The Mystery

“By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth.” ~ Psalms 33:6 ~

Not only did the Lord make the heavens, but the verse says that the host – the stars – were made by the breath of His mouth… A star-breathing God! And most of these stars are millions of times bigger than our sun!

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“He (The Lord God) who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and measured out the heavens with a span? And whom has shut up the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance?”
~ Isaiah 40:12 ~ 

Then this verse in Isaiah tells us that God measures the heavens, the universe, in the span of His hand! How big, mighty, amazing, glorious, awesome, powerful, indescribable is God?!

And to think of the condescension… That the Creator of the Universe, the star-breathing God, who holds all of His creation in His hand, came as a man to this tiny, insignificant planet; and didn’t just live here, but died a horrible, painful death on the cross – the death we deserve as a consequence of sin!

He did not give us what we deserve, but instead offers us what He deserved – eternal life with Him, our star-breathing, selfless, all-loving God. Great indeed is the mystery of Godliness!

“And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” ~ 1 Timothy 3:16 ~

Take some time and think about the grandeur of God, the size of God, and the fact that He came here – because of you – because He loves you and wants to be with you for all eternity. Grace, forgiveness, love, and salvation are offered freely to you and all humanity. There is enough for you. Our God is big enough, strong enough to save to the uttermost. He sees and cares about every detail of your life. He knows you by name, He formed you and He loves you more than anyone ever could.

“Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of His understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” ~ Isaiah 40:28-31 ~

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That barely visible dot in the ray of sunlight, is earth… taken from many, many thousands of kilometers out in space. Just how significant are we in the universe? Just a speck of dust!

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” ~ Philippians 2:5-11 ~

 Truly, the heavens declare the glory of God

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A Bigger Plan

The Choice

When I was about 19,  it came to a point where I had a choice to make… Either God was real and I would follow Him wholly – or God wasn’t real and I would continue on the path that I was currently on… that of living for myself and doing whatever I wanted, whatever felt good.

I had been raised Adventist. I had “obeyed” the rules – and I’d even felt superior to others around me because I knew the truth.. I knew more than them. But I realized that my reason for obeying wasn’t because of any love for God. It was just what I’d always done, and it wasn’t even very good or consistent obedience… deep down I knew it was right, but I didn’t have a relationship with God.

So I had to make a choice; and if God was really real, then the only way was to serve Him with my whole heart… half-hearted commitment just didn’t make sense to me.

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I pondered this question for a day or two. I thought of everything I’d ever learned about God. I thought of past experiences and I thought about the future. I prayed and read the Bible, and wrestled. In the end, I knew that everything I’d learned about God was real. He is a God of love, He has a plan, and He is coming back, and He wanted a relationship with me. So I decided that I would start saying, “Yes” to the things that He revealed to me.

Saying, “Yes”

This was not easy. I had many things that I loved that God started asking me to remove from my life. First it was certain types of music. God asked me to get rid of a lot of the music that I had. This wasn’t too hard as I’d never spent much time listening to music and I didn’t have a large collection.

The next thing God asked me to remove was movies. This was a bit harder, but God brought to my mind the verse in Philippians 4:8 that says:

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

 I looked at the movies I had, and realized that the things they portrayed weren’t true, honest, just, pure, lovely, or of a good report. They didn’t glorify God; in contrast they glorified the world and things that brought pain and heartache to people.

Then while I was still thinking about this verse, God directed my eyes to my bookshelves. I had many books. I loved books. As my eyes rested on them, I realized that most of them portrayed things that were contrary to God, His character and kingdom. I realized that God was telling me that I get rid of all the books that took my mind away from the things of God. At first I resisted. I put it off. I even considered rereading them all one last time and then getting rid of them. A lot of money had gone into those books and I didn’t want to give them up.

Gently God reminded me that He wouldn’t ask me to do anything that was not for my long-term benefit, and after some more wrestling with self I was able to give those books up. There were other little things that God asked me to give up, change, or do. I got rid of some types of clothing; I began having regular personal devotions; and I started trying to use better words.

It wasn’t only self that I had to wrestle with to make these changes, but people around me noticed, and most thought I was crazy, stupid, and even my family thought I was becoming a little too extreme. But I knew that God had asked me to make each of these changes and was comforted by His presence.

I was amazed at how real God was becoming to me. I honestly felt like I was becoming a good person, and that God must have nearly finished all the work He had to do with me. I was maybe getting a little bit proud, but was secretly happy that He had never asked anything extra hard of me – like leaving my family and home, or giving up my horses….

And Then…

That is exactly what God asked me to do. This post tells how I ended up in Cambodia, and how God changed my heart to love the people and the His work. How God showed me that I was more at peace, and happier when I was following God’s will for my life.

Giving up the horses, and moving to Cambodia to be a volunteer teacher, were two things that I had never imagined for my future; but they were in God’s plan. And because I had begun saying, “Yes.” to God in the small things, I was better prepared to say, “Yes!” to the bigger things that He asked of me. How small are all our visions for our lives! God has a bigger, better, grander plan than even our highest aspirations and wildest dreams!

I have learned to trust Him. Everything that He has asked me to do – no matter how easy or hard I perceived it to be – has always been for my benefit. God has used each experience to reveal His character of love to me, and to show me even more things He wants to change in me so as to transform me into a reflection of His Son.

If I had not started said, “Yes.” to God I don’t know where I’d be today. But I know it wouldn’t be here. The blessings and opportunities I have had have all been because I decided to, by His power, say, “Yes.” to God in the small things.

When you decide to say, “Yes!” to God in the small things, I can promise you that God will take your life places you never imagined you would go. God will become so real to you – a faithful friend and guide, the peace of God will fill your heart and you will have fullness of joy.

The choice is yours!

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There is a Balm in Gilead

“The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved. For the hurt of the daughter of my people am I hurt; I am black; astonishment hath taken hold on me. Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there? why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?” ~ Jeremiah 8:20-22 ~

This verse was a proverb. Gilead was a place known for the natural medicines taken from the trees there. It was also a place where the people who knew how to minister the healing balms resided. Jeremiah is a book that talks about how God’s people were constantly back-sliding. Even though they still worshiped in the temple, although they still claimed that God was their God, they had brought in to their worship many forms of idolatry; customs and activities that appealed to their senses. As a result of rejecting God pushing His blessings away, they came under oppression from powerful enemies. They looked to the Egyptians for salvation from their enemies, but no help came; there was no healing. They didn’t seem to realize that their problems and lack of peace was not because they were oppressed by powerful enemies, but because they were, by their choices, separated from their loving, long-suffering God.

“For My people have committed two evils; they have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.” ~ Jeremiah 2:13 ~

I remember times when I have hewed out for myself broken cisterns. Trying to find fulfillment in anything but God: looking for healing everywhere but to Christ, all the while not realizing that the root cause of my pain and emptiness was my separation from my heavenly Father. There is a balm in Gilead, there are physicians… but we are not healed because no man, and no medicine can fix the sin problem we have that pollutes our minds, bodies and this world. No human or medicine in this world can take away the hurt, fill the emptiness, or create morality in us.

Like Paul in Romans 7 we are frustrated by the fact that we do the evil things we don’t want to do, and we don’t do the good things which we desire to do. We struggle and fight and exhaust ourselves trying to be good, trying to be happy, trying to be content. And in the end all we find is that the world and it’s pleasures doesn’t have the answers; it can’t bring healing. With Paul we cry out, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” ~ Rom 7:24 ~   

And with Paul we too can know that there is a balm – the blood of Jesus; and there is a physician who can administer the balm – the Savior, Jesus. Like Mary, when we fall at the feet of Jesus we can be healed, renewed, recreated. Like the demoniac healed in the country of the Gadarenes, in Jesus we can find peace untouchable, the fullness of joy, a reason for living, a holy purpose for our lives, and unending, unchangeable love.

Healed

Come to Jesus today, kneel at His feet in surrender, accept Him into your life, believe that He is your Savior, and you will find healing and peace for your soul.

“Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.” ~ 1 Peter 2:24 ~

 

 

 

 

 

We Can’t Humble Ourselves

“Now thanks be unto God, which always causes us to triumph in Christ, and makes manifest the fragrance of His knowledge by us in every place.” ~ 2 Corinthians 2:14 ~

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Yesterday I went with my host family to the Bordoville Seventh Day Adventist Church at Enosburg Falls. It was their 151st anniversary, and their pastor was being ordained in the afternoon. The Bordoville Church is one of the oldest Seventh Day Adventist Church built by Adventists in North America. I enjoyed the day very much, especially the preaching by Professor Philip Samaan from Southern Adventist University in TN. I want to share part of it with you, for it spoke to me, and I pray it will speak to you too.

“He must increase, but I must decrease” ~ John 3:30 ~

How many times have we thought that we must be humble, that we need to humble ourselves so that Christ can live and grow in us? But can we truly humble ourselves? Is this what the verse says – I must decrease so that Christ can increase? No the verse shows us that Jesus must FIRST increase in us, and He will cause self to decrease in us. What is increasing in my life, in your life? Is it Jesus? We want to be good, to be like Him, but the truth is we can’t be good on our own. We can’t be humble in our own strength. And the wonderful thing is that Jesus doesn’t need to, nor want to wait for us to be good before He can be increased in our lives. He wants to be increased in us now, and He will take care of all our faults and shortcomings. He wants to be a sweet fragrance in us that attracts others to a knowledge of Him.

I want Jesus to be increased in me.

There is a story told of a little boy. He was a good little boy who enjoyed going to Sabbath School, saying his prayers, and memorizing his memory verses. When he prayed, he had been taught to ask Jesus to come and live inside of him. As he contemplated this he began to wonder how the great big Jesus could fit inside his small, young body. So he asked his father how big Jesus was. Father said that Jesus was bigger than he was. Thinking about this, the little boy replied saying, “If Jesus is living inside of me, because He is so big, He must always be sticking out of me.

I want Jesus to stick out of me, what about you?

Here’s some other pictures from that wonderful Sabbath

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June 2015 Update

“Because I will publish the name of the LORD: ascribe ye greatness unto our God. He is the Rock, His work is perfect: for all His ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is He.” ~ Deuteronomy 32:3-4 ~

So, time for an update

Soon it will be holidays again. Sooner for me in fact, because I leave for Canada next week. This week I am giving my exams to my English classes. We’ve been reviewing and I hope they all do well. It’s hard to believe that it’s been another year of school already. At the beginning of the year I remember thinking, “Well this will take a while.” And now here we are, at the end already. I thank God, and give Him all the glory for His wonderful watch-care and love to us. Here’s some pictures of the students from this year.

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Next year will be different. We are saying goodbye to two of our long-term volunteers, Laura, who has served here for 4 years, and Emily, who has served here for 2 years. I love these two, and they are some of my closest friends. I am going to miss them a lot, and so will the students who have received the love and attention from these two dedicated missionaries.

Emily front left, Laura, 3rd from the left

Emily front left, Laura, 3rd from the left

On the note of teachers – next school year, beginning in September, we have openings for volunteer teachers. Is God calling you? Being a volunteer missionary is something neither I nor my fellow volunteers regret. It has profoundly opened our eyes, changed our lives and brought us closer to God. The Bible says we are ALL called to go – Have you responded to God’s call in your life?

Here’s some things that have happened recently:
The Grade 11 and 12 Evangelism project in Svay Sor finished. Every day they had one-hundred or so children attending, many of whom at the end of the program expressed an interest in learning more about the Bible and the God of the Bible. There was also four elders from the village who also desired to learn more. Please keep them and the Bible workers who remain there in your prayers.

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The KMET (Khmer Medical Evangelistic Training) Team left today to start a four week medical evangelism program in Kralanh Town about 50kms away from Siem Reap City. The participants of the 5 week KMET course graduated a couple of weeks ago, and now are getting the chance to put their skills to use assisting the Church Planter there to do some serious evangelism in his area. Please pray for them and pray that the Holy Spirit will prepare the hearts of those who will hear them to receive the message of life they have gone to share.

A couple of Sabbaths ago we had a baptism here. Sixty-eight people were baptized. Most of whom were students at our school, but there were a few from outside of WPY. We had to hold the baptism in the dormitory pond, instead of the church pond because of the lack of rain which meant the church pond was completely dried up. Please pray for those who were baptized, that they will understand the commitment that they made, and continue to grow up into Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.

A wonderful thing that happened was the engagement of Shannon, Tim’s son, and Sreiya a couple of weeks ago. Now both of Tim and Wendy’s sons are engaged, and prayerfully hoping to travel to Australia in August – visa approval pending – to get married.

 

 

In other news, IMET (International Medical Evangelism Training) is ready to start. Deadline to apply for the July 20th 9-month Medical Evangelism program class is almost upon us, apply now and get certified for FREE — and remember the last month’s practical is planned to be held in China!! Learn more about IMET here!

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IMET Staff

Looking around at current world events, I really believe that time is short. May your house be built upon the Rock, where it will withstand all of Satan’s fury and be found ready in that Great Day when our Lord returns to take us to be with Him forever.

 

HoofTrek in the Newswest

Back in March, Ely and I submitted an article on HoofTrek to the Newswest (an Adventist magazine for the Western Australian Conference) And yesterday, I was contacted by an old friend who told me she’d read it in the latest (May) addition, which came out on the 24th.

Here’s a link to the magazine, and the article is on page 17
HoofTrek in the Newswest

And here’s a link to the HoofTrek website

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A Moment

Here’s one of the most recent pictures of all the volunteers. Although there are some changes… Vanessa and Carly have returned to the US, and Ever has had her baby (that was a night I’ll never forget! 🙂 ). I’ll try to get us altogether for another one sometime.
~ photo credit – Vanessa

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“We then, as workers together with Him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.” ~ 2 Corinthians 6:1 ~

Wind and Rain

“For He shall give His angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways” ~ Psalm 91:11 ~

We’ve had two rain-showers in a week; it’s wonderful. The trees have lost their red, dusty look, and the grass is trying to grow back. It’s the first bit of rain we’ve had in nearly six months, and last year’s wet season wasn’t very wet. I’ve even seen the bottom of a couple of our ponds – a new sight for me.

The thing about rain in this country, is that it is always preceded by a strong wind. These two rainfalls were no exception. And the thing about this strong wind is.. well it tends to break the trees. We’ve had two big broken branches down at our house, one from a while ago, and one from last night. Fortunately, no one has been hurt.

But last night, Ely and I were returning from the studio. It was dark, and the road was muddy and slippery. Our motorbike has no light (no problem – we use a flashlight), but apart from that it works fine. Well this thought came into my head that there could be trees down so I should drive slowly. I was like, no problem God, I got this, slow it is. So we headed back home, dodging all the small branches that had come down and littered the road. We reached a more open path and I tried to increase the speed a little, but for some reason the bike refused to change into 3rd gear. I was in the process of telling Ely how now we have no choice but extra slow because the gears wouldn’t change, when we rounded the corner near the school and this loomed up out of the dark at us…

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I guess God’s idea of slow and mine are a little different, but I am thankful that He kept us safe. We stopped, jumped off and the motorbike just fit under the tree. This morning, hopped on the motorbike and it changes gears no problem…

We did have one tree fall on a house last night, but the young man who lives in there wasn’t hurt, nor did he lose any of his belongings.

“Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10 ~

All this talk about wind makes me think of the story of the Holy Spirit being poured out on the disciples on the Day of Pentecost, and all the amazing things that God did through His disciples. I pray that, like the strong winds here, God’s love will sweep over Cambodia and bring refreshing and new life in Him to the Khmer people.

I have some pictures from the Evangelism Team. They seem to be working hard and having a good time. Keep them in your prayers, and may many people see Jesus in them. They’ve been doing house visitation, a children’s program and night meetings I believe.

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In other news; after many years Tim and Wendy are rebuilding their house. The old wooden one they’ve lived in for 20 odd years has served them well, but finally it became evident that the termites were winning the war and the house was no longer stable. There was a concern that it might come down in some of the afore mentioned strong winds that occur a lot during rainy season. So it has gone from looking like this:

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to this

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I was told that as the builders pulled it apart, 5 of the columns simply collapsed – they’d been eaten nearly completely through by the termites. So soon work will begin on their new house, and hopefully it won’t take too long.

God bless, please keep the Khmer people, and WPY in your prayers.

His Mercy Endures Forever

“Oh that men would praise the LORD for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men! ” ~ Psalm 107:15

Here we are, into our third week of final term. The students and teachers are all starting to get restless for the end of this school year. For me personally, I am struggling to wait patiently for the end of the school year, because at that time I have been blessed with the opportunity to travel to a place I’ve never been and to spend time with people that I love, and also take an opportunity to share with others about mission work. I thank God for this chance and look forward to see what He wants me to do and learn from it. Fortunately, I have a lot of work to do; as I am actually leaving a few weeks before school ends (I know; I have nothing to complain about!) I have to have all my classes and their exams finished before that date.

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Two weeks ago, I attended another wedding of two of my former students, Sokha and Srey Leak. It was a small, but beautiful affair. They are two very intelligent and hard-working people and I wish them God’s richest blessings in their life.

Last week, one of the dormitory girls became very sick, and nothing that was done for her was helping her to recover. She got worse and worse, and so Tim took her to a clinic in town. They didn’t want to treat her at their clinic, and suggested the hospital – which in code means, they thought there was a possibility that she might die. So off to the hospital they went. After blood tests, the doctors said that she was suffering from septic shock caused by two different infections in her body – neither of these infections had manifested themselves in a way that our medics here could tell that she had them. The hospital put her on strong antibiotics, and at first she continued to get worse, even needing to be put on oxygen. The doctor said that at best we could hope for some improvement in 4 or 5 days, and at worse, 5 – 6 months for a full recovery. Her family, especially her older brother, were very worried, as were the rest of us back here, and much prayer was raised on her behalf. Prayers that God heard! By the third day of her stay in hospital, a Sabbath in fact, she was up out of bed and brought back to us here at WPY. We praise God for this miracle, for her healing, and the way He has shown this family that He cares for them. I hope that this experience will give them hope and encouragement whenever they are facing hard times in their lives.

Our Two Diamonds in the dorm

Our two Diamonds in the dorm

Our grade 11 and 12s, led by the former graduates who completed the LIGHT or PAFCOE courses headed out on May 1st, to a village named Swai Sohr, to hold an evangelistic campaign – similar to the one held last year in a different village. We haven’t heard much from them yet, but ask that you will join us in keeping them in your prayers. That the students, will be blessed by sharing, and drawn closer to God; and that God will prepare the hearts of those who will hear the message and draw them to Himself.

Former Graduates

Former Graduates

 “Whoso is wise, and will observe these things, even they shall understand the lovingkindness of the LORD.” ~ Psalm 107:43 ~