After breakfast, the boys cleaned the dorm and when they finished, we had our devotional. I said, “Today is Army Day in Guatemala. It is celebrated to remember those that have served, died or lost their lives while fighting for the armed forces of Guatemala. As Christians, we are part of God’s army. We are soldiers for Christ. 2 Timothy 2:3-4, ‘Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs – he wants to please his commanding officer.’
“As a soldier of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, we know that we will have difficulties while we are living in this world. John 16:33, ‘I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.’
“As a soldier, we need to have faith. 2 Corinthians 5:7, ‘We live by faith not by sight.’ Sometimes the things we see can be deceiving. We can be overwhelmed, and we cannot see the greater things…how the Lord is working in our lives. Remember…what is faith? Hebrews 11:1, ‘Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.’
“As a soldier, we need to obey. Jeremiah 7:23, ‘…but I gave them this command: Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Walk in all the ways I command you, that I may go well with you.’
“As a soldier, we need to endure. Philippians 3:13-14, ‘Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.’
“As a soldier, we cannot give up. Galatians 6:9, ‘Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.’
“As a soldier, we need to use the armor of God. Ephesians 6:13, ‘Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.’ To stand in the gap for the Lord. What is the armor? Ephesians 6:14-18, ‘Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.’
“As a soldier, we need to have the attitude of Jesus. Philippians 2:5-8, ‘Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross!’”
There was no vigil tonight, so after dinner, the boys popped popcorn and watched movies. I kicked up my feet and read Crazy Love again. It has been a few years since I read it but I came across it while cleaning. Go figure. The title of one of the sections is called, “Justified Stress?” Now I know why I was supposed to find it. Francis Chan wrote, “When I am consumed by my problems – stressed out about my life, my family, and my job – I actually convey the belief that I think the circumstances are more important than God’s command to always rejoice. In other words, that I have a ‘right’ to disobey God because of the magnitude of my responsibilities.” How’s that for a wake-up call! The name of the chapter? “You might not finish this chapter.” I didn’t finish the chapter.
Lee and Candy
Today is the “Day of the Army” which is a national holiday. There is no school and all of our offices are closed. The children are happy but it is more work for our house parents.
Four teams are arriving today so I will give my testimony tomorrow morning as a current team leaves at 11am and asked if I would do it for them before they leave.
Are you old enough to remember the 1980’s and a song entitled “What’s love got to do with it?” For we who are born again the answer would be “Everything”.
John 15:9-10 says, “Just as the Father has loved Me, I also have loved you. Remain in my love.” If you wonder why He tells the disciples and us that you need only read the next verse. John 15:11 “I have spoken this so that you will be filled with my joy.”
To answer the question of the song I can say that love has everything to do with it. Until we love others as Jesus commands we will not ever find true joy. Love and joy go hand-in-hand. You cannot have one without the other.
People search for happiness and thus they do not need the love of God. But happiness is fleeting. It comes and goes depending upon the circumstances. However, joy can be eternal. It will last through the easy times as well as the difficult times. It has everything to do with the life we live.
Eight of our boys were able to participate in the award trip today, and they were excited. They packed up their backpacks and I had to do a mental checklist of what they needed to bring. First and foremost…plastic bags. Plastic bags? Yes, experience shows that there will be a few “pukers” on the bus. Since the children are rarely on a bus or in a vehicle, some of them have a tendency to get carsick. Our boys were really concerned last night… asking about it. I looked at them and then the light bulb flashed. I said, “Ahhh…you don’t want to puke in front of the girls or on the girls. A little embarrassed?” Yes, that’s it! I talked to Candy about it, and she suggested peppermint so I this morning I gave them a bag of peppermints to soothe their stomach. Next, towel and bathing suit. Not a problem there. Sunblock. Check. They left at 7:00 this morning and should be back after dinner.
Did I say “calm before a storm?” Last night one of our older boys wasn’t very respectful to a younger boy even though the younger one wasn’t exactly innocent in this problem. Our desire is for the boys to fix their problems verbally rather than physically. The older one got a little physical. Another problem occurred when some of the other boys watched, but didn’t say anything. I wasn’t very happy. This morning I sat the boys down and we talked about what God desires for any parent, mentor, teacher or even older sibling. Proverbs 22:6, “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”
I said, “If we want to get better in anything, we have to train. We have to know what is right and what is wrong. Our desire for all of you is to be an example for the younger… a good example. We understand that the younger ones aren’t innocent in their behavior. We are all sinners. No one has to teach us how to lie, steal, cheat, or be rude. However, many of the things the younger ones do is learned by watching the older children and adults. We need to learn that fighting isn’t the best option when we are upset with someone. If anything, it makes things worse.
“Yet, what does it teach the younger generation? To treat others the same way. It’s a vicious cycle. A cycle that we need to break when we are young. If we don’t, it will affect our relationships, our families and our friendships.
“I know that I am hard on you, but it is only because I love you. Love and discipline go hand in hand. If you love someone, there has to be discipline. If I didn’t love you, then I would let you do whatever you want and let you drown in your problems and sorrows. We desire for you to have success in your education, with your future jobs, and with your family. Now and in the future. We want you to learn so you can train your children to be obedient.
“I understand that you are young, and we can say that ‘kids will be kids’ but discipline is necessary and it is what God desires us to do. Proverbs 22:15, ‘Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him.’”
Around 12:15, it began to rain and rain hard. The school director, Billy, decided to let the rainstorm pass before releasing the children from school. Good decision. I also benefited with an extra hour or two of rest. Good news, they will be dry when they leave school. Bad news, their food will be cold since it was set out at noon. Well…it’s 12:45…still raining and Billy decided to send the children home anyway. There goes my peace and quiet.
We celebrated another birthday today. He is ten years old and in the first grade. He has two brothers and two sisters here at Casa. He didn’t do too well in the hot dog eating competition. He ate only two. I didn’t complain since I got to eat the rest. Afterward, he searched through the gift box and found an Avengers watch. Normally, it’s either a watch or a water bottle as their favorite gift to select.
Our little one is not feeling well, so please keep her in your prayers. Thank you.
Lee and Candy
There was a special swimming trip for about 40 children and teens who were winners in the Saturday competitions. They went to Escuintla. It was such a special trip for the ones who worked so hard & competed so well. Lily was the person in charge of the months of competition & deserves a great big “Thank you”.
Two of the dialysis children, Estephany & Alex, are in the hospital. He has extremely high blood pressure & she is having problems with her catheter. Please pray for them throughout the next week.
A huge rainstorm hit here as well as Debbie’s area in Lake Charles.
One person from CNA(government oversight) came to check on the children we received from the home that burned. He said he is bringing a team to see them later.
The kids swimming in Escuintla
A little kindergarten girl drew a picture of her family including the cat. When she was asked who was her favorite person in the picture she responded “Me”. She was too young to know what humility was.
Our actions, thoughts, attitudes and reaction to others indicate to God who our favorite is. Philippians 2:3 says that we should not live to make a good impression on others.
Our lives should be such that everyone else is our favorite. We put every other person ahead of our own needs and we live in order to bless others. It is so easy to love those who love us but God tells us to make even our enemies our favorites and love them.
Finding a way to love those who you can only tolerate would be the fulfillment of loving your enemies. Hatred is not a part of many lives but intolerance is.
I made more radio shows. It is therapy for me I suppose. I love teaching. Dottie & Marcos worked on some of the trees and the Gringos had a program for three dorms.
We are blessed to say that all of the extra salaries for June/July have been paid.
One social worker, Dina, resigned as she has an opportunity to be upgraded. We will miss her because she loved the children & did an excellent job.
When I was a child & young teen my father & grandfather were the most important people to me. My grandfather taught me farming & cattle ranching whereas my dad taught me about life. My dad would run down the sidelines as I would be running on the football fields. He would arrive at the end zone about the same time I did.
Then I met God’s love. Jesus loved me unconditionally. There were no strings attached. I discovered what real love was. If I missed out on God then I missed out on true love.
I discovered that God was not a graven image or a list of do’s and don’ts. There is only one God and He wanted a relationship with me. I could say with Paul that I was a chief sinner but He still loved me. Love did not begin with me. It began with Him.
I am grateful for my grandfather and father but I am more grateful for Jesus.