Thursday, September 10, 2009

New Blog

We've moved! Check out our new blog here. Thanks!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Promise Is a Promise

In our Thai language class last week, our lesson was about renting and living in a house. Our vocabulary included words such as bâan (house), chán (floor), sanǎam (yard), and sǎnyaa (contract). As we asked questions to clarify meanings, our teacher told us that sǎnyaa, the Thai word for contract, also means promise. At first I thought, "That makes sense. A contract is a kind of promise." And then, I began thinking about the reality of contracts and promises in life. Too often, it seems, contracts, whether they are rental agreements, business deals, or marriage vows are easily broken. The more I thought, I couldn't help but wonder, "What contracts/promises have I failed to keep?" Perhaps having two separate words in English (i.e. contract and promise) makes is easier to break certain pledges. After all, it's much less unpleasant to simply say, "I terminated the contract," than to humbly admit, "I broke my promise."

Our family has recently been reading through the stories of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Several evenings ago we were talking about Genesis 28. Specifically we looked at how the Lord spoke to Jacob and promised to fulfill what He had originally promised to Jacob's grandfather, Abraham, concerning Abraham's descendants and the LORD'S blessing on them. The contrast in character here is striking. Jacob the deceiver, who has, with his mother's help, just masterfully tricked his father and brother is now being graciously spoken to by and brought into a relationship with the Almighty, Truth-Telling, Promise-Keeping God. Isn't it refreshing to know that when Jacob turned out to be the swindler that he was, the LORD didn't balk on His original promise. How reassuring the reality that when Abraham lied about the identity of his bride to save his own skin, Yahweh stayed true to His Word! What a humbling certainty that when we fail to live with integrity, our Father still graciously accepts us and sees us covered in the precious blood of His Son! Of course, this reality should not encourage us to live as liars. Scripture is clear that God's grace does not equal a license to sin (see Romans 6). However, even when we do lie, cheat and break our promises, we live securely "in the hope [confidence] of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised long ages ago" (Titus 1:2). Now that's an awesome promise!

A float at the recent Chiang Mai Flower Festival

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Something to Talk About

"God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world." ~ Hebrews 1:1-2

As our 3rd week of language school comes to a close, I find myself thinking about communication. Communication, in its numerous forms, permeates much of our lives. Talking, reading, singing, listening, praying, body language, TV, movies, music - just a few forms of communication that fill up our days. Truly, we are communicative beings.

Of course, this only makes sense as we have been created in the image of the Communicative Being. As the author of Hebrews points out, God, the powerful Creator & rightful Owner of the vast universe, has spoken to us. From the very beginning of time, God has intimately & creatively communicated with the people He loves, using a number of means to get His messages across: dreams, visions, angels, prophets, apostles, direct revelation, a floating hand and even animals. Even more amazing is the reality that God has also spoken to us in the Person of His Son, Jesus, the God-Man. During His earthly ministry, Jesus Himself equated hearing the voice of God the Father with believing in & knowing God the Son (see John 5:37-40). Jesus reminds us that the purpose of God's communication is more than simply the transfer of raw information. Instead, God is concerned with relationships. He knows us & wants us to know Him. So, He tells & shows us what He is like, in His Word & through His Son.

What is so personally significant about all of this is that we have come to Thailand in order to communicate with others about this personal, loving Savior. Of course, learning Thai is a huge part of achieving this goal. Yet, alongside understanding & speaking the language comes communicating the love of Christ through our daily lives by allowing the written Word & Living Word to transform us & determine how we live. The truth is people won't want to hear what we have to say about a Jesus who loves them unless they also see this loving Jesus in us. By God's grace, may our communication of Him be authentic & their perception of Him clear.

Abigail & Chloe talking with their Heavenly Daddy

Monday, January 5, 2009

1st Day

It was a bit unreal sending Matthias off to his first day of 1st grade this morning. As I watched him ride away, a strange blend of emotions came over me: pride, sorrow, excitement, worry, anticipation. But, above all these feelings was an overwhelming sense of joy. I have joy in the reality that my son is growing up into a young man of God. Each day it seems he is maturing physically, emotionally, mentally, socially and spiritually. I must agree with the apostle who said, "I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth." Keep walking, Matthias.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Eternal Ruler

"But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathath,
Too little to be among the clans of Judah,
From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel.
His goings forth are from long ago,
From the days of eternity." ~ Micah 5:2

As we prepare to celebrate our first Christmas in Chiang Mai, Thailand, we are reminded of the crucial truth of Christ's eternality. We have learned that many Thai Buddhists connect a religion's value and accuracy with its age. Since Buddha lived some 500 years before Jesus was born, Buddhism is considered to be superior to Christianity. However, we believe the Scriptures which tell us that Christ had no beginning, but rather, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth" (John 1:1, 14). As Ravi Zacharias wrote, "How can time argue with eternity?"

May you be blessed as you celebrate the Eternal Christ this Christmas season.

Fellow TCM missionary, Genesis Maraat, met us at the Chiang Mai airport on December 9

Our family enjoyed an afternoon at Krisdadoi, a flower park near Chiang Mai

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Nebraska Summer

Chasing toads, fishing at the lake, eating corn on the cob, "Taco Tuesdays" at the park - these are just a few of things we enjoyed doing with our family during our time at Grandpa and Grandma Killion's this summer. However, the summer went by quickly (as all good things seem to do) and as August faded into September, we reluctantly said goodbye. We love and miss you so much Grandpa, Grandma, Uncle Ryan, Aunt Megan, Penny, and Aunt Rebecca.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Pretty Penny

Congratulations to Ryan and Megan Killion (my brother and sister-in-law)! They joyfully welcomed their beautiful daughter, Penelope Winn, into the world at 4:13pm on August 20, 2008. At birth Penny weighed a healthy 8 pounds 14 ounces and measured 20 inches long. Our kids enjoyed greeting their new cousin, even if Matthias initially bemoaned, "She's a girl?!"

Penelope and her Daddy

Matthias says, "Hello, cousin Penny."