Statistics on Christianity in Saraburi

A lot of people have asked us how big is our town in Thailand and we finally have the answer. We recently received a CD with a ton of maps and statistics on Christianity in Thailand and we are including below a map of the province of Saraburi.

We live in the district of PhraBaht in Saraburi province, about two hours north of Bangkok. PhraBaht has 72,000 people and 75 reported Christians. The church that we work with in PhraBaht is the only one in the district and there are only 20-30 people in attendance at the Sunday worship service at that church. I know that there are some Christians in PhraBaht who go over the border to nearby Lopburi province to worship but that is still a lot of people unaccounted for. However, I will save for another time my comments on the necessity of cleansing the church roles and making a reasonable judgment about the credibility of a person's profession of faith.

The focus of our church planting work at this time is focused on nearby Nong Doan district, a lower class farming community. Nong Doan has 14,000 people and according the the statistical figures that I received, no Christians. However, I know of

Wanted: Kingdom Families

Some people may think that our family is crazy to take Joshua to the mission field where he will not (as the argument goes) have the privileges and advantages of growing up in a developed wealthy country like America. However, there are many advantages of taking kids to the mission field and there are somethings worth giving up for the sake of sharing the Gospel with those who have never heard and making the name of Christ known in the dark places of the world.

In the Sept/Oct 9Marks e-journal, I recently read an article called "Wanted: Kingdom Families" The authors correct a number of mistaken notions about taking kids to the mission field and present a challenge to parents to be kingdom minded and Gospel centered in raising their families. This article is extremely applicable for all Christian families, whether they are on the mission field or not. What is God calling us to do as a family? How should we be fulfilling the Great Commission (Matt. 28:18-20) as a family?

Renewing My Mind: Justification

Since we're back in the States for a few months, I've been taking advantage of the much higher internet speed and abundance of good English language books that are available here. Filling my mind with not only Scripture but good solid Biblical books and sermons is always beneficial to me and is a benefit to our ministry at home and abroad. If I am continually thinking upon God, His revealed will, and the application of that in my life and in the church, then I will be build up in my walk in Christ and those whom I interact with will (hopefully) benefit as well. I wanted to post here the links to a series of four sermons on justification that a missionary colleague recommended to me. Justification is one of those core truths of the Christian faith that is necessary to review again and again. It is also a core truth of the Christian faith that is not talked about much these days or if it is, it is often simplified to "Jesus died for your sins." I found these sermons very helpful and hopefully some of you will as well.

Edward Donnelly - Justification #1 - Its Importance
Edward Donnelly - Justification #2 - Its Meaning and Ground
Edward Donnelly - Justification #3 - Its Source and Instrument
Edward Donnelly - Justification #4 - Its Implications

Transexual Students Get Own Restroom at Thai School

The number of trans-sexual guys in Thailand is enormous as the news video below illustrates. On the one hand, you could say that they are "accepted" in Thai society in the sense that there are no legal barriers to work, educational opportunities, housing etc. but all the straight guys ridicule them as girly men and they get about zero respect. However, when you look at the irresponsible womanizing, drinking, and gambling of many Thai men, I can understand why some boys either consciously or unconsciously end up taking after their mom, auntie, grandmother or whatever other kind, caring, hard-working woman raised them.

 

 

"Does God have Good Manners?" (or "Why Christians Don't Grow")

A few months ago I was visiting some new believers with a Thai pastor and other church members when I heard something quite disturbing. In the course of his teaching, the pastor explained that some Christians don’t have changed lives because they don’t yield to the Holy Spirit. He went on to say that God has “good manners” and therefore doesn’t force himself on anyone. If a believer yields to the Holy Spirit, then his life will change in accord with God’s will. However, if he does not yield to the Holy Spirit, then his life will not change and he will exhibit little or no evidence of being a Christian other than his profession to be a Christian.

Is this really the best way to explain why professing Christians fail to show any evidence of love for Christ or obedience to his commandments? I have another theory as to why some professing Christians don’t show any evidence of conversion. They were never truly converted to begin with!! Some may say that this sounds judgmental but I believe that there is sufficient Biblical support for such a conclusion.

The Bible has absolutely no category for people who have trusted in Christ as Savior but have not repented (turned) from their sins and made a decision to obey Him as their Lord. In Matthew chapter 3, the Pharisees and Sadducees are coming out to receive baptism from John the Baptist but John rebukes them and tell them to "bear fruit in keeping with repentance." (Matt. 3:8). Profession of allegiance to God must always be

Mom's Memorial Service

It has been about a month and a half since Karl's mom passed away on May 24th and her absence is profoundly felt. She was a wonderful woman and dearly missed. Our family is very thankful that God gave us some time with her after we arrived from Thailand on May 20th and praise Him for strengthening us for the chaotic and emotional time that we stepped into when we got off the plane.

I had the unique privilege of leading the memorial service for my Mom and I am posting below the order of service from the church bulletin together with the MP3 audio files for the service. I am doing this both for my own sake and that of my family as we think back about my Mom in years to come, and also for the sake of those who loved and appreciated my Mom but were unable to make it to the memorial service. The six MP3 files, taken together,

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