Sunday, December 23, 2012
Continuing to read in Zechariah today.
God is telling the prophet what He's going to do, and what He plans to do with Joshua. Concluding the sixth chapter, He says, "This will happen if you diligently obey the Lord your God.”
How many of us have received personal promises (I come from a charismatic evangelistic background - we still believe God speaks through the gift of prophecy and the office of prophet) - prophetic words - and yet do not see them come to pass? WHY do you suppose that is?
I believe it is because we do not do OUR part, to obey, to obey DILIGENTLY, with our "eyes on the prize" as it were, looking to see His word fulfilled and watching for opportunities to walk in the revelation He has given us. Rather, we sit on our duffs and wait for it to happen. Think of the analogy of the fellow caught in the flood. He climbs to the top of his roof, and waits for God to save him. Along comes a guy in a rowboat and invites him to hop in, but he says, "No, God promised HE would save me." Along comes someone in a motor-boat. Same interchange. Finally comes a helicopter, and the guy still rfuses, declaring God Himself will rescue him. Finally the house collapses, the man is swept away, and drowns. He appears before the Lord in heaven. "WHY DIDN'T YOU RESCUE ME?" he says accusingly. God answers, "I SENT you the rowboat, the motorboat and the helicopter ! You just wouldn't get in them!"
We have the responsibility to "fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of... hands" (2 Tim. 1:6) We're not supposed to sit around and just be pew-warmers. Each of us has a calling for which God has equipped us. " For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."(eph. 2:10) And if we have been blessed to receive personal prophetic revelation, it behooves us to review it from time to time, and pray for it to come to pass. After all, if God's will was AUTOMATICALLY done, why would Jesus command us to PRAY for it to be done? God has chosen to work in tandem with us - He gave US a free will too!
Jesus said, "If you love me, keep my commands." (John 14:15)
Saturday, December 22, 2012
Today I was reading along in Zechariah. I'm not a BIG fan of the prophets - the symbolism and era-specific references don't make for the easiest reading. But "ALL Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."(2 Timothy 3:16,17) So it is good to read it from time to time.
So what catches my eye today is Zech. 4:6 "‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty."...and then in verse 10, “Who dares despise the day of small things...?" and finally in verse 14, “These are the two who are anointed to serve the Lord of all the earth.”
Now, I realize that God was speaking to Zerubbabel in his day. But God also speaks to us today, and quickens His word to our hearts. Lately I'd been thinking about my situation with Levi, wondering if things would ever come to completion or if we were just given this time to dream and hope. We'd had our little "trial run" of what we'd like to do eventually on a greater scale. Papito had told me that it's a precious thing to begin a new work and see it grow. But here we still are, him in Pucallpa, me up here in N.Y., and the visa paperwork not even begun.
And now I read this.
And hope is restored in the midst of waiting.
Friday, December 21, 2012
My son has a great, albeit warped, sense of humor. He sent me a link, which I'll share here - news.softpedia.com/news/How-to-Serve
ith-Live-Maggots-102146.shtml about a kind of cheese that is only available on the black market. Its appeal (if you can call it that) is that in its rotten state, it has these little maggots that are supposed to infuse it with an exquisite flavor. Insert *gagging* emoticon here!
When I began going on missions to Peru, I learned about a large yellowish grub called suri, which the natives ate with great relish - raw or cooked, didn't matter. I have eaten many kinds of meat that most of peers have not - turtle, alligator, squirrel, and guine pig - but grubs are not on my list. I joke that I will never be a true "charapa" ( the colloquial for someone from the jungle - literally a kind of turtle that lives in the river) until I DO brave eating suri. Of course, they'd have to chop it up and mix it with stuff so it is not recognizeable, and then not tell me what it is, until I have tasted and declared it delicious (even so, i don't know if I'd be able to KEEP it down.) I actually came close in 2007, when we were at Quistococha park near Iquitos and they served them skewered, roasted -
- had it up to my mouth - then just looked at that black head on the bulbous body, and thought of the grey grubs I'd dig up out of my garden and gish with the trowel, and just could not proceed.
So I'm reading this article - how you have to eat it with your eyes closed so the living maggots don't leap into your eyes - and told my son, point blank, "Thanks, I'll stick with cheddar."
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
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