Monday, November 9, 2015


A couple of weeks ago I had the privilege of having dinner at the home of some of my students.
We all gathered on a deck outside in the cool of the evening.  Us 4 Americans dug in a engaged in fun conversations with the teens.

As the night drew on and we were full beyond the point of gluttony the conversations slowed and the Americans headed home. I stayed a little longer because freedom - I mean I'm single and don't have any kinds!

Then something cool happened. Something my heart could feel but my mouth couldn't find the words to express. All I could do was smile. I felt like what a mug probably feels like when you pour hot tea in it.

All the mothers come to the table to eat. I admired these women. I was humbled by them. I thought of my own mom. And all the mothers I've had the honor of spending time around the table with around the world.

All around the world you'll find mothers being the last to eat. These amazing women made some equally amazing dinner and dessert for a big group of farangs (foreigners). After we ate until our stomachs were near combustion and after we chatted with each other and with the girls and after giving some food to go (not to mention working then coming home and cooking and being wives and mothers) these moms sat down to enjoy dinner themselves.

They might speak a different language or dress different or live in a different country but there is a similarity that connects every mother. The love they have for their families. The desire they have for the children to be full, smart, clean, loved. Putting themselves last.

It is beautiful. Should I have children of my own one day I would count it a great honor to be part of such a strong, kind, caring group of women.

If your mom put herself last for you call her today and tell her thank you. If you are a mother and you sometimes feel unappreciated I want you to know that your hard work does not go unnoticed. Your children will one day see all that you sacrifice for them. If you are a father take the time today to do something special for your wife. Get the kids involved. Don't wait for Mother's Day to love on mom.

To my mom,
Thank you for your humility and kindness and love. Thank you for everything that you have sacrificed for my sake and for my siblings. I can only hope to be half as amazing as you are!! I love you!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Like And Share And God Will Bless You

I want to preface this blog with why I DO LIKE social media.

I like social media because...
I travel the world and social media makes it easy to know what's going on anywhere at anytime.
I can keep in contact with my family and friends.
I can update all of my amazing supporters on how life is in Thailand or wherever it is I go.
I get to see/read the heart of like minded people and those that have different views. It challenges me to know who I am, to know Jesus more, and how to love better.
I get to share my heart and jokes and my missionary life.
Missing children can be found
Long lost family members and friends can be reunited
You can follow along with your favorite actor or author or athlete or artist or speaker
And lots more.

If you are on facebook at all I'm certain you've scrolled across a post that has some sort of God or religious story or quote and asks you to like and share the post.

This is part of social media that I DO NOT like. It literally makes me sick to my stomach the amount of manipulative posts that are posted AND shared. Too many people are using God to get likes and shares. That's the bottom line to these things, likes and shares.

If a bible verse or a story or a quote impacts you then I'm all for sharing it. I do it all the time. When you add "if you love Jesus then like and share" or "I know most of you won't share this but my real friends will" or "type amen and like and share and God will bless you" or anything like that you are manipulating people. It isn't right. It isn't how God works.

Jesus died on the cross because he wants a relationship with us. He loves us. He wants us to know him. He didn't endure the cross so that we can get likes and shares. True Christianity is bigger and more powerful and greater than any facebook post or anything you find on social media. It's easy to share a post. Easy to share a scripture verse. But your social media life isn't going to be standing before Jesus one day. You are. I am. How we loved God and loved others will be on the table. Those posts are going to hold any weight at that time.

This upsets me because there are so many people that misrepresent Christ. It upsets me because I see family and friends falling prey to these posts. It upsets me because these posts portray God as some sort of genie. "Like if you believe in God and he will doing something good for you." It upsets me that people settle for sharing a post rather than surrendering to Christ.

The bible is clear about what our lives should look like if we say we love him and know him. Not one time does it mention anything about social media. It does however talk about our social behavior and our hearts.

Please reconsider sharing and liking these manipulative posts as it only promotes manipulation and the total misrepresentation of Jesus. If someone is sharing from their heart that's different. A person that is secure in themselves and wants to be genuine on social media will not manipulate you into sharing and liking.

Thanks for listening. Back to your regularly scheduled weekend. :)

Thursday, April 9, 2015

March Madness

Disclaimer: This has nothing to do with basketball. March was a busy month for me :)

On March 9th I headed to Dallas to apply for my Thai visa. Little did I know that I was going to spend the next month traveling to different states meeting new people, visiting family I haven't seen in 20 years, getting new supporters, spending time with friends, attending new churches, and volunteering at my first ever (hopefully not my last) Eurasia Experience.

Let's start with Texas. I arrived in Dallas welcomed by my best friend and the gloomy rain. I had a smile on my face and happy heart. Early the next morning I was on my way to the Thai Consulate. Within 10-15 mins I had my visa and was one step closer to heading to Thailand!!! (PS "everything is bigger in Texas" applies to the pot holes too!)

I had the privilege of going to Round 'Em Up Cowboy Church with my cousin Lauren and her family. Great people! There was a potluck dinner before church and let me tell you, it was delicious!

I met with the Pastor and he said he the church would support me monthly. That makes me the first missionary that the church supports. What an honor!

I spent the next few days with my family. Most of them I hadn't seen in 20+ years. I don't think I stopped smiling. We had great conversations and made forever memories.

From there I made my way to Vivian, LA with Mary Beth and her dad, Mike. They did missions service at Starting Point church. Mike and Mary Beth shared about their ministries and I got to tag along. I'm glad I did! What a wonderful group of people. I felt like I had known them for years. (Something I'm finding is very common in the south).  I sold some Mission: Thailand shirts and got some new prayer partners. Good times.

That was week 1. Week 2 I spent in Missouri. Since I had lived in MO while working for Convoy of Hope a lot of my stuff was still there. So, I wanted and needed to go through it and get it situated before I leave the country. It was all stored at my friend's brother's house. He and his family live in Lake Ozark. I didn't mind to spend a few days there :)

As we roughed it on the lake, Mary Beth found an apartment in Springfield. Now she has a place to live and I have a place to store my stuff :D We spent week 3 moving her in and getting settled in. I gave two suitcases full of clothes and stuff to Goodwill, threw some stuff away, brought some home with me, and whittled what was left down to three bins. What a relief to get all of that taken care of. While in Springfield I also got to meet up with some CoH co-workers and some of my interns. And of course stopped by the infamous intern wall.

Week 4 I volunteered with the Eurasia team in Louisiana. Since Mary Beth is the new director I couldn't pass up the opportunity to work with her again. And of course see the Eurasia Experience for the first time. (For more information about the Eurasia Experience and to book it at your church click here). This particular event was held at the LA youth convention. 100's of youth spent their weekend seeking Jesus and also got to walk through the EE. I can't post pics of the actual event but I can give you a glimpse of some of it. Several students were called to missions. It was a blessing to have been there and maybe even been a small part of that.
 There's no way I can share all that happened in the past month in one blog. I learned much about myself, ministry, friendship, and developed a deeper hunger for Truth.

Thank you to everyone that took me in along the way!! Too many to name but know that I cherish each of you. Thank you to the King family that is more like a second family to me. It is always a pleasure to spend time with you. And to Mary Beth, thank you for everything!

Now I'm back in CA working on getting the rest of my funds raised and get on my way to Thailand!