Month: March 2016

Let Love Win

The 5 Love Languages have been ever so present in my life lately. They came into play in my life when my husband and I got married. It was what we studied for our premarital counseling. I used them in my counseling practice, and, recently, they were talked about in regards to raising our children at MOPS. We also just talked about them at our marriage event at our church. So since they keep popping up in my life, I thought I would share with you some things I have learned while studying The 5 Love Languages. 

First,  I will start by explaining the Love Languages. You can get an idea of what yours might be by thinking about these questions. Do you like receiving love notes from your significant other or love when other people compliment you or your work? Do you love receiving hugs? Do you enjoy spending time with your spouse or others? Do you like it when your significant other helps out around the house or others help you when you need it? Do you like receiving gifts from others to remind you that they care about you or show you that they love you? Depending on the way you answer these questions, it could determine what your love language is.

The 5 Love Languages are Words of Affirmation, Physical Touch, Quality Time, Acts of Service and Receiving Gifts.

If your Love Language is words of affirmation you lost certainly love when people build you up and compliment you. You love when others let you know you are doing a good job and encourage you. You like when people say nice things to you and to others. But what if your spouse’s, or your child’s, Love Language is words of affirmation? You could write them notes to let them know you love them. Most importantly, make sure you are complimenting them and encouraging them with your words. Furthermore, criticizing them breaks them down and hurts them more than anything else. So watch your words and keep them positive.

Those whose Love Language is physical touch obviously need lots of touching, but what exactly does that mean? They need to hugged, patted and kissed. They need to be snuggled on the couch or their feet rubbed. There are many ways to show someone you love them through touch. However, neglecting to touch them makes them feel unwanted and unloved. The most damaging thing that could happen to a person whose Love Language is physical touch is to neglect to touch them. So make sure you are learning how to touch your spouse, outside of sexual intercourse.

Someone who feels love through quality time needs to be around other people. Being apart from others for long periods of time is crushing to someone who loves by spending time with others. Spending time with your spouse who feels love in this way is super important.

Those whose Love Language is acts of service love to hear others say, “I will do it!” It is like music to their ears! They love to see people show their love through actions by helping them do something. They also love to hear others say, “What else can I help you with?” This love action could be helping your spouse with household chores or repairs that need to be made. Showing kindness through actions is the way these individuals feel loved. If you spouse feels love in this way, make sure you are helping around the house and fulfilling that “Honey Do List”!

Gift giving is not just for special occasions. For people who feel appreciated by getting gifts it is imperative that you give them gifts even when their is no occasion to do so. Gift giving can be simple and practical. It doesn’t have to be extravagant or expensive; it just needs to be something. Something as simple as a note or flowers will work just fine. However, remember not to forget those special occasions because those are still important to the person who loves receiving gifts too!

The important fact to all of this information is to learn what you spouse needs. Does your spouse need to be uplifted, someone he knows will brighten his day with her words, being publicly affirmed, someone who will say how much she loves him or is he someone that just needs to hold hands or be hugged regularly? Does your spouse need to spend time with you or does she need to snuggle on the couch while you watch a movie? Does he need to be praised as a leader or spend time talking about his day? Does she need to lie in the bed and talk or just have her feet rubbed? Take time to figure out how your spouse feels most loved. Figure out what are the 5 most important needs for your spouse, and, then, start doing them.

There are many ways you can do this. Ask you spouse how you can help them. Send them a texts throughout the day to tell them how much you love them. Don’t tell them their ideas are stupid. Kiss for 10 seconds. Hug your spouse often. Unplug from your phone, computer or television to spend time with your spouse. Make sure to kiss your spouse when you wake up in the morning and before you go to bed at night. Leave your spouse a note in their lunchbox, briefcase or car. Tell your spouse how much you love him or her. Bake together. There are a plethora of ways to show your spouse love.

The best advice I can give you concerning this topic, is to find out what your spouse needs in order to feel loved and do those things. Once you start, it is actually quite simple.

Finally, and most importantly, seek God in your marriage and let Him bless it richly!

Persevere

My family and I returned to Bangkok about 10 days ago.  We had went to visit the States to see our family and friends.  Before we went to the States one of our church members, Dylan, came to me with the idea to start a College Ministry.  This is something we had been trying to do since our church started here, but with no success.  Bangkok University is across the street, but it is a private university. Therefore, it was very difficult to get permission to do anything on campus.  So Dylan and I talked about starting a college ministry.  We thought we might get 5 to 8 students because the truth is their might only be 5 Christians on the whole campus of thousands of students.  This campus is made up of Thais, Vietnamese, Korean, Nepalese and many more.  So the chances of getting many people to show up to a Bible study was slim to none.  But God calls us to be willing to share His story and His truth with people, so Dylan started it.

I am happy to tell you that Dylan has had some Sunday nights with over 40 students.  Absolutely crazy what God has done.

I think this can really teach us something about how God works and what our responsibility is in His work.  About 6 months ago we were really wanting to start something on campus to get to know more college students.  The campus had always told us no in the past because we are Christians.  But we got introduced to an Irish man who had been given clearance to have a class every week on campus.  He pitches his class to the administration that he is going to teach the students about Christianity so they can understand Westerners and Western thought better.  The university is all about helping its students understand the Western business world, so they gave him permission.  Well we came along side him to help in any way possible, and we started to make some relationships with the students.

At the same time Dylan had started a service club for students at the university.  So they would go and feed the homeless or play with the kids who live in low income housing.  We would join Dylan in this at some events and get to know more students.

With all this, the most important factor, is that God had connected Dylan to our church about 2 or 3 years ago.  He wanted to attend a church that was a Gospel centered, Bible teaching church.  So he has been regularly attending our church for a few years.  We have been able to encourage him with God’s word, and he has been faithfully serving our church.

So when Dylan had over 40 students show up for Bible study it was truly an act of God.  But God had been preparing this for the last couple of years; actually before time He planned this.

We can learn two things from this: One of them, I am sure you already know, but I hope to help you realize the second aspect.

First, God is moving for His own glory.  If God wants something to happen nothing will stop it. I MEAN NOTHING.  The fact that a university is less than half a percent Christian or the fact that over 99% of Bangkok is worshipping idols, cannot stop God’s plan.  His will be done.

But the second piece to this is encouraging to me, and I hope it will encourage you.  Anything that happens is because of God, but God does use us to bring about His will.  You see, the end result of many steps was that over 40 people came to a worship service, and that is encouraging.  But the steps before this left us to wonder if we were really making any headway.  The once a week class would usually only have 4 or 5 students there, one named Satish, which I will tell you about in a moment.  We were not seeing much fruit from this ministry.

Dylan has been a student at BU for 3 years, and even though he has tried many different things to see movement, nothing has sprung into fruit.  Also, we had joined with his service club, but we really didn’t have anyone from it come to our church.

So all these steps were showing little fruit, but we kept trying.  We trusted that this was what God wanted us to do, and we continued to pursue His plan. Dylan continued to be willing to be used by God.

All of the sudden in January, BOOM, we have a college ministry that is alive.  You see God’s plan was this all along.  He wanted us to take the necessary steps to build relationships and to work with His plan. Then, in God’s timing, He brought about glory for Himself.

So I want to encourage you all to persevere; keep plugging away at what God has called you to.  You might not see immediate results, and you might wonder if God is really doing anything.  But just keep trusting Him and following His will.  God is the one who makes everything happen, but remember that He uses us as His tools.  If we want the people around us to know the love of Jesus, then we need to get to work.  Don’t sit around and expect God to reward your inactivity.  Lay yourself at His cross and sacrifice everything for Him and see if He uses it to glorify Himself.  He will.

I want to end this by telling you that last Sunday Satish, a Nepalese guy with a Hindu and Buddhism background,  came to believe in Jesus.  This is the same Satish that started coming to the once a week class that we thought was showing very little fruit.  He was led to Christ by Dylan who has been sacrificing himself for years at that campus for God’s glory.  So when we are working hard for Jesus, and it doesn’t seem that anything is happening, remember Satish-a guy from Nepal, who now knows the love and saving grace of our Lord Jesus.  Praise you Jesus; You are amazing.

Getting Around

I often get asked how we get around in Bangkok. We don’t have a car, so people are always curious. In Bangkok, we have many different, fun ways to get around. So I thought I would share here with those who are curious about the many options we have to travel around the city.

My favorite mode of transportation is the BTS (Bangkok Transit System), which is like a Sky Train. I like this method of travel because with 2 littles, it is so much easier to get around. It is fast, convenient and most everywhere we go is right off of the BTS line. It is also so clean, and I don’t have to worry too much about germs. The BTS is a great way to travel around, even if with the kiddos.

pexels-photo

My most favorite mode of transportation is a motorcycle taxi. They are fast and cheap, but they can pose a little more danger, just because they are motos and sometimes they whizz in and out of traffic. They are everywhere, so they are easy to use as well. They do not have to wait in traffic since they can fit in between the cars, so they get you to your destination without hesitation.

pexels-photo-4

The next mode of transportation is a taxi. In Tennessee, where we come from, there are barely any taxis and no one ever uses them, but in Bangkok, they are a necessity. Taxis may be my least favorite mode of transportation because of the traffic, but they are often a necessary evil to get you where you want to go, especially if the sky train doesn’t take you to your exact location. If you travel reasonably far off the BTS line, it’s essential to take a taxi. Typically, I have no trouble grabbing a taxi when I need one. Compared to American standards, taxis in Bangkok are super cheap and always clean! I don’t think I have ever paid more than $10 to go anywhere. Try paying that rate in New York! No way! Not unless you are only going a few blocks! Another thing I don’t love about the Bangkok taxis are they are not supposed to refuse to take you, but many of them do. It’s not something I understand, but I also think if they don’t want to take me, it’s probably better off anyway!

city-cars-vehicles-street

Another mode of transportation is the bus. The bus isn’t one of my favorite modes because it is hard for me to get on and off with 2 children. The buses often don’t come to a complete stop, so it’s hard for me to get my head strong 3 year old on and off the bus quickly enough. However, I sometimes take the bus when I am by myself or it is just my husband and I. It is so cheap and there are so many stops that make it easy to ride. We also often take our short term mission teams on buses because it is so cheap and easy.

public-transportation-tram-bus-seats

Yet another mode of transportation is a Tuk Tuk. We rarely ever take tuk tuks because they are generally more expensive. They are the most famous method of transportation among foreigners, and let’s just say they know it. Usually, they ask for much more money from foreigners. It is often cheaper to take a taxi to our destination, but it would be much more fun and unique to take a tuk tuk.

lights-street-car-vehicle
If visiting Bangkok, you will most likely have the opportunity to use each of these types of transportation. There are many options to choose from, so if you don’t like one, just choose another.