Psalm 146:2 "I will praise the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live."

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

God CARES For Us!!

Hi Everyone,

Looks like this is going to be the last post for August 2010. It has indeed been a very good month! I have continued to grow and learn much.

Well, I wanted to write this post because I just read something really encouraging!

Psalm 31:7,8,19,20 and 22-24. New Living Translation
"I will be glad and rejoice in your unfailing love, for you have seen my troubles, and you care about the anguish of my soul. You have not handed me over to my enemies but have set me in a safe place. How great is the goodness you have stored up for those who fear you. You lavish it on those who come to you for protection, blessing them before the watching world. You hide them in the shelter of your presence, safe from those who conspire against them. You shelter them in your presence, far from accusing tongues. In panic I cried out, “I am cut off from the Lord!” But you heard my cry for mercy and answered my call for help. Love the Lord, all you godly ones! For the Lord protects those who are loyal to him, but he harshly punishes the arrogant. So be strong and courageous, all you who put your hope in the Lord!"

I love those verses--they say SO MUCH!! but what I really love is that they show a tiny way of the tip of the iceberg to speak of how God cares for us who are His so intimately and carefully. What a blessing! And may He protect us from arrogance...and may we be sensitive and aware of it!

Think About This....Heaven!

Hi Everyone,

At my church I have managed to make it to a few of our adult Sunday school classes this Summer. The one that I have been attending has to do with Heaven-there couldn't be a topic more exciting or more comforting for me, especially at this chapter of life that I am in!

You know what is really crazy? Whenever I used to hear about heaven, I was scared that I would be bored up there strumming a harp for eternity, but I guess the thought of boredom for all eternity in heaven was a better thought for me than the alternative.

Well, as you can imagine, I DON'T see it that way anymore! One of our pastors of my home church is teaching the class. The few times that I have been able to attend have left me with a sense of awe and excitement that words would not be able to describe! It is almost like a dream, but I KNOW it is real that THAT will be the eternal home of those of us that have trusted in Jesus alone for our salvation!

Take this past Sunday for instance! Obviously none of us has ever seen Heaven so there is some careful speculation and thinking as we read the Bible, and try to understand all of the things that it says about this glorious place! The MOST GLORIOUS FACT BEING THAT WE WILL BE IN PERFECT RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS FOREVER WITH NO SIN IN THE WAY AND WE WILL BE IN HIS VERY PRESENCE!

But look at the description of it! And don't just read about it, but think about it and marvel!

Revelation 21:1-7

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."

He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!" Then he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true."

He said to me: "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son.

Revelation 21:9 on to chapter 22:6

One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and said to me, "Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb." And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. It had a great, high wall with twelve gates, and with twelve angels at the gates. On the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. There were three gates on the east, three on the north, three on the south and three on the west. The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

The angel who talked with me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city, its gates and its walls. The city was laid out like a square, as long as it was wide. He measured the city with the rod and found it to be 12,000 stadia in length, and as wide and high as it is long. He measured its wall and it was 144 cubits thick, by man's measurement, which the angel was using. The wall was made of jasper, and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass. The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, the fifth sardonyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was of pure gold, like transparent glass.

I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it. Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life.

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever. The angel said to me, "These words are trustworthy and true. The Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent his angel to show his servants the things that must soon take place."

My thoughts:

Think about the architecture of the place alone! We could NEVER build anything quite like that! It is interesting also that Jesus said He was going to prepare a place for us in John 14:1-4 "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going." But think about when God created the world--he simply spoke and what he said was in full existence. But with Heaven, it is a PLACE BEING PREPARED!!! How much more beautiful it must be!!!!

I could say SO MUCH MORE in this post-maybe I will do a "part 2" sometime!

Monday, August 30, 2010

First Things First!

Hi Everyone,

A friend sent me this portion of the "My Utmost For His Highest" devotional by Oswald Chanbers today! I thought it was really good.

"August 30th
Am I convinced by Christ?
Notwithstanding in this rejoice not . . ., but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven. Luke 10:19, 20.
Jesus Christ says, in effect, Don’t rejoice in successful service, but rejoice because you are rightly related to Me. The snare in Christian work is to rejoice in successful service, to rejoice in the fact that God has used you. You never can measure what God will do through you if you are rightly related to Jesus Christ. Keep your relationship right with Him, then whatever circumstances you are in, and whoever you meet day by day, He is pouring rivers of living water through you, and it is of His mercy that He does not let you know it. When once you are rightly related to God by salvation and sanctification, remember that wherever you are, you are put there by God; and by the reaction of your life on the circumstances around you, you will fulfil God’s purpose, as long as you keep in the light as God is in the light.

The tendency today is to put the emphasis on service. Beware of the people who make usefulness their ground of appeal. If you make usefulness the test, then Jesus Christ was the greatest failure that ever lived. The lodestar of the saint is God Himself, not estimated usefulness. It is the work that God does through us that counts, not what we do for Him. All that Our Lord heeds in a man’s life is the relationship of worth to His Father. Jesus is bringing many sons to glory."

My thoughts follow below.

I thought this was just a good reminder, as my friend also noted in her own words that it is important to KEEP CHRIST FIRST IN OUR LIVES as our first love and not let SERVING HIM take a role that it is not meant to or let serving Him take the place of our relationship with Christ itself. WE GAVE TO KEEP FIRST THINGS FIRST--LOVING GOD ABOVE ALL ELSE AND SERVING OUT OF OBEDIENCE TO HIM, AND NEVER SERVING HIM OUT OF AN EFFORT TO MAKE A NAME FOR OURSELVES OR TO GET GLORY BECAUSE ONLY HE IS WORTHY OF THAT!!!!We must also remember that it is HIM that uses us as channels, for some amazing reason, that He chooses to work through, by HIS GRACE TO SHOW HIS POWER AT WORK--and every ounce of EVERYTHING WE NEED in order to do what HE HAS CALLED US TO DO COMES FROM HIM IN THE FIRST PLACE! Apart from Him, we are NOTHING!! The Work is His to do-we are but willing vessels to be used as HE SEES FIT, like the potter with the clay in his hands, molding it, for his purpose! THE GREATEST THING IS KNOWING HIM!!!!!

More On John Wesley

Hi Everyone,

I am still reading the John Wesley biography, and one thing that stood out to me is a quote that someone said to John Wesley when he was still working through His doubts and not sure of his salvation, and had not yet come to the place of assurance.

The quote was: John Wesley saying "Brother Boehler, how can I preach to others of faith," he asked privately, "if I have none myself?" "Preach faith until you have it, and then because yo have it, you will continue to preach faith." (Heroes of The Faith:John Wesley: Founder Of The Methodist Church, by Sam Wellman, Barbour books, page 101.)

Maybe you need more context to make sense of it, but I kind of like the quote somehow...not that a bunch of unsaved people should be encouraged to go into ministry or anything.....but I guess I just thought it was interesting. But hey, there are some of those in the midst of being so busy serving God, in whatever way, that sometimes later on discover mid-way that they were so busy "doing things for God" and yet there was no personal relationship. It is neat how God works with each person to show them HIS ABSOLUTE UNCHANGING TRUTH! The Glory is all His!

Refer To Me As I am.....

Hi Everyone,

The following post is not written out of anger, or even at any specific current situation in particular. It is just something that I have personally wanted to express for quite awhile. So just keep all of that in mind and take this as me saying it gently in love to whoever would happen to read it. I am not trying to accuse anyone or anything like that, and I mean that, so please don't take it that way. Thank you.

A few days ago, I wrote a blog post about "idle speech and Euphemism's." I discussed "euphemism's" in regard to words we would probably be better not saying (and by the way, Yes, I am honestly still working on that and God is still working on me in that area---unfortunately, I haven't arrived yet!

But today I'd like to share about something a little more personal about a different type of euphemism. It is something I have dealt with my whole life. Now let me also say, truthfully by typing this that the Lord has done a great work in my life regarding healing this area----things do not bother me quite like they used to, but yet it is an area where I still am and probably always will be a little bit sensitive, because it is an are where much damage was done. (And I am NOT saying that so people feel sorry for me or anything--I am just making you aware.)

1 Samuel 16:7 says, But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."

God looks at our hearts.

Now, what I want to say is that being someone that was a miracle premature baby (like many others in the world) left me with some obvious physical affects from that whole process.....which now I see as something God get's glory through. However, I have lived a life where much of the world honestly looks at the outside, and on a fairly regular basis (not normally from brothers and sisters in Christ, but from the world) where not a week goes by where I won't get comments like "What's WRONG with you?" or even things like "Are you handicapped?" Or even the lady on the bus this morning, I think that meant well, but felt it was her duty to announce it to the rest of the bus passengers at the top of her lungs, "How's your SIGHT??," and then so many eyes were turned right towards me. (Thankfully, it didn't bother me too much!) Please don't feel sorry for me--I am just giving examples of real life and what happens.

I know the world values me by what they perceive i can and can't do-and they are WRONG BECAUSE MY VALUE AND WORTH IS FOUND IN JESUS CHRIST REGARDLESS OF, ACCORDING TO THEM, WHAT I "CAN OR CAN'T DO."

Even though I truly KNOW my value is in Jesus and that it is what HE THINKS OF ME THAT REALLY MATTERS, I have something to honestly say!

I hate euphemism's. And by talking about euphesmisms, I am talking about the ones that I get called both by the world, and sometimes well-meaning people that don't know how to talk about my physical way that I was allowed in God's wisdom to be created.

I don't like being grouped with other people, regardless of their physical issues or anything else! I am an individual. I am JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE!!! I have mind, emotions, will, intellect, and a body that for the most part the Lord has graciously allowed to have work VERY WELL!! And I am THANKFUL for that!!! I do NOT like the words, "different," "handicapped." "disabled," "limited," (even if I am in some ways!), "retarded," or "having something WRONG with me." I don't even like the word "special" because over the years it became this "gentle" way of saying something "is wrong" with me. "having physical challenges" is a slightly acceptable expression because it is true---I DO have some! So I don't care for the euphemistic words that get used to try to "define" me!! And I am not sure, but I am sure that anyone else that has something physically challenging might feel somewhat similar, but you should not just assume what they feel.

But the physical state of my body DOES NOT DEFINE ME!! May the Lord never allow this, even but if every limb of me was amputated, I would still be of great value---and NOT a throw-away-because I am created in God's image and I am HIS DAUGHTER AND I BELONG TO HIM!!!

So sometimes it gets tiring when the world wants to know what is WRONG with me before they would ever dare to ask me my name or something about me as a person. And if they ask me about me, I am probably going to end up telling them about Jesus, because Him and I are inseperable!

But PLEASE PLEASE don't use those yucky euphemistic words to group me or anyone else. They hurt...even when my identity is in Jesus! I don't know what other people prefer. I can only speak for myself. Personally, if you want to discuss my physical stuff, just say I have 'slight cerebal palsy." We are adults...and we CAN call it what it is! It is really OK to do that--and it won't offend me as long as you speak kindly of it.

I am perfectly designed for God's purposes for my life.....and He did NOT mess up! Nor has He with all of those precious children that sadly get aborted!

And if you have used those "euphemistic words" in the past, it's OK---I really do sincerely forgive you. You don't have to come and apologize. I also recognize that from my part, I've never been so open about this before either, so I've never said what is OK or not OK to say. It is what happens when God heals you.


Thank you so much for reading this.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

It REALLY Bothers Me!

Hi Everyone,

Last night I saw headline on CNN that REALLY, well, perturbed me to be honest. (I hope perturbed is not an offensive word to anyone.)

Anyway, the headline was basically about A certain so-called "church" that has NOTHING to do with Christianity at all and sounds quite cult-like that was saying that the reason why soldiers are dying in the war is because that is God's judgement on America for Homosexual lifestyle. So they were picketing the young man's funeral with all kinds of inappropriate signs and stuff!

For Pete's sake! UNFORTUNATELY people die at war----it's a sad fact. It is the man's funeral!!! I am sure his family members really want to get to know Jesus now! (That last sentence was said sarcastically.

Now don't get me wrong, I AM NOT IN ANY WAY condoning homosexuality! The TRUTH is that God hates it, it is a sin, and it IS detestable to Him----but murder, pride, lying lips, dishonesty, and fornication are as well detestable to God! (for a few examples among many others! This is NOT an exhaustive list!)

But the truth is that although our sin deserves God's punishment and He cannot just forget about it in HIS absolute perfect holiness, GOD STILL desires to draw all men to Himself----and of course, as I have said a thousand times, NOT all will! God in His great love longs that all men would be drawn to a knowledge of the truth! The unchangeable truth that God, in the person of Jesus Christ, came to live a perfect life WITHOUT sin, and died in our place, taking our sin upon Himself, and arose from the grave on the third day proving that He IS GOD!!!! EVERY ONE OF US has sinned against God and offended Him--not just the "homosexuals" or whatever other sin you want to put in the blank! None of us are exempt! And therefore, we have to decide what we are going to do with Jesus Christ's offer of salvation. Are we going to take it--by giving Him our complete trust, or are we going to leave it and suffer the consequences of an eternity separated from God forever??

So why does this so-called "church" point out one sin and not any others???? A good question!

And what makes me so upset is that since they call themselves a "church"-of a commonly known denomination-----do you know what the unbelieving world does???

It turns them off to the Precious Good News of Jesus Christ, and many of them, not knowing the difference, decide they want NOTHING to do with "Christianity" and ASSUME THAT THE REST OF US THAT ARE TRUE BELIEVERS Are "like that!!" UGGG!!!!!

Let me tell you something--that is enough to make me just about cry! THE PRECIOUS NAME OF OUR SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST GET'S DEFAMED AND BLASPHEMED--People think "oh!--those 'Christians!' I don't ever want to be one of them!" How SAD!!!!!

I am NOT saying that any of us are "doing" what this so-called "church" is doing---and I hope that is not the case, BUT beloved brothers and sisters in Christ, may this be a reminder to us that we MUST be REALLY CAREFUL of the testimony we lead and the life that we live! Heavenly Father, Help us!!!! (and I pray that sincerely!) The unbelieving world watches more than we know!

May the LIGHT of HIS TRUTH shine brightly in this lost world!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Word Usage of "Believe" Vrs "Trust"

Hi Everyone,

I was thinking about how salvation gets explained to people that don't yet know Christ and was thinking about the words "believe" and "trust."

Now, please don't take this wrong when you read this post! I am NOT trying to cause confusion to anyone by writing it, but rather, am writing it just to clarify some things that I have been thinking about for over the past two months! (Yes, I have delayed this post that long.)

The thing is this. The word "believe" in reference to salvation through Jesus Christ alone is used throughout the Bible, specifically it is used all throughout the gospel of John, and there isn't anything wrong with that!!

But I really prefer to use the word, "Trust" when explaining the gospel to someone.


The word "trust" is all-encompassing. It carries with it the idea of a person's need to transfer their dependence for salvation from themselves or any thing else TO CHRIST ALONE, ACCEPTING HIS PAYMENT FOR THEIR SIN AS COMPLETELY SUFFICIENT ON THEIR BEHALF. "Trust" also demonstrates that someone must use their mind (Understand WHAT AND WHO they are trusting in--Jesus Christ) and their heart and will (the act of placing their trust in Christ) for salvation. "TRUST" shows that our dependence really is IN CHRIST and not on ourselves or anything else.

Now, while the word, "believe" is still valid, I tend to not prefer it in explaining the gospel, because especially in American culture, the word "Believe" seems to really have been watered-down and taken really light-heartidly to basically not mean a whole lot. I mean this is just my opinion, but I think it has some validity.
People (and I say this word respectfully) flippantly throw it around a lot. I mean like the t-shirts that came out awhile back that said, "Just Believe!" And it's like, "yeah??? Just believe WHAT??
Or those I guess you could at times call them possibly semi-inspirational,whatever that means forwards in my in box that I tend to delete and not read that have some fairly decent message sometimes, but at the end will say, "Believe!" And again I am left thinking, "Believe What?" There isn't an object to believe in!!! It is like some Unitarian or New age "let's all get happy and believe now" thing or something like that!

And even when the word "Believe" has an object and you share the gospel and talk about "believing in Jesus Christ's death and resurrection for salvation." it is so easy for people to just spout off something like "yeah, I believe that," like it is some checklist detail that they need to "check off that they did it" without giving it much thought.

I mean only God knows people's hearts, and I am not trying to cause doubt for anyone, unless you seriously need to be thinking about where you personally stand with God, and He is trying to get your attention (and only YOU and Him know that--NOT ME!) BUT it is so easy for people to say, "Oh, I believe that!" and they may have not necessarily given their trust to Christ for their salvation, but are still depending on themselves, man-made religion, "good works," or other things to be saved.

So since "believe" can be used so casually in our culture, THAT is why I choose to use the word, "trust" when explaining the gospel.

And just a side note! If YOU ever do create an e-mail that tries to share the gospel and circulates, please don't "pitter out" at the end! SHARE THE GOSPEL GENTLY, YET COMPLETELY TRUTHFULLY, NOT WATERING IT DOWN, BUT IN LOVE AND RESPECT to those who receive it. We ALL need to take that responsibility VERY SERIOUSLY to simply share the HOPE of CHRIST that is within us...and NOT leave it "tucked away" and "kept to ourselves."

Friday, August 27, 2010

Vulnerability In Loneliness

Hi Everyone,

I just wanted to do a little post about the issue of "vulnerability in loneliness."

From personal experience in the past, I just wanted to say that at times when we are lonely there is a vulnerability and we can find ourselves in situations that we never imagined to find ourselves in--finding it very extremely easy to succumb and give in to to temptations that we never thought would be an issue when we weren't "lonely."

Now this DOES NOT MEAN that loneliness gives us an excuse to sin by any means! But it is just something to be VERY AWARE OF! You can be caught off guard and the next thing you know be found in situations or places that you never thought you would be!

Don't think, "Oh I am too strong to fall" or, "It wouldn't happen to ME!" or worse off, "I would NEVER DO THAT!!" It can happen to you! I used to think that way, but I don't anymore! (And may the Lord guard me so that I do not ever think that way again!)

Proverbs 16:18 "Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall."

There Will Be A Day

Hi Everyone,

I am doing a little better regarding the surrender issue that I mentioned yesterday-- at least I am doing better in some aspects of it. Please do keep praying--and Thank you so very much! I really do appreciate it! Remember that you can always let me know via e-mail how I can be praying for you!

I am praising the Lord for some processing that I was able to start doing today--the difference afterward is so AMAZING!!! It really is amazing to see how the Lord can heal us--transforming us to be more like Him!

I love this song! It doesn't have much to do with what I said above, except that it doe relate to some of the processing that I am doing!

There Will Be A Day! By Jeremy Camp and Jeremy Thomas

I try to hold on to this world with everything I have
But I feel the weight of what it brings, and the hurt that tries to grab
The many trials that seem to never end, His word declares this truth
That we will enter in this rest with wonders anew

But I hold on to this hope and the promise that He brings
That there will be a place with no more suffering

There will be a day with no more tears
No more pain, and no more fears
There will be a day when the burdens of this place
Will be no more, we'll see Jesus face to face
But until that day, we'll hold on to you always

I know the journey seems so long
You feel you?re walking on your own
But there has never been a step
Where you?ve walked out all alone

Troubled soul don?t lose your heart
Cause joy and peace he brings
And the beauty that?s in store
Outweighs the hurt of life?s sting

But I hold on to this hope and the promise that He brings
That there will be a place with no more suffering

There will be a day with no more tears
No more pain, and no more fears
There will be a day when the burdens of this place
Will be no more, we'll see Jesus face to face
But until that day, we'll hold on to you always

I can?t wait until that day where the very one
I?ve lived for always will wipe away the sorrow that I?ve faced
To touch the scars that rescued me from a life of shame and misery
O, this is why, this is why I sing

There will be a day with no more tears
No more pain, and no more fears
There will be a day when the burdens of this place
Will be no more, we'll see Jesus face to face

There will be a day with no more tears
No more pain, and no more fears
There will be a day when the burdens of this place
Will be no more, we'll see Jesus face to face

There will be a day he will wipe away the tears
He will wipe away the tears
He will wipe away the tears
There will be a day

The BEST is YET TO COME!!! Keep pressing forward! Jesus WILL COME BACK!!!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Idle Words And Euphemisms

Hi Everyone,

Disclaimer and Warning: The following post contains some words of a euphemistic nature that might be slightly offensive to some based on how you grew up or what your personal convictions are. These words are NOT SAID in any way to mean anything derogatory or to "encourage or commend their use." But rather, they are meant to be strictly as examples, and the intent of this post is certainly NOT to cause anyone to stumble----so if you feel it may bother you, please do refrain from reading it. I am just posting this as something to make us all (MYSELF included) think about why and what we say at times. I realize that some people may have almost no issues with this, while others of us do to varying degrees----and that everyone has their own personal convictions before God. If this is the first post you've ever read, I recommend you to read a few of the other ones first BEFORE reading this one. Thank you, and please know it is not my intention to offend anyone by the content below.

A euphemism is "a substitution of an expression that may offend or suggest something unpleasant to the receiver with an agreeable or less offensive expression, or to make it less troublesome for the speaker." (Wikipedia definition)

So while I was in Mexico, I was having separate conversations with a few different people at a few different points. We were basically discussing how "acceptable" euphemistic talk has become in Christian circles--it is like we have absorbed it from our culture and world system around us without giving it much thought. AND I AM JUST AS GUILTY Of THIS!!! (I've messed up at least twice today that I can recall.....and was quite convicted about it.)

We tend to use euphemistic words, sometimes out of a lack of knowing how to express our emotion, other times out of shock of what we have just heard, or for other reasons. We may pride ourselves in NOT "having a swearing problem" like those who don't know God in the world around us! But are we substituting other "lighter" words that mean the exact same thing, (or close to it) that they are saying??? And Why do we do so? Each person has to answer that question in each situation for themselves, because there may be different reasons in each case. Let's talk about this!

I think we have all been around long enough to know that "shoot" really means something else. as does "darn" or "heck." So should we as believers be saying these types of euphemism's? Do they give glory to God? Are they idle words left better to be left unsaid all together?

Now, "heck" which really is a euphemistic word for "hell" is not so much that the word "hell" is a "bad word" in and of itself. It IS a word used in the Bible to explain where those who die in their sins apart from trusting in Christ's death and resurrection on their behalf in their place will go when they die--which IS NOT a nice thought! But it is the truth! We shouldn't be sharing the gospel without making that gently yet firmly clear. But, it depends on how the word is used and in what context. Obviously telling someone to "go there" is a HORRIBLE STATEMENT THAT SHOULD NEVER Be SAID AS THE WORLD OFTEN USES IT IN ANGER. If people knew the eternal ramifications of "hell" in the world, I don't believe they would be saying that!!!

But what about "gee" or "gees" that have their reference to Jesus Christ?? is that still using His name in a disrespectful and "flippant" manner? I{ sort of tend to think so.

What about expressions like "Oh my Word!" (Does that have reference to the Word of God?) or "Oh my goodness!" (Is that somehow related to defaming the goodness of God in some way?)

What makes a bad word a bad word?

Obviously it is a matter of some personal conviction, but I guess the bottom line is that it comes down to a matter of the heart for each of us! Why are we saying what we are saying? Does it bring glory to God? Is it idle or even "slightly inappropriate speech" that we could do without? Let's ask God about it!...and seek with the Spirit of God's help to leave aside the things that we become convinced of that offend the Lord, regardless of if everyone else around us "says it or not!"

I don't want to be legalistic about it either. But honestly sometimes we need an expression to relay the shock and sadness of what we have just heardm because life isn't easy down here at times.

However, a fellow co-worker and I were talking about this subject and this person said a quote to me-not sure who said it-I will do my best to ask to give the proper credit. But the quote was along the lines of, "You can tell a culture's 'god' by the types of profane words they use."

Wow! How insightful! What are our "words" related to? many times they are related to "bathroom talk" and "sex." not as GOD intended it!) Are those some of the 'god's' of our world and American culture? I tend to think so!

And might I add that it is SO HARD to find decent movies that don't have all of that JUNK in them--or it s sad when a movie is decent but strings of inappropriate words or inuendos get thrown in and they have NOTHING to do with the movie--I mean it would have been fine without them!!!

But how many times a day do I say things that would be better left unsaid? OUCH!!! Lord help us to be careful and glorify you with our thoughts and our speech!

Luke 6:45 "The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks."

Psalm 19:14 "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer."


Hi Everyone,

It is truly a blessing (well, more than a blessing) to have Christ as a part of my life! KNOW that He is there and to KNOW that HE is more than to meet our every need....and yet we don't just come to Him when we "need something." While prayer does express our dependence upon God, it isn't just about going to Him for our needs. Having a relationship with Him is SO MUCH MORE than that! It is about HIM being glorified through us, no matter what it costs to us-it is about having a relationship with God--and it isn't a "religion" Religion is man's efforts to try to get to God, whereas having a personal relationship with God is different because it has nothing to do with man's efforts, because the key requirement of having a personal relationship with God is that each person must individually recognize that their self-efforts to gain God's approval could never be enough, but that Jesus died in our place and rose from the dead, proving that He is God. If man's efforts to gain God's approval in their own efforts were enough (and they aren't nor will they ever will be) Christ's death would have been in vain--Christ would have died for nothing--because his death would have not had a purpose. Having a personal relationship with God is not based on what we do for God, but rather what Christ did for us---Him and Him alone---and his death in our place being totally sufficient on our behalf----trusting in that and NOTHING needs to be added as "works for salvation" on our part-- ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!!!

A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP IS UNLIKE ANYTHING ELSE IN THIS WORLD--I can't think of anything that compares to it---it isn't a "religion" at all! I guess that is partly because there is no other "god" who is the One and Only true God--BUT OURS---the One who created the Heavens and the earth and has revealed Himself to us in His Word that we might KNOW Him!

So yes, WHAT I HAVE IS CHRIST......AND HE IS MORE THAN ENOUGH....but, as I say He is more than enough, there is nothing wrong with encouragement and accountability among the believers of Christ-those who have given Him their complete trust and abandoned all self-effort. We need one another-it is a vital part of how we grow!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Struggle To Surrender

Hi Everyone!

I am facing a personal issue right now--one that I don't want to discuss over the internet, but that demands much prayer.

So this current issue deals with an aspect of surrendering it to God--like I never quite imagined. It is something that I didn't expect. And, honestly, it isn't something that is easy to surrender to Him.

So I've been thinking about the whole thing od the struggle to surrender--wondering if it's OK, and wondering if it's OK for the "living sacrifice" to start trying to crawl off the altar and realize that I have to throw it back on there..again..and again....and again.

And somewhere in my struggling and questioning with the Lord, I was reminded that Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane also struggled the night before His death---and He was and STILL IS the VERY SON OF GOD.

Was it not him who pleaded with His Father and His sweat was as drops of blood saying to His Father in agony, "Take this cup from me...but not my will but YOURS be done?"

So I am thinking it is OK if we initially struggle to surrender things to God, as long as we are asking Him to truly help us get to that point-------because even in that act of surrender, WE CAN'T DO IT WITHOUT HIS STRENGTH.

My situation in comparison to His, does not compare and in reality is VERY trivial compared to His----and yet HE cares deeply about it.

May He bring my heart to the place where I am wiling to say, "Father, not my will, but YOURS be done-----and be able to leave it in HIS loving hands---that KNOW and are MORE THAN ENOUGH!!"

Matthew 26:36-46 "Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, "Sit here while I go over there and pray." He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me." Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will." Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. "Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?" he asked Peter. "Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak." He went away a second time and prayed, "My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done." When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing. Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, "Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour is near, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us go! Here comes my betrayer!"

Mark 14:32-42 "They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, "Sit here while I pray." He took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death," he said to them. "Stay here and keep watch." Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. "Abba, Father," he said, "everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will." Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. "Simon," he said to Peter, "are you asleep? Could you not keep watch for one hour? Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak." Once more he went away and prayed the same thing. When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. They did not know what to say to him. Returning the third time, he said to them, "Are you still sleeping and resting? Enough! The hour has come. Look, the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!"

Luke 22:39-46 Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. On reaching the place, he said to them, "Pray that you will not fall into temptation." He withdrew about a stone's throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done." An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow. "Why are you sleeping?" he asked them. "Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation."

It is interesting that at the last Supper Jesus STILL GAVE THANKS for the CUP---the Cup that symbolized the suffering that HE would endure. It makes me think that a part of surrendering might have to do with gratitude---for the circumstance recognizing that there is a bigger picture---and that GOD gets greater glory through our situation9s)--IR IS ALL ABOUT HIM ANYWAYS!!!

So Beloved brothers and sisters in Christ....pray for me that I might be able to surrender.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

His Eyes are On Me......My Eyes Are On Him!!!

Hi Everyone,

Psalm 33:18 "But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love."

Psalm 103:13-14 "As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust."

I love these verses. They are just two of several that affirm that God's eyes are upon me and upon the rest of us that truly fear Him. How precious and very deeply comforting it is to know that even in the hard moments of life, HIS EYES ARE ON US--AND NOTHING ESCAPES THEIR NOTICE----NOTHING. He hears our every cry, counts our every tear, and hears our every prayer acknowledging our very dependence upon Him and Him alone! As he watched over Israel without slumbering or sleeping, He watches over us---we are in His constant watch and care without any failing on His part. He KNOWS everything----ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING that concerns us and legitimately and truly CARES.

But it isn't enough that His eyes are on me. No matter what happens, I want my eyes to be fixed upon Him, because if my eyes are not fixed upon Him and I deviate my attention to other things, I can so easily end up in trouble, rather quickly.

Eyes fixed on Him even when.......I go through things that I don't understand

Eyes fixed on Him even when.......dreams that I had cherished and held close to my heart all of my life, may have a very real possibility of never becoming reality.

Eyes fixed on Him even when.......I will probably never know all of the "why's."

Eyes fixed on Him even when.......I feel like my heart could break.....


Trusting God is a process and choice moment by moment of each day that we have to make, but it doesn't mean we throw out our losses and refuse to grieve them or "spiritualize them" and pretend they don't matter. GOD CARES EVEN ABOUT THAT!!!!

The choice is YOURS.......The choice is MINE.

Will we STILL CHOOSE to, "fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." and will we continue to, "Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart." Hebrews 12:2-3

Yes, Lord. EVEN WHEN.......I go through things that I don't understand, I WILL STILL CHOOSE TO TRUST AND FIX MY EYES UPON YOU!

Yes, Lord. EVEN WHEN.......dreams that I had cherished and held close to my heart all of my life, may have a very real possibility of never becoming reality, I WILL STILL CHOOSE TO TRUST AND FIX MY EYES UPON YOU!

Yes, Lord. EVEN WHEN.......I will probably never know all of the "why's," I WILL STILL CHOOSE TO TRUST AND FIX MY EYES UPON YOU!

Yes, Lord. EVEN WHEN.......I feel like my heart could break.....YES LORD! EVEN THEN I WILL STILL CHOOSE TO TRUST AND FIX MY EYES UPON YOU!!!!

But without YOU, I can't do it! AND I am in desperate, constant need of you!


Tramsitioning Between Cultures

Hi Everyone!

I just have a few comments about transitioning cultures. I have noticed that now it is significantly easier going either direction to transition between cultures-maybe because I know that I deeply love them both and that they both have things that I enjoy and especially people that I love in them both. I love both parts when i am in one culture or another.

They both have good points and different ways of looking at situations, as well as things that aren't pleasing to God. Both cultures are made of imperfect people, of which we ALL are a part! But God loves and desires to draw all of the people, from both the Mexican and American and from all over the world, regardless of their culture, to HIMSELF.

So transitioning is becoming easier, although I admit there are things I don't understand in either one!

So I am enjoying the variety of both!

Truly the Lord has been kind and good to me and has abundantly blessed me to allow me the experience of all of this---the best of both cultures and a sense of His love for the World and for mankind as a whole!

Monday, August 23, 2010


Hi Everyone,

Just wanted to let you all know that I arrived safely back in my hometown and will write more later tomorrow. Right now my objectives are to take a shower and go to bed! But just wanted you to know I arrived safely (and NOTHING broke in the luggage) Praise the Lord!

New Creation,

The Last Thing I Did In Mexico......

Hi Everyone,

I am back in the Dallas/fort worth airport. Unfortunately my friend and I missed each other and weren't able to connect. It took forever trying to get through customs--several international flights landed at the same time. Thanks Heidi for trying to meet me though!

The last thing that I was doing in Mexico this morning at the moment that my co-wprker came to pick me up was to try to write a letter in Spanish to the lady that cleans Fernando and Flor's house to share bot my testimony and the gospel with her. She hasn't come to the point of trusting Christ yet. Pray for Senora Goya and that the Lord would draw her to himself, whether or not it is through my letter or some other way. Pray that GOd uses Fernando and Flor as they seek to be an example of Jesus' love to her, as they were to me.

I miss Mexico already, and my team, but am at the same time eagerly loking forward to all that God is going to do in the days ahead to grpw me here in the States, and use me for HIS glory, and prepare me to serve Him more effectively.

Praise I made it through customs without anything being taken

Praise My suitcase is still holding together, although pieces of plastic were falling off when I collected it from baggage claim!

Oh dear! have to go get to my flight!

See you all SOON!!

Mexico Has My Heart.....I Can't Wait To Return!

Hi Everyone,

I've thought a lot about this post. I originally wanted to do a video from Mexico, but someone's camera battery died (after the third time being charged from a team member's charger) since I have been here! So, Lord willing, My next video from Mexico will hopefully mean that we are celebrating because I have returned on a long-term basis!!

I would be lying if I didn't admit that writing this post is difficult. It isn't the easiest one to write. Don't get me wrong--I am SO THANKFUL for the opportunity that I have had to be here!! I wouldn't trade the feelings that are going to come as a result of "Missing Mexico and my team," because THAT means there is so much value here for me and that I feel that I TRULY BELONG!!!

Yes! I DO FEEL THAT I TRULY BELONG HERE!!!I love my team! I am excited and can't wait for the day---and yet am trying my best to wait patiently for the day that I will return, if these two things makes sense! It does to me!

I am thankful TO THE LORD because my days here were literally packed WITH SO MANY WONDERFUL THINGS that I wanted to do, like seeing various people, etc!! I feel I used my time well! (And I still had opportunities to blog and tell all of you about some of it.)

So to my precious team members I encourage you to keep working for the Lord and let's keep praying for each other, even while we are apart. How blessed I truly have been to be among you--YOU are my family.

And yet, for now, I look forward to serving the Lord in my hometown, continuing to get healed, to interact with church family and friends there, while we also have the opportunity.

As I have said, BOTH places ARE WONDERFUL......but oh, how my heart aches to be in MEXICO. But it isn't time yet..and I know that.

A Prayer Request: I have an appointment on Tuesday afternoon. Please pray for wisdom and discernment concerning it. There are some things that need to get figured out and resolved. Thank you!

So in a few hours I will be getting back on the plane, stopping and seeing another friend, Lord wiling as long as we connect during my layover, and then returning to my hometown later this evening.

Please also pray....

1) That nothing breaks in my luggage (some things are glass) and that my suitcase lasts the trip---(it is starting to fall apart!)

2) For clearance in customs without confiscation of anything or any problems as I do have some "food items"

3) For an opportunity to connect with my friend during my layover

4) For a good time of fellowship talking together with one of my fellow co-workers as she rides up on the bus with me to Mexico City to the airport.

5) For the Lord's timing for my return here!

Special thanks to my FIELD LEADERS for allowing the individual to skip her normal responsibilities today and come on the bus with me to the airport!!! THAT meant A LOT to me!!

Goodbye, my precious MEXICO team.......for NOW!!! I cherish you all and am honored and OVERFLOWING WITH THANKFULNESS to serve the LORD with YOU!!!

To those of you on the team that gave me the "Mexican Train" game opportunity--THANKS!!! It was a blast!!! I will have to teach my church friends and others to play that!

Hello, Church family, friends, House of Hope staff---Can't WAIT to tell you all about it!!!

I love YOU ALL!!!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Mexico----Smells Good!!!

Hi Everyone,

As I was walking along to eat the tacos tonight, I walked by a certain place that used to smell well......less than becoming---shall I say? But today it smelled really good.

There are a few possible explanations for this

1) The rainy season down here and the EXTRA abundant supply of water that we have received down here "keeps things moving" so it the former smell isn't noticed.

2) Someone did some work and replaced the broken pipes or whatever the problem was.

It was just neat to walk by there and smell the fresh flowers gently "perfuming the air" and I said to myself...."Awesome! Mexico smells good!"

Now let me say there are other places that literally have an aroma that smell awesome too.

But, like anywhere else, there are still places that smell "unbecoming."

I guess since I can actually smell again, (when I lost my taste I lost my smell as well for months), I was just REALLY TRULY APPRECIATING IT!

Mexico is a beautiful place-a different kind of beauty than the United States and the area and state where I am from, but beautiful just the same!

Mexican Tacos are the BEST in The World!

Hi Everyone,

So tonight I went out to eat tacos at my most absolute favorite place! 'Tacos De Sabores." (Tacos of Flavors) I hadn't had tacos yet like that since being here this time.

It is interesting because the last time was there was November 18th 2009, the night before I flew out from Mexico to my mission agency back in the States---to try to figure out things. And I remember it clearly, because when I had ordered the tacos, I could bo longer taste them, due to the "not eating factor," (if you are wondering what I am talking about, read the post in August 2010 called "The Unheard Part of My Testimony...til Now." So at that point I was actually extremely devastated, and of course thought I had lost my taste forever, but thankfully that is not the case!

My first thought when I bit into one of the tacos was, "Wow! This is amazing!!!"

Let me just say that if you haven't had tacos in Mexico type "Al Pastor" (no it has nothing to do with a church "Pastor"!!), you have not had real tacos.......wish we could get away with those taco stand shops in the States. YUMMY!!!!!!!!!

Sorry, American friends, MEXICAN TACOS really are better tasting when made properly!

And hey, to any of my team members, what do you say we have a taco celebration when I come back long term to celebrate. Obviously because some of us are in different areas, we might have to make it into 2 or three separate celebrations due to location!

So after I ate my "tacos al pastor", I went to the grocery store again and guess what? I made an interesting cultural discovery. Let me back up by saying that in Mexico classes start tomorrow, and I have never seen that store so busy in all of my life, especially for an evening. Everyone was buying school supplies with their kids for school at the last minute!!! I noticed this and asked a Mexican lady if this was common, and her response in Spanish was that "Yes, we tend to wait for the last minute and prefer the excitement of the chaos!" Actually, it WAS kind of fun!!!!

So after I bought a few more gifts, I went to the checkout. It was starting to get dark so I decided to take a taxi back to Fernando and Flor's house and just like my arrival in Mexico this time with having exactly enough pesos for my bus ticket from the airport to where I am now, I had exactly ENOUGH pesos to get a ride in the taxi and leave a very small tip to the driver. Pretty cool, huh! It is neat to see how God provides! He IS good!!!!

When I am Weak....Then I am STRONG!

Hi Everyone,

It is interesting how God works, isn't it?

This is part, among several other things that I was read this morning, and how many times have I quoted it?? I have no idea--but at least a few.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

It is interesting that God chooses to use suffering to transform us. It isn't something that WE would probably NOT choose in and of ourselves.

I guess the key that we have to remember is that there is a result greater than GOLD that awaits us-----it is when we suffer and are weak (in a variety of ways---and that might be different for each believer) that we KNOW THE POWER of HIS STRENGTH!!!

LORD, I WANT TO KNOW THE POWER OF YOUR STRENGTH--Made perfect in my weakness---even though it makes me ponder and realize I have not said something lightly as to what you may allow me to go through so that this can become a REALITY in my life......But help me in each moment to responds as you would, because sometimes it is SO HARD, and I hope it is OK to say that, saying it as a fact, not a complaint. Just help me to respond rightly in the midst of it, so I do not respond negatively or poorly to You or react wrongly to others. As I've said before, it is WORTH IT if it all transforms me to be a little more like YOU!!!! But help me, please help me, because I SO DESPERATELY need You!!! YOU, Lord, YOU, alone.

Peace...Sweet Peace.......

Hi Everyone,

I just can't get over the fact of what it is like to FINALLY be at peace in my life---TRUE PEACE!!!

Peace with God---knowing that I trust Him and that He has forgiven me of everything I've ever done and ever will do against Him FOREVER

Peace with my life--things of the past don't bother me so much. I have some things to work through yet, but being more and more healed on an emotional level is absolutely amazing--again it is all God's doing!

Peace with Who God created me to be---and KNOWING that I am just perfect for the plans that He has for me and that I don't have to compare myself to or try to be like anyone else.

Peace as I interact with those who are believers------realizing that I am one of them and truly belong in this great family---all around the world!!!!

Peace....sweet Indescribable is AMAZING because it comes from our God wgo wants the very best for us---and ALL of His gifts are good!

Church This Morning......

hi Everyone,

Since I was living with Fernando and Flor the last few days, I went to their church, which meets outside on their patio. It was really neat to see everyone, sing hymns of the faith, and listen to the sermon. IT was good! I had opportunity to give my testimony during the praise report and prayer time for about five minutes in Spanish as well! To God be the glory!

I am excited that in spite of being "out of the current" regarding having much Spanish practice, my Spanish seems fairly preserved. Communicating in Spanish has been extremely easy, except for the occasional missing vocabulary word. Obviously my grammar needs work as well, but one step at a time. I feel like I fit in with things though!!!

I must say again that it has been a privilege to be here---I seriously wouldn't have traded the last 12 days for anything else in the world! God has been so VERY GOOD to me!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

A GREAT Talk With my Field Leaders Today!

Hi Everyone,

I just wanted to say that being here in Mexico has indeed been a blessing. I really believe that the Lord has confirmed that I am to return according to HIS timing.

Once I got got my field leader' house, we had an INCREDIBLE HONEST heart to heart talk about so many things-----IT WAS WONDERFUL!!!!!

My field leaders (and, I believe my team as a whole) really see that the Lord has indeed transformed and changed my life. They have told me that they WANT ME TO RETURN IN THE LORD'S TIMING. YEAH!!!!!!!!!!! The door is so open and I praise the Lord for that!!!! I am so excited!! (Can you tell??)

I love it here. I love serving the Lord wherever I am, but I await with great anticipation the day that I return here long-term. MEXICO and the people, and my team will always be in my thoughts and prayers---and I am NOT just saying that as some cliche. I MISS THESE PEOPLE LIKE CRAZY WHEN I AM NOT WITH THEM!!!!

So praise the Lord for the wonderful conversation I had with my field leaders and for our desire as a team to grow in areas of more healthy communication...TOGETHER!!!!

God is so good! He REALLY is!!!

After I went to my field leader's place, and after we had talked about two hours or so, I went to my co-worker's house, discovered I had accidentally mis-understood our time that she had planned to have lunch with me, BUT amazingly, God provided ahead of time for my mis-thought of her communication because another brother in Christ called her last night and invited her to celebrate his birthday with his family. She asked if I could come along, and he said "yes!" (In MEXICO the more you have present to celebrate, especially in CHRIST, the better it is!) So when I got to her house around 3:00 and she wasn't there, I called her cellphone and she explained the situation and the invitation to the birthday party. So she came by from the store, picked me up, and we went together.

I didn't know anyone there, but they were brothers and sisters in Christ, so it was awesome! I have noticed how neat it is that I am so much more "in tune and present" in conversations that are happening at the moment now, instead of focusing on "me, myself, and I" (YUCK!!)

While I was there, one of the ladies mentioned that she is interested in serving the Lord in missions possibly in the future, so my co-worker was able to share with her about the cross cultural training program that we have when she gets to that point, and they are going to keep in touch and talk further. But the neat thing was that I was also able to encourage her as well and gave her my e-mail incase she wants to ever talk further, and I was just able to share some of my experience with her and answer a few questions and things that she had as well. So THANK THE LORD for using me in that way!!! THE GLORY IS HIS!!!!

Then I did some more shopping for gifts and things, took a taxi back to Fernando and Flor's house, and the moment I got HOME, it began to rain really hard! So Praise the Lord for HIS generous and gracious timing in that. And some Mexican believers that were here for discipleship needed the taxi that I had literally just arrived in the moment I arrived!!



My "Retirement Plan" IS in Heaven!

Hi Everyone,

One thing I have been thinking about over the past few days is about serving the Lord out of gratitude for the rest of my life because I am so thankful for everything that He has done for me, by dying on the cross in MY place.


I was talking to someone the other day about this. I told her that at this point I don't ever plan to stop working for the Lord and intend to as long as He gives me the strength, health, ability, and opportunity to do so.

I am not against anyone that decides to retire--especially in American culture, people do so for a variety of reasons. Nor is it my intention to sound "more spiritual (whatever that means, because God doesn't "compare us" to each other. He calls us each to walk with Him and obey Him and each one of us will give an account to Him and Him alone. But I was thinking about how my personal retirement plan is really IN HEAVEN--and even then I will still be joyously serving Jesus (as all of us who are Believers will be) FOREVER--for all eternity!!!!

Isn't THAT exciting?? I think it sounds like FUN!!!

So whether you are "retired" or still "in the workforce" or "in ministry" or WHATEVER GOD HAS CALLED YOU TO DO AND WHEREVER HE HAS PLACED YOU, I want to encourage you to serve JESUS with all your heart to the best of your ability, obeying HIM--because HE IS worthy of that!----BECAUSE OUR "RETIREMENT PLAN" IS IN HEAVEN!!

Praise the Lord--to HIM be the glory-THE BEST IS YET TO COME!!!

GOOD Morning From MEXICO

HI Everyone,

I have to make this really quick because I am "overdue" to be at my field leader's house for a meeting! (Oh dear! Crystal is "late" already-- hey, can I just try to use the "I am trying to be not so time oriented as we are here in Mexico" excuse????

Well, after I arrived at Fernando and Flor's last night, we went out to eat at a really good restaurant-----this is as in I FOUND A REALLY GOOD RESTAURANT THAT I LOVE so I can eat there once in awhile when I come back here---just need some friends to eat out there with though!!!

Slept awesome last night--Praise the Lord!

Had an awesome breakfast of my absolute favorite Mexican Chilaquiles----(not sure if I spelled that right!) Flor had made some yesterday and left and kept some to reheat for me this morning!!! YUM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was reading through Hebrews chapter 11 and 12 this morning--awesome stuff--the testimony of those that had faith in Jesus Christ and God's promises before us!!!

Well, all of that said I AM STILL LOVING IT HERE. I will write more later tonight, but REALLY need to get going to my field leader's house to spend some time with them! I hope they are not wondering where I am at!

HAVE A WONDERFUL DAY!!!!! See you all (those of you in the states) soon-I have TONS of pictures to show you!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Today's MEXICO Update!

Hi Everyone,

Today was a pretty neat day! It started out with a neat time with the Lord in the morning and after that I went to the big market in Cuernavaca with a co-worker. I was looking for something special to take back, but the recipe of the food treat item had changed and it wasn't even worth the trouble to buy it. :(

Then my co-worker had to get back home for some things she needed to do, so I wandered around taking pictures of the zocalo (town square plaza) and I went over to the tourist-y silver market to buy a few gifts. I also found an awesome butterfly bracelet for myself-thought it was appropriate for the "I AM A NEW CREATION" reality!!!!

After realizing I should not be in the tourist market anymore (you can spend a lot of money in there really quick if you aren't careful), I started walking around a little more and ran into a guy who paints beautiful pictures on plates, coins, and other things. (He is about the only guy I've ever shared the gospel with--totally safe public environment out in the open with people walking by constantly) I had shared the gospel with him as a short-termer. Well today, it was amazing because we talked for over an hour about the gospel!!! And I just kept praying and asking the Lord how to respond next because he kept coming back with more and more questions. Please pray for Javier. Some things he said made me think he is so close to coming to Christ, and yet obviously in other ways in a lot of confusion yet. It was so exciting though--my heart just jumped with joy as he talked more and more, asking and asking and asking.

But I had to go because I was late for a lunch appointment with some friends.

There was another lady I got to share the gospel with that I bought some gifts from as well.

So eventually, after some confusion over a changed bus stop, I got to my friends house for lunch! It was great to sit around their table, take some photos together, and just talk and get caught up. I shared my testimony of what God has done recently with them as well. IT WAS AWESOME!!!!

Now I need to go because I need to head over to Fernando and Flor's house for the night and finish packing some things first.

I am having a blast down here---can't wait til I come back long term!! I totally LOVE it here! It isn't perfect by any means though! (And yes, I love life in my hometown too, but being here is like extra special---somehow!! --I LOVE MEXICO!!!!)

Three Incredible Months!

Hi Everyone,

Sometimes when I think about it, it absolutely amazes me!

I can't believe t has been roughly two months since Lord did HIS transforming work in my heart and life.

I am really enjoying it--the relationship, everything I am learning, the peace, the joy, the assurance.

To God and God alone be the glory--because as I have said over and over.......


I am continuing to truly look forward to what He is going to do in the days, weeks, months, and Lord willing, years ahead in my life.

Please pray that I stay close to I pray that for you!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

My Greatest Intentions......Fall Short!

Hi Everyone,

Revelation 4:11 "You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being."

Have you ever thought about the fact that God is worthy of totally ALL the GLORY--I mean He is worthy of so much more than we can ever give Him and yet we pray that by our lives He truly does get a tiny fraction of a bit of the glory that He deserves. And yet at the same time, we know that our greatest intentions to give God the glory that He deserves totally fall short of being anything near the amount of glory that He is worthy to receive.

But even so, we come humbly before Him, offering Him our very lives as living sacrifices, and we realize that with everything we do, we long to see Jesus Christ get the glory He deserves-however "small" that may seem to us, or maybe better said however small or big it really is to God, which of course only He truly knows.

I find myself praying over and over "Lord, show me how to live this life so that YOU receive the maximum amount of glory possible from my life."

It is also a truly an awesome wonder that GOD IS ABLE TO RECEIVE GLORY FROM OUR LIVES AL ALL!! He doesn't need us for anything and yet HE CHOOSES to use us, and is somehow able to receive glory from our lives as we live in obedience to Him, loving Him because He loved us first,while we were yet sinners separated from Him because of our sin, and as a result of His Transformational power at work in us, we desire and seek to live our lives in accordance with the Word of God. We no longer live for ourselves, but we live as unto Him, prayerfully growing and being continually molded into His image.

I can't imagine living the rest of my life for anyone or anything other than Jesus Christ alone!!

...Even if that means that life doesn't "turn out" like I had hoped. Somewhere in the last few days, it may have even been at our mini-conference, I heard a quote that made me think. Honestly, I don't have a clue who said it, but the quote was something along the lines of, "God is a lot more interested in our character being transformed, than He is in our personal 'comfort.'"

So even though I said above that, "I can't imagine living my life for anyone or anything else other than Christ," I find myself asking a question to my heart. "Am I Willing, and are we willing to live a life where God gets all of the glory no matter what that means to us?? It could mean some very hard, unexplained, and difficult things in our lives. God did not promise us as believers that life was going to be a "walk in the park." Scripture very clearly illustrates and demonstrates the exact opposite.

But somehow, realizing that He truly gets glory in the end from it all makes it all worth it to me. Does it to you, dear friend? It is such a new perspective for me on life and so many other things!


To God be the glory!! What else can I say? To God be ALL the glory because He IS a jealous God, and He will NOT share it (His glory) with another!!!

Isn't it interesting, and yet so VERY SAD that man in this world, often apart from Christ, but maybe even sometimes with Him in our lives, if we get our eyes off of Him, thinks that the greatest thing they could ever want is glory for themselves?

But the TRUTH is that it is a secret delight when we truly discover that there is a precious sweetness to fading humbly (we hope!) into the background and serving Jesus with our whole hearts-----and it gives us great peace and joy-----BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT HE IS WORTHY OF!!!!!

To give God glory----and to have a personal relationship with Him---these are the thing you and I were created for!!!!!

Exodus 34:14 "Do not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God."

Look at the apostle Paul's words to the Corinthians. Paul writes to them his deep thoughts towards them.

2 Corinthians 11:2-3 "I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent's cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ."

Jesus Christ is worthy that we live a life of holiness as the Word says, (partly because they are HIS words to us) and may NOTHING EVERlead us astray from our simple and pure devotion to Him, not ministry, the "teachings" of others who are not born again, daily living, NOTHING


Revelation 5:9-10 And they sang a new song: "You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth."

Traditions vrs What the Word of God REALLY Says

Hi Everyone,

I have been thinking about something. I don't want to sound like I am accuse anyone by saying this, but I am just thinking about how sometimes with certain topics or issues in the body of Christ, it is so easy for us, as EVANGELICAL BELIEVERS to sometimes stick to our "traditions" rather than to what the Word of God says. I realize there are reasons why things are done certain ways, but I guess it is just something I am thinking about to just continue to encourage us ALL to stay in and/or get back to the Word of God, to rightly divide and apply the Word of Truth---making sure we are seeking to apply it to our lives. In these days that we are living in, this is especially crucial, critical, and important.

Blessings to you all--May the LORD continue to transform and grow us ALL!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Little "Heart Checks"

Hi Everyone,

The last time I knew, My physical heart appeared to be working just fine----I mean I am obviously alive!! But I wanted to write about something else---a different kind of "Heart Check"

One thing that amazed at conference was how many times the Spirit of God gently prompted me giving me "heart checks" about times where my heart attitude wasn't right or was "getting off." And this included times where maybe the other person didn't even have a clue, but I knew in and of myself and was gently convicted about an attitude or thought towards someone, or maybe just having a sense that my general attitude was getting to that "not pleasing to God" point.

I hope and pray I will always be sensitive this way to the Lord before things become well nasty. Bu I guess in a sense it really is nasty to God when we sin, even when only Him and us know. I mean it "isn't OK" or something to "blow over." We NEED TO TAKE CARE OF THINGS RIGHT AWAY WITH HIM---THAT IS A KEY TO WALKING IN PEACE AND JOY and having the humility to talk to someone else if we think we may have offended them, if needed.

So I am thankful foe the "heart checks" that God have me over these last three days and a willingness to admit where I have been wrong, to others, as necessary. As I said, I pray it continues, and that I NEVER lose this.

Will you pray that for me? Maybe we should pray that for one another.

We must also remember that we can't "do the Holt Spirit's work for Him and can't nor should we in and of ourselves try to replace that work in others, We need to trust that He will work in the life of the other person, However, this DOES NOT MEAN we avoid talking to others about sin or other things as GOD directs us, in TRUTH and LOVE, and with REALITY AS GOD SEES IT.

Lord, make us sensitive to Your Holy Spirit at work in us, and please do continue to give us those "heart checks" so that we can be further transformed to become more like You----and live lives that bring glory to You!

Back From Conference..Still In Mexico

Hi Everyone,

I am back from our mini conference! It was truly a JOY to be with the team and to be able to be at out camp and ministry center property again! It felt like home''Like I had never left! Being at conference really was something that God used to confirm so many things to my heart. When I was with the team all together, it felt like family--I had never quite sensed it like that before! I guess since I am a part of the family now, and am assured and certain of that now, it makes a BIG difference.

Thanks for your prayers regarding my attitudes and responses regarding communication. I really saw some neat progress, was able to sincerely apologize immediately upon blowing it, and obviously still need the Lord to work on me just like the rest of us!

There was some really truly useful information that I gained from conference--some practical stuff to apply to my life personally in aspects of daily living. As I said, it was so good to be there. A personal precious moment in conference was this morning when my team had a time of prayer and dedication of my life to the Lord for me, recognizing the truly transformational work that GOD has done in my heart and life and also praying for His timing regarding my return. It was all for His glory! It was good to pray about many things through our prayer times together.

Please pray for wisdom as to how to use my next four days here, being able to visit people that the Lord wants me to spend time with, do errands and find things that I would like to bring back for a variety of reasons, for a talk with my field leaders on Saturday morning in deeper detail, since we didn't quite get that one-on-one time to talk fully during conference as we desired. In the midst of running errands and visiting others, pray also for adequate time with Fernando and Flor, and that they would truly KNOW that I love and deeply appreciate them, in the midst of the fact that it appears I will be missing several meals with them and things, do to other planned visits. Thank you!

It may soon start raining here so I may have to quit for the night, but I have several posts waiting to write regarding insights and thoughts on things that I am learning down here as I continue to grow.

I plan to spend a few hours writing in the next day or two, to get some of the insights and thoughts out of my head and share them with you all!


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Praise and a Prayer Request

Hi Everyone!

I still have internet access. My co-worker and I do not leave for conference until about 2:00 p.m. So I have some time to write a few things that I have been thinking of.

I have a praise and a prayer request.

PRAISE!! I had a WONDERFUL time at my co-worker's church this morning! The singing and preaching was really something I could grow and learn from (and ALSO the church is VERY CLOSE to the woman's house where I may be living when I return!!) I think it seriously might be a REAL POSSIBILITY of where I may attend when I come back long-term. OBVIOUSLY, this is majorly in the future since we don't even know when I am going to return quite yet, but please pray with me about this possibility. I will have to investigate a little more and things and learn more about the church obviously as well. Thank you for your prayers regarding this matter.

PRAYER REQUEST--Praise God for some discipleship that I am receiving from my co-worker while being here--MUCH NEEDED and VERY HELPFUL regarding the whole communication aspect. This is more of a long-term prayer request--but pray for my continued growth in learning to communicate and a sensitive spirit and heart towards receiving instruction and guidance that way.

I have realized that many times when I interrupt, it is normally not done out of an intention to be rude (although the other person certainly could take it that way and be offended). But rather, often I interrupt because their words trigger a thought in me that relates to whatever we are discussing, and I get scared that I am going to "lose the thought," so I interrupt. BUt do pray that i would see some growth and progress in this area, that ai would listen first to the other person completely, and then respond, because I DON'T WANT ANYONE getting the perception or feeling that what they have to say is not important.

Thank you so much for praying about these two matters! I appreciate you and your patience towards me means so much!

The Latest Scoop

Hi Everyone,

Here we are in the very early first moments of Sunday morning!

I am looking forward greatly to attending church IN SPANISH with my co-worker at 9:00 a.m. Sounds like a neat group of believers to fellowship with, based on what I have heard from my co-worker.

So here is the scoop regarding internet access and conference.

I am NOT expecting to have internet access after about 9:00 Sunday morning until Wednesday evening.


Therefore, I DO NOT EXPECT to update this blog again until Wednesday evening. I DO plan on taking "free moments" when I am not busy communicating with team members to be able to blog my thoughts in a Microsoft Word Document by day and post them (HOPEFULLY WITH PICTURES----and maybe some video clips if acceptable and appropriate), ON WEDNESDAY Afternoon (as soon as I have internet access to do so.)

So I have NOT forgotten about the blog or all of you.

Please pray over the days of our mini conference which starts 7:00 p.m. Sunday Night, for the following................

1) Spirit-led discussions, decisions, and interaction amongst us all as a team.

2) For those that are coming and are new and have not attended a conference with us on the team before. Pray that they would truly feel welcome and would be TRULY blessed to be with us.

3) Special wisdom for all of those who are leading conference in any way, whether it be giving a devotional, leading worship, or leading discussion times or business sessions.

4) For a special time of refreshment and encouragement for all who attend.

5) For good communication and good communication, and good communication amongst one another. (I think you get the picture!) For the ability to truly listen and hear one another, and respond in ways that acknowledge the other person/people and truly to be able to respond in ways that both glorify the Lord and build up the other individual(s).

6) For whenever I share my testimony during mini-conference of what God has done in my life to the group. Pray that God would lead as I share with them, that it would truly GLORIFY THE LORD, and for clear thought on my part, and accurate concise responses if anyone has questions.


Saturday, August 14, 2010

Really A Simple Thought......

Hi Everyone,

This is really a simple thought, but something that I have been thinking of today is this.

One thing that really points to the goodness of God towards us is how He has created this earth with everything that we need to survive and be provided for. I mean, I guess what kind of provoked this thought was a conversation with another co-worker yesterday about how different foods provide and help with different needs. I mean, it is so cool that God has made foods to have different types of natural characteristics such as watermelon being a natural diuretic, for example, or blueberries being filled with antioxidants. And how something so simple, like eating a variety of foods for nutrition, as God intended, gives our bodies what we need, so that they hopefully function better and in turn, we are able to serve the Lord, hopefully better, because things are working correctly.

But it all goes back to giving Glory to the One and Only Creator that has created all of these things that we need to begin with----BECAUSE HE IS WORTHY OF THAT!!!

And the various foods that God created for us is JUST ONE ASPECT included in the truth that God created this earth to contain what we need to live (from a physical standpoint.)

And aside from the physical aspect, there is also the Spiritual aspect, which is even greater, because God sent Jesus Christ to die in our place for our sins on the cross. Jesus had lived a perfect life without sin, and came to bridge the gap that you and I could never make right because of our sin against the One and Only Holy and perfect God. AND THIS IS OUR DEEPEST NEED!! To trust Jesus Christ's provision on the cross for us as the full-once and for all---all sufficient payment for our sin. Jesus Christ is God, and He rose from the grave proving that fact.


Mexico--Update For Today!

Hi Everyone,

I just wanted to say and re-iterate the fact that I am still really enjoying my time in Mexico. I love being here! All of this is such an answer to prayer! God has been so very faithful, and so very good to me!

My day has been filled with many awesome things, including a few really good and honest heart to heart discussions with the co-worker whose apartment I am currently staying at, baking some goods for our mini-conference, relaxing, doing laundry, reading some important items for which we need to be informed of in preparation for conference, some time in prayer, time worshiping and praising God through singing worship songs with a co-worker as she prepares worship songs for a session of worship that she is leading at conference, and of course updating my blog right now while I have a chance.


I am truly thankful for the opportunity to be here....and at the same time eagerly await the Lord's timing for my return here in the future.

May the Lord bless you all!

Serve Him with all of your heart, wherever you are, TODAY!!!!

Friday, August 13, 2010

More Very Quick Thoughts From Today!

Hi Everyone,

I am absolutely loving it here in Mexico. I just had lunch with Fernando and Flor, (the couple I had lived with prior to living on my own in the bungalow), and told them my testimony, and now they gave me a few minutes to access the internet while they are doing a few other things. It is truly SO GOOD to be here! I love it!!!! It is going too fast already! But, oh, am I ever enjoying it!

One thing that I forgot to say about my trip in the airport last night is that when I bought the ticket for the bus from Mexico City to Cuernavaca, it cost me 150 pesos (about 14 dollars) And it was amazing because 150 pesos ended up being exactly the amount that I had, and the guy that helped me with my suitcase at the airport refused a tip. (Which I really did want to and had intentions of totally tipping him for his help and kindness.

So from here, in about an hour, I will head over to my field leader's house for a few hours and from there we will talk some, try to find some of my much needed belongings for use at mini-conference, and from there will spend the night at another female co-worker's home, until we have conference starting this Sunday night.

After conference, I taklked to Fernando and Flor and they have given me their permission to stay at their house for the last few days after conference, before I return to my hometown in the states. The time will go so fast, but it already has been so so VERY ENRICHING to just share and be with people.

I REALLY DO LOVE IT HERE!!!!!!!!!!!! And I am so thankful to be here---and it makes sense as to why I miss both places (home in the states and home in Mexico) when I am not in one or the other. THEY BOTH ARE WONDERFUL GIFTS FROM GOD!!! What a privilege He has given to me!

Humbly, I say, thank you again for praying! More updates to come in the days ahead!

Post "Above the Clouds" has been updated

Hi Everyone,

For those of you that may have read my "above the Clouds" post yesterday in the Dallas/Fort Worth airport, I have updated it with some further thoughts just incase you want to read it.

Blessings in the Lord,
New Creation,

The Flight and Arrival To Mexico

Wow Everyone!!

God is SO good!!!!!!!!

It is all about Him! Let me tell you the story of how He took care of me and provided yesterday during my flights. (for those of you that already read the previous post, "Above the clouds" I will be updating that this morning later. I have some things to add.)

So, after I got to the Dallas/Fort Worth airport, I spent a lot of time hanging out and observing people-it is so much fun to observe people at the airport! Anyways, I was dilly dallying around and finally leisurely went over to my terminal, being pretty confident that I knew which gate I was at, because I had checked the monitors to be able to know. Well, I spent quite a bit of time hanging out in terminal D and all of the sudden realized it was 5:43 and my flight was suppose to boarding the plane at 5:45, but there had not been a single announcement about my flight.

I realized I really needed to find a monitor and figure out what was up ASAP and was almost starting to panic for a second, because I thought, "Oh NO! What if I miss my flight?!" But I told myself to calm down and that somehow God would work this out! I went over to the monitor and all of the sudden was so confused because my flight information had been changed.

And then there was a stewardess standing by the monitor, and thinking that she would be able to help, I asked her about it. She took a look at my ticket, and told me to come with her because she was going the same place and my gate had changed all the way to the other side and end of terminal D. There was another passenger, who was a woman, that was confused too, so that the stewardess basically took us both along with her! I've never been that confused about finding a flight before.

Meanwhile, we discovered that our flight was like at least half an hour delayed. So I began to talk with the woman that had been confused too, got to share a little but about my faith in Christ, and many other things-in Spanish, because that is what she spoke!

I began to get more and more excited as our gate area began to be filled with more and more Spanish speakers and soon I was surrounded by 95% Spanish.

Then out flight got delayed yet again, but the gate stayed the sane.

Finally, we boarded the plane, but then we had to wait because the luggage guys had some mix ups.

Aboard the plane, I was seated by the window (praise the Lord!) and two men were seated in the row with me, one that I had talked to some throughout the whole day because he had also gotten on at the plane at my original beginning of the trip. So I had a little bit of an opportunity to share with him, being careful and trying to be appropriate in all interactions, of course. But it was neat to be able to share.

Now, once we finally we able to pull away from the gate (after praying earnestly for the luggage guys that they would figure out their issue so that everyone's belongings would get on that plane,) I began to sob and cry and cry and sob. It was a good thing I was back towards where the motors or whatever was behind the wings, so no one had to listen. And it was a good thing I had a window to look out of. :)

But I was crying tears of joy and gratitude, because God had done such an amazing work in my life, and that was the ONLY reason I was physically, emotionally, and spiritually even going back to Mexico. And I was thinking of the privilege of being able to serve the Lord, and be with my precious team these next thirteen days. It was awesome, you all---just reflecting on all that God has done in my life these (almost) last three months. IT REALLY IS BECAUSE OF HIM THAT I AM HERE IN MEXICO RIGHT NOW!!!

So flying into Mexico city an hour and a half behind (almost) in the dark, was amazing. It was so cool to see all of the lights of the city (like Chicago, but MUCH BIGGER!), and to think about all the people that Mexico City represents and all of the people that God loves and longs to bring to Himself.

Upon arriving in Mexico City, I was granted a 180 day (six month) visa (Um, as a joke, but half serious, can I stay and use it the whole 180 days, please?) Actually we KNOW it isn't quite God's timing for that yet, BUT OH! HOW I LONG TO STAY!!!!! And I will at the right time.

After going through immigration, I grabbed my luggage and went through customs, without any problems, no suitcase searches, even though I had various packaged food items for people on my team. (and by the way there was nothing that would have been unacceptable.) But it was just nice not to have been "searched" again.

So I got on the bus to go from Mexico City to Cuernavaca, and one of the same guys that had been on the plane, seated in my row, was also on the bus. So a few of us were chatting up near the front for awhile, but then peaceful sleep overcame me and I fell asleep the rest of the way, until I woke up, just long enough to wonder where I was, which was actually about seven minutes away from the Cuernavaca bus station. The couple from my Mexico team had so graciously waited almost three hours for me to arrive! That was precious of them to do that!

So here I am in Mexico- our mini-conference starts Sunday night. The temperature is so refreshing and cool outside-a real break from the humidity in Iowa!!!

I love it here----I really love it here. It feels like the hard stuff that I went through never happened----and BEST OF ALL, IT FEELS LIKE I AM TRULY AT HOME!!!!!!!!! I love hearing the familiar sounds of the culture and life here again!!! I love BOTH parts of my life---in the states and here!

Praise the Lord for HIS good gifts, which for me, include these next days in Mexico--with my team---and I am eager to enjoy every moment of them!!!!