Monthly Archives: April 2010

Khrang naa

Next time, I’ll be better.

I’m aware that I’m not the best blogger.  I’m sure that seems ironic since I’m a writer. It’s not that I don’t want to blog, I truly do.

I find though, it’s hard sometimes to come home and blog when writing is your job. I’ve been writing all day, bein’ all creative, artsy and word-smithy and such.

But, next time, I’ll be better. Khrang naa means next time in Thai. So, next time I’ll be better at blogging.

Realization of the day: I’m an Asia girl. I realized I can’t see myself living in Europe. Europe is a whooo place to me–it’s seems so exotic. Asia feels like home. Africa feels like the ‘hard core continent’ and South America feels too traditional for me.

That’s not to say I wouldn’t live anywhere the Lord called me–because I would. In or out of my comfort zone, I’ll follow.

That’s one realization I made. Another is that I really like coffee. But you and I already knew that.

So, stay tuned for next post! Khrang naa!

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Upchuck and Uplift

The trash can never saw it coming.

I upchucked into a yellow public trash can in front of a pool table in a street night market tonight. It was mortifying and humiliating. But after the spew, I made an instantaneous recovery and could continue on with my North Face backpack purchase and relationship building with Thais.

Let’s back up. Why did I upchuck in a trash can? Is this normally part of my ministry? Well, not really.

I pushed myself hard tonight in my work out at the gym tonight. I ran for 40 minutes, did an ab workout and squatted. After showering, my roommate Holly and I headed over to a nearby night market that we’ve started ministering in. Last week was our first week to go and we made two new friends. Our goal for tonight was to visit our new friends and buy a backpack for our upcoming beach jaunt this weekend (more to come on that later).

I ordered a spicy noodle dish for Holly and I in the market. It was spicier than I’ve ever had it. We stomached all of it though. I really wasn’t hungry but out of pride and stubbornness I made myself eat more than I really should have. I also guzzled an Oishi green tea.

Almost immediately after eating nausea set in. I ate too soon, too much spicy and too much for a post-hard-work-out tummy.

“Gotta, get, home,” I grumbled and mumbled. There goes ministry for the night, I thought.

I managed to upchuck in a trash can and not in front of a store, thank you Jesus. I didn’t want to be remembered as the “foreigner girl who threw up on the doorstep of a stall.” Now, I’ll only be known as the “foreigner girl who threw up in front of the bar.” Hopefully no one will believe the guys playing pool at the bar–blame it on the alcohol–people will just say they were intoxicated. (At least this is what I am hoping. I really think they were sober, but for the sake of my pride let’s say they weren’t).

“You OK?” Holly asked.

Yep, all good. All better.

I made my backpack buy. We got to pray for our friend Niw* who’s been having a rough week. We also got invited to listen to traditional Thai music at our friend Lan’s* second workplace. We are forging a relationship with the spicy noodle restaurant staff.

All in all, tonight proved productive. Despite my unfortunate upchuck, Holly and I were able to uplift two Thai friends.

If you’re ever feeling woozy I’d advise the following:

1. Don’t throw up on the storefronts of those you’re trying to tell about Jesus

2. Don’t let unfortunate circumstances distract you from what God’s called you to do

3. Roll with the punches. Life’s an adventure

3. Count it all joy

*names changed

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Big Brother

“While they were going, behold, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests all that had taken place. And when they had assembled with the elders and taken counsel, they gave a sufficient sum of money to the soldiers and said, “Tell people, ‘His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” So they took the money and did as they were directed. And this story has been spread among the Jews to this day.” Matthew 28:11-15 [ESV]

As I read the Easter story this weekend this section stood out to me. To this day people believe Jesus’ body was whisked away by His disciples. The lie that started so long ago is still widely accepted as truth today.

Can you imagine being the guards? They carried the secret of what really happened that night to their graves. Perhaps they lay awake in the wee hours of warm Jerusalem summer nights thinking about what happened. They felt the earth shake. They saw the sealed tomb open. They remember falling to the earth–frozen like corpses and Katy’s Custard. (Katy’s is a frozen custard business in Waco, TX)

Either the disciples are demi gods or truly Jesus is the Son of God, they thought. (Or at least I’d wager they thought that)

I just finished reading “1984” by George Orwell. My mind made the connection between Matthew 28:11-15 and the words Orwell coined, ‘Party’ and ‘Big Brother.’

Perhaps the guards in the Bible are like Party intellectuals, the Jewish leaders are like the ‘Thought Police’ and the practice of ‘doublethink’ is the perpetuated lie about Christ. Hear me out.

In “1984,” the Party rewrites history–shaping it to suit the Party’s purposes. The book goes into great detail about the mutability of the past. Lies are purported as truth. History is rewritten and records are altered. And, thankfully for us, records have not been destroyed of what really happened with Jesus’ body. In this case, the truth can only be ignored, not rewritten.

Orwell writes:

“Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory belief’s in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them. The Party intellectual knows in which direction his memories must be altered; he therefore knows that he is playing tricks with reality; but by the exercise of doublethink he also satisfies himself that reality is not violated. The process has to be conscious, or it would be carried out with sufficient precision, but it also has to be unconscious, or it would bring with it a feeling of falsity and hence of guilt.”

Doublethink is to tell intentional lies and then genuinely believe in them. It’s forgetting inconvenient facts. That’s what Jewish officials did.

“The essential act of the Party is to use conscious deception while retaining the firmness of purpose that goes with complete honesty,” Orwell writes.

However, this lie, that Jesus was spirited away, is not believed by everyone. There are Party members who don’t believe the falsehoods of the Party in “1984”  entirely, as Orwell’s character Winston didn’t believe in the Party. And then there are what Orwell calls ‘proles.’ Proles are outside the system, so to speak. Perhaps for the sake of this article I can call Christians proles?

Proles, as Winston writes, are the salvation of humankind. While Christians are not salvation, they do have an answer to how to find salvation.

Jesus still lives despite tries to wipe, stamp, rewrite and explain away what happened when Jesus was resurrected.

“And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20b

He lives, not just in vague memories, but in actuality. He is risen.

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