Sanctified Tourist

Living holy and fit both spiritually and physically in today's culture.

Find out about a terrible spiritual struggle I had while I was living in Cambodia that I pray you can use as a parable for your own anxiety.


5 Comments

When It’s Not a Cobra After All

One of the challenges of living in Cambodia six months out of the year is snakes.  They pop up when you least expect them.  During our first three months of living here, there were several snake sightings in the yard.  I never saw one myself, but the guys living in the dormitory across from my house always said the same thing, it was big…it was black…and it would run away by crawling up the bamboo plants next to the wall.   Beyond the wall of our house is a wild area, perfect for all kinds of critters.  I guess every once in a while the black snake decides to hunt on our side.

So here is the problem.  Two Khmer friends were living on the property, and described the snake by gestures…making their arm go up as if in a striking position.  It also appeared that they were describing a cobra hood.  So naturally I Googled cobras and discovered YES there are cobras in Cambodia.  Thus began the reign of terror in my mind.  One night I was so overcome by my own fears that I cried myself to sleep repeating scripture, Bible by my cheek.  It turns out that the experience I had with the cobra is a perfect metaphor for the anxiety I experience when I don’t trust God.

Find out about a terrible spiritual struggle I had while I was living in Cambodia that I pray you can use as a parable for your own anxiety.

There was a communication gap.

First of all, I never saw the snake myself.  I made hasty assumptions based on my own fear.  This is often the case when life circumstances look grim, I seem to find myself believing the worst.  I jump to conclusions.   The enemy knows me.  He tempts me to abandon ship when the ship is not really sinking.  He tempts me to yell out,  “Master, how can you sleep when the waves and wind are overtaking the boat?”

But He said to them, “Why are you fearful, you of little faith?”  Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea.  And there was a great calm.  Matthew 8:20

I seem to live in a cycle.  PANIC…CRY OUT FOR HELP…GREAT CALM.  Why can’t I ever just skip the first two parts and go straight to great calm?

The facts were less scary.

One day I was by myself inside my house (we have three houses within the walls of our complex), windows open, when the constant bark of our dog Quondo drew my attention to the yard.  I saw a dance going on between Quondo and the black snake.  Quondo would bark, and the snake would rise up as tall as the dog’s head.   Several things I noticed in my excitement:  Each time the snake would take a strike posture, it would quickly turn to flee, it was terrified, and most importantly, I noticed it was NOT a cobra.  But it was big.  So I started yelling for help.  Once Quondo killed the snake, with a little help from a friend with a shovel, I got a good look…a rat snake.

Find out about a terrible spiritual struggle I had while I was living in Cambodia that I pray you can use as a parable for your own anxiety.

+

Y’all, I still didn’t like the idea of a snake on the property, but no one was going to die horribly.  I had wasted all those days filled with the possibility of  death when I never even considered that Jesus was in the boat.  To be honest, ALL of my anxious moments in life turn out exactly like this.  I find myself hearing Jesus say,  “Why are you fearful, you of little faith?”  My cheeks momentarily heat with shame, and then I enter into the calm of trusting Jesus.  I need to stop assuming the worse.

Snakes in the yard

There evidently is a whole family  of black snakes living on the other side of the wall because the incident above was not the last time I saw a big black snake.  There were several more sightings and more observations on my part.  The biggest surprise to myself was that my fear no longer crippled me.  The day of our big Christmas event arrived.  I went back to my house when I saw the snake drop down out of the tree in front of my house.  I saw the direction he was heading and ran to find Quondo or one of the guys in the house. Everyone was busy, even Quondo. Surprisingly I found myself okay with that.  I was living in the great calm that only can be experienced when Jesus changes a heart.  When someone, like me,  decides to start trusting, even though occasional snakes drop in.

I still don’t like snakes.

Just because I wasn’t overcome with anxiety over the prospect of a snake in the yard, that didn’t make me a snake lover…just watch me run!  In keeping with this analogy, I could say the same thing about things I stress about.  I am learning to trust in Jesus for my safety, but it doesn’t mean I am comfortable going through suffering.   I still don’t like it.  At all.  And that’s okay.  The point is that when the enemy presents a problem that seems like a cobra, I will remember this experience and try not to jump to a conclusion that will debilitate me.

Find out about a terrible spiritual struggle I had while I was living in Cambodia that I pray you can use as a parable for your own anxiety.

++

Pictures:  +Quondo my hero.  She keeps the property safe from all intruders.  When we wake up in the morning we often are surprised  with the remains of an animal she has battled in the night.  ++My favorite place in the world,  the Montana ranch where my father grew up.  This is a view of Snake Butte at sunset.  The story goes that my great aunt was visiting from out of town one year when my father was a teenager, and she decided to go to the top of this butte to get some pictures.  What she found on top was a nest of rattlesnakes.  Legend has it that there were hundreds of them…anyway, there was a lot.  My father and grandfather blew them up with dynamite.  At least that’s the story.  Appropriate for my Cambodian snake tale wouldn’t you say?  The name Snake Butte stuck from then on.

i love 2

 

 

Sanctified Tourist is not paid to endorse any products or ads on this site. 

She told us of her poverty, and how she and her husband struggle to survive on their salaries. Unbelievably, She makes $30 a month as a Kindergarten teacher. How do you teach your children to be compassionate givers?


2 Comments

You Might be Richer Than You Think

At church one Sunday here in Cambodia, a Christian Khmer woman encouraged us with how Matthew 6:25 has played out in her life, “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear…” She told us of her poverty, and how she and her husband struggle to survive on their salaries. She makes $30 a month as a Kindergarten teacher…a month y’all, and he makes about the same as a Tuk Tuk driver.  It rains a lot here in Cambodia, but during a dry spell, all of the rain water in the cistern outside was gone.  She had no money to buy water for the family and she remembers standing over the cistern and praying for rain.

And it immediately started to rain.

As I sat there listening to her praise God for His unending love for her, I thought about how different her prayers are than mine…the prayer of the one who has instead of the one who has not. I already KNOW where my food, drink, and clothes are coming from.  I don’t beg God to send me the necessities of life because I have excess.

Instead of skimming over this beautiful verse in Matthew 6:25 because it doesn’t relate to my situation, maybe I should speak this verse as a prayer. To ask Father to lead me to the people who don’t have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear, and to help me be bold enough to be the answer to someone’s prayer.

She told us of her poverty, and how she and her husband struggle to survive on their salaries. Unbelievably, She makes $30 a month as a Kindergarten teacher. How do you teach your children to be compassionate givers?

Many times we compare ourselves to others who have more, instead of the other way around.  Even the working poor in America have it better than most who are suffering with poverty in other countries.  American homeless populations even have options like shelters and food banks, whereas the poor and displaced in some foreign countries have no options but starvation and death.  What do you do if you lost both hands in an electrical accident, your wife leaves you with the children, and you no longer have a way to make a living in a third world country?   This is a true example of a local beggar living here in our Cambodian city.

You can’t really say you are a friend of Jesus unless you are helping the poor.  Take for example the sheep and the goats, a story with a warning from Jesus.   (fact check: Matthew 25:31-48)  The goats didn’t seem to  “get” Jesus.  They missed the kindness characteristic of the Holy Spirit. (fact check: Galatians 5:22) Maybe they thought about helping, but never had any follow through. At any rate, Jesus says, “When you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.”

So how can you help your children develop a desire to give?  You must first develop that desire yourself, then go forth together.  Start by praying that God will consume you with a BIG  kind of love for others.  Have you read Love Does by Bob Goff yet?  Each chapter tells a story from Bob’s life, then ends with a spiritual application.  The beginning of each chapter starts with “I used to think…but now I know…”  Join me on the Sanctified Tourist’s Facebook page in January while I share quotes from this book to encourage and inspire you.

She told us of her poverty, and how she and her husband struggle to survive on their salaries. Unbelievably, She makes $30 a month as a Kindergarten teacher.   How do you teach your children to give to those in need.

Next, search the Internet for ideas on projects you can do with your children and grandchildren.  Here is an idea for a project from  Story of This Life.   Good literature can also help.   The King’s Christmas List  takes Matthew 25:31-48 and teaches children that every act of compassion is a gift for Jesus.  Maybe you could write your own family giving book using a photo book company.

I will leave you with this video that shows a little girl overcome with compassion for a homeless man outside the restaurant where she was eating, and then DOING something about it. click here  Father, lead me to the people who don’t have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear, and to help me be bold enough to be the answer to someone’s prayer. (Matthew 6:25)

She told us of her poverty, and how she and her husband struggle to survive on their salaries. Unbelievably, She makes $30 a month as a Kindergarten teacher. How do you teach your children to give to those in need.

Note:  all the scriptures I used today in my post were straight from Jesus)

i love 2

Sanctified Tourist does not get paid to endorse any products or ads on this site. 

There is an aspect to gratitude that I have been contemplating and that is the remembering of the blessing to others.So using this train of thought, I set up a gratitude corner in my house. I cleared off the knickknacks from my corner cabinet, and replaced them with reminders of our family blessings. Find out how I set up my Gratitude corner.


Leave a comment

How I set up a Gratitude Corner

God has blessed me so abundantly, and I have always felt my meager thank yous were just not enough to offer Him, especially when after agonizing in prayer, He comes up with a surprise solution, one much better than I could have ever planned.  Or, when having waited a particularly looooooooong time for God to move, at just the right time He creates a beautiful response.  The Israelites would offer up a gratitude sacrifice to the Lord and then have a feast.  In some ways this really appeals to me, to be able to do something physical for God to show my thankfulness.

There is an aspect to gratitude that I have been contemplating and that is the remembering of the blessing to others.So using this train of thought, I set up a gratitude corner in my house. I cleared off the knickknacks from my corner cabinet, and replaced them with reminders of our family blessings. Find out how I set up my Gratitude corner.

There is another aspect to gratitude that I have been contemplating and that is the remembering of the blessing to others.  After the Israelites were witnesses to many wonders and miracles, their children promptly forgot to talk about it when they were at home and when they were on the road, when they were going to bed and when they were getting up.     By the third generation, the children’s children were lost and worshiping idols.   I take these facts very seriously.  I genuinely  love my descendants, even though they have not been born yet.  I think about them all the time. After the crossing of the Jordan River into the promised land, Joshua had the people set up  memorial stones specifically to remind the generations to come about how God had been with them.

So using this train of thought, I set up a gratitude corner in my home.  I cleared off the knickknacks from my corner cabinet, and replaced them with reminders of our family blessings.  There are many ways to represent our blessings, and I might decide to create something different later, but for now, I have decided to focus on different fonts of the alphabet, each letter representing the beginning word of something meaningful to our family.

There is an aspect to gratitude that I have been contemplating and that is the remembering of the blessing to others.So using this train of thought, I set up a gratitude corner in my house. I cleared off the knickknacks from my corner cabinet, and replaced them with reminders of our family blessings. Find out how I set up my Gratitude corner.

I mounted each letter on a 8×10 canvas found in packs of four at Hobby Lobby using a glue stick.  These turned out really big, so I will use the smaller sizes for additional letters. On the back of each letter will be a detailed description of the way God moved.  I am still working on this part of my project.

There is an aspect to gratitude that I have been contemplating and that is the remembering of the blessing to others.So using this train of thought, I set up a gratitude corner in my house. I cleared off the knickknacks from my corner cabinet, and replaced them with reminders of our family blessings. Find out how I set up my Gratitude corner.

There is an aspect to gratitude that I have been contemplating and that is the remembering of the blessing to others.So using this train of thought, I set up a gratitude corner in my house. I cleared off the knickknacks from my corner cabinet, and replaced them with reminders of our family blessings. Find out how I set up my Gratitude corner.

There is an aspect to gratitude that I have been contemplating and that is the remembering of the blessing to others.So using this train of thought, I set up a gratitude corner in my house. I cleared off the knickknacks from my corner cabinet, and replaced them with reminders of our family blessings. Find out how I set up my Gratitude corner.

The scripture canvas on top of my gratitude corner was first created on the free photo editor, PicMonkey using a black 8×10 design.  I added our family name into the scripture to make it more personal.  The white fonts I used were Black Jack and De Walpergen Pica.  Next I saved my JPG design on my computer.  I made sure there was plenty of margin all the way around for when the canvas was wrapped.  I ordered the 11×14 canvas from Walgreens and picked it up the same day at my local store.  With a coupon code it was around $20.

There is an aspect to gratitude that I have been contemplating and that is the remembering of the blessing to others.So using this train of thought, I set up a gratitude corner in my house. I cleared off the knickknacks from my corner cabinet, and replaced them with reminders of our family blessings. Find out how I set up my Gratitude corner.

I hope I have given you inspiration to make your own gratitude corner.  Be creative and make it reflect your family.

i love 2

 

 

Sanctified Tourist does not get paid to endorse ads or products.

 

Have you ever prayer for something for a LONG time, something that hurts your heart, something that has become a depressing ritual of petition to the Father? Have you ever seen a glimmer that your vigil is coming to an end? A speck of hope?


6 Comments

Is Your Endurance Inspired by Hope?

Have you ever prayed for something for a LONG time, something that hurts your heart, something that has become a depressing ritual of petition to the Father?  Have you ever seen a glimmer that your vigil was coming to an end?  A speck of hope?  A crumb the Father sends to you to let you know things are not quite as desperate as once thought?  An endurance inspired by hope?  1 Thessalonians 1:2-3

Have you ever prayer for something for a LONG time, something that hurts your heart, something that has become a depressing ritual of petition to the Father?  Have you ever seen a glimmer that your vigil is coming to an end?  A speck of hope?

 

Hope

In the blindness of the dark, it is the feel of a hand on your back.

In the panic of falling, it is the open chute.

In the drifting sailboat, it is the kiss of a breeze.

In the confusion of lies, it is the whisper of truth.

In the isolation of self, it is the elbow in the ribs.

In the sadness of despair, it is the embrace of love.

Hope

 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. Romans 5:3-5 NLT

And hope, when fully realized, brings a life of joy…even while you wait.

i love 2

 

 

bottom 3

Sanctified Tourist is not paid to endorse any product or ads.

 

A letter to my fellow billion dollar lottery losers. Did you pray for God to cut you some slack? There's a better way.


Leave a comment

TO THE BILLION DOLLAR LOTTERY LOSERS

A letter to my fellow billion dollar lottery losers. Did you pray for God to cut you some slack? There's a better way.

Jesus and Culture:  The Billion Dollar Lottery Frenzy

Dear Losers Winners,

I saw you at the corner store.  You stood in line right in front of me, while I waited to buy my ticket.  I could tell you were worn down by life, exhausted and full of pain.  Your two dollars gave you hope for a few hours.  For just a moment in time you had real plans.  But now, after the letdown, you are back to square one.  Plodding along.  Working hard.  Struggling with a car that keeps breaking down, doctor bills that keep coming to your mailbox, a house note that relentlessly siphons your wages.  And not only that, you are stuck in a dead-end job with no way up or out.  At the end of the day, when I saw you in line,  you were silently calculating your life and it was not adding up.  You prayed, as you opened your wallet, for God  to cut you some slack.

Hope.

Yes, hope…but it is not found in money and riches as the enemy would like you to think.  That same anticipation you felt when you gripped that ticket in your hand can be found in Jesus.  He alone can lift your head.  He alone can bring peace in the deep places.  He alone can energize and revive.  Hope is more powerful than the strongest medicine.   Hope can drag a widow out of bed in the morning,  and encourage the desperate to put one foot in front of the other.  It can cause the dying to laugh, and the rejected to love.  It can cause the loser to win.

Hope.

Seek Him and you will find it.  It is a promise.

A letter to my fellow billion dollar lottery losers. Did you pray for God to cut you some slack? There's a better way.

 

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the HOPE to which he has called you, the RICHES of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength  he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms,  far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church,  which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.  Ephesians 1:18-23 NIV

i love 2

 

 

I am not paid to endorse any products on Sanctified Tourist.