Friday, May 11, 2012

All I Have Seen

'All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen." Ralph Waldo Emerson

What is your perspective? What is perspective? Some synonyms are: angle, aspect, attitude, mindset viewpoint, way of looking. What is your way of looking at the world when life gets burdensome? Do you see grace in it all? Or do you see defeat? One of my all time favorite books is by Ann Voskamp - One Thousand Gifts. It is a book about living fully right where you are. Sometimes we live life so 'tight-fisted' ..hands closed off to God because He allowed certain things to happen in our life. We live life so 'tight-fisted' unable to receive God's blessings because we have shut ourselves up to receive anything from God - including the good.  When we close ourselves off to God in anger and disappointment, we close ourselves off to the blessings as well. We forget to look for the graces He gives in everyday life. I know what I am talking about. I lost my mother at a very young age and I've buried a son. It took me years to get to the point where I just had to open my hands up and be willing to receive whatever God brought into my life.  It's amazing what you see when you take off the lenses of disbelief and distrust. God's grace is everywhere..we just have to change our perspective. 

My friend Cherie has been taking pictures of crosses that she sees when she goes on hikes. She's found crosses in the sand while visiting the ocean. Forests and parks were full of crosses on the ground and in the sky.  It just struck me what reminders God gives us that He is still there, He sees, and He cares.  I was struck by the fact how obvious some of these crosses where. God gives grace, we just have to be willing to let Him show us. We don't write our life story, God does. In seeing these crosses in various scenery, it is a reminder to trust Him. 

Many things we see in this life and wonder what God is up to. When we see with the eyes of grace, we  can trust in His unseen hand. 

The Unseen Hand: 
by Albert Jackson Sims

There is an unseen had to me,
That leads through wave I cannot see
While going through this world of woe,
This hand still leads me as I go

I’m trusting to, the unseen hand,
That guides me through this weary land
When some sweet day I’ll reach that strand,
Still guided by the unseen hand

This hand has led through shadows drear
And while it leads I have no fear
I know t’will lead, me to that home
Where sin nor sorrow ere can come 

Friday, May 4, 2012

Simply Thank You

Has someone ever offered to give/buy you something and you feel awkward? You don't know what to say, so you say, " don't have to do that. That's too much." I've been there..many times. Being missionaries, we are on the receiving end quite a bit in the States. Being here in Mexico, we are on the giving end quite a bit. It was something as simple as offering to buy some allergy medicine for Sonia, a lady in our church. She struggles so badly that even one side of her face swells when her allergies are active. Most people in our church struggle to just buy food for the family, never mind extras. Her allergies were active again this last week. I asked if she had any allergy medicine and she said she didn't. I offered to look to see if we had any and if we didn't, I could buy her some. She didn't argue with me that it was too much and that I didn't really have to do that for her. She simply said, "Yes. Thank you. I will accept your kindness and will take the medicine." It just struck me how 'simply profound' that was! Just...'Thank you. I accept." I was so glad that I was going to be able to help alleviate some of her pain with just getting a box of allergy meds. So when someone offers to do something nice for you, great or small, instead of 'arguing' and feeling awkward, just say,
 "Thank You"...simply. 

Sonia and me at our Christmas in the Park service -2011

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Teach Them Diligently

We celebrated Kid's Day here in Mexico this past weekend. On Saturday, our church passed out Kid's Day fliers inviting families to our special service on Sunday. The adults and youth planned a program with clowns, skits, puppet shows, and music all based on salvation by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8). Over 100 people showed up!!  

One of our main goals in our little mission church in the last year has been to focus on the children/youth. Many of the adults in our church have had rough lives and are all in favor of teaching the young ones a better way. Much is said in the Bible about children and the importance of teaching and training them. What an opportunity to reach the little ones that God has given us! Sometimes we help buy food for the families. Sometimes we help pay for a doctor bill. Sometimes, we help pay in the furtherance of their education so they don't have to work in a factory the rest of their life for $60 a week. Most importantly, if we can teach them at a young age to trust in God and have Him guide their lives, what a  much better opportunity they have to stay out of gangs, drugs, and alcohol...all demons that rob many youth of a good life! 

Keeping our youth busy is a good key to keeping them out of trouble. Carlos, here in the clown suit, is getting ready for Kid's Day. He lives with his aunt and uncle. His parents are working to get him and his sister into America in hopes of having a better life. If he keeps God the center of his life, he will have a better matter where he is. He doesn't have much, but one thing he does have is a radiant smile and a willing heart every time he comes to church! 

All of our youth did a great job and we are 
so grateful for those that participated!

Deuteronomy 6: 8 says, "And thou shalt teach them (the laws of God) diligently unto thy children.." We can only be grateful to God when we see one of the 'little ones' give their heart to Christ, grow up in the church, marry well, and bring their children up in the church and raise them right. We've seen it happen and we, as missionaries, are here to continue on reaching out. If we can help change one life, then we have been diligent. Here is a picture of our associate pastor, Arturo, and his family. Judy, his wife, grew up in a church that my dad started many years ago and is now teaching her children diligently. What a legacy! 

Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!