Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Furlough update

WOW! We have had the most incredible time. We have driven over 6000 miles, from border to border and from sea to shining sea, well, almost. We are now in Birmingham, Al, on our way to GA, where I will get to meet Sis. Julie! How great is that?

I got to meet Tori. That was great! She was a doll and we all had a good time. Of course, all missionaries are related. I always feel a kinship with other missionaries right from the start.

The Lord has been good us. He has showed me so much. This furlough has been a great time of closeness with the Lord.

Now, if I could only get up to see Happymama!

God bless and a special greeting to Sarah, if she's still reading.


Rhonda

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Authentic Worship

Well, I've been listening to Voddie Baucham again, this time about worship. While I do not agree 100% with what he says, I agree with a great deal about it. What I've been able to apply to my life is this definition of authentic worship. (not necessarily just music)

Authentic worship happens when I place my mind's attention and my heart's affection on God, praising Him for who He is and for what He has done.

I find this helpful because even if you have good, godly music, and I think you can and you should,
you must put your heart and mind into its . It can be singing, praying, giving, listening to a sermon, witnessing to others. That's all worship.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Furlough!

Its been a great one so far! We spent a lovely month in So Cal, visiting Churches and family and getting ready to hit the road in our "new" (1983) motorhome. Since then we have driven thousands of miles and are now in Amarillo, TX. We are in a nice hotel with 2 rooms and internet, so, PTL!

The Lord has greatly blessed us. We have met many new people, children of God and fellow-laborers. I love meeting God's people!

The only thing I'm upset about is the new laptop we bought. I think its demon possessed!!!!!!!
It causes me no end of grief!

We have been spiritually blessed as well. We have heard great teaching and preaching. We were given a CD with music and testimony by a man named John Bishop, who had meningitis several years ago. He lost all his memory and had many other physical problems. But he continues to serve the Lord and testify of His grace. His motto is "God is always good, and God is always right" Just let your teeth sink into that one!

More when I can,

rhonda

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

5 more days

I only have 5 more useful days before we leave for furlough. The house is in a state of flux, my cooking has been limited to what's left in the cupboard. My printers are not working. My vonage phone service is spotty at best. And its COLD!

Still, I am thrilled to be going back. We will be staying in a lovely missions house in Bellflower, CA. for a month before we hit the road in our motorhome.

The church people are sad, and afraid that we might just stay in the US. That's not going to happen unless God moves in a miraculous way. We've had all sorts of tragedies and people problems, many of which were taken care of last night at Lord's Supper.

Just got a call from the dentist and they worked me in for tomorrow at 11 am. Great.

I'll probably have my internet shut down tomorrow as well. So, if this is my last day to blog from home, just know that I'll be back!

Exercise????

So often lately I've read about good Christian women and exercize. Everyone from Candy to Julie Fink to Beth Moore.
So, where does one find good, godly exercize videos? If I put on any old exercize video, my neighbors would think I was having a party!
Any ideas?

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Ten more days

We have ten more days before we leave Lanco for furlough. It has been determined by the Powers that be that these will be excruciatingly busy days. This morning around 2 a.m., Sister Miriam's mother passed away. We were on alert since last night. Her son came and got Neil at 2:40, Neil stayed until 5, then came home and got a little rest before going to Mafil. This afternoon after kid's club, he and the guys set up the portable baptistry. It took about 2 hours. Then he came home, had a cup of coffee and we headed over to Miriam's house for the "velorio" which is where everybody sits around the casket. After a few minutes of that, we were ushered into the kitchen. I was there for about an hour, Neil is still there, talking and drinking "mate". Sister Miriam is sad, but no longer hysterical. (I cannot handle "hysterical") This is the third "velorio" I've been to in the past 3 weeks.
I won't be able to attend the funeral on Monday because I have a last-minute dentist appointment (oh joy)

Bro. Jose and has family will arrive next Saturday a.m., so I only have 6 more days of "normal" family life. I will be sooooo glad to get on that plane!

We had 32 kids at club today, which is really great considering the cold and the rain. Actually, I can't believe so many moms let their kids come, knowing full well that they'll get soaked.

Tomorrow night we'll have a baptism, then Tuesday night we'll have the Lord's Supper. As you know, we take the Lord's Supper very seriously around here. Its a big deal to us!


I don't know how much blogging I can do before we must turn off the internet. I already miss it!
Please pray that the Lord will get us through these next few days victoriously and that Neil might not drop dead from exhaustion.

Have a great Lord's Day!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Reading good books

My friend Sarah wrote a very interesting post yesterday. I had also been thinking about books and blogs, both of which I love. But one of the dangers about reading about God (outside of the Bible) is that it does seem like vicarious living, a sort of vicarious Christianity. I remember reading something Max Lucado wrote. He said something about people who live their spirituality through someone else, always hearing about how God is working through someone else, either an author or a pastor. Lucado likened it to always being around and living off someone else's romances, never having a romance yourself. When it comes down to it, its got to be personal! I know it may seem selfish, but I want to hear from God myself. (I am not talking about a new revelation) I want to open the Word and know that God is speaking to ME. So often, we get second-hand spirituality from someone else and that is just not enough.

That being said, I still love books. And I believe that not all books are for every season of your life. My mom admitted to having "My Utmost For His Highest" for years and never read it. Now she reads it daily, and gives it as gifts to everyone she knows. There are books on my shelves that I did not enjoy greatly, but who knows? Maybe in another time, another set of circumstances, I will be ready to read them and get the full benefit.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Praising God

This week our Bible reading schedule has us in 2 Chronicles, the stories of the kings of Judah. The kings of Judah were somewhat better than the awful kings of Israel.
I find the life of Jehoshaphat so interesting. Especially 2 Chro. 2o.
It tells of when the Ammonites and Moabites came against Judah.
After the king prayed and fasted, here is what the prophet said:

17Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the LORD with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out against them: for the LORD will be with you.
18And Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground: and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell before the LORD, worshipping the LORD.
19And the Levites, of the children of the Kohathites, and of the children of the Korhites, stood up to praise the LORD God of Israel with a loud voice on high.
20And they rose early in the morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa: and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper.
21And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the LORD, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the LORD; for his mercy endureth for ever.
22And when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten. (emphasis mine)



Don't you just love a passage like this? I thrills me to no end. I am not a highly demonstrative person, but this makes me want to shout!
Our greatest problems can be met with the highest praise so that the Great God Almighty can fight our battles.

How I long to live in the beauty of holiness! Oh God, give me the words of praise that you long to hear. Not just during the song service at Church, but all day, all week. May the meditation of my heart be of worship and praise. May my behaviour, my deeds and my words, reflect a worshipful heart. For the Lord is good and his mercy endureth forever.

Artist Brian Jekel

Remeber the painting I posted a while back of the Boy Jesus in the Temple? I love it, and a print I have of a painting of Jesus and Peter on the water, also by Brian Jekel.

Anyway, a few days ago, I spent several hours organizing Sunday School material at Church. We have a great many flash card Bible stories by A Beka Book. They are fabulous. The lessons are great, as is the art.
So, as I am sorting through the flash cards, I read the titles. "Written by so-and-so...... artwork by Brian Jekel"! I was so surprised, and then I wasn't! It is great artwork.

I am so glad that there are such good artist serving God's Kingdom. This missionary thanks you!

I am so glad....

....to be serving the true God!

Last Fourth of July, I put my American flag in the window. It was rainy and cold, but we had a little celebration. Later that afternoon and I was heading out to Ladies Bible Study, some mormon missionaries had stopped by to see who the other Americans were in town. Neil had just come home and was talking to them. They talked for quite a while. Neil told them of how we had visited the temple square in Salt Lake City. He challenged them with the truth and to read the Bible. After 1.5 hours, all the poor gringo could say was, "My parents are mormons, my grandparents are mormons......." Neil pointed to my mom and said, "She used to be a mormon, her grandparents came to America with the mormons, but she found the truth".

It would be so easy to believe that we're all getting to Heaven some day, that our sincerity in any religion would count for something. We'd like to think that these nice young people giving two years of their lives for their god would be counted to them for righteousness.

Neil's favorite verse is John 14:6. If Jesus said the he was the way, the truth and the life, why would we think there could be any other way? If there were any other way, than Jesus is a liar. But He's not, because he cannot lie. That means somebody else is lying and a whole lot of people are deceived.

That's why we are here. To proclaim the truth of the living God to every creature, one soul at a time. We are few, but we are doing our part, which is all He asks of us.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Self

Several great comments were made about my last post. Michelle said that she believed that the hardest part was dying to "self"
It just so happens that I was reading a book yesterday (no matter how insanely busy I am, I always find a few minutes to read) and I found this poem by Amy Carmichael

God, harden me against myself,
The coward with pathetic voice
Who craves for ease and rest and joy.
Myself, arch-traitor to myself,
My hollowest friend,
My deadliest foe,
My clog, whatever road I go.



Ouch.
Whenever I am feeling super-spiritual, I just have to read a little Amy Carmichael to cut me down to size.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Wives, are we getting it?

A few days ago, Mrs.B posted the Debi Pearl article, "Alone". I had read it of course many times before. As I commented, its a very sobering article.

What I am concerned about is that we still might not be "getting it". I do not consider myself a rebellious wife. But I still find myself doing and saying and thinking things that I know my husband does not find totally submissive, although only he and I can see it.

So, just how far do we have to go? Just how submissive do we have to be? Where is the line? Truthfully, I do not know. What I do know, is that if the Lord Jesus were here in person, I would be humbly bowing before Him. I would be asking his opinion about everything. I would go out of my way to seek out things to please him. Nothing would bother me about him.

Now, I personally don't know any husbands who come near the Lord Jesus, but that's not the point, is it? Aren't we to submit "As unto the Lord?"
If I submitted unto the Lord as I submit to my husband, well, ...........

Am I allowing feminist thoughts to keep me from being submissive "as unto the Lord"? I hope not.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Oh, I hate to be so busy!

First of all, my blogger dashboard is in German today! What???!!!!

Second, last week we had some bad news. A man who has been coming to our mission church in Mafil had a terrible accident at work. A can of varnish blew up on him. He had 65% of his body burned. He died on Monday and we went to his funeral yesterday. He had started coming to our church because he has a daughter who is deaf. He was a pentecostal, but they had no deaf ministry. He told us that he wanted his daughter to "hear" the Gospel, so he started attending our church. According to his testimony, he was saved. Even so, it is a terrible, terrible thing that has happened. Please pray for Kati, his daughter, that we might be able to help her.

The man who will be covering for Neil while we are on furlough arrived with his family this morning for a preview trip. They are resting now, or I wouldn't be able to blog. I don't really enjoy having sleepover company who I don't know really well, so this week will be difficult for me.

We have so much to do before furlough! I feel like just burying my head in the sand!

We had a great prayer meeting last night. There were 63 people there, which is a Wednesday night record. We had several visitors, which is odd for a Wed. night.

I had planned a great birthday for Neil for Monday. We were getting taking the kids bowling, and going for Chinese food, and then we received the news that Jaime had died. Needless to say, it was quite a wet blanket on the B-day plans.

As you know, I have not been writing, but I have been reading, and you all are a blessing to me. Please keep us in your prayers.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The ever lovin' Truth

I've been listening to Voddie Baucham again. My, oh my! I am so glad that Jesus is the TRUTH! There is such a thing as absolute truth. Hallelujah!
I feel so safe knowing that I can trust God to be Truth. I can know Him, and therefore know peace. I can believe in Heaven. I can give my life to Him and for Him. I can trust Him with my children. I can give of myself to others without fear, know that I am giving myself to Him. Wrong will be punished. Justice will be done. I have a home above, in the very presence of the God of Heaven, and He is waiting for ME!

I know that the unbelievers think that we are nuts, ignorant simpletons who need a mythology to "explain" things that our puny minds can understand. Our unsaved relatives think that we are to be pitied. Ah, if they could only see! They don't need to pity me! Oh Lord, open their eyes. May they see your Glory in me.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Furlough

We leave for furlough in exactly one month. I am so excited. I love furlough! We are and will continue to be really, really busy until then, getting everything ready. All the bases must be covered, so to speak. Kid's club, ladies Bible study, Sunday School. Our house, our dogs. Our bills.

Then we get to think about prayer cards and a powerpoint presentation. We need a display. We need to prepare special music, and Neil needs to write a sermon, in English. I get tired just thinking about it!

The only sad thing is that our travels don't take us anywhere near most of you, the dear Sisters I've met here. Most of you are in the Midwest or the Southeast. I'm hoping to meet Michelle and Susan, as they are closer.

I dearly love traveling on furlough. I know, most missionaries dread it. But I love it. I love seeing our supporting Churches. I love seeing other missionaries. I love seeing America. We like sampling the BBQ and Mexican food everywhere. I love shopping in America!!!!

Please pray for our furlough plans. Thanks

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Now, here's a Meme!

I've been tagged by Michelle . .
It's "The 5 things I dig (love) about Jesus" meme.
Here are the Rules:Those Tagged will share 5 things they love (dig) about Jesus.Those tagged will tag 5 other bloggers.Those tagged will provide a link in the comments section here of their meme so that others can read them and the creator of this meme John Smulo.

I love that Jesus is more patient with me than I am with my own kids!
I love that He is a teaching God, that He will guide me to what he wants me to do.
I love that He works with me and doesn't give up on me even though I must dissapoint Him often.
I love the fact that He is greater than I will ever know, therefore, I can trust Him with my life.
I love that He takes my sin and hides it behind his back, and remebers it no more

I could go on, but I will now leave that for the five (or more if you want, consider yourself tagged) that I tag.

Susan,
Sister Julie
Kristi
Tori
Sarah

I will refrain from tagging my dear Mrs.B,
as per her request, although I would love to hear her answers!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Food for thought

Bro. Preston has this to say.
"If Satan cannot get you to deny a truth, he'll get you to go to seed on a truth"
Either way, you cease to be useful to the Lord's work.
How many times have we seen preachers and layfolk, moms and dads who will not deny truth, suddenly become inefectual beacause they've "gone to seed" on one truth or another?

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Facing the Giants

I finally saw it! And I loved it. To quote Larry the Cucumber, "I laughed, I cried, it moved me, Bob!"
I have seen Christian films that were just horrible. I really liked this one.

So, I googled it just now, I wanted to see what others had said. Here are some quotes from Wikipedia:
For such a small budget -- $100,000 -- the film ultimately was shown in over 1,000 theaters and grossed over $10,000,000 as of 2007-01-01.

The film has been given mostly bad reviews. It has only 9% positive reviews on Rottentomatoes.com with many reviewers describing it as "cliche" and "amateurish," to "appallingly bad." [8] The film had a low budget and lack of "professional" talent, yet some reviewers hint that Hollywood often doesn't do as well

Josh Rosenblatt wrote, "its feel-good storyline, shopworn message, and bottomless sermonizing would have played better in Sunday school than on the big screen, which is — let’s face it — Babylon’s turf.
End of quotes

So, lets recap. Apparently horrible, preachy movies makes 10,000,000 dollars after having spent only 100,000. Hmmm
Mr. Rosenblatt clearly sees that Hollywood is Babylon's turf. Hmmm very interesting. Mr. Rosenblatt, you are right! About the Babylon thing, not about the movie. The movie was great. I tried not to cry, but I did anyway.
Oh, and I don't even like football!

I like this painting.


I have it on dispaly in my living room. The artist is Brian Jekel.
It makes me wonder just what was going through Jesus' mind. Did He know then all that He was, and all that He was going to do? Or did He just know that He needed to be in His Father's house?

More great news!

Neil and I are members of the Lighthouse Baptist Church of La Verne, CA. They are a great Church, and we are greatly blessed to be sent out by them.
Our Pastor, Brian Dunlop is a great pastor for missionaries. He calls us periodically and has visited 3 times.(note, as a missionary kid for 10 years, our former home pastor never visited once, and never called once) So we appreciate Bro. Dunlop to no end. He also happens to be a very good preacher and I am pleased to announce that sermons from our home church can now be heard online. Here is the link.
Don't you just love hearing a good sermon?

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Housekeeping revisited

I have always been touched by this passage in Little Women. I thought I'd repeat it here, as it illustrates the blessings of our profession.

Other helps had Jo. Humble, wholesome duties and delights that would not be denied their part in serving her, and which she slowly learned to see and value. Brooms and dishcloths never could be as distasteful as they once had been, for Beth had presided over both, and something of her housewifely spirit seemed to linger around the little mop and the old brush, never thrown away. As she used them, Jo found herself humming the songs Beth used to hum, imitating Beth's orderly ways, and giving the little touches here and there that kept everything fresh and cozy, which was the first step toward making home happy, though she didn't know it till Hannah said with an approving squeeze of the hand . . .
You thoughtful creature, you're determined we shan't miss that dear lamb ef you can help it. We don't say much, but we see it, and the Lord will bless you for't, see ef He don't.


The Lord will bless you for it, see if He don't!

A Pilgrim Mindset

When Eileen and I visited California, we ooohed and aaahed for days. America is so beautiful! Lawns are immaculately manicured. The houses are so huge and beautiful. Shopping is awesome. So much to choose from! And don't even get me started on the candy. Most people had nice huge cars. Nice hair and makeup. Nice clothes. Nice, nice furniture.

The Lord saw fit to remind me several times while I was there that I do not belong there. Too bad. Nor do I belong in Chile. I do belong in Heaven, and I'm on my way. Just passing through this place that will someday fade as quickly as a memory of a dream. I shouldn't get too attached to anything here. Why should I? This place is a rental. No sense putting down roots in a rental.

Now, what is Heaven like? Not sure, but I have a hunch I'm going to feel right at home.

Spiritual housekeeping

I have been thinking alot about housework. I believe housework to be a very important part of a godly woman's life. It helps make her house a peaceful place. That being said, I am not very good at it. I do not "enjoy" housework. I get by, and have improved greatly since my newlywed days, but its still a struggle.
I was thinking the other day about neat-niks. You know, those gals who seem to have it all together in the housekeeping department. But many of them stuggle just as I do. They want to clean their houses and then they want it to stay clean. They constantly chide their children and nag their husbands. Don't track in mud, don't even think of sitting on the bed. I know a few people who were raised in this environment, and its not a happy thing.
Is there a happy medium? I hope so. I know that a messy, unkempt house is not a peaceful place, and is a shame both to husbands and kids.

What both messies and neat-niks need to understand is that housekeeping, like the Christian life, is not an hour of work in the morning and a pick up at night. Its an all-day kind of thing. Fix a little here, straighten up a little there. Change an attitude, apologize now. Talk to Jesus all the time. I must not resent this fact. Good housekeeping and true Christianity must be a way of living.

God is sooooo Good!

Do you remember when I told you about the young lady in our Church who was slowly sliding into sin? It was obvious and we were heart-broken. We plead and prayed and scolded and shamelessly begged her to consider her ways. The Preacher finally told me to back down and let her go.
While I was in the US, Neil told me that he had talked to her and that she had finally seen her situation for what it was. Her "romantic interest" had revealed to her that he really wasn't interested in a relationship or marriage, just a "good time".
So, thanks to God's great mercy, she is being restored to sweet fellowship with her Lord and communion with her Church family.
Truly, greater is He that is in us, than he that is in the world.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Interesting

I have been reading "Family driven Faith" by Voddie Baucham. I think he's just great. Anyway, he asks a very interesting question. Does your daughter know the difference between purity and virginity? Hmmm. I asked a girl that question and her eyes opened wide. Interesting, she said.
Where I live, no one seems to care about purity or innocence or virginity or even teenage preganancy for that matter. Sad.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

I'm Back!

Bet you didn't even know I was gone!
Two weeks ago we received an email from my aunt saying that my 81 year-old grandmother was in the hospital with bad heart trouble. We made a hasty decision for me and my DD to go to the US to see her, maybe for the last time. Eileen and I hopped a bus to Santiago and a plane the next day to sunny California. We headed over to the hospital where my grandma was staying. She had had a tough 5 days, in and out of ICU and CCU (cardiac care unit) She has congestive heart failure and had had a heart attack. She had a huge bruise on her arm due to blood thinners and the blood pressure cuff. It still looks bad. She looked awful and my dad and his sisters were talking about Rose Hills (a cemetary) and nursing homes.

Long story short, my grandma is much better. She'll need some looking-after, but she's doing much better.

So, Eileen and I had ourselves a mini-vacation. The weather was lovely. We visited 5 of our supporting churches. We had a great time seeing everybody. Everyone was very kind. We even went to Disneyland!

I have had some time to do some thinking, so over the next few days I'll have something to blog about.

Later, Dudettes! Sorry, slipping into cliché California talk!

Monday, June 11, 2007

I am appalled!!!!!

While shopping for tracts for Mom to take home on furlough, we found the American Tract Society web page. Do you know what we saw? A tract about the Pirates of the Caribbean! Yes, you can get over life's problems if you think like Cap.Jack! Did you ever? I found that they have several tracts that use movies and TV shows to attempt to present Gospel truths. As if we needed the world's trash to show God's love.
Hollywood hates God. Know that for certain. We do not use God-haters to get the message across. God is holy. Hollywood is not. End of story.

Happy Anniversary to us!

Yesterday our Church celebrated its 11th anniversary! Its hard to believe, but on June 9, 2006, we had our first service here in Lanco. It was just us, and one other person. For the first month, it was just us and one other person. But that was then. Yesterday we had about 100 people! We didn't have the reagular head-count, so I tried to do it on my own. Anyway, in spite of the cold and rain, we had a great day. We had regular Sunday School and Church (DH said it was going to be shorter than nomal, but of course it wasn't) Then we had a bid Church dinner. We ate roasted pork (not really good, if you ask me, but they loved it!) By the way, you fancy Americans mostly use paper plates, cups and utensils for Church dinners. That is unthinkable here We had dinner for about 70 and washed a TON of dishes. We all took turns, but it was still a huge job. We had several visitors that day, for which we are truly grateful. We also brought our mission Church from Mafil for the day. That was great! There were about 12 from Mafil.

We also had a visiting preacher who will most likely be the man who will cover for us when we go on furlough later this year. We had never met him before and Neil was really pleased with him.

Neil and I are headed up to Santiago tonight on the bus. We'll leave around 9, and arrive around 7 in the morning. We have to go to the US embassy for Neil to have a personal interview for a visa to travel to the USA. The USA doesn't really like to give visas out too easily, so we would greatly appreciate your prayers in this matter. The kids are going over to Granny's and they are quite excited about it!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Depression part 2

Let's talk about artificially altering our moods. We feel depressed, so we take a pill, and now we feel just fine! Does anyone see a problem here?

A while back, I saw a series called "The baby Whisperer". It was a series done by a baby nurse that would go into a home, and help the distraught parents learn how to "read" their baby's signals, and become better parents, and have a happier baby. She was so cool! Anyway, many times the problem was that mummy could not get baby to sleep because baby had become accustomed to a prop (pacifier or something similar) or rocking, or jiggling or something to fall asleep, then when baby would wake up in the night as babies are wont to do, they would cry and scream until their prop had been returned, or mummy rocked and jiggled again. Any way, Tracy would teach the parents that babies must learn to quiet themselves. If you constantly gave them soemthing artificial, then they could not learn to fall asleep naturally.
Yes, now and then we are going to feel depressed. Even Christians can have these feelings. But, besides the fact that we aren't depending on God to help us change our mood, we are depending on an artificial prop to feel better. Now, on the show, it took about a week for the parents and baby to get used to the new ideas. There were several sleepless nights where baby cried incessantly. But it had to done or else the child would never learn, and never be a good sleeper. In fact a know of several adults that use props to sleep, like the TV or radio. Yikes!

There are spiritual ways to combat depression. I tell you, it won't be an easy way out. But it will be a real way out. Now, some people get out of depression, and then never get into it again, and then others fall into it again. If handled spiritually, I believe that the times of depression will the shorter and less intense, just as with any temptation. Yes, depression is a temptation. A temptation to doubt God and His goodness, His sovreignty, His providence.

Let's be real folks! We don't need any artificial moods!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

I have been having fun!

Yep, while the Preacher is at Bible Institute, I am spending the time I should be using to do up the dishes (so as not to disgrace the ministry) and general picking-up, messing around on the computer. I finally started trying to discover what Blogger had in mind when they changed everything. I made myself a new header, if ya didn't know! I was going to make something beautiful and feminine, but this is really more "me".

I really must go and get those dishes done!
Bye now!

Depression, part 1

Mom and I were talking the other day about all the people we know who have "depression" and are taking medication for it as they would for a bacterial infection. They truly believe that it is a disease for which there is a modern medical cure/treatment. Do you all realize just how scary this is????? Pretty soon all of Americans will be so doped up, they won't know which way is up.

The beginning of depression is, in my opinion, a disagreement with God, that leads to discontentment, which leads to bitterness, which leads to very real physical ailments of all kinds. Yes, its real, but cannot be cured with medication.
A disagreement with God? Yes, let's talk about that. Here is a hypothetical situation: take an average Christian who goes through the motions of church-going, but does not have a dynamic, real relationship with Christ. If anything is less than perfect in her life, she will start to complain. She will try to manipulate the situation to fix whatever is wrong. She will grow bitter against her husband or child or pastor, etc. She becomes depressed. She wants meds to feel better.
The Truth is that we all have apparently negative things in our lives, but when we agree with God that everything He sends our way, even the "bad" stuff is for our good, we joyfully accept whatever situation we are in. We eagerly read His Word for strength for the journey. We hunger for fellowship and worship with the Body of Christ, just as eagerly as we hunger for physical food.
In my family and my husband's family, in the past 6 years, we have been through: Death, abandonment, divorce, criminal behaviour and subsequent jail time. We have had ample reason to be depressed. But we are not! we praise the Lord for His provision. We eargerly await to see His deliverance.
He is truimphant over our emotions.
Lets show the world that we are more than conquerors though him who loved us. Lets conquer depression!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

My reading Bible

Some folks have their regular glasses and their reading glasses. I have my regular Bible (actually 2) and my reading Bible. My reading Bible is very special to me, because its the Bible that helps me to read all the Bible, and to read every day. Its called the One Year Bible, and it gives me daily reading from the OT, NT, Psalms and Proverbs. There is no devotional, no commentary, just the Word.

I find this format to be extremely helpful to get a great cross-section of the Word for my daily needs. Also, the calendar format encourages me not to miss a day.

Now, reading your Bible everyday faithfully does not necessarily guarantee spirituality. That being said, you cannot be spiritual if you are not daily renewing your mind with Scripture. I must daily check my mind-set with the mind-set of God. If needs be, I must readjust my thinking. If I am not continually in the Word, satan can lie to me, and I will not know the difference. I must daily, systematically fill my mind with the Truth.

There are days that my reading is fulfilling and exciting. There are some days when I am just going through the motions, I must confess. Still, the habit of reading is there, and God can use it!

What helps you to read and study God's Word daily?

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Ruth

My mom has been teaching from the book of Ruth for the past two weeks at ladies Bible study. What a great story! We are in Ruth 2 this week. Its only after you come face to face with true poverty that y0u see what these women lived through. Ruth has the apparently humbling task of picking up grain after the reapers. This was something for the poorest of the poor to do. Not only was she a poor widow, but a Moabitess, most surely an outcast.
But God, in his mercy sends Boaz, who has already heard of the kind young woman who returned with Naomi. He speaks very kindly to her, and invites her to eat with his workers. What really touched me today after reading the story out loud at the meeting, was the fact that after she ate her fill, she saved the leftovers for Naomi. This wasn't like a doggie bag we sometimes take home from a restaurant. This was one hungry girl, remembering a hungry old woman at home. Most Americans don't know about hunger, except when they are on a diet! I have seen ladies at our Bible study taking the sandwiches and cookies we serve and fold them up in a napkin to take home for her little ones. I am sure Naomi was thrilled to get what ever Ruth had brought home to her.
Ruth was a hard working gal, and I admire her.
She chose to go to Israel even though she knew she would be an outcast.
Would I have been that brave?

Just a thought

Monday, May 21, 2007

Sliding into sin

Things are actually going good at Church. God is good, and I thank Him!

One interesting thing that is happening is that one of my dear young ladies is slowly falling into a sinful relationship with an unbeliever. The process has been going on for months now, and doesn't seem to be near any end, anytime soon. I've prayed, pleaded, scolded, cried to her and over her. The whole process is tiring. My husband has instructed me to back off. I watch her and grieve, but I must let the Holy Spirit work. I am grateful, however, because it has been a learning experience, at least for me.

I have been wondering just how someone who certainly knows better, can fall into unthinkable sin? The "surface" sin is a romantic involvement with an unbeliever. According to her, nothing except simple flirtation has occured between them, but other symptoms lead me to believe otherwise. I elaborate more on that later. Since we haven't been able to work through this particular situation, I have been forced to acknowledge every aspect of the "fall". Here is a small list of some issues we're trying to deal with that I believe to be a part of backsliding.

1. A feeling of superiority. This girl is very smart and capable. She knows a great deal about Scripture. Our Church is filled with mostly simple and often simple-minded people. This superiority complex has lead to the next point.
2. A slow distancing from other Christians even while attending Church faithfully. This young lady doesn't "mix" wellwith the people in the Church, although she used to.
3. A judgemental attitude. She is obvious in her displeasure at other Christians who have fallen.

My whole point in this post is that while I believe her when she says that nothing has happened yet, something has happened. At least in her mind.
I believe that she has had a relationship with this man in her mind, she has imagined what she thinks it would be like. She has all the symptoms of a woman "in love", and she is willing to forfeit all of her service to the Lord for this flirtation. That is why it is sooooooo important to bring every thought, EVERY THOUGHT into captivity to the obedience of Christ.

2 Corinthians 10:5 (King James Version)
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;


You see, sin is avoidable.
1 Corinthians 10:13 (King James Version)
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

Most often, sin is stopped by nipping every little sinful thought in the bud. Most often, the easiest route of escape is learning to eliminate the very first hint of a sinful thought. Confessing sinful thoughts. Repenting of sinful thought. No matter how small, and thank God that they are still just small, small thoughts.

Just a thought.

Relaxing weekend? I don't think so!

We've come to an end of another weekend. From Friday evening to Sunday night, we have pretty much non-stop activity. This was intesified by the fact that the Preacher left this morning early on a missions trip to Argentina with 4 preacher boys. We had people in and out all weekend.

We had a great service at the Mafil mission in spite of the fact the Neil didn't go. He was sick. Woke up with a migraine and a fever. He was at the morning and evening services here in Lanco, though. We had so-so attendance, 74 here in Lanco, 15 in Mafil. We had 2 visitors.

Once, an old preacher told us this story. He had pastored several churches over his lifetime. Someone asked him the difference between a large Church and a small Church. He replied "The difference between a Church of 100 and a Church of 1000 is 900 problems"
It seems sometimes that we are having more problems than ever before, but that is because we have more people than ever before. How does one not get discouraged by people-problems? Sometimes, we'll have a great day, except for one or two who are having "issues". Fr'instance, this Saturday, Neil took a group to go see one of our boys at Boot Camp. They had a great day. When they got home, one of our ladies called to tell us that her son, one of the Seminary boys, had come home drunk the night before. Then on Sunday A.M. while were in the Deaf Sunday school class, one of our most faithful young ladies who is going through a rebellious phase, decided that she was bored with the teaching and started humming a song! I was so ticked at her! I am glad that Neil didn't notice it.
So, even if we had a great day, Neil and I were both bummed about a handful of people. Its so hard to "turn off" at night, and not let the Church problems just overwhelm your family life.
So today, I am just bumming around. Blogging, slooowwww housework. No makeup, no doorbells. Maybe a a little laundry, hopefully a nap!
Since the Preacher will not be here this week, I'll be able to blog more.

By the way, I have note been writing very much, but I have been reading. I love you all!! And I am so thrilled to see God working in your lives.
Does anyone know anything about Janet? I can't find her blog.

Rhonda

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The very simple life

One of my jobs here is that of counselor. I'm not a very good counselor, because I don't really enjoy hearing people whine, and believe me, we hear a lot of whining.

I find counseling to be difficult because the Christian life is actually very simple. The root sins that cause problems are really very simple. Pride, greed, lack of faith, disobedience, among other things. Most people want to think that their problems are unfixably complicated. Often, they don't even want to find out what they can do, they just want a shoulder to cry on.
God doesn't just sympathize with our problems, He wants us to find peace.


The problems that sin creates are very complex, but the roots are relatively easy to diagnose and fix (theoretically speaking) Being the choleric that I am, I like this. I like the fact that I can let God fix me. I can learn exactly what I need to do. Its simple!
1. Find out what God says about your problem. Go to Church and listen. Read your Bible daily, and pay attention. Pray and ask God for His help. God really wants to help you. And when He sends help, thank him, and again, pay atttention! God will often send someone either through a letter, a phone call or a sermon or lesson online. I like to recognize when God is sending me a message! Sometimes I tell the same people the same things over and over. They don't listen, they'd rather suffer and whine. They's rather just take the prozac. They'd rather just keep on living with their abusive boyfriend.

I pray that the Lord would fill me with compassion, and give me a tender heart.

R

Monday, May 14, 2007

Sins and Snares

There are some things that are out and out sinful. It should be easy to see those things and avoid them. Then there are things that may or may not be actual "sins" but they are snares. They can cause you or someone you love to sin.
One issue that has come up lately here at our Church is women working outside the home. Now, usually this is where I would say that its not necessarily sinful for a woman to work outside the home. But I will say this. Its a snare. You might make it out OK, but then you might just get trapped in one of the many trappings of working outside your home.

Why do I say this? Because of the case of infidelity that I told you about a few months ago. This dear lady has been working outside her home since the beginning. She and her husband had a plan. She would work, he would go to college to become a vet. That started over 6 years ago, and he is no where near being a vet. They truly seemed to love each other, and their kids. Yet, when the husband had to work far from home for a few months, he fell into temptation and commited grievous adultery.

Now, lets talk about "red flags" Red flags are the warning signs that speak of impending doom. Adultery is awful and you'll never know how much until you are a victim, either as a wife, or a child, seeing your parent commit adultery.
Red Flag: An untidy, unkempt house. The house of the family in question is a spooky place. Dark, messy, dirty. Unadorned. Why? Mama has no energy to take care of it!!!

Red Flag. Unkempt , messy children. 'nuff said!

Red Flag: Wife becomes a "mother figure". If you ask me, so often, a working wife becomes a mother figure to her husband. Why? Because she is providing for him. Of course he seems to like this very much. But somewhere deep inside he knows that this is not how things should be. And, women who provide tend to become motherly in their advice and admonishment. "Honey, you need to help me with the dishes, I've had a hard day at work too" I really don't know any real men that like it when their wives become their mamas. It seems that a man with a mama for a wife is ready to fall for the womanly allure of the Strange Woman.

Is his adultery her fault? Not at all. He knew better. But the snares were there.

Why do I write all this? To make some poor working wife feel bad? No! But as I watch this family reeling from the heart-wrenching consequences of adultery, I feel the need to cry out and warn others of the snares.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Where are you?

It is so wonderful to see people come to the Lord. Even nicer is when you see them grow and start serving the Lord. Its wonderful to see the Lord's work and our own effort come to fruition.

One of the saddest and most dissapointing things is to see someone through whom God has worked, start to fade. We can see the warning signs. You try to warn them, you pray, but finally, the choice is theirs. Sad.

So, where are you today? Newly saved? Praise the Lord! What a precious time. Are you serving? Great! There is no place of great blessing.
Have you faded? Did you serve at one time, but now are on the sidelines?
Let me tell you, the sidelines stink. There is no action, no struggle, no growth. No chance to see the Glory of God in your life. Seems that most people who are on the sidelines eventually just fade away. They may still come to church, but there is no joy. We were meant for the battle, not the sidelines.

When I see people move on to the sidelines, my heart aches for them. So does God's.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Blogging crisis and a Funny

I have been in a blogging crisis. I don't want my blog just to be about my day to day activities because that would be just plain BORING! I blog to express my opinions, and for the moment, I'm all out of opinions! How can that be?

Anyway, I found this Funny about The Rules.

The Guys' Rules­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­
At last a guy has taken the time to write this all down
Finally , the guys' side of the story. ( I must admit, it's pretty good.) We always hear " the rules " From the female side. Now here are the rules from the male side. These are OUR rules! Please note.. these are all numbered "1" ON PURPOSE!
1. Men are NOT mind readers.

1. Learn to work the toilet seat. You're a big girl. If it's up, put it down. We need it up, you need it down. You don't hear us complaining about you leaving it down.

1. Sunday sports. It's like the full moon or the changing of the tides. Let it be.

1. Shopping is NOT a sport. And no, we are never going to think of it that way.

1. Crying is blackmail.

1. Ask for what you want Let us be clear on this one: Subtle hints do not work! Strong
hints do not work! Obvious hints do not work! Just say it!

1. Yes and No are perfectly acceptable answers to almost every question.

1. Come to us with a problem only if you want help solving it. That's what we do.
Sympathy is what your girlfriends are for.

1. Anything we said 6 months ago is inadmissible in an argument. In fact, all comments become null and void after 7 Days.

1. If you think you're fat, you probably are. Don't ask us.

1. If something we said can be interpreted in two ways and one of the ways makes you sad or angry, we meant THE OTHER ONE .

1. You can either ask us to do something Or tell us how you want it done. Not both. If you already know best how to do it, just do it yourself.

1. Whenever possible, Please say whatever you have to say during commercials.

1. Christopher Columbus did NOT need directions and neither do we.

1. ALL men see in only 16 colors, like Windows default settings. Peach, for example, is a fruit, not A color. Pumpkin is also a fruit. We have no idea what mauve is.

1. If it itches, it will be scratched. We do that.

1. If we ask what is wrong and you say "nothing," We will act like nothing's wrong. We know you are lying, but it is just not worth the hassle.

1. If you ask a question you don't want an answer to, Expect an answer you don't want to hear.

1. When we have to go somewhere, absolutely anything you wear is fine... Really .....

1. Don't ask us what we're thinking about unless you are prepared to discuss such topics as rugby , cars, or golf.

1. You have enough clothes.

1. You have too many shoes.

1. I am in shape. Round IS a shape!

Thank you for reading this. Yes, I know, I have to sleep on the couch tonight; But did you know men really don't mind that? It's like camping. Pass this to as many men as you can - and Please Pass this to as many women as you can -

Monday, April 23, 2007

Great weekend

For most people, the weekend is a time of relaxation, family time, and worship. For us, its our main workdays. Ever since we started the mission in Mafil, things have gotter wilder. This last Saturday, we started our kids' club. So, here's how it all played out. Friday afternnon, I have discipleship at 3. Mother gets here around 6:30, We talk about what we're going to be cooking for the weekend and go to the store. 7:30 Neil and I go to Youth meeting. We had 38. WOW! We haven't had this many in a long time. Saturday morning we get up and Neil heads off to Máfil for a special breakfast with all the deaf. There were 6 deaf people. They had a great time.
Then Neil went to Valdivia to see a young woman who has been coming to our church for
a few weeks. Before she started coming she got into a bit of trouble with the law. She was supposed to pay a fine, but didn't, so they put her in jail for 10 days! Then he went to the Regional Hospital in Valdivia to see an older lady whose daughter and family go to our Church. This little old lady has wanted nothing to do with us in the past, but now she had peritonitis, and is scared. She almost died. All the family was grateful to Neil for staying with them that day and praying with them. He didn't get home until almost 11 PM

While he was in Valdivia, we had Kids club. We got all our stuff together. We were thinking about having around 40 kids, max. We had 56! What a madhouse! We did our utmost to keep the peace, have fun and give the Gospel. Later we came home, exhausted. We got Sunday dinner ready to go into the crock pot.

Sunday, Neil gets up early for 9 am teacher training class. The rest of us have to be at Church at 10. We have Sunday School and Church. We rush home, get lunch on by 1:00, hoping to be napping by 1:30. We get up at 2:45, leave for the Máfil mission at 3. We had a nice service, and then a fellowship after. We got back to Lanco for Sunday evening service at 6:30. Home, by 8;30.
Totals for the weekend:
Youth meeting 38
Kids Club 56
Máfil, Sunday, 8
Lanco, Sunday, 90

Needless to say, we were spent by Sunday night. I took leftovers and made burritos. I sure wish we had some decent restaurants here in this town!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Ladies Bible Study

Every week we have a ladies Bible study. We talk, we pray, I ask every woman at the table if she has read the Bible everyday that week. Then Mom gives the lesson. After that, we eat! (We are Baptists, after all; ) )
This week, we started a plan to help the ladies acquire a notebook that will contain the prayer lists, Bible reading schedule, lesson notes, etc. These notebooks will be tools in their hands to make it easier to read and study the Word of God. Think "Bible study control journal". We were thrilled to have 15 ladies in attendance. Mom taught about not being weary in well doing. Our memory verse for this week is Luke 18:1, where Jesus starts a parable about praying always and not fainting.
I'm sure it was a great lesson, but I was out with a little girl who is not used to not being the center of attention. Family-integrated church is a wonderful idea when you have parents who train their children. When you have parents have done nothing but continually give in to their children's demands, having children in the Bible study is counterproductive. (to put it mildly) Little Francesca and I had a "who's really in charge" battle today. I came out ahead, I think. She didn't seem angry toward me later, so I feel that in the end, I'll earn her respect.

You sure could see the difference in people's faces today after last night's confession session and Lord's Supper. There was an openness and a joy in many faces that had been lacking. You've just got to have the Joy!
R

My own Bloggy anniversary!

Has it been a year? What is also amazing is that several I blog with also started around this time.
I wonder how much I've changed in the past year? Have I improved? Hmm. Hard to say. Have I been a blessing? I hope so. Have I had fun? YES! I have thoroughly enjoyed the communication aspect of blogging. I've been encouraged, blessed, sometimes outraged!
I've been hit with spam a few times, but not enough to worry about. I haven't really changed the "look" of my blog. My house looks pretty much the same, too!
Its been a great year, bloggy wise. I don't have a lot of readers, but those I have, I treasure as sisters in Christ who I'll meet someday, on this side of Heaven, or the other!

Blessings and Joy to you!

Rhonda

The Lord's Supper

At our church, we practice closed communion. That means we have the Lord's supper only with our active Church members. It is a special time, devoted to remembering Christ's sacrifice on the cross and to self-examination. We allow ample time for confession, both public and private. Last night was no exception. We had over an hour of public confession. It is an extremely powerful thing. We are all reminded of how weak we are and how great God is. It also helps keep gossip down, because the truth is known.
We are reminded of the importance of openly confessing Christ as Lord of our lives.

We thank God for providing for our salvation.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Sunday recap, April 15

We had a great day yesterday!
Since Summer is really and truly over, regular scheduling is beginning to take over. We had 62 for Sunday School, which we have not had in a long time. At the mission Church in Máfil, we had 11 from Lanco go and 10 from Máfil. We had 5 deaf people in the service, so that makes it all the more interesting.
Sunday night back in Lanco, we had a full service. Lots of people, lots of after-church counselling. Its a good thing our services start at 6:30!
We had an attendance total of 97. That is really good for us! Not that its numbers were after, but each number represents a soul! It also means that we are helping to make a difference in this town.
We are having the Lord's Supper tonight. We don't have it very often, and it is usually a very special time of confession and reconcilliation. Please keep us in your prayers.

R

Friday, April 13, 2007

Thanking Him for the thorns

Mrs. B posted a story about thanking God for the thorns. A real tear-jerker.
Anyway, it got me to thinking about a song that really touched my heart.
Here it is:

This Thorn
Twila Paris

Thank you for this torn embedded in my flesh
I can feel the mystery, my spirit is made fresh
You are sovereign still and forever wise
I can see the miracle opening my eyes
To a proud heart so quick to judge
Laying down crosses and carrying grudges
The veil has been torn
And I thank you for this thorn

Thank you for this thorn, fellowship of pain
Teaching me to know you more, never to complain
Thank You for this love planted in my side
Faithful, patient miracle opening my eyes
I never thought I'd say it without reservation
But I am truly grateful for this piercing revelation
Of a proud heart so quick to judge
Laying down crosses and carrying grudges
The veil has been tornAnd I thank you for this thorn

And if You chose to take it, I will praise You
ANd thank You for the healing in your name
But if it must remain, I thank You for Your rod
Evidence of Father-love for a child of God
I join you in sorrow
So much less than You have borne
And I thank you
Really I thank You
Lord I thank You
I thank You for this thorn

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Contentment, revisited

I was reading this post by Mrs. B where she quotes Susan H, my fellow missionary wife. They were both discussing home fixtures, and how one can feel a desire to constantly update to keep us with the fashion. "keeping up" is such hard, expensive work! And you have to keep up with your house, your car, your clothes, hair and make up. And its never done! Yikes!

Now, I am not saying that one shouldn't look nice. In fact, I do not really like seeing Christian women looking dowdy and odd, thinking that makes her "spiritual" You can be modest and still look nice.

Once again, it all boils down to a heart attitude. If your heart is right, you won't feel the need to constantly "keep up" with anyone or anything.
If your heart is right, your house will be a home, atractive to all. Isn't that the idea, anyway? Having a place that your husband and kids love? Having a place where God can use you to nourish your children's bodies and souls? A sanctuary where your husband can come after a long day at work? So many people have never know this feeling.

Some women seem to see their house as the showcase of their life. "See my house! Looks just like a page of a magazine? See what a sucess I am!No, no kids, these room is off-limits to organic beings. They might get it dirty."
I personally despise going into "showy" homes. I feel like an intruder, the eyes of the hostess watching my kid's every move.

I'd love a new house. I'd settle for new furniture! But if I do not have the right motive, then I don't want more. I'd rather be right with God than have new furniture.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Another reason for Praise

An update on "Part of my job"

The young lady in question came over last night. She told me that I was right (not me, God) She told me that she was ready to change, to surrender to God's will. We talked about surrendering our lives, our desires, our self-will. We talked about "building altars" in our lives. Some must be built, and others must be re-built.
We talked about dying to self, and how that must be daily occurance. We talked about being right with God, not just "serving" Him. Its not just about doing, its about being.

She still has a ways to go, but I am much more optomistic this morning.
Praise the Lord!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Temptation

There are those who think that they are immune to temptation. They just know that when Satan sends a curveball their way, they'll know just what to do. Hmmm. Most people don't even recognize temptation when they see it!
Today at Ladies Bible study we studied the Crucifixion and the Resurrection. We read about Jesus praying in the garden.

Matthew 26:41 (King James Version)
41Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.


We are all human beings, subject to temptations. Even the apostles, even Peter. They walked with Jesus, yet they were subject to temptation. Jesus gave them the key, watch and pray. Be vigilant, pray. Look out and pray. Be aware of your weeknesses and vulnerabilites. Pray.

I am flesh, and the flesh is weak. I must keep my spirit strong. How? watch and pray. You don't need to pay for a fancy Bible study. You don't have to buy tapes and videos. Go to church (and listen), read your Bible, Pray.

Let us note that the verse says: Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation. It is one thing to resist temptation, it is another thing alltogether to avoid temptation. There is so much we could achieve if we avoided temptation to start with. Its like this, its much easier not to overeat if you don't go to Hometown Buffet to start with! Once you're there, temptation is right there, and unless you are exceptionally strong, you will eat to much!

Watch and Pray

Monday, April 09, 2007

Great News!

A few days before we returned from vacation, we received some disturbing news. There was a case of blatant adultery in one of our faithful families. The husband had been working far from home, coming home once a month or so. We didn't like the situation, but it was their choice. The wife found out about her husbands infidelity and confronted him. He responded quite badly. She kicked him out of the house and started threatening legal proceedings. We were devasted. This dear lady seemed totally adamant. There was no way she was going to take him back. The husband started calling my husband. The Preacher gave it to him straight, no beating around the bush. I had talked to her, so had my mom. I wasn't sure how she would respond to him when he came home. My heart ached for them and their 4 children.

Well, Saturday he came home and grovelled to his wife. He apologized and took full blame. He also told her that he was going to win her back, no matter what. Well, she took him back, and so far, all looks good! They'll still have a lot to work through, but at least they are doing it together.

Lessons to be learned.
Never separate, even for work, no matter how poor you are.
Beware if you or your spouse has internet. The Strange woman form Proverbs now lurks in cyberspace!

Money Matters

The Bible says that the root of all evil is the love of money. That is so true! Even so, I can't help wonder what it would be like to have more money. Truth is, God takes good care of us. I am not complaining. Just that, sometimes it seems that it would be fun to have more than enough. Money to do extravagant things.

Anyway, I like to read articles about saving money, since the Preacher and I are against wives holding jobs outside the home. (but that is another post)

Anyway, I just read three interesting articles about living below your means. Do you know what the common fact was between them? They were all newly-single women. Divorce seems to make poor women. Why I am I saying this? Because I see our society in the US and our society here in Chile as societies that promote divorce. Tired of your wife? Divorce her! Tired of marriage? Get a divorce. You'll be fine, your kids will be OK. You can get a job. Lies, lies, lies! My Church is full of single mothers, struggling every month to make ends meet. No help, no close shoulder to cry on. God will help them, we will help them.
But let's do all within our power to help the next generations of wives. Help them make the right choice of mate. They'll need training as godly wives.

On another note,

Last Satuday night, the young couple in our Church who got into sin, got married. The 16 year old bride wore a lovely pink dress, her pregnant belly not unnoticed. Her mother, a 36 year old single mom, sat alone. Her family is furious at her for not controlling her daughter. Many from the church helped the mom out, making the dress and bouquet. We pray that they will let God redeem the situation, and have a blessed and long marriage.
If this were an unsaved couple, I'd say that they don't stand a chance. But God works wonders in tough situations.

Part of my job

As under-under shepherd of the ladies of my Church, I feel responsible for them. I know that I probably shoudn't, but I feel badly when I see one of them making terrible choices. I had a long talk with one of my young ladies last night. She has a crush on an unsaved man, one with 3 children with 3 different women, no less. This lady works near this man and he has shown interest in her. She says she "Only wants to talk to him" Yeah, right. She has already admitted to having a crush on him. Just talk? Please don't insult my intelligence!
I told her that sometimes I feel that I am standing near a dangerous precipice. I have a warning flag and a Stop sign. I also scream and holler at anyone heading towards the precipice.
Sometimes, people I love are running towards the precipice. I call out, I wave my flags, I raise the Sign. They look at me and laugh. They think I am just a fuddy-duddy. They don't see the danger. They ignore the stories of those who have fallen.

Last night she told me that if she wanted to make mistakes and ruin her life, that was her choice and that shouldn't bother me.
I told her that I weep for those who fall. So does God. I told her that she in not an island, and that many will suffer if she falls. She doesn't care. How sad! I will pray for her. And weep.

Another Sunday

Have I not posted for a whole week? Looks like it! Well, we got a new computer this past week and I've spent an inordinate amout of time setting it all up. Today has been spent in installing the Antivirus (done) and setting up the Parental Controls(still working, kinda frustrated!)
Hope you all had a blessed Easter. I have been touched my everyone's Easter posts. they have been wonderful!

We had an early morning Easter breakfast. That went really good. Then we had Easter dinner with a few "unexpected blessings", 3 young men from our church with no place to go. Thankfully we had more than enough food.

In the afternoon we went to the new mission. This week we had 7 again. We were very happy with that. We returned to Lanco for our Sunday evening service. We had 2 visitors, and 0ne of them trusted Christ as her Saviour. All in all, a great day!

Monday, April 02, 2007

Sunday Recap

Susan Hutchins started doing this, and I think its a fine idea. I know that Christians should be Christians everyday of the week, but you can usually get the "feel" of the Church when we all meet on Sunday.

After our return from vacation, the following Sunday was awful. We had a low, low 65. People problems were numerous and serious. Neil spent a good portion of last week trying to assess the damage. We have one terrible case of marital infidelity. We've got another pregnant teenager, this one younger than the last one. We've had disgruntled members. We've had many petty problems and rumors and the like. Last week was not really all that good.

Here's the good. This Sunday we started a new mission in another little town called Mafil. We took a group of 10 from Lanco and 7 came from Mafil. Not too bad. We had 2 people saved over the weekend. Our attendance rose to 77 in Lanco, not great, but a whole lot better thatn 65! Our sheep are beginning to return to the fold.

I don't know what's going to happen to the poor little girl (14) who is pregnant. She has been attending our Church sporadically for the past year, although she was faithful years ago. We see nothing but defiance in her face, so we are just waiting for the Holy Spirit to move. The Church members who are aware of the case of infidelity are deeply saddened. We are praying that God would work in that family. The offender wants to come home, but the offendee is realllllyyyyy hurt and not really in a talking mood.

You know, when you go home from Church, you may not realize that your pastor and his wife often spend the rest of the evening talking about who came and who didn't and why. We are encouraged sometimes, saddened sometimes. We make a mental list of all the people we need to see during the week. If you love your pastor, go to Church! That way, he won't have to wonder what happened to you;)

Friday, March 30, 2007

Vacation photos, 2

We stayed at the base of this impressive mountain, called Cerro Piltriquitron,


in this cute little cottage.


This is a photo of me and a very nice St Bernard called Rita at the top of Cerro Otto in Bariloche.




I've got great dogs, but next time, I want a St.Bernard!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

I love the Fall!

And the best part is, nobody ever heard of Fall Cleaning! So as you lovely ladies enjoy your Spring and the Cleaning thereof, I'll just sit back next to the fire and drink hot cocoa.

Yes, here in the Southern Hemisphere, the seasons are opposite of the Northern Hemisphere. I've lived here for most of my life, and I am still not used to it. Its not bad, just different. But the only time that I hate it is at Christmas. I hate having Christmas in Summer.

Happy Fall, Y'all!

What will your life be worth?

I was reading today that 1 million dollars just isn't worth that much anymore. Yeah, right. Anyway, I say that as I realize that it is entirely possible that Neil and I will never accumulate a million dollars, ever. I am glad that my husband is a missionary because God never lays anybody off and he rarely fires anyone!

So, I am left with the fact that my life will only have spiritual value. How am I doing? I don't know, its hard to say. I can't go on what I think or feel, because the Bible says that the heart is deceitful. I can't go on by what others say, because frankly, how could they possibly know?
I do what I am supposed to do, and say what I am supposed to say, but that is not spirituality, only the external part of it.

It all boils down to a personal, daily relationship with God. If you have it, your life will have meaning and purpose. If you don't, then no matter how much money you have, your life will never have any value at all.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Our vacation report, part 1

It may come as a shock to you, but these missionaries take vacations! We're busy all summer, but just as soon as the Bill Smith meetings are over, we head over to Bariloche, Argentina for vacation. It helps that most things are cheaper over there for us.

Here is a picture of the apartment where we stayed. We had the top floor of this lovely house.






We take the kids ice skating. We had a great time. We also ate quite a bit. The argentines are known for their meat and their fresh pastas. Oh yeah, Bariloche is known 'round these parts ofr their chocolate!

The music seminar

Dr.Bill Smith comes to our area every year and does a pastor's seminar. This year the theme was "The Master's Music". It was very good and very thorough. I am a singer and somewhat of a musician, so obviously this was a theme near and dear to my heart.

One of the things that we were reminded of is that is that God has a preference in music. Music is not amoral. You can use music for good or for evil. Even the world knows this.
The other thing that I am reminded of is that we cannot offer to God just what we like, we must consider what He likes. For example, my dear husband likes tools. He likes to get tools as gifts. I do not. If he tries to prove to me how much he loves me by buying me tools, I will get a wee bit miffed. I would be offended that he did not take the time to find out what I liked, because, truth be told, he wanted the tools. Cain offered to God what he wanted to offer, regardless of what God wanted. God did not accept the gift. We can's just sing any old thing just because we like it.

I am amazed at how musical God is. Music is such a tremendous gift given to humans. Just another reason to show the evolutionists how rediculous evolution is. Only human being make and like music, in fact, we need it. All cultures sing, all cultures make music. Most, if not all cultures use music in their worship.

Sing to the Lord!

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

I'm gonna be busy, busy, busy!

We are hosting a big pastor's conference next week. We'll be feeding about 70. So, starting tomorrow, we'll be shopping for the food and preparing sleeping places and children's programs.

The theme for this year's conference is "The Master's Music". I've already heard it, and its great. Being a musical person, I feel greatly convicted about it. There is so much ignorance about what kind of music God created and likes.

Please pray for us. I know that satan would like to hinder the Spirit of God this coming week.

Also, the week after next, my family and I are going to Argentina for vacation. WooHoo! I'll post pictures and tell you about the great time we're having!

I'm may post next week, I might not. We'll have to see how things are going here.

Keep writing. I love reading your blogs. Write something funny, I'll need a laugh!
R

Monday, February 26, 2007

A great Sunday


Yesterday turned out just great. We had been in a bit of an attendance slump due to Summer vacation. But the weather is beginning to turn and people are coming back. But the best news of all is that 3 people were saved yesterday! Miriam had been attending for a while last year, but due to the fact that she cares for her mother who has Alzheimer's, stopped attending. I saw her the week of the children's festival, and she promised she'd return. She came back last night, and came forward during the invitation. She asked that her friend, Georgina, be the one to lead her to the Lord. Sounds good to me! Next, Lorena, a deaf woman who has been attending for several months now. We were told to take it nice and slow with the Deaf, and let them let us know when they were ready. Well, she was. Sandra led her to the Lord. But the best of all, my niece, Diana, was visiting us last night. She told her mom after church that she listened to her uncle preach, and she felt doubts about her salvation. So, last night, Granny led Diana to the Lord. Diana will be 9 next month.


We also had visitors from the nearby town of Mafil. Jaime and his daughter Catherine, who is deaf, came. As did Julio, and David, also deaf.

So, all in all, a great day

Friday, February 23, 2007

My new hobby

As you may know from previous posts, I am not a craft person. When I read this over at Boomama's I laughed until I cried. And I quote "I write a lot more than I used to, and it seems like between cooking and cleaning (don’t you even laugh, David. don’t you EVEN laugh), chasing Alex, working, blogging, wife-ing, etc., reading is the thing that gets pushed back farthest on the burner. (To clarify: reading has not been pushed back as far as, you know, crafts, but those were never really on the burner for me to begin with. Come to think of it, crafts were nowhere even remotely near the burner. In fact, I think that for me, at least, crafts are currently located somewhere just southeast of Idaho.)"
Yep, that's been my personal experience with crafts in my lifetime. However, God has seen fit to change that. God wants me to Scrapbook! How do I know this? Because someone I do not even know sent me, my mom and my sister and all our kids a whole bunch of Creative Memories scrapbook "stuff". I'm guessing several hundred dollar's worth. I got a type of briefcase and a big scrapbook and a Memory chest and square maker and a memory locker. I am pretty sure that most of you know what all this stuff is and is for. Its going to take me a while to process all of it!
So, Penny, Thank you! Who knows, maybe someday I'll even finish my kids baby books!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

This is what I've been up to

We had a Children's Festival

Some dear brethren from the US came on a missions trip to build some cabins at the camp. They also came prepared to hold a Children's festival. The brought games and prizes and tickets. We got our people together and worked to print up and distribute invitations. We set up the booths and organized workers. We made one romm into an evangelistiv outreach. We would bring in children in small groups and show them a 5 minute gospel film. Then the pastor shared the Gospel using drawings. Then we gave them a "wordless book" bracelet and a card explaining the bracelet. We had no idea how many kids would come. I was thinking 50 or 60. We put two girls at the door to greet and take down names and addresses. We had 130 kids, plus about 20 moms, plus all the workers, about 170 all in all. We had spent all day at Church, with special teacher training in the morning, and visitation and set-up all afternoon. We started the festival at 7 and ended around 9:30. What a wild time!

Add to this that we had been at church every night for a week. I love church, but we're not used to daily services! Anyway, our friends left yesterday. We took them up to Santiago to show them around and get them on the plane. We are ready for a break!

I have been reading all the blogs, just no time to comment, and Sarah, I'm having problems commenting on your new blog. I love love love Anne, and "Windy Poplars" is my favorite!
Thanks Mrs.B for checking on me. The Lord is working in our lives.

Blessings to you all,
R

Thursday, February 08, 2007

The wages of sin.....

is DEATH.

I just saw on Fox news online that Anna Nicole Smith has died. What a character! Stripper, porn "actress", TV personality. It is in sinful human nature to be fascinated by these people.
There are those that think being a Christian is boring and dull, but I'll tell you this, its a whole lot safer! The wages of sin is still death. I'll bet that woman never knew a moment's peace, nor true love of any kind. I suppose righteous indignation towards her would be reasonable, but at this moment pity and sorrow is all I feel. Sorrow for the degrading life she led and sorrow for an eternity in Hell.

I would say to those young people who are being raised in a conservative Christian home, to be thankful for parents who love them enough to raise them right. Parents who love them enough to say no to people and places and activities that have no good end. Trust God to guide your parents. Submit happily! Obey! You'll never regret it.

Worldly "fun" often ends in death. If not physical death, than the death of your good name, your reputation. Your dream of a godly husband and family could also die from too much "fun"

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

True happiness

First, it is assumed that true happiness apart from God is non-existant. Right?

Second, true happiness is doing for others what is best for them. Jesus himself said that we were to love our neighbours as ourselves. Then why don't we? Well, we think that we will be unhappy if we are always giving.

I was just reading an article about SAHMs. As you know, that is a subject I am passionate about. I believe that children need their mothers to be with them, and they need to be with them at home. I believe the Bible teaches this in Titus 2. Now most, not all, working moms I know believe that it is in their children's best interest for them to work, so that they can provide a "better" life.

Well, let me tell you something. Doing what is best for those around you usually is the very thing that is the best for you, too. I am so glad that I am free to raise my kids as I see fit. I am so glad that they are under my watchful eye for most of the hours of the day. I do not fret about their friends, after all, their friends come here. I have enough energy to do what I need to do to keep this household going. I have time to read and blog. I am never too tired to go to Church.
I know what my kids are eating. I don't arrive at home at the same time as my DH and collapse on the couch and wonder about dinner. Now, I know that there are many supermoms who can work outside the home and keep a great home and raise great, godly kids. I know I couldn't. I'd be overwhelmed.

I truly believe that God's calling for us to be "keepers at home" is not just because it is best for the kids, husband and house. Its His best laid plan for us as well. Giving our life to our family as God ordains is what will ultimately make us supremely happy. In giving, we get more than we can imagine.

Something so simple

The speakers on my computer have been broken for some time. Not really a big deal, so I thought. But I went out and stole the Preacher's speakers and I must say, I have missed the music on my blog! I have been poring over my CDs, trying to find something else to listen to.
Now that I've got my bloggy music back on, I realize just how much I've missed it. I love most of it, except what is playing right at this moment. I am laughing at this oldtime country-style song with the fiddles (not viloins) and guitars.

Anyway, I feel blessed to day, like God gave me a gift that I really needed.

Thank you Lord.

Same old, same old

I have not posted alot lately because there is a severe lack of anything interesting to report or discuss, and I do not like blogging about nothing. As an American living in the 21st century, I am accustomed to having something interesting and entertaining to do all the time. Life isn't or shouldn't be like that. But what used to be daily life is now seen as drudgery. I guess that right now what I should be feeling is gratitude. Even the problems we are facing now are not horrible in the sense that no one is dying, none of us are in chemotherapy, none of us are in dialisis. So, life is good!
I have noticed a lot more problems and sorrow in my life in the past 5 years than I ever did before. I guess I was very shielded before that. Now, I can readily say that I am anxiously awaiting Heaven, and being in the very presence of God and not having a single thing to be concerned about. That alone is worth it to me, the streets of gold and the mansion on the hilltop are just the icing on the cake.
Nevertheless, I am grateful. Thankful for the life He has seen fit to bless me with.

Thank you, Lord

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Recognizing the enemy

Sometimes it seems that Christians like to fight amongst themselves. Hmmm, not good. I know that we will not be able to agree on everything but........
We must remember that other Christians, even those with whom we disagree sharply, or are having problems with, are not the enemy. Satan is the enemy, and as my Bible reads, he has already been defeated.
Think of those with whom you are having a hard time. Maybe they are criticizing you. Maybe they are just continually antagonistic towards you. They are not really your enemy!
What does this mean to me? This helps me to be slow to take offense. This helps me greatly by telling me how to respond to them. How? As a friend, a sister in Christ. Giving them the benefit of the doubt, overlooking their faults as best I can. Not responding to them in anger. Purposing to not remember their past offenses.
Let's put it this way, even if they were your enemy, how does God expect us to treat our enemy? Interesting.
Do I believe this? Yes. Do I always behave properly? No

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Faith

Isn't it interesting that the Bible says that the just shall live by faith, and not just be saved by faith? I mean, salvation is by grace through faith, but the faith doesn't end there. To live the Christian life requires daily faith.

Now, I believe that the faith is a gift from God. Am I using that faith? Right now God is requiring a great deal of faith from me. I can assume that He has given me all the faith I need, right now.

All I can say is that now I will have a lot more patience with those I considered "whiners".
I hate whining, and yet I find I've been doing a lot of it lately. I mentioned in a meme I did recently that I wished that I was more compassionate. I guess God took me seriously and decided I needed some fiery trials in order to have more compassion on others. Well, dear God, I am ready. Use me as you see fit. Help me to find a song and laughter even in trials and sorrow. Lord, increse my faith.

God is good, even to puppies

Here is Minnie Mancha, our beloved dalmatian, taking care of Sunny's puppies.

The things I gleaned from camp

Most of what I learned at camp, I didn't learn in the meetings, but during the times I was able to fellowship with our guest speaker and his wife. Pastor and Mrs Preston are dear friends and I learned quite a bit.
1. We were talking about Christian love. I remember this quote. "I will not let anything you do keep me from loving you"
2. Bro. P says, "If Satan cannot get you to deny a truth, he'll lead you to go to an extreme on a truth" For example, we were talking about the tragedy of Kent Hovind's conviction and sentence. Bro. Hovind is an excellent speaker about Creation. But he allowed himself to get carried away to an extreme on the issue of taxes and government. He thinks he's right, but what good does that do now? Now some people who might have listened to him speak on creation will probably think he is a nut now. I am afraid he has hurt the cause of Christ and creationism. Extremes are usually bad. Bro P's next favorite thing is....
3. Balance! Balance in the Christian life. I think of Randy Alcorn's the Grace-Truth paradox.

God bless you, my friends,
please pray that God would give me wisdom. I still haven't felt the "jolt" from Heaven!

Rhonda

Wisdom

I usually blog about things I feel confident about. I have strong opinions and my blog is a great outlet for them. I believe that much of the Christian life is pretty much straight forward. You know, do this, don't do that. Read the Word. Go to Church. Be kind. Forgive. Pray.

But sometimes there are some shady areas. I don't deal well with gray. Black and white I can handle, but no gray! I hate gray! So I've been asking wisdom from the Lord, who promised to give us the wisdom that we need. I keep waiting to get a jolt from the sky. I want that wisdom now! Oh yeah, and patience too! Pronto!

I guess I've graduated from the doing stage of Christianity to the being stage of Christianity. Its like going from kindergarten right into college. I feel out of place and unsure as to how to proceed.

Well, as soon as the promised wisdom kicks in, I'll share some of it!
R

Friday, January 26, 2007

Tagged!

Michelle got me! I guess she knew that even if I was on a break from writing, I would still be reading!

What’s your name and website URL? Rhonda at www.missionary-mom.blogspot.com
(as if you didn't know)

What’s the most fun work you’ve ever done, and why? (two sentences max)
I got to be a part of the opening cast of a Disney Store in Cerritos, California. I worked there for nine months. I loved it! BTW, "pixie dust" is just a Disney name for good old-fashioned "elbow grease"

Name one thing you did in the past that you no longer do but wish you did? (one sentence max)
Aerobics

Name one thing you’ve always wanted to do but keep putting it off? (one sentence max)
More piano lessons

What two things would you most like to learn or be better at, and why? (two sentences max)
Piano, for Church, and counseling, again for Church.

If you could take a class/workshop/apprentice from anyone in the world living or dead, who would it be and what would you hope to learn? (two more sentences, max)
Tracy Hogg. I would like to better relate to babies. (I am not a baby person)

What three words might your best friends or family use to describe you? Capable, hospitable,
hardworking.

Now list two more words you wish described you. Compassionate and teachable

What are your top three passions? God, family, ministry,

Write–and answer–one more question that YOU would ask someone (with answer in three sentences max) Hmmm. How do you measure success? If I can go to bed at night, content with the work I've done and with a clean conscience before God, I consider myself highly successful.

If you like Memes, and haven't done one in a while, consider yourself tagged!

R

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Camp 2007



We went to the West with Jesus these past two weeks. We had cowboys andIndians, stereotyped to the hilt. We had a great time.

More later,
R

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Yeah, I'm supposed to be on a break...

But I have a few things to write.

First of all, I would like to talk about my doggy Sunny, who was killed last week. Sunny was one of those special, once-in-a-lifetime dogs. She stole our hearts from Day 1. Even the Cat and our Dalmation, Minnie, loved her. But she had a small rebelious streak. She liked to get out of the fence. At first, we would run after her, but it was impossible to catch her. We'd get within 4 feet, and she'd run ahead. So, after a few months, we let up our guard and gave her a bit of freedom, against our better judgement. It seems that many parents do that! We give in to our children's "little" rebellions. And of course, her rebellion, as innocent as it may have seemed, ultimately caused her death. Which brings me to thought number 2. Rebellions causes collateral damage. Of course, we didn't die, but we suffered. I'm still sad. It does me good to remember that my rebellion, no matter how "small" it may seem to me, causes innocent people to suffer.



Next thought. There is a couple in our church who have been "dating" (for lack of a better word) At first, they wanted to do things the right way, and keep a good testimony. But we'd often see them in the street late at night, alone in the dark or alone in his car. We pleaded with them to be careful, to avoid temptation. We spoke to her mother, encouraging her to set limits. All this to no avail. It seems that this 15 year old girl is expecting a baby. We are heartbroken, knowing that whis is not God's plan, and was totally avoidable and there will be lasting consequences

On the other hand, we have a second couple who got married in August. What a joyful wedding! Last month, Patty shared with us all that she was pregnant. They were thrilled! Today, she went to the Dr. and the sonogram shows that the baby is dead. They are heartbroken. Today, we are all wondering at God's Providence and sovreignty. Of course He knows best.

I am printing out the devotional books for camp. Pray for our camp. Weve been facing many problems. We've had so many problems, I just know we're going to have a great camp!
Blessings,
Rhonda

Monday, January 01, 2007

Bloggy Break for Camp

Happy New Year to you all! May this year see the return of our Lord!

We had a lovely Christmas, then we had a tragedy. Our darling dachsund doggy was killed by a car. We are all heartbroken.

I am taking a bloggy break to have time to prepare for camp, which starts next week. I'll be back after the 20th.

Blessings to you all,
Rhonda