Saturday, October 3, 2009

The Best Gifts

Dear Beloved Friends and Family,

Thank you all so much for your Birthday wishes and cards! I wanted to tell you how we celebrated because it was such an answer to your prayers!

God spoke to me all day long! We had a wonderful devotional led by one of our teachers, Gisela, and she spoke on John 8:32: “To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the Truth and the Truth will set you free.” We have been focusing on the Word this week since Sunday was the day of the Bible in Honduras. Gisela talked about how only the Word of God can free us completely. I knew God was speaking to me about my need to replace some wrong thought patterns in my life with the Truth of the Word. I pray to walk in God’s truth and freedom this year so that my weaknesses will not hinder the growth of the ministry.

In the morning, e-mails started to trickle in wishing me a HBD and then the trickle became a rush…..I thought to myself, “This is very unusual and very lovely. I wonder if somebody gave everyone a heads up about my Birthday.” Sure enough one of the e-mails that came had the note from Chris attached. God totally blessed me through you all!

God chose the Birthday theme……..without knowing ahead of time, everyone gave me presents that had to do with eating healthfully! I have been reading Dr. Colbert’s book entitled Toxic Relief. Perhaps I’ve been talking up his suggestions for healthier eating more than I thought! Fruits, exercise weights, a water bottle, nuts and granola … these filled my spot at the table! The icing on the cake was when they blindfolded me and brought out a piñata in the shape of a carrot and, instead of being full of candy, it was filled with a spiky red fruit called lichas. We laughed and laughed as the adults took turns smacking the heck out of that carrot! Confetti and fruit were flung all over the place! The hilarity that began with the piñata only increased when we started playing games and acting like a bunch of wild children. It was so freeing! Suddenly I realized…….with all the stress of the political crisis, we just needed to laugh! God knew that. His gives the best gifts! I pray to be more humble and childlike in the coming year.

And Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, "Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 18:1-4)

Pastor Evert then came and shared from the scriptures. He chose Psalm 39:4-6 and Psalm 73:24-26

“Show me, O Lord, my life’s end and the number of my days; Let me know how fragile is my life. You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Each man’s life is but a breath. Man is a mere phantom as he goes to and fro: He bustles about, but only in vain; he heaps up wealth, not knowing who will get it. But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in You.”

“Whom have I in heaven but You? And earth has nothing I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

It seemed strange to me at first that Pastor Evert would choose these verses referring to the fleetingness of life, but as he expounded on the scriptures, it made perfect sense. He spoke about how we all had come to know how fragile life can be during this past year and a half, and that God had taught me through the failing of my flesh, that He is the strength of my heart, my portion, and my hope. When everything else is stripped away, the truth comes forth. Nothing else can satisfy the deepest desires of our hearts. Truly His Presence is the best gift.

I pray to desire nothing but Him in the days ahead. Thank you, dearest friends, for praying for us, and for upholding us, during this time of national insecurity. I continue to be thankful for the security we have in Jesus. He never fails. Ever.

With love,

“No one can be uncheered
  by a balloon.”
                      -A.A. Milne