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Selamat Hari Kemerdekaan Indonesia!

August 17, 2010

Our Street with the Flags

Our friend and helper, Ibu Puji, has been reminding us to buy a flag and hang it up before today.  We finally purchased a flag last Sunday and tied it up to our rusty lamp post.  Well, our neighbor didn’t think it was a good idea to tie the Indonesian flag to our rusty lamppost, so, he got a bamboo stick from his field behind our house and placed it by our front gate and tied the flag to it.  We are thankful that he took care of it for us.  Anyway, both Dan and I had weird feelings of hanging up the flag, because we feel loyal to America and we are proud to be American citizens.  I had the feeling that we might be arrested for hanging up the wrong flag!  Later that day we learned we could get arrested if we didn’t hang up an Indonesian flag.  Boy, I am glad that we overcame those feelings and hung up the Indonesian flag.

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Easy to Get Ahold Of!

August 11, 2010

Though the reason for writing this is to ask for prayers for my sister-in-law who fell off a ladder and broke her arm in for places, I just had to share something funny.  As I was on my computer early yesterday evening, a note from my brother popped up from Skype.  He wondered if I was “in business” to talk about a prayer request that he had.  Since I am always willing to talk to family or friends from the States (especially when it involves prayer requests), I started a chat conversation that turned into an actual voice conversation.  As he was filling me in on the details of the accident, he also shared with me that other than his own children that knew about the accident, I was the first of the extended family members to hear about it.  What makes this more funny was his comment that I was the first to know because I am the “easiest to get a hold of!”  Half-a-world away and I am still the easiest to get a hold of.  Thanks technology and thanks Brother for sharing your prayer request with us.

Struggles with the Homeless

August 10, 2010

When we were living in suburban America, we rarely saw anyone that looked homeless or was begging on the street.  We went from one comfortable activity to another without any thought about where we were going to get our next meal.  Though this could change if we still lived in the US with the economy the way it is.  But we typically relied on God and he always provided.  Now that we are in Indonesia that hasn’t changed-we still rely on God and He still provides.  What has changed for us is that there are beggars here in great abundance!  There are some that sit outside the grocery store that we frequent.  Others come up to the car looking for a handout.  One recent beggar that came up to the car was carrying a young sleeping child.  I asked the woman her baby’s name.  Though I don’t recall her name, that incident was a turning point in my thinking about the homeless and beggars.

Another sight has also left me thinking more about the homeless.  There is a man that pops up every now and then around town that is literally dressed in nothing but rags around his waist.   When we see him, he is digging through garbage cans looking for scraps of leftover food and drinking whatever liquid he can find.  So my struggle is what can I do to help not only this man, but the other beggars that I see?  There is a saying that goes like this, “If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day.  If you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.”  How do I feed them for a lifetime?

What makes this struggle even more difficult is the text that we read last week at church.  It is the story of Jesus raising the widow’s son from the dead.  In Luke 7:13, when Jesus saw the widow, his heart went out to her.  Or in other translations, it says that Jesus had compassion on her.  I ask myself, how can I look at these people and not have compassion on them?

Since I am still struggling with this, your comments are welcome.

What Would You Think about If you Didn’t Have Your Bible?

June 20, 2010

Over the last week, we’ve been staying at a friends house while they are on vacation; house sitting.  Normally, if I am going to be gone from home for an extended period of time – such as staying over night somewhere other than my home – I always bring my Bible.  Unfortunately, last night I was in such a hurry to leave, that I forget my Bible.  While some of you may see this as a theological fault on my part, instead of worrying about it this morning, I chose to meditate on some Scripture that I did know.  It was sort of like asking yourself the question, “If I was suddenly in the middle of nowhere without my Bible, what Scripture passages would I remember?”  Fortunately, my mind did not go blank as I sat pondering this question.  Instead, three Scripture passages immediately came to mind, Psalm 23, 2 Thes. 3:3, and John 3:16.   No surprise on John 3:16, but what about the other two?  Psalm 23 always reminds me that “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not (be in) want”  Amazingly, I was able to recite almost all of it by memory.  2 Thes. 3:3 on the other hand I learned from a GT and the Halo Express cassette tapes many years ago and I still remember the music for it.

What each of these verses tells me is that when I least expect God to be there, I need to realize is that not only is He there, He is in control.  We’ve had some difficult times living overseas, but we know that we were called to this place and that God will provide all of our needs, whether big or small.

Happy Father’s Day to all of you Dads.

God is Amazing

May 24, 2010

This morning as I was walking to my usual Monday morning men’s group, I was stopped by our neighbor who was pointing to the sky.  At first I thought she might be looking at an airplane (which is quite uncommon in this part of the island).  What I was startled to find, and I think they were just as amazed. was a nearly perfect rainbow.  Now to most of you that may not sound like much.  But we’ve lived in Indonesia for nearly five months, all of which is during the rainy season, and I had yet to see a rainbow.  God is amazing!

Later on this same day, I took our boys, with a friend that is spending the night, to a hotel in town that has a pretty nice pool.  While I was standing on the deck of the pool, I looked out towards one of the mountains located around our city.  I saw one of the most beautiful sights of a mountain that I had ever saw.  (Unfortunately, I didn’t have my camera or my hand phone with a camera to record the event.)  The mountain itself was framed perfectly by some things by the pool.  At that time of day, the sun was shining from the side of the mountain, giving it a “purple mountains majesty” sort of look.  What really caught my attention, though, was the billowing clouds located about half-way to the summit.  God is amazing!

Giving It Another Try (or Don’t Give Up)

May 23, 2010

I’ve started and stopped with this blog more times than I would care to admit. But I’ve decided to give it another try-or in Bahasa Indonesia, “Mencoba lagi.” Though I don’t know how often it will get updated, I will try as often as possible. (How’s that for overcommitment?)
I will say right up front, thanks for checking back on a regular basis. Hopefully, I won’t disappoint you. Mostly, this will be about what is happening in Indo, where we currently live. There may be some prayer requests, announcements, general comments, Biblical verses that catch my attention, dan sebagainya (etc.). Please let me know if there is anything else you would like to hear about.

Let Go, and Let God

April 24, 2009

A recent post that I was reading – Blacksheep Blog – got me to thinking about something.  Mr. Blacksheep did a great job of sharing his confusion about holding the ball versus fumbling (which if you know anything about football, you know this is not a good thing) and letting God pick up the ball and do His work of getting the touchdown.  This is where my problem comes in.  A simple, yet profound saying that was popular a number of years ago – Let Go, and Let God – causes me to wonder if I should step out of the way, put down the ball, or something else, and let God do His thing.  Or on the other hand, the parable of the talents that Jesus uses in Matthew 25:14-30 would indicate that we are to do our work and God will do His.  While I would agree with Mr. Blacksheep when it comes to the things that we cannot do, I would also say that we are to use the talents (pun intended) that God has given us!

So what is the answer? Let Go, and let God or God helps those who help themselves?  Let me know what you think.

And congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Blacksheep on the new chapter in their life.  (See their website if you would like to know more.)