Monday, June 30, 2014

Straight Forward

I've started reading through Ezekiel and what a blessing it has been so far!  The Lord has certainly been using some of the "toughest" books in the Bible to bring me some of the sweetest blessings!  This morning I read Ezekiel 10.  The very last phrase of chapter 10 (v. 22) says, "…they went every one straight forward."
Pretty profound, isn't it?  Now I realize that Ezekiel was talking about the movement of the cherubims and the wheels.  But that statement arrested my attention:  "…they went every one straight forward."  I went back and looked at the chapter again.  Three times Ezekiel explains the movement of the cherubims and the wheels.  "…they turned not as they went, but to the place whither the head looked they followed it; they turned not as they went" (v. 11).  "…turned not from beside them" (v. 16).  "…they went every one straight forward" (v. 22).
Then I read Proverbs 30.  Can you guess which verse the Lord brought to my attention?  Proverbs 30:30 - "A lion which is strongest among beasts, and turneth not away for any;"  The Lord is trying to tell me something!
As I sit here writing to you, Martha is sitting on the floor next to me reading Proverbs  to Phebe.  (I think she is giving her a sermon while she's at it!  I heard some admonishing about modesty…)  Ian just came in and joined the girls.  What a precious sight it is to see my children reading the Bible together - learning to go "straight forward."
One the the desires of my heart is to not only teach my children to love Jesus, but also to teach them to go "straight forward" in their service for Him.  As I think about that phrase "straight forward," I also think about how we should not just GO straight forward for the Lord, but we should BE straight forward for the Lord.  To be honest and bold for our Saviour is something we are trying to teach our children.
Praise the Lord for all the wonderful examples given to us in His Word!  Examples that show us how to do and be what Jesus wants for us.  With the Lord's help, let us apply Ezekiel 10:22b to our lives every day:  "…they went every one straight forward."

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Learning to Appreciate

I did something last night that I never thought I would - I sat down on the couch with my family and watched an ENTIRE game of soccer!  Okay, okay, there were two motivating factors that prompted this phenomenon:  1.  The World Cup!  2.  The United States was playing!
When I lived in the Philippines as a single missionary, I learned to appreciate basketball.  Before that time, I didn't have much use for (or know much about) the game of basketball.  The Filipinos LOVE basketball!!  While I must confess that basketball is still not my favorite sport to watch, I have learned to appreciate it.
Now I live in Peru, South America, where soccer is King!  Until now, I have had a half-hearted interest in soccer.  I get excited when Peru wins a game.  But let's be honest - having The World Cup right next door in Brazil - it somehow changes your perspective!  The excitement of the Peruvians is contagious!  I've been keeping up with the scores, and we even watched part of the Argentina vs. Bosnia-Herzegovina game!  But something changed for me last night….after all, my home country was playing!  It was a great game (USA won!!!), and it was so much fun watching it as a family (Did I mention that the USA won?!?)!
So, now I am learning to appreciate soccer.  Martha and Ian enjoy playing soccer in the hallway of our house!  And it is yet one more connection I can have with the people God has called us to!
Phebe helping Daddy work!

Watching the construction

Mommy and her Treasures
Martha, Phebe, and Ian with Lis (Deaf)

Daddy and his Treasures