Saturday, October 29, 2011
I wouldn't say that I have any spiritual children like John did at the time of writing his letter, but there are a few "great joys" of my heart!
1) Last weekend the grandfather of two of the youth in my church passed away. I loved the fact that the whole youth group showed up to be a support and encouragement to the two youths and the family. One of my great joys is seeing how the youth care for one another---and they do it because they truly care. It isn't that our youth group is perfect or anything, but I just love seeing Christ's love in action.
2) Another one of my "great joys" is seeing my friend Conchita respond to God's truth. She was a Catholic many years before finally trusting in Christ after the accident three years ago---and from that previous background still has little areas where she believes things that she was always told, but those things don't line up with Scripture. It's really cool to chat with her on some of these topics, discuss how I haven't found such and such an area in Scripture, and come back a few days later seeing that she has searched it out in the Bible for herself and saying, "What I always was told was true isn't in the Bible-----according to the Bible it's like this....."
In the midst of great joys, there are challenges. I have been asked to disciple someone that seems to have no interest in that process, Pray that God would work in this person's life---or maybe that I am just wrong in how I am perceiving things. I would love to be wrong in my thinking in this case!
Pray for strength in moments where my heart is grieved---and that every moment would be lived to the absolute fullest and for God;s glory!
It is a privilege to be here in Mexico! Thank you so much for your prayers!
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
One of my favorite things from home that I miss when I am here is Jiffy blueberry muffin mix. I have been notorious for bringing boxes of the mix with me through customs and people have sent it in care packages at times. I had never been successful in finding it at stores here.
Yesterday, however, I used my day off to invite one of the girls from youth group over to hang out and see where I live.
I got out one of the three remaining boxes that I had of the Jiffy blueberry muffin mix thinking that if my friend came wanting something to eat, mid morning before lunch, I could make her blueberry waffles. I set the box of mix on my dresser so I would remember to offer it.
Well, it ended up she couldn't come until the afternoon. In the course of the afternoon, after we had eaten lunch she mentioned the box of blueberry mix and asked where I had bought it.
I told her I had brought it from the States and wondered how in the world she knew about Jiffy Blueberry muffin mix--as far as I knew I had looked and never seen it sold in stores.
"I know where to get that here in Mexico!" she said
I was all excited asking "Where? Where?"
She mentioned a grocery store across town that I had noticed in the past carries some imported items I can't find anywhere else. I guess it must also be the one store where I never checked the baking section!
Today after work, I just HAD to go check it out!
And sure enough, I got a little overexcited and came home with six boxes of my favorite blueberry muffin mix! They are sure to last quite awhile!
Wow! I can buy my blueberry muffin mix here in Mexico for about 20 cents more a box! I think blueberry waffles are in order for my breakfast tomorrow morning! YUM!!!!!! Who wants to join me?
A taste of home! And yes, my friend still wants blueberry waffles some Saturday morning at her house.
God is good!
Saturday, October 22, 2011
I am enjoying my sweet little cockatiels. They seem to have adjusted very well. I still am pondering what their names will be.
I am always amazed at the littlest one. Whenever he or she sees me anywhere near the door of the cage, she runs towards the door and climbs up on my hand at the moment I open the cage door. She wants time with me.
It is as if her actions say something like, "I trust you and can't wait to be with you!"
You know what? It is amazing to see the trust of these birdies. I mean when you think about it, we are so much bigger and powerful than they are---and yet they nestle down in my hand without fear. And they are trusting and depending on someone to give them everything they need and to take care of them in ways that they can't, such as continually providing fresh food, water, and a clean disinfected environment to live in.
You know it's sort of like us and God in a way. It is easy for humanity to think they are independent of God, but that isn't true-He is the one that has provided and keeps sustaining everything on the earth with His control--and without that we wouldn't be able to survive.
But it goes deeper than that. In a sense it is like God wants us to be like that little bird-resting and trusting--nestled in his powerful hand. To God, in our actions are we like that little bird eager to spend time with Him, saying, "I trust you and can't wait to be with you!"
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
I will never cease to be amazed at God's goodness to me-the little ways that he shows that He knows about the desires of our hearts.
In August my cockatiel had died. At first I basically decided it wasn't worth the cost when they kept dying so quickly--not to mention the emotional loss. Olga had also asked me not to get another one.
It was all quite sadly settled-no more pets for me. But I began to notice as the weeks went by that having a bird had so many advantages that I was now missing. I noticed real changes in my morale and tended to constantly throw myself into my work without taking time to just enjoy things and take a break. The last three weeks of August were truthfully some the hardest I had had since returning to Mexico in January. I began praying about talking to Olga again about the things I had realized and the positive reasons for having another bird.
But yet at the same time I was thinking that even if perhaps she would give me permission, I didn't know where I was going to get a bird from. I refused to buy from a pet store again and decided that I would only buy if somehow I could find a hand fed breeder here in Mexico. My other secret prayer request from the depths of my heart was that the breeder would be a Christian. And of course I needed Olga's permission. I thought the chances for all of these things to "line up" were next to impossible--I had looked before regarding a breeder--finding no one. But I prayed these things specifically
Finally God opened up natural opportunity for me to chat with Olga in which she gave me permission to get another bird, preferring it wasn't a cockatiel because she felt they were fragile. The amazing thing was that later that evening after the conversation-I found a breeder that hand feeds birds about an hour away from where I am living.
I began talking with the lady (the breeder) on the phone and e-mailing. I recounted the situations about my previous birds deaths, we discussed things that are hazardous to them etc. I also in my free time was doing extensive research as much as possible.
And then I was even more amazed one night when Maria, the breeder, added me as a friend on facebook--and looking at her interests and facebook page, I was able to tell one very clear thing----she was a believer!!!!! Everything in my heart was just going "Yeah God! You are doing it! You are giving me the desire of my heart!"
Later on just before our team mini conference, I talked with Olga again. I told her I was getting another bird, told her the situation that I had found---and expressed my desire to specifically get a cockatiel with the reasons why to which she said yes--provided that I asked questions about it's care and all to male sure I am doing things right.
On Monday, I went and picked up my dear precious additions to my room-Originally I just wanted one only but these two are from the same family and have never been apart--and I didn't want the one being lonely on those days that I leave at 8:00 am and don't get back til close to 9:00 in the evening.
They are eight weeks old--I still have not named them yet. They fit in the palm of my hand. (well one at a time does) They are tame, precious, and sweet.
I want to enjoy them while I have them, and since I bought them from a much better source this time, I hope they will be around longer.
I think the thing that amazes me and even gives greater joy than having the birds is knowing that God worked out that whole process so perfectly as only He could have! I feel so loved by Him and I know in a very tangible way that he cares about my heart---all the way down here in Mexico. I knew that before but wow--it was just so neat to see Him bring it all together!
And not only that-I've developed a friendship with Maria-and she said if I ever want to go to her place to just get away, I could do that. And I am delighted to be able to encourage and bless her.
So here are the pictures you are all waiting for--welcome home baby birdies!
Friday, October 14, 2011
So yesterday I had quite the interesting conversation with someone yesterday about why they believed what they believed. It is pretty scary when a whole doctrine gets based on a single bible verse that is not interpreted with the whole light and teaching of the Bible in mind. Everything I learned yesterday was about enough to have me start another cultural paper. Please pray that God would give me wisdom as I have opportunities to talk with people and that I would know how to respond to things that people say. Sometimes knowing the right response is challenging.
Other than that, tomorrow I begin discipling a lady in my church named Karen. Pray that we could both grow in the Lord together-and that I could be a friend to her as well-somehow I sense she may need a friend.
Also on Saturday I am going to attempt an informal English conversation time with kids from the youth group that are interested. Pray that it would be a fun time together and that it could be something truly beneficial to the youth that attend.
God is good! Thank you for your prayers!
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Thanks for praying about my trip to Mexico City on Monday. I found out that I need to have a different piece of paper in order to get my visa-so when I have that in a month or so, I will go again.
Things are busy here. I am finishing up a few things for the women's bible study this afternoon in charge of a part of it.
Thanks for your prayers--will write more soon.
Monday, October 10, 2011
This song is floating through mt head right now--probably for various reasons.
Hold Me Jesus by Rich Mullins
Well, sometimes my life
Just don't make sense at all
When the mountains look so big
And my faith just seems so small
So hold me Jesus,
'cause I'm shaking like a leaf
You have been King of my glory
Won't You be my Prince of Peace
And I wake up in the night and feel the dark
It's so hot inside my soul
I swear there must be blisters on my heart
Surrender don't come natural to me
I'd rather fight You for something
I don't really want
Than to take what You give that I need
And I've beat my head against so many walls
Now I'm falling down, I'm falling on my knees
And this Salvation Army band
Is playing this hymn
And Your grace rings out so deep
It makes my resistance seem so thin
You have been King of my glory
Won't You be my Prince of Peace (2x)
Saturday, October 8, 2011
Yesterday I found the best cheap decorations to complete my room with the purple flowers painted on the white walls
Purple glittery butterflies that are suppose to be Christmas decorations. I always wanted a room with flowers and butterflies!
The door to my room looks like this:
Anyways, I was pretty excited!
Oh and just a prayer request--Monday I go to Mexico City to start my visa process-pray that the first of my paperwork gets accepted without any issues. Thanks and blessings to you all!
Friday, October 7, 2011
There are many things that I appreciate about the people and culture here. One of those many things is the effort and tendency towards creativity to take normal things and make them beautiful when maybe some of us would just throw it away. Another thing I love is the color-lots of things are bright and colorful.
This afternoon, for example, I went to a little restaurant to eat lunch for something different by the town square. And here was what the table I sat at looked like (I sat by the big butterfly, of course!)
Here was the center of my table-isn't this neat!
So the waitress looks at me with this smile while I am taking pictures of my table-- as if people do this every day--but then I really started feeling like a crazy tourist when I started taking pictures of other tables (where no one was seated of course!)
Don't you just love the lady bug?
It amazes me that people on the planet have that kind of patience to piece little squares together one by one out of mosaic and create something out of it that looks quite aesthetic! I would never have that kind of patience. This actually is an art form here in Mexico but I don't have the name of the art form at the moment. Pretty neat, huh?
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
I've been thinking a lot lately about treasuring Christ. Nothing---not our position, what we own in earthly terms, or anything else compares to the treasure of knowing Him.
Philippians 3:7-11 "But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead."
Do we treasure knowing Him above everything else in this life no matter what that costs?