I so enjoyed teaching this morning. I was tired when we finished but it was wonderful to be in the pulpit after 5 weeks. I loved hearing the over 300 children singing Christmas carols. We dedicated Josue’ & Estellas baby.
Some of you remember Gloria who was our first teenage girl who later died in childbirth. Today her brother, Walter, was killed in a motorcycle accident. He also was raised at Casa.
Crippled. losing her eye sight yet a faithful Christian and an uplifting attitude.
The Ark of Noah (Genesis 7:1-7)
God calls a people unto Himself. The first invitation was that in the days of Noah to come to the ark. He is still calling us to Himself.
V5 tells us of the wickedness of the times of Noah. There was evil in their thoughts and in their decisions as well as violence towards one another. V7 speaks of the judgment of destruction by a great flood. Romans 6:23 says that the wages of sin is death. Judgment will eventually come to all who are not born again.
But Genesis 7:8 tells us that Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. Grace is always offered to us as we face judgment. Grace is still offered today to all who will come. Grave is simply the undeserved favor of God. We cannot buy it or work for it. It is freely given to those who cry out in faith.
But Noah had to take the first step into the ark. It built it by faith and now by faith he walks through the door. You and I are no different. We are saved by grace through faith. But the Bible says Noah’s family was saved also. That is whom we are to go to first as witnesses of Christ. We must go to our family.
It was four weeks ago today that I had surgery and I feel good.
Today was a special visiting day for parents for the Christmas season. The weather was perfect but only 40 parents came. There were games and activities for the children who did not have a visitor. In fact we barbecued for them.
Thomas Jefferson was one of the most intelligent men in American history. His ideas about responsibility that still apply today.
- Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today. I have tried to live this way since I first read this in grade school. I am six months ahead in radio shows and 80 updates ahead.
- Never trouble another for what you can do for yourself. Although I am not mechanically talented I have tried to do as much as I can without bother someone else.
- Never spend your money before you have it. God spoke to my heart when I came to Guatemala telling me “What you have, you need and what you do not have, you do not need.”
- Never buy what you do not want just because it is cheap.
- Pride costs us more than hunger, cold and thirst.
- We never repent of having eaten too little. I need this!
- Nothing is troublesome that we do willingly.
- How much pain has cost us the evils that never happened. I am walking through something even now that has not happened. It is foolishness on my part.
- Take things always by their smooth handle.
- If angry, count to ten before you speak, if very angry count to 100.
I wish I had learned to count earlier in life.
We have 22 grandchildren who actually live on campus because their parents work here. Gladys made a Christmas bag with little gifts for them. We will give those gifts in our living room next week.
Dottie spent the morning separating all of the Christmas fotos and cards we have given over the year.
10 gifts to give to your child (part 2). Brazelton.
- Good health habits. I am so appalled when I walk a mall in the USA and see the number of severely obese children and teenagers. Make sure they have good health care and they eat correctly, exercise and sleep 8 hours.
- Time together. Life is very busy for most families but that cannot be an excuse to put your child at the bottom of the list of priorities. You need to be available. You need weekend activities besides dropping them off at soccer or at the mall.
- Motivation for learning. Do not push them beyond their limits but encourage them by looking at their homework and questioning them as to what they are studying. Let them know their grades are important to you. Do not blame teachers!
- Sense of humor. I have told you often about Dottie marrying me because I made her laugh. When our children were young and some were even teens we would go camping and I would tell them funny bedtime stories. They did not go to bed frightened. They went to bed giggling.
- Peer relationships. Children need play pals. Playing with others he will learn to share, compromise and empathy. He will deliver skills needed later in life. He will learn responsibility.
I felt good enough to sit and write updates as well as study in order to start preaching again. I even was able to go downstairs and walk outside.
Dottie & Oscar went to a meal at the culinary school where Benjamin is studying. Each student prepared a meal for their parents.
Bob left for the USA today for a couple of weeks.
Josue & Estela arrived with their family. It is always great to see them. They live in Jackson, Tn.
Gladys & us placed the gifts for the dialysis kids under their tree. Smiles all around!
Benjamin is on the left
Brazelton says that there are 10 gifts you can give your child (part 1).
- Every child wants love and it is so easy to love a child. Children come to Casa frightened and when they first see me they recoil. In a few days they are so much a part of us they are happy with everyone.
- No parent likes to come home to the role of disciplinarian, yet that’s exactly what your child needs from you—the strong, sure limits you provide. It is difficult to make yourself discipline a child but the alternative is a disrespectful teenager.
- A Good Example. The way you live in front of your child is far more powerful than the words you ever speak.
- A child needs your respect in order to develop self-respect. Just because they are small that does not mean you can disrespect them with screaming or insults.
- A good self-image. Love and respect enhance a child’s self-image but be sure you do not over praise. Compliment them on jobs well done as well as jobs attempted. When praise is undeserved the child knows it.
Groups of teenagers have been coming to pray for me. I feel stronger everyday. I know if I obey my physician’s instructions this will be over soon. I have very little pain. God is good!
Josue and Estella arrived from Tennessee.
A soldier was captured as a prisoner of war. His captors transported him by train far from his homeland. He felt isolated from country, bereft of family, estranged from anything familiar. His loneliness grew as he continued to not hear anything from home. He did not know if his family was even alive.
But suddenly, unexpectedly, he got a letter. It was smudged, torn at the edges from months of travel. But it said, “We are waiting for you to come home. All is fine. Don’t worry”
His circumstances had not changed. He was still in prison. But his hope arose. His goal was doable. That is what happens to us because we are captive to our bodies and our feet are in a foreign land. This world is not our home. Heaven is our home.
Read the love letter from your Father. All is well! Grab your Bible!
: Michelle, our special needs daughter sweeps the office each morning. She refused to go today because it was so cold. She said she was on vacation. People all around us have no way to stay warm except by burning wood. They do not have the warm beds and comforts our children have. They need our prayers.
Walmart brought Christian group with games, toys and even lunch.
The children with the Walmart folks
Death is the great equalizer because whether you are:
Young or old
Rich or poor
Famous or unknown
Educated or ignorant
Powerful or weak
Religious or atheistic
Athletic or crippled
Healthy or sick
Happy or depressed
WE ALL WILL DIE!
Do you have peace in your heart about where you are going? There is much terror associated with going where you have no idea what it is like. God has a place for his children. It matters not what category you reside in the list above. It only matters that you are a child of God and the destination is assured.