Agenda: Numb

taken from my journal 9/21/20

I don’t really know what’s going on inside of me. I feel so… numb.

I feel numb about all the sicknesses/deaths/accidents that have been affecting both sides of my family.

I feel numb about guys, about liking anyone, wanting to ever get married or have kids.

I feel numb about my future.

I also feel selfish. I hate feeling selfish, this false sense of entitlement that I need to be taken care of for once.

I feel worried about support, and if I will have enough to last another year.

I feel forgotten by people.

I feel forgotten by God.

I’m not really sure how to get out of this.

I don’t show it on the outside, and my mind constantly pushes it away, but when I sit and ponder, the feelings…the confusion…the numbness surfaces.

There’s one devotional from “Come Away My Beloved” that I keep on re-reading.

Resignation

“Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Matt. 6:33

Incline your heart to Me, and attune your ear to My voice. For I would speak to you, and I have an urgent message to give you. Do not set out to establish your own designs. I have already set in motion My divine will and purpose, and I would not have you interfere. I am jealous of my children; They are Mine, and you shall not intrude in any way to hinder My plans from working out. Yes, you may do many things, but only that which I direct you to do can have My blessing.

Resign all into My hands- your loved ones as well as your own self. Be obedient to the still small voice. Your own imaginings may speak more loudly, but wait upon Me always. You will see the wisdom in this in due time. Fret not about carnal things, but concern yourself first and aways with spiritual values. Truly, My promise is still “Seek first the Kingdom of God, and all the other needful things will be added to you.”

The bottom line is that I have to RESIGN it ALL. Fear won’t let me resign it ALL, but I know I have to.

Father, help me resign it all..ALL..into your very capable, loving hands. Teach me what it looks like again to seek your Kingdom first, above all else, daily. Forgive me for my disgusting selfishness that kept me focused on me for way too long. Work in me the desire and will to complete the works you have prepared for me since before time began.

I know the dawn is coming.

Agenda: Love,

Bethsaida

<3 Journey: Single? Here Are Some Awesome Video Tips.

The title of this blogsite is Agenda: Love. Love God. Love Others. Part of loving others is being with a person for the rest of your earthly life. I don’t know what that looks like, obviously, but I think it is fitting to write a blog at least once a month regarding this kind of love. I know that I have yet to have a relationship that is healthy, and godly. Would you mind journeying along with me during this learning process? Studying what a godly, healthy relationship looks like? Asking tough questions, getting healing from past junk?

I’ll be calling these relationship blogs: The Love Journey Series (<3 Journey Series)

I’m definitely no expert on relationships… Just a woman trying to figure out what a healthy, godly relationship looks like.Your input,and comments would be greatly appreciated.

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“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength” Prov. 17:22.

I dunno about you, but I love to laugh ,especially when it comes to things dealing with relationships.

Now I hope that you don’t actually go ahead and take the advice from these next Youtube videos…or maybe y ou should…but I do hope that they put a smile on your face, and a giggle in your heart.

A more inspiring Love Journey blog will appear sometime this month… but for now… Enjoy =)

Tips for the single Facebooker

Tips for the single church folks

Agenda: Love,
Bethsaida

Love Journey: Leaving it All Behind, Except Your Boo

It’s not rocket science to know that having relationships is the lifeline of being a human being. Especially romantic ones. I mean I work in an environment where I see, daily, the pain, deception, twistedness, brokenness, and unhealthiness of relationships between men and women.

I have to be honest and say that it is VERY easy to get jaded in regards to godly, amazing men existing in the world. But God was gracious enough to surround me around amazing men in my family growing up… so I know there is hope.

Yet still, at times there is a part of me that gets frustrated with the lack of men stepping up and the lack of character, and integrity, that seem to be infiltrating my generation…both for males and females.

The title of this blogsite is Agenda: Love. Love God. Love Others. Part of loving others is being with a person for the rest of your earthly life. I don’t know what that looks like, obviously, but I think it is fitting to write a blog at least once a month regarding this kind of love. I know that I have yet to have a relationship that is healthy, and godly. Would you mind journeying along with me during this learning process? Studying what a godly, healthy relationship looks like? Asking tough questions, getting healing from past junk?

I’ll be calling these relationship blogs: The Love Journey Series

I’m definitely no expert on relationships… Just a woman trying to figure out what a healthy, godly relationship looks like.Your input,and comments would be greatly appreciated.

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The other day my daily Bible verse app had this verse:

 “And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or property, for my sake, will receive a hundred times as much in return and will inherit eternal life.”Matthew 19:29

Read the verse again, see if you notice one member of the family that Jesus doesn’t mention you need to leave?

Your spouse.

I have read that verse several times, but when I read it this time, that truth stuck out to me.

I have seen the truth of leaving my family, and receiving mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers…even children…all over the world. My family has truly been extended, and I know that it will continue to grow as God takes me different places in life…but why doesn’t Jesus mention your spouse?

That must say a lot about what God thinks about marriage. It is the strongest human bond that can ever exist. Where the two become ONE.

How does this apply to a single person? Well It makes me think of this one thing. Whoever you marry has to have the same heart passions as you. If one person feels called to settle down in a country that is on the complete opposite side of the world than the country that God has placed in your heart…well you can’t one day say “Sorry, honey I need to go to Timbuktu because God has called me there, so have fun serving him here.”

No.. both people have to have the same passion, heart, desire, goal. Both have to be willing to leave mother, father, sister, brother, property…together…as a team.

This is something sobering to think about for myself personally. I don’t want to ever feel that I can’t fulfill the desires God has put in my heart because my spouse’s desires are completely opposite.

I mean, yes timing is just as important. Perhaps there is a time for one person to fulfill the calling God has in their life, and then the spouse’s turn… but the bottom line is the hearts have to be the same.

And let me just say, that it is helpful if the man knows what God has called him to, and pursues it. It’s a man’s role to pursue…why do I say that? Because that’s what Christ did for each of us.. pursued us with His love… and the man is supposed to treat the wife like Christ…but that will be a whole other blog.

A healthy, godly relationship is one where both are willing to leave it all behind…TOGETHER… to pursue whatever it is God has asked.

What do you think about this?

****my oh so wise brother-in law sent me a message stating that some manuscripts say “wife”…so I just want to clarify some things. 1. I use controversial titles to entice people to read my blogs…yes.. you were enticed. 2. OBVIOUSLY no godly relationship works unless GOD is #1..before the spouse. 3. “similar burdens do not always have to bring couples together, it could but it must be their love for GOd first, then for each other. Because sometimes the burden is only for a season and often it does not always transpire the way anticipated.”-Pastor Wight. It’s great to go through this journey, learning what godly love is like. Keep the input coming friends.

Agenda: Love,

Bethsaida

You’re My Best Friend

What is a best friend? Someone who stays by your side when no one else will. Someone you can laugh with, act silly with, and know that no matter what you do they will not judge you, and will love you. Someone who loves you enough to call out the lies in your life, and not let you stay the way that you are. Someone who always has your back. Someone who understands what you’re going through without you having to even articulate one word of how you’re feeling. They can just look at you.. and know.

Honestly, I’m not sure there is anyone in my life that I can call that. I mean, I have acquaintances.. lots of them (almost 2000 of them according to FaceBook). I thank God for the handful of people that He has brought into my life that have become my close, dear friends.

But sometimes I wonder if YOU, the one who reads my blogs, are my best friend. You know some of the most innermost, intimate feelings of my heart and mind. Writings that I don’t verbally express to the people I come into contact with daily. But YOU.. you get a glimpse of them.

I’m not a verbal processor. I’m an introverted, writing processor. And so, my friend, since I have not written a blog in a few weeks, I figured I would process with you, and let you in on what is going on…so here goes the randomness:

– Feeling overwhelmed. It’s a horrible feeling. Not one I enjoy feeling, though I feel it comes in little spurts here and there. In a way I understand Jason Russell. I understand how pouring your life into someone, and getting horrendous backlash from the people you are fighting for can drive you crazy. Sure there are a lot of unknowns in that situation, and I could discuss various theories as to why I believe he had the breakdown, but having a breakdown…I can understand that. And it gives me much more gracious eyes.

– The girls that I have been pouring into seem to be getting farther and farther away. The girls I have been fighting for in prayer seem to be getting worse and worse. I mean, it’s not gonna stop me from fighting for them, but I would be lying if I said it wasn’t discouraging. I’d be lying if I said that my heart is broken minute after minute on certain days. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to check out and revert back to my world of no responsibility for the rest of my life.

– I get so happy when I see my friends and family in relationships, and in love. Getting engaged, weddings. I wonder if there will ever be a day that people will look at me and be happy for me in that way. Love is so beautiful. Pure, unadulterated love. God’s love displayed through the union of two people. It’s beautiful flowers in this world garden of weeds.

– Failed the children. I saw one of the children we work with in the slums selling flower necklaces in the red-light, and I had to hold back from bursting in tears at that very moment. I should have been more diligent in creating lessons for them. There is so much more we can do in the slums, outreach to the families there, bringing Truth to them so that they don’t send their children to work in the red-light. What if I would have limited my hours on Skype, or Facebook, and used those times to pray, read my Word, and strategize for these children that God is putting before my eyes.

– I need help. Full-time help. Praying that people’s hearts would be broken for this issue, and for the people of Thailand, Chiang Mai specifically, buy a plane ticket, and come out here to serve in whatever that looks like.

– Laughing. I really love to laugh. It’s the best ab workout too.. it really is. I miss laughing a lot, a lot. I hope laughter becomes more of a part of my life this upcoming season.

– You can’t ever force anyone to change, and you can’t get frustrated when they don’t want change. You just have to love them, and continue to pray for them.  When someone is ready for change, they will seek it out truly, and will pursue it passionately. Unfortunately sometimes people have to be brought to their lowest point in order to cry out for Hope. It stinks, but so be it.

I think those are pretty much my thoughts. I do feel a bit better now. Thank you for “listening”.

I’m so thankful to God for this road that He has created my life to journey down. Though it is difficult, and though I face doubts, and trials, I would not change ANY of them.. because I know that I am in the center of His will. I know that because of this, He is strong when I am weak, and He is my joy, when I am downcast, and He is hope when it seems the waves are crashing in all around me.

He understands me when I can’t find the words to articulate or write down what I feel, He loves me when I am angry with Him, or feel unloveable. He forgives me when I make stupid mistakes, or say stupid things. He is faithful to me even when I am faithless… He gets me totally, all the time… not just once or twice a month. He truly, truly is my best friend.

“We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.” -2 Cor. 4:8-10

Agenda: Love,

Bethsaida

Massage Parlors + Bars = Modern Day Miracles

First there was one massage parlor= 2 girls

Then there was one massage parlor + one bar = 7 girls

Then there was one massage parlor + two bars =14 girls

Then there was no massage parlor + scattered girls = 4 girls

Today (2 weeks later) there are 2 massage parlors + 2 bars = 20 girls

More and more girls, from the red-light district, are wanting to learn English. I pray that they keep on coming.

This is opening up amazing doors to build relationships, hear their stories, share our stories, and love them with God’s supernatural love.

I’m praying that lives will be transformed, and become modern day miracles!

Oh, and did I mention that a past bar girl is now working with us, through our sponsorship program (that you can be a part of!), and helping us translate as we teach English….

She has quite a long road ahead of her, but she is in a Life-giving environment for 30 hours a week now!  The Light is greater than the darkness. So we’re going to pour into her the light, and truth of Jesus Christ, through living our lives with her.

Yea.. pretty sweet what God is doing here.

Keep praying! (and btw we need more volunteers too =) )

Agenda: Love,

Bethsaida

Last Time I Checked…Children Were Human.

There are protests and riots springing up all over the world today. Some are for just and noble causes, others have no specific focus, though they claim to. Regardless of the issue, culture, or country, these groups of individuals are emerging to voice the rights that they are entitled to, or feel entitled to.

A group of individuals who will never be able to congregate and voice their rights to the government are the impoverished and exploited children around the world. Did you know that children have rights too?

Right to Life

Right to Education

Right to Food

Right to Health

Right to Water

Right to Identity

Right to Freedom

Right to Protection

I won’t go into the details of these rights, many of them are self-explanatory, but you can find the definitions, and more resources on children’s rights, at Children’s Rights Portal.

The children that I see at night working in the red-light, selling roses and flower necklaces, are being robbed of these rights… but you won’t see them pitching tents at the gates of the King’s Palace, and demanding their natural born rights. They are an overlooked group of children here, because these children are not orphaned (either they are working for their parents or someone who owns them), and so don’t qualify to get into a preventative orphanage. They are also already exposed to the dark world of sexual exploitation, and so some people feel it is too “late” for them, in regards to mindset.

But SOMEONE needs to fight for them…Someone needs to advocate for them… Someone needs to bring Hope to them… Someone needs to give them, even just 20 minutes, of the innocence and protection that rightfully comes with being a child.

Because God adores these children, He has put this desperation on Love Acts’ heart and on the hearts of some of the Thai people who attend the church we partner with.

Thursday we all went out to the red-light with a very specific goal of rounding up the children and playing with them for 20 minutes, as a break in their evening of “work”.

The Thai volunteers prepared games for the children. One of the Thai volunteers brought over a mother who has three children selling.. the youngest is about 4. 

It was watching heaven unfold on earth as the children played, and laughed, and felt the love of God being poured out on them. Images that will never leave my mind. I didn’t want to take pictures the first night, because..well because I just didn’t feel it was right. But here is one of a boy, 13, who I have become close with. Teenagers…

The mother was watching along, smiling, as her children laughed. Before the children had to go back to work, the mother asked one of the volunteers if they could teach her children English. So we will start to do that in the bar area as well!

We will be doing this consistently, every time we go into the red-light. For our first hour there, we will focus on the children, teaching English and games/songs/stories. Then we hit the bars for the next two hours.

Where did we meet with the children? Right in the heart of the red-light district, outside a closed building…which happens to be FOR SALE.

If there are two things that I know for sure, it is that God does miracles, and God is LOVE. I know He wants us in the center of the red-light.. so please pray that He would do a miracle and give us that building. At the moment, it is out of our price range.

It would be  perfect for teaching the bar girls, and the children. It would be a peaceful, and loving, drop in center for the bar girls during the day, and a safe haven for the children at night. It would also be a place to educate the parents about what their children are really being exposed to.

It will be a place where God’s LIGHT would shine like a diamond “against the jet black sheet of night” of the red-light district there.

And so I’ll leave you with this song that’s been playing in my heart over and over:

“The devil’s dealing dirty
In broken hearts and counterfeit currency 
The living isn’t easy 
When a heart’s regret can tax the air you breathe 

But like diamonds we shine
Up against the sheet of night
The jet-black sheet of night
We overtake the cityscapes
We scale the heights
We break but we don’t die

Whoa we’ve got a blood
We’ve got a love that’ll brave the flood
Whoa we’ve got a blood
We’ve got a love that’ll brave…

The cold will leave you guilty
And the wind will shake you like a tambourine
The dogs will leave you hungry
And your superiors will tax the blood you bleed

But like diamonds we shine
Up against the sheet of night
The jet-black sheet of night
We overtake the cityscapes
We scale the heights
We break but we don’t die”

Agenda: Love,

Bethsaida

Jesus In A Buddhist World

To be Thai is to be Buddhist.

That’s the motto and basis of Thai culture. Though Christian Thais are not persecuted, there is a sense of “You’re not really Thai.”  It seems that Christianity has been linked as Western, and so a Christian Thai is not being true to their Thai culture.

It has been absolutely beautiful seeing how the students were at the beginning of Discipleship Training Week, and how much they grew throughout the week.

They grew in boldness, joy, and freedom.

There were 4 Buddhist students who have been a part of the DTW. Two are a married couple (the 17 year old wife who left the bars, and now works at Wongen Kafe), and two college students who were invited by their Christian friend.

We held a week of lectures, teachings, worship, prayer, dance/drama classes, and then this weekend we all went out to the city of Pai, to do an outreach.

Friday was the most life-changing day for me, because I got to see Christ in Buddhist culture.

The monks chant prayers. The students learned how to chant a prayer to God.

Us westerners baptize in a body of water. The Thai culture baptises with lighting three candles (Father, Son, and The Holy Spirit), prays to God through Jesus, then puts water in their hand and lightly pours the water over their heads, as a symbol of cleansing and being renewed.

It looked totally different compared to the baptisms I have seen in the states, but this is a way for Thai people who are consumed with Buddhist culture, to understand the decision they are making to follow Jesus’s teachings.

It was powerful to see 7 of the students make the decision to be baptized… and the 23 year old husband decided to follow Jesus too!

The other three Buddhist students are having a difficult time making a decision to follow Christ because they feel they have to be loyal to their families and Thai culture.

We have just been loving them, asking God to help us answer questions, and praying for them. No one is forcing them, and I told them it has to come from their hearts. They have come to every class, and two of them came with us to the outreach. One of them even played “Jesus” in a powerful play! (praying he will one day follow Jesus too!)

Jesus is NOT western. He is not a cultural invader. He is relevant in every culture… He’s the one who created diversity and different cultures! He didn’t create us all to be the same.

He is the bridge that creates One Body of Believers. No matter what culture, tribe, tongue, color, or background.

***next blog will have some video from the outreach..and a near death experience..true story***

Agenda: Love,

Bethsaida