Monday, July 30, 2012
These favelas are full of the most intense poverty I have yet to experience. They lay on the outskirts of major cities like Rio de Janiero and Sao Paulo. Homes are stacked upon homes & made out of trash and scrap metal. In many favelas, human waste flows through the disorienting maze of streets and alleys. Though they are part of Brazil, they are governed by their own laws and enforced by the guns of the local leaders. Cash flows from the trade of illicit drugs and prostitution. It makes sense that people don't include a stop to the local favela to their vacation itineraries. Yet, there we were, about to walk onto the turf even law enforcement won't go near. We were advised beforehand to remove any jewelry or sunglasses, put away our cameras and to carry $50 in our pockets. When I asked what the money was for, I was told in a very matter-of-fact way, that we had the money in case we got assaulted or kidnapped. (Seriously?!? What have I gotten myself into?) Apparently, you have a much better chance of getting out of such a situation if you have some money to give the assailant. Thankfully, it never came to that. So, with all that danger, going in there to spread the Gospel seemed unlikely. But we did- and we could because a particularly intrepid missionary I know, went before us to prepare the way...by going bar hopping.
"It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.
I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."~ Mark 2:17
As the heavens are higher than the earth,so are my ways higher than your waysand my thoughts than your thoughts. ~ Isaiah 55:9
Monday, January 30, 2012
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Eggshells and elephants. Two seemingly unrelated topics, right? Wrong! Most are familiar with the concept of an "elephant being in the room". When there's some obvious topic, monumental in its grandeur that is awkward. So naturally, no one talks about it. We pretend everything is fine but we carefully tiptoe around the gargantuan pachyderm as though on eggshells.
This past week, there is such an elephant present. (Make note of my "responding with grace" blog) Everybody knows this awkward damned unpleasant topic affects me (particularly the individual that placed the pachyderm smack in my life space) yet, we'll talk about everything else. Or worse, there are simply peculiar looks shot my way or evasive glances. I have to say, I hate when I feel everybody looks at me differently. And in general I say screw tradition let's just get this out in the open and deal with it. Unfortunately, I know that if I even acknowledge said elephant, I will not be able to hold back the floodgates and that discretion on my part may be, no, is best. You see, this in fact someone else's elephant, and I'm afraid that he will need to be the one who addresses this. I will be gracious and loving to everyone around me despite the awkward house guest. I think in this instance I shall just wait ans respond graciously, all will be revealed in time- I just have to trust. And hope the elephant doesn't poop on me.
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
Friday, September 5, 2008
"Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face.
And the things of earth
Will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace"
That's all I have to say about that.
"This is where you go from being a child of God, to being a woman of God"-said to me amidst the rocking curves of this roller coaster
Thursday, August 28, 2008
"What's right with you?"
Yeah, so I admit, I am one of those glass half full "praisalleuia-for-the-glass!" kind of people. But even we, the annoyingly happy, can get discouraged. In fact, it has been occurring with a noted increase in frequency lately which is none too thrilling. So, as I deal with hurts and frustrations on a now more regular basis I need to remember all those things that are right with my world.
And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power together with all the saints to grasp how wide, and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge-that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:17-19
When we first start out in anything we have a very elementary knowledge. As we continue on whatever course that may be, we will see things we had no concept of at the first. Things will be unveiled and revealed. At the beginning of someone's knowing Jesus, it is easy to know Him solely as Savior. Then, we see Him as Lord. The same God that brought down fire and judgement is the same that left 99 to find you. So, God doesn't change-He is the same yesterday, today and forever. I think as we journey forward we begin to see that there is more to our Lord than we ever imagined. Some days I must remember that He is slow to anger and abounding in love. Some days I need to know His power and might. Some days I need boldness. Some I need meekness. Some days I need Him to give me more words, others I need to rest in the quiet. He is the author and finisher of our faith. He meets all our needs.Who knows what we might discover if we try go grasp each of those pictures of our God.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Many many people will respond in the affirmative. "Sure I believe in Jesus".
However, believing in Jesus is not enough. Oh really? You ask. Indeed. My pastor pointed out that there are places in scripture that tell us to believe ON Christ. Mhh, I'd never given that much thought. What's the difference between believing in and believing on?
To believe on something is to put your full weight on it. It is trusting that the object of your belief will hold you up and keep you from falling. Resting fully.
Let's use a cheesy illustration, shall we?
Suppose there is a chair in the room you're in.
Do you believe in the chair?
Why of course, it's right here.
Now sit in it.
If you trust that you can sit on that chair and it will not crumble beneath you, then you believe on the chair. If on the other hand, you decline the offer of that seat as you question the weight capacity of said chair then you are not. You see there is a difference.
What would our faith look like if we took this same perspective to our Lord?
Many believe in the existence of Jesus-but when push comes to shove, what does that belief really mean? Is there any weight to it? So when in comes to the pain or questions in our lives do we put them fully on God or do we hang on, trying to maintain control? If we are believing on Him there is no need to worry, no need to manipulate or strategize. We can lay back in the arms of our Savior and know that His plans and purposes will come to pass.
Be still and know that He is God.
In Him we will find our rest.