Team Honduras

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Purpose in Your Heart

A week or so ago Mark was listening to one of Brother Jonathan Blankenship's services online and he was talking about picking a book of the Bible and reading it over and over again. So, during one of our family devotion times Mark made a challenge to us all that we would pick a book and read a chapter every week. But we were to read that chapter every day and at the end of the week we would discuss what we had learned. The kids picked the book of Daniel and so we started our study. Tonight, we had our first discussion on chapter one of Daniel. One of the key things that we all learned was that even before Daniel was offered meat from the king's table....he purposed in his heart not to defile himself.  WOW! Even before he was offered he made up his mind.  You know this brings up the thought to us Christians we purpose in heart not to conform to the things of the world. Do we already have in our hearts and minds what our standards are on Biblical truths? Do we know and stand true to our feelings on music, dress, and other areas of controversy?  If we know what we believe and we purpose in heart to hold true to those things then the Lord will help us and our testimony for HIM will be easy to let others see.  We challenge you to do this same study and see what you can learn from God's word.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Thought of the Day

Mi vecina en su jardin
 Today as we were walking home from an enjoyable time at the park I noticed two of our elderly neighbors in their yard. We stopped and chatted with them and watched to see just what they were doing. Many times I had noticed them from my "high rise" bedroom window(LOL) and saw that they were sitting on the ground within the gates of their yard. However, I had no idea what they were doing. Today as we stopped and chatted with them, I noticed that they were single handedly plucking each weed from their beautiful carpet bed of grass. It may sound funny to refer to grass like that but here in Costa Rica you rarely see grass other than on a soccer field. With that said when you do see grass it is nothing that you would wanna take your shoes off in and run barefoot on. Each lady looked hard to find and only pick out that which was not grass. When we expressed how beautiful we thought the yard was and admired their hard work they had this to helps to take their minds off of things and gives them something to do with their time. Also, they take pride in their lovely yard and want to keep it beautiful. As we walked on just a few shorts steps to our house I started to think about just how content those two ladies were with sitting on the ground and taking extra special care to only take out what was in fact not a grass seedling. How many of us would have done that? I know for a fact...that I have seen many people with a bottle or two of good ole "Round Up". However, the problem with that is you can kill the grass just as easily as the weeds. When I first started thinking about those two ladies the first thing I thought of was how content they were to do this time consumming job. However, now that I have put much thought into really comes down to how much care and nuture they are willing to put into making their patch of grass be the most beautiful grass on the block. That triggers the thoughts of how much Jesus loves us and cares for us. Everyday he has to pluck away the bad(sin) in our life, but yet he is so willing. While we still must ask for "forgiveness" he is there eager and ready to pluck it away and tend to our hearts and minds just like those two ladies in their yard. We should take the same steps towards "cuidar" or care that the Lord Jesus does for us for others that we know. If we see our brothers and sisters in Christ struggling we should be the first to lend a hand, stop and pray for them or simply have an ear to listen. Of coarse we should do those things for our brethren but we should also be willing to share the gospel and hope for those who have not put their faith and trust in Jesus. So, with that said, don't be content in your ways if they are not productive but reach out and be willing to help pluck one "weed" or in this case a "soul" from the flames of destruction. I challenge you all this week to seek out someone who made need a little extra care, whether it be extending a hand to a fellow Christian or sharing the Gospel with a lost soul.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Joy in the Simple Life

We had a wonderful surprise trip back to North Carolina. While there we were able to spend time with family and friends and visit with Hilltop our home church. It was so nice to be able to see all the faces that we have missed for over a year. When we moved to Florida to train at Hope Children's Home the last time we were in N.C. was December 2010.  So, while on this visit we were able to eat at some of our favorite places including the most famous "Bojangles" for some chicken and biscuits. While this is a place that brings us much JOY....   we all quickly found how much we missed our new life in Costa Rica. God was preparing our hearts for the mission field by giving us JOY in other things. We love the simple life of no cell phone and at times even a car. It was weird to have a phone, which Wendy let us borrow. First, of all it took forever to learn how to use it and make a call. Second, we laughed at the fact that we had spent more in gas in 1 week than we had on bus and taxie fare in 9 months.    WOW! How we love the simple life.  Walking into stores where people don't greet with a smile while on the same shopping aisle or are always in a constant rush. I must say that on our first trip to Target, we felt like we were foreigners and that for once people were starring at us as if we should not be there. WEIRD!! However, in reality , no-one was even paying attention to us as we just walked the aisles in awe at all the things that were around us. I am thankful that when God calls you to do a certain job or go to the mission field he changes your heart and fills your longings with new kinds of JOY! The Bible says in: Psalm 126:2 "Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue filled with singing: then said they among the heathen, The Lord hath done great things for them. While we were sad to say our goodbyes to friends and family we could find comfort in another verse. In Psalms 30:5 "......Weeping may endure for a night but joy cometh in the morning." I am so thankful for the JOY that the Lord has given me. Not only the joy that I have from knowing that I am bought with a price and have an enternal home in Heaven, thanks to my Savior Jesus Christ but also the joy that I have in my heart for doing and obeying HIS WILL.  Please remember us in your prayers as we go back to school on Tuesday and finish up the 2 and 1/2 months left here before we make our home in Honduras. Until next time...may you find Joy of your own.
Mark and the kids sitting on the porch of Nanny Bugs old barn.