A new school and new hope!

June 14, 2017 § Leave a comment

Hear from Walter what’s going on here in Guatemala!

God’s plans for us are Good.

May 11, 2017 § Leave a comment

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For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11

The Israelites were not in a great place when God spoke this promise to them (stealing from my husband’s teaching a few days ago) things did not look good.

When we don’t know….

When it doesn’t seem like there is a light at the end of the tunnel…

When things are just plain hard…

When we just don’t understand…

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We need to trust that God has a reason; that His eyes don’t only see the current and the outward but see the future and know the heart, and already see a future point where these present sufferings, trials, hardships turn into “a future and a hope”.

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I don’t like the unknown. I don’t like change. I need time to digest… I want to know… I need a plan. ..NOW. Haha

God wants our trust. Trust that He is Good.  Trust in His Plan. Trust that He is Working. Trust that He is For us. Instead of bemoaning our pains, trust that He will and can use even “this” to create “hope” and a “future”.

So as usual, haha, I speak these words first to myself, here, so that you can see them and know that they are true for you as they are for me.

broken but mended

February 11, 2017 § Leave a comment

I love this song because we all feel broken sometimes. I know that the longer I live here the more broken I feel, the more I know I need God, that I cannot do life without Him.  I love the line in this song that says, “And there’s nothing you could ever do, to lose what grace has won” Because the gospel doesn’t depend on us, the victory cannot be changed back into loss, He has already proven that He is for us.

Some of my weakest moments are the ones where God has been able to work through me the most. Which is encouraging because when I feel that all is lost, that what I do is not enough, that my efforts amount to nothing, I know that He is faithful; that He is working and that He will bring to completion that which He has begun.

And He will for you too!

a bit of a rant

October 31, 2016 § 1 Comment

I in no way think I’m perfect, and this isn’t aimed at any person in particular!  Just needed to let it out!

As a believer in Jesus Christ have you asked yourself how those who are not Christians view what is going on? I know I have, do we think they see one Christian call another a stupid, uneducated, bigoted, racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, xenophobic etc, and people think, “wow! There’s a nice accepting person”?  “I would love to be a part of a group of people like that”?

For some strange reason, I think not.

It’s crazy because if popular opinion is what guides you, you cannot be an American Christian and vote this year… but you can’t not vote either.  Some say if you vote one way you can’t be a Christian and others say if you vote the other way you can’t. And quite honestly I don’t remember the bible mentioning who you vote for having anything to do with salvation!

So how is all the name calling, calling down judgement on who can and cannot be a Christian and bitter argument furthering the kingdom of God? Is anyone actually being convinced to change their mind?  Are the lost being saved?

It’s almost laughable how out of proportion and out of focus most of what’s out there is and how little time is actually being spent to understand the actual issues! Why is so much time being spent talking about two people rather than the direction that they intend to take a country?

I strongly disagree with a lot of what I see going around.  I feel that Christians should vote a certain way, which is no secret if you’ve been following my “likes” on facebook.  But just because you disagree doesn’t mean I think I should make fun of you and call you names!   We are adults here folks.  It certainly doesn’t give me the right to question your salvation! That’s between you and God!  Or even your intelligence!  We must be working off of different information, values and core beliefs that are influencing us very differently.

As a curious person it does cause me to question where our core values and beliefs differ. Is there information that you or I are not seeing?  So when I find a well written, not angry, well thought out article I read it, whether or not it’s what I believe.  Often times half way through I see exactly where the writer’s premises differ from my own… causing the conclusion to be completely different.  Let’s ask questions, to understand, not win.  Honestly if you can’t see any area where maybe those on the other side of an issue could be right about something then you’re not looking at it honestly because no one is right all the time (and no one is wrong all the time either).

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James 4 “11 Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister[d] or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. 12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor?”

We need to approach each other with the love of Christ. And stick to the facts instead of name calling…. but that’s just my opinion!

loved

October 18, 2016 § 1 Comment

I never dated, so when I met my husband I can honestly say that I had never been loved in the way that he loves me, by another person! His love for me overwhelmed me. I felt that any moment he would realize that I wasn’t that great or worthy of his loving me so much.

As I contemplate this I have to admit that I am no longer overwhelmed and in fear of losing his love, and it’s not because he loves less. Love in any kind of relationship changes, shifts moves and grows if encouraged to. There are moments of euphoria and moments of pain that can make the love grow deeper or grow cold.

I look at my husband’s love for me as a precious gift… that I often take for granted. You could say that I have grown used to being so loved.

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The thing is, God’s love for us is so much greater, deeper and stronger than any human’s love. (If you have not known His love then I encourage you to find a local pastor, open a bible and read the book of John or find a Christian friend. ) If you’ve met Him, if you’ve tasted of His love, if you’ve been wrapped in His arms of grace, you know what I’m talking about. His love is so incredible it changes us. Those things that make Him sad, are suddenly disagreeable to us. Things that anger Him are despicable to us (I’m talking about horrendous things that are done to the innocent). We find joy in doing things that please Him because it pleases us to please Him.

The gospel, the good news, is not about laws and rules but about a love so great and all-encompassing that it changes everything. Our priorities, goals and even our dreams take a new shape.

But we grow used to being so loved.

We forget what a precious gift His love is.  We come to think that we deserve to be so loved. We stop seeing His love for the precious gift that it is and begin to think that we are entitled to it.  Our awe fades.

The love of God is core to the whole bible. He created us to love us and be loved by us. He chose us, and wants us to choose Him freely. His love for us is interwoven through every chapter of the bible because God is love.

Let’s remember His love.  Remember how it felt when we first knew we were loved so much, forgiven so much, so precious.  Because that is what His love makes us. 

sin!

September 28, 2016 § 1 Comment

The older I get the more sins I’ve been forgiven for. I mean let’s just face it, I still sin every day. How so? I envy people, get angry and offended. I judge before listening, I’m super impatient. Even if you look too closely at the good things I do, often times my motives aren’t completely good. I most certainly am not always kind.The thing about sin is that it separates us from God and its consequence is death. Too often we want to excuse our sins rather than confess them. It’s uncomfortable to admit we are wrong, it’s humbling to ask someone to forgive us and it’s just not fun to give someone else the upper hand especially if we like to be “right”.

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We prefer to buy into the lie that our sin is not so bad. Jesus forgives, right?! Yes, definitely, irrefutably and completely… when we repent… and what is repenting? It’s changing our minds. How do you know someone has changed their mind? If I ask you for strawberry ice cream and then change my mind and ask for chocolate, you will know I changed my mind when you see me eating the chocolate ice cream.

But of course being a fallen human is a tricky thing, because right when I think I’ve got it together eating my chocolate ice cream (of course chocolate is the right one to eat!) I suddenly find myself trying the strawberry again!

As children of God we will obey him, do right, try to live for him… and we will disobey, do what’s wrong make mistakes that we should have known better… but we will repent, change our minds, remember that we’ve decided on chocolate, and keep trying to obey…

That is a sign of a Christian.

And the really good news is that He will help us, He will guide us, He will restore us because He delights to do so! Let’s face it, on our own, we will keep failing, that’s why we need him so much.

But if we decide we will excuse our sin, it’s not really sin: there’s nothing wrong with a little white lie, this is not really stealing, I’m only looking… Or if we decide to re-interpret the bible… that was cultural, Jesus forgives so it doesn’t matter anymore, the bible doesn’t actually mention this by name… we cannot repent, confess and turn from our sins… and be forgiven. (of course to do all this we must believe in Him and that He is able, but that’s a whole nother conversation)

We have to call it what it is. Sin is sin.  If I lie, I am sinning.  If have sex outside of marriage I am sinning. If I place any thing or one before God, I am sinning. If I kill someone, I have sinned. If I practice homosexuality I am sinning. If I steal, I am sinning.  Does this make us judgmental? No, basic facts are not judgmental, that has to do with tone of voice and attitude. Does it mean we think someone is bad? We have all done bad things, get in line. Does it mean we think someone is beyond redemption? Nope, it means we believe there is redemption!

Because we are not doing anyone favors trying to be relevant, not offend and make people feel like sin is actually not sin. Because then what’s the point? If there’s nothing to repent for, if we don’t need to believe that He can and will redeem us, why should anyone come to Christ? The point is not that any one of us is perfect. It’s not that we don’t sin, because we all do.

The point is, when we do sin, we can change our minds, repent, and eat the chocolate ice cream.  We don’t have to let the sin separate us from God’s amazing love and forgiveness.

1John 2:1-2  My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.

James 4:17 ESV So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.

1 John 1:8-10 ESV 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.

Romans 6:23 ESV For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 3:23 ESV For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God

1 Corinthians 6:9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed,you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God

Rom 6:1-2 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?

Rom 7:17-19 So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.

Psalms 103:11-12  For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;  as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.

death, life and medicine

September 20, 2016 § 2 Comments

To say that the public medical system here in Guatemala is horrendously broken… would be an understatement… In a week six babies died in our local hospital because they don’t have proper equipment and medicine. Forget human error, when your hospital doesn’t have basic antibiotics or even Ibuprofen, patients are told to buy their own medicine, medical gloves, mask and thread for their stitches in a pharmacy and bring them to the hospital… you know there is a very serious problem! (There are 180 beds for 1.5 million people in the area… )

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In north America, life is prolonged as long as possible… except of course if you are unborn in which case you have no rights to live (written facetiously) , or you deem your life not worth living… and probably some day soon… if “we” deem your life not worth living…

But anyway, there are so many  medical advances in “first world countries” that prolong, improve and enable life to continue that death is usually, except for the above mentioned, considered something to fight and escape from for as long as possible.

I was recently told that things are not that much better in the USA  than they are here…   I beg to differ.

 

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Granted, as a Christian, death is not the worst thing that can happen to a person.  But is it a blessing to have access to medical facilities that actually have equipment and resources to help you?  You tell me?!  Maybe blessing is the wrong word?

But when the “right to live” is more of a problem than the “right to die” I would call the medical facilities in North America  a blessing…even if you have to pay for them.   There are only so many beds and equipment that the doctors and nurses have to decide hourly who deserves to use them most, who they feel most likely to survive.  Suddenly it makes sense that a lot of people here go to the hospital only as a last resort because “everyone knows” that it’s where you go to die since there is just not enough room or resources to help them once they get there.

We live in a broken country.  The systems that are supposed to help are broken.  Maybe this is why giving a few acetaminophen to someone with pain, or being able to give someone antibiotics, or a word of encouragement are accepted with so much gratitude. The hope of the gospel finds hearts open to hear and receive where so little hope is seen on a daily basis. We cannot change the world or even this country in a day, but we could change someone’s life.

This is why we are called to walk with Christ here.  To give every day sometimes merely of ourselves and our time, other times medicine or resources, but mostly to shine Jesus’ love into the lives of those around us…because He is the one who does have the power heal this people and this country.