September 09, 2008

Keeping a Journal (any advice?)

I've tried before and I am going to try again. Every time I try to keep a journal, it goes good for a week or two and after that I lose my desire. I don't want my journal to just be a diary of what I did but more about what God is teaching me and speaking to me about.

I'm sure some of you that frequent my blog keep a spiritual journal. If so, how do you do it? What do you do to keep yourself interested in it? I really think that journaling will help me process my thoughts and will be very beneficial to me. If you have any ideas or suggestions of what to do or what not to do, I'd love to hear them.

September 08, 2008

Praying Dangerously

Last week I started and finished the book, "In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day" by Mark Batterson. I couldn't put it down. The book had some awesome quotes and many of them pierced my heart and he really helped me to think about things in a new perspective. I definitely have to read this book again and would highly recommend it to anyone reading this blog but expect to be changed!

Over the past few months, God has been dealing with me in the area of prayer because it is one of weakest areas. I'd rather do than pray but I know that that is the wrong way of doing things. Although Batterson's book is more about taking risks, God kept using the book to deal with me in the area of my prayer life, especially about praying dangerously.

Yesterday I preached on praying dangerously (had intended to even before I started reading the book but the book helped confirm a lot of things). During the response song after I finished preaching, the thought hit me, if we pray for God to help our church grow and one person is saved, baptized and becomes a member, God has answered our prayer. God did exactly what we asked but in the end, we're disappointed (especially pastors and missionaries) because we want to grow our churches and we want God to do big things, but sometimes we forget to ask. As a result I have been challenged to begin praying bigger, more dangerous prayers. Asking for things that I can't do on my own strength. Asking God to do the things that I think can't be done knowing that nothing is impossible for God. God doesn't want us to limit him in our prayer lives and I have a problem of limiting God to what I think I can manage but why not pray ask God to do what only He can manage, not me?

So I've decided to pray more dangerously. I'm excited and a little scared because I don't know what to expect, I have a feeling I'm going to be pulled out of my comfort zone but if that is what God wants, that's is what needs to happen.

September 02, 2008

Dengue Fever

Dengue Fever, an illness that comes from a mosquito bite has been really bad this year in Chiang Mai. The husband of one of our church's members already spent one week in the hospital and had to get a blood transfusion as a result. Now Tim, our church secretary and one of our most faithful church members and Dee, her husband both have Dengue Fever. Dengue Fever is similar to malaria (I guess) and is supposed to be excruciatingling painful, even fatal. Please pray for these two.

Protests are Escalating

It's been about a week since the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) started protesting, hoping to oust the current government (which has only been in power for about 7 months). Until last night, things had remained peaceful, aside from the fact that the PAD protesters have broken many laws. Earlier in the week, the highest court in Thailand gave the police the authority to arrest the leaders of the PAD group but that still hasn't happened. Last night, pro-government supporters clashed with the PAD protesters and as a result, there was one fatality and many others were injured. As a result, the government declared a state of emergency in Bangkok and the military has stepped in in order to try and control the situation.

Although the group of protesters are called the People's Alliance for Democracy, they really don't want democracy. They have openly said that most of Thailand's population is too uneducated to support a democracy. It sounds to me that they think only the rich elite have the right to vote, but unfortunately much of Thailand's population is still fairly uneducated and poor. There are thousands of protesters protesting in Bangkok and getting paid to do it, often times getting paid more than what they could make at their normal jobs. If they weren't being paid to protest, these protests would have fizzled out already. I think it is funny, the uneducated shouldn't be able to vote, but it is fine to allow them to help with the protests.

In regards to us and what is happening here in Chiang Mai. Other than people being offered money to protest, I haven't seen anything out of the ordinary. The train station is closed down but I haven't seen any protests happening in or around Chiang Mai because the north where we live is pretty pro-government and a major part of the reason that this government is in power. With that said, please continue to pray for the country and the safety for everyone.