Friday

Buds

Deacon has a best bud.

This is them playing in a 'house' we made from an old TV box. It's cute now. In 15 years, not so much, but for now it's safe.

Miss M is the Coreano's little girl. She's about 6 weeks older than Deacon and couldn't be a whole lot different. She's generally quiet, will sit and color for 20 minutes, is very intentional in her movements - all opposites from Deacon. But they love each other and get so excited to see each other.

So, here's to best buds - no matter what age. Does anyone here still have contact with a friend you had when you were a toddler?

Wednesday

This one goes out to the one I love

I know...it's a lyric.

10 quetzales to anyone who knows where it came from.

I just wanted to say that my wife is a pioneer caliber woman. You know how people always say that those people (meaning pioneer folks) were tougher than we are? Well..if you're comparing Brandon to a pioneer fellow then you will get a hearty, "amen". But As for my sweet little bride - i don't know.

There is a Jackopierce song called 'capable girl' that Jenny just loves. One of the highest compliments I can give her is to trust her to be able to do something. Which makes it pretty easy for me to compliment her. I've always said that she fills in my gaps (which are many) but through 7 years of marriage I have come to realize how dependent we are on each other. We actually need one another. And I think that's one of the most wonderful things about marriage.

See, Jenny doesn't have to be a pioneer woman for me to see how capable she is. Honestly, just being pregnant with a toddler like Deacon is enough to make me cringe. Add in the fact that she is a missionary wife and I just stand amazed. Why? Because she remains a woman of grace and calm in the midst of it. Now she ain't perfect, but goodness I respect that woman.

Deacon had some sort of bug yesterday and had a case of the pukes which lasted until midnight or so. What do I do when he's vomiting (or puking, hurling, blowing beets - how many epithets are there?). I get all flustered and edgy and want to make him better right there. Jenny? She is calm and nurturing and peaceful and like cool water to a burn. What a wonderful thing.

We are in the midst of a little tumult - maybe less tumult than just life-as-it-is-on-planet-earth. And Jenny is reciprocating trust back to me. And to have such a woman say, "I trust you" when I'm pretty sure she could do a better job herself - that's humbling in the best sort of way.

So thanks, babe. I love you.

Tuesday

A wonderful thing about God

He's relentless in His love.

Now, that's not the ONLY wonderful thing about Him. But its my current favorite.

I have been going through several prayers in the New Testament, mostly from Paul's letters, and I have been praying them for me and other people.

Here's one:

Phil 1:9 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.

Now take this prayer, inspired by the Holy Spirit through Paul for the church at Philipi, and put your name or someone else's name in there.

"And this is my prayer, that my (or Jenny's, or your's, etc.) love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that I (or Jenny or you) may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ - to the glory and praise of God."

I mean, WOW. What a thing to ask God to do.

But here's the point - it's all 'to the glory and praise of God'. See, it's all about God's glory. The point of praying that (or any prayer, really) is not so that I will be able to discern what is best or even that I may be pure and blameless. Those are all wonderful things - but they are secondary things. The primary thing is God's glory. And out of His glory - He wants to love us. And He loves us relentlessly. Rich Mullins called it the "reckless, raging fury", this unstoppable love God has for His children, even for a whole world in rebellion against Him. And I can not only be loved by God because of Jesus Christ - I can impart His love to others. I can be a conduit, a vessel of God's love to His creation. A creation that is desperate for it. A creation that is full of horrible evil, and even horribly evil people, but a creation God wants me to love. And this is the responsibility of every believer. Every believer. Even more, it is our opportunity. It is our purpose - to love others to the glory of God.

And that is a wonderful thing about God.

Sunday

Too tired to nap

This is the first time I have had a chance to sit at a computer since August 16th. We had a team come in and my oh my is that a busy time.

I tried to take a nap this afternoon. Ever tried to do that? I'm not the best napper. I need it dark and quiet and mostly I need my mind to get out of gear and coast into a rest stop. Not today.

There are a lot of things going on that require my immediate and full attention. But I must confess that I am so utterly exhausted that I cannot seem to stand up to the task. I read this on Mike Messerli's blog. It's Proverbs 3:5-6 from the Message:

Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
don't try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
he's the one who will keep you on track.

I like how it says to trust God, "from the bottom of your heart" because that's about where I am today. I'm on empty. And yet empty is good with God because where I run out, He is. I have some big decisions to make and I must make them sooner that I would like. And the process has worn me down to a nub. But God turns nubs into masterpieces, doesn't He? He is the Master of the worn and the tired. He is a redeemer of things, of people, of situations. And it's not my job to figure everything out. Just to trust Him. And to listen to His voice. Because I have to tell you that when it comes to making decisions I hear a lot of voices. But I only need to listen to one of them.

"Listen to God's voice in everything you do."

Oh, and that is what I need. Because when I am listening to His voice, all the other's either line up with His or they blend into static, like a radio station out of tune. O, Lord, tune my mind, my heart, my will to the frequency of Your voice! And join me as I worship at the sound - the voice of the Shepherd, the Father, the Spirit.

Still here

My apologies to those of you who come here actually expecting updates. We were out with a team and I didn't have my computer with me.

Oh, hey, my mom is here visiting! We're really, really excited. It's just cool. And Deacon is getting great time with "grammy"

It's strange to come back and hear all the news from back in the States. Bridges falling, Ian Thomas went home, Bonds hits 756, the Cowboys won a game. Strange.

Well, I have some things I'd like to blog about. Today though, we did pretty much nothing. I took a nap. It was nice. Hopefully I will have time tomorrow.

Friday

Recovery of Factory Default Software

Sigh.

This is what I am doing.

The laptop wouldn't boot up this morning. So I went online to troubleshoot. I did what I could, safe mode stuff, but to no avail. So I called tech support and they re-did all the stuff I had done. No dice.

The tech guy asked me if I had all my documents backed up.

That's a horrible question.

I said, "Well, not all of it."

He said, "You might want to do that sir."

So I spent the next 4 hours moving files and pictures and whatnot from the laptop to the desktop. And I think I got it all.

The laptop is telling me.

"Now recovering. Please wait."

Sigh. And of course the office software is in another country.

Sigh.

Technology: mankind's most binding freedom.

Wednesday

Neighbors

Apparently neighbors are important.

I mean, Jesus told us that the 2nd most important thing in all the world is to love them so, I guess that bumps them up pretty high.

Let me tell you about my neighbors.

Our side of the street:

Vilma and Wilson and their daughter live right next door. Vilma helps us around the house and also works for the guesthouse. She's great and wow - she makes fun of me a lot. We take it as a compliment. Her husband catches a bus at 6:15 every morning (m-f I think) and gets home about 8 or 9. He's a mechanic and he works really hard. We trust them enough to let them watch bela when we're gone so, hopefully that's alright.

The next neighbor I know is Alfredo. He is a carpenter and went to the US when he was 13. You read that right. And he lived there for 6 years learning to be a carpenter. The CBC team knows that he knows what he is doing. He's very talented. Not sure if he knows Jesus yet so we're working on that. He has a wife (who we haven't met yet) and a son. And I envy his power tools.

That's all I know on that side of the street. There is a typing school and someone lives above that - we buy empanadas from them but, sadly, do not know their names.

The other side:

Just across the street lives a family with a grandma and a couple with 2 small children. Don't know their names either. But Mario also lives there and he's getting married in December. Jose, Mario's brother, lives next door and he owns a body shop. He's the guy I asked to help me get the dog house on the roof. That whole family is believers and Jose is on holy fire for Jesus. It's a lot of fun. Jose speaks a little English but Spanish seems to work better for us. They are a really neat family. Jose's daughters (and some other girls) keep picking flowers and trying to give them to Deacon while he is taking a nap. If we don't answer the door bell they cram the flowers under the door.

Next to Jose lived Rigo and his family. I actually don't know his family, only him, and I don't know if he is a believer or not. Better ask Jose. He would know. Rigo is the guy that hung off our balcony. Very brave.

There are 3-4 other houses down that way and I recognize the people but, I just realized, I don't know their names. That's sad, ain't it? I just haven't met the rest of them. With time. A friend gave us the idea of buying a ton of hotdogs and having a block party. I think we'll plan that.

On the far corner from us is a tienda (a little store) that sells all the stuff you need from day to day: water, soap, snacks, drinks, brooms. We buy a few things there but we buy tortillas in another place.

Last, and the best, are the Coreanos. They are the other RMI couple here with us and we literally share a wall. They are helping us understand the meaning of neighbor and we could not be more thankful to God for them. Without them, we would probably have left Guatemala already. We work together, but more importantly we live life together and that has made us friends. Their daughter and Deacon are only a few weeks apart. We borrow movies and whatever from them. If they are not home when the trash guy comes we take out their trash. When they weren't home and it was raining I went to check to make sure their house wasn't flooding. It was, but that's what towels are for. We live next door and we love each other. It's - wonderful. And it's just a little taste of how good the Lord is to us.

Tell me about your neighbors! And don't be shy - I don't know half of mine yet either.