryBeth are moving across the street from the Garsee’s and Katherine is moving in with Brian and MaryBeth…the Pruetts are coming in from Baan Nam Khem to visit for a week!!!  So the past couple of days have been nothing but moving…moving…moving!!!  

We are so blessed!!  Not that this is all that important to us but our living room looks like a real living room now!!  Katherine is moving and she has a bookshelf that she didn’t want anymore because it has mold on it – and so she gave it to us!!  I’m working on getting the mold off of it and my new picture fits perfectly on it!!  

Then about the night before yesterday I had a dream that I was trying to rock baby Jude while sitting on the bed and really wishing I had a rocking chair like I did with Josiah.  The rocking chair Josiah and I had in America was our best friend.  I put him to sleep every night in that thing…so when I found out I was pregnant I started looking for a rocking chair everywhere – but everywhere I found them they were over $100 dollars!  So I let go of my death grip on the idea of having a rocking chair with Jude and I’ve been swaying and rocking in the bed with him.  

Anyway…so, I had a dream that I was trying to rock baby Jude and I was wishing that I had a rocking chair and then all of a sudden I was sitting in one…I recognized this rocking chair – it was Brian and MaryBeth’s Thai rocking chair.  So Jude and I rocked away…and the next day – I came in from going to get food and there was Brian and MaryBeth’s rocking chair – sitting in my living room!!!  Since they were moving they decided that they didn’t need/want it anymore and so they gave it to us!!!  I was just shocked!  

I am so in awe and shock (because of the dream) that God wanted to bless me with that rocking chair.  Isn’t it amazing that He truly does care for us that much?  These two things got me thinking about how much we have been given.  Our living room furniture was bought for us by a friend here who said that God told them to buy us living room furniture.  Our table was given to us by Brian and MaryBeth a year ago.  

The house we live in came with a bed, 3 air conditioners (one in Micheal’s bedroom, Josiah’s bedroom and our bedroom), a small side table, and a cabinet for the kitchen (which…if I didn’t have it I would have food sitting all over the floors because Thai kitchens do not have cabinets), a eating table outside and lots of plants (very common in thai housing).  When we first bought our plane tickets to Thailand we expected to live in a shack…we didn’t expect to have any furniture…or any nice things really (like my painting)…but yet here we are – BLESSED!!!  If the work that God has us doing here calls for us to move out to a shack someday then so be it…

It’s just amazing to me!!!  Thank you God!  Last week I had mentioned that Katherine and I were going to go out to an orphanage in Songkhla…unfortunately we were not able to go because we had to help out with some things here but we ARE GOING tomorrow!  I am sooo excited!  Josiah is such a doll – he’s giving up some of his toys to go to the orphanage and I’ve got some of the clothes Jude can’t fit into anymore ready to go too.  
I just keep thinking of James 1:27:  

27 Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of God our Father means that we must care for orphans and widows in their troubles, and refuse to let the world corrupt us.

Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God is that we must care for orphans and widows….it can’t get any clearer than that!  Do you know any orphans or widows that you could care for and help?  My mother is a widow and I am very sad to say that I don’t know many Christians who really take care of her.  And there are many times she needs it.  My brother has always been there to help my mother keep the house up (repairs and such) until recently because he had a baby boy(Braden: ) who was born at 1 pound 7 ounces and since then his life and the life of his wife have been turned upside down and he is unable to make the trip to Sherman from Denton every weekend like he used to.  

I know his heart is to make the trip but he has to take care of his son – and now my mother can make the trip by herself sometimes.  Please know that I’m not upset with anyone about this – I mean…when I was in America – I SURE didn’t seek out orphans and widows to help them.  Or not only just to help them but to just be in their lives so that they know they are loved.  I just want to challenge those of you who can…seek out the orphans and widows and show them the love of God.  Visit nursing homes…spend 40 minutes in a day to chat 10 minutes with 4 elderly people in a nursing home and make their month…Bring by some cake to the elderly lady who lives down the street from you…take that toy that your child never touches to a child who will cherish it…

I feel so soap boxish but my heart is just on fire about this.  Most people in America have SOOO MUCH stuff!  Things that just sit around and are never used and not really appreciated…look around your house and see if you have anything like that…and if so – find someone to bless with it!!!  I can’t tell you how blessed I am by the rocking chair and the bookshelf (even with mold) and I know there are those out there who would be sooo blessed by what you consider trash or last seasons fashions.  

And if you really want to be blessed(although that should not be your motive)…instead of looking for the things you don’t want anymore…give something that you cherish and that you would like to keep….give it away to someone to show the love of God.  Do it just between you and God…not to boast or brag of your goodness but just to give from a heart that is turned toward God.  I truly believe that is the true heart of God.  Just like he gave away his son to die on the cross…his most loved and cherish possession.  

**Side note – one time I wanted to give a whole bunch of stuff away in America and I found out that it was hard to do (except for to Goodwill)…I wanted to give it to a certain shelter and I couldn’t unless I was free to go at a certain time of a certain day.  So I tried to give it to another organization and they wouldn’t take it unless it was packed a certain way…I was like “I JUST WANNA GIVE YOU SOME STUFF – TAKE IT!”  So beware that if you step out and try to give away something it might be a little work – don’t let that derail you from giving anyway.  And don’t think you have to give to an organization either – open your eyes to the people around you everyday…even the ones you don’t have direct contact with – maybe you pass them everyday in your car…there are people in need everywhere…

Please keep us in your prayers tomorrow – I’ll try to get pictures if it is appropriate.  John will be starting back out to the villages tomorrow.  Thank you guys for reading!