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

Monday, November 28, 2011

Praise Report

Hi Everyone,

I would just like to add a little praise report that I went to Religious Affairs in Mexico City this morning and came out with the joy of having my paperwork submitted! Next will be the step of going back for a piece of paper in a few days when it is ready and then going on to Immigration. Thanks for your prayers on all of this everyone!

I want to get back into blogging more regular. I feel like i have neglected my blog this month just due to a variety of things on my plate so to speak and such

Anyways, THANK YOU for your prayers and I will try to write more soon.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thankful For You

Hi Everyone,

Tomorrow is American Thanksgiving and I will be working in the morning and then going to the family of one of my team members who have so graciously invited me.

This Thanksgiving I am so thankful for all of you who have enabled me to be serving here in Mexico with your encouragement and prayers. Thank you for all you do!

Have a blessed day with thankful hearts towards the Lord today, tomorrow, and always!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thoughts On Ministering To Others

Hi Everyone,

At several times in our lives we are going to find ourselves coming alongside someone that is struggling and possibly even at a point of crisis. As we spend time with them, truly listen, get involved in their lives, and try to offer Biblical guidance, it is important to remember that we are not "their savior" and many times it isn't our role to "fix" their situation. God knows what the individual needs much better than we do.

Sometimes people make choices at points of crisis that break our hearts---but it is that individual's responsibility before God for the decisions that they make.

We have to be careful when helping people in delicate situations remembering that we are there to listen, pray, be a friend, and offer Godly advice and mentoring where that is appropriate, However, we can't get so involved in their life and situation that we start trying to completely carry it on our shoulders and allow that person's difficulties to rob us of our own joy of life and walking with God. At the end of the day we have to give it all to God---because He is more than big enough to handle it all.

These are just some thoughts I have been learning from experience lately.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Say Goodbye To "What If? And "If Only!"

Hi Everyone,

I have all kinds of posts to try to get up in the next few days about various things. One thing I am thinking of lately is a saying we have here in Mexico. In Spanish it is "Hubiera no existe" which translates to 'What if does not exist."

I really like that saying because there is some truth to it. Sometimes when something hard happens or we fail in some way, we can start thinking. "If only I would have done such and such," or we can easily get into that regret mindset of "What if the situation wouldn't have happened?" etc.

The truth reflected in the Spanish saying is that walking down the "if only" road leads us to what a dear friend of mine calls "stinking thinking." It simply is not helpful, productive, or beneficial to us. If we keep continually thinking that way, we go down a road of discouragement thinking of what might have been instead of dealing with life in the present as it is and seeking what God wants to teach us through it. Thinking "if only" robs us of the joy that God wants us to experience in Him TODAY. We can't change the past--but we have been given the gift of today.

Everybody has things they either prefer wouldn't have happened or sins and failures that can give them a temptation to think "if only." But instead of thinking, "if only" we have to give them to God.

I also find in my life that I don't need to say,"if only" getting stuck in a world of regret because I have seen a glimpse of how God has taken sins, other things that I am not proud of, and even some things that maybe I wouldn't have preferred to have happen---and God has turned them into good. There isn't room to regret because God is working it into something beautiful.

So trust that God is working it all together for good according to His purposes---and all means ALL THINGS. He has promised that to those who love Him. And say goodbye to "if only."

Monday, November 14, 2011

My Short Vacation

Hi Everyone,
Olga and I took off for a vacation for two days and one night. It was fun to actually be together for a change. Usually our schedules conflict so we are rarely at the house at the same time.

We went to a city called Taxco about two hours away. The buildings are all white with orange roofs and it looks kind of cool. Here are some pictures.

The city is known for it's silver mines and for an outdoor market held on Saturday mornings where people come from all over mexico to buy silver jewelry and typically sell it in other places. Olga and I found a cheap fairly nice place to stay which will serve for me when I take future vacation breaks.

It was short--but very fun!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Taking Time Off!

Hi Everyone,
Here is the awesome cactus flower I took a picture of this morning! Isn't this neat?
I realized that I had only taken five days of my allotted vacation this year so far. ....and am sensing a need for a serious break. So Olga and I are going to escape to a town that is two hours away and leave early Saturday morning, stay the night and return early Sunday evening! tomorrow (Friday) I am taking off to do some things that have needed attention such as disenfect the bird cage, do Christmas cards, write my prayer letter, etc.

The exciting thing is that I also got a free movie ticket for Wednesday, so on the 16th I am hoping there is a good fun movie worth watching. Oh and I have found a few safe escape places for next year so hopefully I actually take some time off in a decent fashion at different points during the year.

It is just neat seeing God provide little ways to take a much needed break!

So I will see you all Monday when I get back to "internet land!"

Monday, November 7, 2011

Pretty Birds!

Hi Everyone,

Today on my day off, I escaped to my friend Maria's house, where I bought my two cockatiels from three weeks ago. It was a fun day seeing all of the birds, helping clean the aviary, talking to Maria, and meeting her children. Not to mention, I am learning a lot of things about birds too!

I have all kinds of pictures of the birds I saw today! ENJOY!

Babies! (of various types)

The words "pretty bird" fall way short for this next one! I love the rainbow colors!

Quaker parakeet! I've heard they can be really sweet when they are hand-fed!
Finches of various types!
Cockatiels galore (some of the ones she uses to breed)
And I can't forget the parrot!
He was so funny! Here is a video! All he could do was whistle and say was "soccorro!" That means HELP in Spanish! Can you imagine having a bird live for 80 years saying "Help! Help!" all day? Notice the almost florescent green tail!

Me with a cute bird!
Here is the close-up of him because I also thought he was beautiful!
And to top it all off, I had the best sunset ever on the way back to the bus station to catch the bus for the 45 minute ride home! The pictures don't even come close! (Thanks God! :) )
So that was my day today--encouraging my friend Maria, and enjoying God's creation!
Thanks for your prayers!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

God is Doing Somthing Bigger Than Us "Getting Our Way"

If I'd Had My Way
By Janet Paschal

1) If I'd had my way about it
I'd have danced in grassy fields and green meadows
And risen in the morning just to hear the robin's lovely melody
I'd have rested in wide spaces, high above the hurting places
And found a cross that asked much less of me
Never sailed in raging wind or troubled sea
If You'd thought it best to leave it up to me


But if I'd had my way
I might have been wading through the river,
when You wanted me to walk upon the sea.
And if I'd had my say
And all of my wants and whims and wishes
You knew how weak, how shallow I would be
if I'd had my way

2) If I'd had my way about it
I'd have only known Your majesty and glory
And passed that cup of sorrow to somebody else more willing to receive
I'd have written lovely phrases, inspiring lofty praises
And soared above my own humanity
Wounded wouldn't die, hearts wouldn't bleed
If all along You'd left it up to me (repeat chorus)

I trust Your wisdom over mine
'cause You've proven all the time
That in my narrow way of seeing things
I leave the best behind sometimes
I'd might not have stayed
As close if I'd had my way

Hi Everyone,
I was up at two o clock in the morning with words of the song posted above ringing in my ears even though I hadn't heard it for several years. Somehow I found it, quite amazingly considering I had no idea who sang it and the lyrics weren't on the internet til now. I've honestly probably listened to it about twenty times as I've been putting finishing touches on the team prayer day I am organizing for tomorrow.

I've been thinking about how in life God chooses to not give us everything we want, or maybe things don't go like we dreamed they would. There are those valleys of sorrow and heartache that we would rather avoid. And God takes us each through different things that aren't easy.

At the same time I have been thinking about God's incredible wisdom and love to really give what is best even when it may not seem like that to us. He loves us too much to give us a life without the challenges.

God is doing something so much bigger within those of is that are His-using those very things to do a work in us, to transform us, to mold us into the image of His Son. He knows that if we had the "picture perfect life like we thought" we certainly wouldn't depend on Him in the same way...and maybe we wouldn't sense a need for Him at all.

So as I look at my life I think of blessings-blessings of fulfilled desires and the blessings in disguise of some unfulfilled desires. I can trust that God knows what He is doing---that his plan is perfect----and that His work in my life is much bigger than me "Getting my own way." My life really belongs to Him and it really isn't "mine." to begin with.

It's a big mistake for people to think "It's MY life." How many times have we heard that statement? No, our lives are not our own.

As the song says:

"And if I'd had my say, all my wants and whims and wishes, You knew how weak how shallow I would be if I'd had my way.....I might not have stayed as close if I'd had my way."