Archive | Jesus RSS feed for this section

Tico Days

18 Mar

5ed6fa6b4e2d5b460b490cdb2d03e7d1I  just came across this little essay that I wrote a few years ago:

There are days as missionaries when the local culture is drives us CRAZY.  Here, we call them EcuaDays [Now we would call them Tico Days] and have found they can profoundly affect our mood.  Think about it:  We bring a lot on the mission field.  We bring our family culture (In my case we’re hard-working, challenge-loving, worry-warts who have difficulty submitting to others.)and our national culture. (In my case individualistic, fairly timely, problem-solving organizers.)  That’s a lot that can clash with team culture and the culture that you’re living in.

One of our biggest struggles as missionaries is convincing people to give up their culture when it conflicts with the Bible.  Being aware of these cultural issues helps.  But it’s not a solution. Today I was reading The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe with my classIf you haven’t read this wonderful fantasy by C.S. Lewis, I highly recommend it.  It is an allegory that represents Christ’s substitutionary death and resurrection.  I came across this lovely passage:

“They say Aslan [who represents Jesus] is on the move—perhaps has already landed.” And now a very curious thing took happened.  None of the children knew who Aslan was any more than you do; but the moment the Beaver had spoken these words everyone felt quite different.  Perhaps it has sometimes happened to you in a dream that someone says something which you don’t understand but in the dream it carries some enormous meaning—either a terrifying one which turns the whole dream into a nightmare or else a lovely meaning too lovely to put into words, which makes the dream so beautiful that you remember it all your life and are always wishing you could get into that dream again.  It was like that now.  At the name of Aslan each one of the children felt something jump in his inside.  Edmund [who’d sinned] felt a sensation of mysterious horror.  Peter felt suddenly brave and adventurous.  Susan felt as if some delicious smell or some delightful strain of music had just floated by her.  And Lucy got the felling you have when you wake up in the morning and realize that it is the beginning of the holidays or the beginning of summer.

The solution is Jesus.  There is, as the song says, just something about that name.  On Ecua Days (or India Days or Russia Days) we need to praise Jesus.  “Therefore, I will praise You, LORD, among the nations; I will sing about your name.”  2 Samuel 22:50 My husband, Mike, says that when he preaches specifically about Jesus, not just mentioning Him, that something special happens.  He can see them become especially attentive and afterwards there is such a feeling of having ministered life.  We too can sing about Jesus and praise His name among the nations and watch something special happen—within ourselves.

Intimacy…Any Thoughts?

15 Feb

IMG_7230I have been so motivated to develop a more intimate relationship with the Trinity lately, but my brain is not cooperating–not one bit.  It’s been behaving like a pot of popping popcorn without the lid.  Am I the only one?  I can’t hang in with prayer for even a few minutes without undisciplined thoughts zooming around.  The only success I’ve had is  reading the Bible out loud to Jesus, the living Word, and telling Him my thoughts and confusions as I read it.  Moving so slowly through the Word, I hope to focus more on who He is.  Does anyone have other thoughts for a popcorn-brained disciple?

Now therefore, I pray You, if I have found favor in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You [progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with You, perceiving and recognizing and understanding more strongly and clearly] and that I may find favor in Your sight. And [Lord, do] consider that this nation is Your people.  Exodus 33:13 Ampl.

Transparency

3 Feb

ImageGod is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. 1 Corinthians 1:9 (NIV)

God is faithful (reliable, trustworthy, and therefore ever true to His promise, and He can be depended on); by Him you were called into companionship and participation with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. 1 Corinthians 1:9 (AMP)

Mike has been preaching an amazing series of messages on having fellowship with God.  I leave each service sooo motivated to spend time with God–with the entire Trinity.  The word called means “to invite personally by name.”  He invited us to spend time with Him.  Fellowship means “association, communion, share, participate” and that fellowship is in the light.

When I think about light, I think about how true fellowship requires transparency.  When we keep all our veils on to hide our true selves, we miss opportunities to have heart-to-heart time with God.

Psalm 15:1,2  Lord, who can dwell in Your tent?  Who can live on Your holy mountain? The one who lives honestly, practices righteousness, and acknowledges the truth in his heart.

Joyful, Joyful…

28 Nov

Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee, God of glory, Lord of love;
Hearts unfold like flowers before Thee, opening to the sun above.
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness; drive the dark of doubt away;
Giver of immortal gladness, fill us with the light of day!

Thou art giving and forgiving, ever blessing, ever blessed,
Wellspring of the joy of living, ocean depth of happy rest!
Thou our Father, Christ our Brother, all who live in love are Thine;
Teach us how to love each other, lift us to the joy divine.

What joy I’m experiencing in ministry in Costa Rica–more than ever before.  I don’t know if it’s the place I’m in spiritually, or the fact that we have more people working together as a team–although I suspect it’s the place I’m in spiritually as I’m absolutely, positively sure that I could manage to be stressed no matter how many people were shouldering the load.

There is such rest and joy in what we are doing here.  We’ve had three official Sunday morning services in the chapel we’re renting.  The worship leader leads us to the heart of Jesus.  The messages have been amazing.  The fellowship too.  Joyful.  Joyful.

 

Enter a Sinner, Leave Without Condemnation

10 Jul

I just want to share with you this amazing painting by the Russian artist, Vasily Polenov.  It’s called “Christ and the Sinner” from the story about the Pharisees bringing the woman caught in adultery before Christ in John 8:3-11.

The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.  But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.  At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”  “No one, sir,” she said.  “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

Christ’s Mind We Have Pt. 2

23 May

The other day, we looked at a translation of 1 Corinthians 2:16b which says, Christ’s mind we have!  Let’s look at the how and how not of having wisdom from Christ.

How Not?

  • Through our senses:  (eye hath not seen, nor ear heard)   We do not live by sight.
  • Through our natural mind:  (neither have entered into the heart of man)

How?

  • Know that God has prepared them.  God has his counsels prepared beforehand to hold in reserve.  Nothing is a surprise to God.
  • We receive these counsels. . .
    • through the revelation of the Holy Spirit (v. 10,11).
    • through receiving the teaching of the Holy Spirit (v. 12, 13).
    • through spiritual discernment/illumination given by having Christ’s mind  (v.14-16).

Christ’s mind we have!

Christ’s Mind We Have

19 May

I know the title sounds a little Yoda-ish, but it is one translation of 1 Corinthians 2:16b.  It is a declaration.  Make it right now, “Christ’s mind I have!”  In the context, Paul is speaking of wisdom that we receive from God.  This wisdom, or sophia, is the right use or exercise of knowledge in act, effect, or practice, skill, tact, or expertise.  The antonym is stupidity, folly, or foolishness.

God is so practical.  The wisdom of God can be roughly divided into four areas:

  1. Skill in the affairs of life, wise management as shown in forming the best plans and means.
  2. Enlightened understanding of divine things and the ability to practically apply the understanding.
  3. Infinite skill, insight, and knowledge of things pertaining to the gospel and what Jesus did for us.
  4. Knowledge of how to regulate one’s relationship with God.

Christ’s mind we have!