Monday, May 25, 2009

A good Word, God's heart in ME

Even though I am young, I come to truly believe that over the past years the revelation of; my Heart being good because Christ is in me, and the central point of the kingdom of God is a true relationship with Jesus Christ, are ground breaking truths. We all know that Frank! Know with your head or know with your Heart?

If you could go to the concordance of your Bible and look up all the functions of the heart you probably would be refreshed severely. Notice that the Heart has eyes(Eph.1:18), gets circumcised(Rom.2:29), makes music(Eph.5:19), is where our spirits dwell(1Cor.1:22), we believe with it(Rom.10:9), our desires are there(Matt.6:21), God's laws are written on it(Heb.10:16), love with it(Dt.6:5), so on and so on. So where does God go when he wants to know what really is going on with you, and not your usual "I am doing good" answer on Sunday mourning? Your Heart!(1Sam.16:7) Not only did he create it, and knows it(Lk.16:15), but he pimped it out! Now how about those ideas of our Hearts being evil, and dark, and deceitful, and blah blah blah. A trick of the enemy my brothers and sisters. Last time I checked I am a child of God. God removed that Heart and gave me a new one. We don't function like that. And the pure in heart, cleanse my heart, creating in me a new heart, songs make no sense if we don't believe that our hearts have been truly changed for the good. Before you start thumbing trough your Bible looking for an argument, stop an see what your doing. Are you fighting this to say that your heart is wicked? What team are you on? Gotcha! That devil been lying to you again. I can go on and on, but just wanted to make the point that as a follower in Christ your Heart does not function in the ways of the world; it belongs to God. Sure we lend it out, to our flesh sometimes, or completely ignore it and let the enemy borrow it, but God is sovereign! To borrow an analogy from Mr. John Eldredge, if our bodies are God's temples, then consider the Heart as the Holy of Hollies. I have a Good heart!

The other issue I had is this follow Jesus thing. Man there are so many things to follow when you come into the Christian world. Now do I serve my local church, or go overseas? Do I get my seminary degree, or go to a training course? Do I wear a tie, or rock my fitted(wear my baseball cap)? Too much noise I came to find out. As the Lord tended to my heart, I began to spend intimate time with him, and soon discovered that if I don't get right with you Lord, I am just working for other Christians. Which in it's self is not bad at all. It was suppose to be a lot simpler than where it has come. He said, "seek first the kingdom of God", ok I will do that but in the mean time, I got these bills to pay. He said, "ask and I will give the nations to you", that's cool but I got this 10 year plan where I have a wife, kids, and swimming pool. He said, "don't worry about your life", good idea first I need to get all my life goals reached, and enough money to get started on not worrying. Jesus did not say that any person who takes no thought about his life is blessed-no, he is a fool! That last sentence Oswald Chambers said. Nothing wrong with those things, they just made everything about following Jesus noisy. As my heart grew for the things on God's heart, it became clear that one of the first things I had to start doing is placing him in the center. The most important thing, and everything else second. I mean like way in the distance for me, like Michael Phelps distance. Where second place feels like seventh. This is a hard discipline to learn. The rest of Matthew 6:33 talks about all these other things shall be added. Things like, calling, God's will, job, how many kids do I have. Tell me how are you suppose to do that when you are busy chasing the answer, and not after God who has the answer? Remember what Jesus said ,would choke the word out of us, in the parable of the seeds? The devil right? Wrong! He said "the worries of this world".

Did David have a heart after God? Yes! Did he do all those stupid things, after or before he gave his heart to God? Point is he followed God, and his heart was God's. Imagine what the world would be if Christians believed that God gave them a good heart, and that Jesus lived in them, and they followed Jesus' words. We have it. A mentor of mine Jim Bailey once said,"he is with you always, the kingdom of God is that close".

Friday, May 15, 2009

My dreams and meeting U and Kay

I had a dream last night and this is the way it went.

I was on a bike just enjoying the moment and my surroundings. A women came my way also riding a bike. As we crossed paths she clumsily ran into me. I thought at least she did. We exchanged words and basically I argued that she was going the wrong way and should watch where she is going, and she disagreed. We went our separate ways. I followed her with my eyes and saw that she was provocatively dressed, her make up was running off and She looked worn out. She looked like a prostitute. She ran right into what looked like a closed garaged door. All I could think was, "does this women have any clue where she is going"? I continued riding and after some minutes our paths crossed again. She saw me coming and I saw her. But still she ran into me again. Again I scolded her about her lack of "direction". Again I just stood still as she took off again, kind of looking disgruntled. She rode right into another closed door. Again I shook my head in amazement, at the lack of control this women had. She turned the bike and started again after running into this closed door, but ran into a railing, lost her balance and fell over the railing, and proceeded to fall down to her... I don't know. I was too horrified in the dream to look to see what had happened to the woman. I woke up at that point. My heart raced...

The last two nights I have been out to the bars doing outreach with visiting short term groups. I plan on going tonight also. I connected with these two teen girls the other night, although they say they are older. I introduced Jim to them last night so that he can share with them further the heart of the ministry and just overall know more about them. I am think they are about 16 and have been working there for a week. For the sake of prayer, and keeping their identity, I will call them U and Kay. They come from the Northeast area of Thailand as most, and have no other way of making money, so they think. They seem real lost about why they are there, but also open to what we had to say. I am really praying for these two girls, as well as others we are building relationships with in the bars. But we just remember that God timing is perfect, and can only wait for him to become their Lord. Some times the girls have come out in waves into the ministry and sometimes there is a dry spell. Right now it is a dry season, but we have faith that God never sleeps!

One thing that gets to me is the inappropriate touching these women go through. Granted some of them have grown use to the fact that it comes with the job. But I know they don't like it. Doesn't it get me angry? Righteously angry! Men who lack any kind of respect for God's precious daughters. You know what is TRUTH; Christ died for them all.

Pray for U and Kay, and for the Lords time and heart to be before us. Pray for outreach tonight as I go out with another group tonight.

What do you think of that dream? I want to let you know that God doesn't give me dreams often, but when I ask for it, man he gives them to me! It spoke to me on various levels, but would love to hear from my brothers and sisters.

With Love

Sunday, May 10, 2009


One of the ways the bible records Jesus did outreach, was house visitation. Thailand culture is welcoming to this so it's not a big idea. In different African I experience the same kind of treatment. And most of the time, it ended up in just sharing life over a meal. The same case as in Thailand. Middle eastern culture is said to be very much the same. A welcoming home, with a meal. So we read in scripture that Jesus would encounter the same. In fact it seemed like a lot of things were done over some kind of get together. The first miracle, meals with tax collectors, the 5,000 fed, the last supper, and so on and so forth. Is there something to this visiting someone's house thing? 

I have been going out with Jim more and more to do visits with former Well students, who went away for different reasons, and most not good. One of them is a bright, pretty 19 old girl who is working at a local bar, and is a heavy alcoholic. First we caught up with her while she was out working the bar. She seemed kind of open to coming back. Then Jim and I returned a couple days later to an apartment she was at. Not the most promising site, as I entered the room, it just smelled like cigarettes, beer and body oder, and her alone with four other guys. So Jim talked for a while, while I just sat and scoped out the place. They seemed so bored. When people here have no jobs, motivation or anything to live for, they just sleep eat and drink. She was unwilling to come back or cut any other deal to get her back to her feet. Sad, but sometimes you have to just let God deal with people the hard way.

The same day we first visited that girl, we also attempted to visit two other former Well students. I say attempt because both times we went, they were passed out. This drug that is popular here is called BAYA, and is described as a crystal meth type drug. They are both strung out on it. But the same day we returned to visit the other girl, we stopped by to visit these girls again. this time they were awake in their little 6x8 room, with no money. One of the girls is 21 and pregnant. The other is a 15 year old cute girl, that Jim had met two years ago working the bars. She was thirteen working at a bar, trying to entertain grown men! We sat with them over a meal Jim bought, and just talked. Jim was catching up with them, and I talked told them a bit of my testimony as Jim translated. It was a good visit though. I think they felt the sincere Love, that we honestly care about them. Both seemed open to coming back to the ministry and trying it out again. Lord knows he has better plan, than just sleeping and getting high.

Pray that these three girls will be kept safe from the traps of the enemy. Pray especially for the 19 year old, whose heart is closed to GOD's Love.

There is something about community living. Sharing in each other's life experiences. Taking the time out of our life to give it to others for the sake of Christ. I like it a lot. Be encouraged to open your home, or visit someone, and have church right there. Maybe bring over a bucket of chicken, or some tacos. So get over feeling like your invading someone's space. Or intruding. That's just a western thinking pattern. Let's get Kingdom minded and Love. Follow Jesus.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A little taste of Philly and praises

This past Sunday I helped out with the worship team in a International Church near by. I used to play percussion at my church back home in Philly. Shout out to CCC! After the service, I mingled around and spokemet to some nice guys. I met one guy who's dad was born in Philly! So my new friend George, is an EAGLES fan! He bleeds green like me. Also a PHILLIES fan to add. World Champs! At a time where I am really missing some comforts, God has really blessed me with a connection. I don't know where it will go, but It also turns out that he George also has a heart to bring together believers in my age range. You know the type that is not married, out of college life. So I hope this will be a good way to start connecting with more people.

The other day after running around taking care of some errands, I stopped to get something to eat. I saw a burger and pizza sign. I was such in a mood for a burger. After sitting down for just a few minutes, I ordered my burger, and the owner of the place came out to chat. His name is Stanley and he is Canadian. But he had spent enough time in the states where he didn't really have an accent. He said he had just opened, and that he was tired of eating lousy American food here and wanted to make real stuff. Then he said something, that sounded beautiful to my ears. He said he had a friend from West Chester, which is just outside of Philly, who made CHEESE STEAKS. He said he was thinking about trying to make them part of the menu. Is God great. He knows how to treat his children.

Apart from Cheese steaks and, having a nice little restaurant, I enjoyed Stanley's company. We had interesting conversations about missions, and the Christian faith. But maybe God has a bigger plan. I know what you Philadelphians are thinking, a bigger plan than having CHEESE STEAKS? Yea, bigger than that. I felt like it won't be the last we talk about Christ over a good burger.

Some ministry news as well. One of the guys who was part of the Well ministry was recently released from jail. Praise HIM! He is back working at the Well. He has one of the women at the Well pregnant, so we pray that God has a plan for him, and for him to receive Christ as his savior. Today Jim, and I talked of starting a new ministry, that would allow the men who come to the ministry and do something other than card making. So Jim thought, maybe come general construction business, or landscaping to start. It would also be a discipleship tool to teach the men some integrity in the ways of Jesus. More importantly, just love them like brothers. So it's just brain storming, but God is the one we want to glorify in the end. Pray for these kind of ideas to reach out to the men in Thailand. For the men to become fathers to their children, and to fight for their families, and become God fearing husbands. AMEN!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Bar outreach and following Jesus

Jim and I, and a friend went into the bars the other night, for outreach. I might have explained what I mean by bar outreach in an email several months back, but allow me to describe it for you.

Southeast Asia is very well known for it's sex tourism. The way it looks in Bangkok is nothing short of a human rental system. It's like your neighborhood Blockbuster. Big illuminated sign out front. You can go in and check out the merchandise in HD. Then after browsing around, you can check one out. You know rent one out for a couple of days, or just a night. If you don't like what you see, or liked what you tried out, you can go to the next store next door, or down the street. I hope you followed all the analogies I used with out being too vivid. It is a degrading, distasteful, money making line of business. The bar areas are in dead end streets with various, "message parlors, bars, and hotels". But some are just out right Go-Go bars. Loud music is common. Neon lights flash and women hang out front half naked at times, sitting there waiting for customers. Not all women have sex with customers. Some just entertain them. Some are real pushy, while others are quite sweet. They have people working the doors trying to pitch their bar to you. There are also plenty of Ladyboy bars in these areas also. They seem to be the more aggressive ones. Often I don't get by a Ladyboy bar without getting physically touched. A Ladyboy is what a transvestite or, very feminized man is called in Thailand. It's very common in Thailand, and well excepted in society. You really have to do a double take and convince your self that they are men. They can look very convincing as women. A regular sin bin of drugs, sex, and whatever else they can think of. So we go in these bar areas with Jesus living in us.

This was my third time doing outreach in the bars. We made our rounds to some of the women who Jim knows and checked up on them. We also met some new ones. I met Nan, as Jim was talking with another women he knows who works in a bar. She was very nice and open to talk. And, most are since they make a living doing it. But I sensed the Spirit just guide me in conversation just making small talk. At this point in being here, 3 months, I can carry a small conversation pretty well in Thai. She told me, she was from Surin, a town not that from from where I stayed out in Buriram province. She asked what I was doing here in Bangkok. Very quickly I sense she knew I wasn't there for what most men are there for. Which is not bad. Love is a powerful tool. Let the light shine in dark places, my brothers and sisters! After a short while of talking, I introduced her to Jim, who can speak and understand a good amount of Thai. He got deeper with her, and found out she had no children, and was working in the bar cause she needed a job. Jim gave her the info for the Well, and left her an open door to come.

This may look like a senseless ministry environment. How could anything good come from that place? But once again we serve a God who rewrites the book on impossible everyday. In fact The women I helped serve out in Buriram, for my first three months here, came out of one of these same bars. She had worked in one for 4 years. Jim reached her, God did the work, and now she is serving the Lord full force out in her village. There are several women in the Well, with the same story, or with even worse cases. The ministry I help with Jim and his wife, is called the Well, because of the testimony of the women at the well in John 4. Jesus met her there. Where she was. He showed her love, spoke truth to her and showed his true self to her. She ran to her village, and testified about him. Pray for these outreaches.

" Only by walking with God can we hope to find the path that leads to life. That is what it means to be a disciple. After all-aren't we "followers of Christ"? Then by all means, let's actually follow him. Not ideas about him. Not just principles. HIM."
- John Eldredge
I am a follower of Jesus Christ. That is all I can try to do with my life.