Is He our first priority or our last resort?

Please pray for Dr. Hines. He has a CT scan tomorrow. He has been the “mastermind” behind the Telemedicine at Casa. Pray for good results for this dear friend.

We will be praying, studying and learning about “The Disciple’s Cross.”  My prayer is that God will use this study to draw our boys closer to Him.

“In the first week we are going to learn how to Spend Time With the Master.  Like every relationship, we have to spend a lot of time with the other person to grow closer and to know him/her.  A relationship with our Lord is no different.  If we only spend time with Him on Sunday, then our relationship with Jesus is not a priority.

“I want us to walk with Jesus, not walk away.  Jesus chose twelve men to be His disciples…to walk with Him, to teach them, to love them and spend time with them.  What is a disciple?  A person who is committed and follows another in their teaching and life.

“To be a disciple of Christ we have to be committed to Him.  He has to be first in our life.  Our spouse, our children, friends, sports team or job cannot be more important than our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  There is a cost.”  Luke 14:26, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters – yes, even his own life – he cannot be my disciple.”  I said, “Really?  As a disciple, we have to think differently, not as the world.  If our parents, children and friends reject our Lord or us because we are Christians, then we have to choose Jesus over them.  It can be defined as ‘hating’ them.  He must be our first priority and we need to love Him more than others in our life.

Luke 9:23, “Then He said to them all: ‘If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.'”  “Jesus does not want Him to be Lord of our lives only on Sunday, but everyday.  So, what is our cross?  It is not a burden that we need to carry while we are alive, it is ‘dying to self.’”  Matthew 16:25-26, “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for Me will find it.  What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world yet forfeits his soul?  Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?”

“Write down the three things that are the highest priority in your life.”  Then the boys drew a circle in their notebook, which represented their life.  I had them write Jesus in the circle and said that if Jesus wasn’t the first and highest priority in your life, then you cannot be His disciple.  How do we make Jesus first in our life?  Spending time with Him daily.  We finished our study with Matthew 6:25-34.

Bible Society

The Bible Society of Guatemala ministered to the children today.  It was their last day so all the children came together in the blue building worshiping the Lord.  They blessed the children with God’s word, fun and food.  We are grateful the Lord brought them here to minister.

All His,

Lee and Candy

Waiting on the Lord

Recently, we shared with you that a friend of ours had cancer in a lymph node in his neck and that another test was to be done on the base of his tongue.  That, too, proved to be cancerous.  Our friend had a PET scan on Friday to see if there was cancer anywhere else in his body.  When we read the email, Candy and I rejoiced that there is no other cancer in our friend’s body.  Praise ONLY to God!!!  Please continue to pray for the treatment yet to come.  God IS awesome!

We do have other friends going through cancer treatments, and we ask you to hold them up in prayer.  The disease is awful, and the treatment is horrendous.  However, God is the Doctor Who is always on call.  Praise Him!

Our devotional yeseterday was based on a quote by Ann Voskamp, “If you are waiting on God, do what waiters do: Serve.”  I said, “As you all know, patience isn’t one of my strengths.  God?  He is patient.”  2 Peter 3:8-9, “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.  The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness.  He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”

“While we are here on earth, we will be waiting on His promises.  Jesus promised that He would return.”  John 14: 1-3, “Do not let your hearts be troubled.  Trust in God; trust also in Me.  In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you.  I am going there to prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with Me that you also may be where I am.”

“There are some that doubt His coming, and they mock Him and those who believe in Jesus.”  2 Peter 3:3-4, “First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires.  They will say, ‘Where is this “coming” He promised?’  Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.”

“Those that believe, they will be waiting for the Lord.”  Psalm 130:5-6, “I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I put my hope.  My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning.”

“So, while we wait, we need to serve.  We don’t sit around; we serve.  Jesus didn’t sit around and wait for the people to come to Him; He served the people.”  Matthew 20:28, “…just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and give His life as a ransom for many.”

“All of us have been given a gift and we need to use it to serve others.”  1 Peter 4:10, “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.”

“Jesus loved His disciples so much that He washed their feet.  He loves all of us so much He died for us.  What is our excuse not to serve?  While we are waiting, we need to continually do good and serve.”  Galatians 6:9-10, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.  Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”

We ask that you join us in praying for full time dorm parents for our boys. As we mentioned in an earlier journal entry, we feel called back to the United States. We pray that God will send godly parents for our boys…ones to love and care for them as their own.

Every other Saturday, our older leaders (18 and older), are able to leave and have free time outside of Casa.  They enjoy the time outside and always come back smiling.  Maybe they just enjoy being way from us…;-)

Some members of the government agencies came and played with Casa’s soccer team yesterday.  There was just a slight disadvantage to the visiting team, but in reality, it accomplished its purpose.  To show the love of the Lord, serving together and to just have fun.  A few of our boys and leaders went to watch while I stayed back with those who didn’t want to go.

In the afternoon yesterday, I took the boys to the field and they played soccer and flew kites.  While I was watching the boys, Billy came by with Sofia and we talked.  He is such an inspiration to me.  Not many people know this, but he was actually a leader in our dorm for a short time.  We laughed about that as we reminisced.  God places people in our lives for a purpose, and I am grateful to the Lord for using Billy to encourage me and pray with me when times get tough.  After Billy left, I stood there and suddenly the boys on the soccer field started running toward me.  If you have ever seen the “Running of the Bulls,” it was like that.  I was confused until I got pelted by rain.  The boys weren’t storm chasers, the storm was doing the “chasing” and it chased us back to the dorm.

All His,

Lee and Candy

 

 

 

Sorrow, Repentance, and Forgiveness

After the boys did their chores, we met in the sala for our devotional. I said, “Yesterday, we wrote a sin on the kite that we wanted to let go.  Yet, repentance of sin is more than just letting it go.

First, we have to have remorse about our sin.  2 Corinthians 7:8-9, “Even if I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it.  Though I did regret it – I see that my letter hurt you, but only for a little while – yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance.  For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us.”

The question we have to ask ourselves is, “Do we really feel bad for what we did?”  Maybe you are asking, “Why are you saying that?  I said I was sorry.”  The reason is because there are two types of sorrow.  A Godly sorrow and a worldly sorrow.  2 Corinthians 7:10, “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.”

“Godly sorrow brings repentance.  We will hate what we did and our hearts will be torn because we have sinned against God and others.  Worldly sorrow is when we do not feel bad for what we did, but rather, that we got caught.

“When we repent, we confess our sins and turn from them.  We admit that what we did was wrong.  We separate from what caused us to sin, whether it is a person or a behavior.  We will desire to live for the Lord.

“After sorrow and repentance comes forgiveness.” Psalm 130:3-5, “If you, O Lord, kept a record of our sins, O Lord, who could stand?  But with you there is forgiveness; therefore you are feared.”

“He is faithful and will forgive us when we repent.”  1 John 1:9-10, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.  If we claim we have not sinned, we make Him out to be a liar and His word has no place in our lives.”

“God is love.  God is forgiveness.  He desires for all to come to repentance.”  2 Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness.  He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”

One of our boys had a court hearing today and went home. He had some difficulties while he was here, yet there was always a glint of hope.  Teaching our boys God’s word is like gardening.  We plant and water, but it is the Lord who causes growth.  His word is truth and He has taught us in Isaiah 55:8-11, “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.  As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is My word that goes out from My mouth:  It will not return to Me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”

Two of our boys went home, and the Lord gave us two more.  He gives us what we can handle and whom He desires.  We are grateful and blessed.

All His,

Lee and Candy

Our Time

Our devotional for today was “It is your time.”  John 7:6-7, “Therefore Jesus told them, ‘The right time for me has not yet come; for you any time is right.'”  “Jesus said that is wasn’t His time.  It is the same for us.  We want to do things for our Lord yet it may not be our time.  God has a plan and a time for each of us.

“Remember, it is written that there is a time for everything.  Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, ‘There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time to for war and a time for peace.’

“When Jesus was born, it was His time.  Galatians 4:4-5, ‘But when the time had fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons.’ When we were born, it was our time.  Jeremiah 1:5, ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.’

“When Jesus carried His cross, it was His time.  John 19:17, ‘Carrying His own cross, He went out to the place of the skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha.)’

When we carry our cross, it will be our time.  Matthew 16:24, ‘Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone would come after me he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”’

“When Jesus sacrificed His life, it was His time.  John 19:30, ‘When He had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.”  With that, He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.’

“When is it our time?  Our time is now. Romans 13:11-14, ‘And do this, understanding the present time.  The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.  The night is nearly over; the day is almost here.  So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.  Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy.  Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.’

“All of us have sinned against our Lord.  It is our time to repent.  It is our time to live for the Lord.  Our time is now!”

In the afternoon, we went to the school soccer field and flew our kite.  One of the leaders tried to fly the kite, but he just couldn’t get it up in the sky. One of the teachers came over and showed them how to fly the kite.  It was in the clouds.  It was so high, it looked like a little white dot in the blue sky and they cut the line and let it go.

Letting go of sin

 

All of us wrote a sin on the kite that we wanted to release.  It was a symbol of letting go of a sin in our lives, like releasing the scapegoat into the desert.  Yet, we know that only the Lamb of God can take away our sins.

Playtime

The children from Angelitos arrived a little later, and our boys joined them on the soccer field, played with them and showed them how to fly a kite.  Of course, some of our boys have siblings in Angelitos, so it was fun seeing them together.

Two of our leaders will be escorting a Quinceañera next Friday.  One of them said that he needed new shoes.  I looked at him and said, “I don’t think so.  It is not about you.  Who do you think the guests will be looking at?  You or the girl?”  He smiled and said, “Me.”  Yeah, right.  I told him to polish his shoes.

All His,

Lee and Candy

 

Kite Day

The quote I had for the boys was, “Show the people the desert, not just the promised land.”  “Who said this?  The Christian rapper, Lecrae.  What does that mean?  Doesn’t he want people to feel good?  The answer is yes, yet it is not only about heaven, but here on earth also.  While we are walking and living for the Lord, we will have troubles and difficulties.  We will be walking in the desert, and we can overcome because of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”  John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that I me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world.”

“We will have difficulties in our lives, but we can overcome them.  What type of difficulties can we have?  I have talked to you about the attitudes and behavior during the last days, and we can find them in 2 Timothy 3:1-5, ‘But mark this.  There will be terrible times in the last days.  People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God – having a form of godliness but denying its power.  Have nothing to do with them.’

“However, Jesus does not want us to fear but to believe and trust in Him.  John 14:1, ‘Do not let your hearts b e troubled.  Trust in God, trust also in me.’  We are going to be with Jesus one day, but until then we will have difficulties.  We have to trust in Him because we know that He will be with us.  He was with His people as a cloud during the day and fire at night.  He is with us in Spirit.  We will have difficulties.  We will overcome.  We will be with Him.

“And the Promised Land?  Revelation 21:6-7, ‘He said to me: “It is done.  I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.  To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life.  He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son.”’  What a promise!!!

“And the pain and difficulties that we have now?  Revelation 21:3-4, ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes.  There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’

“All those who believe and trust in Him will be together in the Promised Land with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Guatemalans, Americans, Koreans, Germans, Canadians and all the other nations worshiping our Lord together with all our heart.  He is worthy!  Revelation 7:9-10, ‘After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb.  They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands, and they cried out in a loud voice; “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”’”

Making Kites

Today is Day of the Dead and the tradition here is that the boys make kites and fly them until they are destroyed or tired of them.  Of course, that is not the reason for making the kites.  Tradition is that the people honor the dead and use the four elements…fire, air, water and earth.  I asked the boys to make an extra kite because I wanted to do something different.  I though about Romans 6;18, “You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.”  I said, “I want all of us to write a sin we want to be free from on the kite, fly it in the school field and when it is in the heavens, let it go.”  I told them that it is just a symbol because we know that only the Lamb of God can free us from our sins.  It is like the scapegoat that was released in the desert with the sins of the people placed on its head.  The boys liked the idea. Dead to sin, alive in Christ.

Yesterday, one of our boys had a court hearing and went home.  We will miss him.  Being a dorm parent is difficult.  Getting attached to our boys and taking care of them is hard work but the reward is great.  We plant and water, but it is our Lord and Savior who causes growth.  He is worthy!!!

 

All His,

Lee and Candy

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