Thank You for Horses

This has been a wonderfully wet rainy season. Our ponds are full and overflowing. We have been blessed that our afternoon HoofTrek classes haven’t often been disturbed by the rain. It hasn’t been this wet since my first rainy season here back in 2011.

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We have a new volunteer, Marissa, from Australia. She is living with Ely and I, and being a wonderful help in many areas including HoofTrek. She even brought enough donations to help us purchase our 4th and final horse, Starr, who will arrive next week , as he is currently recovering from his gelding procedure.

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Marissa, along with all our other new volunteers, Matthew, Conchis, and Kim, have all fitted right in to the programs here. The students especially are benefitting from the hard-work and love the teachers are giving. Anna is still here and still giving 110% to her classes as she always does. We are very thankful for them all.

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Gr. 8 Bible class is mine first thing every school day. They are a great bunch of students and we are going through a Righteousness by Faith study using a book by Morris Venden. One thing I have my class do every day is write down (at least) three things they are thankful for. I was reading some study somewhere about success – a topic my students are very interested in. The study said that often we think that success brings happiness or that successful people become happy people, but actually it’s not true. The truth is that happy people are successful people, and the secret to happiness is being thankful. Apparently it’s not something that comes naturally to many people. It is however possible to change our brains to a more positive, grateful way of thinking. The article suggested taking the time each morning to write down the things we have to be thankful about.

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So after explaining this to my class, they all agreed that we should use a few minutes of each Bible class to write down what we are thankful for. It hasn’t always been easy for them to always find different things to be thankful for. What were they to write on the day their classmate and friend had to leave the school permenantly, or on the day they woke up to find that one of their fellow orphans had died in his sleep? But after nearly 2 months they are getting better at it. I think if they and I can develop a happy, thankful attitude that will be a very successful outcome for this year.

“Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands! Serve the Lord with gladness; come before His presence with singing. Know that the Lord, He is God. It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves. We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him and bless His name. For the Lord is good. His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures ro all generations.” Psalm 100:1-5

There are many things I have to be thankful for. I am grateful to God for allowing me to be here doing what I am doing, being a part of His work. I am thankful for all the people who pray for me, and all other missions. I am thankful for those who support me and other missions, and especially for those who are actively involved in spreading the Word of God, this blessed Hope we have, to all around them.

What are you thankful for today?

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Giving of Thanks

“In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:18 ~

Phil 4:6So by living with Americans I have become more keenly aware of many of their holidays. Most of them I knew by name, but not their dates. Some of them are worth keeping and others not so relevant. But Thanksgiving Day, I think, is a good one and I wish Australia had a traditional Thanksgiving Day.

“Surely the righteous shall give thanks unto Thy name: the upright shall dwell in Thy presence.” ~ Psalms 140:13 ~

Giving thanks is something we should do each day. It helps to refocus us, opens our eyes to all our blessings and privileges, and helps us to have a better attitude about life in general.

“By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.” ~ Hebrews 13:15 ~

I know that sometimes I can get so caught up in the bad things that are happening that I forget that the fact that I am alive is a gift from God; I forget that the fact that I have a body part that can be in pain is a gift – some people would give anything to have an arm or leg that could have pain sensors. I think about all the work I have to do and yet some people don’t have a job.

Thanksgiving Quote“And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him.” ~ Colossians 3:17 ~

So today, on this Thanksgiving Day I want to give thanks to God, for the following:

  • Jesus – my Lord and Savior, merciful and just, who gave up heaven and came to this sinful earth to take my place, my punishment, my death – and rose again! – so that I could live with Him forever.
  • The Holy Bible – The most amazing book I’ve ever read. It is God’s letter to humanity. It answers all of life’s questions. It changes lives, it reveals God’s true character, and the future of this world.
  • Life – It is a precious thing that is so easily wasted or lost. Each day God wakes me up to spend time with Him so that I can, by His grace, give glory to Him through my life. Then He gives me the strength and wisdom to do the tasks I have for each day. He gives me an abundant life.
  • Purpose – If you had asked me 5 years ago what I would be doing today, I would not have said that I would be in Cambodia serving as a missionary. I didn’t really have any definite goals or plans. I was just living each day for myself – selfish and unsatisfied.
  • Family and Friends – God knows whom I’ve needed in my life at the right times. I thank God for those who love and support me, and I thank those people for their love and care. I especially thank Him for my co-missionaries, past and especially present, whose dedication and love for the Lord and His work inspire and challenge me. I thank Him for their friendship and love.
  • Trials and Challenges, Heartaches and Shortcomings – As difficult as life gets sometimes, I recognize that God is molding and shaping me by all the experiences that He allows in my life – As gold and silver refined in the fire!
  • Tim and Wendy Maddocks – who have granted me the privilege of serving here at Wat Preah Yesu for the past 3 years. I admire them both greatly. I have learnt so much about service and faith from them. I love them both so much.
  • My Students – They are all so special, so different from each other, and they teach me so much!
  • Prayer Meetings – I wonder how I ever lived without them!
  • Provision – God is faithful and is providing all my needs
  • Viathar – my dog who is right now barking up a storm and generally being a little bit annoying – but I’ve learned to appreciate his barking after nearly losing him to a mystery disease a month or so ago.

There’s obviously so much that we have to be thankful for. So today, take the time to stop and thank God for all He’s done for you, and also take the time to thank the people around you for who they are or what they do.

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