Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas in Korea

We finally got our Christmas Tree up! It's so fun to be celebrating our 1st Christmas together as a married couple.
Below are a few pictures of the different things we've been doing this month to celebrate. The pictures include baking Christmas cookies, the Staff Christmas Party, the Elementary Christmas Program & at the bottom a special video of Eric & Jack. :)


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This video is of one of the games we played at the staff Christmas party. Our table had to work together using only 1 hand each, trying to wrap a present. It's a great game & a good team building activity.

This is a picture of the elementary kids practicing for their Christmas program.

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This week we have 3 days of school which for me will include a class Christmas party at school. We also plan on having dinner with a few different people this week before we head out to the states on Thursday. So... our next post will probably be from either Kansas or Chicago!

Merry Christmas!

Sermon I Preached Today


http://www.songtanbaptist.com/category/sermons/

It's the first one up there. It's entitled, "Which Sword are you Wielding?"

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Disarming Response: "It's My Pleasure"

I wanted to share a story. There's a picture in black and white of a young girl holding a baby with me in it as well. The story is about the girl. The baby is not hers, by the way, in case you were wondering. The baby is her older sister's.

Anyway, on our first day at the evacuation centre during the afternoon, I was planning on doing a Bible Study for the parents. While the children knew exactly what to do because other groups had come to the centre to teach them, the parents hadn't had someone to teach them. So, the first day, I went around the center with my Bible raised high above my head and screaming, "Adult Bible Study! Adult Bible Study!"

I happened upon this girl, and she asked, "Can I help you?" Sweating, smiling, I said, "Yes!" and we went door to door, with me speaking in English and she translating to Tegalo, the native tongue of the Philippines.

Because of her partnership in the gospel, the Bible study started at 30 and grew over two days to about 50.

At the end of the time there, I specifically went to her and told her how thankful I was for her help and how God had used her to help the mothers and fathers hear the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Then came three words: "It's my pleasure."

It was disarming. Not a burden, but a pleasure.

The Man of Sorrows took the cross. Not a burden, but a pleasure:

1Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

Hebrews 12:1-2 (ESV, Emphasis Added)

May we be like Him.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Philippines Part 2 - The Aftermath of the Typhoons

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We were able to visit the area that used to be the homes of the people that are now living in the relief center. These next few videos show that after 2 months, the ground is still flooded and nasty with black swampy water just sitting there. Terrible.

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These next videos are of Eric giving a tour of the relief center.

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Then the next videos are of an amazing interview that Eric had with one of the women living in the relief center. She tells of her experience during and after the typhoons.

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The last video is a summary of what we did here, our aim while being here, some really cute kids, and another vantage point of the evacuation center:

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Philippines Part 1

Oh, this is going to be SO hard to do because we have SO many great pictures and stories from our time in the Philippines! It's almost overwhelming to know where to start. So I think I'm just going to have to take this Elephant one bite at a time and see how it comes out.

We had such a great experience while in the Philippines over Thanksgiving break. The following will be a description of what we did in pictures and in words. And then the next post I hope to put videos and pictures more of the plight of those who suffered the typhoons. Incredible stuff. Ok, hold tight! Here we go! This is our team starting out from the bus terminal here in Pyongtaek. There were 16 teachers & students total. I don't have time to tell it here, but God did an amazing miracle for us in the airport as the people checking us in told us our 3 youngest kids couldn't go. It was crazy the hoops we had to jump through, but I am so proud of my husband for sticking with it and not giving up and the issue. In the end, the 3 kids, Eric & Russell were the last 5 people to run on the plane before we took off. Amazing!
So I'm just going to jump right into the different ministries we were able to help with while there. The major thing we did was to go to this relief center twice a day to bring food to the people and also play with the kids, talk with them, do Bible Studies with them, and basically love on them with the love of Christ. 168 families, displaced from their flooded homes, have been placed here in this public gymnasium to live in VERY tight quarters. You can see how each family only gets a small square tent to live in, separated by thin sheets and tarps from everyone else.
When we would show up, the kids would swarm our van to greet us and then they would run to get their bowls for the food. It was a noisy, semi-chaotic mess, but we were able to feed these children (and adults) twice a day. Normally, I believe the government only brings food for them once a week.
I'm going to cut our the bazillion cute pictures of us with the kids hanging all over us and just focus on the ministry right now. Hopefully I can add those other cute pics later. :)
On one side of the gym, our students and a few of us Elementary teachers would take all the kids and try to do a Bible lesson with them and sing some songs. They loved it!
And on the other side of the gym, Eric and a few other teachers would round up as many adults as they could find and Eric would preach to them at the top of his lungs for about 30 minutes (it was very loud in there).
Another thing our team was able to do was pool our money to buy 200 Tagalog Bibles to pass out to the families in the relief center on the last day. Here we are unpacking them and writing a message in the front cover.In a short time period, Eric was also able to print up a Gospel tract for us to place into the Bibles. We tried to put as much Tagalog scripture in it as possible.
Previous to go on our trip, our school did a big supply drive for us to be able to take things over with us to distribute to the poor families. We brought tons of clothes, school supplies, and medical supplies. (And actually, we are still boxing up things to send because we couldn't take it all with us) This picture is of us separating everything. We decided not to pass it out ourselves but to save it for Myles to be able to pass out to the people at Christmas. (When all of our supplies will hopefully have arrived there by then).

Other things we did that were not related to the relief center: A few nights we were able to go over to the New Faith Family Children's Home and lead their evening devotions. Boy do those kids LOVE to sing praise songs!

We also were able to lead a chapel on Friday for the school next door that is also run by Kid's International Ministries.I think that basically summarizes the ministry aspect of our trip. Of course, one of the biggest aspects of what we did was to simply love on people so I will leave you with this picture of Eric with tons of kids hanging off of him. I LOVE IT!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

And.... we're OFF!

T minus 7 hours until our team departs school and boards a bus to take us to the airport. From there we will fly 4 hours down to Manila in the Philippines and spend the next 4 days helping with the relief situation caused by recent flooding and typhoons there. We've been going through donations and packing up a storm yesterday and are almost ready to go. Pray for us as we travel and work with the Filipinos. Also pray that our whole team will be bold to share our faith with those that we meet.

Look for an update sometime early next week with pictures and a full report!
Blessings & HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

My Husband Is The BEST!!!!!

I just feel like shouting this to the world today. My husband is so good to me!
I am happy.
:)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Mr. & Mrs. Zanger

Hey All! We just got our school photos and thought we'd share them with the world. #1- Mr. & Mrs. Zanger in their teacher garb. #2- Mrs. Zanger's 5th grade class. (Sorry they're a little blurry... we had to take a picture of a picture in order to put them on here).

Adventures in Cooking!

Well friends, I have gotten to practice a lot on my cooking skills over the last 4 (almost) months of marriage. And for the most part the food has turned out pretty well. It has been quite fun for me to try new things and also be able to use my pampered chef items all the time. I think I have developed a new love and hobby. (Of course my 1st and second love will always be God and my husband :) But the other night we were both tuckered out and not feeling too motivated to cook anything elaborate so... we decided to make PANCAKES! Now I am not an artist by any means, but for some reason I started making pancakes in funny shapes and this one below was my masterpiece! (except that the trunk batter kept dribbling!) Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Sermon, Part 2

This is the text of my sermon preached today at International Christian School

2 Corinthians 13:5; 1 John

“The Miracle of the New Birth—Signs You Are Born Again”

International Christian School

October 28, 2009

Wow, I’m so sorry I’m late. You see, I had to go back to my room because I forgot something, and on my way down the stairs, I fell. And I fell really hard. So I went to the bathroom to make sure everything was ok. And while I was putting water in my face, three people grabbed me and pinned me against the wall and one person started punching me. He completely beat me up, and after I hit the floor, they started kicking me in the face. I’m pretty sure they broke a couple ribs and my nose. Anyway, I hope I’m not too late.

Wait, you don’t look like you believe me. Why?

But Mr. Zanger, let’s be serious—if three men started beating you up and punching you and kicking you in the face, there’s no way you would be here right now, talking with us. There would be signs of your beating.

Now, let me be serious—if three men overpowering me would show effects, how much more effect would God—who is incredibly more powerful than any three men—have on me.

If you say that the God of all creation has come into your life, then there is one thing that we better see—an effect.

Pray with me…

I’ll be honest with you…this is, without a doubt, one of the most difficult sermons I will ever preach. It’s frightening because some of you will be sitting out there thinking about how every one else needs to hear this sermon. Instead, YOU should be listening to this sermon. It’s scary because in preaching this, some of you might take it as me judging you and will throw me and this sermon and God and the Bible away. It’s scary because this will make some of you very angry with me. It’s scary because if I’m in error, I have brought the judgment of God upon me.

The question I want to raise today is “How do I know I’m a Christian?”

· Is it because you prayed a prayer when you were 6?

· Is it because a preacher pronounced you saved?

· Is it because you “believe”? How do you know you believe?

· Is it because you wrote “I was saved on ________” in your Bible?

· Is it because you walked down an aisle?

· Is it because you repeated a prayer after someone?

I’m here to tell you that if you believe that because you did one of those things, that is assurance that you will get into heaven, you are not basing your assurance of salvation on the right criteria.


2 Corinthians 13:5

Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?--unless indeed you fail to meet the test!

Right now, are you a Christian? The Apostle Paul is crying out for you to examine yourself. Test yourselves. Examine your lives. Examine your heart. Test your lives. Test your hearts.

Here’s my great fear for some of you in the room. You were here during any Spiritual Emphasis Week…emotions were high, you cried, and you called yourself saved. Or, somebody declared you were a Christian—I did that once, much to my shame. You went to a Worship Zone or Cross-Led Generation, and in the emotion of the event, you “accepted Jesus into your heart.”

And two weeks later, you were back to the same old sin. No change. Nothing. An emotional event, with nothing else. No hatred of sin, no great desire for God. An emotional high like winning a tournament or getting that A+ in the toughest class…but when it comes down to it, there’s no power behind it.

So here’s what I want you to do. Compare yourself tonight…not against what your heart says or what your mind says or what your parents say or even what your pastor says or against our godless culture. Compare yourself against the only thing that will never pass away—the Word of God.

Also, compare who you are in the dark. Don’t compare the mask you put on at this school to make everyone believe you’re perfect. Compare who you really are, when you’re not at this school, when you’re not around your parents…compare who you really are…in the secret.

The Apostle John wrote his gospel for one purpose, and we find that statement in John 20:30-31: Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; (31) but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

Did you catch it? He wrote his gospel so that you would believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing, you may have life in his name.

John then wrote an Epistle, and he says these words. Turn to 1 John 5:13:

I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.

That last phrase is so awesome. That you may know that you have eternal life. What John is telling us is that his epistle was written so that we can have assurance.

So, I’m going to give you, from the book of 1 John and from other places in Scripture, tests for you by which you can examine yourself. The stuff from 1 John comes from Paul Washer. I owe him a great debt of gratitude.

Test 1: 1 John 1:6-7

If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.

· If you claim to be a Christian but your occupation is the things of darkness, then you are a liar!

· The word walk is important…is your life marked more by the fellowship of the light or loving the darkness?

· Do you love God? Really? Do you love God?

· If you say you are a Christian and yet your life is more about doing the things that God hates, then you are a liar.

Test 2: 1 John 1:8-10

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

· One of the greatest evidences of a Christian life is that they are sensitive to sin and that they are moved to confession and repentance of that sin.

· Oh, please hear this…we are NOT talking about SINLESS PERFECTION.

· Here’s the question: Are you sensitive to your sin? When was the last time your sin caused you to weep?

· It’s getting cold now. My wife are trying to make our apartment a home, so we went shopping for comforters the other day. We went to one store and got a price 48,000, and we didn’t like the idea of spending that much, so we tried to haggle her down, but she wouldn’t budge. So, we left. We went to the next store and saw the same comforter and asked how much, and he stated the same price. I then lied and said that we had a store that had offered it for 45,000. He said he’d go check if he could go check. The minute he left the room, I felt like I had murdered him. He came back and accepted 45,000 for it, but I felt so horrible that I gave him 48,000 and told him I had lied. I don’t know if he understood what I was talking about, but we made sure to give him the full amount.

· Do I give you that story because I’m some kind of pious person? NO! I’m telling you that because God guards his children.

· Here’s the test—are you sensitive to the sin in your life? When you sin, does it pain you? Does God guard you so that you seek confession and repentance or do you just say, forget it…sin some more! That God pulls you back is evidence you are saved. To keep going is evidence that you are lost.

· Do you excuse your sin?

· If you tell me you have a new relationship with God, let me ask you, do you have a new hatred for your sin?


· Romans 6:20-21: For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death.

o IS THERE SHAME FOR YOUR PAST?

o We’re going to have Dominos for lunch, and it’ll be very good.

o Here’s what I know. You bring a pig in here, and he’ll go and run to the food trash and start eating that, and he’ll dive around in the garbage. He wouldn’t care that you’re watching.

o But if I were to make that pig automatically into a man, there would be incredible shame in that man for living like a pig.

o Oh, there should be shame in our lives for how we lived.

o You saw it on the panel here weeks ago…teachers in shame over their pasts. For offending God.

Test 3: 1 John 2:3-6

And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says "I know him" but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.

· If you keep (present tense) his commandments.

· Do you obey God?

· Does this mean to be in sinless perfection? Nope…it means your lifestyle…your pattern of life is obedience. It’s the same word that we see back in 1 John 1:7.

· If I filmed your life, what would I see?

o Desire to know God

o Desire to obey him

o Desire to have victory

o Repentance if you fail

o Do you desire to walk as Christ walked?

· Do you have a new relationship with his Word and His commands?

· If you say you know Christ and yet your style of life is a violation of God’s commandments, you are a liar.

Test 4: 1 John 2:9-11

Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness. Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling. But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

· Do you love other Christians?

· Do you love to be with people who love to be with those who love God or would you rather be with people who care less about God?


Test 5: 1 John 2:15-17

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world--the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions--is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.

· Do you hate the evil world? Do you hate the world that crucified Christ to the tree?

· “Desires of the flesh, eyes, and pride…it is not from the Father.” Do you allow them to lead you, or do you let the will of God?

· “The World is passing away”—I blinked and I graduated college. 10 minutes ago, I was 18. This life goes so fast. Don’t waste your life.

· Is what you are devoting your life to going to rot? Or, is it going to abide?

· One of the great uses of Twitter and Facebook will be to prove at the Last Day that prayerlessness was not from lack of time. ~John Piper

· Go hard after Christ—do the will of God! Serve God…NOW! Seek him hard!

Test 6: 1 John 2:22-23

Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also.

· The true Christian embraces the fullness of the person of Jesus Christ.

· He is God in the flesh. He is Lord. He is Savior. He is Prophet. He is Priest! He is King!

· If you believe that, how much are you going to his word to read what he has for you?

Test 7: 1 John 3:10

By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.

· Is your desire to follow God’s law?

· Do you walk in righteousness?

· Again, what is your relationship to his word?

· Are you desiring to know his commands and practice them? Are they part of your life?

· 1 John 5:3-- For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.


Test 8: 1 John 3:3-8

And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure. Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that he appeared to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.

· Do you seek to be pure? Do you strive after holiness?

· Could you sit down with me over lunch and tell me what you’re doing to live a pure life?

· Could you explain to me how you are right now striving after holiness?

· V. 4: Or, do you make a practice of sinning. Is it habit? Is it an every day thing?

· Christ came (v5) to take that all away.

Test 9: Colossians 3:1-4

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

· What do you think about Christ?

o Is he but a trinket?

o Is he something that adds value?

o Is he a superstition?

o Or, is he your EVERYTHING?

· Is Christ more important than everything in your life? Do you desire God?

o More than your friends

o More than your computer and technology

o More than your house

o More than what people think of you

o More than your money

o More than every hope and every dream because God is worthy of my all even if it means 70 years of torture and eternity with him

I want to say one last thing:

· Some struggling believers need to hear that I am not talking about sinless perfection;

· I am not talking about “Every Day with Jesus is Sweeter than the Day Before”

· I am not saying that Christ will always be first in your thoughts all the time.

· You will not always be practicing righteousness.

What I want you to see is that Christianity is a style of life and it is a struggle to be righteous. The mere fact that you struggle with not loving him enough is evidence that you are saved; the mere fact that you desire to be holy and yet are not and it pains you on the inside is evidence that you are saved.

I want instead to wake up those who claim to be Christians and yet, who live in habitual sin and love the world or those who see Jesus as an add on…they’re in danger. He who has the son has life and he who has not the son…has nothing.

Is Christ yours?

Let’s Pray