1 Corinthians 3:4-9
What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building."
1 Corinthians 3:4-9
Monday, November 24, 2014
Life really has been that busy. We've seen IGNITE Class 7 complete their training here in Antigua and now they are serving in their respective fields. IC6 is now serving in their home churches, after having completed their re-entry in Montana. We've experienced our first English Camp here on the property as well as the Central American Pastor's and Leader's conference. Our moms came for a visit and I feel confident saying we conquered Antigua! Haha. We had a great visit with them and are thankful that they are best friends and travel buddies. It is such a blessing to have moms who love us enough to follow us all over Central America! :)
We are so thankful for what we see the Lord doing all around us. He is working in the lives of the students here on campus- both the IGNITE interns, as well as the Bible College students. He is working in the hearts and lives of the staff on campus. As He works and moves in our own hearts, we see that He chooses to use us in the lives of others. We don't know why, haha, but He does. The church is growing, as well, both in numbers but more importantly spiritually. Each week, I hear testimony of the way God is working in the lives of church members. And the way He chooses to work is not through easy circumstances. There are really hard things happening in the lives of people here, and in the midst of those hard things, God is working and using those very situations to draw His people close to him, change them, and ultimately to transform their lives.
"I have chosen the way of truth; I have set my heart on your laws. I hold fast to your statutes, O LORD; do not let me be put to shame. I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free." Psalm 119:30-32
Yesterday I had two very different conversations with two very different women. Both are struggling to let others in to the deepest parts of their hearts. The Lord laid it upon my heart to speak with, listen to, and pray for both of them. Both know the scriptures very well and have been 'in church' for many, many years. One chose to live out what we read in the verses above. One responded to the still, small voice of the Lord and opened up her heart yesterday, chose to run in what the Lord has set out before her, and consequently found freedom! The other sadly, responded to the Lord calling out to her by closing up her arms and her heart tight, like in a ball of tangled, knotted yarn. The Lord's presence was among us as tears flowed from her eyes, yet her hard was hard. Freedom was there- she just had to choose to run towards it. But instead I watched as her countenance changed and she ran away and not towards her Savior.
"Your decrees are the theme of my song wherever I lodge. In the night I remember your name, O LORD, and I will keep your law. This has been my practice; I obey your precepts." Psalm 119:54-56
I asked her if she takes time every day to read her bible and she said no. She had moved recently and did not like her new home and had not even unpacked. She just did not have time to sit down and read. I prayed for her and exhorted her to be obedient to the word, make things right with people with whom she was angry- starting with God. And as she walked away my heart sank, knowing that her heart was still hardened.
What I take away from these two verses that the Lord has given me the past few days in my own devotional time is that we do each have a choice. We must choose the way in which we are going to walk. There are two ways- with God or away from him. There is a consequence of both ways.
Towards God leads to freedom- no mater what your circumstances of life are. When our hearts are set on or purposed to obey God's Word, we will find freedom. We will find life.
If you are not walking towards God, on the path He sets out before you, you are walking away from him. As a friend of mine says, we need to read the scripture backwards sometimes to understand what is there. When we read backwards in these texts we see that if we do not follow God we do not have freedom. Which means we are in captivity. Bondage. Death.
Why? Because the word of God is alive and active. It brings us life and moves us to application- action.
Have you taken time today to sit and read God's word? Will you stop for a moment and listen for His voice? Will you obey what He says when He speaks?
If you have about an hour, take the time to listen to this teaching from a friend of mine. You will be blessed!
Monday, July 21, 2014
Today we celebrate the life of our third child, Audrey Ann!
We love you so much, Audrey! The joy you bring to our lives cannot be measured. You have brought laughter to our family, fun, and adventure! Your curiosity about life, nature, animals, and about how things work is fascinating and often brings the rest of us new perspective.
You love giraffes, the color purple, and rice and beans! You also love to sweep, run and exercise, and pretending! Since you were very lithe, we would find you off in a corner somewhere talking up a storm with some imaginary audience...and we still today find you doing that! There are so many things you would like to do in your life that you cannot decide just exactly what it is you will be when you grow up...but that's ok because you have some time to figure that out!
Since we've moved here to Guatemala, you have grown up so much. Yes, you have gotten taller and you wear a bigger size in clothes and shoes...but you have grown up in who you are and more importantly in who God created you to be. Your Spanish has blossomed and you speak it all the time now. You also have gotten more comfortable interacting with new people and in new places...both things that used to be really hard for you. You still hold back some in the beginning of a new situation, but you are stepping out more and more and it si so exciting to see you do new things and interact in new situations.
You make us laugh, play jokes on us, and tell us jokes all the time. You make silly faces and have one-liner comments that make us laugh so hard our stomaches hurt! You bring us great joy, Audrey!
These two little guys have become little brothers to you and your sister and brother. They love you all so much and it brings us great joy to see you all live life together every day. We are so thankful that God brought all of us together!
Over the years, you have lived in many different places. Jesus has blessed our family incredibly by taking us places we had never imagined. You have always been along for the ride...and as you grow older in years, we see God working in your own heart. You are beginning to see His plan in your life, too!
|San Jose, Costa Rica 2007|
|Villarreal, Costa Rica 2010|
|Volcán Poas 2007|
|Playa Flamingo 2011|
|Guanacaste, Costa Rica 2012|
|Playa Tamarindo, Costa Rica 2013|
|Villarreal, Costa Rica 2011|
|Playa Langosta, Costa Rica 2011|
|Playa Tamarindo, Costa Rica 2012|
|San Jose Costa Rica, 2009|
|San Jose, Costa Rica 2009|
|San Jose, Costa Rica 2009|
|Playa Tamarindo, 2012|
|McClain farm, Indiana 2009|
|Frankfort, Indiana 2006|
|Rossville, Indiana 2004|
We are incredibly blessed to be your parents, Audrey! We love you so much. But your Heavenly Father loves you even more than we ever could. He has a plan that is perfect and one that is just for you! He will never leave you, Audrey. He is always with you. He wants you to walk in that plan; to be strong and courageous, trusting in Him and leaning on Him and doing all things in His strength. He cares for you. He loves you. His love will never run out. He will never give up on you. He has given you His word so that you might know Him more through it and learn His ways.
|Antigua, Guatemala 2014|
Happy Birthday today! We are so very thankful that God chose us to be your parents!