Wednesday, June 29, 2011

tongue twisters & roaches.

this is just an attempt to show you how much fun we are having here! (sorry the sound isn't great on the first 4... they were made with my phone!) here are just a few things from over the weeks that just make me laugh. oh my hilarious.






(behind me is where we eat lunch every day! also, i butchered this tongue twister because i did not even attempt to add the tones in there...)


i think this might be the ONLY thing i wont miss about thailand...
(watch all the way till the end.. so funny!)


abc.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

humorous.

well, these past two days have been nothing short of hilarious. to start...

when i began talking to my parents again about getting my nose pierced, if they said yes, i thought i would just wait until i got to thailand to get it pierced. that way my sweet mom wouldn't have to see it! then i decided for sterol reasons i would just get it 3 days before i left... THANK THE SWEET LORD IN HEAVEN I DID! 2 nights ago i was at the night market and passed a jewelry booth where they did piercing. you want to know how they pierce peoples noses here? they get any earring that you choose (not sharpened, not thinner... just a plain ole erring) and grab your nose and push the earring until it goes through. no needle, no nice tube thing so you dont feel like your nose is getting broken off... just a man pushing... pause, take a breather with it not even half way through.... push.... stop again.... push annnnnd now your nose is pierced! bleeding? yes. crying? yes. throbbing? yes. worth it? HECK NO! i would have died if i had gotten it here.

yesterday, i thought i was going to go insaine. we had an extended amount of free time and i couldn't think of anything to do for 5 straight hours while the students were still in class. so, i decided to grab my camera and walk around to take some pictures. needless to say, i stepped in 9 million mud puddles, almost got hit my a took-took, sung tau, and garbage truck, and got yelled at for picking a flower off of something that i guess was really important.

the meat here is sold in such sterile ways! what isn't in this picture is the bucket of catfish that are still swimming. and when this dish starts running low, they just stick their knife in the bucket, get a fish, chop it up, and throw it in this bowl.... i thought i was going to puke. they actually laughed pretty hard at the face i was making as i watched...


this is one of my favorite desserts here! the lady making it was so excited to talk to an American that she gave me some for free! it made my day so much better!


i really am going to miss this about Thailand. i love just walking through the streets and soaking in EVERYTHING that is so different from what i have grown up knowing.


tonight though- tonight was my personal favorite of this week.... Pbaan always makes our plans and then she picks me up around 6 every night and i just do what she says we are doing with the students... tonight she said basketball! little did i know what i was getting myself into.

lets rewind a couple years. i played basketball growing up. well, i TRIED playing basketball growing up. i am athletic, but basketball is just not my forte. and tonight, it was no different.

me getting picked for a team... surprisingly i wasn't last!

Dad, im so sorry to disappoint, but im not better now than i was about 9 years ago... i shot about 9 times.... air balled every. single. one.


this was the funniest part though. the students i was playing with had been there since 4. i got there at 7. and they play till around 12. so, these students had already been playing for about 3 hours. to get water, you have to ask permission....

every player must line up on the line and yell, in unison, a "simple" phrase asking permission to drink water.
"KAW-AH-NU-YAD-DEUM-NAAM-KA!"
i understand that that looks easy to yell. 1. you are reading it. 2. the pressure of these peoples hydration isn't resting on your shoulders with about 300 people staring at you and 3. you cant hear the tones (remember, there are 5) that are involved in yelling thing

i could NOT get it! thank goodness this sweet girl was willing to help me...


they all had to wait for me to yell it correctly on my own before we could start over and yell it as a team...


and then... after i thought it was done, we had to reply with "KHOB-KHUN-KA!" which means thank you. however, when they started to yell again, i assumed we were yelling that we wanted water again. nope. once again, everyone had to wait on me to say it correctly and then yell it again with the team...

FINALLY, after about 10 minuets... everyone got water! and then, i chose to withdrawl and take a seat. my talents were no longer needed.

abc.

Friday, June 24, 2011

QOTW.

'tis true!
abc.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

abandonment.

this is going to be a long one. im giving you the heads up now. and, like usual, it may not make sense to anyone- but it makes beautiful sense to me... right now im sitting on my coconut-shell mattress with a massively full heart. i have been sorting through my thoughts all day... trying to journal but i cant write fast enough to keep up with my thoughts. im sitting here with my bible, 2 books, my journal, a quote from another blog, and 2 paragraphs from a paper i wrote a year ago- all ready to squeeze in my blog because its only then that i think any of what i am learning will make sense. its like putting a puzzle together, just without the box picture to guide me.

"to ask for the guidance of God is to make a choice, and this takes faith. it must be faith of a far greater kind than the breezy "if i like what i see ill take it". it is the faith that has the strength to wait for the rewards God holds, strength to believe they are worth fighting for, worth the price asked. our prayers for guidance (or anything else) really begin here: i trust Him. this requires abandonment. we are no longer saying "if i trust him, he'll give me such and such," but "i trust Him. let him give me or withhold from me what he chooses..."
- a slow and certain light, elizabeth elliot

am i ready to abandon my sin? am i ready to admit to the depravity in my heart to the point where i do not just admit to my sin but i abandon it? do you know what abandonment means? it is, by webster's dictionary, "to give up control or influence of another person/agent; to withdraw protection, support, or help from; to give over unrestrainedly; to cease from maintaing, practicing, or using." am i ready to give up control of self? am i willing to withdraw protection that i think i find in my sin? and i ready to give over my life unrestrainedly?

as the Lord has continued to show me more of my sin and simultaneously more of Himself, i have become so overwhelmed.

i think that there is a difference in feeling guilty and feeling convicted. i could be wrong- but thats what i think. i have been praying that God would continue to break me- continue to refine me through fire. but, as time has gone on, i dont think that i have been broken yet. i think i have seen my sin, i have felt bad for it... but broken over it? convicted of it? honestly- i dont think i have.

i dont want to be ok with my sin, but im realizing that i am. how can i know what i know is true of God and not hate my sin?

im reading a book called humility by c.j. mahaney and in it he says,

"sin- including especially the sin of pride- is active, it is not passive. sin doesn't wake up tired, because it hasn't been sleeping. when you wake up in the morning, sin is right there, fully awake, ready to attack. so rather than be attacked by sin in the morning, i've chosen to go on the offensive. i've chosen to announce to sin, "i'm at war with you. i know you're there, and i am after you!" from the moment i awake, i've learned to make statements to go about my dependance upon God, and in this way im humbling myself before God."

i want to get to that point but how! how, when satan is so set on my destruction do i get to the point where i say that i HATE my sin. that i despise it so much that i am willing to abandon ALL for the glory of God's renown? how do i get my head and my heart to connect so that it sinks in the absolute wickedness of my sin nature and at the same time the immense, empowering, and SAVING grace of my Father? how? if you've figured it out- enlighten me! please! ha

this is going to be a long quote- but its an awesome one...

"if any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. for whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loves his life for my sake will find it.

at this point i want to cry, 'STOP! dont tell me anymore. i can't fulfill the conditions! i do not "keep instruction". i hardly listen to it, in fact. i am not "godly". i am not good or meek or upright or blameless or truthful or self-sacrificing in any sense at all except a relative one. even a casual look at God's Word shows me that a relative goodness wont do. i am none of the things i am told i need to be in order to expect God's guidance. the thing i needed so despiretly and wanted to pray for so simply looks now like a carrot on a stick... i must attain some point of perfection before i can even begin to ask, so i can't qualify, now or ever.

the consciousness of my own imperfection implies a consciousness of perfection. intuitively we know that if there is such a thing as a relative goodness there is such thing as absolute goodness, and before that goodness we shrink and are afraid. there is nowhere to turn. like c.s. lewis, as he described his own conversion, with eyes darting right and left in search of some escape, we find that there is none. there is nowhere to turn but back to him whom we dread."
- a slow and certain light, elizabeth elliot

thats where im at. i feel so inadequate. in seeing so much of my sin, i am having a hard time allowing myself to see grace. satan has gotten into my head and is whispering to me 'you dont deserve this. you are too far from perfect. there is no good in you, abby'. and instead of yelling at him- instead of being on the offense and saying 'you are WRONG! the verdict is out, court is adjourned. my debt has been paid. i am free!' i, instead, sit here wallowing in self-pity and hopelessness, acting like a fool thinking that if i feel guilty of my sin long enough then i will be forgiven. when will my heart finally see the beauty of the Gospel? when will my soul finally realize that i am free.

here is where i see the difference in guilt and conviction. guilt is living in light of your sin. conviction is living in light of the cross. when i feel guilty- i think of what i did and what i need to do to fix it... i feel bad because i know whats expected of me and know that i haven't lived up to that. when i feel conviction- it is because the Holy Spirit is actively working in my heart, showing me the beauty of Christ's perfection and in light of that perfection- sin is shown.

conviction is in light of Gods glory.
guilt is in light of self preservation.

conviction leads to repentance and fruit; guilt leads to more pride and self-centeredness.

a blog i follow just posted this and it is perfect for this...

"When Jesus fed the five thousand, he took five loaves of bread, blessed them, broke them, and gave them to the disciples to give away (Matthew 14:19). One brother of the Revival read this verse and then looked at me. "Until God breaks your will, he will never use you," he said. "You will only remain a nice loaf of bread." What Jesus did in feeding the multitude was very symbolic of what was going to happen to his body. To his own disciples he said, "This is my body which is broken for you.'

Unless we are broken, we are of no use to God. And unless we are broken, we are of no use to the community of believers of which we are a part. Hardly any of us can go to his own Christian community and say, "This is my body which is broken for you. I am laying all my professional skills, abilities, and economic resources at your disposal. Take them and use them as you see fit." We cannot say this, because we are not broken. We are too proud to give our lives to people who are not perfect. We want to find the perfect person and the perfect community, but we never find them. So, like Judas, we make only a partial commitment to the body of believers to which we belong , and we find our identity in our rebellion from them." "Walking in the Light" by F. Kefa Sempangi

what this says yet again is that hardly any of us can say, i have abandoned my life. i withdraw the protection i find in hiding behind my sin of self-centeredness, and i surrender unrestrainedly to the power, and majesty, beauty, and justice of the Gospel.

im done with partial commitment. i want, like that loaf of bread, to be broken. not torn up (guilty), but wholly and completely broken (convicted).

for now, since i dont know any answers- i've gone back to a simple truth. one that frustrates the fire out of me!

"be still and know that i am God."

"if we have once shut up long enough to know this, we have, at least in that moment, been ready to obey."
-elizabeth elliot

"For Zion's sake I will not keep silent,
and for Jerusalem's sake I will not be quiet,
until her righteousness goes forth as brightness,
and her salvation as a burning torch.
The nations shall see your righteousness,
and all the kings your glory,
and you shall be called by a new name
that the mouth of the Lord will give.
You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord,
and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.
You shall no more be termed Forsaken,
and your land shall no more be termed Desolate,
but you shall be called My Delight Is in Her,
and your land Married;
for the Lord delights in you,
and your land shall be married...
and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride,
so shall your God rejoice over you"

i am so thankful for the promises of the Lord. i am so thankful for his grace. i am so thankful that even when i am completely overwhelmed and typing for no other reason that to just get it out, that God is greater.

abc.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

sahnook : 1 month update.

sometimes it seems like all i blog about is serious things. its just that this weird mindset comes over me when i sit down to type and i can't help but let me heart pour out through my typing! but, not today! i will resist the temptation and simply update you on the sahnook (fun) that we have been having around here! i never want to leave!

i dont know how to accurately explain what is going on in the picture below. all i can say is that it in NO WAY does it justice. here at KKU and really just in Thailand in general, the freshies (freshman) get hazed. bad. there is an entire 2 week period blocked off for it. there really is no way for me to explain it. but, in the picture below the HUSO students (my ministry group's focus) has been sitting indian style, backs completely straight, getting yelled at and having to sing at the top of their lungs for almost 3 hours now. they have ambulances and nurses on site because so many students pass out or begin to hyperventilate. one girl told me that KKU has it easy and that at some colleges in Bangkok its not unusual to hear of deaths during hazing weeks. this, ladies and gentleman, is The Freshie Cheers

another thing that the freshies have to do is show gratitude to their teachers. below are two pictures from when Pbaan and i went and hung out with the freshies while they made them.. they elaborately decorate these flower arrangement things that have to do with their specific faculty and such... its takes them hours and is a huge deal

"helping" ann maker her arrangement!
dong, me, yohjo, and pbaan

this was such a fun day! Pbaan and P'Rung planned out a day trip to Udorn (pronounced oo-dahn) for the day with some freshies we are trying to get close with. it was an absolutely incredible day! we got to play lots of games on the train ride up there, see some beautiful farm lands, and just spend quality time hanging with the students, answering questions for them, and getting to know them better. the bus ride back... thats another story. im in no way a claustrophobic- by NO means and all i wanted to do was get off that bus. there was about a 5-10 min span where i literally thought i was about to start hyperventilating. it was miserable and thats putting it mildly.

(L to R: Mark, me, Ann, Angie, Fang, Dong
Pete, P'Rung, Pbaan)
love these students so much! they have taught me SO much!

when we were walking to the bus to leave udorn, i look over and this is what i see. the Thai's here hate the sun. they all wear pants, long sleeves, jackets, carry sweaters... anything to keep the sun off their skin. they constantly reapply sunscreen and everything. it is so funny to me. this is what my sweet friends look like walking down the road... trying to explain a tanning bed and its purposes to them was HILARIOUS
This, below, is one of my favorite things here. Walking Street. it is about a mile long strip blocked off for small vendors and live music with great food. the lights make for some fun photography too! at each little break in vendors there are usually dancers... and if you know me at all- you know i LOVE this part!
milk and i have made it a tradition to jump in every saturday night.. we are becoming quite the regulars! the crew thinks its hilarious and everyone just laughs at us. it is so. much. fun.
this is milk and i with the crew...
this is no ammeter crew either. they are actually really good!

this one is the ring leader... he is really funny to watch. my personal favorite!

also this sunday was baptism sunday. when this sweet man got baptized, i dont think there were many dry eyes in the church. he has such an incredible testimony of Gods faithfulness. his daughter, Aw, is milcahs ministry partner who Pbaan and i are with and it has been amazing seeing her faithfulness in praying for her fathers salvation and then hearing of how the Lord answered her prayers... i wish so badly that each of you reading all this could know these people. that you could hear their stories, see the passion in their eyes, and listen to them talk about their vision for ministry. it really is life changing.


this is Arm (pronounced ah-m) and he is incredible. he, like Aw's father, has an amazing testimony of God's faithfulness in redeeming his life. he is one of the most passionate people i have ever come in contact with. and the joy that he had sunday when he was baptized was really just a beautiful thing!
this just shows the effects of true discipleship. P'Rung (the one with long brownish hair kind of in the middle) she led Pbaan, my ministry partner, Aw, and Earn to Christ. She now disciples the 3 of them. those 3 girls each disciple girls (only Preoul is in the picture) and Aw, Pbaan, and Earn also now meet with milk and i, teaching us more of the Lord. 5-4 students in this picture, it was their first time at church on sunday and the others are believing students, one of which was baptized sunday. and when milk and i go and begin meeting with girls, this chain will be carried cross-culturally. its amazing how the Lord can use the faithfulness of 1 woman to impact so many more.

this monday was court nay nay's 22nd birthday! our team got to throw her an amazing birthday party that was fun for all of us! the guys ministry groups were so nice and broke up and took the 4 ministry girls groups out on group dates! little did court know that her group would embark on a scavenger hunt all over KKU only to end up at, the ever so treasured Annie Anns at the mall! the lead her in, sat her down, and when she took off her blind fold we all were surrounding her SCREAMING the happy birthday song as loud as we could. the Thai's just stared at us... its was great!
we love you so much bud!


from there we surprised her again and had some team bonding time while bowling! (fam, we are going to have to have more bowling nights... i bowled a 54. i was fighting my competitive nature the whole night trying to remind myself, 'abby, it is JUST a game')

we are all having SO much fun here. i cannot even begin to tell you about all that the Lord is teaching us and growing us in. God is so good. a couple of us have gotten to share the gospel with students and most of us have in some way gotten to share our testimonies with the students as well.

prayer request:
-People are still sick. Christine is at the hospital right now, and a few people still aren't feeling 100%. pray that the Lord would calm every ones stomachs and give us all energy to continue on.
-we counted and we only have 15 days left on campus. WHAT IN THE WORLD?! where has the time gone? i cannot believe it. please pray that God would continue to open doors for conversation and questions. we have built some incredible relationships so pray that the Lord would enable us to take them a little deeper.
- Pray for the students who have had the Gospel shared with them. Pray that the Lord would keep the wheels turning in their heads and that as questions come to mind, we would be able to answer them and help them to understand the freedom that comes from the Lord in a greater way.

*A huge praise: we have been keeping up with project and found out today that around 8 students have prayed to receive Christ! this is such an encouragement to all of us here. knowing that the Lord is working in college students hearts literally world-wide is incredible. Praise the Lord for redeeming their hearts and pray for all of us, that as we return to our campuses, we would not lose sight of what God has done in our lives and that we would be a light in a lost world.

until next time...
abc.



Friday, June 17, 2011

quote of the week.

i love quotes. they just really make me happy. so, i've decided that as cheesy as they may be, im going to have a quote of the week! every week i'll post one of my favorites! week 1... here we go!


abc.

i dont but i do.

im not going to explain this post. if you get it, great. if not, i dont really care. its more for me so when i look back i can laugh at myself and what God is showing me.

i act like i dont want to be got.
i dont want someone to have the ability to just know.
but, for the handful of people that i want to get,
i desperately want to be got by them.
i want them to just know.

abc.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

video update.

week 3 video update!

CCP Thailand: Team Update Week 3 from Matt & Erin Francisco on Vimeo.

to everyone at home, miss you and love you!!

abc.

Monday, June 13, 2011

bugs and brokenness.

the title for this post is almost as cheesy as it gets. but, as i sit down to write, those are the 2 things on the forefront of my mind, and they happen to start with the same letter- so, im going with it. bugs and brokenness.

one thing about thailand that i am learning is that i will NEVER escape the bugs. never. there are moths in our shower, baby lizards with no tails in our bed room, there are flies on every piece of meet, bees in the fruit, massive cock roaches in the cars, and spiders on the wall. and the gnats.... those are just everywhere. even as i am typing this i have had to swat about 4 flies, 2 moths, and numerous ants. oh yeah, ants too. they're everywhere.

honestly, i dont really mind any of it but the spiders and roaches. i dont mess around with those two. ew.

i'll get to the brokenness at the end. i want to fill you in on some fun things that have been going on here recently first! i am in the process of downloading my new editing software (!!!!!) so pictures will be coming soon!

i have had so much fun with my ministry partner, with the thai's we meet on campus and our team. im surrounded by incredible people. we have gone shopping, break danced with some thais at Walking Street (a massive outdoor market... video or picture coming soon!), taught some thai's how to swing dance, tried more strange food like pork large intestine rings. literally disgusting. we have had some incredible training, learned more thai, found some places to get semi-american food when we are missing home. we had a team night last night and ate at an awesome restaurant. i want to take the owner back to the states with me! he was such a character. after we went to the church and watched Goonies. by far my favorite movie now. i was dying the whole time. how have i lived this long without seeing it?! i dont know.

another thing that has been great is that i feel like our team is finally really bonding. i know we all came wanting to be really close, but thats not something that just happens over night. but over these past 2 weeks, i feel that we have really developed a unity among us. its really such a blessing. i cant speak for the team as a whole, but i know for myself there is no way i could do this trip without every single person on our team. i think each person brings such specific qualities to our team and its really neat to see. its been a true example of the body of Christ to me.

it hadn't been like this the whole time for me though. and this is where the brokenness comes in.

i came into this trip knowing what i thought the Lord was going to work on me in. selfishness. i knew coming in that that is a fault of mine and that i wanted the Lord to teach me and humble me. to preface the rest of this post i need to say- this past semester was not really a good one. i really struggled in my walk with the Lord. i allowed satan to get a hold of my heart and i started to believe lies that were not true. and, since i was not, by any means, consistently in the Word, i was not able to see these lies i was believing. all that being said, i- unknowingly- brought alot of baggage (for lack of a better word) here with me to Thailand.

so, when we first got here, i all of a sudden was bombarded with alot of insecurities that i did not know i even had. ones that i never have even struggled with. insecurities of acceptance. as i began to try to sort through those thoughts- why am i feeling this way? why do i feel like i cant be myself? why do i all of a sudden care so much about what people think of me? - i began to realize that maybe selfishness wasn't the only thing God wanted to work on me in.... my thoughts on that? uh oh.

it wasn't until sunday morning that all of this really hit though. i was able to go to the home of one of the missionaries here as she cooked a DELICIOUS home cooked meal to talk about my first 2 weeks. when we sat down she simply asked how i was doing. i dont know if its because she was basically a stranger, or if it was just the Lord sovereignly working that made me open up- but open up i did. i sat there, for probably way too long and just started in January. telling her everything about my semester and began to uncover things that i have unknowingly been suppressing. i dont think she knew what she was getting herself into when she asked me that simple question! ha.

i never realized what a verbal processor i was. it was like i just needed someone to listen. from start to finish. with all my 'i mean... i just dont know's' and 'well, that didnt make since... what i mean is...' and everything else under the sun as i tried to fumble through what was going on in my head and heart. and at the end of it she asked me one more simple question: "well, abby, what do you think God is trying to teach you about himself through this all?"

that question was the last straw. i sat there and felt like such an idiot. it dawned on me. the thing that i so did not want to admit to. God was breaking me. breaking me of my Pride.

i realized that in almost everything i did within the past semester and even before- there was pride. literally in everything. even the things i thought i was doing for other people, there was some sort of pride in it. wether it be people seeing me and thinking i've got it together, or me feeling like 'oh im a good christian now' or the one i realized was the most frequent, knowing that since i was SUCKING in my walk with the Lord, doing things to make me feel like 'ok i did this good thing so im good to go'. pride. pride. pride. pride. pride. gosh i hate it.

C.s. Lewis is one convicting writer. in his chapter The Great Sin in Mere Christianity (HIGHLY recommend it) he says:

" There is one vice of which no man in the world is free; which everyone in the world loathes when he sees it in someone else; and of which hardly any people, except christians, ever imagine that they are guilty themselves...the vice i am talking about it Pride."

and later he says:

"according to christian teachers, the essential vice, the utmost evil, is Pride. Unchastity, anger, greed, drunkenness, and all that are mere flea bites in comparison: it was through Pride that the devil became the devil: Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind.... Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man... Pride always means enmity - it is enmity. and not only between man and man, but man and God."

there is was. thats it. why have i been so inconsistent in my walk with the Lord? because i thought i didn't need it. i thought i didn't need Him. really abby?! and in realizing that- it was like the flood gates of conviction just burst open. how could i be so sinful to think that way? how could i be such an idiot? who do i think i am? why, God, if i am this sinful am i here in Thailand trying to tell people about Jesus? shouldn't it be the other way around? should people be telling ME about Jesus?

i have been at enmity with you, Father.

Lewis later says:

"the other, and less bad, vices come from the devil working on us through our animal nature. but this does not come through our animal nature at all. it comes directly from Hell. it is purely spiritual: consequently it is far more subtle and deadly.... Pride can often be used to beat down the simpler vices... many a man has overcome cowardice, or lust, or ill-temper by learning to think that they are beneath his dignity- that is, by Pride. The devil laughs. He is perfectly content to see you becoming chaste and brave and self-controlled, provided, all the time, he is setting up in you the Dictatorship of Pride... for Pride is spiritual cancer: it eats up every possibility of love, or contentment, or even common since."

i decided to become independent so no one could disappoint me again. i decided to become indifferent so no one could hurt me again. i decided to become numb so truth couldn't penetrate me anymore.

independent, indifferent, and numb. all 100% exclude Jesus Christ. those are a deadly trio for self destruction. and exactly what Lewis said has been true of me. i overcame my 'smaller sins' by numbing myself to them and in turn riding my life of joy, of contentment, and of even seeing truth.

its hard for me to even admit to all this because this shows just how wicked my heart had become. and my pride doesn't want me to let people see that i not only dont have it all together, but that in my heart of hearts- i am unbelievably broken.

all of this is what hit me when she asked me what i thought God was trying to teach me in all this. and what is it?

grace.

Gods amazing, unexplainable, never ending, ever comforting, grace.

and as soon as i voiced it. as soon as i said that sweet word, it was like i finally caught my breath. it was like Christian when his burden finally came off his back and rolled down the hill in Pilgrims Progress. i, all of a sudden, realized the depth and depravity of my sin. and in that same moment- i saw the cross in a new way. i saw it as something i needed. not something that was there for me when i wanted it- but something that is breath. and that is life. and that i HAD to have. daily.

Lewis concludes his chapter by saying:

"we must not think Pride as something God forbids because he is offended at it, or that humility is something he demands as due to his own dignity- as if God himself was proud. He is not in the least worried about his dignity. the point is, he wants you to know Him: wants to give you Himself. And He and you are 2 things of such a kind that if you really get into any kind of touch with Him, you will, in fact, be humble - delightedly humble, feeling the infinite relief of having for once got rid of all the silly nonsense about your own dignity which has made you restless and unhappy all your life. He is trying to make you humble in order to make this moment possible: trying to take off a lot of silly, ugly, fancy-dress in which we have all got ourselves up and are strutting about like the little idiots we are... to get even near to it, even for a moment, it like a drink of cold water to a man in the desert."

never have words been so sweet to my heart. i am free. free from the bondage of self-centeredness. i am free to open my heart, to be vulnerable, to be my loud, over-the-top, a bit ridiculous self. finally. i can because i am surrounded by my Fathers grace.

"but by the GRACE of God, I am what I am, and his grace towards me was not in vain."
-1 Corinthians 15:10

the last few sentences in Lewis' chapter say:

"if anyone would like to acquire humility, i can, i think, tell him the first step. the first step is to realize that one is proud. and a biggish step, too. at least, nothing whatever can be done before it. if you think you are not conceited, it means you are very conceited indeed."

let those words sink in. because when they finally hit me- it made realize the beauty in being in the light. bringing sin out of the dark crevices of our hearts is a painful and almost shameful thing, but when the sin surfaces. what a blessed thing. because it is then that God takes it from us! it is no longer mine that i feel i have to hide, callus up, or lug around. it is when it is brought to the light that the King of Light takes it and says, 'You, my daughter, are free.'

"O mighty cross,
what throne of grace.
He knew no sin,
yet took my place;
His sacrifice on Calvary
Has made the mighty cross
a tree of life to me...

O mighty cross,
my soul's release,
The stripes He bore,
have brought me peace;
His sacrifice on Calvary
Has made the mighty cross
a tree of life to me."

praise God from whom all blessings flow.

abc.

Friday, June 10, 2011

update.


our whole team in front on Jubilee Hall at KKU


my ministry partner. most incredible girl ever known.
also quite the feisty little chiwawa!
and no, im not talking about the actual one in the picture.


most of my ministry group. throwin' what we know!


sunset from our balcony. i love this city.


dinner at Jaybaan with some freshies


some NEU girls at church


a little taste of the night market. such a fun place.


a very typical meal here.


one of the Buddhist temples of worship.

abc.