Tuesday

Psalm 31

If it seems that all Bible posts are about Psalms, well, I like 'em and I read them all the time. We are still working toward getting to Guatemala on October 7th. Lord willing we will land there soon. We have friends to serve with and encourage and two languages to learn. Best to get down there.

Alright. Psalm 31:3 has David saying to the LORD,

For You are my rock and my fortress;
For Your name's sake You will lead me a guide me

I have been under the misconception that God leads and guides me so that I won't get in trouble or that I will be protected or joyful or fill in the blank. He's my shepherd which means I follow Him and of course sheep think it's all about them. He is there as my fortress so I can retreat from the stress of living in this sinful world and be protected and above the fray of life and trouble. Even a rock of refuge in the midst of trouble. I'll take that. I need a rock, a level place above the wrath of enemies and the destruction of human interaction. I need a stonghold where I can feel safe even if the tempest is raging just outside. I need a rock to hold firm to in the storm. I need a guide and a leader who is capable of taking this mustard seed and moving mountains with it. All this is true.

But that's not the point. All those things are an aside, an echo of the power of God. They are side effects like getting sleepy when you take a benedryl.

For Your name's sake...

God leads and protects and guides and shelters because in His Glory He cares for His creatures. He is the one who's name is honored. He is the one glorified. God's glory is more important than my safety! His glory is more important than my sense of well being. His glory is more. More than I can imagine. His glory is not on the line! No one can take it away from Him. Who is able to take from God? What an obnoxious thought that humans could take from God. Who do we think we are?

I have to be reminded that life, yes, even "ministry" is not about me. It is for His name's sake that we go to Guatemala. It is for His name's sake that our support will come in. I can work my tail off and not see a dime and He is no more or less glorified by it either way. And yet...

He is my rock and my fortress. And that is not an accident of His. He seeks me out to invite me to rest and take shelter from all things. I think I'll take that invitation. For His name's sake.

Saturday

A day in the life

So missionaries aren't special people. I mean, we're just people serving the Lord in countries other than where we have a passport. We forget to blog (sorry) and our houses get messy and we mow the grass. But we do get to do something pretty cool. We get to be supported soley on the generosity of others.

It's no secret. We get a salary because people are kind and generous enough to send money to our mission agency. Now the salary is designed to work in Guatemala and not here but we won't be here much longer. This brings me to my point.

I was studying Genesis 22 where Abraham is commanded to take his son Issac and sacrafice him. He obeys and God intervenes at the last instant and provides a lamb to slay instead of a boy. It's one of the most amazing narratives in the history of humanity. At the end of it Abraham names the place (Mt. Moriah, in present day Jerusalem, where the Dome of the Rock is now i think - none too ironic) "Jehoveh-Jireh" or "The Lord Will Provide".

We are at the point where we are realizing the totality of our dependence on Christ. I said our motto is "Trust God and work your butt off" but we are careful not to switch the order.

"The LORD will provide" This is easily said in Sunday school or uttered from the lips of a well meaning friend. And we are going through NOTHING at all like Abraham did. But God has not changed and is still the provider of all our needs. I sign a lot of e-mails "in the Father's good hands" because I need the reassurance. Walking in faith was never designed to be easy. And it's not. But it's real and Jesus is there and that's makes it ok.

Just thoughts from a brain and a heart that has to trust God afresh every morning and finds Him faithful every time.

No time for love, Dr. Jones!

Ah, Indiana Jones. So much adventure.

We're pretty busy right now. But I guess life is busy. We still have time to sit on the porch and talk with my parents and if you're too busy to sit and talk a little you're just to busy. We, of course, can't sit in the porch for long before we start to sizzle. It's hot here. Really, really hot. Check our the weather in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala: http://weather.cnn.com/weather/forecast.jsp?locCode=MGQZ

Lord willing, we'll be there soon.

On a tangent...

I really love my son. He's amazing. He's just FUN and laughs and man. I love him. His head is in the 99th percentile which means that onyl 1% of babies his age have a huger noggin. I love his huge head! He crawls by doing the worm; (a breakdance maneuver for those of you not familiar) he looks like a miniature tuskluess albino walrus working his way across an ice flow. But he gets it done. He jumps and laughs when I enter the room and, well, however an 8 month old can love I guess he's doing it. It's great. Yeah. God is good to give us children to love and to get their love in return. How good a heavenly Father we have.

We are speaking at our home church tomorrow. Pray it goes well. Pray that Jesus is honored in all that is said and done. We trust Him.

Sunday

Today

Well, at this pace not much will get blogged.

-tangent-

Isn't it odd how new words pop up? 5 years ago if you told me to blog something I might get offended. Now it's a verb. Odd.

Ok.

So I am now (after a week) getting back into the swing of deputation. That's missionary talk for raising support. I, sadly, do not get a badge for deputation. But it is all about mindset. I was spending time with the Lord this morning thinking about the possiblity of leaving in 7 weeks. That's hardly enough time. And before we leave we must raise a little over $20K. Whew. So I was thinking about all that and said to myself, "It's time to step off the boat." I have to trust God and get moving. So, this week we begin. Pray we are patient as the Lord provides. Trust God and work your butt off. That's my motto this week. Please pardon the vernacular. It keeps me grounded.

More to talk about later.

Monday

Whew!

Ok, so I haven't blogged in awhile.

For 9 weeks I was on a high-speed wireless network. Now I'm back to a dial-up on our home phone so needless to say I have been online a lot less.

some things:

We are missionaries and are on full support. That means we are financially supported via the generosity of indivduals and churches. We cannot get much done if folks are not generous. We are getting a lot done.

I was speaking to a gentleman at church the other day who has been overwhelmingly supportive of our ministry in Guatemala. I was catching him up on where we're at and thanked him for his generosity toward us. He said simply, "You're my feet" and walked off.

Wow.

I mean, I know this cognitively. I talk about it to groups of people and Jenny and I have the mindset that those who pray for us and give us money are literally ministering along side us. But when he said, "you're my feet" I was hit with the reality of what I'd been saying and the gentle weight of responsibility that comes with it. I bear the joyful burden of being that arm of the Body of Christ which works for His glory in Guatemala. We're not special, we're just somewhere else. But we are a near physical extention of people here who desire to see Jesus magnified among the Mayans in Guatemala. Whew.

On a bit of a tangent...

I have never before in my life felt so confident of my occupation. For my ordination Jenny got me this beautiful clock with an engraving which says, "Every man complete in Christ...for this purpose I labor, striving according to His power which mightily works within me." When I see a man who is not complete in Christ my desire to see him complete is now overwhelming. It is like nothing I have ever before experienced and I praise Jesus that He has enflamed my mind and my heart with such a purpose. May He get all glory, honor and praise.