3 Things I Love About Thailand

3 Things I Love About Thailand

As many of you already know, my family and I have been living in Thailand now for about two and a half years. While there are many things we miss about America, we have come to love Thailand and truly consider it our home. There are so many things we love about this country, but today I will just talk about our top three.

The People

Thai children smiling

Thailand is often referred to as the “Land of 1,000 Smiles.” No matter where you go you will always encounter a friendly face. In many ways, their hospitality rivals that of Southerners in the US. Our Thai neighbors bring us fruit and vegetables all the time. It seems like everyday I walk out to the porch to see that they have left us something delicious to eat.

When we landed in Chiang Mai after our recent visit to the US, we found out that our car’s battery was dead. Thankfully, there was a man at the airport that helped us jump start the car, at midnight no less. We had never met him before, but he went out of his way to make sure we got home with our car.

Another thing I love seeing is when a Thai person’s face lights up once you start speaking Thai with them. Whether you are experienced or just starting out, Thais appreciate when foreigners make an effort to learn their language and culture.

The Food

panaeng muu curry

Thailand arguably has the best food in the world. People come from all over just to sample some of the country’s most popular dishes. Whether you like super spicy dishes or super sweet desserts, Thailand has something you will fall in love with. One of my favorite dishes is called พแนงหมู (paneang muu). It is a mild, coconut curry with pork that is usually served with rice. Believe me when I say I could eat it every day of the week.

The other great thing about the food is how cheap it is, if you eat like the locals do. In America, you would be heard pressed find good Thai food under $15-20 USD a plate. In Thailand, you will find authentic Thai food (of course) for usually around $1 USD a plate. Actually, in our หมู่บ้าน (moo-baan) or village in English, you can get some dishes for about 20 baht or 60 cents in USD. And again, it is some of the best food you will eat.

The Church

Thai Church in Chiang Mai

The Church in Thailand is small, but strong. Statistically, Christians make up less than 1 percent of Thailand’s total population (69.04 million). When we moved here, we knew that one of our main ministry focuses would be discipleship among Thai Christians. We wanted to see Thai Christian mature in their faith. However, I think we grossly underestimated how much they would help us mature in ours. Perhaps we have helped them to understand God’s Word better, but I’d argue that they have shown us what it means to live it out.

After the worship service on Sundays, we all eat lunch together and have a time of fellowship. It is the time when the three things I love about Thailand (the people, the food, and the Church) come together. It is sort of like a little taste of what heaven will be like one day.


If you have never been to Thailand, I hope you get the opportunity to visit one day. It is a beautiful place filled with beautiful people. At the same time, it is a place with tremendous needs both physically and spiritually. As the Scripture says, the harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Today I have shared a few things I love about Thailand. Imagine how much more God loves these people that He would be willing to give His Son to die for them. I pray that in the days to come we would all grow in our understanding of God’s love for all the peoples of the world.

What Do I Believe About...Angels and Demons?

What Do I Believe About…Angels and Demons?

I believe that angels are spiritual beings created by God to be His messengers. Whether they are around the throne room of God, or ministering here on the earth, they are ceaseless in their worship and obedience towards the LORD. Angels, while glorious in nature, are not created in the image of God. They are, however, powerful warriors with God as their commander, and have been given the capacity to take on human form. Angels were also given the important roles of ministering to the saints of God and bringing about judgement on the wicked (Ps 103:19-21; Matt 1:20-23; Heb 1:14; Rev 7-8).

I believe that like mankind, angels were created as moral creatures. They have the capacity for sin. Unlike mankind, however, angels who rebelled against God have no hope of salvation. Their fate has been eternally sealed by Him. These fallen angels are better known as demons, with Satan (Lucifer) being their leader (1 Tim 5:21; 2 Pet 2:4; Rev 12:7-12).

I believe that Satan and his demons are enemies of God and His people. Satan has been deceiving mankind from the very beginning, starting with Eve. Before we are born again and made children of God, we are children of a different father, the Devil. Satan is currently the prince of this fallen world, but one day he and his demons will be judged and cast into the lake of fire. Believers should be watchful and aware of demonic activity, but they have no reason to fear the powers of darkness because Christ defeated them on the cross. Satan has never been, nor will he ever be God’s equal (Gen 3; John 8:44-45; Eph 2:2; Rev 20:10).


I hope this helps aid you in your study of God’s Word. Please don’t shy away from asking any questions you might have. Also, if you see something that concerns you from a theological standpoint please let me know. I am not inerrant. 

Empathy vs. Sympathy Christian

Empathy vs. Sympathy

It is relatively easy to be sympathetic towards someone. Sympathy involves simply understanding someone’s current situation and having compassion on him or her. Empathizing with someone is far more difficult. Empathy is the ability to feel what another person is going through because you have gone through it yourself. To put it another way, sympathy extends a card, whereas, empathy extends a hand. Don’t get me wrong, they are both important in life. But ask yourself this question: are you more prone to listen to someone who has never been in your situation or a close friend who has?

I think Christians do a pretty good job of being sympathetic when people are hurting. We visit people in the hospital, bring meals to the shut-ins, and provide blankets to the homeless. But, non-Christians do these things too. The thing that sets us apart from the world is not how we sympathize with people. What sets us apart is how we use the painful experiences from our past to minister to people experiencing them currently. Empathy means we cry with the person, not simply for them. It is a subtle difference, but I believe it is important one.

The Scripture says that the Church is the body of Christ. When one part hurts, we all hurt (1 Corinthians 12:26). When one person mourns, we all mourn (Romans 12:5). We are connected to each other in such a way that the spiritual health of my brother affects my spiritual health. We have been called to more than pity for others. We’ve been called to love one another from a sincere heart—a heart that feels. I think a lot of Christians, especially guys, are afraid to feel anything, citing verse like Jeremiah 17:9. But, have we forgotten that this verse is in reference to the unregenerate heart? If we have been born again then God has removed our hearts of stone and replaced them with hearts of flesh. Are they perfect? No, not at all. But, one day they will be. It is important we understand that growing in Christ-like maturity doesn’t mean we become more and more unfeeling. Rather, it actually means we feel more and more, but as Jesus would (1 Peter 2:21). And no one feels more love for the Church and for the lost than Jesus.

Do you know what Jesus’ incarnation tells us about God? It tells us that He is a God of empathy. He doesn’t just know about the human experience, He has lived it Himself. Hebrews 4:15 says:

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.

Jesus has been through it all. He has been tempted. He has suffered trails. He has lost loved ones. He even experienced death. And He did it all for us. Jesus is sympathetic and emphatic towards humanity as He is both our high priest and perfect sacrifice. A priest knows that the sacrifice is painful for the animal, but he doesn’t feel the cut of the knife. Jesus understood the wrath of God that we deserved and took our place instead. There is no greater display of empathy than this that Jesus would take the judgement for our sins upon Himself. If this is the way in which God loves us, how should we be loving others? How does our empathy towards people point them to the empathy of God?

The Fragrance of Christ

The Fragrance of Christ

 But thank God! He has made us his captives and continues to lead us along in Christ’s triumphal procession. Now he uses us to spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere, like a sweet perfume. Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing. To those who are perishing, we are a dreadful smell of death and doom. But to those who are being saved, we are a life-giving perfume. 2 Corinthians 2:12-16a NLT


In the ancient days of Rome, whenever a military general won a major victory for the empire, he would be celebrated and paraded through the streets of Rome. One of the ways people would know that the triumphal procession had begun was the sweet smell of incense coming from the pagan altars throughout the city. For the people of Rome this was the scent of victory. There armies had prevailed over their foes! However, for those who had been captured in battle this scent meant utter defeat. It was the aroma of certain death.

The Apostle Paul said that we are the fragrance of Christ among all people (2 Corinthians 2:12-17). Take a moment to ponder this truth. We smell of our Savior. We are like perfume wafting all over the earth. The aroma testifies to the fact that Christ is victorious over sin and death. They are defeated foes! To some, we are the most pleasing fragrance that they have ever known. But to others, we smell as putrid as a rotting corpse. Either you want to wear the perfume for all of eternity or want nothing more than to rid yourself of the stench.

Brothers and sisters, if this is who we are in Christ then we be about going. We must go where the fragrance of Christ has never been encountered. In some parts of the world, they haven’t even caught a whiff of Jesus. The have no idea that Jesus has won the victory. The only thing worse than someone thinking the fragrance of Christ is revolting is someone never getting the opportunity to decide for themselves. The Lord is diffusing His people in all the world to make Christ’s name known. Church, what good is perfume if it never leaves the bottle?

What Will Heaven Be Like? Part 2

What Will Heaven Be Like? Part 2

Yesterday, I wrote briefly about how there is no sin or death in heaven. Today I want to talk about some of the implications of this reality. How does the absence of sin affect the nature of our eternity in heaven? What does this look like exactly? Here is part 2:

There is so suffering or pain in heaven.

Revelation 21:4 says, “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

While there is much we don’t know about the reality of heaven, we do know that it is a place of eternal happiness. According to this verse, there are no saints in heaven crying about anything. There are no saints dealing with back pain or emotional trauma from their past. Furthermore, there is no indication that the saints of God will be haunted by their sins for all eternity either. Truly, the former things have passed away. In heaven, every wrong will be made right. Every sickness and pain will be healed. That is why it is important that we set our minds upon the things that are above (Colossians 3:1-2). Perhaps the Lord will heal us of some physical ailment here on earth. Even if He does, we could get sick again. And eventually we will die. But, when when we “wake up” in heaven we will never have to worry about pain, sickness, or sorrow ever again.

Have you ever stopped to think about the unemployment rate of heaven? There won’t be any work for nurses or doctors because we will be completely healed by the Great Physician. Counselors won’t have any clients because every saint will talking with the Wonderful Counselor. Even florists will be out of a job because there will be no headstones to put flowers on. We will be alive forever singing praises to the Resurrected Savior.

In other words, there will be no hindrances to our eternal worship of God. In fact, we will have even more to thank God for once He wipes away every tear from our eyes. The wiping of our tears won’t be His dismissal of our pain and suffering experienced in this fallen world, it will be the comforting touch of our Father who says, “Come here, my child. Everything is going to be alright.” What an incredible promise Revelation 21:4 is for those who are in Christ Jesus. Amen? I will leave you with the words of Charles Wesley in his hymn entitled, “Away with our sorrow and fear.”

Our mourning is all at an end,
When, raised by the life-giving Word,
We see the new city descend,
Adorned as a bride for her Lord;
The city so holy and clean,
No sorrow can breathe in the air;
No gloom of affliction or sin,
No shadow of evil is there.

What Will Heaven Be Like?

What Will Heaven Be Like? Part 1

I am sure that many of us have asked this question at some point. We all want to know what it will be like when we go to be with Jesus. I know that there are a lot of stories and movies out there about people’s near death experiences. Heaven is For Real is one that comes to mind. I find it interesting that so many Christians will go to see a movie about heaven instead of reading with God has already revealed about heaven to us in His Word. This week I will be sharing a few things that every Christian should remember when thinking about heaven. Here is part one:

There is no sin or death in heaven.

We know that the wages of sin is death, according to Romans 6:23. Death is the result of mankind’s sin. God created us as eternal creatures, made in His image. If Adam and Eve had not disobeyed God, they would have lived forever with God. Death entered the world in order the prevent them from living eternally in disobedience and rebellion towards God. God drove Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden so that they would no longer have access to the tree of life.

Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever— therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life. Genesis 3:22-24 (emphasis mine)

Notice that the Lord stopped Himself in mid-sentence. It is as if He couldn’t bear the thought of not being with His people for all of eternity. But, if nothing is done about our sin, we will still be separated from Him. This is why Jesus died for us. Eternal life can only be found in the One who suffered the eternal punishment for our sins, in six hours on the cross. If Jesus had not died and rose again, we would have no hope of heaven; we would still be in our sins (1 Corinthians 15:17).

But, because Jesus Christ is alive, we can live forever with Him if we repent of our sins and believe upon His name in faith. But make no mistake, if we do not trust in Jesus, we will not go to heaven when we die. We will go to a place of eternal torment called Hell. And it won’t be undeserved. Even one sin against the eternal, holy Judge of the universe demands an eternal, holy judgement. John 3:36 says, “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.”

Heaven is holy because it is where our Holy God dwells. The reason that there is no sin in heaven is because there are no sinners in heaven, only saints (Revelation 21:27). Will your name be found in the Lamb’s book of life? Will I see you in heaven one day? If you aren’t sure, please send me a message. I would love to explain to you how you can be sure.


If you liked this post, come back tomorrow for Part 2: There is No Sorrow or Pain in Heaven.

 

3 Ways To Get Out of a Prayer Rut

3 Ways to Get Out of a Prayer Rut

If you are like me then sometimes your prayers can feel very mechanical and rote. Whenever I become apathetic in my prayer life, all of my prayers end up sounding the same. They are also usually rushed, lacking an earnestness and fervor that only comes from actively pursuing intimacy with God. Occasionally, I try to change things up a bit in order to break these cycles. Here are three things I do regularly when I feel like I am in a prayer rut.

1. I change my prayer posture.

This may sound somewhat silly, but it has truly helped me at times. Whenever I am feeling lazy in prayer I notice that much of my praying is done slouched over in a chair. Sometimes I simply need to move to my knees or stand up with arms spread wide in order to be refreshed in my prayer life. On many occasions, changing the position of my body has helped me to better “position” my prayers towards God and His will. We should always make sure our hearts are bowed low when we pray. If changing your posture of prayer will help you to bow your heart to God even lower, change it! If you are in public, don’t worry about looking foolish or what people might say. Do whatever you must in order to get right with God.

2. I thank God for the things I overlook.

We all have things we thank God for on a regular basis—our friends, our family, our health, our blessings, etc. When is the last time you thanked Him for the way the light shines through the window on a sunny day? Or for the peaceful sound of a midnight rainstorm? Have you every stopped to thank Him for the color green? The smell of fresh baked cookies? The laughter of your children?

How long has it been since you thanked God for saving you? 

There are so many things we have to be thankful for. Understanding this will help us to get out of those prayer ruts. We know that every good gift comes from the Father. It should be our desire to thank Him for them all. It doesn’t matter how small or “insignificant” the thing might seem. God is worthy of the praise for it!

3. I turn to the Psalms.

What a treasure the Psalms are in the life of the Christian. Whenever I am struggling in my prayer life, I can always turn to the Psalms and be refreshed. The Psalms teach us how to pray with the knowledge of God’s character and attributes. They show us what it looks like to put God first when we pray. They also show us what is acceptable and not acceptable to pray for. We are all prone to pray selfishly for things, behaving as if God is our personal genie instead of Our Creator and Master. Praying through the Psalms will help any Christian to get his prayer life back in order.


I pray that your prayer life would deepen and grow as a result of implementing these three things. I know how difficult it can be to get out of a rut, but let me reassure you that it’s not impossible. If there is anything that you would add please leave it in the comments. It may be a blessing to someone else who comes along to read this post.

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Romans 12:12