draw near

August 26, 2018 § 2 Comments

I have the firm belief that God allows us to be lonely, to come to the end of ourselves, to feel lost and afraid only to show us we need Him.

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We continue, just as the Israelites did in the bible, over and over we think we can do it on our own, that the good we have accomplished, our victories and success are our own doing.  We think that it doesn’t matter if we mix a little of “the world” into our culture and our way of thinking, that those things don’t affect us.

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Once we’ve started down that slippery slope God purposefully allows us to lose our footing, not because He is bad, angry or selfish but because He is Good, Loving and Merciful.

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In the same way a good parent doesn’t give their child everything they want because there are things the parent knows are not good for the child even if they look fun or enticing in the moment, God doesn’t give us everything we want because He knows what is good for us in the long run.  He is the Beginning and the End (Alfa and Omega) He knows the future.  He wants to give us every good thing in the proper time.

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I’ve been reading a bible plan this year that has me reading through several different books of the bible at the same time.  It’s a different order then I had ever read but what keeps hitting me repeatedly is how in every book from Geneses to Revelations, we can see intertwined God’s great redemptive plan. His loving heart and mercy shine through everywhere.  He’s calling us to come near.

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Every difficulty we face is not meant to turn us from him, but to Him.  He WILL help.  We need to stop our eyes from focusing on the waves instead of the ONE walking on them.

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We were not made to walk this world alone, we were created to walk with Him.

We were never supposed to be able to do it on our own, He wants to give us His strength.

The purpose of our lives is not to satisfy ourselves, but to find our fulfillment in Him.

We are afraid because we do not fully know Him, because His perfect love casts out all fear.

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These are not pat answers, they do not come easy. The are hard core truths.  What does it mean to walk with Him?  How does He want to guide and strengthen me?  How much does He really love me?  Everyday I ask Him to show me and reveal to me again the answer to these questions and I challenge you to join this trek.  Asking Him, seeking Him in His word and allowing Him to minister to your heart.  He will answer, He’s standing at the door!

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His gift of rest

July 1, 2018 § Leave a comment

We were gifted a week at the beach. Usually I’m way more into practical gifts like money for groceries, gas and paying the bills , but a gift at the beach though possibly frivolous is priceless.  We’re busy with work and school, ministry is a full time thing. Being able to take a whole week off and just be a family was amazing. The kids had their mid-year school break.

We don’t usually have time to just hang out as a family and we never have the money for a vacation….I mean seriously, we live off of faith support.  This means that we don’t receive money unless someone donates specifically to us.  People make huge sacrifices so that we can live without worrying about if we will have money to buy food this month.  Even if we were receiving enough to save up, it’d be difficult to think of spending that money on a vacation.

Maybe that will surprise you, but those who “work” for a living and earn a “wage” don’t need to wonder how people would perceive a vacation, as people working in the ministry and living off donations, we do.  Everything we own is a gift from God through someone’s hands!   Thankfully we have an awesome Father who knows that we need rest, time away and that it is not frivolous for Him.   We are so blessed to have people in our lives who give to us in this way!  Their giving inspires us to be faithful and give as well.

Truly, when I worry about “tomorrow” our Heavenly Father gives us so much more than what we could have asked for, for “today”.

Trip to Puerto Barrios and Livingston:

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teeth

February 19, 2018 § Leave a comment

On the ministry side of things I’ve been keeping an eye on and helping coordinate the medical clinic this year (on top off too many other things!). It is a huge blessing to see the help that can be given in a few short weeks.  We’ve a had a doctor here working in our Vida Nueva School for the last two weeks doing dental care.  They saw all 80 of our most urgent cases! Which is almost all of the students in that school. Sad but true, most of those students will never have seen a dentist before in their lives. They were little troopers though and happily returned for their second appointments when they noticed how much the first time helped.

One of the parents commented to the school staff that they thought it wouldn’t be worth it to send their child to a private school, but how wrong they’d been because of all the care they are receiving in school on top of “schooling”.

It’s so great to see the way that God is working and providing through the hands of so many faithful people!

 

less doing more knowing

February 13, 2018 § 1 Comment

I think a lot of the time we have the wrong idea, at least I know that I do.  Sometimes I think that the best way to please God, to have a meaningful life that will leave a mark for eternity, to be the best kind of Christian there is, is to work in the ministry, or a non-profit, volunteer time, work in a church, be a person who does good for others in Jesus name.

But we come to the verse that says 21“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’23Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ (Matthew 7 NIV Italics mine)

We spend too much of our focus on doing and not enough on knowing.

It’s interesting that God didn’t know these people who were doing so much for him and in his name.  How is it that we are known by someone?  People can know all about me, and I about them, but we don’t know each other, truly, unless we spend time together, having a two-way conversation.

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lf one loves God, one is known by him.’ (l Cor 8:3; RSV)

How do we love someone unless we spend time with them, getting to know them?

That our lives would have meaning for God and his kingdom have very little to do with our vocation, the amount of good works we do, or the causes we stand up for.  If we really want to live for God and please Him, we need to spend more time knowing and being known then we do “doing”.

 

pleased

January 19, 2018 § 2 Comments

I’ve been asking myself lately….

When we get to heaven will God be like, I don’t know why you were doing all that stuff, tiring yourself out… I never asked any of that of you.

His burden is not heavy.

I think sometimes I have it all backwards…

I start thinking that to please God, to have my life right with Him, I must have certain people pleased with me, do everything that is ever asked of me as a service to God, never grow tired of doing all the good I can possibly do.

Rather….

God didn’t create us to live to please people, we live to please God, other people, if they are pleased or not is their decision.

The service we do for God should come spontaneously from our love for Him not an obligation to perform, because then, we won’t grow tired of doing it.

Whenever our service to God is a heavy burden we can know that we are not doing it out of love for Him.

God does not call people to a life of absolute obedience or service to anyone but himself.    We get loaded down when we confuse serving God with our service to others, the church or even ministry.   We are at risk of being in a cult or religious spirit if we equate obedience to any man as the equivolence of obedience to God.

God sent his one and only Son down to earth to make a way for us to have a personal relationship with Him.  The veil in the temple was torn to open the way symbolically into God’s very presence for each of us.

We may blame our service to the church, obedience to someone, or busyness doing “his work” as excuses for neglecting our children, our spouse or all the other non-glamorous things that we could be doing, but what did He ask of us?

John 6:28 They replied, “We want to perform God’s works, too. What should we do?” 29 Jesus told them, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.”

We need to do the work of “believing”.

Believing that He is good,in every circumstance, He loves us, truly, He will keep His promises, forever, He is taking care of us, always, He’s coming back for us, for sure.

When we truly believe we will do the “good works” that He wants us to do with joy. We won’t be so busy trying to work our way to heaven or earn God’s or man’s favor that we miss out on the point, He has already given us the gift of salvation. All we must do is believe and receive it.   Everything else stems from that.20180109_070635.jpg

with love grandma…

January 13, 2018 § Leave a comment

My dear grandma passed on to be with the Lord today. I’m sad for me, that I won’t see her again on this earth, but I’m so happy for her. I know she is with our Lord and reunited with so much family and friends .

It’s funny how much genetics influences us. Although I never lived close to my grandma I so often understood her and felt understood by her.In her last year’s before her stroke she often she wrote me and encouraged me. I am so blessed to have had her in my life.

Love you grandma!

ready or not, 2018 here we come

January 8, 2018 § 1 Comment

It’s hard to believe that we are at the start of another year!

And so, I reflect….

Through every hard thing that we have faced, every difficult situation, we have felt God’s loving care.  We know that life can’t always be easy, but God has been good through it all.  We are so grateful to Him for protecting us in the moments where we have been in danger, those we know about and those we didn’t even realize. There have been times where we have felt like things will never change but He speaks into them and brings us peace.  Life is not perfect. We live this messy life in a messy world.  We have asked for forgiveness and forgiven, even when it’s not reciprocated. We never want to stop growing, even if it hurts. Our lives are so much more than a physical body and all the things we walk through in this path we call life.   As Walter said so eloquently yesterday, nothing happens to us that God doesn’t know all about and have a plan to turn into some type of blessing for us. So, nothing that happens to us is bad, as God’s children, because we are completely in His hands.   It’s not always easy to see that when we are in the middle of circumstances that we don’t like!  So, as I start this year 2018 I count my blessings and not my troubles and encourage you to do the same!

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