it's all grace

a journey with the Thomason family

Tag: time

Our First Hole in the Wall

Thanks to our friend Greg who lives and serves in Poland, we now have our nice big clock hanging up in our living room. You would think that I, as the man of the house, would be able to hang a clock on my own. I would say I probably could’ve done it, but we have never actually tried drilling in to the concrete walls before and because I was unsure I enlisted Greg’s assistances (and tools!) to help me. He came over at 8am because he was going to be in our part of town anyway and in about 10 minutes we had this new clock hung and looking good! So there you have it–our first hole in the wall.

Hanging Time (3/10/15)

After hanging the clock I headed into the Josiah Venture office for our big international team meeting. It’s been a few weeks since I’ve been able to be there because of sickness, but I was so encouraged by the verses we looked at this morning.

Philippians 4:6-7

…do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Dave, who was teaching, talked about having a “zero tolerance” for anxiousness. I really like that thought. The Apostle Paul is not saying you can be anxious sometimes, but “do not be anxious about anything.” Anything! I started to think how often I am anxious in my heart. Whether I’m driving the car, thinking about my family, thinking about ministry, or whatever I’m probably anxious a thousand times more than I realize. But God’s Word provides the solution to our sinful anxiety. “…but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Pray! Cast all our worries on the Lord! Be thankful! And what happens? “The peace of God…will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Amazing. It’s a simple truth, but it’s impact is far reaching. I love the simplicity and I love that when we follow God’s plan in His Word that He brings peace to our worried hearts.

That’s our Tuesday. Goodnight for now.

Brunch, a Puzzle, and Home Videos

This morning we enjoyed a nice brunch at (stay with me) Bethany’s sister’s in-law’s. There were two food items on the table we just can’t find in Czech 1) bagels 2) English muffins. You would think us being closer to England we could get English muffins but that’s just not the case. But I digress. The food was great and we had a fun time talking about Czech and answering lots of questions about what we’ve been doing and how God has been working in our lives since moving over there.

Family Time (1/3/15)

Mostly we had a leisurely afternoon. I actually spent a few hours reading and everyone decided to work on a puzzle. When I made it out to see their progress, I found Avery sitting with Bethany, Nana (grandma), and Bonnie (Bethany’s sister). It cracked me up to see all four them hard at work on the puzzle. Here’s a photo I got.

Family Time (1/3/15)

Family Time (1/3/15)

I ended up helping with the puzzle later and we finished it this evening. Not bad!

Family Time (1/3/15)

As I write, Bethany’s dad is putting another reel of film on the super 8mm film projector. We’ve been watching old home videos in the living room tonight. It’s kind of mesmerizing to watch the film being projected. It’s like I’m being transported into another life time. In a day when we can make HD videos with our phones and post them online in seconds, it’s kind of amazing to watch videos that haven’t been seen in many years and which also require a special, noisy machine to view them.

Family Time (1/3/15)

Family Time (1/3/15)

Family Time (1/3/15)

Watching old home movies really does make you think about how quick time goes by–not just time, of course, but life. Each reel of film is only a few minutes long before it ends and Daryl reloads another one. There’s a box of reels that he’s pulling from and every time we watch one, another big span of time (life) goes by. You can record life, but you can’t stop it. It makes me want to make the most of each moment of time I get. We only get so much anyway, so why maximize the little we get. The Apostle Paul didn’t have a projector, but he definitely knew what he was talking about when he wrote to the Ephesians to “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time…” As I begin a new year, I hope I make the best use of the time this year.

A video posted by Shay Thomason (@shaycam) on

Time Is (Sort Of) On Our Side

Every year, twice a year, my dad calls me around the day we adjust our clocks forward and backward. We always have a good laugh because I think we’re both a little unsure how this little tradition of him calling me about it started but it’s fun nonetheless. Sadly, I didn’t get that call toady because my dad, I’m sure, is unaware that Europe changes their clocks at a different date on the calendar. Today was that day here in Czech and we “fell back” one hour, giving us a little extra time in bed today. The whole day felt a little weird, almost like an extra long day. America will join the time change fun in a week so we’re actually an hour closer to the States this week which is great for talking to family. So maybe I can expect an earlier phone call from my dad next weekend? C’mon dad, we’ve got time on our side!

Sunday With the Kids (10/26/14)

This morning at church I stayed in Titus’ room with him again just to make sure he’s adjusting and also to watch his progress. It wasn’t my plan to stay but I really was curious. The language barrier is definitely tough and I think it’s really easy for him to get distracted and I had to really push him to stay with the rest of the class. In the photos above and below, the kids are drawing pictures and I honestly don’t know what exactly they were supposed to draw. All I know is that the other kids drew one person while Titus drew at least six. He told me, “I drew everyone!” He needed help with the ears but he was pretty proud of his rodina (aka: “family” in Czech).

Sunday With the Kids (10/26/14)

We went to the store after church to get a few groceries and I was a little disappointed that I missed a good language use opportunity. While checking out, the lady said to me “Kolik?” I know the word, I’ve studied the word, but the only thing I could think of in that quick moment was something about time. Is she asking me what time it is? Time just wasn’t on my side, even though it was on my mind, and I stared at her in confusion. Then she started counting my croissants. My brain made switch and I said out loud, “Sedm…eh…Shest!” Which is, “Seven…eh…Six!” I was happy that I figured it out, but a little bummed I couldn’t nail it right away. Such is the life of a foreigner just trying to buy a few croissants. Hey, they’re cheaper than time. See what I did there?

The Sunday Dichotomy: When The Church Service Goes Long

When was the last time you were at church and the guy announcing an outreach ministry begins with a story about someone attempting suicide? That’s what happened this morning at our church in Czech. The man sharing was introducing a ministry called “Alpha” which, from what I could I gain through our translator, is designed to help people share their faith with those in their workplaces and neighborhoods. The story he was sharing was from his own work where a mom asked to leave work early because her son was trying to commit suicide. He continued that people at his work know he’s a Christian and are willing to share things with him. As well, he shared that in the case of the woman he asked her if he could pray for her son before she left and she said “OK.” This man encouraged the body to continue to tell others about Christ and the gospel, and invited them to “Alpha” where they can gain training and tools to aid in their own evangelism.

Watching the nationals in our church is so encouraging and spurs our own missionary family on towards gospel ministry in this place. Lord willing, more people will come to Christ because of that ministry, our church here, and the faithful witnesses of Christ.

Church today went almost three hours long. Our kids did exceptional, but we ended up going outside around the two hour, fifteen minute mark. There was a lot going on, including an entire group of students that recently came back from camp who shared about their experience and sang a few songs (video above of one part of one song). We also had a guest speaker, communion, and an extended prayer time. School will start here tomorrow (Sept. 1) and the pastors wanted to pray for all the kids in the church so they asked them to come forward and the pastors and elders prayed individually for students, teachers, and families. The place was very full today so the lines for prayer went all the way to the back and we watched as the pastors would place hands on the families and students and pray (photo below).

Neděle in Czech (8/31/14)

Bethany and I talked during lunch about how to respond to a longer service. We feel the burden of living in two worlds now: World #1 (the more American view): Being on time is right and good. It honors God to be on time–church services should end on time. World #2 (maybe a more Czech view?): Spending time with your church family is right and good. If the service goes long, it’s just extra time for prayer and fellowshipping with other believers which is a joy and encouragement–it’s OK if the service goes long. It’s a Sunday dichotomy. Both feel right and good, but you can’t have both at the same time.

I like what one friend told me in the States. On the possibility that the service might go long on a particular Sunday he told me, “Hey, you really don’t hear people complaining when the football game goes into over time.” I think he’s right. Often we (Americans) make exceptions in our minds for sports and entertainment, but not so much for church. I know I do this and am guilty of complaining when church doesn’t end when I think it should. Maybe I do need look at the other side and learn from my Czech brothers and sisters that spending a little more time at church might just be a joy and not a burden. It’s like what our Czech pastor said today about the service running long, “We love our children and our teachers. This is the wisest thing for us to do.” Amen, brother.

Neděle in Czech (8/31/14)

Above is a photo of Titus with his hands in his pockets just watching the service. We like that kid.

Neděle in Czech (8/31/14)

Towards the end of the service there were a lot of kids outside. The boys turned the grass area into a scene from Braveheart, each boy for himself with a stick for a sword. We had no clue where the other parents were.

Neděle in Czech (8/31/14)

Finally, our two little ones which seem to betting bigger every day. Thanks to Bethany they always look so nice when we go to church.

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