So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.
God knows what we need, doesn't He? And oh, how He provides.
We have a house. Well, it's actually the Lords and He gave it to our land lord who lets us lease it with money given by a multitude of gracious people, but it will soon be home! Thank you for all who prayed and support us here! You're always welcome to visit!
That's ours, the green one - and half our truck.
The Coreano's will live next door in the blue house. Isn't it great?
This is the living area going into the kitchen. Its huge!
Here is Jenny and my bedroom. Lots of tile! Same tile in the whole house. Shiny!
This is on the 2nd floor. The building is tall and long and skinny. There are also 2 other bedrooms (a big and a small one) and another bathroom on the 2nd floor.
This is the roof. There is another bedroom and bathroom up there. Those windows are skylights. Through the little gap in the middle of the picture is a utility area (big Guatemalan sink a pila) and another little balcony that looks out onto the street. Anyone know how to do a roof garden?
We feel so overwhelmed by what the Lord has provided that we're not really sure what to do. Please join us in giving praise and honor to the Lord. He has given us a great place to lay our heads and raise our kids and love folks. Pray we us it for His glory.
Oh, and come visit!
So we stopped (I, of course, had no camera) to enjoy the view. It was AWESOME and I don't use that word lightly.
One word came to mind: Majesty
God MADE that!
When the Psalmist says, "Praise the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, you are very great; you are clothed with splendor and majesty (Psalm 104:1)" he really knew what he was talking about.
I read Psalm 145 this morning and it just turned by eyes toward the majesty of God. And I NEED that because, goodness folks, this world can be a bummer and that isn't all there is. When I was looking at Tajulmulco and seeing the Pacific slope rushing up and the glory of the mountains behind...for maybe one or two minutes I forgot the details and was absorbed in the grandeur, the majesty of God's creation.
When I read that Psalm this morning I forgot, even if only for a minute or two, the details that I so often bog down in and encountered just a sliver of the Majesty of God.
So here's a snippet. Do me a favor. Start at Psalm 145 and just sit down for just 10 minutes and read through 150. It's like watching a sunrise and 4th July fireworks over the Rockies all at the same time!
I will extol You, my God, O King,
And I will bless Your name forever and ever.
2Every day I will bless You,
And I will praise Your name forever and ever.
3Great is the LORD, and highly to be praised,
And His greatness is unsearchable.
4One generation shall praise Your works to another,
And shall declare Your mighty acts.
5On the glorious splendor of Your majesty
And on Your wonderful works, I will meditate.
6Men shall speak of the power of Your awesome acts,
And I will tell of Your greatness.
7They shall eagerly utter the memory of Your abundant goodness
And will shout joyfully of Your righteousness.
LOTS going on!
Here is a picture of our new truck!
Pretty cool. God provides! Thank you for all of you who prayed and gave! Praise God! We will get a topper on the back next week and then we will be done with stuff for the truck.
The truck is in the courtyard of the guesthouse where we live. Although only for about 6-8 more weeks....more on that another day.
We have been driving to visit with potential sister churches here in Guatemala. Ministry here is proving to be quite a bit more fluid and we are seeking God as to what direction He desires for the ministry to go. All good things! We drove to visit a church yesterday and the day before. This is a breathtakingly beautiful country. I mean - wow. Anyway, we examined their basic doctrine (which is a lot of fun when it's orthodox - and both were) and talked about the sister church program with them. Very exciting stuff. Today we will meet with several leaders in the area about the possibility of initiating a Compassion Intl. type program here called Hope for Kids. Please pray about all these things.
Ok. Something else...
In the 50th anniversary edition of Through Gates of Splendor Elisabeth Elliot adds an epilogue giving some of her thoughts after so many years. In it she says that we in the church, especially I think those in 'leadership', are buffoons. "a ludicrous figure, a clown, a gross and usually ill-educated or stupid person." Wow. And that stuck with me. Because we are buffoons. We are redeemed, righteous buffoons who are indwelt with the mighty Spirit of God, but compared to Him, compared to who He is, we are clowns. And God has chosen in His mercy to allow His body to be made up of us. I think we in the church, and I speak to include myself, often forget that we are not the Head. Christ is. We act out of autonomy far too much. A body without a head is just a lump of matter - dead. But for some reason it seems that we have tried to take the reigns from the infinitely capable hands of the Lord Jesus - and we've been doing it for awhile now.
I discovered yesterday while looking out a window at the countryside here that I'm not the most ambitious person. I don't mean that I'm a slacker, but only that I am pretty slow to act - often out of fear - and that has always bothered me. Now fear has no place in the life of the believer. None. But I think a little hesitation, just enough to remember that we are not the Head of the body, can be a good thing. Why? Because buffoons make silly leaders. And we are buffoons. But buffoons whose Head is Jesus, the name above all names, the King of Kings, who is called Faithful and True. And that's not a bad place to be. He wants buffoons. He loves buffoons. And so, fellow buffoons, that is why I ask you to pray for the ministry here in Guatemala. For it is administrated by buffoons; righteous, thankful, holy buffoons, but clowns nonetheless.
And as long and I am a fool, I might as well be one for Christ.
Much has happened since my last blog. Sorry for the delay.
We have returned to Guatemala (praise God) and flew out with no trouble at all. Apparently we hit one of the few windows where we could leave DFW. The Lord knows what He's doing.
Our apartment is fine and feels like home. Although our return was dampened a but when we found rat feces all over our kitchen. Sigh. That's correct. 3 Rats had made a nest in the ceiling above our kitchen. They never entered into the kitchen, but the ceiling here is just a dropped bead-board looking ceiling and when the cats rumble like bowling ball on the roof, it knocked rat poo down. So we have caught the rats (well, at least one) and bleached the universe and are on the lookout. So far Deacon has not eaten any.
Next week we travel out to Comitancillo for the week to visit about sister church business. More on that tomorrow. We will enjoy the time but it is another week not at home. We're starting to get used to that. Well, no we're not, but it is what it is. At least we'll be together.
I had about a 4 day spell where I didn't even open the Bible. Pretty sad for a missionary, I know. Just very tired. It seems like our whole family is like that. but the past 2 days I have been (by the Lord's grace) getting up early enough to listen the my Father before the day begins. Sure makes for better days.
Oh, goodness! We have our truck! I'll get pictures and update all on that also. Ok. I have to go play with Deacon so Jenny can get a little time in the Word. A pretty good trade all things considered.
It's 25 degrees out there and the cat outside keeps reminding me.
I love winter. I really do. I like the cold because I have fire, a warm place to sleep, hot coffee to drink. Otherwise, I don't think I'd like it much.
I went outside this morning to get my Bible from the car - that's not where it usually is - but my blue-covered Bible and Jenny's red-covered Bible went camping after church. I had to pry the door open because it was iced shut.
In Lubbock it has not been above freezing since Friday - three days ago. That's cold in my book. Now I know you Northerners think that's nothing but those of us who do not have walrus hide for skin find it a bit nippy.
I love Texas. My wife and I were born here and so was our son. But having been here now for nearly five weeks (3 weeks longer than we planned) it is now quite clear to us that this state which we love is no longer home.
And while freeing, it is quite difficult. We belong in Guatemala and we want to get back there sooner than now. Yet the Lord has let us wait. He has tarried in allowing us to return. And now I think I know why.
We had gotten used to many of the comforts available here in the US. Drinkable tap water is nice. But here is not where God wants us now, and there is a burden in not being where He wants you. And now we are excited to return.
Now it's 24.
We leave for home tomorrow.
So my brother, Ian, had a cat named Inky. She has gone to kitty heaven where there are no dogs, fresh tuna appears every morning and the sandboxes are always open. You can read his tribute to her on his blog. It's wonderful.
But it made me think about life here on planet earth. It's short and for most of our beloved critters it always ends too soon. The Lord created all these great animals and He's even let us come up with a few of our own; especially some cool dogs. And they are important to most of us. Jenny and I have one cat, Samoa, and had another, Banjo, who is still MIA but assumed dead. We haven't been able to take Samoa with us to Guatemala yet, but we're hoping to get her down there sometime this year. We miss her. She's currently renting a garage apartment at my parent's house.
Why does the Lord give us critters? He made Adam to rule creation; had him name the animals, etc. I've heard lots of speculation about what the animals were like before the Fall and I like to think about it too. When the serpent spoke to Eve, no one seemed surprised. Could animals talk then? Who knows. How many of our favorite stories involve talking animals? But we as humans are the stewards of critters and it's nice to reap some of the benefits. Critters we have as pets (dogs and cats, birds, lizards and snakes - the list goes on) bring companionship in a world where people are often pretty unreliable. Animals can be loyal far better than most people and, well, given that they can't talk back, they sure make good listeners. As a kid we had a veritable menagerie. At one time we had 4 dogs, 2 birds and I think 5 cats. We had a beagle, Bruno, for 18 years. I was 16 when she died. My parents had a cat named Grungy (I know - but you should have seen her) for over 20. Most marriages don't last that long! But these critters did. And we loved them. And in their own very real way, they loved us too.
So here's to critters! They make messes and cost us money but we keep 'em around. Maybe because we need to. Maybe it's a way of reminding us of life in the Garden, a glimpse of heaven where wolf and lamb will lie together. Maybe they'll be able to chat a little then. We could sure use a lesson in listening.
Now, only one of those things really matters to me (and, no, it's not the Tech game). But my wife matters to me a lot. Mainly because she's the most amazing woman God ever made. It's my opinion so no one get your feelings hurt. So thank you, Lord, for Jenny. I've written to Deacon and dad and my family, but this blog...well, it has limitations and writing about Jenny...some things are just for us. 1-4-3, baby.
On another note, we have been delayed in returning to Guatemala. Jenny is having a very minor procedure Friday (are 'procedure's' ever minor?) and so we will not be returning until the following week. Plans - they change. A lot. So you roll with it and trust the Lord. We hope to get back home on the 14th or so. And for those who don't already know, my parents will be returning to the US from Haiti for good on Feb 8th. That means that we will miss their return by a mere 3 weeks. And, honestly, that stinks. Because we want them to get to see Deacon. But they won't for a little while and that's just how it is. Sigh. And Rob, Jenny's dad, is hurting a lot today. Sigh again. Whoever said that life here on planet earth is perfect (or can be) is an idiot. Someone else (can't remember who) said that for the believer, this is as close to hell as we'll ever have to get. Amen.
On that note, a Psalm. Psalm 130. This little one always sort of sneaks up on me. Here it is. Please take 60 seconds to read it.
A song of ascents.1 Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD;
2 O Lord, hear my voice.
Let your ears be attentive
to my cry for mercy.
3 If you, O LORD, kept a record of sins,
O Lord, who could stand?
4 But with you there is forgiveness;
therefore you are feared.
5 I wait for the LORD, my soul waits,
and in his word I put my hope.
6 My soul waits for the Lord
more than watchmen wait for the morning,
more than watchmen wait for the morning.
7 O Israel, put your hope in the LORD,
for with the LORD is unfailing love
and with him is full redemption.
8 He himself will redeem Israel
from all their sins.
That is salve to my soul. Come quickly, Lord Jesus. And help me love and serve well here and now -today - for this place is not my home. Help me wait well.