Rain

October 24, 2017 § Leave a comment

It’s been a rainy year so far!

Several of the construction workers, who Walter works with, have had their homes washed away in mud. We’ve been helping these guys the best we can! The roads and highways are continually being covered, cleaned off and semi-fixed. But the rain has continued which means the earth is saturated which means more mud slides.

It’s a crazy world, dry spells and forest fires in some places, torrential rains in others. Please keep Guatemala in your prayers!

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quinceañera: she’s fifteen

October 3, 2017 § Leave a comment

One of my nieces turned 15 this last week.  A girls quinceañera party is a lot like a wedding here in Guatemala! The parents walk the girl in, she has flower girls, and there’s a cake cutting and a big dress or a very fancy corte and guipil!   I think it’s sort of like a “coming out” party!

This is a formal culture, greeting people individually is important, saying the right words and giving speeches are normal.  I don’t know if I’ll ever fit in! haha I’m not very good at making flowery speeches without actually saying anything!

So yeah, when you think of a birthday party throw out all those ideas and think of a formal wedding and you will have an idea what a girl’s 15th birthday party looks like in Guatemala… a sermon, prayer, worship, speeches, the birthday girl gets up and gives special thanks to different people.

Anyway, that was part of our last week!  That’s the other thing, in Guatemala everyone in the family pitches in to help.  I’m part of a Guatemalan family.

Church wounds

September 28, 2017 § Leave a comment

20170901_075746-PANOLets just all admit it, if you’ve been in the church for any amount of time, you’ve been hurt by someone who was supposed to encourage you, help you and believe in you. A Christian leader.

We must face the truth, the church is not full of perfect people, it’s full of humans and human kind is fallen.   Our nature is broken, we are not perfect, far from it, we are full of greed and pride.

Several times in my life words have been spoken to me, seemingly over me, that have felt like condemnation from someone who I felt had authority spiritually over me. These words have filled me with self doubt, they have reverberate through my life coming back when I am weakest, lowest, to remind me that I don’t measure up, that there is something “corrupt” in me, that people closer to the Lord see quite obviously and that I would see if I were closer to Him.

I know that the words spoken were not meant to have this affect on me. They may have been spoken carelessly, probably not realizing how deep words hurt when spoken by someone you trust. And I truly can’t judge the hearts of the people who said them to understand their true motives. But we should face the truth that no one is above falling into sin. We are all tempted to put others down and build ourselves up. We all want to be right and don’t want to admit when we are wrong. We all want people to love and adore us and are offended when they notice we are less than perfect. Both us and our leaders.

We need to judge and test things before we believe them, even though we have trusted and looked up to someone, even though God uses them to do wonderful things, it doesn’t mean that they never drop the ball and misjudge someone or are lead by their own desires to put someone else in their place.  We cannot internalize and accept someone else’s words over us just because of who they are.  It’s much more important to know who God says we are!

I don’t know where the balance is, there are so many things I still need to learn. I do know that we must be humble enough to receive instruction, to learn and grow. But we also must know God and weigh every teaching, instruction or criticism to know if it is true in His eyes.

I want to live my life open before God, and when someone points out something that could be a sin in my life I want to be humble enough to examine myself honestly but also have the strength to say within myself, not true, when it isn’t and leave it at that. God is the one who knows our hearts. He sees all and He will work it all out in His time.

If you’ve been hurt by “the church” remember, that’s why God sent his Son. Because we all fail. If you find sinful, hurtful people in the church, it’s because that’s who Jesus came to die for, all of us!   We tend to put church leaders on a pedestal, but the only one who should be lifted up in our hearts and lives is Christ.

two kinds of truth

August 20, 2017 § 2 Comments

There is a truth that just is. It doesn’t bend or change with culture or time. You can’t change it by your desire or wish it to change. It cannot be interpreted differently. It’s like gravity, believe in it or not it’s still there. God’s promises to you and I are in this category of truth.

There is another kind of truth. It can be an opinion that someone truly believes to be true, or a memory of something that happened, which surprisingly studies show us to be very changeable. There are things that we are absolutely convinced belong to the first kind of truths, because we remember, we saw, we heard, but they are not completely true. Peoples opinions about you and I fall into this category, even our opinions about ourselves are not fully accurate. The way that we interpret the world around us and our relationships are not based on complete truth, because none of us hold the monopoly on truth and understanding. Only God does.

Often, I’ve felt angry when someone insists to me about something that happened in the past was a certain way, something that I know to be different than what they are saying, I’ve learnt that maybe that’s how they remember it, what they believe happened, how they see it or how they’ve dealt with it in their own mind. I’m certainly not right all the time, but that doesn’t mean I’m always wrong either. We need to be able to admit that we all interpret our experiences through the lenses of our past, present, emotions and what we already believe. These things can change over time, and even change how we remember things. We need to be ok with other people remembering things differently, it just shows how fragile we and our memories are.

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When someone criticizes us, we need to know that it’s the second kind of truth, it’s an interpretation, a viewpoint based on someone else’s understanding. That doesn’t mean it has no truth in it, it probably does have some,  but we need to hold it up to the truth of God’s word, search our hearts to know if we need to repent and then move on. We cannot allow people to speak words of death, condemnation, or tell us who we are, and just accept them as TRUTH.

I’ve constantly been asking God to give me the wisdom to discern between these two kinds of truth. We need to hear the Holy Spirit speak words of LIFE and TRUTH into our hearts. God has already told us who we are, it’s His voice of truth that we need to listen to.

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!