Friday, November 30, 2012
This school year is a bit harder than the last. Not that my assignment is harder. They just changed the hours - I have to be there at 7 instead of last term's 8. The hour doesn't bother me. I'm a morning person. I get up at 5 so I can do my workout and shower and have my time with the Lord before I go to work. So why is it harder?
Levi, my new love, lives in Pucallpa, Peru. Jungle. They have seasons: hot, very hot, rainy and very hot, and very rainy and very hot. With an occasional dip in the temps. The house is simple. There is no air conditioning. It gets a little cooler - comfortable - in the wee hours of the morning. Levi is a hard worker, putting in a lot of hours. When he comes home he likes to relax with a bit of tv - a movie, maybe, or some sport. It's hard to fall asleep in the heat, plus he has aches and pains. He has to be at work at 8 in the morning, and he tries to get as much sleep as possible before the sun fires things up.
Last term I would call him at 7 or 7:30 - it would be 6 or 6:30 am HIS time when we were on Daylight Savings Time. We'd spend time reading scriptures and praying, and talking about our days or other things. But this term, I wasn't able to call him at 7 - I had to be at work. And I couldn't call him at 6 - it would be 5 there, and he needed his sleep. Even when we changed back - calling him at 6 is just too early for him any more in the heat. So I try to call when I get home from work, when he'll be home for lunch - but it's hotter inside the house under the corrugated steel roof which soaks up that sun and makes it like an oven. They don't have a cordless phone. And he prefers to relax on the hammock in the shade out front, where he can maybe catch a little breeze. So I try calling at night when he's home from work, around 8:30 or 9. Of course, during Daylight Savings Time, that would be 9;30 or 10 for ME - and I'd have been up since 5! And sometimes he doesn't go directly home.He might stop at his sister marita, or his niece Erika who's a nurse and can give him an "ampolla", some kind of treatment to alleviate his pains. Or to watch sports and visit with his nephews. So this term I'm simply not getting to spend as much time on the phone with him.
So, last night I called him around 9, and we actually had a nice long talk, almost an hour (although I still haven't consumed anywhere NEAR the thousand minutes of my phone plan like I did LAST term) It was delightful - he was in a talkative mood, and besides work and health, we talked about missions and church and God's will and different forms of ministry..."spiritual" stuff...and it just reminded me why I love the man so much!
Thursday, November 29, 2012
It's after Thanksgiving. Now begins the "Christmas season." I have never been very materialistic, and even less so once I became a Christian. And I abhor the god of consumerism, the spirit of covetousness that is indulged at this time of year.
I listen to CHRISTmas music.
And it never ceases to move me to tears of wonder and gratitude that the God of the Universe would in love humbleHimself and come to us - "in such mean estate" - and allow Himself to suffer so, to redeem His lost children. The second verse of this old Christmas carol continues to overwhelm me.
This is a choir, with the lyrics.
This is a powerful rendition by Andea Bocelli and Mary Blige with scenes from the movie The Nativity Story.
I invite you to listen and be in awe.
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
I've been "Sparking" more, racking up those spark points, which, like the points on the show Whose Line Is It , don't really mean anything except they encourage you to interact with other sparkers by sending spark goodies, and are a silly but fun incentive, like stickers, to keep up the good work. Well, today I "read insider" for a point, and it mentioned a survey that would give me more spark points. Two hundred fifty, to be exact. Okay, Spark Buddies, get ready to get more Spark Goodies!
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
From Psalm 130:
If you, Lord, kept a record of sins,
Lord, who could stand?
But with you there is forgiveness,
so that we can, with reverence, serve you.
Put your hope in the Lord,
for with the Lord is unfailing love
and with him is full redemption
He himself will redeem [you]
We have the tendency to beat ourselves up when we mess up, whether it's in moral issues or in the area of learning to live healthily - I purposely do not say DIET. While it is important to have a "broken and contrite heart", to repent and turn from the path of sin and error, it is important also that we see our Heavenly Father as HE is, not as perhaps our earthly fathers may have been. Yes, our sin merits punishment - and that's why Christ came. HE took it. So - we don't have to beat ourselves up. If we went way over our calories, maybe ate the whole batch of cookies - we can't just give up and say we may as well stop trying. We can humble ourselves for the sin of gluttony and serving the idol of our flesh, and ask for divine help to rise up and do better next time. Each day is a new day.
Furthermore, our Redeemer can redeem even our errors - He knows our frame. He can work ALL things to our good, if we let Him. We can LEARN from our failures. We can give testimony to His goodness, grace, and mercy in our lives.
Sigamos adelante! Let's press on!
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