Monday, November 7, 2016

Christmas is coming…

Hello friends! Christmas is right around the corner and so I just want to share a few opportunities for you to bless some kids here in Bolivia. (And by blessing them you'll also be a huge blessing to those who serve them here too!)

Kids Club. This is what I do with the Vargas' every Saturday! I've become quite fond of the little ones who play frisbee; duck, duck, goose; and relays every Saturday, listen to Bible stories and then ask me about the zombies, and can't stop hugging me when they find me in the multitude of children.  Every Christmas we pray and trust God to provide gifts and snacks for 1000 children, family gifts for 200 families with consistent attendance, and prizes for the children with the highest grades. Maybe you want to be a part of that?  (We estimate we will need around $8,000 USD)

Navidad en Bolivia. This is where my friend Katie works. When I lived here in 2008, I also served with this team. They hope to provide gifts for about 80 kids who regularly attend the center for help with homework.  For $16 you can sponsor a kid…and check out their self-portraits. They are some of my favorite little artists!

Saturday, June 4, 2016

When we choose the wrong boss

Do you remember being a child and taking suggestions from a sibling…when you got in trouble for not obeying mom, you find yourself sheepishly trying to defend yourself by saying "but ____ told me to do it this way!", "Is she the mom?", my mom would inevitably ask. I remember my stomach sinking realizing how right she was.  What happens when you take instructions from the wrong authority? In life, work, school, family, etc. We get ourselves in trouble!  It's the same in our lives as christians.  If we take our cues from the world, we end up contradicting the very God we should be representing. 
In my Romans class in Bible school we talked about how even though sin is still present in our lives as believers, it no longer is our master! We've died to that life, and now live for Christ, meaning He is the only one we have to listen to!  
I think of how much time I spend doing things that make absolutely no difference in the big picture of living to please Christ, I think of how secular music, movies, conversations about superficial things, and other things take up way more time than actually studying God's Word. If my goal as a christian is to become like Christ-which it is-then shouldn't my focus be on what HE has to say? If as a church (a body of believers…a group of people who want to know, represent and share the God of the Bible with the world) our goal is indeed to be set apart from the world, ambassadors of Christ, and messengers of His good news of HOPE to the world we are going to have to know Him. Know His heart and His character, His love and His plan for the world.   

Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, 
as though God were making an appeal through us; 
we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 
2 Corinthians 5:20 NASB

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, 
for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, 
equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17

So WHY IN THE WORLD are we looking to the world to tell us what love actually is, how christians are supposed to act, what's appropriate and cool, what relationships are supposed to look like, etc, etc, etc?  Should we not rather be looking to God? 

Obviously, I'm not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. 
If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ's servant. Gal. 1:10 NLT

It's my challenge for all of us to look to our Savior who indeed shows the greatest love, not by letting us remain as we were but saving us from ourselves and from our sin so we can enjoy LIFE abundantly in a relationship with Him.

Greater love has no one than this, 
that one lay down his life for his friends. 
John 15:13 NASB

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. 
I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. 
I am the good shepherd. 
The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 
John 10:10-11 ESV