Saturday, June 23, 2012
Tonight is believed to be the longest and coldest night in Bolivia. It is the holiday of San Juan. All over Bolivia people will build fires, sing and eat by the fire, and be warm. Tomorrow morning, we'll awake to a fog so dense we won't be able to see out our windows, and the smoke will burn our eyes for days. Even though it is prohibited now to build these fires, still the tradition continues. Not even the threat of being fined stops the tradition.
In a small town tucked away in the lowlands, this holiday began centuries ago. The town was founded by a Jesuit priest. It was here that the town celebrated their Patron Saint San Juan (John the Baptist) and named a church in his honor. Every year thousands flock to this town to walk over hot coals. They believe only their faith will enable them to firewalk, because without faith they will burn from this earthly fire.
Thankfully, by faith, I'm saved from the eternal fire through His Son. God's promise in Isaiah 43 says He protects me from all the fires of life and from the fires of the afterlife.
How many still trust in traditions rather than the Savior tonight? This holiday we can see believers going to our churches where they will celebrate being saved from eternal fire. However, many outside still sit by their fires and walk on hot coals. We have Good News for them––they can be saved from the eternal hot coals by faith in Christ.
Monday, June 18, 2012
Moses was tired. They sat him on a rock. They held up his hands. When his hands were lowered they were losing the battle, but with the help of Aaron and Hun to hold up his hands, the battle was being won.
We are winning the battle. The enemy is being defeated. Through sickness, political problems, paperwork expenses and hospital bills, we see God working. He is providing and holding us up through the prayers of His people. In the last two months, we have come under attack in many ways. But, even the strongest hands eventually fail. Chuck's illness has required two hospital trips, and our paperwork problems are still not finished. Our hands are tired, but our God is holding us up with the help of His people. Moses, a man of God, was glad for help. We are too!
Last Saturday Chuck's pain was so intense it was unbearable. The doctor had just prescribed more pain medication that wasn't working. It's difficult to watch a spouse suffer. What to do next? We called for the elders of our city church to come and pray. They prayed and anointed him with oil, as it says in James 5:14. That night the pain intensified––it was necessary to admit him again to the clinic. Had God not answered? Yes, He answered. It was His answer to get help. Within a few days, a specialist was brought in, and the beginning of healing was evident. God's people are holding up his hands and mine. God is answering prayers––enabling us to be steady till the going down of the sun.
We can sing through the battle, because we are seated on the Rock, and our hands are being held high.
Psalm 98:1 "Oh, sing unto the Lord a new song; for he hath done marvelous things; his right hand, and his holy arm, have gotten him the victory."
Sunday, June 10, 2012
Fantasy or reality? You wake up to find yourself in this fantasy scene––enjoying the sounds and sights of nature. Relaxed and refreshed. Is it a dream?
You see the waterfall. The flow of the water trickles across the rocks and bubbles into the lake––a soothing sound. The condor flaps its wings in the gentle wind as the setting sun warms your face before it is gone for the night. You pick a yellow daffodil, and your nostrils inhale the delightful fragrance. Then you reach out and touch the sweet lamb. His soft white wool caresses your hands, and he gently tickles your fingers with his kisses. You bend down and catch a glimpse of your reflection in the crystal blue water. A sip of the sweet water quenches your thirst. You are refreshed!
A friend can do just that for you––refresh you. A note from a friend says I love you, and I'm thinking of you. Someones says, "I'm praying for you." A child hands you a flower and your heart melts. A sincere thank you for an unselfish act you performed gives you the warm fuzzies.
Proverbs 11:25b "he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed." It's reality!
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and your rampart.
(Psalms 91:3-5 NIV)
Chuck was improving in the clinic and finally had an appetite. I decided to surprise him with a pizza when I returned to visit that evening. While working at the window, I lifted my eyes to the mountain behind our house. Two birds sat perched on the rocks almost at the top of the mountain. They were huge. They had to be condors I thought, and ran to get the binoculars. There on the rocks sat two condors sunning themselves. What an unusual and majestic sighting! Even more unusual to see two condors together.
As I stood there in amazement of the beautiful birds, they spread their wings. They must have had a wing span of at least ten feet. It turned into an awesome site. They stood with their wings spread for at least 3 minutes. It was a spectacular show that was straight from God. He was saying to me,"I have you covered with my feathers." And He even sent two condors, one for each of us; as if to say, "I have you both covered."
I looked up the mountain at just the right time. No, it was God's perfect timing to have those birds there for me just then. Yes, His timing is perfect.
Even though this is a difficult time for us, with sickness and political problems, we see God. He shows himself to us. He used His awesome condors to say to me, "Here I am, and I have you covered with my feathers and you have refuge under my wings." His faithfulness will get us through the hard times and be our shield and our rampart. We are covered with His feathers and under His wings. What a restful and safe place to be! He sent me huge birds to remind me of His Faithful Feathers and Protective Wings.