the adventure I find myself in / das Abenteuer in dem ich mich finde

Month: January 2008

Hörbücher in itunes

Meine Kinder lieben Hörspiele. Ãœber die Jahre haben sich da auch einige angesammelt. Die drei ???, TKKG, Fünf Freunde, Nicht wie bei Räubers, Narnia etc. Im Zeitalter des ipod’s ist es nun so das sich ein solches "Gadget" einfacher mitnehmen lässt als all die Kassetten und CD’s. Ich habe nun angefangen all die Hörspiele in itunes zu importieren. Es hat da ein Audiobook folder in der Library der für Hörbücher vorgesehen ist. Leider gehen nur Hörbücher automatisch dort rein wenn sie im itunes shop gekauft wurden. Diese Files haben dann auch bookmarks. Das heisst wenn man das Buch nicht bis zu Ende hört merkt sich der Computer oder ipod wo ich das letzte mal war und geht dann automatisch dort hin. Ãœbrigens geht dies auch mit den podcasts so.

Was nun mit all den Hörbüchern die nicht vom itunes shop sind? Ich habe ein ganz einfaches und preisgünstiges Programm gefunden das Abhilfe schafft.
Audiobook builder wandelt die Files in audiobooks um und sendet sie automatisch in den itunes Audiobook folder und in eine Playlist. Audiobook builder ist sehr einfach zu bedienen und kostet nur 9.95$. Ich habe mir sehr viel Arbeit mit diesem Programm ersparrt. Zuvor habe ich mit itunes scripts versucht die Files zu importieren. Dies ging aber sehr viel länger.

Back to school

Today I am going back to school. Back to learning Thai. i know this sounds crazy from someone who lives in Thailand for nine years. But my Thai is just not good enough. I get by quite well with talking and can also read the necessary things like bills and street signs. When it comes to working with Thai people, teach and counsel I am often lost and can not communicate well enough. I want to be able to teach and share more adequately in Thai.
I remember when I started to learn English at the age of twenty my goal was being able to preach and translate in English. I reached this goal quite quickly. In Thai I failed to set this kind of goal. Perhaps this is why I never got further in my Thai. But It’s never to late to try again.

I finished my first double lesson this afternoon. I am in the reading/writing module 4 at ClC language school. This I will go through to refresh the basics in Thai script and the tones. Beginning of next month I will then go on with module 5. I have forgotten quite a bit, but I think it will not be too hard to refresh all I learned eight years ago. I must say I am quite motivated. I talked long enough about going back to Thai studies.

Driven towards a longing (part 2)

Another experience I had with six was a dream. It was a recurring dream. With the dream came high fever. It also scared me enormously. Back then till a view years ago I didn’t understand what it meant. For a long time I didn’t know that it had to mean anything. But it is the only dream in my life so far that would come to me for several nights in a row. I only was able to understand it about thirty years later. I think that this dream helped my longing to seek God. It was very short, but every time I would wake up with a high fever up to 40 degrees (104 Fahrenheit) I would run out of my room and collapse before my parents bed. Here is the dream:

I was walking on an endless green field. The grass was short and there were no flowers or plants. Just a green lawn and a blue sky. As I was walking, suddenly many people past me running. I don’t know how many, but there must have been hundreds or thousands over the vast field. I turned around to see why they were running. Then a bright light appeared that filled first the horizon.

Years later as a teenager in the eighties I thought the dream was about the end of the world,a nuclear holocaust. But only thirty years after the dreams when someone told me a dream she had before she became a Christian I received the interpretation for her dream and at the same time for my own.

The light was Jesus in His glory "the light of the world". He scared me to death because back then I did not know him. I always woke up before the light would reach me or I could see what the light really was. I thought I had to die. Actually back then in my spirit I was kind of dead. Back then I was still far away in darkness.

With the experience of meeting followers of Jesus and having that dream (back then I had no idea what it meant) I also had the experiences of an evil presence. I don’t mean just the monsters under the bed, even though this I had this too as part of growing up. Of course those experiences are subjective specially from a six year old. But I never forgot the episodes and the feeling of helplessness, whereas the monsters I quickly would forget. I can still recall a night where I believe the "darker side" in the ongoing spiritual battle showed up…

My Mac ibook is back

On Friday morning I went into the Mac shop in Chiang Mai to order a new Macbook. My old one was in repairs for the last two month. I got to the point that I just needed a new one to be able to work. On the old Notebook I could not open my iphoto or do videos and the G3 is just very slow.
I didn’t really want to buy a Macbook. I don’t like the bigger size. It doesn’t fit into my bag :-). Even though I like all the features and the speed. It also runs with Leopard OS 10.5 which would be cool to work with. I would rather wait and see in a year or two what they come up with.
Anyway I went to the shop to find out that they were able to fix it after all. the shop changed the logic board twice, checked the hard drive and the RAM. it was one of the RAM that was broken and made my computer freeze.
I am happy to have my Computer back. For the last two days I worked on it with no problems.

Driven towards a longing (part one)

I was about six years old going to seven. It is along time ago and I can’t chronologically put together all the pieces of my spiritual journey. One day (I guess in heaven) God will help me put everything together and I will see His hands in my life. There are two particular events from that time in my life I can remember very clearly. Two stories that have driven me towards God.
Our family lived in the city of Basel at the time. I lived there from age four to nine. The apartment building we lived in was across a big reformed church that at the time enjoyed much activity. Back in those days the YMCA "boy scouts" were very active and counted more more then thousand children in the city at the time. Of course I had no idea that I later would become part of this movement in 1975 and that it would change my life forever.
I remember I used to play in front of that church a lot, I learned to drive a bike there and we (me and my younger brother) spent many great hours there. One day after crossing the busy street to go and play there I heard singing from a small cellar (basement) window. I was curious and went to peak in. There was a group of children and a young man singing. I was instantly drawn to this group and wanted to be very much a part of the singing. The song was "God has the whole earth, in His hands" I remember it like it was Yesterday how my soul was stirred. The leader of the group saw me peaking in and ask me to join. I first declined because I was shy, but I really wanted to participate and  and  when the  man asked me again I went down  to be part of my first "Chinderstund" children’s meeting. I cannot remember if I went again, but later when I was seven I joined the YMCA boy-scouts (CEVI Jungschar). There I met the same man again. He was one of the  early people who guided me on my spiritual journey. That day in the celler singing songs and listening to a story about how much God loves me touched my soul very deep and would leave something behind that would not go away. A seed was cast.
Before I took the path where I would learn about the Bible, about God, Jesus and what a Christian is I would have another encounter with God that nearly scared me to death…..

Spiritual development

30 years ago God called to me and I followed that call. Something very simple changed my life forever. Back then I didn’t realize the implication of that call. It was something very simple but still hard to explain. I remember sleeping in my bed, then waking up in the middle of the night I sensed a voice saying it is time to decide. "Do you want to follow me?" I said yes. That was it. I felt the presence of God very close and peace came into my heart. This was the beginning of my walk with Jesus. I heard about him for about three years before that, but never felt a need to listen to what was shared. I was not interested. He called me first. This year is a year I want to reflect on that journey more and look at the way points of my spiritual journey.
One interesting in my life is that major changes happened in ten year intervals. I don’t know that this would be the same in the future, but I wonder if this will be a special year for me. I sure hope so.
With ten I gave my life to Jesus. With twenty I committed to a church body. With thirty I left for oversees mission. There were many other very important steps on my journey. But those defined my life enormously.

A new year started

The new year has started and it is our ninth year in Thailand. Somehow it feels surreal. Where have the years gone? It doesn’t feel that long. I am back to work trying to get myself organized, writing project proposals for some water projects and finishing the accounts.
Tomorow I am heading to the language school to see about Thai studies. Yeah right! After all these years I feel this is the thing I need to do. After all I talked for a long time about it and also encouraging everybody to stick to their Thai studies. Another thing I would like to do is the TEFL course (teaching English as a foreign language) This will help me for future English teaching projects. That one will probably have to wait till the second half of the year. Otherwise I keep on doing the projects with the Lahu villages. I also hope to do more music. Perhaps I will be able to record some of the worship songs I wrote over the years. There is many other things I think and dream about. So I just keep adding to a long list of things I would like to see.

Doubting faith vs. doubting God

I’m reading the book "Finding Faith" by Brian McLaren. It has been very interesting so far. He ponders questions like why there are so many different religions, different forms of believes and views. I enjoyed to read about atheism, agnosticism and pluralism. This morning, while enjoying coffee in bed, I read about doubting ones faith. Here is part of it that I think many of my fellow travelers in Christ need to hear.

"My faith is my own creation – a world view, a paradigm, a map of life, a set of guiding principles – that I am assembling and reassembling from what I read, who I know and respect, what I experience, and so forth. My faith isn’t perfect, and it isn’t static. It is guaranteed by my finitude to be incomplete, inaccurate in many places , out of proportions, in need of continuing mid course  corrections. Therefore, it deserves to be doubted at times- doubted so it can be corrected. If I didn’t doubt my faith, I would protect it, defend it, not amend it."

"So I’m learning that when I doubt my faith, I don’t have to doubt God."
                                                                                     "Finding Faith by Brian McLaren p. 203"

My journey with Jesus started 30 years ago. I went through many different phases on that path and sometimes it was very bumpy. Doubts is something I encountered often and sometimes very severe. But going through it my faith in Jesus prevailed and proved to become stronger. Specially in those areas where I doubted. Because it is a relationship I pursue and not a religion I follow a mysterious path of discovering an invisible God who only can be known by revealing Himself to me. My knowledge of God is very limited even after 30 years. As older I get as more I realize how little I know. Still the little I know and I experienced has become very important  for my faith.

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