Thursday, December 20, 2012
I just finished writing the letters mentioned in yesterday's blog. All told, there are 35 - THIRTY FIVE - that are going to Abel for distribution. Among them are a dozen that go to my pastora freind, Lorenza, to share among her kids and a few members of the church.
Her daughter Ester was my first "ahijada", godchild, a favor asked, a privilege bestowed on me when the girl was moving up a grade. She's now a young lady of...what, 16 or 17 years? I lose track! Lorenza's youngest daughter before the twins came was given MY name (though it's usually pronounced CHEly). She was born on Jan 1, 2007, and at the tender age of not quite two months joined the "Soldados de Roca" (Rock Soldiers) at Machu Picchu for a prayer event. When I saw her again as a toddler in 2008, she had very little to do with this tall, pale gringa. But when I returned to the four year old in 2011, she was like my bestest little friend! Now, usually it's a little tricky to understand the speech of small children, especially if they are not your own and especially if they are speaking a language that is not your FIRST. But Shelita spoke very clearly, and so we had a wonderful time together.
Me with Lorenza, Ester, and little Shelley at Machu Picchu
Shelita is protected from Machu Picchu's dampness under the plastic poncho
Ester and baby Shelley sleep (well, ESTER is sleeping anyway!) side by side on a mattress in the church where we stayed in Cuzco
a good picture of my namesake - isn't she a cutie?
Here's a little "home video" from when Shelley was a toddler (Lima, 2008)
And here's one of me with my bestest little friend. Rough translation: we're saying who's the bigger and smaller Shelley, and then discussing age. "How old are YOU?" I ask her, and she answers "4". And, "How old am I?" I ask, and she says "FIVE!"
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
The apostle Paul wrote about various spiritual gifts and their uses. While I believe his listings are by no means complete, they at least give us the indication that God doesn't intend any of His kids just to be content to sit around being saved, but to serve others with the gifts He has given them. Romans 12 says: 4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
One of my gifts is encouragement. It's part of my ministry when I go to Peru and visit different churches. And I continue this by writing letters to people I have come to know there. My list has grown extensive over the years to include not only general letters to the pastors of a chruch, but also to various individual members. When last I counted, there were over 200 people on my list.
So, I have this extra time here at school, and I made it one of my "other goals" on Spark to write at LEAST one letter, three times a week. Well, since my "son" Abel is traveling to Puerto Maldonado and Iberia after the New Year, I am focusing on getting some letters to him to take to the churches I visited there, and a few individuals, as well as his family in San Juan de Miraflores (a district of Lima) and other pastors and friends to whom his sister can help distribute the letters. I've written 9 so far today, interspersed with "Sparking" and stretches and cardio videos...and have 9 more to go. I think I'll do those TOMORROW!
Abel and his catch while we were in the village of Jorge Chavez in 2008
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
I think of the song, "As David Did" www.youtube.com/watch?v=R27UAgHsBUw and the very popular (in Peru it was almost impossible to stay seated, even with my bothersome joints) "Remolineando" (which is twirling about) www.youtube.com/watch?v=sw9cDroeSAo -
People can make such fools of themselves at various sports matches, painting themselves and hooting and hollering.
I think my God is worthy to get excited about. His love is something to rejoice about, Salvation is something to be EXTREMELY elated about.
So, while, "all my might" may not be much - standing to my feet and swaying vigorously as I clap, maybe shuffling my feet - I'll do what I can. And when there are specials where someone is up there dancing - I think of my Guatemalan sister at Ciudad de refugio (my bilingual church)...or when I'm with some of my "kids" at their youth service in Voz de la Transformacion in Lima www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMj5rlzC47s - my spirit is dancing with them with the same energy. Eventually I trust that my body will catch up!
yeah...my might at this time may not be much, but such as it is, I'll give it to Him with all i've got!
Monday, December 17, 2012
I am so grateful for the health care I have through my employment. Lately I have had to make more use of it. As I said before,too many years of being overweight in jobs whereIi was on my feet for hours at a time have taken their toll on my knees and hip. And apparently the hip (right) is worse than the knees. So, today I went for a "guided injection" directly to the joint (when I went to emergency some months ago, I was given a shot to the muscle to relieve the inflammation). I expect it will give me relief for some months, so i may even cease taking the prescription NSAID and go back to aspirin or ibuprofen as needed - probably for the knee. I have a relatively high pain threshhold, I think. But I do have my limitations.
I expect I could live to be a hundred ("and a day - so I don't die suddenly") and I'd like the rest of my years to be profitable to the Lord. I want to be able to traipse around visiting folks in Peru - and Ecuador and Colombia (since they DID invite me!) as long as possible. And since Levi is younger than I am, I want to be able to keep up with him. (Of course, women tend to outlive men anyway, and he hasn't had the advantage of health care that I have had) I may not be able to RUN - although, well, I won't limit the Lord. Once I get my weight down, and the joints have been taken care of, I may actually be able to jog a bit. It would be nice to dance before Him again - do the "Holy Ghost Hop" again www.youtube.com/watch?v=HodfIrc-nn0 instead of what I now call the "Trinity Two-step" . I want to get back into really DOING my "Undignified Happy Dance" www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOJlw0cOGEs Of course, once I get to heaven I'll be freed from this body's impediments. But while I'm here, I want to glorify the Lord any way I can.
Sunday, December 16, 2012
I was watching In Touch this morning, and Charles Stanley was talking about how we tend to presuem that we know the scriptures associated with Christmas so well tha we tend to skim over them. He wnet on to say that whenever we read the Word of God we should do so with a heart ready to receive instruction in how to apply it to our own lives. So as he was reading from Luke 2, the part that hit me was actually the first verse - that "In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. "
Caesar was by no means a man after God's own heart. But "The king's heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will" (Prov.21:1) Was the tax unrighteous? Probably. But it necessitated that Joseph and Mary go to Bethlehem - where Jesus had to be born in order for scripture to be fulfilled.
It got me thinking of the bureacracy and red tape and legal hoops Levi and I have to jump through before we can start the process of his coming here. Is it a royal pain in the behind? You bet! But God has His own time-table. Had the decree for taxation gone forth earlier, Joseph and Marywould have done what they had to and gone back to Nazareth. Had it gone forth later, again prophecy would not be fulfilled. While God is a loving, wonderful Father, He also has His divine agenda, and no amount of holding our breath and throwing a fit will change that.
So, we wait. And not just twiddling our thumbs. For myself, I go deeper into the Lord so when the time is right, I will be to Levi an even better wife.
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