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God’s Institutions

I asked a friend, Jonathan Binder, to help with some research on the three institutions that God has ordained according to scripture, and to find an article I could distribute when needed. Not happy with what he could find, he wrote his own! And here it is.

THE THREE GOD-ORDAINED INSTITUTIONS ACCORDING TO THE BIBLE

gods-institutions-002

According to 2 Timothy, all scripture is God-breathed, and useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness (2 Tim. 3:16). Everything in this writing is based on scripture—both the Old and the New Testaments. What is written in the Bible is God’s word, and is to be taken as such. Test this with the Word.

By studying the Bible, it is evident that God ordained and established three institutions—the home (family), the church, and government—for mankind to abide in. Read more

“But, it’s not cultural!” – challenging the foster care myth in Asia

[Written originally for the CELCIS blog]
Foster Family, Thailand

OK, so this might come across as a little controversial, but from my 17 ½ years as a Brit living in Asia, I think there are times when, in my position as an outsider, it is right for me to challenge the presiding cultural norms of a nation.

Let me put you in the picture a little.

I work for Care for Children, a British-based charity (perhaps ‘non-profit international child welfare development agency’ is a better description, but you get the gist) that specialises in helping Asian governments develop family-based care initiatives (primarily long-term foster care) as a positive alternative to institutional care (orphanages) for orphaned, abandoned and vulnerable children. Read more

Abundant and eternal fruit

Easter 2014 - 002 Fruit

 

I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.

John 15: 1-3


When we moved to Chiang Mai on June 1st 2012, we gratefully house-sat for the Parlatos, giving us an opportunity to familiarise ourselves with the city before deciding where to set up our own home. Amy Parlato is a keen and thoughtful gardener, and we arrived just as her mangoes, papayas and star fruit were all ripening – the perfect welcome to our new tropical lifestyle!
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Seeing Theo (or, ‘A Father’s Eyes’)

Easter 2014 - 001 Seeing Theo

 

36 But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. 37 All those the father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. 38 For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of Him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. 40 For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.

John 6:36-40


At six he was clearly the youngest of the group, and his delicate frame could easily have passed for a four-year-old. As he dashed past me, chasing the football in front of him, determinedly competing against boys twice his age and size (and as a resident of the orphanage, fighting for his place in more ways than one I suspect), I couldn’t help but see Theo in him, my own precious six-month-old son.

It was an epiphany that stopped me in my tracks: that’s how God sees us. Read more

Dos & Don’ts in Chiang Mai, Thailand

The famous 'Nancy Chandler' map of Chiang Mai. Worth your 200 (or so) baht.

 

Here are some dos and dont’s for short-term visitors to Chiang Mai, Thailand, from our experience of living here:

DO:

  • Get a hotel/hostel inside the moat (the old city wall), or as near to it as possible. It’s where all the action is, the cheap eats, and you can probably just walk everywhere you need to go to (or hire bikes, or take a short Tuk Tuk ride)
  • Go to the Sunday Walking Market – it’s one of the most remarkable night markets in the world (in my opinion)
  • They say you haven’t been to Chiang Mai if you haven’t been to an elephant ‘farm’ – and we would agree. It can be a bit touristy, but there’s nothing quite like hanging out with elephants for a day
  • The cooking schools (of which there are many) are good fun

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