Monthly Archives: April 2014

Seeing is believing – Believing is seeing

They say that seeing is believing. But believing is seeing in a new way and leads to action.

Throughout this long journey through leukemia, my dear bride has consistently demonstrated her loving devotion to me. She has encouraged me, comforted me, cared for me, and gently loved me. Sometimes she has pushed me when I needed to push forward. I have always known her love. But seeing this tender expression of devotion over the past year and a half of struggles is a ‘believing’ moment. And we always act on belief. And so I am led to love her more and to draw closer to her.

In a magnified way, God has been faithful to “show up” each and every day through this experience. His mercy has been sufficient for even the toughest of times. Of course, I knew of his greatness and faithfulness before I became ill. I knew His Word is always true and applicable for the needs of life. But seeing is believing in a deeper way. Since I know he is faithful and that His Word is true and beneficial, and I have seen it to be poured out in the darkest of circumstances, it only makes sense to TRUST God and depend on his Word for daily living. Seeing is believing and believing always leads to action. If we don’t act on what we believe, then our beliefs are diluted by fear or selfish ambition or pride.

God tells us to walk by faith, not by sight. In other words, don’t get so caught up in the things we see in this world, but lean on Him for those things that are yet unseen or not clearly seen.

Believing is also seeing. Our belief allows us to see ourselves and others through God’s eyes. Because we believe Him to be faithful we can see our circumstances differently, as events that shape us but not control us. Because we believe, we can see the fruits of a faithful life are more rewarding than the spoils of a selfish one. Believing we see the world differently, through God’s eyes. What do you want to see today?

Seeing others -2-

Seeing others through God’s eyes is a transforming experience. It takes us away from our self-centered focus and leads us to seeing ourself and others as part of God’s plan. It leads us to becoming engaged in God’s plan ourselves. Asking God to see others through His eyes will expand your territories.

There was a big fuss over the “prayer of Jabez” a few years back. All we know about Jabez is that he prayed to God, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request. 1 Chronicles 4:10.

I suspect many discovered this isolated prayer and claimed it as the mantra of their life for their own personal gain. Our Heavenly Father does love to bless his children even more than we earthly fathers love to bless our children. But when you meditate on John 3:16 (For God so loved the world that he gave His one and only Son…) don’t you think that God is interested in expanding more than our personal territory of riches? What if we let God expand the territory of our views, our passions, and our prayers?!

Jesus didn’t die just for those in the affluent parts of the world. (Yes, that probably includes all of us reading this on a computer, living in decent shelters, and seldom going without food and water for more than a few hours.) Seeing others through Jesus’ eyes is a prerequisite for loving others as He first loved us…while we were still sinners, undeserving of such love.

We don’t HAVE to love others. God will let us choose to live selfish lives if we insist. He will let us choose to depend on our own logic, our own financial nest egg, our own egocentric ambitions and hobbies. He will let us take the view of letting the rest of the world go to hell in a hand basket if we choose to be so self-inclined. But how has that worked for you so far? As for me (and yes, I’ve tried this route), living for self doesn’t bring real and lasting joy. Such a self-centered view separates us from the heart of God.

I have learned (and am still learning after nearly 42 years of marriage) that if I really want to grow and demonstrate my love for my wife, I need to spend more time with her, enjoying her presence and seeing the world through her eyes. The same is true with God. If we want to grow and demonstrate our love for Him, it begins with seeking His presence throughout each day, and asking Him to show us how to see the world through his eyes.

Imagine what seeing through open eyes looks like! Will you ask Him as you prepare for your day to see others as He sees them?

Seeing others through God’s eyes

How do you view the world around you? How often do you think about and pray about matters outside your own life and family? God counsels us to see our lives and the world around us through His eyes. He commands us to regard the needs of others as more important than our own, to bring relief to the poor, the oppressed, the fatherless, and widows. In other words, as we think about our ambitions and life goals, we find God’s best for us when others are at the center of those ambitions. We are, after all, blessed to bless others.

You may say, “But my life is so busy already, how can I find time to think about the needs of others?” Or perhaps you find yourself so overwhelmed by the immensity of world concerns that you find yourself feeling paralyzed and do nothing. I’ve known the feeling.

Have you ever asked God to see others through His eyes? Instead of viewing others as a distraction, an interruption, a nuisance, or a mere way of getting more for yourself, ask God to show you how much He loves them. Seeing others through the eyes of Jesus transforms the way we interact with those around us and the way we think about and view those around the world. A war-torn country, a tragic ferry disaster, and persecuted and martyred Christians in the middle east are transformed from remote situations into personal awareness; personal awareness leads to more passionate prayer concerns. And your prayers, if they include listening to God’s response, lead to greater personal response.

If you sponsor a child through Compassion or World Vision or some other similar organization, you are opening your eyes to see others as God sees them. Your $1/day provides for vital needs and provides opportunity for children to find God’s love and purpose for their lives. Your fervent and daily prayers for that child seek God’s divine intervention in their life. But what if you pray also for the child’s family and maybe send them a gift once a year, not only to provide for them but to remind them that you care and are praying for them? What if you start praying also for their community, that others around them would find God’s love? And what if you started praying for that child’s country and tune your mind to learn more about their conditions and learning how God is at work there?

Asking God to see others through His eyes transforms us from self-focus to seeing others.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart…and love OTHERS as He loves you.

Greece mission update

In addition to supporting ministries in the USA, Bolivia, and Bulgaria, Go Light Our World is pleased to partner with a dear missionary friend in Greece who has the heart of an evangelist and disciple-maker. It is sometimes difficult for her and those who follow in Jesus’ steps because of the controls imposed by the Greek national orthodox church. Additionally, Muslims who convert are put in danger along with her by Muslim factors. For this reason, we protect her identity and when needed, the identity of followers.

But this doesn’t stop our friend from ministering to the needs of Muslims and others in Athens and Corinth or the needs of others. It is not uncommon for her to bring a sick person into her house to care for them or to pay for their medical bills. Always, she gives them a copy of the New Testament in their language, and invites them to read God’s truths aloud with her. She never argues with them but only talks about the love of Jesus for them. Her caring actions speak the integrity of her life. Many of these men and women have come to trust Jesus alone for their salvation at the risk of being persecuted and cut off from their family.

One story of redemption is that of Stavroula. Raised in an orphanage since she was four years old, her life has never been easy. She never finished high school and when her husband died she was left with 6 children and many bills. Her sister died leaving with another child to care for. And then the Greek economy collapsed leaving her with no government assistance. God brought Stavroula across the path of our missionary friend who helped her find a children’s home for the children where they now receive food and loving care. Stavroula lives in a rent free house with broken windows and no electricity or water. She showers and washes her clothes at our friend’s house each week. This friend pays for Stavroula’s medications and has found clothes for her.

Stavroula reads the bible daily, attends a weekly bible study at the friend’s house and is growing in the Lord. She has accepted Jesus as her Lord and is asking now to be baptized. She is quick to share with others what God has done in her life and has shared her faith with her other sister in Germany. Recently she led a young man to the Lord. He has given up his drug addictions and enrolled in a Christian center to help him stay clean.

What a difference it makes having a Christian friend who cares enough to bring light into darkness! Will you join us in praying for Stavroula who needs our prayers to find a job so she can pay her bills and get her children back?

New Orleans mission update

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn a very real way, Go Light Our World was born in New Orleans. It was during the several post Katrina mission trips to that city that God spoke to us about missions. A big part of that message came by working alongside Pastor Willy and Dawn Neudahl who serve endlessly at New Hope Alliance Church in Gretna (West Bank New Orleans).  The Neudahls modeled what it looks like to put others first, ahead of your agenda.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs our various teams helped gut and rebuild houses damaged by the storm, we quickly realized that the real business at hand was building the house of faith, restoring hope to those whose lives were devastated by darkness. One of the great rewards of this work was when the Neudahls introduced us to Shannon McClendon and then seeing Shannon blossom in her growing relationship with Jesus. When her house was rebuilt she immediately put it into service as a place for bible study for her friends, so they too can grow in Christ. She has a plaque on her front door that says, “Welcome to the house that God built.” I call it a lighthouse to all in her community. A number of people have come to trust Jesus as their Lord because of Shannon’s invitations.

Willy and Dawn Neudahl have worked diligently to make sure everyone is welcome at New Hope church. It is hard to plant a church where many of the people are indigent and don’t stay long in the community. But New Hope Church is a place where worshiping God and discipling people to follow Jesus is the passion of hearts. Their sign says it well: “Ordinary people loved by an extraordinary God!”

This past year, GLOW donated the funds to purchase The Truth Project for the church. Several people enjoyed and prospered from this series on exploring and applying principles of God’s truth to their lives. More recently, GLOW partnered with New Hope Alliance Church to encourage their evangelism and discipleship efforts in the community.

In addition to their direct ministry, Willy runs a busy nursery seed and plant business to help support the church and employs some of the church members to help. You can search for godsgarden7 vendor on Ebay to view/purchase his products.  You can also view pictures from New Hope ministry by clicking on the Ministries tab on our website menu and selecting New Orleans.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGLOW is very pleased to partner with Pastor Willy and Dawn Neudahl and New Hope Alliance Church to bring light to a dark world! Will you pray for the Lord’s leading in their ministry?

Teenage Ambassador – Bolivia mission update

marco 3MARCO is a born leader. The oldest of three children, 16-year-old Marco lives in an extremely poor community outside the metropolis of Cochabamba, Bolivia. He cares for his younger sisters, cooks for them and takes them to school. His mother and stepfather leave for work very early in the morning and they come back late at night. So Marco takes care of the house. He’s been having some difficulty in school due his caring for his siblings. Marco left school for four years and started working to earn a living due to the extreme poverty in his household.

Marco came to the Alliance Church’s Josias Project, sponsored by GLOW, three years ago. A sullen, quiet, observant, shy teen. He started to make friends and was notorious from the start his sense of solidarity towards the little ones and his willing to help around. He was elected leader a year and because he did it so well with many initiatives and ideas, he began to earn the respect of the older kids. He now is the leader of all of them, big and small. He has earned their respect. He is quiet and firm.

marco 1His capacity to serve and empathy has made him shine over the rest. He was elected Ambassador last year. He is very creative, dynamic and proactive. He has proven his commitment to the Lord. He attends a Church close to his home.

Praise to the Lord, he continues his studies at night school along with his mother, who has been encouraged to also finish her high school. He is doing very well and still has the desire to work for the kids at the Project and in his neighborhood, because he can see the need to have someone guide those children at risk. He sees himself reflected in them when he was a child.


Isaiah 58:10 …and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.

“I don’t believe in God.” – AIA Mission Update


“I don’t believe in God”

These words were shared by a Minnesota State – Mankato wrestler as he walked through the classroom door.  It was a small room and only a few athletes were in the room.  They were all there to hear from John Peterson, a 1972 silver medalist, and a 1976 gold medalist.  The wrestler was invited by his friends to come here from John, but they did not tell him that John would also be talking about Jesus, until they walked into the building.  He was not sure if he wanted to stay.

John spoke about his wrestling experiences, the Olympics and about how God has worked in his life.  How he came to know that God loves him, but sin keeps him from knowing God, that Jesus is the only way, and it was a decision that person needs to make.  While this wrestler did not come to know Jesus he did leave saying, “I have never thought about Jesus before, thanks for giving me something to think about.”

I wonder, how much of our lives and testimonies lead others to think about Jesus? Do they encourage people to ‘wrestle’ with God?

– Athletes In Action (AIA) regularly sponsors events like these. AIA also raises up Christian leaders among the students who in turn reach other students with the good news of Jesus Christ. GLOW is pleased to partner with Gary Schmalz, Regional Director of AIA, in growing young leaders for Jesus! You can visit our AIA Gallery by clicking on the GLOW Ministries tab at the top of the page. Click on Donate if you’d like to partner with GLOW in supporting great ministries like AIA! Will you pray for college students who don’t know Jesus and those who are standing up for their faith and reaching their class mates?

Bulgaria mission update

goatDefend the weak and the fatherless;
uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed. Psalm 82:3
Your tax-deductible gifts to GLOW supports vital ministries in Bolivia, Bulgaria, Greece, and the USA. We partner with missionary friend Aleka Dragotas in bringing the good news of Jesus to Vetren, Bulgaria in such practical ways. The ministry in Vetren focuses on reaching outcast gypsy children and their parents, not only with the life saving Gospel, but also with literacy classes and an agriculturally based self-sufficiency program to help raise their families out of the bonds on poverty. In Bulgaria these people are persecuted and maligned because of their dark skin and gypsy heritage. One of the exiting outcomes of this ministry was the presentation of the first Christmas pageant since the fall of communism in that town. The 2011 and 2012 presentations featured gypsies and public school children working together to relay the gospel story.

GLOW recently sent funds to help with the Abraham’s Flock Project (goats and chickens) in Vetren so all the children can have sufficient eggs and milk, while learning to care for the animals. Aleka writes her thanks:

Dear brother Thayer,

Thank you so much for your (GLOW) donation! We were in desperate need for a (grain) grinder and your donation was the answer to my prayers!

 “Abraham’s flock” is growing and we now have 13 newborn goat kids!

 Great things God has done since the barn was built last year!.

boy collecting eggs-sm chickens My first goal this morning was to rush to the post office to send by Western Union your donation to  Pastor Julian, so he can purchase the grinder which we prayed for so much!  As soon as the goat kids are weaned off their mother’s milk, they will be eating ground food.      The church in Vetren has become a great example due to the work that has been done among the children and the barn which will create jobs for the people.

 Would you please join me in prayer so that the Lord may bring more supporters who will be faithful partners in this huge project  which eventually will both spiritually and physically transform the children.

 Since a few important supporters went to be with the Lord, I am praying that the Lord will “raise” new ones. More churches are asking me to start  summer schools for the children.   In this period of time, it is myself and Pastor Julian.  Thank you for your prayers and your partnership in what the Lord is doing for the children in those remote gypsy villages.

–  Aleka Dragotas

Check out the Bolivia Ministry Photo Gallery by clicking on the Ministries Tab of the website menu. Know that when you partner with GLOW through financial gifts and prayer, you help reach some of the most outcast people in the world including Bulgaria, Bolivia, Greece, and the United States.  Go Light Our World wherever you are!

Easter changes everything!

He has risen! He is not here. – Mark 16:6

What does Easter mean to you? I mean, beyond cute bunnies, colored eggs, and chocolate. What difference does it make that the Son of God died on a cross for your sin and mine and was raised from the dead?

Does it change your life?

Imagine following the example of a dead prophet, trying your best to do your best. . . in your own power. Actually, that is how some believers try to live their lives. Say their prayers in the morning, go out and fight the battle, and then report in before bed.

But a RISEN Savior who has conquered the grave – THAT is quite another matter! A risen Savior who calls us ‘friend’ gives us His very own Spirit to live in us, to guide, comfort, and teach us wherever we go. A risen Savior speaks with authority when He promises us eternal life, a life by the way that starts right now (John 3:36).

Does it make a difference to you that whatever trials, sorrows, and disappointments you encounter now will one day be GONE? Forever! And even now as you face them, that you will NEVER be alone?

Does Easter change anything in your life? Easter changes EVERYTHING! It is a whole new playing field when death is conquered. The rules are all changed. You are no longer on your own to figure things out, to powerlessly endure the battles. Life has meaning in the revelation of Easter. Unless of course it is just a yearly ritual where we go to church and come home the same as we were when we went, filled with only a vision of ourself in this dark world.

THIS Easter can be different. Make it a personal choice to embrace Easter, not as a yearly holiday, but as a lifestyle of celebrating the victory that it brings to your everyday life. Let Easter change everything about your outlook, your attitude, your ambitions, and your joy . . . EVERY day!

Where do you find hope when there is no light?

Darkness. Despair. Utter and complete loss. Dashed dreams and aspirations. Abandoned. Doubt. Fear. Hopeless.


I imagine this is how the followers of Jesus felt on the Sabbath day following the crucifixion of their beloved master and Savior. Have you been in a place like this? Has the news of a deadly disease come across your ears? Have you lost someone so dear to you that you don’t even know how to carry on, or if you even want to? Have you experienced betrayal, persecution, mocking, physical torture and excruciating chronic pain? Have you ever prayed so hard that you actually sweat blood?


Hopeless is a very dark place. Despair shines no light. When we find ourselves or someone we know in such a place, there is no solution we can devise on our own. There is only to turn our eyes to Jesus, the Light of the World, to find real hope when there is none to be seen in this world. Real hope…because Easter is coming!